Replaced a few things.

Replaced a few things.

Postby JimTimP » Mon Nov 06, 2017 7:56 pm

Well, I was happy with the Yaqin MC-100B I had for years, but I felt it was a bit on the stingy side. Not as broad in dynamics as it could be. Tube rolling was only doing so much. I finally decided to replace it (it cost me less than $600 when I bought it). Instead of going with another KT-88 amp, I went for something different. EL84s. So, I plunked the money down on a brandy new (Thank you Seth - he talked me out of the open box for new) Manley Stingray II (no crappy iPood interface). It got here last week. Still breaking it in, but man does it sound great.

I was also very unhappy with the ProJect DS2 Tube Box Phono Preamp I had. While I loved the convienence of front panel controls, the power supply section sucked major wombat butt! You basically fed the amp with 18 volts and to get the 150 volts necessary for the 12AX7 plates, it used an internal, unshielded switching supply to step that 18VDC up. Oh, and since it was DC in, it had to convert the DC to AC to make the switching tranformation, etc. That noise did make it into the amp, as well as the tube rush from a less than adequate power supply. There was also some pumping in the charge circuit making it's way through the system. All in all, it might have been a good amp if the power supply didn't take so many shortcuts. But I digress....

I found a dream on USAudioMart. A Zestos Andros PS1. These weren't cheap brand new. And they hold their value. Because they are good. That good. I talked to the guy selling it. He talked me into it (besides, the price beat lesser preamps - new). It arrived today. Since it's used, it's broken in. Now I took the JJ ECC803S Gold Pins I'd been using in the Project and Yaqin and moved them to the Zestos. They are also broken in.

I was just listening to the Cleveland Orchestra, Maazel directing on Telarc and was blown away. The Timpany strikes were visceral. As in I felt them pound my chest and shake my butt. The speakers were no where in sight. But the stage depth was nothing I'd heard before. It was three dimensional of a new order. Now I did add some GIK Corner Bass Traps last weekend that helped the room a lot (thanks REM software - different thread). But the whole stage is tight, controlled and without a doubt more life like than ever.

Oh yeah, this is the picture forum:

The new stacks:

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100_2284.JPG (812.75 KiB) Viewed 854 times


And the speakers with the home made subs:

100_2274.JPG
100_2274.JPG (1.02 MiB) Viewed 854 times
100_2275.JPG
100_2275.JPG (1.1 MiB) Viewed 854 times


Oh, one more thing, the timers I've written about here previously (the black box beneath the Prime Signature). I've upgraded it to resetable and will be trying a triggering switch with a reed switch and magnet as soon as supplies arrive. Lift the arm and the timers start.

P.S. the Everclear is to clean the tape heads. I swear!! hic
Last edited by JimTimP on Wed Nov 08, 2017 3:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Teac X-2000R, Otari MX-5050 BIII-2, Manley Stingray II Amp, Yaqin SD-32A CD Player, Zestos Andros PS 1 Phono Preamp, VPI Prime Sig, ADS & 16.5, Soundsmith Voice & Lyra Delos on own arms, Zaph ZRT 2.5 Spkr, Homemade 10" Subs, PS Audio P5
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Re: Replaced a few things.

Postby WntrMute » Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:02 pm

I'm always a little freaked out by the multiple layers of suspension "stuff" in the pursuit of better isolation. I am a believer in a single suspension for TTs. Whatever floats your boat though is OK by me. Just seems odd.
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Re: Replaced a few things.

Postby Ayre Conditioned » Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:19 pm

JimTimP wrote:P.S. the Everclear is to clean the tape heads. I swear!! hic


I thought you were using the liquor bottles as acoustic resonators. It never crossed my mind that you would actually drink them. Congrats on the new gear.
Prime Signature•Eagle PSU and Tach•Soundsmith Sussurro MkII
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Re: Replaced a few things.

Postby mreeter » Tue Nov 07, 2017 9:15 am

Very nice rack full of gear! I'm curious about the mains positioned on top of the subs. I can see your space is limited, but no other suitable location for the subs?
VPI Classic Signature SE/Soundsmith Zephyr
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Modwright LS-100 Linestage Preamp
Rogue Audio Ares "Magnum" Phono Preamp
Rogue Audio M-180 Monoblock Amps
Dynaudio Contour S3.4LE
Dual Rythmik F8 Subs
MIT S1 Shotgun Wires
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Re: Replaced a few things.

Postby WntrMute » Tue Nov 07, 2017 9:40 am

mreeter wrote:Very nice rack full of gear! I'm curious about the mains positioned on top of the subs. I can see your space is limited, but no other suitable location for the subs?

I didn't notice that before. Is not the tweeter axis way above ear level?
Still, beautiful kit.
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Re: Replaced a few things.

Postby JimTimP » Tue Nov 07, 2017 11:30 am

Main speakers are tilted down to bring the tweeter back on axis with the listening position. And sadly I don't have a better place for the subs. It does work well.
Teac X-2000R, Otari MX-5050 BIII-2, Manley Stingray II Amp, Yaqin SD-32A CD Player, Zestos Andros PS 1 Phono Preamp, VPI Prime Sig, ADS & 16.5, Soundsmith Voice & Lyra Delos on own arms, Zaph ZRT 2.5 Spkr, Homemade 10" Subs, PS Audio P5
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Re: Replaced a few things.

Postby Packgrog » Tue Nov 07, 2017 3:22 pm

I heard the Manley Stingray II at SoundStageDirect during the debut of the Nomad and Scout Jr. The Stingray was hooked up to a Traveler and Lehman Black Cube. I recall just shaking my head in embarrassment at how good that setup sounded compared to what I had at home.

Cripes, that's a nice setup all around, Jim! Color me jealous! The Prime Sig is such a gorgeous deck.
VPI Scout Jr., Audio Technica AT33PTG/II, Phoenix Engineering Falcon w/ DIY Arduino Uno Tachometer, Audio Sensibility Impact SE Phono Cable, Musical Surroundings Nova Phonomena
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Re: Replaced a few things.

Postby DeeCee » Tue Nov 07, 2017 11:16 pm

Nice system... I sure miss R2R. :cry:
VPI Scout 2/JMW-9/Benz Micro Wood SL/Graham Slee 3 & PSU1/Sony DVP-S7000/Schiit Audio Bifrost Uber/Sonic Euphoria PLC/Aragon 4004 Mk II/Aerial Acoustics Model 7
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Re: Replaced a few things.

Postby JimTimP » Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:38 pm

I added a PS Audio P5. Since the Stingray II has a tape out, the mixer was not needed anymore. I just fed both tape deck inputs using a Y off the tape out. So, I had a vacancy at the ole rack. I got the P5 in like new condition for half the price. Added a Wireless Bridge to it's Ethernet port and can manage it from well - this PC. Or any other on the home network (there are 5 PCs on my home network, oh and a server...OK, I'm a nerd - but it pays the bills). Cool.

So, I have to give the system a whole new listen and see what the P5 did. Clean Power is like Clean Sheets. They feel really good! OK, that was stupid.... :)

I do really love the R2R. In case someone doesn't understand why two? The Teac is a four channel deck. It records in both direction using less than a 1/16" width of the tape to record the signals. The Otari is a half track or two channel deck. So, a little less than 1/8" of tape width. This results in higher fidelity. Also the Teac Plays/Records at 7 1/2 IPS or 3 3/4 IPS. The Otari at 15 or 7 1/2 IPS. The difference is like 33 or 45 RPM records. Additional fidelity. I bought the Teac in 1985 and am the original and only owner. The Otari was a radio station spare. Very low hours and almost no wear on the heads. It cost me about $250 and just needed a good cleaning (I got it and two MX-5050 BII's for $350 last summer - one was a parts machine and the other runs just fine).
Teac X-2000R, Otari MX-5050 BIII-2, Manley Stingray II Amp, Yaqin SD-32A CD Player, Zestos Andros PS 1 Phono Preamp, VPI Prime Sig, ADS & 16.5, Soundsmith Voice & Lyra Delos on own arms, Zaph ZRT 2.5 Spkr, Homemade 10" Subs, PS Audio P5
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