Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Monday, December 26, 2011

Mission 770 Freedom V photos.

Update: I love these speakers!

They were stained an ugly greenish gray (an original 80s offering) when I got them. I don't like taking before pictures, so the top picture is a Photoshopped 'before'. I spent a few hours stripping them down to their natural colour and sanding. They're not perfect, but much better.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Wacky vintage audio furniture. The speakers just keep coming at Seventies Stereo!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Where I'll be tonight.

Friday Update.

I'm going out to get stripper for the ugly, amazing sounding Mission 770 Freedom Vs. I hope to have them ready to show you tomorrow.

Marantz 1060.

Sansui AU-888 integrated amp photos.

This is a spectacular sounding amp, rated at a crazy conservative 45 watts/channel, with extraordinary Sansui construction quality (the solid aluminum knobs are attached with double set screws!), and attention to detail (like engraved typography).

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Thursday Update.

I hope no one is too frantic or freaked out about the impending holidays. Remember that vintage audio equipment is always an appropriate gift.

I freaked a little myself at the prospect of not having my Marantz 1152DC over the holidays, and so picked up two other amplifiers today to tide me over. I have a Marantz 1060 (with wood case), and a Sansui AU-888 (also in wood). I'm listening to the Marantz now, (which sounds great), and will be cleaning the Sansui and refinishing its wood case, and I hope, photographing both tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Just arrived. Mission 770 Freedom V.

I had a pair of these in August, 2008, when I was starting this blog. They hada completely smashed corner, and I made them my first veneer project. That pair sounded great, but the tweeter diaphragms showed some deformation. The drivers in the pair I brought home today are in perfect shape. The wood veneer cabinets are finished in a grey/greenish stain, very mid 80s, and quite awful. I'll be stripping them over the holidays.

I've spent a couple of hours listening, and am pretty happy (I didn't have as much time as I would've liked with the last pair). I've been using a Kenwood KA-3500 40 watt/channel integrated amp (my wonderful sounding, powerful Marantz 1152DC started to distort and go weak in one channel after 3 blissful days...I hope to have it back where it belongs this week), which I find a little bright, and I know these speakers can sound much better than I've heard so far.

I bought a pair of little Mission 760i speakers last week that I didn't mention, because they're from the early 90s. They have 5 inch woofers and Mission branded Vifa tweeters (like in the last pair of 737Rs that I liked so much), and I like them so much that I ignored the Yamaha NS-690s and other awesome speakers for a couple of days, and just basked in their lively musicality.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

If I was in Austin, Texas...

I'd live at Whetstone Audio.

Just arrived. Staying for a while. Marantz 1152DC.

The top photo is the new one, taken this morning. The other 2 photos are from 2009.
I've had a run of bad luck with electronics lately. The Technics SA-5350 has a low level hum. The Technics SU-C04 DC integrated blew a channel while I was listening. My fantastic Sansui AU-9900 is in the closet. It needs output transistors, and probably recapping (it's always had lower than average gain for it's size and power). I've been thinking for a while that it makes sense for me to have one powerful 'go to'amp that can drive anything, stop worrying about electronics, and enjoy speakers and music even more.
The Sansui AU-9900 may become that amp for me, but yesterday I had the opportunity to pick up a beautiful Marantz 1152DC integrated amp, rated at a conservative 76 watts/channel into 8 ohms and 95/channel into 4 ohms. It looks like this one I had in 2009, but is in even better shape, with only a small nick on one corner keeping it from perfection. It left quickly last time, but it won't happen this time. It's driving the Yamaha NS-690s beautifully, with more authority than the smaller amps I've been using lately, and is just what I was looking for (for now).

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Just arrived. Sony APM-22ES speakers. Square drivers!

They look just like these on The Vintage Knob, and appear almost new.I will listen for a while (currently with an NAD 3140 integrated amp that arrived today too), and weigh in with my opinion of the Accurate Piston Motion concept. Here is a site dedicated to the APM technology. The japanese translation is funny, but I think I understand the designers intentions. Pictures tomorrow.

Update 2 hours later: The speakers sound great. I have to share the Google translation of the explanation of the APM technology, from the Sony APM home page:

To clear all the conditions of APM speakers speaker audio in the digital age

1 [sound] Komoranai planar: the conventional cone-type speaker, leading to effects of air = cavity resonance structure in the shape of megaphone rolled paper. APM speakers, expelled the disturbance of the frequency characteristic cavity effectively cut off the source of a flat diaphragm. Eliminated the sound booming.

2 [square] there is no distinctive sound: The speaker diaphragm of the APM, light and durable honeycomb sandwich structures are used in the body of an aircraft or bullet train. Yelling diaphragm material sandwiched between two skins of hexagonal honeycomb cores, 500 to 1,000 times the flexural rigidity of the conventional cone-type (comparison), the degree of variation in actual operating conditions is 1 / 20 to 1 / 30 (comparison) contained within a. Thus, the very slight vibration-toxic split. Moreover, adopting a simple rectangular patterns of vibration compared to the split round, effectively canceling vibration split. There is no distinctive sound.

3 sounds fuzzy four-point driving: A rectangular diaphragm, the turning point of oscillation in position dictated split. You preach to drive the point where you can eliminate the vibration of a specific mode split. In fact, the APM Ufua speakers, a point driven four-point milestone is concentrated in low-order mode of vibration division. Greatly expanded the range piston Nick Castle, motion, sound and produce clear and Boyakezu.

4 [sound]濁Ranai DDSD: Ufua of APM speakers, DDSD to directly drive the front and rear skins of the diaphragm and (direct drive dual surface) technology. This Tainamikku濁Rasezu digital sound source and play to clear.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Over 400,000 served since June 2010!

Thank you again for checking out Seventies Stereo.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Last year I said I wouldn't post so many covers.

And I kept my word for a long, long time. I'll explain myself soon.
Sue me. I want you to know what I've been enjoying.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A cd I picked up at a second hand store for $2 that just kicks.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Taj Mahal

This is awesome. If you have never checked out Taj Mahal, this is an amazing place to start.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

JBL L16s with newer JBL woofers.

Listening some more ten days later (with a Kenwood KA-3500 integrated at 40 watts/channel), I'm loving them.
I bought a pair of JBL 2800s with rough cabinets so I could put the woofers into these L16s.
Though I would've prefered a pair of original 116A woofers, I wasn't able to find any, and knowing that JBL was still making quality drivers in the USA in 1988 makes me feel fine about this transplant. The proof is in the listening, and these sound as good as my last L16s.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Midweek Update

A few new things have arrived. I have a pair of Infinity RS4000s that look just like these, which I had in 2009. I refoamed the mids and woofers, and just fired them up. I'll listen tonight and see if I like them more than I remember. So far, I just want to switch to the stunning Yamaha NS-690s.

Update: The infinity RS4000s were sounding very thin in the bass when I wrote the above. As I listened the bass improved substantially over a couple of hours, as the new speaker foams broke in, and now they're quite nicely balanced.

I've have a pair of JBL L16s minus woofers for a long time, and haven't been able to find the correct woofers. Yesterday, I bought a pair of newer, but still vintage JBLs with cabinets in rough shape just to grab the woofers to install in the L16s. I'm glad I did, and I'll take pictures and tell you about them tomorrow.

I also have a pair of JBL 8216ATs, which are the pro version of the J216As that I had last week. They look the same, but weigh at least 7 pounds more. There seems to be a problem with one tweeter, but I have to check inside first.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Stephane Grapelli & Pink Floyd

Wish You were Here 2011 Experience Edition. Wow.

Yamaha NS-690 photos.

These are fantastic speakers, comparable to JBL L100s for full range, low distortion pleasure. I could (and will) listen to these for hours on end.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Just arrived. Yamaha NS-690 speakers.

I refoamed a pair of NS-690 mkIIs for someone last February. It was cold and icy outside, and they weren't my speakers. I listened after I refoamed the massive, cast frame woofers (the equal of JBL drivers), and loved them. If I could've taken pictures, I would have, and they would have been the first in the 'Speakers I Wish I Owned' series. The NS-690s that arrived tonight are the originals, and have cloth surrounds that will last forever. These are wonderful speakers, and I'll have lots to say about them soon.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sunday, November 13, 2011

One More Technics Mini Integrated Amplifier.

This one is a DC coupled design, rated at 40 watts/channel, built like a heavy brick. It's even beefier than the SU-C04, allows connection of 2 sets of speakers, and has gold plated input jacks. It sounds fantastic driving the JBL L26s and a pair of early nineties vintage Revox Piccolo mini speakers, with and without a dedicated matching subwoofer.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

JBL L26. The 6th pair I've had in 4 years.

and one of the coolest, prettiest pairs. The tweeters are original red surround LE-25s from a set of studio monitors. The cabinets are beautiful, I sanded them months ago as part of another abortive L26 project. I just did the binding posts yesterday, the grills this morning. The grills had the original orange cloth, but it was cat shredded, so I went black. The woofers are newly refoamed, not by me. That's a shame for 2 reasons. Firstly, the refoam was done with the foam in front of the cone, not behind as original. This makes no difference acoustically. The job itself is functionally excellent. Secondly, the refoam was done with contact cement. I suspect that the person doing the refoam did one woofer first...it worked beautifully and was (is) a nice, clean job. To celebrate, he/she drank a bottle of champagne/6 pack/whatever, then refoamed the second woofer...an equally excellent job functionally,but aesthetically sloppier. I replaced a bunch of contact cement stained gasket pieces, but now this is one of the coolest sets of of one of the coolest speakers I've ever had.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Just arrived. 2 pairs of JBL J216As.

I've had these before, but didn't put them on this blog because I had a strict 70s only policy, and these were made in 1985. I really liked them, and am happy to have them. They're made in California, and are JBLs good stuff (in terms of sound and build quality). You won't easily find such a modest, reasonably priced pair of small speakers that sound like these.