Sunday, July 27, 2014

July Update

  I hope you're having a fantastic summer.
  The Angstrom Reference speakers were here for a couple of weeks. I mistakenly thought that they used all Vifa components, but I was corrected (Vifa woofers, Philips tweeters). As wonderful as they sounded, I think the tweeter robbed them of ultimate airiness at the top.
 The ADS L400s that arrived here recently have no lack of airiness! This model is just bigger than a mini speaker, but much more satisfying.

Marantz PM-84D integrated amplifier. Vintage 1986. Massive: 19.5 kilos. MOS-FETs!

Saturday, June 7, 2014


The Delta 60 is a 50 watt/channel minimalist amp with neutrality, musicality and dynamics. I never showed you the first one, which I used through the winter with the Regas, probably because it was made in 1988, and seemed so visually bland to me a first. I opened this new one (picked up Friday) to change fuses and was impressed by the fit, finish and construction quality. I wish Arcam still made amps that looked like this, but the simple elegance of the Delta has grown on me, and it sounds amazing. I've also been using an Arcam Alpha, from the early nineties, rated at 40 watts/channel to drive the Monitor Audio Sevens at the uptown office. It's a bit chintzier looking, but sounds very nice too.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Monitor Audio Sevens

  Apparently, these were darlings of the british hi-fi press in the early eighties. Stereophile loved them too. I jumped on a pair at a very fair price in rough cosmetic shape, but sounding great. I veneered them (on 3 sides...I'm lazy) with some scraps I had of figured black walnut, and now I think they look the way they sound

Friday, May 16, 2014

Braun L810s

  These are the biggest Braun driver speakers I've had here (and the biggest I'd want in my space). A 3 way design, not unlike the ADS L780/2s below, but with bigger midrange domes (with massive magnets), beefier tweeters built on huge faceplates, and two eight inch woofers in each cabinet.
  The clarity of the ADS/Braun designs is extended another octave. These are awesome, very engaging speakers. Listening to Ella Fitzgerald jamming with an all star Pablo band on Fine & Mellow (on original vinyl) almost brought tears of joy to my eyes.

Friday, May 9, 2014

ADS L780/2 Loudspeakers

  Visitors to Seventies Stereo World Corporate Headquarters who've heard ADS speakers here in the past have commented that they have a level of clarity and natural detail that they've only experienced before when using headphones. It's hard to argue. I've loved all seven sets that have passed through here from tiny to healthy medium.
  This pair of 3 way eight inch beauties are chips off the block, clean, clear and very musical.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Spendor BC1 photos.

  First off, they sound fantastic, and did before I did anything to them, but they were a mess. One tweeter was missing substantial pieces of it's plastic casting, including around a captive screwhole, so the heavy magnet was pulling it into the cabinet, putting it at an odd angle, with lots of play. I would've liked to replace it, and it looks exactly like the tweeter in many Celestion models (Ditton 15, Ditton 25 etc.), but it's rated at 16 ohms. I wanted to save it, so I glued together what I could, and cast the missing pieces in epoxy. The cabinets were terribly scratched, and I got most out, without going through the veneer. I haven't touched the backs (yet).

Saturday, May 3, 2014

New Arrivals.

Recently arrived at Seventies Stereo World Headquarters: Spendor BC1s, Braun L810s, ADS L780s! I can't wait to hear them all. Also, a new champagne face Pioneer SX-828.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Just Arrived. KEF Chorales.

  From the first line of speakers KEF produced with the B200 woofer, this became a bestseller, and was in production from 1970-1979! A classic 2 way sealed system, with the popular and famous T-27 tweeter, they sound just lovely, with better bass than I would've expected. Based on the styling, this pair looks to me like fairly early production.

Friday, March 28, 2014

The speakers that got me through the winter.

  I just finished the cabinets of these Canadian made Rega (Camber) speakers. When I look back on this blog, it's clear that I have a soft spot for 2 way, 8 inch ported monitors, a classic form factor. For all intents and purposes I consider a 3 speaker system with a supertweeter 2 way. I've had Spendor BCIIs, Rogers Monitor 2s and Studio 1s, many Mission 770s, and a slew of Canadian speakers (Energy, Image, etc.). I'm not saying that the Rega 3s are definitely the best. I love listening to them, keep coming back to them, and find them always musical and satisfying. I love Rega 2s as well, but the larger woofer and bigger cabinet elevates the 3s.
  I love the Rega 3s aesthetically. The depth  of the cabinet makes the proportions very elegant. The woofer mounted from inside and screw on rear baffle echo the British style. The construction quality is excellent (with extensive internal bracing), and the wood veneer is gorgeous.
  I've been using these for more than 6 months (driven primarily by my Arcam Delta 60). They looked like a dog's breakfast until a few days ago, with scratches everywhere (including a couple of tic tac toe boards carved into one side), missing bottom trim pieces (where the brass badges would've been), and years of neglect. I refinished the cabinets (getting all scratches out:), applied new veneer at the bottom, and replaced the cheap speaker connectors with proper 5 way binding posts.
  Most cool to me though, is that for the first time, I had Rega badges 3D printed! I've been following the development of 3D printing for a while now, and knew that there would be useful applications for a vintage freak like me. This was the ideal circumstance to try it out. Thanks to the nice people at 3DPhactory for their help.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Speakers I worked on in hibernation.

2 pairs of Mission 717s.

The foam grills one one pair should've been dust 15 years go.

A beautiful pair of Mission 700s.

Early seventies vintage KEF Corellis.

with SP-1231 tweeters, replacing dead T-27s.

And soon I'll show you the speakers I listened to most through this long winter.