My Little Barn

[please forgive my poor English]

Two weeks apart, the resemblance between a cello reproduced by the Stenheim Reference Ultime Two and a live cello, is striking.

Last weekend, I attended a little concert in a private concert hall where a trio played Schubert...

Sure, on one side, at DCC's place, there was "just" an original vinyl copy of a Schubert sonata (spinned on DCC's CSPort turntable); cello played by Rostropovich.
On the other side, in that Schubert trio concert last Saturday, there was a live cello, played by Spanish cellist Lucia Otero, who plays regularly with the Belgian National Orchestra.
There were also some differences in the venue's size and acoustics, but also some interesting similarities with the Little Barn.

- Saturday the 30th of December, at DCC's place (I took the liberty of reproducing the first photo that DCC had published to highlight the similarities; I blurred the speakers as these were the previous ones). Cathedral ceiling with absorbers, brick walls, SMT diffusers along some walls, concrete floor covered with tiles, and carpet on top (iirc). Schubert, Arpeggione sonata, Rostropovich, cello (and Britten, piano).

- Two weeks later, Saturday the 13th of January, Schubert's String Trio in B-Flat Major, D. 471, Lucia Otero, cello.
The concert took place at Gabriel's house, a buddy who owns a little private concert hall in town, with a studio recording downstairs, where he records indie rock bands among others.
Cathedral ceiling with absorbers, brick walls, small absorbers along some walls, floor made of concrete + wood on top. Lower ceiling, bigger volume (capacity 35..70 seats max.).

The newly formed Althea trio played the Schubert's String Trio in B-Flat Major, D. 471 (and also Beethoven String trio op. 9 n. 3 in C minor, and Weinberg string trio Nr 48).
Isabelle Dunlop, violin (her violin is a French Mirecourt instrument by N. Caussin, a Vuillaume copy, dated 1850, and her bow is by the modern Irish bowmaker Robert Pierce.)​
Lucia Otero, cello. She currently plays with the Belgian National Orchestra, and the National Orchestra of Spain, while developing her​
chamber music career in both countries. (Italian cello by the luthier Giuseppe Lucci di Bagnacavallo, made in Rome in 1942.)​
David Dupouy, alto.​

On the Stenheims, Rostro playing pizzicati (plucked strings) in the Arpeggione sonata sounded strikingly real in comparison to this.
This experience was further confirmation that, with the Stens, it's a bit like having the musicians and their instruments in your living room, more than a good reproduction of these instruments. (still warn the neighbors if you have any.)


As you can see, the concert was being recorded

Then, after the drink, I asked Gabriel if we could shortly listen to the rough mix ("RAW" recording, previous to the mastering, without sub-sonic signal, if any; I say it in my words, as best I can). We then went downstairs, under the concert hall (this place is amazing...).

Gabriel searches a specific moment of the Schubert trio and the Weinberg trio that I wished to hear as quickly as possible.

Gabriel is a vinyl fan too (he has several thousand).

Then we listened to the rough mix. He said he was interested to have my opinion (! :))
First on his Neumann KH120a. Then on his JBL 4312 active, on the left side (I had to ask him to stop after 3sec, it was a torture.)

Back to the Neumann monitors. In the treble, the rough mix initially sounded brash. "We have to apply some initial treatment", said Gabriel. Everything became much more listenable very quickly. But it is only the beginning, he said. He tried a few things back and forth, asked me what what I preferred, etc.
Then his watch beeped: his wife, Alexandra, was calling: "the dinner is ready..." (the playtime is over... :oops:).

Stenheim recently demoed their smallest floorstander, the new Alumine Two.Five (€26K), at the Power Station recording studio, in NYC. The sound engineer says in the video that their active monitors are not as good as the Stenheims. Jerome Sabbagh played live, then they played a James Farber recording (not of the live performance). Michael Fremer, who attended the event, commented that "the recording through the speakers was remarkably 'life like'. Surprised me." This agrees with my first impressions at the November show.
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Much thanks for this post , What is he using for mastering monitors .?
[please forgive my poor English]
I don't know. Moreover, he is saving money for a pair of big Neumann, he told me.
(I feel that I like a "monitoring" sound more and more. Nevertheless, through those pro monitors, the sound reproduction is exact, but it sounds as if the music was served on a dissection table. So I wish a "musical monitor" (oxymoron?) existed. Moreover, I wish it sounds live, with the same expressiveness than a live un-amplified concert. I had many hours of discussion over that topic with an audio buddy who is the engineer responsible for radio broadcast of the Belgian National Radio&TV; of course he swears only by professional equipment; but he was gobsmacked by the TAD Reference One TX at the November show; a pity that he never heard the Stenheim Reference Ultime Two, demo'ed at the other show...)​
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Just a small correction: the small monitor in Gabriel’s studio is not the 310 but the Neumann KH120, a fantastic little monitor for many years.
A quite new, a slightly bigger one is the KH150, that is a little revolution in this range of monitors.
Yes, I can absolutely recommend to listen to the big monitors, maybe an older Klein+Hummel O 500 C or the later, slightly smaller Neumann KH420. These are outstanding main monitors, here in Germany with good reputation even under HiFi fans.
I live not far from the Sennheiser/Neumann headquarter and listened already a few times with the chief engineer Mr. Wolff of these monitors in their developing and demo room the last 10 years.
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I' ve been playing tapes quite intensively over the last weeks.

I usually try getting my tapes under pancake format which I transfer to reels I am buying from Tonbandspule/Feinwerktechnik.

Where possible, I am getting 12 inch pancakes so I have a full album on one single reel. It not only saves me same real estate in terms of shelf space but I really enjoy getting about 48 minutes of music in one go.

I recently received ten pancakes which I had been patiently waiting for a very long time. To my surprise, three of them were more than 50 minutes long and could not fit into 12 inch reels. But, the Studer A80 RC can play reels up to 12.5 inch and Tonbanspule manufactures such reels. So for the first time, I ordered Super Size Me reels (the Studer A820 can even accommodate 14 inch reels). I received them during the week and got the pancakes transferred.




they started manufacturing 12,5 reels on my request
had to order 50 together with a friend to make them set up the fascilities
later they also started making 12.5 pancakes
obviously it was a success and they do 14" as well
Thanks for this;-)

Good to know for the platter as putting a 12.5 pancake on my 12 inch platter was quite racy. I had to keep the pancake under tension while threading the tape into the take up reel. Luckily, threading the A80 is easy.
yes the A80 is a dream to work with
but I´ve had a couple of incidents where the core of the pancake loosened and I had to improvise to get it all to Tonbandspule
what I also learned is that the size of the supply and takeup reel should be same size/weight, as to not get imbalance on the spooling motors and tape tension
I tended to have 12,5 as supply spool all the time out of sheer laziness
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yes the A80 is a dream to work with
but I´ve had a couple of incidents where the core of the pancake loosened and I had to improvise to get it all to Tonbandspule
what I also learned is that the size of the supply and takeup reel should be same size/weight, as to not get imbalance on the spooling motors and tape tension
I tended to have 12,5 as supply spool all the time out of sheer laziness
I always have reels of the same size and weight on both sides as instructed by the tech who takes care of my tape decks.
Hello , I'm looking for a pre for my newly purchased krell evo one amplifiers.

What are your suggestions? I tried Ch L1 it was very nice but I couldn't be sure because the output impedance ohm was very low. (60ohm)
I am very happy with the Thrax Libra which has two variable outputs. This feature allows bi-amping which is something I need. I also tried its little brother, the Dionysos which I found excellent in its price range. You need to consider a fully balanced preamp.
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output impedance seems a little low your Libra ( 80ohm). As far as I know, Krell requires an average of 200 ohms.Do you have any experience about this?
No issue at all. I had a Krell preamp EVO 202 before (still have it in my secondary system) and I would take the Libra any day against the 202.
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Thank u
Playing with some carts on the linear tracking arm.

I had sent back the Signature Platinum for retipping but MSL returned me a brand new cart which is now mounted on a Phasemation CS-1200 headshell. It was previously mounted in the SAT tonearm.

Somehow I feel that the best combo is achieved with the Phasemation PP-2000 on the SAT tonearm and the MSL on the CSPort linear tracking arm.

I can easily swap between the MSL Signature Platinum and the Transfiguration Proteus D.

@dcc I've ordered the CS Port AFU1 linear tracker and hope it will be shipping in a few weeks. I ordered it with just the too plate to mount on my TAT1M2 but will have to remove my Safir arm. Easy process just to remove 2 screws on the mounting plate. Any suggestions when setting up the AFU1? Air settings? I'll also mount my MSL Sig Platinum on it.
It is a pretty straightforward process.

You need to ensure that there is sufficient airflow and you should ear it when you are very close to the tonearm.

The tube with the airflow has to be dust free. I clean it gently every two month with isopropyl alcohol.

Consider replacing the stock tonearm cable and headshell by more qualitative ones.
Thanks @dcc . Are you suggesting the cable from the RCA'S to headshell? Or RCA'S from back of arm to SUT or phono-pre? I'll be 1st trying a new Signature Silver Series by Audiomica for that connection. What headshells would you recommend?

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