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Thread: The Audiophile Thread

  1. #351
    Member Staun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    I think you meant moving coil versus moving magnet pickups -- MC have lower moving masses and so are more responsive -- though the output level is lower.
    I'm pretty sure they come in different outputs, (MC). Was wondering what the advantage was, lower outputs vs higher outputs.
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  2. #352
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    Quote Originally Posted by rottersclub View Post
    When I moved houses last year, I made a few changes in my 2 channel setup. One was that I switched from unbalanced (RCA) to balanced (XLR) interconnects between my preamp and my power amp. The result was the gain is now significantly higher, so much so that I have had to turn the volume level down on the preamp. But I am also finding the sound to have so much more presence than in my old house. Admittedly, the new room is about 25% smaller and I'm using a pair of fairly large floor standers to which I am a bit closer, but still the palpability of the music is so much stronger now. It's almost like was hearing the music at the far end of a tunnel before. Now, I'm not just in the control booth, I'm on the studio floor! I've been told that adjusting the VTA can certainly change the way vinyl sounds.

    A side note to all you vinyl fans, I was noticing a slight loss of top end (in the cymbals primarily), playing vinyl and after some casting about, I realized that the turntable was not perfectly level on the stand. I shimmed two of the three feet to get it back to level and now the sound is outstanding. I listened to a bunch of things last night and with the exception of Bruford's One of a Kind, everything was just fantastic, with special mention to Pierre Moerlen's Gong Downwind. What a great album it is (except for the dodgy vocals) and it is great sounding to boot. I had forgotten that the violin was by Didier Lockwood. (Another benefit of vinyl - larger print on the cover and inserts.)
    I've been told that adjusting the VTA can and will change the way vinyl can sound.
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  3. #353
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    Quote Originally Posted by rottersclub View Post
    I have a 35 year old Rega TT with a five year old RB301 tonearm. Rega gear doesn't have the option to adjust the VTA, so I was required to raise (shim) the arm when I got the Dynavector cartridge, as it is about 4mm taller than a standard Rega cartridge.
    Stan:

    Bob is saying something different. In setting up your cartridge you had to raise the tonearm to accomodate the Dynavector. This is normal. You want your tonearm to be perfectly parallel to the surface of the vinyl (platter). If the Dynavector cartridge is taller than the Rega you have to raise the arm. The ideal stylus rake angle (meaning stylus to vinyl) is 92 degrees. Vinyl comes in all different thickness. You need to compensate for the thickness by adjusting the VTA. Not all tonearms allow you to adjust VTA. Some can do it on the fly.

    If you play an album that is 100 grams and then one that is 180 there is a wide variance in proper VTA. Personally I'm in what Mr. Carlberg would call the "woo woo" zone. I weigh and adjust VTA for each album. To me its readily apparent. YMMV.

    Here is a nice reference site I came across that might help: http://www.vinylzone.com/cartalign.asp#vta

  4. #354
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    Quote Originally Posted by Staun View Post
    I've been told that adjusting the VTA can and will change the way vinyl can sound.
    Profoundly.

  5. #355
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    Quote Originally Posted by Staun View Post
    I'm pretty sure they come in different outputs, (MC). Was wondering what the advantage was, lower outputs vs higher outputs.
    From the aspect of better quality sound I can't give you a good answer. You want your system to have as little noise as possible. The gain stages in your preamp's electronics introduce noise. You want to mate a low output cartridge with electronics that have enough gain to not introduce noise. There are always tradeoffs. Your phono preamp may have multiple gain settings so you can find a setting that works best with your cartridge. "Best" meaning finding the balance between noise and proper gain. If your preamp is too noisy at the maximum gain setting you probably will need a step up transformer.

    I can tell you that the best cartridges on the market tend to be medium to lo-output. I don't know of any exceptional cartridges that are high output. I'm using a Lyra Atlas cartridge which is medium output (approx. .56mv). My phono preamp (ASR Basis Exclusive) has tons of gain. I have it on one of the medium gain settings and its dead quiet. I mean digital dead quiet.

  6. #356
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    Thanks for the clarification, Ken. I guess I'm more in the "no muss, no fuss" school. I do clean my vinyl before playing it with my Nitty Gritty and I will clean the stylus every other day but that's about it.
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  7. #357
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    Quote Originally Posted by rottersclub View Post
    Thanks for the clarification, Ken. I guess I'm more in the "no muss, no fuss" school. I do clean my vinyl before playing it with my Nitty Gritty and I will clean the stylus every other day but that's about it.
    Stan you are not alone. I'm sure the vast majority don't adjust VTA at all. They set it and forget it.

    You should clean your stylus before every listening session.

  8. #358
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    Quote Originally Posted by LASERCD View Post
    I'm using a Lyra Atlas cartridge which is medium output (approx. .56mv). My phono preamp (ASR Basis Exclusive) has tons of gain. I have it on one of the medium gain settings and its dead quiet. I mean digital dead quiet.
    Very nice indeed. I am playing a Transfiguration Temper cartridge (.2mv output) into a Hagerman Piccolo head amp(26db boost) into a Hagerman Trumpet tubed phono stage (43db gain) and I need all the gain I can get. Running it on a Moerch DP6 arm and a cloned VPI Aries table.
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  9. #359
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobM View Post
    Very nice indeed. I am playing a Transfiguration Temper cartridge (.2mv output) into a Hagerman Piccolo head amp(26db boost) into a Hagerman Trumpet tubed phono stage (43db gain) and I need all the gain I can get. Running it on a Moerch DP6 arm and a cloned VPI Aries table.
    My friend had the Temper W for many years and mourned it when it died. He replaced it with the Transfiguration Phoenix and loves it. The problem he had the Temper W is that he was using it with an Aesthetix Rhea phono preamp. Lot of complaints about that phono stage being noisy - pile on with a low output cartridge and its not the best combination.

    I used to have the Moerch DP6. It's a great arm. The DP8 looks awesome - lots of flexibility.

  10. #360
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    OK, at what $ level do you get into tables that you allow you to adjust the VTA? My baby died this fall and I figure it'll take me at least a grand to replace it. How far does that get me?
    I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

  11. #361
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerjo View Post
    OK, at what $ level do you get into tables that you allow you to adjust the VTA? My baby died this fall and I figure it'll take me at least a grand to replace it. How far does that get me?
    Its not the table its the tonearm. The stock arm that comes with VPI tables has adjustable VTA. Countless others available. Its really the entry level arms that don't allow you to adjust VTA.

  12. #362
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    Quote Originally Posted by LASERCD View Post
    Its not the table its the tonearm. The stock arm that comes with VPI tables has adjustable VTA. Countless others available. Its really the entry level arms that don't allow you to adjust VTA.
    Right. I have an entry level pulley table, Pro-Ject Xperience. Quiet is the word but I know tone arms are the things great attention should be given. We haven't talked much about these type TT's vs regular TT's. Any ideas or thoughts? For me, I'll never go back to a regular or standard TT.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  13. #363
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    Oh boy. This is a can of worms. More than anything else, the whole analogue TT thing is a matter of synergy and pairing of components.

    The cartridge compliance has to work with the mass of the tonearm.
    The tonearm has to mounted precisely and the turntable/plinth has to effectively isolate it.
    the plinth has to support the bearing and dissipate vibrations and excess energy
    The platter has to couple with the record
    The motor has to turn the platter at a consistent speed (which is harder than you might think) and avoid "cogging" that can be translated back to the stylus
    The cartridge has to mate with the phono stage and have sufficient gain
    The cartridge has to be set up and loaded correctly to give an even balance and precise dynamics
    The whole think has to sit on a firm surface to avoid airborne and floor borne vibrations and footfalls
    The records need to be clean
    The stylus needs to be clean

    ... and all this is is both part technical and part art to set up. A true love of the hobby is needed to be this finicky, but it does pay off in the end.
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  14. #364
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    Quote Originally Posted by Staun View Post
    Right. I have an entry level pulley table, Pro-Ject Xperience. Quiet is the word but I know tone arms are the things great attention should be given. We haven't talked much about these type TT's vs regular TT's. Any ideas or thoughts? For me, I'll never go back to a regular or standard TT.
    I don't understand. What is a regular or standard TT?

  15. #365
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    Quote Originally Posted by LASERCD View Post
    I don't understand. What is a regular or standard TT?
    TT's with platters planted right on top of the motors. Lots of brushes and cogs. Usually totally automatic. Tables that did everything they could to mix noise with the music. In lots of pulley type TT's, the motor is a stand alone unit that is away from the table itself. when I got my Pro-Ject table some time back, how quiet it was was the very first thing I noticed. TT noise to music ratio is excellent. No hum, no buzzing, just quiet.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  16. #366
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    Let's hear from the experts on this.
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  17. #367
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobM View Post
    Oh boy. This is a can of worms. More than anything else, the whole analogue TT thing is a matter of synergy and pairing of components.

    The cartridge compliance has to work with the mass of the tonearm.
    The tonearm has to mounted precisely and the turntable/plinth has to effectively isolate it.
    the plinth has to support the bearing and dissipate vibrations and excess energy
    The platter has to couple with the record
    The motor has to turn the platter at a consistent speed (which is harder than you might think) and avoid "cogging" that can be translated back to the stylus
    The cartridge has to mate with the phono stage and have sufficient gain
    The cartridge has to be set up and loaded correctly to give an even balance and precise dynamics
    The whole think has to sit on a firm surface to avoid airborne and floor borne vibrations and footfalls
    The records need to be clean
    The stylus needs to be clean

    ... and all this is is both part technical and part art to set up. A true love of the hobby is needed to be this finicky, but it does pay off in the end.
    You mean I had to do all this just to hear Jon Anderson sing, CHA CHA CHA, CHA CHA?
    The older I get, the better I was.

  18. #368
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerjo View Post

    This is actually a good article.

    The only problem I see, is that Kaplan does not address any of the 'woo' products associated with a certain segment of audio purveyors and consumers. Which is one, or maybe the main reason, why audiophiles are the targets of contempt and ridicule. Yet, I never see the same contempt and ridicule aimed at oenophiles by the main stream press for some of their fringe behaviors.

    But overall, Kaplan did a good job.
    And if there were a god, I think it very unlikely that he would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence - Russell

  19. #369
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    Staun - I'm reading your question of a "normal" turntable as those automatic BIC's and Dual's that many of us had back in the 70's-80's. They were largely plastic, made tons of noise, and cost about $150 back then.

    VS

    A more simplified turntable, with no automated motor controlled arm movement. Belt drive (or direct drive or rim drive), with a solid plinth, attention paid to vibration damping, requiring some setup and user participation to play properly. Costing @$500=$5000+

    Higher performance in anything (cars, bikes, electronic components) usually costs more and requires a degree of knowledge to use properly. With audio you don't always get what you pay for, but with analogue I've found that you can always improve the sound to some degree or another by going higher up the scale. But once you experience it, most find it hard to go back to "average".
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  20. #370
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobM View Post
    Staun - I'm reading your question of a "normal" turntable as those automatic BIC's and Dual's that many of us had back in the 70's-80's. They were largely plastic, made tons of noise, and cost about $150 back then.
    I once had a Dual 1228. The tone arm made so much noise returning to it's rest position. The base was made of some type of wood looking material. Man.
    The older I get, the better I was.

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    Turntable debates also regularly incorporate a level of voodoo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerjo View Post
    OK, at what $ level do you get into tables that you allow you to adjust the VTA? My baby died this fall and I figure it'll take me at least a grand to replace it. How far does that get me?
    The Technics SL-1200 Mk2 turntable has adjustable VTA

  23. #373
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    A very minor clarification - I listened to my copy of Bruford's Feels Good To Me last night and that's been one of my "go-to" album since it came out, not One of a Kind. OOAK sounds compressed and congested in comparison. I will have to listen to my copies of the remasters on CD to get a feel for what they were able coax out of the tapes.
    Think of a book as a vase, and a movie as the stained-glass window that the filmmaker has made out of the pieces after hes smashed it with a hammer.
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  24. #374
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    Quote Originally Posted by shomanca View Post
    The Technics SL-1200 Mk2 turntable has adjustable VTA
    Lots of people seem to like this table as it has been mentioned here before. It appears that this design has been copied by several manufacturers.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  25. #375
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobM View Post
    Staun - I'm reading your question of a "normal" turntable as those automatic BIC's and Dual's that many of us had back in the 70's-80's. They were largely plastic, made tons of noise, and cost about $150 back then.

    VS

    A more simplified turntable, with no automated motor controlled arm movement. Belt drive (or direct drive or rim drive), with a solid plinth, attention paid to vibration damping, requiring some setup and user participation to play properly. Costing @$500=$5000+

    Higher performance in anything (cars, bikes, electronic components) usually costs more and requires a degree of knowledge to use properly. With audio you don't always get what you pay for, but with analogue I've found that you can always improve the sound to some degree or another by going higher up the scale. But once you experience it, most find it hard to go back to "average".
    what he said.
    The older I get, the better I was.

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