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Catman's Analog Musings


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59 minutes ago, djb said:

 

Andy is the above applicable to my "Muse"? A few db increase in gain might go well with my new #9 speed controller soooon to be installed?

 

 

I can certainly increase your gain, David - but I'd need to turn your v2 circuit into at least v3 ... so there's a bit of work involved.  :)

 

59 minutes ago, djb said:

... might go well with my new #9 speed controller soooon to be installed?

@ericd

 

Yes, Cameron (O ye of little faith!  :lol: ) - Steve said I would get my "TCI" before Christmas - so David should be up and running shortly afterwards!  :)

 

Andy

 

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Nothing wrong with either approach in my opinion Felix.   An accurate system can be very satisfying, as can a 'beautiful' system. Loudness buttons, tone controls, overblown midranges ,can al

No need whatsoever to apologise for who you are mate. Your posts often invite really good discussions. I have an Aspergers family member and they have the most enquiring and agile intellects around.

CDs are convenient.  The only thing delicate about them (assuming they are not abused) are those horrible jewel cases.  You open the case, put it in the player and use the remote from your listening c

G'day all, I was doing some interesting internet reading last night especially by a certain reviewer who writes interesting reviews mainly on phono stuff.  His reviews tend to be largely non technical and concentrating on sound quality, an approach that I have some issues with, but there is no doubt that gentleman does 'listen' very well, and I find myself mostly in agreement with a lot of his review comment. 

 

One thing that I personally agree with is his notion of audio 'colour'.  Shades of synesthesia perhaps, but over the years I have certainly perceived colour/B&W invoked in the 'sound' of audio gear.  I honestly can't say why, but for example valve gear often invokes 'colour' in its sound to me, but not always valve gear.  Certain op amps have done the same thing! 

 

A specific example, my new Schiit Mani phono stage invokes colour in its playback in a very engaging and pleasant way!  Another phono stage I have invokes B&W/monochrome in a very apparent way.  As it stands, although it sounds very clean it simply doesn't sound at all musical to me at all.  Weird, but interesting.  Anybody else perceive the same sort of thing with audio gear?  Regards, Felix.    

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Certain audio equipment evokes "warmth" and "naturalness" to me, whereas other equipment doesn't (including many I heard at the HiFi show which were enthusiastically received by others).  I don't have synesthesia or shades of it, but I find it a fascinating experience (trying to understand what I can't experience).  So I'm curious Felix, when you listen to an equipment combination that evokes "colour", is there some music which you can play which reverts it to monochrome?

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G'day mate, to answer your question no, not really.  Things tend to stay fairly constant in that respect.  I will add that live acoustic music always invokes 'colour' to me as I listen.  Regards, Felix. 

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G'day all, well that should be obvious....one day I will list them all and shock everyone, myself included!  Anyway back on topic, I fired up my Rothwell Audio 'Simplex' this evening, a phono stage that gets little use these days and listening to it now playing Hendrix I wonder why, as it sounds fantastic! 

 

When I first bought it I thought it somewhat overpriced but maybe there is a very good reason for it, it does sound fantastic.  However maybe it sounds a little too fantastic, which makes me wonder about the accuracy of the RIAA curve?  Mated with my Shure M97xE (a cartridge with a slight and deliberate upper treble roll off), that cartridge shows absolutely no sign of any treble roll off whatsoever, and I do wonder why?

 

The specs indicate plus/minus .5 db RIAA accuracy which seems accurate enough, or maybe it is just a really well designed and great sounding phono stage based entirely on discrete transistor circuitry.  Well in the end, it sounds great with my Shure M97xE so what am I talking about?  Regards, Felix.        

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2 minutes ago, stevoz said:

@catman Specs Schmecs!.....our ears are the ultimate judge Felix!:thumb::)

 

Please don't tell this to @Newman otherwise he be comin' for ya' wiv a pitchfork:lol:

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Felix........what's the rest of your system?

It must be pretty red hot to be able to hear all the subtle differences.................or are you using phones?

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G'day mate, just the usual system in here CA AM10 power amplifier, DIY ESP P97 stereo line preamp, CA SX-50 bookshelf speakers and the Rothwell Audio 'Simplex' phono stage.  http://www.rothwellaudioproducts.co.uk/html/simplex_mm_phonostage.html  Regards, Felix. 

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 A fire breaks out next door and the flames are licking at your roof, the fire brigade turns up, you have 2 minutes to evacuate.  You can grab one phono stage, which just by chance you had all of them lined up on your dining table, just one, not two, just one, which one are you going to take Catman, which one?

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G'day all, which phono stage?  That is a very hard one!  Probably the Schiit Mani because it is able to play MM's and MC's!  Regards, Felix.   

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1 hour ago, catman said:

 

When I first bought it I thought it somewhat overpriced but maybe there is a very good reason for it, it does sound fantastic.  However maybe it sounds a little too fantastic, which makes me wonder about the accuracy of the RIAA curve?  Mated with my Shure M97xE (a cartridge with a slight and deliberate upper treble roll off), that cartridge shows absolutely no sign of any treble roll off whatsoever, and I do wonder why?

 

The specs indicate plus/minus .5 db RIAA accuracy which seems accurate enough, or maybe it is just a really well designed and great sounding phono stage based entirely on discrete transistor circuitry.  Well in the end, it sounds great with my Shure M97xE so what am I talking about?  Regards, Felix.

 

 

If the Shure M97xE has a deliberate treble roll-off (correctly C-weighted), maybe the Rothwell includes Allen Wright's 50KHz boost which compensates for this?  (Which I added to the "Phantom Audio" that you now have.)

 

And btw, the Phantom Audio can handle both a 0.3mV MC and a 5mV MM.  All I needed to do was turn up my preamp volume control more, with my Benz LP.

 

Andy

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I have cut back on my Phono stage addiction, I currently now only own a Vincent PHO-8 (MM & MC) and the Akitika (MM).

I do however have another 'box' with 2 step up devices inside, a battery operated Boozehound Labs Pre Pre and a pair of 1:10 SUTs.

I am also considering another DIY head amp build based around 2N4401 and 2N4403 transistors.

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G'day all, the plot thickens!  Listening to a couple of my other phono stages it is apparent that only the Schiit Mani and the Rothwell Simplex have this crispness/bite that sounds so good with my M97xE.  

 

My conclusions:  either these two phono stages have some deliberate? RIAA 'voicing' or some other factor is at play, like possible high frequency distortion.  I mostly discount that possibility, but there has to be a reason for the crispness/bite!  Regards, Felix.   

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I try not to listen to HiFi anymore. As long as the system sounds good tome, thats enough.

Although I am looking out for a cheap valve preamp thats good or a valve phono stage with a potentiometer.

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G'day mate, the fact that phono stages can sound so different despite specs suggesting otherwise is actually starting to get to me, and frankly I am quickly tiring of it!  Regards, Felix.

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49 minutes ago, aussievintage said:

You need to listen to some more music, instead of phono stages.  :P

 

Some might say that a decent record cleaner may be more important!

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2 hours ago, catman said:

G'day all, the plot thickens!  Listening to a couple of my other phono stages it is apparent that only the Schiit Mani and the Rothwell Simplex have this crispness/bite that sounds so good with my M97xE.  

 

My conclusions:  either these two phono stages have some deliberate? RIAA 'voicing' or some other factor is at play, like possible high frequency distortion.  I mostly discount that possibility, but there has to be a reason for the crispness/bite!  Regards, Felix.   

Or they are simply more transparent? I found the Mani to be a revelation in the area of detail. Some consider this to be brightness and many who prefer vinyl eschew such things but for me it brought out all that is good, yes, good, about CD. :lol:

1 hour ago, aussievintage said:

You need to listen to some more music, instead of phono stages.  :P

It is a slippery slope and I am feeling my grip giving way... :ohmy:

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2 minutes ago, crisis said:

Or they are simply more transparent? I found the Mani to be a revelation in the area of detail. Some consider this to be brightness and many who prefer vinyl eschew such things but for me it brought out all that is good, yes, good, about CD. :lol:

It is a slippery slope and I am feeling my grip giving way... :ohmy:

 

I have  an excellent phono stage in my amplifier and my grip is limpet like. It is not and never has been, an elimination event for me and I enjoy and celebrate the differences.

 

I neither need ,nor want, another phono stage. It's not unlike cable swapping to colour the sound to suit one's biases.

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3 minutes ago, rantan said:

 

I have  an excellent phono stage in my amplifier and my grip is limpet like. It is not and never has been, an elimination event for me and I enjoy and celebrate the differences.

 

I neither need ,nor want, another phono stage. It's not unlike cable swapping to colour the sound to suit one's biases.

It is surely entirely like that. The problem is you (me) are always telling yourself "its good but, can it be better!!!!!!"

 

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2 minutes ago, crisis said:

It is surely entirely like that. The problem is you (me) are always telling yourself "its good but, can it be better!!!!!!"

 

 

So true.

 

However there are many more productive areas in which system enhancement can be achieved

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Hi Felix

Do you listen to your Lounge Audio LCR III much? Ive hadmine a couple of months now, and i cant believe the improvement its had on my system!! One of the best system upgrades I've ever made. 

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G'day mate, yes it's a phono stage with a very unique 'sound', that might be a little polarising, I'll be honest in saying that! 

 

I know of one particular reviewer who doesn't really like it much.  However I do like it and I appreciate its excellent engineering!  Regards, Felix.    

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15 hours ago, crisis said:

It is surely entirely like that. The problem is you (me) are always telling yourself "its good but, can it be better!!!!!!"

 

The answer to your last question should be....."If it involves too much money for minimal gain......don't bother.' That's what most add on's deliver, minimal gain. Just be happy with what you've got, or keep spinning the changes like a pokies junkie and see your money disappear......:cool:

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G'day all, yes another one of those types of threads, I'm afraid!  Regarding phono stage design I've been doing some heavy technical reading tonight, and it is apparent that some really good sounding phono stages may not be technically 'that good', yet are highly regarded because there are indeed 'good sounding'.  Yes, my head hurts!  The question is, which would I rather have?  Regards, Felix.     

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Who cares? You're the judge of your music through your equipment.

 

Also it's not like some person's comments about gear will suddenly increase/decrease its performance in your system so why should it affect your impressions?

 

I read reviews/impressions before I buy gear, not after. Life's better that way.

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G'day all, yes it is quite a conundrum but in my heart as a trained technician I know what the technical truth really is!  Regards, Felix. 

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Perhaps it's not dissimilar to that classic old British sports car that technically has flaws, or is inferior in some ways, but on the road and in practice just "works", and is a ton of fun!?

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16 hours ago, Jebediah said:

Perhaps it's not dissimilar to that classic old British sports car that technically has flaws, or is inferior in some ways, but on the road and in practice just "works", and is a ton of fun!?

old Brittish sports car & just works are terms rarely seen in the same sentence...:thumb:

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G'day all, I have to admit that my mind has been in a lot of doubt for various reasons since my recent purchase of the Schiit Mani.  Its performance has forced me to re-evaluate the performance of many of my other phono stages for various reasons.  Tonight I trotted out my kit built Akitika phono Z preamp and had a listen. 

 

For some unfathomable reason I've always tended to regard that phono stage as a bit 'industrial', but listening to it tonight, it's actually pretty good all the way from it's very low noise input (perhaps the quietest that I have), good dynamics and fine sonics generally. Maybe it's my best!  Regards, Felix.     

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23 hours ago, catman said:

G'day all, yes it is quite a conundrum but in my heart as a trained technician I know what the technical truth really is!  Regards, Felix. 

But, Felix, we need to know that what we can measure is the truth - and perhaps there are things we cannot measure yet which are more the technical truth when we get there (that is, are able to measure the stuff we don't understand).  That said, the human ear is pretty amazing and seems to make its own judgements on what sounds good.

 

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But, Felix, we need to know that what we can measure is the truth - and perhaps there are things we cannot measure yet which are more the technical truth when we get there (that is, are able to measure the stuff we don't understand).  That said, the human ear is pretty amazing and seems to make its own judgements on what sounds good.
 
I always try to remember that the role of science is to explain what we observe/perceive; if perception and science are at odds with each other, it's generally the science which is flawed, not the perception.
And temperature change existed before there were thermometers to measure it, just like radiation existed before Geiger counters, and wind speed varied before anomometers. Just because we can't (yet) measure something doesn't mean that it doesn't exist! :-)
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