Description

How I play my 5000 odd LP's.
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Room Details

Dimensions: 18’ × 23’  Large
Ceiling: 7’


Components Toggle details

    • TW Raven AC-3 with BN platter
    3 motor German turntable
    • Thales Audio Simplicity II
    tangential tracking tonearm - just superb
    • Technics TECHNICS SL-1000MK3D SP10-MK3 SH-10B5 Plinth.
    Classic Technics table
    • Graham Engineering Phantom B 44
    tonearm
    • Exclusive P3
    Wonderful sounding turntable from 1979
    • Exclusive P10
    Great sounding vintage 1979 DD table, 2nd to the P3.
    • Lyra ATLAS SL
    phono cartridge
    • Lyra Etna SL
    phono cartridge
    • Dynavector DRT XV-1s
    top of the line dynavector cartridge
    • Ortofon MC A90 anniversary
    absolutely reference grade cartridge that sounds like your system.
    • Linn LP-12 Lingo
    LP12 TT with Naim ARO arm
    • Lyra Delos
    overachieving entry level lyra cart - plays higher than its price
    • Denon ESC 103R
    cartridge
    • Ortofon SPU Classic GM E MKII
    enough said
    • Ortofon SPU Royal GM
    .
    • Nordost Valhalla
    between turntable and phono stage
    • Accuphase C-37
    3 input phono stage
    • TW Acustik Phono
    3 input pure tube phono section with 6 impedance settings. Very quiet for a full tube gain phono stage
    • Esoteric E-03
    two input phono stage
    • Ortofon Verto Set-Up Transformer
    excellent SUT for the SPU's
    • Conrad Johnson GAT
    very nice preamp
    • Deqx HDP-4
    DSP speaker and room correction. especially good at correcting and eq of bass
    • Nordost Tyr 6m
    ic between pre and power
    • D'Agostino Momentum Stereo
    SS amp
    • Conrad Johnson premier 8A with cj teflon upgrades
    275 watt monoblocks brought up to date with cj factory teflon cap upgrade
    • Wilson Audio Maxx 3
    Gentle Giant
    • Nordost Tyr
    Excellent
    • Kimber KS-3033
    8ft speaker cable
    • Transparent MM Reference XL-V
    speaker cable
    • Orb DF-02
    Japan's Orb make the Air Tight LP flattener. This is the new Japan model for flattening those warped and dished LP's
    • TW Acustik / Hannl Ultra
    rebadged Hannl - same as Acustech Ultra - excellent and quiet but takes longer than nitty gritty
    • Yamaha CDR-HD1300
    yamaha hard disc recorder with 80 gb disc drive and cd player. great for dubbing vinyl to CD

Comments 259

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222222&text=do
Owner
Added Lyra Etna SL and Atlas SL

downunder

222222&text=do
Owner
AddedTECHNICS SL-1000MK3D SP10-MK3 SH-10B5 Plinth.

downunder

222222&text=do
Owner
reflected a few changes.
room change - huge change for the better.
Thales Simplicity II tonearm - TW turntable has never sounded better
Accuphase c-37 and Esoteric E-03 phono stages - variety is the spice of life

downunder

222222&text=do
Owner
HI Zpost.   The cj prem 8a's will drive the Cremonas with ease.  I used to drive Stradivaris with them.
if/we you can afford, do the cj tefon cap upgrade.  substntial increase in peformance and lowers the noise floor.
cheers

downunder

222222&text=do
Owner
System edited: added Deqx HDP-4, Pass XP-20 and Lyra Delos over the past 6 months or so

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222222&text=do
Owner
Hi Ddriveman

If you have the chance to buy a P3 even at 5k more - buy it.

The P10 is a good fun table. It has nice bounce to the sound bit the P3 is just a better all round table that does everything better. Incredible control a d an all round more sophisticated beast.

The funny thing with anything audio, I can find LP's that sound a little bit better with the P10 - generally more rock and pop music. Same with the TW table.

No table/arm/cartridge combo that does it all for all music.

The S arm wands cope with SPU cartridges fine - however I do not think it is a great match - the spy is very heavy - with the design of the arm wands, there can be a little give(about the only weakness in the arm)- the heavy SPU carts can induce slight movement and difficult to maintain correct azimuth.
The straight arm wands are better sounding as well.

Re the P3a. The P3 and P3a tables are exactly the same, except for the tonearms. I have not really heard of anyone that has actively compared.

I can swap the arm wands between the P10 and P3, so adds for great flexibility.

I will never sell the P3, but if a P3a came up for a good price, I would jump on it.

Have you seen one you are interested in?

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222222&text=do
Owner
Hi JFrech

The Monaco is a great table. DD done well.

It has similar tone to my Exclusive P3. I did not get the chance to swap my dyna XV-1S into the Monaco. It had a Benz LP-S on it. I think the dyna would have been a little better again.

It is now with its real owner and he is very happy.

Cheers

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222222&text=do
Owner
Hi Dan, thanks for the kind thoughts.

I agree the ESC mod for the 103r is just about the best bang for buck upgrade one can do.
While it does not sound as good as the Atlas or XV-1s, it is not light years away and is great to listen to. The law of diminishing returns are at play.
It is ultimately the music that moves me, the system I would sell, but not the LP's.

I also have my Linn Troika re-tipped by ESC which I like.

Hi Lloyd

The Denon 103r upgraded is just about the cheapest amount of $$ I have spent on an upgrade - ha ha It would not even buy you 1 Stillpoint V. :-)
So as far as value for money, it is very high.

cheers dudes

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222222&text=do
Owner
Hi Dev

My eye candy is nothing compared to your AF1. I am super envious. How does it sound compared to your MS? What platter did you get?

Cheers

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222222&text=do
Owner
Hi Pradeep

Thanks. Main difference is that it is really heavy 20kg!!

But in all seriousness. I also upgraded the bearing to the latest one that is stk with the BN platter.

Bn platter/bearing is defintately quieter in that there seems to be more space and a blacker background when playing music. I have found the musical delivery more coherent through all the frequencies. Upper frequency extension is a bit better and a slightly tighter bass.
With the 3 motors the platter does need a helping hand on start up, otherwise the belt slips a little with the extra weight of the platter. Once up to speed it is rock solid.

I actually did not plan on the platter, as I was enquiring in the new bearing Dgad told me about. TW said they had one BN platter ex German hifi show so they gave me a good price. It was in perfect condition. Still expensive, but certainly cheaper than a brand new one retail.

Overall I am really happy with the new platter and better musical performance.

I do not have the BN feet. Do you?

How is the GAT going?
Cheers

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222222&text=do
Owner
System edited: Added TW Acustik BN copper platter

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222222&text=do
Owner
System edited: Added another phono stage

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222222&text=do
Owner
Hi Pradeep

Congrats.I am sure you will enjoy the GAT. As Lloyd said, I had the ART3 prior.

Improvements are as lloyd have indicated, however there is still a bit of the cj golden glow.

Interestly I recently tried the ARC ref5se as was loking at balanced synergy for my recently purchased Momentum Stereo amp. ARC pre amp was very disappointing in my system. Rather laid back and dark sounding - was quite grand in soundstage height but had little PRAT. the cj GAT was just faster, vocals more vivid and overall more realistic.

I have never used the EAT tube dampers - just the stk units.

One thing I have found has been beneficial is putting Stillpoint Ultra's underneath the GAT. Tightens up the bass and adds a bit of transparency to the rest of the audio spectrum - no downside to my ears. It also loves the Nordost valhalla pc.

let us know how you like the GAT once you have it up and running.

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222222&text=do
Owner
Hi Bigpond. Thanks

I had a used ss cj prem350 for the last 6 months and having both tube and ss has been good fun.

My plan is to keep the big tube amps and use both. Both tubes and ss have qualities that are unique to each.
During summer at the moment, the cool running of the ss is very nice.

Cheers

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222222&text=do
Owner
Hi Lloyd

The bass is tight, but does not seem to be disconnected with the rest of the audio spectrum. When you turn up the volume a lot, the Momentum just seems to get louder without some of the ss traits I have heard in the past, like too much bass or the bass becoming so tight it becomes mechanical in its deliver.

Momentum just seems to sound right, so really enjoying them.

Cheere

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222222&text=do
Owner
Thanks Lloyd. You will notice that I still have my tube monoblocks. :-)

The Momentum tonally and musically is pure and grain free. It just sounds like music as it does not favour any specific frequency, is very quiet,transparent, dynamic when needed and has a finely textured treble - probably not as airy as my tube amps, but this gets closer than any ss amp.

All up a keeper and this is after trying a LOT of ss amps over the years.

At the moment I don't't feel the desire to plug the tube amps in to compare,but it is summer.

Cheers
shane

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222222&text=do
Owner
System edited: added a ss amp and a couple of pics

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222222&text=do
Owner
Hi Lloyd

Funny, I have had issues with noisy cj eh 6922's. Currently I have no tube dampers on the GAT ATM.
Have you tried em naked?

Cheers

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222222&text=do
Owner
System edited: Updated a few changes to the system over the last year. Removed a few phono stages that I have old Added Nordost Tyr 6m if for in between pre and power. Added Nordost Tyr speaker cables Added a nice used conrad johnson premier 350 ss amp Added the superb Lyra ATLAS

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222222&text=do
Owner
Hi Bigpond

Maxx3's are black.

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222222&text=do
Owner
Hi Bigpond. Thanks!

You my friend have an awesome system.

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222222&text=do
Owner
Hi Lloyd

Nah, I have not tried the eat dampers. What have you found them to do to the sound. I assume you have to take the top of the tube cages off.

Btw, I have ordered a set of KT120's for the prem 8a's. Will be interesting to see how they sound.

Cheers

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222222&text=do
Owner
Hi Sunnyboy. I should visit my page more often!

Yes the Atlas is very good. I get best results at about parallel of maybe even tail up.

How have you found the Atlas?

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222222&text=do
Owner
Thanks for the nice thoughts Glen. Great system btw. I used to own the original VR 4.5's quite a few years ago.

The LP's are the real gems of the system, without them amy system is pretty useless

Cheers

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222222&text=do
Owner
Hi John

That is fair enough. I know Dgad luvs his Allerts. I have been the other way. Up to the Kleos, zero Lyra's.

A change is as good as a holiday they say :-)

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222222&text=do
Owner
Dev The image height is consistently higher with the Maxx3's, which at first was a bit strange to listen to. I am much more used to it now and it seems on some performances you get a more realistic view of the music as the performer is now standing up.

Yes, I am certainly hearing the soundstage and instruments better defined. That said, on certain music and performances the Strads seems to have better treble air that the Maxx's.

Yes, a pleasant surprise re the additional system quietness, especially with running turntables. Lloyd with digital only would allready have a very low noise floor.

BTW, do you still have your MBL speakers with VAC amps? I must admit the best SS system I ever heard was a full MBL system in Singapore - everything just floated in 3D with incredible resolution and zero fatigue.

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222222&text=do
Owner
Hi Lloyd

Yea, I think I am at that stage now too - just listen to the music.

I forgot to mention how quiet my system is now. the noisefloor lowered when I received the GAT. Somehow the Maxx3's have lowered the noise floor again.

You with you Colloseum must have a very low noisefloor.

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222222&text=do
Owner
Hi Dev, thanks

the Maxx3's are on another level to the Strads. with the price difference I was hoping so and luckily I am not dissappointed.

The Maxx's can play as loud as you want them to and they seem to do it without straining. Rock and electronic music really do sound superb on the Maxx's.
They can also do quiet music like simple jazz and blues with equal coherence.
When I used to play the Strads with complex music, I could hear smearing of notes and I guessing that is linked to the cabinet,resonances and the overall voicing. With the Maxx's I hear notes start and stop a lot quicker so you hear more of the music.

early days, but so far very happy.

cheers

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222222&text=do
Owner
Hi John

I have long admired your setup and the big Maxx3's. I must admit I never thought I would own a pair of Wilson's, let alone the Maxx3's. I am very glad I have done now.

Funny, I much preferred my Kimber KS3033 to my Transparent MM REF XL-V speaker cables.The Transparent's were a little slow and dark in my system. I will try them again later before I sell them. the MM2's must be on another level thou.

Are you buying a Lyra Atlas? I have owned the Kleos for a few months now and really like it. I will be getting the Atlas when one becomes available and trade in the Kleos for what I paid.

cheers

downunder

222222&text=do
Owner
Hi Lloyd, thanks

Hard to say re the GAT - all I know is that it sounds really good and a step up from the ART3. Now with the Maxx3's, I'll see if there are any teflon ups and downs before I get to 1000 hours.
Your GAT must be at 1000 hours and done by now?

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222222&text=do
Owner
System edited: Update to the cj GAT bought 3 months ago and the Wilson Maxx 3 bought last week

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222222&text=do
Owner
System edited: Added the wonderful 3 input (1x MM, 2x MC) Japanese Luxman E-06 from 1987.

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222222&text=do
Owner
System edited: a few updated pics

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222222&text=do
Owner
System edited: added one of my mm's. the Technics EPC - P100C Mk4 is easily the best.

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222222&text=do
Owner
Hi Lloyd, thx

I have not heard the Ref5. In theory balanced into the Gryphon's should provide some improvement.

Let me know the results of your pre amp listening

cheers Shane

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222222&text=do
Owner
System edited: Mac pre and amps now sold to a good home

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222222&text=do
Owner
Hi Darren. baby not keeping you up all night?

yes I hate cleaning LP's too, but it is better than wearing ear muffs when I used to use the the Nitty gritty. necessary evil thou.

I just use nitty gritty fluid2 on my LP's. cleans them and removes any static from the LP.
As you said, too much hassle to search out other formulations with questionably better results.

with your BN, you should not be even listening to digital :-)

You still gotta track down a nice DD drive table for an alternative view

BTW, where is your system?

cheers

downunder

222222&text=do
Owner
Hi Audioblazer

Mac has a bigger bass and more bass spread and dead quiet.
The prem8a is more transparent and refined in the mids and upper frequencies, where the Mac can sometimes be a bit dark in the mids. The teflon caps give the cj the edge in transparency coupled with refinement

I have a mates RTR sitting on the floor. have not played it yet :-)

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222222&text=do
Owner
Well done Samhar

I lived very happily with the Xono for well over 5 years. Great phono stage and i am sure you will enjoy it.

Re SUT's - I would doubt if it will sound better, but it will sound different.
I would enjoy the Urushi thru the Xono MC stage for a while on the lowest gain and play around with the loading.
If you have a SUT, by all means have a listen to it.

BTW, What differences in sound quality do you find between the Rosewood & Urushi?

cheers Shane

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222222&text=do
Owner
Samhar, I will not argue with you on that one. Tubes do add a sense of timbre that SS IMO can't do as well.

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222222&text=do
Owner
Hi Sam - thanks, great system yourself

as with any opinions, they need to be taken with a grain of salt. I can only comment on how I have heard them in my system. If someone else hears similar things, great.

The EAR 88PB has no problems with low end extension - it has plenty.
It is not as detailed as the Steelhead or Einstein but has plenty of detail, nor is it as revealing and ultimately a little fatiguing.

FWIW, an audio buddy of mine just changed phono stages from the ASR exclusive to Audia Flight phono stage and he is extremely happy. Apparently mantains all the detail of the ASR, but added dynamics, life and refinement.

You might want to listen to that if you can. let me know how you end up.

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222222&text=do
Owner
System edited: Added the Ortofon MC A90 and the wonderful Exclusive P3 turntable

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222222&text=do
Owner
Great news Kamil.

Nothing wrong with the VPI Classic. It will sound great.

and always great to have two tables when you have the $$ to upgrade and the want.

enjoy

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222222&text=do
Owner
Hi Kamil - sorry for the late reply - not sure if you are still deciding - however my thoughts are.

First off, both the HRX & the Raven are outstanding tables - there is no loser, however they do each have a signature sound.

HRX - very lively with a good sense of PRAT - can sometimes be a little too lively in the upper mids/lower treble. Music sounds alive and exciting, OTOH it can become a little too close to the edge with excitment.

Raven is more neutral and more controlled. Does not have the microdynamics like the HRX, however it is no slouch. The Raven one would be just a little smaller in overall image size etc - if you know what I mean.

I went the Raven mainly so I could run two tonearms. After I lived with the Raven for 9 mnths or so and for my tastes I prefer the Raven. It was time to sell the HRX to a good home who would care for it like I did.

Selling the HRX gave me the opportunity to buy a nice Vintage DD table - which I scored big with the Exclusive P10. I can only fit 3 tables on my rack.

Let me know what table you eventually end up with.

cheers

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222222&text=do
Owner
Hi Ken

Yes the strategically placed empty boxes, hifi mags and small tweaks. Got em all I am afraid.

It really is not a music room without some mess right

I checked out your system - very nice. You are obviously more than handy with a CNC machine and engineering skills. The speakers look great and the alien HRX looks mean as. How does it sound?

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222222&text=do
Owner
Hi Peter - thanks guess i should check my system more often!

Yes as with any hobby, a few dead ends, after trying to find SS that I liked I gave up.
Subjectively I believe the cj teflon upgrade is worth it. US$ 2k per chassis - not cheap but a whole lot cheaper than a new set of LP275's.
I prefer the look of the prem8a's anyway.

IMO you get better resolution with quieter backgrounds. Upper frquencies are more extended without going lean. Bass and speed in the bass is about the same. There is an overall ease to the presentation - still sounds like a prem 8a thou - which is what you want right.

let us know if you end up getting the upgrade as I would be interested in what they do to a prem XS.

cheers

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222222&text=do
Owner
Hi Darren

thanks dude.

I have to believe the teflon caps are broken in by now. To be honest the new pre amp is actually doing less (if that makes sense), making the sounds of the turntables, arms and cartridge combinations easier to hear and enjoy the differences.

No chance of getting anymore tables as my rack only holds 3. If a P3 comes up at a reasonable price somewhere, I will grab it thou :-)

Just gotta find a new main cartridge for the Phantom. Some smooth, organic, dynamic, liquid and musical. the dyna XV-1 gets most of the way there but it is almost worn out. Don't wanna go crazy stupid on price thou.

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222222&text=do
Owner
System edited: Just picked up a vintage Exclusive P10 turntable with EA-10 tonearm. Comes with a straight arm wand and S arm wand. I put my Koetsu Rosewood onto the Straight armwand. WOW, A very BIG dynamic sound that eminates from the bass. Bass impact and bass action is first class. Mids are nice and treble just a little forward and probably not as relaxed or liquid as the Raven or LP12. Still very listenable thou and clearly a different presentation of the music, which is what I was looking for. Very fast and dynamic leading from the bass foundations (if bass exists). Personally I think the engineers behind CD must have been deaf considering the great sound of some vintage turntables that are popular at the moment.

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222222&text=do
Owner
Hi Microstrip, thanks for your kind words.

The following basic changes were made in the prem 8A according to cj.

" The upgrade consisted of replacing the eight coupling capacitors (inverter to output tubes) with .15 uF Teflon capacitors and replacing 6 more capacitors (four in the regulated supplies, two in the unregulated main supply) with .15 uF Teflon. Filament diodes were replaced with "beefier" diodes (probably not of sonic importance, mainly to increase the safety margin - already substantial - on this part) "

both the preamp and amps are sounding better every day - so all is good at this point in time.

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222222&text=do
Owner
System edited: bought cj premier 8a monoblocks and had cj do the factory Teflon cap upgrade. Bought a cj ART series3 preamp - probably the last new in the box series 3 available. Running both amps in, as the teflon caps require 3-400 hours run in time. Sounding sweet out of the box

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222222&text=do
Owner
Hi J, thanks

At this level all the turntables are extremely good, gets down to purely personal decision. I like the TW due to its flexibility with arms. I am sure you Monaco is brilliant as well.
I use either the Nitty Gritty 2 or the Hannl fuild that came with the RCM.
I may try the Disc doctor when the Hannl runs out - as I like a nice warmer sound :-)

cheers

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222222&text=do
Owner
System edited: Sold VPI HRX and Ortofon Jubilee to JohnA

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222222&text=do
Owner
Darren

Rinse/wash twice - what a pain in the ass. Lucky you have taught your housekeeper to clean your LP's, me not so lucky. I get stuck with it.

Your comments re the Phantom/colibri make very good sense especially when we use the TW phono. The addional last bit of dynamic slam that the phantom gives would be welcome. That is about the only weakness of the TW phono.
TW phono actually does low bass pretty well, it is the mid to upper bass that dynamically I find a little lacking as it is not as forward or full like a lot of phono stages.

You should never have sold the Koetsu Jade. My plain old jane Rosewood sounds very good on the Ortofon, so much my SPU can't get a play. I can only imgaine how much more refined the Jade would have been.
How easy is it to add a third arm??

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222222&text=do
Owner
Hi Aaron

I know what you mean about lack of funds - buying the TW was not on the radar, but you know what it is about shopping and percieved bargins if the timing is right. I have to make some decisions soon on whether I want to sell my VPI HRX or not as affording all of my shit is getting harder, especially if I make any more upgrades, amp or upgrade to cj ART 3 are the only two options, then I am done - famous last words.

Nothing wrong with SS phono if it is surrounded by some tubes as they are easier to keep quiet with plenty of gain. I would assume from your comments that over time you may want some bit of tubes in your system and pre amp is generally the easiest way to get some of that magic/coloration.

The PH7 was more similar to the Xono than the TW. Bass was not as punchy as Xono and high end not as pure as TW. 57db of gain was the no go decision for me as it just was not enough for my LOMC cartridges.

cheers
Shane

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222222&text=do
Owner
Hi Aaron

yea it is early and it is sounding better all the time, only had the TW since just before Xmas - like your speakers a Xmas present.

I guess in two words - liquid and continous (HP speak).

The TW does not really have a sound as it is not as forward as some phono stages - it sounded quite ordinary with my Mac c2300 pre amp, but wonderful with the cj ART - go figure.

The TW is slightly soft in the bass (this may change somewhat after many hours, but it will never have SS slam), but from the mid's up it is very natural, transparent and has a wide soundstage. It is in another world compared to any SS phono stage I have heard from the mid up.

BTW I heard the RCM a few mnths back and it is more similar to the Xono than different and sounded excellent. Not what I was looking for - interestingly the Xono was quieter, but RCM easier to change loading due to adjustments on the back plate

Given this is 65db or so of pure tube gain (no SUT or fet stage), the low noise level is exceptional. Not as quiet as the Xono or MC stage in the mac, but quiet enough that you don't hear it unless you go up to the speakers at hifgh volumes with no music playing. Sensitive to placement and cable placement where noise can become an issue, but was easily fixed with careful cable placement. Frankly I don't know how he has done it with only tube gain.

This has been the closest sound to the big Aesthetix IO but without the noise. Io has better slam in the bass/mid bass, however TW is superior in its mid and treble purity and transparency.

Having 3 phono inputs exactly the same for me is a godsend. It is pig ugly thou, but it's 1950's Forbidden Planet art deco style is growing on me :-)

The Xono is a great sounding SS phono unit and it stands firmly against most other phono stages out there. For me thou the TW is the overall best sounding phono stage I have heard and the 3 inputs are fantastic for me. Not perfect but nothing is.

cheers, have fun with your new speakers. I am still finding new things about and growing into my Strad's after over 12 mnths now

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222222&text=do
Owner
Darren

I first used the standard Hannl that came with the machine - works OK, but records still have a little static on them.
At the moment I am using Nitty Gritty 2 which I like better.
After both of these bottle run out, not sure??

What have you used??

BTW, TW phono still fleshing out and sounding better each day - does take about half an hour to warm up thou.

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222222&text=do
Owner
System edited: updated to include some system changes recently

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222222&text=do
Owner
Hi Chris

It is a Sound mechanics rack from Hong Kong. I bought it here in Australia from the importer. Works well with my 4 turntables.

cheers Shane

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222222&text=do
Owner
HI Mapman

Good question, except that I have 3 tables now. I see you have the denon 103r - great cartridge and nice system.

I have had my LP12 since 1985, so won't really every get rid of it due to sentimental value as it was the Linn that really got me into LP's in a big way. Sweet sounding, however does not have the bass weight or soundstage to match the VPI. VPI has always run about 90% v 10% for the Linn. HOwever you can see that my current rack config is less than ideal.

I am getting a new rack next week that will enable me to run 3 tables. From there I will listen and put the cartridge on the arm that seems to have better synergy.
It is fun to play and listen to different cartridges, but not so much fun installing and de-installing from one table or arm each time.
I can hopefully then play some of my wooly dull recordings with a cartridge that is lighter in balance like the clearaudio or ortofon. Or visa versa please brighter recordings and add some warmth to the performance with the denon or Koetsu and leave the dyna XV-1 as the standard.
Stil undecided whether I will sell the VPI in the future as 3 tables sounds like too much, however in practice I'll try it out first.

cheers, enjoy

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222222&text=do
Owner
You will be in pig heaven my friend.

I am still debating on what 2nd arm to get. the dyna arm is more expensive than the Phantom!! It does have detachable headshell thou.

I am leaning towards a tonearm with detachable headshell so I can try somthing like a Ortofon SPU of alike.

cheers

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Owner
Hi Unoear

I bet you can't wait for the thing to arrive.

Took me almost 7 weeks for it to be built. But then again, those that wait come the greatest rewards.

What arm are you putting on the AC-3??

post some photo's when you are up and running.

cheers

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222222&text=do
Owner
Darren

There you go man. It is added to the system. I've officially joined the TW club!!.

Guess I need a TW RCM right??
Thomas doing any TW t-shirts??

Seriously, one serious SOTA turntable

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222222&text=do
Owner
System edited: Added TW Acustic AC-3 turntable and Graham Phantom tonearm. sweet

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System edited: Added transparent MM ref XL-V a while back - thanks Dgad. Recently bought a s/h REL Stentor III. nice unit and fill out the bottom end nicely in my big room - thanks Phaser. Just bought the Orb DF-02. This is the Japan only new model for the air tight LP flattener. Only flattened a few LP's so far, but it seems to work nicely. cheers

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Nothing wrong with Elvis Speedy!!

Gotta post some new photo's with speakers out into the rom more. Even for me the speakers look too close to the wall.

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Hi Rick

Yes it is me dude. How are those 2kw's going now?? How do they really compare to the 2102's, especially in bass drive and smmothness in the upper mids and treble.

cheers

Shane

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Hi, Geletaxi, Jack667

If you look at the back I have 10 record cabinets and another 3 to the right and just in front of the right hand speaker for a total of 13. Each cabinet holds easily 350 LP's. That gets me to the 4150 odd LP's I have currently, all alphabetically sorted.
Behind the green curtain - nothing except a couple of ugly paintings. My idea of el cheapo room acoustic treatment.
Only audio in this room. TV is crowded in the small kitchen / living area.

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Hi Arthur

Nice system yourself. I have read quiet a lot of your informative posts as well and it is obvious you have played with Mac amps for a bit longer than myself. You are right re when one parallel mono's the 2102's, very similar to your experience with the 240's. definately greater than the sum of the two amps!!. there is something magical about tube amps.

I think you are spot on re the equaliser points, as most of the listener fatigue does not really happen at 15kz or 20kz, it is around the 1k to 4k region.

cheers Shane

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thanks Lobnik.

Your room is awesome as well, I especially like how you have infused some room acoustic devices into the room.

BTW, How far are your Strad's apart and how far is your listening position from the Strad's. have you played around with the rake angle on the front or back spikes??

cheers Shane

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HI Undertow

My room dimensions are approx 22ft wide by 25 ft long and a standard 8 ft ceiling. However, next to my listening position, I have an alcove which the kitchen comes into the room by approx 8ft by 6ft. If you look at the back of my room picture, you can see on the left where the alcoves somes into the room as some of the record cabinets are behind the right hand lounge.

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Ah, I will have to check that function on mypage.

The specs show the Strads go down to 22hz. At the moment they don't seem to have as much weight as the mahlers, however that is different to how low they go.

No frequency sweeps as yet. I do have the rives frequency sweep CD that I will try sometime in the future, but certainly no hurry.

cheers

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thanks Keith

Why I went for the Strad's - mainly I guess for the musicality, slightly higher efficiency for my tube amps and I got a pretty good price from my dealer in Sydney ( still a shitload of money) OH and my wife let me!!
I had the choice of buying a new car or buying a new set of speakers. I chose the speakers, so I am stuck with my Maxima for another 5 years at least.

Only early days at the moment.
Main differences are that the mahlers have a very BIG bass sound, some would say an uncontrolled bass sound, where the Strad's are a lot tighter and allow you to hear the differences easier between bass guitar and the various parts of the drum kit. I must admit it will take a while for me to be weened off the more boom boom bass sound of the mahlhers as it is appealing.
With the more in control bass I can hear more into the upper bass and mid's. mids are sublime.
Treble is more forward and a lot more detailed than the mahlers and a bit of a two edged sword. It is smoother than the mahlers, however can bite your head off on some lesser recordings.
Every change you make in the system is easily heard with the Strad's, something I am sure you and Darren would agree with the higher up in resolution you go.

Only had them for 3 weeks, so they will take some more time to break in and I guess over the next 6 months I will slowly move them around to find the best config in my room etc.

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thanks Darren

How do you guys get to know my updates so quickly??? I only updated last night :-)

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System edited: Vienna Mahlers traded in for a pair of Sonus faber Stradivari's. Very different speakers to say the least

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thanks Opus for your kind comments.

Frankly, I have too many cartridges. I have been listening to the dyna XV-1 and Koetsu rosewood lately. I'll put the concerto on the HRX this week and let you know how it sounds compared to the dyna and rosewood. It has been a while so difficult to remmber.
Swing by here in a bout a week and I'll have a report

cheers Shane

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Hi Scott

Yea a lot of time = a lot of money :-) After a few false turns, I think I am just about where I want to be.
Dyna cartridges are great, I have owned them for the last 12 years, with the XV-1 the last 5. It is still the best sounding cartridge I own.
If you ever see a nice s/h XV-1, grab it.

cheers

Shane

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System edited: Sometimes you need to look backward's to move forward. After selling my luved cj prem 16 3 years back I have come full circle and bought a s/h cj ART. No 56 to be exact. That is now what my wife calls the entire system. Only got it it yesterday and all ready I know this is the place where I want to be. Music just floats in a huge musical soundstage that is wide and deep, luxurious and transparent. This is ART indeed.

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HI Sbayne

Nice system yourself. Is the TT that high, or is it the angle of the photo??. It looks as thou your stand is 7ft high.

The denon 103R is an excellent cartridge which excels in natural warmth and a nice rich bass. I hope that is what you hear. They really are chalk and cheese in the way they product music.
The jubilee has more extension in the treble, without being bright and does the hi fi things better. I believe overall it is a better cartridge, however I do like the 103R. I think the jubilee migbt well be in between the blackbird and denon tone wise with better seperation and refinament.
It has been a while since i heard the jubilee on the HRX, so it probably sounds better. I have it currently on my LP12 and it sounds sweet.

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Yea, I am Shane From AUS in the asylum. Who are u in the asylum??

Nice to see that Niki is a least consistent as Rob says he can be difficult as well :) Rob is a nice guy. He bought my dyna XV-1s after I realised I preferred the XV-1 model.

I am sure your soon to arrive CAD-211AE's will be heaven. I would have thought your horn based speakers would have been an easy impedance curve - go figure.

What you don't like rock, pop, elctronica etc. Sounds like you maybe a classical and jazz fan. Me I like that as well, but not as much. I won't be having any garage sales soon, my LP's will be with me til I die.

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No probs Aaron

Compromise is what audio is all about. your yamamoto's were in a different class musically than the atmosphere. I guess the point I was tryig to make, not so successfully was I don't believe I have heard the Zu's sounding what they are capable of with my rock, alternative and electronic musical diet. If you can talk your mate/distributor in Melb for an extended listen at my house, I think the Zu's may well be stunning in combination with the all so quiet Mac tubes amps. I have no issue paying transport to and from etc for the privilage.

Why do you need long IC's. Your TT is right behind the speakers???. Of are you changing the front end location?

As far as the new room goes. The boss changes her mind every 2nd week on what she wants to do with the kitchen, bathroom etc that we are no closer to finalising anything. me I am still unsure on how large I want the room, as the bigger the room the more air you need to move.

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Heh Aaron, didn't mean to dis your system. It sounded better than OK :)
My only point was it was underpowered for what we played. AT higher volumes it started to run out of headroom, at lower volumes all was good. You would also agree that your friend's atmosphere was not your or my cup of tea.
I don't hate classical music, It just does not move me as much as other styles of music.

Anyway, I am reasonbly close on my hifi journey, good to see you are to.

cheers

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Hi there, nice system yourself. I would guess your speakers are close to 100db sensitive?? so immunity to noise would be a must.

Yes, I know Aaron. he has tried to get me to buy the big Zu speakers. I had a listen at his house with his basis 2800 and it sounded OK. However his yamamoto amps were way underpowered for the job and the atmosphere amps he also had were not my cup of tea, no real tube warmth.

RE the 500MB's. personally they were one of the biggest disappointments I have had in audio. Mainly due to the hum etc due to the incorrect transformers supplied. Now what pushed me over the egde was Nik the importer in Melb. A difficult man to deal with to say the least and would blame everything else in my system except where the fault lied - the amps. I could no longer deal with a guy like this, so I got a refund and cut my ties.
Pity as I luved my cary 98P that I bought off an audio buddy in Melb, as well as his Mac 2102. - do you know Rob?? he has big Tannoy's.

You may have better luck with Nik as you live in Melb and it looks like you have bought a lot of nice Cary stuff from Nik so he should treat you well.
If Nik will let you listen to them at home first, go for it , but bass was not the 500mb's greatest forte and my Mac 2102's or your CAD 211's would no doubt sound a lot better in the mid's and treble. They might be good to run the woofers, as they are quite noisy due to their high input sensitivity. My Mac tubes amps are quieter.

Let me know what you end up doing, but I would have the inkling that your CAD 211's should be more than enough without needing the 500MB's.

cheers Shane

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Gpgr4blu
I really wanted to like the 501's more than the 2102's. But to my ears the 501's were just sterile and boring compared to the musical 2x2102's. the 2102's just bloom nicely in the upper bass and have great decay that SS just can't seem to do.

But definately have a listen and hear the difference for yourself.
'
cheers

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Gidday Gpgr4blu

The c1000 is very expensive, so that will be on the backburner for a while.
I have an orginal Hydra but don't like it, so it is a boat anchor at the moment. But then again I have not used the Hydra on the MAC gear as yet. maybe I will try it on the 2xMC2102's.

I will try and get hold of a 2nd hand Indra. IC or speaker cable the better value

Personally the next upgrade i would do if i was you is the 2nd MC2102.

let me how you go, cheers

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Yea, I think you are right. I only really play with the 4k and the 20 and 35hz tone controls. I find they make the biggest diffeence to the sound without stuffing up the midrange. pumping up the 20 and 35 hz controls is quite fun with rock and pop stuff.

I was surprised that there is no 10 or 12k tone control, I guess Mac believe 4k is suffient.

what anps do you drive your karma's with?

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Hi

I have had the Mac combo for about 3 mnths now. The tone controls work, especially in the bass. To be honest I have not used them that much so far. Still fine tuning the sound of the system first. I wish you could turn on and turn off the tone controls from the remote, like the trim. That would be very good.

do you use the tone controls much?

I have not used balanced cables, I use SE 5 metre cables between the pre and power.

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Yea I know about too much money invested in hi fi.

I bet the Jade sounds nice :)
Got the big Maxx's dialed in yet?

I have plenty of vinyl, just bought 12 albums over the weekend as a Xmas present to myself.

I keep telling the wife that she bought the MAC amps for me :)

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Hi Darrren, good to hear from you

The MAC's are excellent. the tube amps have excellent bass control, transparent with enough tube warmth to keep me happy and are very quiet with no reliability issues whatsoever.
Ever since I sold my cj prem8a's back in Sept 04, I have had trouble finding amps to my liking. After the troubles I had with the cary 500MB's I borrowed a mates MC2102 and first thing I noticed that it was quiet as a tomb, unlike the cary's. Sounded quite good and had that "tube something" that no SS amp seems to have.
MAC was not something I was even looking for.

2xMC2102 really sounds a lot better than one. Overall better sounding and best's the area's that the cj prem8a's had troubles with - namely bass control, tubes popping now and then and a bit too much warmth.

What are you doing with yopur system these days - I notice your system is not on gon anymore??

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System edited: got rid of the noisy, unreliable cary 500MB's and have gone to McIntosh. C-46 pre amp. Actually preferred the C46 to the C2200 which amzed me considering I have used tube pre amps for the last 10 years. Demoed the MAC 501's and 2xMC2102's parallel monoblocks and the tube amps just sound musically better, harmonically better and great to listen to. The Mac pre and power amps not only sound great, they are very well built, very quiet and look cool. Hopefully this will do for a while

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thnks guys for the nice comments.

Revgdeg. I have just received a new pair of 500MB's as I had grounding/transformer problems with the last pair. the transformers were noisy, buzzing came out of my speakers and even with pre amp mute on - switching lights on/off, switching the microwave or oven sent bid buzzes/pops thru the system. And I have two seperate lines.
I sent the amps back and Cary apparently made up new one's with better higher rated transformers to work with Australian 240vlts.
I have just plugged them in and transformer noise is neglible, noise from speakers has gone ( thou not as quiet as say Mac 2102's or bel canto ref100's which were absolutely quiet). there does seem to be a small amount of popping when mute is on, but nowhereas bad as before.
Have you had any noise/popping or transformer issues?

Hifimaniac and Aaron. No I have not got or listened to the definations yet - however Aaron I am going to take you up on the offer and come over for a listen to yours in the near future.
just have to sort out car 500MB amps first.

cheers Shane

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Darren. The cary's sound more like a classic tube amp, in being they are slightly laid back, absolutely no grain in the upper frequencies, however can sometimes sound a little polite and lower volumes. that may not be as much an issue with Wilson speakers than my warmer mahlers. Almost wish I still had the 7.5's to use them balanced :)
I have been away for the last two weeks, so it will take a little time to get them dialled in better.

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System edited: I replaced the VTL 7.5 with a s/h cary SLP-98P and that added some musicality and tube warmth. just replaced the cnj prem350 with cary CAD 500MB monoblocks. The 500MB's just sound wonderful with great top to bottom conherence. There is no longer any leaness in the upper frequencies and the bass is now harmonically richer compared to the cj prem350. the best SS amp I have heard coming from a guy that luvs that classic tube sound.

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Yes John I just leave the switchs in neutral. They do make a difference, but it is subtle.

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John. that is good to see the BAT upgrade was worth it. If I had an all balanced system I would luv to hear one. Besides the BAT distributor is a dick. won't let you hear anything unless you buy it first - his loss.

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Jmcgrogan2, John how do your new Bat's sound??

me, I am having great fun with a ARC PH5. never really liked ARC, but thye PH5 is a peach and quite cheap as well. I like it much better than the steelhead or rhea - has better tube bloom!

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John. U r doing the right thing upgrading your phono stage. The top of the line BAT phono is supposed to be awesome.
cables are just the icing on the cake. valhalla's are very expensive, buying s/h is the only sensible option - if you could ever call spending that much money on any cable sensible.

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John. I am getting RCA on both ends. The VTL has both balanced and RCA connections.
Sounds like Valhalla cables would suit your new speakers perfectly :). sounds like a trip to the audiogon classified for you.

Raquel, no idea on the differences between Strauss and Mahlers. Same as you I bought the mahlers way before the Strauss was even released. The Strauss use a 1 inch tweeter that goes to 30,000hz and an 11 inch woofer v mahler 1.2 inch tweeter which goes up to 25,000 hz and two 10 inch woofers. the two 7 inch mids are the same. I guess crossover would be different as well.

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happy listening John. It is always fun to have a new toy to listen to and it sounds as if you have found the ideal speaker for u. the mahlers require a certain amount of volume before they become alive.

I definately can't afford a new set of speakers. I am waiting with baited breath for my long Valhalla IC between pre and power to come back factory re-terminated with wbt nextgen rca's. I had balanced ic before that, but since I settled on a unbalanced amp, the balanced to unbalanced connecters were less than ideal.

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You are correct John, the mahlers sound great with the powerful cjprem350's now.

What has the Verity speakers brought to the musical equation for you?.

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I think I am going to have to change my summary up top. The mahlers are sounding better than ever, now that I have the SS cjprem350 amp. That has really brought the bass under control as well as moving the speakers a little more forward.
You are right, the mahlers do have a sound that is easy to play loud without fatigue.

cheers Shane

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Jeff, I know what you mean re Zyx being the current flavor of the mnth. Same thing last year re Shelter cartridges. Once they have been around for a while, they seem to get dropped from the radar screen.
It worries me that Sorasound always has demo cartridges available to buy on gon. That to me means that maybe they are not THAT popular.

At least U know that Dynavector will be around for the long term.

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Hi Jeff. I have owned Dynavectors for about quite a while now. Started off with XX-1, then te-kaitora, then XV-1, then after that replaced the XV-1s. You may call me biased or know what I like. I have bought the Banz Ruby and Lyra Helikon and to my ears the XV-1 and now XV-1s smokes those big time.
The dynavector has a vibrancy and life to it that just makes it musically nice to listen to. It has plenty of transparency and extension, but none of the brightness of artifacts that produce listeninhg fatigue.
Yes the xv-1s is durable and I have heard the van den huls are a little more fragile.
the xv-1s will definately have a fuller more analogue sound than the colibri and depending on your systems tonal signature that may or may not be something you are looking for. BTW I have not heard the colbri so basing this more on reviwer and user feedback.
One of the audio guys in the asylum had a colbri " Frank P" I think is his name and he now has the XV-1s. he has said the xv-1s is comfortably better sounding in his system.

I have just looked at your system and you have the PE-75 phono stage. the xv-1s mates perfectly with this phono. I had a listen to it a few mnths back and compared to my Pass Xono it sounded in the same league, I would be happy with either. Need to use PE mode, but you probably all ready know that.

let me know how u go.

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Dgad. I have been a dynvector owner for some time now. First with an XX-1, then Te-kaitora, then XV-1 and finally upgraded to XV-1s when the XV-1 was worn out.
I have compared to Lyra Kelikon and Benz Ruby2. XV-1 is comfortably better that these. XV-1 is very musical and natural with nice extension on both extremes.
I know there are a couple of philes who think the XV-1s is at the very top of the cartridge tree.
Not sure how it mates with SME V, maybe you might want to ask on the analogue section of audiogon and vinyl asylum.
I personally would think it would be a good option with your Wilson's.

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Ozzy. thanks, while the system may have changed over the years the LP's have stayed and grown in size.

Nice system yourself. Isn't it a bit of a pain having your TT so low?.

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Dgad, sure email me the manual. BTW, I am not a big fan of nearfield listening and the way my room is structured, bringing the speakers more from the back wall does make the listening more nearfield.

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Hi Dgad. I had the VTL's in my system for 3 weeks and then bought in the cjprem350 to listen. In my system the VTL750 just sounded slow and thick in the bass compared to the prem350. The 750's were current spec with the exception that the new super balanced stage.
Overall I was suprised that I liked the prem350 better, but looking back now I was pushing the budget on the ref 750's.
The cj in my system just seemed to be a little quicker, more extended in the treble and little more musical.
The ref 750 definately sounded like tubes to me - very pure in the upper mids and lower treble.
It seemed that the mahler speaker/VTL tube amp interaction was not ideal.
I must admit you have your speakers out from the back walls quite a lot more than me, which would help the speakers breath a bit more in the bass. The WP7's have a significantly different tonal balance to the mahlers. me when I tried the WP7's a while back, I just could not control the alive treble - especiually when playing a lot of my alternative/pop albums.

One day I will upgrade my cd player, but I buy enough albums now, that if I ha dmy cd player sounding a lot better I could end up broke:)

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thanks for the compliment John.

The Mahlers are sounding a lot better with the SS cjprem350 amp and a tip from Raquel to move the speakers a little more forward. I might need to change my comments up above :)
I don't think I will be moving from these speakers for while as you need to spend quite a lot more for better sound.

You look like you don't need to chnage your amplification for a while either.

cheers Shane

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Drake. I am sure Kimber will work with cj. cj use them as one of several cables they use in the factory. I'll see if I can get hold of the demo 3033 to test against the Valkrya and harmonic.
BTW, boomy bass is pretty well under control with SS amp and speakers out from the wall compared to what I was used to.

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Drake. the kimber distributor also has some demo 3033 wire that has been used on his system - I think for at least 100 hours.
Are you saying the burned in 3033 will sound better than the low hour 3035, therefore giving me a better impression of the Kimber cable?.
If that is the case I might give the 3033 a listen.

cheers Shane

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Drake, The cables were pretty close to new. Got them off the Aussie distributor. he said they sound good straight out of the box and keep getting better. 1000 hours seems OTT thou.
I don't see many of the 3035 or 3038 cables s/h on gon and new is too expensive.
pity you live so far away, I could borrow your speaker cables!.

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Hi Ray. thanks for the compliment. Like your big Marley wall hanging!. I believe the paradims have great dynamic bass and you cj would mate nicely with their sound.
The prem 350 sounds luvely, if you get a chance have a listen to one - still sounds like cj, just more of everything musical.

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Drake. I ran with your suggestion and moved the speakers forward a bit more. Sounds better, the speakers disappear a bit easier. Moving the roomlenses changes things as well. All fine tuning now.
I tried the Kimber 3035 about a month ago with my prem 350 and it sounded good. I preferred the harmonic pro-9 overall as it had a little more extension in the treble. Bass control was similar, maybe kimber slightly better.
The Valkyra sounds great, excellent bass control, nice and transparent.

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thanks Jake. the King rock's!!. Goy to get the Gold record up on a wall soon. One of my life highlights was travelling to memphis back in Oct 2003 with my wife to get to see Graceland, Sun studio, Stax museum, Gibson guitars etc etc.

Anyway back to your question. I have had the pro-9 since 1999 in and out of my system. I had transparent ref XL in for 2.56 years and now trying Nordost Valkyra.
In my system now the pro-9 is simialr to the transparent with a little more sparkle up top and not so big bass. After I got the new cj SS amp, the transparent was a bit too warm, so sold it to another caring audiophile.

I have only had the Valkrya for a couple of days so opinion may change slightly as I slightly tweak a few things. pro-9 bass is a little fatter, or valkyra is a little tighter. Valkrya is definately more transparent thru the mids and seems to make the notes start and stop a lot quicker. pro-9 is probably a little more extended or in the treble thou.

Not sure if that answers your question, but the pro-9 can definately play with the big boys.

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Brian. You need a SS amp to drive the mahlers bass. It drops to below 3ohms for most of the bass. A large room is better as they have two big sideways firing 10 inch drivers and extension down to 22hz.
I have used big tube monoblocks to drive the mahlers in the past and SS is the best way to go.
You need to look for a speaker that has an easier impedance load.

What do you have now?

cheers Shane

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Hi Drake, you were quick, I only just decided to do a few quick photo's and put them up.

The kids luv the disco ball!

The mahlers are about 5 ft from the back wall,approx 10 ft apart and 14ft to listening position(measured from front of speaker). I have just moved the speakers back about a half a foot, will probably move them forward again(experimenting after buying the prem350). I had the speakers reversed when I first bought the speakers and at the time I thought the speakers breathed easier with the woofers facing outwards - I guess if I get motivated I could swap them around for a revisit.
Trouble is that I don't really enjoy nearfield listening (I like to play my music quite loud) and I can't really move the listening chair back too much more due to an alcove of the kitchen that comes into room to the right of the listening chair.

cheers Shane

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