Question for Steph Dale

Discussion in 'Talk' started by Martin Shaw, 28 April 2018.

  1. Martin Shaw

    Martin Shaw Western Thunderer

    Hi Steph
    Following on from the Cambridge Audio thread, have you came across amps from a Canadian firm Simaudio, badged Moon? They look interesting and their top end power amp produces 880W, thats more than a horsepower ! Not that I am considering it, not least for the cost, any thoughts appreciated.
    regards
    Martin
     
  2. Steph Dale

    Steph Dale Western Thunderer

    Well, that worked then...:)

    Hi Martin,
    Yep, I know of the Moon integrated amps at least; the i5 was on my list as a potential upgrade for a while, but never got the chance to audition it and even now I'm not sure I've actually heard any of their stuff. It's not common in the UK but well-reviewed in the US.

    Hitting a a KW in domestic audio is not unknown; Musical Fidelity managed it with their eponymously-named amplifier about 10 years ago...

    Steph
     
  3. Martin Shaw

    Martin Shaw Western Thunderer

    Thanks Steph, I've got a demo booked for Wednesday for a 330A power amp and Rega Apollo CD transport, at this stage retaining the Quad pre amp. Should be interesting.
    Martin
     
  4. Steph Dale

    Steph Dale Western Thunderer

    It should, indeed, be interesting. The Apollo I'm assuming it's just there as an available player; it'll be comprehensively outclassed by the other elements of the system. Frankly, it's outclassed by the Rega Brio amplifier...

    But I'll bet the amp will move the speakers like you've never heard before. Just don't be seduced by the power and give yourself the opportunity to try other comparable gear before committing.

    If possible also try a decent CD player; the Leema ones impressed on the sort of budget you're looking at, but I've no comprehension of how the system would work together.

    Steph
     
  5. Martin Shaw

    Martin Shaw Western Thunderer

    Hi Steph
    I thought you might appreciate an update on the audio quest. After countless auditions of various amplifier/CD player combinations, where to be frank I could hear little discernible difference, but certainly noticed the increasingly significant price tag, I lost the will to live. So sod it I said, stick with what you know works so I went back to Huntingdon and got this.
    IMG_0567.JPG
    It works, very well I feel, certainly for me and even the 50 year old FM3 still sounds bang on. There aren't many manufacturers, of pretty much anything really, who manage compatability over that time span.

    By good fortune, or an idle waste of time on the internet, depending on your view, a Sunday evening trawl through ebay produced an unmissable temptation. A very rare opportunity to acquire some legendary loudspeakers, which I seized with both hands.
    IMG_0569.JPG
    PMC LB1s, which I first heard at a trade show in 92, so powerful was their impact that I vowed to have a pair, twenty six years later I have managed it. Considering the cabinet volume isn't much different from an LS3/5, the sound they produce is immense, of course the transmisssion line gives a bottom end like nothing else but absolutely stunning mid range neutrality, and of course unleashed the furniture, and floor, vibrates quite a lot. Amazing stuff, it will do for me. I have also had my eyes and ears opened to streaming, not least for the staggering quantity of material available, so I think thats next on the list.
    Kind Regards
    Martin
     
  6. Steph Dale

    Steph Dale Western Thunderer

    I was wondering how you were getting on. :)

    If you've reached the point you're not hearing the differences then the right thing to do, for sure, is to develop some confidence in a product and build out from there. Looks like you've managed with two products so more power to your elbow!

    Streaming is worth the effort, I'm sure. For convenience I've got a Google Chromecasts scattered around the place, but I'm waiting on the new Leema Elements Stream, due soonish. I heard the production first off at the Bristol show and I'm looking forward to hearing it in the context of my system and seeing if it works in the real world. It was very impressive and @Yorkshire Dave and I returned to their room and spent about 40 minutes with it and Lee Taylor at the and of the day, which was most enjoyable.

    This week I'm hoping to be starting bolting together a new turntable; the last major component (a large lump of machined acrylic) is apparently with the courier for delivery tomorrow.

    Steph
     
  7. Lancastrian

    Lancastrian Western Thunderer

    Ooooooh, transmission line loudspeakers ! :thumbs:

    Of course gents, rather than spending thousands on new audio equipment, you could always go the diy/upgrade route. I've done my Musical Fidelity P170 a couple of times now, and at the moment it has some very nice Audio Note capacitors, Holco resistors and Avondale Audio Shottky bridge rectifier modules on board. My Meridian 201 pre-amp has had similar upgrades, but now also has Charcroft Z foil resistors which are amazing.

    Ian
     
  8. Martin Shaw

    Martin Shaw Western Thunderer

    Ian
    My older Quad gear which must be all of 30 years old has gone to Netaudio for upgrading, principally new capacitors all round. The 34 pre amp is also getting better spec op amps and much lower distortion switching ICs, and as well as that the pre/power gain ratio is being altered so that the high gain in the pre amp is not padded down to drive the power amp set for maximum gain. Whether of course I notice any difference is going to be interesting, especially since it will become the workshop system. Yes upgrading is worth doing, but a 405 hasn't really got enough in reserve, more noticeable since I've gone with the LB1s and to my good fortune the domestic/neighbour interface allows loud most of the time. Even the boss has commented on the improvement in sound quality, although she has yet to find out how much it has cost.:(

    Regards
    Martin
     
  9. cmax

    cmax Active Member

    Steph,

    Talking of machined acrylic, and dating from the 80's IMG_4224 copy.jpg
    Enjoy

    Gary
     
  10. Steph Dale

    Steph Dale Western Thunderer

    Aah - mine begins with 'Thor' and ends with 'ens'. I'm a big fan of Arthur's work though - I have a Funk LSD in the second system.

    Is that an Acos arm? Must be good... :thumbs::)

    Pictures later, on my turntable thread. Once I've sorted out the complete goose-up I've made of repairing the cracked lid. :headbang::(

    Steph
     
  11. cmax

    cmax Active Member

    The arm shown is a Linn Basic S, its not the original (Ittok fitted with various Linn & Japanese MC cartridge's)

    It did sound rather good partnering Meridian M2 Active speakers, I'm a big active fan - At the moment its a rather nice looking ornament ! (its a long story)

    If I get back in to vinyl it will be re-built to current spec's, which is roughy fives times what the original cost.....plus arm and cartridge, look forward to seeing pictures of the Thorens.

    Gary
     
  12. Martin Shaw

    Martin Shaw Western Thunderer

    Hi Steph
    Any thoughts on the Cambridge Audio CXN streamer, I haven't listened to one yet but written reviews are all positive, and it beneficially permits limb retention.
    Regards
    Martin
     
  13. Scale7JB

    Scale7JB Western Thunderer

    I believe that all of the CX series are very highly regarded, but then I guess I am prejudiced..

    JB.
     
  14. Scale7JB

    Scale7JB Western Thunderer

    Steph, whilst I'm at it...

    Love vinyl, just a shame i don't have the space for it in the flat...

    But what makes a good tone arm? Is it the balance or stability on the pivot perhaps ?

    JB.
     
  15. Martin Shaw

    Martin Shaw Western Thunderer

    Thanks JB, I'm currently trying out a Sonos running Qbuz, with initially pretty favourable results. I'll see how that pans out first, not least from the financial point of view.
    Regards
    Martin
     
  16. Steph Dale

    Steph Dale Western Thunderer

    Hi Martin, JB,
    Sorry for the delay in getting back to you, you caught me on a very busy weekend.

    Martin,
    I've not got any first-hand experience of the CXN streamer, in fact the first time I took streaming seriously was at the Bristol hi-fi show this past
    February. My exposure to the medium is so far minimal, although I do have a couple of Google Chromecast - apart from a slightly annoying quirk when playing music from Spotify they seem to work well. Although they're not hi-fi as such they do sound surprisingly good through a decent DAC. Which, I guess, is fine if you already have the reasonable DAC...

    I'll be looking at this more when the Leema Elements streamer surfaces (currently due in September) and I'll have a look at what services I might want for 'hi-resolution' audio. Typically that means around CD-levels of data rates whereas Spotify/Amazon seem to be somewhat lower. It'll certainly be worth checking what your data/network requirements would be and one of my concerns is having to get data to a streamer on the other side of the house from the main fixed telephone connection.

    JB,
    That's not a simple question to answer! Certainly bearings and rigidity would be considered very high up a designer's goals, but there are also a whole load of interactions with the turntable and cartridge that need managing - some would also argue the counterweight can have a disproportionate effect on the sound. The things that tend to make pricey tonearms both pricey and potentially worthwhile is that they'll use good bearings, be rigid, have low mass, be able to adjust some/most/all cartridge mounting parameters and (important but often ill-considered) be able to maintain those adjustments once set. The nice-to-have considerations that can help with tuning include paint or other finish, material used in wiring (and insulation), number of electrical/mechanical connections between cartridge and amplifier and so on. I'm not commenting on the potential psycho-acoustic sound improvements caused by stickers bearing pseudo-random monikers such as 'Linn', 'SME', etc, etc!

    Steph
     
  17. Scale7JB

    Scale7JB Western Thunderer

    Thanks!

    JB.
     
  18. simond

    simond Western Thunderer

  19. TheSnapper

    TheSnapper Western Thunderer

    I bought one of these, as a portable solution, and am very pleased with it:

    Cowon Plenue D review

    Getting really into downloading 24-bit stuff, and converting some favourite CD's into FLAC files.
    One reason for getting it is to stop me buying CD's - I'm running out of shelf space....!

    Tim
     
  20. Steph Dale

    Steph Dale Western Thunderer

    Tim, Simon,
    That's interesting - I have an old-but-good MP3 player; and also have to say I've not used it since I got my last mobile phone. I've even managed to ditch the big headphones and now use these: Sphear S - Focal

    The fact the phone does hi-res and I'm not lugging around another box for music, but I'm tempted by AudioQuest DragonFly Red review or Cyrus soundKey review rather than replace my player - I like the convenience of just using the phone if I'm honest.

    Steph