Natural Sound

PeterA

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Dec 7, 2011
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These are beautifully written posts, Peter! Ever since I learned about horns, I have felt that horns move air in a way that is consonant with the way that instruments themselves, brass instruments especially, move the air around them so we can hear their sounds.

Ron, you get efficiency and dynamics with horns , and an ease to the sound. But this is something more. I have had the horns for a while now. This realism from outside the room is new. It is something brought by the new turntable. I think it is that sense of mass and sheer information retrieval that I am hearing.
 
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Salectric

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Jan 15, 2012
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@PeterA
Wonderfully written descriptions of your experience. I can relate to much of what you wrote although I suspect my experience is more akin to looking through a glass darkly.

I am curious whether you have adopted David’s practice of leaving his electronics powered up 24/7. I know my system always sounds better after being powered up for 5 or 6 hours but I just can’t bring myself to leaving it on when I am not present.
 
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PeterA

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Thank you Salectric. I leave the phono stage and preamplifier on all the time. I used to keep my amps on but now that it is summer and very warm I turn them off after listening. I switch them back on a couple hours before I think I will start listening. Everything sounds slightly better after being on and playing, the cartridge too.
 
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Ron Resnick

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Ron, you get efficiency and dynamics with horns , and an ease to the sound. But this is something more. I have had the horns for a while now. This realism from outside the room is new. It is something brought by the new turntable. I think it is that sense of mass and sheer information retrieval that I am hearing.

Yes, you get efficiency and dynamics with horns in general, but not all horns sound the same. Horns sound just as varied as different speakers of other speaker topologies. Not all horns have a sense of “ease.”

Yes, it is a spectrum. I am glad the AS-2000 has taken you even further in the right direction!
 
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Fishfood

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I've always appreciated that exact sound, the down the hall, in another room element and have tried to recreate it when doing film scores. We will sometimes take a guitarist or cellist into another room and record it from down the hall to get that exact sound you are talking about. Much more real to record it live than try to duplicate it by using Logic or Pro Tools.

I also have been using that technique to evaluate my new 4Point vs my old VPI Fatboy unipivot. It's a real thing, how the system disperses the music over a distance.

Always love your posts Peter. Thanks!
 
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Sampajanna

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Apr 1, 2021
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Thank you David. Listening to this system conjures up memories from my trips to Utah. I think about the experience of listening live, the pictures that Beethoven composed, Grumiaux's interpretation, the orchestra's supporting role. The music is simply there to hear all around me and to experience it. My mind is free to wander and go where it will. I do not hear the components or think about the system unless consciously trying to understand something. I place the LP on the platter, put down the weight, slide over the arm, and lower the lever. The music and my mind relaxes and opens up to what is about to come.

I never thought about this before, but I was always more aware of the system before. Now, the listening experience is more of an escape, an immersion. It is actually quite similar to watching a movie. Very quickly, I forget where I am and don't even see the television or the room in which I am sitting. I don't even think of the other people in the room. My mind is somewhere new. I simply lose myself in another world and the music takes over. It is just like when I was listening to Ella Fitzgerald and Joe Pass with Tim in your room. I did not even notice those huge speakers. Ella was singing about her lush life and Joe was just playing his guitar in front of us.
I love the lost in a movie analogy. That is so true and perfect. I have that now too….
 
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PeterA

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I can not stop admiring the beauty of this magnificent turntable. The machining is superb, and the way the light plays off the surfaces makes we want to look at it all the time. The extreme mass of the platter creates the inertia which is responsible for the very stable speed. This in turn leads to the clarity and solidity of the presentation, and I suspect the very natural timbre. At some point I will get out my good camera and shoot some more photos.

Today I installed my last vdH Colibri Elite cartridge. This sample is very close to my other two, but they are all slightly different, as one would expect from hand made works of art. You can see the "GCE" designation hand painted in gold on the front. This one was modified from my Master Signature. The output is 0.25 mV and the tracking force is 1.25g. It tracks a bit lighter and is just a tad more balanced and nuanced than the Master Signature was.

In the next few days, I will install a classic vintage cartridge that ddk gave me as a gift with the new table. It will go on the arm in back. More fun ahead....

IMG_3328.JPG

IMG_3329.JPG
in gold
 

Ron Resnick

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It is absolutely astounding that David had the experience, the talent, the technical ability, and the executive ability to design, source vendors, manufacture and supervise the AS-2000.
 

bonzo75

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Feb 26, 2014
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I can not stop admiring the beauty of this magnificent turntable. The machining is superb, and the way the light plays off the surfaces makes we want to look at it all the time. The extreme mass of the platter creates the inertia which is responsible for the very stable speed. This in turn leads to the clarity and solidity of the presentation, and I suspect the very natural timbre. At some point I will get out my good camera and shoot some more photos.

Today I installed my last vdH Colibri Elite cartridge. This sample is very close to my other two, but they are all slightly different, as one would expect from hand made works of art. You can see the "GCE" designation hand painted in gold on the front. This one was modified from my Master Signature. The output is 0.25 mV and the tracking force is 1.25g. It tracks a bit lighter and is just a tad more balanced and nuanced than the Master Signature was.

In the next few days, I will install a classic vintage cartridge that ddk gave me as a gift with the new table. It will go on the arm in back. More fun ahead....

View attachment 96497

View attachment 96498
in gold

Great pics Peter, can we have now same videos of the st James infirmary, the rondo capriccioso? Also others like kruetzer?
 
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PeterA

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Dec 7, 2011
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Great pics Peter, can we have now same videos of the st James infirmary, the rondo capriccioso? Also others like kruetzer?

Thank you Bonzo. I will make videos after I finish setting up the two new cartridges. I have not decided if I’m going to distribute them publicly.
 

PeterA

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Dec 7, 2011
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It is absolutely astounding that David had the experience, the talent, the technical ability, and the executive ability to design, source vendors, manufacture and supervise the AS-2000.

I totally agree Ron. What I keep thinking about is how anyone was able to rise up to the challenge and think he could create something today that surpasses the original AS 1000 from 1970. And he did it, in some significant ways. Having compared these two turntables with my Micro Seiki, the AS 2000 surpasses the AS 1000 by about the same margin the latter surpasses the Micro. To improve on something that is already so great, and by a considerable margin, is truly astonishing.
 
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Audiophile Bill

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Mar 23, 2015
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Hi Peter - looking great - what is the freebie cartridge that David sent you with your AS2000 TT? Best regards.
 

PeterA

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Dec 7, 2011
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Hi Peter - looking great - what is the freebie cartridge that David sent you with your AS2000 TT? Best regards.

Hello Bill, It is a vintage Ortofon with extremely low output, about 0.04mV. I will have more information once it is installed and playing. Perhaps this weekend.
 

Audiophile Bill

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Mar 23, 2015
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Hello Bill, It is a vintage Ortofon with extremely low output, about 0.04mV. I will have more information once it is installed and playing. Perhaps this weekend.
Oooh that sounds exciting. I take it you have a high ratio SUT for it? That is similar output to the AN Io carts.
 
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ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
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Oooh that sounds exciting. I take it you have a high ratio SUT for it? That is similar output to the AN Io carts.
Ortofon had their own that came with the cartridge.

david
 

bazelio

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Sep 27, 2016
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California
I can not stop admiring the beauty of this magnificent turntable. The machining is superb, and the way the light plays off the surfaces makes we want to look at it all the time. The extreme mass of the platter creates the inertia which is responsible for the very stable speed. This in turn leads to the clarity and solidity of the presentation, and I suspect the very natural timbre. At some point I will get out my good camera and shoot some more photos.

Today I installed my last vdH Colibri Elite cartridge. This sample is very close to my other two, but they are all slightly different, as one would expect from hand made works of art. You can see the "GCE" designation hand painted in gold on the front. This one was modified from my Master Signature. The output is 0.25 mV and the tracking force is 1.25g. It tracks a bit lighter and is just a tad more balanced and nuanced than the Master Signature was.

In the next few days, I will install a classic vintage cartridge that ddk gave me as a gift with the new table. It will go on the arm in back. More fun ahead....

View attachment 96497

View attachment 96498
in gold

It's a stunning site. I love everything about it.
 
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PeterA

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Dec 7, 2011
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It's a stunning site. I love everything about it.

Indeed Brian. You should make the effort someday to hear one. Ron’s will be set up at some point.

The table seems very simple but particular aspects are actually very sophisticated. The result is a beautiful and ultra high performing music machine that extracts an extraordinary amount of information from the grooves and has little to no sound of its own. It is easy to set up and should be trouble free for decades.
 
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PeterA

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Dec 7, 2011
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North Shore of Boston
About a week ago I received a special package from ddk. In it were two items critical to my new turntable: a cartridge he suggested I try, and some special thread to use to drive the AS 2000 platter. I installed the thread when setting up the turntable. Based on my belt/floss/thread experiments on the AS1000, I knew that I wanted thread drive for my new table. David had tried quite a few alternatives and preferred one particular thread. He then tried different thicknesses. He settled on one based on his listening tests. He sent me enough for two or three replacements. After some trial, I figured out how to install it. I then played with different thread tensions and found one that sounds best. What a nice solution to the problem of spinning the platter with minimal influence from the motor.

The cartridge turned out to be a NOS Ortofon SL-15. The sample he sent me is the later version and the most rare. I do not know how he managed to find one that is new, sitting in the original box, unplayed for all these years and with the original packaging and paperwork. It is simply incredible. I very carefully installed it this morning and listened for about three hours. Within a few minutes, I knew that this cartridge is special. David told me that it has been sitting for sixty years, so with some playing time, it would open up a bit more and sound even better.

It has an ultra low output of 0.04 mV, so it comes with its own small transformer. I installed it with the transformer plugged into the MM input of my Lamm phono stage. I will also try it without the external transformer by using the MC input. This will really just be a comparison between the internal Jensen transformer in the Lamm, and the external Ortofon transformer.

The cartridge sounds similar to the vdH Colibri Elite, but just a bit more natural. It has slightly less ultimate resolution, perhaps 5%, but it makes up for it with slightly more beautiful tone and more weight. The Colibri presents hall ambiance and subtle spatial cues better than any cartridge I have heard, but it is just slightly thin sounding compared to this Ortofon and to the Neumann I heard in Utah. These vintage cartridges are just so beautiful sounding. Drums, bass, tubas, woodwinds all have a mass, a heft, and body that the vdH just misses. Voices are more solid. It is a very difficult thing to describe, so I fall back on the word "natural". But unlike the turntable comparisons I did recently, these cartridges are not different levels or degrees of natural, they are simply slightly different perspectives on natural sound, perhaps a bit like Tang's EMT 927 and the AS2000. They are just slightly different and at this point, I am not sure which I prefer. I am glad to have two tonearms.

It will be interesting to see how these two different cartridges grow on me. They are by far my favorites of all the ones that I have had in my system over the years. I can not thank David enough for this gift and for introducing me to this world of very special vintage cartridges. My speakers and this Ortofon are both from the 1960s, about as old as I am. It makes me wonder just how much progress has been made in all these years. Their designers really knew what they were doing, and they hold up still today.

IMG_3332.JPG

IMG_3307.JPG

IMG_3336.JPG

IMG_3349.JPG
 

tima

Industry Expert
Mar 4, 2014
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the Upper Midwest
These vintage cartridges are just so beautiful sounding. Drums, bass, tubas, woodwinds all have a mass, a heft, and body that the vdH just misses. Voices are more solid. It is a very difficult thing to describe, so I fall back on the word "natural".

My oh my. Hand-and-ear selected thread and a sixty year old cartridge that comes with its own transformer. Amazing ... how artfully amazing. The simplicity of it all says a lot -- especially in the face of all the recent dac talk as the future struggles to stay current with the past.

David you are a wealth of generosity.

I'm counting on a video for us ... maybe with a sixty year old record. :)
 

Tango

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Mar 12, 2017
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About a week ago I received a special package from ddk. In it were two items critical to my new turntable: a cartridge he suggested I try, and some special thread to use to drive the AS 2000 platter. I installed the thread when setting up the turntable. Based on my belt/floss/thread experiments on the AS1000, I knew that I wanted thread drive for my new table. David had tried quite a few alternatives and preferred one particular thread. He then tried different thicknesses. He settled on one based on his listening tests. He sent me enough for two or three replacements. After some trial, I figured out how to install it. I then played with different thread tensions and found one that sounds best. What a nice solution to the problem of spinning the platter with minimal influence from the motor.

The cartridge turned out to be a NOS Ortofon SL-15. The sample he sent me is the later version and the most rare. I do not know how he managed to find one that is new, sitting in the original box, unplayed for all these years and with the original packaging and paperwork. It is simply incredible. I very carefully installed it this morning and listened for about three hours. Within a few minutes, I knew that this cartridge is special. David told me that it has been sitting for sixty years, so with some playing time, it would open up a bit more and sound even better.

It has an ultra low output of 0.04 mV, so it comes with its own small transformer. I installed it with the transformer plugged into the MM input of my Lamm phono stage. I will also try it without the external transformer by using the MC input. This will really just be a comparison between the internal Jensen transformer in the Lamm, and the external Ortofon transformer.

The cartridge sounds similar to the vdH Colibri Elite, but just a bit more natural. It has slightly less ultimate resolution, perhaps 5%, but it makes up for it with slightly more beautiful tone and more weight. The Colibri presents hall ambiance and subtle spatial cues better than any cartridge I have heard, but it is just slightly thin sounding compared to this Ortofon and to the Neumann I heard in Utah. These vintage cartridges are just so beautiful sounding. Drums, bass, tubas, woodwinds all have a mass, a heft, and body that the vdH just misses. Voices are more solid. It is a very difficult thing to describe, so I fall back on the word "natural". But unlike the turntable comparisons I did recently, these cartridges are not different levels or degrees of natural, they are simply slightly different perspectives on natural sound, perhaps a bit like Tang's EMT 927 and the AS2000. They are just slightly different and at this point, I am not sure which I prefer. I am glad to have two tonearms.

It will be interesting to see how these two different cartridges grow on me. They are by far my favorites of all the ones that I have had in my system over the years. I can not thank David enough for this gift and for introducing me to this world of very special vintage cartridges. My speakers and this Ortofon are both from the 1960s, about as old as I am. It makes me wonder just how much progress has been made in all these years. Their designers really knew what they were doing, and they hold up still today.

View attachment 96540

View attachment 96541

View attachment 96542

View attachment 96543
The 927 is not slightly different from AS2000 Peter. The difference is big enough to recognize the first switch. I know David likes the 927 so very much. But this he cannot talk me out of my conclusion. It could be that my 927 is not fully optimized but I think not. My AS2000 is not fully optimized either. He bitched at me a few times already to get me out of laziness. I only keep 927 because it is most reliable like a tank. Great for a back up tt. All tts fail but 927 never fail. One day you may spin out the little magnet speed sensor on the side of your platter and might not find it. Ask David for a spare.
 

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