The system is in an old landowner/merchant's house deep in the north country of Japan (in the hamlet of Kamagui in Niigata Prefecture for anyone interested in setting up an Audio Club) which we purchased and refurbished with a friend of ours.

Everything is used (only the Altecs were purchased for this system so far - the rest comes from a home system), and I am thinking of replacing the EAR and SONY before getting the DIY done because they don't look scruffy enough.

The Whiskey Room is on the 3rd floor of an old 'minka', with a view over the hamlet's rice paddies as the sun sets - the perfect place to drink a whiskey after a hard day relaxing in the countryside.

There are no room treatments ('mud-over-straw' walls are sooted with woodsmoke from when the kitchen was wood-fired and this room was the chimney to the outside), the floorboards were formerly the inside wall-boards of one of the storehouses, furniture is a couple of ugly brown vinyl armchairs and an even uglier 'baby-poop brown' La-Z-Boy recliner, and a couple of brown bar stools (all told, about $50), and an old wooden fridge. There's a tattered old Uzbeki rug on the floor which I like, and, oh-yeah, there's no heat, and not enough light.

But the view is great, and the sound is out of this world.

Please stop by if you are in the neighborhood...

Components Toggle details

    • Altec Lansing Model-19
    Two-way, super-efficient (101dB?) speakers. Fabulous for the price.
    • EAR 859
    EAR integrated SET-like amp (called Enhanced Triode Mode - pentode tube given triode functionality/linearity (Grid1 tied to cathode, Grid2 signal, Grid3 is ground) putting out all of 13.5W. Uses EL519 tubes which will probably outlast me.
    • Sony SCD-777ES
    stock player, owned since 2002
    • Ridiculously Comfortable Chairs
    • Baby-Poop Brown Lazy-Boy Recliner
    also self-explanatory
    • Diatone LT-1
    Linear tracker from the late 1970s. Mitsubishi's top effort as a TT. Uses a Denon DL-103R right now but going to change to a higher compliance MM cart.

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Glad to hear all is well with you. I prayed for your family because of our acquaintance through A'gon. I now pray that all who are missing can be found safe and all who lost loved ones will be comforted.


TBone, I hope all is well with your family in light of this recent earthquake in northern Japan.


I've visited your virtual system before and keep returning because it is just so inviting. The property, the building, the dusty room, the amp and speakers, and those comfy chairs. I wish I had such a weekend get-a-way like you. Congratulation on such a great musical appreciation room.


I forgot that your in Japan and Magnavox was Philips CD entry into the North American market. You will be able to find the equivalent vintage Philips player.

Keep in mind that the earlier '86 models had a 14 bit DAC and CDM1 transport. Next up was the TDA1541 16 bit DAC and CDM2 transport around '88. This are good but a little vague sounding. Things peaked for Philips in '89 with the Philips TDA1543 dual 16 bit DAC and CDM4/19 transport. This is what you want for the best in vintage cdps.
In fact the 1543 DAC has been rediscovered and is used in quite a few high end manufacturers. Funny how it has come full circle back to a 16 bit DAC sounding the most analogue.
The best part is these vintage Philips/Magnavox cdps can be gotten for a pittance and it will compliment your vintage wiskey bar. I do love your dusty rustic listening room. It just feels right.


Very Cool and satisfying music room.

Yes to vintage Altec Lancings. I have fond memories of my friends new 1969 Altec Lancing Voice of the Theater loudspeakers dressed up in mahagany with a lattice and black grill cloth front sold at Allied Radio, and powered w/ Dynaco electronics. I loved them then and have eyed them ever since. Are yours Voice of the Theater?

When you are ready to change your cdp you might consider the vintage Magnavox cdp that shames many of new high end players. Look at my "Old School (vintage-ish)" system to see and read about this player.