Turned Japanese - system tweaks and DIY projects

Discussion in 'Members' Systems' started by bjlefebvre, Nov 3, 2016.

  1. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

    You do know what 'turning Japanese' means? The Vapors only hinted around the topic :beerchug:
     
  2. Gibsonian

    Gibsonian AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,202
    Location:
    Iowa
    No sex no drugs no wine no women no fun no sun no you no wonder it's dark

    Everyone around me is a total stranger Everyone avoids me like a cyclone ranger

    Everyone...

    That's why I'm turning Japanese
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2017
    Dr. Jackson likes this.
  3. DanBNash

    DanBNash AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    402
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Love my Budgie too - highly recommend to anyone looking for a reasonably priced phono preamp. I rolled some Telefunkens in and haven't looked back!
     
    Dr. Jackson likes this.
  4. bjlefebvre

    bjlefebvre AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,645
    Location:
    Washington DC-ish
    Man, I got two little kids - five and three years old. Sounds like my life right there! ;)

    I have a pair of Amprexs in the Budgie right now. I think I'll try some Valvos. I might hang the TV on the wall, too. Not so worried about spackling any marks, more worried about finding the right paint color after.
     
    asilker, Dr. Jackson and DanBNash like this.
  5. bjlefebvre

    bjlefebvre AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,645
    Location:
    Washington DC-ish
    Through the power of Google, I now get the reference. Hmmmm...might have to change the thread title before I get banned....
     
    turnitdown likes this.
  6. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

    :jump::jump::jump::jump::rflmao::rflmao::rflmao::rflmao:
     
  7. Drugolf

    Drugolf AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,358
    Location:
    Boise
    Welcome back!
     
  8. MacNoob

    MacNoob dazed and confused

    Messages:
    2,083
    Location:
    Longitudinal Center of Canada
    Keep away from HiFiDo if you want your retirement fund to survive.
     
    nyhifihead and Dr. Jackson like this.
  9. ehoove

    ehoove Old & New - Carpe Diem Super Mod Subscriber

    Messages:
    16,417
    Location:
    Mid-Maryland
    Don't discount those NS 690's I have a pair of MkI's running in the vintage rig, and they are keepers!
    Regards,
    Jim
     
  10. onwardjames

    onwardjames Hoardimus Maximus

    Messages:
    15,036
    Location:
    Kentucky
    Agreed, ehoove, I was trying desperately just a few weeks back to convince bjlefebre to keep them. They're a superb monitor that tolerates no crap components.
     
  11. Nightwisher

    Nightwisher Farer In The Goldilocks Zone Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,666
    Location:
    South Carolina
    Sweet stuff!
     
  12. bjlefebvre

    bjlefebvre AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,645
    Location:
    Washington DC-ish
    HiFiDo - those guys are nice, and their stuff tends to be in good shape. But still waaaaaaaay overpriced. If cost is no object they might be worth it, but I found much better deals on Yahoo Auction.
    TV is now on the wall. Man that freed up some space.
    If I can ever get this Denon turntable sold I'll probably start looking at a Rogue integrated just for fun.
    Oh and just built a whole mess of DIY cables. Wish I would have known about that years ago.
     
  13. fredjones

    fredjones Active Member

    Messages:
    343
    Location:
    Alabama
    Where is your biga$$ Japanese DD turntable?
     
  14. bjlefebvre

    bjlefebvre AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,645
    Location:
    Washington DC-ish
    On Barter Town - check it!
     
  15. punprankster

    punprankster AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    801
    Location:
    New jersey
    Agreed. Bought a a pair of NS 690s that have seen
    better days and they have displaced my B&W 703s. I haven't used the 703s for almost a year and a half now. Not bad for a 40 something year old scruffy pair of Japanese speakers.

    2017-05-22_05-42-04.jpg
     
  16. bjlefebvre

    bjlefebvre AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,645
    Location:
    Washington DC-ish
    Yeah, pretty sure the 690s are keepers. Just need to a get a speaker stand for them - looking for something around 4-6 inches off the ground.

    Next up on my "try" list - a Rogue Audio Sphinx. It was the one integrated amp in my budget that I got really curious about while in Japan. Got one used and will do a shoot-out with the Yamaha A-S801 when it arrives. From what I've heard it might be a lateral move - basically boils down to a better built-in phono stage on the Sphinx but a great DAC on the Yamaha - but we'll see.
     
    Wildcat likes this.
  17. Celt

    Celt Super Maude Super Mod Subscriber

    Messages:
    37,213
    Location:
    Paragould, Arkansas
    2017-05-22 094713.JPG
     
    Ds2000 likes this.
  18. bjlefebvre

    bjlefebvre AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,645
    Location:
    Washington DC-ish
    Spent a little time listening to the Rogue Audio Sphinx and the Yamaha A-S801. I’ve had the Yammy for more than a year now and really enjoy it. But while in Japan I read a number of great review for the Sphinx and got very curious about the hybrid solid state/12au7 tube pairing. So bought a used Sphinx with some RCA clear tops and been trying it out, listening to one side of music on one amp and then re-listening to the same side on the other.

    Misc.: Rogue has a considerably smaller footprint than the Yamaha but weighs about the same. Very hefty. The Rogue remote is really weak - if I were going to order one new I would more than likely skip it as an add-on, as it costs an extra $100 but only controls volume. The Yamaha’s remote is frankly a work of art as far as amp remotes go - solid, has all the functions you could want and buttons are well laid out. Also, Dear New Audio Manufacturers - Please Stop Blinding Your Customers With Blue LCD Lights. I put a small bit of electrical tape over the Rogue’s blue light to keep it from piercing my eyes and distracting from the music. Luckily with the amp’s black face plate the tape blends right in.

    Overall Sound - very, very close in quality if still discernable in characteristics. I think these two amps both sound great and a final decision would just come down to which characteristics below the listener prefers. It is not a case of one being clearly better than the other.

    Yamaha is very neutral, very lean. Doesn’t sound like anything is getting in the way of the music at all. Nothing added, and the music has no audio border that I can tell - as in, it doesn't seem to sound rolled off. The Yamaha has a very neutral sound that can be a little dry for some folks at times. But it also supplies an air to the music that can be a taste that, once acquired, is hard to move away from. Other amps can occasionally sound soggy or “boxed in” in comparison.

    The Sphinx adds a relatively slight bit of warmth - not enough to be mistaken for a full-on tube amp, to be sure, but definitely puts a little more meat on the bones than the Yamaha. The bass reaches down further and is presented a little more forward in the mix than with the Yamaha. But the Sphinx still keeps the top end nearly - but not quite - as airy as the Yamaha does, which is nice. In all the added meat on the bones provides more dynamism than the Yamaha, gives the music a little more drive. There is still a very, very slight “boxed in” feel to the sound compared to the Yamaha. Just reminds me how much the Yammies really get out of the way of the music.

    Inputs - Sphinx built-in phono stage has an edge over the Yamaha. It's definitely “good enough” to use on its own for most folks. My Parks Audio Budgie beats it out some, but the Budgie is also an extra four hundred bucks. Of course, the Yamaha A-S801 has that wonderful built-in DAC, something the Sphinx lacks completely. So basically, a listener building a new system has to figure out whether they’d prefer a serviceable phono stage but a great DAC (Yamaha) or a pretty darn good phono stage but no DAC whatsoever (Sphinx).

    Ugh. This is going to be a tough decision on which one to keep. Frankly I preferred whichever amp I was listening to at the time. The only reason I might decide against the Sphinx is that keeping it would force me to get a DAC. While not the end of the world, it would be another box on the audio table that already has the Budgie, and SUT and a mono switch box on it already.
     
    KrautNotRice and ranch 22b like this.
  19. bjlefebvre

    bjlefebvre AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,645
    Location:
    Washington DC-ish
    What stands are you using for those?
     
  20. bjlefebvre

    bjlefebvre AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,645
    Location:
    Washington DC-ish
    Ok, the latest. Kept the Sphinx - it plays very well with the Budgie. Added a Schitt Modi Uber 2 DAC I got used on Barter Town. At first blush it doesn't seem to be much improvement over the Chromecast Audio's built-in DAC, but I'll be able to spend some quality time with it later tonight. Playing with tuners now. Once that is finished, I think I've got my system set for a while now - after having purged most of the Japanese gear. At about 30% Japanese parts now - just the tuner and the NS-690s. But those speakers are stayin'. :music:
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2017
    Ds2000 likes this.

Share This Page