In the Beginning, There Was Analog…

This is it, my first blog post.  Where to start?  I really don’t know.  I’m a science & math guy, not a student of words and essays.  So I guess I’ll start with the ‘why’.

Why you ask?  To offer my wife support, that’s why.  After over a decade of doing a prodigious job of raising kids (and me) and keeping a household she is re-entering the job force.  Being a holistic nutritionist and ninja of all things wellness, apparently having an online presence and being a practitioner of all things ‘social’ is just as important as knowing what the fuck an Essential Fatty Acid is.  So she asked me to help her with all things Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, WordPress, WUPHF and FaceTubeSpace.  Belonging to none of these social outlets (my social outlets being booze, music & masturbating) I felt it best to actually sign up and drill in the fine arts of social media.  So here I am, with my very own WordPress blog & Twitter tweet tweet.  Think of my blog as a sandbox environment to her production environment.

What you ask?  This one’s easy, booze & music (sorry…I refuse to blog about masturbating as there’s a good chance my kids will read this one day).  Listening to records and having a drink is something I do almost every other night so it’s a very easy thing to write about.  In particular it’ll be my perspective listening to vinyl records in my collection on my analog rig.

Where?  Mostly in my basement where my set up is, but now and again at any one my bro’s house who also have an analog setup.

Who?  Me.  I’m located above by clicking the ‘About me’ link.

When?  Who the fuck knows, but let’s say once a week for arguments sake.

How?  Pretty sure I answered this in my previous responses.

Shit, so far this feels like filling out a RFP at work.

So on to the fun stuff.  I guess it makes most sense to start with what I’ll be spinning on.  So, let’s follow the signal path.

The Listening Room:

It’s a basement room, primarily below ground and rectangular in shape compromising of an uncomfortable couch, an Ikea unit full of records, some kids play toys, my HiFi rack, speakers, etc.  The ceiling’s 7 feet, a 21 foot length, and a 14 foot width with the setup set up width wide.  The floor is carpeted over concrete plus the “premium” under-pad.  Everything is setup width wide with the speakers typically 2 feet from the wall and me listening from about 8 feet away.

The Cartridge: Dynavector 10X5.  Dynavector’s entry level cart which debuted in 1978.  Here’s what Dynavector has to say:

  • Type High output moving coil cartridge with flux damper and softened magnetism
  • Output Voltage 2.5mV (at 1KHz, 5cm/sec.)
  • Channel Separation 25 dB (at 1KHz)
  • Channel balance 1.0 dB (at 1KHz)
  • Frequency response 20 – 20,000Hz (± 2dB)
  • Compliance 12 x 10-6 cm/dyn
  • Tracking force 1.8 – 2.2 grams
  • DC resistance R=150 ohms
  • Recommended load
  • Impedance >1K ohms
  • Cantilever 6mm length aluminum pipe
  • Stylus Elliptical
  • Weight 7.3 grams

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The Tone Arm:  JA Michell Techno Arm, which is a highly modified Rega RB250 arm.  Here’s what Michell Engineering has to say:

  • One-piece perforated arm casting with internal foam damping
  • Proprietary silver litz cable in a continuous run from cartridge to amplifier
  • PTFE dielectric, metal braided shielding, separate ground wire
  • Silver-plated cartridge clips and phono plugs
  • Two counterweights, matching cartridges of 4-7g and 7-13g
  • Vertical tracking force adjuster in steps of 0.1g
  • Vertical tracking angle adjuster
  • Finger locknut for easy arm removal or VTA adjustment

The Turntable: JA Michell Gyro SE, which is essentially a GyroDec without all that costly acrylic.  Here’s what Michell Engineering has to say:

  • Spider chassis, suspended stable subchassis
  • Massive acrylic/vinyl platter of high inertia, with gold-plated brass weights
  • Inverted oil-pumping bearing
  • Custom arm boards available for most tonearms
  • High-quality standalone DC motor
  • Optional clamp
  • Optional HR supply
  • Optional Orbe-style platter and clamp
  • Optional dust cover
  • Finished in silver
  • Weight 10 kg
  • Dimensions 49 (w) x 37.5 (d) x 13.5 (h) cms

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The Preamp: A Mcintosh MX110 (z).  A 50 year old vintage tube amp that looks like it just left the showroom.  Hard to find specs on this one, but it brings an aura of HiFi times past complete with its wooden housing and sweet vintage sound.

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The Power Amp: McIntosh MC275 V.  A legend in the tube HiFi world, this unit puts out an impressive 75 Watts of tube power per channel.  Unlike the MX110, googling this model will return thousands of hits of information.  Debuting in 1962, this is the “Mark V” version which was recently updated a few months ago.  This thing is crazy powerful and an amazingly fun piece of hardware.  Here’s what McIntosh has to say:

  • POWER OUTPUT PER CHANNEL: 75W @ 4, 8 or 16 Ohms
  • NUMBER OF CHANNELS: 2
  • TOTAL HARMONIC DISTORTION: 0.5%
  • S/N BELOW RATED OUTPUT: 100dB
  • DYNAMIC HEADROOM: 1.2dB
  • DAMPING FACTOR: 20
  • RATED POWER BAND: 20Hz to 20kHz
  • FREQUENCY RESPONSE +0,-0.25DB: 20Hz to 20kHz
  • FREQUENCY RESPONSE -3DB: 10Hz to 70kHz
  • CIRCUIT CONFIGURATION: Unity Coupled
  • CIRCUIT DESIGN: Vacuum Tube
  • MONO PARALLEL: 150W @ 2, 4 or 8 Ohms
  • AUTOFORMER: Output Transformer
  • BALANCED INPUT: Yes
  • CHASSIS STYLE: Polished Stainless Steel
  • GOLD PLATED BINDING POSTS: 5 way
  • DIMENSIONS (W X H X D): 16-1/2″ (41.91cm) x 8-1/4″ (20.96cm) (including feet) x 12″ (30.48cm)
  • WEIGHT: 67 lbs (30.5 kg)
  • SHIPPING WEIGHT: 75 lbs (34.1 kg)

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Speakers: Monitor Audio Silver RX6.  Finished in Walnut, these are just as much furniture as loud speaker.  They double as my part of my 5.1 theatre setup.  I love them.  Here’s what Monitor Audio has to say:

  • System Format: 2 1/2 Way
  • Frequency Response: 38Hz – 35kHz
  • Sensitivity (1W@1M): 90dB
  • Nominal Impedance: 6 Ohms
  • Maximum SPL (dBA): 114.8
  • Power Handling (RMS): 125W
  • Recommended Amplifier Requirements (RMS): 40-125W
  • Bass Alignment: Dual Chamber, Bass reflex with differential tuning.
  • Twin HiVe®II port System
  • Tweeter Crossover Frequency: LF: 700Hz
  • MF/HF: 2.7kHz
  • Drive Unit Complement: 1 x 6″ RST® Bass driver.
  • 1 x 6″ RST® Bass/Mid driver.
  • 1 x 1″ (25mm) C-CAM® gold dome tweeter
  • External Dimensions (H x W x D) inc plinth & feet: 905 x 275 x 310 mm (35 5/8 x 10 13/16 x 12 3/16 inch)
  • Individual Weight: 16.4 Kg (36.13 lb)

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Naked in all their dimpled glory…

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Anyways, that’s it for today.  This will be the longest post, I promise.  Just wanted to get the equipment off my chest.  The next one is where the fun begins.