UK Vintage Radio Repair and Restoration Powered By Google Custom Search Vintage Radio and TV Service Data

Go Back   UK Vintage Radio Repair and Restoration Discussion Forum > General Vintage Technology > General Vintage Technology Discussions

Notices

General Vintage Technology Discussions For general discussions about vintage radio and other vintage electronics etc.

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 27th Feb 2021, 10:30 pm   #2101
slidertogrid
Octode
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, UK.
Posts: 1,246
Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

Until I looked at how it was wired I had assumed the middle round can contained the Mains transformer and that the other two were speaker transformers. But it was apparent very quickly that the three transformers are all mains. there are no speaker transformers.
Why it needs three mains transformers is anyone's guess. Maybe just to make it heavy and appear to be quality?
I found the website where it states you must only use Nene Valley speaker leads etc or the warrantee will be invalid.
How they would know ?
The website is full of the usual bull$hite, how are people fooled like this?
I can't understand how it hasn't been exposed on the internet that this is just a rip-off.
There are a whole 5 reviews, all glowingly positive so the makers have some friends and family...

At least (for instance) Amstrad products were priced accordingly so people knew it was cheap and not brilliant but this was sold and passed off as high end...
The owner is a friend of a friend so I am going to see if I can find out what it cost new.

Last edited by slidertogrid; 27th Feb 2021 at 10:35 pm. Reason: is not was
slidertogrid is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 27th Feb 2021, 11:04 pm   #2102
Radio Wrangler
Moderator
 
Radio Wrangler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Fife, Scotland, UK.
Posts: 17,215
Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

High end is all in the mind.

You have seen the proof!

David
__________________
Can't afford the volcanic island yet, but the plans for my monorail and the goons' uniforms are done
Radio Wrangler is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 27th Feb 2021, 11:12 pm   #2103
ajgriff
Octode
 
ajgriff's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Halifax, West Yorkshire, UK.
Posts: 1,848
Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

According to the website NVA has been making high end audio since 1982.

Alan
ajgriff is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 27th Feb 2021, 11:39 pm   #2104
Herald1360
Dekatron
 
Herald1360's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Leominster, Herefordshire, UK.
Posts: 15,265
Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

This little snippet from the NVA website provoked a wry grin:


Newsletter

Subscribe to receive updates that are pleasingly devoid of bovine faeces.






No mention of porcine
__________________
....__________
....|____||__|__\_____
.=.| _---\__|__|_---_|.
.........O..Chris....O
Herald1360 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 27th Feb 2021, 11:45 pm   #2105
Craig Sawyers
Dekatron
 
Craig Sawyers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Oxford, UK.
Posts: 3,120
Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

The extremely quirky Richard Dunn, who was the one man band behind NVA (Nene Valley Audio), died in 2019. But the assets in the company and designs were taken over by an ex employee and the company resurrected.

But that horror story with the plastic bottom certainly dates back to Dunn, and was probably hand built by him. In very much not the same way as one man building an Aston Martin engine.

One of Dunn's (many) quirks was doing away with output inductor and zobel. Hence the need for low capacitance cable to stop the thing hooting. And there is no SOA protection either. So the power amps are very easy to destroy.

A further quirk was using plastic for as much of his designs as possible, and getting rid of metal fixing screws. Hence adhesively bonded stuff (such as the power transistors) and a horrid mess of wiring.

Craig
Craig Sawyers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th Feb 2021, 12:05 am   #2106
knobtwiddler
Pentode
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: London, UK.
Posts: 247
Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

Am I correct in seeing mains AC wires passing through chassis holes without as much as a grommet to protect them? Let's hope whoever owns the amp doesn't move it around much, and has decent RCDs.

I actually think I need a drink after seeing that. Can you post a warning for people next time you post something of that ilk?

I've seen some iffy - verging on the dangerous - audiophoolery in my time, but that takes the biscuit. It's in a class of its own.

Ye gads!
knobtwiddler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th Feb 2021, 8:12 am   #2107
Craig Sawyers
Dekatron
 
Craig Sawyers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Oxford, UK.
Posts: 3,120
Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

The odd thing about Dunn is that pre-NVA he founded and ran Tresham Audio, active in the 70's. This was company that made entirely conventional, exceptionally rugged professional application power amps and equalizers.

Why he then went in completely the opposite direction with the madcap stuff he designed and hand built at NVA is anyone's guess. But looking around, it turns out he was given a total ban from posting at Pink Fish. This is an audio forum for aggressively self-opinionated audio freaks and trolls. And Dunn was too full-on even for them.

This was his amplifier philosophy: https://nvahifi.co.uk/pages/nva-history . Key snippets:

"The eventual solution was to use plexiglass / acrylic. Acrylic prevents electrical continuity, so the case behaves as no case. Instead of screws to hold everything together structural adhesives are used"

" Large hunks of tinned copper wire float at various heights around the amplifier, making it truly unique."

"The layout may look untidy, but each piece is where it is, because that's where it sounded best."

"What about output inductors following the output transistors? They're usually included to "pre-load" the amplifier to deal with capacitive speaker cable. No good. Out they went."

"So what we have is a truly unique amplifier which requires some owner involvement"

That in a nutshell is what we saw in the photos of the innards of an NVA power amp. Umpteen transformers, five bridge rectifiers, everything glued together and wiring from hell.

Craig
Craig Sawyers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th Feb 2021, 9:09 am   #2108
Ted Kendall
Nonode
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Kington, Herefordshire, UK.
Posts: 2,595
Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

Similar thing happened to Peter Belt - first known for making quite decent headphones, both dynamic and electrostatic, he then went off the reservation with his foils and brushes, totally taking in Peter Turner, who used to write sense about tape recording in the sixties and wrote rubbish about hi fi in the eighties. Another bloke espousing along these lines was Dennis Moorcroft - he made stuff in Perspex cases with ultra-thin wiring all over the shop - I think star-earthing was another kink. Dunno how they get away with it. In "Hi fi for Pleasure", published in the mid-50s, Burnett James assured his readers that "any manufacturer now persisting in building his wares on the wax-and-chewed-string principle is merely ensuring his progress to the bankruptcy court by the shortest distance between two points". Seems something went into reverse somewhere...

The NVA header picture looks like an Emmett drawing. How appropriate.

Last edited by Ted Kendall; 28th Feb 2021 at 9:16 am.
Ted Kendall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th Feb 2021, 10:34 am   #2109
peterpixel
Tetrode
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Wilmslow, Cheshire, UK.
Posts: 99
Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

Re post #2100 I do hope the components are asked if they are happy with the positions that they are fitted in. If not discord will ensue. All claptrap. Peter.
peterpixel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th Feb 2021, 10:36 am   #2110
Craig Sawyers
Dekatron
 
Craig Sawyers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Oxford, UK.
Posts: 3,120
Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

Morecroft is pretty sane by comparison to some of the NVA madness. Sure Morecroft uses perspex cases, but internally they are carefully designed, modular, use multilayer boards, some surface mount parts, and seem to be easily serviceable. For example http://www.dnm.co.uk/preamp.html

He describes his construction as 3-D. But what that seems to mean is that there is a power distribution board tied closely to the circuit board.

It is a technique I have used in the past where the power distribution board had series regulators (just 317/337) behind a circuit board, connected by local plugs and sockets (for servicability). That was for (a) reasons of compactness and (b) it got power delivered where it was needed by the shortest path. It was a technique learned by looking at Tektronix 7000 series plug ins and mainframes.

Anyway I would not dismiss Denis Morecroft so easily.

But all your other comments are right on the money Ted.

Craig
Craig Sawyers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th Feb 2021, 11:44 am   #2111
stevehertz
Dekatron
 
stevehertz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Rugeley, Staffordshire, UK.
Posts: 5,204
Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted Kendall View Post
Similar thing happened to Peter Belt - first known for making quite decent headphones, both dynamic and electrostatic, he then went off the reservation with his foils and brushes, totally taking in Peter Turner, who used to write sense about tape recording in the sixties and wrote rubbish about hi fi in the eighties. Another bloke espousing along these lines was Dennis Moorcroft - he made stuff in Perspex cases with ultra-thin wiring all over the shop - I think star-earthing was another kink. Dunno how they get away with it. In "Hi fi for Pleasure", published in the mid-50s, Burnett James assured his readers that "any manufacturer now persisting in building his wares on the wax-and-chewed-string principle is merely ensuring his progress to the bankruptcy court by the shortest distance between two points". Seems something went into reverse somewhere...

The NVA header picture looks like an Emmett drawing. How appropriate.
The eighties saw a sea change in the way of thinking of hifi reviewers. Technical specs started to count for less and less and the 'flowery' way of describing the sound of hifi components came in. Well known journalists of the day were the culprits. This phenomena snowballed and was gradually taken up by dealers and enthusiasts alike. So I suppose, given this new opportunity to 'talk hifi' rather than actually make it, certain people saw a golden opportunity to manufacture stuff of nebulous, even outlandish design, and simply blind enthusiasts with similarly nebulous science. This was lapped up by the new wave of enthusiasts since a lot of them never understood the technical specs anyway, but the golden crafted words and claims appealed to them. Easy money for the charlatans. And of course it still goes on. To paraphrase a popular saying, there's a new audiophool born every day.
__________________
A digital radio is the latest thing, but a vintage wireless is forever..
stevehertz is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 28th Feb 2021, 11:52 am   #2112
slidertogrid
Octode
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, UK.
Posts: 1,246
Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

Thanks for the replies, some very amusing!
It is convenient that the best construction for an amplifier is haphazard construction, various wiring soldered and joined at random with different thicknesses. Parts glued or cemented in and the whole thing glued together with brown glue etc is also the fastest and cheapest way to sling something together..!

On that principle the Amstrad "Superwide " Telly should have sounded fantastic and given a better picture than a B&O.?!

I now realise that I ruined it by cleaning away the old brown glue and using a small smear of glue to stick it back together so none squidged out around the edges as original.
I suppose the excess glue around the joins acted as an acoustic buffer for audio reflex?
Lets see if the owner says the sound has changed when he gets it back...

To Quote Flanders and Swann... "You bought it in a shop?" "What a horrible terrible job they fobbed you off with!"
But I never did care for music much ... it's the High Fidelity!
slidertogrid is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 28th Feb 2021, 12:24 pm   #2113
Radio Wrangler
Moderator
 
Radio Wrangler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Fife, Scotland, UK.
Posts: 17,215
Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

You might have used the wrong glue to put it back together. One of the snippets quoted by Craig, above, reveals that it was 'Structural adhesive'

A quick run of the radio wrangler patent jargon translation programme reveals that this means the original glue was bought in a builder's merchants.

David
__________________
Can't afford the volcanic island yet, but the plans for my monorail and the goons' uniforms are done
Radio Wrangler is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 28th Feb 2021, 12:36 pm   #2114
knobtwiddler
Pentode
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: London, UK.
Posts: 247
Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Sawyers View Post
"So what we have is a truly unique amplifier which requires some owner involvement"
With a fire extinguisher?
knobtwiddler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th Feb 2021, 1:52 pm   #2115
Ted Kendall
Nonode
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Kington, Herefordshire, UK.
Posts: 2,595
Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Sawyers View Post
...Anyway I would not dismiss Denis Morecroft so easily.
OK - fair point. Eccentricity is par for the course - downright incompetence is another thing entirely. I see the solid core cable fetishism is alive and well, though.

Last edited by Ted Kendall; 28th Feb 2021 at 2:01 pm.
Ted Kendall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th Feb 2021, 2:08 pm   #2116
mark_in_manc
Octode
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Manchester, UK.
Posts: 1,421
Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Radio Wrangler View Post
You might have used the wrong glue to put it back together. One of the snippets quoted by Craig, above, reveals that it was 'Structural adhesive'

A quick run of the radio wrangler patent jargon translation programme reveals that this means the original glue was bought in a builder's merchants.
Ah, 'no-more-nails'. Oh well, thank heaven for small mercies.
__________________
"The best dBs, come in 3s" - Woody Brown
mark_in_manc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th Feb 2021, 2:21 pm   #2117
merlinmaxwell
Dekatron
 
merlinmaxwell's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Maidenhead, Berkshire, UK.
Posts: 10,499
Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

Back on planet earth moment...

I do find all of this rather amusing and sad at the same time, all those people hoping for perfection and getting crap in return. "Their money their choice" doesn't really cut it for what I think is fraud. For example is saying "this mains cable will make your system sound better" fraudulent? It is because it won't. OK, one with a blown fuse will reduce the noise significantly.
__________________
Cats have staff, it's dogs that have owners.
merlinmaxwell is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 28th Feb 2021, 4:05 pm   #2118
stevehertz
Dekatron
 
stevehertz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Rugeley, Staffordshire, UK.
Posts: 5,204
Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by merlinmaxwell View Post
Back on planet earth moment...

I do find all of this rather amusing and sad at the same time, all those people hoping for perfection and getting crap in return. "Their money their choice" doesn't really cut it for what I think is fraud. For example is saying "this mains cable will make your system sound better" fraudulent? It is because it won't. OK, one with a blown fuse will reduce the noise significantly.
But no-one is doing anything about it because the aural effects of audiophoolery gear are largely subjective. 'We' know that most of this stuff is Tommyrot, but rarely can we prove it beyond all reasonable doubt. And I suppose that's why they continue to get away with it.
__________________
A digital radio is the latest thing, but a vintage wireless is forever..
stevehertz is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 28th Feb 2021, 4:25 pm   #2119
Craig Sawyers
Dekatron
 
Craig Sawyers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Oxford, UK.
Posts: 3,120
Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

At least in the UK we have the Advertising Standards Authority https://www.asa.org.uk/ . Based on a number of cases against audio companies you can:

1. Provide measurements, for instance of RF attenuation of a product (say a power regenerator), or harmonic distortion of a power amp, or whatever.

2. What you cannot claim is that it improves the sound quality. In other words you cannot claim that a measurable product feature will produce a subjective improvement.

3. You *can* say that in your own listening tests you hear x, y and z, but you must state that this is your opinion, and not a guarantee that a customer will hear the same thing.

4. If you cannot make any measurements, or like AudioQuest make an optical SPDIF connection by bundling umpteen fibers in a single connection, you can say *why* this, in your opinion, is an improvement on earlier techniques (and often expose yourself as a charlatan in the process) - but you cannot claim that a purchaser will hear any difference or improvement.

If any company, including audio companies, contravene a CAP code, they have to cease and desist advertising, or carry out corrective actions to their advertising to comply. To trigger this all you have to do is fill in the form on the ASA site and provide evidence.

https://www.asa.org.uk/codes-and-rul...cast-code.html

Craig
Craig Sawyers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th Feb 2021, 7:43 pm   #2120
slidertogrid
Octode
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, UK.
Posts: 1,246
Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

Based on that do you think that an owner may have comeback on this amp because of the potential danger caused by mains wiring with no grommets ?

Another thing I have noticed is that there are no fuses in sight so if something went short there are three transformers supplying current boxed in in plastic boxes with no vents to get nice and hot. Maybe the wiring would just burn out but I wouldn't want to rely on that.
The website also states that the amp should be left on all of the time and only switched off if it was not going to be used for an " extended period" .
I wouldn't want to leave it on unattended at all!
I heard back from my friend who brought it to me for repair today. Apparently the owner bought it around 20 years ago, He had met Richard Dunn way back and said he did have a few strange ideas one of which was to wet the floor in the listening area to " damp down" the acoustics. (I better say "Allegedly" I suppose...)
The brown glue was the type with lots of tiny bubbles in it quite soft and stretchy . It looks like the old fashioned stuff that people would use to glue treasured pottery back together.... it's "crack pot glue! "
Anyway it is on it's way back now !
slidertogrid is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools



All times are GMT. The time now is 8:07 pm.


All information and advice on this forum is subject to the WARNING AND DISCLAIMER located at https://www.vintage-radio.net/rules.html.
Failure to heed this warning may result in death or serious injury to yourself and/or others.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2002 - 2021, Paul Stenning.