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Thread: East Anglia Local Group Meeting

  1. #1
    Join Date: Jun 2018

    Location: Mildenhall, Suffolk

    Posts: 293
    I'm John.

    Default East Anglia Local Group Meeting

    On the weekend of the 22-06-19, a meeting took place with members of my Local HiFi Group in attendance.
    The meeting place was at a members home, where the attendees are familiar with the home owners system.
    The devices up for review at this event were supplied by me, the event was based on auditioning the
    Long Dog Audio Quartz Turntable Power Supply MKII, (LDA MKII).
    The intention was to connect it to group members belt drive TT's as well as use it on my PTP Solid 9 .
    I supplied a Nigel Speed Controller (NSC), as well to carry out a comparison.
    As TT,s were in use, I brought along a Tenuto Platter Mat, Solid Tech ' Feet of Silence ', Hashimoto HM-3
    and my DIGNA Phonostage.
    A little bit of non communication lead to the not being able to use the Belt Drive TT's as there was a requirement for a IEC Socket on the TT Plinth, a adapter has been purchased, and a revisit is on the cards to include the TT's as part of the LDA MKII assessment.
    The Home Owners TT had been set to the side on a different stand, making way for my PTP Solid 9 on the dedicated stand.
    Three Tracks were chosen to carry out the assessments.
    First TT in use was the heavily modified Belt Drive Thorens TD ??.
    It was a good presentation, and allowed the group to identify the chosen tracks were going to be good choices for this type of assessment.
    This was not to be a comparison of TT's even though some of the differences between TT's were being discussed.
    The PTP was then entered with the Power Supply Direct from the Mains Wall Socket.
    The overall presentation was much more projected into the room than the Thorens, the Bass Notes were dominating the replay, approaching too forceful, and this seemed to be masking the Mids and Highs to a degree. There was a impressive room filling sound, though a little Bass Heavy.

    The LDA MKII was used next.
    This had a immediate and noticeable effect on the presentation, the room was still full of a forward projected sound, but it had taken on a new sound, the Bass notes were now much more in control, deep with a precise cut off, the Mid's and the Highs were much more in balance with the overall presentation, and all were in agreement this was a improved presentation.
    The discussion broke off into the cost of the device vs the influence on the SQ, as well as a few other discussions, my contribution was that in relation to a Idler Drive TT, if one has addressed the servicing and plinth issues, and possibly added a new bearing, then the Speed Controller route is in my view the next upgrade path, so it is more of a End Game Device, than a initial addition to the set up.
    I think there was enough evidence to support the SQ went to a new level with the addition of a dedicated speed controller.

    NSC was used next.
    There was a noticeable difference between this and the LDA MKII and the Mains.
    The forward projection of the presentation had taken a few steps back toward the speaker line.
    The crisp precise presentation of the LDA MKII was now replaced by a slight colouration in the SQ producing a richness to the presentation.
    The Bass was deep with a less defined cut off , Mid's and Highs were all there with a good balance and very attractive to listen to.

    I feel the LDA MKII vs NSC vs Mains debate turns into a two horse race, once the mains has been heard against the two speed controllers, the shortcomings in the balance of the presentation is clear when the mains is a direct power source.
    The two horse race between the two speed controllers becomes more of a personal preference, i.e,
    Derby vs Grand National > Scotch Whiskey vs Malt Whiskey.

    I went for the LDA MKII as my personal preference, Derby > Scotch Whiskey.
    It was more of what I lean to with a Bass Note that sounds more Truthful and the Mid's and Highs capturing attention. It has a convenience too, just turn a dial and change between 33 and 45 Speeds.
    For those wishing to eek that last bit from their Idler Drive, I do recommend a audition of a few variations of the dedicated Speed Control Devices that are available.

    There was a bit of discussion popping up regularly during the assessment, that were referring to the differences between the PTP and Thorens.
    I informed the Thorens owner that the assessment between the two TT's was not accurate, as there were differing arm and cartridge in use as well as the different mounts for the TT's.
    The solution offered was to put the PTP away after the assessment and put the Thorens back onto the usual mounting platform, using the Solid Tech' Feet of Silence ' as was used on the PTP.
    The attendees are a mixed bunch of skeptics and believers.
    The immediate difference of the SQ on the Thorens was declared by all, the improvement was obvious, and set the TT owner digging out tracks he knew very well, and was extremely impressed with the replays, claiming these were the best he had heard on his system.
    The owner of the systems SUT was swapped out for the Hashimoto H-3 SUT, and again subtle differences between the two, the Hashimoto a little more refined in the overall presentation, I was enjoying the additional projection of the Soundstage through the system owners SUT.
    The DIGNA was put on with the system owners SUT.
    This was a major move forward in SQ and Soundstage, the room become full of sound that was just endearing, selected tracks turned into whole album sides and there was that expression seen every so often where the smiles say a lot.
    All in all, a great day out, the day was purely based on having a experience, no purchases to be considered, just a old fashioned inquisitive 'what if'.
    As a result, there is a very happy Thorens owner, who has been made aware through his own ears and the appraisals from the attendees, of the strengths of his system and the easy route that can be taken to maintain it, who at present is very much enjoying a loan of the 'Feet of Silence' and reporting back on the new discoveries he is having.
    I feel there is a little bit more to eek, especially if the Platter Mat material is worked with.

    PS
    On the owners system, the Tenuto took the Bass to a even tighter level, but I felt the Highs were a little Sss's at times.

  2. #2
    Join Date: Oct 2008

    Location: Glasgowshire

    Posts: 7,373
    I'm availableforweddingsAndBarmitzvas.

    Default

    As a member of the "Scottish Mafia" here on AOS (Group of Glasgow guys who get together to meet often to talk all things Hifi, can say that these type of threads definitely benefit from pics!
    I enjoy Hifi n stuff...

  3. #3
    Join Date: Jun 2018

    Location: Mildenhall, Suffolk

    Posts: 293
    I'm John.

    Default

    PART II

    A revisit to the assessment of the LDA MKII took place on Saturday 06-07-19.
    It took place at the same premises using the same system as previously reported on.

    The heavily modified Thorens TD 125, was still supported on the Solid Tech 'feet of Silence', since the last visit other supporting devices were loaned to the TT owner and these have been trialed vs the 'Feet of Silence',
    the TT owner is still very impressed by the improvements offered by the 'Feet of Silence' and as a result remain his ideal choice, so the loan has been extended. I also left another Isolation Material with the TT owner to try out as well, this is the Foam Material Sandwiched between the Ribbed Rubber Sheet, this is the same material recently discussed on AoS that was bought on Amazon.

    The morning started by playing the same three tracks used on the previous visit, with the TT plugged directly into the mains supply.
    These were good replays, but I was getting the sense of the lower bass notes being a little loose, and thought this was counter effecting the Mids and Highs, that could be said were slightly subdued.

    The LDA MKII was plugged in next, and the effect was immediate on the lower bass notes, these were tightened and had what felt like a more honest reproduction.
    Other things become more apparent on the different tracks, guitar strings reverberated and decayed with much more realism, cymbals had extended shimmering and vocals were holding notes and lasting longer, the Mids and Highs were no longer feeling slightly subdued.
    A positive improvement, and one that was discussed with enthusiasm and appraisal for the product that was added. Interestingly at this stage of the audition, there was a agreement, that the improvements heard were subtle and not a large step forward, but enough the be noticeable.
    The TT Owners Phonostage was exchanged for the DIGNA Phonostage, using the TT Owners 'Stevens and Billington SUT'.
    This was another obvious separation from the owners base system, the Extended Projection of the Sound Stage was immediately noticeable, the air/space being perceived in between the performers was very appealing, the lower bass notes cut off with no noticeable colouration, the Mids and Highs were very appealing, Vocals and Guitars were able to capture attention and the overall performance was lifted to a extra tier.
    The TT owner played a few Albums they were familiar with, as well as a John Hiatt Album that was delivered by the Post, while the audition was taking place.
    The removal of the DIGNA back the the TT owners Phonostage, felt like the overall performance had receded back toward the speakers, and the lowest bass notes were a tiny bit loose.
    The removal of the LDA MKII and back to the Mains Supply, I feel showed that the previous thought that the
    'improvements heard were subtle' was incorrect, as the TT's Lowest Bass Notes, had a noticeable colouration,
    as a result the Mids and Highs sounded subdued, the overall performance had retracted back further toward the speakers and a masking of the previous qualities could be perceived.
    The LDA MKII, used in this set up, I believe was not functioning as a Speed Controller, but a supplier of a extremely clean mains signal, the 33/45 switchable dial, did not enable the Belt Drive TT to achieve the desired speeds, the TT had to be set to produce this in combination with the LDA MKII Speed Dial set to the chosen TT speed.

    My summary is, the Belt Drive TT, in use, as a modified basic unit, supported on the 'Feet of Silence' has a sound I will refer to as a good and pleasure to listen to presentation.
    Add to this TT a dedicated power supply that will deliver a extremely clean mains signal, and this will have a effect that can only be perceived as a improvement in SQ and the overall presentation.
    At this stage of improved performance, it will enhance the opportunity to realise any differences offered from Phono Amplification Devices and it will be very easy to assess for their attractions and improvements.
    I feel that TT owners, who have a Idler or Belt Drive TT, who feel the want to get more from their TT,
    would not be wasting their time, if they were to spend some time on variations in methods of mounting a TT, and when this is completed, audition a dedicated Off Board Power Supply with their TT.
    My choice is 'Pro' the Quartz Locked version, I have had access to two Power Supply Designs, both will offer perceived improvements, and any choice that may be made, will be a matter of user preference.
    Last edited by JohnG; 07-07-2019 at 14:48. Reason: spelling correction

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