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Thursday, 20 December 2018


Had to laugh - my last "serious" amplifier(s) were Audio Research 150 watt tube mono blocks that, to spare your back from permanent injury, you would never attempt to carry down to a basement, plus they were way too big to ever go missing. Sold them used for 5K if I recall correctly.

My "lost item" story is a Wadia 130 A to D converter which I keep thinking no one in their right mind would ever want now, so I lay off trying. Been with me 2 decades unused and was a grand new. Sigh! At a few cubic inches in size, it definitely manages to hide!

"I could use it to justify a 35–100mm ƒ/2.8 II*....

*Here's why I want one over the Olympus 40–150mm"

Further reason could be the Dual IS of the Panny lens on Panny camera body.

Same thing in reverse, no Oly Sync IS with an Panny OIS lens on an Oly body.

Ahhh, the packing box giveth and GAS taketh away. The 35-100 is the perfect extension to the 12-35. I have both and rarely use the longer as I am happiest in the short range. But it just continues the mastery of little guy.

It’s getting there today? Here comes the rain.

I find that a Pyle Amplifier for $35. works fine for my needs and ear.

Oh man, I built a bunch of Dynaco and Heathkit stereo gear back in my geeked out adolescence in the mid to late 60s. Also built a HeathKit guitar amp that I used when I played in rock bands. It was fun. This post really took me back....

[Steve, you should really build one of Bob Latino's kits. You would find it relaxing. His instruction books are reputed to be first rate, and I can attest that he offers first class customer service if you run into any problems. And his designs get really good marks from reviewers. --Mike]

The question I cannot help but ask is - What are/were you using that would allow you to forget you have a $2500 amp laying around somewhere?

Must be something pretty nice.

I've never owned hi fi gear of that caliber, but recently got a little NAD D3020 to drive some B&W 686 S2s I picked up. The Little NAD is sort of like the m43 of the Audio world. It performs way better than one would think for such a tiny amplifier, but then again I never had any real high end audio gear so maybe it just sounds good to me.

[You can see my current stereo here:



I am with you on the Panasonic 35-100mm f/2.8. I recently purchased a used version I from LensAuthority and it is very nice. The longer reach of the Olympus 40-150mm is very enticing, but the smaller size of the 35-100 and the used price from LensAuthority together were unstoppable. I'm not worried about the sensor size. If I have to, I will crop/print smaller.

The 35-100 looks good, but I just know that if I had it I would still be using the 14-140 (which is shorter!) most of the time.

Oh, man, if you have a decent pre-amp, you should just keep that Belles amp and listen to it, Mike. That is a GREAT amp!

If you don't have a decent preamp consider picking up a Schiit Saga for it for $349. Jason Stoddard of Schiit is a frickin' audio design genius. I use Schiit's exemplary Gen 5 Gungnir multi-bit DAC, and also their Valhalla headphone amp.

I'd very likely be using Schiit's Freya pre-amp and Vidar power amp if I wasn't forced to listen to all this Conrad-Johnson gear (photo by yours truly).

For once I have something of value to contribute!

The Lumix 45-150 is the lens you need.

I've had all of the deluxe long zooms from Olympus and Panasonic. They don't beat the 45-150 and as a quadruple bonus it is light, very compact, cheap to buy but has quality build and haptics.

"and I must have simply neglected to sell the Belles. Either that or I liked it too much to ungrip my grasping greedy fingers. I don't remember."

Dude, you really do have GAS

I have a V2 and noted which may be giving away my weirdness. It seems like it has taken me about 850 hours for it to bloom into its own. similar to my experience here https://rahhdfg.builderall.net/flashmasters also For me that has been about a year and half. It made big changes at about the 300 hour mark but didn't really sound exceptionally beautiful until about the 850 hr mark. I know when people have them for sale on the 'Gon a lot of them didn't have them that long and they still thought of it as a great sounding amp!

Since we are back on a music theme via old amps can we reintroduce a Steely Dan appreciation thread? I cannot stop listening to them lately. So ahead of their time they were. I don't know of a similar sound and there probably never will be. My fav right now? Hey Nineteen.

My E-M1II, 12-35 and 35-100 make a ridiculously small and excellent walking around or travel kit. They fit in a very small shoulder bag with room for extra battery, cards, cloths, etc. And they weight about 2.5 lbs all together - only a few ounces more than the 40-150+1.4, and 10 oz. more than a D500 body.

I also have the 40-150 and matching 1.4 extender, but they rarely leave the house unless I know I’ll need the extra reach.

I built a bunch of Dynaco stuff too. They all have Van Alstine circuitry in them now, still working 45 years later.

Mike, didn’t the rental cost of one negate the possible sale savings of B&H of the other? And, doesn’t B&H have a decent satisfaction return program? Just wondering, because I was thinking of something similar...

$2,800! It doesn't even have any twiddly knob things.....

[In other words, it's moderately priced (really). And it's a power amp--the twiddly knob things would be on the preamp. --Mike]

I have a Bob Latino ST 70. Built it myself from one if his kits. Was going to go all out with boutique caps and such, but built it "straight" first with Russian PIO caps.

Sounded so good I never got round to buying expensive, exotic caps. It's my "daily driver" in the studio.

Look at audiogon.com for selling, that might work.

I sold a Class A Sumo Gold the other month, replaced by an even more insane Class A amp. It makes a good space heater and the sound is sweet.

"I could use it to justify a 35–100mm ƒ/2.8 II*....

*Here's why I want one over the Olympus 40–150mm"

And you could put the money saved towards a Samyang 135mm f2, should you ever want a bit more reach and an extra stop.

MF is not difficult on the better Panasonic bodies, and for the price it is a stunning lens, and excellent used wide open.

I owned a Belles 150. Good amp: Had I been more scientifically minded at the time, I'd have bench tested it and likely would have found that it was basically a "straight wire with gain", which is about as good as it gets.

If it's tube kits that one wishes to try, vkmusic.ca offers a number of Elekits. No affiliation, just a happy customer.

Only obtusely related, but speaking of lost Porsches and photography, should one sell a long held and much loved Moonrise Hernandez and Clearing Winter Storm to buy a much lusted after Porsche Cayman GT4 ?

[No, one shouldn't! For a depreciating asset? Absolutely not! How can you even ask, Fred?! --Mike]


No you can't find your Porsche. It's having it's weekly visit to the shop running up a huge bill.

Man Mike, you got to put that Belles amp to work. What pre will you run with it?

[I have a Mcintosh C40...and a Musical Fidelity in the barn somewhere. Alas, the C40 and 150A are not fated to be mates. There's no room in the house to set up a real stereo. --Mike]

Well, I have two Fisher tube receivers - a 400 and a 500C, along with a Dynamo PAS-3X. The latter two have had recent service and are fully operational if not cosmetically pristine. The 400 has one output tube missing and I suspect it would need complete service. I have other odd/somewhat rare solid state gear as well, so I know I have over $1K sitting around. I really should get off my butt and sell it all, if for nothing else to pay for the new iPhone I've bought to replace my failing 6s ... and the brand new 2 watt (!) single ended triode amp I have, the phono preamp on preorder, and ... and.

Don't sell the Dyna based amp, Mike. You could bring it up and we can do some comparative listening.

Mike, a friend who moved away gave me his Scott "Stereomaster" Type 299 amplifier. It had been in his basement. It still has its original Scott and Sylvania tubes. Astonishing sound! Even "Performance Today" streamed via a Mac Mini sounds wonderful.

I used to hate on audiophiles, but I changed my mind recently, after a friend of mine gave me a mint copy of limited edition Styx Pieces of Eight album, because it's a picture disc, and they are supposedly too low quality for his high end stereo. So now I'm enjoying it immensely it on my 1981 Sony set I paid $200 for, shipment included. Thank God for friends.

What a magnificent find. I wonder if my father still has any of his 1980s era Hi-Fi components?

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