Jump to content


  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


1 Follower

About catman

  • Rank
    1000+ Post Club
  • Birthday 14/12/1962

Profile Fields

  • Location
  • Country

Recent Profile Visitors

11,013 profile views
  1. Catman's Analog Musings

    A 'very long' break in? G'day all, just when I think that I've seen and heard nearly everything in 2 channel stereo audio, I encounter something a bit weird! I've been using my Lounge Audio LCR MK3 for a couple of days now, and it sounds great when previously I was never overly impressed by it. I'm thinking about a 'very long' component break in. In this particular unit, I am aware that Teflon capacitors are used in the bass section, and I have previously been advised of a long Teflon capacitor break in. Well the bass is firmer and sweeter. Could the Teflon capacitors be responsible for this sonic change? If so, the break in time has been many hours, or is this pure and simple imagination? Regards, Felix.
  2. Catman's Analog Musings

    G'day all, well this is true however it is worth remember that even the best vinyl record resources don't have a particularly good S/N ratio, so whilst these things do matter in theory, the 'real world' is somewhat different. I'm trying to steer a sensible middle course if possible. Regards, Felix.
  3. Catman's Analog Musings

    G'day all, all this 'hiss' talk brings to mind my days working for Telstra, and I recall one of our island based exchanges was linked to the mainland via an old multi channel analog radio system. It worked reliably but depending on the radio path fade, the 'hiss' resulting on the radio path and the consequent deterioration of the signal to noise ratio speech telephone circuit, could be at times, alarming. The later installation of a full digital radio system achieved near perfection in circuit S/N ratio and overall circuit quality. Regards, Felix.
  4. Catman's Analog Musings

    G'day mate, no I am aware the others have reported the same 'hiss' with their 'Mani's'. As I have already said that despite the hiss I regard the Schiit Mani as a superb sounding phono stage! Regards, Felix.
  5. Catman's Analog Musings

    Phono preamp hiss. Does it really matter? G'day all, this is a possibly interesting one as most of my phono stages have very little inherent hiss, except for one of them, the Schiit 'Mani', whose hiss level is plainly audible at normal volume levels, yet the Mani is stunningly good sounding phono stage, so I ask the question does this plainly audible phono stage hiss really matter? Personally I would prefer hiss to be as low as possible but in the case of the 'Mani', it doesn't seem to degrade the overall quality at all! Interestingly enough I have several overseas audio friends who are extremely 'anti-phono stage hiss', although they admit that they have not heard the 'Mani'. So is this simply a case of unjustified bias? I wonder if 'hiss' can add something desirable to the overall sound quality. I wouldn't expect so, but who knows? Regards, Felix.
  6. Catman's Analog Musings

    The state of the art. G'day all, I've been using my new computer for a few days now and this morning I had a listen to a familiar audio file (MP3), patched into the high quality audio system in here and I quickly noticed how much better the general audio quality is on this new computer compared to my old one (only 5 or 6 years old). Are computer sound cards inevitably just getting better and better? Yet in audio and particularly phono gear, vintage or older gear is still highly regarded for their sound quality. So in the light of my new computers excellent sound card quality, I wonder if older audio gear can ever be 'superlative'. It is worth thinking about that. Regards, Felix.
  7. Catman's Analog Musings

    G'day all, an interesting comparison of sorts this afternoon as I had a cup of tea whilst watching floodwaters pass by! Playing an album of Handel Violin Concertos (fabulous music actually), I was using my Schiit Mani on my main system which sounded predictably superb. For Side 2 I swapped phono preamps to my Lucid Labs 'Catalyst' phono stage which sounded equally superb if slightly less 'crisp'. If anything the 'Catalyst' sounded more 'natural'. One other interesting thing was that the Schiit 'Mani' played noticeably 'louder' with its 43 db gain, compared to the 'Catalyst''s 40 db. All things being equal though, the 'louder' phono stage sounded subjectively better. That may be a complete sonic illusion, but it is 'interesting'! Regards, Felix.
  8. G'day all, it's sad to hear about this as the VE is indeed a wonderfully useful online resource, however based on my earlier previous interactions with that website owner, which to be honest were nothing short of bizarre, I now have nothing nice to say about that person. I was one of many who were highly regarded, yet banned for totally unjustifiable reasons. Regards, Felix.
  9. Catman's Analog Musings

    G'day all, well as far as I can tell the official default loading is 47 k with 150 picofards shunt capacitance, which is pretty well ideal for my use. So that part is standard. According to the website some aspects of the circuit are interesting and slightly unusual, however I can't see why that should result in a perceived treble emphasis. However one thing is interesting technically, in that using no op amps, just discrete transistors (BC337 amongst others), brings to mind my own early experiments with discrete transistor audio preamplifiers many years ago which had a similar 'sound'. So in all honesty I'm not sure about this but it does seem to be a little brighter than it should be despite the official 'plus and minus .5 db' specification. Regards, Felix.
  10. The Blues.

    G'day all, last night I was walking past the TV room and on was an episode of 'Midsomer Murders' and in the scene they were talking about Blues music and specifically John Lee Hooker! I'm a fan of the Blues and especially John Lee Hooker yet I haven't played any Blues stuff for ages. So this arvo I did, my favourite John Lee Hooker compilation CD, and played it loud. Now, that's better! Regards, Felix.
  11. Catman's Analog Musings

    'Plus or minus .5 db' G'day all, despite what I've just written previously I can't really stop my phono stage musings! Last night I was listening to my Rothwell Audio 'Simplex', a phono stage that I really like, although my ears tells tell me that it has a definite treble emphasis, however the quoted specs are RIAA equalisation accuracy to 'plus and minus .5 db'. Is that really possible? If a treble emphasis can be discerned easily by ear does it have to be greater than .5 db? Mmmmm. Regards, Felix.
  12. Catman's Analog Musings

    G'day mate, it seems that I've had a bit of an epiphany with phono stages of late. Perhaps this has followed on from recent changes in my life that have profoundly affected me emotionally, and probably permanently. I certainly do have some truly sonically excellent phono stages in my possession now, bit in all honestly my old beloved DIY ESP P06 is still up there with the best of them. At the very least all this has been quite educational and I guess that has been a good thing. Regards, Felix.
  13. Catman's Analog Musings

    Phono stage 'upgradititis'. Just a waste of time and money? G'day all, the other night in trying to clean out this Ham Radio shack, I gathered a few of my unused commercially made phono stages and stacked them in above the other. It was quite a tall stack, six of them! I then quickly calculated just how much money they all cost me in purchasing them. Quite a bit actually! I then played a record using my beloved DIY ESP P06 phono stage, which sounds superb and I asked myself just why I had spend so much money on commercially made phono stages?! There are a few other lurking around the place too. So why have I bought so many? Mmmmm. Regards, Felix.
  14. Catman's Analog Musings

    My Schiit Mani. G'day all, I've been giving this remarkable phono stage a bit of use over the last day or so, and it is in a word, 'remarkable'. I can't believe how they do it for the price....MM and MC with such extraordinary sonic performance! It's 'sound' is practically the opposite of my nicer/gentler phono stages, with an sense of immediacy that makes even the most boring record sound fantastic. It is hard not to be impressed by it! It is apparently designed by Mike Moffat, a man who obviously knows what he is doing when it comes to top notch audio gear, yet I believe that he is more at home with digital audio, yet the Schiit Mani sounds so good. I guess that there should be some mysteries in this world! Regards, Felix.
  15. Catman's Analog Musings

    Great sounding phono set ups for peanuts (well, almost). G'day all, just thinking about low cost phono set ups that sound great and it is interesting that in absolute terms these can sound every bit as satisfying as much more expensive components, especially the phono preamps. I guess that it is almost assumed that DIY is the way to go here. Two simple and easy to construct DIY phono stages that I can wholeheartedly recommend are the Elliott Sound Products P06 and the Bruce Heran one op amp design. PC boards are available from ESP but not the case with the Bruce Heran design, but someone with even moderate building experience should have little trouble building either phono stage (for use with moving magnet phono cartridges). Interestingly enough these two phono stages do sound subtly different with the Heran design having a 'hint' of lower bass warmth that actually sounds quite endearing. The ESP P06 sounds more 'neutral' in a sense, but no less endearing. Both are superb actually! Cartridge wise this is interesting as my present cartridge of choice is the Shure M97xE (body) with the N92E stylus, a combination that I think actually sounds much better than the OEM Shure N97xE stylus, in my opinion. Yes I really think so, and believe that! The turntable is your own choice, however these component recommendations work really well and sound great! Regards, Felix.