Sacred and Profane

I leave it up to you to decide which is which. Two hours up, and two hours back with a brief visit to Chico sandwiched between 220 miles of driving – but the folks up there are awful nice and the so-clean vintage Sansui receiver fits my needs well.
The speaker boxes are a bit rough and I removed the little foot/stands (one kinda removed itself). The look like somebody left them out on the lawn for a week after a summer party, so we knocked the price back a smidge and I have a little wood-shop project to attend-to. Maybe strip and re-veneer? I left them out in the garage but they sounded soooo good running out an even less powerful (and less well-kept) vintage Kenwood receiver. The speaker-guy was a genuine lust-for-life jolly fellow and nobody can fault that. Then speaker grille fabric had a generous sampling of dog fur, but that’s nothing – they are impossible to break and will last forever.
The receiver-dude was not a hipster, clean and neatly pressed he drove a Culligan truck – and had a collection of even more vintage amps and receivers, and also a variety-collection of the same Klipsch speakers. Who knew a quiet mid-level College burg could hide such talent? But the town is the world HQ of Sierra Nevada Brewing and its’ founder and owner/operator is a Chico-college dropout who went on to bigger and better things and has an endowed chair in the science of brew-making at the school. They have a lab where they use a mass-spectrometer to analyze the stages and content of the esters in the brewing process. Not too shabby.

About NotClauswitz

The semi-sprawling adventures of a culturally hegemonic former flat-lander and anti-idiotarian individualist, fleeing the toxic cultural smug emitted by self-satisfied lotus-eating low-land Tesla-driving floppy-hat wearing lizadroid-Leftbat Califorganic eco-tofuistas ~

10 thoughts on “Sacred and Profane

  1. Shared a house in Sunnyvale in the late 70’s, that the owner had bought new in ’65/’66. Paid about $15k for the house, and about $1.5k for the stereo system at the same time. Marantz console, with speaker boxes that looked like Danish Modern. About 5ft tall, with Rolls Royce speakers (one each). Driven by a selectable output amp, that ran the speakers on 16 ohm. I got my BIL to fix the tuner. I think he replaced the Zener Diodes with rectifiers. BIL wanted to buy the Marantz tuner, said it was probably better than his new tuner (that looked like your latest acquisition) That’s when we discovered the speaker cones were shot. Owner got them re-coned. WOW! The sound was just stunning from that system. I’m guessing that was pretty much the top of the line of the old tube type systems.

    (in the mid 80’s, an identical house two doors down sold for $750k) (lousy house, no insulation, floor to ceiling single pane glass everywhere, with forced air heat. Cost $3-400/month to heat it. Eichler copy)


    • A serious friend of the family, who has run a business as a stereophile for the last 25 years, used to run a complete tube system. This was the late 80’s-early 90’s, and I remember him replacing tubes periodically. He (and others) swore by them.

      He also built speakers of his own design, including the crossovers. I still have a pair that he built me for high-school graduation; seriously, they each weigh about 30 lbs., and they’re small console speakers.


    • It’s a good thing this Sansui only has 60-watts or the neighbors would hate me. OTOH the new yout’ renters around the corner with BASS could learn a lesson if I had a good 200-watts of f-u.
      The speakers are indestructible, but I’m not a concert promoter. We’ll have to see how they work in the new house, and how well I work there…


  2. Old school audio? I’m down with that! I have an old (pre-Superscope) Marantz sitting around here. Needs some repair, as it got stupidly damaged in a mishap while I was moving. Probably cost more to get it fixed than it’s worth, but damnit, I like that old beast. Do you rember flywheel tuning? Damn thing is heavy too.

    I don’t have a multi-media A/V sound system, I have a STEREO system. One of these days, I’ll resurrect the old Dual turntable, see if I can fix the speed control, and put a decent cartridge in it. Yes, I own vinyl. What else would an old fart such as myself own – I used to by 45’s. Still have every LP I ever bought, except one I gave to friend as a graduation present. Holes and Melo Roles, by Gabe Kaplan. That was some stupid funny shit, from before the TV show days. And one I lost – not sure how/when that happened. It was a direct to digital recording of the Firebird performed by the Atlanta Symphony, under Robert Shaw — an amazingly good recording. I’ve since replaced it on CD.


    • I DO remember flywheel tuning! My dad had an old RCA cabinet radio from his Mom that had a massive flywheel-effect and a semi-oscilloscope tuner – it was like this green Eye of Sauron, that got wide or narrow depending oh how it was tuned. Sold in the 70’s to an enthusiast…(Update: or it was a Zenith).


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