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Steve M

The Weekly Wrap-Up ...any Wins or Losses?

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Posted (edited)

Had such a win this week with the sound system guys ...

 

Moved my equipment rack to the side of the room, instant improvement with soundstage depth and image lock with my various box speakers and ...couldn’t believe my ears. Then I was saying to some audio buddies that I also had a win with my orange DDESL speakers and the Open Baffle H-frames Acoustic Elegance Dipole 15” bass modules, did the Linkwitz Orion push-pull arrangement with one woofer firing forward and one backwards wired out of phase (apparently greatly reduces harmonic distortion in the drivers).
 

My dual Supratek Grange preamp configured in bi-amped mode where the 300B circuit is doing the mid-treble and the 6SN7 circuit doing the lower bass to the OB h-frames.
 

It’s all sounding quite awesome ...deep tight bass and incredibly focused sound all round, I’m a happy camper.:thumb:

 

Anyway, I thought this was a good idea for a topic on SNA, namely, please care to share in this thread any wins or losses with your audio system lately. Hopefully, we can learn from each other’s exploits.

 

Cheers,

 

Steve.

 

 

Some quickie iPad pics...

7119559A-5DBC-4AA1-B0D9-556F10A55103.jpeg
 

8BCB95E1-8857-4B6A-BE63-059E242A6969.jpeg

 

image.thumb.jpeg.c8474be437b228ad2a2d631e645e87d8.jpeg

Edited by Steve M

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Posted (edited)

Also, discovered these couple of amazing blues albums this week.

 

Great music and performances, beautifully recorded too. :thumb:

 

 

 

 

A65618A7-9191-4D36-BB3F-9AB97382974E.jpeg

 

 

FE4E7555-D1F2-46D7-8EF7-7F3A8E121331.png

Edited by Steve M

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not as epic as the OP but I just got myself some factory terminated speaker cables with a low gauge (11) and was really surprised the improvement I heard. I'm not sure of the right way to say it but everything is a bit sharper/detailed in the fainter/softer sounds. Yay!

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I’ve had a very educational week, you can have too much absorption treatment in a room, diffusers really work to balance the sound, cat8 Ethernet cables don’t play nicely with unshielded wall sockets, unfortunately it took me a couple of months to work out what broke the SQ, and bass traps work.

 

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49 minutes ago, PauliD said:

not as epic as the OP but I just got myself some factory terminated speaker cables with a low gauge (11) and was really surprised the improvement I heard. I'm not sure of the right way to say it but everything is a bit sharper/detailed in the fainter/softer sounds. Yay!

 

Sounds like you have an improvement in micro details ...well done. Is the cable by any chance made from or contain silver?  Cheers, Steve.

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My previous cable had silver coating (Van Den Hul Clear water). I’m attributing the improvement to better termination on the NB Cables (I hope I didn’t open can of worms talking about cables!)

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Posted (edited)

I've always found silver coated copper to be somewhat unbalanced sounding.  On the other hand Litz mixed silver + copper stranded is fantastic with the great sound stage of the silver and some of the body of the copper. I still prefer straight silver or copper though with my RCA's and different depending on position. Duelund tinned copper for speaker wire though  ;)

 

Awesome win with moving the speaker rack. Got to love free sound upgrades. :D

Edited by MattyW

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Had a dodgy RCA connection on the Marantz for a while now, was only after taking a pic with the phone and zooming in that I spotted a stray strand shorting that one, damn old eyes!

 

At least I didn't have the L&R ass about for two months! now who did that I wonder :$ xD

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Huge win and epic week for me.  Final link in my audio chain sorted.

 

Foryears I’ve been happy with my Garrard 401 in custom corian and brushbox plinth with The Wand unipivot and Paradox Pulse DL103r.


Equally, I’ve been stoked with my Martin Logan Electromotion ESLs, but I knew the link between them wasn’t getting the most out of the source or speakers.

 

This week a pair of Nelson Pass designed Nakamichi amps arrived.  The CA-5 has a killer phono stage and a brilliant line stage and the PA-5 is a 150w amp that electrically is pretty much a clone of a Threshold Stasis 200.

 

Sytem is everything I could wish for aside from crappy give away interconnects that are now the only remaining thing I consider could do with upgrading.  I’m in a very happy audio place right now.  It has been a 25 year journey, but I think I’m finally done.

 

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Good to hear @FR DRew:thumb:

 

However, I suggest you shouldn't congratulate yo'self for reaching "the end of the line " too early!  :lol:

 

Looking at the specs for the CA-5, I see it seems only to offer 50 / 100 / 200 ohms loading for MC carts and you may find that even 200 ohms is not optimal for your PP DL103r.

 

If it offers the option of using 47K as well, then this will enable you to achieve a higher loading (by using loaded' plugs in parallel with 47K, via a pair of RCA 'T' connectors).  But if it doesn't ... 200 ohms is the highest you can get, using the MC inputs.  :(

 

If your PP DL103r has the same coils as the stock DL103r (which I suspect it does) - then, as the DL103r specs say coil resistance is 14 ohms, the optimal load for your cart will be anywhere between 140 & 1400 ohms (10x coil resistance to 100x coil resistance).

 

Andy

 

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From some info I’ve read, John Curl and Nelson Pass who jointly designed the CA-5 deliberately included the 200r load so as to suit the DL103R well.


I’m very happy with the sound of the result and have no burning need to tweak the load at present.  It sounds great.

 

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2 hours ago, FR DRew said:

 

From some info I’ve read, John Curl and Nelson Pass who jointly designed the CA-5 deliberately included the 200r load so as to suit the DL103R well.


I’m very happy with the sound of the result and have no burning need to tweak the load at present.  It sounds great.

 

 

I'm sure it does, FRD.  :)  (Sound great.)

 

We obviously have different objectives with our approaches:

  • yours is to make your system sound great.
  • while mine is to get it to sound at its optimum:o  This implies there is no end-point ... only cheaper / more expensive ways to make it sound ever better.  Getting the optimum loading for a cart is a cheap way ... buying a better-soundng phono stage is a more expensive way. :)

 

Andy

 

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15 hours ago, andyr said:

 

I'm sure it does, FRD.  :)  (Sound great.)

 

We obviously have different objectives with our approaches:

  • yours is to make your system sound great.
  • while mine is to get it to sound at its optimum:o  This implies there is no end-point ... only cheaper / more expensive ways to make it sound ever better.  Getting the optimum loading for a cart is a cheap way ... buying a better-soundng phono stage is a more expensive way. :)

 

Andy

 

Andy,

Optimum is a never ending path.  I know that I could bypass the inbuilt MC stage and run a SUT, but if I did, it's be "Do I get an Altec 4772 or a Cinemag, or a Hashimoto HM7 or try to find an EAR H.E.A.D or a Cotter or a Silk..."  I don't think there is the capacity to take all of the loading resistors out of circuit and access the 47k when using the MC stage.  I don't want to go the stand alone phono path either as from what I've read, I'd be looking at a 1k+ outlay to better the CA-5 anyway.

By all reports 200r is pretty close to optimum for a DL103r and that's one of the cartridges John Curl used in designing the phono stage, which is why 200r is one of the offered impedances.  

There is a bucket of headroom on the preamp.  Even going loud I'm not getting past 11 o'clock, so the scope is there to add a hundred or two in series with the MC input if I feel the need.  At present I don't.

The main obvious place where the system could be improved is in interconnects (currently 5 dollar Jaycar leads or the give aways that come in the box with most cd/dvd players) and in recapping the power amp and preamp which are now nearly 30 years old.  

Even without any tweaking it is sounding brilliant so I'm currently very satisfied.

 

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It's a nice place to be at. Enjoy it as long as possible. If you get the itch to change something try an Aksa Paris head amp or maybe Fidelity Research FRT-4 SUT..... Personally I've found vintage Jensen SUT add something very special to the sound with a Denon DL103. :)

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, FR DRew said:

Andy,

Optimum is a never ending path.

 

Hah!  True - to me that's half the fun ... what do I need to do to my system, to make it sound better?  :)

 

Quote

I know that I could bypass the inbuilt MC stage and run a SUT, but if I did, it's be "Do I get an Altec 4772 or a Cinemag, or a Hashimoto HM7 or try to find an EAR H.E.A.D or a Cotter or a Silk..."

 

And a SUT wouldn't give you the chance to experiment with loading (like a head amp can).

 

Quote

I don't think there is the capacity to take all of the loading resistors out of circuit and access the 47k when using the MC stage. 

 

That's a shame.  :(

 

I guess you have the option of replacing the 50 ohm load res with a 47K res - and selecting that - given 50 ohms is not a suitable load for your cart?

 

Quote

I don't want to go the stand alone phono path either as from what I've read, I'd be looking at a 1k+ outlay to better the CA-5 anyway.

 

I wouldn't be surprised.  :)

 

Quote

By all reports 200r is pretty close to optimum for a DL103r and that's one of the cartridges John Curl used in designing the phono stage, which is why 200r is one of the offered impedances.

 

And yet, Herr Lucaschek (Mr. Benz Micro) suggests his carts need 47K load, to shine.  :lol:  You don't agree that the ideal arrangement would be to be able to select whatever load one thought sounded best for one's cart?

 

Quote

There is a bucket of headroom on the preamp.  Even going loud I'm not getting past 11 o'clock, so the scope is there to add a hundred or two in series with the MC input if I feel the need.  At present I don't.

 

I don't quite understand what you're getting at here?  Putting a res in series with the MC input does not affect the load seen by the cart - load reses are situated in parallel with (ie. across) the RCA inputs used for the phono cable.  All that reses in series do ... is attenuate the signal.

 

Andy

 

Edited by andyr

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If there is 200r across the input the cartridge sees 200r load.  If I add another 200r in series, the cartridge will see 400r across the load, but overall level gain of the MC input stage will drop by 6dB.

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I'm nearing in on my house build and because we couldn't use hempcrete as it was just too expensive, I got my dedicated media room back in a brick build. We got a quote this week and it includes wall battens and accoustic insulation to the walls as well. I'm probably going to have to put my speakers on the long wall but I've got free reign on room treatments to help things like that and intend on getting some sort of DEQX when I get more money.

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17 hours ago, FR DRew said:

If there is 200r across the input the cartridge sees 200r load.  If I add another 200r in series, the cartridge will see 400r across the load, but overall level gain of the MC input stage will drop by 6dB.

 

Mmmm ... I don't see it that way.

 

The way I see it, the 200R in series will not affect the gain provided by the phono stage but it will attenuate the (cart) signal going into the phono stage.  Attenuating such a low signal level doesn't seem like a smart move to me.

 

Andy

 

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I've had a sensational last 10 days or so. I was fortunate enough to become the new custodian of pops110's Ming Da preamp - a  fantastic piece of kit. It slotted in seamlessly amongst it's new electronic companions and proceeded to make beautiful music. Previously, to great effect, I had been using a substantially upgraded Aric Audio 3.7 teamed with a Halcro MC20 to drive Duntech Statesmen speakers. I must say the immediate introduction of the Ming Da was something of a let-down, and it took an overnight burn-in to fine focus it's true abilities. Suddenly the initial haphazardness of matters was replaced by  velvet smoothness and an immediacy of soundstage. (With the huge permanent grin on my face, I was pretty sure I was in love). But wait!! Believe it or not, this story gets even better. Please don't tell my wife, but about a month ago, I did something quite frivolous. I invested in some tubes from a S/N member in NZ. (Boy am I glad these things all look pretty much the same!) When I substituted the NOS Telefunken 802S pair in place, I could not believe my ears.

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On 15/05/2020 at 3:20 PM, Steve M said:

Had such a win this week with the sound system guys ...

 

Moved my equipment rack to the side of the room, instant improvement with soundstage depth and image lock with my various box speakers and ...couldn’t believe my ears. Then I was saying to some audio buddies that I also had a win with my orange DDESL speakers and the Open Baffle H-frames Acoustic Elegance Dipole 15” bass modules, did the Linkwitz Orion push-pull arrangement with one woofer firing forward and one backwards wired out of phase (apparently greatly reduces harmonic distortion in the drivers).
 

My dual Supratek Grange preamp configured in bi-amped mode where the 300B circuit is doing the mid-treble and the 6SN7 circuit doing the lower bass to the OB h-frames.
 

It’s all sounding quite awesome ...deep tight bass and incredibly focused sound all round, I’m a happy camper.:thumb:

 

Anyway, I thought this was a good idea for a topic on SNA, namely, please care to share in this thread any wins or losses with your audio system lately. Hopefully, we can learn from each other’s exploits.

 

Cheers,

 

Steve.

 

 

Some quickie iPad pics...

7119559A-5DBC-4AA1-B0D9-556F10A55103.jpeg

8BCB95E1-8857-4B6A-BE63-059E242A6969.jpeg

Steve.

Seeing my tiny StereoCoffee preamp build with its cheap silver knobs sitting there in that company makes me feel like a proud dad.

I reckon that's a win for me! Pity I'm too far away to enjoy it on your system.

Cheers, Rob

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Hi Rob,

 

The Stereo Coffee attenuator hits it out of the ballpark and is not at all embarrassed in that company's :thumb:
 

Regards,

 

Steve.

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Had a win/loss over the past couple of weeks. Decided to re-stretch the carpet under the equipment and re-organise the set-up (apparently Mrs CE doesn't like amplifiers sitting on surfaces).

 

In the re-install was going to add some of Bills' "covid-19 busting" interconnects, a NHT X2 to replace the Behringer cx2310 crossover, run 4 lots of wiring under the carpet for the rear speakers (FINALLY!) and just generally put everything in the right place.

 

It was working fine until I found the NHT had developed a bit of a fault which will have to be seen to in due course (the loss). But during a search for an of extra RCA/XLR connector, I found a digital camera, a digital HD recorder, my stereo 192 bit recorder, a bunch of wiring I'd forgotten since we moved and a Rane AC23 crossover that I didn't know I had! And I found the connector!

 

Still have to finish up the set-up during the week (too much work!) and then work on the extra 5 speakers...

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I turned the volume up a little, seems to have hit a sweet spot. 😀

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On 15/05/2020 at 3:21 PM, Steve M said:

Also, discovered these couple of amazing blues albums this week.

 

J. J. Cale is not that well known but has a lot of good albums. Also that album, The Road to Escondido is a must have IMO.

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On 26/05/2020 at 8:03 AM, Cloth Ears said:

 But during a search for an of extra RCA/XLR connector, I found a digital camera, a digital HD recorder, my stereo 192 bit recorder, a bunch of wiring I'd forgotten since we moved and a Rane AC23 crossover that I didn't know I had! And I found the connector!

 


😁 haha....it sounds like your hifi storage room is a bit like mine, lots of hidden treasures.

 

On 26/05/2020 at 8:48 AM, HypnoToad said:

I turned the volume up a little, seems to have hit a sweet spot. 😀


Agree, the correct volume level for each piece of music is an essential ingredient.

 

33 minutes ago, HypnoToad said:

 

J. J. Cale is not that well known but has a lot of good albums. Also that album, The Road to Escondido is a must have IMO.

 

Yes, Escondido is a superbly laid down album, voices and instruments clearly delineated in a wide open soundstage ...acoustic music like that including the Bamako album mentioned above sounds superb on my orange DDESL stats.

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