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High Rollers
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Everything posted by bhjazz

  1. Winner. Got some time to compare the 7 meter version to a 1 meter version of the same cable this weekend. No contest. Low pass filter very much in effect with the longer cable. Even did the maths calculationses on them. With the shorter cable the music breathes better and that extra blanket was removed from my speakers. To make sure I wasn't fooling myself, my wife (the one without the compromised hearing) was brought in to listen while I swapped cables back and forth. While she doesn't speak fluent audiogeek she was able to describe what she was hearing and confirmed (without me leading the witness) that the shorter cables were less obtrusive. I later traded the Cardas Neutral Reference speaker cables for some older Audioquest F18. That worked a treat as well although they are not perfect in the bass response. I think my real lesson here is combining too many neutral components may net a final system with a less natural final presentation. YMMV.
  2. I agree. And am thinking this neutrality is part of my issue. Adding neutral cables to an already neutral system can sometimes mean losing some system synergy. When I moved into my house my audio room was just the speakers, the rack o' gear, records and CDs piled up and a wood kitchen chair. Since then I've added tube traps, 2-person loveseat audio receiving couch, blinds, storage racks, etc. So lots of things to soak up audio and maybe not enough to keep nice clean highs. This might be my real problem. Incidentally, I was looking at how I had set up my Pass ACA monoblocks and realized that I had left the switch in a different position than maybe was intended. I put it back to the balanced mono setting for XLR and was able to gain a little focus. It may sound better now but am trying to ignore the self-inflicted placebo. Time will tell.
  3. Talked to dealer today. He says all he has to go by is a Prime warranty card which reads 3 years. Will call VPI tomorrow. 😐 EDIT: To tie this off, VPI says 3 years. Oh well, I have more options opening up with SOTA now.
  4. Neutral, LOL. Reminds me of a cartoon in some audio mag back in the day. Guy buying speakers and salesman says, "And as a special feature, when you reach age 70 we send out a serviceman to remove the tweeters." It does almost seem this cable pair is out of phase, though. Interesting comment, Nate. Gonna think about that some more. Anyway, did Nate's tests last night, found nothing out of place. Joints good, no crossed wires. They look good. The only thing I noticed was that the shield was connected to the plug on the source ends. I don't think I really need that but read up a bit and world seems divided as far as do or do not do it. Since these are not actual microphones I suppose I don't need it.
  5. Yeah, something is toast. I'll give those tests a try. Thanks, Nate!
  6. I'm not advocating overpriced cables. I've read the audio mags reasoning for Tara Labs and some others and wonder how materials and magic secret build techniques can make something cost so much. On the other hand I have lots of inexpensive cables here and for many reasons, they have little synergy with my system. But I've used this pair of cables in two completely different systems and both times they sound very bland. Something isn't right. Since I never sleep on Sunday nights, this very thing went through my head. I don't think it's the cable length because I have a 1M pair of these and they sound the same. Still, I do wonder if their construction was wrong or if the grounds are wrong or... I think I'll go dig through the Rane site and compare to what I've done.
  7. Nate made me double-check WBT and he is right: no xlr. Thanks for that. Also I pasted in the wrong model number which should have been NC3FXX-B (and the M model) so I know how I threw him off. Sorry! To me it's not amazing claims I need to accept, but my own ears. No ghosts in my system. 😉
  8. I have a pair of DH Labs Pro Studio interconnects. Bought the parts back in...I dunno maybe 2012. I have Neutrik NC4MXX XLR plugs. Just realized the pins are gold plating over brass. The cables are 7 meter since my rack o' gear is to my right and the amps are in between the speakers. In short, I hate these cables. The high end is dry and bland/rolled off. Sometimes if I crank the system up to 11 I can forget their ills. I think they truly like that much power because they sound a bit better. Otherwise, at evening listening levels I still hate them. But try to go find another set that long for under a grand. I could get by with a 5 meter pair. By moving some gear very close to the amps and trying other cables (Cardas Golden Cross, for example) the system breathes again. I can hear life and breath and reverb tails. I ran across a discussion about VH Audio where someone was using VH wire and Switchcraft plugs, then had changed to WBT silver (WBT-0152) and found that the cables finally woke up. Just wondering what the consensus might be for me to try a similar tack (spend the dollars for the WBT ends) or if should just quit trying to make these what they may never be. Thanks!
  9. Heeeeeere's the latest news with Action News correspondent BH. Good Evening. The current price list (as of today) for SOTA packages: eclipse package: $750 total eclipse package: $1100 SOTA motor pod for VPI: $450 (and you still need a motor package) current price for converting VPI motor pod for SOTA BLDC motor: 250 + 50 plate = $300 pulley - if you need the 1.5" pulley - $50 (doesn't seem likely, though) And just to think this one all the way out: std eclipse package with sota motor pod: 750+450 = 1200 ttl eclipse package with sota motor pod: 1100+450 = 1600 std eclipse package with VPI motor pod: 750+300 = 1050 + shipping to/from ttl eclipse package with VPI motor pod: 1100+300 = 1400 + shipping to/from It looks like sending your current VPI motor pod to SOTA for machining is a good deal, especially in light of it being a bit heavier than the SOTA pod. Someone on the VPI forum had done so and had the top plate pretty scratched up, so I think there would be some hand-wringing while waiting. I called VPI and asked about my current noisy motor. Claire tells me, well, the Prime has a 5 year warranty, so you're still covered. However, you'll need to contact your dealer first. If they are unable to help, please call us back. So I called Stereo Unlimited in SD, but it's the owner's cell phone and had to leave a message. Hopefully I'll talk to him at some point about how to coordinate an interstate warranty claim. Fun. (paging mr savitsk: good call - it really is a warranty item.) As for Lyra, ha. Interesting. I spoke with Alasdair at Audioquest. He told me Lyra is at least 6 months behind with new work and repairs. He then suggested that I might have better luck, for the same cost of rebuilding mine, to just trade for a new one; just find a dealer with a large supply then I could reduce my wait time. I was sent a dealer list and found that one is closer to my home than I expected. Cool. I'd be happy to hand them my credit card. We'll see how all of this turns out. Thanks for all the great ideas. My credit card is giving me the evil eye, but frankly I haven't been out to dinner in a year so it should be happy to be out of my wallet.
  10. Right! This cost is in addition to the Eclipse package(s).
  11. I agree. You never know unless you ask. BTW, on the vpiforum I learned SOTA will update a current VPI motor pod to accept the BLDC motor. For around $300 I think. Not sure. Haven't had confirmation from SOTA yet.
  12. I took the motor pod apart and found Model PA, P/N SP4007. Google mentions that this is the equivalent Hurst part number you mentioned. 300 RPM. Thanks! Looks like it is a whopping $98 through Hurst. However, I am wondering if I will be replacing that part again in another two years. I'll toss that around in my head. I really blame the single bearing and wish they had a hotrod version of this motor with top and bottom sealed grade 10 tungsten ball bearings. And flashing lights. And a flamethrower. I like your BLDC motor project. Man, those links to diyaudio.com always end up pointing to threads that are at least 100 or more pages long. Am I right? Lots to learn there for sure. Is the project cost-effective or is it the thrill of the hunt? Thanks a lot, Marc. I really appreciate the info.
  13. Thanks! I'm in for replacing the motor. I suppose all I need is a location where to get them and the model number. I'd like to know more about the motor/controller/tach DIY project. This might be a good route for me as well. What language is the software in?
  14. Okay, Marc: I have not yet hit the buy button. Are you thinking I could just replace the motor myself? Or do you have better plans? Thanks! I've sent email to Audioquest regarding the Delos rebuild but they have not yet responded. Y'know, at what point do we begin mocking companies for not having a business continuity plan for a 1-year-old pandemic?
  15. I'm feelin' Al's pain this week. "Analog can be frustrating." Bought a VPI Prime back in 2017 while on vacation in San Diego (not even as a whoops...I planned the trip that way.) The dealer, Stereo Unlimited, was...ok... to deal with. The sales guy was a boob and the owner was as well. Still, I was hungry for the 'table, so there it was. No dealers near Seattle at that time. FFWD to 2019, I jump on the vpiforum to figure out how to do some general maintenance. There is some 120Hz motor hum and I'm thinking something needs some work. I do the maintenance and never really get rid of the noise, but ignore because hey: tunes! FFWD to the awful holiday season 2020 and I find the noise is worse than I remember. I read up and find that the crap Hurst motors that VPI purchases "sometimes just get noisy", probably due in part by the fact that they are only supported on the top by a single, simple friction bearing. I know the noisy little bitch is out of warranty, but find out the replacement is $800. For what? The joy of doing this again in a few years? Bite me. Ah, but SOTA has somehow now emerged on my radar because they sell an excellent DC motor package, one of which includes the old Roadrunner tachometer. They also can mount said motor in a VPI-friendly-height motor pod for some unknown dollar value. So at least I have options, but they start at $800 and go up from there. Crap. I was supposed to replace some other components this year (plus get my Lyra Delos rebuilt). I guess that's how it goes with audio (especially turntables). Anyway, here are a few links should anyone else be in the same noisy boat. SOTA Eclipse Package SOTA Total Eclipse Package
  16. The soundtrack clip - wow. Can't get through it tonight, though. Too beautiful.
  17. Looks great! I recently added a K&K Step Up trafo to my own Delos. I liked this cart before, but now it's even closer to that spooky realism you hear about. Dee-lish.
  18. It's around here somewhere, I believe. The dent in the lower portion of the face plate was kindof getting to me... Probably happened during shipping here back in the day. So I ended up doing just a few things and it all locked in. I connected input grounds on the boards together, as well as the output grounds. This was weird to do since the left and right grounds were already connected at the Alps. Finally, I connected the ground from the output jack to the ground plane screw on the closest amp board. DEAD QUIET. Finally! Hey, many thanks to you Nate, Doug, Craig, and Pars for all the ideas. I'm glad to have this one back in the arsenal! Will post some pics now that it's done. Still looking for a 3mm green LED for the new front panel, though. (I think it was a 3mm) I have no idea why that item is so hard to find these days.
  19. I had tried some of these connections before, but adding them together was the key. The amp has been dead quiet for an evening or two. More soon.
  20. You're definitely on to a piece of the puzzle, Craig. I actually can't get a connection to check resistance on the front/rear panel unless I have the probe inside a screw terminal. Yesterday I tried the trafo twist and was able to knock the noise down just a tick. Cool. I also found that the weird volume pot noise (noise at about 50% volume) was more due to unshielded headphone cable location (the ESW9 that I had on) than anything else. So now I'm just hearing it at 0 - 25% on the volume pot. This is pretty close to what I hear with a pair of Grados. I started measuring everything to give myself a better picture. Here are some values. BTW, my Fluke 112 shows 0.2 ohm even with the leads shorted together. First, these are taken with the amp OFF. across caps inline from earth to rca grounds: 10.2 earth to rca gnd 10.2 rear panel chassis to rca terminal ground: 10.2 rear panel chassis to output ground (on amp board) 10.2 earth to ps board screws (I'm guessing this is the ground plane?): 0.2 earth to amp board screws: 0.2 earth to bolt holding down trafo: 0.2 power switch case to power supply screw term: 0.2 Channel A (top board, left channel) Channel B (bottom board, right channel) input gnd to output gnd (channel A) 0.2 input gnd to output gnd (channel A) 0.2 earth to chassis (front faceplate) 0.2 alps pot chassis to output gnd 10.2 front panel to rear panel 0.2 earth to output ground 0.2 earth to input ground 0.2 But here is something I found really odd: with the amp ON: Alps chassis to output ground on the board that *does not* have an output ground connection - 10.2 and immediate silence through headphones Alps chassis to output ground, on the board that *does* have an output ground connection - 10.2 and huge buzz through headphones This is heard most clearly with a pair of ESW9a 'phones. I'm going to start by bypassing the pair of caps that connect earth to the input RCA jack ground. That would eliminate most of the 10.2 ohm readings above. Next, I'll connect the ground screw from the pot to the current star ground, and connect input grounds together and output grounds together. We'll see where it stands at that point, but the tests with the amp on make me wonder what else is going on. Thanks!
  21. Wow, you guys are great. I'm so glad I could come back here and get such straight answers. Many, many thanks. Nate: you did not have the boards there. You simply had the caps hanging off of the amp boards. I wanted to keep the output caps from being so fragile, so added the boards (from Jameco) and the bypass caps since they were staring at me. I have wired the two boards together underneath. I'll try the "transformer twist" first. Thanks! Ah, I did not check the offset. Will search for the pots as well, just in case. Thanks! The ground scheme is what was in the original build: one input ground, one output ground. Connecting these two to the corresponding spots on the other channel did not work for me. Very interesting. I see two different schemes here: Connect (ground) everything or if everything is isolated then use some type of ground loop break. I think mine is a case of the ground noise volume being constant with volume, for the most part. Not sure why it comes and goes with volume change... I do feel like this chassis has totally different metal conductivity, so that may have turned into a problem when I tried to duplicate the original wiring. How would I connect the PCBs and the PS to this new ground? Using the ground off of the board itself, or the ground it is "processing"? That is, with the power supply for instance, if I check continuity between the screw that holds the board down and the chassis I get nothing. (My wording may be convoluted here. Blame the Syrah.) I do find it odd that if I connect my DMM to the incoming ground connection (at the IEC) and any random point on the chassis bottom that I get no continuity. However, if I do the same test and use the rear panel there is clearly some connection. I'll post what I find with some better testing. Thanks for leading me in that direction. No, VT4C is long gone. I think they closed in 2010, so now you know how long ago I started buying parts! Now that I have tested a little bit today, the pot is grounded to the front panel, but that may not be at equal ground potential to the rest of the build. (?) Again, many thanks to all of you. I'll try these, test a bit more, and report back.
  22. Pandemic Project #54: re-case the Ventus. So, some quick history: I won the raffle Nate had back in the day for the TwistedPear Ventus. It has worked fine and I have enjoyed it for years but I wanted it in a different chassis. Over the years I bought parts here and there. The case came from VT4C. I had top and bottom panels made with venting and finally got it all reinstalled recently, only to set up a vicious game of chase the ground loop noise for myself. The setup is, otherwise, the same as the original setup with all the same parts, just transplanted into a different case. The only difference in parts was changing the power button setup (which had a nice relay) to a bog standard clicky switch. The boards next to the amp boards just have a cap (with a bypass cap). Nate added these to tame some of the output voltage drift, if I remember correctly. So the noise through the headphones sounds like 120Hz ground noise, but more like a sawtooth wave than a sine wave. The amount of noise varies as the volume is turned up - it starts off loud at 0%, then goes away until about 25% volume, where it gets loud again, then fades until you hit full volume, where it is again loud. Touching the chassis changes the noise slightly, and touching the output ground also changes the noise. If I turn the volume up to the "silent mode" at about 50-60% I can touch the ground and bring the noise right back. I posted a similar question on the TwistedPear forums, but received pretty much nothing but questions. When I answered those, the discussion went dark. Thanks, TP audio. I have attempted various fixes that did not work: Disconnect the signal ground connection from the chassis ground (see pics below) Disconnect the ground bridge between the L and R channels on the Alps volume pot Change the ground connection from the left channel board to the right channel board Connect the grounds together on the amp boards Connect the ground from the Alps volume pot to the chassis Remove the Alps from the chassis Cursing and shouting at the noise I don't have a 'scope to check the incoming voltage from the power supply, but do wonder if something is amiss there. Any guesses for chasing the ground loop dragon? I really hate to see this amp gathering dust. Damn. Thanks for any suggestions. BH
  23. Craig, thanks for the confirmation. I appreciate it. They are currently in-circuit, so that could mean they are storing a charge somewhere and staying open. I had suspected the diode-like properties had gone away, which prompted my post. I'll remove them from the circuit for testing and if they are, indeed, burned out, I would have to replace them anyway. Thanks again.
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