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Arkless 640p - Mini Review

Discussion in 'audio' started by Alex S, Feb 13, 2020 at 1:10 PM.

  1. Alex S

    Alex S carbon based lifeform

    There are Arkless threads but they go back quite a way so I thought it worth saying a few words since the 640p is new to me. The turntable is a modded SL1200 MK2 (fluid damper, outboard PSU etc) and cart is an AT 540 ML with about 100 hrs on it.

    The first thing to say is the whole process has been entirely easy and trouble free with the phono stage arriving within three weeks of placing the order. Jez kindly gave up his Cambridge unit since I could not find a donor.

    I have been happy with an early (black box, gold print, PSU1) Graham Slee Era Gold for over five years and didn't particularly need to change but was considering MC now the damper is fitted and the Arkless allows for choice of MM or MC. The Slee replaced a DV P75 MK2 that I liked a lot for MC but not so much for MM.

    Jez thought the 640 would sound fine from the off but I beg to differ. From cold it was clear the noise floor is very low and this brings benefits in staging, separation, detail. All very nice but not what really matters to me most. The Era Gold is infectiously enthusiastic, putting you in row 1. The Arkless is also fairly upfront and dynamic but you're a few rows back from the Slee.

    The Arkless is very smooth and 'grown up'. I was expecting something more adolescent. But now the important bit. The Arkless needed an hour to warm up a bit and when it had the band gelled, the emotional content of music flowed. From cold (and new) it was a little detached. After an hour I noticed no further improvements to speak of.

    I didn't switch back and forth, I really can't be bothered with that, but I played music I know very well. The Sublime Webb Sisters were indeed sublime on Cohen's Live in London. I was almost in tears during 'If It Be Your Will'. The Ozrics Waterfall Cities was as good as I've heard it - one lovely mess of a track that still had plenty of energy and drive but a bit less mess. I've played other stuff but you get the gist.

    All in all, the Arkless represents outstanding value and I should add that I took an oath of honesty before writing this review.

    I did not take measurements and opened my eyes whilst changing records.
    Big Tabs, joe9407, Rana and 8 others like this.
  2. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    Thanks for the kind words and honest review Alex:) Obviously the cable from the wall wart to the phono stage will need to burn in for a while for best results... :rolleyes:

    Still £225 plus postage and you need a donor unit of course (640P or 651P). MM and MC, loading completely changeable by loading plugs for MM or MC.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2020 at 1:13 PM
  3. Del monaco

    Del monaco pfm Member

    Sounds like a great upgrade.
  4. Alex S

    Alex S carbon based lifeform

    Tingvall Trio and GoGo Penguin sounding tight. Good piano tone.
  5. Gaslight

    Gaslight Member

    Measurements for proof of 'benefits in staging, separation, detail'?

    (I actually don't require them as I prefer your hearing opinions but as you trolled the Innuos thread about measurements, its only fair you bring some to your own one!)
    blueninjasix likes this.
  6. Alex S

    Alex S carbon based lifeform

    Allow me to quote the maker: “I have gone as far as testing with a full RIAA EQ accuracy sweep... passed with flying colours to within +/- 0.1dB”.
    sq225917 and Shadders like this.
  7. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    BY Lipschitz-Jung Inverse RIAA (with practicality improvements by me) and driven from Bruel & Kjaer 1023 sine wave oscillator.
  8. Craig B

    Craig B Re:trophile

    Yes, you can just make out a couple of inches of the LH side of our Jez's B&K 1023 sinusoidal wave oscillating wots'it in his avatar, innit?
    Alex S likes this.
  9. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    Well spotted! That's a 2609 Measuring Amplifier on top of it...

    Was watching an old episode of "Endeavour" last night, set in about '64, and there was an "ye olde ubiquitous" Advance J1 like the one at top left in my avatar. Still a very useful piece of kit! The transformer coupled valve oscillator gives a pretty powerful low impedance and pretty indestructible output which is great for testing transformers and chokes etc without any fear of back EMF killing the oscillator. Still does better than +/- 1dB 20Hz - 50KHz!
  10. Craig B

    Craig B Re:trophile

    You mean top left, right?

    I remember that episode!
  11. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    OOPs! Yes. I was looking at top left and typed top right.... fixed it.
  12. Alex S

    Alex S carbon based lifeform

    St Germain grooving nicely. Measured by slight body oscillation.
    Arkless Electronics and Shadders like this.
  13. Craig B

    Craig B Re:trophile

    Alex S likes this.
  14. Rana

    Rana pfm Member

    Yes, an astonishingly moving performance even on lossy streaming.
    Alex S likes this.
  15. Alex S

    Alex S carbon based lifeform

    I’m playing it at my funeral.
  16. Alex S

    Alex S carbon based lifeform

    Together with knockin’ on heaven’s door and something by the Sleaford Mods.
    mega lord likes this.
  17. Marchbanks

    Marchbanks Hat and Beard member

    A neat trick if you can pull it off.
    eastone, Nytechy, Darren and 4 others like this.
  18. Alex S

    Alex S carbon based lifeform

    I was thinking of a playlist on my deathbed.

    But I could be senile and choose the birdie song or something.
  19. mega lord

    mega lord Centre tapped

    How about In my time of dying by the great Led Zeppelin :)
  20. Ibbots

    Ibbots pfm Member

    Dig a Hole and Rottern Fodder by the Wolfgang Press have been my default funeral choices since I was a shitty student.
    Darren likes this.

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