Sunday, May 8, 2011

A gamble that paid off- An old gem found.

I recently acquired my very first 'commercial' power amp. The reason being, first it's being made by 'Technics', it's a 'classic' or may be antique as it was part of a system that was launched with my favaourite singer album way back in 1980 if I am not mistaken! It may also serves as a reference to my DIY power amps.. hehe.

It was sold by a nice chap through mudah .com. I did not even test the unit at his place as he assures that if it is not working I can return the unit. I however insisted that the unit be power up. Once I saw the red power LED lit up followed by a faint click of the speakers protection relays, the deal was sealed.

The unit now sits right at the bottom of my 5-tier audio rack. Signals are controlled by another gem that I got which is a Yamaha AV amp in pre-amp mode. The most neutral and natural preamp I ever heard. More on this later. Sources are my usual DIYed CD Transport mentioned earlier and the superb Behringer Ultramatch PRO SRC 2496 DAC.

Due to this set up, my existing reference and favourite Technics SU-A900 MK2 has been taken out temporarily, giving this new line up to prove it's 'worth'. Honestly I got it cheap... ;)


Eventhough the power amp is rated at a 'puny' 40Watts per channel it can really drives my RTL3 floorstander at a very loud levels! The most striking characteristics that I found is that the details of low end bass at lowish volumes are excellent! Full bodied, powerful and fullfilling, the kind of bass that satisfies a 'basshead' like me. Due to this new found characteristics, I have been doing a lot of late night listenings with much enjoyment without the higher volumes of day listenings!

So for those with a small listening room and a 'lil bright sound system, this power amp if you could lay your hands on, might just be the ticket in getting that 'sound' that has been eluding you if you know what I mean!

Close up of the gem - the SE-A808

Sitting 'quietly' and 'unobstructively' at the lower most tier of the audio rack..

Monday, January 17, 2011

DIY CD Transport in a new casing..

It has been a while since I last post!

Had a few projects completed by not much time to update.

Acquired a Harman Kardon HD7225A that is not working anymore and suddenly remembered that my DIY CD Transport is badly needing a new case! Spent about 2 hours 'transplanting' the HK's innards with the DIY stuffs... Here's some of the work done:

 Top cover removed. Just a mainboard and transport mechanism. Hoping to use the existing transformer/power supply with the DIYed transport but...

 The transformer was 'built' into the mainboard with all the necessary rectifying circuits and regulation.. hmmm

 Transport mechanism removed! Several screws and quick disconnect cables..

 Front fascia removed too! Thought of using my own panel but later changed my mind. Too much work and I'd rather preserved the HK's look..

 Two major assenblies out of the casing, placed on the top cover.

 Top cover reinstalled to measure front fascia dimensions..
(This is before I change my mind..)

 The CDROM positioned to check for cd tray clearances..

 First power up, to check the new display from the CDROM controller.

 Whats inside. Just the CDROM, CD Controller and the 12V/5V power supply. This is temporary. Will install a linear PSU.

 Close up of the CDROM controller and the IDE cable connecting to the CDROM.

 Testing the transport, digital signal feeding the Behringer Ultramatch Pro DAC.
So far superb! Will finalise the work next weekend. ;)