Just messing about
Listen to the best in the Northwest


My audio system comprising of a Transcriptor hydraulic reference turntable, Quad 44 pre-amp, 405-2 amplifier and B&W 802 speakers.
The QED speaker switch box has been added to enable music to be sent to speakers located in different rooms.

Tilly is also a music lover. She is fascinated by the deck, hence the need to keep the lid closed

The youtube link below shows the deck spinning in the sunlight


The next link shows the deck playing devil in disguise by JJ Cale with Ortofon MC30 Supreme cartridge mounted


Here we see a few items of equipment necessary for maintenance and setting up and a nice budget Technics SL D2 deck which can be seen playing a track by JJ Cale www.youtube.com/watch

I still have my old faithful Yamaha CR 820 Receiver, purchased in the 70's updated this page with a few photos.
I considered buying the CR1020 or monster CR2020 at the time but neither would fit my shelf space.

See it in operation at www.youtube.com/watch


The Armstrong 626 receiver (photo below) could not perform as good as my other amplifiers and was subsequently mothballed.

 I enclose two more photographs showing my Thorens TD 160 and TD 145 MK II.
The TD145 was my first deck purchased new in the 70's.
The cartridge originally installed was the VMS20E MKII. It is now fitted with the Ortofon OM30 Super.
I love the sound from Ortofon cartridges!

My cartridge collection above shows my Transcriptor upgrade path fom the MC 10 Supreme
MC 20 Supreme and finally the MC 30 Supreme

Thorens TD 160
Listen to a couple of tracks played with a brilliant original Ortofon VMS20E cartridge mounted on this deck
Crazy Mama by JJ Cale    
Blue Hotel by Chris Isaak  


Thorens TD 145 MK2
Listen to this deck playing Devil In Disguise by JJ Cale with Ortofon OM30 Super cartridge mounted

I experimented recently with my Tandberg TCD 310 tape deck, as seen in the photo below. The sound quality was quite good, so recorded a few compilation tapes.
This is a basic 2 head deck.
The youtube link shows this deck in operation.



Ben Clarke is a singer songwriter who has recorded but not released many superb tracks over the years (see later article).
Many of the original tracks were recorded and mixed down on a Fostex 4 track recorder. The Tandberg deck below is being used at the moment to allow Ben's master tapes to be archived to CD

Tandberg TCD 310 Mk 1 tape deck

I  resurected my Aiwa AD 6900 but discovered that all three drive belts had turned to goo. It took a couple of days to replace the belts.
I then discovered an intermittent playback problem. After studying the circuit diagrams, I traced the problem to a fault in the audio mute circuit.I corrected this and the deck now records and plays back fine.
You can see it in operation here.

Aiwa AD 6900 Mk1

I carried out listening tests to compare my B&W and Tangent RS4 speakers.
The Tangents were my first hi-fi speakers purchased in the 70's. I spent half a day at auditioning the Tangent RS4 against the Tangent TM1, which were £100 cheaper. The RS4 just had the edge.
At this time they were reviewed against the Kef 103, another brilliant speaker, and were admired for their spaciousness. This was demonstrated by playing Tomita's version of "Mars" from the "Planet suite". The rocket launch at the beginning of the track must be heard to be believed.
I have now run speaker cables through to the living room and reinstated the Tangents as shown in the photo below

I am a self confessed vinyl addict and recognise the superior quality of analogue recordings but for convenience transfered some tracks onto my Creative Zen mp3 player.
I connected the Zen into my Quad 44 through the tape deck input. I selected random play and sat back to listen through my Tangent speakers.
What a disappointment, the music lost all presence.
I disconnected my Zen realising that it would only be useful as a portable player listening through headphones.This I often do late at night.



 A selection of my favourite albums can be seen below. The sleeve design can be as magnificent as the audio content 
However, iIf you must have one vinyl album in your collection it has to be "Carol of Harvest" by Carol of Harvest. The sleeve artwork is quite plain however  and is not shown below


Introducing the music written and performed by Ben Clarke

The only place to hear new tracks by Ben - click  here

The "Enter The Maze" EP, CD only, is now available from


 I Recently discovered Mandy Morton and Spriguns . "Things Will Pass" is a great LP. 

Some of my favourite albums being listened to at the moment listed below in no particular order

Mark Knopfler         Get Lucky
Mark Knopfler         Privateering
Eclection                Eclection
Faraway Folk          Seasonal Man
Legend                   Red Boot
Gravy Train             Staircase to the day
Francoise Hardy      Alone
Earl Hooker             Sweet black angel
Miller Anderson        Bright City
Michaelangelo          One voice many
Saraband                 Close to it all
Siren                       Strange locomation
Carol of harvest        Carol of harvest
P P Arnold               Kafunta
Denny Gerrard         Sinister morning
Bonnie Dobson         Morning Rain
J J Cale                   Special edition
Ben Clarke               Enter the maze
Allan Taylor              The Lady
Rodriguez                 Cold Fact
Peter Bardens          The Answer
The Blues Project     Projections
Folkal Point
Michael Raven and Joan Mills