Merry Christmas and a huge thank you to our customers, subscribers, friends and family.

Yes, friends, it’s that time of the year again, welcome to my 2022 recap where we look at a few numbers and enjoy a gallery of wonderful vintage hi-fi equipment!

Many thanks to all who’ve helped make 2022 another fantastic year and our busiest yet at Liquid Audio. Here’s hoping this Christmas message finds readers well, as we near the end of another year.

As usual, Liquid Audio will be closing for a short break and reopening in early January:

Liquid Audio is closed from 23 December 2020 – 10 January 2022.

Stats

Against my expectations, site traffic continues to grow and in 2022, surpassed all previous years in terms of numbers. This year saw over 320K views, up 25% and 65,000 views over my already big 2021. Numbers like these amaze me because this is, after all, a small website, run by one person.

Honestly, I never expected things to keep growing as they have. I think the honesty and uniqueness of the content really help. People trust me to deliver content they know they can rely on. They know I’m not trying to sell products and pretend to give impartial views at the same time. This approach is rare.

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This year’s boost in the growth of site traffic has been a real surprise for me. I know that growth must plateau out, but when?

August 2022 also saw this website’s biggest-ever month with 34,234 views. Many sites don’t get that much traffic in a year! This year also saw my tiny YouTube channel hit 5000 subscribers, thank you to all who’ve visited and watched my videos.

The most popular articles and pages on my site include those on the Quad 405Marantz Model 6300, Kenwood KD-500/550, Technics SL-23, Yamaha NS-1000, and Sansui AU-919, plus the Hall of Shame of course. The largest number of viewers come from Australia, closely followed by the USA, Great Britain and Canada.

Growth

A couple of things I think contributed to the 25% growth in website readership this year. Moving to a new, faster web host with global CDN and Litespeed servers has helped. Latency is reduced, responsiveness is improved and the site just works better thanks to many hours spent building and optimising.

I extensively revamped the FAQs in 2022 and they continue to gain traction. I improved the appearance of the site, introduced tables of contents and spent many hours improving the user interface. I wrote 20 new articles in 2022 and this always brings people to the site. I’ll try to keep writing!

Recent years have seen a raft of copycat businesses and sites, but I think readers are onto it. Anyone can copy, but how many can come up with something truly original on their own? The problem with copying is that the copycats are reliant on the work of others. When push comes to shove and they can’t copy what they need, it all falls over.

I’ve been quietly working away at this for over a decade now, creating original content and developing unique service procedures and techniques. People certainly seem to enjoy the approach and I think our no-BS, no-nonsense way of doing things resonates with people, generating growth organically.

My ‘Fully Booked’ sign stayed up for most of the year in 2022, which is ridiculous, I know. I apologise if this impacted your ability to book equipment. I am working on this, and if you have any suggestions, feel free to drop them in a comment below.

Special Thanks

A big thank you to all those who understood and supported my need to make a few changes to our advisory service this year. The one-way brain drain has reduced yet I’ve helped even more people this year with consults and advice via our advisory service. This is now a healthier aspect of business and your support has been overwhelming, so thank you!

Thanks as always to the retailers who send customers to Liquid Audio including Addicted to Audio, Douglas Hi-fi, Revolution Turntable and West Coast Hifi Joondalup. Thanks to Dan, Pierre & Jim, Simon & Tony, and Kim for their ongoing support and for being kind enough to send customers my way.

Thanks also to my electronics repair industry colleagues Jason @ The Speaker Doctor and John @ JW Electronics, especially Jason for his support and mentorship. Please support these guys because there are way too many pretenders out there, trust me.

I’d like to again acknowledge generous Liquid Audio benefactors who’ve donated equipment they no longer want or need. We resurrect vintage hi-fi gear so that others can enjoy it, so many thanks for supporting this and thanks also to those who purchased this equipment.

I’d also like to acknowledge the customers and website visitors, many of whom have been customers and visitors for years, who help make my work a real pleasure. That’s probably you, reading this right now, you legends!

Special Mention

I couldn’t write this annual recap without mentioning the passing of my wonderful furry friend, Cleo. Cleo was such a sweet cat and was with me for 15 years until March this year. She’s been a steadfast companion through life’s ups and downs and is dearly missed.

Cleo
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How I like to remember Cleo, comfortable in the warm sun.

2022 Equipment Gallery

Now to everyone’s favourite part, the equipment gallery. I worked on the usual array of equipment in 2022, everything from A to Z, including a ton of Accuphase, Krell, Luxman, Pioneer, Sansui and Yamaha.

I seem to have become somewhat of an amplifier specialist these days, not planned, but I’ll take it. The focus though remains very much on amplifiers, preamplifiers, CD players and turntables.

Remember, what follows is a snapshot of the several hundred pieces of equipment that visited Liquid Audio this year. My apologies if yours is not listed, all equipment receives the same love!

Amplifiers, Preamplifiers & Receivers

Krell KSA-100S
This year started with the repair restoration of this lovely Krell KSA-100S sliding bias power amplifier…
Krell KSA-150
My wonderful old Krell KSA-150 class-A power amplifier visited the workshop for a check-up for her current owner. Wow!
Krell KSA-100
And my year ended with this beautiful, original Krell KSA-100 class-A power amplifier on the bench. A nice bookend to the year I reckon!
Musical Fidelity AMS-35i
Repairing this beautiful Musical Fidelity AMS-35i class-A integrated amplifier was a pleasure. It’s much heavier than it looks.
Accuphase P-300
Accuphase C-200
Restoring this lovely Accuphase C-200 and P-300 duo, owned by the original purchaser was also a great way to end the year.
Accuphase E-303
I worked on a ton of Accuphase this year, five beautiful Accuphase E-303 integrated amplifiers alone.
Accuphase E-303X
This Accuphase E-303X was a highlight, a stunning and refined version of the classic E-303.
Accuphase E-202
I also worked on many Accuphase E-202s I worked on this year, what lovely things they are.
Accuphase E-301
I really enjoyed repairing this beautiful Accuphase E-301, mostly because the owner is one of the nicest customers I’ve had the pleasure of working with.
Marantz 2325
Will you just look at this stunning Marantz 2325 receiver? You’ll go a long way to find a more beautiful piece of hi-fi equipment. I restored this one for her lucky owner and many asked me if they could buy her before she was collected!
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How’s THIS for a receiver? The epic Sansui G-8000 was recycled, repaired, and loved, once again!
Sansui AU-X1
Another highlight for me was restoring this end-game Sansui AU-X1 for one of my OG customers. This was a very technical job, but the sound, in the end, was sublime and worth the pain. Thanks for your patience, Rob!
Sansui AU-D9
I overhauled this stunning Sansui AU-D9 integrated amplifier, to great effect.
Sansui AU-819
One of several wonderful Sansui AU-717, AU-819 and AU-919 integrated amplifiers I serviced and repaired in 2022, for good people.
Technics SU-V8X
The drop-dead gorgeous Technics SU-V8X is definitely one to look out for. What a stunner.
Luxman L-550
The incredible Luxman L-550 class-A integrated amplifier, a bit more old-school and one of three that I repaired in 2022. There is much to be said about this model, but let me say here that they sound absolutely incredible when working, as this one now is!
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Who could forget this absolutely beautiful Pioneer SA8900II integrated amplifier I repaired earlier this year?!
Bryston 2B
This lovely Bryston 2B amplifier repair and restoration was one of my favourites of the year because once again we rescued it after some absolutely bodged previous work. What a gem.
SimAudio Moon i7
A serious amplifier, this beautiful SimAudio Moon i7 I previously repaired came in for a service and health check. Before I first saw it a couple of years ago, our friend Mr RadioFreakinWaves had butchered it, rendering it dead.
ME 850
This Australian-made ME 850 power amplifier really deserves its own story, like every piece here. I promise I’ll try to make that happen. This one came in for repair and overhaul and her owner is extremely happy with the result.
Quad 405
Of course, I worked on a few classic Quad 405 power amplifiers in 2022.
Accuphase C-202
This stunning Accuphase C-202 line-level preamplifier came in for upgrades in 2022. I also own one of these amazing-sounding preamplifiers and love it.
Luxman C-1000
This is a beautiful Luxman C-1000 preamplifier I overhauled earlier in the year, rescuing her and her interstate owner from some poor previous work.
Yamaha C-2A
This drop-dead gorgeous Yamaha C-2A preamplifier is another favourite from 2022, from another interstate owner. The sound and build quality of these preamps is extraordinary and repairing and servicing this one was a pleasure.

Cassette Decks

Pioneer CT-A7X
Many will know how much I love this series of cassette decks by Pioneer. I performed a major service on this CT-A7X.
Nakamichi 682ZX
I repaired this lovely Nakamichi 682ZX earlier in the year. What a plum.
Nakamichi CR-4
I also repaired this lovely old Nakamichi CR-4. This deck isn’t a patch on the Nakamichi 682ZX above, but still crushes many other decks of its time.

CD Players & DACs

Musical Fidelity M6S DAC
This very nice Musical Fidelity M6S DAC came in for repair and her owner is very happy with the result.
Kenwood DP-1100SG
Repairing and servicing this beautiful Kenwood DP-1100SG was certainly a lot of fun.
Krell KAC-300CD
This Krell KAV-300CD was a very tricky one that had been to other repairers before me. We got her running again.
Sony CDP-101
How about this pair of classic Sony CPD-101 ‘OG’ CD players I repaired for Kim @ West Coast HiFi Joondalup?! Again, these were given up as dead and were the very first CD player to the market, working again now at nearly 40 years of age!
Cayin CDT-17A
This is my Cayin CDT-17A and it is a seriously good-sounding CD player. I re-lasered it and installed a set of NOS Siemens tubes in it.

Turntables

Technics SP-10
Technics SL-1000
SME IV
Now THAT’S a turntable! This Technics SP-10/SL-1000 came to me for set-up and service, and installation of this wonderful SME IV tonearm. You can still find these end-game machines for the same price as cheap new belt-drive rubbish.
Sansui SR-929
Another direct-drive classic, this Sansui SR-929 came to me for post-purchase inspection and service.
Rega P10
This lovely Rega RP-10 belongs to one of my long-term customers and came in for service and a cartridge swap from memory.
Kenwood KD-650
I NEVER miss an opportunity to work on a beautiful Kenwood KD-600 or KD-650.
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Here’s her slightly more affordable relative, the KD-500, complete with SME 3009 arm and beautiful new Ortofon Quintet MC cartridge.
Technics SL-1200 M7L
I set up many new Technics SL-1200 series decks this year including this gorgeous Technics SL-1200M7L.
Pioneer PL-L1000
The stunning Pioneer PL-L1000 linear tracking turntable is one of my favourites. This one came in for repair and service and is a beautiful-sounding deck.
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This gorgeous Sony PS-6750 direct-drive turntable was another joy to set up and service.
Ariston RD80
Check out this gorgeous Ariston RD80 that came in for service, complete with classic Grace G-707 ultra-low mass tonearm.
Ariston RD110
Another beautiful Ariston turntable, this time an RD110. These are lovely turntables, they just need the right attention to absolutely sing.
Thorens TD-160 Jubilee
I serviced this beautiful Thorens TD-160 Jubilee earlier in 2022. Sadly, this one had changed hands several times and been to all the wrong people before she came to me, potentially ruining her. I cannot over-emphasise how many people have literally no clue about working on turntables.
Thorens TD-160B
This gorgeous Thorens TD-160B MkII belongs to another of the nicest customers you’ll ever meet. I was pleased to repair an issue with the SME 3009 tonearm and fit this lovely Goldring cartridge on this occasion, followed later by a Nagaoka cartridge.
Marantz Model 6200
This modest but lovely Marantz Model 6200 turntable blew her owner away after careful optimisation, improvement and set-up.
Kenwood KP-2022
Another gorgeous vintage deck, the Kenwood KP-2022. This and the Model 6200 above are proof that you can own a lovely older deck like these for very sensible money. Just look at the metal and wood build of the Kenwood in particular, just stunning.
Luxman PD-277
Here’s one of my favourite affordable direct-drive machines, the venerable Luxman PD-277. The PD-277 is a gem of a deck with an outstanding tonearm for the level of deck. This one came in for service and a cartridge upgrade.
img 1905
The wonderful LuxKit (Luxman) A522 is a classic from another era, basically a nicer vintage Rega planar, with a better Grace G-707 arm. These are tricky to get running well as they age, this one was no exception but played a record beautifully after a little TLC.

Speakers

Yamaha NS-1000
I improved and serviced several sets of the incredible Yamaha NS-1000 monitors this year. Here we have a lovely refinished pair that received my full crossover improvement.
Yamaha NS-1000
This beautiful pair of refinished Yamaha NS-1000 monitors received my last set of anti-diffraction treatments, plus a full high-end crossover enhancement and service. Their owner is extremely happy.

Merry Christmas!

The success of this business would not be possible without the support of my customers, viewers from around the globe and everyone who appreciates the unique way I do things and that aforementioned originality. I can’t emphasise enough how much I appreciate this.

Don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any suggestions or requests for improvement. Likewise, let me know which of these lovely pieces of gear you would most like to read about and I’ll make that happen. Is there a particular piece you’d like to read about? Tell me about it.

In the meantime, have a Merry Christmas, a happy New Year and most of all, a relaxing holiday.

Here’s to a great 2023!

22 thoughts on “2022 Recap, Merry Christmas & Happy Holiday!”

  1. Keep up the outstanding work Mike. Your honest no BS approach, combined with your technical skills makes you unique in the hi fi industry. Not surprised the business is growing.

  2. Congrats on a great growth year Mike! Shop-wise I fear you’re at capacity unless you take on apprentices to open additional service centers which clearly you have literally no time to pursue. I trust your Covid encounter is a now thing of the past? I love all your posts but I really enjoy the vintage turntable articles & always will. However, I have no regrets with my recent decison to go modern (spurred mainly by the fact that there is nothing close to a Liquid Mike in my latitude/longitude) with a Technics SLMK7L in red & have discovered KAB Electronics who have enough upgrade & enhancement options available to keep me tweaking away for years to come. I hope to be able to show you photos down the road once I’ve built one of their beautiful natural wood drop in cabinet designs for my new TT. I’m going to dye the wood to match my DIY 2 way speaker build from 2021 with it’s Eminence compression driver TexTreme domes & Aurum Cantus AC 300s, Jantzen foil wax coil inductors, Mills resistors, and Audyn Plus caps with Miflex KPCU bypassers pant-drool-arghghghh….LOL! Seriously though, I wanna thank you again for all your work & teaching moments over the years. Without what I’ve learned from you I would not have been able to know even where to begin DIY speaker/crossover work let alone tweaking my new TT moving forward. First up though is the relatively simple (again thanks to you & your in depth articles & videos) task of adding dustcover hinges to the MK7L. Best wishes in the New Year good sir!!

    1. Hi Tim, merry Christmas and thank you, really appreciate your thoughts and yes I am recovering from COVID. I’ll make sure I write more turnable articles in 2023, it’s been on my mind to do so. Very glad that you are enjoying your new Technics turntable though, great stuff! Those crossover components in your speakers sound excellent too. Using good parts like these makes an enormous difference over the cheap parts in most speakers and if I have played some small part in that, fantastic! Keep up the great system-building work at your end and please keep me updated on how it progresses. If you feel like sharing a few photos and some text, maybe we can arrange a guest post!

      1. Thank you Mike! I don’t know if I’m capable of creating content worthy of a guest appearance but, I’ve been totally sold on the difference high quality x-over components make ever since I tried some out in a garage speaker build that had clearance priced i.e., 5 dollar tweeters & mids with 20 dollar woofers & the clarity differences were huge compared to electrolytic caps & small gauge iron core inductors & 50 cent resistors. Your posts first brought the concept of upgrading such parts to my attention & then later Danny Richie really drove the point home for me. Also, as I totally spaced on it initially, very merry Christmas to you & yours as well!!

          1. Timothy J Davis

            Hi hi Mike! How’s it going? 1st system building upgrade in a good while. I had planned to lay off new purchases for some time due to financial restrictions BUT! a good friend seduced me with his acquisition of a vacuum tube phono stage, the Pro-ject S2 tube. Having fell in love with its sound especially in the area of bloom on lead guitar, I recently purchased the Hagerman Audio Labs
            Cornet4 phono tube pre-amp. Even though the tubes
            aren’t fully broken in yet. I felt the need to gush about the quality
            of this product. Full disclosure, prior to owning this item my experiences
            with phono stages were limited to A: the built in phono boards in my
            vintage Kenwood Basic C2 preamp, Sanyo JCX 2600 & 2900. And B: a Schiit
            Mani 1 as well as a Cambridge Audio 540p. None of these well made with care pieces
            offered the rich, detailed experience of the Cornet4. It gives me more of everything, bass, treble, detailed midrange, percussive impact (my favorite element of music), massive attack & sustained decay as well as having expanded my soundstage depth & width (although I admit that element doesn’t mean a whole lot to me, after all, it’s merely an auditory illusion ain’t it?)
            Here’s a user tip I gleaned after a week or so of use, do not plug the ps into one of
            the switched outlets on your receiver or pre-amp as they will starve it of the sweet
            electric company juice it needs to perform at it’s best. I’d include some pics of the unit & the DIY isolation base I threw together for it but it seems I don’t know how to do that here & now.

            1. Hi Tim, good news there on the improvements made to your system and thanks for sharing them with us. The solid state pieces you mentioned are all quite basic in terms of phono preamp performance, so I’m not surprised you are hearing improvements with the Cornet. Sounds like everything is moving in the right direction and all I can tell you is that it keeps going, stopping is the hard part!

              1. Timothy J Davis

                True that sir! I haven’t even finished paying off this purchase yet & as I said the Mullard tubes it came with aren’t even fully burned in, but, despite these facts I’m already dreaming about tube rolling. Specifically I want to try out some GE JAN tubes. The Cornet employs 2 12AX7s & 1 12AU7.

  3. Hi Liquid Mikey,
    Happy Festive Season and HNY to you and all here.
    I would really enjoy a Mike’s Top Ten of HiFi components, (and LP’s?), from each decade and/or a Mike’s ‘If you find it in good nick, buy it!’ set of articles.
    And yes, I still reckon an apprentice to carry on your fab work long term or become a TAFE tutor when you semi-retire would be grouse mate..;)
    All the best.

    1. Hi Frank, seasons greetings to you too and thank you so much for your regular donations! Please don’t feel like you need to continue this, every contribution is very much appreciated, so thank you again. Great suggestions for articles there Frank, I’ll certainly try to incorporate those in some way. All the best for 2023, thank you for your ongoing support and don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any more questions you would like answered!

  4. Hi there Liquid Mike

    Greetings from Hong Kong!

    Just discovered your site and youtube channel recently and wanted to say how moving it is to see the passion, expertise and care you demonstrate in restoring, and repairing the gear that arrives at your workshop and the engaging way you chronicle your process. “Moving” might be an unusual word to use but moved is how I feel reading and watching your process which, to me, is above and beyond expertise-level skills.

    At the same time, I do feel sadness, for had I known people like yourself existed in the world earlier, many of these heirloom pieces could have been saved. When my grandfather passed, I inherited his Marantz 1120, Philips CD960, Dual CS 506 and JBL Decade L36, all of which were deemed “unsalvageable” by local “expert” repairers, after my flat flooded while I was away, and along with them, my own Marantz 1060 and JBL 4425, all of which I was told to sell to a scrap metal shop. Only my Mission PCM 700 and Luxman L530 survived. My L530 served me for another few years before one channel started emitting a loud AF feedback and ended up “killing” one side of my Linn Kan mk.1 (Scanspeak/Kef B110) with it. Hopefully, I will one day find a local restorationist who would have a fraction of your passion and skillset, in the meantime, they sit silent and act as reminders of better times.

    I apologise for being so melancholic but seeing your work touched me, and I thank you for that.

    1. Hi Roy, thank you so much for those kind words and I can only say how wonderful it is when someone has this sort of response to the work I do here. I really do understand the sense of nostalgia that equipment like this brings, and the frustration that so many of these ‘expert’ interactions can cause. This was one of the main reasons I started Liquid Audio, more than 10 years ago now. All of the equipment you own will be fixable. A good friend of mine is a loudspeaker specialist here in Perth, for example. If you were able to remove and ship the drivers and crossovers from your Linn Kans here, they could be fixed, no doubt about it.

      1. Thanks for the suggestion Mike!

        Once my workload lightens, I will reach out and purchase a 20 mins block to discuss further on how to proceed!

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