these days it is next to impossible to find RC-550 for under $500. I got mine off eBay, it was in such poor condition that no self-respecting collector wanted to bid against me. Here is the happy ending for El Diablo: Good efforts prevailed over Evil elements of Time and Indifference
Philips D8444 and its American incarnation, Magnavox D8443 are big and good-looking creatures. With the same “minor” flaw as D6800 Discman: by now they are all dead because of one failed gear. I bought mine in working condition, and learned about the infamous gear the hard way, after spending a few weeks on restoration. Continue reading Philips D-8444 Restoration
When talking about CD quality we usually mean original files used, be it the original master tape (RCA Living Stereo, Mercury), or AAD vs. DDD recordings, and/or mastering engineer: Steven Hoffman, Manfred Eicher, Doug Sax, “Prof” K.O.Johnson, etc, etc… Other-times companies make a name for themselves by paying special attention to CD mastering chain: Esoteric SACDs, JVC-XRCDs… Mobile Fidelity gold CDs became highly collectible because of the mastering quality but also because of the layer of Gold instead of Aluminum used during CD production. Wadia 781i revealed yet another step in CD production chain where things can go wrong: final CD pressing. This step takes place at some anonymous plants churning out CDs for the major and audiophile labels. Continue reading THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY. CD PRESSING QUALITY
Wadia 781i was at the end of my long search for SACD player. I started with Krell, then moved to Linn Akurate, then McIntosh, for a few weeks auditioned Ayre but finally fell in love with Wadia. Continue reading Wadia 781: Taming The Beast
Upgrading (or is it called downgrading?) Linn Sondek from Linn Lingo to Naim Armageddon power supply was easy. My local Linn dealer (Shelley’s Stereo) took care of everything. Letting go of Lingo has turned into minor nightmare
My recent efforts to restore Aiwa TP-S30 failed miserably! Before giving up on Aiwa Walkmans I decided to check if Aiwa later models are as difficult as their first one. HS-P202 MkIII looks beautiful and has decent specs, perfect candidate for restoration.
Naim Stageline is a joke of a phonostage, but when combined with Hi-Cap power supply it gains both in weight and in price points. Once I switched from VirtuosoWood MM to a MC cartridge, “Stageline N” went into storage and “Stageline S’ took its place.
For my cartridge, AQ 7000 Fe5 (made by Scan Tech = Lyra and periodically sent to Lyra for rejuvenation), “Stageline S” (470 Ohm load) is recommended. My first impression of AQ/Stage-S was that I should immediately revert back to Virtuoso Wood and Stageline N: sonically my Sondek became “dead”… Continue reading Upgrading Naim Stageline phonostage
Here is the Snow White:
It must have been kept in storage until the grease got stiff, then played… once! Sled gears were immediately broken and so the Sleeping Beauty was packed and stashed away for a few decades…. then posted on eBay. I was the one who bought this beautiful paperweight. Continue reading The most beautiful Discman in the World. Loewe CD-100
Matured and well-nurtured obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) had pushed me towards Nakamichi decks. Beautiful TEAC A-100 was more than adequate for my needs of making tapes to be played through a boombox. But how could I miss the chance to buy Nak LX-3, and then LX-5? LX-5 was professionally calibrated for me by Willy Hermann, but LX-3 I decided to fix myself. Getting $100 Service Kit from eBay member revox-de was the first step:
A few weeks of pain and suffering resulted in a beautiful-looking (and up to specs) deck: