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Phono stages up to £2K.


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23 hours ago, rabski said:

Bright red, or even dark red, is a no-go colour in marketing and design. Offer people a choice of black, red or silver, and I'm not surprised that when it comes to an actual purchase, red is a long way down the list.

The colour thing was anyhow just an example. Customisation and design-led thinking are sadly lacking in audio. Sometimes, hifi design needs to think outside the box, if you'll excuse the pun. Anyway, for someone who is reputedly a touch keen on Bang & Olufsen, you ought to appreciate the underlying point that there is a woesome lack of 'design' in domestic hifi. Stuff is either a plain box, or looks like something from a 1960s low-budget sci-fi film.

And what's wrong with a 1960's low-budget sci-fi film? :D I love a good B-movie...

Personally I'm not at all bothered by the concept of everything having to match. As long as a component has good, interesting design then I'm fine with it sticking out like a sore thumb. The biggest sin of aesthetics is to be plain and unassuming if you ask me (like my recently-departed Arcam DAC) - be bold, be brave and yes, be colourful! I'd happily have a red anodised amp, but then again I'm biased, I have a high gloss red and white kitchen. And my other half likes bold design too so I don't have to worry about domestic harmony either.

Don't mind paying a little more for the design, as long as the enclosure contents are still up to scratch. Part of the pleasure comes from the ownership after all, and if I have to sit and look at it I'd rather see something interesting

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On 07/05/2021 at 18:29, Beobloke said:


Because that’s what most people want!

I was chatting to the Consonance distributor years ago when they released the ‘Forbidden City’ range. This was styled and named after the gates to the ancient city and the gates themselves were red, so it was offered with black, silver and red front panels.

I thought the red looked fantastic and said so but at a show a couple of years later, there was very little red to be seen. I mentioned this to him and he said that people invariably fawn over the red ones at shows and in shops but, when it came to signing on the dotted line, they always went with black or silver. As a result, he hadn’t bought any more models with the red panels as they were nigh on impossible to shift.

You would think conservatism re colour would apply to golf equipment wouldnt you?...However, Cobra brought out a range of drivers with orange, silver and maroon woods, in addition to the normal black and were highly successfull with that commercially.

I bought one (orange).

Jack

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David Shaw (of Icon Audio) claims that 'valve circuits are much more tolerant to overload, they recover much quicker and distort less than transisters..'

Is this true?

Follow the discussion in Audio Science Review. (I googled David Shaw on valves). One response is that any SS design can be engineered for greater overload margins - its just more expensive.

Ex Wammer Serge Auckland contributes (so that's where he went..)

Jack NSM

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1 hour ago, Non-Smoking Man said:

David Shaw (of Icon Audio) claims that 'valve circuits are much more tolerant to overload, they recover much quicker and distort less than transisters..'

Is this true?

Put simply yes it's true, the overload characteristic is particularly useful in phono stage design as pops and clicks cause less disruption.

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Its more about speed recovery from overload as to distortion transistors exhibit mostly 3rd harmonics while tubes 2nd which is more pleasing to the ear but ss circuits in general distort lot less than tubes, one also need to consider SNR which in case of transistors is much more superior to tubes . There is no an easy answer to whats best ,everything is dependent on the circuit topology 

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I never put much thought into whether a stand alone ps was better than an integrated one, just that thinking back I have always gone for the former, so subconsciously at least it has been the case for me. Saying that, my Mastersound pre-amp currently in the classifieds has a really good internal mm stage so I guess like most things it depends......

Thinking of my previous systems phono stages have always been the making or breaking of a system, a sort of magic box or boxes, that delight if you get it right or frustrates if you don't. Mostly I have favoured a mm stage, almost always valve, plus a head amp or SUT, a particular favourite being a Welborne Labs valve stage with a Partridge SUT. From then I have busted the £2k limit, even used, the only one I wish I still had was a Art Audio Vinyl One Reference fully modded by Definitive Audio.

I remember hearing a Aurorasound Vida mm/mc (£3k plus) for the first time at one of John's bake offs (Lurch). It was Ian's (Bagawire), & I think everyone there was stunned by it, it certainly made a great impression on me & I had to get one, which I did a little while afterwards. Again I was very happy with it, & had no desire to change, but after a while I had a growing feeling something was missing, so I started looking at using an SUT into the mm rather than mc, & to my ears heard benefits doing this. I then had the opportunity of trying a couple of pre-amps, as my integrated amp could be used as a power amp, one of which was the aforementioned Mastersound, & found that the internal mm plus SUT was better than the Vida, to my ears of course, which considering the cost of the Vida put me right off it I can tell you. I still think it is a mighty fine bit of kit, but I guess I just missed having valves in a phono, I seem to be wedded to them.

It was around this time, or a little before, that I became aware of the Big Bottle 3, a mm/mc that was gaining a big reputation, & when John got one & brought it over to mine the sound blew me away, & especially so when considering the cost of a new one, so in went my order to Oliver, & it is delivering in spades in my system, I am over the moon with it. At it's price point is doesn't have a competitor to my ears.

I know there are a lot of fine stages out there, & I am sure I will get to hear quite a few of them in due course, so I would never say "I will never buy another phono stage", & I do like to have a change from time to time, but as an all round package I bloody love it.

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Nice write up Brook.

Jack

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1 hour ago, Speedracer said:

I then had the opportunity of trying a couple of pre-amps, as my integrated amp could be used as a power amp, one of which was the aforementioned Mastersound, & found that the internal mm plus SUT was better than the Vida

May I remind you what you have wrote few days ago when I said Aurorasound Vida is as good or there is not much between RCM Sensor II:

"I am as big a fan of Oliver & Alan's work on the Big Bottle as anyone & it is performing brilliantly in my system in place of my own Vida, but I do get a little uncomfortable when people claim this or that is better than........ "

How do you call it ? 

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Forgot about this : ;) and :D

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, mac72 said:

May I remind you what you have wrote few days ago when I said Aurorasound Vida is as good or there is not much between RCM Sensor II:

"I am as big a fan of Oliver & Alan's work on the Big Bottle as anyone & it is performing brilliantly in my system in place of my own Vida, but I do get a little uncomfortable when people claim this or that is better than........ "

How do you call it ? 

Well, you are right to point it out, but I almost always qualify what I say by including "to my ears", which I did more than once in my post, but forgot it in the example you use.

But fair play, you got me.

Edited by Speedracer
Spooling. ;-)
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23 minutes ago, Speedracer said:

Well, you are right to point it out, but I almost always qualify what I say by including "to my ears", which I did more than once in my post, but forgot it in the example you use.

But fair play, you got me.

Well , I listen normally with my own ears so no need to add it in every sentence ;-)

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3 hours ago, Speedracer said:

I never put much thought into whether a stand alone ps was better than an integrated one, just that thinking back I have always gone for the former, so subconsciously at least it has been the case for me. Saying that, my Mastersound pre-amp currently in the classifieds has a really good internal mm stage so I guess like most things it depends......

Thinking of my previous systems phono stages have always been the making or breaking of a system, a sort of magic box or boxes, that delight if you get it right or frustrates if you don't. Mostly I have favoured a mm stage, almost always valve, plus a head amp or SUT, a particular favourite being a Welborne Labs valve stage with a Partridge SUT. From then I have busted the £2k limit, even used, the only one I wish I still had was a Art Audio Vinyl One Reference fully modded by Definitive Audio.

I remember hearing a Aurorasound Vida mm/mc (£3k plus) for the first time at one of John's bake offs (Lurch). It was Ian's (Bagawire), & I think everyone there was stunned by it, it certainly made a great impression on me & I had to get one, which I did a little while afterwards. Again I was very happy with it, & had no desire to change, but after a while I had a growing feeling something was missing, so I started looking at using an SUT into the mm rather than mc, & to my ears heard benefits doing this. I then had the opportunity of trying a couple of pre-amps, as my integrated amp could be used as a power amp, one of which was the aforementioned Mastersound, & found that the internal mm plus SUT was better than the Vida, to my ears of course, which considering the cost of the Vida put me right off it I can tell you. I still think it is a mighty fine bit of kit, but I guess I just missed having valves in a phono, I seem to be wedded to them.

It was around this time, or a little before, that I became aware of the Big Bottle 3, a mm/mc that was gaining a big reputation, & when John got one & brought it over to mine the sound blew me away, & especially so when considering the cost of a new one, so in went my order to Oliver, & it is delivering in spades in my system, I am over the moon with it. At it's price point is doesn't have a competitor to my ears.

I know there are a lot of fine stages out there, & I am sure I will get to hear quite a few of them in due course, so I would never say "I will never buy another phono stage", & I do like to have a change from time to time, but as an all round package I bloody love it.

The MM stage in the Vida is much better than the MC one ... I always used the Vida with a good SUT (at various times, a Kondo AN-S6C, S&B TX103 or Hashimoto HM7) and it really was streets ahead of using the MC input, pretty much regardless of the output of the cartridge used. I demonstrated this to a few people and it was pretty clear. I would recommend anyone using a Vida to at least checkout using it with a top flight SUT or head amp. 

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Maybe Vida could bring out a cheaper MM only stage.

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22 hours ago, montesquieu said:

The MM stage in the Vida is much better than the MC one ... I always used the Vida with a good SUT (at various times, a Kondo AN-S6C, S&B TX103 or Hashimoto HM7) and it really was streets ahead of using the MC input, pretty much regardless of the output of the cartridge used. I demonstrated this to a few people and it was pretty clear. I would recommend anyone using a Vida to at least checkout using it with a top flight SUT or head amp. 

This is true of a lot of phono stages.  The Eastern Electric MC phono stage is dire compared to the MM, very few MC stages (internal or external) are as good as the MM stage.

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On 09/05/2021 at 18:26, Speedracer said:

I never put much thought into whether a stand alone ps was better than an integrated one, just that thinking back I have always gone for the former, so subconsciously at least it has been the case for me. Saying that, my Mastersound pre-amp currently in the classifieds has a really good internal mm stage so I guess like most things it depends......

Thinking of my previous systems phono stages have always been the making or breaking of a system, a sort of magic box or boxes, that delight if you get it right or frustrates if you don't. Mostly I have favoured a mm stage, almost always valve, plus a head amp or SUT, a particular favourite being a Welborne Labs valve stage with a Partridge SUT. From then I have busted the £2k limit, even used, the only one I wish I still had was a Art Audio Vinyl One Reference fully modded by Definitive Audio.

I remember hearing a Aurorasound Vida mm/mc (£3k plus) for the first time at one of John's bake offs (Lurch). It was Ian's (Bagawire), & I think everyone there was stunned by it, it certainly made a great impression on me & I had to get one, which I did a little while afterwards. Again I was very happy with it, & had no desire to change, but after a while I had a growing feeling something was missing, so I started looking at using an SUT into the mm rather than mc, & to my ears heard benefits doing this. I then had the opportunity of trying a couple of pre-amps, as my integrated amp could be used as a power amp, one of which was the aforementioned Mastersound, & found that the internal mm plus SUT was better than the Vida, to my ears of course, which considering the cost of the Vida put me right off it I can tell you. I still think it is a mighty fine bit of kit, but I guess I just missed having valves in a phono, I seem to be wedded to them.

It was around this time, or a little before, that I became aware of the Big Bottle 3, a mm/mc that was gaining a big reputation, & when John got one & brought it over to mine the sound blew me away, & especially so when considering the cost of a new one, so in went my order to Oliver, & it is delivering in spades in my system, I am over the moon with it. At it's price point is doesn't have a competitor to my ears.

I know there are a lot of fine stages out there, & I am sure I will get to hear quite a few of them in due course, so I would never say "I will never buy another phono stage", & I do like to have a change from time to time, but as an all round package I bloody love it.

+1

I still haven't plugged in my BB mk3. So can only vouch as to its build quality. It's right up there with my esoteric. Beautifully machined with round corners. Will put a lot of main stream kit from established brands to shame.

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