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Stereopal Home Visit:        Jay Lee                                                                                                       Date:  Feb 13, 2006

 

 

        "Analogue has a special euphonic smoothness to it, Open reel tape decks are one step better......"

 

                                                                                                                                                                 ........ Jay Lee

 

 

Once in a while, you'll run into somebody whose technical knowledge runs as deep as his 'philia' in this hobby. Jay is such a person.

His audio room is very interesting. He has great vintage equipments (MR78 Tuner, 1st generation Conrad's), exotic DIY transistor amplifiers, and DIY speakers. Not to mention open reel tape decks, Yamaha drums and tons of electronic equipments. Yet, you'll see things lying around all over the place as if they have all been taken apart before at some point in time.

Jay is a lover of classical and jazz music. While at Jay's house, we had a great time playing open reel tapes, and various jazz favourites.

 

 

System Components:

 

Source No 1: SONY CDPX33ES
Source No 2: Vintage McIntosh MCD7005
Tuner: Vintage McIntosh MR 78 Tuner
Turntable: Thorens TD321
Tonearm: Sumiko
Cartridge: SHURE V15 Type 3
Photo Preamp: McCormack Micro Phono Drive
Open Reel Deck: Vintage Pioneer RT-707
   
Preamp 1: Mark Levinson No. 28 Preamp with Separate PSU
Preamp 2: Conrad Johnson PV 10A
Preamp 3: Sonographe SC-1
Preamp 4: Vintage McIntosh C29
   
Amp 1: Classe Audio CA 400
Amp 2: Bryston 4B NRB
Amp 3: DIY Transistor Amp with Hitachi Transistor used by Goldmund, custom made transformer
Amp 4: Vintage McIntosh MC2255 Stereo
 
Speaker 1: B&W Matrix 801 S2
Speaker 2: DIY 2 way with Audax Drivers
   
 

 

 

As a Mac lover, I cant help but take a close up of this nice vintage tuner MR78.    This one is in great shape too !

 

 

 

Jay Lee's Comments:

 

General Comments:

 

I have been an audiophile for many years now.    My background is in computer engineering so it is easier for me to pick up some of the technical knowledge.   In my university days, I made my own Transistor amplifier.   It puts out approx. 85 Ws per channel.   The transformer is custom made and I used the same transistors as the ones that are used by Goldmund.    Everyone with a bit of knowledge can use a scope or read a spectral diagram.  But the key to producing good sound is through tweaking the small signals which doesn't show up on the scope.   If you measure any high end amplifier on the scope, they all give excellent readings, but everyone of them sound different from one another.    For what its worth, my DIY amp is very good sounding.

 

I have made speakers as well.    Although it may look as simple as putting together some simple parts, I find it very difficult to make a great speaker.   It is very difficult  to achieve coherence and a balance between the resonance characteristics.   The finishing on the cabinet is very hard do as well.

 

I find that most McIntosh gears are slightly colored.   Some may call it the "McIntosh" sound.    I use to drive the B&W801 with the MC2255, but the power was inadequate.   I later used the Bryston 4B NRB which was slightly better in terms of power, but was quite coarse sounding.   The Classe CA400 was a perfect match, it had the power and muscle to control the 12" power hungry woofers on the 801, the tops and mids are very smooth and musical. 

 

As for preamps, I have several of them.  The Conrad PV10A was not to my liking despite what they say about the famous Conrad Johnson sounds.   The Sonographe was  better than the Conrad.   The McIntosh C29 is an excellent preamp, very musical despite its old age.   The ML No. 28 is the best match with the Classe though,   it is fast, accurate and clear. 

 

I like Analogue as well as Digital, but Open Reel Tapes are a class of its own.  There's a euphonic character to them which are hard to describe.  I do not mind the hisses and pops, and as long as you can live with that, it is very hard to beat the sound of open reel tapes. "

 

 

Future Changes:

 

"I purchased some long spikes for my speakers, and I am going to lift if up and off the ground level.  I have been told that this will tighten up the low end.

 

I am also waiting for a Meridian 588 DAC to arrive.   "

 

 

 

 

                                   

     

  The "Fat Ass" which made B&W famous.  B&W 801 Series 2, power hungry speakers with earth shattering bass.   I doubt you'll ever need a subwoofer with this speakers.

 

                                 

                 

                       Classe CA 400, 400W of raw power putting the Bryston 4B NRB to shame when hooked up with the B&W 801.

 

 

 

 

 

The ALTO, DIY transistor amp by Jay Lee.

 

  Here's an inside peak.

 

 

 

 

                 

  Beautiful MR 2255 Amplifier, Vintage McIntosh

 

 

                   

  Vintage McIntosh CD player, and C29 Pre-Amplifier, but sometimes 1 preamp isn't enough........

 

 

Mark Levinson No. 28

  

   Sonographe SC-1

 

 

 

 

 

              

                    Conrad Johnson PV10A

 

 

 

 

 

                 

                     Thorens Turntable.

 

 

 

 

               

This is cool !     Vintage Open Reel Tape Deck

 

 

 

 

DIY speakers with Audex Drivers.

Bryston 4B NRB

 

 

 

 

 

Jay's NOS collection.

 

 

 

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