thecrimsonsquirrel

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  1. Hi. Bit limited for funds. I have a valve amp but am looking for a back-up second amp for a CD player/amp/speakers set-up for downstairs. Have been looking at ebay for Creek amps of the 80/90s, I used to have a 4040. Most of them sell on ebay for £70 - £90 of that vintage. Would you consider £100 for the amp? I am forced to be strict on my limit. £100 is maximum I can pay for a second amp. If not, thanks anyway.
  2. It did cross my mind to forget about all this tweaking and experimenting, and just go out and buy a replacement CD player. Having heard some modern ones, I am not impressed, and it appears to me anyway, that progress has not happened over the last 20 years, certainly not in sub-£1000 players. The nearest I got was a few years ago when I heard a Rega CD player, but even that was inferior (in my opinion) to my early 90s Arcam players. I had considered trying a Cambridge CXC Transport, which is cheap enough, and a Cyrus transport which is in my budget, but do Chinese-made players have the same QC that British players used to have?
  3. This may be the same or similar thing to what I have experienced with my old CD players. I simply don't know enough about the tech details of how turntable and CD player transports work. It would seem logical that on a turntable and in a CD player, the mechanism doing the "reading" of the information from the surface of the disc or the groove surfaces of a record, would have less work to do and require less energy to do it, if some part of the process is a little smoother, i.e. spinning in a more stable manner with less rocking, jumping or jettering about. I am guessing that with my old CD players, the transports are worn enough to wriggle (for want of a better expression), a bit more than when they were new, and adding the rubber disc adds a bit of weight to reduce this. The resulting sound is simply removing a lot of the metallic and glassy edges to notes and there is an absence of a slight metallic haze to the background (when music is playing, not during moments of silence). The new transport (CDM4/19) does not have the glassiness or metallic sheen around notes, which made me a bit more confident of my initial thoughts. My initial question was, that of the old players I have, some tap and knock whilst spinning with the disc in place, others don't, bearing in mind I am careful to centre the disc. From the answers so far it seems there is nothing I can do to adjust the clamping mechanism to stop this, so it may be a question of just enjoying the ones that don't knock while I can. It is worth stating, that apart from the glassiness and metallic edges, no other audible improvements are made by having the disc in place, not that I have heard anyway. But for listening to acoustic instruments in particular, the improvement has been clear and very worthwhile.
  4. I was fortunate to be able to buy two complete CDM4/19 transports back in the early 2000s and another in 2009. So yes, I am aware of how good these transports are. I am trying to eek out as much life out of them before having the transports changed. Now I have heard that a new transport does not respond as well to the rubber mat trick, I won't use a mat until probably many years from now.
  5. I think I need to add to this that the new replacement transport is also a Philips CDM4/19. I think I also need to add that I have several CD players that are not Arcams, some of which provide the same results, including a 1980s Philips, and and 90s Denon. Cambridge Audio CD players I have had do not tolerate having the disc in place, they just don't work at all.
  6. Yes this is similar to the impression I get from the many times I have heard a difference. I take on board the issue someone said about maybe damaging the mechanism by adding a lot more mass, i.e. doubling the weight of a typical CD, particularly over time, and I always take great care to perfectly center the rubber disc. I can tell straight away if the disc is not centred, it makes a noise, a rhythmic tapping or knocking. If I place the disc centrally, and it doesnt slip when the draw closes, there is no noise at all when the disc spins. There is a clear difference on every CD played, between when the disc is in place and when not. This is not imagined or bias as some have suggested. I have, in the past, completed several blind tests, with a seperate person removing or placing the disc on, with me in another room. Then listening to the same tracks with the disc on and off, the difference is so clear, I give the correct answer every time. It is 100% accurate. To add to that, I will be honest and say that if I hear a track, or just play a CD not having done an AB comparison, I can't always tell whether the rubber disc is in place, (unless I have put it in myself), because it appears to be affected by the quality of the recording, dynamic range, and the type of music/sound coming from the CD. But with blind AB listening it is obvious. With acoustic instruments, such as solo piano or violin, an AB comparison is very easy. With compressed rock recordings, even an AB comparison is sometimes tricky, but still possible. Now comes the interesting bit. All my CD players are old, all made during the 90s. It is therefore safe to assume that the transport mechanisms are wearing. Someone posted and suggested that he doubts that I could discern a difference in 30 year old CD players. I think, from my experience, that statement is 100% incorrect. Two days ago, I received back from a guy who can repair CD players, one of my Arcam Alpha Plus players. I have just had a replacement transport fitted, the transport in situ was removed and the new one inserted, new laser and swing arm etc. Having spent several hours since, listening and enjoying my music on it, I can say that I am more than happy with the sound it is producing. I did the same AB comparison with my rubber disc. Guess what? Difficult to hear any difference. The glassy edges to notes and general low level background metallic haze, is not there whether I have the disc in place or not. CD players with their original transports (all the same Philips CDM4/19 transports), still demonstrate a clear difference. The new identical transport does not. So, does this mean that adding mass to CDs spinning in older worn transports, although slowly degrading the mechanism (possibly), nevertheless removes some of this glaze, (whatever the correct term is). I guess it does.
  7. Hi I have four Arcam CD players from the 90s. Two are Arcam Alphas and two are Arcam Alpha Plus models. I noticed some time ago when experimenting that if I added a CD sized round thin rubber disc/mat on top of a CD when loading the CD, the resulting sound improved notably, in terms of losing much of its glassiness in the treble and upper midrange, plus the general slight metallic background haze around notes (particularly violin and piano). I am guessing all I am doing is adding mass to the CD which results in less wobble when spinning. Its just making the laser's job easier. The issue is when I do this on an identical CD player, the transport knocks or taps when spinning the CD. I make sure the rubber disc is perfectly centred (it has a hole at the center larger than the central hole in a CD). Sometimes it knocks slightly when spinning, sometimes not. I know these players were not designed to have extra mass in the CD tray, but it works, and there are audible improvement. Is there something I can do internally, to adjust the transport to prevent the knocking. The transport in each case is a Philips CDM4/19. Thanks thecrimsonsquirrel
  8. Hi John Caswell replaced the transport for me. Now have it back. Sounds sharp whether through the DAC or through Digital Out into the Rega DAC. Happy boy. Seems to have two attributes it didn't have prior to being fixed. One. The mid-bass is more present. Two. The harshness and glassiness in the treble and upper midrange is gone. How does a new laser and swing arm improve these areas? Surely that has more to do with the DAC doesn't it? Thanks fro the recommendation. thecrimsonsquirrel
  9. I have two other CD players, both standard Arcam Alphas. One is skipping, the other doesn't skip but has a problem with the DAC or the output. I was going to swap the good transport over to the faulty transport player. As both transports are identical, approx how long would it take me to take one out and replace it with the other, bearing in mind I have not done this before? Thanks thecrimsonsquirrel
  10. Hi Approximately how long does it take to remove a complete Philips CDM4/19 transport from an Arcam CD player and replace it with a new one? Thanks
  11. Sorry, having a thick moment.............Do I know what player....what...were based on?
  12. Yes there is a 32" CRT TV only a metre or so from the amp and CD players. The amp is an Audio Innovations S500 vlave amp.
  13. How do I do that. I am an infrequent user of forums so not familiar with How To stuff.
  14. Hi Lawrence Thanks for this. Lot of useful info in this article. I notice a couple of points in the article. Someone mentioned changing the clock on an Alpha player. Back in the 90s I had a clock change by a company called Trichord. In my experience, the Alpha then sounded harsh and piercing. I had the clock changed back and the sound improved notably. This, I suspect had something to do with the revealing nature of my valve amplifier I had then and still do. I also had a Creek integrated amp back then that didn't clearly show a major difference when attached to the Arcam CD player. Someone else mentioned an Arcam Alpha 7SE. I bought one of these from ebay years ago, and thought it bland with much lower dynamic range than the original Alpha player. It it appears that the early Arcam Alpha and Arcam Delta players, early Philips players and maybe early Rotel players (that used the Philips transports) got it right, and there has been a steady downward trend in sound quality of CD players since, particularly those under £1000. A friend of mine working in the hi-fi industry suggests the same and uses a Canary CD player that has a sound similar to the early days of the 'Philips Red Box' players. Not sure what the Philips Red Box term means, but I am guessing it was a concept or products from a certain time that got the sound quality right.