The Sennheiser HD 650 is a great headphone with a little bit of sonic ‘magic’ appeal. The attractively priced
MassDrop HD 6XX version is a special bargain.
A popular and nice match for the Sennheiser HD 650 / HD 6XX is a vacuum tube headphone amplifier.
The project here was built by Jeremy Young. It was inspired by the Bottlehead OTL headphone amp, but circuit ‘operating points’ were determined to suit a locally made power transformer.
This extraordinary tonearm was fitted to the Kenwood L-07D turntable, the legendary flagship Direct Drive turntable manufactured by Kenwood from 1979-83.
This was the halcyon decade or so, when Japanese hi-fi was at a peak of industrial and electronic design and engineering.
Those were the days when analogue hi-fi was at a high point, with many Japanese companies participating and leading the innovation. Sadly, some of those great names no longer exist – eg. Fidelity Research, Sansui, Stax, Supex, Coral, Grace, Micro Seiki,….
The Technics SP-10 Direct Drive turntable was manufactured by Matshushita from 1970. It had 33/45/78rpm speeds and superb technical specifications for speed accuracy and stability, wow and flutter and rumble.
The MKII / MK2 version was manufactured from around 1975 I believe, until at least 1987.
The SP-10 was supplied as a motor unit without tonearm/s, for studio or commercial use.
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).
This ‘integrated’ single-ended 300B kit amp was introduced by Audio Note UK in the mid 1990s. This example was built by me in 1997.
The standard Kit One looks plain and unattractive, so I dressed it up with some Kondo-copper aesthetic!
Not inexpensive (around GBP799 in 1997), this was however a quite good sounding 300B SE amp.
This Japanese single-ended, vacuum tube amplifier can be purchased in ‘kit’ form or fully assembled.
Power output is 3.5 watts/channel. Supplied with Russian Sovtek tubes – 2A3 (2), 6SN7 (2), 5U4G (1). Amplifier weight is 16 kgs.
Input Sensitivity is high (150mV), so with the in-built volume controls, this amplifier will accept Line level sources easily.
This is our finalised DIY cleaner ‘kitset’ design.
It is a 3-piece ‘kitset’ designed for easy self-assembly, with only 4 screws.
An additional 3 screws attach a slow-rotating BBQ ‘rotisserie’ motor and the whole assembly fits neatly onto the top of a 6 Litre Ultrasonic Cleaner tank.
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).
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.
In 1990, Stereophile’s Dick Olsher declared that the
AURA turntable offered:
…..borderline Class A performance….. I’m not letting the Aura out of my grasp. It’s one hell of a ‘table and one that I’d be perfectly happy with until the end of time.
In 2008, Dave Whittaker made his last AURA. Incorporating many improvements over 20+ years, his later AURAs