Last weekend was a rough one. I was felled by a kidney stone on Sunday, which earned me a ride in an ambulance to the emergency room. The little bugger hasn’t passed through yet, and still has some fight left in it, which it has been keen to remind me of from time to time. Ugh. I’ve been singing the kidney stone blues!
But on to more fun topics, like the Thorens TD124 restoration project that Christopher Thornton is building up for me in the form of his no-holds-barred Artisan Fidelity Thorens TD124 Statement “Long Base’ turntable, which I am very excited about. It’s getting close to being done and I am thrilled about it!
That’s the short base version of the Artisan Fidelity Thorens TD124 Statement turntable in the photo above, and my long base version will be similar, but about 3-inches wider to accommodate the 12-inch tonearms that I prefer.
One of you recommended that I should study up on the history of the Thorens TD124 turntable by reading Joachim Bung’s excellent book Swiss Precision, which incidentally just arrived.
I’ve started reading Swiss Precision while I’m working through the kidney stone blues and it is a wonderful read! If you have a TD124 you owe it to yourself to get a copy of this book!
Quite a few of you have asked me which one I thought was better, the Garrard 301 or the Thorens TD124.
Guys, what kind of crazy question is that? It’s like asking, “Which is more fun to drive, a 1957 Chevrolet Corvette C1 convertible or a 1957 Ford Thunderbird convertible?”
The answer is obvious! The best one is whichever one you’re driving at the moment!
In fact, one of my fondest automotive memories was driving a restored ’57 T-Bird convertible with the music blaring and the wind blowing through my hair! (Yeah, it was a while ago!)
I’d like to say a big “Thank you!” to Richard and Sue at Sophia Electric for leaving the Sophia Electric EL34-ST and Aqua 274B vacuum tubes with me on long-term loan after the review of them at Positive Feedback that was just published.
I know a lot of you are interested in these particular Sophia Electric tubes, and it was really nice of Richard and Sue to leave them with me so I could report to you on their long-term performance.
As I said in their review, there’s nothing in my NOS and new production tube stash that is in the same league as the new Sophia Electric EL34-ST and Aqua 274B vacuum tubes, they are in a whole ‘nother league musically and sonically from anything in my experience.
I’ll tell you what, when it comes to voicing vacuum tubes, Richard and Sue have particularly good taste, and early feedback to me from users in the field has been very positive.
I made a little bit of a mistake. After reporting on the positive performance of the Duelund DCA26GA IC’s in my main system, I put them on my FryBaby2 for a little bit of voltage conditioning of the dielectric.
I was thinking I’d do some voltage conditioning for about 12-hours, then give them another try. Well, I got distracted by the kidney stone thing and let them cook quite a long time. I actually lost track of how long.
I pulled them off the FB2 and gave them a listen and they were very laid back sounding. That could be a good thing depending on what you’re trying to do with system voicing, but I overdid it.
So I pulled them out of the Westminster system and put them on my OPPO UDP-203 Blu-ray player in my vintage Altec A5 Voice of the Theatre based AV system for a little cool-off time, and put a pair of Duelund DCA20GA interconnects that I had cooked for about 20 hours with voltage conditioning into my Westminster music system between my MX110Z preamp and MC30 monaural amps.
Whoa! The DCA20GA with 20 hours of FB2 voltage conditioning is stunning! Musicality to the heavens, as well as superb sonic performance!
This whole Duelund DCA tinned-copper cable experience has been so illuminating! It’s amazing what you can do with system voicing using different DCA gauge sizes and a little voltage conditioning with a FryBaby2.
It’s really been fun, and being able to experiment and dial in voicing just the way I want it has been really liberating and exciting for me.
Maybe the best part of it all is that the Duelund DCA is inexpensive as high-performance audio goes, so you can experiment and have fun without sweating about the cost.
Assuming I’m able to write this weekend, my plan is to get started writing the Positive Feedback article about the Arai Lab MT-1 step-up transformer. It’s exotic, it’s expensive, it’s ridiculously good, and I’ll tell you all about it in the near future.
In the meantime you can get a glimpse of its performance by reading the Positive Feedback article I wrote about the Murasakino Musique Analogue Sumile MC phonograph cartridge in Issue 92 (below).
I’ve also really been enjoying my preliminary listening with the highly adjustable Audio MusiKraft hot-rodded Denon DL-103 MC phonograph cartridge.
I’ve been having fun building up Duelund DCA26GA and Art of Tone 24GA headshell leads to try with it, and I’m impressed with what I’m hearing.
I’ve also got something really exciting to tell you about that will be coming in the next few months. It’s a secret for now, but stay tuned, as it’s something really cool and coming soon!
As always, thanks for stopping by, and may the tone be with you!