Equipment Review – Arion Phono Preamplifier from Luminous Audio Technology

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Arion

Richmond Audio Society Member, Tom Craggs, has written an excellent review of the Arion Phono Preamplifier from Luminous Audio Technology, designed right here in Virginia. Read about Tom’s experience and get a feel for why this is such an amazing addition to any analog rig!

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Axiom review

I recently purchased an Axiom preamp from Tim Stinson and wanted to share my impressions. If you are not familiar with Tim’s design you can check his web site http://luminousaudio.com/. I was always interested in a passive design for the obvious reasons: one less component to muddy up the sound, less cost, etc. But I’ve read that the sound for passives can be lifeless and the low end thin. Since Tim will let us try it before we buy it I brought one of the multi-input versions home. My initial impression was what I expected – cleaner and quicker. I also thought I might get a drier sound with a loss of bass. I didn’t get that but instead I heard a much blacker background making everything more dynamic. So I didn’t loose anything over my powered preamp except some distortion. Having a good amp is of course a necessity and a few months ago I bought a rebuilt Son of Ampzilla from Mike Bettinger. The combination is a real winner, especially when the combined cost is around $1,000 for both pieces. For those of you who like tubes I can imagine that an Axiom with a suitable tube amp would also be a killer combo.
Ray Breakall

Fine Tuning Your Turntable

Assuming you’ve already set up your turntable, how do you fine tune it to get the best performance it’s capable of delivering?

The best process I’ve read for fine tuning a turntable for best sound is the one posted by Lloyd Walker at his web site: Fine Tuning Your Turntable.

I’ve followed Lloyd’s process for eight years now and it’s the easiest fine tuning process I’ve ever used. Just learn to trust your ears and follow these steps once you’ve done the basic alignment and initial VTF/VTA (SRA) set up.

It’s these final steps that bring out the magic.

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Dead wax inscriptions

Cutting Engineer dead wax symbols…

Ever wonder how to tell the difference between different vinyl pressings of your favorite record or what to look for as an indicator of good sound quality in your vinyl. There’s a lot you can learn by looking at the deadwax, that blank area between the last grooves and the label. Here are pictures of some inscribed initials and Continue reading

“The Magic Eraser” Stylus Cleaner

Mr Clean Magic Eraser for stylus cleaning

I’ve used a variety of stylus cleaners over the years, including LAST, Disc Doctor, ZeroDust… But I’ve now switched to something I’ve found much more effective:

a sliver of “Mr. Clean Magic Eraser” (ME) purchased at the grocery store.  You’ll find it with household cleaning products.  Use only the WHITE product, not the blue or pink that have detergents built in.

Doug Deacon from Audiogon introduced audiophiles to this product. Several of us in the Philadelphia Area Audio Group tried it, and I’ve been using it ever since.

WHICH KIND TO GET? Get the ORIGINAL all white ME. Continue reading