2017 Update: Hi-Fi Room

One year progress report

Garrard 301 + Ortofon RMG 309/SPU GME or SME 3012 + Denon DL103 Altec 4722 MC step-up
Digital line level sources processed  through UTC A20 transformers

JEL Stereo Preamp DX
JEL Stereo SE2A3 DX amp with Tango NY15S OPTs
Altec 2-way Altec 414As in 3.5 cf bass reflex enclosures + Altec 32A horns with 802D compression drivers
Mono Neat P68H 4 speed idler turntable + Velvet Touch viscous damped tonearm with Denon DL102 or GE RPX cartridges

je2a3 mono integrated amp


My mentor and best friend

I am forever grateful!
February 22, 1927 - May 23, 2017

Electro-Voice EV 209-8A - 8" Full-range

During a visit to Sakuma's Direct Heating website, I encountered a cool SE 801 amp schematic designed for either a Lowther PM6 or an Electro-Voice 209-8A. I googled the EV 209-8A and nothing came up in Audio/DIY centric English language websites. But there were a lot of US dealers stocking the driver from as low as $18 each.

After downloading and studying the detailed specifications at the EV website, I chose the cheapest internet seller and phoned-in an order for a pair. 

It cost $40/pair from Full Compass delivered within a couple of days to my doorstep. In spite of their great customer service, their packing left a lot to be desired - see the slightly wrinkled whizzer in the above right picture - the drivers were free floating in the box, not even tied down face to face ;( 

Due to lack of resources to build the recommended 1.8 cubic foot sealed cabinet, I loaded the EV 209-8A in a Heathkit 1.2 cubic foot ported cabinet, which used to house a Jensen P8RL + RP103. 

Sharp fall of…

Rachmaninov Symphony No. 2, 4th movement - Allegro Vivace

Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra Stuart C. Malina, Conductor and Music Director Dress Rehearsal, May 6, 2017
End of 2016-2017 Concert Season

hi-mu triodes: 75, 7B4, 7B6 + 7F7

Alternative hi-mu triodes in place of my favorite octals

The type 75 is the grandaddy of all hi-mu audio triodes culminating with the ECC83/12AX7.

Grid-capped 75s in the JE Labs Simple 45/2A3 with Noguchi PMF10WS OPTs.

Loctal or Loktal (as trademarked by Sylvannia) tubes were developed concurrently with octal based tubes in the 1930s. But loctal tubes were aimed at the then emerging car and portable radio market - hence, the need for a locking-ability in the tube socket, which required a metal base that gave the additional benefit of better shielding.

The 7B6 is a loctal version of the 75

I originally built the je2A3 mono integrated amp with 7B6s in the phono stage. Right now I am running 7B4s.

The 7B4 has slightly lower Rp than the 7B6. NOS samples are still very affordable so try them both ;)

I built this stereo preamp for the November Hi-Fi Show 2016. It uses 2 x 7F7s for the phono section which are direct loctal equivalents of the 6SL7. The line stage sports 2 x grid-capped 6F8Gs…

Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra

Tchaikovsky, "Romeo and Juliet"
Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra
Stuart C. Malina, Conductor and Music Director
Dress rehearsal, April 8, 2016

I played with HSO from 1999-2008 and glad to be back this season.

Radio Shack

In February of 2015, Radio Shack filed for Chapter 11.

So I was delighted to see this Radio Shack store announcing a comeback in midtown Manhattan during a visit in the summer of 2016.

When I was a student in NYC in the 80s, a neighborhood Radio Shack store was just around the block if I needed a resistor or capacitor for a project on a Sunday afternoon. By 2008, I was in the suburbs and Radio Shack was in a strip mall just a mile and a half away. Now I have to drive 35 miles to the next town ;(

In the early 90s, many SE amp DIYers started their foray into efficient speakers inspired by this book by David B. Weems. The speaker projects used various raw drivers from the Radio Shack catalog.


Radio Shack no longer had 2A3 triode tubes on their shelves when Sound Practices started publishing in 1992,  but one could still buy this 5 1/4" full range driver listing for less than $10, IIRC. This speaker was efficient enough to be driven by an SE2A3 amp to satisfying levels.

I u…