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  • System Just Isn’t Sounding Right?

    And can’t figure out what’s wrong? What to do???
    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
    ________________________________________

    -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
    -cj 40th Anniversary ART300 monoblock amplifiers
    -Merrill Audio Elemente 116 monoblock amplifiers
    -cj GAT preamplifier Series 2 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, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, 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, Allnic cables, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, MG Audio, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies 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
    Cat clawed a driver? Hairball stuck across some electrical connections and shorting it out. Cables chewed partially. Earwax. Your wife sold some power cable to buy a new winter coat and snuck in some inexpensive replacements. Just thinking outside the box.
    PAP Trio 10/Voxativ & PAP Trio 15 Horn speakers, Ampsandsound Casablanca monoblocks, First Sound Audio Mark 3SI Paramount preamp,
    Mojo Audio Deja Vu server, Mojo Audio Mystique V3 DAC, The Linear Solution Ethernet Switch, Blue Jeans Ethernet cablling,
    Akiko Corelli, Custom power strip direct wired to panel with OFC copper wire. Inakustik Ref Air 2404 Speaker cable. Genesis and Inakustik NF2404 Air Interconnects. ADDPower Symphony and Electraclear.

    Comment


    • #3
      Here is my thoughts. My mood and life's dealings effect the sound for me. But having said this there are a few ideas. One is put things back to a recent default setup.
      another is swap in devices from older setups.
      lastly your not crazy over the years it has happened to me many times and each time my suspicions were correct.
      can you describe what's wrong ?
      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


      • #4
        I am a bit like Al. sometimes when the system is not quite sounding right, its generally me. My mood is fatigued, my ears are fatigued, my brain is fatigued - these days I generally either listen softly or not at all and do something else.
        then the next day the system is sounding great - go figure.

        Comment


        • #5
          Back when I lived full time with my family i used headphones at night. I felt early waking up or middle of the night can't sleep listening yielded new views. I would confirm next day and was surprised how hard it was to hear what I did last night. You can blame power and it might be true but I used many levels of isolation of power
          I think our brains that never rest but do have many working parts like a symphony do get messed with.
          life as I got older just does this.
          I don't drink while playing music unless I have guests
          this is just not a good observation over all.
          a simple example go to your fav rest to eat. If ur ina good mood it's great be in a bad mood most likely will be an off night.
          add to this I take meds oh boy lol.
          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


          • #6
            Totally agree. My systems haven’t changed much in the last few years, and I know I love them. So if on a given day they don’t sound great to me, I just “reboot” myself - and listen again the next day after a good night sleep. Always works.
            TAPE: Studer A807, A810; Revox B77 MkII; Tascam BR-20; Technics RS-1700; Pioneer RT-707, RT-909
            VINYL: Pioneer PL-50LII/Benz LP-S MR/ModWright PH 9.0; Denon DP59-L/Dynavector 20xH
            DIGITAL: Bryston SP-3, Marantz NA6006/Pioneer N-50, Schiit Bifrost
            SPEAKERS: B&W Nautilus 800, Pioneer DSS-9, Velodyne FSR-15
            AMPS: Cary SLP-05/Sunfire Signature 600, Pioneer SX-1980

            Comment


            • #7
              On the flip side, me and a buddy have been finding our systems sound great of late. He thinks it's because the rain is improving his ground. I agree but also believe its the utility ground that is improved with the wet weather.

              Doesn't CJ eat preamp tubes?
              PAP Trio 10/Voxativ & PAP Trio 15 Horn speakers, Ampsandsound Casablanca monoblocks, First Sound Audio Mark 3SI Paramount preamp,
              Mojo Audio Deja Vu server, Mojo Audio Mystique V3 DAC, The Linear Solution Ethernet Switch, Blue Jeans Ethernet cablling,
              Akiko Corelli, Custom power strip direct wired to panel with OFC copper wire. Inakustik Ref Air 2404 Speaker cable. Genesis and Inakustik NF2404 Air Interconnects. ADDPower Symphony and Electraclear.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Kingrex View Post
                On the flip side, me and a buddy have been finding our systems sound great of late. He thinks it's because the rain is improving his ground. I agree but also believe its the utility ground that is improved with the wet weather.

                Doesn't CJ eat preamp tubes?
                Has the wet weather improved your hum issues?
                SP-10 MKII table with custom power supply designed and built by Peter Noerbaek with an SME 3012R with Dyna XV-1S cartridge, VPI Avenger table with rim drive and JMW -12-3D arrm with Lyra Etna SL cartridge, 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 with a pair of Def Tech Ref subs.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Clean your ears and take some sudafed before you listen. If it still isn't right I would do a complete preventative maintenance (PM) on your system. Clean and reseat all connections plus all tubes. Clean their pins and reseat them in their sockets. This can be a great boost to your system sound.

                  If it still isn't right try different sources to see if the sound is equally troubled from all sources. If it is equally troubled from all sources then you can concentrate on your line preamp and power amp plus all cabling between the line preamp, power amps and speakers. Check the integrity of everything in that signal path.

                  If your problem is in a single source, like your LP front end, I would look at your stylus first, then check the alignment. Do not trust the condition of your stylus and if you have access to a good microscope, examine the stylus for signs of wear spots on the edges of the stylus. If there are flat spots wearing on the stylus then you should consider a replacement or retipping. If you do not have access to a stylus microscope, try playing the torture tracks on a Phono test LP. The HiFi News test LP has 4 test tracks at the end of side one that are used for setting anti-skating but these are good for testing how well you stylus can track various tracks cut at different velocities. If you formerly checked your cartridge with a test LP when it was new you are in good shape to compare your cartridge now. If not a simple sanity check of how high a velocity your cartridge can track can be somewhat informative. If you cannot track up to +14db cleanly I would look at getting that cartridge retipped or a replacement stylus. As the stylus wears the ability to track high velocity tracks gets tougher. The test record can give you that information.

                  If your stylus checks out OK, I would look at all of the connections including the cartridge pins. If you did not cover any of these connections in the PM mentioned above, clean and reseat the connections to see if the problem goes away. If that doesn't do it I would start with the tubes in the phono preamp. If not covered in the above mentioned PM remove the tubes, clean the pins and reseat the tubes. If you still have a problem with your phono preamp try new tubes. Bad tubes can give all kinds of problems but I am sure you already know that basic information.

                  The problem with component stereo systems is in all of the connections. Nothing causes more electrical component failure than bad connections. Trust nothing and examine everything. Do not assume anything is above suspicion. Murphy is a friend of all component stereo systems. He is there all of the time waiting to give you a new headache.

                  Ed
                  PS. I left out one thing. I use Mapleshade Silclear on all of my connections. I clean my connections with Deoxit and then treat them with the Silclear. Silclear is a conductive paste with microscopic silver particles mixed in the conductive paste. It can have a big effect on a connection. Highly recommended. It is especially effective on cartridge pins...for LOMC cartridges. IMPORTANT: This is conductive stuff and can short out connections if not applied carefully. Use a small amount and apply it so it cannot spread out and cause a shorted out connection. https://shop.mapleshadestore.com/SIL...er_p_1177.html
                  Last edited by EdAInWestOC; 10-25-2019, 03:15 AM.
                  Life is analog...digital is just samples thereof
                  https://www.edsstuff.org

                  Analog: VPI Prime TT w/Walnut Plinth, HRX Pulley + 3 Belt Drive + ADS Speed Ctrl, 3D Dual Pivot Assy, Tru Lift
                  Analog 2: Ortofon Windfeld Ti + Bob's Devices Sky 30 Stepup Transformer + Liberty Audio B2B-1 Phono Preamp, Stereo Squares Dust Cover
                  Digital: TASCAM UH-7000 High-res USB Interface, Pioneer DV-47Ai Universal Disc Player, NAD C446 Internet Radio/Streamer
                  Digital 2: Digital Audio Workstation (Toshiba P75-A7200 Laptop w/MS Windows 10, 24GB RAM, 1.5 TB Crucial MX300 SSD Internal Storage, Intel i7-4700MQ Processor)

                  Amp: Rogue RP-9 Line Preamp, Schiit Loki Tone Ctrls, Parasound A21 Power Amp
                  Speakers: Magnepan MMC2, Magnepan DW-M Planar Woofer, REL T9/i Subwoofer
                  Headphones: Stax Lambda Pro + SRM 1 MK II, Focal Clear + Schiit Lyr 2
                  Wires: Kimber Hero ICs, Kimber 8TC Speaker Cables, AQ Leopard Phono ICs, Pangea Silver USB Cables, StraightWire Expressivo ICs

                  Comment


                  • Kingrex
                    Kingrex commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I like all you say here. It will have a big impact on sound. It should be noted that disrupting the system to such a degree will require some time to settle into a new normal.

                  • rbbert
                    rbbert commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Not uncommonly, pseudoephedrine can cause temporary tinnitus, and will usually exacerbate it in someone who is already afflicted. Just a cautionary note to the above.

                • #10
                  I reworked the grounding by adding a #1 THWN copper landed under my neutral to my ufer. I also rerouted cabling in the panel and at at my rack to keep wiring as spaced as far apart from from other conductors as possible. I also added 2 shielded power cables to my amps. I have a consistent hum but it's much reduced. As low as 2 other audio buddies. It's not really audible at the sweet spot.

                  It probably does not hurt I have isolators on my data utility, as well as linear PS to my router, modem and switch.

                  PAP Trio 10/Voxativ & PAP Trio 15 Horn speakers, Ampsandsound Casablanca monoblocks, First Sound Audio Mark 3SI Paramount preamp,
                  Mojo Audio Deja Vu server, Mojo Audio Mystique V3 DAC, The Linear Solution Ethernet Switch, Blue Jeans Ethernet cablling,
                  Akiko Corelli, Custom power strip direct wired to panel with OFC copper wire. Inakustik Ref Air 2404 Speaker cable. Genesis and Inakustik NF2404 Air Interconnects. ADDPower Symphony and Electraclear.

                  Comment


                  • mep
                    mep commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Did you ever try removing your hardwired custom power strip and see if that gets rid of your hum?

                • #11
                  don't buy/replace anything!
                  Listening/Living room 25.5x14.5x8.5, modestly live & dynamic, Brinkmann Balance w/RöNT II PS, HRS, Reed P3-12, Miyajima Zero, Avid Acutus SP, SME V w/Kondo fairyhair silver litz, Lyra Kleos, Linn Sondek LP12 w/Ittok LVII, Nakamichi ZX-7, SCD-XA5400ES, Aesthetix Calypso & Rhea Signatures, Nordost TYR Norse 2 XLR IC, Silent Source Music Ref mains, Atma-Sphere MA1 Mk.3.4 OTL Silver Edition monoblocks, Elrod EPS-3 Sign power cables, Coincident PREt, PS Audio Premiere, Yamamoto racks, SMARTractor

                  Comment


                  • #12
                    When I had my Acoustat Monitors, the system was terribly weather (temp and humidity) dependent. On hot, dry days (common, especially the years I lived in San Bernardino) the system sounded lifeless and dull. Cold rainy days it was spectacularly good. The system also always sounded better after about 11 PM. If it was under 60 degrees and raining overnight, I be up and listening until I simply couldn't stay awake any longer. Not good when I had to be at work early the next morning!
                    Steve Lefkowicz
                    Senior Associate Editor at Positive Feedback
                    --------------------------------------------------------
                    http://www.audionirvana.org/forum/ti...ounding-system

                    Comment


                    • #13
                      I don't listen to my main system every day, but am listening to music most days. When I do get time to sit in front of my main system it always sounds good to me. I think it remains fresh if you give yourself other listening experiences because in the end I can listen to music on anything.
                      McIntosh C100, MC275 Mk VI x2, MC 501, D100, Marantz PMD580
                      SOTA Star Sapphire x3, SME Series V x2, SME 309
                      Sumiko Blackbirds & EVO III, SOTA Head Amps x3

                      Comment


                      • #14
                        I have had this same feeling happen to me a long time ago, turns out it was me not the system. So my true listening times are limited to one day a week for about 3-4 hours, this cured the problem that I thought was my system. Now one day a week I listen with much satisfaction and joy...

                        Comment


                        • #15
                          I generally agree with the mood swing POV, but taking that out of the equation, assuming you haven’t moved anything that caused a change, and in addition to the other sound advice above, when is the last time you went around and cleaned up and checked your connections (esp. Power cables)? Tightened the drivers on your speakers? Changed/cleaned the belt on your tt, or oiled the motor or the bearing? Those are the kinds of ordinary maintenance things I do to help right the ship when the sound just doesn’t seem quite right but I can’t put my finger on why.
                          SME 10/IV, Lyra Kleos, Koetsu Blavk Goldline, Cotter Mk. 2L sut, BAT VK-D5 (diy ‘six-pak’ upgrade), Audioengine D2 WiFi dac (for streaming from iMac desktop), Plinius Hautonga, Totem Forest Signatures, MIT Shotgun S1 phono, Shotgun S1 Proline (cd player), S3 (dac), MIT StyleLink Plus usb, Shotgun S1 speaker cable with AQ jumpers, RGPC Substation and1200S, Marigo Ultra and Reference power cords, Burson Soloist, modified Sennheiser HD580 Precision with Dekoni elite hybrid pads and custom wire, VPI 16.5 and other miscellaneous and sundry widgets, thingamabobs and doodads.

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