It sure was fun to go to Matt’s and Milagros’ wedding at Mount Vernon, and to visit with all the family and friends that attended. They sure are a fantastic group of people, and it makes me thankful and proud that I can call them ‘family’.
Now I’ve got a few things to tell all of you about, my extended music & hi-fi family, and I’m thankful for all of you, your kindred spirits, and your enthusiastic love of music and audio! You all are awesome! 🙂
I just got a message from uncle Pido (aka Pete Riggle, and no, he’s not really my uncle) saying, “Maybe you would like me to bring my spare Altec 416Z woofers (16 ohms, alnico) over for a visit to your 825/828 cabinets. We could A/B the 416Z and your 515 woofers. The 416 are about 3 dB less efficient than the 515.”
Pete’s really been on a roll with his Altec A7 VOTT’s, and they’re sounding very impressively musical. In addition to his other prodigious audio talents, Pete has an immense amount of experience modifying, designing, and getting loudspeakers to sound fantastic. I’ve watched Pete do that time-after-time with loudspeakers as different from each other as can be: horns, electrostatics, conventional box loudspeakers, unconventional box loudspeakers, you name it, Pete’s squeezed every drop of music out of them they’re capable of.
Pete was able to take his inexpensive, but well-loved & well-used pair A7 Voice of the Theatre loudspeakers, that he bought for something like $1300, and turned them into loudspeakers so formidably musical that I can only think of a very few high-end loudspeakers that can even come close to matching their musical prowess. Pido has the musical Midas touch when it comes to loudspeakers (as well as tonearms, which I’ll tell you more about later).
Pete is an engineer with a musical heart, and has worked in the rather high-tech world of governmental engineering projects all his life, until retiring, and like our dear friend here at Jeff’s Place, Yazaki-san, Pete pursued enthusiast audio in parallel in his personal life, building every single type of component from scratch for fun (except for phono cartridges), and Pete even had his own enthusiast loudspeaker company at one time.
Now that Pete’s retired he focuses entirely on family, friends, and his audio adventures. Pete still hangs a shingle out in the audio realm in the form of Pete Riggle Audio Engineering. Pete’s a really good guy that I’m proud to have as a friend.
When Pete suggested his Altec woofer A/B to me I thought, “Wow! That sounds like fun!”, then immediately after I felt like the weight of the world that I’ve been carrying around on my shoulders for the last couple of years came crashing down on me.
Life events have left me feeling rather overwhelmed these past couple of years, starting with moving my elderly parents close to me when their health failed them, looking after them after they arrived, then with the passing of my Father, his memorial services and burial, looking after my Mother, toss in a full time day-job on top of that, taking care of my own household affairs, trying to do a little writing, keeping up on correspondence, a couple of physical health hiccups along the way, and … well this old bachelor beatnik has been running on empty physically & emotionally for a while now.
The truth is that my family, friends, and my audio adventures, are what’s been keeping me going these last couple of years, injecting some joy and excitement into an otherwise difficult time. Thank you all!
So here’s my road to recovery: I told Pete I’d like to do his Altec woofer comparison in due time, but probably not for a bit, as I have a lot to get caught up on in what I’m expecting to be a bit of a breather from the busyness of life over these next few months.
Then I started to look into the future to think about what I want to get done in the coming months. I’ve got a lot I want to do on the hi-fi front to get caught up on my writing, which always recharges me.
It’s been at least nine months (maybe longer) since I’ve written anything for Editors Dave & David over at Positive Feedback, so I want to get busy before the whole year has gone by, as I don’t want them to think I’ve abandoned writing for them.
Up first, I want to start writing on a Woody SPU tonearm article for Positive Feedback, so that’s priority one. If you’ve been reading along, you know that the Woody SPU tonearm blew away the whole group of listeners at Jeff’s Place back when Rafe & Don from Part-Time Audiophile were here visiting from British Columbia.
Here’s Rafe’s trip report about their visit so you can hear about it from Rafe too.
Pete’s prototype Woody SPU tonearm stunned the attending hi-fi devotees into silence as it obliterated my Schick tonearm in a direct comparison.
I was glad there was a discriminating audience in attendance so you wouldn’t think I was just blowing smoke up your skirt when I told you about what happened that day.
I also want to write an article for Positive Feedback called The Vintage Altec Voice of the Theatre Adventure, that will be along the lines of The Vintage McIntosh Experience article I wrote for Positive Feedback back in Issue 77.
In that article I want to write about both my Altec A5 Voice of the Theatre Project loudspeakers, and my historic custom Altec A7 Voice of the Theatre loudspeakers that were built for Leopold Stokowski back in the day.
First I want to finish up the A5’s crossovers, which I think are now pretty close to being where I want them musically and sonically.
I still want to try a couple of Mod 2 resistor changes to dial in the high-frequency voicing a little more, then I should be done with that part of the A5’s crossover circuit.
We scrapped the Mod 1 Zobel network indicated in the low-frequency circuit as it turned out not to be complimentary to the A5’s overall sonics and musicality.
I had hoped to be able to tell you about some other really nice capacitors that we were going to try in the A5’s LF & HF circuit, but that manufacturer never came through with the caps they had offered to send.
I also need to rewire the Altec 515B bass drivers with the Duelund DCA16GA, like I did for Altec 288C compression drivers and 1005B ten-cell horns, and then build a prettier version of the A5 crossovers, rewired with the DCA16GA wire, suitable for article photographs and such.
Then I want to build a pair of crossovers like Pete built for his A7 VOTT’s and try them on my Stokowski A7 VOTT’s. Our A7 components are a bit different, with my older A7’s having Altec 804A 16-Ohm compression drivers & 511B horns for the high-frequencies, and the Altec 803B 16-Ohm drivers for the low-frequencies. With Pete’s Midas touch in advising on the crossovers, and a rewire with Duelund DCA16GA, I’m sure we can make my A7’s even more amazing than they are already (which is pretty amazing!).
I also want to start writing on my Duelund DCA16GA article for Positive Feedback, and compare it to the legendary Western Electric WE16GA.
That article will include the results of Duelund DCA16GA wiring for my Altec A5 VOTT’s, Altec A7 VOTT’s, my Tannoy Westminster Royal SE’s, and my Harbeth Super HL5’s.
I’ll also include a description of my foray into making a pair of Duelund DCA16GA interconnects, which turned out really well, well enough that I’m going to build some more!
Could the Duelund DCA16GA interconnects be the ones that can displace the mighty Belden 8402 microphone cable interconnects in my systems? We shall see!
I need to wire up my West’s with DCA16GA to make that article happen, and that’s quite a chore to do.
Ok, you get the idea, there’s a lot going on here at Jeff’s Place, and I hope to be able to tell you about all kinds of fun hi-fi adventures.
Thanks for stopping by, and may the tone be with you!