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The AIG FM Tuner Project: McIntosh MX-113 AM/FM Tuner Preamplifier

mac-mx113-front-small.jpg“Hereby hangs a tale, of a tuner/preamp that was in pristine physical condition, as the photos show, but arrived after I bought it, with some operational imperfections, which I spent several hundred dollars fixing. These included an inoperative main volume control, and alignment and parts issues in the IF and stereo decoder sections. This is perhaps ironic, since Macs are known for their robustness electronically, but somewhat prone to such things as rust on the back and bottom…”

The AIG FM Tuner Project: Budget Sony 5000 Series

Sony 5000 Series Tuner“This stylish Sony had some similarities to the ST-5130 and -5000FW, but is a slightly later model, bearing more resemblance to such models as the ST-5950, but with a much simpler front panel…”

ADAM Classic Series Compact Monitor

ADAM Compact Monitor

This loudspeaker, from a well known European professional manufacturer, certainly ranks as the most expensive 2-way bookshelf model in our experience, but is immaculately finished in light Maple veneer, and of unique construction. The Compact is described by the maker as a “no-compromise small high-end loudspeaker that incorporates the revolutionary A.R.T. tweeter and a 7″ Hexa Cone woofer.” I’ll say more about these drivers and the cabinet materials and construction below.

The AIG FM Tuner Project: Introduction

AIG FM Tuner Project
“I’ve been an FM radio listener almost all my life, and worked in it as a programmer and personality for close to half of my 60 years or so. In my teens I had a Blonder-Tongue tuner with a cranky dial cord that would receive the few Toronto stations up and running in the late 50s. These included CFRB-FM (later to become CKFM, which became the City’s highest rated FM voice in the 70s and early 80s, and where Audio Ideas, my radio show, began in November of 1973 and ran until 1986)…”

The AIG FM Tuner Project: Hitachi FT-4000

Hitachi FT-4000 FM Tuner
“This is a tuner that surprised in its sensitivity and selectivity after reviewing hundreds of tuners over the years. The Hitachi FT-4000, in good-to-excellent reception conditions, pulled in 50 stations on our 300-ohm Lindsay double-dipole antenna, and 52 on our small yagi high-mounted directional antenna on the tower, but its stereo sensitivity was somewhat below the better high end tuners (to come, about 40 models in all)…”

Audio Limits Passive Controller

Audio Limits Passive Preamp“I discovered this product on eBay a couple of weeks back (late August 07), and was struck by its elegant simplicity. It’s a 4-input switcher, with a high quality potentiometer in a simple box, with long shafts on each rotary control to keep all contacts and point-to-point wiring at the rear near the high quality RCA ins and outs. Internal cabling is done with “24 AWG silver-plated copper wire with Teflon insulation”, according to the web site…”

OPTRIX CD/DVD Treatment Fluid

OPTRIX CD/DVD Treatment Fluid

“This will be a brief review of a small bottle, 2 fluid ounces or 60 milliliters in all, that coats optical discs to increase their readability by filling micro-scratches and improving reflectivity of the pitted surface. According to the white paper seen under the photo, “OPTRIX contains isopropyl alcohol, distilled water and optically optically active nonionic surfactants”, and has “antistatic properties”, is “chemically neutral and will not damage your CDs or Laser discs.”

Samson ZOOM H4 Handy Recorder

zoom-h4“This “handy” little unit does so many things that any review will have to be selective, and I will concentrate on its stereo portable uses, as well as its non-portable ones, leaving the admittedly limited multichannel capabilities for a followup, or perhaps another reviewer. My interest in it, which made me purchase one, is the portable recording capability, especially in high resolution digital…”


  Outside the Speakers

    Random Thoughts on the Music Mask
    NPR on Whether Audiophiles Still Exist
    Audiophile Grade Mics?
    CDs Sales Die, LP Sales Fly
    Some High End 'Phones from CES

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