Friday, February 25, 2011

Support Our Troops..

so upon arriving home from Seattle (yep, I will get to that soon), I was greeted by this:

check out that Basie line-up! I wish we still supported our troops like this - with 16" vinyl!


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A German in NY

After CES, Frank swang by for a few days of fun and I was able to take him to hear a few systems.  Some of the pics he took arrived in my inbox so here they are.

 The centerpiece of one of the systems was a pair of Steve Berger's "Bronze 50" amps and our host broke out the "good stuff" for our listening. (click the above for higher res for your desktop)

The system was nicely tucked into a Downtown Loft and it is still a work in progress but still sounds wonderful.

The other pictures range from the abstract to the silly.

And Finally, the night before I met Frank, I watched Ghostbusters with the boys and had to document that the building we passed was real.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Cheap Labor the USA.

Sure everyone in the corporate world uses and abuses interns for free labor.  In order to compete in this local economy, sometimes you need to get a bit creative and bend the rules a bit. Below are pictures of recent production from the kitchen table....ummm I mean factory of metalwork that needs to go out tomorrow for plating.

 Worker Leo who I assure you is at least 18 assembles a motor.

Worker Isaac who is most certainly 16 assembles a step up housing

The workers stand proudly by their creations

Next comes the QC inspection by highly trained outside consultants.
When the QC experts approve the workers are allowed to celebrate for 1 minute.  This celebration can be in the form of dance or Spongebob.  Tonight they chose dance.

I must admit that is it a bit tough to make sure the workers show up every day and all it takes is a little bit of "American Ingenuity" and my time proven method assures a happy worker ready to start work at 8AM every morning.

OK robert... you can make your CPS comment now :-)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

All Washered Up. I Must Be Nuts.

In getting ready to get some metalwork to the copper plater I ran into a snag that has been bothering me for some time.  I hate washers that are substantially bigger than the head of the nut they are designed for.  Below is a typical 1/4" washer and a 1/4-20 cap nut.

To get around the issue I simply went to a 6mm washer which has a much better fit.

Alas the 1/2-13 cap screw looks even worse with its mating washer.  It is the lathe to the rescue helping be convert a washer with a more appropriate OD for a better "fit"


 It still didn't feel right to me so I opted to try a button headed screw and ended up with the same mismatch

The reworked undersized washer was next and has the best feel for me thus far so I made up 10

All of this reminds me of the fun I used to make of Sean for having to turn down all kinds of screws to meet Franks aesthetic for the Artemis Labs TA-1  The more I think of it, the more I actually feel I may be nuts.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

while I was measuring....


time to send an early Philips Norelco 9710 back to Dr. Low Mu... they are fun, but not really crisp... a steal of a deal when they were US$20... killer for just making music... not too loud.. not expecting the ultimate...

so I measured them.. I had to... it needs about two cubic feet instead of this one cubic foot box, but you can quickly see why people like them.. as my friend Lenny says, "dashboard sound"... that memory of driving around on a beautiful day and your favorite song comes on the radio...

just another data point...


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Lowthers are on sale....

I was talking to Jon about some things... and he mentioned a sale.. 20% off....

Link to Lowther America sale

this makes a PM6A a pretty good deal... I need to ask if that applies to cones and baskets.. (evil grin)....


Saturday, February 5, 2011

1 meter auto-interconnect-formers

A friend wanted to give the modules a listen and I always say the easiest way to give them a whirl is to simply cut an interconnect in half and solder it to the boards. 

Then all you need is any old thing to mass load it.  In my typical style i looked around until I found something I could recycle.  It may not be pretty but it certainly is functional and musical to boot!

RCA MI-1432-A Field Coil Woofer



I am just trying to post some rough numbers on the 1432's... when I called Steve Schell and he did not have any published numbers, I figured I should just take some and post them... I suspect the Q numbers are quite good... as should be Fs... but the Vas was not working properly into my test box.. so I had to use the slightly less accurate added mass method..

so.. for what they are worth, here you go:

Friday, February 4, 2011

Some Teflon capacitors for the LCR RIAA corrector....


one of the beautiful things about using dave's discrete inductors for riaa (besides the fact that they are 80% nickel!) is that you can choose your own capacitors... none of this "riaa in a can" business that you get from other companies....

so here are some shots of the caps I use... true foil and teflon... silver leadouts... and potted in wax.... the best I have found so far....


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Snow Jobs and the pyramids.

Snow removal and ice have occupied much of my time so I thought to look to the Egyptians for their wisdom.

I present you with a substantial amount of 80% nickel for a 10-10-300B amp.

I'll admit that full bandwidth 80% nickel IT's and OT's are a bit above the mark but I have to say I was so pained to take the OT's out of circuit after the listening test that I had to do another pair to replace them.

Unfortunately the 80% 300B outputs are only good for an honest 3-4W@50hz and that is what brought up the mini-pyramid approach for a 15W full range 304TL on 49% cores.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Stax Records

A month or two back, a bunch of texans were in town to pick up some horns and generally just take up space in my listening room... so I made them get out and about the town... and here are some snaps from our visit to Stax Records...

The original Stax building was torn down, but thankfully a group of locals rebuilt it properly. The original recording space, which was just the old small theatre, was rebuilt. They also built a really nice music school next door.. and the above typical rural southern church is an original that they moved piece by piece to the inside of the museum... they flushed out the rest of the property with museum exhibits and a record shop... nice!

If you are unfamiliar with Stax (I am not sure how anyone who is interested in music could not be aware of Stax, but...) then think Motown with an edge to it... some things were laid back, but think Booker T's Green Onions or anything by Otis Redding... there are a lot of heavy names from Stax, but I have recently been really digging Ruby Johnson... how she is not a household name is beyond me.... have a YouTube listen here

and then there is the obligatory audiogeek content... wow.. they had a large format Altec system.... apparently not really used, though... it was "restored" for the museum... ouch... veneered... no compression driver.. and a cheap plastic 12" in the horn... man, what a shame... I really need to volunteer to turn this into a working audio display... I do know some of the people involved in making the museum happen.. I guess I need to finally add it to my "to do" list...

and this is what they actually used for monitors... it is amazing that their records sounded as good as they did! Inside one cabinet is a jensen woofer... in the other, an Altec... then they are upside down... and the horns are in the ports... man.. I could not believe my eyes when I first saw this a few years back...

and finally, there is that... as you all know, I am not into "bling"... but I would totally cruise in that car.. the super plush white fur... the huge gold grille... that color! yeah, people still talk about Isaac Hayes cruising down McLemore in that car.. an inspiration for kids in the neighborhood...

there is a box set of Stax singles... it is truly amazing.. if this music is your style, then I highly recommend it...


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