Monday, April 30, 2012

The LSAF preview nobody cares about.

The 50's are playing in the permalloy Emia amp with 80% nickel outputs and all nickel chokes in the power supply.  I guess permalloy is the code word of the day... week... and maybe month.  Lets just say I have TONE!...

Feeding the 50's a bit of Glen Gould is the miyajima labs shilabe with the premium BE waiting to get its time in the groove.

stay tuned for more and if possible join me for cinco de mayo in Dallas.  Rooms are cheap and hanging with family is priceless.


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Western Electric 16a 2012 drawings..

well... I'm off...  a visit to Audio-Life in Holland and then Munich High End, but first, something to whet your appetite...

and I must also add this footnote... I am listening to GIP 555's... 
and my first impression is that they are even cleaner than originals.. 
first impression, but I am stunned.. I think I need to have a 
serious sit down with Mr. Suzuki in Munich!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Munich High End 2012 Preview

yep... that is what Silbatone is sharing with the world this year.. of course not for sale... and of course it will be amazing in that giant room... thank you guys for bringing this gear!

What you see is the "workhorse" of the classic Western Electric theatre systems... the 15A... this was sort of their economy model as it is made of thin plywood... if there is a little bit of coloration, then it is certainly beautiful and rich coloration.... the speaker plays louder and cleaner than anything you have likely ever heard... big, rich sound...

and that bass system?  total JC... I love it... once it sinks in how it works, a big grin grows across your face... just perfect for this room... read up on the Heil patents for clues... (remember the Heil tweeters?)... the open back and wide baffle create a cardioid pattern... cancellation where you do not want the bass.. at the sides and behind... and teh compression chamber acts to increase efficiency and drive down the resonance frequency.. so loaded with two 515b and two EV 30's, I suspect it will play Sabbath *just* right....

I can't wait!  thanks again, guys!


Monday, April 23, 2012

Record Store Day 2012 - hits and misses...

so I sneaked away from the soldering bench and the family on Saturday morning for a few hours.. it is always nice to flip through vinyl on a Saturday morning.. especially in the Spring...

I will be completely honest and say that I am bummed that I did not find the first ever vinyl release of Junta.. I think Phish did a really cool thing by releasing this very early and really interesting album on three pieces of 180 gram vinyl for only $40... on the $60 version, they included a signed screenprint by the original artist... very cool... but they went quickly.. by noon there were 500 copies on eBay.. I suppose the band cannot do anything about scalpers, just like tickets for all those years... but I will say that I have been extremely lucky and never, ever shut out of a show.. even some super duper way sold out events.. so I guess my karma is pretty good...

enough of that.. you guys would not support scalpers.. so on to the scores... and the rest of a very beautiful morning in which I hit *three* record stores...

so first up is my only RSD special.. the Black Angels... I guess I was feeling a little bit angry as this made me feel much better.. it is two early EP's put together and a few tracks from an early album, one of which, Manipulation, is especially dark and powerful... not for the faint of heart, but....

next is my only genuinely all Soul album of the day... but it is James Carr... if you have not ever heard "At the Dark End of the Street" you are missing out...

Roy Buchanan is a guitar wizard... check him out on You Tube.. he seems a humble guy who just says everything with a guitar..

Stanley Clarke "School Days" is one that I just needed a better copy of.. the track "Desert Song" with McLaughlin is great... besides, I want those pants... and it was a buck... WTF, it's only a buck! (which you Deadheads will recall as the slogan wookies used to sell grilled cheese sandwiches on tour)

do I have to say something about the guitar work of Jimmie Vaughan?  maybe I do.. he has that strut.. not the normal Texas blues that is so in your face... I love his playing...

and this one. whoah... this is Muddy Waters and Otis Spann... the best of all those attempts to combine new school hippie blues players with the greats from teh 40's and 50's... this one works.. not a sonic marvel, but amazing music.. close your eyes and wish you were there... (and it was $5 for two lp's!)

same with this one... a classic... I have resigned myself to the fact that I will never own the original.. so a later mint reissue is just fine.. the Wolf... a mighty man... as a bonus, my kids seem to get what he was about.. an original..

oh, look at that!.. an album that is not all guitar.. I did not notice until I got home, but I guess my two year affair with the saxophone must be over.. from this stack, it looks like I never left the blues section.. hmm... so I obviously bought this for Memphis Slim, who I like very much.. maybe I belong in this backwards 1950's conservative town after all... I just need to learn how to wail away on my porch..

uh, oh... another guitar god... Ulmer.. wow... if you like this music, you already know him..

and, gasp, a CD!  yeah, but how cool is this?.. this guy was playing live in the record store.. Muddy Waters and Junior Kimbrough covers.. solo.. guitar, bass drum and hi-hat.. and talking about how he had been up all night.. they had a party last night.. but he was loving the fact that a small group of us knew all the tunes he was playing.. so I bought his CD.. Eric Hughes.. he said he had two singles that were top ten on the blues charts.. so I happily handed him $10... 

and for Richie.. yet another use for transformers.. to hold up vinyl when you take snapshots..

so I will leave you with some short video of Eric Hughes playing on no sleep at one of the record stores.. tough, lonely gig.. but you gotta get by...


Sunday, April 22, 2012

the day after.

At some point we need to get back to the basic way to cheat the man yet honor the first order beliefs of family.
The other day I had to chop into a filament transformer to gain access to the leads.  The whole purpose of this endeavor was to pay respect to the filament of a 50.
It just so happened that the toroid that I had on site wasn't up to the job and lets say the filaments were a bit 'droopy' so I took the liberty of cutting it open and adding some wire.
Once the wire is added it just becomes a case of testing it in a bogey circuit and I'll accept that for a 50... even a mesh one.
Trust me kids... you can do this yourself and never have to wait 3 days for a new delivery.  The amazing thing is the power you feel the first time you actually solve the problem yourself.

Back to the 50... the toroid is hidden below with a pair of permalloy filament chokes.  Up top you see a damper bridge and two nickel choke input supplies followed by a buried TSHA feeding another nickel PS choke.  Last cap as always is an oil and music follows.


Friday, April 20, 2012

In honor of 4/20, the unofficial national hippie holiday....

in honor of the holiday, check out the patina that has formed on the field coil motors for the electrodynamic 650 compression drivers! on any other day I would be tempted to steel wool and make it a little more socially acceptable... but today? I might just spin the "Morning Dew" from the Strand Lyceum, Europe '72 tour.... and leave these babies alone....


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Doh! I forgot the video...

this actually part of teh process... it is nothing more than water (although I apply the finish in the same manner).. the water raises the wood grain and prepares it for the final sanding pass. Cool, huh?

I will add it in to the post below next week, but I just really liked teh video, so...


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

DIY'ers save lives, part II...


my small lathe was losing tolerances.. moving.. wimpy... and scary when it would bite into a nice piece of wood...

luckily, my friend RLL is moving and jumped at the chance to let me "house" his lathe while they move... of course, he also brings all sorts of other things over for me as well.. (look for some free power transformers in the near future under the title "free junk"...)...

so practice time... I need to deliver a few EM Electrodynamic 650 compression drivers... time to learn a new lathe... it went well... some pictures below...

not bad!

close up:

some ballast (now rather dusty):

the original:

more soon!


Sunday, April 8, 2012

free stuff.

here is something donated that everybody will want to flip on ebay and others will covet.

chime in if you want the pin and it is yours.  If more than one gets it and can explain it, you are at the mercy of

Friday, April 6, 2012

broken 101D going to a better place.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

What a Rush!

Being an admitted audio junkie, I need to head to the 'bay for my occasional fix.  Boy was I surprised and excited when this showed up in a plain manila envelope containing the two things I bought at $5 each. (+$3 shipping).

Upon opening my score, I was pained to see a mono pill rather than a stereo pair and to make things worse, it was a generic!  I'll also assure you if I follow the prescribed dosage, I will feel severe pain in 6-8 hours hence needing a refill of a controlled substance.

Here the single dosage is sitting next to the ailment it is designed to cure and in all honesty I'm happy with the generic even at the single dose price since it will help out some mono freak in the future.

Finally an image for those Junkies out there who want to see the difference between the original and the generic. 

Now for a funny story that isn't audio related.  Back in the early days of digital when I needed extension tubes for my canon lenses, I asked a digital tech friend what to get and he said  'get the kenco'.  He also mentioned when you go in to buy it you will get a fight from the salesman at B&H.  He insisted they will shun the generic and suggest that the genuine Canon extension tubes at 3X the price are far superior.  He also told me of his response to the salesman which was...

 'I have read that the air that cannon uses is much higher quality than the air that kenco uses.  If i buy the canon tubes, can you also supply me with the needed air?'

They happily sold him the generic tubes.


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