My favourites systems

 

 

...are those with which I prefer to listen to the music after 30 years of experience in live listening (and many tested components ).
These systems are not for people seeking the "black inter instruments" or for people seeking the "punch" of a Klipschorn or the 20Hz range, but they are systems that offer, if properly installed, a sound that mainly respects the live music and that surely will meet the tastes of people who appreciate the Dahlquist DQ10 speakers or the Rogers LS3/5a 15ohm (liking them mostly than almost any other modern speaker regardless of price). In essence, they are systems that have precisely those qualities (transparency, timber, harmony and consistency) that have made them such famous speakers (if the electronic chain allows it of course ...) that makes us forget that ugly audiophile propensity for cutting the sound in "parameters". These systems take into account objects produced in the years 70/80, made in Germany (and for some people this will be an insurmountable heresy ) too snubbed at that time in place of the most acclaimed and well received American or English products (maybe we still hold a grudge after the second world war ??...) because over the years I was able to find details of a specific quality, especially in a German brand: Grundig. Face up to reality without prejudices can sometimes lead to some unplanned choices that are, I would say, rather unseemly (having to admit them) but this should not be denied if you are honest with yourselves.
The only hope is that the suggestions given on this website do not lead to "true massacres" perpetrated on well-sounding components from chronic "rewirers", tweekers & c.  I discourage any tampering (rewiring, recapping, substitution of input terminals, etc.) of any good speaker (Grundig, Dahlquist or else ...) because their validity is always based on subtle balances which inevitably fail in this case, causing often an incredible worsening in reproduction.
The CCI modification that I have implemented on Grundig active speakers ( the only Grundig object that I do modify) are no exception to this rule: from the point of view of the wiring circuit, crossover frequency or components, they remain unchanged respect to the original (and not because of awe, but simply because I believe they made impeccable choices and they used the right materials ... and I say this with the knowledge that I derived from a twenty-year experience of such projects and of the real causes that determine the sound ), only the amplification chassis is modified and "updated" to the knowledge that were accrued in Grundig (on the chassis of the speaker) only the later years (when these boxes were no more produced), essentially improves the amplification leaving intact the rest. The skeptics (not hard to be skeptic facing such of carelessness and many snake-oil salesmen that live in this

field ...) are very welcome in my house to have the possibility to compare the three top models (20-30-40...I do not keep the 50 which is slightly worse) modified CCI with the standard models that anyone can bring with him: it is an experience that I recommend you to do ... it is not a matter of nuances.
I recommend mostly aktiv mod.LT to passive solution (box850a/1500a/2500a) with amp LT (and I say it versus my interest) while, conversely, if you leave the aktiv "standard" (with no CCImod.) I recommend mostly the passive series + Grundig or LT amplifier (full CCI).
The three systems that I prefer and which I have installed on a permanent basis at my house have in common sources and preamplifier, here they are as follows
 

 

HEADS: SHURE M75B + N75GT2  / / SHURE M85G + N91G or N75GT2 / / SHURE DM95G + N75GT2

 

In an era where the mainstream acclaims only moving coil, it is absolutely anachronistic (in fact some people thinks I'm crazy) to appoint the above cartridges ... even if they were the top of the line of Shure!
But I've tried a lot of moving coils, see my list of the
tested components (and the list is outdated ...). Also I tried the top of the line of Shure of that age but I have not found the thickness and the harmonics and the trasparent middle range that I find in these models as well as the flat linearity (it annoys me that little boost in the high range of some top moving coil ...). There are significant differences between the styles for these Shure cartridges and I suggest, in order to get the benefits promised, to use only the styles conical and not the elliptical or the cheaper conical model N75B (that tracks worse). On the compact systems with Dual turntable, the DM95G is excellent (not to be confused with the M95G, it is a different matter) always to be used with stylus N75GT2.
The tracking force to achieve the highest level of harmonic freedom is 0.75 gr.!
This is a tracking force elusive for the majority of current moving coils that, with higher mobile masses, are forced sometimes to track with more than 2g what the GT2 can track at 1 gr.
You only need to pay close attention to a variable (again a not known one...) that can lead to considerable changes in sound: the manufacturing tolerances of styles can cause a difference of "compulsion" in the inclusion of the style in the cartridge. The best results (by far) are obtained when the stylus enters the guide easily without being forced. In case it is too much "forced", you should leave it slightly pulled out from the guide stopping the insertion just starting to feel it is "tight".
Just try it :-)

 

 

 Shure M85G with N91G

 

TURNTABLES: GRUNDIG PS1010-PS1020 (standard)

 

Not only if you still have the belief that your mastodontic VPI (or other) is the best, but also for those who have already begun to appreciate Garrard 301 or Thorens td124; I recommend everyone (without having problems of mental blocks) to listen to a PS 1010 or 1020 to understand the top limit of the musicality a turntable can reach. You must leave, during the listenings, the 45 rpm adapter housed into its compartment located in the chassis and it is essential the presence of the original pad and the metal circle superimposed and please, remove (as in all   turntables ...) the cover during the listenings. The best results are obtained with their supplied Shure cartridges (M75B on the ps1010 and M85G on ps1020 and with styles N75GT2 (for both) and N91G for the only M85G and set the tracking force at 0.75 grams. Pay attention to the above details ... for these products they are very important!
After having tested several high-ranked turntables, the occurence of finding myself owning a plastic record player that, if you do not choose carefully the basis on which rests (very stiff and stable on 4 points on the floor), also suffers from acoustic feedback (*), that could not seem very good, but it is so far the best turntable my ears have ever heard and I will be very grateful to everybody will appoint me a better turntable in direct comparison (and this applies to every component listed here ). The best sounding solution, when the turntable is a separate component, is a rigid frame with suspension made on the four points but in case of integration with electronics (the classical "compact" for instance) the best solution is the floating chassis for turntable .... So, do not modify or alter the old Dual present on the compact Grundig...it is already the best solution in that context.

* It is intended for acoustic feedback (or acoustic feedback) interaction that occurs between the input and output in an audio system. The acoustic wave emitted from the speakers coming to hit the turntable causes a return to sound through the cartridge and this is highlighted with a loud noise (feedback) typical low frequency which grows in intensity with increasing volume. This phenomenon is less present in turntable with floating subframe being equipped with these (average) of a resonant frequency of the suspension system / lower frame which determines a greater isolation from vibrations coming from the step but ... Contrary to the beliefs of many, this has no correlation with the sound of the turntable, however, depends on many other things .

 

Grundig PS 1020

 

CD PLAYER: PHILIPS CD960 + LT modification
 

Airiness and concreteness. A lot worse the standard version: flat and metallic. Similar benefits can also be obtained with other actual CD players, see LT mod, though I still prefer to modify this cd player for his linearity of frequency response and because of its good costruction that offer a good basis for the CCI modification.
A similar and equally good performance is offered also by three Grundig CD players developed with CCI criteria: the cd7500, cd7550 and CD35 (unfortunately all of them without remote control).

The CCI improvement of a CD player allows you to understand that the limits that are often attributed to digital are in fact attributable to other factors....: compared to analog, the equivalence is remarkable. 

 

Philips CD960 mod LT

 

PREAMPLIFIER:

GRUNDIG XV7500 (standard)

The only pre Grundig which benefited from the whole experience on the CCI treatment. Personally, I've designed and built (thanks to the knowledge acquired in the CCI) also a preamp to match the LT power amps but (against my own interest). I don't propose it because it's sonically equivalent to the XV7500 (taking care to exclude the tones and the loudness) but it shows a double disadvantage: 1) it is more expensive. 2) it does not features any tone controls that can correct some old recordings (prior to the advent of hifi). On this preamplifier the only problem is the possibility that the time and the tamperings make rare the opportunity to find one fully intact. Referring to this problem, for those who have doubts on the exemplar in their possession I am available to execute a complete check up.
A great alternative for the lazy is the Preceiver X6500tp with remote control ... rare to find and even more rare to find without faults. Integrated with a cassette deck also existed the XC65 by the prohibitive dimensions in width but not remotely controllable.
 

 XV7500

 

 

X6500tp

 

Here below listed the three loudspeakers/amplifier systems that I use at home:

1) LT MA100 + LT DSL
2) Grundig AKTIV 40 mod. LT (placed on the Bose 901's stands, 45cm height)*
3) LT MA50 + Grundig SL1000 that I switch sometimes with the Telefunken TL800 (with foam frontal grille).

* A similar performance is obtained with Aktiv20/30 in rooms of adequate sizes.
 

If you do not have high power requirements, the LT power amps are eventually replaceable (another time I say it against my interest, but to be honest) by a full CCI Grundig integrated amplifier (see Grundig story; check if they are tampered...), place it directly on the floor (see electronics installation ). Look only for the listed models if you want to maintain minimum quality differences. Each speaker has characteristics in some way unique.
Further informations on the various models at
Linear Transfer story and recommended components .
The TL800 is, till now (in addition to the DSL) the only not Grundig speaker with which I could happily live. If it has the foam frontal grille (and not the wooden frame grille) and if it is placed on BF4 Grundig stand, it is really an excellent project.

A very good performance is provided also by Dahlquist DQ10 (it is still my favourite in the whole history of the so-called "hi-end" production ... it sounds unequivocally similar to the Grundig speakers) even if timbre is a bit worse than Grundig. I like also the Rogers LS3/5a 15ohm, vastly more precise and musically correct than any other English project that I've ever heard and that (like the DQ10 and all the trasparent loudspeakers) matches perfectly with full CCI electronics.

 

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