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Sometimes, the old ways are the best

Old 01-22-11, 06:41 AM
  #126  
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Originally Posted by lotek View Post
here's a nice cleaning machine, just sell that Rene Herse:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Odyssey-RCM-MKV-...#ht_3171wt_698

alternatively here are a few links to build your own:

http://www.enjoythemusic.com/recordcleaner.htm
http://www.teresaudio.com/haven/cleaner/cleaner.html
Hmm... finish the next couple projects, and then build something that isn't a bike. Intriguing. I think I'll build one of those, should be fun.

Knew I'd get good advice here, thanks guys!
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Old 01-22-11, 08:26 AM
  #127  
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Originally Posted by redxj View Post
Here is my recipe for my homebrew record cleaning fluid as well. One part isopropyl alcohol (91%+), three parts distilled water, and a few drops of Kodak Photoflow. Photoflow is used as a wetting agent for developing film. It can be found at camera shops. If you can't find it I have seen a few other recipes using Woolite or liquid dish detergent (Dawn, Palmolive, Ivory, etc.) instead. I use the original fluid bottle that came with my VPI cleaner as the dispenser. I mix up a batch using a 64 ounce gatorade bottle. One 16 oz bottle of the iso alcohol, fill with distilled water and drop in a cap full of photoflow.
I think I read something similar in Audio Amateur magazine years back - good recipe, Matt! They probably had the Woolite instead of the Photoflow.
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Old 01-27-11, 10:32 PM
  #128  
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Originally Posted by bikingshearer View Post
Because digital = shallow, incomplete sound reproduction compared to analog/vinyl. I know next to nothing about any of the equipment, and with very few exceptions I coudn't tell you which brands and models of audio equipment, analog or digital, are good or bad. But I have had the privilege of sitting in some incredible sound rooms to hear the vinyl and CD versions of the same recordings (classical, jazz, rock) played though absolutely top-end turntables and CD players that were in turn connected to exactly the same amps, pre-amps, cables, speakers and whatever else. (A now-dead friend of mine owned and otherwise had access to unbelieveably expensive and high zoot equipment that would have made you guys wet your pants in envy.) I've also been able to do the same "A-B" thing with CDs played thorugh state-of-the-art digital equipment and records played through state-of-the-art analog equipment. Without exception, the records sounded better.

Pops? Hisses? Yep, the records had them. But by comparison to vinyl, the CDs sounded . . . flat. Not flat as in a quarter tone too low, but as in having no depth. With the best CD equipment, if you close your eyes, you hear a very good recording of, say, Peter Paul & Mary. With the best turntables, if you close your eyes, they are in the room - Peter is over there, Paul over there, and Mary between them. You hear their lips part when they are about to start singing. It is that real, and I am not exaggerating. A cello sounds like a cello, with all the warmth and depth of sound you hear when you hear the cellist live. I have yet to hear a CD that captures those subtleties and nuances.

The differences are less with loud electric music, but they never go completely away.

Here's another test. Listen to the Grateful Dead's "Touch of Grey." Then listen to "Truckin'." "Touch of Grey," which was recorded using digital equpiment, will sound sand-blasted compared to the analog-recorded "Truckin'." Or try Santana. "She's Not There" or "Black Magic Woman" or any other of his earlier stuff will have a depth of sound that "Smooth" just doesn't have. And I'm not talking about the relative merits of the songs themselves, I'm talking about the overall sound.

That's not to say CDs are bad. Records require more care. CDs (and now MP3s and the like) allow you to bring good quality recordings virtually anywhere, and the MP3s allow you to bring the equivalent of a room full of record or CDs and put 'em in your pocket. And you do it for amazingly cheap. These are major advantages, and they mean that records will never again be other than a speciality item.

But for pure quality of sound, a well cared for vinyl record on a good turntable with a good cartridge and good everything else is the most authentic, accurate sound reproduction you can get.
I want to thank you for providing a well-constructed explanation without being overly technical, I appreciate it. Now you have persuaded me to hang on to all our albums, and to dig out of the attic my old receiver and turntable, and try out the big wooden-box speakers now in the garage attic that my son dragged home from the firehouse yard sale.
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Old 01-27-11, 10:50 PM
  #129  
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OK, I have now read over a hundred posts about stereo component brand names and model numbers I never heard of before today. So fill in the blanks for me:

1) I find some vintage stereo equipment at the resale shop/church rummage sale/neighborhood yard sale. If it is brand __________, I buy it. But it is brand ________, I leave it.

2) If I bought vintage stereo equipment in step 1, I perform what steps to clean or prep it before using it?
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Old 01-28-11, 12:00 AM
  #130  
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1) I find some vintage stereo equipment at the resale shop/church rummage sale/neighborhood yard sale. If it is brand Denon, Marantz, Bang & Olufsen, Pioneer, Thorens, Onkyo, Sansui integrated amps, Kenwood, Technics turntable, I'll likely buy it.

But it is brand Capeheart, MTX, Audiovox, Realistic, MCS, Airline, Panasonic, Zenith, RCA, GE, I leave it.

I am sure there are a lot more but these come to mind right now.
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Old 01-28-11, 06:44 AM
  #131  
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I miss the days when every yard/rummage sale had at least one or two stereo items for sale. One of my receivers died recently and I looked for weeks to find one to replace it. I remember being in the Army, four soldiers to a room and we all had stereo equipment.
I still have the Tandberg reel to reel and the Dual 1019 turntable I bought in Germany in 1967.
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Old 01-28-11, 12:39 PM
  #132  
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Originally Posted by DavidW56 View Post
OK, I have now read over a hundred posts about stereo component brand names and model numbers I never heard of before today. So fill in the blanks for me:

1) I find some vintage stereo equipment at the resale shop/church rummage sale/neighborhood yard sale. If it is brand __________, I buy it. But it is brand ________, I leave it.

2) If I bought vintage stereo equipment in step 1, I perform what steps to clean or prep it before using it?
GENERALLY SPEAKING, any American made amp from yesteryear is the gold standard. The best power supplies and speakers were mostly made right here in the USA. Also, GENERALLY SPEAKING, the golden age for the Japanese stuff like Marantz, Pioneer, etc., was in the 70's. If you see brushed aluminum face plates, wood veneer, analog sweep gauges, milled knobs, and beefy, solid toggle switches, you're on pretty safe ground - assuming you can get it for a good price and it works. Even good stuff got abused. If it has buttons or micro-switches, leave it be.

Speakers are a whole 'nuther kettle of fish. Even the best from that era will have deteriorated foam surrounds - those only last 10 years or so. Not a big deal, as they can easily be repaired for ~$30/ea. There are a lot of good speakers from years past that sounded great, but speaker sound quality is a tricky thing to quantify - what sounds great to me might sound awful to you.

The one you can keep an eye out for is the Advent "utility" speaker...... about 26" tall by 14" wide, with a 3-position toggle switch in the rear of the cabinet. I single these out for 3 reasons:

1) They are still well regarded, have a following, and people still look for them so they have value.

2) I have a pair, and know first-hand that they sound marvelous.

3) At the time they were made, they got rave reviews. Folks would buy 2 pairs, and stack them two on each side, one on top of the other. They were stacked so that the woofer/drivers were next to each other, and in such a configuration out-performed many higher classed speakers that cost much, much more. Others can chime in on what they know about - there were many good speakers back in the day.

For cleaning and prep..... ahhh, there's the rub.

Speakers are pretty easy - check the cones and the foam. Unless you can test them, you have to go on faith that the tweeters and/or mid-range aren't toast. Other than that, there's not a lot to look at... speakers are pretty much a box, a crossover, and the tweeter/mid-range/driver.

Amps and receivers can be fraught with danger. A lot of them used capacitors with a definite shelf life, and after a decade or 2 they start leaking acid. If you're handy with a soldering iron, there are a ton of DIY articles on the wb, as well as support/discussion groups that describe in detail how to replace the caps on a budget. Otherwise, you have to take it in for inspection/repair, and that will likely exceed the value of the average receiver.

One thing to be aware of - if you come across a upper-end high dollar amp that has been sitting dark for many years, one of the worst things you can do is to power it up to see what happens. You could get lucky...... or, you can ruin it. Over extended periods of dark time the capacitors, even if they aren't damaged, lose their "shape" and no longer retain their performance specs. They can be reshaped, but that needs to be done on a bench using a Variac (variable transformer). While this is being done, the tech will check outputs and bias voltages, and adjust as necessary.
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Old 01-28-11, 02:04 PM
  #133  
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Originally Posted by rat fink View Post
I think I'm going to bow out of this conversation before people start talking (and posting pics) about tube equipment, my real vice.
McIntosh MC2100 power amplifier
There is no substitute!
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Old 01-28-11, 08:16 PM
  #134  
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Originally Posted by cpsqlrwn View Post
McIntosh MC2100 power amplifier
There is no substitute!
But that's not tube. If your going SS Mac, it's got to have a black glass face and Beeg blue dials.
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Old 01-28-11, 11:09 PM
  #135  
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You need the Variac bench-test equipment to do it. That's the main requirement. It is a variable transformer that you use to slowly bring a long idle amplifier up to full power.
Not so elegant but hugely cheaper is the "dim-bulb" incandescent lightbulb method — passing the line current through various stages of bulbs from 15 to 150 Watts over a period of hours. A search in Audio Karma will reveal how to do it. You can build a little unit for a couple of bucks, or you may already have all the bits in your garage. Eventually, any unit wlll benefit from new capacitors — including the big filter cans. This has been argued to death by many — including me. My monicker on AK is 'lorne'.
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Old 01-28-11, 11:51 PM
  #136  
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On Monday evening at my in-laws place for dinner my father in-law asked if I would like his stereo system up in his studio (painter) because they are thinking of moving and want to start to downsize. He has it set up in a spare closet, an Oracle turntable, two McIntosh amps (black glass), a Denon turntable and Advent speakers. And a 1,000 + LP's, many of which are direct to disc (mostly classical).

I am thinking that I could sell it on CL and buy a winter beater

Wow, I don't even want to think about it!! I told him that they are probably worth a lot and I want him to take some time and re-consider. He said that he had thought about it and he wants me to have it. If we have room!

I'll make room, time for my 18yo to move out!!

vjp
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Old 01-29-11, 03:27 AM
  #137  
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On Monday evening at my in-laws place for dinner my father in-law asked if I would like his stereo system >>>>SNIP >>>
Gracefully accept it with gratitude, and keep it knowing that you could spend thousands and not get better, more enjoyable sound — assuming that you set it up corectly and all the capacitors are up to snuff (sort of). Join 'Audio Karma' — an excellent forum that is friendly and intelligent like BK. You will get all the support and friendship you will need there to make this vintage system the new love in yer life!
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Old 01-29-11, 03:38 AM
  #138  
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What is it about vintage? Bicycles, audio, cameras, motorcycles, fly fishing gear .... It is a very difficult subject, but I sometimes think that the materials and designs are just something closer to us as comprehensible, tangible extensions of our bodies. We can understand, feel and relate to them more intimately. There seems to be something graceful and familiar about them. And if they do not perform as flawlessly or as extravagantly as the new products using the latest technologies, we vintage fans gladly accept that. (Mind you, my audio system does not give up much to modern high end!)

A Japanese room with a vintage Japanese system (see below). There is some irony here. The four bikes I have here in Japan are vintage European and American.

These are only some of my pieces. I have some American vacuum tube gear as well as half-completed projects tucked away:

Big Speaks — very modified Sansui G-SP88’s
Rear Speaks — Diatone (Mitsubishi) DS-5 transmission line reflex
TT — very modified Micro DQ-5
Amp, Integrated Silver-face — Pioneer SA-8900, completely re-capped and restored
Amps, mono pair — Trio/Kenwood L-05M’s, completely re-capped and restored
CDP — Yamaha CDX-1020, a 2nd generation player
Digital/Analog Converter — (not vintage, wooden face) Monica II kit from DIY Paradise
Linear Power Supply for D/A unit — scratch-built, linear, 24 VDC power supply

Not seen — behind ... on the other side of the composite rack:

Cassette Deck — A&D (Akai) GX-Z9100EX (high end and nudging Nakamichi)
Tuner — Pioneer TX-8800II
IC/Cable/Wire — no jewelry stereophool stuff for this budgeted collector! ... just good copper and a lot of DIY.
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Old 01-29-11, 04:46 AM
  #139  
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For the person with the recently purchased Bose 901s that may need refoaming: check Amazon or PartsExpress.com for Surround Kit For Bose 901/802 Speakers. DIY, in other words.
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Old 01-29-11, 10:27 AM
  #140  
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Originally Posted by vjp View Post
On Monday evening at my in-laws place for dinner my father in-law asked if I would like his stereo system up in his studio (painter) because they are thinking of moving and want to start to downsize. He has it set up in a spare closet, an Oracle turntable, two McIntosh amps (black glass), a Denon turntable and Advent speakers. And a 1,000 + LP's, many of which are direct to disc (mostly classical).

I am thinking that I could sell it on CL and buy a winter beater

Wow, I don't even want to think about it!! I told him that they are probably worth a lot and I want him to take some time and re-consider. He said that he had thought about it and he wants me to have it. If we have room!

I'll make room, time for my 18yo to move out!!

vjp
Take it and do not sell it. My life revolves around buying and selling old stuff in order to pay my bills and buy other old stuff. But a gift is a gift. I've sold countless pieces of vintage audio equipment over the last 35 years, but I still have a McIntosh 240 amp a cool old guy gave me when I was about 15 years old. I was admiring it in his workshop and he said, "go ahead and take it, just don't sell it." I never will, and still use it everyday.
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Old 01-29-11, 12:49 PM
  #141  
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
For the person with the recently purchased Bose 901s that may need refoaming: check Amazon or PartsExpress.com for Surround Kit For Bose 901/802 Speakers. DIY, in other words.
PartsExpress will actually do the refoaming for you, for about $5 more than the DIY kit. I just got my drivers back yesterday, and could not be more pleased.
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Old 01-29-11, 01:43 PM
  #142  
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What to you guys use to clean contacts in your controls? I've got an old high end Marantz receiver that is unuseable due to noisy switches.
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Old 01-29-11, 01:49 PM
  #143  
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Originally Posted by Grand Bois View Post
What to you guys use to clean contacts in your controls? I've got an old high end Marantz receiver that is unuseable due to noisy switches.
CRC Contact Cleaner or DeoxIT

CRC is available at Home Depot. Some say DeoxIT is better, but CRC should be good enough.
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Old 01-29-11, 01:56 PM
  #144  
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Used to be some stuff from Caig was popular - sold by Old Colony Audio back when.
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Old 01-29-11, 01:57 PM
  #145  
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Need a solvent and cleaner to reduce to bare metal, then a lube to coat the contacts and protect them over time.
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Old 01-29-11, 02:26 PM
  #146  
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Caig's DeoxIt. Very good results, but pricey.
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Old 01-29-11, 04:54 PM
  #147  
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Caig DeOxit and ProGold. Think you can even get it at RatShack these days, but more expensive there.
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Old 01-29-11, 07:01 PM
  #148  
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Originally Posted by mandrake View Post
...or make your own:

http://vinylhive.com/groovmaster-lab...vinyl-records/

It works well for me.
Thanks again for this link. I just made one today - cost me about $3.


Groovy, man.
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Old 01-29-11, 10:32 PM
  #149  
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Originally Posted by bigbossman View Post
Thanks again for this link. I just made one today - cost me about $3.


Groovy, man.
It's a good way to get your groove back.
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Old 01-30-11, 07:43 AM
  #150  
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Thank you, BBM and cb400bill, for your recommendations, and bikingshearer and redxj for your invitations (and I really should meet the C&V'ers in the SE MI area sometime). The old receiver in the attic is indeed a Pioneer with a brushed aluminum face, milled knobs, wood veneer, and beefy toggles. It was my late brother's before me. He gave it to me a few years before he died in 1981, so it is definitely a '70's product. I think the model is something like AA1010. He bought a better unit to replace it. Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure we sold the better one at a yard sale many years ago.

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