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Saturday, 04 September 2010


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As to the M9, they are always in short supply in this country. I don't see anyone breaking down door to get an X1 or even as S2. I had a large dealer tell me that the S2 was designed as a rental camera and Leica does not expect lots orders.

Since the first three photos when embiggened had titles like "replicacolt" I thought that couldn't possibly be it. I guessed that the answer was that they all represented improvements to an existing design made possible through new technology. Oh well.

Are you saying that a digital sensor is a replica of film? But where are the film, er, digital sensor, advance lever and the rewind crank? :)


my guess was that they were all pointing the the right, but I suspect that was too easy for the TOP readership. I'm going to have to try harder...

If you want to keep reading about the American Indian in the "wild west" check out The book of the Navajo by Raymond Friday Locke. Conforms to the Pinker Rule.

For modern light reading I enjoy most everything by Tony Hillerman.

LOL I was gonna say they are all analogue !

OK, I guessed right so there must be something to your reasoning, but I feel that #3 and especially #4 belong in a different category. One could argue that these are modern variants of tried-and-true designs, rather than straight replicas like #1 and #5 (I don't know enough about #2 to include it in either group), or even evolutions thereof. Yes, I see how one could argue that they are merely tweaks. But umbrellas, cleavers, toasters, bagels and oxfords have changed less--do they belong on this list?

Or, to put it another way: an M3 is to an M9 as a revolver is to an automatic (rather than a non-working replica of a revolver).

What does sh*t mean? I've counted at least three instances of this word in TOP in the last two days? This freshly coined word is new to me, and appears to be new to TOP. Perhaps your long experience as editor of a well regarded magazine can help?


i think i understand your point. but...

would you call the 50/1.4 lens on that camera a replica copy of leica's first 50/1.4? if not, then your analogy fails.

or to put it another way: unlike that replica firearm, the m9 is unlikely to get you into any trouble that an m3 would have gotten you out of.

or, yet another perspective: all the actual replicas are designed to be no better than the originals they emulate (i am assuming regarding the amp). the m9 offers significant advantages over any previous m (and a couple of disadvantages; after all, it's a different design. natch).

"I guessed that the answer was that they all represented improvements to an existing design made possible through new technology."

Well, in at least three of the five cases, I think you could make that argument. A gun that won't shoot might be thought of as an improvement by some, but probably not to anyone who likes guns.

The big improvement with the horse is that you can have the replica in your living room, but you can only look at the original when you're in New York. That's got to count for something.


Two things: I like it how Mike takes criticism like a man and posts the comments of people who seem to take offense to his analogy. Further, I love the M9. I also have an M7 and an MP and as much as I want to like those cameras better, especially considering how beautiful the MP is, I shoot almost everything with the M9. It's a great camera, and I have made many personal comparisons between my favorite 35mm films and the M9 files. I just cannot justify shooting with anything but the M9 unless I want nostalgia or "something different."
Since Mike likes Porsches, my friend just test-drove three different types of brand new Carreras extensively on the Autobahn. He told me today that as much as he wants to like the manual stick-shift, the new dual-clutch automatic outperforms it in every way. Oh well, as I said, I'm not selling my film Ms, but I love the M9.


Mike Johnston wishes he had one original of each.

Me, the Dynaco replica amp, however why would I require same? I already have an original Dynaco amp and an FM3 I built myself, in regular daily use! And it is in turn connected to a pair of Dynaco A25 speakers from too many years ago to count. And the rig should keeps on sounding great. UI also have spare tubes in stock!

The remainder of the items, well the pistol could be discarded, I have no use for firearms of any sort, the Ford replica only if I could purchase a new Ford in lieu of, the sculpture is a nice door stop and ditto the Leica.

Believe I have my piorities correct!

I could draw no shared connection other than Cowboys and Hollywood.

The ST-70 has a dead giveaway: The original didn't have a PC board, it used point-to-point wiring.

A replica should be the same dimensions or at least a scale replica of the original. In that respect, the M9 at least fails to meet the requirement, IMHO.

I recognized the ST-70 as replica right away; too many tubes on the circuit board. I've owned 6 of them, but right now it's a C-J MV45 for that ultra warm tubeyness.

Now if someone would just bring back AR3a speakers...

"right now it's a C-J MV45 for that ultra warm tubeyness"

You have taste, Sir!


Re item #1, here's a picture of the real thing, displayed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art:


"Now if someone would just bring back AR3a speakers..."

Next best thing--Peter Comeau, who for many years was the chief designer for Mission speakers in England, designed a modern replica of the Dynaco A-25. Several, actually--the most interesting was a floorstanding version with a separate sealed chamber that the aperiodic vent vented into. They were marketed for a while by World Designs. World Designs recently closed down, but there are signs that it will open for business under new management this winter.

Google "World Designs" and look under "catalogue."

A new replica of the AR3a would be wonderful--of course it would have to be essentially a redesign. But tweeters are so much better now than they were then, and you could blow the tweeters on the original just by turning the volume up too far. Ask me how I know--


"Now if someone would just bring back AR3a speakers..."

They did, in 1995. The AR-303 was a modern version of the 3a. Not exactly a visual replica, though, since the base model was manufactured with the same black cabinet finish of the then current NHT line. I wish they would have used a walnut veneer and beige grill similar to the original, but the sound is fine and the tweeters can take the heat. It's the last great speaker AR made using a design philosophy that originated in the late fifties with the AR-3.

I call "dibs" on answering Mani's question!

"Now if someone would just bring back AR3a speakers..."

My mother moved house last year. The previous owner of the house left behind a pair of Acoustic Research AR-4a speakers (I think that's the right number - they have the three way switch on the back). They look like any other generic speaker cab of that era but sound fantastic.

I grew up with the "new" good stereo being a Rek-o-kut turntable, Sherwood tube amp, and AR-2A speakers. Man, I was so happy when I bought my own stereo, with a modern transistor amp (Pioneer I believe) and Heil AMT-5 speakers. And even happier when I could start getting CDs instead of LPs.

Like my problems with film grain, I'm really bothered by the common noise artifacts of LPs, hisses and clicks and pops.

What lovers of tube gear call "warm" sound is to me cloying distorted nasty sound; it makes me feel like I'm packed in cotton balls and breathing warm moist air. I love the clear clean sound of CDs (at least when they've been engineered competently; anything can be made to sound bad with sufficient effort).

And speakers have improved SO MUCH since the 1970s. They were the weak link back then, and these days it's hard to buy really bad speakers.

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