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Old 25th October 2012, 05:54 AM   #31
fap is offline fap  Australia
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G'day all, Well my ANT Kora 3T (SE) phono stage for moving magnet cartridges. http://www.ant-audio.co.uk/reviews/Kora_3T_SE.pdf arrived yesterday from the UK, and I've wasted no time in getting it connected and playing reconds via my Kenwood KP-3022 and Shure M97xE/SAS. By the way my unit looks brand new and the build quality is superb.

My impressions? This is a very fine and good sounding phono stage and deserves the accolades it has received in recent years. I am advised that this particular model is now no longer in production, but the 'LE' (Limited Edition) model is.

Its arrival is also interesting as I was keen to compare it to my existing DIY ESP P06 phono stage, and I am gratified to say that the two are essentially equivalent in quality and sonic performance. If anything the ESP P06 has a 'slightly' stronger lower bass end and slightly higher overall voltage gain (that is, it plays louder at the same volume setting), but in all other respects (noise floor, RIAA equalisation and soundstage), they are virtually equal and both outstanding.

Apart from revealing the general excellence of the ANT Kora 3T in itself, the comparison also shows the excellent performance afforded by the present crop of high quality DIY designs and I hope that this FET based phono stage is made available in some form of DIY guise! It will be truly excellent. Regards, Felix.
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Old 25th October 2012, 07:52 AM   #32
andyr is offline andyr  Australia
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Originally Posted by fap View Post

G'day all, Well my ANT Kora 3T (SE) phono stage for moving magnet cartridges arrived yesterday from the UK, and I've wasted no time in getting it connected and playing reconds via my Kenwood KP-3022 and Shure M97xE/SAS. By the way my unit looks brand new and the build quality is superb.

Regards, Felix.
Hi Felix,

You say "looks brand new" ... so I assume it was bought used and therefore has been run in for several hundred hours? (Otherwise you're not giving it a fair comparison against your well run-in ESP P06. )

Regards,

Andy
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Old 25th October 2012, 07:55 AM   #33
fap is offline fap  Australia
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G'day mate, it certainly looks brand new, but I am assured that it is a 'demonstration' unit.

To be honest I was almost hoping that it would be audibly better than the ESP P06, but it isn't! Regards, Felix.

Last edited by fap; 25th October 2012 at 07:57 AM.
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Old 25th October 2012, 08:09 AM   #34
andyr is offline andyr  Australia
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G'day mate, it certainly looks brand new, but I am assured that it is a 'demonstration' unit.

To be honest I was almost hoping that it would be audibly better than the ESP P06, but it isn't! Regards, Felix.
Weeell, maybe it never knocked up 200 hours, in demonstrations? Give it another, say, 100 hours before you make the final judgement.

Regards,

Andy
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Old 25th October 2012, 08:27 AM   #35
fap is offline fap  Australia
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G'day mate, although I've seen 'mechanical' break in/warm up happen for myself, I've done enough audio DIY work to say that it basically doesn't happen with electronics to any marked degree.

Don't get me wrong, I love the ANT Kora 3T and I will give it plenty of use and yes I'm leaving it powered onm but my DIY ESP P06 is every bit as good. Regards, Felix.
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Old 25th October 2012, 09:05 AM   #36
andyr is offline andyr  Australia
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G'day mate, although I've seen 'mechanical' break in/warm up happen for myself, I've done enough audio DIY work to say that it basically doesn't happen with electronics to any marked degree.

Regards, Felix.
My own experience has been very different, Felix ... so we'll just have to agree to disagree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fap View Post

Don't get me wrong, I love the ANT Kora 3T and I will give it plenty of use ...
That's good to hear.

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... but my DIY ESP P06 is every bit as good.
Very interesting. I will be in touch in due course to suggest something to you.

Regards,

Andy
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Old 25th October 2012, 06:09 PM   #37
x-pro is offline x-pro  United Kingdom
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Originally Posted by fap View Post
G'day mate, although I've seen 'mechanical' break in/warm up happen for myself, I've done enough audio DIY work to say that it basically doesn't happen with electronics to any marked degree.

Don't get me wrong, I love the ANT Kora 3T and I will give it plenty of use and yes I'm leaving it powered onm but my DIY ESP P06 is every bit as good. Regards, Felix.
Hi Felix,

1) The Kora 3T MM SE you've got is an ex-demo unit which was only used for 50-70 hours about 10 month ago so it does need a good run-in (few days at the very least).

2) There is no magic in the "running in" of an electronic audio device. Most of this process (IMHO) is due to the dielectric absorption in electrolytic capacitors - time constants involved extend to hundreds of hours. I did some measurements on that and the time it takes for an elcap to stop leaking additional current due to DA quite well coincides with the time for the circuit to reach its full sonic potential.

3) After a few days break-in period I would advise you to have a careful play with the biasing adjustment. The optimal biasing point could be quite sharp for some set-ups however only when biased correctly the Kora is capable of showing its true colours.

Cheers

Alex

Last edited by x-pro; 25th October 2012 at 06:11 PM.
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Old 25th October 2012, 07:29 PM   #38
Salas is offline Salas  Greece
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Is there space to sub C7 10uF electrolytic (output DC blocker) with a film cap, or its not generally advised due to some synergistic "voicing" by subjective design?
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Old 25th October 2012, 09:08 PM   #39
x-pro is offline x-pro  United Kingdom
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Is there space to sub C7 10uF electrolytic (output DC blocker) with a film cap, or its not generally advised due to some synergistic "voicing" by subjective design?
There is not quite enough space in the original board to put in good quality 10uF polypropylene caps and a good electrolytic is better than a polyester film cap IMHO. There is no special "synergistic voicing" in my design - I'm after the most transparent and natural sound, when you can hear more of the music, not more of nice distortions . I've used ELNA StarGet on the output with good results but there are better options and if the casing allows you to use PP caps - good! It is also possible to increase the capacitance of the output cap to 22uF or 33uF, useful if the further load is less than 10-15kOhm.

Cheers

Alex
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Old 26th October 2012, 07:34 AM   #40
fap is offline fap  Australia
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G'day all, a bit of listening this afternoon in between numerous other tasks!

I was able to spin one side of the Jimi Hendrix Experience 'Electric Ladyland' album, and listening to 'The Burning of the Midnight Lamp' (a personal favourite), as Jimi sang the words, 'Loneliness is such a ...drag' the sense of sincerely in Jimi's voice was quite palpable.

Most impressive from a phono stage! The ANT Kora 3T is top notch! Regards, Felix.
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