Saturday, November 30, 2013

51. BEWARE of What Can Be Found in a Ported Speaker or The Horror of What I Found in a Cerwin Vega AT-12.

I picked up a pair of Cerwin Vega AT-12 speakers at a thrift store. The foam on the 12 inch woofers needed to be replaced. I paid less than $20 for the pair and got a streak of lazy in me and decided to part them out rather than invest the time in fixing a pair of speakers that I'm not going to use anyway. So I pulled out the tweeters, mids, crossovers and lastly, the woofers. That's when I saw THE HORROR! Apparently, the savage who owned them before me stuffed his USED condoms in it. There were more than what is pictured. Then again, maybe he didn't own them. Maybe they belonged to his girlfriend or boyfriend and when they weren't looking, he stuffed the used rubbers in the Vegas. Either way, this is the WORSE thing I have discovered inside a pair of ported speakers. Here's a picture:

Saturday, August 24, 2013

50. JBL Model L96 Speakers from 1982

JBL L96 speakers. They are just fantastic! Back in 1982 they cost $800 a pair. In today's dollars that's about $1936. They are extremely well made. About 50 pounds each. The bass that these 10 inch woofers generate is stunning. The woofers feature a 3 inch voice coil that allow them to really pump. I bought mine a couple of weeks ago and it's one of the best purchases that I've ever made. Before these I was using a pair of JBL L100 Centuries and the midrange was so forward that I was getting a headache from them. The L96 are much nicer.

Here's a picture of mine:

49. JBL 4401 Control Monitors from 1984

These are fantastic, accurate little near field monitors. These deceptively heavy rascals put out an amazing amount of bass for their size. Nice wood cabinets, great quality. It would be hard to imagine better speakers at the same size. Very revealing, great soundstage, crisp highs, non fatiguing. These are so much better than what the vast majority use for their computers.

Here's some info on them from JBL and Lansing Heritage:

Unfortunately I haven't found any information on what their original cost was.

Here's a picture of mine:

48. David Hafler DH-110 Preamplifier from 1985.

I just got this preamp and hooked it up to my rebuilt and modified Dynaco ST-70 (also designed by David Hafler). Available as a kit, it was and continues to be popular due to it's upgradability and quality. It may be the best preamp available for under $200 in the used market today. I think it retailed for about $450, Anyway, I am very please! I can't wait to upgrade the phono section. It is now in my main rig. Here's a picture:

Sunday, July 28, 2013

47. JBL Aquarius 1 Speaker From 1971

Available in walnut or satin white finish in 1971. A 10" woofer, 5" mid and 2" tweeter. The woofer and mid have a panel in front of them to disperse the sound in an unconventional way. I have no other information on this unusual speaker. Here's a picture of mine: (I wish I had two of them)

46. Pioneer PL-530 From 1976 Painted with a Texturized Bleach Stone Finish

The fake wood ultra thin vinyl was peeling badly. So I figured that it would be fun to try something new. I went for a distressed crackle effect and wasn't satisfied with it at all. I then went with the same finnish I had previously applied to a PL-518. I think it turned out okay.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

45. Pioneer HPM-100 Speakers, Stacked Head to Head.

What kind of weirdo does this sort of thing? Um, me. Look at the picture. I have them stacked with the top pair upside down so that the tweeters are closer together. What's that you say? "That's not too weird"? Oh yeah? Well I have both pair stacked on top of a third pair that don't work. Now that's weird.

Monday, April 29, 2013

44. Vintage 1965 Thorens TD-150 Turntable with Rega RB300 Tone Arm (1984)

I just got it back from Bill at Ennis Audio. The Thorens TD-150 is truly a sleeping giant. The original AR suspension turntable was such a great and simple design that the good people at Thorens couldn't help buy rip it off and creat the TD-150. Six or seven years later Linn Sondek would totally rip the TD-150 off and make the LP12. Rather than drop a grand on the LP12, I think I'll stick with the TD-150 and an improved arm with a few mods and not be able to hear the difference. I'll take the money I saved and buy some vinyl. The old TP-13a tone arm has gone and been replaced by a Rega RB300. More base, nice and clear, an improvement! I am using an Ortofon FF 15 XE MKII and couldn't be happier. I'll post more info later, but for now, here's a picture of my "new" main table giving the Crow's August and Everything After a spin:

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

42. My Modified DYNACO Stereo 70 (ST-70) from 1959

The Dynaco ST-70 is the most popular tube amp in history. Over 350,000 were sold. God bless David Hafler. 35 Watts per channel of stereo sound in 1959? Just stunning. This is my first tube amp. I picked up a trashed ST-70 for $100 that had the original irons in good shape. Audiokarma's Big Bill and Fasterdamnit put in a new board and tubes after I sanded off all the rust that I could and gave the chassis a crappy paint job. The guys did a great job with it and gave it back to me on Christmas day. I was so surprised when I got to Bill's house and heard my amp. I couldn't wait to get it home and hook it up to my restored JBL 4311 speakers. I had it going for 7 hours straight and loved every minute of it. Here's a pick of my Dynaco:

41. Pioneer PL-518 Direct Drive Turntable from 1978 to 1979

Wow, this is a great turntable! It is built like a tank. About 21 pounds. Extremely accurate. This is what Vinyl Engine has to say:

"Pioneer has developed a 16-pole, 24-slot DC servomotor for the PL-518, one that provides exactly the same high signal-to-noise ratio and low wow/flutter as that used in the more expensive PL-520 model. This motor's magnetic circuit is twice as strong as conventional direct-drive types, a fact which contributes greatly to its improved resistance to torque ripple caused by uneven magnetic force.
Its switching frequency is also doubled, to 13.3Hz. Together these mean improved load characteristics, more accurate platter speeds at all times and, ultimately, better tonal quality results from your records.
You will find that few if any turntables in this price range offer such outstanding performance specifications: the signal-to-noise ratio achieved by the super-silent DC servo direct-drive motor is a high 73dB or less, while wow/flutter is an excellent 0.03% or less, and will stay that good over long years".
I completely striped it down and used Fleck Stone to paint the base. After letting it dry thoroughly, I put several coats of clear coat on it. I cleaned the bearings and oiled them. Now this is one of my favorite tables and it's in my Pioneer rack. Here's a picture of my PL-518 about to give Weezer Blue a spin: