Skip to main content


Showing posts from May, 2012

Listening Room - Minimalist

A music lover's system based on a CD transport + DAC as source, JEL 76/6SN7GTB line stage preamp with remote volume control, JEL SE10 mono block amps driving PHY-HP 2-way 12" co-axial speakers housed in Hans Kortenbach enclosures.

Leica M3 + Summicron 35 and 50

Despite my fondness for Leica screw mount (LTM), it was this M outfit I received in trade for a SE300B amp I built that got me hooked to cameras and photography - a '61 M3 with '61 rigid 'cron + '66 8-element 35 'cron which I was using with an external VF until I acquired an M6.
This well used single stroke M3 as received was working but in dire need of a CLA and a new vulcanite so I sent it to Sherry Krauter. Upon return, Sherry noted separation in the viewfinder and highly recommended TLC in handling. That was in '97 and so far, have not noticed further deterioration.
When I visited Shanghai in 2010, I bought this half-case from Mr. Zhou. I would like to believe the padded leather is providing added protection aside from a spruced up look. ;)
The .91 (almost 1:1- life size) viewfinder magnification of the M3 is its greatest asset. It is so much easier to frame and focus a 50mm, 90 mnn or 135mm lens on this model compared to the M6's .72 VF.

more Summicron…

BMC Farina

A trip down memory lane...

Listening Room - Monaural Hi-Fi

Why mono?

The JEL SE2A3 and SE10 integrated mono amplifiers were built for this installation.

Idler driven turntables from Rek O Kut, Garrard, Presto, Bogen/Lenco, Neat and...

...viscous damped tone arms equipped with variable reluctance cartridges from GE > Tannoy.

Altec 802 + 416 drivers converted to field coil powered by a 12VDC power supply.

Jensen M10 field coil was featured in the 2009 November Hi-Fi Show.

another project....but just as significant ;)   

Voigtlander: Vito II + Vito B

Scale focus cameras from the original German factory.
Late 40s-early 50s - folding Mid 50s - rigid Both cameras are equipped with the coated Color-Skopar 50mm, f3.5 Tessar type lens but there's a difference in performance under strong direct or side light situations....

Earlier Vito II is more prone to flare...

... it seems, coating technology made a leap within a couple of years.

more pics


The shutter on both cameras will not work unless loaded with film. Got the Vito B for $10 because it was advertised with a non-functioning shutter. A dummy film roll fixed the shutter ;)

Back in the 40s and 50s, most entry level cameras were scale focus only. With the addition of an accessory rangefinder like this Prazisa, it becomes a rangefinder camera ala early Barnack.

Musicfest 2012

Leak 20

A friend sent over a grey Leak 20 for check up. It was working up to spec however the gain was too much - Mullard 5-20 circuit using 3 x 12AX7 - as it was designed with the Leak Varislope preamp which did not have gain in the line stage. So I took out of storage my own Leak 20 which I padded down with resistors back in the early 90s so I can use it with my Dyna PAS preamp mod projects ;)   
Metal film resistors and polypropylene caps, yikes!!! Been there, done that...I kept this for posterity ;) 

Hooked up to the Altec 2-way...the Leak 20 is probably one of the finest PP EL84 amp ever manufactured, yet it was not able to match the transparency of any of my SE regrets going SE ;).