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Thread: How hi (-fi) can you go?

  1. #11
    Join Date: Jan 2009

    Location: Essex

    Posts: 18,662
    I'm openingabottleofwine.

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    Excellent write up Alan and a most interesting read.

    I too use Quad 57s and have tried/experimented with augmenting the bass performance with a subwoofer. Sadly I didn't get on with it, particularly finding the correct level was impossible to set: either it would be too high and the bass was intrusive (roll-over set to 40Hz), or it would be too low and there was no overall contribution. It also varied depending on what was being played. Maybe I should have persevered, but the sub was loaned to me, so I didn't have a lot of time to 'optimise' things.

    What are the super tweeters you are using Alan? What is the crossover frequency?

    Talking of "How hi ?", are you still hanging the Quads from the ceiling? I think I can see the suspension hooks.

    Anyway excellent work, well done.
    Have you listened to this month's choice in the Album Club?

    Barry

  2. #12
    Join Date: Oct 2012

    Location: The Black Country

    Posts: 4,391
    I'm Alan.

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    This http://theartofsound.net/forum/showt...the-sweet-spot gives you all the details Barry

  3. #13
    Join Date: Oct 2012

    Location: The Black Country

    Posts: 4,391
    I'm Alan.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    Could you explain the highlighted text, Alan, as I'm unaware of what you're referring to. Also what do you mean by a "recognisable pinch point"?
    By pinch point I was referring to the weak point, the area which is limiting ultimate performance.

    Depending what JFET is used there will be an optimum supply voltage for that JFET to give best performance, as with a valve as well. I haven't incorporated any circuitry to make this adjustable.

  4. #14
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 80,942
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

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    Ah ok, gotcha now

    Something to work on then, perhaps? However, it's not only the KIN's MC input which is 'challenged' in that way, in the face of a good head amp or SUT, used in conjunction with the accompanying MM input of the same phono stage, but pretty much EVERY standalone MC phono stage I've heard or tried to date.

    Therefore, for me, something intrinsic/fundamental is going on, allowing the combination of MM stage+SUT (or head amp), when all else is equal, to 'ace' a standalone MC stage.

    Marco.
    http://www.thestainedglasscompany.com

    "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.

    BE HAPPY EVERYDAY!

  5. #15
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

    Posts: 3,970
    I'm James.

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    Nice write up Alan and good to see your system has evolved since I last heard it so now I have something new to look forward to later this month.

    I though I had finished messing with my set up until I put some new JJTesla valves in the regulation stage?
    VPI Scout 1.1 - Ortofon 2M Black - Croft 25R+ - Croft Series 7 - Spendor SP2

  6. #16
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 6,525
    I'm Oliver.

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    Looks like there will be a few more updates after today's little listening session. Valves for 1!!! I'll let Alan tell the story.

    Sent from my EVA-L09 using Tapatalk
    Analogue: Technics SP10 MK2 > Phonomac AT-1010 MK5 tonearm > Ortofon Kontrapunkt b > Bigbottle Jfet MC Valve Phonostage (Telefunken Valves)
    Digital: NONE
    Amplification: Nelson Pass DCB1 with Khozmo 48 Step Series Attenuator & Krell KSA100 MK2 Amplifier
    Cables: Fisual S-Flex Speaker Cable & SPOTFIRE IC Cables & NEW SPOTFIRE Tonearm cable
    Speakers: Pioneer CS-77A

  7. #17
    Join Date: Oct 2012

    Location: The Black Country

    Posts: 4,391
    I'm Alan.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    Something to work on then, perhaps?.........

    Therefore, for me, something intrinsic/fundamental is going on, allowing the combination of MM stage+SUT (or head amp), when all else is equal, to 'ace' a standalone MC stage.

    Marco.
    Well, to follow on from Oliver's tease, and Marco's question above, there has been a breakthrough in the design of my JFET cascode MC input.

    A bit of a double epiphany has been experienced today with the help of Oliver's TT/arm/cartridge excellent 'front end' and the use of my cobbled up valve head amp.

    The first epiphany was dropping Telefunken valves into the Firebottle Monoblocks. Both of our jaws were on the floor The raise in performance was outstanding.

    Prior to this I had suggested connecting my valve headamp into the MM input to isolate the JFET MC input from the signal chain, without really expecting much of a change. How wrong I was
    The distortion level dropped, particularly noticeable on the bottom registers, with them becoming cleaner and easier to follow. This confirmed what I have said above about the JFET being the weak link and introducing non-linearity.

    After a bit of fervent brain activity I realised why. Fortunately the existing design of the MC input stage, JFET/valve, was actually giving too much gain which is very rare for a valve stage, it's usual to be struggling to get 'enough'.

    I've now been able to use the excess gain to linearise the JFET to great effect, giving a standalone MC that equals the use of an external SUT or headamp.

    It's so satisfying to come up with a new solution, I'm chuffed to bits.

    Firebottle - for the no bottleneck approach.

    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

  8. #18
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 6,525
    I'm Oliver.

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    "jaws dropped" is an understatement!!!!! A total shift upwards in terms of clarity and transparency. It was a stunning moment. I'm pleased youve opted to buy some too

    The Headamp was another shocking moment. It's taken a while to get to the bottom of where the weak point was but once this head amp went in, it became a completely differently phonostage altogether. Superb stuff. Looking forward to another listen at the bakeoff.

    Sent from my EVA-L09 using Tapatalk
    Analogue: Technics SP10 MK2 > Phonomac AT-1010 MK5 tonearm > Ortofon Kontrapunkt b > Bigbottle Jfet MC Valve Phonostage (Telefunken Valves)
    Digital: NONE
    Amplification: Nelson Pass DCB1 with Khozmo 48 Step Series Attenuator & Krell KSA100 MK2 Amplifier
    Cables: Fisual S-Flex Speaker Cable & SPOTFIRE IC Cables & NEW SPOTFIRE Tonearm cable
    Speakers: Pioneer CS-77A

  9. #19
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 80,942
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

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    Interesting stuff, guys. Would love to have heard all that for myself, particularly the trials with the head amp. Just shows that hi-fi is always a continual learning curve, no matter how much you *think* you know!

    Marco.
    http://www.thestainedglasscompany.com

    "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.

    BE HAPPY EVERYDAY!

  10. #20
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 6,525
    I'm Oliver.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    Interesting stuff, guys. Would love to have heard all that for myself, particularly the trials with the head amp. Just shows that hi-fi is always a continual learning curve, no matter how much you *think* you know!

    Marco.
    It was a definite "wow" moment when those (still sealed ) Telefunkens went in. You know they are good when Alan spends money and buys some for himself 🤣

    Same with the valve head amp. I'm now doubly excited to build my MM valve stage. (Valve Wizard PCB and PSU) Probably go Headamp over SUT but it'll be fun either way!


    Sent from my EVA-L09 using Tapatalk
    Analogue: Technics SP10 MK2 > Phonomac AT-1010 MK5 tonearm > Ortofon Kontrapunkt b > Bigbottle Jfet MC Valve Phonostage (Telefunken Valves)
    Digital: NONE
    Amplification: Nelson Pass DCB1 with Khozmo 48 Step Series Attenuator & Krell KSA100 MK2 Amplifier
    Cables: Fisual S-Flex Speaker Cable & SPOTFIRE IC Cables & NEW SPOTFIRE Tonearm cable
    Speakers: Pioneer CS-77A

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