Audiophiles unite Page 38

  • UncleLou Moderator 13 Feb 2021 09:27:51 40,365 posts
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    @Armoured_Bear I'd look at the biggest pair of Geithain ( https://www.me-geithain.de/de/ ) or Neumann/Klein + Hummel ( https://en-de.neumann.com/studio-monitors ) active speakers I can buy, and never think about amplification again.

    I'd kill for these:



    Edited by UncleLou at 09:31:03 13-02-2021
  • Armoured_Bear 13 Feb 2021 11:10:44 29,855 posts
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    UncleLou wrote:
    @Armoured_Bear I'd look at the biggest pair of Geithain ( https://www.me-geithain.de/de/ ) or Neumann/Klein + Hummel ( https://en-de.neumann.com/studio-monitors ) active speakers I can buy, and never think about amplification again.

    I'd kill for these:

    Very interesting, I don't have any experience of active speakers tbh.
    30 Grand though!
  • mrharvest 13 Feb 2021 11:14:58 5,697 posts
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    You-can-call-me-kal wrote:
    Honestly I donít really pay close attention to stuff at that end of the scale, aside from casual browsing so canít really give any meaningful recommendations. Iíd have a lot of fun with that budget.
    Same. Although I gotta say that at that price range it also makes quite a big difference what speakers you want to pair the amp with so you get the best out of the system.

    UncleLou's idea of actives, especially the Neumanns is certainly one way to slice the cake. Some of the Neumanns get a lot of use in studio monitoring and they're great for that because they've got a flat response. But would you want a home listening system to be that clinical?

    If I had the money and the room to build a system for £20 - 50k I'd be looking at horn speakers paired with tube amps or big planars, something that's really "musical" and not neutral at all. So kinda the opposite of neutral studio monitors. I know Abbey Road used B&W 800s and initially everyone went a bit "What now?" in the recording industry because the hifi and studio world don't mix much.
  • UncleLou Moderator 13 Feb 2021 11:43:10 40,365 posts
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    @Armoured_Bear I meant IĎd look at the biggest I can get for the 10 grand, not at the biggest.as such! :)
  • You-can-call-me-kal 13 Feb 2021 11:43:44 22,912 posts
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    I find the idea of high end active speakers a bit odd. I get they must sound incredible and have superb synergy, but generally the more expensive you get, the more separated all the components become, because the more specific control you want over each one.

    Every time Iíve bought something that has fixed elements Iíve ended up wishing I hadnít, but Iím sure thatís as much about me as anything else.
  • tadejpogacar 13 Feb 2021 14:54:13 516 posts
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    I have a TV, amp, turntable and speakers. I want to add Spotify and Tidal to my setup.

    I can buy a streamer (e.g. Node 2i) to run Spotify and Tidal through the amp to speakers. The Node 2i can handle Tidal's CD quality and MQA streams.

    Could I also just connect my TV (which has Spotify and Tidal) via optical out to a half-decent DAC and get equivalent sound quality? I'm thinking I could maybe save about £350 on the Node 2i (£500) by buying a ~£150 DAC. Would this work?
  • You-can-call-me-kal 13 Feb 2021 14:57:50 22,912 posts
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    You could honestly do a lot worse than a Chromecast Audio to quickly turn as existing system into a streamer. I have a couple and they do the job nice. Theyíre discontinued now but you can pick up a reconditioned one for about £20.
  • tadejpogacar 13 Feb 2021 15:01:23 516 posts
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    I have an existing (unused) standard Chromecast... I wonder if there's any way use that as a Chromecast Audio.
  • You-can-call-me-kal 13 Feb 2021 15:17:41 22,912 posts
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    It only has HDMI out so unless you have HDMI in on your amp, youíre not really any better off than somehow trying to use your tv.

    In any case if all you need is a streamer Iím sure there are cheaper ones than the Bluenode that will do the job. As with everything you get what you pay for though.
  • breakablepants 15 Feb 2021 11:37:15 1,111 posts
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    You-can-call-me-kal wrote:
    McIntosh is like Lamborghini or something to me. I like how it looks but Iíd feel a bit of twat owning one.
    Yeah, same here really... a lot of the high-end gear leaves me a bit cold, looks-wise. Although the Devialet integrated amp is a really interesting design.

    I love a lot of the vintage Japanese gear, so I do like the look of Luxman kit. But realistically I'll never be spending huge amounts so it's all just window shopping for the foreseeable :-)
  • tadejpogacar 15 Feb 2021 12:57:56 516 posts
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    Japanese audiophiles are wild.
  • Tomo 15 Feb 2021 14:02:40 19,011 posts
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    Did not see the plot twist coming at the end of the interview with the second guy.
  • breakablepants 15 Feb 2021 14:17:29 1,111 posts
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    Just to clarify, by "vintage Japanese gear" I don't mean $100,000 speakers ;-)
  • tadejpogacar 15 Feb 2021 17:24:06 516 posts
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    I've ended up using the old Chromecast I had lying unused in a drawer + a £10 HDMI audio extractor from Amazon. I've got cloth ears admittedly but the CD-quality Tidal stream sounds good to me through my B&W 606s (in a room that's roughly 5m x 7m.)

    It'll definitely do for now. I'll maybe audition something better when (if) the pandemic ever finishes.

    I assume maybe putting a DAC between the splitter and the amp would not be ideal - I'm not sure at what stage the digital-to-analog conversion is being performed in the current chain.

    edit: Actually, if we go CC via HDMI to the splitter, splitter via toslink to a DAC, DAC via RCA to the amp, I assume it stays digital all the way down the chain until the RCA to amp connection. This is why I am not a Japanese audiophile with £100k speakers and my own on-street overhead power cable.

    Edited by tadejpogacar at 17:36:48 15-02-2021
  • Drakesmoke 16 Feb 2021 00:20:51 771 posts
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    Am hoping somebody more adept at vinyl care can help me here.

    So as documented in earlier posts I've updated my cart to one with a microlinear stylus after experiencing a bit more inner groove distortion than I'd care to hear. I found significant improvements with this.

    However I started to get it again, but not consistently, and I noticed a build up occurring on the stylus. Cleaning that off helped.

    What I think I've diagnosed is that I've been obsessed by wet cleaning each side with a spray bottle of cleaning solution and a microfiber. I think that I've either been:

    - using too much causing residue
    - the fluid itself is possibly not up to much or is out of date. It is probably nearly a year old.
    - relying too much on wiping to dry and it looking visually dry - back to the residue thing.
    - possibly the cloth itself is causing an issue.

    I've bought a carbon Fibre brush (AT6013) and a wet cleaner (AT6012). The 12 hasn't arrived yet.

    The new brush has apparently cured a specific part I was getting problems with (sax solo on Mercy Mercy Me). So that's a start.

    I've stuck two Who records on tonight, Next and Quadrophenia, having had the news that their postponed concert is cancelled. Terrible, terrible distortion pretty early on. Brush hasn't helped here. I also got a skip in the second song of Quadrophenia.

    Now I'll obviously have a go at this with the other cleaner when it arrives but what worries me is, could this be groove damage? These two were previously played on my old Denon (Lp60 rebadge) which is notoriously heavy tracking and crap. Could I have messed up two of my favourite albums by my early purchasing naivety?

    I've just gone to the case and picked out a random album to test and it's fine.

    Edited by Drakesmoke at 00:21:41 16-02-2021
  • Armoured_Bear 16 Feb 2021 06:41:53 29,855 posts
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    Drakesmoke wrote:
    Am hoping somebody more adept at vinyl care can help me here.

    So as documented in earlier posts I've updated my cart to one with a microlinear stylus after experiencing a bit more inner groove distortion than I'd care to hear. I found significant improvements with this.

    However I started to get it again, but not consistently, and I noticed a build up occurring on the stylus. Cleaning that off helped.

    What I think I've diagnosed is that I've been obsessed by wet cleaning each side with a spray bottle of cleaning solution and a microfiber. I think that I've either been:

    - using too much causing residue
    - the fluid itself is possibly not up to much or is out of date. It is probably nearly a year old.
    - relying too much on wiping to dry and it looking visually dry - back to the residue thing.
    - possibly the cloth itself is causing an issue.

    I've bought a carbon Fibre brush (AT6013) and a wet cleaner (AT6012). The 12 hasn't arrived yet.

    The new brush has apparently cured a specific part I was getting problems with (sax solo on Mercy Mercy Me). So that's a start.

    I've stuck two Who records on tonight, Next and Quadrophenia, having had the news that their postponed concert is cancelled. Terrible, terrible distortion pretty early on. Brush hasn't helped here. I also got a skip in the second song of Quadrophenia.

    Now I'll obviously have a go at this with the other cleaner when it arrives but what worries me is, could this be groove damage? These two were previously played on my old Denon (Lp60 rebadge) which is notoriously heavy tracking and crap. Could I have messed up two of my favourite albums by my early purchasing naivety?

    I've just gone to the case and picked out a random album to test and it's fine.
    For cleaning Iíd look at (budget permitting) the discogs antistat cleaner or an Okki Nokki machine. They work far better that simple
    Spray and brush and allow you to rinse the records in distilled water, eliminating residue.
  • You-can-call-me-kal 16 Feb 2021 07:17:35 22,912 posts
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    Yeah this is the post cartridge change paranoia I was talking about.

    Yes, agree spin cleaners are better than wipe, and it does sound like whatever youíre using is settling in the grooves. Might want to take those specific records to a shop that has an ultrasonic cleaner once the pandemic is over.

    If youíre getting distortion and skipping that sounds like you might also have some combination of anti-skating and/or tracking force set up wrong.

    Welcome to insanity.
  • Drakesmoke 16 Feb 2021 09:06:15 771 posts
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    Thanks all. I was initially convinced that I'd knackered the set up process but it really does appear to be specific records.

    I've considered the spin clean type stuff but it just seems a nightmare from the perspective of space, time, and indeed money (I do not think they are objectively worth what is charged, economy of scale be damned).

    I won't write off the idea.

    Kal, I used my scale to confirm tracking force at the recommended 2 grams dead on, and anti skate is set the same.
  • You-can-call-me-kal 16 Feb 2021 09:49:27 22,912 posts
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    Check out knosti spin cleaners. Much cheaper and space conscious. Time isnít bad either.

    What kind of scale are you using? Last time I changed my cart I was having an absolute mare with distortion. I was using a Pro-Ject digital scale. Tried a million things to fix it and eventually tried the cheap see-saw scale that came with my cart. Turns out my digital scale was1.5g off, and the analogue scale completely solved the problem.

    It may also just be knackered records. New better carts often show flaws more.

    Edited by You-can-call-me-kal at 10:02:54 16-02-2021
  • You-can-call-me-kal 16 Feb 2021 10:29:08 22,912 posts
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    Anyone use Roon? Iím sure Iíve seen someone here talk about it.

    It feels like huge expense to do a bunch of stuff I can essentially already do with a NAS and a streaming service, but people do seem to go nuts for it.
  • nickthegun 16 Feb 2021 10:32:51 85,269 posts
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    Funnily enough......I dont know if you watch John Darko but..



    Edited by nickthegun at 10:33:09 16-02-2021
  • Drakesmoke 16 Feb 2021 10:33:18 771 posts
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    I appear to have solved it with regards Quadrophenia.

    In the light of day (I was listening on headphones last night as my other half watched telly) the surface was covered in white dust. Particularly pooled around an area in the first few songs.

    I've gone at with the carbon brush this morning, both with the platter spinning and 'by hand' and I've maybe concluded that the antistatic properties of the brush are exaggerated.

    In fact, I'm convinced it's generating static with the platter spinning, and discharging to the spindle per instructions doesn't seem to do a lot to earth it. I know this as when I flipped it to look at the other side I could hear and feel it. This seems to not happen if cleaning it without the action of the platter running.

    After getting all that muck off I haven't encountered the distortion and it sounds great so far. I'm wondering if static generated by the brush was gathering the dust in one spot.

    I have spotted what looks like a spec of paper in one of the inner grooves which I haven't been able to dislodge at all. Wondering if it's the dreaded 'non-fill'. Whatever it is, it produces a hell of a crackle at that spot.

    I could tell something was badly wrong as there are a lot of DI'd lead guitar parts on this album (I.E. recorded straight into the desk preamp with no guitar amplifier - see also Shine On by Floyd) and that's the cleanest guitar tone you can get when not overdriven. It was a distorted mess last night. Clear as a bell now.

    Basically the thing I seem to be learning is that vinyl is just this big precarious balancing act and doing one thing can negatively affect the other thing. I might just stick with CDs!

    Edited by Drakesmoke at 10:34:33 16-02-2021
  • Drakesmoke 16 Feb 2021 10:36:27 771 posts
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    @You-can-call-me-kal sorry, in answer to your question on the scale, a cheap Amazon digital thing. It appeared broadly in line with the markings on the counterweight TBH, when calibrated with the test weight it seemed the markings read very slightly low (like a tenth of a gram).
  • nickthegun 16 Feb 2021 10:38:50 85,269 posts
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    I was chasing coffee weights around with a few pairs of cheap digital scales from amazon until I finally bit the bullet and spent what I needed to on a decent set.

    I wouldnt want to be a drug dealer with any of that cheap, chinese shit.

    Edited by nickthegun at 10:38:57 16-02-2021
  • You-can-call-me-kal 16 Feb 2021 10:43:38 22,912 posts
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    nickthegun wrote:
    Funnily enough......I dont know if you watch John Darko but..

    I do, and yes he is Roon fan number 1.
  • nickthegun 16 Feb 2021 10:47:04 85,269 posts
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    I mean, its all relative but I did look at a NUC chassis after watching this video and, no, they arent cheap, John.
  • You-can-call-me-kal 16 Feb 2021 10:56:44 22,912 posts
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    Drakesmoke wrote:
    Basically the thing I seem to be learning is that vinyl is just this big precarious balancing act and doing one thing can negatively affect the other thing. I might just stick with CDs!
    Yes, but thatís kind of the fun part as well.

    The deepest rabbit hole with this is the vinyl itself. Before you know it youíll be researching which master and pressing of which particular record is best and spending a fortune on Discogs.
  • UncleLou Moderator 16 Feb 2021 11:08:05 40,365 posts
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    I find the problem with CDs is -they are completely useless now. Tiny artwork, not even ripped anymore but streamed with Tidal or whatever. I still buy CDs, but I basically put them on the shelf, never to be touched again.

    I still haven't found out how - and if at all - I want to collect "my" music.
  • nickthegun 16 Feb 2021 11:34:17 85,269 posts
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    I suppose you first define 'collect'. My step-sister still buys *lots* of books but only really reads things on kindle. The books are, basically, wallpaper.

    I suspect a lot of people are now just buying physical media for the aesthetics. Its what I was doing with DVDs/Blu-ray and just got sick of it one day, so I got rid of the lot.

    Edited by nickthegun at 11:35:18 16-02-2021
  • UncleLou Moderator 16 Feb 2021 11:40:59 40,365 posts
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    Yeah - the thing is, I've never been a "collector" - some things just amassed because I consumed them in large quantities - music and books, games. I've fully embraced the Kindle and music streaming, but sometimes I feel like I would like something physical - I then buy a couple of CDs, books, or whatever, and realise I only put them on the shelf.

    That said, I've certainly been heavily influenced by browsing my parents' library, by seeing them reading books, handling LPs, etc. My son sees me with a Kindle (makes no real difference to him whether it's an iPad, phone or ebbok reader), and my physical library stops 10 years ago.

    I don't really know what I want myself. :)

    Edited by UncleLou at 11:41:37 16-02-2021
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