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
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
Original table can be found at kaosuncd.com. I transferred data into MS Excel and then sorted Discmans by the year. Some info on Sony Discmans was borrowed from sonyvintage.com; other-times extracted from Service Manuals or from the photos of the actual items undergoing surgery on my workbench. Excel file is updated each time I get a new Discman, PDF file updated only occasionally
D6800 shall never win any Beauty Contest: it is just too big and chunky. It was designed for portable use, and all 6xAA (!) batteries should be loaded inside the player.
As already mentioned here, D-6800 has one of the most powerful headphone amplitiers among Discmans. Officially it is rated as 20mW into 32Ohm, but my own tests show the same numbers as for Sony D-50MkII and Technics SL-XP5 which are rated at 30mW/32Ohm.
Bad news: absolutely ALL D6800 are dead by now… Continue reading Philips/Magnavox D6800 restoration
Based on its internal schematics, Realistic CD-3350 was made for Radio Shack by Denon. To my eyes, it is the most beautiful Discman in my collection, rivaled only by another “flying saucer” from Philips:
Boomboxes from Sencor are the only Swiss boomboxes out there. “Designed in Switzerland”, made most probably in Japan. Well, at least the label for Sencor S-4500 says “Made in Japan”, whether this applies to S-4800 nobody seems to know. By looking at cassette mechanism it may be easy to tell who made these boomboxes for Sencor: JVC, Philips, Sony,… I am not in the know, but maybe someone looking at the photos will be able to recognize the mechanism.
Here is the final result of Sencor restoration with a bit of extra beautifying:
Below are my efforts to restore S-4800 to its original state, Continue reading Sencor S-4800 restoration
Once you take the plunge and get balanced cable for Pono, you must be deaf not to hear Huge improvement in sound quality. Compared to the “real world” outside of our heads and headphones, the improvement is comparable to bi-amping or setting the speakers into active mode. According to Pono info flyers, this is exactly what is happening. One of two headphone amplifiers is turned off when Pono is in a single-ended mode. Once Pono is set for the balanced mode, both internal amplifiers are used, one for each channel. Continue reading Best headphones for Pono player
Having nothing better to think about, I was trying to remember when and why did I fell in love with Black Gate capacitors. I must have learned about their existence from reading audio-porn at DIY or some audiophile site. Black Gate caps were the top-shelf audio-grade electrolytics produced by Rubycon. Quite expensive while in production, outrageously priced nowadays, the name should not be mentioned at any respectable DIY forum. The consensus seems to be that the specs of modern-day electrolytics far exceed those of Black Gate caps. This may be so, but not quite conclusive for me because specs alone do not tell the whole story. The specs of any $50 CD player are the same as those of $100k+ dCS stack and always better than the specs of Continuum Caliburn turntable, unless you actually listen you never know Continue reading Black Gate capacitors and “snake oil” in home audio
The first thing to do is to cut off its 3.5mm (or 1/4″ on HD-650) stereo plug. At this stage cable may be shortened to the desired length: Sennheiser cords are not of the best quality (that’s why we have so many aftermarket cables) so the shorter it is, the better.