LP12 Power Supply Upgrades

General HiFi discussion, using the Tune Method to evaluate performance

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springwood64
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LP12 Power Supply Upgrades

Post by springwood64 » 2008-10-28 10:55

I have a Valhalla powered LP12 with an AKito arm and a new Ortofon Kontrapunkt B, and I'm looking for the most effective upgrade within a budget of £300. The two obvious alternatives are the power supply and the arm.

Regarding the power supply. There are a number of options that seem to be around:

New Lingo Mk2 (~£900)
Second Hand Lingo Mk1 (~£600)
New Origin Live (~£500)

For a budget of less than £300, it looks like second hand third party DC motor upgrades are the only option. It seems unlikely that I can get hold of a good condition Ekos for that money.

Does anyone have any experience of DC upgrades like Origin Live? Or would I be better off trying to get hold of an Ekos and upgrading the PS later on?
Pete

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Post by Azazello » 2008-10-28 13:19

Trampolin2! Save the rest for a Lingo.

regards

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Post by lejonklou » 2008-10-28 14:34

I believe it's difficult to get comment on the Origin Live and other motor options in this forum, as nobody seems to have heard them. Lots of comments elsewhere about blacker blacks, increased imaging etc - all of which gives me the impression that it's nothing but a downgrade...

The Trampolin 2 is a fantastic upgrade for the money! And the shelf on which the LP12 stands makes a great difference too.

One question: What made you choose the Kontrapunkt B for your LP12?

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Post by springwood64 » 2008-10-28 14:40

I bought the Kontrapunkt because could get it for just under £100 unused, when it was (I think) about £500 new, and my existing asak was just about dead. It seemed like too good a bargain to miss, and was much better than the Asak, although it's nearly too 'tall' for the Akito arm. I've not explored other cartridges - the only other one I owned was a K9 and that does not compare to the Kontrapunkt.
Pete

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Post by lejonklou » 2008-10-28 14:52

I see.

I tried a bunch of Ortofon cartridges a couple of years ago and I though that Kontrapunkt A was rather well balanced and enjoyable, while Kontrapunkt B was more expensive and impressive but musically not as good.

One of the worst cartridges I have ever heard was an Ortofon 'Turbo' high output low cost MC. Was it called 'Turbo 3000'? Not sure, but it was absolutely dreadful, both soundwise and musically.

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Post by springwood64 » 2008-10-28 14:58

Small correction, your reference to the Kontrapunkt b as the more expensive made me go and check on the side of the cartridge: it's the "a" I've got, not the "b". I don't know why I thought it was the 'b'. :oops:

Anyway, thanks for the advice regarding the trampolin - that looks like the way to go next.
Pete

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Post by lejonklou » 2008-10-28 16:34

Nice!

The B had a cantilever of ruby and sounded "sweet" in the treble, but the timing of that treble was out of phase with the rest of the music.

Of the six or seven Ortonfon models I tried, I liked Kontrapunkt A the best! :)

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Post by Spitfire » 2009-01-23 19:24

lejonklou wrote:I believe it's difficult to get comment on the Origin Live and other motor options in this forum, as nobody seems to have heard them. Lots of comments elsewhere about blacker blacks, increased imaging etc - all of which gives me the impression that it's nothing but a downgrade...
Your "impression" (how can you possibly have an impression without hearing it?) is redundant, and totally wrong. False assumptions benefit nobody, obvious biases notwithstanding.

And yes, I've owned and installed, and heard, more than a couple of OL kits.

Spitfire

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Post by lejonklou » 2009-01-25 19:55

Spitfire: Perhaps my posting was unclear. Sorry for that, I'll try again.

If I had heard any of the OL kit, I would have an opinion. I've heard a lot of LP12 tweaks and rebuilds over the years, and very few of them have been good. As I don't have all the time and resources in the world, I need to decide what products to investigate more closely. I think we all do, it's simply not possible to listen to everything.

To determine what appears to be interesting, I listen to other people's comments. If people comment a product with subjective descriptions of sound or HiFi jargon only, my interest is not aroused. If someone says it performs well when evaluated with the Tune Method, I get excited.

Now, as you have experience with the OL kit and participate in a forum where we judge performance with the Tune Method, you have a unique position to tell us how they perform! Please do, in particular the DC motor upgrade for the LP12 as that was what springwood64 asked about.

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Post by Spitfire » 2009-01-26 17:23

lejonklou wrote:To determine what appears to be interesting, I listen to other people's comments. If people comment a product with subjective descriptions of sound or HiFi jargon only, my interest is not aroused. If someone says it performs well when evaluated with the Tune Method, I get excited.

Now, as you have experience with the OL kit and participate in a forum where we judge performance with the Tune Method, you have a unique position to tell us how they perform! Please do, in particular the DC motor upgrade for the LP12 as that was what springwood64 asked about.
Well, the problem is that I don't use the tune methodology to survey musical qualities natural to live music. I'm not suggesting its either right or wrong, it certainly not for me. After 30 years plus of demoing audio equipment, I've developed my own criteria, and therefore my own set of sonic expectations.

To me, music, either live or recreated, is based on instrumental tonality and impact. IMO, the job of any great audio system is to recreate that reality, especially during difficult peak conditions. It must also communicate on an emotional or physical level, it must boogie and flow (some refer to flow as "PRAT" (pace rhythm & timing)).

So ... I'm incapable to relate the OL motor options to tune dem. What I can relate is my experience ...

The OL motor installation is not as quite as simple as many at OL have suggested. OK, certainly, its not difficult in the sense that its basically a bolt on component. But the difficulty is fine-tuning it to your respective table to get the best performance. On non-suspended decks, its relatively easy to set-up correctly. With suspended decks, it requires a certain level of understanding to get just right. If done properly, the noise floor should drop accordingly, allowing you to hear into the music far more easily. The soundstage grows in every dimension, and instruments have true impact.

As for its musical flow or timing characteristics, things get a bit more interesting. I can hear the difference between good direct drive and belt drive tables, suspended or non-suspended tables. Many suspended tables suffer accordingly in this respect, especially if the suspension does not limit, quickly damp, or convert horizontal movement or modes.

This is one of the most overlooked aspects of any sprung suspension, especially the three-point LP12. In fact, the proper orientation of each spring in relation to each other (each spring has a "spine") is a key to how well they relate proper or correct musical timing.

Anyway, when done correctly, the DC OL motors offer exception performance. The sonic differences between the advanced DC100 or DC200 ultra kit are more obviously understood when mounted on the better or best setup decks, but the difference in turntable quality remains more important.

The DC motors can also be fine tuned for proper speed adjustment. This has proved to be important, because temperature change will alter speed, especially if the bearing uses a viscous oil.

Sorry that I can't respond in tunedem mode, but what I can say is that the OL kits, when installed with care and understanding, recreate the musical properties that I value, very well.

Spitfire

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Post by Azazello » 2009-01-26 18:08

Spitfire wrote:Well, the problem is that I don't use the tune methodology to survey musical qualities natural to live music. I'm not suggesting its either right or wrong, it certainly not for me. After 30 years plus of demoing audio equipment, I've developed my own criteria, and therefore my own set of sonic expectations.
That's perfectly ok, you can (of course) use any method of evaluation that you prefer, but this forum is created with one purpose only; to provide a platform for quality audio discussion based on the tune-method of evaluation. Respect that one singe single rule please.

/Az

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Post by Spitfire » 2009-01-27 17:21

Azazello wrote:That's perfectly ok, you can (of course) use any method of evaluation that you prefer, but this forum is created with one purpose only; to provide a platform for quality audio discussion based on the tune-method of evaluation. Respect that one singe single rule please.


Well, I won't be posting here often, considering my lack of tune-methodology. Actually, the only reason I posted was to discuss this ...

>>I believe it's difficult to get comment on the Origin Live and other motor options in this forum, as nobody seems to have heard them. Lots of comments elsewhere about blacker blacks, increased imaging etc - all of which gives me the impression that it's nothing but a downgrade...<<

... method of impressionistic reviewing. I'm certain that even the tune-dem methodology requires actual listening, no methodology can predict the sound of any said product based on nothing more than ... well ... hearsay.

Even with tune-dem, one needs to actually listen to a product to gain any respectful impression.

Spitfire

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Post by ThomasOK » 2009-01-27 18:04

I'm afraid I can't really help in regards to quality of the tune when using an Origin Live motor kit with an LP12 as I have never heard that combination. However, I have set up two turntables with Origin Live motor systems in them, one an Origin Live turntable and one a custom turntable using a VPI platter and bearing in a custom plinth. In both cases there was little point in trying to apply the tune method as the motor controllers could not keep the turntable running at constant speed.

On the first one, the OL turntable, I even tried running the turntable overnight to make sure everything was warmed up and burned in. The speed drift was substantial, enough to make obvious pitch and speed differences, and occurred during the playing of one side of a record. Readjust it and within minutes it would be off again.

On the second one (a brand new one, about a year later) in the custom turntable the pitch noticeably shifted within a single track of music. Both the owner (who has perfect pitch) and I could hear the drift in less than a minute of play. Readjust it and it would stray again. He talked to the guy who made the turntable and found out that he had switched to a different motor and controller so he sent the OL pieces back for replacement.

So I can't tell you what a properly functioning OL motor and controller sound like (as I assume they can't all be like this). But my experience so far has been a 100% defective rate.

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Post by lejonklou » 2009-01-27 20:07

Spitfire wrote:I'm certain that even the tune-dem methodology requires actual listening, no methodology can predict the sound of any said product based on nothing more than ... well ... hearsay.

Even with tune-dem, one needs to actually listen to a product to gain any respectful impression.
One of the great advantages of the Tune Method is that the outcome is objective , not subjective, to a very high degree. Therefore I can, with great confidence, rely on other Tune Method user's comments, without actually listening to the product myself.

This objectiveness of the method makes comments and reports on this forum highly valuable, to all. They are much more than "my opinion, based on what I value" - which can be found on any HiFi forum on the net.

If you post here at all, you are required to use this method of evaluation. It is not ok to ignore this rule and "pop in" to comment on something that you don't agree with. Just like knucklehead Harley Davidson forums don't allow any comments about the latest Kawasaki.

Regarding the OL kit, my impression still stands as nothing is pointing the other way. The fact that they recommend the much-worse-than-the-original-felt 'Ringmat' is enough evidence that they don't use the Tune Method. And a company that is not using the Tune Method has little chance of making anything tuneful. It happens, but it's a rare occurrence indeed.

While sharing my impressions I might as well mention the Funk Firm, as I sometimes get questions about their products from LP12 owners looking for a new upgrade. As their Pink Link2 is a new version of Pink Triangle's original Pink Link (an old DC motor upgrade that was a massive downgrade according to every Tune Method using person I've spoken to), it's more than likely that they don't use the Tune Method either. So I have no high expectations and no intention of examining their products any further.

But, as always: I'm ready to replace my scepticism with genuine interest if anyone using the Tune Method makes a recommendation!

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Re: LP12 Power Supply Upgrades

Post by Linnofil » 2009-01-27 21:40

Thank you Fredrik for a very good post. Not more to say really, tune dem/method rules...

And now, back on topic! :)
springwood64 wrote:I have a Valhalla powered LP12 with an AKito arm and a new Ortofon Kontrapunkt B, and I'm looking for the most effective upgrade within a budget of £300.
I agree with Azazello. Get the Trampolin 2 and start saving for a Lingo 2. (Skip the Lingo 1, go for the gold!)
springwood64 wrote:The two obvious alternatives are the power supply and the arm.
...
For a budget of less than £300, it looks like second hand third party DC motor upgrades are the only option.
If you are dead set on a power supply upgrade, have you looked into the Majik power supply option? It is (supposedly) better than an old Valhalla. It can be found on eBay for less than £300. Actually, I think it is about £300 new. Could that be an option for you?

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Post by Azazello » 2009-01-28 10:57

Deleted one post from spitfire. This thread is not about tune-method, tune-method is the basis for all discussion on ths forum. I will continue to delete all posts that fails to follow that rule.

/Az

EDIT:

Please don't take our hardcore tune-dem evaluation policy as "you have to do tune-dems every time you change something or shut up!". It's just that the endless discussion about tune-dem vs. "dynamics and PRAT" (or whatever) is utterly boring and pointless and we have all heard it a hundred times before.
Last edited by Azazello on 2009-01-28 15:55, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by springwood64 » 2009-01-28 14:43

I have rashly bought a Lingo2 (ex-dem) instead of more sensibly opting for the trampolin2. At the same time I replaced my single Klout with a C4200 (they were bargains!).

I'm not sufficiently disciplined to do a controlled A/A/B tunedem comparison :? for each upgrade, but the combined result is a significant improvement. It'll be some time before I can contemplate the trampolin now ...

Thanks for the helpful suggestions.
Pete

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Post by Azazello » 2009-01-28 15:51

springwood64 wrote:I have rashly bought a Lingo2 (ex-dem) instead of more sensibly opting for the trampolin2. At the same time I replaced my single Klout with a C4200 (they were bargains!).

I'm not sufficiently disciplined to do a controlled A/A/B tunedem comparison :? for each upgrade, but the combined result is a significant improvement. It'll be some time before I can contemplate the trampolin now ...

Thanks for the helpful suggestions.
That should be a very nice upgrade! :D

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