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The Audio Classifieds Blog

The Audio Classifieds Blog provides audio industry news, reviews, and articles by our members.

Altec Lansing Valencia Loudspeakers: getting off on the right foot, part 1

When I purchased a pair of Altec-Lansing Valencia speakers from a guy in New Jersey, I was concerned when I had not heard from him in several days. It was bitter winter, and I was looking forward to something to brighten my day. I had hired a specific shipper to pick up the pallet - yes, pallet - they are 255 lbs. together - but no word from the shipper either.  Then, they told me they could not find the pick-up location. Well, I suppose it wasn't the first time someone had lost $2K to an unknown location in New Jersey. I was happily surprised when I received an email from the seller. They had been in the midst of a several-feet fall of snow. He explained to tell the shipper he was in a warehouse across from the police station. I don't know why, but I felt better.

Within a day, the shipper had the pallet and the valencias were on their way to the Pacific Northwest to start a new life. When they did arrive, I was disappointed with the shabby cardborad treatment them - no packaging, just cardboard and straps. How could such a classic be so disrrepected. Oh well. Soon, they were connected in the reference room. The moment of truth turned to painful reckoning when the left speaker sat speechless. All this trouble for a broken speaker. An email retorted that 'they worked when they left here...' . I explained to my boss:"It doesn't work." "A screw's probably loose." O. K. I was put out by such a dismissive troubleshooting effort. "They were played hard I'll bet and one rattled loose. Open it up and check." W.H.A.T.? I had never opened a speaker before. I may be the speaker mover, the listening room listener, and the product crooner/evaluator for Shunyata Research, but no one ever told me I had to forensically examine audio components and possibly even repair them.

With trembling hands and quaking heart, I unscrewed the horn from the front of the large wooden housing and - just as he had said - a screw was loose.- literally. I always just hate it when he's right. I then boldly reattached all the wires and re-tightened both speakers. Boom. Their new home included a revisit of the Greatest Hits of Earth,Wind&Fire. The horns performed  the job in the party department.

It's too bad that the shipping or New Jersey lifestyle of this pair had ruined the particle-board rectangular supports of the Valencias. The speakers sat level, however they appeared to have had a lot of chewing done to them. Now that I had opened them and 'fixed' them, it was obvious to me that I could now do anything. So, I next made a visit to my favorite woodworker in our industrial park and prevailed upon him to cut me pieces of a nice teak plywood to duplicate the old supports. We would improve the design by installing squares of maple ply at each corner of the supports which would allow us to use different types of audiophile feet and provide a bit more stability, with the hope that these supports would stand the test of time.

 Part 2 coming up soon...

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Roy's Excellent Room

Dennis Davis pens this article about the Listening Rooms of Roy Gregory. Amazing.

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The Aluminous Velvet Mini Component Foot: IVCM

At this writing, this set of three "ICVM" (Isolation Vibration Component Module) feet reside under a Peachtree Decco amplifier. Given their performance, I highly doubt they will ever leave. The fuller resolution, especially in the high frequencies, diminishing glare or shrill qualities, is a welcome help for the Peachtree. Also found under the TotalDAC digital audio converter in the reference room of Shunyata Research, performance and evaluation testbed for new products, the Velvet Mini component feet are remarkable in their ability to enhance the performance of audio components, whether, amplifier or source component. A friend will borrow them to see how they do in his system, however, he must get his own! Full disclosure here - I represent Luke Zitterkopf of Aluminous Audio. But, I really know these work so I don't have an issue just putting it out there. If you don't believe in something, don't say it or sell it.

 

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Ze'ev Schlik Presents at Rocky Mountain Audio Fest this Year

Ze'ev Schlik, of Pure Audio Project, an open-baffle DIY speaker designer, will be exhibiting at the the Rocky Mountain Audio Festival, 5-7 October. Coming all the way from Tel-Aviv, Israel, Ze'ev stopped in at the offices of Shunyata Research, where we listened to one of his latest DIY creations, the Quintet 15.  Ze'ev provides speaker kits to his customers direct, so it pays to stop in and visit him at Room 522.

Even if you have never built a speaker before, you can do it! I know, because I did. It was fun and it sounds great.

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Bottlehead Electronics at Rocky Mountain Audio Fest: Featured Attraction

Dan Schmalle, of Bottlehead Electronics, will appear at Rocky Mountain Audio Festival 5-7 October in Denver, Colorado. His company, Bottlehead Electronics, has been asked to appear in the Innovation Floor to demonstrate their special DIY offerings.

His latest project a DIY speaker, the Jäger Speaker Kit, promises to be a hit.

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Back to the Future: Yamamura Still Provokes Wonder...

Yamamura. Yamamura. Yamamura. Try saying that three times, deliberately, contemplatively, with your mouth slightly open. That's usually what happens upon a first listen. One hears about signal cables who acquire legendary status over time, and it’s better to dismiss such notions as audio DUI. But, just out of curiosity, I ran a little test with the somewhat over-the-hill-looking Yamamura Millennium XLR one-meter pair. How would they stack up against either a Shunyata Research Aurora someone loaned me, or a brand-new audiophile entry level XLR from one of the best cable companies on Earth (I’ll reveal the brand only if you email me)?

The Yamamura blasted the entry-level $300 plus cable entirely out of the water: effervescent sound stage, detail, and a fullness that one might infer could render the Millennium at-one with most solid-state systems. My Aurora-loving friend was taken aback to hear that the Yamamura gave his prized Shunyata Research interconnects a run for their money. Higher detail and air with the Auroras; midtones and mellifluous contours with the Yamamuras. In essence, it ran in the Aurora league easily. Now, there is no need to wonder whether the Millennium deserved it’s original $3500 price tag.

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How to Be a Good Listener: Get Good Gear

Once upon a time, performance mattered more than appearance. In fact, drawing attention to an audio component cosmetically usually engendered audiophile mistrust. “If it looks that good, what are they trying to hide?” The Aesthetix IO Signature Tube Preamplifier is dark and silent on the outside, rich and accurate on the inside. When I listened to it last week, I wanted to see, did it really do what people claimed? Or, was it just heavy and expensive? This preamplifier was unique because, although it was designed primarily as a phono stage, it was the ‘Signature’ model, as well as having been upgraded with line stage and two imposing volume controls. The Aesthetix acquitted itself well. Even so, would it perform even better with a state-of-the-art power distributor giving it backup? Or, would it continue on as it had, unmoved? After inserting a state-of-the-art power distributor in the power chain, I listened. Once a richer soundstage emerged, and crisper detail and presence without forwardness, I knew that I had not yet heard the potential of which the IO Signature is capable. In a better system, it will perform at an even higher level.

In addition to a capable phono stage, this rare model includes the Line Stage, permitting some versatility in choices for source. For instance, you can run it with a streamer. In addition, it has had all its capacitors replaced, returning the Aesthetix almost to its original performance standard. And, as there was no special attention paid to tube choice, the new owner has some discretion in enhancing its performance even more. These don’t appear on the market very often. After a eyebrow-lifting afternoon of listening, I can see why.

You can find out more about the Aesthetix IO Signature here.

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Pure DIY: building speakers with Pure Audio Project

If you want to experiment with building your own speaker kit, here is a big one: four woofers and one horn per speaker. It is the Quintet 15. It comes from Pure Audio Project.

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The Brooklyn DAC: I'll Take Manhattan

mytek brooklyn dac the audio classifiedsIf you've ever hailed a cab in Brooklyn and tried to get across town, that's kind of what it's like to get around the Brookyn DAC.

The Brooklyn DAC Headphone Preamplifier sits quietly in the tech room. Its slender figure is dwarfed by the woody expanse of the Core Audio Designs shelf, presenting the appearance of a miniature version of an audiophile component. For its relatively tiny footprint, the DAC sports a wide assortment of ports on the back, from a full-size C15 AC power inlet, to SPD/F, USB, and AES. The front panel accommodates a wide variety of settings in geeky bravado.

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theaudioclassifieds: Return to Roots

George Washington need customers too... When you visit some web sites, the abundance of advertising can put you off. Why do people advertise when those advertisements irritate those for whom they are meant? Many sites will ask for money on condition that a visitor not be subjected to a dizzying variety of cookie-engineered, targeted, banner advertisements for which those advertisers have paid a premium to present their wares.

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Ahead of the Game: John Mingo of Baetis Audio shares his knowledge

Anyone who wants to begin to have a better understanding of computer audio would do well to heed the words of designer John Mingo of Baetis Audio. John's insights have far-reaching impact and bode well for the continued progress and excellence of his music computers at Baetis Audio. Here is vital detail that John shared with me from a recent interview.

Baetis Audio™ – Our Evolving Philosophy About the Design of the Very Best Audiophile Computers.

Since its inception in early 2012, Baetis has emphasized building audiophile computers with the very best in 2-channel audio via SPDIF or AES. Our philosophy has evolved rather considerably since then, but sometimes the audiophile industry is slow to change its own understanding of what an OEM is trying to achieve. For example, in a recent issue of The Absolute Sound, the description of our Reference model (as a TAS Editor’s Choice) still emphasizes our superlative AES/EBU output -- but we have evolved to be a lot more than just AES.

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Ranked #1 by Google for "The Audio Classifieds" !

Believe it or not, it is not easy to rank high for audio classified advertising. There are many very successful advertising sites for used and new audio gear. Today is worth a mention, since, out of over 15,000,000 pages listed in google we hit #1 today. That means we have been improving visibility as a valuable alternative for buying and selling a...
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floating image, floating speakers...the Aluminous

Luke Zitterkopf, of Aluminous Audio , dropped by Shunyata Research last week and set up his latest iteration of his hanging speakers. Recently, Luke returned from a whirlwind week at Axpona. Heads turned and many new faces showed up when they heard about 'the hanging copper speakers...." Aluminous Audio is a new speaker company based out of Spokane...
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It's a Busy April at The Audio Classifieds

Although we are a recent entrant into the audio classifieds arena, we are getting some attention on the Internet. For banner advertisers, please take note. We had over 15,000 visits in the month of April alone. I am very happy about this and look forward to offering the best in customer service to those who are buying and selling used audio gear. H...
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Interested in the CES of the Pacific Northwest

​Next month, 22-23 May 2017 there will be a Pacific Northwest Consumer Electronics Show at 16500 Southcenter Parkway in Seattle, WA 98188. Their website is http://www.pnwcee.com. I have never been so I look forward to seeing what is going on. Hope to see you there.
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Always smiles at Bottlehead

Dan and Eileen Schmale are ever the convivial host and hostess for the monthly DIY Meetup at Bottlehead Electronics in Bainbridge Island, Washington. After tech chat and getting caught up on the latest tube adventures, we headed upstairs to sample what is cooking in the chef's kitchen. Dan's speakers now inhabit dense and striking birch cabinets, h...
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Let's Meet Up at the Bottlehead DIY Meetup tomorrow!

I'll be at Bottlehead World Headquarters for a DIY Meetup to talk and mess with tubes. Also, I'll have coupons for subscriptions and points for folks who show up. See you there! ​Time ​ ​ April 1, 2016 - 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM ​Location  ​9415 Coppertop Loop NE Bainbridge Island, WA 98110 ​Tickets ​FREE Schedule We'll hang out with one of our spon...
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It's been one week and a year....

​On March 21, 2016 we opened up our site, https://www.classifieds.audio for business. Since that time we have met a lot of new friends and helped subscribers buy and sell a bit of audio gear. But today, we have something new to announce. We are proud to say we have a new domain name to help googlers find us - a new domain name. You can also reach u...
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Telling Review on First Sound Preamplifiers

For many years, First Sound preamplifiers have graced the reference room, standing the test of time as many pre-amplifiers, albeit exceptional performers, have come and gone. One cannot deny the remarkable quality of a host of pre-amplifiers, such as those of Audio Research and Constellation . But can they afford to take individual, painstaking att...
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did you think tape was dead?

If you reminisce of tape days long gone by, this tape recorder is brand new. From Ballinger in Germany. The M063 could prove to be a new classic to fuel a new revival of tape. You can find more information at http://www.ballfinger.de .

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