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Thread: The Audiophile Thread

  1. #426
    It will be interesting when 3d home printing advances to the point that you can print your own albums. Think of it... if you're hard core you could print a fresh platter every single time you felt like hearing a record. If files of molds of original stampers became available that would be amazing, or they could be scanned from existing vinyl. I don't get the love for records though. The mechanics are just so weird, all the angles shifting everywhere... wouldn't it make more sense if we have to have vinyl to go back to a format like the cylinder? And why vinyl? Isn't there a more robust plastic out there? Or other medium entirely? Could you make records from glass? It all seems like the gasoline engine. Everyone's hooked on this romantic century old tech. There has to be a better way. Well, there is, it's tape- but even if you want to be all mechanical and steam-punky there has to be a better way.

  2. #427
    Member rottersclub's Avatar
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    It's funny that you mention reel-to-reel. My brother was/is a big fan. He bought a Rega CD player a few years ago because it sounded like his old Revox tape machine.

    WRT vinyl, I certainly find it frustrating at times. I played an old copy of Ralph Towner's Solo Concert album and with the exception of one or two burps, it was clean. Then I put on the 180gm version of Radiohead's OK Computer and it was disgustingly noisey. And about 25 years newer. Go figure.
    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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  3. #428
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    Quote Originally Posted by Staun View Post
    You know, I have this vision of Mr. RCarlberg, trapped inside the worlds biggest used vinyl record store. The only way he can get out, is by cleaning every single album, 45, and 78 ever made. And he has to clean them, by hand. Hmmm
    Firehose and scrub brush, half hour tops.

  4. #429
    False Number 9 Pr33t's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Staun View Post
    Just a note to BobM and Pr33t regarding a recent cart replacement. I replaced my Sumiko Blue Point 2 with a Dynavector 10x5 cart. Three weeks is still to short a time for breakin but a couple of thoughts. The Sumiko is a nice cart but there are a couple of things I wished it had done better. Channel separation and sound stage could have been improved. I noticed this while listening to ELP's Knife Edge. During the sweep near the end of the track, the sweep seemed to stall or pile up in certain places. Not a smooth left to right, right to left movement. The Dynavector took care of this as the sweep is now clean and free moving. On older pressings, the Sumiko seemed to flatten out the tracks whereas on newer pressings, it performed nicely. Some of the older pressings I used were, Bowies' Diamond Dogs and The Allman Brothers, Filmore East recordings. Older and newer pressings on the Dynavector sound great with alittle beef behind it. Great sound stage and no instrument is lost in the back of the mix. Again, three weeks is not enough time to make major statements about a cart but these are things I've noticed right away. The Sumiko is a nice cart, make no mistake. But at this point, the Dynavector is producing some great sound. The TT used is a Pro-Ject Classic Xperience 2, Olive.
    Great timing - I just caught up with this thread over the last two days. Glad to hear about the Dynavector, it's still on my shortlist.

  5. #430
    False Number 9 Pr33t's Avatar
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    As I think was mentioned here and in Staun's previous thread about cart recommendations, my feeling is that synergy is truly the most important thing for enjoyment of playback. I would never have called myself an audiophile before, since there's usually a stigma attached to the gear-fetishists, but I have really come to appreciate great sound, and what it entails to get it. When I first started getting into vinyl a few years ago, I wasn't concerned with the fidelity at first, trying to keep costs down. Once I actually started playing records as my primary source, I started making incremental upgrades, and I could really tell the difference, whereas before I was always skeptical. Not to say that I have some crazy 5-figure setup, but I'd like to think that I've pieced together a really nice Mid-Fi system that fits my space and my taste.

    For reference, here's my system:

    Rega P3-24 [with external power supply, upgraded Groovetracer sub-platter, counterweight and acrylic platter]
    Rega Exact Cart
    PrimaLuna Prologue 3 Pre-amp
    McIntosh MC2505
    Aperion Intimius 5B bookshelf speakers

    I've got a sound that's nice and warm with the tube pre-amp, has some power with the Mac, and gets a nice and revealing sound with the other components. Right now I'm contemplating a new cart, as I think this is the weak point in my current enjoyment. The Exact gets me a nice and clear sound, but I find that it is very unforgiving when it comes to noise reduction. From what I've read and heard, upgrading to even just a high-output MC will generally lower the noise floor. I'd hopefully expect an experience similar to Stan's upgrading to a Dynavector from an Ortofon, which has a similar profile to the Exact.

    Here's where I'd appreciate any advice you guys may have (Ken and Bob especially), and have some questions (keeping in mind that 'best' is an incredibly subjective thing):

    Given what I've already got, and the general sound I'm after (reductively described as warm, with a good soundstage and room to breathe, and a lower noise floor), what should I be on the lookout for in a new cart? (I'm not planning on changing out any equipment, but any suggestions or comments you may have, I'd be interested in hearing them). How much does the stylus shape affect the sound at this level, and what would be an ideal pairing for me? On that point, what are the pros/cons of different stylus shapes?

    Many things are pointing me to a Dynavector, and I'm very intrigued by what I've heard of the the Garrott p77i (any info about the current manufacturing of this cart? I'm not sure if it's the same thing since the Brothers are no longer here to be involved). I'd need a MM or high-output MC to work with my pre-amp.

    And then a more general question, since everyone seems to have a differing opinion on this - when/how often should either the cart or the stylus be changed out?
    Last edited by Pr33t; 03-04-2015 at 01:23 PM.

  6. #431
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    Rega P3-24 [with external power supply, upgraded Groovetracer sub-platter, counterweight and acrylic platter]
    Rega Exact Cart
    PrimaLuna Prologue 3 Pre-amp
    McIntosh MC2505
    Aperion Intimius 5B bookshelf speakers
    We need some more photos of these rigs here.
    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

  7. #432
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    If your system is trending to the warm side, then I would stay away from anything that will make it "warmer". Too much of a good thing ...

    I would definitely suggest looking at a cartridge which gives you more detail, and punch. That means a moving coil IMO. The Dynavectors are a great place to start. For one thing, then have a fine line stylus, which (true) can be a pain to set up and you won't get the best out of them unless you can adjust your VTA. So it might be worthwhile to purchase an after market VTA adjustment ring that adapts to that RB301 tonearm, if the shims don't get you all the way there. Here are some suggestions:

    http://www.vtaf.com/
    http://www.michell-engineering.co.uk...-vta-adjuster/

    A fine line stylus will sit lower in the groove and pick up more details than a regular elliptical stylus. It also seems to reduce record surface noise for the same reason (though you should still clean your records for best results). As for longevity, these cartridges will last you many years, given reasonable care and occasional (careful) cleaning of the stylus tip.
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  8. #433
    False Number 9 Pr33t's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerjo View Post
    We need some more photos of these rigs here.
    Best I have at the moment, not being at home

    2014-11-28 13.09.21.jpg

  9. #434
    False Number 9 Pr33t's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobM View Post
    If your system is trending to the warm side, then I would stay away from anything that will make it "warmer". Too much of a good thing ...

    I would definitely suggest looking at a cartridge which gives you more detail, and punch. That means a moving coil IMO. The Dynavectors are a great place to start. For one thing, then have a fine line stylus, which (true) can be a pain to set up and you won't get the best out of them unless you can adjust your VTA. So it might be worthwhile to purchase an after market VTA adjustment ring that adapts to that RB301 tonearm, if the shims don't get you all the way there. Here are some suggestions:

    http://www.vtaf.com/
    http://www.michell-engineering.co.uk...-vta-adjuster/

    A fine line stylus will sit lower in the groove and pick up more details than a regular elliptical stylus. It also seems to reduce record surface noise for the same reason (though you should still clean your records for best results). As for longevity, these cartridges will last you many years, given reasonable care and occasional (careful) cleaning of the stylus tip.
    I was assuming that the warmness of the Dynavector would just fit with what I was already getting, and not necessarily over-color the sound. Something to think about though.

    Thanks for the recommendations - I am planning on something to adjust the VTA should I move away from the Rega line. The Exact I already have on there does has a fine line stylus. Would any improvement in noise reduction be down to the actual construction and function of an MC?

    (And for the record, I clean religiously. I even give "new" sealed records a swipe with Disc Doctor quickwash solution. I have a few buddies who mock me for this, but with all the time, effort and money I put into collecting and listening, it just seems illogical to not have the media in the best condition possible to get the best out of it. I also brush the stylus between album sides, and use disc doctor stylus cleaner in between records).

    Is the idea that you need to switch out the stylus/cart every 1000 hours or so just a variant on planned obsolescence to make you fork out more money?

  10. #435
    Member BobM's Avatar
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    1000 hours is a ballpark. I think you can get much more. That adds up to many years, any way you look at it.

    The Rega's are an OK arm, but they are not what I would call "audiophile". There are much better arms out there
    Last edited by BobM; 03-04-2015 at 02:37 PM.
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  11. #436
    False Number 9 Pr33t's Avatar
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    I've always been curious about that, as you get reductive points on both sides of the argument claiming early wear, and others saying "a diamond is the hardest substance on earth!" - I've always felt it falls somewhere in the middle. The only thing that makes me nervous is that by the time you would hear any wear, the stylus has probably been raking your grooves for a while before you notice.

    I know most tend to find the arm the weak point in the Regas. I still think it's a great entry-level 'audiophile' table. What tables in a similar range to the Rega would you recommend over it?

    I'm nowhere close to looking for a new table, but I have been checking out the restored tables here (http://vinylnirvana.com/vintage-turntables-for-sale/) for quite a while, as they're really nice looking. I've heard a TD-124 in a system similar to mine (both PL3 and a MC2105) and liked the sound.

  12. #437
    Oops!

    Posted incorrect info.

    Disregard previous post.
    Last edited by simon moon; 03-04-2015 at 03:22 PM.
    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

  13. #438
    Member Staun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    Firehose and scrub brush, half hour tops.
    .
    The older I get, the better I was.

  14. #439
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trurl View Post
    It will be interesting when 3d home printing advances to the point that you can print your own albums. Think of it... if you're hard core you could print a fresh platter every single time you felt like hearing a record. If files of molds of original stampers became available that would be amazing, or they could be scanned from existing vinyl. I don't get the love for records though. The mechanics are just so weird, all the angles shifting everywhere... wouldn't it make more sense if we have to have vinyl to go back to a format like the cylinder? And why vinyl? Isn't there a more robust plastic out there? Or other medium entirely? Could you make records from glass? It all seems like the gasoline engine. Everyone's hooked on this romantic century old tech. There has to be a better way. Well, there is, it's tape- but even if you want to be all mechanical and steam-punky there has to be a better way.
    The specifications for this home-printed LP, will they be stored in a computer?

  15. #440
    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    The specifications for this home-printed LP, will they be stored in a computer?
    You could probably put it on mag tape

  16. #441
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pr33t View Post
    I've always been curious about that, as you get reductive points on both sides of the argument claiming early wear, and others saying "a diamond is the hardest substance on earth!" - I've always felt it falls somewhere in the middle. The only thing that makes me nervous is that by the time you would hear any wear, the stylus has probably been raking your grooves for a while before you notice.

    I know most tend to find the arm the weak point in the Regas. I still think it's a great entry-level 'audiophile' table. What tables in a similar range to the Rega would you recommend over it?

    I'm nowhere close to looking for a new table, but I have been checking out the restored tables here (http://vinylnirvana.com/vintage-turntables-for-sale/) for quite a while, as they're really nice looking. I've heard a TD-124 in a system similar to mine (both PL3 and a MC2105) and liked the sound.
    Mike:

    Obviously I dabble in the crazy end of the hobby but I am familiar with much of the products discussed in this thread. To be honest I wouldn't waste the money on a new cartridge until you move away from the Rega. Its really an entry level product and is killing your sound in ways that you have no idea. I promise that once you get away from that Rega and jump up to something substantial you will be in tears.

    If you are on a tight budget move on to one of the entry level VPI tables like the Scout and eventually invest in a good MC cartridge. I used to have the Shelter 501 Mk. II and for the money it was phenomenal but its more than doubled in price now. Personally I'm not a fan of Dynavector cartridges for many reasons. Years ago I owned two different ones and they both physically failed (they did sound great when they worked). I've spent enough time hearing their top of the line XV-1S and XV-1T and they aren't to my personal taste. I'm assuming the PrimaLuna has a built in phono stage. Consider the less expensive range of cartridges from Soundsmith. Peter Ledermann makes fine sounding cartridges that are actually MM. You will get a lot of bang for the buck. Peter is an expert, is based just outside NYC and could probably help you dial in your cartridge and table. If you really can stretch your budget I would also recommend the Lyra Delos. I'm using their top of the line Atlas and its easily the best I've heard. If you are really restricted there are plenty of decent MC cartridges in the $500-600 range from Sumiko, Denon, Ortofon and Benz to consider.


    Sorry if I offended anyone with my comments - just my opinions of course.

  17. #442
    Member Staun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rottersclub View Post
    Staun, I can't remember what you are currently using. In the past, I've always used the phono stage in my amps.
    In the past, I've always resisted using external phono stages as I felt it was just another circuit to process through. However, I've heard so few of them, I have to wonder what I may be missing. But like you, I've always used the internal stage. I have a Counterpoint preamp which I would like to replace this summer as it has some milage. Boulder mono blocks and PSB Image T speakers.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  18. #443
    Member Staun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pr33t View Post
    Best I have at the moment, not being at home

    2014-11-28 13.09.21.jpg
    Is that Macintosh I see there? My dad is a macintosh man and no one can tell him any different. Still, after all these years.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  19. #444
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    Quote Originally Posted by rottersclub View Post
    Dynavector has a relatively tame presentation compared to many others.
    Although I'm only in three weeks with my Dynavector cart, I find that it's presentation has more bottom end overall compared to the Sumiko BP 2. Rather nice.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  20. #445
    Member Staun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trurl View Post
    It will be interesting when 3d home printing advances to the point that you can print your own albums. Think of it... if you're hard core you could print a fresh platter every single time you felt like hearing a record. If files of molds of original stampers became available that would be amazing, or they could be scanned from existing vinyl. I don't get the love for records though. The mechanics are just so weird, all the angles shifting everywhere... wouldn't it make more sense if we have to have vinyl to go back to a format like the cylinder? And why vinyl? Isn't there a more robust plastic out there? Or other medium entirely? Could you make records from glass? It all seems like the gasoline engine. Everyone's hooked on this romantic century old tech. There has to be a better way. Well, there is, it's tape- but even if you want to be all mechanical and steam-punky there has to be a better way.
    My good sir, I do have a "tape", machine. It's a Teac X1000R 10in., and I love it.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  21. #446
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    Quote Originally Posted by Staun View Post
    In the past, I've always resisted using external phono stages as I felt it was just another circuit to process through. However, I've heard so few of them, I have to wonder what I may be missing.
    The phono stage is no doubt the weakest link in the analogue chain for most people. In fact, I would go so far as to say to buy the best phono stage you can afford before you spend any money on anything else. Otherwise you just won't hear what all the fuss is about if you upgrade to a nice cartridge or turntable or arm.
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  22. #447
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobM View Post
    The phono stage is no doubt the weakest link in the analogue chain for most people. In fact, I would go so far as to say to buy the best phono stage you can afford before you spend any money on anything else. Otherwise you just won't hear what all the fuss is about if you upgrade to a nice cartridge or turntable or arm.
    Alright then. Tube stages are warm but I'm told are noisey. Are solid state the best? Recommend and comment on the sound presentation.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  23. #448
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    Quote Originally Posted by Staun View Post
    Alright then. Tube stages are warm but I'm told are noisey. Are solid state the best? Recommend and comment on the sound presentation.
    There is no right answer. Solid state phono stages will generally be quieter, offer deeper, tighter bass but there is something seductive about a tube phono stage that many listeners prefer. Personally I use a solid state phono stage. I would have no qualms about switching to tubes if I didn't feel I was sacrificing any of the characterics I like about what I'm using now.

    The thing you have to remember in the ongoing debate between solid state vs tubes - the best of the best offer many of the characterics of the other design to the point of being indistinguishable. In other words in an ideal system you shouldn't be able to identify whether or not you are listening to tubes or solid state.

  24. #449
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    Quote Originally Posted by LASERCD View Post
    Mike:

    Obviously I dabble in the crazy end of the hobby.
    Photos of the listening room would not go unappreciated.
    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

  25. #450
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pr33t View Post
    Best I have at the moment, not being at home

    2014-11-28 13.09.21.jpg
    So do you run a sub with that. God that Mac looks sweet.
    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

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