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 Post subject: I want one of these... [large image]
PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 7:45 am 
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Hi,

Well, in browsing around looking for a compact receiver with a built-in CD/iPod player, I found a couple of very good looking units (NAD and Cambridge Audio) but this one takes the cake:

Image
(click on image for Stereophile review)

Can you spot the volume control? It is on the top of the right corner leg.
Can you spot the input selector? It is on the top of the left corner leg.
Can you spot the CD Play/Pause/Track control? It is the "mini-joystick" to the right of the CD turntable.

And oh yeah -- it is a whopping 3watts of single-ended (Class A) vacuum tube power. It has a toroidial power transformer.

Image

The CD drive is wicked cool -- the blue-lit acrylic turntable spins. Apparently the tuner works very well. The build quality looks to be stunning. The sound quality is "borderline awesome" according to the Sterophile reviewer.

I want one. (If it charged the iPod, it would be virtually perfect!)

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 8:23 am 
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The effect of that part of the audio chain is very small compared to the speakers and room acoustics.

Isn't it a bit inconvenient when you are the only one who can find the controls on that device?

The review you link to is completely subjective :(

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 9:11 am 
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Hi,

I am a longtime "audiophile" and I am extremely picky about the speakers I own, and how I set them up in the room. But, I learned a long time ago (from Linn turntables) that like many things, the GIGO (garbage in garbage out) principle applies to audio reproduction.

And that since we listen to music with our own ears and brains, that subjective observation is just about the only thing that matters. All the measurements in the world, combined with all the specs you can muster -- cannot communicate what a fellow human being listening to their favorite music can.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:36 pm 
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That's pretty wonderful-looking. I would expect it to produce spark arcs.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 2:10 pm 
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I'm very surprised about the IR reciever, it got its own hole, instead of being at one end of the displays rectangle shaped area .

Also, I dunno what's inside those two cubes behind the iPod, but they should be cylinder shaped like everything else on the top.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 6:38 pm 
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Those are the output transformers -- they up the voltage from the output tubes to the speakers. They are probably blocks of steel and a couple of big copper wire windings. Their shape is determined by their form.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 7:59 pm 
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Looks simply awesome.

I don't know about the ipod though. 64 GB might be enough for some to save all their CD's in WAV, but not for me (I mean, with that piece of equipment you're not going to use mp3's).
If you could hook up a HD to it... but then how to select the files...

It really does look beautiful, but I'd go for a netbook GUI with dedicated USB DAC and a HD.

Hmm... after reading the review I almost want one too, but still I'd like to listen to music instead of looking at the machinery that's producing it.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 3:20 am 
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Of course, you are right -- I would want to listen to it, preferably in my own home, on my own speakers, with my own music.

The iPod Classic is 160GB, so even with 320kb MP3's that's a lot of music. You can also just plug in your computer/laptop in to the 1/8" / 3.5mm stereo plug, or the auxiliary input.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 10:28 am 
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NeilBlanchard wrote:
Those are the output transformers -- they up the voltage from the output tubes to the speakers. They are probably blocks of steel and a couple of big copper wire windings. Their shape is determined by their form.


Output tubes run at several hundred volts and require several thousand ohms of output "load". Transformers lower both the voltage and the impedance to match the speaker for best power transfer. When lowering voltage and impedance the current goes up, because speakers require amps, and tens of amps, and that much current never travels through tubes.

Mistakes at the small signal level (ouput of iPod or any other device) are magnified by the following amplification stages. There is no one place where you can compromise more and still obtain excellent results.

Not everyone is sold on torroid transformers, even for power. Like any other device they have positives and negatives. Torroids saturate more easily. Designers can work around such limitations, but that doesn't mean they actually do. I have had preamps that had bigger torroids than this amplifier. That's just an example.

Neil you need to head over to Six Moons on a regular basis.
http://www.6moons.com/

I realize just about everyone is sold on iPods, but frankly if I were to convert all my vinyl to digital I woun't accept anything lower than 96KHz/24 bit. And given how cheap hard drives are I'd go with 192KHz/24 bit.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 1:13 pm 
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aristide1 wrote:
I realize just about everyone is sold on iPods, but frankly if I were to convert all my vinyl to digital I woun't accept anything lower than 96KHz/24 bit. And given how cheap hard drives are I'd go with 192KHz/24 bit.


Nice to meet someone else whose ears can actually hear 40 kHz sounds.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 4:14 pm 
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Hi Aris,

I would love to have high quality digital -- when I first heard 96kHz/24bit it was wonderful. These were original recordings, and he also has 44.1kHz/16bit (CD quality), and the comparison was clear as day. And, it not so much that we humans can hear pitch that high, but every percussive instrument, like a piano, drum, triangle, etc. has an initial sound that includes a ton of very high frequencies.

My current preamp is an Audible Illusions Modulus 2c, and my power amp is a B&K ST-140. That has a toroidial transformer that is ~6-7" in diameter. They have served me very well for 19+ years now.

This is a 3watt receiver, that costs $700 -- I'd have to listen to it, but it has my interest. I will check out the page you mentioned. And I stand corrected on the function of output transformers -- it has been a while...

[Edit: I just noticed that this player can use SACD 96kHz/24bit discs. Kewl.]

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Last edited by NeilBlanchard on Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:34 am 
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qviri wrote:
Nice to meet someone else whose ears can actually hear 40 kHz sounds.

Actually such hearing acuity (which is only 1 octave more than normal) can be routinely found in teenagers that have not been exposed to amplified concerts. (Yeah good luck with that one.)

And have you seen a sine wave at -96dBF? It's a joke.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 9:31 am 
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NeilBlanchard wrote:
My current preamp is an Audible Illusions Modulus 2c, and my power amp is a B&K ST-140. That has a toroidial transformer that is ~6-7" in diameter. They have served me very well for 19+ years now.


That pair has synergy, don't change that balance for anything, except maybe the original ST-70, the 70 watter, before it was changed to a 105 watt amp.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 5:32 pm 
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qviri wrote:
aristide1 wrote:
I realize just about everyone is sold on iPods, but frankly if I were to convert all my vinyl to digital I woun't accept anything lower than 96KHz/24 bit. And given how cheap hard drives are I'd go with 192KHz/24 bit.


Nice to meet someone else whose ears can actually hear 40 kHz sounds.

Sample frequency of a CD is 44.1 kHz. To sample 22 kHz, you need twice that frequency.
A tone of 22 kHz might have harmonics, which will influence the sound wave, but because the sampling frequency doesn't detect those, these harmonics are lost.

A pure sine wave of 22 kHz will be very roughly digitized on a CD. Sampling means approximating the true analog waveform. Some sounds have very quick transitions in their waves and will not be represented correctly by a digitized wave, they will become distorted because they change too quickly for the sampling rate.

I think the sampling rate of CD's is too low, but at the time it was what was technologically achievable.


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 Post subject: Re: I want one of these... [large image]
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:37 am 
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Waking up an old thread -- my kitchen stereo receiver is dieing and apparently they no longer sell this Shanling unit here in the USA.

Does anyone know of a similar thing that is available?

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 Post subject: Re: I want one of these... [large image]
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 8:18 am 
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Neil -- I think that thing was unique. I scan the audiophile sites routinely and haven't run across that combination of features -- ipod dock, cd player, integrated amp, DAC-- anywhere else. It's the CD player part that's unique. The closest is something like an integrated amp + DAC with dock for iPod -- like http://www.peachtreeaudio.com/

edit: ah but ebay sellers in china offer it: http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R4 ... Categories

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 Post subject: Re: I want one of these... [large image]
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 12:32 pm 
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For a kitchen? How about something like the Marantz M-CR603? The iPod dock is optional, but you gain DLNA over ethernet, which might be more convenient than the dock.

There's a Shanling MC50 on Audiogon right now ($1600):
http://app.audiogon.com/listings/shanli ... o-receiver

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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 3:40 pm 
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spookmineer wrote:
Sample frequency of a CD is 44.1 kHz. To sample 22 kHz, you need twice that frequency.
A tone of 22 kHz might have harmonics, which will influence the sound wave, but because the sampling frequency doesn't detect those, these harmonics are lost.

A pure sine wave of 22 kHz will be very roughly digitized on a CD. Sampling means approximating the true analog waveform. Some sounds have very quick transitions in their waves and will not be represented correctly by a digitized wave, they will become distorted because they change too quickly for the sampling rate.

I think the sampling rate of CD's is too low, but at the time it was what was technologically achievable.


It occurred to me the other day that a data-compressed codec might actually sound better than a CD, if the codec is one that filters out the high frequencies and then reconstructs them from inference.

For real high frequencies, say above 10 kHz, unless a tone is an exact divisor of 44.1 kHz, the sampled voltage level is going to be significantly different for every oscillation, and in fact for the front and back end of each oscillation. What effect does that distortion have on the listener? If a codec reconstructs the highs, then might they not be more constant, more stable? Since the ear can't discern frequencies accurately above 4 kHz, the inaccuracy of the compressed codec might not be that significant. No traditional musical instrument produces a fundamental much above 4 kHz (the piano having the highest), and I question whether anyone can really discern the difference between the highest 2 or 3 keys on an 88 key piano.

So with these codecs the topmost notes of a piccolo and a piano might be hard to differentiate, but the overall experience might be clearer.

* braces for response *


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 Post subject: Re: I want one of these... [large image]
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 6:37 pm 
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Wow -- $1,700 is a $1,000 premium from when it was new!

I'll look into the Marantz. I've got pretty good speakers in the kitchen -- they are the Radio Shack in-wall units with the Linaeum monopole tweeters, and some decent 6" woofers. I built large volume (~14" x 8" x 4') enclosures and mounted them up in the ceiling between the joists, and they are wired with AudioQuest solid core speaker wire. The receiver I have is an ancient (almost 30 years?) Denon 25w/ch that has never sounded great, and after several repairs, the right channel is still on only about 15% of the time...

The Shanling would have been awesome... Single ended Class A tubes... mmm... Awesome D/A and a turntable CD deck and iPod... [/drool]

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 Post subject: Re: I want one of these... [large image]
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 7:32 pm 
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Higher prices through supply and demand.

Supply - Really low here. It's the reason Ferrari limits how many of each model.

Demand - Can be about sound, cosmetics, status (the low supply again) or any combination of them.

Quote:
Single ended Class A tubes

1. Mandatory with a single output tube.
2. Very low power and neglible damping factor are a given.
3. Will only be wonderful only with a smaller highly efficient speaker, since it has no ability to maintain control of the woofer.

@Reachable - It's been pondered that lower sampling rates and frequencies are often decent because the lack of high end equates to the lack of the region digital gets into trouble in the first place. Much as some people prefer the digitization of records by going to cassette first (I don't hear this often but it has been said). While the downside is obvious again the cassette will mitigate the highs and also pose as a filter for sounds above 20KHz. And while I can't speak for others I have often wondered how much of the magic in vinyl is the music or the artifacts associated with its playback, probably a combination of both.

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