27 July, 2008

Home Visit: pigdog's den

Fig: Altec 604 in large DIY cabinet
Courtesy rcwy, I recently met pigdog, who is such a nice guy. I believe he is the only gentleman I have met since hifienthusiast. The rest of you need not apply.

He occupies two large flats on the same level of an old building, part of which used for studio. His hifi is placed in an irregular L-shaped room. The Altec 604 is a late verion, with Mantaray horns. He uses this in conjuction with Altec 288C/woodhorn and a Fostex supertweeter that resembles JBL 077, all connected with ultra-thin DIY 47 Lab cables. The speakers are too close together for my taste, but he does get out of them the fast Altec sound with horny presence.

Fig: 47 Lab Shigaraki, Lite DAC, DIY preamp/300B amp

Unlike me, pigdog was not enamored of the non-oversampling 47 Lab DAC, so he partnered the transport with Lite tubed DAC. However I find the delivery of CDs just a little matter-of-fact and miss the mellifluous quality of the flimsy Shigaraki.

The DIY preamp employs tube rectification and, unusually, was designed around the ECC32 tube. The DIY amp uses 6SN7 and 6J7 to drive 300B. Here Full Music "Mesh-plate" 300B is used (I don't personally like this tube). The amp gave a reasonable performance overall but failed in power with our Water Lily Shostakovich CD. Last time I visited, pigdog was using the Leak 12.1, which would have given more power.

Fig: Nordic Concept turntable

pigdog plays mostly LP and has a really nice collection. We found Muddy Waters, Divox 4 seasons etc. The Garrad 301 with what looks like a Clearaudio arm seems to be collecting dust. He played first the EMT 930 and the sound was really upfront. Most of us preffered the more mellow character of the Nordic Concept. This is the first time I met this turntable, unusal looking to say the least! Its arm is also unusual, OEM'ed by Schroeder I believe. Catridge is the 47 Lab MC Bee and the DIY phonoamp uses 3x 6922.

Fig: Mystery Fullrange

Then we switched to his fullrange speakers, housed in a DIY Lancaster cabinet. It's not clear whether the drivers are Tannoy or Vitavox or what.

Sound is very decent and many present preferred them to the more neutral 604. The replay of the rare Radka Toneff LP earned all of our admirations. Sound is a little soft and constricted, maybe supertweeter or a larger cabinet and higher powered amps would help. The venue is certainly not small!

Fig: A nicer dog than what we have seen recently!

pigdog is an animal lover and has 4 dogs adopted from the ASPCA. One of them is blind! This one is funny looking and really affectionate.

The phtography books are also magnificent!

"Everybody is talking about it!" (from the "Citizen Kane" poster in the back.

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