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Listening Room - JE Labs

Hi-Fi Lounge, late 2008

I started this blog in 2011 and overlooked the fact that I haven't posted details of my systems. Visitors who remember the defunct site will be familiar with most of the components apart from a change in venue.

Stereophonic Hi-Fi

Ortofon RMG309 + SPU GME
SME 3012 + Denon DL103S

SME 3012 + Denon DL103R
Audio Technica ATP12T + Denon DL 103

MC step-up transformers
Altec 4722 + Tamura TKS83

Sony DVP NS500V
Dyna FM3 MPX
Scott LT110B FM tuner is out of commission ;(

JEL SE300B monoblocks
Tamura F7002 OPTs

Tango NY15S OPTs

Radiotron SE2A3
Tango U808 OPTs

JEL Simple 45
Tamura F745 OPTs
Tango H5S OPTs

Altec 2-way
JEL/N1600C crossover

Open Baffle, Altec 755As, 755Cs and Altec 755Es are
currently in storage at an undisclosed high security facility ;)

Monophonic Hi-Fi

JEL Mono Playback

Rek O Kut B12H
Right - Velvet Touch Viscous Damped
Left - Pickering 190 + GE RPX 78rpm stylus
Back - Argonne AR600 + GE VRII Triple Play

GE RPX + Denon DL102

iPod Nano doing double duty as a digital music server and FM receiver
until I find time to fix my other Dyna FM3 tuner
that served in this system for the past 7 years

UTC A-20 line level stereo > mono mixer
signal processor ;)

JEL Mono preamp with variable EQ
6SL7 phono + 6F8G line stage

Mono Amps
Hammond 125ESE OPT
JEL SE10dx
Tamura F7004 OPT
James 6123HS OPT

Altec 605B Duplex

Mondrian inspired OB + RCA 501S1

After almost 20 years, both systems have traveled half way across the globe with no significant changes apart from a couple of tweaks ;) 


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Altec 2-way horn system redux

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Let's recap how the 2-way horn system evolved...

The project was conceived in mid 1998 because I needed a monitor system that was more efficient than the OB/755 so I could listen to SE amps with 2 watts output and below.
I commissioned my cabinet maker neighbor to build 614 bass reflex cabinets and loaded them with Altec 419A 12" drivers + 811 horns (early version/heavy sand cast) and 804A compression drivers gathered from hamfests and radio shows. Crossover was a textbook 1st order/6dB/octave hinged at 900 hz and the horn padded down to match the sensitivity of the low frequency driver.

Eventually I acquired proper 12" woofers - Altec 414As, which lack the upper midrange nasties of the 419As. The 414As have great midrange quality even if they lack the bass end of their larger 416/515 brethren.

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2017 Update: Hi-Fi Room

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Garrard 301 + Ortofon RMG 309/SPU GME or SME 3012 + Denon DL103 Altec 4722 MC step-up
Digital line level sources processed  through UTC A20 transformers

JEL Stereo Preamp DX
JEL Stereo SE2A3 DX amp with Tango NY15S OPTs
Altec 2-way Altec 414As in 3.5 cf bass reflex enclosures + Altec 32A horns with 802D compression drivers
Mono Neat P58H 4 speed idler turntable + Velvet Touch viscous damped tonearm with Denon DL102 or GE RPX cartridges

je2a3 mono integrated amp

Stereo > Mono Line Level Mixer

Mixing line level stereophonic signals into full dimensional monophonic ;)
Here's a DIY project for mono aficionados that's so basic, I should have uploaded it many years ago. But other things got in the way.

Just like an MC step-up, these are entirely passive devices. 

The simplest way to convert stereo to mono is to connect left and right channels via a Y connector. But there's a more elegant way than just shorting two channels.

Resistors can blend two signals into one better by...

...using Allen-Bradley carbon composition for warmer sound ;)
We can end the mixing quest here but...

...the most elegant way of mixing two channels as was done in the studios by audio pros of yesteryears was through transformers.

This single UTC A-20 transformer was in a box lot of tubes and parts I picked up at a radio show. It's a high quality transformer designed for mic, mixer or line matching applications. Instead of trying to find a mate for MC step-up duty, I repurposed it for a g…