Archive for March, 2015

a zillion more eccc photos

I posted a zillion more photos from Emerald City Comicon over here, on my Flickr account. I’m going to put a preview of a pose with the only Asami who made it to the Avatar/Korra Meetup on Saturday (nice costume I have to say); the complete set is like half Korra and half other-costumes, so it’s not all my particular fandom. ^_^

Earth Kingdom Korra (from the “Korra, Alone” arc), with Asami

pretty much the best eccc evar

I had a really good time at the one day I got to go to Emerald City Comicon this year, for a lot of reasons, but in no small part because I was going as Earth Kingdom Korra, which is a fourth-year two-episode costume associated with the “Korra Alone” mini-arc where she’s going around in Earth Kingdom clothing, which meant I got to be involved in this awesomesauce moment at the Korra/Avatar Fandom Meetup:

Poor, Poor Mako
(Photo by vandroid-helsing on Tumblr)

I’ve missed public cosplay. I really have. XD

And! Next weekend is nwcMUSIC 2015 at Norwescon 38, and we will have livestreaming of the nwcMUSIC concerts again! That URL is:

So be ready for that if you can’t come to the show in person.

AND! I’ll be playing! nwcMUSIC! again! for the first time since the first one, with Leannan Sidhe, on Friday night at 8pm. Show up in person or! watch at home. That’s an exclusive-or, please. Don’t show up and watch the livestream, at least not at the same time. Not even on headphones. I mean, honestly, there’s introversion, and then there’s just weird.

Anyway, more pictures maybe later today, or certainly by tomorrow. Depends upon how late rehearsal goes.

absolutely flat equalisation

I rebuilt and altered the crossover circuit on the worse of the two speakers. Check it, here’s the new crossover. I kept the original coils, but moved them so they’re out of plane with each other, which matters for clarity and prevention of crosstalk.

New Crossover
The numbers on the board are kind of wrong, those were what was there before, plus or minus 20%, except for the one that had pretty much completely failed from age. That’s okay, electrolytics do that. That’s why I went with film.

I made a phone recording, just using the built-in microphone. The last recording, of the other speaker, I was able to get it sounding reasonable through inappropriate use of EQ once I got the tweeter to come back online. Even that was a huge step up from where it had been.

This recording? Purely flat equalisation. Absolutely flat. Played off an iPod through my Sampson amp, into the speaker, recorded via phone mic.

Whaddya think, sirs?

This post is part of a series on restoring infamous vintage stage monitors. Spoiler: they made good, in the end.

none of this was expected

I got given a couple of terrible, terrible looking- and sounding- speakers, and a pretty good power amp that has been in storage for a while, as a set. I haven’t started working on the amp yet, but it’s supposedly actually just fine. Yay!

But these speakers, goddamn. I mean look at this. This is already cleaned up. The other one is not better.

Already Cleaned. No, really.
By the way, if anybody knows how to get this goddamn horn off this tweeter driver? I’d like to know. Is there a trick? I took off the bolts and NOPE NOT MOVING. But it had to have been assembled in place, because you can’t fit it into the cabinet face otherwise. If it unscrews (after bolt removal) I don’t see how – I put a lot of force into it with a strap wrench and got nowhere.

Honestly it’s like trying to fly the Constellation after the Doomsday Machine hit it. I got them wired up tho’ – it took some custom cabling and alligator clips, but I got them running. Limping along, anyway. But by that time I’d already discovered that despite their shitkicker exteriors, inside? All JBL pro gear. Really pretty high-end stuff. I don’t get it either.

If only we had some phasers…
Once I had them stable, I figured out the reason there was no high end was because hey, guess, what, neither of the tweeters were doing anything! The first one, I got back online by working around a bad connection. No idea how long that had been out. The second one…

The second one, I looked at, and tried to figure out what the hell they were doing with this weird circuit and this giant pot that like varied between 0 and 10 ohms maybe, and seemed to be in parallel with the speaker. Eventually I decided it was part of an inexplicably assymetrical Zobel circuit and realised that making it symmetrical would fix other problems too, so that’s fine, except…

…then I got the same circuit out of the now-working other speaker and discovered the one I’d been analysing had been misassembled since construction.

That’s as in at least 25 years. Probably 35 or so. SPEAKERS SURE DO SOUND DIFFERENT WHEN YOU ACTUALLY HOOK THE TWEETER UP, DON’T THEY? Or rather, hook it up so you haven’t filtered around it.

Which is what someone had done.

I am apparently the first to try to figure this out. I’m certainly the first to find it.

Honestly, I don’t even know what to say about that.

This post is part of a series on restoring these infamous vintage stage monitors. Spoiler: they made good, in the end.

it is so beautiful

I WANT THIS LAIR. Of any extant building I’ve seen actually, you know, extant? I WANT THIS ONE.

Seriously, it’s 50% the Venture Compound as built 10 years later, it’s 50% Fortress of Solitude, it’s 50% the Star Trek original-series set they could never hope to afford to build – it is a spaceship that has landed on a ridge for some reason and never left. I am convinced it is still spaceworthy.

Here is some video from a tour. I want it so bad. Sadly, it’s in North Carolina. I don’t want it in North Carolina, I want it in Cascadia.

I wonder if I can steal it. Hell, I’ll fly it here. I just need to find the engine room.

Someone has stripped out the bridge control consoles.
That’s okay. I’ll put new ones back. WE CAN DO THIS.

c'mon, george, quit it

I’m going to have to go upstairs to practice this synth part because GEORGE WILL NOT LEAVE ME ALONE WHEN I PLAY IT. And he purrs like crazy. What are you hearing, cat?

i may have cleaned out the components drawers at 95% off

Seriously, this Radio Shack selloff is cheaper than stealing at this point – over the last few days, I’ve spent like $70 for easily $800 in supplies at their regular prices, and like $4-500 at reasonable prices.

Varying closing Radio Shacks have varying supplies left, so call around if you want bits. Plus you get hilariously long receipts because they’re ringing up every component package individually.

The longer one is 2.7m long and sixteen dollars.

repairing outdated tech with even more outdated tech

I just repaired a 20-year-old landline phone with 40-year-old components. Why? Because I can, and because my late parrot Zoe (YES SHE IS AN EX-PARROT YOU CAN STOP NOW) is still on the outgoing message recording.

I regret nothing.

george loves moog, apparently

George normally ignores my music – he’s not fond of drums and will leave if I start to play those, but everything else just kind of washes off.

Or that’s been the case until now. I started fiddling with the animoog using voices I’d chosen for the Leannan Sidhe show, and he hopped right up and came over to do this:

George Loves Moog

I’m wondering what it sounds like to him. Birds? Some other small animal? Whatever it is, he knows it’s in there and wants it.

this show just got more complicated

I’m playing with Leannan Sidhe at nwcMUSIC – the show is Friday evening, with that block. It’ll be livestreamed! Anyway, she has a couple of new songs, and I guess the band has joined 1972 by way of 2010? Because this happened.

Animoog is an official iPad moog emulator

I’m playing like four instruments and also doing vocals now. This keeps happening when I play with these guys, I dunno what’s up with that. But it’s kind of fun.

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