Saturday, December 31, 2005

25 years after

We had our reunion last December 29 and it was fun to see old friends and school mates. Twenty five years ago, we were just kids who will try to make and shape our future destiny on separate ways by taking different courses in college. High school or middle school is probably the happiest and most memorable time in one's life and seeing the people with whom you grew up with and shared your adolescence is a time for reminiscing old episodes and exchanging new stories in one's life. It was a day of pure and clean fun, a night of drinking and partying - and one of the happier days of my life this year! seen on the photo are two of the prettier girls in our batch 25 years ago!

Sunday, December 25, 2005

warm tone and cool tone

The tonality of a photograph can either be a warm tone or a cool tone. A warm tone imparts ambiance and warmth in a photograph while a cool tone produces an impression of coolness. In film photography, you can either use a warming filter or a cooling filter to get the desired effect. In digital photography, these effects can be achieved at no cost to the photographer. If you want to make your photograph to impart a warm tone, just set the White Balance of your camera to "Daylight" while a "Tungsten" setting will have a tendency to produce a cooling effect. Shown above is an example of a cool tone while the photo below it exemplifies a warm tone.

Photographed in the example is a Direct Drive Turntable fitted with different cartridges, Ortofon Concorde Night Club E (above) and Shure White Label (below). In a direct drive turntable, the motor is located directly under the spindle (center of the platter) and is connected directly to the platter.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Svetlana 6L6GCs

Vacuum tubes never fades away unlike solid state amplifying devices where they become a fad now and a fade later. This is a fact, these 6L6s were introduced in the audio world some seventy (70) years ago and they still sell today with new production tubes coming from China and Russia. The 6L6 is a "beam" tetrode and was originally developed by RCA engineers and became an instant hit when radio manufacturers started using it in the output stages of some audio applications.

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Sunday, December 18, 2005

Cambridge Audio 640P Phono Pre-amp

I recently got this phonostage to replace my QED DS-1 MM phono preamp and I would say that I'm happy to hear a big leap in the quality of sound reproduction of my LPs. Before I took it home from Audio Den, the local distributor of Cambridge Audio here, I compared it with Pro-Ject Phono Box MKII since they are in the same price range. And what's the result? the 640P is an amazingly superior solid state phonostage!!

Excited to hear it on my system, I immediately hooked it up and played some mint records to initially judge its performance. Spinning Holly Cole's "Don't Smoke in Bed" album, I was mesmerized upon hearing "I Can See Clearly" track of the album which I never heard with so much ambience and airiness in Holly Cole's captivating voice. It's like having a premium cart attached to a Technics Direct Drive turntable where details abound and soundstaging is at its finest. Since I dig Crystal Gale's vocal prowess, I tried and played some of her better albums and I got the same impression, the details are oozing with so much abundance. I used to listen to my LPs at the 12 o'clock volume dial in my M99plus integrated amp but with this high gain phono pre-amp, I'm now enjoying music at the 10 o'clock volume dial. The causal effect? it takes my listening pleasure to higher level because i can now hear a cleaner sound without much of a hum unlike with my previous phonostage. This may be attributable to its design configuration where the power supply is isolated from the main chassis, hence, unwanted noise and other interference were minimized. This design equates to a much cleaner and more conditioned sound with no annoyance from the AC power source.

Next test discs were my good old rock albums and it predictably brought out the results i was expecting. This time the instrumentation were dissected with clarity and i was elated to hear more high frequency extension and greater dynamics from the beat and thump of rock music. I can say that this phonostage gave me a warm and dynamic welcome to the world of pure analog supremacy. I can now hear extended high frequencies, more defined bass and superb spatial resoultion in stereophonic experience. Performance-wise, nothing beats this creature if compared to similar products at the same price range.... Pro-Ject Phono Box and NAD PP2, step aside coz there's a new champion!!!Posted by Picasa

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Technics SL-1210 MK2

I have already photo graphed this same turntable before at the same angle but with different mood light and i keep coming back. you might now agree with me that the SL-1200s might be the most photo graphed turntable of all time. this venerable disk spinner was introduced in the market as early as 1972 and it's still kicking ass, not much with the audiophiles but with the vinyl lovers in general. perhaps, the only inherent shortcoming of this turntable is the fact that it was a direct drive spinner. for the hardcore audionuts, they would prefer the belt driven turntables because accordingly, these types would not have any micro vibrations that produces edgy sound character and they would be constantly spinning at a uniform or more refined and stable speed as compared to direct drives.

what the heck!! so much ramblings on sound quality issues... for me, the SL-1200 is a very sturdy turntable. this is the turntable that i considered as the best buy when i went back into vinyls. not that i can't afford the new production belt drives but for me, i find them quite fragile and not worthy of any experimentation. on the other hand, the SL-1200, despite being a rugged device, is seen and reputed as a high quality analog playback device. The SL-1200 is a very quiet turntable but it can amplify ticks and pops as well depending on the quality of your phonostage. i've used quite a number of phono preamp loaned by friends and paired with this SL-1200 and so far, based on what i've listened to, i'm very much satisfied with what i have... the Cambridge Audio 640P phono preamp. the one thing i noticed though is that the SL-1200 lacks the air and space i've heard from such better rigs as the Rega P3s but over all, it's ease of operation and very engaging sound attributes are what makes it so close for comfort! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

103.5 K-Lite FM

On the FM band, 103.5 K-Lite, Manila's Lite Alternative, is my favorite FM station. They play a variety of musical genre, from rock to pop and mostly alternative rock. they also play some classic rock and new wave music on weekends. what I like most with this station is that they have plenty of contests where any listener can join and have a crack at winning CDs, movie tickets, concert tickets or anything under the sun.

shown in the photos is a Cambridge Audio 640P Phono pre-amp sitting on top of a Pioneer F-403 tuner.  Posted by Picasa

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Margarita sings at The Boulvar

Dining can be a lot more fun if someone like Margarita sings in front of your table. Her engaging vocals suits her repertoire of music which includes a lot of interpretation of fine jazz classics. You can see her perform every Thursday night at The Boulvar Lobby Lounge of Manila Pavillon Hotel. Fun starts at 9:00 P.M. onwards. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Aurum Cantus F6600

this is perhaps the cheapest decent sounding two-way bass reflex floorstander speakers that i've heard. it sells at P10,500 a pair at Audio Amplified in Libis, Quezon City.
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Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Dali Ikon 2 vs Concept 6

I had a chance to hear these two fabulous Dali speakers at the Architectural Audio in Greenbelt. The Ikon 2 is a bookshelf equipped with a hybrid tweeter module composed of a ribbon tweeter and a soft dome tweeter. The midbass driver is 6.5 inches delivering sonic reproduction capability at a frequency range of 42-30,000 hertz.

The Concept 6, on the other hand, is a 2 way bass reflex system with two 6.5 inches low frequency drivers and a 1 inch textile dome high frequency driver boxed in a floorstander capable of delivering a frequency response of 41-25,000 hertz. Nominal impedance of both speakers is at 8 ohms.

Verdict: the Ikon 2 is a lot more pleasant to hear with a broader stereo dispersion. Its attribute of being discrete in sound reproduction makes the speakers disappear in the soundstage while the listener enjoys unprecedented 3D-like audio experience with so much ambiance and airiness in music. Play some Jacintha songs and you'll immerse yourself in a total aural experience. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, December 04, 2005


it's a Saturday night, December 3, and the inebriation went on till the wee hours of the morning,

and a friend of mine was still able to flash a smile and remain energetic at past 6am of December 4. it's amazing how some people, at a youthful age, would have a very high threshold on stress and fatigue. i was dead tired, burn out and wasted the following day and spent most of the Sunday recuperating from a malaise brought about by a hang over. taken inside Street Life Acoustic Bar
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Saturday, December 03, 2005

J3 and Nico

i went to Cebu a couple of weeks ago and visited some friends. shown in the photo are the two kids of my brod, J3 and Nico, 4 y.o. and 3 y.o. respectively. the close proximity in the ages between these two little brothers is giving their parents a difficult time tempering down sibling rivalry. they would always compare notes when they receive something by way of gifts. give them identical toys and after a day or two, they won't touch them again. give them different toys and they will start nagging their parents to buy another of a kind like the other one has.

moral of the story: when making kids, be sure to space their birth at least 3 years apart if you want to have them in the same sex. :)

while tinkering with this photo on the PhotoShop, i just discovered a new b&w conversion technique using the desaturate adjustment layer followed by the shadows/highlights adjustment layer. i used to appreciate the channel mixer technique but when i tried manipulating this photo using the channel mixer, i can't get the right mix inasmuch as the photo was fairly overexposed. however, using the shadows/highlights adjustment layer after desaturation, dropping down all the menus and options for adjustment like the radius pixel, tonal width etc., i was able to eliminate the flash glare on the face of Nico while at the same time maintaining a good contrast on the face of the two kids. Posted by Picasa