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Listening at The Analog Dept.  

2-channel audio

2-2017

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Above: system as of February, 01 2017  getting it back into heavy slate

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above: 3/22/2017

 

Analog Sources

Turntables:  

Thorens Td124 sn13943/ Graham 2.2 tonearm, Shelter 501-II mc cartridge

Thorens TD126 mkIII, Zeta tonearm with Denon DL-103R MC cartridge in a Uwe ebony body

 

Analog accessories:

Boston Audio Mat 2. Solid machined graphite cut 5mm thick in storage

Herbies mat 

various in-house platter mats in development

Minus-k isolation platform model : 150BM-1 (in use under the TD124)

Viz Isotap model WP-27A mains power isolator/voltage regulator for use with my TD124 players

Open Reel Tape:  

Otari MX-5050 BII 2 

Revox A77 (1 each)

One 'gang' of Belden microphone cables termined with balanced plugs and jacks for use with the Otari. The Belden cable works for input and output on this tape deck.

AM Stereo/FM Stereo Tuner: Carver TX-11b (in use), NAD 4125 (back up)

Phono Stage / Preamp: Built-in mm/mc stage within the Classe' CAP 151 integrated amp

Step Up Transformers: Sowter 1:10 turns ratio, Beyer Dynamic TR/BV 351-2315-006: 1:15 and 1:30 turns ratios. Both units are in use but for different MC phono cartridges.

Digital Source: 

Jolida JD100A CD player with tubed output stage.

Alesis Masterlink ML9600 (digital hard drive recorder and player)

Amplification: Integrated Stereo Amplifier; Classe' CAP 151 @ 150 wpc, rms into 8 ohms (with built-in mc/mm phono stage)

Amplification: Receiver:JVC 5010 (circa 1969 - 1972 vintage Japanese made solid state receiver kept for sentimental reasons)

Speakers: NHT 2.9, standing on sharp factory-issue spikes 

Cables:

Phono: Incognito Silver courtesy of Garth Phillipe for my Graham tonearm.  (Thanks Garth, who now resides on the other side of this life.). DIY using Cardas 32ga shielded copper, Cardas DIN plug, Bullet RCA plugs and TechFlex

Misc DIY Interconnects misc using a variety of interesting IC wires like Cardas 23 ga., Canair microphone cable and terminated with a variety of rca plugs like Cardas, Audioquest, Bullet Plug, Neutrik, Deltron.DIY 

Speaker cables using Canair 4S11 in Bi-Wire config.  Silver terminated.

DIY power cable using Belden 19364 14 gage power cable, Pass&Seymour 5266-x AC plug, Schurter straight IEC, Tech-Flex.  Easy, cheap and good.  I repeat this power cord more than once.

Kimber PK 10 power cable.  ( I use this one for the Classe integrated amp. --Clamped firmly to the mains--) This is the only power cable I've spent actual money on.  And it was appropriate to do so, my ears tell me.

Cable Lifts: DIY foam rubber (Y-20)

 

late Summer, 2016

Above photo: From just behind the listening chair January, 2016.  

I think this room has attitude. It does not need to follow traditional cultural values.  It doesn't have to be a living room. For my purposes, it is now a dedicated listening room / studio.  The vaulted ceiling gives a psychological impression of greater space.  Acoustically, this may not be an ideal shape of volume for listening.  On the other hand I have not experienced any strong negative acoustic problems.  The current configuration of component placement has been arrived at after residing in the room since October 2000 and, through trial and error, I've found this to be the best compromise for sound and function. 

DSC_2401.jpg (317052 bytes) From the chair. On those nights when it seems natural to sit down in front of the speakers, I'll put on a record or two, slowly -- and with measure, sip some whiskey and let the music take over one's mind.  

 

Equipment list:

Analog Sources

Turntables:  

Thorens Td124 sn13943/ Zeta tonearm/ Uwe ebony bodied DL103R,

Technics SP10 mkII/custom plinth/Graham 2.2/Shelter 501-II 

Teres 145 (sold)  

Thorens Td160C (sold)

Thorens TD150 mkII with R7 mods/ Infinity Black Widow/ADC XLM-II improved/ Sonus Blue

TD124 sn #7888

Analog accessories:

Boston Audio Mat 2. Solid machined graphite cut 5mm thick For use with the Technics SP10 mkII record spinner.

Minus-k isolation platform model : 150BM-1

Viz Isotap model WP-27A mains power isolator/voltage regulator for use with my TD124 players

Open Reel Tape:  

Otari MX-5050 BII 2 

Revox A77 (1 each)

One 'gang' of Belden microphone cables termined with balanced plugs and jacks for use with the Otari. The Belden cable works for input and output on this tape deck.

AM Stereo/FM Stereo Tuner: Carver TX-11b (in use), NAD 4125 (back up)

Phono Stage / Preamp: Hagerman Trumpet phono stage 

Step Up Transformers: Sowter 1:10 turns ratio, Beyer Dynamic TR/BV 351-2315-006: 1:15 and 1:30 turns ratios. Both units are in use but for different MC phono cartridges.

Digital Source: 

Jolida JD100A CD player with tubed output stage.

Alesis Masterlink ML9600 (digital recorder and player)

Amplification: Integrated Stereo Amplifier; Classe' CAP 151 @ 150 wpc, rms into 8 ohms (with built-in mc/mm phono stage)

Amplification: Receiver:JVC 5010 (circa 1969 - 1972 vintage Japanese made solid state receiver kept for sentimental reasons)

Speakers: NHT 2.9, standing on sharp factory-issue spikes 

Cables:

Phono: Incognito Silver courtesy of Garth Phillipe for my Graham tonearm.  (Thanks Garth, who now resides on the other side of this life.). DIY using Cardas 32ga shielded copper, Cardas DIN plug, Bullet RCA plugs and TechFlex

Misc DIY Interconnects misc using a variety of interesting IC wires like Cardas 23 ga., Canair microphone cable and terminated with a variety of rca plugs like Cardas, Audioquest, Bullet Plug, Neutrik, Deltron.DIY 

Speaker cables using Canair 4S11 in Bi-Wire config.  Silver terminated.

DIY power cable using Belden 19364 14 gage power cable, Pass&Seymour 5266-x AC plug, Schurter straight IEC, Tech-Flex.  Easy, cheap and good.  I repeat this power cord more than once.

Kimber PK 10 power cable.  ( I use this one for the Classe integrated amp. --Clamped firmly to the mains--) This is the only power cable I've spent actual money on.  And it was appropriate to do so, my ears tell me.

Cable Lifts: DIY foam rubber (Y-20)

 

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Above photo: diy foam rubber V-blocks to keep the speaker cable off the nylon carpets.  

Also in photo are seen: 

  1. Left: The SH 10-E power supply for the Technics SP10 mkII record player above it.

  2. Right: The Viz Isotap model WP-27A mains power isolator/voltage regulator in use with my Thorens TD124 record players.

DSC_2403.jpg (363272 bytes) Today only two turntables are prepared to spin vinyl.  In photos below it can be seen that there have been times when I had three turntables up and ready to work.  Not seen -- I keep a small group of record players ready to go to work.  Thorens is my preference....except for that SP10 mkII which at the moment has my attention.

update: 2/15/2016

DSC_2424.jpg (152293 bytes) DSC_2426.jpg (109782 bytes) left: Td124 sn 7888 equipped with an SME 3009 S2 tonearm.....an Orsonic AV-101s anti-vibration universal head shell....and fitted with a Denon DL-103r lomc cartridge that itself has been modified by removing its original plastic body shell and having been fitted into a UWE ebony body.

This is the first time I've tried using this SME tonearm on the TD124.  I should have tried this combination earlier....and I've had these parts for quite some time.  The sound qualities favor deep heavy bass, a solid midrange, and a more rolled off high frequency than I've heard before.  Rock music really rocks this way.  I've also played some classical pieces that seemed enjoyable this way too.  Perhaps, for many folks, the lacking detail resolution in upper frequencies won't be missed.  Not to say that it lacks high frequency resolution, there is just a bit less of it compared to other tonearms I've used on TD124 players.  I may keep it this way for some time.  A happy combination that delivers considerable punch in the lower frequencies, a solid meaty midrange and just the right amount of high frequencies for some of us.

DSC_2417.jpg (269692 bytes) The SP10 mkII standing on the Mule plinth, over a Neuance isolation shelf, over a Minus-K isolation support system.

DSC_2075.jpg (270688 bytes) SN# 13943. This Thorens TD124 sees lots of work around this listening room.  It does so many things extremely well.  I can't envision a time when I will not at least own one TD124 that is ready to play records.

DSC_2404.jpg (326716 bytes) cable management_1

Trying to keep the power cables from forming a circle, or coming into contact with, or running closely parallel with signal cables.  Why?  To prevent induction between cables.  Particularly  between power and signal carrying cables.  But the tall rack with numerous components parked on it, and all of them using power and signal cables, makes the task something of a challenge.

DSC_2405.jpg (292881 bytes) cable management_2

DSC_2407.jpg (442515 bytes) cable management_3

Much of my cabling is made in house from high quality bulk cable and high quality connectors found around the internet.  

DSC_2408.jpg (443327 bytes) cable management_4

I did spring for a commercially made power cable.  That blue power cable from Kimble Cable is their model  PK 10 (10 gage).  The other power cables are assembled here from bulk Belden cable attached to high quality connectors.  This is high end cables on a budget.  

I see no need to pay silly money for electrical wire.  Even in bulk, that copper wire is expensive enough.

Dec-2015

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DSC_2058.jpg (359070 bytes) Three turntables are ready for play.  I alternate between these players for a variety of different reasons.  Sound qualities are definitely different between them, yet each imparts a character or effect that works for me.

DSC_2060.jpg (321393 bytes) to the left: Technics SP10 mkII with Graham 2.2 tonearm.  To the right is my Thorens TD124 (sn 13943) .  Just below is the Thorens TD150 mkII with Infinity Black Widow tonearm.

DSC_2059.jpg (283173 bytes) Detail shot of the Thorens TD124 in min-lite-2 plinth.  Its tonearm is a 1980's vintage 'Black Zeta' modified with a Incognito silver signal wire kit.  The cartridge is a Denon DL-103R modified by removing its engine from the original plastic body then installing it into a Uwe Ebony wood body.

DSC_2074.jpg (278393 bytes) Technics SP10 mkII turntable mounted into a 'mule' plinth with Stillpoint footers.  It stands over a Neuance shelf.  The tonearm is a Graham 2.2.  Cartridge is another Denon DL103-R low output moving coil modified by removing it from its original plastic body and placing it into a Uwe Panzerholz wood body.  The cantilever/stylus of the Denon has been upgraded at SoundSmith with their Ruby cantilevered / Fine Line diamond stylus.

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DSC_2067.jpg (170881 bytes) The modified Denon cartridge in detail.

DSC_2089.jpg (226583 bytes) detail of the Stillpoint / Neuance shelf interface beneath the SP10 mkII

DSC_2082.jpg (178362 bytes) Boston Audio Mat-2. A solid machined graphite platter mat.  A good choice for the SP10 mkII and a definite improvement over the standard rubber mat. For a review of this BA Mat-2 link here

DSC_2077.jpg (141816 bytes) Supporting the turntable and Neuance shelf is a Minus-K  model no.# 150 BM-1 I have a review/article of this Minus-K on site. Link here.

DSC_2262.jpg (202572 bytes) R7_2 now sporting the Black Zeta tonearm.  Fitted with LOMC cartridge Denon DL-103R/Uwe Panzerholz body/SoundSmith Ruby cantilever-FL diamond stylus. The Zeta tonearm with Denon DL-103R (modified) LOMC cartridge demonstrates some considerable synergy with the TD150.  A nice package.

DSC_2090.jpg (156446 bytes) In rotation is my Thorens TD150 mk2, customized with R7 mods....  more info: No.79209.  The tonearm is the vintage and legendary Infinity Black Widow.  This is the lightest effective mass tonearm ever made in production numbers.  It is from the early eighties.  The BW tonearm is matched with a Sonus Blue induced magnet cartridge, a very good match to the very light Black Widow.  I use the built-in phono stage of the Classe' CAP 151 integrated amp for this turntable/cartridge signal chain.  For my review of the Sonus Blue link here.

DSC_2085.jpg (199560 bytes) DSC_2091.jpg (159079 bytes)  As a back-up cartridge I have a vintage NOS Sonus Blue induced magnet cartridge.

DSC_2061.jpg (278663 bytes) Down below: Hagerman Trumpet phono stage (left), Classe' integrated amp (right), Jolida CD player (below)  and just below the Jolida is the Alesis Masterlink digital recorder. I use the Masterlink for recording from Lp. The hard drive within the Masterlink stores the recorded data until being commanded to write to a CDR or CDRW.  Max resolution: 24/96  These recordings sound quite good.

DSC_2078.jpg (205727 bytes) Hagerman Trumpet tubed phono stage.

DSC_6378.jpg (190290 bytes) Step up transformer pair; Beyer Dynamic TR/BV 351-2315-006  Has two turns ratios.  (1:15 / 1:30) (note this sut assembly was produced here at The Analog Dept.  Notes on the build are here.  Link

Sowter SUT.jpg (310853 bytes) Step up transformer pair; Sowter . Turns Ratio is 1:10 (note: this assembly was produced by George Wright of "Wright Sound" as part number WPM100MC..

Music played: Rock, Folk, Folk-Rock, Blues, Jazz, Classical, Ancient, Baroque

March 2015

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2014

from the listening chair 4_2014

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2013

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A minus-K platform is evaluated

2012

DSC_6213.jpg (274155 bytes) 5_27_2012

photo below: 1_28_2012

It's a Saturday and I'm listening to Mahler's 7th symphony on the Otari R2R.

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DSC_6286 ano.jpg (342622 bytes) looking at the output circuit and tubes of the JD100 CD player.  Arrows point to an integrated circuit (chip) that had worked itself partially out of its socket, then began giving intermittent trouble with the display and function of the deck.  The fix was to push the chip back into its socket.  It's nice when repairs are that easy.

DSC_5893.jpg (132393 bytes)Cat Girl, by F. Frazetta

DSC_5904.jpg (141640 bytes) (hint: click on thumbnail image to view full size picture)

2010

TD124hdr.jpg (240137 bytes) A nice day for spinning vinyl.

DSC_5878.jpg (156322 bytes) direct drive sampling  with a Technics SP10 mkII. A long term project

DSC_5064.JPG (156949 bytes) 7/11/2010 TD124 on slate.

Above: a Thorens TD150 mk2, customized with R7 mods....  more info: No.79209

DSC_4759.JPG (137251 bytes)  The Teres 145 just before I sold it.  Link to more shots of the Teres.

 

 52902_Jweb.jpg (39811 bytes)  NHT29b.jpg (90381 bytes)_NHT 2.9 (4-way) loudspeakers 

DSC_5748.jpg (145601 bytes) Classe' CAP 151 integrated amplifier

DSC_0789.jpg (183985 bytes) Tuner: Carver TX-11b

older system shots.

7/6/2010  

 

system shot: 4_19_2010 

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hint: click on thumbnail image to view full size

Above thumbnail: wide shot of the room and system as it was 12/21/2008  First day of winter.....and we'd had snow since 8 days before.

Close up 12/21/08 

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above 3 pics: A Revox A77 purchased via ebay circa 2009.  Not quite functional.  Note broken vu meter in last photo

 

above: self photo circa 2008. While viewing this it suddenly occurred to me that this is the closest I ever get to cracking a smile.  Never mind.  I'm smiling on the inside ;-)

< webmaster@theanalogdept.com > (aka user510)

J_gordon_holt.jpg (162121 bytes) A martini in honor of the legendary J.Gordon Holt.  RIP.  Shake it or stir it, I'm not fussy..;-)