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Thread: Dilemma

  1. #41
    Senior Member Pascal Hibon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Apesbrain View Post
    Just chiming in to say that I use a Benz ACE (0.8 mV; first gen model) and like it very much. I've owned many cartridges including an Audio-Technica AT-14Sa. If I needed a new cartridge, I'm sure I could live happily with one of the current A-T line such as the VM-740ML. My memory is of a nice clean sound and very good tracking. I've always read favorable things about the OC-9 series as well. Enjoy!
    Both the Ace and the OC-9 are very good carts.
    And yes, I'm enjoying the AT.

    Listening to Van Morrison - The Alternative Moondance.



    This is a Record Store Day 2018 release. Great album!
    Cambridge Audio 851D-S -> Focal MP1200 -> Focal Electra 1028 Be
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    1 x SB3 and 1 x SB Touch in storage
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    http://www.last.fm/user/phibon

  2. #42
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    Koetsu cost

    Quote Originally Posted by cliveb View Post
    I've never heard a Koetsu, for the very practical reason that I didn't want to in case it made me need to afford to buy one. But IIRC, Koetsu cartridges share a lot of design features with the Supex ones, and I do remember them being a little more refined and less "in your face" than things like Dynavectors and Linn MCs.

    Even fresh out of the bag brand-new LPs can have mold release agent that is worth removing. And apart from the Keith Monks (which is thousands to buy), vacuum cleaners can be had for a few hundred. They are the only really effective way to clean LPs.
    Hi Clive!

    Just for nostalgia's sake (I am 63 now, so please indulge me... ), I've decided to create a 3-way system: analogue, CD & only 10 years out-of-date Transporter-based digital music streamer.

    I had a Koetsu Black (which I had picked up s/hand in the 1980's for £200, as ever!) in my original (pre-EVERYTHING LP12 with Ittok LVII arm + extra counterweight): it was a LOT better than my previous Transcriptor's Hydraulic Reference deck with SME 3009 Mk2 (?) & Shure V15-III MM cartridge, even through my fairly average Meridian 101 pre-amp (with internal MC card fitter after the deck swap) + pair of Meridian 105 mono-block amps attempting to tame my monstrously reactive Spendor BCIII loudspeakers.

    THEN my sweet 2 year old daughter with the agility of a monkey climbed out of her play-pen when my wife was briefly occupied elsewhere in my house & managed to climb up the wall about 5 feet to where I had carefully relocated my record deck on a wall bracket to keep it out of reach from curious little fingers! So when I got home from a hard slog in the City, my Koetsu was lacking its entire cantilever (which we never even found for all the good that would do). Oh well.

    Being fairly flush at the time, I had an "all bells & whistles" home contents insurance policy with new for old replacement cover through the bank which my wife worked for. I got it out & read the small print. We were certainly not under-insured, but there was a limit for unspecified items of £1500. By good fortune my wife's brother also worked for the same bank, in a different bank & of course his surname was her maiden name. So I got him to put in a general enquiry on behalf of an anonymous potential insurance customer as to whether the insurance division of the bank would regard the deck, arm + cartridge of a "high-end" set-up as separate items with regard to their £1500 limit, or whether they would class the entire ensemble as one item (thereby requiring specific identification as a high-value item if it was worth over £1500 - this was something which I had not done when taking out my policy): btw, the LP12 + Ittok were s/hand as well, lol, you know what I'm like...

    So, via Mike, the answer comes back that the whole thing is ONE item: no real surprise there, I am dealing with an insurance company. But no cause for despair, a quick visit to a really good local retailer (who had a seriously impressive collection of 10,000 vinyl albums for auditioning purposes - he actually LIKED music himself) who could supply all my deck components new, & a polite request for a valuation that maximised the value of my stone cold dead Koetsu Black, whilst bringing in the overall valuation of the set in under £1500 & btw, I will make this worth your while: "No problem, Dave!". Nice guy, the Koetsu Black was £595, & the grand total was something like £1487.75p!! MAGIC

    I filed my claim. The bank sent out a loss adjuster. I showed him my diminutive daughter (she's still under 5' at age 27, but perfectly-proportioned of course!), the substantial Alcatraz model play-pen & the carefully positioned wall bracket for my deck - then I gave him Rob's "independent" valuation on his impressive letterhead. The loss adjuster stared at it all, then shrugged his shoulders & said, "I think we're going to have to pay this one". RESULT

    The only problem is, I can't play my music! So I scour the s/hand ads & come across this geezer knocking out a pre-owned Koetsu Rosewood Signature (then list £2000, still available new at a bargain £3798 according to Oxford Audio Consultants) for £500. I phone the geezer up - he assures me that it's had minimal use, & was formerly installed in a Goldmund Reference Turntable, which was serious kit at around £30,000 a pop. I get a distinct sense that I'm NOT being fed a line, this guy just needs some quick cash. I tell him that I have a good idea & that I'll be in touch again shortly when I've set it up. So I call Rob, who is deeply sceptical - I point out that I'm already nearly £400 up, so I'm not really risking much - but what I'd like to do is to pay him the £500 to hold in escrow: then I'll get the geezer to call him (he can check that the number is legit, this is a high-end shop here) & when he has confirmation that Rob has my cash with express permission to pay it on, he will ship the cartridge to Rob for inspection. If it works OK, he gets the dosh. Rob goes for it, geezer goes for it, cartridge is fine.

    So I pay Rob £90 to re-balance my LP12 (tricky job, if you don't know what you're doing) & to fit the Rosewood Signature into the business end of my Ittok, including the supply of the necessary extra counterweight.

    And that's how you get a Koetsu Rosewood Signature, folks! Apart from the original £200 quid that I'd paid for the Black, the additional cost overall was a negative £5. The Rosewood Signature knocked spots off the Black for sheer musicality & my errant daughter became Hero Of The Year...

    Dave
    Last edited by Golden Earring; 2018-04-22 at 20:52.

  3. #43
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    Cleaning new LPs

    Quote Originally Posted by cliveb View Post
    Even fresh out of the bag brand-new LPs can have mold release agent that is worth removing. And apart from the Keith Monks (which is thousands to buy), vacuum cleaners can be had for a few hundred. They are the only really effective way to clean LPs.
    Agreed.

    I put my new ones through my dishwasher.

    Just kiddin'...

    Dave

  4. #44
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    The nostaglia "kick"

    Quote Originally Posted by Golden Earring View Post
    Hi Clive!

    Just for nostalgia's sake (I am 63 now, so please indulge me... ), I've decided to create a 3-way system: analogue, CD & only 10 years out-of-date Transporter-based digital music streamer.

    Dave
    I realise that it's a bit self-indulgent to quote myself, but I'm seriously hypomanic just atm what with my bipolar affective thingy (I can't sleep, which is why I'm posting on here in the middle of the night), so I hope that you will understand. If you think that I'm becoming incoherent (how am I supposed to tell?), give me a nudge & I'll leave you all in peace.

    However, attention span is an issue atm, & I have noticed that I dropped the ball by starting off mentioning my nostalgia project & then rambling on about Koetsus & not mentioning it again.

    So here it is, FWIW: I've decided that my LP12 is so behind the times that it would cost way too much to bring up to current (& vastly over-priced) spec, not to mention that the bearings in my Ittok are probably a bit dodgy after 30 years of very little use (none at all for the last 20!) & 7 house moves in the meantime. So that'll get knocked out to someone even more nostalgic than me, who likes fiddling with stuff.

    Instead, I've secured some fairly serious Avid gear s/hand at a great price: Volvere SP turntable with bearing upgrade & twin drive belt mod by the original Avid dealer with an SME 309 arm rewired with fully balanced silver litz internal cable (you can make this work with the Rosewood Signature if you're prepared to get down & dirty with all the adjustments - & since I AM the Devil, attention to detail IS my speciality . Obviously the SME Series V is a potential upgrade, but from what I've read, most of the advantage is in the ease of adjustment rather than any major improvement in sound, if I succeed in getting the 309 aligned correctly. Add to that a pretty serious 2 box MM/MC phono preamp, with balanced XLR ins & outs, called the Pellere (this is definitely my kind of kit: its multitude of adjustable cartridge loadings, both resistive & capacitive + its gain options are ALL concealed on the underside of the unit, so the front has no controls at all (& why not? After all, once you've set it correctly, it's done... ).

    So that's the nostalgia analogue side: I'm just praying that the Koetsu is still on-song, since Sugano-sen Senior (Yoshiaki) who made it has not been with us for some time, although Sugano-sen Junior (Fumihiko) is continuing the family business of exquisitely hand-made cartridges, & is allegedly nearly as good as his dad was, which is why they're still not particularly inexpensive - each one is like a musical instrument. IF mine does need a re-build it will not be cheap, since they routinely replace everything except the rosewood case (which apparently improves with age, a bit like me. lol!), but at least I'd get the boron magnets which weren't available in the 1980's when mine was born. Note to Clive: you did well to avoid ever hearing one! As Hannibal says in "The Silence Of The Lambs" to Clarisse, you only covet what you see (or in this case, hear!). Once I've got it all set up, which will involve some serious amateur woodwork to create some acoustically isolated plinths & shelving, I'll let you know if you'd like to hear what you missed - don't worry, it can't compete with Shannon-Nyquist powered digital streaming from a bit-perfect source, can it?

    As for the CD nostalgia trip, that's simple - I've got hold of a Pathos Acoustics Endorphin in pristine condition, from eBay of all places. It DID involve a 500-mile road trip & a night in a Premier Inn in Sheffield, but since they're about as rare as hen's teeth & I negotiated a 15% discount on the back of the journey (!) from a price that was already below the going rate such as it sporadically is across the whole of Europe, neither I nor my trusty 2002 MX-5 bothered too much. It wouldn't fit in the boot, so it had to go on the front seat - I could barely work the handbrake (& you just have to have the large & very carefully internally padded heavy plywood box: after staring at it for some time, I reckon that I have now figured out how they made the lid - it can't have been routed, the background is way too smooth! It's a work of art in itself) so it slept on my double bed, with the help of a friendly & strapping Yorkshire lass of a receptionist who helped me lug it up from their secure (but not THAT secure!) underground car park to the lift & thence to my room on the 9th floor: of course, once I had her to myself in my bedroom, she wanted to know what I'd got, so I showed her. Oh, stop misbehaving, I'm talking about the CD player!

    Dave

    P.S. My only remaining problem is that my Pathos Acoustics Logos amplifier only has 2 balanced XLR inputs , whereas I'm going to need 3, or 4 if I connect up the Transporter's analogue XLR outputs (although they output considerably less than reference level balanced output level). An active switching box with gain adjustment costs a bomb, so I'll probably settle for a passive sub-£100 Kramer 4-into-1 switch box - it's a lot more compact as well. As has already been suggested in this thread, the party trick is to set all 3 sources playing the SAME piece of music & then challenge my occasional guests to work out which one is actually playing through the speakers...
    Last edited by Golden Earring; 2018-04-23 at 01:11.

  5. #45
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    Great stories, Dave!

    I still have my Transcriptors deck with the SME arm and Shure cartridge (all vintage mid-1970s), but the turntable needs a new belt and the damping fluid has gone away, so I haven't used it in quite a while. On top of the dustcover I keep the Museum of Modern Art book that shows it in their collection and has this photo:

    https://www.moma.org/collection/works/3339

    Bill

  6. #46
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    One big problem with the Transcriptors turntable was its lack of support for the LP.
    When it was designed LPs were a decent thickness, but after the oil crises of the early 70s they got a lot thinner and couldn't support their own weight without flexing.
    All in all, an interesting piece of art, but a debatable piece of engineering.
    Transporter -> ATC SCM100A

  7. #47
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    The Transcriptor's Hydraulic Reference Turntable

    Hi Bill & Clive!

    As I think I've mentioned (somewhere!) before, I had one of these beasties, with an SME 3009 Mk2 (?) arm & a Shure V15 Mk III cartridge before I got the LP12/Ittok combo: this originally had a cheap & cheerful MM cartridge fitted (I can't even remember what it was now, other than it was grossly inadequate) - it was another of my s/hand bargains: the gentleman who owned it was a Venezuelan gentleman who was working at their London embassy, but was being transferred in a rush to Madrid. His first problem was that you couldn't air-freight the Ittok because the reduced pressure in the cargo hold would knacker the precision ball-races in the main bearings, & the second was there were at that time no Linn dealers in Spain who would be able to set it up again properly if he sent it by sea. So he concluded that his only option was to flog it quick & get a different deck (I think he had a Pink Triangle in mind, good choice at the time, actually... ).

    BUT, because he was in an awful rush, I negotiated a very good deal for cash! I was sure that embassy staff got paid well, so I didn't see any reason to feel sorry for him. We set it up in my system & he stayed for a couple of hours to listen to some of my music. Needless to say, his English was perfect & he was a thoroughly nice chap. Anyway, the cartridge had to go, & I got a Koetsu Black (the one my younger daughter later annihilated!) s/hand for £200 & I believe that I had to buy the MC board for my Meridian 101 pre-amp of the time (OK, but nothing special... ) new which REALLY hurt, lol.

    Anyway, the new deck combo blew the old one away! Ivor Tiefenbaum (?) of Linn was more of a salesman than an engineer - they got their precision engineering done for them by another firm - but he was spot on with his by-line that you can't get back what you've lost at the start: the Shure would track anything at 1g, but the SME's knife-edge bearings meant that it could wobble & that's no good at all!

    I was sorry to sell the Transcriptor's deck - it was a gorgeous thing with its gold-plated brass weights (question for Bill - does it have a 33/45 rpm switch? If so, that was a LOT easier than the original LP12, which could play 45s - I had a few 12" ones which were very dynamic - but you had to take the platter off, fit an adaptor over the motor drive & THEN fit a different length belt!! It WAS a hassle). But the "hydraulic" bit was also a pain on the Transcriptor's because the fluid well kept filling up with general crud & particularly bits of discarded hair which made the speed fluctuate, so you had to clean it out frequently & refill it with the not inexpensive viscous fluid that they specified. The strobe WAS a nice touch though. I think ultimately its very basic main bearing & the lack of any sub-chassis isolation (rumble, rumble!) let it down.

    Just my two penny-worth, as ever...

    Dave
    Last edited by Golden Earring; 2018-04-25 at 17:34.

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Golden Earring View Post
    As I think I've mentioned (somewhere!) before, I had one of these beasties, with an SME 3009 Mk2 (?) arm & a Shure V15 Mk III cartridge before I got the LP12/Ittok combo...
    I used to like the Shure V15 Mk III a lot - terrific tracking and a (relatively) neutral sound. I used it in a Philips GA212. A good friend at the time had the Linn Sondek & (I think) Liinn arm and Linn cartridge. He was often pissed off because he paid roughly twice as much as I did, for no better sound.

    I was interested in the famous/notorious Decca London cartridge, and whether it would work well in the Philips. I wrote to Decca asking the question. A couple of days later a Decca London cartridge arrived in the post, with a letter from Decca saying words to the effect of "we don't know if it'll work OK in your turntable - try it out, and if it works OK and you like it, send us money. If you don't want it, send it back". Different times...

  9. #49
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    Retro System

    Quote Originally Posted by Mnyb View Post
    I think thats the actual ritual about spining those discs, I’m little sadened that i sold all my vinyls 20 years ago :-/

    It sometimes think about. create a retro hifi system of some kind, just for pure nostalgia .
    Hi Mnyb!

    I am already pursuing this very course: I have the bits, I just need to do some serious woodwork, assemble & adjust it all & plug it in: I'll keep you posted...

    Dave

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by artee View Post
    I used to like the Shure V15 Mk III a lot - terrific tracking and a (relatively) neutral sound. I used it in a Philips GA212. A good friend at the time had the Linn Sondek & (I think) Liinn arm and Linn cartridge. He was often pissed off because he paid roughly twice as much as I did, for no better sound.

    I was interested in the famous/notorious Decca London cartridge, and whether it would work well in the Philips. I wrote to Decca asking the question. A couple of days later a Decca London cartridge arrived in the post, with a letter from Decca saying words to the effect of "we don't know if it'll work OK in your turntable - try it out, and if it works OK and you like it, send us money. If you don't want it, send it back". Different times...
    Hi artee!

    DID you like it??

    Dave

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