Over recent months, customers popping over to drop off or pick up gear, have all commented on the collection of vintage hi-fi speakers in my lab. Well, today they'll be delighted to hear that after several months, Plasma Music launches Upcycled Audio! So, what's it all about?
Okay, so my first Upcycled Audio project involves converting some vintage but lovely passive hi-fi speakers to Bluetooth!
One of each of a matching pair of these speakers either has been or is being fitted with a Bluetooth 5.0, 2 x 30W amplifier module.
Most of the speakers are Mission M72s. That's because I know them very well. If you know your hi-fi, you'll notice a pair of smaller Mission M71s next to the M72s on the left. There are also a pair of Tannoy 631s and a pair of Jamo Cornet 30s (far right). I'm only interested in speakers that had a reputation and that are in reasonably good condition.
The crossover in the speaker that houses the module has been modified so for stereo operation, all you need to do is link the speaker terminals between the speaker with the module, to the speaker without the module. 2m of high-quality speaker cable terminating with 4mm plugs on each end is included with the speakers.
The crossover mod' doesn't affect the sound. All I've done is cut some tracks and add a couple of links, so that one channel of the module can be wired internally, while the other channel is directed to the cabinet's speaker connections and hence, the other speaker.
The module is powered by an included 12V power supply with standard 5.5mm x 2.1mm DC plug. A small blue LED that deliberately isn't bright and obtrusive, confirms power status. I hate big shiny lights on gear!
You'll also notice a 3.5mm jack socket (AUX IN) on the module panel so YES, you can plug in an analogue stereo feed.
The module can be powered by any DC voltage between 9V and 24V but I found that 12V at 3A, provides the best results.
Despite this being a new project, prototypes have been extensively tested and I'm delighted to report that these things sound AMAZING!!!! 🙂 I'm not just saying that. I'm shocked at the quality of the Bluetooth 5.0 module and the D-class amp. The sound is solid, defined, crisp and well, just sweet. Forget your cheepo, Buy On-Line, made in the far east, crap. This is proper hi-fi!
So you know I said that I'm rather familiar with the Mission M72s. Well, that's because I've been using a pair in my control room for many, many years. They're great to check mixes on hi-fi speakers. In fact, you might have already noticed one in the background image of this website!
My Upcycled Audio speakers are supplied with a standard set of glossy black aluminium knobs, a 12V / 3A power supply and 2m of high quality speaker cable that's terminated at both ends, with 4mm connectors. All you need to be up 'n' running is a music source. 🙂
Customers will have the option to buy longer speaker cables, DC cable extensions and what I call 'POSH' knobs.
Standard knobs are shown in the image below. The posh knobs (featured in the pictures above) are brushed, matt-black anodised aluminium and have a slot as the position marker as opposed to a white line. To be honest, while they look mega-cool, they're not too easy to visually adjust in the dark (go figure)!
If these speakers are destined to sit on a shelf or a similar flat surface, then you may be interested in a set of optional, self-adhesive rubber feet.
If you're going to be putting them on speaker stands, then you shouldn't need the feet.
Although straight-forward, I still feel obliged to compile a user guide so that's going to take a little while.
With standard accessories, a pair of these speakers will cost no more than 400 GBP excluding delivery. Being quite substantial, shipping is going to be a lot so at the moment, these will be 'collection only' and I'm not looking to export these.