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norman

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About norman

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  • Birthday December 31

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    canberra
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    Australia

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  1. Today's purchase - Musical Fidelity V90 LPS phono stage for my LOMC needs. One word, - fantastic. Tomorrow's purchase - Paul Kelly, "Songs from the South" triple 12 inch. Here's a couple of images from the manufacturer:
  2. Hi there - Flick me a PM with your number and I will call you this week for a catch up. I don't know about which JM Blue pressings are best - I only have Court and Spark and Mingus by her. The first one has a clicky intro to the title track that has always been there on my copy - I suspect my girlfriend from long ago played it first on a crappy Dansette or something first before she gave it to me and its just mistreatment damage. Just in case you are interested, my copy of Court is an Asylum Record label, Australian pressed by WEA numbered 7E-1001 and MX172178 on the label. Aside from the clicks it is really nice sounding. Mingus is also an Asylum Record label, Australian pressed by WEA numbered 5E-505 and MX190176 on the label. This on is nice sounding too. Look forward to hearing from you. Norm
  3. I have bought a low output Ortofon Quintet Red and am using it with a Pro- ject Phonobox S preamp set for 60 db gain. I can hear hissy background noise with this preamp. It has the standard wall wart power supply. Should I improve the mains feed to get lower noise, or would a better preamp unit be the best way forward? I don't want to spend heaps if I can avoid it. What suggestions do you have for an upgrade? My local shop is suggesting a new Tube Box but I'm not sure the noise floor would be lower. Any ideas will be appreciated. Anyone have a better one for sale? Thanks, Norm
  4. So I bought an Ortofon Quintet Red, and it is better already than my old MC-3 Turbo and 2M Blue from the first drop. The soundstage seems effortlessly wider and also the depth has now become apparent. On Miles Davis' Kind of Blue side 2 a brushed snare is clearly further forward than other instruments, as is a ride cymbal later on in the same side. Recommended. Now I need a less noisy phono stage than my Pro-ject Phonobox S...
  5. Does anyone have direct listening experience regarding whether the Project Tube Box S or S2 sounds better with a LOMC cartidge than a Pro-ject Phono Box S? I have just bought an Ortofon Quintet Red and it sounds great already, but I can notice that a bit of background noise / hiss or whatever is present that I haven't heard previously when using a 2M Blue, presumably as the gain for that was just 40 dB. I have the gain set to 60dB, so I am wondering if the noise floor from the Tube Box is lower than from the straight solid state unit? I am using the standard wall wart power pack - would I notice an improvement with a better quality power supply? Does anyone have recommendations for an affordable phono stage that steps up from the Phono Box S and doesn't cost the earth (and can handle both MM and LOCM cartridges? Is anyone thinking of selling something soon that might sound better? Another question - my turntable earth lead is connected to the Phono Box. Should I run another lead from the phono pre-amp earth to the earth connector on the eamplifier as well? Thanks, Norm
  6. I bought a new Ortofon Quintet Red MC cartridge. I listened to the Blue, but I couldn't really tell the difference in the store, so I saved the difference and got the Red. It was an Ortofon sponsored trade-in using my 20 year old MC-3 Turbo with collapsed suspension as the donor, hope they enjoy hearing it scrape. It's on my old Technics SL-1200 Mk2 deck. I used an Ortofon SH-4 headshell as it is a tall cartridge and needs the extra depth this one provides. I have set it up with the Technics-recommended 52mm from stylus to headshell washer distance, and it's dead parallel to the headshell sides. With my mat (scavenged off a Technics SL-D2) the base of the cartridge is parallel with the record surface with 2.5mm dialed in on the helical arm height adjustment. The cartridge and headshell combo is heavier than I have used before, and I ran out of adjustment on the counterweight, so I need to source the sub-auxilliary extra weight for the rear of the tonearm, but in the short term I have just Blu-tacked a steel washer to the rear of the counterweight and set the recommended 2.3 grams tracking force. I have it playing through a Pro-Ject Phono Box S set to 60 dB gain. I know I can do better than this, but the aim of this rig is for it to be a great sounding budget system. However, my ears are open to suggestion on alternatives for the pre-amp. It already sounds fantastic. This is my first low output moving coil cartridge on a decent sounding rig, and boy am I happy. The cartridge sounded great immediately, and I know it will only get better as it plays in and opens out. The sound stage is nice and wide already. It sounds better to me than my near new (< 20 hours) 2M Blue. Now I have to decide whether to flip that or keep it - swapping out means that I have to change dip-swicth settings on the bottom of the phono stage. What does an almost-new 2M Blue sell for here? No more cartridge swapping for me a fair while 🙂
  7. Still messing with speaker toe-in. I played Joan Baez album "Diamonds and Rust" tonight, just using an Ortofon 2M Blue, and ton the title track he soundstage was wider again on both sides, well out past each speaker by about 1 meter than on the Joni Mitchell I reported on a week or two ago. I messed about with toe-in and having the crossing point in front of the seat as I have read is best, and the soundstage narrowed. I then toed-out the speakers so they would cross behind my seat (if there wasn't a wall there) and blow me down - huge sound stage as described above. The pressing was a 1975 Australian A&M by Festival, just great. I have another copy of this album (my wife loves it) and it's a Canadian A&M (again 1975) and the sound is more laid back, quieter and generally not as good. Great to realise that old Oz pressings are right up there. I'm buying a new Ortofon Quintet Red tomorrow, so I will report back on the soundstage for comparison. Hope I'm doing the right thing (trading in my suspension-collapsing Ortofon MC-3 Turbo and saving a wad on the price) and I'm not disappointed.
  8. As I write this, I have an original copy of the Angels Greatest Hits playing. I grabbed this album thinking if I played it with an untried cartridge and it caused damage then I wouldn't be too upset. The cartridge in question is an old Shure M70BX, which is currently mounted in a heavy, heavy Sansui headshell. I had to almost wind the Technics' SL-1200 Mk2 counterweight off the arm to balance it.... The mounting screws it needed are the longest I have ever seen. Anyway, track 1, "Take a Long Line" and BOOM - unbelievable bass, mid reasonable, and light on in the top end. But the BASS - fantastic kick drum sound, really tight, moving lots of air. Dare I say it again - fantastic, huge bass. I guess the stylus is just a basic conical (it is a genuine Shure branded unit) that looks alright under a powerful loupe. I know nothing about this cartridge, I can't even remember how I got it or how long ago, other than I have had it for years. Can anyone shed any light on this cartridge, and if it is worth chasing down an elliptical to perhaps add a bit more air on the top end? Is this typical of Shure? I it also worth finding a V15 Mk3 if the bass is also huge but it adds more detail and space? Should I try it on a lighter headshell? And what is the red stuff on the cantilever? Mine has it too. Google tells us that Shure advised that the frequency response of this cartridge is limited as it tops out at 18,000 Hz, some 2,000 less than the other Shure models from the same era, hence (probably ) the lack of top end.... I had also forgotten how good vintage vinyl sounds when it is clean and has been stored properly. I must have bought the album around 1980 - It says "Mastered at Studios 301 utilising the Maxicut Process" on the cover, and it was engineered by the genius of Mark Opitz, no wonder it sounds so good. I did some digging and found this gem written by Don Bartley an EMI engineer from that period who's initials are on the dead wax: "As most mastering engineers at the time knew the Neumann cutting system was designed around stereo classical music and it's natural phase / level relationship, in other words as the stereo orchestra played loader there was an equal increase in the ambient out of phase information. The Neumann lathe would see this increase in level and phase (particularly the bottom end) and adjust the depth and pitch of the groove to accommodate the modulation of the signal, avoiding "light" grooves and "groove jumping" on playback. However the Neumann system was not user friendly to loud rock / pop music etc. whose bottom end signal was practically mono, resulting in the lathe maintaining a constant depth groove no matter the level of the signal. This resulted in what was classified by the pressing plants as a "dangerous" cut that would "groove jump" on cheaper playback systems. So most engineers did something to overcome this problem. Prior to my days at EMI I was mastering records for RCA Sydney and developed a system where by a phase shift was introduced to the bottom end of the lathe control signal resulting in a level to depth relationship resulting in a "safer cut". The clever people at EMI decided to re-design the control circuitry of the Neumann lathe and replace one the PC boards with their own "Maxicut" board. This created a sensation and engineers around the world were peering into their microscopes to see what was going on. By the time I joined EMI in 1980, "Maxicut 2" had been introduced, a more refined version and the one we used throughout the eighties and into the nineties. "Maxicut" was definitely the best and most transparent solution to what was an annoying problem with the Neumann cutting system and I believe there was a patent on the design however I'm not sure if "Maxicut" was adopted by any other users." So, anyone care to lay their opinions about the Shure M70BX and/or the Maxicut process on the record please, so to speak...
  9. Today's vinyl purchase is Crowded House - "The Very Very Best Of". 2 i80 gram heavyweights, 19 tracks, 4 sides. Single cavity cover (not a double opener, pity), but the inners are OK quality printed but unlined and so in will go a couple of poly/paper sleeves. The vinyl was clean (for once) straight out of the bag. Made in the EU. Great sound quality! Lots of image width and is nicely uncompressed so nice and dynamic too. And great music to boot. Recommended for $55.
  10. I recently rewired both of my Technics SL1200 MK2 tables, but I took the DIY route. I tracked down some ultra low capacitance double shielded figure 8 with an included earth as a moulded in but electrically isolated cable in the center of the pair. I use Neutric Rean RCA connectors, and it works and sounds excellent. The cable I found was end of production / no more stock coming, so I bought 30 meters (and stashed the 27 meters or so of the unused rest for future use) as it was knocked down from over $8 per meter to $0.42 per meter. I also lucked out locally not long after on 80 meters of ultra high-quality low capacitance dual shielded cable (what was left on a 100 meter drum) for $40 so I grabbed that too and have been making my own luxury quality interconnects, again with the incredible Neutric Rean RCA connectors. A meter long fantastic quality low capacitance interconnect therefore costs me about $15 and easily rivals pre-made ones costing up to a couple of hundred dollars. I gave a mate about 20 meters for him to roll his own too. All I am missing is the label cachet and bragging rights it seems....
  11. Bought at JB yesterday Alter Bridge, "Walk the Sky", very different to my last AB album "Blackbird". Got it 20% off. It's a double 12 inch, running time around 60 minutes, 3 sides cut, 1 side blank, could be good for setting antiskate....
  12. Can I have first refusal on just the crossovers if you get no responsez for the whole units and decide to part them out please? Many thanks, Norm, Canberra
  13. Just bought the vinyl of New Order's "Music Complete" from 2015. Listened to it on Spotify and bought it as they are back to their old form, with Gillian Gilbert (Mrs Morris) along too. The 2 piece vinyl sounds great - so much better than horrid MP3s, but hey, I can't spin stuff at work.... As a bonus, their old chum, Peter Saville, did the artwork.
  14. Moving speakers works. On my new copy of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Greatest Hits I disproved my theory that my sound stage is held back on one side by the presence of a wall. Thsi time around especially clear on "Even the Losers" the sound stage was a long way out past the right hand speaker. I moved the right speaker just a fraction and toed the wall one in a tiny bit and Hey Presto! Instantly a bigger sound stage. I love it!
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