My new Analog Rig - Michell Tecnodec - diyAudio
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Old 11th January 2006, 01:15 AM   #1
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Default My new Analog Rig - Michell Tecnodec

After years of waiting, to put aside cash and buy everything, I finally managed to complete my new Analog Rig. I went all the way and tried to implement all the most popular upgrades at once (within certain limit)

Here the final result. The actual installation is none optimal, I know, but this is my lab listening setup, waiting for my main listening room.

I decided on this turntable because it received very good reviews in some european magazines compare to others tables in the same price range. I always like the Michell Gyro SE, but its price was out of my league. Also, I was not sure to spend that much money without hearing what kind of sound I can get from a very good analog setup. So I went for the bottom of the line.

Here a great picture of the table: http://www.michell-engineering.co.uk...l_tecnodec.jpg
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Old 11th January 2006, 01:31 AM   #2
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I got my hand on a brand new Michell Tecnodec turntable at a good price on ebay. Then while waiting to buy the tonearm and cartridge, I decided to upgrade the power supply.

I investigated the Michell HR supply upgrade and after some search and advices made my own CLC filtered, high current dual speeds upgrade supply,
see: Never Connected HR Supply circuit

Here the power supply.
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Old 11th January 2006, 01:43 AM   #3
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Still waiting for the tonearm and cartridge, I decided to built an upgrade platform for the table. This table is rigid and most users report a better sound when using a vibration absorption table.

See this thread for the details: Upgrade Platform for my Tecnodec

Looking good
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Old 11th January 2006, 01:52 AM   #4
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I was already convinced to buy a Rega RB300 tonearm and rewire it with better cables. I wanted to terminate the arm wires into a Cardas CPIB Phono box mounted on the platform. This would give me a strong connection point, allow to move the table without having a mess of wires hanging around and I'll be able to try different cables for a better sound

The only drawback was the price of the CPIB so I decided to build my own. Here the result compared to the real thing, not bad.
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Old 11th January 2006, 02:00 AM   #5
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Then I found a very nice used RB300 tonearm on audiogon at a good price (less than third of the street price), but guest what, the wires were missing. No problem for me, I was already planning to upgrade the wires anyway.

So I got the tonearm and it was in very good shape, and the arm tube was indeed empty, not even a gnd wire left to ease pull back some new wires. Some challenge here...

I decided to go with the Cardas 33awg tonearm wires. Instead of buying separate lenghts of each color wire, I bought the Cardas tonearm cable that contains Four 33 awg wires twisted then bundled in Teflon tape, braided shield. It is small, very flexible and cheaper than separate wires.

I was also planning to use this cable as interconnect using Eichman Bullet Plugs connectors. So I bought 5 ft, 2 for the arm and 3 for the interconnect.

The rewire took me just 3 hours and went very smoothly, a piece of cake. I was even able to reinstall the arm ground wire as the original. I installed my connectors box on the platform using four 4-40 hex head screws and terminated the cable. I was wired again.
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Old 11th January 2006, 02:15 AM   #6
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Very nice! Please post listening impressions.

Jeff
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Old 11th January 2006, 02:19 AM   #7
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Don't worry I'm getting there
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Old 11th January 2006, 02:22 AM   #8
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Naturally came back the question of the last tonearm uprgrades, the weight and VTA stuff. I bought on ebay the full package, the Tecno-weight, the VTA adjuster and the Finger nut, so I can play with the famous VTA setting

Here a view of the complete tonearm.
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Old 11th January 2006, 02:28 AM   #9
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And a close look of my new tonearm wires. I did everything, the small clip installation, etc... A lot of fun. Big Bear fingers stay away

In the back the last piece of money trashing on this table, the Michell record clamp. An other piece of nice enginering. That is the great thing about turntables, so many mechanical parts, almost like a car. Guy stuff I guest...
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Old 11th January 2006, 02:49 AM   #10
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And finally, what is a turntable/tonearm without a cartridge.

I thought a lot about this one. I always wanted to try a low output MC cartridge. Everybody is always raving about how magic are the low output version, small coil, low inertia, low noise level, great tracking, etc... But as always great cartridges are expensives. Some complain about the MC sound, high harshness, and all. So I search and search and settled on the Benz-Micro ACE cartridge. Benz cartridges are often characterized as very musical. The ACE serie was supposed to have most of the top cartridges sounds at a much better price.

Again audiogon was handy and I found a brand new ACE-Low Output for a less than 300U$. Great price and great buyer.

I installed the cartridge, adjusted it using the Rega protactor, a far cry from the WallyTractor, but this is an other story. Set the Tecno-Weight at about 2g, adjusted the VTA and there I was ready for some listening. Except that my ONO phono preamp clone was still not completed and that my current NAD PP2 preamp was always reviewed as not that good.

So I decided to build rapidly a nice, little PhonoClone, a clone of the renowned 47Lab PhonoCube. See for the details: The Phonoclone and VSPS PCB Help Desk

Its sound using my current DL110 and Kyocera turntable was just impressive. Years ahead of the NAD PP2.
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