Two new pieces of gear are due to arrive this week ( I pray they arrive safely), one of which will be my representative for the (now) annual summer "$100 stereo challenge competition." As if we had nothing better to do (or spend our money on) D. and I came up with the idea last summer that it would be fun to see who could assemble the best stereo for $100, new or used. Although D. came up with a nice combo of a vintage Scott receiver and Marantz CD changer, I had mixed luck. Efforts to procure a decent set of Polk 5jr Monitor speakers (1987 vintage) failed miserably, but I did get a pair of B&W 600i speakers for $10 at the thrift shop. I even pulled a dent out of one of the aluminum tweeters, and despite looking a little rough they sound pretty good. They're acoustic suspension, (meaning no port to extend bass response) which is hard to find nowadays.
Back to the original point, I managed to bid $5.50 on a Sony STR- GA8ES receiver with remote and manual- and win! Total shipped from GA about $40. I don't know that much about it yet- it was a complete impulse purchase. I was easily able to rationalize putting it into the upstairs system, as the older STR-GX909ES that used to live upstairs needs to go in for a service, tune-up and cleaning. More interetingly however (and unfortunately more expensive), is the Sony TA-F650ESD integrated amplifier that should also be here soon (tomorrow?). I know even less about this amp than I do the GA8, although I believe it is essentially a TA-F700ES with a digital to analog converter bolted on the back. Google searches bring up very little info, and Sony played so fast and loose with model numbers that it's tough to pin down details until you pull the top off of something and see how the guts are arranged. So in the near future a big comparo between these two, the old 909 and the GX9 (which is still in the shop). And maybe we'll throw the 444 in as well. Speaking of which, D. recently procured an older Denon 2 channel integrated so the 444 and J.'s Cambridge Audio will have to be compared as well. The list of things I am supposed to have written about alrerady is getting longer and longer! Add these plans to the discussion of Sony stuff from 1984-1990 and my thoughts on damping factor ratings. . . at least I don't have to do the phono preamp comparo- I sold the Audio Technica already!