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Valeb LCR-1 Mk2 RIAA Phono Stage Comparo

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21 minutes ago, shawnwes said:

I've ordered a parallel loading kit to try it with the Valab. If it works out I'll get some better splitter cables made up and I'll be happy.

 

Sorry, I can't quite comprehend how 'splitter cables' help you to adjust the load which the cart sees??

 

Andy

 

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I'm guessing he's planning on using resistor loaded plugs to lower the resistance @andyr

though I may be wrong. 

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That's correct Matty.

Splitter is a common term for the Y cable. The kit I've ordered comes with a pair of cables with 1 male & 2 female rca's on each and various plugs with different values & a blank pair for making your own. If I determine it'll be of value ,with my current cartridge, to go that route I'll get Audio Sensibility to send me a pair of their Y cables and install them.

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7 hours ago, MattyW said:

I'm guessing he's planning on using resistor loaded plugs to lower the resistance @andyr

though I may be wrong. 

 

Aah, OK, M.

 

5 hours ago, shawnwes said:

That's correct Matty.

Splitter is a common term for the Y cable. The kit I've ordered comes with a pair of cables with 1 male & 2 female rca's on each and various plugs with different values & a blank pair for making your own. If I determine it'll be of value ,with my current cartridge, to go that route I'll get Audio Sensibility to send me a pair of their Y cables and install them.

 

Why not simply use a pair of RCA 'T' plugs (with the load plugs)?

 

Andy

 

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I used to use T plugs when I had my copy 834P phono. I had to try a few different ones as I found they introduced a subtle distortion into the sound...  Similar to cheap RCA leads 

Edited by MattyW

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3 hours ago, MattyW said:

I used to use T plugs when I had my copy 834P phono. I had to try a few different ones as I found they introduced a subtle distortion into the sound...  Similar to cheap RCA leads 

 

Correct!  :thumb:  That's why I use additional input RCAs in my Muse phono stage.  :)

 

But if you only have 1 pr of input RCAs … you may not have much choice!

 

Andy

 

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So I received the cartridge loading kit from DB Systems and picked up a bunch of resistors with different values between 1-4k.

The word I would use to describe the SQ increase going from 47k loading to 1k on the Dynavector / Valab combo is DRAMATIC!. Inner detail is there in bucket loads across the whole frequency spectrum. This took the Valab from being a good phono stage to being an extremely good phono stage. Like it's an entirely different product.

 

Valab owners, and all phono pre owners, make sure you optimize your cartridge loading. You might otherwise be leaving a lot of your cartridge's potential unrealized.  

 

I'm going to have fun experimenting this weekend with different values to see where the sweet spot is for this cartridge. 

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The lcr-1 has hit my shortlist!  Can anyone recommend a supplier in au?  I’m in Melb. Also ideally would chase a used one.....

Mat

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There's no Australian supplier. You buy direct from the vendor on eBay. Another option if you'd like to buy locally is @andyr 's phono stage. Made locally so local Australian service. Build in lead acid batteries. The two top stages at this price point.

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4 hours ago, MattyW said:

There's no Australian supplier. You buy direct from the vendor on eBay. Another option if you'd like to buy locally is @andyr 's phono stage. Made locally so local Australian service. Build in lead acid batteries. The two top stages at this price point.

:offtopic:How did you go with the TT power supply or motor?

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17 minutes ago, Wimbo said:

:offtopic:How did you go with the TT power supply or motor?

The manufacturer repaired the motor box, replacing the motor and all electrics with new. I'm still running the Linear Power Supply with it though no way to tell whether it's actually better than the original. I am however getting the best sound I ever have. Just spectacular

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24 minutes ago, MattyW said:

The manufacturer repaired the motor box, replacing the motor and all electrics with new. I'm still running the Linear Power Supply with it though no way to tell whether it's actually better than the original. I am however getting the best sound I ever have. Just spectacular

 

Great service from SAM, Matt!  :thumb:

 

Andy

 

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23 minutes ago, andyr said:

 

Great service from SAM, Matt!  :thumb:

 

Andy

 

I thought so too. Ivan's always pretty fantastic to deal with so no surprise really.

13 minutes ago, charlie_bird said:

i'm not seeing the VALAB phono preamps on ebay anymore...

It's Chinese New year so when the listing ended they probably haven't had a chance to relist yet. You may have to wait a few weeks to a month

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I had some fun this 3 day weekend trying a few different parallel loading values with the Valab:

 

1k was where I started and was much better overall than the stock 47k ohm load

1.8k I found it heading into some graininess

1.5 better

1.2k better still but still not totally happy

820 ohms is the sweet spot for my system 

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I see the Valab is for sale again on eBay and is being advertised as the Mk3.

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1 hour ago, shawnwes said:

I see the Valab is for sale again on eBay and is being advertised as the Mk3.

Where? Me no can find....

oh hang on...this it?

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Valab-LCR-1-MK3-MC-MM-LCR-RIAA-Phono-Stage/303061213161?hash=item468fdb1fe9:g:7~kAAOSw4NZa1yzo

Edited by Mat-with-one-t

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On 13/02/2019 at 3:02 PM, shawnwes said:

I had some fun this 3 day weekend trying a few different parallel loading values with the Valab:

 

1k was where I started and was much better overall than the stock 47k ohm load

1.8k I found it heading into some graininess

1.5 better

1.2k better still but still not totally happy

820 ohms is the sweet spot for my system 

Shawn are you able to post pics of this approach? I’m not quite on top of how you’re doing this....?

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On 26/02/2019 at 7:33 AM, Mat-with-one-t said:

Shawn are you able to post pics of this approach? I’m not quite on top of how you’re doing this....?

Hi Mat

 

It's a very simple concept in practice but rather than try to explain it myself there's someone who has gone to the trouble of posting and explaining it quite perfectly and complete with pictures. It's a page I discovered as a link from a Steve Hoffman website thread on parallel resistive loading. It's good reading.

http://daveyw.edsstuff.org/vinyl/loading/

 

In addition to the pictures and explanations he's gone to the trouble of recording some WAV files where he's recorded a few different cartridges at both 47k ohms and the value that he found best for his system - for instance the Dynavector was loaded at 1k ohms. It's quite revealing the difference it makes. The files work best if you can play them through your stereo via a DAC.

 

If your MM phono pre is set at 47k, whatever the value is of the new parallel resistor, that will be very close to your new load. For example I left my setting at 47k and added an 820 ohm resistor, in the Y cable plug, which I thought sounded best in my system.

Math is 1/ (1/47000 + 1/820) = 833 ohms

 

Hope that helps

Edited by shawnwes
Clarity

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Update on the breaking in period of the Mk3

 

It's now starting to open up quite beautifully. It's the equivalent of watching a plant grow from a stubby little green thing to a beautiful orchid.

I got lucky and managed to get a great deal on a pair of Spica TC 60 speakers in mint original condition. These are well known to have been painstakingly time aligned and have an almost unmatched holographic midrange. The detail coming out from the system, even at lower listening levels, is smile inducing.

FYI - One of the members of Canuck Audio Mart forum just ordered a Mk3 from Kevin and will be receiving it later this month. 

 

Edit: He's promised to take some interior photos and share them so that we can compare any changes between the MkII and the MkIII that he and I have.

Edited by shawnwes

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Anyone have contact info for Valab (other than through Ebay?). Need to send mine in for repair. 😣

Thanks,

 

Shawn

 

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1 hour ago, shawnwes said:

Anyone have contact info for Valab (other than through Ebay?). Need to send mine in for repair. 😣

Thanks,

 

Shawn

 

Is it still under warranty?

Otherwise what is wrong with it? As people here might know someone local to you to get it fixed possibly.

 

ADDED: just realized you are in Canada. :(

Edited by rocky500

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13 minutes ago, rocky500 said:

Is it still under warranty?

Otherwise what is wrong with it? As people here might know someone local to you to get it fixed possibly.

 

ADDED: just realized you are in Canada. :(

Just got up to flip the record over and heard an odd sound, like a couple of loud pops through the speakers. Then I heard a low level clicking (off & on)  from the Valab (like a relay click). Lights were still on both units. Shut it down and restarted it. Lights on but no sound so I shut it down and took off the tops. Nothing awry that's visible even magnified 10x by a smartphone. It's not the Integrated as I swapped the Phono for the DAC and the outlets that the TT were plugged into played fine. It's the Valab & no techs I know of locally I'd trust to fix it right. 

It's only 4 months old so hopefully I'll only have to pay for one way shipping.

I've sent them an e-mail via their current Valab LCR auction on Ebay so hopefully I'll hear back.

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Nice to know he backs up his work with customer service! He responded in less than 24 hours and said to just ship it back and he’ll look after it. 😀

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6 hours ago, shawnwes said:

Nice to know he backs up his work with customer service! He responded in less than 24 hours and said to just ship it back and he’ll look after it. 😀

Good news.

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