Karousel

General HiFi discussion, using the Tune Method to evaluate performance

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u252agz
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Re: Karousel

Post by u252agz » 2020-05-12 15:48

Defender wrote:
2020-05-11 13:12
I also associate timing, flow and coherence of the music as essential elements of musicality. However I am not 100% sure of my tune dem capabilities. I can only tell you what my latest experience is with something which is more musical for me.

One is sitting absolutely relaxed when I enjoy music - what I mean is I feel my efforts when I hear music which is less musical - I close my eyes, my eyes are squinted, my face is unrelaxed, my body is tense

The opposite with something much more musical - I hear with open eyes, my face and my body are at ease. I feel a calmness, peacefulness and joy as well es wanting to do something like dancing or playing with the music.

The other thing is that with more musicality I realize at a certain point that I am „tracking“ / experiencing up to 6 instruments at the same time (like depth of field in photography - all is in focus).
Whereas with less musicality I feel my focus is on one or two instruments and is jumping to the others ... to try to understand what is going on (like open aperture in photography - the object is in focus the rest is blurred).

What is the verdict - I am watching my reactions to the music more than trying to really hear. With the Karousel I trust it needs run in and I trust the ears of those who have it and are happy with it.
Defender - I think you should trust your ears and your reactions to the music.

I also pay a great deal of attention to the Forum members, the majority of whom I almost always agree with- this is one of the great strengths of this Forum and the thing which makes it so valuable.

However every now and again I do find my ears telling me something different and I go back repeatedly to listen again and try and convince myself to change my mind. Unfortunately I have rarely succeeded in doing this .

I am still hoping that when I hear Karousel in the flesh - I will be musically overwhelmed and order it on the spot!
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Re: Karousel

Post by lejonklou » 2020-05-12 16:01

Spannko wrote:
2020-05-12 15:36
I probably haven’t made myself clear, so what bit doesn’t make sense and I’ll try and explain myself a bit better!
Well, you were replying to a post which said that the clips of Karousel are musically worse than those of Cirkus with "This is why I think the Karousel seems so much better than the Cirkus."

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Re: Karousel

Post by Defender » 2020-05-12 16:15

I was understanding that u252agz wanted to have the best of both (Karousel and Cirkus) a perfect piano player and a perfect grand piano.
Fredrik did you had a chance to hear the Karousel ... probably not otherwise you would mention it. Mine is on order as I trust all the guys here who said its wonderful.

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Re: Karousel

Post by u252agz » 2020-05-12 17:17

I would of course have the best of both worlds - but if only allowed one option, I would choose the great piano player , always.

Even if you asked him or her to play on our digital Kwai piano that my children have done their Piano lessons on!

Once I have the pianist i would of course save up for a Steinway grand and a house with a big enough entrance foyer to do it justice.
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Re: Karousel

Post by Spannko » 2020-05-12 17:41

lejonklou wrote:
2020-05-12 16:01
Spannko wrote:
2020-05-12 15:36
I probably haven’t made myself clear, so what bit doesn’t make sense and I’ll try and explain myself a bit better!
Well, you were replying to a post which said that the clips of Karousel are musically worse than those of Cirkus with "This is why I think the Karousel seems so much better than the Cirkus."
Ha ha! Sorry, English never was my best subject!

To try and clear up the confusion I’ve caused. Based on the latest clips I’ve heard, I think the Karousel is truly excellent.

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Re: Karousel

Post by Tony Tune-age » 2020-05-14 21:04

It's been ten days since the installation of my Karousel bearing system, and I wasn't sure if there would be a burning in period. However there does seem to be a little bit of burning in, but just ever so slightly...nothing extreme. In a nut shell, it just plays music like never before!!!

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Re: Karousel

Post by ThomasOK » 2020-05-14 21:41

V.A.MKD wrote:
2020-05-10 06:39
V.A.MKD wrote:
2020-05-09 21:26
ThomasOK wrote:
2020-05-09 21:05

This is an interesting and accidental one as I don't always know all the music I have. When I was making the clips I was looking for where I put the Artur Rubinstein Greig Piano Concerto. So I looked where I have a bunch of Artur's records (I am a big fan and have collected a number of them) and found the Grieg but it was a different cover. The one I used in all the clips was titled "Two Great Favorites" which also included Rachmaninoff: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, which I understand is often paired with the Gried Piano Concerto. This RCA record came out in 1973 and is on the infamous Dynagroove thin vinyl. The newer clip is the record I found while looking for the 1973 one. It appears to most likely be the original release of this recording, an early RCA Living Stereo recording pressed in 1962, on thicker vinyl and with different music on the B side. Of interest on the front cover it states "In its rare coincidence of sound, balance and performance of conductor, orchestra and soloist, this is the most perfect recording I have made." signed Arthur Rubinstein. I can hardly disagree. After listening to the original Living Stereo pressing I felt I had to record the clip as a bonus.

Hmmm .....
This is a little bit out of ...
Bonus / Living Stereo pressing is ...
So here issue is VTA ... How VTA on your Ekos is set-up ...
On your system everything (even smallest things) is important and make big difference ...
Edit:
This is a little bit out of ... topic ...
Bonus / Living Stereo pressing is ... perfect ...
So here issue is VTA ... How VTA on your Ekos is set-up ... I don't want to be understand wrong. I'm not saying that your VTA is wrong set-up, but "how". On Bonus / Living Stereo pressing is perfect = on this thickness on LP, on some other tines LP have to be with other set-up.
On your system everything (even smallest things) is important and make big difference ...

Sorry ThomasOK if you understand me wrong. Idea behind my short post / comment was "small things make big difference in perfect system. Even thickness of the LP make big difference."
I just realized that there are a couple of things I didn't respond to, this being one. While there could certainly be a difference due to VTA, since the records are of different thickness, I don't think that is the real reason for the difference. Especially as I get very good musical quality out of other records of varying thickness.

But with these two records I believe there is a lot more going on. First off, back in the classical record heyday, when this piece was originally recorded, the major labels had two levels of quality. In what is called classical music there are around 100 pieces of music that are kind of the core pieces and they get recorded over and over again. The Beethoven symphonies, Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite, Holst The Planets, Stravinsky Rite of Spring and The Firebird, the Mozart requiem, symphonies and other works, various works by the greats: Bach, Handel, Brahms, Copland, Greig, Liszt, etc., etc. Every once in a while a new recording is "discovered" and gets added to the standard repertoire such as the Pachelbel Canon which wasn't at all well known until a small label recorded it and it went wild on public radio becoming a standard piece. So the labels record these pieces over and over again, releasing yet another new Beethoven 7th to tantalize classical music lovers (this has reduced a lot since classical music sales have fallen off over the years). So back then the major labels often had a premium label (RCA Living Stereo and Red Seal, Mercury Living Presence, London FFRR, Deutsche Grammophon, Angel, etc.) which had the latest, (supposedly) greatest pieces and they had their lesser labels (RCA Gold Seal, DG Archiv, Angel's Seraphim). You can't strictly go by these sub labels as sometimes lower price (and often lower quality) records were put out on the regular labels and some quite good or often just unusual stuff was released on the sub-labels. If you want to actually collect classical and jazz from the 50s and 60s you can well and truly go down the rabbit hole and find various sites arguing the superiority of RCA shaded dog or Columbia 6 eye labels, etc. vs. other labels from the same companies.

However, getting back to the recordings we are talking about here, the wonderful Artur Rubinstein Greig Piano Concerto, the Living Stereo recording is the original released in 1962. It was pressed on relatively thick vinyl and was a conservative cut with the first and second movements pressed on side one and the third movement on side two along with five short solo piano encores. It was produced by Max Wilcox and engineered by Lewis Layton, a combination known to record some of the most musical RCA productions. The later version, on RCA Red Seal, was a 1973 rerelease on an RCA dynaflex record, a particularly thin record which RCA tried to hype as flatter and better but was mainly an excuse to use less vinyl in the days of the oil crisis. On this recording all three movements are sandwiched on one side with a popular Rachmaninoff piece on side two.

What this means is that the Living Stereo was better vinyl, was able to have wider groove spacing and not extend as close to the label and used a fresh master tape. The Red Seal had thinner vinyl, more tightly spaced grooves running closer to the label (likely to reduce dynamics) and might have used an 11 year old master tape but was at least as likely to have been made from a backup copy of the original master. Hence what you and I both find to be an easily better recording on the Living Presence version. By the way, you aren't alone in calling that Greig piece perfect, as you notice in my previous post about it that Artur himself said it was "the most perfect recording I have made" at that time.

The other thing I didn't follow up on was how long it takes the Karousel to fully bed in (some how burn in doesn't seem the right term). I would say that you won't know the final performance for a few months. This is based on something Linn service told me years ago. I had a customer who bought a new LP12 and a few weeks in he was having problems. The bearing housing was defective and needed replacement. I was surprised when Linn said they would send out a new bearing housing but made no mention of sending a new inner platter/spindle. Like all good LP12 techs I had been taught that the two mate for life and you always replace them together. So I asked them about it and was informed that the bedding process takes several months and that replacing just one part of the pair on a unit with less than a month use was not a problem. So from that I would say that the polishing of the thrust plate by the tip apparently will take a few months before it settles completely and then remains essentially the same for decades. I can say from experience that 30 and 40 year old Linn bearings almost always have only a tiny polish mark on the thrust plate when cleaned and examined. Only ones that are damaged by accident and mishandling, or were defective, have an actual pit on them and a resulting ring of wear on the tip. I was told many years back that the thrust plate and spindle are both heat hardened but that there is a 3° Kelvin difference in the hardening which offers the optimum wear profile. The tip will further polish the thrust plate over time and it seems that time is likely measured in months. So I suppose to do a truly correct comparison to a few year old Cikus might require a few year old Karousel. I think it is only because of the newness of the Karousel, our expanded use of clips (which I think are very useful) and possibly some misgivings some of us have that these things are being examined so closely. Certainly I haven't heard of anybody doing Cirkus clip comparisons of new versus bedded in, etc. Regardless, I will be glad to post the same four tracks yet again in a few months. Maybe it will be illuminating. Meanwhile I am fully enjoying a wide range of recordings on my upgraded LP12 and find absolutely nothing musically diminished compared to my system in the past. On the contrary, I find that my system has never reproduced music this thrillingly before. That also seems to be the feeling of all the owners of Karousel LP12s who have posted on here and all the customers I have installed the Karousel for. I think it is quite a wonderful product.
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Re: Karousel

Post by Spannko » 2020-05-14 23:30

Thanks for the great bit of background info Thomas.

If you have a look at the label of the LS version, you might see a circular indent about 1/2” inside the label. If so, the reason the record is thicker is because it would have been pressed on a converted 78rpm press, which was engineered to press the thicker 78’s, and still had the indent for the slightly smaller 78rpm label. The early Decca SXL’s were pressed on 78 presses and are considered to be the best of the Decca’s (by collectors) and usually demand the highest prices. Who knows? Your LS could be quite valuable!

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Re: Karousel

Post by pidge22 » 2020-05-15 14:01

I was very fortunate to have had the Karousel fitted yesterday,initially I thought there was a not a lot of difference to the Cirkus then after a few LP sides the Karousel started to show itself.....Smoother,Tighter Bass & better vocals I could go on & on but everything is better!...the best bang for buck I would say I have ever had.....
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Re: Karousel

Post by V.A.MKD » 2020-05-15 15:16

Hi Thomas,

Thank you very much for your very detailed answer ...

Good to know (especially from you, with live long experience), that thickness of the record is not so important, especially from the point of view of Musicality ... it's actually issue of performance of artists ... Thank you for that ... Since I'm "back to the roots" (thanks to Lejonklou and this Forum members) I was always in "???" relation of fine set-up of TT and extracting the best possible musicality ... if media and in this case LP is with different thickness, than VTA have to be changed / adjusted for every LP ...

However, some similar experience with performances of the artists and different releases I have with Decca sub-label L'oiseau - Lire, for me one of the best labels ... in my case was J.S. Bach - Brandenburg Concertos ... New London Consort with Philip Picket ... haven performance ... but magic sometime can flyaway with re-releases.

Yes, it will be good to make new 4 clips, after Karousel is really "bed-in" (exact term, I agree with you). I'm sure overall quality will be even better.
If possible make as well clip of Greig and Artur ... :-)
Music First ...
Vlado

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Re: Karousel

Post by ThomasOK » 2020-05-17 22:16

Spannko wrote:
2020-05-14 23:30
Thanks for the great bit of background info Thomas.

If you have a look at the label of the LS version, you might see a circular indent about 1/2” inside the label. If so, the reason the record is thicker is because it would have been pressed on a converted 78rpm press, which was engineered to press the thicker 78’s, and still had the indent for the slightly smaller 78rpm label. The early Decca SXL’s were pressed on 78 presses and are considered to be the best of the Decca’s (by collectors) and usually demand the highest prices. Who knows? Your LS could be quite valuable!
Interesting. It does have what I would call a circular indent roughly 1/2” from the label edge. So that could certainly play into why this pressing sounds so good.

For Vlado, there are some who feel that you do need to adjust VTA for every record and that there should be a simple way to do it quickly, even possibly on the fly. I find three problems with that: 1) Any such mechanism I have seen reduces the rigid connection of the arm to the sub-chassis and loses more music than it gains. 2) It would become a royal pain in the a$$ to fiddle with VTA for every record such that I would be disinclined to listen to records. 3) Just setting it at the level that sounds most musical on any given record still gives quite outstanding results from a variety of different record thicknesses. The records I used for the clips had different thicknesses of 180 grams and less and I find them all very good (hence why I chose them). One I didn’t use is 200 grams and is hugely enjoyable.

Fear not, I will indeed use the Living Stereo Grieg in the next batch of four clips.
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Re: Karousel

Post by V.A.MKD » 2020-05-18 07:02

ThomasOK wrote:
2020-05-17 22:16
For Vlado, there are some who feel that you do need to adjust VTA for every record and that there should be a simple way to do it quickly, even possibly on the fly. I find three problems with that: 1) Any such mechanism I have seen reduces the rigid connection of the arm to the sub-chassis and loses more music than it gains. 2) It would become a royal pain in the a$$ to fiddle with VTA for every record such that I would be disinclined to listen to records. 3) Just setting it at the level that sounds most musical on any given record still gives quite outstanding results from a variety of different record thicknesses. The records I used for the clips had different thicknesses of 180 grams and less and I find them all very good (hence why I chose them). One I didn’t use is 200 grams and is hugely enjoyable.

Fear not, I will indeed use the Living Stereo Grieg in the next batch of four clips.
Hi Thomas,
I'm for no.3, as I always do it in 30+ years of music travel ...
For my Kuzma, in the past and in actual production, there was always been, as you say mechanism for VTA adjust, quickly or on the fly, but I never have it. Many years ago I was in factory visit and in listening room it was demoed tonearms with and with-out such mechanism, it was clear, you lost more musicality than you gains, maybe gains little, really little, more HiFi. More HiFi is maybe for somebody, but not for me ...
For me is adjusting the most musical VTA on different thickness of the records and that's it.
However, it's good to know where differences come from ...

Grieg is really gooood ... :-)
Music First ...
Vlado

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Karousel vs. Cirkus vs. Underivative

Post by Ron The Mon » 2020-05-28 23:06

Something that has bothered me for a long time is the "original Linn bearing" vs. Cirkus controversy.

I think it is now explained.

My LP12 is from 1984. What is original now is the plinth, lid, hinge plates and screws, hinges, cross-brace and screws, and outer platter. Maybe a few more screws. My plinth was straightened, rebuilt, and refinished by Chris Harbin six years ago. He added ebony supports and used his refinishing secret formula and buffing.

My current LP12 sounds FAR better than it did than when I bought it. I have recently put my 2001 Toyota Tacoma up for sale and threw a few cassette tapes in it to show the tape deck works. I was surprised how good they sounded. I broke out my old Wollensak 3M 4770 deck and re-recorded the same exact albums. I played them back in the Toyota and was stunned how much better they sounded.

For years I thought there was a certain "charm" to the original LP12 bearing and just grew accustomed to the Cirkus. Now I think I was wrong all along.

When the Circus came out, I was among the first to buy one. I installed it myself as there were few within hundreds of miles with more prowess of the LP12 than myself. Keith, the owner of Overture Audio, wanted my opinion of the Cirkus as he implied many didn't like it.

I hated it. It ruined the music and was terrible.

The good news is that I had a Sansui turntable from the '70s among my vintage turntable collection. The diameter of the inner platter was exactly the same as an LP12 inner platter. It took me less than an hour to modifify the Sansui platter to just an outer platter, and drill a hole through the bottom of the baseboard as the original Linn bearing was longer than the Sansui. I used the extra, older, Linn belt left over from upgrading to Cirkus, and a Linn felt mat.

That Sansui Turntable was my main deck for about three months. I didn't use my LP12 at all during that time. The Sansui deck had the stock tonearm and headshell. I used a Linn K5 cartridge. It sounded great.

Interestingly, I had a friend call and needed a cartridge for his Rega Planer3. He brought it over and I installed a K5. Of course, I had to compare it to the Sansui and we listened. The Sansui blew the Rega away. My friend was stunned and dismayed. The Sansui looked stock and he didn't know it had a Linn bearing. The Cirkus mod was about the same price in the U.S. as a Planer3. It made me realize the "Linn sound" is the bearing.

A week later, my first ex-wife called me and was crying about how she was broke and couldn't afford a turntable to play her records. So I loaned her the Sansui and haven't seen it since.

I had to start listening to my (Cirkused) LP12 again. I then "got used to" the Cirkus. Or maybe I didn't. I have never previously heard of anyone saying Linn bearings had a "break-in" period. Later, on the the Naim "Hi-Fi Corner" and Mana Forums, many said they hated the Cirkus. Around that time I got to compare a well used Cirkus to an original bearing. I was surprised how much better the Cirkus was.

The bottom line is Tom O'Keefe's first Karousel recordings here were worse than Cirkus. The new recordings are much better. Wearing in would explain that and why many disliked Cirkus initially to the original bearing.

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Re: Karousel

Post by Defender » 2020-05-29 10:12

Hi Ron,
thank you for the insights ... yes its also my experience that ex-wifes have some black hole like gravitational forces ... what happens to get into their orbit you will never see again.

But back to the topic, if we think about it: the bearing and the inner platter mate over the first months that also means that there must be some run in involved. Thats even more good news for those who are happy with the Karousel already as it means it will even improve further.
I was always asking myself if the bearing is really a one point bearing (for sure the one point in the center has to take most of the force) but even if there is the film of oil between the side bushings and shaft those surfaces might also touch/run in on a microscopic level.

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Re: Karousel

Post by ThomasOK » 2020-05-29 20:48

I've been a bit more absent than usual having driven last weekend 10.5 hours to and 12 hours back from St. Louis to completely rebuild a couple of LP12s, including new Karousel installs. I also got to visit a distributor/friend/Boazu and Slipsik customer and hear his interesting system. I was able to hear a pretty tricked out Shindo/Garrard 301 (to the tune of about $30,000US). It was actually pretty good overall, but I won't be selling my KK LP12 any time soon.

I feel the bearing wear-in is significant as the clips indicated (unfortunately I had to remove the first set of Karousel clips to make room for some different clips I will be posting soon). I have also been told by several customers that the LP12 just keeps getting better after the Karousel installation. I think it is likely that nobody ever did this kind of comparison with the Cirkus as nobody did clips back then. But now we can more instantly hear what is going on.

I believe that the wear in is principally going on at the tip. The conical tip, under the pressure of the 9 pound platter, is basically burnishing a tiny point on the thrust plate. This is why you are not supposed to replace only one or the other part after they have been used a few months. It you look at the thrust plate of an old bearing that you have cleaned you will see a tiny polish mark at the center, but even on a 40 year old bearing there will normally not be a pit there. I actually just took apart a sub-chassis and bearing from a early to mid-70s LP12 (gold toned housing) and you could not feel any roughness on the surface, but could clearly see the polish mark.

I don't expect there to be any real wear in on the sleeves. This is because once the turntable comes up to speed the spindle is not contacting the sleeves. My understanding is that at the speed the platter spins the spindle, which is microscopically rough on the sides, holds a film of oil between it and the sleeves. So there is no real contact between the PEAK sleeves and the spindle except when the turntable is starting up and when it is coming to a stop.
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Re: Karousel

Post by HIDDENSYSTEMS » 2020-05-30 10:18

lejonklou wrote:
2020-04-16 22:52
Lego wrote:
2020-04-16 21:31
Isn't it weird in clips in the past we can hear improvements in bias settings, ethernet cables torque settings etc,but when it comes to an actual upgrade its the old 'sounds better in the room' routine.
Yes, it's weird.

Another set of clips, this time from Hidden Systems. What do you guys think?

https://www.hiddensystems.co.uk/new-blo ... ound-clips
Here you go - more clips - virtual hifi demo https://www.hiddensystems.co.uk/new-blog
Chris Hidden Systems Karousel.png
Chris Hidden Systems Karousel.png (193.5 KiB) Viewed 333 times
http://www.hiddensystems.co.uk
Lejonklou | Linn | Naim | Devialet | Rega | Totem | |Kudos | PMC

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Re: Karousel

Post by Spannko » 2020-05-30 23:07

I’ve spoken directly to a person heavily involved in the design and manufacture of the Cirkus bearing.
They told me that, after an initial bedding in, the Cirkus sounds better than the pre-Cirkus bearing. However, the Cirkus progressively gets worse with use, to the point where it sounds worse than the pre-Cirkus bearing.

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Re: Karousel

Post by matthias » 2020-05-31 01:04

Spannko wrote:
2020-05-30 23:07
I’ve spoken directly to a person heavily involved in the design and manufacture of the Cirkus bearing.
They told me that, after an initial bedding in, the Cirkus sounds better than the pre-Cirkus bearing. However, the Cirkus progressively gets worse with use, to the point where it sounds worse than the pre-Cirkus bearing.
This is very interesting, the question is will the Karousel get worse with use too and why does the Cirkus have such a bad follow-up?


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