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Krispy Kirk

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Everything posted by Krispy Kirk

  1. That's news to me...and to Denon Inc who say " Its high output allows you to use it interchangeably with a moving magnet phono input. "
  2. And if you discover you can't afford the "Marantz sound" let me throw another brand name into the mix: Onkyo. I've owned two in a row in the past quarter century and they both punched way above their paygrades. *Also, I've heard good things about NAD although they aren't really a "budget" brand any more like they were back in the day...
  3. I was going to recommend the Denon DL-110 but instead decided to sit back with my popcorn and see how long it took somebody else to recommend it. It didn't take as long as I thought it would... Do a search on here for "DL-110" and read all the raves. I've owned similar Sumikos, Grados, and ATs and I strongly believe the DL-110 is the cartridge to beat in the under $400 market (if you do a thorough search, you may be able to find it for under $200!). And it runs just fine on a plain jane MM preamp by the way. Good luck!
  4. Since the four records you described seemed to sound progressively worse as you played through them, I'm gonna vote for "dirty stylus" (aka "dirty needle"). Grab a flashlight and maybe a magnifying glass and take a look - any little fuzzball you see on that tiny thing that touches the record MUST be cleaned off...carefully, and often (once every side isn't too often in filthy environments). Setting up a vinyl playback rig is certainly a challenge but keeping everything - including your vinyl AND your stylus - sparkly clean is a full-time job. You're gonna get a thousand tips on how to clean a stylus (and how often) but there are two ways I recommend right off the bat: 1) use the tiny brush that should've came with the turntable, gently brush off the fuzz BACK to FRONT; or 2) cut a 1"x2" piece out of a Magic Eraser cleaning pad and gently (dry) brush off the fuzz BACK to FRONT. Alternately, you can just set the Magic Eraser on your bare platter (motor off) and then carefully lower the stylus down onto it. If it leaves a little "booger" on the Magic Eraser when you raise the tonearm back up, you've cleaned your stylus! Any improvement?
  5. An equalizer on a home stereo is like a set of training wheels on your first "big boy" bicycle. You think you need it and you probably do. But as you get more experienced, you should realize that those training wheels are for beginners. Hang around here long enough and you'll learn far more than any person needs to optimize your (otherwise excellent) gear and get beautiful sound. Without the training wheels. Equalizers tend to be a phase we all grow out of fairly early in the hobby. Get the right gear and set it up correctly and there is no need for an equalizer. Now, in the car...that's a whole other deal.
  6. Remember that sometimes a ceiling isn't really a "ceiling". Take your average "drop ceiling" for instance. If you look up and see a grid of semi-solid white rectangles suspended by a lattice of metal strips, you have a "drop ceiling". Excellent for acoustics but lousy for just about everything else. The "real" ceiling is probably another foot or more above those tiles. At lower frequencies, this is a good thing since there is ample room for longer wavelengths to unfold in your listening space. And at higher frequencies, there is a fair amount of absorption of excessive treble. Regular sheetrock ceilings have some of the same pros/cons. In my experience, just as the "best" sounding floor is not really a "floor" but rather a suspended wooden platform above another space, the best ceiling is often a fake one. Not everything that is overhead is a ceiling.
  7. Leaving home for college in the fall of 1983, I just knew deep in my bones that the only way to get my own stereo was to get a job - my first real punch-the-clock job, at minimum wage no less. Which, back then, was a whopping $3.35 an hour. I slaved in the cafeteria in my college dorm for an entire semester until I had enough to buy a basic dorm room system (Technics receiver, Panasonic cassette deck, and big honkin' disco-approved Fisher rack-grade "white woofer" speakers). As I moved through college and my budding audiophilia, several things happened: I ditched cassettes for vinyl, I ditched those Fishers for a sweet pair of ADS L570s, I ditched a series of cheap *** receivers for some genuine audiophile-approved Adcom separates, and <drum roll please> the Compact Disc arrived. I just had to have it. Who paid for all of this? Why YOU did taxpayers! All through the 80s I cashed my student loan and Pell Grant checks every few months not to pay my tuition. Hell no. All that dough - thousands and thousands of dollars of it - bought me ever greater stereos. Until I finally dropped out and enlisted in the military. And then the cycle started all over again (ever heard of an "AAFES stereo"?). Yep, that was me: slave to the sound. I can honestly say that for a decade from the early 80s to the early 90s (when I bought my first Klipsch) all of my expendable income went towards stereo gear and tapes/records/CDs. I slept on the floor, ate ramen, mooched off the girlfriend, yada yada. But the tunes were always cranking. And usually at a relatively high level of quality. Top that you amateurs.
  8. Get the Jolida. I've owned three different Jolidas (but not the 102) and they've all enjoyed a euphonious synergy with my Forte II's. One word of caution: 20 watts won't seem like enough unless your room is very small or your speakers are very efficient or you listen to strictly 16th century lute music. What do you plan on driving with that JD102B? Also: 15 years is not necessarily "old" for electronics (especially amps). I have unrestored amps, receivers, CD players, and tape decks from the late-80s through 1990s that all work flawlessly (knock on wood). Circa 25-30 years of age is where I start worrying about parts dying and caps drying and that kind of stuff...speakers age noticeably faster imho due to mechanical fatigue, foam dry rot, wear of the furniture finish, and deterioration of glues/adhesives, etc.
  9. " it's basically becomes back ground music. Like the music you get in a grocery store, or on the radio." Yes, but in my home on my whole-house system, it becomes my background music...with ZERO commercials or DJ blather. When one is entertaining, constantly moving from room to room doing chores, or just chilling out on the deck, there is no substitute for a customized playlist that can be heard anywhere you like (yes, even in the bathroom!) I have stereo pairs of in-wall or in-ceiling speakers (Boston Acoustics, sorry KlipschCo!) in every bedroom, the master bathroom, the kitchen, the dining room, and on hanging under the eaves on the three sides of my deck that wraps around three-quarters of my house. The whole thing is powered by NAD electronics controlled by an HP PC located in the center of the main floor (of three) and there is a volume control on the wall in every room that has speakers. I can play CDs or a tuner through this system, and I sometimes do, but using server software like MediaMonkey is far more convenient. When you're doing something away from your main rig but you still want musical accompaniment, dragging a turntable, amp, and giant speakers around the house is not the best option. Trust me, I know. I used to keep six separate systems in six separate rooms/areas of my house. And then I moved to a new house that was already wired for sound and I was sold. All that extra gear got sold off in a garage sale. But don't get me wrong Thebes. I still maintain a dedicated listening rig in a dedicated listening room. It has a turntable, a tube amp, and Klipsch floorstanders. I typically abhor neo-tech solutions that deliver supposed "convenience" like wi-fi, blu-tooth, siri/alexa/hal, "smart"phones, and any gadget pushed by Apple as they always seem to take more than they give. But if you already have a PC with a decent sized HD, a pile of CDs, and a perhaps a distributed audio system, then ripping those CDs to FLAC (or .wav or any other lossless format) and playing them via software simply can't be beat. Oh, and the smart collector always always always keeps their CDs even after ripping. Just because the music is now on your hard drive doesn't mean you no longer need the source disc. 😉
  10. tigerwoodKhorns: I am using MediaMonkey on a PC-based whole-house media server based around a pair of TB HDs. I have been gradually ripping my 5,000 CD collection to FLAC and, after a few years, I am almost halfway finished (I rip maybe 20 a week). I would be happy to answer any questions you might have about the process and/or walk you through the process step-by-step. Bottom line: it's easy but time-consuming. Expect an average length CD to take about three minutes to rip/analyze/compress/tag. There are a few potential pitfalls but if you have a fast internet connection you shouldn't have any significant problems tagging your music as you rip. I'm here for ya man!
  11. I'm a big fan of Media Monkey. Try it out for free: http://www.mediamonkey.com/
  12. Some thoughts from 35+ years of pursuing the hobby: 1) All else being equal, a cheap belt drive will beat a cheap direct drive turntable. An expensive direct drive will easily keep up with, and probably surpass, an expensive belt drive turntable. 2) The highest level of objective performance (in numbers as measured by scientific devices) is attainable only with a direct drive turntable. 3) Most, if not all, of the drawbacks to belt drive designs have been eliminated or drastically minimized in the past 30 years or so. 4) Most, if not all, "high end" (audiophile-approved) turntables today are belt drive designs. 5) Belt drive designs are far more tweakable than direct drive designs. This might be one reason why audiophiles prefer them.
  13. Vinyl touching vinyl? I must've been thinking about how it feels to wear my "special outfit" to funny parties...but if rubber is more your thing, wear rubber! But I digress... Here's what I was trying to describe:
  14. As is so often the case in audio, the best <insert tweak or accessory here> is no <insert tweak or accessory here>. Therefore, I'll just say it: the best mat is no mat at all. At most, a mat simply acts as a band-aid to undo some damage being done by the turntable, platter, arm, cartridge, atmospheric humidity, static electricity, etc. Once you master your environment, you might find that no mat sounds the best. But only if you can adjust the VTA/SRA on your arm/headshell. As stated earlier, mats often raise the vinyl to an appropriate height for playback. This is one universally acknowledged benefit of mats. However, as also stated earlier in this thread, a positive clamping system (vacuum, threaded clamping, or mass-loaded weighted) will do more good for your phono playback system than any mat - even the very best audiophile jobs. I would recommend focusing your attention on clamping your records securely to the platter somehow rather than introducing a layer of (potentially sound-muddying) material between the record and the platter. That said, I realize that some platters might have non-smooth surfaces that could damage records. So use a mat. In my experience, cork tends to sound the most neutral although felt and leather are also not without their charms. The new fad in turntable design is vinyl-impregnated platters that require no mat. My Pro-Ject 2Xperience Classic is one such design. The engineers over there in Czecho-Austria decided to melt a bunch of old ABBA albums and bond them to the top of the MDF platters on many of their mid- and upper-tier tables (which mostly all use a threaded spindle clamp as well). I think it's brilliant. Vinyl likes to be touching vinyl. If you ever have a chance to check out a (matless) turntable with a vinyl-coated platter, do it. It's really an ingenious way to put an end to all this debate about mats.
  15. Pictures or it never happened. *Also, bashing Bob Crites is not cool. Please stop it.
  16. My current amplifier has no tone controls. No balance control either. Best sounding amp I've ever owned!
  17. Put me down for six* as well: one 5.2 HT rig in the living room, one dedicated 2CH rig in the main listening room, a 2CH rig in a master bedroom, another one in the garage, one out on the back deck (yes, a complete system - amp, CD, and speakers all outdoors), and another one (100% outdoors) out by the pool. I'm proud to say I run all of these on CD, vinyl, and/or a hi-def device playing FLAC files (FiiO X1) with zero reliance on MP3, Bluetooth, smart phone, Pandora, or wireless streaming of less-than-full-resolution file types. Sound matters far more to me than convenience. *this is not counting three systems in vehicles as well as a 2.1 system on my desk.
  18. I have a 2Xperience Classic in olive wood with an external Speed Box. It might be the nicest table anyone can buy for under $1500. And I've helped a few buddies pick out their own Debut Carbons. It's hard to go wrong with Pro-Ject - they pack a lot of value into their turntables and they are sold so widely that deep discounts are common. And they use pretty nice OEM cartridges too. Nevertheless, I replaced the stock Blue Point 2 on mine with a Denon DL-110 to get a smoother sound with better frequency extremes. Pro-Ject's phono preamps are not that great of a value in my opinion. I had one and quickly replaced it with the Vincent PHO-8 twin chassis preamp. The main complaint I've heard from Pro-Ject owners is motor hum but I've successfully eliminated it on two different Pro-Ject tables (my other one was an RPM 1.3 "Genie") by adding damping material in and around the motor. Careful placement of the motor is key. Also, make sure you oil the bearing well (a good quality synthetic engine oil works well). You'll know when you've put enough in when a tiny bit leaks out after you drop the platter/spindle in place. A dry spindle bearing will reveal itself as a subtle "grinding" noise audible between tracks and during headphone listening.
  19. If you're on a budget: http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=ARITPQ
  20. Full disclosure: I'm an owner of a pair of Forte II (bought new). I've used literally dozens of various amplifiers/receivers with them over the past 26+ years. My speakers have served in many different sized rooms of all kinds of shapes. Never once have I or any other listener complained about "shy" bass response. Their brilliant versatility is exactly why I chose the Forte II back in 1990 when I was picking a "rest of my life" speaker from the Heritage lineup consisting of Cornwall/Chorus/Forte/Quartet, etc. In my experience, and from decades of reading opinions on this forum, I believe the Forte II is the easiest Klipsch design for the majority of listeners to live with in real-world (ie non-audiophile) situations combined with real-world (ie non-audiophile) choices in electronics. Their measured response goes lower (32Hz) than just about every other Klipsch speaker of their generation and the Tractrix midrange horn eliminates beaming, honking, and all other complaints typically thrown at Klipsch speakers and horn designs in general. I have found them to be far less room-dependent, electronics-dependent, and cable-dependent than any other speaker I've owned. In short, they are the perfect speaker...for me, an ordinary average guy. In fact, my love for my Forte IIs and their phenomenal ruggedness and all-purpose utility prompted me to write about them for the Storyteller contest Klipsch held 15 years ago. My story was judged by none other than Billy Bob Thornton and Henry Rollins. It won second place. My story was proof: I have great speakers. Having said that, I believe you might have a bad set of Crites crossovers. Everything else has been covered by other comments above, but it should be pointed out that if your room isn't the culprit, and your electronics are functioning normally, and phase, drivers, or wiring issues can be ruled out, then a crossover issue is all that is left. I have Crites crossovers on my Forte II. When installed, the bass response was unchanged. I got smoother midrange, clearer treble, and an overall sensitivity gain of a dB or two. But my bass stayed exactly the same. Recommendation: contact Bob Crites and ask for help. I have no doubt that he will work with you to make sure you have a good set of the correct crossovers in your speakers. In the meantime, try reinstalling the original Klipsch crossovers and see what happens. Good luck.
  21. I have a 2002 Ram 1500 5.9L with the short bed and the quad cab. It was my first (and only) truck so I have nothing to compare it to. It has 162,000 miles on it and has been only about average for reliability. Rust has started to become a major issue, especially around the rear wheel wells and underneath the bed. The things I like: the strong motor, the ride quality, and the looks of the thing. The things I don't like: cheap interior materials, the quirky auto transmission, and the myriad electrical issues I've had to deal with. Stereo is the optional factory Infinity system but I replaced the front 6x9s to JBLs a few years ago for added low-end "oomph". The ultimate question: Would I buy another one? Probably not. The Tundra looks like the truck to beat these days...
  22. I started out with one of these. Later, I got one of these. They're both a'ight although the Pangea offers more value for the money.
  23. I ran my Forte II's on nothing but solid state amps for nearly 20 years. Then one day I tried an all-tube Class AB push-pull amp and got hooked. Today I can't decide which I want more: that indisputable bass "slam" of good solid state, or that ineffable "sweetness" and air of good tubes. So I the amp I currently use has both: it's a hybrid integrated amp with a tube pre-amp (12AX7) in front of a transistor (MOSFET) power amp in a single chassis. You can have it all!
  24. I am not an Electrical Engineer, but... There are other factors to consider when deciding on speaker cable. Parallel capacitance (Cp), series inductance (Ls), total reactance (Xt), and DC loop resistance (Rdc) all sound like things you'd be asked to calculate on a Freshman Physics final but they are important. In fact, many listeners might find they have a bigger affect on perceived sound quality than simple wire gauge. If a cable designer optimizes for one or two of these factors and neglects the rest, you end up spending too much on a flawed cable. Yes, thicker is better. And yes, you can get away with some poorly designed cables if you keep your runs short (say under ten feet). I've used everything from chopped up extension cords to $12 a foot audiophile cable. In one of my bedroom systems, I am running a set of 22 ga. no-name wires from one side of the room to the other because that seems to be the heaviest gauge you can lay under a rug without feeling/seeing it (I'm too lazy to hunt down flat cable). That system is an old Pioneer rack system and a pair of 8" 2-way bookshelf speakers rebuilt with all Dayton parts. And it makes "real bass" - even with skinny wires! I think of that bedroom system and how counter-intuitively acceptable it sounds whenever the cable gauge debates begin. For an all-around recommendation, I'd say 14 ga. is the crowd-pleaser. This gauge will serve 99% of home stereo users without reducing them to poverty. But some of us are vain and must have our "audio jewelry". That's why there are 10 gauge cables like the Kimber 8PR I use in my primary system. Sure, it costs ten times more than 14 ga. Monster XP but I prefer the Kimber - not because it's "thick" but because it is designed to optimize so many of those other factors I mentioned earlier.
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