Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by keith65, May 14, 2016.
Yeah, the cart is around $450.
I am listening to my Project The Classic, which I bought it as a demo from Audio Advisor about 10 days ago. I started with the Optophone 2M-Silver, but within minutes took it off and mounted my new Audio Technica OC/9MLII moving coil. I got it trough the AT "retipping/replace" program, by trading in my old OC/9. I have it running into my also new Van Austin Vision Q Phone Pre loaded at 30 ohms. I'm using Audio Quest Vipers from The Classic to the Vision Q and AQ King Cobras to my Adcom GFP-750 & GFA-5802 running my KEF Reference 3.2 fortified with a Velodyne FsX-12 Sub.
First let me say there are moments of utter transcendence where the music has utterly swept me up & away. But there are moments when a certain stridency in the massed strings makes me reach for the volume control. Second let me say that today's turntables come with some of the most bogus and imprecise cartridge/tonearm adjustment tools & instructions I've ever seen or tried to use. Mind you I spent 35+ years in the HiFi biz selling and installing Trurntables & Cartridges for countless customers and myself. Installing my AT OC9II was a bit nerve wracking as I entrusted my $500 irreplaceable stylus cartridge to my nervous hands working upside down on a fixed headshell with tiny screws and fragile wires.
I tried to align my cartridge with the equally imprecise Pro-Ject & Ortophone cardboard protractors and my aging eyes. Because there is no starting pointAccuracy on these are impossible. How I miss those included plastic headshell gauges with which you could place the stylus tip precisely at the point of the plastic V. Then you could tweek a bit. Later I loved the GEO DISC. So I have a new GEODISC coming tomorrow along with a $10 digital weight scale and one of those Onzow: ZeroDust - Stylus Cleaners.
Hopefully the stridency and sibilance is because I don't have the cartridge overhang properly set and aligned. If not we have a problem Houston (physical or design)!
Although the bass is quite delicious (hearing Paul McCartney's one of a kind low end melodies fully flushed out is pure joy). I dance on the horns of a dilemma leaning in to be seduced by Joni Mitchell's luscious voice at the same time bending away from her sibilant Martin guitar. The sound stage is large and steady and even exists outside and above my KEF boxes (KEF, IMHO, is expert at that trait). Now I know my AT OC/9II is young, but it is no longer an infant it has at least graduated to grade school. So hopefully tomorrow I will apply my GEODISC and a bit of Tweeking and have the beast tamed. If not I will move on to the Marantz TT15S1 waiting in the wings. I can get one for less than it would cost me to rebuild my 1983 AR The Turntable.
Previously, in my search to come in below the cost of rebuilding my AR, I tried the well reviewed Pioneer PLX-1000 & new Denon VL12 DD TTs they both succumbed to unremitting & unsolvable hum, that neither my old AR nor this, even classier, Pro-Ject Classic suffer from.
To sum up: The Classic is a lovely classy & quiet turntable which reminds me of my first real turntable, my Thorens TD-160c with V15TypeIII. I love looking at it and it seems a highly attractive altar and gateway to musical revelation. It seems pretty well built, but on the bit delicate side (tonearm, lift, and arm rest). I'm pretty certain great care will need to be taken to assure a long life. But both my wife and I are good at that.
Hopefully the problems I'm hearing are just a tweek away from alleviation. Hopefully my AT OC/9II isn't damaged or a bit off. The Classic has some very fine potential to be the one, but may need to go back, and make room for a more expensive yet clearly more precise adoptee. I'm not a beginner and being a full time professional musician I have a clue of what The Absolute Sound really is.
I know I must compromi$e but not on some things.
I'd like to keep the Classic. I love the look and I'm tired of the search and tweeks. There is no perfection even the $250,000 behemoths with their $50,000 tonearms & $15,000 cartridges sitting on their $50,000 custom stands, playing into their $80,000 Phono Pres through $100,000 cables have their, quite expensive, foibles, and manufacturer or design defects. They & every other possible TT get a thorough going over on forums like these. And they depreciate a whole lot faster than my 1983 AR did. Which BTW still, according to a recent Ebay sale, command $425 cartridge less. That BTW is more than I originally paid for mine. Some love the hunt & the tweek and those momentary moments of captured bliss. I'm eager for the bliss of music.
I honestly think that because Project is so successful woth their entry level table, they get rammed into a niche as an entry level maker and their higher end tables get little respect. My only complaint with the Classic is that they used the cheaper arm instead of the Evolution 9CC arm that is one the next tier. One of the main reasons I bought the Perspex was that it was the lowest end table with the better arm. I like the Project arm much better than the RB303 I had on my RP3 yet the Rega arms get all the respect and Project gets little to none.
Well I got my GEODISC and my Digital Weight gauge delivered today. I remember why I loved thses 30 years ago when I used them at Audio Source and then Listen UP in Boulder and then my own store I owned in Marshalltown Iowa. They work and they are easy and they cost a 1/3 less than the Fracka whammy metal rigs that basically do the same thing. So now I am listening again to Pat Methany Group. There is still plenty of air and tingle on the top end but the edgy sibilance that had my reaching for the volume control. is greatly but not perfectly tamed.
This was at 1.51 gram tracking force. The folks at AT said that perhaps ramping up tp 1.75 grams might tame a bit because I can't go below 30 OHM loading on my Phono Pre. I started out Joni's Ladies Of The Canyon at 1.51 and then cranked the counter weight to 1.71 grams. This helped tame a bit more. I think this new version of LOTC is perhaps a bit thin and perhaps overly bright for my set up. I'll keep listening.
So this is a fine listen. I may indeed keep this set up. But today I ordered the Marantz TT15S1. I will get it and compare. But now I think the Pro-Ject Classic/AT OC/9MLII has a decent shot. Although on thelast two LPs I've noticed an ocassional thus as if the arm/cartridge are jumping in the groove. Very interesting.
BTW in response to Bayou Tiger The are is a newer arm than the Evolution 9cc. Pro-Ject it seems has learned that the Aluminum/Carbon sandwich does a better job dampening than the all carbon arm. Can't say.
Also I agree it is sad that folks have very few opportunities to audition tables & cartridges together. And even if you could they won't sound at all like your system. So now to really find out what's what we must bring them home via online or local dealer. We have to realyy give them a shot and long listen.
I've found that sibilance can often be eradicated on much cheaper set ups than what you're using. I doubt the turntable is the culprit. I think the GeoDisc is generally better than the two point paper protractors but still leaves much room for improvement. Have you tried using a custom arc protractor, like the ones you can create with this free software: Conrad's Free Stuff
Click on: http://conradhoffman.com/TemplateGen.zip
This will allow you to print a custom arc protractor for the common alignment types for your specific tonearm. These don't require you to attempt sighting a perfect line to the center of your tonearm like the GeoDisc, because the math accounts for your specific tonearm's pivot-to-spindle distance. Just start at the outer most point of the arc and adjust the overhang until the stylus follows the arc to the innermost groove radius. Then adjust offset until the cantilever is parallel with one or both of the grids. Repeat the process until offset and arc tracing are copacetic. I find this works just as well if not better than the Feickert style protractors.
Thank you Helom. I did print an arc protractor for the Pioneer PLX-1000, but it hummed so bad (the PLX not the protractor) it wasn't worth the effort. I will give your advice a second try and report back. I have never had a system as revealing as the one I have now, so perhaps more effort is needed, but I don't remember ever having this much difficulty eeking the best performance out of lesser tables and cartridges. Or my Technics SL-110 with AT arm & AT15s cartridge (the best I ever owned) Thank you! PS: copacetic is remarkably meaningful, yet underused, word these days.
I clicked on TemplateGen.zip it downloaded but wouldn't open. I have a Mac. does that cause a problem
I Clicked on: http://conradhoffman.com/TemplateGen.zip. It Downloaded but when I tried to open file it says this Windows File won't work on a Mac. Any other oprions you know of for us Mac users?
I use Windows, not sure about Mac.
It is an .exe file, so it will not work on a Mac.
It's really not that hard
Running Windows Programs on Your Mac using WineBottler
Twelvety – Baerwald, the Conrad Hoffman Arc Template Generator, Wine, WineBottler, and Perfect Alignment
Heinz Lichteneggar explained to Mikey Fremer that the the carbon arms produce a more "dynamic" and "transparent " sound and that he produced the new aluminium curved arms for a fuller, mellow sound. Guess one needs a cart that can balance things out.
I'm only a low budget poser, but I "saved" a sale for Pro-Ject on a non-audio board a while back. A guy had bought a Carbon Classic, but was disappointed with the sound, specifically citing the hardness of strings. I assumed it was the Silver cart, and suggested he consult Needle Doctor for a fuller, richer sounding cart. He got a Shelter 201 and was delighted with the results. And I was able to experience the approximately once-in-a-decade feeling of being smart!
Installed Wine/Winebottler with great trepidation after finding it on many ad driven sites that wanted my FaceBook info. I found an alternative site downloaded changed my security to allow all apps not just apps from the MacStore. Get the Hoffman Arc Protractor template, punched in my numbers. Pressed Print Arc Template. A window "Confirm Parameters" came up. I clicked on OK and a window came up saying that I needed to install a printer before I could do any printing, Please Install One" Well my printer's USB is quite snugged into my MacBook and I can print anything else I want. I am again at the preverbial stand still and I'm not at all certain I am willing to have my Mac further invaded. Why am I not surprised? Any suggestions?
You could always just print to pdf file and then open the PDF and print via your normal driver. Don't know if you have that option, I don't normally use a Mac so I'm not the best for advice
Very Cool SpeedMorris: My AT-OC/9MLII sounded much better on the Pioneer PLX-1000, which has an aluminum alloy rubber damped S-Shaped arm that I set up with their bogus 54mm overhang ruler printed in the PLX Owner's Manual. I have a new Marantz/ClearAudio TT15S1 coming in on the 21st with a ClearAudio Virtuoso Wood cartridge packed with the turntable. Hopefully this will solve my sibilance issue. If not maybe it's back to the PLX-1000 and living with the hum and lesser detail all around. The Pro-Ject Classic/OC/9II is perhaps not the best combo. But The AT was brand new and completely payed for and I loved the sound on other tables. I don't want to buy a new Shelter, because if it doesn't work in my set up I can't return it. I'm effectively out another $300 +
Yeah, I hear ya on the $300 for a non-returnable. To paraphrase Kenneth Mars in Young Frankenstein, "Ve had better make DAMN SURE dat der cartridge verks wit der tebble before ve plunk down zee cash."
Hope the Marantz does the trick!
You are all so kind. BTW I took my Phono Pre Amp in today to be bench tested. Came home with a new one (same exact model). It sounds quite a bit better, less harsh, better image because now the sound isn't leaning towards the left speaker. Still bright , but not like getting my eardrums sanded. Will let you know about Marantz TT15S1 vrs Pro-Ject The Classic. I hope I don't love them both and can't bare to part with one.
The Arc Protractor Printed tonight! Now to check it out. After The Doobies finish play Minute By Minute (the whole album). HOW DO THOSE FOOL SURVIVE? Sounds mighty fine too.
With the help of my ever so patient and lovely wife. I cut out the protractor, lined it up, taped it on the platter mat (AQ Sorbothane) And found I was maybe 2 mm beyond the + re adjusted and have been listening to my Sheffield Labs KING JAMES VERSION. The image is great the balance too. The bass taught and full. The mids warm, but not overly. The highs are still a bit too edgy bright. Harry's trumpet can make the ears rings for just a split second.Means I can't go too loud. I am done aligning because while many things have gotten slightly better, the overall sound is great with one caveat the sibilant edginess. Tomorrow should be interesting. New turntable and another day another gig. www.amyandadams.com
Hadn't really thought of it, but I tried the Pro-Ject cables just now. I replced my Audio Quest Vipers to see if maybe the Pro-Jects could tame things a bit. Instead they shrunk the soundsatge and each instrument. The AQs are back. Brings up a slight bummer. The Marantz/Clearaudio has direct no connection cables all the way from the cartridge to the Phono Pre Amp. Hope they are really good. The AQs are
As I was walking out to check and see if FEDEX had left my new Marantz TT15Son my porch, he walked up and placed the box in my hand. I'd already moved the Pro-Ject The Classic to make room. I've read that other unboxed and had their TT15s fully set up and running in 20 minutes or less. Not me...more like an hour. Not difficult just not so quick. To be clear there is no comparison between The Classic nad the TT15S1. The TT15S1 is a finer design with a far better precise rigid tonearm, motor etc. It is quieter, noticeably (or should that be unnoticeably) quieter. I prefer the looks of The Classic. it suites our decor better. But it looks cool and it sounds better in every way. This I noticed within moments of the fist LP side I played. And to think I've only played may 10 album sides so far. It's got a long way to go to warm up. I'm pleased, quite pleased. I am sorry The Classic will have to go back. Let me again say that The Classic is a fine machine in its price range. Had it worked with my AT OC/9II and my Vision Q Phono-Pre. It would have found a permanent home. The TT15 was my first choice several months back, but it seemed I couldn't find one in my price range. I finally found one and I am done looking. This is a fine bit of kit. Perhaps ween the needle wears on the ClearAudio Virtuoso Wood, I'll upgrade or try out my almost new OC/9II. The great thing is the arm is set up precisely for Virtuoso and I don't have to hunt & peck for the proper alignment for these two spots on the LP. That is so tedious unfun and almost laughably imprecise (even the most expensive). And besides there are so many different equations, and preferences. I'll trust Clearaudio and leave it be. And get on with the enjoyment part, and gladly leave the tinkering behind for a couple of years!
The Big dif between The Classic & the TT15S1/ We're listening to The Parlohone Limited Edition The Beatles HELP! LP. On the Classic it sounded like a fine LP of The Beatles. On The TT15S1? As my wife just said,"it sounds like The Beatles are in our living room!" And if you ever thought Ringo was nothing special you'll find out just how wrong you were. And the 3 harmony voices? Separate but equal. Guitars? Paul's singing YESTERDAY in our living room, and we still have money in our bank account. YES!!! BIG DIF!! Love it!
That Marantz is a bit of a bargain even in UK - £1300 including arm and cartridge. Nice to hear a little extra provides such a jump in SQ. My alternative (at UK prices) would have been a Michell Technodec and RB330 arm (nice with the OC9II).
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