Friday, 21 December 2012

Audioless Update!

As the year is coming to an end, we here at Audioless Winnipeg thanks all the individuals who have supported us, which includes family, friend and all the people we've met!  That means buyers too!  We've been happy to provide the City of Winnipeg with audio equipment and we hope all the young vinyl enthusiast enjoy their stereos and music.

As an update of what's to come in the New Year, that is hard to say.  It's been a great year and we've sold plenty of stuff and I for one am enjoying the room, to a degree.  But, I don't know what will be available for the New Year as our stocks are thin, other than projects. 

As I look at my project room, all I see are speakers projects waiting for the dreaded repairs.  For turntables I only have one.  Power sources, I have none left.  Of course, we'll never really be out due to our own personal stereo set but, those might be harder to part ways with.

So, if you've been hesitating, and if you're waiting, it might be too late!  As well, Christmas is closing in so if you need any gifts we still have stuff available!

Sony PS-2700 Turntable

I always enjoy working on Sony turntables because of they always seemed to be not only well made, of course that depends on the table, but the amount of extra stuff Sony puts on their tables.  For a lot of Sony they tend to go beyond most and add extra features or Sony designed products for their turntables and the PS-2700 is no exception!

It does have that wood-grain look, granted it's vinyl wrapped.  It also has a rounded front on the dust cover which you don't always see very often.  And, like most Sonys they are well made.  This has a bit of heft on it, and is heavier than the Dual 616Q.  It has a nice sized motor and plenty features like disc size selector and repeat.

This is a fully automatic, 2-speed, belt drive turntable.  It also features Sony's moon platter mat and heavy duty turntable feet to absorb vibration.  It's really a nicely engineered turntable.  And, the tonearm is pretty good on it too.  It comes with an Ortofon VMS3E cartridge and stylus and sounds very nice.  Platter is also of decent weight.

Overall, it's in great shape.  The only cosmetic issue is that on the left hand corner of the dustcover a piece of it is missing, see pictures.  It does not deter the function of the dustcover but it is a cosmetic issue.  Nonetheless, it's been serviced and comes with a brand new belt and ready to go!  It also look classy.




Dual CS-616Q Turntable

Finally doing a write up for a couple of turntables.  So, let's start with the Dual CS-616Q.  Made around the mid 80s when wood-grain design were no longer in fashion and the new sleek grey and black were in.  This Dual is in really nice shape, and I mean real nice shape. 

While it's not from the 70s, it doesn't mean it's not quality.  In comparison to other companies of the time that still made entry level turntables, this Dual is really well made.  It has decent heft and it is German made so a lot of precision was still put into it.

It is a direct drive, a true semi-automatic and quartz lock turntable.  Why do I mean true semi-automatic?  Well, before some of their earlier turntables had an auto-lift off at the end but the tonearm never returned to the rest post.  So, having it returning is a nice feature to have! 

It also features Dual's ULM (ultra low mass) tonearm and their EDS motor.  These tonearms are especially nice for higher compliant cartridges as well, you don't need an adapter to put other cartridges on like their previous generations.  Also features a very nice Ortofon cartridge they call it the Dual ULM65E which is just a rebadged Ortofon OM body, and can be fitted with several higher end styli.

The neat feature about this turntable is when, if you ever, switch the speed.  When you do switch speeds between 33 and 45 the tonearm lifts, changes the speed and drops the arm back down when the speed has been set.  See, German engineering!  They go the extra mile.  So, what you don't get is the butchered speed and sound as the table is switching speeds.

It's a great performing turntable and albeit it's a bit plain looking but it's still a great turntable and in excellent shape!  And, we have the manual!

Friday, 7 December 2012

Coral Speaker in Mahogany Enclosure (Custom)

These are custom made speakers, which uses Coral drives and all wrapped in a mahogany enclosure.  When I got them the owner said it was made by an audio company when he was living in British Columbia.  He told me he went in and asked for their best sounding pair of speakers and these were it, from what he could remember he said the company was called Sound Labs however he was unsure as it was so many moons ago and I have doubts if it has any relation to the current Sound Labs.

Nonetheless, these are very nice sounding pair of speakers and well built.  They use Japanese drivers from Coral.  These are a 3-way speaker in an acoustic sealed box.  Featuring a 1" dome tweeter, 2.5" done mid and 12" woofer.  The tweeters and mids are protected by a metal dome grill and the woofer has a treated paper accordion surround, all wrapped in a nice, well built and heavy mahogany box to give it that dark wood look.  Corners are rounded too!

There are two attenuators for the mids and tweeters as well they are mirrored imaged.  They had some MDF risers but I removed them as they need to be raised a bit higher, as well they were falling apart. 

So how do they sound?  Well, first of all, they need a good power behind them to bring the woofers to life.  Being an acoustic sealed and treated paper surrounds means they need some oomph behind them to get the bass out.

To me, they have that clean Japanese sound to them.  Quite dynamic with a very good bass response, clean mid and sparkly treble.  Work great with a variety of music.  Seems to like my raw sounding Hitachi amplifier, albeit, may be too raw sounding, need to attenuate the treble down to avoid sibilance.  Will match very well with the HK730 or mosfet powered amplifiers.

Many may recognize them as they are currently on demonstration duty.  Overall, they are in great shape, cabinets have some nicks but that's quite common for heavy speakers.  But, more importantly they have a really nice and clean sound.  And, it can't hurt to look pretty either!  I'm sure a re-oiling would make them stand out even more!

They do come with grills.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Kenwood KD-550 Turntable

I totally forgot to do a write up about this turntable!  It's a beauty and a beast at the same time.  This here my friends is a quality turntable.  Direct drive and purely manual!

This was one of the more expensive Kenwood turntables available.  It featured Kenwood's faux marble to not only add weight but to control vibrations.  It's a pretty weighty table.  And, in my opinion, it's not too shabby to look at either.  The marble gives it that upscale look.

It was also called the KD-500 if you didn't want the tone arm.  Why?  It's because people back in the day wanted to hot-rod or modify their turntables.  Generally speaking, in most cases many just swapped out the tone arms for a different one like a SME.  This one, however, is the KD-550 using the Kenwood stock tone arm, which is pretty good too!  It does have VTA for those chunkier cartridges and is a well made arm too!

It's also dead simple to work on and reliable.  Again, sometimes simplicity is best.  Good torque motor, heavy platter with a great tone arm what's not to love?  Maybe a super nice cartridge to boot? That Osawa OS-300MP is one heck of a cartridge!  From what I can find, it was top of that line up and it sounds superb!  We at Audioless didn't expect much but, boy we were wrong.  Very warm and dynamic, similar to the Grado sound but more refined.  It sounds just like my Nagaoka cartridges and that is a good sign as Nagaoka bought/owned Osawa.  So they are really superb cartridges. 

Overall, it's in great condition.  The only major flaw is the dust cover as one hinge is blown.  This is a very common problem with this hinge design.  But, doesn't affect the reliability of the player, just remove the dust cover and play!

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

C.E.C. BD-6000 Turntable

Finally!  A 100% badged C.E.C. turntable!  What does C.E.C. mean?  It means Chou Denki Company, Denki is the Japanese word for "Electric."  Just a play on words and translations.  Not to mention they still exist today and still make audio equipment!  http://www.cec-web.co.jp/

C.E.C. was also an OEM company for many several different Japanese companies, like Hitachi, Marantz, Radio Shack, Taya, Sanyo, and many others.  The tonearm has a striking resemblance to the tonearm on the Marantz 6300 that many go gaga after!

That's right this is a fabulous table and super nice looking too!  I really enjoy the plateau look in the dark wood finish, I'm guessing maybe mahogany as it was dirt cheap back in the 70s.  This table was made between the early 70s to mid 70s as it's a pure manual belt drive turntable.

This is simplicity at it's best!  Good size motor (pretty beefy), beautiful looking plinth, pure manual and an excellent tonearm.  I guess somethings don't really change!

It was also a breeze to work on!  Gotta love that!

This was a 4-channel turntable for those who have any quadraphonic records, but it plays in stereo beautifully.  It also has a neat, albeit useless, feature.  Next to the controls there is a stylus cleaner.  Don't use it, but it's pretty neat.  Why don't you want to use it?  It feels a worn out and it seems time wasn't all too friendly with the red felt-like material.  Better use a newer stylus cleaner instead.  But, it does give the turntable that really retro look!

It's a 2-speed, manual, belt drive turntable, so you have to bring the needle over, drop the needle and then pick up the needle at the end.  It also features a Shure M95 cartridge with a brand new stylus from Japan!  And, it sounds perfect together.  I have to say, it performs well above it's weight class, it can give the Pioneer PL-71 and Thorens TD-150mk2 run for it's money.  While, it's no Thorens or AR or other fancier belt drive turntables, don't let the name fool you!  And, not to mention it won't hurt the wallet as much either.

Overall, it's in great condition.  Plinth as some nicks.  Dust cover also has a handle for easy lifting too!  You also have to appreciate the smoked dustcover too, it makes the table very pretty to look at.








Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Realistic R-8000 Turntable

A.K.A the Realistic LAB-300.  See the 1977 Radio Shack Catalog for more information at: http://www.radioshackcatalogs.com, gotta love that website!  Not to mention was apparently the second most expensive turntable from that catalog!

Why the designation of R-8000?  My guess would be it's probably the Canadian version of it.  There have been numerous accounts where Radio Shack has re-badged a turntable for the Canadian market.  But, other than that I don't know why it's called the R-8000.

Regardless of it's name, it is a C.E.C. made turntable and made in Japan!  It's your typical 2-speed, semi-automatic, belt drive, suspended plinth turntable and performs flawlessly.

It's been completely serviced with a new belt and a brand new Audio-Technica AT-3600 cartridge.  New lubrication and the cue arm has been re-dampened so it drops nice and slowly.  Also features a Realistic headshell!

Overall, it sounds quite nice and plays perfectly.  Plus, it looks great!  Everyone seems to love the woodgrain look.  However, it is vinyl wrap on the plinth, but it does have real wood underneath it!

This is a great starter table and the auto-return is a plus for those who like to leave the room and forget about their spinning vinyl!





Monday, 26 November 2012

Cleaning up the blog

It seems we have hit our 1GB limit on photos via google picasa!  High resolution photos take up too much space!  Need to start downsizing some of our photos.  Or maybe start using a 3rd party image host.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Toshiba SR-355 Turntable

Here is a great turntable.  Now I know Toshiba doesn't raise much attention, but sometimes it has it's advantages.  While some may snub their nose at the name, there is a lot of beauty on this turntable.  First, it weights ~26lbs, and that's pretty heavy.  Second, it has a beefy direct drive motor.  Third, it has heavy platter.  Fourth, the plinth is uses a metal/steel top for added vibration control.  And finally, if you can't seem to find any information about this turntable, instead of using Toshiba SR-355, look under Aurex SR-355.

What's Aurex?  That was Toshiba's namesake for their higher end gear, like how Acura is for Honda.  This was named Aurex SR-355 in Japan as they thought it would compete with some of the bigger name.  And, in a way I can see why.

It is truly a well built turntable.  It's a direct drive, 2-speed and fully manual turntable.  Comes with a new Pickering V15 cartridge as it seems to be a better match over the Shure.






Thursday, 22 November 2012

Realistic STA-2200 Receiver

Now this is a rare gem!  Before you snub your nose at the Realistic name, the question you have to ask yourself is who made it for Radio Shack?  Well, the answer is simple, very simple.  This is a Mosfet amplifier and there was only one company to use mosfet technology back in the late 70s and early 80s, that was Hitachi!  This is a Hitachi made receiver for Radio Shack, and is one sweet sounding amplifier!

Many may recognize it as the receiver sitting on top of my component stand.  It sat there for more than a half of year and I don't think I've really used it except on a couple occasions.  And, if I haven't used it in the past 6 months, it's time to part ways with it.  

So what's so special about mosfet?  It has a strong resemblance to the good old tube sound without the added harmonics and distortions.  Which means, its softer in presentation in comparison to their bi-polar transistors with a lovely mid range frequency.  Bass and treble are still very nice, but the mid range is what makes this amp sound so very nice!  It sounds as it's a bit U-shaped in it's sound frequency.

But, there are plenty of features on this baby, such as a built in clock!  It's also features a digital tuner and Dolby FM.  Because it's a digital tuner, you also have memory presets.  And, of course to give it more beautiful lights other than the blue display, a digital VU meter underneath the display!  Also features a main in and pre-out if you wish to use it as a power amplifier.

Oh, and it's rated at 60wpc into 8ohms and is built really well, and heavy too!  Matches well with brighter sounding speakers, at least that's how I would match a set.

Overall, it's in good condition, it is missing the plastic trim on the sides and the woodcase has a few chips.  But, it is still very presentable and sounds great!

Lots of information on the internet!








Friday, 16 November 2012

Mitsubishi DP-EC8 Turntable

Here is a turntable that I miss, the Mitsubishi DP-EC8.  It's one of those odd turntable that you don't see very often, and this one is the second one to ever come into my hands.  I really like these turntables, as they're well built, they sound great and the foot print is smaller than most turntables.  It's a tad more slimline than most, which is a plus for some.

Last blog posting for this turntable, I did not provide a description.  This time I will!

This is a fully automatic, direct drive, quartz lock, 2-speed turntable with repeat feature.  It features a straight tone arm with a carbon fiber headshell.  Everything on the tone arm design from the aluminum base, the arm design itself and headshell was designed to minimize resonance.

It also features an automatic disc selector via that crystal at the rear left hand corner of the plinth.  So, really, all you need to do is press some buttons.  It's a very trouble free turntable as you don't really need to do anything.  Everything is controlled by the push buttons on the plinth, even moving the tonearm to the left and right.  It's a very neat turntable!

There's actually a very good description of it on Vinylengine.com under the Mitsubishi Medallion Catalog.  The DP-EC8 was probably their top model for their non-linear tracking model turntables.

It features an Empire, yep another Empire, 2000E/III cartridge with a brand new stylus from Japan.  It's not as detailed as the Empire 5000 but it is still a very nice cartridge!

Overall, it's in great shape.  Dust cover may need a good buffing but, nothing is cracked and completely functional.









Hitachi HT-550 Turntable

One of most elegant looking turntable I've ever owned.  Wide stance, heavy and flat platter, beautiful chrome/metal accents in a beautiful looking rosewood vinyl wrapped plinth with a clear dust cover!

One of my favorite looking turntables so far, and it's beautifully built as well!  Freshly serviced and ready to go!  The original took care of it, and so have I!

2-speed, direct drive, quartz lock, semi-automatic turntable.  Feature's Hitachi's uni-torque motor, oil-dampened cue arm and a quality tone arm!  As well, a two-way counter-weight system, the main weight and sub-weight for those who want more cartridge flexibility.  Also features the original aluminum headshell with an Empire 5000 III cartridge and a brand new Jico stylus from Japan!

The Empire 5000 III is a very, very, very nice cartridge and sounds exceptional!  The Empire 5000 may have been one of Empire's higher end cartridge for this particular series and with the new stylus it sounds superb.  Very nice coloration in the signature, with excellent midrange, bass and treble.  It's a very inviting sound.  Very smooth mid range, which is very nice for vocals, especially female vocals.

Overall, it's in excellent condition!  Dust cover has the usual scuffs.









Friday, 2 November 2012

IMF Super Compact Speakers





Here is a rare treat!  A nice pair of IMF Super Compact, 1st generation or the original.  British made and British designed!  It has one of the nicest 8" woofers in it's class and an excellent tweeter!

http://www.imf-electronics.com/Home/imf/speaker-range/compacts/super-compact

While they are not a true transmission line design, they are still well engineered and one of the better sounding "small" speaker out there that has an 8" woofer, hence the name Super Compact!  But, it's a bit wide.  They make great speakers for someone who wants a nice sounding pair of speakers in a small den or bedroom.

It has a KEF woofer, Audax or Polydax tweeter and either a Peerless or ELAC mid driver.  All wrapped in the classic real walnut veneer.  It has that typical British cabinet design, think Celestion, Celef, etc...If there was not an IMF badge up front, it'd be hard to tell who made this speaker.

Overall, it has a nice presentation in sound, very good bass for an 8".  As well, they are in very nice condition!  If you want some unique British speakers,  I can't think of anything more odd ball than these IMF!