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The prepress system - Page 14

post #391 of 708
Thread Starter 
Earlier I mentioned some turntable struggles (I know, it's got nothing to do with HT, but this section regards system configuration, so this counts!) smile.gif

I decided it was time to replace the cartridge on my turntable, a VPI HW-19MkIV. The cartridge hadn't been changed since late '97. But I had a serious time getting the headshell off, even though the SME 309's headshell is detachable. The screw that holds the heashell in place is supposed to lift out with the supplied wrench. It didn't. At least, I couldn't get it to last Saturday. I spent a fruitless hour in the attempt. This past Friday i went back at it, this time being sure after some e-mails to SME, to maintain proper pressure on the headshell with the screw loosened. I finally got it off by removing the tonearm plate and turning it upside down so the screw would simply fall out. I took the headshell with the cartridge (a Grado Reference Platinum) to a dealer in Manhattan who will install the new cartridge (a Grado Reference Sonata 1). It should be ready to pick up around week's end.

Below is the aftermath of the battle. The tonearm plate is back in place but not screwed in. The little thing seeming to stick out from the tonearm head in the first photo is the headshell screw. The wrench is to the right in the second photo; you can see the screws for the TT plate there also. War is not neat.



post #392 of 708
Yeah it can get frustrating when you know what you need to do and can't do it because of some issue. Especially when you don't want to break what you're trying to fix! Fortunately for me my mother is an engineer by trade and she's able to take in whatever I need her to take a look at to work and have a tech in her shop fix any issues that might crop up (perks of being in charge I guess lol). I've had her fix circuit boards (caps, ics, resistors, etc.) for stuff I've owned. She even got my old PS3 working again after I received the YLOD (I ended up replacing it anyway and sold the one she fixed [old 40GB]). Hopefully they'll get it done for you without much effort.
post #393 of 708
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pcweber111 View Post

Yeah it can get frustrating when you know what you need to do and can't do it because of some issue. Especially when you don't want to break what you're trying to fix! Fortunately for me my mother is an engineer by trade and she's able to take in whatever I need her to take a look at to work and have a tech in her shop fix any issues that might crop up (perks of being in charge I guess lol). I've had her fix circuit boards (caps, ics, resistors, etc.) for stuff I've owned. She even got my old PS3 working again after I received the YLOD (I ended up replacing it anyway and sold the one she fixed [old 40GB]). Hopefully they'll get it done for you without much effort.

Well, I also gave them the tonearm manual and the alignment protractor. They should be able to do it right. I don't have the tools or, possibly, time to do it. Having a detachable headshell does make cartridge swapping easier. I'd have otherwise had to get the turntable into Manhattan (a tricky proposition) or pay installaton fees for someone to come to me to do it, and the going rate for that seems to be around $150/hour.
post #394 of 708
Hey prepress did you upgrade your Duo ?
post #395 of 708
Thread Starter 
Not yet. When I went to the DVDO website, the update wasn't listed for Macs, only PCs. I can wait, I'm fine for now.

Meantime, I got my turntable's cartridge replaced and need to put the headshell back on the tonearm. I got it a week ago. Another Grado, an upgrade, I guess, as I went for the Reference Sonata over the Reference Platinum ($600 vs. $350).
post #396 of 708
Thread Starter 
Okay, the headshell's back in place.

post #397 of 708
Quote:
Originally Posted by prepress View Post

Okay, the headshell's back in place.

Thats good news have you been playing any records recentley ?
post #398 of 708
Double post sorry
post #399 of 708
Thread Starter 
I'll have to play a few, as the first one I played last night had audible rumbling toward the end of the side. I don't know what that was, unless it's that this cartridge is more sensitive than the one it replaced, or has higher output. Nothing I can do with it now, as I'm to leave for the airport in about 4 hours.
post #400 of 708
Quote:
Originally Posted by prepress View Post

I'll have to play a few, as the first one I played last night had audible rumbling toward the end of the side. I don't know what that was, unless it's that this cartridge is more sensitive than the one it replaced, or has higher output. Nothing I can do with it now, as I'm to leave for the airport in about 4 hours.

Where are you heading for Christmas ?
Edited by Franin - 12/20/12 at 11:18pm
post #401 of 708
Prepress, I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy Holidays! Enjoy what's important and give those records a spin or two!
post #402 of 708
Merry Christmas prepress!smile.gif
post #403 of 708
Thread Starter 
I've been away for a while and spent some time in Nashville where, on a whim, I went to the one McIntosh dealer in town, HiFi Buys. And, for the first time, saw a C2300 and C50 in the same room. So I got a demo. They weren't in the same system, however: the 2300 was paired with a MC275 and MCD301 (tube combo); the C50 was with a MCD500 and MC302 (solid state combo). The speakers (Revel floorstanders) and speaker cables were the same, though. The salseman had a mix CD on hand, and the main track used was a Lee Ritenour tune, Night Rhythms, from his Festival album.

Both sounded good, but there were differences. To me, the tube combo was smoother but seemed a bit too polite. The SS combo was livelier and sharper, but there was what seemed to be a touch of hardness at one point in the track. On another tune (not sure what it was) the two systems sounded more alike. Frankly, what sounded better than either of them was the MCD500 with an MA6600 feeding a pair of B&W monitors. Not much bottom, but the rest was gorgeous. What I took away from this was that I understand why Mac and B&W are a popular combo, and why mixing tube and solid state is a good idea. I also took away a pair of Transparent MusicPlus interconnects, which I will try for my pre/power connection once they arrive.

Hope everyone's Christmas was a blessed one. Here comes 2013!
post #404 of 708
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Franin View Post

Where are you heading for Christmas ?

Nashville, TN. Looking for peace and quiet. I just got back today, about 4 hours ago.
post #405 of 708
Good to see you back Charles, hope your Christmas was nice and relaxed like mine.

What's the plans for new year ?
post #406 of 708
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Franin View Post

Good to see you back Charles, hope your Christmas was nice and relaxed like mine.
What's the plans for new year ?

Frank,

Christmas was quiet. I was in an extended stay hotel during the time away, and watched some TV, read the paper, and did some Bible reading. Low-key all around.

As far as audio goes this year, I'd like to resolve my equipment rack and preamp quandaries then just enjoy the system, maybe have people over now and then (which would force me to be a better housekeeper). i still haven't decided definitively that I'll replace my current preamp, and the inability to get the kind of demo I want is part of the indecision.
Edited by prepress - 1/13/13 at 3:59pm
post #407 of 708
Quote:
Originally Posted by prepress View Post

Frank,
Christms was quiet. I was in an extended stay hotel during the time away, and watched some TV, read the paper, and did some Bible reading. Low-key all around.

Sounds very relaxing Charles smile.gif
Quote:
As far as audio goes this year, I'd like to resolve my equipment rack and preamp quandaries then just enjoy the system, maybe have people over now and then (which would force me to be a better housekeeper). i still haven't decided definitively that I'll replace my current preamp, and the inability to get the kind of demo I want is part of the indecision.

Yep this is the year that your equipment rack gets finally resolved and if you get your demo I'm curious to see what pre amp you will end up with.
post #408 of 708
Happy New Years Charles. I see you got a Grado for the TT. Nice choice. Hope you have a very good 2013.
post #409 of 708
Happy New Year man! Make this next year a great one and upgrade something!
post #410 of 708
Thread Starter 
Happy new year to all!

Upgrade something? If you only knew the dark thoughts that run abroad this day . . . thoughts of Spectral and VTL . . . and me starting to look at specs . . .
post #411 of 708
We need a true "like" button on posts lol.
post #412 of 708
Thread Starter 
UPS came last night and brought this, purchased while I was away for the holidays.



I intend to try it for the connection between preamp and power amp. Not that I'm that unhappy with the Audioquest King Cobra I'm using now, I just thought I'd change things up. With the TV console I have this will be a bit of an effort to swap out, but I'm hoping it will be worth it.
post #413 of 708
Quote:
Originally Posted by prepress View Post

UPS came last night and brought this, purchased while I was away for the holidays.

I intend to try it for the connection between preamp and power amp. Not that I'm that unhappy with the Audioquest King Cobra I'm using now, I just thought I'd change things up. With the TV console I have this will be a bit of an effort to swap out, but I'm hoping it will be worth it.

Thats awesome Charles it nice when you get new gear, Im curious to read your opinion on the difference between the two.
post #414 of 708
Quote:
Originally Posted by prepress View Post

and did some Bible reading.

Great place to spend time! My goal this year is to go through the entire Bible in the next 365 days!!
post #415 of 708
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Franin View Post

Thats awesome Charles it nice when you get new gear, Im curious to read your opinion on the difference between the two.

I have a go-to track to use when I get around to installing the Transparent and will be interested to see if there is a difference; a salesman at the store thinks the Transparent is an upgrade over the King Cobra. We'll see. I've noticed differences with interconnects when placed between the preamp and amps in the past, and got this on a whim. Well, that and feeling a bit guilty since I spent an hour in the store with demos of a couple of preamps.

But now, I'm having trouble with that new cartridge I got. It sits low when playing records which causes part of the undercarriage (for lack of a better term) to skim across the record surface. Not good. My previous cartridge didn't do this, so I don't know if I did something, the store installed it improperly, the cartridge is defective, or just not right for my tonearm (a SME 309). The cartridge is a Grado Reference Sonata, replacing a Reference Platinum, and I'd like to resolve this, obviously.
post #416 of 708
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by audioguy View Post

Great place to spend time! My goal this year is to go through the entire Bible in the next 365 days!!

An excellent goal, to be sure. Actually, I teach Sunday school (adults) and so have done quite a bit of Bible reading as a result, and in a different way than before.
post #417 of 708
Quote:
Originally Posted by prepress View Post

and in a different way than before.

I believe I understand!

Nice equipment list, by the way!
post #418 of 708
Thread Starter 
The cartridge dilemma appears to have been solved. I reduced the tracking force and re-balanced the tonearm. The Grado Sonata and the Reference it replaced are supposed to have the same tracking force (1.5), so it didn't occur to me to try that at first. Because I had to remove and wrestle with the SME 309 arm to get the headshell off, I thought it best to re-install it from scratch, as some setup aspects were likely compromised. I could well have over-compensated with the VTF in doing so.

Anyway, all seems to be well. I'll find out for sure when I play a record.
post #419 of 708
Quote:
Originally Posted by prepress View Post

The cartridge dilemma appears to have been solved. I reduced the tracking force and re-balanced the tonearm. The Grado Sonata and the Reference it replaced are supposed to have the same tracking force (1.5), so it didn't occur to me to try that at first. Because I had to remove and wrestle with the SME 309 arm to get the headshell off, I thought it best to re-install it from scratch, as some setup aspects were likely compromised. I could well have over-compensated with the VTF in doing so.
Anyway, all seems to be well. I'll find out for sure when I play a record.

Good to see its solved , Charles.
post #420 of 708
Thread Starter 
^ ^ ^
And I played several sides to confirm, from the likes of The Mighty Groundhogs, Blood Sweat & Tears, Chicago, The Beatles, Heart, and Yes. All played with no cartridge issues. I did have to adjust the arm angle a bit, but that was it. Hooray!
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