The JVC QL-Y66F

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TheChairGuy

The JVC QL-Y66F
« on: 28 Dec 2008, 05:35 am »
The initial reaction to this table was great...so big (13" platter, 10" arm), so sophisticated (fully auto including auto-off, magnetic supported platter and anti-skate, Q-damped arm) and lovely (rosewood finish is a stunner).

After filling it's gizzards with 8lbs of plast-i-clay....the first impulse is to marvel at it's utter quietness.  However, for the past two days I have played with it, 3 no-fail cartridges now, and this table doesn't merit the high level of playback the QL-F6 achieves.

It's conclusive now that I have hooked the far cheaper JVC QL-F6 back into the system....it seriously outplays the newer, upper-crust QL-Y66F.  No doubt about it now....the top-of-the-line 66F is a downgrade in performance.

The instruments all sound like themselves now, including the triangles, high hats, etc (which were near impossible to get right with the 66F) are all sounding swell now.  No dynamic short-fall either...and it sounds good turned up or fairly low.

I think, but not at all sure, the shortfall lies in the arm itself.  By no means bad, it just doesn't handle itself like the arm in the F6.

One additional thing the 66F had going for it was that it was a delight to set-up and play with the marvel of Japanese mid-80's engineering....and it was absolutely skip-resistant.  I was thumping the table top and not a trace of feedback emptied back into the chain.  Unfortunately, this is not the only barometer of sonic delights...and in the ways that count (most like real music), the gorgeous 66F takes a back seat to the lowly/dowdy F6 in the pecking order of JVC decks.

Money and good looks alone don't necessarily buy happiness in turntables  8)

It sure is a purdy one, tho:


John

slovell1

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Re: The JVC QL-Y66F
« Reply #1 on: 28 Dec 2008, 07:32 am »
john, which arm are you using with it, straight or the "s"? i've always thought mine is partial to brighter sounding lomc cartridges, maybe its just my ears.
sam :o

TheChairGuy

Re: The JVC QL-Y66F
« Reply #2 on: 28 Dec 2008, 03:36 pm »
The straight pipe.....the only one the seller had with this particular table (which is in otherwise very good condition)

Sam - rather than you looking for your next $300 'fix' in cartridge, now that I have owned and compared this one (even stuffed 8lbs of plast-i-clay into it's guts).....save some money and but a better deck.  Unless I'm doing something spectacularly wrong in set-up, or there is a fantastically simply tweek that I have missed for improving this deck - I have to say for a modest amount of dash you can improve on this deck.

I'm going to keep tinkering with it as I am absolutely gobsmacked and smitten with it's looks, fluid controls, et al....but I'm not sure at this point what could have been missed :roll:

John

slovell1

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Re: The JVC QL-Y66F
« Reply #3 on: 29 Dec 2008, 12:17 am »
i've always used the heavier s arm on mine, been meaning to put my dl-110 on the straight arm to see how it sounds. mine's always sounded a little laid back, but with klipsch 5.5 speakers that's a good thing. i think i'll keep mine until i can afford vpi scout or something similar. i love the fact that the 66 is fully auto, i don't have much interest in a manual tt, not the bargain basement ones anyway. i really think you should hunt for the heavier s arm. i've got an at-f3 mkll coming this week, found it for a little over a hundred bucks on ebay new. i'll let you know how it works with it.
keep the faith bro,  sam :deadhorse:

AudioSoul

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Re: The JVC QL-Y66F
« Reply #4 on: 29 Dec 2008, 12:40 am »


   Sometimes using putty isn't a good thing. It Can sick the life out of a TT.Same with putting granite Andree a TT....

AudioSoul

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Re: The JVC QL-Y66F
« Reply #5 on: 29 Dec 2008, 12:43 am »

   Boy spell check really F***ed that up. I was saying sometimes using putty isn"t a good thing on a TT it sucks the life out of it. The same can be said for granite.......

slovell1

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Re: The JVC QL-Y66F
« Reply #6 on: 29 Dec 2008, 12:51 am »
i never used the plasticlay in mine, and now i'm not too sure if i will. i pretty much agree with you, i think a good thick maple isolation block is probably the way to go. maybe line the inside of the platter with plasticlay.
sam :dunno:

Jose Garcia

Re: The JVC QL-Y66F
« Reply #7 on: 7 Jan 2009, 02:52 am »
Hi guys.

Mine, I changed de power cord and the RCA's. Inside I used a bit of a bitumen material but no clay.
Damped the underside of the metal disc and I'm using a matt with it.

The bigger improvement was when I added my Roller Base where the unit seats.

I'm using a Grado Red Cartridge but would like reccomemdations for this unit.

Jose

TheChairGuy

Re: The JVC QL-Y66F
« Reply #8 on: 7 Jan 2009, 04:09 am »
Jose,

Hi bud :wave: - I'm glad you chimed in here (or in at VE).  I've not updated everyone on the Y66F here, so here goes...

There is a ton of resonances held in the top plinth of this deck....much like all the other DD's I've encountered.

The feedback issue has now been cured thru use of 8 Herbie's Tenderfeet underneath...damping the flapping (cheap) mdf bottom.  I think I prefer hard feet overall, but on this deck, one has little other choice than the damp the flapping bottom.

The top is very resonant...despite 8lb of plast-i-clay inside.  I took 2 x 3" square pieces of EAR Isodamp constrained layer damping, placed near the tonearm and one in the back left side of the deck.  Then, I took 2 small plastic bottles filled with lead shot that I had around...and placed the bottles (which probably weigh 1+ lbs with shot inside) on top of the EAR squares.

Mission accomplished....a hard tap on the top plinth during playback does not enter the sonic chain....and the music is much clearer as a result.

It seems, all of these non-broadcast DD decks with auto arms are plagued with the same resonance issues...and need a lot of (mechanical/damping) help to overcome them. 

On my uglier DD decks, I actually plat-i-clay the top plinth, too, as it improves playback so (but looks wretched).  The JVC QL-Y66F is just too pretty to do this to, tho :)

Unless changed recently, Jose shared with me his 'recipe' for the Y66F base he uses here: http://audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=157267

John

Jose Garcia

Re: The JVC QL-Y66F
« Reply #9 on: 7 Jan 2009, 07:57 pm »
Hola John!

I didn't mentioned that I also replace the lower lead with a cedar plywood replica which impoved the unit and use a set of cones instead of the original footers.

The base, I call it Roller Base Platform

They are simply two pieces of plywood about 18"w x 16"d x 3/4"h with 6 pieces of 4" x 4" x 3/4" squares.
Between them, there are 6 concave door knobs atached to the shelves and with the squares having a cut-out in a circular way (used a router).
The shinny things between the mirror imaged devise are ball bearings that flout over/under the knobs giving the effect of a Double Stack Symposium Roller Blocks alike.... ( as per Listener review).
The other thing you see between the cones and devise top, is a whole pad of Rubber-Cork-Rubber Mat that cost around $30 at any industrial refrigeration store and that some audio dedicated stores charge $10-30 for 4 square pieces. ( the pad can give 81 of those pieces).

The TT move around if touched but never felt down. The mechanism allows for strong movement is required but keep the system in place at the center of the cones once it stop moving.

Results... under a CD player is like magic and do much of what Darumas, Symposium and other bearing systems bring. With my TT I eliminated the feedback that haunts me before and eliminate most ( if not all) the vibrations entering to my TT even with my heavy weight DIY rack ( granite, cedar wood and cedar plywood with 3/4" long screws).










Jose

PS. Thanks for the link, I just pirated in..... aa

Jose Garcia

Re: The JVC QL-Y66F
« Reply #10 on: 14 Jan 2009, 04:10 am »
John, I saw you mentionning about the modified power supply for the Technics -1200.

I wonder if you have ever considered if it could be a good thing to move the internal power supply on the JVC QL-Y66F away from the unit to a separate box. What effect, if any, could this have on the units performance?

Regards,

Jose

TheChairGuy

Re: The JVC QL-Y66F
« Reply #11 on: 14 Jan 2009, 05:41 am »
Hola Jose!

I'm not a techie to make an outboard power supply....but I think it's always a good move to have it with a TT if you can.

The more you outboard, the less vibrations and EMI within :)

John

Jose Garcia

Re: The JVC QL-Y66F
« Reply #12 on: 24 Jan 2009, 03:37 am »
Found this page with some great pictures of a unit like mine. Enjoy....

PS. John .. I'm still waiting for your new comparison with the Herbie's feet...  :drool:

http://blackswampaudio.smugmug.com/gallery/957873#44043393_pXGNw

Jose

TheChairGuy

Re: The JVC QL-Y66F
« Reply #13 on: 24 Jan 2009, 04:50 am »
Herbie's Tenderfeet and brass discs under that...couple with spray damping the bottom tray is the winner  :thumb:

The TT is the best one I own now...it plays fantastically - I cannot wait to play it everyday.

I am among the first folks to get VPI's new 'Classic' table (10" arm as well, but belt drive)

I'm kinda' hoping the VPI doesn't sound as good....I love the fully auto play of the JVC  :wink:

John

Jose Garcia

Re: The JVC QL-Y66F
« Reply #14 on: 24 Jan 2009, 08:11 pm »
Thanks for replying John  :D

What brand of spray damping did you used?

Got to love the auto play for sure...

I have a better bottom base which is made of 5/8" A/B Cedar plywood.

When you refer to the bottom tray, you mean, the bottom base, right?

Jose

TheChairGuy

Re: The JVC QL-Y66F
« Reply #15 on: 24 Jan 2009, 08:43 pm »
Yeah, the bottom base (where the stock feet are normally attached) is what I mean.  It's the achilles heel of this fine deck...which is playing fantastically now.

Spray damping brands work all much the same....it's liquid spray of some rubberized compound that dries when exposed to air for a time.  I've tried the stuff they sell at Parts Express (Cascade) and it works well...but takes up to 48 hours to dry.  I ended up using Dupli-color UC-103 spray damping compound.  It takes only 15 minutes to fully dry and does great.  It's also cheaper than the Cascade stuff by 1/2.

I haven't seen it in the market in a while...it may have been discontinued the past couple years.

A new, less resonant bottom like you crafted would do the trick, too :thumb:

John

wilsynet

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Re: The JVC QL-Y66F
« Reply #16 on: 4 Feb 2009, 09:00 pm »
I'm trying to order a Mint Best Tractor cartridge alignment tool, and they want to know what the spindle diameter (7.10 to 7.25mm is the range?) is for the JVC QL-Y66F.  Didn't find anything in the user manual or the service manual.

Anyone know this one?

Thanks in advance,

Wilson



TheChairGuy

Re: The JVC QL-Y66F
« Reply #17 on: 5 Feb 2009, 04:25 am »
No need for a protractor.  The manual (downloadable from Vinyl Engine) states that the stylus tip is to be 47mm from the end of the headshell (right where it ends at the arm pipe).  It's got a picture.

JVC further says that differences of 1mm either way are largely inaudible. I tend to agree.

No need for a stylus pressure gauge either...you dial it in close and you tune each cartridge by ear.  The dial for tracking force is conveniently located on the front of the machine, so you can do it while a record is playing and hear the result for yourself.

A fantastically easy deck to set up, tune and quality tunes, too.  Almost nirvana it is.

You're thinking WAY to hard about this deck.  Enjoy it - I/we're here to help if you're really stuck.

John :wink:

TheChairGuy

Re: The JVC QL-Y66F
« Reply #18 on: 5 Feb 2009, 04:27 am »
Thanks for replying John  :D

What brand of spray damping did you used?

Got to love the auto play for sure...

I have a better bottom base which is made of 5/8" A/B Cedar plywood.

When you refer to the bottom tray, you mean, the bottom base, right?

Jose

Hey Jose!

Dupli-Color UC103 fast drying.  Not sure it's made anymore tho (and it ran out spraying the JVC)

Yep, bottom base = bottom base (the part the horrible stock feet are attached to)

Ciao, John

wilsynet

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Re: The JVC QL-Y66F
« Reply #19 on: 9 Mar 2009, 07:30 am »
Just wanted to give you all an update.  As you know, about a month ago I took some advice here and got a JVC QL-Y66F.

I took the same advice and made some easy mods/additions:

1. Added 7 lbs (just couldn't manage to fit 8 lbs) of Plast-i-Clay to the interior of the chassis.
2. Replaced the stock feet with 5 Herbie's tenderfoots
3. Got Herbie's Way Excellent Mat II, the 4.5mm version
4. Applied Duplicolor sound dampening spray to the bottom board
5. Added some brass weights to the plinth

I also replaced the stock cartridge with a Dynavector 10x5, and I'm using the Jolida JD-9 with NOS Raytheon 12AX7 black plates.  Other equipment is a RWA Isabella linestage, RWA 30.2 amplifier and Zu Druids and Zu Mini-Method subwoofer.

My conclusion is that the JVC QL-Y66F sounds excellent.  To be frank, I was half expecting to be somewhat disappointed.  I'm not sure what a $2500 turntable sounds like, and I'd like to find out, but I'm quite happy with what I have right now.

My only disappointment is with my local dealer who sold me the Dynavector 10x5.  He setup the cartridge for me and demoed it with powered mini-monitors, listened from 2 feet away and in the hallway of his shop, and dismissed the JVC QL-Y66F as inferior to the Music Hall MMF 2.2.  He claimed that I could do a lot better for $400. 

When I mentioned that the MMF 2.2 that he demoed for me two months earlier had a lot of groove noise by comparison (is that tracking that's responsible for that?  I don't even hear any groove noise on the JVC) he said that no, the MMF is much quieter than the JVC.  It was surprising to me that he could have such a strong and definitive opinion given no break-in on the cartridge and the less than ideal listening environment.  That and the way that he spoke about how belt-drive will always be superior to direct-drive, only makes me think that he is hopelessly biased against direct drive and unwilling to even bother listening with an open mind.