Today I have mainly been


Oh, you only have the 1.4 then?
(I’m still jealous BTW)


Oil change to one of the cars, about 2 acres of grass cut and 30 minutes trying to catch the dog after he decided he hadn’t had enough of a walk.


morning in Brick Lane, lunch for some proper bagels, watched some footie and entertained the parents


Lydford gorge for a good afternoons stroll and picnic


Gardening, then cycling, then waving at hot air balloons as the final ascent from the Bristol Balloon Fiesta drifted our way for a change. Several flew directly over us low enough to wave and shout hello at the basket cases.

It is the first time my daughter has seen this spectacle, and she was rightly very excited. :sunglasses:

Obviously the giant Minion balloon was the favourite.


Been here indulging in records, pork and beer.:heart_eyes:

Serviced Mrs. KJW’s MX5 and fixed the leaky boot. Time to listen to some records now.


Yes, I was there too. A fine roast pork roll was enjoyed along with a decent turnout.


I see you have your own version of Stronzetto - Whats his name?


And please tell me you haven’t let him anywhere near strong drink !



Boxing my system up getting ready for a few weeks of decorating. Oh joy :disappointed:

I am also mainly eating cakes left over from the weekend. :cake: :cake: :cake:


That will take awhile!!


Not mine I’m afraid. My familiar does not take a human form.


Animal, vegetable or mineral? I’m guessing you have the ability to manifest as lemon curd.


Hope the toilet facilities were up to standard for said decent turnout.




Counting money that magically appeared in my PayPal account. Might buy myself a new phonostage…:smiling_imp:


I’ve heard that a certain 3 box, black plastic jobbie came out well at a recent phono stage shoot out. Set the listeners ears alight by all accounts…:innocent:


Seeing as the speakers I’m using are on demo that sounds like just the thing to test them properly :fire::fire::fire::fire::fire::fire::fire:


Who knew that 5542 ICs were so flamable?


Did you mean 5532 ICs ? I hope not because as it happens I used one yesterday.

We’ve all seen the loveliness that is the phono stage Pete made for chelseadave, and some of us have even been lucky enough to hear it ! Well, at the other extreme I have a vintage radiogram in to get going at the moment and I’m having to build a phono stage for that.

The original cartridge was an Acos GP-73 with a 33/78 flip stylus. This was a crystal unit and these simply aren’t available any more (the crystals are hygroscopic which means that over time they absorb water from the atmosphere and stop working - they haven’t been made since the 1960s/70s and they’re essentially all dead now). The beauty of them was that they gave a huge voltage out - many hundreds of millivolts direct from the cartridge pins. So you needed relatively little gain in the amplifier - two stages, or even just one, might be enough. A high input impedance circuit (natural with valves) would also compensate, approximately, for the RIAA characteristic. So you didn’t need RIAA correction either. It wasn’t hi-fi exactly, but it was fun at parties.

No other cartridge technology can deliver as high a voltage (ceramics aren’t too far away, but the gap is far enough if the amp gain is low). One option is to bite the bullet and try a magnetic cartridge instead. The pluses are that the signal quality will be better (although the amp and speakers will probably limit this), the cartridges will be available into the future and they might well track at a lower weight which will save record wear (to be fair this depends on the arm and also on the deck vibration given that the speakers are screwed to the same support structure). The major downsides are additional cost and the risk that the TT motor, the amp transformers and the general wiring layout will make too much electromagnetic noise for the low-signal magnetically sensitive new cartridge to overcome.

Setting aside the noise issues for the time being I needed a cheap-as-chips cart and phono stage. So here’s an AT 91 and a phono stage based on Richard Murdey’s VSPS design It has a 5532 right in the middle !

The phono stage bits cost well under £20 and it took an evening to cut the Veroboard tracks and stuff the components. I did track down several low-end commercial stages for about £20, but they all had gain which was a bit too low - I really needed 50dB to be safe given the insensitivity of the gram’s amp (one ECL86 in each channel). If this works then I have another couple of similar applications so the overhead costs of DIY can be spread out. The little orange block is a 15V power supply and, as you can see, I’m thinking of putting the electronics, but not the power block, inside a mains outlet back box. Again these cost next to nothing, it’ll be completely out of sight under the deck so who cares what it looks like, and being made of steel it should give some magnetic shielding as well as the electrostatic that any metal enclosure would provide. The next step is to see just how bad the noise is.