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Reviewer's Bio

Clive Meakins
DIY Tube (a.k.a. Valves) Electronics, High-Efficiency Loudspeakers, Vinyl and CD

 

Clive Meakins

 

  Scary. I have just realized that I have been building various electronic circuits for 38 years. Most of these circuits have been audio related. It was 1992 when I started writing DIY articles for Hi-Fi News, the UK-based magazine. I reviewed the build process for hi-fi kits, mainly solid-state in those days, I would then comment on the sound of the kits as it was otherwise impossible to find independent views on how kits sounded. Readers were able to assess if the kits were suitable for them to build and how they would sound in their system. In 2002 I moved over Hi-Fi World, writing articles for the DIY section until 2004. 2005 saw my latest printed review in Hi-Fi News, the Welborne Labs 300B DRD.

I love music and building music-making equipment in almost equal quantities. Tube gear, especially single-end amplifiers are labor intensive to build and but not difficult to build. Low component counts make tube equipment easy to tweak and voice to your personal requirements. I just love messing with this stuff. Higher-efficiency, easy-to-drive loudspeakers suited to tubes also are rather specialized and are usually very cost effective as DIY projects.

My day job involves wireless equipment but mainly software and loads of travel. Finding time to build equipment can be a challenge at times.

My music tastes have very much broadened over the years, a few examples: Rock: Floyd, Stones, U2, Deep Purple, Zeppelin, The Who, The Doors, Cream, Mountain, Stevie Ray Vaughan

Softer rock/pop: Dire Straits, Kate Bush, Tracy Chapman, Jennifer Warnes, Sarah Brightman, Beth Orton

Tecno: Goldfrapp

Blues: John Lee Hooker, Clapton, Dana Gilliespie

Country influences: Mary Chapin Carpenter, Alison Krauss, Dixie Chicks, Kathy Mattea.

Jazz: Sonny Rollins, Stan Getz, Brubeck, Charles Mingus, John Coltrane

Classical: not the big symphonies, more Vivaldi, JS Bach, Mozart, Telemann

 

My System (subject to change!):

Sources
Garrard 301 on a DIY CLD plinth, Origin Live Encounter arm on an Oak arm board, Ortofon Kontrapunkt B, S&B TX103 setups in Bent Audio canisters.

DIY phono stage original design by Thorsten Loesch, design modified by Andrew Lehane: CCS & 6072

Meridian 588 CD player

Preamplifiers
S&B TX102 mkII transformer volume control
or, when I need gain:
Bruce Rozenblit Grounded Grid preamplifier

Power Amplifiers
Diyhifisupply Ladyday '91 300B SE amplifiers
Diyhifisupply Ladyday (Billie) 300B SE amplifiers
WAD Kat34 EL34 / KT88 push-pull amplifier

Loudspeakers
Bastanis Prometheus mkII Airforce Open Baffle loudspeakers and IB subwoofers
Visaton Topaz loudspeakers

Cables & Power
Interconnects: Nordost Red Dawn, Bastinis
Loudspeaker cable: Nordost Blue Heaven
Mains cable: DIY woven
Mains conditioning: 2 x Trichord Powerblock 1000

Hygiene
Lorcraft PRC3 record cleaner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     
 

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