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post #2071 of 3340
 
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IBTL.

Gear mentioned in this thread:

post #2072 of 3340
Quote:
Originally Posted by palmfish View Post

 

 

 

 

I know this is straying off topic so I won't belabor the point, but as a satisfied owner of an Essence One, I feel I should straighten the record - so to speak.

 

Since you didn't keep your Essence One, you probably don't know that early production versions had a few bugs that were subsequently corrected by Asus. RMA's were issued and new units were sent to owners suffering from a firmware glitch that caused noise in some units and a channel imbalance present in all units with the Alps B10K volume pot. The channel imbalance was measured as high as 2dB, which would certainly cause a noticeable sound quality degredation to someone as experienced as you are. If you had purchased your Essence One from Asus instead of eBay, you probably would have had a very different opinion of the Essence One.

 

As for the Essence One output impedance question, I think it is misleading when someone states something as a fact without actually having any basis in fact. You mentioned that Asus used a generic spec amp for the headphone portion of the Essence One, and that is most certainly true (and smart). But even a most cursory look at the Essence One shows a two-channel negative feedback circuit with two TI opamps as buffers and two as amplifiers. Obviously, the purpose of using this circuit design is to achieve a near-zero output impedance.

 

I have owned and used a good number of headphone amplifiers and DACs over the years, and I can confidently say that the Essence One is a well designed, high performance DAC/headamp/preamp that compares very well against units costing 3, 4 or 5 times more (Benchmark, Grace, Burson, etc.). Maybe you should give it another chance - I think you would be pleasantly surprised. smile.gif

Good point(s). But there is an important BUT.

 

There is one design decision used by Asus that can not be corrected for within the present box volume, regardless of what firmware and potentiometers are doing - or entire digital front end for that matter.. Quite a few 220 uF electrolytic capacitors in analog signal path. Most one can do is to shunt them with film type(s) that can still be tucked within the box so that it will close. No way they can be replaced by entirely film types, the film caps  of the total value required alone would probably take more volume than entire stock contents. Those electrolytics are enough to kill the sonics of any amp - the real dynamic range of electrolytics is about 40 or so dB ( or down to  about 1 % ),  everything below approx that level is "street/lane numbers" instead of the correct signal coming from the front end. The lower the amplitude of the signal, the worse performance of the electrolytic caps. For details, please read reprint from 1980 Audio Magazine http://www.reliablecapacitors.com/pickcap.htm. All those 220 uF caps to be replaced with film types can not be fitted into existing enclosure - and even if they could somehow fit within the box, the price would have been prohibitive. Quite simply, too expensive design if one wants to use parts that allow in practice what Asus/Ti is promising on paper.  

 

It is a vicious circle - in order to have good performance in midrange/treble, sometimes compromises in low frequency extension ( lower capacitance value of otherwise high quality cap = less expensive capacitor ) or output impedance has to be made in real world designs. 220 uF electrolytic cap costs next to nothing, film type of this value and appropriate voltage and other characteristics will burn a sizeable hole in anyone's pocket. At present, 47 uF is about the end of the road in film caps that do not cost an arm and a leg and are not the size of the hand granade. Designs that can get by with the use of capacitor values that can still be realistically employed in film are therefore to be preferred.

 

Problem - this has to be scrupolously adhered to from input to the output - for each and every capacitor that is remotely employed for audio signal(s). It is not one component in the system ( preamp, powew amp etc ) done right that will do the trick - it is every electrical component within that preamp etc that has to be of high enough quality. Omit one single capacitor and a significant portion of the potential of everything else you have done will not be fully realized. Here tubes with its generally higher impedances have an advantage over semiconductors - they can use lower value capacitors of higher quality, if capacitor cost is fixed for both. Most of the dreaded so called "transistor sound" should in fact be called "capacitor sound". The reason why the use of quality caps is not popular is simple - cost. Even in boxes in five figure price range per box. To make matters worse, advertising department would not have one single measurable spec to justify manyfold price increase - within competitive world, next to suicide. Because most measurements are essentiall static and do not cover the dynamic range that can fluctuate wildly in music. Open any Hewlett Packard or Tektronix measuring equipment - you will hardly be able to see a film capacitor in there. A bit hard to correctly measure something that has better performance than the measuring equipment to begin with...

 

One slogan from electronics fair that made a lasting impression on me was :

 

Active in Passives

 

Unbelievably true - but unfortunately equally unbelievably expensive. There are audio designs completely eschewing capacitors - at yet substantially higher prices. I try to avoid audition - because I know there is no way I could reasonably afford such equipment. 

 

Semiconductors have made much more progress than capacitors - and performance vs cost has increased by really much. Compared to this increase, what has been achieved in capacitors in say last 30 years is relatively little. But designers 30 years ago just did not have the componentry available now - and yet there were designs that were sporting by default best capacitors available at the time, indicating their designers were aware where true problem lies. No denying they were  expensive - but not that much as some present day designs selling for comparatively more yet using worse components.

post #2073 of 3340
post #2074 of 3340

Oh and I just found this.

 

 

 

Rega Naiad – sneak peek at the £30,000 turntable

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #2075 of 3340

That's goregous Eee Pee, what kind of bearings does that TT use? I know the debate between digital and analog audio will go on for a very long time. I have season tickets to the Houston Symphony because I do love to hear the live performance itself more than anything else, no recording technology will ever trump the live performance, but a great system will allow you to listen to a live performance many times, as many times as you wish, at very close to the original quality, whenever you wish, in your own home. smily_headphones1.gif

post #2076 of 3340
Quote:
Originally Posted by jackskelly View Post

That's goregous Eee Pee, what kind of bearings does that TT use? I know the debate between digital and analog audio will go on for a very long time. I have season tickets to the Houston Symphony because I do love to hear the live performance itself more than anything else, no recording technology will ever trump the live performance, but a great system will allow you to listen to a live performance many times, as many times as you wish, at very close to the original quality, whenever you wish, in your own home. smily_headphones1.gif

Loved singing in the HSO Chorus.  Daphnis and Chloe chorus right in back of the orchestra with Eschenbach?  Nothing like it.

post #2077 of 3340
Quote:
Naiad will feature a world first in hub bearing design with a spindle and bearing housing manufactured from Zirconia.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #2078 of 3340
Quote:
Originally Posted by bbophead View Post

Loved singing in the HSO Chorus.  Daphnis and Chloe chorus right in back of the orchestra with Eschenbach?  Nothing like it.

That would have been great to see. I was a small child when I saw Eschenbach conducting the HSO, so I don't remember much of that. I've really enjoyed the recent era with Hans Graf, he's recently left though, and we have a new very young conductor, Andres Orozco-Estrada. It will be quite fascinating to see how he does this coming season.

post #2079 of 3340
Quote:
Originally Posted by analogsurviver View Post

Good point(s). But there is an important BUT.

 

There is one design decision used by Asus that can not be corrected for within the present box volume, regardless of what firmware and potentiometers are doing - or entire digital front end for that matter.. Quite a few 220 uF electrolytic capacitors in analog signal path...

 

OK, I get it. The Essence One sounds like crap because it is poorly designed with bad capacitors. You win! smile.gif

 

Let's get back to the turntables...

post #2080 of 3340
Quote:
Originally Posted by palmfish View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by analogsurviver View Post

Good point(s). But there is an important BUT.

 

There is one design decision used by Asus that can not be corrected for within the present box volume, regardless of what firmware and potentiometers are doing - or entire digital front end for that matter.. Quite a few 220 uF electrolytic capacitors in analog signal path...

 

OK, I get it. The Essence One sounds like crap because it is poorly designed with bad capacitors. You win! smile.gif

 

Let's get back to the turntables...

Pics.  Anytime.

post #2081 of 3340
Quote:
Originally Posted by bbophead View Post

Pics.  Anytime.

 

post #2082 of 3340
Quote:
Originally Posted by palmfish View Post

 

OK, I get it. The Essence One sounds like crap because it is poorly designed with bad capacitors. You win! smile.gif

 

Let's get back to the turntables...

It is not about winning - I wanted to present a case where one single decision doomed otherwise probably wonderful product. If that is not the perfect candidate for Lampizator type mods, then I do not know what is.

 

The mere fact that a person is on this thread means he/she does place SQ high enough to bother with all the technicalities. be it a turntable or DAC -

I guess we all strive to get to listen to magnificent performances mentioned just a few posts back - be it live or from recordings.

 

Although I can not play an instrument or sing, I menaged to start making recordings. Met many interesting musicians, from elementary school to the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra - the most satisfying compensation for all the technical work that had to be done prior the recordings were at the level desired.

post #2083 of 3340
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eee Pee View Post

A Corolla!  C'mon man!  That's funny.  And not right.

DCD... those two can sing.  He's a nice chesty sounding guy, and she is a great female vocalist.  Very good stuff.  Emotional.  

Check out this Youtube video, cause it's good.

"Toward the Within was recorded in one take in November 1993 "

Great!!! album.





Dead Can Dance 's 1987 release "Within The Realm Of A Dying Son" is by far one of my favorite recordings. I own it as an original 1st pressing import on Cd also the remastered Cd from 2009 plus an original import record from the day.

Listening to the vinyl on AKG 701s makes the vocals come alive and makes me feel guilty for ever saying anything bad about the k701s.biggrin.gif


For what ever reason though it sounds better on vinyl than Cd. I guess I gotta try harder with my CD set-up.


This album is one of the few things that still gives me spine tingles anymore.
post #2084 of 3340
Quote:
Originally Posted by palmfish View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by bbophead View Post

Pics.  Anytime.

 

Nice.  Thanks.

post #2085 of 3340
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redcarmoose View Post


Dead Can Dance 's 1987 release "Within The Realm Of A Dying Son" is by far one of my favorite recordings. I own it as an original 1st pressing import on Cd also the remastered Cd from 2009 plus an original import record from the day.

Listening to the vinyl on AKG 701s makes the vocals come alive and makes me feel guilty for ever saying anything bad about the k701s.biggrin.gif


For what ever reason though it sounds better on vinyl than Cd. I guess I gotta try harder with my CD set-up.


This album is one of the few things that still gives me spine tingles anymore.

 

Watching the video now - I was hooked the moment the hammered dulcimer started. DCD might be my new favorite group - wonderful synergistic relationship they have. Her Eastern influence and his Western with a Celtic meeting in the middle.

 

Thank you Eee Pee and Redcarmoose!

 

EDIT: Just ordered "Toward the Within" and "Within the Realm of the Dying Sun" on CD. Debating the LP "In Concert" but $60 is a tough nut to swallow.


Edited by palmfish - 7/25/13 at 9:38am
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