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Author Topic: pure joy !  (Read 1756 times)
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« on: September 07, 2018, 04:34:44 PM »

Yesterday I received my "The Truth" line stage. And after only  24 hours its a fact for me that
it is a quantum leap on my 40 years journey to audio perfection.
Let me introduce myself first. I am an Austrian photographer on the brink of retiring who has been
into hifi since Grammar school.
After working at the Munich Olympics 1972 I had earned enough money to buy my first set: A Thorens
TD 150 MKII turntable with a basic Shure M55E MM pickup, a german Transistor amp (2x20 Watts RMS)
from Klein + Hummel and a pair of assembled KEF baffles  with the famous B139 woofer, B110 midrange
 and T27 tweeter. I still remember the first LPs I bought in a Munich record store: Cat Steven's "Tea for the
Tillerman" and "Play Bach" with the Jacques Loussier Trio which I still have and cherish. In the years to
come I replaced pickups, two Thorens players, built two big (refrigerator size) bass horns (they were
marvellous, but I never got midrange and treble right)

Then, around 1984 the digital era started for me with an affordable Fisher CD Player. Having always fought
with clicks and pops and scratches and inner groove distortions I  was happy  this was finally over.
I put the record player in a closet and only played CDs since then for the next 33 years.

Around 1992 I was able to purchase a Sony 555ES CD Player, the best source I could afford. I added
a Sony DAT, Sony Dolby S Cassette recorder and a Sony tuner. The preamp was a german AVM Vorstufe
which unconspicuously did a good job up to present time.
And I thought that was it for the rest of my life….

Then, much more important, I discovered the Manger Sound transducer (, a unique
bending wave broad band transducer which covers the range from around 140 Hz to 32.000 Hz
and just has to have a woofer for the frequencies below 140 Hz.

At that time Manger Audio also sold their transducer to DIY customers and I build a pair of them together
with  2 subs, driven active with 2 NAD stereo main amps and a custom fit  electronic crossover which I also still use
in my system. For the first time I was completely satisfied with my
speakers, any tweaks like better cables or better amps seemed completely  absurd.
I stiil have the Mangers, they are the hub of my system and will remain that. They have come to fame
mainly in Europe over the years, especially musicians and recording studios like their special talents.

Around 6 years ago I got myself a Philips CD 304 from ebay and got it modified to non oversampling by Roman Gross from Germany.
Since then it has been my digital reference. I cannot see how it could possibly be improved.

Then last year I found the lenco heaven website. And I remembered my old records which I had kept over the years
and decided to finally find out for myself and to my complete satisfaction, which was better, analogue or digital.
Since Februar I have a 55 lbs self built  "PTP Lenco" Player with a Jelco 12" arm and a hana SL Moving Coil cartridge.
And beiieve it or not, I have rarely played CDs since then. Cleaned my old LPs meticuously and bought a bunch
of mainly Jazz reissues but also 2nd hand.

I had completely forgotten, or rather, with my humble Thorens Players, never experienced at that time, HOW GOOD
vinyl really can be. For instance, I always had rumble problems, Not so with my rebuilt Lenco L78. At first I could
not believe it!  An idler wheel transport without rumble! And no inner groove distortions with the Jelco arm and the Hana MC.
Not only that, the control, the dynamics, the musicality and realness of old recordings are just, well most of the time, a dream.
I can only encourage anybody with old records not to give them away but look at
and get some inspiration (and very friendly and competent help to rebuild an old Lenco to an unbelievable quality)…

A couple of months ago I revisited Arthur Salvatore's website to get some tips for good vinyl and found:
The Truth !
What Salvatore wrote intrigued me so much that I decided to give it a go. My AVM pre had served me well over the years
and was completely reliable, but I had had the idea for some time, that it now might be the weak link in my system.

First I wanted to play some selected LPs with my old pre amp attentively and then compare them with The Truth, but was much too
impatient. OK Rita Coolidge's "Its only Love" happens to be on the platter. Mhh, that sounds verrry nice! Not one of those audiophile
pressings, but still very nice. Silky smooth voice, dry bass notes, and a better sense of space than with my old pre. Then Malia's
"Black Orchid", an obviously digital recording from 2012 which I bought on LP. OMG, its like she is in my living room! There is space
one can practically look into! "Wild is the Wind" gives me goose bumps. Then Harry Belafonte "Live at Carnegy Hall" 1959.
One of  the great live recordings of all time. the excellent sound has always been a marvel for me. But now, with "The Truth"
its easy to "see" the stage and the musicians on it.
On with some CDs. Patricia Barber's "Verse" is one of my favourite discs. Its one of those well known demonstration discs which
easily sounds good on any halfway decent system. Now, with "The Truth" I hear details I had not heard before. Little differences
of how the drummer kicks the bass drum, reflections from the back of the recording room or the different space the musicians occupy is discernable.
String Quartet from Dvorak: For the first time I note that I easily can follow the different players easily. The first violin, the 2nd, the viola,
the cello, all are always discernible! Its is a comletely new level to enjoy the music.
But also not so perfectly recorded discs show their shortcomings more distinctly.
I always disliked recordings where the "relative spaces" of the different instruments were not compatible. Like when a singer seems
to stand IN MIDTH of the piano or if an accompanying instrument is closer miked and louder mixed than the vocalist and thus dominates the
voice. As an example, I have always loved Eva Cassidy's CD "Time after Time" (and still do) but today I noticed on some songs that her guitar
is recorded "with a loupe" (closer and "bigger" than her voice), or stronger compressed, and if you turn your attention from her marvelous singing to the close up guitar it isn't quite right, at least to my ears.

This new preciseness also exhibits much clearer any issues of my living room.
I spent quite some time to shove my speakers around to get the musical stage right and also came to the conclusion that I finally will put
absorbers on the ceiling. I also noted that the reflections of the glass doors of one of my room high CD shelfs impairs the stereo balance
[no idea how to solve that problem except opening the doors when listening to music :-(  ]

To sum it up, this phenomenal line stage to me is exactly what Arthur Salvatore states on his web site. It is sonically non-existent and exactly
and precisely transports what is recorded. It will be the third stable item in my system for the future (together with my speakers and the Philips CD Player).
By the way, I ordered my specimen with a remote volume control. Its a joy to operate, stylish, heavy, fully metal, and to me worth the 300 $ extra.

Thanks Ed Schilling for your marvellous creation!

« Last Edit: September 09, 2018, 05:12:16 AM by pan53 » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2018, 09:04:04 PM »

Hi pan53, I'm happy that you hear what I hear.  Smiley

I'll be brief and just state that I'm an old guy and have been obsessed with music and audio since my mom let me destroy albums on an old Silvertone record player placed in the floor while my older sisters went to elementary school.  Damn, that's a run-on sentence.  

Regardless. Ed fabricated a dream, and that's the Truth.
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« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2018, 05:00:36 AM »

Hi Henry!
Nice to meet you!

Yes, in a way I am rediscovering my music collection again because there are so many more things to
hear clearly now with The Truth in my system. Its a blessing and a curse (but more of a blessing, Ed … Wink )

Some records and CDs sound simply divine, some are hard on my ears.
Now is it the recording? Bad mikes? My crossover? My amps? The room? My 65 years old ears?

For instance, the voices (in distinction to all the musical instruments) on my musical "Hair" - LP
sounded coloured, shrill, sharp, not enjoyable at all. No way to enjoy that at louder levels.

One thing is for sure: My hobby (or rather, as you called it, obsession) will keep me busy.
Hopefully I'll soon reach a new plateau of satisfaction where no further weaknesses of my system
will distract me from the music.

I am a bit afraid that I might come to the conclusion that the basic remaining weakness of
my system might be that it uses transistors, not tubes. To change that would mean to start from
scratch with my system and most likely that would be far above my means.
It would entail getting new highly efficient speakers, SET-amps, a tube phono preamp….

Probably the more sensible way is to dump all CDs which don't sound good….. Cheesy

I googled pics of the Silvertone record player. Reminds me,
my means to destroy records as a kid was a Philips Record Player. Suitcase shaped, covered
with ugly pinkish-red plastic foil, stereo (!) speakers on the sides , "crystal" needle, tracking force
enough to grind out the groove in no time….
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« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2018, 02:47:35 PM »

I googled pics of the Silvertone record player. Reminds me,
my means to destroy records as a kid was a Philips Record Player. Suitcase shaped, covered
with ugly pinkish-red plastic foil, stereo (!) speakers on the sides , "crystal" needle, tracking force
enough to grind out the groove in no time….

Hey, Peter, I think we had the same journey with different colors.  Grin  Mine was a heavy fiberglassed turquoise monster.  No outboard speakers, just the internal ovals.  Stereophonic at its best and just good enough to escape for a few hours. 

It's always cool to think that we are so similar, albeit a few thousand miles apart.  Carry on and enjoy.  Cool

Ed Schilling
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« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2018, 06:48:06 PM »

Thanks guys for posting! Welcome aboard Peter and than you for the support!
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