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Were I to go to Scalford ...

drummerman

New member
Jan 18, 2008
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Scalford has a lot of privateers showing off their own systems. Again, I could'nt make it this year (as a visitor).

Was I to go and display I would take the following system which can be put together for under a hundred quid and would probably rival some at 30 or 40 times the cost;

Sony STR DB930, Mission M71i, Chromecast audio and a Spotify Premium or Tidal Hifi Stream. Speakers and Receiver a little worked on but nothing that most couldn't do themselves.

Its what I listen to today after resurrecting the Sony and Missions from storage because of a little hifi boredom. Sitting in for cyrus for a few days.

Sound is, put simply, phenomenal. Not good for the money or good for its age but superb full stop.

Refined treble (within the Missions limitation), a lovely mid and extended/tunefull but not boomy bass. Nice texture to everything. Oodles of power. I quickly turned it up and it shook the floor boards (not my thing, I usually listen quiet). Hits hard if needed but plays luvely at very low volume too (my thing).

This is with the CCA straight into the receiver (analogue). It sounds better to me than the using the Sony's DAC's with more space and detail. Some may prefer the more direct and harder hitting Sony DAC's but for Jazz the CCA's own DAC is nicer.

Gets better though. Add a HifimeDiy 9018 Sabre Spdif DAC, hang it out the back and the Sound stage opens further up and bass is a little deeper/fuller still. I personally don't think its absolutely necessary as I find the CCA's DAC plenty sufficient and good but some will prefer the added DAC. Its about £50. The whole system still comes in at under £150.

This Sony receiver is crazy value for money, stupidly so. It kind of makes me question why anyone would buy a £500 amplifier (£1500 amplifier?) apart from looks, small it ain't but it does look better than most sub £1k modern receivers (and a good many integrated amplifiers) imho. Build quality is sxxt brick house solid. - Add little niceties like subtle tone controls, a decent phono stage, Sub integration mode, FM tuner, a nice solid volume control with led, Headphone out and probably more I can't think of and this makes a mockery of many another product. You can find one of these for £30. MAD!

The little Missions are good too. They don't sound like many of the new breed which put information (read forward midrange/treble) at expense of all else but nicely balanced in a grown-up way. Bass goes deep and they don't break up until silly volumes but I never usually do that. More importantly they play (almost) full range at very, very quiet levels, much more important for me. Where they give away to expensive designs is in construction (they have a so so MDF cabinet (braced) and vinyl covering. Still, they look kinda smart. The drivers are simple but decent with no obvious nasties. I've rewired them internally and added an additional cross brace, filled the rear of the plastic baffle (over MDF) which holds the tweeter with mastic, added a self damping tar like self adhesive sheet on the back of each magnet and added magnetic mesh covers (ala PMC or older MS's) over the tweeters when I first got them, thats all. - You probably find a pair for a tenner.

I have no doubt the Sony would drive even large, expensive floor standers without problems.

I hadn't used this for a few years so please forgive me for getting a little carried away. I haven't even tried it with CD yet.

Is my Cyrus/ProAc system better?

Probably not and if so not by much, honestly. Different.

The Receiver will go back into storage and remain with me.

PS. On the receiver I've removed the S-Video board, added ferrites internally, covered the transformer in copper sheet and damped the casing which is already pretty solid compared to many. All this was done years ago when I first got it in return for some money owed. - The Tuner board is easily removable too, probably aiding cross talk between inputs for the very discerning. I might change the captive power lead to one of my Audiofriendly shielded ones at some stage for a bit tinkering.

I do wonder how much better a Luxman or Accuphase would sound, or would they?
 

Vladimir

New member
Dec 26, 2013
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Good thinking on ditching the tuner board. Big thumbs up on the speaker tweaks.

I do wonder how much better a Luxman or Accuphase would sound, or would they?
I don't think either of them would be ashamed to put Takashi Kanai's sane priced masterpiece under their own badge. It is simply put, superb.

*clapping*
 

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
921
447
5,270
I fully agree on the amp and will do upgrades on mine also. I'm not surprised either when it comes to speakers. They're incredibly enjoyable, musical and punchy. For the size of cabinet they definitely don't lack bass. Had a pair a while back and especially rock, blues and metal sounded great.

That's the beauty of a well put together system. Sub £100 would be achievable but difficult though. For those who don't do streaming in place of CCA plus dac a vintage CD Player or turntable could be picked up for similar cost.

I'd also say this I've just sold my Yamaha steamer as found Sony DAC after a bit of a listen sufficient for the time being.
 

Vladimir

New member
Dec 26, 2013
220
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0
It seems like an EI-frame transformer ought to be a 100% shoe-in for high-end audio components, but there is a "dark side" to the EI-frame transformer. They radiate a rather significant magnetic field from the exposed windings (which are sometimes covered by rounded metal end bells). Low level audio signals such as those found in preamplifiers and gain stages prior to the output stage of amplifiers are small enough in magnitude, that passing them through a strong magnetic field would induce hum in the audio signal. In a preamplifier, this is easy to avoid. Put the power supply in an external enclosure as many preamp manufacturers do, especially those who use EI-frame power transformers. In an amplifier, the answer is to "aim" the transformer correctly. There is a big "shadow" in the magnetic field where the laminated plates are...the magnetic field is strong only outside the end-bells of the transformer. Aim the EI-frame transformer so that the core points towards the audio signal processing and so that the "bells" point to the sides and the radiated magnetic field won’t bother the audio circuits inside the amp. But putting an EI-frame in a tightly packed multi-channel amp or receiver is just about impossible...there just isn’t enough room to stay away from the radiated magnetic field. In those applications, you will almost always find toroidal power transformers. You can jam a toroid right into the middle of five amplification channels and have no problems from magnetic fields. Magnetic shielding for an EI-frame transformer is also possible, but it tends to be expensive and heavy.
Remember this? *crazy*
 

drummerman

New member
Jan 18, 2008
540
1
0
Vladimir said:
It seems like an EI-frame transformer ought to be a 100% shoe-in for high-end audio components, but there is a "dark side" to the EI-frame transformer. They radiate a rather significant magnetic field from the exposed windings (which are sometimes covered by rounded metal end bells). Low level audio signals such as those found in preamplifiers and gain stages prior to the output stage of amplifiers are small enough in magnitude, that passing them through a strong magnetic field would induce hum in the audio signal. In a preamplifier, this is easy to avoid. Put the power supply in an external enclosure as many preamp manufacturers do, especially those who use EI-frame power transformers. In an amplifier, the answer is to "aim" the transformer correctly. There is a big "shadow" in the magnetic field where the laminated plates are...the magnetic field is strong only outside the end-bells of the transformer. Aim the EI-frame transformer so that the core points towards the audio signal processing and so that the "bells" point to the sides and the radiated magnetic field won’t bother the audio circuits inside the amp. But putting an EI-frame in a tightly packed multi-channel amp or receiver is just about impossible...there just isn’t enough room to stay away from the radiated magnetic field. In those applications, you will almost always find toroidal power transformers. You can jam a toroid right into the middle of five amplification channels and have no problems from magnetic fields. Magnetic shielding for an EI-frame transformer is also possible, but it tends to be expensive and heavy.
Remember this? *crazy*
Hilarious :)

May I say the Receiver in this video doesn't seem to be built as well or to the quality of the 930. I may be wrong though.
 

Vladimir

New member
Dec 26, 2013
220
4
0
drummerman said:
Vladimir said:
It seems like an EI-frame transformer ought to be a 100% shoe-in for high-end audio components, but there is a "dark side" to the EI-frame transformer. They radiate a rather significant magnetic field from the exposed windings (which are sometimes covered by rounded metal end bells). Low level audio signals such as those found in preamplifiers and gain stages prior to the output stage of amplifiers are small enough in magnitude, that passing them through a strong magnetic field would induce hum in the audio signal. In a preamplifier, this is easy to avoid. Put the power supply in an external enclosure as many preamp manufacturers do, especially those who use EI-frame power transformers. In an amplifier, the answer is to "aim" the transformer correctly. There is a big "shadow" in the magnetic field where the laminated plates are...the magnetic field is strong only outside the end-bells of the transformer. Aim the EI-frame transformer so that the core points towards the audio signal processing and so that the "bells" point to the sides and the radiated magnetic field won’t bother the audio circuits inside the amp. But putting an EI-frame in a tightly packed multi-channel amp or receiver is just about impossible...there just isn’t enough room to stay away from the radiated magnetic field. In those applications, you will almost always find toroidal power transformers. You can jam a toroid right into the middle of five amplification channels and have no problems from magnetic fields. Magnetic shielding for an EI-frame transformer is also possible, but it tends to be expensive and heavy.
Remember this? *crazy*
Hilarious :)

May I say the Receiver in this video doesn't seem to be built as well or to the quality of the 930. I may be wrong though.
The QS was suposed to be poor man's ES range, but they may have shot themselves in the foot with the 930 so the quality went to more market competitive levels later on.
 

MajorFubar

New member
Mar 3, 2010
690
3
0
Can't at all disagree with your choice of weapons, especially as I have very fond memories of the M71s and for a while I owned their big brothers the M74s. I felt all the M7x series were a bit under-appeciated by the hifi press, the M74s only ended up on my radar because my dealer was discounting them to barely more than the price of a pair of Diamond 8.2s, which IMO they utterly wasted, becoming my very first pair of true floor-standing speakers. My brother ended up with them, and he still owns them.
 

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