Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Marantz 2230B pictures

This is a beautiful sounding receiver, as nice as the 2220B, but 50% more powerful, which makes everything sound a bit more natural dynamically.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tuesday Update

This album is sensational!

I refoamed the AR 3As on saturday night. All the drivers work, but they don't sound anything like these legendary speakers legend suggests they should. The problem, I think, is either the tweeter and midrange adjustment pots or the crossover capacitors. This comprehensive guide to restoring them humbles me. I am sure they are worth the effort and attention, but I may not have the skill and patience required. I am selling them as is to someone who does.

I was more successful in refoaming my first pair of The Advent Loudspeaker yesterday. As I mentioned, I've never done a pair of Advent woofers with the masonite ring (so the 10 inch woofer can have a longer travel in a 12 inch basket). It really wasn't much more difficult than the later 10 inch version. They sound every bit as good as I'd hoped. Advents are classics for good reason! This pair have utility (woodgrain vinyl) cabinets with some scratches, and the grill fabric could use replacing (I've not found a good match yet) or perhaps drycleaning. These will be available at a real bargain price. They sound too good to not be enjoyed.

I got a Marantz 2230B today! This is a model I haven't had (or even seen) before) I spent the afternoon cleaning it inside and out and replacing all the lights (except the tuner pointer light and one of the 5 fuse lights, which I will buy and do tomorrow). It looks great and sounds better, like a 2220B with 50% more power. I will post pictures when it's finished.

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Saturday, September 26, 2009

New Saturday Arrivals

Three new speaker sets! AR3as, original Advents, ADS L200s.

The ADS speakers are little cast metal things that in my opinion blow Minimus 7s away.

The ARs are classics that I've been anxious to hear for a long time. I will try to get them refoamed tonight and give them a listen. They are big heavy and beautifully made. They will be stunning when the cabinets are refinished.

The Advents need no introduction. This will be the first pair of original (masonite ring) woofers I've refoamed, and I'm looking forward to doing them.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tuesday Update

The JBL L26s and KEF 102s both left last night. I'm sure their new owners will be very happy.

I am waiting (im)patiently to have the Sansui AU-9500 repaired, because I can't wait to hear it. Today I brought home the matching TU-9500 tuner and it's working!
Updated: This tuner sounds really good.

I took apart the AR 77XB turntable, cleaned and relubricated the bearing, cleaned the platter and redid the vinyl woodgrain plinth with real teak. It looks and sounds fantastic.

I also just brought home a british ADC 1600 DD Direct drive turntable with ALT-1 tonearm. The supplied cartridge is a dud, so I will find another and let you know what happens. The tonearm was well regarded in it's day, as was the manufacturer, so I have high expectations.
Update: With an Ortofon OM-10 ( a good match for the ALT-1 arm), this is working for me. I'll tell you more tomorrow.

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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Friday, September 18, 2009

Just Arrived! Sansui AU-9500

Please go here for photos

The one I just got is filthy and not working, but I will clean it and have my fantastic repair guy bring it back to life!

Here is a description from an ad on Audiogon:
The epitome of perfection in 1970s solid state integrated audio amplifiers. This is one of Sansui's best, with every feature for the discerning audiophile who desires that warm, almost tube-like sound from a solid state amplifier.The AU9500 is conservatively rated 75WPC continuous into 8 ohms, 20Hz to 20kHz, with less than 0.1% THD, with a true bandwidth of 4-40Khz. It is powered by a large power transformer with seperate windings and power supplies for each channel with complimentary, parallel, push-pull output circuitry, using four output power transistors per channel.

I can't wait to hear this!

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Thursday, September 17, 2009


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Rotel RA-840BX2 Integrated Amp

Fifty solid watts per channel, excellent construction, heavy as hell, moving coil input, runs cool, sounds beautiful! The manual is here.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

KEF 102s

These arrived today too. I sanded them this morning. The drivers are perfect, and now the cabinets look good too. They are big fun to listen to. I'll let you know how they sound soon...all good so far.

Updated 2 hours later:
Very nice, very neutral yet sparkling.

From someone who puts it better than I could (but i don't know who):
They were often used in studio settings where accuracy and sound stage are of paramount importance. These music transducers are renowned in audiophile circles for their beautiful smooth midrange, imaging and ruler flat frequency response.

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Just Arrived!

This is my seventh NAD 3020. I bought the first one in 1979.

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Tuesdsay Update

Some gear has left and I have a bit more space than I've had in a while. I have just one set of speakers connected right now, the JBL L26s and they even better than I remembered. When I first had a pair, I saw them as a stepping stone to the three way L36s. Since I've owned two pairs of L16s since (which I love!), I now see the L26s as bigger L16s, and helps me appreciate them more.

The speakers are being driven by the Sony STR-V4 (now with teak side panels), a beautiful sounding combination.

The Celestion Ditton 22s are gone, and so is the Nikko Alpha 130 power amp. I will be on the prowl for speakers and electronics in the next few days.

I haven't written about or listened to the Toshiba SB-420 integrated amp I told you about. The Alps potentiometer that it uses as a volume control is broken and can't be fixed. I have know located a broken unit with a good volume control, and will have it working soon. I will have a Marantz 2220B again soon as well. The Sansui AU-4900 sounds great except for one harsh channel in the phono section, also to be fixed.

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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sunday Update.

The fabulous Sansui 8080 has left the building.


On Saturday afternoon, a friend of Seventies Stereo brought over an 80 watt/channel receiver from the nineties. He was curious to see how it compared to a seventies vintage receiver. We listened to a few tracks on his, with digital and vinyl sources, then switched to the Sansui 8080 and repeated the tracks. I was confident that we would both prefer the sound of the Sansui, but was surprised by just how much more musical it sounded. The music was more dynamic, sweeter, and had much cleaner, clearer and tighter bass. My friend's receiver is beautiful looking, appears well made and has good specs. It just sounds more like a piece of electronics and less like music.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Szabo 833s just refoamed.

I got these fantastic speakers back in a trade. Here's what I said six months ago after a few days listening:
The Szabo 833s are fabulous! Amazing bass, stunning midrange (from an excellent dome midrange driver), excellent imaging...all in all one of the finest speakers I've had.

I'm really enjoying them again. Since I last had them here I've started using an external USB DAC, and found a modest turntable that makes me happy, so the Szabos sound even better than before.

I wish I could say that I wasn't surprised that the foams were starting to disintegrate only 7 months after I last heard them, when the foams seemed to be in fine shape, but I was. Such is the nature of these volatile old foam compounds (most of which rot into petroleum based gummy tarlike sludge, that has to be scraped off the cone and basket before refoaming) still looked great, but peeled off the cone in one sticky piece, the other looked fine except for the quarter that was gone!

Anyhow, I refoamed them this afternoon, inverting the surrounds as the 8 inch woofers had been originally. They sound gorgeous right now with the Sansui.

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Friday, September 11, 2009

Bill Perry.

I had never heard of this guy until I heard that he passed away at the age of 52 a couple of years ago. I was lucky enough to be given a collection of his work. He was eulogized by Ron Wood and Ritchie Havens (who he played with at Woodstock!), a real musician's musician and is considered one of the best slide players ever.

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JBL L26 Speakers

Before I started this blog, when I was just starting on my seventies stereo journey, the first pair of full size speakers I bought to refoam were a pair of these. I took them home and refoamed them, and had my first proper JBL experience in my own place. I am excited to have this pair, and went to work on them as soon as I got them home! They have been sanded (many scratches removed) and oiled. They look great. I will clean the grill cloths (or redo them).

Every time I hook up a pair of JBLs I get a warm feeling. Whether big or small (and these aren't small), the quality of construction (drivers and cabinets) and attention to detail is fantastic.

Every time I hear a pair I get an even warmer feeling! I am not articulate enough to tell you what is so wonderful about these speakers, but if a speaker can be warm and neutral at the same time, these are.

The original sales brochure for the Decade line can be found here. The L26 brochure can be found here.

I have had three pairs of L36s, 2 pairs of L16s and now my second pair of L26s (which are sounding very good with the Sansui 8080). It will be a great weekend.

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Thursday, September 10, 2009


The Sherwood S-7300 receiver and Coral CX-77 speakers left last night. The buyer got a superb system that he'll enjoy for years.

I forgot to mention that the Altec/Lansing Model One speakers also left this weekend, after a long stay. They are not the liveliest speakers I've had, and don't hold a candle to JBL L16s, but they do a lot right and sound nice and warm with small jazz or classical group recordings.

The Dynaco A-25s just left. It's starting to feel empty in here!

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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Shakura S'Aida, Blueprint.

I am not going to check and see if I've posted this album before
(I don't think so), but you should check it out.

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Monday, September 7, 2009

Marantz 3200 Preamp in (new) wood case.

As I mentioned, I have (had) a Marantz case in woodgrain vinyl, made for the 1040. 1060 etc. integrated amplifiers. The 3200 has the same size faceplate, but a less deep chassis. It fit nicely into the case, but the feet didn't correspond to the holes in the case. I put feet on the case to solve that problem. Today I stripped off the vinyl and redid the case in real wood veneer. It looks the way I wanted it to. Unfortunately the dings on the right edge still show, but all in all I think it presents very well.

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Sunday, September 6, 2009

Weekend Update

The JBL L112s are gone, after a great week of enjoying them, and some discussion with members of the Lansing Heritage website that I will tell you more about soon.

The new Meraks
left quickly, and will make their new owner very happy. This second pair of M3s looked better than the first, and sounded even better. I have a year more of experience, and I've learned a lot from success and many mistakes, but I know these speakers really shine.

I have a beautiful pair of Dynaco A-25s in great condition:

I have a Marantz 3200 preamp. Unlike the 3300 I told you about last week, this one is made in Japan. I'm just finishing some cleaning, and can't wait to hear it. The construction quality looks very good.

The 3200 sounds very good so far, and cleaned up quite nicely, a few small scratches aside. I also have a factory made woodgrain vinyl case from a 1070 integrated that fits beautifully:

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Celestion Ditton 25s refinished.

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