Tweaking the WT Amadeus

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doak

Re: Tweaking the WT Amadeus
« Reply #40 on: 13 Aug 2011, 02:57 am »
Not sure what a millennium is.
No comparison between stock and auditorium....
Quit dragging out the inevitable... :)

Millennium Mat:
http://www.musicdirect.com/p-3239-millennium-carbon-fiber-record-mat.aspx

Now, now ... the stock and A23 are a very interesting study and I wanna do it right.   :eyebrows:

Doak


threadkiller

Re: Tweaking the WT Amadeus
« Reply #41 on: 13 Aug 2011, 03:14 am »
Sorry. Enjoy.... For me, like watching paint dry...

doak

Re: Tweaking the WT Amadeus
« Reply #42 on: 13 Aug 2011, 03:21 am »
Sorry. Enjoy.... For me, like watching paint dry...

Spose it's cause you "been there, done that".

Apology accepted and I do regret causing you any angst.  :oops:

Doak


threadkiller

Re: Tweaking the WT Amadeus
« Reply #43 on: 13 Aug 2011, 03:37 am »
Lol!   I am teasing.    Post away. 
Yes, I've already been through it. Hopefully you can describe what you hear better than I... For me, it's just better.  Plain and simple.   

doak

Re: Tweaking the WT Amadeus
« Reply #44 on: 13 Aug 2011, 03:40 am »
Lol!   I am teasing.    Post away. 
Yes, I've already been through it. Hopefully you can describe what you hear better than I... For me, it's just better.  Plain and simple.

Yep, I will get into specifics - promise.

Doak

doak

Re: Tweaking the WT Amadeus - Auditorium A23 Platter Mat
« Reply #45 on: 14 Aug 2011, 11:13 pm »
OK here it is - the short version first:

Yes, I think the Auditorium A23 turntable platter mat sounds better on the WTA than the stock mat.

For the whole story and what "better" means in this context please keep reading.

System Description:
I've owned my WTA for about 5 months and use a London Decca Super Gold cartridge with it.  This feeds a highly modified EAR 834P phono stage.  Control unit is a DIY HiFi Django AVC using Silk autoformers.  Speakers are  Hawthorne Audio Sterling Silver Trios - a high quality custom made open baffle design.  Modded Quicksilver Mini-Mite Mono amps power the 15" coaxial main drivers.  A passive R/C filter is built into the amp inputs that rolls off below 100Hz.  The signal is also fed to a rebuilt Dahlquist DQ-LP1 electronic crossover set for 100Hz turnover and then to an ATI 1502 amplifier which powers the two 15" Augie bass drivers in each channel.  Speaker cables and interconnects are made from Clairvoyant Cable wire and are of my own design.  AC supplied via two 20 amp dedicated lines.

Methodology:
When I got the A23 mat last Monday (7 days ago) I marked the WTA arm pillar and damping well for their stock settings.  I also placed a small tubular level here, put the arm on a standard LP, took a picture, printed it and kept it next to the WTA for reference:



This allowed me a second way to visually verify VTA for repeatability.  (the level was better centered during the trials).

I listened to the A23 for about 3 days with no changes other than set-up in an effort to "get a handle" on its sonic signature.  I then proceeded to do A/B of the stock mat and A23 first with extended sessions of each.  For the last 2 days the sessions were for one or two songs from albums I know well and use as references.  Changing the mats and the necessary parameters took about 2-3 minutes.

What I heard:

Interestingly these 2 mats sound a lot like they look.

The stock mat sounds very, very good as you WTA owners well know.  It does lend an "airiness" to the sound - like the instruments are floating on a pillow of air.  Instrument images are a little diffuse and not totally resolved in contrast to the A23.  Compared to the A23 it also sounds a bit rounded in its tone.  Transients are not as sharply reproduced which is what I feel may cause this "roundness."   In all this a quite pleasing sound and makes the stock mat very easy to listen to and a bit forgiving of less than stellar recordings.  There is a euphony to the sound of the stock foam mat, though it does not give "the last word" as to all of what is on the record.

The A23 mat is about 1mm thick and as has been previously stated it is constructed of a very dense fabric type material that would be at home as a high quality convertible automobile top.  It is flat, smooth and woven looking on one side and lightly textured in a cross-hatch pattern on the other.  I would guess that this side is applied in some way to the other and that there are two layers to this mat.

The mat arrived in a too small box (more on this later) which contained only the mat - no instructions, product info etc.  So my first job was to decide which way was up, literally!  A brief A/B of the two sides told me that textured side up was the way to go.  This was confirmed shortly thereafter in via email with the supplier. 

The A23 provides a more direct connection of the record to the platter.  The first thing I noticed was better transient attack to notes and this improved tracking of transient information may well account for much if not all of the improvements I hear with the A23.  Plucked strings of guitar and harp had more of the sharpness of nail on the strings.  On other instruments and vocals this was shown as a more true timbre and ultimately a more "real" sound.  Images of individual instruments have a solidity that is different than that of the stock mat.  There is more dynamic impact with the A23 and I'll even go as far as saying that overall dynamic range is also enhanced. The sound stage expanse is similar to that of the stock mat but the "airiness" is not the same.    Still this is a very musical sound.  It is not at all dry sounding and I get the sense it is giving more of what is actually on the record.

If I had to use only one word to describe the sound of the A23 mat I would choose VIVID.  Recordings have more resolution, definition and apparent dynamics when using the A23 mat.   This is why I deem the A23 "better" than the stock mat and for me it is a keeper.   :thumb:

 My Decca cartridge is the most live and lively sounding cartridge I've yet encountered.  With the A23 mat it sometimes walks a fine line between high resolution of a recording and too much of a good thing.  Fortunately the vast majority of what I've listened to so far sounds great.

I can imagine that if a system is having problems particularly in the high frequencies the A23 could possibly push things over the edge.

Disclaimer: This review describes my experience with the A23 mat in my system, in my room, with my ears and my preferences.  I do think that much of what I've heard and reported is generally transferable to other systems.  But,, you know the old YMMV caveat.

*** I spoke with Matt Rotunda of Pitch Perfect Audio about the way the mat was shipped and was informed that it was in the same unopened box as received from the distributor.  The mat was in a soft half fold to fit into that box which caused a slight "ripple" to take a set in it which has yet to completely relax.  However, the weight of an LP does flatten the mat with no problem noted.  I suggested that an LP sleeve/mailer combination would be better suited.  Matt said that he'd relay that info to the distributor.   
« Last Edit: 16 Aug 2011, 12:14 am by doak »

doak

I've taken the next logical step in best fitting the A23 mat into my system.

A test condition of my review was to keep VTA the same for both the stock mat and A23 mat.  The A23 won out though I did have some minor reservations.  That is NO LONGER the CASE.

Experience says that there is no such thing as changing one thing in an audio system.  There's a domino effect involved. Of course when changing mats of different thicknesses VTA must be accounted for.  What I've done after settling on the A23 mat is optimize playback parameters to best suit what it does in the system -- that's WHY it's called a SYSTEM, right!??!   Actually this aspect of incorporating a new component into a system SHOULD BE part of any good review, so here it is.

The VTA setting I ended up with my Decca London Super Gold is different than what I used during testing and prior to testing.  Common recommendation for this cart is "arm parallel to platter."  Sounded good to me with the stock mat.  However, the A23 is significantly more resolving and critical of set-up parameters.  Small changes are much easier to hear.  I've lowered the arm via arm pillar as well as the damping well - did this this in several small steps to find optimum height.  Arm is now slightly "tail down".

I also made small adjustments in speaker placement and crossover settings.  This has paid off in a big way.  I have no reservations now about the A23 being possibly aggressive sounding.  Proper VTA tailored to this mat solved all of that.  This has made the improvements allowed by the A23 mat more pronounced than what I described in my review post.

So, I can now give the Auditorium A23 mat an UNQUALIFIED RECOMMENDATION.
One you can "take to the bank."   :singing:

The sound I'm getting from the WTA is very natural and pleasant while still being highly resolved/defined.  Great all the way around.

Thanks "threadkiller" for bringing the A23 mat to my attention.  It has made a significant improvement in my vinyl playback and my enjoyment thereof.  :wave:


threadkiller

Re: Tweaking the WT Amadeus
« Reply #47 on: 21 Aug 2011, 08:18 pm »
You're welcome. 
So now we have two recommendations/reviews for the Auditorium Mat.
One, lofty and eloquent- one, short and to the point.
So we'll close with the latter-- Buy It!

roscoeiii

Re: Tweaking the WT Amadeus
« Reply #48 on: 21 Aug 2011, 08:46 pm »
Doak,
Could you give us a pic of your level for the VTA that worked best for you? That will help give a better idea of the ideal angle, or at least a good starting point. Many thanks for your A/B and set up details.

threadkiller

Re: Tweaking the WT Amadeus
« Reply #49 on: 21 Aug 2011, 09:03 pm »
Would only be useful to you if you had the same cartridge.

doak

Re: Tweaking the WT Amadeus
« Reply #50 on: 21 Aug 2011, 09:32 pm »
Will do Rosco, though it may not translate well to carts other than Decca London.  They are a different sort of animal. Proper SRA has the stylus leaning back toward the arm pivot.  That's the angle at which the stylus is mounted and there is not the usual cantilever.


Doak,
Could you give us a pic of your level for the VTA that worked best for you? That will help give a better idea of the ideal angle, or at least a good starting point. Many thanks for your A/B and set up details.

threadkiller

Re: Tweaking the WT Amadeus
« Reply #51 on: 21 Aug 2011, 09:38 pm »
Yes, please send photo. Thanks!
But remember, it's not that it may not translate, it will NOT
translate with another cartridge. Period.

Take care...

aisip

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 2
Re: Tweaking the WT Amadeus
« Reply #52 on: 19 Sep 2011, 05:59 am »
Hello!  I'm new to this forum; be kind to me.  He-he!  I've been a proud and very happy owner of the WTT Amadeus.  I distinctly remember the very first record I played on my Amadeus:  A Classic 45 RPM reissue of Stravinsky's Firebird on Mercury SR90226.  Dorati's traversal of this masterpiece is second-to-none.  The sonics - as most of you may already know - is one of the, if not the finest, ever put on record.  Hearing this warhorse on the Amadeus was revelatory!  Suddenly, the quiet and silence between the explosive passages are filled with spooky organic wholeness!  Like some kind of sonic ether materialized; as if the very essence of the recording venue is also being reproduced - transporting you, the listener, in time to the recording venue! What a surreal, eery and fantastic feeling!  Like most of the posters in this thread, I've done just about everything to extract that last iota of performance from my Amadeus.  One of the most beneficial sonically is replacement of the stock feet with three Feet of Silence from Solid Tech, a Swedish company.  These contraptions are exactly what the Amadeus needed to transform it from an excellent turntable to that of a "world's finest" contender!  Every parameter of performance is enhanced and significantly improved.  The remaining muck vaporized, images are now more palpable and 3 dimensional.  The microdynamics is unbelievable!  As a plus, the feet make the turntable look sexier and very high tech!  So there's my two cents worth!  Has anybody tried the Boston Mat?

gagamut

Re: Tweaking the WT Amadeus
« Reply #53 on: 21 Sep 2011, 12:20 pm »
Hello!  I'm new to this forum; be kind to me.  He-he!  I've been a proud and very happy owner of the WTT Amadeus.  I distinctly remember the very first record I played on my Amadeus:  A Classic 45 RPM reissue of Stravinsky's Firebird on Mercury SR90226.  Dorati's traversal of this masterpiece is second-to-none.  The sonics - as most of you may already know - is one of the, if not the finest, ever put on record.  Hearing this warhorse on the Amadeus was revelatory!  Suddenly, the quiet and silence between the explosive passages are filled with spooky organic wholeness!  Like some kind of sonic ether materialized; as if the very essence of the recording venue is also being reproduced - transporting you, the listener, in time to the recording venue! What a surreal, eery and fantastic feeling!  Like most of the posters in this thread, I've done just about everything to extract that last iota of performance from my Amadeus.  One of the most beneficial sonically is replacement of the stock feet with three Feet of Silence from Solid Tech, a Swedish company.  These contraptions are exactly what the Amadeus needed to transform it from an excellent turntable to that of a "world's finest" contender!  Every parameter of performance is enhanced and significantly improved.  The remaining muck vaporized, images are now more palpable and 3 dimensional.  The microdynamics is unbelievable!  As a plus, the feet make the turntable look sexier and very high tech!  So there's my two cents worth!  Has anybody tried the Boston Mat?
HI Aisip,very interested  your 'Feet of silence',and want to know you take off the original feet or just put the 'feet of silence' under the table??any photo?thanks

Sam

threadkiller

Re: Tweaking the WT Amadeus
« Reply #54 on: 21 Sep 2011, 03:22 pm »
Interesting...
What's a Boston mat? 
We're loving the Auditorium mat.

gagamut

Re: Tweaking the WT Amadeus
« Reply #55 on: 22 Sep 2011, 11:40 am »
Hi,just want to know how much is the  Auditorium mat?and where can bought?and can on line bought?thanks

Sam

roscoeiii

Re: Tweaking the WT Amadeus
« Reply #56 on: 22 Sep 2011, 02:25 pm »
See the first 2 pages of this thread re Auditorium.

aisip

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 2
Re: Tweaking the WT Amadeus
« Reply #57 on: 22 Sep 2011, 09:42 pm »
Hello Sam,

I just placed the three "SOS" feet right next to the stock feet.  Will try to remove the stock feet when I have some free time.  As far as the mat, the correct brand name is "Boston Audio Design".  The Mat 2 is consistently getting rave reviews from all kinds of audio publications.  I once used the original Mat on a Nottingham Space Deck and can vouch for its beneficial sonic effects.  I will attach a picture of the Amadeus on SOS feet in my next post. 

threadkiller

Re: Tweaking the WT Amadeus
« Reply #58 on: 28 Sep 2011, 09:32 pm »
Heard the Boston mat today. Couldn't hold a candle to even the stock foam mat, let alone the A23 mat. Whew. Robbed the music of life. I had been listening to a system of Harbeth 5's, ARC VSi 60, ARC PH8, with WTL Dynavector table with Dynavector XV1s cartridge. It wasn't even close.
And the same results are always consistent with whichever WTL table being used... So it will yield the same sound with the Amadeus.
Sorry, if we're talking Boston,  I'd rather have the baked beans...or the terrier...

doak

Re: Tweaking the WT Amadeus
« Reply #59 on: 28 Sep 2011, 10:22 pm »
Heard the Boston mat today. Couldn't hold a candle to even the stock foam mat, let alone the A23 mat. Whew. Robbed the music of life. I had been listening to a system of Harbeth 5's, ARC VSi 60, ARC PH8, with WTL Dynavector table with Dynavector XV1s cartridge. It wasn't even close.
And the same results are always consistent with whichever WTL table being used... So it will yield the same sound with the Amadeus.
Sorry, if we're talking Boston,  I'd rather have the baked beans...or the terrier...
Kinda figured that might be the case.  I've used the BA Mat1 on NAS Spacedecks to liven up the sound -- something the WTA does not need. 

Doak