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Old 7th September 2011, 05:00 PM   #31
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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Some further observations... Clearly the LL1941 has much greater resolution and on excellent recordings the results are significantly better than the HA-100X, on mediocre recordings the HA-100X calls less attention to those flaws which may result in a more pleasing listening experience. Hard call, both are likable for different reasons.
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Old 17th September 2011, 09:31 PM   #32
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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Default Quick Update

I guess I have put about a further 10hrs of use in since I last commented on the Lundahl LL1941.

Obviously all that follows here is subjective and should be taken as applying specifically to (my) use with the SPU GM E II only.

I've never heard tighter, deeper bass out of a LOMC cartridge/SUT combination in my system, it's clearly superior to anything else I have had in this regard. Calculated -1dB point for this transformer with my 6 ohm SPU is 22Hz.

It preserves the dynamics, energy, and guts the SPU is noted for. This is not a polite or reticent sounding set up in any sense, and the 1941 does not degrade those qualities. (This is why I bought a Schick arm and SPU in the first place)

The tonal balance is very neutral, and every record has a distinct character - this may sound odd, but in many cases both a particular transformer and cartridge can impose a coloration that overlays everything - I hear no evidence of that happening.

There is very low level detail on a lot of recordings that I cannot hear through my other transformers. The sound is extremely clean, and characterless in comparison to what I have been used to.

Imaging has improved further compared to the HA-100X which was no slouch at all in this department.

The HA-100X is unquestionably beguiling sounding in comparison, but there is a certain warmth and tonal sameness overlaying everything, a little less resolution, and extension at the frequency extremes.

When I first started listening to the 1941 I heard a lot of good qualities, but it's tonal balance left me a little less than thrilled, if you like lush and warm, bordering on euphony you may not like these. I thought that there was a hint of midrange glare, which strangely seems to be going away with use - I have no idea why, but apparently something is going on in the core with usage and this is audible in casual A/B testing where my initial preferences in some ways favored the HA-100X. This is less the case as time goes on..

There is no question that the 1941 can be rather unkind to mediocre and outright bad recordings - in such cases a little sweetening might not be such a bad thing if it enhances one's enjoyment. I've always tended to prefer the accurate over the good sounding which IMHO are not always synonymous, but then I did not have the sort of resolution I am now living with..

In my opinion these transformers are clearly a good match technically and sonically for the SPU and probably do less damage to the signal than most devices IMVLE..

On a TD-124 with a Shick arm, the combination of the SPU GM E II and 1941 (or HA-100X for that matter) far exceed the performance I achieved with either the ZU DL-103 or Denon DL-103D with the Partridge 977, until I heard it I would not have believed there could be such a huge difference. The SPU literally leaves it in the dust...
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Old 5th December 2011, 01:09 AM   #33
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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Based on measurements and longer term listening I have a couple of conclusions to pass along on the LL1941 transformer.

I am now running this transformer at 16X which provides a flat response within 1dB from 20Hz - 20kHz with a 6 ohm source impedance intended to approximate the source impedance of my SPU GM E II. (And 300uVrms into the primary of the transformer)

The transformer works well and sounds good configured this way, IMHO at least as good as the older borrowed Silvercore MC (SPU version) I am currently using as a reference.

Performance in the 32X configuration is problematic with the GM E, insufficient LF response being the primary issue. (My pair measure -4dB @ 20Hz relative to 1kHz at 300uV from a 6 ohm source.) It did seem initially more dynamic in this configuration, but critical listening has not borne this out. Apart from the apparent lack of extreme low end it still sounded better than many of the alternatives I have tried.

The caveat here is that if you need the higher gain then this transformer may not be the right one for you.

It also seems to take a long time to sound its best and I am not quite sure why although this has been remarked WRT other amorphous core audio transformers, so...

As always YMMV.
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Old 7th December 2011, 03:27 PM   #34
bhamham is offline bhamham  United Kingdom
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kevinkr,

Sorry to sidestep the thread but I love your plinth. Did you make it? I'm really interested in doing one for my TD-124.

BTW, fantastic setup - I bet it sounds wonderful.
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Old 29th December 2011, 05:17 AM   #35
limono is offline limono  United States
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Kevin, I'm impressed with Hashimoto SUT. Check it out if you can. There is nothing high-tech about it but to me it sounds just splendid.
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Old 25th June 2012, 12:22 AM   #36
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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Default Meister Silver SPU: Observations

Those of you familiar with the SPU probably know there are certain traits that would be common to all SPUs, dynamics, power, detail and an ability to eek the most out of the recording being played.

All of that said I own a Classic GM E II and have recently received a Meister Silver GM II brand new on a long term loan - with an eye to trying to decide whether or not I want to acquire one of these or perhaps a Synergy or Royal..

This design differs from the Classic GM E II in a number of technical respects, the GM E uses OFC wire in its windings, the Meister Silver uses gold plated silver wire instead and has a stylus with roughly half the mass of the GM E II, and the grinded wood head shell is finished differently in that it is glossy as opposed to matt black.

The impedance, compliance, and tracking force are the same as the GM E II, however it weighs 2gms more than the GM E II forcing me to rebalance my Schick arm for this cartridge. The output is 300uV versus 200uV for the GM E II which gives it about a 3.5dB advantage in SNR.

About 10 hours into break-in the differences are subtle, but I am aware of some differences. I expect the outlook to change as the hours pile on (and they most assuredly will )

In a nutshell I think the GM E II has a bigger, slightly more dynamic sound, the Meister Silver more control, a slightly leaner more controlled bass, and a little more focus overall. Highs interestingly are less prominent than is the case with the GM E II, a slighter darker yet still neutral rendition. Very subtle differences for the most part.

I am tracking at 4gms, SUT is a pair of Lundahl LL1941, and the phono stage is my latest design. (The Muscovite)

Music of many genres as always.

I can say it is an SPU..
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Old 26th June 2012, 12:30 AM   #37
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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The Meister Silver is breaking in nicely, subtle differences - a more detailed account will have to wait until I have put a lot more hours on it, then a slow but deliberate A/B - will probably ask a few audiophile buddies over to do some comparative listening..

Needle Doctor may be the best place to get one for anyone living in the United States - most new ones on eBay are grossly overpriced gray market items. (Have a problem with one of these and you are on your own - official Ortofon policy. Caveat emptor)
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Old 26th June 2012, 12:35 AM   #38
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bhamham View Post
kevinkr,

Sorry to sidestep the thread but I love your plinth. Did you make it? I'm really interested in doing one for my TD-124.

BTW, fantastic setup - I bet it sounds wonderful.
Sorry that I am only now replying, missed the post when it originally occured..

The plinth was custom made in Vietnam for me through the good works of a close friend - I will be getting another one that will not be damaged in transit sometime this fall I guess. This one will live on as the plinth for my second somewhat parts challenged TD-124 and my recent project - a keeper-darren (ebay user id) SME 3012 clone. (A mix of Series II and 3012R features, very nice arm btw..)

Yes, the plinth is effective and the overall performance of the turntable/plinth/schick/spu of the moment thrills me every day. It was a long road to this point but it was worth it - there are just some things that a really good analog set up still does that digital just can't no matter how good, why I have no clue - no desire to defend my position either.. Perhaps a DCS dac would change my mind..
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Old 26th June 2012, 12:45 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by limono View Post
Kevin, I'm impressed with Hashimoto SUT. Check it out if you can. There is nothing high-tech about it but to me it sounds just splendid.
Hope someday to run across a pair at a reasonable price, the Hashimoto stuff has always interested me.

My remaining reservations about the LL1941 have vanished, it is a superb combination with the Muscovite and either of the SPUs on hand here.

The whole setup sounds very clean and detailed, hard to believe that with the exception of the Schick and LL1941s this hardware is all very ancient. I question every day how far we have come, I've traveled back into the fairly distant past to find the modern sound I was looking for.. Yeah the electronics are reflective of one school of current thinking in terms of tube circuit design, but most of the major make or break parts of the system were available by the early 1960s at the latest.
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Old 27th June 2012, 01:54 AM   #40
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Meister Silver is breaking in very nicely, and sounds great - one thing that I find interesting is cuing up from the lead in grooves at the very outer edge it seems to skate a bit more than the GM E II before finding the groove - a wee bit disconcerting actually. (Verified 4gms of tracking force, the GM E II is not immune but is less likely to do this) Conversely it is fair easy to cue by hand - unexpected.
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