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About catman

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  1. G'day all, my personal feeling is that the AT's are very good cartridges, but the recommended capacitance loading is often impractical and unworkable (100 to 200 picofarads 'overall'). Years ago I had an AT91 (I think it was....very entry level and basic, with a conical stylus and came in a plastic blister container, but it sounded very good for a very budget cartridge. I still have it somewhere, I think! I think that if the loading can be optimised the AT's are excellent. Regards, Felix.
  2. G'day all, well the output capacitors seem to have completely solved the problem, no more amplifier shutdown, and I could be imagining it but things also seem to be sounding better now. Is that possible? Regards, Felix.
  3. G'day all, in thinking about plausible reasons why audio gear sounds different and disregarding any magical/mythical reasons, with my technician hat on, I'll say that 'slight' variations in the frequency response are probably responsible. In the past I've already identified how a slight bass roll off can actually make things sound 'crisper' and treble roll off, the reverse and perhaps more 'rounded' with added bass presence. Indeed this is exactly how the most basic 'bass' and 'treble' controls function. However apart from tone controls, it is interesting how subtle frequency response manipulation can change sonic perceptions. Perhaps manufacturer 'house sound' is nothing but deliberate and intentional frequency response manipulation! Phono preamps seem to be inherently subject to this sort of thing given the nature of the RIAA equalisation curve and how 'accurately' it is applied. I have seen (and heard) this for myself. Interesting, isn't it? Yes, it is! Regards, Felix.
  4. G'day all, some fun this afternoon with some DIY electronics in solving an interesting issue requiring a DC blocking capacitor (an electrolytic). As much as I don't really like using electrolytic capacitors, sometimes they are necessary and if one follows the rules with using electrolytic capacitors, they cause no real problems. Regards, Felix.
  5. G'day all, yes I've just done that and there is a solid 9 Volts DC offset on the detector output, and higher than I thought it was. So I've just soldered in an output capacitor so I'll see if the fault recurs with this detector now. Interesting. Regards, Felix.
  6. G'day all, a technical question for anyone familiar with the present range of Cambridge Audio integrated amplifiers and whether the line level inputs are DC coupled without capacitors. For a while I've noticed my CA amp in here apparently going into intermittent shut down and the muting (protection) relay operating for no apparent reason. I have one of my DIY AM detector boards plugged in to one of the 'line' level inputs and I've realised that there is a small DC offset present on the output, and I wonder if this might be causing the intermittent amplifier shutdown if the CA line level inputs are direct coupled without DC blocking capacitors. I am now more suspicious of this possibility as I am presently using another AM detector that does include an output blocking capacitor, and so far this strange shut down fault hasn't appeared, so I am wondering about this possibility. Any thoughts or comments? Regards, Felix.
  7. G'day all, lots of superb Baroque Music tonight. Firstly ABC Classic FM for the third and last installment on the life and music of Claudio Monteverdi and now some J.S. Bach and his 'The Musical Offering' on Concert Hall vinyl. All wonderful. Regards, Felix.
  8. G'day all, interesting that. I used an AT95E for a while and liked it, although the 2 grams tracking weight bothered me a little. The impracticality of the recommended 100 to 200 picofarads load capacitance may 'compromise' its sound quality 'depending'. Regards, Felix.
  9. G'day all, last evening I was listening to the Rugby League coverage on ABC Local Radio on the AM broadcast radio band and I was also trying to listen to another radio channel at about the same time (difficult to do). So I ended up turning the AM radio Rugby League coverage right down on the amplifier, and was stunned to realise that even at near zero on the volume, I could still copy the sports coverage 100 percent, so despite a great variation in amplifier volume the apparent 'loudness' hardly changed at all! I guess that I can 'thank' Optimod transmitter processing for all that heavy program compression and totally killing any semblance of dynamic range. Mmmmm. Regards, Felix (vk4fuq).
  10. G'day mate, yeah I kind of knew you'd say that. Yes you are quite right, however as I said before the degree of improvement does 'depend'. I think that a lot of supposed 'improvements' are 'slightly' overstated. and human psychology takes care of the rest! Regards, Felix.
  11. G'day all, during cup of tea time this afternoon I decided to 'try' and clean up/ tidy up some of the record collections (a never ending task to be completely honest), and whilst I was working, I listened to a few records to pass the time, including one of Bach's Brandenburg Concerto's (personal favourites). I started out using my NAD PP2e phono stage (nice sounding, smooth and non-harsh), but as I worked I spied my little Lucid Labs 'Catalyst' looking sad and lonely in a corner, so I connected it up....and wow, what a fabulous and dynamic little phono stage! A great design packaged into an attractive but unpretentious small metal box and it sounds great, very ESP P06 like with just a lively and dynamic sound. A real giant killer of a MM phono stage in my opinion, and great value for money. I always enjoy finding examples of that sort of great value for money allied with excellent performance! Regards, Felix.
  12. G'day all, a couple of recent things have prompted me to ask this question as it seems to me that various (audio) circuit improvements do not necessarily translate into 'audible' circuit improvements. For example, I have, and indeed heard the value of improved filtering on preamp power supplies and whilst this filtering has significantly improved the rejection of some mains borne noise, I can't really say that the DC fed to the preamps is any 'purer', if that makes any sense I guess it depends on 'before and after' situations. Sometimes if the 'before' situation is clearly substandard, then improvements or upgrades can be worthwhile and indeed quite audible, but it depends! A commercially made phono stage I have came with a fairly noisy 12 volt DC wallwart. A switch to a pure DC 12 volt DC (battery) yielded a very audible subjective improvement in quality, but if the supplied DC wallwart was better, the improvement would have been somewhat less apparent. In the end I wonder how much improvement can be afforded by a 'better' power supply? I frequently read of these upgrades offered at considerable cost, promising 'great' quality improvements. Well, I am a little cynical to be honest. Well based on my own observations improvements are possible, but things would have to be quite poor to start with. Again, I wonder how much of this is 'expectation' syndrome? Regards, Felix.
  13. G'day mate, well I didn't expect that! Regards, Felix.
  14. G'day all, speaking of speakers I did buy a set of pre built kit speakers that were assembled properly (I hope), and should of been excellent quality yet for some reason caused my amplifier to go into near destructive oscillation! They're now in a corner just gathering dust. An expensive mistake! Regards, Felix.
  15. G'day mate, interesting. I wonder if it was that company's 'house' sound, or just seriously bad? Regards, Felix.