Feb 132016

It has been bitterly cold here in my part of the Pacific Northwest until this last week, when temperatures soared into the high 40’s and low 50’s (Fahrenheit).

Jeff out for a ride

The skiers & snow boarders have been happy with all the snow in the mountains, but us bicycle riders in the flatlands a little less so.

The previous below freezing temperatures have kept me off my bikes, and it’s been a good time for investigating the mysteries of the audio universe in the warmth of my home.

Speaking of the universe, did you see where the LIGO scientists successfully detected gravitational waves? Man that is cool, Einstein would be thrilled if he was still around! Kudos to the cool cats at LIGO!

I had a chance to visit a LIGO facility a few years back, and if you ever get the chance you should do a visit. The LIGO laser interferometers are amazing, and it’s always fun thinking about the implications of space-time relationships and multiverses!

Trek out for a ride

I got three days of lunchtime rides in on my office Trek this last week as the temperatures soared above freezing! It was great!

Just going out for a ride in the sunshine and getting a little fresh air always perks me up and puts a smile on my face.

N-500-D crossovers & Stow VOTTs

Those first rides of the year always bruise the behind, so this morning I’m taking it easy on the sit bones, and drinking a little coffee while listening to Jazz24 with the Stokowski VOTTs & SPEC RSA-M3 EX amplifier combination.

It absolutely amazes me how good the VOTT-SPEC combination sounds, and how incredibly mesmerizingly it plays music, and that’s using my very modest pair of digital sources of an old MacBook to stream music to my trusty Mhdt Paridisea+ vacuum tube USB DAC, or my venerable Sony PlayStation SCPH-1001 to play CDs.

I know Yazaki-san has a lot of expertise in the digital source realm, so one of these days when I get ready to upgrade my digital sources, I want to talk with him about ideas for a ‘Real Sound’ digital front end to purchase.

I really like the tactile treat of playing physical media. I want a disc-player so I can enjoy playing my collection of 1000+ Red Book standard CDs, but I also want to be able to stream Jazz24 from my Mac computers, so my future disc-player must be able to accept a USB input from my computer, and I want it all to sound beautifully analog-ish on a comparable plane to my Garrard Project 2015 player system, or Yazaki-san’s amazing turntable (you should see it in person, it’s stunning!).

SPEC turntable with EMT arm & cart

Yazaki-san’s turntable with an EMT arm & cartridge as used by Jonathan Halpern in Denver.

That’s a tall order, but that’s about the only thing that would get me interested enough in digital to make a change from my simple & rustic digital system, which sounds surprisingly good.


My second course after my coffee this morning was a Mimosa. I used fresh squeezed orange juice and some LaMarca Prosecco to make the Mimosa, which I actually prefer to the normal combination with Champagne (heresy!).

My French grandmother would not have approved! (But my Italian girlfriend probably would have!)

I would never have anything like a Mimosa with breakfast normally, but when I visited our local French restaurant last weekend to take my Mom out for brunch, I had a Mimosa, and it hit the spot!

Altec N-500-D crossovers from Gary Fischer.

Altec N-500-D crossovers from Gary Fischer.

Speaking of VOTTs, did you notice those Altec N-500-D crossovers in the photos above? Gary Fischer sent me a pair of the Altec N-500-D crossovers to replace the pair of malfunctioning Altec N-500-C crossovers that he provided with my A5 VOTTs.

The N-500-D crossovers are the same one’s that are used in the Stokowski VOTTs, and given how good the Stokowski VOTTs sound, I’m really excited to hear the N-500-D crossovers on my A5 Voice of the Theatre loudspeakers.

Gary Fischer sent me an email after he read this post, commenting on my wondering if Stokowski could have been involved in the choice of components for his VOTTs – probably not according to Gary.

“Your Stokowski A-7 pair came out of the Altec factory some time before 1964. The 803B woofers, 802D 16 ohm compression drivers, 511B horns, and N-500-D dividing network crossovers, are the same components as standard A-7’s, but obviously the cabinets are custom built by Altec. Altec changed the name of their 803B woofer to 416A sometime in 1964. This is exactly the same 16 ohm woofer as the 416A, but they changed the name because Altec also had an 803 horn (8 cells, 300Hz), and it was confusing to have two different components with the same number.”

The Stokowski VOTTs actually have the 804A 16 Ohm compression drivers rather than the 802D 16 Ohm versions that Gary mentions (Thanks for catching that mistake, Rick!), but the 803B 16 Ohm bass drivers, 511B horns, and N-500-D crossovers are correct.

I haven’t listened to the 802D 16 Ohm driver Gary mentions, but I really like the 804A 16 Ohm compression drivers that are combined in the Stokowski VOTTs with the 803B 16 Ohm bass drivers, 511B horns, and N-500-D crossovers. I don’t know how much the custom cabinets of the Stokowski VOTTs contributes to their sound, but I suspect the Altec A7 VOTTs with their similar combinations of components will sound great as well.

Pete's A7 VOTTs

Pete Riggle’s A7 VOTTs next to his Beveridge and big horn loudspeakers.

Incidentally, Pete Riggle just picked up a pair of 8 Ohm versions of the A7 VOTTs (above), about which he says, “These are A7 500-8 units, with a nominal impedance of 8 ohms. They were manufactured in 1976. The woofer is the 416-8A. The horn is the 511B. The compression driver is the 802-8D. The crossover is the N501-8A … The sound is similar to what I heard at Jeff’s place with the Stokowski A7 speakers. Of course it was Jeff’s A7 speakers that got me interested.”

Moving A5 VOTTs to set back up WRSEs

A5 VOTTs being photo-bombed by a Westminster Royal SE.

By the way, Daryl at Arizona Capacitors is building the six 6.6mH inductors for the A5 Voice of the Theatre crossover project right now. In his last communication he told me,

“As mentioned in an earlier email, we are getting ready to start on the foil coils. Typical designs are copper foil, with a polypropylene insulator. We can certainly make these, but … I personally like the path less traveled. My small amount of knowledge in this area, tells me one of the issues with foil coils is movement within the device. That said, I’m leaning towards a paper insulator, then fully impregnated. This will “lock” all of the layers together giving a very different device. We can send them like that, or further encapsulate them in phenolic housings, with epoxy resin. We could also do polypropylene with wax … these are going to be pretty large coils, so I’m not sure how many I can make with the amount of foil we purchased, otherwise I would suggest a few different iterations.”

I’ll really excited to see what Daryl decides upon. To give you an idea of the size of the 6.6mH inductors that Daryl is building, the Duelund CAST inductors used in my Westminsters’ crossovers are 4.0mH & 1.0mH, and you can see their scale compared to an LP below.

Duelund 4 & 1 mH inductors closeup

Duelund CAST 4mH (left) and 1mH (right) inductors. compared to the size of an LP.

The Altec N-500-D crossovers are adjustable (actually I think all the Altec professional crossovers are adjustable), and that is really handy for dialing the amount of high-frequency horn attenuation needed to balance out the sound for varying sized rooms.

Hiraga-san's A5 crossover design with Yazaki-san's alterations.

Hiraga-san’s A5 crossover design with Yazaki-san’s alterations.

Yazaki-san and I have decided to incorporate adjustability into the Hiraga-san A5 crossover design to make it easier to integrate into different rooms here at Jeff’s Place.

A5 crossover adventure components

A5 crossover adventure components from Yazaki-san.

Yazaki-san told me, “This is my latest idea for R3. This wire wound variable resistor is 10Ω / 4W. The wire wound resistors are Brown Devils, B8J10RE and B12J10RE, each 10Ω. In Jean Hiraga-san’s diagram, R3 is 24 Ω, and this resister’s adjustable value will be from 20Ω to 30Ω. R3 is so important resistor for the final sound quality because that the current that drives the 288 driver flows through this resister.”

Clarostat for A5 XO 2

“In my experiences, we could improve the sound quality of capacitor by parallel connection but for the resistor, series connection sometimes brings out remarkable results. And also these resisters and the variable resistor are the best quality resisters, so that we could get the first class effects.”

Clarostat for A5 XO 3

“B8J10RE and B12J10RE have very clear and rich tonal character, but the sound is a little bit different. B12’s sound is so rich and gorgeous mid to mid-low range just like vintage American sound. But B8’s sound for high range is more clear and well balanced timbre. And I intend to blend each virtue of these splendid resister.”

Clarostat for A5 XO

Needless to say I’m really excited about the A5 crossover adventure, and I’m trying my best to be patient (Not!).

Preview of coming attractions here at Jeff’s Place:

One. First in line is finishing up the unexpectedly challenging vintage MX110Z adventure. We’ll start with a resistor adventure for the MX110Z phono inputs, then continue to track down the pesky edginess that crept into the upper midrange, and we’ll do our best to optimize each modification we’ve made until we get a components mix that we can whole-heatedly recommend to those who’d like to try duplicating what we’ve done.

I expect the outcome will be fantastic, but it’s going to take some time to work through.

I’m really looking forward to the rest of the MX110 adventure, as it’s going to be a real learning experience working through all the permutations of the modifications, and describing the sound of various components for you.

WE16GA from the Duelund XO to the Mac 2

Two. Second in line is the Duelund CAST hybrid silver-copper 6.8uF capacitors. Once I’ve got the MX110Z sorted out suitably, I’ll be able to write more about the exciting new Duelund CAST silver-copper hybrid 6.8uF capacitors’ performance in my Duelund CAST crossovers of my Tannoy Westminster Royal SEs.

As you know, the pure silver 6.8 Duelund CAST capacitors are used in the C1 positions of my Westminsters’ crossovers, and they are utterly amazing, and my baseline for all comparisons.

I want to make sure that I’ve got the MX110 sorted out completely first, so I can get a clear understanding of how the Duelund CAST hybrid capacitors are working in the circuit compared the their Duelund CAST pure copper foil & silver foil counterparts.

I pre-conditioned them on my Audiodharma Cable Cooker, so they’re ready to go when the time comes.

Many thanks to Frederik for being so patient with me during this process of sorting out the MX110!

A trio of Duelund caps!

A trio of Duelund caps!

Three. Third up is the A5 Voice of the Theatre project. Once I have the rest of the components in hand I’ll start breadboarding the crossovers for the A5 Voice of the Theatre adventure in earnest.

I am so excited about this project! I have dreamed all of my audio life about having a pair of A5 Voice of the Theatre loudspeakers, and now that day is here!

It will be exciting to squeeze out every drop of their considerable performance potential! Did I mention I’m really excited about this project? I am!

A very special thanks to Yazaki-san for all of his contributions & insights to make this project a success, and many thanks to Daryl at Arizona Capacitors for developing the custom inductors, and for providing capacitors for the project. You guys are the best!

Jeff's A5 VOTTs as restored by Gary Fischer.

Jeff’s A5 VOTTs as restored by Gary Fischer.

Four. Fourth up is something you haven’t heard about yet. Another really exciting development is an upcoming Real Sound adventure with Ron-san’s vintage Audio Research SP-6C preamplifier.

Yazaki-san had Cc’d Ron and I on a Real Sound adventure he is doing with reader Mark Paul on his vintage Audio Research SP-6C.

Upon reading about it, Ron told me he was really intrigued by what Yazaki-san & Mark-san were doing with the SP-6C, as he too has a beloved SP-6C that is in need of restoration.

Ron at work

Ron’s such a great friend, and as a way to show my appreciation for all his help – Ron has made all of the Real Sound adventures possible that you’ve read about here at Jeff’s Place – I had the idea of buying a set of the Real Sound components from Yazaki-san to restore Ron’s SP-6C, and then giving it as a gift to Ron as a way of saying “Thank you!”

Well, the ever gracious & generous Yazaki-san didn’t allow me to buy them for Ron, as he wanted to present them to Ron as a gift:

“About the parts, please don’t worry about the payment. I would like to present the modification kit to Ron-san. Because the circuit design of SP-6C’s phono EQ was taken from the Marantz model 7, you could hear the differences of the sound and musicality between your MX110 and SP-6C with great interest, I suppose.”

That was really nice of Yazaki-san!

I guess Ron will have to suffer through me buying he & Sumie-san some bottles of nice French wine as a way of saying thanks instead!

But seriously, many thanks to Yazaki-san and Ron-san for everything they do to make Jeff’s Place so wonderful to come home to! I feel truly blessed to have such fantastic friends!

positive feedback logo

Five. My fifth coming attraction is writing up the McIntosh MX110Z and Audio Research SP-6C adventures as a feature article for Positive Feedback, and it will include something very special indeed:

It turns out that one of Yazaki-san’s best friends, Kato-san, is a tube amplifier enthusiast who is also an authority of analog circuit design, and Kato-san is willing to explain to us all about the differences in the design concepts of the phono EQ between the McIntosh C22 (my buddy Leo’s got one), the McIntosh MX110Z (lot’s of those here!), the Marantz Model 7 (like Yazaki-san’s), and the Audio Research SP-6C (Ron’s and Mark’s).

That is another really exciting development, and I’m really looking forward to hearing all about it!

Arizona Capacitors Blue Cactus & Green Cactus capacitors.

Six. Yazaki-san has really intrigued me with the history of that fine old American capacitor manufacturer, West Cap, whose reputation for quality capacitors was legendary.

West Cap was known for their vintage military spec capacitors, and the classic ‘American’ sound they contributed to vintage audio gear and guitar amplifiers in the USA back in the day.

Many have lamented the passing of West Cap from the capacitor scene.

Guess what? West Cap didn’t really go anywhere! West Cap is still completely intact, thriving, and producing capacitors in America, and they have all the documentation in place to produce anything that they every did, and even more.

West Cap has been flying under the radar for years because of a name change when they were purchased by another company. As Shakespeare told us, ‘a rose by any other name would smell as sweet’, and that is indeed the case with West Cap, who now goes by the name Arizona Capacitors.

I’m going to be interviewing one of the original owners of West Cap, and sharing about all things West Cap with you.

That owner would be Daryl Stahler. Yes, that’s the same Daryl that’s making the custom 6.6mH inductors for the A5 Voice of the Theatre project.

Do you sense there’s some really magical things about to happen here at Jeff’s Place? There are!

new LPs

Ok, so I got really carried away with this post, so that’s it for today. The FedEx driver just dropped off my latest order from Chad over at Acoustic Sounds, and now I’ve got some new LPs to listen to!

Breaking news!

Right after I posted this update I went out to check the mail and there were 2 matched pairs of NOS Allen Bradley 56K Ohm 2Watt carbon comp resistors waiting for me.

Monday Ron-san and I are getting together to perform a resistor-ectomy on the MX110, and I’ll report back on the results.

Allen Bradley 56K 2W carbon comp resistors as used by Kondo-san in the Ongaku.

Allen Bradley 56K 2W carbon comp resistors as used by Kondo-san in the Ongaku.


I got up this morning, got all dare-devilish, and then removed the Tepro 47K resistors off my MX110’s PH2 inputs and soldered in a pair of the NOS Allen Bradley 56K Ohm 2 watt carbon comp resisters that arrived in the mail yesterday in their place.

NOS Allen Bradley 56K Ohm 2W Carbon Comp Resistors.

NOS Allen Bradley 56K Ohm 2W Carbon Comp Resistors.

I was proud of myself that I didn’t screw it up and the MX110 would actually play music after the substitution.

As you can see in the photo below, the NOS Allen Bradley 56K Ohm 2 watt carbon comp resisters are huge compared to the Tepro RA resistors! You can see a black Tepro RA resistor to left of the Allen Bradley resistors, just above the X5F.

NOS Allen Bradley 56K Ohm 2W Carbon Comp Resistors installed on PH2.

NOS Allen Bradley 56K Ohm 2W Carbon Comp Resistors installed on PH2.

Andy Moore was right on, these NOS Allen Bradley 56K Ohm 2 watt carbon comp resisters are great sounding resisters, and they were a big step in the right direction for the MX110. Thanks for the tip, Andy!

The NOS Allen Bradley 56K Ohm 2 watt carbon comp resisters sound rich, natural, with great timbre, have lots of body, and a dramatically big sense of space. Most importantly, the Allen Bradley’s reduced the edge & shoutiness by a lot (but not all of it).

So while I’m not 100% sure, I think maybe the 47K Ohm Tepro RAs are the culprit for the sonic issues with the MX110s, or at least they appear to be a major contributor. That doesn’t mean they are a bad resistor, they just aren’t a very good match in Modification A for the MX110’s phono inputs.

Interestingly, my Ortofon SPU Classic GM MkII stereo cartridge is affected more by the difference between the Tepro RA and Allen Bradley carbon comp resistors than is my Ortofon SPU Mono CG 25 Di MkII.

NOS Allen Bradley 56K Ohm 2W Resistors.

NOS Allen Bradley 56K Ohm 2W Resistors.

I’m ordered more sets of the NOS 56K Ohm Allen Bradley’s to use as controls for George’s & Leo’s MX110s PH2 phono inputs too, that way we will be able to compare apples-to-apples, so to speak, as we work through listening too and voicing the other modifications.

I’m also ordered a few pairs of NOS 47K Ohm 2 watt Allen Bradley resistors, with the idea of removing the Tepros we added in for Modification C at R116/R117, and then substituting the Bradley’s, which I’m hoping will completely address the issues I’m hearing, so I can then begin to focus in on characterizing the sound of the Red Cactus, Blue Cactus, and Green Cactus Arizona Capacitors in Modification B.

Thank you for stopping by, and stay tuned for many exciting things to come!

From my home to yours, may the music playing make you happy!

 Posted by at 1:08 pm

  18 Responses to “Jeff Checking In & Previews of Coming Attractions!”

  1. Looking forward to reading about your coming adventures Jeff!

  2. Hi Jeff

    Sorry crossed wires, it was the Shinkoh resistors that were used in Kondo-sans original beautiful amplifier. Both Allen Bradley and Shinkoh are the best resistors I have heard. The Shinkohs are very transparent and utterly natural, whereas the ABs add rich tonality and natural timbre. They are a great combo. Glad you got your ABs, they should give you that beautiful American tone that Yazaki-san describes and we all love.

    Cheers, Andy

    • Hi Andy,

      Thanks for catching that. I corrected it for this post and the previous one.

      Ron and I are getting together on Monday to perform a resistor-ectomy on the MX110, and I’ll report back on the results.

      Thank for the recommendations!



  3. Wow Jeff; we are going to have to find days with more hours with all the projects you have going! You need those bikes rides in the fresh air to keep those creative juices flowing


    • Hi George!

      Oh man, you are so right! Lots of cool audio projects coming, and that’s just the ones I mentioned! 😉



  4. The gravitational wave news is enormous. One account I read indicated that the wave’s frequency approaches middle C. So I played some Bach organ preludes & fugues in C major. Music of the spheres!

    Eager to read Kato-san’s thoughts on all of these great preamps and very glad to hear that Ron’s starting on his SP-6c. And, of course, it’s always a privilege to read your accounts of all of these projects. This is going to be quite a year on the frontier!

  5. Hi Jeff-san,

    That’s a fine looking Trek you have there, reminds me of a custom Yamaguchi.. I miss my old Bianchi when there was a time I can still ride.

    IIRC, in your past write up, your way cool Maestro VOTT’s has the rarer 804 compression drivers. The 804 is somewhat of a middle model between the 802 and 806. It has a slightly smaller magnet than the 802 (hence less efficient but still larger than an 806), and most likely has less HF energy, so it needs a bit less attenuation. It may also be the Maestro’s compression driver choice for better balance for domestic use in his not so large listening space.

    Yazaki-san’s SPEC turntable is understatedly beautiful. I wish someone could do a review of it one of these days. I saw a photo somewhere of Yazaki-san’s system with what looks like an out of production TOTL Micro-Seiki (it looks like one), it really is a looker too. I’m an idler-wheel drive kinda guy too, but I wouldn’t hesitate to own one of those string/belt driven beauts if one lands on my lap.

    Best regards,

    • Hi Rick,

      My Trek has been a great bike over the years, and has been completely trouble free. I leave it in my office so I can go our for lunchtime rides and get a little fresh air & sun shine. I picked up a BMC Granfondo GF01 Disc last fall, and it is a terrific bike to ride. I wasn’t sure about the disc brakes at first, but I’ve really come to like them.

      Thanks for the catch on the Maestro’s VOTTs, I didn’t notice the error in Gary’s comment until then.

      Yazaki-san’s turntable is amazing. Seeing / hearing it up close in Denver really impressed me. It was sounding great, but I think it could have sounded even better had Jonathan been using the Western Electric WE16GA for speaker cables and Belden 8402 microphone cable RCA interconnects that Yazaki-san voiced it with instead of Auditorium 23 cables. I get it, as Jonathan distributes Auditorium 23 cables (good stuff too), but having used both I really prefer the Western Electric & Belden combo.

      Thanks for the comments!



  6. Hi Jeff,
    It’s been a while since you’ve heard from me here but I check in on your adventures regularly. I’m working in a nursing home that has been recognized for its success in getting our residents off of antipsychotic meds by getting them iPods loaded with the music they loved back in their late teens early twenties. It’s a magical thing to witness. Someone with advanced dementia going from severe anxiety to total calm in seconds due to music. There is a wonderful documentary entitled Alive Inside that demonstrates the effects of music on some nonresponsive Alzheimer’s patients. Many of them just become completely lucid for a while.
    I finally made the choices and purchased the core of my final audio system. I have a dedicated room that is just 11 x 16 so the size of the room was the greatest limiting factor. I bought an Audion 2a3 amp and Rethm Trishna speakers from Constantine at Atelier 13. My current source is a 47 Labs 3547 Midnight Blue CD player. I have a lot of CDs and very few records anymore. The system fits the room perfectly. It’s set up as a 6′ equilateral triangle with the listening position and it sounds phenomenal. Ella is in the room. Thanks as always for sharing your musical life with the world. It is greatly appreciated.

    • Hi Mike,

      That’s so awesome about the music ‘therapy’ that you are doing with your residents at the nursing home. It is really a great thing to do. Thanks on the tip for Alive Inside, I’ll have to find it and watch it.

      My Dad, who passed away over the Holidays at age 93, was in mid-stage Alzheimer’s, and absolutely loved things from his youth. He had lost his hearing, but he took great joy in watching old movies from his younger days, and reading the weekend comics, which my friend Cindy liked to bring him. To introduce a little happiness into the moment is a wonderful thing to do for someone.

      Congrats on the new system, I’ll bet it sounds awesome!

      Thanks on the update, and the kind words – very much appreciated!

      Kind regards,


      • Sorry to hear of your loss.
        I’m very glad you shared your parents with us.
        Our culture has turned away from the whole concept around of the wisdom of the elders.

        Hey, I just picked up 14th row center seats for The Emerson Quartet! Yippie!
        Thanks again,

        • Thanks, Mike, I appreciate your kind words.

          You are so right, contemporary culture is letting the wisdom of the aged slip through our fingers, which is a terrible loss, as it could help us avoid a lot boo-boos in life.

          I hope the concert was awesome!

          Kind regards,


  7. Hi Jeff

    I love the way you are gradually introducing your way into the wonders of DIY hifi and soldering. I started this 10 years or so ago and it is great fun. In the end i found that the R&D time was very time consuming with a lot more failures than gains. I appreciated why the cost of some Hifi equipment was so high simply because of this fact.Hope you are more successful than me. Although i think i may have cracked the PS1,but then a week or two later of listening I often realize I still hadn’t quite managed to improve upon the original. Best of luck i know how exciting it is especially when you do nail it its a great feeling.

    I love cycling like you but it has taken over my life more than the hifi now and i go out training hard for the purposes of racing as a consequence less time for the hifi. Careful of the cycling bug we don’t want to lose your exciting projects , keep them coming they are getting more exciting all the time.

    Best regards Luke

    • Hi Luke,

      I’m really enjoying the whole DIY approach. So far it has been a two steps forward, one step backwards, sort of experience. The two steps forward have been the Duelund CAST crossovers for my Westminsters, and the ‘Real Sound’ mods for my MC30 mono amps, which turned out extraordinary well.

      The MX110 adventure has been more challenging, and has been the ‘one step backwards’. I still haven’t managed to get a voicing with the MX110 that is all-around better than my stock restored unit was. Although, the progress I made with the Allen Bradley carbon comp resistors on the phono inputs last week gave me a glimpse of what is coming, as that was a big improvement, but it’s just not quite there yet.

      I’m really lucky in that I have Yazaki-san & Ron-san donating their expertise in high-performance modifications and trouble shooting, which really helps.

      I know what you mean, it gives me even more respect than I’ve had for those who develop electronics. It can be hard!

      Cycling is wonderful. I’ve been cycling over 50 years now, and my appreciation for it has only increased over the years. These days I just cycle for the pure joy of riding, and it is something I never get tired of. I’m glad the weather is starting to improve where I live so I can get out and ride. I just can’t get into my indoor trainer like I used to during the bad weather. Now when the weather’s bad it’s time to put on a record and listen to music! 😉

      Thanks for stopping by and the kind words – appreciated!

      Kind regards,


  8. Hi Jeff

    just a quick note, hope I am not upsetting anyone? could not get my hands on the Arizona caps, and I was still struggling with the PS1 cd player mods. So I went ahead and bought some West Cap PIO NOS for my PS1 DC filter caps replacement and guess what I felt they worked so well i was wondering if this was the reason why you have been so favorable towards the Arizona Caps!!!!!!!!! All the tone was there but this time unlike the Jensens and other NOS PIO the PRAT was also there, what a rare combination of qualities to be able to get in one cap. The last time i came across anything like these was with the Audio Note Copper PIO (latest version) and Audionote Tantalum resistors. I now wonder how much better the Arizona caps are???????

    Thanks for all your helpful tips thats very kind of you Luke

    • Hi Luke,

      I just got a message from Gary & Daryl at Arizona Capacitors a few days ago, and they told me that Jupiter Condenser is definitely going to be carrying Arizona Capacitors, but I just checked, and they haven’t got their web page updated to reflect that yet.

      Sounds like you’re having a great West Cap adventure with the PS1 – very cool! The Arizona Capacitors have been mighty fine for sure, but now you’ve got me wanting to hear some NOS West Caps for comparison!

      Thanks for the kind works, Luke, appreciated!

      Kind regards,


  9. Hi Jeff,

    I have been following with great interest your Altec A-5 project. I have A-5’s with the Hiraga crossovers and like the idea of having some adjustability. My understanding is R-5 adjusts the overall level. By making R-3 adjustable, I assume Yazaki-san is varying the amount of EQ for the H.F. driver? I can hardly wait to see how these work out for you.


    • Hi Steve,

      I’m really looking forward to making some progress on the A5 project and building the Hiraga crossovers with the adjustability that Yazaki-san has suggested, and you are exactly right, it is adjustability of the HF that we are working into the project.

      The reason I wanted to try that was because of the good experience I had with the stock adjustable Altec N-500-D crossover network in my Stokowski (A7-style) VOTTs. A quick adjustment of the crossover makes a huge difference in balancing the loudspeakers performance for a particular room, and I wanted to duplicate that functionality in the A5 VOTT project. Yazaki-san has come up with a very intriguing way to do that, and I can’t wait to hear the results.

      We’ve had significant delays with the project, as it has taken Arizona Capacitors significantly longer to make some inductors for the project than was anticipated due to some difficulties they encountered. I think Daryl is making some progress now, so hopefully we’ll be up and rollin’ before too much longer. Fingers crossed!

      I had a chance to hear Pete Riggle’s A7 VOTTs with some Hiraga crossovers he built, and I thought they sounded really nice. Pete described the transformation when going from the stock Altec crossovers to the Hiraga inspired crossovers as going from “The Voice of the Theatre” to “The Voice of God”. After hearing the combination I wouldn’t disagree. Pete has been so happy with the result, he now favors his Hiraga inspired A7’s over the other speakers in his collection, which is saying something, as Pete has some incredible sounding loudspeakers!

      Kind regards,


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