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PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2015 8:49 pm 
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Location: Silicon Valley, California
Awsome! How could a wife/girlfriend NOT like massive horns? Must be a genetic deficiency!
OK, no really efficient horns meant I had to light up not-so-efficient JBL Studio Monitors. Can't do that with little tube amps!
I went on an my insane quest for more tube power and hit the 'girlfriend wall' with a pair of borrowed transmitting tube amps. I guess the 'quart of milk' sized tubes, flame thrower heat output, and 2000 volt plate (separate) power supply (needed 220v) were a bit much for her. Neighborhood lights dimmed when I put on ZZ Top at full volume. Her friends figured I was destined to be a mass murderer.
All behind me now. Including the girlfriend, who married someone that drives Subarus and listens to Windom Hill CDs.
But, I do miss the police visits and the looks of disbelief at the glowing purple Mercury rectifiers and stacked JBLs with carpet covered cabinets in my living room....


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2015 12:16 am 
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I may mess up model numbers but, the last super system I had was a Marantz 10B tuner, Marantz 7C preamp, two Marantz Model 9 power amps (for Quad Electrostatics used as midrange), an ESS 500 power amp driving transmission line loaded Kef B139 woofers, and eight ESS Heil drivers (4 on each side mounted in the same enclosers that contained the Quads) driven by a modified Dyna Stereo 70. The tri-amp crossover unit was an very early Nelson Pass made during the time he worked for ESS. Turntable was a Thorens TD 124 with a modified 16" SME arm and a Decca 4c cartridge. Revox A77 and Crown tape decks, and a very early Nakamichi (sp?) cassette deck (don't remember the number, but bought in Japan before they started exporting. 19" rack mount). I remember having a really beautiful turntable (Transcriptor?) that I desperately wanted to be good, but just wasn't. As I recall, belt drive but fine speed control was by an arm that dragged in a bath of STP. The disk sat on 5 or 6 brass plynths with small rubber standoffs, I think I used a Rabco straightline arm with the Decca cartridge on that. Oh, and headphones made by Stax. Now I listen to music instead. :)

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2015 1:33 pm 
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Location: Silicon Valley, California
Brian, you had the holy grail of audio systems, I have never seen such a setup. It must have sounded amazing.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2015 5:33 am 
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It was quite good. I was one of ESS's first employees, dragging the demo pair of Transtatic I (125 lbs.each as I recall) all over California trying to get people to listen to them. I was the one who met Dr. Heil in a hi fi shop in silicone valley, no one wanted to listen to his 'funny little box," nor my Transtatics that day, so we sat outside and talked. I called the "factory" and suggested we fly Dr. Heil up and have a serious listen to his prototype Air Motion Transformer. The rest, as they say, is history.
We called the Quad/Kef/Heils "Super Quads." I think we made four sets. I believe the only surviving speaker set is in Hawaii, and was, last I heard, for sale. They were a nice looking set as well; the Quads/Heils were in wide, shallow cabinets with book matched rosewood tops and bottoms and black wrap around cloth to match the transmission lines (which were Transliniers) quite an eye full as well as sounding very good.
As this is a 356 forum, I can bring this around by mentioning that the guy who bought the set mentioned above, also bought a 62 Carrera Coupe (124566?) and two 4 cam motors (P97266 & P97116 I just checked some old notes with those numbers, so I think they are right.) in 1979. The car had been buried underground in a shipping container for, as I recall, 8+ years, during a dispute between the two owners. Actually a very good story, probably best not told here. The motors, at the time of purchase, were in the possession of an infamous Northern Calif. 4 cam mechanic, turning it into a long drawn-out legal battle.

The esoteric high-end audio world became quite silly in the late 70’s and, disgusted with all the nonesence, I decided to try something new. I opened an antique store in Los Gatos focused on antiques for men, something I enjoyed more.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2015 12:52 pm 
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Location: Vancouver,Washington
Brian, I still have my ess amt5's and the Heil transformers still work flawless, it was paired at the time, 1974, with a Sansui 881. The two speakers and receiver cost just under 1k, and I still have all the paperwork for the system and being a young adult the finance cost was 22% at that time. Had to borrow a car to get them home as they wouldn't fit in my '62 356B. I know some other Porsche owners that have ess speakers to this day also, they are a great product!

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2015 3:01 pm 
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Location: Pacific Northwest
Interesting thread!

Have a pair of ESS Heil AMT 1 and although the woofers were replaced many years ago due to the foam disentigrating, the coils are still operating as new.

The AMT 1's are powered by the McIntosh MC 2105, via the C-28 pre-amp, and for FM listening, the MR 77. Ancillary to the FM tuner, vinyl was spun on the AR turntable which fed the tunes to be recorded on the Revox R2R 77 and play back filtered via the Dolby unit wihich has long ago died.

When purchasing this equipment in 1973 at Frankfurt Audio Club, Frankfurt, Germany, decided to complement the above speakers with the Quad Electro Static speakers with power from the same manufactured amp. The E-Static speakers have performed flawlessly and love the sound reproduction, however, the amp was not as robust with it's death happening many years ago. Power for these speakers has been via a variety of units, and soon going to try to use the vintage McIntosh CH receiver.

This equipment has been relegated to the shop space and happy for that. To my amazement, and after all these years, the music is still powerful as well as wonderful. My singing has markedly improved as well as my dance steps especially after a couple glasses of a fine merlot and perhaps a bit of a nice single malt scotch.

Paring the music along with the visual impact of the 356's allure, makes for a very pleasurable evening.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2015 8:44 pm 
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I always felt the AMT 1's were the best balanced of the ESS/Heil line. I didn't think it an improvment when the passive radiator was added, and the double woofers (the Monitors?) sounded, to me, worse. Also, because the company was so small then, and in a price point ($300) with established companies like AR, JBL, KLH, Bose and Advent (I think we all considered the Advents to be quite good), the finished AMT 1's were subject to a quality control that was unheard of in the industry at the time. I remember Vic, Phil, George or I personally listened (with music) to just about everything that went out the door. A tremendous amount of handwork went into the diaphragms, and crossovers, and there was a real pride in the product and the company.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2015 11:40 am 
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Location: Lincoln, NE
I have a pair of Altec VOT A7s out in the shop, 4 JBL L-100s inside. Had some Freddie King cranked up last nite about midnite! All driven by 70s Sansui amps.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2015 12:07 pm 
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Tag: Official curmudgeon
Brown,

Are you getting any work done or have you retired?
Nicely equipped shop.

Stormin

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2015 1:13 pm 
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Location: Lincoln, NE
Hey Norm......I`m not crawlin under cars anymore, but tryin to sell all these 356 parts I`ve accumulated over the last 40 years(Adam, get yer crew out here and clean me out!) I need to downsize so I can sell this building when I`m ready to go. Good to hear from you Norm!....bb


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2015 10:48 am 
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I have a pair of Marantz model 5 mono blocks that were given to me in the 1970s along with DCM monitors. I was a struggling musical instrument builder and I was building a mandolin for a guy who said my system was inadequate and man was he ever correct. About 7 years ago I lent them to an audiophile friend and didn't hear back from him for a few months. When I asked for them back he asked me to come to his house. He had them hooked to Merlin VSM speakers and I was simply blown away. He was not looking forward to returning them. While only 35 watts each I've never had them turned up over half way on an Audible Illusions tube pre amp and my VSM speakers.
Tim

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2015 12:35 pm 
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Location: Hillsborough, NC
I am visiting my daughter in Oakland and was wondering if there were local used stereo shops around the Bay area to recommend? She works in the digital industry and needs a simple receiver to hook to her Dual turntable and wire to her Pyramid 5-way Phase III minis. Radio and vinyl only.

It's a small apartment like I had in college when I had a Dynaco and some AR equipment. I was thinking of a simple solid-state receiver like the Technics that I use in my garage, 40 amp output would be all that is needed. I've not delved into this in a while, so I will look at the links cited in this thread.

In addition to the links: any suggestions on places to look, people to contact, or equipment to purchase for a beginning audiophile on a shoestring budget? Thanks, =rdsieber

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2015 10:42 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2008 9:49 pm
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Location: Gilroy, CA
In Oakland there are a several Thrift/ junk shops, mostly Goodwill, Salvation Army and St Vincents, but there are also many in the scary lower East Oakland, and they often have receivers/amps for cheap. Urban Ore in West Berkeley has recycled building materials and a used electronics section, I got a nice Pioneer amp for $20, plus it's near EASY. Craigslist has the best number of affordable solutions for your needs. Then there is the Music Lovers Audio if you want to drop a few thousand on an amp.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2015 1:33 pm 
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Location: Silicon Valley, California
Craigslist is the best source for stuff in the SF area, in my opinion. Look for Sony 'ES' (high end) stuff. I have seen receivers way less than $100. Well made and will sound good for years.
Unfortunately, all the audio stores I knew of are either gone or have become high-end sound cathedrals. May still be some near Berkeley. Rent probably to high in SF.


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