The waning hours of 2015 are upon us, and I thought I’d make my last post for 2015 a look back on the year.
This past year has had so many highlights it boggles my mind as I think back on it, and I’m so thankful that I was able to share all my audio & musical discoveries with you here in the pages of Jeff’s Place and Positive Feedback.
For Positive Feedback, to kick of the New Year, I wrote The Vintage McIntosh Experience article in Issue 77 about the vintage McIntosh valve quartet of the MX110 tuner-preamplifier, the MC240 stereo amplifier, the MC225 stereo amplifier, and the MC30 monaural amplifiers, from the vintage McIntosh specialists Tom Manley & Terry DeWick at McIntosh Home Audio & DeWick Repairs, and Yves Beauvais at Vintage Vacuum Audio.
Then in Issue 78 I told you about the SPEC RSA-M3 EX Real Sound Amplifier from the remarkable Mr. Shirokazu Yazaki, that can go toe-to-toe musically & sonically with the best direct heated single triode amplifiers, but has much more power, and the simplicity and reliability of a solid state integrated amplifier. I also told you about the and SPEC RSP-901 EX Real Sound Processor that worked so well with my Harbeth Super HL5 loudspeakers, taking them to another level.
In Issue 79 I covered my latest turntable project for you, the international collaboration that produced the stunning nuevo-vintage Garrard Project 2015, with its very hot-rodded Classic Turntable Company version of a Garrard 301 idler-wheel turntable from the UK, a stunning statement plinth by the USA’s Artisan Fidelity, and the impeccable ‘made in Germany’ 12-inch Thomas Schick tonearms, mounted with Danish mono & stereo Ortofon SPU phono cartridges.
Then in Issue 81, in the Adventures in Real Sound with Mr. Shirokazu Yazaki, I told you how to get Real and release the musicality hidden inside your hi-fi system with do-it-yourself (DIY) projects using vintage Western Electric WE16GA wire as speaker cables, nuevo-vintage Belden 8402 microphone cable as interconnects, nuevo-vintage Arizona Capacitors (nee West-Cap), SPEC ruby mica capacitors, and other audio Golden Age treasures.
There was a lot of action here at Jeff’s Place, with me giving all the behind-the-scenes commentary about everything that eventually ended up as articles in Positive Feedback, and much more!
The busiest day of 2015 for views here at Jeff’s Place was November 23rd, with the most popular post from that day being my Jeff Awards Stocking Stuffers post, which sort of surprised me, but I’m glad you liked it!
My most popular posts in 2015 were:
- The Vintage Beat: Western Electric WE16GA Speaker Cable
- The Vintage Beat: A Forgotten Voice from the American Recording Studio
- DIY World-Class Interconnects for Peanuts – The Dark Matter IC (A post from May of 2011!)
- The Garrard Project 2015: From Simple to Spectacular!
- Vintage Western Electric WE16GA
In 2015 I had visitors from 157 countries, which totally blew me away! Most of my visitors came from the United States, but Canada and the United Kingdom were not far behind. Many thanks to each and every one of you who came to visit in 2015!
My most prolific commenters during 2015 were Shirokazu Yazaki (41), Rich Hing (40), Mark Paul (33), Siedy Abee (26), and Marvin (18). Many thanks to Yazaki-san, Rich, Mark, Siedy, and Marvin, for all your comments, and to each and every one who commented, let me say a big “Thank you!”
The most commented on post in 2015 was The Vintage Beat: Western Electric WE16GA Speaker Cable, so it’s pretty apparent that the Western Electric WE16GA was a big hit with everyone.
The 12th Annual Positive Feedback Writers’ Choice Awards came out towards the end of 2015, and it was the SPEC RSA-M3 EX Real Sound Amplifier, the Garrard Project 2015, and Mr. Shirokazu Yazaki that were the three that were standing upon the top steps of the winners’ podium.
I also introduced the Jeff Awards in 2015, and handed out 10 Jeff Awards to some very worthy recipients.
- The Readers’ Choice Award to Mr. Shirokazu Yazaki for his ‘Real Sound’ recommendations of the Western Electric WE16GA wire and the Belden 8402 microphone cable.
- A Vintage Beat Award to Tom Manley & Terry DeWick of McIntosh Home Audio & DeWick Repairs for their McIntosh MX110Z tuner-preamplifier &e McIntosh MC240 stereo amplifier restorations.
- A Vintage Beat Award to Yves Beauvais of Vintage Vacuum Audio for his McIntosh MC30 monaural amplifiers & McIntosh MC225 stereo amplifier restorations.
- A Stocking Stuffers Award for the Understanding the Fundamentals of Music DVD set, the Get Better Sound DVD set, the Acoustic Revive RR-888, the Oyaide R-0 AC Outlet, the Thomas Schick Graphite Headshell, the Vintage Western Electric WE24GA Headshell Wires, the Belden 8402 Microphone Cable Interconnects, the Ortofon SPU Mono CG 25 Di MkII Phono Cartridge, the Ortofon SPU Classic GM MkII Phono Cartridge, the Intact Audio Bespoke Step-Up Transformer, the SPEC AP-UD1 Analog Disc Sheet, and an Acoustic Sounds Gift Certificate.
- A Woody SPU Tonearm Award to Pete Riggle of Pete Riggle Audio Engineering.
- A Vinyl Award for Paul McCartney’s Unplugged (The Official Bootleg) album.
- A SPEC RSA-M3 EX Real Sound Amplifier award to Mr. Shirokazu Yazaki.
- A Garrard Project 2015 Award to Ray Clark of Classic Turntable Company, Christopher Thornton of Artisan Fidelity, and Thomas Schick,
- A Living Treasure Award to Mr. Shirokazu Yazaki for his extraordinary Real Sound contributions to the audio & musical arts!
- A Friend & Mentor In The Audio Arts Award to Ron Barbee for making my world a much better place to live in.
One of the most exciting things that has happened this year is the arrival of a pair of vintage Voice of the Theatre loudspeakers that were custom made for Leopold Stokowski, that I wrote about in the post The Vintage Beat: The Maestro’s Custom VOTT Loudspeakers. The Maestro’s VOTTs combined with the SPEC RSA-M3 EX Real Sound Amplifier is a match made in heaven, and its musical prowess is incredible, and it is in fact my favorite audio system to listen to music with at the moment.
Another exciting development is the arrival of vintage Altec-Lansing A5 Voice of The Theatre loudspeakers restored by Gary Fischer (1, 2, 3) that will serve as the basis for the upcoming A5 Voice of The Theatre Project. Stay tuned, I’ll have much more to say about the A5 VOTT Project in the coming months.
Ok, that’s all for 2015. I want to thank all of you for visiting this year, and I’m glad you’ve enjoyed stopping by.
I have some exciting things in store for you in 2016, so stay tuned!
Happy New Year!