Tuesday, May 26, 2009

New photo of Advent/1s

Every speaker looks like a monitor on these stands! Thank you, Phil.

No grills, beautiful wood veneer, refoamed woofers, perfect tweeters.

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Monday, May 25, 2009

Monday Update

The Altec 893A Coronas and Harman/Kardon HK385i left this weekend. On final listen the speakers sounded wonderful...KLH/Advent like sound, beautiful construction.

The Sherwood S-7100 left as well and will be missed.

The Coral CX-77s are going to be gone my mid June, taken by an astute audiophile who appreciates their amazing abilities and is not distracted by their lack of north american brand recognition.

I have a NAD 3020 that sounds really sweet. It has a couple of quirks that I'll tell you about later, but rocks already.

I also have a pair of Advent/1s in real wood veneer cabinets (all the Advents I've had before were in woodgrain vinyl) that sound amazing. It's a treat to hear the 3020 driving them, so much beautiful sound, such a bargain!

I have a beautiful Kenwood KR-4070 40 watt/channel receiver just back from servicing, and sounding fantastic.

The Rega 2s left tonight. They are outstanding, and I hope to find them again, as well as a pair of 3s.

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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Analogue Bliss

I just came home with a copy of the first Dire Straits album in excellent condition. It cost two dollars. I am stunned by the lack of artifice and pretension in both the music and the sound. It's just there, in a very natural way. I can't ask for more, especially from such a humble turntable (the Lenco L62).

Friday, May 22, 2009

ONKYO TX-4500 mk2

With 55 HUGE watts per channel, this is a stunning sounding receiver. It is very full featured, with connections for 2 turntables, 3 pairs of speakers and 3 tape decks (or auxiliary inputs).

Visually it is in excellent condition, with amazing design details like a plate glass tuning scale and floating tuning knob. Construction quality is first rate.

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Paradigm 3se Mk3. Another Canadian Mission!

This is not the first time I've compared locally made 2 way 8 inch speaker systems in light but rigid enclosures to my favourite british brand. This time is really appropriate because the Paradigm 3se Mk3 uses the same excellent, beautifully cast Seas woofer as the Mission 770 Mk2. I suspect it uses the same tweeter as well (also from Seas), but the cast metal housing is custom made, so I couldn't know for sure without taking one apart, which I'm not going to do. It uses excellent components in the crossover, is solidly constructed with strong bracing. The main design difference between the Paradigm And the Mission is the placement of the port on the rear of the former.

I'm listening right now and really liking what I'm hearing so far.

This could be a real eye opener for me. Of the canadian Mission style speakers I've heard, there have been a few that were pleasant sounding, middle of the pack, but good value (Energy ESM series, Image), and a couple that stand above (Rega, Merak), and give Mission 770 (series 1 or 2) a run for their money. I'd love these to be in that great company. I'll let you know.

UPDATE: Yes, they are!

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Prodigal Speakers Return!

It's been a while since I've heard them, but it's a pleasure to have the Pioneer HPM-100s back in the house. They have moved three times since I last had them. The first owner replaced all capacitors in the crossovers, which smoothed out the high end and reduced their tendency to become fatiguing over long listening sessions. He also replaced the cheap connectors with premium five way binding posts. I had them back briefly after the modifications, and loved the improvements. The next owner loved them at my place, but found them overwhelming in his space. The last owner really wanted a pair of Klipsch Hereseys and is much happier now. The HPMs are one of the most full range, authoritative and accurate speakers I've had. They give my amazing Coral CX-77s a serious run for their money.I am thrilled to have the chance to enjoy them a bit more.
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KLH Model Seventeens Stacked!

I finally have both pairs of these fabulous speakers looking good and sounding great, and was interested in running two per channel stacked tweeter to tweeter, like an Advent stack. The results are the same, an improvement in every area, that increases the overall realism of the performance.
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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Mission Vs. Rega

I spent most of my listening time this past long weekend with the Rega 2s and modified Mission 710s (upgraded 770 woofers). The experiment of replacing the cheap car stereo woofers with ones from a higher Mission model worked better than I had hoped. The litmus test is the midrange, and this speaker does it right.
Comparing the two is an exercise in hairsplitting. They are both excellent. The Regas have an edge in the imaging department, due, I think, to their narrow baffles. The Missions are slightly more solid in the bass. I could live happily with either of these speakers for a long time.
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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Maiden Voyage

Maiden Voyage is one of my very favourite jazz compositions (along with Wayne Shorter's Infant Eyes). The rhythm section is superb (even for them!), and the soloists are brilliant. I think this is a milestone in the careers of all involved.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Just picked up at Goodwill

for $1.49! A very natural recording, especially the drum kit.

I'm listening on the Lenco L62 with Ortofon Black cartridge through the Sony TA-F5 and Coral CX-77 speakers, and it sounds beautiful!

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click here for the subtitled version.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Rega 2 speakers

The last time I had a pair of these, I let them go too soon. They are excellent little speakers: neutral & lively, with excellent transient response and imaging. They are very well built, with light but rigidly braced cabinets and the slim but deep proportions that I love. The cabinets are covered in the worst fake woodgrain vinyl I've ever seen. it looks like a rough sketch of a piece of wood, not a photo (they may as well be fake leopard skin!). I am going to consider taking the time to veneer them in real wood, because they deserve it.


Updated with my photos

This is a stunning receiver in every way.
Update: It has gone to a very appreciative home. I know it will give years of musical pleasure.
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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

New KLH 17s

I have loved these speakers before, and still do.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tuesday Update

I got a new woofer to replace the one with the rattling voice coil in the souped up Mission 710s and they sound beautiful!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Weekend Update

The Altec 893A Coronas are sold, along with the Harman/Kardon hk385i receiver. I advertised the receiver, but didn't post about it here, because it was made in the early to mid eighties. Rated at 30 watts per channel, it sounds great with cds and the phono section is excellent, but the selectivity of the tuner section is not up to the standards set in the seventies.

The Cerwin Vega R-24s are leaving tomorrow along with the Harman/Kardon 430 twin powered receiver. On further and final listening, I am very impressed with the Vegas, the company's first "residential" speaker system. The mids and high end sound, to my ear, much more musical than the HED series Cerwin Vegas I've heard.

One of the woofers in my special Mission 710s developed a buzzing voice coil. I expect to have a complete replacement driver tomorrow.

I have an NAD 7240PE receiver. When I got it, it sounded great for the first 15 minutes it played, then became very harsh sounding. It has been in the shop for weeks, and has come home sounding great: clean, neutral NAD sound, with incredible weight and power, and prodigious amplifier headroom. The FM tuner button is missing (for now) but works.

I hope to have another pair of Rega 2 speakers tomorrow. I will enjoy them for longer than I did the last pair!

I also expect to have a gorgeous Sansui 7070 60 watt/channel receiver tomorrow. I'll keep you posted.

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Thursday, May 7, 2009

A Happy Ending in Utah

After the horrible of experience of having the Realistic Mach Ones damaged on their way to Virginia, I swore off shipping for a while. A guy in Provo, Utah really needed the Infinity RS-4000s and persuaded me to ship again, so I did. The speakers arrived today and the recipient wrote:
I just opened them an hour ago. I was actually stunned at their condition. They’re gorgeous! I think you were modest in how you described them. They look absolutely new. Just exactly what I was hoping for in every way. Thank you for the wonderful congenial spirit you’ve shown in going out on a limb to help me get these. I hope it was not so bad for you after all. It’s been great for me, and all because of you.
I breathe a sigh of relief!

A restyled Pioneer SX-3600

Update: A few minutes after posting an ad on Canuck Audio Mart, it was sold.

I got this receiver in rough shape. The fake vinyl film sides were peeling, the fake wood top was dirty and the volume was very scratchy. I have cleaned it and it sounds great. The sides have been veneered in teak and oiled, the top painted hammertone grey. It looks as good as it sounds. The trend in low to mid powered receivers in the late seventies was towards fake woodgrain, for it's lower cost. This Pioneer deserved better, and it makes me happy the way a few simple changes can enhance the perception of it's quality.

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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Cerwin Vega R-24s

Update: These are leaving this weekend.

I now know these are Cerwin Vega's first residential speakers. I'm really liking them.

Weekend Update

The Marantz Model 26 left this morning. The Altec 201s left yesterday.

Those of you who follow this blog know that I haven't loved the Cerwin Vega speakers I've had and heard (like the HED-10s). I found the bass pretty good (and liked the quality of the cast frame woofers, including a set of 15 inchers I refoamed for a blog reader) but the treble, horribly harsh, courtesy of a cheap horn tweeter.

Now I have a vintage set of really early 'Vegas, before they used that red foam surround and the CV logo on the dustcap. This system has a heavy (but not cast frame) 12 inch woofer, and a reddish yellow dome tweeter, in a shallow metal horn. I'm told, by people with more knowledge than me, that this is the same tweeter used in the legendary Sound Dynamics Rock Monitors, and so far that sounds right to me. I refoamed the woofers last night. They have an extra deep basket that allows for a very long excursion capability, and so far (I can't go too loud early Sunday morning) it sound like a very coherent 2 way system with a nice midrange and the bass punch that Cerwin Vegas are loved for.

Pictures to follow shortly. Cerwin Vega fans will want to check these out, I think they are special.

I'm going to sand them and sort out the grills while my camera batteries are recharging. They are going to be beautiful. The more I look at them, the more they make sense to me as californian versions of those Sound Dynamics. remember Cerwin Vega made the sensurround speakers for the disaster movie Earthquake
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Friday, May 1, 2009

Altec 893A Corona photos

Lenco L62 photos

I got this in a trade with from a guy whose technical skill humbles me. He replaced the stock power cord with an excellent audiophile grade one, and upgraded the RCA cable and jacks.

This 'table was made in 1971. It is in amazing physical and sonic condition! The high level of swiss craftsmanship is apparent. The spring suspension works beautifully and I'm enjoying it very much as I write this.

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