"Here are a couple of pics with a short tale of what's transpired in the
System as of 12/2010
TECHNICS SL-1200MK2 Quartz driven -
Since the first write up, I have actually now seen 1200ís with SME M2-9 tonearms, SME 309ís, Jelco (both straight and S-shaped) as well as Regaís. Rega has changed the mounting to a 3-point. However, after more consideration and study, I am leaning heavily toward an SME arm or actually keeping the Technics arm (with all itís inherent functionality) and adding a fluid damper and rewire from KAB (along with many of their other upgrades and perhaps a "Time Step" power supply). The more I learn about this table, the more impressed I become.
SONY TC-KA1ES - quite good - I have taken off the door in order to more easily adjust the tape head. Though itís a very good recorder, I only use it for cassette to cd transfers.
On the side lines:
TECHNICS SL-M3 Linear Tracking Quartz driven - I believe this model was made for the Japanese market. It has an adapter for use in the states and is set to the appropriate voltage. This was maintenanced with copious amounts of care and attention. Tonearm cable terminates to rcaís on rear of cabinet allowing choice of interconnects. Titanium nitride arm. As I am doing a lot of transcription (to CD), I currently prefer the fully manual SL-1200MK2ís. Still a great deck.
TECHNICS SL-150MK2 Quartz driven - awaiting arm; perhaps a Clearaudio Tangent ;-)
TECHNICS SL-1500MK2 Quartz driven - (x2)
TECHNICS SL-1400MK2 Quartz driven semi-automatic
TECHNICS SL-QL1 Quartz driven
PIONEER CT-W604RS - functional Dolby S dual deck as backup
PIONEER SA-7500 Integrated - This sadly resides on my bench now with a tripped protection circuit. In itís place :-( the Sony STR-DE935 wizbang receiver.
SAE Mark IIIA - 120wpc - clean sound - "real wattage"; Esoteric binding posts, 3 cone feet - This is sitting idle at the moment due to the SA-7500 being out of service.
This requires an explanation. With new information (disclosure) comes new understanding. I no longer use/have the Pioneer PDR-509 an ADC, sending the 44.1kHz signal back to the PC. It turns out, from what Iíve read/learned, that the Creative Labs Audigy Platinum sample rates everything that comes into to itís "native 16/48kHz. After, depending on the problem, sample rate converts it again to 44.1kHz. Thatís a little too much converting for my tastes. With correct DC offset (a study in itself) the SNR & dynamic range of the Creativeís aux inputs shows quite good measured (and real world) performance. Acquiescing to the Audigy, I record the analog input with Sonar at 16/48kHz and allow this program to down convert to the 44.1kHz demands of Red Book CD players. This eliminates the need for high quality hardware driven sample rate conversion in the hardware. Sonar can do this at itís "leisure" and use as much CPU power as it likes. Considering the number of conversions, I have chosen not to take the 24/96 path. If so, a high res audio interface would be required to import 24/96 as 24/96 which could then be dithered with POW-R when downed to Red Book spec or simply burned as large wavís or high res discs ideally. Much debate exists over the audibility of digital distortion and artifacts in program material at the -100db level (which seems a moot point considering the SNR of a stylus gliding through the grooves of a spinning record and/or the tape hiss of the average Dobly B, C or S cassette deck. That much is for each to decide on their own.
One previous thought prevails: Ah, yes. All this, just to make digital sound more like a GOOD RECORD !!!
I no longer have the Sony CDP-CX350 Mega Changer, as I gave it away, literally along with the Pioneer PDR-509. The family system JVC XLM-415 6+1 CD Changer with 8 times over-sampling and 103 or better signal-to-noise ratio now resides in the listening room system. It sounds much better anyway. Iíve owned this the longest (since itís 1994 year of manufacture). Amazing,.still works.
What they say is true. The KLH 9915ís, although they say they go from 20Hz to 20kHz, have a quite noticeable lower midbass suck out. I have put them in the family system and returned the EPI model 100 2-way 8" loudspeakers to the listening room system. Not as much bass as before; but, a much more cohesive and full sound.
Interconnects: Audio Research
"Movin' On Up"
Replace the EPIís with Maggies.
I no longer desire mono blocs as I really am happy with the SAE Mark IIIA.
Now with the SA-7500 on the bench I am looking even more heavily into a possible replacement. As of late, I have been bitten by the tube bug and am seriously looking into the Bottlehead DIY Foreplay III Preamp and Seduction Phono Preamp. (They look a lot easier to put together than the vintage style guitar amps I build.)
If it's good music...I'll listen to it, preferably on vinyl.
RECORDS PICTURED ON TURNTABLES:
Nina Simone: Little Girl Blue (GetBack reissue on blue vinyl)
Nat King Cole: Unforgettable (Capitol)
Stanton Trackmaster used to play those bargain bin finds you just gotta have that will otherwise trash a quality stylus!
This is still great fun... ...but, Iím definitely learning to trust my ears rather than believe the hype! ;-)