WOT tube line-stage redux

A Line-stage With Output Transformer (WOT) was built back in 1998, a single 5687 tube per channel with output transformer (OPT).

However I failed to get rid of noise (EM pick-up and attenuator switching noise).  I lacked the expertise to optimise Grounding and to shield and/or orientate the output transformers (OPTs) properly.

Now, I have been fortunate to acquire a pair of Tango NP-126 Line Output transformers. So, I must re-visit the WOT Line-stage. Continue reading

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London Decca cartridge

Since Feb 2018, I have been enjoying a London Decca ‘Super Gold’ cartridge.

This is a Moving Iron/Variable Reluctance type cartridge – with Moving Magnet level of high output – 5mV.

After a few decades of listening to high-end Moving Coil cartridges, the sound of the London Decca is a revelation. A different sound presentation. No need for A/B comparisons, the London Decca delivers exhilarating energy and power. It sounds more like ‘live’ music to me. Continue reading

Every face tells a story – Havana, CUBA

Cuba has been under a USA trade embargo for almost 60 years, since shortly after the ‘Cuban Revolution’ led by Fidel Castro, which brought socialism to Cuba in 1959.

However, since 2009, relations have improved, travel to Cuba has increased.

Cuban food, café and restaurant eateries appear to be rapidly emerging and growing, with increased trading and more foreign visitors. Continue reading

REGA Planar 3 restoration

The iconic Rega Planar 3 turntable has been around since introduction in 1977.  The most recent editions are the P3 or RP3.

Thus, there are 30 to 40 year old Rega Planar turntables now in need of restoration.

This Planar 3 is from early-1980s, fitted with a Linn LV-V tonearm (and an un-branded Japanese moving magnet cartridge).

Continue reading

The WAND tonearm

The Wand tonearm was designed by Simon Brown (Design Build Listen Ltd) in Dunedin, New Zealand and was introduced in 2011.

This is a uni-pivot tonearm using Simon Brown’s own ‘defined contact’ uni-pivot implementation, a unique large diameter carbon fibre arm tube and stainless steel metalwork.

This model, The Wand Classic, is a ‘no-frills’ entry-level model with attractive pricing. Continue reading

Jason Isbell + Nadia Reid, live in Auckland

Having missed Jason Isbell when he visited New Zealand 4 years ago, I didn’t want to miss out this time, especially with our Nadia Reid opening as a stellar bonus – at The Powerstation venue, 27 Mar 2018.

Isbell’s work now is billed with his band as ‘Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit‘.

Now a multi-Grammy winning artist, Alabama-born Jason Isbell was a guitarist first Continue reading

The case for MM and MI cartridges

Moving Coil cartridge design has not changed fundamentally for 30+ years.

The traditional design of almost all MC cartridges, consists of a stylus on the end of a long cantilever, with a ‘moving coil’ attached to the inner end.

This whole assembly ‘sits’ onto a soft, resilient ”suspension’ or damper’ material and held in place by a rear tension wire. Continue reading