In 2019, my
LOUNGE LCR phono preamp was upgraded to a LCR Gold phono (plus a few extras), by LOUNGE AUDIO (Robert Morin) in California.
Everything now well ‘run-in’ and some initial ‘brightness’ has disappeared (exactly as Robert had advised).
How good is this phono stage? This is not a device that impresses in an ‘artificial’ way. Let me just say that, (sadly) I have no urge to return to my
Diego Nardi Phi-42 all-tube phono preamp.
Now, I really wanted to improve the external AC Power Supply to this phono stage.
Back in 2015 –
Magic and Microphony (Pt 1) – I suggested that the tendency to ‘microphony’ in some vacuum tubes / valves, can actually enhance the sense of ‘ambience’ or ‘live-ness’ of the reproduced sound.
The last thing I wish for, is a ‘dry’ or ‘threadbare’ sound that is lacking in ‘resonance’ or harmonic ‘decay’.
However, having moved on from a 2-stage tube preamp, back to a single-tube, ‘
WOT’ (With Output Transformer) Tube Line-stage, I’ve found that sensitivity to ‘microphony’ can be a serious problem. Continue reading
This has ended up being my favourite cartridge step-up transformer (SUT) whenever I am using a Moving Coil cartridge.
The Fidelity Research FRT-4 SUT is versatile, with 4 x Gain/Impedance ratios and it sounds very good.
It is better sounding than my Fidelity Research FRT-3 (dynamic but slightly ‘coarse’ in comparison) or the very good Stevens & Billington TX103 (less extended treble tone).
Fidelity Research operated from Tokyo from 1964 – 1984.
The Keith Monks Record Cleaning Machine was introduced in 1969 and is still unique in the method used to vacuum-dry the cleaning fluid from the vinyl record.
The KMAL (Keith Monks Audio Ltd) Record Cleaning Machine was originally developed from a ‘Record Doctor’ concept devised by Percy Wilson in England and presented to the Audio Engineering Society (AES) in 1965.
In 1969, Keith Monks was successful in securing orders from the BBC for the first KMAL Record Cleaning Machines to be manufactured.
Replacing the standard Decca 2-piece plastic mount with a ‘Decapod’ (solid aluminium) mount, is essential in my opinion and I recommend it.
The Decapod ‘mounting block’ is obviously a much more solid connection between the cartridge and the tonearm, than the original Decca design
And, I can advise that the Decapod will transform the sound of your ‘standard’ London Decca or Decca cartridge.
This vintage Japanese tonearm still enjoys a certain ‘cult’ status.
Fidelity Research Co. was founded by Isamu Ikeda in 1964 and the FR-64 tonearm was introduced in 1978. Fidelity Research closed down c.1984.
(A new company, Ikeda Sound Labs, currently again offers new cartridge & tonearm products.)
The detailing and machine-finishing is visually uncomplicated. After 40 years, it still looks elegant and the material is durable and un-tarnished.
What we have learnt so far, with this SP-10 MkII turntable…
Building the ‘plinth’
(see TECHNICS SP-10MkII turntable – Pt 3) and trying to obtain the best sound from this turntable has taught us a number of things.
And also about optimising Direct-Drive turntables in general.
This journey is on-going, but I feel that we can say the following:
After the previous first audition, I have high hopes for this Direct Drive turntable.
The sound was punchy, with good mid-range ‘presence’ and reasonably good treble quality (using an elliptical stylus cartridge).
But before we can listen seriously,, we need to fix the adjustable helicoid arm-height base, which has become difficult to rotate after so many years.
This will allow us to raise & lower the tonearm to correctly to optimise VTA
The iconic Rega Planar 3 turntable has been around since introduction in 1977. The most recent editions are the P3 or RP3.
Thus, there are 30 to 40 year old Rega Planar turntables now in need of restoration.
This Planar 3 is from early-1980s, fitted with a Linn LV-V tonearm (and an un-branded Japanese moving magnet cartridge).