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Everything posted by skonopa

  1. I know it is a friggan long time since I was last on here (probably at least a good year and half). I just got bored with the forum and was busy doing other things, like skiing, working out, running, and so forth. Lets put it this way, since September of 2013, I've lost over 50 pounds. Hell, just this morning (Memorial day), I ran my very first 10K run and posted a pretty respectable 48:13 time. Anyway, just this past Saturday evening, I, along with Larry Clare and Marty (thebes) was up in Bethesda at the Strathmore music center and saw a performance of Shuman's Symphony No. 2 in C Major, Opus 61 by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra which was being conducted by a guest conducer, Markus Stenz. According to the article in this applause magazine they hand out at the performance, he is the principle conductor for the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra. It was a while since I took in a good symphony performance. Just wish it was not such a PITA for me to get up there through some of the worst traffic in this country- would've LOVED to seen that performance of Pictures at an Exhibition back in April. This was actually a very refreshing break from all the hard rock/heavy metal concerts I've been at lately. For example, I just saw Delain, Sabaton, and Nightwish just the prior Thursday, and will be seeing Rush this next Saturday on the 30th. I've also been doing semi-professional concert photography for the past year or so and invested in some pretty nice photography gear. The evening started out with dinner at the Oakville Grill and Wine Bar. Excellent food was served and made for a very nice relaxing dinner before the show. The actual concert started out with a performance of Overture to Der Freischutz composed by Carl Maria von Weber. This is actually a very fascinating piece. Starts out kinda slow and somewhat ominous, but really starts to pickup at about 4:30 in. Unfortunately, the conductor could've put a bit more "oomph" in the performance. My first impression I thought it was kinda boring until it started to really pickup with a nice strong finish. Larry pointed this YouTube video showing a more more interesting performance of this same piece: This was followed up by Strauss' Four Last Songs. I got to attend a lecture before the concert and the lecturer pointed out some really fascinating information about this. First, these four songs ("Fruling (Spring)", "September", "Beim Schlafengehen (Going to Sleep)", "Im Abendrot (Sunset)", were never intended to be presented together as they are. This was done posthumously as a way "sell" these songs together as a complete performance. The soprano, Heidi Melton, did a fantastic job in singing those songs. She had a good strong, powerful voice, that was also very beautiful and melodic as well. I found the second of these four songs, "September" to be particularly beautiful. Also, here, I think the conductor did a much better job in getting a good performance out of the orchestra compared to the first piece of the evening. Also, was quite convenient that there was a lyric sheet with both the original German text and the English translated included in the evenings program. Nice touch also that they brought the house lights up a touch during this part of the performance to make it easier for everyone to be able to read and follow along with the lyric sheet. Intermission followed (tip - pre-order your drink at the bar before the show, so you don't have to wait in line to get one during intermission. I did and there it was, sitting on the counter, and ready for me to enjoy when I came out). Was a beautiful evening weather-wise, so it was really nice to go out on the patio and enjoy some fresh air during intermission. The evening finished up with the four-movement Symphony No. 2 in C Major, Opus 61 by Robert Schumann. Seems this is very underrated piece in much of the musical academic circles. The Larry C mentioned this to me after the performance and in fact, the lecturer during the pre-concert lecture also mentioned this. He was indicating it seem to fall outside of what many considered "mainstream" at the time (i.e., the Beethovens, Mozarts, Bramhs, etc) I personally thought this was actually a very interesting and brilliant piece of orchestration. I guess the fact that much of the music that I personally listen to is very much outside what is also considered mainstream, so I can really appreciate a piece that can be a bit daring sometimes (take for instance, Stravinsky's Rite of Spring. Having seen that myself as well, I almost considered that very "progressive" akin to much of the progressive rock and metal that I normally listen to). I will admit that the particular performance that I say this evening was actually very well done, considering the somewhat lackluster start to the evening with that opening Overture piece. One part that I thought quite fascinating is during the third movement there is a somewhat quiet passage with a very gothic, "churcy" feel to it. I just thought it was just so cool how it sounded there. In addition, I was told during that lecture that the Scherzo during the second movement is just "loved" by the violinists, in that it is a difficult passage to learn and perform well. The string section at the BSO did an excellent job in performing that section. Overall, it was a very nice evening of music and sharing it with a few good friends.
  2. Major bummer dude! I know the feeling when my brand-new TV arrived with a big crack in the panel. At least, I got it at the local Best Buy (and actually got it cheaper than even Amazon had it for!), so it was easy for me to go back to the store and raise hell with them to get a replacement. Same here. When it comes to things like this, I much rather deal locally, either with an actual dealer or finding one on Craigslist for local pickup. Likewise, if I need to sell something like that and insist on local pickup with cash in person only. I cannot even remember the last time I've bought anything on eBay. I don't know if my account even still works anymore since it has been years since I last logged in.
  3. Just saw Fates Warning the Friday after Thanksgiving (the 29th). Those guys put on one AWESOME show!
  4. People who own an RC-7 typically keep them. Not sure Christmas would make them all of a sudden want to sell it. Exactly. I have two RC-7s and I don't plan on getting rid of either one of them anytime soon. Anyway, to pretty much confirm what was already said in this thread, the RC-7 is definitely the speaker to get to pair with the RF-5s, assuming one can be found for a decent price. I have both RF-5s and RF-7s in my rig and the RC-7s matches incredibly well with either of those.
  5. Tell me about it. I was putting my RC-7 up on the shelf above my TV, only to have my hand slip with my thumb going into one of the drivers. Put a huge crease right there in the driver. I was really pissed, as that was brand-new RC-7. However, it did not affect the performance, but still, I wanted to try to keep my speakers as pristine as possible. Did end up eventually getting a replacement driver and swapped that in, so it all looks new again.
  6. There is one with Jubs, with a Belle center, at 08 seconds. I was trying to step through it slowly to see if mine made it in. Even if it did, it would be woefully out of date. Once I get my new pre-amp later this winter, I'll have to post a new one, with the new TV and all.
  7. I figured I'd try Marantz's website (I know, to easy). Go figure that they don't a manual for this particular unit available. I guess that would be to easy, wouldn't be? I then did find this link: http://audio.manualsonline.com/support/other/stereo-system/user-contributed-manual-for-a-marantz-home-stereo-system-182512 However, when I tried to download the PDF, but the stupid thing wanted me to sign up for some bull$#!+ account. No thanks. If you want to try, that is your prerogative, but I am not going to give out my name and email if I don't have to. Did you try contacting Marantz themselves? Maybe they can send you one or point you to where to download a PDF version. Marantz Customer Service hours: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM ET, M-F Tel: 800-654-6633 If that does not work, try... Tech & Operational Support hours: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM ET, M-F Tel. 201-762-6666 Fax. 201-762-6687 Parts
  8. im not so sure about this statement. you saying that a rw-12d is as clean sounding as your chase 18.2 at 30 hz? cause i doubt it Great point there. I would have to agree. Just don't see how an inferior sub would sound the same as a high end sub just because it's playing below 40Hz. I would think the opposite is true. Perhaps, but I was able to successfully integrate an RW-12d alongside a REL Storm III in my system with good results. That was only because back when Tweeter went out of business, I managed to score an RW-12d dirt cheap. Looking back, wish I also grabbed that RT-10d that was there as well. I guess a lot has to do with your setup as well as how the sub itself sounds.
  9. No desire to have monitor or TV in the living room at the present time. The reason I connected both digital and analog cables is the digital cable actually sounded better on certain disks that I tried when I originally setup the 2ch system. My guess is when it uses the Analog cables, the DAC in the Marantz is being used and when it uses the Toslinc, the DAC in the HK is being used. Is that correct? I have a cheap little TV that I used to setup a DVD player in a two-channel rig I had setup in my basement. I think I paid about $150 for that thing. I had the TV hooked up long enough to get everything setup in the DVD player and after that, unplugged it and put it away in a closet down there. No need to keep it hooked up all the time, but handy to have when it is necessary to make adjustments to the settings. Turned out that little TV came in handy when my new plasma TV arrived with a crack in it. I still wanted to hook everything else up, so that little TV was useful in testing everything out. Once the replacement plasma TV arrived, I was able to just swap out the little TV and put it away. But yes on the second part. When hooked up via analog, the DVD player's DAC is doing the decoding/conversion, since the output is analog (thus the digital to analog conversion has to be done in the DVD before sending the analog signal out to the receiver). When hooked up via TOSLINK, the DAC in the receiver/pre-amp is doing the decoding/conversion, since the TOSLINK is a digital connection, thus the digital to analog conversion is then has to be done in the receiver. Of course, you can get an outboard DAC if you are interested in two-channel. You would plug the DVD player via TOSLINK to the DAC and then the DAC is plugged into the receiver via analog. May be worth considering as good ones are now available for pretty reasonable prices.
  10. I saw ZZ Top myself a couple of summers ago right here in Fredericksburg. They were on with 3 Doors Down and Gretchen Wilson. Was a pretty cool show. Figured, hey, the venue is only about mile and half from my place, so might as well go and see it.
  11. Update! Best Buy did indeed deliver a replacement this past Wednesday (13th). This time, since everything else was already setup, I just simply cleared out that little TV I had in place as a temporary hold-over. I got the delivery guys to unbox and setup the replacement TV as well as both myself and the delivery guys did a thorough investigation of the replacement set. It was flawless. Since it was pretty cold that day, I had to let it sit for a good half-hour or so before plugging it in and turning it on. At that point, I just went back to work (as this just happened to be my lunchtime break). I then spent the last couple of days getting all the connections all setup the way I want to with the rest of my rig and tested everything else. I've heard about the "CNET Settings". I also found a set of "Sound&Vision" settings that I went and applied (before I knew about the "CNET settings". The S&V settings seem to work really nice with my particular unit and room, plus they have separate settings for both the 2D and 3D modes, which the CNET settings did not. I will get professional calibration done, but will let the TV break in the 300 hours or so that has been recommended. Also, the delivery guys only took away the cracked TV itself (and power cord). They told me to go ahead and keep the rest of it, which was fine with me. That ended up giving me two additional pairs of 3D glasses and a spare remote. With those 3D glasses going for $80/pair, I'll take it as a nice compensation for having to deal with the inconvenience of getting a replacement set. Anyway, I am REALLY impressed with just how awesome this TV looks. To be honest, I don't think there is anything that looks this good short of getting an OLED 4K set (which does not even exist yet). I have not tried any of the 3D stuff yet, though. Especially considering that I don't have any 3D content on hand, nor a 3D-capable player (although, supposedly the PS/3 can now play 3D movies). Yeah, I could've probably gotten a screen and projector, but such a setup just simply does not work and is not practical in this particular room, so I opted to get what is arguably the best TV that is currently available right now. I am certainly happy with what I got here and hope this thing will last me as long as my trusty ol' Mitsu did (and that Mitsu is still going strong, thus why I am going to try to sell it on craigslist - I just don't want to junk it. Failing that, I'll see if the local homeless shelter could use it. And failing that, it will be interesting to try to load it in the back of my truck and take it to my ski house up in the mountains to replace that ancient 32-inch TV that is currently there). Hopefully by the time I am ready to retire this unit, that elusive 4K OLED set will be readily available for a decent price.
  12. You are not just going to show up in cut-off shorts and a "wife beater" shirt like I do? In all seriousness, you don't need to dress all up in tuxes and the like to go to the symphony. I just pretty much wear the same thing like I wear to work, basically a nice pair of pants and shirt. I don't bother with ties and suits and the like, although I've seen people dress up in suits. At the same time, I've also seen people wearing shorts and t-shirts there as well.
  13. The last "Rock" concert I was at was ProgPower XIV in Atlanta, GA back in September. I am one of the sponsors of the show, thus I had full VIP access. that means I was able to get right up next to the stage in front of the crowd barrier to get some pictures: Sabaton: Damnation Angels: In the Silence: Just this past Friday, I did attend a classical performance - Holst - The Planets with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra with Marian Alsop conducting. On the 29th (the day after Thanksgiving), I'll be seeing Fates Warning at Empire.
  14. Is that a pic of the broken one working? I am actually curious myself. If you still have the broken one, did you try hooking it up and see if it still works? If it does and the crack does not affect the image quality (since it is there in the extreme corner), may make for a good "back-up" or second TV.
  15. i probably could, but it won't happen. And for multiple reasons: In this particular room, a projector and screen is just not practical at all. Yeah, I could renovate one of the rooms down in the basement to put in a dedicated theater with projector and screen, and I even gave it serious consideration, but in the end I would probably hardly, if ever, actually use it. I use this rig for much more than just watching movies. In fact, movies is a very tiny fraction of what I use this rig for. I find I watch quite a bit of "regular" TV, such as football games and things off of History Channel. I also like to play video games on this rig as well. These are just much better served with a good, high-end TV than with a projector and screen. There is much more to it than size. For example, I've yet to see a projector come even CLOSE to the quality of image that this particular TV is capable of displaying, short of getting one of those ridiculously expensive, really high-end units. Yeah, the image a projo puts out may be bigger, but if it looks like $#!+..... Just like it is a lot more than how much wattage your amp is a capable of putting out. It may put out 200 watts, but if it sounds like a$$..... Granted, I've seen some pretty nice pictures from some of those projectors, but not good enough to still overcome reasons #1 and #2 for my needs and usage. So yeah, as somebody already pointed out, a projector and screen is not always practical and is certainly not the end-all-be-all of video display solutions.
  16. I also got to attend this. Unfortunately due to a late start from work, and then stuck in traffic due to an accident halfway to Springfield, were I then catch the metro, I missed the first half of the lecture portion. A real bummer as I also love astronomy (studied two years of it in college - probably could've gotten a minor in it). I at least got to see from Jupiter and on as well as the actual musical performance of The Planets. I also was not able to get a ticket up where Larry was sitting, but got one right down there on the orchestra floor. I was sitting about 4 rows back from the actual orchestra. Personally, I think that is two close (kinda like sitting right on top of my speakers when listening to it on my rig). At least I did find Larry right after the performance, so glad to get to see him. Still, as Larry has aptly described above, it really was a beautiful performance and very well done. It it wasn't such a PITA to get there from my place due to all the traffic, construction and what-have-ya, especially for week-night performances, I would be inclined to attend more performances up there. For example, I am still very tempted to go up there to see that performance of War Requiem on the 16th.
  17. I will fully admit the Best Buy guys really treated me very well and handled this nicely. I guess it also helped that I have Elite Plus status there and a fairly regular customer, so they know who I am. At least that also means that when this new set has a chance to break in, I will get a free professional ISF calibration, which I plan to fully take advantage of! It is because of situations like this that is why I much rather try to deal locally for major purchases instead of doing it online. And yes, I actually did buy the protection plan/extended warranty. I typically don't bother for most cases, but for something this expensive and this fragile, I figured it would be prudent to spend the few extra dollars on one here.
  18. Those VT-series plasmas are really nice and highly recommended for those that don't want to spend the money for the ZT series. I darn near bought that exact same one you have myself, until I saw that 65-inch ZT60 model.. Glad to hear that yours arrived flawless. Nice rig you got there as well. Yeah, I kinda feel like that kid that finally got that new toy he was asking for since summer for Christmas only to discover that it is broken and needs to be sent back.
  19. On the 1st of November was my birthday, so I decided to treat myself to something VERY nice!!! I went over to Best Buy to look at this 65-inch Panasonic ZT-series plasma display that I've been wanting for the past couple of months. They had it marked down to $3,600 (from the original $3,800) and I was tempted, but really wanted to wait until after the holidays. I made mention to the salesman that unless there was a really sweet deal, I am going to wait. He asked me what was a "sweet deal". I said something like, oh, $3,300 (looking back, I should've said $3,000). Anyway, he goes and tells me to wait a few minutes. He took off to go talk to the manager. About a minute or two later, he comes back and tells me for $3,300 it is mine! So, I went and sealed the deal and told it would be delivered that next Wednesday (November 6th). To put things in perspective, here is a somewhat dated photo of what my rig looked like before the arrival of the new TV: I was still trucking along quite happily with this really nice Mitsubishi 55-inch Diamond series CRT rear projection TV. I've had that thing for nearly 10 years, but it really was still doing really well and still has an excellent picture. Anyway, the Wednesday arrives (and it was actually a very beautiful sunny day here, in the 70's even). Since I still had the setup pictured above, I could not really do much with the new TV until the weekend, so it pretty much got dropped-shipped to my living room: I went at took the cover off the crate to at least inspect the TV and make sure everything that was supposed to come with it was there: I did a quick inspection of everything and I did not see or notice anything amiss (more on that later). In the meantime, I was also shopping around for a TV stand/credenza on which to put this TV. Yeah, I thought about wall-mounting it, but I preferred something a little less permanent and easier to deal with. So the search was on for a new piece of furniture. You realize how hard it was to find a piece that my RC-7 center channel speaker will fit in, will take a 65-inch TV and fit in the space I had for it? Everything else was either just not available anymore, had to be custom-ordered and would take months to arrive, or just too flat out expensive. I ended up finding a really nice media credenza in cherry at the Big Screen store of all places. It is made of real cherry wood (not that fiber board stuff) and even made in the good 'ol US of A. In fact, the sales guy at the Big Screen store told me it would have been at least till the middle of December to get the unit I found brand-new in a box delivered. I told him I really did not want to wait that long to get it since I was planning on setting up the new TV over the weekend (especially considering it was Vetern's Day that upcoming Monday, which I had off from work, thus making for a long weekend to do this). He then offered me the floor sample for $300 off the listed price and I took it. I got one of my friends and one of my neighbors over to help me dismantle my current setup. It took all three of us to move that big old 55-inch Mitsubishi CRT rear-projection TV down into my basement. Thank god that I have a rear door straight into the basement, so we just walked it out the front door and around to the back instead of having to try to get it down the stairs. Also required a bit of moving and re-arranging of some furniture. For example that big cabinet on the left side of my rig, which houses CDs and DVDs, I've moved into another corner of the room. Afterwards, with a bit of sweat-labor, get this beautiful new TV all setup: Looks sweet doesn't it? That credenza that I was able to find turned out be absolutely perfect, although I did take a hacksaw to the back of it to open it up somewhat to allow that RC-7 to fit in from the back and to get more airflow in the lower part where my DirecTV receiver and HD-DVD player will reside. There is a grill that fits over that opening where the center channel is. I was all excited to get to watch some football as well as try some video games and blu-ray disks on this thing, untiiiiiil...... Yup, that is exactly what that is! Upon getting setup and about to get it hooked up, my friend discovered that there was a CRACK in the corner of the friggan display panel!!!! (cue up that scene from Star Wars Episode 3 where Anankin/Darth Vadar learns of Padme's death), Yeah, you can only imagine how pi$$ed I was to find a crack on a brand-new $3,800 plasma TV. I did not even realize that crack was there until we got it setup and into the direct light. Heck, you can't even tell that there was a crack in it from looking at the picture above. It was not until we got it up and got a good close look at it until we discovered it. Anyway, back to Best Buy to raise some $#!+ with them on this one. That was brand-new, right out of the box so I am pretty darn sure that crack happened during the shipping/delivery process. The entire time that TV was on my property, it was never mishandled in anyway (it was kept vertical, plus it was never bumped nor dropped nor otherwise stressed in anyway). So, this upcoming Wednesday (the 13th) they will be back to pick this TV up and deliver a replacement. And this time, with all the furniture and other electronics now all setup and in place, I am going to have THEM unbox, inspect and setup the TV. In the meantime, I found this rinky-dink little LCD TV down in my basement that I wanted to use to at least test the rest of the setup to make sure I got everything all hooked up again. For such a dinky little TV that I only paid around $150 a couple years ago, it actually has a pretty nice picture. It was one of those TVs I kept around in case I needed a video monitor that I can setup easily. Glad I actually had the thing as it came real handy here. Well, hopefully after Wednesday when the replacement TV arrives and we get it setup, I'll report back with my impressions of how this TV actually looks and performs. At least from a physical, aesthetics point of view, this really is a nice looking TV and from what I saw of the one at the store and from the reviews that I've researched leading up to this purchase, it does have on hell of a picture. Just can't wait till I see that awesome picture in my own home.
  20. I like it. Should also drive more traffic into the headphones and personal audio sections. Seems it makes more sense those would go under the main "Audio" instead of the old way when they were out in their own main sections. And have to agree that the subwoofer section is better in the HT section. Nearly all of the content that I've seen in that section was pretty much about HT and if the topic of subs comes up in the 2-channel, as already pointed out, they are just another "component" of the 2-channel rig itself.
  21. Well, here we are at last! A shiny new forum! I just finally getting to check it out, but so far this is pretty nice. Like the much nicer formatting options for posting as well. Not as flaky as the old system. If I had a dollar for everytime I lost a post and just did not have the energy to retype it..... EDIT - Oh good, the post editing also works nicely. BTW, what happened to the "Listening Right Now" section that was under the 2-channel section? - Err, nevermind! I found it. It was moved into the "Entertainment" section! Testing a image post.... (me with the singer from Damnation Angels - Pelle K at ProgPower XIV this past September.)
  22. Some of those old albums were pretty piss-poor in recording quality. That is why I cannot really listen to them anymore. Seems that many of these newr albums from these smaller, independent labels that I listen to now-a-days are actually very well recorded. Seems these guys actually care about recording quality and not trying to make it sound good on the radio.
  23. I have a very nearly identical system as you have (with the exception that I have RC-7 center and RS-7 surrounds). I am running a B&K outboard amp from my Denon AVR 3802 reciever. I"ve listened to Vienna Acoustic speakers as well as some big Martin Logan speakers as well (don't recall the model, as it was a few years ago). The Vienna Acoustic speakers are really nice. I did like the nice detailed mid-range they produced, but I found them too laid back for my tastes. However, for a purely musical experience, those Vienna speakers were really nice, especially if you liked classical, jazz, or other such genres. Of course, me being a metalhead (and more specifically power and progressive heavy metal), I kept coming back to the RF-7s. I don't know what reciever/amp you are using, but from a later post, it indicates you are using a JL Audio f113 sub. That is a very nice sub, so I think you are good there. However, since you did not indicate which amp or reciever you are using, I can only suggest that if you are only using a reciever, it may be worth it more to consider good outboard amplification instead of changing out the speakers themselves. If wanted to get those Vienna Acoustic speakers and you are using a reciever, you will more than likely need outboard amplification anyway to properly drive those. So to make a long story short, for HT and if you are mostly watching movies on your rig, I would definitely stick with the Klipsch. If you are mostly listening to music, especially jazz, classical or other such, then it may be worth at least checking out the Vienna Acoustics, but I have a feeling you may find yourself returning back to the Klipsch. It is highly suggested that you seek out a dealer or if you know someone that has a pair of the Viennas to try to listen for yourself. If you are only using a reciever, especially a lower to mid-range reciever, then a better upgrade would be to add outboard amplification. Just make sure your reciever as "pre-out" jacks to allow connection to an outboard amp (many real low-end models don't).
  24. Such a cord exists. The FiiO guys make one called a "LOD" (Line-Out Digital)" cord. I have one to use my iPod with my FiiO E07K headphone amp/DAC. I've never tried it with other DACs, though. My Pioneer Elite N-50 network streamer/DAC has a USB port on the front where I can plug an iPod in directly to it. Amazon has several different versions available. I have the little L-shaped "L9" one for my headphone amp. However, I would imagine for the purposes here, the 20-inch "L10" version would be more appropriate. Seems one can be had for the princely sum of about $9. []
  25. I would but the Cambridge Audio 840C is only 192kHz bitstream compatible even though it's DSP's upsample to 384khz. Bill Whoa, whoa, whoa there! <sound of needle being ripped off the record>. I think you are getting sampling rate mixed up with bitrate. The DAC in your Cambridge Audio 840C (which is a very nice unit, BTW), is capable of 192khz/24bits. That is you can play a full, lossless file that was RECORDED at 192 thousand samples/second and using 24-bit per sample through that DAC. That is very high resolution. This is not the same as bitrate, which is a compression thing and nothing to do with DACs. So, you can and SHOULD re-rip everything to at least 320kbps MP3, or perhaps full lossless, such as FLAC, as long as your playback device that is feeding the DAC in your 840C can handle FLAC. For example, my Pioneer Elite N-50 has a DAC that supports 192khz/24-bit resolution and I have played FLAC files recorded at those resolutions through it and it sounds really good.
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