Sunday, September 26, 2010
I hope you're having a good weekend. I haven't been looking for anything new, just enjoying the fabulous pieces I'm lucky to have right now, especially the Sony TA-F55 integrated amp driving either the JBL L50s or ESS AMT-1B Bookshelves.
The Sony is another jewel of an integrated (remember this? and this?). Sony did everything but the visual design really, really well in the seventies. If the products had been sexier (hello Marantz!), they would command Marantz prices today. I think that this amp is every bit as musical and luscious as comparable Marantz or Sansui equipment.
The JBL L50s are as enjoyable as the L36s that they replaced, with the the bonus of higher efficiency, and perhaps, better imaging (because the mids and tweeters are vertically aligned). The grills are a landmark in modernist industrial design and manufacturing, and unlike the fantastic foam grills that the L100s had, they still exist (most L100 grills are dust).
The ESS speakers are awesome! The Heil Air Motion Transformer does everything claimed for it, and the mids and highs are stunningly natural! The bass is awesome (they go much deeper than the JBL L50s). I could live very happily with these speakers for a very long time. By the way, the construction quality is first rate, in a JBL way. The only strange thing about these is that you would be crazy to put them on a bookshelf...they weigh 65 pounds each! ESS weren't the only optimistic speaker manufacturer. Advents, Pioneer HPM 100s, and JBL L100s were all considered bookshelf size in the seventies.