Will surely do, Dave. Privately it has been a challenging year and some difficult times still lay ahead of me. But hopefully enjoying music through the LA set up will be a big help. And yes, the three Tripoint Emperor mk ii cables have been burned in for about 10 weeks at Miguel’s place. So we expect no ‘nasty swings’ anymore, although probably these magnificient cables need a couple more weeks to fully mature. Will keep you posted.
Forgot to mention one last thing yesterday. Due to (i) the very noise floor I have been able to achieve with the Tripoint Emperor mk ii ‘ground’ station and Emperor mk ii grounding cables and (ii) the ultra transparency of the Tidal LA loudspeakers the transparency of the system is out of this world. One of the aspects I discovered during my ‘audio journey’ with my LA’s is that such a revealing audio system can be influenced very badly by magnetic / static built up. As mentioned earlier in this thread I bought a while ago the Furutech destat gun to fight this ‘magnetic monster’.
In addition quite recently I was able to lay my hands on the Gryphon Exorcist demagnetizer. Yesterday I tried the latter for the first time in the LA system and the initial impressions are very positive. Although the Gryphon Exorcist is not being produced anymore, I refer those who might be interested in this device or demagnetizing in general to the website of The Audio Beat where you can find a short but interesting review of this Gryphon device by Marc Mickelson:
Replacing the 5ghz Wifi connection of my LDMS music server by a solid copper cat7A cable has resulted in a significantly lower noisefloor. Combined with the latest updates to the LDMS server all this resulted in a musical presentation in the Tidal LA / Kondo / Tripoint set up that - and I am now quoting Lucas (the man / brains behind the LDMS server) - “literally sends shivers down my neck with every move of the driver membrane and one song in particular left me in tears of happiness.” And yes, there were actually (real) tears in his eyes.
Lucas built me a 32 TB NAS so I have plenty of space again to store all my music files. In particular my (mostly classical) dsd 256 and dxd files are quite extensive so I needed more space in order to be able to store them all.
After talking with Miguel extensively about how to proceed next week (as of next Tuesday) he suggested the following plan:
a. Placing new coasters underneath the cones of my Tripoint Emperor mk ii ‘ground station’.
b. Placing / trying new cones under my Tripoint Empress loudspeaker filters.
c. Adding bigger spades to the two Tripoint Emperor mk ii ground cables that are connected to my Tidal LA loudspeakers in order to create better contact between these cables and the LA.
4. Adding dedicated grounding schemes and binding posts to both my Kondo Kagura (set) poweramps. Inserting two additional Tripoint Emperor mk ii ground cables.
5. Adding a dedicated grounding scheme and binding post to my LDMS music server. Inserting one additional Tripoint Emperor mk ii ground cable.
6. Experiment with signal grounding as regards my Tidal Camira dac. Miguel will bring along a special built Tripoint ground cable for this.
7. Hopefully enjoying ourselves with what has been achieved after all this (hard) work.
8. Markus and a friend of his will visit us on Sunday May 26 to experience the Tidal LA / Kondo / Tripoint set up.
So looking forward to this visit. Rimsky-Korsakof’s Sheherazade with the Netherlands Symphonic Orchestra under the baton of Stanislav Kochanovsky in the Concertgebouw on Saturday, will certainly be a great experience. Visit at your place on Sunday and talking with you and Miguel, not mentioning listening to your breathtaking system, will be even more interesting, fun and, no doubt, educational. This is a perfect (audiophile) weekend in my book.
Well, from a music perspective (almost) nothing can beat a visit to the Concertgebouw; the acoustics are really great! I visited the Concertgebouw a few months ago and listened to Gardiner conducting the requiem of Verdi: the scale, dynamics and tonality are so fantastic. You are definately going to enjoy this experience.
As regards loudspeakers: so far, I believe (but maybe I am wrong?) you have not been seriously impressed by the various Tidal loudspeakers you listened to (probably under show conditions). Hopefully you will like the LA’s though. Imho the LA’s are something very special indeed (actually Miguel considers them to be a masterpiece (his words, not mine)). And I believe that after getting rid of all the nasty noise / grid that affects audio systems with the help of the various Tripoint top of the line products the LA’s will show what they are really up to. As you know from your own experience, these Tripoint devices are necessary to get the best out of an audio system.
That said, I always appreciate honesty: if the LA system is not to your liking please feel completely free to say so! I am perfectly able to deal with other opinions: In the end it is always a matter of taste casu quo personal preferences.
Just to be sure as regards point 6 of my post 808: audiophiles typically associate Tripoint Audio with chassis grounding only. However, that is not true. Miguel’s cable technology can also be applied to signal grounding and Tripoint offers signal ground cables as well. Ideally I would have ordered an ‘Anaconda’ signal ground cable but ‘the treasury is empty’ I am afraid after ordering three Emperor mk ii ground cables. However, the Tripoint Silver Signature SE signal ground cable Miguel will bring along looks very promising indeed and had a profound effect lately in a high end audio system in the USA when it was connected to the DCS Vivaldi. Next week the Tidal LA loudspeakers will undoubtedly demonstrate in no uncertain terms how effective this Tripoint signal grounding is going to be in my set up. Really looking forward to it!
‘Mister Tripoint’ arrived safely this afternoon (CET) at Schiphol airport, Amsterdam. I picked him up at Schiphol and we drove together to my hometown. Offcourse Miguel was totally exhausted due to the long trip and jetlag. So today we ‘only’ experimented with different coasters under the Tripoint Emperor mk ii ‘ground’ station and my various ebony blocks (on which my Kondo G1000 (a two chassis linestage), Tidal Camira dac and Zanden 2000p cd-transport are positioned). Furthermore we ‘signal grounded’ the Camira dac to the Emperor mk ii ‘ground’ station with the help of the Tripoint Silver Signature SE signal ground cable (RRP: usd 2100 for 1 meter).
To all those who are employing Tripoint ‘ground’ boxes: try this signal cable out because it will raise the level of your digital sound in a very significant way! Already after Lucas his visit last week (he concentrated primarely on his LDMS server) the LA / Kondo / Tripoint system sounded better than ever before. But this signal grounding brought the system very clearly to new heights: by - again - removing distortion out of the system the musical presentation has become much more explosive in combination with a better foundation, higher quality bass, a more 3d presentation and added transparency. However, more importantly: in combination with the new coasters the music presentation has become more ‘real / live’ or - as some would put it - more analoglike.
Please believe me: these first steps forward were much bigger than I had ever anticipated. What a joy it is to work with and be able to listen on a daily basis to the ultra transparent and at the same time such musical transducers as the Tidal LA’s.
Can you explain me what is the difference between signal ground and chassis grounding with the Tripoint Emperor station? Do you different grounding points for each mode or just different types of cables?
The Tripoint Emperor mk ii ‘ground’ station employs eight binding posts. Typically using a separate binding post for each individual audio component yields the best sonic results. Till yesterday I ‘chassis grounded’ both my Tidal LA loudspeakers and Kondo G-1000 linestage and as a consequence I was ‘only’ using three separate binding posts of the Emperor mk ii ‘ground’ station (btw: last time Miguel visited me he added a dedicated grounding scheme and binding post to the power supply of my G-1000; if we would go completely ‘crazy’ Miguel could do the same with the head or main chassis of the Kondo G-1000).
Yesterday the Tripoint Silver Signature SE cable was connected to another (separate) binding post of the Emperor mk ii ‘ground’ station. This signal ground cable is doing its magic in the LA set up as I described yesterday (and this cable will still become (clearly) better because it was brand new - so actually zero playing hours - when we hooked it up yesterday; Miguel could finish this cable only last Sunday). That said, Miguel’s ‘anaconda’ (the Emperor mk ii ground cable) is by far (and by this I mean literally: really, really far!) the best ground cable I have ever heard in my life: these top of the line Tripoint ground cables ‘sound’ so gorgous / magnificient that I suppose audiophiles have to experience them for themselves - as for example Dave and Markus (and a few other non WBF members) are currently doing in their own audio systems - before they can fully grasp what I am actually talking about.
So ideally I would have ordered another ‘anaconda’ in order to signal ground my Tidal Camira dac. However, the Emperor mk ii ground cable is very difficult to manufacture (to give you an idea: a one meter ‘anaconda’ takes Miguel approximately one week of hard manual labour and as a consequence the Emperor mk ii ground cable is a much more expensive cable than the Tripoint Silver Signature SE cable: RRP of the ‘anaconda’ is USD 24k for one meter). So adding another - in my case that would have been number seven - Tripoint Emperor mk ii signal ground cable to the LA set up was financially not possible, I am afraid.
Here is a picture of Miguel working on one of my Kondo Kagura amps. Yesterday it took him approximately 9 hours to finish both amps. Add to that the time he needed to manufacture and prepare his very special ground wire in the USA before jumping into the plane and we are talking about around 15 hours in total for (only) finishing both set amps. This very special Tripoint ground wire is brand new and offcourse some soldering was involved yesterday as well.
I guess what I am actually saying is the following: while we both experienced some glimpses of ‘audio heaven’ yesterday, the amps really need to settle. Only time will tell how heavenly it is going to be in the end.
When I ordered my Kondo Kagura set amps and Kondo g-1000 linestage some time ago I explicitly asked the Kondo factory if they were willing to add some grounding features casu quo dedicated grounding binding posts to all these components. However, my request was turned down, inter alia because the Kondo factory / Masaki-san was of the opinion that additional grounding was not needed. Although it sounds somewhat arrogant (maybe) but he was (dead) wrong. During some of the ‘good moments’ between some nasty shifts Miguel and I were floored with the exquisite sound we experienced yesterday: my LA / Kondo / Tripoint set up sounded has never sounded so damn impressive as during these ‘good moments’. And I am not saying that we made a step forward yesterday. No, I am actually saying that it was such a big leap forward that - although I had high expectations regarding grounding both my set amps - I was stunned (in a good way)! More to follow later.
Today we did the following:
- First we started to move the right Tidal LA loudspeaker (little) step by (little) step in order to create better focussing. Connecting the ‘anaconda’s’ to the Kagura’s showed us that we could achieve better imaging / pinpoiting by moving the right LA just a tiny little bit. However, even moving a ‘monster loudspeaker’ of nearly 500 kg a tiny little bit takes quite some time.
- Secondly we rebiassed the four 211 tubes of the Kagura’s. The last time we did this was approximately one year ago. As mentioned earlier in this thread, rebiassing the Kagura’s is not an easy task, inter alia because you have to disconnect and replace these heavy amps because you have to remove the bottom plate. In all honesty I really do not understand why Kondo makes the rebiassing of such bulky poweramps so user unfriendly.
- Experimenting with different footers under both my Tripoint Empress filters. In the end we returned to the three cones that were originally supplied with these filters.
- Miguel added his grounding scheme and dedicated grounding binding post to the power supply of my LDMS music server. This was again a rather time consuming work.
As some of you guys already predicted earlier in this thread, grounding the music server was another big jump forward. I suppose the phrase ‘garbage in, garbage out’ indeed applies to our music sources.
By adding his ‘grounding magic’ to both my Kondo Kagura poweramps and my LDMS music server Miguel was apparently / very clearly able to remove (even) more distorsion. To use an analogy: by doing so Miguel did not clean the (music) window but somehow opened it! Or in other words: the noisefloor was reduced again in a very significant way.
The special Tripoint grounding wire that was being employed inside those three components clearly needs to settle in. However, between the various ‘unsettling’ moments one thing has become even more clear (this is something that I have mentioned before on The WBF): the Tripoint Emperor mk ii ground cables somehow reinforce each other, making 1 + 1 not 2 but 3 (or mayby even 4). And please keep in mind that I am not employing two but six of these magnificient ‘anaconda’s’ in the LA system.
What are the musical benefits that stand out? Well, I mention only a few:
- The purity of the Kondo amplification is being accentuated.
- A majestic portrayal of the music: the soundstage has not only become wider but also deeper. Somehow the room boundaries do not seem to exist anymore.
- Additional power / dynamics. Actually this effect is staggering: regularly this effect gives me the impression / illusion that a cougar is jumping out of my Tidal LA loudspeakers!I know that some of the WBF members are sceptical about combining 50W single ended triode poweramps with the (93 db efficient; this is ‘real world’ efficiency, so I am not talking about the ‘inflated’ efficiency numbers various loudspeaker brands are publishing) Tidal LA (cones) loudspeakers. However, apparently the Tripoint technique unleashes the full fynamic swing capabilities of my set amps. I am pretty sure that all my visitors will agree that the Kagura’s deliver more than enough power to drive the LA’s very effectively.
- A fuller and better controlled bass performance.
- Better definition / focussing and more pristiness.
- More command / control. To make an analogy again: somehow the foundation of the LA system or music presentation seems to be more solid than ever before.
- Partly due to the added purity and serinity everything is portrayed in such a ‘stress-free’ or unmechanical way that you are - now and then - being fooled in not listening to various audio components anymore. And just to be sure: I am not claiming that the LA / Kondo / Tripoint system is sounding as good as unamplified live music, but it sounds damn, damn good!
Good to know that you making great progress on the grounding front again, Audiocrack. It seems that the grounding wire inside the components is very important. With the grounding to your music server done, can you tell it is getting closer to CD/LP format?
That is a difficult question you raised. But let me answer as follows: yes, the Tidal LA system sounds more analog like than ever before in the sense that it demonstrates added continuity, more density and more natural warmth. The steps forward we made the last couple of days are really huge.
Another thing I have not mentioned yet in this thread is the following: in a way the Tidal LA’s perform more like a planar speaker because all the different drivers seem to have completely dissappeared due to the lack of distortion. In other words: more coherency. This coherency has brought about a new sense of unmechanicalness. I now (sort of) feel that I am no longer listening to electronics and loudspeakers. They sort of ‘vanished’.
My high res files (dsd 256 and dxd) have always sounded better in the LA system than the cd replay; so in this regard I would rather make a comparison to analog.
One more thing: dynamic contrasts and energy radiates at a different level of intensity. Never experienced this before in my system: the dynamics are out of this world. The explanation for all this is the following: as of last Tuesday all the things Miguel has done have resulted in (significantly) lower distortion. Apparently our audio systems create much more ‘noise’ than we are aware of: getting rid of all this noise yields huge (musical) benefits!