Lockdown Vintage Audio Activities...

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mickthemaverick
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Re: Lockdown Vintage Audio Activities...

Post by mickthemaverick »

bobins wrote:
29 Dec 2020, 11:12
If it's ok with you two, I'm just going to pull up a comfy chair and open a packet of peanuts and listen. I find all the cold war Comms stuff from 25+ years ago very interesting :) Comms was one of the things that actually had a bit of money spent on them - both Post Office/ BT routed services and also BBC.
The concrete blocks you mention, Mick, were high Boron content.......... for obvious reasons IIRC :)
Indeed they were bobins but now we've got three in a cell!! :-D
I do have a few other memories of that time which generally make me smile but I don't want to flood the market so I'll trickle them in over time. Mentioning overtime, as I just did while typing :-D , I remember getting 4 of my TO's in on a particular Saturday to run a new cable into the room from our cable pressure monitoring rack which involved moving all the blocks out of the way, running in a steel conduit with the cable and then replacing the blocks - it had to be done in the 2 hours of system downtime specified by control at Bentley Priory on a particular day and hence 4 lads got a Saturday's overtime for two hour's work!!! :-D

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bobins
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Re: Lockdown Vintage Audio Activities...

Post by bobins »

I always assumed there was a gentleman's agreement between the 'east' and 'west' superpowers in that they wouldn't start a major war on a weekend as we wouldn't be fully staffed and various bits of infrastructure would be down for maintenance :lol:

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CitroJim
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Re: Lockdown Vintage Audio Activities...

Post by CitroJim »

bobins wrote:
29 Dec 2020, 11:12
If it's ok with you two, I'm just going to pull up a comfy chair and open a packet of peanuts and listen. I find all the cold war Comms stuff from 25+ years ago very interesting :) Comms was one of the things that actually had a bit of money spent on them - both Post Office/ BT routed services and also BBC.
The concrete blocks you mention, Mick, were high Boron content.......... for obvious reasons IIRC :)
I could talk for hours on such subjects Bobbins so I'll drag up a comfy chair and join you 😉

Once I've done enough on Daffodil so she can sleep in her cosy garage tonight 🙂

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Re: Lockdown Vintage Audio Activities...

Post by Peter.N. »

Someone has been watching "Yes minister"

Peter

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bobins
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Re: Lockdown Vintage Audio Activities...

Post by bobins »

I always considered 'Yes Minister' to be one of the best documentary series ever produced :lol:

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CitroJim
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Re: Lockdown Vintage Audio Activities...

Post by CitroJim »

bobins wrote:
29 Dec 2020, 14:16
I always considered 'Yes Minister' to be one of the best documentary series ever produced :lol:
It was terrifyingly accurate!

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Re: Lockdown Vintage Audio Activities...

Post by Peter.N. »

..and probably still is. :-D

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Re: Lockdown Vintage Audio Activities...

Post by CitroJim »

Peter.N. wrote:
29 Dec 2020, 17:16
..and probably still is. :-D
It was just before I retired Peter ;)

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Re: Lockdown Vintage Audio Activities...

Post by Richard_C »

Just stumbled on this thread.

Staying momentarily off topic, a long retired neighbour who had a senior role in the NHS and lots of contact with ministers and civil servants defined yes minister perfectly. "When it came out it was a satire, now they use it as a training video"

Back to Jim's original post. I had one of those Trio tuner/amps and a magnificent beast it was. Paired with some AR 25 speakers, budget end of the AR range but better than most. I reluctantly got rid of the Trio when one channel went crackly and I couldn't find the problem, but I regret parting with it now. I can solder dodgy joints but envy people like Jim who can do proper fault finding on electronics. Replaced it with a modern Sony amp, modern in that I bought it 25 years ago, and a separate all-singing FM tuner with a digital display.

My son ate one of the speakers - well not the whole thing. When he was crawling size I came into the room to find him sitting by the speaker chewing a bit of the foam ring around the outside of cone. Speakers went to the roof and I got a pair of Tannoy Mercury which never were satisfactory.

So my lock down audio activity was to re-furb the ARs. I found a forum - classicspeakerpages.net which is excellent - and found you could get the foams and central caps easily online in various sizes. New crossover capacitors as well. It takes a bit of thinking to make sure all the bits are centred, if the foams aren't spot on the magnet will foul the sides of the carrier. All is now done, the cabinets just needed a good clean and wax. New fabric fronts easy to get and cut to size. I got rid of the hum from my deck, sounded like motor hum to me and it was - all the rubber mounting parts had hardened, made up new ones from odd bits. Found the receipt, the deck was sorted in time for its 40th birthday in October.

So now I can listen to Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, Chet Baker, early Joni Mitchell and lots more - analogue recordings via mostly 40+ year old analogue kit into analogue ears and a (steadily slowing) analogue brain. I know the new stuff is better in every respect when you measure it, but the old stuff has a certain sound. Plus vinyl gives you 144 sq in of artwork, often proper sleeve notes, and keeps you fit - you have to get out of your chair to turn the record over :)

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CitroJim
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Re: Lockdown Vintage Audio Activities...

Post by CitroJim »

Richard, that's fantastic :D I really enjoyed reading your post, especially your son eating the ARs :lol:

I'm delighted you were able to repair them :) Speakers are never scrap as if you don't feel happy repairing them yourself there's now a cottage industry that will do it for you!

Speaking of vinyl sleeve notes, exactly the same has just been discussed on our local radio on the back of a conversation about booming vinyl sales... Streaming of music is all very well but the sleeve art, the joy of holding the album in your hand and reading the sleeve notes is lost... The biggest joy of vinyl for me is sitting it on the turntable after dusting it and as it spins reflecting that all the magical sound you are hearing is produced by a wobbly groove cut into a vinyl disc. Magic :D

And it's so easy to understand exactly how it works...

Cassettes are allegedly undergoing a revival too!

Oh, and never worry about going off-topic... It's what makes this forum such an interesting place ;)

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Re: Lockdown Vintage Audio Activities...

Post by myglaren »

Richard_C wrote:
29 Dec 2020, 18:31
So my lock down audio activity was to re-furb the ARs. I found a forum - classicspeakerpages.net which is excellent - and found you could get the foams and central caps easily online in various sizes. New crossover capacitors as well. It takes a bit of thinking to make sure all the bits are centred, if the foams aren't spot on the magnet will foul the sides of the carrier. All is now done, the cabinets just needed a good clean and wax. New fabric fronts easy to get and cut to size. I got rid of the hum from my deck, sounded like motor hum to me and it was - all the rubber mounting parts had hardened, made up new ones from odd bits. Found the receipt, the deck was sorted in time for its 40th birthday in October.

So now I can listen to Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, Chet Baker, early Joni Mitchell and lots more - analogue recordings via mostly 40+ year old analogue kit into analogue ears and a (steadily slowing) analogue brain. I know the new stuff is better in every respect when you measure it, but the old stuff has a certain sound. Plus vinyl gives you 144 sq in of artwork, often proper sleeve notes, and keeps you fit - you have to get out of your chair to turn the record over :)
I have an analogue Sonab system, the turntable bought new in 1971, the rest - also seventies vintage - receiver and speakers added more recently, I could never afford them back then, the receiver alone was the equivalent of £1600. It is I think a design by Dr. Matti Otala for harmon/kardon. Who also designed my Electrocompaniet amplifiers (and the h/k amp sitting two feet from me) - also a vintage piece of kit.

I suspect it could do with re-capping and the speakers - OA-5s* new drivers.
On the other hand, it sounds far better than a lot of much younger offerings. I do the lazy option and plug my phone or laptop in to save flipping LPs over, not much of a keep-fit enthusiast. The phone sounds remarkably good, even with downloaded YouTube music.

*OA for the Carlsson Ortho-Acoustic design.

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Re: Lockdown Vintage Audio Activities...

Post by white exec »

Foam surrounds seem quite capable of turning to powder on their own, given time - especially the OE ones in our cars - but getting one eaten by one's twiglet is a bit rum.

Enjoyed that post Richard! A few '70s bits here, still in working condition: Garrard 501 deck in a solid plinth, Shure M75ED stylus, Sansui AU-505 amp (all discrete semis, and now with replaced caps), but the 1971 d.i.y. KefKit 3 massive asymmetric speakers (a design from HiFi News) are long gone, donated to a school music department in Surrey.

Always liked KEFs, so treated myself to a pair of Reference Three's in 1998, with an Audiolab 8000LX amp, and DAB tuner. The amp and speakers are still in use, together with some home-built dinkies (Pyle 5", with piezo horns and a natty crossover). The little ones get lots of daily use for tv and radio.

A couple of hundred LPs digitised to CD a few years back, using the Garrard and a NAD pre-amp feeding into a PC, running an Audio Cleaning Lab package. Some Sennheiser HD414X headphones (those with the famous yellow foam pads) still get used for monitoring: they were bought in Boots, of all places, in 1971 for £9.99, and can still put some expensive modern cans to shame.

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Re: Lockdown Vintage Audio Activities...

Post by Richard_C »

CitroJim wrote:
29 Dec 2020, 18:52
Streaming of music is all very well but the sleeve art,
I have a couple of inexpensive black plastic clip in frames for 12" covers, think they came from FOPP or IKEA or ... ? Ever changing artwork on the study wall. At the moment I'm looking at Sonny Rollins in one and Coleman Hawkins/Ben Webster in another.

Good to hear that some older kit is alive and well. I went to an auction 3 years back, to look at how it all works and wonder about what to do with a large unruly stamp collection acquired by now deceased father in law. We still have it but it will have to go somewhere soon. It was rather sad to see some old audio stuff and old 35mm cameras, good brands that would have been someone's pride and joy and several weeks wages, sold in tatty cardboard boxes for next-to-nothing.

In the 60's, maybe 50's USA, there were a few in car record players, Jaguar I think did one. I guess the tracking weight was cranked up or there was some sort of spring down force built in the arm. Now, a "proper" record deck in a DS would be a wondrous thing. Anyone?

(The son who ate the foams grew up. He has found the perfect way to reproduce the dynamic range, pitch and resonance of orchestral timpani in the dining room by the simple method of having a set of orchestral timpani in the dining room. No speakers come close to that. Tough times, early this year he was building a decent freelance orchestral career with some teaching alongside: 22 March saw everything cancelled so he is mostly living here while doing a Masters in orchestral percussion so as not to waste the year.)

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Re: Lockdown Vintage Audio Activities...

Post by Peter.N. »

I have a Harman Kardon speaker system on my computer, got it on ebay for less that £20, sounds brilliant, separate treble and bass controls. With the graphic equaliser I have on the computer I can almost fully compensate for my loss of high frequencies - age related.

Peter

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Re: Lockdown Vintage Audio Activities...

Post by myglaren »

Peter.N. wrote:
30 Dec 2020, 00:48
I have a Harman Kardon speaker system on my computer, got it on ebay for less that £20, sounds brilliant, separate treble and bass controls. With the graphic equaliser I have on the computer I can almost fully compensate for my loss of high frequencies - age related.

Peter
I had one - superb but the bass control went wonky, either all or nothing and all was scary, seismic.
Bought a new bass control when we took my grandson for his first hospital checkup - three months old.
It sat on the windowsill until recently. Grandson is 15. Chucked it all out.
I had replaced it with a Cambridge Audi system, gave that to daughter in law (who also got my full 35mm Olympus OM1 & OM10 kit) and replaced that with a harmon/kardon amp and Jamo speakers - much better (and being old kit, much less expensive)