Again, I haven’t posted in a year or so. I am always hoping to write more but somehow life always gets in the way. WordPress should start sending me reminders or cancellation warnings. Maybe that would prompt me to be a better blog writer.
Anyway, I have compiled a short list of equipment that I had and sold within last year. It is not a review but rather a quick overview and my likes/dislikes.
EPI 100V speakers. V stands for vinyl cover (W would stand for walnut veneer). Great speakers which you should be able to get fairly cheap. I thought I will keep those forever so I have stripped the fake vinyl veneer, recovered with some exotic real veneer, upgraded speaker posts and replaced the old capacitor with an audio one from PartsExpress. Had them for a good few years but the time has come to part ways. The EPI 100 sound was not fatiguing and the 8″ woofer punches above its weight class. The inverted dome tweeter is smooth sounding. The one I had was the “gold ring” older design which is consider better than the newer “red ring” design. You just have to be careful with the tweeter magnets as they can become detached from the speakers and destroy the thin wire going to the tweeter. Better to use some epoxy to glue them while they are still on. Really no cons with those speakers. Will I miss them? Yes and no. Yes because those were my first speakers that I really liked a lot. No, because I found better speakers that are even more easy to listen during longer sessions.
Sanyo TP-600SA turntable. If I recall correctly, this was a freebie that I found somewhere. Dust cover was cracked so I have removed it. Purchased a new belt and the generic AT cartridge clone that you can get for less than $20 and which sounds surprisingly good. This is a manual turntable with an auto return feature. Due to the age, the cuing mechanism had old dried out grease and would drop the needle super fast. The solution is to do some disassembly and repack the grease. I have used 300,000cst differential grease for R/C cars. You only need a tiny amount smeared onto the shaft. Too much and it will drop so slowly that it would interfere with the auto-return mechanism. As to the sound, it was a decent turntable. Something you can use as a spare or test deck for used records. I have more turntables than I can spin so this one had to go.
Sony TC-K730ES tape deck. It is an older Sony ES deck that I can only describe with one word: “WOW”. Looks good, works great, sounds excellent. I have recorded a Blues Traveler’s CD onto a Maxwell metal tape and was WOW’ed by the quality when I played the recording back. I had a few decks (Technics, Marantz, Yamaha) in the last few years but nothing came closer to this one. I would have probably kept it but I had to make room for some other equipment (Sony ES CD player). Plus I have sold my collection of cassette tapes so it would be there just for the looks and as a conversation piece.
Kenwood KR-6400 receiver. Don’t remember where I got it, don’t remember the sound too much and it is gone now as I haven’t used it a lot. Probably a safe pick for somebody that likes Kenwood sound. Will I miss it? No as I was never really into Kenwood or Pioneer sound.
Nakamichi RE-2 receiver. This was a decent performer with somehow bland looks. I have used it as an interim receiver. One nice feature of this piece was a pre-out jacks which allowed me to use it as a preamp only that feeds my Rotel amp. Currently it is replaced by an Adcom preamp which I like a lot more. But again, even the Adcom is there temporarily before I can finish my DIY preamp based on ESP design. Will I miss the Nakamichi? No.
Integra amplifier. This is strange amp. Made by Onkyo but advertised as Integra only. Simple two channel amplifier that wasn’t in my system for a long time. Simply because I have other a lot better amps. You can probably pick up one for little money if you need a spare or a garage system.
Onkyo Integra set (M-506RS amplifier and P-306RS preamp). Well, this is a set that doesn’t need much introduction. Mesmerizing VU meters, lots of power and decent sound. Why only decent? I liked the amp but didn’t care too much for the preamp. Even with the upgraded op-amps and full recap, the should was just a bit too dry for my taste. This may not be the case for everybody and probably also depends on the speakers but somehow the preamp didn’t work well with my Magnepans. I have considered keeping just the amp and selling the preamp alone but didn’t want to break up the set. Will I miss it? Will definitely miss the big VU meters.
So that wraps it up. I have probably missed few more pieces of equipment that went thru my hands but either I don’t remember or have no photos.