Cook'd and Bomb'd

Forums => Oscillations => Topic started by: wasp_f15ting on June 16, 2018, 12:44:39 PM

Title: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: wasp_f15ting on June 16, 2018, 12:44:39 PM
So..

For the most part my system has not had a major upgrade for a while. I ran some BeoVox s75 speakers which I refurbished with new drivers. However the original speakers were bought in 1997 (they were from the mid 70s) and then refurbished them in 2004. However I ran them through a number of amplifiers from Sherwood to Yamaha to Rotel and finally Naim Nait 3

In time I added SACD and other DAC etc, but the core system remained un changed for a while. I finally thought it was time for a full refresh.

I went for a Marantz CD6006 UKE - As Transport
Chord Electronics Qutest DAC
Roksan K3 Integrated Amplifier
ATC SCM 19 speakers with Atacama SL500i stands

What a bloody huge difference.. I ran my Chord Mojo into the system before this, the Qutest is a nice change. However the biggest change is the ATC speakers. They have to be heard to be believed. They are big sounding for their rather small size. It completely obliterates the 4 driver B&O in nearly all kinds of music. The scale and authority is just immense. I don't even have my subwoofer on. I don't know how they reach so low for such a speaker the size.

For anyone who is into large dynamic sound I'd suggest you audition the ATC speakers. I am flabbergasted at how good they are.

I think I might eventually get the K3 Roksan Power Amplifier to add on, but for now I am very chuffed. I have had a hard time buying old CDs I like though.. thank god for Discogs!

I don't know whether I can be bothered getting into Vinyl at this stage.. not because of the equipment, more that I have to buy many records to get the most out of it all!

Do any of you only have CD only collections.. should I mess with vinyl? - My music collection is split between hi-res files on my laptop (Small) and CDs for the most part.

Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: Cuntbeaks on June 16, 2018, 02:13:54 PM
Definitely get the power amp, it will add a much greater level of control. My ears were opened when i first moved from integrated to a pre/power set up.
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: wasp_f15ting on June 16, 2018, 03:45:41 PM
After your comment, I checked google and found an ex-demo Roksan K3 Power Amp with 40% off :)

So snagged that! - Shame I have to double up on cable now..

Not sure which driver to use the power amp on, HF or MF/LF - Guess i'll have to play around.
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: Cuntbeaks on June 16, 2018, 06:43:36 PM
How many channels does the power amp have then, just two?

If so, you should try single wiring the speakers as opposed to bi or tri wiring them.

The rule of thumb is that the best amplification should go to the HF/tweeters, but yeah, experiment with it.

In terms of interconnects to connect the power amp, i would highly recommend a pair of Linn Blacks, only about £20 to £25.
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: wasp_f15ting on June 16, 2018, 09:16:21 PM
I have bought a stereo K3 Poweramp, as I have a K3 Integrated AMP already.
At least the sonics should be similar.

I was thinking of getting the schiit Vidars, but then I'd need 4 x monoblocks :P
Maybe that will be the next upgrade I make

What kit do you have ?

I will check out the Linn interconnects
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: olliebean on June 16, 2018, 10:19:01 PM
For anyone who is into large dynamic sound I'd suggest you audition the ATC speakers. I am flabbergasted at how good they are.

They'd fucking well better be impressive for 2 grand.

Sorry. This thread is clearly out of my price range.
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: Cuntbeaks on June 16, 2018, 11:47:34 PM
At the moment my main system comprises of

Linn Kisto pre amp
Linn 5125 power amp
Linn Sara 9 speakers
Linn Katan speakers for surround
Arcam A65 amp
REL Strata II sub x 2
Project Debut III turntable
Dino MK 1 phono pre amp
Sony SACD player with external HD filled with FLACs
Linn K400 speaker cable
Linn Silver and Black interconnects.

I uae the 5125 to power the Saras and control the subs, the Arcam powers the Katans in a Hafler circuit, which is basically a free surround/ambient channel. It may be frowned upon by audiophiles, but i find that the extra dimension it provides is incredibly effective. By using a seperate amp for it, it means i can dial in the volume of the surrounds as i see fit.

The Kisto is an absolute beast of a 7.1 processor, however i use it purely as a stereo pre amp and the level of accuracy, detail and clarity it has is something to behold.
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: Sebastian Cobb on June 16, 2018, 11:53:11 PM
Quad 303 / 33
NAD C521 BEE
Revolver Rebel with AT95*
Linn Kans (although I've also got a pair of Kef Cresta 10's)
Google Chromecast Audio

*this is a secondary deck; my main one is a Goldring Lenco GL75 that I'm rebuilding the plynth (built and primed, needs painting along with the top-plate) and refurbishing the bearings on. I bought it specifically because the tonearm is a Jelco model that acts as a drop-in replacement for the lenco original arm, which isn't much cop. I also have a Shure V15 mk III stylus to go on it.
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: buzby on June 17, 2018, 12:58:39 AM
Quad 303/33
Quad FM3
Fons CQ30 with Acos Lustre GST-1 arm and Goldring G800 cartridge
Sony RCD-W100 dual-deck CD player/recorder
Mission 731s

The CQ30 is my third deck - I started off with a Sansui SR222 Mk2, Then a Thorens TD150 'bitsa' that I put together from parts from 3 decks, an oak plinth and a spare SR222 arm (they were made by Jelco and pretty decent quality). The CQ30 fulfilled my desire for something eccentric (it's a variable-pitch belt drive with 33/45/78 speed selection and a suspended subchassis that carries both the motor and platter) and Scottish, having been designed by Hamish Robertson after Castle Precision/Linn had swiped the Ariston RD11 out from underneath him.
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: Sebastian Cobb on June 17, 2018, 02:19:27 AM
My old man's got a TD150 in a homemade plinth and an SME 3009.
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: wasp_f15ting on June 17, 2018, 09:06:05 AM
They'd fucking well better be impressive for 2 grand.

Sorry. This thread is clearly out of my price range.

There are lots of speakers you can get second hand for a reasonable price. In fact if you or anyone in this thread wants my Bang & Olufsen BoeVox s75 and can collect them from Manchester you are welcome to them.

Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: wasp_f15ting on June 17, 2018, 09:07:57 AM
At the moment my main system comprises of

Linn Kisto pre amp
Linn 5125 power amp
Linn Sara 9 speakers
Linn Katan speakers for surround
Arcam A65 amp
REL Strata II sub x 2
Project Debut III turntable
Dino MK 1 phono pre amp
Sony SACD player with external HD filled with FLACs
Linn K400 speaker cable
Linn Silver and Black interconnects.

I uae the 5125 to power the Saras and control the subs, the Arcam powers the Katans in a Hafler circuit, which is basically a free surround/ambient channel. It may be frowned upon by audiophiles, but i find that the extra dimension it provides is incredibly effective. By using a seperate amp for it, it means i can dial in the volume of the surrounds as i see fit.

The Kisto is an absolute beast of a 7.1 processor, however i use it purely as a stereo pre amp and the level of accuracy, detail and clarity it has is something to behold.

Very nice!

I have ordered a BK Elec Monolith+ sub, the Yamaha YSTSW800 I have just isn't up it.. guess it is 20+ years old now
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: wasp_f15ting on June 17, 2018, 09:17:36 AM
Quad 303/33
Quad FM3
Fons CQ30 with Acos Lustre GST-1 arm and Goldring G800 cartridge
Sony RCD-W100 dual-deck CD player/recorder
Mission 731s

The CQ30 is my third deck - I started off with a Sansui SR222 Mk2, Then a Thorens TD150 'bitsa' that I put together from parts from 3 decks, an oak plinth and a spare SR222 arm (they were made by Jelco and pretty decent quality). The CQ30 fulfilled my desire for something eccentric (it's a variable-pitch belt drive with 33/45/78 speed selection and a suspended subchassis that carries both the motor and platter) and Scottish, having been designed by Hamish Robertson after Castle Precision/Linn had swiped the Ariston RD11 out from underneath him.

How much faffing is there to set up a turntable?
This is one of the things that puts me off, counterbalancing etc.. is there a nice good quality Turn Table with a open box and let it go kind of set up :P
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: NattyDread 2 on June 17, 2018, 12:49:49 PM
How much faffing is there to set up a turntable?
This is one of the things that puts me off, counterbalancing etc.. is there a nice good quality Turn Table with a open box and let it go kind of set up :P

The biggest faffs are the suspended sub-chassis type which you have to balance (Linn LP12 and Thorens Td160 etc). Other than setting up the arm and cartridge, most you only have to make sure are sitting flat. I presume some come with cartidges aligned and balanced but it's been a long time since I bought a brand new deck. You will need to learn to fit a cartridge eventually though, unless you get a shop to do it.

Got a few systems dotted about the house. Mostly old-ish gear including -
2 x Technics 1210mk2 in custom plinths
Thorens TD160 with Rega RB250 arm in custom plinth (about to get a motor transplant).
Rega Planar 3
Big 70's Technics Quad receiver SA6000X
Sony STR 7025 receiver
Teac A-H550i Amp
Cyrus 3 and Psx-R Amp and power supply
Pro-ject Phono Box SE
Castle Trent II, Castle Knight II, Monitor Audio Monitor 9, Whafedale Pacific Pi40 speakers.
And an Arcam Alpha cd player.

I'm thinking about making a custom plinth for the Rega. It's not much of a looker.
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: Cuntbeaks on June 17, 2018, 01:57:40 PM
I would love to get a Linn LP12 at some point in the future, but the set up and servicing of it does seem a bit daunting.

My biggest revelation with vinyl was the simple act of cleaning the discs and how much of an impact it had on the sound quality. Even brand new records require cleaning and getting a cheapo, but effective, Knosti Disco Antistat is a very worthwhile investment.
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: Sebastian Cobb on June 17, 2018, 02:24:56 PM
Really glad I picked up my Lenco about 10 years ago, they seem to go for quite a bit these days; mine was £30 because the bearings in the tonearm were shot (they're little rubber blocks with a V cut into them, some swedish guy sells replacements for about 7 quid).
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: wasp_f15ting on June 19, 2018, 10:59:56 AM
I think I am going to go for a Rega Planar 3 to get started..

I have a MM phono stage on my Roksan K3 do I need anything else?

Also the power amp arrives today.. but wires don't arrive till tomorrow :(
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: Captain Z on June 19, 2018, 11:06:09 AM
Can you record a clip on your phone so I can hear how good they sound?
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: Kane Jones on June 19, 2018, 12:24:42 PM
I'm currently rocking a Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Esprit SB turntable fitted with an Ortofon Red cartridge, pumping through a Pro-Ject pre-amp, then blasting through a Bang & Olufsen Beosound 3000 with BeoLab 4000 speakers. Sounds like the absolute fucking tits. Love it.
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: Cuntbeaks on June 19, 2018, 07:52:50 PM
I think I am going to go for a Rega Planar 3 to get started..

I have a MM phono stage on my Roksan K3 do I need anything else?

Also the power amp arrives today.. but wires don't arrive till tomorrow :(
Not sure what racking you have ready to put the Rega on, but  no mattet what it sits on i would heartily recommend these bamboo chopping boards out of Ikea. Bosh a few felt pads on the bottom it and your good to go. I have one under each of my components.

https://www.ikea.com/gb/en/products/cookware/knives-chopping-boards/aptitlig-butchers-block-bamboo-art-00233429/  (https://www.ikea.com/gb/en/products/cookware/knives-chopping-boards/aptitlig-butchers-block-bamboo-art-00233429/)
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: wasp_f15ting on June 19, 2018, 08:10:52 PM
I guess I need to get these in a Rack now..

Thanks to the power amp my desk is now very ugly :(

(https://i.imgur.com/QnMDyl1.jpg?1)

I'll try and find something on ebay!
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: Cuntbeaks on June 19, 2018, 08:37:29 PM
I guess I need to get these in a Rack now..

Thanks to the power amp my desk is now very ugly :(

(https://i.imgur.com/QnMDyl1.jpg?1)

I'll try and find something on ebay!

*gasps*

Try Gumtree around your area, ive bought a lot of kit on there. Racks seem to go quite cheap, i got a decent Target one for £20.
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: royce coolidge on June 19, 2018, 10:21:40 PM
I guess I need to get these in a Rack now..

Thanks to the power amp my desk is now very ugly :(

(https://i.imgur.com/QnMDyl1.jpg?1)

I'll try and find something on ebay!
what are your headphones,look  very slimline,and is that a schiit head amp ?is it noticeably better than the head out from the K3?
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: wasp_f15ting on June 19, 2018, 10:32:38 PM
Its the Sennheiser HD800
Spot on regarding the Schiit Audio - It is the Valhalla 2 with the 6922s tubes changed to some Golden Lion ones.. I'd like the telefunken ones but aint paying £200.00 each for those!

I love these headphones but they do need the tube amp to chill them out as they are a bit forward.

Edit: The headphone out of the CD6006 UKE is pretty shoddy, and makes the HD800 sound like weightless and horrid, the DAC is pretty meh too. So only use if you have no option!
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: Sebastian Cobb on June 19, 2018, 11:22:52 PM
I need to get a headphone amp for my 33 really. It's supposedly not powerful enough to drive cans but it's got a tape out I can connect a headphone amp to. Don't really want an expensive one though as I don't use cans very often. Could probably get away with a cheap t-amp or something.
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: wasp_f15ting on June 20, 2018, 08:38:20 PM
I just sold my Chord Mojo, really enjoyed that as a headphone amp.

I got some Linn Silver RCA Interconnects for fairly reasonable price of ebay. They are quite lovely!

Where do you guys buy your CDs from? I got some off Music Magpie and a few skip like mad :(
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: Cuntbeaks on June 20, 2018, 10:54:53 PM
Good work with the Linn Silvers, I bought a pair at the same time as I got the Kisto, so I couldn't appraise the difference the made by themselves. The overall effect was a definite improvement on the already excellent AV5103.

I gave up on CDs at the same time as i got the AV5103, running flacs through the SACD and into the DAC of the 5103, it was a massive improvement over the Linn Classik I had been using. I still  have the same set up as the Kisto also has a built in DAC, admittedly it's a few years old now, but it still sounds excellent.
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: Sebastian Cobb on June 20, 2018, 11:08:03 PM
I just sold my Chord Mojo, really enjoyed that as a headphone amp.

I got some Linn Silver RCA Interconnects for fairly reasonable price of ebay. They are quite lovely!

Where do you guys buy your CDs from? I got some off Music Magpie and a few skip like mad :(

Music magpie and their mates use bots to undercut each other on amazon marketplace; that's how you can pick up contemporary albums you missed in the 90's for 1p + 1.26 postage. Occasionally the disc will be fucked or in the case of a prodigy cd I bought, the wrong album in the right case. They'll usually just refund you rather than ask you to send it back though.
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: NattyDread 2 on June 21, 2018, 09:31:41 AM
running flacs through the SACD

How do you go about this?
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: wasp_f15ting on June 21, 2018, 06:28:52 PM
Music magpie and their mates use bots to undercut each other on amazon marketplace; that's how you can pick up contemporary albums you missed in the 90's for 1p + 1.26 postage. Occasionally the disc will be fucked or in the case of a prodigy cd I bought, the wrong album in the right case. They'll usually just refund you rather than ask you to send it back though.

I gues 2CDs out 27 were fucked so no harm.

My Sub arrives tomorrow.. excited and annoyed that I'll have to keep tweaking now.
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: Cuntbeaks on June 21, 2018, 10:39:24 PM
How do you go about this?

The Sony SACD i have has a USB port that I simply plug an external HD into, you can them browse the contents as you please. I use the digital out, with a dedicated 75ohm cable, into the DAC of the pre amp. Entry level FLAC goodness.

I aim to upgrade to a Linn digital streamer at some point, but currently lack the infrastructure and money.
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: NattyDread 2 on June 22, 2018, 10:08:14 AM
Ah, cheers. I thought for a minute there may be a way to do the same on my destined for the tip Denon sacd player, but no handy usb input on that sadly.
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: Johnny Textface on June 22, 2018, 11:43:31 AM
Please help me.

I've got a bunch of little toys that I like to mess about with away from my proper set up (which is in the loft).

I want to record the sounds I make via normal audio jacks. I can either mix prior to it going in or mix within it (probably the latter would be more interesting).
The sound quality of the recording should be decent and then I need the ability to save to a format and export it to my pc for later use (over wifi to say drop box would be ideal but probably wishful thinking.)
I don't want another laptop so a little box of tricks would be best - not got a massive budget.
Anything out there for me?
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: buzby on June 22, 2018, 12:54:00 PM
Please help me.

I've got a bunch of little toys that I like to mess about with away from my proper set up (which is in the loft).

I want to record the sounds I make via normal audio jacks. I can either mix prior to it going in or mix within it (probably the latter would be more interesting).
The sound quality of the recording should be decent and then I need the ability to save to a format and export it to my pc for later use (over wifi to say drop box would be ideal but probably wishful thinking.)
I don't want another laptop so a little box of tricks would be best - not got a massive budget.
Anything out there for me?
Sounds like you want a digital portastudio or multitrack recorder, like the Tascam DP03/08/24SD or Zoom R8/R16. They generally tend to have increasing number of tracks and simultanously active inputs (the cheaper models only have one or two stereo inputs despite havng 6 or 8 tracks, meaning you have ot record a track at a time), record onto an SD card and can also be used as a USB audio interface. Have a look here:
https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/hardware/multitrack-recorder (https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/hardware/multitrack-recorder)
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: Johnny Textface on June 22, 2018, 03:12:49 PM
Sounds like you want a digital portastudio or multitrack recorder, like the Tascam DP03/08/24SD or Zoom R8/R16. They generally tend to have increasing number of tracks and simultanously active inputs (the cheaper models only have one or two stereo inputs despite havng 6 or 8 tracks, meaning you have ot record a track at a time), record onto an SD card and can also be used as a USB audio interface. Have a look here:
https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/hardware/multitrack-recorder (https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/hardware/multitrack-recorder)

Cheers will have a look!
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: Sebastian Cobb on June 22, 2018, 03:27:33 PM
I might have a NAD phono pre-stage going for a sensible price if anyone needs it.

It'll do both moving coil and and moving magnet.
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: Cuntbeaks on June 22, 2018, 06:08:35 PM
Ah, cheers. I thought for a minute there may be a way to do the same on my destined for the tip Denon sacd player, but no handy usb input on that sadly.
I suppose im cheating a bit as my SACD is actually a BluRay player. It's decent enough in its own, plus I'm using an offboard DAC, so it didn't need to be mega high end to begin with.
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: Sebastian Cobb on June 22, 2018, 06:12:24 PM
If you're not using the sacd dac then it's not really doing something other than traversing the file system; a chromecast audio, raspberry pi or actual computer with jukebox software would be able to do the same job.
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: wasp_f15ting on June 22, 2018, 07:39:45 PM
The BK Electronics Monolith + sub arrived today.

It needs a bit of breaking in, but am glad it isn't boomy or flabby as the YST SW800. It is a very hefty sub at 48kg. The courier wasn't able to take it by himself.. it was a massive effort bringing it up to my mancave too.

I have tried a few tracks and it seems to work well at just adding weight where its needed below 56hz. I managed to shift my Naim Nait 3 in no time!

Now to research like crazy for a good turn table
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: Cuntbeaks on June 22, 2018, 09:55:43 PM
If you're not using the sacd dac then it's not really doing something other than traversing the file system; a chromecast audio, raspberry pi or actual computer with jukebox software would be able to do the same job.
I have the SACD running into the pre amp with RCAs for when I want to listen to the 4 discs i have. Best of both worlds.
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: Cuntbeaks on June 22, 2018, 09:59:58 PM
The BK Electronics Monolith + sub arrived today.

It needs a bit of breaking in, but am glad it isn't boomy or flabby as the YST SW800. It is a very hefty sub at 48kg. The courier wasn't able to take it by himself.. it was a massive effort bringing it up to my mancave too.

I have tried a few tracks and it seems to work well at just adding weight where its needed below 56hz. I managed to shift my Naim Nait 3 in no time!

Now to research like crazy for a good turn table

Sounds like a beast. Careful placement of the sub is critical in order to minimise any potential room modes. Do you employ any acoustic treatment in the room?
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: Sebastian Cobb on June 22, 2018, 10:02:02 PM
I have the SACD running into the pre amp with RCAs for when I want to listen to the 4 discs i have. Best of both worlds.

Presumably because your posh dac is incapable of decoding delta-sigma modulated files; it just sounds like your sacd machine is a bit pointless.
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: Cuntbeaks on June 22, 2018, 10:45:28 PM
It kinda is to certain degree, but it allows me play my four SACDs and gives me acces to a fuckton of FLACs, plus it only cost £40 on Bumtree. It is a stop gap until I save enough for a Linn DS. Would love a Klimax Renew DS 2 but Linn are now offering Katalyst upgrades to their Akurate range. Sourcing an Akurate DS and getting the upgrade would cost around 3K, but it would be bang up to date DAC tech.
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: wasp_f15ting on June 22, 2018, 11:04:42 PM
It does my head in that CD is the only physical media where you can upgrade elements of the system. I don't understand why a WAV file from my mac sounds so much worse than a CD.. Something is being added in the signal path.

I am tempted by the NAIM Uniti Core - maybe that has better isolated components to prevent noise.. who knows!

Given CD is all I can really enjoy I have been importing in Blu-Spec CDs and UHQCDs from Japan.. they might be same quality but the better build of the cases, the art work and the physical disc its worth doing. Oddly enough there aren't many people covering all of this on Youtube.. might start a channel for laughs
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: Sebastian Cobb on June 22, 2018, 11:30:35 PM
It kinda is to certain degree, but it allows me play my four SACDs and gives me acces to a fuckton of FLACs, plus it only cost £40 on Bumtree. It is a stop gap until I save enough for a Linn DS. Would love a Klimax Renew DS 2 but Linn are now offering Katalyst upgrades to their Akurate range. Sourcing an Akurate DS and getting the upgrade would cost around 3K, but it would be bang up to date DAC tech.

I just struggle to see the point; I see the point of a good DAC, but I just think it's a poor delivery mechanism.

You're going an order of magnitude better than I am in your audio equipment though, I'm happy with a NAD cd player.
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: Endicott on June 22, 2018, 11:57:13 PM
Now to research like crazy for a good turn table

If you find a Rega Planar 3 I recommend getting a couple of spare belts (they are cheap). And I'd also recommend leaving the belt completely off the platter when not in use. It's quite critical on 33 and will slow up if the belt is even slightly worn. In my experience. I still like it, it's a great budget table.
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: Sebastian Cobb on June 22, 2018, 11:58:41 PM
Get a lenco. They're the bestest with their unorthodox conical drive system.
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: wasp_f15ting on July 01, 2018, 04:37:03 PM
So.. I am a bit lost as to what turntable to get. I have a max budget of 1500, this will need to be a MM Cartridge turntable. I've been building up a very small Vinyl collection so just need to get something to play with now :P  Any suggestions?

Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: buzby on July 01, 2018, 06:25:26 PM
Fons CQ30s  come up fairly regularly on eBay for £100-200, usually denuded of thei SME tonearms they were originally supplied with ((or around £500-600 if the SME is still present) If you are handy with a saw, you can easily make a replacement armboard from ply or MDF and then you can fit any arm you want (such as a Rega RB series) and with that budget you could afford an MC cartridge too.

The Fons is a great turntable with some unique design features (its fully suspended and has analogue electronic variable speed control). They suffered from quality problems when they first came out, and that coupled with Robertson getting bled dry by the Tiefenbrun's lawyers over the RD11/LP12 patent dispute and his subsequent early death meant it wasn't in production long enough to get the reputation it deserves.
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: wasp_f15ting on July 02, 2018, 11:23:10 AM
I’ve gone for a clear audio concept. Seemed like a good option for a starter like me. Do I need a ground cable to go to both the power amp and the pre amp? Or will a cable to the pre amp be enough?
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: buzby on July 02, 2018, 01:38:23 PM
I’ve gone for a clear audio concept. Seemed like a good option for a starter like me. Do I need a ground cable to go to both the power amp and the pre amp? Or will a cable to the pre amp be enough?
Normally only grounded to the preamp. The preamp and power amp should have ground continuity from the signal ground of the interconnect cables between them. If they are relatively modern they will probably have double insulated power supplies and may not even have a chassis ground (i.e. connected to the earth pin of the mains plug).

If a power amp does have a chassis ground you will find a lot of 'advice' on US-based forums to use a 'cheater plug' (an adapter that fits between the mains plug and socket that disconnects the earth connection) in an attempt to reduce hum from ground loops, which is deplorable from a safety standpoint.
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: wasp_f15ting on July 03, 2018, 11:56:34 AM
Cheers Arrives today!

Shall report back
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: wasp_f15ting on July 03, 2018, 06:12:06 PM
Hmmm...

I was expecting a massive difference to CD.. I guess I should have tempered my expectations.
Nirvana Unplugged sounded a bit flabby and less punchy than the CD..

I'll have to try some other tracks tonight!
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: wasp_f15ting on July 13, 2018, 08:47:43 PM
What kind of cleaning routine do you use for your Vinyls? I have purchased a few used ones and they are horrendously noisy :(

Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: Cuntbeaks on July 13, 2018, 11:01:38 PM
This as an absolute minimum plus it's easy to make your own solution. Every record should be cleaned before use, especially new ones.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Knosti-1300001-DISCO-ANTISTAT-RECORD-CLEANER-Black/dp/B000BFXIVW (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Knosti-1300001-DISCO-ANTISTAT-RECORD-CLEANER-Black/dp/B000BFXIVW)

Then pop the clean vinyl into these beauties.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mobile-Fidelity-Original-Master-Sleeves/dp/B001LQSFKY (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mobile-Fidelity-Original-Master-Sleeves/dp/B001LQSFKY)
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: Sebastian Cobb on July 13, 2018, 11:26:09 PM
This as an absolute minimum plus it's easy to make your own solution. Every record should be cleaned before use, especially new ones.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Knosti-1300001-DISCO-ANTISTAT-RECORD-CLEANER-Black/dp/B000BFXIVW (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Knosti-1300001-DISCO-ANTISTAT-RECORD-CLEANER-Black/dp/B000BFXIVW)

Then pop the clean vinyl into these beauties.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mobile-Fidelity-Original-Master-Sleeves/dp/B001LQSFKY (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mobile-Fidelity-Original-Master-Sleeves/dp/B001LQSFKY)

+1.

Buy a litre (or gallon depending on how many records you own) of isopropyl alcohol, some deionized water (I just use the stuff meant for car batteries) and some surficant (photographic if you're posh, finish dishwasher shine if you're not) and mix them 200ml isop, 80ml water and 0.5ml (1/8th tsp if you've got some measuring spoons) surficant.

Oh and if you're going to all that effort get some outer sleeves. Also seeing as you need something to do while they're drying enter the catalogue numbers in discogs. The astute among you may be able to work out I've not finished the job:
https://www.discogs.com/user/gormo/collection?sort=artist&sort_order=asc&limit=250

By the way lots of records sound awful - some of this is down to mastering, some of it is due to how they were handled* before you got them (if they were used), how many records were pressed before you received yours (pressing plates wear out).

*sort of, scratches and dirt (dirt tends to be worse than scratches unless they're really bad) do add clicks and pops but I've had clean records that seem quite crackly and 2nd hand ones that are scuffed to fuck that sound ok.
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: wasp_f15ting on July 14, 2018, 12:06:25 PM
Cheers guys

I think I might invest in the pro-ject cleaner thingy.
I did get the mo-fi bags straight away..

So I have another query.. I got the below LP from Discogs
https://www.discogs.com/Gil-Ventura-Sax-Club-N16/release/4315728

Mainly because of the boobs
It sounds absolutely amazing.. in fact much better than all my brand new LPs pressed 2000 onwards. This was sealed, but how does an LP from 1977 sound so much punchier and clearer. What an earth is going on (https://tenor.com/ylkx.gif)
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: Cuntbeaks on July 14, 2018, 12:13:28 PM
I think it has do with that era being a golden age for vinyl and all the plants, procedures and technicians being at the top of their game.

One of the best sounding vinyls i have is a Donna Summer album i bought for 10p, specifically for I Feel Love. No inner sleeve, ripped outer, scuffed to within an inch of its life. Cleaned it up and it sounds as crisp and involving as any FLAC i have.

So yeah, be wary as fuck with new vinyl. Places like Boomkat will generally call out who is cutting any new albums they are selling.
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: Sebastian Cobb on July 14, 2018, 12:16:22 PM
Most pressing plants were scrapped in the '90s when cd's took over, the ones that survived are ancient and a bit knackered. The people who know how to service the lathes, people who know how to master records properly and people who make lacquers are all people who survived the scrappings and never stopped, they're all ancient. Before the vinyl revival they were able to keep things going and do a good job of what they were doing.

Since the vinyl revival they've not been able to keep up with demand. And alternative routes to making records have opened up. There's a load of pressing plants that have opened up in the Czech republic and they all use digilathes and don't bother to master things properly, you can give them some high quality .wavs and they'll cut it out to the riaa curve and it will sound shit.

tl;dr people knew what they were doing when records were the main medium.

It's not all bad though. There are some good represses going about and lots of niche things that do deserve to be bought to attention, Betty Davis and Doris Duke for instance. Magnificent. I'd say be wary of anything that was quite popular at the time and shouts about heavy vinyl (weight means very little in terms of sound quality), anniversary editions or fancy remasters. If you want a copy of Electric Ladyland or Dark Side of the Moon then there's heaps on discogs and you could probably find them in charity shops or car boots if you're lucky.
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: Sebastian Cobb on July 14, 2018, 12:18:22 PM
I think it has do with that era being a golden age for vinyl and all the plants, procedures and technicians being at the top of their game.

One of the best sounding vinyls i have is a Donna Summer album i bought for 10p, specifically for I Feel Love. No inner sleeve, ripped outer, scuffed to within an inch of its life. Cleaned it up and it sounds as crisp and involving as any FLAC i have.

So yeah, be wary as fuck with new vinyl. Places like Boomkat will generally call out who is cutting any new albums they are selling.

My old man had Donna's State of Independence on 12" single and that thing has some obscene low end in it.
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: Sebastian Cobb on July 14, 2018, 12:26:22 PM
Also there's loads of records that sound shit. CCR's Willie and the Poor Boys and Jefferson Airplane's Volunteers came out in 1969. Willie sounds great by any standards but Volunteers has levels all over the place. There's a remaster on spotify and you can tell they've tried quite hard but it's still not much better.
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: wasp_f15ting on July 14, 2018, 12:32:02 PM
For new Vinyls reissues from Third Man Records sound good, but after hearing this 1977 record I am going to do a lot more digging.

I wish someone would start a crowd funding site for a new Vinyl pressing plant, because that record was phenomenal. Even though its just a bunch of theme tunes the sound was really different..

I feel like my eyes have been opened somewhat!
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: Sebastian Cobb on July 14, 2018, 12:38:30 PM
For new Vinyls reissues from Third Man Records sound good, but after hearing this 1977 record I am going to do a lot more digging.

I wish someone would start a crowd funding site for a new Vinyl pressing plant, because that record was phenomenal. Even though its just a bunch of theme tunes the sound was really different..

I feel like my eyes have been opened somewhat!

Third Man is actually a new plant built by Jack White.
https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-features/inside-jack-whites-new-vinyl-pressing-paradise-110569/

The BBC showed a film last year called American Epic that told the story of the first mobile record cutting machines and how they took them out to the swamps to record roots music. Then it has modern musicians like Nas and Rhiannon Giddens covering them. I think Jack White had something to do with the making of it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qIj5rFxeHFo
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: Cuntbeaks on July 14, 2018, 01:02:08 PM
There is chat surrounding new HD Vinyl. Basically using lasers to cut the templates which results in much more detailed grooves and better reproduction. This then paves they way for styluses that can fit perfectly into said groove increasing the detail dramatically.

https://hdvinyl.org  (https://hdvinyl.org)
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: Sebastian Cobb on July 14, 2018, 01:07:07 PM
I looked and that and thought it was a bit of a gimmick tbh. The full potential of vinyl as is isn't being realised half the time.

Not to mention loads of studios are still producing in 44.1khz/16bit.

I think something that will be interesting is when the resolution of 3d printers gets fine enough to 3d print a record. Someone's already written some software to do it and has printed a proof of concept but the technology isn't there yet.

http://www.amandaghassaei.com/projects/3D_printed_record/
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: steveh on July 14, 2018, 01:25:21 PM
Not to mention loads of studios are still producing in 44.1khz/16bit.

I read something that said almost every cutting lathe in current use also has a 16-bit microcontroller so even if you've produced, mixed and mastered in analogue there's still a digital final stage.
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: Sebastian Cobb on July 14, 2018, 01:27:39 PM
I read something that said almost every cutting lathe in current use also has a 16-bit microcontroller so even if you've produced, mixed and mastered in analogue there's still a digital final stage.

Oh god it's like the time I took a photo I'd took to be professionally printed and had to get it exported to lossless .tiff only to look at the metadata on the back clearly state whatever went to the printer was now a .jpg.
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: wasp_f15ting on July 17, 2018, 05:10:52 PM
So gents I got a Rega Phono Stage.. bloody nora what a difference a small bit of kit makes!

I also got an acrylic turntable matt thing.

Next month I'll be getting a Vinyl cleaning machine. If any of you VCs need to use it let me know, as I want to share the fun!

I need to find an equipment rack on the cheap soon as it looks like it might all fall apart soon :p
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: buzby on July 18, 2018, 11:30:16 AM
I read something that said almost every cutting lathe in current use also has a 16-bit microcontroller so even if you've produced, mixed and mastered in analogue there's still a digital final stage.
At the professional level if they have any lathes upgraded to use microcontrollers it is only to control the speed of the stepper motors that move the cutting arm and spin the turntable. It's not in the audio path - the amplifiers and RIAA encoders are all analogue circuits. GZ, the world's biggest record manufacturer, have a system called Vinyl Visual Mastering (http://www.gzvinyl.com/Manufacturing/Mastering/New-mastering-system.aspx) that uses a computer to control the speed and arm position of the lathe to optimise the groove width and spacing to minimise distortion. The computer analyses the audio data (either directy from a digital master, or by digitising a tape master) prior to mastering, creating a virtual map of the groove which it can then use to control the lathe in real time.

GZ run 4 1980s Neumann VMS-82 Direct Metal Mastering lathes with full analogue audio paths. They use PrismSound Orpheus DA/AD converters for exporting digital masters to the lathes, or for making digital copies for the control system when VVM is being used with an analogue master). Last year Sony also installed a restored Neumann VMS-70 lathe in their Tokyo studio for vinyl mastering.
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: wasp_f15ting on July 18, 2018, 10:18:06 PM
Intriguing stuff!

I suggest the Third Man Records live stuff, it is so good and punchy!
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: wasp_f15ting on July 22, 2018, 07:01:15 PM
The saga continues...

I picked up some excellent quality records from my local record shop 5/6 need a good clean. (I am thinking of getting the pro-ject one - so if anyone wants to come to mine for a clean in the future your welcome!)

Anyway out of the records I picked up, there was this:-
https://www.discogs.com/The-Hollies-Confessions-Of-The-Mind/release/1576744

From 1970, this just sounds so damn good. Made in the UK by EMI it just has a phenomenal quality. The quality of the mastering rivals anything I heard today and really has a distinguishing sound that trounces the Spotify counterpart. I am running the Spotify version through a £1200 DAC and this still kicks the crap out of it.

This has proved to be an eye opener and slightly saddening that even the fabulous Third Man Records don't sound as well mastered as this EMI Vinyl.
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: buzby on July 23, 2018, 01:12:09 AM
This has proved to be an eye opener and slightly saddening that even the fabulous Third Man Records don't sound as well mastered as this EMI Vinyl.

Wait until you find something you like that was released or mastered and pressed e.g .Reader's Digest albums) by Decca...
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: Sebastian Cobb on July 23, 2018, 01:17:42 AM
Wait until you find something you like that was released or mastered and pressed e.g .Reader's Digest albums) by Decca...

Tango in the night; and they say records can't sound as bright as cd's.
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: wasp_f15ting on July 27, 2018, 10:26:02 PM
The pro-ject vinyl cleaner arrived.

Didn't realise it would be as good as to make most record shop 2nd hand stuff sound so pristine!
I'll be more adventurous now when I buy 2nd hand stuff.

I did some A/B comparisons of that Hollies album with Spotify's remastered version with my daughter who has far better hearing than I do.
Her observations were that the Spotify version sounds like there is no space in front of her, and the vocals sound like they are being shouted through a tin a can.

The biggest difference to me were the vocals and the orchestral pieces. Spotify may have badly mastered it, but man there is zero dynamics to it. I am glad I took the risk with vinyl
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: Sebastian Cobb on July 27, 2018, 10:51:04 PM
That sounds like the Spotify version has been brickwalled. There's a sad irony in the fact that cd's can achieve much better dynamic range than an well mastered lp yet records tend to have more dynamic range because there's also a physical limitation on how hard you can compress things. As it happens, both yYoutube and Spotify are fighting back against the loudness war by limiting things based on a dr rating; you can compress things all you like but it'll not 'sound' louder as they'll wind the volume down, all you're doing is slicing off the peaks.

In terms of record shop cleaning, most aren't good,they make them look clean, I've seen one guy in my local do records with a bottle of lighter fluid and a rag that looks like he's been checking his engine oil. They sound crackly as fuck, but usually come up fine after a clean.
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: Sebastian Cobb on July 28, 2018, 01:23:43 AM
I noticed the other day watching Westworld when they played the Stones Play With Fire it sounded all digital and polished, but I just had a play about on spotify and they have the mono version, despite being 'remastered' in 2002 it's got loads of tape hiss and saturation all over it and it's really good. It's almost as if digital systems are perfectly capable of capturing this and it's all in the mastering and transit.
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: wasp_f15ting on July 28, 2018, 08:56:49 AM
I think as much as I have found spotify useful in the past I am going to cancel it.

I get Tidal for £5.00 a month because I have a third man vault subscription.

I do find vinyl cleaning a laborious chore even with this machine :P I need to train my daughter up to automate it!

Have you guys seen Chord's M Scaler which got unveiled at Can Jam? - I can upscale CDs really well apparently.. I spoke to the guy who made it via head-fi and he's adamant its not just plugging data that isn't there in.
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: Sebastian Cobb on July 28, 2018, 08:58:56 AM
I wouldn't bother replacing Tidal for Spotify. They might do lossless but their library is tiny and full of heavily compressed rnb made by egomaniacs.

Also upscaling sounds like a terrible idea; 16/44.1 sounds great if done well (listen to Neil Young's Harvest and tell me it sounds 'digital'), it's almost certainly snake oil.

Don't get sucked into the pseudoscience area of audiophilia; I'd hate to see you buying a very expensive power lead or some magic pens to draw on cd's to stop the light shimmering.
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: wasp_f15ting on July 28, 2018, 09:32:51 AM
I had the same concerns about the MScaler, not sure if what he's saying makes sense:-

"Interesting post - I am actually not adding in any more information - the information is all contained in the original bandwidth limited sampled signal. but what we have is sampled data, and what we need is a continuous un-sampled signal - and we need to do a huge amount of processing to do this without error. I will give you an example. Imagine a sine wave. You can state it's a sine wave; give its frequency and its amplitude. So the information content is fixed; but if you want a waveform of infinite length, and precision, then you would need an infinite amount of processing to create the infinite number of points. And with the sampled data, we can convert it to a continuous signal - with exactly the same information content - and recover the original bandwidth limited continuous signal - if and only if you do an infinite amount of processing and use an ideal sinc function interpolation filter. So I am not trying to create new information - actually we are converting from a sampled bandwidth limited signal to a continuous with exactly the same information. The problem with conventional filters is they are the ones that are adding extra information, as the interpolated signal is different from the original. What I am trying to do is merely reduce these errors, which are audible as it degrades the timing of transients - something which is essential from human psychoacoustics."
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: Sebastian Cobb on July 28, 2018, 09:37:54 AM
Yeah that's bollocks.

Think of it like cutting something that's been sampled at a low sample rate to vinyl (which being analogue has an infinte sample-rate) and sampling it at a higher rate.
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: wasp_f15ting on July 28, 2018, 10:42:01 AM
The immediate comparison I thought of was interpolation on SD - HD up scalers.
It looks shit, so I can't imagine this being any better.

Its amazing he's trying to sell that for £3500 and I am sure there will be those who buy it..
I'll have a listen to see what it is about at my dealers obvs!

I think I should just collect my records and CDs now since I am relatively happy with my set up.
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: a duncandisorderly on July 28, 2018, 10:44:35 AM
I had the same concerns about the MScaler, not sure if what he's saying makes sense:-

"the information is all contained in the original bandwidth limited sampled signal. but what we have is sampled data, and what we need is a continuous un-sampled signal - and we need to do a huge amount of processing to do this without error.....What I am trying to do is merely reduce these errors, which are audible as it degrades the timing of transients - something which is essential from human psychoacoustics."

what he's saying is along the right lines, but what he's doing (basically oversampling) won't retrieve information (the transient timing he mentions) which has been discarded by the 44.1kHz sampling rate.
nyquist states that a frequency can be reproduced accurately by using a sample frequency roughly double the highest frequency you want to capture. this is true, but the representation you can then recover of that frequency is missing a lot of data in the time domain. the assumption, in most versions of the theory that you'll see on the web, is that the samples are to be used to reconstruct perfect sine waves; there's seldom a discussion about transients, rapidly rising edges, asymmetrical waveforms, the sorts of awkward things that real sounds do in open air.

analogue systems can also make a right hash of all this, but they tend to do so in a slightly more pleasing way &, if enough care is taken over their engineering, they will yield more accurate results than 44.1/16, up to their own resolution (analogous to sample frequency & bit-depth) which is determined by the granularity of the material used to carry the signal (so, magnetic particle size, vinyl composition, & the devices used to write/read same). not infinite, note...

another thing to remember about 44.1/16 is that it was the best that could be reliably & cheaply put onto 120mm shiny discs using late 70s technology, & we were immediately painted into a corner by its wide adoption.

by the time things were advanced enough for the labels to reissue everything on shiny discs at a better sampling rate, greater bit-depth, a few bad things had happened:

the master tapes were fucked.
the machines needed to play them were fucked.
people had forgotten how to use their ears & couldn't remaster things properly anyway.
consumers had had enough of being sold the same catalogue in different formats.
consumers had moved on & were listening to shitty MP3s & streams with dropped packets, & didn't care.

it's depressing, if you let it be.
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: Sebastian Cobb on July 28, 2018, 10:44:51 AM
Well upscaling can work well in some cases. Most 4k films are filmed at 2k and upscaled but they use equipment that costs millions of pounds rather than the chips in a telly that cost pence. If you're doing it in real-time it's probably not going to be any good.

In terms of audio I don't think upscaling will usually yield good results, and if you are doing so you want to make sure you're upscaling to something that is a factor of the original sample frequency otherwise it's going to be aliasing.
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: Sebastian Cobb on July 28, 2018, 10:47:20 AM

another thing to remember about 44.1/16 is that it was the best that could be reliably & cheaply put onto 120mm shiny discs using late 70s technology, & we were immediately painted into a corner by its wide adoption.


Also it was capable of being captured nicely on a umatic video tape.
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: a duncandisorderly on July 28, 2018, 11:05:13 AM
Also it was capable of being captured nicely on a umatic video tape.

again, reliable & cheap. by the time sony et al decided to make digital tape available for the consumer (& remember r-DAT was originally intended to be a consumer format; an early adopted mate of mine had his DAT walkman in a bracket in his alfa spyder, ffs), we were stuck with the accepted belief that 44.1 or 48 kHz was good enough. this meant that it was possible to make digital audio tape stupidly small (& therefore not terribly robust) instead of making the cassettes a more sensibly size & using this to accommodate more data, or at least better protected data (redundant bits & so on).
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: wasp_f15ting on July 28, 2018, 11:05:47 AM
So depressing..

The really horrible thing that is going on at the moment is for hi-res files people on HDTracks and Qobuz are taking CDs and changing the file format to DSD and 192khz / 24bit and charging 3 - 4 x CD prices. This whole industry needs a bit of bloody regulation. So many cunts thieving old men's retirement salaries
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: Sebastian Cobb on July 28, 2018, 11:11:04 AM
again, reliable & cheap. by the time sony et al decided to make digital tape available for the consumer (& remember r-DAT was originally intended to be a consumer format; an early adopted mate of mine had his DAT walkman in a bracket in his alfa spyder, ffs), we were stuck with the accepted belief that 44.1 or 48 kHz was good enough. this meant that it was possible to make digital audio tape stupidly small (& therefore not terribly robust) instead of making the cassettes a more sensibly size & using this to accommodate more data, or at least better protected data (redundant bits & so on).

'member dcc though?

my old man was a pmr radio engineer who worked for effectively the same company that got bought out, after they were pYe they were philips which means he got massive discounts on their consumer kit, some were wise purchases (CD104) some bad (CDI). Thankfully he never bought one of those.
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: a duncandisorderly on July 28, 2018, 11:14:07 AM
So depressing..

The really horrible thing that is going on at the moment is for hi-res files people on HDTracks and Qobuz are taking CDs and changing the file format to DSD and 192khz / 24bit and charging 3 - 4 x CD prices. This whole industry needs a bit of bloody regulation. So many cunts thieving old men's retirement salaries

agreed. you can also see on ebay loads of listings for "master tapes" which are quarter-inch tapes dressed up to look like studio masters but which are in fact just a normal CD copied onto tape at 7.5 or 15 ips. I occasionally service tape decks for people, & if it's a high-speed revox or similar, I'll try to steer them away from this sort of crap.
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: Sebastian Cobb on July 28, 2018, 11:19:05 AM
The big irony about a lot of this audiophile nonsense is that even if you ignore a lot of it being pseudoscience, by the time you're old enough to afford it you're probably too deaf to notice anyway.

I've got a quad 303 and some linn kans. The top on the Kans is excellent but the low end isn't as good as I'd like, might swap them for some vintage Kef's (C40's or something) or some Tannoys at some point.

That techmoan geezer on youtube was trying to say that tape progressively got worse because quarter inch was originally single channel but then got squished to 2 channels to make it bidirectonal, then four. Whilst what he says about bandwidth is true it completely ignores how much better tape got chemically and how heads got much better, it's a croc of shit.
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: a duncandisorderly on July 28, 2018, 11:20:57 AM
'member dcc though?


I took one look at DCC.... again, trying to get a quart out of a thimble. rDAT would've been better if they'd used the video-8 cassette & transport for it, but it would still have been 44.1 or 48 at 20 bits tops, & quarter inch would still make it sound crap. I don't know what they thought DCC was going to achieve. a decent analogue cassette would always give it a good spanking.
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: a duncandisorderly on July 28, 2018, 11:22:33 AM
The big irony about a lot of this audiophile nonsense is that even if you ignore a lot of it being pseudoscience, by the time you're old enough to afford it you're probably too deaf to notice anyway.

I've got a quad 303 and some linn kans. The top on the Kans is excellent but the low end isn't as good as I'd like, might swap them for some vintage Kef's (C40's or something) or some Tannoys at some point.

ain't that the truth.

I've always had tannoys. currently cheviots (12") & DMT8s, with some genelec 8030s for near-field. but I'm a bassist. I want that bottom octave there properly.
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: Sebastian Cobb on July 28, 2018, 11:22:59 AM
I took one look at DCC.... again, trying to get a quart out of a thimble. rDAT would've been better if they'd used the video-8 cassette & transport for it, but it would still have been 44.1 or 48 at 20 bits tops, & quarter inch would still make it sound crap. I don't know what they thought DCC was going to achieve. a decent analogue cassette would always give it a good spanking.

Apparently those DCC machines are supposedly very good analogue tape decks in their own right. You'd just buy a nakamichi or something though wouldn't you?
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: a duncandisorderly on July 28, 2018, 11:29:22 AM
Apparently those DCC machines are supposedly very good analogue tape decks in their own right. You'd just buy a nakamichi or something though wouldn't you?

I have a couple of naks, yes... a revox, several technics, sonys, marantz, braun, akai, tascam.... I have a lot of cassette machines.

I use a walkman in public, & fuck what anyone thinks. my DD33 is on the desk here now.
I've never had a cassette tangle on me in over forty years. I have a fair few quarter inch machines too, mostly revox/studer.
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: olliebean on July 28, 2018, 04:56:51 PM
Have you guys seen Chord's M Scaler which got unveiled at Can Jam? - I can upscale CDs really well apparently.. I spoke to the guy who made it via head-fi and he's adamant its not just plugging data that isn't there in.

I mean, the big clue that it's bullshit is that the thing he's adamant it's not doing is literally all it possibly can be doing.
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: a duncandisorderly on July 28, 2018, 06:30:37 PM
I mean, the big clue that it's bullshit is that the thing he's adamant it's not doing is literally all it possibly can be doing.

^ that.
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: Sebastian Cobb on September 23, 2018, 06:47:20 PM
Right, after years of being 'a bit dodgy' and needing a good warm up and a slap before working properly my NAD C521bee has given up and consistently displays 'no disc'.

This is a common fault apparently. It broke in warranty and got fixed.

By the looks of it, it's only a tenner to replace the laser assembly:
https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.co.uk%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F321754651013

But the garbled English in the description is confusing me
Presumably as an antistatic protection something in the assembly has been soldered to ground. But it mentions something about needing a special iron to sort it maybe?

I've got a temperature controlled iron that's basically a poor man's weller, I usually use it at about 370 degrees. Will this work? I have a solder pump and flux.
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: a duncandisorderly on September 28, 2018, 05:29:04 AM
Right, after years of being 'a bit dodgy' and needing a good warm up and a slap before working properly my NAD C521bee has given up and consistently displays 'no disc'.

This is a common fault apparently. It broke in warranty and got fixed.

By the looks of it, it's only a tenner to replace the laser assembly:
https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.co.uk%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F321754651013

But the garbled English in the description is confusing me
Presumably as an antistatic protection something in the assembly has been soldered to ground. But it mentions something about needing a special iron to sort it maybe?

I've got a temperature controlled iron that's basically a poor man's weller, I usually use it at about 370 degrees. Will this work? I have a solder pump and flux.

you'll be fine with that- he's being a little over-cautious. I think... if you look in the first image, right at the lower edge of the board that has the connector on the other side, there are a pair of solder pads bridged, that go off via traces back to the rear of the connector. I suspect it's that that needs unbridging. it'll be to stop that delicate pre-amp getting fried when you decide to install the new laser with a VDGG album nearby.....

I changed the laser in one of my sony carousels (I have four of the beasts, 400 discs in each) & it was pretty much plug-&-play; I didn't have to do any of this nonsense, but these things vary.
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: buzby on September 28, 2018, 08:41:58 AM
Right, after years of being 'a bit dodgy' and needing a good warm up and a slap before working properly my NAD C521bee has given up and consistently displays 'no disc'.

This is a common fault apparently. It broke in warranty and got fixed.

By the looks of it, it's only a tenner to replace the laser assembly:
https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.co.uk%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F321754651013

But the garbled English in the description is confusing me
Presumably as an antistatic protection something in the assembly has been soldered to ground. But it mentions something about needing a special iron to sort it maybe?

I've got a temperature controlled iron that's basically a poor man's weller, I usually use it at about 370 degrees. Will this work? I have a solder pump and flux.

He's referring to an iron with a grounded tip. Most soldering irons are ungrounded, an ESD-protected iron has the tip grounded to earth. Most cheap domestic soldering irons (that usually have the heating element powered direct from the mains) don't have total isolation and you will get a small induced current at the tip, which is why in his description he mentions unplugging the iron once it's heated up before using it to break the protective solder link.

If your iron doesn't have a grounded tip (ususally identified by having a 3-core mains flex with an earth connection, or a female 4mm banana grounding socket on the base station that allows it to be connected to an earthing point) his solution of unplugging the iron once it's got to temperature will work (you only need to wipe it across the solder bridged pads on the PCB that Duncan has pointed out). Just make sure not to wear a nylon shirt or polyester slacks while you are doing it.

Ungrounded irons have their place too - if you ever have to work on live circuits that can't be powered off easily, a grounded iron is the last thing you want.
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: a duncandisorderly on September 28, 2018, 09:12:53 PM
Ungrounded irons have their place too - if you ever have to work on live circuits that can't be powered off easily, a grounded iron is the last thing you want.

my weller is grounded via its base-station, & I've forgotten once or twice. it's easy to just pull the little bulgin out & strike while the iron's hot, as it were.
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: Sebastian Cobb on September 29, 2018, 03:01:48 PM
Cheers both of you.

This is a dc iron, like a cheap copy of a weller, does the job though.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/60W-Soldering-Iron-Station-Rework-Kit-Variable-Temperature-Stand-Digital-LED-WEP/113164467802?epid=18021704060&hash=item1a5920be5a:g:QaAAAOSwOD9bVt7L

Although it looks like it's got 3 core it won't be grounded at the moment 'cos it came with a europlug and an adaptor. I'll just switch it off when it's up to temp.
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: a duncandisorderly on September 29, 2018, 08:09:43 PM
Cheers both of you.

This is a dc iron, like a cheap copy of a weller, does the job though.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/60W-Soldering-Iron-Station-Rework-Kit-Variable-Temperature-Stand-Digital-LED-WEP/113164467802?epid=18021704060&hash=item1a5920be5a:g:QaAAAOSwOD9bVt7L

Although it looks like it's got 3 core it won't be grounded at the moment 'cos it came with a europlug and an adaptor. I'll just switch it off when it's up to temp.

remember to wear one of them wrist-strap things & chain the other end to a radiator. you might need to cut a small slit in the arm of your hazmat suit to let the chain through; seal this up as well as you can with duct tape, & leave the work-area every five minutes for at least five minutes. the blob of solder you remove may have lead in it; this needs weee-wasting properly.

:-)
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: Sebastian Cobb on November 04, 2018, 12:47:53 PM
The laser for this has arrived but I'm full of cold and medicating with Jura so am not going to attempt to fit it.

I have two questions though, probably mostly for Buzby again. I'm currently using a Quad 303/33 with some Linn Kans, I love the top but they're just a bit small and not bassy enough. The guy I bought them off dabbles in hifi it would seem and has some Kef C40's for sale for 95 quid. Would they be a good replacement? Before I had the Kans I used Kef Cresta's and they were pretty good, beasted the floorstanders they replaced.

Secondly, can anyone recommend a headphone amp? The Quad doesn't have a headphone out, and I'm lead to believe the 33 isn't powerful enough to drive headphones directly, so I was planning on attaching something to the tape out.
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: buzby on November 04, 2018, 09:38:27 PM
I have two questions though, probably mostly for Buzby again. I'm currently using a Quad 303/33 with some Linn Kans, I love the top but they're just a bit small and not bassy enough. The guy I bought them off dabbles in hifi it would seem and has some Kef C40's for sale for 95 quid. Would they be a good replacement? Before I had the Kans I used Kef Cresta's and they were pretty good, beasted the floorstanders they replaced.
The Kef C40s should be a big step uo from the Kans, The Kans only has a single Kef B110 130mm driver, so their bass output is going to be limited (from the specs, they have a bass rolloff of 5dB at 90Hz, but bass response starts rolling off at just below 1kHz). The Kef C40 is a 2.5way design (it uses 2 B200 200mm drivers, with one being cut off so it is dedicated to reproducing bass) and has a 3db rolloff frequency range of 68Hz-20kHz, o they should be substantially better at bass reproduction.and the 303 shouldn't have any problem in driving them.

The C40 in particular had a reputation as a 'rock' speaker when it came out, though the audiophone cognoscenti regarded the Cx0-series as a bit naff (they weren't built to the same standard as Kef's Reference series speakers) and not in keeping with Kef's reputation. They are better regarded than the follow-up Cx5 series though.

The only things to to look out for are the condition of the rubber suspension on the cones (which is a common thing to check for all old speakers) and that the voice coils on the B200s are ok - they can get 'cooked' if overloaded by high input levels for a significant length of time (given they are 100W speakers and were meant to be played loud, it would have had to be a high overload, like using them for a party in a big hall).
Quote
Secondly, can anyone recommend a headphone amp? The Quad doesn't have a headphone out, and I'm lead to believe the 33 isn't powerful enough to drive headphones directly, so I was planning on attaching something to the tape out.
The 303 manual has a circuit diagram for a headphone output, which uses 8 banana sockets, a headphone socket, a couple of 100ohm and 10ohm resistors to limit the output and a switch to select between the headphones or speakers. I built one and put it in a nice little box and it works fine witohut needing a separate headphone amp. QED used to sell a ready built headphone attenuator (the MA18, I think) with a built in volume control on it, but it's discontinued now.
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: Sebastian Cobb on November 04, 2018, 10:31:44 PM
Cheers buzby, what's the top like on the c40's? Have you heard them? For a ton I'm tempted to gamble.
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: buzby on November 04, 2018, 11:31:45 PM
Cheers buzby, what's the top like on the c40's? Have you heard them? For a ton I'm tempted to gamble.
Not heard them myself. They were around when I used to pore over What HiFi? drooling over things I couldn't afford. £100 is around the price they go for in the UK, based on ebay and Gumtree prices.

There's few demos of them on youtube and they sound pretty balanced (with the usual provisos about the camera microphone and youtube compression etc.):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zS2JhR6Y44o (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zS2JhR6Y44o)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGIbMoJKDHg (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGIbMoJKDHg)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9LzKdfzAcc (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9LzKdfzAcc)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fadp9kplgqA (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fadp9kplgqA)

There's a very in-depth and mostly positive user review here (http://www.audioreview.com/product/speakers/bookshelf-speakers/kef/c-40.html) too. It does mention about the second driver being a passive radiator, but one fo the other posters corrects that - it was the C40D with the passive radiator instead of the second driver, which looked quite different
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: wasp_f15ting on December 22, 2018, 02:42:57 PM
My AKG N40 started to crackle a little bit, so I ended up getting a good deal on the Shure SE846

Now.. I am feeling like the AK70 DAP is holding it back a little, and have seen a second hand AK380 on for sale in a forum for a good price..
Not sure how diminishing the returns will be on a DAP of that pedigree, do any of you have an AK380?
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: Sebastian Cobb on January 06, 2019, 03:41:11 PM
I finally got round to replacing the laser in my NAD over Christmas. It was easier than I thought it would be, the main difficulty I encountered was trying to get the lid off without stripping the rather tight yet rather soft screws.

It looks like I've missed out on those Kefs, I put it off in November and they were about at Christmas still, I was going to ring but then got a blocked ear so didn't bother. I'm glad I didn't now as I've had a poke around ebay and it looks like I could get some 104's/Cadenza's/Concerto's for slightly more (and sometimes less) and they look more in fitting with the vintage of a quad. In fact there's some Caprice's on ebay at the minute that look alright (I've heard them listed as a bit like a bassier ls35/a, which is what the Kans are derived from and sort of what I'm after) although I think I'll take my time, I've always liked the oval woofers/radiators in the other models.
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: Sebastian Cobb on January 26, 2019, 11:54:43 AM
(https://www.dogsonacid.com/attachments/img_20190126_010058410-jpg.155351/)

I treated myself. They sound lovely and fill the room better than the linns. Will probably recap the crossovers shortly just 'cos of their age.
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: Sebastian Cobb on February 16, 2019, 12:46:11 AM
Right so two weeks I've alternated between thinking these were a bit light on bass (but could growl), or are possibly a bit too bright (but lovely on top). Throughout that I'd not bothered to have the covers on. I waved them over my ears and they're not transparent, nor are they filled with foam. Was this something manufacturers accounted for?
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: a duncandisorderly on February 16, 2019, 07:33:47 AM
Right so two weeks I've alternated between thinking these were a bit light on bass (but could growl), or are possibly a bit too bright (but lovely on top). Throughout that I'd not bothered to have the covers on. I waved them over my ears and they're not transparent, nor are they filled with foam. Was this something manufacturers accounted for?

possibly. my DMT8s (tannoys with 8" dual-concentric drivers) came without grille-cloth frames, but even with them, I found them brittle, harsh even. I padded down the tweeter with some resistors, basically just knocked 3dB off them, & now they're fine. if the kefs seem bass-light at all, it may just be where or how they're stood. what are the stands like?
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: Sebastian Cobb on February 16, 2019, 10:56:05 AM
Relatively sturdy jobs I got for 15 quid on gumtree. I could fill them with sand but I reckon the biggest difference that would make is being a bigger pain when moving house.

(https://i.imgur.com/BFvIQBZr.jpg)

I've currently got them sat half a metre off the wall as the manual advises (unusual to get that with 40 year old speakers), shoving them back against the wall would probably make them bassier. Could probably get away with that, given they're not ported and thus not boomy.

You can see there's two bits of thickish (RS best LT cable) wire coming off them, one of their predecessors was bi-wirable and since then I've always stuffed both pairs in on the grounds it's basically twice as thick innit?

I'm tempted to replace the caps in the crossovers, falcon audio do matched kits, but from what I've read it's usually the top-end that goes when the caps are getting ropey.
Title: Re: Audio Equipment Thread
Post by: Sebastian Cobb on February 16, 2019, 03:08:15 PM
Pushed them back against the wall and now they sound great. Thanks for listening (har).

Will probably replace the caps though.