Tuesday, November 19, 2013

I've wanted to get my hands on one of these babies for a long time! The articulated tonearm is a unique approach to tangential tracking, the build quality is awesome, and it's gorgeous. The sound isn't anything to write home about at the moment, but I know the problem is a mediocre Shure cartridge. I have an Ortofon X3-MC high output moving coil that I hope to install soon. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Energy 22 Reference with Sound Dynamics tweeters. Canadian hybrids.

  I told you I had an idea, but I wasn't the first. When I told the guy I bought the Energys from what I planned to do, he told be it would work well, because he'd tried it. The tweeters come from Sound Dynamics (made by API, like Energy), and were used in 2 way systems with woofers as large as 15 inches. This told me that the tweeters must be capable of being crossed over low, an important thing to consider when replacing a hyperdome.
  The system sounds fantastic, exceeding my expectations. I've been enjoying them with all kinds of music, from delicate to very heavy.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The hyperdome tweeter (critical to the awesomeness of the Energy 22) almost always fails eventually. The company that bought the original manufacturing equipment and was rebuilding them is gone. Many owners have tried alternate tweeters. A pair will be arriving tomorrow with no tweeters. I have an idea. Stay tuned.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

JBL L20T photos.

  Right now, I'm listening to a stunning acoustic jazz recording by Sphere (Ben Riley, Kenny Barron, Buster Williams & Charlie Rouse), an album called Four In One. I'm using a dual CS5000 with a Grado Black, into an Arcam Delta 60, driving these sweet L20Ts. It all sounds magnificent.

Friday, September 20, 2013

This is the consumer version of the 4406 monitor. One tweeter is DOA, which I knew was likely. Sometimes when you need them, drivers fall from the sky. Update: This time, a tweeter is coming from Guelph!

Just arrived! Goodmans Dimension 8 speakers, Arcam Delta 60 integrated amp.

Along with 3 pairs of Missions that arrived on Tuesday, it's been All England Week at Seventies Stereo World Corporate Headquarters.  These are the Dimension 8s:      
They'll be beautiful when I'm finished with them! The grills fit flush to the teak veneer, emphasizing the planes of the shape. The craftmanship is amazing. At first listen, the sound is very promising. Lots of information here. More soon.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Mission 700 Leading Edge speakers with front baffle paint job.

  This is a fine sounding speaker. Mission gave it a mottled grey plastic front baffle that made the speaker look really chitzy. I repainted it the same hammertone warm grey as the upper models of the same year, the 770 Freedom 4 and 737R.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Just Arrived. Three modest pairs of Missions.

700 Leading Edges, 70 mkIIs and 733s (2 way small floorstanders that I've never had before). I think the 70s will be a veneer project.
 Update: I opened up the 70s, and the foam surrounds look & feel very good (I thought I'd probably have to refoam them).

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Canadian Rega 2 speakers, touring cabinets.

  I've owned loved this speaker a few times. Last time I had a pair I veneered them in mahogany (because I think they're that good). In June, I started to do this pair in teak, but Toronto had a big storm and concurrent blackout, which caused minor flooding (damaging a pair of Altec Sevens, cosmetically, but not sonically) and major humidity. My beautiful veneer job went totally textural, and I was so bummed out I didn't know what to do with them.
  As my day job has become busier, I've had less time to prowl my favourite sources, and Seventies Stereo World Headquarters is very light on speakers at the moment. The disfigured Regas have been in use a lot lately. I love them for lots of reasons, always have...they're excellent monitors with surprising bass response. I didn't want to look at them in peeling, bumpy teak veneer, and didn't want to start veneering all over again. This road warrior carpet job works for me.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Mission 727 pictures.

These are as good as I thought they'd be...much closer in sound to the 770 than to the 700 that it resembles.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Just arrived. Mission 727s.

I've owned 700s, 717s and 770s,  but this is the first pair I've seen available in my neck of the woods. Second from top of the line 770 in it's debut model year, I've been dying to hear it for a long, long time.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


  I posted the picture of the book cover 6 days ago, the second I put the book down, but needed to keep thinking about it before saying anything.
  Like the fantastic Hubert's Freaks, which I raved about in 2008, this sticks in my brain. Compared to the perceptions and realities in corporate America today, Polaroid was Dreamland, presided over by a brilliant, charismatic leader, Edwin Land. His papers were shredded (at his family's request) when he died, but working at Polaroid made a positive, lifetime impression on many, and this book buzzes with their insights. The material concerning marketing, and graphic identity (awesome:) are fascinating. I loved this book and think you will. The spirit & optimism of corporate America in the 50s, 60s & 70s seems like a fantasy in hindsight.
  As I read, I thought of the American Hifi landscape in the same period, imagined the same level of passion and creativity, united in the goal of recreating the live music experience at home. Many of the household names became, like Polaroid, logos to be slapped on generic products made overseas. I guess that's why I keep listening in the past.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Just arrived: Mission 770s.

Listening to First Light, a Freddie Hubbard album I picked up on vinyl last Sunday, driven by the Cyrus One, Mission 770s are still special.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Yamaha CA-1010 (again).

This is the third time that a fine example of this triumph of modernist industrial design has passed through Seventies Stereo World Headquarters, and again it leaves me dissatisfied. It's a cool amplifier in every sense.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Hafler DH-110 & DH-220

I found these in rough cosmetic condition, and wasn't able to test before buying. When I got home, the preamp sounded wonderful (and so it should... it's now been checked carefully), and the amp was weak and distorted in both channels. Even if I'd looked at the fuses, which I didn't, because it played at all, I wouldn't have noticed that they were incorrect values, by a lot. After Joe installed the correct (7 amp) fuses, music poured out.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


  I've been well, busy with work, and spending more time listening to music than looking for new equipment. Not that some equipment hasn't found me! I have a Hafler 110/220 pre/power combination to tell you about, and a big, beautiful Kenwood receiver (a KR- 7600, 80 watts/channel) coming home from the shop this week. I'm expecting a Marantz 2330B receiver in the next few weeks, and am actively searching for my next speaker obsession.
  The picture shows just four of the many records I've found recently that have made me really happy, all with beautiful sound and superb playing, all highly recommended.

Friday, July 5, 2013

New Braun L830 photos.

  'Legendary' is way overused in the audiophile world, perhaps shouldn't be used at all. Does it mean, for example that I should pass the oral history, along with my personal experience of the Heil tweeter to my daughters? If so, then the transducers, especially domes, that Braun made in the seventies shouldn't be missed. They have a headphone like clarity that's extraordinary. This 3 way, 10 inch teak veneer system is a great example. I just refoamed the woofers, and they sound great.
  Braun speakers of the period used captive speakers leads (16 feet), and I've chosen to leave them. They're small diameter, but decent quality,suitable for the kind of vintage receivers (with their many old small connectors) that these speakers are likely to be paired with. In the past with other Brauns, I've cut into the cabinets and installed modern connectors, but am not convinced that the subtle improvement was worth defacing a classic Dieter Rams cabinet design for.

I photoshopped out the wires in this picture to make sure you're paying attention.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Highly Recommended.

I sold this album in 1990, and have regretted it many times since. I found a copy last month in awful condition, which was a tease. Yesterday, I got lucky. I found a great copy at a fair price at Sonic Boom. Django Reinhardt is a huge figure in jazz, and there have been a lot of slavish tributes and half baked Hot Club style recordings over the years, but this is the best way I can think of to experience the magic that Stephane Grappelli & Django made without the archival realities of the original Quintette du Hot Club de France recordings. Grappelli sound fantastic here, Pedersen was arguably the best jazz bass player in Europe at the time, and Coryell and Catherine swing furiously. The whole band swings furiously!

Monday, June 24, 2013

The JBL L166s are up & running.

The woofers are refoamed, and one tweeter was repaired (I'll tell you about that later), and now they sound amazing! Pictures and lots more about them to tell soon.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

JBL L166 update.

The 122A woofers (with 7.5 pound magnets!) need refoaming. Standard 12" foams don't fit at all, so I have to wait (something I'm bad at) 'til Friday or early next week to hear them. I'll do the cabinets while I'm waiting, and hope to have them ready to hear and show you soon. The full brochure is available here. My grills are black.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

As you can imagine, I'm a little excited.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Friday, May 24, 2013

Ariston RD11s with Mayware Formula IV tonearm and Stanton 681EEE Cartridge.

I got this 'table a few weeks ago. It sounded good right away, but the cueing function wasn't usable. The hydraulic cylinder travels up and down in a sleeve, secured at the correct height by a plastic set screw, in a plastic thread that's completely stripped. I made a small rubber spacer of the required height, and epoxied it (removeably) between the arm mounting plate and the underside of the cylinder. It works perfectly. I've never had a Stanton cartridge before, and was always skeptical of the little brush at the front of the body. I couldn't imagine that performance wouldn't be compromised. I'm convinced that Stanton have designed their cartridges well. The 681EEE tracks well and sounds great. I think the brush (and its additional point of contact with the record surface) probably is extra helpful with the Mayware Formula IVs unipivot design.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Quick Update

  This is my first post in May, and I apologize. Stuff has been happening, I just haven't been able to tell you about it, or even show you pictures.
  The Altec Sevens have been refinished, and recapped, and I'm (still) evaluating, the (so far positive) changes.
  I refoamed a pair of The Advent Loudspeakers this week, and after not hearing a pair for probably 3 years, was bowled over (again) by their inherent musicality.

Saturday, April 27, 2013


 After what feels like months (happy ones) of (mostly british) 2 way monitor speakers, they're an ear opening experience. Many may wonder why, but for me, this is what makes vintage audio so much fun. These are the biggest Altecs yet at Seventies Stereo world headquarters, and I'm excited to have them (I've had Fives before, and another pair is coming soon). 
  Altec was very successful marketing it's big, horn loaded home systems, much less with 'bookshelf' speakers. The brand's image in the marketplace was bland and uncool compared to JBL, but these beautiful speakers rock, and the Marantz 1200 drives them perfectly.  Much more soon.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Infamous Canadian Rega 2 Speakers in Utility Cabinets.

The Rega 2s were finished with the ugliest fake fake fake woodgrain vinyl known to man. This pair has been stripped down to the particle board, which has been sanded, oiled and waxed, for a contemporary, scandinavian modernist look that suits the elegant proportions of these speakers well.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Mission 710s at last.

When I got these the original woofers were long gone (replaced with cheap car audio woofers), and after looking high and low, I determined that they're unobtainable. I tried 'upgrading' with woofers from a pair of 770s, and it didn't work (I thought it did at first, because I wanted it to).The woofers were too much for the cabinet volume, and the bass was disappointingly anemic. Frank Fabian at The Speaker Shop recommended a suitable brand new polypropylene cone replacement, which I just installed, and they sound fantastic; beautifully balanced, full and musical, with that magical Mission presence.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

  Things will be changing soon at Seventies Stereo. The Mission Argonauts will be leaving this weekend, as will the Rega Kytes. A couple of pairs of Altec Lansings will be arriving soon, as will a Scottish suspended subchassis turntable. Stay tuned.

Friday, April 12, 2013

This is the Sansui AU-217 that just came back.

Rega Kyte photos.

They're as finished as they're going to get. Listening with a Sansui AU-217 integrated amp (back after a 3 year absence), they sound wonderful. They're not the ideal speaker for getting your Led out, but with jazz quartets, vocalists etc., they're captivating.