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Showing posts from 2016

Dr. Jose P. Rizal

In commemoration of our national hero's martyrdom on December 30, 1896, let's reflect upon a few words of wisdom he left behind. They are very relevant today as they were over a hundred years ago.

On Education:
"My countrymen, I have given proofs that I am one most anxious for liberties for our country, and I am still desirous of them. But I place as a prior condition the education of the people, that by means of instruction and industry our country may have an individuality of its own and make itself worthy of these liberties."



What Rizal stood for:
"I do not write for this generation. I am writing for other ages. If this could read me, they would burn my books, the work of my whole life. On the other hand, the generation which interprets these writings will be an educated generation; they will understand me and say: 'Not all were asleep in the night time of our grandparents.'"




Dr. Rizal'sNoli Me Tangereand El Filibusterismo have been required r…

November Hifi Show 2016 Report

Sierra Audio
Back in the late 90s, I frequented a west coast based website, Sierra-Brooks, that featured beautiful hand crafted wooden horns. Half of that partnership was Victor Sierra, a Filipino from Cebu City. In the interim, Victor had been busy managing their family business. The local audio community warmly welcomed their premiere participation in this event!

Their demo featured 3-way horn loaded speakers.


Driven by a stereo SE45 designed and crafted by one of his collaborators (below, left) using locally wound transformers by Edrel Sison

Congratulations Victor (right). Good job!
Friends in Audio 

This group of audio enthusiasts featured a 2-way horn system + super tweeter using my favorite Altec 414 woofer and a handmade wooden horn driven by an Altec 806A + EV T-35 super tweeter. At the front end was a Garrard 301 with a locally crafted linear tracking tonearm. A custom tube preamp and amp completed the system. 


Harana/Setup/Tono

Garrard 401 with a Dynavector DV507 tonearm fi…

NATO'ed Vostoks

Vostok Amphibia 420432 

Lug width = 18mm


Vostok Amphibia 110640

Lug width = 22mm

November Hi-Fi Show 2016

The one and only Hi-Fi event in the Philippines, a must-see for enthusiasts in Manila!

Sneak peek of what you'll see and hear in room 447 (Harana/Setup/Tono)


Stuff I regret flippin'...

...in the early days because I was an idiot ;( 

In the summer of '86, I acquired my first Thorens TD124 equipped with the above tonearm at an estate auction for $1!!! I kept and used the turntable but the plastic cover of the counterweight was cracked so I replaced it with a Sumiko MMT. I eventually sold this tonearm for $10. I didn't know what an Ortofon SMG212 was then.

I purchased a box lot of tubes and parts for $5 at a hamfest which contained one of these. Later that day, I accepted a $15 offer for the transformer. I've been looking for another one since...

Found one at a flea market for two bucks and flipped it at a hamfest for $20. I didn't know it was an Altec 3000B, the phenolic horn looked too cheesy.

je2a3 amp

Twenty three years ago, I built my first 2A3 amp in the basement of the very same house I'm staying in right now. This was a pair of PP2A3 amps with a Mullard-Style driver circuit pumping 8W per channel of pure Class A to drive 82dB/1W/1M (in)efficient BBC LS3/5As, with external preamplification.


As I enter another phase in life, I am back in the same house, mellower with age but hopefully wiser, building a single channel, single-ended 2A3 amp with 3.5W output to drive a 99dB/1M/1W efficient Altec 2-way horn system, with a phono and line stage on board.


This project started with a chassis and choke (amongst other things) handed over by Joe Roberts at the Capital Audio Fest last July. Additional parts were either donated by my hamfest/radio show buddy, Chong Ong or ordered online, like the Hammond 272X power transformer, which came from Steve at Angela Instruments. Back in the 90s, I could have built this amp (except for the output transformer) using parts sourced from hamfests an…

Raleigh Twenty

If there were such a thing as a classic folding bike, it'd have to be the Raleigh Twenty, sold from the late 60s until the early 80s. The late Sheldon Brown was very fond of this machine. 
Although it was available in the USA, these are a lot easier to find in their home country, the UK, and its other former colonies like Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Canada.
Super Cycle Twenty

Fortunately for me, my brother who lived in Toronto patiently scoured Kijiji classifieds and found me this Canadian version - Super Cycle Twenty. He liked it enough that he bought himself the rarer 451 wheeled version.


My all-original Super Cycle Twenty with 406 wheels after assembly, which is in such good condition that only a culture vandal would dare do modifications to it.


Sadly, I had to leave these two British classics behind ;(


Restomod Project

I miss the Super Cycle Twenty so when the opportunity came to rescue  a Raleigh Twenty that had been exposed to harsh elements, it became the perf…

70s Vintage Folding Bikes - Picnik and Rapido

I love bicycles BUT I don't like bike racks... ...so at the beginning of the summer I started scouting Craigslist for folding bikes. We finally got a deal on four vintage folding bikes in various conditions of disrepair from a bike shop in Pottstown, PA. 

Three of them, disassembled, fit in the trunk. But the nicest of the bunch, the Italian Picnik, deserved a spot in the rear seat.

The Raleigh Twenty was in the worst condition, a long-term project that will be discussed in a future entry.
Picnik - aka Amica or Graziella

This single speed coaster brake Italian beauty just needed cleaning, lubrication and a new set of tires and inner tubes to get back on the road. I thought about flipping this around for a quick profit but da boss loved it and decided to keep it as a collectible ;)
Rapido from Czechoslovakia

The green unit is a single speed coaster brake model while the gold frame is equipped with an early Shimano 333 3-speed internal gear hub. Unusual for 1970s bicycles, both have…