Thursday, September 29, 2011

Life in Hi Fi

I now have a chance to install my audio stuff in a more permanent location. Our new abode has a larger than average first landing which is just right to accommodate my rather small, but perfectly formed system.

Lucy shows up ...
When not in use the speakers fit back in the corner.

Of course it's not ideal, but already I'm getting good results from the set up, and since I mostly listen via headphones, the space's acoustic properties aren't a major concern.

Due to the demise of my old laptop I haven't yet been able to include a link up to my music server, but I am able to play cds and bvds (lps).

I've dug out items, some of which have survived transatlantic flights intact and have nearly enough for a second "party" system down in the living room.

The Heart
The various elements require either 110v/60Hz or 220v/50Hz, so providing a feed is interesting. But most of that stuff and cabling is hidden behind the support, an Expedit unit from Ikea, which seems fine to me and holds loads of cds, lps, etc.

The heart of the system is a Musical Paradise MP-301 mkII valve amplifier, fed by a Project pre-amp for the turntable, and a Cambridge DacMagic which handles digital sources such as the cd player and, in future, the music server.

The Soul
There are currently two sources; a Project Cherry Classic/Ortofon 2M Red combination turntable, and a Little Dot CDP_1 disc transport.

Output is handled either by Quad 11L loudspeakers, or Sennheiser HD-580 headphones.

There was some hum on the turntable line after set up, but I ran an earth/ground wire from the amp, via the pre-amp to the turntable and this seems to have solved that issue.

The first listening was very satisfying. The amp runs at 6 watts, so I was not expecting a lot of volume, but it drives the speakers at a reasonable level without any apparent distress. Makes you wonder why we need to run hundreds of watts on domestic systems.

Apart from integrating my network digital source, I need to look at speaker stands. The Quads rock around on top of the generic supports I have. They need to be held firmly to exploit their qualities.

More on this later, when I run through the system from each source.
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Thursday, September 15, 2011


It's moving time ... new abode ... and no matter how hard you try you accumulate a ton of rubbish (as we say in the UK) which is, obviously, indispensable and has to be moved.

And my dear wife had a nasty fall. Very, very painful, but now on the mend. Get well soon Linda. Will you still be able to play the concert piano?

Back on the chain-gang soon ... and hi fi developments too ...