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In August 2011 we moved this website to a new platform.  Unfortunately this caused some of the links in the older newsletters, which appear in this Archive, to no longer function.  We hope you will find the content to be valuable nonetheless.

Customer email newsletter dated: July 15, 2011.


 

Analog News
July 15, 2011
We vary the content of our newsletters to interest all of our readers with information about different aspects of high performance audio. In this issue, we wanted to provide our vinyl users with some new and exciting products.

Table of Contents (linked).
Sutherland Engineering Preamplifiers and Timeline
Sonneteer Sedley Phono Stage with USB
Soundsmith's Sussuro Paua Cartridge
Soundsmith's VPI Zephyr Cartridge
Soundsmith's AIDA and SMMC1 Cartridges - Stereophile Class A performance for under $1000.
Sound smith's EZ-Mount Screws
VPI Classic Turntables
Flatten Your Vinyl

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Sutherland Engineering Preamplifiers and Timeline
Ron Sutherland has been a force in audio engineering for a very long time. He was one of the two founders of the Martin-Logan speaker company (along with Gayle Sanders - "Martin" and "Logan" are each of their middle names), and then began his own company, Sutherland Engineering.

Sutherland makes some of the most interesting phono stages in the industry. The current phono stage lineup includes the battery powered PH3D ($1000) and Hubble ($3800) models, and the new AC- powered 20/20 ($2200) and the outrageous Phono Blocks ($9800),which are physically-separated monoblock phono stages of the highest quality, actually designed by Ron for his own personal use, but available by special order.

If you are in the market for phono stages from $1k all the way up to $10k, don't overlook the Sutherland models. Outstanding products!

In addition, Sutherland Engineering makes the all-time coolest speed strobe device - the Timeline ($400). The Timeline looks like a record weight, but laser projects the timing of the turntable's speed on the wall. Unparalleled accuracy - 2 parts per million.

Sonneteer Sedley Phono Stage with USB
Sonneteer is a British audio company that has been making hifi products since 1994. Their Sedley phono stage has been in production for about 10 of those years and has garnered awards from both the UK and Japan audio press. Now the award-winning Sedley phono stage has had USB capability built in, and has become a very powerful, one-box solution for those vinyl lovers that want to archive their precious vinyl to their computer storage for playback. The Sedley comes complete with software and drivers for archiving the vinyl to hard disk, and a very easy to read instruction manual complete with pictures for those (of us) that are computer-challenged.

In addition, the Sedley can be used to play back music files to your stereo and/or streaming audio from the computer via the USB link, making it one of the most flexible devices on the market today. You can even listen to your vinyl recording on the fly as you archive it to hard disk with the real time option.

All of this would mean little if the phono stage was not of a very high quality to begin with, but the Sedley is one of the best sub $2500 phono stages on the market. It is flexible in gain for both MC and MM cartridges, as well as capacitance and resistance load settings. Power for the Sedley is via standard iec input (no wall warts here!) or, when using USB, it is powered by the computer for even blacker background levels.

At $1625 the Sedley USB is well worth considering for all future-forward vinyl enthusiasts.

Soundsmith's Sussuro Paua Cartridge
Soundsmith of Peekskill, NY, is a unique company in audio. They are an AMERICAN manufacturer of high quality phono cartridges that also provides exceptional re-tip services for virtually any MC or MM phono cartridges at reasonable prices. In recent years, Soundsmith has also introduced the "Strain Gauge" cartridge design of the highest performance level to analog lovers.

Among their non- Strain Gauge cartridge designs, the new Sussuro Paua is a moving iron phono cartridge that can raise the bar on your vinyl reproduction. With less mass than typical moving coil designs, the moving iron cartridge has superlative dynamic response, exceptional transient response, and extremely wide stereo separation. Another benefit to the low mass design is that the cartridge is far less affected by surface artifacts (dust, scratches), which increases the pleasure of listening to LP's. The Paua's output of 0.3mV is compatible with most MC phono stages. With the body of the cartridge being fully-shielded, the Paua has zero hum, which provides an even greater sense of the music arriving at your ears from a jet black background.
Soundsmith's VPI Zephyr Cartridge
After several years of working with VPI industries to optimize the JMW arm and cartridge, Soundsmith has produced the Zephyr moving iron phono cartridge which gets top performance from this popular arm at a very reasonable cost. With less moving mass than a moving coil cartridge, the Zephyr cartridge also has a higher output level (2.4mV), which allows a moving magnet phono stage to work well within its limits, and lowers hum and noise in the system. Channel separation at 38dB is among the best in the industry as well. For those of us that have tried this cartridge on a VPI JMW tonearm, we have been very impressed with the performance, particularly at $995.
Soundsmith's AIDA and SMMC1 Cartridges - Stereophile Class A performance for under $1000.
For those that use a non-VPI tonearm, Soundsmith offers the Aida version of the SMMC1 cartridge- the only cartridge in its price range to be awarded a Class A rating by Stereophile! At $999 the Aida can be custom-configured in either stereo or mono versions, and with either high or medium compliance. This "production to suit" is a feature of many of the Soundsmith cartridges. The Aida has an ebony body and each is individually handmade and tested. Specifications are recorded by serial number by Soundsmith. The Aida will astound those analog aficionados that believe only low output moving coils designs can get the musical details accurately from the grooves.

On a tighter budget? The SMMC1 is the Aida without the Ebony body and can be had for only $849 - not a lot to pay for Class A performance!

Sound smith's EZ-Mount Screws
Before we leave Soundsmith, we should mention their EZ-Mount cartridge screws, which make mounting any cartridge truly easy as they require only finger-tightening. In the packet, you get 4 different screws made from 4 different materials, so you can adjust the weight of the cartridge/ headshell without using any additional weights for lighter weight or heavier cartridges. At $29.95, this is a no-brainer for any analog user.
VPI Classic Turntables

The VPI Classic 1 turntable has won numerous reviews and awards (including the 2009 Harry Pearson Golden Ear Award) and is one of the easiest turntables to set up and get "spinning" of all of the premium turntables on the market. Featuring the VPI 10.5 JMW Signature tonearm, the Classic has the look of famous turntables of the past, but the technology used in this turntable is the very best of the present. The 18 pound, 2 1/2" thick machined aluminum platter rests on an inverted bearing and maintains consistent speed under all conditions. If you have been wanting to find out what the "buzz" about vinyl playback is all about and to play some of your LP collection once again, this is the turntable that you need to get - it is designed and built for people that want to listen to music rather than tweaking. At the msrp of $2750 with walnut or black base, the VPI Classic 1 is one of the best turntable values in all of audio.

Two premium versions of the same table are also available. the Classic 2 ($3500) adds VPI's "VTA on the fly" adjustment base to the tonearm, while the all-out Classic 3 ($6000) also adds:

-A thick machined aluminum plinth bonded to a 1/8 steel sub plate, bonded to 2 of the MDF creating a plinth which is so massive and well damped it virtually eliminates resonance.

-An upgraded tonearm with a new stainless steel arm-tube, bearing assembly, base mounting, and Nordost Valhalla wiring from cartridge to RCA (or XLR) output jacks.

-The popular Periphery Ring Clamp and HR-X weight.

-New feet designed for greater stability, better isolation, and a matching look to the larger chassis.
-A deep Piano Black finish to perfectly counterpoint the silvery sheen of the top section.

Gorgeous and glorious, the Classic 3 is an absolute triumph!

Flatten Your Vinyl
In order to get really high quality playback from vinyl, the LP's need to be cleaned, the turntable needs to be set up correctly, and the cartridge needs to be mounted correctly in the tonearm. The "missing" ingredient in the equation has been that the LP is ideally perfectly flat. New LP's, particularly the 180 and 200 gram "premium" quality LP's, have had far better production control in this area than LP's of the past, but every vinyl lover has some LP's that are less than flat, but still contain great music. Furutech has, for several years, manufactured their award-winning DF-2 LP Flattener, which works great, but at $2550 is very expensive for the handful of warped LP's in your collection. Now a new solution has arrived which is not only easy to use, but much more affordable - the Vinyl Flat Record Flattener ($129.95).

The Vinyl Flat is designed to get its heat from your oven rather than having its own self-heating element. You place the Vinyl flat in your oven at 150 degrees until the unit reaches temperature and then apply it to your warped LP. There is an included chart to let you know how long to leave the LP in the flattener based on the weight of the vinyl.

If all of this sounds a little too cumbersome, or for those of us who are all but banned from the kitchen:-), there is an optional AC-powered "Groovy Pouch" ($99.95), which has carbon fiber heating elements to get the vinyl flattener up to the right temperature in a more convenient manner and without using your oven.


For additional information on these offers and frequent updates speak with your Cable Company consultant, or visit our websites: www.thecableco.com and www.ultrasystem.com. For hundreds of specials on used and demo cables, visit www.usedcable.com.

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