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kurtster

kurtster Avatar

Location: where fear is not a virtue
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

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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: where fear is not a virtue
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: where fear is not a virtue
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

kurtster Avatar

Location: where fear is not a virtue
Gender: Male


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

boltonblue242 Avatar

Gender: Male


Posted: Mar 17, 2018 - 8:32pm

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

kurtster Avatar

Location: where fear is not a virtue
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

swell_sailor Avatar

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

swell_sailor Avatar

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

kurtster Avatar

Location: where fear is not a virtue
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

swell_sailor Avatar

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

kurtster Avatar

Location: where fear is not a virtue
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

swell_sailor Avatar

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. 


kurtster

kurtster Avatar

Location: where fear is not a virtue
Gender: Male


Posted: Jan 27, 2018 - 9:18pm

 swell_sailor wrote:

Cartridges were not pulled from the production line to determine whether their properties merited SS status. The SS cartridges were manufactured as SS cartridges. The SS was a finer cut Shibata nude mounted on a beryllium cantilever. 

The AT20SS was measured post production to a tighter tolerance than the AT15SS for values such as channel separation and frequency response, etc.

The manufacturing process was one and the same. They were SS cartridges going in and coming out. The best of the batch were labeled AT20SS. 

 
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. (some more reading and most problems result from a preamp mismatch which can make them sound too bright and crappy)  I think I remember you and dave referencing attenuators that you made to deal with this problem.  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 NOS ATN20 and AT20SLa's 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,
   



swell_sailor

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Location: The Gorge
Gender: Male


Posted: Jan 27, 2018 - 1:01pm

Cartridges were not pulled from the production line to determine whether their properties merited SS status. The SS cartridges were manufactured as SS cartridges. The SS was a finer cut Shibata nude mounted on a beryllium cantilever. 

The AT20SS was measured post production to a tighter tolerance than the AT15SS for values such as channel separation and frequency response, etc.

The manufacturing process was one and the same. They were SS cartridges going in and coming out. The best of the batch were labeled AT20SS. 




SeriousLee

SeriousLee Avatar

Location: Dans l'milieu d'deux milles livres


Posted: Jan 27, 2018 - 5:56am

 kurtster wrote:

Party on, Garth …

Iffen anyone is interested in the Floyd rip, shoot me a pm and I’ll send you a link.  Side 2 will be broken in two because the file is too big for my platform and I don’t want to resample down to 41 khz to make it fit.  There is a noticeable difference when that happens.



 
Good read. I did a mixtape on an 8-Track once and it was a miserable failure. So i stuck to cassette tapes and later, CDs.


kurtster

kurtster Avatar

Location: where fear is not a virtue
Gender: Male


Posted: Jan 26, 2018 - 8:39pm

Time to clean some static from the attic …

Forever we have been debating Vinyl vs. CD and resolved little.  Perhaps its unresolved simply because of how we define the argument.  If it were not for the efforts of the music industry to try and shake down and squeeze every possible dollar out of music lover’s pocket it wouldn’t matter as much.

Direct digital conversion of analogue master tapes is the entire basis of the discussion.  In this conversion, the goal as we have been told or led to believe is to achieve the same sound as one would get from listening to vinyl.  The warmth, that ‘analogue sound’ without the pops and ticks that are inevitable with an LP or the need for the same level of care needed for LP’s and their playback systems.  

The early CD’s were less than spectacular.  We all know why or do we ?  The conversion of analogue tape to digital is pretty straightforward.  But even with so called remastering of the source for conversion, it entirely skips the mastering process for making a vinyl pressing which is exactly why a record sounds the way it does.  It’s the most critical part of the process and it is totally bypassed. 

Rock and roll and specifically The Beatles are likely responsible for most of the biggest improvements in the record making process.  Until The Beatles came along, there were only two primary recording EQ’s.  Classical and everything else.  I believe it was John who asked George Martin what ‘this switch’ on the console was for and how come we didn’t use it for our recordings ?  Maybe not exactly the way it went down, but its good enough for the point.

Anyway, back to the main point.  As we all know, I’ve gone deep into ripping my LP’s for the purpose of archiving them, making them easily available to play them and prepare for the eventual sale of them.  Once they are gone, that’s it.  I have to live with my rips.  In the past year, I’ve been working on refining every part of the ripping process in order to achieve the best possible take.  Different cleaning solutions and turntable tweaks.  I’m finally satisfied with all of that and the effort has been worth all the fuss, at least imho.  The heart of the system is the cartridge, a vintage 1970’s Audio Technica AT15SS.  Only one level higher at the time was the AT20SS.  A couple of years ago I saw one never used in the box for $1000.  SS stands for super shibata.  Besides the type / shape of the stylus ( an inverted pyramid shape) which was designed for full resolution capture of Quad signals on vinyl, what makes this special is that they were pulled from the production line and tested for their properties.  Only the best were given the SS status.  Among other things, the carts tested dead flat from 20 to 20K hz’s.  They included the actual test tape print in the box.  I have two of these puppies and 2 factory replacement styluses, so I think I’m set for the rest of my days.  Attach them to a Technics SL1200 turntable which is the world standard for speed accuracy and a USB phono preamp that matches the output impedance of the cartridge, I have found my vinyl nirvana.

So why do I devote so much time, energy and resources into this ?  Few if any will ever hear or benefit from this.  It’s a hobby and a passion for starters that began with making mixtapes on 8 Tracks back in the 70’s and has continued to now with a few pauses in between.  Now I’m retired, broke and no longer have the ability to do anything involving anything very physical.  Just an observation of reality, not a whiny complaint.  So I have ton’s of vinyl and the time to go full tilt for as long as my attention span allows.  It’s detailed and time consuming, but I still have my hearing so it feeds my head in just the rights ways, enough so to keep pressing on.  I recently came up with the comparison of building ships in a bottle.  Few get anything out of it besides the builder and no one will ever see it to appreciate all the work involved to do it, but they do it because there is a personal satisfaction in the end.  Who cares if the knots on the sail rigging are correct other than the builder ?

All the work to this point has allowed me a way to unlock the treasure found on a well mastered and pressed LP.  Its long been said and known that most often the first pressing of a record will always be the best just based on the closest proximity to the original master tapes and that the artist being involved at that time.  Not always the case though as found out when Ahmet Ertegen’s daughter tried to play a 1st of LZ II on a cheap portable player and it skipped because the pressing was too hot.  Ertegen immediately ordered it re EQ’ed and made at lower levels in order to play on cheap record players.  Here’s two takes on that.

CLICKY ONE                    

CLICKY TWO  WHY AUDIOPHILES ARE PAYING $1,000 FOR THIS MAN'S VINYL

Why should anyone care about all of this ?  Well if mp3’s make you happy then never mind.  But if you spend money on remastered, new and improved CD’s and vinyl reissues then it might.  This past week I went and ripped 3 different versions of Dark Side Of The Moon.  A 1973 1st US pressing.  A 1973 1st UK Quad pressing and the 1981 MFSL ½ speed master and then compared them to the 1992 Shine On CD box set.  The Quad version is the one I listened to most over the years, never really playing the 1st US pressing.  The 1st US was the winner and over the CD box set version, too. 

Through all of this, I discovered some glitches that existed on every version on both vinyl and CD.  You’d think that with all the technology available, yada … to make all these new and improved versions the best available and worth your hard earned money in another attempt for that finally … perfect version … it’s a fail in that regard.  The imperfections are still there.  So what was gained ?  For you nothing.  For the record companies, everything.  Another sale for something in the can and on the shelf.  I can think of two other tracks off the top of my head that have a glitch that will live on forever.  The Stones, You Can’t Always Get What You Want and Jimi’s, All Along The Watchtower.  No editing known so far has been able to overcome these glitches.  But who listens this close ?  Hardly anyone and as anyone who has played vinyl extensively, you tune out these things in the same way you ignore certain pops and clicks when you listen to an LP.  Its hard to comprehend that if you only heard CD’s but you learned to live with it back in the old days when Vinyl was all we had, Reel to Reel is something else and it was different from the LP, too for the same reasons as CD’s are.

Which leads back me to the original point.  If you want to make a CD that sounds like the vinyl record it tries to imitate, then make a digital recording of the vinyl playback.  It will sound exactly like the record, with all its warmth and analogue sound.  And that is because the mastering for the vinyl was played as intended and intended to sound.  Digital recording is so advanced that you can accurately record nearly anything.  In 16 bit 48khz resolution I’m doing editing down to .000 of a second.  Its amazing what you can see and do with a little pencil tool literally redrawing the wav lines of the file.  And how its impossible hear the changes.  24 / 192 is wonderful for studio work, but for playback and even critical listening, unnecessary, at least in my experience and humble opinion.  Simply transferring an analogue tape master to digital skips the vinyl part and there will never be anyway to imitate that sound when skipping that step.  Sidebar, The Beatles have come consistently closest in all in my listening.  They are one of the few exceptions though.

With all the analogue master tapes from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s reaching the point of rot and no return, it may come down to the best and most desired digital files of music will be ripped from vinyl records and we will finally have the digital versions of music that was intended from the beginning.  Or not …  Back to building ships in a bottle.  With a little luck, my hard drives will end up in the hands of someone who appreciates what is on them after I’m gone.  Or not …

Party on, Garth …

Iffen anyone is interested in the Floyd rip, shoot me a pm and I’ll send you a link.  Side 2 will be broken in two because the file is too big for my platform and I don’t want to resample down to 41 khz to make it fit.  There is a noticeable difference when that happens.




kurtster

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Location: where fear is not a virtue
Gender: Male


Posted: Jan 23, 2018 - 8:58am

Warning   This is 15 minutes of your life that you will never get back.

.



ojibwe

ojibwe Avatar



Posted: Jan 1, 2018 - 9:45am

 kurtster wrote:
Here's something interesting that you may have always suspected but were afraid to ask ...

They got me, but I got them.  Reading this makes me feel a little bit better about that.
.
Four Columbia House insiders explain the shady math behind “8 CDs for a penny”
 
Wow ....

It was an amazing combination of “We are ripping you off like no one has ever ripped anyone off as a per-unit basis,” but ”We are also building a time bomb that’s going to flatten us forever.”


ojibwe

ojibwe Avatar



Posted: Jan 1, 2018 - 9:39am

 kurtster wrote:
That's my biggest problem with the whole thing.  The treatment of the consumer by the industry as a whole, not just Columbia House.  Let's keep reselling this stuff as long as we can, easy money with so many gullibles out there.  Oh, we have another tweak to the masters, that's worth even more and on.  And the artists don't get squat.  

 ...

Happy reading (I did start this thread as a Journal substitute) and a Happy New Year to all. 

y'all ...


Awesome post Kurt, and Happy New Year to you too. 


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