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Thread: Visit from Bonzo (Kedar) last weekend

  1. #1
    Join Date: Jul 2010

    Location: Cheltenham

    Posts: 770
    I'm Charlie.

    Default Visit from Bonzo (Kedar) last weekend

    Great to welcome Bonzo last weekend for a visit from London to the Cotswolds. We spent most of the time comparing my Decca C4E/Hadcock 228/TRON Seven reference against an Allaerts MC1B/Schroeder Model 2/on board MC phono TRON Meteor using his reference records (see below). It was easy to switch from one to another,as they are both mounted on my Platine Verdier and wired up into two different TRON phono sections. There was clearly a big difference in presentation between the two. As Kedar said, the Decca sounded more dynamic and faster with more air, but the Allaerts was tonally much richer with a wider and deeper soundstage.

    http://zero-distortion.org/kedars-st...ce-recordings/

    All well and good until we moved onto the serious stuff - 15 IPS 2 track 1/4 inch R2R - we played two new tapes (Schubert String Quartet and Telemann Oboe Concerto) from Jonathan Horowitz (https://www.internationalphonographi...r-tape-copies/) as well as my copies of Sgt Peppers and Michael Jackson Bad. As Kedar said, he wants to decide which turntable/arm/cart to buy first, but that R2R sounded like being at the front of the concert hall - yup, that's why it's addictive
    R2R: Studer A820 1/2 inch 2 track; Otari MTR-12 1/4 inch 2 track; Sony APR 5003; Sony APR 5002; Studer A807/II. Vinyl: Platine Verdier Allaerts MC1B/Schroeder Model 2 Decca C4E/Hadcock 228 TRON Seven Reference phono. Other analogue source: Nakamichi Dragon with ANT4066 mods. Amplification: TRON Meteor preamp TRON Voyager 20B SET power. Speakers: Avantgarde Duo. Digital: does not compute

  2. #2
    Join Date: Apr 2010

    Location: Bristol, since 1978. Current house since 1996!

    Posts: 338
    I'm Chris.

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    Don't want to start a list....but try finding a disc of Neville Brothers 'Yellow moon'. Was recorded in Daniel Lanois' house, using all valve equipment.

    I should have kept my 'supercut' Sgt Pepper for you.
    Chris.

  3. #3
    Join Date: May 2011

    Location: Glasgow

    Posts: 6,730
    I'm Brian.

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    Yup , my money would have been on the R2R . I've heard one a couple of times and thought they sounded superb each time
    Regards
    Brian

    Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment . (Rumi )


    Korus Computer Audio music server .
    DAC 3 French DAC
    Amplifier : Rega Brio R
    Speakers : Tannoy 637
    Interconnects : MS Audio / Klotz MC5000 .
    Speaker cables : Chord Epic Twin

  4. #4
    Join Date: Aug 2013

    Location: London

    Posts: 96
    I'm Ked.

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    Hi Charlie,

    Thanks very much for hosting me. Charlie has driven me a bit crazy with some super quality tapes.

    My primary goal was to investigate The Jan Allaerts - I have heard the MC1 Boron Mk2 with FM Acoustics, now at Charlie's the MC1 Finish Gold on Schroeder Model 2 with the Tron where I compared it with the Decca/Hadcock, and this Saturday at Anamighty Sound I compared the Boron MK2 and the MC1 Finish Gold on the Schroder CB and their own SS phonostage, on the STST Motus II and the PTP Lenco.

    Now, at Charlie's the Decca did sound much more to my preference than the Allaerts - more dynamic percussion, more neutral, more real, faster transients.

    Having said that, as people who would have googled on Allaerts probably know, it is very phonostage specific. The Allaerts sound that I heard through the FM for me was the best, followed by the Anamighty phono, and the Tron Allaerts combo was not to my preference. The Allaerts is a tonally warm cart - it needs a neutral SS phono to balance it out IMO.

    There is more. I was advised the Boron MK2 over the top 2 models of Finish and Formula. This is by Audio Arts of NYC, who runs the Boron into his $300k Zellaton speakers, and a well over 100k FM Acoustics set up, with Brinkmann Balance. The guy has been with Allaerts for 20 years. The reasons he gave me, were what I verified a month later at Anamighty by comparing boron and the Finish.

    The Finish has higher resolution. It is slightly better on violin highs. However, Boron has better weight and body. The tonal weight body balance is better on the boron. Plus, the 0.65 output vs the 0.2 works in Boron's favor and gives it more drive. What you lose out on resolution, you can get by balancing it out on a higher resolution table.

    The Anamighty sound phono stage at 3600 Eur is brilliant and quite a steal. We also compared Top Wing Red Sparrow, Koetsu Urushi Vermillion, and Phasemation 2000. My favorite carts were the Boron and the top Wing, but these were easily beaten by Anamighty Sound's own modded EMT cart, at 0.1 output. It is fresh and dynamic and fast like the Decca, but with deep and wide stage, and transparent and neutral and like a musical version of Lyra.

    Hope this helps.

    I now have to decide if to stay with Allaerts and get a FM 122 or add another of these Anamighty carts with their phono.

    I will further later have a compare of the Allaerts Formula with the Zyx Ultimate Diamond and Ikeda Kai through FM into Yamamura horns. But that is a while away.

    The R2R is a different category.
    Last edited by bonzo; 17-04-2018 at 05:36.

  5. #5
    Join Date: Jul 2010

    Location: Cheltenham

    Posts: 770
    I'm Charlie.

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    Kedar,

    Glad you found the visit useful. In fact my Allaerts is the standard MC1 Boron, rather than a Boron MkII or any of the MC2 models (Finish, Formula 1 etc). The MC1B and MC1B Mk2 are probably the best compromises in terms of SQ versus price. But if price is no object, that's different.

    Charlie
    R2R: Studer A820 1/2 inch 2 track; Otari MTR-12 1/4 inch 2 track; Sony APR 5003; Sony APR 5002; Studer A807/II. Vinyl: Platine Verdier Allaerts MC1B/Schroeder Model 2 Decca C4E/Hadcock 228 TRON Seven Reference phono. Other analogue source: Nakamichi Dragon with ANT4066 mods. Amplification: TRON Meteor preamp TRON Voyager 20B SET power. Speakers: Avantgarde Duo. Digital: does not compute

  6. #6
    Join Date: Aug 2013

    Location: London

    Posts: 96
    I'm Ked.

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    Hi I don't think the boron is a compromise. I think it's better, if on a higher resolution table and a neutral phono, as it has lesser resolution than the finish but more body and weight. It is extremely sensitive to set up. I think I am going to go with an used FM 122 phono, and a brinkmann arm. Tbd. I need a high res TT though... At Anamighty sound The boron sounded better than the finish on the ST ST Motus but not on the PTP lenco, the ST ST was more high res than the PTP. It balanced out.

    Apologies, I thought yours was finish because I asked you something about the output and Tron phono customised for it and might have misunderstood

  7. #7
    Join Date: Jul 2010

    Location: Cheltenham

    Posts: 770
    I'm Charlie.

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    Kedar,

    Sorry for the confusion. When we chatted, I mentioned that Graham Tricker was the UK distributor for Jan Allaerts' cartridges for many years, as well as for Avantgarde speakers. He designed his TRON electronics to match ultra high efficiency horns (i.e. the circuits had to have very low levels of noise) and he also matched the onboard MC phono stage in my TRON Meteor preamp to suit the MC1B. The output of the MC1B is a reasonable 0.5 mV (MC1B Mk2 0.65 mV), whereas the MC2 Formula 1 is only 0.15 mV.

    Charlie
    R2R: Studer A820 1/2 inch 2 track; Otari MTR-12 1/4 inch 2 track; Sony APR 5003; Sony APR 5002; Studer A807/II. Vinyl: Platine Verdier Allaerts MC1B/Schroeder Model 2 Decca C4E/Hadcock 228 TRON Seven Reference phono. Other analogue source: Nakamichi Dragon with ANT4066 mods. Amplification: TRON Meteor preamp TRON Voyager 20B SET power. Speakers: Avantgarde Duo. Digital: does not compute

  8. #8
    Join Date: Aug 2013

    Location: London

    Posts: 96
    I'm Ked.

    Default

    I think your duos are the best duos I have heard. Previously I have heard them harsh or the bass way off. But with your amps, and especially when you play the tape the whole sound seems a complete whole, well integrated

  9. #9
    Join Date: Jul 2010

    Location: Cheltenham

    Posts: 770
    I'm Charlie.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bonzo View Post
    I think your duos are the best duos I have heard. Previously I have heard them harsh or the bass way off. But with your amps, and especially when you play the tape the whole sound seems a complete whole, well integrated
    Thank you very much. The AG horns need to be set up properly, in order for the active bass units to integrate properly with the horns. Graham Tricker spent 4-5 hours at my home setting up my Duos, when I bought them back in the early 00s. They were an ex-demo pair, shipped from Germany. Although Graham offered to upgrade them with the Omega drivers and new Xovers, I have been very happy with the sound, and just couldn't justify spending more money.

    Also, the TRON amps do make the AG horns sing. TRON amps were designed to match the AG horns, and the 6W single tube EML20B Voyager power amp is really sweet with enough with the Duos.
    R2R: Studer A820 1/2 inch 2 track; Otari MTR-12 1/4 inch 2 track; Sony APR 5003; Sony APR 5002; Studer A807/II. Vinyl: Platine Verdier Allaerts MC1B/Schroeder Model 2 Decca C4E/Hadcock 228 TRON Seven Reference phono. Other analogue source: Nakamichi Dragon with ANT4066 mods. Amplification: TRON Meteor preamp TRON Voyager 20B SET power. Speakers: Avantgarde Duo. Digital: does not compute

  10. #10
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Bristol

    Posts: 3,874
    I'm Justin.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bonzo View Post
    I think your duos are the best duos I have heard. Previously I have heard them harsh or the bass way off. But with your amps, and especially when you play the tape the whole sound seems a complete whole, well integrated
    High praise from the Bonz! Never a Duo fan. Though I can imagine R2R sounding good via earlier Duos. Imagine, that is. Never actually witnessed it.
    "I've got my giant hits discotheque album. I empty a bottle - I feel a bit free."

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