Show us your Sondek

Have you asked Infidelity to bring their demo Superline to be able to confirm?

I have pointed out the issue and my thought that my Superline could have a problem. I’ll see what they bring.

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Just a thought, not seen mentioned yet, how is the tonearm earthed? Is it connected to the Superline? If so, have you tried just disconnecting it. I had a similar problem years ago with an LP12 connected to an Audiolab 8000C. Disconnecting the arm cable earth wire from the amp cured it. Apols. If you already considered this.

Good question. Removing the earth lead from the earth point on the Superline didn’t make things better, but it might have done.

Swapping the WH cable from Superline to 52 for standard Naim didn’t help what is left of the hum, and neither did the standard Burndy from Supercap to 52. All worth trying though.

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On last stab. If the Radikal was also powering a Urika, the arm would be earthed at the Radikal. Just thinking out loud. I’ll get my coat now.:slightly_smiling_face:

Neither I nor the previous owner use a Urika, I believe. Also, if that were the problem, wouldn’t I get some effect when touching the headshell and effectively grounding it myself?

I appreciate all the suggestions, but also know that it is pretty hard to diagnose which issue or issues are involved when there are lots of possibilities and I am the only one sitting in front of it now.

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Any news Nick? Infidelity must have been around by now?

Some news…

  1. As far as we can tell, the Phonopipe arm lead is pretty good and more open and lively than a T-Kable, so it would be good to keep it if we can. The previous owner had a Superline with it, but Infidelity had simply swapped the RCAs in his Superline for more traditional RCAs with a normal ring contact - apparently that worked very well indeed. Putting those on my Superline is easy (and easily reversible) - it should be ready tomorrow.

  2. For whatever reason, the Radikal need to be a lot further from the Superline than the Lingo 4 ever did. We have done that. Cable dressing seems to matter more than it did before too. Addressing all that has got the hum down so that it is now detectable when seated with the volume at 10:30 (i.e. pretty loud) but not at 8 o’clock (normal listening volume if you want to be able to talk).

  3. My Superline seems ok but is going to Infidelity for new RCA sockets and will be checked.

  4. I have borrowed a Trilogy phono stage from Infidelity in the meantime - it definitely won’t be staying.

  5. My old LP12 is back and theoretically ready for sale. However, I am in no rush, and will use it for an extended comparison in my house/ system versus Stiletto as soon as my Superline is back.

More news will follow as soon as the Superline is back.

As an entirely separate issue, I went with a mate this morning to hear a Brinkmann Bardo. Anyone interested in how it sounded?

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“As an entirely separate issue, I went with a mate this morning to hear a Brinkmann Bardo. Anyone interested in how it sounded”?

Yes please NOW, by all accounts it’s supposed to be stunning, it certainly looks the part!

Hello Graham

Wrong thread to be asking on (and my apologies to other forum users ) for going seriously off-piste

Have you thought of an Atom HE, it can be used with some decent quality cans, and it will give you access to Radio 3’s back catalogue, then when you get out - it can go into your rack as a source in it’s own right.

But hopefully out soonest

All the best

Ian

I hadn’t realised that. Is that a feature of the Atom and how do I get it, please?

Thanks, Ian. I have no idea what the Atom HE is or does, but it will be something to look into, and perhaps track down, when I escape hostile territory.

I’ve spent rather too much time today listening to ‘Strange Days’. I’m starting to think that it may be the best LP that The Doors ever released.

We went this morning to hear the Brinkmann Bardo. The Bardo and 10.5 arm and standard PS cost £12K
together, and look fantastic sitting on the dedicated platform (aka chunk of granite).

Minuses of the audition first.
We had no comparison turntable that we knew well with us.
We used a Brinkmann Edison phono stage (£11K) into a Thrax Ares integrated amp (£12K) and Avalon PM1 speakers (£21K).
The room was heavily treated and the cables (Taralabs?) were all huge.

Pluses?
The Bardo had a Lyra Kleos just like that on my Stiletto LP12.
I supplied the test LPs.
I had just been listening to the same LPs at home before the session. I have also heard them through the Vertere MG-1 and various LP12s (mostly with Naim boxes) in recent months.

That list adds up to a lot of caveats. However, some things seemed pretty clear.

First, the Bardo is very fast, very detailed and very neutral.

It has much less ‘spotlight on the lead’ than the MG-1 as we heard it, with what was to me a more natural and even spread of interest.

It has no bass bloom – not comparatively little (like a modern LP12), but none (like a high-end CD player).

It does not push singers forward as LP12s could be said to do, but it has forward-backward depth and good width and stability to the stereo image.

There’s no hint of exaggeration to boogie-factors, but it does not make music sound slow or architectural – there is plenty of rhythm and fun if the LP had it.

To the extent that we could judge, I’d put the Bardo ahead of the Vertere on percussion and treble details. It was less prone to harshness and was more like my LP12 on female vocals (a good thing). Drive and pace were as good as I have heard from any turntable. Precision, tonal neutrality and letting fine detail through without exaggeration or omission were all very good.

Examples.
Joan Baez singing Old Blue on ancient vinyl – not pleasant at all on MG-1, moving (given state of vinyl) on my LP12 – and about as good on the Bardo. The song floated in the room convincingly, yet simple pace from the guitar kept things moving nicely – nothing slow and stately here.

The harmonica on Cowboy Junkies’ Postcard Blues was distressing and edgy (good), but not nasty. Again, it was much more like the LP12 delivery than the same song on an MG-1 (or an Orbe/ SME V). Fine detail on breathing, drumwork and the background acoustic generally were all excellent – well ahead of MG-1 and about as involving as my LP12. The only sibilance on Ms Timmins’ voice was what she delivered – no extra sssssssss – which is like an LP12, not the MG-1, and the turntable kept things moving better than many.

On Take Five, delicate reed noises and brushes on high hat sounded exceptionally good and the whole presentation was ultra-clear. The bass was not so clear a WIN versus LP12 – it is tight and controlled and with good expression of tone, but is there quite enough of it?

Jumping to The Sick, The Dying and The Dead by Megadeth was tough because this was one LP where the MG-1 was clearly better than my LP12 – extra drama, dynamic and slam. The Bardo was perhaps less glitzy and obvious than the MG-1, but its delivery was probably more honest rather than less exciting.
If you listen to a lot of music like that, the MG-1 would be a good choice, but the Bardo would also be good.

The only wrinkle is that there is a guitar army on the record and when they got going the actual electric bass didn’t have enough weight to register – that lack of loose bass or excess bass might be a slight lack of actual bass, if you see what I mean.

Taking less extreme tilts in this direction, Scary Monsters and Red were both full of foot-tapping pace, strong but clearly-defined bass and fun everywhere. Perhaps going to the extreme of the Megadeth LP was not something the Brinkmann designers envisaged?

If I had not just bought the Stiletto and wanted to spend £15K+ on a vinyl source, I would need to hear the Bardo in my house and system.

And I’d want to hear the MG-1 with the Tempo PS to compare to Bardo and a Stiletto. I should at least add a Well Tempered to that list too.

And I’d certainly need to hear the Bardo without that expensive phono stage to see how much magic is lost, and perhaps with a ‘richer’ cartridge. Purpleheart anyone?

And it would take more listening to decide whether the Bardo’s quantity (not quality) of bass is actually less than the LP starts with and less than I want.

Having said all that, if I were looking to buy new and I had to guess today on what I’d buy, I’d guess that I’d buy the Bardo – it really is rather good.

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Thanks for that summary. Funny enough, your review of the Bardo is just about how I hear the Solstice when compared to my LP12. Only difference is that bass weight is equal.

I can access R3’s recent back catalogue via my Nova , I type on BBC on the Q function - via my computer

A whole raft of BBC stations appear, click on R3 - you get options such as HD and standard. Then two further options, one being On Demand , so if you are an opera buff (generally I’m not)

This appeared .

I’m generally not an opera buff, but when I got my Nova to my utter delight Die Walkure was an option …

Well…Yeah?!:man_shrugging:t2:

Thanks. I’m not getting more than just the offer of R3 and R3HD on my Atom. I’ll keep trying later today. Or get one of my kids to try for me!

It’s on your computer , when you use the Naim App to seek BBC , that shows the stations .

I will try and show you later on

best wishes

Hi Ian

I’ve found the on demand R3 Opera. Top LHS of the app on my iPad.

I’ve got the same selections you show so presumably it’s updated for the last month or so, similar to iplayer.

Great tip, and thanks again!

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Salvation!

Yesterday, we got my old LP12 working properly.

Note jig in background.

Not using my old ring-mains for anything hi-fi anymore, plus careful Superline positioning and cable-dressing equals no hum (unless the volume knob is past noon). If anything, it is now quieter than it was before we started all the faff, and I have had a demonstration that cable-dressing may have less obvious and immediate impact with Witch Hat cables than with Naim cables, but I can’t ignore it if I want proper sound: I was just lucky with how it sounded last month.

We started today with Ekos attached to T-Kable but not in Stiletto – no hum.

We tried the same with the Lyra arm cable – still no hum.

We put the Ekos and T-Kable into the Stiletto – the hum was back, as loud as ever. However, touching the metal plinth clearly reduced it a bit, which told us where to go next.

There is an earth cable from the Keel. We removed it. The loud hum was still there.

We already knew that removing the earth connection from arm cable to Superline had no effect by itself, but now we tried removing both the earth lead from Keel inside the Stiletto AND removing the earth lead from arm cable to Superline.

The hum dropped dramatically!

Emboldened, we went back to the piece of wire for used earth-testing. With both of the above earth connections removed, we again ran a wire from Keel directly to the earth connection on the LP input on my 52 preamp. Despite it having its phono boards removed long ago, having that wire in place while not also having the other earth leads connected solved the hum problem completely!

Next, with no hum, we tried the BNC adaptors – they give a small hum all by themselves as well as deadening sound.

The T-Kable is also longer than the Lyra cable by a useful amount. The T-Kable is staying and Infidelity can sell the Phonopipe to someone else, which will pay for the new T-Kable.

We still don’t know why this was such a problem in my house, yet the standard earth connections caused no hum for the previous owner or at the shop. However, I don’t care. So far, every LP I have tried (and there will be quite a few more played this evening) sounds as good as I have ever heard it in my house – or better than I have ever heard it sound in my house. I don’t even care that the extra earth wire looks silly.

I should extend huge thanks to Infidelity, who devoted huge amounts of time to getting this fixed and succeeded. Also to Grahams for their suggestions, and to all those here who made suggestions.

This Stiletto (with Keel, Radikal, Ekos, Kleos, T-Kable and Collaro mat) is now very possibly my perfect LP12 and a great turntable by any measure – just like it was in the shop.


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