Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Merry Christmas!

Today is Christmas Eve and we at Audioless Winnipeg would like to send our season greetings to everyone! 

Hope everyone has a warm Christmas!  And, of course celebrating the festivities with music!

Monday, 16 December 2013

QED R232EN Turntable

QED wasn't really known for their audio equipment but, everyone knew they made some quality audio accessories like switch boxes, and I should know as I have one and it's great stuff, much better than the Realistic ones, that's for sure.

But, when it came down to the R232EN, I wasn't too sure.  When I saw it, all I could say was "QED made a turntable?"  But, it had some quality stuff put into it.  A glass platter, tri-point isolation feet, a nice light weight aluminum tone arm and it does say the motor is quartz lock.  I will admit I do enjoy non-suspended belt drive turntables and I really like the Cambridge Audio TT-50.  That being said, I like this turntable too!  I think it sounds pretty nice.  As well, I am a sucker of a nice glass platter!

The QED "EN" model uses a DC motor with electronic speed controls between the 33/45rpm instead of taking the platter off and moving the belt to a different part of the motor spindle, which is nice.  It's very basic being manual but extremely well made.  It has the typical suspended motor and some say it resembles the Rega of that time period.  While I can't verify if it is a Rega or if it uses Rega parts all I know is the Rega belt works for it. 

Overall, this is solid turntable.  The cartridge is a QED cartridge which is re-badged Goldring and sounds pretty nice.  However, QED did make almost everything designed for this cartridge.  The counterweight has no markings so it's specifically was designed or at least packaged with this cartridge.  There are ways around it, like getting a protractor, and a scale to set everything up but, it is a minor nuisance.  

While this is in black motif.  It did seem it came in a variety of colours.  While the black is fine, I find myself liking the look of the white one.

This is an excellent table and sounds mighty fine too!  Hopefully it will give it's new owner tons of love.


Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Audioless Winnipeg Sale Ad is Up!

It was brought to our attention for those who cruise our blog that many may not know about our sale ad on Kijiji.  It is up and running now!  All the pieces listed in this ad are at our lowest price. some have been gone through by our technician, Tweakjunkie1.

Christmas is coming so, if you've been looking for a treat or gift, give us a shout! 

All you have to do is search "Audioless" in the Kijiji search bar (minus the quotations)!

Cheers!

Monday, 18 November 2013

Cambridge Audio TT-50 Turntable

This is probably the first modern turntable that's come into my hands for servicing and of course the photo shoot.  I know many people think Audioless Winnipeg just purely deal with vintage and to some degree it's true.  However, we are a fan of all audio equipment throughout the ages.  This little black puppy just happens to be for sale due to the owner's upgraditis, haha.  Our member is the original owner and it's been well taken care of. 

There is something about the Black Piano Finish that I really love.  It's clean, shiny and classy, like a grand piano in a concert hall.  The angled dustcover is also a bonus.

This is your typical 2-speed, non-suspended, belt drive turntable.  It's purely manual and not only it is dead simple but reliable!  The design is of your typical European flare.  Suspended motor to reduce vibration, a heavy composite sub-platter for resonance control and an elastomer coated platter for who knows what, haha.  Well, I will assume 2 things, 1) grip the record/sub-platter and 2) provide additional resonance control.  Not to mention's Cambridg Audio's tone arm design!

There's quite a bit of information on the web so I will re-direct you to Cambridge Audio's webpage instead of me regurgitating the information.

More info:
http://www.cambridgeaudio.com/products/tt50-turntable

This is a really nice turntable and sounds pretty nice, a lot better than some vintage turntables, that's for sure.  A modern tonearm design + a solid tried and tested design = musical bliss! 

The Shure M97xe is Shure's main "Audiophile" cartridge of this century.  It's not a bad cartridge, though it's often overshadowed by it's older siblings.  However, it has the Shure sound signature that many people enjoy.  It's fairly neutral in presentation, meaning there isn't a lot of coloration as compared to a Grado or Audio Technica.  The cartridge is used but, low hours as this particular owner tends to switch cartridges quite often.

Now, this was quite a pricey turntable when it came out and adding the Shure M97xe wasn't the cheapest option either.  I can tell you know the price of this turntable is quite a steal!  They sit well next to matching speakers with the same finish!  I think the only flaws is that the black piano finish is a dust and finger print magnet!  No matter now much I clean there is always dust all over it!

It's been freshly serviced and comes with a new belt and interconnects.


Friday, 15 November 2013

Thorens TD-280 Turntable

I completely forgot about posting this turntable on the blog.  I thought I did, but I guess I didn't.  However, it is sold so, this is primarily for information and posterity. 

Personally, I enjoy non-suspended belt drive turntables because they're less finicky to deal with, no need to adjust suspension and the need of a solid platform.  Granted, a solid platform is good for all turntable.  For some odd reason, could be laziness, I just tend to prefer non-suspended belt drive tables, and which is why I would like to get an Empire turntable to play with!

But, I digress.  I have numerous of Thorens turntables in my ownership, from the sought after TD-125MKII, to handful of TD-160s and TD-150s (I did love the look of the tone arm on the MKII), the popular Harman Hardon T165C and of course plenty of Japanese suspended belt drive turntables, and all were great but all of them weren't from me.  I've always stuck with my non-suspended direct drive turntables like my Micro Seiki and Sony.  I do have a Technics suspended direct drive but I generally keep that for the automatic return feature, haha.

However, this Thorens was a game changer for me.  I really loved how it sounded, I thought it was better than it's all so popular bigger brother the TD-160s but, it could be I didn't have it at optimum alignment and blah blah blah.  Oh well, but this TD-280 sounded great with the Shure M95ED.  Not to mention having the auto-lift at the end is pretty useful!

This table sounded so good that I even thought about adding it to my collection.  But, I determined to try out more belt drives, which I am right now and try to find an Empire turntable!

For specifications:
http://www.vinylengine.com/library/thorens/td280.shtml


Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Upcoming Fire Sale!

I've talked to some of the guys and I think it's time to do a small fire sale to clear out some of our serviced gear out to make room for up and coming projects!

We all know that Winnipeg loves a deal.  So, we're gonna give you one!  Stay tuned!

Pioneer PL-600's New Home!

Our lovely Pioneer PL-600 has found it's new home but, I guess many would never figure out where it is.  It's not in Winnipeg, or in the same Province.  Heck, it's not even in the same country!  The Pioneer PL-600 has found it's new home in Anchorage, Alaska, USA! 

That's right, we do ship out our gear to the USA and Canada.  Now, this wasn't the easiest packing job.  Getting all the necessary material took time and just packing it took even more time!  We do take our time to properly pack any gear that's being shipped out.  And, that's the most important thing!  We want all our gear to arrive undamaged and in the same shape.  As well, we want all our gear to find appreciative homes just like this one!

The new owner is thrilled to have the PL-600 where it will join other Pioneer gear!

 Here are some snap shots of the PL-600 in Anchorage!



Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Dynaco A25 Speakers (Early Scanspeak Drivers)

This is a real treat.  I haven't seen the early scanspeak drivers in quite some time!  When the member phoned me about them all he said they were Dynaco as per the badge.  After a quick description, I identified them as the A25.  When they got dropped off to me and after a close examination of the Aperiodic vent, which was above the tweeter, I soon realized they are the early version of the A25 with the Scanspeak drivers!

These are some mighty fine speakers.  They are quite dynamic with a very lively sound signature.  As well being a nice bookshelf speakers I can see why these are quite popular and desirable for both new and veteran enthusiasts. 

For their age, they are in great shape.  There is a depressed area but not really noticeable.  Grills are in good shape as well the badges are intact!  Not to mentioned they are wrapped in real wood veneer!

They have been cleaned up and oiled up and ready for a new home!




Pioneer PL-600 Turntable

This is coming out of my private collection!  This is one heck of a turntable and is probably considered one of the best turntables that Pioneer built at the consumer level.

It has all the features one would want in a fully automatic turntable!  It's 2-speed, direct drive with quartz lock.  It has record selection size as well with repeat.  And, most importantly, it has VTA!  Not to mention the build quality underneath the hood.

All metal plinth, heavy platter, superb tone arm, an excellent direct drive motor and suspended platter and tone arm!  Think of the Technics SL-1600mk2 to SL-1800mk2 turntables, they too are suspended.  I have to admit, it's really a superb table that can give the Technics it's run for it's money.

I really love the design of the PL-600, it's very simplistic with a very utilitarian / industrial design.  

It's in excellent condition and comes with its original headshell and transport screws.  It's been freshly serviced and comes with a new tone arm belt and Empire 2000E/III stylus!

For more information:
http://www.vinylengine.com/library/pioneer/pl-600.shtml


Yamaha YP-701 Turntable

For early Japanese belt drive turntables, this has to be one of my favourites.  Those who know me know that I am not a huge fan of suspended belt drive turntables because they are quite finicky and require a very solid surface.  However, I am quite impressed by this Yamaha turntable.  I've had AR turntables and Thorens and when it comes down to sound quality, it does remind me of the Thorens.  It's also built really well.  Design principles are much different than the usual suspended platter turntables and more in lined with the Thorens.

There is a sub chassis that holds the platter and tone arm, just like the more known Thorens.  As well the motor (hefty sized too) is also isolated with it's own suspension.  The arm is also well designed with a set screw that can adjust for VTA.

The drive system itself is also different than the more common belt drive turntables that it's almost a rim drive table. 

Nonetheless, this is a well built and well engineered table.  Plinth is wood veneered over plywood wood base.  The sub chassis is metal as well as the top of the plinth.  The arm is your typical medium mass tone arm.

The Yamaha YP-701 is a 2-speed, semi-automatic turntable.  It is also fully serviced with a new belt and a new Audio Technica AT-110E stylus.

If you are looking for more information, take a look at the YP-700.  The name difference could be due to where the turntable was sold.

http://www.vinylengine.com/library/yamaha/yp-700.shtml
http://www.thevintageknob.org/yamaha-YP-700.html


Overall, it's in pretty nice shape, there are a few nicks on the plinth.  But, this is still a very sharp looking turntable.

 

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Hitachi HS-310 Speakers

Now, I've owned some interesting speakers before but, these have to be one of the most interesting speakers I've come across in quite some time.  Why?  Well, probably because the mid drivers and woofers are made out of aluminum.

By today's production, aluminum may not seem so uncommon.  However, back in the 70s/80s, there were probably only a small handful of manufacturers using aluminum cone drivers.  Other than Hitachi, I can only think of Bozak using aluminum cones.  I am sure they are more, I just can't think of any other manufacturers at this time.  The woofers also uses an aluminum voice coil, think vintage JBL.

Another shocking aspect is the weight of these speakers.  You would assume they look somewhat substantial, but they are fairly light weight.  Makes one wonder why? I won't speculate as I'm not a speaker designer/engineer.

However, I can tell you that they sound really good.  You wouldn't expect that a light weight speaker can produce such a nice sound.  The bass has real good pace, depth and speed.  Probably, faster than most paper cones I've heard.  The mids are also quite nice and the treble is also shocking.

Despite using a titanium diaphragm in the tweeters, they are not harsh at all.  They are very pleasant and non-fatiguing to my ears.  I know they are not as harsh as some horns I've heard or other metal diaphragm tweeters I've heard too.  The Magnat All-Ribbon-4 were much "harsher" in comparison.

They do have this particular Japanese sound signature to them and they remind me of the HPM-60 we've had.  They kind of have this flat or balanced sound signature with a average soundstage.  Hard to describe it.  And, it's probably wrong for me to generalize.  But, from the Japanese speakers (mostly bookshelves) I've heard, they tend to be quite controlled in SQ.  Almost makes you think they could be pushed harder but, they've been tailored back a little bit.

I have owned my fair share of odd Hitachi speakers like the HS-55.  Driver longevity is pretty good, there is no foam, so no need to replace surrounds.  The mids have a treated fabric surrounds and the woofer has that "gather edge" surround.

Overall, they are an unique sounding pair of speakers, that's in great shape.  Too bad it's vinyl wrapped but it's wrapped in a simulated paduk vinyl.


Owners Manual:
http://www.hifiengine.com/library/hitachi/hs-310.shtml




New Micron Pictures

These pictures are probably better than the last set I took of the Microns.


Sunday, 28 April 2013

General Sound Micron 631 + 1011 2.1 Speaker System

This is an impressive set of speakers.  Made in the USA, with beautiful workmanship, innovative design and excellent sound.  There is not a lot of information about this company other than a few pieces that people may have commented over the internet.  But, regardless of how little information there is about this company, the sound quality and build quality of these speakers are highly regarded.  Not to mention, they are well designed and look very elegant.  This happens to be our second pair of Microns, the first set we had was the 421 with the same 1011 passive sub and found a loving home. 

Not to mention, wood lovers will love the look as they are wrapped in real wood veneer.

From what I can find the 631 was their TOTL bookshelves speakers for this particular series.  The bookshelves are 3-way, featuring a 6" woofer, 2.5" midrange cone driver and 1" dome tweeter.  They are wrapped in a well made cabinet with rounded edges and the front are fitted with a beautiful brass trim.  The drivers are recessed for the "time aligned" phasing.  It's just another design manufacturers used to improve phasing and provide the best sound quality in their design.  Neat design, that's for sure.

The 1011 passive sub, or bass extender is basically for the low end frequencies as we all know that bookshelves speakers tend to lack in the lower end frequencies due to size of the driver.  As with the speakers themselves, the 1011 is well made, the top is a laminate while the rest is wrapped in real wood veneer.  Probably meant to be used as a table end for easy clean for spills.

The 1011 uses a dual voice coil driver (12" driver) and while it's no monster in the bass department, it really fills the room with detailed bass that if placed properly, it would seem the bookshelves are doing all the work.  However, the attenuators for the mid and  treble are on the bottom of the sub.

Overall, they are in excellent shape besides a few scratches on the 1011.

For sound they are a very detailed speakers.  They have very good extension, it's quite dynamic and very transparent.  They are perfect for those looking for a clean sounding pair of speakers with a very neutral sound signature.  I would say they're quite musical if not a tad towards the analytical side.  And, the bass is not overwhelming at all, it's detailed, good depth and punch and matches well with the rest of the system.  Of course, personally, I really love the look of the speakers.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Harman Kardon T-65C Turntable

I've owned several different belt drive turntables from AR to Thorens and of course tons of Japanese belt drive turntables but my experience is still limited.  However, from all the belt drive turntables I've owned, serviced, and heard, the Harman Kardon T-65C is definitely a superb deck.  I know many belt drives are subjected to plethora of modification the HK T-65C is one of the better sounding and better decks in stock form for several different reasons.

1) Suspension adjustments are done up top, underneath the platter
2) Pitch control
3) One of the quietest motors I've "heard" it's really a well engineered deck
4) Subjective: auto life at the end of the record

While it's no giant killer by any means, it's truly a giant poker.  This is a 2-speed, belt drive w/ quartz lock, auto life turntable.  It also has adjustable capacitance for cartridge loading and a low mass carbon fiber tonearm.  The tonearm is more likely a Japanese design due to HK connection in the 80s.  Reminds me of a Micro Seki / Jelco tonearm, especially the counter weight.  The tonearm is a ITO Microtrace tonearm. 

It also comes with it's own turntable clamp or weight, which is essential for the suspension.  It's truly a well designed deck.  There are also some modifications one can do, generally mass loading the plinth and dampening the suspension springs.

Overall, it's in excellent shape, dustcover has the usual wear.  It also comes with low capacitance cables and struts a Shure cartridge which is an excellent match.  Not to mention, it's been serviced and ready to go!

Simple, elegant, and well engineered, like all HK products of this era.  Gotta love em!






Realistic LAB-400 Turntable

These have to be one of my favourite fully automatic turntables.  Why?  For one, they are relatively simple inside which equates to ease of servicing, reliability and longevity.  They are truly well made machines and you gotta love that.  Good size motor, good and simple mechanics, good quality parts and very little plastic inside.

Second reason is the look.  I've always enjoyed the look of these tables, the simple clean wood grain look with the metal plate on the left for contrast makes it a very elegant looking turntable.  Actually, many people who have bought these turntables off us love the look and you can't blame them, it is truly a great looking turntable.

This is a 2-speed, fully automatic, direct drive turntable with repeat option and disc size.  If you have been following my previous information about Realistic turntables, this was made by C.E.C., a OEM company in Japan (which still exist today) that made turntables for various companies in the 70s and 80s.  I had several different "copies" of this particular turntable and each of them were great turntables.

Currently it has a very nice Shure cartridge.  Overall, it's in great shape, the dust cover has scratches and slight imperfections.  I tried to buff them out but I don't have the proper tools to remove all the imperfections.  However, the plinth and everything else is in great shape. 


Thursday, 14 March 2013

Acoustic Research AR91 Speakers

Now these are some serious speakers.  While they don't hold a candle to their bigger brother, they still produce a fine sound signature.

The AR91 are floor standing speakers in a 3-way acoustic sealed design.  It features AR's 12" woofer, it actually measures out to be 11", dome midrange and dome tweeter.  If you're looking for big and detailed sound, these are a fine pair of speakers.

They are pretty big but, not super large and they are well designed having that real wood veneer and unique shape.  The grills are also bowed out at the bottom, so they are quite elegant to look at with some serious sound behind them.

The woofers have been freshly redone and still need to be broken in.  The downsize of these AR91s are that they are power hungry.  They aren't really efficient and they love clean dynamic power.  So, no they aren't really tube friendly unless you have some serious tube monoblocks.  They are also 4 ohms and need something with a good transformer. 

They are quite heavy, but when I was servicing them, the woofer weight was one of the reason why they're so heavy!  Beefy magnets on those woofers. 

For their sound signature they are darker sounding than what I normally listen too.  They are the Sennheiser of speakers.  If you are familiar with Sennheiser headphones the AR91s have similar sound signature.  Hence, why I would recommend a brigher/dynamic amplifier to balance the sound to my taste.  They have superb bass.  They are quite detailed with a lovely midrange and can fill a room nicely with beautiful music.  I just can't stress that you need a very good amplifier to drive them. 

Overall, they are in excellent shape!  Only flaws is the dampening foam on the midrange and tweeters have stiffen due to age.  However, I was lucky to find they still came with it.  So, if you got a powerful amplifier and need some great speakers that have a bit of WAF appeal, these might do!


Magnat All Ribbon 4 Speakers

Unlike what the model states, it's not a ribbon tweeter.  Rather the voice coil are wrapped in a ribbon fashion.  These are my favorite "small" 3-way speakers.  They have a 8" woofer with rubber surrounds, that have been reconditioned, a dome midrange driver and metal dome tweeter all wrapped in a well built acoustic sealed box.  I will assume all the drivers are German made.

The frequency response is quite nice from 33-34k Hz, which is quite impressive for their size.  They really have that German characteristic, being detailed, clear, dynamic and precise.  They sound really superb.  They have to be one of the best small 3-ways I've heard, and I've heard quite a bit.

They are also quite efficient, I remember running them with a small SET amplifier and they ran fine.  But, I would say at least 10wpc is enough to fill a room and have good headroom to move on the volume.  They are rated at 8ohm impedance. 

The fabric on the grills have been redone due to the awful shape they were in before.  One major downside is the cabinets are wrapped in that hammertone vinyl wrap.  It's okay but I've read they came with real wood veneer too!

They are bookshelves speakers, so they would benefit from a stand.

Overall they are in very good shape.  One woofer is slightly different colour too, probably when they were manufactured, they are both paper cones and they're probably not consecutive.   But, they sound phenomenal for their size.