Friday, September 6, 2019

Dynaco Restored Redux

For several years now, one of my projects is the restoration of my 70's Dynaco transistor gear.  I've posted a couple pics previously, but I'm finally "done."  (Not really, keep reading).  Here's the current setup in my downstairs "bungalow."


The first piece of gear upgraded was an old Dynaco ST-120 I found used for $20.  While I got it to work, it was definitely old technology.  So in went new amp boards, a new power supply, and bigger capacitors.  Gilding the lily is an LED power meter.



Then I went to work on my old Dynaco PAT-5 preamp.  Again, the line cards and power supply were replaced with new circuits.  Recently, the phono preamp section was also replaced with a new card.  Gilding the lily once more, I added new phono jacks for the input/output connections as well as a stepped volume control.






Here's the stack of components followed by a description of all the parts.  Excuse the crude "rack", but it's what I had around and it works great (hey, we all had bookshelves of boards and bricks back in the day).


The PAT-5 (stacked with an FM-5) and ST-120 are seen in the photo.  I added a line level meter to check compressed recordings.  And on top, after God gave us creation, then Jesus, His third act was the Oppo UDP-205.  This HD Blu-ray player will play any sort of disk, accept audio streamed via Wi-Fi, and play HiRez files off a thumb drive, all at amazing quality.  Plus it cost about 1/3 as much as anything remotely equivalent.  Simply amazing piece of gear.  Also on the top shelf is a small FM antenna and an Apple Airport for streaming from iTunes via AirPlay.

On the bottom shelf is the ST-120.  It powers a pair of Wharfedale Diamond 225s, very excellent speakers for the money.  However, while listening to some reggae, my friend suggested I add a subwoofer.  Hiding in a corner of the spare bedroom serving as a table, I had my old AR-3a speakers.  I also had a Heathkit crossover from a previous stereo setup.  So I ran one output of the PAT-5 direct to the ST-120 (and the Wharfedales).  The second line output (nice of Dynaco to provide two line outputs!) I ran into the Heathkit crossover and the output from the low pass filter to a set of BK MOSFET 100 Watt modules, and then to the woofers only of the AR-3a speakers.  The MOSFET modules required mounting in a rack case and some significant wiring.  Below are some pics of this assembly.






So it's quite the audio system and, of course, sounds great.  At some point I'll replace the ST-120 heat sinks with some heavier duty units to increase the available power.  Also, I've stripped an Audio-Technica LP-120 turntable of its built-in preamp and replaced the base cartridge with an AT540 upgrade.  I'll add this to the system when I figure out how to stack everything.  Looking forward to listening to the new phono cards in the PAT-5.  One last look at the system:


I want to thank Dan at Update My Dynaco for all the mod development, great customer support, and keeping classic audio components alive and viable in the current audiophile world.  And, for all the pleasure I've had building this system.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Rainbows and Wildflowers

An outdoor evening in Mt. Pleasant, some sprinkles, then a double rainbow over the Manti Mountains.


Coming home, I took the Mt. Nebo loop.  At one point I stopped to walk into the forest and was surrounded by amazing wild flowers.



At home, the next morning, my wild datura bloomed outside my bedroom window.


Simple pleasures...

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Dutch Women

I love 'em, they love me!  (Really, I think Dutch women are the most beautiful women in the world). 


Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Kids, Dogs, and Baseball

From a recent Bark in the Park, my son Willis and his two Corgis, Melon and Mango, enjoy a baseball game (and, I suppose, lots of attention).


Daughter-in-law Nisa controls the wild beasts...


And a tuckered Mango mellows with granddad...


Friday, July 12, 2019

Some Euro Oddities Pt. 2

We were fascinated by the Dutch town of Hoorne, which has a significant historical past (center of the East India Company).  While contemplating disappearing from our regular lives to live quietly in Hoorne, I did note some curious sights. 

Not sure about this restaurant...   conjures up a number of thoughts, most not pleasurable...


Our visit did coincide with Easter time, as reflected in this shop window...


The Dutch have a strange sense of humor...  I have no idea what superboy was doing on this building...


Retro fashion seems in vogue...


A provocative ice cream cone?


One way to express the historical significance of a leader...  with the good and the bad...



And finally, a couple silly girls giggling at the tourists...




Monday, July 8, 2019

Some Euro Oddities Pt. I

On my last Euro trip at the end of March, I took about a zillion photos.  Way too many to post...  so I thought I'd just go with the unusual ones, the ones that struck my bizarre fancy.  Like this one:


Our tour bus dropped us off in front on this club, where we would begin our tour of Ghent.  But I kinda wanted to hang out here and check out the scene.  Only problem was the time of day, and our ship would sail before any action at the Hotsy Totsy Club.

A couple other drinking establishments in Ghent caught my eye:



Ken Sanders needs to rethink his bookstore a bit...

I also had some interest in the Fallen Angels antique store:



On the back of a tour bus:


The Official Rev. Willis T-shirt:


Another take on the porta potty:


The King lives, and a boney king...  at least in Antwerp...



A memorial to lost luggage near the Holland America building in Rotterdam:


An expression of true love:


Pt. 2 later...

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Tulip Time--Flower Power

Every year, during the 6 week tulip season, the Keukenhof organizes its flower displays around a particular theme.  This year, it was Flower Power...  which brought back memories for this child of the '60s.  Here's some examples...




A couple shots of our favorite hippie chick in her iconic, well decorated,  Volkswagen Bug.



More flower power chicks...




And some interesting mosaic sculpture chicks...





And other memories of those times as expressed in flowers...





And here's our favorite hippie chick looking like she wishes she had remembered her tie dye.


Finally, a portion of a large yard display...  a fitting end to this post and our visit to the Keukenhof.