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Whats the weak link

Roby

Well-known member
Jan 17, 2012
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18,545
My set :

Amplifier: Musical Fidelity AMS35I
Siltech SPX 800 power cable (powering the AMS)
Avalon Ascendant
Transparent Super SC (speaker cables)
Phono stage: EAR Signature Delux
transparant Super RCA (between ams an EAR)
Kemp power cord Plus (Plus powering the ear)
Turn Table: ClearAudio Champion Limited edition (cartridge symphony MC)
Clearaudio Smart Syncro
Bleusound Node I2
audioquest golden gate RCA (audioquest golden gate RCA)

So pretty soon I will receive
Kemp power strip Plus & a 2nd Kemp power cord supposed to power the receiver that only use for TV
The reason I decided to buy Kemp power strip Plus is that I already heard a huge difference when I added the Syncro what is basically a power filter. I admit I first bought it because I'm to lazy to change the belt position but it was a nice little upgrade an one of the cheapest ones. Result was a tighter bas an a wider an more natural soundstage. Im pretty happy with mu TT sound

Last week I replaced my almost 10y old SBT (wich still work amazingly) with de BS Node I2 reviews wher pretty good so I was thinking it's maybe time for a little upgrade an it doesn't break the bank.

Actually I was thinking this might be the solution for my audio files I will never have the same result as with my TT but I might come close...

I was not planned to spend that amount of money on a powerstrip but than reading comparing an considering the overall cost of my system I said **** it I spend a lot of time home these days like most of us teleworking.

actually It's almost the same story as 8y ago when I was planning to buy an MF M6 en ended up with the AMS35I of 3times the cost


There is one thing I'm hesitating about, that is, replacing the stock power cord of the BS withe a converter an using the Kemp Power cord plus or just leave that in my av (I was planning to leave 1 spot on the power strip free for that) an buy a dedicated decent C7 power cord (audioquest, furtech,.... an provably other brands make those)

Any idears or suggestions I'm all ears ;-)
 
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Roby

Well-known member
Jan 17, 2012
55
5
18,545
may i ask what equipment rack are you using ?
A creative Rack with the filled tube option
this is posed on a 8cm granite stone
the Ams is in the lowest shelf on a 2cm 2cm granite stone

the TT is on the top also on a 2cm stone on the top shelf

as wel as the site equipment EAR/Syncro & BS on a 3cm stone (was suposed to be for the tt but I ordered to short an had to improvise)

of course the Avalons are also set on granite stones
 
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plus 1

Well-known member
Dec 5, 2019
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to be honest i'm not sure what the weak link would be - your set up is something to aspire too !

do you have a budget set aside to upgrade or would you have to sell an item before replacing with a possible upgrade ?

i say "possible" upgrade because, as i'm sure you know, there are lot of side ways steps - different sounding but not better which only you can be the judge.

personally with kit / a set like you own i would try some tweaks that may or may not work but they will be a lot cheaper than say any upgrade you could make to the brilliant amplifier you own !

sorry i can not suggest anything more specific but i think other forum members will be along soon to advise !

it will be interesting to see what other forum members advise.
 

Roby

Well-known member
Jan 17, 2012
55
5
18,545
I'm happy with the TT sound, in the mean time I might get a little more stability (even if I don't feel the need this was done by the syncro)
I actually hope get this effect with the kemp power strip on my BS
What would you use as power cable for the BS?

This power upgrade is provably the only thing I left out until now. Even if I had an amazing effect withe the S Syncro
On one side I was am convinced of the benefit of clean power on the other-side I had a hard time convincing my self to spend a 1250€ on a power strip (ok it is replacing a 10€ strip)​
I hope actually get some more controle back in the low an mid for some reason its sounds a little blurry to my ears​
I'm thinking maybe servicing my Avalons I read on Audiogon that that model has a problem after a few years you need to replace the rubbers (they actually send me a kit to do so for free)​
I hope this will do the job otherwise I see no real option anymore for me it was the last thing missing in my set​
One side I expect a better sound but its also protection considering the money an time to find the perfect set to my ears​
Basically I was looking for a power stabilisator but my dealer advised me I would more benefit a good power strip an advised me the Kemp Power strip going for the step up an buying the plus was my choice.​
Maybe he was feeling a bit guilty because I ordered a BS Node i2 an had to call me back he couldn't deliver​
Than adviced me a 4000€ streamer instead... (I bought it somewhere else)​
I told him Most important to me is still the vinyl but I just want decent streaming when I'm working home​
Because if it doesn't sound good to me I stop concentrating on work an get irritated...​
So basically​
one question wich power cable for the BS​
Second​
if the power strip doen't get the expected result a Power conditioner?​
or​
A dedicated Powerline (this will have to wait my tranformation in the appartement next year)?​
Roby​
 

plus 1

Well-known member
Dec 5, 2019
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power cables - i have tried the woven kimber / russ andrews powerkords and the (alternative design) shielded / filtered ones from clearer audio and to be honest i have not found much, if any, improvement to the sound of the (much) cheaper kit i owned.

power conditioners / filters - once again i have tried basic offerings from russ andrews but also found minimal to no improvement with past systems i have owned. i think a mains filter / conditioners performance effectiveness is based on how well your kit is designed to cope with "mains noise" and actually how much noise is on your electricity circuit to begin with. worth an audition if you can return for a full refund.

overall my kit was just used with the supplied / stock power cables plugged direct into the wall - no extension block as there is a double socket right behind where my system sat.

as for installing a dedicated hifi circuit i have no experience of this and i am no electrical technician but many people swear by this upgrade. however many say its nonsense and give technical reasons for their view. its the one tweak / upgrade how ever thats difficult to remove once installed !
 

Roby

Well-known member
Jan 17, 2012
55
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Thanks for the advice

It was a long process to achieve my set demo's tests etc I'm happy with the result mostly an it was fun to do.

To be honest I'm not sure the BS really add something valuable compared to the previous SBT, I hope time will tell
If I dont get what I'm expecting I guess I go down on testing road again

For a
 

Roby

Well-known member
Jan 17, 2012
55
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18,545
for Dac or Streamer or both....
Guess I should first give the BS an power upgrade some time before changing something else; because I might just screw everything up if I move to quickly.

first thing I'm thinking now is changing my cartridge to a Clear audio Stradivari

Any thoughts?

Here some oictures a really old one 2014 an one from last week ;-)
 

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plus 1

Well-known member
Dec 5, 2019
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i'm afraid i have zero knowledge when it comes to turntables and cartridges because i have never owned a turntable !

can cartridges be tested and returned if not suitable ?

hopefully one of the other forum users with a turntable can advise with that question !
 

Al ears

Moderator
In my humble opinion, if that Stadivari is around £3000, you have plenty of potentially better choices.
Whilst I can understand in part the desire to have cartridge and turntable from the same manufacturer, or at least with the same manufacturers name on them, it is often not the best of both worlds.

Spent ages looking for your phono preamp, are you sure that not EAR.....?
Apologies, I see next line down says EAR.... very nice.
 
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Al ears

Moderator
i'm afraid i have zero knowledge when it comes to turntables and cartridges because i have never owned a turntable !

can cartridges be tested and returned if not suitable ?

hopefully one of the other forum users with a turntable can advise with that question !
Simple answer is no.
It's even difficult auditioning cartridges side by side in some cases.
This is why it is extremely difficult to recommend cartridges even if you have owned one.
The fact that not all cartridges are suitable for a certain tonearm doesn't make life any easier....
 
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Roby

Well-known member
Jan 17, 2012
55
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I use a Belkin Surge Plus power strip with a ferrite bead.

I can'answer yet but I will let you know

I should receive it on the ent of the week I guess. I read several reviews that ou need a 20h run in time so guess that a representative listening session an an opinion will be for next week somewhere.
 

Roby

Well-known member
Jan 17, 2012
55
5
18,545
In my humble opinion, if that Stadivari is around £3000, you have plenty of potentially better choices.
Whilst I can understand in part the desire to have cartridge and turntable from the same manufacturer, or at least with the same manufacturers name on them, it is often not the best of both worlds.

Spent ages looking for your phono preamp, are you sure that not EAR.....?
Apologies, I see next line down says EAR.... very nice.
Made a huge difference compared to the previous M1vinyl from musical fidelity
Ok it costed 3times the price but don't regret it at all

An was able to sell my M1 for 500€ so...

If you are still looking for it

 

Roby

Well-known member
Jan 17, 2012
55
5
18,545
Simple answer is no.
It's even difficult auditioning cartridges side by side in some cases.
This is why it is extremely difficult to recommend cartridges even if you have owned one.
The fact that not all cartridges are suitable for a certain tonearm doesn't make life any easier....
I was lucky hearing the stradivari on the same TT as I have at a friends place
an the same phono stage but Mc Intosh amplification
 
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Roby

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Jan 17, 2012
55
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Yes they don't make it any more I guess but as my dealer was a huge fan of the 834P signature He might have one in stock

I remember the classic model 834P was like 600€ cheaper basically the same conception but with cheaper parts.
 

Al ears

Moderator
Yes they don't make it any more I guess but as my dealer was a huge fan of the 834P signature He might have one in stock

I remember the classic model 834P was like 600€ cheaper basically the same conception but with cheaper parts.
It was highly rated I recall. Tim certainly could design a circuit.....
 

rainsoothe

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Apr 30, 2012
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Imo the DAC in the Node 2i is mediocre to say the least, so I'd look at adding a decent one - like Chord Qutest or something from Metrum Acoustics or Audiolab or Naim - plenty of choices out there.
 
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Roby

Well-known member
Jan 17, 2012
55
5
18,545
Imo the DAC in the Node 2i is mediocre to say the least, so I'd look at adding a decent one - like Chord Qutest or something from Metrum Acoustics or Audiolab or Naim - plenty of choices out there.
I agree it's the cheapest source it replaced my 8y old SBT last week

Made the choice based on the reviews I read that said it was exceptional for the price

An I didn't expect or see my self going down the HI FI search road again 2 weeks ago:rolleyes:

Never less at the moment, yes its slightly better than the SBT. But after the reviews I read I provably had to high expectations...

My bet would you recomnd a dac an keep the BS as streamer?

PS: The first thing my dealer said was "power source" Im waiting for the delivery on that side.
I'm curious to see what that can change I'm a lttle septic not that the power sorce is important but more about a powersource of that price class.

Roby
 
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Roby

Well-known member
Jan 17, 2012
55
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Just got confirmation of my dealer

I will recieve My 'Kemp powerstrip plus' an audioquest NRG-Z2 (to replace the stock cable of the BS) the 5th:D
 

myrrhman

Well-known member
Apr 24, 2020
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Imo the DAC in the Node 2i is mediocre to say the least, so I'd look at adding a decent one - like Chord Qutest or something from Metrum Acoustics or Audiolab or Naim - plenty of choices out there.
WRT to the OPs question, agree 100% DAC in the Node is likely to be the weakest link in the system. Doesn't have to be a really expensive option either in order to show a significant improvement.
 

Roby

Well-known member
Jan 17, 2012
55
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18,545
As promised

After a bit of messing around with installing cables, look at how to place the power block ( it's pretty big.)

And move the boxes a bit to give more space. That wasn't a succes for the moment because I don't really know where to sit when I listen Now, that will comes with some more moving and testing.

Now listening for 2 hours usually starts with the songs I know well

first impression yes an improvement sure

more detail
voices are more prominent and I can enjoy that
wider and airy soundstage (sometimes too much)

Bass is a bit more controlled but since that was the main reason for this purchase I say luckily but the difference on this moment less than I expected (maybe I expected too much)
At times I get very close to some demos that I enjoyed the most in the past.

Live recordings are fantastic really

with somewhat heavier modern music, this means mainly a lot of instruments and sounds, it starts to rumble again, according to the importer, this is due to those woofer strips from my serie speakers, although I will certainly not break anything. but have to replace this if I want full potential of this beautiful speaker back an enjoy.

The high sometimes comes across as shrill and metallic sometimes my eyebrows frown.

My first conclusion and feeling after these first 2 hours.

It is better yes. An overwhelming effect no.

Basse are a bit tighter yes would have expected something more
Much more space and detail which gives a fantastic effect on a number of songs and vLife recordings
Voices have become much more beautiful an natural
larger spacial soundstage

What could be better

the high parts that sometimes seem a bit metallic
the bass sometimes still aftermath, although it is almost good
and with a lot of instruments and sounds it gives the messy feeling, need more breath

few songs I test may be interesting too

Dire straits: Local hero live & latest trick
Norah Jones: Come away with me
The blues company: The world is mad
Snow patrol: chasing cars
Bob Dylan: Man in the long black coat
Phill Collins: in the air tonight
Prince: compare 2 us & Purple rain
Alice on the roof: easy come easy go
Nirvana live unplugged: comme as you are
Nils Lofgren live acoustic: Keith don't go
Rolling stones: Love in vain live
Serge Lama: L'enfant d'un autre
birdy: Skinny love
Sting: provably me
Christine an the queens: chaleur humaine
Bouka shades: body language
Stevy rey vaugn: Tin pan alley
Black: sabath: paranoid

When testing, I always try a little bit of everything to have a complete picture

As I said it is better, am I completely convinced? no

I regret the move? Difficult to say at the moment

Don't misunderstand me, this a very expensive joke for an improvement that for many might not be an improvement

I would say no I am not sorry, yes it bothers me I admit.

It is beautiful quality material and it brings added value to my listening experience (whether that is much or not and whether it is worth the money or not aside) and a base line from which I could compare if I wanted to (this certainly also possible with cheaper material)

I have to say I'm paying attention to every sound and analyse the space
analyse my songs back and remember: A yes that demo sounded a bit like this so ha this seems like that moment of that demo.

An that is of course also part of the game

It is my first listening session and it is said that Kemp needs a long play in time. I read here and there about 20 hours, which is about one or 2 a weeks. I have also read more but I find that ridiculous then it doesn't get better then you just got used to it ....

The thing I sometimes thought of as I was listening today is the fact that I might have better wait a bit before throwing the AQ NRG-Z2 cord on the i2 to really see if that mattered ...

This was only a digital session via I2 the records will be for the wknd but I had no complaints about the records that was good even perfect for me :) so that will be enjoyable again I'm sure.

Try to convey my feeling and experience honestly and objectively

if that bothers you or you think, there you are wrong then I like to hear it I like to learn and like to test things out ;;
 

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