Sunbeam's Rig

Presenting yourself, your equipment and music in pictures and text

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Re: Sunbeam's Rig

Post by macrotech2 » 2016-10-19 19:03

Interesting they just put the Renew price up by £600 after consultations with dealers. I'm not sure who it helps apart from giving Linn an even bigger profit. Perhaps it keeps the cost of Katalyst upgrades down, ho ho. Recycling is just so expensive these days!
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Re: Sunbeam's Rig

Post by sunbeamgls » 2016-11-13 21:53

Not the main rig, but elsewhere, Maple becomes Targa Red...

Strip and build and more of the finished article pictures here:

http://audiophilemusings.blogspot.co.uk ... ninka.html


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Re: Sunbeam's Rig

Post by sunbeamgls » 2017-03-22 08:58

Took the stereo parts of the system to the Scalford Hifi Show last weekend.

The bouncy chipboard floor was a bit of a challenge, hence the marble slabs, which helped a lot.

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Re: Sunbeam's Rig

Post by sunbeamgls » 2018-10-12 19:58

There was just time for a kuppa before beer-o'clock this Friday :)

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Re: Sunbeam's Rig

Post by ThomasOK » 2018-10-12 21:16

Nice system and very cool looking mug, although mine would need to have a different brand or two on the bottom line.
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Re: Sunbeam's Rig

Post by lejonklou » 2018-10-12 23:33

Very nice cup!

I'd like to hear this system. Either before or after beer-o'clock.

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Re: Sunbeam's Rig

Post by cjs » 2018-10-13 10:06

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Great minds think alike re the granite slabs Mr Sunbeam! In place for your perusal next weekend! :)

And re the mug.... anything you can do..! :)
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Re: Sunbeam's Rig

Post by sunbeamgls » 2018-10-13 12:59

lejonklou wrote:Very nice cup!

I'd like to hear this system. Either before or after beer-o'clock.
Just PM me next time you're planning to be in the UK Fredrik. We have some excellent system enhancing local beers you can try :)
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Re: Sunbeam's Rig

Post by Ozzzy189 » 2018-10-15 12:53

Hi Neil. Where did you get the granite? I had some beech plinths made after someone changed my mind about granite. I wish I'd stuck to my guns, it's not as good as using the base plate off majik stands so I'm looking for a third solution! Do you lay them flat on the carpet guys?
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Re: Sunbeam's Rig

Post by Spannko » 2018-10-15 14:00

John Burns of Pear Audio and ex Linn QC manager experimented with different materials to use as a base for the new Well Tempered turntables and found 40mm slate was best. I also heard a pair of slate speaker stands which worked well.

Are the Linn M140 stands made of steel or an aluminium? They work well too.

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Re: Sunbeam's Rig

Post by sunbeamgls » 2018-10-15 15:24

Ozzzy189 wrote:Hi Neil. Where did you get the granite? I had some beech plinths made after someone changed my mind about granite. I wish I'd stuck to my guns, it's not as good as using the base plate off majik stands so I'm looking for a third solution! Do you lay them flat on the carpet guys?
I wouldn't mix up the job being done by the M140 stands and slabs of granite underneath the speaker's spikes / feet. The M140 stands add mass and a lower centre of gravity to the speakers, the granite slabs add mass and possibly some form of damping to the floor.

The slabs I used at Scalford were granite chopping boards, easily found on line for 15gbp or less each. They were onto a thin carpet which was on top of a cheap and flimsy chipboard floor. I don't use them at home on the concrete floor.

If you have a local stonemason who does granite kitchen worktops they'll usually make some nice thick slabs to size as the generate quite a few off cuts about the right size due to sink bowl holes.
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Re: Sunbeam's Rig

Post by Ozzzy189 » 2018-10-15 23:13

Yes, the chopping boards are too thin. I would want 40mm if possible. I would be laying it directly on the carpet. It's a chipboard floor over polystyrene over concrete subfloor. I wasn't confused with the 140 scenario, and am interested if the granite plinths would require spikes or not. I do have some I could use. I'm sorry for asking here but it's been alluded to anyway and I am just trying to get a happy medium for my towers. Performance of the metal bases I tried vs look of thick black wood.
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Re: Sunbeam's Rig

Post by lejonklou » 2018-10-15 23:35

My advice is to very carefully evaluate the musical effect of any plates or feet placed below speakers. It's easy to assume that a solid foundation will make an improvement, but it's far from that simple.

When I worked in retail in the 90's there were many times when I visited customers' homes and found that they'd tried improving their speakers by either isolating it from the floor (with soft feet), creating a solid foundation (with concrete, granite, steel, aluminium) or a combination of the two.

In all of those cases, I asked whether we could compare with and without their added foundation. And in every case - yes, every single one - there was an immediate improvement when returning to the original loudspeaker design, with nothing below it but spikes and (usually) Skeets.

It was also around this time that we found Skeets below the spikes often sounds better even on carpets. This felt quite contra-intuitive, as on Skeets on top of a thick carpet, the speakers stood clearly more unstable than with just spikes, penetrating the carpet.

At the time I also experimented myself with heavy bases for my own loudspeakers. And I found that the only way was to critically evaluate each change by ear. Most of the seemingly great ideas just made the music worse.

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Re: Sunbeam's Rig

Post by Music Lover » 2018-10-16 13:53

The issue testing with/without bases under the speaker - you change two items at same time. Also the height...

And just a few mm difference in height makes a quite a difference.
It's all about musical understanding!

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Re: Sunbeam's Rig

Post by lejonklou » 2018-10-16 15:54

Music Lover wrote:The issue testing with/without bases under the speaker - you change two items at same time. Also the height...

And just a few mm difference in height makes a quite a difference.
Good point!

The height of the loudspeaker can indeed be very sensitive.

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Re: Sunbeam's Rig

Post by sunbeamgls » 2018-10-16 20:27

lejonklou wrote:My advice is to very carefully evaluate the musical effect of any plates or feet placed below speakers. It's easy to assume that a solid foundation will make an improvement, but it's far from that simple.

When I worked in retail in the 90's there were many times when I visited customers' homes and found that they'd tried improving their speakers by either isolating it from the floor (with soft feet), creating a solid foundation (with concrete, granite, steel, aluminium) or a combination of the two.

In all of those cases, I asked whether we could compare with and without their added foundation. And in every case - yes, every single one - there was an immediate improvement when returning to the original loudspeaker design, with nothing below it but spikes and (usually) Skeets.

It was also around this time that we found Skeets below the spikes often sounds better even on carpets. This felt quite contra-intuitive, as on Skeets on top of a thick carpet, the speakers stood clearly more unstable than with just spikes, penetrating the carpet.

At the time I also experimented myself with heavy bases for my own loudspeakers. And I found that the only way was to critically evaluate each change by ear. Most of the seemingly great ideas just made the music worse.
At home I use the IsoAcoustics Gaia feet. They have spiked basses but then a rubber decoupler between the spikes and the cabinets. I don't know about the veracity of the manufacturer's science claims but they say rigid coupling to a floor creates bass energy reflections back into the cabinet causing some smearing of the timing. Take that as you will. However, perhaps this is similar to the experience you report Fredrik. Perhaps at Scalford it was the seperation from the floor provided by the carpet between the granite and the floor and nothing to do with the granite itsself.
At the same event, Philbo was having trouble with a suspended floor joining in with his speakers. We discussed it and he disappeared into the hall gardens and came back with paving slabs (apparently they were spare and he hadn't dismantled any pavements!). This decoupled the floor pretty well, but then that may have been the mass, the decoupling effect of the carpet under the slabs or a bit of both.
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Re: Sunbeam's Rig

Post by sunbeamgls » 2018-11-07 23:31

A couple of days ago, when it was beer o'clock and it was 2 years since the Berlin concert, so the blu-ray was playing :)

Image20181030_201332

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And the TT, which is largely decorative these days.

Image2018-11-07_09-57-18

And a completely unnecessary rear end shot. (I was trying out some Fisual interconnects at the time, Linn Silvers back in place now)

Image20180907_212635
Last edited by sunbeamgls on 2018-11-08 00:26, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sunbeam's Rig

Post by lejonklou » 2018-11-08 00:10

So sad I missed beer o'clock once again!

Rather cool looking turntable that I've never listened to.

And I must be a geek enjoying the rear end shot!

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Re: Sunbeam's Rig

Post by Briain » 2018-11-08 14:12

lejonklou wrote:My advice is to very carefully evaluate the musical effect of any plates or feet placed below speakers. It's easy to assume that a solid foundation will make an improvement, but it's far from that simple.

When I worked in retail in the 90's there were many times when I visited customers' homes and found that they'd tried improving their speakers by either isolating it from the floor (with soft feet), creating a solid foundation (with concrete, granite, steel, aluminium) or a combination of the two.

In all of those cases, I asked whether we could compare with and without their added foundation. And in every case - yes, every single one - there was an immediate improvement when returning to the original loudspeaker design, with nothing below it but spikes and (usually) Skeets.

It was also around this time that we found Skeets below the spikes often sounds better even on carpets. This felt quite contra-intuitive, as on Skeets on top of a thick carpet, the speakers stood clearly more unstable than with just spikes, penetrating the carpet.

At the time I also experimented myself with heavy bases for my own loudspeakers. And I found that the only way was to critically evaluate each change by ear. Most of the seemingly great ideas just made the music worse.
Many moons ago (back in the mid 90s) I had PMS Isobariks in a room which had an 18 mm plywood floor, with the plywood sitting atop a matrix of 50 mm x 50 mm batons, with them sitting atop a concrete floor (made from concrete beams). I started off with screws into the plywood and the Isobarik stand spikes sitting in the screw heads, then I cut out paving slab holes in the plywood, placed a plastic sheet into the hole, part filled it with concrete then bedded down a paving slab to land the top of it flush with the surrounding plywood (then once set, rolled the carpet back over everything).

I some ways, it did 'technically improve' the sound, but it wasn't anything like as much fun to listen to (so not as musical) and my thoughts on where it was perhaps going wrong was that when they were sitting on wood, due to their mass the speakers/stands wobbled at a very low frequency (and stopped moving pretty quickly) whereas when instead sitting on the concrete, they moved less far (in terms of absolute distance) but moved at a higher frequency (probably the stands then flexing a bit, too) and it also took longer for it all to stop moving (so more smearing in the time domain). It was a fun experiment and indeed my first realisation that when dealing with concrete, you're better with some decoupling (so that's likely why something like Quadraspire feet are good thing to try on very solid floors).

When I lived in a 100 year old place with thick pine T&G atop big joists, I got under the floor and squirted some 'No Nails' into the gaps between some of the pine and the joists (just for the areas under the speakers) and that made quite a difference. As I'd no carpet, under the 350s I used Skeets with thin felt glued to their bases (so I could move them - to tune dem the positioning - without trashing the wood finish in the process) and that was a great sounding combination (and with 350s being so heavy, you could still brush against one without moving it). In my TV room (similar floor construction and again no carpet) I had 212s on stands, so there I used thin discs of synthetic rubber cut from an old bicycle inner tube (50 p in the charity box of a local cycle shop) under the Skeets as that gave them some grip (so accidentally brushing against a speaker didn't move it) and again, that was also a great sounding solution. In that room, any movement of the speaker stand resulted in uneven pressure under each Skeet, so having them 'stuck' was one advantage, but the tiny compliance of the thin sheet also helped mitigate the unevenness of the floor, too.

In my current lounge (a 1980 build) I have a thick carpet (and underlay) so for the 350s I'm back to using stainless steel wood screws into a plywood deck (a suspended floor atop wooden joists) and in terms of musicality, there are arguments for and against that system, too. At low volumes, the system sounds more musical with the spikes sitting directly on the wood (and even better when using decoupled feet, like the Quadraspire chaps) but as it is a big room, the system has to be played louder than typical to achieve only moderate listening levels, so on balance, I think the screws work the best at these higher volume levels (without them, the bass is a little 'soft' sounding).

I could write another page about removing most of the 350s suspension bungs (and how the modules tend to stay put, but the speaker cabinets move more as you're further decoupling the mass of the module from the overall assembly) but that is a long story best left for another day.

Bri

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Re: Sunbeam's Rig

Post by sunbeamgls » 2018-11-08 19:34

I remember someone on the Linn forum who had built an extra wooden "stand" for their active Akubarik modules - effectively a separate replica of the back of the Akubarik cabinet standing just behind the speaker - the link cables from the module to the speaker cab were long enough to allow for this. It would be interesting to hear the effect of that change - it will affect the behaviour of the cabinet and the electronics, I expect.
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Re: Sunbeam's Rig

Post by sunbeamgls » 2018-11-08 19:56

lejonklou wrote:So sad I missed beer o'clock once again!

Rather cool looking turntable that I've never listened to.

And I must be a geek enjoying the rear end shot!
Geek out Fredrik!

(I'm off to find a duster).

Image20181108_184226

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Re: Sunbeam's Rig

Post by Briain » 2018-11-09 15:48

sunbeamgls wrote:I remember someone on the Linn forum who had built an extra wooden "stand" for their active Akubarik modules - effectively a separate replica of the back of the Akubarik cabinet standing just behind the speaker - the link cables from the module to the speaker cab were long enough to allow for this. It would be interesting to hear the effect of that change - it will affect the behaviour of the cabinet and the electronics, I expect.
There are 3 of the below up each side of a 350 module (they are mounted with the rubber bush horizontally oriented):
350Bush.JPG
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At the bottom of the module (below the mains socket) there are a couple of the same rubberised bushes that support the weight of the module, so in that case they are vertically oriented and they permit the module to move with respect to the base plate. On mine, the module was actually contacting the foot plate (though I'm told that isn't a problem) so just because I was in there anyway, I ordered various thicknesses of M6 shimming washers (they can be bought from on-line bicycle parts stockists) and lifted the modules up a tiny fraction (just to create the tiniest of gaps; you can just slip a sheet of thin paper in the gap) and then I removed 4 of the above pictured side mounts (leaving only the two at the top).

The idea came from finding out that the Exakt variants only use the bottom two vertical ones and 4 horizontal mounts (two on each side) and they've facilitated transit screws in the middle holes (if I ever sell my ones, I'd have to refit all the mounts before moving them or the modules would be in danger of thrashing about during transit).

Anyhow, the results are indeed quite interesting in that due to the modules mass (and thus its inertia) and it now having a far more compliant attachment (i.e. only the top two of the above shown mounts/bushes to attach it to the cabinet) when you play something with a big bass line and lightly touch the apex of the wood at the rear of the cabinet (i.e. the part just above the module) you can fell it moving very considerably, whereas if you instead lightly touch the apex of the module immediately below it, you can feel nothing at all. With them being so close (such a small gap) you can place a finger on both at the same time and again feel the massive difference.

We all know that rattling electronics about is a bad idea (back in the olden days, we used to place a bunch of magazines atop Karik, Kairn and Numerik boxes and it noticeably improved the sound) so consider how much more vibration they're experiencing when attached to the back of a 350! So yes, it did make a difference, but on the flip side, I've also reduced the effective mass (and thus inertia) of the cabinet (it's no longer partially acting against the module's mass; the energy is all being dumped into my poor old upper bushes) so the speaker moves more (thus the bass is more able to modulate the outputs of the higher frequency units). As I have a springy floor, I was concerned that the latter differences might overshadow (in a negative way) the benefits gained from removing some of the energy that was acting on the electronics and yes, on balance, I think the system sounds best the way it now is. Of course, when the energy stops (i.e. the bass note stops) the cabinet movement might now also be stopping faster, so perhaps that - as well as the more stable environment for the electronics - also partially contributes to why I prefer them as they now are?

Of course, another downside is that the poor old wiring loom (for which there is a big recessed channel in the Exakt modules, but not so in the 350A modules) will also be taking more of a punishment (as indeed will these Molex connectors that connect same to the boards within the modules) but it's surprising how much mechanical 'worrying' these things can take. One thing that happened (long before I did the above modification, back when I changed all the crossover boards from Artikulate to Klimax ones) was that one of the wires fell out of one of the Molex crimps (from memory, the one to an upper bass unit) so that was a pig to fix (I ended up doing it with long nosed pliers and then soldering it) as was replacing the busted fan (and it wasn't me who busted it) but that is yet another story!

Bri

Notes:

I should add that I'd very strongly not recommend anyone tries any of the above experiments as if you are not already familiar with how to remove/replace the modules (preferably by first practising on somebody else's 350As) you will likely run into trouble. Fortunately, my previous job involved working on tricky assemblies, so I managed to do it without damaging anything (other than my reputation, that is).

Also note that each bracket is individually bent (at the factory) to get the modules to sitting in the correct place (so not squint, or touching one of the sides).

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Re: Sunbeam's Rig

Post by sunbeamgls » 2018-11-11 23:34

An upgrade in the workshop system.

Squeezebox makes way for a Sneaky DS which I'm also feeding through the Rega DAC.

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Re: Sunbeam's Rig

Post by sunbeamgls » 2019-02-28 13:30

Just updated the main system with No 4 Tundra Stereo. Its a nice used v1.2 so not a perfect match for the main amps which are 2.5 but it will bring the centre channel closer into alignment compared to the previous AV5125/D.

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Re: Sunbeam's Rig

Post by sunbeamgls » 2019-10-26 21:49

A few weeks back I finally finished the 20 month process of transitioning from K600 to Naim SuperLumina. Its expensive stuff so it took a while to build up the cash and find used or ex-dem examples.
I really like what it does in my system - its very grown up, and helps the joined togetherness of the music. When the third length went in it completed the picture.

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