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Thread: The Marco-boy main system, as of August 2020

  1. #651
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: Southall, West London

    Posts: 45,418
    I'm Geoff.

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    I seem to recall chrome tape had a reputation for wearing out heads.
    The word is 'valves' in this country, not tubes. Tubes are what Smarties come in!

  2. #652
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 103,529
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    I thought the same about Chrome tapes. But I guess it's a matter of taste.
    Sure, but not for me, with the good ones. In that respect, I found the 'sweet spot', in terms of era, was from the late 70s to late 80s. The best chrome tapes from that period, for me, were very good indeed. The formulations just seemed to be spot on

    You mentioned TDK D, which originally were superb (for a Normal position tape). I don't rate the more modern ones at all, but these are my favs (and best sounding examples) from my collection:



    That one's from the late 70s. This one's from the early 80s:



    And of course, for best SQ, the shorter the length of recording time the better, so that the tape isn't too thin

    Marco.

    P.S What do you think of the Tandberg?
    Main System

    Turntable: Heavily-modified Technics SL-1210MK5G [Mike New bearing/ETP platter/Paul Hynes SR7 PSU & reg mods]. Funk Firm APM Achromat/Nagaoka GL-601 Crystal Record Weight/Isonoe feet & boots/Ortofon RS-212D/Denon DL-103GL in Denon PCL-300 headshell with Funk Firm Houdini/Kondo SL-115 pure-silver cartridge leads.

    Paul Hynes MC head amp/SR5 PSU. Also modded Lentek head amp/Denon AU-310 SUT.

    Other Cartridges: Nippon Columbia (NOS 1987) Denon DL-103. USA-made Shure SC35C with NOS stylus. Goldring G820 with NOS stylus. Shure M55E with NOS stylus.

    CD Player: Audiocom-modified Sony X-777ES/DAS-R1 DAC.

    Tape Deck: Tandberg TCD 310, fully restored and recalibrated as new, by RDE, plus upgraded with heads from a TCD-420.

    Preamps: Heavily-modified Croft Charisma-X. LDR Stereo Coffee. Power Amps: Tube Distinctions Copper Amp fitted with Tungsol KT-150s. Quad 306.

    Cables & Sundries: Mark Grant HDX1 interconnects and digital coaxial cable, plus Mark Grant 6mm UP-LCOFC Van Damme speaker cable. MCRU 'Ultimate' mains leads. Lehmann clone headphone amp with vintage Koss PRO-4AAA headphones.

    Tube Distinctions digital noise filter. VPI HW18.5 record cleaning machine.

    Speakers: Tannoy 15MGs in Lockwood cabinets with modified crossovers. 1967 Celestion Ditton 15.


    Protect your HUMAN RIGHTS and REFUSE ANY *MANDATORY* VACCINE FOR COVID-19!

  3. #653
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 103,529
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by walpurgis View Post
    I seem to recall chrome tape had a reputation for wearing out heads.
    Didn't know about that, Geoff. I've certainly never experienced any such issues.

    Marco.
    Main System

    Turntable: Heavily-modified Technics SL-1210MK5G [Mike New bearing/ETP platter/Paul Hynes SR7 PSU & reg mods]. Funk Firm APM Achromat/Nagaoka GL-601 Crystal Record Weight/Isonoe feet & boots/Ortofon RS-212D/Denon DL-103GL in Denon PCL-300 headshell with Funk Firm Houdini/Kondo SL-115 pure-silver cartridge leads.

    Paul Hynes MC head amp/SR5 PSU. Also modded Lentek head amp/Denon AU-310 SUT.

    Other Cartridges: Nippon Columbia (NOS 1987) Denon DL-103. USA-made Shure SC35C with NOS stylus. Goldring G820 with NOS stylus. Shure M55E with NOS stylus.

    CD Player: Audiocom-modified Sony X-777ES/DAS-R1 DAC.

    Tape Deck: Tandberg TCD 310, fully restored and recalibrated as new, by RDE, plus upgraded with heads from a TCD-420.

    Preamps: Heavily-modified Croft Charisma-X. LDR Stereo Coffee. Power Amps: Tube Distinctions Copper Amp fitted with Tungsol KT-150s. Quad 306.

    Cables & Sundries: Mark Grant HDX1 interconnects and digital coaxial cable, plus Mark Grant 6mm UP-LCOFC Van Damme speaker cable. MCRU 'Ultimate' mains leads. Lehmann clone headphone amp with vintage Koss PRO-4AAA headphones.

    Tube Distinctions digital noise filter. VPI HW18.5 record cleaning machine.

    Speakers: Tannoy 15MGs in Lockwood cabinets with modified crossovers. 1967 Celestion Ditton 15.


    Protect your HUMAN RIGHTS and REFUSE ANY *MANDATORY* VACCINE FOR COVID-19!

  4. #654
    Join Date: Jan 2009

    Location: Essex

    Posts: 24,439
    I'm openingabottleofwine.

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    I cannot comment on Tandberg cassette decks, but I hold their reel-to-reel machines in high regard. I used one in anger for a 24 hour non-stop recording session of friend's LPs just before I left University and thought it to be, IMO, superior to the rival Akai 4000. So given that, I would imagine your cassette machine to be similar.

    Regarding aesthetics, I do prefer front loading macines over the top loaders.
    Barry

  5. #655
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 103,529
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

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    Interesting, and yes I think you're right, as was Martin, when he said that Tandberg were a 'cut above'. For me, in terms of cassette decks, they're right up there, SQ wise, with Nakamichi

    Btw, you can use the one I have just as easily vertically - and so it becomes a 'front loader':



    It can even be hung on a wall.... Apologies for the music!

    Marco.
    Main System

    Turntable: Heavily-modified Technics SL-1210MK5G [Mike New bearing/ETP platter/Paul Hynes SR7 PSU & reg mods]. Funk Firm APM Achromat/Nagaoka GL-601 Crystal Record Weight/Isonoe feet & boots/Ortofon RS-212D/Denon DL-103GL in Denon PCL-300 headshell with Funk Firm Houdini/Kondo SL-115 pure-silver cartridge leads.

    Paul Hynes MC head amp/SR5 PSU. Also modded Lentek head amp/Denon AU-310 SUT.

    Other Cartridges: Nippon Columbia (NOS 1987) Denon DL-103. USA-made Shure SC35C with NOS stylus. Goldring G820 with NOS stylus. Shure M55E with NOS stylus.

    CD Player: Audiocom-modified Sony X-777ES/DAS-R1 DAC.

    Tape Deck: Tandberg TCD 310, fully restored and recalibrated as new, by RDE, plus upgraded with heads from a TCD-420.

    Preamps: Heavily-modified Croft Charisma-X. LDR Stereo Coffee. Power Amps: Tube Distinctions Copper Amp fitted with Tungsol KT-150s. Quad 306.

    Cables & Sundries: Mark Grant HDX1 interconnects and digital coaxial cable, plus Mark Grant 6mm UP-LCOFC Van Damme speaker cable. MCRU 'Ultimate' mains leads. Lehmann clone headphone amp with vintage Koss PRO-4AAA headphones.

    Tube Distinctions digital noise filter. VPI HW18.5 record cleaning machine.

    Speakers: Tannoy 15MGs in Lockwood cabinets with modified crossovers. 1967 Celestion Ditton 15.


    Protect your HUMAN RIGHTS and REFUSE ANY *MANDATORY* VACCINE FOR COVID-19!

  6. #656
    Join Date: Jan 2009

    Location: Essex

    Posts: 24,439
    I'm openingabottleofwine.

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    'Naks' are an "obvious" choice, as are Rolex in the world of wrist watches. But there are some other 'sleepers' out there (as I'm sure Alex Nitikin (?) would acknowledge) - one of which would be (IMO) the N.E.A.L (British made and also favoured by Julian Vereker of Naim fame). It too was a top loader, as were most of the '70s designs.




    As far as aesthetics are concerned, I've always liked the looks of the Nakamichi 700 and LX5 decks.


    700





    But before we get too partisan about it all, I should say from my point of view, I have never regarded cassette as being a prime source, only a convenient and sufficiently good means to make recordings and copies. But in considering the recording quality achieved from using a tape of one half the width of that used in R2R machines and running at one quarter of the speed, it is an acknowledgement of the remarkable improvements in tape formulation made by the Japanese. Remember, Philips only ever considered the medium to be used for 'dictaphone' duties.
    Barry

  7. #657
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 103,529
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

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    I like the NEAL (and yes I knew that they were widely used in the likes of Police stations, for doing interviews), but the other two don't really do it for me, aesthetically. A bit too 'B&O', in terms of styling, which isn't really my thing.

    Yes, I agree about Naks, but I was mainly talking about sound quality, as for me they were one of the few companies who managed to elevate the (as you say humble) cassette tape veritably to a high-end audio music source.

    I must've been luckier than you then (or perhaps willing to spend more on the best blank tapes), as I've always been able to get tape to sound top-notch, and almost as good as CD, given a good enough sound source, a quality deck, and painstakingly anal attention to detail, in terms of the recording process (I can spend the best part of 30 mins, for example, simply getting the levels right for ONE album).

    Therefore, that done, for me cassette tape was definitely more capable, sonically, than stated by your experience - and this Tandberg is living up to the same type of promise, plus I know there's still more to come!

    Marco.
    Main System

    Turntable: Heavily-modified Technics SL-1210MK5G [Mike New bearing/ETP platter/Paul Hynes SR7 PSU & reg mods]. Funk Firm APM Achromat/Nagaoka GL-601 Crystal Record Weight/Isonoe feet & boots/Ortofon RS-212D/Denon DL-103GL in Denon PCL-300 headshell with Funk Firm Houdini/Kondo SL-115 pure-silver cartridge leads.

    Paul Hynes MC head amp/SR5 PSU. Also modded Lentek head amp/Denon AU-310 SUT.

    Other Cartridges: Nippon Columbia (NOS 1987) Denon DL-103. USA-made Shure SC35C with NOS stylus. Goldring G820 with NOS stylus. Shure M55E with NOS stylus.

    CD Player: Audiocom-modified Sony X-777ES/DAS-R1 DAC.

    Tape Deck: Tandberg TCD 310, fully restored and recalibrated as new, by RDE, plus upgraded with heads from a TCD-420.

    Preamps: Heavily-modified Croft Charisma-X. LDR Stereo Coffee. Power Amps: Tube Distinctions Copper Amp fitted with Tungsol KT-150s. Quad 306.

    Cables & Sundries: Mark Grant HDX1 interconnects and digital coaxial cable, plus Mark Grant 6mm UP-LCOFC Van Damme speaker cable. MCRU 'Ultimate' mains leads. Lehmann clone headphone amp with vintage Koss PRO-4AAA headphones.

    Tube Distinctions digital noise filter. VPI HW18.5 record cleaning machine.

    Speakers: Tannoy 15MGs in Lockwood cabinets with modified crossovers. 1967 Celestion Ditton 15.


    Protect your HUMAN RIGHTS and REFUSE ANY *MANDATORY* VACCINE FOR COVID-19!

  8. #658
    Join Date: Jan 2009

    Location: Essex

    Posts: 24,439
    I'm openingabottleofwine.

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    Styling and 'looks' are always a matter of taste. As the French couturier Coco Chanel once said: "Style never goes out of fashion".

    I do like the clean looks of B&O and Braun audio equipment; often unfairly dismissed as "Habitat HiFi". But then I also like the "laboratory chic" looks of some Ferrograph and EMT gear.
    Barry

  9. #659
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 103,529
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

    Default

    Well, I *love* Braun, Ferrograph and EMT gear - I'm just not a fan of B&O, or anything else that resembles it... So we have some things in common, in that respect.

    The NEAL tape deck above is, aesthetically, the antithesis of the Naks you posted, and rather more representative of 'industrial chic' (or something that looks like it belongs in a lab), which is more my kind of thing

    Marco.
    Main System

    Turntable: Heavily-modified Technics SL-1210MK5G [Mike New bearing/ETP platter/Paul Hynes SR7 PSU & reg mods]. Funk Firm APM Achromat/Nagaoka GL-601 Crystal Record Weight/Isonoe feet & boots/Ortofon RS-212D/Denon DL-103GL in Denon PCL-300 headshell with Funk Firm Houdini/Kondo SL-115 pure-silver cartridge leads.

    Paul Hynes MC head amp/SR5 PSU. Also modded Lentek head amp/Denon AU-310 SUT.

    Other Cartridges: Nippon Columbia (NOS 1987) Denon DL-103. USA-made Shure SC35C with NOS stylus. Goldring G820 with NOS stylus. Shure M55E with NOS stylus.

    CD Player: Audiocom-modified Sony X-777ES/DAS-R1 DAC.

    Tape Deck: Tandberg TCD 310, fully restored and recalibrated as new, by RDE, plus upgraded with heads from a TCD-420.

    Preamps: Heavily-modified Croft Charisma-X. LDR Stereo Coffee. Power Amps: Tube Distinctions Copper Amp fitted with Tungsol KT-150s. Quad 306.

    Cables & Sundries: Mark Grant HDX1 interconnects and digital coaxial cable, plus Mark Grant 6mm UP-LCOFC Van Damme speaker cable. MCRU 'Ultimate' mains leads. Lehmann clone headphone amp with vintage Koss PRO-4AAA headphones.

    Tube Distinctions digital noise filter. VPI HW18.5 record cleaning machine.

    Speakers: Tannoy 15MGs in Lockwood cabinets with modified crossovers. 1967 Celestion Ditton 15.


    Protect your HUMAN RIGHTS and REFUSE ANY *MANDATORY* VACCINE FOR COVID-19!

  10. #660
    Join Date: Jan 2009

    Location: Essex

    Posts: 24,439
    I'm openingabottleofwine.

    Default

    I have no idea of the SQ, but I do like the looks of the B&O 1900:





    (Totally unrelated BTW - but I really dislike the use of 'Copperplate' or 'Italic' lettering on any audio gear.)
    Barry

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