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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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.

A life in a day

All that remains

Driving out from home, I have to wait for traffic to clear. Too many times, I take a moment to set some music on the car stereo then look up to see all the gaps have gone and I have to wait.
This time, I notice a bird standing on the road just next to the cycle-lane marking. It has a short tail, about 14cm tall and is stationary. it looks confused, perhaps a flegling on its first day out. Traffic though.

In a split second, a black 4×4 passes and with a crunch, it has gone. In that split second, the large wheel reduces 14cm heigh down to a few millimeters. A snapping crunch makrs the breaking of all its bones at once. All that is left is a pad of feathers and a patch wet meat.

That was it, a life gone. All that potential lost. I drove out when clear but that image troubled me for many days. It seemed to symbolise all that is futile. I can remember all of the times an animal has lost its life; dove, a female phesant, a squirrel on the morotway.

Plastering and spawning.

17°C, light W, mostly sunny.

Ants’ nest

They are spawning, the ants. In this tussock they build a pyramid of soil and winged males and females are all over it. I didn’t realise what was going on at first and accidentally disturbed the structure. I side were eggs and more drones. The cone of soil seems quite fragile, I have not seen one before like this. I’m used to seeing spawning from paving slabs, but not this.

Last hole.

Today, I removed the dining room radiator ready for wallpapering. This is the third radiator that hides damaged plaster in this house. This time, the resulting hole is small, only he size of my hand. Newly plastered, it’s drying now. I hope to finish this room by Thursday.


8°C, calm after a storm.

I didn’t look forward to going up the ladder bit it had to be done. Another bout of heavy rain loomed. There were still gusts with some force which took the ladder before I could secure it. In response, I got rope and tied the top and bottom rungs to fence posts.

The broken and crumbling tiles were tricky to remove. One row was mailed and the others were interleaved and secures by their own weight.

Linseed Door

7°C, rain.

Got a cold so stayed in and worked on the house. This is the door to a cupboard which was panelled over, probably in the late 1970s. The panel cake off easily but the paint flaked and revealed its thickness. There were atm east 4 layers, the lower layers were even thicker and softened reluctantly under the heat gun. The yellow is rather shocking (probably 1980s) but the two colours beneath are interesting.

Those two lower paint coats needed more heat to soften and smelled different.

Now the door is finished and re-hung, the room smells of linseed oil. Is that the medium for old paints? I feel rather nostalgic about that smell, it reminds me of art college