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Everything posted by JBryan

  1. PM'd - also, can you share a few more pics? Thanks!
  2. A while back, I fit a pr of Khorns, a couple of amps and pres, a tuner and a R2R in a Rav4. Not too difficult but my friend, Bob had the large and quite heavy R2R in his lap for an hour or so and said he wouldn't wish that on his worse enemy.
  3. Welcome to the forum - talk about pulling up an 'ancient' thread! I'm still using the XM26 w/45SET monos powering the Oris/AER horns and various digital amps on the bass bins. Honestly, aside from a few tweaks over the years, my main system is the same as it was 10-15 years ago. If I want to 'play', I have a vintage system where I change components every few months and a set up in the living room that's seemingly in constant flux. Hope you're safe and having fun!
  4. I've run a lot of Mac gear through my systems over low, these many years and in my experience, the MC-30's (and the MC-225) are the most musical tube amps McIntosh has offered. The 1st 'nice' setup I ever bought was a pr of MC-30's, a MX-110 pre and a pr of Khorns I picked up at a 2nd-hand shop back in college. They sounded great together but when I moved away, I foolishly sold the amps, loaned the pre and left the Khorns behind, none to be seen again. Klipsch and vintage McIntosh tube gear compliment one another nicely and the MC-30's are some of my all-time favorite Mac gear... Joe's a pretty good guy too!
  5. I have a pr of '87 Khorns I've worked through the bins and tops a few times and I never came upon any MDF - only plywood.
  6. S'OK...my brother-in-law will never know and the search continues.
  7. I used 2 - 4'x 8' panels of 1" MDF and birch plywood, cut in half and married together with a sound-damping material (similar to Dynamat) sandwiched in between. I used maple blocks to brace and hold the corners together but they're heavy and a bear to move around. I was too lazy to veneer the birch so I just stained it to be slightly darker than the Khorns' walnut finish and painted the MDF to match the walls. Later, when I replaced the Khorn tops with Oris horns, I used walnut slabs on the top and bottom to enclose the bass bins and used walnut braces to attach the false corners to the bins (see avatar). The result was even heavier but to my surprise, they were more solid and much easier to move and position. As I recall, PWK suggested false corners if the Khorns couldn't be placed in solid corners and specified that the horns needed the extended 'wings' to complete the wave and get the most out of the bass. I found the wings not only lowered the frequency of the bins but also tightened up the bass quite a bit. The other bonus was that I was no longer constrained to the room's corners and could position the speaks to optimize soundstage, image and room acoustics. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend false corners - even with excellent corners in the room.
  8. My doc cleaned out my ears once and I couldn't believe how much wax had collected over the years. I never experienced ear aches but occasionally, I'd get a short, sharp pain inside the ear so I should've paid more attention. The doc suggested that I use a syringe and squirt hot (tolerable) water in each ear canal followed by a mix of hot water and hydrogen peroxide and let it sit there for a minute or so. The peroxide will dissolve the wax - it'll sound like someone poured coke in there. Once the fizzing subsides, rinse out the ear with a few squirts of hot water from the syringe and follow up with soap (I do this just before I shower). Be careful not to push soap too deep in the ear and rinse it all out as it will irritate the canal and cause more wax to be formed. If you have swimmer's ear or have trouble getting the water out you can pour ½ a cap of isopropyl alcohol in and it will 'float' the water to the top and any residual alcohol will evaporate. Of course, alcohol will irritate the canal as well so use this as a last resort. I hope its something simple and easily reversed...Good Luck.
  9. I have a CV-5 that I'll occasionally pull off the shelf. I played around with tubes a while back and found that Telefunken 12ax7's worked best with my TT setup. They tend toward clean and detailed which sounds pretty good through the somewhat warm PV-5's gain stage. On that note, I found the RCA triple mica black plate 5751 improved upon the originals a bit but most 5751's sound pretty close to each other in my experience and they used to be easy to pick up cheap at hamfests (I haven't been in years though) so no real reason to spend too much. PV-5's originally shipped with GE 5751 (which are fine tubes if a bit warmer sounding than the RCA's) but now CJ uses Gold Lions so that should be a good option.
  10. A vendor was selling a couple of Audio Desk units he had on display at last year's Capitol Audiofest for $2600 but that was still out of my budget and he was a bit vague on the specifics so I passed. He did mention that the price he quoted was only a few hundred dollars over his cost so I'd imagine you would have some wiggle room to negotiate with a dealer. Instead, I put together an DIY US set up w/80kHz tank, filter and pump for @$800. The tank is by far the most expensive component but I found a 10 liter tank w/timer and heater on sale through Amazon back in January for @$700. The motor was the most difficult item to find as I was looking for a 1/10rpm unit. I never could find one at a reasonable price so I ended up with a 1/3rpm motor and used gears to reduce the rotation speed - not ideal but it'll work until I get the motor I want. The filter and pump cost @$50 on A'zon and everything else I either picked up at a hobby shop and Home Depot or already had around the house. The US cleaner works great - especially on new records but I find it works best in concert with a vacuum RCM. If the record has finger prints, dust and dirt, etc., I clean it with the RCM first using AIVS (Audio Intelligent) enzyme cleaner, followed by AI cleaning fluid (#15 or 'Super' depending on the level of dirt) and rinse with ultra pure water used for surgical irrigation. I then run up to 5 LPs through the US process that takes about 10 minutes and for now, I just put them on a rack to dry. My next project is to build a dryer box that uses an AreoStat ionizing air blower pushing air through a plastic storage tub. I already have the blower, I just need to find some bellows and cut some holes in a plastic tub. The blower cost $20 (used) and I think I can find everything else around the house. Other than the obvious cost savings, I feel that the set up I put together works as well as the Audio Desk and has more potential - I can clean 4 or 5 records at a time, the DIY filtration system works far better so I can reuse the fluid longer and best of all, I can easily modify the set up if and when I come up with better parts, designs or ideas. I'm a bit of a tinkerer but there's almost zero skill involved - just a few 45 degree cuts, some screws and glue. The most difficult aspect is figuring out a design and finding the parts - after that, it just takes a few hours to put everything together. While it isn't very pretty and stills needs refinement, my US cleaner was easy to put together, works well and serves its purpose. Have fun!
  11. I'd also recommend Terry DeWick (Dewick Repairs) in Knoxville,TN. He's busy (90 day backlog) and on vacation 'til September but does excellent work and is quite reasonable. http://www.mcintoshaudio.com/dewick_repairs.htm A few years ago, the rectifier on my Scott 222c finally died so I took the opportunity to send it and a 350B tuner to Terry for a checkup and some upgrades. He got rid of the often problematic selenium cap and beefed up the power supply considerably, replaced the out of spec resistors and caps, added premium caps in the signal path and gain stage and modified the amp to use EL-84M tubes instead of the more expensive 7189's. The only other thing I wish I had him do was to move the bias points and adjustment screws to the top of the chassis so I could more easily access and adjust the bias (which I've never had to adjust but its a PITA to check!). He discussed my options, made the repairs, brought both pieces back to spec and shipped 'em back to me for just under $300 total, including a new set of Russian EL-84M tubes. Everything has worked like a charm since and I'm delighted with his work.
  12. I have/had a bevy of Thorens tables and always had fun with them and they're reliable and fairly easy to maintain/ fix when necessary. My 1st was a td-160 w/Shure Mk.III cart. I used it for years in high school and college but left it behind (along with my records) when I moved away from home and took a break from vinyl. Within a couple of years, I happened upon a great collection of 60's and 70's rock at a thrift shop and that very weekend, picked up a td-145 MkII at a yard sale (along with more records) and I was back in business! Soon after, I was finding Thorens tables right and left. I bought a couple of td-124's at the same Goodwill within weeks of each other; another 160 and 145 at yard sales (I'd given my brother-in-law the first as a starter) and finally, I bought a td-125 Mk.II w/Rabco linear-tracking arm from a gent along with most of his audio gear. I've given away or traded most of the tables over the years but still have a td-160, 124 and the 125 Mk.II (that still needs work - d@#n that Rabco arm!). I haven't used a Thorens in a while but find them extremely decent tables and I will occasionally switch one into my 2nd system just to make sure they still work and give it a listen. While they're not as easy to find as they once were and certainly not the best tables (the arms should almost always be upgraded to get the best sound) but they are tried and true and can be had for a song with a little patience - killer bang for the buck and I'd recommend them to anyone looking to wet their feet in vinyl. Have fun!
  13. I set up my CF-2, 3 & 4's in my sister-in-law's HT and I'd never describe the mids and bass as 'muddy'. Have you checked the polarity - not just your wires but right up to the drivers? How about changing out the wires and cleaning the connectors? I doubt its the caps but its possible they've deteriorated after 20+ years and would still benefit from an upgrade. Keep us informed and have fun!
  14. I have/had CF-2, 3 & 4's and while they all will sound good with @10 watts going in, I found that 25 watts and up are needed to control the woofers and 100 watts isn't over doing it and will provide the deepest and most impactful bass (especially notable with the CF-4 model). As your grandpa and others have mentioned, good quality tube amps are an excellent match with most Klipsch speakers but the Epic series seems to lend itself to SS and digital topologies that can provide more bottom end and control. Still, look for quality as you want to avoid the noise, strident highs and distortion prevalent in lesser amps. Have fun!
  15. Straight out of the box, the A7 and its kin have the better midrange than the Khorn with more detail and good dispersion and while the bass is loud, it doesn't go as low, isn't as fast and lacks the weight of the Khorn. While neither excels on the top end, the Khorn's tweeter does provide higher frequencies. That said, with slight to extensive modifications, both speakers can be made to sound excellent and of course, I'm bias but I've had both and think the Khorn's bass bin tips the scales in its favor.
  16. Thanks Guys. You're correct as usual Craig - Scott referred to it as a 'DC Balance Adjustment' but the procedure is similar to setting the bias. I did find a very brief segment in a 222c restoration video on Youtube and passed it along and then spent over an hour on the phone talking him through what shouldn't take more than 5 minutes. Quite the learning curve but I think he got it right in the end and he's still breathing so... its all good. Thanks again!
  17. Hey guys, A while back, I sold a 222c to a fellow 'phile and he recently called asking about how he should go about biasing the amp. I've sent him the service manual and instructions and have tried to talk him through it but either I'm not explaining it well or he's a bit inexperienced and I think I'm just confusing him. Does anyone know of a video on youtube or such that I can send a link so he can actually 'see' the procedure? I've search but can't find anything specific to the 222c and find it difficult to believe that someone hasn't put a video up considering how many of these amps are out there. I'm too lazy and after looking through the handful of restoration videos on Youtube, I seriously doubt I could do justice to one. Any help would be most appreciated... Thanks!
  18. The false corners I built extended the bottom only slightly compared to having the Khorns wedged into the corners but it did tighten the bass quite noticeably - so much so that I had to lower the gain to the bass bin by approx. 20% to keep the overall response flat. Using FC's also enables slightest adjustments to toe-in and placement that allow me to fine tune the soundstage and image. That made the most significant improvement to the sound. I had pretty decent corners to begin with yet would recommend using false corners in all but the most 'perfect' rooms.
  19. While its nice to have a variac around if you bring a lot of vintage electronics home, I don't think it'd provide much if any benefit to keep one hooked up to your gear. A variac is quite handy to ramp up the voltage so you can check for problems and re-form the capacitors in gear that's questionable or hasn't been used for a while. Most vintage gear is designed to handle the initial power up easily and with no deleterious effect on tubes or the transformers. I've picked up a slew of old gear and several variacs over the years (including the one pictured in your post) and aside from testing, re-forming and the occasional sound experiment with guitar amps (ref: J. Page), the most use I get from a variac is when I roast coffee - works like a charm in that capacity but then I'm not concerned with how nice my roaster sounds. In my opinion, a variac in front of your equipment won't offer much longevity or safety but it will add a lot of noise. Particular to the unit pictured above, it works fine but mine has a pronounced HUM as you approach 100 volts and do not use it in a 15 amp circuit or it'll trip the breaker every time... take my word for it . Have fun!
  20. Depends.... If the pictures are behind glass, then any damping material would be of little or no benefit as most mid and high frequencies would be reflected before they could be absorbed and you'd need at least 8" of material behind the picture to have any real effect on the lower frequencies (as well, the location of the pictures would preclude most benefits to lower frequency damping). In fact depending on their placement, adding reflective surfaces to your walls can be quite detrimental to the sound. If the pictures are actually paintings or prints without glass, you could benefit from 3-5" thick material behind them, depending of course on the placement. Rule of thumb for those without a mic and sound analysis software, the best place to hang absorption material is at the first reflections.
  21. Massdrop.com is offering the UTurn TT for $175 until June 14th (Sunday). The TT comes with the optional cue arm ($40) and you can upgrade to the acrylic platter for another $60. Its not what I'd consider a great deal but works out to @20% off list. Here's the link... https://www.massdrop.com/buy/u-turn-audio-orbit-basic-cue BTW, Massdrop is a online community that among other benefits, organizes group buys to get bulk discounts for its members. Its free to join and there are always plenty of audio gear available - sometimes at ridiculous discounts. Have fun!
  22. Apologies for the long post, I was just going to make a comment and got carried away - must be the morning caffeine... My, how times change us.... I used to pull 'all-nighters' listening to music with friends in high school and college. Then, I moved to Baltimore with my (future) wife and spent the next few years finding my way to a profession and career and aside from live shows and concerts, I rarely listened to any music other than what the radio had to offer (although there were a few fine stations in my area). In fact, I'd left all my gear and records in North Carolina so I didn't even have the opportunity for dedicated listening. Once we settled into a house and work became stable, I began to miss those listening sessions and spent a lot of time with friends who had an audio set up. One weekend, I was visiting a guitar bud in NC, listening to and admiring his vintage tube system when he suggested that since I liked tubed guitar amps so much more than SS, I may be missing something with my wife's NAD set up... and the seed was planted. He added that I was the one that had gotten him into tubed audio gear when he heard my set up in college - a pr of McIntosh MC-30's, an MX-110 and a pr of Khorns that I'd picked up at a 2nd hand shop. I got the gear because it was cheap (I think I paid $350 for the lot back in the early 80's) and there was definitely a 'cool-factor' when my friends saw the tubes and big horns. I just hadn't put 2 and 2 together 'til he mentioned it. In fact, he 'inherited' the MX-110 when I left school and is still using it. Within a year, I had cobbled together a decent set up - a Music Reference RM-9 amp, Audible Illusions 3a pre and a pr of B&W 801 speaks. I was again spending my evenings and on till the wee hours listening to music and really enjoying life. Then one afternoon when I should've been eating lunch, I stopped by another 2nd hand shop and came upon a few piles of records. My intention was merely to set them up properly so they wouldn't warp but once I started flipping through, I noticed an early Beatles' LP still in the shrink. I flipped a couple more and found the same record (I think it was the "Second Album') only it was still sealed! Soon after, I had pulled every Beatles' album on Capitol through the White album still in cellophane in pristine condition and all but the White album had an additional sealed copy. I was more than excited but the finds kept coming - the Who, Hendrix, Dylan. Many records I found I was too young to pick up when they came out but here they were, most in great condition and about 50, including the Beatle's were still sealed. I gathered myself and asked the lady at the counter as casually as I could muster... "How much for your records?". She said... "$1 each" so I started gathering LP's but soon realized, I couldn't go through them all as I was already late getting back to work. Finally and with a bit of desperation, I asked... "How much for the lot?" and after a brief negotiation, I bought everything for $75 (which just happened to be all the cash I had in my pocket). I loaded 250-300 records in my car and rushed back to work but I was worthless as all I could think about was getting home and looking through the stash. Of course, it had dawned on me that I had left all my records and turntable behind in North Carolina when we moved thinking that CD's were my future. Now I had @300 LPs and nothing to play them on but as luck would have it, that Saturday, we went to my mother-in-law's house to visit and do laundry. I noticed a yard sale going on where I found another box a quality records - including some Mobile Fidelity titles. This was an unprecedented week in vinyl for me! I bought 25-30 records and mentioned to the lady that I just go back into vinyl didn't even have a TT. She yelled for her husband and he called me into the house where he showed me a Thorens TD-160 TT. My prayers were answered and I picked that up along with a spare Shure cart and a box full of cleaners and accessories, including a GEO-disc. By that evening, I was spinning vinyl again and loving' it... I was on a roll and already planning to bring back all my records from NC. I was once again staying up late, listening to music (mostly records) almost every night and began upgrading in earnest. For the next 10-15 years, a parade of gear passed through my system - I discovered the revelatory experience of SET and as a result, rediscovered the merits of horns and found my way to this Forum. Along the way, I have met many audiobuds and quite a few have become close friends. Times have changed (as have my sleep habits) and I don't listen to music as much I used to nor do I switch out gear nearly as often so those revelatory moments in audio are few and far between.There have been weeks, sometimes months when I can't be bothered to go down and listen to my main system and I content myself with music streaming in the background and the occasional live show. I think that's just age and there's a natural arc to a hobby like ours but I still love music and its a profound part of my life. Of course, when I run out of excuses and do manage to sit myself down, warm up the system and spin some records, I am easily taken by the music and remind myself just why I should be enjoying this experience every moment I still can - after all, we can't take it with us.
  23. Howard's isn't just oil so it will change the appearance/gloss of your finish. Watco oil finish is fine but probably not necessary and if you use a 'tinted' oil, it will also change the appearance. The water damage is very slight and I believe you could easily remove the stains by light sanding the finish. By light, I mean using 300-400 grit sandpaper and very light pressure along the grain of the wood - just enough to remove the stains and be very careful at the veneer's edges. Follow up by cleaning all wood surfaces with mineral spirits and a soft cloth (old tee shirts work fine), turning it often until you see no more residue. Once the MO dries (30 minutes) gently wipe the surface with tack cloth and then you can apply a few applications of boiled linseed oil over the veneer. Apply a thin coat of BLO (I use an old sock), wait 10 minutes and wipe off any excess; wait 45 minutes to 2 hours for coat to dry, gently wipe down with tack cloth (you're just trying to remove specks of dirt and dust), then repeat. If you desire a more glossy finish (or the room is particularity dusty), very lightly sand with 600 grit block or paper, then use tack cloth between coats but be sure the surface is completely dry. That should bring the finish back pretty close to its original condition. Then you simply reapply the BLO every 1-2 years or when the surface starts looking 'dry' and you're set. I wouldn't recommend Murphy's soap and I only use lemon oil to condition 'hard' woods like rosewood and ebony. Mineral spirits dissolves oil so only use that if you plan on applying BLO or such.
  24. In my book, you have Klipschorns... heavily modified but 'Klipsch' nonetheless. Of course, I'm a bit biased but the core feature of Khorns is the bass bin and that is really all that's necessary to qualify. One of the main reasons to go with Khorns is that they are full-featured horn speakers at an entry-level price and I'd wager that there are plenty of us that came to this forum because we were looking for just that - big horn sound on a budget. I equate Khorns to the late 60's Nova in that both were well engineered, reliable and did what they were built to do well, yet were packaged to fit into a more pedestrian budget and therefore, required some rather pedestrian compromises to meet that criteria. What both products have in common is that while they perform well in their stock form, they are easily modified and can be made to perform well above their stock state. That's another reason we come to this forum - Klipschorns are very tweak-able and easy to work on - anyone can play. PWK's claim to fame was and will always be his design of the folded-horn bass bin - a revelatory design that still holds its own today. In order to actually sell his bass bin, Paul finished it with the 'top-hat' and sourced the parts based on his engineer mindset - the least expensive part that meets the required specs. In its stock form, the Khorn is a very competent and listenable system but with a few minor tweaks, the sound improves dramatically and there are a myriad of upgrades that can allow the Khorn to achieve much higher sound quality levels. At some point, the bass bin will become the compromising factor in the upgrade path but by then, you'll have spent a lot of time and money and may well have pushed it into a world-class speaker... or at least come mighty close. Its difficult for a speaker that's essentially been in production for over 60 years to become collectible - especially one that isn't stock so don't factor 'return on investment' in your purchase as that seems quite unlikely. The bottom line is that the Khorns you have (?) will most certainly sound better than stock and should afford you many years of enjoyable listening and if so inclined, will enable you to walk down the 'upgrade' path and tweak to you heart's content - and that's all the reason most of us need to own them. Have fun!
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