Reinstalling my tt after 24 months, how will I get on?

spiritofmusic

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Jun 13, 2013
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Well, a very big day has just passed. Yesterday I had installed my trusty Trans Fi Salvation direct rim drive tt with Terminator air bearing linear tracking arm and Soundsmith Straingauge cart, after a frankly too long 24 month wait (12 months in storage with house move and audio room constructed, and a further 12 months of frustrating misfires, servicing, repairs, and delays waiting for multitudinous mods including bespoke psus and arm bearing updates), and wholly new support via Stacore Advanced passive isolation platform.
Many thanks to Peter Downs of Alternative Audio in sorting the install and providing my bespoke psus.
Initial impressions with tt/arm/Straingauge plus energiser yesterday was really positive, but with some frustrations as well, with the plusses being an amazing upstick in bass articulation and extension, a lot more air, superior imaging, and greater microdynamics.
Certainly all these are off the scale compared to my misfiring aborted tt reinstall 6 months ago, which forced me to send my Straingauge back to Soundsmith for servicing, and commissioning my new psus.
Indeed I’d say bass in my new room from analog is far superior to what I was getting in my old room in London, and has the edge over my Eera Tentation cdp, which itself is no slouch in the low end. I put a lot, if not all, of this down to the effects of the Stacore Advanced platform, I can’t prove it, but it resembles closely and beats the effects of my trial of active Accurion i4 platform under my tt a few years back.
Stacore also contributing to air and imaging, but these I put down as much to the the superior acoustics of my new room plus other mods I’ve introduced, incl new overspecced psus with Sablon Elite pwr cords and SR Black fuses, bespoke Al arm mount from NZ, balanced power transformer to linear arm air pump, upgraded pivot points on the arm, new Klei Silver Harmony RCA plugs on tonearm wire, Symposium Svelte isoln pad to replace stock sorbothane under motor pod.
Where my analog was still lagging a little behind yesterday was in ultimate lack of mids transparency (evidenced as a graininess and boxiness, and some lack of sparkle in treble). This created a somewhat earthbound sound that was frustrating in itself, but even more so because so many other aspects of sound quality had been boosted.
However today, things are starting to really gel, partially burning in of these new psus, their pwr cords and fuses, the opening up of the stylus and energiser, but also critically because of small changes to VTF, VTA, speed correction, and system wide adjustments ie altering Zu crossovers, sitting closer to the Zus, moving my acoustic panels, and placing Symposium Rollerblocks under my big balanced transformer.
And I know that with dozens of changes all at once, mechanical and electrical, there are a few hundred hours of opening up to endure, plus reacclimatising to a familiar component in an unfamiliar room.
Now I’m not saying those semi unspectacular mids and high frequencies are transformed, but they are opening up nicely, and there feels like a lot more potential to be unlocked.
I’m getting a real feeling that I can get my analog to a level I’ve never had before, obviating any need to get out my chequebook for a much more pricey usual suspect.
But having loved digital for the first time with my 6 month total immersion into my cdp, I’m sanguine enough to realise that one is not comprehensively superior to the other, and hence my mood with analog is positive with big expectations, but maybe not so high I’m not expecting to ever return to my evangelical “Analog is king” attitude.
 
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Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
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Congratulations, Marc, on returning to analog! (Yes, analog is king!)

It sounds like you're having good success with the turntable almost immediately!
 

spiritofmusic

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Jun 13, 2013
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Well, I have so many new comparators, including more regular live unamplified as a reference, my new room (exemplary sound) v old room (poor sound), stellar digital (here with my Eera cdp, and at Blue58 with Barry’s SGM/Dac8).
All these are informing what Im looking for in my analog optimisation.
 

jfrech

VIP/Donor
Sep 3, 2012
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post some pics ! congratulations on the new room and analog spinning again...not sure I could have gone 24 months !
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
12,309
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E. England
John, I’ll get around to it.
Tbh, the reinstall has been a mixed bag, I’m getting much improved bass and mids texture, air and imaging, but treble energy and bite are missing, creating a somewhat veiled feel in upper freqs.
My OCD is in overdrive to sort this, and I’m making some headway.
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
12,309
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E. England
I’ve made more strides today than in the other ten days since install
1- toed my Zus out
2- altered quite a few Zu subs settings, incl phase to 180 degrees, xover to 30Hz from 40
3- popped my new psus for tt motor and Straingauge energiser on isolation platforms in conjunction with Symposium Precision Couplers.
This is going a long way to removing the bottleneck I had going from mids to treble and liberating a lot more high freqs energy.
I still don’t have a typically forward sounding analog with lots of treble presence, my sound is a tad restrained, sweet and smooth. I do miss some high frequencies fireworks. But since these presentations can also lead to fatigue, lack of body etc, I’m happy with this balance. Also knowing there is more to go re opening up of new stylus, cart energiser, two new pwr cords, armwand pivot points etc.
 

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