Vinyl playback and synergy...

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JamesD
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#1 Vinyl playback and synergy...

Post by JamesD »

OK now I'm really confused or maybe that should just be more confused than usual...

The Ortofon M20E Super started it by sounding worse than the AT450E on just about every parameter but producing the music in a more involving way that also made more sense... It seemed even better than my moving coils at making music and I couldn't really understand why...

The next thing I tried was changing the turntable - I was using the Kenwood KD990 as its my best deck and I swapped it out for a greatly underrated turntable - an AIWA AP-2600 - another direct drive Japanese Superdeck from the late seventies and just swopped over the M20E....

And blow me down if it didn't clean up the sound and make the music even better without losing the extension and authority in the bass that the Kenwood has... this is new as normally the AIWA gives a slightly lighter sound than the Kenwood but now it thunderous in its own right... The arm isn't normally as good as the Kenwood either but its not giving anything up now and I can only suggest that there is a synergy between the AIWA and the M20E that is lifting the performance of both... its probably the best vinyl sound I've ever had at home and I'm really confused... Happy but confused...

Any ideas as to what might be happening? Any similar experiences?

I'll take & post a picture of the Aiwa setup next.
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#2 Re: Vinyl playback and synergy...

Post by JamesD »

And here are some pics.
AIWA AP-2600 Pic 1a.jpg
AIWA AP-2600 Pic 1a.jpg (188.3 KiB) Viewed 936 times
AIWA AP-2600 Pic 2a.jpg
AIWA AP-2600 Pic 2a.jpg (185.28 KiB) Viewed 936 times
AIWA AP-2600 Pic 3a.jpg
AIWA AP-2600 Pic 3a.jpg (154.84 KiB) Viewed 936 times
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#3 Re: Vinyl playback and synergy...

Post by IslandPink »

I can't offer much, James, but I would conclude it's mainly to do with how the Aiwa arm and M20E are working together. I tend to think the motor and platter have more to do with the bass and rhythm aspect ... but also I know these vinyl front-ends are so complex in their interactions.
Having said that, I just realised about a minute later that one reason the Linn LP12 became popular was because of the 2-part platter which cleaned up the upper midrange and treble a lot, compared to solid-platter competition ... so ... is there anything in platter construction on the Aiwa which differs from the Kenwood ?
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#4 Re: Vinyl playback and synergy...

Post by mr.natural »

Blimey James glad you’re still hard at it & confused (totally normal). I’ve had a few miles on the clock trying to figure out a replay sound that to me is music. It comes and it goes and to find a benchmark where I can say ‘hey, this is it’ is normally impossible for me to achieve. Something happens between my ears and the audio illusion, but over the odd 50 years of listening I have found some synergy between me and a playback system. I always remember them and the time it happened, here are a few examples. - Linn LP12/Ittok/Karma (this was our lodgers back in the late 80’s).The turntable was plonked on top of a chest of drawers on a suspended floor in his bedroom. It sounded bloody dynamic,fast with real mid range & vocals and percussion.Never heard another Linn again sound like that. In fact he moved it for some reason and I thought it lost everything.
A second example was back in 73’Bristol in Virgin record shop where they housed several Garrard 401/SME 3009/V15, every visit there was rewarded with consistent music with realistic percussion and a driving mid range. I do remember the amps were all Quad 303’s & AR18 speakers.
One prime example from my own personal system would have been Garrard 401/Rega/Madrigal Carnegie One with a pair of Lowther super acousta twins. This lot sounded very transparent with just music overwhelming the room. The lowther PM6’s were vintage square plate types with foam rot. When I got them reformed everything was lost.

Today’s system is the one I have been harking on about to you recently and is a Thorens TD160 super/SME 3009/ V15 mk.lll. The on going listening has been consistently good for some time. When I know it’s right I’ll let you know, I’ll need another few months of testing/listening and taping the results onto a Nak ZX7.

Regards,Ed
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#5 Re: Vinyl playback and synergy...

Post by JamesD »

Hi Mark,
Interesting observation on the platter construction... but both Kenwood and AIWA have single piece cast and machined metal oversized platters with a thick 'rubber' mat - the Kenwood is heavier but not by a lot with a flat platter surface and flat rubber mat over the playing surface. The Aiwa has a slightly lighter platter but a heavier and thicker mat that is recessed into the platter and with a deeper recess at the edge of the mat i.e. thicker edge to the rubber mat - again a mainly flat playing surface with four small shallow radial grooves.

Just to make it simple for myself I have swopped to the AT450E tonight and it is playing beautifully with deeper bass and a little more detail than the M20E but less sense of performance - still really nice and probably better than on the Kenwood ... I'm really confused as it didn't use to be like this i.e. the AIWA better than the Kenwood...

Hi Ed.

It is strange how some listening sessions and some system seem to be able to transcend the usual experience and expectations... I've had, maybe, a dozen sublime sessions in my life starting in the sixties with a Lenco G69 and Shure M75 (I think) into a Sinclair Stereo 25 & Z12 kit amplifier into Wharfdale Denton speakers... normally and average system for the time but magical that evening... no idea why...

I bought an Ariston RD110SLE, Mission 744, Elite Townsend MCP555 after auditioning against a Linn LP12, Ittok, Asak that I intended to buy - The Ariston easily beat the Linn on that day but was the most infuriating deck I have ever owned or read about - on its day it would genuinely and easily beat the Linn but that day was probably only one day in twenty the others it varied from Linn style to much worse than Linn... I got expert at tweaking it to be good but it never held the setup for more than 24 hours... not synergy this time - just variable quality engineering... no wonder Linn are still around but Ariston aren't...

I'm wondering how much the support for the turntable s is influencing the performance - as the picture shows the decks are standing on 12mm of oak (laminated solid flooring off cuts) mounted on three string plastic boxes sitting on top of a Victorian music cabinet with wooden casters on a solid floor (converted barn floor so concreate/damp course/ underfloor heating/screed). I'll have to experiment with different mountings for the turntable...

Actually I need to widen the experiments as I now have:
1) four cartridges on different head shells - AT450E, Ortofon M20E Super, Ortofon SL20E & Denon 103
2) five different turntables usable with 4 with interchangeable head shell arms - Kenwood KD990, Aiwa AP-2600, Optonica RP7100, JVC Ql-7A & the aforementioned Ariston that is the only one with a two part platter

That should sort out what is synergy and what is true performance... I also suspect the moving coil step-up transformer might be limiting the performance of the moving coils compared to the moving magnets cartridges.

That should keep me busy for a while... BTW I'm using a Ruark Log Rhythm sub-woofer for the bottom end giving me plenty of extension to judge the bottom end of the cartridge/turntable combinations...

Maybe I should get my sound pressure meter and speaker measuring setup going as well to line listening levels up and check frequency response etc...
but that sounds like work!

James
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#6 Re: Vinyl playback and synergy...

Post by pre65 »

Interesting comments about Japanese DD decks and arms.

My "spare" TT is a Yamaha YP-D7, a 100v version but I made a 100v PSU for it.

I must dig it out and see what I think.
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#7 Re: Vinyl playback and synergy...

Post by Ant »

All my tts get put on a large slate slab ive had for the last 15 years or so, i originally bought it for the bottom tier of a slate lenco i did about 2006.
Its usually sat on the top of a built in cupboard at the side of the chimney breast, or in the last house it was in a shelf built into an alcove.
The jvc just sits on top of the same cupboard.
If i move it it onto the big unit with the records in (which is on 6 large rubber tyred casters because with the records in it it weighs about 300 kilos :shock: ) it doesnt sound as good, which is odd, because the bloody thing is so heavy.

The jvc is on its original rubber feet, the jbe is on some of vics solid trans-fi legs that were originally on a salvation tt.
Strangely enough, the delta cd transport doesnt skip when its on top of the built in cupboard, but it does on the record unit.
I do have a suspended wood floor though not a concrete one
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#8 Re: Vinyl playback and synergy...

Post by IslandPink »

JamesD wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 8:17 pm That should sort out what is synergy and what is true performance... I also suspect the moving coil step-up transformer might be limiting the performance of the moving coils compared to the moving magnets cartridges.
Oh yeh, that's a big thing. I couldn't believe how much low bass and bass dynamics the plain 103 had, when I first heard it without an SUT.
That's an extreme case, but there's always going to be an effect from the SUT at the low end.
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#9 Re: Vinyl playback and synergy...

Post by mr.natural »

Mark, (ILPS) - I’m out of touch about the SUT. What’s causing the problem with MC & step up trannies low end grunt that you have noticed. Regards, Mr. Natural
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#10 Re: Vinyl playback and synergy...

Post by Nick »

mr.natural wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 3:47 pm Mark, (ILPS) - I’m out of touch about the SUT. What’s causing the problem with MC & step up trannies low end grunt that you have noticed. Regards, Mr. Natural
I would suggest core size limiting the low frequency flux levels.
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#11 Re: Vinyl playback and synergy...

Post by mr.natural »

Ok boys, if SUT’s don’t grab you in the lows what about mid range/high frequency range. Reason I’m interested in this is due to having the availability of Tx’s for MC in my Ear 324 and used that option for a Denon 103. The MM Shure’s I have been using for the past couple of years seem to have it all (the Ear has various loading/capacitence options) to cater for moving magnet. The MC sound did seem to have less weight & dynamics did not come to life generally, musically didn’t grab you.

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#12 Re: Vinyl playback and synergy...

Post by JohnG »

Vinyl is happily creating surprise encounters for the user who perseveres.
I can happily encourage building on the Support Structure, by placing the TT on a Sub Plinth with an Isolation footer between the Sub Plinth and Cabinet.
A few cork pads as a initial footer to be used, can create a subtle change the sound.
The TT Platter can also be introduced to a few diferent platter Mats is they are available, there is usually a noticeable change when swapping these around, especially if the Materials differ.
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#13 Re: Vinyl playback and synergy...

Post by IslandPink »

Nick wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 3:56 pm I would suggest core size limiting the low frequency flux levels.
If that's the result of limited primary inductance, then yes ( that too) . This was discussed with Pieter T as you remember, just before he retired.
There's an awkward trade-off with high impedance carts like the 103 ( 40 ohm ) and 103R ( 14 ohm ), the low-frequency roll off is significant with most SUTs. His best SUT's for midrange and treble were the nanocrystalline cobalt toroid ones, but they only give a max of 1.5H on the primaries. The specials he did for me just before he retired used the best amorphorous cores he could find, they gave 2.5H on the primaries. The bass and timing were obviously better with those, with the 103R ; however the cobalt ones have a touch more warmth and subtlety in the midrange. I know Ali managed to score a pair of the cobalts recently.
It doesn't help that the primary is the small-turns end of the transformer. I'm sure that looking into the secondary, there's loads of inductance !

I'm sure Dave S could do something similar nowadays, and he might even be able to enclose them properly, unlike a few years ago !
It did occur to me that you might be able to get a better result for primary inductance by going for 1:5 , instead - you could then get more primary turns for the same core 'window' size ? ....
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#14 Re: Vinyl playback and synergy...

Post by vinylnvalves »

I found after a few false starts with tables under my turntables that a wall mount works best for me, especially with the suspensionless hyperspace. I had a wall bracket fabrication up which supports via spikes a couple of slate slabs with a layer of cork between in a sandwich. The auxetic properties of the cork gives additional isolation. The wall bracket is fabricated from rolled hollow section and is filled with sharp sand. As you can see from the picture I don’t use plinth NA provide.

I know my Cranfield Rock also benefited from the additional isolation, but it’s gas springs reduce the benefit as it’s well isolated by design. The LP12 I used to have needed all the help it could get and was a big challenge. Back in the 80’s my fathers retirement business was to make high quality HIFI furniture, we made numerous prototypes - granite tops etc, which I designed. These were all demonstrated in the HIFI shop I worked with using their Linn and Naim equipment. In the end we could not beat the Ikea “Lack” £15 table for sound quality it’s light weight egg box construction was far superior to anything we made to support an LP12. Stupidly at the time I was brainwashed that there wasn’t any other turntable worth owning.
FF0C203C-A76B-4D3B-B568-07C9397ED869.jpeg
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#15 Re: Vinyl playback and synergy...

Post by Ant »

The cork is interesting, i tried various things underneath my chunk of slate and surprisingly some really small stick on sorbothane feet work really well with it.
Never thought of using cork
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