Monday, 22 April 2013

Garrard SP25 Mk3

We get all sorts of interesting things in for service ....

On the bench today, one Bush Arena 'Music centre' fitted with the iconic Garrard SP25 turntable .... in this case the Mk3 version. Absolutely immaculate condition and easily 40 years old... only issue is the notorious Auto mechanism which seems to have developed a mind of its own.

Ok, not the last word in audiophile High Fidelity, but the 25 has earned its place in the Turntable hall of fame ..... I reckon that anybody who was bitten by the audio bug in the 70s and early 80s will have owned an SP25, Pioneer PL12D or a Dual CS505 at some time during their upgrade route to better things....and so, rather than turn this away and dismiss it as awkward to work on (which it is ) and not worth the effort, decided to give it the respect it deserves and break out the Isopropyl and grease and give it a good service.

Although the 25 is hellish complicated inside ... (the earlier models were purely manual and weren't saddled with the crazy muliple levers and springs of the auto) they are fairly reliable and generally only fail due to lack of use . which is the case here ... hardened grease and dry runners ...

Can't wait to fire it up ( I have the Bush Arena speakers here too :-) ) and revel in a bit of nostalgia

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Stax SR009 - now in!!

At last, a pair of Stax 009 that we can call our own .... these will be put out for demonstration as soon as we have run them in .... it takes 150 hours so I may be some time :-)

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Stax Omega SR007mk2 secondhand

Expected in soon:

Stax SR007mk2 headphones, around 6 months old

We'll post up a few photos and some more details when they arrive.

Price likely to be around £1500

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Synergistic fuses in Naim Audio equipment

Ok, I can hear the dismissive comments already... £45 for a mains fuse? ... snake oil ... you can convince yourself of anything if you've paid that much... etc etc

But no, upgrading fuses is a very simple and fairly cheap way of pepping up you system. I was reminded of this last night after spending a few hours with a customer/friend who has a high end Naim set up. Naim systems are very difficult to 'tweek' they only really work with Naim sourced options .... this isn't a Naim sourced myth .. I've tried some really high end cables with Naim only to find that their own basic A5 cable worked better .... So, substituting fuses seemed like there would be potential for a wasted evening (in Hifi upgrade terms anyway)

We started of with a single 13a Synergistic SR20 fitted to the Thor mains distribution (one of the few of its type that works with Naim) ... Now, I've heard what fuses do before, but I still had a reservation due to Naims resistance to upgrades ... but the difference, even with just a single fuse, was quite spectacular....

Synergistic Research SR20 Mains Fuse
Bass was much more 'sculpted from the solid' and vocals separated from the mix in a very natural way. Overall the kind of improvement brought about by a major component upgrade ... We then moved on to replace fuses elsewhere, which stepped things up again, not quite to the same degree as the first, but very pleasing all the same.

The next move here is to try Synergistic internal fuses ... which I've never tried, but according to the importer they make a bigger difference than the mains versions!

link to Synergistic Fuses

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Rega A2D Mini Fono - Phonostage

We have had a lot of success with the little Rega Mini Fono recently. At £89 it would seem like it is aimed just at the 'get you going' end of the market ... but actually this is quite a capable unit and is basically the same as the internal circuit used in the Rega Mira amplifier.

In typical Rega fashion, it performs way above it's price point ....

To keep things simple, the A2D is MM only and as you can see from the picture, if you use the screw heads for a scale reference, quite tiny.

Fairly straightforward 'in' and 'out' sockets and the A2D comes with an external power supply

The front panel has a USB socket .. which relates to the other feature of the Rega hinted at by the A2D designation.... you can also connect this unit up to a computer and record directly to the hard drive from your record player.

Cut and pasted below .. Regas explanation of how to do this :

To transfer vinyl to your PC You will need to install a digital audio editor. Such software is widely available as a free download (such as Audacity) from the internet. This is a simple interface which allows monitoring of volume and balance whilst transferring your audio to your PC hard drive.

Audio editing software includes a level meter which indicates the output level achieved when playing a piece of vinyl. You should adjust the output as necessary via the ‘Level’ control located on the front panel. Always take special note of record levels to ensure optimum recording quality.

Click here to visit our Rega Phonostage web page