Music Session with Steve Williams, the Bergmann New Modi Airbearing Turntable and our Artesania Isolation Tips and Tweaks

Steve Williams from WBF dropped by to hear the new Bergmann Audio Modi turntable set up.

We recruited Steve’s discerning ears to help further dial in the table and to conduct A/B tests to analyze the different tweaks we have in mind to add to the Modi’s performance, one experiment at a time. It was so fun to watch Steve's face with delight as we switched things up.

For those of us who wear glasses, this was akin to the exam the ophthalmologists /optometrists used to put us through where they kept flipping around different lenses on a frame they made us wear to see the vision chart. As new tweaks got added, our vision, in this case our listening experience, got better (or worse) but we finally arrived at a set up that we felt was optimal for the Modi in the room. See below for details.
1630031666226.png
1630032925829.png

We used Christine & the Queens’ Saint Claude (from her first album) to evaluate those tweaks (see below for more details). Throughout the exercise, we kept the same genres of music as we did not want different genre to skew the listening results and experience.

The Record Weight​

We compared the Bergmann’s Modi stock record weight with no record clamp to the Origin Live “Gravity One” record weight (70 gram, retail $280. to the HRS ADH (850 gram, retail $510). We also included the HRS ADH in this test.

Along with Steve, we were all convinced that the heavier HRS would clobber the lightweight Origin Live as we had great hopes for the improved bass performance of the HRS weight. Funny how our preconceptions lead us astray.

While the HRS ADH indeed has superior bass to both the Origin Live Gravity One with no record clamp, it was achieved at the expense of a slightly incrementally muddied midrange.

At On A Higher Note, we have used the ADH on many different turntables and found the performance to be quite record-dependent. The superior bass from the ADH has proven to be the saviour to rescue an otherwise “light weight” listening experience and at times was the exact ticket to enjoy an album that is a little thin sounding. However, we unanimously voted for the Origin Live Gravity One as not only did it adjust the focus on the sound, it brought the music into sharper relief.

The Mat Test​

Next we changed out the stock Bergmann Modi mat for the Origin Live Upgrade Platter Mat (1mm thick, $70). We were pleasantly surprised but quickly noticed an additional increase in sound focus brought by the Origin Live Upgrade Platter Mat.

The Track Audio Turntable Feet with a Lift!​

1630031759344.png
Artesania Audio 60mm decoupling discs under track audio

We knew we were on a roll, so we continued by unscrewing the adapters from underneath the Track Audio Turntable Feet (stainless steel, set of four $595) and simply placed them adjacent to the stock aluminum feet. Underneath the Track Audio’s TT dull point we placed the Artesania Audio 60mm Decoupling Discs (stainless steel $650 for a set of four with Delrin, Neoprene & Beechwood interfaces).

From past experience
  • We used the Neoprene interfaces underneath the Decoupling Discs which gives the warmest, most musical experience with the deepest bass.
  • The Delrin on the other hand tends to give the most HF resolution, but at the expense at a slight loss of bass extension & weight.
  • The beechwood interfaces fall somewhere in the middle sonically.
Over the past five years we have used the Track Audio / Artesania Audio combo on many different turntables, always with the same improvements:
  • By breaking the servo loop of secondary resonance being transmitted back to the source, all frequencies are cleaned up.
  • Bass is more extended & articulate.
  • Midrange is cleaner and more resolute.
  • The high frequencies are clearer & more extended.

Listening to the LS8/1, decoupled, by Artesania Audio decoupling discs​


1630031824378.png

On A Higher Note small listening room_can smell the paint.jpg

We get the same results outfitting the LS8/1 with the 30 mm Decoupling Discs underneath the spikes from the stands. The spikes were fed directly into the Decoupling Discs.

We used the neoprene interface under these Decoupling Discs also. With our brand new hardwood floor, we would be hard-pressed to let the spikes puncture the floor. These Decoupling Discs came to the rescue from a functional, aesthetic, and audible standpoint with results shinning through immediately on all fronts.

These isolation bases and decoupling discs come in a set of 4 in 3 sizes with 3 different types of bases to choose from (30 mm set for $500, 60 mm set for $650 and 100 mm for $820). It is a lovely and inexpensive tweak that everyone we recommended to have been delighted with this tweak.

Finally, the music​

Now that the Modi was dialed in a lot closer to our satisfaction, we started playing different records in earnest.

Music Highlights

1630031879268.png

Tennessee Ernie Ford “Funny How Time Slips Away” (Analogue Productions)
Steve commented that TEF was right there in front of us, as large as life & sounding particularly fine too.
1630031886416.png

Harry Belafonte – “Sings The Blues” (Living Stereo, 45RPM re-issue, IMPEX) With a stunning backing cast of musicians, Harry Belafonte takes the spotlight on an interesting journey through the standard Blues catalogue. Brilliant delivery, well recorded – highly recommended.

Music Review:





1630032059430.png

Westside Story (Columbia, Barnes & Noble 2 LP) – Music composed by Leonard Bernstein with lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. The Original Broadway production of “West Side Story” debuted in 1957 and instantly became a sensation with its adventurous score & compelling lyrics. This landmark musical was recorded 3 days after it’s triumphant opening, and you can certainly hear the cast sing their lungs out. The listener is immediately transported back sixty years to a fresh & invigorating performance. Featuring a stellar cast of vocalists including Marilyn Horne, Kiri Te Kanawa, José Carreras… The biggest sonic improvement of this reissue over previous vinyl pressings is in expanding it to a 2 LP set. This allowed the grooves to be cut wider for more dynamic range. Cramming 57 minutes of music onto a single LP compresses the sound drastically. The original LP format was designed in 1948 to hold 20 minutes per side.
1630032064602.png

Dominique Fils Aime“Home To Me” from “Three Little Words” has gorgeous strings, wonderful backing vocals and is a refreshing but yet relaxing album. “Three Little Words” is the final album in her Trilogy. We’ve written about “Nameless” earlier, certainly an artist to look out for her. Innovative vocal arrangements, clever & fresh approach to cover versions. Listen to her cover of “Stand By Me” – Dominique’s voice (bathed in a tasteful glow of reverb) opens to an acoustic bass accompaniment, before a piano enters the stage.

Other connected posts:​

See “On A Higher Note Update and Upgrades (Part I)” for the system and room used during this music session.

See Early Listening Notes on Graham Audio’s LS8/1 for a blurb on our first reaction and casual listening when the Graham LS8/1 first arrived.

See A Long Overdue Addition to Our Family to check out the rack system in this room.
 

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Addicted to hifi

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View attachment 81422
Bergmann Audio Modi Turntable front (with Origin Live arm)​
View attachment 81423
Bergmann Audio Modi Turntable front (with Origin Live arm)​

Steve Williams from Whatsbestforum.com dropped by to hear the new Bergmann Audio Modi turntable set up.

We recruited Steve’s discerning ears to help analyze the different tweaks we have in mind to add to the Modi’s performance.

View attachment 81432

We used Christine & the Queens’ Saint Claude (from her first album) to evaluate those tweaks (see below for more details). Throughout the exercise, we kept the same genres of music as we did not want different genre to skew the listening results and experience.

The Record Weight​

We compared the Bergmann’s Modi stock record weight with no record clamp to the Origin Live “Gravity One” record weight (70 gram, retail $280. to the HRS ADH (850 gram, retail $510). We also included the HRS ADH in this test.

Along with Steve, we were all convinced that the heavier HRS would clobber the lightweight Origin Live as we had great hopes for the improved bass performance of the HRS weight. Funny how our preconceptions lead us astray.

While the HRS ADH indeed has superior bass to both the Origin Live Gravity One with no record clamp, it was achieved at the expense of a slightly incrementally muddied midrange.

At On A Higher Note, we have used the ADH on many different turntables and found the performance to be quite record-dependent. The superior bass from the ADH has proven to be the saviour to rescue an otherwise “light weight” listening experience and at times was the exact ticket to enjoy an album that is a little thin sounding. However, we unanimously voted for the Origin Live Gravity One as not only did it adjust the focus on the sound, it brought the music into sharper relief.

The Mat Test​

Next we changed out the stock Bergmann Modi mat for the Origin Live Upgrade Platter Mat (1mm thick, $70). We were pleasantly surprised but quickly noticed an additional increase in sound focus brought by the Origin Live Upgrade Platter Mat.

The Track Audio Turntable Feet with a Lift!​

View attachment 81424
Artesania Audio 60mm decoupling discs under track audio

We knew we were on a roll, so we continued by unscrewing the adapters from underneath the Track Audio Turntable Feet (stainless steel, set of four $595) and simply placed them adjacent to the stock aluminum feet. Underneath the Track Audio’s TT dull point we placed the Artesania Audio 60mm Decoupling Discs (stainless steel $650 for a set of four with Delrin, Neoprene & Beechwood interfaces).

From past experience,

  • We used the Neoprene interfaces underneath the Decoupling Discs which gives the warmest, most musical experience with the deepest bass.
  • The Delrin on the other hand tends to give the most HF resolution, but at the expense at a slight loss of bass extension & weight.
  • The beechwood interfaces fall somewhere in the middle sonically.
Over the past five years we have used the Track Audio / Artesania Audio combo on many different turntables, always with the same improvements:

  • By breaking the servo loop of secondary resonance being transmitted back to the source, all frequencies are cleaned up.
  • Bass is more extended & articulate.
  • Midrange is cleaner and more resolute.
  • The high frequencies are clearer & more extended.

Listening to the LS8/1, decoupled, by Artesania Audio decoupling discs​


View attachment 81425

We get the same results outfitting the LS8/1 with the 30 mm Decoupling Discs underneath the spikes from the stands. The spikes were fed directly into the Decoupling Discs.

We used the neoprene interface under these Decoupling Discs also. With our brand new hardwood floor, we would be hard-pressed to let the spikes puncture the floor. These Decoupling Discs came to the rescue from a functional, aesthetic, and audible standpoint with results shinning through immediately on all fronts.

These isolation bases and decoupling discs come in a set of 4 in 3 sizes with 3 different types of bases to choose from (30 mm set for $500, 60 mm set for $650 and 100 mm for $820). It is a lovely and inexpensive tweak that everyone we recommended to have been delighted with this tweak.

Finally, the music​

Now that the Modi was dialed in a lot closer to our satisfaction, we started playing different records in earnest.

Music Highlights

View attachment 81426

Tennessee Ernie Ford “Funny How Time Slips Away” (Analogue Productions)
Steve commented that TEF was right there in front of us, as large as life & sounding particularly fine too.
View attachment 81427

Harry Belafonte – “Sings The Blues” (Living Stereo, 45RPM re-issue, IMPEX) With a stunning backing cast of musicians, Harry Belafonte takes the spotlight on an interesting journey through the standard Blues catalogue. Brilliant delivery, well recorded – highly recommended.

Music Review:





View attachment 81428

Westside Story (Columbia, Barnes & Noble 2 LP) – Music composed by Leonard Bernstein with lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. The Original Broadway production of “West Side Story” debuted in 1957 and instantly became a sensation with its adventurous score & compelling lyrics. This landmark musical was recorded 3 days after it’s triumphant opening, and you can certainly hear the cast sing their lungs out. The listener is immediately transported back sixty years to a fresh & invigorating performance. Featuring a stellar cast of vocalists including Marilyn Horne, Kiri Te Kanawa, José Carreras… The biggest sonic improvement of this reissue over previous vinyl pressings is in expanding it to a 2 LP set. This allowed the grooves to be cut wider for more dynamic range. Cramming 57 minutes of music onto a single LP compresses the sound drastically. The original LP format was designed in 1948 to hold 20 minutes per side.
View attachment 81429

Dominique Fils Aime“Home To Me” from “Three Little Words” has gorgeous strings, wonderful backing vocals and is a refreshing but yet relaxing album. “Three Little Words” is the final album in her Trilogy. We’ve written about “Nameless” earlier, certainly an artist to look out for her. Innovative vocal arrangements, clever & fresh approach to cover versions. Listen to her cover of “Stand By Me” – Dominique’s voice (bathed in a tasteful glow of reverb) opens to an acoustic bass accompaniment, before a piano enters the stage.

Other connected posts:​

See “On A Higher Note Update and Upgrades (Part I)” for the system and room used during this music session.

See Early Listening Notes on Graham Audio’s LS8/1 for a blurb on our first reaction and casual listening when the Graham LS8/1 first arrived.

See A Long Overdue Addition to Our Family to check out the rack system in this room.
Love the tt.looks high end yet simple.
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
I have known Philip O'Hanlon for well over 20 years now so I consider him a very good friend. Plus he only lives 10 miles down the road from me so over the years there have been countless listening sessions alll of which have been memorable moments etched in my mind. So when Philip calls and says he has a few things he wants me to hear I always take notice. Last year when Philip took on the Bergmann turntable line I was one of the first to hear his Bergmann Galder and that was truly a wonderful experience. Further Philip has also taken on the Graham Audio speaker line out of the UK and I have heard several different models of the Graham speaker at Philip's house. My favorite to date has been the Graham LS 5/5. So last week I received another one of Philip's enticing phone calls stating he wanted me to come over and hear the new Bergman Modi turntable together with the newest Graham speaker the LS 8/1. It was Derek Hughes’ reminiscence of his early exposure to loudspeakers by his late father in his teens at the research lab at the BBC studios that prompted the birth of the Graham Audio LS8/1’s.

Philip had everything set up in his newly renovated family room with new floors and other renovations. The turntable was on Philip's new Artesania rack and amplification was with Philip's yet another amazing find, the Monn River Integrated Amplifierr ($4500) and the Moon River internal phono stage ($500). The Begman Modi IIRC lists for $8800 and the accompanying tonearm was a hefty $1100 . The LS 8/1 has an MSRP as we heard it of $9900. Bottom line we were listening to a system which sells for about $27K as we heard it.

Philip had yet to set up the speakers in his new room and I have to admit that the genius and Knowledge of Philip had these speakers properly set up in his room in under 30 minutes. We experimented initially with different mats, then hold down weights and finally we elevated the Bergmann Modi off the underlying Artesania Shelf with some new footers Philip was auditioning and these footer spikes were sitting in Artesania decouplers which come with 3 different bases, each of which imparts a different sound. IIRC we settled on the Neoprene bases as these seemed to have the best grip on the music.

Watching Philip do this setup was not only fun but very educational for me. The initial portion of the LS 8/1 put out a lean sound and definitely thin on bass. Philip used only the left channel to dial in the sound by moving the speaker and stand in 1/4" increments towards the front wall. When we thought the sound was at it's best we moved the speaker yet another 1/4" toward the front wall and the sound broke up and we lost the bass definition so we moved the left channel back to the previous position. Philiptook a measurement from my left ear to the cent front top of the speaker and then moved the right Chanel into position using the same measurement form left ear to left channel.

So how did it sound........."pretty friggin' awesome" is the best way t0o describe what I was hearing. It was tough to describe how good the sound was coming from this inexpensive system. The Moon River is an absolute bargain. I have heard this integrated several times now and I can only shake my head in amazement at how good this $5000 amp sounded with a $500 internal phono stage card. Philip advised me that Moon River is soon to release a separate outboard phono stage which will allegedly list for $2500.

The Bergman Modi is simple looking yet elegant in every way and the simple tonearm ad cartridge made wonderful music

The LS 8/1 however had me gobsmacked. These are small bookshelf speakers yet with them dialed in the listening session was wonderful. The bass sounded fuller and tighter after all adjustments made by Philip. This was obviously not his first rodeo. Philip is very skilled and adept at system set up

Finally the music...In all the years I jhave known Philip and in all of the shows I have visited his rooms, Philip always has the best eclectic music to hear. My session at his house was no different as he was pulling albums by artists of whom I have never heard but the sound was fabulous

One artist Philip introduced me to was Dominique Fils Aime whose first album he played for me last year. She now has 2 additional albums and Philip played the best tracks for me

The afternoon flew by all too quickly but the come away for me is that I heard a superb but inexpensive system and was able to listen to music as Philip experimented with his footers and decoupling devices under the turntable


Finally a quick comment on the Artesania rack. At an MSRP of $4200 and 2 shelves, Philip was able to have his entire electronics comfortably seated on the Artesania which also had a good looking profile

In summary, I have to say that as audiophiles we tend to always believe that if things cost more they must be better. More often than not, this is true, however Philip has found some amazing products that he represents that are available at very affordable prices. I came away that day scratching my head because what I hears was pretty darn good

Kudos Philip and thank you for another fun afternoon
 

crosswind

New Member
Jun 6, 2021
2
4
3
43
This is my first post here on WBF and being the owner of the very first produced Bergmann Modi to leave Denmark this feels like a good thread to post my first reply.

Thanks for the interesting post on tweaking the Modi. I have to this date not done any tweaking to mine, other than using the Bergmann clamp, however tweaks will be done during the coming winter, starting with isolating the turntable better from the rack.

Here is my Modi with Odin and Reed 3P. Cartridges are Hana ML on Odin (planning to upgrade this one to Etsuro Urushi Blue) and Transfiguration Phoenix S on the 3P (pictures shows opposite but has been cross changed recently). At the moment they are both stepped up via the Hashimoto HM-3 and fed into the MM input of an Allnic H-5500.

00959A72-6C1B-4B2D-AF9D-ABB8F6596CDE.jpeg E3E7F7C6-1235-41E2-A868-2ED7182C1354.jpeg
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
This is my first post here on WBF and being the owner of the very first produced Bergmann Modi to leave Denmark this feels like a good thread to post my first reply.

Thanks for the interesting post on tweaking the Modi. I have to this date not done any tweaking to mine, other than using the Bergmann clamp, however tweaks will be done during the coming winter, starting with isolating the turntable better from the rack.

Here is my Modi with Odin and Reed 3P. Cartridges are Hana ML on Odin (planning to upgrade this one to Etsuro Urushi Blue) and Transfiguration Phoenix S on the 3P (pictures shows opposite but has been cross changed recently). At the moment they are both stepped up via the Hashimoto HM-3 and fed into the MM input of an Allnic H-5500.

View attachment 81485 View attachment 81486
I was very impressed with the sound of this table
 
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Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
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Congratulations, crosswind, on the Modi!

And welcome to WBF!
 
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