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catman last won the day on April 24 2015

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About catman

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  1. catman

    Noisy recycled OPA2134 op amps?

    G'day mate, yes with their FET inputs, it could very well be! Regards, Felix.
  2. G'day all, I tend to recycle and reuse a lot of still ok op amps, however just of late a lot of these op amps, whilst still operational have been found to be somewhat noisy/hissy compared to brand new ones. That is a bit unusual to me. Has anyone else struck the same thing? Regards, Felix.
  3. G'day mate, a couple all for different reasons! Regards, Felix.
  4. catman

    Catman's Analog Musings

    Thinking for yourself! G'day all, I admit to feeling a bit feisty tonight in that in this modern world it often seems hard to recognise the truth from the 'other' opposite kind, and I'll freely admit that I am not at all comfortable with much of the BS out there masquerading as the truth! Being an old time tech I generally know what is technically real and what is 'hype' (being kind), yet I still see a lot written mainly in advertising blurb that is simply at least technically complete rubbish. Sadly those without any real technical training will tend to believe anything especially if it sounds plausible enough. It sure annoys the heck out of me. Regards, Felix.
  5. G'day all, here is a photo of all my accumulated phono stages over the past few years! 16 plus or minus one or two others! What does that say about me? Regards, Felix.
  6. catman

    Catman's Analog Musings

    Lucid Labs 'Catalyst' phono stage. G'day all, I'm actually quite glad that I have one of these nifty little phono stages, before production sadly ended, as it is a really fine and good sounding phono stage with some worthwhile refinements too. I actually had to replace a 'blown' fuse on mine. Why it blew, I have no idea! It didn't even 'look' blown, but it tested open circuit on my digital multimeter. A five second job to replace it and it is fully operational again. A crisp sounding and clean/quiet phono stage with very nice sonics and yes two NE5532's are used and sound great! A very compact design physically, and it works perfectly. Regards, Felix.
  7. catman

    Catman's Analog Musings

    100 pf at last. G'day all, I see a new phono stage or two from Cambridge audio (Solo and Duo), that in some ways remind me of the NAD PP2, but lo and behold they have apparently ditched their long standing 220 pf input capacitance loading in favour of a much more workable 100 pf....about time, in my heartfelt opinion! All that they need to do now is to bump up the gain to a genuine 40 db. I honestly can't see why some manufacturers steadfastly sit on less than 40 db gain. At least Cambridge Audio have chosen to use 39 db and that is almost acceptable! Regards, Felix.
  8. catman

    Catman's Analog Musings

    G'day mate, all ok. Yes I am aware of the changes, I don't know about silver wire, but my unit has the upgraded Teflon capacitors. Regards, Felix.
  9. G'day all, an interesting experience last night. I've been a diagnosed diabetic since 2004 and although they are reasonably rare, I do experience 'hypos' (low blood sugar episodes), occasionally and last night was a particularly severe one. It came on over about an hour or so and for a while I felt quite strange indeed....dizzy, and very confused during the worst of it. Interestingly enough shortly before the peak of it I was playing a record and the general sound quality subjectively sounded very poor, and to be honest I could not understand why until somewhat later! Diabetic 'hypos' are possibly an extreme case but it does seem to indicate that mood shifts (for whatever) reason can drastically alter our general perception of sound quality, and by the way my gear sounds quite normal this morning. By the way a slice of bread and honey quickly stabilised my hypo last night once I realised what was happening. All interesting in any case. Regards, Felix.
  10. catman

    Catman's Analog Musings

    'Harshness' in audio gear. G'day all, I just did some repairs on my DIY ESP P97 stereo line preamp (a broken balance pot.), and with something on a shock it is apparent that this preamp makes my Cambridge Audio AM10 much 'less harsh' sounding than on its own, and it does seem to be quite often the case that some even high quality electronics have a subtle sense of harshness. Is this something borne out of even low level distortion? Over the years I have heard quite a few bits of gear with this sonic character and I've often wondered why? Regards, Felix.
  11. G'day all, this is a strange and in all honesty I basically don't have any idea why and if it means anything! For the last couple of weeks I have been waiting on a part to repair my DIY P97 stereo line preamp that I normally use with my Cambridge Audio AM10 stereo integrated amplifier, and whilst awaiting the part I've been using the tone controls on the amp as per the normal set up and as expected it sounds fine, however it does not sound as good/clear with an almost overheavy bass presence. Strange. The specs indicate a flat overall line frequency response yet the addition of the DIY ESP P97 line preamp/tone controls clearly improves the sound, suggesting that the AM10's circuitry is at fault in some way. Maybe I'm just used to the sound of my DIY ESP P97 preamp! Regards, Felix.
  12. catman

    Catman's Analog Musings

    The lure of Euphonic audio. G'day all, I'm possibly revisiting a theme here in that I wonder if nice sounding/euphonic audio might actually be preferable to 'accurate' but less subjectively pleasant audio? This is not as silly as it possibly sounds, speaking from personal experience. It has been a personal experience that at least one of my phono stages has a subtle euphonic sound tendency which actually 'sounds' wonderful to the ear, whereas other more 'accurate' phono stages are not as sonically satisfying. That is quite an irony in a sense....preferring the sound of something that is not necessarily accurate, but more pleasant sounding to the ear! I have memories as a teenager of loving the sound of one of my old radios with the 'loudness' control switched on. Curious indeed! Regards, Felix.
  13. catman

    Catman's Analog Musings

    G'day mate, no Valab. Regards, Felix.
  14. catman

    Catman's Analog Musings

    G'day mate, there is some truth in what you say but not the complete truth, in my honest heartfelt opinion. Regards, Felix.
  15. catman

    Catman's Analog Musings

    A bit of a vent. Phono stages that sound too bright! G'day all, although I know that many factors can influence this, one of my pet hates are phono stages that sound too bright. Of all the phono stages that I have, one or two definitely have a 'bright' sonic character, and invariably just become grating to the (my) ears. Yet in some ways these phono stages can sound endearing but ultimately the bright tendency dominates! RIAA equalisation not withstanding it seems to me the even subtle lumps/peaks in the overall frequency response can produce the perception of 'brightness'. My Rothwell Simplex is probably the worst of mine in this respect. It is a phono stage that I really like yet long term sounds uncomfortably 'bright', yet is supposed to possess a linear RIAA playback equalisation curve! Actual listening makes one wonder about the truth of such statements! Yet going the other way produces the opposite result....dull, dull, dull! Having said that though, I think that I vaguely prefer dull over bright! Can it ever be 'right'? I am starting to think that it is impossible! It honestly seems to be a very difficult balancing act to get truly right! Regards, Felix.