2015 "Recommended Components"
"This diminutive JLTi Phono Preamp offers MM and MC compatibility and
[with] loading via resistor fitted RCA plugs... the JLTi produced a warm
sound with impressive low-level detail... among the best value currently
available in MM/MC Phono Preamps." (Page 41)
BACK AGAIN !!!
The “Solid Diamond” Phono Stage
(Australian No-Frills Version)
Reduced to AUD $990.00
(not for long)
(The Swiss version was originally USD
$1795.00 - over AUD $2000.00)
Jeff Dorgay, Tone Audio
"We felt that the JLTi was the most neutral phono stage we have heard at
this price point and were constantly amazed that such a big, authoritative
sound could come from such a small package."
"Hi Joe, the Oppo 105D is amazing - hard to
believe this is the same
player I gave you to upgrade."
Chris Whites, North Sydney, NSW, April 2015
"Here at last is a universal player that can now compete directly against
CD or SACD players available at ANY PRICE. Yes, even with exalted players
costing ten times as much, this player...will reveal a pedigree that will
stun in any company."
Audio Reference, Auckland, New Zealand
Oppo BluRay BDP-105/D Level 4.0
WE WERE FIRST:
Sabre DAC in Grounded Current Mode
The ESS Sabre DAC has a mode that the manufacturer, ESS, may
know about. The Sabre DAC can be forced into an unusual Current Mode -
where the offset "V" is exchanged for an offset "I" (the 1.65V offset gets
changed onto 2.1mA per phase) and this is done simply by connecting the
output physically to Ground. Fully DC coupled, non-feedback "Diamond
Transistor" amplifier follows, no capacitors in the signal path.
SAW and Double-Clocking
Two "SAW" Clocks are used - one on the Sabre DACs and also
one on the Main System Clock. SAW clocks are normally used for military
and microwave purposes, but since the Sabre DAC can be clocked at 100MHz,
it is a natural to use the SAW Clock as it is inherently a superior and
more stable way to do clocking. Others are now copying our lead.
The use of two clocks was initially received with some skepticism, but
other Oppo upgraders are are following suit. Two clocks are essential and
has the additional benefit, reports of significant improvement to picture
New Post-DAC Filter "Rasmussen Effect"
kind of Post-DAC Filter that corrects this deleterious effect that largely
makes Delta-Sigma DACs have a certain sonic signature. This is highly
contentious since it breaks the rule that all filtering should be OOB (out
of band) and that the response is not flat at 20KHz. But serious listening
tests makes it obvious that Delta-Sigma DACs do
sound flat when it measures flat.
Former skeptic, Ken Newton (Pa, USA):
The circuit modification needed to
produce the effect is so seemingly trivial that one's first inclination is
to dismiss it out of hand as snake oil.
What Joe has discovered is that if you
add a dominant 1st order output filter at your DAC chip output... then the
perceived sound goes from 'digital edginess' to 'analog smoothness'. The
effect is very obvious, and surprising. Such smoothness is not to be
mistaken for some kind of 'smoothed over' character, as the clarity across
the band increases.
The Rasmussen Effect has removed upper
midrange brashness and glare. The audible result of this removal is the
restoration of more the sort of natural treble balance produced by live
instruments... brass, cymbals, and bells now have quite distinctive tone
color and weight. In addition, and perhaps surprisingly... a much more
weighty sounding lower midrange and bass... The perceived beneficial
affect on the lower frequency balance is quite strong.
"Flywheel" Sabre DAC Power Supply
Another Achilles Heel of Delta-Sigma DACs is the fact that
they are switching engines, switching on and off a DC power
supply. Any noise introduced from that supply is critical and becomes
immediately audible jitter. This simple fact seems to have
blind-sighted a lot of DAC designers. One solution is to filter that power
supply down to 1 Hertz (Ted Smith does in the PS Audio DirectStream DAC).
We have come up with a solution that is not a filter as such, but one that
acts as a filter, even below 1 Hertz. We call this the
"Flywheel" solution. It's simply the effect of storing a massive amount of
energy on the Sabre DAC's power supply, which is an equivalent electronic
mass effect in electrical sense, as it resists change down to ultra-sonic
frequencies, hence an electronic "Flywheel." The improvement is instantly
obvious, not exactly subtle.
Terra Firma Clocking Power - Special Edition
Our alternative to Atomic Clock method. What makes the
Atomic Clock so good is that they are impervious to power supply noise and
conventional clocking is not. This creates ultra-low frequency noise that
turns into a 'worst-kind' of jitter - the kind of jitter that makes
digital playback sound digital. We use a servo-controlled power supply
that is calculated to be tuned to a few millionths of a Hertz. Please read
this article for more detailed information.
Fully supply JLTi Oppo BDP-105D (Std Multi-Zone) AUD
Upgrade only (you supply Oppo 105/D or 95) AUD
Update from Level 1 or Level 2 to Level 4.0
Update Level 3 and 3.1 to Level 4.0
Fully supply JLTi Oppo BDP-103D (Std Multi-Zone) AUD
Upgrading to current JLTi Oppo 93/103/D AUD
I was sitting there stunned. It just sounded so
organic, so natural. Just like my Kuzma turntable. And this is all from CD
replay. CDs that sounded forward and thin, had body and presence. Sitting
there last night playing CD after CD and getting goose bumps.
Let's just say that since Friday 15 records have turned up and none have
been played. The Kuzma Stabi Reference is on holiday!
I just want to let you know that I've only played 2 records all week. 2
records. That's it. It's been CD constantly. What have you done to me?
Anthony Camplone, VIC
My wife is at odds to understand why she found me
at 3.30am sitting in the prime position with the stereo blaring totally
My intrigue was obviously greater than my stamina. Needless to say that
track after track stood me in disbelief of what I was hearing.
Disbelief that my system could actually sound that good and that my music
could reveal that much more life and detailed information.
Gordon Wilson, VIC
Click on Image to Enlarge
OUR BEST EVER VALUE UPGRADES:
Oppo 103 & 103D
NOW WITH "SAW" CLOCKING
Also Oppo 93
Oppo BluRay BDP-93/103/D
Now has many of Oppo 105D Level 4.0
Gary J. - Princeton NJ, USA
"When it arrived I had a quick listen not too impressed. Then after an
hour or so I just couldn't believe what I was hearing. And it was stuff I
had never heard before. Amazing juju coming from that box. Detail,
excitement, and an infinite sound stage. First impression is fantastic. I
can't wait for my new speakers to arrive."
The Oppo 103 has same Digital Main Board as the '105 - the main
difference is the USB DAC of the 105 and the Variable Volume of the Sabre
The Oppo 103 is Best Value and Oppo 105/D is Best Performance.
The older Oppo 93 could be picked up second hand and upgraded to the same
sonic performance. This would be an astonishing sonic bargain.
TUBE AMPLIFIER UPGRADES
Do you have
a Tube Amplifier? Are you aware that upgrading,
fitting the LEM Output Transformer Booster module, Virtual Triode
Operation and eschewing negative feedback, will transform what you
already have. The majority of Tube Amplifiers
and Integrated Amps are upgradeable
and reported feedback extremely satisfactory. Very cost effective too.
WORLD-WIDE "Terra Firma" RELEASE FROM
Leading Edge Digital Clocking
Terra Firma is here!
Redefining Digital Playback
AN ALTERNATIVE TO ATOMIC CLOCKS
'It would be hard for me to undervalue this...,
it has transformed what was already a very good player into a
a player that transcends what I thought was possible out of digital...
There is an improvement in definition across the entire spectrum... what
is more important is how the machine loses the last
vestiges of what I can only describe as a "mechanical" presentation,
which I have heard in every single disc player I have heard until now,
and replaces that with [a sense of] ease. Music simply breathes;
expands and contracts in volume without strain, is achingly pure yet full
I am now hearing more than ever but without any
sense of etching or over-emphasis of detail. SACD's on this machine
fulfill the promise of the medium, and surpass what I had thought
possible... this is a whole new ballgame, where
musicians become much more physical entities in my listening room.
The extra level of nuance and resolution is just great. I love it! This is
nothing short of a breakthrough as far as I am concerned."
Rob Ferguson, New Zealand
"Whatever Joe comes up with after this, nothing
he will ever do will be as good as this."
John Wines, NSW, Australia
Many more reviews
It may look like the audio scene is full of smart people
but it is not really like that. In fact, only a fraction of them fulfill
[that] criteria... and makes the audio wheel spinning, or moves it
forward, if you like. If I had to name some, people like Jean Hiraga,
...as the Vacuum State guys do, Allen Wright and Joe Rasmussen.
Pedja Rogic, Audial,
Mono & Stereo
NOW MARK 2
Projected Price AUD $1045 plus Import Cost of
Basic Amp of KT88
For those who wish to Upgrade your KT88 from Mark 1 -
please contact me.
Projected Price AUD $990 plus Import Cost of
Basic Amp of EL34
Society (ASoN) Shootout (load 0.5MB)
NICE ONLINE REVIEW by
Digital Audio Review
Based on a Chinese OEM manufactured EL34 Tube Integrated Amplifier,
rebuilt to our JLTi Standard. Incorporates new 2008 tube technology, such
as the L.E.M., which is a module that literally super-charges the
performance of the Output Transformers in such a way that they outperform
even Amorphous Cores (expensive and lower power). In addition, it
uses a new method of Triode mode, which we call "Virtual Triode Operation"
as well as other clever design ideas. If you cannot afford the Vacuum
State prices for SVP, RTP and DPA-300B preamps and power amps, then this
will get you much of that level of performance at a fraction of the cost.
These are music lovers amps, not Hi-Fi amps, highly refined,
grainless, liquid and surprisingly handles both micro and macro dynamics
effortlessly, ultra-smooth, yet wonderfully full bodied and a bass
quality that belies its humble power rating. Orders for Australasia will
be taken now. Read more...
"The amp is STUNNING! And I can
convey just how good with one example - even my wife remarked how good it
sounded! Many thanks, I can't tear myself away from listening to it.
People buy speakers not realizing that an amp can make an even greater
difference. Warwick Piper, SA
"Thanks Joe, my amp just sings!
Matthew Foley, NSW
NOW MARK 6
Arguably The World's Largest Online Speaker Project
- 100 Plus Pages
(if printed out)
"To my opinion the performance is now on
par or even better than the Avalon Eidolon."
Hans Hammerbauer, Switzerland
A World Class Speaker
that only needs 18 Watt per channel under most circumstances.
NEW WAVEGUIDES AVAILABLE
Cost: AUD $190 per Pair
Air Delivery World-Wide (PayPal OK)
INTRODUCTORY PRICE UNTIL END
OF JANUARY 2015 AUD $150/Pair
The impression is that it is made of a super-light metal, about half
that of Aluminium, but is in fact made of ACETAL, a synthetic material
that can be used in place of metals and machined like metal. Truly a high
tech material. Designed for the Peerless HDS Tweeter, which is now
manufactured as Scan-Speak D2608/913000. Dramatically reduces distortion
by an order up to 4 and has the benefit (not often considered) of the
Tweeter tracking "Current" rather than "Voltage" and reduces Phase
Red: On Axis
Green: 15 degrees
Off Axis (smoothest response when slightly Off Axis)
Blue: 30 degrees Of
Note: Using a 1.8uF Coupling Capacitor
will EQ the Frequency Response flat.
Kit of Parts (all drivers & bits
except the box itself)
- Usually 2 Weeks Delivery
Upgrade to Orpheus Apollo "Signature" Loudspeaker
Using New "CCD" Crossovers - read
It is all about value for money,
helping you getting high performance audio at a reasonable cost. In the
case of the latest Oppo Level 4.0 Upgrades, you have digital playback at
the highest level.
Custom Analogue Audio is situated in Sydney,
Australia. It is registered business in the state of NSW, solely owned by
Joe Rasmussen, and the name tells exactly what we aim to do. We specialise
in valve/tube equipment, often refurbishment, some repairs (but
not a repair business), specialised in some Solid State products
based on our own R&D. You will be surprised by what we can do.
Proprietary clock technology,
specifically the way the clock is powered, we are world
leaders and that is not an empty overstatement.
The biggest headache in digital
audio is the un-musicality of "Delta-Sigma" Digital to Audio Converters
and we have developed leading edge technology that finally fixes the worst
problems of "D-S" DACs - our new Post-DAC Filter and Electronic Flywheel
is being copied by others, but we were the originators.
Much of the technology is indeed
proprietary and developed with along with others, most particularly with
Vacuum State in Switzerland owned
by the late Allen Wright. Other collaborators are from the U.S., UK and Europe
Audio also does leading edge R&D work into improving
multi-way loudspeaker technology using innovative minimum and linear
phase crossover philosophy being shared with select speaker firms. The
vehicle to publicly describe this approach is the
Elsinore Loudspeaker, now the first "current" compatible loudspeaker,
and it is DIY and constrcution details available on this website.
Rebuilding Tube Amplifiers,
particularly Power and Integrated Amplifiers, is a high value service for
those with existing models. These can often be upgraded to an audio performance
that is sublime, and capable of dynamics that Solid State amplifiers
barely hint at. These amplifiers, converted to Virtual
sound far more powerful than their rated output indicate. If in
Sydney, or coming to Sydney, please give us a chance to demonstrate this.
A so-far exclusive service offered by
Custom Analogue Audio is the
L.E.M., the add-on module that will upgrade and super-charge any
output transformer used in any tube Power or Integrated Amplifier, without
even removing or changing the transformer itself. Combine this with our
special method of converting the output stage to to
Virtual Triode Operation,
and your old amp will be ready to be aimed at the moon.
We also rebuild or improve some
Preamplifiers and custom make new ones. This can be anything from a simple
and inexpensive upgrade to complex rebuilds and new FVP-5B Phono PreAmp,
but always delivering value. If you are an owner of an older
Vacuum State FVP Preamp, this can be upgraded to a preamp that
competes with commercially available products selling for $10,000 or a new
FVP5B can be built to order. It is simply a killer preamp, even if some
were made twenty years ago and then upgraded with time over twenty years.
Also, new Solid State preamps, even Microphone Preamps for Studio use,
based on our own exclusive R&D. No negative feedback, large bandwidth,
best non-tube sound imaginable and reasonable cost. The technology is
based on the amazing
JLTi Phono Stage that
is now commercially available and is arguably the best value Moving Coil
Phono Stage available under $6,000. If in the U.S., contact
welcome visitors and the opportunity to demonstrate what we can do.
Please bring some familiar music, whether CDs, SACDs or Vinyl. The
atmosphere will be very different from that of a shop, there is no
obligation to buy anything, as it is mostly services that we make
available rather than specific products to sell. Just enjoy the
Linearity Enhancement Module
International Version to Dual 115V-230V AC
L.E.M. is a module that fits
inside your Tube Power Amplifier that enhances the performance of the
Output Transformer. How does it do that? It is
not well known that Output Transformers suffer from lower
resolution at low signal levels due to the Permeability slide factor as
publicly described by Menno
Vanderveen (member of the Audio Engineering Society), the Dutch
transformer designer (for
Plitron and more). The L.E.M. works by exciting the Output Transformer
at very high frequencies near the edge of its bandwidth, so there is a
constant signal going through the transformer preventing the Permeability
to slide below a certain point. Resolution is always kept high, audible
grain is prevented, blacker backgrounds due to better dynamic shading,
bass fundamental improved and more. Improves
any Tube Power Amplifier.
According to Menno Vanderveen, the flux density can go as low as 40
nanoTestla @ 4KHz - as weak as the Earth's magnetic field.
For the time being this is
offered in Australia alone, the projected price is $300 for a Stereo
amplifier and $360 for Mono Blocks, fully fitted.
The L.E.M. has also proved to be beneficial to some Solid State
Integrated and Power Amplifiers. Especially successful in improving the
novel "Gainclone" type of amplifier, such as the JLTi Integrated. Since
these have no output transformer, it is clear that something else is at
work. While not as easy to define, it would help keep the transconductance
of the solid state output devices higher at lower signal/current levels.
Also, the higher rise time of the L.E.M. signal will accelerate the
transition through the zero point, thus reducing crossover artefacts. The
sonic improvement is the actual proof - the rest is academic.
LEM fitted EL34 Tube Amplifier available, also KT88