Monday, December 22, 2014

Traffic to Seventies Stereo has doubled since I posted the first cat picture (now removed…it wasn't a good photo). Don't worry, I'm not going to  make it a regular habit.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Luxman MS-10 loudspeakers

  Here's a description from The Vintage Knob:
  The MS-10 is a very beautiful looking bookshelf of modest dimensions and modest power i/o but made with a refined structure and original parts. Being a real bookshelf, it can be used in several positions - or at least upside down and downside up : woofer up or woofer down.
  The bass/mid driver uses an Aramid cone : a mix of multiple plastics meshed up together, chemically coated and heat treated. Aramid was the answer to the equation : rigid but lightweight. One of the possible answers, that is, but a new and high-tech one in 1979. Aramid is also used for the driver's damper supporting the diaphragm. A further polyurthane coating of the cone's edge helps further lowering of the remaining resonance while the specially designed aluminium diecast frame helps back venting. (Frank Fabian tells me this driver was made for Luxman by Cambridge). The basket is cast magnesium.
  The high driver is a 2.5cm polyester dome covering the 3Khz to 20Khz range but able to go down to 1Khz ; its large 11,000g magnet and nomex bobbin allow good power handling.
  The crossover uses a sharp 18dB/octave slope with select metalized film caps and low DC resistance coils.
  The enclosure uses very high density particle board and LUX's own Multi-Vent Controlled Speaker System : small holes at the back of the enclosure makes for a moderate venting system giving advantages of both acoustic suspension and bass-reflex routes, sans the problems of either system.

  This is quite a nice sounding system. The quality of the woofer is immediately apparent. I think that the tweeter is the (relative) weak link. Cymbals are a little brash and less than realistically metallic sounding, therefore the midrange is a little less natural than I think it could be with a different (Audax,Vifa or Seas) tweeter.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Hanson Monitor update.

  They're finished in oak veneer. One inch mdf box with heavy internal bracing, lined with grey camera foam and rubber mats. The Hansons employ rare and excellent Dynaudio D28 tweeters between 2 SEAS H352 P17RCY 6.5" woofers (a D'appolito configuration), ported at the back. The speakers have bi-wire terminals that only accept banana plugs. They have black wooden pedestal stands threaded to the underside of the speakers (that can be sand or lead shot filled). They weigh around 60 lbs each.
  When I first heard them, connected to the Sansui AU-8500, I was seriously disappointed. The sound was lifeless and opaque. This with the same amp that had been making beautiful music hours before, driving the ADS L810s. The same amp about which I'd just said "this awesome Sansui is just what I need to drive whatever cool speakers show up this winter."
  I don't have a lot of powerful amps sitting around these days. I hooked up my trusty Arcam Delta 60 and was amazed. It was as if I was hearing a completely different speaker: lovely tonality, tight, deep bass, stunning imaging, great detail. I'm told these speakers (which can easily handle 250 watts/channel) have a dip in their impedance, and the Sansui, I suppose, just isn't a modern enough design for beasts like these. I'm not saying the Arcam is the last word in amplification for the Hansons, but now I'm really enjoying their good qualities. More to come.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

ADS L810 pictures.

The cabinets restored nicely, except for the typical plant pot stain, which lightened considerably (and may benefit from more bleach and patience in the future).

Sunday, November 9, 2014

  I'm excited about these. As good as the Braun models with the same model numbers are, I've suspected for a while that the ADS models are more solidly built. They sound incredible as I write, driven by the Sansui AU-8500.
  The pair in the picture aren't mine. I have to sand the cabinets (one has a terrible plant pot stain on top) and redo the grill cloth, but they're going to clean up beautifully. Pictures soon.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

I'm back.

  I was out of Canada all of October, and was glad to see fall leaves still on the ground when I got home. Now it's getting cold fast, and this awesome Sansui is just what I need to drive whatever cool speakers show up this winter.
  The AU-8500 is rated at 60 watts/ channel, and is the little brother of the AU-9500, which some consider the finest solid state integrated amp Sansui ever made.
  Yesterday I compared it to a Nikko Alpha 230/Beta 30 amp/preamp combo, rated at more than twice the power, and the Sansui was better in every way (the best aspect of the Nikko gear is the Beta 30 phono section), and sounded much more powerful.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Tangent RS6 pictures.

  These beautiful speakers came to me when a friend of the blog pointed me to a Craigslist ad seeking a new home for them. I sanded the tops, which were very scratched and had watermarks, restored the sides, and put new grill cloth on the frames. I really can't complain about a missing badge.
  The Thunders Tangent reference site shows that the RS6 had KEF T27 tweeters  and Audax woofers. This pair has Audax tweeters. They were obviously installed at the same time as replacements for blown T27s (KEF changed the 104 to the 104ab in part to protect the T27s), and these Audax units were an excellent (and obvious) choice (as pictured, they're used in many excellent Mission speakers among others…the identical tweeter, with rectangular faceplate, is used the the Spica, and my beloved Rega 3s). These speakers sound very nice, with good bass extension (if not control), being driven by my Arcam Alpha as I write.
Update: swapping in the Arcam Delta 60 for the Alpha improved bass control and articulation a lot…makes sense.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Another pair of Rega 3s.

  The Rega 3s that got me through the winter left  a few weeks ago (don't worry about me, I always have options). Within days, this beautiful pair fell into my lap. The cabinets were perfect. I knew I didn't want to 3d print badges again, so cut logos out of a subtly contrasting veneer, and applied them, to satisfy my branding fetish.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Just Arrived Sony TA-1150, Marantz 2230.

  Both rated at 30 watts per channel, these 2 beauties are finally here!
  The Sony required 3 trips to the repair shop before it sounded fantastic, due to improperly rated replacement parts in previous repairs, and the smoke from the right side of the case was disconcerting. All is good now, and this tank of an amp, original Sony Esprit sounds awesome.
  I've had Marantz 2230s before, but not in years. It's a beautiful classic, and the one that's here is a great example.
  I'll have pictures of both soon.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

July Update

  I hope you're having a fantastic summer.
  The Angstrom Reference speakers were here for a couple of weeks. I mistakenly thought that they used all Vifa components, but I was corrected (Vifa woofers, Philips tweeters). As wonderful as they sounded, I think the tweeter robbed them of ultimate airiness at the top.
 The ADS L400s that arrived here recently have no lack of airiness! This model is just bigger than a mini speaker, but much more satisfying.

Marantz PM-84D integrated amplifier. Vintage 1986. Massive: 19.5 kilos. MOS-FETs!

Saturday, June 7, 2014


The Delta 60 is a 50 watt/channel minimalist amp with neutrality, musicality and dynamics. I never showed you the first one, which I used through the winter with the Regas, probably because it was made in 1988, and seemed so visually bland to me a first. I opened this new one (picked up Friday) to change fuses and was impressed by the fit, finish and construction quality. I wish Arcam still made amps that looked like this, but the simple elegance of the Delta has grown on me, and it sounds amazing. I've also been using an Arcam Alpha, from the early nineties, rated at 40 watts/channel to drive the Monitor Audio Sevens at the uptown office. It's a bit chintzier looking, but sounds very nice too.