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Catman's Analog Musings

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G'day all, this is an interesting one as my Schiit Mani has opened my eyes to the way that phono stages and cartridges 'interact', sometimes adversely!  I still can't quite believe how good my M97xE sounds mated with my 'Mani', yet the M97xE has a reputation for sounding a bit dull, especially depending on capacitance loading. 

 

SUT's seem to mate well better with moving coil cartridges than active electronics (head amps).  I know of some well documented examples of this sort of thing, where a given MC cartridge never quite sounded right with a head amp (despite all possible loading adjustments being tried), yet sounded magical when mated with a good SUT!  The 'interactive' possibilities are seemingly endless!  Don't you love the gloriously unpredictable world of analog?  Yes.  Regards, Felix. 

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I certainly have a different experience from yours, Felix. :lol:

 

1 hour ago, catman said:

 

SUT's seem to mate well better with moving coil cartridges than active electronics (head amps).  I know of some well documented examples of this sort of thing, where a given MC cartridge never quite sounded right with a head amp (despite all possible loading adjustments being tried), yet sounded magical when mated with a good SUT!

 

And I have several customers who changed from a SUT to a Hugh Dean 'Paris' head amp - which I supply - because it made their carts sound better (because they were able to apply the right 'R' loading to the cart)

 

Quote

 

Don't you love the gloriously unpredictable world of analog?  Yes.  Regards, Felix.

 

 

No, I don't.  Vinyl is a PITA, IMO - far too many aspects to have to optimise, to get good sound.  To say nothing of the physical bulk involved in LPs!  :(  But I keep going with vinyl ... because it sounds better! :thumb:

 

But re. your title question ... IMO you can't rank the importance of one vs. the other - cart & phono stage are both important influences on the sound.

 

Andy

 

Edited by andyr

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Andy, what is the cost of the Paris?

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G'day mate, yep vinyl can indeed be a real PITA....sometimes playing an audio CD seems so effortlessly easy....but still!  Regards, Felix.    

Edited by catman
Punctuation.

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3 hours ago, andyr said:

And I have several customers who changed from a SUT to a Hugh Dean 'Paris' head amp - which I supply - because it made their carts sound better (because they were able to apply the right 'R' loading to the cart)

This can certainly be achieved by the right SUT. And when it does, it can certainly sound glorious!

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2 hours ago, Citroen said:

This can certainly be achieved by the right SUT. And when it does, it can certainly sound glorious!

 

Sure it can sound glorious, C - but not IMO, optimal ... if the cart (such as a 0.3mV Benz LP) likes to see, say, 3K3 loading.

 

For a 0.3mV output, you need a 1:10 SUT ... possible even 1:15.  At 47K in the typical MM, this delivers 470 ohms and 208 ohms loading, respectively.

 

Whereas with a head amp, you can deliver 3K3.

 

Andy

 

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G'day all, last night I went through my other assembled ESP P06 phono stage board and like the one that I did recently I went through and did a general 'resoldering' on the board....and I did find a lot of dry/poor soldering joints. 

 

However I did find something else unrelated that is in its own way quite interesting.  Rod Elliott has always erred on the side of careful design and maybe 'over engineering'.  On that P06 I did find a 2.2 k series resistor following the 47 k input resistor.  In the past Rod Elliott has told me that this resistor is mainly an RFI  measure, however it will also add a little noise, and in my opinion also reduce the gain slightly. 

 

In my opinion it isn't really needed and in my other P06 I have replaced this resistor(s) with a wire link.  Doing this has improved the performance slightly but noticeably to no detriment, in my opinion.  I have now done the same thing with this P06.  Any opinions and comments on this sort of thing?  Sometimes these measures are necessary but sometimes not!  Regards, Felix.  

Edited by catman
Addition.

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My Naim Superline has a reputation for RFi interference though I have seldom encountered such interference...guess i must be lucky... ( has a FR upto 200K..:ohmy:)

There must be a "Happy Medium" with any product as not all can be bespoke designed for certain applications or individuals i suppose...:mellow:

 

Tase

Edited by Tasebass

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G'day mate, RF breakthrough is an interesting case.  The Schiit Mani is known to be sensitive to RF breakthrough but no issues here thankfully.  In my opinion too many manufacturers rely on simple 'brute force' capacitor bypasses to avoid RF breakthrough, and whilst that works it is often deleterious to performance especially in a phono application. 

 

Personally I think other lesser used approaches like ferrites work better without degrading performance.  Regards, Felix (vk4fuq).

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No such RF issues with my LInn phono stages.......their OP amps ...!!

 

Tase

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On 12/9/2017 at 9:28 AM, catman said:

On that P06 I did find a 2.2 k series resistor following the 47 k input resistor.  In the past Rod Elliott has told me that this resistor is mainly an RFI  measure, however it will also add a little noise, and in my opinion also reduce the gain slightly. 

 

2.2k in series with ~300k input impedance as a voltage divider   is NOT going to be noticeable, and that's for an NE5532.  Should you use a better op amp, many have inputs of 10E+12 or more, it's impossible to detect.

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A while back I was looking at Dacs and was amazed with the engineering that goes into those Audo-gd products when you see those inside case shots.

Some other companies Dacs looked so simple and bare in comparison.

I always wondered having so many parts in a circuit could that also have a slight impact on performance.

Looking around at reviews and opinions it seems audio-gd's are a great product for what you get for your money.

Edited by rocky500

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I couldn't say which--SUT or pre-pre--is superior in general. Like most things in hi-fi it depends on preferences, individual matching and implementation.

 

In terms or cartridge or amplification much the same applies. Of course once the "goodness" of the original source has been lost, nothing downstream can get it back.

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I would not call myself as audiophile expert, but i have tried a few SUT, most of them are a bit disappointed due to the hum, and it is always talking about matching with the cartridge output etc.

 

Not until i tried Bob Device, it is damn quiet and pretty good sound. You can find more details about SUT here https://www.bobsdevices.com/Moving-Coil-Step-Up-Transformers/

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On ‎5‎/‎12‎/‎2017 at 12:43 PM, Batty said:

Andy, what is the cost of the Paris?

 

Sorry, B - have only just seen your post.

 

I'll send you a PM this evening.

 

Andy

 

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Thanks

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G'day all, the other day I asked about where music is positioned in the audio spectrum, and today another related question about tape hiss on old recordings.  The other day I was listening to 'Are You Experienced' with my Cambridge CP1, and the tape hiss on some of the tracks seemed more apparent than usual, suggesting a possibly peaked RIAA response in that part of the audio spectrum, but firstly in what part of the audio spectrum does tape hiss predominate?  Regards, Felix.         

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http://cassette-tapes-in-the-attic.blogspot.com.au/2012/11/where-does-tape-hiss-come-from.html

 

unavoidable.....

 

Good luck to those who think that the agnetic tape still dominate in SQ superiority!

 

Thank Goodness we have digital. :tongue:

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54 minutes ago, catman said:

what part of the audio spectrum does tape hiss predominate? 

 

 

All of it.    i.e. an approximation of white noise

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I've never really noticed it. I notice crap studio recordings more, where the engineer drops dynamic peaks and crops the frequency response. That annoys me. And it can be from track to track. One track recorded here,(Sounds like ****) and the other track recorded there, (Sounds wonderful). Tea for the Tillerman, Teaser and the Firecat and The rise and fall of Ziggy Stardust for example, all sound fantastic. Better then early Steely Dan. Which I don't mind either.

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Read about early Dolby systems, Felix.

They were mostly about tape hiss.

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G'day all, interesting stuff although I wasn't really complaining about tape hiss, I merely wondered why it was more audible with the Cambridge Audio CP1 phono stage.  Indeed on some music tracks that I can think of, the tape hiss is part of the magic of the track.  Regards, Felix. 

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2 hours ago, Addicted to music said:

http://cassette-tapes-in-the-attic.blogspot.com.au/2012/11/where-does-tape-hiss-come-from.html

 

unavoidable.....

 

Good luck to those who think that the agnetic tape still dominate in SQ superiority!

 

Thank Goodness we have digital. :tongue:

Yeah, I hear you, up to a point.....I used to kid myself about the wonders of a totally silent background until I realised the actual SQ of digital just isn't as good or as natural and 'fatigue free' as analogue, so it was back to analogue for me....but not cassettes! They were good for recording and in turn saving my precious vinyl from 'wear and tear' though......:cool: Where they were really great was in the car, which is where digital now rules......

Edited by stevoz

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33 minutes ago, catman said:

G'day all, interesting stuff although I wasn't really complaining about tape hiss, I merely wondered why it was more audible with the Cambridge Audio CP1 phono stage.  Indeed on some music tracks that I can think of, the tape hiss is part of the magic of the track.  Regards, Felix. 

Tape hiss can be heard on some of Kraftwerk's earlier stuff, pre digital sampling, where they would insert a sound effect that was on a tape loop and hiss was evident until that particular effect ends. I always liked the sound effect and while the accompanying hiss may have added a certain 'ambience' to the sound, I never really found it 'magical'.:P

Edited by stevoz

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G'day all, some great examples of hiss on music tracks, Jimi Hendrix Experience:  'The Wind Cries Mary', 'Third Stone from the Sun'.  Lenny Kravitz: 'Sister'.  Regards, Felix. 

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