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Old 19th January 2013, 05:26 AM   #1
kad is offline kad  Canada
Join Date: Jan 2013
Talking Heylo from Canada

Kool Audio Designs and/or Kind And Dedicated and/or Kick Ass Dude? Maybe all and more?

Well I got the upgradeitis bug at a young age. Around nine, my mom brought me back a 25-in-1 electronic kit where one could build 25 projects with various parts, spring loaded no less. She was attending a conference in Vancouver, when she returned to Montreal; what a gift! She planted the seed for my passion towards electronics, mathematics, science, especially computer sciences.

However as a hobby, I always return to electronics and audio, I don’t know why?

So as a dinosaur from the seventies, I had the opportunity to build a few of these:
- Dynakit ST70 tube amp
- Heathkit AR-29 receiver
- Heathkit AA-1640 amp
- Heathkit speakers (I forget the model)
- SWTPC 202-C Headset Amplifier
- SWTPC Psychedelia 1 and Psychedelia 2 color organs
- SWTPC 198/A preamp
- SWTPC Tiger .01 amps
- SWTPC Tigersaurus 250 amps
- SWTPC Dynamic Range Expander
- SWTPC Guitar and Instrument preamp
- SWTPC Stereo Octave Equalizer
- SWTPC Stereo Compressor-Expander

In addition to loads of other stuff:
Oscilloscopes, function generators, AF & RF generators, signal tracers, EICO tube tester, EICO Variac, then went into computers hardware & software & real-time embedded electronics.

My current home theater is composed of:
- Pioneer Elite SC-65, Pioneer Elite SC-61, Pioneer Elite VSX-27TX, Pioneer Elite VSX-95 receivers (mainly for the bi-amps, except the SC-65 with its Hi-Bit 32-bit upscaling of audio signals. Wow what a difference it makes!)
- Pioneer SX-1250 receiver
- Rotel 400 W amp
- Pioneer Elite Pro-510HD HDTV
- Samsung UN55ES7100F HDTV
- Pioneer HPM 150 main and Pioneer HPM100 rear speakers
- Bob Carver’s True Subwoofer MKii
- Sunfire TS-EQ12 subwoofer
- Celestion Ditton 66 surround
- Celestion Ditton 100 (4) of them center
- Energy Veritas (Klipsh) Dolby height
- Design Accoustics PS88 Dolby wide
- Technics SBA-11 XL & XR
- Technics SP1400 MK2 + AudioTechnica cartridge
- Oracle / Lynn tonearm / Grado cartridge
- DBX dynamic range expander

Plus various ribbon tweeters, dome midrange horn loaded titanium 2” voice coil 96 oz magnet (on the midrange), and a smorgasbord of tweaks, enhancements etc… All bi-tri-amplified with custom-built precision active 3rd order butterworth crossovers, hence the need for so many amps. Now I’m pushing over 10,000 watts RMS continuous not for loudness, but for transient peaks, clarity, definition, low-distortion, and all the right reasons. 5700 W RMS just for (2) subwoofers resulting in 120+ dB @ 16Hz with very little distortion. A compass would be disoriented at my house. And it sounds just right! Onto anything, be it classical, jazz, rock, or dub-step. Movies are awesome. What I like about it, is that it sounds so different with each source of input.

A Windows 8 Pro / MediaCenter kick *** HTPC with ultra-low-signal-to-noise ratio served by a media/file server based on Windows Server 2012 are the computer tidbits.

It is only now that I realize the mistake of selling most of my precious SWTPC equipment to long time gone friends 40 years ago…

So I stumbled onto these dyiAudio forums, while searching for a schematic to the SWTPC #202-C Headset class A amp. Yeah, I realized how atrocious a .FLAC sounded on my Samsung Galaxy Nexus phone via my Sony XBA-3 earbuds, when it should have sounded so sweet… Simply plugging them into the Pioneer Elite VS-65 was an eye opener! Mainly due to the 32-bit upscaling I suppose? So now I need to build an ultra-linear high-performance low-distortion headphone amp… Sure I could buy one, but why? I like to tinker. And I think I’m in good company here. To learn and share and have fun.

All the best everyone!

The fact that I can plant a seed and it becomes a flower, share a bit of knowledge and it becomes another's, smile at someone and receive a smile in return, are to me continual spiritual exercises.
~ Leo Buscaglia
Old 23rd January 2013, 07:06 PM   #2
Mooly is offline Mooly  United Kingdom
diyAudio Moderator
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Welcome to the forums kad.

I remember seeing those "springy" kits although I never got to own one. There seemed so much more practical stuff around back then to get youngsters started, stuff that really got you used to the basics.

Anyhow thats quite a collection you have there... enjoy the forums
Old 23rd January 2013, 08:45 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Ladysmith, BC
welcome. Where do you live? Nice setup.
Old 25th January 2013, 03:58 AM   #4
kad is offline kad  Canada
Join Date: Jan 2013
Actually, my sound-system started at age 12, and may I say I still have working equipment that lasted that long! For instance, a Heathkit GC-1005 digital alarm clock. It's been working powered on ever since, except for the occasional transient power outage...

Click the image to open in full size.

It was pretty cool then (for a twelve year old), in a sea of mechanical alarm clocks with digits flipping down, if anybody remembers? Versus true digital electronics based on MOS chips?

So I went to my first 'rave' dance, at age thirteen, and thinking like a geek, the first thought that popped in my head was: "I can do better than that!" It was a radio-station hosting it CKAC in Montreal. The sound was all distorted and clipping...

So I simply rented halls, church basements, or high-school gymnasiums and posted printed ads there would a Lumison Dance at this venue and time, into all the neighboring high-schools. With the help of passionate friends and colleagues.

As I would sleep with CHOM-FM playing softly all night, and suspect perhaps some subliminal programming got into my head? Anyway, not only did the sound was crystal clear and chest thumping, but the musical contents were contemporary, just right for that kind of crowd age. Done for them, by one of them.

There was the need for these (4) SWTPC Tigersaurus 250W power-amps, with a Harman Kardon Citation 11 preamp, with a secret weapon built-in, a SWTPC Dynamic Range Expander, which restored the 'punch' loss in the vinyl LP. It was wired to the 'tape-monitor' switch. The Lumison sound! Sly eh?

I rented from MPM Audio (4) professional JBL loudspeakers the 4520
Click the image to open in full size.

and the 4550
Click the image to open in full size.

On casters and handles no less. Please note the horns, and super-tweeters...

The turntables were Empire Troubadour 698 and Technics SP 10, both with Stanton 681 EEE (because of their incredibly strong stylus cantilever which could withstand reverse-cueing and high-quality sound)

Plus an array of tri-amplified low-level JBL crossovers driving the Tigersaurus for the bass and Tiger .01 for the mid horns and a Harman-Kardon Citation 16 for the super-tweeters.

The DJ mixer used was a Citronic SMP 505.
Click the image to open in full size.

The favorite place I would purchase vinyl LPs was a cool establishment on Park Ave, named Phantasmagoria...

Ah, this brings back fond memories! What a great time! And learning experience. Priceless!

Of course, on the console center stage, was that digital clock...

Now I live in happily in Ontario, Mississauga.

I really enjoy these fanatical forums full with all the knowledge base I could ever think of, and with all this great community of true enthusiasts!

Now I am a truly certifiable dinosaur geek! A DinoKad? And proud of it.

Cheers and thanks to all!

Just because something doesn't do what you planned it to do doesn't mean it's useless.
~ Thomas A. Edison

I was just pursuing what I enjoyed doing. I mean, I was pursuing my passion.
~ Pierre Omidyar

As long as you live, keep learning how to live.
~ Seneca

The truth is more important than the facts.
~ Frank Lloyd Wright (1869 - 1959)

Last edited by kad; 25th January 2013 at 04:25 AM. Reason: I dug up the old trusty Citronic mixer
Old 25th January 2013, 04:14 AM   #5
DUG is offline DUG  Canada
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: mississauga ontario canada
Welcome to the forum.
Doug We are all learning...we can all help
"You can't stop the signal, Mal. Everything goes somewhere..."
Old 26th January 2013, 03:41 AM   #6
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Manitoba
Hi there!

Greetings from the Canadian Prairies Chapter (Ok, well we're not really organized or official yet...) This is by far my most frequently read internet forum, and I hope you will find it - as I have - to be vastly informative, inspiring, and entertaining. And as you are evidently quite "into" audio and electronics, perhaps you will have opportunity to share your knowledge & experience with other members here.

Wow - you are (were) one serious SWTPC fan! We must be of similar "vintage" - those SWTPC kits were such good value in their day. Myself, I only managed to put together the 215/A and 540 stereo power amps and a preamp (my adaptation of their 198/A) using 4 of their 195 modular op-amps. Yes, I still have them all; still working well after all these years. On that subject: A while back, I bought on eBay a Tigersaurus in rather sad condition, and was hoping to get it working someday. Is there any chance you might still be able to dig up a copy of their original kit documentation? I know it's a long shot, since you said you've parted with most of that stuff long ago, but it's surprising what people manage to squirrel away sometimes, right? I did manage to find a copy of the original article published in Popular Electronics, but I know their kit manuals were usually a bit more detailed.

Again, welcome to the group!
Old 26th January 2013, 06:44 AM   #7
Mooly is offline Mooly  United Kingdom
diyAudio Moderator
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Unfortunately kad abused his new found posting privileges and flooded the forum with "spam" and meaningless unwanted content.

As a result he is banned.

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