Evo reviewed

This was quite a lump sum for me to pay out to be frank. But here’s why I did it: I had a demo against a Dali Oberon 5 and a similar Mordant-Short floorstander. Both are fabulous because I got the fizzy feeling from favourite records. These choices are, ultimately, a gut instinctive selection. One record played was a Laurie Anderson album that I have known since the late 80s, and I heard something I’ve never noticed before. There’s no going back, I knew I was going to spend some money that evening.
The guys at Preston were very attentive in the demo and gave me all the time I needed. Soon, the conversation turned to practicalities like delivery slots and cables.
Setup at home was easy. The boxes were huge but we’ll thought out. Unboxing was fun, especially when I found the curator’s cotton gloves to handle the speakers with. Unboxing is a special ritual that you never get with secondhand gear and Wharfedale played along with that. The speakers themselves were in a cloth bag tied with a bow. It just gets better.

Curator’s gloves.

Anyway, I’m working through my record collection and discovering details that I’ve never known before. In one, you can tell that studio reverb was done with a metal sheet rather than a digital effects box. Another, there are footprints across the room. It’s uncanny. More importantly, I’m enjoying the rhythms and dynamics in ways I’d not imagined possible.

(Can you tell I like my new speakers?)

Cyrus boxes.

Lots of boxes, look! It’s took some setting up. First, the right channel was very crackly; left, dead!

It’s all working, at last.
  • Cyrus DAC-XP (pre amp with built in DAC);
  • Cyrus CDt transport, (it does the mechanical spinning and stuff);
  • Cyrus Two and PSX, (running for the mm phono head amp and switching)
  • Cyrus Mono-X, two monoblock power amps. One for each speaker, bi-wired)

The supplied Cyrus interconnect cables were faulty. I thought it was the new plugs on the speaker cables. The fault lay with home soldered cables on QED wires. They are old and suffer from dry solder. I should sling them out really. It took lots of swapping and replugging to eliminate suspects. Now I know, and I’m now bathed in beautiful music (Roomful of Teeth).

The current cables are cheap and nasty patch cords. The whole set will sound better than this when they are replaced.

There is more to come, next week arrives the last parts.

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Goldring 1042.

New stylus after many many years. I’ve lost track of how long. When LP was my main source I always had a good idea how much life was left, but not in recent times. Anyway, after many years, I got a replacement and upgrade at the same time.

Goldring 1042

From the word go, it sounds much better. The treble has much more going on and with sweeter clarity. The change is significant.

I have most of the previous used stylii in a box. Many have the date or length of time used written on. The shorted was just over a year in 18 months to a few years looks like an average. The op me I’ve just taken off, though, must have been there well over ten years.

Since I play CDs more, my next step is a CD player upgrade. I’m hoping it will bring up the quality up to match the LP12 Sondek.

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Polly, is that you?

On an evening visit to Port de’Antrax, we took the kids for an end of holiday drinky. It was nice but I wasn’t expecting what came next.

We plodded back towards the carpark and a voice said “is he an art teacher?”. Polly from QMHS was there with her bloke and son. It was such a thrill to have such an unlikely unlikely encounter. Yes I was her art teacher from about 10 years ago. She was from a small group of cool kids that stuck in your memory.

Good grief Friday

Warming up. 15+°C, thin sunshine.


This patch of render is under a gutter that has leaked in the past in heavy rain. The render detached and I levered it off this morning. When the sealant is dry I can spread the first layer of mortar here.


It’s not that easy. The render layer worked well. Then you add a thinner layer of mortar to take the stones. With a trowel, literally throw the stones into the we mortar. Problem was, a lot of them didn’t stick.


A5 sketchbook, acrylic paint

From photos of a graveyard statues. The stone must have been beautifully carved, perhaps in the 1920s. Now it has weathered and has lichen growing on it. Some surfaces show the paths of decades of rain. Some of these have probably endured 100 winters, thousands of rainstorms and hot summer’s days. Lichem makes up most of the discolouration though there is moss in places too.

These are all on A5 cartridge paper with acrylic paints. Each has an acrylic ground which is dry before the image is started. There is no pencil makring up. Layers of paint are added as thin glases.