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Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement (Read 20604 times)
Lon
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #50 - 10/22/13 at 16:47:03
 
Okay. It's been my experience that even when one would not expect it, the more you can aid and abet current draw the better. In your shoes, I'd go with the 12 gauge cord. But the 14 may work really well, and if the manufacturer suggests all the better. Best of luck! My money is on you hearing a significant improvement.
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« Last Edit: 10/22/13 at 16:47:44 by Lon »  

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highstream
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #51 - 10/22/13 at 16:54:38
 
Thanks!
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highstream
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #52 - 10/22/13 at 19:58:13
 
Here's what Shunyata had to say:

We feel the Venom 3s will be able to handle these, yes but would recommend the standard Venom 3 if funds allow.  Possibly do an evaluation of them both and decide for yourself?

Currently, these are the Venom 3 options:
Venom 3s $75 (sufficient)
Venom 3 $150 (recommended)
Venom 3 HC $295 (more than you likely need Smiley

I went ahead and ordered three from Music Direct, getting a quantity discount and 30 days to find out.  Thanks,
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« Last Edit: 10/22/13 at 20:30:03 by highstream »  
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Lon
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #53 - 10/22/13 at 20:13:53
 
Interesting response. Some good quality comparisons ahead. Be sure to give these each some time to settle in.
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highstream
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #54 - 11/11/13 at 01:48:51
 
I've now had time to burnin three Venom 3's and they did add a nice dose of warmth and a bit more of a lot of things to my desktop setup and TV speakers.  So, thanks for the advice.

During this time, I also tried out the Mapleshade Clearview Power Conditioning Strip.  It had a whole lot to recommend it, much along the lines of the two-part review of Clearview cables and accessories in EnjoytheMusic.com in 2002, but also added a bottom to top brightness that the reviewer also noticed, and here turned everything cold again.  So I resold it.  Some people like "sound" - transparency, detail, soundstage, etc. - but tonal accuracy and natural warmth come first for me.  

Btw, I've got a three 3' MAC HC power cords and two Silver Quad + ICs (3', 5'), bought this past Spring just before the company name change, that I'm going to market soon, in case anyone is interested.
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Lon
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #55 - 12/06/13 at 13:48:10
 
highstream, sorry missed this post before. Good news that the Venoms worked out for you. And you know, not surprised about the Mapleshade component. I too appreciate natural tonality above everything else really, that's the "root."

I've decided the Zen C modded by Eddie Vaughan sounds much better with the cryo'd EL84s, the other tubes just have a touch of that coldness. My second pair of HR-1s are in the "finish curing" stage so that means that soon I'll be able to bring the ERRs over to Dad's system. Really looking forward to that. Hope the C has enough OOOMPH for Dad's room! I think that between the gobs of gain the Marantz and CSP2 have to offer it should be okay.
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #56 - 12/06/13 at 21:09:12
 
Actually, I'm going to say the Venom 3 hasn't worked out as hoped, at least beyond increase in warmth.  Changed computer system outlet to Maestro and ran the computer's 3 straight to it, leaving the speakers' 3's through computer console.   Result was across the board brightness and nasel/raspy voices even after burnin.  Got a WyWires silver pc there now and tonally closer to what I'm looking for.  Shoulder surgery prevents swapping outlets for awhile, to check that side of it.  The Venom 3 to a Grant Fidelity Tube-Dac 11 on my TV setup, however, opened things up a lot, though I still think a touch tonally elevated.  Amazing how much power cords can affect things.  Going to look at Cullen and maybe Triode Labs PCs.
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Lon
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #57 - 12/06/13 at 21:33:24
 
Interesting. Yes, it' is amazing what power cords do. So many possibilities really.

It's sometimes fun, and sometimes frustrating playing round with them.
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #58 - 12/07/13 at 04:53:19
 
I am somewhat disappointed to hear this about your Shunyata power cables.  I have been researching them out as of late and you would think that with all their hi-tech DTCD (Dynamic Transient Current Delivery) Analyzers, etc. (that they tout so highly of) by now they would have figured out the holy grail of cables.  

I have seen forums full of fan boys that seem to think that their power cables are more important than the actual amps and speakers!  I've read 30 page threads that relate to just the burn-in aspect of their cables.

Sometimes I just wonder WTF?  Do people just shout out about a certain vendor because they spent their money on it or does it really work? Grin
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highstream
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #59 - 12/07/13 at 06:39:56
 
The Shunyata Venom 3 PCs were among the most lauded, especially for the money, in a review of 13 cords by Absolute Sound in 2012, which along with their price is why they get so much attention.  In addition, it's important to recognize that how a cord sounds can be system specific.  That said, my priority is on the musical content of recordings, e.g. timbre, including tonal accuracy, rather than how it ‘sounds’ in the more traditional audiophile ‘sonic’ sense.  That puts me in a minority, to which you may or may not belong.  On that score, the Venom 3 has many wonderful qualities but hasn't quite cut it in my systems, although I say that with the caveat about the Maestro outlet (and Porter for my TV system).  Remember, the Venom 3 is relatively cheap as audiophile market power cords go, so one can't expect everything.

A poorly matched power cord can make a great amp or speaker or whatever come out much worse than it should, no less so than an interconnect can.  The main reason for those lengthy burnin discussions is the naysayers; they should be politely told to check things out for themselves and otherwise ignored.  
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« Last Edit: 12/07/13 at 06:40:30 by highstream »  
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Lonely Raven
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #60 - 12/07/13 at 17:57:49
 

Quote:
Sometimes I just wonder WTF?  Do people just shout out about a certain vendor because they spent their money on it or does it really work? Grin


I see this ALL THE DAMN TIME, in the guitar forums, gun forums, and in the audio forums. I've been banned from a couple forums because I point out that so many people are just *shouting out* a brand, but have not tried another brand, have no backup for their claims, or simply just say "it's the best" without even trying to explain WHY it's the best.

It's very frustrating when you're trying to get into something and researching and all you see is BUY A MAC, or BUY A DILLON, or BUY A SHUNYATA!

Not a good excuse, but that's part of why I tend to have an explanation or some history/background when I compare or recommend something. I've been accused of being quite wordy, but it's because I want to give some context to frame *why* I said what I said. Hell, I catch myself doing this even in the What's Spinning forum...I'll explain why a particular CD is in the player, how long it's been since I've listened to it, and how my current system has brought out something I've never caught before (or ruins the CD for me).  
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« Last Edit: 12/07/13 at 17:58:31 by Lonely Raven »  
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will
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #61 - 12/07/13 at 20:56:41
 
Beowulf and LR,

I avoid most forums (or threads) because of the less than useful posts we have to wander through to get to thoughtful explanations that give us the what and why...as you say LR, with context. Luckily, there are a few around like this Forum that have somehow tended toward more knowledge enhancing information while avoiding the swinging dick and naysayer effects for the most part...forums who are made up of a lot of folks really looking for the real sound and willing to explore how to get there.

From this context it appears to me that standing behind a certain vendor tends to have merit, but of course, as highstream says...system dependent is sort of vast. This is especially true since room typically has a powerful influence on tonal balance.

So I second your point LR about context. After getting the sense of some forum members preferences over time, it sort of works to hear..."this is a great cable" or whatever, but for me it is always better to get comparisons and tonal value shifts from one to another.

I think this is especially important based upon the reality that one person might prefer a cable for compensating for an overly bright or edgy system/room, another might have a neutral system/room, and another a dark room...at times without even realizing it is happening....how much the environment, power, vibration and so on contribute to the tonal balance and quality.

Then there are a lot of us who no matter what the general character of sound we have arrived at, have very revealing systems that we have been refining to tastes for a long time, and therefore need pretty good information to make a leap here or there.

And then there are those of us who just can't hear the subtler stuff do to some physical thing....and so on and so on.

It is an interesting path!

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« Last Edit: 12/07/13 at 21:00:09 by will »  

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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #62 - 12/07/13 at 21:44:26
 
Nice post.  I agree, it's really important to figure out where the reviewer, professional or individual is coming from in terms of system and preferences.  A lot of reading between the lines in what's said and what's not and how things are said.  

Speaking of the latter, I like to steer clear of the term 'neutral,'  except where the meaning is crystal clear, such as if someone is putting it on a continuum of dark-neutral-bright.  But most of the time it's not clear from the context, or it's being used to describe a component as “playing what’s on the recording,” as if the writer could possibly know what’s on the recording.  I tend to look for a term like ‘natural,' then I know what the speaker is talking about and something about how they think.

I'm not sure why the previous writer is so wound up about Shunyata popularity or hype at the moment.  This is not politics and not usually science either, marketing claims notwithstanding.  To me, it's about the pleasure of listening to music and all the rest is white noise.  A great thing about the internet is how audio craftsman have been able to proliferate and find niches for themselves, which we as listeners and customers can explore and experiment with through direct purchase, often at much reduced cost.
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« Last Edit: 12/07/13 at 21:46:55 by highstream »  
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will
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #63 - 12/07/13 at 21:49:09
 
EDIT: sorry highstream I put this post up before seeing your last one. It is an amazingly fun journey this audio dream!

highstream,

Quote:
Changed computer system outlet to Maestro and ran the computer's 3 straight to it, leaving the speakers' 3's through computer console.   Result was across the board brightness and nasel/raspy voices even after burnin.


I am guessing you are onto this, but not knowing your system I will go on. As Lon is illustrating in this thread, with my system explorations, there is no doubt that good power, and then the power and quality of components, vibration and noise isolation in and between components, cable quality, and so on, are all really important. From what I hear, a lot of what this all does is reduce hash, glare and smearing while allowing natural definition and detail across the spectrum without harshness.

I think that especially with most computers, noise is an inherent issue, and some make more noise than others (and inject it into the system). It seems this can manifest in about any way...through AC power, a bad cord, DC power, internal drives, any circuit or power supply, USB cables, DAC card, connection wires, and so on. Any point in the computer flow can inject some nasty stuff that not only makes noise, but also might truncate the digital information...Witness all the different DAC approaches to isolating from the server and convert the digital stream with the least damage....

Just wanted to mention this in case it may be your computer contributing to your sound tending to the bright and edgy. If this is the case, it could be that better power transmission through your Maestro plug and power cables could amplify these internal issues.

My Mac Mini is hailed as quiet, and my Tranquility DAC, noted as very musical while being neutral and revealing, and the Tranquility USB cable is notably more revealing and musical than several cables I tried....but by isolating the USB power from the computer before the DAC, I heard more of what the DAC is good for...micro detail in a bed of neutral musicality.

More subtle, but real, I could hear the difference between a few Firewire cables feeding music from my external drive to the Mini.

These components and the setup are refined attempts to bring out the best of the natural sound of music, including my Mini being used as minimally as possible as a computer with only basic system stuff to support the music functioning....and still there are the above details and more that make a difference in the final sound.

So I imagine that any part of an in-computer chain would likely change the digital stream and add noise cumulatively, especially if it is not specifically designed and carefully implemented for music only.

One basis for this theory is my experience with power cords. Like Lon, I have noticed that, in general (given a similar design and good quality), the bigger wired cable will let through more in a good source component than lighter ones. Why, I don't know, but in my DAC, Zstage and CSP3, all low power source type things, it is quite clear. With two VHaudio kit cables, one smaller, for "source," and one high current....and with two PI Audio cables, one with 12 and one with 10 gauge, the bigger wires make the components better in all ways…more flow, more transparency, more micro detail and dynamics, more accurate bass, better timbre….the lot.

So I tend to feel that detail per se is not what kills the natural timbre of the music, but more the quality and breadth of the information that comes across as detail. I am thinking that when I play an acoustic instrument in a decent room, the detail is endless helping to define the whole audio spectrum, particularly from mid bass to the very high highs. It seems more a matter of getting the whole musical range out well that defines correct timbre, and in this is amazing detail, macro and micro.

I guess this is why it all matters in a system/room. If the system room somehow truncates any aspect of detail, you can't get the fine textures that make an instrument or voice really feel alive. Granted all the rest has to be there and in balance, but without micro detail a system can be good sounding, but something is just missing...the stuff that makes it possible to feel the wood of the cello, drum, piano or voice ...almost like we are playing ourselves. Some thoughts anyway.
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« Last Edit: 12/07/13 at 23:05:37 by will »  

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will
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #64 - 12/07/13 at 23:28:07
 
Lon,

I am enjoying your parents house system development. I have been out of it for a while, but I just read about the Zstage you got. I just pulled the CSP3 from my system having intermittent troubles with distortion/noise and signal drop in the left channel that I can't sort out.

But the happy ending is the Zstage is back in and I am reminded of how good it got with the Beeswax caps! If or when you send yours for repair, though I suspect you would do it anyway with your love of the Jupiter caps, at this point I would call them a must in the Zstage. They make the cables and especially the single tube choice even more important, but once the synergy is there, it is really good. Better than the CSP in some ways and not as good in others (here anyway). I have an amperex 12AU7 in that is really stunning, extended bottom to top, detailed, warm and smooth.

It does not do that magic thing the CSP3 does, that amazing differentiation and musicality combined that I have only heard from the CSP3...well, it does these things, but not in that special and particular way the CSP3 does it....I would say it is a sort of like it enhances the Torii within the Torii signature, rather than enhancing the Torii signature with that enchanting CSP3 signature. Sort of....at least the way I have it set up. And of course this is serious listening. I guess I would call it musical, but more transparent if that matters, which I don't necessarily have concerns about in the case of the CSP3.

And finally, my CSP3 does not have Beewax yet. When I send it in for repair, I will ask for them!
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« Last Edit: 12/07/13 at 23:33:27 by will »  

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Lon
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #65 - 12/07/13 at 23:35:29
 
Hey will,

When I received my new CSP2+ with the Jupiter caps I put my trusty old CSP2 in place of the ZStage and I like it about five times more than the ZStage! I imagine both would sound better with Jupiter caps, but to be honest I don't consider the ZStage really worth the investment in comparison to the CSP2 and three CSP2+ that I have. I'm just going to put it in the audio surplus closet with the other components as back up to use if needed.

It's probably a synergy thing. I can see where the ZStage may shine more in use with a Torii, I haven't tried it and am not likely to. The CSP2 immediately added more balls to the system with the modded Zen C and with the adjustable outputs I've been able to dial in great sound with several tube sets. There's just a solidity and certainty to the sound that I didn't get from the ZStage.

Kindof eager to hear how the ERRs will sound in that system.

Interesting that your CSP3 doesn't have the Jupiter caps. You are going to love it when it does!
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« Last Edit: 12/08/13 at 00:08:20 by Lon »  

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will
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #66 - 12/08/13 at 00:19:17
 
Good point, my mistake...I was not thinking of it with the smaller amps, though all modded up, with the Torii MkIII it really is more similar to the stock CSP3 than I expected when I put it back in. I do remember the CSP3 doing some beautiful "body building" with the SE34 I auditioned too...Amazing how it completed an already really beautiful amp.

You're right...I have no frame of reference with the smaller amps having only the Torii, but with it, I was surprised when I put it in that in some ways it was "a breath of fresh air," and it is good enough that I am not missing the CSP3! With the original Zstage caps...that would very likely be different. In retrospect, I was always struggling a little with the old caps....playing with tubes and cables....but for me, the Jupiters and new ground path really brought this hyper-simple circuit to fruition.

I really do look forward to hearing what the Jupiters do to the CSP3!

Also to your report on the ERRs in your "new" system! I doubt that amp would satisfy me with the 93 db speaker, I need power with the HR-1s and 944s in my rooms.
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« Last Edit: 12/08/13 at 00:27:34 by will »  

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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #67 - 12/08/13 at 01:38:52
 
My new CSP2+ with the Jupiter caps is really beginning to bloom and now I probably will always think about putting them in all my preamps and my ZP3. Implementing these caps is a great service Steve has done for us. I can see how with these the ZStage would be a real "shaping" tool for the Toriis. And it sure is less expensive than the CSP3s (for good reasons). The minute I first put it into Dad's system I got improved sound, and staging bloomed. Still the CSP2 just took charge. They sit side by side, same chassis, and heat up the whole cabinet real good. Gave me more tubes to roll and dial in the balance of detail and tone. Listening this week I was really surprised at the sound, especially listening to solo piano by Earl Hines and Beethoven piano and cello pieces. The speakers do a very good job of reproducing this type of material, and my Dad likes that sort of material a lot.

I think you're right, the C is really going to need the gain and grunt that the CSP2 can deliver if the ERRs are going to work well in that room. And I have gobs of gain going in to the CSP2 as well from the Marantz processor/tuner. But then again the amps and speakers can really surprise you so there's a chance that at parent approved levels sound may be amazing.
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #68 - 12/15/13 at 20:26:48
 
Okay, yesterday I installed my new HR-1s in my home in my second system. They already sound better than I thought they would, and they look amazing, the maple veneer is just perfect for either room they'll be in. Score another home run for Bob.

So today I brought over the ERRs to my Dad's system and set them up. First off, I knew going in that an ideal placment just is not possible. These buggers really like to be out in the room and the sonic rewards for getting them out in a room are large. I can't get them out in the room due to the logistics of the room and the mobility issues my parents face. They have to be both closer to the front wall and wider apart than I would want them, and it challenge them. They cannot be all they can be this way.

But. . . that said. . .they sound really nice. Now the speakers in the cabinet are very good, and are well-spaced apart (about six feet center to center.) The ERRs are about 8.5 feet  enter to center, wish they could be about six feet center to center. The tonality between the two sets of speakers is uncannily similar. I can leave the tone controls flat when using both which is surprising to me. What the ERRs bring to the table is more of all the good stuff: a bit more spaciousness, a bit more detail, a bit more dynamices, a bit more presence. I know they could bring more than a bit if I were able to adjust their placement. The "bit more" I begin to think is more than a small bit as I study the sound throughout the day. I tweaked their placement as much as I could and that has helped. It's not such a huge improvement that I'd cry if they were to have to travel back to my place or off to someone else's; I was happy before they were dropped in and I'm still happy, just more happy. Mom and Dad . . . well they didn't see me install the speakers as they were upstairs for a bit and I didn't advertise it. Finally when they were back down my Dad saw the change and said "Sounds good." Mom said "the bass is different." (It is, it's a bit more detailed and three dimensional).

I may be done, unless I can find a cd changer that is proven to be much much better as a transport and/or analog output than Dad's Denon.
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« Last Edit: 12/15/13 at 20:30:38 by Lon »  

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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #69 - 12/16/13 at 13:59:40
 
Okay, some more playing of cds in the system and some playing wiht placement of the ERRs and they clearly improve the sound. There's a spaciousness and depth that was not there before. If I could get them about three more feet out into the room,there would be the 3D lushness the speakers are so good at. .. but alas that would block the front door and the main path to the stairways upstairs, two main thoroughfares.

Listening to some Ella and she's much more solidly presented and the orchestra has greater power and breadth. Mom and Dad are happy. I'm happy. . . as happy as a tweaking audiophile gets when he reaches a certain plateau and thinks about the next one. . . .
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #70 - 12/16/13 at 21:29:59
 

I love hearing your positive reviews, Lon!

Maybe someday I'll get a set!

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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #71 - 12/17/13 at 11:38:57
 
Yes, what a journey. My mother has the mild elderly affliction and it`s a full time job just switching your head to care mode. Glad you get down time...I get the old girl off to bed early, or rather she thinks `bedtime` earlier than most. Sometimes she`ll pop her head round the door and say `I though I could see, I mean hear voices` And I think `what improvements can I make next` The wit remains.
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #72 - 12/17/13 at 11:52:45
 
Mark, I hardly get to switch back to standard mode! I do get some time off. . . not enough, I can't go on for years this way.

My Mom has become calmer due to some medication but nothing has stopped the constant barrage of messages that consume her time. Sigh. The geriatric psychiatrist says they will not go away, and it's slow downhill from here.

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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #73 - 12/23/13 at 18:50:48
 
Added a PS Audio dectet to my system last week and it's there to stay.  Much easier to organize my cords with the outlets being on top and the ability to keep my analog and digital equipment separate via the different ports is great.   Cords are no longer lying on each other and it is easier to make changes if necessary.  Sound seems to have changed slightly in a positive way but hard to put into words...nothing too drastic perhaps a little bit more weight? Biggest difference was with my Panasonic plasma's picture.  The difference was immediate, more color saturation,crisper details and depth perception.  Couple of buddies thought I had bought a newer version of the same tv...they noticed without me even saying anything.  
Everything makes a difference...time to celebrate with little Elmer T. Lee bourbon.
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #74 - 12/23/13 at 20:05:36
 
Hey JD, congrats, I really enjoy my Dectet in my second system. And yes, isn't it great to SEE the improvement in video equipment!?

I found less of an edge and more ease to the music, which in a way is more 'weight." I'm very happy with mine.

Sounds even better for the first month or so, tiny little bits of improvement as the weeks go by.
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #75 - 02/15/14 at 13:56:28
 
I went back and forth between the Russian 6N15-EV and EL84 tubes in the modded C amp here at Mom and Dad's and find I just plain prefer the EL84. I had a pair of cryo'd Reflektor in the amp but broke one removing it so I odered two pair to try out, both cryo'd: a pair of TAD and a pair of Mullard.

Haven't yet tried the Mullard. I put the TAD in which took a bit of work as the base on these is thicker glass and they just barely fit in the sockets which have an aluminum protective collar around the base. They just have about 20 hours on them and the bass has not yet fully come in (I find this to be the case with cryo'd tubes, last thing to com in is the bass, the other frequencies are pretty fully realized right up front). These are really good tubes for detail hounds: reverbration trails of notes are prominent, fine details of instrument imaging and character are quite audible. My parents like them, they also have a bit more top end, and their ears like far more of that than I do. I think if/when the bass comes in strong they'll be formidable tubes. (The Reflektor ware really nicea s well, warmer, sweeter when well seasoned).
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #76 - 02/19/14 at 20:01:55
 
Lon,

 It is really something, i.e. what we do not realize about each other. I have read this thread(though not thoroughly) from page one to here. It's been 8 years since my father passed, and I did not go through the challenges that you are faced with. It just reminded me of a special time that happened long ago when I still lived in Az. My folks visited for 3 months, with Christmas included. One of the brightest things that I ever did in my life was to rent a decent piano and have it set in the great room. My father played fabulous piano, and most days when I came home from work, he was sitting there playing an old standard or something memorable. I don't have to go on about this, because you are experiencing some of the same thing in a different way. You are involved with your parents, and THAT is something that not all folks have the blessing of. I admire your attention to their needs, and hope that it will be all that it can.
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #77 - 02/19/14 at 20:20:50
 
Thanks for sharing that!

I think that three months will be a time you will always remember, and I'm so glad you had rented that piano.

This is a long hard process for me but I'm sticking with it. . . .
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #78 - 03/16/14 at 14:43:40
 
Well, I inserted a new (to me) California Audio Labs CL-10 cd changer into Dad's system.

I had bought one earlier that did not work when arrived. Months later I ordered this one and installed it mid-week. Works like a charm!

Took three or so days for the unit to really come to life, I think it had had a long hibernation. When finally warmed up and firing on all cylinders. . . it sounds really good; I am running the analog outs into the CSP2+. This is a very dynamic player, especially evident on the classical music that is more than ninety percent of what gets played on it. Very full-bodied too, though still fast. It presents a more detailed and dynamic presentation than the Onkyo changer to Marzantz DAC/preamp that was in use before. The Onkyo (or really the Marantz DAC/preamp) does present a bit warmer presentation, but it's warm away from neutral rather than a neurtal warmth. The CL-10 is a bit more forward while still offering a deeper soundstage. But my folks have high frequency challenges I don't and they prefer this. The treble is also progressively getting less edgy with use. And it's already more refined than the Onkyo/Marantz DAC/preamp presentation. The transport on this changer is impressive. Solid, smooth, and very sure-footed. It inspires confidence and I think is contributing to the very good sound.

I'm using MAC Vibe (copper ribbon interconnects, a lot like the Decware Silver Reference imo but with copper) that I bought from this forum, as the MAC Ultra-Silver + pair I was using failed after changeout and reinstallation; one of the cables just doesn't work presently, I'll have to work on it and see "what's what." Quite nice sound overall. I played around with power cords and so far the MAC HC cord of those I have available for this system seems to offer the best sound with this machine. I think I've found the best source I can use with this system without moving to a much better DAC, which is an expense I'd rather throw elsewhere right now. Too bad Dad is so insistent on a changer, though it does have an advantage in that I can load up the changer for those afternoons I get time off and he'll have music the whole afternoon.

The cryo'd TAD EL84s are souding really good in the modded C amp in this system. They have some of the quickness of the SV83 family of tubes with some of the lushness of the NOS EL84 family of tubes, a nice blend that suits the system. Glad I got them. At some point I'll try out the cryo'd Mullard reissue EL84s I also received at the same time.
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« Last Edit: 03/16/14 at 17:14:36 by Lon »  

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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #79 - 03/16/14 at 16:17:40
 

I never thought I'd hear anyone say a CD Changer sounded good. It must be a pretty nice piece of kit!
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #80 - 03/16/14 at 16:22:26
 
Well, when made this was hawked as THE audiophile changer, and California Audio Labs put together a really well-designed changer transport in a very well-built heavy chassis and a great HDCD 20 bit DAC and analog output stage, it's both as good a transport as many single-drawer cd players and better sounding than many. Coaxial digital out so I could use a better DAC if one comes along, balanced out as well as an IEC inlet for a power cord, and heavy duty analog output connectors, nothing flimsy about this player. Hobbled to a changer by my Dad's needs, this seemed like something to try. For 300 dollars it's really offering me the sound I was looking for and hopefully it will continue mechanically sound. Seems like it will. Laser assembly seems fully operational as well.

I can definitely recommend this if anyone is looking for a changer, I've not been impressed with many of those before.



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« Last Edit: 03/16/14 at 16:38:59 by Lon »  

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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #81 - 03/16/14 at 17:14:26
 
I've not owned CAL before and was always curious. I have to say that there are countless good deals on older equipment that was top of the line back then. My point is, much of it will still sound fantastic today, and at a price that is easy to pay.
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #82 - 03/16/14 at 17:29:31
 
Absolutely! One good effect of the ever shifting digial landscape!

Though audiophile changers are few and far between. The only other changer that ever impressed me was the Decware DEC-685. I still have mine, but it quite some time ago stopped being a changer, it won't advance on its own from one disc to another, so not useful for Dad's system. But with Steve's output stage that one sounds very good, and will play DVD and SACD as well. But the transport mechanism in this one is much more rugged. And super quiet.
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #83 - 03/17/14 at 04:09:30
 
Interesting, thanks for posting that ... I've never even heard of that company before.  Is it something you've heard before and decided to buy one or just took a chance on?
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #84 - 03/17/14 at 10:47:42
 
Never heard of California Audio Labs? They were rather talked of in the audiophile press especially in the 'nineties. I had never heard this model before, but I had heard one of their DACs briefly. When I realized I had to have a changer in Dad's system I did some research and kept finding mention of the CL-10 as "the best" so decided to try one out.
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #85 - 03/27/14 at 14:42:36
 
Well the CL-10 has really improved my listening here a lot, both as a player (when I'm here I listen to the analog out of the player into the CSP2) or as a transport (when I leave I flick the CSP2 over to the output from the Marantz processor so that the hired help can flick a switch on that to move between the cds and the tuner in the processor if my Mom wants to listen to the radio instead; I have the CL-10 feeding the processor with a Creative Concept Black Knight coaxial digital cable, which is a pretty darned good one. None of my siblings or the hired help seem able to operate a stereo system; always amazes me, this one is pretty simple; I put a colored sticker on the button that toggles between the coaxial input of the processor and the tuner section to make it easy for them).

The big step lately though is Tuesday I put the Torii Mk II (the one that used to be Zygi's, I think the first one built) into the system in place of the Vaughn-modded Zen C amp. Wow! First off I have to say that this amp really mates with the ERR even better than the Mk IIIs I have, their strengths and weaknesses seem to line up and complement each other so I was expecting a nice match up and great sound. And I got it. Just richer and deeper in nature than that the Zen C was bringing. The Zen C has a bit of an edge on detail and "coherency" but it is in my opinion outclassed by the general ease and weight of the Mk II. Everyone is enjoying the change, orchestral music really "sings" and even solo and chamber pieces seem intimate and draw you in. The great dynamic character of the CL-10 is still preserved, outside of my PWD Mark II this is the most dynamic digital source I've had. Not quite as much so as my PWD Mark II and the Mark II has a better tonal signature overall, but for a used changer this is great sound.

I have MAC Ultra-Silver + interconnects between both the CL-10 to the CSP2 and the CSP2 to to the Mk II, and MAC Vibe (copper ribbon) interconnects between the processor and the CSP2. Decware power cords power both the CSP2 and the Mk II as well as the PS Audio Duet that they are plugged into. I have an Analysis Plus Pro Power Oval power cord powering the CL-10 and a Shunyata 3 Source powering the Marantz processor. Everything is contributing to great sound! Zen Styx are the speaker cables.

I think the best next improvement would be to buy the new DS from PS Audio in a year or less (hopefully I swing that) and then move one of my PWD Mark IIs to this system. We'll see. I'm pretty convinced the Mk IV and the ZMA are not the best amps for me, and I should hang with my Mk III at home. But I'm digging the sound here at Mom and Dad's now and since I spend so much time listening here, that's important.
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« Last Edit: 03/27/14 at 14:54:04 by Lon »  

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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #86 - 04/09/14 at 01:55:19
 
Okay one quick post to share some tube-rolling fun.

Last weekend I had some fun with my Dad teaching him a bit about tubes and tube rolling in his system. I brought out a box of tubes and sorted out which were compatible for the Torii Mk II and the CSP2 and I dropped some in and out and asked him to tell me what he heard. I was surprised at what he and I decided was a really good complement of tubes for these components. The Torii Mk II has RCA OC2, TAD 6L6, RCA 5U4G bottle type, and GE 6BQ7 tubes. We found that GE6BQ7 tubes and a JJ 6922 worked really well in the CSP2 along with an Arcturus 5Y3GT. We used a lot of Murray Perahia Sony Classical cds to evaluate this as they are well-recorded in all aspects and good test material.

These tubes settled in for a few days and the sound was really really good: clear, open, fast, resonant, perhaps lacking a bit of "old school" warmth, but certainly satisfiying.

But. . .

I had ordered a pair of Arcturus 5V3 tubes I saw cheap on ebay. On a lark I had ordered Arcturus OB3 tubes for my newest Torii Mk III and when they were burned in they were just amazing, the final piece to the tube set for that amp, I won't take them out, they're that good. That got me interestd in Arcturus, one of the oldest tube manufacturers, and I bought the above mentioned 5Y3GT which while not as magical as a few of my RCAs is very good, and these two 5V3 tubes. I used an RCA 5V3 to great effect in my old Select years ago and so wanted to check them out in the Toriis. Well, I put these two in the Mk II and everything just got better. Seems to be a great match for the amp and the amp is now making the California Audio Labs CL-10 sound even better. Dad and I spent this morning just listening with enthusiasm. I'm officially done for now with this system, it sounds so good!

Okay, back to my hiatus, have a great week y'all.
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« Last Edit: 04/09/14 at 03:15:10 by Lon »  

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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #87 - 04/14/14 at 13:46:02
 
I put Isoclean fuses in both the amp and preamp. Quite favorable result, just the plus side of a subtle change. This changer continues to sound surprisingly good.
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #88 - 05/28/14 at 14:31:51
 
I was living a blissful listening world at Mom and Dad's til one of the Arcturs 5V3 started acting up. It was spasmodic but it freaked out the caregiver we hire to give me some time off and so I took that pair out. I'll look for more 5V3s in time (I'm a bit overextened in audio purchases but I LOVE the bottle shaped RCA 5V3 I have in my main system Torii Mk III now, so I'm sold on the 5V3 sound in these amps). So I had a pair of new cryo'd Valve Art 274B in the audio closet and put these in. They're doing very well in this system . . . except. . .the mid/lower mid bass just isn't there or what is there isn't quite well-integrated. This would be a perfect application for the HSU mid-bass modules I bet. . . but I can't justify that expense or really fit them into this room. So. . .I'll roll some more rectifiers soon. But a nice smooth sound here and with judicious use of the treble cut circuit on the Torii Mk II (I will probably never own an amp that Steve doesn't or won't put one of these in for me) very enjoyable sound ensues.
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« Last Edit: 05/28/14 at 14:32:24 by Lon »  

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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #89 - 05/28/14 at 16:43:06
 
I'm still curious about those fuses. I hope to find some inexpensively/used to try out on the ZMA.

Your posts can be very much enabling my audio purchasing habits.  :)
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #90 - 05/28/14 at 18:32:17
 
I got the Furutechs for about fifty bucks, that's not TOO much. These fancy fuses make a difference in my main system and even in this one at Mom and Dad's.
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #91 - 09/04/14 at 01:42:52
 
Well, I made two changes today.

After months of just running the excellent California Audio changer directly into the Torii Mk II, I reintroduced the CSP2. I removed it because I had only one free Cryoset Version 2 interconnect to use in the system and that interconnect almost achieved all the CSP2 might and I thought that there would be a bit of a transparency gain. Well maybe there was, i was very happy with the sound for some time.

But when I bought my second VooDoo Cable "Ultralinear" interconnect that freed up a second Cryoset Version 2 to use in this system, and I reintroduced the CSP2. Wow. Immediately my Dad, not knowing what I had done, said "I think all of a sudden the sound is richer." I'd agree.

I also had swapped out two Decware Silver Reference power cords from the system and replaced them with My Audio Cables Burly power cords. One runs from the wall to the PS Audio Duet, the other from the Duet to the Torii Mk III. I connected the CSP2 with one of the Decware Silver References freed from use. I know this has contributed to the "richness" as well as the dynamic contrast that I think I hear a bit more clearly on the right recordings.

Listening to Beethoven piano and cello duet recordings and they sound wonderful. And this is only a few hours into the change. Ah, it's nice to have a great system here.
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #92 - 09/13/14 at 14:51:24
 
Just an update in this thread in correlation to my post about the KT66 tubes in the Mk III amps.

I decided to try cryo'd Tung-Sol KT66 in the Torii Mk II here at my parents system (well, all components except the cabinet are mine now) and am very pleased. They add that fullness and richness that the KT66 tube type brought to my home systems. I'm keeping them in. Dad didn't know I had made any changes as he was out of the room at the time and he remarked twice that the cds that were playing sounded really good. . . and asked me to turn it up a bit after that. Good sign!

My next thing to ponder is. . . should I bring over my older Torii Mk III from the second system and put that in place here. I listen more here than anywhere else, and why shouldn't I have my second best system here? I could also swap out the CSP2 preamp in use here at Dad's with the CSP2+ that is currently sitting in the closet at home. Should be an upgrade. I'll ponder that a bit.
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« Last Edit: 09/13/14 at 15:00:13 by Lon »  

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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #93 - 09/13/14 at 19:16:39
 
Hey Lon,

How would compare 5V4s with 5V3s?

Thanks,
Will
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« Last Edit: 09/13/14 at 19:17:02 by will »  

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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #94 - 09/13/14 at 20:46:56
 
Will, they're similar but I haven't been able to compare directly, I only have one of one and a pair of the other.
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« Last Edit: 09/13/14 at 20:53:21 by Lon »  

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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #95 - 09/13/14 at 21:07:48
 
OK Thanks! I have been trying some 5V4s after one of your posts elsewhere. Interesting, with a little more forward, open and punchy midrange and more bass. I guess they may be putting a little more DC through??? I think I like them, but have to get them under my skin! 5U4G-STs have been my main tube so long!
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« Last Edit: 09/13/14 at 21:08:20 by will »  

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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #96 - 09/23/14 at 00:57:57
 
Well, I installed both Mundorf Supreme caps and Mundorf metal oxide resistors in the ERRs in this system with very posiive results. The caps are certainly still breaking in but are beginning to bloom and have a very endearing smooth and yet detailed presentation, this is a very good move forward to a better sound from violins, instruments that are often played on this system! Also there's a bit more body to the instruments and a bit more depth of sound. This is increasing tiny bits every day. Not the cheapest of tweaks, BUT I'm very glad that I went in this direction.

I also before hand had brought over to this system three pairs of VooDoo Cable "Evolution" interconnects that had been moved to my second system when I bought two used "Ultralinear" cables and one "Stradivarious" used cable for the main system. These cables really have been an improvment in very similar ways to the Mundorf caps, but also producing a bigger, fuller sound. Good move.

I've been thinking of moving my older Torii Mk III and the CSP2+ that I don't have in use over here, I mean I do most of my listening here and hardly listen to my second system at my place. Still when I do listen to that second system it's with Lucy and she loves the sound. So I think I'll just bring the CSP2+ over here to replace my trusty old CSP2 with and see how that transforms the system. I may play with bringing some of the better power cords in the second system over here as well.

It's fun having this system to play with and even more fun to listen to! Thank goodness I discovered the California Labs CL-10, it's a giant killer changer.
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« Last Edit: 09/23/14 at 01:27:12 by Lon »  

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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #97 - 09/23/14 at 01:39:21
 
Great news you like the Mundorfs and Mundorfs Lon. You will likely hear refinements for a couple hundred hours. Sound like that system is really your primary system, and that it is really coming into itself beautifully.
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« Last Edit: 09/23/14 at 01:41:09 by will »  

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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #98 - 09/23/14 at 01:46:21
 
Well, I'm still "loyal" to my main system at home which is gobsmackingly good in sound in a way that crushes this system at my Dad's, and I do spend about 60 percent or so of the time listening to that than I do the one at my parents (by missing out on sleep!). But yes, I do listen to the system at my parents more and it has grown in fidelity over the year and a half I've been caring for my parents, and it is really sounding good, and the room here is twice as nice as my own which helps a lot.

I couldn't get through this caregiving if it weren't for the music (not my first choice of music, but what Dad wants to listen to is really good stuff too). So it's a blessing to have this great sound here. I know that it will continue to evolve and improve. . . because I do spend so much time here.
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« Last Edit: 09/23/14 at 13:07:30 by Lon »  

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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #99 - 09/23/14 at 12:28:50
 
Lon,

Did you go with the mundorf metal oxide resistors that are 3.9 ohm?  Has anyone changed resisters that were of a diff ohm?  I've changed my caps and are looking into the resistors next.  Any suggestions?

Thanks

JD
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