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Title: Your stereo set-up!
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anthonyv
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Rank:Gold

Posts: 193

(Date Posted:10/17/2012 11:47)

Being a serious audiophile going back to my teen years in the late 1970s when I would devour every issue of STEREOPHILE magazine without the disruption of ever seeing a single ad (which the magazine did not feature for many years). This was still an era when true audiophiles cared more about the constant pursuit of accurate sound and not status!

If this topic was discussed before, I do apologize...The only topics I came across (just to make sure) that was even close was a question about MP3 players.

Anyway, before I describe my own components, I'd love to hear about other people's sound systems!

Anthony

usertype:3
Christmas Always
1# 



Rank:Diamond

Posts:1110

RE:Your stereo set-up!
(Date Posted:10/17/2012 20:18)

Anthony,

On my Desktop computer, I have a 7.1 soundcard, but only have 5.1 Surround Sound speakers with a Sub-woofer.

My notebook just has it's built in speakers and my stereo has two 24 inch x 12 inch x 10 in cabinets Pioneeer CS-G203  3 way Speaker system. they are both 100 watt speakers with a 10 inch Woofer, 4 inch mid-range and a 3 inch tweeter.

My vinyl records sound better with the turntable connected to the stereo and the 2 Pioneer speakers than they do when I hook the turntable to my USB input on my Desktop computer with Surround Sound speakers.  And I can't get my notebook to recognize my USB Turntable so I can't listen to my albums through the Notebook, and there is only a MONO mini microphone input so I can't use the RCA Jacks to plug into my notebook so I have to rip my albums and listen to them in FLAC or WAV or MP3, but the notebook and of course digitized music does't sound anywhere close to the actual Analog sound through my Stereo System.

I've been an audio buff since I was a teenager and worked as a secretary for a Professional Sound Company and we had a recording studio and did the sound systems for High School and College commencements and even Rock and Roll Revival Concerts in NYC during the 1970's among other things.   We also had an old Radio Station Studio from a radio station that moved to a new location, but left the equipment behind except for the Studio to Transmitter link and I was allowed to play around and do my own radio progrmas and had some tapes of them, but obviously, they weren't ever broadcast on the air, but it was a lot of fun.

I got to work with all the equipment related to recording and mixing and editing music and I basically have every type of option to listen to music.  I have a working 8-track recorder/player, Turntable, Reel-to-Reel Tape Recorder, CD player, Stereo Receiver, CD player and MP3 Player as well as the computer and portable radios with cassette players.

I do prefer listening to music via my Stereo system, especially my vinyl, but I also want to protect them from getting scratched, so I am slowly digitizing them and will burn some music on re-writeable CD's so I can listen to Christmas music in my vehicle during the rest of the year and not just at Christmas and then I can reuse them for other music.

Even if I use headphones, on my Stereo system, the music sounds better than it does on the computer or MP3 player

Anallog music isn't compressed, so you hear it exactly as you would if you were at the recording studio or Concert Hall, but Ditigizing anything from music to pictures, it compresses it so much that it loses some of the quality in the process and when you play it back it just doesn't sound as good as analog and for images, each time you open a picture on your computer you lose a little of the quality and over time it will become noticeable.

usertype:3 tt= 0

--------------------------------------------------------------
Christmas Isn't Just A Day In December, It's A Way Of Life
Susan

anthonyv
2# 



Rank:Gold

Posts:193

RE:Your stereo set-up!
(Date Posted:10/17/2012 23:02)

Christmas Always,
Thanks so much for kindly responding. I always enjoy hearing from a fellow audiophile, especially on forums dealing with classic music such as this one - which is probably among THE best in my opinion! I also have a solid background in audio that continues to this day! I'll try and list my set-up of sound components tomorrow. I have a horrible cold that has me pretty much knocked down - or out - for the count! 

 

 

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Christmas Always
3# 



Rank:Diamond

Posts:1110

RE:Your stereo set-up!
(Date Posted:10/18/2012 06:39)

Hi Anthony,

You're welcome.  It's OK to call me Susan.

I used to have a very nice receiver with buit-in cassette, but I purchassed that in 1977 and in 1988, I had to have one of the amplifiers fixed.  I can't think of the proper name right now as it's been a long time that I worked with electronics., but it was almost like a very large IC.  They had to take the receiver completely apart to get at it and it was about 4 inches by 4 inches and had a heat sink on it and about 30 soldered connections to the circuut board.  It cost me over $200.00 to get it repaired and I paid $700.00 just for the receiver.

It was a Panasonic RA 7700 Stereo Receiver and I really liked it, but after the repair eventually, the potntiometers were getting scratchy, and often I would turn the Stereo on and the right channel would be full blast and I had to quickly turn it down and the way they were soldered to the circuit board, it was very hard to get at to spray contact cleaner in them.  Then the string for moving the station marker broke so I couldn't change the stations anymore.  But I got a good 18-20 years out of it.  Now I have a JVC RX-III Receiver and it's much smaller and lighter than my old Panasonic Receiver.

I actually prefer components over comined units. and especially the vacuum tube tuners and amplifiers.  They were so much easier to repair as you basically had to replace a tube.  H H Scott made a great amplifier in it's day and I know of some that are still working as good as the day they were purchased back in the 1960's.

 

usertype:3 tt= 0

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Christmas Isn't Just A Day In December, It's A Way Of Life
Susan

anthonyv
4# 



Rank:Gold

Posts:193

RE:Your stereo set-up!
(Date Posted:10/18/2012 15:59)

Susan,

Wow...I thought more people would be willing to talk about the equipement that ALLOWS for them to hear, listen and enjoy so much of the music they love. Then again, I realize that "downloading" has seriously diminished much of the audio world that I once loved and that a lot of people have "down sized" or done away with their old systems for smaller, more convenient, modern "portable" units.

Anyway, these are the components I use to enjoy the magical world of music in the three rooms (den, living room, basement family room) I've incorporated stereo systems:

Nakamichi Dragon cassette deck (1986), Nakamichi SR-3a receiver (1987), ARXA turntable (1963), AR "The Turntable" (1985), Pioneer SX 1250 receiver (1977), Mc Intosh 4100 tube-type receiver (1979), two Sony CDP X339ES CD players (1993), Acoustic Research AR-3 speakers (near MINT legendary speakers my father purchased in late 1962), Advent 25th Anniversary Loudspeakers (1993), Cambridge Soundworks Model Six (gift from my old friend Henry Kloss in 1993 when I worked for CS).

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Christmas Always
5# 



Rank:Diamond

Posts:1110

RE:Your stereo set-up!
(Date Posted:10/18/2012 17:30)

Anthony,

Sounds like you had a great set up.  McIntosh was one name I was trying to think of and they had a lifetime warranty.  Each year back in the 1970's, they had a free repair clinic and it didn't matter if you literally took a hammer and smashed all the tubes, they would replace them without any questions.

I know one person who still has a McIntosh tube amp and it works just as good today as it did when he first acquired it  He also is in the business of restoring very old TV's and Radios.  I'm not just speaking of your common 2O inch RCA Console TV (Just used for reference. I don't know if they made a 20 inch or not), but I'm referring to radios from the 1920's and up and TV's from the 1940's that even had Channel 1 on the dial,

He is even restoring a 1955 Buick that isn't in too bad condition.  It has some rust on the hood, roof and trunk and a lot of patina but it's the original paint, and he rebuilt the radio in the car.  About the only thing that isn't original is he had to have the seats reupholstered, but they were done identical to the original, so if you didn't know they were redone, you couldn't tell the difference.

He is restoring a few cast iron stoves from the 1920's and has a basement full of TV's and Radios that were considered a piece of furniture instead of something for entertainment and you can't tell that there was ever a problem with them.  He often has to get parts from other non-working models of the same TV or Radio, but are in worse shape than what he is restoring so it's better to use parts from something that can't be restored, than trying to manufacture them in the case of cabinetry and grill cloth so they are fully original.  He actually strips down all the moving parts and cleans them and re-solders bad connections. and he does it just for the fun of it and not really to make money.

He does sell some things, but other things he gets from thrift stores for a few dollars and repairs them and gives them to needy people.
usertype:3 tt= 0

--------------------------------------------------------------
Christmas Isn't Just A Day In December, It's A Way Of Life
Susan

anthonyv
6# 



Rank:Gold

Posts:193

RE:Your stereo set-up!
(Date Posted:10/19/2012 15:24)

Susan,

I still HAVE (and enjoy) every one of those compents I listed! I used to have a lot more but we were running out of room, so I dumped a lot of it on ebay back in 1999 and 2000.

I was hoping that Chip would chime in and describe his system - the one he uses to enjoy that impressive North Pole archives of Christmas and holiday music he knows like the back of his hand!



(Message edited by anthonyv On 10/19/2012 20:57)
usertype:3 tt= 0
Christmas Music Guru
7# 



Rank:Honorary Member

Status: Lawrence F. Arcuri Owner/Webmaster of TheYuleLog.com
Posts:3493

RE:Your stereo set-up!
(Date Posted:10/19/2012 22:37)


Not much to tell, Anthony. My story is a simple and sweet one, but quite miraculous at the very same time I might add.

This is because I have used the very same and wonderful Sylvania tubed receiver stereo sound system for almost 40 years now -- and in all that time it has never once been broken. It puts all the subsequent stereo systems that were later made with transistors and/or integrated circuitry to shame. The old stereo systems also had more powerful transformers that really made the difference.

My turntable is a Garrard and my speakers are 3-way Ohm speakers with genuine wood cabinetry. Other components like 8-track deck, Cassette deck, CD players, etc., I added in the years that followed my initial purchase of the main system.






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--------------------------------------------------------------
Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri
Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com

JustaJeepGuy
8# 



Rank:Silver

Posts:55

RE:Your stereo set-up!
(Date Posted:10/19/2012 23:58)

I have to say that I'm far from a serious audiophile.  I count myself lucky if I can hear that the two channels are separate.  I have a Pioneer SX-626 tuner/amp and a Yamaha CDC-735 5-disc CD changer.  The tuner is a pain, as I have to frequently jump up and nudge the tuning knob here or there when the signal fades out.  The CD changer works fairly well, but the lens needs cleaning a couple times a year when tracks that I know are good start skipping.  However, the tuner is almost the only thing I have left that once belonged to my older brother when he died in 1980.  The CD changer was given to me about 15 years ago. 

I also have an Admiral console-type turntable/AM/FM radio that my folks got at Christmas time in 1965.  I keep it mostly because it's such a well-made piece of furniture.  Nobody makes good solid furniture like that any more, do they?  The pots were in desperate need of cleaning after living in Ohio humidity for 40 years, but after removing them to clean them, I can't get the radio to work.  I need to go back into it and fix it some day....I sure hope the turntable will still work then, n'yuk, n'yuk, n'yuk!

I'm kind of afraid that having high-quality stereo equipment would make me lose the feeling I get from hearing Christmas music out of what I have now.  Maybe it isn't supposed to sound less-than-crystal-clear, like I hear it now, but it's partly what I'm used to so I'll stick with it.  (This may all just be a cheap excuse to hide the fact that I don't have the funds to replace anything, though. N'yuk, n'yuk, n'yuk!)  Half the time I'm not in the same room as the stereo anyway, so why should I quibble about the sound quality?  It's hard to hear channel separation from around a corner, right?  Now, if I had the funds to build the house I want, the one with no interior walls except around the bathroom, things might be different.  Pipe dreams, pipe dreams....   

(Message edited by JustaJeepGuy On 10/20/2012 00:03)
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BobbyCratchit
9# 



Rank:Gold

Posts:116

RE:Your stereo set-up!
(Date Posted:10/20/2012 06:25)

Years ago my first real system consisted of components... a Harmon Kardon receiver, Philips turntable, and Interaudio speakers.  I think those speakers were the store's brand they threw in as part of the package - big floor speakers in wood cabinetry.  I later added a Technics cassette deck for making tapes to play in the car, my Walkman, and various boomboxes in other rooms (remember those clunkers?).

Four years ago, after serious consideration and amassing an enormous CD collection, I donated the receiver, turntable, cassette deck and speakers.  This was part of an extensive makeover I was undertaking at home.  I hadn't played anything on it in years, so I had to weigh the pros and cons of keeping something so big.  I was able to free up some space and, besides, I figured a true audio buff might get some use out of it.  Well, I hope someone somewhere is enjoying it anyway.

Like Susan, I'm undertaking a digitalization process for all my music, which has become a huge task.  A few years ago I got one of those Crosley Songwriter units for converting vinyl and tapes to CDs.  But the CDs themselves present their own storage problem.  I have since learned I can save a step by getting a turntable with a USB connection for the computer so I can bypass making CDs.

Susan is correct about the quality of that old analog music vs today's digital variety.  Something I find extremely annoying is the volume level of digital recordings.  When you make your own compilation CDs, or even transferring music files to an mp3 player, you can't control how the playback sounds.  I'm constantly adjusting the volume.  One song is soft, the next is loud; even within the same song, there's too much disparity between the highs and lows.  That old Technics cassette deck of mine had a control for monitoring the recording level when dubbing tapes.  But even though today's CD burning software allows you to "normalize" the volume, I've never noticed that feature to work very well.

JustaJeepGuy's comment about losing that special feeling when you hear your music on high quality equipment reminds me of an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond.  Ray thinks he's doing his father Frank a big favor by replacing his old jazz record collection with new CDs only to learn Frank doesn't care for that new sound at all.  The episode ends with Frank and Marie dancing to one of those old records perfectly content with hearing all the skips and scratches.

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Jim in Philly
Honoring the music of the Yule Log...
An era when that sound on your radio was music and it was called Beautiful Music for a reason.

Christmas Always
10# 



Rank:Diamond

Posts:1110

RE:Your stereo set-up!
(Date Posted:10/20/2012 08:11)

Jim,

You're speaking of the Everybody Loves Raymond episode reminds me of the episode of "Yes Dear"  Where Kim wanted Greg to get rid of his things in the garage and behind her back, he got one of those storage units and he brought his Drum Major stuff there and the guy next to him was an electronic game buff I believe and the one on the other side, was a record collector and he would go there every day to listen to his records because his wife wouldn't let him at home.  I believe he had the old vacuum tube component system, but I would have to see the episode again being it's been several years since I've seen the show.

Chip,

I would love to have a Stereo System such as the one you have.  40 years and it still works.  I still say this Electronic age we are in is going to fail in several ways, but the old school  vacuum tube technology is still working fine.  I have seen some elderly people where I live that have their old TV's and they still work and I'm speaking of pre-transistor and Integrated Circuit sets.  They work just fine.  Yes, some  have an oblong or almost oval picture, but other ones are the standard 4:3 Ratio screens, but it's all vacuum tube technology and I can't tell you how many times I've seen people having to return their Integrated Circuit electronics back in for repairs or replacement.


You just can't beat the Vacuum Tube Technology.  Yes, they got hot used more energy, but the new HDTV's get hot too and some have even caught fire.  Cellphones, Notebook Computers that have rechargeable batteries, the batteries can explode while recharging.  I am not saying that all batteries will explode, and I think they may have fixed that problem, but still.

To give you another idea. my Dish Network DVR gets so hot that I can't have anything on top of it such as a DVD player and I have to make sure there is plenty of space on the sides and top and back for ventilation to help cool it down and the old TV's didn't get that hot.

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--------------------------------------------------------------
Christmas Isn't Just A Day In December, It's A Way Of Life
Susan

anthonyv
11# 



Rank:Gold

Posts:193

RE:Your stereo set-up!
(Date Posted:10/20/2012 11:52)

THANKS everyone!

I just love talking and hearing about audio  - especially the "old school" stuff. It doesn't matter to me the price or prestige of the components; it's just the fact that these classic electronics are still out there and continue to bring so much enjoyment is what really matters! 

I myself may have listed a lot of components which pretty much do nothing but collect dust. But now I rely an old pair of Advents, an even older Pioneer receiver, a simple AR "Turntable," and a very basic (but extremely reliable) Sony XE-500 CD player that I forgot to mention. 

Except for my father's classic AR stuff and his old MAC tube receiver, everything else is probably doomed a fate of eventual storage - or eBay one day!



(Message edited by anthonyv On 10/20/2012 11:53)
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Christmas Always
12# 



Rank:Diamond

Posts:1110

RE:Your stereo set-up!
(Date Posted:10/20/2012 16:01)

You're welcome Anthony.

A few years ago, just before "The Digital Transition" for Television took effect here in the USA. I had wanted a multi-band radio that was capable of picking us Short Wave radio broadcasts and as a teenager I had an old vacuum tube AM/FM Shortwave radio and I would listen to morse code, but didn't understand it, but would also listen to a lot of Foreign broadcasts and they didn't fade away for long periods of time and I would even listen to the International Time Channel where you would hear, not really ticking, but a rhythmic knock and them just before the minute was up, you would hear "At the tone, the time will be 4 hours 10 minutes Greenwich mean time. Then the tone would sound for maybe 15 seconds and than change to the rhythmic  knock.  I would also DX and mark down all the call letters and frequencies of the radio stations I was able to pick up.  I don't know what happened to that radio because it was in perfect working order, but maybe we didn't have enough room to take it with us when we moved.

Anyways, this new radio was supposed to pick up Citizen Band channels 1-40, TV 2-13 and 14-69 and FM and Weather and aircraft and SW1 and SW2, but on most of the settings, all I would be able to pick up is the closet AM or FM Stations all over the dial and the only way to pick up CB was if someone was within a 1 block radius from me.  The Short Wave would come in OK, and the AM, but it was touchy and often would pick up interference from Fluorescent light bulbs even though we didn't have any in the apartment, it was picking up the interference from neighbors lights like CFL's.  I paid almost $200.00 for the radio and couldn't even pick up the TV Stations before the "Digital Transition" and would just get the strongest AM or FM station all over the dial.  I even sent the radio back for a replacement one and still had the same problem.  And the old tube radio, I never got any interference except from lightning.  Transistorized  radios just don't do what the old school technology was capable of.  I've tried to find one on eBay, but they want over $200.00 and can't guarantee that they even work.

Even my cellphone interferes with that radio, or my computer speakers if I'm getting a call or it's updating information for something.

Oh, also on my JVC Receiver, I can't pick up any AM Stations unless I use an external antenna and that is basically a piece of wire. but I get a lot of HUM from certain stations and have to play around with the position of the wire.  But we didn't have that problem years ago.
usertype:3 tt= 0

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Christmas Isn't Just A Day In December, It's A Way Of Life
Susan

NewYorkDave
13# 



Rank:Bronze

Posts:25

RE:Your stereo set-up!
(Date Posted:11/15/2012 09:11)

The setup I use at home isn't impressive - an old Sansui integrated amp and tuner, Technics turntable, cassette deck and CD player and Cambridge 3-way floor speakers. But as an electronics technician/audio engineer for many years, I've accumulated some good stuff which is currently in storage but which I hope to refurbish someday and put into service. The system I have planned is a Dynaco ST-70 amplifier and PAS-3 preamp and Ampex 960 1/4" tape deck. These are all tube and represent a typical "higher end but not highest-end" home stereo system of the '60s. I'll probably retain the Technics turntable and Cambridge speakers since they work well.

I also have a few smaller tube integrated amps (e.g., Dynaco SCA-35, Eico HF-81, et. al.) which would work well as the basis of a smaller "bookshelf"-type system.
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www.phantomplayland.com

MichiganNSX
14# 



Rank:Bronze

Posts:15

RE:Your stereo set-up!
(Date Posted:11/21/2012 10:53)


Wow - first post on this site!  I hope I don't come off as bragging, but I have a pretty nice setup (I think)

Meridian 562V Digital Preamp
Meridian 565 Surround Sound Processor
Acurus A250 Front Channel Amplifier (250 watts x 2)
(3) Marantz MA-500 Mono Amplifers for Center & Surround Speakers
(2) NHT 2.9 Floor Standing Speakers (left & right)
NHT AC-2 Center Channel Speaker
(2) NHT 1.5 Surround Speakers
Velodyne F1800mk. II 18"/600 watt Powered Subwoofer
Pioneer CLD-704 LaserDisc/CD Player
Meridian 519 Digital reclocking device
Sony 5 Disc DVD/CD Changer
Sony Playstation3 BlueRay/Gaming System
Technics Linear Tracking Turntable
Apple iPod (160GB)
Laptop Computer running iTunes with over 20,000 songs
Comcast High Devinition Cable T receiver/DVR
Epson 1080P Professional Series Front Projector
Draper Onyx 106" Screen
Marantz RC5200 Touchscreen Remote

Whew - I think thats it...

Oh - and over 100 Christmas CDs! :D  (which I realize is NOTHING compared to Chip's collection)

usertype:3 tt= 0
Christmas Music Guru
15# 



Rank:Honorary Member

Status: Lawrence F. Arcuri Owner/Webmaster of TheYuleLog.com
Posts:3493

RE:Your stereo set-up!
(Date Posted:11/21/2012 12:05)


Welcome to the message board, Dan.



usertype:1 tt= 0

--------------------------------------------------------------
Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri
Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com

MichiganNSX
16# 



Rank:Bronze

Posts:15

RE:Your stereo set-up!
(Date Posted:11/21/2012 13:46)

Thanks Chip.

This looks like a cool website. :)

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone on the board.
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