Ultrasonic record cleaning

I have to say that I’m a little bit excited about this right now…..

Over the past week, I have been testing vinyl records in an Ultrasonic cleaning machine and the results have been all positive.

In the past, I have used a Nitty Gritty record cleaning machine (RCM) and in recent years have acquired an old but well-respected Keith Monks RCM (below). Continue reading

Quad 33 restoration (Pt I)

The Quad 33 preamplifier is 50 years old, now.

It was introduced by Quad Electroacoustics in 1967 (to partner the 303 power amp) and 120,000 units were reportedly manufactured over 15 years.

The Quad 33/303 was Quad’s first Solid State consumer preamp/power-amp set.

My Quad 33 is serial no.6184, which means probably late 60s-early 70s manufacture. Continue reading

Aura Turntable redux – Skipper Wise

The Aura turntable was designed by New Zealander, Dave Whittaker and was manufactured in NZ and Australia over a period of 20 years from the mid 1980s.

This beautiful example of the Aura, is still in use in California at the home of Skipper Wise – musician, recording artist and co-founder of Blue Microphones.

Skipper’s interesting story about his Aura TT tells us also about the affable and gracious man that Dave Whittaker was:  Continue reading

Terminator tonearm (Pt III) – stop the chatter (updated)

The Terminator linear tracking tonearm combines an air-bearing with a (twin) ‘uni-pivot’ bearing.

Uni-pivot bearings need to be stabilised in order to handle the energy generated by a pick-up cartridge.

In this case, twin pivot points were in metal-to-metal contact with the arm-slider ‘V-brackets’ and some instability or ‘bearing rattle’ can be audible at times. Continue reading

Bargain bin – Rega RB202 tonearm

This guy costs US$395 / £198 – not a small sum, but in hi-fi terms, a bargain I’d suggest.

The current Rega tonearms are descendants of the original legendary RB250/300 tonearms introduced in 1983.  They still sound excellent.  And importantly I think, sound a lot like real music.

I owned (and enjoyed) a Linn Sondek with Ittok tonearm from the same period, for over 10 years, but I don’t remember the Ittok sounding this much fun! Continue reading