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  • The Biggest Bang for the Buck?

    I've been thinking about lately what component in our system represents the biggest bang for the buck? After all, the system is only as good as the weakest link.

    Based upon my most recent listening experiences, the answer is unquestionable attention to the power being delivered to our audio systems. (in contrast to just a few years ago where choosing a PC or PLC was choosing the lesser of two evils.) Certainly where one lives greatly impacts the final result but AC outlets, AC power cords, power line conditioners--and even for the most fortunate around us that own homes wall panels--can literally make or break the sound of a high-end audio system. While there is perhaps a bigger upfront cost to getting the AC quality under control than buying components, the benefit lasts with you no matter what piece of equipment you have in your system!

    The benefits? Lower noise and less masking of information. More transparency. Instruments pop out of empty space and the edges of instruments are better defined. A greater sense of space. Hearing instruments you never heard before playing subtly in the background. Much better dynamics and less harshness (say depending up the quality and CONDITION of your AC receptacles). Everything just sounds more musical and less congested.

    What say ya?
    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
    ________________________________________

    -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
    -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
    -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
    -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
    -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
    -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
    -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
    -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
    -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
    -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

  • #2
    Used LPs from the Half Price Book Store!
    Mogami cables
    Denon 103R variants
    Otari MTR-15 and Sony APR 5000s

    Comment


    • #3
      Room treatments......

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Bruce B View Post
        Room treatments......

        If you would include the mega bucks you put into your studio... I am not so sure.
        Last edited by Ki Choi; 02-02-2016, 01:03 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Biggest bang for the buck to me? Dialing in your speaker and listening positions. Before you buy any tweaks, room treatments, better gear, I say work on these two key dimensions. Will take lots of time to dial it in right, but will save you tons of $$ in the long run. After that, I think it's a toss up between clean power/signal paths and room treatments. Both offer great benefits.
          Kronos Sparta -> Trinity Phono -> Trinity Pre -> CH Precision A1 -> Magico S7s

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Bruce B View Post
            Room treatments......

            I know we get into the chicken or egg argument but how do you get your room Rx right if the system's sounds isn't optimized? In my experience, getting the AC right can be as significant as room treatment.

            Fact is, everything counts. I changed the RCA connectors and IEC inlet plug on my tape preamp and the improvement was as significant as changing the heads. But if I hadn't changed the heads, maybe I wouldn't have appreciated the connector change as much. Yeah it's crazy.
            Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
            Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
            ________________________________________

            -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
            -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
            -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
            -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
            -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
            -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
            -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
            -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
            -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
            -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

            Comment


            • #7
              I'm re-starting my audio system after moving and retirement. Does anyone have a suggestion for the best turntable for the buck? I have been looking around at Denon, TEAC, Project and Music Hall. Can't afford VPI, or others in that price range. Please let me know what your experience indicates. Thanks in advance, douglas king

              Comment


              • Mortsnets
                Mortsnets commented
                Editing a comment
                I have a U-Turn Orbit Plus I enjoy (https://uturnaudio.com/),

                The usual suspects are:
                o Pro-ject http://www.tonepublications.com/anal...-latest-table/
                o Music Hall
                o Rega

                Less mentioned are:

                o Audio Technica AT-LP1240
                http://positive-feedback.com/reviews...usb-turntable/

                o Pioneer PLX-500-W (Herb Reichert likes the big brother PLX-1000)

                o Denon DP-300F

                If you have a audio shop nearby that you like, see what they recommend and you can listen to.

              • Kingrex
                Kingrex commented
                Editing a comment
                Have you seen my Hot Rodded RP6. It takes tinkering, but it makes a hell of a nice player. Joe Pitman has a bunch of VPI at his place now. Very nice for the money and very configurable to your budget.

            • #8
              Originally posted by MylesBAstor View Post
              I've been thinking about lately what component in our system represents the biggest bang for the buck? After all, the system is only as good as the weakest link.

              Based upon my most recent listening experiences, the answer is unquestionable attention to the power being delivered to our audio systems. (in contrast to just a few years ago where choosing a PC or PLC was choosing the lesser of two evils.) Certainly where one lives greatly impacts the final result but AC outlets, AC power cords, power line conditioners--and even for the most fortunate around us that own homes wall panels--can literally make or break the sound of a high-end audio system. While there is perhaps a bigger upfront cost to getting the AC quality under control than buying components, the benefit lasts with you no matter what piece of equipment you have in your system!

              The benefits? Lower noise and less masking of information. More transparency. Instruments pop out of empty space and the edges of instruments are better defined. A greater sense of space. Hearing instruments you never heard before playing subtly in the background. Much better dynamics and less harshness (say depending up the quality and CONDITION of your AC receptacles). Everything just sounds more musical and less congested.

              What say ya?
              In digital it's a USB converters two come to mind one being the Psaudio one as it uses cat 5 cabke so you CPU can be in another room and your dac where you want it
              the other a REGEN both cleanup any USB sourced dac at 200 or so
              analog stuff.
              otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 made new by soren
              otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 1/2 combo made new by soren
              sota sapphire used eminent tech ver 2 arm
              new sota nova table has magnetic levitation platter and full speed control and latest motor same arm as above
              thorens td124 sme ver 2 arm
              thorens td125 sme ver 2 arm
              kenwood direct drive sme ver 2 arm
              phono preamp Ml no 25 all re capped
              speakers cust infinity IRS V , new caps and LPS , magnets etc.
              mark levivson pre no 26 amps no 33
              digital three cust servers , win ser 2016 , AO
              Dacs lampi various

              Comment


              • #9
                Originally posted by Douglas View Post
                I'm re-starting my audio system after moving and retirement. Does anyone have a suggestion for the best turntable for the buck? I have been looking around at Denon, TEAC, Project and Music Hall. Can't afford VPI, or others in that price range. Please let me know what your experience indicates. Thanks in advance, douglas king
                What price range?

                Wait, I see in your other thread you mentioned $400. Hard to beat the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon for $399. Have to jump to about $500 to get anything that might be a better table for the price. That opens up more options.

                Steve Lefkowicz
                Senior Associate Editor at Positive Feedback
                -
                Analog: Linn LP12 (MOSE/Hercules II), Ittok, Dynavector 19a, iPhono2; Pro-Ject RPM-1 Carbon, Sumiko Pearl, iFi iPhono.
                Digital: Samsung 300E5C notebook, JRiver Media Center 26, Tidal HiFi and Qobuz Studio), iFi iDAC2, iFi iUSB3, iPurifier2.
                Electronics: Burson Conductor Virtuoso, DIY switch-box with TKD 10K pot, Antique Sound Labs MG-SI15DT-S, Burson Timekeeper Virtuoso, Jolida JD1000P, B&K ST140.
                Speakers: Tekton Double Impact, Tekton Lore, Magneplaner .7, ELAC Debut2 B6.2, Debut F5 and Debut B6, Emotiva Airmotiv B1, Sound Dynamics 300ti.
                Interconnects: Morrow Audio MA1, Vermouth Audio Black Pearl, Nordost Solar Wind, Audioquest Evergreen
                Speaker cables: Morrow Audio SP4, Vermouth Audio Red Velvet, Nordost Solar Wind, Nordost Flatline, Audioquest Q2.
                Digital cables: Straightwire USB Link, Aural Symphonics Digital Standard xxv USB, Belkin PureAV.
                Accessories: Sound Organization turntable shelf, Mondo racks, Pangea Audio Vulcan racks, Pi Audio Group Über BUSS, Monster HTS2000 power conditioner, Sound Organization speaker stands, Pangea Audio speaker stands, Kinetronics anti-static brush, Pro-Ject VC-S record cleaner, Spin Clean record cleaner.
                Headphones: Schiit Valhalla amp, Meze Audio 99 Classic and 99 Neo, Beyerdynamic DT770Pro, 1More Triple Driver Over Ear, 1More MK801, 1More Triple Driver IEM

                http://www.audionirvana.org/forum/ti...ounding-system

                Comment


                • #10
                  VPI 16.5 Record Cleaner. Ten-plus years of reliable service, and a bargain at the price.
                  Lyra Kleos SL, Dynavector XX-2MKII, VPI JMW 10.5i, VPI Aries, VPI SDS, ModWright PH-150 Reference Phono, Sony HAP-Z1ES server, McIntosh MR80, McIntosh C2300, McIntosh MC352, Vandersteen 5A, PS Audio P10, Bright Star Audio Rack of Gibraltar. Cables: Shunyata Cobra Ztron IC, PS Audio Statement AC, Synergistic Research AC, Harmonic Tech Silver Phono, Cable Research Labs Silver IC, Audioquest Gibraltar bi-wire.

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    Thank you for your responses . . . The problem is that in Central Florida there are few quality hi-fi shops so auditioning is virtually out of the question. Browsing the internet, however, provides a lot of different choices of which the one I was wondering about is Project which is budget-priced and carries a lot of recommendations. My other issue is what cartridge to get with it - perhaps an upgrade? Since I listen pretty much to Classical only, I think this is an important issue, but cartridges vary all over the lot in price and I need advice on which cartridge works really well with the Debut Carbon . . . any thoughts? Thank you for your advice.

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      PS I get a kick out of being a "Junior" member at the age of 76!

                      Comment


                      • Hawk
                        Hawk commented
                        Editing a comment
                        You are only young once, but you can stay immature indefinitely!. Stolen quote from my older brother who drinks much better beer then I do.

                    • #13
                      Biggest bang for the buck? Some of the good advice I read about in this forum... Especially the music... Priceless.

                      Comment


                      • #14
                        You're all right and wrong at the same time🤗. Your answers will change by the hour.
                        TW Acustic TT with Ref motor & controller; Tri-Planar Arm; Ortofon Windfeld-Ti Cartridge, Harmonix-Combak platter matte & weight; Arcam R Phono Preamp; KLAudio Ultrasonic Record Cleaner.

                        Bluesound Vault-2 Music Server & Streamer

                        VTL 6.5 preamp Series II
                        Pass Labs 150.8 Amp

                        Piega C711 Loudspeakers

                        Symposium Osiris Rack; Symposium Platforms and Roller Blocks plus grade 2.5 Balls

                        Acoustic Revive RR-888 Low Frequency Pulse Generator

                        Shunyata Hydra 8; Shunyata AC Cords; Synergistic Research Level 3 HC AC Cord and Level 3 power cord, Synergistic Carbon fiber wall plates & Blue Outlets, Furutech NCF Booster Brace, Audio Art Ref balanced ICs, MIT Oracle IC and Magnum Speaker Cables

                        Sennheiser HDV 650 Headphone Amp; Sennheiser HD1200s Headphones.

                        Comment


                        • #15
                          Originally posted by Douglas View Post
                          Thank you for your responses . . . The problem is that in Central Florida there are few quality hi-fi shops so auditioning is virtually out of the question. Browsing the internet, however, provides a lot of different choices of which the one I was wondering about is Project which is budget-priced and carries a lot of recommendations. My other issue is what cartridge to get with it - perhaps an upgrade? Since I listen pretty much to Classical only, I think this is an important issue, but cartridges vary all over the lot in price and I need advice on which cartridge works really well with the Debut Carbon . . . any thoughts? Thank you for your advice.
                          I would definitely check out the ELAC integrated amp and speakers. Nice combo at RMAF.

                          Maybe also check out the small Dynaaudio, NEAT, Totem or KEF LS50s (used) speakers.
                          Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                          Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                          ________________________________________

                          -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
                          -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
                          -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
                          -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
                          -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
                          -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
                          -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                          -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                          -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
                          -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

                          Comment

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