how about the silver ic's you are using in the analog chain. perhaps try something else
65 responses Add your response
I sell and use VDH ICs, which have a very accurate but relaxed sound. They come in a metal screened version, which I use between my VPI and step up. They come up used on Audiogon from tine to time at a price that is reasonable for a top IC. You might also try one of the places that has a trial service.
11-09-09: CpkTry the AudioQuest Blue Racer II or Black Mamba II interconnect available only through Audio Advisor. The price is really right and they are both made of monocrystal copper. The Black Mamba has six-nines copper and isn't that much more money than the Blues. In my experience, single crystal copper is very musical, preserves the low level details and the harmonic structure, and is very easy to listen to while maintaining exemplary clarity and dynamics. They are also an easy break-in.
I have sets of both the Blue and Black and they disappear into the system very well. In fact, I use a pair of Black Mambas between my phono stage and my line stage. Great match; your Silver Resolutions may be a bit low in capacitance.
I hadn't thought about the silver ic's. However the arm is hard wired, though I don't know what the make up is. I will find out though and try replacing the rest of the ic's in the analog chain.
BTW, I like the "tell her to get her own TT". However I owe her big time for not raising a fuss when I bought the TT and snuck the arm in on her. Then too, I snuck the Scoutmaster in on her too. That was easy since it looked similar to the MMF=7. I figured it would be hard to get the Teres in without her noticing.
If the tonality was previously to her liking and you changed ONLY the turntable, I do not see how interconnects could play a role in this question. I do not agree that silver is necessarily "bright", but that is a matter of individual taste. Anyway, deductive logic would suggest that there is something different about the new tt, unless you changed more parts of your rig than just the tt. If you are playing LPs directly on the huge wooden platter of your Teres, perhaps that has caused a difference in tonality from the SM "sound". The platter mat or lack thereof is a very possible culprit.
maybe I didn't make myself clear, so i'll try to cover some questions. First, the new components are the Teres and the Origin Live arm. The Benz was on the scoutmaster and was brought over to the Teres.
The Scoutmaster sounded very good but there were a few albums that were somewhat bright but still quite listenable for me. But my wife never noticed any brightness with the SM. But it was only a very few albums that I noticed a sense of brightness
Now, with the Teres, the tables have been reversed. I think the TT arm cart sound great. But she thinks there is a sense of brightness to it that was not there with the SM. . However I heard brightness with the SM that I do not hear with the Teres
IOW's i heard some brightness with the SM that she didn't hear and she hears a brightness in the Teres that I don't hear.
Don't get me wrong, The Teres is still a giant step forward IMO and she also hears a great difference in all other parameters except the upper high frequencies.
Also I have not played with cart loading since buying the cart and coming up with proper loading with the SM. I don't think the cart would have different loadings with different tables.
I had the same issue when going from Rega 25 to Michell Orbe. Now mind you it took me a good 5 years to get the system to where it rocks for me. Big sweat spot, incredible dynamics, a real joy to listen to. So when the wife thought it was too detailed and not that rounded, muddied sound, you know like you here in the Bose showroom I new I had a problem. I thought that instead of 5 years I could do it in 3 years.
I then looked at the other side of the equation. It takes 6 months to get to know a new women, 3 more months to propose, 3 months for the wedding preparation...
The Illustrious most likely has the same cotton coated copper wire like the previous version. The origin wire is THE BEST in the business. Dont even go there. Now, I have experimented PLENTY with my MARKII. Did you know you could adjust certain parameters that would dictate a slight lean in tonality? Read the manual that came with the tonearm and you will see what I mean.
The Teres AND the Illustrious are leaps ahead of the SM. Sorry to disappoint others. Dont think that changing two major parameters is not going to make a difference. You changed THE turntable, AND tonearm. Experiment with cables. If you would like to email me, I could inform you about an excellent choice in cables for that arm.
That's why I say to change your interconnects. Your silver interconnects have very low capacitance and you need to try some different ones to try different cartridge loads. Many women will hear these differences immediately and instinctively. I suggested the Black Mambas because not only are they a [i]little[/i] higher in capacitance (which may be just enough), they are also very smooth. You will also find that if you fix it to her satisfaction, you will also enjoy the system more over time and find it more musically involving.
Sanhar, A koetsu would make a nice present for her wouldn't it?
I'll try to address some of the suggestions. First, it is all the albums that have a tendency towards brightness in my wife's opinion. Listening fatigue sets in for her after a few albums. Yes, she hears all the good parts and knows it is a big step above the SM but has asked me to tweak the highs so as to tone them down some. I also agree that women generally are more sensitive to highs and it will be advantageous for me to get this taken care of. Thus my post here.
I've also heard that the OL arm has a very good ic. I was quite surprised when she said the highs were bothering her since I thought the highs were tamed in comparison to the SM
I will try the curtain over the plasma also. I used to do that when I had a big box TV and it made a difference. I have some copper ics that I will give a try also. I don't have a good handle on capacitance and its effects but if I need new ic's I'll be back with questions. I'll also take a look at the Black Mambas
As to getting a new wife, nah, She's a keeper who's been with me for 34 yrs and has been very understanding and supportive of my music addiction.
Finally, the Teres/OL/Benz is a very big improvement over the Scoutmaster. That's not to say the SM is bad. Quite the contrary, It is a very good table too and a good bang for the buck. But the Teres is just that good to better it by a wide margin. And after this minor glitch is taken care of It will be even better.
Thanks to all for your suggestions
Late to the party. Is there any wine left?
I dont believe your wife is hearing excessive upper mids/highs. I believe shes hearing distorted and smeared upper mids/highs. This important distinction points to different solutions. If Im correct, rolling off the highs wont help you need to clean them up, not reduce them.
When you upgrade a major source component (or two) to a more resolving one, the reduced noise and sound floors pass additional information. This additional complexity can test other components in ways they hadnt been tested before. I disagree with suggestions that you only changed the TT/arm, so the problem must be with them. That sounds appealingly straightforward, but its far from true IME. Rather, I think the increase in signal complexity has exposed shortcomings in other components.
You've listed a c-j MF-2500A as your amp. Are you still using that? If so, the new rig may have exposed its limits. I know this amp well because we used one for several years. Its a good mainstream product from a mainstream company, but it cant really cope with the full complexity from a top quality vinyl rig.
Fortunately, your Silverline speakers are easy to drive. You have no need for a high wattage SS amp. What you need is an amp that can maintain clarity when fed a complex mixture of closely related waveforms (e.g., vocal and instrumental harmonics).
When we compared our MF-2500A to our present amp (Doshi-modded Lectron JH-50) the difference was breathtaking. I could go on about the areas in which the Doshi is better (name anything, its better), but for this thread its just worth noting that it reproduces HFs and harmonics with jaw-dropping clarity and cleanliness. It approaches the purity of the best SET amps, but with enough push-pull power to drive all but very difficult speakers.
Consider trying out a top quality tube amp. Take advantage of your speakers being easy to drive. I think your wifes ears would enjoy that experiment.
Doug makes a very good point which I know but somehow did not come to the top of my brain when I posted. High quality, high resolution transducers (basically what your vinyl rig is, although technically its only the cartridge) will spotlight deficiencies elsewhere in the chain. In this case, downstream.
Yes, Doug. the 2500A is still in service. i guess i'm surprised that the 2500 would b the weak link since it has sounded so good in the past. I've been wanting to get into tubes for a few yrs now. AAMOF, I was looking for a tube preamp when I stumbled across the Teres and just couldn't turn it down. I've thought about SET but wonder if my room is too big? I don't know, though i do know that Silverline shows off their speakers with a 7-8 watt SET.
FWIW, my wife said she didn't want to hear me say that I needed another piece of equipment now because of the TT. So i'm just going to show her your post Doug, and let YOU get into trouble with her. But i do thank you for taking me off the hook on this one.
Again, thanks to all
Even later to the party ... heed Doug's observations and revisit your entire signal chain.
I strongly suspect that you are shooting the messenger (Teres / O-L / Benz). With your new vinyl rig, you have a lower noise floor which yields increased dynamics (bot micro and macro). You're going to hear a lot more - both good and bad, and this demands that you sort things out.
Amongst other things to try, I would not hesitate to swap out phono stages (you're running a Wright WPP 100C?). The Wright is a wonderful unit at its asking price, and I'd never argue against someone getting one, but your front end is now getting to the point where it deserves better (and is likely telling you this).
If Raul joins this thread, he'll correctly expound on the possibility that the energy being put out by your front end is resulting in input overload on your phono stage. This can sound like tracing distortion, but can also mask itself as other distortions. The phono stage is something you'll want to eliminate as a possibility.
I have no experience with your C-J amplifiers, but I'd heed Doug's advice on this as well.
Did I mention to get an arc protractor?
Thom @ Galibier
I agree with Doug. Before chasing down tweaks, go borrow a good tube amp. The CJ is a mismatch with the easy to drive Silverline speakers. The better resolution of your new table has exposed the mismatch, probably both in terms of distortion and odd order harmonics.
When looking for a tube amp for the Silverline speaker, you don't have to look for a high power tube amp. Since the Silverline is easy to drive, I do recommend looking for one with low or no negative feedback. Replacing the CJ with a good tube amp in your setup may be a revelation.
Do this excercise before changing the arm, cartridge, mat, etc.. IMHO, of course. Jeff
Dear Artemus5: I would like to add some thoughs on the subject.
I don't know which load impedance you are using, due to its very low internal resistance ( 5 ohms ) that cartridge will performs ( in a high gain active phono stage ) very good at around 100 ohms. The right load impedance is a critical and important factor to the cartridge can shows at its best. So you have to be sure that your cartridge is loaded right on target.
I have no doubt ( knowing that cartridge. ) that your Ebony is a lot better that what you and your dearest wife are hearing.
Your analog rig has very good stand alone items: TT/tonearm/cartridge, you already pay around 10K for them ( maybe more, I can't be sure ) and you pay that amount because of its high quality performance: why any one ( with al respect to you. ) want to pass that high quality cartridge signal to all those " torment low quality road " that conforms your phono stage/cables and connectors/SUT/more cables and connectors ?
I concur with Doug and Tom that now with a better cartridge signal you need ( at least ) better audio links to process that signal even if change it the load impedance you " solve " your wife's problem.
Dear friend, you don't buy a Ferrari to drive in a " terrain field/land " ( full of stones, deeps, trees and the like. ) or you don't buy that same Ferrari with bicycle tires .
At the end what you want is that that cartridge can shows its real quality performance that today it did not.
Regards and enjoy the music,
May I suggest that you call Alan at Silverline. He is a very nice guy.
Your speaker is about 93db @ 8 ohms and has a silk dome tweater. It is largely voiced using moderate power to moderately low power tube amps. A friend of mine drives a pair with a 300b amp and uses a lesser benz cartridge and it sounds great. The Silverline is designed to allow you to take advantage of the benefits of low to moderate power tube amps. The CJ is likely designed for 4ohm speakers at less than 90db efficiency. (See the white paper at the Atmasphere website).
Two-hundred fifty-watts of solid state CJ into this speaker is not a good match for the speaker or for the amp.
I don't think a suggestion that you buy vaguely "better" gear is helpful. All your gear is good gear. IMHO, start with a good power match between speaker and (tube)amp. Then go for tweaks, treatments, cables, etc.. Jeff
Even without messing with spending more money to invest in a different amp, I think it may be helpful for you to find out what range of adjustments are possible with your current setup.
You tried VTA and you said your spouse thought it was going in the right direction. You can also try increasing tracking force and observing the results. Palasr made the third suggestion above which is adjusting the loading. To answer your question about loading, yes it could have an effect on the sound output with a different arm/cart combo. The best way to find out is to adjust it and note the results.
I think if you are up for it and spend a bit of time messing with these parameters, you may find a happy medium that you and your spouse can live with.
As for the amplifier change suggestions, they may yield even greater results. But that's no gaurenntee it's going to fix your immediate concern. Besides, there is never any harm in knowing how your analog rig responds to these adjustments cartridge suggested above. It could come in handy in the future.
Hope this helps,
Regarding Silverline Audio speakers- I beg to differ. I owned Bolero, and it absolutely did need a lot of power to sound its best.
90 w/ch. of PP tube power was not enough. 150 wt/ch of triode power (BAT-150 SE) was significantly better.
I tried SET amp- was awful.
I have a suspicion, that many manufacturers are rather optimistic in their sensitivity claims.
Thanks to all for your input. Regarding loading, it is set at 42ohms. However this is done via cheap resistors installed in RCA plugs and inserted into a Y connector at the input of the tranny. FWIW, I have never been completely comfortable with this arrangement though it was suggested to me by someone who is pretty knowledgeable. I don't like the fact that it has so much wire run in the analog chain, which in itself may be causing the problem
Concerning the amp/speaker combo, I was not aware that one could have too much power. I have been wanting to get into tubed equipment but was shooting more towards the preamp than the amp, with thoughts that SS amp did better in handling the bass than tube. I'd love to borrow a good tube amp to try but unfortunately I live in flyover country and do not have any audiophile friends nearby. I would also note that my speakers are rated at 91.5 db, which, IMO is borderline capable of low power SET. And given my room size, I've been somewhat skeptical of going in that direction. I did consider it before I bought the CJ 2500A,
Again, I'd like to thank you all for giving me much info to consider. I will be gone for the next several days due to a death in the family. And when I get back I will address the problem and keep you posted as to the results
Hug a loved one today. We are not promised a tomorrow
Loading via the Y connector "works" fine, but as you suggest it is not optimal because of the excessive lengths of wire involved. It is even remotely possible that you are picking up RF on your phono stage as a result. That could certainly cause a sensation of brightness. Also, 42 ohms seems a rather low-ish load resistance for your cartridge, but that would not seem to be a culprit in causing brightness. Does the Wright phono preamp use a built-in SUT for LOMCs?
IF your speaker is truly as sensitive as others say (except for Maril), then when you couple it with a powerful SS amp, you are hearing only the first few Watts that such an amp produces. Many such amps don't sound very good in that area of their power curve; they tend to have rising distortion at low power outputs. From what I read above, this is a possible source of your problem, but it seems controversial whether your spkrs are truly as efficient as some say. Anyway, you had the same amp/speaker combo with the previous rig, so I would tend to think the issues are at the phono preamp level or before that in the chain. But before you spend big bucks on an entirely new preamp, you might consider cheap stuff, like soldering that load resistor closer to the signal input and things of that sort that have been brought up by others. Tube swapping might even ameliorate the problem. Replacing coupling caps also might help, if you are handy with a soldering iron.
I can't help but wonder if the problem is down stream at the speaker/room interface. You stated "One more thing in the equation is that I play this quite a bit louder than the Scoutmaster because I can. I think this is part of the problem"
I agree with this assessment. Have you tried going back to the volume you used to play vinyl at and see if it is still bothersome? Next I'd move the volume level back to the problem level and try a different source eg digital and see if the sound is still offensive. If it is then maybe just a speaker position adjustment will solve the issue or possibly room tuning will be required.
Worth a shot before buying & sellig more gear
Doug and Tom raised interesting points about how the change could be bringing to the fore other system limitations. I agree that that is a distinct possibility.
I think it is worth looking at other possibilities as well. It appears that the "brightness" is a somewhat narrow band issue and each of the listeners is more sensitive to resonance in a different frequency band (husband thinks the VPI is brighter, wife thinks the Teres is brighter). It may be the case that each product has a distinctly different primary resonant frequency. All mechanical systems resonate to some degree at certain frequencies. Perhaps, some experimentation with the support the table is on, or with other resonant tuning devices might favorably alter the sound. I don't know what can be done about resonance in the arm itself (I don't know about the Origin arm), but perhaps others could comment.
That you're loading at 42 ohms is telling me that there are likely some nasties elsewhere in your system, including (possibly) setup, but likely a component mismatch.
I feel your pain. I've been there.
You mention that this 42 ohm load is unchanged from your VPI days. My sense is that you've been responding to down-stream nasties in your system since your VPI days, and that you've been putting your knee squarely on your cartridge's throat in an attempt to tame these problems.
My take is that the increased resolution of your current 'table is only magnifying what you've been sensing all along.
Palasr, Dre_j and I have been dialoging (independently and together) about this loading thing for some time. I'm coming to the conclusion that (in general) as other things improve in a system, that minimal loading is always better.
This is just another case (as with tracking force and anti-skate), where just enough (erring if anything on too little) is the right amount. Too much (loading, anti-skate, tracking force) always squashes the life out of the music.
This doesn't necessarily mean running an MC wide open at 47K, but at the same time, dropping down to 4-8 times the DCR of the cartridge is (in most instances) to be excessive.
So ... I think you'd be able to get a good baseline by finding a nice 50-60w p-p tube amplifier to borrow from someone local to you. Of course, playing with a phono stage or full function preamp would be instructive as well.
In all cases however, I'd expect you to arrive at cartridge loading in the 100-500 ohm range for your Benz - once you've resolved other system issues.
Thom @ Galibier
I think some sorbothane between the racks and shelves including the tt shelf would be a good starting place. You can get sheets of 30D or 50D by 1/4" or 1/2" thick x 4"x 4" and cut short thin strips, Grand Prix Audio uses sorbothane in a similar way. Find @ dang-good-stuff store on e'bay
I would then isolate the preamp and amp from their shelves to minimize mechanical vibrations.
In you system photo I can't see if the Wright has any isolation under it, if not you might try a small piece of 1" thick acrylic on BDR cones or something similar and similar treatment to the step up transformer.
Try moving the Wright as far away from the amp as possible.
Hopefully you will be surprised and find some of the brightness has been vibrations causing a lack of focus resulting in leading edge hash that is producing a brighter sound to the system.
I think before you go chasing all over the place I would get everything isolated then you will be able to hear small changes to the system and it's a cheaper place to start.
I use the CDP to work on leading edge hash, brightness etc.( it's just a natural at producing this) and get into the ballpark then do last tuning with the TT.
My 2 cents worth hope it helps.
I have updated and added pictures of my system so you can see it now.
Lewm. Thanks for your explanation about wattage. i should have known that from my days of playing in bands and using PA systems. With a PA you usually run your master volume high and adjust each channel low. I know the reasoning behind the high master but I just didn't put it together. Duh.
Thom. The internal loading of the Benz Ebony L is 5 ohms. I have been told that 10 times that value is an approximate proper loading. Is this wrong?
That said, I never heard a much difference between the 42 and the 470ohms with the scoutmaster. This always made me question the y connector method that I'm using
Samhar. Everything is isolated except the amp itself. Phono pre is on sorbothane. The new TT resides on a new rack I built just for it. it is modelled after the one on the Teres website with concrete in the legs and a sandbox at the top. Also thanks for the heads up on the ebay store
I'm not sure using the Jas 6c33 convinces me, however given the room size and volume, I narrow my suggestion to a moderate power tube amp. Again, less or no feedback is good. A good used push pull amp is fine.
You may find that doing so enables you to move the loading into the range suggested by Thom, which will provide additional sonic benefits.
Yes, a starting point of 5-10 times the DCR of the cartridge is a good starting point for loading experiments, but I like to do the "unreasonable" and listen to the cartridge running "wide open" - just to set limits and to understand how the cartridge is responding.
I've recently taken to running my XV1s with no additional loading resistors on my Atmasphere MP-1 preamp, for example. Now, in the particular system it's hooked up to, the top end is a bit challenged (5" Lowther A-55 in an Azzolina horn), so I would by no means consider this a universal proclamation.
In my second room I'm running Daedalus Ulysses speakers, and my Artiisan Cadenza (OEM Benz LP) is running through a Quicksilver step-up that reflects a load of about 320 ohms to the cartridge. These speakers have an extended top end, and I find this loading to be fine.
Use the numbers as a guideline or starting point and nothing more. I'd expect that as you sort things out, that you'll migrate upwards of 100 ohms - to as high as 500 ohms, perhaps.
Don't forget he's running through stepups. Resistor values are different than with an active MC phono stage and, as Swampwalker mentioned, tiny changes are (should be) audible.
Stepups create more complexities than active MC gain stages (turns ratio? primary side loading? secondary side loading? both?). We spent years tuning stepup loading, including pairing parallel resistors to achieve intermediate values. The quality/type of resistor matters too.
Suggestion to Artemus: try some Riken Ohm resistors in place of your cheapies. If you get the right value they might remove some edge without rolling off the highs.
Regarding amps and power (wattage):
Maril555 gets better performance from a 150wpc BAT than from a 90wpc p-p amp. OTOH, we get better performance (despite more difficult speakers) from a 57wpc p-p Doshi/Lectron than from a 240wpc SS MF-2500A.
There's no reason to doubt these reports, so there's no correlation between these improved performances and increases in total wattage (for the reasons Lewm explained). In a typical home environment, speakers like Artemus's or even our B&W's simply do not use the full power output of a 57wpc amp, never mind 90, 150 or 240. The improvements must be attributed to other factors.
One reason the Doshi/Lectron so easily outplays the c-j is its massively overdesigned, overbuilt and well isolated power supplies. Power supply modulation by dynamic, complex signals is a major source of sonic congestion, smearing and harmonic distortions. Zero feedback is another, as Lewm mentioned. With speakers like these we don't need more power (watts). All you get from more watts is more SPL's, and we can easily surpass 100db in our room with the power we have. What we need is an amp with a very low noise and sound floor, that supplies current instantaneously and which is not prone to going muddy when the going gets tough.
I suspect Maril555's BAT is simply better at these things than his old p-p amp. The fact that it offers 150wpc vs. 90 is interesting, but not relevant with speakers like these.
You are right about factors, other, than just a power output, having effect on the sound of the particular speaker.
And there are an examples of that statement- 18 Wt/ch Lamm ML 2.1 SET comes to mind immediately.
But, all that said, I still feel, that the SPL, that can be achieved with a particular wattage, has very little to do with the quality of sound, reproduced by a speaker. It has more to do with a control, the power amp has over the drivers, dynamic range, such elusive characteristics, as "an ease and effortlessness of the musical presentation",
Speaking with Victor Khomenko of BAT about this very issue, he once mentioned driving his own Avantgarde Trios (106 dB efficiency), with TWO BAT VK-150 SEs per channel at some point, and hearing an improvement over a single 150 per channel.
My own experience confirms his position, as well.
I have yet to run into a situation, where more watts (everything else being equal), didn't make a positive change, and much less being detrimental to a sound.
Just a personal observation.
Yes, but as you say, Maril, it is more than just extra watts.
I've tried the same with my 110+ db horns. Almost to the point of having one SET channel per driver. I find I get much more presence and presentation with the Lectron. I do have another Doshi-Lectron, but they are not configured close enough to use both at this time. But keep in mind that what is happening is that there is less and less demand on the power supplies and thus more clean, clear headroom.
Kind of the same thing you're saying, but with a little more sauce.
Your statement that one of the differences is that you now play your system louder "because you can" raises a number of possibilities. Any comparisons made at different volume levels is almost impossible to assess. At lower levels, high frequency problems will be much less evident -- because the ear is less sensitive to high frequencies at lower levels, because the electronics are less likely to be stressed and distorting, because the room will be less likely to be suffering from excessive reverberation, and because the turntable itself will be less likely to be suffering from feedback problems.
Also, your statement suggests that you had problems with higher volume playback before making the switch that are ameliorated somewhat by the switch so that you "can" now play at a higher volume. Do you have an idea why you could not play at a higher volume before? Did you have feedback problems? Do you have similar issues (or other problems) when playing CDs or other sources? Answers to such questions will make it easier to determine where in your system you are having problems.