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My K1000 journey (a blog) - Page 4

post #46 of 156
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BluePhone
Want to hear a great recording? Try this one: "Five Songbirds - A Reference Collection of Female Vocalists". You can get it from www.acousticsounds.com
If you enjoy good singing, you'll love this vinyl HDCD.
BluePhone, how ya liken the k1000s? Care to share any comments on how they compare to your Stax?
I checked out the link. I have a number of Patricia Barber CDs, several of which are among my favorites when I'm in an audiophile mood. I am not familure with the other artists.
post #47 of 156
Thread Starter 

Phase & Vandersteen woofer

This was posted on Vandersteen's web site. I'm including a copy here for my blog...

My original message:
Thank you Richard for your previous response. Please also clarify: With your M5-HP balanced crossover, if I adjust the settings to the next higher or next lower impedance, what does that do to the curve? Does one setting move roll off point to a higher frequency, and the other down? BTW: I love what your crossover does to improve SQ of midrange (by taking low-frequency burden off speakers / amp). Thank you again.

Answer:
HELLO KENT, THE X-OVER DOES NOT MOVE BUT THE PHASE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE MAIN SPEAKERS AND THE SUB DOES. DEPENDING ON THE ROOM ONE UP OR ONE DOWN CAN PROVIDE BETTER LINEARITY IN THE MID BASS.
post #48 of 156
Thread Starter 

Gratuitous full-body shot (backside)...

Moved my system out from the wall, making it easier to make adjustments and play with Mapleshade tweaks. I had the day off, and spent much of it trying different setting for crossover, and a variety of Mapleshade goodies.

I reached 'listening overload', so I’m going to give it another day or two before making any comments.

Here’s the backside of my the K1000 monster rig...

post #49 of 156
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alwayswantmore
Worked with Pierre from Mapleshade Records to select a few tweaks. Pierre was very helpful in explaining the benefits of his products. And as he pointed out, “if you don’t hear an improvement in SQ, simply return the product for a refund”. So nothing ventured, nothing gained. He gave me permission to share his comments.

For the Wadia
Penultimate Triplepoint Footers (Set of 3 : $95 + shipping)


Heavyhat Vibe Killers (Set of 3 : $27 + shipping)


For the Sub Woofer
Threaded Thick Carpet-Piercing Heavyfoot (Set of 3 : $105 + shipping)
3/8” : 16 thread


Misc.
Ionoclast ($38.50 + shipping)
Micro-Smooth CD kit ($16.95 + shipping)
Extra Micro-Smooth Polishing Pads ($5.00 + shipping)

My Notes

Place footers at outer edges of equip – 2 under heavy end (start here, then experiment)
Place weights opposite of feet – with heavy weight opposite the single foot (start here, then experiment)
Use clear packing tape to protect triplepoint from scratching CDP
Mcirosmooth once and forget it
Zap CDs every few plays in dry weather
Zap cables - but only when disconnected from electronics
Clean contacts: Ink eariser, Flitz metal polish – then very thin layer of SilClear (can go over ProGold – do junction box too)
Zap cables every 6 mo.

I'm not sure I want to try Silclear -- but I do plan to buy ProGold from RadioShack
I've spent (too) many hours over the last four days playing with my system. What I now hear in terms of detail and sense of space could only be compared with a good 2ch rig (thanks to K1000s natural crossfeed, it's hard for me to imagine that even a top-shelf pair of electrostats could produce a more lifelike soundstage). I'll get back to SQ shortly, but first here are the changes:

1. Moved Vandersteen crossover setting one level lower (now 10K). This is one of several changes that finally made the woofer 'disappear'.

2. With the exception of Micro-Smooth CD kit, I've implemented all Mapleshade tweaks listed above. I played with the tweaks in various combinations and setting for much of last Thursday and Friday. Finally late Friday I got to the point where things clicked. The next morning I removed all tweaks just to make sure they were helping, and yes I'm very pleased with my Mapleshade purchase. [For me, the addition of Mapleshade is subtle but real. I drew an analogy in my mind that It's not like moving into a new home, rather it's like putting a fresh coat of paint on the one you already have. Same house. But it 'feels' better. Most notable improvements have been bass integration (thanks in part to point 1 above), and sense of space or air.

Space

The amazing part of my K1000 monster is its ability to create a sense of space or air. Where -- in terms of space -- balanced 650 fall a couple of notches short of my 2ch monitors (with same sub, crossover, amp), the K1000s are actually a couple steps ABOVE in both detail and space.

So what do I mean by space? Stand in a quiet room. Close your eyes and clap your hands once. Then just listen. Sure you'll hear the echo, reverberations, etc. But your brain will also provide a mental picture of the size / type of room you're in. All I can say is this monster amp with all its goodies (balanced outputs, zero feedback, operating in class A), coupled with Vandersteen's crossover and sub, makes for an incredible listening experience.
post #50 of 156
I've always been intrigued by the Mapleshade footers & heavyhat tweaks but haven't pulled the trigger.

Did you find these made a big difference? Wondering what they'd do to my Meridian 588..
post #51 of 156
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jayB
I've always been intrigued by the Mapleshade footers & heavyhat tweaks but haven't pulled the trigger.

Did you find these made a big difference? Wondering what they'd do to my Meridian 588..
No for me it was pretty subtle, but definitly worth it. BTW: They are very possition dependent... they can also make the sound WORSE too (you are changing vibration and resonance frequencies). I played for many hours before I learned how to tune the sound.

All it takes is the cost of shipping to give them a try (return policy). I'm a happy customer.
post #52 of 156

good bass sub disc

Great topic, need to catch-up but an interesting discussion on subs can be found at

http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr...&5#Rauliruegas
By Analog guru - Rauliruegas

If problems with link just search for his only thread started.

I agree integrating subs tough and $ thus decide to settle with full range speakers.

Enjoy.
post #53 of 156
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tk_suki
Great topic, need to catch-up but an interesting discussion on subs can be found at

http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr...&5#Rauliruegas
By Analog guru - Rauliruegas

If problems with link just search for his only thread started.

I agree integrating subs tough and $ thus decide to settle with full range speakers.

Enjoy.
I'm not here to say it's worth buying a sub for k1000s. I had the sub, so my challenge was to make it into an asset. After playing with settings, the sub has now disappeared. Having it in the system does improve the sound, so I'm happy.
post #54 of 156
Thread Starter 

Am I now the charter member for team esoteric?

Quote:
My original message:
Thank you Richard for your previous response. Please also clarify: With your M5-HP balanced crossover, if I adjust the settings to the next higher or next lower impedance, what does that do to the curve? Does one setting move roll off point to a higher frequency, and the other down? BTW: I love what your crossover does to improve SQ of midrange (by taking low-frequency burden off speakers / amp). Thank you again.

Answer:
HELLO KENT, THE X-OVER DOES NOT MOVE BUT THE PHASE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE MAIN SPEAKERS AND THE SUB DOES. DEPENDING ON THE ROOM ONE UP OR ONE DOWN CAN PROVIDE BETTER LINEARITY IN THE MID BASS.
I reviewed my owners manual to better understand what is happening when the xover settings are moved down one notch (from Ayre's stated input impedance). Notes from this review:

"Setting the (crossover) to a value lower than the input impedance of the main amplifier increases the base output of the system...

Remember that the 2w's amplifier is boosting its output below 80Hz to match the high pass crossover's roll off."


Bottom line: So in effect I've lowered the crossover point. The K1000s are now be rolled off ~ -6db at 30Hz. While the 2W is responding at ~ +12db at 30Hz. This explains why the 2W requires very little gain to match the K1000s.

To many, the thought of adding a sub to any headphone may seem to be a ridiculous proposition. But I'm pretty sure most high-end headfiers would like the sound if they heard this rig.

BTW: Diana Krall's Live in Paris is outstanding!!!

Now that I've achieved good solid bass integration, my next project is to get my CDP and amp modified with the manufacture's latest upgrades.

Planned:
- Shorten K1000 pigtail (~10 foot total)
- Shorten Vandersteen's woofer cable (~ 8' 6")
- Silver solder all cable ends
- Remove one set of gold bannana plugs from woofer cables
- Use Iconoclast on all cables (and a few CDs)
- Try Microsmooth on CDs
- Ship 830 to Wadia for P upgrade (good news re. Wadia upgrade coming soon!)
- Try K1000s directly from Wadia's balanced outs (order female XLRs)
- Finish ProGold treatment for all cables (started with Radio Shack kit, but ran out -- their bottles are TINY!)
- Learn more about Ayre's V-3 upgrade program
- Add Stephan Audio Arts K1000 hardwire (scheduled for end of July)

Under consideration:
-Mapleshade's butcher-block isolation for CD
-Ayre’s V-3 upgrade
post #55 of 156
Thread Starter 

Wadia’s been very, very good to me!!!

Wadia has offered to modify my 830 -- with their ‘P’ upgrade -- at NO COST TO ME! So when others hear my rig at future Head-fi meets, my Wadia 830 will be the best it can be!

The ‘P’ upgrade adds a second power supply board. Addition of this board should add to the detail, dynamics and overall musicality of an already great CDP.

The 'P' mod demonstrates Wadia’s tradition of providing an upgrade path for their owners (No, this is NOT a Wadia commercial – Yes, I’m becoming one of there biggest fanboys!).

I’ve also offered to test-drive Wadia's new 581, and share impressions here at Head-fi. Details are still up in the air, but hopefully this will come to pass.

I'm planning to ship my 830 to Wadia next week.

Thank you Wadia! Thank you AKG! Thank you Head-fi!
post #56 of 156
Thread Starter 
The meet in Nashville was postponed, so I didn’t have the chance to let others hear my wonderful new rig.

New tweaks

I performed the following tweaks since my last listening impressions...

- Used Ionoclast to zap static in all cables
- Used Progold on most cables (the Radio Shack can was so dinky I ran out before completing the job)
- Shortened the AKG & sub wires (they are now ~10' / 8.5' respectively)
- Silver soldered cable ends
- Moved two of the three triplepoint cones to the outer corners (making them a few inches further apart)

Subtle improvements, but...

I can hear some subtle differences. Most sonic differences are for the better, but one key area seems to have regressed. I think I know the culprit, but first...

Prior to these last changes, I moved my CDP to the top shelf in my rack (easier access during the testing period). As of last night, the CDP is back in its normal location on the second shelf (top shelf used for display). The two shelves are different: The top shelf is suspended by four spikes -- while the bottom shelves sit on rubber bumpers.

Back to SQ

Now that everything has been meticulously put back together -- I have the impression the system is a bit smoother. Most notably, less grunge in vocals and complex instrumental passages. But I seem to have lost some of that wonderful air (space) that absolutely blew my mind during the testing phase.

Of all modifications done this round, the two that concern me most are the change to triplepoint locations (further toward the corners) and the loss of the spiked shelf. I have more work to do in this area to see if I can find reclaim that wonderful air.

Room noise

We've finally hit air conditioning season -- and AKG's open design makes them susceptible to a loss of resolution in noisy environments. I did my final listening tonight after the AC and attic fans shut down. Having a quiet room makes a notable difference. Something to keep in mind if you listen at meets or other noisy environment.
post #57 of 156
Thread Starter 

I found the air!

When I brought my Wadia directly driving balanced HD 650s to the Nashville meet, one of the guys commented it would be easy to detect subtle differences in cables on my rig. Now with the addition of K1000s and the Ayre, subtle differences are even more evident.

Early this morning -- while the room was still nice and quiet -- I moved the CDP back to the top shelf in my rack (this shelf is spiked). The air is back. In fact everything comes into sharper focus and has more life.

This is the most dramatic demonstration I've ever witnessed as to the power of isolation.

I'm giving serious consideration to ordering the mapleshade butcher block to see what it does in my system.

P.S. I tried moving the triplepoints back to their original possition prior to changing shelves. This made a modest difference at best. Going to the spiked shelf was the key to finding the air.
post #58 of 156
Thread Starter 

What’s the best sounding amp for K1000s?

I created a thread to collect feedback on what amp(s) are best for driving K1000s.

As the moment this post is being written, collectively responders own or have heard Cary 300sei, Conrad Johnson 12s, Lavry D10, Bel1001s and Pass Labs Alpha 3. Interesting -- at least for the moment -- there is unanimous agreement on which of these five amps make K1000s sound the best.Click here to see the results or to add your feedback.

P.S. Pass Labs is a high-quality class-A SS amp. Of the five amps listed so far, Pass is also the closest to my Ayre in terms of specifications and design.
post #59 of 156
Thread Starter 

Wadia 830's approach to balanced...

Jefemeister just posted this elsewhere on Head-fi...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jefemeister
The 830 is "fully balanced"--it runs 2 DACs per channel. One handling the positive phase and one doing the negative (which is created digitally in the FPGA). Each DAC feeds it's own pin of the XLR connector. The RCA is derived by a comparison of the two DAC phases which is cool because (in the math anyway) it doubles the signal-to-noise ratio on the RCAs.
post #60 of 156
Thread Starter 

Oh no, my Wadia's leaving me!

May 29, 2006

Mr. John Schaffer
Wadia
1556 Woodland Drive
Saline, MI 48176
734.786.9611

Dear John:

Here’s my beloved 830 for the ‘P’ upgrade.

GAIN SETTINGS

After additional consideration, I’d like to take you up on your offer to add a resistor.

My normal listening level is 6 full LEDs, plus a couple dB into the 7th LED. I’m thinking that a reduction of 6 dB will bring normal listening into the 8th LED, and still leave about 9-10 dB headroom for robust listening sessions.

Thank you again for adding the P upgrade to my 830.

Sincerely, Kent
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