Turntable Shootout in Italy

Pani

Well-Known Member
Jun 4, 2013
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#61
We need to understand what exactly it means by “we being there” and “they being here”. They being here doesn’t mean an entire 100 piece orchestra is crunched between the speakers. It only means that each instrument sounds direct and one whole, which gives the impression that they are playing for you. This is a result of single ended amplification chain. This direct nature is lost to some extent in a push-pull amplification because of the phase distortion. It is the distortion which takes place when the signal is split and then combined back at the output. This distortion comes through as a more effervescent, loosely coupled (some call it open) and relatively indirect sound. The lesser this distortion the more direct the sound will be. But it can never be completely eliminated in a push-pull amp.
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
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#62
i see this somewhat differently.

and this is not only an amplifier issue, it's also related to the whole signal path and the speakers and how well those speakers are integrated into the room.

when the whole 'system' is acting synergistic-ally then we can hear the whole concert hall or club be recreated (if the recording captured that in some way) way out to the boundaries (now we come to amplifier part) if the amplifier has the noise floor and micro-dynamic energy to relate it. but if that amplifier can't command the recording and falls short of the energy (or noise floor) to really define the venue we are left with an enhanced view of the inner part of the recording (with reduced scale) and maybe a bit more inner nuance for good measure.

i think that maybe it's rare to find a system where the speakers and room allow a powerful amplifier to really do it's thing completely.......and it's far easier to insert a wonderful sounding SET and enjoy it's attributes. big music done right can be very addictive.....but that is not the easy thing to do.

of course, the speaker sensitivity is a huge factor as to how particular amps work in systems. so that can change all this stuff.

as far as phase distortion and it's influence on this i would differ to the amplifier designers. i can only relate what i hear, not why it happens.
 
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Pani

Well-Known Member
Jun 4, 2013
50
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#63
Hi Mike, the phenomena I was talking about is "They are here" = Direct, wholesome instrumental sounds with an inner connection between instruments, it is like a close ended statement. "You are there" = Not as direct sounds, less connected, more spaces between instruments, open ended statement. The first one is SET domain, because it happens due to the nature in which signals treated in the topology. Second one is Push-Pull, reason is still topology. Both these phenomena is simply audible even in a living room setup. Acoustics is not the decider here. Having said that, a better room and better acoustics will benefit both presentations. I have directly compared a dozen or so of SET vs its equivalent push-pull amps (from the same brand and model line) in various setups. It was an enlightening experience. It is then I researched deeper into this subject and figured out the reasons.

Secondly, SET is not about small cozy sound:), though many use it that way. SET and horns sound large and lifelike like any equivalent big amp + speaker combo (provided the room can accommodate).

Both presentations have their merits and thats why both topologies exists. Without taking sides, I would mention that Real World = Single Ended. Thats how we hear in reality. We hear direct sounds as whole all the time. We don't hear sounds that split into 2 halves and combine and then enter our ears.
 
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May 30, 2010
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#64
(...) Without taking sides, I would mention that Real World = Single Ended. Thats how we hear in reality. We hear direct sounds as whole all the time. We don't hear sounds that split into 2 halves and combine and then enter our ears.
Can you find me a recording where the signal has not gone thorough a pushpull stage, including the cutting head amplifier?
 

Pani

Well-Known Member
Jun 4, 2013
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#65
Can you find me a recording where the signal has not gone thorough a pushpull stage, including the cutting head amplifier?
That is true. Studios use differentially balanced circuits where the signal generated at the microphone or cartridge is already balanced and it remains differentially balanced till the end, where it is combined at the speaker output. It gives them the advantage of common mode noise rejection which is a huge benefit at that level. The point is, splitting the signal mechanically, magnetically at the source is different from splitting it electronically within an amp using a semi-conductor. And ultimately it has an artifact. The more number of times it is processed this way the more the artifact becomes. Thats why a lot of the preamps either go for full differential balanced topology or pure single ended. Push-pull preamps are available but not common. After-all push-pull is primarily adapted to generate more power without getting noisy, and thats needed in power amplifiers.
 
May 30, 2010
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#66
That is true. Studios use differentially balanced circuits where the signal generated at the microphone or cartridge is already balanced and it remains differentially balanced till the end, where it is combined at the speaker output. It gives them the advantage of common mode noise rejection which is a huge benefit at that level. The point is, splitting the signal mechanically, magnetically at the source is different from splitting it electronically within an amp using a semi-conductor. And ultimately it has an artifact. The more number of times it is processed this way the more the artifact becomes. Thats why a lot of the preamps either go for full differential balanced topology or pure single ended. Push-pull preamps are available but not common. After-all push-pull is primarily adapted to generate more power without getting noisy, and thats needed in power amplifiers.
It is much more than that - the signal is converted to single ended many times and balanced again, inside mixers, equalizers and tape recorders. Lots of equipment that process both phases separately includes push pull stages for each phase. Considering that the push pull stage of the output amplifier of our system is responsible for an additional artifact that can spoil the sound quality becomes hard to accept IMHO. Personally I believe that people can preferer the added sonic signature of a single ended output stage, not the absence of any "non natural" push pull artifact. As always YMMV.
 

Pani

Well-Known Member
Jun 4, 2013
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#67
Well, it is about spoiling the sound. It is just an effect that is audible on high resolution systems. The distortion and noise levels of single ended is also audible. My point was, "you being there" and "they being here" is not solid state vs tube, it is push-pull vs single ended. Which presentation is preferrable is personal.

As an example, if you compare First Watt J2 vs F6. Both uses a very similar approach of minimalistic 2 stage amplification driven by JFETs. The main difference is J2 is single ended and F6 is push-pull. Compare them on a system and you clearly hear J2 = they being here and F6 = you being there.
 

Pani

Well-Known Member
Jun 4, 2013
50
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#68
Another way of looking at it is use of negative feedback. Studio equipments use negative feedback a lot. Electronically it is a good way to reduce distortion but sonically there is a lot more to it.
 
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nickif

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May 17, 2013
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#69
Very well written Ked, especially appreciate your honest opinion about the AB comparison. Wondering how you would compare Brinkmann balance with AF3P?
 
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bonzo75

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#70
Very well written Ked, especially appreciate your honest option about the AB comparison. Wondering how you would compare Brinkmann balance with AF3P?
I prefer brinkmann. I also prefer it to AF1 and AF1p though I have not done direct shootouts of them with each other but have with other tables. However if you prefer more rock you should go for techdas.

Also brinkmann is normally demoed with brinkmann arm. You will get further improvement changing that arm. The FR 66s sounds awesome with it. I haven't tried but I guess Schroeder LT or Bergmann Odin linear tracker might be excellent.

I have been listening to Brinkmann regularly now. It is a complete table for me. The lower models are not as good.

I also might mention that if you like techdas already you will like it better. It has some attributes it does and if people like it... The staging, the bass, and the slam... They will like it better. I just don't find it nuanced enough and natural in those attributes... With all the models I have heard and compared. Brinkmann for me does more real bass and stage and perfect top to bottom balance with a real grounded feel of sound
 
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JackD201

WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
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#71
Well, it is about spoiling the sound. It is just an effect that is audible on high resolution systems. The distortion and noise levels of single ended is also audible. My point was, "you being there" and "they being here" is not solid state vs tube, it is push-pull vs single ended. Which presentation is preferrable is personal.

As an example, if you compare First Watt J2 vs F6. Both uses a very similar approach of minimalistic 2 stage amplification driven by JFETs. The main difference is J2 is single ended and F6 is push-pull. Compare them on a system and you clearly hear J2 = they being here and F6 = you being there.
To be transparent, I have in my product line up, tube SETs, tube PPs, tube SS and SS tube hybrids, ZNFB PP SS and ZNFB SE SS.

Topology in my experience has less to do with "being there" or "they being here" than a number of factors. The transducers on both ends to me have the most to do with this. They are the bottleneck as you hinted at when you mentioned SETs being used with APPROPRIATE speakers. Some speakers will never be able to hint at "you are there feelings". Maybe even more so with cartridges. "They are here" is quite an easier feat as the performance envelopes required are less demanding.

Before we get to corruption of information we must first consider its extraction. Then it becomes a function of actually being able to convert that information in particular the recorded ambient information convincingly. Fortunately Ked's host had Marten speakers in use as these along with just a handful of cone speakers manufacturers actually do ambience very well as they are very low distortion products having licked, like the others gross diaphragm ringing as well as thermal distortion, things horn loaded drivers didn't have to deal with given their inherently lower excursion.

You are there to me simply presents the music in such a way that the venue signature whether recorded or constructed accompanies the musicians, it is us that is placed with them AWAY from our own domiciles because they alter nay dominate our spaces' acoustic signature enough for us to actually feel we are at least somewhere else if not actually "there".

To me the topology is more qualitative. When I swoon over our SET gear it is because of the purity that, let's face it, SETs do best. Sometimes I am home and others away. SETs even with 107dB horns I had here were no guarantee of the away experience. They played both here AND away depending on the recording, It has been the same with all the topologies. "You are there" can suck but still make you feel you are somewhere else.

As such, I respectfully disagree.

Oh Ked, with all due respect to Bob. Graham life starts with the B-44. Not to knock the 1.5 but time has moved on. With Graham no more so than in the bass department. As you already considered IMO in the present company the Monaco was running handicapped. Also I love the H3000. I love the Korean voicing, Always sweet with great flow. The Italians of Asia sonics wise. Mine here has a mullard recti. Strange I Never tried the KR being the KR distributor!
 
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awsmone

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Apr 7, 2014
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Canberra Australia
#72
I think Ked suggested the Graham was suboptimal
I think the Triplanar is a good match and adds some warmth
Having owned a Monaco for a while it’s hard to get to sing

I changed the mats a lot till I got it to work Ked has heard my videos
What it’s placed on makes a big difference
Having owned 3 sp 10 they are much easier to get to work

I was interested in the allnic and solution comparison
I listened to Soulution 755 versus Io eclipse and preferred eclipse everything else in the chain was the same much to my surprise

Getting back to “you are there” and “they are here”, I recently upgraded the caps in my crossover

This seemed to enhance both observations that it is recording dependent to a degree

As to orchestra this also seems to be a miking distance to the orchestra issue

I usually have the string section pushed back 6 to 8 feet behind the speakers
Yet a piano quintet I have the cello and first violin are in front of the speakers

My RR recordings the orchestra is way back

I used to have lousy ambience retrieval with SS in my system

But since I updated the crossovers, it’s excellent, even to back of stage sounds space behind the back row, etc

Even studio recordings I get the feel of living people playing

It’s quite hypnotic

The dsd of Oscar Peterson very tall band the feel of the people, at the venue makes you want to order a drink from the bar, lemonade of course ;)
 
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Tango

VIP/Donor
Mar 12, 2017
3,642
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Bangkok
#73
M
I think Ked suggested the Graham was suboptimal
I think the Triplanar is a good match and adds some warmth
Having owned a Monaco for a while it’s hard to get to sing

I changed the mats a lot till I got it to work Ked has heard my videos
What it’s placed on makes a big difference
Having owned 3 sp 10 they are much easier to get to work

I was interested in the allnic and solution comparison
I listened to Soulution 755 versus Io eclipse and preferred eclipse everything else in the chain was the same much to my surprise

Getting back to “you are there” and “they are here”, I recently upgraded the caps in my crossover

This seemed to enhance both observations that it is recording dependent to a degree

As to orchestra this also seems to be a miking distance to the orchestra issue

I usually have the string section pushed back 6 to 8 feet behind the speakers
Yet a piano quintet I have the cello and first violin are in front of the speakers

My RR recordings the orchestra is way back

I used to have lousy ambience retrieval with SS in my system

But since I updated the crossovers, it’s excellent, even to back of stage sounds space behind the back row, etc

Even studio recordings I get the feel of living people playing

It’s quite hypnotic

The dsd of Oscar Peterson very tall band the feel of the people, at the venue makes you want to order a drink from the bar, lemonade of course ;)
May I ask what kind of Caps you replaced with?

Kind regards,
Tang
 

nickif

Well-Known Member
May 17, 2013
34
18
85
#74
I prefer brinkmann. I also prefer it to AF1 and AF1p though I have not done direct shootouts of them with each other but have with other tables. However if you prefer more rock you should go for techdas.

Also brinkmann is normally demoed with brinkmann arm. You will get further improvement changing that arm. The FR 66s sounds awesome with it. I haven't tried but I guess Schroeder LT or Bergmann Odin linear tracker might be excellent.

I have been listening to Brinkmann regularly now. It is a complete table for me. The lower models are not as good.

I also might mention that if you like techdas already you will like it better. It has some attributes it does and if people like it... The staging, the bass, and the slam... They will like it better. I just don't find it nuanced enough and natural in those attributes... With all the models I have heard and compared. Brinkmann for me does more real bass and stage and perfect top to bottom balance with a real grounded feel of sound
that’s very helpful as I’m looking around for my first TT. I like the look of AF3P (not AF3 though), when I heard AF3 at my friend’s system I did feel the sound is clean but lack of some air and naturalness.

BB looks great too, for me personally the look is very important, I prefer simpler design to the more complicated. BB is simple but solid, fits my taste very much.

Another TT I’m contemplating is the Vertere, love the RG1 and it sounds great too.
 

awsmone

Well-Known Member
Apr 7, 2014
1,364
217
135
Canberra Australia
#75
I am about half way through Tang
Just replaced bass driver/ lower mids first
Awaiting some more caps for tweeter

The baseline caps were Jantzen superior Silver Z caps which I bypassed with Alumen version
I then tried mundorf gold and silver in oil not supreme which I didn’t like as well
Then added Mundorf silver in oil supreme and duelund silver bypass caps
I have now ordered upgrade foil inductors

I added Jantzen Alumen Z Cap to tweeter horn and mundorf silver and gold oil to rear facing ambient tweeter

I am thinking a Jupiter copper in beeswax for the mid or just bypass with a tasty copper foil, Jensen, Duelund etc

Even at the moment the sound is very coherent
On the Sophie Muter Carmen Fantasy Tzigane the slower quit second part it is obvious she is using metal strings , the harmonics are quiet clearly and distinctly present against a black ground, with deep long echo trails

On the florestan Trio Debussy and ravel Trio you can hearne behind the piano, the sound of the campers on the strings of piano waft right of stage in quiet sympathy

On Masanet Thais Sophie Muter, you hear her breathe before starting and the page turning

The intimacy is quite enthralling

On the Bernstein Shostakovich 9 the moderato the timbre of the woodwind is apparent and separate

The Dudamel Rite of spring introduction similarity between bassoon and bass clarinet, the clacking of the basson keys well heard

On Isserlis Bach Cello suites, the sound of hair on string and the airconditioning are all well heard, his fingers slapping the fretless neck frenetically

I never thought they could make so much difference

I will love to go all Duelund

But price,a DM maybe the idea of too much of a good thing

I like the Alumen Z Caps as they are very neutral and transparent and extended

I feel they are also. Excellent value for performance

I am adding other caps to add just a little harmonic colour density “just a pinch” if I can

If your inteersted maybe pm me I would assume you have very high quality caps in your horns, probably superior to what I have now?
 
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bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
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#76
Since this shootout I have found an excellent system combining Allnic phono with Soulution preamp. In fact I have not experienced a change in a system with a preamp as drastically as we did here, and it became my favorite SS preamp.

http://zero-distortion.org/soulution-pre-kr-va-200/
 

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
6,546
1,585
340
North Shore of Boston
#77
after having the ML3's and darts together...….it's pretty simple; at the top of the food chain the tubes are more rounded and holographic (they are here), solid state resolves lots more space, granular detail, openness, and fine textures of things (we are there).

neither are totally real...…..since real music is not all the way to either extreme. choose your artifact.
Fascinating topic and observation, Mike. I'd like to see a more thorough discussion about this in it's own thread.

Nice report, Ked.
 

Vienna

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Oct 14, 2018
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#78
Bonzo75, Since I am not fan of pneumatic systems and compressors, I am thinking of acquiring a Brinkmann Balance 33rd anniversary.
Do you have any personal experience?
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
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#79
Bonzo75, Since I am not fan of pneumatic systems and compressors, I am thinking of acquiring a Brinkmann Balance 33rd anniversary.
Do you have any personal experience?
Hi no, that is the two arm one, and later than the various ones listed in my reports. I also do not know if there is any update apart from two arms.
 

Vienna

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Oct 14, 2018
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#80
Hi no, that is the two arm one, and later than the various ones listed in my reports. I also do not know if there is any update apart from two arms.
Thank you for reverting
 

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