Tuesday, March 13, 2012

the river.

I remember the early stories of the NY triode Mafia and how once herb mentioned something like circuits and sound should flow like a M-effin river.   Back in those days I was known as clippy for some unknown reason and recently things came home to me when an early 'drug through the hudson' strain gauge supply came back to me with a new owner.

To rip off herb, the blood and guts of the sound was well chosen quality parts.  The only trick thing on this unit was the inclusion of an early set of the Chapman remote autoformers.   In any event we fired it up last weekend for some listening and it was really nice to have an old reference back home for comparison to where things have gone.

The current equivalent to that circuit that I listen to daily sure makes the 'drug through the hudson look appealing to the end consumer so i guess i still have a lot of latent "clippy" hiding in my soul.

Everyone loves the 437A and I have to be honest that back in the day, $50 was a lot for a tube when I could get a 5842 or a 6c45 for 1/10th the price.  On Saturday we blasted through a bunch of alternatives in the "clippy rig" and it was very comforting that while each tube had its tone,  the sound was all great.

another thing to be addressed is the inherent inaccuracy of the historical strain gauge cartridges and how to adhere to that pesky riaa accuracy demanded by some of the all-knowing.  The clippy filter pictured above takes a device that has about a 5dB variation from an arbitrary zero to a 2dB variation.

the good news is... the filter just seems to change the presentation a bit and doesn't seem to have an impact on the emotion (tone) of the music.


  1. The sight of the "'drug through the hudson' strain gauge supply" on Audiogon a couple of months ago prompted me to start playing with a Strain Gauge cartridge. I already built a 6922 circuit that consists of a single "grounded grid" gain stage that uses the Strain Gauge to bias the cathode. So the tube biases the cartridge and viceversa.

    Very nice sound but, too me, thin on the bottom which seems to be consistent with how a displacement device responds vs RIAA. I've started experimenting with a step filter too. And I need to solve the phase invertion phenomenom in one channel. Maybe using transformers. Fun stuff!

    Xavier from Mexico

  2. fockin' A. I missed out, clippy!