Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Dueling Sony's

After doing some research and asking around, it looks like even trying to recalibrate the tuner section on the Sony STR-7025 is much more difficult than I could handle. I don't have the expertise or the appropriate tools.

So it goes, but I have an adequate solution in the interim and maybe a more permanent one as an option.

For the time being the 7025 looks just great with my compact Sony tuner, the ST-80F. I've had this guy sitting around for some time without a mate. The mate that would be ideal is the TA-88 but that guy is rare!

But wait! I said I might have another tuner option. Somebody posted a similar Sony receiver on Craigslist, the next model up the line, the STR-7035. It's a bit more powerful at 26 watts per side and almost the same design. However his is not working either, though it was until recently. The price: Free.

I am hoping it is easy to fix or, if not, has the same tuner circuit board. That part might be working and could be dropped in (soldered in that is) to the 7025. We will meet up this weekend and make a swap. I'm going to give him my partially functional Pioneer SX-535 and maybe we will both be happy. The Pioneer works fine in FM, but not in AM and fine on the Tape and Aux inputs but not on Phono.

Of course we may just end up swapping garbage...

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Boxing Day 2011

My Boxing Day shopping was limited to a record store, a kitchen gadget store and a Craigslist score.
The record store took me for $120 which was for about a dozen pieces of vinyl and a Spinclean record cleaning system, I only spent $5 in the kitchen place and the Sony STR-7025 receiver below was $35.
It's in very good, almost spotless condition. Well, actually I cleaned up a few spots. It looks and sounds great though. Cranks out a whole 18 watts per side.
The FM tuner is not working properly though (AM is fine). Only a few signals barely get through and it is extremely selective about those, all 2 of them. I'll be working on getting this resolved even though I don't listen to FM much on the main home system where this sits right now.

My other Sony receiver, the STR-V3, is a more modern looking device released in the about 1978 (as opposed to the 7025 being early to mid 70's) and is rated at 35w per side. I think I like the older one better...just have to get that FM tuner fixed.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Kute Kenwood Kombo

Older compact gear also intrigues me. Especially when it is free! If it can do the job just as well, or at least nearly so, with a small footprint why not?

These 2 Kenwood pieces date from around 1968 to 1970 and they still work just fine with not work from me other than a bit of cleaning. At about 10" wide and deep and with a combined height of less than 8" they don't qualify as tiny but are a very good fit around my computer as the desktop system. They literally were free to me, passed on from a co-worker who got them from his uncle. I even got some free speakers (homemade?) with the set but gave them away just yesterday through Craigslist.

Anyway, they mate cosmetically and in stature very well with a pair of Koss M60 Plus speakers that I got very cheaply about a year earlier. I refoamed the woofers in them and they finally found their niche when the Kenwoods showed up. The KA-2000 amp is rated at 13 or 15 watts per side, and as some people might say that is "old school watts" or "real watts"...whatever...

The tuner is the KT-1000 but should not be confused with a later Kenwood tuner that was introduced in 1981 for about 5 times the price. You can see them here on The Vintage Knob.
I love a high tech look with a bit of retro going on too. Mitsubishi had it dialed with their series of receivers amps and tuners from the mid to late 70's.

I would LOVE to have the preamp, power amp and meter system that shared this look but at this point all I have is this lonely tuner, the DA-F10. It's a great tuner with very good sensitivity and sound. It's brother the DA-F20 is rated near the top of the heap at

Mitsubishi DA-F10 tuner

I don't really have room for the separates, so would settle for the DA-R7 receiver. It's a bit low power but would work in my situation with fairly efficient speakers and the fact that i can crank it up loud anyway.

The tuner as shown is for sale if anyone is interested for $100, Local pick-up preferred, shipping would of course be extra. It's in near mint condition. 

Jan 12 edit: The Mitsubishi tuner is sold!

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

I like neat old stuff that looks good and works well. I also like neat old stuff that does nothing but just looks good. I'll try to fix things when I can, and have been happy with the results quite often too.

For example I picked up a NAD 5240 CD player recently and it had what has been a typical NAD problem, that of burnt out display bulbs. I've owned several NAD receivers and CD players in the past and a few of them have had the bulbs go. They still work, but you can't see what's going on and it is a real pain for a receiver/tuner especially and only a bit less so for a CD player.

Now of course LEDs hardly ever blow so I decided to perform some upgrade surgery. Below is the before picture with nothing visible in the display.


I have more pics available about the process but here are the LEDs in holes I drilled in the lamp housing.


and here is the end result. It looks and works great. The lighting is not completely uniform but it is very good and works well enough for me. Here is the NAD 5240 with my AR amplifier which is of course from an earlier analog-only era, but they work well together.