Jul 282017

It sure was nice getting together with Andy, Pete, and Ron, last weekend to listen to music, talk about hifi, and just have a fun ol’ time!

Left to right: Ron Barbee, Andy Moore, and Pete Riggle.

I could use a little more musical & audio fellowship in my life!

Alas, it’s been particularly busy of late, both on the day job, and in my personal life, so free time for audio merriment has been available in limited quantities, but I still want to tell you about some cool audio adventures that will be coming in the months ahead!


First, I thought I’d mention what’s coming up in the review queue for Positive Feedback.

Duelund DCA Tinned-Copper Cable Survey: First up will be the Duelund DCA tinned-copper cable survey that I am working now. I’ll be doing a survey of Frederik’s Duelund DCA12GA, DCA16GA, DCA20GA, and DCA26GA tinned-copper cables, where I’ll discuss each of the gauges general musical & sonic nature, suggest some potential wiring, interconnect, speaker cable, and headshell lead ideas that I’ve had success with, and introduce the concept of how I mixed and matched the Duelund DCA series of cables to achieve an optimum voicing for my system in an “art of tone” approach. I think you’ll really enjoy the approach to the article and find it useful as well!

Sophia Electric Aqua 274B Rectifier.

Sophia Electric EL34-ST & Aqua 274B Vacuum Tubes: After I get the Duelund DCA cable survey published at Positive Feedback, I’ll be starting on the review of the Sophia Electric Aqua 274B rectifiers (above) that I’ve been using in my vintage McIntosh MC30 monaural amplifiers, and the Sophie Electric EL-34 ST power tubes that I’ve been using in my Leben CS-600 integrated amplifier.

The new Sophia Electric EL34-ST vacuum tube.

Besides being beautiful to look at with their blue glass and curvey ST bottle shape, the Sophia Electric vacuum tubes have been utterly reliable, and have exhibited excellent musicality and sonics.

The Arai Lab MT-1 step-up transformer.

Arai Lab MT-1 Step-Up Transformer: Following the article on the Sophia Electric vacuum tubes will come the Arai Lab MT-1 step-up transformer that you got a sneak preview of in my Positive Feedback article The Murasakino Musique Analogue Sumile MC Phonograph Cartridge from Japan! that appeared in Issue 92.

The Sumile.

The Arai Lab MT-1 is stunning in both build quality, and being optimized for ultra-low impedance phono cartridges, it really got the best out of the Sumile.

My Garrard Project 2015 turntable with the Sumile phono cartridge and Arai MT-1 SUT.

I am very impressed with what the combination of the Arai Lab MT-1 and the Sumile are capable of, and my Tannoy Westminster Royal SE based system has never sounded as good as with those two being present!

Ortofon Classic with Woody SPU tonearm.

I’ll also try the Arai Lab MT-1 with my lowish impedance Ortofon SPU Classic GM MkII stereo phono cartridge (above) and report on the results.

The Audio MusiKraft Denon DL-103.

Audio MusiKraft ‘Tunable’ Denon DL-103 Phono Cartridge: After the Arai Lab MT-1 article for Positive Feedback will come the article about the Audio MusiKraft hot-rodded & tunable Denon DL-103 phono cartridge.

I haven’t yet had the chance to give the Audio MusiKraft Denon DL-103 a listen, but I’m hoping to this weekend. I’ll be doing direct comparisons between the Audio MusiKraft Denon DL-103 and my own venerable Denon DL-103, so it should be really interesting.

Denon DL103 stereo phono cartridge mounted to my Thomas Schick headshell.

For the review I’ll start off comparing the two in identical headshells to give you and idea of how they compare, then I’ll delve into an adventure where I optimize the Audio MusiKraft Denon DL-103 in my Tannoy Westminster Royal SE based system. It should be a blast!

Artisan Fidelity Thorens TD124 Statement

Artisan Fidelity Thorens TD124 Statement Turntable: After the Audio MusiKraft Denon DL-103 phono cartridge article for Positive Feedback, I’ll be writing an article about the Artisan Fidelity Thorens TD124 Statement that I commissioned with Christopher Thornton.

Artisan Fidelity Thorens TD124 Statement

Christopher’s work is stunning both visually and from a performance standpoint, and I can’t wait to get my hands & ears on it! The Thorens TD124 Statement that Christopher is building for me will look slightly different than the photos pictured above, as Christopher knows my preference for 12-inch tonearms, so he suggested we build an extended plinth to best accommodate a 12-inch tonearm.

Artisan Fidelity TD124 Statement.

Christopher calls the extended plinth his “Long Base” plinth, with the finished turntable looking nearly identical to his Artisan Fidelity Thorens TD124 Statement turntable in the photos above, but it’ll be about 3-inches wider to get the most performance out of a 12-inch tonearm.

First-of-its-kind imaging Time-Of-Propagation counter (iTOP) being installed into the Belle II detector.

I don’t have an exact timeline for the Positive Feedback reviews, as my time is going to be a bit scarce over the next four months. I am quite literally working two full-time day jobs for the next 120 days. I am working my normal science day job doing project management, program management, and program administration, as well as helping out a buddy who went on a 120 day detail by taking on his team lead position for a very capable science business team during that time.

I’ll keep the audio adventures coming, but it might be at a somewhat slower pace for the next 120 days.


Here at Jeff’s Place I’ll continue to offer my insights in posts about the Duelund DCA cables, Sophia Electric vacuum tubes, Arai Lab MT-1 SUT, Audio MusiKraft Denon DL-103, and the Artisan Fidelity Thorens TD124 Statement as I progress towards their reviews.

I’ll also continue to comment about the ‘art of tone’ in posts, and Yazaki-san will be continuing his article “My Adventure With My Old Marantz Model 7”.

Also, there’s a few other audio goodies I’ll be telling you about that I haven’t mentioned above, and I hope to share more with you about the steady stream of new/used record albums that I’ve been listening to.


Ok, that’s it for now. As always, thanks for stopping by, and may the tone be with you!

 Posted by at 1:45 pm

  4 Responses to “Jeff checking in …”

  1. What an exciting list of investigations! It helps that I own the Duelund 16GA and 20GA and the Sophia 274B. Ownership thanks to your blog, Jeff. Do you know Frank Ing of Triode Labs and Finale Audio? I have had the pleasure to listen to some of his amp designs with Mummy speakers- Frank used the 2A3I amp, his Algonquin EL84 integrated and my ANK KIT1-10 300B integrated. It was my first experience hearing recorded music with out phase shift or noise or any distortion products. I had come close to that ideal state of affairs before. This time Frank delivered the real rpize! I borrowed the Algonquin for 2 weeks and sort of left my senses during that time. Gosh, I finally heard a recorded viola that was true to the way a viola sounds in person when you draw the bow and stick your head next to the sound hole.
    I am going to hear the Finale 300B mono blocks next week. I still enjoy my ANK KIT1-10 but it falls short of the sound honesty/truthfulness of the Algonquin and the Triode Labs 2A3I amps.

    John Borda

    • Hi John,

      I’m glad you’re enjoying the DCA and Sophia 274B, they’ve certainly added to quality of my music here.

      I’m not familiar with Frank, but it sounds like he’s doing some nice work, and that you’re having some fun hearing it!

      Very cool!

      Kind regards,


  2. Hi Jeff,

    I love reading your articles about all your hifi gear and tests especially the one were you were comparing your 3 amplifiers the mc 225, the mc30´s and the 240 on your MX110.
    Myself I have a MX 110 too together with a MC 2105, both in mint condition, hooked up to Yamaha NS 2000. It´s just an awesome Sound! Now I was thinking to get a tube amplifier to open up another path in my soundsystem that can run my altec 19´s. Is there any chance that you are going to test the MC275 or MC75 amplifiers as well to complete the mcintosh amplifier history? I really would like to know how they compare to the previous mentioned trio and hopfully help me decide which of all the tube macs to choose.
    Greetings from Down Under

    • Hi Steven,

      Thanks for the kind words, appreciated! You have a nice selection of equipment!

      I would enjoy giving the modern MC275 or MC75’s a listen one of these days, but I don’t having anything like that planned in the next year or so, which is about how long my review queue extends out at the moment.

      Your Altec 19’s are great speakers, and with their high-sensitivity, you could easily power them with any of the 3 vintage Mac’s you mentioned. In fact, I think the 25 watt MC225 is a particularly good match for Altec A5 Voice of the Theatre’s.

      Have fun!


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