Discussion in 'Hardware Lounge' started by CJ, Feb 7, 2018.
We Pieced Together Steve Jobs' Long-Lost Stereo System
That would still be a nice sounding system.
I just revisited one of my older systems...on loan.
it was conrad johnson pv5 preamp
two MV50/52 amps
two Vandersteen 2Ce Sig(updated)
two 2W subwoofers
Shure V15 MR
later additions were cj CD player and
it had an older NOS DAC.
(He also has added an OPPO universal player.)
this was assembled circa 1985
it was considered pretty good in the day...
not SOTA Premier cj line but well regarded.
Well, it still sounds good. Yes, it's got
the cj tube sound & the speakers aren't
ruthlessly revealing. Fresh NOS tubes.
Silver-streak Kimber wires. Everybody is
still pleased with the sound
I've bought and sold so many audio things over the past almost 40 years, I can only vaguely remember some of it. I don't sell much at this point. More often I just rotate it to a secondary system.
In 1985 I didn't have a system as it went away in a divorce. In 1984 it consisted of ESS AMT1B speakers, Mc C28 preamp, Phase Linear 400-II amp, Nakamichi Dragon cassette, Otari MX5050 reel to reel, Phillips GA-312 turntable with Grado G1+ cart. Not exactly high-end but I remember the sound fondly.
I owned most of the Phase Linear stuff (probably a few years prior to the mid-80s), including the 400 II amp (I think I owned every one of their preamps over a period). Had their turntable too (with 3 cartridges including a Grado G2+). I think back then I had Mirage SM-3 speakers like these
Cool. I bought the PL in 1978 and it served me well right up to where I had to liquidate it.
yikes, the vagaries of relationships
If by that you mean my first ex-wife was a royal bitch, then yes.
Well, let's see how good my memory is.
First system from overseas PX catalog while in Viet Nam was a Kenwood TK-88 receiver, Pioneer CS-77 speakers, and Akai tape deck.
Sold the receiver and went to Dynaco separates, same speaks and deck.
Went from the Akai deck to a Teac 6010, later to a Revox A-77, stolen, replaced by a Revox B-77, died from corrosion. Got clear out of reel to reel at that time. Also had a couple of different cassette decks from Sharp, and later Carver. Have none now.
Sold the Dynaco stuff and went to a Pioneer Quadraphonic preamp, with a home built quad amp. Was a big disappointment.
Gave the CS-77's to my parents (later stolen in a buglary) and went to Altec Lansing Bolero's.
Gave those to my sister as a wedding present and got a pair of floor standers from a So. Cal. outfit called STR. (Sound Technology Research)
Wore those out and went to a pair of used Altec VOT components in custom boxes from a closed disco.
Got tired of those eating my whole living room and sold them and found a used set of Carver Amazing's.
By then had Phase Linear separates. 4000/400/1100 eq. The Carver/Phase Linear stuff lasted many years.
Somewhere in there was a stack of Marantz A/V first try at multichannel. Along with a pair of Def. Tech. C1 jr's as surrounds.
Now have B&K Ref. 50/7250 and Vienna Acoustics 'Beethoven Concert Grand' speaks L/R with Theatro center, and Paradigm rears.
Don't even want to try and remember all the video stuff. And sure I've have missed a few stereo things.
I had multi-channel in the systems long before it was available in receivers and before stereo TV. Owned a Pioneer TVX-9500 TV tuner for dual mono hi-fi TV and had time delays for surround sound. Used the Koss time delay unit but didn't like the crappy 15W amp and used an SAE 50WPC for the rear. Memories. I had a newly constructed house pre-wired for surround speakers just before Dolby was available for the home (and had to explain to the electrician what it was for).
whoa, you guys were cutting edge...
me not so much
Oh yeah, lest I foget, in 1970, I bought a very nice Empire Scientific turntable, which I still use.
And, I still have two laserdisc players and about a hundred discs.
I've lost count of how many vcr's I've gone through.
I've long felt that the inclusion of Wilson speakers is a sign you have too much money.
... and questionable taste.
I have heard some recent Sophia's And Alexa's
Way better than the WP of old. imho, ymmv
I could live with them. We like to poke fun.
But damn they are well made. Look good and
as I said sound good. and they do have resale value.
15 coats of highly polished automotive grade lacquer doesn't make them sound better. Just cost more.
I agree. Someone I know bought Sasha (1s) used from a dealer at a decent deal. The problem I have with any high end brand like that is the cost of it new at a dealer. By the time it gets to the retail level it just is a very expensive thing (unless one is made of money and/or is sure that they are going to keep them for a very long time). Not that long ago, I went to demo of a high end brand at a dealer. Brought a friend and I guess during the course of the demo he talked to the owner about a pair of KEF blades that were sitting in the back room where the food and drinks were. They were moved out of the sound rooms just to make space. Next thing I know I get contacted by the dealer (didn't have my friend's contact info) and he wanted to make room for more stuff and wanted to know if my friend wanted the demo pair at half price ($12,500).
So when I buy stuff (and I don't sell as much as I used to - many times just rotate it to a secondary system), I tend to either go the used route (e.g. Audiogon - either from a dealer or individual) or look to manufacturer's who sell direct to consumers to avoid those expensive mark-ups. Where I am now, high end dealers are few and far between. I have one dealer about 15 minutes away and there is nothing else within an hour and some a few hours away. When I wanted to get a higher end music server and get off the Windows platform, I talked to a member of my old DC area audio group who bought part of an audio dealership and they deal in what IMO are the top brands of music servers. I just wanted to pick his brain and I also reached out to a friend who is also an audio reviewer (has reviewed servers and written an article on digital audio) and probably has been in the audio business about 30 years in all capacities (retail, manufacturer rep, reviewer, consultant, speaker manufacturer and still makes cables).
So I did my homework and went to the local dealer who was 15 minutes away (and he is open just 3 days/week and I probably have more equipment in my house than in his store, except just about everything he carries is ultra expensive) and carried one of the brands I was interested in. I made 4 trips to the store in total and did all the work . The first trip was when they closed a road on my way home and I diverted to the store to see what they had on the floor. I listened and indicated I would come back in a couple of weeks with my music. I did that and something in his network did not function right and I copied my music to his network so I can come back in a couple of weeks with my Windows music server and a small monitor. Well I did that and the stuff still wasn't working and the website of his DAC manufacturer (a $15k+ DAC) didn't function properly to download a working driver for my music server. He told me he would lend it to me to use in my house. I left him contact info. I stopped back again and he acknowledge he owes me something. The last visit was during a Wilson Audio event and I want to say hello to their sales director whom I know for a long time as he was part of the speaker manufacturer with my friend and also worked for Sumiko (distributing Rel subs back then) prior to Wilson. In fact, the only reason the store owner came running over is that he saw me talking to the guy from Wilson and realized I knew him (there were about 25 people in the store) and it was a case of panic (on his part) that I might say something about my attempt to even get an audition from him (what the heck is the point of having a local dealer when you can't get an audition - and what I was looking at was not cheap, although compared to most of the stuff in his store was).
I also had another friend who worked in a store (where I used to live) and I helped here and there. So at this point, knowing a bit about the inner workings for a long time, I have a problem with most things high end at the retail level and list prices. I ended up buying another brand of music server lightly used from a dealer only in Illinois. No it wasn't cheap. It was a bit more than the one I was looking at locally (although they do make more expensive models but at that point the store did not carry them). I fully acknowledge (and make no apologies) that I am a crazy audiophile (and if anyone wants to buy me a straight jacket - the size is XXL). As an example, I have a desktop system (pic below) and have a DAC/Integrated Amp (IDA-8 – NuPrime Audio), I bought not that long ago lightly used (60% of list). I just upgraded the fuse on the DAC/Integrated Amp (went entry level on sale - $63). I can't imagine at this point walking into a store and paying retail or around it for most of the things they carry (and I'm not complaining about the finish or sound quality). At one event at a store, I sat next to a guy who bought $80k list Martin Logans and $55k list amps (don't even know what the preamp costs) along with having a special room built and designed and I'm also sure he spent tens of thousands of dollars on wiring.
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