samedi 4 février 2017

Tiger Paw Tranquility (for Linn LP12) or a stroke of genius

Before this it was the circus upgrade. It was the circus that lowered the noise floor of the LP12 and brought it to a more modern sound. 
It is true that what people like about the pre-circus sound is understandable with the right attitude. It has a special music flow. It is nice . But it is nice in the same way an impressionist painting is nice. The lines are blurred in the surrounding space, in a structure where the division between the objects is less pronounced in favour of their inner communion with the totality. It is nice but it is not real. 
If you,  like me, are after a more realistic reproduction of the music and you have already invested a lot of money for it you cannot go after alteration but after accuracy. Maybe, and I say maybe you will fiter out bad alterations trying to keep the ones you like or that you can more easily live with. The ones that gives you what is inevitably lost during reproduction and that the most perfect transparent device cannot give you back since it is  lost. 
One day, years after the circus, It cames the Keel, a beautiful upgrade, but at a beautiful price. Another day was the turn of the Radikal, belonging to the category don’t try if you are not in the positiion of buying it if not you will suffer, very effective but also effective to have a lot less money in your bank account. So what about less expensive upgrades? Why you have to spend all of this money? The reason is simple. To spend less money you need a simple thought of simple esecution to keep cost down. And to do this you need a smart idea. A Stroke of genious: the Tranquility. A magnetic gravitational help for the LP12 platter. It is composed by two opposing magnets that repulsing each other take away some weight from the platter so it will have the same rotational mass, but less weight on the bearing. 

What it brings to the sonic picture  was easy to appreciate. Not need to put the sonar mode on your ears. The installation is quite intuitive with only one thing to be really carefull about; I will develop this last thing later.
Once mounted it is very easy to realize the sound coming from your LP12 opened up. The dynamic window streachs out in an evident way. Sound is bigger. You are immersed in the same space of the music your hifi is playing. But expecially the noise floor is absolutely lowered.
The space surrounding the instruments changes its nature. It is not of the same timbric colour of the instuments. To say it better: the instuments decay don't make the space, but the space is a real diffent entity of a different nature, dark, in which instruments extists. Without the Tranquility the space is more "noisy" is less silent in colour, it contains a certain haze and the contrast in which the instruments play of course is less evident.
But it is not just the silence of the space that is changed; also the instruments are different. 

As a consequence of this silence they are more individualized, but since the noise floor is lower their timbre is more realistic.
It is like going from a $50 cable to a $1500 one. And maybe more. It is like going from a Dynavector 17 MKIII to a XV1S.
I have tried it in three different LP12 with different arms and set up. In my very first day of listening to it I have thought that everything was better but that something was missing : a certain natural flow of the music and a slight propulsion. Almost the same thing few people say about the circus upgrade. After few days I have got back this missing natural flow. How? I have found that for this is very important the distance between the two magnets. The magnet that is to be installed on the suspended chassis has a possibility to be adjusted in its hight. You just turn it either down or up to do it. To have the best result you have to adjust it this way: put the platter with its Tranquility magnet on the subchassis magnet and when you turn the platter do it in a way that the too magnets get in friction so that they will touch each other. To do it you have to give the subchassis magnet a certain height. It is very easy to ear it. Just turn the platter and you will ear it. Then you fix the hight of the lower magnet turning it down just to the exact point when it does not touch the upper one any more; that's it. It will take 10 minutes to do it.

Earing the difference the Tranquility brings to the sound is a very easy thing to appreciate, and it is a difference of a big improvement not just a different taste.

To sum it up: with no doubt  the best LP12 upgrade for the money ever made and by far.
Great stuff!

2 commentaires:

  1. Sorry but have to disagree regards ‘More Real’
    I go to a lot of live shows and have a good understanding of how a band sounds so to a string ensemble choir and orchestra. The beauty of real life like sound is in the very melding of the music, it never comes in etched defined separates like audiophiles seem to imagine.
    Apart from that thanks very informative

  2. Thank you for the sharing of your experience.
    I should have said that it gets more emotions out of it. You are right when you said that it can get more real in audiophile sense. The audiophile reproduction can never be real "real".
    And maybe it is not what audiophile wants anyway, for obvious reasons. I like Miles Davis, but can you immagine having him reproduced as "real" in my listening rooom at 11 pm!
    I love live events, like you. For me audiophile reproduction, in its artificiality is just a matter of being able to convey more or less the emotions contained in a music performance. Some of it has to be reinvented in a "artistic" and personal way by the hifi gears for their limitations and the room limitations of reproducing the real thing.
    I am glad you find it to be informative.