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Steve Ford's Junk


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Maybe if I shove a couple of those into the C1's Main 1's RCA jacks it will work right?


Speaking of cantankerous old junk I got the 98 S1 out for it's maiden run today.  That thing feels like a giant bicycle with a monster motor shoved in it.  It's gotten a bit louder, too, as the cannister's packing seems to be getting blown out the back, ha, ha.

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Steve - would you please post a pic or two of that 2-wheeled freak show?emangel.gif


Mama said "NO scooters!!!!" - I gotta work on that. Peck555 is on tap....eusa_whistle.gif
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Amazing what Erik did with a Harlee motor.

Most of the dealerships had no idea what to make of the bikes but they knew that they didn't like them!


Not mine but here's the Manta tank and flyscreen.  The colors are a bit off as the Nuclear Blue frame is like a purple and the Molten Orange bodywork is a pearl, orange and then clear - right above the headlight is the closest to the actual shade.

This particular model in the photo is the S1W (white lightning).  The black heads are the giveaway and the differences are heads, pistons and cams.  I had a white White Lightning (white frame, pearl white bodywork) but sold that to somebody in Norway and kept this regular S1 as I just like the nuclear blue/molten orange bike better.  The S1W was pretty speedy and it's not too hard to swap the parts over - maybe a day or two of futzing around.

I'll tell you a funny one: I was talking to Erik Buell at a motorcycle meet in Rahway, NJ and we were talking about what our favorite Buell model was. 

I was telling him that I really liked my X1W (which he had just autographed for me) when some nut goes by doing a wheelie on an S1.

We both looked over, I said, "Then again, the S1s aren't too bad" and we both started laughing.

He's a good guy.


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  • 4 weeks later...



Maggies are everywhere here but the IIIAs are no more; they were replaced by 3.6s which were replaced by 3.7s for the big system. 

Crap, off to work.
Maggies are very popular.  I am just glad I was able to obtain two sets of them.  An earlier model from 1986 that don't have the jumpers and another model from 1987 that do.  Had to rebuild the 1986 model myself and the 1987 was rebuilt by Magnepan.  Just also acquired a set of MMGWs.  Plan to have them used by one my son's two-channel system.  I used to own a set of Magnepan 0.5s and 1.5s before going with the IIIas.  I am slowly rebuilding my home theater room again to house my two sets of Magnepan IIIas.  One set for the fronts and the other set for the rear surrounds.  When I had them all up, the soundfield for hi-rez DVD-A and SACD audio was amazing, let alone for movies.  Now that I have two Carver M-1.0t amps, I am working on getting my 5.1 system back up and running with these amps.  They are far better than my Emotiva XPA-5 that I used before.     

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  • 2 weeks later...
For those who have known me for a while, they'll know that my upstairs system has remained pretty much constant over the past few years. 
1.7s replaced 1.6s, a tube tuner replaced a SS one and that's pretty much it.
I pretty much duplicated the upstairs system in the living room and was never happy with the sound - something was always "off".
IIIAs were replaced with 3.6s which were replaced with 3.7s, VTLs replaced various SS amps, tube tuners replaced the SS tuners, the tube CD player was replaced with an outboard DAC and tube buffer, interconnects were replaced with silver braided ones I made up, Kimber 4TC gave way to Kimber 8TC for the speaker cables, a nice vinyl set up was added BUT something was still off.
My preamp was a Sonic Frontiers SFL-2 (same as the upstairs) and I agonized for a full year over replacing it as I really love the SF gear.
One evening, something strange appeared out of the dark
which kind of gave me the creeps. 
Okay, it was in the form of an ad here on Audio Circle in the Trading Post section.
After still MORE agonizing, a light appeared over my Well Tempered which I took to be a sign to get off my duff and do something.
Never one to disobey the Gods, I did what I had to do.  I sold my SFL-2 to a gentleman in Hong Kong and purchased Markhh2's deHavilland UltraVerve 3.
I'd been interested in this preamp for years as the notion of big tubes equal big sound intrigued me but I had never actually heard one.
Over the years I'd forgotten all about the piece until I spied Mark's ad.
I reread all of the reviews that I could, thought about it some more and here it finally was on my doorstep - sitting in a puddle thanks to my FedEx driver!  Good thing Mark triple boxed it, huh?
I hooked it up and not bad but it could be better.  The sound was kind of bottom heavy and good but weird.
An email to Kara at deHavilland confirmed that I did need to flip one end of my speaker wires around to invert the phase and Mark included an RCA 6SN7 to replace the wretched Electro Harmonix tube.
Sure enough, the bloated bass disappeared, the soundstage snapped into focus and the details in the mix came closer to the front.
You know all of Ruth's vibraphone playing on Zappa's Apostrophe'?  There's a LOT more of it going on than I believe I've heard on anything else.  There is also a lot more guitar work going on - there are a lot of tracks mixed onto that album.
It has the basic crispness of my now sold SFL-2 (which is what I loved about the unit along with the looks and build quality) and it's at least the equal in detail retrieval  of the latest Audio Research preamps but without that "polite" sound that the ARC gear has.
The soundstage is much wider and deeper than the SFL-2 but it's not quite up to Audio Research standards in that regard - it doesn't miss by much but it's not as good.
It also lists for $3500 less and I prefer the overall sound of the deHavilland unit overall. The sound is both smooth and it doesn't have wimpy or exaggerated dynamics, it's balanced from top to bottom thanks to a tube change - this one's just right.
My dealings with deHavilland have been limited to two emails but the response was fast and Kara answered my stupid questions and gets five stars from me.
Buying this was a real gamble for me but happily it worked out perfectly.
I have found the missing piece to the puzzle.
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A really well packed box full of tubes showed up today - Christmas for fat boy!

I will try and post my impressions tomorrow but they fell into two distinct groups - really good (all very similar sounding) and too much bottom end.  The results were very surprising, for me, and the man with the devil girls saved me a hell of a lot of screwing around with ordering tubes.

I was planning on ordering all of the ones that turned out to have too much bass!
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5AR4 rectifiers are a special tube. You REALLY need to find ANY made in the Mullard Blackburn plant back in the late 50's to late 60's.

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That will have to wait for another day as I somehow found myself owning an Aural Thrills MM phono preamp.



After I replaced the NoName-O brand Chinese tubes with some old GE 12AX7As and put in a new fuse it sounds pretty good in the upstairs system.  Quite a bit better than pretty good, actually.

I'm pretty sure the GEs came from Kevin.

This is being used with the Sonic Frontiers preamp and is a good match.

The Jolida phono pre is now with the deHavilland preamp and that's a good match as well. 

Of the two units, I'd take the Jolida as it's more versatile due to all of the dip switches.
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Sorry to be so slow in posting this but life got in the way of some quality screwing around time.

Mbskeam was kind enough to send me a shitload of 6SN7 tubes to screw around in with my new preamp and the results were very surprising (at least to me).

The tubes only came in two flavors: too tubby in the bass department and balanced throughout the sonic spectrum.

The bass heavy guys are:

Electro Harmonix (no surprise there), GM Delco, Tung Sol (!), and Bendix Radio. 

I was really surprised at the Tung Sol as I thought that would be the ticket.

The really good sounding ones are:

RCA, Admiral and Sylvania. 


This leads me to believe that there were basically two companies making these tubes and they were either being rebranded or copied (current EH tube, for example).


A NoName-O brand 6H8C was included with the purchase and while that sounded good it is still no match for the mighty RCA. 


One thing that I've noticed about this preamp as it has a rather lengthy warm up time.  I had suspected as much as it reminds me a lot of the Manley 300B pre which I'm told is the same way.

At any rate, if mbskeam would care to sell some of these tubes to keep as back ups, please send me a PM.
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The bass heavy guys are:

Electro Harmonix (no surprise there),.....
It surprises me; I thought Bob Carver was fairly well taken with Electro Harmonix tubes..... 
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