I listened to a megabuck turntable... SHOOTOUT! *Part 3 - updated*

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rob400

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Re: I listened to a megabuck turntable this weekend *Part 2*
« Reply #20 on: 5 Aug 2016, 04:58 pm »
Good posts guys.

I'm lucky as a Carpenter and Joiner I make my own racks out of Baltic Birch Ply. John Burns liked them by they way Simon when he called in with my upgraded HX100's a few weeks ago. I plan to make a suitable sized and stable one for the 400. Not too difficult and I suspect will sound dam good as BBP is simply excellent for racks IMO. Should cost around £100 to include high grade ply and fixings  8)

Kimiimacman

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Re: I listened to a megabuck turntable this weekend *Part 2*
« Reply #21 on: 5 Aug 2016, 06:43 pm »
That's good to hear Rob. Do you have the boards veneered as do WT or left  au naturelle? Any plans to offer them commercially? I can see some baulking at the cost of the WT even though John saved the day regarding its suggested retail price though it would be nice to have a plan B. Maybe even for me should I be tempted by the 400 :thumb:

Of course what many may not be aware of is the complexity of the 400 table's design. Having now built one I can appreciate why it's not Quadraspire money. In a future post I will show some images of it dismantled.

In a nutshell it's a compression design whereby it has 4 full length rods travelling through the entire structure. Threaded into the inserts on the top and the same at the bottom where it is tightened to squeeze the whole assembly together. On the bottom are added the 4 black machined from ali feet assemblies each threaded to allow levelling and each having 3 ceramic ball bearings to act as decouplers. Smaller version on which resides under the 400 instead of the squash balls. Under 50kg of load, squashed would be apt.

On the subjunctive of balls and feet, I've replaced mine with Sorbothene spheres from the Internet. Google said product and the first hit is the one. They are made for Gerrard 401 users. They come in 3 different hardnesses, 30, 50 & 70 dura. 50 is the ones you want, just £20 a set so worth a try.

For me, they really tighten up the bass and make the whole presentation more engaging, far more so than the Auditorium A23 Homage mat which imho killed the deck. (I'll try it on the 400 but I doubt it'll be different) Tighter yes but no flow and the spacial info stripped. The spheres don't suffer the same, just remove some bloom and give real grip. And before anyone asks, I tied them in the shootout too but alas the 400 prevailed  :(

I read somewhere a comment that suggested Bill liked the A23 but that's not what I've heard, I'll say no more but would be interested to know the source of that one.

Simon


G E

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Re: I listened to a megabuck turntable this weekend *Part 2*
« Reply #22 on: 5 Aug 2016, 07:54 pm »
Interesting comment on mats

I use a home made cork mat with pepporoni discs paired at the circumference and also inboard just out the record's label area.

For me this works very well, but it sure drew out the naysayers. I still use it - i like what I hear.




rob400

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Re: I listened to a megabuck turntable this weekend *Part 2*
« Reply #23 on: 5 Aug 2016, 08:26 pm »
Interesting Simon.

I've recently gone back to the standard mat for the reason you wrote. Also changed Auditorium 23 cables for Audio Note ISIS for similar reasons. They have the strengths of Mogami but remove some of those weaknesses and involves better than the sweet but reticent with Soild State A23 cables.

I thought Sorbothene removed life from the sound (a la Mains conditioners) when I used it in the past Simon??? Didn't use it as feet though.  I will source a set on eBay as soon as. I would say the bass is the Versalex's weakest area (especially having come for an LP12) although the bass is like real bass unlike the said Linn but agree is just a little soft. By the way most of the US guys prefer the Amadeus to the Versalex. I just don't see that!

No I won't be offering any racks commercially. I leave mine bare as in profile pic. Ply is very difficult to satin well. The Versalex is now stain free as you will know. I wish you were closer it would be interesting to bring my rack down to compare with the WTL one made for the 400.

Also how did you find the DV amps driving Shahinians? John says your Rega gear sounds really good. You changed from 2 x Naim 500's because of the hum?? I feel the Dv from Naim was positive in a similar way to LP12 to Versalex......
« Last Edit: 6 Aug 2016, 07:51 am by rob400 »

rob400

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Re: I listened to a megabuck turntable this weekend *Part 2*
« Reply #24 on: 5 Aug 2016, 08:29 pm »
I've heard the Cork mat might be a good move with WTL before GE. My dealer uses cork blocks under the feet of his CD players/amps and swears by it. Haven't given a go yet. BBP is so good so don't want to spoil it.

rob400

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Re: I listened to a megabuck turntable this weekend *Part 2*
« Reply #25 on: 5 Aug 2016, 08:38 pm »
Couldn't source 50mm Sorbothane spheres (only 40mm) so bought 50mm hemispheres and will glue together. Feedback to follow....
« Last Edit: 6 Aug 2016, 07:50 am by rob400 »

Kimiimacman

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Re: I listened to a megabuck turntable this weekend *Part 2*
« Reply #26 on: 6 Aug 2016, 08:59 am »
Hey Rob, 40 mm is what you need not 50

http://www.peakhifi.co.uk/cgi-bin/ecom.cgi?Command=ShowProduct&db_pid=166

50 dura
Those ones on ebay are not sorbothene but some other stuff,the Peak Hifi
ones are
Good luck

Simon


Kimiimacman

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Re: I listened to a megabuck turntable this weekend *Part 2*
« Reply #27 on: 6 Aug 2016, 09:28 am »
Interesting Simon.

I've recently gone back to the standard mat for the reason you wrote. Also changed Auditorium 23 cables for Audio Note ISIS for similar reasons. They have the strengths of Mogami but remove some of those weaknesses and involves better than the sweet but reticent with Soild State A23 cables.

I thought Sorbothene removed life from the sound (a la Mains conditioners) when I used it in the past Simon??? Didn't use it as feet though.  I will source a set on eBay as soon as. I would say the bass is the Versalex's weakest area (especially having come for an LP12) although the bass is like real bass unlike the said Linn but agree is just a little soft. By the way most of the US guys prefer the Amadeus to the Versalex. I just don't see that!

No I won't be offering any racks commercially. I leave mine bare as in profile pic. Ply is very difficult to satin well. The Versalex is now stain free as you will know. I wish you were closer it would be interesting to bring my rack down to compare with the WTL one made for the 400.

Also how did you find the DV amps driving Shahinians? John says your Rega gear sounds really good. You changed from 2 x Naim 500's because of the hum?? I feel the Dv from Naim was positive in a similar way to LP12 to Versalex......

Seems like we on the same wavelength.

We still have the DV amps but John did warn me that the HX100 is an older preproduction sample and not fully representative of DV's abilities. I'm somewhat glad he did as I have mixed feelings which I intend to discuss with him next week. I'm keen to have a full Pear system on offer and really champing at the bit to hear the 301 HX100 current spec.
Right now the 200 has a sweet spot around 12-1 on the volume below which it's rather flat and above is unrefined, strange that.

The Rega Ref gear is really quite special and a great pity it gets so little press especially the IOS phono stage which is jaw dropping, even John was taken aback but when he asked the price said 'oh,I can live with that'. £4k vs £650 for the P75 but we agreed there was a huge performance  gap.

The Osiris is known for its phenomenal grip and this for me balances out the Versalex bass issue where the DV does not especially at home where I really didn't get the results I hopes for. Then again SBLS 4 inches off the wall and the TT on aN Audiotech wall shelf help in the tightness. My fear is that the 400 may unbalance my setup and require more system work such a re the pitfulls of product substitution.

Regarding amp hum on the Naim, we'll it certainly caused issues for my wife especially when trying to what tv alone and a full 500 set suddenly chimes up! But that was not the reason for moving it on, I needed capital for something unrelated and felt a lesser Naim system would result in too much negativity,tears in beer :cry:
I buy more music now than ever so something  must be right?

ATB

Simon

rob400

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Re: I listened to a megabuck turntable this weekend *Part 2*
« Reply #28 on: 6 Aug 2016, 10:29 am »
I ordered the feet after a few glasses of a very nice 'Red' last night Simon so simply oops! Now reordered 4 at 40mm from Peak Hif. £22 to include postage.

I have two of the latest spec HX100's rebuilt by John. Definitely a smoother listen than the older model and resolves more. Also Simon the L300/P300 feeding them via AN ISIS Balanced XLR's is a lot better than the L200/RCA path. Unrefined? No way. Let's hope Jonathan Davies steps up the plate and produces a batch of both HX100's and the upgraded L301. He's a very clever guy but his business acumen???

Cheers

Rob


Kimiimacman

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Re: I listened to a megabuck turntable this weekend *Part 2*
« Reply #29 on: 6 Aug 2016, 11:25 am »
I ordered the feet after a few glasses of a very nice 'Red' last night Simon so simply oops! Now reordered 4 at 40mm from Peak Hif. £22 to include postage.

I have two of the latest spec HX100's rebuilt by John. Definitely a smoother listen than the older model and resolves more. Also Simon the L300/P300 feeding them via AN ISIS Balanced XLR's is a lot better than the L200/RCA path. Unrefined? No way. Let's hope Jonathan Davies steps up the plate and produces a batch of both HX100's and the upgraded L301. He's a very clever guy but his business acumen???

Cheers

Rob

I don't know if it has any bearing on it but I'm using Mogami XLR not RCA between the 200 and 100. For the comparison I avoided using any high-end cabling. Unrefined may be a poor terminology, lets call it a tad raucous; one just wants to back off the volume pretty quickly whereas with the Consonence the sound remained sweet to the point when it clipped and compressed as an 11 watt value amp into Arcs will. The Rega though just stays composed until you can't take the SPL any higher. Strange thing though, the Osiris sound 95% the same as the valve amp. I always thought the Osiris had what I perceived as a valve sound (the Consonence is Marc's, we don't sell them or any such). Massively dynamic more so than all the others tested. Oh bugger, I've just made this the amp comparison I said I wouldn't :duh:

let me know what you make of the spheres?

FWIW just tried the A23 on the 400. Movin' on....

ATB

Simon

rob400

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Re: I listened to a megabuck turntable this weekend *Part 2*
« Reply #30 on: 6 Aug 2016, 01:31 pm »
FWIW I changed from Mogami IC's because I found them too "raucous" with DV. John swears by them. I prefer the Mogami speaker cables to their IC's but still a little rough and congested for me although unquestionably musical. A23 cables were Sweet but not as engaging or flowing with my SS amps. Again it took the Audio Note ISIS cables to expose it fully. The US guys love Auditorium.

Regarding the mat I used it for over a year happily. I was told by a reliable US source that Firebaugh liked the mat so not sure what to think about that one. I liked it's positives over the standard mat (included no static) but always felt something was perhaps missing. Once I change to the 'better' cables and tried the standard mat again I realised it was involvement. I'm a emotional rather than analytical listener which I believe is relevant here. You obviously picked up the A23 mat deficiencies quicker than cloth ears here!

Interesting my dealer is a big Audio Note fan and retailer. I really like their CD transports and DAC's but not the lower (ish) end amps and speakers. I found the bass lumpy and there was a midrange glare. However last week I got chance to hear the Jinru Integrated with the ANE SPE signature speakers £29k retail for the two. I might be persuaded! That SET sound when right is really good. More listening needed with varied genres of music though before parting with my DV/SH gear.

I've never heard the Rega Reference gear which you obviously love. More than one road leads hey?

ATB

Rob
« Last Edit: 6 Aug 2016, 02:37 pm by rob400 »

Kimiimacman

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Re: I listened to a megabuck turntable this weekend *Part 2*
« Reply #31 on: 6 Aug 2016, 02:34 pm »
Thank you Rob, I shall try some other cables with the DV as I'd really like to get it dialed in. The AN Isis, we are talking copper not silver here? I've just seen the prices.

Back to the mat, I no longer suffer the dreaded static issue with the standard mat, Jeez that's scary with any XV.

Years ago Pete Partington made little non threaded top spikes for his stands called Toppers. They were stuck on with 5mm diameter double sided dots. I applied 4, 12,3,6 and 9 on a clock 1 inch in and the mat stays put and the record seems static free. I suspect placing and lifting it on a spinning platter charges it more when the mat slips.

Like you I judge systems on an emotional level rather than detail and imaging and all the other hifi stuff though it's nice to have some of that too of course. Nothing is worse than being compelled to change a disc mid-way.

Back to the 400 and a plot is cooking to get it home. My only  concern lies with the rack changing things not the deck. I use Isoblue and resent tried the Quadraspire Baboon which is great but leaned everything out for me and lost that flow again, I really hope the 400 doesn't do that as I have no other ready solution. Zero room for 2 racks. Fingers crossed.

Simon

rob400

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Re: I listened to a megabuck turntable this weekend *Part 2*
« Reply #32 on: 6 Aug 2016, 03:07 pm »
Correct Simon. ISIS is Audio Note's top copper cable. It started when my HX100's went on melt down which lead to John upgrading my HX100's from his first batch of JD parts. After looking for a solution as to why both my amps went up in a puff of smoke John conferred with JD who after analysing my system told me to do away with shielded mains cables. I was using Atlas EOS at the time. My dealer suggesting trying the ISIS mains cables which aren't shielded. They sound excellent! Then tried the IC'S, also excellent so bought three sets to replace A23's (the XLR's I managed to pick up S/H). Finally speaker cables. I again managed to pick up a S/H 5.5m stereo pair half retail price at £1800. Worth it. I was concerned at each step that with ISIS being voiced for valve amps and high efficiency speakers might be bass light and 'bright' or simply not quite work. Nope! A refined Mogami sound with more detail resolution and emotion. I was up until midnight last night listening to vinyl. Old Dylan and Christie Moore albums sounded better than ever.

400 wise. I can tell that you are trying to 'wing it' :D. Baltic Birch Ply mate. Simple construction out of 18mm boards. No spikes/rubber etc. Tried them included isolation boards for each tier. Forget it. Just fixings through the sides of each tier and four plastic feet at the base otherwise ply only. A 150mm sphere cut out of the centre of each board really works. That was a good tip from Chaz an AudioCircle member. Flow is very good and doesn't flesh out. Life and energy without being strident. I'm just too far away to help in a hands on way. However if you know a Joiner (or are handy yourself) I'm happy to provide him/you with the details of how I constructed mine. The 400 just needs stronger fixings across the top horizontal side sections over standard rack and increased dimensions of course. I'm going to make mine just big enough. Yours will have to be multi tiered of course but so what? Let me know if I can be of help.

Best

Rob

Kimiimacman

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Re: I listened to a megabuck turntable this weekend *Part 2*
« Reply #33 on: 6 Aug 2016, 03:52 pm »
'Wing it'? I think my galaxy s5 spelling correction thingy cocked up or my thoughts.

I mean I hope the 400 rack for the deck works with the rest of the kit as well as the deck, the Q Bamboo didn't.

Thanks for the kind offer, I'm reasonably handy but this is beyond my skill level. No being rude but would hope that Bill's table with its decupoupled legs and isolation feet are worth the asking price and all the trouble and costs. The legs are extrusions which for such a low volume product will have sky high initial costs even in China.

Still it's all academic at the moment as it'll need aethestic aproval  :nono:

Substituted the Mogis for a pair of Eichman ICS and that raucousness has gone. Note to self: only trust your own ears :lol:

John did warn me about screened mains leads on DV sorry to hear it was you that had to suffer .

Simon

rob400

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Re: I listened to a megabuck turntable this weekend *Part 2*
« Reply #34 on: 6 Aug 2016, 04:24 pm »
Yep i definitely misunderstood you. Of course you buy at trade and I retail so being able to make a very good sounding rack at a saving of £3k is relevant to me. Anyway looks like my Mogi IC's might be the route of the raucousness advise might have come up trumps. Even my 52 year old cloth ears get it right sometimes  :D Rob

Kimiimacman

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Re: I listened to a megabuck turntable this weekend *Part 2*
« Reply #35 on: 6 Aug 2016, 06:48 pm »
Yep i definitely misunderstood you. Of course you buy at trade and I retail so being able to make a very good sounding rack at a saving of £3k is relevant to me. Anyway looks like my Mogi IC's might be the route of the raucousness advise might have come up trumps. Even my 52 year old cloth ears get it right sometimes  :D Rob
Just remembered that one of my customers who has a full 500 active Ovator 800 system is a bespoke carpenter with his own workshop. He does period house stuff like solid oak staircases and Windows etc.
Won't be cheap though but probably less than the 400 so will bear it in mind, thanks again for the offer.

We're green for next week home install so I'll post after then with some pics too

ATB

Simon
« Last Edit: 7 Aug 2016, 03:12 pm by Kimiimacman »

rob400

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Re: I listened to a megabuck turntable this weekend *Part 2*
« Reply #36 on: 14 Aug 2016, 08:22 pm »

On the subjunctive of balls and feet, I've replaced mine with Sorbothene spheres from the Internet. Google said product and the first hit is the one. They are made for Gerrard 401 users. They come in 3 different hardnesses, 30, 50 & 70 dura. 50 is the ones you want, just £20 a set so worth a try.

For me, they really tighten up the bass and make the whole presentation more engaging, far more so than the Auditorium A23 Homage mat which imho killed the deck. (I'll try it on the 400 but I doubt it'll be different) Tighter yes but no flow and the spacial info stripped. The spheres don't suffer the same, just remove some bloom and give real grip. And before anyone asks, I tied them in the shootout too but alas the 400 prevailed  :(


Nice one Simon. The Sorbothane feet do just as you wrote (as well as lower surface noise) .

G E

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Re: I listened to a megabuck turntable this weekend *Part 2*
« Reply #37 on: 14 Aug 2016, 10:39 pm »
An update on the TransRotor table-

My friend dropped me a line a few days ago to say he had changed the cartridge loading and also adjusted speaker toe in, the latter a suggestion I made.

Apparently this made a major improvement to upper end tinkle and soundstage.  And he wrote a check for the deck.

Now I wonder if we missed the boat on that first cartridge by not having optimal loading. Perhaps it doesn't matter - $11k is A lot of dough and I wouldn't be surprised at hesitancy to pay that kind of money no matter the sound.  So is $3500 on top of the not inconsequential cost of the TT itself.

I haven't heard it yet, perhaps next weekend. I just wanted to share this update in the interest of fairness to Transrotor.

I.Greyhound Fan

Re: I listened to a megabuck turntable this weekend *Part 2*
« Reply #38 on: 15 Aug 2016, 02:21 am »
Last year I heard a system that had an $18K TT with a $5K tonearm (I forget the cartridge), a $40K Vitus phono preamp, VTL 450 monoblock amps and $50K Rockport speakers and I was way underwhelmed.  My modest analog system sounded better in  many respects.  I think that part of it was the room which was specially designed for audio.  It was too dead.  No life to the music.

Kimiimacman

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Re: I listened to a megabuck turntable this weekend *Part 2*
« Reply #39 on: 15 Aug 2016, 08:04 pm »
Nice one Simon. The Sorbothane feet do just as you wrote (as well as lower surface noise) .

Excellent news Rob. Glad my old ears aren't deceiving me just yet :lol:

I'm working on a post regarding the 400 I've had at home for the past week. Very enlightening. Be forewarned though that it will reflect a 100% bias towards my own personal circumstances and NOT a review or an opinion for the purposes as a sales pitch.  :D

Simon