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  1. Back to the OP's topic... It takes my power amp about an hour to sound good, CD player about half an hour. Don't know about the preamp, probably less than an hour (because I'm waiting for the power amp). I used to think that the CD didn't require warming up, but noticed after about half an hour it sounded louder and more detailed. The whole system sounds pretty awful when it's first turned on. Years ago I used to leave the power amp on all the time (it didn't have an on/off switch back then), but the increasing power costs eventually brought an end to that. I do find it frustrating having to wait before I can listen to my music. It was much easier when I had a system I could turn on and not worry; but that system didn't sound anywhere nearly as good as my current one.
  2. I can find it really frustrating when I go to Bunnings or somewhere similar, and I'm in a hurry, actually find what I need quickly, and head towards the checkout and a song I love and not heard for years comes over the low-fi PA. Darn it, it will make me run late! Then the problem is slowly walking to the registers, avoiding the people talking, and finding deadspots in the store speaker placements. This is why bricks and mortar retailing is struggling against online services. Retailers should really set up dedicated listening areas with high-end audio, luxury seating and complimentary beverages with an excellent analogue-based playlist. That would bring me in to their stores. But do they ask me - no! They would rather whinge and complain.
  3. I don't know if it's upper- or lower-level quality, but it looks like it is at least a step up from the cheap+nasty level, and would be at least as good as most cassette decks from it's day. You could probably find a manual and spec's for free at HiFi Engine, and you can compare those specs against known poor and high-quality machines (eg. the Nakamichi's). With the very rare exception, pre-recorded tapes are of very low quality. These machines were usually used to record friend's records at a low cost and achieved reasonably good quality. You can get cassettes on eBay. Most OpShops don't take cassettes any more, sometimes you could be lucky and someone donate their old recorded tapes which can be reused (if it is a good quality tape). The ability to copy CDs to CDR's killed the cassette medium. If you can get this cheap and think you might have fun with it, go for it. There are probably youtube tutorials on cleaning the heads, this needs to be done periodically (depending on the amount of tape played and the quality of the tapes) to get the best out of it.
  4. I very much agree. Life would be much more enjoyable if people in responsible positions are good (or even competent) at what they should do.
  5. I was not aware that there were different RIAA curves, I naively thought the standards were standard by the time they were universally adopted (at least in audio). Now it appears that the standards are about as fixed as IT standards are which have been fiddled with by Microsoft.
  6. I've been getting hold of discarded router boxes to use - standard 17" wide and as deep as hifi gear, 1U high. I notice that they can come up on Gumtree for free or minimal dollars, old technology doesn't hold value, but the cases are as good as you can buy in electronics shops for $100 or more. I have also collected discarded tuner's etc to gut and use as metal cases - a spray of paint or a strip of metal bolted on can make them reasonably presentable.
  7. When I was young, poor, and trying to obtain silk purses from sow's ears I played around with the dampening with the cheap speakers I had, and different dampening material. I recall that there were many times when I put too much dampening or used the wrong type in the case, and it sucked the life out of the speakers. It took a lot of experimentation to get the balance which improved the quality. Be careful not to decrease the quality. Have fun, and I hope you like the improvements you get.
  8. First comment: the Varnish with stain in the same tin option is convenient, but doesn't give as good as result as applying a stain first and then the varnish. It takes longer, but is worth it unless the job is not very special. If you want an ultra-smooth finish you will need to use a grain filler. Lots of youtube demos, diluted Timermate wood filler from Bunnings was recommended by one person. Pine is a cheap timber, but it is also soft and dents easily. It's easy to bump amps, so i would tend to use a harder wood so it is more robust. Hardwood is more expensive but you're not wanting much, so it won't add a huge cost. As suggested above, if you buy an interesting timber you may not need to stain, only varnish. The quality of the final result is dependent on the preparation time. Don't be lazy with the fine-grade sanding, and you will have a good result.
  9. They all look nice, it would also depend on how well they are constructed (incl audio impact) and the decor of your room. If the legs are hollow fill them with river sand when you get them. I had trouble balancing the 4 legs on my (solidsteel brand) racks to be stable enough to support a turntable (there was always a wobble), so I modified the back so the base rested on three spikes and not four.
  10. I'm not sure if I should admit this, but I actually had some of these "large size Brilliant Pebbles" on the floor in room corners. At first they worked brilliantly, but after a while they would argue with my pet rock. A few minor spats developed into WW3. The rock and the pebbles almost killed each other, the description is accurate in the words "points of high pressure" and "sharp rise in sound pressure relative to the average sound pressure in the room". There was no need for the test tone and sound pressure meter when the pebble and rock were going hammer and tongs. I tried many interventions, including housing them under a wire pyramid, no no avail. The only solution was to re-home them.
  11. Peter Brock's "Polariser" was much more sophisticated than just magnets. It also contained crystals.
  12. Thanks, I have not tried this.
  13. Some of this is quite different to what I have read (when I was looking at plinth material, and I'm assuming the concepts are transferable to shelves). My reading suggested: that wood with long fibers was best at dissipating the energy, which is why bamboo and hardwood reportedly works well. Hardwood ply has grain in different directions which helps dissipating the energy. Softwood ply is not as good, and particle board/MDF has very short fibres and is the worst choice (although cheapest). I have also read mixed reports about sandwiching boards with sorbothane or aluminuim and/or other materials. I'm respectfully curious how your conclusions differ from what I have read.
  14. Thanks, I did not know this. I will try the 300ohm ribbon at some stage and compare. I rarely use my tuner anyway, so it's not a huge problem and my reception is OK. But I do like extracting the best possible sound from what I have, so I will experiment!
  15. I've often thought it would be easy to plagiarize classical recordings - there have been so many recorded over decades in different countries. It would be quite easy to do. Get some obscure record that didn't sell much, but is a reasonable performance. Change with some eq changes and maybe slightly change the speed, and who would know? And now I know, it can and has been done!