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About Gaffer

  • Rank
  • Birthday 26/07/1974

Personal Info

  • Location
    South Blighty

Wigwam Info

  • Turn Table
    PrJct 2Xprc/ SpdbxS
  • Tone Arm & Cartridge
    PrJct 9c/BnzMcr Gold
  • SUT / Phono Stage
    PrJct PhnBx DS+
  • Digital Source 1
    Naim CD5si
  • Digital Source 2
    Technics ST-3500
  • DAC
    Arcam irDAC
  • Integrated Amp
    PrimaLuna Prologue 2
  • Pre-Amp
    DSPeaker 8033
  • Power Amp/s
    BKElec XLS200
  • My Speakers
    Tannoy Prstge Trnbry
  • Headphones
    Lots and Lots
  • Trade Status
    I am not in the Hi-Fi trade

Recent Profile Visitors

854 profile views
  1. The beyerdynamic is looks interesting but it also specifies 600ohm (for 1700ohm i'd be lucky to get 35mW out of it when I think I need about 222mW?) and more importantly it costs nearly 1 thousand pounds and I really don't want to spent close to that (<£200= ideal) The NVA looks great. A bit over budget at £288 but if it claims to "drive any headphones, even those designed to go to speaker outs" then it's definitely worth investigating Aah but that's exactly my point. I guessed that the BBC used the 480ii's direct off the speaker outs, hence the ridiculous load, BUT the idea of doing that just seems a bit crazy to me, so I wanted confirmation that my calcs aren't wrong and I'm not going to damage something. So you'd agree with getting a low cost solid state Digital Amp from eBay and wiring it directly on? Something like this for £40: I can buy a female ¼" socket and solder in flyout leads to connect to R+R-L+L-
  2. Do any exist? I ask because I found my pair of Sennheiser HD480 mkii headphones upstairs and thought I might be able to make use of them. However, these are ex-BBC ones (had a B-guage connector which I changed to a 1/4" plug) and are rated at a whopping 1700 ohms. This means that by plugging into a "normal" headphone amp the sound is OK but not very loud - certainly not as loud as my other headphones. After trawling through multiple amp specs only 1 company seems to accept "up to 2000 ohms" but even then says that it's better to have <600 ohms used (Graham Slee). Trawling through eBay (even through DIY kits) still has all of them specifying 600 ohms max recommended. I know I can safely attach my 1.7k ohm's to them but they won't be loud. So I went about figuring out what I'd need using my Sennheiser Momentum's from my 2014 MBP (which is similar loudness to my Audinst HUD-mini headphone Amp/DAC) at max volume as an example: S = sensitivity in dB @ 1mW (mom= 110dB, 480= 94dB) V = max voltage output of amp (2V RMS which is 222mW for the momentum's) R = impedance of headphones (mom= 18ohm, 480= 1700ohm) SPL = S + [10x log(V^2/R)] So for the momentum's that's a max SPL of 103.5dB with the MBP at max loudness (good indication of my Audinst and most headphone amps). If I plug in the numbers for the 480mkii's (94dB sens, 1700ohm imp) I get 67.7dB which is a massive reduction and gives you an idea of how quiet they are. So to make up that nearly 36dB deficit I'd need to have much more power than any normal headphone amp can provide....which got me to thinking. Seeing as a headphone socket on an amp is usually just the main speaker output stepped down via resistors is the higher power needed to drive my high impedance headphones akin to not stepping down the main output at all? However, the idea of buying a cheap Chinese Digital Amp off eBay (like something from Topping, SMSL or DuokAudio) and wiring the 480's 1/4" plug directly into the speaker output sounds like a very silly idea in my head so an alternative question is: Does anyone know of a headphone amp that accepts phono-plug line inputs and can drive a pair of 1.7kOhm headphones to about 105dB max (similar to the momentum's) and that isn't a DAC (i.e. just a pure headphone amp) and doesn't cost thousands (<£200 ideal)?
  3. Gaffer

    TT clamp and mats

    I recently tried it without the felt mat and record directly clamped to the platter and adjusted the vta accordingly. Unfortunately it sounds better with the felt mat to my ear (slightly tighter bass). I was thinking a cork-rubber hybrid mat might work but your stories of bits flaking off is fairly common so I wasn't sure if that would just be out of the frying pan and into the fire. As an aside, whilst fiddling I noticed some belt slippage so decided to try and fix it. Pulled straight the belt measures about 19". Put it into a glass of boiling water for a few minutes and after pulling it out it had shrunk by ¾" (about 6mm) - quite surprising and now the belt's not slipping anymore . Anyway, I have a cunning plan to try and cheaply fix the static issue so watch this space.....
  4. Going on the principle that you cannot in any way add anything to the transmission of electricity via a cable then I also cannot see how a mains lead could improve the sound unless the OEM lead is of insufficient quality. Having said that, I do believe cables can subtract from this based on it's LCR so if anything, compared to a perfectly adequate OEM lead, a fancy smanshy mains lead can potentially make things worse. So if the OEM mains lead is adequate to provide the current required without any detriment, then a 3rd party lead can at best match it and sound no different or at worst underperform. Not only this but it's so subtle that it may all be placebo anyway. In fact, we did a blinded cable test here many years ago that proved just that..... Kiang_Power_cable_test(2).xls *all cables dressed/padded and concealed to look identical ....the OEM kettle lead (which I was able to correctly identify) sounded best whilst the fancier cables made things sound worse to me, but then again no one could statistically tell them apart anyway so it may all have been placebo.
  5. Aaaah, the classic Amazon trick - Sell a £20 product for £19 and then advertise a completely bogus RRP of double the price when no other retailer in their right mind would sell it at that . (although I myself would get an extension lead from a Pound shop as it wouldn't have a switch or light on it - I have an MK extension lead in the study hooked into the router/printer etc and the light makes an audible high pitched droning sound you can hear from a couple of feet away)
  6. Gaffer

    TT clamp and mats

    I'll try without the felt mat but wouldn't that result in more motor rumble? This is what ProJect themselves say on the matter (2Xperience TT with 9C arm): ^^ I don't quite understand how a clamp will reduce rumble - if it's directly coupling the record to the platter surely it would increase rumble?
  7. I agree, DAB+ is brilliant in the car - good enough SQ for the compromised listening area and so far error free with a decent signal. Tried to switch on the DAB clock radio upstairs today .......lasted 3min before switching it off again .
  8. Listening to more vinyl nowadays with my new cart and a REALLY annoying thing is the felt mat I have keeps adhering to the record when I try to remove it to change sides. It's the underside so I don't think one of those anti-static guns would work, so I was thinking of buying a new TT mat just to reduce the static. However I also use the supplied clamp as Pro-Ject suggest which got me to thinking: Clamp: Used to couple the record to the platter, thus flattening it slightly - useful if you have some slightly warped records. It also prevents record slip on the platter. Mat: Used to decouple a record from the platter to improve isolation from any motor/bearing noise that has been transmitted to the platter. Various types (Cork/Felt/Rubber/Glass/Acrylic etc) - some are bloody expensive too.... Platter: Spins the record but, unless it's a maglev design, might transmit some motor/bearing rumble as well - hence the "quest" for decent mats in audiophile-world. Now, after reading MANY articles on the wonder of various mats/materials, I can't quite understand how I can gain any beneficial effect from a mat which acts by decoupling a record from a platter if I'm then going to immediately re-couple it to said platter using my threaded clamp . Is it all foo? Would I be better off placing the record directly on the platter instead (as Pro-Ject suggest - my 2Xperience platter is MDF with a vinyl coating and I can adjust VTA accordingly)? I initially was thinking of replacing my "Static Attracting" 1.5mm felt one with a clear acrylic one for £20 but am now wondering whether it's actually worth it or not. Anyone with any experience of using a mat with a clamp?
  9. I agree, SQ is generally poor. The problem is the Govt has already identified a minimum of 256kbps (or perhaps 192 in some instances), but then didn't specify that as a minimum by denying licenses to broadcasters who try to give us less. Unfortunately money talks, so the broadcasters simply try to cram as many 64kbps mono channels as they can in to the bandwidth . I would've hoped by trying to increase interest in DAB, that would drive the tech forward - but we appear to be stuck 15yrs in the past.... Talking of internet radio, having a closer look at the Rotel T14 and it is also an internet radio streamer.....but they're charging £700 for it ......flock me, is it made of gold? I have a raspberry pi upstairs gathering dust, I'm sure I could try and cobble an internet radio together from that to go into my Hi-Fi's DAC for under £50
  10. So I have a lovely vintage tuner (well, lovely after I figured out how to use the thing - that smaller meter on the left tells you which "side" of the strongest signal you're on and the other one is the signal strength - can get a great sound most of the time on FM too ): ...but quite a few other retro tuners have started catching my eye on fleaBay. I have to restrain myself otherwise before long I'd have 4-5 extra tuners (all <£20) sitting in my room , but then I thought "seeing as my actual FM Tuner works fine, why am I looking at the same thing, why not get a DAB+ tuner?" My DAB experience up to now hasn't been stellar with my first DAB car (Pioneer stereo) often having horrible garbled rubbish and poor SQ and my alarm/radio in the house not faring much better (as a result if which I haven't switched it on for >1yr). However, my current car has built in DAB+ and sounds great - never a dropped signal and great reception making me think I'd give it another chance. So off I go to all the major manufacturers websites to see what Hi-Fi component DAB+ tuners I should be looking for: Denon? Nope, nothing (although their pro/studio side does sell a rack mounted one) Sony? Nope - nothing on their website too.... fact, here's a selection of what I found (or rather didn't find) on each site's CURRENT catalogue (looking for full-size standalone Tuners not Receivers or Streamers or Micro Boxes etc): No DAB+ Hi-Fi separates component being sold: Denon Musical Fidelity Sony Arcam Naim Quad Pure/VideoLogic Chord Meridian Cyrus Marantz NAD Krell McIntosh At least one DAB+ Hi-Fi separates component being sold: Onkyo Yamaha Technics Rotel (one of the few that sells 2 models) Now with the govt still undecided as to what to do (AFAIK we will run a hybrid system of both FM and DAB+ for the foreseeable future) but with most major manufacturers apparently no longer supporting it, is DAB+ a bust? Seeing as internet broadcast streams have MUCH higher bitrates anyway, is that the final nail in DAB's coffin (why listen free-to-air at a poxy 64kbps mono when you can stream 256kbps AAC stereo online)? I'm actually genuinely surprised that after the initial 2000's push for DAB (and things like the Pure 702 series) no one seems to care anymore? I would be unhappy if we did a Norway and switched off FM completely but on the other hand I would've thought there'd be at least SOME interest out there for DAB wouldn't there (and a resultant push to develop it further)?
  11. I actually love my dual-mono Phonobox DS+ (blows away my old Graham slee with Pre-Preamp/Headamp combo)....BUT.....before I got that, this intrigued me a great deal: Hand made and receiving rave reviews from folk who have them....
  12. Cart is getting slightly better as time passes (or it could just be me getting used to it but it definitely sounds less "fizzy" in the treble). Problem is I keep reading up on things and heard that the cables need to be lowest capacitance possible and short. Well, mine are old RadioShack looking things which after testing using a multimeter came up with roughly 450pF - probably because they're old and too long (they're 2m cables). I only need 1m between TT and phonostage and I thought most cables are usually about 300pF tops. In the small chance this might make a difference I paid a nice chap on eBay the princely sum of £15 to make me a pair of 1m interconnects using Van Damme cable that's rated at 50pF/m. Can't tell if it's made a difference tbh but it was a small outlay and they reach nicely without lots of extra slack
  13. Gaffer

    Amp or Valves?

    Thank you so much for testing the valves. I subsequently sent this e-mail to PrimaLuna to find the order of the tubes: ...and they replied saying "you have two options because you can put the Tung-Sol tubes on the outsides and the Svetlana tubes on the insides or vice versa" according to them the valve order must be either: +L -L -R +R or -L +L +R -R I have now taken the KT120s back out and returned the El34s but this time with Svetlanas on the outside and Tung-Sols on the inside....hopefully it'll stay OK
  14. You can get a more even in-room response across the whole room area with multiple subs from my understanding but then again, if you are sitting in a specific area rather than moving around (e.g. in a specific seat in a dedicated listening room/man cave ) then one sub will suffice if set up correctly for that specific sitting area. EDIT: For example, as I currently have a dedicated room with a dedicated seat, one sub is fine for me and I have set it up to sound best from my listening position. If this ever changes and the HiFi moves into the living room (where I will tend to wander around doing things) then I will probably add another sub at least so that I can set it up to sound better over a larger area.
  15. Well it did arrive on the Wednesday (so I needn't have worried). Very well packed and fresh from factory it seems so a big thumbs up there . Firstly, the pictures don't do the cart justice. It looks like one of those cheap plastic kids toys with faux-gold painted on it on piccies, but in reality it actually looks like a piece of jewellery - nice'n'sparkly . It was also smaller than I imagined so for installation I didn't want to damage the stylus so I kept the guard on and simply started from scratch. First I had bought an SME headshell level (tiny thing) which just made my life so much easier. Then I readjusted the TT itself slightly to ensure all level. I found it easier to simply remove the Tonearm weight completely for most of the adjustments (otherwise the arm kept springing up) Next was azimuth via the small common screw on the right of the rear of the arm - got that dead-on level L<->R Next was VTA (arm height) - but tricky on the Pro-Ject as it involves 2 allen key bolts but got that dot on too. Next I attached supplied aluminium screws to finger lift, headshell, cartridge then bolted them loosely (** didn't add the Grado headshell weight as I didn't think I'd need it after all). The tonearm's 4 wires were tricky not just for size but because it seems the Ortofon cart "poles" are thicker than the MB ones? I had to slightly crimp each female connector slightly (from the arm) to allow a snug fit on to the cart (without which no sound was forthcoming). Mindful of the risk of damage I might incur, I managed to do all 4 (white/blue/red/green) so they all fit snugly using some pliers. Now all was needed was the dreaded alignment (Baerwald) but after much to-ing and fro-ing managed to get the cart aligned. Finally re-added the tonearm weight, removed the stylus guard and checked the 2g downforce on my scales. I then played a record before realising VTA was slightly out (I'd had the guard on before) so readjusted and now have a perfectly centred bubble (didn't need to redo azimuth or alignment thankfully) So the sound? hmmmm....many areas are immediately better: Detail - much more than the old MC15 even though the stylus is elliptical rather than micro-fine line Bass - lots of it and able to discern individual bass-lines a bit better than the MC15 Tracking MUCH better Imaging, better, soundstage better BUT..... Treble - a bit splishy splashy? Midrange - not as good as MC15 I've set the phonostage to 1k compliance (cart recommends >200-47k, options are 10, 100, 1000, 47k - so I've gone for 1k) and it sounds fine with both 60dB and 65dB gain (unlike before where the MC15 seemed oddly to not like the 65dB setting), so I'm hoping it improves over time as this is only with about 1.5hrs use. Thanks to everyone for their help , I couldn't quite stump up for the AT33PTG but am not unhappy with the MB Gold. ** The cart is only 5.7g but the screws are aluminium and added 0.6g whilst the headshell level adds 0.25, all which brings you above the 6g min weight for the 9C. The finger lift is additional so if you add that as well, it gives you a resonance of 9.54Hz so everything fine there