|Nikki's vintage 70s hi-fi system.|
Back in college I never ceased to be astonished at the crappy stereos my female friends owned: no-name garbage like Kraco, Soundesign, Yorx or whatever. Sometimes that was borne of economic factors but generally even the silver spoon crowd either had something lackluster or just a clock radio. I don't know why this divide existed between the genders and in retrospect it seems that having a high fidelity stereo is considered a "guy thing". Then there were the exceptions, the women who loved their music and wanted to hear it properly. They were a vanishingly small percent and very intriguing for me - and still are for that matter. A good example is Susi, a cherished friend whose home audio consists of a beautiful pair of matched Conrad Johnson components with some Magnepan SMGa speakers that stopped me in my tracks when I first spied them and are a point of pride for her.
Recently another dear friend lost some of her possessions for ... reasons ... and I felt compelled to step in and assist. Nikki is a collector of vinyl and has far more LPs than most of the guys I know who claim to collect but her turntable was awol. What she still had was her dad's very lovely vintage Marantz 2235B receiver that she'd had serviced and re-capped. This demanded a period correct player to replace the Marantz turntable that had been its mate. I had a vintage 1972 Pioneer PL50 that would make a nice companion to her 1975 receiver so I set to sprucing it up: I installed a new needle on the stock cartridge, replaced the belt, oiled the bearing and adjusted the speed. A bit of oil on the plinth and then a blob of rubbing compound with the buffer on the dust cover and it looked nearly mint.
But her speakers, oh my. Let's not mention them. Something had to be done. I trawled Craigslist and Facebutt Markethole and didn't see anything in the cheap and cheerful range. Then Nikki's pal Jonathan stepped in with his high school pair of Baby Advent II speakers which needed a bit of work. My pair of speakers for many years in college and afterwards were Advent Tower Prodigy and I had nothing but fond recollections of them. They punched well above their weight and made me happy for many years so their baby brothers were welcome. One of Jonathan's Advents appeared to have a burned out woofer, literally stuck at the bottom of its excursion and silent. I began looking for 6.5" replacements that had the same five ohm resistance, wattage and efficiency. My first foray was a no-name "5 Core" India manufactured woofer:
|5 Core? What is this, a CPU?|
|A Sumo wrestler vs a bantam weight boxer.|
|The Pyle woofer arrived very bent and only worked after some brutal prying on my bench vice.|
|Aliexpress is crazy cheap and sometimes has good quality too.|
|Off with the very well adhered old surround ...|
|Barge: not just for shoes!|
|Beefy butyl rubber surround.|