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Thread: A Visit to Phonomac Angus ' Part II '

  1. #1
    Join Date: Jun 2018

    Location: Mildenhall, Suffolk

    Posts: 383
    I'm John.

    Default A Visit to Phonomac Angus ' Part II '

    On Sunday the 18-08-19, I got the chance to visit Angus, a long overdue visit, but for me, well worth the wait.
    Angus has influenced some of my choices for my set up over the past few years, as well as many others who have requested his works for their own set up, so getting together, and sharing in experiences is an added part of our friendship.
    The day was solely to catch up, as well as do a few of the usual trials we seem to enjoy bouncing of each other in mails.
    The rebuilt K'b compared to rebuilt Vienna, as of earlier meetings usually is the highlight.
    On this visit, this remained, but I feel a few other trials on the table pipped this one.
    After my quizzing on how to achieve a 12" PMAT 1010 and receiving positive remarks, I put the subject to bed, and encouraged the music to begin, whilst demolishing a plate of biscuits.
    Firstly on the Menu, was listening to the standard set up,with the PMAT 1010 MK 'VIa' as Angus refers to it, as 'seven' is a magic number to this further upgrade MK VII will also fit nicely.
    Next to be put into the set up, was the 'Debut' of the "Phono 'mac' stage", that is my name for the device designed and built by Angus. I'm sure it will have a more fitting title, when it moves out of prototype status.
    This was a real ear catcher, there was a noticeable improvement on the overall presentation, the performance moved up a few rungs on the ladder, and on Angus's Set Up, that is 'no mean feat' to achieve.
    I felt sure the Phonostage was one I could live with as a keeper.
    It has the performance that runs close to some of the best I've listened to, In my mind, only a side by side comparison, would allow for the real differences to be evaluated, as was, with the Sansui built in Phonostage on the main set up amplification.
    The set up was returned to the usual set up for the next trial.
    The next on the agenda was a faux trial of a idea Angus had been pondering, and getting much closer to putting into use.
    This entailed placing the the speakers on suspension, to isolate them from ambient effects, Angus felt might have a effect on the speakers SQ, hindering them from delivering at there best, the fore is my layman's description, I am sure there is a much more scientific one available.
    To achieve the Suspension the Soild Tech 'Feet of Silence' and Audio Technica 'AT-615' Pneumatic Footers were used as a pair per speaker, making four feet from two differing brands.
    The Feet of Silence were at their weight limit, but the speakers were floating and not bottomed out, so a good condition for the trial.
    There was a surprise, as the effect the footers had was very noticeable and the improvement in SQ was stated by Angus as being night and day, in the set up being used, any noticeable changes are uncommon, as there is very little left to extract from it.
    I was aware the Bass line had tightened, sounded just a little more honest with the notes being presented, the Mid's and Highs had moved further into the room, and the sound stage was larger.
    Angus felt he was picking up on the pronunciation of words in songs, that had a cleaner overall presentation, with traces of sibilance removed completely, I was not familiar enough to comment at this stage.
    This speaker set up remained for the rest of the auditions.
    After a few tracks with the Vienna, we put on the Phono 'mac' stage with the K'b, for me this was quite interesting, as I felt that the K,b had loosened up and was more fluid than the last time it was heard on this set up, the Phon' may have contributed to this.
    The the Vienna was played, what I got from this comparison was that a earlier formed opinion was slightly erred, as I had convinced myself the K'b projected the Mid's and Highs further forward than the Vienna.
    I now have this re-evaluated, they both do the same to the Mid's and Highs with almost equal measure, a better set of ears may separate them.
    The Vienna has more substance in the Bass department, underpinning all that it delivers with a very obvious authority.
    This is the trait in the Vienna, in my view, that make it the better Cartridge.
    Even though both of us were in agreement about how close these two cartridges are and noticeably from the same family.
    I 'think' if either cartridge was given a extended play time, the differences between either would be easily accepted, and neither would be pined for.
    The set up was reversed methodically back to the original set up, and at this stage I was very aware of Angus's take on the clean sibilant free words referred to earlier, I was also aware of a reverb at other parts of a replay as well.
    It was a pleasure to sit with Angus and have another shared experience of learning from abandoning the usual/norms.
    Angus's set up is to many a end game, it easily meets this status in my view.
    To make a few changes, all based on Angus's thought process from the Design and Build of the
    Phono 'mac' stage to uncoupling a set of speakers, and seeing results that even impressed their creator, not in a Religious or Trekkie sense, was a joy to take part in.

  2. #2
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 10,156
    I'm Oliver.


    What I like about Angus, is everything he does has a methodical and researched approach. It's no accident that he wants to look at speaker isolation and you can bet heavily on him achieving the goal he sets himself.

    No time wasted, all towards an end goal.

    Good to hear your thoughts on the phonomac phonostage, as I will be hearing it next week. I expect it to be good.

    A MK7 tonearm! , looks like I'd better save my pennies lol.

    I'll keep my eyes peeled for the results of speaker isolation.

  3. #3
    Join Date: Jun 2018

    Location: Mildenhall, Suffolk

    Posts: 383
    I'm John.


    You are in for treat Ollie, there are a few things going down, that will get you thinking.
    I have been pondering a option since leaving.
    I have to get my HiFi head back on, the system still remains boxed up, on the floor since my return from Kegworth

  4. #4
    Join Date: Sep 2014

    Location: brighton uk.

    Posts: 4,685
    I'm jamie.


    Quote Originally Posted by Bigman80 View Post

    A MK7 tonearm! , looks like I'd better save my pennies lol..
    me too! i wonder what it could be? please add me to the list angus!
    My System
    John Wood KT88 Amp.
    Paradise Phono Stage
    Sony TTS-8000 Turntable.
    PMAT-1010 MK6 Tonearm.
    Ortofon KB with vienna upgrade
    Sony X555ES Cd Player
    Yamaha NS1000m Speakers
    KARMA Interconnects & Tonearm Cable

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