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DJ360 last won the day on March 11 2017

DJ360 had the most liked content!

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2,782 Exceptional Poster of Nottstalgia

About DJ360

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  • Birthday 02/03/1949

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    Billinge, Lancs.
  • Interests
    "The time has come," the Walrus said,
    "To talk of many things:...
    Music, Hi-Fi, Grandkids, Science, Wildlife, Exercise, Wine, Polite Discussion.
    Dislikes: Fish

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  1. Hottest June day in 41 years

    You're right of course Commo, but I think what's worn many down this time is that Summer turned straight into Autumn pretty much in one go last August and there has been little relief since. We don't expect this sort of weather all year, but there should really be a steady improvement from Feb on, which just hasn't happened this year. Farmers are reporting flooded land and cold soil they can't plant on, shortages of fodder because the grass hasn't started growing yet, etc. Col
  2. Hottest June day in 41 years

    Compo, much as I like Scotland, my reaction has to be a considered. 'Sod that for a game of darts..' Mind.. I did have a few days at the Cameron House Hotel on Loch Lomond in 2014, when that area was the hottest in Europe for days on end. Lovely...
  3. Hottest June day in 41 years

    Yove allus bin a scruffy, rebellious Hippy type Ben... but I thought that Tie Dye Liberty bodice was a bit much... Dunno ow yergerrawaywiyit.. Very warm in Nottm yesterday.. my car was showing a good 25 degrees, but back home on the forbidding windswept flanks of the Billinge Massif, it was down to about 20 degrees with a stiff breeze coming off Liverpool Bay. We also had the dreaded 'Five o'Clock Cloud'. It seems to develop high over the nearby Welsh mountains and often manages to be the only cloud in the sky, but sitting directly over the Sun and following it as it sets. Today is looking fab. Clear blue sky and very little breeze. Time for a bit of grass cutting but until the Sun dries the dew off, there's nothing for it but to stretch out and catch a few rays.
  4. Continuing the Minutiae.. I'm really no longer sure about dates on this stuff.. late 50s/early 60s is the best I can do.. Sometime around 1959/60, I went to a single meeting of the 'Cubs' at 'Blackwoods' on Hucknall Rd. I was taken there by another lad out of Southglade Road . Bestwood. I felt like an outcast all the time I was there, though I did fall in love with that little bit of heathland .. trapped, alongside a main road and between houses. As far as I know it is still pretty much the same, and long may it remain so.. But, that wasn't going to be my true introduction to the Cubs and Scouting.... Again.. memory is sketchy, but I was invited by another lad from Southglade, to go to a 'Cubs' meeting in the old St Matthews Church Hall, just next to Padstow Secondary School and St Matthews Church, on Bestwood Est. So I went into this little basement room in the Church Hall. There were 6 of us boys there... plus the top man, known as 'Akela'. His real name was Colin. The other five lads were 'old hands'.. having been there the week before... So, three lads were already 'Sixers' ( Leaders of a 'Six' of other Cubs) And the other two were 'Seconds'. I was immediately promoted to 'Second' ( presumably for turning up) So, we now had 3 'Sixes', each comprising a Sixer and a Second. So that's three 'Sixes'.. comprising 6 people... It just didn't add up.... But within a couple of weeks.. I too was a 'Sixer'. I had a 'Second', and four other unfortunates. under my command. I tried not to become too power crazed.... But wht reallly annoyed me was that I was the Sixer of the 'Tawny Six' 'Tawney?' Really?. Why not 'Beige Six'.. or 'Eau De Nil Six'? I was not impressed.... I wanted to be the 'Sixer' of the Red, or Yellow, or Purple Six!!. I was gutted.... To be cont'd..... Col
  5. How's your day?

    I've got a sore nose. And no.. it snot from sticking it in other folk's business.. I ordered some new specs a couple of weeks ago. Decided to go to Boots, St Helens, after a disappointing experience with Specsavers a year or so back. The optician was excellent and she understood when I said I didn't want to go from my old specs to full new prescription on one jump. That's what spoiled things with Specsavers. I ordered new frames and lenses with all the bells and whistles, .. varifocals, thinned lenses, fancy coatings and 'Transitions' ( like 'Reactolite'..) Cost, almost £500, with an option on a second pair for half price. New specs are optically brilliant, but took them back after 24 hours as they were extremely painful. After adjustment I persevered for a full week with them before giving up and going back Monday. More changes which made things so much worse that I had to change back to old specs on the 15 minute journey home by car. So.. back Tuesday. Spent a good hour with the dispensing guy, trying to get things right and they did feel better when I left. But.. after I'd driven 250 miles to Chulla's funeral and back.. My nose was incredibly sore again... To put this in context, I've worn specs for 64 of my 69 years and never had a problem like this... So.. I think I'm going to have to tell Boots I want another frame. As far as I'm concerned the deal is that you choose a pair of specs and it's up to them to make sure they fit. That said, when I arrived at Wilford Hill for Dave's funeral this morning, I checked my tie in the car mirror and thought. "Who is that mega cool guy in the shades, looking back at me?" Col
  6. Chulla

    Well said all, I can't really add anything new to all of those lovely comments. It was an excellent 'standing room only' send off for our Chulla, which in itself was a good measure of the man. Lizzie, I had a few long conversations with Dave and whilst I was aware of his interests, I too had no clear idea of his standing in the world of aviation research etc., so I think I'd add 'modest' to his many other traits. Obviously not the best circumstances, but it was also a pleasure to see so many 'Stalgians. Some familiar, others new to me. I too am sorry to have missed Waddo. Looking forward to seeing you all again soon. Col
  7. Vinyl discs

    I had a Cadet amp for a while Dave. I think mine was a II. It also had the little phono plug in module.
  8. Vinyl discs

    Hi Brew, Yep.. people can get OCD about pretty much anything I suppose... I try to limit my audio obsession to leave a bit of time for listening to music.... Now. Electricity supply.. Maybe worth starting with a quick summary of turntable drive systems: The object is to drive the platter consistently at the correct speed, with zero variation ( wow and flutter)and with zero 'breakthrough' noise from the motor or bearing. The main divide is between belt drive ( using either an AC, or DC motor) and 'direct drive', using a motor whose central spindle is directly below the platter, so that the platter is effectively a flywheel driven by the motor. Both have their supporters and detractors. Direct drive is the basis of the classic Technics 1200 series 'DJ decks' as it has very fast start up, and is very robust. They were largely dismissed by the 'hi fi' community for years, but the newer Technics are now gaining acceptance. Belt drive is probably most common and is represented by Linn, Michell, Rega, SME, Pink Triangle/Funk Firm, Roksan, Project, Nottingham Analogue and countless others. Again though, many variations of multiple belt/motor systems,.... belt drive to a 'sub platter', belt around the platter rim, free standing motor, etc., plus 'suspended' ( Linn) 'inverted suspended' (Michell) and non suspended types. I'll come back to this. There is a sort of intermediate, usually called 'idler drive'. In this format, a motor drives a spindle,which in turn drives a rubber 'idler wheel', which drives against the inside of the platter. The old Dansettes used this principle, as did the classic Garrards (301/401) many of which are still in use and sounding amazing. Thorens used a slight further variation in which a small belt sits between the spindle and the idler. A classic 1960s Thorens TD 124 is a thing of beauty. Much attention is paid to the motor in belt drive designs. AC, as you know depends upon the frequency of the mains for its speed. Simple motor power supplies are at the mercy of the mains and can also introduce 'cogging' effects, but Linn and others have long since introduced fancy 'off board' power supplies which seek to solve this by using electronics to 're-generate' a constant AC signal at the correct frequency for the motor. The Linn supplies also apply a high voltage at start up which then drops back in operation to minimise transmission of motor effects via the belt to the platter. As you'd expect, these boxes of tricks are far from cheap and a whole industry has developed offering cheaper/'better' alternatives. As you also know, DC motors vary speed according to voltage. They generally tend to have fewer adverse effects on sound, and so long as they can be fed a constant voltage, tend to sound more natural to these ears. Numerous companies produce whole decks, or just 'after market' conversions, using DC motors with 'fancy' power supplies. My Michell deck was originally designed with a fixed AC motor, which was later made 'free standing' and later still DC. Mine has a 'servo' power supply system which uses some sort of electrical feedback to constantly monitor and correct speed. Works for me! Long ago I thought that maybe some sort of 'falling weight' mechanical system, similar to some pendulum clock drives, might work, by eliminating motors and electricity from the drive system. Seems it also has been thought about by others.. 'Nothing new under the Sun' !! Col
  9. Vinyl discs

    Hi Dave, The process is generally called 'phono equalisation' or EQ. It is why most amplifiers 'back in the day' had a specific input labelled 'phono'. This input had a 'phono EQ' circuit inside to 'do the business' and plugging straight from pick up to any other input would produce a very quiet, tinkly sound with no bass. So, apart from knowing to use the dedicated 'phono' input, most of us were oblivious to 'phono EQ' issues. And of course with Dansettes etc., everything was wired together in one box so it wasn't an issue. As far as I know, this sort of electrical 'fiddling' with the signal has existed since electrical recording was introduced around 1926. Bass notes produce bigger groove 'excursions', which are both harder for a stylus to trace, and also take up more space on a record side. So the bass cut and treble boost are introduced electonically at the record 'cutting' stage and must be reversed electronically by a 'phono pre-amp' or 'EQ stage', somewhere between the pick up and the amplifier. It seems that pre-vinyl, in the 78 era, companies tended to use their own EQ, but sometime post WW2 the Recording Industry Association of America, or RIAA 'curve' was introduced to standardise the process. I believe there have been revised RIAA standards since, and then some engineers use slight variations on it to get a sound they want, but at least in theory, every 'phono EQ' stage should do, and sound, the same. These days, most amplifiers do not have a dedicated 'phono' input and so you need to use a separate 'Phono Stage'/'Phono pre-amp' between the record player and the amp. These can be had from about £50 up to 'How b****y much!!!!?'. I use an all valve one made by Esoteric Audio Research (EAR) and designed by well known valve designer and audio lunatic Tim De Paravicini. Cost me £450ish 20+ years ago and now sells for around £1400, but you can pay much, much more. There are even more issues, involving 'step up' transformers etc., when you get to fancy ( and expensive) moving coil cartridges which have very low signal output, but I won't go there... Col
  10. Vinyl discs

    P.S. The thing that constantly delights me about vinyl, is that it can achieve quite staggeringly good reproduction. Low surface noise, great clarity and frequency response, but with a 'live' and 'real' sound which with CD always seems to be just a bit 'distant and detached'. I don't subscribe to the usual media tripe about 'warm' sounding etc. It sounds right.. and so right that the odd slight pop or click doesn't detract. Vinyl is innefficient. It costs megabucks to do right and eventually your record and stylus wear out. It reminds me of Steam locos. They too are high maintenance, expensive and ultmately inefficient. But Oh my!... they are pleasing!! Vinyl is beset with problems. It is after all an electro/mechanical system in which a tiny diamond is dragged 'kicking and screaming' through a 'canyon' of vinyl. The 'wiggling' of the stylus moves a little coil of wire relative to a set of magnets. ( Moving Coil or MC cartridge), or vice versa ( Moving Magnet or MM cartridge) and this tiny signal then has to be amplified many times in order to provide a 'Line Level' signal which can then be fed into an amplifier. What's more, the original music signal is deliberately altered to cut bass and boost treble, which produces a groove which is easier for a stylus to trace and takes up less space on a record. This process must be completely and exactly reversed electrically, to produce listenable music. Also, the turntable has to rotate consistently at the right speed, unaffected by 'stylus drag' (which may or may not actually exist), mains electrics issues/variations etc. There must be no 'break through' of motor noise and no susceptibility to the music from the speakers 'feeding back' through the turntable. Also the turntable must be sufficiently isolated from other extraneous noises and vibrations such as passing traffic, footfall etc. The tonearm must be very free to move both laterally and vertically, but without any trace of slackness in its bearings, which will cause vibrations and tracking errors. All tonearms have natural resonances, by virtue of their length. These must be suppressed.. somehow.. It's a bloody hopeless task really, but I love the way that 60+ years of development has led to something wonderful. And all above said. I cut my teeth on juke boxes and Dansettes. Col
  11. Vinyl discs

    It's been done Brew. I can't recall the name of the company but I'll soon track it down. Also a year or so back there was a cartridge which I think used a laser to transmit the stylus movement to an optical pick up, though I can't recall the claimed benefits. Edit. The company I recall, at least 10 years ago, was 'Finial'. It looks now as if a Japanese Co. called ELP is selling laser turntables. Lots of sites listed here.: Optical Cartridge here: Col
  12. Vinyl discs

    Only just spotted this. The short answer is that there is no single 'ideal' weight. All cartridges and styli come with a recommended 'tracking weight', or 'stylus downforce'. It is recommended by the manufacturer and is I think partly related to the 'compliance' ( the stiffness or otherwise of the stylus suspension) of the cartridge and maybe also the stylus 'profile'. ( Some are conical, some elliptical and some just plain strange...) A properly set up stylus/tonearm combination should track a decent record without issue. On the old Dansettes and similar, this was all factory set and suited the standard 'TC8' stylus. Some other players may only have a stylus downforce adjustment and maybe adjustable 'bias force'. Skipping can be caused by damage to the grooves, allowing the stylus to 'skip' sideways and miss part of the music, or to keep following the same bit of groove over and over. This can't really be fixed, though I have sort of done it by putting a bit of candle wax over the 'skip' and letting the stylus 'cut', a path through that. But then you hear it. Some skips are caused by something sticking to the surface of the record and this can often be felt with a finger and carefully flicked off by a ( finger .. not 6" ...) nail. The mind boggles at what such 'adhesions' might be, but I'd recommend trying not to sneeze on your records... If the tonearm has adjustable 'Bias' this can cause skipping and mistracking if incorrectly adjusted. Adding a coin is a solution, but not ideal. It is likely increasing the tracking force hugely which will quickly damage the record, or the stylus. Better to fix the original problem. Sometimes, the travel of the tonearm across the record might be a bit 'tight' at some point for some reason ( a sticky bearing, a trapped tonearm wire, or a dragging Bias weight cord) This will cause sticking at the same point on each record and the only cure is to I.D. the problem and fix it. In the early days of vinyl some pick ups were tracking at tens of grams. By the 60s and 70's some people were trying to track records at much less than a gram. These days, most cartridges track somewhere around 1.5 to 2 grams. Set it too heavy and it will damage record and stylus. Set it too light and it will 'mis- track' by bouncing about in the groove rather than sitting securely and properly tracing it. This will cause audible distortion and record damage. When you get into the realm of 'posh' cartridges which can cost anything from a few tens of £s up to £5k or more, it is always worth experimenting by adjusting the stylus force a bit either side of the recommended figure. Roughly speaking, a little heavier gives more bass, lighter gives a bit less. The ideal is to find the 'sweet spot', where that individual cartridge seems to track happily and sounds 'right'. With more sophisticated tonearms there are lots of other potential adjustments, such as stylus 'azimuth', 'stylus rake angle' etc. Then there's the issue of matching the cartridge 'compliance ' ( springiness) to the 'effective' mass of the tonearm. I'm going to stop now.. but trust me, whole books have been written about this stuff and some people have even read them... The 'easy' version. The 'lunatic' fringe.. Col
  13. How's your day?

    Lazy day. Did a lot of not much in particular. Mrs Col out till late so I knocked up a simple supper for one... Pan Fried Pork Fillets with Mushroom Gravy, Sprouts and Duck Fat Roasted Potatoes... as you do....
  14. Mrs Col, who is determined that she will never be able to learn how to use my hi-fi system, mentioned that she'd been looking for a CD version of Carole King's 'Tapestry' album. I remember 'going off' this album many years ago.. I don't recall why. Still, I dug out our original 1971 vinyl copy. OMG!!! It is soooooo good! So, I'm doing a 'rip' from the vinyl to CD for Mrs Col. Well it seems it won't let me choose the song I wanted.. but whatever.. the whole album is briliant. Col
  15. How's your day?

    Been a bit busy last couple of days. Weds I went back to optician with my new specs. Very uncomfortable on the nose. A slight tweak helped, but they still need a bit of work. Yesterday ( Thurs) was another Cavern day out with Picko. The train in from St Helens to Liverpool was absolutely packed. Perfect storm of a previous cancellation, plus kids still off school and the first day of the Grand National Meet... Had a good play with my new camera in the Cav and a few pics may appear in the photo thread, but mostly I was playing with the video functions. Video is very clear and with great sound considering no separate 'mic' input, but I can't yet hold the camera as still as my phone. We'll get there. As a bonus, there was an unadvertised question and answer session in the Cavern Lounge featuring Earl Slick. I'd only barely heard of this guy, but he played on lots of David Bowie's albums as well as Lennon's and many others. He gave some very interesting insights into the whole process of creating music with the likes of Bowie, Lennon Well worth being there and I grabbed a few pics and vids. We've been quite good the last few times, but yesterday we overdid the 'pop' a bit.... Today first thing. Back to the new Doc's to have an annoying 'thing' taken off my back. Apparently a 'sebbhoreic keratosis' which is harmless. But they can itch and this one was becoming a right pain in the back . The doc actually took two off. So I have a massive plaster over my left shoulder and it's 'smarting' a bit. After care instructions. 'Keep the dressing dry for 48 hours'. 'After this a shower is advisable' I should flippin' well think a shower IS advisable after 48 hours...... Now.. still trying to figure out how this works. but I've been invited to go to Amsterdam next week for a Liam Gallagher gig. £121 inc flights, two nights in a hotel and entry to the 'gig' on the guest list... Never been to Amsterdam and the weather looks set fair... Hmm.. Col