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About Sotosound

  • Rank
  • Birthday Private

Personal Info

  • Location
  • Real Name
    Ian Shepherd

Wigwam Info

  • Turn Table
    Thorens TD 166 Mk VI
  • Tone Arm & Cartridge
    RB250, Goldring 1042
  • SUT / Phono Stage
    Inbuilt Croft RIAA
  • Digital Source 1
    Rega Saturn
  • Digital Source 2
    Rotel RCD 965BX LE
  • Pre-Amp
    Croft Micro 25
  • Power Amp/s
    Croft Series 7 90W/c
  • My Speakers
    Russell K Red 150
  • Trade Status
    I am not in the Hi-Fi trade

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  1. Sotosound

    Amp advice for Ditton 44's

    What would 40 years in the loft, being exposed to temperature extremes every winter and summer, do to a pair of Ditton 44s? Along with a decent amp, wouldn’t they also need checking over - both electronically and mechanically - and then running in? I suppose that I’d worry about the crossover components and internal wiring for instance. Having once owned a pair of Ditton 33s for a while, however, I can vouch for the potential for magical musicality if your 44s can be suitably fettled. Have fun!!!
  2. Are the drivers fully secured? A loose driver can rattle at certain frequencies, and loose drivers can kn*cker things by darkening the sound and slowing down the bass as the drivers start to expend energy moving themselves instead of moving air.
  3. Sotosound

    measurements - do they really matter that much ?

    I can see that you put a load of time and effort in using both measurements and listening in order to get things right. If that works for you then that's great. For me, I might also find some value in measurements if I had more time to get into it. Unfortunately, however, it would require more time than I have right now. If I did get into it, however, I'd probably disappear down a rabbit hole for a while, much to my wife's despair. This leaves me with my ears as my only measurement devices but, to be honest, they're good at that! Hence, they get used for measuring bass, treble, midrange, speed, communication etc. along with answering the question "Do I like what I'm hearing?" Doesn't that, in truth, make me a measurist as well as a subjectivist? To be honest, however, I dislike labels. They're normally tools employed by a small number of people to imply that more people have a stated view than actually do. They're also used to position those being labelled in a disadvantageous way. In politics, one of the most frequent occurrences is that a politician tells us what the nation believes or what the nation wants, most likely without ever having spoken to anyone. This is, again, an effort to position people to their own disadvantage. For me, that's the 21st century substance of labelling. It's all about perception management, which is a modern name for something that's older than the hills, and it normally works against the person who's perceptions are being managed.
  4. Sotosound

    measurements - do they really matter that much ?

    In the UK, where we have a monarchy, that's all of us!
  5. Sotosound

    measurements - do they really matter that much ?

    Some basic measurements might affect my choices. For instance, amplifier power, speaker sensitivity and speaker bass response. These don't tell a full story, however. In the end, I also take advice from my dealer and from my ears, and these pieces of advice often end up overruling any published measurements. Important things for me are musicality and emotional communication, and I'm not sure that either of these can easily be measured using technical means. There are forum members who'll take measurements of their room so as to apply acoustic treatments or reposition their speakers so as to make it a better listening room. There are forum members who'll just use their ears to achieve this. There are forum members who don't have the scope to change their room. There are members who will scoff when I describe how I work and there are others who will support how I work. If you find yourself at the opposite pole to another member then that's where you're at and no amount of debate is likely to change that. This is a broad church and there's room for everyone, but there are are also some people with very clear and very firmly held opinions in various directions, so it might come down to choosing what feels right to you from all of the shared advice. And it might also come down to not getting too troubled by a firmly held opposing view.
  6. Sotosound

    Arcam Delta 60 amp upgrade

    No worries.
  7. Sotosound

    Arcam Delta 60 amp upgrade

    I have a Delta 290 as my back-up amp, and for what I paid (around £200 on eBay), it was excellent value. My amp is the line-only version, so I can’t say how good the phono stage is. I use a separate phono preamp with the 290. My amp is also the earlier version with a mono switch (handy for some old mono vinyl or rubbish discrete stereo with vocals on one channel only and backing on the other), plus a need to lift the lid in order to use either the pre or power stage separately. It has had selector switch issues, but a professional clean-up fixed this. The general presentation is quite warm and musical plus it offers good ambient detail. It also has plenty of power under the bonnet plus the ability to drive four speakers, plus tone controls with a bypass facility. A great package of features. If your budget is limited, then a good example of this amp will serve well IMHO.
  8. Sotosound

    Are you music or hi-fi first person?

    Yeah. That’s why a home audition is essential. The kit has to sound good in its future home. Furthermore, a home audition of speakers can only work if the speakers are correctly positioned. Some speakers are more flexible than others in terms of positioning, but mine needed careful positioning. To this end, the designer of my speakers actually visited me twice to help with that. The price was two afternoons and two cups of tea, but the benefits were a lovely sound and a chance to learn more about listening from someone who has to be a good listener in order to succeed.
  9. Sotosound

    Are you music or hi-fi first person?

    Once I’d heard the harshness I couldn’t ignore it, so the Proacs went back. Gut feel is that they would sound better with an all-valve system. I actually ended up buying a pair of speakers that sounded too mellow in the listening room and therefore got rejected on first listen. When the Proacs turned out to be harsh sounding at home, I thought again about the mellow speakers and, in the end, they sounded just right at home. During the auditions, I sometimes considered the technical specs, but that just led to anxiety and the possibility of ignoring my ears and emotions. I therefore ended up ignoring technical measurements and relied upon how I felt. But that’s just my personal approach. As an aside, and for me, an important part of selecting speakers to audition was my assessment of potential dealers. What appears to float their boat? How do they sell stuff to me? How pressured or unpressured is the audition? Etc. In the end, I used three dealers, two of which share very little of their own views online. The other dealer actively reviews equipment online and it’s therefore clear what they like the most and why they like it. That dealer also appears to look for many of the same attributes as I do and allowed me literally weeks to carry out a home audition, whereas the other two dealers really time-boxed everything and, therefore, introduced an element of pressure into what should be a relaxing and, hopefully, enjoyable experience. Funnily enough, I like all three dealers, but the one that publishes its own reviews and allows almost open-ended auditions has ended up getting my repeat business, although they wouldn’t do so if the product was wrong.
  10. Sotosound

    Are you music or hi-fi first person?

    I use similar acoustic treatments in my room, plus a TV and various pieces of furniture.
  11. Sotosound

    Are you music or hi-fi first person?

    For me, an upgrade is one that enhances my listening pleasure, and that also allows me to get closer to what the artists, composers, arrangers, producers and engineers intended. That's the fidelity that I look for these days, not total harmonic distortion or frequency range or response curve etc. I try to determine this enhancement of listening pleasure through auditions. If I'm enjoying the music in an audition so much that I just want to listen to more music rather than continue to evaluate bass or treble etc. then I'm looking at something that's a potential upgrade. I really learned this when I was last choosing speakers, and the first speakers that taught me this were Proac SM 100s. In the end, they sounded slightly harsh at home in my living room, but in the dealer's listening room I suddenly found myself really enjoying music rather than evaluating speakers, and I wanted to play more tracks just to enjoy what I was hearing. Hi fi in the sense of measurable attributes went straight out the window and, to a great extent, it never came back in thereafter.
  12. Sotosound

    Are you music or hi-fi first person?

    Music first. The hi fi is for bringing music to me in the most enjoyable way. If it were hi fi first then I'd probably be spending my time enjoying recorded sound effects, audio books and documentaries, and not music. For me that would be like a previous poster's Sahara Desert.
  13. Sotosound

    Harmen Kardon in BMW or Volvo

    Volvos used to be for older drivers, but not now. That image started dying when they built the FWD 850 over 25 years ago, and definitely died when they launched the original XC60. The 7-seat XC90 is clearly a family car, and the XC40 is a very valid small SUV. It certainly isn't lodged in pipe, hat and large bifocals territory.
  14. Sotosound

    Harmen Kardon in BMW or Volvo

    I've found that my home doesn't handle very well and, although the seating position is great, the fuel economy is appalling. All that gas and electricity. Seriously, if you do opt for a new car (which could be fun if money truly allows), you need to work out what's important to you out of all of the characteristics mentioned, and then list them in order of importance. That might help. For instance, good handling is only really important if you value it above other characteristics. The really important thing, however, is an "audition". You'll find out far more through a road test than you will trying to decide on paper. Go and test drive each car and, as with hi fi, remember that what might impress you in a road test might mean little in the longer term and that, equally, the more enduring qualities might not be obvious on first acquaintance. Personally, one of the most important things for me is comfort. Are the seats supportive and is the driving position good, including pedals that aren't offset to the left or right and a steering wheel that's not offset either way? If I can't get comfortable then my back complains and then the handling is wasted on me. That, however, is just me. As for wives, when my wife suggests that I need a new car she's normally right. I tend to keep a car beyond the point where it makes economical sense, and I also don't always properly listen to my inner muse.
  15. Sotosound

    Nad M10

    And they sound good. I also have a pair of Russell K Red 150s, and they’re really good at communicating music and emotion.