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Islander

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Islander last won the day on November 22 2021

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  • Gender
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    Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
  • Interests
    Audio, Music, Photography
  • My System
    402/K-691 JubScala IIs + Paradigm Seismic 110 x 2, powered by Yamaha MX-D1 x 2, EQ'd by Electro-Voice Dx38, controlled by Yamaha RX-A2060, fed by Technics SL-1210M5G, Panasonic DMP-UB900 & Yamaha DVD-S550

    6.2 Surround: above plus Belle (centre front), La Scalas (left and right surround), Heresy III (centre rear)

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  1. Geoff, here's a suggestion: why not build yourself a pair (or a quad) of single MWMs, using all the gear out of the doubles that you have? I understand that the carpentry is not that complicated. dtel can tell you about that. That way, you could get them into the house. Or bring two in the house and leave two in the garage. Win-win!
  2. The best bet is to solder the ends of the wires together. That makes them much easier to push into those annoying spring terminals and pretty much eliminates the chance of a stray strand of wire causing a short. Failing that, at least twist the wires. You want every strand to go into the terminal, with none poking out sideways.
  3. One speaker's number starts with "A". Does the other one start with "B". Maybe they're a matched pair.
  4. Are you using a subwoofer with your La Scalas? From everything I’ve read, the Cornwalls do have a much punchier bass response than La Scalas do, but the limited LS low end is more tonally accurate than what comes out of the Cornwall. That said, for playing high-energy music, even at low volumes, La Scalas really do need the help of a sub. If you like to listen at louder volume levels, a second subwoofer is worth considering, for a consistent soundfield throughout your room as much as for increased volume. At high levels, it might also be possible to hear and appreciate the lower distortion that you get from two subs instead of one. I’d suggest adding a sub or two before doing any more mods to your Scalas. They are what they are, with clear and strong minds and highs, but limited bass response. Reducing the squawker output does reduce the shoutiness that’s sometimes encountered. It was certainly true in the case of my 1970s La Scalas. Doing that, and replacing the old caps and replacing the tweeters with the Crites CT125 units was all it took to make those Scalas much more pleasant to listen to, now allowing for hours of music enjoyment. I reduced the squawker output with a triple layer of thin grille cloth, but the effect was the same as lowering the squawkers’ output at the crossovers. Those were the simple tweaks that seemed to have the most noticeable improvements per dollar. Later, I bought a pair of K510 horns and K-69-A drivers, plus an E/V Dx-38 electronic processor/crossover and a second Yamaha power amp to match the one I already had, and soon the speakers became 510 JubScalas. That set of mods turned good speakers into great speakers, but they still needed a subwoofer to fill out the bottom two octaves. I chronicled all that in another post, so I won’t repeat it here. The bottom line is that modern recordings, with their ability to cover the full range of musical frequencies, need and deserve a speaker system that’s capable of reproducing every note of the music that’s in them, fully and accurately. At least one hi-if magazine purist writer (from The Absolute Sound, possibly) had his mind changed when he finally took the time to seriously listen to a sound system with a fully and properly integrated subwoofer (or maybe two subs. I don’t exactly recall) in it. He found that the effects of the sub reached all the way into the midrange, giving a depth and authority to the sound that he hadn’t realize was missing. As well, with orchestral music recorded with the whole orchestra in one room at the same time, the subwoofer provided subtle cues to the size and even shape of the performance space. He was amazed, as you might expect, and became a serious subwoofer fan that day.
  5. Klipsch recommends that with Klipschorns, the minimum ceiling height should be 8-1/2 feet, and more is probably better. Since they’re a tall speaker, with low ceilings the tweeter and squawker can be closer to the ceiling than to the floor, which is not ideal. As well, do you have corners into which K-horns can fit tightly? Those are the only restrictions that I’m aware of, other than that it takes a certain distance for the sound of the three drivers to integrate, so it’s best if you can sit at least 12-15 feet from them. They’re definitely not for near-field listening. So if your house satisfies those requirements, you’re all set for K-horns, but those rules can be restrictive enough that some K-horn fans will keep them in mind when looking for a house to buy, since many houses are not “Klipschorn friendly”. That said, if you’re planning to move within a year or two, some K-horn fans would go ahead and buy them, knowing they’ll be in a more suitable room within a reasonable time. Hope this is helpful.
  6. I’ve never seen a coyote, except in Roadrunner cartoons. However, in the last twenty years, they’ve shown up in Toronto, and there seem to be quite a few in High Park in that city. Here on Vancouver Island, I’ve never heard of any coyotes, but there are plenty in Vancouver, over on the mainland, mainly in Stanley Park. Of course, some well-intentioned morons have fed some of the coyotes, so now they approach people and sometimes bite them or try to eat their small dogs. They’ll also run after joggers and bite them. A partial cull of the coyotes in Stanley Park has lessened the problems a bit. This appears to me to be related to climate change, with the milder winters allowing the coyotes to extend their ranges further north. That was also the reason the Mountain Pine Beetles were able to attack and kill so many trees a decade ago. From the BC Government website: “In the late 1990s, after several relatively warm winters, a massive outbreak resulted in the loss of millions of hectares of pine forest in British Columbia over the next 15 years.” Previously/normally, the cold winters would kill off the beetles, so their numbers would be under control, but the warmer winters allowed them to overwinter and continue their attacks starting early the next year. Millions of trees were killed, across whole mountainsides, mostly Lodgepole Pine, Western White Pine, and Ponderosa Pine. The dead trees were easy to spot, since their needles turn first yellow, then red, and after two years they fall off, leaving a dead grey snag. After the bugs had eaten their way across BC and into Alberta, they seemed to have actually run out of trees to infect, as much as 58% of one type of pine tree. That, plus some colder winters, seems to have stopped the outbreak by around 2010, but they were still seen as late as 2015. As for why there seems to be more wildlife on the West Coast states and province (there’s just the one province on the coast, British Columbia), it’s likely because the Europeans arrived here much later than they did on the East Coast. Jacques Cartier arrived on Turtle Island, as the Native peoples call North America, by sailing up the Saint Lawrence River, meeting Natives near present-day Quebec City in 1535, while Captain Cook came to Vancouver Island in 1778, followed by Captain Vancouver in 1792. Less than 200 years ago, Victoria was just a wooden fort, so the Europeans arrived centuries later and in much lesser numbers than they did on the East Coast. As a result, there are still so many cougars on Vancouver Island that seeing one in the suburbs of cities on the Island is not that rare. There was a faceoff between a large pet dog and a cougar in Saanich only a few weeks ago, just a 15-20 minute drive north of Victoria. Luckily, the dog’s owner was able to call him back before a fight started, and the cougar left the scene, with no injuries to the dog or the cougar. Living in Quebec and Ontario, the only large wildlife I ever saw was a moose in the distance once, while I was at a hunting lodge, deep in the forest to the northwest of Quebec City. After moving to Toronto, I was surprised to see raccoons and skunks living in the city. The skunks appear around midnight, digging up lawns for insects to eat, which can make a mess, but I had one regularly walk by me at around 1 am, while I was working in the Toronto commuter train depot. The little guy would come hiking along, following the train tracks, and would sometimes pass within 15 feet of me. We didn’t bother each other, and that was fine with both of us. Vancouver Island is a whole different story, with lots of suburban deer. They’ll even graze on front lawns of buildings on busy streets, which still amazes me. One time, no kidding, I actually saw a pair of deer wait for a green light, and then cross the street in the marked crosswalk. That was in Oak Bay, an older suburb of Victoria, only a 10-minute drive from downtown. They have so many deer in that part of town that they’re a traffic hazard, and a cull was done in an attempt to cut down on the number of collisions between deer and vehicles. As well, there was a program to treat the females with some kind of contraceptive drug. There have been fewer reports of collisions, so it looks like the programs have worked. If only more deer could understand the traffic lights, it would be safer for everyone.
  7. During years of riding and driving fast, I found that certain offences might get a warning, because you might be able to sort of justify it, like speeding in certain places at certain times, mainly. However, I never did anything that was totally unjustifiable, that there was never an excuse for, like running a red light or a stop sign, or speeding in a school zone, or anything else like that. Attempting to explain away things like that would have felt so phoney and ludicrous that I would just not do those things, and therefore never put myself in that position.
  8. When it comes to subwoofers with La Scalas, it depends on what you like to listen to. In my system, I’ve used a pair of 90-watt 8” subs, a single 10” 400-watt sub, a single 10” 850-watt sub, and a few months after that, l added a second sub, so now the system has a pair of 850-watt subwoofers. I found that even with acoustic music with limited bass, like acoustic guitars and vocals, the 90-watt subs did help. With full orchestra music or rock music, the 400-watt sub, with its 23 Hz bass cutoff, seemed to be a minimum requirement to hear all the music. For action movies with the usual collisions and explosions, well, it comes down to how realistic do you want your explosions to be? While it’s possible to be blasted off the sofa with the right equipment, is that really what most people want? The explosions can be part of the story, but getting the idea of the blast may be all that’s needed to tell the story. You don’t really need to feel that you’re sitting within the blast radius. I don’t, anyway. However, when I got the first 850-watt sub, with its 18 Hz bass cutoff, it was immediately obvious that it could present the lowest bass guitar or electronic instrument notes accurately. I was impressed! Some people feel that if the lowest note in rock and related genres is the 30 Hz lowest note of a 5-string electric bass guitar, that’s as low as your sub needs to go. Not quite. For accurate reproduction of the lowest notes, your sub’s response needs to be nearly flat at that point. If it’s 3dB down at that point, for example, those lowest notes will be 3 dB lower than the slightly higher notes. Picky? Maybe, but we wouldn’t have these high-performance speakers if we weren’t at least a bit picky about what our systems give us. When I got the first 850-watt sub, something new emerged. There was a severe bass peak 1-1.5 metres/3-5 feet in front of the sofa. At first, I wondered whether my favourite Net Radio station had really cranked up the bass for some reason, but it was soon obvious that it was limited to a small area. For curiosity, I got out my SPL meter and found that the peak zone was 20 dB louder than the rest of the room. Adding the second sub cured that. It evened out the bass response throughout the room. As well, since each sub’s driver now moves half as far for the same total volume level, in theory the subs’ distortion is now cut in half. That has to be a good thing, but to be honest, I can’t tell the difference. So what’s my conclusion? With La Scalas, the more subs and the better the subs, the better the total sound. My system has reached a new plateau of satisfaction, and I’m really happy with it. The levels of the subs were carefully matched to the rest of the system, and it doesn’t sound boomy or bass-heavy, it just sounds realistic. Mission accomplished!
  9. If you’re really patient, keep on saving and look for a pair of La Scala IIs. They have stronger bass, which makes it appear to go lower, although it actually doesn’t. As well, their crossovers are much more modern and their cabinets are better looking. At first, there were very few on the used market, but now more are appearing all the time, sometimes at quite good prices. Eventually, their used prices will rise to close to what they originally cost, just like with the original La Scalas, so this is a good time to start looking for a pair. Or more than a pair, if you like surround sound.
  10. I’ve never seen the logic behind cutting off the bass output and having the sub(s) take over for the bottom couple of octaves in order to “avoid stressing” the main speakers. With rare (likely very rare) exceptions, speakers are built to operate full range, all the way to the bottom of their range. If they’re fed notes that are too low for them to reproduce, the notes won’t come out. That’s all. Most speakers can’t reproduce the lowest notes in many types of music, thus the need for subwoofers. After a little experimenting with running my main speakers (originally a pair of older La Scalas, now a pair of 2-way bi-amped La Scala IIs with Jubilee tweeters) set as Small, it didn’t take long to realize that I preferred how they sounded when set to Large/Full-Range. Mo’ better bass, in short. One thing that some (or many?) people seem to forget is that just as main speakers don’t have a sharp low-end cutoff (La Scala start to roll off at around 100 Hz, but continue to produce some bass sounds down to around 50 Hz), subwoofers don’t have a sharp high-end cutoff either. The impression of sharp cutoffs at the frequency limits of speakers, full-range or subwoofer, is what leads some folks to set the sub hi-cut at 50 Hz when used with La Scalas. Checking with a test CD (or other bass tone source) and an SPL meter will soon show a wide dip in output in the 50-100 Hz range. That’s why I usually recommend that for use with La Scalas, the smoothest bass response occurs when the sub(s) are set to roll off at 100-120 Hz. Boundary reinforcement comes into play in the bass region, so it’s a good idea to experiment with the speaker positions, particularly the distance from the front wall (the wall behind the Front speakers). If your room is symmetrical and you can locate your speakers near the corners of the room, that’s great, but it’s unlikely that the first spot you put them in will be the ideal place. Smooth/even response is what you’re after. Contrary to the recommendations in many hi-fi magazines, most Heritage Series speakers do not sound their best when they’re located several feet from any walls. Klipschorns have to be in corners, and La Scalas like to be fairly close to the front wall, which is good, because they would take up a lot of space if they were placed out into the room. As for horn-loaded subs, the concept of matching them with horn-loaded speakers makes sense, but they start to get really big if they go deep, like the Klipsch 1802 and 1502 subs. My living room is not really big enough to accommodate either one of those. Also, horn-loaded subwoofers that are plug ‘n play, complete with amplifiers and crossovers, are pretty rare. For these reasons, I went with direct-firing subs. Since I generally listen at low to moderate volume levels, whether the subs can “keep up” with the JubScala IIs at max volume is irrelevant to me. Your situation may be totally different, of course, so don’t take my opinions for iron-clad rules. Experiment, and see what sounds best in your room with your gear.
  11. I think the black models look better, too. Another minor improvement over the pre-2002 or so models is that the lights, including the cueing light, are now LEDs instead of incandescent bulbs, so they should never need to be replaced. In regards to the improved sound when I upgraded from the SL-1400 Mk.2 to the SL-1210M5G, a factor that I didn’t mention was the upgraded tonearm wiring on the new deck. Your new SL-1210GR will likely have even better tonearm wiring than my 2010 vintage model, so that could contribute to improved clarity and detail retrieval. Let us know how the experience goes. Pictures are not required, but we do like to see them. Small files, like under 500 kB, look just fine onscreen, and load much more quickly than big files. Welcome to the Forum!
  12. Back in 2010, I was using an SL-1400 Mk.2, probably from 1978. It seemed okay, but the controls were getting sticky and there was a ticking sound as the platter rotated, so I decided to get an SL-1210M5G while they were still available. I got one of the last ones. Naturally, it came without a cartridge, so I took the headshell from the 1400, with its Shure M97xE cartridge, and popped it onto the new M5G. As well, I installed the thick Sorbothane Platter Matter mat that had been on the 1400, reasoning that it would perform better than the thin rubber Technics mat. I adjusted the VTA to correct for the thicker mat, with the tonearm raised at the pivot end just slightly, as I found that improved the treble response a bit. That’s something that you can easily and repeatably adjust, until it sounds perfect to your ears. So there it was. Everything that contacted the record surfaces was exactly the same with the new M5G as it had been with the 1400, so I wasn’t expecting to hear any difference. WRONG! The new turntable sounded much better, with more clarity and more authority in the bass notes. I was surprised and impressed. Later, I went to Sound Hounds, where I had bought the cartridge, and had them swap the cartridge onto the new silver headshell of the M5G and carefully align it, as they had done when I bought the cartridge a few years earlier. There was no audible difference going from the old black headshell to the new silver one, but it did look better/correct, and its contact surfaces would have been cleaner. I’m still happily listening to the SL-1210M5G, and it still looks and operates like it was brand new. If I were in your place, I’d buy the SL-1200GR without hesitation. Get your Ortofon cart checked for good stylus condition and carefully mounted and aligned on the new headshell, and you’ll be set for life, unless you want to upgrade your cartridge at some point in the future. Part of the pleasure of owning something is the experience of using it, and for that reason I’d advise against getting a Mk. 7, since you’ll be reminded of its lower cost every time you use it. Get the GR, and every time you use it, you’ll have a smile on your face.
  13. Nice crossovers, but you do know that this is a zombie thread, right? It's had no comments from 2016, so it's not likely that you'll get any answers on it. Even so, welcome to the Forum! You'll find lots to chat about here, and about many topics. It's a great place to learn and socialize.
  14. Do you listen to all your records with about equal frequency? Mine have sort of organized themselves into about three groups: the ones I hardly ever play, which are a bit harder to reach, the main collection, which is alphabetically organized, and the "Top 40", which are the ones in heavier rotation. They fit in a single wooden box, which is very easy to reach, and isn't organized at all, because it's so easy to flip through just 30 or 40 records, and sometimes while looking for one favourite, another one catches my eye and I decide to play it first. That's the kind of little surprise that's enjoyable.
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