'Star Gate . . . '
The long haul is over . . . Middle of last year . . . yes that was 2011! dont time fly. Its been a roller coaster ride, with a lot of frustration on the way. In retrospect, I think I have been a bit hard headed, sorry about that. However I did say when I reached my goal I would stop, the goal was a 20 year memory of my hifi system then . . . made very fuzzy by 16 years of living on autopilot, not recommended. A bit like going through 'Star Gate' . . . back now, debriefed, not wishing to repeat the experience.
Considering where I started the journey, my crowded and scruffy study/office, a 20 year old Rotel 820 amp and my PMC LB1 speakers mounted 4 feet off the floor, 2 feet apart on a filling shelf . . . Looking back, how confused was I . . . I was only going to have digital source! The trouble I had, still have, getting my head around down loads, streaming etc . . .
Buying an amp? by this time, some of my mental marbles were functioning, and I regressed to remembering my love of valves and 'proper hifi'. Auditioning amps, Rega SS against Croft Valve hybrid, no contest. Then discovering over 200 of my old audiophile vinyl LP and making a panic phone call to change my amp order from Line stage only, to Line plus MM phono . . . and a chance remark to Dave my friendly dealer, 'did he know of any 'cheap' TT available', he just happened to be sell his ex dem P5, what a stroke of luck!
Decorating the Study, revamping layout, speaker cable choice and making the less than ideal system support shelves work? It did sort of work with the Ortofon.
Things have been a bit muddled since then, to much aliasing, not enough listening some said. However, come through the muddle one has. The final system, by my standards, is superb, relaxed, musical, delivering a performance that according to my 'memory' is all that the 80's audiophile system was. Originally I was trying to replicate the 80's sound, I soon realised that this was impractical, applying the original principals was the way to go.
Ive been off work for 9 days now, not feeling great but well enough to fiddle 'a bit'. Picked up a vintage MCt to finish of the Sumiko. The turntable has worked wonders with the Sumiko cartridge installed but I had a niggle, something was not right??? . . . tracked it down to the support shelves/cupboard!! A bit of swapping around, altering harmonic reaction frequencies, job don. That was Tuesday, the difference the swap round has made is astounding even at the volume levels that nothing untoward could be heard.
I said I would stop . . . since Tuesday I've done nothing but relax and listen, the system just keeps beckoning, I keep searching through the old vinyl . . . beets working
The system support will need rebuilding, but thats not tweaking, its essential. Personally I'm of the opinion, analog sources can be made much more of than is currently thought . . . ? Certainly in my case, all items in my chain are modest, entry level, second hand, only the Sumilko cartridge breaks the mould, and IMHO makes a point of 'importance'? . . .
'Matched' is the word, to change any part would upset the balance and start the process all over again . . . no, no, no . . . I'm so balanced in my thinking now, even the digital side is very acceptable, I've been listening to Jeff Beck albums all afternoon on Spotify, Currently listening to his album 'Rock 'n' Roll Party' . . . an old rocker simply indulging in nostalgia
Bring on the music . . . CJSF