AF3 Premium arrived

shakti

Active Member
May 9, 2015
309
40
28
Cologne, Germany
#21
Now the Ikeda 407 (actual chrome version) is fitted with an original Micro Seiki Gunmetal Tonearmbase,
as long, as the TechDAS Base is on shipment, this should work.

Actually changing some carts on the tonearms, looks like, that I will go with the following combination:

- SME 3012r with vdh Colibri xgw agw Stradivarius Master Signature (o,9mv version)
using the Yamamoto ebony headshell, thick copper headshell wire, titanium screws, SME tonerarmwire with XLR connectors to Boulder 2008, 400ohm impedance MC input (in my set up more fluent than 200ohm)

- Ikeda 407 with Ortofon SPU GM-E MKII, Fidelity Research AGC-1 silver tonearm cable to FR xf-1 low step up to MM of Boulder 2008

- Fidelity Research FR64s silver wire version, final cartridge tbd (actual various Audio Technica), Yamamoto titanium Headshell, silver headshell wire, HMS Sestetto Tonearm Cable to Boulder 2008 200ohm impedance MC input

The Tonearm /Cartridge combinations I tried on AF3P are well known to me, I heard them on different turntables.

I cannot judge, of the gunmetal Micro Seiki tonearm bases do have a specific sonic signature to the AF3P, in November Im will receive the TechDAS base for the Ikeda 407 and I will know the sonic difference.


The first impression over all different Arm/Cart combinations is the high resolution of the AF3P.

I have to say, that I was expecting a little more colored presentation , a little more on the warm side, after having read the first impressions of AF3P. (But I cannot compare to the former standard AF3)

But instead is feel, that the music comes very neutral and natural. The differences of the different Arm/Cart combinations are easy to follow, they are all enjoyable. For whatever reason specially the Ikeda 407 is benefitting from AF3P. On my different Micro Seiki tables, the actual Ikeda 407 was always a little bit on the dark side, close to a more muddy sound, compared with the old Ikeda 407 version or the FR64s.

The music on all combinations is much more "clear" with a relative lean bass. A Micro Seiki RX 5000 has in relation "more" bass, but not so defined and structured and extended to the deep end.

The color and tone of the bass is very much depended on the platform performance. Every change on the TopPlatter of my Accurion i4 is immediately audible. I can imagine, that the Taiko Version of Herzan or the Starcore pneumatic base will work very good as well.

Seeing the pneumatic feets on AF2 Premium, I like to believe, that any sonic difference between the two will be driven by them. So the quality of placement might bring the AF3P very close to AF2 premium.


Power to my AF3P comes through Vibex Granada & Alhambra (AC & DC Filter) and a high resolution powerchord. I have not compared, if this makes a difference, as this is my standard set up for my "Master" turntable.

An clear difference can be heard as well on different Platter weights, I tried the original gunmetal Version of Micro Seiki, the ST-10, which give the music a little bit of a focus to the higher tones. The 2 different HRS were nice, but loosing in comparison some of the precision in the bass. The Transrotor and the Clearaudio weights have not worked in a good way. The older Version of the Harmonix Disc stabilizer (to be seen on the pictures) is a nice blend and improves versus now disc stabilizer.

The J Sikora disc stabilizer is out of two solid steel parts and can be very heavy, of the 2 parts are used, like the 1,2kg TechDAS Tungsten platter weight. Using a high weight disc stabilizer is changing the character of the AF3P, as mid bass and bass are increasing in tonal balance. With the heavy J Sikora weight it is too much of bass energy, like I have seen as feedback to the techDAS Tungsten stabilizer.

Currently I prefer the J Sikora Disc stabilizer without the upper on top weight .

http://www.jsikora.pl/en/products.html

Important for me is, the differences of the platter weights are different, than "normal" as the vacuum will be different by weight. Some close the system and vacuum increase, some let the air flow better (and can be exchanged while "suction" is on.


So at least an interesting area to fine-tune the AF3P, I would assume, that the choosen Arm/Cart combination will make different choices for the disc stabilizer possible.
 

Attachments

May 30, 2010
14,269
130
63
Portugal
#22
Now the Ikeda 407 (actual chrome version) is fitted with an original Micro Seiki Gunmetal Tonearmbase,
(...)
Your Ikeda 407 makes all other tonearms look like ugly ducks ... Congratulations!
 

Lagonda

VIP/Donor
Feb 4, 2014
256
10
18
Denmark
#23
Nice setup shakti ! Have you retired your “big blue monster”,how dit it compare
to this modern beautie ?
 

shakti

Active Member
May 9, 2015
309
40
28
Cologne, Germany
#24
the "Big Blue" has become a part of my collection :)
"Big Blue" was able to beat the MS RX 5000, but there is a (fortunately) huge difference to AF3P
 
Likes: Lagonda

shakti

Active Member
May 9, 2015
309
40
28
Cologne, Germany
#25
one interesting weekend with the Airforce III premium with many hours of music !

To get more findings, I decided to fit a 4. tonearm, the Fidelity Research FR64fx

Unfortunately the manual was correct, fitting a 4. tonearm can be very difficult, as the motor is close by the chassis. The manual is recommending, that the motor should be moved a little bit in the direction of the rear tonearm. But I was not happy with this solution.

As the AF3P is so close to the classical Micro Seiki 5000 or 8000 designs, I looked into their recommendations 3 decades ago. In that times, Micro Seiki shipped the 5000 and 8000 with the Micro Seiki SF-1 belt. And as aftermarket accessory they offered the long version of this belt, the Micro Seiki DF-1L .
The SF-1L belt was so long, that a 4. tonearm was easy to fit, no danger of creating a touch condition with the motor.

One supplier in Japan is currently offering rebuilt SF1-L Belts, interestingly they look very much alike the current Techdas belts, so it might be possible, that the technology behind is similar (non stretchable, very thin material)

Assembling the AF3P with the aftermarket belt in Micro Seiki SF1-L dimensions makes the fitting of 4 Tonearms easy.

Fortunately I had chosen the large version of my Accurion i4 Base, so the base can host the AF3P even with the long belt.

Now I am trying different tonearm cables to decide the way to go. The required cable length to my phonopre is a little bit longer, so 4ft does not fit properly, I have to go for customized cable length.
 

Attachments

Likes: Ron Resnick
Mar 27, 2016
128
3
18
Canada
#26
Wow -that certainly looks busy with the 4 arms. If you get another belt.. let us know your experience.
 

shakti

Active Member
May 9, 2015
309
40
28
Cologne, Germany
#27
Wow -that certainly looks busy with the 4 arms. If you get another belt.. let us know your experience.

one picture is with the short belt, one picture is already with the long belt.
...sure it looks busy, but at the moment , this is a work horse for Tonearm / Cartridge comparison , after having decided, what I like most, it will be reduced to 2 arm/cart combinations.
In the next days I will receive a NOS vintage arm , a Fidelity Research FR 24 MkII, a massive underrated tonearm, will be exciting to listen too.
 
Mar 27, 2016
128
3
18
Canada
#28
Very exciting... thank you for the clarification!
 

ALF

Member
Mar 15, 2012
229
1
18
Southwest
#29
one interesting weekend with the Airforce III premium with many hours of music !

To get more findings, I decided to fit a 4. tonearm, the Fidelity Research FR64fx

Unfortunately the manual was correct, fitting a 4. tonearm can be very difficult, as the motor is close by the chassis. The manual is recommending, that the motor should be moved a little bit in the direction of the rear tonearm. But I was not happy with this solution.

As the AF3P is so close to the classical Micro Seiki 5000 or 8000 designs, I looked into their recommendations 3 decades ago. In that times, Micro Seiki shipped the 5000 and 8000 with the Micro Seiki SF-1 belt. And as aftermarket accessory they offered the long version of this belt, the Micro Seiki DF-1L .
The SF-1L belt was so long, that a 4. tonearm was easy to fit, no danger of creating a touch condition with the motor.

One supplier in Japan is currently offering rebuilt SF1-L Belts, interestingly they look very much alike the current Techdas belts, so it might be possible, that the technology behind is similar (non stretchable, very thin material)

Assembling the AF3P with the aftermarket belt in Micro Seiki SF1-L dimensions makes the fitting of 4 Tonearms easy.

Fortunately I had chosen the large version of my Accurion i4 Base, so the base can host the AF3P even with the long belt.

Now I am trying different tonearm cables to decide the way to go. The required cable length to my phonopre is a little bit longer, so 4ft does not fit properly, I have to go for customized cable length.
Sweet!!
 

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
5,369
150
63
Beverly Hills, CA
#30
Congratulations, Shakti! It looks fantastic!

I wish you many, many hours of musical bliss!
 
Likes: shakti

Tango

VIP/Donor
Mar 12, 2017
2,066
261
83
Bangkok
#32

shakti

Active Member
May 9, 2015
309
40
28
Cologne, Germany
#33
Finally installed my AF3 premium.
I like it very much, sound is very good. It is very silent and so much more detail than i am used to.
Bass and midbass is very fast powerful and controlled, i'm :).
View attachment 45802 View attachment 45803 View attachment 45804 View attachment 45805
Very nice set up!
"Very silent and much more details"
This is exactly, how I would describe my AF3P as well and in comparison to my other turntables.
I have no Stacore, would be a nice trial. My AF3P is placed on the Accurion I4Large active platform, which is also working very fine.

enjoy ! :)
ps
please try different platter weights, they all are changing the performance of the AF3P, but a good matching one will increase the performance . In the beginning, I used for different arm/cart combinations even different weights...
 

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
5,369
150
63
Beverly Hills, CA
#34
Sep 7, 2016
150
77
28
Netherlands
#35
Dear Sir,

When you have a chance to try without the Stacore please let us know. How do you like it in comparison to your Kronos?

Happy listening,
Tang :)
Dear Tang,

I will try, i have tested it with my Feickert and than i prefered it slightly with the Stacore. I will try next week, will let you know.
I only have one cartridge listened in both and with that i pefer the Techdas. But i will test some more later.

Thanks :)
 
Sep 7, 2016
150
77
28
Netherlands
#36
Very nice set up!
"Very silent and much more details"
This is exactly, how I would describe my AF3P as well and in comparison to my other turntables.
I have no Stacore, would be a nice trial. My AF3P is placed on the Accurion I4Large active platform, which is also working very fine.

enjoy ! :)
ps
please try different platter weights, they all are changing the performance of the AF3P, but a good matching one will increase the performance . In the beginning, I used for different arm/cart combinations even different weights...
Thank you Shakti!
Yes i am amazed with the silence and tiny details.
Music flows more and all notes even higher notes has more energy and weight.

Thanks :)
Ok, will try some more platter weights, can you recommend one?
 
Likes: shakti
Sep 7, 2016
150
77
28
Netherlands
#37
Congratulations, Jeroen! I am very happy for you!

But I am confused — I had no idea you got a Kronos along the way? I thought the AF3 was replacing the Dr. Feickert?
Thank you very much Ron!

I told you in Munich in all the excitement overthere i was on it, and that i wanted to combine it with the Axiom, that's why i wanted to speak to Dietrich Brakemeier in Munich ;).

... But I am confused — I had no idea you got a Kronos along the way? I thought the AF3 was replacing the Dr. Feickert?
Yes that's true, you remembered that well. I allready ordered the AF3-premium beginning March this year. Than i got trouble all the time with Feickert with external battery supply and strings all the time... so i moved on.
But maybe it is good you see and try them here and test the Axiom on the fly VTA while listening :). You are welcome when you visit you're family!
 

shakti

Active Member
May 9, 2015
309
40
28
Cologne, Germany
#38
Thank you Shakti!
Yes i am amazed with the silence and tiny details.
Music flows more and all notes even higher notes has more energy and weight.

Thanks :)
Ok, will try some more platter weights, can you recommend one?
The final platter weight is still not found, but I tried the following:

- Harmonix TU-812
not working at all on AF3P, muddy bass, no resolution, much better on Micro Seiki RX 5000

- HRS silver / HRS black
not working well on AF3P, loss of dynamics, much better on Micro Seiki SX 8000

- Nagaoka GL-601 MkII
first one to recommend, warm and smooth with nice 3D stage, fine with my Colibri

- Micro Seiki ST 10
next one to recommend, lot of details, lean and structured bass, fine with my Koetsu

- J Sikora
too heavy (in my opinion), unbalanced sound

- various Platter weights...., I have around 10 more unbranded platter weights with different effects, as I just bought some around the globe on ebay.

- my favorite platter weight on AF3P for a very reasonable price of 33,-eur, just to get a start in the search of platter weights is a Chinese one, you can buy on ebay, using the following article number in the search field: 273243050183
 
Sep 7, 2016
150
77
28
Netherlands
#39
The final platter weight is still not found, but I tried the following:

- Harmonix TU-812
not working at all on AF3P, muddy bass, no resolution, much better on Micro Seiki RX 5000

- HRS silver / HRS black
not working well on AF3P, loss of dynamics, much better on Micro Seiki SX 8000

- Nagaoka GL-601 MkII
first one to recommend, warm and smooth with nice 3D stage, fine with my Colibri

- Micro Seiki ST 10
next one to recommend, lot of details, lean and structured bass, fine with my Koetsu

- J Sikora
too heavy (in my opinion), unbalanced sound

- various Platter weights...., I have around 10 more unbranded platter weights with different effects, as I just bought some around the globe on ebay.

- my favorite platter weight on AF3P for a very reasonable price of 33,-eur, just to get a start in the search of platter weights is a Chinese one, you can buy on ebay, using the following article number in the search field: 273243050183
Wow, thank you!

And a nice recommendation for a not audiophile price, very good :)
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
9,361
222
63
London
#40
Shakti, did you try active ones like vibraplane?
 

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