Thursday, April 30, 2009

A special pair of Missions.

I was given a set of Mission 710s in rough cosmetic condition. They have the fantastic Seas tweeters that I've enjoyed in other Missions, as well as Meraks, and the Boston A200s. The 8 inch woofers had been replaced with car stereo junk.

I happened to have a pair of woofers salvaged from a pair of 770 Freedom Fives, and as an experiment, installed them. I was apprehensive about how the 710 crossover would integrate the new woofer into the midrange, and curious about the bass, because unlike most Missions I've known, these are sealed enclosures.

Well, they sound great. I was listening critically for midrange roughness and boomy bass, but after a few minutes I was just enjoying the music, which tells me all I need to know.

So there is a unique opportunity here...I'd say these are three quarters of the 770 experience for two thirds of the cost.

The cabinets have been beautifully restored (they were VERY scratched up). Mission matches veneer grains all the way around each cabinet, and the result is striking.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Midweek Update

The Infinity RS4000s left for provo, Utah today as planned. I can't wrap my head around paying more to ship a pair of speakers than they cost, but clearly some people can.

Using a Dremel tool for my first time, I was able to cut a new slot into the stripped faceplate screw on the Marantz 26 receiver, and remove it. I have cleaned it inside and out (the volume had been especially scratchy), and it may be the best sounding Marantz I've heard. It's definitely the cutest I've seen, and it sounds like way more than 14 watts per channel! I'll post pictures as soon as my camera batteries recharge.
Here we are:

I have a Lenco L62 turntable in house that I will tell you about as soon as I get a tracking force gauge and get it set up properly. It's a beautiful looking, well made swiss machine.

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Friday, April 24, 2009

Recommended site

I first saw hificollector a few weeks ago, and am impressed with the site, and jealous of Tom and his amazing finds. Do check it out, it's impressive.

Friday update (early)

I'm leaving town for the weekend, and may not have an opportunity to post, so I want to catch up.

The Marantz 2285B left Thursday afternoon for a very good home. The guy who bought it really knows his stuff. He changed the bulbs, set all specs to their factory settings, cleaned it inside and out. He tells me he spent four hours, and it looks like more! It absolutely gleams now.

I have a beautiful Harman/Kardon 430 twin powered receiver that sounds and looks gorgeous, nicer than the one in the picture. What the the photo doesn't show is how cool it looks when it's on, and the tuning dial glows behind the shiny smoked fascia. As I said about the HK-340 I had last August: if Mies Van Der Rohe designed receivers, they would look like this!

I have a Pioneer SX-3600 30 watt/channel receiver with the cool fluoroscan meters. It sound s great too.

The other Altec speakers I mentioned the day I told you about the Marantz 26 are 893A Coronas from 1971. Here are the picture (on the right) & specs from the '71 catalogue. They were in rough cosmetic shape, but are going to be beautiful. They sound MUCH better than the Altec Ones from 2 years later, and are impressing me with their effortless musicality. They will be ready to see and hear early next week.

I had no interest in the Infinity RS4000s here, so they are going to Provo, Utah to become part of an all Infinity, all EMIT tweeter home theatre system. I know I said I wouldn't ship again after the Mach One fiasco, but I will use a different carrier and assure myself that they are properly packed.

Have a great weekend enjoying music.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Just arrived: Marantz Model Twenty Six

14 gorgeous watts per channel, almost 40 years old. WOW! this is amazing! It's in very good condition, one screw (out of 2 on the faceplate) is bad (turned to mush in one try with the correct screwdriver) and will have to be tapped out so I can clean the faceplate and pots. It sounds really good, driving the Corals, the Mirage 650s and a new (old) pair of Altecs from 1971, that I'll tell you about tomorrow.

Also arrived today: a beautiful and great sounding Pioneer SX-737. Pictures and discussion to follow.

I promised a design analysis of the Marantz 2285B and it is coming

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Wharefedale Laser 90Bs

Nice sounding 2 way 8 inch acoustic suspension system.

KLH Model 32s

UPDATE: the KLH 32s are very nice. Very funky/primitive/organic looking cloth surround woofers that really kick in this well designed acoustic suspension (i.e. sealed box) cabinet. The tweeter is covered by what looks a pink round facial scrub pad, held in place by a circle of metal screen, but is impressing me. I'm listening to The British Blues part of the excellent Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues documentary soundtrack (Tom Jones & Lulu are incredible here, as is Jeff Beck), and these little speakers are really working. Those of you who recently admired the Wharfedale Super Linton W30Ds will love these. Update: they are sold.

The Mirage 650s are wonderful.

These sound as great as I thought they could, and are very close to the 750s in most areas. They are a real taste of the late seventies high end.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

(ONLY) 2 new pairs of speakers today!

I just brought home a pair of Mirage 650 floorstanders (2 way 10 inch with 10 inch passive radiators). I loved the 750s and expect great sound from these after I build new passive radiators.

I also have a cute pair of KLH 32s, like miniature 17s with 8 inch woofers. The cabinets need sanding, but these will be beautiful when I am finished with them! I will listen and report later.

UPDATE: the KLH 32s are very nice. Very funky/primitive/organic looking cloth surround woofers that really kick in this well designed acoustic suspension (i.e. sealed box) cabinet. The tweeter is covered by what looks a pink round facial scrub pad, held in place by a circle of metal screen, but is impressing me. I'm listening to The British Blues part of the excellent Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues documentary soundtrack (Tom Jones & Lulu are incredible here, as is Jeff Beck), and these little speakers are really working. Those of you who recently admired the Wharfedale Super Linton W30Ds will love these.

I'm working on the Mirages now. The woofers are excellent quality rubber surround units, the cabinet bracing is extensive, and the tweeters are in excellent shape and are the same as the ones on the 750s that I liked so much. Great promise here!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Just arrived: Marantz 2285B!

Update: The look is really starting to grow on depth design analysis tomorrow.

In the realm of collectible Marantz pieces, the silver face (as opposed to black) models aren't as prized. This machine rocks, though! It sounds like way more than 100 watts per channel, with the warmth and clarity one expects from Marantz. I have cleaned all the pots switches and detailed it, and it is beautiful. I will post pictures as soon as my camera batteries are recharged. In the meantime, click here for pictures and specs.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Update; Tonight I showed these to a guy who freaked when he saw them. He bought a pair from Brack's in 1969 (with a Kenwood receiver) and owned them until recently. He was amazed at the shape this pair is in.

I think it's fascinating that someone wanted to make a speaker that looked like a BOSE 901. It is still an iconic visual, industrial design and aural landmark, albeit a very controversial one. It's detractors say that it intentionally produces distortions that are very pleasing, and make some people very happy. I don't know any supporters.

Made for Richard Brack Stereo, an excellent Toronto store, in the Colonnade on Bloor Street when it was a very trendy landmark building in the city. It is a striking piece of architecture.

The tweeters, I can't tell you much about, except that they sound surprisingly good, and there are four. I'm Listening to Duke Ellington & John Coltrane, and it sounds amazing (I'm using the Marantz 2230 from the sink)

I'm told that these are Alnico tweeters, which I take to mean they use Alnico magnets. Whatever, they sound great, and based on the one I took out, are in great condition. This kind of non removable front baffle protects drivers well.

The cabinets are full of 4 thick layers of acoustic foam. The craftsmanship is excellent. These would have been made in very small quantities.

The ten inch woofers are very heavy and well made...they look a lot like Altecs, but I'm sure they aren't. The surrounds are rubber and look great.

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Not at all. These are rare, locally made and sound fabulous! I will tell more soon. These are very cool. No equalizer needed.
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Monday, April 13, 2009

New CORAL CX-77 pictures

The grill cloths have been redone with new fabric, and look new. The scuffs have been touched up as well as possible (I can't redo the arborite, but they look very presentable). These are ready!
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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Technics (by Panasonic) SB-2200 Speakers

I have had my eye on these for months, and today it made sense to pick them up. These are heavy, japanese made full range systems with six drivers in each cabinet from the mid seventies. The grills are masterpieces of plastic fabrication, and look very funky. There are 10 and 12 inch woofers, a midrange and 3 tweeters in each 50 pound cabinet, and these rock!

DO NOT confuse these with the Technics tower systems, made to be sold as cheaply as possible to complete one branded Technics systems, from the nineties that are always available (for around $80) on Craigslist & Kijiji (you can find that kind of junk from JVC, Pioneer, Kenwood, Sharp and others). These were near the top of the line and sound like it!

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Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Coral CX-77s are astonishing me song after song with their effortless musicality and amazing neutrality. Their dynamics and bass seem so natural, hard now to imagine living without.

Saturday Update

The SONY TA-F5 is stunning! All the beautiful musicality of the TA-F3, with more authority and the extra sparkle that comes from a DC coupled design. It is a super funky piece of design, beautifully made. it is lighter than one would expect, because it has a sophisticated pulse power supply instead of a massive conventional transformer. The volume control is smooth and quiet now. With my Marantz 1150 gone (that took some arm twisting!), this could easily become my go to amplifier for the foreseeable future.

DC amps seem to be the thing for me this week. The Telfunken amp also sounds fantastic.

The Rega 2 speakers that I mentioned in passing are gone. They were amazing!

The massive Yamaha P-2200 left yesterday. On final listen, using the Telefunken preamp, it is a warm, musical amp.

I have a pair of Yamaha NS- L325s. They are large, heavy 3 way 10 inch systems. They use very sophisticated metal dome tweeters and very well made midrange drivers and heavy cast woofers. They sound very monitor like: neutral, revealing and full range. I think someone is going to love these!

Telefunken posting updated. See below or click here.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday!

Sansui AU-217 40 watts/channel. This amp sounds amazing! These are super powerful vintage seventies Sansui watts. This is in the closest to new condition (but still never mint!) I've ever had here.

Altec/Lansing 201s are fantastic! They have 8 inch kevlar woofers and aluminized fabric dome tweeters. They sound really good, an order of magnitude more real than the Model Ones.

I loved my TA-F3, and this SONY TA-F5 is even cooler: VU meters,10 more watts per channel (70...the meters go to a hundred!), DC coupled, fancy power supply technology, moving coil stage! This looks like a winner! My new best friend tech guy brought this back from the dead, and it is fantastic. i will listen all night and report further.

Also in today, Yamaha NS-L25 speakers...10 inch 3 way cast woofer pseudo monitors (home semi pro). An interesting sidetrip while the CORAL CX-77s are here, similar design philosophies (but the Yamahas have cone midranges, not fancy domes) and half the price.

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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Telefunken 300 series components vintage 1981

I apologize for the numerical typographical error that stayed up uncorrected all day.See this link for lots of information.
This set sounds great, the preamp & power amp combining to produce a beautiful, effortless, quiet and very musical performance, bringing out the best in lots of speakers I've tried them with. The cassette deck is a pleasure, and I've used the double speed feature to get some really decent results (on normal tape). The deck uses 3 direct drive motors, so no belt issues, which can be the obstacle to of vintage cassette deck enjoyment.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

KEF & Infinity photos

I will post soon about how they sound.

I hope to finish finishing the Altec Lansing 201s today, weather permitting.

I have a new pair of small Rega speakers, I believe they're model 2s. They have six inch woofers & the same excellent Polydax dome tweeters that made the Rega 3s such terrific speakers.

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Monday, April 6, 2009


Automatically translated from the original japanese:

The speaker system which polished up sound by repeating a thorough audition and pursued the high linear sound adopting strict symmetrical unit arrangement.

I couldn't have said it better!

These speakers arrived late last night. They are heavy, sleek and overbuilt. The construction quality is apparent: for example I've never seen bigger bolts used to attach a woofer. Coral made drivers for many japanese manufacturers (I'll do more research in the next few days), but from the sound of these, kept the best for themselves!

These are special. They remind me visually of (and I think are conceptually similar to) the Yamaha NS-1000, and that is saying a lot.

I will have lots more to say about these beauties. In the meantime check out the specs, and enjoy the rest of the translation!

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Sunday, April 5, 2009

3 pairs of new speakers so far today.

When the dust cleared, the Marantz 2235B was gone, as well as a Nakamichi preamp I never had the opportunity to post about.
Six sets of speakers arrived, but the Dynaco A-35s left 2 hours after they arrived.

And the day isn't over!

I have a pair of DYNACO A-35s in excellent condition, a pair of ALTEC/LANSING 201s & a pair of BOSTON ACOUSTICS T-830s. I will post more soon, but let me tell you now that all 3 sound great.

The Dynacos are ready to go: sanded & oiled. The grills are perfect as are the badges.

The Altecs need sanding, some paint and new grill cloth. They are 2 way systems, with 8 inch (just refoamed) woven Kevlar woofers and aluminized dome tweeters.

The Bostons are floor standing 8 inch 3 way towers. They need some touch ups on their black woodgrain vinyl amd new grills.

All these should be ready soon. I have moved a lot of speakers lately, and was kind of concerned about what I would have to listen to. No worries now!

I have also sanded and oiled 2 pairs of KLH 17s. I will be resealing all the drivers, reclaiming the tweeters in the Seventies Stereo House Speakers, and will soon be listening to stacked KLH 17s, which considering the reputation of stacked Advents, should be really cool!

I am expecting a pair of KEF CODA IIIs and a pair of Infinity RS4000s before the day is over.

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Saturday, April 4, 2009

Saturday Update

The Image Reference 2s are gone, as speakers fly out of here! I hope to introduce some really cool new ones very soon (hopefully tonight!).

My Realistic Minimus 7s finally left, and on final listen I understand why people in very small spaces or VERY near field situations like them. However, the Boston HD-5s, for example (that the same guy bought), which are only 3 inches taller, absolutely bury them.

2 Marantz Receivers

As I said in the ad: Both sound fantastic, all functions working (except aux input on 2230, but no worries, 2 tape loops for cd, ipod etc.), clean controls, switches and scratchiness. All lights (except one tuner scale lamp on the 2230) working. Cosmetically the pictures tell the story, they are NOT mint. They are for sale at reasonable prices for people who want to listen to music (and to fund other purchases), and nothing near their price will approach their gorgeous sound!
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