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Islander

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Islander last won the day on July 2 2019

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About Islander

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    Klipsch Fanatic

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
  • Interests
    Audio, Music, Photography
  • My System
    402/K-691 JubScala IIs + Paradigm Seismic 110, 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

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

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  1. On the news, it was mentioned that southern California is expecting 50C temps this weekend. That’s a temperature number I’ve never seen or heard of in a weather report, except maybe for Death Valley. The new normal?
  2. It’s great to hear that you made a good recovery. Sometimes we get lucky, or we’re having a blessed day, or both. It sounds like you’re smart enough to avoid depending on those two factors in future.
  3. That H2R is a thing of beauty, but a chain-driven supercharger? How is it tensioned, and how does the rider know when it’s time to adjust the tensioner? That reminds me of the 1973-‘74 Yamaha TX750. I was a bike mechanic then, and went to Yamaha Motor Canada to learn how to install and adjust the quickly-designed balance weight chain tensioner on that bike. It used a chain to drive two balance weights, which made the big parallel Twin run very smoothly. However, there was no way to tension the chain as it inevitably stretched. Once the chain stretched beyond a certain point, the weights could strike each other, with disastrous results. Thus the recall to install the tensioner system. It worked, but the bike was discontinued after two years, and is pretty much forgotten now. I hope the H2 and H2R don’t suffer the same lack of confidence due to mechanical issues. They do look very exciting, and have the brakes and suspension to deal with really high speeds. Also, they’re pretty expensive, which will keep them out of reach of the great majority of new or inexperienced riders. It takes a rider who has a lot of time on fast bikes to be able to ride either model safely. As well, the H2R is a track-only model, not a street bike. Oddly, it’s not legal for any current racing class, so it seems to have been built as a demonstration of Kawasaki’s engineering and manufacturing skills, a statement product. It seems to be designed for the rider who likes to go to track days, and has the money to have a track bike as well as a street bike. I’m forecasting low sales for the “R” model.
  4. Yes, there used to be memes that said “Beware of Squids”, because there were too many inexperienced riders crashing fast bikes and causing insurance premiums to rise to unaffordable levels. At the same time, there were a few “quick-buck” types who had discovered that used bikes in Canada were low-priced by international standards. So they bought dozens of used bikes, mostly in Ontario, and shipped them overseas by the container load. Soon, this resulted in a severe shortage of the used bikes that many new riders start out on, since they can’t afford a brand new bike. As a result, the bike scene in Ontario collapsed, with even big dealerships in Toronto closing up, like 2-location Cycle World and the 70-year-old McBride Cycles. I’m just hearing this second-hand, because I moved to BC in 2001, but it’s pretty sad. As for me, I rode 350s and a 400 for years before I got the 750, and it was years before it became a 1000. I was well ready when I got a really fast bike. They can be seductive, though...
  5. It's a 1985 FZ750 with an '88 FZR1000 engine. The engine is stock, but the brakes and suspension are upgraded. The frame and front end were bent in the crash, so I bought both parts, used, and paid a buddy to do the frame swap. It was much cheaper and easier to fix the bike than to fix me. Anyway, I swapped some of the 750 engine parts, like the 750's gold cam cover and clutch cover, so the engine totally looks like a stock 750. It can really surprise some later (mid-'90s) 1000cc bikes. Of course, that was before the laws like going more than 40 (or is it 50?) km/hr over the speed limit is "stunt driving" and results in your vehicle being impounded. The Golden Age of Going Fast seems to be over in Ontario. We have a similar law here in BC, so the traffic rolls a bit slower than it used to. I should mention that I still have my bike. It’s parked behind my van, and every time I see it, it brings back 11 years of great memories. I raced it in Pro Open Production and Pro Open Superbike for the 1985 season, and it never scared me once, something that’s not true of many bikes on the track. It was a pretty good touring bike too, once I replaced the stock seat with a much more comfortable Corbin unit and added Nonfango hard bags and top box. Many good memories.
  6. That could have been SO much worse, to the point of being a life-changing injury. Back in the ‘90s, after decades of riding my motorbike too fast, my luck finally ran out, and I crashed really hard. I received a compression burst fracture in my lower back (the lower lumbar region), and one vertebra was shifted to one side by roughly half its diameter. That’s how it looked on the X-ray, but I didn’t have a ruler handy to get a precise measure of the displacement. The effect was like what happens when some people are sitting on sections of a steel cable fence. When another person sits on the fence, he pulls it down and everybody else gets pulled up. With the spinal cord, when one vertebra gets knocked out of position, it tugs on the spinal cord, which is much weaker than a steel cable. This means that it gets stretched, and the nerve damage can happen a few vertebrae away. Since we don’t yet have the technology to restore the spinal cord, the orthopedic surgeon just pushes the displaced vertebra back into position and adds support in the form of bolted-on titanium rods, one on each side, in a size very similar in length and width to a ballpoint pen. It’s like what you do if you have a small plant that gets hit or knocked over, and gets its little stem (its future trunk) broken. All you do is hold it straight, poke a Pop-Sicle stick into the soil beside it, and tie the stem to it with a twist-tie or two. Then you hope it will get better. Humans are much more complex than little plants, so an injured spinal cord does not get better. That’s contrary to our usual experience with injuries, so it can take a few years for it to sink in that you won’t get any better. Now, I can walk a short distance with the help of two canes, but I’m on wheels most of the time. I have ridden small bikes since, off the road in camping areas and a parking lot. Two years ago, I took my nephew’s 50cc scooter out for a short ride on the local roads. Both brakes were on the handlebars, and it had a twist-‘n-go transmission, so feet were not required, except to hold up the scoot at a stop. It was fun, and you could see my grin, even while wearing a full-coverage helmet, an Arai Signet. However, my time and money now goes into my stereo. It still has Yamaha power, and it’s much cheaper to run. Instead of 1000cc, I’ve got 1000 watts of power, times two. Lots of headroom. No big insurance premium every year, and no expensive tires to buy. The bike used two rears and one front tire every season, which adds up. Of course, there are the upgrades and updates to the stereo every year, which may cost as much as a few tires. However, the stereo is fun in all weather, and it can please and amaze more than two people at a time. So I’m doing okay So that’s my story. Protect your spinal cord. Spinal cord injuries (SCI) are forever. It’s worst at first, due to the swelling that accompanies the injury. It takes 12-18 months before the swelling is completely gone, and during that period, the improvements come along, week by week and month by month. Then you reach the final plateau, when the improvements stop. You keep hoping that there will be more improvements, but nope, that’s it. So you learn to deal with it. I’m not grumbling, but I wish I hadn’t ridden that fast that day. Just think about my injury when you get ready to do something that could be really dangerous. You might really change your life, and not in a good way. Anyway, no pity needed. I’m just another Klipsch fan, not to be confused with other fans who use that term as their handle. I’ve sometimes referred lately to the system as my happiness machine. I turn it on, and it turns me on. Happy listening, everyone!
  7. A buddy of mine who lives in Edmonton told me about his friend’s encounter with a bear. He was in the woods, where you often find bears, and was surprised to see a big grizzly only about 30 feet from him. He thought he was prepared, because he had a bear banger with him. They make a really loud noise (may have a shot shell inside), which is supposed to scare away the bear. However, he hadn’t read the Instructions For Use. The right way to use a bear banger is to aim it straight up. It will explode above you, and hopefully scare the bear away. This guy, not knowing any better, thought it would be most effective if he aimed it at the bear. Big mistake! The bear banger flew past the bear and went off behind it with a mighty BANG! That scared the bear all right. It came charging toward the guy, and he had to leap out of the way to avoid being trampled. Then he was about as scared as the bear had been. That was years ago, but I heard on the TV news about something very similar happening last week. Read the directions, guys!
  8. That’s good to hear. It’s easy to get into buying fever: “I’ve got a fever, and the only prescription is BIGGER HORNS!”. However, three things are needed to get great speakers, especially used ones: patience, searching, and cash. Put some cash aside each month and you’ll soon have a bigger pile than you expected. Speaking for myself, I’ve left Vancouver Island (the ferry crossing tales 90 minutes) three times to buy speakers on the mainland, plus one time I crossed to the mainland and drove to Seattle to buy a power amp. In each case it was worth it, even with the $150CAD ferry fare for driver and van to cross over and return. The return drive is more pleasant, because you’ve got a pair (or more) of great speakers sitting behind you. If you really care about looks, a pair of used La Scala IIs might be just what you want. They look better and sound better, and are showing up on the used market in slowly increasing numbers. As I’ve often said, it costs less and is more satisfying to buy the speakers you really want on the first go, instead of buying less and selling, and then buying something else closer to what you really want, and so on. Good luck!
  9. I listen to my 402 horns, and sometimes switch to Audioquest NightOwls. I can’t swear that they sound just the same, since in a way, it’s like comparing the sound of an electric guitar with an acoustic one. I don’t find them different enough from the 402s to be distracting, and they’re really comfortable, to the point where I’ve sometimes fallen asleep while wearing them, and have woken up with no pain or even discomfort. The NightOwls are close-backed, but there’s also the NightHawk, which is very similar, except open-backed. They came out first, and I listened to a demo pair, but I found that the sound was good, but not quite right for me, so I didn’t buy. Later, when the NightOwls came out, I tried them and bought them on the spot. To my ears, they come closer to the sound of speakers than any headphones I’ve heard before. Bass drums, in particular, can be palpable with the right recording. This is something I’ve not experienced with any other ‘phones. I should mention that I usually listen to them through the AudioQuest DragonFly Cobalt or DragonFly Red headphone amp/DACs. Those tiny amps add a lot of both punch and clarity. Sometimes the little Cobalt just stays on the headphone cable, where it’s barely noticeable. Similar to what parlophone 1 mentioned about the AKG 240s, the NightOwls and NightHawks come with two pairs of ear pads, one pair wrapped in Ultrasuede, and the other pair covered in “protein leather”, to enable you to tune the sound a bit. The difference is not huge, but it could make the difference between liking the ‘phones and really liking them. I think it’s a good idea. I’ve never regretted paying the original $899CAD price for them, since they’re that enjoyable to listen to. However, the designer left the company, so for reasons unknown to me, AudioQuest discontinued them and is clearing both the NightOwls and NightHawks at $399-499CAD. The equivalent US prices were $699 and 299-399USD. If you can find a pair, they’re a real bargain at those prices.
  10. Dr. McCoy is thinking, “Think unsexy thoughts! Think unsexy thoughts!” DeForest Kelley is thinking, “Keep a straight face! Keep a straight face!”
  11. If you’ve worked with both materials and found an equal thickness of plywood to be stiffer than MDF, I won’t argue with you. I haven’t done that test myself. I also prefer BB over MDF, for the reasons you stated. I like my speakers, especially my most expensive speakers, to be at least kind of tough, but these LS2s are not. However, they’re tough enough for living room service, and I’d never put a potted plant on any speaker, anyway. Even so, things happen. Years ago, my dad placed a half-full pop can on the top of my Left original La Scala, in the black utility finish. It left a ring, but with about half an hour of buffing, I was able to get rid of the ring. I don’t want to think about what would have happened, had he happened to put it on one of the LS2s. Luckily, those two main speakers have 402 horns sitting on them now, with homemade stands that cover the whole tops of the speakers, so the veneer is no longer at risk. Klipsch’s decision to go with MDF (I don’t like the stuff, either) likely had to do with consistency, in part at least. BB comes with voids, and the thicker it is, the more voids you get. This means that some plywood will be rejected, especially if the design or production engineer is really trying to produce top quality speakers. Maybe the rejection rate got to be too high. As well, in a factory setting, cutting MDF instead of BB can produce more accurate sizes and shapes of panels, which is a really good thing. As for the bass resonance issue, it may be splitting hairs, but I see it as a situation where the bass horn has a designed and tested frequency response, but when the volume comes up, the side panel resonance is excited, changing some of the woofer’s acoustic energy into kinetic and heat energy. Eliminating, or at least greatly reducing, the effects of that resonance allows all of the energy being put out by the woofer to appear as acoustic energy, allowing us to hear all the bass power that PWK meant the La Scala bass horn to produce. In a way, it’s like building a race engine. You want all the power to go to the wheels, of course, but if the engine is not well-balanced, some of its power will instead be wasted in shaking the engine and the car or bike it’s sitting in. By eliminating, or at least greatly reducing, that vibration, you can actually let the engine produce more power that goes to the wheels, where it belongs. Hmm, that just kind of rephrases what you were saying. Anyway, that’s how it looks and sounds to me.
  12. I would suspect that a brain stem stroke could be very serious, because that’s a very basic component of our brain, maybe the doorway to the spinal column. Strokes in the brain can cause various cognitive issues, but I’d think that if the brain stem was badly damaged, it could cause a shutdown of everything above it. But I’m not a doctor, and that’s just a guess. If your father-in-law is able to walk almost normally, that’s great news! I hope he continues to improve.
  13. There may be more difference between the original LS and the LS2 than the thicker horn and cabinet panels. If the extra stiffness of the 1” MDF was the only difference, then there would be little audible improvement in the bass at low volume, because the woofer’s not producing enough energy to excite any resonance in the side panels. And yet the improved bass of the LS2 is obvious from the first minute they start to work. If the woofer is the same, the difference must be in the crossover, and I can tell you that the AL4 crossover is a much more complex piece than the AA crossovers in my older La Scalas. Also, I would point out that 1” BB is not as stiff as 1” MDF, so you’d need to go to at least 1-1/4” BB to get the equivalent stiffness. Also, Klipsch built two prototypes of the LS2, one of MDF and one of plywood. After testing, they went with the MDF, because they found it sounded better. Both prototypes were sold later, to happy customers in both cases.
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