Discussion in 'General Audio Discussion' started by vintage 5.0, Aug 18, 2014.
How good 45 y/o components deliver the goods after a resto/upgrade.
What I bought thru out my life has been thoroughly vented and auditioned many hours before buying., so no surprises there. . That said one time a friend sent me a Dynavector 20 X HO to try and I was so taken I started listening to LP and collecting again after a 30 year rest. Now I have a 20 X2 and am looking forward to an XX-2 one of these days. A friends Grace F9E on a direst drive TT still have me wondering.
Some times when I went to shows, visited other dealers, or Reps brought samples I was surprised. An Ampex MR-70 really impressed me. . Mcintosh MC 3500 is still the best tube amp I have ever used and played with. The last series of Magnepan Tympani, III or IV really shook my foundations. AKG 451 with C1 and C2 capsules opened my eyes. Big Telefunken M250's were a big surprise, too. Acoustat model 6 and 8 were good so was the big ADS 2030. 3 Altec systems with 4 604 HPLN in two 817 boxes with a 311 on top with two 291 drivers with 10 modified 816 enclosures with 3156 woofers with an extra cork surround as subs, quad amped , using a bunch Yamaha professional Power amps. The system was putting out 124 db at 75 ft while playing the intro to Neil Diamonds Coming to America on a 4 channel tape at 30 ips mixed down from the original master was mighty impressive in 1977. Professional DBX noise reduction system was very impressive. No more distortion or tape noise in the 70;s. Hearing Concert Grands pushed for the first time by MC 3500's. Klipsch horns didn't have a chance with a great 10 watt amp or 30 watt or 60 watt amp. For some one who only had heard lp's, the first time I heard a 2 trk 15 ips Live tape of a Peter Paul and Mary concert I helped set up on a pair of Bozak 302's in the mix down studio just took my breath away. That sound made me question everything I had ever heard before. 6 months later my Altec speakers were gone, My amps updated I was building my Symphonys, I had just purchased my first Ampex tape deck with two track heads HS with 1/4 trk playback and I upgraded the Arm on my TT and a new Ortofon with an elliptical stylus. . It was a great time to discover live sound. The next show that impressed me was Ray----Charles, with his big swing jazz band. I thought Buddy Rich and Woody Herman had tight bands, they didn't even come close. Only Basie's band consistently equalled or out performed Rays Group and did so for many many years. But Basie didn't have the vocalists and the wide spread of styles that Ray had.
At the present time in my audio system, it would have to be my Cerwin Vega 15" sub. It has given me outstanding bass reproduction in most of my media.
Just browsing this thread...
Interesting. I recently got a Bel Canto DAC 2.5 but haven not tried the Reflink yet...so far I have only fed the Bel Canto via the analog inputs or the Toslink (optical) input. Will have to try this sometime...somehow...I have no PC or any device to use with it right now...I don't think...unless my NVIDIA Shield can output via USB.
I think the Bel Canto sounds good no matter what I'm feeding it, so far!
I'll have to add, I've had quite a few "surprises" so far...nearly every piece of gear I've gone through over the past 5 years or so has surprised me in one way or another!
I'll try to stick to the "highlights"...
Class A SS amps - specifically Monarchy and McCormack - sound so much better to me than A/B amps. Better timbre, detail, and delicacy vs. the A/B amps I've owned. Pretty much "tube-like."
KEF 103.2 - these are pretty much what got me really into this hobby. The first time I played music through them was a revelation. Coming from Klipsch "party speakers" I had never heard anything like this. Also, informed me that bookshelf speakers can kick ass too, not just floorstanders!
KEF 107 - the first fairly high-end speakers I ever owned...still have them, probably never leaving. Wow, a nice full range speaker is awesome!
Apogee Centaur - ribbons are kewl
Juicy Blueberry preamp and Bel Canto DAC/pre - wow a nice preamp makes a huge difference!!!
Quad 57's - pretty special. Hope to own a pair again someday. They just sound like music. They disappear.
Townshend Audio supertweeters - surprised I could hear any effect from them whatsoever, but I definitely can. They just make the speakers seem a lot more "alive" if that makes sense...they don't change the whole character of the speaker, just accentuate its strengths, add a little more air. I'll have a hard time giving them up if I ever need to. Pricey, but a heck of a "tweak/mod."
My biggest "surprise" would have to be swapping my Mogami cables out for some MIT's made enough of a difference that my 18'' sub is no longer necessary in my main rig. I certainly did not expect that result.
Salvaged from a 1958 Zenith console 7 years ago I had no idea they would be some of the finest wide band speakers I've heard. It's a toss up between these and the high dollar Lowthers in open baffles.
Got pics of them mounted?
Surprised the most? Definitely the star quad DC power cable feeding the microRendu upstairs. I read about John Swenson's recommendation and spent the princely sum of about six bucks for the raw cable and connectors.
That cable from the Uptone LPS-1 noticeably extended the low level dynamic tracking of the player on wide range content.
The opening title of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them delivers a wonderfully emotional ride of contrasts - opening with the familiar John Williams theme to fanfare and "startle-the-crap-out-of-you" bass drum slam to exploring the softer end in the second track "There are Witches Among Us". Gain on SP20 at set 22 or a click or two lower than I recall before running out of (bass-driven) power. A pair of Siegfrieds would be nice here.
Another current favorite is the 96/24 version of The Force Awakens . With "The Scavenger", we hear Rey's theme unfolding. Here again, the beauty lies at the pp end of the scale. The melody is fully developed in the track with her name where both dynamic extremes are explored ending in a whisper. Wonderful.
Nicely expressed, E-Stat.
I'm just surprised all my gear has lasted this long.
If anyone wonders about opposed tweeters that's the norm in OB's when they're closed back. While a single open back tweeter will radiate in both directions a closed back tweeter will only radiate in one direction. When using a single closed back tweeter then the rule is it should be rear firing - ob101
The first picture shows a single closed back tweeter which was too strong but when a second rear firing closed tweeter was added ( second picture ) it balanced perfectly.
The one thing that has surprised me the most is how much use I'm getting from my Oppo Sonica DAC by streaming Tidal and being able to listen to albums I don't have in my collection.
12 inches and many of the vintage consoles used that size. Look for the ones with alnico motors and ribbed cones.
I love resurrected threads!
Gotta say the biggest surprise for me was a (thankfully new-in-package) Precept PC220 cartridge. Remarkable sound for a .2x.7 elliptical. I had a hard time telling the difference between it and a Grace F-8L.
This gem, a ~10 watt tube amp pulled from a Magnavox console, continues to astonish me big time. It has replaced a few "high end" amps.
silver conducting grease.
Applying the grease to all my tube pins, interconnects and speaker connections made an amazing difference.
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