Articles

Equipment Repair and Service

Feb 10, 2020

Berkeley Stereo has a good repair tech named Kent Leech.  He is especially adept at restoring older tube gear.  http://www.berkeleystereo.com/ True Sound in Campbell.  Nick Gowan is a competent technician that works on tube and solid-state gear.  https://tsound.com/ Matt Householder, matthouseholder@hotmail.com. Electrical engineer, works out of home in SF. Works mostly on the older gear (90’s and back). Tube gear and has a real love for turntables.  (415) 516-7562 Speaker Re-coning, Audivex, Dan, (510)-527-1391, 1345-A Martin Luther King at Rose, Berkeley. Wed. - Sat. noon to 6:00. Eric Mannon, MCIaudio, www.mciaudio.com.  Rebuilding crossovers, capacitor replacement and upgrades, repair of compression drivers and horns, equipment liquidation. Turntable and…

Some Musings on Power, by Larry Deniston

Feb 04, 2020

The AC power supplying my system has mostly been an afterthought at least until recently.  Sure, I’ve made attempts to improve the quality of the power in my listening room by moving from simple power strips to a Power Plant Premier (an older iteration of the PS Audio regenerator) and then to a Synergistic Research Powercell 10se Mk III.  I’ve also installed two dedicated 20-amp circuits in the space.  Additionally, I’ve had the opportunity to try a PS Audio P5 (much better than the Power Plant Premier) and a Zorin isolation transformer (quite impressive) in my system.  But the quality…

The Legacy of Roger Modjeski, by Alan Martin

Jan 27, 2020

As I reflect on Roger’s contributions to the field of audio reproduction it makes me proud to have contributed to several of his projects over the past year. Yes, so sad to have lost him at such an early age when he still had so many ideas he wanted to explore. For those that did not know Roger, or ever hear him speak, we are fortunate that there is a small library of on-line videos that capture some of his ideas and reveal his approach to tube amplifier and transformer design. Roger had a spirited discussion style that I always…

Discogs, by Larry Deniston

Dec 21, 2019

For those of you not familiar with it, Discogs is a free database for your physical media and much, much more.  I have my entire vinyl collection stored on Discogs.  It does take a little time to enter each album, but it's a pretty simple process.  Just enter the matrix number and select the appropriate release, mono/stereo, media (vinyl, CD, reel to reel, etc.).  If you like, you may also enter the condition of the media and sleeve.  Discogs keeps track of your collection and provides a minimum, medium and maximum value of your collection.  It also is a site…

Rest in Peace Roger Modjeski

Dec 18, 2019

Roger Modjeski On Wednesday morning December 11, 2019, the audio world lost a legendary designer, a teacher and most of all a friend.  Roger lost his battle with cancer and passed away peacefully in his sleep at his home in San Pablo with hospice and visits from friends. Roger's career in audio spanned over 40 years including working at IBM, running an audio repair shop, teaching, working for Beveridge and finally starting his own audio business in 1984.   Roger designed a number of successful audio products including phono stages, preamps and amplifiers.  He also developed a method for testing tubes to…

Audioquest Niagra 1200 by Kevin Olson

Dec 01, 2019

Kevin's new Toy by Kevin Olson Audioquest Niagara 1200 Power Low-Z Power Noise Dissipation SystemA bit over 2 years ago I purchased a Niagara 1000 LZPNDS. Picked it up at the LA show and saved 10%.  Brought it home and hooked it up. My system already had Furutech power cables based on the SFAS power cable shootout winner. So would this 'giant glorified power strip' do anything? Well, at the very least, it organized my power cables into one spot and opened up power outlets. I am happy to report it had a positive effect. The noise floor dropped, imaging improved,…

Build an EL84 Tube Amplifier Class – San Francisco, by Ed Yang

Nov 25, 2019

Ed Yang will be teaching a build your own tube amplifier class at the Randall Museum in San Francisco. By popular demand I will be teaching a second session of the Randall IV amp for the tube audio DIY class at San Francisco’s Randall Museum. Beware that this is not your run of the mill EL84 stereo amplifier. The goals of the amp is sound as close to a live performance as possible, keep the cost down, minimize component count so that it will be easier to build, must look pleasing both inside and out. The topology of The Randall…

Pro-Ject Tube Box S2 Phono Preamp, by Grant Stoner

Nov 24, 2019

My most recent new toy (upgrade) is the Pro-Ject Tube Box S2 phono preamp, $399.   The S2 features 2 ECC83 tubes, and can handle both MM& MC cartridges. It has a wide range of adjustments: 40-63 db gain on front switches plus numerous dip switches on the underside for impedance and capacitance.  I flipped the third dips on the underside and set the gain to 43.  Too little gain wasn't enough and too much gave distortion.  I recommend just flipping them until you get the best sound with your cartridge.  It also has a subsonic switch which was so helpful…

Phonocut – Cut Your Own Vinyl Records

Oct 17, 2019

From MSN: As CD sales continue to fall, vinyl is becoming more and more popular of a music format. Some fans enjoy the bigger packaging and artwork while others claim vinyl playback produces a "warmer" tone compared to CDs and digital files. But vinyl doesn't have the flexibility of those formats. Phonocut hopes to change that with its home vinyl recorder, which launches on Kickstarter this week. The device's diamond stylus cuts the waveforms from an external source into a blank 7- or 10-inch vinyl disc so you can create records of compilations or your own music. The Phonocut sounds relatively simple…

IsoAcoustics Gaia II, by Alón Sagee

Oct 14, 2019

My experience of IsoAcoustics Gaia II vibration damping pods for floor standing speakers. By Alón Sagee   Unpacking: We’re often warned to not judge a book by its cover… but If you’ve ever unpacked an expensive new audio gizmo, you know that clever and elegant packaging manages to set one up for a good experience. The thought being that if this company takes this much care in making the packaging of their products so attractive, the contents must be something special. indeed, this is the case with IsoAccoustic’s Gaia line of products. Removing the top cover of a well-designed box,…