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About Naldo

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  1. finishing unfinished pine cabinets

    Factory unfinished Pine veneer? Very interesting. Even though it's classified a secondary wood and is a softwood, I and alot of other woodworkers I've known love the look and feel of knotty pine. Very warm look.
  2. That fabric looked familiar to me because I'd seen something very similar years ago that was used for wall-covering by a designer I used to do remodel for. I'd check tile and wall-covering type home-design stores. p.s. the speakers sound pretty awesome. Thanks, all, for all the tips!
  3. Well I took your tip, but when I got the cover off the 2nd, the 'really' buzzy speaker it became pretty obvious. There was literally no surround left, just shreds. I went ahead and cut the woofers loose, hooked up the boxes and played a few minutes of some samples through them. Very tinny and weak, obviously, but no buzzing that I could hear. One oddity (to me) was that the + (red) and - (blue) were mirrored L/R, R/L on the two woofers. Is that typical?
  4. Hah, bingo guys. I went back and looked at it and voila.
  5. No, I hadn't intended to run any more sound through it. Interesting call on the midrange- the owner said he picked them up in Okinawa circa 1974 or so. I'd bet $ he never opened them up.
  6. I nabbed a pair of AR 2ax's last week, not really looking for more vintage gear, just a drive-by CListing. Original owners said they still sounded great... maybe just not lately. Definite buzzing when I tried them out at home, although behind that I could still marvel at the transparency these things have retained after all these years. I had intended to replace the pots, assuming that was the origin of the buzz. Eh...looks like new surrounds are also in the immediate future.
  7. Norman Labs

    Hi, first post here- I can share a bit of what I know about these fine speakers, hopefully without crossing too much into lines of personal info. The company was the brainchild of a Norman, Ok. entrepeneur named Leonard Bernstein, as noted elsewhere. Leonard was and is a real classical audiophile, although he doesn't get out much anymore. Before starting up Norman Labs he had been the owner of a Norman hi-fi store Thompson Sound, which he operated from the late 50's iirc, into the early 70's. Thompson's carried an impressive line of hi-fi equipment ranging from the casual listening range to high-end serious audiophile. Its salesmen were there because they loved the audio experience and the equipment. So Leonard and these guys knew quality stereo equipment, what worked with what, how to finesse setups, etc. From what I understand, he decided in the early 70's to move on from that to building his own speaker line, and passed, sold, gave Thompson's on to his salesmen, depending on who you talk to. The early years of Norman Labs were basically experimentation with design and trying to get sales set up in a general area of the Southwest, and their early efforts were predictably rough looking and sounding. Their speaker philosophy was to build different variations of a 2-way box using a single crossover point and excellent Phillips tweeters that would cover the majority of the audio range. Word is they further tweaked those tweeters with their own innovations. So that's what the models 7,8,9,10,11, were, different arrays of Phillips tweeters and Creedence woofers in different dimension boxes to get different variations of what would become their signature sound. Also there's some sort of reset in just about all the original speaker boxes. And I'd have to say it was/is more aligned to the East-Coast sound in the tradition of AR, Advent, KLH,etc, i.e. a balanced sound best for classical or jazz, since that was Leonard's own preference. However- and again, this is anecdotal- a bad early review by an audiophile magazine of some of their speakers spooked Leonard, and he decided to sell. Basically their speakers were not quite ready for prime-time at that point, and he was pretty heavily invested in the company. From what I heard, the investment group from Forth Worth which bought him out included a member of the Bass family of Dallas, fwiw, and they basically told the employees to stay the course, keep tweaking and experimenting. Some time in the later 70's, it clicked and they found their 'signature sound.' For mainstream high-end speakers, Norman Labs had quality cabinetry with nice walnut veneering (rather than the hideous vinyl fake veneer), and sometimes used oak later on. They're solid, sturdy, attractive. The model 7 went away for basically the same setup in the model 8 & 11- a single woofer and dual tweeters or 1 of each. The model 10 has an array of 2 tweeters and 2 woofers, and their flagship model 9 towers had 3 of each with 1 woofer rear-firing. They had a removable glass top. Then there were naturally improvements and enhancements over time in those models. Some time after Jimbo Long left, say in the late 80's or so, NL decided to experiment with other setups. The model 331,332,431,432, 435,631,632, etc. all evolved from their original lines, but also using mid-ranges and sometimes ribbon tweeters. Those were built until probably the early 90's when the dream began to die, and stereo audio equipment was cheapened out to home surround, etc. They tried a few lines using cheaper methods and components. By that time the ownership had changed hands to a colorful salesman who moved operations to Arkansas, Gail Dixon. They also dabbled a bit in car and truck speakers, a few eq's, some this, some that. I've never heard of Norman Labs using cherry veneer, which is not to say it didn't happen- I'd be intrigued to see pics of such a thing. Personally, the only mods I've done to my model 9's was to upgrade the caps to Soniccaps, an easy fix, and to build solid wood pedestals to get them off the floor- my own idiosyncrasy since they're some 42" tall anyway. For the guy thinking he has some solid lumber cabinets, that's highly doubtful. NL used good quality veneer MDF, not the paper-thin stuff. The experts all say that MDF is superior to solid wood in deadening ability, but I've got the electronics from a 435 set I intend to build into a combo veneer plywood/solid wood cabinet...one of these days... so, whatever. One of the really knowledgeable guys about Norman Labs on Audiokarma is a guy named BasicBlues, and there's several informative threads there.