I think I'm turning into my dad!

I think I'm turning into my dad!

Postby Mat » Wed May 09, 2018 1:58 am

I think I might be turning into my dad! The other week I had/used a production Fatboy on my HR-X before it got shipped out to Munich. I was majorly impressed with actually living with and having the Fatboy in my system. It is a different kind of listening experience when you are testing, tweaking, comparing, measuring, and analyzing a product versus listening to it in your own home with the music you like to listen to. During my listening I used a VPI HR-X, Vanden Hul Calibri, VPI Voyager phono, 299D Amp, Transparent Cable, and the JBL Evereast speakers. I know... a very modest size system but I did the best I could to make it work! (Please no one take that sentence seriously! :lol: )

It wasn't a fair comparison since I changed three variables: my table from a Prime Signature to an HR-X, and the JMW 10-3DR to a longer JMW 12-Fatboy tonearm. Also I want to remind everyone that this is all subjective!

The system blew me away! It was spacious and three dimensional. I heard the nuances of the musician in the back corner of the record tapping his foot as if he was tapping it in the room with me. The detail was crisp but not harsh and you could easily separate the vocals of Peter, Paul, and Mary which is a record I love to use to gauge the system. Than to the Daft Punk! I felt the floor vibrate and to make sure I sat on the floor during one of the tracks and felt the music go right through me. I didn't listen to as wide a range as I would have liked between the shows and raising my first born but it was a very nice flavor that I wasn't used to in my home.

Tonight, the baby was calm and I found myself without a Fatboy (darn you Munich!) and without an arm all together. I remembered I still had one of the original Fatboy prototypes laying around and figured that would be a great arm to mount up that i know could never be stolen away for a show. To refresh everyone, the original Fatboy arm which my dad prematurely leaked to the work was all 3D and with a back stock that wasn't really heavy enough for the added meat in the front. Got everything dialed in the same as the other week started listening... and the presentation was totally different! With only ONE variable being changed in this case (the arm) I knew exactly what was doing it. The imaging wasn't as refined and the sound stage was a bit smaller. I also lost just a bit of the impact that I had the previous week and the highs were a bit softer. Which from a subjective standpoint maybe you like softer highs. That being said, if I didn't fire up the real Fatty the other week I wouldn't think I was missing anything or be disappointed in what I listened to tonight. I can live with the prototype Fatty but when we are caught up on customer orders I'll be grabbing a production model.

Now back to the title of this post and why I'm turning into my dad... I didn't stop there! After listening to a few tracks and getting an idea of the sound I suddenly had this urge to try this whole set-up with ANOTHER TONEARM just to experiment and play! I pulled out an old JMW 12 with Silver Nodost wire. dialed in the same cartridge, same alignment, tracking and VTA and started listening. The JMW 12 Metal arm with silver had the most detail and brightest presentation and I totally lost my low end (comparatively)! Totally not my sound presentation preference but than again it never was! That is why we originally changed from Nordost to pure copper Discovery which than made me want to go searching for another JMW 12 arm with Discover and go through this all again! Alas, at this point someone needed a bath and I ended my insanity. ;)

II had an urge to write about this because going back 5-10 years ago I would have set up my system and left it at that. Now I wanted to experiment, tweak, and hear what every change sounded like for fun. I thought you all might like this little adventure. As I'm typing this it is about 2 in the morning so I might go back and edit typos later it need be.

Hope you all enjoyed the read and I'll post more about impressions whenever my baby girl permits :D
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Re: I think I'm turning into my dad!

Postby Brf » Wed May 09, 2018 8:09 am

Great story Mat.

What I believe that you are describing is your evolution from school teacher, business partner, business owner, apprentice designer, to an accomplished and established designer.

As your design skills and your understanding of subtle nuances of engineering evolve, so does your curiosity and the desire to push established boundaries in the pursuit of sonic improvements. This is very much the trait that you now share with your father.

Keep the product line tight and keep moving forward. Well done.
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Re: I think I'm turning into my dad!

Postby tony22 » Wed May 09, 2018 8:31 am

The Harry is strong with you, Luke - err, I mean Mat. :lol:

More evidence that VPI will go on beautifully!
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Re: I think I'm turning into my dad!

Postby Dorian » Wed May 09, 2018 8:45 am

I enjoyed your story Mat, thanks for sharing. Keep up the great work!
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Re: I think I'm turning into my dad!

Postby Mat » Wed May 09, 2018 9:01 am

Thanks all, I really enjoyed the whole process and hearing the clear differences of presentation. But i can't knock any of them, there are still customers (mainly in Europe) who request a metal JMW arm with Silver wire. I don't think I can really listen and enjoy it anymore for my musical flavor.

I thew my guy on the floor a curve ball when I asked him if he had a metal JMW 12 arm with Discovery wire :P

I love the look of an HR-X but if I keep this up I'm going to have to grab an Avenger for myself so I can be as sick as my dad :lol:
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Re: I think I'm turning into my dad!

Postby Packgrog » Wed May 09, 2018 9:02 am

Don't you just love these kinds of comparisons and tweaks? Those of us that archive straight to digital get even more twitchy and nitpicky, since we can do direct A/B testing of the recordings. That does make some of us borderline perfectionists extra twitchy, though... :P
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Re: I think I'm turning into my dad!

Postby miner » Wed May 09, 2018 11:01 am

Do you get a discount Mat?
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Re: I think I'm turning into my dad!

Postby 930turbo » Wed May 09, 2018 1:49 pm

Hi Mat ,

Why not add another tonearm to your HR-X , its been done before .

Best regard ,

930
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Re: I think I'm turning into my dad!

Postby Mat » Thu May 10, 2018 12:20 am

Yeah I really need to get to know someone at VPI so I can get a better deal on their stuff :P

Actually, I can keep using the same armbase, I just need more arm-wands and more of the same cartridge for a fair baseline 8-)
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Re: I think I'm turning into my dad!

Postby 930turbo » Fri May 11, 2018 7:57 pm

Mat wrote:Thanks all, I really enjoyed the whole process and hearing the clear differences of presentation. But i can't knock any of them, there are still customers (mainly in Europe) who request a metal JMW arm with Silver wire. I don't think I can really listen and enjoy it anymore for my musical flavor.

I thew my guy on the floor a curve ball when I asked him if he had a metal JMW 12 arm with Discovery wire :P

I love the look of an HR-X but if I keep this up I'm going to have to grab an Avenger for myself so I can be as sick as my dad :lol:


I can lend you my metal 12.7 w/ Discovery wiring while you can lend me the FatBoy ;)
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