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About Gaffer

  • Rank
  • Birthday Private

Personal Info

  • Location
    South Blighty

Wigwam Info

  • Turn Table
    PrJct 2Xprc/ SpdbxS
  • Tone Arm & Cartridge
    PrJct 9c/Ortfn MC15
  • SUT / Phono Stage
    PrJct PhnBx DS+
  • Digital Source 1
    Naim CD5si
  • Digital Source 2
    Technics ST-3500
  • DAC
    Arcam irDAC
  • Integrated Amp
    PrimaLuna Prologue 2
  • Pre-Amp
    DSPeaker 8033
  • Power Amp/s
    BKElec XLS200
  • My Speakers
    Tannoy Prstge Trnbry
  • Headphones
    Lots and Lots
  • Trade Status
    I am not in the Hi-Fi trade

Recent Profile Visitors

594 profile views
  1. Gaffer

    Amp or Valves?

    OK so the system really sings with the KT120s (first time I've tried them with the Turberry's actually) so they're staying put. Another thing which in hindsight should've alerted me was I've had a growing suspicion over the past 2-3months that the stereo image is slightly off-centre to the right (i.e. most vocalists appeared to be in standing slightly rightward a few cm), but it's so marginal that I thought I was going crazy. Since putting the KT120s in, imaging is rock steady dead-centre so I think it has been a developing issue with the valves (I never thought about it originally as it only just struck me now whilst listening to the comparison). Maybe (despite what PL say) I should've used matched quads rather than 2xmatched pairs - but at some point I'll see if I can get these EL34s checked/tested (I think maybe Gakk in Brighton might offer this service) - otherwise they'll get binned. Thank for the help (only drawback of a valve amp imho, at least with SS I didn't feel like I needed a pHD to diagnose faults , but at least the valves are replaceable, available and fairly cheap). ** ** Just had a look at the PL website and if I had to buy another it would be the Evo 300 for £3600ish - even the entry level Evo 100 is double the price I paid for the Prologue2 so thankfully I don't
  2. Gaffer

    Amp or Valves?

    It never rains, it pours..... So whilst waiting for my new cart to arrive, thought I’d listen to some CDs and turned on the system. A few seconds later a thud/bang that sounded like something heavy hitting the floor happened so I turn around. Happens again and it’s actually intermittently coming from the right speaker. Confused, I look at the amp and notice a very bright glow. Looking head on at the EL34s L to R, this is what I see: 1 = 50% brighter (far left) 2 = normal 3 = 200% brighter 4 = normal (far right) Concerned I immediately switched it off and hoping to track down the cause, switched 2 and 3 around. Cautiously switching on I got this: 1 = 50% brighter (far left) 2 = normal 3 = normal 4 = normal (far right) So what is that then, amp channel or bad tube? Background: amp is Primaluna Prologue 2 with Autobias Sockets 1 & 4 initially had matched Tungsol EL34s Sockets 2 & 3 initially had matched Svetlana EL34s (So I swapped the Svets around) - been working fine this way for past 7 months or so since I got the Tannoys. I then thought rather than the headache of trying to figure it out late at night, I’d revert back to my KT120s (matched quad Tungsol) which gives this: 1-4 = all normal, and sounds great (more neutral across mid/treble than EL34s but more bass) The EL34s appear unburnt/unscorched and don’t smell burnt either. Anyone have any idea what’s going on? I’m hoping it’s a bad tube(s) and the amp is fine (it’s acting fine with the KT120s) - because I can easily replace tubes with new ones if needed. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  3. Gaffer

    So I sold my ATC SCM 40 mk 1's..

    Lovely looking speakers , but the SCM40s are lovely speakers and would take some beating I bet. Do these ones sound better in bass (you said it's good but is it better than the SCM40) and treble? Given how good the ATCs are ( the midrange, as you've found) I would've been tempted to keep them tbh
  4. Gaffer

    John Wood KT88 amp,what valves do you use?

    Have a PL Prologue 2 rather than a JW but FWIW, originally used PrimaLuna KT88s. Currently using a set of Svetlana EL34s but alternate to TungSol KT120s when needed .
  5. Gaffer

    Linear power supplies?

    I think a properly engineered PSU will not pollute the mains with anything much (and as mentioned a properly made SMP will make sure what's injected is outside audible range).......BUT..... both will trump a poorly made PSU/SMP. I also think that unless otherwise stated, the Hi-Fi manufacturer has NOT designed the SMP themselves but have simply included the lowest cost off-the-shelf supply they can find in order to sell their product (usually from a 3rd party non-audio company) - which means most SMPs supplied with Hi-Fi is not optimised for that particular device and will chuck crap back into the mains. Take some of my components with their power supplies for example: Arcam irDAC 12V 1.5A Shenzen Green Power Electric FD10K-15120-1500 ProJect SpeedBox S 18V 0.5A Ktec KSAS0101800050D5 ProJect PhonoBox DS+ 18V 0.5A Xinsu Global Electronic Co. XSG1800500 DSPeaker 9VAC 0.5A Nordic Power AB A20950BC sthng 12V 2.0A Good Year Technologies GA120020 Nordic Power? Good Year Technologies? I thought they made tyres? Seriously though, I found that swapping these out for even cheap, purpose-built Linear PSUs has improved SQ on my set up. It's not even subtle. With my high sensitivity turnberry's I can clearly hear a low background "grunge" when the Arcam SMP was plugged in, now completely eliminated with my Linear PSUs (managed to get rid of nearly all my SMPs (>5) this way).
  6. Gaffer

    I broke my cartridge :(

    What is going on with Tapatalk? (prev post was meant to be a not a ). Anyhoos, experience with the vendor has not been great so far - First they promised free delivery but kept adding delivery charges to the basket. Once corrected (after I contacted them), I ordered on Monday and they promise next day delivery via DPD....but nothing arrived...waited.....finally today (Friday) ring them and told they actually don't have it in stock after all and have to order it in .......but it would've been nice to be told this as NO communication at all from them and without me ringing them I would never have known . They say I'll get it on Tuesday (9 days after ordering) least I paid by paypal and can get a full refund if I keep getting dicked around (in short, good price but terrible communication and poor delivery times -> I'm hoping it's new and unused when (if) it turns up ) . So anyway I weighed the existing screws and they add 1.15g meaning total (cart+screws) is now 6.85g, which is over the 6g minimum for the arm so I shouldn't need the headshell weight should I? Plus, the 9C arm has an additional finger lift to add which ProJect say is "optional" in the instructions. Does this mean the 'effective weight' of the tonearm is 11g without the lifter (or is it 11g with it on)? Sorry for the basic Q's but it took me an absolute age to set the MC15 up properly so I want to get all the info to do it right beforehand this time and get it done in one go .
  7. Gaffer

    I broke my cartridge :(

    Thanks for everyone’s help, just ordered the BM Gold for £295 Having a look at the AudioAffairs website they promise to try and price match but when I gave them a link to SNvinyl’s £383 they weren’t having any of it (worth a try [emoji6]). Whilst I suspect it may not be as good as the AT33, the BMgold should still be a helluva lot better than the MC15superII it replaces and is within my budget currently [emoji4] Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  8. Gaffer

    I broke my cartridge :(

    UPDATE: AT33PTG/II - So I emailed SNvinyl for a 3rd time and still not even the courtesy of a response. Then I read the horrific reviews on Trustpilot and have decided to steer well clear. That leaves me with the option of £435 from AudioAffair which includes VAT & Delivery...... ....or.... Benz Micro Gold - White box (basic) version (no accessories) for £295 from AudioEmotion (on the basis that I have a spirit level and a screwdriver so all I need is the cart, screws and info leaflet). The question with the BMGold is it is only 5.7g but my tonearm (ProJect 9c 11g) states that minimum cart weight should be 6g (max 10g). To "fix" this I have a 0.98g Grado weight from my first ever cart to screw in between arm headshell and cart and bring weight up to 6.68g........or doesn't it work like that? If that's correct then do I change the tracking force at all? Or I could spend £50 and buy a custom built wooden body that would weigh more but that's fiddly and an extra expense I don't want (I already have the Grado weight so it won't cost me by adding it in between). Finally, based on those prices, is the £140 more expensive Audio Technica worth the xtra cost seeing as I haven't got the best / most esoteric TT in the world anyway (Project Xperience/Acryl + 9c arm)? ....just wanted a final reassurance before pulling the trigger
  9. Gaffer

    Hi-Fi Youtube Channels

    Here's an additional two if you're into no-nonsense headphone reviews:
  10. Gaffer

    I broke my cartridge :(

    Well I e-mailed him again yesterday (1st one 2 days ago was an online contact form so maybe it didn't get through?).....but again no response. I get the feeling something's off and owning an Affordable Valve Company amp has made me VERY wary of unreliable or odd vendors . It's a shame really 'cos it was a good price too @ £383. Funnily enough, most of the ads on eBay are from a variation of 2juki (he has a few stores on eBay) - every single one of which says the buyer is responsible for VAT/Duty, meaning the cost may well end up being more than UK rrp anyway. .....actually the site says the same thing "International Buyer and/or recipient are responsible for paying all customs taxes/VATs/import duties that may be imposed by your country's customs bureau. These charges are vary widely from country to country, so we’re unable to predict what your particular charges may be. More information can be obtained by contacting your local customs office." I'm looking at £481 just with VAT alone (not even including other customs charges - I think it is 2.5% for godds up to £600, so that's an additional £10 so just shy of £500 total, then add the couriers handling charge and I'm looking at £500).... Like I said I'm happy to look at MM but it would have to be very very good (I think the nearest equivalent would be the Ortofon 2M Bronze?). EDIT: After some more researching it looks like 2Juki is out - he sells grey imports which have no warranty and the origin may be dubious reading other reviews: "After reading here and checking out his eBay feedback, I decided to buy a ortofon 2m Black from him. Which arrived very quickly and well packaged no complaints there. A mate of mine installed it and yes it sounded good and better than the rega Elyse I had on. He did pick up there was no warranty card in the box. However I decided to send the serial numbers on the packaging to ortofon Denmark.they advised while the serial numbers were similar to what they should be, they had no record of the serial numbers I had provided. I sent juki a email to comment on ortofon findings. He replied that it was a genuine ortofon cartridge and made no comment regarding the serial numbers. No longer 100% convinced the cartridge was 100% genuine or brand new. I send the cartridge back and asked for a full refund through PayPal which come through within a reasonable time. I'm still not sure what exactly the cartridge was,new, NOS, second hand, demo or fake - it did seem to work okay and I did get a full refund when asked for. I'll write it off to experience and as always caveat emptor." "He also sells the expensive and very small manufacturing run Ikeda tonearms, though Ikeda Labs themselves say he is not an authorised seller. ???" etc Nothing wrong with Grey imports per se - (there's a headphone site that does the same thing but when spending this much I do want an official/original warranty.
  11. Gaffer

    I broke my cartridge :(

    I calculated it as £37.50 px for the broken MC as it's 25% cart cost? (I'd opt for the Ortofon Quintet Blue if I went for it - that rrps at £350 so I'd get it for £312.5 which is a great price ). Dynavector slightly out of my price range at £500 (I have to draw the line somewhere or I might end up with a Koetsu Onyx ) Benz Gold - only time I've seen that cheaper than £325 is a few sites selling it at £295 but I gather it's sold in a simple white cardboard box with no ancillaries. The £325 option comes in a red box with mounting hardware, screwdriver, cleaning brush, instructions and spirit level: Is it worth the extra for the "extras"? The AT33PTG I've found at a HiFi place in Lanarkshire which is advertising as "in stock" for only £383 but they've not got an "add to basket" button so I can't seem to figure out how to buy it. I've fired them off an e-mail yesterday but still no response (makes me think it's a bogus site). eBay is cheaper but ALL the ads state buyer is responsible for import duty and VAT. Even if you ignore the import duty (whatever that would be) and simply add the 20% VAT, the price ususally ends up much more expensive than the UK anyway . Nearest "legit" price I've seen is £435 so a helluvalot more than the Benz Gold. Is it noticeably better than the MB Gold? (worth the extra £100ish on top - £100 can buy a lot of vinyl)
  12. Gaffer

    I broke my cartridge :(

    I don't want to re-tip a £125 cartridge at more than double it's cost (if the re-tip cost was £50 I'd go for it ) - would rather buy a newer better one (and claiming on insurance might also not be worth it for the resultant hike in premiums)... I am happy with good quality S/H and Graham kindly pointed me to a At33TPG with 100hrs for £220 but the seller had already sold it but forgot to take the advert down Am also happy to consider MM or MI as I think my set up can cope with anything. Currently my shortlist is: MB Gold AT33TPG/II if I can get it a lot cheaper than the £490 rrp Possibly a loMC Sumiko BPiii as a new one is going on eBay for £360 (£90 off rrp) Possibly a Hana EL if it is both cheaper and demonstrably "better" than the MB Gold
  13. Gaffer

    I broke my cartridge :(

    I was looking at the Ortofon Quintet Blue actually but it looks mahoosive and I thought I'd try other brands. @Graham, I made a mistake in my calculation -, a website incorrectly listed the At33 compliance as 6x10-6 cm/dyne but looking at AudioTechnica website it should be plugging that in along with it's weight of 6.9g gives an actual figure of 11.896Hz.....just within acceptable limits. Having said that I also have an old Grado weight knocking around that would add 0.98g to the total weight thus bringing it slightly more down to 11.583Hz, but as you say if it is 9Hz then it looks to be spot on yep, definitely back on my shortlist
  14. Gaffer

    I broke my cartridge :(

    I've seen the AT33EV for £400 at analogue seduction. Then there's the AT33PTG/II for £450 - finally a cart with a fine-line stylus but I'll need to hunt for that price drop (I've recently had a car service bill for £780 along with an increase in nursery fees for the little monster PLUS laptop screen damaged and might need a replacement for that too - never pours...- so any savings would be welcomed). The Hana EL also looks good and is £384. The issue is I seem to have too much choice . Here are the specs of my current MC15: Is it worth mentioning the load options on the phonobox ds+ are as follows: 10ohm, 100ohm, 1000ohm, 47000ohm (based on the above chart I used 100ohm) Also, plugging in the weights into the resonance calculation I got this: 1000/ (2 x pi SQrt (Total weight x compliance)). Weight of 9c arm = 11g (medium weight for a tonearm). Adding this to the cart weight gave a resonance of 9.686Hz. The other carts would give: Sumiko lo 10.458Hz Denon 103R 16.118Hz Benz Micro Gold 10.056Hz Hana EL 9.650Hz AT33PTG/II 15.357Hz ^^^ Does this matter at all? They say it should be ideally 7-12 which would rule out the denon and AT33 for my tonearm - or should I ignore it?
  15. Gaffer

    I broke my cartridge :(

    So I get out my macro lens and was astounded by the amount of crud on the stylus of my Ortofon MC15 mkII - which led me to gently attempt a clean using Onzow Zerodust along with a stylus brush.......... .........and I ended up damaging the stylus despite brushing the correct way and being gentle. By "damage" I mean the stylus actually came out - as in "fell out with the brush" which leads me to think maybe the butyl rubber suspension mounts (cart was bought early 2005ish) were old but anyway, point is I've knackered it so am in the market for a replacement. The MC15 had a "micro fine-line" tip as c.f. elliptical but I'm finding it hard to find similar nowadays at the same price point. In fact, I'm finding hard to find ANY loMC cart at the same price point of £125, so I'm having to step it up a bit for replacements. I have a Project DS+ phono box that accepts both MC and MM/MI carts so the world is my oyster to coin a phrase......but I have a few questions first: Sumiko Blue Point Special Evo III £450 My most expensive option, comes in 2 versions a loMC and a hiMC. Now, seeing as they are effectively the same even being at the same price point (so all else being equal like both having elliptical styli and the cart weight being the same as well etc), what advantage would one have over the other? I gather that the loMC will have fewer turns, thus allowing for less stylus inertia and better high freq tracking? In which case would the loMC version be better? I think my phonostage would cope well with either so it comes down to a coin toss really. Having said that it's nearly 4x my existing cart so would prefer something cheaper like: Benz Micro Gold £325 for the Gold. They also do a Silver version for £295 that is MM not MC.......but I would like the MC version as my Ortofon is MC so it's a closer match for only £30 more - having said that would I get the same level of detail and clarity from the hiMM Silver as in the loMC Gold? (I assume the Gold would be a sonic improvement). I think I'd opt for the Gold in the absence of any reason not to to be honest. Denon DL103 R £330 so a rival for the Benz Micro gold and also a loMC so pretty well matched to it. However, all of the reviews I've read effectively rate this as "good" on average whilst the BM tends to get "excellent" (or better reviews at least). Not having experienced either, they seem pretty even to me (EDIT: can get a new Denon103R on eBay for £273 so actually a bit of a saving there). Overall I'm leaning towards the Benz Micro Gold with a slim chance of going for the Sumiko if I can get the funds together (fairly unlikely at the mo' tbh). I plan on buying it in the next few months so it's not an imminent need either (I can wait) - but i was hoping some of you could shed a bit of light on my Q's first EDIT: Just seen the High Output Sumiko going on eBay for £360 which is tempting it an big improvement over the Benz micro?