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Thread: Audio Store(s) on Oahu?

  1. #26

    Default Re: Audio Store(s) on Oahu?

    Well, I called Audio Directions, and he said he couldn't help me with my Sansui 5500 amp. He sent me to Edgar Audio on Auahi St. (521-3818), but he said that the unit is just too old. He said he'd expect to find corroding capacitors inside the box, and by the time he got it fixed it would be upwards of $300-$400.

    That might be okay if I wanted to try to sell it on e-Bay, but I've seen several of these there, and they don't come close to those prices.

    Ah well, the Onkyo TX-8011 might work. It's got the right kind of speaker connections, it's got a phono input, and it's more than powerful enough. It's also on sale at Circuit City.
    Last edited by Linkmeister; February 15th, 2006 at 03:31 PM. Reason: Spec

  2. #27

    Default Re: Audio Store(s) on Oahu?

    I bought the Onkyo, and I'm now frustrated by the awful FM antenna. It's a little wire you're supposed to insert into a 75ohm plug, and of course the wire bends like crazy. Rather than fight that battle any longer (10 minutes of pushing/twisting yesterday) I'm thinking of an FM dipole antenna. Do they come with F-connectors? Anyone know?

    Those are (I think) the plugs (like the one on the back of the Onkyo) which have a teeny-tiny hole if female, or if male have a longish stiff wire (think coax cable plugs).

  3. #28
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    Default Re: Audio Store(s) on Oahu?

    This is what I did on the back of my Technic's Surround sound receiver with that same kind of 75-ohm connector. But I got a right angle Type-F female-to-BNC adapter and threw on a 2-meter handheld rubber duckie antenna both purchased at Honolulu Electronics.

    The whole antenna sits upright behind the receiver and is a pretty close match to the wavelength of commercial FM broadcasts. Plus it looks cool too!

    As for Sansui, yeah the risks of vintage audio is in fact the aging capacitors. These things eventually dry up or leak. Either way they lose their capacitance thru loss of it's dielectric properties. JUST LIKE BATTERIES, and to replace virtually all of them (except the ceramic/disk type) can be very expensive.

  4. #29
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    Default Re: Audio Store(s) on Oahu?

    Quote Originally Posted by Linkmeister
    Those are (I think) the plugs (like the one on the back of the Onkyo) which have a teeny-tiny hole if female, or if male have a longish stiff wire (think coax cable plugs).

    Females with teeny-tiny holes and males with longish stiff wires...hmmmm...I thought we were talking FM antennas here!

  5. #30

    Default Re: Audio Store(s) on Oahu?

    Quote Originally Posted by craigwatanabe
    Females with teeny-tiny holes and males with longish stiff wires...hmmmm...I thought we were talking FM antennas here!
    Well, you find a better way of describing it!

    I think I'll check CC and BB for antennas before I go to Honolulu Electronics, but thanks for the pointer. My goodness, their website is underdeveloped. If you click on "Antennas" you get a list of manufacturers with the names linked to the mfrs' respective websites. Hmm. Looks like an in-house design by somebody in a hurry, with little idea of "user-friendliness" or even sales/marketing.

  6. #31

    Default Re: Audio Store(s) on Oahu?

    Okay, Craig. I just bought an FM Antenna at Best Buy; $15.01 with Auntie Linda's share. Works like a charm, and the sound through my speakers is wonderful. I should change stations to KHPR and see what classical sounds like through them.

    Interestingly, Radio Shack sells ribbon dipole wire for $5.99; same thing (same length, too) at CC is $3.99. Then you'd have to buy an F-connector, and RS's choices are mostly for TV, not audio. CC has even fewer choices for the things. I decided I'd rather have a little wall-hanging gadget than a ribbon strung out across the room.

  7. #32
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    Default Re: Audio Store(s) on Oahu?

    anyone heard from stewart? his store lease expired and had to close shop in late Nov/early Dec...

  8. #33

    Default Re: Audio Store(s) on Oahu?

    I haven't seen this thread until now, and with the talk of high-end audio gear here, I feel I need to comment.

    When I was younger, I used to be into high-end audio. I spent what little money I had on an NAD receiver, Nakamichi tape deck and Boston Acoustics speakers. It was just entry-level gear, but I thought was hi-fi heaven.

    Then I got a job in the service department of a local high-end audio/video store called Honolulu Audio & Video. I got to take apart, poke around inside, test and play around with a lot of cool equipment. Martin Logan, Nakamichi, NAD, Adcom, Wilson Audio, Carver, Mark Levinson, etc.

    My experience at Honolulu Audio & Video left me completely disillusioned. After working there, I care less about what kind of audio gear I have than before. As long as it sounds "good", I'm fine. I don't care to spend considerably more money to go from "good" to "great" because, I've found, it's all ambiguously subjective. What sounds good to people (including myself) doesn't actually have much to do with price or technical specs. If it sounds good, it sounds good.... even if it looks like it shouldn't on paper... or on the invoice.

  9. #34
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    Default Re: Audio Store(s) on Oahu?

    OH Yes!!!! Thank you for that last post!!!!!

    As an audiophile who has heard the best too, after a while the ears just aren't as discerning anymore and whatever sounds good to you should be the deciding factor, not specs.

    But when people talk high end one name comes to mind and that's Southwest Technical Products Tigersauris 001 mono blocks with a THD (Total Harmonic Distortion) of 0.001% THD. Built as a kit this sucker was impressive and quite cheap too.

    Another famous monoblock amplifier was the Ampzilla which had a THD rating of 0.05% Not as good as SWT but still impressive: http://www.ampzilla2000.com/Amp_History.html

  10. #35
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    Default Re: Audio Store(s) on Oahu?

    (Way way way) back in high school days, it was a weekly routine for us to hit Samsung Electronics on Koreamoku and Shirokiya Ala Moana and drool over the latest high end stuff they had in stock. Remember the Nakamichi "Dragon" tape deck? On the affordable "consumer" line, Sansui and Pioneer were more popular back then than they are now. Today it's "Sonyville".

    I'd record my newest metal album on metal oxide cassette (wow! lol) and take it to the store and crank it. The guys at Samsung were especially cool, once letting me play Tom Sawyer LOUD in it's entirety.

    You really haven't seen electronics/audio stores until you take a walk down Akihabara, in Tokyo, Japan. They have department stores where each floor just has a specific component: 1st floor: TVs;. 2nd floor: Receivers and amps; 3rd floor - turntables (what's that?); 4th floor - cassette decks; 5th floor - speakers. You'll feel like a kid in a candy store. Totally insane.

    My friend had these 2-way bookshelf speakers by Mirage. For the small size, those suckers sure sounded fantastic, with rich, full-hearted bass and crisp, detailed, accurate highs.

  11. #36
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    Default Re: Audio Store(s) on Oahu?

    Akihabara...that's the kind of place that makes geeks drool uncontrollably

  12. #37

    Default Re: Audio Store(s) on Oahu?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pomai View Post
    Remember the Nakamichi "Dragon" tape deck?
    I hated those! They were such a pain to work on. I didn't think they were that great, either. IMO, the CR-7 was a much better deck. If you really needed the auto-reverse, then the RX-505. If you simply wanted the best cassette deck in the world, then the 1000ZXL. The Dragon was only cool because of its name.

    What was really cool, though, was Nakamichi's Dragon Turntable. It was this awful-looking humongous thing, but it could wobble its platter in rhythm to compensate for records that had the center hole slightly off. It was cool to watch. I know there was a Dragon CD player too, but I've never seen one.

    Before working at HAV, Nakamichi was a brand I held in high regard. When I saw that, on the inside, they're really no different than Pioneer, Kenwood, or any other decent entry-level brand, my little Nakamichi fanboy heart was crushed. It was all just marketing and hype. The equipment itself was quite ordinary. The high-end Nakamichi stuff was truly high-end, high quality stuff... but their entry level models were just overpriced average stuff. In fact, it was like that for most brands.


    Quote Originally Posted by Pomai
    My friend had these 2-way bookshelf speakers by Mirage. For the small size, those suckers sure sounded fantastic, with rich, full-hearted bass and crisp, detailed, accurate highs.
    Mirage was probably my favorite brand of speaker we sold at HAV. A lot of the self-proclaimed audiophiles claimed they sounded like crap, but I really liked them.

    That's another thing that disillusioned me. It seemed no two audiophiles could agree on anything. You would think that the best equipment sounded good to everyone, but there was never one thing that everyone always liked. Even our ridiculously expensive Wilson Audio WATT/Puppy speakers had its critics, and I thought they sounded awesome.

    That's how I came to the conclusion that you should just buy what sounds good to you. No matter what it is, what the tech specs say, or what brand name it is, there will always be a lot of people who will think it sounds like crap. Conversely, if you don't think something sounds good, there will be lots of people who swear it's the best-sounding stuff they've ever heard.

  13. #38
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    Default Re: Audio Store(s) on Oahu?

    One brand I was surprized to find decent quality was Yamaha's Natural Sound series. Great sound at a relatively low cost. I still have a Yamaha Natural Sound graphic equalizer.

    Anyone remember Hafler? They were high end kit systems. Even the older H.H. Scott receivers were sold in kits.

    Talking about Nakamichi, I had the Nakamichi 550 portable stereo cassette tape recorder. Carol King recorded parts of her Tapestry album off of one of these.

  14. #39

    Default Re: Audio Store(s) on Oahu?

    Quote Originally Posted by craigwatanabe View Post
    Akihabara...that's the kind of place that makes geeks drool uncontrollably
    I was there a few years ago. Felt like a cross between swap meet and circuit city. Not very many REAL electronics stores - the kind that sell transistors, resistors, etc. Still kinda cool, but not as good as I was expecting.

  15. #40
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    Default Re: Audio Store(s) on Oahu?

    anybody know at all when Stewart's Audio Directions shop will reopen--and where???

  16. #41

    Default Re: Audio Store(s) on Oahu?

    Quote Originally Posted by hawaiiguy View Post
    anybody know at all when Stewart's Audio Directions shop will reopen--and where???
    2122 Young St
    Honolulu, HI 96826

    (808) 258-1293
    http://www.audiodirectionltd.com

  17. #42
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    Red face Re: Audio Store(s) on Oahu?

    Stewart's shop had opened last november..glad he is in better health..

    Shop is definitely smaller...more real life listening conditions..with near-field listening....

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