Marsh Sound Design

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I’ve written before about the benefits of being the daughter and sister of two avid audiophiles. People who are interested in good hifi and music tend to get periodic bouts of upgradeitis, and I occasionally benefit if second-hand sales are sluggish for a particular item. In fact, after a trip home to my parents at Christmas, my whole hifi stack — apart from my venerable but much loved Rega Planet CD player — is now composed of family hand-me-downs, for which I am very grateful. The most recent additions are two Marsh Sound Design items: a P2000 pre-amplifier, and a A400S power amplifier.

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New turntable

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Last weekend my brother brought me a wonderful turntable. It was one that he had made himself about 15 years ago. Since it was now surplus to requirements, he asked if I would like to use it. I’ve mentioned before that I tend to do very well out of the equipment upgrades of my audiophile father and brother. In fact, my previous two turntables were also cast-offs: the first a Project 1.

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Bowers And Wilkins P5 Headphones

One of the things that I have really come to value about Twitter is the recommendations you get from like-minded fellow human beings for all kinds of stuff from vegan fish and chips to films: it’s great. However, sometimes it can get expensive… First helgeg tweeted about some new headphones he had bought. They were made by Bowers and Wilkins, and I hadn’t come across them before. So I visited the site to have a look and was rather smitten.

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Hacking earbuds

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A while ago, I noticed this Make project to create custom-fit earbud surrounds using a commercially available DIY earplug material made by Radians. I thought it looked a great idea, as I've often been tempted by the companies that offer custom-fitted earbuds, but balked at the price. I had a pair of Shure EC2 earbuds that sounded fantastic, but were fiddly to fit properly. So I had a go and was really pleased with the result.

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Easter roundup

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I've had a pretty busy few weeks: just before Easter I was Chairing and helping to organise a two day symposium. In a classic bit of unfortunate timing, my 40th birthday was the day before it started, so I was much too preoccupied and stressed to do any celebrating (or drowning of sorrows). As a result, I was determined to take the full week after Easter off, to relax properly and actually celebrate my birthday in my own quiet way.

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Smoky music

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I've been having a problem with intermittent distortion from my amplifier (a Talk Electronics Storm 2) for a while. Early in the New Year, I thought I'd cracked it. But the problem with intermittent issues is that you change something, listen for a while, and think it's fixed. You congratulate yourself on your ninja-level hi-fi problem diagnosing and repairing technique. Then a couple of days later, the problem is back, and you are forced to commit seppuku with a sharpened banana plug.

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Back to vinyl heaven again

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Some time ago, my brother lent me a spare turntable he had hanging around (a Project) so that we could play Mr. Bsag's collection of vinyl and my rather smaller stash. However, we soon found out that at some point during its long storage, the turntable platter itself had developed a huge warp. This was so severe that it would scrape on the base of the turntable on each revolution, causing some problems with speed stability.

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W.A.F.

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Sometimes, being a female geek is good fun: some of the problems and pre-occupations of the majority of male geeks simply do not apply. I was reminded of this when I was browsing the SlimDevices forum and came across a brilliant thread where people post photos of their SqueezeBox nestled in among the rest of their hi-fi equipment. Looking at (and listening to) other people's systems fascinates me almost as much as listening to my own system, so I was glued.

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Logitech X-230 speakers

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As you've probably all noticed, when I review books, music or films on this blog, I link to the items at Amazon using an affiliate link. This means that if anyone uses the link to click through to Amazon and makes a purchase, I get a tiny cut of the sale. It's not vastly profitable by any means: I choose to get 'paid' in Amazon gift vouchers because that has a lower minimum threshold for payout (£10), but even so, it takes a good year before I accumulate enough to get given a gift certificate.

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Turntable

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My brother recently lent me his old turntable, which he had given to his fiancé before he had made her a custom, home-made one. It's an old but still very serviceable Project 1.2, which needed a new cartridge. Unfortunately, the tone arm rest doesn't have a retaining clip over it any more, and when it was being transported, the tone arm — complete with bare stylus — jumped out of the rest and gouged a furrow in the base of the turntable.

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