Zero Distortion: Tango Time

bonzo75

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Feb 26, 2014
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#1
http://zero-distortion.org/cessaro-...merican-sound-sme-3012r-many-carts-much-more/

Here you go...was waiting for the platform change to post.

  • It is important to note that I was here for 4 days. My conclusions changed as we moved from Day 1 to Day 2 to Day 3. So, if you start reading, and stop somewhere in the middle, you could be simply be reading a thought in transition.
  • I have presented Day by Day, added quite a few notes record by record, which I am aware can be too much detail to follow in one reading. All has been summed up in the conclusion.
 
Jun 13, 2013
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#2
Fantastic report Ked. Imagine, top top analog now seems to require at least a couple of tts, multiple arms and carts, necessitating at least a couple of phonos. And on top of that, a truly deep and specialist knowledge of how to optimise in effect a half dozen setups, to get the last %age of very best eeked out.

Almost as tricky as choosing the right Ethernet cable, and sampling rates, in the top server/dac combinations LOL.
 
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XV-1

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May 24, 2010
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#3
Nice Ked. Not sure I came to any conclusion from reading except all of Tang's gear is wonderful :cool:
 
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bonzo75

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#4
Nice Ked. Not sure I came to any conclusion from reading except all of Tang's gear is wonderful :cool:
You need more than one TT and phono. Wait. You already do. You need the Stradivarius. And you need horns
 
Jun 13, 2013
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#5
XV, do you ever feel you're having people make decisions for you LOL?
 
Jun 13, 2013
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#6
So Ked, you really don't feel there's one analog front end that does it all, even if you're a purely classical listener?

Not one tt/arm/cart/phono choice that will perform as well w solo violin, as it does w voice, and full tilt symphonies?

At this level, one is best listening to one rig on solo, low level, simple, one on full scale Blitzkrieg?

What is one meant to do when listening to Holst Planets Suite, one setup for Mars, followed by another for Mercury?

Similarly on LZ3, one for Immigrant Song, followed by one for Tangerine?
 

XV-1

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#7
You need more than one TT and phono. Wait. You already do. You need the Stradivarius. And you need horns
Hi Ked. I would love to have a 2nd system with horns. Tang will need to adopt me :)

Personally, I am finding the SME 3012R a bit laid back for my general musical bias. It has a beautiful midrange. It is very nice with vocals,jazz etc but not so good for alt rock or electronica.

So yes, having multiple tables/arms is great to have.
 

bonzo75

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#8
Hi Ked. I would love to have a 2nd system with horns. Tang will need to adopt me :)

Personally, I am finding the SME 3012R a bit laid back for my general musical bias. It has a beautiful midrange. It is very nice with vocals,jazz etc but not so good for alt rock or electronica.

So yes, having multiple tables/arms is great to have.
The SME did not sound good enough till Tang reset it on day 3

For rock and electronica, are you using it with the SPU or the atlas?
 

XV-1

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May 24, 2010
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#9
The SME did not sound good enough till Tang reset it on day 3

For rock and electronica, are you using it with the SPU or the atlas?
The SME has the Dyna XV-1s currently. I know how the dyna sounds very well. Before that the 2 SPU's.

No Lyra yet. Imo the 3012R may remove too much of what I love about the Atlas SL cartridge- attack,drive and dynamics . The standard Atlas might well be a match made in heaven as it has more dynamics but sometimes a little too much leading edge.
I am sure Tang will say I have not tried the Lyra on the SME yet, which is true.
 

bonzo75

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#10
Well I didn't like the atlas SL there because it did not have the dynamics and life of the atlas. Whether that was a difference in atlas SL or the tonearm I cannot say.
 

XV-1

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#11
Well I didn't like the atlas SL there because it did not have the dynamics and life of the atlas. Whether that was a difference in atlas SL or the tonearm I cannot say.
It is the SME tonearm. Atlas SL has plenty of dynamics and is a formula 1 car - not much use putting Cadillac tyres on it.

Pity you did not hear the Atlas SL on the SAT. Racing slicks then :)
 

bonzo75

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#12
So Ked, you really don't feel there's one analog front end that does it all, even if you're a purely classical listener?

Not one tt/arm/cart/phono choice that will perform as well w solo violin, as it does w voice, and full tilt symphonies?

At this level, one is best listening to one rig on solo, low level, simple, one on full scale Blitzkrieg?

What is one meant to do when listening to Holst Planets Suite, one setup for Mars, followed by another for Mercury?

Similarly on LZ3, one for Immigrant Song, followed by one for Tangerine?
Marc, there is so much variety and quality in analog, that some gear does something better than the other. If not for the other two TTs, techdas would have been sufficient as one TT. But then you get to compare, and there are pluses and minuses, and individual characteristics to TTs and carts which make one suited more than the other.

Mike and the General are using only one TT for everything. It depends on what floats your boat. The General is also using only one arm and one cart. At a lower level, you can use only one idler, or one belt, or one sp10 mk3 and you will be fine. This is about maximizing each character or ability to play a musical genre. This issue exists everywhere. Stats can do some things better than apogees, vice versa. Each horn is different and theoretically if you had the money and space you will have one speaker for classical, one for electronica, and so on.

You are right about your soundsmith.
It is a sufficiently good cart to play stereo and mono without requiring a phono,
you know

But that's not good enough for many of us as it does not allow you to experience different flavors or to maximize a particular attribute
 
Jun 13, 2013
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#13
Sure Ked, I do get that. I know you feel digital doesn't play at this level, but would you be arguing for multiple dacs/servers too, to suit different tastes? Or would you say GG/Pac, or MSB Select at Mike covers all bases (assuming you weren't comparing to analog)?

And I do come back to what might seem a facetious point, but on Planets Suite, or LZ3 where one goes from blitzkrieg all out attack, to ethereal delicate/atmospheric, does a take no prisoners multiple setup situation mean that one might feel compelled to switch setups from track to track?

I mean, Tang will have the AS w four arms/carts, 927 w one or may be two in time. He could arguably do this.

The rest of us remain earthbound.
 
Jan 29, 2012
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#14
Great report Ked....definitely one of your most thorough. It looks like you only listed to classical, why no jazz or rock? Without the bass horns active, was the bass sufficient?
 
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bonzo75

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#15
Great report Ked....definitely one of your most thorough. It looks like you only listed to classical, why no jazz or rock? Without the bass horns active, was the bass sufficient?
I never do jazz. The Mark Murphy we heard there was awesome though.

I should have taken along a led zep LP. Didn't. And tang did not have any rock.

The bass seemed fine, had zero issues, or lack of thinness (like associated with CLX for example). If it is better with the subs I do not know since they have been moved and we could not play them, but after spending 4 days with Tang I trust his judgement
 

bonzo75

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#16
Thanks but it is the most thorough because the playground allowed me to do that. If he had only one TT, for example, the report would have been boring. The fun feeds the writing
 
Jun 13, 2013
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#18
L
Sure Ked, I do get that. I know you feel digital doesn't play at this level, but would you be arguing for multiple dacs/servers too, to suit different tastes? Or would you say GG/Pac, or MSB Select at Mike covers all bases (assuming you weren't comparing to analog)?

And I do come back to what might seem a facetious point, but on Planets Suite, or LZ3 where one goes from blitzkrieg all out attack, to ethereal delicate/atmospheric, does a take no prisoners multiple setup situation mean that one might feel compelled to switch setups from track to track?

I mean, Tang will have the AS w four arms/carts, 927 w one or may be two in time. He could arguably do this.

The rest of us remain earthbound.
 
Jun 13, 2013
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#19
I guess that's an answer to my q, just not v enlightening.