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Thread: Back in Black

  1. #251
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

    Posts: 5,578
    I'm James.

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    Hi Andy, hows it going with the 2M Black now you have been running with it for a while?
    Main system : VPI Scout 1.1 / JMW 9T / 2M Black / Croft 25R+ / Croft 7 / Heco Celan GT 702

    Second System : Goldring Lenco GL75 / AT95EX / Pioneer SX590 / Spendor SP2

  2. #252
    Join Date: Nov 2010

    Location: Yorkshire

    Posts: 8,919
    I'm Andrew.

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    Hi Jim,

    I did write up my experience with it up against the faithful old steed the M55E. I'm now upto part two of evaluating the 2M Black, which is to try and learn it's "house sound", it's strengths, weaknesses, quirks, etc. The problem is I only get a couple of hours on Fridays to do this, so this Friday should start pt 2 when I can make a few more notes. I'm hoping to have a good session where I listen to quite a few genre's with a critical ear rather than just listening less critically as background music. Finally, I'd then like to pit the 2M up against the SC35C + JICO SAS/B + Aluminium head shell cartridge and see if the 2MB can fends it off. So I'm hoping to do a update to the REAL SOUND thread on Friday.
    SS
    CD Teac VRDS25X(Audiotuned) DAC Caiman SEG+15V PSU+Dorado DECK 1210 Mat Crystal Audio Mods MN Base/Bearing/Platter+Ebony armboard Feet Isonoe PSU Paul Hynes SR7EHD-27XL/DCSXL Ag DC lead/3 Stage Regs/Recap PCB+No Pitch/Strobe/Light ARM SME V(Kondo Ag Rewire&Tags) MC Cadenza Black FGS CABLES Arm Yannis SPD-4 IC Yannis 222 Litz+Ag bullets Power WAR PRE ATC SCA2 SPEAKERS ATC 50ASL STANDS Atacama PHONO Sugden Masterclass PA4 SUT Ortofon ST80SE POWER PSAudio P10

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    Croft Epoch(Modded) AMP Sondex S100 (Modded) SPEAKERS Tannoy 15"MG+RFC Warwick cabs+ Ref XO DECKS Garrard301/401 (Bastin) Mat Teunto Bearings 301/401(Bastin) Plinth Moldovan/Bastin Arms 3012(Ikeda Ag wired) SME V12 PSU Eagle+Tachometer MC Ag Meister v2/Royal N SPUs CABLES Arm Yannis 420.5 Litz+ SpeakerPC Tripple C+WBT-0681 Ag IC Oyaide FTVS-510 AgWBT 0110Ag Phonostage Paradise(4 Box Mega-Modded)

    REAL SOUND
    Heybrook TT2 (Isokinetic PSU) + Alphason HR100s + Shure SC35C (JICO B/SAS) + Radford SC25 Pre + EAR 834 (Modded Clone) + 300b Amp + Full Duelund cabling loom



  3. #253
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

    Posts: 5,578
    I'm James.

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    Excellent nice to hear your plan to evaluate it thoroughly!��
    Main system : VPI Scout 1.1 / JMW 9T / 2M Black / Croft 25R+ / Croft 7 / Heco Celan GT 702

    Second System : Goldring Lenco GL75 / AT95EX / Pioneer SX590 / Spendor SP2

  4. #254
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

    Posts: 5,578
    I'm James.

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    I think it’s interesting that you are using other cartridges to get a handle on what the 2M can or can’t do, this highlights it’s strengths and weaknesses. Always good to have benchmarks for a comparison as it shows more clearly aspects of new equipment that are more readily revealed in listening sessions. This is way better than simply trying to listen and compare from memory when you may have sold a piece of kit / equipment?

    I am listening fresh tonight after a weeks break which is always good. I always run through some familiar tracks to get a good idea how the system is sounding. The stark live performance of the 2M stands out immediately listening tonight. I am sitting back and not wanting for anything in the system it sounds better than it should and is simply a stunning tool for listening to the black stuff.

    That is why I have not changed my system much at all in the past 5 years. The 2M simply does a fabulous job and always delivers a superb performance across most genres.
    Main system : VPI Scout 1.1 / JMW 9T / 2M Black / Croft 25R+ / Croft 7 / Heco Celan GT 702

    Second System : Goldring Lenco GL75 / AT95EX / Pioneer SX590 / Spendor SP2

  5. #255
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

    Posts: 5,578
    I'm James.

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    Strange things cartridges? So much is required of them as they are the very starting point of our auditory journey and they shape everything that is to come after they generate that small electrical signal. This of course then travels through so many metres of cables and electronics which manipulate the signal one way or another until finally it reaches our ears.

    They are a thing of wonder when you actually think what they do, transcribing a piece of plastic with encoded grooves to produce music and sound that we can actually believe is real. They can convey information and emotion at an infinite level of experience and make us happy, sad, joyful or frustrated.

    To many, including myself, the cartridge is an anathema. It can be so difficult to actually physically set up in a tonearm and the variability of manipulation in so many dimensions can result in either a stellar performance that ticks or the boxes or something that just sounds OK. Like many folk on this forum I have set up cartridges and installed them many times and I would say I actually enjoy the experience even though the is always a small amount of trepidation when i actually sit down and listen to the cartridge once installed. This is especially true of a new cartridge with expectations that it will change slightly anyway as it runs in which brings me to the point of this post.

    Although cartridge set up and alignment can be critical when you throw in the curve ball of running it in things can get tricky. Have I set the cartridge up correctly or do I need to wait 30,50 or 100 hours to judge? Many of us have been down this well trodden path and it can be frustrating especially with an unfamiliar cartridge where we do not quite know what to expect from its performance.

    However I am very familiar with the 2M Black and I know exactly what it should sound like in my system. Or so I thought! I have been through about 4 stylus changes with my 2M Black over a period of about 7 years and generally I know what to expect from beginning to end of life. I am no longer phased or concerned about setting this cartridge up as I have done it so many times and i know exactly how to do this with my particular tonearm and alignment equipment I have at my disposal. I have observed the extreme range of performance this cartridge can achieve in my system and I know exactly how it should sound. However just recently I have become engaged in another experiment with a friend, more of which will be revealed soon.

    During this project I have been listening even more attentively to the 2M black than usual and noticing certain aspects about it but there was one evening this week that prompted me to write this post. I sat down to my usually listening session which occurs between 7pm-10pm and at first i was not paying attention to what i was listening too but over the evening I was bemused at what I was hearing. As I have mentioned I know how this cartridge sounds in my system and can judge by the increasing levels of distortion and details in the music when it is coming to end of life. Now this particular stylus has done about 1000 hours. It has been kept scrupulously clean as have been my records. At this end of its working life I was expecting to hear distortion issues due to stylus wear but instead I heard the opposite!

    This particular stylus was sounding better than is should and in fact better than I had ever heard it. The 3D performance, detail, tonal quality etc were exceptional, probably at there very best. I could not fault it and even made the observation to my partner Helen who also heard how exceptional it sounded. I was listening to very well know material but never the less it still sounded at its very best i had encountered in my system. How was this apparent fantastic performance still available from a stylus with 1000 hours on it. This got be thinking and this is my hypothesis. Bear in ming this is just my explanation of what I think has happened and may not be technically correct.

    As a cartridge wares both the suspension and diamond tip change. This can be a very slow procedure but inevitably it can be heard over the lifespan of the cartridge. Finally distortion sets in and its knackered. What I think I heard the other night was the ultimate sweet spot for this stylus and suspension in that they had worn to a point where all the angles and subtle interplay with the record were achieving exactly the right amount of interaction to achieve a very high level of performance. But at 1000 hours!?

    In a sentence the cartridge/stylus had worn in rather than worn out!

    Now I know this maybe heretical thinking in the audiofool world and I am happy to have my theory shot down but this is what i have observed and this is my explanation.

    I know this situation will not last forever as the inevitable forces of physics and stylus wear will plunge it into the abyss of distortion and doom and I will have to pay eye watering money to perpetuate the whole cycle once again.
    Main system : VPI Scout 1.1 / JMW 9T / 2M Black / Croft 25R+ / Croft 7 / Heco Celan GT 702

    Second System : Goldring Lenco GL75 / AT95EX / Pioneer SX590 / Spendor SP2

  6. #256
    Join Date: Oct 2012

    Location: The Black Country

    Posts: 5,989
    I'm Alan.

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    I think you could well be right James. As we know everything in the chain matters, so any subtle changes in the mechanics can have an effect as can temperature, humidity and the usual suspects of conductor and connector material.
    I love Hendrix for so many reasons. He was so much more than just a blues guitarist - he played damn well any kind of guitar he wanted. In fact I'm not sure if he even played the guitar - he played music. - Stevie Ray Vaughan

  7. #257
    Join Date: Jan 2009

    Location: Essex

    Posts: 28,742
    I'm openingabottleofwine.

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    Depending on how well you look after your records (i.e. cleanliness, storage), how well you have set up your arm/cartridge and the cleanliness of the stylus itself, a good quality diamond (with an advanced stylus profile) should have a lifetime of around 2000 hours (or 130 days of use).

    Assuming a playing time of 40 minutes per LP, that works out to 3,000 LPs.

    Variables such as temperature and humidity will have an effect on the compliance of the cantilever support, but in turn those changes will have a negligable effect on stylus lifetime.
    Barry

  8. #258
    Join Date: May 2011

    Location: Glasgow

    Posts: 7,631
    I'm Brian.

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    Great post James. Interesting idea about condition/age of the cartridge being the main factor in an uptick in SQ.

    As said earlier room temperature/conditions can play a part, especially with vinyl I think.

    Lots of variables here, including our mood and how receptive our brain is to what we are hearing. I definitely identify with this hypothesis being another explanation. Doesn't matter really does it? Just sit back and enjoy the music mate
    Regards
    Brian

    Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment . (Rumi )


    Korus Computer Audio music server
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  9. #259
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

    Posts: 5,578
    I'm James.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    Depending on how well you look after your records (i.e. cleanliness, storage), how well you have set up your arm/cartridge and the cleanliness of the stylus itself, a good quality diamond (with an advanced stylus profile) should have a lifetime of around 2000 hours (or 130 days of use).

    Assuming a playing time of 40 minutes per LP, that works out to 3,000 LPs.

    Variables such as temperature and humidity will have an effect on the compliance of the cantilever support, but in turn those changes will have a negligable effect on stylus lifetime.
    2000 Hours - great, that means I am only half way through the life of this stylus and maybe I have hit the sweet spot but its all down hill from here!
    Main system : VPI Scout 1.1 / JMW 9T / 2M Black / Croft 25R+ / Croft 7 / Heco Celan GT 702

    Second System : Goldring Lenco GL75 / AT95EX / Pioneer SX590 / Spendor SP2

  10. #260
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

    Posts: 5,578
    I'm James.

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    Quote Originally Posted by brian2957 View Post
    Great post James. Interesting idea about condition/age of the cartridge being the main factor in an uptick in SQ.

    As said earlier room temperature/conditions can play a part, especially with vinyl I think.

    Lots of variables here, including our mood and how receptive our brain is to what we are hearing. I definitely identify with this hypothesis being another explanation. Doesn't matter really does it? Just sit back and enjoy the music mate
    Thanks Brian, I should like you say take into consideration all the other aspects you have mentioned but the night I heard it performing at its best was not noteworthy for anything special, just an average humidity and temp?
    Main system : VPI Scout 1.1 / JMW 9T / 2M Black / Croft 25R+ / Croft 7 / Heco Celan GT 702

    Second System : Goldring Lenco GL75 / AT95EX / Pioneer SX590 / Spendor SP2

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