You are currently viewing 2020 Recap, Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday!

2020 Recap, Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday!

Merry Christmas and a huge thank you to my customers, friends and viewers.

A huge thank you to my customers and viewers for helping to make 2020 another great year. It’s been an unusual one though and I really need a couple of weeks off, maybe it’s the same for some of you? Hopefully, this Christmas message finds you well as we near the end of this one.

Liquid Audio is closed from 20 December 2020 until 12 January 2021.

Statistics

As is the trend, our web and business stats have continued to grow. 2020 is our biggest year yet in terms of stats, with almost 220K+ views and we’re not quite done yet.

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This year also saw a new greatest number of website visitors at over 100K, despite the reduction in posts due to my increasing workload. I suspect COVID had something to do with that. I have literally dozens of the best articles ever in my head – I just need to write them!

This year my most popular pages and articles are the contact page which is not surprising, the Store and articles on the Quad 405/405-2, Yamaha NS-1000, Kenwood KD-500/550, Jelco SA-750D and Yamaha CA-2010. The largest proportion of viewers live in Australia, followed by the USA and Great Britain.

Workload & Workspace

This year also saw the greatest number of jobs come through Liquid Audio workshop, hitting the limit in terms of available Mike-hours. These weren’t all evenly spread though and when COVID hit, things did slow down for a while.

I built the new storage facility last year and this year I added the new workshop/workspace. These have really helped to scale my workflow, now I just need to refine things a little and carefully balance the types of work I take on.

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The new workbench was so clean back in January!

Some growth is attributable to feedback shared by my wonderful and happy customers. Growth has also come from my retail store colleagues at Douglas Hi-fi, Revolution Turntable and West Coast Hifi sending me work and new customers. Thanks to Pierre, Simon, Tony, Kim and Rob and everyone involved in those stores for their support. Thanks also to industry colleagues, especially Jason at The Speaker Doctor for his ongoing support.

Equipment

I worked on some amazing stuff, again everything from Accuphase to Yamaha. This year, brands I worked on most frequently include Accuphase, Kenwood, Luxman, Musical Fidelity, Sansui, Technics and Yamaha. The most unusual brand probably being MAS with the pair of Solitaire power amplifiers.

Let’s look at a little taster of equipment articles coming up.

MAS Solitaire
MAS Solitaire power amplifier, one of two through the workshop this year. These rare Australian power amplifiers are just beautiful, though this one had unfortunately been ruined by previous work.

In terms of the types of equipment, I worked on the largest numbers of amplifiers and turntables, followed by CD players, cassette decks and a mix of other stuff. I worked on many Accuphase E-202 and E-303 integrated amplifiers, several P-300 power amplifiers and other models.

Other unique pieces include a Technics SE-A100, a stunning Sony TAN-8250, a mind-boggling Krell KSA-200S, a beautiful Yamaha B-2, a few Sansui AU-919s and more. I did a ton of bigger power amplifier overhauls and restorations though, take a look.

ME-1400
Classic Aussie muscle, this ME-1400 power amplifier is repaired and now back with her very happy owner.
Accuphase P-300
This Accuphase P-300 repair is a classic example of what I mean by a tricky, technical repair. She was dead and had been looked at by various people and given up on for being too hard – for 10 years! I repaired her, but it took a whole day.
Yamaha B-2
This stunning Yamaha B-2 VFET power amplifier is the most beautiful sounding thing, especially after the major overhaul I gave her. I put a ton of work into this lovely amplifier, here being calibrated.
Krell KSA-200S
Finally, this really is the ‘big daddy’ and probably my biggest as yet unwritten story. I did a deep repair and restoration of this stunning Krell KSA-200S in January. Story coming, I promise!

Many gorgeous turntables graced the workbench this year including another Sony PS-8750, Technics SL-1000/SP-10, various SL-1200 models, SL-1600s, several KD-600 and KD-650s, Gold Notes, Luxmans, Regas and more. This year also saw a real resurgence in cassette decks. Add to that the usual array of CD players, tuners and other stuff and yes, it was a very busy year.

Sony ES Series stack
Yes, the stunning Sony ES series stack, all pieces repaired, serviced and much loved by their owner.
Accuphase T-106
This Accuphase T-106 came to me for overhaul. Her owner remains blown away by the results, telling me its the best tuner he’s ever heard.
Sony PS-8750
This Sony PS-8750 came to me for major service work. A few hours of work and I repaired the crystal lock, tonearm functions and fitted a nice new mat and cartridge.
Kenwood KD-600
I repaired and serviced several KD-600/650s this year.
Nakamichi 582
Another interesting service job on this lovely Nakamichi 582.
Technics SP-10, Technics SL-1000
I serviced and set up this beautiful Technics SL-1000, consisting of SP-10, EPA-100 and SH-B3 base and end-game Ortofon MC-A95. I later fitted a Fidelity Research tonearm to it, the story coming soon!

This is just a tiny fraction of the great gear I worked on this year and my apologies if I missed yours.

People

Speaking of that gorgeous Technics SL-1000, it’s owned by my customer, good friend and WA Greens senator Tim Clifford MLC. Tim recently took a trip to the USA and I made him promise that, if he went to California, he would visit legendary hi-fi guy Kevin Deal @ Upscale Audio, one of the biggest hi-fi retailers in the USA. He didn’t disappoint me…

Kevin Deal
Classic photo, Kevin on the left, my friend Tim on the right!

2021

One focus for 2021 is writing. I miss writing articles and want very much to write more of them. I go on about this, but getting the new laptop that I’m writing this article on has been a step in the right direction and I think allocating one day a week to writing might be the way.

Another focus is to refine my workload. I take on a wide range of work from servicing cassette decks and turntables to dead amplifier resurrections. The bigger jobs chew up time and often need a lot of very technical work. My focus here is to moderate how many of these big jobs I take on and to reject them if they’ve been to any of our friends in the Hall of Shame.

The main focus though, as always, is to deliver the very best service and results for my customers. I can’t work miracles but within the bounds of what’s viable, I can promise the best attention to detail and results.

Flowers

I took a few days in September to travel with Liquid Blanche to the mid-west of Western Australia to camp and check out the amazing wildflowers. Look at these beauties!

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Just spectacular, a sea of flowers everywhere you look. I believe WA has the highest density of wildflowers in the world around September each year and this trip certainly verified that!

So, despite COVID, it’s been another busy year. As always, it wouldn’t have been possible without my customers bringing me their cherished equipment and my viewers who love reading about it. A huge thank you to everyone who supports Liquid Audio via the business, website and YouTube channel.

Have a Merry Christmas and a very happy holiday!

Liquid Mike

As a kid, I cherished my Tandy 200-in-1 electronics project lab, Dick Smith electronics kits, my Dad's hi-fi and my own first proper system. Later, I created Liquid Audio to help keep classic hi-fi gear alive and well. Our mission: to deliver TLC for classic Japanese, American and European hi-fi stereo equipment.

This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. Robert

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the USA.

    Robert

  2. Robert

    Thank you Mike!

  3. Hi Liquid Mike,
    Thanks for sharing your end of year thoughts and onward and upward for 2021.

    I look forward to reading more articles from you next year.

    Thanks for all the great work on the various jobs I’ve sent to you this year – you’ve made many people of all ages (from ages 13 – 78) happy that their beloved audio equipment is up and running again.

    I look forward to many coffees and chats in 2021.

    Be prepared for my Nakamichi pre/power combo in January – it is finally definitely time!

    Have a great break – and see you in the new year.

    Simon
    (Douglas HiFi)

    1. Liquid Mike

      Hi Simon, thanks for this and for your feedback, very much appreciated. It’s been great working with you again this year @ Douglas Hi-Fi and really pleasing to see one of Perth’s last true hi-fi stores thriving again. I’m looking forward to getting your Nakamichi gear onto the workbench! Have a good one and chat with you soon.

  4. james colwill

    Always interested in the equipment you work on.
    I lived in Mullaloo WA in the 80’s, & I know what you mean about the wild flowers, amazing sight in the Spring.
    James

    1. Liquid Mike

      Thanks James, Merry Christmas and absolutely agreed on the wildflowers!

  5. Rodney Pegg

    Enjoy your break Mike
    Excellent work like your have done on my equipment deserves some time off
    Good to hear business is going well
    Thank you gain for what u have done this year gone
    I am most pleased with the end results and always reccomend you to anyone seeking work on their Hi-Fi equipment

    1. Liquid Mike

      Hi Rod, thanks so much, I really appreciate that. Don’t hesitate to let me know if there is anything else I can do to assist and hope you are having a great Christmas break!

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