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Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Beast returns

I picked up the STR-GX9ES  receiver on Saturday morning and it just sounds fantastic.  Downside of course, is that everything in the relatively small listening room had to be shifted around and things have piled up.  Even the cats are avoiding the place (hard to believe I know- but keep in mind it's not winter anymore and the felines don't need to lounge on warm amps during the summer).  The bass of the GX9 is especially full and pleasing.  Once again, the folks at In House Repair have worked magic. If you need older gear brought up to operating potential again, you really should follow the link and visit their site. 

The problem with the ringing I heard on sustained/decaying paino notes seems to have been with the "Spontaneous Twin Drive" circuit, which if I understand it correctly controls the amp's bias, and could only be detected at low level (kudos to In House for not thinking I was a nut and taking the time to confirm what I was hearing).  I think the amp functions at very low power in something like Class A operation.  I have the manual, so I will pull it from the files and type up something intelligible at a later point.  Well, I can retype Sony's marketing hype, at least.  I don't recall if that particular circuit was covered on The Vintage Knob site, but it shows up in other Sony amps, I believe.  It seems that the new version of TVK is about to launch so you can't access everything as it was.  I am sure the new version will be even better. On that note, I am continuing to gather research materials to further the discussion regarding the Japanese audio giants in the late eighties, as appeared a few posts ago.  In so doing I came across some old Stereo Review Buying Guides, so here are a few tidbits of possible interest:

February 1986 Stereo Review Buying Guide
Sony TA-F555ES Integrated amplifier. . . $640
Sony TA-F444ES Integrated Amplifier. . .$490
Sony ST-555ES Tuner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $450
Sony ST-444ES Tuner . . . . . . . . . . . .  .  $340
Sony PS-X555ES Turntable . . . . . . . . . .$420
Sony TC-K666ES Cassette Deck . . . . . .$650
Sony TC-K555ES Cassette Deck . . . . . $500
Sony CDP-650ESD CD Player . . . . . . .$1300
Sony CDP-620ES CD Player . . . . . . . . $950
Sony CDP-520ES CD Player . . . . . . . . $600

Again, all 1986 manufacturer's list prices.  Man, those disc players were pricey!  The 650ESD would cost well over $2000 today!  If you don't believe me, check out the trusty inflation calculator: http://www.westegg.com/inflation/

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