:: Saturday, November 19, 2005 ::
Here's a little project I've been working on. I recently built two speaker cabinets for a pair of famous 15" JBL D130s and the equally famous 075 ring radiators (bullet tweeters) coupled to the N2600 JBL crossovers. The cabinets were built to the original JBL specs. OK, so now I have these incredible speakers so I have to get a decent amp right? I picked it up on Ebay and just got it back from the techs who went through it with a fine tooth comb. Sitting on top of the speaker cabinet is the famous Scott LK72 Stereomaster Labratory tube amp - the unit off to the side is the Scott 350C tube tuner all circa 1963. All I can say is that I wasn't really prepared for how terrific this setup sounds. OK, it's not a Mac but it's about as close as you're going to get for the money. Note the huge black transformers on the amp - I had to replace both of the output trannys - not something I want to do again anytime soon. They're virtually impossible to find and no one makes a replacement. The amp sports a quad of Telefunken 12AX7s, 4-7591 beam power pentodes, a Mullard 5AR4 Full Wave Vacuum rectifier and a 7199 Medium-Mu Triode - Sharp-Cutoff Pentode. The amp cranks out a whopping 32 watts per channel and can simply manhandle the JBL D130s. These are your father's watts by the way - not the new fangled wimpy-watts you get from the big-box electronic stores. I'm in love with music again.
Update: It's Saturday night and I'm currently listening to a classic blues/jazz survey show produced by our local NPR station. The 350C tuner is sucking in the cleanest signal I've ever experienced and the lab amp and speakers are performing as advertised - even at "listening levels" (i.e. low DBs). I can tell you, the music sounds simply alive - difficult to describe in words. And there are a couple of intangible benefits to tube technology as well. Tube amps put out an amazing amount of heat - no wonder they're nicknamed "space heaters" - and they emit an enigmatic but pleasant soft electronic odor reminiscent of the first tube TVs ever made. My whole loft suddenly smells like my fathers humongous console TV circa 1963 - what a treat. I think I'll have another glass of wine.
:: Max 3:07 PM [+] ::