Description

Audio Hobby Thoughts, Philosophy & System Description 

Current Room Anchors - Room 1 and 2 active

Room 1 - Matrix 800's anchors -  for creating that ..........Maxell Tape Effect. 
Room 2 - (Adjacent to Room 1) - Quad 57 + two Dynaudio BM12s subs - Midrange reference
Room 3 - Acoustat Model 3 - Modded - upstairs - For imaging larger than life  (literally speaking) - see last picture. Unfortunately is next to my wifes TV room. So it gets limited use.
 
Stored - B&W Electrostatic DM70c Continental - Wife calls them the washing machines. John Bowers called them his favorite speaker.   Very interesting and very rare. Could anchor a room but they need special placement and lots of room. ESL portion needs to be 100% functional and at ear level or they will sound soft. 

Room 2 is mostly digital, guests, and used for trialing used unplayed records before they make the queue for room 1.  Room 1 has been called by my family as Dads Hole. I prefer panic room as it helped to raise my kids and stay married...so far. 

Psychology Part 

Music is critical to ones health and well being. I went through a couple stretches in life due to events without it and the results were not good. The goal for me to get lost in the music and have it transport me to that special place. Now whether you get there by a typical 2 channel home stereo with speakers, headphones, or other means is not important. Getting there is the important part.  

Audiophile not.....

Have always been the type that if I frequent a room enough, a system usually ends up in there. My wife finally put an end to this, and allows me to do what I want in the full basement of our house.....so..... In this described virtual system, I have had Room A since 1994. Adjacent Room B is in the process of being finished, but I have been using it for listening for a few years now adding in room treatments as needed.   

History 

Like many others, have been at this audio hobby since I was about 13 when I was consciously aware of the gear versus the actual music relationship. I am now 55 and currently with two adjacent music rooms setup with different gear. Both rooms can do full orchestra symphonies with large dynamic swings. Getting Room B with the Quad 57's to do this was a challenge; but I was able to get it to work with the right amps and powered subs. The Quads require a very different room acoustic setup over the Matrix 800's in Room A.  

I am a pure amateur, audiophile, music lover, past trombone player, and have never been part of the Audio Business as a manufacturer, dealer, distributor, or have any special interest relationships with any of these people. I consider myself a full time music lover, and part time audiophile; although I have friends that could argue this point. I have tried to upload pics and information here, that give a flavor of some of my audio journeys, and associated bouts of Audiophilia Nervosa.  :^)

"Audio Heaven, is for Music Lovers - Audiophiles are never happy.
With that, in the real, authentic, Heaven;  there is room, even for Audiophiles"  
8^0


Living in the country

Having moved away from the city core in the 90's, I have found that audiophiles away from the cities, are in general, scare to find and or keep to themselves. Many of my audio friends are now remote, due to the distance between us; so only virtual communications are possible most of the time. 

The negative aspects of Isolation aside;  one good aspect of living in the country is the clean power and lack of noise and vibrations caused by traffic, trucks, etc...Once experienced and its effect on your listening, you become very aware of the multitude of audiophile products available as band aids, to cover, veil, but never eliminate these artifacts in densely populated areas. 

Thanks for reading and please say Hi.  

Happy Listening  


Read more...

Room Details

Dimensions: 24’ × 20’  Large
Ceiling: 8’


Components Toggle details

    • My Music Library Records, Tape, Cd's, Files.
    I was born in the 60's so I grew up with Classic Rock, Beatles, etc... But I love all music, new music and Opera hits home with me. I played trombone in Jr and High school so the Bass Clef has a bias with me.  Listen more now to the ladies crooning at me, Classical and Jazz with occasional Classical Rock; I think a well recorded full Orchestra Symphony with huge Dynamic swings has the most magic for me.
    • ***** MAIN ROOM aka Panic Room, Dad's Hole, ....*****
    I have had Room A since 1994. It has 3 dedicated lines 20, 20 , 15. This room is personal use. Room B is more for entertaining and spending time with friends. 

    Room A is much better insulated and isolated from my wife. As much as I would like to move the Matrix 800's to the larger Room B space to try them, it would probably just get me that much more trouble.  

    Room A and B are both located on a concrete poured floor. A has a an underpad and flat carpet on top. Spikes from gear stands and speakers are able to penetrate to the concrete with no problem ensuring a solid mechanical connection. The speakers are located 6 feet from the front wall with the room being 24 ft in length. Putting in the 800's over the 801's meant that some of the room treatments were able to be removed due to the 800's double woofers high and low.  This is also one of the reasons I call them very room friendly.
    • RTR - Studer Tape Deck - For Listening & Vinyl Tuning
    RTR - Studer - used to play 15 IPS Tapes. 
     
    1/4 inch 2 track machine. The three pictures attached. Top Left - known as two turntables. my machine being worked on Middle pic - 807 Top Right Pic. A picture of Roger Ginsley with a 48 track machine he is about to split into two 24 tracks. My Studer 807 is calibrated by him. He is also the one that makes the interconnects I use with it.
    • JC Verdier La Platine Vintage Granito Original Design
    2012 

    http://www.jcverdier.com/ADSL/platineVintage.html 

    Just a delight to use. With its presentation, sends the message home that it is all amount the music. Effortless, seamless, but experience is needed is setting up the thread. A real Goldilocks scenario of the thread being too loose, too tight or just right.  Different thread tensions alternate how the motor and platter work together and change the speed. The objective is to get the correct speed with as little effect from the motor. ....  
     
    Original design. Granito Model My version uses a motor only equipped for thread Granito base and solid aluminum billet armpod. The later newer motors are equipped now for belts too - but no one runs them this way that I know of. This decision was made imo to generate more sales as it is easier to setup. But imo the belt grip would play havoc with the motor / magnets marriage which was designed for thread. I would think that belt stretch and its physical changes with temp and humidity changes would also cause problems, and interfere with the natural braking action of the magnets. This is my opinion as mine is thread only. There is a greater learning curve involved with thread. 

    This is the only turntable I am aware of whose platter design includes both acceleration (inertia) and braking (natural forces from same pole magnets) to deal with the records behavior - going from soft to heavily modulated grooves. The motor design, like a marriage with the platter. Think of the childhood merry go rounds that once up to speed - even a little girl could keep them going. To understand how the motor and platter are like a marriage, one need only turn the motor off and the platter spins for 30 seconds with the thread attached. However cut the thread while the platter is turning, and the platter stops much quicker as the two magnets demonstrate their braking capability. Impressive to me is just the plain simplicity of design using physics to get the job done with a piece of string and magnets. I found it important in setup to have the thread positioned in a way that is the least intrusive on the platter; so as to allow the platter to not only do its job as designed; but to also provide the needed jolts as required from the motor to maintain speed stability. 

     In my opinion - you will know when you have set it up properly because you are able to turn the motor off and on and also deflect the thread with your finger - as the records plays - and not affect the music delivery to your ears. I base this when compared directly to 15 IPS Master Tape dubs. In testing for accuracy I run both simultaneously with one lagging 10 seconds behind the other and switch between the two - compensating for gain as tape is a high level signal. When the thread is setup in this fashion there is minimal stress put on it. The current silk thread I am using has recently passed the one year mark. Overall Big Sound from a small piece of thread. 

    Some facts Magnetic bearing design. Brass colored rings are big shielded permanent magnets; same magnet poles repelling each other. The result is "levitation" the space you see between them. No thrust bearing involved. A central spindle bathed in a special oil keeps them aligned. For me personally I did not know what TT bearing noise sounded like until I heard music on a TT without a physical bearing. The plinth is made of Granito. Granito is not real granite but a non-resonant material that looks and feels like granite. A limited edition model.

     "Granito is a material composed by little pieces of marble of very different origin agglomerated inside a mold with cement. Machined and polished. The resonance of the plinth with its suspension is about 5Hz and it is well absorbed by the air cavities." 

    Mr. JC Verdier Note: Newer Platines are provided with a setup bearing. The manual is very clear on the setup bearing. It is just that - a setup tool only. COUNTERFEIT PLATINES Unfortunately there are non-authentic tables out there worldwide from 20 different counterfeiting makers. These tables are out there with people using them. If anyone is unaware of this, see the Platine Information on the JC Verdier website for more info.

    http://www.jcverdier.com/ADSL/platineV.html]Platine 

    The only advice I can give is when buying a Verdier Platine you should be careful to ensure it is a real Platine, especially if buying privately. If you already have one and have doubts, check with an authorized dealer or J.C. Verdier company in France to ensure it is authentic.  
    • Custom Eminent Technology Model 2.5 for MC Carts
    This is a custom build ET 2.5 Tonearm from Bruce Thigpen - A 19 PSI design.I am using the new Long I Beam. Weights are reduced by half and therefore the vertical inertia is higher - a goal of the design. The Aluminum Gooseneck was sourced from NZ. It was through Richard Krebs also an ET2 owner.  I am using Single Shot WBT wiring, Aluminum mount plate. Magnesium armtube. Double Leaf Spring and damping trough. If you are an ET2 owner you know what I am talking about :^).... Advantages of the ET2 airbearing linear tracker tonearm - no VTF changes with VTA adjustment, no offset setup, antiskating and immunity to acoustic feedback, as it rides on film of air. 

    https://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr.pl?eanlg&1325551242&&&/Eminent-Technology-ET-2-Tonearm-Owners

    One shot wire. Run at 19 PSI. Damping trough with 1 cc of Oil. Lead weights at the very end of the I Beam.

    VTA on the fly while the record plays and it doesn't change any parameters (VTF) like all other tonearms do. This is due to a patented VTA on the fly system. Have you ever noticed how with same thickness records....some can sound brighter, some bloated and some just right? When they press the records the different plants can have different standards. Records are then cut with varying angles.. even same thickness ones.

    See ET2 Bass Management Below
    • Tonearm Wiring Loom - One shot WBT NextGen
    2011 One shot wiring loom for the ET 2.5. WBT 0102 CU connectors. The design of the ET2 (2.5) allows for this wiring to be changed out in about 10 minutes. Silver and copper can be experimented with.
    • The PUMP ET2
    Life Support for the ET2's.
    Timeter 3000 Medical Industrial Pump. The most important part of the ET2 arms setup. Industrial commercial grade medical pump. Its actually a patient respirator.

    These have an hours counter and come up for sale cheaply on ebay. If you have space in your basement somewhere they are turnkey once set up.

    I have tried large aquarium pumps, smaller medical pumps, compressors.

    This Timeter Medical 50 psi pump has been customized to allow me to regulate air pressure coming out and send 19 psi to the ET2 tonearms. Another regulator with gauge at the arm allows me to accurately adjust for the PSI coming into the arm. Located in another room -cannot be heard in sound room when running.


    The smoothness of air delivery is excellent. No resonance. The pump dumps/expels moisture like a car's AC. Have never seen a drop in the moisture collector; other than one incident when the pump outlet clogged with minerals from the moisture. I now soak the pump outlet in CLR for 2 hours every two months.

    • ET2 In Room Air Regulator & Filter
    2nd Regulator and Filter on wall near the ET arm. Confirms and controls the 19 psi and also filters out moisture in line. Have never seen any moisture in this filter. This device lets me change the pressure going to the arm by just turning the top mounted knob. This regulator is mobile. It can be placed in my lap while the music is playing and pressure adjusted to hear how it affects the music delivery.
    • Audio Research DAC8
    From a DAC only function perspective identical to the ARC REF DAC except the output stage is tubed on the REF. Interesting read.  :^)

     http://www.audioresearch.com/ContentsFiles/DAC8_white_paper.pdf

     
    • Audio Research SP11 - MKII Pre Amp Modded
    Owned many many years. Modded power supply box. Variable Gain for dealing with hot, and compressed source material - Digital and Analog. On the fly cartridge impedance loading. Used in ARC's hotrod mode. Direct output and bypass switch engaged. Amperex Bugle Boys.
    • Matrix 800
    Unique one time all assault effort from B&W at a time when 2 channel was the focus. Smooth, musical yet still detailed. Room Friendly if you can believe it. Imagine 4 subs two high and two low pointed at you for 2 channel music. Each driver 2 woofer, mids, tweeter have their own crossover easily accessible from the back. 
    They were a  2 1/2 year study from Bowers & Wilkins under John Bowers (RIP). I have looked for a long time for a pair. The only time they become available are through owners going to a smaller condo (retiring or divorce).

    All B&W 800 models that followed the Matrix series are the same only in model designation - 800. They are not a replacement or upgrade. They are a different build, design, objectives, sound. Post Matrix 800's are a smaller speaker system (require a sub for full range); they do have better WAF (more easily placed into a shared room with the wife)

    800 matrix can be played at low and high levels with the right amp.
    93db 2.83 volts/1m, Mine are Quad wired. They can be run on four separate amps if one desires as each driver has its own crossover. 

    Top and bottom woofers each excite a different set of waves. These waves cancel each other out. Thats the theory. My listening supports this. Smooth tight bass. It is quite something to experience since their size make you think they will over take the room. Also IMO each woofer works only half as much with four versus two for the desired SPL.  All of this results in a very flexible listening position. All drivers are physically isolated with separate crossovers and Van Den Hul silver wiring from the factory. I run them with both tubes and Solid State. Krell and  the modded Music Reference RM9.  

    Krell Amplifier Story
    My research found me talking with Dan D'Agostino who used matrix 800's as his reference speakers when he designed this era of Krell amps.
    Specifically the FPB series like my FPB600. On a dedicated 20 amp circuit with upgraded 20 amp power cord using Furutech Gold IEC.

    600 wpc - 8 ohms,
    1200 wpc 4 ohms,
    2400 wpc 2 ohms.

    The speakers are a 4 ohms design due to the double woofers.
    New spiders in all the four woofers.
    • KRELL FPB600 & KRELL Bass Alignment Filters
    Krell / 800 Matrix Interface. KRELL FPB600 KRELL 800 Matrix BAF Furutech IEC. 

     20 amp power cord. 
     20 amp wall service. 
     http://hansvt.home.xs4all.nl/pdf/brochures/baf.pdf
    • ROGER MODJESKI Music Reference RM9 MODDED
    I have two of his amps. RM10 used with QUAD 57's

    RM9 Push Pull Tube Amp.
    Used to power Acoustat, 801, 800 speakers.
    WBT 0700 Connectors.
    KT88 output tubes.
    Hardwired for 4 ohm tap. Total Overhaul done April 2015
    • MATRIX 800 INSTALL
    Installation
    • 800 Series Bass Alignment Filter / Equalizer.

    The graph shows the 801 matrix frequency response with and without the filter.

    All 800 series B&W matrix speakers are an active design and are intended to be used with an equalizer by the designer (John Bowers) to achieve the best frequency response.
    This attached graph was sent to me by B&W Europe years ago 

    It is the frequency plot for the 801 matrix "without" using the supplied Bass Alignment Filter. (not sure if it is 801 s2 or s3)
    B&W England are the ones that drew the two dotted lines on the graph. 

    The 801 matrix speakers were designed to be used with the BAF. The speakers with BAF devices were shipped to original owners. But these devices became lost as speakers changed hands. They pop up on their own on ebay.  

    The two interesting parts.  

    Part 1 

    Not only does adding the BAF filter as designed give you a smoother response and allow the speaker to hit 20 hz.  The BAF makes the 801 matrix speaker much more efficient. The ohm ratings can be seen on the right 8 - 6 - 4 - 2 ohms. The 801 matrix s2 and s3 are a very easy 6 ohm steady load with the active equalization provided by the BAF. This opens up amp choices.    

    Part 2 

    Audiophile opinions on the BAF device are kind of split. Not sure if its an even 50% like it, 50% don't like it, but you have the two camps. Why the difference? The room; its acoustic properties, and how the 801 (aka relationship destroyer) deals with it. There is a reason B&W no longer make the 801.  You need a dedicated room. Its makes no business sense. 

    801 matrix owners today (there are many out there and some reading here), that could NOT make the BAF work with the speaker; or who never used it, or even heard of the BAF before;  are taxing their amps way more to make bass with the 801.  
    • ************ SECOND ROOM ***********************
    A backwards seven with the main section 20 -23. This room is the "top of the Seven". It is separated from the bottom portion of the Number 7 shape (12 x 24) by a heavy curtain. It is also adjacent to my other room of which the door is left open. The back of the room has the stairs that go upstairs. One of the pictures has me standing on the stairs. All this makes for a much bigger room as far as sound volume and space is concerned. An in progress dedicated listening space that accommodates different speaker types.
    • ******************SPEAKERS ***********************************
    03/31/2011 Dynamic, ESL, Planar IMO - We listen to our rooms. The speakers in the rooms are like boats. They both represent freedom to me. A 12 foot aluminum boat is perfect for a small lake and your favourite person. But out on the ocean or a big body of water … The water/boat analogy in this case is like your room and speakers. Water waves versus sound waves. There is no perfect boat and no perfect speaker. This is because all our rooms are different and the room is the big rock in this audiophile game. Speakers represent the last piece in the audio chain. Their sound represents everything in your audio chain especially the room, before it reaches your ears. Every piece will have an effect on what is heard. This IMO is why it is so important to have a good source. The last few years my speakers have remained intact and I have concentrated on improving the source components. Each time I improved the source my main speakers improved as well. This tells me they are not a bottleneck and I have not yet reached their limits.
    • Dynaudio Acoustics BM12s - Two of these in my Quad Room B .
    Two of these in Room B -  18hz - 60 hz. 
    4th order Linkwitz- Riley crossovers have a really steep slope past 60 hz.
    On paper this made them look like a really good match for the Quad 57's; but how does such a small box make 18 hz.  They have class a/b amps are 4 ohms. 
    I brought them home and demoed them. Very Punchy, Clean and they go really low. A great match with the raised Wayne Picquet Quad 57's. They are placed under the speakers - see pic in my virtual system. 
    • Quad 57 Wayne Picquet rebuild with Music Reference RM10 AMP
    Quad ESL-57 - Wayne Picquet Panels Partnered with the amp that was designed for them - Music Reference RM10 by Roger Modjeski.

    With certain music magic for me.

    8/20/2012 These Quad 57 speakers were designed and put out before I was born. The parts inside which I have replaced like the EHT modules were stamped 1971. Fourteen years after they originally came out. The panels themselves are only a few years old. They were rebuilt by Wayne Piquet in Florida.
    The normal music presentation for stock Quad 57’s is as if listening to music from the first row of a balcony. If using stock feet a 2 or 4 x 4 piece of wood or brick under the rear leg angling the speaker downwards toward you actually raises this image. This may be a more realistic presentation in your room.

    Check out my review. http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/frr.pl?rspkr&1309018315&&&/Quad-57-
    • 801 Active Monitors - Currently Stored
    Currently Stored - "Winnie the Pooh" of speakers. Relationship Destroyer. Owned since 1994. Serious Sound Pressure Speaker can re-create an event in your room when positioned and driven properly. Mothers milk bass. During my time with them have used Solid State and Tube amps (Push Pull and OTL's).  In comparison to the DM70 Electrostatic, If the 801 and DM70 were cowboys. The 801s are wearing black hats and the DM70 white ones.  

    801 Matrix S2 and S3 - Designed by John Bowers to be Active Monitors with use of the BAF and become a sixth-order Butterworth alignment. Without the high pass filter they are a vented fourth-order design, specifically in a Bessel alignment. "Fourth-order" is an engineering term that refers to all vented and passive-radiator speakers; sealed boxes are "second order."  

    They are not full range to 20 hz without the BAF. 

    http://kenrockwell.com/audio/b-w/800-series-bass-alignment-filter.htm 

    ***************************************************************************** 

    From Stereophile (re: S2) "Higher in frequency, the response trend (averaged across a 30 degrees lateral window on the tweeter axis) is basically flat, but with a slight excess of energy in the presence region and a corresponding lack of energy in the top octave. All things being equal, this will make the speaker both a little too revealing of recorded detail and somewhat fussy when it comes to the quality of source and amplification components, just as LL noted in his auditioning comments." 

    *******************************************************************************

    801 S2 versus S3. 
    Some of the changes. S3 used a different crossover than s2 - less component count. Better isolated mid and hf boards. Bass inductors with an iron dust core . Rotating midrange – tweeter head assembly was permanently connected. (from 3 to 4 pin delivering separate ground signals to midrange and tweeter) Magnetic fluid cooling of the tweeter (like the 800 matrix) - the reason the apoc protection eliminated (circuits needed for this were also removed) 


    ******************************************************************************* 

     In nearfield very revealing of room setup, system components - SS and Tube, cabling, TT drive systems, poorly recorded music. They reveal all the flaws of the recording. 

    Depending on your audio hobby objectives this can be a good thing or a bad thing...

    See picture of the Bass Alignment Filter. 
    • B&W Electrostatic DM70 John Bowers / JansZen Hybrid
    B&W DM70 Electrostatic Continental Hybrid Speaker Clockwork Orange Movie The late John Bowers (RIP) favorite speakers. JansZen ESL - 500hz and up. B&W Woofer - 500hz and down. Require a large room - elevated to ear level and a good distance from the front wall. Very refined midrange - muscular bass. Non-directional with a large sweetspot.

    n]Designed in 1970. No cost or time constraints during the development. From what I can make out they were discontinued due to costs involved.
    Version One - Power handling 25 watts at all frequencies.
    Version Two - The later DM70 Improved, which looked identical, is suitable for amplifiers of 25-100w, but seems otherwise identical.

    500hz crossover - ESL panel can not be overdriven and is nondirectional.

    ESL Panel was provided by JansZen.
    Sensitivity is 17 watts into nominal impedance required to produce a sound level of 95 dB. at one metre at 400 Hz
    Double fuse protection C and CA versions.


    Restored and refurbished. Silver wiring inside

    http://loudspeaker-repair-service.reromanus.net/B+W-Manual_1970.pdf

    http://reromanus.net/loudspeaker-repair-service/refurbish_DM70.htm

    http://www.mats-enterprise.co.uk/DM70page/index.htm
    • Modded Acoustat Model 3 - Used In Shared Space Upstairs
    Finally hooked up the Model 3's to the OTL's in a temporary fashion.


    These are in our living area shared space
    Custom modded Model 3;s.
    They have rebuilt interfaces.
    Unique granite bases with integrated spikes that weigh 80 lbs.
    Burl Oak Veneer facing and the inside is filled with small sand bags.
    • Technics SP10 MKII with 2nd ET2 High Pressure Manifold
    March 11, 2013 Update


    Next version ? will replace the current black base plinth with a more aesthetic one.

    Pet Project - Has taught me a lot about resonances and vibrations.
    SP10MKII Version Five
    Solid Stainless Steel Legs have threads at both ends and are bolted into the sp10 top plate as well as the solid plinth/platform. The armpod is bolted into the plinth. The plinth is then isolated by the AT-616 Pneumatic footers.
    19 lb Solid Brass Pod
    1 inch Diameter Solid Stainless Steel.

    Previously I had the SP10 MKII in a heavy 7 layer plinth. Birch ply + one mdf layer. This SP10MKII came from a private studio.



    This is the second ET2 I own and it is a high pressure manifold

    Detailed tips and observations here.



    http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr.pl?eanlg&1325551242&&&/Eminent-Technology-ET-2-Tonearm-Owners
    • Jean Nantais 100 LB Two Tonearm Custom Lenco
    Jean Nantais Custom turntable.
    Includes:
    100 Pounds - Veneered - Two Tonearm Plinth
    Lenco L75 motor and top plate rebuilt to his standards.
    Reference model spindle, bearing thrust plate.
    Bonded Metacrylate mat
    Bearpaw footers.
    IEC outlet.
    • ************ SOME NOTABLE MEMORIES **************************
    For me some notable equipment. Currently stored or sold-indicated as such.
    • McAlister OTL 195
    OTL195 There is a review contained in my system thread. In comparisons to good Solid State Class A and Push Pull amps they were like driving a 911 but you are limited to 1st gear when pushed. Very fast and punchy. But lack the bass that push pull deliver on. Get the bass right and everything else comes into place. These amps are designed around the needs of Acoustats. My Acoustats are in the shared room upstairs. I no longer own the OTL's.
    • Fidelity Research FR64s
    Gimbal Pivot Arm. I found excellent build quality and a nicely implemented antiskate system. I also found a low frequency resonance that accentuated the bass. A warmer sounding tonearm. It was in my second room with the second ET2 not the ET 2.5. Whenever I started a session with the FR64s it was always nice. But curiosity would always prevail and I would switch over to the ET2. It would always remain there. This happened more times than I can remember. I am not a tonearm collector so it was sold to raise funds for another project. I am in agreement with what Cartridge designer Johnathan Carr had to say about it. http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr.pl?eanlg&1243274438&openusid&zzJcarr&4&5#Jcarr
    • Modded VPI's
    Thread driven TNT and a JMW 12 using rollerblock jrs. SOLD
    • Acoustat Spectra 33
    Acoustat Spectra 33
    • Eminent Technology LFT 8a
    Set up in midfield - soundstage at both sides of the room. So the speaker shown is the left or the right one depending on side of room you are on. Excellent Magnetic Planar Hybrid Woofer Speaker. Very natural sounding but difficult to drive.
    • ****************AUDIOPHILE FUN + ET 2 TONEARM MODS ************** ****
    From here down are some inserts from past audiophile fun. 
    Also contained here is important information on the ET2, 2.5  tonearms as well as some of the mods I have done to them. If any questions on any of them let me know. No Holds Barred tonearm. User needs to be mechanically inclined and be willing to read ET2 manual instructions for proper setup of this tonearm. If bought on the used market a friend that is familiar with the tonearm for proper inspection of condition is important. 
     Audiogon ET2 thread 

     http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr.pl?eanlg&1325551242&&&/Eminent-Technology-ET-2-Tonearm-
    • COMPARING TURNTABLES (Jan 2010)
    Goldilocks and the Three Turntables . See Sept 20, 2019 post comment below on my virtual system for findings / details. 

    Belt Drive (converted to thread) VPI TNT Idler - Jean Nantais Custom 100 Lb Direct Drive - SP10MKII When compared in the same room(nearfield), with same gear, tonearm and cartridge, same time, differences are revealed. Out into rooms on their own, this is not as noticeable as our ears deal with different room acoustics. ymmv
    • OTL VERSUS PUSH PULL Tube Amps
    In room comparison.
    • Thread Drive Comparisons
    2010 testing out different threads. Fabricland became a favorite place of mine.
    • ET 2 Tonearm Proper Bass Management - ATB
    According to Bruce
    My ears agree
    • ET 2.0 Manifold Before and After Cleaning
    Pictures courtesty of a friend.
    • ET2 VTA Block Destroyed
    Thigpen Genius showing VTA Block rack of teeth and worm gear. This one was abused. If you are buying a used one ensure the rack of teeth seen in the pic are uniform with no wear and baldspots. This is an indicator that the VTA block was misused and rigidly tightened stripping the teeth. The bolt was tightened to a point that shattered the CF.
    • ET 2.0 2.5 Tonearm VTA Block Torquing Procedure
    VTA Block - Ensure each of the four bolts is torqued equally or the patented VTA system will be off. This procedures takes just minutes and should be done off table or you will throw your alignment off. Once bolts are torqued the manifold housing can be mounted to the pillar post and the rest of the setup completed.
    • ET 2.0, 2.5 Tonearm Magnesium versus Aluminum Armtubes
    Mag - MC Cartridges Aluminum - MM Catridges The middle ground is the Carbon Fibre arm tube. MM and MC.
    • ET 2.0, 2.5 Custom Aluminum Joint - aka GOOSENECK
    Black one is the stock one. Sourced from Richard Krebs
    • ET Tonearm Counterweight Bolt Mod
    Get a longer counterweight bolt especially if you like to use heavier cartridges. The stock ET2 bolt is on the right. The longer bolt weighs a bit more, holds more lead weights and allows you to use less lead further out on the I Beam. This provides for the highest vertical mass which is really important with the ET2 as it has medium to high horizontal mass. a 4 - 1 horizontal to vertical ratio. In my system higher vertical mass means cleaner, less resonant, overall better bass.
    The brass rings are meant for balancing only. I prefer to use Blue Tack for this purpose.
    • Et2 Leaf Spring Mods Single, Double, Triple
    General Cartridge Guideline 
     Single Leaf Spring - High compliance 
     Double - Medium Compliance 
     Triple - Low compliance
    • ET2 Pedestal Custom 3
    Solid Brass Arm Pod
    • Koaltar Tweak
    my pal 6 months, 79 lbs.
    • Kitty Tweak Bengal
    a real sweetheart
    • RCA Victor Dog
    I introduce Lucky. He is a mixed breed Jack Russell/Chihuahua mix breed. He will be acting as the Victor RCA dog, 

    The original Victor RCA dog.  
    He was named Nipper and was born in 1884 in Bristol, England, and died in September 1895. He was a mixed-breed dog and probably part Jack Russell Terrier, although some sources suggest that he was a Smooth Fox Terrier, or "part Bull Terrier". He was named Nipper because he would bite the backs of visitors' legs.

Comments 669

Showing all comments by islandmandan.

View all comments

128x128
Chris, your reply regarding declawing your cat was exactly what I was expecting from you. Good for you, and Katya both.

Enjoy the coming Spring. Regards,
Dan

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

128x128
Chris, I'm assuming from your reply the ESL's are working right again, after being attended to by you, though you didn't address that specifically. Glad to hear it. This sounds cruel, but maybe you ought to have your cat de-clawed maybe?

Best,
Dan

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

128x128
Chris, are you saying this took care of the problem? If so, congrats on that.

Enjoy,
Dan

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

128x128
Hi Chris,

I'm glad to hear you were able to rearrange your subs positioning and come out with a better result. Makes it all worthwhile.

Regards,
Dan

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

128x128
Chris, out of necessity, I have replaced several transport mechanisms and/or laser modules, all with successful outcomes. Oddly enough, when I replaced the laser on my Esoteric DV-60, I decided to order another to have in reserve. The transport mechanism w/laser module was cheaper than the laser module alone.

Now I'm set for the long haul. I like this player enough, that it will remain in my system for as long as I'm still listening to it. (Hopefully, a good long time yet).

Dan

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

128x128
Hello Chris,

It's good to see you're still chugging along. I'm reminded again of what an impressive assortment of gear you've acquired, and your investment in becoming so knowledgeable about it.

You're my hero! (I'm not kidding!)

Regards,
Dan

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

128x128
Chris, it's great to hear about your BM12 subs score. Subs have made a very positive change in my listening room, improving on my connection with music, making it a deeper (no pun intended) and better experience.

Hope all is well. Still wish we weren't half a continent apart, I'd love to hear your system(s).

Best regards,
Dan 

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

128x128
Hi Chris,

Koaltar needs a pat oh the head (if you can get to it), and a good scratch behind the ears (See above).

Will need more input on just how great the improvements are on the push-pull amp (did it get any stitches too?)

Enjoy, and regards,
Dan

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

128x128
Chris, God Love Ya, I do too!

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

128x128
Chris, I love it when my system scares the #$%^*^^t out of me. It usually happens on something like Mahler's 6th; since Jurassic Park isn't much of a thrill anymore.

Besides, why watch tv when you can listen to music? (though a good foreign film with English subtitles is good with music).

Happy New Year, Chris, I hope your wife continues to get her thrills from whatever spooky thing she's experiencing at the time.

Give Koaltar a big hug from me, I wish he could visit!

Best regards,
Dan

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

128x128
Chris, also, Koaltar is a beautiful lab, and should make a great running companion. My last dog, Ruby, passed many years ago, and my wife can't bring herself to get another one.

I would love to get another dog, having had dogs my whole life, until recently, but, that's life. Keeping my wife happy is a main objective (a happy wife is a more tolerant one, when it comes to audio equipment).

Endorphins also come from the love of a dog, and his love for you, so here's hoping for many shared endorphins between you.

Regards,
Dan

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

128x128
Chris, I agree, seting up a sub(s), in small rooms can be tricky.

My listening room is fairly large, 17' X 34' with cathedral ceilings, and adding two good subs has not been much of a challenge to implement them in a positive way.

If subwoofering is overdone, the results are much worse than underdone bass, but when right, the results can be very rewarding.

By the way, the "Brothel Post" is niiiice!

Regards,
Dan

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

128x128
Hi Chris,

I haven't so much as looked at the "whiskers", since posting the thread. Been too busy listening to music.

I read with interest your mention of subwoofers, and how much they can add to the listening experience. Since my addition of a Tannoy 15i sub and amp, along with my redone Velodyne sub (removed 15" passive radiator, covered hole, insulated well, removed Velodyne driver, installed 12" Eminence sub driver, plate amp, and two 3" ports, Like you, when the bass output matches the rest of the frequecy spectrum, I feel a greater connection with music. And it is addictive. The Tannoy sub is the best match I've found yet for my HPD's.

It seems discussions about subs is almost a taboo subject, like a dirty little secret we won't discuss in public.

I'm enjoying mine!

Best regards,
Dan

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

128x128
Chris, it's great to see your kids taking an interest in the same things you do. They have an excellent chance of being inclined to enjoy music to the degree you do, even if they don't become obsessed with it.

In my view, that gives them a leg up on most kids these days.

Good job!

Regards,
Dan

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

128x128
She might as well have sent it to me!

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

128x128
Chris, I'm glad you no longer have a "ghetto dock", and your daughter can now hold her head high.

Well done, keep up whatever you're doing, it sounds like a lot of fun.

Regards,
Dan

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

128x128
Chris, I enjoy seeing you having so much fun these days, and enjoying so much good music (the tribute to Led Zep gave me chills!), thanks for sharing.

You didn't state what the giant piece of wood is for, did I see something about a dock?

Enjoy the rest of summer, for winter is not far off.

Cheers,
Dan

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

128x128
Chris, I agree that digital equipment can surprise you in that newer isn't necessarily better. A modified McIntosh MVP 871, modded Genesis Digital Time Lens, and modded Musical Fidelity A3 24 DAC gets a lot of use here at home, and compares favorably with my analog front end.

I probably listen to more CD's than vinyl, mainly due to not being in the mood to go through the motions required for vinyl. In other words, I'm lazy.

But, that's okay. When in the right mood, analog satisfies in a way nothing else can. Just more there there.

Regards,
Dan

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

128x128
Chris, I can relate to being retired, be it voluntary or otherwise, and also listening deep into the following morning on pretty much a daily basis.

Your system is obviouly doing just what it should. It should be the means to a happier, healthier life, not a path to neurosis, as is so often reported in the pages of this forum.

I'm glad you are enjoying music so much, and are allowing yourself the time to do so.

Keep up the good work.

Regards,
Dan

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

128x128
Chris, Jesse Cook's "Gravity" arrived yesterday, I really enjoyed it, wow! Thanks for the heads-up!

Dan

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

128x128
Chris, as NASA might say to a shuttle crew,"all systems are nominal".

System-wise, I've got no where to go, except to switch on my amp and select a source, and sit down and enjoy.

I just went to all solid-core Tempo Electric 12 gauge silver speaker wire, for both amps, very happy with the results. A bit on the boring side, in that I'm used to tinkering, but it's good just to enjoy what you've got for a while.

Enjoy,
Dan

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

128x128
Hi Chris,

Glad to hear things are looking up, and system access has been regained. Now if you can vent the heat generated by the big Krells into your heating system, you'd have it made.

Regards,
Dan

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

128x128
Chris, I may be the last person to ask regarding SET's, but I'll give it a shot.

I'm thinking if the impedence drops to 3 Ohms, a typical SET may not do the 800's justice. Perhaps a push-pull 300B?

There are any number of members with more knowledge/experience regarding SET suitability with your new speakers than I. Perhaps Almarg or Atmosphere will take notice and chime in.

Best regards,
Dan

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

128x128
Chris,

Congratulations are in order, I'm so glad for you they are everthing you expected and hoped for. May you enjoy them long and well!

Best regards,
Dan

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

128x128
Thanks Chris,

I too wish we were close enough to pester each other in person.

I'm afraid I couldn't get comfortable sticking something into my ear to listen to music. All those ear-bud thingees give me the heebie-jeebies.

If it gets too cold for you, just head west! Our normal sideways rain and 40 degrees F, might be a welcome change for you.

Regards,
Dan

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

128x128
Hi Chris,

Belated happy Thanksgiving to you!

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

128x128
Hello Chris,

I'm in no position to correct any assertiions you may make, I can only salute your understanding, and powers of observation.

I am on a steep learning curve regarding tube amplification (or any type, for that matter), I am waiting for my first SET 300B amp, which is coming next week.

I finally got curious enough to find information on OTL amps, which led me to McAlister Audio, and was amazed to find how reasonable his pricing is.

If I sell off all my amps, I might be able to order a stereo OTL of Peter's. Sure got me thinking!

I find it interesting that you observe the effect the new amps have on preamp precision. I've never heard that comment before, but I find it reasonable, and a welcome effect to have.

The topic of tube amps, and the flexibility of being able to use lower powered amps, is one of the main reasons I made the switch from power-loving Dynaudio, back to Tannoy Dual Concentric. It looks, at least on the surface, that Peter's OTL amps don't suffer from lack of power. Am I correct in assuming they aren't limited in what speakers they are suited for? I seem to recall reading they don't suffer from impedence mismatches with difficult speaker loads.

Thank you Chris, for your report, and I wish you continued enjoyment of your new amps!

Best regards,
Dan

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

128x128
So Chris,

How about a treatise on how your new amps sound? If I could, I'd have Scotty beam me over to your place for a listen, but that's as likely to happen as me being able to purchase said amps, but I (we) can live vicariously through your always well detailed comments.

Thanks, and regards,
Dan

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

128x128
Chris, can you describe how it functions? I can't tell from the photo how the thing works. I seem to recall seeing a photo of one before (maybe from you?)

Looks nice, but unlike any other B&W I've seen before.

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

128x128
Hi Chris,

I referred to Cardas as "plain jane" because of its affordability. There are subtle differences between the copper and silver tonearm wire, I haven't had time to quantify the differences/similarities yet. All I know is it sounds good to my old ears.

I found a 25ft. spool of 99.9% pure silver from A&M Systems for $75, I may get brave and see if I can succeed with it, as my soldering skills have improved considerably lately.

My room is not what you would call lively, it being heavily carpeted, with large, cushy sofas. My speakers are well out into the room, toed-in to intersect a bit behind my listening position, which is only eight feet from the speaker fronts.

On a different subject, I knew I needed to do more work to get the Acutex LPM 320STR III dialed in, which I did last night. So much better. I'm in awe of these ultra low mass cartridges, somehow my mind can't correlate what it is seeing, to what it is hearing. Amazing.

Stay well, and do drop in when you are in the area. Lol

Regards,
Dan

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

128x128
Hi Chris, no, no road trips for a while. I was back in no can post mode again for awhile, so I'm catching up a bit.

I tore my Dynavector down again, I found a broken ground wire in it, and that's why I was having such a noise issue with it. I also decided to hell with silver tonearm wire, once you solder it, the heat makes it brittle, and breaks easily. Plain-Jane Cardas wire this time around.

I better go out in the garage and finish wiring it, I'm starting to have vinyl withdrawals.

Regards,
Dan

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

128x128
Hi Chris,

I wish you would loan me your RM9 for a time. I've always wanted to hear one. Hmmm. Maybe I'll have to dig out those driving directiions you sent me. LOL

As always, my best regards,
Dan

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

128x128
Chris, I gave the 415 six or so hours last night, there just seems to be something magical about the way music sounds. Even though it lacks a lot of the detail and resolution of the Zu 103R or Dyna XX2MKII, there's something about it that just gets the music across, making me connect with the music in a way that's undeniable.

I threw the 103R on afterwards, and while it delivered more of everything, it didn't seem to make me connect more to the music than the STR 415.

Needless to say, it will get much more playing time, now that I know what it can do.

No glue or Blu-Tack yet, somehow the stylus hasn't slid off. I have to get some of the blue stuff.

Regards,
Dan

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

128x128
Super Glue? Huh. It never occurred to me to use Super Glue to hold the stylus on. I honestly don't know what does keep it on, though. It seems just the motion of the record traveling past the stylus would be enough to dislodge it and give it a ride to oblivion.

I think I'll use your Blu-Tack idea.

Yesterday, I gave the STR 415 the deluxe set-up treatment (I had just used the overhang gauge I made up to this point), and eyballed alignment. After the TLC, it sounded quite a bit better. It's still bass-prominent and a bit closed-in sounding, but it still sounds good.

How much time do they need settle in, and give their best, and does it change significantly, ot just a bit?

Thanks, and best regards,
Dan

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

128x128
Hi Chris,

I'm still pecking away at getting the best out of the 415. I'll let you know ifI make any breakthroughs. They sure don't look like they should sound so good, do they?

Regards,
Dan

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

128x128
Hi Chris,

I finally got the STR 415 sounding good. I shimmed under the front of the cartridge, and that allowed me to get VTA where it needed to be without running out of vertical travel with the sub-arm.

I'm surprised how good it sounds, and it tracks superbly, very smooth. I think once it runs in a bit, it will only get better. Thanks for the help, and for turning me on to the Acutex carts.

Regards,
Dan

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

128x128
Hi Chris,

I finally got my XX2MKII sounding better, though it is getting long in the tooth, a re-tip will be necessary at some future point. For some reason, I can't get the STR 415 to sound right at all.

I raised the arm up til it was mis-tracking due to lack of VTF, and it still didn't sound right. I am thinking it just doesn'y like the massive 501 arm.

I've given up on the Acutex for now, maybe I'll return to it later. Maybe you can give me some pointers on how you got your 420 to sound decent on your 505.

Best regards,
Dan

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

128x128
Hi Chris,

I'm glad to see you got your old friend back. I'm thinking I need to send my old Dyna XX2MKII in for a re-tip. It's sounding a little thin these days. I guess I'll send it to SS, unless you think I would be better served elsewhere. What do you say?

Thanks, and best regards,
Dan

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

128x128
Hi Chris, Dave,

Now that I've got my DV 501 back, and optomized, I am quite pleased with its performance so far. It seems to work equally well with eith the XX2MKII, or the brand-new Zu Denon 103R I just bought. The XX2 has a bit better bass response, and is a bit more detailed, but both make for good listening. Chris, I'm going to have a VTAF made for the 501, I'll let you know how that works out.

Good read on the 505. The 501 is a large step up from the JMW 9 Signature.

Regards,
Dan

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

128x128
Hi Chris,

I have been in the process of making a jig for my Dynavector 501. Your photos will help to get me the rest of the way there.

I made some changes on the pinth for the Garrard 401, I inset the chassis, instead of having it on top. I like it better this way, will post new pics later.

Best regards,
Dan

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

128x128
Chris, I couldn't say. The new bayonet connector came with some very frail-looking (I guess most of them are!) copper wires. James is starting on the 501 today. I had better hurry up with my modifications on the plinth, so I will be ready when it arrives.

Regards,
Dan

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

128x128
Thank's Chris, no rest for the wicked. Jim Howard called me last night, and I've gone with the the silver and teflon dialectric. Shouldn't be more than a week or so, and I'll be back in business. I hope this isn't rubbing it in, but my wife loves working in the yard, so lucky me, all I have to do, pretty much, is cut the grass, or any heavy lifting or construction type things she need a hand with.

Enjoy Spring,
Dan

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

128x128
Hi Chris,

Shortly after my last post, the long-awaited part came in, and the arm is now in the hands of James Howard at Applied Fidelity. He should start on it soon. I haven't decided yet on what wire I want to use. I'm thinking of using teflon-coated silver, more expensive, but I only want to do this once. The wire from TakeFive looks good, what does the wire consist of?

Don't work too hard, regards,
Dan

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

128x128
Hi Chris. Thanks for the info. I managed to get my 501 to work by sacrificing the headshell, in that I drilled a hole in the middle of the area of the contact pins, allowing the wires to pass through. I then ran the wires out in the open instead ot into the tonearm post. I'm happy with how it sounds, did some listening last night, I know I've got something special to look forward to.

My 501 doesn't use a dial for VTF, it uses a simple counterweight.

Best regards,
Dan

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

128x128
Hi Chris,

That's exactly the situation I'm in now. When I tried to rewire my Dynavector DV 501 tonearm, I managed to damage the wiring socket on the tonearm end. The only available replacement is a good used one at Dynavector Japan. Been waiting a month now, and it still hasn't shipped, it's coming in their next shipment to Toffco. Who knows when that is?

So my Garrard 401 project is on hold until the part comes in. I WILL send the arm to a professional to get it wired!

Best regards,
Dan

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

128x128
Chris, I get a lot of satisfaction in doing as much work on upgrading my components as I can safely do. I have learned lately, though, my hands are not steady enough for very delicate soldering work, such as soldering tonearm wire. As good as listening to vinyl can be, I seem to get much more out of it due to how much difference direct involement makes in what you hear. Vinyl is pretty much all or nothing, you've either got it right, and it sounds amazing, or not good enough, which is clearly discernable.

Without the kindness of a few very knowledgeable members of this forum, my daily listening would not be what it is today, and I love that about this hobby, the willingness to share knowledge, so that others can benefit from more experienced members.

Regards, and enjoy,
Dan

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

128x128
Hello Chris,

I really admire your involvement and knowledge, gained from many years of deep immersion in audio and passion for music. Keeping and improving vintage gear is something we have in common, you couldn't get me to part with many pieces in my system for love nor money.

I don't know why I hadn't discovered your system before this, but it is one I will watch from now on, I am sure to learn something by doing so. Thanks for sharing what you have learned with we of lesser knowledge and skill.

Best regards,
Dan

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan