vinyl upgrades; Dava, FCL tone arm, EMIA silver Phono Corrector, MC Trio

three-TTs.jpg i've finished my digital push....and been working on a few odds and ends to fine tune my vinyl. had my 3 tt's for 3 years now, thought long and hard about consolidating the 3 into one 'big-boy' tt, but at the end of the day have decided that the three tt's cover state of the art vinyl rotating and so they are all keepers. i like what each does too much, and nothing else enough, to change. i will likely sell my 4th tt, the EMT948 i got a year ago, as i'm rarely listening to it.

a month ago i ordered the DaVa Ref (field coil) cartridge and did post about that. it's still approximately 3 months away. so May. it will replace one of my 3 Etsuro Gold MC's.

i've been working on a new tone arm for the last couple of months, and did finally order the 12" Primary Control FCL (field coil) tone arm last week. that's also scheduled to arrive in May. my initial plan was to combine the DaVa field coil cart with the field coil arm. but i've learned that is not a good idea. that arm/cart combo not synergistic. so the DaVa will be mounted on one of my Durand Tosca's. the FCL arm will then have one of my Etsuro Gold's.

right now, the plan is to mount the FCL arm on the Wave Kinetics NVS, and keep the Tosca on the Saskia with the Dava cart. but i will have arm boards for both arms, for both turntables. so i can play around with the best combinations. my goal is to have the best jazz/blues arm/cart combo on the Saskia, and the best classical/pop combo on the NVS to compliment the CS Port linear tracker for classical/pop. the Durand Telos which now has my Miyajima Infinity mounted will be moving on, and my other Tosca will now do both my Infinity Mono carts.

lastly; i have ordered today the EMIA Phono Corrector in silver, with 2 power supplies. it will hopefully be here in late April. it will replace my CS Port phono. once the DaVa cartridge arrives; Dave Slagle will work with me to identify the best SUT as a match for it, and Dave will then combine that SUT with a silver SUT for both Etsuro Gold's into an EMIA MC Trio. i'll trade my current pair of silver 1:10 EMIA SUT's in on the MC TRIO. so the Phono Corrector will service all three cartridges, leaving the mono carts for the darTZeel phono. the MC Trio will also have a mono switch, so i can use it for the mono's if i like.

to help pay for all these items, i'll be selling the EMT 948 with Durand Kairos arm, one Etsuro Gold, the CS Port phono, and one of my Studer A-820's (without the head switch and with 1/4" and 1/2" guides and head blocks) i have not been using. so there will be some pain, but not crazy amounts of it. it will be a few months, but i can ride off into the sunset once these things are in place and dialed in.

at least it's a plan. and checks have been written.
 
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After 3 days of Kedar and endless compares, then a 4am drive to the airport to drop him off, I zombie stumbled through my work day. But the glow of my tt riches demands that I give them a twirl tonight.

So it’s a Side of a Bartok Quartet on the NVS, Side of Mozart Quartet on the Saskia, and side of Beethoven Quartet on the CS Port. then early to bed.

Halfway through the Bartok….....hope i make it to Beethoven.

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View attachment 98516 i've finished my digital push....and been working on a few odds and ends to fine tune my vinyl. had my 3 tt's for 3 years now, thought long and hard about consolidating the 3 into one 'big-boy' tt, but at the end of the day have decided that the three tt's cover state of the art vinyl rotating and so they are all keepers. i like what each does too much, and nothing else enough, to change. i will likely sell my 4th tt, the EMT948 i got a year ago, as i'm rarely listening to it.

a month ago i ordered the DaVa Ref (field coil) cartridge and did post about that. it's still approximately 3 months away. so May. it will replace one of my 3 Etsuro Gold MC's.

i've been working on a new tone arm for the last couple of months, and did finally order the 12" Primary Control FCL (field coil) tone arm last week. that's also scheduled to arrive in May. my initial plan was to combine the DaVa field coil cart with the field coil arm. but i've learned that is not a good idea. that arm/cart combo not synergistic. so the DaVa will be mounted on one of my Durand Tosca's. the FCL arm will then have one of my Etsuro Gold's.

right now, the plan is to mount the FCL arm on the Wave Kinetics NVS, and keep the Tosca on the Saskia with the Dava cart. but i will have arm boards for both arms, for both turntables. so i can play around with the best combinations. my goal is to have the best jazz/blues arm/cart combo on the Saskia, and the best classical/pop combo on the NVS to compliment the CS Port linear tracker for classical/pop. the Durand Telos which now has my Miyajima Infinity mounted will be moving on, and my other Tosca will now do both my Infinity Mono carts.

lastly; i have ordered today the EMIA Phono Corrector in silver, with 2 power supplies. it will hopefully be here in late April. it will replace my CS Port phono. once the DaVa cartridge arrives; Dave Slagle will work with me to identify the best SUT as a match for it, and Dave will then combine that SUT with a silver SUT for both Etsuro Gold's into an EMIA MC Trio. i'll trade my current pair of silver 1:10 EMIA SUT's in on the MC TRIO. so the Phono Corrector will service all three cartridges, leaving the mono carts for the darTZeel phono. the MC Trio will also have a mono switch, so i can use it for the mono's if i like.

to help pay for all these items, i'll be selling the EMT 948 with Durand Kairos arm, one Etsuro Gold, the CS Port phono, and one of my Studer A-820's (without the head switch and with 1/4" and 1/2" guides and head blocks) i have not been using. so there will be some pain, but not crazy amounts of it. it will be a few months, but i can ride off into the sunset once these things are in place and dialed in.

at least it's a plan. and checks have been written.
Wow! Things have come a long way for you since my visit, some years ago! (Came out with Rich and enjoyed some fine tapes and vinyl) I haven't logged in for a couple of years, will have to "catch up". Field coil cartridge? Whew!!!
 
Added an LFD DIN ‘Dongle’, which is a 12” long super cable that optimizes the DIN connection restriction to phono cables. This is very stiff and requires stress relief. So I acquired 3 clamp posts for all three of my LFD phono cables as the other 2 are also heavy and put lots of strain on the DIN.

my first impressions of this Dongle were very high; special levels of openness, dimensionality and dynamics. but it's brand new and fresh so i need to give it time.

to use the Dongle i needed to appropriate the LFD Raptor 1.5m rca i.c. i was using between the EMIA phono and the dart pre. this LFD Dongle -> LFD Raptor combo is replacing a Primary Control DIN phono cable i had been using on the DaVa. big step up. replacing the LFD Raptor EMIA to dart pre i've temporarily substituted a WBC Gotham 1.5m rca i.c. written about in Tang's thread. hard to say yet how the Gotham will do in that spot. but it will be fair to all three of the set-ups using the EMIA.

btw; last night i did 100% solve my hum problem from the DaVa.

Later Mik will send me additional info on the 'super' Dongle which I will post.
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Nice! I see the Saskia! As you know I'm a big Lenco/Slate guy... Glad to see she has found a place in such a premier system!
 
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Wow! Things have come a long way for you since my visit, some years ago! (Came out with Rich and enjoyed some fine tapes and vinyl) I haven't logged in for a couple of years, will have to "catch up". Field coil cartridge? Whew!!!
that's been quite a few years. saw Rich at the Seattle Audio Fest in July.
 
Tonight I added the DS Audio Ion anti static to my NVS tt. As wonderful as the NVS design is it was a challenge to accommodate the CS Port IME1 version. Just too crowded on the plinth top with 2 arms for record changing. The Ion is also a challenge but a solvable one. my plan was to have it behind the plinth, but the plinth width back there put it too far from the platter to be effective. Not thrilled with the look of it sitting out front. But my ears love what I’m hearing. More vivid, lower noise, increased dynamic contrasts. Small subtle differences which mean plenty.

I have another IME1 coming (ordered and paid for.....no ETA yet) for the Saskia so all three tt’s will have one.
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Hi Mike,

Did you consider the Furutech Destat III? (I guess the DS Audio device is easier because it just sits there and you don’t have to fuss with it?)

Have you ever considered the Furutech vinyl record demagnetizer?
 
Hi Mike,

Did you consider the Furutech Destat III? (I guess the DS Audio device is easier because it just sits there and you don’t have to fuss with it?)

Have you ever considered the Furutech vinyl record demagnetizer?
did not consider the Destat III; i own 3 other Tourmaline hand held blowers (that do the same thing) of various types that i know work but never use. 2 problems with those; (1) their effect does not last a whole side (about 12-15 minutes is all....maybe the Destat III lasts longer but i doubt it), and (2) it requires an extra step in record listening i know i'm never going to do. both of my CS Port IEM1 anti stat devices also demag too. but i will never use them for that as they require three additional steps. (1) have to lower the unit closer to the record, then (2) press the button and wait, then (3) raise the unit back up for the de-stat. that is not going to happen. when i'm vinyl listening, i'm......drum roll.......listening.

the DS Audio Ion and CS Port IME1 are passive. they sit there and do their anti-static thing while i do my thing......continually. they require one button turning on at session start, then turning off at session end. my kinda tweak. greatly reduced clicks and pops and better sound. less dust accumulation. wintertime dry air effect eliminated. not cheap, but with a 6 figure tt set-up you gotta do it.

i do own an Acoustic Revive RL-30 demag unit that sits outside my room in front of my built in Equi=Tech panel. (next to my KLaudio RCM). works great, looks nice. never use it as it requires an additional step.
 
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Thank you very much, Mike, for the detailed explanation and chronicling of your procedures. It makes sense to me to avoid additional steps — vinyl is complicated enough!
 
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But my ears love what I’m hearing. More vivid, lower noise, increased dynamic contrasts. Small subtle differences which mean plenty.
I heard DS Audio anti static device a couple of times but I didn’t compare it to other static removing devices. My friends using DS describe it’s effect differently but positively, I didn’t hear enough to convince or comment.

the DS Audio Ion and CS Port IME1 are passive.
Actually they’re active and they keep whole turntable including tonearm and cartridge under ion bombardment. That’s why they have a switch and a power supply. Keeping cartridge under ion (positive and negative but mainly negative ion) bombardment all the time doesn’t seem to me a good idea that’s why I didn’t get it. No matter what the company will find an excuse or explanation it will certainly effect the sound of the cartridge and the headshell cables. In the beginning it’s sound may be conceived as great but check again 6 months later. If you still find it great sounding than it’s fine. Anyway I’m not positive about ion bombardment of the cartridge. IMHO static removal is a strong electro magnetical process and should be done standalone, out of the playback equipment. I find LP size steinmusic and furtech static removers highly effective. I don’t know how acoustic revive’s cause I only heard it a couple of times but probably it’s good too.

DS or CS may say many things such as they made a research, their equipment is not effecting the cartridge or any cables etc but that will not change the truth. They’re buying regular, on the shelf active elements found in many different purpose equipment that produce ions to remove static.
 
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did not consider the Destat III; i own 3 other Tourmaline hand held blowers (that do the same thing) of various types that i know work but never use. 2 problems with those; (1) their effect does not last a whole side (about 12-15 minutes is all....maybe the Destat III lasts longer but i doubt it),
IME the main reason for records to gain static charge is anti-static brushes (besides humidity and earth’s natural magnetization). -Against all the advertisements- when you use anti-static brush it works like a static charging device, especially when the record is on the platter. If you’re using furutech or similar destat device before brushing then you’re erasing it’s effect by charging records with static again. Using destat while record sitting on platter also diminishes the effect.

IME the most important thing to achieve static free records is properly cleaning records. Using ion free (battery water, 0-3 micro siemens conductivity) with ultrasonic RCM and adding some anti-static agent like ilford ilfotol really helps. @tima has a better knowledge about this than I have and he can detail the process throughly. Once you achieve a clean record it’s better to brush it holding the record on your hand and using destat afterwards. This way record remains static free for a long time. Even the zero-stat gun works when used this way. At least all worked for me. YMMV because there can be some records containing high metal parts or your room or climate can be extremely dry. I’m living close to sea by the way.

IMHO instead of using DS inevitably aiming the cartridge, room treatment solutions using negative ion generators can solve the issue of static associated with records. Regarding static removal having a good working ground and grounding turntable is necessary IMHO.
 
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Actually they’re active and they keep whole turntable including tonearm and cartridge under ion bombardment.
what i meant by passive is that the user does not need to do anything other than turn them on.

i've lived with the CS Port IME1 anti static device now for 6 months, and it's effect is predictable and appreciated. i've had it on all three turntables and found i need one on each tt.

i cannot argue the tech aspect at all as it's beyond me. i will go down the road and see what happens. very satisfied so far.
 

Hi Mike, I had one in some time ago from my local dealer. It definitely was effective. I can't remember but I had to return it because it was spoken for.

I'm with you- life's too complex and time too short to add more to the vinyl routine. Passive is good with the DS.

Just recently I did my own with a Panasonic industrial ionizer and a microphone arm I just switch it on and let it spin.
 

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I chose a Destat III for every CD play. I also use a carbon fiber brush on the LP first, then remove the LP and use the Destat III next, then the LP back on the table. I find that a gentle wipe of the tonearm top from cartridge back with the carbon brush destaticises it (hearing the occasional subtle click as it works). My listening room has much less airborne static than my prior four homes, possibly because it has no openings (two 17" 1000lb swinging doors kept shut) and a 106 oz. non-static plush carpet (I haven't made it crackle yet rubbing anything or shoes on it in 4 years). Static used to be a problem in my former homes as we have very low humidity and fall/winter has high winds.
 
once in a while you hear an Lp that makes you pause. it takes you someplace. i'm a fan of the violinist Hilary Hahn, and had listened to her new recording "Eclipse" of three violin concerto's in 24/48 on Quboz a few weeks back. liked it. so when i saw the Lp on Acoustic Sounds, a 2 disc set, i decided to buy it. not many new classical vinyl choices out there, i assume this is a digital recording, but i want to support this direction. liked her previous vinyl choices i've acquired.

i listened to the first disc, the Dvorak and the Sarasate, on the CS Port/Etsuro Gold and it was very fine. then for the second disc, the Ginastera, i switched to the NVS/FCL/Etsuro Gold. this one was fantastic. spellbinding. wow!!! a caution; i'm no expert on the music, and just referring to my own reaction to the listening experience.

overall the Lp sound is very, very good, not super, but the vinyl is quiet and the playing is heartfelt. and it all just flows and works. the better pure analog recordings can have more life, air and inner detail for sure, but this one holds it's own on all those things. but somehow i was grabbed and sucked in especially by the Ginastera. all the delicate passages broke through the suspension of disbelief barrier. i did not want it to end. my plan is to play each disc on each turntable and just enjoy what each tt can bring. and find other good Ginastera Concerto recordings too....love the piece. i'm going to have to re-listen to the digital, see if there is a higher rez download, and investigate further.

highly recommended.

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Cool. Thanks for the recommendation Mike. What table is the DaVa cartridge on these days and how does Hilary Hahn sound played via that cartridge?
 
Cool. Thanks for the recommendation Mike. What table is the DaVa cartridge on these days and how does Hilary Hahn sound played via that cartridge?
Peter,

thanks.

the DaVa is mounted on the Durand Tosca and is on the Saskia idler. not yet played this Lp on that tt. but i will soon and report.

i did finally receive 2 additional DaVa power supply wires so i can try the DaVa on my other arms if i like. not sure that i will go down that road but at least now it's a choice.
 
once in a while you hear an Lp that makes you pause. it takes you someplace. i'm a fan of the violinist Hilary Hahn, and had listened to her new recording "Eclipse" of three violin concerto's in 24/48 on Quboz a few weeks back. liked it. so when i saw the Lp on Acoustic Sounds, a 2 disc set, i decided to buy it. not many new classical vinyl choices out there, i assume this is a digital recording, but i want to support this direction. liked her previous vinyl choices i've acquired.

i listened to the first disc, the Dvorak and the Sarasate, on the CS Port/Etsuro Gold and it was very fine. then for the second disc, the Ginastera, i switched to the NVS/FCL/Etsuro Gold. this one was fantastic. spellbinding. wow!!! a caution; i'm no expert on the music, and just referring to my own reaction to the listening experience.

overall the Lp sound is very, very good, not super, but the vinyl is quiet and the playing is heartfelt. and it all just flows and works. the better pure analog recordings can have more life, air and inner detail for sure, but this one holds it's own on all those things. but somehow i was grabbed and sucked in especially by the Ginastera. all the delicate passages broke through the suspension of disbelief barrier. i did not want it to end. my plan is to play each disc on each turntable and just enjoy what each tt can bring. and find other good Ginastera Concerto recordings too....love the piece. i'm going to have to re-listen to the digital, see if there is a higher rez download, and investigate further.

highly recommended.

View attachment 99939
I like the program with the Ginastera concerto. Very nice!
 
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once in a while you hear an Lp that makes you pause. it takes you someplace. i'm a fan of the violinist Hilary Hahn, and had listened to her new recording "Eclipse" of three violin concerto's in 24/48 on Quboz a few weeks back. liked it. so when i saw the Lp on Acoustic Sounds, a 2 disc set, i decided to buy it. not many new classical vinyl choices out there, i assume this is a digital recording, but i want to support this direction. liked her previous vinyl choices i've acquired.

i listened to the first disc, the Dvorak and the Sarasate, on the CS Port/Etsuro Gold and it was very fine. then for the second disc, the Ginastera, i switched to the NVS/FCL/Etsuro Gold. this one was fantastic. spellbinding. wow!!! a caution; i'm no expert on the music, and just referring to my own reaction to the listening experience.

overall the Lp sound is very, very good, not super, but the vinyl is quiet and the playing is heartfelt. and it all just flows and works. the better pure analog recordings can have more life, air and inner detail for sure, but this one holds it's own on all those things. but somehow i was grabbed and sucked in especially by the Ginastera. all the delicate passages broke through the suspension of disbelief barrier. i did not want it to end. my plan is to play each disc on each turntable and just enjoy what each tt can bring. and find other good Ginastera Concerto recordings too....love the piece. i'm going to have to re-listen to the digital, see if there is a higher rez download, and investigate further.

highly recommended.

View attachment 99939
+1 Hahn’s Eclipse is a great recommendation Mike and timely as well as over here as over North America, Asia and Eastern Europe we’re set to have a total blood moon lunar eclipse this Tuesday night. Might revisit this album at the blood hewn lunar hour then :eek: I’m not always a Hilary Hahn lover (though over here Hahn is also not a bad beer).

But much agree Hilary Hahn in Alberto Ginastera’s violin concerto is breathtaking and very much the star here for me as well. It is just as you say spellbinding. It’s sometimes hard to make aventagarde immediately accessible but this a such a seamlessly right performance from Hahn and Orozco-Estrada.

Apparently she named the album Eclipse (was reading in an interview in Violinist) after feeling like she had finally burst out of the dark of the last few years of a musical dark in concert lockdowns and she feels she has opened up into something of a new illumination. Her Ginastera certainly has that shining brilliance.

Hilary Hahn on Eclipse


Her Dvorak overall is good but (for me) out there in front with daylight behind in the Dvorak violin concerto is Vasa Prihoda with Muller-Kray and David Oistrakh with Kondrashin… then she’s pretty shiny in the Sarasate as well… but I’d also happily keep this recording just for the Ginastera violin concerto. Great music.
 
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