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Old 30th November 2013, 12:38 AM   #10201
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In retrospect, the vile appearance of the Stereo 70 was a joke, like hot-rodders who take nasty-looking old cars and go crazy on the engine and suspension. In the USA, they're called "sleepers". It's a kind of techno-joke for geeks ... don't be fooled by looks.

The reason our group-of-three set aside the advanced MOSFET amplifier was that we had never heard any transistor amp, from any vendor, match the sound of the triode-converted Stereo 70. We also knew the Dyna was at the bottom of the heap in terms of tube amps; there were much better designs even back in the Golden Age of the Fifties, like the Leak, Quad II, and Mullard.
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Old 30th November 2013, 12:50 AM   #10202
fas42 is offline fas42  Australia
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One of the great dilemmas of audio - the closer a system gets to being technically correct, often the worst it subjectively sounds. So, is it doing something wrong? Not really, often it's just because the envelope's being pushed even harder, you just can hear all the tiny defects ever so clearly, they are not nicely smeared over as is often the case.

I've been down this road so many times, over so many years - the system becomes almost impossible to listen to at times, but I just have to push through the 'pain barrier' - on the other side is the good stuff, the reason I decided to 'go to the gym' in the first place: rich, glorious sound ... if I pull back now, take the easy way out, of 'nicefying' something in the setup, then I will always be aware that I chickened out - didn't take that next, essential step to fully clean up the system ...
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Old 30th November 2013, 01:03 AM   #10203
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I'm wary when a number of recordings start to sound bad (in either LP or CD format).

Yes, as Peter Walker said, the wider you open the window, the more dirt blows in. (PW said this when the UK was burning a lot of coal; it was an everyday experience for a lot of Brits.)

But ... there are a lot of problems in playback systems that add very unpleasant artifacts to below-standard recordings. In CD playback, if the analog stages slew (and nearly all do), then bright CD's will sound outright harsh and unlistenable. Same story for LP playback; mistracking and crud on the record surface sound much worse if there's any slewing in the phono preamp.

HF peaking, and more subtle resonances in the decay interval (as seen on waterfall CSD displays), make "bad" recordings sound unlistenable. Take care of the HF problems, and the "bad" recordings can be listened to and genuinely enjoyed. It's the difference between enjoying all of your music collection or just parts of it. Some audiophile systems, although "transparent" in the usual sense, only sound enjoyable on a handful of audiophile recordings. I've heard plenty of systems like this.

Last edited by Lynn Olson; 30th November 2013 at 01:05 AM.
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Old 30th November 2013, 01:41 AM   #10204
fas42 is offline fas42  Australia
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Yes, it's overall system health that counts, the full chain matters - neglect one link, and the listening suffers ... and pristine HF is key, as you say. An excellent guideline is when one starts to play with a completely different system - topology, configuration, power supply implementation, way off in another direction from what one had before - and you bring it up to better SQ without tampering with any of the basics of the setup ... and steadily, one by one, the 'reference' recordings fall into line, start sounding exactly as you know their innate nature to be ...
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Last edited by fas42; 30th November 2013 at 01:48 AM.
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Old 30th November 2013, 02:00 AM   #10205
system7 is offline system7  United Kingdom
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I think this thread is compelling reading, Lynn. Keep at it.

I can't help noticing the lovely conversion of unbalanced input to balanced or at least symettrical output in Eli Duttman's schematic with your likeable quoted Mullard Valve Circuit Thread.

That has elegance. I'm not surprised it works well.

People are talking about musicality here. I am slightly gobsmacked with a bit of work I did on these Sony E44 speakers which I found in a thrift shop.

Click the image to open in full size.

These cloth surround speakers reminded me of Tannoy, which I liked, so I had a go at it. A mere single 3.3uF capacitor on the treble was the filter. Nothing else. I gave it a KEF type 2nd order LF/3rd order HF filter and a Morel CAT 298 soft dome tweeter. Quite decent HiFi sound, but no cigar.

I then reinstalled the Sony Mylar cone type tweeter. It's a KNOCKOUT! Sounds so good you forget it's a recording of Ella and Louis. OK, the cabinet and construction is a bit poor and rattles a bit sometimes, but that's not the point.

Click the image to open in full size.

Is Robin Marshall right?

Quote:
Marshall: Yes, but the damping makes things worse. You look at a soft-dome's frequency response—and that's how most people judge a tweeter—and if it's nice and flat, it's wonderful, isn't it? What it's not telling you is that the first worrying resonance, the second resonance, may be at 6kHz. It's heavily damped, it's very low-Q, but that means it's actually worse than if it's an aluminum dome. If you looked at it in the old-fashioned way of judging hi-fi in the 1970s and early 1980s, a low-Q resonance is great because you can't see it. But a low-Q resonance is far more worrying than a high-Q resonance.
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Last edited by system7; 30th November 2013 at 02:05 AM. Reason: Typos Corrected...LOL
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Old 30th November 2013, 03:36 AM   #10206
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I can tell you that the cost differential between an aluminum or silk or polymer dome is a world of difference between those and Be. A raw Be diaphragm for a 1" dome is in the range of $35.00 for a good guy price and you can multiply the surface area and you will see why a Be diaphragm for a compression driver cost is so high. The cost for just the diaphragm for a beryllium dome tweeter is often much higher than the cost of a completed soft dome or aluminum. This would be even higher for a vapor deposited material rather than the foil type material from Brush Wellman.

On the comments I see often about magnet materials those are very deceptive also. There are many grades of magnets in all types of materials. The Neo magnets have a very wide range of coercive force and also heat ratings. Most typical audio devices are using very low grade Neo on the order of 35MgOe while there are grades that have much higher values and costs that go up with them. I have been using 52MgOe material for a few years now and it does come at a price premium.
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Old 30th November 2013, 03:53 AM   #10207
Rewind is offline Rewind  Sweden
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Then what about field coils vs neo? Is not the point of field coil is to increase the strength of the magnetic field? Well, premium neo must be pretty strong already.

I have also read that the is a difference in sound between "Tungar" tube field coil power supplies and other types of field coil supplies. How can this affect the sound?? Seem almost magical.

Last edited by Rewind; 30th November 2013 at 03:56 AM.
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Old 30th November 2013, 04:18 AM   #10208
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fas42 View Post
One of the great dilemmas of audio - the closer a system gets to being technically correct, often the worst it subjectively sounds. So, is it doing something wrong?
Usually "yes". When "technical correctness" as determined by a few figures-of-merit, is being obsessively, dogmatically pursued.

At the expense of everything else.

It's been that way for at least fifty years, if Crowhurst is to be believed.
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Old 30th November 2013, 06:37 AM   #10209
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Rewind,
That is a question I often ask myself about all the different types of magnets and magnetic materials, how they truly differ. To my thinking at least the flux density in the gap and the resistance to demagnetization are two of the most important factors. Obviously the lowest force factor materials are the ceramic magnets at least by volume that would be the case. ALNICO would be one of the favored magnetic materials here just because it was used for so long as the magnet of choice for compression drivers, it had a fairly high temperature rating and high coercive force material. But if I remember correctly, don't hold me to this one, I think that Alnico has a habit to demagnetize if it is dropped, hard impact I think I remember, and it does seem to need to be re-magnetized over time. Neo doesn't demagnetize like that but it is rather brittle material so is harder to handle and can crack easily as it is a highly compressed power material. At the same time many Neo grades have fairly low heat resistance and will readily demagnetize if heated over their curie point but other grades have fairly high temperature resistance. So it is very important to the design where you use each of the magnetic materials and how the circuit is actually achieved.

I don't have any specific information on field coil speakers but to me that is just silly. Why would we want to go back to the very beginning, the coil then becomes another factor that you have to control. Voltage changes from the power source would modulate the magnetic field and now you have another electrical sub system that you have added to your speakers. Not my idea of a reasonable application in this day and age.
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Old 30th November 2013, 10:19 AM   #10210
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Originally Posted by Kindhornman View Post
I can tell you that the cost differential between an aluminum or silk or polymer dome is a world of difference between those and Be. A raw Be diaphragm for a 1" dome is in the range of $35.00 for a good guy price and you can multiply the surface area and you will see why a Be diaphragm for a compression driver cost is so high. The cost for just the diaphragm for a beryllium dome tweeter is often much higher than the cost of a completed soft dome or aluminum. This would be even higher for a vapor deposited material rather than the foil type material from Brush Wellman.

On the comments I see often about magnet materials those are very deceptive also. There are many grades of magnets in all types of materials. The Neo magnets have a very wide range of coercive force and also heat ratings. Most typical audio devices are using very low grade Neo on the order of 35MgOe while there are grades that have much higher values and costs that go up with them. I have been using 52MgOe material for a few years now and it does come at a price premium.
Be foil beats the vapour deposited metal. Sorry. Be diaphragms are too expensive period.
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