Ok, it’s the light of day in Boulder. Like The Beef, above, I got up and went directly to my kit. The new DM phono pre is in standby, but, it still has that blue glow from within visible through the top perforations. Darren says he uses blue LEDs for biasing something…I think.
To recap my kit: SOTA Star Sapphire TT (with new series 6 motor/electronics/vacuum pump), Sumiko MDC-800 arm with new wiring, Grace F-9 Ruby with new Soundsmith/Lederman sapphire cant/contact line stylus=>DM Phono Pre=> BHK Pre =>PSA M700s => Dunlavy Audio Labs SC IV.A speakers, REL S5 SHO sub. So, a little old, a little new. Also PSA DMP=>PSA DSJr. Cables are Iconoblast OFE XLR and some BAV.
First I listened to a few sides with my old Sutherland Insight phono pre to give my ears some recent aural memory. Damn…the 120Hz hum was still there distracting me. Gary Burton still sounded great but with that little bit of edgy glare to the ringing of his vibes…yup, that’s what I remember.
Then I muted the BHK, rewired in the DM phono pre, and powered it up. It comes up with default settings for MM (you can use the remote to change to MC and alter loadings if you need) but the defaults are just what I need for my stuff. Fired up the BHK, unmuted the DM pre…and held my breath as I turned up the volume… OMG, the dreaded HUM was gone!! Silence! My hum problem was some issue with the Sutherland pre that the DM fixed!! I had talked to Darren and James when I picked up my pre about how that hum problem was and that I had had visions of having to rip up my arm wiring again. I texted Darren/James with the good news and proceeded to play real music.
Without further warmup, I put on the same Burton sides,
I tried hard to match the perceived volume with what I had with the Sutherland. That lasted just one song because what I was hearing was drawing me in and I needed more.
I hesitate to use all the overused audio cliches…but, I really had literal shivers and enough emotion to well up in my eyes. Less than 1 beer, so far, so those feeling were not amplified by alcohol.
The Music gained dimensions, front to back, side to side…but the biggest feeling was that it was IN MY ROOM and close. The previous edgy glare on Gary’s vibes ringing…was gone. Then the bottom was just palpable.
I moved on to Donald Fagen’s Morph The Cat (The Beef’s bass test). Just Great again. Then the old '80s Reaching For The Sky by Renee…She’s in my living room!
Then some Mark Knopfler from Down The Road Wherever…now Mark’s in my living room too! All my music seems to have come alive and become much more involving. Then before dinner I had to play some Kenny Burrell…Midnight Blue from the Music Matters Blue Note re-release (Number 00043). Absolutely engaging/enthralling!..
Sorry for the long story and the over the top enthusiasm…that’s not my usual style. But, for me, in my room, this is an amazing new box and I can’t wait to hear it today, especially after the overnight burn in. My Sutherland is for sale.