Channel imbalance - Am I cursed?

a space odyssey
anthos314
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Re: Channel imbalance - Am I cursed?

Post by anthos314 » 03 Nov 2018 15:00

Hi, thanks for the help
Any idea for a lower compliance alternative? Heard about the Hana SL.

Gelid
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Re: Channel imbalance - Am I cursed?

Post by Gelid » 04 Nov 2018 00:18

All the above wiring checks are definitely good places to look for the source of your imbalance. I think it highly unlikely that three different carts, even by the same manufacturer, could all have the same problem.

Now, about different cartridge ideas:

I found a vid on Youtube of a Michell Gyro SE & SME IV tonearm. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bs-ZBDjYU50
Someone asked what cart he is using and his reply was a Transfiguration Phoenix (non S version).

A bit of quick research tells me the SME IV tonearm was, and I quote: "...designed specifically for MC cartridges -- especially of the low output variety (although certainly not exclusively.)"

This was in response to someone asking for cartridge suggestions for their SME IV: "Very high end Koetsu, Transfiguration, ZYX, and van den Hul would all be good choices. And don't forget great tonearm cables. The vdH cable that comes with the arm is crap."

You certainly have a rig to be proud of. I don't know what you are willing to spend, but it seems people are pairing your tonearm with high-end moving coil cartridges. Here is a link to the page I referenced above: https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/ ... r-sme-iv-v

I suggested maybe the Orto 2M's aren't well-suited for your rig because on paper, by what I know and go by, they aren't. However, I have a 2M Bronze on my medium-mass tonearm on Pioneer PL-71 and it sounds great. So, your 2m Black may well be ok.

My point (finally... ) is that when the source of a problem isn't where you would expect it to be, then it is where you wouldn't expect it to be. When faced with that dilemma, it is therefore advisable to get your rig set up the way it was intended to be, and start again from there.

GyroSE
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Re: Channel imbalance - Am I cursed?

Post by GyroSE » 06 Nov 2018 10:52

Gelid wrote:
04 Nov 2018 00:18
All the above wiring checks are definitely good places to look for the source of your imbalance. I think it highly unlikely that three different carts, even by the same manufacturer, could all have the same problem.

Now, about different cartridge ideas:

I found a vid on Youtube of a Michell Gyro SE & SME IV tonearm. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bs-ZBDjYU50
Someone asked what cart he is using and his reply was a Transfiguration Phoenix (non S version).

A bit of quick research tells me the SME IV tonearm was, and I quote: "...designed specifically for MC cartridges -- especially of the low output variety (although certainly not exclusively.)"

This was in response to someone asking for cartridge suggestions for their SME IV: "Very high end Koetsu, Transfiguration, ZYX, and van den Hul would all be good choices. And don't forget great tonearm cables. The vdH cable that comes with the arm is crap."

You certainly have a rig to be proud of. I don't know what you are willing to spend, but it seems people are pairing your tonearm with high-end moving coil cartridges. Here is a link to the page I referenced above: https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/ ... r-sme-iv-v

I suggested maybe the Orto 2M's aren't well-suited for your rig because on paper, by what I know and go by, they aren't. However, I have a 2M Bronze on my medium-mass tonearm on Pioneer PL-71 and it sounds great. So, your 2m Black may well be ok.

My point (finally... ) is that when the source of a problem isn't where you would expect it to be, then it is where you wouldn't expect it to be. When faced with that dilemma, it is therefore advisable to get your rig set up the way it was intended to be, and start again from there.
The original SME IV phono cable isn't crap, it's a high quality cable that is really good IMHO.

Cartridges; Benz Micro carts are excellent matches when combined with Michell decks and SME tonearms.

anthos314
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Re: Channel imbalance - Am I cursed?

Post by anthos314 » 06 Nov 2018 10:55

Thank you so much guys for your input!
Concerning the arm, I had the same problem with the 9cc Evo by Project. So I'd rule the arm out.

anthos314
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Re: Channel imbalance - Am I cursed?

Post by anthos314 » 01 Mar 2019 21:59

Hi everyone,

after a few months spent hibernating and taking care of lesser business (ex: outside world, work, spouse), tonight I finally got my second amplifier out (a vintage Akai AM-2400) to do an amp-vs-amp challenge with my current Lehmann Cube Se II + Hegel Röst combo.

I did the comparison with mono and stereo records. The problem was still there with my usual setup (as it should, as I did not make any changes in the meantime), but everything became normal with the vintage Akai.

So I thought the imbalance problem came from my pre-amp or amp. I tested them with mono flacs and the sound was centered and normal.

This would therefore confirm the idea expressed by everyone on this thread: it is a short circuit problem. It seems I had this problem with my old Aura Vita (integrated with a phono input), and now I still have it with the Lehmann + Hegel.

I don't understand why the problem goes away with the vintage Akai. Could it be a mass problem? Why do modern amps cause this problem, but not my vintage one?

Thank you very much for your help

anthos314
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Re: Channel imbalance - Am I cursed?

Post by anthos314 » 03 Mar 2019 21:01

Ok tonight I tried again and found out the Akai was faulty to begin with. Channel imbalance is still there so now I am back to thinking about getting another cart from another brand. Testing first will be a must of course.
I had listened to a Rega P6 with the Anya cart last year, and there was no channel problem at all. However I did not get it because I was not exactly blown away by the sound. Wish I had done so now.

anthos314
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Re: Channel imbalance - Am I cursed?

Post by anthos314 » 16 Apr 2019 00:43

Hi everyone,

I have finally managed to have a listening session with both my 2m Black and my hifi guy's Hana SL (would have considered Benz but nobody had any in stock). With the Hana everything is dead centre.

Not only is the imaging dead centre, but during the session, when the Black sounded flat and lifeless (not on its own, but when compared to the Hana...), the Hana opened up the sound with much better bass, tighter highs and better tracked mids.

Turns out the problem was in the cartridges all along... I doubt it has anything to do with the Ortofon 2m line (with it being my third so far with the same problem), but my retailer suggested the cause might be the website I bought them from (anybody ever had a problem with the Hifi Phono House website? Their service is totally fine but might their stock contain a range of faulty carts?).

Now I am one happy man.

Thanks again for your help everyone!