...are those with which I prefer to listen to the
music after 30 years of experience in live listening (and many
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
consideration objects produced in the 70s / 80s of German production which for
some represent an insurmountable heresy. Apparatuses that were too snubbed at
the time in place of the much more praised and appreciated English, American and
Japanese production (perhaps due to unsound rancor due to the Second World War).
In the course of years of experimentation I have had the opportunity to find
particular qualities especially in the context of a specific German brand:
Grundig (see the paragraph concerning amplification in
truth). Looking at reality without prejudice can sometimes lead to choices
that are anything but planned, I would even say rather unseemly (to be admitted)
but which should not be denied for this if one is honest with oneself.
M85G + N91G (for PS1020 installation)
DM95G + N75GT2 (for Grundig/Dual 491, 1239 and others)
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outdated ...).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 (G)and not the elliptical (ED) or the
cheaper conical model (B, 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
original. The tracking force range for N91G and for N75Gt2 was
0,75-1,5gr, but the tracking force to achieve the highest level of
harmonic freedom is 0.8 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 :)
Not only if you still have the conviction that your
big EMT is the best, but also for those who have already begun to
appreciate Garrard 301 - 401 or Thorens 124 and 125 turntables. I
recommend everyone to listen to a PS1020 (complete) within an
effectively transparent chain in order to realize where the musicality
of a turntable can go. On these turntables are important left inserted
the adapter for 45 rpm in the special compartment, the presence of the
original mat, the superimposed metal circle, the original shell and head
and the removal (as in all the turntables) of the cover while listening.
The best results on the PS1020s are obtained with the supplied Shure
head M85G provided it has an original American N91G stylus. It is
preferable to focus on the first two versions "PS1020" or "PS1020a". If
you already have a PS1020b at home you can apply a small adaptation to
make it similar to the first two (here) as well as equip it with an
internal fuse (present only on the first two models).
ATTENTION to details, these products are not at all!
After having owned several turntable the fact of finding myself with a
plastic turntable that, if don't care to choose the base on which it is
supported (well rigid and stable on 4 points with respect to the floor),
suffers also from acoustic feedback (*) it is certainly not the top but
so far it is the best that my ears have listened to and I will be so
grateful to the person who will make me feel better in direct comparison
(and this applies to all the objects listed here).
While in the case of "separate" turntables the best performance is
obtained with a rigid frame and suspensions on the support feet, in case
of integration of the turntable with the electronics (the "compact"
classics for instance) the best solution as suspension is the
counterframe floating so take good care to NOT modify / alter the old
Duals present on the Grundig compacts: they are the top possible in that
context. The Dual turntables are decidedly worse than a PS1020 if taken
instead stand alone. There are particular frame rules to be respected
and depending on the context in which it operates, one or the other of
the two solutions wins. The best Duals (again with reference to the
"compacts") are those equipped with a mat that lifts the disc through
radial strips. This fundamental aspect (together with the metal ring)
unites the PS1020 (and PS1010) with the custom Grundig Duals of the best
* 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 .
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.
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.
AMPLIFIER AND LOUDSPEAKERS
GRUNDIG & LINEAR TRANSFER
The LT power amps used in my two
systems are an LT MA-X and an LT MA100, both with the same
chassis approach (see
LT story). As for the choice of speakers, I am more inclined
(it will be the age) to prefer those that do not involve image
distortion due to the type of speaker arrangement on the panel.
For this reason I tend to prefer solutions capable of simulating
The MTM solution (midwoofer-tweeter-midwoofer) is among these
the most performing, although it involves various problems to be
solved to obtain a significant timbre result. In my two systems
I therefore use, almost exclusively, the Grundig SL1000 for the
environment with four useful reinforcements in the low range
loudspeakers installation) and the LT DSL for the
environment with three useful reinforcements.
I am not able to fully express in words the amount of work
behind projects such as DSL speakers or LT amplification, there
are no years of work, there is my life.