The Sound of Music – part two: The Gear

February 3rd, 2015

image: Close up of cartridge. image source: ToneAudio

Since i’m on the topic of gear; here’s what i’m working with and what i like about it.

  • yamaha rx-596 receiver
  • rega p1 turntable w/ortofon om5e moving magnet cartridge
  • harman kardon hd7500 cd player
  • magnepan magneplaner mmg loudspeakers
  • some (not quite) exotic cables
  • very old monster cable interconnects for cd player
  • optional: nad 314 integrated amp (hope to get a nice dual-mono power amp to run the maggies with this.)

my little system is a really nice audiophile starter kit. the yamaha, a nice 2-channel receiver from the late 90s, packs about 80watts into 8 ohms, and includes a phono stage. pretty quiet; likes to stay out of the way of the music but can pound your ear holes if you want it to.

the hk hd7500 was the king of the mid-level audiophile jr set when i got it back in the mid 90s. at the time it retailed for about $700. i picked mine up from a friend who managed a stereo shop in jackson, ms. he sold it to me the floor sample and added his employee discount which put it under cost. still a nice sounding piece.

ahh, the sound of the magneplaner mmg speakers… quasi-ribbon tweeter, planer magnetic midrange/woofer… what nice sound, especially if you like to hear the source material and not the speakers. true entry level audiophile sound for about $500 when they debuted. music sounds freed of the traditional box most people associate with loudspeakers and freedom is a wonderful thing. the downside is that these little puppies are just that, little. and little puppies have little barks, or in this case, little bass. what bass there is is solid and real, but way down deep around 45-50htz it rolls off and has little punch. that’s not the worse thing for me because i don’t care for overpowering rumbling forced bass sound, unless it’s supposed to be there and in some rare occasions it is. a sub would help, if i liked subs, but a better plan would be to move up to a bigger pair of maggies. if only i could afford such a treat.

Cleveland Buckner is a writer and editor based in Los Angles. He served as editor on numerous short films, including "Los Tamales and the Tartort-Eifel Crime Festival prize-winning "American Night." He has recently completed work on the web series, "Manny in Real Life." His work extends to music videos, documentaries, corporate and educational videos and the promotional video "Bear Witness" for the 2000 Olympics U.S. Beach Volleyball tandem Annett Davis and Jenny Johnson-Jordan.

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