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Old 6th November 2002, 03:27 AM   #21
sangram is offline sangram  India
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Vivek:

1. Copying CDs at friend's places is piracy. You should not be talking about it on an open forum , specially since you're under your real name... Keep those topics for PMs. You might offend someone. Nobody's holy, but let's not be blatant about it either...

2. We have a good source in Calcutta for used equipment. You may not be able to find exactly the model you are looking for, but you can get pretty close and a good deal as well. I'm not sure where in Bangalore you can find one. I have a friend but he runs a proper showroom, I forget the name but it's on Airport Road (he also has another shop on MG Road near the St. Marks' Crossing), I think it's Modern Radio but I'm not sure. He may not remember me but you can use my reference and ask him if he knows anybody willing to dispose of a cassette deck. You might just hit paydirt. If of course you are willing to spend money you can pick up a ProFx from the showroom around 15 grand or so...
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Old 6th November 2002, 03:29 AM   #22
sangram is offline sangram  India
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Sorry... his name is Aqeel.
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Old 7th November 2002, 09:19 AM   #23
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Default Tape Deck

Sangram,

Thanks for very sensible words. If you went back to read previous threads on this topic, you will see another reason why some of us still hang on to tape decks. Good classical music is available only on tape and the few CDs that are available in this genre are obscenely expensive.

Please will you care to answer a few technical questions?

1. I am looking for a simple deck mechanism (no inbuilt amp). What do you suggest?

2. What do you do for speakers?

Beware!! If you answer these questions, more may follow.

Thanks.
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Old 8th November 2002, 10:31 AM   #24
Vivek is offline Vivek  India
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Hi Shashidhar,
Long time no see. What's up pal? Which projects have you completed?

Cheers,
Vivek
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Old 8th November 2002, 12:21 PM   #25
sangram is offline sangram  India
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Hi Shashi (may I call you Shashi?)

I'm gonna go out on a limb and assume you wanna DIY it. If you wanna buy it, the grey market is a pretty good source. I pick up used stuff locally, and have access to evrything - Nakamichis, Denons, HKs, Sansuis... the works, and sometimes under 10 grand. If you want new, TEAC, Sony, ProFX (Denon in India) have stuff available legally, mostly above 15 grand. Sources available on request.

There are good soft touch mechanisms and associated cabinets available in Mumbai, Chennai and sometimes Cal. Delhi definitely. Bangalore - not so sure.

For a preamp, most of the stuff pretty much is low-fi, or mid-fi at best. There's no good preamp circuits DIY available, last time I checked, all were lo-cost designs with LA3161 etc. You can try to homebrew if you can whip up a PCB or a nice layout. I'm a bit leery of making low-signal circuitry on veroboard.

If you can score a working PCB from a used Sonodyne or Philips decks, you might hit paydirt. Canging the transistors around and moving everything to metal film and polyesters/tantalums will help a lot, but the basic circuitry in those decks is pretty solid. Use NAB EQ circuits, I have one based on opamps though if you wanna go discrete you'll definitely be able to find what you need...

Why don't you get in touch with kayes? He seems to have some stuff suitable for the electronics....

Those were a few options on decks.

What do I for speakers? I have just picked up a pair of Jamo 470s as my stereo speakers, and am weighing whether I need a sub or not. If not, the NAD C521i is on my shopping list for this month.

What do you do for speakers? Gee, I dunno. I used to love the Philips drivers. 7 years of trouble free service, and damn nice for 1200 bucks for the drivers (at the time, Philips no longer supplies those drivers) for a stereo 2-way system. I'm not sure quality drivers are still available in India. I never much cared for Bolton drivers, all talk and no walk. I know someone else over on the loudspeakers forum has mentioned that Peerless drivers are available in Mumbai (not the real peerless, some others). I really wouldn't know man. The last pair of speakers I built was last night, when I moved my Philips drivers into a new cabinet because the old one had termites... Never bought drivers in a while.
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Old 8th November 2002, 01:30 PM   #26
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Default Tape vs CD in India

Today you can buy a new VCD/CD player for Rs3000/- (US$60/-). The VCD player is also available in kit form - chassis -transport-control board-audio /video board. So for a minimum outlay you have a new base to start on. May not be the best of systems but you can do a lot with it. Maybe even make it sound really great - that's what DIY is all about.
A 90 minute tape is Rs50 (US$1/-)
A blank CD-R is Rs15 or less (US$0.30)

You can see where the cassette tape will end up. Right now there is a market in the rural areas for tapes . I know people who used to make bulk cassette tapes ( recorded). The business has shrunk so much only a few key players are left - and shrinking as the cost of CD players drops.
You may not be aware of the present situation. When I tried to sell my 2 year old Marantz CD-67se I was offered Rs 4000/- (US$80-) ! Why buy a used cassette deck for Rs10,000/- ?
Have fun.
Cheers.
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Old 9th November 2002, 08:18 AM   #27
sangram is offline sangram  India
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You bring up an intersting point, except if I remember correctly we established the fact that a cassette deck was what was required, not a CD player. Some 10 posts back.

I personally have stopped listening to cassettes, yet I have some very good bootleg tapes that cannot ever be found, I assume a lot of people has such tapes it will be impossible to find.

On the question of the 3000 buck all-in-one Cd players, I must comment on poor taste of anyone who thinks those players can be called 'good' by any stretch of imagination. Those players sound positively horrible, have the cheapest possible circuitry, and are built by electronic 'quacks' in China. The sound of one of those makes me cringe, it is so terrible. Dry sound, boomy and dull low end, and harsh upper treble, the midrange sounds as if someone took a knife to the vocalists throat and then got them to sing. And the distortion!!! If you think compacts sound good, then possibly you can like the sound.

And the mechanisms. Oh, my GOD! Solidly mounted with metal brackets to the chassis, no suspension. And those cheap XO oscs! and a single 7805 for the entire digital curcuit and the servo and the mech motor, bolted onto the chassis wothout a heatsink! And the use of ribbon wire for wiring amp controls! My Discman sounds like an Arcam compared to some of those. And I have auditioned plenty. If you value your ears, I would suggest to stay away from those players. You haven't bought one already, have you?

You can improve it a bit by DIY'ing a large part of the whole thing, but it'll cost you more than the player itself, a lot more. You can't polish a turd into a diamond.

I cannot understand the value of such a player to anyone. A good Nakamichi tape deck is worth its weight in gold. We in India think Sony and Pioneer and Onkyo and Marantz are the best you can buy. Mostly, that's a load of moo-moo. All Marantz sold in India is low-end Marantz. The top end is what sounds good, and costs a ton of cash, think in 6 figures and more.

Sorry guys. I can't control myself when someone talks about good-sounding audio in India. Half of us don't know what good sound is. Have you ever listened to any contemporary hindi film music on a good set of truthful monitors? Appaling!! And those guys are supposed to be pro sound engineers!!

Jeez.
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Old 9th November 2002, 08:55 AM   #28
Vivek is offline Vivek  India
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Phew Sangram, you have come out with all guns blazing. That should beat the daylights out of the cheap CD player market.
While we are at it, I have a Philips CD player but again, I do not have the bucks to upgrade now. What do you think of the Philips players?

Vivek
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Old 9th November 2002, 09:02 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally posted by sangram
You bring up an intersting point, except if I remember correctly we established the fact that a cassette deck was what was required, not a CD player. Some 10 posts back.

On the question of the 3000 buck all-in-one Cd players, I must comment on poor taste of anyone who thinks those players can be called 'good' by any stretch of imagination.................

And the mechanisms. Oh, my GOD! Solidly mounted with metal brackets to the chassis, no suspension. And those cheap XO oscs! and a single 7805 for the entire digital curcuit and the servo and the mech motor, bolted onto the chassis wothout a heatsink! And the use of ribbon wire for wiring amp controls! My Discman sounds like an Arcam compared to some of those. And I have auditioned plenty. If you value your ears, I would suggest to stay away from those players. You haven't bought one already, have you?

.................................................. .........

Jeez.


This is a DIY forum.
Many DIY people do just that. Me too - until I got older and could afford almost anything I wanted !
They take products and transform them into much better sounding systems. Often it is because they cannot buy more expensive products - not necessarily because they do not have enough money.

No need to look down upon cheap products. They were meant to meet a price point. Very often one can make quite a number of changes to improve the sound drastically without spending too much - especially so in India.
What else could you expect from a machine that costs so little.
Certainly a great place for someone to start tweaking. Everyone does not have enough money to buy expensive gear. DIYaudio is not about expensive equipment.

I would recommend that you look at the AV Max magazine published from Mumbai. Many High-End audio manufacturers of the world started selling their products through dealers in Mumbai quite a while ago. I just heard a B&W nautilus 801 with a Musical Fidelity Nuvista amp and matching CD player. That's just one. There are plenty of people down south with very high end equipment - you name them and they are there. Mumbai is loaded with equipment. I have been in this business for 30 odd years, maybe I should know!

Its good to encourage the youngsters and those who love playing around with hi-fi on a budget. They also come up with great ideas .

Its all about fun. If that is missing , it would not be worthwhile having a DIY forum. I think you will agree that we have to thank all the great guys who have been most patient and encouraging on this forum.
Thank you all !
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Old 9th November 2002, 04:05 PM   #30
sangram is offline sangram  India
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Vivek,

If the player you're talking about is one of the first Philips players, full size with a single tray (I don't remember the model number now) before they got into the Powerhouse game, you've got a good thing going. If it's one of the new Philips micros, it's a great set. Anything else from Philips was pretty average.

Ashok,

I agree that this is a DIY forum. I agree that you can take a cheap player and work wonders with it. I agree that that is the point of DIY - to have fun, do something productive and get a good sounding player all at the same time.

I also admit that I am an AV Max addict, I make it a point to read every issue. I know that B&W, Kimberkale, Arcam, Musical Fidelity, Dynaudio are available in India. I also have seen really good gear slowly come into the country. I have also been witness to the DIY scene in India, as you must have been. Ashok, do you really think we have the resources to DIY top-quality gear ourselves? How widespread are simple things like tantalums and 1% metal film resistors? Where are the drivers, the digital components? Where do you get the SMDs, and how easy is buying things from abroad?

Let me add up the costs:
New CD-Player: 2500 (average)
Wires: 300 (really good OFC shielded wire runs Rs. 80/m)
Resistors: 100
Caps: 150
Heatsink: 75
Pots: 200
ICs: 50 (LM 324 replacement, 7805 augment)
DAC kit: 600 (assuming the servo is OK, or else a new servo is in order)
Transformer/s: 1000 (Including the PSU components)

Ashok, I do not look down on cheap gear because it is cheap, but because it does not sound good. I have plenty examples of cheap systems that sound better than things 2x or 3x their price, but I'm afraid the Chinese stuff is not up there with that set. This site is about audio, too, not just DIY. And one must be discerning enough to know what is good audio, and what is not. Bad construction=bad sound, more or less. Bad components=bad sound, more or less. You can spend upto Rs. 5000 totally with one of those Chinese things, and get a halfway sounding player. Or get a new player for a little more than that, that though not the top of league, will have acceptable sound.

The day we have access to good DAC kits, custom-made transformers, nice CD-transports, I will eat my words. Till then, my friend, I am afraid the readymade segment calls the shots. I earned my living from DIY for a full two years before I got a real job. Ashok, you're in the business now. What do you really think? Honestly? Do you think we can DIY at a level that can compare with a good international name? And with the CD-kits that are available?

It has also got a lot to do with how discerning we as consumers we are. As long as we go on swallowing cheap systems without feeling the need to complain, we will get exactly that. As long as the public buys things with more lights on them than sound quality, we will get substandard systems.

I am not saying all of us should go and buy the most expensive system we can afford, or lust after the top end of audio only. I have seen plenty of the new micro-hifis that omit the flashy lights, 200 control buttons and stuff like 'DJ bass' or some other beef, and instead concentrate on getting the sound right. And it IS a major improvement. They indeed sound as good as systems 3x their price, but are not successful because we guys want the 200 control buttons, the airport displays and 4-level bass system that muddies and colours the sound.

Ashok, remember the old days of Indian audio? The Silver Sonodyne cassette players with built in amps? Or the Philips separates systems? Where have they gone? Sonodyne is marginalised into professional audio and the Genie systems. Philips is making systems with blue LEDs dancing in the speakers (I will reserve my comments on this). Where have players like Cosmic disappeared? Where has the average Indian taste in music gone to? What does the average Hindi film recording sound like? What does the average hindi film song sounds like?

Please weigh what I am saying carefully. I am not trying to put down your opinion. I am talking about the fundamental issue of taste, or rather our lack of it. And I am crying out against it.
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