SINGularity

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ThomasOK
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Re: SINGularity

Post by ThomasOK » 2019-06-25 20:05

Yes, this is one of those interesting discoveries. When the Radikal first came out, before it had the Dynamik and before I developed torques for it, I did a couple of quick listens to it with and without the Urika hooked up and felt it sounded a touch better with the Urika connected to the power supply. I also felt at the time that it all sounded better with a single Radikal PS rather than two. However, I didn't do a lot of listening and it was mostly just on my setup station at the store. It may surprise a lot of people but the test bench system consists of a $300 pair of Paradigm bookshelf speakers sitting on the counter driven by a 50 watt NAD integrated amp and a Rega Fono Mini MM phono stage. For those wondering that totals up to about $1100US including cables. There is also a basic CD player connected, an inexpensive Denon for quick testing of speakers, etc. Despite the basic nature of this system I have used it in the development of most of the hundreds of turntable related torques I have. Small differences in musical quality are still clearly audible on the system.

Back on topic, we did hook up the Urika as a load at the Axpona show after a very brief A/B left us all thinking it made an improvement. This is why Fredrik started experimenting with dummy loads. But as he noted he found that all the loads, and the Urika itself, actually made things less musical. He relayed this info to me a little while ago. Since I haven't sold my Urika yet I unpacked it and set it behind one of my racks so that I could easily connect and disconnect it from my Klimax Radikal. I did a comparison this weekend with my friend Simon and we both felt that the system was more musical with the Urika unplugged, and Simon was unaware of which was which. We found it sounded a bit sluggish and compressed with the Urika drawing power from the Radikal. In the end it makes me happy that I don't need to hang on to a $3500 phono stage to act as a dummy load.
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Re: SINGularity

Post by nmakowsk » 2019-08-05 16:58

Great finding about the urika MC load. One thing I have always wondered about are those small push in/push out switches on the Radikal box. There are either one or two of these and I have wondered if they affect performance or not. Has anyone tested an optimal setting for these to be in? Maybe it makes no difference but then some folks are excellent at sorting out small fine details such as washers in casework feet...:)
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Re: SINGularity

Post by matthias » 2019-09-27 13:20

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Re: SINGularity

Post by nmakowsk » 2019-09-28 21:28

Wonderful pics of that design. Maybe I am being thick on this but what is the purpose of having two grounding terminals on the case? I see one uses the optimal solution of soldering directly to the milled down pin that the Slipsik 6 on up share. I haven't seen a table with two ground leads. Do you connect the cases together with a jumper or something? Thanks!
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Re: SINGularity

Post by ThomasOK » 2019-09-28 21:42

It is the same for the same purpose as the wire used to connect the ground post to the chassis on a Slipsik or Gaio. Normally the Lejonklou gear uses a floating ground for the circuitry which is separate from the chassis ground as this is musically superior. However, when one of these phono stages is plugged into some integrated amps (probably some preamps as well) that style of grounding can cause hum. In my experience that has mostly been with integrated amps with a two prong plug, such as some of the NAD units. In this case you have to connect the signal ground to chassis ground to remove the hum but you do also get a small loss in musical perfromance.

With Slipsik and Gaio you remove one of the back chassis screws and connect the included wire jumper from there to the ground post. Doing it that way is a little inelegant for a $42,700 pair of phono stages, hence they have the floating ground that you connect the arm ground wire to and the other ground post, which is a chassis ground, that you can connect a wire between if necessary. Not that it is likely the SINGularity will be used with a $449 NAD integrated amp, but you never know how any given manufacturer will deal with grounds, so this gives a way to deal with problem situations.
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Re: SINGularity

Post by lejonklou » 2019-09-28 22:35

Yes, as Thomas wrote the chassis ground post is there for the occasions when my floating ground design either meets an amplifier that causes a ground problem, resulting in a hum, or when turntable motor driver causes a ground loop. I have experienced this appears to be the case with Lingo 4, in which case the chassis ground post needs to be used.

I'm still looking into the Lingo 4 situation to see whether there's a more optimal way of grounding your turntable than to the chassis. It requires some experimentation, as it's not only a question of preventing hum (which indicates there's either a lack of grounding or multiple grounds causing a loop) but also a not insignificant impact on musicality.

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Re: SINGularity

Post by nmakowsk » 2019-10-11 16:26

Okay I undersand the reasoning for the chassis ground now and I like how Thomas used the word "inelegant" there which seems very true in this piece of kit. Fortunately, I haven't run into any issues with grounding my LP12 into Slipsik. Atleast no motor hum... When I plug the ground into the Slipsik grounding pin the noise floor always drops even further down. Sometimes I can move the tone arm cable around and hear a little bit of an antenna effect if its too close to speaker cables, tundra, or even the metal audiotech TT stand legs. Maybe its because its the lowest quality arm cable coming with an early Magik LP12.

With SINGularity, would I just choose one of those direct soldered grounding lugs leaving the other unit without a ground plugged in? Since grounds are separated I am just unsure how you would hook it up to get the best sound. Any benefit in running a jumper to the other unit's direct pin soldered ground lug? This is assuming that one does NOT need to use the chassis grounds option. Thanks.
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Re: SINGularity

Post by nmakowsk » 2019-10-11 17:29

One other thing I just noticed is the two ground lugs are not marked which one is which. This would probably be mentioned in the manual in the flight case of how to use it. If someone was to mistakenly ground to the chassis case rather than the direct soldered pin ground that would cause a loss of musical performance I would guess. Now anyone paying this amount for a phono stage would likely know how to use the device but just looking at the back looks a little confusing with two exact grounding lugs until you see the circuit board images. I suppose though it makes sense that the circuit ground is located closer to the input/output than the chassis ground. Just an observation... I still want to hear this at the Nokturne audio home base sometime. Hopefully Tom will decide to keep that $3500 phono stage that has been bettered if nothing else than to do an A/B with :)
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Re: SINGularity

Post by lejonklou » 2019-10-12 01:03

nmakowsk wrote:
2019-10-11 16:26
Sometimes I can move the tone arm cable around and hear a little bit of an antenna effect if its too close to speaker cables, tundra, or even the metal audiotech TT stand legs. Maybe its because its the lowest quality arm cable coming with an early Magik LP12.
No, the arm cable has nothing to do with this. It's likely the high gain input circuit of Slipsik that is picking up some radio frequency when you move the arm cable around, and especially when you're holding it. This is a rare phenomenon, but it can happen at places where radio signals are really strong. It usually helps moving the arm cable to a position where it's most quiet.
nmakowsk wrote:
2019-10-11 16:26
With SINGularity, would I just choose one of those direct soldered grounding lugs leaving the other unit without a ground plugged in?
Yes, the turntable is just connected to one SINGularity. The purpose of that connection is to set the electrical potential of the turntable mechanics (top plate, subchassis, bearing, inner platter and tonearm) to the same as the ground in one SINGularity. That keeps the signal from the MC cartridge protected on its journey to the amplification stage, by being surrounded by a ground potential.

Interestingly, it's worse to connect the two grounds of the SINGularities. Perhaps the main reason is that it ruins the separation of the left and right signal grounds - the true dual Mono that is possible with a pair of SINGularity.

And by the way, it's easy to tell the two ground posts apart. The one you connect your turntable to is closest to the input and isolated by nylon bushings, so it sticks out longer from the copper rear plate. The isolation is quite visible and it will of course be mentioned in the upcoming manual.

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Re: SINGularity

Post by ThomasOK » 2019-12-17 23:53

While the Entity is getting all the love here lately, I thought a little update on SINGularity was in order. Although it hasn't been mentioned here yet the SINGularity is now version 1.1. This consisted of three new resistors tested to tolerances of 12 thousandths of a percent (if I got that number right) and a new regulator that puts out .02 more volts than the original one. The resistors came from finding an even more precise way to test them and the regulator from some of the research into the Entity. I did the upgrades one at a time and to one unit at a time so that I could do the comparisons and both made worthwhile audible improvements to an already awesome phono stage.

Since they were all upgraded and burned in I brought the SINGularity pair into the store for last week, along with my LP12 which matches the store demo except for the plinth.  It was listened to by those who work here, several interested customers - most of whom own Urika 1s, and by a few industry reps from other companies.  Everyone was impressed that not only was the SINGularity more musical than the Urika 1 but that it was quite a large amount more musical.  One rep, from a company that makes quite expensive cables expressed that this was a very musical experience and didn't sound Hi-Fi at all.  He added that it wasn't just an aural experience but also a physical one as Frank Sinatra singing "In the Wee Small Hours of the Evening" was giving him goose bumps.  These types of sentiments were echoed by all the others with comments like "With the SINGularity all the instruments, even the background ones, are getting my attention." "The Urika sounds flat in comparison." and "I haven't heard that music so well performed before." A couple are looking forward to hearing what the Entity can do.

Here's a recording of one of the comparisons. The walnut LP12 on the left is the Urika, the movingui on the right is connected to the SINGularity pair.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/zbcbpcqon2gl5 ... M.mov?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/85cl9p2j2u6ey ... M.mov?dl=0

Sorry about the bad links. I tried doing this from my desktop and found it totally non-obvious how to link them properly. I just did them from my phone and the procedure was simple. (He says, hoping it actually works.)
Last edited by ThomasOK on 2019-12-18 06:21, edited 1 time in total.
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SINGularity

Post by Ron The Mon » 2019-12-18 01:35

Apparently, Dropbox now requires a login, which I'm not going to do.

I guess analog listening means getting in my car and driving to Ann Arbor now.

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Re: SINGularity

Post by lejonklou » 2019-12-18 01:45

Very exciting Thomas!

Unfortunately I can't access the folder you put those files in, even if I log in. Maybe they need to be moved to the Public Folder?

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Re: SINGularity

Post by ThomasOK » 2019-12-18 06:24

Ron The Mon wrote:
2019-12-18 01:35
Apparently, Dropbox now requires a login, which I'm not going to do.

I guess analog listening means getting in my car and driving to Ann Arbor now.
Hopefully they are working now. Driving to Ann Arbor wouldn’t help as the SINGularity aren’t there anymore. Let me know if you want to hear them in person.
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Re: SINGularity

Post by Matteo » 2019-12-18 13:05

Yes they work.

Clip 2 is astonishing

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Re: SINGularity

Post by tokenbrit » 2019-12-18 14:02

The eureka moment comes not from the Urika...

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