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The analog thread.


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On 1/15/2021 at 8:52 PM, bhjazz said:

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.  

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.  

Edited by bhjazz
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Changed out my ZU DL-103 for the Benz Micro Ace SL that arrived today. Got the new cartridge aligned, tracking force set to 1.7g and VTA at 20 degrees.

Yeah, definitely an upgrade! Wow, really liking this cartridge!

Flat and neutral? No.

Fun and engaging? Hell yes!



Edited by swt61
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  • 2 weeks later...

Yes. I really like this cartridge. It's not unlike the Denon, just a bit better detail. Dynamics are better and I feel like the Soundstage is much improved. One of the other added benefits is the taller height of the cartridge body. No shim necessary. I'll keep the Zu/Denon, but honestly unless something happens to the Benz, the Denon won't see much use.

This thing is built like a tank as well. The entire motor structure is just so much beefier than the Denon.


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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Some pics of the motor housing restoration / upgrade, as everything got back from the polisher today (excuse the fingerprints).

My previous DIY motor housings have just had a top plate with the motor attached. This one actually clamps the motor against a piece of sorbothane sheeting which resulted in a lot less noise at the platter.

Now I need to work on the motor controller :)









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Here is part of the controller - a battery charger circuit named after Zeus’ favorite projectile. Apparently I can’t center the white box on the side where the circuit notes go, but otherwise looks pretty slick - about the size of a matchbox. Won’t be solar powered, as the LT3652 datasheet might suggest though :) the stacked TH and SMD connectors are from JST.




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I think I am going to try to use a reflective sensor - looking at Vishay VCNT2020. I need a mirror or similar, assuming the acrylic platter won’t be IR reflective. Maybe a foil sticker?


added a comparator to the board to adjust the sensitivity 


Edited by luvdunhill
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5 hours ago, Craig Sawyers said:

I suspect you can order one from SME. It'll still be pricey, but at least it supports SME (in spite of their no-new-arms policy) rather than internet gougers.

Yes, that’s an option. I see Analogue Seduction wants 276£ for one (@swt61 the 309 doesn’t use the old style bayonet connection, in fact due to the offset angle the 309, 310 and 312 aren’t compatible with each other) and I am wondering if that’s close to what SME will charge..

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Bloody hell - that is an insane price. And the lightweight screws that are part of the package are not metric - they only work with the supplied nuts. Don't try to use them in tapped holes in a cartridge (they will be M2.5) - the SME ones will bind and ruin your day.

Try SME for the price - it can't hurt to find out.

They still manufacture everything in-house. Even the screws, nuts, spacers, finger lifts - everything. The only thing they buy in is the raw tapered arm tube, which comes from Chicago White Metal https://cwmdiecast.com/ , but even then all post machining, painting, silk screening etc is in house.

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