Valley Dweller

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About Valley Dweller

  • Rank
  • Birthday 15/04/1967

Personal Info

  • Location
    West Yorkshire

Wigwam Info

  • Turn Table
    Linn Axis
  • Tone Arm & Cartridge
    Linn Basik Plus
  • Digital Source 1
    Accuphase DP-55V
  • Digital Source 2
  • DAC
    Accuphase DP-55V
  • Pre-Amp
    Croft 25
  • Power Amp/s
    Croft Series 7
  • My Speakers
    Dynaudio 52 SEs

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  1. I had five of these a few weeks back, very pleased with the quality/gradings, thank you.
  2. Any stoners out there? Stone Roses/Stone Roses. A great example of a brilliant debut album, but my copy's shite. I have the repress version, on Silvertown, with the original matrices ORE LP 502 A2/B2, but without the embossed gold lettering on the cover. I think there were a number of first pressing versions (4 or 5) and I'm not too fussed about this. It's nice to have a first but not at the expense of sound quality. The problem is I haven't owned mine from new (alas) and it shows. There's too much crackle and background noise and listening to it's painful, it's not a lost cause but I would rate it only as a Good (record) and VG (cover). For me that sound makes it upgrade territory. Does anyone have a view on the best vinyl pressings? Reckon I could get a straight swap substitute for my first pressing - repress in (in VG+ VG+) for about £40 though the embossed ones would be more (£75+?). Any later pressings an improvement on the first? Thank you....
  3. Just seen your comment about the arm OP. I started a thread in a similar vein which might be of interest to you about a Linn Majik and arm choices (I already have a serviceable Basik Plus). It's a gamble really but lowest risk option seems to be the Jelco arm especially considering the cost of the (Linn) alternatives..
  4. I am in the same boat as you, OP, looking at a new Majik with probably a Lingo 4 and a bit tight with my 4 grand. I've spoken to 2 dealers and the 'bolt together a bespoke LP12 with ex demo or used bits' model is not the preferred route nor has it been since Spring. The discounted Majik package with the Karousel (& yes I believe the Jelco arm is available when you buy the whole deck) cannot be beaten for the price (ignoring other manufacturers at least). Speaking for myself the Lingo upgrade is a must to get past the clunky Majik power supply/2 speed option, which to me isn't an attractive element of the package. Maybe you'll (we'll) have that new toy soon, there'll likely be a month or three to wait so we can continue to mull the idea while it's taking shape.
  5. Yesterday a new to me first pressing of Abbey Road arrived at my door, it is 51 years old. It was rated VG+ and probably merits it, there's no clicks or scratches but there's a bit of low level white noise in the background that reduces my enjoyment a little. It might not be my 'keeper' copy but even in this condition it's quite something. It was quite expensive for a record, so I streamed it at the same time as playing it on the record deck. By switching from one to the other I could tell the main differences. I will not be the first to have noticed that the vinyl had greater depth, warmth, detail, tonality and richness. The streamed version sounds brighter, more 'top end' and there were one or two sounds it missed and that I thought I was hearing for the first time on the vinyl version (I used to have this album on CD but lost it, I've been streaming it the last five or so years so am more used to the streaming sound). On some of the bassier parts of Sun King the vinyl sounded a bit 'heavy' and distorted. But when I switched back to streaming, thinking it would be better, it wasn't. The same was there too. OK my streamer's not great but then again neither is my record deck. I imagine if you had a record deck (ideally the same quality-ish as your digital set up) you would have a similar experience.
  6. Vinyl is definitely dead. It's yesterday's medium. Handling is too clunky, it's not practically portable compared to streaming, getting up every 20 mins is a pain, to make it sound good you have to spend loadsamoney on kit and with one careless slip an album is ruined and its value destroyed. Also when you're buying an old record it can be quite a lottery because the quality of the same disk can be so varied. So yes, time to move on. PS Anyone wishing to sell their record collection (in VG+ or NM condition minimum please) do PM me. If you're local to West Yorkshire I'll even collect to get it out of your way quickly.
  7. Really helpful replies above, thank you all very much for your comments, which are very useful for me - my 30 yo Axis insulated me from having to think about this stuff for a while. I know that Wilkinson and Class A can 'fix' it - but I understand it's unlikely to be a 'forever' fix and to be honest it's partly because it's lasted SO well that I'm not too bothered about replacing it - and why I'm looking at a Linn replacement. I may even get it fixed and sell it /give it to someone. As regards new/second hand I've done the discussions and have had it convincingly explained that the Karousel (and the fact it's price isn't factored in to new decks) is the game changer. The Axis is a good deck, but now I can have a once in 30 year SQ hike. To get this I think I'd have to pitch at a reasonable level of replacement, which is why I'm looking at something with a Karousel, something a bit better than the Majik, and something I could push towards an Akurate later. It's good to have confirmation that the Linn Basik Plus is worthy of its place on a new LP12 but even if you reject the idea that it's a poor arm I think it's reasonable to assume it would be the weakest point in a new Majik with a (used) Lingo 4, and it would cause quite a SQ bottleneck if you had got your deck to a higher spec (a used Kore is not out of the question one day). But the arm replacement would be the most expensive component for me as I can't see myself going beyond Akurate and even on that it's the Akito price I can't quite bring myself round to. That's why I think the arm choice is tough and David HB I think you've nailed it with your quote above saying the Jelco/Majik arm offers some future proofing in a very uncertain world of Linn arms. The difficulty of using a non-Linn arm is partly delicacy (eg Well Tempered and Nima look beautiful but super delicate - this is a deck my (sensible) teenage kids will use), partly not being able to listen first (esp with a lingo 4) and partly all the fiddling around down below, which I don't really want to involve myself with.
  8. Hi all A little advice required please. I have had a Linn Axis with a Basik Plus arm from new (30 years +). However it has the dreaded motor/power supply problems and has started to suffer from lack of uniformity in speed. At the time I couldn't afford an LP12 - looking back I should have bitten the bullet but they were just a little bit too dear. Nothing new there then. Intending to put together a deck from used/demo kit I spoke to a couple of dealers who told me because of the good 'bundled' deal and the Karousel (not yet factored into the price of new decks) a new Majik is likely to offer the best bang for buck. The power supply would need improvement (for 45s), but if I get a Lingo 4 on it I wouldn't have to do revisit again (I don't want to keep upgrading). This puts it up to £4k, I wobbled and the dealer, explaining the upgrade path (ie cart and arm less important than power supply and bearing), advised I could save a few bob (£500 approx) by keeping my Basik Plus arm. If there was a good 'business' reason to do it, I could stump up the extra for a new Majik arm. But I could also do with keeping under the 'red line' in my head of £3.5k for a record deck. The new Majik comes with a Majik arm (Jelco, I think) or a Project 9CC. The question is, how good are these arms relative to the rest of it? If I keep my Basik Plus arm I'll change it eventually (it would be an obvious weak point). What I don't want to do is save £500 now and then have to cough up £1500 for a decent replacement later (look what happened to Akito/Ittok/Aro etc. They cost more used now than they ever cost new). Is the soon to be replaced Jelco or the Project 9CC tomorrow's arm-and-a-leg-used-price must have arm? Or am I better off with my Basik Plus until a better option comes along?
  9. Thank you - but I'm done with Sonos. Them now no longer supporting my Sonos Connect, interest in higher quality streaming and constant drop outs (prior to router reshuffle) all wound me up, throw desire for upgrade in and I'm fully ready to move on. T1no thank you that's useful. That might be the way to go....
  10. I too have a Linn Axis with Linn Basik Plus arm (bought new whilst a student, 100 years ago) though unlike yours which has been packed away mine has been in the front line of use and served me superbly over the years. The current cart I think is an Audio Technica. I have had a few cart/stylus options over the years (3-4) and I have a nagging doubt that none has been as musical and enjoyable as the original K9 with which it came - though that might be a 'grass is greener' thing. I wouldn't bother with an MC, I think if I were in that league I'd put the money towards a deck upgrade, especially for mine - allow me to explain. Many Axis decks are now experiencing problems with power supplies. There is also talk of a fire hazard (because the decks are 'on' all of the time when plugged in) but I don't know the extent to which that is fact or an urban myth. I have ignored both threats for about a decade (since I heard about them) but in the last 6 months have experienced problems with uniformity of speed. This I think is the famed power supply problem. Not welcome but after 30 years+ of use I can't complain. I'm not sure whether, because yours has been in storage, you might avoid this for a while yet. Researching options I too have heard of Wilkinson's fix - they are quite close to me and at £95 it's may be an attractive option for those who need it, especially given that the cost of a viable Axis replacement in the modern market has to be well over a grand or perhaps closer to £2k. I also understand there is a guy in Bristol who takes them in for repair, though a (very) reputable Linn dealer has told me the fix is not wholly reliable. I am now planning an upgrade to its big brother (which I couldn't afford 35 years ago though did audition it - couldn't resist). Which reveals another attribute. The Linn Basik Plus arm, which I think I paid £50 for (I recall a lesser arm was available on purchase) and which yours has, is considered a solid (whilst perhaps unremarkable) product that even now would hold its own on a modern LP12 entry level deck (we are talking £3-£4k worth of turntable). Yes my Axis is knackered now but in retrospect it helps to show what a great deal I got that day in the Audio Counsel. Enjoy your journey.
  11. Is that because you need a streamer for each of the multi-rooms you want to stream to (beyond the Bluesound/Naim/Linn/Sonos/Yamaha usual suspects)? I could run a wire from the streamer in the lounge to a speaker in the kitchen downstairs. In fact I'm likely to do that anyway (with a LAN cable) - before I changed the router a couple of weeks ago we had a lot of dropouts and my wife wants a wired connection to another room anyway. In that case could the streamer stream to 2 rooms at the same time? Sorry to ask stupid questions I just don't have a handle on what can be done. As I said I'm tempted to throw a few quid at a better streamer for upstairs but it would make more sense if I could (somehow) stream to the kitchen with it too (the same - or different - music).
  12. I don't think I need (another) amp with my streamer (so it would seem that the NAD, Quad and Mytek mentioned above have attributes superflous to my needs) and in one of my few calls to an actual shop the Yamaha multi-room set up was not ranked above the Bluesound, and yes you're right I probably have streaming ambitions of quality. I do have a (slightly failing now) Linn deck (shortly to be upgraded to its big brother) but not keen to extend my Linn love beyond tt's (like Naim which I've also used in the past I have a feeling VFM isn't a big factor in Linn kit). Interested in the comment that I might run the Sonos play downstairs in tandem with a better streaming set up in the lounge (eg with the Quad) and that the Mytek might handle a multi-room approach. This touches on the core question of what scope I would have (if I wanted to move beyond Bluesound Node 2i) for a Mytek/Auralic/similar type streamer which would stream to the kitchen as well? Is the choice between a 'multi-room' set up (Sonos, Yamaha, Ruark, Bluesound/NAD, Naim, Linn) versus better than average streamer upstairs but coupled with a standalone (ie not connected to the other system) streaming speaker in the kitchen? Or are there streamers other than those that will stream to 2 rooms at once (& 2 types of music at once)? From your comment Nopiano I'm thinking that beyond the 'specific' multi room streamers mentioned I might need 1 for each room.
  13. We have been using Sonos for years to provide a 2 room system to the kitchen (streams to a single Sonos active speaker) and lounge (streams to the hifi via a no-longer-supported Sonos connect) and now wish to upgrade. For a straightforward swap to another 2 room system it looks like Yamaha, Naim, Ruark, Bluesound. Of these Naim streamer (ND5 XS2) + speaker for the kitchen would be about £3k. So far so expensive. Bluesound Node 2i is highly regarded, so this plus one of their speakers (£800) would be a front runner, but would this be substantially better than what I have? Also I risk FOMO from not having a fancy streamer/DAC and future proofing. If I went for a more upmarket streamer/DAC (Mytek, Auralic etc) what would be the difference compared to the Bluesound Node 2i? Presumably I would get better sound quality in the main room but would lose the facility to link the streamer to an active speaker in the kitchen, so would need to buy a separate ‘standalone’ active/streaming speaker for the kitchen? It seems a shame to pay pay £1.5-£2k for a decent streamer/DAC for the lounge which then only gets used in the lounge (we do spend a lot of time in the kitchen). Likewise I already have a Croft pre-amp, so feel it would be pointless to pay for another pre-amp inside the streamer/DAC. I presently use the DAC in my Accuphase CD player (Toslink and phono digital in), but it’s a bit old, figures for that are 16 - 24 bit linear with a sampling frequency quoted at ‘32 kHz, 44.1 kHz, 48 kHz’. I'm not big on measurements but I guess that means it’s OK for streaming up to CD quality now but there’s no ‘future proofing’ left in it. I stream via Spotify premium at present, and would pay for higher quality sound files, but doing so (with our current Netflix & Amazon subs) makes me reluctant to pay a further premium for other streaming services (such as Roon). Budget maybe £2k (new or recent s/h) ideally less, but can stretch if it offers future proofing/great sound quality. Whatever solution would need stable and easy operation via tablet/phone (kids and wife friendly). I’d be grateful for thoughts or suggestions.
  14. Not sure what else there would be really, Lingo 1's are around £4-500 and the Majik power supply, which would be newer and within your budget, doesn't have a 45 option. Are you actually looking for a new power supply with a 33/45 switch, or just an adaptor that will let you play 45s on your current deck?
  15. My copy is the original UK first pressing, gatefold sleeve, indents cut out of the tops of the inners etc. I only found out a fortnight ago when I was vaguely musing over Discogs, when I did a similar exercise to the OP, trawling over dead wax and minor printing details. The market price of these in good nick seems to be pushing £200. I sometimes seek out what's said to be the best sounding vinyl when I buy an album (especially old albums), preferring first pressings or this mastering or that, based on consensus of views from internet searches. I don't pay silly money but I might pay £25 rather than £10 for what I believe is better SQ. My OK Computer I'd rate very good plus or near mint. It's not been played much, it's a really great copy and the physical aspects of it (vinyl feel, card inners, graphics, messages in the needle run off zone etc) make it a thing of beauty. There are no scratches and barely any signs of handling at all. However I think the sound quality is very disappointing. Often there is a view that first pressings have the best SQ, but for those of you who have a secret urge to have a UK first pressing of this, SQ wise, I don't think you're missing much. If I paid £200 for this (or similar) on ebay or Discogs I'd be very disappointed in the sound, to my ears it sounds grainy and 'dirty' (I'm disappointed and I paid probably £12 for it new). The current high prices are presumably not related to sound quality at all and just a reflection of rarity (they're a hugely popular band who released this album - perhaps their best work - when most punters were buying CDs). I don't have other copies with which to compare it, just the CD.