Monitor upgrade from Adam A7X

For everything after the recording stage: hardware/software and how you use it.

Re: Monitor upgrade from Adam A7X

Post by Nazard »

Not around £200, plus they are being picked up by hi-fi and vintage nuts, which is driving up prices, you’re looking at thousands now, rather than hundreds.


Tannoy dual concentrics, in good condition, have never been inexpensive on the used market. The same goes for other speaker manufacturers, e.g. ATC, PMC, Harbeth, Spendor, etc..
Nazard
Frequent Poster
Posts: 673 Joined: Sat May 15, 2010 12:00 am

Re: Monitor upgrade from Adam A7X

Post by Arpangel »

Nazard wrote: Thu Feb 02, 2023 1:59 pm
Not around £200, plus they are being picked up by hi-fi and vintage nuts, which is driving up prices, you’re looking at thousands now, rather than hundreds.


Tannoy dual concentrics, in good condition, have never been inexpensive on the used market. The same goes for other speaker manufacturers, e.g. ATC, PMC, Harbeth, Spendor, etc..

I picked up my Cheviots for £300 around about 1989, from a dealer.
But now you’re looking at two grand plus.
User avatar
Arpangel
Jedi Poster
Posts: 16939 Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2003 12:00 am

Re: Monitor upgrade from Adam A7X

Post by tea for two »

Ah well there goes that plan out the window lol.

I wouldn't even play them half volume in the flat as there are families either side as well as above and below.

If I had funds I'd have a studio built with three sets of upto £20K speakers a few tasty mics amps mixers outboard, open it up for long standing SoS forumees to listen to their pieces mix record (for free ofcourse). Leave them to it. BYOG bring your own gear.
Forumees could take as long as they want (not a year lol). It would have an adjoining BnB guest apartment to stay in (for free ofcourse).

I recall Steve Hill had something like this in proper country grounds. Although it was a necessary commercial venture for Steve.
I'd loved to have visited it if it was still there with Steve running it. I'm sure some forumees went there at the time.

(For those newer to SoS, Steve was a mod on SoS over a decade earlier in the noughties).
tea for two
Frequent Poster
Posts: 3658 Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2002 12:00 am

Re: Monitor upgrade from Adam A7X

Post by James Perrett »

tea for two wrote: Thu Feb 02, 2023 7:25 pm If I had funds I'd have a studio built with three sets of upto £20K speakers a few tasty mics amps mixers outboard, open it up for long standing SoS forumees to listen to their pieces mix record (for free ofcourse). Leave them to it. BYOG bring your own gear.
Forumees could take as long as they want (not a year lol). It would have an adjoining BnB guest apartment to stay in (for free ofcourse).

I recall Steve Hill had something like this in proper country grounds. Although it was a necessary commercial venture for Steve.
I'd loved to have visited it if it was still there with Steve running it. I'm sure some forumees went there at the time.

I recorded at Steve's place although I left most of the technical stuff to Steve because I had my musician's hat on for that session. While Steve is no longer running it, the studio is still going

https://www.woodwormstudios.co.uk/

and the rooms look similar to how they were though the gear is different.
User avatar
James Perrett
Moderator
Posts: 14585 Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2001 12:00 am Location: The wilds of Hampshire
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration. JRP Music Facebook Page

Re: Monitor upgrade from Adam A7X

Post by James Perrett »

Arpangel wrote: Thu Feb 02, 2023 7:10 pm I picked up my Cheviots for £300 around about 1989, from a dealer.
But now you’re looking at two grand plus.

My Berkeleys were slightly cheaper privately. I saw some on Ebay for £1200 a few months ago so there are bargains to be had if you are patient. The only thing with this generation of Tannoys is that the surrounds fail after 20 years or so and require replacement. They are made to be easily serviceable so reconing or surround repair can be done by a patient user and parts seem to be still available.

I've also found out recently that mine have some history. Some people will probably know that I've been working on some of the Toyah re-releases over the last few years but in the late 70's my speakers belonged to Tony Arnold (of Arny's Shack) and were apparently used back then to mix an album by Toyah's husband, Robert Fripp.
User avatar
James Perrett
Moderator
Posts: 14585 Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2001 12:00 am Location: The wilds of Hampshire
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration. JRP Music Facebook Page

Re: Monitor upgrade from Adam A7X

Post by Arpangel »

James Perrett wrote: Thu Feb 02, 2023 10:33 pm
Arpangel wrote: Thu Feb 02, 2023 7:10 pm I picked up my Cheviots for £300 around about 1989, from a dealer.
But now you’re looking at two grand plus.

My Berkeleys were slightly cheaper privately. I saw some on Ebay for £1200 a few months ago so there are bargains to be had if you are patient. The only thing with this generation of Tannoys is that the surrounds fail after 20 years or so and require replacement. They are made to be easily serviceable so reconing or surround repair can be done by a patient user and parts seem to be still available.

I've also found out recently that mine have some history. Some people will probably know that I've been working on some of the Toyah re-releases over the last few years but in the late 70's my speakers belonged to Tony Arnold (of Arny's Shack) and were apparently used back then to mix an album by Toyah's husband, Robert Fripp.

James! this is more than coincidence, I bought a BEL BD80 from that studio, I know it well, they had a big old desk, Raindkirk?
It’s amazing to think that our stuff may have been used on Fripp's music, I think the album that was recorded there was a Fripp/Summers collaboration "I Advance Masked"
Re-coning any speaker fills me with horror, it’s a bit like asking me to make a pair of hand made shoes, it’s an incredibly skilled job, I’ve seen videos, and it’s just beyond, I couldn’t imagine doing it, thankfully, there are still people out there doing it!
User avatar
Arpangel
Jedi Poster
Posts: 16939 Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2003 12:00 am

Re: Monitor upgrade from Adam A7X

Post by James Perrett »

Arpangel wrote: Fri Feb 03, 2023 8:11 am
James Perrett wrote: I've also found out recently that mine have some history. Some people will probably know that I've been working on some of the Toyah re-releases over the last few years but in the late 70's my speakers belonged to Tony Arnold (of Arny's Shack) and were apparently used back then to mix an album by Toyah's husband, Robert Fripp.

James! this is more than coincidence, I bought a BEL BD80 from that studio, I know it well, they had a big old desk, Raindkirk?

Tony Arnold used to buy and sell quite a bit of stuff though I never actually bought anything directly from him so never saw the studio. I would guess most studios in the south of England would have bought at least one bit of kit from Tony.

Arpangel wrote: Fri Feb 03, 2023 8:11 am
It’s amazing to think that our stuff may have been used on Fripp's music, I think the album that was recorded there was a Fripp/Summers collaboration "I Advance Masked"
Re-coning any speaker fills me with horror, it’s a bit like asking me to make a pair of hand made shoes, it’s an incredibly skilled job, I’ve seen videos, and it’s just beyond, I couldn’t imagine doing it, thankfully, there are still people out there doing it!

I think Robert Fripp recorded a few albums there - it was fairly local to him in those days. There are manufacturing date stamps from late 1976 on the cabinets of these speakers so I would guess that they were first used sometime in 1977.

They are remarkably easy to recone provided you follow the instructions properly. There's no gluing needed because everything is clamped down with bolts. The most difficult part of the process was centring the coil in the gap which took a couple of attempts.
User avatar
James Perrett
Moderator
Posts: 14585 Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2001 12:00 am Location: The wilds of Hampshire
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration. JRP Music Facebook Page

Re: Monitor upgrade from Adam A7X

Post by Arpangel »

There’s a great article about Arny's Shack, and Tony, in Studio Sound magazine, a 70’s issue, you can view it on the American radio history site, which you probably already know about.
I have a copy of that magazine, I’ll get the month and post a link to the issue.
User avatar
Arpangel
Jedi Poster
Posts: 16939 Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2003 12:00 am

Re: Monitor upgrade from Adam A7X

Post by James Perrett »

I think I've found it

https://worldradiohistory.com/Archive-A ... 984-02.pdf

Interesting to hear about his converted Ampex machines - I think I may have used one of them back in my early days of recording.
User avatar
James Perrett
Moderator
Posts: 14585 Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2001 12:00 am Location: The wilds of Hampshire
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration. JRP Music Facebook Page

Re: Monitor upgrade from Adam A7X

Post by ef37a »

"I'd mainly agree with Wonks BUT the big difference with the dual concentric design is that you can work with them much closer than you can with a traditional multi-speaker design. In one temporary setup I had the Berkeleys less than a metre away from me which meant that the proportion of direct to reflected sound was far higher than usual. Many people would find a pair of huge monitors directly in front of them too oppressive but it worked for me."

Very interesting James. Can I ask what amplifiers you were driving them with? (apologies if you have already said!) I am interested because many active monitors get reported as having audible self noise at nearfield distances although I will say the problem seems better than it was a few years ago.

Those Tannoys are noted for their sensitivity and so the amplifiers must have been PD good if noise was not a problem.

Dave.
ef37a
Jedi Poster
Posts: 16955 Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 12:00 am Location: northampton uk

Re: Monitor upgrade from Adam A7X

Post by James Perrett »

At that time I was using a Quad 405-2. It wasn't a treated room but it was reasonably quiet and, while there was a little hiss from the speakers, it wasn't really noticeable. However, the Hypex amp that I now use with them is even quieter - you have to have your ear right up to the speaker to hear anything and that's in a properly soundproof studio.
User avatar
James Perrett
Moderator
Posts: 14585 Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2001 12:00 am Location: The wilds of Hampshire
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration. JRP Music Facebook Page

Re: Monitor upgrade from Adam A7X

Post by RobinC »

RobinC wrote: Mon Jan 30, 2023 7:10 pm
jaminem wrote: i have to say that if I was buying now i'd probably be looking at the KH150/KH750 combo.

After more pondering that's the conclusion I've come to. I do use Sonarworks and having spent some time moving my speakers around, measuring then moving them again I think some level of DSP processing is needed in addition to the treatment that I have in the room.

As a follow up to my original post. The KH150s arrived earlier in the week. Very impressed with what the MA1 software does with them. There low end in these is also a step up from my Adams
RobinC
Poster
Posts: 75 Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:11 am

Re: Monitor upgrade from Adam A7X

Post by Nazard »

I'm glad the KH150s are going well. Phil Ward also wrote a bit about them on his website as well as the SoS review.

James, which Hypex modules did you use, please?
Nazard
Frequent Poster
Posts: 673 Joined: Sat May 15, 2010 12:00 am

Re: Monitor upgrade from Adam A7X

Post by James Perrett »

Nazard wrote: Sat Feb 04, 2023 10:51 pm James, which Hypex modules did you use, please?

2 of the UcD180HG and an SMPS400 which I put into a Quad 405 case. Both of my 405's had issues so I took the good parts from each and made one good 405 and used the spare case for the Hypex modules.
User avatar
James Perrett
Moderator
Posts: 14585 Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2001 12:00 am Location: The wilds of Hampshire
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration. JRP Music Facebook Page

Re: Monitor upgrade from Adam A7X

Post by Arpangel »

James Perrett wrote: Sat Feb 04, 2023 2:30 pm I think I've found it

https://worldradiohistory.com/Archive-A ... 984-02.pdf

Interesting to hear about his converted Ampex machines - I think I may have used one of them back in my early days of recording.

That’s the one, there’s also another article by Tony in another issue, all about studio maintenance, I’ll dig it out.

James Perrett wrote: Sat Feb 04, 2023 7:35 pm At that time I was using a Quad 405-2. It wasn't a treated room but it was reasonably quiet and, while there was a little hiss from the speakers, it wasn't really noticeable. However, the Hypex amp that I now use with them is even quieter - you have to have your ear right up to the speaker to hear anything and that's in a properly soundproof studio.

I’ve been using a 405-2 for a few years now, I can’t say I really like it, it’s a dry, slightly hard clinical sound.
Hypex? I need to investigate something else, at the very least.
User avatar
Arpangel
Jedi Poster
Posts: 16939 Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2003 12:00 am

Re: Monitor upgrade from Adam A7X

Post by Nazard »

Many thanks James for the info. Tony, the Hypex range of modules and DIY kits is a route I am planning on taking (I also have a 405). My only question is the possible longevity of SMPSUs......

Bruno Putzey, the designer of UcD, NCore and all round audio genius, was associated closely with Hypex but has set up Purifi Class C, with others and Purifi seems to be state of the art for Class C at present. Which is why I think Hypex have developed the Nilai range. In fact I was in touch with Hypex sales last summer to order the first Nilai kits, but they sold out instantly. Will be quicker off the mark this March....
Nazard
Frequent Poster
Posts: 673 Joined: Sat May 15, 2010 12:00 am

Re: Monitor upgrade from Adam A7X

Post by Nazard »

Correction: for Class C, I meant Class D :bouncy:
Nazard
Frequent Poster
Posts: 673 Joined: Sat May 15, 2010 12:00 am

Re: Monitor upgrade from Adam A7X

Post by ef37a »

Nazard wrote: Sun Feb 05, 2023 10:21 am Correction: for Class C, I meant Class D :bouncy:

AhAAA! You had me going for a moment there! I thought, "has some beardy tweak amp developer found a tiny design twist on established class D techniques and given it a fancy, silly bloody name?"

Now, I don't want to start a cow but a quick shufty at those class D amp's speccs shows me that they are about an order worse for THD than the very best class B* stuff that was designed over a decade ago. I am pleased to see that at least one monitor designer has moved on to 'linear' class G.

*Yes, I do mean "B".

Dave.
ef37a
Jedi Poster
Posts: 16955 Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 12:00 am Location: northampton uk

Re: Monitor upgrade from Adam A7X

Post by Nazard »

I've made a couple of low power, 10-15 watts, Class C, RF power amps, using cheap, but fairly bulletproof IRF510 mosfets. But Class C is clearly unsuitable for audio.

Well, the Hypex Nilai 500DIY (400W into 4ohms), has a THD+N: 0.00015% @ 100W into 4 Ohm / 20 – 20.000 Hz. Fully driven, though, I don't know what the THD is.

The Benchmark AHB2, which I think is one of the lowest distortion amps around, is 0.0003 % THD+N at full rated power, 20 Hz to 20 kHz. (190W into 4ohms).

To be honest, I can't say that the THD figures around nowadays give me any cause for concern. Of the two amps, if price and power output are taken out of the equation, I'd go for the Benchmark. (Even though it has an SMPSU).
Nazard
Frequent Poster
Posts: 673 Joined: Sat May 15, 2010 12:00 am

Re: Monitor upgrade from Adam A7X

Post by Arpangel »

That Benchmark looks good, expensive though, I think I’ll, stick with my free 405!
I’m mainly active, but if passive decent monitoring was my main thing, I’d be looking at something, like this.
User avatar
Arpangel
Jedi Poster
Posts: 16939 Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2003 12:00 am

Re: Monitor upgrade from Adam A7X

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

Nazard wrote: Sun Feb 05, 2023 11:28 amThe Benchmark AHB2, which I think is one of the lowest distortion amps around, is 0.0003 % THD+N at full rated power, 20 Hz to 20 kHz.

I've been making some cables up for a forthcoming job, including some stereo 5-pin cables using Starquad cable. I normally use Van Damme two-pair individually jacketed multi for the job, but the budget wouldn't run to that.

Just because I've not done a direct comparison before, I hooked the cable up to the Audio Precision to take some measurements of crosstalk etc.

Your benchmark spec caught my eye because 25 metres of Starquad wired for stereo gave a THD+N figure of ... 0.0003%.

So the Benchmark distorts about as much as a long piece of wire! Very impressive.
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 39603 Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound...
(But generally posting my own personal views and not necessarily those of SOS, the company or the magazine!)
In my world, things get less strange when I read the manual... 

Re: Monitor upgrade from Adam A7X

Post by ef37a »

Hugh Robjohns wrote: Mon Feb 06, 2023 11:57 am
Nazard wrote: Sun Feb 05, 2023 11:28 amThe Benchmark AHB2, which I think is one of the lowest distortion amps around, is 0.0003 % THD+N at full rated power, 20 Hz to 20 kHz.

I've been making some cables up for a forthcoming job, including some stereo 5-pin cables using Starquad cable. I normally use Van Damme two-pair individually jacketed multi for the job, but the budget wouldn't run to that.

Just because I've not done a direct comparison before, I hooked the cable up to the Audio Precision to take some measurements of crosstalk etc.

Your benchmark spec caught my eye because 25 metres of Starquad wired for stereo gave a THD+N figure of ... 0.0003%.

So the Benchmark distorts about as much as a long piece of wire! Very impressive.

Hugh, do I detect tongue slightly in cheek there? I was suspicious of some of the distortion figures bandied because 0.0003% is I would think very close to the residual in even the best analysers? the figure also equates to lower than -110dB and so is close to the limit of all but the best converters.

I would also be interested to know if the crosstalk of the stereo cables was acceptable?

Dave.
ef37a
Jedi Poster
Posts: 16955 Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 12:00 am Location: northampton uk

Re: Monitor upgrade from Adam A7X

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

ef37a wrote: Mon Feb 06, 2023 3:07 pmHugh, do I detect tongue slightly in cheek there? I was suspicious of some of the distortion figures bandied because 0.0003% is I would think very close to the residual in even the best analysers?

Tongue not in cheek on that occasion. Benchmark design some incredible stuff and know how to test it properly. I'm not at all surprised their amp genuinely achieves Mr (Quad) Walker's famous 'straight wire with gain' goal.

I use an APx515 analyser which is the poor-man's Audio Precision model (intended for production compliance testing). With a short loop cable between analogue in/out my residual THD+N is 0.00027% or -111dB (and I get the same figure using the internal loop-back mode, proving my local wiring isn't degrading the measurement performance).

The best AP model (x555) claims a residual THD+N of -120dB or 0.0001% — twice as good!

So my 25m of mis-wired starquad cable adds a teeny-tiny bit of THD+N above the residual of my AP, which is what I'd expect.

I would also be interested to know if the crosstalk of the stereo cables was acceptable?

I measured -96dB at 10kHz, reducing to around -102dB at 1kHz on a 25 metre cable run. So definitely perfectly acceptable. (The x515 residual crosstalk is -136dB at 10kHz, so this is real measured cable crosstalk). I'd expect cat-5 carrying balanced audio to be about the same.

I've used starquad for stereo mics on 3 metre runs from a stereo dead cat on a stick into a shoulder recorder many times without any problems. But I was slightly nervous about a long 25m run — hence the AP tests. I need not have worried!

I have to go to my 'man cave' near town to retrieve my long two-pair multicore cables (with separately screened and insulated pairs) to see how they compare. I'd expect less crosstalk, but probably not that much lower. I'll report back once I've tested it.
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 39603 Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound...
(But generally posting my own personal views and not necessarily those of SOS, the company or the magazine!)
In my world, things get less strange when I read the manual... 

Re: Monitor upgrade from Adam A7X

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

As promised... a visit to the man cave to retrieve my two-channel multipair cables for a comparison:
Cable crosstalk.jpg
There's a small difference, as expected, with the multipair cable (separately screened twisted pairs in separate jackets within the outer sheath) having no more than 2dB lower crosstalk across the range 1kHz to 20kHz compared with the Starquad cable (using opposite wires for the two pairs). Both were 25metres in length.

Not surprisingly, I found the destination impedance affects the measurement. The figures quoted in the previous post (-96dB at 10kHz) were with the AP test set presenting its default 200k Ohm load impedance. In this graph I used the 600 Ohm option which is a closer approximation of a typical mic preamp and gives about a 3dB better crosstalk figure overall. So we're looking at roughly -99dB at 10kHz for the Starquad, and -101dB at 10kHz for the multipair.

Starquad costs half as much as the multi-pair cable for a given length! So it's a no-brainer to use starquad for balanced stereo audio cable, at least for lengths up to 25m... unless you need to break out into separate tails in which case the multipair wins hands down for ease of construction.

Hope that's of interest.
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 39603 Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound...
(But generally posting my own personal views and not necessarily those of SOS, the company or the magazine!)
In my world, things get less strange when I read the manual... 

Re: Monitor upgrade from Adam A7X

Post by Nazard »

Benchmark design some incredible stuff and know how to test it properly. I'm not at all surprised their amp genuinely achieves Mr (Quad) Walker's famous 'straight wire with gain' goal.


I'm looking for a new power amp, around 100W into 8ohms and the Benchmark is a contender. It's quite expensive, but I don't buy much gear and what I do lasts pretty much indefinitely. And it's a very interesting design.

I'm lucky in that my 'man-cave' is a barn at the bottom of the garden, a plus for the house we bought last year. Currently I have an old Leak 3200 receiver, (a rebadged Made in Japan Rotel), feeding 1969 KEF Crestas, (my late parents had them in their old kitchen) listening to R3. They sound great, though I think the barn accoustics help a lot too!
Nazard
Frequent Poster
Posts: 673 Joined: Sat May 15, 2010 12:00 am

Re: Monitor upgrade from Adam A7X

Post by sonics »

Nazard wrote: Sun Feb 26, 2023 2:22 pm Currently I have an old Leak 3200 receiver, (a rebadged Made in Japan Rotel), feeding 1969 KEF Crestas, (my late parents had them in their old kitchen) listening to R3. They sound great, though I think the barn accoustics help a lot too!

Wow, memories! I have an old Rotel and a couple of pairs of old KEFs here. I do hope that's FM R3 you're listening to so they all "match"! :)
sonics
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1889 Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2003 12:00 am Location: Canada
 

Re: Monitor upgrade from Adam A7X

Post by Nazard »

Yes, it's R3 on FM, but all radio transmissions have had digital feeds in the UK, for many years. Of course, I could put one of the old reel-to-reel recorders, or turntables, playing pre 'DDD' recordings, to good use.

But, because the natural accoustics are so good, I am thinking of doing building mods and setting up a very beefy sound reproduction system.

And the Leak, 35W per channel, cost £28, via Ebay, ten years ago, half of which was postage. Absolutely immaculate, unmarked and very nice electronics, which needed nothing doing. I rigged up an FM dipole and there we go!
Nazard
Frequent Poster
Posts: 673 Joined: Sat May 15, 2010 12:00 am

Re: Monitor upgrade from Adam A7X

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

Nazard wrote: Sun Feb 26, 2023 7:26 pm Yes, it's R3 on FM, but all radio transmissions have had digital feeds in the UK, for many years.

.

Since 1972, in fact, thanks to NICAM 3.
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 39603 Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound...
(But generally posting my own personal views and not necessarily those of SOS, the company or the magazine!)
In my world, things get less strange when I read the manual... 
Post Reply