Something for everyone for the holidays from Audio Fidelity. From Audio, December 1958.


    A circa 1964 Harman Kardon FA30XK receiver kit in astounding condition. Courtesy of the Audio Classics collection.



    Heathkit WA-P2 mono preamplifier, 1957. Ray Chelstowski’s father-in-law Louis Bolognini built this. It still works!


    Does it get any better than a record player with a duraphonic fiber glass case?

    One comment on “All Kitted Out”

    1. I think that one of the issues for those of us who are in our 70’s is that we have been through the minimalist times of audio, music, and gear. Playing 45’s on flip top record players with ceramic cartridges and swell “duo-cone” speakers.

      Then the industry progress along with the recording industry and off to the races we went. We all got acclimated and used to the sound of vinyl, good and bad pressings, the overuse of compression and limiting which helped form our hearing and listening standards. We were told and bought what was said to be state of the art.

      The industry and the gear kept getting better by leaps and bounds, costs when up, but they do in anything and every hobby there are folks chasing “better”, what ever that is. The game was on.

      So hear I sit with a very middle of the road systems that I am fine with. I have upgraded my DACs as that part of digital keeps improving greatly. Some recordings are better and some are worse do to all the trickery that engineers think needs to be done. I think they do too much because it is all just a “click away”. We don’t know if their hearing is any good anyway. We just know what they “prefer”. The artist also has much to say about how their work sounds. We have all heard about, “well it sounded great in the car, so start the presses”.

      I do like high resolution PCM and DSD, but I know that there are some issues with ultra-sonic noise that can be seen, but not heard. some amplifiers can’t deal with it, but most can. I do wish a low pass filter could be created that would remove everything above 50khz and quiet down to “scope watchers” from complaining. I also don’t worry about my dog’s whistle.

      I have also seen huge spikes in the ultra-sonic range that cannot be explained, but they are their in some high resolution downloads. Is it computer workstation noise artifacts? A digital converter problem? Why are there 2 spikes, one per channel slightly offset at close frequencies? Are these phase problems in the ultra-sonic region? Is it something added from the “download process”? It really bothers the “scope watchers”, just not me very much. Is it from poor power supply design or dirty AC?

      I can say that in my 2496 and 24192 recordings I don’t have any of those issues and I don’t have boutique ADDA converters or mic preamps. My ultra-sonic noise floor is at -100db. These kinds of issues will always come up as we try to push the envelope to get better and better sound. Why did they go from 15ips in R2Rs and then go to 30 ips, more tracks, Dolby A noise reduction and keep trying to improve magnetic tape to lower the noise floor? To get better sound of course, just like some like 45 rpm pressings vs. 33.3 .

      I know where I started and am very pleased where I am today when I listen to my SACDs, high resolution recordings and the new Octave records releases. NOw if Sony and their friends would just come out with a $500 SACD player not full of compromises and give more folks a reason to join the SACD market things might get even better. But the creators of SACD, Sony and Philips have abandoned it, and make folks start at $1299 to enter the game.

      It may take someone who sells direct to come out with such a $500 player. Even it it plays “DATA-DISCs” WITH A USB OUT TO A “DAC”, THAT WOULD BE FINE. I have 2 of them already. Hint, hint. If the SACD part of this is the problem, avoid it.

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