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  1. #1
    Forum Regular Jack in Wilmington's Avatar
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    Initial Impressions of Music Hall MMF 5.1

    Picked up my new 5.1 turntable on Saturday. Stephen at "Quest For Sound" had everything waiting for me when I got there. Went in and looked at some other setups. First up was a VPI Classic, then a Acoustic Signature "Manfred". Then a couple tube mono blocks, and finally a pair of the new Usher BE 718 DMD speakers. Wanted to hear the diamond tweeters. I had left my glasses in the car, so I wasn't getting model numbers. This was mainly for Stephen's benefit. It's really nice to have all of this top notch gear, but it's best when you can show it off. Now to the business at hand.

    While he's writing up the sale, I am thumbing through his LPs and I figure a nice new record for the nice new table would be only fitting. Spotting a copy of Traffic's " John Barleycorn, I add that to the till. Table and vinyl in hand, we exchange our goodbyes and I'm off.



    Setup is pretty basic and very similar to my MMF 2.1, so things go smoothly. I'm pretty methodical and have a tendency to read everything twice. About an hour and a half later, I'm ready to spin vinyl. Load the afore mentioned Traffic LP on the platter, spin the record clamp down ( new experience for me ) and turn the motor on. Let it run for a couple minutes while I check the manual again, oh it's fun being anal. Here we go.

    Nice detail in the saxaphone and flute work is the first thing that I notice. Since this is a new LP, I can't compare it to the 2.1 table. But I do have this on CD and there is a marked difference. The vinyl sort of pulls you into the music and you become one with the sound.



    Then I put on my copy of Dvorak's "Carnival Overture" and "Othello Overture". I pull out my Sennheiser HD-600 headphones for this. The table and Goldring 1012 GX cartridge perform their magic again. I'm hearing violins that I never heard before. They must be on the CD, I just missed them. I hope. Next up is my superb copy of Steely Dan's "Aja". The saxaphone solo on the title track just blew me away. Now I'm hearing the background vocals clearly. Now remember all my vinyl is pristine. Most of it has maybe one or two playings on it, this could be some of the reason for the sound. But if this is what I can expect from my future listening sessions, my vinyl is going to get some more rotations.
    Sorry I can't be more technical, but I don't have the background that some of you guys have and therfore the discription tends to be on the simple side. Enjoy your vinyl.
    Last edited by poppachubby; 06-10-2010 at 02:37 AM.
    2 Channel System
    Dynaudio Contour 1.8 Mk II
    Pass Labs X150.5 (Amp)
    Cary SLP-03 (Preamp)
    Music Hall MMF 5.1 (TT)
    Goldring 1012GX (Cart.)
    Pro-ject SE II (Phono Box)
    Rotel RCD-1072 (CD Player)
    Bryston BDA-1 ( DAC )
    Sennheiser HD-600 (Headphones)
    Musical Fidelity Xcan V3 (Headphone Amp) _

    HT System
    Usher X-719 (Mains)
    Usher X-616 (Center)
    Usher S-520 (Surrounds)
    Rel T2 (Subwoofer)
    Anthem MCA20 (Amp)
    Yamaha RX-A830 (Receiver)
    Panasonic TH-46PZ85U (Plasma TV)
    Denon DBT-1713UD (BluRay/SACD)

  2. #2
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    Analog fever is blooming here at AR.com!!!!!!!! I love it.

  3. #3
    Forum Regular Jack in Wilmington's Avatar
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    Need a little help

    Hey guys, as you can see I've been trying to put some pictures of my new table in with no luck. I loaded them in the photo gallery, but I can't seem to get them into my post. A little help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Jack
    2 Channel System
    Dynaudio Contour 1.8 Mk II
    Pass Labs X150.5 (Amp)
    Cary SLP-03 (Preamp)
    Music Hall MMF 5.1 (TT)
    Goldring 1012GX (Cart.)
    Pro-ject SE II (Phono Box)
    Rotel RCD-1072 (CD Player)
    Bryston BDA-1 ( DAC )
    Sennheiser HD-600 (Headphones)
    Musical Fidelity Xcan V3 (Headphone Amp) _

    HT System
    Usher X-719 (Mains)
    Usher X-616 (Center)
    Usher S-520 (Surrounds)
    Rel T2 (Subwoofer)
    Anthem MCA20 (Amp)
    Yamaha RX-A830 (Receiver)
    Panasonic TH-46PZ85U (Plasma TV)
    Denon DBT-1713UD (BluRay/SACD)

  4. #4
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack in Wilmington
    Hey guys, as you can see I've been trying to put some pictures of my new table in with no luck. I loaded them in the photo gallery, but I can't seem to get them into my post. A little help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Jack
    I took a couple of liberties Jack, hope it's to your liking. Great write up BTW, definitely needed some pics.

  5. #5
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Yes Jack, again, great write up man.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack
    Sorry I can't be more technical, but I don't have the background that some of you guys have and therfore the discription tends to be on the simple side.
    You kidding?!? Please don't apologize. I get so bored of the same old descriptives, they become expected. Blah, blah, blah soundstage blah dynamics blah etc etc etc...

    Hey, I'm guilty of it too. It's nice to get a fresh perspective. When you talk in terms of music, I can understand. I have a really nice original copy of Aja. It really is a gem. Is yours remastered?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack
    The table and Goldring 1012 GX cartridge perform their magic again. I'm hearing violins that I never heard before. They must be on the CD, I just missed them. I hope.
    I heard your combo recently when I paid a visit to a member of Audio Karma to pick up some tubes. Aside from that, I keep bumping into the 1012 everywhere I go (not literally of course, or then I would have NOWHERE to go). It really is a great cartridge.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack
    The saxaphone solo on the title track just blew me away.
    I'm a horn man myself, so I know what you mean. I personally can't get enough trumpet. You might laugh, but one of the finest pressings of a sax solo that I have is on INXS' Kick LP. The song "Never Tear Us Apart" has, IMO, one of the most effective sax solos going. Short but sweet. I listen to alot of funk, soul and jazz...all horns, all the time baby.

    frenchmon is discovering the beauty of brass/horns on analog. It's one of my favorite things about LPs, and probably what keeps me interested the most.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack
    Went in and looked at some other setups. First up was a VPI Classic, then a Acoustic Signature "Manfred". Then a couple tube mono blocks, and finally a pair of the new Usher BE 718 DMD speakers. Wanted to hear the diamond tweeters. I had left my glasses in the car, so I wasn't getting model numbers. This was mainly for Stephen's benefit. It's really nice to have all of this top notch gear, but it's best when you can show it off
    Lately I read something that blew my mind. It was a post regarding upgrading and the like. Anyhow, this poster wrote that the best way to enjoy your gear, is to NOT listen to anything better. Well, this really rang true for me, maybe for you to huh Jack? Somedays I think I have all I need, then I visit my local shop and I'm planning another upgrade. Tough bug to fight off.

    BTW, the words of wisdom came from our very own 02audionoob. The Socrates of audio. It's fun to check out the good stuff, as long as perspective can be maintained. VPI make tables worth killing for. Now that noob has a P5, it's a distinct possibility that his MF5 could end up in my listening room. After reading your review, I like the idea more and more.

    Anyhow Jack I'm always envious of someone having a good time. Enjoy!!

  6. #6
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by poppachubby

    You kidding?!? Please don't apologize. I get so bored of the same old descriptives, they become expected. Blah, blah, blah soundstage blah dynamics blah etc etc etc...
    I agree on Jack's honest write up as well as how people(Pro and Amateurs) rave every single gear they get their hands on. Or maybe I'm just a cynical bastard.

  7. #7
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack in Wilmington
    Hey guys, as you can see I've been trying to put some pictures of my new table in with no luck. I loaded them in the photo gallery, but I can't seem to get them into my post. A little help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Jack
    There are 2 ways to take care of this.
    You must hit "Reply Post" instead of "Quick Reply" then insert an attachment by clicking on a paper clip tab next to that white smiley face. This should automatically add the pic to your Personal Gallery.

    Or what I do is load a pic to my Phono Gallery then Right click the picture=>View Image=>Copy the link of the picture=>Quick Reply to the discussion thread=>Insert the link of the pic.

  8. #8
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack in Wilmington
    Picked up my new 5.1 turntable on Saturday. Stephen at "Quest For Sound" had everything waiting for me when I got there. Went in and looked at some other setups. First up was a VPI Classic, then a Acoustic Signature "Manfred". Then a couple tube mono blocks, and finally a pair of the new Usher BE 718 DMD speakers. Wanted to hear the diamond tweeters. I had left my glasses in the car, so I wasn't getting model numbers. This was mainly for Stephen's benefit. It's really nice to have all of this top notch gear, but it's best when you can show it off. Now to the business at hand.

    While he's writing up the sale, I am thumbing through his LPs and I figure a nice new record for the nice new table would be only fitting. Spotting a copy of Traffic's " John Barleycorn, I add that to the till. Table and vinyl in hand, we exchange our goodbyes and I'm off.



    Setup is pretty basic and very similar to my MMF 2.1, so things go smoothly. I'm pretty methodical and have a tendency to read everything twice. About an hour and a half later, I'm ready to spin vinyl. Load the afore mentioned Traffic LP on the platter, spin the record clamp down ( new experience for me ) and turn the motor on. Let it run for a couple minutes while I check the manual again, oh it's fun being anal. Here we go.

    Nice detail in the saxaphone and flute work is the first thing that I notice. Since this is a new LP, I can't compare it to the 2.1 table. But I do have this on CD and there is a marked difference. The vinyl sort of pulls you into the music and you become one with the sound.



    Then I put on my copy of Dvorak's "Carnival Overture" and "Othello Overture". I pull out my Sennheiser HD-600 headphones for this. The table and Goldring 1012 GX cartridge perform their magic again. I'm hearing violins that I never heard before. They must be on the CD, I just missed them. I hope. Next up is my superb copy of Steely Dan's "Aja". The saxaphone solo on the title track just blew me away. Now I'm hearing the background vocals clearly. Now remember all my vinyl is pristine. Most of it has maybe one or two playings on it, this could be some of the reason for the sound. But if this is what I can expect from my future listening sessions, my vinyl is going to get some more rotations.
    Sorry I can't be more technical, but I don't have the background that some of you guys have and therfore the discription tends to be on the simple side. Enjoy your vinyl.
    Nice table Jack and congrats....at this time...im thinking about a future purchase of the MMF5.1's cousin...the Pro-Ject 1 Xpression III if I dont grab a nice vintage table like a VPI or Thorens, or something like that.
    Last edited by frenchmon; 06-10-2010 at 08:38 AM.
    Music...let it into your soul and be moved....with Canton...Pure Music


    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    W10 i5 Quad core processor 8GB RAM/Jriver 20/ Fidelizer Optimizer/ iFI Micro DSD DAC-iUSB 3.0/Vincent SA - T1/Vincent SP-331 MK /MMF-7.1/2M BLACK/MS Phenomena ll+/Canton Vento 830.2

  9. #9
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Jack...btw, what is your table sitting on? Looks like its doing a balancing act....lol.
    Music...let it into your soul and be moved....with Canton...Pure Music


    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    W10 i5 Quad core processor 8GB RAM/Jriver 20/ Fidelizer Optimizer/ iFI Micro DSD DAC-iUSB 3.0/Vincent SA - T1/Vincent SP-331 MK /MMF-7.1/2M BLACK/MS Phenomena ll+/Canton Vento 830.2

  10. #10
    Forum Regular Jack in Wilmington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by poppachubby
    I took a couple of liberties Jack, hope it's to your liking. Great write up BTW, definitely needed some pics.
    Great job Poppa. That was exactly what I was trying to do myself. Thanks so much.

    BTW my copy of Aja is the Limited Edition 180 gram from Cisco Music. Got it from Acoustic Sounds.
    Last edited by Jack in Wilmington; 06-10-2010 at 02:20 PM.
    2 Channel System
    Dynaudio Contour 1.8 Mk II
    Pass Labs X150.5 (Amp)
    Cary SLP-03 (Preamp)
    Music Hall MMF 5.1 (TT)
    Goldring 1012GX (Cart.)
    Pro-ject SE II (Phono Box)
    Rotel RCD-1072 (CD Player)
    Bryston BDA-1 ( DAC )
    Sennheiser HD-600 (Headphones)
    Musical Fidelity Xcan V3 (Headphone Amp) _

    HT System
    Usher X-719 (Mains)
    Usher X-616 (Center)
    Usher S-520 (Surrounds)
    Rel T2 (Subwoofer)
    Anthem MCA20 (Amp)
    Yamaha RX-A830 (Receiver)
    Panasonic TH-46PZ85U (Plasma TV)
    Denon DBT-1713UD (BluRay/SACD)

  11. #11
    Retro Modernist 02audionoob's Avatar
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    What a great thread! I wish there was some sort of automatic alert coming my way when there's a new thread in the Analog Room. Very nice new turntable, Jack...and nice review thoughts. I was going to compliment your nicely organized photos in the OP, too...until I saw Chubbs did it.

  12. #12
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    Hey Jack,

    Are you using Onkyo's internal phono stage?
    Since you got a great TT, I think you will be floored by how LP can sound with an external phono preamp.
    Don't you hate it when someone suggests you to spend cash after you've made a major purchase?

    Enjoy your new toy and tons of records to come.

    JRA

  13. #13
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack in Wilmington
    Now remember all my vinyl is pristine. Most of it has maybe one or two playings on it, this could be some of the reason for the sound.
    I cannot back up my statement with any proof, but it is my non-scientific belief that LP needs to be played few times before it can sold its best.

  14. #14
    Forum Regular Jack in Wilmington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrhymeammo
    Hey Jack,

    Are you using Onkyo's internal phono stage?
    Since you got a great TT, I think you will be floored by how LP can sound with an external phono preamp.
    Don't you hate it when someone suggests you to spend cash after you've made a major purchase?

    Enjoy your new toy and tons of records to come.

    JRA
    I am using the Onkyo's as my phono stage. Any thought on a good place to start with a phono pre? I had been looking at different ones and the Pro-ject Tube Box II caught my eye.
    2 Channel System
    Dynaudio Contour 1.8 Mk II
    Pass Labs X150.5 (Amp)
    Cary SLP-03 (Preamp)
    Music Hall MMF 5.1 (TT)
    Goldring 1012GX (Cart.)
    Pro-ject SE II (Phono Box)
    Rotel RCD-1072 (CD Player)
    Bryston BDA-1 ( DAC )
    Sennheiser HD-600 (Headphones)
    Musical Fidelity Xcan V3 (Headphone Amp) _

    HT System
    Usher X-719 (Mains)
    Usher X-616 (Center)
    Usher S-520 (Surrounds)
    Rel T2 (Subwoofer)
    Anthem MCA20 (Amp)
    Yamaha RX-A830 (Receiver)
    Panasonic TH-46PZ85U (Plasma TV)
    Denon DBT-1713UD (BluRay/SACD)

  15. #15
    Forum Regular Jack in Wilmington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 02audionoob
    What a great thread! I wish there was some sort of automatic alert coming my way when there's a new thread in the Analog Room. Very nice new turntable, Jack...and nice review thoughts. I was going to compliment your nicely organized photos in the OP, too...until I saw Chubbs did it.
    Thanks Noob, I'm still trying to get this photo thing right. I don't know if it's my computer that won't let me copy the photos to my post. Right now I have red squares covering all the options where the attachments icon is and all the other ones. So I've pushed something that shouldn't be pushed.
    2 Channel System
    Dynaudio Contour 1.8 Mk II
    Pass Labs X150.5 (Amp)
    Cary SLP-03 (Preamp)
    Music Hall MMF 5.1 (TT)
    Goldring 1012GX (Cart.)
    Pro-ject SE II (Phono Box)
    Rotel RCD-1072 (CD Player)
    Bryston BDA-1 ( DAC )
    Sennheiser HD-600 (Headphones)
    Musical Fidelity Xcan V3 (Headphone Amp) _

    HT System
    Usher X-719 (Mains)
    Usher X-616 (Center)
    Usher S-520 (Surrounds)
    Rel T2 (Subwoofer)
    Anthem MCA20 (Amp)
    Yamaha RX-A830 (Receiver)
    Panasonic TH-46PZ85U (Plasma TV)
    Denon DBT-1713UD (BluRay/SACD)

  16. #16
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    If your budget is less than $1K then the best option is to go used, but that's just my opinion. What's your budget?

  17. #17
    Forum Regular Jack in Wilmington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrhymeammo
    If your budget is less than $1K then the best option is to go used, but that's just my opinion. What's your budget?
    Probably up to around $400. Since I just put out about $650 on the table.
    2 Channel System
    Dynaudio Contour 1.8 Mk II
    Pass Labs X150.5 (Amp)
    Cary SLP-03 (Preamp)
    Music Hall MMF 5.1 (TT)
    Goldring 1012GX (Cart.)
    Pro-ject SE II (Phono Box)
    Rotel RCD-1072 (CD Player)
    Bryston BDA-1 ( DAC )
    Sennheiser HD-600 (Headphones)
    Musical Fidelity Xcan V3 (Headphone Amp) _

    HT System
    Usher X-719 (Mains)
    Usher X-616 (Center)
    Usher S-520 (Surrounds)
    Rel T2 (Subwoofer)
    Anthem MCA20 (Amp)
    Yamaha RX-A830 (Receiver)
    Panasonic TH-46PZ85U (Plasma TV)
    Denon DBT-1713UD (BluRay/SACD)

  18. #18
    Retro Modernist 02audionoob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack in Wilmington
    Thanks Noob, I'm still trying to get this photo thing right. I don't know if it's my computer that won't let me copy the photos to my post. Right now I have red squares covering all the options where the attachments icon is and all the other ones. So I've pushed something that shouldn't be pushed.
    What some of us are doing for photos is posting them to Flickr.com. We then paste the address to the photo like this... http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2775/...a1095df2_m.jpg .... between a [img] and a [/img].

  19. #19
    Forum Regular Jack in Wilmington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 02audionoob
    What some of us are doing for photos is posting them to Flickr.com. We then paste the address to the photo like this... http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2775/...a1095df2_m.jpg .... between a [img] and a [/img].
    What it's saying is that the size of the file that contains my picture is too large for the forums format. The picture in 955.9 KB and the limit is 244.1 KB. Not sure how to fix that. I'll try the flicker. com approach
    2 Channel System
    Dynaudio Contour 1.8 Mk II
    Pass Labs X150.5 (Amp)
    Cary SLP-03 (Preamp)
    Music Hall MMF 5.1 (TT)
    Goldring 1012GX (Cart.)
    Pro-ject SE II (Phono Box)
    Rotel RCD-1072 (CD Player)
    Bryston BDA-1 ( DAC )
    Sennheiser HD-600 (Headphones)
    Musical Fidelity Xcan V3 (Headphone Amp) _

    HT System
    Usher X-719 (Mains)
    Usher X-616 (Center)
    Usher S-520 (Surrounds)
    Rel T2 (Subwoofer)
    Anthem MCA20 (Amp)
    Yamaha RX-A830 (Receiver)
    Panasonic TH-46PZ85U (Plasma TV)
    Denon DBT-1713UD (BluRay/SACD)

  20. #20
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack in Wilmington
    Probably up to around $400. Since I just put out about $650 on the table.
    Thats a very good price Jack....I've seen it about $875 new.
    Music...let it into your soul and be moved....with Canton...Pure Music


    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    W10 i5 Quad core processor 8GB RAM/Jriver 20/ Fidelizer Optimizer/ iFI Micro DSD DAC-iUSB 3.0/Vincent SA - T1/Vincent SP-331 MK /MMF-7.1/2M BLACK/MS Phenomena ll+/Canton Vento 830.2

  21. #21
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack in Wilmington
    I am using the Onkyo's as my phono stage. Any thought on a good place to start with a phono pre? I had been looking at different ones and the Pro-ject Tube Box II caught my eye.
    I've heard great things about the Tube box as well as the Jolida JD 9A . Check it out.
    Music...let it into your soul and be moved....with Canton...Pure Music


    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    W10 i5 Quad core processor 8GB RAM/Jriver 20/ Fidelizer Optimizer/ iFI Micro DSD DAC-iUSB 3.0/Vincent SA - T1/Vincent SP-331 MK /MMF-7.1/2M BLACK/MS Phenomena ll+/Canton Vento 830.2

  22. #22
    Retro Modernist 02audionoob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack in Wilmington
    What it's saying is that the size of the file that contains my picture is too large for the forums format. The picture in 955.9 KB and the limit is 244.1 KB. Not sure how to fix that. I'll try the flicker. com approach
    I often use Microsoft Office Picture Manager to resize pictures to 640 x 480 before attaching them to a forum. That makes the picture fit comfortably in the width of the thread and the file size is reduced to well within the limit. If you post a picture to Flickr, it will create multiple sizes and you can choose whichever size you want. The large size can stretch out the these threads, so I choose the medium size.

    Quote Originally Posted by frenchmon
    I've heard great things about the Tube box as well as the Jolida JD 9A . Check it out.
    I used to have the original model Pro-Ject Tube Box, which became the Tube Box SE and then the Tube Box SE II. I got it for a little under $300 on eBay and sold it for a little over than on Audiogon. They're still floating around for that same money. They're very good...well worth the $300 to $350 they go for and I think generally regarded as better than the current model Tube Box II.

  23. #23
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    It might blow the budget but what about just getting a stereo preamp with the phono built in? I don't know about containing phono stage but some of the older CJ preamps can be found on Audiogon for $400 or $500.00. Of course, that would lead to the HT integration thing. I'm not sure what year CJ began to add the HT bypass but I'm sure it was never thought of back when the PV10 was built.

    It might be worth the extra expense and effort though to run the MM-5 into a better overall preamp as well as phono stage. For now though, glad you are enjoying your new addition.

  24. #24
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Jack I did an extensive audition of the Tube Box II SE at my local shop. It's a killer stage, VERY resolute yet neutral. If anything is out of wack, the Tube Box will amplify it. But if everything is just right, you'll get a real smooth and open sound.

    Furthermore, I had to pass on it because the table I wanted it for was a Technics SL-Q2. Essentially the table wasn't good enough, and it exposed every audible weakness.

    I would say if your table is properly set up, the Tube Box would be a great match. As far as cart matching, that's another story.

  25. #25
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Peabody
    It might blow the budget but what about just getting a stereo preamp with the phono built in?
    We just discussed this in another thread. I forget which one. You're right Peabody, for a bit more cash, there are some great preamps out there. The ARC SP9 comes to mind, very versatile for roughly $800.

    I think the best idea would be to convert a used tube pre into a dedicated phono stage. This is what we discussed with frenchmon in that other thread. However, this is where a unit like the Tube Box starts to become a value. If you can't best the cost of the Tube Box, then you better be darn sure it's worth it in terms of fidelity.

    For your budget Jack, you would probably just come in under. The idea is to grab a vintage American tube pre, and use it as a dedicated phono stage. This is done by using the Tape Out and bypassing all line stages and controls (essentially noise). Obviously the further your money can go to refurbing a stock unit, the better. Coupling caps and resistors should be replaced. There is also a great mod for the RIAA circuit.

    Dynaco, EICO, Scott, Fisher, Sherwood are all good names. Problem is many people are discovering these brands, so the cat is out of the bag. Prices have gone up significfantly in the last few years.

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