Friday, July 31, 2015

Hi. I hope you're having a great summer.

I am.
I just got a beautiful pair of Energy 22 Reference Connoisseurs, in rosewood. I moved the Altec 604-8Gs out for only the second time since they arrived (I've been listening to them compulsively) in February.  I connected the Arcam Delta 60, and was pretty impressed last night, Today I switched to the Sansui AU-8500, and am very, very happy.


Sunday, May 10, 2015

These speakers are giving me more pleasure than I could imagine.

First time in 30 years.

   It would have been cooler if I'd written about it when it happened two and a half weeks ago, but it still makes me happy. I was walking downtown, saw a beautiful  poster for the (then) forthcoming second Alabama Shakes album. It was being released in 4 days. When I hit Bloor Street, I went to Kops Records, just to browse (right), and saw a crate full of new copies of Sound & Color. I asked, and they were happy to sell me one.
  On my way home, I realized that it's the first new release I've bought on vinyl in about 30 years. I'd hoped that the band was making a new album, but didn't know, before I saw that poster, that it was imminent. There was only 15 minutes between finding out that a band I care about was releasing new music, and having it in my hands. If I'd been paying close attention, like I did 30 years ago, I would've been excited for months. Life is different, but the thrill of opening the shrink wrap and putting on side one of a brand new lp, dropping the needle and hearing brand new music from a band you love never gets tired.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Altec 604-8Gs are rocking!

  The new diaphragms arrived from Great Plains Audio this morning. Fernando at The Speaker Shop installed them a few hours ago, and I just got them all back together and into their cabinets. I don't want to rush to any conclusions, and am looking forward to spending a lot of time with them, but my initial impression is WOW.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Altec 604-8G update.

All that's needed is one replacement diaphragm! I'll replace both. Apparently Great Plains Audio in Oklahoma City make the best, with Altec's original tooling. YeeHaw!

Monday, February 9, 2015

The drivers and crossovers are in excellent physical shape. The cabinets are professionally made, but not by Altec. They're practically the size of refrigerators! One sounds awesome, the other will play through the woofer or tweeter, but not simultaneously, and never when using the bottom connectors (one set of leads connected to the top drives the tweeter, the other, also connected through the top connectors, drives the woofer. I'm sure the solution is simple, but I'll troubleshoot it tomorrow. These are legendary systems, and I can't wait to hear them.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Mcintosh speaker & equalizer update.

  I've never had any Mcintosh gear before this, and was quite excited. I set up the ML-1Cs, put the equalizer in the tape loop of my trusty Arcam Delta 60, with attenuation set at the recommended -6db (apparently to avoid overloading the tape monitor circuit). The sound was really disappointing…dull, sluggish, compressed. I was stunned. I took everything apart, went back to enjoying the Hanson Zylberberg Monitors.
  Two weeks later, I had some time to experiment. I put the Macs back, brought in my wonderful Sansui AU-8500, and because the amp has removable pre out/main in jumpers, put the equalizer between the preamp and power amp, with no attenuation (also as recommended). Now I heard music! These are very nice speakers, full range, with pretty good detail. The softly glowing equalizer on top of the big Sansui, and the late sixties modern vibe of the speakers make the Seventies Stereo listening room feel like Don Draper's place.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Just arrived.


There will be lots to talk about.
Plenty of information here. 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

  Happy New Year. I'm going to try to post far more often than I have in a while.
 & DECADES BEYOND refers to gear made after the seventies that embodies the spirit and seeks musical truth. The Hanson Zylberberg monitors that left before Christmas and just arrived back, are a perfect example…late seventies form factor (see Meridian M2s), solid, heavy, meticulous cabinetry, excellent drivers, beautiful music, fantastic bass.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Traffic to Seventies Stereo has doubled since I posted the first cat picture (now removed…it wasn't a good photo). Don't worry, I'm not going to  make it a regular habit.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Luxman MS-10 loudspeakers

  Here's a description from The Vintage Knob:
  The MS-10 is a very beautiful looking bookshelf of modest dimensions and modest power i/o but made with a refined structure and original parts. Being a real bookshelf, it can be used in several positions - or at least upside down and downside up : woofer up or woofer down.
  The bass/mid driver uses an Aramid cone : a mix of multiple plastics meshed up together, chemically coated and heat treated. Aramid was the answer to the equation : rigid but lightweight. One of the possible answers, that is, but a new and high-tech one in 1979. Aramid is also used for the driver's damper supporting the diaphragm. A further polyurthane coating of the cone's edge helps further lowering of the remaining resonance while the specially designed aluminium diecast frame helps back venting. (Frank Fabian tells me this driver was made for Luxman by Cambridge). The basket is cast magnesium.
  The high driver is a 2.5cm polyester dome covering the 3Khz to 20Khz range but able to go down to 1Khz ; its large 11,000g magnet and nomex bobbin allow good power handling.
  The crossover uses a sharp 18dB/octave slope with select metalized film caps and low DC resistance coils.
  The enclosure uses very high density particle board and LUX's own Multi-Vent Controlled Speaker System : small holes at the back of the enclosure makes for a moderate venting system giving advantages of both acoustic suspension and bass-reflex routes, sans the problems of either system.




  This is quite a nice sounding system. The quality of the woofer is immediately apparent. I think that the tweeter is the (relative) weak link. Cymbals are a little brash and less than realistically metallic sounding, therefore the midrange is a little less natural than I think it could be with a different (Audax,Vifa or Seas) tweeter.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Hanson Monitor update.

 
  They're finished in oak veneer. One inch mdf box with heavy internal bracing, lined with grey camera foam and rubber mats. The Hansons employ rare and excellent Dynaudio D28 tweeters between 2 SEAS H352 P17RCY 6.5" woofers (a D'appolito configuration), ported at the back. The speakers have bi-wire terminals that only accept banana plugs. They have black wooden pedestal stands threaded to the underside of the speakers (that can be sand or lead shot filled). They weigh around 60 lbs each.
  When I first heard them, connected to the Sansui AU-8500, I was seriously disappointed. The sound was lifeless and opaque. This with the same amp that had been making beautiful music hours before, driving the ADS L810s. The same amp about which I'd just said "this awesome Sansui is just what I need to drive whatever cool speakers show up this winter."
  I don't have a lot of powerful amps sitting around these days. I hooked up my trusty Arcam Delta 60 and was amazed. It was as if I was hearing a completely different speaker: lovely tonality, tight, deep bass, stunning imaging, great detail. I'm told these speakers (which can easily handle 250 watts/channel) have a dip in their impedance, and the Sansui, I suppose, just isn't a modern enough design for beasts like these. I'm not saying the Arcam is the last word in amplification for the Hansons, but now I'm really enjoying their good qualities. More to come.