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Steve Ford's Junk


SteveFord
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Zumbini,

I've got a van load of girls from the Bronx headed your way to take care of that for you.

They might finish you off but at least you'll go a happy man.

 

The hinged MMGs worked out just great; I wish that I had thought of it when I first got them back in the early 90s but you get so locked into thinking that floor standing speakers MUST go on the floor. 

I'm been thinking of getting another MMG and using it as a center channel mounted up by the ceiling, 2' out and angled down towards the couch.  That would leave me with a spare speaker which gives me some other ideas...

The stuff inside of the cabinet won't be finished for another three months as there are those damned bills to pay again but come tax refund time I'll be back in business.

As is only fitting for a Carver site, it will contain some of Bob's creations.
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  • 1 month later...
I had some time today so moved that Harman-Kardon tuner which RodH so generously gave me into the computer room where it mated up splendidly with the WooAudio 6 headphone amp.20111112104627354.jpg

 

Where the HK used to be a Sherwood S3000-III now resides which has a warmer sound than the HK and it throws a very large soundstage. 

20111112104934562.jpg

 

It's funny how certain components just seem to work well together - in this case, it's HK with SET and the Sherwood with the push/pull stuff. 

Wife is antsy so it's off to the races.
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How many tube tuners do you have lying around, Steve?  I've been pouring over those available through eBay lately looking for something to match up to my newly acquired 1958 vintage Philco Phonorama IV.  But I need a mono tube tuner, perhaps something from between '55 and '65.  Any advice from someone who's been down this road?

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If I were you I'd look for a Sherwood S3000-III and get a competent shop to go over it and give it an alignment.

They don't go for a whole lot ($75-100) and if need be I can recommend a shop up here who I'm sure could do the work and ship it down to you.  The repair bill would probably be another 75-125.

The S3000-IV and V are stereo units although you can get an MPX adaptor for the III.

They will sound better than your TX-11b (or any other SS tuner, for that matter) so they're probably overkill for that old console piece.

 

If I can get the output gain up by a LOT I have a Harman Kardon F50xk which would be suitable.  That's a kit version of the F500x which are pretty good, too!  Those units have mono/stereo switches with a decided increase in output in Mono.

 

 

 
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  • 2 months later...
Santa took pity on me because I've been such a good boy and brought me a turntable for the downstairs.

Who am I kidding, I got a lump of coal whipped at my head by that fat rummy, Jolly Olde St Prick (who is actually an unemployed insurance adjuster from Bayonne, NJ) and bought this myself.

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This is an earlier Well Tempered Turntable and I lucked out and found another syringe of the correct goo for the arm in one of my piles of stereo junk.

The platter spins in 30w synthetic motor oil and I think that this whole design is just the cleverest thing - float everything in goo to get rid of bearing-related issues.

Two of my buddies are loaning me phono stages so if all goes well, I should be spinning vinyl downstairs in a few days.
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That's the grounding wire - it goes to the screw down post in the back inbetween the two RCA jacks.

You run the ground from there to the phono stage.

 
I'm relieved. It looked out of place, like it was an afterthought.
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That's why I had to sell a Jolida which Reese should have shortly; I just couldn't swing the table without selling something because my tax refund was unexpectedly puny.  So much for my big plans...

Later WT models, like the one upstairs, have a round motor which sits in a hole cut into the plynth and the arm and grounding wire are black anodized so it doesn't look so out of place. 

It's not here yet so I'm not sure how to adjust VTA on it.  On the one that I have upstairs you loosen the set knob on the side of the pillar and then use an allen wrench on the top of the pillar to raise or lower the entire arm assembly.  I see what looks like the set knob on the rear of the pillar but no hole for the Allen wrench.  There is a weird knob up on the front so maybe that's it.

I did manage to swing one more small item which is en route!

 
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Seeing as how Reese ran away with the downstairs Jolida I was kind of at a loss for playing CDs down there.

Sometime back I won a Harman Kardon CD player on one of our Karmas and it's in beautiful shape but it doesn't sound as good as the Jolida.

One of my buddies lent me his art di/o dac to putz around with while I floundered around with how to make the most out of my puny tax refund.  His art di/o sounded really good with the HK player but it didn't sound right with the Jolida at all.  Something just didn't match up well.

As luck would have it, I stumbled upon an art di/o within seconds of it being posted for sale over on audiocircle and now all is okay in CD land until I can get something better next year.  Digital is just changing so rapidly at the moment that it's best to wait until the dust settles, I think.

There's some of that wretched digital glare with the art d/o so maybe some different interconnects are in order.

Everybody always bypassed the tube in these units so that may well be the case with this one - I'll have to pop the case but it doesn't feel warm at all.

The Blue Jeans coax that RichP recommended worked really well, by the way.

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No tube in there but it doesn't matter according to this review:

There has been much ado among audiophiles regarding the "Tube Warmth" feature. The controversy centers on whether the unit’s single 12AX7 tube is in the D to A loop, or the A to D loop. The owners manual states that the tube is in the A to D circuit and is used for sweetening digital recordings—it is not used in audio playback. A phone call to ART’s Sr. Engineer, Mitch Milton, has verified that this is in fact the case. As further ironclad proof, Mitch suggested that I remove the tube from the unit and then play it. Omitting the tube is actually a good idea because not only will the DI/O run much cooler, but it will require less current from the power supply. I’m running my DI/O sans tube and guess what—it sounds exactly the same as it did with the tube!

------------------------------

A couple of final thoughts if anyone is interested - this worked much better with copper cables than silver ones and running it into a Carver Digital Time Lens didn't work out too well.  It was worth a shot.

I am going to try and run this DAC into Rich's tube buffer when it shows and see if that doesn't smooth out the sound some.  I did try a Pacific Valve DAC 62 unit with the HK and the art di/o sounded better.

What I'm finding is that the inexpensive DACs that have the greatest detail retrieval also have the greatest amount of digital glare.

If I had an extra $6000 I'd just get the Audio Research CD-5 and be done with it. 

 
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  • 3 weeks later...
Three days of screwing around later we now have some vinyl spinning downstairs.  Plinth needs cleaning thanks to my greasy fingerprints - that silicone goo is tenacious crap.

Sharp eyes will note Mr. M500t's sorbothane risers.

An Ortofon 2M Black is in this turntable's future and maybe some Genalux Gold Lion tubes for the Jolida phono stage.

 

20120226105941100.jpg

 
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  • 2 weeks later...
Is good sound possible on a budget?
I've found that the answer is Yes if you're willing to do a lot of futzing around with cantankerous old junk.
I've been screwing around with this system for the past year or so and have it just about finished (famous last words).
It started off with my vintage MMGs which went back to Magnepan last year after Fido's urine corroded the wires in one of them.  I swiped the idea of getting them up in the air from the MMG-W model and with some old side rails from a set of MG-1s and some hinges from the Ace Hardware, I was in bidness.
These do sound better up off the ground and it's nice to be able to fold them out of the way when the big system is in use.

index.php?action=gallery;sa=view;id=7453

Swing open one of the cabinets and there's the electronics.


index.php?action=gallery;sa=view;id=7453


Moving from the bottom up, AVNerdguy (from Audiocircle) was gracious enough to persevere and recap/repair my old Harman Kardon Citation 22.  Some bozo was in there before and he left the transformer loose so it smashed the hell out of one of the boards which took some doing to repair.  I told our intrepid HK tech to throw it off a cliff if it was giving him too much grief but he wouldn't hear of it. 
I'm glad he didn't as after the refurb this is a nice sounding amp.
Next up is a bargain basement cheapie Oppo 981 which I snagged from Woot.com for $99 and then Oppo was good enough to warranty the CD drive when that crapped out.  They have won a customer for life with that act of kindness - it turns out that goods sold on Woot.com do NOT carry the manufacturer's warranty.  The Oppo was a great recommendation from TNRabbit, by the way.
That's used as a transport and an inexpensive Blue Jeans S/PDIF cable connects that to a Pacific Valve DAC62 with new JJ Tesla tubes and that sounds surprisingly good.  Cable recommended by RichP!
The preamp is a Carver C1 which has been extensively modified by the late (and sorely missed) Bill Dibble.  He did a great job with updating this old warhorse.
Above that is my trusty Carver TX-11a tuner which I've had forever.  This has been modified as some of the TX-11a's (like this one) would just shut itself off for no apparent reason.  Not any longer thanks to James VanDyke's repair which RichP performed - this is Rich's old tuner.  I told you it would go to a good home.
This has a tube buffer in it's future.
Interconnects are braided silver which I whipped up and they really helped the sound as the Citation is a bit of a bass monster.  Who would have thought too much bass with MMGs?!
The speaker cable is Tributaries which I had lying around.  That will be changed to Kimber 4TC which I'm using somewhere else at the moment.
Rounding off this affair is an SVS PS12-NSD sub run at a low volume, crossed over at 50 hz.  I need to make a longer power cord and will go with Supra LoRad as they work well and don't cost a fortune.  The SVS was another TNRabbit recommendation.
Still to come is an APC power condtioner and then a flat screen so my wife can watch her shows and have some decent sound to boot.  I put this together for my wife who could care less! 
Is this the world's greatest system?  No but it does sound awfully nice and didn't cost an outrageous amount to assemble.  This was an aggravating project (I did mention cantankerous old junk) but I'm glad that I didn't get discouraged and chuck the whole idea.
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This place is kind of a hodgepodge of cantankerous old junk and newfangled stuff which is just dying to screw up.

In use are tuners from before stereo came about to a phono cartridge made this year with everything else falling somewhere inbetween.

I should have some Kimber 8TC by this weekend so I can use that upstairs and move the 4TC down to the MMGs where it belongs.

As for brownie points with the wife?  Well, no, she has not even asked how to turn it on.

With a flat screen it will be a different story.

 
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