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About Simonon

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  • Birthday 05/10/1966

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  1. This is surprisingly accurate for measuring crossover capacitors and inductors when compared to my didital LCR meter. Dates from 1950 and is all original including the magic eye tube. Philips 4144/01 universal bridge. Going to restore and calibrate it because its just cool. Sorry another distraction from the topic of ribbon tweeters.
  2. And b4 anyone asks the tube is just a crazy idea for show.
  3. Here are my 1st generation retro steampunk look ribbons for my vintage speakers. Really just a test platform made from junk. I have a switchable 1st order 11k and 9k 2nd order crossover to play with. May need some attenuation but only time will tell. A fun knock up which will be rebuilt with some nicer timber if I like the result. Early indications are good.
  4. Its digital........and cool
  5. I get a lot of enjoyment from usin old test gear when restoring vintage electronics using a digital meter doesnt feel right
  6. For those reminiscing over old avo meters here is my mk3. Found unused in its original box with leads and manual.
  7. Love my old test gear. Nixie stuff is even better
  8. What a surprise these ribbons are on my vintage system. I am still waiting for the caps and indictors for my 9k 2nd order crossover but thought I would give them a go with a 3uf cap to give 10.6 khz 1 st order. Early indications without any measurements are impressive.
  9. If anything this little project satisfies my need to fiddle and excuse to spend time in my workshop. My wife is happy because it is costing nothing [emoji3] I will be interested in the results as the 1950s designed Wharfedale Super 3 tweeters are not really tweeters in the modern sense. Past 12k the roll off is significant so these ribbons should achieve something I would expect. Not sure about phase yet but Im gonna find out shortly when the caps and inductors arrive for the 2nd order 9k crossover. If not I have learned something from the exercise. A frequency sweep of the old type 3 amps also showed up an issue on the left channel which I suspect is some out of tolerance carbon resistors which I have some 5w metal film replacements. Hopefully I can get Christos over with his expensive mic and audio analysis software to see what happens when I hook them up.
  10. Hi Andy The amps are built into the back of the speakers so replacing is not an option. I think you are right with the 9khz 2nd order crossover as this was my thought also. I doubt these tube amps pass much beyond 15k if anything as they date from 1964. I am very curious into what these ribbons will achieve. I am about to give the amps a birthday with some 5% metal film resistors and some nice foil capacitors. Measured heaps of drift with the old carbons. The ribbon exercise will cost me about 40 dollars with some inductors and caps for the crossover. If I don't like the result nothing is lost.
  11. I am building myself a couple of super tweeters after being given a couple of Fountek Ribbons. Luckily I have most of the parts required to build myself something that looks nice but am unsure of the crossover frequency that I want these to cover so I thought I would ask on this forum based on the experience of others. Not much happens with my vintage tube amps past 16k where the roll off is significant ( cant hear past 15k anyway with my 50 year old ears). My choices are 7K, 9K or 14K and thinking of a simple second order crossover with some series resistors for attenuation if they prove too efficient ( 96dB efficiency from the datasheet). Would second or third order crossover be best? as the calculated inductors and foil capacitors are cheap from WES components. Hoping to get a little bit more upper detail which is where my vintage speakers fall short compared to modern designs and the fact that this venture will cost me very little, I thought why not give it a try. A little experiment that may work or bring about disappointment but satisfies my need to fiddle.
  12. Well just when I thought I'd seen everything heres an Active phono cartridge. See the link and explanation. Interested in comments. Has anyone heard one? http://www.phaedrus-audio.com/PHLUX.htm
  13. As an advocate for moving magnet cartridges due to their relatively low cost, ease of setup and simpler amplification requirements I have just moved into the realm of playing with moving coil cartridges having been lent a few different types and several mc preamps. A can of worms has now been opened which is rather interesting. I am interested in opinions here in regards to the following points experienced over a month of listening and trying different combinations. I shall use a Denon 301mk2 as my test subject to keep things simple which offers remarkable performance for its price and has a loyal following. I am using a NAD 106 preamp which was their flagship pre in 1992 offering a very good switchable discrete mm/ mc phono stage. Technically this is a very good preamp and features balanced output to drive my vintage Wharfedales and tube amps. The turntable used is a Thorens TD320 MK2 with a decent TP90 tonearm and the cartridge setup correctly tracking at 1.4 grams. Turntable isolation is excellent with a solid rack, concrete floor and isolated plinth with sorbothane dampeners. None of this gear would be classed as high end but technically it is very competent gear being rebuilt and tweaked over a number of years. The speakers are very special being built and designed by the ABC engineering department in 1963 for their studios and fully restored by myself including the inbuilt Centre Industries EL34 monoblocks. So over the past month what did I discover with my foray into moving coil cartridges Running the 301 cart on the NAD pre I found it had good bass response but accentuated surface noise. Accuracy and detail was good but not on par with an Audio technica AT150MLX. The accentuated surface noise from the Denon was annoying being hard to ignore forcing me to ultrasonically clean some records, revisit cartridge setup and swap back to the AT150MLX for verification. I then tried a borrowed Electrocompient EC1 phono preamp featuring a mc input. This had the affect of reducing surface noise and giving a nice balanced sound but was definitely less robust and thinner in the bass department. Anybody that has heard my Wharfedales knows how solid and tight these things are in the bass department. I could live with the Electro EC1 but for its lack of bottom end and no cartridge loading options in the form of dip switches ( more on this later in the article) A number of weeks went by with swapping between phono preamps, listening to my selected test records and swapping cartridges back and forth making me realize how different combinations can sound so different with varying degrees of sound colouration. On numerous occasions I thought this is too hard. I commandeered another preamp several different types of mc cartridge and made life even more complicated with clearly noticeable differences in sound coloration and surface noise. I thought how can this be? raising questions of cartridge type e.g. Shibata, microline and elliptical. The question of cost came up and I began researching higher priced cartridges, specs, and different types of phono preamps. A huge and expensive can of worms was opened. Tube versus solid state, dual mono, opamp versus Jfet versus transistor. Do I build myself a preamp or buy off the shelf. How do I hide my intentions and expenses from the Minister of Household Finances. A simple experiment was getting out of control and rapidly heading for the " this is too hard basket" At this point I began to research Moving coil cartridge impedance and impedance load matching where the reasons for the audible difference began to make sense. It was near the " this is too hard" point that I realized that I also had been lent an Aurealis ST7 moving coil transformer so I thought " why not try it on the Nad preamp in the moving magnet position". Well the results were astounding with greatly reduced surface noise and the most amazing solid bass. Sibilance was always a problem with the AT150MLX cartridge and painfully evident when listening to Hugh Masekala Stimela on LP. The performance of the Denon 301 mk2 using the stepup transformer is chalk and cheese and demonstrates to me the complexities of getting the correct combination with moving coil. In conclusion I found that Not every combination of moving coil cart/ phono preamp gives good sound regardless of price. A good impedance match between the MC cartridge and preamp appears to be important and highly variable due to personal preference. Looking up the impedance specs of a number of mc cartridges gives different values. A poor match will make a huge difference in the sound quality and may result in accentuated surface noise, dull sound, overly bright sound, poor bass amongst other things. Again it ultimately comes down to personal preference which I found in my case. I did not realize how much the sound can vary with different combinations and before considering a big cartridge upgrade it may be worth borrowing a stepup transformer and a cartridge or if your preamp has loading switches experiment with combinations. I did not consider a step up transformer with a solid state phono preamp thinking them old tech and only relevant if using a tube preamp. Clearly I was wrong with this assumption as it offers a better impedance match for the Denon 301 mk2 IMO. In my research I found a great link about transformers and moving coil cartridges in general at http://www.rothwellaudioproducts.co.uk/html/mc_step-up_transformers_explai.html Step-up transformers for moving coil cartridges appear to be the most esoteric and misunderstood items in the world of hi-fi, and this partly explains why they are so seldom used. This is a great shame because the use of a good transformer gives the best possible performance from a moving coil cartridge in my limited experience. The price for step up transformers is highly variable and it would appear that another can of worms can be opened in regards to the transformer specs and turns ratios to match your cartridge. This combination appears to work for me the best and I shall stick with it for several weeks before making a final decision. I am interested in the experience of others and recommendations. This experience has been very enjoyable for my technical brain and highlights why one should not rush into an expensive cartridge purchase with the assumption that more money equals better sound. I found that moving coil cartridge, phono preamp and possible stepup transformer purchase needs to be viewed as a package to achieve good sound. If you are intending to upgrade or change from moving magnet to moving coil it would be prudent to borrow the desired devices if possible. Ever wonder why so many audiophiles end up with a number of MC cartridges in their drawer..... I think I know the answer. Its all about the different mc cartridge impedance (between brands and models) match to the phono preamp and ones personal preference. A fun but slippery slope into potentially spending a lot of money. From this article it can be seen that I not into spending big bucks on high end gear but rely on my electronics 101 expertise, ability to repair/ vintage equipment, love of music and interest in vinyl. One thing I have learned in my 30 years of working in studio broadcast is that more expensive does not automatically equal better sound and that it is about getting the correct combination. This is where the local Stereonet community excels in the ability to borrow equipment from members to try out ( thanks Emiel greatly appreciated ) Am I intending to head down the Moving coil path after my initial disappointment......the answer is yes Here's hoping this article is of assistance to those heading down the slippery slope or contemplating MC. I also look forward to replies from those that are really into vinyl and have vinyl rigs that make me envious. Regards Simon
  14. Thats because its made for audiophiles and contains "synergy" which comes at a high price.
  15. Simonon

    Audio myths and misconceptions

    An interesting subject in regards to speaker drivers and the question does more expensive equate to sound better. IMO the future lies in DSP and multichannel amplification with the ability to tailor the level and frequencies fed to each driver whilst compensating for the room. This all can be achieved with modestly priced drivers and enclosures with spectacular results. I guess much of the listening experience comes down to how good the software is and the users ability to drive it. Their will always be a market for beautiful looking and sounding high end gear but with properly implemented digital sound processing I suspect the performance gap narrows significantly. The next 10 years in the HIFI world is going to be very interesting with DSP allowing for some very good sounding creative designs which would be unachievable without it. The demise of CD and other physical media such as LP's for the mainstream public with increased up take of streaming platforms is also interesting. Most of my listening is done with an Intel NUC running Daphile using Tidal and if you mentioned this concept to me 10 years ago I would have laughed. The future is awesome performing modestly priced speakers using digital sound processing, multi-channel D class amplification and a streaming platform such as Spotify or Tidal for sonic performance which exceeds most of todays high end gear at a fraction of the price. I still love my turntable, tube amps and vintage speakers but I am a relic from a bygone era. The future of HIFI lies in the digital realm, speakers included.