Hi from the UK

ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
3,656
145
63
Utah
#21
Happy to oblige

Room first - you'll see that the Radford is out front I'm currently evaluating Silvercore 833C amps which I'm rather taken with. My DAC is missing as it's away having further improvements.



Close-up of Tannoy with the cover off, the wood finish is sapele



A full set of Miyajimas in Ikeda headshells - Madake and Takumi Stereo, Zero 0.7 and Premium 1.0 mono (the latter retipped by Ana Mighty Sound with some bamboo in the cantilever for resonance control, somewhat like the Madake), and an old Edison Replica 4.0 SP for 78s (which was Miyajima's original branding).



Pair of Miyajima SUTs - these are wonderfully flexible and a nice improvement on the internal ones in the EAR 912



Finally the TD124, it's an Ikeda 9TT on the Ikeda IT-407 tonearm. Armboards from Konne Design in Germany, plinth is by Russ Collinson, keeping the sapele theme going. Schopper platter and bearing.

Very nice Tom! What do you have in the corner Canterbury’s? Monitor Silver o_O?
Welcome!
david
 
Likes: jeffrey_t
Jan 29, 2012
1,008
122
63
#22
Beautiful and well thought out system! Can you tell us more about the Tannoy's? They look like 12" Golds in a custom built corner horn.
 
Jan 27, 2019
22
17
3
57
#23
Very nice Tom! What do you have in the corner Canterbury’s? Monitor Silver o_O?
Welcome!
david
Thanks. :)

12in HPDs. I started off with very early 12in Monitor Golds which I believe have some commonality with the later Reds, but I was advised by the chap who designed the cabinets - they are made to look vintage but are constructed to modern specs with appropriate panel thickness, bracing and damping, and properly modelled tuning - that the bass response would be much improved with HPDs, with very little trade-off in terms of sweetness.


This proved to be correct - in terms of measurement at -3db I got almost half an octave more (giving me similar performance to my previous 15in Golds) while the perception of additional bass impact was of even more than this. The trade-off is really that HPDs are a bit more current hungry than Golds so require a heftier amp to do their stuff. The crossovers (which are custom with hand-wound inductors) also required a small adjustment.

The designer/crossover builder was Paul Coupe of RFC Audio who has since built several pairs of these (though these were the first to be made) and also designed a smaller version more of the size of the original vintage Canterbury (mine are more like Yorks in terms of dimensions). I've had quite a few pairs of Tannoys over the years - Lancasters, R-GRFs, Eatons, Cheviots, Chatsworths and Autographs included, a mix of Golds and HPDs - and for all round musicality I like my current ones best.
 
Jan 29, 2012
1,008
122
63
#24
Thanks. :)

12in HPDs. I started off with very early 12in Monitor Golds which I believe have some commonality with the later Reds, but I was advised by the chap who designed the cabinets - they are made to look vintage but are constructed to modern specs with appropriate panel thickness, bracing and damping, and properly modelled tuning - that the bass response would be much improved with HPDs, with very little trade-off in terms of sweetness.


This proved to be correct - in terms of measurement at -3db I got almost half an octave more (giving me similar performance to my previous 15in Golds) while the perception of additional bass impact was of even more than this. The trade-off is really that HPDs are a bit more current hungry than Golds so require a heftier amp to do their stuff. The crossovers (which are custom with hand-wound inductors) also required a small adjustment.

The designer/crossover builder was Paul Coupe of RFC Audio who has since built several pairs of these (though these were the first to be made) and also designed a smaller version more of the size of the original vintage Canterbury (mine are more like Yorks in terms of dimensions). I've had quite a few pairs of Tannoys over the years - Lancasters, R-GRFs, Eatons, Cheviots, Chatsworths and Autographs included, a mix of Golds and HPDs - and for all round musicality I like my current ones best.
Wonderful. Thank you for the detailed explanation of your playback. What are your music listening preferences?
 

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
5,763
437
83
Beverly Hills, CA
#25
Welcome to WBF, Tom!
 

Audiophile Bill

Well-Known Member
Mar 23, 2015
1,726
277
83
UK
#26
Hi Tom,

Warm welcome to WBF. I actually live really near you - I must come and visit your system some time. Also a big classical fan and owner of a Madake. Really curious to hear the Madake with SUT vs straight into MC input.

Cheers
 
Jan 27, 2019
22
17
3
57
#27
Cheers for the welcome guys and I'll be in touch directly as per the invitations..

In terms of music it breaks into three:

I've always predominantly been a Renaissance and Baroque guy (I have a spinet in the house as well as the piano and play lots of Renaissance stuff to amuse myself). I studied music at the height of the great early music revival late 70s-early 80s and I'm still kind of stuck there in some ways. I am an organist as well and have a big interest in sacred music, cantatas etc.

My other great passion has been Classical and Romantic chamber music and Lieder - I have a pretty decent Lieder collection especially. I'm not really engaged with opera or with the 19th century orchestral/symphonic repertory. Other than Lieder (mainly Wolf and Richard Strauss) I kind of fade out in my interests somewhere around 1850.

Finally I've always enjoyed a bit of Jazz and bought into the DeAgostino set that just finished (80 LPs, a pretty comprehensive survey of Jazz on LP from the early 50s through to the early 70s I guess - this has provided lots of jumping off points and I've probably bought more Jazz in the last year or two than any other genre.
 
Likes: jeffrey_t

Bodhi

Active Member
Apr 20, 2014
436
67
28
Melbourne, Australia
#29
Thanks for joining the forum @montesquieu :cool:. You have a great looking room & an amazing devotion to vinyl! I'm also a fan of Miyajima cartridges, especially the Madake & Zero. One question, with your modded AN kit dac, what level AN dac do you think it is roughly equivalent to? Or were the mods for a particular level? Cheers.
 
Jan 27, 2019
22
17
3
57
#30
Thanks for joining the forum @montesquieu :cool:. You have a great looking room & an amazing devotion to vinyl! I'm also a fan of Miyajima cartridges, especially the Madake & Zero. One question, with your modded AN kit dac, what level AN dac do you think it is roughly equivalent to? Or were the mods for a particular level? Cheers.
The AN kit DAC as currently modded in terms of the components used was intended to land somewhere between AN DAC 3.1x and 4.1x level ... I compared it back to back at a get-together with both factory models and that classification turned out to be pretty accurate. It was last upgraded 5 years ago.

The work being done will transform the power supply section of the DAC with a larger, much more sophisticated arrangement quite different to anything in the Audio Note world. To fit it all in, the new case is 460mm wide x 550mm deep x 230mm high - that's approx 18in x 22in x 9in high - AN Meishu sized and almost certainly heavier than a Meishu. The digi board will be left largely as-is (it's already been heavily upgraded with black black gate-n and fancy resistors) but the analogue board will be reconfigured from using 5687s to 6072, as used in the higher-end AN factory stuff. Part of the PSU complexity will be providing power to a tube input buffer which aims to achieve the same as the one in the AN Fifth Element/Fifth Force/top-end Lampis. There will also be a USB-SPDIF reclocker/converter, tube powered and with tube buffered output, that module is coming pre-built from Zulfugarov Abbas in Ukraine but will have its components worked over in line with the other improvements ... that's the only thing that's coming pre-made the rest either uses/modifies the original equipment or that from previous upgrades, or is being scratch built.

Finally it will have the best output transformers that can be purchased (it already has the highest quality i/v transformer availble from Hifi Collective), and of course will be stuffed with Black Gates and other tasty passive components, some of which have been collected over the course of 5 years for this upgrade. Multiple inputs (BNC, RCA, XLR, USB) will be available from a relay switch, and the tube buffer will be able to be engaged, or bypassed with input instead going via the standard audio note 1:1 digital input transformer - this to ensure that the best sounding method can be selected for any particular input.

Essentially I'm hoping for at least DAC5 performance from all this, possibly better. It will be fed for the moment by my long-suffering AN CDT2/II and a Macbook with JRiver. (Looking possibly at a CEC TL3 to replace the AN transport, which might also be modded with a tube buffer on the output). Although the AD1865 DAC chip used in the AN kit as well as in all higher end models in the AN range is capable of 24/96, I anticipate it will overwhelmingly be used for Red Book 16/44.

I deliberately stuck with indirectly heated double triodes as the Lampis I have heard have not convinced me on DHT for DAC purposes, with their high gain and all-round temperamental nature (heat, microphonics, fragility) as well as all the hassles either of finding good NOS tubes from the 20s, 30s and 40s or of paying the likes of EMT huge sums for new equivalents. A shoot-out is planned with at least one diehard Lampi fan once I get the DAC back. The PSU section will be modified from a design the (non-commercial) builder has done for himself which was built around an AN kit and the 45 valve - I have heard his DAC and it's truly stunning, but I wanted something different for my own version.

I'm not a huge digital listener, if faffing needs to be done give me vinyl any day ... digital is 10% of my listening and of that streaming is less than 10% - indeed I find the streaming user experience a total turn off, the idea of clicking at lists and using a screen to listen to music seems ALL WRONG to me. In fact if I think about it I put more hours in in a year listening to 78s than I do on streaming. We'll see if that changes when my streaming capabilities improve (but I doubt it somehow).
 
Last edited:

User211

Well-Known Member
Jul 28, 2014
1,139
46
48
#31
It might be my Lampi Tom is on about for a shootout.

Digital is where I am at. Streaming is 95% of my primary system listening. Vinyl, despite many years use, seems all wrong to me. So we couldn't be more different in that respect.

Should be interesting. Though AN DACs are no strangers to microphony, it has to be said. Any valve DAC is subject to some degree of it. And I have known one user deliberately use valves of high microphony in his.

These die hard AN users need an education, LOL I had an AN DAC 4.1 in my system for a bit, though I thought Tom's kit 4.1 DAC pre-mods was better than the production example I had in my system, which was quite seriously coloured.
 

About us

  • What’s Best Forum is THE forum for high end audio, product reviews, advice and sharing experiences on the best of everything else. A place where audiophiles and audio companies discuss existing and new audio products, music servers, music streamers and computer audio, digital to audio convertors (DACS), turntables, phono stages, cartridges, reel to reel, speakers, headphones, tube amplifiers and solid state amplification. Founded in 2010 What's Best Forum invites intelligent and courteous people of all interests and backgrounds to describe and discuss the best of everything. From beginners to life-long hobbyists to industry professionals we enjoy learning about new things and meeting new people and participating in spirited debates.

Quick Navigation

User Menu

Steve Williams
Site Founder | Site Owner | Administrator
Ron Resnick
Site Co-Owner | Administrator
Julian (The Fixer)
Website Build | Marketing Managersing