Need help with a Tune Dem! 'in room recordings'

General HiFi discussion, using the Tune Method to evaluate performance

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Efraim roots
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Need help with a Tune Dem! 'in room recordings'

Post by Efraim roots » 2015-11-20 13:57

Greetings!

I have reached some kind of climax on a project I’ve been working on for some time now. It’s summed up by a Tune Dem I’ve captured with ”in room” recordings. I would be really grateful if some of you on this forum would help me to get the result right! I promise to follow up the results with some discussion. Since this tune dem is so important to me I would really appreciate if some of the well known dem’ers like Lejonklou, ThomasOK, Music Lover, Erik, hcl, Linnofil, paolo (and the list goes on!) would give their judgements. Everyone is of course welcome participate with their judgement!

Download link here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/gsix4ltkm4s7o ... m.zip?dl=0

Ps, watch out for social pressure ( https://youtu.be/TYIh4MkcfJA ).
the players of instruments shall be there..

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Re: Need help with a Tune Dem! 'in room recordings'

Post by lejonklou » 2015-11-20 16:28

Great!

I like comparisons.

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Re: Need help with a Tune Dem! 'in room recordings'

Post by magnuska » 2015-11-20 18:23

Hi!

Wonder what kind of project this is about? Sorting recording equipment?

For me the "B" files are sounding a bit better.

Good luck with the project

Magnus
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Re: Need help with a Tune Dem! 'in room recordings'

Post by Efraim roots » 2015-11-20 19:20

Thanks for getting it started! I will tell all about it when we get some more judgements in. Feel free to leave a motivation or comment if you want.
the players of instruments shall be there..

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Re: Need help with a Tune Dem! 'in room recordings'

Post by magnuska » 2015-11-20 19:44

Efraim roots wrote:Thanks for getting it started! I will tell all about it when we get some more judgements in. Feel free to leave a motivation or comment if you want.

Ok, the "B" files are in general sounding more dynamic, more punchy. Even the disch scratchy sounds more dominant on these files. Presentation is more forward and distinct. Have you placed the microphone farther away from the speaker in the A files? Just my guess you don`t have to answer now...
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Re: Need help with a Tune Dem! 'in room recordings'

Post by Christer » 2015-11-21 13:18

I have downloaded your files. I notice that The "B" versions are slightly larger whatever that would imply. There is however a fundamental differens between the "A" and "B" recordings. The latter are about 2dB louder! This is a classic misstake when you compare equipment, recordings or whatever. Louder is better. Heard of Loudness War?
I have tried to adjust the volume when I have listened to them and agree that I prefer The "B" but it is really no great differens. Am I imagining it or is it better musically? Please make some new recordings were you have adjusted the levels! And yes I did mesure the levels with a JVC sound level meter (real old school bought in The Eighties).

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Re: Need help with a Tune Dem! 'in room recordings'

Post by Erik » 2015-11-21 13:35

Hi!
Very interesting comparison and I don't know what you compare.
I find A musically superior to me, much more engaging and fluent.

/Erik

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Re: Need help with a Tune Dem! 'in room recordings'

Post by lejonklou » 2015-11-21 13:37

Indeed the B files are louder. And the sound character is different between A and B.

But I would like to recommend focusing on the music. On the emotion of it. If you do, the message of A differs radically from that of B. Neither loudness nor sound character can affect that, in my opinion.

This happened to be an easy one for me, but I'll wait a few more days until I post what I think, if that's OK.

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Re: Need help with a Tune Dem! 'in room recordings'

Post by Efraim roots » 2015-11-21 15:36

Yes there is some difference is loudness, please take Lejonklous advice on that. It was difficult to set the exact same levels. Thanks for your contributions!
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Re: Need help with a Tune Dem! 'in room recordings'

Post by jewa » 2015-11-21 21:45

Nice music! I think A is good. B is out of tune and rhythm in comparison.

For example if you listen to the rhythm guitar on ”How will I know”, during the the verse – B seems very random and A is very understandable and wonderful guitar playing. Not to mention the emotion in Witneys voice. :D

Great test!

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Re: Need help with a Tune Dem! 'in room recordings'

Post by Christer » 2015-11-22 01:04

"B" is better in my opinion. The music has a better flow and is easier to comprehend. I got less distracted of the differens in loudness after some wine;-)
I am eagerly waiting for your jugdement of my opinion.
It's not a competition and besides music is better live (with some beer). Beer is better with music(b)

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Re: Need help with a Tune Dem! 'in room recordings'

Post by Efraim roots » 2015-11-22 03:21

Ok,

By some (a bit strange) change in my brain (shift of focus, inner references or similar) I find this Tune dem quite obvious now. When I listen to the recordings now it’s just obvious A is better for me, I can’t say I thought B to be ’better’ but I was thinking it had ’something’ more or less important, that feeling has cooled thou (the change I refer too).

I called it a ’project’ but maybe a bit misleading, hope you don’t mind. My ’project’ was actually about to really understand the differences between Linn and Naim amplification, something I’ve been thinking about for years. I’ve been using Naim amps for many years and think they have something special to them, especially since I’m into rhythmic music and often find myself connecting emotionally ’by heart’ to music more than getting the ’cerebral’ experience. Linn amps has for me sounded a bit too nice, and e.g warrior tunes should not sound nice, if you know what I mean. Still, the consensus in this community has been on a strong preference for Linn amps before Naim, which has puzzled me at times.

Nowadays you’ll find the former reference (of this community) Linn Klimax Kontrol preamps at very good prices on the second hand market and since my Naim NAC 52/52PS was getting due to expensive recap I decided to buy a KK/1/D. This was also a intentional stepping stone into Lejonklou amplification and I got a Tundra 2 to match the new preamp (aiming at Sagatun Monos, …one bright day). This hasn’t really worked before since I think (by experience) that It’s no idea to try to mix Naim pre’s with other power amps or vice versa, Naim amps is a ”whole”, including their naca5 cables, imo. I haven’t been ’wanting’ a Klimax Kontrol, but of course I also thought that it most probably was a bit better than my NAC 52/52PS.

So my main amps has been for almost 5 years Naim NAC52/52PS (pots8 upgrade and full factory service 2005) and a NAP 110 (factory service/recap 2011). Most people laugh at the NAP 110 but I like it, I also owned NAP 250 but the 110 was just so much ’bang for buck’, it’s a bit ’tinny’ but also very responsive for great signal. The NAC 52 tho is very respected even today, Julian Vereker and Roy George designed it over several years with a passionate dedication to make the most musical preamp the world had heard, and they probably did it too! Still today only NAC 252/Supercap and NAC 552/552PS (and the Statement pre probably) betters it, and if you’re upgrading from a NAC 52 you probably would want to go directly to a NAC 552.

So, here you have it; the comparison is

A: Linn Klimax Kontrol/1/D - Lejonklou Tundra 2 vs B: Naim NAC52/52PS - NAP110

Rest of the system consists of ’Klimax LP12’ with Adikt and Uphorik, speakers are Naim IBL (some need of restoration) and naca5 cables. Interconnects I used was Naim Hiline with Naim and Linn Silvers with Linn (Linn blacks pre to power).

My personal experience of the shift was initially ”wow this is good!”, but after a few days I just felt that the bass from the new amps was a bit static and the musical tempo suffered, the drum and bass timing was not as right was my feeling even tho many other things was better. I also thought the micro dynamics was missing affecting the notes, more smeared with the new amps. I usually refer to that quality from the best Naim amps as ”pitch accurate dynamics”, they are just very right in proportion and makes the note penetrate your body and hit your chakras, glands or whatever. For example even a strong Linn defender like Anders Simonsson from Tonläget HiFi (the designer of Harmonihyllan and Klångedang speakers) told me that when Naim came with their Supercap (the multi-purpose psu, successor of 52PS) it made him take dynamics seriously. Anyhow, when I connected the Naims again I felt that I got back what I missed but it also sounded a bit messy, that drum and bass thing is so fundamental tho so I was puzzled. I decided to (with help from Lejonklou) torque the screws inside the the Kontrol and see if it helped. First I only did the earth bolt, psu cover and bottom chassi screws, and it got a fair bit better. This is the stage when I did the recordings, (everything is as identical as possible, same shelfs and power cords where used). When I listened in my room and also on my recordings I was still missing that really agile and rhythmic bass and tempo responsiveness (intonation is also a part of it) so I decided to post these recordings to get a second opinion. I wrote the post on here and then It was time to connect the Kontrol/Tundra again and let them run over the weekend, but before that I opened up the Kontrol again to torque the audio and control boards. After that when the new amps started to play again everything just did fall into place. Everything my new amps did was now so magically right that I knew they where superior. Every bit of increased calm, control, nuance, harmony now summed up to bring forth fantastic music. Something like If I had got a much better musical instrument but not learned to handle it properly because my inner reference was stuck on the old I had been using for years. Still I must say that the old Naim amps i quite fantastic for what it is, my NAC52 is from 1992 (and due for the recommended recap) and NAP110 was Naims smallest power amp from 1982.
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Re: Need help with a Tune Dem! 'in room recordings'

Post by lejonklou » 2015-11-22 10:28

How silly of me not to post right away that I thought A was much better...

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Re: Need help with a Tune Dem! 'in room recordings'

Post by Erik » 2015-11-22 12:00

I wounder what components makes the biggest difference in the two setups?
I used to own a 52/SC and changed it for a 552 but never really got convinced about the musical superiority even if the new amp was sound wise more impressive. Unfortunately I didn't have the ability to compare them side by side. I still rate the 52 a great pre.
The NAP110 is good and fun in a sparkling way but lacks control and IBLs are demanding. (I still have a pair of IBLs boxed up and this readings makes me curious to connect them to my NAIT 1 and a decent source).
Back on track: I find it very worthwhile to torque the KK but don't compare it to Sagatun Monos if you're not able to afford them.

Erik

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Re: Need help with a Tune Dem! 'in room recordings'

Post by paolo » 2015-11-22 17:19

Hello,
I was chatting with Fredrik some minutes ago while listening to the files. Before I read what Efraim roots has written about what they are these are my findings:

A clearly better, B is more mechanical and harder to follow.

And now I am curious to read how they've been recorded....

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Re: Need help with a Tune Dem! 'in room recordings'

Post by paolo » 2015-11-22 17:29

Ah ok , now it's all clear...:)
I've been a Naim owner too, for some time many years ago.

Very interesting experiment Efraim!

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Re: Need help with a Tune Dem! 'in room recordings'

Post by Christer » 2015-11-22 17:35

How embarrasing that I did not hear that. What's worse I still don't! Good thing I leave development to you Fredrik and to Anders at Tonläget.
I am not too worried. In the long run my mind and body tells me when I is right. I just need some more time than you guys. For example I am changing my LP12 after 35 years of service. To What? An LP12 of course!
by the way, it would be nice to have a new recording after the final tweaking.

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Re: Need help with a Tune Dem! 'in room recordings'

Post by lejonklou » 2015-11-22 18:19

35 years of service? Wow...

Have you tried any Naim equipment, Christer? Maybe you are a Naim guy?

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Re: Need help with a Tune Dem! 'in room recordings'

Post by Christer » 2015-11-22 22:27

Sorry, I found my old recipt. My LP12 is only 31 years old. I should be careful not to exaggerate!
And no I am a Linn guy (with a potential interest in Leijonklou). Anders have exakted my Keltiks and they really sing!
Sorry for drifting away from the thread. As I wrote Before I would be really interested to listen to a recording of final result of your tweaks Efraim!

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Re: Need help with a Tune Dem! 'in room recordings'

Post by Efraim roots » 2015-11-23 00:06

lejonklou wrote:How silly of me not to post right away that I thought A was much better...
Well, rather respectful also I would say, I put it up like a ’blind’ test and you were the only one knowing what the comparison was all about. When I felt so obviously convinced myself I just felt that it was no need to collect ’blind’ judgments, some kind of discussion felt more appropriate.
Erik wrote:I wonder what components makes the biggest difference in the two setups?
Yes, It would have been a little more interesting if I had something like NAP135’s or a newer NAP250.2 (or the latest 250DR). I find the nowadays 250 to be clearly better than the olive version.
Erik wrote:(I still have a pair of IBLs boxed up and this readings makes me curious to connect them to my NAIT 1 and a decent source)
That is a really cool system IMO, I love the original Nait, that’s how my Naim journey started. I just wasn’t very happy with my Linn Kolektor - LK140 and I had listened to the Nait 5i and the then brand new Nait XS (not in my system) but was not convinced (I later became rather fond of Nait 5i tho). The descriptions I read about old Naim sound was what I felt lacking in my own system tho, and I had read somewhere that the original Nait was the best one playing rhythms. When I finally found one and tried it at home I was sold, that’s been my reference on my Naim journey. I actually use to refer to my amps NAC52/NAP110 as my BIG Nait 1 :-) I remember buying the NAC202/NAP200 without hearing them first (they must be lots better right?) as my first ’proper’ Naim amps, but I was actually quite disappointed when I compared them to the original Nait.

IBLs are great speakers, Roy George is a genius IMHO. I could never see myself selling either my Nait 1 or IBL speakers.

I have an idea about what you mean with Sagatun Mono’s since I heard that comparison at the launch event at Tonläget. That is a preamp I surely feel the ”wants” for! Right now I very happy tho, since Friday afternoon I’ve not heard one record that doesn’t sound a lot better and not one parameter about the sound that’s not better.
Christer wrote:it would be nice to have a new recording after the final tweaking.
I believe my initial concerns partly where related to the optimization, It was better but I could also hear stuff that wasn’t right. I have heard that on the LP12 for example, optimized set up with the cirkus chassi is just very satisfying (you forget about the sound). Upgrading to Keel but without optimizing the setup might be better but could still feel a bit annoying if all the new information isn’t really well tuned. Your idea is good, it would be interesting if we could hear the last torque do its magic on recordings. Hopefully I can record again within the next few days. It’s interesting for me too since it may give an indication what happened at that last step.
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Re: Need help with a Tune Dem! 'in room recordings'

Post by lejonklou » 2015-11-24 15:16

Christer wrote:I would be really interested to listen to a recording of final result of your tweaks Efraim!
I agree this would be very interesting. We would then be able to evaluate the benefits of optimal torque of the circuit boards in a pre amplifier.

As I have done this many times, I know how important it is. But I know there are a lot of sceptics out there (including serious retailers) who still doubt that it's worth the effort.

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Re: Need help with a Tune Dem! 'in room recordings'

Post by u252agz » 2015-11-24 21:03

Fredrik

Does this apply to streamers and turntables as well.

I am thinking of my KDS/2.

I assume each particular make and model ( preamp, amp, streamer , turntable) has its own optimal settings and this has to be worked out by trial and error.
KDS2/Sagatun Tundra Monos /242s /LP12 Kore-KRad-Ekos SE/Slip 7

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Re: Need help with a Tune Dem! 'in room recordings'

Post by lejonklou » 2015-11-24 21:49

u252agz wrote:Does this apply to streamers and turntables as well.
Yes.
u252agz wrote:I assume each particular make and model ( preamp, amp, streamer , turntable) has its own optimal settings and this has to be worked out by trial and error.
Yes. Thomas O'Keefe is the boss in this field. I don't think anyone on the planet has collected more HiFi related torque values than he has.

One important aspect of finding the optimal torque is that there are multiple peaks in performance, spread out over a wide range. Therefore one doesn't only need to be able to tell better from worse, one must also have a proper method.

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Re: Need help with a Tune Dem! 'in room recordings'

Post by u252agz » 2015-11-24 22:25

Thanks

My Majik LP12 has been set up by Anthony using Thomas' settings - so I am happy.


My KDS/2 came back directly from Linn - are there optimal settings yet for this new board? Should I be concerned - it sounds pretty spectacular as it is!
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Re: Need help with a Tune Dem! 'in room recordings'

Post by lejonklou » 2015-11-25 00:35

If it sounds spectacular, no need to be concerned!

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