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  »  New  We who are about to die... (a cable thread)..  Double-twisting 2 1/2; a tail of synergy...  Audio Discussions  Forum     31  114020  06-28-2008
01-30-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,301
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 1
Post ID: 3596
Reply to: 3596
Do not touch that used tonearm!

It is fashionable among audio people to play with this analog, rewiring tonearms for instance. It always astonished me how masochistic this ceremony is and how many people dive into it completely voluntary.

Ok, let me explain you something. In MC analog setups one of the greatest virtues is “ageing” of the setup. MC works at fraction mV with ultra-ultra low currents. Therefore cables and connectors that care signal have very difficult time to be formatted (break-in) as there is no current in there. Many types of cables can not be formatted by excessive current and they must be broken-in only with the current that they will be caring, latterly the signal current. For most of the cases with this ultra low current it takes 1000-2000 hours unit analog begin to sound more or less none-aggressive and noted become “connected”.

Most of the analog setups that I have heard out there were too raw. The cables are too rough and too coarse and the phonostages were too “uncooked”. (With phonostages is another story as they must not be “formatted” by any non-RIAA source – otherwise you will loose bass for many weeks)… The 2000-3000 hours that analog setup need to “age” is too long time for 20 minutes records and most of the people do not go into hassles to fascinate a propose substrate analog pre-formatting. (Although it is not complicated)

So, the moral of this message: if you got that heavily used tonearm from eBay then … say thanks to God that it was…. heavily used. Mount it and play it. Sure, you might order a set of new cables for this tonearm. However, be advised that in 90% your cable will be worst that you already have in there. If you feel that you put a new set of wirers in your arm and instantaneously the sound become “better” then you need seriously to reevaluate your reference points because all the you juts head with your new wires was the sound of … a brand new BMW with sport suspension and low profile wheels rinning across those bumpy Massachusetts roads....

Rgs,
Romy the Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
01-30-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,056
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 2
Post ID: 3597
Reply to: 3596
Why didn't you say so before?
How ironic that I finally got my phono running through the ML2s, and just as you say, it was not all it should be.  In fact, I would have to say at this point that I am getting better sound from my crappy CD player, which I used to set up the system in the new house, with the new amps.  And this is a case where the phonostage has always been "on", running inside the pre-amp along with the linestage.  I was just lamenting that I would have to start all over again with the phono stage, to get it tuned in to the new system in the new house.  Too bad I can't just put some BlackGates in there to get around the break in wait...

Oh, yes:  I also recently futzed with the arm wire terminations...

Best regards,
Paul S
01-30-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,301
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 3
Post ID: 3598
Reply to: 3597
If you didn’t use it for a long time then I would “blow” it.

It might not be necessarily the new wire. With analog there are other billion reasons why it might not sound as it should. Still, I personally can’t stay listening “new” wire with MC cartridges.  If you recently futzed with the arm wire then you might try to break-in the entire assembly.

Disconnect the cable from preamp and load it with a resistor roughly equal to input impedance of your phonocorrector. Then run from a separate voltage source directly to the “cartridge” some “formatting” AC signal that you prefer. The Purist System Enhancer works very nice; the XLO’s RX-100 track 9 is very good or juts a straightforward pink/white noses will do. You will need to do it for a long time, so to convert it to 20bit WAV file and loop it from PC is a comfortable idea. BTW, when I said “directly to the cartridge” I hope you understand that I meant not the cartridge itself but the wire’s cartridge terminators. Surely your cartridge should be completely disconnected. I made years ago for this purpose a dummy head with 4 males cartridges - like pins … very comfortable to “cook” the analog lines….

If you need to ‘cook” the entire chain, it what I would do, then you need to feed it with RIAA Signal. The Granite Audio has CD-101 where some higher tracks have are good noises at ~4mV. You might rip them off and loop from PC (they are 1 min each or so). The solution that I personally use even more Moronic.  Jim Hagerman that is posting at this site has an absolutely ridicules devise. It is a simple filter that takes you line level signal, droops to minus 60dB and writhe up inverted RIAA curve, so you can feed it directly to your cartridge side wire. The ridicules in this devise its amassing effectiveness and absolutely insulting price. In fact over my entire audio life I hardly had so many benefits for $50 I spent in audio. The irony is that anti- RIAA thing despite its offensive simplicity and cost has the  RIAA precision much higher then most of phonostages, has less noise then most of phonostages and …. this damn thing also sound quite nice!!!

http://www.hagtech.com/iriaa.html

Sure it is not perfect-perfect, it has all indispensable problems of a poor passive preamp. (I have done some substantial sonic testing of this devise in past, do not ask me why). However, it is perfectly ACCEPTABLE to listen through this thing and even to make some conclusions. So, for a few weeks while am “blowing” my analog chain I load my DAW’s DAC output to this RIAA encoder and then it’s output I feed right to the tonearm input (I usually put the Sovtek “training” tubes into my phonocorrector). It wonderfully “blows” the entire chain and it usually is auditable when the chain begins to sound “softer”….

In fact, after dealing with all those issuers, it become my strong conviction that any phonostage that pretend to be a High-End phonostage MUST have an inverted RIAA filer built in. If Hagerman can make if for $50 then I am sure the Boulder 2008 phonostage (BTW, not bad phonocorrector) should have it on board. Probably they did not put it in because they would like to keep price under $33.000.00….

The caT


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
01-30-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,056
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 4
Post ID: 3600
Reply to: 3598
Weird fallout (after breaking the "One Change At A Time" rule)
Thank you for some great ideas!  I was actually reluctant to admit that I made several changes at once, with changed-twice arm wire terminations, new IC link, new "dedicated" grounding scheme, and (most embarassing of all) new tubes in the phonostage (Russian tubes!).  Was I asking for it, or what?

But here's some odd stuff, I think, and I am seriously wondering if (don't laugh) the amps factor in here:

1) Usually, when I have this sort of problem with a phono source, playing more "simple" music sounds "better", if you know what I mean.  But this time it may be the case that more "complicated" music sounded "better", or certainly it sounded no "worse".  Anyway, I preferred it because even if it didn't sound audiophile-better it still came across as more "interesting". 

2) Also, despite the moderate fog around all performances it has never been so easy to discern the exact recording techniques that were used, or even the "generation" of the disc transfer, and all records clearly sounded "different", in the qualitative sense that they were all recorded/made differently.  Is that weird, or what?

You know, as pissed off and impatient as I get with the set-backs, I have to say that I often come away from them with an unexpected bonus (meaning I learn something), and in saying this I am not merely being "positive" (because it still pisses me off!).

Bets regards,
Paul S
01-31-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
darkmoebius
Posts 7
Joined on 12-04-2006

Post #: 5
Post ID: 3616
Reply to: 3598
Hagerman's got other great tools...
"Jim Hagerman that is posting at this site has an absolutely ridicules devise...The ridicules in this devise its amassing effectiveness and absolutely insulting price. In fact over my entire audio life I hardly had so many benefits for $50 I spent in audio."

Jim's Frycleaner Pro cable-burner kit also includes the iRIAA module. I bought one back in May of 2005. It was easy to build, cheap(at the time), and extremely  effective. Because I often use my audio system intermittently(weeks to a month off) while I redo parts of my house, I  connect all my interconnects(RCA & XLR) in one long series connection and burn them over a 2 day period. You can also do power cords, digital cables, and speaker cables. Even amplifers and preamps with it's -10dB(0.25V), 0dB(0.78V), and +10dB(2.5V) settings. Sweep range is 2Hz-200Hz and noise range is 200Hz-20kHz.  Not a bad way to quickly burn in amps/preamps when upgrading caps or resistors, etc.

As you point out, the iRIAA can be used for MM & MC cables and phonostages.

I asked Jim Hagerman how long it takes to
break in interconnects, power cords, speaker, cables, and preamps?
He replied  - "Usually about 40-50 hours on a FryK.  The amps are fastest and get most of the way overnight.  Silver wire takes about twice as long as copper."  And, as usual, he was dead-on right. Really makes cable auditioning a lot less taxing because you can do long series connections of many cables (using connectors) and be sure they are all burned-in at the same time.

Best $125 or so I've spent in a long time.  I loan it out to friends regularly, so it sees a lot of use.


02-01-2007 Post mapped to one branch of Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,301
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 6
Post ID: 3622
Reply to: 3616
A long tail of “formatting misery”….

 darkmoebius wrote:
I asked Jim Hagerman how long it takes to break in interconnects, power cords, speaker, cables, and preamps?
He replied  - "Usually about 40-50 hours on a FryK.  The amps are fastest and get most of the way overnight.  Silver wire takes about twice as long as copper."  And, as usual, he was dead-on right. Really makes cable auditioning a lot less taxing because you can do long series connections of many cables (using connectors) and be sure they are all burned-in at the same time.
Hmmmmm, I disagree. I do not know what kind of signals the FryK makes. I have made and stolen from different sources a large collection of VERY torturinging burn-in signals, they all live on my DAW. Usually the length of the “formatting” is back-proportional to current, but there are exceptions. My equipment and my cables (liquid damped) can not be burned by higher current and I burn then of with cure of the same value as the cable will be caring during it live-span.  Sure it mostly would depend on the specific cable and the specific equipment use but to make generalizations…

Tube electronics usually need ~200 hours before it become more of less “compiled”. Cables…. It is all depends of the cable and current. The line-level interconnects need ~200 hours, the phono-level need > 1000hours. Interesting that if it a component or a cable was not used for a long time then the ‘formatting” should start form scratch. SS amps are different and I never was able to catch what they need. The Lamm M1.1, the last new SS that I owned needed 200-300 hours to get itself “into the mode” and it was king off freaky as it demented to be used dally in order do not sound “too granular” – almost like the old Nissans that might run up to 400.000 miles if your drive then dally, but that die on you if they unused.  (M1.1 still had a lot of that residual “granularity” but it is another story).

With digital it is funny. Usually all new digital that I have seen sounded fine at the very first evening after it was opened. The next day it dives into misery. It usually takes from 100 to few hundreds hours for digital to be formatted and then… who cares… we never turn it off…

A replacement of a single electrolytic cap on PS do require some time until unit sound become as it use to. I religiously do not use idiotic audio electrolytic, juts hate their sound and I use the regular commercials caps. (Nichicons are the best or some series of Corner Dubilier as a replacement – they do fine to my ears). So, the new Nichicons have no bass and have funny dynamic. After a week the bass show up but then during the next 30-40 days sound become “wondering”. Bass pop up “here and there”, imaging fly all over, the granularity of sound fluctuates… Usually it takes 30-40 days to settle everything down..

 So the 40-50 hours that Jim commented was a good period to have juts initial first improvement but then there is a longer tail of “formatting misery”….

At least I was my experience….
The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
02-01-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
darkmoebius
Posts 7
Joined on 12-04-2006

Post #: 7
Post ID: 3632
Reply to: 3622
Interesting...
As usual, great advice Romy.

Cables…. It is all depends of the cable and current.

At it's highest 2.5V setting, the FryKleaner Pro passes ~25mA current. I don't know if it scales proportionally for the lower 0.78V & 0.25V settings at ~8mA or ~0.25mA. I usually use the lowest setting for interconnects and the highest for speaker cables.

Interesting that if it a component or a cable was not used for a long time then the ‘formatting” should start form scratch.

I'm not sure unused cables need to be burned in again, just that it is simple to do, so why not?

line-level interconnects need ~200 hours...phono-level need > 1000hours... So the 40-50 hours that Jim commented was a good period to have juts initial first improvement but then there is a longer tail of “formatting misery”….

I never considered that long of a break in.  I haven't been able to log too many continuous hours on my system in the last 6 months because of work and house fixing. This weekend I will series connect my line-level cables and set the FryKleaner to it's lowest setting (0.25V) for 10 days to see how big a change results. Then, maybe a little longer. Should be a nice learning experience.

Thanks for the advice.
11-24-2011 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
ArmAlex
Iran
Posts 71
Joined on 02-15-2009

Post #: 8
Post ID: 17426
Reply to: 3596
Tonearm running-in
fiogf49gjkf0d
Dear Romy. Is it possible to shorten 2000hours  running time by using high output MM cartridge?Best regardsarmen
Page 1 of 1 (8 items) Select Pages: 
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  »  New  We who are about to die... (a cable thread)..  Double-twisting 2 1/2; a tail of synergy...  Audio Discussions  Forum     31  114020  06-28-2008
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