Wednesday, December 1, 2010

B's Vintage Setup

One sunday afternoon, blog master, Kenneth, Uncle Chew
and myself, visited a friend with some vintage gears(for the
purpose of this write up,only the gears in used were
mentioned) that we were not familiar with. The setup was
placed in the spacious living hall of the house, which
was just about in many of opinions to be generally suitable
for speakers of that size. However, I thought this could be
flexible and one has to listen to be very sure, though
general opinions point towards empirical experiences and
proven practical knowledge that big speakers should be
placed in large rooms.

The speakers, a model of infinity series the Q2, from the
late seventies period, and a sound typical of that time.The
speakers appeared to be in the first instance different from
modern day design. First the number of tweeters that were
on each speakers, 3 pieces of ribbon tweeters, front firing
to the listeners and 1 more firing from the back of each
speaker! Arranged in a vertical array with each piece
individually angled inwards to the middle between the
speakers, seemingly able to cater for several choices of
listening positions along a dividing line between the
speakers. Besides the ribbon tweeters there were 2 more
dome tweeters also firing front to the listeners and common
beliefs has it that the dome tweeters would work over a
lower frequency range from those of the ribbon tweeters
and probably into the midrange too, as indication has it,
there is a single midrange driver that could have
complimented the tweeter arrangement design.

A bigger woofer cone type 15 inch driver, one each to
each speaker cabinets, completed the arrangement of
drivers and tweeters combination. The cabinets in it's
original form and aged over the many years of different
ownerships, dark wood coloured and probably some
wood polish or wood oil may bring back the good look
to the wood veneer. A back firing port covered with a
speaker cloth indicates that the speaker placement
could make for careful choices and may influence
how the speakers may sound with different placements.

We did some test listens as the visit was a fact finding
visit which the owner kindly accomodated. We listened
to a jazz sampler courtesy of Interglobal music and the
'Dream of Opera' CD which I may have mentioned in the
write up of visits to other music lover's music room. Not
to confuse readers about how the music sounded, my
personal choice of descriptions will not be provided here,
as different persons in their music or hifi journey
conceived good sounding presentations to be utterly
different from each other. So the opening drum sound
of track 6 of the Dream of Opera cd will have different
meanings to different persons. So to some a drum
sound is just a drum sound, to some others who may
have moved on to be able to perceived the skin of the
drum and how that skin vibrate and how the subsequent
resonating low hz would sound like, and to some others
it may be again with some ever more slight differences,
and again there will be some who have not reached this
level and may not be able to perceived the sonics or
otherwise too subtle to be perceived yet or that the
perceptions of low frequencies may be a very personal
choice, and how low the low bass one wants may
dictate the choice of listening materials.

We have a choice of amplifications between a preamp
unit plus the Odyssey power amp and a vintage
Yamaha integrated amplifier CA2010. Both of which
we tried, and both sounded just as good. However we
unanimously preferred the vintage speakers with the
vintage amplifier as the colourations (called it distortion,
ifyo u like it) add to the flavour of the music for that
afternoon's listening session. It would probably have
been different at another listening sessions with
some other listening materials. As we listened to
some vocals besides some jazz and some chinese
music. We even tried listening at different listening
positions, middle of the hall and all the way to the
back wall, which we thought the presentations of
which to be different, depending on personal choices.

That afternoon we looked for a 'comfortable' music
presentation and a listening session that we can
call 'enjoyable' and not a loudness test, and hence
look into rearranging the speaker placement(the
owner asked us to do the placement for him
anyway) and looked at the choices of listening
spots. We did found one but it wasn't what the
owner would call his ideal choice. So we worked
out something he could like and suggested he
listen for a while to see if he will like it and could
listen over a long listen session.


  1. Hi Vic,

    This is a mix system old speaker with new amplifier.

    If i not mistaken , the speaker is a 12 inch.Do check it out


  2. We went a 2nd time with Uncle Chew, Yee and Koo. Measurement edge of frame to frame is 12". Amps are not exactly new, if one consider the old Yamaha. The other power amp is new, but we didn't want to hook that on.

    We even swap interconnects to fine tune the sound. We did tune it right. ;-p