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About ThomasOK

  • Rank
    LP12 Whisperer, Lejonklou importer
  • Birthday April 11

Personal Info

  • Location
    Westland, MI USA
  • Real Name
    Thomas O'Keefe

Wigwam Info

  • Turn Table
    Linn Sondek LP12
  • Tone Arm & Cartridge
    Ekos SE/1, Kandid
  • SUT / Phono Stage
  • Digital Source 1
  • DAC
    ESI Gigaport HD+
  • Pre-Amp
    Lejonklou Sagatun Ms
  • Power Amp/s
    Lejonklou Tundra Ms
  • My Speakers
    Quad ESL, JBL 4645C
  • Headphones
    None currently
  • Trade Status
    I am in the Hi-Fi trade

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  1. I can basically agree with this comment and I have advocated stepping outside a strict hierarchy approach when there is a financial benefit to do so or when a defective component requires replacement. However, it is important to note that balance as described above has nothing to do with how much the various components cost, nor whether their name starts with Majik, Akurate or Klimax, etc. It only has to do with choosing the components that will provide the most musical enjoyment for the intended budget. In this sense a system with a $349 Cambridge AXA35 Integrated amplifier and a pair of PSB Alpha P3s at $219 the set fronted by an $1,150 Rega Planar 3/Elys 2 would be IMHO a balanced system. I would unhesitatingly recommend it to somebody looking for a vinyl only playback system with a budget of about $1800 (to cover the K20 speaker cables too). Got a little more money? Go up to a Planar 6/Exakt combo and you get even more music for another $850 and still what I consider a balanced system as there is no other way to spend $2850 and get more musical enjoyment. (All prices in US dollars.) To give a more Linn centric version a Majik LP12 at $4320 plus a Radikal at $4250 (total $8570 or less with Majik PSU trade in) will handily outperform an Akurate LP12 at $10,270. I have taken systems with various speakers to RMAF and Axpona and have received very positive reviews, including a Best Sound of Show award from Part-Time Audiophile for a system using $1766 a pair speakers driven by a $26,000 Klimax LP12 and $19,800 of Lejonklou electronics. My current system has a $42,700 phono stage - almost twice the cost of my $22,760 Klimax LP12 (lower price due to the removal of the Urika) which uses updated versions of the same Lejonklou Mono preamps and power amps to drive a rebuilt pair of 1978 Quad ESL speakers that probably would sell for under $4000 (although they are back in production at QUAD Musikwiedergabe for €8290). Why spend twice as much on the phono stage as on the turntable? Because if you have the most musical turntable available, as I believe the full Klimax LP12 with custom Woodson movingui plinth to be, then having the best MC phono stages (Lejonklou SINGularity mono blocks) to allow you to hear even more of the music on the record makes sense - of course only if you can afford it. I and others who have heard it consider it an extremely well balanced and musical system, despite the price (and age) disparities here and there in the system.
  2. Indeed stay with the Adikt. It is a cartridge that is underrated by some people but, as DavidHB can confirm, it is quite brilliant on a highly specified LP12 with a Slipsik 7 (which is easily superior to a Uphorik - I know one Lejonklou dealer who took a Uphorik in on trade for a Slipsik 7 once the customer did the comparison). I know at least a few people who have otherwise fully loaded LP12s but use an Adikt because A) it is tremendously musical on the end of that table and B) it has a much lower runtime cost than a Krystal or Kandid. So Radikal/Keel with Adikt is the way I would go over Radikal/Kore/MC. As others have said a more wallet friendly option would be Radikal/Kore/Adikt which will still be a wholesale musical upgrade. But if you can stretch to the Keel...
  3. I'm waiting to see if they can come up with something REALLY cool for the 50th anniversary. Unlike King Crimson who came out with another remixed, digitally remastered LP of "In the Court of the Crimson King" instead of doing a quality all analog recut from the original analog master tapes - which Fripp does have.
  4. I'm not sure I understand how it sounds more musical, but it does. It is the same electronics, but the casework is more solid and the electronics are also mounted differently. All these things seem to add up.
  5. "However, I am tempted to think just ‘F***’ it’ and go for Radikal/Keel." Good idea!
  6. Fair enough, Thomas. One is, I hope, allowed the occasional giggle ... My best friend (sadly long departed this life) had a pair of ESL 57s. He was an Anglican priest, and the ESLs readily filled the large living room of his vicarage. Another friend had a pair of ESL 63s. They were beautifully smooth and detailed, but somehow, I tended to feel, less involving even than the (sub-woofer assisted) LS3/5As that I had at the time. That might have been because the 63s were driven by a Quad 405, which, I always felt, was an amplifier punched below its weight. While it might seem excessive that I used a 606 with my little standmounts, I think that it made for a better balanced and more engaging sound. The chap who still has my old system thinks so too. David No problem with a little giggle, which it obviously was. The ESLs (or ESL57s as some call them) have a reputation for being delicate, not playing very loud, having no bass and no highs and for being beautifully musical in the midrange. As with most things in Hi-Fi, reputations are somewhat based in fact and somewhat based in fiction - as in an LP12 will go out of adjustment if you carry it across the room. While it is true that the ESLs can't reproduce the lowest bass, frequencies under 40 to 45Hz, that is also true of the majority of speakers we sell. How many current speakers of any musical quality actually go down to 20Hz accurately and with quality? However, the bass they reproduce is so musical and revealing of the quality of the instruments and how they are played that the biggest problem with the bass is in getting a sub that can actually blend seamlessly with it. This is something I am playing with and have had some success with but I still mostly listen without sub and don't miss anything. The highs do go pretty much out to 20kHz but you have to be on beam to hear them. I could always be in the center but my dog, Bella, usually gets that place and I'm not too bothered about it as they still sound great off axis. Volume levels you and I have already mentioned but I have a further advantage there of having amps that put out a potent sound but will not arc the Quads. Since the ESLs can handle 33 volts and the Tundra Monos put out 27 volts I can clip the amps pretty hard and not arc the tweeters - I actually tested this on my panels just before I sent them in for rebuild. Before I get to the rebuild I will mention that I have two pair of ELSs at home, although the second pair is sold to a friend and will be leaving soon. That pair is a 61 year old set that are stock except for improved, more reliable diodes (3kVs replacing two 1kVs in series) in the power supply. But the panels and crossovers are original and were tested and listened to by Sheldon Stokes, one of the best rebuilders of Quad 57s and 63s in North America, and found to work perfectly. I bought them to use while rebuilding another pair and I brought them to the 2019 Axpona Hi-Fi show in Chicago, IL, USA. We didn't have any problem playing loud enough for the people visiting the room, many of whom had no idea what the speakers were. Here is what John Atkinson of Stereophile had to say abut it: As good as that system was, and it was pretty amazing from a basically stock pair of 61 year old speakers, it has been taken up several levels with the rebuilt set. These were much later specimens built around 1978 and had the newer 3kV diodes and IEC connectors standard. This set has been fully rebuilt and optimized. The panels have all been rebuilt by Sheldon Stokes. I took care of the electronics. Since the diodes last virtually forever and don't shift, and the two resistors in the PS units measured perfect, those were left stock. But the resistors in the crossovers were all measuring off and the two crossovers were different despite the pair having sequential serial numbers. So I got a pair of new turret boards and all new crossover components except the original transformers. I used all Vishay 3kV resistors matched to hundredths of a percent and Vishay capacitors. The components and crossover ground wires were listened to for proper direction before being fitted. The internal wiring was also all listened to for proper direction and the power supply wires run on a separate path from the signal wires. I think it is likely that this is the only pair of ESls that has had all the internal components optimized for proper direction. Everything was soldered with Lejonklou solder at the precise temperatures we have found give the most musical results. Finally I made a slight modification to the clamping system for the panels to make sure they are held solidly to the frame. I have to say that this pair of ESls easily exceeds the musicality and power of the 61 year olds, or any others I have heard. When you then position them optimally (just over 10" off the floor, 35.5" from the wall to the inner corner and 38' to the outer corner) on solid stands (as you can see in the article above) you really get to hear what these beauties can do. Now I'd be the first to say that these aren't the speakers for you to set up a live electronic music perfromance area in your pole barn with. But I do believe the output levels attainable in a small to medium room are higher than most expect as is their frequency extension. I find them quite enjoyable and haven't heard anything I like better yet.
  7. The weight of the arm is certainly part of it as it puts more pressure on the back right spring, which already holds more weight than either of the others. But I also find the Keel itself is less forgiving of the suspension. I suspect the precision of the machining of he Keel, and the nature of it being one piece, means that the spring/grommet combination has to work more precisely and is less able to have any flaws mitigated by repositioning.
  8. Is that because they're not very loud ? David No, it's because my room isn't that large and I would have to sit outside the front windows to get much farther away. However, the Quads can generate higher levels than I really want to listen to, even when playing King Crimson or NIN.
  9. Yes, and no. The springs and grommets are more consistent and generally easier to get working right but there is still the odd table that fights you on it and the Keel is less forgiving on the springs, especially with an Ekos SE, than the Cirkus or Kore. Plus I still get the occasional LP12 from the factory that needs a rebend to the top plate so as not to rattle on the front left corner. Add to that new discoveries in getting the best out of them: precision torques, platter alignment, belt alignment, etc. and it still ends up taking three to four hours to really make one sing.
  10. Nice chair, but isn't it a little close to those Isobsriks? I never considered them as near-field monitors. (Not that I am very far away from my Quads.)
  11. I don't think any of them were made with any intention to change performance but I may be wrong. The /1 was definitely made with the intention to stop the problem of low riding cartridges. It not only rides higher but also sticks down farther when in the armrest. Because of this the stylus guard was also redesigned to be taller and not hit the diamond. I don't know what the /2 changed but I haven't noticed any dramatic difference, although I've never A/Bed it with any of the earlier versions.
  12. From your description I'd say it is most likely the spring and grommet on the left side of the plinth. It is also possible that it wasn't the trip home but just natural settling that caused it. Whenever possible I prefer to have an LP12 for 48 hours if I am replacing the springs and grommets. This allows me to do a solid setup of the suspension with the table level in the jig and then let it sit for at least 24 hours. Over this time the suspension will settle a little bit as the springs and grommets get used to the weight on them. Then I do a final tune of the suspension to make sure everything is level and still bouncing properly with no noise at normal suspension excursions. However, I frequently have people driving here from considerable distances where I make an appointment to do the service in one day for their convenience. In these cases I let them know there will be a little settling but IME it will generally be small enough to not change musical perfromance.
  13. Not really a correction, just additional information. I was pointing out that there is duty coming into the US from Scotland whereas with Grado being made in Brooklyn there is no duty in the US. In Canada I thought this might be reversed with duty on the Grado and none on the Linn but I wasn't sure as I don't know all the fine print on duties in the Great White North.