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MartinT
25-04-2009, 03:29
As many of you will know, I have successfully transitioned to a fully modded Technics SL-1210 with Jelco SA250ST arm. My current cartridge and phono amp (Denon DL-160 and Gram Amp 2SE) have shown me just what this deck can achieve and they has given me a taste for more of the same. I'm ready for the high end with a low output MC cartridge and suitable phono amp or step-up tranny.

Possible upgrades include a Denon DL-301-II (obvious, to keep the Denon sound I like) or Audio Technica AT-OC9-II (I used to have a Mk. I which was good). These should both match my arm. I also used to run a Dynavector 20A which I adored. What do they have that would be suitable?

For phono amp, I'm thinking of the PS Audio GCPH as it features balanced outputs (my whole system is balanced) and sounded very nice at last year's Heathrow exhibition. Alternatively, I could keep the 2SE and use a step-up transformer.

What do the assembled think? There are many cartridges in the 200-500 range that I'm unfamiliar with. There seem to be fewer phono amps with balanced outputs. All suggestions welcome!

MartinT
27-04-2009, 09:03
Deathly silence :-(
Doesn't anyone have any recommendations for me, especially mid-price cartridges?

chris@panteg
27-04-2009, 11:22
Hi martin

well if it were still the same price i would urge you to consider the Music Maker moving iron cart by Len Gregory this is one of the very best i have heard at any price its not an MC but oh my god does it sound good ' it cost me 425 back in 99 ' the current one seems about 700 so a bit out of your budget , why not ask Dave about the OC9 he seems to think its a great match for the 250st ' which you have .

MartinT
27-04-2009, 12:00
Thanks Chris. Using a DL-160 yourself, how would you characterise it? I ask because it's really quite difficult to differentiate between the sound of the turntable, arm, phono amp and cartridge. All I can do is swap the cartridge for another one and listen to the differences, which I've done with my Grado Prestige Gold.

Magna Audio
27-04-2009, 12:24
I very much like the sound of the Audio Technica 33 PTG I got from Audio Cubes2. Took 2 weeks to arrive. Cost me the $$$'s and import tax.
Still worth it I think. It is running in now and sounding better and better.

I took the recommendation from other on fora who also use it with the Dynavector P75 phono stage. That can run the 33PTG in current amp. / phono enhancer mode and it further improves the sound.

For around under 300 I think it is great value.
Before that I had

Sand Dancin Donkey Walker
27-04-2009, 13:33
Hi Martin

As far as cartridges are concerned you have already used the Dynavector DV-20x, that is where I would personally start, other alternatives would be a Koetsu Black. I currently and use both of these, I have used the Music Maker in the past but never quite 'got away with it' as the saying goes. Maybe I passed it on too soon but more than happy now. As a extreme alternative try an find a 2nd hand My Sonic Emminent, these are sublime in every sense of the word.

Phono stages, again from personal experience and usage. Try and check out the Modwright SWP 9.0se (currently use this one myself). Past personal recommendations are Audio Valve Sunilda (brilliant if you have 2 arms on the TT) Tom Evens Groove, very good, but for some reason after a year or so felt dissatisfied and sold it on, bit of an error in judgment there I think. The one that gave me most please in some ways was the Audio Note M1 RIAA phono. I think a current AoS member has my original one in current use.

Does that help :scratch:, hope so. Don't know where you are but you are more than welcome to drop by get a listen to the Modwright

Andy - SDDW

P.S. Just seen you are in Basingstoke, you could try Keith at Angelsound in Watford, usually has some nice bits on dem ect

John
27-04-2009, 14:37
If you considering the PS audio phono stage try in your system first in my system it spiked badly and no matter what I did I could not get it to sing The Aqvox might be worth a try have not herd it myself but has some great reviews and if you willing to fork out a bit more then the Whest 30r is a great phonostage If you can go single ended then the WD phonostage is a great little unit

muffinman
27-04-2009, 14:49
The OC-9 gets my vote. Very dynamic imo

MartinT
27-04-2009, 16:28
As far as cartridges are concerned you have already used the Dynavector DV-20x, that is where I would personally start

Thanks Andy. I haven't used a DV-20x, it was a 20A2, a much older cartridge but boy did it sound good. See photo of mine here (seems very rare):

http://www.mtc.nildram.co.uk/images/Dynavector20A2.jpg

However, the DV-20XL does look to be a good cartridge and has been favourably received. Price is good too. It goes on my shortlist.

Sand Dancin Donkey Walker
27-04-2009, 16:54
Martin

Should have read your post a touch more carefully :)

Though the DV20x is a very good MC cartridge. I tend to exchange the Koetsu and the Dynavector around, both have their good points and can live with either of them, But have the luxury of been able to use both.

Good luck with your search as it's not easy trying to decide which cartridge to go for, you don't often find a dealer who will loan out a cartridge.

Andy - SDDW

MartinT
29-04-2009, 05:07
Thank you everyone. I've decided on the Underwood modded PS Audio GCPH which is selling for $1645, meaning only some 200 more than the stock item.

I am still uncertain about cartridge, but based on previous experience and recommendations here and in other forums, it may well be the Dynavector DV-20XL.

chris@panteg
29-04-2009, 11:26
Thanks Chris. Using a DL-160 yourself, how would you characterise it? I ask because it's really quite difficult to differentiate between the sound of the turntable, arm, phono amp and cartridge. All I can do is swap the cartridge for another one and listen to the differences, which I've done with my Grado Prestige Gold.

I would say it has a very sweet overall tonal balance which suits the 1200 very well also works well in the stock arm i think ' but it might not be ideal with other decks ,some say it works well on a Linn , i would also add it seems to have a slightly recessed midband to me anyway but i quite like that .

When i had the Linn with the troika this had a very forward and in your face kind of sound as a comparison with what i have now.

MartinT
29-04-2009, 12:05
Yes, I would agree with that Chris. I also think it lacks slightly in the acoustic of the performance space, and yes perhaps slightly recessed in the midband. Overall it's a nice cartridge and I'm looking for more of the same rather than a dramatic change in tonal quality.

bong
30-04-2009, 02:12
hi MartinT,

glad to hear you're getting such great results from your technics/jelco setup. i'm currently running the AT33PTG with an LPgear Zupreme headshell on my KABed mkII, and it's really giving wonderous results.

i picked up an AT33R in my earlier trip to Tokyo (you can read more about it with pictures here (http://theartofsound.net/forum/showthread.php?t=1974)) and right now, i have more carts than time that try'em all out, especially with a refurbished SS 103R incoming too. So the 33R is still sitting in its box, essentially still what you see in the pictures.

The 33PTG has been garnering rave reviews, so since you're all ready for the high end, you can consider looking at its big brother. Let me know if you're keen on this (it's <500quid). :)

MartinT
30-04-2009, 05:02
That's interesting Kelvin. In the absence of being able to hear these things, how would you characterise the AT33PTG and 33R, especially against the OC9, which I know?

Tony G
30-04-2009, 07:47
Martin,
Marcos response in this (http://theartofsound.net/forum/showthread.php?t=2418) thread may help.

MartinT
30-04-2009, 09:25
Thanks Tony, that helps a lot, I shall look for some import prices for the AT33PTG.

MartinT
30-04-2009, 11:24
This looks like a good price:

http://bluetin.com/catalog/audio-technica-at33ptg-prestige-mc-stereo-cartridge.html

Marco
30-04-2009, 14:38
Hi Martin,

I have no experience of using that company, and they don't carry stock, so beware. However, I can thoroughly recommend Audiocubes, as I've used them umpteen times:

http://www.audiocubes2.com/brand/Audio-Technica/product/Audio-Technica_AT33PTG_Prestige_MC_Stereo_Cartridge.html

They provide a fast and efficient service - buy from them with confidence :)

Marco.

P.S Glad you found my little review useful.

Tony G
30-04-2009, 14:51
FWIW - I have used Bluetin before, for replacement pads for ATH-W5000 and although these were a backorder item at that time, communication was good, IIRC no charge was made until the item was ready for dispatch and the whole transaction was very good.
I think Audiocubes do not necessarily carry stock either, nor do Joynetmall (http://www.joynetmall.com/shop/index.php?cPath=60_64_267) whom I can also recommend having used them both direct and previously through ebay.

Marco
30-04-2009, 16:13
I think Audiocubes do not necessarily carry stock either...


Hi Tony,

I believe they do with popular items, which apparently the AT33PTG is :)

When I ordered mine a couple of years back it was delivered (to the UK) within four working days. This would be difficult to acheive without having stock.

Marco.

MartinT
30-04-2009, 17:15
Glad you found my little review useful

Yes, very useful thanks Marco. With cartridges (as with cables), it's virtually impossible to audition models so a good review against a known model by someone I respect is very valuable. I must say, trawling the net, I haven't yet found a bad review of this cartridge. I wonder why it was never imported into the UK?

Audiocubes' price is about 250 and that seems way low for the expected sound quality on offer. I'm tempted to get my order in now, since the PS Audio GCPH is on its way. From what I'm reading, the 33PTG should work very well in my Jelco SA250ST arm since it likes the OC9 according to Dave C.

MartinT
01-05-2009, 06:12
Now ordered from Audiocubes. I'm looking forward to playing with two new pressies :)

Marco
01-05-2009, 06:49
Nice one, Martin - smart move :)


Audiocubes' price is about 250 and that seems way low for the expected sound quality on offer.


You'll laugh out loud when you first of all see the sheer quality and attention to detail in its construction (and packaging), and even more so when you listen! The AT33PTG is a stunning sounding cartridge and an absolute bargain.

The only reason I don't have one now is because my 103SA does 98% of what it excels at along with certain qualities in the bass and midrange which only cartridges with conical styli and alnico magnets possess.

Let us know what you think when it arrives :cool:

Marco.

bong
01-05-2009, 07:37
great buy! sorry i didn't get back further - tied up with work. :( i got to the 33ptg via the 103/103r route, so didn't get to experiment it much with the OC9, and i don't think i'm qualified to talk about the sound. :)

Marco
01-05-2009, 07:48
Hey Kelvin, have you had a chance yet to play with your M75ED? :)

Marco.

bong
02-05-2009, 15:33
Hey Kelvin, have you had a chance yet to play with your M75ED? :)

Marco.
not yet i'm afraid. just changed a new job, and work's spilling over a lot more into my listening time than i would like to. also, i've gotten around cleaning up quite a bit of my old LPs, so been listening in the little time that i have than tweaking. i'll drop a note once i've managed to setup the cart. :)

MartinT
05-05-2009, 20:35
It's arrived! Excellent service, and they marked it as a gift so I didn't get stung for import duty and VAT.

I'm now awaiting the Underwood modded GCPH to arrive, then I'll get down to a serious cartridge and phono amp swap. Will review the combo once everything is up and running.

MartinT
14-05-2009, 18:25
UPS have my GCPH and it arrives tomorrow! What's the betting I have a rather interesting musical weekend? Mind you, Underwood say it needs 200 hours of running-in and I dare say the AT33PTG will need some too. Regardless, I'm looking forward to playing with my new toys.

MartinT
15-05-2009, 20:56
My first raw impressions of the GCPH after connecting it to the system:

Compared with previous Graham Slee Gram Amp 2SE with upgraded PSU, the GCPH is connected via XLR balanced cables rather than single-ended. Denon DL-160 retained for comparison's sake. Far wider and deeper soundstage with pinpoint imaging. Even more fine detail in the treble region, better shimmer and decay of cymbals and tubular bells, deeper and fuller bass with greater texture.

The GCPH needs 200 hours of burn-in so this is not its final level of performance. Even so, it already sounds impressive and I haven't even got to the AT33PTG yet. More soon.

MartinT
18-05-2009, 01:33
I'm in danger of talking to myself here, but I just have to post this update on the Underwood-modded PS Audio GCPH. So what has happened in the last 48 hours? Well, everything! I cannot believe the improvement in all areas of sound, but this phono amp has leapt in performance to the level of seriously expensive mega-k devices (it cost me 1100 including import duty + VAT). The only other time I have known burn-in to make such a difference was my previous disc player the Sony SCD-1, which needed the full 200+ hours to settle to its maximum performance.

If I tell you that the turntable system now murders the one I had a decade ago (Roksan Xerxes / SME IV / AT OC9 / Ear 834P), that's a start. I have never yet heard the two LPs I played tonight sound as good on any system: Rickie Lee Jones' eponymous album and Joan Armatrading's. In both cases, the stereo stage was wide and deep and the focus shockingly vivid (something my speakers do well with a good signal). Voice was dead centre, with Joan's larger than life and Rickie's appropriately sized, with rock-stable positioning. There were a plethora of audio cues and small percussion devices coming through the mix that I've never heard before. Bass is deep, powerful and full of texture. Best of all, the dynamic range is truly between-the-eyes shocking. I can't believe I'm going to say this but for dynamic impact it now sounds as menacing as my Ayre disc player. Playing an LP I know to be a poor recording, I tried Steve Winwood's Back in the High Life. While you can't polish a turd, it was at least rendered playable. Finally I played my precious recording of Richard Strauss' Also Sprach Zarathustra by Ormandy and the Philadelphia orchestra on EMI. The opening organ pedal notes had me pinned to my seat as my speakers moved huge volumes of air on demand. The Isonoe feet on the Techie did their jobs magnificently while I was being pummelled. Pleasingly, the beautiful string section was less bright than I remember this DMM pressing to be and more revealing too.

All this from the supposedly humble Denon DL-160! My findings make this cartridge the giant-killer of the century. I'm now really not sure what to expect from the AT33PTG as it's hard to know where things could be improved.

If you're in the market for a phono amp for a grand or so, I thoroughly recommend the Underwood GCPH even though you'd be buying it blind (or pop over and have a listen to mine). It has left the Gram Amp 2SE way, way behind in performance terms even accepting it's twice the price.

Sand Dancin Donkey Walker
18-05-2009, 08:06
Hi Martin

Sounds like you are one happy bunny.

It's always good to hear someone has found that special item that just does it for them.

Looks like you have just hit upon the right synergy of components too, you lucky boy. A lot of people just don't quite manage that one.

The fact that you are now enjoying some of your previous, un-listenable recordings is testament to the results you are getting. A lot of folks laugh at 'Burn In' not you from now on I presume, though 200 hours was quite a wait, but worth it in the end.

Continue to have fun and enjoy your self. We don't expect any more updates for a while, as you will be having far too much fun dropping vinyl after vinyl onto the deck :).

Andy - SDDW

chris@panteg
18-05-2009, 09:34
Hi Martin ' just looking at a pic of your system i can tell it must sound awesome,
i have a question regarding your DL160 do you find it lacking in gain and having to compensate or does your new phono stage have a bit more ,you see i have discovered a slight problem with my set up.

I had been running it into the mc stage of my 640p but am currently using the mm input i think sounds better but not enough gain i strongly suspect it was overloading the mc stage and causing some distortion' this was not always obvious ' i just felt it could be a bit shouty on some peaks, any views on this or am i just going mad.

MartinT
18-05-2009, 09:55
Hi Chris, yes the DL-160 does lack gain against mainstream mm cartridges. I'm using the second gain level (54dB) and 47k loading (I tried lower values but the cartridge sounded slugged), with the front panel gain set at two-thirds as recommended in the manual. I guess the four gain levels of the GCPH have helped a lot to optimise the signal well above noise. With my older Gram Amp I only just had enough signal/noise for playing at high levels.

I would say the DL-160's output is too high for most mc stages and would explain the limiting distortion you are experiencing.

chris@panteg
18-05-2009, 10:02
Martin ' thanks yes , for the record the 640 mc stage has 55db i think but at 100k 'another point worth making is the CA740 has a fairly low input sensitivity of 470which is why the mm stage seems so low ' according to the review in HIFI world the 740 needs about 45 db for a mm.

MartinT
18-05-2009, 16:35
The AT33PTG has now been mounted and is running-in. I've settled on 1.8g tracking weight (as per the Japanese instruction sheet) with 60dB gain and 500 Ohm loading. Will report back on sound quality once it's settled down.

MartinT
20-05-2009, 06:55
I've now put about 15 hours on the cartridge and it seems to have settled into its stride. I've left tracking force at 1.8g, loading at 500 Ohms and gain at 60dB.

The overriding impression is that of a fully fleshed out, detailed and three-dimensional sound-picture. Treble detail and purity are superb. Bass power and extension are about the same as the DL-160 with perhaps a touch more texture. Midrange is focused, uncoloured to an impressive degree and up front. The 33PTG gives the impression of very capable and secure tracking and surface noise is well controlled, possibly because of the stylus profile. Dynamic swings are stunning, the cartridge being able to start and stop on a sixpence.

For the cost, I am extremely pleased with the 33PTG. Notwithstanding that I still think the DL-160 is a giant-killer (especially at the 85 that I paid), the 33PTG comfortably outperforms the OC9 at a much lower import price (280).

chris@panteg
20-05-2009, 10:47
Hi Martin would you say your 1210 is now pretty much sorted as it were' i know you feel it has the beating of your old Roksan/SME .

It would be interesting to compare it with the latest top belt drives perhaps or does it really matter , one other thing how does it feel on an emotional level ' for example when you play an old favorite' for me a couple i can think of ' are song of Bernadette by Jenifer warnes 'and for classical the 2nd movement of Beethoven's 7th symphony ' what about you.

MartinT
20-05-2009, 12:23
Yes, I'd say that my 1210 project is now complete. I'm not too bothered about comparing it with belt drive decks as I'm more than happy with its performance.

Some classics for me that I've played and which really pull the emotional strings are Joan Armatrading/Love and Affection, Van Morrison/Into the Mystic, Jennifer Warnes/Joan of Arc, Rickie Lee Jones/Last Chance Texaco, U2/With or Without You, Beethoven 5th 1st Movement/Carlos Kleiber, Richard Strauss/Also Sprach Zarathustra/Eugene Ormandy, Mozart/Requiem/Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos, Richard Strauss/Four Last Songs/Jessye Norman (this latter is so emotionally strong for me that I nearly always end up in tears).

chris@panteg
20-05-2009, 23:05
have you heard Jessye sing Dido's lament from purcell's opera , i think its astounding.

MartinT
21-05-2009, 00:38
No I haven't! Do you have recording details please? I sense yet another trip to Amazon :)

chris@panteg
21-05-2009, 10:09
Here you go

http://www.amazon.com/Purcell-Aeneas-English-Chamber-Orchestra/dp/B0000040XP

The piece i was referring to was when i am laid in earth , have you got any of Purcell 's music i think he's quite underrated as a composer.

MartinT
21-05-2009, 11:15
Aha, I recall it now. Thanks for the link - now ordered.

MartinT
01-06-2009, 01:44
Now that the PTG has lost its initial glare, these are my current thoughts. The whole sound is based on tonal neutrality, there is no colouration that I can detect, neither is there much warmth - perhaps just a little. In this respect the PTG stands comparison with my Ayre SACD player and makes swapping between media while listening an easy transition.

What the PTG presents is a vast soundstage, in both width and depth, and very precisely focussed instruments placed within that space. Very good microdynamics make those instruments come alive, each with its timbral texture, while spacial cues put you in the performance space. The PTG's macrodynamics are simply startling. It carries superb rhythm and keeps the underpinning, e.g. bass guitar and drums or timpani, very vivid indeed. This cartridge starts and stops on a sixpence, to a degree I've never heard from vinyl before. The hall acoustic in classical recordings, where it exists, places the orchestra in a space and provides a dimension to the various instrumental sections, all clearly delineated positionally.

Just listening to music from another room (the classic does-it-boogie test), I am struck by how enjoyable the music playing is, how naturally the rhythms are brought out. This cartridge does not sound like hi-fi, it sounds completely natural - but very exciting.

In more normal hi-fi language, bass power and extension are quite superb. It reproduces concert organ pedals thrillingly and with texture to the notes, making note changes clear and not blurring bass into a one-note experience. Midrange is liquid with great projection of human voice and lots of fine detail. Treble is extended and natural and does not bring attention to itself, yet the shimmer of cymbals is wonderful, with excellent decay and complex harmonic structure easily heard.

Tracking seems sure-footed at 1.8g, although due to the cartridge's weight my Jelco 250's counterweight is set far back on the rear stub. I have ordered a 750 counterweight from Dave at Sound Hi-Fi in order to bring it in towards the pivot and help with warp tracking. I have no other issues with its tracking performance, and indeed even inner grooves sound quite undistorted to my ears.

I like this cartridge very much indeed. For an import cost of 280 it represents outstanding value for money.

Marco
01-06-2009, 07:00
Hi Martin,

Glad you're liking the 33PTG; it's a truly excellent cartridge. Can you think of anything else better up to 1500 with its particular balance of virtues? I can't. In fact, you'd probably struggle to comprehensively better it at up to 2k!

In my experience, it has no problem whatsoever competing head-to-head with the Lyras, Ortofons and Dynavectors of this world in the areas in which they traditionally excel. If I wasn't so into what my 'classic' cartridges do with music, I could happily live with one.

Nice one - I wish you many hours of enjoyment with it :)

Marco.

chris@panteg
01-06-2009, 09:44
Hi martin

I second that ' you make it sound good enough to eat ' excellent ' do you think this comb will keep you happy for some time to come 'it seems like a sorted 1210 to me.

MartinT
01-06-2009, 13:43
Hi Chris - yes, absolutely, I'm now devoting my time to listening. I bought a job-lot of 180 LPs off eBay last week, will collect them today. Now for a record cleaning machine...

Marco - thanks mate, and thanks to AOS members for bringing this fab cart to my attention.

MartinT
03-06-2009, 22:41
Thanks to Dave at Sound Hi-Fi I have ordered a Clearaudio Smart Matrix record cleaning machine, for delivery on Friday. I can't wait as I bought a collection of 180 LPs all needing treatment and there are some gems in there. I'll write a separate review of the Clearaudio once I've got to grips with it.

Marco
03-06-2009, 22:54
Nice one, Martin - that's a top-notch cleaner.

Trust me, once you've used it and realised just how sonically significant having (genuinely) clean records is, you'll wonder how you've lived without a professional record cleaner for all these years! :)

Marco.

The Grand Wazoo
03-06-2009, 23:06
Nice one, Martin - that's a top-notch cleaner.

Trust me, once you've used it and realised just how sonically significant having (genuinely) clean records is, you'll wonder how you've lived without a professional record cleaner for all these years! :)

Marco.

I second that Martin. Not only is it a great bit of kit, nicely clanged together, but it's a bluddy sight quieter than my Moth!!

Marco, I'd be interested to know if the records I sent you were asclean as your machine can get them?

MartinT
03-06-2009, 23:18
Trust me, once you've used it and realised just how sonically significant having (genuinely) clean records is, you'll wonder how you've lived without a professional record cleaner for all these years!

And the great thing is, the AT33PTG is really rather good at suppressing ticks and pops, probably due to its stylus profile. I have clean LPs that sound like CDs, so quiet are they when being played.

I have to admit, I'm a total vinyl convert all over again!

Marco
03-06-2009, 23:19
Marco, I'd be interested to know if the records I sent you were asclean as your machine can get them?


Oh they were, Christophe - so no worries on that score!

I'm enjoying them on an almost daily basis :)

If you're serious about accurate vinyl replay, and have a decent vinyl collection, a professional cleaner is a total no-brainer.

I've no idea how I survived for so many years faffing around with cloths and cleaning fluids which did little more than remove a small amount of dirt from the surface and move the rest to another part of the record, ingraining it further into the grooves at the same time!

One of the best parts for me though of owing a proper cleaning machine is that it opens up a whole new world of music on dirty/dusty/mouldy second-hand records which normally would be unplayable - and getting access to as much music as possible is what it's all about.

Marco.

Barry
03-06-2009, 23:33
.... but it's a bluddy sight quieter than my Moth!!


I use the Nitty Gritty Model 1.5Fi (fuel injection?). It is not excessively noisy, however I am limited to cleaning no more than 5 LPs (both sides) in succession, otherwise the motor overheats.

Does your Moth suffer from this limitation? Or Marco's machine?

Regards
Barry

The Grand Wazoo
03-06-2009, 23:55
I use the Nitty Gritty Model 1.5Fi (fuel injection?). It is not excessively noisy, however I am limited to cleaning no more than 5 LPs (both sides) in succession, otherwise the motor overheats.

Does your Moth suffer from this limitation? Or Marco's machine?

Regards
Barry

Not at all - the Christmas before last, I gave my daughter a Thorens TD160 & a heap of records that I had duplications of. There were over 40 of them & I cleaned the lot in 2 sessions, with a break of an hour or so for lunch. It performed perfectly throughout.

I gets quite warm, but the cabinet is made of steel, so I guess that gives it a pretty good area to radiate heat from.

The thing I can't work out, though, is where the hell the fluid goes! There's a tap at the front right hand side to drain it off after long sessions & I've never been able to squeeze so much as a drop from it!! Obviously, it's evaporating, but I was amazed after that long session that I got nothing!!

There's an interesting article in the current Hi-Fi World about the Moth & why they chose to suck from below rather than above, along with the reason for the clever little designed-in play in the suction tube.

REM
04-06-2009, 09:18
Here's a plug for the OKKI NOKKI.

It's cheaper than the others and seems to do a good job, it can be seriously wonderful hearing a record you thought was beyond saving come back to life and new records benefit as well.
Is it just me or are they using more mold release agent than they used to? My copy of the latest James Hunter lp was caked in the stuff.
Back to the RCM. It's a noisy bugger as well but it seems well built, I've only had mine for 3 months so can't comment on reliability (apparently there have been issues in the past) but I understand they are now made in the same factory as the Clearaudio and the build quality has improved, we'll see. The only gripe I have with it is the Heath Robinson drain tube arrangement but for the money you can't really complain too much.
Anyone dithering about getting one of these just get whichever you can afford they are an essential piece of kit and you'll wonder how you ever managed without one.

Cheers

Barry
05-06-2009, 01:24
Not at all - the Christmas before last, I gave my daughter a Thorens TD160 & a heap of records that I had duplications of. There were over 40 of them & I cleaned the lot in 2 sessions, with a break of an hour or so for lunch. It performed perfectly throughout.

I gets quite warm, but the cabinet is made of steel, so I guess that gives it a pretty good area to radiate heat from.

The thing I can't work out, though, is where the hell the fluid goes! There's a tap at the front right hand side to drain it off after long sessions & I've never been able to squeeze so much as a drop from it!! Obviously, it's evaporating, but I was amazed after that long session that I got nothing!!

There's an interesting article in the current Hi-Fi World about the Moth & why they chose to suck from below rather than above, along with the reason for the clever little designed-in play in the suction tube.

Hi Chris
After your post, I realised that my precaution in only cleaning no more than 5 LPs at a time, was based on the advice of the person who had given me the machine. I have noticed that the machine does run a little warm but I followed the advice with out question. I have since found and had a look at the instruction 'manual' (2 pages stapled together!) and the only caution is not to leave the motor running if there are no records being cleaned. So clearly I have, for a long time, been operating the machine under a misapprehension!

Like yours, my machine applies the cleaning fluid and sucks it away from below. I did have a look at the Hi Fi World article; your machine seems to be better built than mine - that drainage tap look like it ought to dispense cask ale! Mine has a rather tacky Tupperware tray that slides out from underneath.

Do you stick strictly to using Moth's own cleaning fluid, or do you make up your own? I have to confess that I baulk at paying the amount asked for a litre bottle of 'Pure 2' that Nitty Gritty recommend and use my own concoction. Perhaps this could be the start of a new thread - 'cleaning fluid recipes'.

Regards
Barry

The Grand Wazoo
05-06-2009, 07:19
Barry,


Do you stick strictly to using Moth's own cleaning fluid, or do you make up your own? I have to confess that I baulk at paying the amount asked for a litre bottle of 'Pure 2' that Nitty Gritty recommend and use my own concoction. Perhaps this could be the start of a new thread - 'cleaning fluid recipes'.

I mix my own up - 25% isoprop & 75% distilled water. Oh, & a tiny drop of washing up liquid.

Re. 'pure water' - I did a long term consultancy job for Drax power station (a strange place for a forester to find himself working - I helped them get their aspirations for burning renewable fuels into a working reality) and worked very closely with one of their engineers who once told me about the water they use in the superheater pipes in the boilers.

Now, the pipes are made of very exotic and expensive steel & each boiler (there are 6 of them) has 470 km of them. Because of this expense and the potential for the loss of efficiency, you don't really want the pipes furring up on the inside, so you have to use incredibly pure water.

The water they use is so pure that if you put the probes of an electrical meter in them, it shows a negative reading for conductivity because the water is so much purer than that which the meter was calibrated with.

Even more interestingly, if you drink it, you end up more thirsty and dehydrated than when you started because the purity means it actually draws salts from your body!

I was never able to A/B test this water with normal distilled from Halfords, though!

DSJR
05-06-2009, 08:30
Don't mean to thread crap, but are there any of the old Vac-O-Rec machines out there in working order? I didn't care for it much, but a friend showed me how he used his and the results he got were excellent, with no scratching of the record surface and no surface noise to speak of. Whether this kind of device would work on forty year old well played records is a different matter though, but a good used one wouldn't cost much I'd have thought.

Spectral Morn
05-06-2009, 09:23
Hi Chris
After your post, I realised that my precaution in only cleaning no more than 5 LPs at a time, was based on the advice of the person who had given me the machine. I have noticed that the machine does run a little warm but I followed the advice with out question. I have since found and had a look at the instruction 'manual' (2 pages stapled together!) and the only caution is not to leave the motor running if there are no records being cleaned. So clearly I have, for a long time, been operating the machine under a misapprehension!

Like yours, my machine applies the cleaning fluid and sucks it away from below. I did have a look at the Hi Fi World article; your machine seems to be better built than mine - that drainage tap look like it ought to dispense cask ale! Mine has a rather tacky Tupperware tray that slides out from underneath.

Do you stick strictly to using Moth's own cleaning fluid, or do you make up your own? I have to confess that I baulk at paying the amount asked for a litre bottle of 'Pure 2' that Nitty Gritty recommend and use my own concoction. Perhaps this could be the start of a new thread - 'cleaning fluid recipes'.

Regards
Barry

Hi Barry

I would be careful with your Nitty Gritty. If used for a very long time the arm wand that holds the cleaning fibre can heat up and the glue that holds it in place can get on your record. I speak from experience as this happened to me while cleaning records for a customer, many years ago. The record that was ruined was worth a couple of hundred pounds (rare early 70's prog rock band if I remember correctly) The instructions don't mention this I was not warned about this.....this put me off cleaning records....I don't. I know this only happened the once, but once was enough...

Be careful Barry.....


Regards D S D L

Barry
05-06-2009, 10:01
Hi Barry

I would be careful with your Nitty Gritty. If used for a very long time the arm wand that holds the cleaning fibre can heat up and the glue that holds it in place can get on your record. I speak from experience as this happened to me while cleaning records for a customer, many years ago. The record that was ruined was worth a couple of hundred pounds (rare early 70's prog rock band if I remember correctly) The instructions don't mention this I was not warned about this.....this put me off cleaning records....I don't. I know this only happened the once, but once was enough...

Be careful Barry.....

Regards D S D L

Yeiks!:steam: Thanks Neil for the warning. Can you tell me if the Nitty Gritty machine had been in continuous use for some time? If so, then maybe I should restrict the use of my machine to no more than 5 or so LPs at a time.

Chris, your receipe for cleaning fluid is the same as mine! (I try to use de-ionised water if I can). Maybe we can now have a debate as to which brand washing up liquid is best.:lol:

Regards
Barry

NRG
05-06-2009, 10:09
Barry I have the same nitty gritty as yours, used it for several years and not had any issues with it...even after replacing the cleaning pad a number of times. I suspect if the pad does didn't adhere correctly to the machine it cound peel back over it's self and put adhesive on the record...however, just make sure the surface of the machine is clean and dry with no grease deposits and it should be fine.

MartinT
05-06-2009, 20:47
I took delivery of the Clearaudio Smart Matrix record cleaner today. Bl**dy hell - the results are amazing! Ok, that's all you get for now, I'm going back to listening.

Marco
05-06-2009, 21:09
Hehe, told ya! :eyebrows:

Prepare to rediscover your record collection!

Marco.

Barry
07-06-2009, 16:17
Barry I have the same nitty gritty as yours, used it for several years and not had any issues with it...even after replacing the cleaning pad a number of times. I suspect if the pad does didn't adhere correctly to the machine it cound peel back over it's self and put adhesive on the record...however, just make sure the surface of the machine is clean and dry with no grease deposits and it should be fine.

Hello Neal,

Thanks for the reassurance. I have have never had a problem but noting the machine draws 7.5A, implies that the motor is 1.5kW in size and could run hot. I always switch the machine off between discs and clean no more than five LPs in a session (go away make a cup of tea and start again). Probably being over cautious, but as Neil has mentioned if things go wrong they could be disasterous.

Barry

Barry
07-06-2009, 16:52
.........

Re. 'pure water' - I did a long term consultancy job for Drax power station (a strange place for a forester to find himself working - I helped them get their aspirations for burning renewable fuels into a working reality) and worked very closely with one of their engineers who once told me about the water they use in the superheater pipes in the boilers.

Now, the pipes are made of very exotic and expensive steel & each boiler (there are 6 of them) has 470 km of them. Because of this expense and the potential for the loss of efficiency, you don't really want the pipes furring up on the inside, so you have to use incredibly pure water.

The water they use is so pure that if you put the probes of an electrical meter in them, it shows a negative reading for conductivity because the water is so much purer than that which the meter was calibrated with.

Even more interestingly, if you drink it, you end up more thirsty and dehydrated than when you started because the purity means it actually draws salts from your body!



That's interesting Chris,

The sort of water they were using probably had a conductivity of 100uS/m. To put that into contex, tap water has around 50x to 500x the amount of inpurities and a conductivity of 5000uS/m.

Ultra pure water has a conductivity of 5.5uS/m (sometimes referred to as '18MOhm water') has a pH of 6.998 and is as pure as it can possibly be. Believe it or not, it has been used as an insulating coolant for the valves of large transmitters with anode voltages in the Killervolt range. The water in these cooling systems has to be used in heat exchangers sealed from the air, as even a small exposure to air would cause the water to absorb enough CO2 to make it conductive.

I had better not continue as I will have Ali (Tait) chasing me for making a dangerous and irresponsable suggestion, however the transmitter valves I am thinking about are not suitable for audio use!

Barry

MartinT
15-06-2009, 21:58
I replaced the standard (black) counterweight on my Jelco 250ST for the heavier standard (gunmetal) counterweight of the 750D. This allows the counterweight to be much closer to the bearings when tracking weight is set. Now that the AT is fully run-in, I have settled on a tracking weight of 1.6g, in keeping with several forum members, as being the ideal weight.

It continues to sound marvellous and I can understand why Dave says the 250ST is a perfect match for the AT OC9/33PTG cartridges.

RobHolt
18-06-2009, 12:57
Martin, if you are considering the OC9 you might want to try the AT33PTG.
The two cartridges are quite similar but the latter puts a bit more meat on the bones.

Unfortunately it isn't a UK model these days so its import only for about 250.

I think it gives the entry level Lyra models as good run.

MartinT
18-06-2009, 14:16
Rob - missed footer alert, I'm already running an AT33PTG :)