Sunday, December 27, 2009

Telefunken TLX 1 Photos

These are really nice little speakers. They have real presence and musicality. Their aesthetics aren't for everyone (though they are cool to me), but they are very well made, the drivers are excellent, and they deliver the goods.

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Sony TA-3650 Pictures

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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Arriving Today, I hope.


The Telefunken TLX 1 Professionals have arrived! They are lots of fun & sound surprisingly big, but I need to spend some time with them. They have 12 feet of thin speaker wire coming right out of the cabinets, like cheap all in one system speakers, but originally had DIN connectors, I bet. I may install proper binding posts. The cabinets are constructed like Braun and Canton speakers of similar vintage. They have great presence, but I need to live with them. I do like what I hear, and these could fill the bill for a lot of people (and I've met a few recently) who want good bass in as little space as possible. No these aren't close to mini speaker size, but they seem to go deep.

Also arriving today, a fantastic Sony TA-3650 integrated amp. The Vintage Knob provides lots of information here. It's the precursor to my beloved TA-F5, with a 60 watt/channel, DC amplifier. It's beautifully built, but Sony's industrial design is a matter of taste, many finding it dull. I think it's spare and serious. The machined solid aluminum knobs and heavy extruded faceplate are higher quality than most contemporary competitors (including Marantz) . I took off the chipped woodgrain vinyl sides (I may veneer them in teak). I think this amp looks much cooler in just a metal case. Like the Toshiba SD-420, this amp uses a swiss Alps sealed potentiometer for its volume control. I had to replace a broken one on the Toshiba, but this one is excellent: silky smooth and quiet.

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Friday, December 25, 2009

Marantz 1152DC

This beauty has a gouge and a burr on the edge of the faceplate near the bottom right corner. What I consider a battle scar would be a fatal flaw to many 'collectors'. This is a gorgeous sounding amp.

The phono section of the 1122DC sounds harsh in one channel, and will visit Vladimir soon.

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Vintage Classics

You can't go wrong with either of these. Currently I have both. If you listen to mostly classic rock, I'd take the Advents by a hair for their deeper bottom end, the foundation for everything else. Listening to a lot of jazz and blues, the Dynacos, and especially their Seas tweeter have a bit more detail and extension than the very good 'fried egg' tweeters in the Advents.

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

New Marantz photos

The day after winter solstice the light faded quickly so the 1152Dc photos are blurry and will be redone tomorrow. Here are the 1122DC integrated amp and 2120 tuner. This last style of vintage Marantz is growing on me. I always liked the integrateds with anodized black inset panels, like the 1150 and 1070, but the massive chunkiness of these, especially the double thick centre section (the second aluminum piece is secured from the back with screws).

If I haven't said it before, I'll tell you now that I'm not a fan of the radio as a musical medium (though I love my CBC News and As It Happens). However, a really good tuner, like the Marantz 2120 or Sansui TU-9500 make it much more rewarding.

Communication Problems Again

My home phone is on the fritz. Please contact me by e-mail.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

New Marantz Integrated Amps and Tuner

I got 3 new Marantz pieces yesterday. Vladimir is saving my ass on one as I write.
UPDATE: Saved!

I have a 2120 tuner in very nice condition, that works and sounds great. All the fuse lamps on the dial are out, and will be replaced tomorrow.

I have an 1152 DC integrated amp (76 watts/channel). The RCA jacks for the phono inputs are buzzing and will be fixed today or tomorrow. The treble slider control shaft is snapped off. Vladimir is going to rebuild with a new shaft. I listened to the line inputs and it sounds beautiful!

After removing the top and bottom of the 1152B and cleaning everything, I turned my attention to the third piece, an 1122DC integrated amp (61/watts channel). It appeared to be built just like the 1152DC, and I attempted to remove the bottom the same way, ignorant of the fact that on of the circuit boards was screwed to it! As I pulled the metal bottom up, I cracked the edge of the board containing the relay, rendering the amp inoperable. I am just lucky that Vladimir is in his shop today (he doesn't usually work Sundays). He listened to my misfortune without making me feel stupider, and assured me that he can fix it easily (which he is doing right now).

UPDATE: He fixed it! It sounds great!

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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Saturday Update.

The JBL 4312Bs left yesterday afternoon. The Celestion DL10 Series 2s that arrived Thursday night flew out my door this morning. The Rotel RA-840BX2 integrated amp will probably leave this afternoon.
UPDATE: The Rotel is gone.

Celestion DL10 Series 2

I know, these were produced in the mid eighties, and don't really belong on this blog. Celestion continued to produce seventies quality speakers, and the DL line was (and continues to be) popular.
They are large 3 way 10 inch rear ported systems with an excellent aluminum dome tweeter, a variant of the one developed for the fabulous SL-6S. The drivers have cast metal frames (not stamped) and rubber surrounds. They use much better speaker wire connectors than the Ditton line, and have the beautiful musicality that makes Ditton 15s, 44s, 22s et al so appreciated today.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

British Invasion.

Two days ago, someone asked me what british speakers I had, and my answer was none. Tonight I have the Mission 770 Freedom 4s I told you about last night, a pair of Celestion DL10 Series 2s and a pair of Mission 700 Mk 2s. Things change fast.

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Mission 770 Freedom Update

I'm getting myself psyched up to sand the Mission speakers outside. It's sunny but cold. I had a pair of 770 mk2s a long time ago that were black but battered. I went through black stain to the walnut (or maybe ash?), and some of the residual black went into the grooves of the grain, giving it a beautiful depth and richness. I think these will work that well.

Update: I've done the tops. They're going to look beautiful.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Just Arrived! Mission 770 Freedom 4s

Sounding as great as I remember.

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Sunday, December 13, 2009

The 2215B is gone, the 2235B will shovel your driveway.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


I took a flyer on this UREI 6500 power amp. The specs and manual are here. It weighs 90 pounds, and is rated at 275 watts/channel into 8 ohms, 400 into 4 and 600 into 2 ohms (or it can be bridged for 900 watts into 8 ohms in mono)!

It worked perfectly yesterday, but a freak preamp noise seems to have taken out a side temporarily...I'll let you know. Based on about a half hour of listening, it's beautiful and big sounding with insane headroom. People with speakers that require industrial strength solid state amps like Krell, Mark Levinson, Rowland, Threshold, Bryston etc. may be very interested in this baby.
Each channel uses 14 output transistors!
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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I'm Having E-mail Problems

If we've communicated lately, please call me on the number I replied with.
Updated: fixed!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Marantz Receivers

All three are clean and sounding great.

Update: The 2245 has left the building.

Update: So has the 2215B.

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Monday, December 7, 2009

Monday Marantz Madness!

I just came home with a 2245, a 2235B and a 2215B. Lots of cleaning is required, a few fuse lamps, and I think these will all be ready for prime time. Much more to follow.

Update: I'm listening to the 2245 (while cleaning the 2235B), and it sounds great.

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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Sunday Update.

The Sony STR-V4 left this morning, paired with the Image speakers. The happy buyer got a beautiful sounding system that will give years of musical joy for less than $200.

Later the same day:
The Harman/Kardon A-402 is gone along with the KEF C-25s. The HK amp is one beautiful looking and sounding amp. I think vintage Harman/Kardon is one of the most underrated (or unrated) brands. It surprises me to see how popular their current home theatre offerings are.

My collection is quite small at the moment. I did pick up a new set of Dynaco A-25s, which sound beautiful, and I continue to enjoy the Burhoe Blues (driven by the Rotel RA-840BX2 as I write). The A-25s are much less efficient than the Blues, but with the proper amp demonstrate awesome naturalness and musicality. They hold their own today, and as I've said recently are classic favorites for good reason. If you listen to mostly classic rock, a pair of Advents might have the edge, but the Dynacos would be what I'd want for jazz.

I'm looking forward to the Krosseyed Kats world premiere gig at Grossman's tomorrow night. I think that Frieda, a unique and extremely talented singer who's been part of the Toronto blues scene for years, has finally found a band that shares her vision and musicianship. If you're in the Toronto area, check it out.

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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Burhoe Blues Photos

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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wednesday Update: Burhoe Day

It's a beautiful day, so I'm outside sanding the Burhoe Blues. I hope to post pictures later this afternoon.

Updated: They sanded down nicely, and are soaking in their third coat (drink?) of oil in the sun. I'm redoing the grills now.

Updated again:

And Again: The drivers are back in. A significant contribution to the 42 pound weight of these speakers (same as JBL L36s), comes from the tweeter and midrange magnets. The woofers have a New England sourced feel (Advent, Boston Acoustics, etc.) but in a large volume, ported enclosure. These may be the peacemaker in the east coast/west coast sound argument. If an EPI 100 and a JBL L36 had a baby, the Burhoe Blue would be it.

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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sunday Update.

The Sansui AU-9500 has gone to a very appreciative new owner. I didn't spend as much time with it as I would have liked on its return, but am very impressed by it (and did spend a lot of time with it initially).

The Burhoes were listened to a lot last night, driven by the Harman/Kardon A -402 and then the Sony TA-F5, one side of vinyl after another 'til late. They are powerful yet delicate, full range speakers. I bought them because they were available and I'd wanted them for a long time, but also because I've known for a while that the JBL 4312Bs will not be here forever, and needed to know what my next go to speaker would/could be. These are it.

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I'd briefly heard these rare and fabulous speakers from Winslow Burhoe's eponymous company, founded after EPI (which spawned Genesis Physics Corporation) about a year ago. That pair had been 'refoamed' with rings of linen cut from a bedsheet by someone who didn't have speaker foam on their radar, but was a craftsman who did a skillful job with what he had. They sounded good. My pair has full wood veneer front baffles and look much prettier than the brochure picture I post. I haven't listened for an hour yet, but I can tell you that the inverted dome midrange driver, which looks like a larger version of Burhoe's famous inverted dome tweeter, is superb, and that the ten inch woofer in a large ported enclosure yields detailed and deep bass. Much more to come about these!

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Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Sansui AU-9500 is back!

The entire problem was a broken toggle switch for the N.R. ADAPTOR feature (pretty unnecessary in 2010 unless you need noise reduction built into your amp for use in a reel to reel tapdeck ), a broken (brittle) plastic bit. He didn't replace the switch, but made it work, with perfect contact, but now not making an audible 'click' when it's switched into 'OUT' (where it should always be) from 'IN' (where it will never be). It was causing the weak channel problem in the phono and all other inputs. It's sounding amazing now, as is the matching AU-9500 tuner.
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