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Dear Geoff,
I do apologize for not replying earlier however just to say that you made a superb job on my series 6 ferrograph m/c. for which I am most grateful,it looks and plays beautiful,the sound quality is superb.I will make a comment on your website soon.
Geoff you thoughts would be appreciated on the following....I have connected two Celestion 6 ohm speaker via the 15 ohm output on the m/c they sound good,however I was wondering whether it would be possible to remove the "dummy" head BP/904/C and replace it with FP14 unit (stereo unit).
If this were possible I could then get two plug extension leads UT and LT to couple to the rear of the machine.I feel confident in removing the existing head and replacing it with the FP14 unit,however it may entail further set up procedures in which case I would have to bring it to you sometime.If this procedure were possible could I use the existing tape to achieve the stereo effect?

In any event Geoff I am delighted with the results of this machine you kindly resurrected.

PS If the above is feasible maybe you could order me the unit and leads I could send you a cheque to cover this if you let me know the total cost

Kind Regards

Vic Dorling.

This is regarding a Ferrograph Series 6 machine. It should be pointed out that although many of the Ferrograph Series 4, 5 and 6 mono machines have the option to have a stereo playback head fitted instead of the dummy head, unless you have the Ferrograph Stereo playback amplifier or the facilities to amplify and process the signal directly from that head you will not be able to convert the machine too stereo operation. In addition, even if you are able to correctly use the stereo head it will be for playback only, you cannot record in stereo.


Now then.
The amp was running for 12 hours solid yesterday and my thoughts are as follows:
It's very detailed, Adele describes it as "clear". To me that's what you pay for, to have veils lifted between you and the source, The better the equipment the more veils should be lifted. After swithering between 4&8 ohms I like 8 currently, slightly edgier and the amp seems happier with it. I started by playing beautifully recorded music, (Ok, that's beautiful now for the old/live/rough stuff). Those one-take-recorded-in-a-room tunes really came to life. Thanks to your efforts I was there with them, the sound is what it was and when Raymond Scott's clarinet player goes "PUHH" into his mouthpiece in 1937 we could hear it across the years. The amp has depth, clarity and a broad and accurate soundstage even from poor sources. It was able to make sense of hand held mike recordings to the point where, yes it was a bloke with a tape recorder at a Captain Beefheart gig in Amsterdam, but the amp made good of what sound there was, revealing a rare and wonderful concert I like it.
The rest of my stuff, Arcam170/blackbox5, Celestion66s, is hardly cutting edge but I like that too. Adele's not what you might call a hifi geek but she's a valve convert because of the realism. Some friends came round last night, they like Motown, they said: "Wow, that's clear!"
Nuff said.
View the amp in the gallery.


Hi Geoff,
Finally got around to hooking up the Sony deck to my system and taped an old Wishbone Ash Live CD just to see how good the recording quality might be. Wow......it doesn't seem to lose any clarity and yet there's a warmth that doesn't come across from playing the CD straight through the system. And I just pulled the first reel of tape I could find. I got a box of 50 - 7 1/2" reels with another TEAC machine I picked up a while ago, lots of old Jazz recordings some older gent had made, and his daughter was selling all his 'stuff' after he'd passed on. A lot of the reels had blank tape and that's what I used.
Thanks for getting the machine working again and sorting out the dodgy channel. A brilliant job done quickly and at a reasonable price.
You've made me very happy.
Kindest regards
Howard


Hi Geoff,
I couldn't work out how to leave customer feedback on your website.
I just wanted to drop you a note to thank you for your work on my Akai M8. It now sounds great, to the extent that I've hardly turned it off since getting it home last week! Many thanks for the first-rate job!
Steve


Hello Geoff,
I've just had a very quick listen to the new setup - and what a difference!
I have never heard anything as good as this. I cannot believe the phenomenal difference the Sapphire/Leak pre-amp has made to the sound quality. I find myself reaching for all the usual cliches that people use when trying to describe a great sound. Before, the sound was, as you suggested it might be with my previous setup, like listening through a wet sock! The new amp is super quiet, no hiss. The Heybrooks HB1's have come alive! Turntable sound is hugely improved  - and really quiet with the grounding post. And I love the remote control. It's  early days and I really haven't had the chance to do much listening yet  - but so happy with my new kit. I could go on and on but that's enough for now.
Thank you Geoff.
Kind Regards, Andrew.

This is in connection with the redesign and rebuilding of a Leak Point One 'export version' preamplifier. 


Obviously I'm not going to put the few, let's just say, "comments from customers who were not entirely satisfied" here, there are a few, sometimes things don't go as they should, mistakes are made and sometimes the odd customer just can't be satisfied regardless of the lengths taken but on the whole I receive nothing but praise.

It is important to ensure the people are entirely satisfied with my work and that they are happy to entrust their machine with me.

To those who are not entirely satisfied I apologise, and will always try and rectify the problem if I am informed.

The comments noted here are copies, with the customers permission of course, and I would like to thank all of my customers for allowing me to attend to their machines.


Hello Geoff.

Just a quick note to let you know how my gear is behaving since your laying-on-of-hands.

You will recall you attended to my Akai GX-646, my Sony TC-755 and my Fostex A-8.

With regard to the first two machines, my feeling is that the need for REGULAR servicing cannot be over stated. You last had my gear some three and a half years ago, and what has become apparent to me now is the slow and gradual deterioration in performance during that time. So slow and gradual to be un-noticeable.

I thought my gear was running just fine. However, since the routine service you performed, there is a noticeable, sudden, and dramatic improvement in performance. 

I have been doing my bit as an owner, such as head cleaning etc. I do have a head demagnetiser, but feel the use of it to be akin to shaking hands with a rattlesnake, so I do not use it. So from now on, you will be seeing me once every twelve months.

As for the Fostex A-8, what you performed there was nothing short of miraculous. A bringing back from the dead in fact. I have been testing it with the most punishing and demanding piece of music I have, which is my Dame Kiri Te Kanawa LP entitled Ave Maria. Her full on soprano voice, backed by the St Pauls Cathedral choir, and Handels trumpet pieces is very challenging for any recorder, but the Fostex handled it beautifully, even the most extreme piece, the ending of 'Sanctus' by Gounod, which is as far as I am concerned, the ultimate test.  

Minute 4.00 onwards on the Youtube clip. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JsKMCLfqF20

Ordeal by fire.

I am using new stock RMG 911 tape, I think you biased the machine for that.

Thanks for the work, it was well worth the long drives to your workshop, see you again in 11 months.

Kind regards,     

Ian McKay


Hi Geoff ,
Just a bit of feedback on the lowther power amp You rebuilt for me , I thought I would need 3 weeks to get a grip on it but that is not so . Well , I am hearing things on records that have not heard before , it is a very sweet amp and is very different from push pull solid state stuff which seems to be more obviously incisive. My old mid price marantz cd player is now giving the linn/zeta/koetsu a run for it's money (the linn although an older model does have a radikal dc power supply which makes it very revealing ) . I am now finally getting 'into' jazz thanks to this amp which somehow seems to present the authentic spirit of whatever music is played .

Detail and analysis is there but not thrown at me , a bit like an iron fist in a velvet glove as due to the deceptively 'soft' presentation dynamics and bass and indeed the midband can have quite a 'startle' response and plenty of drive when called for . The valve sound remains but the vocals can be eerily 'present' at times likewise percussion etc.

This is an extraordinary amp which appears to be very revealing of source without sounding harsh , it's presentation does not immediately strike me as typically accurate reproduction of live events but after a while it does seem to convey flashes of a genuine 'live' event which to be is beyond the ken of the other amps I have owned .(I do attend music events in brighton regularly whether professional or amateur ) This amp releases the music as compared to containing it . I am still adjusting to it's unique qualities. The woodside is very well suited as are the tannoys as You surmised.

All in all I must thank you for providing me with an amp of extraordinary musical power for what now appears to be a very reasonable price.
Best wishes Bruce.


Geoff,
In keeping with this early 21c phenomena of reporting on everything and after listening to these things for 2 months, I would just like to say what a fantastic job you did on these 3 items. Forgot to mention to you when I came to you that as with so many R to R's both these machines squeaked on the reels. I note that you have sorted this or coincidentally neither do it anymore.

Tascam BR20 as you say the best of the two perhaps, it was still pretty clunky when I got it home and I thought it might have to come back to you but now works as new...these things obviously have to be used. Flawless recordings.

Teac 1000r. It's stunning, and looks a treat. I love this machine and it's great to have it back where it was.Sounds fabulous.

Grant G60 valve amplifier. I can't get over how good this now sounds. I'm quite sure it's the best it's been.

Many Thanks
Dave Mack


Geoff,
Just to let you know that I am absolutely delighted with the Brenell. I had endless hours of fun listening to old comedies and recording material from Radio 4 extra. It has brought back many happy memories and I expect many years of enjoyment from it, as I will now be able to record programmes of interest and listen to them through a medium that I find is utterly right for old comedies, etc.
Regards,
Shane


Hello Geoff,
Just a quick note to say that I've had the Tandberg back a few weeks now and have had a chance to thoroughly test it out, and the end result is I'm delighted with the performance of the machine. I didn't think I would ever hear it again sounding so well. Initially, I thought there was a problem with one of the output channels when playing back in stereo but fortunately it turned out to be faulty connection lead between the tape deck and external amplifier. A new lead corrected the problem and ended the panic. Thanks for your time and effort in restoring this fine old machine back to its former glory.
Regards,
Terry Pearson


Hi Geoff,
Many thanks indeed for repairing the Beocord 2000. I played a tape this evening and it sounded wonderful. Itís quite amazing and it brought back memories of how it used to sound when I grew up listening to all those early tapes. I played a studio produced recording of the South Pacific soundtrack made in 1960. It sounded better to me than the modern recordings we now get on CD Ė fantastic. You made a terrific job of the repair and service, I canít thank you enough. As I said on Saturday, Iíve been waiting a very long time to get the machine repaired and it has certainly been worth the wait.
Many thanks once again. Iím now going to buy some new tapes and start to rekindle my hobby which I thought was lost forever ÖÖÖ.
With very best regards,
Colin


Dear Geoff,
I am just writing this email to thank you for all your hard work. You have made a wonderful job of repairing my tape recorder and it sounds beautiful. Not only was I so impressed with your expertise in this field but I must also say that your courtesy and helpful attitude were very reassuring. When your told me that the machine was in reasonable condition and should run for many more years,I was very pleased as I adore the sound of reel to reel. Finally I would also like to say that the rates you charge at are EXTREMELY fair and I would have no hesitation in recommending Servicesound to anyone.
I hope business keeps going briskly and wish you and your business every success for the future.
Kind regards Nick Page.


Hi Geoff
Just a short note to thank you for all your work and skill in getting my tape recorder back to sounding as good as it as did years ago and now I can start to play a lot of music that I though I would never hear again, thanks once again you are a genius.
Brian

This was regarding a very old and very very battered Sony reel to reel tape machine. Actually, it was in such a bad state that I nearly gave up on it, glad I didn't though!


Hello Geoff,
The new amp is now fully set-up since 7pm on New Year's Eve and I have listened for one evening and most of the following day. I want to describe my first impressions but it's hard to know exactly where to begin! I was only looking for someone to repair my amp and suddenly I feel like I've accidentally stumbled on the Holy Grail of uncanny musical fidelity! Equally, whilst I love to write lively, descriptive prose, it's hard to tear myself away from the feast of music Radio 3 is bringing over the New Year - practically each new piece a fresh revelation! Thank God for an interview so I can at least make a start!

I have to say from the outset I had a certain degree of scepticism. Geoff Kremer - someone I had never heard of - versus the might of Audio Research, one of the most respected 'names' in audio. Your opinion, versus glowing reviews of my former amp I had read, by some of the most respected critics in US audiophile circles. To put it another way, ditch my pre-conceived notions of a piece of equipment I had believed to be a 'Rolls Royce' of amps (don't we all love to latch onto the security of a big, highly respected name!) and listen anew with fresh ears. I think what swung it was the piece you sent me on Proteus and the success you had with this recently at the audio show in London.

I have regularly listened to live music and even played the trumpet and alto sax in my youth. I have also listened to a lot of top flight audio equipment. In other words I know what music SHOULD sound like, as in live performances, and I know the limitations of transmitted live/recorded music re-played via equipment.

The comparisons I am making are between music transmitted on Radio 3 from a tuner (you know) via B&W P4 speakers amplified by my previous D-70 amp and the new amp you have just created. That is the ONLY major change in the system (the only other change being different speaker cables ie. - having ditched the cables I showed you - a temporary provisorium I happened to have in my cupboard: conventional 0.75 mm multi strand household copper flex).

The well worn reviewer's phrase: 'As if a veil had been lifted' springs to mind, except it's more like 'A wall has been blasted away!' Adjectives like awesome, uncanny, majestic also spring to mind.

Perhaps - for someone whose life has been art - the most satisfying analogy is to imagine the star of Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum: Rembrandt van Rijn's 'Night Watch' had languished beneath centuries of discoloured varnish and, having undergone a radical cleaning and restoration process, suddenly revealed a wealth of vivid detail! Subtle degrees of light and shade. Bright crimson's, rich ochre's and glowing hues of gold, plus all the depth and perspective previously hidden beneath layer's of grime!

What are the new amp's strengths and differences when compared to what I can recall of the old one?

SOUND
- Dynamic range, even at relatively low listening levels, is most impressive. A massive improvement!
- Superb transient response gives music outstanding 'attack' and startling realism.
- The ability to resolve fine musical detail with uncanny accuracy, even in complicated multi-layered passages.
- A rock solid sound stage with precise, well defined stereo imagery.
- Lower register is a revelation!. Bass notes are extraordinarily taut and solid, with a weight and punch the old amp could only dream of!
- Male BBC announcer's voices have lost their exagerated 'chestiness' and sound more natural.

OTHER
- Mains transformer gets warm but, from memory, runs cooler than previously.
- Output transformers run a LOT cooler. Whilst not 'stone cold' never get warm to the touch. Previously they got quite hot over time.

I began my new listening experience - to go into more detail - with BBC's 'New Generation Artists' on New Year's Eve. Appropriately enough with piano. I say this because piano has this vast range, spanning so many octaves. If I had to chose a single instrument as a 'bell weather' to an amp's musicality I would always chose piano. It's basically percussive but, unlike drums, there is a change in tone quality with dynamics, as well as a change in tone quality from bass to treble, due to the wealth of harmonics in the lower registers. In the new amp this manifests itself as a 'bell-like' clarity and crispness giving stunning realism to the sound. Bass notes are ultra solid with impressive weight, extreme treble notes also have a startling purity and attack. I have never heard such satisfying piano sound!

Next came a short piece with piano and trumpet, again a revelation in startling tonal realism and crispness of attack, plus a lovely brassy raspiness!

As revealing as the amp is of well recorded sound, it is equally brutally revealing of inferior recordings! The New Year's Eve repeat of last night of the Proms revealed the Albert Hall at it's worst with an often muddled, boomy acoustic and the mike for the piano in Beethoven's Choral Fantasy too closely balanced. The best piece was the Verdi 'Falstaff' excerpt with Bryn Terfel sounding great - as he did in all his other appearances - and an uncannily realistic rasping brass sound from the orchestra at one point! Singers benefit from the amp's incredible dynamic range in that they can clearly be heard increasing the volume of a note to a fortissimo.

Perhaps the most impressive two pieces were on New Year's Day with another Proms repeat. This time far better recorded. The Mark- Anthony Turnage piece 'Chicago Remains' was extraordinary. At one point he gives full reign to a particul weighty percussion section. I had no idea my speakers could play so low and so loud! I am building new sub-bass units to try and re-create these frequencies because I thought my speakers were lacking in this respect. Now I realise it was the old amp that was to blame!

The Mahler 6th Symphony was equally impressive. Whilst any composer benefits from better equipment, Mahler particularly, with his very rich and varied tonal palette, comes off better and is well served by the ultra wide dynamic range, the extraordinary resolution of fine detail, the superb stereo imagery, plus the weight and solidity in the bass register.

These are just a few of the revelations I have been enjoying thanks to your transformation of my amp! In the attached pic's you can see I have re-fitted the protective grille mesh, as well as the small but sturdy unit I built previously to house amp and tuner. The 'bad bit of wall' behind is where I had a radiator removed so that I could sit in the window alcove (visible in the wide angle shot) where the equipment and speakers were formerly located (I had to stand outside and take this one through the window to get back far enough!)

Having the speakers against a solid wall is better for the sound. Although the room looks small it is actually the small leg of a big 'L' shaped room (extends to the right of the shot) which helps the acoustic considerably.

There are a few points I want to ask you in due course but I have deliberately kept this e-mail free of them as it's dedicated to thanking you for your superb achievement!

Kind regards       
Brian

This was regarding the redesign and build of a Audio Research D50 power amplifier. (As with all my design work, designed by ear, built by hand -----and keep it simple!)


Hi Geoff,
Well I've had it hooked up and have been playing it for about an hour or so now. I must say I am very impressed! The first thing that struck me was how much more powerful than the 300B mono-blocks I have it is (even though they are rated at 25Wpc). The gain required on the pre-amp to achieve the same volume is significantly less. There is NO perceivable distortion which is a first for me on a valve power amp. As for the sound... very transparent! I can hear a lot more going on as though some kind of discreet veil has been lifted. Vocals are much more 'there in the room - right in front of you' and the subtleties of instruments (strings, guitars, percussion etc.) are clearer. That said, the sound is not harsh. It is definitely a bigger and sweeter sound (dare I say warmer?-bit of a stereotypical comment about valves I know). The bass builds and envelops you as opposed to thumping. The highs are sweet as opposed to piercing. Well I don't wish to bore by being too prosaic but suffice to say I am very happy with my newly built amplifier and would like to extends my gratitude to you for a job well done!!
Kind regards and many thanks, Steve.


Well Mr K, Sir, what can I say?
Tried to ring you last night while playing David Ponsford at Wells Cathedral organ giving it welly on Howells, JSBach etc. but you was incommunicado. I don't know at what frequency the bass cuts off but it's rather low. The earth moves alright. Richard Lord (REL) - you're not required (sorry, mate).
Emma Kirkby singing Haendel, Dire Straights So Far Away, King's Cambridge doing Tallis' 40-part motet Spem In Alium, it seems to handle it all so far. And Yes, there is
... POWer.
Gor blimey, Guv, is there ever 
      !! POWer !!
The Alps Blue Velvet is hardly wound round for sound, I've found  :-) 

If you want a reference sell, here I am. There's a lot of darkness out there - Thank you for being a star. - One Satisfied Customer
P.S. I see you omitted a balance control. Minimalist approach - right. Don't need it.
(This was for a Leak ST20 I rebuilt and modified plus a matching pre amplifier I built for him)


Just a brief e-mail to let you know how pleased I am with the work you have done on the Tandberg. It's over 30 years old and now it looks and sounds brand new! If I ever encounter anyone with a reel to reel that needs some TLC, I will definitely recommend that they come to you for efficient friendly service.
Thanks once again.
Kind regards, Chris Jenkins.


Hi Geoff
As I type this I am listening to the TC 755. It sounds superb! Even allowing for the fact that I haven't heard good open-reel sound for some time in this harsh digital age, it is superb! Pitch and speed consistency are a revelation, and I swear I am hearing things on the tapes that have been lost over the years. I do thank you. Wonderful! Cannot recommend your service highly enough. I'd just about written this deck off, but as you promised it's as good as new again.
Kindest regards Nigel.


Geoff!
A belated thank you for your attention to my Akai 4000DS. It was a pleasure meeting you! I enjoyed your vinyl demonstration on your huge valve amp. The Akai is just perfect, lovely and shiny out of the box and Iíve noticed that it is much quieter when in operation. All work fine, so Iím now in the process of moving recordings from Open Reel to PC and thence to .WAV and MP3. At first I fretted a bit when your invoice mentioned the worn heads, but hey, its over 30 years old and I wont use it as much as previous years. The M25 gave us a return journey to match the inward; orrible! Best wishes, good luck.
Nicky C


Hi Geoff.
Just felt that I had to email to say thank you for the continuing pleasure your work on my equipment gives me. As a respite from visiting elderly relatives all last week prior to Christmas, (worthy but tiring), I've just savored an afternoon of tapes on my Tandberg Series 12, the Sony TC 755, and finally a mix of 45's and 78's on the Ecko record player. Wow! Your super restoration work gives me such continuing pleasure - I do thank you. May I wish you all the best for 2009, if that's realistic for any of us!
Kindest regards Nigel Collingwood.


 

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