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Re: %&&**! You Phil Ward!

Postby Phil Ward » Tue Nov 24, 2020 3:36 pm

ef37a wrote:Thank you so much for your comments Phil, as you say, you can't really help me but extra information is always helpful.

I could afford the 2020s but will resist. My life is in a state of flux at the moment and I am really not in a position to sit back and enjoy music for any great periods of time. Yes, that is the main use any monitors would get, I am not doing recording in any serious way at all.
I have always wanted some really high end speakers, love ESLs but no room. The products of the hi fi industry I no longer trust (why use PTFE wire in a speaker? Is it going to catch fire?)
I am convinced that the £2,400 cost of the R6s will get me a better product than the same money in a hi fi shop, and I get the amps as well!

Dave.

I don't want gratuitously to add yet another option Dave but what about KEF LS50 Wireless? They'll fix your domestic listing needs and are easily good enough to use as monitors should you get back to recording.

I know exactly where you're at with distrust of hi-fi, but please don't tar it all with the same cliché. There's some really brilliant designers and engineers working in hi-fi (actually, in the case of Dynaudio, Genelec, PMC and Amphion, to name just four, the same people work on both pro and domestic) and they make some great products. The fact that things go awry at the retail and marketing end of the hi-fi business is hardly the fault of the engineers – many of whom I know get pretty frustrated by the snake-oil nonsense that pervades their world.

And I'd love a pair of ESLs too (no room though) - the '57 obviously. When I first started at Mordaunt-Short in the 80s we had a 'company' pair that I used to borrow and take home at weekends to my parent's place where the living room was much bigger than my tiny bedsit in Petersfield. My Dad and me used to sit there listening to them, open-mouthed at how all his favourite romantic classical pieces sounded. And then we'd put some James last on for my Mum....

P
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Re: %&&**! You Phil Ward!

Postby ef37a » Tue Nov 24, 2020 4:06 pm

Thank you for your efforts Phil, you can keep talking! I am in no position to do anything at the moment but every time I read Hugh's report on the Sixes the more convinced I am that I shall have them.

The Kefs are nearly the price of the Sixes! And I am paying for some whizzbang wireless kit I don't trust and don't need and would not use.

I am only cynical about the marketing end and magazine part of the hi fi industry I lknow there are some very talented engineers beavering away in the labs. The fact is, with hi fi you are paying a lot more for 'posh' and puff for the same performance as 'studio' gear. I don't need 'domestic' no one else to please now. (not gone but she will never come home)

One problem some of you can ponder? When I get my monitors I shall need a pre amp, basically the front end of an integrated hi fi amp (and I might just butcher one for that!)
Even ten ago I would have built a no compromise 'Self' pre amp but not now. I might look out for a cheap, non-runner Quad 44? i shall integrate a Rega TT into the system but only for one off dubbing then donate the discs.

Dave.
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Re: %&&**! You Phil Ward!

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Nov 24, 2020 4:17 pm

I have a Quad 44. Picked it up with a 405-1 from the wife of a late ITN sound recordist acquaintance. I've wanted that pairing since they first came out as I always thought they were an elegant design, and I'd loved the old Quad 33/303 setup I had years back (apart from the preamp's high noise floor and its difficulty working with CD players...)!

But I am sooooo disappointed with them both!

It's easy to see why they had to make the 405-2 for starters! I've already upgraded the 405-1 in part, but there's still more I can do to try and bring up to a reasonable standard...

The 44 is okay for what it is -- lovely internal build, and I love the Tilt EQ and record scratch filters. But the gain structure it utterly barking mad, just because they wanted to use 4066 CMOS switches for signal selection! How much better it would have been with relay switching and a simple, far more sensible gain structure!

One day I'll redesign the switching board for miniature relays....

I picked up a second-hand Meridian M502 balanced preamp a year or so back. Now that's really impressive!
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Re: %&&**! You Phil Ward!

Postby ef37a » Tue Nov 24, 2020 4:56 pm

"One day I'll redesign the switching board for miniature relays...."
Or, DC bootstrapped FETS?

Ok maybe not a 44! I shall probably find a decent integrated amp, rip out the power stages and traff and fit a small toroid supply. It is the really dinky stuff that takes me SO long to do these days.
Pair of balanced drive amps post VC, Robert's yer whatsit.

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Re: %&&**! You Phil Ward!

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Nov 24, 2020 5:01 pm

I can't recommend the SparkFun balanced I/O boards highly enough.

Image

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/sparkfun-breakout-boards

The THAT different receivers and balanced line driver chips perform exceptionally well, and these little boards make integrating a balanced input and/or output into unbalanced gear an absolute doddle, provided you have space to drill a quarter-inch hole in the chassis, and the ability to pick up a +/- power supply from the existing equipment's electronics.
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Re: %&&**! You Phil Ward!

Postby James Perrett » Tue Nov 24, 2020 11:56 pm

ef37a wrote:One problem some of you can ponder? When I get my monitors I shall need a pre amp, basically the front end of an integrated hi fi amp (and I might just butcher one for that!)
Even ten ago I would have built a no compromise 'Self' pre amp but not now. I might look out for a cheap, non-runner Quad 44? i shall integrate a Rega TT into the system but only for one off dubbing then donate the discs.

How about something like one of the Drawmer monitor controllers with a Self preamp on one of the inputs? You can buy kits (or just boards) for the Self preamps at

http://www.signaltransfer.freeuk.com/RIAAbal.htm

They also do them ready built too.
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Re: %&&**! You Phil Ward!

Postby Martin Walker » Wed Nov 25, 2020 12:12 am

James Perrett wrote:http://www.signaltransfer.freeuk.com/RIAAbal.htm

Wow - there's some heavy-duty audio amp kits at that web site James - most impressive!


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Re: %&&**! You Phil Ward!

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Nov 25, 2020 10:19 am

I have one of the balanced output RIAA preamps and it is exceptionally good quality, and a straightforward DIY build, too.

I did have some issues with communications and supply delays, but I think that was due to particular unforeseen personal circumstances of the guy running the company at the time -- and this was a good few years ago, now.
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Re: %&&**! You Phil Ward!

Postby James Perrett » Wed Nov 25, 2020 3:45 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:I have one of the balanced output RIAA preamps and it is exceptionally good quality, and a straightforward DIY build, too.

That's good to know - one of the jobs in the queue is to build a preamp so that I can move the hifi amp that I currently use across to the other side of the room. However, I don't want all the extra moving coil circuitry so I may well just build my own stripped down version on prototype board. What PSU do you use to power it Hugh?
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Re: %&&**! You Phil Ward!

Postby Arpangel » Wed Nov 25, 2020 3:52 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:I have a Quad 44. Picked it up with a 405-1 from the wife of a late ITN sound recordist acquaintance. I've wanted that pairing since they first came out as I always thought they were an elegant design, and I'd loved the old Quad 33/303 setup I had years back (apart from the preamp's high noise floor and its difficulty working with CD players...)!

But I am sooooo disappointed with them both!

It's easy to see why they had to make the 405-2 for starters! I've already upgraded the 405-1 in part, but there's still more I can do to try and bring up to a reasonable standard...

The 44 is okay for what it is -- lovely internal build, and I love the Tilt EQ and record scratch filters. But the gain structure it utterly barking mad, just because they wanted to use 4066 CMOS switches for signal selection! How much better it would have been with relay switching and a simple, far more sensible gain structure!

One day I'll redesign the switching board for miniature relays....

I picked up a second-hand Meridian M502 balanced preamp a year or so back. Now that's really impressive!

I’ve got a 405-2 with a 33 preamp, no problem with my CD player at all a Phillips CD850.
The phono card is a bit naff, but when I get a turntable I’ll use an external preamp, and feed it into the tape input. I find the 33 has a nice sound, takes the edge off digital.
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Re: %&&**! You Phil Ward!

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Nov 25, 2020 4:08 pm

James Perrett wrote: What PSU do you use to power it Hugh?

When I built mine they also offered a suitable PSU kit in a matching box... They don't seem to do it now... But it was only a basic linear +/-18V balanced power supply.
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Re: %&&**! You Phil Ward!

Postby James Perrett » Wed Nov 25, 2020 6:51 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
James Perrett wrote: What PSU do you use to power it Hugh?

When I built mine they also offered a suitable PSU kit in a matching box... They don't seem to do it now... But it was only a basic linear +/-18V balanced power supply.

Thanks Hugh - I'm just trying to avoid going the DIY route but it looks like I'll have to do at least a little DIY as I can't seem to find any affordable cased PSU's.
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Re: %&&**! You Phil Ward!

Postby ef37a » Wed Nov 25, 2020 8:29 pm

James Perrett wrote:
Hugh Robjohns wrote:
James Perrett wrote: What PSU do you use to power it Hugh?

When I built mine they also offered a suitable PSU kit in a matching box... They don't seem to do it now... But it was only a basic linear +/-18V balanced power supply.

Thanks Hugh - I'm just trying to avoid going the DIY route but it looks like I'll have to do at least a little DIY as I can't seem to find any affordable cased PSU's.

Buy two identical 15V wall rats?

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Re: %&&**! You Phil Ward!

Postby Trevor Johnson » Wed Nov 25, 2020 8:31 pm

There don't seem to be any off the shelf +/-18V about, mainly +/-15V with highish ripple, and Self suggests sticking to +/-18V to maintain headroom.

I would probably buy the PCB and populate it myself. Incidentally, I am going to buy the RIAA Self phono amp as part of the rebuild of my mother's Thorens turntable, but fortunately I made a few of the Self Preamplifier boards and PSUs featured in Elektor, 2012.

The RIAA phono preamp in the 2012 design also has a relay switched IEC amendment which adds extra LF roll off, though its usefulness is somewhat debatable!
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