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Saturday, 12 July 2008


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In 1972, when I was a junior at the University of Michigan, I had a job selling stereos (we didn't call it audio back then) at a middle to high end specialty store in Ann Arbor. I sold a lot of Marantz receivers. Looking at the photograph of your (soon to be) rebuilt receiver caused me to have a serious flashback. The problem is my wife can't figure out why I'm listening to Jethro Tull and trying to squeeze into an extremely old pair of bell bottoms. Those brownies are looking pretty good to me right now.....

oh, Mike. I love you ;-)

History tends to bring together passion and true love... if you stay around long enough. I hope you find "your" turn-table. AND, I hope I would be lucky enough to be able to catch the rest of this story.

This essay/thought truly separates you from ordinary people. Yet as an ordinary person, I can relate to every thought and every word (including the phantom sarcastic wife - mine is not so phantom). You took me back almost 30 years to buying my Technics receiver and KEF speakers. The receiver is still sitting in the garage, and the wife has mentioned salvation army a few times! The speakers are long gone, replaced by $15 "Dell" speakers ;-( The old Pentax cams sit in the cabinet (the salvation army comments have been thrown at them too!), and the films are in the garage fridge.

Maybe as men, we would like to keep these item from our past where the thought of "you can be anything you set your mind to" ruled our lives. The "passion" came easy, and sarcasm didn't hurt as much.

And, the enjoyment of laying down between your speakers and listening to the latest album you'd bought may have been more satisfying than almost anything you do these days!

Mike, maybe this is outta line, but the element that links the 400 LPs in the closet issues to the "whaddami gonna do about those 2000 strips of negatives from the 1970s" question is scanning, or digitization. Are there quality gradations in turntable to USB units, or in digitizer cards that take line inputs, or software for the same... (there must be!)? That's the question which won't leave me alone.

I read a web story, maybe on Google news, about getting rid of stuff you don't use. The thrust of the article was, if you haven't used it for a year, get rid of it -- don't feel bad, it's an anchor around your neck. I'd suggest that the VPI fits that category. You might not get much, but you'll feel spiritually lighter.

I notice that Best Buy is going back in the business of selling vinyl records. I knew a guy who was a profoundly committed audiophile who got rid of his analog equipment the first time he heard a "demo" CD. His god was clarity, as opposed to warmth or the other alleged qualities of vinyl. Whether the qualities are anything other than alleged, I couldn't tell you -- I mostly listen to country music on a cheap radio.

As for used equipment...
I sometimes want to project photo images to life-size, and this is digital's weakest area -- a life-size digital photo projection is really crappy, even with higher-end projectors. So I shoot slides. A couple years ago I went out to find a new slide projector, and found stacks of high-quality used ones on the floor of a local photo store. I bought two, because they only wanted $20 each, and take-your-pick. I walked out of the store before letting out a great Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha...

Little do they know what these beauties will be worth in the future. Well, maybe.


Semi-related: Mike, awhile back you praised the Fubar III as a decent DAC. Would you still recommend it today or do you have any other recommendations for a good DAC?

Someone actually named a device the Fubar III? You all know what Fubar stands for, right? F--ked Up Beyond All Recognition


I still really like it, but the addition of the "Supplier" power supply module made a BIG difference. Also, bear in mind I have no frame of reference, because it's the only DAC I've used that isn't a computer soundcard or built into a CD player! I'm no expert.

I know, isn't that weird? I mentioned it in my article about it...I said something like "it doesn't seem promising as a name for an audio component, but then what do I know...."

Mike J.

Well now you've gone and done it. I have been talking for 2 years about getting an old stereo and going back to vinyl just for fun and enjoyment. Just like my film cameras. Well I think that you have pushed me over the edge with your inspiration.


I'm blaming you for this. I'm bringing my 2270, Acoustic Research AR-3a speakers, and my AR turntable down from the attic right now.


"I'm blaming you for this. I'm bringing my 2270, Acoustic Research AR-3a speakers, and my AR turntable down from the attic right now."

That is so cool. A few resources for you: you already know about Rob's Marantz service (and of course there are others, including service technicians in just about any big city); speakerex.com will rebuild your AR drivers and crossovers; and vinylnirvana.com specializes in old AR turntables. Just be careful your AR TT is well set up so it won't add any wear to your records. Have fun!

Mike J.

Hi Mike J.
thanks for the plug. really appreciate your recommending us. word of mouth is the best advertisement we cannot buy.
[email protected]

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