I was just testing it, now I wanna keep it :) - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 49 Old 05-17-2019, 10:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I was just testing it, now I wanna keep it :)

I was just testing this Conrad Johnson pre. I cleaned up the face plate, cleaned out the pots and push switches, and finally installed a pair of Telefunken 12AX7s and Sylvania 12AT7s.

The real intent was to sell it as I acquired it as part of garage sale bundle.

I installed it in my system in place of a Jolida Fusion tube preamp, just to see how it will sound, and to test the pots.

First thing, pots are fixed. Second, it sounds pretty awesome. A smidge better than the Jolida.

Shucks, now I wanna keep it

The Jolida has a remote though, and XLR inputs/outputs. Its got that going for it.

The CJ has balance control, built in tube phono pre and a tape monitor loop that will allow me to play with REW and that Schiit EQ.

Man, options sometimes suck.

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post #2 of 49 Old 05-17-2019, 11:31 AM
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I've had similar experiences when I've wanted to sell gear.


For instance, quite a number of years ago my Conrad Johnson Premier 12 tube monoblocks needed repair. I didn't have the money at the time so just put them on ice and used a nice Harman Kardon integrated amp for my speakers. After a while I found myself far less interested in sitting and listening to music on my system and I figured I must have simply lost interest in listening to music that way, or in high end audio. And what the heck, I was embarking on renoing the room to do home theater duties anyway, so time to sell those CJ amps. But...I had to get them fixed before I could sell them. I had them fixed, put them back in to my 2 channel system to double check everything was ok before putting them up for sale. And...I was mesmerized! There was that sound coming through my system that I couldn't tear myself away from. Suddenly I was listening to music every day on my system. Realized I had to keep them and have used the CJs happily ever since. :-)


(And there are STILL some items that I regret getting rid of. Which is why I tend to hoard gear a bit, especially speakers).
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post #3 of 49 Old 05-17-2019, 11:55 AM
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You like it, keep it. You got them for really good price, why have to sell it?


You Moscode still alive?

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post #4 of 49 Old 05-17-2019, 12:00 PM
 
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Have you tried the C-J with your PrimaLuna amp? When the synergy is right when combining an excellent tube preamp and tube power amp, the sonics can be stunning. (As you know, the selection of tubes plays a major role as well.)
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post #5 of 49 Old 05-17-2019, 12:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by alan0354 View Post
You like it, keep it. You got them for really good price, why have to sell it?


You Moscode still alive?
The Moscode is alive again. It passed a 24 hour burn in test. Nothing heated up or blew out. Very happy. I'm selling the Hafler. It's good but I have too much stuff.

I will be picking between the Jolida and the CJ. My experience is that 2nd string spares don't really enjoy much rotation. It's just a waste. I will have to pick between the two which is going to be tough.
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No remote would be a deal-breaker for me.
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post #7 of 49 Old 05-17-2019, 12:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by emcdade View Post
No remote would be a deal-breaker for me.
I know, right?
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post #8 of 49 Old 05-17-2019, 12:16 PM
 
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If you were not already aware of it, your C-J preamp inverts phase. When using the preamp, reverse the positive and negative connections on both loudspeakers (or on the back of the power amp, of course, whichever is easier to do).
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post #9 of 49 Old 05-17-2019, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by bing! View Post
I know, right?
If you always listen to LP's or albums straight through then I'm sure it's manageable.

If you listen to a mix of today's compressed music and yesterday's stuff with less gain, a remote it's practically essential.
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post #10 of 49 Old 05-17-2019, 12:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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If you were not already aware of it, your C-J preamp inverts phase. When using the preamp, reverse the positive and negative connections on both loudspeakers (or on the back of the power amp, of course, whichever is easier to do).
I am aware. And I conducted a phase test with a Chesky CD just to make sure. Thanks.
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post #11 of 49 Old 05-17-2019, 12:27 PM
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I have to agree, remote is important. For me, I'm just lazy. When I don't workout, I am a couch potato.

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Not hooked up: Nakamichi Stasis PA-7 power amp, Velodyne VA1210 sub, Kef Reference Series center, Kef Bookshelf speaker, Monitor Audio bookshelf speaker, Infinity rear speakers. Acurus 3X200W amp.
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post #12 of 49 Old 05-17-2019, 12:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by emcdade View Post
No remote would be a deal-breaker for me.
I remember the days long ago when my components and turntable were within arm's reach--no need for a remote. As my then-kindergarten-age nephew would call it, the "mote."
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post #13 of 49 Old 05-17-2019, 12:36 PM
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Interesting about the inverted phase. I've heard people say you could never tell the difference and not to worry about it, which may be true, however....

I have one of those Chesky jazz sampler albums that has absolute polarity tests and one of them is a trumpet playing with both positive and inverted polarity.

I could swear the trumpet on the positive polarity track felt distinctly like someone was blowing air out of their mouth and through the trumpet, whereas the inverted polarity track had a slightly different and more "pinched" sound, almost like air was being sucked in to produce the sound.

The example I kept thinking of was someone whistling. You can whistle by sucking in or blowing out air but each produces its own distinct whistle.
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post #14 of 49 Old 05-17-2019, 01:44 PM
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I think the phase is only important if you use multiple amps like in surround sound or preamp with dedicated sub output. Those you have to match the phase. Or if you have bi-amp also. If you have 2 channel and sub input from the main speaker output, you won't find any difference.

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post #15 of 49 Old 05-18-2019, 10:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by alan0354 View Post
I think the phase is only important if you use multiple amps like in surround sound or preamp with dedicated sub output. Those you have to match the phase. Or if you have bi-amp also. If you have 2 channel and sub input from the main speaker output, you won't find any difference.
Actually the phase test on the Chesky CD shows how the center image disperses and focuses with phase shift. I decided to invert the polarity at the speaker for this preamp for greatest effect.
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post #16 of 49 Old 05-18-2019, 11:22 AM
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Actually the phase test on the Chesky CD shows how the center image disperses and focuses with phase shift. I decided to invert the polarity at the speaker for this preamp for greatest effect.
Ha, that puzzled me. You mean it sounds different when you reverse the speaker wires on BOTH speakers?

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post #17 of 49 Old 05-18-2019, 11:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ha, that puzzled me. You mean it sounds different when you reverse the speaker wires on BOTH speakers?
The CD changes phase on the recording. But yes, the sound does change when you change the polarities.
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post #18 of 49 Old 05-18-2019, 11:35 AM
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The CD changes phase on the recording. But yes, the sound does change when you change the polarities.
Let me clarify, this is very important for me. I don't know what you mean about CD changes phase on the recording. Do you mean this only affect the sound on this particular CD player.


Put it in another way, when you use other sources like streaming, vinyl etc., does the sound change if you reverse BOTH speaker cables AT the same time?


I am at the first phase of designing a new front end of a power amp, the natural state is inverted phase, I have to put extra circuit to invert back to the conventional phase following all the amps. So this is really import information for me.



In electronic theory, it should absolutely not make any difference in sound as long as you switch both speakers at the same time. BUT I do trust the ears more than scientific theory!!! Surprise surprise!!!!

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post #19 of 49 Old 05-18-2019, 12:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by alan0354 View Post
Let me clarify, this is very important for me. I don't know what you mean about CD changes phase on the recording. Do you mean this only affect the sound on this particular CD player.


Put it in another way, when you use other sources like streaming, vinyl etc., does the sound change if you reverse BOTH speaker cables AT the same time?


I am at the first phase of designing a new front end of a power amp, the natural state is inverted phase, I have to put extra circuit to invert back to the conventional phase following all the amps. So this is really import information for me.



In electronic theory, it should absolutely not make any difference in sound as long as you switch both speakers at the same time. BUT I do trust the ears more than scientific theory!!! Surprise surprise!!!!
Got it. So we are not talking about phase cancellation but the what happens when phase is reversed in a stereo system.

The Chesky CD will play correct and inverted phase on one of its test tracks so you can experience it for yourself. It's a test CD. And yes, I did hear the difference.

A few things come to mind with what happens when phase is reversed. Bass is reduced, stereo imaging suffers and highs get dispersed. Not airy, but unnaturally wide.

From the interwebs -

Bass tones are generated in part by the pressurization of the air in the space surrounding the speaker. When the signal is out of phase, the bass speaker moves in when it should move out. Bass drum notes become virtually inaudible, and the music loses its muscularity and impact in the process.

Imaging occurs when a pair speakers successfully "projects" an audible representation of the instruments in front of you. When a speaker is wired out of phase, this information becomes out of focus, and sonically disorganized. This is especially true since the other drivers in the speaker cabinet are affected. Mid-range frequencies are present in the bass and tweeter drivers. Reversed wiring causes dynamic stereo information to "collapse," making the music lose much of its impact.

High frequencies lose their focus when a speaker is miss-wired. This results in an "airy" treble that causes the sound stage to sound larger (yet less defined) between the speakers.

The brain uses the amplitude difference between the signals reaching the two ears above about 2kHz, but below about 700Hz, it determines direction by looking at the phase difference between the signals. Reversed polarity will change the presentation of the track.

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post #20 of 49 Old 05-18-2019, 03:22 PM
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post #21 of 49 Old 05-18-2019, 03:34 PM
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From the interwebs -

Bass tones are generated in part by the pressurization of the air in the space surrounding the speaker. When the signal is out of phase, the bass speaker moves in when it should move out. Bass drum notes become virtually inaudible, and the music loses its muscularity and impact in the process.

Pretty sure this is talking about ONE speaker from a group being reverse polarity.
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post #22 of 49 Old 05-18-2019, 03:38 PM
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I am at the first phase of designing a new front end of a power amp, the natural state is inverted phase, I have to put extra circuit to invert back to the conventional phase following all the amps. So this is really import information for me.

I don't get it. If you are concerned, just invert the output connection. No circuit needed.
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post #23 of 49 Old 05-18-2019, 05:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Pretty sure this is talking about ONE speaker from a group being reverse polarity.
I won't debate the subject of the effects of phase/polarity on speaker performance as it not something I have thought of a great deal. I will share what I have in mind at the moment.

-you are correct, I agree that a one inverted phase channel/speaker in a 2 channel rig can induce phase cancellation, hence less powerful bass.
-for a single channel bass playback, it doesnt take too much to imagine that cabinet design does not create the same sound when it is the impulse wave that phased correctly, and when it is not. Horn loaded, ported and sealed design all rely on a cabinet for suspension and scavenging the drivers return to rest for more energy.

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I don't get it. If you are concerned, just invert the output connection. No circuit needed.
True.
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post #25 of 49 Old 05-18-2019, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by bing! View Post
I won't debate the subject of the effects of phase/polarity on speaker performance as it not something I have thought of a great deal. I will share what I have in mind at the moment.

-you are correct, I agree that a one inverted phase channel/speaker in a 2 channel rig can induce phase cancellation, hence less powerful bass.
-for a single channel bass playback, it doesnt take too much to imagine that cabinet design does not create the same sound when it is the impulse wave is phased correctly and when it is not. horn loaded, ported and sealed design all rely on a cabinet for suspension and scavenging the drivers return to rest for more energy.

I think possibly, for something like headphones the sound dynamics could be slightly different if a note starts with a push or pull - no idea if there is a difference, or which might be better. For speakers playing into a room considering rise time involved with reverberant field any small difference like that is gone. If a speaker is somewhat less effective at starting a note while pulling in, even at 20 Hz, its pushing out after .0125s anyway and all is the same again.


Maybe half wavelength bursts and such could be different, that's probably about it. I'm no pro on this either.

Last edited by tooslow2; 05-18-2019 at 08:17 PM. Reason: Bad maths
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post #26 of 49 Old 05-18-2019, 09:53 PM
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I understand about phase inversion of one side ( L or R) and it will sound very obvious, base is going to be hollow, everything sounds funny. That's very obvious. What I am confuse about is not this.

I am talking about whether there is any difference in sound between the normal hook up vs BOTH speakers inverted at the same time, not just one speaker inverted.


As shown in attachment, this is I am comparing the sound when

a) Red output of the amp connects to the Red input of the speaker, Black output of the amp to Black input of the speaker ON BOTH SPEAKERS

compares to:

b) Black output of the amp connects to the Red input of the speaker, Red output of the amp to Black input of the speaker ON BOTH SPEAKERS.

Everything of me believe that they should sound exactly the same, L and R are NOT out of phase.
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Own designed power amp, own designed preamp, JM LAB Spectral 913.1 speakers, Rythmik F12SE sub.
Not hooked up: Nakamichi Stasis PA-7 power amp, Velodyne VA1210 sub, Kef Reference Series center, Kef Bookshelf speaker, Monitor Audio bookshelf speaker, Infinity rear speakers. Acurus 3X200W amp.

Last edited by alan0354; 05-18-2019 at 10:04 PM.
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post #27 of 49 Old 05-18-2019, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by alan0354 View Post
Everything of me believe that they should sound exactly the same, L and R are NOT out of phase.

Yes, totally, the same.
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post #28 of 49 Old 05-18-2019, 11:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alan0354 View Post
I understand about phase inversion of one side ( L or R) and it will sound very obvious, base is going to be hollow, everything sounds funny. That's very obvious. What I am confuse about is not this.

I am talking about whether there is any difference in sound between the normal hook up vs BOTH speakers inverted at the same time, not just one speaker inverted.


As shown in attachment, this is I am comparing the sound when

a) Red output of the amp connects to the Red input of the speaker, Black output of the amp to Black input of the speaker ON BOTH SPEAKERS

compares to:

b) Black output of the amp connects to the Red input of the speaker, Red output of the amp to Black input of the speaker ON BOTH SPEAKERS.

Everything of me believe that they should sound exactly the same, L and R are NOT out of phase.
Get the Chesky CD and check it out. It's easy to hear the difference. At least on the solo trumpet track. I'm not sure it would be noticeable with anything else.

I'd bet Mr. Zilch whatever he wanted in a blind test.
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post #29 of 49 Old 05-19-2019, 09:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by emcdade View Post
Get the Chesky CD and check it out. It's easy to hear the difference. At least on the solo trumpet track. I'm not sure it would be noticeable with anything else.

I'd bet Mr. Zilch whatever he wanted in a blind test.
And here is a link to the test Alan - https://open.spotify.com/track/7vXdW...Sf-iWJPf0qBzTA

As a former concert tech, we used to check phase due to multiple speaker placements, multi-speaker set up, etc. Basically QA for the gig. Ive always done the same at home with a 9v battery since I don't own a phase checker. And that was that.

Having that test CD, I can test the system and I've used it since.

My thinking is that most of the power is in the pulse phase. That is the movement of the speaker upon receiving the signal, which is usually push outwards. The return phase, when the cone of the speakers is returning back to its resting state, is powered by the suspension, and may sound similar, but not the same. Thats my take on it.
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post #30 of 49 Old 05-19-2019, 11:26 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emcdade View Post
Get the Chesky CD and check it out. It's easy to hear the difference. At least on the solo trumpet track. I'm not sure it would be noticeable with anything else.

I'd bet Mr. Zilch whatever he wanted in a blind test.
You're on.
---

Polarity, aka "absolute phase", meaning is the first stroke of the L and R woofers outward or is it inward, can be very important if there are multiple amplifiers addressing the same room or acoustic space. Examples:

- bi-amping
- powered subwoofer(s)
- surround sound

However to the best of my knowledge it is generally inconsequential in stereo music use, at least in most instances. "100% inaudible under all scenarios" ? Nope I didn't say that.

There are lots of reasons why people can botch poalrity tests however and fool people into thinking there are differences:

- Sighted tests which introduce cognitive bias

- There are certain preamps on the market which have a polarity invert switch but testinq has shown that they also introduce a small level change of say .2dB. If Chesky Records, for instance, used this (or a similar) preamp when they made their test record, then that could explain right there why people "hear a difference".
---

Another reason absolute polarity can theoretically be audible is because the distortion our woofers generate on the outward stroke is not an exact mirror image of the distortion they generate on the inward stroke, so for example, if listening to a half sinewave impulse which pushes outward and then returns to zero (no sucking back into the cabinet) then by flipping the polarity that impulse could sound different.

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