Changing ICs on a Saturn

 

Bronze Member
Username: Mekongdelta69

Grew up in Brooklyn an...

Post Number: 55
Registered: Apr-07
[This is in reference to my thread below about CD opinions and where I finally got a Saturn, but this question would apply to any CDP -- or any piece of equipment, for that matter.]

{To quickly recap, I have AQ Colorados going from the Saturn to the ARC SP-11 MKII pre and then into the ARC VT-100 MKIII p.a.}

The guy to whom Art referred me where I got the Saturn (VERY nice people) was nice enough to send me 3 sets of ICs (VDH Orchid, VDH FTU and Atlas Nav. All Cu) and a VDH Mainsserver PC.
Due to a bunch of circumstances and delays (beyond my control, unfortunately), I'm finally ready to test them all.

The question I had is:

When you swap out ICs, do you have to turn the power off to each component before you swap them, or can you just mute the pre amp and then swap the ones going from the Saturn to the SP-11?

Reason I ask is every time you shut the power off to the Saturn, you should let it warm up for about an hour and coincidentally, since my pre and p.a. are tubed, every time you shut them off, you should also let them warm up for approx. an hour.

Without a patch panel or an A/B switch, it's really hard to make sonic comparisons, even if done (relatively) right away, much less waiting an hour between each swap out/in.

Any ideas (Jan, Art, Frank, Nuck, Mike, etc. -- i.e. the 'regular' crowd on here)?

Thanks,

Mike____
 

Gold Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 8473
Registered: Dec-04
Mike, when you power down, you do it in sequence, right? All levels down, power, pre, then effects then sources.
To do any different while opening a connection would be ill-advised at best.

Listen for a full day, then change. And let it bleed down a bit before pulling cables, take a whole beer.
You are going to listen for another full day, anyhow, right?
Don't pull wires.

Cheers!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Mekongdelta69

Grew up in Brooklyn an...

Post Number: 56
Registered: Apr-07
"when you power down, you do it in sequence, right?"

>> Yep, but not quite in the order you mentioned (pre is always FOLO -- First On, Last Off -- especially according to the ARC Manuals)

Power up:
1.) Power/Line conditioner
2.) Mute pre-amp; Level and Gain to Zero
3.) Power up pre-amp
4.) Power up power amp
5.) Power up source(s)
6.) Deactivate Mute on pre-amp; Adjust Level and Gain

Power down:
1.) Mute pre-amp; Level and Gain to Zero
2.) Power down power amp
3.) Power down source(s).
4.) Power down pre-amp
5.) Power down Power/Line conditioner

{I don't know what you mean by 'effects'}


"To do any different while opening a connection would be ill-advised at best."

>> I take it you mean DON'T swap ICs out/in while equipment is powered up? Correct?

"And let it bleed down a bit before pulling cables"

>> Sorry - I must be slow on the uptake today.
What do you mean by 'bleed down a bit'?

"You are going to listen for another full day"

>> Absolutely! At least through the weekend.

Tnx,

M_____
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 11175
Registered: May-04
.

You shouldn't swap cables wih the equipment powered up. It's possible to do, of course; but why take any unnecessary risks? Depending on your equipment you might want to allow about 30 minutes after you power down the pre amp to allow the power supply capacitors to drain. Then it should be safe to swap cables. Most pre amps do not have any problems with p.s. caps storing energy for long periods of time but tubes run at such high voltages that residual energy might be present for a while after the unit is unplugged. And I would unplug the pre amp when swapping cables. Unless you are certain there is no standby "trickle" voltage running through the unit when it is powered down, unplugging it is the only way to verify there is no AC running through the unit.


I wouldn't worry about the warm up time for the components. You are warming the components up for a set amount of time to allow for thermal stability. If you are shutting the gear down for a few minutes to swap cables, you shouldn't require a long warm up once you again power the units back up. Listen and you'll probably notice a bit of improvement over the first few minutes but that's about all.


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Gold Member
Username: My_rantz

Australia

Post Number: 1539
Registered: Nov-05
Don't worry Mike, Nuck has many 'effects' especially on we posters, though just because he's added wawa and overdrive pedals to his hifi, he thinks we do also.

Jokes aside, it is highly recommended by manufacturers to disconnect power before before changing out any cables. If you only power off for a short while the internals would still be reasonaby warm and shouldn't take too long to reach optimum imho.
 

Gold Member
Username: My_rantz

Australia

Post Number: 1540
Registered: Nov-05
There, Jan said it, we crossed posts.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Wattsssup

Barrie, ON Canada

Post Number: 59
Registered: Aug-06
Hey guys,

Just to get some clarification. Is there a particular order I should be powering up and down my system?

As I gather from Nuck, to power down the order is:Power, Pre, all wawa and distortion pedals, and then sources.

Do I reverse that order to power up?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Mekongdelta69

Grew up in Brooklyn an...

Post Number: 57
Registered: Apr-07
"Nuck has many 'effects' especially on we posters..."

>> Ah yes - I definitely see where Nuck has affected you with his effects!

No effects here though. Everything's 'straight through.' I don't even use an equalizer to make up for the lack of tone controls on the pre (of which no pre should have because (as one engineer friend of mine said, "You want to hear it the way the studio engineer laid it down.")).

Thanks for the help,

Mike____
 

Bronze Member
Username: Mekongdelta69

Grew up in Brooklyn an...

Post Number: 58
Registered: Apr-07
Marc,

Not being a hyper-expert, but look at my post from Wednesday, August 29, 2007 - 09:51 pm.

Just insert the effects (wawa, etc.) between Steps 4 and 5 under Power Up and between Steps 2 and 3 under Power Down.

Someone else may have another opinion of course, but that's what I would do...

HTH,

Mike_____
 

Bronze Member
Username: Wattsssup

Barrie, ON Canada

Post Number: 60
Registered: Aug-06
Thanks Mike,

Just wasn't sure if that was with your particular setup or not.

Marc
 

Bronze Member
Username: Mekongdelta69

Grew up in Brooklyn an...

Post Number: 59
Registered: Apr-07
.

[That's odd -- my other msgs. posted but this one seems to have gone into cyber-neverneverland. Oh well, let's try it again...]
--------------------------

Thank you as always Jan for being about as thorough as possible.

{I was going to post some pics in that speaker thread when I had a chance, but then I saw your setup in the "You want home audio...this is crazy" thread and I said, "naaah, never mind!"}

M_____
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 11178
Registered: May-04
.

You're trying to avoid turn on and turn off thumps when switching components. You should power up from source to amplifier and power down from amplifier to source. Allowing just a few seconds between each component should ensure a quiet process though such thumps are largely a thing of the past with manufacturers paying more attention to build quality over the past decade.


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Bronze Member
Username: Hawkbilly

Post Number: 23
Registered: Jul-07
Would anything change with a passive pre-amp ? Would you still need to turn the power amp off if you were change interconnects between the pre and a cdp for instance ?
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 11194
Registered: May-04
.


You should power down any component with voltage passing through it. So the CDP would have to get pulled. Tough love, but somebody's gotta do it.
 

Gold Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 2337
Registered: Sep-04
In my experience you can swap leads on a Rega Saturn powered up provided it's not playing music at the time. Feel free to switch off the ARCs, but it's unnecessary on the Saturn.

Regards,
Frank.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Mekongdelta69

Grew up in Brooklyn an...

Post Number: 67
Registered: Apr-07
Well, I'm just about through auditioning all these ICs/PCs on the Saturn (report to follow!).

I wound up spending 18 hour days with each and then powering down everything and powering it back up the next day. So it turned out, I didn't need to do what I asked about in my initial post on top, but the information will certainly come in handy for the future...

Thanks again,

Mike______
 

Bronze Member
Username: Mekongdelta69

Grew up in Brooklyn an...

Post Number: 80
Registered: Apr-07
Jan (if you're there),

It 'hit' me while I was testing the above ICs/PC for the Saturn (and now having bought what I wanted), that the IEC connector on the back on the Saturn (and the Apollo too, from what somebody told me), is only a two-pronged plug and not a three-pronged grounded plug.

1.) Why did they make it that way and will it affect anything (in a negative way)?

2.) Since it's only a two-pronged plug, I could only plug two of the three prongs from the VDH Mainsserver into the back of the Saturn (duh).

I'm assuming it'll still be properly grounded. Correct?

Thanks,

Mike____

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Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 11265
Registered: May-04
.

Yes, like other two conductor components, it will share the neutral and ground on one conductor leg. Not an ideal arrangement in my opinion, but one many component manufacturers favor. I assume it is cheaper to use this arrangement but it can't be beneficial. Separating ground and neutral should provide a lower noise floor particularly in areas where RFI/EMI would be a problem. But this is similar to the continued use of unbalanced circuits and RCA connectors as "standard" fare for high end components. Audiophiles spend enormous sums of money in an attempt to retrieve low level information that could easily be uncovered by good grounding techniques and balanced circuits. What I don't understand is why I find these techniques employed in equipment intended for studio/professional use even at low price points. I have an $89 active crossover and a $50 power hand drill that has a three conductor cable on it. Virtually none of my consumer audio gear uses anything other than two conductor design. It makes no sense to me.


Finally, two conductor construction makes the component less likely to absorb a power surge or lightning strike as the surge must pass through the component rather than being shunted to ground. This is really a poor approach to design IMO. It does, however, lead to early replacement of many components in parts of the country with severe storms.


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Silver Member
Username: Mike3

Wiley, Tx USA

Post Number: 688
Registered: May-06
Perhaps by design? I haven't noticed any hi-end extended warranties, except Bryston.


Has anyone experienced a phone call, unsolicited, asking, would you like to purchase an extended warranty for your overpriced under-protected component? (Best Buy Future Shop, and Circuit City don't count)

Just what I thought, but let your once new car age almost 3 years and "ring" "ring",

"Hello",

"uh-huh",

"yeah, ahem"

"No"

"No"

"No, thank you, I am thinking of trading out of the vehicle and really don't need an extended warranty."
 

Bronze Member
Username: Mekongdelta69

Grew up in Brooklyn an...

Post Number: 81
Registered: Apr-07
"But this is similar to the continued use of unbalanced circuits and RCA connectors as "standard" fare for high end components."

>> Exactly. Of all the stuff listed in my profile, the ONLY component which has balanced inputs is the power amp -- and we're not talking cheapo stuff here.

"I have an $89 active crossover and a $50 power hand drill that has a three conductor cable on it."

>> Ditto

"It does, however, lead to early replacement of many components in parts of the country with severe storms."

>> Hopefully, it'll hit my roof antenna, which my tuner uses -- or the earth ground rod -- or the surge protector/line conditioner will mitigate it.

Oh well...

Thanks for the info though,

Mike____

.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 8641
Registered: Dec-04
Mike, you can rectify the ungrounded situation, if you choose to open the box.
The neutral will be bonded to ground, usually at the main transformer.
You can lift the bond there and add a ground wire while installing a 3 pin plug.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 11272
Registered: May-04
.

" Hopefully, it'll hit my roof antenna, which my tuner uses -- or the earth ground rod -- or the surge protector/line conditioner will mitigate it."



Without the dedicated ground line, your surge protector is only capable of about half the protection you paid for. It has nowhere to dump the surge other than through the ground/neutral leg. This is even if you have a dedicated earth ground tied to your AC outlets. And we all know most surge protectors are not typically known for providing the best sound quality.






Gotcha again!




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Bronze Member
Username: Mekongdelta69

Grew up in Brooklyn an...

Post Number: 82
Registered: Apr-07
Jan,

"This is even if you have a dedicated earth ground tied to your AC outlets."

>> I should have been more specific. I have a lightning rod outside the house, which is earth grounded.

"And we all know most surge protectors are not typically known for providing the best sound quality."

>> Again, I guess I should have been more specific. I didn't mean that I have something like my BACK-UPS ES 725s, which are protecting my PC (and other non-audio gear).

This is what I'm using as a power/line conditioner:
http://www.furmansound.com/product.php?div=01&id=PL-PLUS_II

"Without the dedicated ground line, your surge protector is only capable of about half the protection you paid for."

>> I don't know the actual percentage, but I'm sure you're somewhere in the ballpark. However, I wasn't arguing about that. I was just commenting (and 'hoping' that I never receive a direct hit).

I wasn't trying to be 'gotten'!

Mike______

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Bronze Member
Username: Mekongdelta69

Grew up in Brooklyn an...

Post Number: 83
Registered: Apr-07
Nuck,

No way am I going to do that! I'm not an ET -- and don't play one on TV either. I'm not ripping apart a brand new $2,500 CDP. I wish they had made it a three-pronged plug (along with all the other high-end audio equipment), but they didn't, so I guess I'll (and everybody else) will just have to live with that and take the most measures which will hopefully avoid anything negative ever happening...

Thanks,

Mike_____

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Gold Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 8654
Registered: Dec-04
Mike, I was referring to equipment in general. Agred with your Saturn, hehe, a non starter.
zThis may have been an overrun from another thread, but the basics are there.
Are you listening, Kevin?
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 11276
Registered: May-04
.


It's they who "gotcha", MB, not I.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Mekongdelta69

Grew up in Brooklyn an...

Post Number: 84
Registered: Apr-07
Who are 'they' Jan?

M____
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 11284
Registered: May-04
.

Who didn't put a third conductor on your equipment? That's who "they" are, MB. Who put RCA's on your gear? They are "they". We may all be pods soon, but they are "they".
 

Gold Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 8668
Registered: Dec-04
I feel like such a Borg.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Mekongdelta69

Grew up in Brooklyn an...

Post Number: 85
Registered: Apr-07
That's what I thought you meant Jan, but I just wanted to be sure. Besides, I didn't think (or mean to imply) that 'you' 'got me.'

I'm not a pod yet and someday I hope I'm not Soylent Green either...
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