Hi Marc - Great systems and many happy nostalgic days I’m sure!
BTW, I remembered another thread that covered something similar started by @TheKevster (Link), but as it’s now closed, this renewed thread may attract some additional photos & stories!
The only photographs I have of previous HiFi system from my late teens (& early 20s) are here - note that I used to occasionally use the kit to run a disco at the University Student’s Union bar (end of year parties, etc.). The sound to light system was home made, as were the lighting units connected to it. The smoke in the disco photos is from a home made internal pyrotechnics actuator that used commercially available internal pyrotechnic cartridges. Now in my sager, more ‘risk aware’ years, I’d probably steer people away from these!
My dad bought one of these - or a unit very similar (ours had a walnut look case) - in the very late 1960’s (or early 70’s??). It was good enough for me to play records on, and to start taping records onto cassette tapes when he later bought a cassette deck.
My first proper turntable was a Sony PSX-800 with an XL-44L MC cartridge. I don’t have a picture of my actual deck, but here’s one from the catalogue;
Stereo Review in the US had declared it the best turntable in the world (probably). So when I saw one in the window of Potter Bros. in Tenterden at a price that I could just about afford if I broke all the piggy banks and picked fruit all summer, I knew it could be mine. The only trouble was that it took another year for me to save up enough to buy a matching amp and speakers, a JVC AX-3 and some Wharfedale something or others. The MC stage in the AX-3 wasn’t up to much so an A-T 630 SUT followed soon after.
Next, after a lucrative summer job, came a Nakamichi RX-202, followed by a NAD amp and Monitor Audio speakers. The Sony went with me to Uni, but after hearing a friend’s Sondek with Quantum pre/power and Heybrook HB2 system, I sold it and bought a Manticore with Linn arm, then an LP12.
Yep - it’s an iconic look I remember from my teens. I’ve always liked the simple, understated look of the Kans on the Mk2 stands. The fact that they can sit unobtrusively against the wall is another plus.
This was my first decent system, I did use a Sinclair Project 60 before my first upgrade, but I never mention it 'cos I built it and it hummed and picked up radio stations. I used a Micro Acoustics QDC1e strain gauge cartridge in Garrard. A friend bought LP12/SME/V15 soon afterwards and I thought how silly, no tangential arm, no strobe and old fashioned magnetic cartridge. Then some company called Naim brought out an amp with no tone controls and no rumble or scratch filters: how I laughed. Only goes to show how wrong you can be.
Didn’t he advocate positioning speakers so they faced backwards? IIRC he had a flat in the Barbican with an interesting split level glass fronted room - maybe something that worked fine there, but perhaps not so well in a more conventional space.
They do look cool - the PSX-800 looked great and had real heft to it. It sounded pretty good too. About 5 years ago I thought about revisiting it for old times sake. The difficulty was finding a good one at the right price. Many have developed faults over the years and repair is either very costly or not possible. Instead I happened across its cousin and forerunner - a mint Aiwa LP-3000. A very large and also rather hefty bit of kit that sold for about double the cost of a Linn Sondek back in 1980. That was fun to play with and had lots of cool programming features. It must have seemed like it had beamed back from the future when it was first released. However, I sold it on a few years back. Here it is in action:
Well, that’s the way of the world, unfortunately. It is possible to engineer a problem away, only to create a new one. The obvious example (to an ex-aircraft engineer like me), is the B737 Max, where you patch up one problem only to create another.
I still miss my DCC recorder as well, but like LT turntables, they are hard to find and even harder to repair if they go wrong.
Strange, mine did neither - though power supply transformer well away from the amp components (first incarnation the furthest corner of TT plinth and subsequently when I changed TT I used a larger transformer but in a separate box on the floor so the amp could be slim. But mine suffered from pops whenever the fridge motor cut in/out.