Thursday, January 21, 2010

Cables,interconnects,plugs,sockets, do they make any difference?

This has been going on for ages! Some are a believer and spend a lot of 'mullahs' investing into the above tweaking and squeezing to get the last ounce/gram of 'perfection'.. I am not going to prove it or otherwise but of late I see no harm in  investing a few 'mullahs' just to see(hear) if there are differences.. I use differences here they may not amount to improvements at all! Any changes that satisfy my sonic needs will be classified as improvements..

I started awhile back by using/making my own speaker cables.. a really heavy gaged 14AWG conductor cables.. with a good high quality banana plugs I have compared with a commercial branded speaker cables.. I liked mine best!

I have made my own digital coax cables for my CD transport.. mini-to-mini cables for my headamp and headphones.. to name but a few.. but I want to draw your attention to my latest findings..

Based on some discussions in an audio thread in a local forum, I invested in a high quality MK 3-pin plug. The fuse is silver plated so are the fuse holders.. the wires in the plug are held by very solid binding posts!

I wasn't expecting much but the first half hour I begin to detect a very minor changes... microdynamics has 'improved' somewhat.. the low end is well rounded and the mid bass was really in focus! Midband/range is slightly projected and its kinda rough and edgy with a rough edge.. top end was some what well define but still within control.. as the minutes and hours ticked by, the rough edges has been trimmed somewhat.. I noticed the PRAT has somewhat picked up.. and I am not used to such a high speed.... I like my music slow and mellow..

Still in the mood of 'fine tuning', I took out the silver plated bussman fuse and replaced it with a 'no-name' fuse.. To my amazement, that has somewhat tamed the midband, polished and pushed back a little bit of the midband projection, still I am not satisfied... bear in mind, I am a bass head and liked my music relaxed.
The source of my music was my favourite CD: Sadao Watanabe- How's Everything. LIVE at Budokan. I have been listening to this album since 1980, and believe me I know every beat/note in every song! A SONY CD player was used feeding my DIY STK hybrid amp, powering my favourite speakers of all time, RTL3 made by TDL Electronics. A transmission line speakers that I am in love with and never looked back since!
Reviews here: RTL3 Review

I am going to give it a few hours to 'settle down' and may look into changing the 'normal' mains cable into something that was recommended in the threads..

Will update soon... Happy listening guys!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Vinyl deep cleaning, using woodglue - The process.

The woodglue is applied using the flexible spatula provided. I poured about 1/2 cup worth of woodglue and while the turntable is spinning, evenly spread out the glue as seen. Honestly it's kinda thick, I should be using less woodglue as this would aid faster drying/curing... since this is the first time, its okay.. we learn from experience.. ;)

The processed vinyl is place on a stand and left on the dining table with the ceiling fan switched on, to further expedite the drying process. Since this will take a few good hours dependent on the thickness of the woodclue, I did this just after dinner, anticipating that the woodglue should be dry in the morning... 

This is what I found in the morning! From apaque thick white covering it became 'hard' and translucent layer, ready to be peeled.. The trick here is to use your finger nails and pushed the layer at the edge, it should peel easily..

There you go, what did I tell ya?! Start peeling from the edge and work your way to the center... then work your way circumferentially... simple! ;)

As you can see the woodglue layer is very flexible, its neither soft or hard. Almost there and I can see that the vinyl surface has transformed.. like its brand new!!!

Voila! A spanking 'new' vinyl is in my hand ready to be tested/played! A quick test on the turntable revealed a much quiter surface noise, very minimal pops/crackles/etc... The stylus is left clean as opposed to be full of gooey/gunk/whatnots after a few turns..

Now you're ready to do the other side!!!


Very effective in deep cleaning very dirty vinyls.. I found later if you were to initially wet the surface then apply the woodglue, it is more penetrative.. the woodglue that I used was water soluble...
You can also treat the vinyl with isophrophyl alcohol.. this is preferable if the surface is 'oily' and would aid the woodglue in going into the grooves...

Its a lengthy labourous process.
Labourous as the application need to be done manually and carefully. I suggest you try it out on old unuseable vinyls to get the hang of it before venturing on your precious vinyls.
Lengthy because it'll take a while for the woodglue to cure/dry, again depending on the amount being used and the type of woodglue being used. The one that I used take between 4-6 hours before it's 'peelable'...

Warning. Do this at your own risk. So far I had a 100% success rate and you should be able to. Good luck and have fun! I did...!

Happy New Year 2010!

Friday, January 1, 2010

New year resolution? Yeah right!

Here are kinda shortlist of what I am intending to do..

1. The 'lawn mower'(nick named by one of my forumer friend, thanks. Thats whats friends do...) aka know as Dunlop Systemdek will be getting the long awaited tonearm, offered by a close forumer friend. Its the RB300! After all these years (I remembered like 1988!) the Systemdek will be resurrected!

2. I have to find time and obviously the parts required to build up the tube preamp. Posted earlier I have bought 2 sets of tubes.. time to warm up the iron...

See? I told you it was short!.... LOL!

Happy New Year 2010!

Wishing everyone and may the new year bring joy, happiness and prosperity!