May 252015
Intact Audio Custom SUTs - HiFi Heroin That'll Get You Hooked!

Ok, the title of the post is a bit of play on words: HiFi Heroin is a website of fine audio constructeurs, one of which is Dave Slagle of Intact Audio. Dave offers bespoke step-up transformers (SUTs) out of copper or silver with delicious nickel cores that are tailored specifically to bring out the best in your phono cartridge, and while not cheap, they don’t cost an arm & a leg like some of the […]

 Posted by at 4:33 pm
May 222015
The Great Capacitor Adventure! Part Two.

The first step in our capacitor adventure was to dismantle my McIntosh MC30 monaural amplifiers and take a look inside at the very nice handiwork of Mr. Yves Beauvais. I purchased my MC30 monaural amplifiers at Yves’ retail asking price through his Vintage Vacuum Audio business. Be sure to check out the accompanying links about Yves, you should know that he’s famous outside of audio for his work in the record business, where’s he’s produced hundreds of records. Yves is […]

 Posted by at 6:37 pm
May 212015
Today's Fresh Catch: The SPEC AP-UD1 Analog Disc Sheet

I received the SPEC AP-UD1 Analog Disc Sheet (turntable mat) from Mr. Yazaki-san of SPEC while I was finishing up the Garrard Project 2015 article for Positive Feedback Online (and mentioned it in the article). I’ve been too busy to write the AP-UD1 up until now, so this is a bit of a belated ‘Today’s Fresh Catch’ post. The AP-UD1 is a very thin aluminum plate with a ‘special surface treatment’ that is the same diameter as a […]

 Posted by at 12:09 pm
May 132015
The Great Capacitor Adventure! The aroma of solder is in the air!

If you’ve read my review of the SPEC RSA-M3 EX Real Sound Amplifier in Positive Feedback Online in Issue 78, you know how interesting I found the high-fidelity adventures of Mr. Shirokazu Yazaki to be: “I learned the audio lesson that while parts choice does make an important difference in performance, it is the ‘enlightened ear’ of the talented designer that determines the ultimate musical performance of an audio amplifier, whether it contains vacuum tubes or solid-state devices. A […]

 Posted by at 5:17 am
Apr 302015
The Vintage Beat: Western Electric WE16GA Speaker Cable

Mr. Shirokazu Yazaki of SPEC Corporation (photo below, second from left) has told me how highly he regards the performance of vintage Western Electric WE16GA wire used as speaker cable. Mr. Shirokazu Yazaki uses the Western Electric WE16GA wire as speaker cables as his personal reference both for the research & development work he does for the SPEC Corporation products (like the Real Sound Amplifier), as well as in his home reference system. Mr. Yazaki-san had […]

 Posted by at 7:39 am
Apr 192015
The Garrard Project 2015: From Simple to Spectacular! - Sneak Peek - Upadated

I am putting the finishing touches on The Garrard Project 2015: From Simple to Spectacular! and will be in the process of rolling out a sneak peek over the next few days, with the full article being published over the next week or two. This has been a terrific project to do, and as I roll things out  I’ve got a few surprises for you that I think you’l enjoy. The Garrard Project 2015: From […]

 Posted by at 8:15 am
Apr 182015
New Valve Order News: The ISA-2 Integrated Amplifier and the P-2 Power Amplifier

As you know, I’ve been extremely impressed with the New Valve Order SPA-II phono equalizer I reviewed in and Issue 57 of Positive Feedback Online (and use as my reference for a stand-alone phono equalizer), and the SPA One phono preamplifier that I reviewed in Issue 69 of Positive Feedback Online. Andreas Hadjiminas, working out of Nicosia, Cyprus, is the man responsible for this artistic expression in vacuum tube circuits, in his aptly named New Valve […]

 Posted by at 7:02 am
Apr 102015
The Vintage Beat: A Forgotten Voice from the American Recording Studio

If you read my SPEC RSA-M3 EX Real Sound Amplifier review in Issue 78 of Positive Feedback Online, you know how impressed I am with the audio designs of Mr. Shirokazu Yazaki in Tokyo, Japan. (second from the left in the photograph below) It is my opinion that Yazaki-san is one of those rare gifted listeners/designers with an ‘enlightened ear’ that is able to translate the sound of live music into electronics, and his Real Sound Amplifier is […]

 Posted by at 11:25 am
Apr 052015
Today's Fresh Catch: Family Values & Louis Armstrong!

I like to have my Mom & Dad over on weekends for dinner so we can reminisce, enjoy some good food, listen to music, and just have some fun times together. Mom & Dad are in their 90s, and I’m not all that young anymore either, but we like to enjoy the time we have left. Never forget, life is short, and try to make every day a little bit special if you can. We look […]

 Posted by at 6:31 pm