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  • Analogmagik - User Experiences

    I just bought this and thought it would be good to have a thread discussing the actual use of the product and not the "is it a good alignment tool" discussion since that thread already exists.

    I have everything set up including the ART external sound card. Following Richard's instructions was easy. I loaded the sound card driver then the sound card and then the software. No problems to report.

    I started with the azimuth setting since this is what was the genesis of my search for good alignment software.

    The azimuth that I had set using the Fozgometer was pretty far off according to AM. I made a series of adjustments and now the 2 crosstalk values are different by less than 0.5 dB. I am fine with this now.

    I then moved onto the VTA and ran into issues. According to the software one should try to get an IMD of less than 5%. My results are closer to 22% and then don't seem to change much even when I move the arm position up and down.

    Have others had success with this setting using AM?
    Speakers: Vandersteen Model 7s, 4 M&K ST-150Ts, 1 VCC-5; Amplification: 2 Vandersteen M7-HPAs, CI Audio D200 MKII, Ayre V-6xe; Preamp: Doshi Audio Line Stage v3.0; Phono Pre: Doshi Audio V3 Phono Pre; Analog: Wave Kinetics NVS; Durand Telos and SME 3012R Tonearms, Clearaudio Goldfinger Statement v2; Miyajima Madake, Miyajima Zero, Benz Micro LPS; Reel to Reel: Technics RS-1500; Doshi Tape Pre-Amp; Studer A810; Studer A812; Tascam BR-20; Multi-channel: Bryston SP-3; Digital: Custom PC> Lampizator Big 7 DAC

  • #2
    Do you know Brian Walsh near Chicago? I'm pretty sure he uses it. I'm actually working on a piece about set up issues, but I've never used that software. If you get nowhere here, it might be worth a call (even if you offer to pay for his time on the phone, like a lawyer ). Did you get the torque wrench too?
    Did you hear any difference in the change in azimuth? My Fosgate thingie always says "everything is awesome!" until the battery goes.

    Comment


    • tima
      tima commented
      Editing a comment
      I have the torque wrench. Don't know if there is documentation, but I did not receive any. Did search quite a bit for something comparable, but no luck.

  • #3
    Originally posted by Bill Hart View Post
    Do you know Brian Walsh near Chicago? I'm pretty sure he uses it. I'm actually working on a piece about set up issues, but I've never used that software. If you get nowhere here, it might be worth a call (even if you offer to pay for his time on the phone, like a lawyer ). Did you get the torque wrench too?
    Did you hear any difference in the change in azimuth? My Fosgate thingie always says "everything is awesome!" until the battery goes.
    Richard will be able to help once he returns from Munich.

    I spent so much time playing with the software that I haven't actually listened to anything. I will tomorrow.
    Speakers: Vandersteen Model 7s, 4 M&K ST-150Ts, 1 VCC-5; Amplification: 2 Vandersteen M7-HPAs, CI Audio D200 MKII, Ayre V-6xe; Preamp: Doshi Audio Line Stage v3.0; Phono Pre: Doshi Audio V3 Phono Pre; Analog: Wave Kinetics NVS; Durand Telos and SME 3012R Tonearms, Clearaudio Goldfinger Statement v2; Miyajima Madake, Miyajima Zero, Benz Micro LPS; Reel to Reel: Technics RS-1500; Doshi Tape Pre-Amp; Studer A810; Studer A812; Tascam BR-20; Multi-channel: Bryston SP-3; Digital: Custom PC> Lampizator Big 7 DAC

    Comment


    • #4
      Check out this link for information on the Analogmajik page, particularly item 8 where he discusses reducing base line distortion..
      https://www.analogmagik.com/data-interpretation

      Comment


      • tima
        tima commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks for that. Had not seen it.

    • #5
      I tried AM, mostly to see what it was all about, how good was it. I have a bunch of set-up related tools and an IT background; I try tools probably more out of curiosity and general interest in things analog. I found two issues with AM for me This is not a criticism of the tool, my experience may be unique or maybe I don't quite understand what to expect from it. I need to come back to it when I have more time.

      My first issue was generally establishing what RM refers to as 'correlation' between the various tests/algorithms and the cartridge I used in my initial explorations. (Fuuga). Several readings seemed either all over the place or unlikely. Again I did not know what to expect. I knew the cartridge had a very solid alignment using my Uni-PRO tool. But I was left kinda wondering - huh - what do I do with that? It might be helpful if there is one or more tests on whose basis the software can assess correlation. Or perhaps offer sample results for specific cartridges. There are many caveats associated with the software - one suggestion is spend less time on explaining why it may not work and more time with confidence building examples. One needs to arrive at a point where one believes the tool is working. I am not a novice in cartridge set-up.

      AM documentation:
      What separates good numbers vs bad numbers is 100% dependent on your cartridge alignment/setup ability, and your equipment. There is nothing wrong with the program or the test LP's. The only reason why the readings are not perfect is because the setup is not there yet. The program WILL NOT display good numbers until you fine tune your cartridge properly.

      The program will not automatically show good numbers or establish a correlation without you putting in efforts into fine tuning your setup. ROME wasn't built in a day. As you fine tune your cartridge, you will being to establish correlations
      Presumably this is talking about physical alignment, ie null point(s) and zenith.
      Another issue was a fairly large amount of what seemed like transient test data over the course of a test. Azimuth testing, for example, gave me a streaming set of varying numbers - one for each channel - which had a somewhat predictable rise and fall pattern over the course of the test track. (I say predictable based on running the test many times.) I found myself writing down samples from the stream in an effort to find some sort of mean or average or conclusion.

      Yes I understand there can be sample to sample variability from dragging a rock over plastic, but surely the computer could: a) record its results so I would not need to write them down in real time and b) give me some sort of conclusion, even if it is a range. Presumably one makes azimuth adjustment then runs the test again. I did not have much luck with that. I assume Feickert's Adjust+ also accrues multiple readings; you can see its output fluctuate in real time. However, it records the data and makes available a numerical report as well as graphing the data. I'm not saying either tool is more accurate than the other; it is really an issue of useability plus the UI.

      I applaud the effort to achieve what AM sets out to do and encourage its refinement.

      FWIW, there is another thread on this forum on AM.

      Comment


      • #6
        I am still getting used to the program but made some strides yesterday. I adjusted the gain on the USB sound cared so that the input volumes were at about 50-60% of the bar.

        I reran the azimuth tracks and after an adjustment my 2 readings are withing 0.15 dB of each other. RM recommended that I compare the end of A4 and the beginning of A5 (left and right) since they are close to one another.

        I moved on to VTA. I was able to get lower IMD percentages (5-7% and a difference of less than 2%) by raising the arm a bit. The whole VTA setting seems a bit like a crap shoot to me. I know all about the recommended 92 degree angle, etc., but in the end this seems to be one adjustment that is set based on some data and some listening.

        I went through the loading and VTF calculations as well.

        I am happy with the software but I need to spend more time with it.

        The resulting setup sounds good so I am pleased.
        Speakers: Vandersteen Model 7s, 4 M&K ST-150Ts, 1 VCC-5; Amplification: 2 Vandersteen M7-HPAs, CI Audio D200 MKII, Ayre V-6xe; Preamp: Doshi Audio Line Stage v3.0; Phono Pre: Doshi Audio V3 Phono Pre; Analog: Wave Kinetics NVS; Durand Telos and SME 3012R Tonearms, Clearaudio Goldfinger Statement v2; Miyajima Madake, Miyajima Zero, Benz Micro LPS; Reel to Reel: Technics RS-1500; Doshi Tape Pre-Amp; Studer A810; Studer A812; Tascam BR-20; Multi-channel: Bryston SP-3; Digital: Custom PC> Lampizator Big 7 DAC

        Comment


        • #7
          Originally posted by tima View Post
          Yes I understand there can be sample to sample variability from dragging a rock over plastic, but surely the computer could: a) record its results so I would not need to write them down in real time and b) give me some sort of conclusion, even if it is a range. Presumably one makes azimuth adjustment then runs the test again. I did not have much luck with that. I assume Feickert's Adjust+ also accrues multiple readings; you can see its output fluctuate in real time. However, it records the data and makes available a numerical report as well as graphing the data. I'm not saying either tool is more accurate than the other; it is really an issue of useability plus the UI.
          This is definitely something that needs to be added. The data should be recorded and the program should produce some statistics.

          FWIW, there is another thread on this forum on AM.
          I hope to keep this thread more about user experiences than the quality of the product from a theoretical perspective. I realize these 2 topics cross over quite a bit.

          Speakers: Vandersteen Model 7s, 4 M&K ST-150Ts, 1 VCC-5; Amplification: 2 Vandersteen M7-HPAs, CI Audio D200 MKII, Ayre V-6xe; Preamp: Doshi Audio Line Stage v3.0; Phono Pre: Doshi Audio V3 Phono Pre; Analog: Wave Kinetics NVS; Durand Telos and SME 3012R Tonearms, Clearaudio Goldfinger Statement v2; Miyajima Madake, Miyajima Zero, Benz Micro LPS; Reel to Reel: Technics RS-1500; Doshi Tape Pre-Amp; Studer A810; Studer A812; Tascam BR-20; Multi-channel: Bryston SP-3; Digital: Custom PC> Lampizator Big 7 DAC

          Comment


          • #8
            I'm an AM owner/user as well and ran into similar issues as you have. Thanks to Richard's input along with some great input from another AM owner/user I reached out to from another forum, I was able to get things dialed in and my system is now sounding great. Following are a couple of suggestions.....
            1. Make sure your cartridge setup/alignment is spot-on! This is critical. For me, I have a Graham Phantom Elite arm and I set the cartridge up with the setup jig that were supplied with the arm. After not getting acceptable readings with AM, I back-checked my setup with my SMARTractor. The PTS was a bit off - slightly due to some slop in the spindle jig; so I readjusted that to the proper setting for the Elite using the SMARTractor. I then took a look at where the Graham's overhang alignment jig came in relative to the SMARTractor (Loefgren B). It was off by 2-3 mm. I then reset the overhang using the SMARTractor.
            2. I then used the VTA track on AM's test record and made some slight twist's, clockwise and counterclockwise, to find out which position yielded the best IMD reading. This reduced my readings from over 10% to under 3% for both R & L channels. I then double checked with the SMARTractor to see that my twisting of the cartridge didn't change my Loefgren B alignment - it didn't. Evidently (and proven out after viewing with my digital microscope), the mounting of the stylus was very slightly "off" perfect alignment with the cantilever. The slight twist I made to the mounted cartridge better aligned the stylus in the record's groove.
            3. I then proceeded to go through the iterative process of making all of the other alignment adjustments and dialing in everything to it's optimum setting. After doing the above, I was able to get much better readings with AM than I had previously and my system is sounding better than it ever has.
            Good luck, and I hope you end up with similar results to what I did.

            Kyle

            Comment


            • #9
              Originally posted by kroslos View Post
              I'm an AM owner/user as well and ran into similar issues as you have. Thanks to Richard's input along with some great input from another AM owner/user I reached out to from another forum, I was able to get things dialed in and my system is now sounding great.
              Kyle, thanks for this.

              What other forum did you read to get some useful information or was it just one on one?

              Speakers: Vandersteen Model 7s, 4 M&K ST-150Ts, 1 VCC-5; Amplification: 2 Vandersteen M7-HPAs, CI Audio D200 MKII, Ayre V-6xe; Preamp: Doshi Audio Line Stage v3.0; Phono Pre: Doshi Audio V3 Phono Pre; Analog: Wave Kinetics NVS; Durand Telos and SME 3012R Tonearms, Clearaudio Goldfinger Statement v2; Miyajima Madake, Miyajima Zero, Benz Micro LPS; Reel to Reel: Technics RS-1500; Doshi Tape Pre-Amp; Studer A810; Studer A812; Tascam BR-20; Multi-channel: Bryston SP-3; Digital: Custom PC> Lampizator Big 7 DAC

              Comment


              • kroslos
                kroslos commented
                Editing a comment
                This one in addition to the What's Best Forum https://www.whatsbestforum.com/forums/vinyl-forum.14/

              • dminches
                dminches commented
                Editing a comment
                I read through the thread. Unfortunately microstrip felt the need to bash AM even though he didn’t know how it works and had no experience with it. Why do people always feel the need to attempt to show others how smart they are?

              • kroslos
                kroslos commented
                Editing a comment
                Yes, it is unfortunate. I will say that it is not the easiest to use software and its' user interface is certainly not a simple and intuitive as that of Adjust +. But it is much more robust, and once you've figured it out and gotten past the learning curve, it's a great tool for those of us who love our analog and want to get the most out of their systems. For me, it was money well spent.
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