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catman

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Everything posted by catman

  1. Praise for the NE5532. G'day all, a month or two back I built another ESP P06 using a board supplied by ESP (Rod Elliott) and I 'eventually' got it going 100 percent after about a week of fruitless faultfinding! I won't go into that exercise except to say that my dislike of 'connectors' of all kinds has grown considerably as a result. However in the end it is great to have another fully operational ESP P06 phono stage. Interestingly enough, initially just for testing I used NE5532 dual op amps but they have become permanent in that P06! I don't really want to go into op amp 'sound', maybe it is real and maybe it's not, but I have to say that the NE5532, despite its vintage is still an excellent dual op amp for use in high quality phono stages like the ESP P06, it is very quiet and low noise and it sounds great. Enough said! Regards, Felix.
  2. Ever done anything 'really' dumb like this? G'day all, last night in the mood for some nice Classical Music I put on a good vinyl recording of J.S. Bach's 'A Musical Offering'. I listened to it for about 15 minutes and it sounded fine, if slightly 'different' from usual, and around that time I glanced down at the turntable and I realized that the speed was set to 45 rpm instead of the correct 33 .33 rpm! Oh well, it still sounded pretty good! However that sort of 'error' would never happen when playing a music CD! Regards, Felix.
  3. Why do we really like what we really like, and vice versa? G'day all, some heavy stuff has been on my mind of late all the way from 'unconscious' bias and prejudice to the supposed nonsense of audio 'subjectivism'. In many respects trying to make sense of all things can be difficult. In audio, we all have likes and dislikes, but why? Are these preferences based on factual reality, or things that have no basis in fact. Does visible appearance 'matter', and is that a factor? What about general item expense? I suspect that all these things are a factor in our everyday thinking and 'hearing', for better or worse. I have often mused about perceptions of 'musicality' and related subjects and yes in my mind I certainly have preferences and favourites, yet knowledgeable commentators like the mysterious NwAvGuy constantly told us much of this is essentially based on imagination and erroneous belief systems. I agree with a lot of his comments, yet not totally. I find my Rothwell Simplex phono stage a personal favourite yet when I'm listening to it, it is out of sight and I only hear 'the sound' and I like and enjoy what I hear coming from the groove, yet I have also mentioned the excellent yet less than musical sound of much op amp circuitry. His comments were/are largely based on technical common sense and factual testing in reality, yet as a former work technician in telecommunications industry myself, maybe that is not the 'full story'. It really gets complex! 'Perception' invariably becomes a very human and subjective thing, as do so many things in the human domain are, like perceptions of 'beauty' for example. Although these things are 'bias' and influential for possibly the 'wrong reasons', perhaps that is not necessarily a bad thing. I really wonder about that. Regards, Felix.
  4. Do audio op amps sound 'clinical'? G'day all, I was indulging in some random forum reading the other day and there was a general discussion about the 'sound' of op amps, and one comment was that they sound 'clinical'. To be honest I'd never really thought of op amps as sounding 'clinical' but in thinking about it later, maybe they do! In all honesty true audio 'musicality' has always been something elusive to me. Interestingly enough, as it presently stands, my Rothwell 'Simplex' sounds more musical than any of my phono stages based on op amp circuitry, even to the point of making somewhat mediocre records sound good! The Simplex is something of a rarity in using only discrete bipolar transistor circuitry and no op amps, and whilst all of my op amp based phono stages sound pretty good, the Simplex does have something musically 'endearing' about its sound! It is a mystery that I'll never properly solve or explain. Regards, Felix.
  5. Audio stuff that is vastly overrated, of even hate! G'day all, this thread might be a little contentious as it's about audio stuff that I think is vastly overrated and sadly I have at least one item in my list. It is a phono preamp which is highly regarded in some quarters, yet I just cannot 'get into' and like yet I have tried and yes I have bought two of these at different times, so I have tried! It is my Lounge Audio LCR MK3 phono stage. Some equate the LCR approach to RIAA as something of a 'Holy Grail' to RIAA equalisation, yet to my ears it just 'doesn't sound right'! Other circuit approaches using RC circuitry, even full feedback op amp designs, always sound better to me! Any comments or other examples? Regards, Felix.
  6. G'day mate, unfortunately not! 🙁 Regards, Felix.
  7. G'day all, to test the possibilities of 'dual mono' approaches I'm presently testing my hifisonix phono stage, which uses two separate NE5534 op amps per channel. So far, so good! Regards, Felix.
  8. G'day all, interesting comments and thank you, yet I'm not sure if I completely agree to be honest. I mentioned my DIY ESP P06 as a fine example, however in that circuit each dual op amp share one half of the two separate audio channels and in fact I recall asking Rod Elliott about this when I first saw his P06 design and he said 'no channel degradation' from doing this. As well I am using his relatively new P05 'mini' power supply (powering both channels) using LM7815 and LM7915 regulators, although there is very good filtering in the design, so maybe that makes a real difference somehow. Interesting isn't it? Essentially I'm of the opinion that the rather unique design of the ESP P06 is the main reason for its excellent 'stereo' performance. Regards, Felix.
  9. Phono stages that give great stereo and soundstage. G'day all, years ago I used to laugh when reading reviews that talked about 'wide or narrow' stereo imaging and soundstage etc thinking well either a phono stage does or doesn't, and the phono cartridge is the main thing in determining this stuff anyway? Well yes and no! I guess now with some listening experience under my belt, and having listened to a few different phono stages over the years, I see things slightly differently, I'll admit. Of all my collection of phono stages, my DIY ESP P06 is the best in this respect, although I can’t say why, although I have heard the difference on a friends P06 compared to another well regarded commercially made phono stage! I remember being quite stunned when I heard the sonic difference for myself! One of life’s mysteries I guess. In more recent times. I have noticed the difference with my own stereo records and ‘very’ careful listening. So there you go! Regards, Felix.
  10. G'day mate, one day I'll try one if I win the gold lotto! Regards, Felix.
  11. Imagine if.... G'day all, if the humble op had never been invented? I wonder about that as the op amp has basically replaced everything discrete in all things 'amplifier'. They work very well, yes they do, however maybe they have a 'sound' after all! Just this morning I've been listening to some Dave Brubeck Jazz using my Rothwell Simplex and it's album that I'm quite familiar with and often gets played with many of my op amp phono stages and sounds great, yet getting played with the all discrete based Simplex somehow sounds more alive, dynamic and musical and like 'the real thing'! I guess that I've echoed these sentiments before. There must be something in it! Regards, Felix.
  12. A curious stylus problem. G'day all, I have a curious stylus problem that may be a simple case of a faulty stylus straight out of the box or maybe something else. I recently installed a brand new 'stylus 10' for one of my Super OM generator bodies, that looks perfect and is clean yet occasionally is quite distorted on playback. I am almost sure that there is some kind of issue with that stylus, as substitution with a similar and slightly used Stylus 5E plays perfectly. Any thoughts or comments on the likely issue? Regards, Felix.
  13. Why are my records so dusty right now? Is it the season? G'day all, I've noticed that many of the records that I play in here are getting very dusty as evidenced by lots of dust pick up on the stylus by end of side. This has only started to happen in reasonably recent times. The playback distortion caused by this dust on the stylus is also quite audible. I've started using my carbon fibre brush and zerostat every time which definitely helps, but isn't a complete cure. Any thoughts on this? Is it the season? Regards, Felix.
  14. G'day mate, despite their diminutive size I find these little speakers eminently well balanced and tonally excellent. Being a well designed ported (bass reflex) design the overall level of bass is very satisfying. Go and have a listen before purchase! Regards, Felix.
  15. What kind of music do you listen to? G'day all, well in here anyway, generally something rock or pop and the like, but tonight for a change, one of my J.S. Bach baroque albums (A Musical Offering), and I rather enjoyed it. I rather like J.S. Bach and the Baroque period generally so I wonder why I don't listen to more of an evening? Regards, Felix.
  16. 'Revealing' phono stages. G'day all, for those who have several phono stages, a question please? Do you have any phono stages that are particularly 'revealing'? That's a difficult word to define, but something special in its playback quality. For me, interestingly enough my DIY hifisonix phono stage meets that definition but I can't really say why, it to me just sounds 'revealing' and it seems to bring out everything that is in the groove. A curious one really. Regards, Felix.
  17. G'day mate, this ESP project (based on the P06 design) is specifically intended for 78 rpm records with varying equalisation curves. https://sound-au.com/project91.htm It is recommended. Regards, Felix.
  18. The benefits of sub bass filtering with 'real world' record playback systems. G'day all, in my head it is interesting how one thing often leads to another as it were, and having just installed a sub bass filter into one of my record playing systems, I've been pleasantly surprised by the subjective improvement. Clearly there is considerable merit in having good sub bass filtering where applicable, and that makes me wonder about what 'should' be amplified and what should be eliminated in early processing in phono playback systems! As is often the case, the devil is in the detail, and how it is done! In many cases phono stages supposedly incorporate some kind of ‘rumble’ filter, which is frequently a simple capacitor filter invariably rolling off quite a bit of the wanted bass audio frequencies as well! I once built a phono stage like this with very ‘light’ sounding bass. It was terrible! A good sub bass filter is invariably a complex and precise piece of electronics. The Elliott Sound Products P99 DIY sub bass filter is highly recommended, and is one of the best filters of this kind around in my opinion! My DIY Akitika Phono Z also has excellent sub bass provisions which work well in practice. Sub bass energy is often caused by record warp which are unfortunately very common, and phono cartridge/tonearm resonance issues which also tend to be common, at least that is my personal experience! Eliminating this unwanted energy can greatly improve audio clarity through markedly reduced ‘intermodulation’ effects. The commercially made KAB filter is also reported to be excellent. Regards, Felix.
  19. G'day mate....yes. You obviously have your turntable set up perfectly but obviously I don't. https://sound-au.com/project99.htm Regards, Felix.
  20. Resurrecting an old project! G'day all, since commissioning a new amplifier and deciding that I didn't need my old active subwoofer anymore I have unfortunately seen the re-emergence of an old problem of lots of woofer cone movement with sub bass (below 20 Hz) audio when using my turntable (and playing records)! However I found a solution and it's all plugged in and working with one of my previously assembled ESP P99 'sub bass filter' modules. At 36 db/octave roll off below 20 Hz, and it is 'very' effective. I have a few others and maybe I'll use them too in other applications! Regards, Felix.
  21. Ok I'll admit it....transistors have a 'sound', op amps have a 'sound' and valves have a 'sound'! G'day all, in the end although I can't readily explain it, my ears and careful listening tell me that all these three popular amplifying systems have a distinct 'sound'. They can all sound excellent if well designed and constructed and although some delight in telling us that it is all in our 'imagination', my ears tells me that there is something quite distinctive in the sound of transistors, op amps and valves. As it presently stands the sound of my Rothwell Simplex is particularly 'musical' sounding along with my ANT Kora 3T SE which are both transistor or FET based units, without an op amp anywhere. Don't get me wrong op amp circuitry can sound great as well, however there is a endearingly 'organic' sound to discrete circuitry that is to my personal liking! Regards, Felix.
  22. Phono stages for Jazz. G'day all, on this otherwise morose sort of day I've just been playing John Abercrombie's excellent 'Timeless' album with my Rothwell Simplex phono stage and man it sounds great! I've always loved the open and musical sound of the Simplex, and playing this album with my Rothwell Simplex (and Ortofon Super OM10), it sounds beautiful! The Rothwell Simplex is a stunningly good phono stage! Regards, Felix.
  23. G'day all, yes that is one of the issues. The overall design looks like it was derived from something much more complex with components removed to a bare minimum to keep it working! Regards, Felix.
  24. Humble pie time! G'day all, I'd like to think that I'm not stupid and my general comments on phono matters are truthful and technically accurate, but alas I have to admit that a commercially made phono stage that I once regarded highly and actually recommended, has turned out to be a badly designed POS! It plays well but a little technical investigation has revealed some major design shortcomings one of which could actually cause amplifier damage because of a significant DC offset on the output! Some amplifiers will happily tolerate this, but some amplifiers (like my own) will not! In fact this is how I actually became aware of this design problem! One of several I might add. It is just as well that this particular unit is no longer in production. Caveat Emptor! Regards, Felix.
  25. What are the audible signs of a stylus that definitely needs replacement? G'day all, this is a question that I've never really had a definitive answer to. As I generally don't keep tabs on how much use my stylus has had (time wise), I am looking for a definitive answer to this. With the Ortofon stylus 10 that I've just replaced whilst it looks fine with a simple x10 magnifier, and it sounds ok however I have noticed occasional bursts of severe playback distortion at times. Replacing that stylus today, all occasional playback distortion is gone, so I guess that old stylus had reached its 'use by' date, yet that isn't a definitive sign of wear, or is it? Any comments or thoughts? Regards, Felix.
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