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    FamousDavis
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    Your early audio equipment

    Post  FamousDavis on Mon May 27, 2013 1:14 am

    Vinyl is seeing a resurgence, as many young people as well as old are starting to buy vinyl albums due to the richer sound. This got me thinking about my early audio equipment.

    The first system I got was in 5th grade. It was one of those record players with the speakers built in. I think it was a Panasonic or Pioneer.

    Two years later for my birthday I got a Pioneer receiver, Techniques turntable and Infiniti speakers. The speakers were about two feet high with a wood finish and dark brown mesh over the speakers. A year later I got a Sony cassette player with Dolby. Never used the Dolby as it suppressed the sound. I used that system all the way through college and later replaced it with a Yamaha receiver (awesome) with Polk Audio semi-bookshelf speakers (about two feet high by 8 inches wide) which are still the best sounding speakers I've heard. I made the mistake a few years later of getting much bigger Polk Audio speakers and they didn't sound as good.

    I used to sit by the cassette player waiting for my favorite song to come on the radio so I could record it.

    Now I have Bose iPod speaker but it doesn't sound like the old stuff. Vinyl does sound better. Have you noticed that several recently released songs have that little popping and scratching noise added in? Listen to Pink's "just give me a reason" and you can hear it. It sounds better.

    Isn't that funny that people now believe that songs sound to "digital" without enough life in them?
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    FamousDavis
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    Re: Your early audio equipment

    Post  FamousDavis on Mon May 27, 2013 11:43 pm

    So far my "early audio equipment" post is showing a great deal of interest. I forgot to add that I also owned one of those early 8 track tape players that had a little button that would skip the tape forward immediately. I never figured out how that worked because the tape didn't fast forward at all. The only thing I can think of is that the tape must have had different tracks on the same piece of tape but on various levels of the tape. Problem was, sometimes it would skip to the middle of a song. Man, what great technology that was.

    Of course, the end all, be all of equipment to own was the reel to reel tape. That piece of audio equipment was the mark of the true 70's playboy.
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    Pky6471

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    Re: Your early audio equipment

    Post  Pky6471 on Tue May 28, 2013 4:24 am

    FamousDavis wrote:So far my "early audio equipment" post is showing a great deal of interest. I forgot to add that I also owned one of those early 8 track tape players that had a little button that would skip the tape forward immediately. I never figured out how that worked because the tape didn't fast forward at all. The only thing I can think of is that the tape must have had different tracks on the same piece of tape but on various levels of the tape. Problem was, sometimes it would skip to the middle of a song. Man, what great technology that was.

    Of course, the end all, be all of equipment to own was the reel to reel tape. That piece of audio equipment was the mark of the true 70's playboy.

    Sh$$$t, I went thru several systems while in college... Marantz, Kenwood, Pioneer etc... Now still have high-end Yamaha receiver with Bose A-5 (?)speakers... been so long I don't remember. The Yamaha receiver is going out on me (16+ yrs old), its front light went out, still functional , I use it with my 55" Samsung 3D TV for better sound... It's time for an upgrade, don't know what yet, maybe B&O Razz
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    jmtbkr

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    Re: Your early audio equipment

    Post  jmtbkr on Tue May 28, 2013 7:16 am

    I love early audio! I am a vintage audio freak and collector of some stuff.
    I still have most of my original equipment.

    ~650 albums.
    Thorens TD160 turntable Shure V15 TII cartridge
    Marantz 2250b used as a preamp
    Crown DC300a (traded a McINtosh 2105 for it)
    Triple Advents (reconed all woofers)
    Advent 201 cassette (over 200 Dead concerts on Advent Cr02 tapes)
    Revox A77 reel to reel (about 30 10 1/2" reels of live stuff)

    anyone want to talk vintage equipment?
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    Mongrel

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    Re: Your early audio equipment

    Post  Mongrel on Tue May 28, 2013 8:38 am

    The craziest bit of audio kit I bought was a set of two JVC Nivico globe speakers while in Yokosuka, Japan. These globes featured black perforated aluminum covers with eigth two-inch drivers mounted four per hemisphere which was where the two globe pieces attached and were secured with a substantial rubber gasket. These globes were supported by aluminum stands and stood about four feet above the deck. The best thing about them was their omni-directionality and full range frequency response including healthy bass despite the diminutive speaker sizes. The other really cool thing was that you could put your ear to the glove surface with the volume turned to 10 and swear that the sound was coming from the other end of the room. I used those as the stage front speakers with two big Panasonic bookshelves in my quad system featuring the first Quadraphonic Synthesiser made by I forget which Nippon company....maybe Akai or Kenwood. Anyway, if any of your Geezers or Geezer wannabees remember Edgar Winter's (Johnny's brother) "Frankenstein", you'll remember his synth solo towards the end of the tune and with my quadraphonic system, that synth solo and drum lines did 360's in time to the music. If you were straight, it was way cool. If you were stoned, it would f*ck your head. If you were tripping, it would unscrew your head. To come down, I would then play "Gimme Shelter". Again and again. Carry on, men.
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    jmtbkr

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    Re: Your early audio equipment

    Post  jmtbkr on Tue May 28, 2013 8:49 am

    Mongrel wrote:Carry on, men.

    I have a great recording of the Dead, new years 1971, where Bill Graham gets up to make a few stage announcements between sets and concluded with, "As for the rest of us, we will continue to carry on!"

    Laughing Laughing Laughing cyclops
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    trombettista_vecchio

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    Re: Your early audio equipment

    Post  trombettista_vecchio on Wed May 29, 2013 6:30 pm

    My brother and I built a Dynakit preamp and amplifier in the mid 60s. We bought a used Rek-O-Kut turntabe and Ampeg open reel deck at a camera shop on Boylston Street. And we stole two refrigerator-sized Altec Voice-of-the-Theater speakers breaking into a closed downtown cinema house. They had to weigh a couple hundred pounds apiece, and we could couldn't get them into the microbus. No cellphones, of course. Had to go to a pay phone, with the doors broken into, the huge speakers on the sidewalk, and people walking around, and call a friend with a beat up pickup. We barely got them into that.

    There wasn't room to move in our little Cambridge apartmnt, but we had two full-sized commercial movie theater speakers. They were so efficient that the little Dynakit amplifier could make them rattle the windows in the entire building.

    By the way, how is everyone doing?
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    jmtbkr

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    Re: Your early audio equipment

    Post  jmtbkr on Wed May 29, 2013 7:50 pm

    Ahh, the A7 is still, albeit ugly, one of Altec's best. Todays' audiophiles power them with low wattage SET amps (tubes) and you have concert level performance.
    Vintage Dynaco stuff brings big $$$ to collectors.

    If you know what they are, I still yearn for a pair if Urei 813's. Twin Altec 604-8g coaxial drivers in boxes as big as those Altecs. Move over Wall of Sound
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    trombettista_vecchio

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    Re: Your early audio equipment

    Post  trombettista_vecchio on Thu May 30, 2013 10:06 am

    jmtbkr wrote:Ahh, the A7 is still, albeit ugly, one of Altec's best. Todays' audiophiles power them with low wattage SET amps (tubes) and you have concert level performance.
    Vintage Dynaco stuff brings big $$$ to collectors.

    If you know what they are, I still yearn for a pair if Urei 813's. Twin Altec 604-8g coaxial drivers in boxes as big as those Altecs. Move over Wall of Sound

    Of course. The 813s were first class studio monitors instead of large venue speakers. As big as they were, they were designed to perform in an enclosed space more than a large venue, making them even more appropriate for home use. First rate stuff.

    The Altec 19 was a good speaker made for domestic use for those of us who like that kind of sound. The Klipsch Cornwall used to be but isn't any more since they went to particle board with the revival models.

    As for the "other" type of loudspeaker, my favorites are the Harbeth Monitor Forty and the Spendor S100. Not as exciting, to be sure, but they sound good with more powerful solid state amps like the McIntosh MC302. Me, I'd rather have an MC275 (or even MC240) and horn speakers!
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    Mongrel

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    Re: Your early audio equipment

    Post  Mongrel on Thu May 30, 2013 10:15 am

    jmtbkr wrote:
    Mongrel wrote:Carry on, men.

    I have a great recording of the Dead, new years 1971, where Bill Graham gets up to make a few stage announcements between sets and concluded with, "As for the rest of us, we will continue to carry on!"

    Laughing Laughing Laughing cyclops
    "Carry on" is a military term typically issued by a superior to subordinates meaning "Go back to doing what you were doing before the interruption." Not like the Crosby, Stills & Nash classic. Nor like Bill Graham.
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    jmtbkr

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    Re: Your early audio equipment

    Post  jmtbkr on Thu May 30, 2013 10:35 am

    My friend used to have these in his house. JBL 4520'w/dual 15" drivers and HF lens. Powered by a Mac preamp and a 2300 power amp.

    It could blow out a candle at 10feet


    Last edited by jmtbkr on Thu May 30, 2013 9:02 pm; edited 3 times in total
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    trombettista_vecchio

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    Re: Your early audio equipment

    Post  trombettista_vecchio on Thu May 30, 2013 11:38 am

    Crude diagram of present system:

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    Horseballs

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    Re: Your early audio equipment

    Post  Horseballs on Thu May 30, 2013 1:09 pm

    Damn Nifty2! You certainly are keeping yourself busy, even with golf removed from the hobby list.
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    FamousDavis
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    Re: Your early audio equipment

    Post  FamousDavis on Thu May 30, 2013 6:20 pm

    My first car was a 1982 Honda Accord and after a few months of working as a waiter I earned enough money for some speakers and a cassette deck. I know you guys are going to laugh but I installed some Jensen speakers with a Pioneer tape deck and Pioneer amplifier. It was one of the best sounding systems for playing rock music. Those speakers cranked. I didn't have speakers up front, just the rear ones.

    That was the same year I became big man on campus. Coincidence? I think not.
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    Mongrel

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    Re: Your early audio equipment

    Post  Mongrel on Thu May 30, 2013 7:05 pm

    I loved the eight-tracks. Not especially for their innovative portability. Not so much for their audio fidelity. But in the early '70's when I was living in San Diego and going to electronics and broadcasting tech school on the G.I. Bill, I used to earn spending money fixing guys' eight track machines that they were ready to pull out and throw away. My magic fix-it kit consisted of a box of Q-tips, a bottle of isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol, and a wand-type de-magnitizer. The de-magnetizer was the most most expensive component at about $5.00 from Radio Shack. The rubbing alcohol and Q-tips about another dollar. Now the reason 99% of car 8-tracks were trashed was that the playback head would go out of alignment, get dirty and magnetized. So first, I would clean the head and rubber pinch wheels with the alcohol on Q-tips until the last Q-tip came back clean. Then I would plug in the de-magnitizer to the closest outdoor power outlet and de-magnetize the head. Lastly, I would put in a fresh 8-track tape (my favorite was my own Hendrix "Are You Experienced" and align the head with a Phillips head screwdriver. The entire process was less than 10 minutes. They guys were so f*cking greateful that I had no problem getting $10 per job. Now this was back when Super Shell 93 octane was about 30 cents per gallon, a 6 oack of Coors in brown bottles was $1.35, a steak dinner at the Chart House in La Jolla was under $7.00, and an ounce of really good Mexican pot with mostly buds was $20 at most. Ah for the good old days.
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    12pierogi

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    Re: Your early audio equipment

    Post  12pierogi on Fri May 31, 2013 8:22 am

    My first car I installed a Pioneer super tuner with Jensen triaxial or coaxial speakers, in a 67 Rs Camaro. It needed a graphic equalizer, I never got around to putting one in.
    In the house I confiscated a Marantz gold face receiver, from dad, with some kind of cerwin vega speakers.

    Before that, I was 12 or so, I had a car tuner hooked up to a battery charger, and some el cheapo speakers so I could listen to the clearest station I liked, a classical music, that I would play before going to bed.
    I was different as I was one of the youngest to have a ham radio license and station, were I was able to communicate with morse code with my ten tec radio, I got more serious and got a 200watt station, a kit you had to put together, called a heathkit, I still remember morse code all these years later, it's like another language.
    I never collected albums, all my buddy's had them, I was an 8'track or cassette kind of guy.

    I haven't went crazy with even with a current setup. In the house I primarily use a Denon surround sound, the smaller speakers are Boston acoustic, subwoofer also, and a pair of Bose 201.
    My challenger has a kenwood receiver with Memphis amp and speakers, front speakers are in the kick panels with directional tweeters, Rockford fosgate wiring, I couldn't butcher the door panels there to hard to find nice in black. The engine a 440 sixpak is the sub.
    The other car a dodge dart with a near 600 hundred horse smallbock has a gutted am radio for looks, as 3.5" exhaust center in, out 2 chamber race mufflers is all the music you need, you couldn't hear it anyways.
    I do have an extensive cd collection, close to 400, that I've collected for 20 plus years.
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    Mongrel

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    Re: Your early audio equipment

    Post  Mongrel on Fri May 31, 2013 10:28 am

    The Government spent thousands of 1968 dollars to send me to school to learn, among other things, Morse Code. Dah Dit Dit Dit, Dit Dit Dah Dit, Dah Dit Dit.
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    trombettista_vecchio

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    Re: Your early audio equipment

    Post  trombettista_vecchio on Fri May 31, 2013 7:14 pm

    Both 8 track and cassette were very low fi compared to LP, although cassette eventually improved a little bit. Open reel had good sound except for high end hiss before Dolby came out. All formats of tape media prior to DAT, however, made individual track selection a b!tch and thus I didn't like them.

    I had no trouble accepting compact disc but I missed the cover art of LPs. In video, I liked the size of laserdiscs more than the size of DVDs. I don't know why everything has to be small. The VHS cassette would have been a good size for audio.

    As for mp3 files and iPods, I'm just not interested. That's for a different generation.
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    jmtbkr

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    Re: Your early audio equipment

    Post  jmtbkr on Fri May 31, 2013 8:35 pm

    I'm very grateful for mp3 files. It allows me to carry most of my music with me at all times and with a upper end set of earbuds, you have what aurally appears to sound like your home system. Even the low end - which is of paramount importance to me.
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    FamousDavis
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    Re: Your early audio equipment

    Post  FamousDavis on Sat Jun 01, 2013 11:11 am

    jmtbkr wrote:I'm very grateful for mp3 files. It allows me to carry most of my music with me at all times and with a upper end set of earbuds, you have what aurally appears to sound like your home system. Even the low end - which is of paramount importance to me.

    I've put off installing the audio input device that would allow me to connect my iPod to my car stereo. I'm fully aware of the FM transmitters they have out there but I've tried them and wasn't exactly thrilled with the sound quality. My Acura is a 2006 and doesn't have an input for the iPhone/ipod. I guess it would be pretty stupid just to buy a new car for that input.

    Actually, with my next automobile I'm considering something that gets great gas mileage but still looks pretty good. I no longer care about what kind of car I drive. I'm basically a family guy now and I've grown to accept it and actually favor it over the single lifestyle that I used to crave. As a result, my next car might actually be the new Honda Civic. I'd get the leather interior and the model with the best sound system. It's actually a very nice looking car and not much smaller than the Honda Accord. I've seen the new model out on the road a few times now and I'm pretty impressed. I figure it will last me 8 years, save on gas money and it's easy to park.
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    trombettista_vecchio

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    Re: Your early audio equipment

    Post  trombettista_vecchio on Tue Jun 04, 2013 12:45 pm

    FamousDavis wrote:
    Actually, with my next automobile I'm considering something that gets great gas mileage but still looks pretty good. I no longer care about what kind of car I drive.

    I'm closer to 70 than 60, but I still care about the cars I drive. I wish my CTS-4 was more like the 19 foot long Caddys of days gone by. I don't log enough miles to worry about fuel economy. Comfort and performance come first, and a year ago last February, I spent good money on a car that doesn't provide enough of either. I wish I could afford to fully restmod a '66 Fleetwood Brougham. That's my idea of an automobile.
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    jmtbkr

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    Re: Your early audio equipment

    Post  jmtbkr on Tue Jun 04, 2013 12:58 pm

    I still want a '49 Hudson with a big raccoon tail on the antenna.

    That's crusin'!
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    Lorenzzo

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    Re: Your early audio equipment

    Post  Lorenzzo on Tue Jun 04, 2013 1:09 pm

    My drives are typically 5 minutes or less with very low speed limits that are strictly enforced. I thought it would drive me crazy but it changes driving habits and makes it more relaxing to be in the car. So now I'm thinking my AWD crossover is too small. I need something as big as possible that I can park. So I'm looking at full sized SUV-s but maybe I should get an RV as my daily driver.

    It would save me from having to set up and break down campsites and offer protection from the bears and moose.
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    12pierogi

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    Re: Your early audio equipment

    Post  12pierogi on Tue Jun 04, 2013 6:58 pm

    It kind of pisses me off the next year passat had iPod connection, in the optioned out version, and I kind of like the Monsoon sound system in the W8 4 motion, plus that 180 mph speedo does it for me. Plus 4 cams on a chain, no rubber bands.
    I could look into what Best buy install.
    Some junk I worked on lately, plus a gorgeous 54 ford f100 Camaro front susp, 327ci 5 speed I should have took a picture of. He wants to golf with me, and he's bringing it back for some more tweaking.
    You can see a glimpse of my Challenger behind the semi, it's got a header leak driving me nuts.





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    jmtbkr

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    Re: Your early audio equipment

    Post  jmtbkr on Tue Jun 04, 2013 7:41 pm

    nice lift system!

    my murano came the following year with the iconnect. But I do have audio inputs, so I use the headphone jack of my phone to plug in.

    what cars are the 2nd and 3rd pics? I love you specs, please. is the red one a convertable?

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