Tuesday, 1st September 2015.

Posted on Monday, 20th April 2015 by Auw Jimmy

Always interesting to play with a high quality build vintage equipment, especially this famous Japanese brand Accuphase. The ‘A’ suffix on E-210 model means it has phono preamp inside.

Overall, this is a perfectly working amplifier. But it thinks it worth a health check and some restoration.

And yes, the Accuphase logo as power indicator also very nice… 😉


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Posted on Sunday, 19th April 2015 by Auw Jimmy

PC based sound card. Thing that I have left long time ago. Just got a time to visit my friend’s with his new toy, a PC based audio source equipped with the latest PCI-E sound card, ASUS Xonar Essence STX II 7.1. It might worth to have a look (and listen) for a while.

The card itself has a common “Lion Tiger” logo found in many of other ASUS product. The logo actually engraved in the top plate which also acts as a shield for the components underneath this plate. Some says this can help to shield against outside interference – which is true.

We can also easily see Nichicon Fine Gold capacitor here. And some solid capacitor in some position.


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Posted on Sunday, 1st March 2015 by Auw Jimmy

HP Agilent 3561A Dynamic Signal Analyzer. Finally I managed to secure this interesting device. But unfortunately, shit happens!

The unit came ok from outer physical appearance, but inside, seemed like someone has smacked this unit down. I saw some cracks from the outside (on the front cover and back feet/holder). But inside, things went worst.

As we can see from outer appearance, the unit seems ok. No crack or any major scratches. Buttons are intact and responsive. Sticky a bit, but should not be any problem. I do hope the CRT is fine, but can’t say anything much until I can power on this unit.


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Posted on Thursday, 1st January 2015 by Auw Jimmy

I have some spare time during this Christmas and New Year. Before I continue, I think I should say Happy New Year 2015 to all of you. All the best for us in the upcoming year. More fun stuff to try, better music, better system, and better revenue also ;-). Well, this is an expensive hobby anyway. I have got this transformer from J&K Audio Design for quite some time. But have not really got chance to try power them up. I guess it’s the right time? The easiest part is to test the filament winding. I put my Sanwa PC510 DMM to measure the unloaded voltage. It was read at 5.63 Volt AC. Hmm… a bit on the high side? 1-Unloaded Read the rest of this entry…

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Posted on Sunday, 28th December 2014 by Auw Jimmy

Do you realize that your measurement device also need a battery replacement? Some might not aware about this. Not only your digital device, but also your analog “needle” based measurement device. They do need battery replacement.

I bought this Sanwa PC510 long time ago, maybe around 5 years ago. To be honest, I don’t use this quite often. Therefore, my first battery replacement just happening now. I have been waiting for this, so actually I have prepared the replacement battery.

Finally, I’m seeing the battery logo (marked with red circle below). That is a sign that my meter is calling for battery replacement.


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Posted on Sunday, 28th December 2014 by Auw Jimmy

I’m not quite sure if the title above is correct, but I just can’t figure out something better. Basically, when you are doing DIY, then you will play a lot in breadboard or something that’s not in proper or neat condition. Therefore, we used to have this and that connected temporary by patch cable (or whatever you call it). One of them is the power supply cable.

This cable is mostly used to connect a power transformer or something that needs an AC line power directly from the wall outlet. Yes we can always use normal power cable, cut on one of the side, and solder two or three (ground) alligator clips. But what’s missing? The fuse.


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Posted on Friday, 26th December 2014 by Auw Jimmy

It’s always interesting to try something new – especially vacuum tube. Sometime you can get something from unknown thing.

I’m quite sure we are familiar with 6SN7 vacuum tube, which is commonly used in pre amplifier and even a lot of amplifiers are using this tube in input/driver section. Not surprisingly to see the price is sky rocketing, especially the red base 5692.

I just realize that I got some old tube which is “compatible” with 6SN7, but with different base. Here we go, the RCA 7N7.

RCA 7N7 is practically an 6SN7 in Loctal socket, instead of common Octal socket used by 6SN7. Loctal socket might not be too familiar for most of us, but it’s widely available. We can search the socket in ebay.com at really affordable price or for premium option, we can always go with Yamamoto Teflon Tube Socket.

Be noted that even this tube has “7” prefix, it actually has 6.3 Volt filament. The same applies to 14N7 which is using 12.6 Volt filament. It’s different with let’s say 7DJ8 which is using 7 Volt filament supply.

There are some other tubes with this kind of “exception”. Another example is 1A6 which is using 2 Volt filament (if I remember correctly, most tubes with 2.0 Volt filament will be using “1” prefix, while “2” prefix will be used by tube with >2 Volt filament, example: 2A3 which is using 2.5 Volt filament supply).

Anyway, it’s up to you to use 7 Volt as sometime higher filament voltage could alter the sound (some people likes it).

This RCA 7N7 is a tube with metal base (which sometime I prefer over plastic base). Sturdier construction I would say.

Below shot was taken with my Nikon D90, Sigma Macro 150 mm F/2.8 lens, and two remote controlled flashes (Nikon SB-800 and SB-900).


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Posted on Monday, 8th December 2014 by Auw Jimmy

As a DIY, I think it’s important to have a dedicated power supply module. I have tried several design, but finally got tired if I have to finalized the build into something complete. Not to mention that space might be a problem.

One option that finally I decide to take is by building a generic or universal tube power supply unit. This will be a stand alone unit which can be connected to power the main unit – which most likely to be a tube pre-amp module.

The power supply unit will be using the best parts available (not necessarily to be the most expensive parts) from my experience testing lot of components. Click below picture to enlarge the image. One problem that I suddenly realize is the size of this module which might be a bit gigantic…

I will write down each of the component used in this project. I will not discuss the main power transformer by J&K Audio Design which has been separately discussed here.


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Posted on Sunday, 7th December 2014 by Auw Jimmy

After a long time waiting, finally I got this transformer on hand – myself. This is the Ultimate Level 4 Power Transformer from J&K Audio Design. You can read some detail here and here.

My first impression was: Heavy! Each of this power transformer has around 4-4.5 Kg of weight (need to find my scale to measure it right).

My second impression was the build quality. It has sturdy cover and excellent easy to solder turret. The transformer cover reminds me of old Tamura transformer (not exactly the same, but a bit similar).


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Posted on Saturday, 29th November 2014 by Auw Jimmy

My first impression was here which you can look around if you haven’t read that.

Last time, I ordered 5 pcs of Burson Audio Discrete OpAmp for my ASUS Xonar Essence One. Unfortunately, I did a mistake. I needed 7 pcs instead of 5 pcs to complete the 4 pcs I/V, 2 pcs LPF, and 1 pc buffer stage. With only 5 pcs on hand that time, I only could use half side of the I/V stage – which was unfair to test.

So finally the last pair arrived somewhere last week, and I just could resist to plug them in.

Another unfortunate thing is, the PCB on the ASUS Xonar Essence One itself already too crowded. See the big giant Elna Cerafine capacitor below? That consumes enough space on the surrounding of the opamp socket. Surely there is no way for me to put those giant Burson Discrete OpAmp there.

I know it sounds a bit stupid and ridiculous, but the fastest way to solve this problem is by stacking opamp socket to elevate the socket higher, above the Elna Cerafine. By doing this way, I can easily plug the Burson in. Some of you might comment that this way may degrade the sound. Yes, that could be correct. But the worst sound still better than no sound (I mean, there would be no sound if I don’t plug the Burson into the I/V converter stage). Going back to the original DIP opamp definitely will not be a wise choice…


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Posted on Thursday, 13th November 2014 by Auw Jimmy

Last week, located at Hotel Menara Peninsula, Jakarta, Indonesia, Indonesia Hi-End Audio Club or IHEAC held a high end Audio Video show. This is the 3rd show held by IHEAC and frankly speaking, it has a lot improvement compared to the 1st and the 2nd event. This 3 days show on the weekend seemed really become an good show for audiophile enthusiast. I will not say much about this, so let’s the pictures tell you the story.

All images were taken with Nikon D90, Tokina 12-24mm f/4 wide lens, and Nikon SB-900. Setting mostly done at 1/40-1/60 and f/7.1 to f/8. ISO set at 400. Exposure compensation sometime done at the flash to reduce amount of ambient light. No bounce or diffuser used. Seems this is the best setting for such event. I got bit hard time with Nikkor 18-105 f/3.5-5.6 and Nikkor 28-70 mm f/2.8 lens and small hotel room last time, so this extra 6 mm wide definitely would help much.

Unfortunately, due to limited time, I missed some of the rooms. I missed almost all home theater setup. There was some Dolby Atmos setup which I found to be amazing. Also there were several rooms which I missed because either it was ‘accidentally’ closed for private audition or too many people inside. Forgive me if I couldn’t give clear impression. It didn’t mean they were bad, but just I have no chance to spend more time to get the impression itself. So enjoy it!

Click the image to view the original size.


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Posted on Monday, 10th November 2014 by Auw Jimmy

Due to shortage of some materials, my custom transformers were delayed a bit. I haven’t got chance to arrange the pickup yet, so I ask Ken to give a quick test of the unloaded voltage. I know the best scenario is to test the transformer on the real world environment with actual fully loaded rail. But you know me, that would be happening sometime later. So just a quick voltage test could be interesting –  for now.

Be noted that this test was done in Malaysia with mains voltage rated at 240 VAC (actual tested at 246 VAC as shown below). So all the secondary voltage also pulled up around 10% higher than the actual specification which was designed for 220 VAC input.

Sorry the pictures are not that good as I have told Ken before, he needs to upgrade his camera!


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