Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Modifying the King-Cello Tape Preamplifier

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Modifying the King-Cello Tape Preamplifier

    Comparing different brands of connectors, AC receptacles and like elements is one of the hardest things to do. It isn't as if you can just switch things in or out; in some instances, modification may even be needed such as enlarging the holes in the case to accommodate the female RCAs. But the take home message is that every little thing in the system makes a difference and don't forget the little things like connectors. It's 20-20 hindsight but RCAs are certainly not the way we would choose to hook our systems up. In fact, just how bad RCA connectors are is hardly a state secret. So we have to make the best of a bad situation.

    As we all know, good designs can be compromised by the parts selection. And everytime I looked at the connectors (what was originally used by Cello) on my tape preamplifier, I repelled in horror. I just hated the the feel of the actual connection and how the IEC held the power cord in place. So given my experiences with the original Furutech GTX-D Au AC receptacles, I decided to check out the new top-of-the-line Furutech plugs. (and in part because I liked the separate connections for (+) and (-) on the RCA plugs. So got two pairs of female RCAs, one pair of male RCAs and one IEC inlet and Charlie King was nice enough to modify his unit as needed to accommodate the new connectors. Upon return, I was totally in awe of the firmness of the RCA connections and most of all, the vise-like grip of the IEC inlet on the PC.

    Here's some info on the plugs used in the modifications:

    Click image for larger version

Name:	furutech.jpg
Views:	147
Size:	21.8 KB
ID:	5380

    CF-126 R RCA plugs

    ・α (Alpha) OCC rhodium-plated center conductor
    ・α (Alpha) Copper Alloy rhodium-plated body with Fluoropolymer insulation.
    ・Carbon fiber and nonmagnetic stainless steel housing
    ・Termination method: solder

    Click image for larger version

Name:	furutech-fp-901r-cinch-rca-rhodium-plated-pure-copper-pair.png
Views:	108
Size:	156.7 KB
ID:	5381


    FP-901 R RCA jacks for chassis

    •Positive/Hot Center Pin: Milled from a single piece of pure copper α (Alpha) conductor with
    phosphor bronze locking ring
    •Negative/Cold Conductor: Milled from a single piece of pure copper α (Alpha) conductor
    •Non-magnetic rhodium-plated materials
    •Eutectic brass housing (painted black) and 24k gold-plated nut cap
    •Mounting Materials: Nylon (red or white /outer) and PETF Fluoropolymer (white/inner) insulation
    •Mounting Insulation accommodates chassis panels of any thickness
    •Connection Type: Soldered

    Click image for larger version

Name:	inlet.jpg
Views:	98
Size:	228.0 KB
ID:	5382


    FI-09 R IEC Inlet Pure copper α (Alpha) Conductor
    Materials: Nylon/fiberglass
    Type: 2-pole+earth

    The results were nothing short of sensational. Anyone who has replaced for example their stock deck heads with the newer Flux Magnetics has already experienced this improvement. The biggest improvement is the quietness and improved transparency. The best example of this transparency are the Opus 3 tapes (particularly Sampler V) where the system sounds like there are no limits to the stage. The system has far, far more resolution especially on the softer end of the musical spectrum. For example, instruments are more distinctly separated and occupy a real space on the Yalung recordings such as Smoke and Mirrors Vanish or Janaki String Quartet. Each instrument just has a little more spaciousness with a commensurate blurring of the image with the new King-Cello. The slight solid-state edge that I attributed to the King-Cello has dropped to almost imperceptible levels. The low end seems to extend forever. Instruments that were buried in highly texture music all of a sudden can be discerned, no matter how softly they are playing. Yes, it's a little of the chicken or egg phenomena. Would I hear the improvements if I hadn't changed the heads; would I hear the improvements if I didn't change the connectors? No matter what, they both work together to elevate the performance of the electronics and most importantly allow one to hear just how much more information tapes contain!

    No matter what the connector, be it AC power, IC or speakers, they shouldn't be neglected. In my system, the next, most logical connection to address is where the phono cable plugs into the tonearm and most of all, the signal level is the lowest. In fact, the same would seem to hold true also on the other end of the connections, eg. the phono section.
    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
    In my system, the next, most logical connection to address is where the phono cable plugs into the tonearm and most of all, the signal level is the lowest. In fact, the same would seem to hold true also on the other end of the connections, eg. the phono section
    In the case of a tonearm, wouldn't it make sense to run a continuous length from the cartridge clips to, and terminated at the phono preamp, with either RCAs or XLRs ? That would eliminate a few junction points. It would be easy to do on something like a VPI arm and still retain the ability to swap out arms.

    I've known a few people that have dispensed with removable power cords and hardwired equipment directly to AC. There are certain inherent risks with that and it doesn't exactly comply with NEC codes or the NFPA.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Rust View Post

      In the case of a tonearm, wouldn't it make sense to run a continuous length from the cartridge clips to, and terminated at the phono preamp, with either RCAs or XLRs ? That would eliminate a few junction points. It would be easy to do on something like a VPI arm and still retain the ability to swap out arms.

      I've known a few people that have dispensed with removable power cords and hardwired equipment directly to AC. There are certain inherent risks with that and it doesn't exactly comply with NEC codes or the NFPA.

      Yes that's another alternative though it usually comes with at least two issues:

      Shielding
      You lose the ability to switch tonearms

      The latter is a deal breaker for me since I need the ability to switch arms for reviewing cartridges. But tried that years ago with my ET arm.
      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


      • #4
        Aj Conti debuted his arm with a continuous unbroken run of wire from the cartridge clips to RCAs. He found customers didn't like his choice in cable or thought they knew better than him and wanted to choose their own interconnect cable, so he dispensed with the superior design and added a junction box. I heard a similar story from Allen Perkins who is a big proponent of less connections and hardwires his phono leads directly to the PCB in his phono stage, he later offered a junction box b/c of the same issues AJ had. OTOH, Bob Graham takes the cake for most breaks or connections from cartridge clips to phono input and he manages to get excellent performance from his 'arm...maybe we're all overthinking this, or we're just nuts.
        Simon Yorke S10 | My Sonic Lab Eminent GL | AcousticPlan PhonoMaster | Wadia X32 | Innuous ZEN Mini Mk II | Valvet Soulshine2 | Linear Tube Audio ZOTL10 MkII | Avantgarde Uno Fino XD

        "One of the great challenges of this world: Knowing enough about a subject to think you are right, but not enough about the subject to know you're wrong" - Neil deGrasse Tyson

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Rob View Post
          Aj Conti debuted his arm with a continuous unbroken run of wire from the cartridge clips to RCAs. He found customers didn't like his choice in cable or thought they knew better than him and wanted to choose their own interconnect cable, so he dispensed with the superior design and added a junction box. I heard a similar story from Allen Perkins who is a big proponent of less connections and hardwires his phono leads directly to the PCB in his phono stage, he later offered a junction box b/c of the same issues AJ had. OTOH, Bob Graham takes the cake for most breaks or connections from cartridge clips to phono input and he manages to get excellent performance from his 'arm...maybe we're all overthinking this, or we're just nuts.
          Combination of both Rob.
          Micro Seiki SX-8000 table with flywheel, SME 3012R arm, SME 312S arm, Lyra Etna SL and Dynavector XV-1S cartridges, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 tape deck, Ampex 350 repros, Roon Nucleus Plus server, PS Audio DSJ DAC, ARC Ref 6 pre, ARC Ref 75 amp, JBL 4345 speakers, and Def Tech Ref subs.

          Comment


          • #6
            Myles - In the past I've seen tonearm cables that were stripped back for that portion that went up the tonearm and retained the shielding/outer jacket back to the RCAs/XLRs. Maybe one or two of the cable makers might view a request for such a thing as an opportunity. That should address the shielding issue.

            It might also be likely that VPI might make up a tonearm so equipped with the cable of your choice if requested. Maybe some other makers of removable unipivot arms would do so also. This would eliminate the previous annoyance to the tonearm maker of criticism of choice of wire. Might even provide a certain amount of amusement to the maker watching someone flounder about over their choices.

            Such a thing might be an interesting and useful technique for reviewing cartridges. It would certainly make for an interesting story.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Rust View Post
              Myles - In the past I've seen tonearm cables that were stripped back for that portion that went up the tonearm and retained the shielding/outer jacket back to the RCAs/XLRs. Maybe one or two of the cable makers might view a request for such a thing as an opportunity. That should address the shielding issue.

              It might also be likely that VPI might make up a tonearm so equipped with the cable of your choice if requested. Maybe some other makers of removable unipivot arms would do so also. This would eliminate the previous annoyance to the tonearm maker of criticism of choice of wire. Might even provide a certain amount of amusement to the maker watching someone flounder about over their choices.

              Such a thing might be an interesting and useful technique for reviewing cartridges. It would certainly make for an interesting story.
              I've never seen a thin tonearm wire like Cardas, Discovery or Nordost for instance shielded. The wire in ICs is usually much thicker and in the case of VPI needs to be thin because the wire loops out of the arm into the junction box.

              But as I said, being able to swap arm wands is a deal breaker and doing this would prevent this feature.
              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


              • #8
                I know from conversations with Charlie (King), you have also upgraded the capacitors in your King/Cello. (Mundorf, I believe).

                Can you divulge the specific model that you're using in your preamp?


                PartsConnexion stocks a whole boatload of Mundorf film capacitors that would confuse even the most experienced DIYer (EVO, Supreme, Supreme EVO, Supreme EVO Turbo, Supreme Double Turbo, ....)
                Speakers: Rockport Avior
                Amp: Ypsilon Aelius Mk II Silver Edition
                Preamp: Pass Labs XS
                Phono preamp: Ypsilon VPS-100, Slagle Silver SUTs
                Phono: Continuum Criterion, Kuzma 4-Point, Lyra Etna SL (and others)
                Digital: LauferTeknik Memory Player, dCS Scarlatti DAC
                Tape: Studer A80 RC, King/Cello preamp

                Comment


                • #9
                  I was using the Mundorf Supreme Au/Ag in oil but now have the Dueland Pure foil VSF high grade audio caps (Cu?) in the King-Cello.
                  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


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MylesBAstor View Post
                    I was using the Mundorf Supreme Au/Ag in oil but now have the Dueland Pure foil VSF high grade audio caps (Cu?) in the King-Cello.
                    Interesting.

                    1) Did you have any trouble fitting the Duelund's into the K/C?
                    2) How do the Duelunds compare to the Mundorfs?

                    As you might conclude, I am in the process of ordering a K/C and am speccing out the details...

                    Thanks very much for your info.
                    Speakers: Rockport Avior
                    Amp: Ypsilon Aelius Mk II Silver Edition
                    Preamp: Pass Labs XS
                    Phono preamp: Ypsilon VPS-100, Slagle Silver SUTs
                    Phono: Continuum Criterion, Kuzma 4-Point, Lyra Etna SL (and others)
                    Digital: LauferTeknik Memory Player, dCS Scarlatti DAC
                    Tape: Studer A80 RC, King/Cello preamp

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by squasher View Post

                      Interesting.

                      1) Did you have any trouble fitting the Duelund's into the K/C?
                      2) How do the Duelunds compare to the Mundorfs?

                      As you might conclude, I am in the process of ordering a K/C and am speccing out the details...

                      Thanks very much for your info.
                      Here's my thoughts.

                      1) The Duelands are a little better, maybe a little more extended in the highs than the Mundorfs. But given the difference in price, I'd save the money and go with better Furutech connectors!

                      2) Have Charlie put the new top of the line Furutech male and female RCAs (one pair male connectors on the wire from headblock and two pairs of females on the tape preamp. Also have him install the top of the line Furutech IEC inlet on the power supply.

                      3) I am using Jonathan Tinn's Wave Kinetics footers under the tape preamp section but I think Charlie can also install the Stillpoints and circuit board standoffs too.

                      4) Also just like any other piece of gear, don't skimp on the power cord to the King-Cello power supply.

                      5) I'd also think about the heads I'm using in the deck.
                      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


                      • #12
                        With the exception of the Stillpoint standoffs, I'm planning on covering all of these bases. I'll bring up the standoffs the next time I speak to Charlie.


                        One thing I will ask again: Do you have trouble fitting the Duelunds into your K/C?

                        The latest info I have is that the K/C capacitors can't exceed 31mm (Diameter) x 42mm (L). Unless I'm reading the wrong Duelund specs, all of the VSF's (with suitable uF values) are larger.


                        Speakers: Rockport Avior
                        Amp: Ypsilon Aelius Mk II Silver Edition
                        Preamp: Pass Labs XS
                        Phono preamp: Ypsilon VPS-100, Slagle Silver SUTs
                        Phono: Continuum Criterion, Kuzma 4-Point, Lyra Etna SL (and others)
                        Digital: LauferTeknik Memory Player, dCS Scarlatti DAC
                        Tape: Studer A80 RC, King/Cello preamp

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by squasher View Post
                          With the exception of the Stillpoint standoffs, I'm planning on covering all of these bases. I'll bring up the standoffs the next time I speak to Charlie.


                          One thing I will ask again: Do you have trouble fitting the Duelunds into your K/C?

                          The latest info I have is that the K/C capacitors can't exceed 31mm (Diameter) x 42mm (L). Unless I'm reading the wrong Duelund specs, all of the VSF's (with suitable uF values) are larger.

                          No, there's room there for the Duelands. Actually the Duelands are flat (maybe ~1.5 x 1.5 x 0.5 inches) and probably easier to fit than the round Mundorfs. Though imagine both are PITAs. But Charlie is great at making them fit.
                          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


                          • audioblazer
                            audioblazer commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Myles . Maybe u want to compare furutech with Audio replas. Was told by my friend in Vietnam that after comparing both , he prefer audio replas which is pricey

                        • #14
                          Originally posted by squasher View Post
                          With the exception of the Stillpoint standoffs, I'm planning on covering all of these bases. I'll bring up the standoffs the next time I speak to Charlie.


                          One thing I will ask again: Do you have trouble fitting the Duelunds into your K/C?

                          The latest info I have is that the K/C capacitors can't exceed 31mm (Diameter) x 42mm (L). Unless I'm reading the wrong Duelund specs, all of the VSF's (with suitable uF values) are larger.

                          Mine were roughly 41x47 mm and Charlie fit them in. The Mundorfs also fit fine. Unless Charlie changed something and didn't tell me. He is on the forum so hopefully he reads this and can answer your question.
                          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


                          • #15
                            Man, I just saw this thread - like a year later. The Duelands (which appear to be made for crossover use) are large enough that I have trouble fitting them in the pre. ALSO, they have so much surface area on one side that they can pick up hum. Have tackled this somewhat successfully by making up a mu-metal "cover" for them but it's a bi...h to do and doesn't do the job completely. If you have to have "better", I like the Mundorf's.

                            Charles

                            Comment

                            Working...
                            X