Like

Weakest link

 

New member
Username: Aaronyc

Post Number: 4
Registered: Oct-12
I recently put together an entry level sound system for my apartment and am absolutely loving it. Now I'm thinking about a little upgrade. So my question is, which of my components is the weakest link, ie which one should I focus on upgrading first? Here's what I have:

Turntable: Dual CS 5000 w/ Grado XC+ cartridge
Pre amp: Musical Fidelity V-LPS II
Integrated Amplifier: NAD C 316BEE
Speakers: Polk Audio RTI A1 Bookshelf Speakers

Any feedback would be great!
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17707
Registered: May-04
.

The basic rules of "garbage in = garbage out" apply to audio systems. That would, in this system, mean change your turntable before you do anything else.

However, before you begin changing equipment, you should make an effort to make the most of the equipment you already own. If it is the environment in which the system resides which is at fault, then you need to change the environment first. Swapping equipment only to put new equipment in a simlarly disadvantaged situation is not wise spending.


Otherwise, the heirarchy of turntables says the table is the primary influence on musical values. Next comes the arm and finally the cartridge. The theory of improvements say a lower priced cartridge will be better able to extract more music in a more pleasurable manner when used in a superior table with a superior arm. On the other hand, a more expensive cartridge cannot overcome the disabilites imposed on it by the weaknesses of the table and arm. In fact, just as you can buy too much speaker for any system, you can easily buy too much cartridge for the capabilites of the table and arm.

https://www.ecoustics.com/electronics/forum/home-audio/672623.html#POST1937114




.
 

Silver Member
Username: Ornello

Post Number: 150
Registered: Dec-12
Well, honestly, everything needs upgrading. It is difficult to say where to begin. Why do you have a pre-amp and an integrated amp?

Though the turntable is a weak point, so are the speakers and electronics. I would perhaps suggest a newer cartridge from Audio-Technica or Ortofon, as these companies make a wide variety of types, suitable for all kinds of turntables and arms, at various prices. I would write to them for suggestions as to the best choices for your turntable and budget.

I would ask first how much you can spend. Do you have no plans for a CD player?

If you want significant improvement, the better turntables are very expensive. You may want to look online at used equipment; otherwise you're looking at $700-2000 to get something better.

If you have 3 or 4 thousand to work with, you can do a whole lot better; if not, it's going to require patience and perhaps a visit to a shop that carries used stuff.

The equipment you have here might make a good 'second system', for casual listening, parties, etc. You may want to start from scratch and build a primary system, with bigger speakers capable of greater volume and a wider range of tones, a bigger amplifier or receiver with at least 100 watts per channel, and a CD player as well as a good turntable. Your NAD puts out 40 watts per channel according to their web site.

You can find really good stuff cheap on e-bay, but you have to know what you are looking for and hope that the seller has not abused or neglected the equipment.

It's difficult to justify making small improvements, because the trouble and expense simply don't add up.
 

Silver Member
Username: Ornello

Post Number: 151
Registered: Dec-12
Info:

http://ortofon.com/products/cartridges

ADC:

http://www.adelcom.net/ADCCart1.htm
 

Gold Member
Username: Hawkbilly

Nova Scotia Canada

Post Number: 1549
Registered: Jul-07
"Well, honestly, everything needs upgrading. It is difficult to say where to begin. Why do you have a pre-amp and an integrated amp? "

You are such an a-whole it's unbelievable. There is absolutely nothing wrong with his system. Did you not read that he said he was enjoying it before you started judging ? Small incremental changes are a reasonable approach, whether they be room or setup enhancements or upgraded components.

Aaron, so sorry for Ornello's manners.

Is there anything specific you're hearing that you'd like to address ? A source first approach is a very solid way to slowly upgrade your system. Are you committed to vinyl for the long haul ? If so, working on your table makes sense. If not, maybe less so.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17708
Registered: May-04
.

The "pre amp" listed is an outboard phono pre amp only. The 316 amp doesn't appear to have a built in phono pre amp. I know, you refuse to acccept that receivers and integrateds are built without phono pre amps, but they are. Figure it out.

The MF phono pre amp is a well thought of pre amp. 'Nuff said!




"The equipment you have here might make a good 'second system', for casual listening, parties, etc"



Why do you have to do this sort of thing?

Why do you have to be the smelly, crazy ol' uncle at the family reunion who everyone avoids because they are insulting?

The components and speakers assembled here would make a very nice, entry level system which would have been put together with recommended products by many a magazine. You don't realize receiver and integrated amps come without phono sections and you don't seem to comprehend what makes a musical system nowdays.



There is no need for a 100 watt amplifier. First, if all things are equal, doubling the available wattage from the amplifier will result in only three dB of additional headroom to the loudest peaks in the music. The average volume level (with the same speakers on both systems) will still be roughly identical. The volume difference gained by doubling the power of an equally well built amp would only matter to someone who constantly pushes their system to its limits. There is no indication the op is looking for higher volume levels as part of his upgrade. The question is in regards to higher quality music reproduction.

Second, it is the electrical sensitivity spec of the speakers which will largely determine the SPL capacity of any system in any given room. The Polks are reasonably high senstivity and a fairly easy load for the NAD amp. They are making the most of all the music power the NAD amp has to offer.

Third, the NAD line of amplifiers is well known for their ability to play much louder than a simple watts/specs number would indicate. Your advice for higher wattage is off base. The NAD products use what they call "soft clipping" which allows the amp to play at substantially higher output levels without the harsh and possibly damaging effects of a clipped amplifier.

Further the amplifier spec'd in Aaron's op is the higher grade "BEE" version which has much better sound quality than many competitor's products in a similar price range. The NAD would, by most listener's standards, offer superior performance to the typical "100 watt" amplifier at even twice the price. Buying more watts is absurb for the op unless the speakers change to the far less sensitive variety. IMO there's absolutely no need to plan for that approach to audio now or any time in the future. Aaron hasn't suggested this would be in his plans. The current trend in speakers is toward higher, not lower, speaker sensitivity and designing less difficult amplifier loads by creating less complex crossovers. The NAD 316BEE should serve the OP well for many years, if he so desires.

Buying a higher quality amplifier might be a possibility in the rather distant future, but certainly, the NAD 316BEE integrated amplifier is a very good and a very high quality component which can establish a baseline of top notch musical performance for upgrades now and in the future. The pre amp can be separated from the power amp and the outboard phono pre amp suggests this current system has been put together with future flexibility and right now musical pleasure in mind.



There really is no need to insult the op and then mislead him when you don't have an idea about the equipment he owns or the system he has assembled.


The initial question doesn't require a budget to provide a sensible response. The question goes to how best to assemble a successful system, no matter the price. For the last forty years, the heirarchy of system building has more or less been agreed upon by attentive listeners; build from the source first and foremost (in other words, extract as much information from the source as possible in as high a quality as possible) and then go downstream in the signal chain step by step with upgrades as the wants arise.

Speakers are the last item to be upgraded, with virtually no exceptions to that rule.

A high quality source and a competent amplifier - possibly with no more than five watts paired to high-ish impedance, high sensitivity (95-98dB @ 1 watt) speakers - will always make more cohesive music than will a budget table with too much cartridge for the arm to control and the table to damp or a system with too much speaker for the amp or source. High quality speakers will preform as they are designed to do; they will show every wart and pimple in the system in front of them. The system with too much speaker for the system will become less enjoyable for simple musical plasure rather than more pleasurable when all the listener can be aware of is bad music reproduction shown through a too good speaker. The system can never put back information lost by the source and it can never cover up the errors, noises and distortions created by low quality gear at the front end of the sytem if the speakers spotlight those errors, noises and distortions. Linn proved this conclusively way back in the mid '70's and there haven't been many exceptions to those rules ever since. Getting rid of plastic "computer speakers" or car speakers in a cardboard box maybe. Otherwise, stick to the logical course of upgrades and you'll be happy. It's good, logical, solid advice thousands have followed to create successful systems over the last forty years. Twenty five years of selling high end audio, listening to various systems in client's homes and setting up high quality music systems hundreds upon hundreds of times tells me I would rather have $5k of gear in front of $500 speakers than the other way around.

Unless you are shopping at Best Buy or eBay where nothing is high quality and nothing matters other than price.



Obviously, the op has been shopping at higher quality retailers and has, so far, done a good job of selecting complementary pieces of equipment which should provide a good deal of satisfaction from his music. The system flexibility should make for easy and logical upgrade paths. One thing he definitely doesn't need is someone offering advice which suggests he should spend "XX" % of his budget on speakers and "ZZ" % on amplifiers and so forth.




Please, if you don't know the particulars of the equipment, you "can" make whatever off base comments you care to. But there is no need to insult yet another poster.




(All_lit_up posted on Friday, February 01, 2013 - 00:55 GMT:
"I actually did give up records in favor of CDs at one point, but I have quite a few LPs that still have not been issued on disc. Mostly out of print stuff.

And records don't suck. That does insult me ..." https://www.ecoustics.com/electronics/forum/home-audio/714306.html#POST2009579)





You're making a habit of insulting people on this forum. It's time to stop. A brand new member of the forum doesn't know you and your penchants for preaching wrong-headed ways to do things. It's bad enough you are insulting to begin with, don't be an @ss to these new members.



WHY DON'T YOU BEGIN BY APPOLIGIZING TO THE OP FOR YOUR COMMENTS? AND THEN NOT INSULT ANYONE FURTHER? IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE WITH YOU?



.
 

Silver Member
Username: Ornello

Post Number: 152
Registered: Dec-12
I did not insult him. HE said he wanted to upgrade, as I am sure he is already noticing his system's shortcomings. Otherwise, why would he even ask? he himself called it an entry-level system.

A more powerful amp would enable him to choose from a wider variety of speakers capable of higher SPL and greater tonal range.

I don't think that the turntable is as bad as you think.

Everything needs to be upgraded. I went through exactly the same process. I went from a very modest system with a Pioneer PL-12D tuntable, Sherwood S-7100A receiver (17 watts) and Electro-Voice speakers (maybe EV-14A?), which I bought from Warehouse Sound company in California in 1972, as a 'package'. I replaced the receiver with a Sony TA-4650 V-FET integrated amp and the speakers with Yamaha NS-690s. This was in about 1976. In 1977 I replaced the turntable with a used Thorens TD-125 Mk II. I had gone though several cartridges, including a Shure V-15 III and an ADC XLM II. My first arm for the Thorens was a fluid-damped thing that didn't do so well. I got an Ortofon MC-20 and MCA-76 head amp, then a Magnepan tone arm, and other MC cartridges, until 1983, when I got the Stax electret cartridge. I got rid of the Sony 4650 and got a Mitsubishi two-piece DA-15DC and matching pre-amp that 'docked' around 1979 or 1980. I traded my Yamaha NS-690s for the Rogers Studio 1s in 1981. In 1987 I got the Denon POA-1500 power amp and a Hafler pre-amp. I got rid of the Hafler when I got rid of the turntable, in 1988, when I went to CDs, as I didn't need it (I ran the output of the Sony CD player directly into the power amp and controlled the volume through the Sony). In 2001 I replaced the Rogers Studio 1 speakers with Yamaha NS-1000s. I have been through many many upgrades and I know what it's all about. My first system was not unlike this fellow's, perhaps not as good, but I knew it was short-term. For the money spent ($400) I thought it was fine for a college apartment.

The Dual and cartridge may not be the best, but a substantial sum would be required to better it. I would first advise him to add a CD player then think about what he really needs. I don't think a whole lot is to be gained from a modestly better turntable and cartridge.
 

New member
Username: Aaronyc

Post Number: 5
Registered: Oct-12
Thanks for the feedback guys, I appreciate it. And don't worry, I have thick skin, and am quite efficient at just scrolling by the d-bag posters that unfortunately frequent all forums.

Jan, what you say about starting from the source sounds right on. I kind of suspected already that the turntable was probably the place to start. Cheers!
 

Silver Member
Username: Ornello

Post Number: 153
Registered: Dec-12
I don't necessarily agree that replacing the 'weakest link' first is always the best way to go. There are other considerations, such as the availability of certain products at a bargain price for a limited time, or the cost of a significant upgrade. It might cost a whole lot to upgrade the speakers or turntable, but comparatively less to upgrade electronics.

I am no 'd-bag'; I gave you some good advice.

I do not agree, Chris, that 'small incremental changes' make the most sense. You end up not keeping the stuff for very long and losing a lot of your investment. I have had my Denon power amp for 25 years, and I kept my Rogers speakers for 20 years.

I was in no way denigrating his system. He just got it and is already talking about upgrades. He called it an 'entry-level system', and it's better than I started with! (Of course I got mine 40 years ago!)

I would recommend not upgrading it at all, but saving up for a second much bigger system.

There is a difference between a low-quality system and one of limited or modest capabilities. His system is of high quality, to be sure, but it has more modest capabilities. That's what I meant when I said 'everything needs upgrading'. It's not a quality issue at all.

Bear in mind that even a cheap CD player will sound very good; a $3000 CD player will not necessarily sound a whole lot better than a $700 one, whereas a $3000 phono cartridge will be a far, far better one than a $400 one. But without spending a princely sum on a turntable and arm the cartridge won't do its best.
 

Silver Member
Username: Ornello

Post Number: 154
Registered: Dec-12
and of course upgrading to a moving-coil cartridge (if you're going to bother upgrading, why go half-way?) will involve some sort of additional step-up device:

http://www.ortofon.us/product_detail?pid=169&category_id=24

this is in addition to the cartridge:

http://www.ortofon.us/product?category_id=14&pcat=2

and tone-arm:

http://www.ortofon.us/product?category_id=17&pcat=2

and turn-table:

http://www.thorens.com/

http://www.thorens.com/turntables/drives.html

this was my last cartridge:

http://app.audiogon.com/listings/7793

this was my tone-arm:

http://www.zenn.com.sg/Magnepan_tonearm.JPG
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17709
Registered: May-04
.

Good luck, Aaron. Yep, the more he denies he's not a d-bag, the more he constantly proves he is a d-bag.









.
 

Silver Member
Username: Ornello

Post Number: 155
Registered: Dec-12
Here are some Thorens products and higher-quality cartridges:

http://www.needledoctor.com/Thorens-TD2035-Turntable?sc=2&category=355

This should give you an idea of the upper price range of phono equipment (but this is by no means the summit).

Products in this class are noticeably better, but look at the prices!

http://www.needledoctor.com/Online-Store/Turntable-Sale?search=Dual
 

Silver Member
Username: Ornello

Post Number: 156
Registered: Dec-12
To the casual observer, upgrading the 'weakest link' first may seem like an obvious move, but it isn't always. It may require a considerable investment to improve upon a given product if it was decent to begin with. This is where buying used can come in handy. Used turntables can cut the cost, but unfortunately the ones that are well-known to be good have a cult following that drives up the prices on auction sites such as e-bay. And of course used cartridges are not commonly traded. It is hard to tell if the cartridge is still sound or if the stylus is merely worn.
 

New member
Username: Aaronyc

Post Number: 6
Registered: Oct-12
I've been thinking over the idea of upgrading my turntable. Assuming I can spend about $1000, what route would you suggest I go, vintage/used or new? I guess the question is, where can I get the most bang for my buck?
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 3007
Registered: Oct-07
If warranty is an issue? Are you a long-term equipment owner? Go NEW.

If you want to experiment with minimal potential to loose money, than preowned is the way to go.
If you can 'zero in' on exactly what you want, than used may also make sense.

I just looked at the 'needle doctor' site and you can get a LOT of TT for the money you propose.
Something like this::

http://www.needledoctor.com/Rega-RP3-Turntable?sc=2&category=353
 

Silver Member
Username: Ornello

Post Number: 215
Registered: Dec-12
I would look for a used Thorens TD-126. they are very durable.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17729
Registered: May-04
.


Your question is too broad.

Your background information is completely absent.

It is, therefore, impossible to provide good advice on a purchase.




If you can tell us what you presently own, we would have a better idea of your references. If you could tell us why you want a higher priced table, we might be able to provide some directions in which you might proceed. Simply wanting something "better" is not the answer to putting together a decent audio system. Therefore, the "why" of buying a better component is the most important aspect of piecing together a high quality playback system. You simply can't jump in the right direction unless you know where you intend to land. If you are merely at the point where you can spend some cash, then buying any $1k table is likely to get you a "better" table than you now own. Whether that new table best suits your system goals is another matter.


Can you tell us what it is you are looking to improve upon that your present table doesn't accomplish?




"Vintage" covers a lot of territory and much of it is not pretty. Unfortunately, IMO, "vintage" has become a buzzword which means too many things to too many people. Quite a few people who weren't around when today's vintage tables were new think vintage has some "magic" which it may not actually possess. If you feel "vintage" represents a certain type of sound quality, can you say just what those qualities are?


Before you begin thinking about vintage gear, you should understand the difference between, say, a vintage 1964 Buick Roadmaster convertible and an old '67 Chevy II sedan with a two speed automatic on the column and bench seats. Baby moons, anyone? "Vintage" as a definition carries a certain cache which can be satisfying simply for its appearance more than its sound quality. If that's your purpose for looking into vintage, then you don't really need our recommendation. Otherwise, understand what you are buying in a vintage product and the challenges which come with owning such a product. The differences between, say, a Thorens 124 and a Dual 1009 table are quite distinct though both were very good tables in their day. They were, though, aimed at different buyers. Both, however, would require dedication to a project to achieve the desired end result. Buying a project from the third person to have that same project usually isn't wise for what should be obvious reasons. Costs mount quickly to do a proper restoration and the component sits unable to perform more often than not. Restoration can be a years long effort before you achieve a useable end product. Just as restoring a vintage car can run into a six figure price tag and months spent in the shop, so too can most people find themself throwing money at any "vintage" audio project they will never complete. Additionally, why anyone would buy a vintage component is the same "why" anyone would have asked themself back "in the day" or should ask themself today. Vintage tables can commit you to having vintage arms and cartridges, in other words, high mass arms and low compliance cartridges. Not the stuff you simply get from your local audio salon. Achieving a quality system of table/arm/cartridge with vintage gear is not so easy as opening a catalog when you deal with really vintage gear. If you don't have the where with all and a good technician to assist you, then vintage is never my first recommendation.


On the other hand, a more recent "vintage" product such as a Linn LP12 or a Rega Planar 3 is a horse of a different color. These are tables which came a generation after the rim drive tables and which both represent a turning point in audio. They are hairshirt products with no automatic functions which can still provide a very high level of performance when compared to, say, a Pioneer PL12D or a Philips 302. Or a Technics, JVC or Denon direct drive table. Keep in mind though, both the Linn and the Rega have been updated over the years and a vintage Linn is a far cry from what you would buy today. Even the Planar 3 has been updated and a new P3/24 is a superior table to the Rega I owned in 1976.

As with most things, computers have provided a significant advantage to table designers and our understanding of what makes a good table today is far advanced from where we were even a decade prior. Suspended sub-chassis tables are seledom seen today where they were ubiquitous in the 1990's. Arms are very different today than when I bought my RB300 in the mid-1980's. Cartridges are headed in a different direction than when I owned a high output MC in the early 2000's. There is also much more competition in the sheer number of tables to select from today and too much of what is being sold is pure BS when it comes to tables, arms and cartridges. Even the table manufacturers can't agree on whether you need a suspension or high mass. The support system you would use for each type of table would change the quality of playback. Whether you should rigidly afix the motor to the plinth or have a free standing drive system is undecided with today's tables. There are benefits and drawbacks to each approach. While a VPI Classic has more to do with the old VPI HW19 than it does to a new Scout, all of these tables represent slightly different approaches to design. And each table would require a slightly different approach to achieving the best playback quality from the individual table. A one size fits all approach definitely doesn't work with turntables.


Which brings us to a few more questions you should answer before you start spending cash. Have you reached the point where you have raised your present table's playback to the highest level it can achieve? It makes little sense to buy a "better" product only to have it be hobbled by the same bottle necks which are holding back your present product. Before you begin looking at a new table, you should satisfy yourself there is nothing you could do which would create higher quality music from your present table. That advice is intended to keep in mind the hierarchy of a turntable. The table is still the prime source and the arm and cartridge are no better than the table can provide. However, if you're dealing with a budget table now, possibly a new cartridge which can be carried over to a new table at a later date is a better choice right now. Or, possibly not if your present arm can't deal with the requirements of a better cartidge. If you haven't achieved the highest level of isolation for your present table, a new table is likely to also be subject to the feedback coming from your speakers. It's too easy to buy too much cartridge for most budget tables. These are the sort of things you haven't told us which would make a differnce in our suggestions.


Is it possible to move your present arm or cartridge to your new table? Or, is your $1k meant to buy a totally new package? Keep in mind the heirarchy of a table. The table sets the level of performance for the arm and the cartridge. A better table will allow any arm and cartridge to perform to a higher level. Therefore, a lower priced arm and cartridge is likely the better choice if you can place them on a superior platform. If, on the other hand, your total budget is meant to go towards a total package, that will change our suggestions. Are you capable of doing a proper installation and set up of the arm and cartridge? If not, then a simple packgage turntable is probably the better answer. Many tables sold as packages today are still using an Ortofon OM-5 as the give away cartridge. While I prefer many of the Ortofon products, the OM-5 is a thirty year old design which was meant for a different time when different tonearms were more common. I can't recommend any table with a thrown in OM5 today. Does that mean you don't buy that table package? Or, does it mean you buy the table and arm but deal with cartridge set up on your own? If your $1k budget is for everything, I would say you're then looking in the $100 range for the correct cartridge. Is that what you had in mind?


So much more information is needed before I can say how you should begin your search for a new table. If you'd like to try again after answering a few of these questions, possibly we can do a better job of guiding you along.





.
 

New member
Username: Aaronyc

Post Number: 7
Registered: Oct-12
Thanks, Jan!

Most of your questions were answered in the first post of this thread. Your insightful response to my first inquiry is at least partially what led me to consider a new turntable. I am assuming I would replace the entire package, ie not try to transfer existing tonearm/cartridge, but I guess that kind of depends on if I pursue a new or used TT?

Your brief unpacking of the term "vintage" was helpful. Although I do enjoy tinkering, I'm not sure I will be committed to serious work that may be required if I pursue an older TT. Reading between the lines, it would seem like I should consider a new as opposed to "vintage" TT...
 

Silver Member
Username: Ornello

Post Number: 216
Registered: Dec-12
Aaron:

Again, I say try to find a used Thorens TD-125 or 126 to start with, and look into Ortofon moving-coil cartridges.

These are products of known quality and extreme durability.

They don't make 'em like this anymore.
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 2162
Registered: Oct-10
Thorens TD-125 Mk II

"Ornellooney posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 - 23:07 GMT

I used to own this turntable(Thorens TD-125 Mk II). I see them fetching ridiculous prices today on e-bay, far more than I got for mine in 1988 when I sold it."


"Ornellooney posted on Sunday, February 17, 2013 - 21:03 GMT

Aaron:

Again, I say try to find a used Thorens TD-125 or 126 to start with, and look into Ortofon moving-coil cartridges.

These are products of known quality and extreme durability.

They don't make 'em like this anymore."


?????

Not sure whether you think it's a good TT or not eh? Why would you recommend it to someone else if you don't think it's worth the kind of coin it fetches on Ebay? Not making a lot of sense here Ornellooney.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17730
Registered: May-04
.



I'm sorry, Aaron, I didn't put one 'n' four together. Obviously, you cannot transfer the Dual arm to a new table. Depending on how many hours you have on your Grado, you might or might not want to sell it as a package with the Dual. My guess would be most buyers interested in the Dual don't want to mess with a cartridge install, particularly since the Dual normally requires a specific jig for proper set up.



"Reading between the lines, it would seem like I should consider a new as opposed to "vintage" TT... "




That's sort of a judgement call. A Rega Planar 2 or 3 is still a better table, IMO, than most of what you will find anywhere near its used price range. There's not much that can go wrong with a Rega table and many, if not all, of its parts have the ability to be upgraded as the desire and the budget allow. So starting with a used Planar 2 or 3 at a good price, you could build the table up over time to be a much better table. That's not a bad plan for some people - tinkerers sort of like that type of deal. Of course, the problem is there's not much that can go wrong with a Planar 2 or 3 so people don't part with them all that much.

Keep in mind all Regas tend to run a bit fast, about 1% or so, and, if you have perfect pitch this will drive you crazy. But the Rega signature is a lively sound with very good PRaT to the music playback. It has succeeded over the decades by doing so much more right than it fails at that no one cares much about what it doesn't do as well as higher priced tables. You could do far worse than a Rega when you consider building a system over time. The RB300 arm stands out as the best of its type anywhere near its price range and the arm was adopted to many other tables since no one could design and build better for less - or quite a bit more for that matter. It too can be upgraded in time. The Regas all lack a real suspension and you'll have to provide the proper support for any Rega to get the best from the table. Of course, you really could say the same about any high end table. The first rule with a Rega is to not use the dustcover when you're actually using the table. A soft bag full of a dozen tennis balls under the table will do wonders for its isolation and not set you back more than about $20.

The LP12 is also upgradeable, to an extent. At one point - which I no longer remember off the top of my head - Linn made an upgrade to the chassis of the LP12 that meant any table built before that point could no longer be upgraded to their current version. Earlier versions of the Linn can still reach a high level of quality and can be had for "reasonable" prices. The LP12 though is unique in that it prefers Linn arms (a few older Naims are acceptable) and many other manufacturer's arms dump too much energy into the plinth for the LP12 to be happy. So a Linn table sort of ties you into a Linn system approach. It too is peculiar in its support system requirements.




These are two "vintage" tables which stand the test of time and don't require months spent searching down the specific cotter pin for the arm lead tie back. There's no technology in either table that is outdated and any Linn or Rega service shop can supply parts. Older Linns do require frequent set up and that could be a problem if you don't have a good Linn person around. There's a fairly large difference between a well set up LP12 and anything else. I'm not a total Linn fan as their gear tends to add a flavor to a system that is unmistakable. But a Rega is pretty much plug and go have fun. It's good, it's flexible and it just does what a table should do. I would'nt be interested in a Planar 3 that didn't have at least a RB300 arm though.


But most of the older Marantz, Thorens, Music Hall, etc, tables would have to be a pretty good deal to attract me away from a new table. If I could pick up a used VPI at a good price, I'd jump on that. I just don't know of a VPI that isn't a really good table. One of the less well known tables out there that might attract my attention is The Well Tempered Table. It's a very strange design in many ways but, boy, can it turn out the music! Bill Firebaugh essentially threw out the text book when he set out to design a table and so he came up with some really unique solutions to the problems of vinyl playback. It's spooky quiet and exquistely stable in its speed which gives it a very "master tape" quality in many ways. It lacks a suspension and it's a bit weak in the very lowest octaves but it is, IMO, a table to listen to before you pass judgement. Given your current speakers, you'd never notice the lack of deep bass in the WT table. Many of the WT's ideas have been adopted into more expensive tables today. I would say the sticking point is the more or less dedicated tonearm though the baseline WT arm is capable of extracting an awful lot of music from most of today's cartridges. It should do fine with any medium mass, middle to high compliance cartridge though I'd hestitate to put some more exotic MC's on that arm. I can't see a Denon 103 being a good match for the arm but I don't see you buying a 103 for quite some time.

So there are a few used tables I would consider if the price was right. But you have to consider that buying new gives you a "known" product. If you're not all that familiar with what has come before and what has potential and what doesn't, it might be best to just stick with what you know rather than stick your neck out too far. In that case, I'd be rather conservative in your choice. Buy a table that has the potential to be a product people want twenty years from now. You can't go wrong with a Rega in most systems and people will always be willing to buy a used Rega for the very reasons I mentioned earlier.

Is that a product recommendation? No, I don't do that. There are too many variables to consider.




.
 

Silver Member
Username: Ornello

Post Number: 219
Registered: Dec-12
The German/Swiss-made Thorens turntables are very durable, well-made (much better than the Japanese stuff at the time) but were never regarded as 'high-end', like the Linn turntables of the same era were. I don't think the Linn turntables at the time were all that much better, but they were much more expensive. I think a lot of the high cost of Linn equipment is due to payoffs to the Scottish Mafia, which must be recouped.
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 2169
Registered: Oct-10
"I think a lot of the high cost of Linn equipment is due to payoffs to the Scottish Mafia, which must be recouped"

YEAH RIGHT!
 

Silver Member
Username: Ornello

Post Number: 221
Registered: Dec-12
You have no idea how vicious the Scottish Mafia is. You heard of 'omerta'? They have the same thing, called 'bungo-dingo'. You talk, you die, your family dies, and your goat dies. They burn down your house and violate your dog for good measure.
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 2171
Registered: Oct-10
"You have no idea how vicious the Scottish Mafia is. You heard of 'omerta'? They have the same thing, called 'bungo-dingo'. You talk, you die, your family dies, and your goat dies. They burn down your house and violate your dog for good measure."

Ornellooney, YOU are an idiot!
 

Silver Member
Username: Ornello

Post Number: 223
Registered: Dec-12
Would you really buy a Scottish turntable? Really? Over a Swiss/German one?
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 2173
Registered: Oct-10
"Would you really buy a Scottish turntable? Really? Over a Swiss/German one?"

If the Scottish model is of better quality? Of course! If the idea offends you, all the more reason. Then I'll tell the Scottish mafia that you advised me not to buy their TT.

 

Silver Member
Username: Ornello

Post Number: 225
Registered: Dec-12
If it is.....but it isn't, of course. Linn is among the most over-hyped and over-priced audio companies.
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 2174
Registered: Oct-10
"If it is.....but it isn't, of course."

First off, if you say it's not, it probably is. Even so, I'd buy it just to offend you.
 

Silver Member
Username: Ornello

Post Number: 226
Registered: Dec-12
Suit yourself. But would you buy a used Thorens or a used Linn?
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 2178
Registered: Oct-10
If I were to buy a table right now, I'd ask Jan's advice, ignore yours and go accordingly.
 

Silver Member
Username: Ornello

Post Number: 229
Registered: Dec-12
Why? I have owned a lot of records and cartridges, and have had several turntables.
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 2180
Registered: Oct-10
Let's see

1) Jan knows what he's talking about, you don't.

2) Jan won't say stupid things like, "Records suck. Get CDs."

3) You're a troll.

Any other questions?
 

Silver Member
Username: Ornello

Post Number: 230
Registered: Dec-12
But Jan lacks perspective. He's a techie, and lacks a broader perspective.

Records DO suck and always have. CDs are much better, SACDs are better yet, and then there is the music server-computer option.

I don't even know what a 'troll' is.

There is simply nothing that can be done to records to make them better. The possibility of other materials for discs has not been fully explored, as almost anything else would involve much greater expense and new methods of production. I don't know whether some special form of glass or some other kind of material would work.
 

Gold Member
Username: Hawkbilly

Nova Scotia Canada

Post Number: 1554
Registered: Jul-07
"But Jan lacks perspective."



My stomach is still sore from that one. I think it's time you got over yourself. You do realize you know next to nothing about the people you're claiming superiority over, right ?

Anyhoo, Back to my popcorn. Carry on, and do start that thread of wisdom I requested. Really looking forward to that one.
 

Silver Member
Username: Ornello

Post Number: 231
Registered: Dec-12
You don't need to write a 5000 word essay about this.
 

Gold Member
Username: Hawkbilly

Nova Scotia Canada

Post Number: 1556
Registered: Jul-07
Apparently you failed to notice that the information and questions are appreciated. There is a lot you don't notice, like that nobody finds your opinions at all useful........most find them insulting. So, let's see here.....what conclusions would a reasonable person draw from this ?

Don't bother trying to answer......you're not qualified.
 

Silver Member
Username: Ornello

Post Number: 232
Registered: Dec-12
But I am qualified. Been there, done it. Have owned lots of audio equipment in my day, some of it state-of-the-art.
 

Gold Member
Username: Hawkbilly

Nova Scotia Canada

Post Number: 1557
Registered: Jul-07
"reasonable person...."

 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 2181
Registered: Oct-10
Ornello, Ornellooney, looney tunes, idiot doesn't know what a troll is. Well, just look in the mirror and you'll see a troll. Someone who conducts him/herself as you do is a troll.

You think Jan lacks perspective? He has way more perspective than you do.

Ornello, you are not qualified to give advice on audio. Certainly not to me. I'll get advice elsewhere thank you very much.

What you have to offer is NOT advice. "Records suck" is just your opinion, not advice. Even bad advice is more helpful than that. Record fans find it insulting and understandably so.

What makes you think anyone would look to you for advice after you stated that you can't understand why the Thorens TT you used to own fetches so much money on Ebay, implying that it wasn't very good, then telling Aaron to check into that model because it's "very well made"? Explain that please.

I highly doubt you ever owned any "state of the art" audio gear and don't even bring up those Yamahoax speakers of yours. The single driver speakers that were in the $50 boombox I used to have were closer to state of the art than your Yama-who? NS 1000Ms.

Bottomline Ornobozo, I have no use for you or your so called "advice". Do you get that? Does that register witg you at all?
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 2182
Registered: Oct-10
As Chris said Ornucklehead, "A reasonable person". You're not a reasonale person Orny. Matter o' fact, you're not even much of a person.
 

Silver Member
Username: Ornello

Post Number: 233
Registered: Dec-12
Stax 'earspeakers' headphones (SR-X-3, then Lambda) and Stax electret cartridges were at or near state of the art when I bought them, in the 1970s and 1980s.

http://kenrockwell.com/audio/stax/sr-x-mark-3.htm

http://kenrockwell.com/audio/stax/sr-lambda-pro.htm

http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=156126

Sony TA-N88B power amp:
http://www.audioscope.net/sony-tan88b-vfet-p-1655.html

Sony TA-N8550 V-FET power amp:
http://www.audioscope.net/images/sony_tan_8550-1.jpg

Sony TA-4650 V-FET integrated amp:
http://horn.hebfree.org/vrac/sony-ta-4650.jpg

Ortofon MC-20 & MCA-76 head amp

http://images04.olx.ru/ui/20/94/00/1338718047_310249400_1-Ortofon-MCA-76-.jpg

http://www.vinylengine.com/images/cartridgedb/ortofon_mc20.jpg

Magnepan tone arm:
http://www.vinylengine.com/library/magnepan/unitrac-1.shtml

Each of these, at the time it was introduced, was state of the art or close to it, in its category.

The reason I suggested the Thorens is because they are durable and should represent good value for the money, compared to buying something new.

http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr.pl?ymisc&1260414685
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 2183
Registered: Oct-10
Sony? State of the art? ROTFLMAO!

NOT ON THEIR BEST DAY!
 

Silver Member
Username: Ornello

Post Number: 234
Registered: Dec-12
In 1975-1979, V-FETS, yes it was. You show your ignorance.
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 2186
Registered: Oct-10
My ignorance? ROTFLMAO! V-FETs blowing up sound familiar? Not the mark of state of the art you idiot!
 

Silver Member
Username: Ornello

Post Number: 238
Registered: Dec-12
Nope, they did not 'blow up'. Where did you get that idea? Many are sold on e-bay even today.
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 2188
Registered: Oct-10
You admitted that they did you idiot.
 

Silver Member
Username: Ornello

Post Number: 240
Registered: Dec-12
Not at all. What are you talking about?
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 2190
Registered: Oct-10




"Ornello posted on Wednesday, February 13, 2013 - 17:55 GMT

Somebody mentioned Class D amps, and I used to have the Sony TA-N88B, which is a kind of Class D amp.

I listened to several amps before buying that one, but it kept blowing up. It sounded better than anything else I had heard at that time in the $500-$800 price range (Hafler, H-K, PS Audio, etc.)."


Oh no, Ornellooney, you didn't say that. Not at all.
 

Silver Member
Username: Ornello

Post Number: 243
Registered: Dec-12
Yes, but that had nothing to do with V-FETs.
Read the article on vintage knob.
 

Silver Member
Username: Ornello

Post Number: 244
Registered: Dec-12
Class D !
Huge power in small boxes, at last !

Long awaited and shown here and there throughout 1976, this amp had it all : PWM (Pulse Width Modulation), PLPS (Pulse Locked Power Supply, 20Khz chopping rate) and 4 pairs of complementary V-FET transistors!

Perhaps a little bold for many of the N88s still around are... dead. The slim-line box probably was too slim to hold all of these slick circuits.
The underlying technology inside the N88, however, showed the path we now use daily, digital Class D, as recently revived by Yamaha and Sharp !

TA-N88 = silver in Japan, withdawn rather quickly after 1980.
TA-N88B = gunmetal grey elsewhere but for the first late 1977 batch ; remaining available in Germany until 1984.
Also available as a Wega Lab Zero in black fashion, no rack ears and green LED meters added.

Do read the USER technical review to understand why so many TA-N88s fried all too quickly - a fate which had nothing to do with the V-FETs.

http://www.thevintageknob.org/sony-TA-N88B.html

You THINK you know, but you don't know, and you never will!

http://youtu.be/NHipzGL4dwM
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 2192
Registered: Oct-10
"Ornello posted on Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - 02:13 GMT

Nope, they did not 'blow up'. Where did you get that idea? Many are sold on e-bay even today."


"Superjazzyjames posted on Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - 02:17 GMT

You admitted that they did you idiot."


"Ornello posted on Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - 02:19 GMT

Not at all. What are you talking about?"


"Ornello posted on Wednesday, February 13, 2013 - 17:55 GMT

Somebody mentioned Class D amps, and I used to have the Sony TA-N88B, which is a kind of Class D amp.

I listened to several amps before buying that one, but it kept blowing up. It sounded better than anything else I had heard at that time in the $500-$800 price range (Hafler, H-K, PS Audio, etc.)."


The point is, these amps were notorious for blowing up, you said that yours kept blowing up, then later denied that they blew up and denied saying so. You're a liar and an idiot who knows NOTHING about audio and certainly not the first thing about what qualifies as state of the art. You a worthless, idiotic troll and nothing more.
 

Silver Member
Username: Ornello

Post Number: 255
Registered: Dec-12
Such kind thoughts, James.

Now, if only you knew what you were talking about.
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 2199
Registered: Oct-10
If only I knew what I was talking about?

In my above post are your words. Words which clearly prove me right. Does a building have to fall on you before you what you posted? Or are you incapable of understanding your own words?
 

Silver Member
Username: Ornello

Post Number: 256
Registered: Dec-12
I never said "V-FETs" were a problem with this or any Sony amp. Show me otherwise. It was a Class D amp, most importantly.
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 2202
Registered: Oct-10
Well Orny, you either can't see or refuse to admit what you've posted which leads me to the conclusion that you are mentally ill. Next question: Has your mental illness not been discovered by local authorities, does Belvue allow patients to use the computers or have you not been caught using them yet?
 

Silver Member
Username: Ornello

Post Number: 260
Registered: Dec-12
Show me the post. It may have been a typo. I categorically deny that I ever said that the amp did not die. It did die, and I claimed it did. What may have confused you is that this was one of many amps that Sony made using V-FETs, but this amp died for other reasons. In general, V-FETs are MORE stable than bipolar transistors, as they do not experience thermal runaway. The V-FETs had nothing to do with this amp's problems. How can you be so confused?
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 2203
Registered: Oct-10
You're mentally ill Orny. Get help.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 3014
Registered: Oct-07
Orn,
Just to bring us all up to speed, what is the difference between a MOSFET and a VFET? Or a HEXFET?
 

Silver Member
Username: Ornello

Post Number: 261
Registered: Dec-12
Vertical Field-Effect Transistor.
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 2205
Registered: Oct-10
In other words Leo, Orny doesn't know the difference between the different types of FETs.
 

Silver Member
Username: Ornello

Post Number: 263
Registered: Dec-12
The amplifiers I have owned from Sony were V-FET amps. There are other kinds of FETs.
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 2206
Registered: Oct-10
...and he just proved that he has no idea.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 3016
Registered: Oct-07
As I suspected.

So, OTHER FETs are Horizontal FETs?

HINT: They are ALL planar devices. IE: They are all fabricated on silicon discs called 'wafers'. They are all built in layers using the same set of processes, divided up into Diffusion, ThinFilms, Photo(lithography), Implant and both 'wet' and 'dry' etch.
 

Silver Member
Username: Ornello

Post Number: 264
Registered: Dec-12
There are MOS-FETs and V-FETs and some others. The Sony amps I owned were all V-FETs. (TA-4650 & 8550). The weakness of the TA-4650 (an integrated amp) was the pre-amp section (it had a bit of hiss). It was also kind of low-powered (35 wpc). Since I was using a moving-coil cartridge the hiss was somewhat of a problem, even with the step-up provided by the Ortofon MCA-76. I started using moving-coil cartridges in 1976, with the Ortofon MC20 and Ortofon MCA-76 pre-pre-amp. The TA-4650 had great sonics, but it lacked sufficient power to bring the best out of the Yamaha NS-690 speakers.

The Sony TA-8550 on the other hand was a power amp. It was 100 wpc. I don't remember why I got rid of it, actually. It sounded good. (Now I remember: some amps did not control the bass very well with the Rogers Studio 1s. The Denon POA-1500 did.)

The TA-N88B was a class D amp. It failed due to some design flaw described on the vintage knob web site. It had nothing to do with the V-FETs.

http://www.thevintageknob.org/sony-TA-N88B.html

"Master talk : Zeljko !


Sony TA-N88B : all V-FET ?
Depends how you look at it. Neither of the VFET amps are 'all VFET' as we are, after all, talking just about the output stage.
To my knowledge, no-one has ever produced an all-JFET power amp, even though during the V-FET era they could certainly have done so. This is because no medium-power VFETs exist to be used in intermediate stages of the amp, which is a great shame. The technology to make them certainly does, and did back then too.

There is a HUGE gap between FETs for preamplification (this at the top power end are 80V and 200mA devices) and the VFET, the smallest being capable of 160V and 5A (the original Sony parts).
The yamaha complementaries from the B-2 I believe are approximately 2x the current rating of the Sony ones, as only 2 pairs are used, in a most odd circuit that can only provide proper current sharing between the VFETs if they are carefully matched. Very unnecessary arrangement, it could have easily been made far less problematic by the inclusion of only 2 extra resistors, and it would probably have been more reliable, too.

The N88 uses VFETs for an entirely different reason - even today class D amplifiers operating at such high carrier frequencies (500Khz) are extremely rare.
When the N88 was made, special V-FETs were created for it (interesting names with transposed digits, 2SJ28 and 2SK82, with the figures 2 and 8 featuring prominently - as in 2 times 8, 88). These are somewhat different than the ones in the rest of the VFET amps.

First of all, they are 10A units similar to the Yamaha, compared to the original Sony VFET's 5A current capacity. Secondly, their pinch-off voltage is a LOT higher than all the rest of the VFETs - the ones used in class AB amps need about 16V negative bias to be turned off, in the N88, 42V is applied to turn off it's VFETs.
The reason for this is a deliberately lower transconductance (i.e. voltage in vs current out), in order to have the lowest possible gate capacitance, which in turn results in the fastest possible switching.

The gate capacitance of these V-FETs is only about 160pF - compare that to an equivalent Mos-FET at some 1200pF (but they need less voltage to turn them on and off, still VFET has an advantage). Switching times in the N88 are about 50ns which was near science fiction for the time it was made, and difficult to do even now.
So, unlike the Class AB amp topologies that could have been done with bipolars or Mos-FETs instead of V-FETs, the N88 would not have been possible at the time without the VFETs.


Original shortcomings of the circuit ?
The circuit itself is quite straightforward but with today's technology, it could be improved - though not by much.

The biggest shortcoming, of course, would be the utter unobtainability of the VFETs. The only time I have ever seen these on sale, they were 100Eur a piece, unknown rank (and yes, the amp uses two of each kind per channel and they do need to be of the same rank). Replacing them with MOSFETs is possible but not at all easy - that being said, it is worth it.
Unlike the class AB amps, this replacement would hardly change the sonic character, as this has more to do with the rest of the circuit.

If I were to add something to the N88, it would be an extra feedback loop after the output filter, for LF only, as it's damping factor is not very high (the output filter has a rather large resistance), this would also make it possible to more accurately drive 4 or 6 ohm loads, and lower distorsion.

This points to a possible further shortcoming - to my mind, the amp is needlessly stretched to provide the 2x 160W, even though the output stages, in theory, can deliver the necessary current at rated power. Having the amp specced at say 2x 120W into 8 Ohms by lowering the supply rails some, would have alowed it to reliably deliver 160-200W into 4 Ohms, or in other words, last forever.

As far as true weak points in an N88, that would be the power supply capacitors, in particular the main filter cap, which is mounted on the housing, and said housing also doubles as a heatsink - this shortens the life of the cap to "only" some 10 years or so. Ditto low voltage filtercaps on the output of the PLPS.
These should be replaced with low ESR caps, and the rectifier diodes replaced with 100V Schottky types (these were not available when the N88 was made), with a small series resistor (0.5-1 ohm or so).

The original circuit has standard diodes, and due to surge currents, these tend to heat up the electrolytics, which then subsequently fail. The biggest problem here is the failure of one of the bias supplies, which invariably kills the VFETs.

I don't think it would be the load, even at the highest power, unless very inductive or capacitive, that kills an N88, but rather the failure of said electrolytics. This could be the one good reason for a MOSFET mod, failure of a bias power supply would just switch the Mos-FETs off - with V-FETs they get switched on all the way."
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17733
Registered: May-04
.

"There are MOS-FETs and V-FETs and some others."



"Some others", eh! My, my! what a depth of understanding you display.




Obviously, orne is not a "techie". I'm somewhat surprised he even knows the meaning of the word, let alone how to use it as a derisive slur. Well, no doubt, it's usually the least informed out there who resent the more informed amongst them. Hiss does not cause any amplifier to blow up - repeatedly! I know, you never said it did, you just said your amp had hiss when asked about the Sony amp's blowing up. Just more goddle-de-gook which says you can't answer a very simple question. You can't, orne, because you don't know the answer, you don't care to learn the answer and you can only provide some copy/paste explanation from someone else's words to suffice for an answer you clearly do not comprehend. Oh! that and insult people who find you boorish, stupid and rude. Which, after keeping score on this forum, is everyone you've come in contact with!!!



Phono input hiss is an issue of system matching and, if your phono section suffers from hiss, you have not done a good job of combining parts no matter how high their individual quality might be. Once again, orne, you've shown you are not much of a "techie" at all even when it comes to the simplest of matters. And copy/pasting all that from someone else's words is no more of an explanation as to why your system was poorly chosen than is your copy/paste of the NS1000's sales literature. You are utterly out of touch and stupendously clueless all wrapped in one butt ugly package, orne. You appear to be someone who thinks just buying stuff other's say is high quality makes you smart. It doesn't ... which you continue to prove with every post.



"There are MOS-FETs and V-FETs and some others."



ROTFLMAO!!!



I sold both the Sony and the Yamaha amps which used the V-Fets. The Yamahas were significantly more stable than the Sony's - they were, after all, produced a decade later into technology. But they still sounded very much like Yamaha of the day; i.e, like the NS1000's or a Yamaha grand piano. All transients and nothing else. They tried to make one technology appear to be another technology, never a good idea no matter how much money you throw at the problem. They did, however, codify Sony's approach to SOTA products for the next thirty five years.

I don't think attacking Sony or Yamaha is the way to go about this issue. You really do show your ignorance of audio history when you do such. But, then what is the issue of this thread now? It's certainly not what Aaron wanted from his thread. This thread has simply degenerated into name calling and sh*t throwing when neither side knows anything about anything they are talking about.


Sony, Yamaha, Pioneer, Kenwood/Trio, Sansui, Panasonic, Luxman, Denon and Japanese Victor Corporation (one of the oldest audio companies in the world), etc were all capable of creating SOTA products ... when they wanted to. To not know this is to be very dense about the hobby of audio. To claim any product from any one of these companies is good simply by way of relationships is also completely stupid and blinded to reality by a sales brochure. For several decades Sony worried every other global manufacturer because of their dominance in the market while they remained one of the physically smallest companies in the market. SOTA? You really think the Compact Disc or the Walkman weren't SOTA at their introduction? How blind can you be? There wouldn't be an iPod if there had not been a Walkman. And digital audio? Sony and Yamaha have dominated DSP technology for decades. You might not agree with the direction in which their SOTA products took the market but this is why other manufacturers had to pay attention to and respond to Sony's lead. Do you really think Philips wanted to get in bed with Sony over the CD? It would appear then, you're definition of SOTA is no deeper than orne's - what you like and no other is allowed. Your vision is not so fully advanced to realize there are as many SOTA's as there are buyers and SOTA for you is not SOTA for someone else - another consistent fault of orne's one dimensional view of the world and all that is in it. Indeed, the real Japanese audiophiles of the last five decades have been keenly interested in, and paying a princely ransom for, vintage McIntosh and Marantz, SET triodes over push pull pentodes paired with Klipsch and Altec horns - and not anything "Sony". However, to ignore how Pioneer began and their continuing presence in the SOTA diy speaker market through their TAD division is once again simply a display of stupidity. Sony ES? Most of it is gold plated junk merely dressing up their mass market crap. However, in case you haven't noticed, the very top o' the line Sony ES CDP's were for years quite common in many a reviewer's system. They aren't there simply because Sony makes mass market drivel.

And, in many ways, the Japanese mass market companys' SOTA products are intended to create a new, redefined SOTA which in turn creates yet another niche in the market. A niche which they then hope to fill. They are not intended to be about being "SOTA", they are about making the effort - to prove to themself they still can - then moving on back to their mostly mass market paychecks. If you are unaware of Yamaha's latest SOTA efforts in DSP technology and the reception they have received in the music market, you are woefully uninformed. Arguing whether Sony or Yamaha ever created SOTA products is about as brilliant as arguing over whether a guitar is better when it is electrifed.




"The TA-4650 had great sonics, but it lacked sufficient power to bring the best out of the Yamaha NS-690 speakers.

The Sony TA-8550 on the other hand was a power amp. It was 100 wpc. I don't remember why I got rid of it, actually. It sounded good."




Possibly because it constantly blew up? That's why most buyers junked them.

The Sony amp was "class D" operation. Class D operation requires either substantial speed and/or robust voltage/current delivery in the power supplies. Today's high end class D amp is typically paired with either a fairly sophisticated switching power supply operating in the MegaHertz range or a very stout linear ps. I use several of my class D amps with a battery supply and ignore the drawbacks of either of those types. High speed switching supplies simply weren't available in the 1970's when Sony created their mass market line of class D amps, though the problems of early switching type supplies were there and Sony chose a poor way of dealing with their noises which only added to the numerous problems of their V-Fet amplifiers. Sony was marketing their V-Fet amps to the mass market, not the SOTA crowd. Innovation over quality, which has become the Sony way of doing business. Bean counters at Sony's mass marketing division said no stout power supplies for the V-Fet amps because they cost too much to ship overseas. The amps were built with sub-standard power supplies to fit the amp into a price range, very common for the mass market then and now.

Like most other amps with sub-standard power supplies, the V-Fet amp could produce its rated power into a test load but not into a real world speaker load. Your statement, " ... it lacked sufficient power to bring the best out of the Yamaha NS-690 speakers", is exactly why the amp constantly blew up though you prove you do not realize that fact.

You don't know it because you think any amp with 100 watts should be a good amp - and certainly 100 watts should be "enough", shouldn't it? But the copy you tried to use as your way of getting out of explaining Fets says exactly what the problem was, "The original circuit has standard diodes, and due to surge currents, these tend to heat up the electrolytics, which then subsequently fail. The biggest problem here is the failure of one of the bias supplies, which invariably kills the VFETs ... I don't think it would be the load, even at the highest power, unless very inductive or capacitive, that kills an N88, but rather the failure of said electrolytics".

Those are the words of a true "techie". He sees "the load" as something he uses on a test bench, not the real world load of the day's loudspeakers.




Leo can explain, no one other than Audio magazine was, at the time, suggesting a speaker load as a dynamic event which demands more from the power supply than can be shown on a test bench. Loudspeaker manufacturers in the 1970's were already creating extremely difficult loads for an ampifier to drive. The Japanese mass market speakers were largely fixated on one aspect of performance and didn't much care whether their own amplifiers could drive their own speakers. AR and Infinity here in the States and others worldwide were building speakers with impedance loads down into the 2 Ohm range AND with bizarre phase angles. ONLY Audio magazine was saying this is a stupid way to go about building systems because they themself were celebrating the flat frequency response of the systems. So people like you, orne, just bought stuff other people said was good and you thought you had a SOTA system - except for the fact it didn't all work together. What exactly is the sound of SOTA when it is broken?



And, you, not being a "techie" and all - lacking that "perspective", still to this day remain incapable of understanding the basics of an audio system. I know, if it's not in a sales brochure or some website you can copy/paste without understanding what is being said, it just doesn't matter to you. You are the worst sort of arrogant, stupid, self important braggart. One who acquires but cannot comprehend.

Bottom line, orne, the Sony amps blew up because they weren't well built. The bottom line is it had everything to do wth the V-Fet's. That's exactly what your copy/paste website says! You don't know it because you refuse to learn anything, but that is exacly what the man is saying, "The original circuit has standard diodes, and due to surge currents, these tend to heat up the electrolytics, which then subsequently fail. The biggest problem here is the failure of one of the bias supplies, which invariably kills the VFETs." No amp constantly blows up due only to its output devices. Tubes are stable devices and bipolar transistors are also stable when given sufficient amounts of negative feedback. Triodes need no global feedback circuits and that is what the V-Fet tried to emulate ... but failed at doing. Fet's are very stable when given the proper power supply and surrounding circuits. Fet's are stable or else they wouldn't be in use in other devices beyond audio amplifiers.

Amplifiers typically blow up - with the exception of simply defective parts - due to a lousy power supply. Sony had, in the 1970's, a V-Fet they couldn't and wouldn't supply with a decent power supply. They knew it when they designed the amplifiers. They knew it when they placed the amplifiers in the mass market retailers of the day. They weren't surprised by the number of amps that failed in the field. They also didn't care. Innovation and then move on. They didn't stand behind their product because the only fix was to totally rebuild the amp in the field. No service shop was in the business of re-doing what a manufacturer failed to do in the first place. The V-Fets themself eventually failed due to the constant stress they faced. Sony was not forthcoming with replacement parts. Innovation then move on. I remember the Sony owners carrying their (rather expensive for the day) amp into the service department three and four times before the techs finally told them there was no need - no way actually - to try to fix something that was broken before it hit the sales floor. Did it sound good while it operated? I'd say not, just different than most other mass market garbage of the day.


The V-Fets in the Sony amplifier required either a much superior power supply than they were provided or a simpler speaker load than was common to survive in the buyer's home. Lacking the latter - with few exceptions in the 1970's - the amps blew up due to a poor design and an even worse implementation. It wasn't exactly the V-Fets which caused it to blow up - at first - but it was the V-Fet's inherent nature - low current delivery into a real world load - which caused the amp to continuously blow up when the power supply couldn't handle the demands of the output devices which were tied to very current hungry loudspeakers. It's very difficult to separate the chicken from the egg here. Did the Fet fail because of the crappy power supply or did the power supply not succeed due to the requirements of the Fet? Either way, there were some very unhappy customers who had purchased the Sony amp. No matter the company, that cannot be considered a success.





Might we now end this thread? james, your in the gutter name calling has always been revolting when you have nothing other than name calling to back up your position. No one here is forgetting just how repulsive you can be. orne, you remain an uneducated fool who should have a techie around to save you from yourself. Someone hired just to dope slap you several times a day - just because. If brains were gasoline, you wouldn't have enough to light your bar-b-que.

And, leo, don't you think trying to prove orne knows nothing is a bit like showing tomorrow follows today? This thread is a complete waste of time thanks to james and orne. Can we just stop now?



.
 

Silver Member
Username: Ornello

Post Number: 265
Registered: Dec-12
The Sony TA-4650 amp was an integrated amp. It did not 'blow up'. I sold it because the pre-amp section was a little noisy. The only Sony amp that I owned that had a problem 'blowing up' was the TA-N88B, a CLASS D amp that used V-FETs. I owned THREE DIFFERENT Sony amplifiers with V-FETs:

TA-4650 (35 wpc integrated amp) DID NOT BLOW UP
TA-8550 (100 wpc power amp) DID NOT BLOW UP
TA-N88B (160 wpc CLASS D power amp) BLEW UP WITH STAX HEADPHONES CONNECTED

NONE of these was a 'mass-market' amplifier. They were quite expensive (the TA-8550 V-FET power amp was $1000 in 1975!) It was quite stable and DID NOT have any problem.

I did not remember it before, but the TA-N88B blew up ONLY when I tried to use it with the Stax headphones SRD-7 adapter.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17734
Registered: May-04
.


It blew up because it was unstable.

Whatever definition of "unstable" you might care to apply to save your own @ss from what you yourself have posted, if the amp blows up repeatedly, it is said to be "unstable" into the load to which you have paired it.


You have supplied us with articles which state the Sony V-Fet amps were prone to blowing up. I remember the Sony V-Fet amps and they were, and they remain, a disaster of poor engineering - as stated in numerous on line articles. You can deny what your own words and you own links have said, orne, we have come to expect you to deny your own words and backtrack to cover your @ss but that does not change the facts regarding the NS100 or the Sony V-Fet amplifiers.


Read the words you posted earlier. The power supply was not up to the needs of the circuit and the amps blew up when they became unstable.

"The biggest problem here is the failure of one of the bias supplies, which invariably kills the VFETs."

It's not like Sony built your V-Fet amp differently than all the rest. Maybe you off loaded your amp before it finally met its death but the fact remains the Sony V-Fet amps were unstable into the real world load they were fitted to.

Ka-Blowie!



It's right there in the article you copy/pasted. That is a point we have already established thanks to your own links. Are you so stupid to think we haven't noticed? Or, are you so stupid that you have not noticed?


Dumb question, I admit.



You remain a liar and a fool, orne, and I wish to he11 you would find another forum to infest. Just repeating the same wrong headed, self denying BS over and over accomplishes what for you?



Never mind, I don't need an answer from you. I need you to go away. You are a parasite!


Price has nothing to do with quality as your constant litany of once owned products proves. It's not what you own that matters. It's how you put together what you own that makes the difference. You are, unfortunately, too dim to recognize that fact.




.
 

Silver Member
Username: Ornello

Post Number: 266
Registered: Dec-12
The Sony V-FET amps I owned (the TA-4650 and the 8550) were just fine, stable. I had no problems with them. V-FETs are inherently MORE stable than ordinary transistors, as they are NOT subject to thermal runaway. Very few transistor amps from that era (mid-1970s) by any manufacturer, are still fully operational. The prices asked for these amps when they do appear on e-bay are quite high. Here is an example:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/SONY-TA-4650-VFET-Integrated-Amplifier-w-manual-NICE-Swe et-V-FET-Sound-Serviced-/160978071634?pt=AU_Electronics_Audio_Amplifiers&hash=it em257b0a7052

(About six years ago I bought a used TA-4650 just for kicks, but I didn't keep it. It just didn't have enough power.)

I bought the TA-4650 new in 1976, but got rid of it because of the (slight) hiss in the pre-amp section and the low power (35wpc). I bought a 150 wpc Mitsubishi amp, then sold it and bought the TA-8550 several years later, used (this was about 1984). The TA-8550 was about eight years old at the time, but I ended up not keeping it for some reason. I wish I had. I have no doubt it would be still working.
 

Gold Member
Username: Hawkbilly

Nova Scotia Canada

Post Number: 1558
Registered: Jul-07
Ya know Orn, if you took your own posts, lined them up, and deleted everyone elses......you would see that you're actually having a fairly intense argument with yourself.
 

Silver Member
Username: Ornello

Post Number: 267
Registered: Dec-12
I had three Sony amps:

TA-4650 Integrated amp (built 1975; bought 1975, kept until about 1980) Reason for changing: Weak power, noisy pre-amp section
TA-8550 Power amp (built 1975-78; bought 1984; kept until about 1986) Reason for changing: none that I can remember
TA-N88B Power amp (built 1979?; bought 1986) Reason for changing: kept dying when hooked up to SRD-7 Stax adapter
 

Silver Member
Username: Ornello

Post Number: 268
Registered: Dec-12
The TA-4650:

or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&bvm=bv.42768644,d.b2I&biw=1280&bih=848&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch &source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=WtwnUfq-Lcmi2gX-kYGICw,https://www.google.com/search?h l=en&q=ta-4650+sony&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&bvm=bv.42768644,d.b2I&biw=1280&b ih=848&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=WtwnUfq-Lcmi2gX-kYGICw

The TA-8550:

or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&bvm=bv.42768644,d.b2I&biw=1280&bih=848&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch &source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=ndwnUY3dCMr62QXXg4HwBA,https://www.google.com/search?h l=en&q=ta-8550+sony&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&bvm=bv.42768644,d.b2I&biw=1280&b ih=848&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=ndwnUY3dCMr62QXXg4HwBA

The TA-N88B
or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&bvm=bv.42768644,d.b2I&biw=1280&bih=848&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch &source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=ndwnUY3dCMr62QXXg4HwBA#um=1&hl=en&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=ta-n 88b+sony&oq=ta-n88b+sony&gs_l=img.3...46339.47661.0.48126.4.4.0.0.0.0.147.464.1j 3.4.0...0.0...1c.1.4.img.bcJgudA0u2s&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&bvm=bv.42768644 ,d.b2I&fp=43e53a86dbdd04d&biw=1280&bih=848,https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q =ta-8550+sony&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&bvm=bv.42768644,d.b2I&biw=1280&bih=848 &um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=ndwnUY3dCMr62QXXg4HwBA#um=1&hl= en&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=ta-n88b+sony&oq=ta-n88b+sony&gs_l=img.3...46339.47661.0.48126 .4.4.0.0.0.0.147.464.1j3.4.0...0.0...1c.1.4.img.bcJgudA0u2s&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_p w.r_qf.&bvm=bv.42768644,d.b2I&fp=43e53a86dbdd04d&biw=1280&bih=848
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17735
Registered: May-04
.


"I had three Sony amps"



The definition of insanity; doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.



Unfortunately, very much like expecting orne to actually understand anything no matter how often it is pointed out he has obviously contradicted his own post, this thread has descended into a form of insanity.



"Ya know Orn, if you took your own posts, lined them up, and deleted everyone elses......you would see that you're actually having a fairly intense argument with yourself."

Indeed, Chris! What was true for orne yesterday is no longer expedient today. Do you think he has "CYA" tattooed on his forelock?





.
 

Silver Member
Username: Ornello

Post Number: 269
Registered: Dec-12
How thoughtful, Jan.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17736
Registered: May-04
.


It wasn't meant to be "thoughtful" at all. It was meant to keep the few of us who are in constant amusement over your bizarre antics amused for just a moment longer. Surely, you don't mind being the bu++ of our jokes since you are naturally such an @ss.




.
 

Gold Member
Username: Hawkbilly

Nova Scotia Canada

Post Number: 1559
Registered: Jul-07
I wasn't even kidding. Seriously. Line 'em up and look for yourself. You're literally having an argument with yourself. No joke. I can't make this sh!t up.

You should give your head a shake.....both of you.
 

Silver Member
Username: Ornello

Post Number: 270
Registered: Dec-12
What are you talking about? I had three Sony amps, and one of them had problems driving the Stax adapter. The others had no problems. End of story.
 

Silver Member
Username: Ornello

Post Number: 271
Registered: Dec-12
What are you talking about? I had three Sony amps, and one of them had problems driving the Stax adapter. The others had no problems. End of story.

Are you illiterate?
 

Gold Member
Username: Hawkbilly

Nova Scotia Canada

Post Number: 1560
Registered: Jul-07
Let the thread die. It was dead long ago, so move on.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17737
Registered: May-04
.


Amen!
 

Silver Member
Username: Ornello

Post Number: 272
Registered: Dec-12
You crack me up.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Plymouth

Canada

Post Number: 16750
Registered: Jan-08
What happen to me?

I totaly agree with Jan comments!


Poor Ornello I know only one manufacturer doing a amp claiming 250 watts RMS each channel with a power supply of 100 watts for both channels, and this is Sony which is the worst and not reliable product to buy!

I let you see the company in declin because of lack of trust of peoples in their products!

You had 3 Sony amps and you loosed many years of your life not seeing the realty of what is Hi-fi, I have 4 complete audio systems much more better than yours, even in my garage it's better!

You don't prooved that you looked to upgraded your system intoxicating you that your system is the best which is simply a low end kit in our vocabular.

Go out of your house and listen real musical instruments without amplification with their sound depth as well that the the action of the room on the instrument and go back and tell us thanks to have put me back in the reality!
 

Silver Member
Username: Ornello

Post Number: 273
Registered: Dec-12
In 1975? I doubt it!
 

New member
Username: Hankos

USA

Post Number: 3
Registered: Sep-17
Yes, bridge must be replaced by the shottky diodes. The circuit with three phase bridge rectifier must be indicated with shottky diodes i think.
« Previous Thread | Next Thread »

Add Your Message Here

Bold text Italics Create a hyperlink Insert a clipart image Add a YouTube Video
Need to Register?
Forgot Password?
Enable HTML code in message
   

Facebook

Shop Related Deals

Directory

Main Forums

Today's Posts

Forum Help

Follow Us