New Zanden Model 120 Solid-State Phono Stage

Peter Breuninger

[Industry Expert] Member Sponsor
Jul 20, 2010
1,231
0
0
#4
Many designers believe SE is superior to balanced.
 

Andre Marc

Member Sponsor
Mar 14, 2012
3,973
0
0
San Diego
www.avrev.com
#7
In the case of cj, it's not necessarily balanced per se but how it's implemented.
True. But no matter how, they say the additional parts needed to create a balanced circuit are not worth it..

From "Sam Tellig's" ET3 review:

"All inputs are single-ended RCA. Once again, economy takes charge.
Here’s Bill: “Going balanced is a solution looking for a problem. The problem doesn’t exist in home audio, but
it’s very real for medical equipment or in the recording studio. Balanced just complicates the design, and we adamantly
don’t believe in complications.

If a preamp is fully balanced from input to output, it necessarily has more
parts: twice the parts in the signal path. “There is no such thing as a part that
has no sound.” Bill Conrad sounding off, on a previous occasion."


http://www.conradjohnson.com/It_just_sounds_right/review_et3_stereophile.pdf
 
Jan 23, 2011
3,858
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36
Amsterdam holland
#8
5 different equalisation possibilities , i dont know of any other brand that has that .
Just shows what a perfectionist the designer is imo , he probably doesnt believe in balanced design, if you also look at other products of his hand .
If it had also nab and iec i would be very interested :D
 

MylesBAstor

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
11,221
0
0
#9
5 different equalisation possibilities , i dont know of any other brand that has that .
Just shows what a perfectionist the designer is imo , he probably doesnt believe in balanced design, if you also look at other products of his hand .
If it had also nab and iec i would be very interested :D
Wavestream Kinetics. Allnic. Graham Slee. EMT. Sure there are more. All you need is adjustable turnover frequency and roll off.

What was interesting is that someone told me the Sheffield D2D were cut with the EMI, not RIAA EQ curves. I don't know if that's true but am following up. That would explain their tipped up sound on for instance Confederation, The Harry James, TOP and say the funky bass on Amanda McBroom.
 
Last edited:
Jan 23, 2011
3,858
0
36
Amsterdam holland
#12
Yes i know of that one , nice looking unit and supposed to sound great as well , it would be great if more names would step into that market gap, a phono /tape preamp package .:D
Boulder comes also to mind , known for perfectionist(phonoamp) designs.
Add a top notch modern design R2R drive system , and the high end is full circle
 

mep

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
9,483
0
0
#13
Wavestream Kinetics. Allnic. Graham Slee. EMT. Sure there are more. All you need is adjustable turnover frequency and roll off.

What was interesting is that someone told me the Sheffield D2D were cut with the EMI, not RIAA EQ curves. I don't know if that's true but am following up. That would explain their tipped up sound on for instance Confederation, The Harry James, TOP and say the funky bass on Amanda McBroom.

Can you ask Doug Sax?
 

mep

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
9,483
0
0
#15
Cool. It doesn't make sense to me that Doug would cut a record with anything other than RIAA.
 

MylesBAstor

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
11,221
0
0
#16
Doug confirmed today that the Sheffield Lab records were cut using the DIN EQ curve. For those unfamiliar with it:

TELDEC/DIN Curve[edit]

Telefunken and Decca founded a record company (Teldec) that used a characteristic proposed for German DIN-Standard on July 1957: DIN45533, DIN45536, DIN45537. It is similar, but not identical, to the RIAA. The extent of usage of this curve is unclear.
Time constants: 3180 µs (50 Hz), 318 µs (500 Hz), and 50 µs (3,180 Hz). Compare to RIAA time constants 3180 µs (50 Hz), 318 µs (500 Hz), and 75 µs (2,120 Hz). [9]
 
May 25, 2010
776
17
18
SF Bay Area
#17
Wavestream Kinetics. Allnic. Graham Slee. EMT. Sure there are more. All you need is adjustable turnover frequency and roll off.

What was interesting is that someone told me the Sheffield D2D were cut with the EMI, not RIAA EQ curves. I don't know if that's true but am following up. That would explain their tipped up sound on for instance Confederation, The Harry James, TOP and say the funky bass on Amanda McBroom.
Thanks, Myles. I haven't ripped any of my Sheffields yet. I'll try it with the EMI EQ. (I had Bottlehead custom build me a phono pre with adjustable treble roll offs, bass shelves and variable turn overs - so I can duplicate the Zanden settings as well as others for my earlier mono records. It has balanced outputs so it feeds directly into my PM Model 2.) To my ears it makes a real difference in the monos and early stereos, particularly the early EMI's and Deccas. I know what MF says about the Deccas, confirmed by the engineers still alive, but I still hear what I hear. For my rips of the early Deccas, I did both the RIAA and Decca EQ's so I can compare and change my mind if necessary.

Larry
 

MylesBAstor

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
11,221
0
0
#18
Thanks, Myles. I haven't ripped any of my Sheffields yet. I'll try it with the EMI EQ. (I had Bottlehead custom build me a phono pre with adjustable treble roll offs, bass shelves and variable turn overs - so I can duplicate the Zanden settings as well as others for my earlier mono records. It has balanced outputs so it feeds directly into my PM Model 2.) To my ears it makes a real difference in the monos and early stereos, particularly the early EMI's and Deccas. I know what MF says about the Deccas, confirmed by the engineers still alive, but I still hear what I hear. For my rips of the early Deccas, I did both the RIAA and Decca EQ's so I can compare and change my mind if necessary.

Larry
Larry reread my latest post above! It was the DIN not EMI curve. They are different as Zanden has both curves.

For some info but alas no EMI:


http://www.vinylengine.com/cartridge_database_record_equalization.php

Obviously EMI saw some use but I can't find a lot of info.

The there's this for those interested;

http://www.gspaudio.co.uk/78rpm-riaa-equalization.htm
 
Last edited:
May 25, 2010
776
17
18
SF Bay Area
#19
Larry reread my latest post above! It was the DIN not EMI curve. They are different as Zanden has both curves.

For some info but alas no EMI:


http://www.vinylengine.com/cartridge_database_record_equalization.php

Obviously EMI saw some use but I can't find a lot of info.

The there's this for those interested;

http://www.gspaudio.co.uk/78rpm-riaa-equalization.htm
Thanks, Myles. I didn't read your last post - I think it may have been delayed by my Comcast gremlins. I did check and my Bottlehead does have the 50microsec setting, so I should be good to go with the DIN EQ. My consultant Tim Marutani borrowed one of my Sheffield originals (one of the Harry James album) that Doug wanted to play at one of the shows a couple years back. So now I have an autographed copy of Doug signing that album.

Larry

Larry
 
May 25, 2010
776
17
18
SF Bay Area
#20
I just started ripping my Sheffield vinyl collection, using the DIN EQ that Myles was able to get from Doug Sax, who did the mastering for all the D2D albums that Sheffield did. I was looking at the album notes and found an interesting corroboration for at least part of the DIN EQ. As some of you may know, the DIN EQ differs from RIAA in that the high frequency roll over occurs later than with RIAA (50 microseconds vs 75 microseconds) so if a DIN EQ recording is played back on RIAA it will sound duller. In Sheffield S10 The Missing Linc, the liner notes say on side one that the listener should adjust the treble tone control of his preamp to brighten the sound by 2 to 4 dbs. That would be about the same as playing back with DIN EQ. However, to make things confusing, it says not to change anything for side two.

On the other hand, in Myles' first post on the subject, someone (not Doug) had told him Sheffield used the EMI EQ, which according to Zanden has a 100 microsecond roll treble over. This means that if a record had been recorded with the EMI EQ, it would sound brighter if played back with the normal RIAA.

At this point I am ripping my Sheffield D2D recordings according to Doug Sax's comments, since he should know.

Here is a shot of the EQ controls of the Bottlehead phono pre that I have. You can see the three knobs. The one on the left is the treble rollover, set currently to 50 microseconds (for the Sheffield rips). Two positions to the right is 75 microseconds (the RIAA setting) and furthest right is 100 microseconds (the EMI, Columbia and Decca settings). The middle know is the bass turnover frequency which is 500 Hz, the same for all stereo EQ's. The furthest right is the bass shelf. The most left position is 50Hz which is the setting for RIAA, DIN and EMI. The furthest right is 125 Hz, the setting for Decca. After hearing a prototype phono pre that Dan Schmalle of Bottlehead had made and comparing it to several others with adjustable EQ, I asked Dan to build me a custom phono pre, the result you see. In addition to the adjustable EQ, it also had a balanced output (as well as an unbalanced). I wanted a balanced output so I could directly feed my Pacific Microsonics Model Two which I use for ripping, which only has balanced inputs.
 

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