P/S Video Vol. 7: “A Single Tool Cuts A Clear Path”: Online Now

PSV007_titleFor the seventh installment of the Preservation Sound video series, we examine how an unplanned encounter with a highly unusual instrument can provide direction for a vibrant and idiosyncratic body of musical work.  Fans of modern music are likely to be familiar with duo Mates of State, who have released nine internationally-distributed albums over the past fourteen years.  Mates’ first three releases were nearly solely arranged around a traditional drum kit, the duo’s two voices, and a single other instrument: the circa 1971 Yamaha Electone YC45 Combo Organ.

I first heard Mates of State in a small Brooklyn venue circa 2002, and I was blown away by the raw, massive sound that was conjured up through such a minimal setup.  As the band explains in our program, their unusual sound was not the result of any strategic planning, but rather a willingness to embrace the tool that they happened to have available.  Mates’ relationship with the YC45 is an indelible example of the strength that can be found in limitations.  Watch the video featuring exclusive new in-studio performances now on Youtube.


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2nd live radio show this wk: D E E P 8 0 s : 11.20.14 : 2A-6A EST 89.5 FM

Deep80sHow y’all doin on this frosty morn.   Soooo,,,  I’m on the air again tonight/early manana.



WPKN 89.5 FM (Metro NYC area)

And live worldwide at WPKN.org

For this middle of the fkkn night edition of Preservation Sound Radio, my special guest will be legendary raconteur and record hoarder Dave Schneider.  D/S has selected the theme ‘D E E P   8 0 s’ and it’s all comin to you off the original wax.   It will be ‘rad’ etc.

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Live Radio Show * 11.18.14 * WPKN 89.5 FM * LINK TO LISTEN

WPKN_111814Update: this show has now aired, but it remains available to stream via this link.  Enjoy! C.

How y’all doing on this fine+chilly day.  Wanted to L Y K that we will have another live installment of Preservation Sound Radio today at 4PM -7PM  EST (that’s New York time, folks) on WPKN 89.5 FM. You can get the signal anywhere in the metro NYC area, and it will be streaming online at WPKN.ORG.

My guest today will be Ian S., proprietor of the fine record shoppe Records The Good Kind in Vernon CT.  For today’s show, Ian has selected the theme ’60’s Pop Psych,’ and we will be spinning the entire three -hr set from vinyl.  No surprise there I suppose.  Ian is twenty+years into the record business and will no doubt have some real gems for us.  Tune in,,,

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UTC “R” Series universal replacement transformers of the 1940s/50s

UTC_r58_transformer_boxWhile searching through my output transformer shelf for a suitable reverb-driver transformer for the basket-case Kalamazoo Reverb 12 I recently rehab’d, I was glad to find this ancient NOS UTC R-58.   Inside the box was a near-disintegrated wiring sheet for the entire UTC ‘R’ line.  If you find yourself with any of the following units, here is what you need to know to implement it in your piece.  Apologies for the poor condition of the paper, this is the best we got!  INCLUDES: UTC R-27, R-28, R-38, R-38A, R-59, R-60, R-58 output transformers, UTC R1, R2, R3, R4, R5, R11, R12, R13, and R54 power transformers; and UTC R23, R24, R25, R26, R27, R28, and R29 ‘varitap’ interstage and input transformers.


IMG IMG_0001

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The Olmsted AC Custom Microphone Preamp

AC_CustomA few months ago I detailed a new vacuum-tube mic preamp that I was designing for a client who was interested in the preamp sections of old 1960s tube reel-to-reel tape machines.  The Akai and Roberts reel-to-reels have circuitry that is largely derivative of the American Ampex machines of the same period, combining an EF86 front end with triode drivers.  Anyhow, click here to read my earlier article describing the development of the device.  I wanted to capture as much of the vibe of these classic prosumer machines but with a feature set and performance that would make the units suitable for use in a modern production environment.  And here are the results:

PreviewScreenSnapz001I tested the unit before delivery and was very happy with the results; you can see it here perched above the rack at our studio Gold Coast Recorders:


memoMy client is a highly experienced engineer who goes to work everyday behind a full-size API console in a studio with a Steinway and $100k of microphones; so when I got this feedback from him I was quite pleased.  If you would like your own, contact me via the link on the main page.  Pricing for 120v units are $2500 stereo, $1500 mono.

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Nxt Wknd : Nov15+16 : Annual Open Studio Event at the PS dot com shop

OpenStudio2014Above: a picture of a picture of a picture (via internet): take that Baudrillard

How y’all doing on this fine day,,, before I head off to the sad+moldy basements of lower Fairfield county to hunt for more piles of ancient electronic arcana for the 1000th consecutive Friday morning, I wanted to LYK about next weekend’s OPEN STUDIO event.

Located in the former American Fabrics building in Bridgeport’s far East side, Preservation Sound will open our doors to the public for this once-yearly event along with all the wonderful artists and craftspeople who occupy this circa 1900 factory.

It is free and open to all.

See all the details, get directions, etc, here.

The AmFab building, home to the studios of 30-40 artists, is only one of several large art-spaces in Bridgeport that is taking part in this event.  You can also visit The Nest and 305 Knowlton and a host of other venues on this weekend.  It’s fun and family-friendly and always a lively good-time.

I will be working in the shop(pe) through the weekend, probably on some sort of tube mic preamp that I am late in delivering to a customer, and also… SELLING… reams of stuff.

Because we’re moving.

And this is probably our last open-studio event for some time.

I’ve had two shops for a few years now and that’s just one-too-many.  So I’ve decided to consolidate and shut down this location.

I’ll be selling loads of LP records, musical gear, guitars, sound equipment, drums, and tubes tubes tubes tubes.  Tools, transformers, parts, you name it.

And no, I don’t have a list so pls don’t ask.  If I was that organized of a person I would sell the stuff on eBay at much higher prices.

Come on down, chat, and enjoy a complimentary beverage and/or rectangular piece of cheese.

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Live Radio Show Late Late Tonight/Early Manana 10.26.14 – 89.5 FM CT/NYC

PSradioHow y’all doing,,,  This is  ‘news’ for my readers in Europe, Africa, Australia, and Asia; and all you late-nite folk in the Americas.  I’ll be doing an overnight show on WPKN FM 89.5 in Bridgeport CT the the wee hours of Sunday morning 2A – 5A 10.26.14.   That’s otherwise known as really late Saturday night.

Perhaps you work the late shift.

Perhaps there’s been an evening of poor decisions.

Or maybe it’s a normal sunny mid-day in New Zealand.  Anyhow.  Let us help you.  My good ole buddy JBW and I have dug deep thru our LP stacks to find 3 hours worth of the best bittersweet late 60s and early 70s rock obscurities you’ve never heard.  We’ll be playing nothing but vinyl all night and talking in some kinda coded crate-digger sprache .  Catch us on the air if yr within 60 or so miles of Bridgeport, or online anywhere in the world at WPKN.org.   Just go to WPKN.org and click the ‘Listen Now’ button.

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S / H / O / W

CatThis Thursday Oct 23 2014 will be my first-ever solo performance.   I’ve created a system of pulse-synchronized analog synths and four-track cassette machine that I will manipulate live with a quadraphonic sound system.  I will be improvising on the disparate themes of: the creation of the world, the death of a loved one, and the Twentieth Century.  The performance is part of the University of Bridgeport/ Housatonic CC “One Plus One” show of art and design-school faculty.  Here’s the details from the press release:

University of Bridgeport’s Shintaro Askatsu School of Design & Housatonic Community College Co-Host Faculty Art and Design Exhibition

 “One Plus One” Show Opens with Oct. 23rd Reception, from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at Schelfhaudt Gallery

 Faculty members from Housatonic Community College and Shintaro Akatsu School of Design will show their own work in a collaborative exhibit named “One Plus One”. The show features graphic design, painting, photos, sculpture, video art, drawing, digital arts, typography, installation, and illustrations created by 27 faculty members from both schools.

The opening reception on Oct. 23rd from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. is free and open to the public.

Shintaro Akatsu School of Design (SASD) on the University of Bridgeport campus is located in the Arnold Bernhard Center (ABC), 84 Iranistan Avenue, Bridgeport, CT 06604.

For more information about this and other upcoming exhibitions, contact Gallery Director Peter Konsterlie at 203.576.4034, or schelfhaudtgallery@gmail.com.

I’ll be doing the 22 minute piece between 6 and 7.  It is free and open to all.


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DIY Grammafoon Versterker circa 1939

Radio_expres_magazine_NetherlandsWe’ve covered some fairly obscure + forgotten audio publications here at PS dot com, but this one takes the taart. RADIO EXPRES was a Nederlands DIY radio/audio magazine published from 1932 through 1939, and perhaps longer.   Well, it was certainly published for the entire year 1939 (22) issues, since I’ve ended up with that pile of them here.  As is typical of ‘radio’ publications in the pre hi-fidelity era, the emphasis is much more on RF than AF, but I still managed to find a few interesting articles of possible use to y’all audio-folk.  First off:  this cute lil 4-watt Grammafoon Versterker (that’s a phonograph amplifier, btw):



The ‘Lampen,’ or ‘tubes’ used are an E99 high-gain triode input stage and an AL5 pentode output tube.  Interestingly, these are both 4V filament tubes.  The 4V filament is not seen in any US-manufacture audio tubes that I have ever come across.

Versterker_partsListThe article, penned by one J. L. Leistra, spans two issues of Radio Expres and it is very thorough.  It covers all of the theory involved in developing the circuit, and the second part gets into some pretty extensive detail regarding the feedback-based compensation filter.  It wraps up with fabrication, layout, and wiring instruction.  It’s all written in Dutch, btw.

Versterker_Tagboard Versterker_Chassis*************



EL5_schemThe only other really interesting audio-bit that I could discern was this 3pp exposition of the then- ‘neu’ Phillips EL5 (incorrectly indicated as an ‘FL5′ in the above image) 18-watt output pentode.  The EL5 seems like a tube worth exploring; it’s a high-power, 6.3v filamant audio output tube designed to run ona pretty low plate voltage (250- 275) for such a high powered tube.  Could be useful in some situations.  Anyone using EL5s?  Here’s the whole article for you to…. look at. (unless you read Dutch, of course).


I’ll leave off with a quick survey of the best part of this run of magazines: the incredible, world-envied graphic design that the Nederlands is still renowned for almost a century later.  Enjoy – c.

MastheadStoetsRadio Frequenta Bell_Telephone_Holland Sondisko Kristal_Microfoon ThermionLampen

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RCA 100 Series Broadcast Components of the 70s – complete tech info

RCA_BE100_faceYears ago I ‘lunchboxed’ one of those above-depicted RCA BE100 equalizer modules.  The RCA 100 series of the early 70s was the end-of-the-line for RCA’s pro audio gear.  The series consisted of the MI-141651 op amp, the BMM-100 Mixer (channel strip, aka MI-141550), BE-100 EQ (aka MI0141560), BA-101 and BA-103 preamps (also designated as MI-141501, MI-141503), BMM-110 Submaster module (aka MI-141570), and BIM-100 Isomix amplifier (aka MI-141520).

RCA_opampsSince I seem to be one of the few fools who has publicly admitted to spending time messing around with these things, I’ve gotten several requests over the years for the accompanying data and schematics. Well guess what. TIME HAS COME TODAY.  Download all of the tech date for all of these modules.



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