DSJR

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About DSJR

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    I am in the Hi-Fi trade

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  1. It seems in some city (London) 'audio salons,' the mains is so shit that any form of power 'conditioning' makes for an improvement. Going back twenty years, a Kimber wired Russ Andrews block improved the sound of the Krell amps and other sources we had, althouigh the largest FPB we had at the time I was there was the 300 (I really liked this 'baby' model). Thing is, the FPB600 is a bit of a monster and some filters out there may be stressed a bit with the possible current demands if the amp is pushed a bit. Of course, if you have the dosh to buy into such things, Transparent have a 'range' of conditioners at very high price points and the difference on some of the stupid money ones 'appears' to be casework rather than innards (I'll never be able to see exactly what's inside these though). The Transparent boxes reportedly have four mains sockets on them, but for best performance, you only use two units on each maximum (sales spiel or real I have no idea). My take is that more recent sources and preamps 'should' have better isolation of rf muck coming in these days and to be honest, clip-on cable ferrites can work wonders on any remaining 'stuff' flying around. Clip-on ferrites on the mains cables (to start with) are dirt cheap, easily fitted and removed and in my experience, can make a subtle improvement in certain circumstances, especially wayward mid period 'domestic digital.' One good thing to consider with such a large ampo is a dedicated supply for the stereo. This helps isolate the stereo system from other stuff in the house. Even if the amp is twenty years old, you still need to 'play the game' as if it's a new one for best performance and it's this aspect and the costs involved which helped me decide to sell the Krell KSA 50S I had for a short while, as it didn't 'sound' so exalted to me and putting my dealer hat on, to possibly 'improve' the sound would involve shedloads of money chucked at the preamp, all the cables and even speakers eventually. It's part of the krell/ARC/Levinson 'club' you enter when owning such gear. The FPB's were a clear step forward to me, having a less 'demonstrative' kind of sound and absolute TOTAL control over any speaker connected to it - even cheap tiny boxes took on a whole new stature and scale when connected to one of these...
  2. My memories are from store dems I did and a couple of installs before I left that dealer and all but semi retired... Keilidh's ACTIVE balanced well in a mid field position, but nearfield, the tweeters were firing into one's knees and going passive, bi-wire or even bi-amped to a degree, for some reason the midrange was recessed subjectively I felt, both in the dem rooms and at home too (my Keilidh's were later ones). Linn liked their BASS back then - cough... To me and colleagues, the Ninka's balanced far better in stock passive mode and going active with them (easy on these depending on positioning the easily changeable plates on the back), substantially refined, smoothed and opened them up, but without fundamentally changing the balance I remember. The higher set and smoother tweeter seemed to 'integrate' better generally and image height was usefully lifted I felt. To conclude, don't write the Keilidh's off totally. I still feel that *active* in a room with space between them and the listener, original spec ones can still involve in the music very well, but no doubt the Ninka was less compromised in many areas and maybe looked better as well? Hope the above helps.
  3. No disrespect, but somehow, the OP needs to do some listening rather than all of 'us' offering differing opinions. It also very much depends on the age of the LP12 and it's state of 'updatedness.' The earlier the LP12 build (pre 1990 especially), the lower the sonic ceiling in my book, especially today with more neutral vinyl alternatives available. The old SME 3009's varied according top model. The 'Improved' ones with screw-on style counterweights were a bit resonant by today's standards and really, you're limited to only some MM cartridge types if a 2-D leanness is to be avoided. The original pre 1972 3009's were 'massier' and with suitable modern headshells, can work with many MC cartridges. I'd hesitate to recommend one on anything other than the earliest LP12's which may have some cachet and value in being original... The Basik Plus in fine order is still a very good tonearm for mid period LP12's, largely holding the pre late 80's 'fruitbox bloat' in the bass at bay and offering good musical communication. A modern AT MM (VM95-EN or better, AT520/530/540) should be a fine match as long as the arm is behaving itself and not messed up by over-enthusiastic dealers or end users over the last thirty years. The new Jelco made? Majik tonearm should be a fine replacement (somehow the Akito has got itself almost tripled in price in real terms - not sure how that happened but there you are and 'better materials and bearings' really don't cost much more I gather from engineers...). As for the Ittok upwards... for proper reproduction of vinyl these days I'm going to stick me head on the block and INSIST on a modern sub-chassis at the very least!!! I'm relying on Linn's marketing spiel that even the current stock sub-chassis is better than the early Cirkus one, which to me transformed an early 90's deck with Ittok, ARO or Ekos. To my ears, an Ittok NEEDS this extra control in the bass to sound anywhere near how it should and plonked on a straight early 80's LP12 as we all did at the time, colours the bass up no end - one reason why Linnies hated 'digital' in its early days and I later discovered it was little to do with the early players either I subsequently discovered... A good dealer can check the state of the main bearing as well, as some mid 80's samples don't last as long as others can and sound is well effed up if that's the case. So yeah, a good example of an Ittok of any age and even more so an Ekos (an early one MUST have good bearings as some didn't and escaped warranty claims!), will 'load up' the LP12 structure and if a bloated bass and sometimes clanky top is to be avoided, the deck MUST have as many of the structural updates as possible, especially the sub chassis in my opinion.
  4. DSJR

    JR149 Loudspeakers

    The trials of describing stuff on forums - you're going to laugh now My current main speakers, the first 'proper' speakers I ever sold and dating from late '74, are a pair of inherited and now tatty Spendor BC2's, with doped bextrene main drivers and fitted with directly descended and almost identical SA2 main drivers, which needed some extra padding on the HF1300's to bring them roughly into balance. i had help from Spendor's current designer in sourcing these drivers and Derek Hughes in sorting a suitable tweeter pad. Unlike BC1's, these don't boom and the slight driver issues at the crossover point don't get in the way with rock music played at very sensible (low ) volumes... I cannot bring myself to move these on as I have an enormous sentimental attachment to them. The doping on the drivers tames the 'quack' nicely and the issues at the top of it's range are due to phase reflections in the voice coil region, which were sorted in the derived SP1 driver by a pastic plug on top of the pole piece and no dust cap. I also have a pair of Harbeth SHL5's which thunder too much in the bass in this room. The creamy mids are somewhat masked by the bass excess in this room, the crossover suckout, made worse if the speakers are set too low, is a major issue for me and the tweeter is then a tinselly sparkle perched on top. I need to try them again with the newer taller stands I now use, to get the tweeters at ear level and harbeth suggested as a last resort to plug the ports - eek! The 'plus' crossovers may also help here, but costs again may be an issue assuming I could get a pair - the crossovers plus revised internal damping account for most of the difference I've been told. A third pair I really do need to sell now is a pair of Rogers LS5/9's which came from a non-BBC editing suite. the mid bass tubbiness in these swamps the rest of it, the upper mid recess designed-in and my room see to that. This pair in free space on 20" stands is a different kettle of fish though, the 'monitor' aspect coming to life and totally opposite the results I'm getting here. I'm not averse to the B110 driver, as back in the day, IMF were able to get a sweeter tone from it (putting the ultra low bass excesses aside for a minute) and I also love the KEF 104ab now that 'digital' doesn't upset the abr bass re-enforcement as vinyl did. All the B200's are inclined to a slightly 'hollow' mid sound, but you only notice it in comparison with other speakers directly and it's very slight indeed. My ears being what they are after decades of 'Led Zeppelin' at high volumes (when I could get away with it ) now means I am less sensitive to lower 'treble' sounds right where crossovers are and where many speakers have suckouts (Harbeth) or severe phasing issues affecting dispersion. I'm quite at home with ATC's active three way designs, the mid dome sounding good to me at these frequencies, especially in current models I've heard (I'd love a pair of active 40's here, but price prevents this right now). With age, increased sensitivity to harshness is also a problem, so the 3/5A characteristics aren't for me as easily forgiven as they might have been at one time. I heard a pair of Primare driven Falcon 3/5A's very recently and all the character I remember and don't care for overmuch was there - sorry! The RAM floor-standers nearby were so much better, for me anyway and much more 'tuneful' reproducing melodies. I've toyed with the idea of junking the lot and starting again - and a possible house move in the next couple of years may accelerate this. JBL L100mk2's bring a very naughty grin to my face, but they're too dumpy in shape for a smaller sitting room. More likely, I'll return to active ATC's - the slimmer 40's perhaps, as the beloved 100A's I once owned (paper cone and doped cloth mid dome) are just too damned expensive and far too bulky for me now sadly. Apologies all, for shitting all over this thread. back to topic, I do remember the JR sub working well with 149's and today, one of the more 'tuneful' smaller active subs might do well also (I'm thinking M&K from memory as they 'played tunes' with bass notes which many home theatre tyoes don't)...
  5. I should add I'm not a fan of tiny speakers, but if you feel going active with Katans is more than just a refinement, then who the eff am I to argue or disagree It's so bloody long since I did it. Did I read you were using a Tisbury passive pre? If it's happy driving the load, maybe that's made a good difference for you too I don't know, but I'm drifting off again. In the right electrical circumstances, I do like the musical freedom a passive volume control can bring.
  6. DSJR

    JR149 Loudspeakers

    Maybe I'm allergic to the KEF B110 main driver in free flow, but 3/5A's and especially the original 149's always squeaked on vocals to my ears, the compromise of a tiny IB loaded box anf the driver's peaks at around 1.5k and 5k just too much for me, the latter resonance barely hidden in the crossover (Kans used to make me wince). The JR's looked great I admit (that's what sold them back then) and maybe they even measured 'better' than the deliberately tailored 3/5A as well. I rather liked the taller JR150 but these would be even rarer I suspect. JR's sub did help a little I remember to flesh the sound out a touch. Don't forget chaps that music has BASS as well as mid and top. The old T27 tweeter could have a wiry tinsel effect if not matched well and the 3/5A exaggerated this to emphasise distortion and hiss in the BBC programme material it was designed to 'monitor' in confined spaces. Neutral and 'accurately balanced' it certainly isn't - not really - and the current Falcon thing I heard recently hasn't changed my view one iota, as it still spits and squeaks...
  7. Thanks for clarification regarding stereo vs mono cards. I assumed from old memories that each 5125 channel would need it's own mono card, so apologies for getting this bit wrong. Katans should be 'refined' considerably by going active - but I feel it's not the kind of transformation one gets with one or two other Linn models i recall. "Oh, when your memories fail ya!"... (Ev'rybody gotta know...)
  8. I did an Ittok on an Axis once for someone... The extra welly of the Ittok kind-of helped to tame the bleached and slightly 'one note thumpy' quality the Axis has when compared to its peers. Don't worry though, the 'Linn Chip' has been kind of re-activated in recent times and I'd never suggest this as a normal thing. having said that, an original 'Silver' tonearm cable did improve and refine a Basik Plus/K9 on an Axis and as well as surprising us, the customer was delighted with it! Sorry if I/we are going off topic, but I maintain that before looking at ANY expensive tonearm for an LP12, these days I'd recommend a full structural update FIRST and before the fancy-foo expensive motor updates too. In the meantime, I do hope the new Majik tonearm will do the business (I'm not a fan of the Pro-ject arms, sorry) and now AT have their refreshed MM types (500 models) costing rather less than an Adikt, I'm sure a seriously good vinyl sound can be achieved while the deck itself is updated. Just my own thoughts obviously!
  9. Mad fools - all that compression and added filtering of the now digital masters to condense the sound for vinyl, just so you can wet yourself again all over the LP sleeves
  10. Going active with Keildh's will be a transformation and a half I reckon as there's a whole load of midrange you're almost certainly missing right now If you remove the bi-wire plates on the back of the speakers, you can use four of the five 5125 amp modules to drive them - use two pairs of interconnects from your preamp and two sets of speaker cables. When you go active (aktiv), I remember you'll need mono cards, two per channel and of course, the Keilidh's will need internal surgery, which is fiddly but not impossible for an end user to do if you're careful. You'll then need to check the bass-mid amp modules go to the bass-mid speaker sockets. As a precaution, don't connect the tweeters until you're certain the bass-mid drivers are working properly.
  11. Musical maybe, but a bit gutless if pushed. Kans have no real bass power, but I admit what's there is clean and never boomy. I'm sure a Klout would be ideal as the 'punch' from this amp would be ideal. An LK100 would be too grainy I think and a 140 maybe a bit toppy (an LK85 isn't beefy enough in tone for old Kans and marginal for more neutral Tukan and katan I remember). I don't know the ranges that came after, so can't comment with authority here. What follows may be out of turn, for which I apologise, but old CB Naim amps (Nait 1 and well set up 135's excepted) are little more than PA grade in absolute honesty and in my opinion (this amp circuit is basically a modified 1950's PA amp circuit I gather and 50W was very powerful indeed back then) and I now say this with the hindsight and experience of a hell of a lot of alternative decent product. CB mid level Naims (110, early 140, 160 and 250's most of the time) were hard toned, up front, graceless and if used with a period Naim preamp, 2 dimensional too/ When I was nearly forty years younger than I am now, it was an 'exciting' listen, but I couldn't deal with it now, any more than I can take the upper mid hardness of an Lk280/SPARK I've been playing with recently. Now, before I'm accused of trolling here, SERVICING an old CB wreck can restore a lot of grace and delicacy these amps often lacked when new and the 2-D 'issue' for me was more than answered in the 52 and 82 models. Olive Naims also all need servicing (a bane of the circuit as used I gather, where things can drift off over a year or three), but I remember the 180 sounding delightful when launched - so good our six month old 24/7 250 needing to go back for 'adjustment' as it sounded much worse tonally. Current Naim fare is very different I think and rather better. Mids now have air and space a lot of the time, the mid bass bops along smartly keeping the pr@t going, but the top can sometimes be grainy depending on model (possibly why so many naimie recommended speakers have filling-removing tweeter settings?) and lower powered amps can hard clip, making you jump (or wince depending on the listener's age). So, no reason at all why your existing amp can't drive a Klout to advantage, and suitable interconnects can be easily obtained (Flashback cables for one, if you ask). if you'd rather get a Naim power amp, a 150 may be suitable here and less fatiguing than a tired/knackered old CB type in my book, if nobody elses P.S. As I've tried to say above, one man's 'exciting' is another man's hard and fatiguing and looking back over many decades now, it's as much to do with the listener's age and music tastes as to where they stand or fall in this. The original bolt-up Naim 120 and 250 in good order are gentle, musical and NOTHING like the CB and some Olive models that followed in my experience. The bolt up stuff will be well tired by now and will need a lot of work if it hasn't already been done and in all honesty, the current amps with surface mount components and modern cap choices here and there, would be a far better bet in my book. Used prices are silly really, but it helps the amps to not depreciate so much over time.
  12. DSJR

    Speaker stands on a suspended wooden floor...

    I come from the early 80's direct couple 'spiked to the floor' school with cross-head screws thoroughly screwed into the floorboards to take the spikes. Worked well enough for Linn speakers back then - BUT!!! I post occasionally (making myself unpopular I suspect) on a Facebook Harbeth group. I was concerned when the main man there used decoupling pods between his Harbeth 5+'s and the Something Solid STANDS, rather than the stands and wooden floor. Harbeths hardly have a tight bass at the best of times although they're moving much further in that direction to be fair with the 30.1, 5+ and 40.2's, but this chap claims the bass is clearer, boom is substantially reduced and the main reason why he did it, his neighbours downstairs aren't affected anything like as much as before. he's tried different amps from a lovely expensive current Luxman integrated, to Quad Artera to a Prima Luna badly measuring (into a Harbeth type load) valvey jobbie and it's not the amp-speaker matching issue at all. He used Isopucks 9kg types, one on each corner between stand and speaker (!) and claims a massive improvement in the bass quality. Not sure if this is helpful, but I share anyway
  13. DSJR

    KEF 103 Project Digital Active conversion

    Agree how better caps can open up a crossover sonically and it's surprised me how even better caps not directly in the signal path can affect an improvement. I may need to disagree with you regarding Sara 9's. Whether Linn or Naim amp driven, they were truly horrid, as were the Kan II's. The previous generation's slight 'quack' which favoured rim-shots so much, seemed to be turned into a kind of 'awww' colouration which the Linn driving amps made even worse. The late issue Isobariks weren't so messed up I recall. i was beginning to doubt my memories of the time, but recent spells with a restored LK1/280/SPARK have brought it all back and then some I liked both the 405-2's I had some years ago now and the second one eventually transferred over to the AVI S2000 models (baby stereo and mono's) as they didn't cook too hot to touch when thrashing into inefficient ATC 20's - cough. I look forward to reading how you get on
  14. Speaking around the OP's question. If price and 'good value' isn't an important option (it seems to be on many audio forums, or is it just a UK thing?), then I suppose an Ekos SE/Kandid and possibly the Javelin would make some kind of sense. Linn of all people knew how dire their mid 80's LP12/Ittok/Troika was compared to the original master 'sound' (nearly put me off vinyl for life when they demonstrated this to me) and I have to say the Cirkus bearing/sub chassis upgrades plus later plinth tweaks did a hell of a lot to smarten the old soggy fruity sound out (what I'm describing goes way beyond 'just' set up too I should add). A current top spec LP12/Ekos SE/Kandid is almost unrecognisable from memories of a mid 80's example and very very good on a truly wide range system I think, although the price for me is all but ridiculous. Many of you lot wouldn't have this cost vibe though, so apologies. Granny sucking eggs for many posters here, but my take is to get the DECK in full updated order first before talking about the arm fitted. No point in fitting an expensive advanced tonearm of any price to an otherwise ok LP12 from 1981 for example. Just my take on it - and from the sublime to ridiculous, some of you may be surprised how 'far' a Basik Plus can go if the platform it's on is good enough and its exit cabling upgraded
  15. Such a shame these things will be so expensive as all things Linn are today. I'm sure this one will more properly take over where the still good Basik Plus left off (and maybe a nice original Akito that hasn't been 'knurdled' on the pillar ) P.S. I set up an original Basik Plus not long ago and as this hadn't been messed with, the counterweight insert was still 'tubular' but I admit I'd have liked a bit more 'grip' from the counterweight when setting balance and downforce - it wasn't free spinning though as some I did many years ago. This one hadn't been abused ever, everything was still 'tight' and clean pillar with only a faint locking mark. Still sounds good with mid price AT cartridges and a Sumiko Pearl didn't sound too dull and heavy handed either, which surprised me a bit...