Lejonklou Gaio

Discussion, questions and suggestions about Lejonklou products

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FalseMetal666
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Re: Lejonklou Gaio

Post by FalseMetal666 »

Hello all,

First time poster here. I recently bought a very clean Gaio v1 on the second hand market.

I am running a Denon DL-103 cartridge that has fairly high gain - it tested at 0.41mv. The Denon feeds a Bellari MT502 step-up transformer which in turn feeds the Gaio. The MT502 is set to 20db of gain.

On paper, this seems a good fit since the output impedance of the Bellari is 47k and the voltage should be something in the neighborhood of 4-5mv.

Does this set up seem proper, at least on paper? Or is there anything I should consider that anyone sees as possibly amiss?

Thank you all for your time!
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Re: Lejonklou Gaio

Post by lejonklou »

Hello FalseMetal666 and welcome to the forum!

Indeed the combination sounds like it will fit perfectly. The only thing I'd mention is please make sure the turntable ground is connected to the Gaio. And perhaps to the transformer as well, if it's housed in a metal case.

The reason I mention the ground is that the electrostatic shocks your body gives the turntable when handling it needs to be sinked properly in order not to get transformed into 10 times their voltage and land on the input of the Gaio, which could potentially be damaged as a result.

Other than that, I'm looking forward to your impressions of this combination! I'll be testing a whole range of MC step up transformers in August, in an attempt to see just how good it can get.
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Re: Lejonklou Gaio

Post by FalseMetal666 »

The turntable is indeed grounded to the Gaio, but I'll have to make a custom ground lead to connect to the transformer as well.

As far as the sound: it's lovely.

The Gaio/MT502 is a replacement for a Clearaudio Nano v2. Though very nice, the Nano was a bit noisy in high-gain mode. The passive gain stage into the Gaio is quieter, with better imaging, and significantly improved high frequency extension (which is the DL-103's shortcoming).

One of these days I'm sure I'll give in to weakness and find a used Auditorium 23 transformer but until then, I am very pleased.

Thanks for your reply and for pushing this hobby forward!
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Re: Lejonklou Gaio

Post by matthias »

lejonklou wrote: 2019-07-24 10:51 I'll be testing a whole range of MC step up transformers in August, in an attempt to see just how good it can get.
Fredrik,
looking forward to this comparison:)

Matt
LP12 / Exposure / JBL3677
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Re: Lejonklou Gaio

Post by lejonklou »

FalseMetal666 wrote: 2019-07-26 19:30 The turntable is indeed grounded to the Gaio, but I'll have to make a custom ground lead to connect to the transformer as well.

As far as the sound: it's lovely.

The Gaio/MT502 is a replacement for a Clearaudio Nano v2. Though very nice, the Nano was a bit noisy in high-gain mode. The passive gain stage into the Gaio is quieter, with better imaging, and significantly improved high frequency extension (which is the DL-103's shortcoming).

One of these days I'm sure I'll give in to weakness and find a used Auditorium 23 transformer but until then, I am very pleased.

Thanks for your reply and for pushing this hobby forward!
Thank you for the feedback!
So nice to hear that it sounds lovely!
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Re: Lejonklou Gaio

Post by FalseMetal666 »

Just out of curiosity, what is the Gaio v1 input sensitivity?
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Re: Lejonklou Gaio

Post by lejonklou »

FalseMetal666 wrote: 2020-01-28 03:50 Just out of curiosity, what is the Gaio v1 input sensitivity?
Hi FalseMetal666!

Sensitivity is a figure for how much input is needed for a certain output. The figure Gain will say the same thing and Gaio, both model 1 and 2, has a gain of 102 times (40 dB).

The problem with the sensitivity figure is that to obtain it, we first have to decide which output we want. There is no standard figure for this. Some will use 400 mV, in which case the sensitivity for Gaio is 3.9 mV (400 mV/102). Others say 1 Volt is a better figure and then the sensitivity for Gaio is 9.8 mV (1 V/102).

I hope my explanation makes sense.
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Re: Lejonklou Gaio

Post by FalseMetal666 »

That does make sense. I guess, then, the better question is: would an input voltage of ~3mV be enough to properly drive the Gaio?

The input sensitivity of my amplifier is 200mV, so if I'm doing the math right, the Gaio would only need to see an input voltage above 1.96mV?
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Re: Lejonklou Gaio

Post by lejonklou »

The input sensitivity of a power amplifier is usually defined as what level of input will make it play at its maximum volume.

Here the sensitivity number makes some sense, as there's a fixed level out that it refers to and that is the maximum.

However, there is very little knowledge to gain by doing these calculations, because you will usually have a volume control with which you decide how loud you want to play.

So in practice, Gaio as a phono stage will work great with cartridges that have an output of between 1 and 10 mV. The 1 mV cartridge will make you turn the volume up a little more, while the 10 mV cartridge will make you turn it up a little less. The difference is smaller than you expect, because the volume we experience is logarithmic.

So my advice is: Forget the numbers and just try it. If it becomes really enjoyable listening to your records, it's good. If it's not particularly enjoyable, it's not good.

Which is the output level of your cartridge? That's a useful number. Most MM cartridges are between 2 and 7 mV and then the Gaio suits them perfectly.
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Re: Lejonklou Gaio

Post by FalseMetal666 »

Makes sense to me. Mostly just curious because I have a new step-up transformer coming in from Auditorium 23 and they don't publish their step-up ratio. I've seen numbers that suggest it may be as low as 1:8, so the Gaio could see as little as ~3.5mV.

But it seems that is more than enough to be compatible with Gaio.

Btw, currently listening to some Vivaldi after spinning some Witchcraft and the Gaio, as usual, doesn't miss a beat with any genre. Thanks again for being responsive.
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Re: Lejonklou Gaio

Post by lejonklou »

FalseMetal666 wrote: 2020-01-29 03:27 Makes sense to me. Mostly just curious because I have a new step-up transformer coming in from Auditorium 23 and they don't publish their step-up ratio. I've seen numbers that suggest it may be as low as 1:8, so the Gaio could see as little as ~3.5mV.

But it seems that is more than enough to be compatible with Gaio.

Btw, currently listening to some Vivaldi after spinning some Witchcraft and the Gaio, as usual, doesn't miss a beat with any genre. Thanks again for being responsive.
My pleasure!

Please note that with step-up transformers, there's a small risk that electrostatic discharges can be amplified and reach the input of Gaio. So if you are charged and happen to discharge through the wires that connect the arm to the cartridge, that shock can be transformed by your step-up and become much stronger, risking damage to the input of Gaio.

The protection against this is that the turntable and its arm is properly grounded to the ground screw on the rear of Gaio. Then you'll discharge to the arm (or the turntable) and not to the cartridge.

I've only encountered damage of this kind once and it appears the customer hadn't used the ground lead from the turntable. Therefore he discharged to the cartridge tags, the shock was amplified 10-20 times by the step-up, and one input of a Slipsik fried.

Although a rare accident, I thought it could be worth pointing out.
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Re: Lejonklou Gaio

Post by FalseMetal666 »

Thanks for the warning. The turntable is currently grounded to the transformer which, in turn, is grounded to the Gaio.
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Re: Lejonklou Gaio

Post by FalseMetal666 »

Hi all,

just curious as i learn more about audio hardware - is the Gaio a high negative feedback design? low? none?
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Re: Lejonklou Gaio

Post by lejonklou »

FalseMetal666 wrote: 2021-05-09 02:35 Hi all,

just curious as i learn more about audio hardware - is the Gaio a high negative feedback design? low? none?
Hi FalseMetal666!

All my designs use a lot of negative feedback. The best way to make a great sounding circuit is to design one that is as linear and well behaved as possible and with lots of gain. Then you apply negative feedback to make it even better.

Everything has to be evaluated by ear. Both the raw gain, the amount of feedback, the impedances, the limits of the frequency range, etc. This means I build a lot of variations of the same circuit. To reach the highest level of performance, no parameter should ever be fixed. They must all be tested in every possible combination with the other parameters.
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Re: Lejonklou Gaio

Post by FalseMetal666 »

lejonklou wrote: 2021-05-09 19:43
FalseMetal666 wrote: 2021-05-09 02:35 Hi all,

just curious as i learn more about audio hardware - is the Gaio a high negative feedback design? low? none?
Hi FalseMetal666!

All my designs use a lot of negative feedback. The best way to make a great sounding circuit is to design one that is as linear and well behaved as possible and with lots of gain. Then you apply negative feedback to make it even better.

Everything has to be evaluated by ear. Both the raw gain, the amount of feedback, the impedances, the limits of the frequency range, etc. This means I build a lot of variations of the same circuit. To reach the highest level of performance, no parameter should ever be fixed. They must all be tested in every possible combination with the other parameters.
Thank you very kindly for the thoughtful answer! All of this stuff is fascinating to me.
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Re: Lejonklou Gaio

Post by FredJo »

Hi all,
first post, so to briefly introduce myself: I‘m US-German from N.J. with Swedish ancestors and landed up in Berlin a good 20 years ago.

I upgraded some of my Linn devices recently after many years of feeling fine with my LK-stuff and doing so I decided to give the Gaio a try. I wasn‘t sure, if I should stick with the Adikt or move to Krystal. Well now there‘s a new stylus for the Adikt and a new Gaio and what can I say?!? Wow, wow, wow, no way I‘m gonna send the Gaio back to my dealer in Kiel!

Initially I couldn‘t make up my mind between Gaio and Slipsik from hearsay, but as a Kore decided to come along and still considering a Karousel the Gaio has to be enough for now. And it‘s far more than just enough!
This little box is amazing – maybe an old hat, but true: makes me flip through my record collection on a new level.

If anybody wants to keep some spare for LPs or upgrades or doesn‘t want to get a new MC every other year, go for the Gaio. You won‘t regret it. Saying so I haven‘t heard a Slipsik yet, but it sure eats the MM-board of my Akurate K/1 which is not the worst MM peamp I know of.

Thanks to my namesake Fredrik for this wonderful little big box!
Cheers, Frederick
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Re: Lejonklou Gaio

Post by mrco99 »

Hi Frederick,

Thanks for your praise and positive feedback and welcome to the forum.

At their respective pricelevels, both Gaio and Slipsik offer superb performance with MM cartridges such as Adikt, so a good and sensible decision to choose Gaio and pair it with your intended Karousel and Kore upgrades.

Also happy to hear you enjoyed the great service of Speakers Corner in Kiel.

Alles Gute und viel Spielvergnügen,

Marco
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