Friday, February 26, 2010

Genesis Physics Corporation Model Three: New Photos

The drivers looked pretty strange when I got them, and the cabinets needed attention. I said I didn't want to redo the red/pink foams because, like the gray ones, they were very well done and solid. However, these speakers are fantastic: like full, full range EPI 100s, or Genesis Ones, or Epicures, but with more authority than you'd expect, especially when used with bigger amps (which I don't have at the moment).

So I removed the offending surrounds and redid them with regular ones. I stripped and sanded the cabinets while the weather permitted yesterday, and oiled them last night. I wish I could take outdoor pictures, but the snow is still coming down, so these collages form the end of the kitchen will have to do for now. The veneer is beautiful, and they look really cool. I will do something to the grills soon.

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Midweek Update

The Mirage 360s are gone. The fantastic Burhoe Blues are leaving tomorrow.

When I got the Genesis Model Threes, I said that I would leave the two Cerwin Vega red foams alone. These speakers continue to give lots of pleasure, and I think thet deserve to look as good as they sound, so I have redone the ten inch passive radiator and eight inch woofer that made the system look so strange.

I expect to have two new pairs of speakers tomorrow: KEF 104s and AR 4AXs. I'll let you know how things actually work out.

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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Nikko Alpha 220

This is the second Nikko amp I've had. The first was an Alpha 130. This is rated at 120 watts/channel into 8 ohms, 240 into 4. The meters go to 480 into 4 ohms! It's massively (and well) built and sounds really good so far. More to come soon.

Update: It's gone...I was contacted immediately after posting this by someone who needed something to drive the bass end of a biamped system. He is very happy.

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Monday, February 15, 2010

Just Arrived: Genesis Physics Corporation Model Threes

I just got back from Hamilton with these. They are bigger and heavier than the specs led me to expect. They sound very good. Two of the drivers were refoamed with awful Cerwin Vega red surrounds, but they were done well, so I expect that I will leave them (that's what grills are for!). I will have much more to say after a few hours of listening.

A few hours later:
I loved the Genesis Model Ones (twice). The Threes are like Ones expanded: soundstage, midrange presence and bass are substantially better. These are very solid (and solidly built) full range speakers, that handle everything I throw at them with authority and musicality. I knew these were going to be good. I love it when I'm right.

About an hour after that:
I've only been using digital sources so far. I can't believe it's true, but right now I don't have a preamp or even a receiver or integrated amp with pre out/main in. What that means for me is that currently, if I want to listen to the GAS Son Of Ampzilla, I have to go from my DAC direct to the amp, using my computer for volume control. I can't listen to vinyl with the my favorite amp. I'll tell you more exactly why tomorrow, but a few of my go to pieces are on loan.

That being said (it's been this way since the Counterpoint phono stage didn't work), the Model Threes are amazing. listening to some great flacs, these speakers are making me very happy. Archie Shepp is wailing in my living room, and the rhythm section is really digging deep.

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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sunday Update.

The Sansui 8080 left yesterday, to drive a set of JBL L36s. The new owner is thrilled with the combination, which I'd love to hear.
The Sony STR-5800 SD receiver left as well, to drive a pair of DCM Timeframes, which I'd also love to hear.

The Szabo 831s are back. Their new owner loved them, but couldn't resist the chance to own the above mentioned DCMs at a bargain price. I am happy to have them back.

I have a new pair of Mirage 360s, fantastic 8 inch 2 way ported systems. They look very run of the mill, but have excellent drivers and very solid well braced cabinets, and sound fantastic, especially for their size. I redid their gril;l cloth this morning, and they look almost new.

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Friday, February 12, 2010


After 14 quiet years a fantastic singer comes back with an album that reminds us why she was so wonderful, and is effortlessly current at the same time.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Sansui 8080 walnut sleeve pictures

I forgot how fantastic this model sounds.

A note on the photos:
It is impossible to photograph a receiver outdoors in natural light with the lights showing properly. When I show a photograph of a lit up receiver, I have combined (in Photoshop) a shot of the face with a separate shot of the lit parts, taken indoors in natural light using a tripod. I don't see this as anything other than using the available technology to make an accurate representation of what the machine looks like. I don't see it as dishonest. If you think I'm wrong, so be it.

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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sunday Update.

I got a new (vintage) Sansui 8080 yesterday. This is a fabulous 80 watt/channel powerhouse receiver with a Marantz style blue face and white VU power meters centered below. Unlike the top of the line 9090, the 8080 had a wood grain vinyl sleeve. Last time I veneered it in teak. This time I used walnut. I will finish sanding and oiling it in the morning, and post pictures.

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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

UPDATED: Counterpoint SA-7: WOW!

This is a hybrid (tube & transistor) preamp, late seventies/early eighties vintage, a minimalist design. The construction and component quality is military grade. I bought it because the Dynaco tube equipment piqued my interest, and I've heard and read for years that a tube preamp with a good solid power amp gives the best of both worlds: the delicacy and naturalness of tubes (especially in the highs and mids) with the power, weight and bass performance of solid state. I also felt that as good as the humble NAD 1020 is, that the Son of Ampzilla would sound even better with a better (and more expensive) preamp.

So far, I'm loving what I'm hearing. The Counterpoint SA-7/GAS Son of Ampzilla driving the Mission 770 Freedom 4s is giving me the some of the best sound I've ever experienced in my home. This amp and preamp combination is more 'high end' than I ordinarily pursue, but like most of the vintage components that this blog is about, is an extraordinary bargain today.

I love what I was hearing through the line stage, but something was wrong with the phono stage. It sounded very glassy and strident. The phono stage was also clearly audible through the line stage, which made it really obvious that there was a real problem. The unit has been returned. I have enough ongoing revitalization projects (the Marantz 4400 will be heard from very soon!). I can't have more right now.

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Too bad, this thing is beautiful.