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Arkless modified Cambridge 640P: First Impressions

Discussion in 'audio' started by mickhick1, Oct 11, 2012.

  1. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Arkless

    Looks like you are getting results as good a I did here with it Mike!

    Darryl must be so gobsmacked with his that he can't pull himself away from his hifi to tell us all about it I reckon! :rolleyes:

    PFM member MVV should have his in a few hours from now, according to the delivery tracking number, so hopefully we shall hear from him on the subject as well before long.... :)

    I have a demo unit here now and will shortly post some pictures of the innards which some may find interesting... For reasons of keeping the weight down (postal charges) I have removed everything that's no longer in circuit rather than just disconnected it. There's not a lot left! An illustration, I hope, as to the extent that it is not really a Cambridge Audio any more but an Arkless Electronics design ;)
  2. sq225917

    sq225917 situation engineer

    Come on Darryl, spill the beans, time for a full and frank disclosure of your thoughts.

  3. darrylfunk

    darrylfunk Banned

    i have just put a m.c. on a modded pt too/roksan tabriz combo so i can write up a more full appraisal of the unit.....

    but it it very, very good and well worth the upgrade cost.

    jez really has got it to sound like a £500+ phono stage....
  4. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Arkless


    A picture paints a thousand words as they say..... Not much Cambridge left... just Arkless.... and a vastly cleaner signal path!!

    There are various wire links, cuts to tracks, new grounding wires and a few components fitted under the board....

    Units supplied to customers will obviously not look like this but will appear to be still mainly Cambridge Audio... They are actually as in the above picture electronically, but the original circuitry, although bypassed and disconnected, is still physically present in order to save the vastly increased labour costs of removing it all!! :eek:

    This one has had the subsonic filter and relay delay circuitry removed and bypassed. I would never use the filter and would not want customers to accidentally have the filter engaged when auditioning it!

    It is normally left usable unless a customer requests it to be bypassed... the relay delay is also normally left in place unless I'm asked to remove it. Both are optional and free.

    The only times I would envisage someone wanting to use the subsonic filter would be for parties, if allowing the kids to use the TT, or if one has got ones back up off the wall and a boogie of some energy is going down... man... :D
  5. MVV

    MVV pfm Member

    Got mine today. Thanks Jez. It is very good value for money, I got a mint example SH from the PFM classifieds and then got it Arklessed. £200 all up. I spent an hour with it this evening an am very pleased with the improvement over the 32.5- 7 series boards. (Previous phono stages were- TEAD Microgroove Plus and Icon PS 2.) I will post more when I have had a proper listen.

    Jez is a very good guy to deal with, very helpful and responsive.
  6. MVV

    MVV pfm Member

    Ok, It is very good. Specifically more detail and deeper more controlled bass. Bill Fay's new record has been holding all comers off the turntable for about a month now so I know it very well. I'm hearing bits I hadn't noticed before such as bits of breathing and things that were deeper in the mix. The other thing is I have Neat Isobaric speakers and bass seems to go deeper than before almost as if a bit of the speaker was working that wasn't previously. For £200 for effectively a new unit it represents very good value and It is good enough to take away any desire for me to look into phono stages further.

    I look forward to someone putting this up against a couple of other sub-1K units.
  7. Maddog

    Maddog Active Member

    Curious to know your thoughts on how it compares to the TEAD and icon audio .
  8. eltel459

    eltel459 pfm Member

    Out of interest, does anyone have the website details for Arkless as it seems to have been down for the whole of today.
  9. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Arkless

    Yes the website is indeed down at the moment.... switched web hosts and seem to be having a "Houston,,, we have a problem" moment... for several days! W.I.P ;)

    More details at: http://www.pinkfishmedia.net/forum/showthread.php?t=126825

    Contact me on: jez (at) arklesselectronics.com you know how to actually enter that URL ;)
  10. MVV

    MVV pfm Member

    I'm afraid I haven't got either anymore so can't compare. Also it was a different turntable at the time.
  11. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Arkless

    Website is back on line!

    I must point out though that at the moment there is nothing on the modified 640P on the site.... All details are available right here on pfm, both in this thread and for specs prices etc see http://www.pinkfishmedia.net/forum/showthread.php?t=126825

    All contact details, terms and conditions, and info on other services etc can be found on my website of course ;)
  12. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Arkless

    The above 651P will be available as a demonstrator to anyone interested enough to want to hear it. A switch will first be fitted to the rear panel to allow instant switching between MM and MC. This is not a standard feature but will be included to make it easier for potential customers to hear it with their favoured cartridge without having to cut wire links etc! It will have no effect on the sound quality...

    The intended logistics for this will be that I get a list of names of interested pfm members posted up on the site here, and I then send it to the first on the list. That person will then be responsible for sending it to the next on the list (including postage of course!). That way everyone has a good idea of who it is with now and who is next.... and no one has to pay two lots of postage! Please keep it for just a weekend or thereabouts in order that the next person is not kept waiting for too long

    Obviously I'm hoping that many will buy without the rigmarole of a home demo! What with the excellent reviews it has already received here on pfm and, (for what it's worth coming from me!?), my assurance that you will not really need to hear it as it has no real sound of it's own... just a clear window on whatever is fed too it!!
  13. eltel459

    eltel459 pfm Member

    Hi Jez, could you put my name down for a demo when you put your list of interested PFM members together.


  14. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Arkless

    Certainly Terry.

    If people could just post requests right here in public that would be great.
    That way everyone (including me!) has a good idea of who has it now and who's next etc This is important as after I've sent it to the first person they will need to PM the next to arrange delivery!
  15. Robn

    Robn pfm Member

    Hi, I'd like to be added to the list!

  16. sq225917

    sq225917 situation engineer

    Gents, will you be taking pics of the unit in situ, so we can get an idea of your set-ups. it'll help interested partys no end when it comes to working out who we share similar tastes with.
  17. jaz9706

    jaz9706 pfm Member

    Im still in for a loan of this , plse add me to the list
  18. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Arkless

    No problem.
    It's on its way to eltel459 today so that makes you 3rd on the list....
  19. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Arkless

    eltel459. Expect delivery Thursday if all goes well with the post :)
  20. Tim Jones

    Tim Jones pfm Member

    My fundamental problem with relatively cheap MC stages is the weedy gain on offer. For those of us with DV carts and similar low outputs, they just don't cut the mustard. I need more like 70dB, not 50...

    Do Jez's mods do the stock Cambridge units any favours on that front?

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