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ThomasOK

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Everything posted by ThomasOK

  1. One of my customers traded in a one year old Kandid. He is very happy, maybe even ecstatic, with the improvement. C'mon! You know you need it!
  2. Yes, you can now get a fluted plinth in any of the 5 standard finishes, black, walnut, rosenut, cherry or oak. It is not available with the high-gloss custom colors. There is an extra charge for fluted but it can be bought separately or with any new LP12 including the Majik.
  3. I had the black ash for about a decade. I liked it but it is hard to keep looking good, not lease because the little lid bumpers eventually eat through the finish. It also tends to wear at the edges as I have noticed on a number of units from customers (I probably didn't dust mine enough to have that problem). It can be touched up if you are careful but not with the original paint so matching isn't easy.
  4. It has always been black painted ash on the plinths and Linn speakers (other than piano black finishes). But whatever ash they were using it appears it isn't actual black ash, Fraxinus nigra from Canada and the US, any more. It is endangered as of 2014 due to the ravages of the emerald ash borer. So some other kind of ash tree must be used now.
  5. One of my customers has one of those and it is indeed a vey attractive plinth, and quite good sounding. I have a Woodsong movingui plinth that is beautiful and excellent musically. Unfortunately Chris no longer makes LP12 plinths so I can't get them for my customers any more. A shame as they are the best plinths I have worked with.
  6. Yes, I do recommend loosening and retightening to get the proper torque.
  7. I'll just add that unless the torque starts out substantially higher than where you want to test there is no need to let things relax, maybe not even then. So there is no need to wait for hours to do the torquing or to listen after you have torqued it. Just try one setting and listen, then adjust to a different setting and listen. This way you can do quick, direct A/B comparisons and hit on the optimal torque. The torque you find to be the best will remain the best after everything settles.
  8. In 1983 the owner of Audiophile Systems, the US importer of Linn and Naim at the time where I worked as their first national sales manager, had Linn make a custom black ash plinth with a natural finish. It was quite stunning but was so light you would pretty much call it a blond wood. Really nice grain though. So the name black ash obviously doesn't come from the color of the wood, maybe the color of the bark?
  9. I was told it actually was black ash, which is a variety of ash tree. But that was 4 decades ago so who knows what ash they are using for sure now. I understand it is still ash. But ash things go, you never know.
  10. The whole mold release compound subject has been the cause of heated arguments here and there. Some claim there is no thing and nothing is put on the stampers to keep the vinyl from sticking and they are right, at least about the second part. But I have been told that the mold release compound is an additive that is part of the material in the vinyl mixture that is formed into pucks and then pressed into records. Under the heat and pressure of the press enough of it migrates to the surface to allow the vinyl to easily detach from the stamper. What is used now I do not know but in the early days I've been told it was a small amount of vegetable oil. Vegetable oil, or some other lubricant, would certainly keep the vinyl from sticking. Anyone think it wouldn't be sticky in the groove, hold dust there and coat the stylus with a mix of particles and oil? Now I am not a chemist and haven't done my own research on it, but I have talked with those who have and they seem to know what they are talking about. Also in the test I mentioned using three new, supposedly identical, records from the same batch they did definitely sound better after the three step cleaning, so something must have been removed from the grooves. An interesting additional bit of info: all three records sounded slightly different when played before cleaning. Each was a double record set and we could clearly rate side 1 from record A being the most musical and side 2 from record C being most musical, etc. (Yes, no record had all the best sides.) So there is variance from record to record in the same batch of records and from side to side of a record. That should keep the OCD audiophile crowd busy for the rest of their lives. After cleaning there were still differences but they were much less than before cleaning.
  11. It is black ash, the wood of which is medium to light brown and has a nice grain.
  12. There was a recall on the amps for the same capacitor problem. That of the possibility of the main power caps going up in flames! I don't believe Linn still service the AV5105 but they did recently supply me with the caps for the recall so I could do it here for a customer. If it hasn't been done it would be a good idea to have the large caps replaced with the recommended new parts.
  13. Yes, cherry is one of those woods that darken with age, somewhat depending on how much sunlight it is exposed to. You will often see older cherry or teak speakers that are much lighter underneath the grills than the rest of the cabinet. As to what is most popular I would say it currently is walnut at my store. Wood is one of those things that goes in and out of fashion. Which are used is also changed by supply constraints, many of which have to do with restrictions on harvesting woods that endanger the environment. When I started in this business in the 70s almost everything was walnut and oak in the US with teak common from Europe and rosewood available to those who wanted to spend the extra. You virtually never see speakers in teak any more, rosewood is more rare than it was but sustainable rosewood has made a comeback in recent years. Everybody got tired of walnut and oak and they were out of fashion for a couple of decades with cherry and maple taking over as the most common woods. But in the last ten or so years maple has almost disappeared and cherry is much less common with walnut and oak making a big comeback. Then, of course, there is the ever popular black, and white which doesn't do that well in the US but does seem more popular in the EU. Examples of this are Dynaudio who has walnut, black and white on their entry level speakers, "blonde wood" is added to those two for the next step up. The series above that is in walnut, black and grey oak. Other special finishes are used here and there including American walnut as the only finish on the limited edition Heritage speaker. PSB on their entry level models (which are vinyl wrapped so they could be anything) only have black and dark walnut. Linn dropped maple at the time they brought out oak but they still have cherry available, which all our other speaker manufacturers have dropped except for Vandersteen who has a very wide range of woods available as options on their speakers - we have a pair of the Quatros in zebrawood on display. So back to Linn plinths we sell walnut more than any other finish, with rosenut (a red stained walnut) and cherry vying for second place. We sell the occasional black and oak but those are less common. I think oak is bigger in the UK than it is here.
  14. I note that the petition was closed with only 60 signatures, some who commented that they only signed to give a hard time to grammar nazis. I would hardly call that a debate. But here is a musical take on this (that unfortunately doesn't highlight "vinyls").
  15. Yes, I use the Audio Intelligent fluids and they are the best cleaning fluids I have tried, not that I have experience with all the various fluids out there. I do not use a US cleaner - mine came from the UK. I have a Loricraft that I am very happy with and we sell the VPIs at the store so a number of customers are using them. Everybody who has tried the AI fluids has stuck with them. The #6 is a very good one-step cleaner. What I use is their three step process with an enzyme cleaner, a detergent/alcohol cleaner and an ultra-pure water rinse. It really does a very good job and I have verified to my satisfaction that the rinse stage is important to the resulting musical perfromance of the record. There is also their #15 which is some kind of heavy duty enzyme cleaner that can be used with just a rinse but is also recommended as a pre-wash for heavily soiled records before the 3-step process. A couple of my customers us it and they keep buying it even though it is the most expensive of the fluids but I have not tried it. How you would use these in conjunction with a US cleaner I don't know unless you did one of the enzyme cleaners as a prewash before a dip in the US machine. I am not a fastidious record cleaner and normally only clean noisy or dirty records. But the tests I did of the AI fluids vs. L' Art du Son, VPI and a home made brew from a customer were with three new identical (as close as possible, but that's another story) audiophile pressings and they were improved by the 3 step cleaning compared to fresh out of the sleeve.
  16. Plus or minus 6% I believe is the maximum error across the entire range of the driver, which is a quite large range. The calibration that comes with new ones tells you where it is compared to their reference at various points along the range. As moomintroll mentions, and as I have always said when sending people out instructions on using this system, you have to use any torques I give out as starting points and use your own ears and the tune method to determine the most musical torque with your driver. However, the SR driver has the advantage that the setting is very repeatable and stable. In other words if you find the optimum torque for the 3K array with your driver is .8Nm +5 notches it will still be .8Nm +5 notches 6 years from now on the same driver. Having used these drivers now for over a decade and a half I have seen that they are consistent and don't shift. Accuracy at one point in time isn't much help if it shifts with age or use. Also most drivers I have had my hands on, whether used or new, have been quite close to each other. But you have to find the best settings with your driver and use the same driver consistently (unless you have multiple drivers you know are the same). This also agrees with what akamatsu pointed out. The numbers I shared here (and those I have shared privately) just give you a place to start and you have to take it from there. The point I think is most important in my original post here about this is that precision in this technique is important. Close is better than far off but it still leaves a lot of musical enjoyment on the table. A torque driver that only lets you make adjustments of .5Nm will not allow you to hear what the music can really sound like when you get it dead nuts on. It is very much like tracking force. If a cartridge like a Kandid sounds most musical at 1.75 grams then you will lose something at 1.73 and 1.77. Get it just right and the music suddenly just fits together more than you have heard before. Just try it out and see for yourself.
  17. That is only if the Quad ESLs are naked as there are nasty voltages inside. With the normal grills front and back they are quite safe for both people and pets.
  18. You're quite welcome. I'm afraid I don't have specific torques for the other Akubarik drivers. We don't have a pair on the floor so I have no way to test them. However, bass drivers in somewhat similar speakers are as follows: Akurate 242 bass 1.0 +6 notches (Paolo lists this as 1.1 which is likely the same) Akurate 212 bass 1.0 +1 (Fredrik) K350A midbass and bass 1.0 +3 (they were the same) Note that Paolo liked them quite a bit higher at 2.8Nm for midbass and 3.2 +5 for bass. He did own a pair for a while. These are likely to be the closest drivers to what are in the Akubarik. I did look at the Tohnichi torque driver you posted earlier and if I needed a 90% fitting I would investigate it. As long as it gives you consistent results and allows for fine adjustment it should be fine. A little story here that also further shows the importance of having the precise correct torque. Paolo has on a few occasions come up with higher torques, sometimes much higher, than what I or Fredrik have come up with. In most cases after we have tried them we have agreed with Paolo but not always. So on a few torques Fredrik and I still prefer a lower setting than Paolo hence the importance of trying these out for yourself. But one such finding was quite interesting. Paolo found a really high torque on the ground connection on Linn (initially Klimax) pieces of 3.4Nm -2 notches. This is where the ground wire from the IEC inlet attaches to the chassis. Previous to this we had all been using 2.0Nm. Fredrik told me about it but said when he tried it he still preferred 2.0Nm. I tried it and found the same. A little while later Paolo tried the same torque on the Lejonklou Tundras and again found 3.4 -2 to be the most musical. Fredrik tried it and still liked 2.0Nm. Paolo swore to him it was more tuneful - that at first it might sound a little harsh in the highs but after 24 hours that settled down, but it was more tuneful top to bottom. Fredrik tried it again, still wasn't happy but then decided to try other settings close to it. Voilá, on Fredrik's driver it was easily more tuneful than 2.0Nm when set to 3.4Nm -3 notches! So he specified this as the ground torque on his units and told me about it. I tried it on my driver and found it too needed to be set at 3.4Nm -3 to be most tuneful on the ground post. Yet, 3.4Nm -2 was not very good. So Fredrik and I now use 3.4Nm -3 for grounds and Paolo uses 3.4Nm -2. As you can see, as accurate as the drivers are there can be a notch or two difference from one to the next at some settings. Not every fixing is this picky with a setting 1 notch off being no good and right on being great, but every fixing I have found to respond to torque (there are a couple on an LP12 that don't) will sound better at the correct notch than they will 1 notch above or below. It really is worth trying this. I have even found a couple of instances where a half notch really nails it but this has been very rare. That being said, if you find two settings that are one notch apart are both really good and you are having a hard time deciding which is better, especially if they are good in slightly different ways, try halfway between notches and you might just find it is best. Or you might find that one or the other of the notches was best after all. You have nothing to lose but some time and more musical satisfaction to gain.
  19. The Majik 109 bass driver is 1.2Nm -1 notch. The 2K array has to be fastened from the inside and I don't have a torque for that.
  20. Wow! I had not been aware of this thread from almost a year and a half ago. This is probably because I spend most of my time on the LP12 section and because nobody brought my attention to it. It has gone all over the place so I thought I'd give some of my experience since I have been doing precision torques for 17 years or so. I see that some have found references to that in posts on the Lejonklou forum. First off I'd say if you are playing with adjusting torque AND SO to compliment each other you are barking up the wrong tree. Any torque settings should make for the most musical sound whether or not you use SO, otherwise you are playing with tone controls and not getting the best tune out of the speakers, which is what torquing should be all about. The reason I chose the above post out all of the posts to quote is because it brings up something important I discovered about precision torques very early on, and that also ties in to how to find what is truly the best torques. The important thing it highlights is that the best torque is not a linear thing. So I find it totally believable that .6Nm sounded good, .7Nm worse and .8Nm better (and possibly .9Nm even better yet in a later post). The first rule of torques is that instead of being linear they are more like mountain peaks. In some cases there may be only one peak but in others there can be two, three or possibly more. Each peak will sound definitely better than torques close to it that are above or below it, but one peak will be higher than the others and will give the most tuneful perfromance. A concrete example is the Karousel bearing to a Keel. It has a peak which is pretty good at .4Nm - 2 notches but a bit too clinical, another peak is around 3.6Nm but isn't very good sounding slow and disjointed, the best is 2.6Nm +5 notches which I, and several others who have tried it, have found to be quite musical. (On the Kore, Majik and Cirkus sub chassis 3.4Nm even is the best.) Note that 2.6Nm +3, 4 or 6 notches is not as good. This ties into the second rule. The second rule is that you have to be very precise in your torque settings if you really want the most musical perfromance. When I first discovered the importance of precision torques in setting up the LP12 it quickly became obvious that the smallest increments that could be made were musically important. These adjustments are in the neighborhood of 1 to 2 hundredths of a Nm! This is the amount of change one notch on the Richmont Sturtevant CAL 36/4 driver (which actually has a marked range from .2Nm to 4.0Nm and will work a bit below .2Nm, generally to .1Nm or below). As soon as I started using it I found one notch was musically important and two notches was obvious. What I am saying here is that going from .8Nm to .9Nm is not precise enough to hit the actual peak where the music is the best. I would also say that once you are off 3 or more notches you might as well be off a mile as you are too far down from the peak to really appreciate how good it can be. I'll give a couple of suggestions in a minute. Third rule is that the only thing you can trust is your ear using the tune method. Which torque will be most musical often makes no sense whatsoever in terms of how tight you think it should be, at least until you have used precise torques on lots of devices and gotten a feel for where things often actually end up. This is why a lower torque may sound better than a higher "recommended" torque. What we are apparently doing is tuning resonances and optimizing connections which can be different from what seems logical. From very early on in my exploration of torques I started trying it on speakers and shortly thereafter on electronics when I accidentally found that it made a difference there as well. Many of us on the Lejonklou forum use precise torques on every piece of equipment we own. (Fredrik Lejonklou was the first person I shared the torque system and a bunch of LP12 torques with. All his electronics use precise torques on almost all fasteners and many of the larger components have a label inside with the torques to be used.) The second one is Paolo Nobile in Rome who works for a Linn dealer. Fredrik, Paolo and I started sharing torques under an agreement I suggested so that we could compare results and try out each other's findings. So we have been using this for a very long time. The torque driver I use, as mentioned on this thread, is the Sturtevant Richmont CAL36/4. I own several of them, Fredrik owns about a dozen as they are used in the manufacture of Lejonklou HiFi products. I found this driver totally by accident as it was just the first one I picked up off eBay, where they are generally available at good prices. It has ended up being the standard we all use for several reasons. 1) It is the only one we have found that basically covers the full range of needed torques as the highest I have found is 3.8Nm +1 notch for the Cirkus bearing housing to the Keel and the lowest I have found is .2Nm -11 notches for the top screw on a Rega Carbon or AT VM95 cartridge (the screw terminals on the Radikal sensor board are close at .2Nm -9 notches). To use Wera torque tools, as an example, would require three different drivers. 2) It has the precision we have found necessary which the Weras and others don't. Each notch is between 1 and 2 hundredths of a Nm! For those who haven't seen the driver this needs some explanation. The SR CAL36/4 has markings on the barrel every .2Nm from .2Nm to 4.0Nm. It is adjusted with a small popup handle on the bottom of the driver that has a little tab sticking out. The driver has a series of 9 notches machined into the bottom of the aluminum housing that this tab will fit into when folded flat. In order to keep the measurements accurate early on I suggested we not use settings like .9Nm as we don't know exactly where that is. So we go to the nearest marking and count up or down the number of notches from there. This means that what is probably .9Nm (the ideal for the Kandid) is 1.0Nm - 5 notches. Now that that is out of the way we have 3) This driver is very precise. While it is guaranteed plus or minus 6% they tend to be much closer than that. They can also be calibrated to each other (I calibrated three of Fredrik's to my original one, he has used them to calibrate his others and Paolo's unit). Part of this precision is that it also appears to be very consistent, not drifting over time - obviously necessary to work at the levels we require of it. 4) Although less important than the above it is also very rugged. The body is made of aluminum and the shaft out of steel. One of mine has survived a drop or two onto a hard surface without loss of precision. I once had a Wera diver I actually won in a contest and didn't use for some time. I got it out to see if it would be useful when the Karousel first came out and it was said torques of up to 5Nm might be best. It didn't go that high but in checking it out I dropped it on my kitchen floor where it broke into pieces that couldn't be reassembled. If you want to use other drivers, go for it. But make sure they can give you at least this level of precision and repeatability otherwise you will be leaving some musical perfromance on the table. Also be aware that you can't go by quoted specifications, which should be familiar to Hi-Fi people! When I thought I would need higher torques I bought a highly rated, precisely specified torque wrench designed for racing bicycles. I found that it couldn't consistently tighten to the same torque deviating as much as 3Nm before clicking! So some specifics from my findings. One bit of good news is that we have found that the proper torque once found is consistent from one unit to the next, even at these precise levels. So all Lejonklou large chassis units will sound most musical with the case top/sides fastened to the bottom at a torque of .6Nm +3, Linn Akurate casework and the Lingo 4 case at .6Nm-4, etc. Some torques we have found that relate to this thread are as follows: 3K Array .8Nm +3 notches (this applies to any 3K array so 242, 212, 350, Akubarik, Akudorik) but not to the Komri as that is a 4K array so would be different. Note that Paolo preferred 1.6Nm +3 so even among us there are sometimes differences. For the 242 and 212 bass drivers as well as the 350 midbass we have been between 1.0 and 1.1 with 1.0 +1, 1.0 +3 1.0 +6 and 1.1 found on various of these drivers. So at least some of the torques people have been playing with here are in the same range but I would again highly recommend trying the smallest adjustments you can make. Sonus faber is quite interesting and I can only give rough ideas here as I have not worked on that particular model. But on the Amati Homage these are the torques I found most musical. Tweeter baffle to magnet assembly 1.2Nm -4, tweeter to baffle 1.4Nm, midrange 1.2Nm -2, woofer 1.2Nm +2. Two interesting things here being that the tweeter has the highest torque and the woofer is lower, which you think would be the other way around. Actually this is not uncommon at all and has been the case with a number of other speakers including the ATCs I used to have and several Dynaudios. The second is that I did the torques on a pair of Sf Stradivari and it is the only speaker that appeared to have been torqued to this level of precision at the factory. Some screws had worked loose but most seemed to be at the same setting I found most musical, or least as close as I could make out. Time for me to get going after this rather long post but I will drop one more piece of info that will be hard to believe for many and will probably blow minds. While I also torque drivers by going crosswise it is not necessary to torque all screws equally initially to find the most musical torque. Torque them all close, for instance for akamatsu this could be 1.0Nm -5 notches (about .9Nm) on the 3K array, then try adjusting just one of the screws to find the musically optimum torque. This seems unlikely to work but I discovered this years ago an Fredrik discovered it independently. I don't know why it works, and it is counterintuitive, but it does work as long as the other screws are not far off optimum. Do your testing adjusting one screw until it is the most tuneful and then adjust the rest to that setting and you will be at the right place. You can always try readjusting a couple of the screws separately to verify but you will end up at the same setting. Have fun.
  21. It's the little known RadikaLingo (a close relative of the original Wakonda). The other question is why did he stop using it in 2001 after 12 years of service?
  22. If you are talking about passive bi-amping I would still recommend the same amps for the same reason. But I also don't feel passive bi-amping gives any musical benefits over single-amping. Either Tundra Monos or Klimax Solos should work fine driven by a KDSM into Kudos speakers in general. How loud you want to play, how big a room and which model Kudos speaker may have an effect on this. (I have almost no personal experience with Kudos speakers so I can't give you advice on different models.)
  23. OK, on a less humorous level. Tundra Monos and Klimax Solos are both very good amps, indeed the most musical amps I have heard. Musically my preference is for the Tundra Monos but if you need the extra power of the Solos they are a very fine amp (the power doesn't make as big a difference actually driving most speakers as you would think). They are also musically closer than most amps by different manufacturers, or even by the same manufacturer. That said I highly recommend using all the same make and model of amps in an active system. In a passive system the blending of the drivers is obviously handled by the passive crossover. But in an active speaker the blending of the drivers is accomplished by the active crossover and the power amps. Not having the same sonic signature on all the amps tends to musically harm the blending of the drivers making it sound less like a unified whole and more like slightly disparate elements trying to do the same thing. It might be OK as a temporary solution but long term I feel active is only worthwhile when using the best possible amps on all drivers, and an excellent crossover, of course. Not necessarily an economical solution but musically the best one.
  24. No ! Klimax Solos might throw a hissy fit, biting and scratching, if Tundra Monos are brought in the house.
  25. If they are being used together in an active system it would depend on whether the crossover allowed enough adjustment of level to balance the gain differences out.
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