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Thread: One for the Sussex Coast Members.

  1. #11
    Join Date: Jan 2008

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    AFAIK, the Ortofon A90, A95 and A100 are the latest incarnations of the SPU. Sans the whale-shaped headshell, and in some cases 'nuded', but the SPU 'DNA' is still there.
    Doesn't sound like it then, Barry! To my ears, that DNA has slowly, but significantly through the years, been diluted/eroded...

    If you were to listen to, say, the SPU-G/T I had, from 1958, and any current production 'whale-shaped' headshell variety, let alone an A90, you'd instantly hear the fundamental change in voicing. The catalyst for that change, IMO, was when Alnico magnets were swapped for supposedly 'superior' rare-earth types, although changes in stylus profiles have also played their part.

    For me, that's when the 'magic' went, and SPUs started to no longer sound like (true) SPUs.

    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.

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  2. #12
    Join Date: Jan 2009

    Location: Essex

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    I'm openingabottleofwine.

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    I've never heard any of Ortofon's 'Anniversary' cartridges, so cannot compare them with my SPU or other '60s Ortofon designs (the S-15TE, SL15E and SL15E Mk.II) and comment on the "dilution" of the SPU 'sound. But regarding the appellation 'SPU' to the Anniversary series I can only refer you to Ortofon's brochure:

    http://www.audiotuning.com/images/Or...5-Brochure.pdf
    Have you listened to this month's choice in the Album Club?

    Barry

  3. #13
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    Well, I'd rather have one of those, than that thing in the ebay advert earlier!

    Trust me though, if you were to listen to that SPU A95 and compare it with a quality vintage one, such as I mentioned, the fundamental change in voicing would be obvious. The main thing that's been diluted is the power/low-end heft that used to be synonymous with SPUs, and heard in all its glory with the reproduction of large orchestral scores, brass instruments and piano.

    Modern SPUs sound rather 'weedy' and musically un-involving in comparison, although they're certainly brim-full of clarity and 'top-end sparkle', if that's your bag

    It's rather like listening to a Koetsu Black K, from the Sugano-san era [ideally, early 1980s], and the current ones, produced by his son. Sonically, totally different animals, yet claiming to be the same beast!

    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!

  4. #14
    Join Date: Jan 2009

    Location: Essex

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    Like all electromechanical transducers, cartridges (and speakers) are the least well developed, hence they all display the most flaws, idiosyncratic traits, strengths and weaknesses and 'character'. As such (like speakers), no one manufacturer's design will suit everyone. It's all a matter of taste.

    Like you, I tend to prefer the vintage designs from Ortofon, EMT and Denon, however there are a couple of 'newer' designs from Van den Hul and Ikeda that I do find very satisfying to my ears.

    I'm still mystified by the attraction and preference by some for Alnico magnets, over the newer rare earth formulations. To me a magnetic field is a magnetic field, regardless of how it is produced (is one's mains supply any different if it produced by a wind farm, a nuclear reactor, or is solar generated?). Yet I have read comments and opinions from guitar players stating they prefer alnico magnets in their guitar pickups. One of Audio Note's cartridges eschews a magnet altogether, and uses a field coil to generate the magnetic field.
    Have you listened to this month's choice in the Album Club?

    Barry

  5. #15
    Join Date: Apr 2009

    Location: Near Saffron Walden, Essex

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    I'm Dave.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    Well, I'd rather have one of those, than that thing in the earlier ebay advert!

    Trust me though, if you were to listen to that SPU A95 and compare it with a quality vintage one, such as I mentioned, the fundamental change in voicing would be obvious. The main thing that's been diluted is the power/low-end heft that used to be synonymous with SPUs, and heard in all its glory with the reproduction of large orchestral scores, brass instruments and piano.

    Modern SPUs sound rather 'weedy' and musically un-involving in comparison, although they're certainly brim-full of clarity and 'top-end sparkle', if that's your bag

    It's rather like listening to a Koetsu Black K, from the Sugano-san era [ideally, early 1980s], and the current ones, produced by his son. Sonically, totally different animals, yet claiming to be the same beast!

    Marco.
    I'd go along with that. IMO they have gone too far along the 'information retrieval, clean' route and now sound thinner and uninvolving.

  6. #16
    Join Date: Jan 2008

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    Quote Originally Posted by hifi_dave View Post
    I'd go along with that. IMO they have gone too far along the 'information retrieval, clean' route and now sound thinner and uninvolving.
    Exactly my view Dave, based on listening experience - and you'd also know, as you've been selling them for years! In terms of the above, it's now become Ortofon's 'house sound', and present in pretty much all of their cartridges, MMs and MCs.

    Soul and emotion have been traded for someone's mistaken notion of 'accuracy'...

    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!

  7. #17
    Join Date: Jan 2008

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    Like you, I tend to prefer the vintage designs from Ortofon, EMT and Denon, however there are a couple of 'newer' designs from Van den Hul and Ikeda that I do find very satisfying to my ears.
    I think if you did some research, you'd find that early examples of the above all feature Alnico magnets.

    Alnicos are also used in vintage Tannoys, and other well-regarded vintage speakers, all of which inherently produce a sound that I consider is synonymous with Alnico: warm/rich bass, but not wooly or excessively coloured, and with a lovely liquid and lucid midrange quality, and sweet (detailed but not bright) reproduction of high-frequencies, much of which is notably absent when Alnico isn't in the equation.

    I'm still mystified by the attraction and preference by some for Alnico magnets, over the newer rare earth formulations. To me a magnetic field is a magnetic field, regardless of how it is produced (is one's mains supply any different if it produced by a wind farm, a nuclear reactor, or is solar generated?). Yet I have read comments and opinions from guitar players stating they prefer alnico magnets in their guitar pickups.
    Probably because they too can hear the difference. I can't tell you why that opinion exists; merely report what I hear, and have heard for years with Alnico magnets, when used in various pieces of equipment, whilst pondering whether it's all simply a 'happy accident'....

    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!

  8. #18
    Join Date: Feb 2013

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    my speakers use Alnico magnets. Ive found them to punch well above expectations... whether its because of the mags, I dont know for sure, but believe its certainly part of it.
    Regards,
    Grant ....

    I've said it before and I'll say it again: democracy simply-doesn't-work
    .... ..... ...... ...... ................... ..... ..... ..... ..... .....
    OPPO BDP-103D DARBEE - JBE SERIES 3/B&O SP1/PROJECT PHONOBOX DS2 USB - QUAD VENA 2/TWIN PRO MONOBLOCK POWER AMPLIFIERS - XS VALVE DAC - AVANTREE OASIS PLUS + LEAF HD BLUETOOTHS - OPPO PM-3 PLANAR +NURAPHONE HEADPHONES - ZBOOK/WIN10 PRO/AUDIRVANA 3 PLUS/TIDAL - SMSL M6 MINIDAC - RPI 3 DIGIONE/VOLUMIO - FULL RANGE TWIN TELEFUNKEN MAIN SPKRS/Q ACOUSTIC BT3 ACTIVES & CANTON SUB - P.INSPIRED MAINS REGENERATED.

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  9. #19
    Join Date: Jan 2008

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    Quote Originally Posted by struth View Post
    my speakers use Alnico magnets. Ive found them to punch well above expectations... whether its because of the mags, I dont know for sure, but believe its certainly part of it.
    Yup, your Telefunkens defo come under the category of "other well-regarded vintage speakers"

    One day you'll have to hear them with valves (which they were designed to partner), as trust me mate, you're currently only enjoying a fraction of their potential.

    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: Feb 2013

    Location: W Lothian

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    I'm Grant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    Yup, your Telefunkens come under the category of "other well-regarded vintage speakers"

    One day you'll have to hear them with valves (which they were designed to partner), as trust me mate, you're currently only enjoying a fraction of their potential.

    Marco.
    although they are very sensitive they seem to benefit from a bit of current availability up em to keep them fluid. also seem to like short speaker cables, so monos are the way to go i think, or a really good powerfull valve job... maybe 40/50 watts. may not get dial round too far but should sound good.
    I had sold my wad amp before i made these double driver versions, but the single ones sounded good with it.
    Regards,
    Grant ....

    I've said it before and I'll say it again: democracy simply-doesn't-work
    .... ..... ...... ...... ................... ..... ..... ..... ..... .....
    OPPO BDP-103D DARBEE - JBE SERIES 3/B&O SP1/PROJECT PHONOBOX DS2 USB - QUAD VENA 2/TWIN PRO MONOBLOCK POWER AMPLIFIERS - XS VALVE DAC - AVANTREE OASIS PLUS + LEAF HD BLUETOOTHS - OPPO PM-3 PLANAR +NURAPHONE HEADPHONES - ZBOOK/WIN10 PRO/AUDIRVANA 3 PLUS/TIDAL - SMSL M6 MINIDAC - RPI 3 DIGIONE/VOLUMIO - FULL RANGE TWIN TELEFUNKEN MAIN SPKRS/Q ACOUSTIC BT3 ACTIVES & CANTON SUB - P.INSPIRED MAINS REGENERATED.

    **Men are not punished for their sins, but by them**

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