|The Innovative TEAC TS-85 Magnetic Levitation Turntable circa 1972|
|The Fabulous Micro Seiki SX-111 Air Bearing Turntable circa 1982|
This got me thinking about the many other types of innovations in audio design that have come and gone over the decades since Edison's first cylinder, not just these unique approaches to eliminate a problem with turntable noises. Ah, the price of progress... And then I thought of how the designers and technicians who developed and maintained them are now either deceased or retired and how - if we are not careful - their novel ideas and innovative approaches to advancing the state-of-the-art could be lost, a thought that made me a bit melancholy seeing myself included as one of those same people.
|The Edison 1877 Phonograph|
A friend recently asked me to restore his Audio Research SP11 preamp, undoubtedly one of the finest pieces of tube electronics ever manufactured. I felt honored to attempt this restoration knowing that parts could be difficult to find (an issue with restoring any old technology independent of the audio category). I was correct when trying to source the gain and volume potentiometers having to source them from a specialty shop in Japan. Other parts were still obtainable and even better than those used in the original design. It took six weeks and parts coming from three continents to get this classic piece of gear working again.
|The Listening Test of the Restored ARC SP11|
In Part 2 of this series, I will discuss the origins and evolution of the technologies that made what we take for granted possible.
If you wish to contact me for a restoration or upgrade, you can email me at
Yours for higher fidelity,
Skeptics are essential to keep us sane; skeptics do little to keep us inspired. Philip Rastocny, 7-16-2014
Copyright © 2015 by Philip Rastocny. All rights reserved.