'The Road of excess leads to the Palace of Wisdom'
Recorded Sound of such realism and definition that the musical performances come to life right in your home. I can use the recordings as a time machine to transport me to that day when to most brilliant musicians and recording engineers made the best and most fascinating recordings of all time.
Dead-silent Background, microdynamic slam, vivid three-dimensionality, ultradetail and harmonic sophistication is flowered in living colors. The kind of "You Are There" realism and emotionally engaging sound that delivers the sound of The Real Thing.
Ultimate Phono preamplifier w/optional line stage. All triode tube design. Full symmetrical. Unique passive phono EQ. Each tube with its own independent heater supply. Unique double mono PS with bridge-type tube rectification (8 single-wave rectifiers - 4 each channel) and pure foil CLC-PS. 100 lbs - dual chassis, 6 Phono inputs (50dB, 63dB, 68dB, 72dB, 77dB, 81dB pure Phono gain), Output AES Studio specification, (600Ω, digital 110Ω) No-loss- of-Signal-Parts, the best out there (TKD, Silver plugs, Tubes from US Army rocket defensive stations, Silver soldered, Tantal, Caddock, all Parts internal decoupled via Electron microscope devices...) Result: Superior Detail, accurate specs, no coloration and lifelike Reproduction. The sound ? Well, it is no longer about sound. Dynamics, colors, soundstage, 3-dimensionality - yes, all that and much more. But it goes a few significant steps beyond that.
Imagine opening the windows of your room on a clear early summer morning. A breeze of fresh air comes in.Go further in your imagination and tear down the walls of your listening room. All a sudden there is fresh air, the warmth of sun rays on your skin, a world of color, beauty and a flood of details around you. Touching your senses - with brute directness, unfiltered, unaltered. Involving, dramatic, breathtaking and demanding. Nothing between you and the nature, virtually dead silent, free of any colorations with tremendous gain results in a sense of weight, impact and dynamics that is at once thrilling and unique. You can no longer move your attention away from the music. VERY different from anything else I have ever heard - anywhere. Quality inspection from Science Lab for every single piece incl. Tubes, final quality report Engineering Lab, Warranty 5 years incl. my Tubes. Custom made. Serial No: 007 / 012 Never a Mk II version. Tested in University Lab for accuracy before delivered. This one is final.
Audioquest Wild Blue Yonder
20ft Cable from Preamp to Amps, DBS 144V, there is large headroom, natural reproduction, clean pure tone and outstanding smoothness coupled with a more absolute sense of background silence -- a combination that made it easier to hear deeply into recordings and never feel as though some ugly byproduct was lurking around the corner.
Audioquest Leopard Tonearm Cable
Extreme-purity silver Phono Cable with DBS 144v, it creates a strong stable electrostatic field which saturates and polarizes (organizes) the molecules of the insulation. This minimizes both energy storage in the insulation and the multiple nonlinear time-delays. Sound appears from a surprisingly black background with unexpected detail and dynamic contrast.
Also in use:
AQ Wild Blue Yonder XLR
AQ K2 Speakercable
AQ WEL Signature Tonearm Cable
AES (Audio Engineering Society) made the following Standards for the ability to transfer information: OFC-Copper (9N) = 100 and is the Standard, Gold = 90,4 and technical Silver (3N or 4N) = 106
Custom Made Monitoring System. Special designed Crossover, selected chassis with no interaction to the room, The whole system is tri-amplification. Each woofer is sealed cabinet, 18 to 80 Hz with 500 Watt amplifier with active DSP. The woofer driver is a 18" unit with an BxL of 32 and maximum excursion of total 28 mm in sealed 70 litres. Mid bass and mid-highs is a 2 way system with 8" field coil paper driver with huge choke power supply and 80 000 μ filtering. 12 V supply. The tweeter is a 28 lbs unit which goes from 800 to 45 000 Hz. A ribbon / planar hybrid with 100 dB efficiency (past crossover). These two are mounted in an inverse ultraflex cabinet with a combination of 1st order electrical x-over (1 coil in low-mid - 1 capacitor in mid-high) in conjunction with approbiate mechanical filtering in low-pass (pre-chamber) and high-pass (super short tactrix). The cabinet itself has a special adjusted build-in mechnical high-pass with -3dB at 80Hz. Thus giving a pretty smooth melting between the active 18" woofer and the 8" mid-low driver. The whole system has measured 99.5 dB efficiency. Max. SPL 128 dB. Phase never worse than 8°. Pretty flat response whole band. The prime design goals were: - maximum resolution - maximum possible constant sound dispersion - a real soundstage recreation - even if seated way outside the sweet spot - real 3-dimensional soundstage - with not only left - right and front - back location, but real heights differences. Its smooth, yet very detailed and open sound is an important part in the full picture.Thanks to a crossover that does not present a terribly complex load, The Voice can be driven with anything from monster monoblocks to your favorite SET.
Excellent SUT done right. Amazing Bass, Staging AND High Frequency Performance. The full monty...
Made side by side comparisons with Lyra, Konto KSL and a few others and survived
Fidelity Research FR-1Mk3F
The most advanced cartridge in the FR-1 series, the FR-1Mk3F was the first MC cartridge in the world to use pure silver wire for the coils. As a conductor, pure silver has lower resistance than any other metal. Therefore, efficiency is greatly improved without the need to make any other alterations in cartridge design. Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab (MFSL) used the FR-64s / B-60 / FR-1Mk3F combination in the former times for Playback. Coreless coil to prevent hysteresis distortion, extremely durable suspension, this "F" version is shockingly superior to a lot of modern cartridges. When the Phonstage can handle the output, a superior cartridge for any Linear tracking tonearm, too. Updated Diamond greatly improving high-range response.
Tonal right, superior Detail, no tonal gap from lowest to top range, never smears, superior channel separation, exceptional imaging & transparency ...truly terrific
Very rare, probably one of the most sought carts in the world. It was the last series from FR, only 98 were ever made....but there are good news, when you find one, based on their construction they do not wear out and work always.
The King of Cartridges
VTF: 2,35 gr Output: 0,15mV Imp.: 3,0Ω
Fidelity Research FR-7fz
The Fidelity Research FR-7z which was conceived by Ikeda-san fits in the Category "Done Right" and is one of the finest moving coil cartridges in the world. This MC cartridge employs a push-pull electrical generating system based on a 2-magnet, 4-pole magnetic circuit design. Both in theory and practice, this revolutionary configuration almost entirely prevents the generation of any distortion, while simultaneously doubling output voltage. FR's coreless coil reduces effective mass and eliminates hysteresis distortion, a large problem with conventional MC cartridges that have their coils wound on a core made of permalloy or other magnetic materials. It combines an outstanding black background with world class dynamic presentation. Clean, fast top end in combination with a taut, well extended bottom end. Midrange is as natural as breathing. Remarkable musical flow with hard to find definition, transparency and transient refinement. Like Phoenix's ability to be reborn from its own ashes... A great sounding cartridge
Output Voltage 0.24mV(5cm/sec.)
Tracking Force 2.0~3.0g
Load Impedance 2Ω
Frequency Response 10Hz~45kHz
Channel Balance 1dB(1kHz)
Channel Separation 20dB/1kHz
Compliance 7x10 -6 cm / dyne (100Hz)
Stylus Shape Custom made for Syntax
Fidelity Research FR-64s
Tracking error distortion does not exist, the superior energy transfer of this Arm, linked with exceptional bass performance gives outstanding stable imaging. It has an uncanny ability to reproduce the tonal colors and dynamic elements of deep bass notes plus extremely quietness with stunning resolution and clarity. Correct tonal color or timbre is critical for proper musical reproduction. It is this color that defines the unique characteristic of an instrument. A guitar and piano playing the same note at the same loudness are vastly different each with its own unique timbre. The FR sounds so rich, transparent and detailed... it is simply amazing. Good as the Graham Phantom Supreme is, here is the Master.
Refurbished. Every component is soaked in a Swiss Clock Assembly degreaser, a 24-48 hrs process. Old grease removed with high quality swiss clock grease.
Each component is then relubricated with the proper Swiss Clock Maker's Synthetic Lubricant. Different parts require a different type of clock maker's lubricant. Direct wire from HS to RCA WBT102 Ag Plugs. New ABEC-9 bearings inside.
A Design done right. Combination with B-60 VTA Adjuster. Very rare.
Fidelity Research FR-66s
The King of Arms
A superb performer with even the most demanding records ever made. The presentation of nuances, non smeared detail with a rock solid dynamic physical force delivers a unsurpassed alive sound picture. This brilliant Arm provides a significant reduction in tracking error without incurring the typical resonance and control liabilities associated with longer arms. Music is reproduced effortlessly with superb transparency, sound staging, focus, realism and a superior dynamic range. It simply turns hi-fi into a musical event, enabling you to get lost in both the music and the performance, The FR-66s- still - represents the pinnacle of serious audio engineering, it takes no prisoners!
Ikeda Sound Labs
Model 9 Kiwame cantilever-less Design "Di quella pira" ... when the going gets tough, the tough get going ... Amazing ability to accelerate. It can go from completely quiet to full tilt in an instant, it achieves this in such a effortless manner that the listener does not think about dynamics, but about 'Boy, what is THAT ??" Excels at textural production in a large authoritative sonic picture with musical flow and a clean, ultrafast top end. The new "Ikeda" are ultra inferior compared to this one. A typical example of getting a famous name and offering something which does not deserve the merits...
A Class of its Own...
Output voltage: 0.15mV (5cm/sec.45' 1kHz)
Load impedance: 1.0Ω
VTF: 2.0 - 2.5 gr
Compliance 6 x10 -6cm / dyne (100Hz)
Super match with Cotter Mk2L
Jeff Rowland BPS & BPS-6
Modified BPS Power Supply & BPS-6 for Cadence 2012 from JR. It can accommodate larger batteries and will last considerably longer with more current Power Supply ... Accurate in realistic tone and spectral balance, resolution, linearity along with weight and dimension based from its inherently low noise and very low source impedance maintained over a wide frequency range. Through them, each note had a realistic sustain, followed by a similarly realistic decay located in real space... Its overall quality comes through in the harmonic content which let you forget the time in front of your speakers.
Jeff Rowland Cadence
In conventional Phono Preamplifiers, Damping is provided by load resistors. As a result, a significant amount of Signal Energy (MC) is wasted when converted to heat within the loading resistors.The Cadence is carefully engineered to effectively damp resonant energy occurring at high frequencies while transferring the maximum amount of lower frequency energy to the active input stage. This results in significant increases in dynamic range with no penalties of increasing noise. The CadenceDesign allows dramatic improvements in frequency response (4 Hz to 180 KHz !), Phase linearity (deviation from linear phase less than 3°, 50 Hz to 20 KHz) and distortion (less than 0,0001%). Last Production Batch, Serial No. [greaterthansign] 300
Ultrasonic Record Cleaning Machine
Koetsu Blue Lace
Blue Lace Onyx Platinum with Diamond Cantilever
Based of the limited supply of Koetsu's Blue Lace stock, they only issue two Blue Laces a year. But aside from its obvious beauty the Blue Lace batch was also specially selected because it is the hardest and most rigid among the onyx family, making it an exceptional cartridge housing due to its outstanding sonic qualities. Uncompressed dynamics, outstanding top end, lifelike Performance with a very realistic Soundstage. Faster than Lyra Atlas with a much more believable Presentation of the Real Thing. Top Performance with FR-64s + Arche Headshell + Aggelos + VTF 1.80 gr. Body: Blue Onyx Type: Moving coil Coil wiring: Silverplated copper Magnet: Platinum magnet Output: 0.3 mV Frequency response: 20-100.000 Hz Channel balance at 1 kHz: Better than 0.5 dB Channel separation at 1 kHz: Better than 25 dB Impedance: 5Ω
VTF: 1.80-2.00 gr. Weight: 12.5 gr. Compliance: 5 x 10-6 cm/dyne at 100 Hz
Koetsu Blue Lace MONO
Custom made 2 coils (one for each channel)
Body: Blue Onyx Type: Moving coil Coil wiring: Silverplated copper Magnet: Platinum magnet Output: 0.3 mV Frequency response: 20-100.000 Hz Channel balance at 1 kHz: Better than 0.5 dB Channel separation at 1 kHz: Better than 25 dB
VTF: 1.80-2.00 gr.
Weight: 12.5 gr.
Compliance: 5 x 10-6 cm/dyne at 100 Hz
Koetsu Coralstone Platinum with Diamond Cantilever
Side by side comparison with regular cantilever shows that the Diamond Cantilever lifts the performance to a higher level without any negative results. The DC seems quieter with more space between the notes linked with a higher resolution. The overall balance is simply superior, hard to describe but it is a class on its own. The top frequencies are clear, delicate, fast with holographic Gestalt. Big orchestrals are absolutely seamlessly and effortlessly presented. Passages with highly Dynamic swings are as limberly and gracefully handled as solos and intimate pieces. All music genres are perfectly served by the Coralstone's absolute stability, uncanny presence and assertive body. Extreme high and low frequencies are handled with better extension and control than other Koetsu stone bodies. It also tends to be a tad more neutral with a more transparent soundstage. It is hands down a great cartridge
Top Performance with FR-66s + Arche Headshell + Aggelos + VTF 1.80 gr.
Body: Coralstone Type: Moving coil Coil wiring: Silverplated copper Magnet: Platinum magnet Output: 0.3 mV Frequency response: 20-100.000 Hz Channel balance at 1 kHz: Better than 0.5 dB Channel separation at 1 kHz: Better than 25 dB Impedance: 5Ω VTF: 1.80-2.00 gr. Weight: 12 gr. Compliance: 5 x 10-6 cm/dyne at 100 Hz
Lamm Industries LL2.1
One of real sonic bargains today. Huge Soundstage with Telefunken 6922 & Amperex 12AU7. Seriously modified with High Performance Parts: -Selected Caps+Shunts -Potis from TKD -Teflon tube sockets -Ag Inputs -Ag Wiring / soldering
Lamm Industries LP2 sign.
High Gain LP2s: 71dB MC Phono Preamp with NOS 417A Western Electric 1970s Tubes, added some ultra performance parts (Silver/Gold in Oil caps ...) The Designer has gotten the transients of the minutest micro dynamics right. This is the kind of stuff that makes you sit up straight and nod in recognition as very small sound impulses come through the right way.
Lamm Industries M1.2R
Remarkable vital sounding Amps with absolutely unique clarity and micro-resolution during sound reproduction. Listening to Adele Adkins, Live At The Royal Albert Hall, amplified with Omnigon and the Vitus SCD-025 Mk II unit show what's all about. Sitting on Vibraplanes
Running In The Deep.
Lamm Industries ML2.1
Tube amp with NOS 1970s Mullard CV4004 Box Plate made in UK, modified with Ultra Performance Parts inside offers timbal truth, a top to bottom coherency, explosive speed locked with a accurate and uncolored reproduction. Sitting on Vibraplanes
Lyra Olympos SL
Clean, ultrafast top end in combination with a taut, well extended bottom end. Midrange is as natural as breathing. Compared with Lyra Atlas, the Olympos is superior in every aspect. The lifelike tonality is striking. Remarkable musical flow with hard to find definition, transparency and transient refinement. Specifications - Frequency range: 10 Hz - 50 kHz - Cantilever system: Diamond coated solid boron rod cantilever, natural diamond line-contact stylus (3 x 70 micrometers profile). - Channel separation: 35 dB or better at 1kHz - Internal impedance: 3 Ω - Output voltage: 0.2 mV (5.0cm/sec., zero to peak, 45 degrees) - Cartridge weight (without stylus cover): 13.8 g - Compliance: Approx. 12 x 10-6 cm/dyne at 100Hz - Recommended tracking force: 1.65 - 1.80 g - Recommended impedance: 100 Ω to 47 kΩ
Magnum Dynalab 108
Tuner with triple mica NOS Siemens 1950s Tubes from a Military Radar Station in the Swiss Mountains, linked with MD205 Signal Sleuth.
Micro Seiki RX-5000 & HS-80
Out of its silent background, this Table re-creates startling dynamic swings. The music can literally explode from dead silence in an instantaneous yet progressive way that denotes the live thing. An unexpected tsunami of natural delicacy and realism that draws you into the heart of the music all the way to the original event as captured by the recording, the modified 5000/HS80 let the Lyra Olympos cartridge shine, both on macro and microdynamics. The modded Seiki provides a platform to recover the subtle shadings that create intensity in the music. This modified version offers an extremely low frequency weight with an outstanding seamlessness top-to-bottom tonal complexity. Outperforms easily the big Continuum Caliburn in terms of low register speed, punch, definition, color, body, provides a much better resolution in the complete frequency band with noticeably more weight, 3-dimensionality and leaves the - overrated - ringing Seiki 8000II in the dust.
Philips Voltage Stabilizer 1610
Hospital Grade Magnetic Voltage Stabilizer Output voltage is adjustable Regulating accuracy +/- 0,1%, which is incredibly good Power rating: 1 kW continuous, for Front-End Turntables, Phonos & Tuner
Solid Steel Shelf equipment
Source-Odyssey RCM MK V
The Rolls Royce of record cleaners. If you're looking at this pic, you already know this is the best of the best [Much more reliable than Glaess Ultrasonic RCM...]. Almost impossible to find in the used market. Those who own one keep them forever. This nozzle unit makes the VPI Typhoon looks like a Toyota Camry. Based on the Keith Monks, this is the custom order model with 2 independent fluid reservoirs, Point nozzle Design, Made in Germany. The Best.
"One of the worlds best vinyl record cleaners, made for the perfectionist.
The majority of record cleaning machines on the market make use of a slotted vacuum wand to remove the cleaning fluid from the surface of the LP. While both the aesthetic appeal and price point of these machines varies considerably there are several constants. This methodology tends to be extremely noisy, limited in ultimate suction and less than effective with even mildly warped LPs since contact between the slotted vacuum wand and the vinyl surface is compromised. There is also the very real risk of cross contamination unless one is prepared to rinse the slotted vacuum wand with distilled or deionised water between LP sides. Furthermore, when using two-step cleaning regimes consisting of a "home brew" or commercially available deep cleaning fluid followed by a rinse fluid, usually distilled or deionised water containing a wetting agent, one must employ separate applicator brushes and vacuum wands in order to avoid cross contamination. There issues are effectively addressed with a different type of machine which employs a pivoted arm with a small vacuum nozzle rather than the more common slotted vacuum wand. Such devices feature a continuous spoil of fine cotton thread which represents the only point of physical contact with the vinyl surface. Because the contact area with the LP is very small and intimate at all times, regardless of LP warps, the vacuum is concentrated where it is needed most for the most effective removal of the cleaning fluid from deep in the groove.
The most well known nozzle-type record cleaning machine is arguably the Keith Monks unit from England. Loricraft, also based in the UK, manufacture a lower cost variation of the Keith Monks machine. It has lower build quality and fewer features compared to the Keith Monks unit, specifically lacking an on-board cleaning fluid pump and applicator brush, and it is let down by the fact that the reservoir for holding the spent cleaning fluid and cotton thread is located externally. The Odyssey Mk V, takes all of the wonderful features of the original Keith Monks machine and extends and improves upon them. In this respect the build quality of the Odyssey is superior, the components are of an even higher tolerance and specification, and the unit is even quieter than the Keith Monks which is itself quieter than any other vacuum record cleaning machine extant. Quite simply the Odyssey is THE perfectionist's record cleaning machine, a device that not only looks and feels "high end" in the truest sense of the term but is fully justified because, most importantly, it does a superior job in removing the cleaning fluid from your precious vinyl recordings. The result is not only reduced wear and tear on both your LPs and stylus but also the lowest possible noise floor and thus maximum recovery of recorded detail.
This Odyssey is finished in beech. All of the high tech German-engineering is located under the lockable hinged stainless steel top plate. While the Odyssey features a single internally mounted 700 mL cleaning fluid reservoir, electric fluid pump and deck-mounted applicator brush as standard equipment, a second set can be optioned to facilitate the most unobtrusive of two-step cleaning regimes imaginable. This means no unsightly bottles of cleaning fluids out on display and no brushes laying around posing a cross-contamination risk. The Odyssey is a true archival record cleaning machine. This means that, unlike most slot-type vacuum machines, you can clean hundreds of records in a single session without risk of the vacuum pump overheating and without intolerable levels of noise.
The Odyssey is a very substantial unit measuring 42 cm (wide) x 44 cm (deep) x 36 cm (high) and weighing in at around 20 kg."
list price $7,499.99 US plus taxes.
Stax SRM-007t II
Balanced Tube Amplifier for Stax L-700 Headphones. Amplifier is modified with better NOS Tubes, Signal Path is shorter and a few other mods thatl transform this unit to a much higher level from sonics....really amazing unit now.
Sutherland Timeline Strobe
The Timeline flashes its laser at precisely 33 1/3 (or 45) times per minute
09/12: Van Cliburn, Tchaikovsky Concerto No. 1, JVC JM-XR24004
10/12: La Fille Mal Gardée, LIM XR24 013
11/12: Toscanini, Plays Your Favorites, JVC JM-M24XR04
Telos Audio Grounding Noise Reducer
Active Grounding for 6 units
Expanded Soundstage, no noise, better focus in the higher frequencies, the naturalness of tonality is a step ahead
Telos Audio Quantum Noise Resonator
I hate to say that: Stunning
VIBEX SPB Statement Power Block
High current unit, 2x32 Ampere high current for amplifiers, 7 layers of different Isolation and Damping material inside, non magnetic housing, a 40 lb sandwich construction made of Aluminum and Krion stone ...
Best there is
Also for my Amps, a much more serious solution than the usual nonsense
Vitus Audio SCD-025 Mk II
Digital Player which replaced the EMMLabs CDSA-SE
Wavac HE 833
The King of SET. Special 10th Anniversary Model 150Wpc Most manufacturers choose some cheap tubes, use a primitive, simple design and promote it finally as ultimate. Wavac has a completely different way, they choose the ultimate tubes (there are no better ones for their way to go in each amplification stage), develop a own design without any compromise and the result is a performance which has to be heard to believe. Until the invention of their IITC circuit, there was no way to harness the power of the mighty 833A for Class A audio applications. The HE-833 uses a triode-wired KT88 driver stage which couples to the 833A through a low impedance transformer, providing ideal drive conditions to actualize the full sonic potential of the transmitting triode. A ultra-low noise, telecommunications-quality Western Electric 437A is used in the input stage for maximum dynamic range. I honestly doubt if there is anything else like it in the entire world as their way of design and construction is almost scary. The reproduction is very pure, never fails to give the impression of something warm and organic. While listening to vocals, I couldn't help feeling that a living human being was singing there. The sound is quite lively and powerful without the slightest faltering or limitation. Classical vocals are presented with a rock solid structure in the sonic image and the accompanying piano was projected with steady and strong authority. Brilliant brain done right. Each is connected to a 32Ampere high current device & Oyaide F1 connectors Amplifier Stand is Vibraplane
Ultimate Tools No Way Back
Before you burn your next bundle of $$ try to find that and your will hear things from the most demanding records you never heard before. - AT-637 Stylus cleaner - Cartridge Man Digital Levelling Gauge - Dennesen Soundtractor (Metal) - Sutherland Timeline Laser - UNI Protractor - XLO Test & Burn-in CD
Sold units in the Cheers Section
I think, therefore I am
My former units
I learned a lot while using them, some are outstanding designs, very few were cheaters
Acoustical-Systems Axiom Anniversary
Shootout FR-64s Arm, can't come close to the lifelike reproduction
Aesthetix Callisto Signature
Nice, but the Lamm LL2.1 is more natural in sound
Atma-Sphere M-60 Mk II.2
OTL Amplifier mono Reliable and great sound All options
Replaced with Lamm ML2.1
Basis Audio Debut Vacuum sign.
Turntable with vacuum which does not make the music sound dead and lifeless.
One of the rare serious Designs of today I learned a lot with it, a true no-nonsense-Design. Best memories ... but I was young and needed the money.
DaVinci Audio Labs Grandezza
Replaced with FR-64s, way more dynamics, better focus and a lifelike reproduction which is a class on its own
Never looked back
DCS Delius & Purcell
DAC & Upsampler 24bit / 192 kHz
a good sounding combination
Reference? Well, maybe for the Manufacturer .... for me it is just another one in the overhyped group of "great" which is in reality mediocre at best.
Sold and never looked back
Lamm Industries L2R
Overrated Preamp, bought a LL2.1 instead, much more realistic reproduction
Sold and never looked back
Revox PR-99 MKIII
Sold and never looked back
Jeff Rowland Coherence 2 Series 2
Battery Powered Preamp for the natural, overall realism of the music. Last version without SMPS. Pure DC operation avoids the conducted and radiated noise typically produced by rectifiers and regulators.
Thanks for taking the time to create a system page for your amazing system.. Bravo. I see you're an isolationist also, and took notice that your speakers went from on the floor to having a telltale shadow under them, have you isolated them also? Or have you removed the footers?
There's also some springs that look like they have some kind of coating on them, what are they please?
Analog goodness... more like analogue goodness gracious me!
Was looking for a competent service for my FR-64s Arm. It was still good enough to win any comparison with any other Arm based on its detailed, life like reproduction but I wanted to have the experience how good it really is when inside is made everything new from scratch. I found Richard Mak from analogmagik.com who offers a complete refurbish. New grease, new cabling you can choose, direct wire with 2 Plugs for your Phono input, new bearing and now he also offers a 66s Armwand to change a 64s into a 66s. I sent my Arm to him and will see what to do when it is open …
….. Cartridge alignment needs great precision as 0.5 mm is too great an error. It is about getting the very best possible from a given cartridge/tonearm combination. To get that, the best possible geometrical set-up and alignment is the very first step. What is lost here to imperfect alignment can’t be recovered anywhere else in the audio chain. I want to illustrate the point by adapting the dimensions to our daily world. A modern stylus does feature a polished area – and it is actually that area alone which should have contact to the groove’s wall – of 1-2 μm to 5-6 μm.
A 12“ tonearm is approximately 300 mm effective length. Now what if we have an error of say one tiny 0.5 mm away from the calculated point of zero tangential error? No big deal and well within the tolerances of many alignment templates. Most “sweet spots“ on templates are already double that figure in diameter. Now let me transform those dimensions to our scale.
We amplify every figure in the tonearm and stylus by 1000x. Now the tonearm is 300 meter long. The cartridge now has the size of a big family house. And the polished area of the cartridge? It is now 1-2 mm to 5-6 mm. And hanging at the tip of a 300 meter long tonearm......... That 0.5 mm error we were talking about is now 50 cm - or 1⁄2 meter - off the perfect line.
You should know what to do to get the best out of the investment. Not enough, you should know what kind of Installation you want to have, depending on your records. There can be huge differences.
From 1938 to 2010 - nothing changed in more than 70 years? Phono tonearm geometry is born: 1937/38
In the years around the start of the Second World War, gifted engineers with strong backgrounds in mathematics published in quick succession their groundbreaking calculations for best approaching a theoretical tangential zero tracking error with a pivot tonearm. These calculations became the industry standard for years to come – though as I’ll explain later, they’re not the benchmark we should be using today.
Erik G. Loefgren and H.G. Baerwald published, in 1938 and 1941 respectively, the definitive calculations based on B. Olney’s initial essay in Electronics, November 1937.
They came to the very same best possible approximation of a circle segment to a given straight line. Their Euclidean calculations resulted in a tangential curve, which set the standard as being the theoretical and practical best geometric compromise. Phono tonearm overhang and offset angle were established as essential features in order for a pivot tonearm to reach the best possible geometry, thus giving the lowest derivation from the tangential ideal for that 70 to 95 mm of grooved radius in a 12-inch record. The final result was the best combination of lowest maximum and lowest average distortion in the tracking due to tangential derivation– or tracking error. The analytics of B.B. Bauer in 1945 and John Seagrave in the mid-1950s reconfirmed Loefgren’s and Baerwald’s theory and results, firmly establishing the tangential curve they calculated as the best compromise in geometric phono tonearm set-up.
This is an essential part of phono analog history.
The tangential curve of 1938/1941 – today named Baerwald DIN or Loefgren A DIN – was the indispensable foundation of high fidelity sound in phono records. The tangential curve calculated by these pioneers of high fidelity analog sound was mathematically as close to perfect as possible, and their contribution to the quality of phonograph reproduction can’t be valued too highly. However, the record groove Loefgren and Baerwald did their calculation for was not the record groove we (at least, most of us) play today – far from it. Aside from the mere outer dimensions of the medium (diameter), there are hardly any similarities in the two grooves.
Back in their day, the state of the art was the 78 rpm shellac mono record of the 1930s.The groove of a shellac mono record is different in most every way from a stereo microgroove record dating 1958 or later.
78 rpm shellac mono record vs. 33 1/3 stereo microgroove
The modern stereo microgroove is considerably smaller. Further, it is engraved with a much finer and more complex three-dimensional encoding. It runs with less speed, resulting in further reduction of available space for a given amount of recorded time. Likewise, the stylus and polished area are magnitudes smaller and more refined today compared to the days of Loefgren and Baerwald. So the stereo microgroove record is not the medium Loefgren and Baerwald faced in the late 1930s, and the modern 12-inch microgroove long-playing (“LP”) record is certainly not the medium they did their calculations for. The stereo microgroove is so different in most every way that it requires a closer look and a different approach to reach a possible optimum in sound decoding when tracking it. I had been using the original Dennesen Soundtractor since 2005: a solid metal device that allowed for Baerwald IEC alignment independent of the mounting distance. Most, if not all, better tonearm alignment tools available today are based on this ingenious design, which was years ahead of its time.
There are RCA Living Stereo LSC, Mercury Living Presence SR, EMI ASD, DECCA SXL, Columbia SAX, Impulse AS, Blue Note, Columbia 6-eye CS, 90 / 100 / 120 / 180/ 200gr gr. Vinyl, compresed Masterings…… and Reissues.
Many of these recordings have long grooves – cut fairly close to the paper label and thus often exceeding the “official” limits of both DIN (inner groove limit record radius 57.5 mm) as well as IEC (60 mm, measured from center of the record spindle hole).This fact inevitably means fairly high tangential derivation in the last minutes of many records – in other words, high distortion figures in those important areas of the music where you need/want it the least.
Why in those areas?
Say you have a 33 1/3 microgroove on an LP that is indeed spinning with a constant speed of 33 1/3 rpm. The beginning of the groove, at about the 145 mm point of the LP radius, features about 100 cm groove-space for one minute of recorded signal. That means lots of space and the best conditions for the stylus because its fairly easy going. (Imagine a straight new three- lane highway, early on a Sunday morning in mid-summer, and you get the picture.)
Close towards the inner label – say at the IEC limit 60 mm radius – the available space for one minute of engraved signal is only about 33 cm, squeezing the information into one-third the space, with an increased curvature and at a point where the tangential error of the tangential curve of Baerwald and Loefgren is in a steep rise. For the stylus of your cartridge this is no longer the three-lane highway it tracked 20 minutes ago. That highway has turned into a narrow serpentine in the Chilean Andes – a nightmare of a road that it has to drive with maximum speed, even while the edge of its chassis is hemmed in. What is happening in these last minutes where the conditions for the stylus get increasingly rough and tight?
In classical music – as well as in jazz and rock/pop –the final beats and the big climaxes occur exactly while the stylus is approaching the end of the groove. In other words, the biggest challenges for the cartridge tonearm happen just when the periphery conditions are the worst.
But this is just one of many facts that call for a slightly different look at the stereo microgroove. Since the mid-1980s, record manufacturing has more and more abandoned record-cutting exceeding a 62 mm radius, an evolution that actually began with lots of customers rejecting records because of inner groove distortion back in the early 1960s and that finally reached the direct metal-mastering era in 1984. The “modern” variation of Baerwald’s and Loefgren’s calculation (called Loefgren B IEC) – putting the two points of zero tangential error on the tangential curve (”null points”) closer together and the second null point farther away from the center – was tailored to this new trend in record cutting.
Superficially, this appeared to be a smart reaction to an altered condition. However, it remained an incomplete solution – only a fairly one-dimensional (over-) reaction to the generally decreased actual cutting radius rather than addressing the complexities of the situation. Baerwald’s and Loefgren’s calculations for a best possible combination of lowest average as well as lowest maximum derivation for a circle segment trying to approach a straight line with two null points can’t be bettered in our geometry. What can be bettered, however, is the resulting tracking distortion in a stereo microgroove. This can be done with a tangential curve that is not viewed under plain general geometric aspects, but rather under weighted criteria of the real – non-linear – medium.
Or you choose something different for the areas of higher and lower derivation which are positioned differently from Baerwald and Loefgren because they (if we add Stevenson and Loefgren B) paid no attention to at all: the human brain and our way of hearing. The human ear (actually the part of our brain that composes what we mean by hearing) is very sensitive to changes.
UNI-DIN’s curve is actually flatter than the other curves, in the sense that the inevitable dips and peaks of derivation in the tangential curve are smoother – less steep in both directions.
This results in less notable alternations – less notable for our brain – in tracking distortion.
Further, UNI-DIN features an unusual offset angle and overhang for the effective length. This results in less resulting skating force (I will cover this very specific topic in a later essay) with any cartridge and pivoted tonearm. (If in doubt, please check it out with your set-up – you will see that this statement is correct.) UNI-DIN offers more headroom in critical passages.
Towards the inner grooves especially there is much cleaner sound with more stable soundstage. Sibilants in female voices are much easier to handle and feature notably fewer tendencies to break up or become harsh and unnatural. Soundstage dimensions and depth are increased and more stable over the entire record. The sound in general is more relaxed and seems to have more headroom – the more the record is cut towards the label, the more apparent to the ear.
The differences depends also more or less to the country you live and their kind of voicing (Asia is different to USA, can match with classical recordings, not match with singers…)
And next, what tool for that? The majority are more or less copied from each other, more or less wrong, good for nothing, most are not tight fitted to spindle (they have no standard, some are smaller, some wider, this "forgotten" detail can ruin everything after 2s because it is wasted time Or, what Arm will be used? Some (older ones) are made for 45's, some have a good geometry, some not, some can track everything, some not, can we compensate something with soft cartridges .... and so on and on...
A few lines to Speakers Corner Reissues ... For comparison: Decca SXL and London: Peer Gynt Decca SXL and London: Espana
The Reissues are wrong in the higher frequencies, they simply hurt and all the details from different musicians are gone. They are equalized to be sonic blockbusters, in a way they remember me to MFSL. Impressive wall of sound even on a 500$ Turntable, but they can't show you anything new when your Equipment gets better. It is always the same "Performance". The originals have a ton more details, a total different tonal color and a much deeper, detailed soundstage. You can clearly hear the differences even among the mastering engineers (Wallace / Burkett for example).
In a way it is so special in our modern world, where endless high powered amplifiers are available, and that one has 18 Watts only? Well, probably these 18 Watts sound better, more true, more real than all others? Maybe. In the last 20 years I made the experience, that speakers should be always paired with the right amplifier (or the other way). Most Audiophiles buy the amp or the speakers of their dreams and invest lots of time to match them. Sometimes successfully, but sometimes it can be frustrating, too. I read some owner commentents and it seems, this ML2.1 can drive a lot of speakers, some of them use Wilson, Avantgarde ... myself I use a 99.5dB Design with a very simple X-over, life is easy you know.. This ML2.1 amplifier is designed around the large Russian 6C33C-B dual-triode vacuum tube. That one is a robust high power, low internal impedance tube, making it possible to design output transformers with very low turn ratio. Such transformer design permit very extended frequency decade factors at both extremes as well as a dramatic reduction in leakage inductance. The result is a natural sound reproduction, not only in the midrange (where triodes rule) but also in the low and high frequencies (a traditional weakness of triode designs). In a way it is unique, nothing else sounds like that piece of electronics. It’s the real thing, it has no weaks. A lot of other designs can create some magic here and there, but at the end of day, they aren’t complete in their tonal spectrum. Some say ‚the magic is in the first watt‘, or ‚all the magic is in the midrange only‘. Breathing a spark of harmonic life into instrumental outlines is part of the magic of a outstanding design, and derives from that first watt of power it propels the harmonic envelope to full bloom. The dynamic microcosm lives or dies by that first watt, and the ML2.1 amplifier possess the purest initial burst of power that anyone has yet to hear. It is true, the magic is in the first Watt, and also in the following ones, midrange only is waste of time, a justification for an average design. The ML2.1 is made for one purpose only: The bring the real thing into your home (when the rest of your System is ready for that...).
This is the kind of ‚sound‘ which makes you sit up straight to listen and to feel very small sound impulses come through in the right way. When I have some visitors in my room and I play some classical music, after a while they breathe in the rythm of the musical swings. The listener gets into the presentation, he is inside - or a part of - it. This amp drives the whole audible spectrum with authority, speed and transparency. The reader is confronted monthly with the sonic revolution of something, every word as description was written countless times... naturalnees, invisibility ... and when you go to listen to the unit(s), you think: Huh, did the reviewer dream? (yes) Did he ever listen to it? (No). Did he smoke something? (Probably). Anyway...
Back to reality. When the right speaker is connected, the ML2.1 is a full range Tube amp, loading the room with the right, realistic Bass content combined with the right Balance which is really on the record and not only a part of it we will find so often.
With the music of Gounod- Faust, Bizet-Carmen (LSC-2449) - for example - you hear uncompressed music from a time long ago, where those engineers were captured in the sound of dynamics in combination with extraordinary stage depth and image specificity among the different instruments. The ML2.1 gets it all, with vivid colors and tremendous musicality. Melodies reproduced naturally, with believable Details propelling the whole of the score. The most startling quality of the ML2.1 sound, which grabbed me at the very first listening session, is its immediacy. The music seems simply to be there, transmitted directly from the artists to the ear. I could analyze the elements of that immediacy -- principally a combination of excellent transient rise and settling speed and extraordinary tonal neutrality -- but it seems a prosaic response to the sheer sonic poetry of the experience.
Another interesting Detail is the Balance of this amp. Female singers and violins for example, sound as pitch-perfect and true as male voices and cellos. The same is true for different musical genres, there is always the toanl time difference between the different frequencies. Every record will guide the listener in a new sonic experience, it never gets boring. When you listen to one of those older classic records which was recorded in one of those European Concert Halls, you will hear the echoes which are reflected from the side walls, the impression of tonal truth is something total different compared to Digital recordings. Don’t get me wrong, the Sound of the ML2.1 is like a Schubert piano trio: logical, perfect, well balanced, apparently immortal and glowing with with beauty of the truthful sort. The sound is like poetry at its best, it contains as much meaning as the notes / words themselves and every performance is shot trough with the kind of random beauty which serves the fascination to listen to the same record again and again.
Listening to music can be either a passive or an active experience. The vast majority of the public never actively listens to music, just passively in the car, or while working out, so fidelity isn't really important to them. Actively listening to music requires that you actually stop doing other things, and just sit and listen to the music. I don't care if they choose to use velvety sounding tubes or bright, upfront Krells. If you want your system to sound biting, forward, and aggressive, hook up a pair of horns to some Krell/Levinson amplifiers, it is that simple. Why should I put up with ear bleeding brightness because he says thats what "high-fidelity" is supposed to be? If I'm going to spend a ton of cash on a stereo, I want it to be enjoyable to listen to (even with some less than great recordings) not tear my head off. If that makes me "part of the problem" so be it. Audio actually used to have a goal: perfect reproduction of the sound of real music performed in a real space. That was found difficult to achieve, and it was abandoned when most music lovers, who almost never heard anything except amplified music anyway, forgot what "the real thing" had sounded like. Today, "good" sound is whatever one likes. Normally there is no hope today. Normally...
Superior analog reproduction is a chain of details done right. there are a few "religions" out there, I listened to various designs and finally, each audiophile can choose which way he wants to go....
A moving coil type pickup extracts information from a phonograph record more accurately than any other known type of mechano-electric transducer. Furthermore, by virtue of the physics of its design, the energy that this kind of pickup can develop as compared to its own internal noise is far greater than that of any other design.
The moving coil type pickup has the least time dispersive distortdon which, more than any other kind of aberration, is responsible for the breakdown of the sense of realism and immediacy in the reproduced music. This lack of distortion arises from the insensitivity of the moving coil pickup to perturbations along the stylus axis resulting from groove-stylus frictional effects.
By comparison, other pickup types have far greater axial sensitivity enabling them to deliver a highly undesirable output signal of no musical worth. This signal serves only to contaminate the purity of the desired music to be reproduced.
The phonograph record, which is a three dimensional surface replica of a recorded event in time, is a far better medium for preserving the events in time than one might expect. Poorly designed pickups, which sadly exist in abundance, belie the inherent excellence of the phonograph disk by their flawed transduction through which the quality of disks are often judged.
The available energy generated by the moving coil type pickup is not in the optimal form to be used with the input arrangement to today's electronics. Contrary to popular wisdom, the moving coil pickup has an abundance of energy, and needs no additional energy boost from some external source. Rather, the pickup's own energy needs only to be transformed to a different mode in order for the finest systems to profit from the fundamentally great advantages offered by the moving coil pickup cartridges.
The large quantity of current naturally produced by the moving coil pickup must be transformed to voltage. This is because the inputs of audio electronics are voltage, not current reading sensitive for best signal to noise ratio.
IN FACT, IT COULD BE CONVINCINGLY ARGUED THAT ALL METHODS INVOLVING THE DIRECT AMPLIFICATION OF A MOVING COIL PICKUP'S SIGNAL TO HIGHER LEVELS ARE INHERENTLY WRONG. FOR IN SO DOING, THE WONDERFULLY HIGH ENERGY TO NOISE RATIO OF THE MOVING COIL PICKUP IS RUINED BY SUCH AMPLIFICATION DEVICES THROUGH THEIR INTERACTION WITH THE PICKUP. THIS IS A TRAGEDY AND AN IRONY SINCE AS STATED ABOVE, THE PICKUP HAS A GREAT DEAL OF AVAILABLE ENERGY IN THE FIRST PLACE.
The only intelligent approach which confines itself to the physics of the problem is the use of a carefully designed transformer, optimized for the resistance of the moving coil pickup of choice.
Finally, splitting the incoming signal for amplification is not the real task, the real task is, to change it to something which sounds like the real thing without loss of detail ...
I think, there is no "best" for everything. Each amp will work super with matching speakers. Electrostatic speakers need a different amp than a speaker design with 99dB. But, all to them are top in their area.
Did not listen to v2 from Waac, a Wave Dealer told me some time ago, there is no sonic difference...