New system, amp and speakers advices..again

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davedotco

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Apr 24, 2013
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Oldskool1976 said:
Always happy to debate with someone about a subject I enjoy so much.Also thanks for answering and fascinating to hear your experience on the wonderful source that is Vinyl.Sounds like you had a pretty epic job, I know I'd be going to work with a smile on me face if I was gonna play with turntables.Thankfully I still enjoy putting on records as alot of the stuff I have would be impossible to get on FLAC unless I ripped it myself and don't have the time or patience for that herculean task.I see its not just old record players garnering value, some of prices for records are getting pretty insane, I may have to do some kind of archiving after all.

I was very fortunate in that due to some rather odd circumstances I owned part of a dealership, I was able to dip in and out of the hi-fi scene when work in my real job was a bit quiet.

As you say, dealing with players on a daily basis is great fun, but it teaches you a lot, it makes it much easier to work out what is really going on. The bullsh!t, of which there is plenty in this business, just slides by, whether from manufacturers or just enthusiasts who think they know better, can be easily disposed of by the simple, yet conclusive, method of demonstrating the difference.

The finest sounds that I ever heard on any system involved serious turntables, (and electrostatic loudspeakers) and were way out of my class price wise, but the quality was mesmerising. It made me dissatisfied with my own system (SME/Koetsu/ARC/Martin Logan) as, good though it was, I had heard much better.*sorry2*

Having effectively given up on proper hi-fi in my home, I kind of get my hi-fi 'fix' helping others, mostly in real life but occasionally online, when it works out it is still great fun.
 

Blacksabbath25

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Sep 20, 2015
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Very true there is a lot of bull in this hobby and I do not think it will ever change and I’ve like hifi for 30 years and seen plenty of bull in my time and it’s amazing how many people fall for it too .

It’s the age of advertising and the internet where so many people buy something blind because a magazine said it was good or the internet instead of going to the shop and listening to the things they want to buy it’s pure crazy what people do and then moan about it afterwards it’s the world we live in now .
 

Vladimir

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Dec 26, 2013
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Vladimir said:
The motors and plinths of hifi TTs under 1K are as we all know complete garbage and are no match to the SL1200.

So is this microphony due to the tonearm alone?

Can we expand on this further? I trust Dave's experience as accurate, I just want to deconstruct it further so it doesn't come of as contradictory.

I've been told by vinyl gurus that what you want is the right type and amount of room feedback (microphony) and you need a deck that you can experiment with to dial that in to your taste and room, so every system is unique, unlike digital. Microphony cannot be avoided by any deck, it needs to be controlled. Put any TT on an osciloscope and tap or even breathe next to the cartridge and you will get signal change. Why? IT'S A BLOODY MICROPHONE.

Similar is with tube amps, you want the room to sing back to the amp and generate some sonic aura of reverbness but not get too obvious and too nasty.

Due to this feedback thing, getting the right rack for the TT is also important to get right.

Any truth to this or is it pure bovine excrements?
 

insider9

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Sep 20, 2016
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I've flirted with having a turntable three times now. Gone back to digital very quickly. But would like to know this also.

My understanding would be this. Anywhere near speakers or with speakers firing directly at the turntable would be no. Especially if you listening loud.

But when considering room acoustics and that the bass gathers close to walls and particularly corners. I'd say these are also not a good to place a turntable. Would it be best to either place it in another room or an area with the least energy like the middle of the room?
 

insider9

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I've flirted with having a turntable three times now. Gone back to digital very quickly. But would like to know this also.

My understanding would be this. Anywhere near speakers or with speakers firing directly at the turntable would be no. Especially if you listening loud.

But when considering room acoustics and that the bass gathers close to walls and particularly corners. I'd say these are also not a good to place a turntable. Would it be best to either place it in another room or an area with the least energy like the middle of the room?
 

rainsoothe

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Apr 30, 2012
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Beppep said:
Or I look for combinations and try to get what I like?

This is always the best way. After that, and of equal importance, the synergy with your room will factor in a lot, so if possible, try to get an extended home audition (or make sure you can return the stuff).

Again, even if I sound like a broken record, once you heard (AND LIKED) Naim, you'll have little chance of being satisified with other stuff. None is perfect, it's all subjective, and there are trade-offs (you'll never hear and Accuphase type of soundstage or details on a Naim amp - at least none that I heard - but for musicality and rhythmic flow, I heard nothing that can beat Naim - at their respective prices).

On the subject of your TT, I would hold on to it for the time being, if it's in good working order, and just swap cartridge and phonostage. IF you try (and buy) Naim, I would also stay clear of their phono-stage, for two reasons. 1 - depending on what you get, you might need a separate power supply for the Naim Stageline, because it doesn't have one of it's own. It can be powered from SOME Naim integrateds, or by their NON-DIGITAL pre-amps. So this means more money, more space required, more cables, more hassle. 2 - the general consensus (on the Naim forums) is that you can get similar (or better) performance from cheaper (and hassle-free) alternatives, as the Stageline is "nothing special" (well some love it, because they're 100% Naim or nothing junkies, but the ones who aren't, prefer all kinds of other brands for their phono-pre sections.

And again, my feelings are the same as yours in regard to Yamaha and Rotel amplification. I liked Arcam's A19 a lot, but the system synergy was very important, and it was used with the sensitive Focal Aria 906 and a Naim Dac V1 as a source. Oh, which reminds me of another point: one of the Naim philosophies is "source first", just like some other forum members have posted. "Garbage in, garbage out" - as they say. And, from recent experience, I tend to agree: the pre-amp section is very important in comparison to the power section. With a Naim or Linn or Hegel type of sollution, you'll have the benefit of a very good source (streamer/dac/whatever) that's already matched with the rest of the amplifier section, which is always great for the end-user.

Good-luck!
 

davedotco

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Apr 24, 2013
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Vladimir said:
Vladimir said:
The motors and plinths of hifi TTs under 1K are as we all know complete garbage and are no match to the SL1200.

So is this microphony due to the tonearm alone?

Can we expand on this further? I trust Dave's experience as accurate, I just want to deconstruct it further so it doesn't come of as contradictory.

I've been told by vinyl gurus that what you want is the right type and amount of room feedback (microphony) and you need a deck that you can experiment with to dial that in to your taste and room, so every system is unique, unlike digital. Microphony cannot be avoided by any deck, it needs to be controlled. Put any TT on an osciloscope and tap or even breathe next to the cartridge and you will get signal change. Why? IT'S A BLOODY MICROPHONE.

Similar is with tube amps, you want the room to sing back to the amp and generate some sonic aura of reverbness but not get too obvious and too nasty.

Due to this feedback thing, getting the right rack for the TT is also important to get right.

Any truth to this or is it pure bovine excrements?

I've really not come across the idea that you can 'dial in' the amount of microphony/feedback to suit your taste, this is the first time I have heard the idea so clearly stated. In all my experience, the aim has always been to reduce these effects to the minimum possible.

I haven't really thought about this for some time but the best way I can think of to sum up what you are trying to do is to control the energy being inputed into the player. Energy is inputed to the player in three different ways, structural vibration, airborn vibration and not forgetting, electrical power to the motor. Output energy from the system is simply the signal output from the cartridge.

A moments thought will tell you that the energy inputed to the player is huge compared to the energy of the output signal, it is the control of this energy that is the crux of good design. A couple of very simple examples...

The electrical power used to drive the motor is in itself orders of magnitude higher than the electrical power of the output signal, it is important that this surplus energy is not getting into the output through excessive vibration or noise, a problen that is easily heard on some players. One of the guiding principles of the Xerxes player is to use the lowest amount of energy possible to turn the platter at a constant spead, in fact the torque is insufficiant to bring the motor up to speed from stationary, it has to rely on a spring loaded mechanism to give it an extra 'kick' to get it up to speed.

Secondly, airborn vibration can interact with the cartridge body by microphony, ie the direct impact of the vibrating air on the cartridge body. Obviously closing the perspex lid of the player will reduce this issue by blocking the viration, reducing the problem, except of course that in many cases it makes things worse. How, by setting up a resonance in the lid or the airmass trapped inside the lid that may cause microphony issues at a narrow band of frequencies, much more annoying than low level broadband noise.

Keeping noise out of the output signal involves turntable supports, chassis and sub-chassis/arm resonances, arm/ cartridge resonances and a host of other factors. Probably best to try and answer specific questions, the whole subject will take forever.
 

insider9

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Sep 20, 2016
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rainsoothe said:
Again, even if I sound like a broken record, once you heard (AND LIKED) Naim, you'll have little chance of being satisified with other stuff. None is perfect, it's all subjective, and there are trade-offs (you'll never hear and Accuphase type of soundstage or details on a Naim amp - at least none that I heard - but for musicality and rhythmic flow, I heard nothing that can beat Naim - at their respective prices).

I take it you've not heard Densen... it's all you describe but more effortless with gorgeous fluid midrange and an open top. If you have an opportunity try it.
 

Vladimir

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Dec 26, 2013
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davedotco said:
The electrical power used to drive the motor is in itself orders of magnitude higher than the electrical power of the output signal, it is important that this surplus energy is not getting into the output through excessive vibration or noise, a problen that is easily heard on some players. One of the guiding principles of the Xerxes player is to use the lowest amount of energy possible to turn the platter at a constant spead, in fact the torque is insufficiant to bring the motor up to speed from stationary, it has to rely on a spring loaded mechanism to give it an extra 'kick' to get it up to speed.

That's what I'm talking about.

When I see the tiny peddly pathetic miserable tiny motors in british decks I pull my nose up. Then I see the big torqy massive overengineerd japanese direct drives and I gush of nerdy joy and scream take my money sir. But is it the right decision? If only engineering was so simple like tire-kicking at a used car lot.
 

lindsayt

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Apr 8, 2011
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Vladimir said:
Can we expand on this further? I trust Dave's experience as accurate, I just want to deconstruct it further so it doesn't come of as contradictory...
The vast majority of UK hi-fi dealers in the 1970's to 1980's did not stock high end Japanese statement turntables. They didn't stock the decent Japanese midrange stuff either. They stocked Linn, Rega. Maybe Pink Triangle, Roksan, Logic, Michell.

None of them stocked EMT.

They did not understand how to get the most out idlers like the Garrard 301, 401, Lencos, Thorens 124.

A lot of them fell under the Linn marketing spell.

Therefore dealers and ex dealers from that period tend to make poor sources of advice for vinyl sources in 2018.

Davedotco's mantra of going to a dealer when shopping for a vinyl source is terrible advice in terms of sound quality per pound spent in 2018.

And when it comes to microphony, it should be eliminated or minimised in a high fidelity system. That's why I cringe whenever I see photos of a turntable on a floor mounted support next to or between speakers. Turntables sound better placed as far away as possible from the speakers. In a different room is a good solution from a sound quality point of view. Support for the turntable is important too. There's no one solution that works best for all. Different turntables may require different supports for best results. Turntable isolation is so important that a midrange turntable, properly positioned and supported will sound better than a world class turntable plonked next to speakers on a drinks cabinet.
 

Vladimir

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Dec 26, 2013
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Can we avoid the dealer demonization or dealer talk altogether and discuss why things work or not on their own merrits?
 

davedotco

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Apr 24, 2013
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Vladimir said:
Can we avoid the dealer demonization or dealer talk altogether and discuss why things work or not on their own merrits?

The examples I gave were sort of random, I could have mentioned how different turntable suspension methods are beter at some frequencies than others, which of course brings us on to turntable supports and how best to isolate players from structural born vibration, or I could have brought up the issue of arm cartridge resonance and how this can damage speakers by overdriving them with warp frequencies, common these days given the excessive bandwidth of many phono stages and the proliferation of ported loadspeakers.

Of course a decently designed player, properly setup, takes most of these factors into account, appropriate cartriges are simply more stable and sound better than ones that excite resonances and these become known 'good combinations'. Dealers quickly learned which were which and since they would rather have a happy customer than a disatisfied one, it is easy to see why certain combinations were sold over and over again.

The proof of course was simply the sheer longevity of many of those systems, the occasional service or stylus/cartridge swap aside, some of these setups went untouched for a decade, because they worked and sounded great.
 

chebby

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Jun 2, 2008
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lindsayt said:
A lot of them fell under the Linn marketing spell.

Is that what it was called when Linn’s ‘enforcer’ (let’s call him Barlie Chrennan) had the dealer prone on the floor with his boot on his neck!
 

Vladimir

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Dec 26, 2013
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I'm trying to remember where I read the turntable room feedback theory, I remember the valve amp equivalent is from Bob Carver.

There is more than one way to skin a cat*.

Harbeth in its BBC tradition firmly believes complete deadening of speaker cabinets with strong bracing or curved walls etc. is not the way to go. Their speakers have loose cabinetry fitting so the excess vibration is spent instead of just pushed up or down in frequency. Whatever is left or audible is merged naturally with the speaker character in synergy with the music (just like acoustic feedback) and it doesn't stand off and offend.

One can claw firmly to the principle of All distortion is bad. Or you can go with some distortion with the right amount can make sound more immersive. And you Dave, in your shop you didn't have double-blind or null tests to determine what is more neutral and accurate sounding. You played systems and asked what sounds best. Which system is more immersive doesn't necessarily mean more accurate.

And here I'll stop before we enter the digital vs analogue, vinyl vs CD debate waters.

*or make a soy late, if the cat thing violates your mental safe space.
 

Vladimir

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Dec 26, 2013
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davedotco said:
Vladimir said:
Can we avoid the dealer demonization or dealer talk altogether and discuss why things work or not on their own merrits?

The examples I gave were sort of random, I could have mentioned how different turntable suspension methods are beter at some frequencies than others, which of course brings us on to turntable supports and how best to isolate players from structural born vibration, or I could have brought up the issue of arm cartridge resonance and how this can damage speakers by overdriving them with warp frequencies, common these days given the excessive bandwidth of many phono stages and the proliferation of ported loadspeakers.

Of course a decently designed player, properly setup, takes most of these factors into account, appropriate cartriges are simply more stable and sound better than ones that excite resonances and these become known 'good combinations'. Dealers quickly learned which were which and since they would rather have a happy customer than a disatisfied one, it is easy to see why certain combinations were sold over and over again.

The proof of course was simply the sheer longevity of many of those systems, the occasional service or stylus/cartridge swap aside, some of these setups went untouched for a decade, because they worked and sounded great.

I remember you mentioning doing demo shootouts of british vs japanese decks. Can you name few models of each camp?
 

rainsoothe

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Apr 30, 2012
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insider9 said:
rainsoothe said:
Again, even if I sound like a broken record, once you heard (AND LIKED) Naim, you'll have little chance of being satisified with other stuff. None is perfect, it's all subjective, and there are trade-offs (you'll never hear and Accuphase type of soundstage or details on a Naim amp - at least none that I heard - but for musicality and rhythmic flow, I heard nothing that can beat Naim - at their respective prices).

I take it you've not heard Densen... it's all you describe but more effortless with gorgeous fluid midrange and an open top. If you have an opportunity try it.

I haven't, and I don't think I'll ever get the chance to, unfortunately, as I've read a lot of good things about them. Some swear by Densen as a better alternative to Naim, others say they still don't have the same drive (the "efortlessness" you're referring to, probably). I'm also partial to "open top range"s, as too open of a top end can make music sound a bit discombobulated to me. But fluid midrange? Yes please :) I'm also not really keen on the looks and the lack of remote (is this a thing? Or was that some other brand?)
 

insider9

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Sep 20, 2016
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rainsoothe said:
insider9 said:
rainsoothe said:
Again, even if I sound like a broken record, once you heard (AND LIKED) Naim, you'll have little chance of being satisified with other stuff. None is perfect, it's all subjective, and there are trade-offs (you'll never hear and Accuphase type of soundstage or details on a Naim amp - at least none that I heard - but for musicality and rhythmic flow, I heard nothing that can beat Naim - at their respective prices).

I take it you've not heard Densen... it's all you describe but more effortless with gorgeous fluid midrange and an open top. If you have an opportunity try it.

I haven't, and I don't think I'll ever get the chance to, unfortunately, as I've read a lot of good things about them. Some swear by Densen as a better alternative to Naim, others say they still don't have the same drive (the "efortlessness" you're referring to, probably). I'm also partial to "open top range"s, as too open of a top end can make music sound a bit discombobulated to me. But fluid midrange? Yes please :)  I'm also not really keen on the looks and the lack of remote (is this a thing? Or was that some other brand?)
You're welcome to come and have a listen to mine if you're anywhere near Sheffield or travelling this way.
 

davedotco

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Apr 24, 2013
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Vladimir said:
davedotco said:
Vladimir said:
Can we avoid the dealer demonization or dealer talk altogether and discuss why things work or not on their own merrits?

The examples I gave were sort of random, I could have mentioned how different turntable suspension methods are beter at some frequencies than others, which of course brings us on to turntable supports and how best to isolate players from structural born vibration, or I could have brought up the issue of arm cartridge resonance and how this can damage speakers by overdriving them with warp frequencies, common these days given the excessive bandwidth of many phono stages and the proliferation of ported loadspeakers.

Of course a decently designed player, properly setup, takes most of these factors into account, appropriate cartriges are simply more stable and sound better than ones that excite resonances and these become known 'good combinations'. Dealers quickly learned which were which and since they would rather have a happy customer than a disatisfied one, it is easy to see why certain combinations were sold over and over again.

The proof of course was simply the sheer longevity of many of those systems, the occasional service or stylus/cartridge swap aside, some of these setups went untouched for a decade, because they worked and sounded great.

I remember you mentioning doing demo shootouts of british vs japanese decks. Can you name few models of each camp?

In the early years we would take on anything. A few upmarket models, Techniks 1100 and 1200 series, Big Denons and a few others but also a lot of more budget models, Trio, Sansui, Micro Seiki, some of them quite highly regarded by the magazines of the day.

I would use my experience to decide at what level to start the dems, very often I would start with our cheapest player, the Dual 505-1 with an MP11 cartridge. To be honest, this was an exceptional player for the price and outperformed pretty much all of the players mentioned, it wasn't really very close, far more coherent and transparent than most mainstream players, it was so much better that not to have preferred it would have been perverse.

I would then go to a better player, usually the Planar 3 (I did not much rate the 2) with the same MP11, then with a better cartrige, then up again, a Systemdek maybe and then to an LP12/LVV. At this time this combination cost less than 3 times the price of a Planar 3, still a lot of money in the early 1980s, but far from unatainable, very decent setups could be easily under £1k.

At that time the dems were usually so convincing that it was almost impossible not to make a sale, interestingly (or not) many of our new customers were brought to us by existing clients and, in the main, had never heard of any of the products we sold.
 

Vladimir

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Dec 26, 2013
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insider9 said:
Didn't think Project was German...

Austrian, my bad. It's precission made Austrian high quality high end audiophile precission low microphony hifi equipment. I see the same microwave pot metal encased motors used in Rega.

BTW here is the Sanko shown in this video review too! So popular high precission stuff.
 

Vladimir

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Dec 26, 2013
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1978 was the year Peter Suchy and his team developed Clearaudio's first moving coil cartridges. The patented fully symmetrical design and the choice of a boron cantilever were pioneering approaches which guide others to this day – while Clearaudio continues to refine them. 'Made in Germany' at Clearaudio stands for the highest quality, using high-end materials and the perfect technical implementation of intelligent innovation. Every product in Clearaudio's portfolio is conceived and produced by highly skilled specialists and precision engineers in the science city of Erlangen.

Wow, I'm impressed by this company. Interestingly enough the £1700 chinese Sanko motor, that is also used in the amateur DJ turntables Numark TTUSB.

numark-tt-tt-usb-turntable-repair-part-motor-sankyo-807091-6v-6ccd42d0cadb6c84ab01d303cc98c499.jpg
s-l1600.jpg


B000G3FNVM-1.jpg


Roksan Radius is British engineering and uses a Saia-Burgess swiss made low noise motor (company owned by Johnson Electric). I'm not sure if the Radius 7 is any good compared to the German CA Concept, considering its £300 cheaper. Its very likely the more expensive german is less microphonic.

Someone mentioned Project, that's also fine german engineering. They use $1.98 chinese motors intended for microwave turntables. I bet it kills microphony like nothing out there.

2885c9c8ff0c3b44d057ba40e1411d94.jpg


And to end on a lighter note. Please watch this wonderful review if you already haven't.
 

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