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kurtster

kurtster Avatar

Location: drifting
Gender: Male


Posted: Aug 19, 2018 - 10:51pm

Vinyl seems to be really exploding again with the coming 50th Anniversary of so many iconic albums.  50th birthday pressings are being made left and right as well as so many box sets.  The pressing quality is still pretty much hit or miss for too much of this stuff though, especially with the prices being asked.  That said, if you still play vinyl or are thinking about giving it a go again, now is a great time to start paying attention to what is coming out as so much of this stuff is truly limited editions with runs of between 500 to 10k like the last MOFI reissue of Layla.  After spending so much time again horsing around with my records and buying too many new albums again, I'm starting to look more to box sets than single albums.  Might as well get a bunch of albums from one band at one time if most of the included are something you really want.  Slightly less than the singles combined and more likely to hold their $ value.  The best quality sets I have found so far are the Tom Petty box sets and the Buffalo Springfield box set.  The latter was done by Young very quietly and surprised Stills  who had no idea he was even working on it when it came out.  Its all from the original tapes with the original mixes.  5 discs.  The first two albums in both stereo and mono and the last in true stereo.  Turns out that the band like many others were only involved with the mono mixes.  The company did the fake stereo mixes and when compared, the mono mixes just plain kick ass over the stereo mixes.  Young even commented in the notes that he prefers the sound of the vinyl to the FLAC and CD versions of the set.  I have to agree.  The price has risen and fallen and now its back up again and with only 3k copies it will keep climbing and sell out shortly. The Petty boxes are amazing in their sound and pressing quality as well.  All analogue masters used with Petty's involvement.  No worries about bad pressings with these 3 sets unlike so many others. 

However they will be limited in pressings and keeping track of all the new releases coming out and what to get and not to get, the prices is mind boggling.  In the past couple of days I was directed to 2 reddit threads dedicated to this very subject.  I've never used reddit for anything before but these seem to be worth paying attention to.  Evidently they are competeing threads but not everything is being cross posted so I have been watching both.  Check them out if the buying light is on.

https://www.reddit.com/r/VinylDeals/

https://www.reddit.com/r/VinylDealsUS/

More and more of these are now coming from digital copies of the analogue masters because the original analogue masters are really starting to fall apart.  That's not as bad as it may sound using a digital master for an analogue playback medium.  I used to think that it was just wrong but when done properly it will sound great on vinyl.  Its still all about how a master is prepared for vinyl and in the process it will take on the analogue sound and sound just like it should.  But do your homework and read reviews if you can.  Even with all the information available, buying vinyl is still just as much a crap shoot now as it was 50 years ago.  Back then we had no idea of what plant pressed what and who mastered what.  The copy we got either played properly or it didn't.  Still pretty much the same except we can know to avoid albums made by certain companies and seek out others for their consistent sound and vinyl quality.

One to stay away from at all costs is  https://www.discogs.com/label/430654-GZ-Media  Sad cuz they have some really great artists and albums.

A good one is https://www.discogs.com/label/75430-Speakers-Corner-Records.  They are excellent, sell out fast and their value usually goes up.

and for a quality pressing, this company gets it right more often than anyone else.  https://www.discogs.com/label/271440-Schallplattenfabrik-Pallas-GmbH?sort=year&sort_order=desc&page=1   Look for Pallas whenever pressing info is offered or ask.

and of course good old MFSL or MOFI as they are more widely known.  and if you're going to buy a MOFI might as well get it from their distributor for the best prices, Music Direct.  Not always the best prices for other labels, check Amazon first, but for MOFI, its your first stop.

So when you look around for different records this little bit should help in keeping your hard earned dollars from going down the crapper.  I'll add more names as time goes by.

Hey, this stuff keeps me busy and out of the poly threads and broke, too ...



and if you read all the way to this point here's a little bit more.  With all of the album ripping i've been doing lately, I haven't been remastering any individual songs because there simply isn't time.  I did do these two though because the vinyl was so good and they are two of my favorites.  From the Allman Bros Beginnings album which was the reissue of the first two albums remixed properly for the first time and the same mix used since.  Whipping Post and Dreams.  They came out pretty freaking good if I do say so.

CLICKY
SeriousLee

SeriousLee Avatar

Location: Dans l'milieu d'deux milles livres


Posted: Jul 3, 2018 - 12:07pm

 kurtster wrote:
Some fun facts ...

TOP 10 SELLING VINYL ALBUMS OF 2017 IN U.S.  
RankArtist, TitleSales 
1The Beatles, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band72,000 
2The Beatles, Abbey Road66,000 
3Soundtrack, Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 162,000 
4Ed Sheeran, ÷ (Divide)62,000 
5Amy Winehouse, Back to Black58,000 
6Prince and the Revolution, Purple Rain (Soundtrack)58,000 
7Bob Marley and The Wailers, Legend: The Best Of…49,000 
8Pink Floyd, The Dark Side of the Moon54,000 
9Soundtrack, La La Land49,000 
10Michael Jackson, Thriller49,000 
Source: Nielsen Music, for the tracking period Dec. 30, 2016 through Dec. 28, 2017.


DSOTM is still selling !!!  That is simply amazing considering that it never went out of print its entire existence.

Some related news that may have been missed, but since July 1st has arrived it's fresh again.

Best Buy to Pull CDs, Target Threatens to Pay Labels for CDs Only When Customers Buy Them

It's kinda like being around when the Berlin Wall went up and living long enough to see it come down.  Vinyl is becoming more than a niche market.  It's back full tilt but with different market drivers this time around.  No doubt there is curiosity driving sales, but there is renewed interest in the sound and the rituals involved in playing vinyl.  Once you have accepted that there is going to be some things like pops and clicks, it gets easier.  If you can't accept these unwanted artifacts, well you're stuck with CD's and stream downloads.  People like Taylor Swift need not be worried.  Indie artists are going to be the biggest winners and losers because vinyl only releases are going to make it difficult to get any airplay, yet since many are direct marketed by the artists, they actually make some money.

But vinyl is back.  It has passed the fad stage.  And some good engineers are rising up to take over from the original ones that were so critical in shaping the sound we eventually got to hear.  These guys have passed on or have simply retired.  The sound is as much as the driver as is the artwork and all the 'collectible' aspects of a vinyl LP. 

But what of the sound itself ?  You can digitally rip the vinyl well enough to really challenge critical listeners to pick between the rip or playing the vinyl live.  It's not the digital part that is the difference.  As I occasionally share rips of my vinyl, I offered up some to someone who lives and breathes music and whose opinion I respect highly and I received a funny response to the rips.  I paraphrase ... they sound like vinyl.    Hmmm.  Isn't that what has been the goal of replacing vinyl since the creation of CD's ?  I'm pretty sure it wasn't because of pops and clicks because I took care of those.  

I have finally gotten over the purest attitude that the vinyl chain must be pure AAA.  Many cutting lathes have been digital since the 80's as most are now.  I finally tried the Steven Wilson remix of Tull's Benefit and immediately liked it, even though it went through digital processing and was no longer an analogue sourced pressing.  I'm now working through his Yes remixes and holy sh*t who cares how it got to this vinyl, it's sofa king good even with the occasional click.  

Finally, for now anyway, if ya really have a problem with pops and clicks and real deep pockets, this is for you !!

SweetVinyl - SugarCube SC-2

 
 
Interesting!  Unfortunately,  no pockets that deep. {#Cheers}
kurtster

kurtster Avatar

Location: drifting
Gender: Male


Posted: Jul 3, 2018 - 11:55am

Some fun facts ...

TOP 10 SELLING VINYL ALBUMS OF 2017 IN U.S.  
RankArtist, TitleSales 
1The Beatles, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band72,000 
2The Beatles, Abbey Road66,000 
3Soundtrack, Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 162,000 
4Ed Sheeran, ÷ (Divide)62,000 
5Amy Winehouse, Back to Black58,000 
6Prince and the Revolution, Purple Rain (Soundtrack)58,000 
7Bob Marley and The Wailers, Legend: The Best Of…49,000 
8Pink Floyd, The Dark Side of the Moon54,000 
9Soundtrack, La La Land49,000 
10Michael Jackson, Thriller49,000 
Source: Nielsen Music, for the tracking period Dec. 30, 2016 through Dec. 28, 2017.


DSOTM is still selling !!!  That is simply amazing considering that it never went out of print its entire existence.

Some related news that may have been missed, but since July 1st has arrived it's fresh again.

Best Buy to Pull CDs, Target Threatens to Pay Labels for CDs Only When Customers Buy Them

It's kinda like being around when the Berlin Wall went up and living long enough to see it come down.  Vinyl is becoming more than a niche market.  It's back full tilt but with different market drivers this time around.  No doubt there is curiosity driving sales, but there is renewed interest in the sound and the rituals involved in playing vinyl.  Once you have accepted that there is going to be some things like pops and clicks, it gets easier.  If you can't accept these unwanted artifacts, well you're stuck with CD's and stream downloads.  People like Taylor Swift need not be worried.  Indie artists are going to be the biggest winners and losers because vinyl only releases are going to make it difficult to get any airplay, yet since many are direct marketed by the artists, they actually make some money.

But vinyl is back.  It has passed the fad stage.  And some good engineers are rising up to take over from the original ones that were so critical in shaping the sound we eventually got to hear.  These guys have passed on or have simply retired.  The sound is as much as the driver as is the artwork and all the 'collectible' aspects of a vinyl LP. 

But what of the sound itself ?  You can digitally rip the vinyl well enough to really challenge critical listeners to pick between the rip or playing the vinyl live.  It's not the digital part that is the difference.  As I occasionally share rips of my vinyl, I offered up some to someone who lives and breathes music and whose opinion I respect highly and I received a funny response to the rips.  I paraphrase ... they sound like vinyl.    Hmmm.  Isn't that what has been the goal of replacing vinyl since the creation of CD's ?  I'm pretty sure it wasn't because of pops and clicks because I took care of those.  

I have finally gotten over the purest attitude that the vinyl chain must be pure AAA.  Many cutting lathes have been digital since the 80's as most are now.  I finally tried the Steven Wilson remix of Tull's Benefit and immediately liked it, even though it went through digital processing and was no longer an analogue sourced pressing.  I'm now working through his Yes remixes and holy sh*t who cares how it got to this vinyl, it's sofa king good even with the occasional click.  

Finally, for now anyway, if ya really have a problem with pops and clicks and real deep pockets, this is for you !!

SweetVinyl - SugarCube SC-2

 

SeriousLee

SeriousLee Avatar

Location: Dans l'milieu d'deux milles livres


Posted: Jun 21, 2018 - 11:14am

 kurtster wrote:
Moved from the Mixtape Culture Club thread so as not to take away from its real purpose which is about us sharing mixes with each other not for getting up on a soapbox.

That is what this thread is for.  So ...
.
So here is the finished CCR first album from a uniquely great 1st pressing of the album.  I also put up with it the raw fourth track from side 2, Gloomy.  This is what the album sounded like before all the work that went into it.  This was the most distressed part of the album and it took me around 8 actual hours of work on this 3' 50'" song to get just the scratches out.  I left the album in stereo.  The mixtape version of Suzie Q was turned into mono to make it more agreeable with the rest of the songs on the disc.  I think that this is my best restoration effort to date.

CCR AND MCC 15

in 16 bit / 48 khz wave for your listening pleasure.

{#Cheers}

 
Thanks Kurt! {#Cheers}
jambo

jambo Avatar

Location: prairie


Posted: Jun 20, 2018 - 7:45pm

 kurtster wrote:
Moved from the Mixtape Culture Club thread so as not to take away from its real purpose which is about us sharing mixes with each other not for getting up on a soapbox.

That is what this thread is for.  So ...
.
So here is the finished CCR first album from a uniquely great 1st pressing of the album.  I also put up with it the raw fourth track from side 2, Gloomy.  This is what the album sounded like before all the work that went into it.  This was the most distressed part of the album and it took me around 8 actual hours of work on this 3' 50'" song to get just the scratches out.  I left the album in stereo.  The mixtape version of Suzie Q was turned into mono to make it more agreeable with the rest of the songs on the disc.  I think that this is my best restoration effort to date.

CCR AND MCC 15

in 16 bit / 48 khz wave for your listening pleasure.

{#Cheers}

 

hey kurt! thanks so much and yer right. i'll be doing the same asap.
kurtster

kurtster Avatar

Location: drifting
Gender: Male


Posted: Jun 20, 2018 - 7:22pm

 Proclivities wrote:

It seems like most bands (if not all) were releasing albums that were shorter than 50 minutes long until 1967 or '68 - The Beatles first several albums each were shorter than 40 minutes.  I guess part of idea of the label was releasing as many albums as possible as quickly as possible.  Still, like you said, the standard "pop" song rarely exceeded 3 minutes.

 
Back in the days when I ripped to cassettes until the mid 90's, I would say that 95% of everything released through the 80's and before I had fit on a 45 minute long side of a 90 minute cassette.  I forgot about the Doors first album which came out in very early 1967, at least we were hearing it in LA then and Light My Fire and The End.  They really crashed through the 3 min thing, but like so many things back then, there were the edited short versions.  There were so many albums coming out so fast that CCR's first was quickly forgotten.  Led Zep I kinda sealed the deal for main stream rock and the longer stuff became more widely accepted especially with the beginnings of underground FM stations that had no holds on what they could play, sorta ...

And The Beatles.  The early US albums always had two less songs than the English releases up through Rubber Soul.  We was robbed.  Here's a simply amazing (to me) fact that I just learned while poking around.  HELP ! was never released in the US before MOFI did the album in 1985.  We just got singles.  We was screwed.  But we got Magical Mystery Tour in the states 9 years before the UK got it on vinyl.  Still ...
Proclivities

Proclivities Avatar

Location: Paris of the Piedmont
Gender: Male


Posted: Jun 20, 2018 - 5:47pm

 kurtster wrote:

It was 1966 when the average song was just 2 to 3 minutes at most.  That's one of the things that blew me away about this album.  The songs kept going after they just got interesting, not ending.  Nobody was playing anything this long in the world of "pop" back then.  Even the shortest song was long by those standards.  Cream, The Who and Pink Floyd and their extended material was still a couple of years away.

 
It seems like most bands (if not all) were releasing albums that were shorter than 50 minutes long until 1967 or '68 - The Beatles first several albums each were shorter than 40 minutes.  I guess part of idea of the label was releasing as many albums as possible as quickly as possible.  Still, like you said, the standard "pop" song rarely exceeded 3 minutes.
kurtster

kurtster Avatar

Location: drifting
Gender: Male


Posted: Jun 20, 2018 - 5:20pm

 ScottFromWyoming wrote:



Haven't heard this album straight thru since maybe 1982...
 
edit: I remember when Van Halen put out Women & Children First and it was 33 minutes total run time and they got excoriated for releasing that short an album... (this one's the same!) First albums do get a pass, tho.

 
It was 1966 when the average song was just 2 to 3 minutes at most.  That's one of the things that blew me away about this album.  The songs kept going after they just got interesting, not ending.  Nobody was playing anything this long in the world of "pop" back then.  Even the shortest song was long by those standards.  Cream, The Who and Pink Floyd and their extended material was still a couple of years away.
ScottFromWyoming

ScottFromWyoming Avatar

Location: Powell
Gender: Male


Posted: Jun 20, 2018 - 10:02am

 kurtster wrote:
Moved from the Mixtape Culture Club thread so as not to take away from its real purpose which is about us sharing mixes with each other not for getting up on a soapbox.

That is what this thread is for.  So ...
.
So here is the finished CCR first album from a uniquely great 1st pressing of the album.  I also put up with it the raw fourth track from side 2, Gloomy.  This is what the album sounded like before all the work that went into it.  This was the most distressed part of the album and it took me around 8 actual hours of work on this 3' 50'" song to get just the scratches out.  I left the album in stereo.  The mixtape version of Suzie Q was turned into mono to make it more agreeable with the rest of the songs on the disc.  I think that this is my best restoration effort to date.

CCR AND MCC 15

in 16 bit / 48 khz wave for your listening pleasure.

{#Cheers}

 


Haven't heard this album straight thru since maybe 1982...
 
edit: I remember when Van Halen put out Women & Children First and it was 33 minutes total run time and they got excoriated for releasing that short an album... (this one's the same!) First albums do get a pass, tho.
kurtster

kurtster Avatar

Location: drifting
Gender: Male


Posted: Jun 20, 2018 - 9:42am

Moved from the Mixtape Culture Club thread so as not to take away from its real purpose which is about us sharing mixes with each other not for getting up on a soapbox.

That is what this thread is for.  So ...
.
So here is the finished CCR first album from a uniquely great 1st pressing of the album.  I also put up with it the raw fourth track from side 2, Gloomy.  This is what the album sounded like before all the work that went into it.  This was the most distressed part of the album and it took me around 8 actual hours of work on this 3' 50'" song to get just the scratches out.  I left the album in stereo.  The mixtape version of Suzie Q was turned into mono to make it more agreeable with the rest of the songs on the disc.  I think that this is my best restoration effort to date.

CCR AND MCC 15

in 16 bit / 48 khz wave for your listening pleasure.

{#Cheers}


kurtster

kurtster Avatar

Location: drifting
Gender: Male


Posted: Mar 20, 2018 - 11:56am

 swell_sailor wrote:

Interconnects and tonearm wiring add to the capacitance equation. Perhaps you've tested yours. It's not uncommon to find cables testing at 50pF or more per foot. Add this plus internal tonearm wiring to the preamp capacitance and it's easy be well over the recommended 200pF max. My preamp has a zero capacitance option, which buys me a little more wiggle room. I've also made custom low capacitance cables, and I managed to cut some very cool cables that were slightly high in capacitance in half. I lowered the capacitance and doubled my cable count at the same time. 

Regarding the AT20SLa vs AT150Sa, my equation is a little different because I have two spare styli for the MLX that will mount on the 150Sa, but if the cost were the same or similar I'd have to go with the 150Sa. Why? Because chances are the stylus on the 20SLa is not new, and I don't need another stylus with unknown hours. And with regard to the older cartridges, the cartridge body is the easy part of the equation. It's the stylus that can be hard to find. Replacement styli for the 150Sa are readily available and will be for some time to come. 

Having said all that I have not heard an AT20SLa nor have I heard the AT150Sa. What I know though, after experimenting over the last few years with a Dynavector, a Sumiko, a Hana, and 6 different AT cartridges, is that the AT cartridges all tend to have a similar flavor. There's a family resemblance. The 15SS sounds a lot like the 440 and the 150MLx. They all sound similar to the OC9 and the 33PTG. They don't sound exactly the same, but they sound similar enough that if you like one chance are good you'll like the others. Of the different ATs I have the 33PTG/II is my favorite. The others are right there with it but it does one thing the other's don't do, and it's a little surprising. In fact it's something I didnt' really notice until I went back to the MM cartridges from the 33PTG. Thick music with loud competing instruments like Led Zeppelin sound somewhat congested on the other cartridges as compared to the 33PTG. It tends to tease the instruments apart a little better. For jazz or pop or cleaner rock like Steely Dan for example, it's not an issue, but heavy, in your face kinda music is presented in a way that brings out more nuance with the PTG. 

But..........it's not like I don't enjoy all the other cartridges in my quiver. I haven't listened to the PTG in months. But I remember what it does well and that's bring out the nuance in congested music. 

It can also take as much volume as you want to throw at it. It's never the slightest fatiguing. But I think it's easy to hear this as boring. In some systems I suspect that might be the case. It's doesn't have the same sparkle as the other AT cartridges I own. For moving around the house and doing other things while playing records it's not the best option, but when I sit down to listen closely, especially with heavier music, it's really my favorite. 

If the question becomes about a cartridge with a beryllium or boron cantilever, the equation becomes quite different. A Shibata on a tapered aluminum cantilever is easy to come by. A Shibata on a beryllium or boron cantilever, especially one with low hours or NOS, is something rare and special, and worth spending more than one might want to spend if you have a compatible cartridge body. 

That's why I haven't jumped on another cartridge body. That money could be spent on another boron or beryllium cantilevered Shibata sylus, should one ever come around again. 

I guess that's the long anser. 



 
Listener fatigue is one my greatest concerns.  I find that the deeper I go and the better I get, fatigue is becoming a thing of the past.  Digital has nothing to do with it.  It is part in the quality of the whole playback system as much as it is also dependent on who mastered a particular recording.

Back when I first really got into tweaking recordings this time around since I met hippie, I found myself really whupped after a couple of hours of prolonged loud listening.  Since I've got back into vinyl full tilt in the past three years, I'm doing a lot of comparing CD's to LP's and hearing the differences and now I'm knowing the why.  The past year, its all come together and with all the ripping and hearing the same thing over and over again at least three times in a row or in some cases ten times in a row, in real time, I may feel sleepy or bored maybe but not whupped anymore.  This is good.  This is very good.  And all my listening is by files.  The phono preamp makes it digital immediately before it get's into the record/playback chain.  So digital has nothing to do with it, period.

So my 15SS stylus is fading.  Over the weekend I popped out the backup 15SS cart and put the 20SLa stylus on it.  After doing some test rips for a before and after some break in, I'm completely thrilled with it.  The test records came in really handy for the break in.  I just ordered another NOS 20SLa stylus and that should be enough for the foreseeable future.  I like the sound, but I'm still a little curious to try a MC and hear if its worth the $$.

A word on Zerostats.  I'm on my second one.  I usually zap a record every time I play it and have wondered does it really help ?  With the new cart and stylus, I've heard it actually pop the cart.  So yeah, they do really work.  Now I have to zap before when the record is que'd because I can't do it while its playing or I might get a pop.



kurtster

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Posted: Mar 18, 2018 - 10:38am

 rhahl wrote in the audio engineering thread:

Rick Beato - How The Pros Use Compression

 


Moved this over here to reply since that thread has moved on from this post and it has a lot of meaning to what I do with compression with my amateur fooling around with music.

It took a decade to figure out how to use compression and make it turn out the way I wanted and not screw up the music.  It was the hardest of all the tools to learn so far.  I don't have individual instrument tracks to affect them individually which this video shows very well on the bass track example.  I use a three band multi band compressor on the whole stereo mix as would be done in remastering or shaping the final stereo mix in a pro studio.  This video shows just how much sound is interpreted and changed from the way it was played to how we hear it on playback of the finished mix.  And then the mastering and shaping of the final mix.  That is the difference between being remixed and being remastered when looking at different versions of the same recording.  Ideally, every time a playback copy is made, there is a specific remaster for the type of medium.  And with vinyl, it must be done every time a new lacquer is made for a pressing stamper.  

An illustration of cutting lacquers I just learned this past week.  PF's 1975 3rd reissue of DSOTM had 3 different engineers involved cutting master lacquers using 3 different type cutting lathes.  And they were pressed at 3 different plants using a whole variety of these different masters at the same plant.  There were 84 different stampers in all for this reissue. They all sound different in critical listening.  Back in the day, there was no way in telling what you were getting and no one cared.  With vinyl taking a renewed place in listening, it does matter, if you're trying to build a collection now.  You don't want to spend a lot of money and end up with a known crappy pressing if it can be avoided.  The early Led Zeppelin albums are famous for this.

Vinyl may be alive and well, but newly made analogue vinyl is pretty much dead on arrival because nearly everything now comes from a digital file.  Is what it is.  Not bad, but is what it is.  The same variables still apply.  The person making the source remaster still plays a big role in what the pressing will sound like.  The sound is still re eq'd and re compressed for the purpose of making it acceptable for the cutting lathe and the RIAA eq, so that record will play properly, if for no other reason.  But for the purposes of making a permanent high resolution file for playback, all things are pretty much equal every time you play that file.  

That is what makes ripping vinyl fun and aggravating at the same time.  A well mastered LP will sound just the same as it does played on a turn table and listened to through a receiver as the same LP played back on the same turn table recorded in a hi rez digital file.  It wil still sound analogue because the sound of analogue mastering (and what is involved to make it sound that way) is accurately captured.

So there is compression nearly everywhere in music, old and new.  Then came the Loudness Wars and compression got a bad name because of how it was used.  I made all of the mistakes mentioned in the video and learned the hard way.  Especially the ringing sound from pushing things too hard.  This video helped organize a lot of things I've figured out but wasn't quite sure as to why it is or should be.

So if you watched the video and / or are still reading, here's an example of what a rank amateur has learned and done with compression.  This is probably one of the last things I will do with this much compression, cuz I've already moved on to other approaches, but I took what the song offered and had fun with it.  It has the fuzzy distorted guitar and so many other things as mentioned in the video.  One track is the original rip and the second is what I did with it.  Both tracks have equal volume at -1dB.  The difference is the compression and to a lesser extent, the eq.  But they sound way different at the same volume.  I don't think that I harmed the song in any way.  The track is Jeff Beck ~ Going Down.

CLICKY

Thanks rhahl, for posting the video.  Most interesting 


boltonblue242

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Posted: Mar 17, 2018 - 8:32pm

I am speechless.  Much props to you and your collection {#Notworthy}
kurtster

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Location: drifting
Gender: Male


Posted: Mar 17, 2018 - 6:39pm

Can One Company Catalog Every Record Ever Made?

Discogs' ambitions have grown from being a simple database for record collectors to scouring the globe for music no one even knows exists.


swell_sailor

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Location: The Gorge
Gender: Male


Posted: Jan 28, 2018 - 11:26am

And by the way, if you've noticed that AT15SS with the almost new ATN15SS stylus on Ebay, it's not what he says it is. The guy only lives an hour from me so I took an interest. Upon closer inspection I realized it was not an ATN15SS stylus. I told the guy but his response was to add two more photos, both hiding the obvious evidence, and change the wording of his ad in an attempt to play stupid and shift the responsibility to the guy who sold it to him. 
swell_sailor

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Location: The Gorge
Gender: Male


Posted: Jan 28, 2018 - 11:15am

 kurtster wrote:

yep.  And now I know why I enjoyed your rips so much.  Who knew ?  Same carts !  Alrighty then, I'll start the burn in on the 20SLa and give it a go and give it a listen.

I had no idea the VTA was raised from 20 to 23 with the latest round.  I remember the 15 to 20, but this is breaking news to me.  I did look hard at the AT150Sa instead of getting another AT15SS body, since I already had two spare styli for it, but I wimped out mostly because I already hard spares for the 15SS.

Another reason I like the 1200 and appreciate it even more now is the ease of changing the height of the tonearm for the thickness of a particular LP.  I recently became aware of how important the VTA is at this level when a change as small as .25 mm could make all the difference in the world.  Not on everything, but more often than not.  That is when I started reripping everything all over again.  That and I finally got some Tergitol to add to the cleaning food chain as a prewash.  I have overcome my fear of putting my fingers directly on the vinyl and now during the prewash I gently press on it when it thoroughly wet and drag it out from center to edge once in each direction.  I have felt tiny little boulders come loose and eliminated most crackle, too.  My finger turned my VPI into a poor man Keith Monk's. 

I am committed to AT more than ever now that I've also come to understand the loading part of the chain.  My preamp is specked at 100pF to match the AT's needs.  

So let me ask you this ... last night during the posting I came upon some complete AT20SLa's on ebay.  So if all things being equal, you had to pick between an AT20SLa or an AT150Sa, which would you choose ?


 
Interconnects and tonearm wiring add to the capacitance equation. Perhaps you've tested yours. It's not uncommon to find cables testing at 50pF or more per foot. Add this plus internal tonearm wiring to the preamp capacitance and it's easy be well over the recommended 200pF max. My preamp has a zero capacitance option, which buys me a little more wiggle room. I've also made custom low capacitance cables, and I managed to cut some very cool cables that were slightly high in capacitance in half. I lowered the capacitance and doubled my cable count at the same time. 

Regarding the AT20SLa vs AT150Sa, my equation is a little different because I have two spare styli for the MLX that will mount on the 150Sa, but if the cost were the same or similar I'd have to go with the 150Sa. Why? Because chances are the stylus on the 20SLa is not new, and I don't need another stylus with unknown hours. And with regard to the older cartridges, the cartridge body is the easy part of the equation. It's the stylus that can be hard to find. Replacement styli for the 150Sa are readily available and will be for some time to come. 

Having said all that I have not heard an AT20SLa nor have I heard the AT150Sa. What I know though, after experimenting over the last few years with a Dynavector, a Sumiko, a Hana, and 6 different AT cartridges, is that the AT cartridges all tend to have a similar flavor. There's a family resemblance. The 15SS sounds a lot like the 440 and the 150MLx. They all sound similar to the OC9 and the 33PTG. They don't sound exactly the same, but they sound similar enough that if you like one chance are good you'll like the others. Of the different ATs I have the 33PTG/II is my favorite. The others are right there with it but it does one thing the other's don't do, and it's a little surprising. In fact it's something I didnt' really notice until I went back to the MM cartridges from the 33PTG. Thick music with loud competing instruments like Led Zeppelin sound somewhat congested on the other cartridges as compared to the 33PTG. It tends to tease the instruments apart a little better. For jazz or pop or cleaner rock like Steely Dan for example, it's not an issue, but heavy, in your face kinda music is presented in a way that brings out more nuance with the PTG. 

But..........it's not like I don't enjoy all the other cartridges in my quiver. I haven't listened to the PTG in months. But I remember what it does well and that's bring out the nuance in congested music. 

It can also take as much volume as you want to throw at it. It's never the slightest fatiguing. But I think it's easy to hear this as boring. In some systems I suspect that might be the case. It's doesn't have the same sparkle as the other AT cartridges I own. For moving around the house and doing other things while playing records it's not the best option, but when I sit down to listen closely, especially with heavier music, it's really my favorite. 

If the question becomes about a cartridge with a beryllium or boron cantilever, the equation becomes quite different. A Shibata on a tapered aluminum cantilever is easy to come by. A Shibata on a beryllium or boron cantilever, especially one with low hours or NOS, is something rare and special, and worth spending more than one might want to spend if you have a compatible cartridge body. 

That's why I haven't jumped on another cartridge body. That money could be spent on another boron or beryllium cantilevered Shibata sylus, should one ever come around again. 

I guess that's the long anser. 




kurtster

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Gender: Male


Posted: Jan 28, 2018 - 10:23am

 swell_sailor wrote:

I've looked at those styli at LP Gear but I think if I'm going to spend that kind of money on a stylus with an aluminum cantilever I'd rather pick up an AT150Sa for a similar price and get a complete cartridge with replacement styli still available. My time with the AT150MLx has me comfortable with the idea of having the Sa version as a backup/option. I actually have a handful of ATN150MLx styli with boron canltilever that will fit this cartridge. Prior to AT discontinuing the MLx I considered it the best value in cartridges at this price point. It's hard to find a new mm cartridge that sounds better without spending two or three times as much. And as I've said, the sound is very similar to the AT15SS. The AT15SS in my system is sligltly warmer than the 150MLx, while the 150MLx is slightly more revealing of detail. I don't imagine anyone moving from the 15SS to the 150MLx or 150Sa would complain much after a proper break in, especially if one pays close attention to setup and loading. 

Meanwhile I'll just keep my eyes open and hope that another original ATN15SS comes around. I'd like to keep the AT15SS going as long as possible but it's not my only cartridge. I probably have enough cartridges/styli to last my lifetime and then some. 

I think you probably got your SLa from turntable needles. 

If I remember correctly, a new specification for VTA showed up and cartridges were slightly reconfigured for this new tracking angle. The model numbers changed to reflect this, but the replacement stylus is, I think, the same. 

The AT440MLa/b is also a very nice cartridge with a similar sound, expecially if you throw an ATN150 stylus on it. To get the most out of it special attention needs to be paid to loading, but when properly setup and loaded it doesn't miss much. It also has a lighter body than the 150 which helps with compatibility with higher mass arms. 

It might be interesting to hear the 20SLa on the 15SS. My suspicion is that it might sound slightly brighter but still very nice. And in some systems slightly brighter might be better. 



 
yep.  And now I know why I enjoyed your rips so much.  Who knew ?  Same carts !  Alrighty then, I'll start the burn in on the 20SLa and give it a go and give it a listen.

I had no idea the VTA was raised from 20 to 23 with the latest round.  I remember the 15 to 20, but this is breaking news to me.  I did look hard at the AT150Sa instead of getting another AT15SS body, since I already had two spare styli for it, but I wimped out mostly because I already hard spares for the 15SS.

Another reason I like the 1200 and appreciate it even more now is the ease of changing the height of the tonearm for the thickness of a particular LP.  I recently became aware of how important the VTA is at this level when a change as small as .25 mm could make all the difference in the world.  Not on everything, but more often than not.  That is when I started reripping everything all over again.  That and I finally got some Tergitol to add to the cleaning food chain as a prewash.  I have overcome my fear of putting my fingers directly on the vinyl and now during the prewash I gently press on it when it thoroughly wet and drag it out from center to edge once in each direction.  I have felt tiny little boulders come loose and eliminated most crackle, too.  My finger turned my VPI into a poor man Keith Monk's. 

I am committed to AT more than ever now that I've also come to understand the loading part of the chain.  My preamp is specked at 100pF to match the AT's needs.  

So let me ask you this ... last night during the posting I came upon some complete AT20SLa's on ebay.  So if all things being equal, you had to pick between an AT20SLa or an AT150Sa, which would you choose ?



swell_sailor

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Location: The Gorge
Gender: Male


Posted: Jan 28, 2018 - 7:08am

 kurtster wrote:

This is where I got my ATN20.  They have that and the ATN20SLa and that's what I paid for it.  I got the SLa from Needledoctor in Oregon for less than $200.  It was their last one.  I'm hard pressed to know the difference as they both spec out the same.

Maybe its time to break in the other AT15SS with the 20SLa on it give it a go.
 

I've looked at those styli at LP Gear but I think if I'm going to spend that kind of money on a stylus with an aluminum cantilever I'd rather pick up an AT150Sa for a similar price and get a complete cartridge with replacement styli still available. My time with the AT150MLx has me comfortable with the idea of having the Sa version as a backup/option. I actually have a handful of ATN150MLx styli with boron canltilever that will fit this cartridge. Prior to AT discontinuing the MLx I considered it the best value in cartridges at this price point. It's hard to find a new mm cartridge that sounds better without spending two or three times as much. And as I've said, the sound is very similar to the AT15SS. The AT15SS in my system is sligltly warmer than the 150MLx, while the 150MLx is slightly more revealing of detail. I don't imagine anyone moving from the 15SS to the 150MLx or 150Sa would complain much after a proper break in, especially if one pays close attention to setup and loading. 

Meanwhile I'll just keep my eyes open and hope that another original ATN15SS comes around. I'd like to keep the AT15SS going as long as possible but it's not my only cartridge. I probably have enough cartridges/styli to last my lifetime and then some. 

I think you probably got your SLa from turntable needles. 

If I remember correctly, a new specification for VTA showed up and cartridges were slightly reconfigured for this new tracking angle. The model numbers changed to reflect this, but the replacement stylus is, I think, the same. 

The AT440MLa/b is also a very nice cartridge with a similar sound, expecially if you throw an ATN150 stylus on it. To get the most out of it special attention needs to be paid to loading, but when properly setup and loaded it doesn't miss much. It also has a lighter body than the 150 which helps with compatibility with higher mass arms. 

It might be interesting to hear the 20SLa on the 15SS. My suspicion is that it might sound slightly brighter but still very nice. And in some systems slightly brighter might be better. 




kurtster

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Location: drifting
Gender: Male


Posted: Jan 27, 2018 - 10:49pm

 swell_sailor wrote:

I am currently listening to an AT15SS with a relatively new old stock stylus. I have a second AT15SS with life still in it. I like them. I also have the AT150MLX. In fact I have a couple of them. The sound is very similar to the 15SS. The 150MLX may be slightly more forward. 

The beryllium cantilever was replaced by the boron cantilever. The boron cantilever was recently replaced by the tapered aluminum cantilever on many of current AT cartridges. A few of the MC cartridges still use the boron cantilever. I have a few of those too. 

The 15SS is not my favorite of the bunch, but it's no slouch, and I don't mind at all that it's 35 years old. In fact that's some of it's charm. 

I have a source for the original AT aluminum cantilevered version with typical Shibata stylus to fit the AT15SS, and I'm tempted to get one to extend the life of the two AT15SS cartridges I have, but they aint cheap. I'll probably wait until they're gone and wish I'd gotten one. Meanwhile I'll keep my eyes open for another ATN15SS. They still show up once in a great while, but they aint cheap either. 

I also have a test record, but not the Cardas. They come in very handy. 

I played an SL1200 for years. It's a nice table. Quiet with stable speed. Not as pretty as some tables but plenty competent. 



 
This is where I got my ATN20.  They have that and the ATN20SLa and that's what I paid for it.  I got the SLa from Needledoctor in Oregon for less than $200.  It was their last one.  I'm hard pressed to know the difference as they both spec out the same.

Maybe its time to break in the other AT15SS with the 20SLa on it give it a go.

swell_sailor

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Location: The Gorge
Gender: Male


Posted: Jan 27, 2018 - 10:27pm

 kurtster wrote:

Thanks for the correction on that.  Appreciate it.  Doh !  I just went and reread the owners manual and that is what it says.

My first AT15SS I got complete with the beryllium cantilever with an honest 20 hours of use about two years ago.   The second I just got the cart body without the stylus about a year ago.  I picked up two new old stock ATN20 styluses along the way for backup when the 15SS finally dies.  One is actually a 20SLa.  They have the aluminum cantilever though and its a tad longer so I have a second headshell adjusted for the longer overhang already to go and it also has an azimuth adjustment.  I use the same headshell on both.   I already put the second 15 body with a 20 stylus and for all intents and purposes, it sounds pretty damn good.  At least with these 20's I don't have to go the Jico route.  I've heard of the diamonds falling off in rather short order on those. 

I just love the sound of the AT Shibata's.  I guess it's an acquired taste based upon lots of reading.  Seems few like the sound.  My very first cart was an AT14Sa back in the 70's.  I expressed an interest in Quad records and that was what was recommended.  Never looked back.  I could no longer find any more OEM styluses for it and horsed around trying to find something to replace it, but was never satisfied.  I even went to AT's US headquarters in Stow to see if they had anything laying around some 20 years ago.  They're only a half an hour from my house.  The guy I met there came up with a DR500LC for a sweetheart deal, nice but it just didn't do it.  Did some homework and found the 15SS's and got one.  Huge difference over the 14.  One year ago there were still a few to be found on Ebay.  Just spent a couple of hours poking around and there are none left, anywhere.  Only one place on the planet still has some ATN20 styluses left.  Guess I got lucky and found this stuff at the right time.  I know there are much better TT's out there than what I have, but I prefer DD and for the money and reliability I went with an SL1200.  My first was a SL1700 I bought in 1978 and it still works, but it's a toy compared to the 1200.  I was thinking about getting the new one but for $1700 I'm not willing to risk not hearing any improvement over the one I have.  And I don't want to sleep on the couch for the next couple of years.  Getting the VPI RCM 2 years ago almost did that.  But it is just as important as the TT / cart.  The cleaner, the better, way better ...

I picked up this test LP about a year ago, so when its time to break in a new stylus I have this to use.  Cardas - Frequency Sweep And Burn-In Record  Its pretty interesting and serves the purpose and others, too.  The degaussing feature is pretty interesting.

Anyway,
   


 
I am currently listening to an AT15SS with a relatively new old stock stylus. I have a second AT15SS with life still in it. I like them. I also have the AT150MLX. In fact I have a couple of them. The sound is very similar to the 15SS. The 150MLX may be slightly more forward. 

The beryllium cantilever was replaced by the boron cantilever. The boron cantilever was recently replaced by the tapered aluminum cantilever on many of current AT cartridges. A few of the MC cartridges still use the boron cantilever. I have a few of those too. 

The 15SS is not my favorite of the bunch, but it's no slouch, and I don't mind at all that it's 35 years old. In fact that's some of it's charm. 

I have a source for the original AT aluminum cantilevered version with typical Shibata stylus to fit the AT15SS, and I'm tempted to get one to extend the life of the two AT15SS cartridges I have, but they aint cheap. I'll probably wait until they're gone and wish I'd gotten one. Meanwhile I'll keep my eyes open for another ATN15SS. They still show up once in a great while, but they aint cheap either. 

I also have a test record, but not the Cardas. They come in very handy. 

I played an SL1200 for years. It's a nice table. Quiet with stable speed. Not as pretty as some tables but plenty competent. 


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