Educational - Ask Vince
|Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013 |
Anybody who knows Vince, understands that he is a walking encyclopedia
of knowledge, especially in areas of electronics, and audio
electronics in particular. Vince is also not afraid to tell
the truth about what he feels are well designed products and
technologies, and what are marketing illusions within the
industry. Just because a unit has a $1200 price tag on it,
does not necessarily mean you are going to get $1200 worth
of reliability or performance. There may very well be a $300
unit out there that uses the exact same design and parts,
and internally is the exact same machine...only one is marketed
for high end users and given a fancier face plate, and (or)
The goal of this section is to allow visitors to our site to not
only hear what Vince has to say about questions that come
up often, but to also submit a question of your own. Ask away,
find out what Vince has to say, no subject is taboo!
We present to you ASK VINCE.
| Behringer Truth Studio Monitors (Ask Vince)||Sep 12th, 2012|
|QUESTION – Shielding is crappy. I hear radio all the time. Is there anything I can do to improve this?
|Glass ferrite vs Permalloy playback heads (Ask Vince)||Dec 8th, 2008|
|A customer needs a new PB head for his Akai GX 280D and Vince explains the difficulties of Glass ferrite heads vs. Permalloy. ...Read More|
|Beta Hi Fi Decks (Ask Vince)||Aug 23rd, 2008|
|Q)I need to get one in order to transfer some tapes to a more accessible format (DVD). I am somewhat familiar with the Sony line and hoping to get an SL-HF900 only because I know it was a top of the line deck in the last run of machines.|
1) Are there any servicing issues?
2) Are there other machines to consider? (I need HiFi)
A)Yes, these are rare to find and expensive if found. These machines break and when fixed, tend to break again, go out of alignment, etc. The need to do very careful servicing is crucial. This is a troublesome format with high maintenance requirements for surviving machines. Sanyo made a better machine but people were hypnotized by Sony. I have a Sony unit here that needs a clean up (probably $500). Virtually every machine will need the load up positioner modified or repaired as well as proper adjustment overall. Even then Beta tapes varied in quality of playback.
|AR VS KLH Speakers (Ask Vince)||Apr 24th, 2008|
|Q) I am looking for the best set of vintage speakers by either KLH or AR to couple with a Macintosh receiver ca 1970s. I have some 5s which I like, but I want to add another pair. Would you recommend KLH 6s or 20s or which model for the best sound possible? Also how do you compare AR with KLH.|
A) AR and KLH are very similar in many ways. Later version AR possibly have better tweeters. The real old speakers either have limited performance tweeters which must be replaced or without a doubt an updated crossover is needed ...Read More
|Ohm Walsh 2 Speakers (Another Question) (Ask Vince)||Apr 10th, 2008|
|Q) In your opinion how would these speakers work as rears in a theater system?|
A) These are OK. People want them because of style appeal. Infact the speaker is a common woofer tweeter combination hidden inside an unserviceable sealed metal basket. The units I had were the better peerless dome and better CTS woofer, so they should be reliable. Others had cheaper parts. Ohm products varied tremendously ...Read More
|Marantz CD Burners (Ask Vince)||Jan 7th, 2008|
|Q) I'm looking for a Marantz CDR 600 or a Phillips CDR 101. Do you have one or know where I might find one of these old units?? |
A) In all honesty I would have to strongly advise against looking for one of these machines. They were notorious for high failure rate, and parts are difficult to find. Seldom is a cost effective service possible. Philips owns Marantz and sets the policy. The only reason why a Marantz is listed here is because we can make sure the laser specs OK, and some people just want the same item for replacement, regardless of my informed opinion. ...Read More
|Behringer EX1000 and Edison and Mods Available. (Ask Vince)||Nov 3rd, 2007|
|Q) What mods do you do to the Behringer EX1000 and Edison? What is the main differences between the ex1000 and ex1200? I used to own the ex1000 an am interested in getting one or the 1200. Thank you in advance for answering this.|
A) I modify the EX1, to be honest I seldom see the EX1000 or 1200, but I must assume it’s a similar machine with similar mod requirements. It’s a good design except the LED and it’s circuits which run them create RFI switch hash into the audio. ...Read More
|Concerning Scott and Vintage Receiver Repairs (Ask Vince)||Oct 8th, 2007|
|Q) I recently bought a vintage Scott 388-B receiver that plays very well except for the FM I can't get the multiplex board to light the stereo light. The voltages seem ok at the test points on the board. Can you help? Thanks. |
A) The unit needs a real, complete service. Unfortunately, units of this age will require many capacitors throughout the unit to be replaced, this is a certainty, and with a proper tuner alignment may solve the problem. Also a thorough cleani ...Read More
|DBX Expanders (single vs double rack space 3bx) and modifications (Ask Vince)||Aug 11th, 2007|
|Q) What is different about the dbx 3bx pro... is it the ds series?|
A) DBX expanders are all conceptually the same. User controlled capability of creating more dynamics and lessening the noise floor (of vinyl and tape) by "expanding" the music's dynamic range, leaving the noise floor further down in level. Old 3bx, big knobs and LED's in 2 rack space box, are discreet circuit 3 bands of VCA
|More Questions About ADA MP1 (Ask Vince)||Jul 12th, 2007|
|Q) How does the ADA MP1 Classic model compare to the modded MP1's? Do you repair them? Is the ADA foot controller the way to go with these? |
A) The Modified ADA are changed to sound less "metal" on too many programs and more control is available to enhance regular electric and acoustic guitar sounds, but it still can do the “buzz saw” metal sound no problem. The MP1 is a device which obviously intends to use the tubes to create the nice “crank”. The “Classic” versions add some minor features ...Read More
|What Are Some Prices for the Loopers? (Ask Vince)||Jul 6th, 2007|
|Q) What Are Some Prices for the Loopers? |
A) The EH 2880 Looper is typically $500 new. Electrix Repeater is typically $600 used to $900 new. The other looper prices should be available from any major market retailer, we simply follow current catalog prices, quotes (which are all within a few dollars of each other) and then order in for customer. To be honest I would need more info as to what exact function ...Read More
|Bellari MP 110 Modification (Ask Vince)||Jul 1st, 2007|
|Q) Hi there, I was wondering if you guys mod the single channel Bellari MP 110?
If you do, how much? I would like to replace the OP AmP and the transformer.
Which op amp and transformer would you put in there? Please let me know and
thank you for your time.|
A) We can modify the Bellari MP 110, but the specific mod you are asking for would not be something we would recommend. There would not be any obvious change in sound, and more than that changing the op amp could even make it worse. This is because ...Read More
|Concerning EV Interface A Speakers (Ask Vince)||Feb 9th, 2007|
|Q) Hi some time back I purchased a pair of Electro-Voice Interface A speakers on E-bay less the equalizer. I hooked them up and they sounded fine but I seem to remember them having more bass response (I am basing this on how I remember them sounding 30 or so years ago). I finally saw another one on E-bay again last week or so but lost the bid, I have two questions: first, do you feel this unit is required for the speakers to perform correctly (it seems like it but I would like another opi ...Read More|
|Reel to Reel Comparison - Revox B77 vs. Teac A3440 (Ask Vince)||Jun 24th, 2006|
|Q) Would be so kind to tell me which machine is better for recording and listening tapes? Revox B77 or Teac A3440?|
A) Yes, one of my favorite kinds of questions, but strangely, a tough one to answer. Here’s the strange truth. Both decks at this age would need cleaning and calibration. If basic service is done, the Teac would win out mechanically, but not by much. Yet the Revox would be the better sonically, but not by much. There’s the rub. The Teac can be put back into excellent consistent, mechanical and audio quality condition with little trouble. But… As good as the Revox is, it will suffer some critical age related problems which will interfere with it’s potentially much better sonic performance ...Read More
|The Art of Tuner Design (Ask Vince)||Mar 30th, 2006|
|Q) Can you please list for me the equipment you use when performing an FM alignment?|
A) Well, I have lots of test equipment. Sountech, Leader, Tektronix, etc. but if you’re asking if I’m qualified by the equipment I own that would be misleading. Truth is, tuner design is somewhat technical and mystic art. Often times I alter tuners to improve the tuner shielding, grounding, stub tune the 300 Ohm Balun Antennae matcher and especially often adjust existing coils in the tuner assembly to improve FM sensitive and reduce radio frequency parasitics ...Read More
|Reel To Reel Maintenance (Unstable Tape Speed) (Ask Vince)||Mar 18th, 2006|
|Q) I just purchased a Pioneer rt-1050 reel to reel tape deck. I've found that the speed is very unstable. Is this a common problem with this unit and can it be caused by non-manufacturer power chord which this one came with?|
A) No. These are great machines but obviously they are 25 years old now. The problem is the unit is in need of maintenance. (possibly new drive belt, oil of motor and mechanism, the speed switch itself can arc out and become intermittent as well a ...Read More
|Nikko Beta 30 Preamp (Ask Vince)||Mar 12th, 2006|
|Q) What do you think of the Nikko Beta 30 Preamp?|
A) The truth is any reasonably well designed preamp, regardless of what op amps or circuitry is in it will sound OK or excellent or terrible depending upon the expectations of the consumer. This preamp as well as many other better designed Japanese preamps were remarkable if careful gain staging to keep the noise down and quality components, switches, capacitors, etc. were used, proper grounding techniques and if careful ...Read More
|Symetrix Compressors (522 vs 501, and General Info) (Ask Vince)||Feb 24th, 2006|
|Q) Between the Symetrix 522 and a pair of 501s, which would be better for vocals, guitars, and bass guitar? Why such a wide price range for the 501s you have for sale? Can the 501s you have for sale be master-slaved for stereo?|
A) These compressors are almost the same but the 501 will have more adjustment controls and range over the 522. Although sharing the same VCA, the 522 does not have as sophisticated RMS circuit (which looks at the incoming audio). The better a ...Read More
|Swapping In Tube Pre on a SS Receiver? (Ask Vince)||Feb 3rd, 2006|
|Q) I am running an old solid state receiver an older turntable have been playing much more acoustic music in the last year. A friend who is a real high-end tube nut says if I want to hear vinyl played back well, I need to consider at least running a tube pre-amp. He had a couple of recommendations of pre's that he believes are well designed for turntables. As I found, there is a 'pre-amp in' input pair on the back of the receiver, so it can be done. But can it make much difference if the ...Read More|
|Dynaco St-70 (Vintage Tube Equipment) (Ask Vince)||Dec 15th, 2005|
|Q) I have a real thing for the sound of vintage, tube stereos. I first had the experiece of hearing my favorite blue note and verve lps played on a friend's father's system. He's gone now, but I remember being blown away by the warm, lush sound. All I can remember is him saying that he revered the dynaco st-70 as the best thing going-- and one of the cheapest. |
A) The vintage Dynaco tube amps were a great amp and certainly have their characteristics. They have a thick sound because of the under damped bass and velvety midrange sound due to audio transformer used as output to speakers. The use of output transformers creates inter-modulation distortion and phase shift which smears transients. When the amp is in proper running condition this effect can be pleasant though. However, most people own out of calibration versions with old tubes, bad capacitors, etc. They sound poor but many “audiophiles” don’t realize the severe sound quality deterioration and the sound will be “fuzzy”. The important thing to do is fix them up properly with fresh parts. These amps desperately need the fix up. Real working ones with good tubes... ...Read More
|DBX DX5 CD Player (Ask Vince)||Oct 21st, 2005|
|Q) Hello, I too have one of these DBX DX5's. I love it but did not know it had so much value. I see a lot of recording studios seem to have these. Why are they considered to be so valuable?|
A) I try to answer all questions. Obviously our website info makes it clear I am a no nonsense kinda guy (to the best of my abilities) but have a passion for music, sound and what and how it is created and transmitted.
Once upon a time manufacturers cared more and crafted (or ...Read More
|Behringer T1952 Tube Compressor Modification (Ask Vince)||Oct 9th, 2005|
|Q) Would opting for different tubes enhance the mods you make on the Behringer T1952 (Tube Compressor) and which tubes would you recommend?|
A) Different tubes changing the sound? Yes and no. Yes a 12AT7 or AU7 would perform differently, but my research (after changing, modifying, listening, testing) shows that the circuit changes greatly over shadow any subtle changes by exchanging the tube and then recalibrating. In fact the whole point is that the 12AX7 with the front pa ...Read More
|Concerning audibility of typical home audio electronics (Ask Vince)||Sep 24th, 2005|
|Q) First: I like your web site and I like that it is important to you that you express yourself. When running my own video production biz, once upon a time, I had many of the same feelings about quality and customer relations, etc.. I wish I was the guy who could work with you. I recently puchased a used Odyssey Khatago ampifier. Got a very nice deal. This replaced an Adcom 535. My current Speakers are old (re-edged) Boston Acoustics A-100 series II, and my preamp is a Carver c-1. I am a ...Read More|
|Ohm Walsh 2 Speakers (Ask Vince)||Sep 23rd, 2005|
|Q) I found a strange old pair of speakers at the dump one day about a year ago. Brought them home, dusted them off, spent about a month killing mildew... They are Walsh 2 speakers, with a Huge crossover in the depths of the cabinet, and a removable "Capsule" containing the drivers. They sounded pretty darn good at first but now the tweeters, buried deep inside the capsule, are beginning to sound fuzzy and the mids need to be re-edged. i think I can do the latter. I don't know that I can c ...Read More|
|ADS 810 vs. Polk Audio Monitor 10 (Ask Vince)||Jul 26th, 2005|
|Q) I have a pair of ads 810 series 2 a tweeter went out and I got a replacement. Not the stock 3/4 inch softdome though. Do you have any of those available? And I have a curiosity mabe you wouldnt mind answering this for me.(I know its personal preference) If you had only two choices between a/d/s 810 & Polk audio monitor 10 which would you pick? Kinda like Mustang vs Camaro, apples against oranges.|
A) I've owned ADS which I prefer (if they are modified), and bought and so ...Read More
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Educational - Ask Vince
|Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013 |