Listening at The Analog Dept.
Above: For the next several days I have the TD124 taken apart while I gather more dimensions and plan a new plinth design. In its place I have the TD126-III up and spinning vinyl. The heavy two-piece slate plinth is off the turntable stand. In its place I am using one of Ken Lyon's Neuance shelfs under the turntable. Directly under the Neuance shelf are three small inner tubes as a degree of isolation. More about that later when I have fully examined this rooms' acoustic properties.....which are less than ideal.
Yeah - really. That's what I mean.
But here's the system:
From the listening chair. In this room listening is pretty much near field.
More shots of system relative to the room...and then the room itself.
The room has a say about the listening experience. Acoustically there are faults but I won't be here forever, I hope. In this room I can get away with turning up the volume once in a while. In this apartment building residents don't complain much. They make their noises, I make mine. There is a respectful peace.
Records get played. R2R tapes get played. CD's get played. The FM tuner fills the background when I'm at work in my study/computer room. I suppose it is worthy of note that I no longer play cassettes. I used to, back in the seventies, eighties and nineties. I still have some of my home cassette recordings that I produced on the better blank tapes of those days. The Cassette Deck was a Dual C-939 auto-reverse deck. It died some time around the turn of the century. I should probably sell the cassettes, they'll still be useful.
System Component list 2018 / 2019
Turntables, tonearms and cartridges:
Thorens Td124 sn13943/ Graham 2.2 tonearm, Denon DL-103R MC cartridge in a Uwe ebony body.
Thorens TD150 mkII (project table)
Thorens TD160 mkII (project table)
Thorens TD126 mkIII (project table)
Pioneer PL-570 fully automatic turntable
Other tonearms in inventory:
Infinity Black Widow (with damping trough)
Rega RB250 (as modified by Express Machining (Expressimo mods)
Thorens TP16 mkIII
Cartridges in inventory:
Denon DL103R with Uwe Panzerholz body (SS ruby-FL tip now broken and awaits another re-tip)
Shelter 501-II (retired)
Sumiko Blue Point Special (broken stylus - retired)
Sonus Blue (currently in rotation for use on the Infinity tonearm)
Technics EPC 205CII (currently in rotation for use on the Infinity and Rega tonearms)
Pickering UV-15 D 2000-Q (needs new stylus assy)
Boston Audio Mat 2. Solid machined graphite cut 5mm thick. Currently is used on the TD124 listed above.
Herbies Excellent II 3mm mat
various in-house platter mats in development
Viz Isotap model WP-27A mains power isolator/voltage regulator for use with my TD124 players
PS Audio Dectet (serves as surge suppressor and brown-out protector)
Open Reel Tape:
Otari MX-5050 BII 2
One 'gang' of Belden microphone cables terminated 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.
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
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)
Above: December 2017 in the apartment at Raymond, Wa.
FM radio reception is received via the Carver TX-11b tuner. Of vital importance is the indoor antenna; a diy'ed folded dipole thumb-tacked to a stick and hung up on the wall to the upper right. Over to the left stands the Otari MX 5050 BII -2 reel-to-reel tape deck/recorder. It can playback and record 2-track. It can playback 4 track. Three speeds, 15ips, 7-1/2ips and also 3-3/4ips if I move a switch under the back cover. Commercial tapes, spare reels and tape paraphernalia reside on the steel stand along with it. The Thorens TD124 on the wood diy turntable stand plays the Lps. CD's get some play on the Jolida JD100 player. On the shelf beneath the turntable sits an Alesis Masterlink 9600 digital recorder. Powered by the Classe' CAP-151 integrated amplifier, the NHT 2.9 speakers continue to perform as expected. In consideration for my neighbors I do not allow this system to pressurize the room with its potential. That said there are some moments when I allow it to speak up a bit. No complaints so far. I spend much time, these days, in the home office at the desktop workstation.
Above four photos: (12_30_2017) TD124 sn 13943 now sports a custom acrylic dust cover (Hood) from Ferruccio in Switzerland. He has more like this as well as some other styles of Dustcover specific to the TD124.
Jolida JD100 CD player. I've had this shiny disc player since 2005 when I bought it used from a private seller in Texas. This player has a tubed output. It uses a pair of 12AX7 tubes. It came to me with Russian made Electro-Harmonix tubes. I've found no reason to change these out as the overall sonic character has a warm/sweet tonality, which I find agreeable with the rest of my system which tends toward revealing and detailed. I did have some issues with this player around 2012 where the thing would just quit playing after a while and then exhibit an erratic display of flashing characters. The problem turned out to be that the large silicon chip on the output board had partially worked its way out of its socket. The solution then was to carefully push it back in. Then, in 2017 this malfunction began to happen again. This time I got in contact with tech support at Jolida via email. Jolida was responsive and worked with me to resolve the issue, to no avail....until I tried pushing that chip back down into its socket again...and that solved the problem. So what I have is;..... the output chip on this thing wants to squeeze itself out of its socket. Jolida said this was something they'd never heard of before....and they know this player better than anyone else so I must have a unique example. So far it is almost six months since the last episode and the problem seems resolved. Just make sure that chip is well seated in its socket. (That is what I tell myself) Meantime I'm playing my collection of CD's happily. Yep, I do play some digital.
Above: I've moved from Lynnwood, Wa 98087 to Raymond, Wa. 98577. At the time of this update (6/11/17) I am 90% settled in at my 3rd story flat about 300 yds above the Willapa River. Power coming out of the mains measures at 121 vac. The breaker switch cabinet indicates breakers rated at 15,20,30 and 40 amps depending on which one. For FM reception, this seems like a fringe area for some stations, there are some other local stations that come in clearly. In this residence I am limited to indoor antennae. I will explore all my options over this coming summer. All in all, this is a refreshing change from the Seattle area that I just moved out of. Definitely, there is less traffic. There is calm. The weather is coastal and cool. The internet connection, surprisingly, is fiber-optic. I have an Xfinity triple play contract at the moment. A very modern connection to the outside world in a very small town on the Willapa River. Life's OK. More photos to come.
FM reception in Raymond (link to page)
user510 system archive page (LINK)