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Norman Nicolai

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About Norman Nicolai

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  • Birthday August 13

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  • Location
    Bloomfield, NJ
  • Interests
    Keeping my family alive during the pandemic. Vintage Fisher, Sherwood, and Harman Kardon receivers; AR, Pioneer, and Technics turntables; KLH, AR, Advent, and EPI loudspeakers.

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  1. Norman Nicolai

    OLAs again

    JKent, it’s funny because they really do look good in the photos. Part of it may be the grill cloth. I may try wipe on poly for my next refinishing job anyway, just for a change. I haven’t used it for years, but if the coats are thin enough and the excess wiped off between coats, you can get a nice finish. I have a leaf table with that finish that gets a great deal of use and it has held up well over the years.
  2. Norman Nicolai

    OLAs again

    I just purchased another set of OLA’s on eBay today. They need new foam, caps and refinishing. I don’t have anything on the bench right now so I’m looking for something to keep me busy while sheltering at home during the pandemic. Not going to pick up the OLA’s for about 2 weeks. JKent, a couple of questions about your process, please. I don’t normally use wipe on polyurethane either, but I love the way your speakers look, so I think I’m going to try it. Satin finish poly, I presume? Any specific brand? Did you start with 0000 steel wool or use different coarser grades leading u
  3. Norman Nicolai

    OLAs again

    Nice! They look like vintage speakers that are in mint condition. It looks like you have managed to preserve the character of the old wood during the restoration, yet they look almost new. One of the best restorations I have ever seen. Good work.
  4. Hi Nordfinn, I don’t know how I missed these on eBay and on this site. I’m in the market for a set of Model 5’s, I’m less than a 90 min drive from the seller, they were in good shape, and reasonably priced. If you see something like this again, please post! Thanks, NN
  5. I prefer the 2xa’s already. I just assumed that the 2xa’s would be superior to the Advents in every respect, including bass reproduction, since it’s a better speaker. I am amazed at how much control you can exert coloring the sound with the L-pads. My KLH and Advent speakers, with their 3 position switches, can’t compete. I’ve been driving the 2xa’s with my solid state HK3490 receiver. It produces 120 wpc, and I’ve bypassed its preamp in favor of the preamp in an Advent 300. I also have W5M mono blocks, and when I get my PAS2 preamp back from the shop I’ll find out if the speakers fare b
  6. Norman Nicolai

    OLAs again

    Every time I tried glueing grill cloth I wound up with a sticky mess and got glue on my fingers which wound up on the front of the grill cloth. I’ve even watched videos on YouTube and still can’t get the knack of it. I get the shallowest staple I can find, then cut off a little length on each side of a group of as 10 staples still attached to each other with an old scissor. After you do that to a few sections of staples, you load up a staple gun. Normally when you staple something, you press down on the stapler so the staple penetrates. But using that technique will shoot the staple all
  7. Norman Nicolai

    OLAs again

    They look like they’re coming along fine, JKent. Nice work! I imagine that you will be listening to them a bit before you return them to their owner. I’m curious how they fit into your “pantheon” of classic speakers now that you have had the opportunity to reacquaint yourself with them. I know from your posts that you admire and are familiar with the KLH Model Five and the AR-3a, as well as many other vintage speakers. How does the original Advent Loudspeaker, in a restored version, sound to you these days?
  8. This is a great site and I’ve learned quite a bit this last year. To all those who helped me during the year, and to anyone who visits Classic Speaker Pages, have a great holiday and a healthy, prosperous 2021!
  9. Thanks for the feedback, Adam’s. The Advents and AR’s were positioned right next to each other, so it was a true A-B comparison, same music source and amplifier with a speaker selector switching back and forth between speakers. I’m not surprised that the AR’s are smoother and better balanced but am surprised that the Advents have more bass extension. I recently sold a pair of NLA’s and they had even more base than the OLA’s used in the comparison. The mortite like product is brand new and is sold by Parts Express. I’ve used it in all my speaker rebuild projects, and I used it with a
  10. My AR 2ax’s are finally finished. Thanks for all the help I got here on this site. It would have been impossible for me to finish this undertaking without that help. Which leads me to another set of questions. When I push down on the woofer cones to test how airtight the cabinets are, they spring back much more quickly than my Advent or KLH speakers. The woofer surrounds are brand new foam. I took great pains to install all the drivers with a “mortite” compound to get a good airtight seal. I then used more of that compound around the outside edges of each driver to make an even better sea
  11. After reading the post by Doug G. I did some subsequent reading and found out that many people thought that NLA’s should not have been rated at 8 ohms, that a 4 ohm rating would probably been more accurate. Bottom line: NLA’s are not a good candidate for Advent stacking. I was probably pretty lucky mixing my OLA’s and NLA’s as stacked Advents. The receiver I was using, the HK3490, was advertised as a “high current” amplifier. High current amps are supposedly better at handling low impedance loads than most other amps. At least that’s what I have read. I don’t know if that’s the reason I d
  12. I had a set of OLA’s and NLA’s at one time not too long ago. They were both rated at 8 ohms. If your speakers are truly OLA’s and NLA’s, and no one has replaced any of the original drivers or fooled around with the internal wiring, they should both be rated at 8 ohms. I ran mine off the main and remote speaker terminals of my my HK3490 receiver which was rated at 110 WPC and had no problem. I think you may like the combination. To my ears, the OLA’s high frequencies were just a bit rolled off, and the NLA’s were a just a tad too bright. In combination they worked well together. You can fo
  13. Hi Andrew. Please allow me to throw in my 2 cents on this topic. I have been working on Advent speakers only for the past 3 years. My knowledge is based on what I have read in this forum, other forums, and my personal experience. I did not own Advent loudspeakers “back in the day” when Henry Kloss started Advent, but discovered them late in life. From what I have read the Masonite woofers were used in the Original Large Advents, the OLA’s. The woofers with the metal adapter were introduced when the New Large Advents, the NLA’s, came out a number of years later. NLA’s had a different sound
  14. Norman Nicolai

    OLAs again

    I have refinished many pieces of furniture over the years, not counting the the speaker cabinets I have worked on the last 2 years, and had never heard of “steaming” the dents out of wood. Your mentioning that in your post caused me to google it and I came across a few videos illustrating the process on YouTube. I always considered myself pretty well versed on wood working techniques, but did not know about that one. Boy, do I feel dumb! Thanks for pointing out a new trick, unrelated to electronics!
  15. Can you post photos of the speaker?
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