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Quads and Cat

192.190.90.10

Posted on December 23, 2016 at 10:21:02
tedtag
Audiophile

Posts: 41
Location: Southeast US
Joined: May 1, 2015



Singing....... I was actually singing along with the music and didn't even know it until the song was over. And I'm not the kind of guy who would ever sing, even when nobody is around! But I obviously couldn't stop myself and really didn't care at all. That's in essence what happened when I finally pulled the Maggie 3.7i's from my system and carefully inserted the Quads.

Now, these are not just any old pair of Quads I'll admit. They are called PK Customs and were hand made from scratch by Wayne Piquet of Quads Unlimited.They each have 5 ESL63 panels, steel frames, and upgraded components where Wayne went about fixing or eliminating all of Quads inherent problems. I bought them about 2 1/2 years ago and tried them with my CJ Premier 8's and also a pair of Carver Black Beauty 305's. Not so good with either pair of amps and not sure why. But to remedy that problem I went out and bought my 3.7i's that immediately sounded great. The Quads have been sitting in the corner for all of those 2 1/2 years waiting patiently for another chance.

Then to complicate matters further, I bought a pair of CAT JL7's last April at Axpona. These amps sounded even better with the Maggies and with the CAT amps I really believed I had achieved about the best I was going to get with my room and set up. In fact I recently posted the question if anybody thought I could replace the 3.7i's with 20.7's; that being the last upgrade I could think of? Well, the itch to meddle just wouldn't go away until finally the idea hit me to try the Quads back in the system only this time driven by the CATS.

The JL7's are 250w triode kt150 mono blocks. I fell in love with them at Axpona. They were playing the Marten Coltrane 3's in one room and the CAT Statements were matched with Magico S5's in another room. It just seemed that where I heard what I thought was the best sound at the show, the CAT gear was there. These amps will drive just about anything; and apparently they are particularly good at driving Quads. Btw, I also bought a CAT Legend Black Path preamp with an amazing built in phono section, so all my electronics are currently CAT.

The first thing I noticed with the Quads was incredible transparency where I wasn't listening to a system anymore. It was just clear as a bell musical notes hanging in space. Then came the tonality where there was a naturalness to the sound that was undeniable. Everything sounded like it did in real life. Plus, the detail was addictive. All the tiny little background sounds are right there and it just seems to draw you in and compels your attention. All of that adds up to a completely involving emotional experience with the right music. Plus, the tonality, textures, air and space around the performers, images, bass, etc are all just wonderful with the Quads.

I suppose I should mention the pair of REL G2's in the corners. They are currently crossed over at 42hz while the Maggies liked 39hz. The RELs add a lot I'm sure, but I'm not turning them off for even a second to find out how much! So the Quads are looking like they are staying around for a while. There is something so comfortable about the system with the Quads and CAT gear. They seem to complete each other somehow and just create this warm, gorgeous, natural sound that's hard to turn off. In fact I had to stop working for the last 2 days because there are so many records I want to hear!




 

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Thought this was going to be sorry tale of Kitty meets EHT (nt), posted on December 23, 2016 at 11:20:47
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RE: Quads and Cat, posted on December 23, 2016 at 14:53:58
Satie
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Posts: 4174
Joined: July 6, 2002
That is a fabulous result. Who knew to tell you what to expect with the CAT amps with your quads?

Can you go a bit further in comparing the PK Quads and the 3.7i?

 

RE: Quads and Cat, posted on December 23, 2016 at 16:17:38
AJ
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Fabulous combination- congratulations.

 

RE: Quads and Cat, posted on December 24, 2016 at 05:35:53
tedtag
Audiophile

Posts: 41
Location: Southeast US
Joined: May 1, 2015



Thanks Satie and it was just a guess with the Quads and CAT gear. But I knew there was something missing or something more that was not coming through with the Maggies. For the first several months as I tweaked the subs and speaker set up tiny fractions, the Maggies got better. I even remember vividly, one glorious moment when I was brought to tears by of all things; Dave Mason's guitar solo on "Look at you Look at me" from his incredible album "Alone Together". His guitar was hanging in space, wailing away as if it was alive....... everything slowed down as I waited almost breathless for the next note to pierce the background. But with the Maggies that kind of experience was more of a teaser. The system was gloating at me as if to say, "see how amazing this can be, but no you can't have that all the time. Only on rare and unexpected occasions."

Then there was the volume problem with the Maggies. Yes the CATs and Maggies played plenty loud enough. I like loud, but mostly because up to a point it seems like louder brings out more detail. But there is a price to pay with the Maggies at loud volume. Right where the volume was loud enough to bring out more detail, the sound would also become a little thick and bloated. It was as if the whole system was trying too hard to make good music. At lower volume, there was just a lack of information coming through. Turn it up and there would be more detail. But then, a sort of subtle bloating and smearing would happen, and I'd want to turn it down..... and then I'd lose the detail. But none of this was terribly bad and in fact overall the Maggie/CAT set up was still one of the best I have ever heard. After a while however (at least a year), and it may take a truly obsessive and crazy audiophile to understand this, this whole process just sort of wore me out and I had to change something. So in came the Quads.

PK did an amazing job building the Customs and they perform at a much higher level than stock Quads. I'm confident in saying that because I currently have a pristine pair of 63's, a pair of 2905's (bad panel), and recently had a pair of 989's that PK took in on trade for partial payment for the Customs. So I'm very familiar with almost all of the previous generations of Quads, with lots of different electronics. These Customs do everything good a Quad can do, but without the shortcomings. First, they play loud. And compared to the Maggies there is no smearing or bloating at all at higher volume levels. If anything, there is plenty of detail at loud levels. I've turned it up to the point where I've sat cringing in my seat, waiting for the snap, crackle, and pop sounds of a clipping Quad as it's met its limit. So far, that hasn't happened even at super loud rock and roll levels like 103 to 105 db.

Other virtues of the Quads compared to the 3.7i's include natural and real tonality, more air and space than the Maggies, a more coherent and dense soundstage in that it is continuous and does not appear like cut out images pasted on poster board, the decay of notes seems to last longer, and all against a dead quiet background. (credits to the CAT preamp and phono section for this one!!!) Overall, the Quads just sound like real music effortlessly pouring out of the speakers.

Effortless may be the key word among all of these. It seems like the CATS are such a good match for the Quads that the system just goes away leaving only the music in all its glory and raw emotion to enjoy. At low levels, all the lip smacking, deep breathing, chair moving, and even the key pads on a clarinet or sax, all come through. Then at louder levels, the dynamics chime in and pow....... kick drums, organ, bass guitar, etc. all sound splendid but again totally natural..... especially with the RELs crossed over at 42hz. At that setting there is a seamless integration in this system that really fills out the frequency spectrum while capturing lots of subtle overtones further up the scale.

With all that said, I'll have to let these impressions settle in a bit more. But overall, I'm really happy about switching back to the Quads and of course still wonder what a pair of Maggie 20 somethings would do. Then, and here's where Planar fans need to hold their ears, I've ordered a pair of Vivid Giya G1's for another system I'll be working on in 2017. Apparently the Giya's have a reputation of being one of the most planar sounding dynamic speakers out there. Well, please give me about 6 to 9 months and I'll let you know my humble opinion about that!

 

RE: Quads and Cat, posted on December 24, 2016 at 06:20:37
josh358
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"At lower volume, there was just a lack of information coming through. Turn it up and there would be more detail. But then, a sort of subtle bloating and smearing would happen, and I'd want to turn it down..... and then I'd lose the detail."

Heh, yes. In my experience, the bigger the Maggie, the louder they'll play before sounding stressed. Stats are cleaner and more detailed but typically suffer from power response problems (solved in the ESL-63 of course), mylar noise (which Maggies have too but at a lower frequency), and limited SPL's. It seems that the mod deals with the latter in the Quads, which is great.

 

RE: Quads and Cat, posted on December 24, 2016 at 14:18:16
Satie
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Posts: 4174
Joined: July 6, 2002
I think the problems you had with the bringing out of detail using volume adjustment on the 3.7i as resulting from the low level detail swallowing by the maggies then followed by compression at higher volumes and the plethora of vibration issues from the diaphragm noise and magnet board ringing. The compression issue is solved with the push pull drivers of the MG20.1 and later version and to a substantial extent the low level detail swallowing is taken care of as well. The Neo8 drivers I use are also push pull and definitely narrowed the gap with ESLs on low level detail presentation, while also eliminating the compression problems. The big deal for me is that they can play very loud without strain and that is well beyond anything I got out of an ESL (Acoustat 2+2 not to speak of the Quad 57 - to which I had long term exposure, CLS and a couple of mid range ML hybrids to which I had some exposur)...
Quite frankly, Considering the cost of a PK modded quad starting with a new quad, I think the 3.7i just isn't the right speaker to set up to compete with the PK Quads. The proper model is the 20.1 or the 20.7. That way you have PP drivers for bass and midrange as well as tweeters, and a lower mass diaphragm on the 20 models' mids as they don''t have to handle bass like the 3.7 diaphragms do. Your room can handle the slightly greater space requirement for the 20.7. But I think your main advantage introducing the 20.7 would be in midbass performance - on the octave centered at 100hz. Though much improved relative to the 3.7 in the areas you mentioned, I don't know that the gap left with optimized ESLs would really be so readily closed in the mids to the point that you would prefer the 20.7/20.1.

The Vivid Gia is in one of the most advanced cabinets ever designed (former B&W engineers) but it is not a tall line source, which I think is necessary to obtain the most out of recordings because of the way the room coupling works on the floor reflections compared to tall line sources. It might be worthwhile to watch DB Keele's presentation of his floor reflection calculations on his Audio Artistry speakers. http://www.parts-express.com/audio-artistry-cbt36k-line-array-speaker-pair-kit--301-980 In the case of a tall dipole planar line source you have a cylindrical wave form launch that limits the floor reflection effects. There is a gain in midrange clarity that I noticed in the CLS when compared to the big ML hybrids that I ascribe to the fact that the ESL section is lifted way off the floor and slanted. thus undoing the benefit of the cylindrical wave launch and making the hybrids sound more like a conventional speaker into the mids and treble. The Acoustat 2+2 and the Beveridge were really the killer in this aspect. I suppose the IRS was as well, so claimed HP, but those Beveridge, 2+2, the MG20 and the tall soundlabs and to an extent my line array Neo8 midrange (though not quite as tall as initially planned) do this space lift and bring the soundstage to a believable presentation that I have not heard from any box speaker, including crossoverless single driver and coax point sources.

To get back on point, I think you should get an audition of the MG20.x and ask yourself if there is a gain in midbass performance that you would appreciate and whether the loss of some midrange and low treble detail relative to the PK Quads is just a deal breaker that you can't live with now that you finally have the PK Quads at their best.

 

RE: Quads and Cat, posted on December 24, 2016 at 15:23:47
AJ
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I think the comparison is just fine. I have had PK USA monitors still have PK ESLs and now Beveridge Electrostatics.

I'm very familiar with the Magnepan MMG, 3.7 and 20.1( another beast) .. I still prefer what quads can do especially considering the complexity and cost of amplification for Magnepans if done correctly.

Tedtag enjoy your Quads, PK does great work. I've got his latest thinking in materials on ESLs done a few months ago here--- and they are fabulous too. You can get off the train now. Not much better you can do in a PP tube amp than the CAT. Enjoy! The Maggie lovers outnumber us! :)



 

RE: Quads and Cat, posted on December 24, 2016 at 20:00:53
Satie
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Posts: 4174
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Quite frankly, my perspective is from the disgruntled ESL lover who just never got his output requirements met. Had I a chance to get enough output out of a Beveridge that is what would be in my listening room, as it is the best imaging and tonal presentation I have ever heard. So what is missing in the bottom end can be filled with subwoofers.

The other thing, as you have obviously noted since you run beveridge ESLs is that the spatial presentation of a tall line source is different from a point source like the Quads or conventional boxes. .

 

RE: Quads and Cat, posted on December 25, 2016 at 06:08:00
tedtag
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Posts: 41
Location: Southeast US
Joined: May 1, 2015
Thanks again Satie and AJ! This is all great information and I really appreciate the chance to talk about it on this forum and get your thoughts. I love the trial and error part of the discovery process with switching components and I'll admit it...... I enjoy messing around with audio gear just about as much as listening to music. I'm sure that statement would be considered sacrilegious in some circles, but to me its just fun to swap gear and see what happens.

I will say that its highly unlikely that my 3.7i's will ever find their way back into this system. As the Quads have settled in during the last few days, everything has gotten much better, particularly the overall cohesiveness of the system. The Quads with the CAT electronics are just fantastic and I really doubt if I'd ever break them up again. The last few days when I've woken up in the morning, I feel like a kid and run down to turn the system on, then start flipping records. Every record sounds new and different with lots of information I just never heard before.

But I can see a day not too far down the road, where I find a pair of 20.?'s and shoe horn them into the sweet spot of this system; just to try them out. Then I'd even like to set up the 20.?'s in the Giya system when that comes together in a couple of months. That system will have CAT Statement amps that are being built now with either my CJ GAT2 with CJ Premier 15 or the CAT Legend depending on what sounds best. The front end will be a TechDas 3 with Graham Phantom Elite arm and the new TechDas cartridge or my Koetsu Blue Lace tracking the grooves. With all that gear I'll be able to have regular shoot outs between my Planar speakers and the Giyas (or other dynamic speakers) with all kinds of different electronic configurations, tube or solid state.

As crazy expensive as all of this is, I'm pretty convinced that the only way to really audition a piece of equipment is in my own system for several months at a time. I've been to many shows and several dealers who were kind and generous enough to allow me to hear their demo systems knowing the chances I would buy were pretty slim. Then, I've heard a few super systems set up in other kind and generous folks's own homes. Its rare to find a really good sounding system and impossible to sort out all the variables and think that system would sound just as good in my own house!

 

RE: Quads and Cat, posted on December 25, 2016 at 07:52:13
tedtag
Audiophile

Posts: 41
Location: Southeast US
Joined: May 1, 2015
Hi AJ. Any idea what PK has done to improve his speakers even more? Thanks.

 

RE: Quads and Cat, posted on December 25, 2016 at 11:09:29
josh358
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"Its rare to find a really good sounding system"

Isn't that the case! The sad thing being that often the difference is just a bit of tuning. This can't be done effectively at shows (though I've seen some valiant attempts) and dealers aren't always much better. I admit too that I'm a dipole snob -- planar/ribbon, electrostatic, or even dynamic, they just have a level of realism that I've never heard from a box, no matter how good. I find that it takes quite a bit of experimentation and tuning before I get the kind of sound I want, but it's a pleasure to hear my old Tympanis sounding better and better as I tune the system and the room -- when the sound takes my breath away, I know I'm heading in the right direction.

 

RE: Quads and Cat, posted on December 25, 2016 at 11:21:05
josh358
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Depends on what you want to do, doesn't it? Satie is unlike most audiophiles in that he prefers to listen at natural levels. And I've personally gone with big Maggies because for me, they offer the best compromise between the impact of dynamics and the transparency of stats, with line source imaging and excellent power response and tonal balance. But it really depends on what kind of music you listen to, how loud you listen, budget, room size, etc. -- I don't think there's one solution that's best for all.

 

RE: Quads and Stones, posted on December 25, 2016 at 19:22:25
digda_beat
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Location: Canberra
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Great to hear. My esl63's have new membranes and sound amazing. My kids gave me the new stones Cd for Christmas. It sounded pretty weak on the dining room system, but I just had a lsten to iton the sel63's..they brought out tremendous charachter and detail, a whole different level

 

RE: Quads and Cat, posted on December 27, 2016 at 12:39:32
AJ
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That is some pretty serious gear you are playing with; congratulations. The Giyas are one speaker that may sway me from 'stats. However, I have not yet gotten tired of the Beveridges that I restored.

Absolute ear crunching volume levels are not important to me. The perspective of , essentially floor to ceiling line source, is certainly compelling -impressive and can be quite life like. However, what the Quads do well will be hard to beat over the long term even with Magnepan 20.___'s

Any electrostat will be a compromise or an offering of a different perspective and I will include the Soundlabs in this as well. I like what Electrostatics do well. I wouldn't trade your Quad set up for Magnepans-my choice for the illusion- especially when you will have Giyas coming in.


It is all a compromise regardless of how much time and money you put into it. The illusion that pleases you is the correct one. I know what PKs work is capable of and no stock Quad can compete. His latest work includes some materials that at least on the ESL tweeter panels takes things to another level IMO.

You have killer amplification on that system that will bring the best out of your Quads.




 

RE: Quads and Cat, posted on December 28, 2016 at 05:28:00
tedtag
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Posts: 41
Location: Southeast US
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Thanks AJ and I really appreciate your feedback! It was so amazing how natural it was to have the CAT JL7's matched with the Quads. This has changed my whole perspective on speaker / amp matching and how important it is to get right. Lots of amps can drive lots of speakers but a good (perfect!!!) match like the Quads and CATs just sounds so effortless and like I've said; like having no system at all. I've mixed and matched my Quads and Maggie's with CJ Prem 8's, Carver 305's, NuPrime R20's, CJ Classic 60, and the CAT JL7's. Nothing even comes close to the Quads and Cats.

Not to mention the CAT Legend preamp. Before I bought that wonderful piece, I had a CJ GAT2 in the system with great results. Phono preamp was a CJ Premier 15 that had been back to the factory for all CJ's latest phono preamp upgrades and I was told by their Tech that its about as good a phono preamp as they can make.

But IMHO the Legend clearly beat the GAT2 in lots of ways that really matter. These are both companies that have spent the better part of the last 30+ years fine tuning their preamps. Please don't take this the wrong way because the GAT2 sounds great, with excellent tonality, detail, dynamics, imaging, etc. If it wasn't for the CAT, I would be pretty happy with the GAT2 for a long time. But, where the CAT Legend really shines is in its overall presentation. There is a continuity to the soundstage that sounds like real life. Its rare to hear sounds from a recording through the Legend that seem like they are coming from one of the speakers. The CAT presents a 3D wall of sound where even the space between notes has musical meaning. The music is suspended in a silent, but energized background, where the notes are distinct from the background but also part of a natural whole. The CJ preamp just doesn't get this in the same way.

Anyway, with things sounding good, its probably about time to mess it up, but this round I'll just be toying with cartridges. Right now I've got a Koetsu Blue Lace that sounds fantastic. But next week I'm supposed to take delivery of a TechDas cartridge supposedly made by the same folks who build the Air Tight Opus1. This cart is earmarked for the TechDas table that is not set up yet, but it will be interesting to put it up against the Blue Lace even installed in my VPI Signature/ 3D arm. I talked to Bob Graham yesterday and he thinks the TechDas cart will be a good match for the VPI/ 3D so can't wait to try that out! And it should give that Blue Lace a little anxiety......Vinyl purists please stand by for that report.

 

RE: Quads and Cat, posted on December 28, 2016 at 14:17:14
Sondek
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I cold not agree more regarding your comments about CAT. I have the kind of budget version of your system. I'm using an SL1 Renaissance to feed Acoustat servo-charge amps, which in turn drive my Acoustat Monitor 4's. You are absolutely correct when you say that the amp/speaker matching is crucial. Although I can't imagine the JL7's being a bad match for virtually any speaker. The Acoustat servos were, as you probably know, purpose designed and built to drive electrostatic panels and IMO it don't get much better in terms of amp/speaker matching. I'd love to hear your setup with the JL7's driving your Quads. I have a real soft spot for ESL's in general, but have always been very fond of Quads. I'll bet it sounds marvelous.

 

RE: Quads and Cat, posted on December 29, 2016 at 04:30:36
tedtag
Audiophile

Posts: 41
Location: Southeast US
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Thanks Sondek and appreciate your feedback. The first high end speakers I bought back in the 80's were Acoustat 2+2's but never had them set up right and was using a NAD amp to drive them. Not the best...... Wish I had those speakers back again!

Sounds like you've got a terrific set up and the CAT Renaissance is a great preamp. With the Legend a big plus is the built in phono section that takes up half the inside of the chassis. When I opened it up I could not believe the meticulous hand work to get all that in there in such a well organized fashion, but that's how all the CAT gear is built. I told my step son these CAT components are heirlooms that should never be sold, like a fine hand crafted watch.

 

RE: Quads and Cat, posted on December 30, 2016 at 19:28:03
Satie
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I wrote up a longish post in part as a reply gone rogue about turntables and planars. It is not an appropriate reply any longer, and I don't know if I will get around to rewriting it for the planar or vinyl asylum as an independent post.

Anyway, the Techdas TTs (which one did you get?) and the VPI 3D arm have a fabulous reputation, as I am sure their cartridge will obtain if the buzz is justified. Do tell us

If you want to read my little write up PM me and I will email it to you.

 

RE: Quads and Cat, posted on December 31, 2016 at 05:15:41
tedtag
Audiophile

Posts: 41
Location: Southeast US
Joined: May 1, 2015
Thanks Satie. The table I picked is the TechDas 3 with the Graham Phantom Elite arm. From what I've heard from reliable sources the TechDas folks did a pretty good job of engineering a lot of the features from the crazy expensive TechDas 1 into the 3 and at half the price. Plus there is the point of diminishing returns where I felt an extra $50K for the difference just wasn't worth it to me.

I also figured that if I went for the best cartridge match possible and obsessed over setup, then the difference in tables would be even less. Then I read that some people who really know the TechDas tables believe that none of the 3 tables they make is any better, just different, and the 3 is supposedly a little "faster" in digging information out of the grooves (whatever that means???). Faster seems like a good quality for the type of sound and listening I enjoy. If more speed equals more detail then with Planars and/or hopefully the Giya's, the TechDas 3 should be a good choice. Guess I'll find out!!! When I heard the TechDas3 with the Graham arm and a top of the line van den Hul cartridge at Axpona with the Cat JL7's and Marten Coltrane 3's the sound was absolutely stunning. There was a wooden flute on a record that produced one of the most amazing sounds I've heard; ton's of air and texture and completely compelling in its delivery. It still haunts my memory to think about it.

Plus I liked the feature on the 3 of having multiple arms and will probably add at least a mono cartridge in a separate arm. There's something about the sound and textures of those 50's mono recordings that's just wonderful and I'd really like to buy a lot more mono recordings and explore that whole world. And of course to me, the TechDas 3 just looked really cool, being sort of a shallow person who cares about appearances...... Not that the 1 and 2 don't; they look pretty stunning as well.

I'd really like to read your post mentioned above and will send a PM a little later. Thanks and Happy New Year everybody!

 

RE: Quads and Cat, posted on December 31, 2016 at 20:07:15
Satie
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Posts: 4174
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"Faster" would probably mean that it has good transient response and lacks overhang, good things for most of us. Definitely sounds like a great design. Just waiting to see them manage the price down. But I am curious for sure. So the VPI 3D stays on what looks like a VPI classic?

My setup can't quite do what you described with that wood flute recording. Still some things to do on the preamp and the mid/tweeter amp is going to be substituted with an 805 SET with the feedback loop removed, when it becomes possible.Also looking for the option of a non feedback parallel KT150 or KT120 SET - someone is making them in China and I am looking for Western reviews.

I get what you say about the critical role of a well executed preamp. My modster friend finally finished his non feedback preamp and it took replacing the Van Alstine Dyna PAS' power trannies with new Edcors ($500) taking up 4 times the space, and added choke and separate filament power supplies. He transitioned it to the basic Herran circuit with no feedback and a single gain stage - down from 3 he started with.Desite this, his power supply box can't contain all the giant film caps and the preamp section is full of foil caps so he had to hang the trannie and choke outside the chassis of both the PS and main box.

 

RE: Quads and Cat, posted on January 1, 2017 at 04:31:03
tedtag
Audiophile

Posts: 41
Location: Southeast US
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Right about the VPI Classic Signature with a 10.5 3D arm. This is a Fantastic table btw and to do any better I felt I really had to make a pretty big leap to the TechDas 3 price range. The VPI table stays in the current system with the JL7's and Quads. I'll probably end up with the GAT2 back in that system and put the Legend with the Giyas. At least I'll try that combination before anything else.

So its Quads, CAT JL7's, GAT2, Premier 15, VPI/3D arm, Koetsu Blue Lace in the Planar system and Giyas, CAT Statements, CAT Legend, TechDas 3, Graham Phantom Elite arm, TechDas cartridge (Air tight mod) in the dynamic system. I should have the dynamic system up and running in about 2 months. I have some more construction work to do with the new dedicated room all of this will be going in. Then I'll spend months dialing everything in all over again for the new system! In the mean time the Quad system just keeps getting better as it settles in. This will be one heck of a shoot out and could be sort of a revelatory experience about top of the line planars vs dynamics. Can't wait to get it all set up.

On another note...... With the Quad system, I have all my cables (power cords and interconnects) elevated on Shunyata cable lifts, except I didn't have enough lifts for the power cords to the Quads or the power cords to the JL7 amps. Well, I found some more older generation Shunyata lifts sitting in a closet and put them in the system and wow what an immediate difference that made.

An entire layer of glaze that I did not know was there just disappeared! This turned out to be a serious tweak in my system for whatever reason because I thought the system had already reached maximum transparency. With that glaze removed, a lot more detail is coming through, and it just draws you into the music even more. I'm hearing things on recordings that I had no idea were even there. The piano peddles, chairs moving, lip smacking, breathing, etc that I had not heard before. I did hear some of that before, but I'd say its more than doubled. And all of that means more music as the detail just draws you in. Totally compelling and who would have known if I didn't try those lifts.

Interesting work by your modster friend Satie! Sounds like some serious internal surgery on that preamp. Way past my entry level knowledge of this sport. Good luck with your preamp mods too and hope all that works out. Also, I'm still processing your post sent PM and will be back on that later this weekend. Take care.

 

RE: Quads and Cat, posted on January 1, 2017 at 15:43:05
ivanj
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January 1, 2017
Happy New Year tedtag,

I have a client who is purchasing a pair of Soundlabs U-1Px Consummates from me. She may have a pair of Acoustat 2+2s for sale. I know they were recently repaired and they are working but I have not heard them. She is a very keen listener, trained on the violin like I am.

If you want them I can make recommendations for ancillary equipment for you. Or, you can hear the new SoundLabs in my appointment only Salon.

We are in New England. Contact me by email if you would like to like to take the next step or explore your choices and options.

I have returned to the Asylum after a long hiatus so if I breaking rules I don't intend to!

Thanks,
William Juch
Best Sound Only LLC

 

RE: Quads and Cat, posted on January 2, 2017 at 07:48:08
tedtag
Audiophile

Posts: 41
Location: Southeast US
Joined: May 1, 2015
Thanks William and I appreciate the info about those 2+2's. Right now I'll have to pass on the Acoustat's; although I do have very fond memories of my old pair! The Soundlabs however have always been fascinating to me and I'd love to hear them in a really good set up. If I happen to be in New England and you didn't mind a visitor to hear them, I'd be interested in stopping by. My step sons are in Boston so we get to be in your neighborhood a couple of times year. If you wanted to send me a PM with more specifics I'd appreciate it. Thanks.

Ted

 

RE: Quads and Cat, posted on January 2, 2017 at 10:46:02
Satie
Audiophile

Posts: 4174
Joined: July 6, 2002
From what little I understand of it, the lifts are supposed to do two things - restrict vibrations coming from the floor and remove the asymmetry of the dielectric field (air above, floor below) so that lifting the cables reduces dielectric losses and lets the cable designer's deliberate balancing of cable properties to work in reality. Most of us don't have the electronics and speakers that would reveal the effects. In my case the bass cables are long but the mid/tweeter cables are just short of 3 ft. and touch the floor for a short distance. Besides which, my room is too crowded for cables not to be a tripping hazard as the speakers are in the middle of the room. Put them on lifts and it is assured to be a disaster..

 

RE: Quads and Cat, posted on January 3, 2017 at 05:02:34
tedtag
Audiophile

Posts: 41
Location: Southeast US
Joined: May 1, 2015
Maybe its a cumulative thing as well. I already had my speaker cables and power cords to my subs up on lifts with good results. But when I also lifted the power cords to the Quads and power cords to my CAT amps, there was a whole new level of improvement and it wasn't subtle or hard to hear. It was plain as day; as if a nasty layer of glaze had been wiped clean.

The only cables left to lift in the entire system are the 2m interconnects from my preamp to the amps and thats going to be a little tricky. These interconnects run through a space that's under my 450 lb equipment rack so I've got to get behind that beast and find a clear route around the sides where I can set them up on lifts. I've studied it and there's a way. Now I just have to find the inspiration to do it!

Maybe next weekend..... But I've got to hear what if any difference it makes to have every single power cord and interconnect off the floor. If this last change adds anything like the power cords to the Quads and amps, I just can't imagine how good it will sound. :^)

 

RE: Quads and Cat, posted on January 13, 2017 at 03:19:23
triamp
Audiophile

Posts: 443
Location: USA
Joined: August 6, 2008
PK rebuilds the panels to better than new- better finish, better tolerances, etc; and he uses the original diaphragm coating material, which is rare stuff. To the best of my knowledge, Wayne is the only one using this special coating.

He also usually puts in a zener protection circuit, so you can feed your Quad with a real power amp. He rebuilds the high voltage bias circuit using modern, quality parts. He may replace some other parts, too, there are some capacitors etc in the circuit that he might replace with new / better ones.

His stuff is great- but it is STILL Quad ESL- which are some of the very best sounding speakers ever made, and his systems don't lose any of that.

 

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