Vintage Bookshelf Mission 760i / the Bassface Swing Trio LP

Newly arrived are one of the nicest 2 way bookshelf speakers I've heard in a while. From the English, always impressive Mission Corp, these are a beautiful audiophile pair of 6ohm - 89db sensitive speakers. At first glance they are seemingly plain and not that remarkable due to a weak plastic grill design that looks like it belongs on a child's toy. However, behind it they have a bold and distinctive blacked out design. Protruding driver face and front-ported they are truly elegant in appearance. Only available in black ash which was the thing into the nineties.

A 5inch (130mm) low frequency driver hails suprising results as in a small room they truly fill the space quite nicely from 300Hz and below. specs state they travel down to 70Hz and its a real natural sounding bass for their minimal size, only 11 inches high. They are crossed-over at 4500Hz to the high frequency unit It's a Polymide Ferrite cooled driver with natural clarity. These are very musical and suspect the crossovers are of high quality given their sonic abilities. The demo vinyl of choice was the Bassface Swing Trio'sBDirect to Disc cut of their Tribute to Cole Porter 180gram release. If your familiar with Stockfisch records releases you will anticipate the level of sound here. A beautifully musical airiness to them with some great punch value makes them a delight to listen to for hours on end.
I cant imagine any improvement in these other than simply creating it 3 ways. A (very) slight soft spot for my tastes in the midrange but apples to apples its a sonic vintage sound home run.

This vinyl is a must for serious sound aficionados. Not to mention the incredible performance captured here. Absolutely a top ten pressing for demos. The technique in the recording/pressing process has not been done and is a stroke of genius. I'll let you read up on it as its quite extensive when you acquire this vinyl gem.
Frank Sinatra's Swing Easy original duo-phonic US pressing poured out of them effortlessly.


Linn Sondek - LP12 The turntable

Hailed as the turntable by which all others are judged the LP-12 was and is a  vintage design staple. My first taste of it's sound came from my friend Yuri's setup. I was blown away at the balanced suspension design and then by it's transparent sonic representation. A table he utilized to this day which is testament to it's performance.
Throughout the years, there have been many changes to components such as rubber feet, baseboard, armboard, suspension springs and grommets and reinforced plinth. However, the Cirkuskit, with its newly designed bearing, is one of the most significant. This subjectively offers a large performance upgrade. Since 1991 (serial number 87600 onwards), the LP12 has been supplied as a mechanical assembly only, without power supply fitted.Early versions were a platform for mounting third party tonearms, had a basic power supply arrangements, and would only revolve at 33⅓ rpm. Those users requiring a 45 rpm option would have to purchase a special adaptor to increase the diameter of the motor pulley and platter speed accordingly.

Linn capitalised on the success of the Sondek LP12 by introducing the more affordable Basik and Axis turntables, complementary tonearms for the Sondek and cartridges at different price points.

The Sondek LP12 turntable, introduced in 1972, utilises a suspended sub-chassis design and a patented single-point bearing machined to extremely tight tolerances. The LP12 has evolved since its introduction, but its basic suspended sub-chassis design has remained. The thinking at the time was that the most important component of a high-end audio system is the loudspeakers. Linn presented an important challenge to that by claiming that the source (i.e. the turntable) was the most important part of the system.

Today, many options are available for tonearms and power supplies to partner the deck. The LP12 allows the purchaser to select from a number of Linn as well as third party options. It is commonly partnered with the Linn Ekos SE tonearm. External power options include Linn’s own top of the line “Radikal” power supply featuring a speed management system that auto-calibrates the motor every time the Sondek LP12 is powered on. If purity in design is what you seek than look no further than this "sonics first" design. VintageSound at it's finest!


The Distortion of Sound

The Distortion of Sound is the music industries look at the degradation of our audio signals evolution. A must see for the audio enthusiasts. We are truly in the valley of sound quality. Let's champion high fidelity back to the mainstream! 


Vintage Speaker Greats

When you have a look at the designs of speakers today and their boasts of high efficiency you can't help but ask is this all that modern consumers gauge sound reproduction on? Every era has it's wish lists in speaker marketing. The 60's marketed speakers were pushing larger than life designs. The 70's revelled at low harmonic distortion figures.

The 80's were all about multiple driver enclosures and innovative driver materials and stereo imaging. The 90's...well lets not say anything. Now in the modern millennium it's all about slim sleek cabinetry and how efficient they are. Really in the pursuit of incredible sound reproduction why do we care so much about efficiency? I mean if you review the essential specifications and are thrilled with the performance and design would you not drive them with whatever is needed for their optimal performance? You have to ask if sound waves have not changed in length and characteristics then how can these modern enclosures produce a bass/mids sound wave the same as the cabinets of old? Crossover points and driver build is of much greater importance yet we see time and time again the consumer asking "what's the efficiency?"
Sure the ability to convert the power to sound is important but it is not characteristic of it's musicality or tone. An ideal frequency curve response without peaks or troughs are of greater importance in the musicality of a speaker. This is hand in hand with distortion rates and signal to noise ratios. Lets educate ourselves and not simply go with the trending topic when seeking your holy grail reproducer. Specifications will narrow your field of choice, your ears will bring your conclusion.
Here's a few more vintage audio greats...


Anna Netrebko - Norma Casta Diva Performance

The incomparable Anna Netrebko's performance of Norma Casta Diva written by Composer Vincenzo Bellini. A beautifully composed Arias. The Russian soprano will take your audiophile system for a ride. Great fidelity in her new release on vinyl - Verdi - with the Orchestra del Teatro Regio di Torino. A must have in your vintage vinyl record collection. Without question, a classic for all time!


Audiophile vinyl

It's a great thing to see young audiophiles grab hold of vintage analog gear. I've heard from many who vow to make vinyl their staple for accurate sound reproduction. This interest shows in the vinyl reviews boasting another 12 percentage increase in sales this past year and a considerable decline in CD sales. SACD's (super audio compact discs) however saw a marginal increase. All of this screams one thing. Sound quality matters again to consumers. With all the shortcuts and circuit wizardry that are employed into todays build's it's not surprising that the difference is SO vast between yesterdays somewhat uninhibited signal paths and the amplification designs of today.

We can't leave out analog tape and it's wonderful sound and properties. With some new studios producing tape again from 2" masters it will likely see some resurgence in the next few years as well. There are some purists who pledge great allegiance to their tape and the quality of their decks.
The progression of the audiophile travels usually from bitstream to needle. It just takes some longer than others to get there. :).


Sansui 9090db Receiver - Vintage greats

Newly arrived is this beautiful Sansui 9090. DB noise reduction circuitry is one of the many nice features that this late 70's receiver offers. At 135watts per channel it drives low impedance vintge speakers quite well. We tested the unit driving 6ohms and found the response to be quite good. 
This vintage aamplifier is stunning in appearence. Beautiful walnut sleeve and polished aluminum face. This is a Sansui flagship. A beast at 55lbs.
 Check out the specs.....


Tuning range: FM, MW
Power output: 135 watts per channel into 8Ω (stereo)
Frequency response: 10Hz to 30kHz
Total harmonic distortion: 0.1%
Damping factor: 30
Input sensitivity: 4mV (mic), 2.5mV (MM), 150mV (DIN), 150mV (line)
Signal to noise ratio: 70dB (MM), 80dB (DIN), 80dB (line)
Channel separation: 50dB (MM), 50dB (line)
Output: 150mV (line), 30mV (DIN), 0.775V (Pre out)
Dimensions: 540 x 182 x 397mm
Weight: 23.6kg


Panasonic RS755S - Analog Dream Machines

If you still use the medium here is a versatile well built Reel to Reel for your collection. An early 1960's unit from the company that made their start manufacturing bicycles. Of course their big move in audio came when they launched into a higher fidelity line of Technics products. Most notably their Reel to Reel decks which were at the forefront of the medium for much of the early 80's. 

We gave this unit the full diagnostics and brought it back to original operating condition. At 65lbs I cant imagine the old boys lugging this to band practice but I'm sure thousands did!


JA Mitchell Turntable

Newly arrived is the Technodec British made Turntable from the 30 year company, J.A. Michell.
Bulit in the late 1980's Michell tables earned the respect of reviewers worldwide. The attention to details in the manufacturing of this table really attests to the sound you will be enjoying for years to come. For one the DC motor (silent) is mounted alone and isolated for the plinth as to not transfer any vibration to the tonearm and thus into your signal. The massive acrylic high pampening platter is impeadance matched to the records and the most innovative component has to be the inverted self oiling  (pumping) bearing build. All of which should put your price into the Hi end of the Hi Fi charts yet this falls into the mid-Fi price points. An overall exceptional buy! The sound is incredibly transparent and "real" through the RG250 tonearm. A Rega arm that has brilliant on-line reviews. I have paired it with an early Sumiko Blue Point Cartridge. An excellent match up.

Although there arent a great deal of vintage Michell tables on this side of the pond I recommend this TechnoDec over any mid priced point table built here. Sonically one of the purest analog non-fatiguing signals I've reviewed in a long time. Brilliant!!!! VintageSound at its best!


Carver Audio Equipment in the 80's

See Bob Carver at the top of his career in this nostalgic video. Its actually quite funny to see what they thought represented a great production. Miss Hologram is a classic addition. Regardless its very informative as you couldnt find a more innovative audio developer in the 80's. Hope you enjoy vintage Carver equipment on Vintage Sound!

Part 1 & 2. Vintage Carver Equipment on Vintage Sound.