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Thread: Mika K's system

  1. #11
    Join Date: Jul 2010

    Location: North Cambs UK, Earth, Sol, Orion - Cygnus arm of galaxy

    Posts: 11,187
    I'm MadeOfDeadGiantStarsThatExplodedEonsAgo.

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    Hi Mika, lovely system you have there fella I definately like the speakers, i just know that even a few Watts would make a heck of a lot of sound

    By the way, you might end up getting comments such as i did in my gallery thread asking if the layer of dust on the equipment adds some much needed damping



    Love the look of that cartridge by the way! Looks of very high quality construction
    Bests, Mark



    "We must believe in free will. We have no choice" Isaac Bashevis Singer

  2. #12
    Join Date: Jun 2011

    Location: Luton, UK

    Posts: 425
    I'm Dave.

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    Ooooh! Lush!

  3. #13
    MartinT Guest

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    Very nice system and some great shots there, Mika. I particularly like the fish-eye style shot of your Zu cartridge.

    Don't mind Mark, he hasn't forgotten the dust slur
    Come to think of it, I have the same problem in some of my shots. Now, where's that duster...?

  4. #14
    Join Date: Apr 2011

    Location: Finland

    Posts: 1,157
    I'm Mika.

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    Spent last weekend few hours adjusting the analog rigs performance. Started by checking the decks balance and the cartridges aligment, VTA and VTF and then made some fine tuning. Tested also the system without the SUT using directly the Loricraft phonostage but still did not get the setup to work as well as wanted. It's good but is it good enough?



    The answer is no. The Zu is not bad by any means and does some thing surprisingly well as the original Denon also but it just can't compete with more higher end carts in resolution and this is very noticeable in my system at the moment. As have been planning of buying new cartridge for ages made the decision yesterday and decided to buy another Tranfiguration Phoenix to replace the older one that worn out during the last summer after 1800-2000 hours of usage. Ordered the cartridge from my trusted supplier and hopefully it will arrive soon and I can transfer the the Zu DL-103 to reserve or wait some other analog rig.

    Last week also added some dampening to the cast Altec horns. Used Vibroplast dampening material received from a friend and started quite carefully - I think it made some difference and smoothed out the sound a little bit but have to still continue the experiments. Should also to try to find some time to open the Onkens and add some dampening material and then put the things back together airtight. Would think that it would also have some positive effect to the overall sound..
    Last edited by Mika K; 21-06-2011 at 07:57.

  5. #15
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 70,664
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

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    Hi Mika,

    Superb pic (you may wish to post it in the turntable competition thread elsewhere in Analogue Art ), and thanks for an interesting update.

    The Zu is not bad by any means and does some thing surprisingly well as the original Denon also but it just can't compete with more higher end carts in resolution and this is very noticeable in my system at the moment.
    Do bear in mind that as good as the Zu is (and IMO, it and the 'SA' are the best 103s produced by a country mile), you're still using a cartridge with a spherical tip, which will never have the ultimate detail retrieval and high-frequency resolution (if that's your thing) of the fine-line styli fitted to almost all hi-end MC cartridges.

    All you're doing with the Zu is very effectively curing a fundamental flaw with the standard DL-103: the detrimental sonic effect of its resonant plastic body-shell. In order to attempt to address the issues you've raised above, you'd need to have the Zu re-tipped with a 'posh' stylus.

    I know of people who have done this (or have fitted a wooden body-shell and a 'posh' stylus) to the 103, and have achieved truly awesome results, resulting in some very expensive MC cartridges being outperformed. Therefore, you may wish to try that before abandoning the notion that a fully 'tweaked' DL-103, can't compete with the best

    Marco.

    P.S Also, are you using your Zu in an SME V? If so, I'm afraid, in my experience, that's not the best match for it....
    "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do". - Milan Kundera.

    "Your validity or worth are not defined or determined by the views of others with their own superimposed agendas". - Pharos (on AoS)

    My system:

    Modified Technics SL-1210MK5G/Mike New high-precision bearing & baseplate/Mike New ETP platter/Bruil record weight/Nagaoka GL602 crystal T/T mat. Paul Hynes SR7EHD PSU (plus regulator modules)/DCSXL pure-silver DC lead. Ortofon RS-212D tonearm/'Speedy Steve' custom-made Ebony armboard. Yannis Tome 423.5 Phono Silver-Litz tonearm cable, with Furutech CF-DIN(R) and Eichmann silver Bullet Plugs. Cartridges: Denon DL-S1 in AT MG-10 headshell with AT-6106 Quattro Hybrid lead-wire. Denon DL-103C1 in '103U' headshell with AT-609 silver lead-wire. Vintage Denon DL-103AU in AT-Ti15ANV Titanium Headshell. Shure M55E in Denon PCL-300 headshell with 6N silver lead-wire. Shure original USA SC35C. Audiocom-modified Sony X-777ES/DAS-R1 transport/DAC. Raspberry Pi-3 Model B and IQaudio Pi-DAC+/Paul Hynes SR3DR-05 linear PSU/Williams Audio NAS linear PSU. Heavily-modified Croft Charisma-X preamp. Stereo Coffee LDR. Head-amp: Paul Hynes design/SR5 PSU. Also modified Lentek. Tube Distinctions 50W Class A P/P Copper amp with cryo-treated Tung Sol KT150s. Speakers: 'Lockwood Majors', using 15" Tannoy Monitor Golds, modified with bespoke crossovers. Also Celestion Ditton 15XRs. Stands: Mana Acoustics (non-magnetic stainless steel 'clones’). Hi-Fi Racks Podium T/T wall shelf. Sony ST-5055L tuner. Cables: Furukawa EE/F-S 2mm & 2.6mm solid-core mains leads, fitted with Furutech FI-50 IECs and FI-1363Rs. Stereo interconnects: Sommer Carbokab 225 (with silver-plated MS Audio non-metallic POM RCAs). Speaker cable: VDH 'The Wind' Hybrid II. Digital coaxial cable: 1m Trompeter Electronics Triax TRC-75-2, with MS Audio ‘Starline' silver-plated RCAs. Mains block: Mark Grant 6-way, modded with Furutech FP-1363R sockets and Furukawa cable. Tube Distinctions digital noise filter. VPI HW 16.5 record cleaner.

  6. #16
    Join Date: Apr 2011

    Location: Finland

    Posts: 1,157
    I'm Mika.

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    Thank you for the comments Marco! Have to check the photo sections here elsewhere as have not yet done that.

    One of my friends here in Finland tweaked his DL-103 with some other style of wooden body and also had new boron shaft and Micro Ridge stylus installed by Benz. Says it is noticeable better but have not heard the result myself. So have some information of the subject already. Perhaps the question is that is the fully 'tweaked' DL-103 DL-103 at all

    It has crossed my mind that perhaps someday that Zu aluminium body would make a good starting point for similar project and be a very nice cart in some heavier 12" arm s SME V really is not the best companion for it. Perhaps someday..

  7. #17
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 70,664
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

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    Hi Mika,

    Here is the link to the T/T photo competition: http://theartofsound.net/forum/showthread.php?t=10792

    I suggest that you enter the one above, and also any others you may wish to take

    One of my friends here in Finland tweaked his DL-103 with some other style of wooden body and also had new boron shaft and Micro Ridge stylus installed by Benz. Says it is noticeable better but have not heard the result myself.
    Sounds like a good idea for a 'bake-off'! Try and have a listen to that, fitted to your turntable and through your own system, and report back

    Perhaps the question is that is the fully 'tweaked' DL-103 DL-103 at all
    In some ways, yes, but in my opinion the 'heart' of the sound of the 103 derives from its generator, and in particular, the alnico magnets. It is those items which are largely responsible for the 103's 'big & bouncy', rhythmically infectious and musically addictive sound.

    The conical stylus, of course, adds its own sonic signature, but I would expect a Zu-modified 103, fitted with a fine-line or elliptical stylus, to retain the essence of what makes the 103 special, and simply add a touch more refinement and poise (and of course high-frequency resolution) to the mix.

    The end result could indeed be rather beguiling!

    It has crossed my mind that perhaps someday that Zu aluminium body would make a good starting point for similar project and be a very nice cart in some heavier 12" arm s SME V really is not the best companion for it. Perhaps someday..
    It's not so much the need for more mass, as the Zu body-shell adds all the extra mass which the 103 needs in order to perform optimally - it's more about achieving sonic synergy between the arm and cartridge. And in my experience, whilst being far from disastrous, the SME V is not the best match, sonically, for any DL-103.

    As far as modern tonearms are concerned, an SME Series M2-9, or even better, M2-12R, would be superb in conjunction with a Zu-modified DL-103, and a far happier 'marriage'. It's perhaps one for you to try in future!

    Marco.
    "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do". - Milan Kundera.

    "Your validity or worth are not defined or determined by the views of others with their own superimposed agendas". - Pharos (on AoS)

    My system:

    Modified Technics SL-1210MK5G/Mike New high-precision bearing & baseplate/Mike New ETP platter/Bruil record weight/Nagaoka GL602 crystal T/T mat. Paul Hynes SR7EHD PSU (plus regulator modules)/DCSXL pure-silver DC lead. Ortofon RS-212D tonearm/'Speedy Steve' custom-made Ebony armboard. Yannis Tome 423.5 Phono Silver-Litz tonearm cable, with Furutech CF-DIN(R) and Eichmann silver Bullet Plugs. Cartridges: Denon DL-S1 in AT MG-10 headshell with AT-6106 Quattro Hybrid lead-wire. Denon DL-103C1 in '103U' headshell with AT-609 silver lead-wire. Vintage Denon DL-103AU in AT-Ti15ANV Titanium Headshell. Shure M55E in Denon PCL-300 headshell with 6N silver lead-wire. Shure original USA SC35C. Audiocom-modified Sony X-777ES/DAS-R1 transport/DAC. Raspberry Pi-3 Model B and IQaudio Pi-DAC+/Paul Hynes SR3DR-05 linear PSU/Williams Audio NAS linear PSU. Heavily-modified Croft Charisma-X preamp. Stereo Coffee LDR. Head-amp: Paul Hynes design/SR5 PSU. Also modified Lentek. Tube Distinctions 50W Class A P/P Copper amp with cryo-treated Tung Sol KT150s. Speakers: 'Lockwood Majors', using 15" Tannoy Monitor Golds, modified with bespoke crossovers. Also Celestion Ditton 15XRs. Stands: Mana Acoustics (non-magnetic stainless steel 'clones’). Hi-Fi Racks Podium T/T wall shelf. Sony ST-5055L tuner. Cables: Furukawa EE/F-S 2mm & 2.6mm solid-core mains leads, fitted with Furutech FI-50 IECs and FI-1363Rs. Stereo interconnects: Sommer Carbokab 225 (with silver-plated MS Audio non-metallic POM RCAs). Speaker cable: VDH 'The Wind' Hybrid II. Digital coaxial cable: 1m Trompeter Electronics Triax TRC-75-2, with MS Audio ‘Starline' silver-plated RCAs. Mains block: Mark Grant 6-way, modded with Furutech FP-1363R sockets and Furukawa cable. Tube Distinctions digital noise filter. VPI HW 16.5 record cleaner.

  8. #18
    Join Date: Jan 2009

    Location: Essex

    Posts: 15,663
    I'm openingabottleofwine.

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    Loverly system you have there Mika.

    You have certainly raised the bar when it come to the photographic images. We all have a very hard act to follow now!

    Very well done.

    Regards
    Have you listened to this month's choice in the Album Club?

    Barry

  9. #19
    Join Date: Apr 2011

    Location: Finland

    Posts: 1,157
    I'm Mika.

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    Time for one photo of my Shindo Aurieges L preamp. At the time I was saving my pennies to get me Shindo Aurieges MM, similar preamp with the MM phono input to be used with my SUT but got a good deal of the second hand L-model so ended up here.



    This is a wonderful little preamp and at the moment I think that if I am ever updating it will go for the MM model or then a little bigger Shindo as they also have phono inputs, some even for MC's. One of my local dealers is trying to arrange me a home demo of the EAR 912 as it has incredible (so I'm told) phonostage inside. Or actually three of then but we'll see if I ever go for that route..

    By the way my new T'fig Phoenix arrived today and also eleven jazz LPs from one local trade person importing Speakers Corner Records to Finland. I guess what I'm going to do during the midsummer weekend

    EDIT: Oh yes, and here's the one pic of my Garrard I posted to Analogue section yesterday(?). And now without the dust.

    Last edited by Mika K; 23-06-2011 at 19:27. Reason: new pic

  10. #20
    Join Date: Apr 2011

    Location: Finland

    Posts: 1,157
    I'm Mika.

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    Today morning the T'fig Phoenix replaced the Zu DL-103 at my system and if the looks of the cartridge changed, so did also the sound. Have to give some hours to the newcomer before writing anything more detailed opinions but the initial impression corresponds my memories of the previous one I owned and used for few years..


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