Atma-Sphere Cutting Lathe

Gregadd

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Apr 20, 2010
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#1
Atma-Sphere LP mastering system
After some years of work (finding/building parts, refurbishing existing mechanical and electronic elements) our LP cutting lathe is finally on line!

It is a Scully lathe equipped with a Westerex 3D cutter head. We went with the Westerex 3D as it is an easy load for a tube amplifier, just the thing for what we had in mind! This is the first LP cutting system known to use on OTL as a mastering amplifier, in this case a modified Atma-Sphere M-60 Mk3.1. We are working on initial releases already- there is a lot of interest in vinyl
 

Gregadd

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#3
My own explorations resulted in an amplifier that was designed to reduce distortion in every way possible without feedback.
Atma-Sphere-Ralph Karsten
 

audioarcher

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May 7, 2012
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#4
a tube amp to drive a cutting lathe, how cute, how, well, ancient. Marketing....

i do understand that OTL has good current reserves and plenty of feedback, but just sayin its marketing and not technological advancement.

and I like the sound of my SET but prefer my source to be pristine as possible.
Tom. Do you actually have personal experience with Ralphs lathe? If not I don't see how you can speculate on how transparent the results are using it. Not all tube gear is grossly colored.

Marketing? I hardly think Ralph is going to make his fortune off of amps for cutting lathes.

Sean
 

MylesBAstor

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Apr 20, 2010
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#5
Tom. Do you actually have personal experience with Ralphs lathe? If not I don't see how you can speculate on how transparent the results are using it. Not all tube gear is grossly colored.

Marketing? I hardly think Ralph is going to make his fortune off of amps for cutting lathes.

Sean
Of course not.
 

puroagave

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Sep 30, 2011
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#6
a tube amp to drive a cutting lathe, how cute, how, well, ancient. Marketing....

i do understand that OTL has good current reserves and plenty of feedback, but just sayin its marketing and not technological advancement.

and I like the sound of my SET but prefer my source to be pristine as possible.
Doug sax of the mastering lab uses custom vacuum tube amps built by his brother sherwwod, they drive everything incl the cutting head of his mastering lathes. Sheffield lab records and LPs mastered at the lab are among the best sounding LPs I own.
 
May 30, 2010
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#7
a tube amp to drive a cutting lathe, how cute, how, well, ancient. Marketing....

i do understand that OTL has good current reserves and plenty of feedback, but just sayin its marketing and not technological advancement.
I hope it is a successful marketing - good things without good marketing vanish soon. I have owned Atmasphere products and have followed Ralph career - he is an enthusiast and a gentleman. His products represent excellent value for money, sound great, are reliable and he even helps online DIY people who are building replicas of his original M60's.
I hope that soon we will have some of his LPs to listen!
 

MylesBAstor

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Apr 20, 2010
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#8
I hope it is a successful marketing - good things without good marketing vanish soon. I have owned Atmasphere products and have followed Ralph career - he is an enthusiast and a gentleman. His products represent excellent value for money, sound great, are reliable and he even helps DIY people who are building replicas of his original M60's.
I hope that soon we will have some of his LPs to listen!
BTW, this isn't Ralph's foray into vinyl. He released two LPs years ago - I remember we reviewed Canto General in Ultimate Audio many years ago. Unfortunately the review has been taken down from the website.

http://www.audiophileusa.com/item.cfm?record=8740&c=1&kw=Classical

http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue41/pagoda.htm
 

Gregadd

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#9
We certainly got side tracked from the OP that was merely designed to inform the members that Ralph Karsten of Atma-sphere was planing to make recordoings usuing his own cutting lathe. Well at least we have the new argument -"it's just "marketing"" One would imagine how a manufacturere who cliams to make the best amps could chose anyhting less than his own design. Explainig such a choice would at least be uncomfortable and at worst embarassing. Perhaps Tom would care to enlighten us on the particular shortcomind s of the M-60MK 3.1. Have you heard it ? Are you acquainted with its' sonic qulaities. or is this another knee -erk reacion supporting your usual propaganda?
His comments abiout ancient technolgoy seem not only to conflict with design technique, but also his iown previous arguments concerning the proepenaity of of audiophiles to to chase the lates and the greatest. It is is no doubt that everything benefits from increased knowledge and better materials.
Help us out Tom.
 
May 30, 2010
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#10
Are you about to say that a tube amp, an OTL tube amp has better fidelity and grip on a mechanical device than the best solid state gear? Thats all I am saying. Cheers to Ralph to pursue his idea of fidelity it just aint mine in the area of source fidelity thats all I meant.

Curious that source fidelity is regularly forgotten at the very source - sound engineers pick specific microphones - and many even use tubes for specific applications, such as voices in what we consider the best recordings. If all they wanted was fidelity to the air motion captured during the recording they would all use the same technically perfect microphone - better FR, lower noise and distortion. And they do not do it - their main concern is creating something we enjoy with our stereo systems.

If R. Karsten feels that an LP cut with his OTL driver achieves better the objectives of sound reproduction using vinyl and consumers later agree it is worth the effort.
 

MylesBAstor

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Apr 20, 2010
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#11
Curious that source fidelity is regularly forgotten at the very source - sound engineers pick specific microphones - and many even use tubes for specific applications, such as voices in what we consider the best recordings. If all they wanted was fidelity to the air motion captured during the recording they would all use the same technically perfect microphone - better FR, lower noise and distortion. And they do not do it - their main concern is creating something we enjoy with our stereo systems.

If R. Karsten feels that an LP cut with his OTL driver achieves better the objectives of sound reproduction using vinyl and consumers later agree it is worth the effort.
Or does an engineer match the mike to the instrument or voice eg. maximizing the mike's strength and minimizing its weak areas? For instance a vocal mike might fare terribly trying to capture cymbals. Or a drum mike has to be capable of more dynamic range than other mikes.
 

Gregadd

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#12
Greg, first let me say I do appreciate your various posts, cartoons, etc on WBF, i have been wanting to tell you that for a while now. You get conversations started and lord knows thats what we like to do here is blab and blabulate some more, at least I do!
Thanks . I think. I find you be quite the hi-fi tinlkerer.

Its been a little quiet round here lately and I just offered my opinion of what I would use for a power device to move a mechanical device that is supposed to be under rigid control and utmost fidelity, but supposed to be is my opinion and when it comes to audiophilia being different is as much a marketing tool as being expensive or being exclusive or all three and stuff like that.
The news was that Ralph was planning to make records using his own lathe. Not that tube lathes are superior to solid state drivers. I think that is where you went astray.
Are you about to say that a tube amp, an OTL tube amp has better fidelity and grip on a mechanical device than the best solid state gear? Thats all I am saying.
Your bias is evident here. You posted "the best SS gear" agianst the general class Of OTL tube amps. Of course many of the tubes problems can be attributed to the transformer. But that is not the only issue. You will find Ralph's designs to be cutting edge Have you heard his designs?
Cheers to Ralph to pursue his idea of fidelity it just aint mine in the area of source fidelity thats all I meant.
Could you tell us what Ralph's idea of fidelity is? I don't kniw what your idea of fidelity is. It seems to be in a constant state of flux. You will agree fidelity to the source is a moiving target.

In regards to propaganda, surely mine is not on par with the audio hi ends? If it is then I should be quite proud, aahem, I guess....[
In some ways it may be more extreme. It certainly is not as widespread.

I think if we could sepaprate the business of hi-fi from the hobby we would find we agree far more then we disagree. For emple my favorite amo is hybrid using tubes exactly in the matter you claim they excede

edit:Tube Driver Stage
One of the reason tubes are best for voltage amplification is they’re natural high-voltage devices that act in a linear fashion. The circuit itself is a simple, 2-stage, class-A triode driver stage. The first stage is open-loop with no negative feedback, just like in many preamplifiers. The output of the first stage, summed with negative feedback from the output, feeds the second driver stage capacitively-coupled to the MOSFET power module. The two-stage design provides the voltage swing needed for the powerful 200W/ channel 402Au.

In the 402Au, each stage of amplification takes its power from a “virtual” independent source created with local MOSFET voltage regulation. A separate high voltage transformer further isolates the driver stage from power line disturbances. We use a passively-regulated ultra-quiet tube filament supply. Passive regulation is quieter than standard 3 terminal filament regulators which allows for a big, airy soundstage and exceptional low level detail.
 
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Gregadd

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#13
Meg Ryan having her way.
 

JackD201

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Apr 21, 2010
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#14
Or does an engineer match the mike to the instrument or voice eg. maximizing the mike's strength and minimizing its weak areas? For instance a vocal mike might fare terribly trying to capture cymbals. Or a drum mike has to be capable of more dynamic range than other mikes.
Both :)
 
May 30, 2010
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#15
Well, without being too pedantic about all this stuff, yes, stereo can not possibly capture a live event, its impossible. So, starting from that standpoint, anything one does to the music to make it sound better is fair game,
but,
micro, we are talking about capturing the signal for the master that will then be replicated on the vinyl.

Is there not some point in your world of "sound" that the replication should not be touched or altered?

Your logic does not hold up unless one believes that each component that the sound goes through needs to distort the sound again and again...and then the final user changes each component, each cable, each interconnect, speakers, power cords, etc , over and over to change the "sound"....we simply do not approach this hobby from the same perspective, but I do believe in tone controls in the end, under my control, but only when I want to inject that tone, I dont want it injected by each component I use along the way. Get the source to me in as pristine condition as possible, then, I will apply tone control to it as I see fit, if at all. suprisingly, a lot of the time i do not add any tone control except what the output transducer (speaker or headphone) adds. Seldom do i invoke my image expander, dynamic range expander, or bass and tone controls, or my stereo effect controls.
We have different views on the capabilities of stereo. IMHO , the current objective of sound reproduction is NOT the exact physical capture of a live event - I think almost everyone agrees on that. It is the creation of something that associated with listener experience recreates the illusion of being there, as it is statistically admitted that this is the most rewarding and pleasant for the listener. Otherwise we would just use transducers, people ignoring what is music or trained monkeys in listening tests.

Also IMHO, stereo can be quite successful in this task - I agree with S. Linkwitz optimist view - see introductory lines at

http://www.linkwitzlab.com/

BTW, did you read Nelson Path views about amplifiers in the manual of the XS series? He says it much better than me.
 

FrantzM

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Apr 20, 2010
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#16
Hi

I would like some industry experts to chime in... From my perspective I am not certain that an OTL is the ideal amp for the very reactive load presented by a cutting lathe ... I could be wrong and would like to understand why

On the subject of preferences where do we stop? It seems that the more years pass the more we are going away from the notion of High Fidelity .. I mean whatever is done to the signal in the name of preferences (whatever that it is a given moment) is fair game.. I tend to think that the least I modify the signal to be on the medium the better it is else .. If we push the notion of preferences to its extreme then anything goes and the Bose Wave Radio is as good as any of the WBF members "best" systems on here ... :confused:
 
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Jul 25, 2012
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#17
If we push thenotion of preferences to its extreme then anything goes and the Bose Wave Radio is as good as any system here ... :confused:
You mean it isn't?????:D
 

Gregadd

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Apr 20, 2010
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#18
Hi

... From my perspective I am not certain that an OTL is the ideal amp for the very reactive load presented by a cutting lathe ...
That is not the subject of this thread. Feel free to start a thread on that issue.

On the subject of preferences where do we stop? It seems that the more years pass the more we are going away from the notion of High Fidelity .. I mean whatever is done to the signal in the name of preferences (whatever that it is a given moment) is fair game.. I tend to think that the least I modify the signal to be on the medium the better it is else .. If we push the notion of preferences to its extreme then anything goes and the Bose Wave Radio is as good as any of the WBF members "best" systems on here ...
The goal for me is "real music in real space". As JGH said if the source is not akin to real music then he is not interested. The problem is most of us are forced to buy the creations of others . We are locked in to a price point and the limits of technolgy. To put it bluntly we are forced to elect from a batch of "failures." Some would claim that there are many products that are as perfect as they need to be. Those same indivduals argue, at the same time, the existing products reproduce no resemblance to the real thing. Indeed they argue vociferously that real music in real space is a false god similar to idol worship. Fidelity ot the source makes a nice academic argument but has very little applicabiltiy to my goal.
 

Gregadd

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Apr 20, 2010
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#19
OK, tube amps are not superior to solid state drivers from a purely technical standpoint, thats part of what I say, the other is if you are taking all that hard work from the mix and master and then running it through a cutter that is not as exact as possible then why add another tone control at that point if not necessary!
From an academic point iof view that might be correct. OTOH it produces such a lousy result that one wonders where we went worng. Are we then to be satisfied with imperfect result that is perfect to the source? You then have answered that question at least inadvertently on countless occaisions. Your use of Sets , tone controls(equalizers), etc., inidicate the answere is a resounding, no. For some reasons you continue to indulge in mental contortions in an attempt to reconcile those apparent inconsistent conclusions.
From what I know of you the point of the Meg Ryan clip was not lost on you. The fact that she wants an unseasoned salad seasoned by her, to her liking does nothing to obfuscate the fact that she has no interest in eatinbg a "nude" salad. Her saald is no different than one seasoned by the chef. I suggest fidelity to the source has left you severely wanting.


[F]idelity to me is not a moving target, simply put, in reality, the input and output transducers are highly variable and distorting, but the signal wiggle from the output of the mic transducer all the way up to the input of the output transducer (speaker or headphone or cutter perhaps in this case) needs to be as exact a replica as possible**. Thats how I see it in current reality. Now, as I have said in the past, doing all that does not mean plain old stereo is going to get you there, it will give you some illusion, but never reality to the unamplified event, it cant. Thats my story. with plain old stereo. as we know it today and since the thirties
.
Given that you have no idea what the source sounds like and that you listen to it through an imperfect trandsucer the reality is your working defeintion has to change with source and the choice of transducer. From the academic end your theroy remains consisitent, however as you puit it to work it is constantly evolving.
Your criticism of stereo remains at odds with your claim that you have heard near holographic imaging with "plain old stereo." I suppose it is possible we have different definitions of holographic imaging. To me it is similar to the real thing.

although a tube is fairly linear for voltage amplification, of course, matching it to a mosfet does take care, because mosfets like current to be driven properly, and i am sure the moscode designer has taken all that into account. everything seems a compromise as you know.**i do realize that there is a lot of processing to the signal, even still, once processed it dont need no more darn distortions added if we can help it, unless we, the final user just wants to add them ourselves, IMHO.
Mosfets are a different issue. I suppose we agree voltaage amplification. You previously referred to it as nearly ideal.
Are you familiar with or have you heard the Atma-Sphere designs?
 

FrantzM

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
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#20
From an academic point iof view that might be correct. OTOH it produces such a lousy result that one wonders where we went worng. Are we then to be satisfied with imperfect result that is perfect to the source? You then have answered that question at least inadvertently on countless occaisions. Your use of Sets , tone controls(equalizers), etc., inidicate the answere is a resounding, no. For some reasons you continue to indulge in mental contortions in an attempt to reconcile those apparent inconsistent conclusions.
From what I know of you the point of the Meg Ryan clip was not lost on you. The fact that she wants an unseasoned salad seasoned by her, to her liking does nothing to obfuscate the fact that she has no interest in eatinbg a "nude" salad. Her saald is no different than one seasoned by the chef. I suggest fidelity to the source has left you severely wanting.


.
Given that you have no idea what the source sounds like and that you listen to it through an imperfect trandsucer the reality is your working defeintion has to change with source and the choice of transducer. From the academic end your theroy remains consisitent, however as you puit it to work it is constantly evolving.
Your criticism of stereo remains at odds with your claim that you have heard near holographic imaging with "plain old stereo." I suppose it is possible we have different definitions of holographic imaging. To me it is similar to the real thing.



Mosfets are a different issue. I suppose we agree voltaage amplification. You previously referred to it as nearly ideal.
Are you familiar with or have you heard the Atma-Sphere designs?
Are these the subjects of the thread?
 

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