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Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement (Read 15937 times)
Lon
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Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
06/14/13 at 15:40:57
 
Just thought I'd share a recent experience.

I moved from Texas to Ohio to help keep my parents in their home, they are really in need of help. I find that I have to spend so much time here that I really don't listen to my own system as much as I would like. . . I spend about four waking hours at my place on a good day. So I've been listening to my Dad's stereo a lot, and my parents are enjoying it as they have let it sit idle a lot. I bought a Pyle turntable and preamp and he has a Sony receiver and a Denon cd carousel. . .nice enough sound because it's in a custom console cabinet made for Dad in the early 'sixties with full range Electrovoice speakers within, those speakers have been giving us aural pleasure for nearly fifty years! The surrounds were redone about 20 years ago.

Anyway, yesterday, doing some more unpacking, I found a big heavy Monster Cable power center I hadn't used for years because I went the Tripplite isolation transformer route and then PS Audio Power Plant Premier route. I took it over and plugged all Dad's stereo equipment into it while they were downstairs watching the news. I turned the stereo on and listened to "Stone Flower, " Jobim on CTI. I thought that there was a little improvement to the sound, more separation, a bit less edginess to the high frequencies. I let the carousel play a few cds and in the meantime my parents were back in the living room and we're talking and my Dad says "The stereo sounds really good today!" and my Mom says "You know, it almost sounds as if I'm in the auditorium!" I told them that I had added that power center to organize the plugs and protect the equipment from surges etc. and my Dad said "Well, I think it changed the sound."

Surprised me that they heard the difference so easily and without knowing there had been a change.
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« Last Edit: 06/14/13 at 15:50:01 by Lon »  

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will
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #1 - 06/14/13 at 17:32:58
 
Good story Lon, and maybe a pointer to the DNA of careful listening?
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Lon
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #2 - 06/14/13 at 18:05:19
 
I'm glad that they noticed it, it validated to myself some of my experiences. . . I'm not just a crazy audiophile! Well, I'm crazy, but my audiophile observations have some merit. Smiley

I've always loved this stereo, the cabinet had a Dynaco amp, preamp, and tuner in it when I was growing up that an electrical engineer friend of my Dad's had built and then given to him when he got a job in England. That's when my Dad had the cabinet made (a big expense for a preacher in innercity Philadelphia with three then four kids!) with the speakers installed. I've always sort of wanted to drop a little zen amp in here and try it out. I may do it yet. The hold up is my Dad loves his classical music station, and I'd have to have a tuner preamp or something. . . . Next time I fel like spending money on them (already lately I've bought them another tv and two blu-ray players, and the turntable and phono preamp!) I might see what the options are and drop the Eddie Vaughn modded C amp in. These speakers are awesome in this console, just have that old "alnico" warmth and are surprisingly clear and dynamic.
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Rivieraranch
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #3 - 06/15/13 at 12:39:37
 
You're a good son for moving to help your parents with accelerated living. It's a whole lot better than leaving it to The Avenging [Visiting] Angels and Life Alert.
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Lon
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #4 - 06/15/13 at 12:47:53
 
This is the hardest job I've ever had, and I'm lonely and a bit unhappy, but I have to do it. . . and for their sake I hope I have to do it a long time!

The more I think of it, the more I think I need to improve their stereo so I can enjoy it more. Smiley
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will
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #5 - 06/15/13 at 19:48:16
 
Quote:
The more I think of it, the more I think I need to improve their stereo so I can enjoy it more.


I agree Lon. Sounds like you have a great start. I don't know what my parents had in their console stereo, but I recall a lot of tubes and loving to listen to it! Have fun!
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Lon
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #6 - 06/15/13 at 20:15:33
 
Well, after my last post I bid on and won for a hundred bucks a Marantz tuner-preamp-AV processor that should work well and allow me to drop in the C amp, so I have that to look forward to. Nice to have something to look forward to, and should be interesting to hear how the C amp sounds with these speakers, and the DAC in the Marantz might even be better than that in the carousel. Will be interesting to find out.
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« Last Edit: 06/15/13 at 20:16:14 by Lon »  

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Lon
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #7 - 06/25/13 at 15:10:11
 
Okay a report back. Received the Marantz AV-560 audio/video processor/peramp tuner and it was in pristine shape, all material in the original box. Hardly used or very delicately used, this was a great processor in its early days close to twenty years ago and at less than a tenth its original sticker price a good deal.

I hooked it up to the Denon carousel, the Pyle turntable and phono preamp, and then routed it to the Eddie Vaughn-modded Decware C amp that I bought recently when my Torii Mk III was in Peoria for an upgrade. Things have been spinning for a while and I must say. . .NICE.

The biggest diference that I noticed between this and the Sony receiver is dynamic contrast. The span from the softest passage to the loudest is more than subtly wider. My father also noticed this right off--with the right recording a very dynamic presentation is there to enjoy.

The built in DAC is better than that in the Denon cd carousel by a noticeable margin. More instrumental separation, more clarity, more detail. And a bit less of an edge to the higher frequencies, and a bit tighter bass.  I'm using a Creative Audio Concepts "Black Knight" coaxial cable and may later try an Amphenol glass optical cable I have on hand.

The turntable and phono preamp also sound improved. The presentation is more dynamic and the tonality is mellower than that through the Sony receiver line stage.

The radio turner is perhaps the same overall in sonic presentation or perhaps a bit improved. I haven't listened as closely yet.

This time my parents sat on the couch and watched me make the exchange of components and connect the new ones, so it was not an "unseen" change. Still, I think they genuinely feel there's an improvement. My Dad noticed the dynamic contrast improvement very quickly, and he said that cds sounded "deeper." My Mom didn't make a lot of specific comments but she did ask me more often than before about the music, "What instrument is that?" "Would you say that music really swings? Sounds like swing music!" Several times she said '"I really like that, this sounds good."

I think the Decware amp and Marantz processor are bringing out more information from the sources and letting the excellent Electro Voice full range speakers shine with their excellence. I'll probably do a bit of tweaking over the next weeks but I am going to be enjoying the music more here, which is good as I get to spend so little time listening to my own system(s) of late.
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« Last Edit: 06/25/13 at 15:37:28 by Lon »  

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beowulf
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #8 - 06/25/13 at 21:17:02
 
Hi Lon, I was just wondering ... since you have 2 Decware based systems, why not set one up at your parents house?  I'm sure your dad could get into Decware Grin
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Lon
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #9 - 06/25/13 at 22:00:25
 
Well,

Dad has this beautiful old cherry wood stereo cabinet he spent as much as he possibly could on back in '62 and it's perfect for the living room, fits into the perfect spot, looks fantastic (Mother approved indeed). It's eight feet long, speakers are centered six feet apart, and the speakers are '61 alnico magnet full range Electro Voices, just sound wonderful even today. That's got to be the centerpiece of the system, so dictated by the logistics of the room, and by Mom.

So right now it's about as close to a Decware system as it's going to be with this cool little Eddie Vaughn-modded C amp unless I throw a CSP2 and/or a ZBox in between the Marantz tuner/preamp/processor and the C amp. Which I might do in time. But I'm not sure if it will add much, the C amp sounds great with the Electro Voice speakers. It may be that a better source may be the better next step . . . but Dad loves having a carousel and as carousels go this Denon is certainly not the worst.

So I think this is about the most Decware this system will be.
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beowulf
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #10 - 06/26/13 at 07:02:21
 
It sounds very cool ... speaking of consoles have you seen these at Symbol Audio?  These beauties are stuffed with hi-end audio equipment, I bet they sound pretty nice.
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Lon
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #11 - 06/26/13 at 12:58:32
 
Nah. I don't look around the web at audio stuff. . . drives me a little nuts, I'm happy with what I have and don't need to "educate" myself or tempt myself.

The only thing I really want are some more PS Audio products, PowerBases and AC-12 cords. I have what I really need, but would like about three more of each. But don't want to spend the money right now.
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Lon
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #12 - 06/26/13 at 20:35:53
 
Okay I looked at the Symbol Audio record console. It might be interesting at a quarter of the price, but 26 thousand dollars? And an Airport Express? Just not something I'd go for.
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beowulf
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #13 - 06/27/13 at 00:00:06
 
26K ... ouch!  I would never pay that even if I could afford it (which I can't), however I just thought the concept was cool as I am a fan of all things mid century modern and I had never seen a console with high end gear in it like that.

I think it would be fun (and much cheaper) to find a Mid Century Modern Console, gut it, refinish the wood on it and then replace it with that type of gear though.



I can imagine picking up a Decware DIY Amp Kit and some Lowther type drivers and putting it into a beautiful Walnut or Teak console from the 50's or 60's ... It would go perfectly in my place as I pretty much have all mid century furniture and decor.
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« Last Edit: 06/27/13 at 00:03:03 by beowulf »  
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Lon
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #14 - 06/27/13 at 00:19:24
 
I really like my Dad's, wish I could get a picture of it but that won't happen. It's really solid, three shelves inside and the audio components sit in there. Instead of long legs, it has a moulded surround I guess you would say, and sits only about six inches above the ground.It's made of much more solid wood than any console I've seen. There are four louvered doors. two over each speaker compartment and two for the main compartment in the center. I guess I need to stress this is a cabinet/component rack and not a console.

Anyway, I love my Samson racks and prefer them, but these have those awesome Electro Voice speakers in it and that really makes it special.
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Lon
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #15 - 07/07/13 at 13:25:43
 
Well, the Marantz AV processor has warmed up nicely and the internal DAC has really improved Redbook sound, and the line stage and tuner section seem more "holographic" than that within the Sony receiver that was the amplification before.

I added Herbie's Audio Lab "Grungebuster" 1.5" dots beneath each of the components, which has helped overrall sound. I'd love to have Tenderfeet instead but don't want to put the money into it right now. The dots get me part of the way there and I had them on hand. I also put the whole cabinet on Herbie's Carpet Spikes which I also had on hand, and that has improved the overall sound a bit.

I knew I was on the right track when I was listening to a recording and a berimbau began playing and seemed to be coming from outside the cabinet and my Mom perked up and said "What was that? Was that on the record?" Smiley I think other than Tenderfeet my next step would be to improve speaker cabling and perhaps the interconnects between the Marantz and the C amp. I'm using the 16 guage Monster cable I put in there about 20 years ago for speaker cable, and Audioquest silver interconnects which I had on hand at home, those are great for the money I paid, but there's better out there. But all in good time. I have a great pair of Tara Labs RSC interconnects available, but they aren't flexible enough to use in this instance. And I have a ZBox which may be put into play, but again, that's another pair of interconnects, and another power cord. . . Sigh.

Yesterday I put in a pair of cryo'd Reflector EL84s which need a bit of break-in but have added a sort of "old school" warmth to the sound and I think I'll leave in in place of the 6P15P-EV that came with the amp.

I may replace the Monster Power strip with one of the PS Audio Duets that I took out of the second system at my place when I bought a Dectet last month. THAT will improve the overall sound, and at the moment I have it powering my Jazzmaster Ultralight SE guitar amp  upstairs, which doesn't get as much use as my Bassman TV does.
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« Last Edit: 07/07/13 at 13:30:58 by Lon »  

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Lon
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #16 - 07/09/13 at 21:24:22
 
Okay, I DID replace the Monster power conditioner with one of my PS Audio Duet power conditioners and . . . wow. That made a very noticeable change in the sound. Less edge, more spatial info, more "pace." The Duet is connected to the wall with a Decware power cord.

The EL84s seem a bit broken in and I like them and will keep using them for a while. Warmer and fuzzier than the other tubes in a good way.

I think I'm done futzing with this until I want to spend some money and get some Tenderfeet and another power cord and interconnect to add the ZBox into the mix.
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Lon
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #17 - 07/12/13 at 14:03:52
 
I ended up putting the EL84s back in the box. Just a bit too polite and smooth after break in, great for some material, but these EV speakers like to be prodded a bit more, and the SV83 variant that came with the amp are better suited.

I took a set of Herbie's Audio Lab Tenderfeet from under the Torii Mk II in my second system and put them under the Marantz AV processor in this system. It always amazes me what just four little blocks do to the sound. Not a huge improvement but a nice sweetening and an added bit of dimensionality. Now I want more for the CD carousel and maybe the amp (though I am not sure they will do much for the amp--it sits inside it's maple case on some Herbie's little Fat Dots and I think what happens after that will be sort of a moot point.)
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« Last Edit: 07/12/13 at 14:44:58 by Lon »  

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Lon
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #18 - 07/13/13 at 18:30:30
 
I'll bore people a little further with the evolving stereo system at my parents' place.

I knew by how audible changes have been that I can keep improving sound here as the speakers are so wonderful. I went through my audio graveyard and found two sets of three of first generation Herbie's Audio Lab Iso-Cups and three Mexican Agate balls and three Gabon Ebony balls, and placed the former under the Vaughn-ified C amp and the latter under the Marantz tuner/processor. The Tenderfeet that were under the Marantz went under the cd player. I also replaced the PS Audio Jewel power cord with a My Audio Lab "HC" power cord. I set a few cds to play and did the dishes and some laundry.

In the meantime my Mom had stopped looking for some clothes upstairs with my beautiful sister-in-law Janell (and I mean that, inside and out) and had come down to sit in the living-room and listen. When I cam back with a load of laundry from the basement she said "Did you do something to the stereo? It sounds different." So I sat down and listened a bit with her and she asked me how I thought it sounded. I thought it sounded wider, the soundstage was definitely wider and imaging was even more precise. She liked my calling it wider and thought that's what she heard. I fee it is less congested, more open, a bit less warm.

I have also brought over my ZBox and a pair of Audio Quest "Black Maamba II" interconnects and may use the Jewell power cord to hook all that into the system later. But it's sounding really good with just these isolation component and power cord change right now, I may decide to just leave it as is. . . .
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« Last Edit: 07/13/13 at 18:31:18 by Lon »  

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Lon
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #19 - 07/19/13 at 00:45:38
 
Okay, possibly the final installment, so bear with me one more time.

Today the ZStage arrived. I decided to use one of the Decware power cords from my second system as I bought a replacement from Mike which will be here soon enough, and also to use the two pairs of MAC "UltraSilver +" interconnects that I had in that system in Dad's system.

I set this up and WOW. This is a substantial improvement in all the "tube aspects" of sound. Haven't had a lot of time to listen, and my parents really haven't heard the new set up yet, but I know it's going to sound great tomorrow and I'm done, I now have a great system here with Decware components inside to listen to, and my folks can really relax into the music now.
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beowulf
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #20 - 07/19/13 at 02:29:13
 
Thanks for the update, I've been following.  Also glad to see you keeping yourself extra busy and your folks entertained as well ... (as if you weren't busy enough Grin)
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Lon
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #21 - 07/19/13 at 03:23:40
 
Yeah, I'm busy alright. It's sad. I never thought I'd be dressing my Dad and cleaning up after him in certain ways. But then I think: he did that for me.

At least playing around with the stereo there is fun for me and it's interesting to see them noticing the changes and enjoying improved sound. Not that they were skeptics before, they were just. . . agnostic and unknowing about audio stuff.
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #22 - 07/19/13 at 14:45:06
 
Lon, I can relate with your situation.  My mother in law has lived with my wife and I (also in Ohio) for a few months now after she could no longer function in independent living quarters.  She has a difficult time walking and is retricted to our first floor.

My listening room is in a spare bedroom upstairs and I disappear every night to finish my day before bed there.  She has said many times that she would like to see what all the fuss is but we can't risk even helping her on the stairs.  I have been considering putting together a simple to use headphone setup for her with a CD player that she could keep next to her favorite chair.  Her hearing is not good and she won't use the expensive hearing aids that she has.  She can't enjoy TV becuase of the hearing but she might use music headphones if I could pick out some over the ear ones that are comfortable.  

I don't see myself jumping into a Taboo and high end cans but perhaps something that would be easy to use and still sound ok.  

I have been reading about the benefits of music therapy for the elderly and the articles are quite convincing, especially for those with the onset of dimentia.  None of us should be without good music.  It is my drug free way to relax each day and I'm sure she would enjoy some kind of setup.  It would have to be dirt simple to operate though.
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #23 - 07/19/13 at 15:10:46
 
You're right about the "dirt simple to operate." My Mom has dementia and she could for a while operate a tv with built in DVD player i bought her but now that's beyond her.

I think music DOES help. It allows my Mom something to focus on besides everyone who walks their dog past the living room window. Smiley And when she can recognize a melody or hear the words to a song that registers, it's a nice little pleasure for her. Also recorded effects (like say purposedly distorted vocals or sound effects) intrigue her. Dad really does enjoy his "BBM" (Bach, Beethoven and Mozart) and new music challenges him.

It's worth setting something up for your mother-in-law and you're right, no need for audiophile grade stuff.
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #24 - 07/19/13 at 18:17:54
 
Dirt simple can't be emphasized enough.  We have a typical HT setup in our main family room but Grandma cannot turn it on or operate it.  She likes to watch TV but also can't keep up with the pace of action on virtually every show today.  Music she likes.  Occasionally I'll turn on a music channel from the cable box and she likes that, but I have to operate it.

I have a spare CD player but its operation is typical and I have doubts she could learn to load CDs and operate that either.  I have read that some facilities that cater to the extremely advanced dimentia patients have used iPods and headsets that the staff put on the patients.   They use pre-loaded playlists from the patient's formative years.  This seems to actually improve their responses and general demeanor.  This research is interesting.

I know music improves my day.  Wanting to evaluate and tinker with the gear is the hobby part.
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #25 - 07/26/13 at 14:01:28
 
Discovered that there's a channel imbalance with this ZStage in the "laid back" position which is a shame as that's my preferred spot. I'm certain it's the toggle switch, the weakest point on Decware amps in my experience.

So I've been rolling tubes in the one balanced position and found I had a Mullard military 12AT7 that works best. Have never liked the tube in other applications, but it's great here. I rolled input tubes on the Zen amp as well, really trying hard to like some 6922 and 6DJ8 but coming back to the 6N1p as being the most open, less congested, sweetest treble.

Sounding pretty damned good! I'm going to try not to futz with it any longer.
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #26 - 07/28/13 at 13:41:53
 
Wish I could cure that channel imbalance because the lower bias setting is the bomb on the ZStage. Sigh. I might send it back for repair one day.

I replaced a MAC HC power cord on the Zen amp with a Decware one (thanks Mike!) and that was a very positive difference. Though similar in structure (and made by the same outfit) the Decware imparts a deeper sound to the system than the MAC; the MAC is faster and maybe clearer but that's not always my preference in a system.

Everything sounds good. Next step is to splice in an IEC on the Marantz tuner/processor and add the Shunyata cord I'm getting from Mike. Should be a nice addition.
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #27 - 08/04/13 at 14:03:55
 
Well, I spliced an IEC connector onto the Marantz power cord and installed the Shunyata 3S power cord I got from Mike.

The Marantz tended towards a bit of brightness and a very "tight" sound. . . and this cord exacerbated that. I let it roll for a few days but ultimately replaced it with the MAC HC cord I had used previously on the Zen amp in this system. That was a better fit. With either cord the dynamics and sound stage had improved so adding the IEC fitting and a better power cord was a great thing to do to the sound. (The Shunyata 3S makes the Marantz Blu-ray player in my second system at home sound and look fine, a nice fit.)

I also took the Zen amp out of the maple case it was in and put IsoCups directly under the chassis. This was an improvement. The maple case looks wonderful and really dresses the amp up. . . but it muddled the sound somewhat in comparison. So now the amp is shining even more keenly.

Just one more thing I intend to do and that's change the thin Monster Cable speaker cables out for something else. Don't have the something else yet, and it's a big job, so I'm holding off for a while to think of just the right speaker cables. I have some cryo'd Cat-6 on hand. . .but not sure that's the right speaker cable for this application and I want to do this ONCE. . . . Maybe later this month I'll be ready.
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« Last Edit: 08/04/13 at 14:05:16 by Lon »  

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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #28 - 09/03/13 at 14:22:35
 
Two changes to the system that have influenced the sound in a different/sometimes I think positive way.

I replaced the Decware power cord feeding the PS Audio Duet with an Analysis Plus Oval Pro power cord. I've been really enjoying the balanced and natural sound of these cords with my instrument amps, and wanted to try it with my Dad's system. It softened the dynamics somewhat, not a lot, but it also tamed a lot of sortof wilder high frequency energy. I then tried swapping out the MAC HC power cord I was using on the Marantz AV processor with the Shunyata cord that I got from Mike (which was seasoning in my second system driving the Sony ES Blu-ray player). The Shunyata sounds much better in the system now. There is a sacrifice of lower bass with these two changes (just a bit) but the midrange is just as open and the high frequency response seems sweeter. My Mom likes it. Smiley

My next change will be speaker cable. I bought Mapleshade Double Helix Plus to try in my systems. . . will break it in on the second system when arrived (Mapleshade is often quite slow to ship). I will then take the PS Audio xStream Statement speaker cables I use there and put them into my Dad's system. I know that these Statement cables will bring out every ounce of bass in the system, and give a very nice, natural, smooth sound. I loved these in my main system, but they were not long enough to be of use. Will be very interesting to hear these in Dad's system.
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« Last Edit: 09/03/13 at 14:56:33 by Lon »  

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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #29 - 09/11/13 at 01:39:23
 
Well the California Audio Lab CL-10 was a bust. Not reading discs properly Too bad as this is a beautifully built unit, and the changer transport is the nicest and heaviest duty I've ever seen.

That said the Denon is doing a decent job as a transport and I'm just going to be happy with it. My new CSP2+ is shipping very soon so I'll be putting ye old CSP2 into Dad's system and that should be a joy. Smiley
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #30 - 09/11/13 at 06:43:53
 
Quote:
Well the California Audio Lab CL-10 was a bust. Not reading discs properly Too bad as this is a beautifully built unit, and the changer transport is the nicest and heaviest duty I've ever seen.


I guess I missed the part about you picking CL-10 up?  Also, thanks for all the detailed posts about the power cables, very interesting and you have given me a few good ideas to try once I get to that point.

The bonding you're doing with your folks is nice to follow as well and I'm experiencing some of the same things with my 14 year old son ... trying different things with the audio gear, etc. and just spending time with him rather than him with his nose stuck in youtube videos and xbox Cool
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #31 - 09/11/13 at 10:55:02
 
I talked about the CL-10 here somewhere. Yes, it's nice to be spending all this time with my parents. Would be really nice for all of us to be spending less!
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #32 - 09/21/13 at 13:17:08
 
Well, I'm very happy with the Mapleshade Double Helix speaker cables I put into my main system, so I put the Decware Styx speaker cables I had been using for years into Dad's system, replacing some thin Monster Cable wire I put there about ten or more years ago.

This has really removed my biggest complaint about the sound of that system, a treble grit that was most apparent using the MAC Ultra Silver + interconnects (those don't leave anything anywhere to hide). The sound is smoother and yet no detail is lost. Interestingly the sound-field has narrowed a bit but that's fine.

Really enjoying the sound. This particular change is very important to me but my parents really haven't noticed it. I think it's because their high frequency hearing is more compromised than mine.

My next plan is to splice an IEC connector onto the Denon cd carousel and try a few power cords there to find a good fit, should make a bit of difference in bass response and dynamics. And then when my  new CSP2+ is back from Decware (I'm sending it back because the stepped attenuator was not added as I requested) I'll put my trusty old CSP2+ in place of the ZStage and expect an improvement there. And then whenever Bob completes and ships my second pair of HR-1s I'll put the ERRs in this system and I expect to really be wowed!
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #33 - 09/21/13 at 16:30:57
 

Wow, spoiling your parents!  :'(

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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #34 - 09/21/13 at 18:31:45
 
Well, I am there almost all my waking hours, every day, so what I'm doing is trying to give myself the best listening experience that I can as I listen to their stereo far more than I do either of mine!
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #35 - 09/22/13 at 12:51:39
 
Cabling is so interesting. I pulled a Decware cord from the system that was feeding my PS Audio Duet before because with the earlier speaker wire I found that an Analysis Plus Pro power cord made the treble sweeter at the expense of a bit of bass. Now with the Styx in place, I put the Decware cord back in between the Duet and the wall and left it warm up over night and now the bass is back, a bit of body is there that wasn't before and the treble is still fine.

Sometimes tube rolling and cable switching drives me nuts, but I have learned how things interact and sometimes you can improve your sound easily using them.
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« Last Edit: 09/22/13 at 13:10:16 by Lon »  

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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #36 - 10/15/13 at 15:53:22
 
Man, the Styx have really made a difference in this system. Just dialed the frequency balance in and has really increased the "PRAT" factor.

Can't wait to drop the CSP2 into this system, hopefully soon (still haven't received the CSP2+ I bought and was accidentally sent to someone else) and eventually the ERRs (four and a half months so far waiting for me second pair of HR-1s.)
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #37 - 10/15/13 at 16:06:51
 
OH Man Lon!  4 1/2 months wait so far for your HR-1s?  I ordered mine on September 19th....which would be Feb. or March 2014 arrival with some luck.  Yesterday I finally unpacked a pair of Zu Audio Soul speakers  and have begun the very painful break in, positioning and tweeking...still not there!  I hooked them up to an old Kenwood SS Amp and I'm beating the piss out of them with high volume Led Zeppelin II over and over again....they must submit!  Mark.  PS...of course I'm not in the room while this torture is occurring.
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #38 - 10/15/13 at 16:15:12
 

Megadeath works well for speaker break-in!


I think Lon's wait was exacerbated with Bob's heart surgery and recovery taking him out of the shop for a while. I'm sure he'll get caught up soon.

You guys have me thinking about ERRs. LOL
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #39 - 10/15/13 at 16:25:02
 
LR,  I'm not familiar with Megadeath.  The fact that you're 14 years younger than I am may explain this.  I have the  CD Box set of Led Zep's studio work...plenty of speaker abuse in there...  Mark.
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #40 - 10/15/13 at 18:25:58
 

That was somewhat tongue-in-cheek recommendation. You really have to like Megadeath in order to want to beat speakers up with it.   Grin

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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #41 - 10/17/13 at 12:51:43
 
I've gone back and forth with output tubes in this hotrod C amp and have decided to stick with cryo'd JJ EL84s. They just have a richness that the system loves, even if they are a little slower.

I should have my new CSP2+ with beeswax caps finally from Decware today and will put my trusty old CSP2 in Dad's system shortly thereafter (though maybe Saturday as all of Friday will be taken up with a very important medical test for Dad).
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #42 - 10/19/13 at 16:49:03
 
Alright! Thursday I got the CSP2+ with beeswax caps from Steve (finally, the correct one) and last night I put my trusty old CSP2 into Dad's system in place of the ZStage. I let it run in overnight and came over to listen today (my sister is in town from Richmond giving me some time away from my parents' for the weekend, hallelujah!)

Immediately I can tell the difference: robust sound with body. I really like what the ZStage did but this is clearly more to my preference, even with brand new 6N1Ps in all positions and an RCA 5Y3GT that has seen a lot of use as the rectifier. Should be even sweeter as the new tubes "burn in." (Interestingly Steve sent me three with silicon damping bands on them, never done that before).

Music is really sounding great here. I got in a new ten cd set of Mozart orchestral pieces and Dad is just loving the sound and the music. Can't wait (but obviously will have to) til the ERRs can be dropped into this system (when my new HR-1s are built and arrive.)
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #43 - 10/19/13 at 17:12:40
 

I imagine that would be a fantastic sounding system when completed!

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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #44 - 10/19/13 at 18:21:03
 
At the moment it's limited by the cd changer. Dad doesn't want a single well cd player which would allow me a lot of choices, even a few of which I have on hand. The Denon changer is okay as a transport and the Marantz tuner/processor is a little bit better as a DAC, but I'd rather have a half a dozen other possible combos in use. I picked up a CAL-10 which is supposed to be the best changer ever made, but it is having a problem that may be laser related, I'll take it apart and see what I can see of that and see if there is anywhere that I can get it serviced/examined. With a better transport I could consider a better DAC. And have a magnificent system. The room is very good, just naturally, and that's a killer foundation. Wish I had that room at my place.
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #45 - 10/22/13 at 08:23:55
 
Lon, you mentioned pulling the MAC HC in favor of a Shunyata cord.  Which one?  Curious because I got several HCs a few months ago, shortly before Steve changed company names and then has since gone silent.  With my desktop speakers, Focal CMS 40, I've been mostly satisfied with the HCs, but wanting to look at other possibilities, especially in terms of tonal balance and warmth. Thanks,
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« Last Edit: 10/22/13 at 08:24:42 by highstream »  
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #46 - 10/22/13 at 11:54:57
 
I used a Shunyata "Venom S" for source components. It really does lower noise within the component, more so than the HC did. As this is a tuner/DAC the change was actually visible on the FM tuner meters. Sound was really nice, but I wouldn't use this cord on amps, it's designed for smaller current draws.

This cord really needed burn in even though I bought it used from Mike. It took a week idling on another component for it to show its warmth, which it has.
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #47 - 10/22/13 at 16:04:34
 
Thanks. I've been wondering whether one of the better lower cost name brand cords would make a difference.  The Focals are powered speakers, each with a pair of 25w AB amps for highs and lows.  I should ask them if the S would cut it.
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #48 - 10/22/13 at 16:13:10
 
I would think the regular Shunyata Venom would be a better fit. I think it's less shielded but it's beefier and they RAVE about that cord all over the internet. Yes it's more expensive but for an amplifier I would think it would be well worth investigating.

Here's the info for Venom Source from music direct. I highlighted the final bit of the description.


Shunyata Venom 3 Source Power Cable

Dedicated Shunyata Power for Your Source Components

A much needed complement to the Venom series, Shunyata has created the Venom 3 Source, designed specifically for lower current draw components such as CD or Blu-Ray players, turntables, phono stages or even preamps. The Venom 3 Source delivers most of the performance of a standard Venom 3 on source gear for a fraction of the price, making this perhaps the biggest bang for the buck cable Shunyata has created in years!

Essentially identical to the Venom 3 but with smaller 14AWG conductors, the Venom 3 Source is the perfect way to upgrade any system. The Venom 3 Source feeds your components more power, faster, with vastly lower distortion than stock power cables for an instantly audible improvement in tonal richness, imaging/soundstaging and overall dynamic range.

Although the Venom 3 Source may be used on virtually any device, we highly recommend that amplifiers, power conditioners and any other high-current draw device use the heavier gauge Venom 3.

Features:
Corrosion Resistant Contacts
Shunyata-designed Medical Grade Connectors
Pure OFC (oxygen free) copper wiring
RFI/EMI shielding
UL Listed
Construction:
Geometry: Twist-link
Conductors: 3
Flexible .5" diameter
14AWG stranded conductors
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« Last Edit: 10/22/13 at 16:17:53 by Lon »  

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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #49 - 10/22/13 at 16:40:04
 
Yes, I read that, and Shunyata is not alone in this cord distinction.  I can afford Venom 3, but it's the "high current" that's made me wonder. I didn't think powered desktop speakers are high current, especially given that this nearfield setup isn't about loud volumes (sitting 3' from the speakers in a spare bedroom).  The specs show 47k ohm impedance, fuse rating 800mA.  
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« Last Edit: 10/22/13 at 16:41:51 by highstream »  
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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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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #51 - 10/22/13 at 16:54:38
 
Thanks!
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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.
JD
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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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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

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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #100 - 09/23/14 at 13:04:13
 
What works best in MY system is HIGH ohms resistors. I went with 56 ohm. Smiley

Very sweet and mellodious sound, I used the same resistors in all three of my speakers (my two pair of HR-1s and my ERRs). I've ordered a set of the M-Resistor Supremes, 33 ohm, for my main system HR-1s just to see what they would do.
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« Last Edit: 09/23/14 at 13:05:40 by Lon »  

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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #101 - 09/23/14 at 16:24:18
 
JD,

I have written a lot on this elsewhere...maybe the ERR or HR-1 threads on caps or both.

But here is what I found out from experimenting.

We know that raising the resistor value gives more resistance, lowering the tweeter volume, or lowering the resistor value makes the tweeter louder. If I like the general level of what I have, equal to equal value would seem the thing to do. But like cables, different wire and construction changes the sound, and this is a factor with the Mundorf M-Resist resistors in my experience.

The Mundorf M-Supreme 20 watt resistors are more solid and smooth sounding, not reducing detail, but feeling less bright than same value Wirewounds (likely the stock resistor).

In my HR-1s, I started with 3 ohm wirewounds, and ended up with 2R7 (2.7) Mundorfs to compensate for the Mundorf sound change. It theoretically lets through more volume, but it just sounds really good, balanced and if anything, less bright feeling.

So if you like the balance with a 3.9, and think you might want a similar sense of treble (or perhaps a touch more) but smoother and more musical, for a Mundorf M-Resist, a 3R3 might be a good choice.
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« Last Edit: 09/23/14 at 18:53:31 by will »  

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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #102 - 09/24/14 at 00:23:11
 
very cool thanks for the advice

JD
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #103 - 10/13/14 at 15:48:29
 
Well, this system at my parents' is sounding really good.

The Mundorf Supreme capacitors are probably fully broken in and the tonal and timbral details are improved, very nice indeed. I also believe the Mundorf resistors have made a significant change.

I've also played power tube musical chairs. I put a new quad of cryo'd TAD KT66 into my main system, and took the Gold Lion Genelax KT66 that were there into this system at my parents', moving the Tung-Sol KT66 there to my second system at home (bedroom system).

The TAD seem to be doing really well in the main system and the Gold Lions are a much better fit for the Torii Mk II here at my parents' than the Tung-Sols. Just a bit richer and easier treble, which helps with all the classical music spinnning here. I also put 7308s in the Torii Mk II and in all positions on the CSP2+ and those have burned in nicely giving a great platform for the other tubes in the Torii Mk II. My next step sometime this week is to bring over better power cords from my second system at home and incorporate them here, which should yield a further improvement. Then I'll be done until . . . well I'm thinking of thinning out my audio herd, selling my PWD Mk II and PWT and my Arcam SACD player, and perhaps my C Zen amp modified by Eddie Vaughn and my CSP2 and ZStage. If I do and net enough coin I may buy a P5 or P10 and then can move my PPP to my second system and the PS Audio Dectet over here to my parents, or vice versa. That should make a further improvement.
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« Last Edit: 10/13/14 at 15:49:04 by Lon »  

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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #104 - 10/19/14 at 22:18:52
 
Wow. What a couple of power cords can do.

I removed a few components from my second system (probably will sell them) and that freed up some power cords, and I did some shuffling around and moved two PS Audio xStream Premier SC power cords to the system at my parents' place.

I replaced the My Audio Cables Hefty power cord that ran from the outlet to the PS Audio Dectet with one of the Premier SCs, and the My Audio Cables Hefty power cord running from the Dectet to the Torii Mk II with the other Premier SC.  I put the two Heftys in place of the Decware Silver References that I had running from Dectet to the CSP2+ and the California Audio Labs CL-10.

The tonal balance is a bit warmer and the music is a bit less forward. Both of which are improvements for this system. I'm happy! I'm done for a while, going to just sit back and listen. (Promise!)
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #105 - 11/02/14 at 23:09:29
 
One last development. I got to thinking about why I still felt that this system at my parents' is lacking a certain richness that I like and has a certain thinness to it that works well with some material but not others.

Then I thought about the gemstones in the Iso-Cups in use in the system: Picasso Jasper and Picture Jasper. I ended up using all Deep Moss Quartz in my main system at home and that was what worked best. So I ordered Deep Moss Quartz gemstones to replace the Jasper in the system at my parents'. . . .

Again this stuff fascinates me. The bottom end bloomed just a bit, the top end sizzled just a title less. Just what I needed. Been listening for hours and each presentation is improved the way that I would want it to. How does such a little thing like a different gemstone ball make such a difference? I'm not sure I'd understand the real reasons and probably could hear a lot of BS ones but the truth is that Iso-Cups are the best way that I've found to isolate my system, and the different balls offer a very interesting way to experiment with tonal tuning. Like tube-rolling in so many ways.

Long live Steve Herbelin. Smiley  When I have a bunch of audio dollars again I'm going to order Iso-Cups and balls for my bedroom system. I have all Tenderfeet in use there. They are better than the stock feet of components, and can be tuned around, but Iso-Cups are better, that's been clear to my ears for a while.
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #106 - 11/03/14 at 01:00:04
 
Hey Lon. I keep trying to like tenderfeet under the CSP3 and my Tranquility, but I can't do it...too veiled. Isocups bring both right out.

Thanks for the reminder about the Deep Moss Quartz. I have been meaning to order some to try. Right now, under the MKIV, I am using two old style isocups with the Highend bases and stock lampblack balls, and in the back, the new black cups and stock supersonic hard balls. It is really great sounding, better than with either Jasper, but your description is compelling. Even two of the Deep Moss balls it could be a nice touch. I am going to order some right now!

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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #107 - 11/03/14 at 13:54:46
 
Yes, Will, I think they're at least worth experimenting with, they do eliminate that last bit of what I think of as "Decware brightness" and are perfect all over for my tastes, a little dab might well be a good fit with the Mk IV.

I haven't tried the Superhard balls, but at the cheaper cost I'll stick with the Deep Moss Quartz.

I agree about the Tenderfeet veil. In my second system which gets so little use now that's okay. . . but in the future I hope to use it more (hope in time to have more time off from my caregiving duties to spend with my girlfriend, who likes to spend time in the bedroom with that system). So I may get Iso-Cups in that system soon.*

A day later in this system at my parents', all the moves I made with isolation have settled in overnight and. . . man I'm happy with the sound!

* Edit to add: I bit the bullet and ordered Iso-Cups and Deep Moss Quartz balls for the second system. They should work great there. The two 100th Anniversary Denon components I have in there sound so good right now!
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« Last Edit: 11/03/14 at 14:46:23 by Lon »  

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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #108 - 11/03/14 at 17:30:19
 
So I ordered some moss balls and thin/small fat dots to use under weight on my DACs. Coming in a day or two. Steve is great!
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #109 - 11/03/14 at 18:01:19
 
Cool. I've got two Sonic Stabilizers from Herbie (not stacked) on my DirectStream, makes a difference with the Iso-Cups underneath.

I think you have some fun ahead. Smiley
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #110 - 11/04/14 at 01:48:16
 

I've got a couple of the Supersonic Stablizers - I really couldn't find any place I felt they made any difference. Though they look nice on the top of the big caps on the ZMA.  :)

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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #111 - 11/04/14 at 02:23:33
 
Yes, I haven't found them to have any real affect on the Torii amps so don't use them there. But they sound great on my digital source components, one or two. Even those with really heavy steel or wood tops.
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #112 - 11/04/14 at 05:37:46
 

I'll try again on my DAC, and/or my Media-PC then and see what happens!
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #113 - 11/06/14 at 12:32:50
 
I am currently using tenderfeet with all of my components except the PP5, where I use Gingko Mini Cloud balls.  I think it's time to give the IsoCups a try.  I will start with 3 under my amp and go from there.  Maybe I'll just order 6, so I have a few to play with.  

I finally found the Deep Moss Quartz balls you are referring to, but I think I will start with the standard Supersonic hardballs.

Will/Lon, did I read in a different post that you were using 4 or 5 under your amp to even better effect (vs. 3)?

Lon...are you using the IsoCups in conjunction with the PowerBases?  And with the DS and PWT too?
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #114 - 11/06/14 at 12:50:58
 

Interesting - I've never heard of the mini cloud balls, so I did a quick search and came up with this.

http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/gingko2/minicloud.html

It looks like they are using audio sweeps and spectral analysis to read the differences with the devices in place. I should try and figure out how they did that so I can measure what the shelves I'm building do! I've been looking for ways I could measure vibration at home, and so far none have been very telling.
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #115 - 11/06/14 at 13:14:35
 
Yes to all that. Iso-Cups under components on PowerBases.

I have moved to six under amp, DS and PWT. Moving them about really can fine tune the sound. Four is plenty though and it's possible you can get the same results with a lot of patience, I'd recommend four rather than three under the amp.

Like Will I've not really had success with them under my regeneration unit, nor have I felt I get the best from my turntable with them; for those I have found that the VooDoo Cable Iso-Pods work really well, though I have the older, cheaper ones, not the ones that look like StillPoints.

I just put black Iso-Cups and Deep Moss Quartz gemstone balls under my second system, with the exception of the PS Audio Dectet there, where I have the older clear Iso-Cups I had on hand and the Quartz gemstones. What a difference! If I weren't intimately familiar with the system I may consider it just over subtle, but to my ears it's a fundamental change that addresses my biggest dislike with the system. I'm happy!
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #116 - 11/06/14 at 16:31:22
 
I am using 4 isocups under the Torii MKIV, as I did under the MKIII. I remember liking it better with 4 rather than 3. As I think about it, this makes some sense in that the amp is big and heavy, and more cups (to a point) will do more...and with the symmetry of the amp build, you can place the front cups symmetrically between the same tubes on each side, and the back 2, in the relationship to the transformers and connections on each side that sounds best. When I tried five and six I heard it, but it did not necessarily sound better for me, and complicated the tuning with more choices. I can see how 5 or 6 could be useful though.

Under my CSP3 and DAC, I use 3, but both are pretty light and small.
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #117 - 11/15/14 at 19:58:22
 
I have been listening to the ZMA directly on my audio rack without the Tenderfeet and the sound is definitely different.  The music has better defined edges without the Tenderfeet.  That said, I find that the high frequencies can sometimes be a little too harsh with the standard feet on the amp.  When I add the Tenderfeet back in, the sound definitely softens, the high frequencies are more tame, but I am noticing a slight mid-bass bloat and maybe slightly slower bass in general.  I haven't ordered the Iso-Cups yet and was wondering if those that have them can compare vs. the standard feet on the amp.  
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« Last Edit: 11/16/14 at 02:40:09 by Dave1210 »  
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #118 - 11/15/14 at 20:07:19
 
Gosh Dave it's so long since I have had the standard rubber feet on an amp I can't really make a comparison. And with both the Tenderfeet and the Iso-Cups what you are putting them ON can make a difference in the sound.

But I agree that the Tenderfeet can soften the upper frequencies and add a mid-bass bloat. Sometimes on some shelves/racks that actually brings the sound to neutral! But the Iso-Cups don't share these characteristics (though you can emulate them a bit with different balls). They're more neutral overall and really open up rather than soften the sound is how I hear it.
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #119 - 11/16/14 at 17:54:40
 
I have not tried regular tenderfeet with my amp in a really long time, but remember not liking them with my MKIII for the reasons you mention Dave. Regular tenderfeet are rated to 40 lbs and the MKIV is a few pounds under that, and ZMA a few over... but I think they may be effected more by weight than Herbie's suggests. With lighter gear, they seem more neutral, though still a little on the dark/soft side, but with some components, nicely so.

I just put some extra firm tenderfeet under the MKIV very close to the same positions as the Isocups (which may be a mistake with them, but it is point of reference), and they sound OK. They seem quieter due to being less dynamic and less open and "awake" mids down, and they are more edgy/brittle on top. From this test, to me, there is no comparison. The isocups sound more real, more neutral, more alive with a smoother, but detailed and natural sounding top.

When I first got isopcups, it was really a different system then, but I do recall them smoothing the sound...shifting the feeling a little toward warmer/less bright. But they did it in a plausible way when thinking of noise sounding bright and edgy on top, and less articulate, dynamic, and looser lower down....rather than smoother and more revealing.

With the MKIII and MKIV, moving them around yields a number of noticeable sound variations....brighter/more open, to richer and more textured, to darker and bassier, and so on. Then, with different balls, you can go further toward a bit brighter or darker...more or less articulate...more or less highs or bass as a beginning. I found Herbie's explanation of the different balls to be pretty right here.

I would seem the ZMA would respond similarly, but not having one, I can't say.

Right now I like the stock balls under the MKIV (though, when I first got some new model isocups, I did prefer the combination of two old style with highend feet and lampblack balls, and two new style cups with supersonic balls). For my tastes, this just sounds right...nothing sticking out....balanced, revealing, smooth, dynamic, neutral.

But if tastes or the system/room causes them to sound a little "off", you can change the positions and/or balls causing somewhat subtle, but quite real shifts. And with 90 days to explore....well you can tell I think they are worth a try. Wink

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« Last Edit: 11/16/14 at 17:55:29 by will »  

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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #120 - 11/16/14 at 19:37:46
 
Thanks Will.  I am going to place an order today for some Iso Cups.  Also, I sent you a message about Morrow cables (should be in your inbox)  Cheers.

EDIT:  Just saw that you responded.  Thanks Will!
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« Last Edit: 11/16/14 at 19:41:31 by Dave1210 »  
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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #121 - 11/17/14 at 17:07:10
 
I have all my CSP2/CSP2+ preamps in use now; my trusty old CSP2 had been sitting in a closet and is now back in use. Lord help me I set up yet another system, gifted to my girlfriend to replace the twenty year old Sony system she had in her living-room. I kept her speakers, they're tower speakers and actually sound decent with the right amp. Didn't sound right with my Decware C amp modded by Eddie Vaughn, but they match really well with the DAL Audio Retro 3886 Chip Amp built just up the street from me. Surprised me how well this amp sounds with the Decware CSP2 and the PS Audio PWD Mk3. I also installed another California Audio Labs CL-10 which is a great great cd changer, I am so happy with the balanced, dynamic sound I get out of this changer. This one in this system I'm using as a transport, it's an excellent transport to feed the PWD Mk2.

I'm using good cabling (cryoset.com, Ethereal --found I needed a shielded cable running to the DAL Audio amp and that was what I have, nice cable with PCOCC wire--Decware, MAC and Analysis Plus) and in time I'll get some better power treatment there.Using Tenderfeet as well, they're working well here. The living room/dining room of her 1918 bungalow out in the woods has surprisingly good sound, which is odd with it's old suspended wood floor, two different ceiling heights, and big windows on two sides. I like the sound I'm getting, and she's over the moon happy with the improvement. "I can't believe I have tubes!" she said gleefully. I love making her happy.

I love very little more than setting up systems apparently!
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« Last Edit: 11/17/14 at 22:44:34 by Lon »  

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Re: Non-audiophiles notice power treatment improvement
Reply #122 - 12/02/14 at 01:25:05
 
Well, the system at my girlfriend's is sounding quite good. That DAL amp works well with the CSP2 there, it's not as rich as a Decware amp but the tonality and imaging are right and the power is there, they work well with the Sony tower speakers, which I must say are impressive in their control and dispersion. There's an audible hum that I am going to keep trying to remove. I put in a PS Audio Duet there which helped some. I'm sure it's the CSP2 interacting with the amp and may be a tube. . . . I'll roll some tubes soon.

At my parents the only recent change has been very significant: I've put my Power Plant Premier in where the PS Audio Duet had been. This has just polished the system up to a shine, eliminating all my little quibbles. The tonality is just right now with a smooth extended treble and tight bass, open midrange. A real sense of body to the music, fuller than it was before. Listening fatigue is all but nonexistent. Dad and I have been happily listening, and it's great that he can do so, since he's missing my Mom so much.

Edit to the post above this: it's a California Audio Labs CL-5, not CL-10, that I am using in both the system at Dad's and the new system for Lucy.
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« Last Edit: 12/02/14 at 01:26:54 by Lon »  

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