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Duntech CPs and other such Australian History Lessons


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Since the last entry yonks ago I have made a few changes.

 

Dear Diary…..

 

@grizzly main rack.  A very solid main rack capable of holding the ME1400 and all other stuff.  A set of freebie brother-in-law drawers fit perfectly for TT support stuff. 

That has done away with the resonant 1880’s red pine cupboard that could be heard playing along with the music before.  Some of Anthony’s racks are looking great at the moment.

 IMAG0699.thumb.jpg.724783f57158b26857697b58494053c2.jpg

 

Modded Thin Client  as a media server.

LMS for the rest of the house’s SBT’s and Squeezebox Booms hiding in the bedroom, kitchen and 2nd system upstairs. Netflix, web browsing, Kodi, JRiver all run easily and I can play HD movies by virtue of its Graphics card.  TIDAL doing MQA decoding chews up all available resources (90%+ CPU), but still runs OK. (see http://www.stereo.net.au/forums/topic/95960-cheaper-than-a-raspberry-pi/ ). Still waiting for more Master Series album titles, expecially ones that are more eclectic and in line with my tastes.

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Made an 18VDC linear power supply based on this ultra-low noise regulator

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/262173064634?_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT .  This improved the usb output of the thin client.  One thing to note, any reasonable system using this particular Dell Thin Client needs this mod.  Actually, this unit would work well for anyone using a laptop as a music server too (most laptops need 18V DC supply)

 

Added an Ayon CD 5s CD player.  Mainly used as a DAC from the thin client via USB but dare I say it, its CD playback is much better.  I can’t believe whats inside this thing, I have lost count of the number of independent linear power supplies in it and the Mundorfs and Nichicons populate heavily. Klein DAC now upstairs and I have a spare Teac UD 501 dac for occasional DSD duty.

ayon-cd-5s-inside.jpg.16f81ed4616c2e1a470e4ef69a2b2d29.jpg

 

Ongoing Lenco TT tweaks (additional top plate damping, Joylon Platter Bearing and the addition of an AT33ptgii cart and an MC card for the ME25 pre all gave improvements.   At this stage, TT was getting the lion’s share of playtime but this has continued with the new WAND tonearm.

 

Counterintuitive speaker placement.  After running the CP’s at conventional rear wall side wall distances for a year or so, there has always been something missing in terms of bass continuity.  After various REW sweeps, I resigned myself to the fact that the concrete walls and ceiling of the space contained low freqs enough to setup nasty modes so I was about to embark upon a massive treatment program.  In parallel with reading up on the BBC research papers, I simply tried the cheaper method of moving stuff over a three day period to try and get an improvement.  30 or more measurements of speaker positions from extremely narrow-and-square to forward-wide-and-heavily-toed got me to the point where my bass hole between 50-60Hz has reduced significantly and the wild low frequency response swings tamed.  One rule I still follow is the Duntech Golden Rule of speaker listening distance requirements for pulse coherence designed into the CP’s at 3.5m. My chair follows the speakers around the room.  I risk many people telling me that the speakers are too close to the wall but bottom end and imaging sounds better here now.

58e43277ca280_March2017vsBaseline.jpg.97142d99c8280cf8d67bb9e99ea470f3.jpg

 

THE WAND - Massive improvement over the JELCO based Logic Datum II tonearm I had. Much more mid definition (less fuzziness in mid transients), more top end clarity, punchier bass (still not perfect in my room, but good) and deeper stage depth which is probably afforded by all of the preceding improved elements.  To check it all, I reinstalled the WAND into my second plinth-only Lenco and yep….good tonal balance but none of the magical elements of the modded Lenco.  It sounded like a mid-fi CD player.  It goes to show that sometimes it’s hard to assess the collection of tweaks one performs, but good to revisit occasionally to make sure one hasn’t tweaked around in circles.  I will have to finish modding this second Lenco so it is just more than just a bunch of spare parts.  It is in too good a condition to break-up.

 

The WAND back on the main rig now and all sounding quite nice and it really surprises me how rock solid it tracks once lowered onto the record. A great design IMO.

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@EVIL C has mentioned a Nordost wire upgrade for the WAND that seems to work with it. At this stage, I am running a toe-ier VTA setup to keep it sparkly but id love to hear word on the upgrade wire option from someone first hand to see if I’ll bother.

 

 

 

Edited by christosd
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Australian History 101. Starting with this hobby one and a half years ago, I began with finding a pair of Duntech Crown Princes based on the fact that I knew a tech rep from Duntech early in my A

Sorry about the low res, but I have shrunk all of the pictures to minimise my SNA footprint.   I have brought the family's Sonique 550SE speakers downstairs into the room to keep their much older, d

Off topic but almost as much fun. Upstairs is a great place to listen. A borrowed m51 keeps things simple but the everyday listenability of these Gales really is something.   Actually,

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Looks Great!

 

I have my princesses very close to the wall also and reckon they sound best there in my room, (wood floor, solid brick). i reckon if it sounds better to us then we are right and they are wrong!!

 I did find there were a couple of nodes that were messing up the otherwise great bass so got some bass traps on SNA to play with and must say that has improved things a lot. When I got the traps they came with some large absorbers as well and for the moment I have just put them nearby to reduce the first reflection and the imaging and clarity went up a lot, I will continue down this path with some absorbers on the ceiling as well next.

 

Love the monster ME1400, At some point will trade up to an 850 from my lowly 550 but cant say the 550 is disappointing,

 

I dont run vinyl as I spend enough time (and money) already so might keep that pandora's box tightly shut. 

 

I do run a pc front end and found the LMS not as good SQ as the MPD player such as volumio. However the LMS is a much better front end especially I found with Daphile. Have also dabbled with wtfplayer and its doable for a long listening session but not an everyday driver for me.

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Thanks for the info. A piccy of your setup / traps is welcome here too!

My main mode at 33Hz will be difficult to kill here. It taps into the vibratory mode of my concrete slab ceiling at a similar frequency. My saving grace is the small windows behind the speakers (essentially low freq absorbers) and also a side wall of glass also letting some of the low frequencies out too. I just bring curtains in as required for high freq taming. 

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  • 9 months later...

Borrowed some high powered valves... 

I have lost count of the number of times people have said it can't be done, but this works as long as you don't expect stratospheric spl's. 

Cymer Southern Star Monos. 4 x kt120 thanks to another SNA'er. Initially sceptical, but once I honed in on the volume they felt comfortable, they deliver dynamics, realism, slam and space. 

Very special amps. I'm pretty sure there are a few around that have  managed to feed their hungry dunnys with valves, but they seem to be outweighed by those (including Dunlavy) who said it isn't right and can't be done. I think that it is possible providing there is  enough power, and the spl you chose to listen to sits where extreme dynamic peaks stay just inside acceptable levels of soft clip. 

A bit of a crazy combo in that I doubt many high powered valve amps exist within moderate budgets that will work, but this combo does for me. It's been a good week!

IMAG1535.thumb.jpg.0f1fdc4a15d238d85609fb292362373d.jpg

 

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I'd back you on the statement that Duntech's can be run on valves with great success - you just need big ones!

 

Currently I'm utilising some mono blocks which use 2 x 845B valves per side. No issue with volume here.

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I'd back you on the statement that Duntech's can be run on valves with great success - you just need big ones!
 
Currently I'm utilising some mono blocks which use 2 x 845B valves per side. No issue with volume here.
No issue with cold weather either I'll bet!!
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On 02/02/2018 at 2:13 PM, unclemack said:

Interesting. Looking forward to hearing your findings. M

As I mentioned in my post, at the right level, I found nice dynamics and realism and even slam. I'll update in a week or so after having to hand them back today. It might be a case of pro's and cons as I had been quite happy with the ME prior to borrowing these. 

Edited by christosd
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48 minutes ago, Grizzly said:
16 hours ago, caminperth said:
I'd back you on the statement that Duntech's can be run on valves with great success - you just need big ones!
 
Currently I'm utilising some mono blocks which use 2 x 845B valves per side. No issue with volume here.

No issue with cold weather either I'll bet!!

A plus in Winter. Not so good in summer!  :lol:

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  • 1 year later...
On 21/01/2016 at 10:38 PM, christosd said:

Sorry about the low res, but I have shrunk all of the pictures to minimise my SNA footprint.

 

I have brought the family's Sonique 550SE speakers downstairs into the room to keep their much older, distant cousin company.

post-141188-0-85700500-1453377312_thumb.

 

 

On 05/04/2017 at 9:41 AM, christosd said:

Since the last entry yonks ago I have made a few changes.

 

Dear Diary…..

 

@grizzly main rack.  A very solid main rack capable of holding the ME1400 and all other stuff.  A set of freebie brother-in-law drawers fit perfectly for TT support stuff. 

That has done away with the resonant 1880’s red pine cupboard that could be heard playing along with the music before.  Some of Anthony’s racks are looking great at the moment.

 IMAG0699.thumb.jpg.724783f57158b26857697b58494053c2.jpg

 

 

 

It's a pity when a nice piece of furniture like that 1880’s red pine cupboard turns out to be a glorified drum and has to go. 😢

 

We audiophiles pay such a high price sometimes.... 

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On 06/04/2015 at 9:24 AM, christosd said:

Australian History 101.

Starting with this hobby one and a half years ago, I began with finding a pair of Duntech Crown Princes based on the fact that I knew a tech rep from Duntech early in my Adelaide vibro-acoustic consulting career and agreed with the design and execution concepts of their speakers.  

...

Hello again. Just last month I heard a presentation by scientist and engineer Jack Davis, who was R&D Manager at Duntech some decades ago. Basically they set out to make speakers that could reproduce a square wave as closely as possible. Naturally, full time alignment was at the core of their approach.

 

It was very interesting, and there was evidently very little attempt to cut corners to meet a budget in those speaker designs. Look after them and they should serve you well -- if your room can live with them. ;)

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I was there Grant but didn't recognise you! Most of the philosophies that Jack discussed were developed by Dunlavy before Jack had even joined Duntech but it was interesting to hear that Jack implemented a much better data acquisition system just before Dunlavy left. Apparently, the ability to develop loudspeakers was greatly enhanced as a result. 

With the electrical/mechanical modelling and measurement tools available to speaker manufacturers these days, I wonder if it is easier to get a cheaper speaker that can reproduce a 1kHz square wave?

 

Edited by christosd
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Had a bit of hands on experience with the lovely Duntechs when working  here in Perth but not with valve amplifiers.  I worked for a guy back in the UK who had Princes or Princess with the top of the line Audio Research mono valve power amps of the time (about 300wrms/chn). The sound was glorious at low to  medium volumes or on simple music but with pop or rock at any real volume the sound stage collapsed and the dynamics were severely constrained. The system was otherwise very well setup with ancillaries of commensurate quality, in a dedicated room. Just my experience which was not passed on to the boss :)

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More recent than my last 'dear diary' post.   I sent off my amp and pre to Ron from winovate. 

A few simple upgrades to the pre and a few new trannys in the 2nd module of the amp, a resetting of bias and a couple of other preventative maintenance measures and the system now surprises me with its transient response, bass level/tightness, and sound stage focus more to my expectation.   It was one of the biggest improvements  I'd had in a long time.. I haven't gone searching for big valves since the Me25 mod and 1400 tidy-up. 

Due to major Reno's, the only other thing is the implementation of a singxer SU1 usb spdif converter/clock .. Much smoother and recognisable vocals which I just put down to the fact that the usb receiver in the Ayon is not its best attribute. 

Edited by christosd
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1 hour ago, christosd said:

I wonder if it is easier to get a cheaper speaker that can reproduce a 1kHz square wave?

Difficult question.   It's somewhat less effort to make them these days - as the tools to design and make crossovers for multi-driver systems,  have got much more advanced.

 

... but business 101 says sell it or as much as possible.   So probably not "cheaper".

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  • 1 month later...
On 23/05/2019 at 6:52 PM, Ozcall said:

Had a bit of hands on experience with the lovely Duntechs when working  here in Perth but not with valve amplifiers.  I worked for a guy back in the UK who had Princes or Princess with the top of the line Audio Research mono valve power amps of the time (about 300wrms/chn). The sound was glorious at low to  medium volumes or on simple music but with pop or rock at any real volume the sound stage collapsed and the dynamics were severely constrained. The system was otherwise very well setup with ancillaries of commensurate quality, in a dedicated room. Just my experience which was not passed on to the boss :)

What was causing this do you think?

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Of the Adelaide hills crowd Christos has the most technically critical ears of our group and focuses in to specific frequency anomalies in a more scientific manner than the rest of us. This is a great tool as each of us seek to improve our systems.

 

I must say that servicing the big ME had a huge impact on Christos’s sound quality. Every aspect of reproduction was improved. It was a far from subtle change.

 

The underlying lesson to be learned is that even when older equipment is not showing any quantifiable deficiencies there may be hidden talents being masked by a general degradation of components and drift from original bias settings. Accessing a talented technician may well be the greatest cost effective upgrade you can make.

 

Looking forward to a listening session after your complete room make over old friend.

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  • 5 months later...

Off topic but almost as much fun. Upstairs is a great place to listen. A borrowed m51 keeps things simple but the everyday listenability of these Gales really is something.

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Actually, it is astounding how good the Ayon cd5s  CD/DAC/pre sounds when plugged in when compared with the borrowed NAD m51.  I'm on the lookout for another one.

Anyone have one lying around? I'd even settle for cd3s... Anything with a ladder chip and analogue pre with 6h30s. I just know it works here. 

If not, a Nuprime dac10 is suggested by a few. Anyone have one I can try? I'll pay shipping. 

If nothing comes up soon, I'll have to get a preamp and a dac and that might look wrong as it is my wife's TV room after all. 

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Gotta love that Gale 401c design. It is their aesthetic that allowed them to even exist up here. 

This is what happened to the last living area.  With some borrowed Omens fighting for mid range edginess stakes. The Zu's are quite responsive and really need a good set of valves and an extra 6 inches of height on mini stands. 

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Downstairs isn't forgotten however... Still the most enjoyable place to be. 

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Edited by christosd
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Hi Christos,

 

that was a pleasure to read, thanks for sharing your rooms.

 

They always say that a highly reverberant room is a good match for a speaker with a slightly darker tone. This might make the Gales a natural fit for that top room. Just a thought.

 

cheers

Grant

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1 hour ago, Grant Slack said:

Hi Christos,

 

that was a pleasure to read, thanks for sharing your rooms.

 

They always say that a highly reverberant room is a good match for a speaker with a slightly darker tone. This might make the Gales a natural fit for that top room. Just a thought.

 

cheers

Grant

That could definitely be the case Grant. Because of the sloped ceiling, I'm finding that there isnt much slap echo and it is a fairly diffuse  reverb characteristic. 

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  • 8 months later...

Upstairs was begging for a TT. On a strict budget of 'Zero visibly-disappearing dollars', a great SNA-er @rantanlet me have a play with his old Hitachi PS48. It suited the room very well so was bought into the stable. 

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It suits the room but didn't sound lively enough for me with the included Shelter 201 cart. 

A borrowed At150 Sa was tried as I had very fond memories of the 150mlx on the Lenco. It runs a bucket load lighter and doesn't track quite as well as the mlx did. 

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Bass seemed a bit resonant too. Obviously the mounting on a sideboard wasn't ideal but the Hitachi has a weird arrangement where the feet mount to the flimsy plastic bottom cover rather than mount to the plynth. The feet are actually a really good squidgy design with at least 5mm static deflection so should do the trick but the bottom plate was warped, cracked and bouncy. 

I ripped the bottom plate off and stiffened the mounting points for the feet with galv brackets. 

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This is a photo of the bottom cover stiffened over the areas where the feet sit so now they are tied to the plinth properly. Bass tightness improved straight away. 

The only problem now is that I think the arm isn't the greatest as I can hear some slight high mid zingy  colour not usually a feature of the cart (and exacerbated by the mid rangey Gales, no doubt). Sounds good for a budget TT and suits the aesthetic of the room. 

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The Duntechs are uglier but still sound much better, even with the Holo in place. 

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Yes, the Holo is very clear and everything seperates extremely well. I'm driving it with I2S out of the SU1 which beats the other ways of driving it. The Ayon has dynamics that are extremely wide and has a super fast response time. Lots and lots and lots of bass which isn't articulated quite as well as the Holo. The Ayon mids are punchy enough to impress through the punchy Duntechs. The Ayon has a wide and believable sound stage and makes most recordings sound beautiful. This is all in the context of the ME1400 duntechs, of course. 

The Ayon doesn't have the best Usb input so sounds best with coax input from SU1. 

As some might ask, if you could only keep one, for me it would be the Ayon. 

Edited by christosd
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