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About catman

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  • Birthday 12/14/1962


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  1. G'day all, an interesting musical experience last night and to be honest I'm not sure what to make of this. For the last few nights I've been listening to a copy of J.S. Bach's Brandenburg Concerto's (a personal favourite), with several different phono stages, my DIY ESP P06, my recently made 'Muffsy', and last night my ANT Kora 3T SE. All three are fabulous phono stages but something unusual was noted while listening with the ANT, that I didn't expect, there was a sense of the music 'flowing' as I listened. It was quite an unmistakable effect and very pleasant. I later looked up some reviews of that phono stage and I was slightly shocked to read essentially the same comment on this review in the summary. Wow, there is just something about those FET's! Regards, Felix.
  2. G'day all, yes I am indeed gratified that there are still some excellent reviews around with lab test results however my viewing of the internet seems to indicate that the 'verbal only' type of reviews outnumber these by a l-o-n--g way, which is a pity! Regards, Felix.
  3. G'day mate, good point! There has to be a place for the truth somewhere though! Regards, Felix.
  4. G'day all, reading around the internet these days, more often than not, equipment reviews are generally verbal opinions only in most cases, and my mind went back to the days of the 1970's and 1980's when serious lab 'test results' were a part of every review. I used to love reading them and interpreting all the data! Phono cartridges, phono stages, amplifiers, loudspeakers, cassette decks etc all had them. Poor design couldn't hide behind 'revealing' test results! The Nakamichi's were always the best of the lot when it came to cassette decks! I seem to recall that some of the loudspeaker test results were 'interesting' too. Those were the days. Bring em back! Regards, Felix.
  5. G'day all, yes the LCR approach is interesting and despite the supposed advantages in sound quality, I found the Lounge MK 3 LCR unit a little too 'soft' sounding for my liking. I also felt that there was 'some' apparent upper treble roll off. I have noted others in various online fora with similar opinions. The LCR approach does have its fans, but personally I'm yet to be convinced of any clear superiority. Regards, Felix.
  6. G'day all, since I started this thread I've come to the realisation that I am certainly 'influenced' by aesthetics, although coming from a technical background performance is also important but good looks really help too, maybe more than they should in all honesty. Being a regular gym goer I certainly see a lot there that is very attractive to my eyes, and it is can be a constant challenge to disassociate something that merely looks good to true quality, and sometimes that can be difficult! With audio gear the same thing often applies! Regards, Felix.
  7. G'day all, in a thinking mood about RIAA equalisation this afternoon I had a read of this interesting Wikipedia article on the subject of RIAA equalisation: There is a lot in it, including the rationale behind various 'tinkerings' over the years. The comments regarding the 20 Hz IEC amendment are 'interesting' and show that it was possibly a 'not so good' idea in the first place and wasn't particularly popular with manufacturers, although I have a 'gut' feeling that the NAD PP2e includes it. On the other side of the spectrum, the question of the 'Neumann' 50 KHz roll off is likewise interesting but honestly I don't really see any merit for the 'ERIAA curve'. The 'ongoing' RIAA treble roll off aspect is seemingly ignored by many manufacturers who use the very popular and easy to implement feedback type RIAA equalisation around your typical op amp stage, as the typical non-inverting op amp stage cannot provide true ongoing treble roll off due to the nature of the non inverting op amp amplifier stage. However, in the end does it really matter? In all honesty, I'm not overly sure! Having heard and built many different phono stages that employ all these different approaches to RIAA equalisation, purely on the basis of listening, all I can say is that all these different approaches have the potential to sound great. I will say though that my very best sounding phono and 'dynamic' stages are 'probably' those employing hybrid (part active and part passive) or full passive RIAA equalisation. All because we like listening to records! Regards, Felix.
  8. G'day all, my desoldering station arrived today and after deciphering the 'instructions' I've put it to work and it works beautifully, thankfully! I've repaired everything that I needed to and it looks perfect! A great investment. Thanks for the recommendation 'Addicted to music'! Regards, Felix.
  9. ESP P97 finally completed and fully operational. G'day all, this afternoon I finally sorted out all the bugs (I hope) on my ESP P97 stereo line preamp. I think that I am getting too old for DIY. I can't believe how many errors I made in the construction, mainly wrong components in various positions. Thankfully the ESP board is only single sided! The tone controls are interesting and work as they should. Sonically, it is interesting, as it sounds noticeably different than the line preamp in my Cambridge Audio amplifier. Seemingly a touch brighter and clearer and with improved detail. Am I kidding myself? By the way, I did use OPA2134 dual op amps, but for no particular reason except that they were the quickest to find during the build. Now I've got a big mess to clean up. Regards, Felix
  10. G'day all, I'll respectfully disagree on aspects of this. A real world example, the moving magnet cartridges made by Audio Technica all have recommended load capacitance of 100 to 200 picofarads. I have long maintained that such a recommendation is mostly unworkable in the 'real world', as many popular phono stages have default input capacitance of 200 picofarads or more and you can add around 150 picofarads more with input cabling from the turntable and this will take you well over the manufacturer recommendation, resulting in a peaky upper treble cartridge response. This neatly explains the frequently 'bright' comments about the AT440 series for example. If I had my way, 100 picofarads would be the 'standard' value for MM cartridge phono stages. My NAD PP2e is 200 picofards, right on the borderline, requiring very low capacitance interconnects, at the very least Other MM phono cartridges can be similarly critical such as the Shure M97xE. If you really care about optimal cartridge performance, you will optimise the load capacitance! Regards, Felix.
  11. G'day mate, I know of a couple of good reference websites, but nothing overly basic. Regards, Felix.
  12. G'day all, I admit to this being something of a guilty pleasure of mine, in that I like reading online reviews of particularly phono stages and picking the various user comments to pieces, as it were. As a person with some technical expertise and understanding, it is readily obvious to me that some aspects like cartridge loading are happily ignored in reviews, and if properly understood and optimised, could be critical in the overall review conclusions. I consider moving magnet cartridge capacitance loading to be a bit of a 'curse', without proper understanding, but when properly understood and indeed optimised things can be 'greatly improved' to the point of disbelief. I have proven this for myself on many occasions over the years. Although possibly impractical, I'm of the heartfelt opinion that some technical understanding of the subject would go a long way to end user listening satisfaction. Sadly it seems that some people will never realise this, and that is a pity! Regards, Felix.
  13. G'day all, well I've bought one of those recommended desoldering units online, so now I'll guess I'll see for myself. Regards, Felix.
  14. G'day all, I don't tend to document a lot of things very well, but looking at my ANT Kora 3T SE phono stage the other day, I note that I've been using it since late 2012. That's quite a while (for me) I guess, and I still regard it as one of my favourite and best sounding phono stages, not to mention unique, as the circuitry is entirely based on field effect transistors. I seem to recall that for a while that this particular phono stage didn't seem to 'rock', but over the years now does. Blame it on the solitary electrolytic coupling capacitor in each channel and long term 'break in'! How long have others possessed their respective phono stages? Regards, Felix.
  15. G'day all, I've built a few of these over the years for FM tuner applications with good results despite limited antenna gain, and we are around 75 miles from our 'local' FM transmitters. In moderate to high FM strength areas, this simple antenna will work very well. It can be fed with 75 ohm co-ax or 300 ohm twinlead if using a folded dipole driven element. Regards, Felix (vk4fuq).