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Thread: Phonostage Bake-Off - 08/07/18 - Penkridge *NOW CONFIRMED*

  1. #321
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 6,249
    I'm Oliver.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pankon View Post
    I have participated in similar bake-offs with phono stages, DACs, etc. IMHO, such bake-offs are more enlightening than reviews by audio journalists, whose objectivity is an unknown.
    Even better (much, much better) is to have a bake-off in one's own system, but this is not always feasible.
    Exactly.
    Analogue: Technics SP10 MK2 > Phonomac AT-1010 MK5 tonearm > Ortofon Kontrapunkt b > Bigbottle Jfet MC Valve Phonostage (Telefunken & Tesla Valves)
    Digital: NONE
    Amplification: Nelson Pass DCB1 & Monarchy Audio SM-70 Class A Amplifier
    Cables: Fisual S-Flex Speaker Cable & SPOTFIRE IC Cables & NEW SPOTFIRE Tonearm cable
    Speakers: Pioneer CS-77A

  2. #322
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 6,249
    I'm Oliver.

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    An example of why the bakeoff is worth holding-

    "You would have loved the Phono Stage bake off last Sunday.

    I too use a Trichord Dino (mk ii) and we tested it against other solid state stages and valve stages.

    My conclusion: I'm definitely getting rid of the Dino and replacing it with a valve stage.

    If you want to spend similar money to the cost of the Dino then can I suggest you look at this stage that JohnG of this forum brought along?

    http://www.nixiekits.eu/product.php?key=digna_pp"

    A decision reached due to the experience of the bakeoff. Excellent!
    Analogue: Technics SP10 MK2 > Phonomac AT-1010 MK5 tonearm > Ortofon Kontrapunkt b > Bigbottle Jfet MC Valve Phonostage (Telefunken & Tesla Valves)
    Digital: NONE
    Amplification: Nelson Pass DCB1 & Monarchy Audio SM-70 Class A Amplifier
    Cables: Fisual S-Flex Speaker Cable & SPOTFIRE IC Cables & NEW SPOTFIRE Tonearm cable
    Speakers: Pioneer CS-77A

  3. #323
    Join Date: May 2015

    Location: Greece

    Posts: 180
    I'm Panos.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigman80 View Post
    An example of why the bakeoff is worth holding-

    "You would have loved the Phono Stage bake off last Sunday.

    I too use a Trichord Dino (mk ii) and we tested it against other solid state stages and valve stages.

    My conclusion: I'm definitely getting rid of the Dino and replacing it with a valve stage.

    If you want to spend similar money to the cost of the Dino then can I suggest you look at this stage that JohnG of this forum brought along?

    http://www.nixiekits.eu/product.php?key=digna_pp"

    A decision reached due to the experience of the bakeoff. Excellent!
    Yes, that's an excellent example, Oliver. Being able to experience how each device compares with the competition is one key takeaway from a bakeoff.
    And similarly, getting acquainted with new devices is also very (perhaps more) interesting. Widening our horizons! -)
    System1: Roksan Xerxes original (HiFi Inspire plinth) with OriginLive DC motor + Audiomods Series5 + MusicMaker III, Marantz CD6005, LAB12 DAC1 SE+, Croft Micro25RSLS + Series7R monoblocks (110W/ea), Harbeth SHL5 Plus 40th Anniv., KEF LS50, LAB12 Gordian, Mark Grant HDX1, Black Cat Red Level Triode, LAB12 Knack MkII

    System 2: Marantz CD6003, Croft SuperMicroII ('R' spec by Croft, Tesla E83CC in phono)+ Series7, Snell Type EII (with bypass caps, new internal wiring, WBT nextgen 0703Cu), Mark Grant HDX1, Atlas Hyper 3.0

  4. #324
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 6,249
    I'm Oliver.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pankon View Post
    Yes, that's an excellent example, Oliver. Being able to experience how each device compares with the competition is one key takeaway from a bakeoff.
    And similarly, getting acquainted with new devices is also very (perhaps more) interesting. Widening our horizons! -)
    Thanks, I thought it gave a perfect display of why bakeoffs work.

    Not an exact science but worth the time.
    Analogue: Technics SP10 MK2 > Phonomac AT-1010 MK5 tonearm > Ortofon Kontrapunkt b > Bigbottle Jfet MC Valve Phonostage (Telefunken & Tesla Valves)
    Digital: NONE
    Amplification: Nelson Pass DCB1 & Monarchy Audio SM-70 Class A Amplifier
    Cables: Fisual S-Flex Speaker Cable & SPOTFIRE IC Cables & NEW SPOTFIRE Tonearm cable
    Speakers: Pioneer CS-77A

  5. #325
    Join Date: Jun 2018

    Location: Mildenhall, Suffolk

    Posts: 66
    I'm John.

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    In the past year, I have attended five events, where Vinyl Replays has been the fundamental intention.
    As a result I have heard a reasonable amount of Phonostages, Played through different systems.
    As for the science of producing a Phonostage performance that is unanimously declared the device to aspire to, I am not aware of it having a presence.
    A simple explanation is a individuals emotions and stimulation roused by the replay performance.
    Just like a individuals "sense of humour " ones laughter at a subject is not seen as laughable by another.
    Phonostages of certain price range, or more accurately shared circuitry, all have a similar presentation, but they also have enough differences to allow a member of the audience to be selective while hearing the device during its audition.
    In general the audience are looking for the strengths within the replay, but are usually more opinionated by the detractors that are manifesting in the performance and the intensity of the detractors.
    i.e Sibilance, Bass Boom, Weak Midrange, Colouration, Soundstage Projection.
    Each of these detractors will be judged, but each individual will have their own unique opinion of how it effected the performance, hence one phonostage will always be seen as the most attractive more than another, there is also the situation where the owner of a device, forms the view, that their device sounds very different at home, with all the variables, it is not straight forward to get a unanimous decision with all the audience in agreement.
    Another more rare experience I have met with is that there are Phonostages in the line up for Audition, that when presented give a performance that seems to surpass the earlier line up and be a real cut above. When this happens there is a release of excitement by some of the group, and true evaluation of the performance can wane. I am prone to this same reaction and have lost my bearings on a few occasions.
    The Modwright 9.0 SE, is the first that I recall delivering a performance I perceived as much improved, I intend on listening again to this model.
    The "Paradise" is a reference device, it has a very incisive, lucid presentation, one I would like to hear again.
    The Music First Reference, is the dream device for me, it comes at a price beyond the normal folks payscale.
    I heard a marked difference in the experience with the VAS at Penkridge, but this seemed to be expressed by others in the audience more than myself, so I do believe it happened, I do agree the AI SUT is a great match for the VAS.
    From my end, there is no secret about where I am in the world of Phonostages, the DIGNA is to me, very good at rousing Emotional and Stimulating reactions during a replay, I know this sounds wrong
    What the DIGNA has done though is show a marked improvement in the performance it offers, when compared to the Clones. The Clones can perform and does a good job.
    What the DIGNA does is remind me of how the fore mentioned phonostages showed their superiority over the Clones, as does the DIGNA, so with the DIGNA on board, I know I am heading in a direction toward the Phonostages, I think I need to aspire to.
    I'm looking forward to the opportunity to take part in future Bake Offs
    Last edited by JohnG; 14-07-2018 at 16:31.

  6. #326
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 6,249
    I'm Oliver.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnG View Post
    In the past year, I have attended five events, where Vinyl Replays has been the fundamental intention.
    As a result I have heard a reasonable amount of Phonostages, Played through different systems.
    As for the science of producing a Phonostage performance that is unanimously declared the device to aspire to, I am not aware of it having a presence.
    A simple explanation is a individuals emotions and stimulation roused by the replay performance.
    Just like a individuals "sense of humour " ones laughter at a subject is not seen as laughable by another.
    Phonostages of certain price range, or more accurately shared circuitry, all have a similar presentation, but they also have enough differences to allow a member of the audience to be selective while hearing the device during its audition.
    In general the audience are looking for the strengths within the replay, but are usually more opinionated by the detractors that are manifesting in the performance and the intensity of the detractors.
    i.e Sibilance, Bass Boom, Weak Midrange, Colouration, Soundstage Projection.
    Each of these detractors will be judged, but each individual will have their own unique opinion of how it effected the performance, hence one phonostage will always be seen as the most attractive more than another, there is also the situation where the owner of a device, forms the view, that their device sounds very different at home, with all the variables, it is not straight forward to get a unanimous decision with all the audience in agreement.
    Another more rare experience I have met with is that there are Phonostages in the line up for Audition, that when presented give a performance that seems to surpass the earlier line up and be a real cut above. When this happens there is a release of excitement by some of the group, and true evaluation of the performance can wane. I am prone to this same reaction and have lost my bearings on a few occasions.
    I heard a marked difference in the experience with the VAS at Penkridge, but this seemed to be expressed by others in the audience more than myself, so I do believe it happened, I do agree the AI SUT is a great match for the VAS.
    From my end, there is no secret about where I am in the world of Phonostages, the DIGNA is to me, very good at rousing Emotional and Stimulating reactions during a replay, I know this sounds wrong
    What the DIGNA has done though is show a marked improvement in the performance it offers, when compared to the Clones. The Clones can perform and does a good job.
    What the DIGNA does is remind me of how the fore mentioned phonostages showed their superiority over the Clones, as does the DIGNA, so with the DIGNA on board, I know I am heading in a direction toward the Phonostages, I think I need to aspire to.
    I'm looking forward to the opportunity to take part in future Bake Offs
    Great post John.
    Analogue: Technics SP10 MK2 > Phonomac AT-1010 MK5 tonearm > Ortofon Kontrapunkt b > Bigbottle Jfet MC Valve Phonostage (Telefunken & Tesla Valves)
    Digital: NONE
    Amplification: Nelson Pass DCB1 & Monarchy Audio SM-70 Class A Amplifier
    Cables: Fisual S-Flex Speaker Cable & SPOTFIRE IC Cables & NEW SPOTFIRE Tonearm cable
    Speakers: Pioneer CS-77A

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