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Everything posted by raye

  1. Thanks Allen -- I'll try and find some time shortly and see if I can have a play around with a few of those recommendations.
  2. So I'm thinking about an upgrade. I like my system, I'm not a tinkerer, and I'm not overly interested in vintage (unless perfect working/cosmetic order) -- just a time thing, really (and a preference, I guess -- I'm a listener first, and not a hobby-er). However, the sound is kind of bright at the top end, especially when cranked. This could be down to the Wharfedales, but I'd be interested in other opinions and definitely welcome any (realistic) suggestions for upgrades. I'm happy with the amp, and the phono stage, and at this point I don't want to buy a new TT. So, I guess we're really talking about the cart or the speakers. Definitely interested in options to add dynamics, tightness, and separation (if that isn't too much of a contradiction). Set up below: Pro-ject Carbon Esprit Ortofon 2M Blue Cart Acrylic platter Cambridge 651A Musical Fidelity V90-LPS Phono Stage Wharfedale Diamond 220 speakers
  3. Hi Allen -- thanks for those -- I'm tempted to go with speakers first, but only because I've never changed a cart before - and I'm short on time at the minute, too. I'm not particularly looking for mounts exclusively -- free-standing are fine too, if you can think of anything that's particularly impressive then I'm all ears. How would you describe the characteristics of the above speakers, and how much audible difference, in your opinion, would you say there is between those and my Wharfedales?
  4. Looking to spend anything up to £800 ish, initially. But I'm not beyond looking at £1000 plus (or £100 minus). Any speaker recommendations for sheer clarity and, well, a great sound, and I'd definitely be interested. I'll check out some of the cart recommendations too (I keep hearing good things about the Sumiko Blue).
  5. Thanks for all of the above so far -- that Dynavector sound like some serious stuff (£759 rrp in the UK, I think). Allen -- think I owe you an email/PM -- this is the first time I've been on the site in over six months (I should really set up email notifications ... I'll get around to it). Any recommendations RE new speakers (and further carts, too? I wish there was an 'easy demo' for this stuff).
  6. I've just read the entire thread, looked at the pictures, and followed the link to the seller's original listing. I know we've talked about this briefly in private, but I just wanted to say that if this guy was happy to tell you that he'd listened to them, that they were in amazing condition and didn't even need cleaning (jesus ...), before you bought them or he sent them out, then you have every right to either a full refund, a partial refund, or as you suggested, a partial refund for the return of the defective records only. And the seller should most definitely cover the p+p costs. If it were me, I would insist that he does this in advance, and if he isn't willing to communicate I'd take it over to eBay and insist on the same resolution. Why should you lose out because of this joker? Seriously, it's completely unacceptable to send records out like this and list them as EX/NM, let alone PM the buyer insisting that they are, even when faced with the photos that clearly show they're not. To call the buyer a liar and a 'blackmailer' over it is just downright immature and, really, pretty devious. It sounds like he's actually trying to shift the blame onto you. He's definitely getting added to my list of 'never ever buy froms'.
  7. So, finally, this is what I went for after a long day of demos at Richer Sounds: Pro-ject Debut Carbon Esprit SB w/Ortofon Red 2m Pro-ject Phono Box MM Cambridge 651A Wharfedale Diamond 220 speakers I've had it set up for about a week now, and the sound is definitely improving. At first the cart sounded really bright and I was getting a little sibilance on the high end with female vocals, but that's pretty much disappeared. At first I thought the cart was out of alignment, but all seems to be good (bearing in mind I have no idea what I'm doing other than by bugging Allen with a hundred PMs for advice - which has been invaluable!). A friend who'd never heard non digital music before asked me to describe it to her, so I wrote this down early last week having only had it set up for about 36hours: "This is what I think so far: it's an amazing sound, but it isn't a sound that's going to 'wow' you instantly, but at the same time it definitely isn't underwhelming in the slightest. It's a very different sound, and I think that comes in part from the mastering process and the fact that we're used to hearing albums in a certain way. What vinyl does, to my ears at least, is remove the compression of digital music so that you're left, in terms of vocals, with a singer who may as well be in a booth in your living room, singing directly into a mic. It's not a live sound, but it's definitely not a studio recording, either - by the measure of what we know as a studio recording. It's a big sound and it's a wide sound, and you'll hear things in tracks you've never heard before. But at the same time you'll feel like there's something ... not missing, but 'not quite right'. I couldn't figure out what that was, and in fact it's taken me until this morning to really get to the bottom of it -- is it a subwoofer, am I missing bass? Well, no, because the bass response is incredibly powerful. And then I realised that what I'm hearing is 'actual' bass, and not the 'idea' of bass, and I think therein lies the explanation. I've been so used to hearing music compressed by a digital medium for such a long time that I'm having to readjust to how it'd actually sound if I was standing there in the studio and hearing this stuff in front of me. So it's interesting. There's definitely a place for both digital and analogue, but purely for listening for the love of listening, analogue is winning -- and it's not exactly how I imagined it would sound." So what do you guys think - half decent beginner set up? I'm not entirely sure about the phono box and the cart, though the cart is slowly breaking in to my ears. Any suggestions? Always appreciated. Raye. P.S. Thanks for all the help and sound advice - really helped stir me in the right direction of things to listen out for.
  8. It's been a few days and I missed all this, but for the record (what a funny pun, eh?) Sonja was right - I didn't literally mean 'literally', it was just a casual exaggeration. Anyway, back on topic, my Pro-ject Carbon Esprit with the 2M Blue is going along just fine. The only thing I'm thinking about upgrading is the phone stage at some point - apart from that, I'm happy.
  9. Hey, no worries - I listen to a lot of stuff these days, but I grew up with bands like: Van Halen WASP Iron Maiden (I had a six year phase where I'd listen to nothing else, but it was the late nineties and there literally was nothing else, so, figures) Steve Vai Joe Satriani The Cure Megadeth The Stones Echo & The Bunnymen And a lot of 80's pop, too. How about you?
  10. Hi Sonja (or is it Chloe?), The Blue was a revelation - I never really enjoyed the Red and I wasn't sure why at first, and then I found myself listening out for the production of a record rather than the music, and to add to that it was a little boomy and took an age to wear in (IGD on female vocal tracks, especially if you're into rock/metal, was a killer). Since getting the Blue, which took no time to wear in at all, all of those issues are gone, and I'm just listening to music again. It sounds really tight compared to the Red, better bass, more defined treble and separation - only criticism is that the mids could be punchier, but it's not something I find myself wishing for really. For the extra few pounds, especially if your friend just needs the stylus and not the whole cart (as you can fit the stylus to a Red body in, like, 5 seconds), it's a no brainer. Hope this helps? Raye.
  11. Brand new, tested, with around ten hours on the clock. Original packaging. Please note: this isn't mine, so beyond the above I have no idea of the details. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/271972790209?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
  12. It's for a good friend based in Notts, who doesn't use social media or forums. Personally, I'm keeping my Red as a back up ... just in case.
  13. raye

    ******** The EBAY Thread ********

    ORTOFON 2M Red Stylus, new and tested (got about ten hours break in time on it, but completely imaculate and in original packaging - bought about a month ago). Starting price at £40. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/271967746943?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
  14. There's always the chance that it could somehow be a defective table. It's the only thing no-one has mentioned yet so I'll throw it out there and hope it helps. I have a Pro-ject and haven't had one single problem with skipping or hum as a lot of people report. May be worth contacting your dealer and just checking?
  15. So I just bought a 2M Blue stylus to replace the Red (stylus only, still a Red cart), and there's a noticeable drop in volume. If I turn the volume, the sound isn't that far removed from my Red (you'd have to do a side by side, moment by moment comparison to hear any difference at all, really). Any ideas what the problem could be? I've ordered a replacement - should be here tomorrow - but all advice welcome in the meantime. Using: Pro-ject Carbon Esprit SB Pro-ject Phono Box MM Cambridge 651A Wharfedale Diamond 220i
  16. SOLVED. New stylus arrived and the difference was obvious straight away: greater output volume, deeper and more controlled bass (than the Red), more definition and detail between instruments, and a better tone and timbre on strung instruments and high vocals. It also dials down the Red's annoying brightness on the high hats, so I'm no longer reaching for the treble just to try to control it.
  17. Sorry about that folks - had to dash that down quickly while traveling. There is a noticeable drop in volume going from the Red to the Blue, on the same records, same tracks, same set up, etc. despite both carts having the same output (as listed in the technical specs for the carts). To add to this, there's very little difference, sonically, between the Red and the Blue, even after cranking up the volume so that the Blue plays at roughly the same level as the Red. There's a mass of forum posts and needledrops that show the sonic differences between the Blue and the Red, and I'm not hearing any of those at the minute. I was pretty careful while loading the stylus, but I checked both the Red and the Blue multiple times, and the Red is definitely louder. There's one forum post (don't recall the forum now, but if you Google 'Ortofon 2M Blue Volume' it's the first to come up) where someone had the same problem. Turned out to be a defective cart.
  18. Awesome, thanks. Does the Blue sound any brighter than the Red? I'm hoping not, as the Red can be entirely too bright at times. I'm really looking for a more dynamic, responsive cart with low sibilance and good lower end snap. Suggestions?
  19. There's some great advice on this forum, and some really knowledgeable people who are willing to help out and give their own free time (and lots of it) in order to answer questions, which is priceless to newbies (yep, talking about myself here). But BenderofStrings has a point. It does feel like an inbred country club for the audio elite at times. So in that respect I have to back him up. The way to go is probably just to try and ignore it. Works for me.
  20. Has anyone here upgraded an Ortofon 2m Red stylus with the 2m Blue? If so, how easy/hard was the switchover (I have zero experience replacing cartridges and/or styli), and how would you describe the difference in sound?
  21. Thanks arem, I'm considering the Blue (or a different cart altogether) for some time down the line, once the Red has really settled in and I actually get to hear it fully. How would you describe the Blue in comparison to the Red, in your experience? And how noticeable is it as an upgrade? As for records, I'm pushing the 100 stage, so I've got a fair bit of listening to do already...
  22. Thanks allenh, unfortunately I discovered your message thirty minutes after I'd said 'yes' to Richer, but I'm pretty happy I made the right choice. I'd definitely be interested in taking a look at whatever you might still have a little further down the line, though. RE the video: there are several accounts with the same set up and sound playing pretty different genres. I'm starting to suspect there's an agenda. Anyway, I guess I'm the proud owner of a Pro-ject Esprit SB, a Cambridge 651A, and a pair of Wharfedale Diamond 220 speakers. They arrive Monday. Thanks for all the help; it's been ... educational.
  23. Thanks Allenh. It was the Project Phono Box MM - I didn't try the Cambridge because I ran out of time in the end. Do you think there's a significant difference? I actually got a really good deal on all of the above, plus all phono leads, etc. and six years cover on the table and the amp. It came to just under £950, which beats the list price by a mile. Got to admit, I'm severely tempted. The thing with the DJ deck. I just couldn't quite believe that the uploader could capture that quality of sound, even given the medium, on that equipment, which is why I pushed it here (that backfired because no one watched the video). He swears it's completely unedited, but there's a very wide sound there with a big and snappy bass response and vocals that pop. There's way too much separation for the price range of the table - but I'm no expert. I was hoping someone here could tell me exactly how he got that sound. Sure, it's a youtube vid from a soundcard and no kind of realistic comparison at all, but all the same I'm interested in knowing why and how it sounds like it does. If you're around, PM me with a set-up and rough price. I'm planning on getting back to Richer tomorrow with a yes/no, so apologies for it being a little late in the day.