Saturday, March 28, 2009

SOLD. Speakers that slipped through the cracks

I got these Image Reference Two speakers in November, during a very busy time. They were in need of refoaming, which I did. I had many speakers at the same time that were more unusual, more interesting or just had more recognizable brand names. I listened, liked them, and moved on. Pulling them out yesterday, I connected them to the Marantz 1150 and and am really enjoying them! They strike me as a canadian Mission: clean, neutral and dynamic, with a solid tight bottom end. My favourite small jazz group recordings sound great. They get trumpets and saxophones right. I will spend more time with them, but recommend them highly, and think they are a real bargain.
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Friday, March 27, 2009

Wharefedale E70s

Not my cup of tea, but very interesting speakers. I can't describe or explain them better than this, so I won't even try. They were sold 20 minutes after I advertised them on CAM.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Seventies Stereo house speaker experiment #1

10 inch Alnico magnet acoustic suspension woofers, KLH 17 tweeters (replacing what looked like Peerless, but didn't sound like it). The cabinets are gorgeous, just sanded and oiled this afternoon, very retro textured natural grills. They sound really good, and I'm glad I had a great pair of tweeters from another 2 way 10 inch design of similar vintage. These compare well to KLH 17s. Someone should buy these!
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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Cassandra Wilson's new album is amazing.

Horrible cover, stunning music.


Update Sunday morning:
On higher stands (22 inches) they sound cleaner and the bass is even better!
The 770 Freedom IVs (as I now know they were called - the ones with the horn tweeters were Freedoms Vs) are gone, and are missed.

I have had a pair of 700s, which I enjoyed, and thought were good value for a modest price. These 707s are a little more, still a lot less than 770s. But wow! They sound on first listen (about an hour so far, I just finished refoaming the woofers) much closer in character (or lack of) to the 770s than to the 700s. They sparkle and do all the things I love about 770s really well. I will continue to listen and report further.

Three hours later, they are making me very happy.
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Tandberg TR 2060

60 beautiful watts per channel of vintage scandinavian muscle, and the highest level of industrial design, fit and finish I've seen in a receiver (and I love my Marantz!).
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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

New Mission 770 Freedom Pictures

These are as beautiful a pair of speakers as I've ever had. The british make light, rigid cabinets really well, and the contrast of the rich wood veneer and the hammertone metallic front baffle is striking.
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Monday, March 16, 2009

Monday Update

The Genesis Model 1s and The Advent Loudspeakers both left this morning, The buyer came for the Advents, and had to buy both.

I have a new pair of Mission 770 Freedoms, not the very last ones with the horn tweeter and awful graphics, but with the same woofer and what appears to be a newer version of the fantastic Seas dome tweeter that was used in the 770 mk2. They are perhaps the best Missions I've heard, and I am loving them. I will take pictures soon.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Fabulous Sherwood S-7200

30 watts/channel of musicality. People who have heard this one have been especially amazed by the sensitivity and sound quality of the tuner.

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Boston A200s are ready!

I painted the bases flat black and redid the grill cloths. Over the weekend I will have new badges. They look as good as they sound!
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Wednesday, March 11, 2009


I managed to get the Boston Acoustics A200s outside before the rain yesterday. They were sanded (like glass!) and oiled and look beautiful!

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.

The little Szabo 525s are also great... real monitors with surprising bass for their size, and the same great high end as their bigger cousins (same tweeter). The only issue with them is that they are not very efficient, and I'd recommend a minimum of 40 watts/channel to drive them well.

The Energy SM1Ss left yesterday.

I have a fantastic new yamaha A-720 integrated amp. It's very full featured with 3 sets of quality speaker connectors, a moving coil phono stage, switchable class A operation, tone control bypass and more. It delivers a clean 105 watts/channel into 8 ohms, 240 peak into 4 ohms.

The Marantz 2235B just had the STEREO light replaced and is now fully operational and gorgeous.

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Sunday, March 8, 2009

I'm going to get what I need to fix the small Szabos (and now I know that rubber surrounds don't always last forever if not stored properly). I'll let you know how they turn out.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Saturday update

I have been very busy with speakers, and have gone in a couple of days from a bit of a drought to abundance.

I have a pair of Boston Acoustics A200s! I have really liked A60s, A70s and A100s, all 2 way systems, The A200 was Boston's best selling 3 way system, and it's first assault on the state of the art. It has a 10 inch woofer, 4 inch midrange and the wonderful Seas tweeter that I love from Missions and Meraks. It has a very authoritative sound, with excellent, tonality, transient response, and imaging. Boston produced an A400 in limited quantities, with 2 8 inch woofers instead of the ten, but it was considered not appreciably better than the A200, which is a much better value.

I have also picked up a set of Energy ESM1Ss. These are so much like Energy 22s (a set I used to own and love) it's freaky. An 8 inch two way system, they have stitched rubber surrounds on the woofers, as the 22s and very similar foam treatment around the (similarly sized) dome tweeters. The size and weight are very close. I would call these a poor man's 22s at a great price...great imaging, very solid bass, an all round musical performer.

There are also 2 pairs from Szabo in Cambridge, Ontario. I have a set of floorstanding 3 way 8 inch systems with a phenomenal dome midrange, and a pair of small 2 ways.

More to come about all of these (and photos) soon.

Have a great weekend.

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Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Along with the Yamaha P-2200, There have been some other cool arrivals.

I have an excellent pair of original Advent Loudspeakers in really nice shape (perfect grills and badges), sounding fantastic (Stereophile thought so too)!

There is a beautiful new Marantz 2235B as well, in very good condition, sounding like only a Marantz does, and lighting up like a Christmas tree!

The Marantz 2230 from the dish drainer is still a couple of lights from being ready, though it already sounds gorgeous.

I also have a NAD 7240PE receiver, with 40 under spec'd watts per channel of NAD high current musicality.

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This is beyond my regular vintage frame of reference, but really cool. It's Yamaha's first professional power amp, built starting in 1976. The P-2200 is rated at a very solid 240 watts/channel into 8 ohms. It needs XLR connections to sound as good as it can (the 1/4 inch phono plug inputs are noisy). I don't have any separate preamps at the moment, so I am using it with my trusty Marantz 1150s preamp section. I am thrilled! The sound is very musical and neutral, with excellent dynamics, and a tight, very deep but beautifully controlled bass. This shouldn't be surprising, but it is fantastic to hear. It sounds effortless.

Aesthetically I think it's a beautiful beast, with excellent industrial design. It's built like the proverbial tank. This one has been around the block, and wears it's scars like a vintage Stratocaster. It's character as an object continues to grow on me, and I have started to dismiss my restoration ideas and just listen. It will be checked out technically, and one sticky power meter addressed, but I'm not going to repaint it. It was rack mounted in it's working life, so I will find some heavy rubber feet for it to sit on in it's retirement from the road.

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