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In the Forum: Analog Playback
In the Thread: The K&K SE hybrid phono stage: a report
Post Subject: A Real Recommendation?Posted by Paul S on: 6/5/2010
OK, back up on the diode horse again...

I don't remember if I mentioned it before, but I tried the "super quiet" Stealth diodes only out of curiosity, based on a very soft "recommendation" from Jeff at SonicCraft, and I did not throw away the Schottkys I took out, because I cannot say I ever noticed "problems" I could tie to them, so it would be nothing more than lost time and a few bucks if the Stealth didn't work out.

This morning the electricity was good, and I decided to try to target the Stealth diodes, in terms of their elolution, according to sonic results. The early perceptions did turn out to be "foreshadowings" that largely went awry soon after I wrote the love letter. Although the benefits did not entirely disappear, they did sort of alternately jumble up, re-shuffle  and separate until recently, and the sound kept getting harder and more immediate until a couple of days ago, then it started to loosen up again.  I double checked and re-set operation points to be sure those did not change before I started in today.

I have never really "listened for diodes" before, so pardon my thrashing. At this point I accept that the increased clarity and natural "ease" I have heard since the swap is from the diode swap, because it happened for the first time like this since the swap.

There is still a very direct reading, but now it remains "pleasant" enough to be in the room while my attention wanders, or I can listen without full attention right on axis and still "enjoy" all types of music I tried, and I also tried "detail tests" that the unit passed, so if there was "softening", there was no detail lost as a result of it. It also sounds like better "integration" of the sound qualities has finally happened, with no diminishment of detail at all frequencies, including background voices of all stripes and leads "buried" in a chorus.  Bass is "better" in some fairly subtle ways, but this remains in the context of one 15" BR woofer per side in a room with a raised floor and 1 ML2 per channel, FR. Bass notes really project from and hang tough to their fundamentals, with impact as good as I ever had, but this comes at the expense of some apparent diminishment when the fundemental is below my speakers' comfort level, ie, it does not just "change registers" like it used to, back when.  Bass within range of the speakers has a nice palette of pitch, tone, timbre, and the temporal qualitiies that we want. Timing is great; jazz swings and classical is expressive along those lines, still with a sense of integration and ease I have not had since my system was a good deal more simple and limited.

No, I won't "recommend" the swap; but the only "negative" was the more definite bass fundamentals, so otherwise, why not try it.

Paul S

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