Dec 252017

A Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!

The snow is really coming down right now, so it’s a classic White Christmas here in Washington State.

I’m bringing my Mom over to share Christmas with, have a nice Christmas dinner together, sip a hot toddy, and listen to some jazz!

For me it’s not only the new year of 2018, but the start of a new life as a pensioner, and I am looking forward to it!

While working my day job as a physical scientist, I came to the end of every day and I would think of all the things I wanted to get done, but that just didn’t make it to the top of the to-do list.

For example, I’ve wanted to do a vegetable and herb garden for a quite a while now.

I’ve also wanted to get my house in order, literally, by doing a little cleaning and painting, and getting the yard fixed up nicer.

You never know, Jeff’s Place might be moving to a new city next year!

Gibson Advanced Jumbo (left), Collings OM2C (middle), and Collings Waterloo WL-14L (right).

I’ve wanted to travel more, play my guitars more, ride my bicycles more, and get to the gym more too.

I’ve got audio projects that I’ve been thinking about, but haven’t had time to get to.

I’ve been wanting to rewire my Tannoy Westminster Royal SE loudspeakers internally with Duelund DCA20GA for the high-frequencies, and DCA12GA for the low-frequencies.

It’s been getting a bit crowded in the living room of late, so I’ve also been thinking about how I might go about installing my Duelund Coherent Audio CAST external crossovers internally into my Westminster’s to free up some floor space, and to give me some more placement options.

Stokowski A7 Voice of the Theatre loudspeaker.

Another project I’ve been thinking about is building some Hiraga-style crossovers for my Altec A7 loudspeakers that were previously owned by famed conductor, Leopold Stokowski.

Given the historic nature of these custom Altec A7 loudspeakers I will not modify them at all, but rather will just build some crossovers which will sit on the internal shelf behind the Altec 804A 16-Ohm compression drivers & 511B horns, along with some new internal wiring.

I’ve had the Leben CS-600 integrated amplifier, along with its matching RS-30EQ phono equalizer, longer than any other equipment I have.

I bought the Leben CS-600 after I finished reviewing it for 6Moons back in February of 2007, and I’ve enjoyed having it in my life every single day.

Leben RS-30EQ phono equalizer from Japan posing with my now long gone Leica MP & 35mm Summicron camera from Germany

I’ve been wanting to do a long term retrospective review of the CS-600 & RS-30EQ for a while now, which I think would be a lot of fun.

I’ve also been thinking it might be fun after a retrospective review, to substitute a few key capacitors and resistors in a voicing adventure.

A pair of monaural McIntosh Model C-8 Professional Audio Compensators.

I read where the original principals at McIntosh thought that the monaural McIntosh C-8 Professional Audio Compensators, produced from 1955 to 1959, were the finest phono preamplifier that McIntosh ever produced, which of course intrigues me greatly, enough so that I bought a pair a year ago.

I’ve wanted to get my C-8s up and running ever since I bought them, but if you can believe it, I haven’t even had a chance to plug them in yet!

I’m working on finishing up the Positive Feedback review of the Audio MusiKraft Denon DL-103 phonograph cartridge, and hope to have all the writing done in the next few weeks – it’ll be my first review of 2018!

Also, Guy says he’s got some other Audio MusiKraft adventures in mind for me in 2018, so we’ll see what the new year brings!


I’ve also been slowly adding albums to my music section, and hope to get a lot more albums listed in the coming year.

I’ll be doing reviews of select equipment in 2018 as well, and there’s some exciting reviews to come!

I’ve also been thinking it would be fun to venture out and visit some Pacific Northwest hifi shops & record stores in 2018 and tell you about them, so be sure to let me know your favorites!

From my home to yours, I wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and yours!

As always, thanks for stopping by and joining me in my adventures, and may the tone be with you!

 Posted by at 10:09 am

  23 Responses to “Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!”

  1. Hi Jeff
    Sumi and yours truly wish you an enjoyable retirement. If all goes well I would hope to remain involved in your future audio adventures.
    Your friends
    Ron and Sumi Barbee

    • Howdy Ron!

      Thank you so much for the well wishes, I appreciate it, and please give my regards to Sumi-san.

      I would love to have you involved in my audio adventures, sounds like a fun time to me! 🙂

      I’m looking forward to hearing what you’ve been doing to the “blue room” system too.

      Kind regards,


  2. Jeff, I wish you a happy holiday, and welcome you to the wonderful world of retirement. May you enjoy it to its fullest.

    Dan Thomason,
    Whidbey Island WA

    • Hi Dan,

      Many thanks for the well wishes and kind words, appreciated! 🙂

      I’m really looking forward to retirement, I’ve only got a couple of days on the job left now.

      It’s going to take me a bit to get used to the idea of being retired, but I think I’ll be able to adapt! 😉

      Kind regards,


  3. Hi Jeff, this is only my opinion but regarding the wish to put your Tannoy x-overs back into the cabinets to free up floor space. Although I fully understand your reason for doing the latter, I must say I think that this would be slightly to significantly detrimental to your refined voicing due in part to the strong internal vibrations of the cabinet–and this affects all loudspeaker types–onto the x-over components even if they are well glued to their wood boards but also because they are enclosed instead of ‘free air’ thus affecting the ‘openess’ and airiness of your present sound. Plus it limits you of easily tweaking in the future. Personally it is a compromise that I no longer accept when designing a reference loudspeaker such as yours are.

    Claude Lemaire

    • Hi Claude,

      It likely would have some performance penalty to mount the crossovers internally.

      When I first built the crossovers a few years back, Paul Mills at Tannoy and I discussed the placement of the crossovers.

      Paul told me when he first designed the WRSE’s he desired to place the crossovers outside of the chassis for performance reasons, but that after discussing it with enthusiasts in the field, their preference was to put them inside the cabinets for ease of placement, so the decision was made to put the crossovers inside the cabinets.

      I put my crossovers outside the cabinets for that very reason, but it would be interesting to find out how much of a difference it really does make, so I might give it a try. If there’s a big performance penalty then I can just take them back out.

      The biggest drawback is that it makes it more challenging to try performance mods, as you mention.

      My next tweak with the WRSE’s will be trying some DCA20GA for the HF section of the crossover to the HF driver and to hear how it compares to the WE16GA that I have in that position now.

      Kind regards,


      • Hi Jeff,

        In the past I owned the Tannoy GRF. The cabinets were built by a friend of mine. We built at that time outboard crossover filters. We did that for the GRF and the Tannoy 15 DMT MK2. So we could easily swop internal parts in the crossovers and even swop crossovers. For I time I used, for some time, a 15 DMT filter for my GRF! After a while we learned that a GRF must have its own crossover. Basically the GRF is a bit of a slow performer. With the far more faster und upbeat sounding crossover from the 15 DMT the GRF turned in a…..15 DMT….But also lost his musicality and charming sound. So we put back the original crossover. We also learned something else! We discovered that bringing the crossovers nearer to the units. So, inside the cabinets the sound became better! Because of this I have still my filter inside my Westminster. OK, I have to do ‘The Duelund project’. But is a thing for the future. What can be the reasons that an internal placed crossover sounds better than a outside place crossover? I don’t know exactly. Shorter signal Path? The crossover is vibrating in the same way the unit/cabinet does vibrate? Perhaps the crossover is inside the cabinet better protected against ‘electro-smog’ ?

        With nice greetings,


        • Hi Jeff
          I for one would be very interested to see how this works out , weather the crossover is in or out of the speaker . Maybe worth asking Frederik form Duelund ? .
          cheers Lance

          • Hi Lance,

            The consensus between myself, Mark Coles, Frederik, and Paul was that external crossovers are higher-performing than internal crossovers, everything being equal.

            However, I am curious about how well crossovers would work inside the cabinets, and there’s quite a number of WRSE owners who can’t accomodate external crossovers for space reasons, so this could be an opportunity for them to find out if similar gains in performance occur with the same Duelund CAST crossovers inside the cabinets.

            If I can fit them in there (not sure yet) it would give hope to a fair number of WRSE users that some high-performance Duelund CAST crossovers would be a significant upgrade for them.



          • Hi Jeff
            Thanks for the info. I wonder if any one has made a compact external crossover or have pictures / drawings of they can share ? . Just a thought.
            Cheers and thanks for your help Lance

          • Hi Lance,

            Jignesh at The Absolute Sound in Surat, India makes beautiful enclosures for Duelund crossovers that are more compact than the ones I built for my WRSEs. I had once checked with Jignesh on the availability of his crossover enclosures, but he never responded, and I never gotten around to asking again.

            In the newly announced Duelund-Stokowski A7 VOTT Project I’m thinking I’ll try for something more compact as an outboard crossover. Perhaps a tower computer sort of shape.



      • Internal vs Outboard XO
        When I was replacing my Magnepan 1.7 with my custom external XO, I came across a lot of chatter regarding the effects of damping on the XO. Folks used sand, styrofoam etc as a bed for the XO parts.

        The general conclusion were that:
        1. vibration on the XO has a big negative effect on sonics.
        2. sand (and similar aggregates) is bad for sonics as damping material.
        3. Best to have damping just on the bottom of the XO and leave the top/surround as open as possible (i.e. exposed to air.)
        I’m not sure if sand is bad because it is a poor dielectric. But in general, exposing the XO to vibration does have some negative effect on the sonics.

  4. Hello Jeff,

    I wish and your mom the best wishes for Christmas! Nice to read about all your future plans!

    Nice greetz,


    • Thanks so much, Siedy, very much appreciated! 🙂

      Happy New Year to you and your family, may it be your best year yet!

      Kind regards,


  5. Jeff.
    All the best for 2018!

    Greetings from Chile.

  6. Happy New Year Jeff
    and congrats for the retirement!
    Wish you a good health and high spirit!

    • Thanks, Dimitar, very much appreciated! 🙂

      • Hi Mr Jeff can you please help me out I now have a bryston pre power amp and thinking of buying either the pre power 1000p Leben or the Leben cs600 integrated the only problem I have with the integrated is that it will be far away from my speakers approximately 6meters away do you think that will be problem or should I get the pre power combination so the Leben cs1000p will have the distance from the Leben preamplifier (RCA)?

        • Hi Dimitris,

          6 meters is a long way from your speakers to put your components. I think my recommendation would be revise your equipment setup to put it closer to your loudspeakers so you don’t have to worry about such long cables.

          Depending on your loudspeakers sensitivity, either the CS-600 or 1000P could be a good choice. If your speakers are reasonably sensitive so that you can accomodate the CS-600’s relatively low power output, that’s the way to go.

          I’ve had my CS-600 for a very long time, and every time I play it (almost daily) I am thankful that it’s part of my musical life.

          I hope that helps!

          Kind regards,


          • Thank you very much Jeff for your quck response,what speakers would you recommend with the Leben cs600? Thank you very much

          • Hi Dimitris,

            I was previously using my Harbeth Super HL5’s with my CS-600 in a smaller room with excellent results, but your room might be too big for that combination to be able to play loudly enough.

            Currently I am using my CS-600 with my vintage Altec A5 Voice of the Theatre loudspeakers in my AV room, and they are excellent together. Vintage Altec’s with a Hiraga-style crossover would be amazing in your big room with a CS-600, I suspect.

            The CS-600 really excels with a good pair of sensitive 2-way loudspeakers. I have been told the more sensitive Devore Fidelity loudspeakers make for a nice match to the CS-600 as well, but I haven’t heard the combination personally.

            The Sophia Electric EL34 ST tubes have been my favorites in the CS-600 by a lot, and if you end up getting a CS-600 you might want to give them a try one of these days.

            Kind regards,


  7. Thank you very much Jeff

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