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Author Topic: Advice on Stereomour II Upgrade Path  (Read 1248 times)

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Offline Sugar Man

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Advice on Stereomour II Upgrade Path
« on: April 26, 2016, 08:13:47 AM »
My Stereomour II is about 6 months old now, and has made it through the break-in process, and sounds about what it is going to sound like - which is awesome.  My low-end and midrange are spectacular.  My only "complaint" is that the highs in my system can be brighter at times than I'd like, even on well-recorded materials.  For example, on Bill Evans Trio's "Sunday at the Village Vanguard," when Scott LaFaro does a bass solo, you can't turn it up too loud, because it keeps getting better and tighter.  Evan's piano, in contrast, can then get a bit hard, and if you turn it down a bit, it smooths out.  Is this the soft-clipping I hear other's talk about?  Because of my cartridge being 2.5mV, I'm usually running the volume control on the last third of the dial.

My goal is to take the edge off the highs, without affecting the spectacular bass performance.  Areas that I'm looking at and would appreciate feedback on, are:

New tubes:  JJ 2a3-40's or EML Meshplates.  Everything I've read raves about the JJ's being warm-sounding and ballsy, and the price is right.  It appears the earlier reliability problems have been sorted out.  I'd love the EML's but that may be a later splurge.

Capacitors:  Leaning towards the Jupiter Flats, with the Mundorf Supreme Silver Oils a close second.  Probably will hold off on these until after the tubes because I am not in the mood for another brutal break-in period.

Volume control:  My VC seems like a potential weak point.  I can go between 12 and 3 with almost no change in volume and then get a substantial jump right after that.  Realizing that the official BH stepped attenuator is right around the corner, I will likely hold off on anything substantial, but wouldn't mind spending $20 or so on an Alps, etc.  Any other low-priced rec's here?

That's about it right now.  Already running the Bottlehead power cords and Bottlenects on the Eros and Stereomour.  Also just bought the Record Doctor V which has been worth every penny and then some.   

Would love to hear some proud Stereomour owner's thoughts before I succumb to Upgrade-itis.

Lastly, am I even going about this backwards, and should start with the Eros first?
Mike "Stein" Ayotte

Current Gear:

Elekit TU-8600 300B w/Lundahl Trannies
Audio Note R Zero II Phono Pre
Rega RP8 w/ Audio Note IQ3 (MM)
Audio Note E Speaker Kit-04 w/ AlNiCo drivers

Stereomour II w/ Jupiters
Eros w/ Mundorf Silver Oils
Paraglows (retired)
Quickie w/ PJCCS
Blumenstein Orcas & Subs

Offline fullheadofnothing

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Re: Advice on Stereomour II Upgrade Path
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2016, 08:30:48 AM »
Do you only use the phono setup with your Stereomour? Your issue might be more cartridge related than anything else (both in terms of model and setup). Try another source and see how it sounds.
Joshua Harris

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Offline Sugar Man

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Re: Advice on Stereomour II Upgrade Path
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2016, 08:40:08 AM »
Josh,

I almost exclusively play vinyl.  However, a while back, I a-b'd my vinyl rig against an iPad running Spotify straight into the Stereomour.  Adjusting for playback volume, both sources sounded identical.  Clearly not what I expected.  I've since dialed in my cartridge set-up (explained in another post), so will try another a-b comparison when I get home tonight.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2016, 08:53:15 AM by Sugar Man »
Mike "Stein" Ayotte

Current Gear:

Elekit TU-8600 300B w/Lundahl Trannies
Audio Note R Zero II Phono Pre
Rega RP8 w/ Audio Note IQ3 (MM)
Audio Note E Speaker Kit-04 w/ AlNiCo drivers

Stereomour II w/ Jupiters
Eros w/ Mundorf Silver Oils
Paraglows (retired)
Quickie w/ PJCCS
Blumenstein Orcas & Subs

Offline fullheadofnothing

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Re: Advice on Stereomour II Upgrade Path
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2016, 09:46:56 AM »
Re-reading your setup thread and a couple things come to mind.

1) Sumiko BPSes have a reputation for being bright. I have no first hand experience, so I can't confirm or deny, but having read about them over the years, this is a running thread. They can be tamed a bit with careful VTA adjustment (returning to that Rega bugaboo...)

2) The reason for your Nantucket sleigh ride was quite possibly due to resonance issues. Rega doesn't publish an effective mass, only says it's lighter than their previous arms, so combined with the moderately stiff compliance of the BPS, you had a higher than ideal resonance. Pushing the counterweight forward increased the effective mass of the arm and lowered the resonance.

3) You are tracking at the lower end of the recommended range. The danger of doing this is your cartridge loses tracking ability, especially for high frequencies. This causes harsh sound, and, much worse, groove damage.

4) If this issue is more noticeable as the arm gets closer to the center of the record, this points to an alignment issue. Hours agonizing over the protractor usually pay good dividends...

4) A compressed streaming source isn't really ideal for comparing treble response.
Joshua Harris

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Offline Sugar Man

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Re: Advice on Stereomour II Upgrade Path
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2016, 12:42:31 PM »

1) Sumiko BPSes have a reputation for being bright. I have no first hand experience, so I can't confirm or deny, but having read about them over the years, this is a running thread. They can be tamed a bit with careful VTA adjustment (returning to that Rega bugaboo...)

Man, I don't like bright, but haven't heard that about the BPS.  Given my headroom problems, I would have preferred the Exact 2, but the BPS trounced it head to head at my dealer's demo.  Of course, they were running the RP6's through their super expensive audiofool system with it's super high-end "recessed" sound.  But my demo guy appeared to really know his stuff and has the same table/cartridge himself.  When I suggested going back to the Exact 2, he was pretty adamant in support of the BPS. Of course, he wasn't a SET-head. 


2) The reason for your Nantucket sleigh ride was quite possibly due to resonance issues. Rega doesn't publish an effective mass, only says it's lighter than their previous arms, so combined with the moderately stiff compliance of the BPS, you had a higher than ideal resonance. Pushing the counterweight forward increased the effective mass of the arm and lowered the resonance.

That's what he said, at least the increasing the effective mass part and relying less on the dial spring.


3) You are tracking at the lower end of the recommended range. The danger of doing this is your cartridge loses tracking ability, especially for high frequencies. This causes harsh sound, and, much worse, groove damage.

I'm back up to 2.0g, although there still is occasional brightness.


4) If this issue is more noticeable as the arm gets closer to the center of the record, this points to an alignment issue. Hours agonizing over the protractor usually pay good dividends...

Not noticing that, thank goodness, but a main reason I went with the Rega was to AVOID agonizing protractor sessions...


4) A compressed streaming source isn't really ideal for comparing treble response.

Anybody have a Bottlehead DAC I can borrow in the LA area  8)

Really appreciate your input, Josh.  If it is a cartridge issue, I'd be leaning towards going back to a moving magnet given my amp/speaker combo.  The choices that come to mind off the top of my head would be the Exact 2, Goldring 1042, or Ortofon 2m Black, but doesn't the Black have a bit of a bright reputation.  But for the brightness, I'm loving the detail of the MC vibe.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2016, 04:30:22 AM by Sugar Man »
Mike "Stein" Ayotte

Current Gear:

Elekit TU-8600 300B w/Lundahl Trannies
Audio Note R Zero II Phono Pre
Rega RP8 w/ Audio Note IQ3 (MM)
Audio Note E Speaker Kit-04 w/ AlNiCo drivers

Stereomour II w/ Jupiters
Eros w/ Mundorf Silver Oils
Paraglows (retired)
Quickie w/ PJCCS
Blumenstein Orcas & Subs

Offline Doc B.

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Re: Advice on Stereomour II Upgrade Path
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2016, 06:09:47 PM »
HOMCs in general tend to be bright, and in my past listening experience the BPS has definitely fit that description.
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Offline Natural Sound

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Re: Advice on Stereomour II Upgrade Path
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2016, 03:55:14 PM »
HOMCs in general tend to be bright, and in my past listening experience the BPS has definitely fit that description.

Oh god, I hate acronyms.