Bellari VP130 thin & bright? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 08-27-2009, 08:20 AM - Thread Starter
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I have about six hours on my new Bellari VP130 and its sounds like I've turned the treble all the way up and the bass all the way down. Thin and bright might be a better description. I'm a believer of patience and burn in time for new equipment but this sounds just horrible. i am using a direct input on my parasound so there is no bass or treble adjustment available.
My previous phono pre is a Cambridge 640P which is excellent even out of the box. My system sounds full bodied (for what it is) and this is my first experience with tubes - am i missing something here?

my equipment is as follows:
rega p1 w/ glass platter
parasound Halo p3 pre
parasound Halo a23 amp
analysis plus Oval 12 speaker cables (6ft)
various XLO pro inter connects
Marantz SA15 S1 SACD
Totem Rainmaker speakers

any comments would be appreciated - thanks
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post #2 of 24 Old 08-27-2009, 03:19 PM
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What cartridge are you running? Is it MM or MC and low, medium or high output?

What interconnects from TT to preamp?

These 2 things can have a large input.
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post #3 of 24 Old 08-27-2009, 03:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DblHelix View Post

What cartridge are you running? Is it MM or MC and low, medium or high output?

What interconnects from TT to preamp?

These 2 things can have a large input.

DblHelix, thanks for your comments. The P1 has a MM Cart. the IC's on the P1 are attached from the factory so unless i get it modded they can't be changed. Actually volume or gain is not an issue. its the sound. i have this perception that Tubes dont have as long of a run in time as solid state. perhaps I'm wrong and the Bellari needs about 150-200 hours? I did a number of searches on that topic and there isn't much out there. all that said and all things being equal (ic's etc) running it through the Cambridge is pretty solid.
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post #4 of 24 Old 08-27-2009, 05:46 PM
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something aint right. if anything it is rich/full/euphonic. you can try a different 12ax7 from a guitar store but i think its probably brken
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post #5 of 24 Old 08-27-2009, 06:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tikihut View Post

I have about six hours on my new Bellari VP130 and its sounds like I've turned the treble all the way up and the bass all the way down. Thin and bright might be a better description. I'm a believer of patience and burn in time for new equipment but this sounds just horrible. i am using a direct input on my parasound so there is no bass or treble adjustment available.
My previous phono pre is a Cambridge 640P which is excellent even out of the box. My system sounds full bodied (for what it is) and this is my first experience with tubes - am i missing something here?

any comments would be appreciated - thanks

It looks like RIAA correction is not working. Check if there is any setting in preamp, that disables correction circuit.
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post #6 of 24 Old 08-28-2009, 10:36 AM - Thread Starter
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thanks everyone - guess I'll give it more time and see if there is any improvement. Anyone experience any lengthy run in time with the Bellari? My Parasound took around 100-150 hours to smooth out so I'm hoping that to be the case with the VP130.
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post #7 of 24 Old 08-28-2009, 03:46 PM
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I have one of those I keep as a backup. It should not sound thin and bright. While it could break in subtly, not to the degree you describe. If you simply unplugged another phono pre that sounded good, and inserted this one and it sounds bad, something very well may be wrong with that unit.
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post #8 of 24 Old 08-30-2009, 11:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Clearly there is something wrong with it. its going back on Monday. the place i got it from said they've been having problems with them. hopefully by the end of this week I'll be talking about how good the VP130 is.
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post #9 of 24 Old 08-30-2009, 12:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tikihut View Post

Clearly there is something wrong with it. its going back on Monday. the place i got it from said they've been having problems with them. hopefully by the end of this week I'll be talking about how good the VP130 is.

You might also rethink to have vp130 altogether. There are better units at this price range. Read a relevant discussion here: http://www.vinylengine.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=14328
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post #10 of 24 Old 09-27-2009, 07:27 PM
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Hello all,

I know I am a little late to the party, but, seeing as how I ran across this post by searching in google for "Bellari VP130 thin bright', I thought I should say that I am having THE SAME problem. I have a lot of experience with tube audio equipment (I am a recording engineer) and while i will say that it can take hundreds of hours to break in a new tube, the breaking-in period will not make up for the rather disgusting sound I am hearing coming from the Bellari VP130. I am sending my Bellari back to the retailer as well, I will try and let everyone know what happens. I would really like to get a working tube preamp as I generally prefer the sound of tubes and it is quite easy to hot rod a 12AX7 based unit (such as the VP 130) with a great NOS Telefunken tube. If anyone has other tube-based phono preamp suggestions, I am all ears. Unless you are suggesting the Manley preamp. I love Manley's gear but I don't have 8 grand to spend!!!
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post #11 of 24 Old 01-04-2010, 02:50 PM
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Well, whatever problems there may be with the VP 130 they don't seem to have been corrected as of December 2009. I got mine last week and am having the same problem: super bright, even harsh top end and no base. It is certainly clear, but the sound is simply not acceptable. $50 unit I got to hold me in until I could decide on a better unit actually sounds better in the base and lower ends.
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post #12 of 24 Old 01-06-2010, 01:37 PM
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I used to own the last gen VP129 and only kept it for 6 months. I kept it that long because I really wanted it to sound better so I did the waiting game. I also found that with my AT440MLa output was pretty lacking so make sure you use a very high output MM cart if you are looking to play your vinyl pretty loud.

It's funny though that I bought a cheap Audio Technica phono pre that was 1/5 the price of the Bellari and my vinyl sounds a LOT better.
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post #13 of 24 Old 02-06-2010, 10:38 PM
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Oh great, I just ordered a VP130. Now I'm worried that I did the wrong thing.
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post #14 of 24 Old 04-12-2012, 06:02 PM
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I do realize that I am responding years after this original post but would like to set the record strait for any who may reference this post. First off I would like to welcome those who participated in this post to the world of vacuume tube technology as vintage as it is. New tube components require what is called a burn in period they are not simply plug and play. I too have a VP130 and before I even plugged the RCA cords in I powered it up and left in on for 3 days that's 72 hours. This is minimum and with time the tube will continue to warm up at about the 100 hour mark is where you will get max performance out of any vacuume tube component. Enjoy!
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post #15 of 24 Old 04-13-2012, 05:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tikihut View Post

I have about six hours on my new Bellari VP130 and its sounds like I've turned the treble all the way up and the bass all the way down. Thin and bright might be a better description. I'm a believer of patience and burn in time for new equipment but this sounds just horrible. i am using a direct input on my parasound so there is no bass or treble adjustment available.

There is a relatively simple and inexpensive way to explore perceptions like these. You buy a good test record and use some free analytical software running on your PC to test the technical performance of your playback system including the cartridge, arm, and preamp.

Yes, it might cost you nearly $50 for the test record and you'll have to learn how to use FFT-based analysis software. Every other approach is just speculation.
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post #16 of 24 Old 04-13-2012, 07:22 AM
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Thin and bright sound is usually a result of either incorrectly set VTA or imperfect cartridge load. If phono preamp significantly changes the sound over time with everything else left intact, then it is broken and needs to be replaced.
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post #17 of 24 Old 04-13-2012, 07:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ap1 View Post

Thin and bright sound is usually a result of either incorrectly set VTA or imperfect cartridge load. If phono preamp significantly changes the sound over time with everything else left intact, then it is broken and needs to be replaced.

The effect of VTA, (or perhaps more relevantly SRA) on frequency response is weak at best.

The relationship between SRA and VTA is set by the internals of the cartridge and is therefore in some sense not really user-adjustable. IOW adjust SRA for the best results.

Most credible authorities suggest using IM tracks on a test record to optimize SRA (Stylus Rake Angle) because that's the stronger effect.

Surprise, surprise - doing technical measurements using a test record is your most logical approach.
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post #18 of 24 Old 04-13-2012, 08:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

The effect of VTA, (or perhaps more relevantly SRA) on frequency response is weak at best.

The relationship between SRA and VTA is set by the internals of the cartridge and is therefore in some sense not really user-adjustable. IOW adjust SRA for the best results.

Most credible authorities suggest using IM tracks on a test record to optimize SRA (Stylus Rake Angle) because that's the stronger effect.

Surprise, surprise - doing technical measurements using a test record is your most logical approach.

I experienced a very significant change in bass reproduction (among other things) when I adjusted VTA for AT150 cartridge, which has advanced stylus profile. It was not the case for DL103 (where only IMD level changed) with standard spherical stylus.
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post #19 of 24 Old 04-13-2012, 09:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ap1 View Post

I experienced a very significant change in bass reproduction (among other things) when I adjusted VTA for AT150 cartridge, which has advanced stylus profile. It was not the case for DL103 (where only IMD level changed) with standard spherical stylus.

As I pointed out, it is impossible to change VTA without changing SRA unless you are willing to make internal adjustments to your cartridge. So, unless you are cutting open your cartridge, moving the coils and bending the stylus arm to compensate, you really don't know whether what you observed was due to VTA or SRA because they ordinarily change together.

By most accounts these changes can be on the subtle side, so then there is also the question about expectations versus perceptions. Actual changes to just the bass are errr, unexpected. That a line contact stylus was more sensitive to changes here than a spherical stylus is expected.

Measurements, which aren't that difficult to do on your own, help people resolve these issues. I've done some of these and the FR effects are indeed not all that obvious for a reasonable range of adjustments.

I'm amused that someone who posts under a pseudonym that happens to coincide with the common name of one of the best known audio test sets of all time (Audio Precision 1) isn't doing his homework! ;-)
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post #20 of 24 Old 04-13-2012, 11:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

As I pointed out, it is impossible to change VTA without changing SRA unless you are willing to make internal adjustments to your cartridge. So, unless you are cutting open your cartridge, moving the coils and bending the stylus arm to compensate, you really don't know whether what you observed was due to VTA or SRA because they ordinarily change together.

By most accounts these changes can be on the subtle side, so then there is also the question about expectations versus perceptions. Actual changes to just the bass are errr, unexpected. That a line contact stylus was more sensitive to changes here than a spherical stylus is expected.

Measurements, which aren't that difficult to do on your own, help people resolve these issues. I've done some of these and the FR effects are indeed not all that obvious for a reasonable range of adjustments.

I'm amused that someone who posts under a pseudonym that happens to coincide with the common name of one of the best known audio test sets of all time (Audio Precision 1) isn't doing his homework! ;-)

I am surprise that you didn't get it. I did INSTRUMENTATION measurements. That is why I said about IMD. But for someone who don't have metering tools set up, it will be clear that bass to treble balance changes when you bring tonearm base up/down for less than 1/30 of an inch.
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post #21 of 24 Old 04-14-2012, 05:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ap1 View Post

I am surprise that you didn't get it. I did INSTRUMENTATION measurements.

One question, where are the numbers?

Quote:
That is why I said about IMD.

IMD is also audible. When there are no numbers, that's what I think I'm reading about.

Quote:
But for someone who don't have metering tools set up, it will be clear that bass to treble balance changes when you bring tonearm base up/down for less than 1/30 of an inch.

Where are the numbers?
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post #22 of 24 Old 04-14-2012, 04:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

One question, where are the numbers?



IMD is also audible. When there are no numbers, that's what I think I'm reading about.



Where are the numbers?

Do you really think I record all my gear tuning sessions? When I look at FFT screen of 60+6000 signal, I do not need to get exact numbers at each data point to see if things got better or worse.
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post #23 of 24 Old 04-15-2012, 03:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ap1 View Post

Do you really think I record all my gear tuning sessions?

You might have memories about order of magnitude.

Quote:


When I look at FFT screen of 60+6000 signal, I do not need to get exact numbers at each data point to see if things got better or worse.

I know of no test LPs with 60+6000 test signals...
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post #24 of 24 Old 01-03-2013, 04:58 PM
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Hi,
This is my first post but I felt compelled to share briefly my experience with this piece. I had some initial difficulty getting it right, but when I did the sound was great.
First off, the power supply seemed whimpy (it actually looked like the wrong supply) that came with it an was sensitive to noise. When I replaced it with a radio shack 15v 1a power supply, the unit sounded much better, and some noise I had was gone.
I also did a fair amount of tube rolling, and found that the stock tube wasn't giving me the sound I wanted. I found that a Tung-Sol 12ax7, or even a 5751 was better suited to the AT440mla. However, I have always found the AT a bit bright, and dumbing it down with "softer" tubes helped, but the lowered dynamics dulled it too much.
I found that overall, the Sovtek 12ax7lps was the overall winner on the AT, but even better on the Shure M97xE. Without being able to fine tune VTA etc on a Technics SL-1800, the Shure is less fussy and sounds better (to me).
There is nothing at all about this little pre that sounds thin or harsh, especially with the added supply, tube and right cart on this table.
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