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Everything posted by Islander

  1. Who listens at 121 dB? Probably nobody, at least not for long. The point was that driving even extremely sensitive speakers like La Scalas to their max takes quite a bit of power. As for general home listening, 70-85 dB is the volume range in which I usually listen, but that’s steady state. Loud transients can be much louder than that, without being sustained enough to damage either my ears or my speakers, while greatly adding to the realism of the listening experience.
  2. Islander


    We see evidence of that here. Many of the First Nations people here in Victoria are on the very large size. Unlike in Eastern North America, where the Europeans arrived about 500 years ago, we’ve only been here for around 200 years, so the native folks, who’ve been here for 15,000 years or so, have not moved very far, with Reserves dotted all around the South Island among the “settler” communities. As well, they’re a noticeable minority on the sidewalks. The natives were quite healthy eating their own food, like bannock, pemmican, and of course salmon, deer, and bear, before First Contact. However, now they’ve had a couple of centuries of eating European food, and it is not at all healthy for them. The primary problem is diabetes, which is widespread, along with obesity. About a year ago, I read about a reserve in Manitoba, where there’s an ongoing diet experiment. The residents stick to Native food, and the incidence of diabetes and obesity is way down. At the same time, overall health is much improved. I’d think that it’s not because all European food is unhealthy. Sure, some of it is, but the digestive systems of the Natives have had only a century or two to adapt to it, and it may take much longer than that. For the Inuit, things are different. As far as I know, there’s little or no agriculture North of the tree line. The Inuit diet is therefore all meat and fish. However, there’s more to it. A friend of mine, who lives in the very far North of Alberta, almost in the Yukon, learned from an Inuk (1 Inuk, 2 or more Inuit) that blubber, like you find in marine mammals, is quite different from the fat layer that you find under the skin of a pig, for example. It can be eaten by itself, and is relatively healthy, for Inuit, at least. I don’t know how well European guts would handle big portions of blubber. In any case, the no-vegetable diet of the Inuit allowed them to live healthy lives, with very few instances of obesity. Now, of course, they can buy very expensive fruits and vegetables, flown in from the South, which is why they’re so costly. One big help is Amazon Prime, with its free delivery. Amazon loses money on this, of course, but it seems to be good PR, so it still goes on. I’ve never been north of the 60th parallel, so I don’t know what shape modern Inuit are in. As for me, I’m from Ireland, where food is pretty bland. It’s not exciting food, which may be why Irish restaurants are so rare. Years ago, I dated a lovely Chinese woman from Jamaica. She lived in a city east of Toronto, so it was an 80 km (50 mile) ride from my place to hers. In that situation, I saw her mostly on weekends, and I enjoyed her dinners. However, when we took a holiday trip to Jamaica, staying in a town house and an apartment, with her doing the cooking every day, things were a bit different. In less than a week, I had to ask her to dial way back on the spices, because my gut wasn’t happy, and it was getting worse day by day. Luckily, she was able and willing to do that, and when her friends came over for dinner, my portion would be separate and milder, which worked out fine. She was easy to get along with. Going the other way, have you ever seen the late night TV show Hot Ones? It’s an interview show, in which a celebrity is asked questions while eating chicken wings with progressively hotter sauces, with each sauce’s Scoville rating shown at the bottom of the screen. The numbers get really extreme in the last few sauces. Usually, you see typical European types, in one case Ed Sheeran, sweating and badly distracted while trying to focus on the questions. On the other hand, Salma Hayek was totally cool, enjoying all the sauces, if a little disappointed with the first couple. When the interviewer complimented her on being able to handle even the hottest sauces, she said simply, “Well, I’m Mexican.”
  3. Chief bonehead is the best informed person there is for this info.
  4. For that kind of money, the clock should at least be accurate. Instead, the hour hand is exactly at 3 o’clock, while the minute hand is at 47 minutes. It would be frustrating, to me anyway, to have that kind of misalignment/misadjustment visible all day and night.
  5. Generally, subwoofers have a delay period, so that after they stop receiving any low bass signals, they stay On for several minutes, precisely to avoid going into Sleep mode during long passages with no deep bass notes. Among subs that I’ve owned, the delay could be as short as 7 minutes or as long as 17 minutes. My subs are always in Auto mode. In any case, they do click back On quickly enough when needed, so it’s never been necessary to leave them in On mode. That would just be an unnecessary step to need to remember when powering up or shutting down the system.
  6. Have you used the green felt pen on the edges of your CDs? And those little dots that you stick on your components to make them sound better? Can you still get those? Oh, and who could forget the Clever Little Clock? You could call up and have the spell sent to your system over the phone line. That had to be one of the best. Tweaks like that can be described in one of two ways, depending on how you pay for them: plastic squeezers or wallet lighteners, with little or no audible change, never mind improvement, in your system. Call me a skeptic.
  7. Two things here. First, nulls and peaks are real things. When I got my first Seismic 110 in April 2020, everything sounded fine, and I was very impressed with how deep it would go, but then I started wondering if Radio Paradise had really jacked up their bass levels. It was a bit weird, and then I saw/heard that the very boosted bass occupied a roughly 1 metre/1 yard diameter spot a few feet in front of the sofa. This didn’t happen with the 400-watt Paradigm sub I’d been using previously, in the same location, just inboard of the Left Main speaker. Maybe the extra power (850 watts) made the difference. In August of the same year, I got the second Seismic 110 at the same great price, and was able to install it a bit farther inboard of the Right Main speaker. The JubScala IIs are around 12 feet apart, so there was enough room. So what happened? The bass peak disappeared, and I now had an even bass soundfield throughout the room. So that brings up the second thing. Stacking the RELs may look cool and save floor space, but I don’t think you’d get the benefit of the even soundfield that you’d get with separating your subs. In my system, having both subs inboard of the Main speakers worked best. They’re small enough that one is on a small table, while the other one is on a wooden LP box, so no floor space is lost there. I know that this is an old thread by now, and you’re likely totally happy with how you subs are placed and are operating right now, so this is just a possibility to think about. In any case, happy listening!
  8. The sub’s amplifier needs a decent level of input voltage to “wake up” and start really working. However, with super-efficient (yes, over 100-102 dB/W/m is beyond the “very efficient” category) speakers like La Scalas, Belles, Cornwalls, Jubilees, and of course Klipschorns, they’re often running on fractions of a watt at typical home listening levels, so to balance that, the voltage that the pre-amp/receiver/AVR sends to the subwoofer is too low to get the sub working in its optimum range, so that’s why the REL man suggests using the low level input when matching a REL sub with our favourite speakers. It may be similar to how some guitar amplifiers have low and high level inputs, and/or a Trim knob. This lets the amp get the voltage it needs, regardless of the output of any particular guitar, so the guitar/amp team can sound their best together. If any actual musicians think I’ve got it wrong, please speak up. That’s just my impression of how that works.
  9. Boy, this sure got off-track! Anyway, this is likely its illogical conclusion. Yeah, the pub crawl is best done on foot. You’re not going so fast when you hit something that way. It’s funny, going either direction can yield the same results in terms of fun, apart from age limits, of course. Going over to the other country, or the other province, where things are different, including the people, is nearly always entertaining. One crossing that always amused me was going from Niagara Falls, Canada to Niagara Falls, USA, or from Ontario to New York, speaking informally. What got me was the upstate New York accent. Even Americans find it funny. Just go across the bridge, just a few hundred metres, and it’s really different from the Ontario accent. Of course, Ontarians sound funny to upstate New Yorkers. By the way, nobody in Canada says “oot and aboot”, lol. Yes, the peelers. Didn’t you check out any peeler bars while you were there? I’m sure the ones in Windsor were good, but Montreal’s on a different level, of course. There was a racetrack southeast of Montreal called Sanair, and there would be a gang of us from all over southern Ontario there each race weekend. Sometimes, the after-race chat in the pits would turn to Club Super-Sexe, a notorious strip club in Montreal. The name was probably the funniest part of going there. I’ve never been, since it was a 6-hour drive back to Toronto, and I travelled with my girlfriend. A few of the single guys had been there, and to everyone’s amusement, so had a couple of girl racers from Toronto. They used to call themselves Twisted Sisters Racing, which was their very casual team. Everybody had a good laugh at those two going in there, and they'd had a good laugh, too. I can only imagine what kind of shows were put on in that club. It eventually closed down, and the the building was badly damaged in a suspicious fire last October. Oddly enough, it only got a score of 3.3 on Yelp. It was an iconic landmark in Montreal, and after its sign was removed Montrealers felt an important part of the city was gone. The club even advertised on American TV, in Plattsburgh, New York. That struck me as funny, because for decades Montrealers had been going to Plattsbugh for their drive-in (or just across the Ontario border, to The Border Drive-in, of course), since drive-in movies were banned in Quebec, because the Catholic Church thought they could be an occasion of sin for horny teens. There was even a song in French called Plattsburgh Drive-In Blues. Here's a short video clip showing the sign. Turn your volume way down, because there's really a lot of street noise. For that matter, just looking at the thumbnail seen below conveys the visual aspect, and saves you from the shaky camera work.
  10. Sounds like Ottawa and Hull/Gatineau: more fun on the other side of the river!
  11. Could they have been bought new by a US serviceman? I’ve read that the PX stores on US bases, including in Germany, carried items that Canadian soldiers never saw, like La Scalas. There must have been some way to ship them home, so could they have crossed the border from Detroit, or somewhere else near the Canadian border? It seems a bit unlikely that a Canadian soldier could have bought a pair of such expensive speakers in Germany, where they would have cost quite a bit more than they would have on Turtle Island, and he would not have got the discount price that US soldiers got at their PX stores. This is speculation on my part, so I could be wrong.
  12. The NEW Jubilee has a much longer bass horn than the La Scala, which makes all the difference. The older Jubilee also has a much longer bass horn, as does the Klipschorn (around 8’ long in the case of the Klipschorn, in contrast to the roughly 3’ of the La Scala’s bass horn). The trade off is that all those speakers are much bigger and heavier than the Scalas, which were originally designed to be small and light enough to be relatively practical for touring PA service. That’s also why they came in only one colour for the longest time: Stage Black. The Walnut, Cherry, and Black Ash options came much later, presumably when veneer was added.
  13. Best you can do is pretty damn fine. Happy listening!
  14. Seeing how the tweeters are not boxed in in any way, I had a thought that these speakers could be ideal for permanent installation in a wall, even a false wall. Naturally, this would be most practical during the construction of such a room, but a false wall would give the same visual effect. The speakers would be kind of there and not there at the same time. Having a baffle the width of the room would likely help the advancing sound bubble enter the room smoothly, with fewer reflections than you'd find with freestanding speakers. Of course, there are downsides: Distance from the corners of the room would be fixed, and early reflections would need to be damped with suitable material on the side walls. Toe-in would be impossible, unless you were using two false walls that were jointed in the middle. Depending on the customer, that might not matter, either the two false walls or the lack of toe-in. Imagine a 5.x-channel home theatre: No encroaching on floor space, but an extremely impressive presence. Depending on the budget, it might even be possible to have a sloping floor in front of the seating area, so that the Centre Jubilee would be lower than the Left and Right speakers, allowing a reduction in screen height. Another way to go would be with a very large projector setup, with a nearly room-wide acoustically transparent screen, making all three front Jubilees invisible. The Left and Right Surround speakers could also be hidden with acoustically transparent cloth, so there would be no visible speakers, but some of the best sound currently available in the world. A 5-Jubilee home theatre could be a really amazing (and expensive) entertainment system!
  15. Only 6 pm here. The Sun has just come out after a rain. Listening to Chrissie Hynde singing I Shall Be Released live. She does a great job with it.
  16. The La Scala midrange is pretty hot, to the point of sounding “shouty” in some cases. When I first got my La Scalas, back in 2006, I was surprised and disappointed with the sound. After some experimenting with grille cloth over the mouth of the squawker horn, I settled on 3 thin layers, stretched tight and attached to the inside of the front panel. It also gave a neater/cleaner look, because the K-400 horns had rough casting marks and blotchy paint. That change made the speakers much more pleasant to listen to. Some people consider that to be a horrible solution, but it works for me. Another way to get the same result, I learned later, was to move the squawker wire to a different tap on the transformer. That was mentioned already in this thread, but I’ve read it many times here on the Forum, so it does seem to be a tried and tested solution. I also applied Dynamat to the K400 horns, but I’m not sure whether it made any difference. The horns are nice and shiny, though. As for your subwoofer, you’ll need a higher cutoff than is used with most speakers. The La Scala bass starts to roll off at around 100 Hz, and by 50 Hz there’s not much left. Accordingly, I set my subs to cut off at 110-120 Hz, to allow for some overlap with the woofers, keeping in mind that the sub hi-cut is not a brick wall, rather a roll off. Checking with a sound level meter and a test CD allowed me to find that this setting on the subs gives the smoothest bass response, with the fewest and faintest dips and peaks. Those settings and one solution will improve the sound noticeably, so you might be set for some time. I discovered the Forum a month after I got the Scalas, and that was an eye-opener. So much information and advice! After lots of reading, I ordered new Sonicaps from Bob Crites (RIP), and a pair of CT125 tweeters (this was before the CT120 was available). The caps were just because mine were 32 years old, and the tweeters were ordered because in testing, I found that the K77s’ output levels showed a 2-3 dB difference between the two tweeters. When the CT125s arrived, I tested them and found them to match within 0.5 dB, so I was well pleased. The caps were installed first, and the improved brightness and clarity was noticed. 3 days later, the CT125s went in, and a similar improvement was noted, so I was even more pleased. Now they sounded pretty fine. I was pretty happy with those tweaks and updates, but then I kept reading about the JubScalas, but that’s a very different and much more expensive story for another day. Later, I got a pair of La Scala IIs, swapped the Jubilee tweeters onto them, and reconnected the crossovers on the original La Scalas. That brought them back to the state they were in 3 months after I got them, and that’s how they are today. As for placement, moving the La Scalas away from the front wall (the wall behind the Front speakers) improved the bass smoothness, but once they were about 5” away from the wall (measured from the corner of the speaker that’s closest to the wall), that was as good as it got. Moving them farther than 5 or 6 inches from the wall didn’t change anything, except for losing floor space. I’d think that bass response would drop off if the speakers were brought a foot or more from the wall. Finally, congrats on your new to you La Scalas, and welcome to the Forum!
  17. Crack much? A few years ago, a guy in Vancouver stole a “bait car”. In an effort to stop or at least reduce car theft, the police rigged up some tempting cars with cameras, microphones, and speakers, plus a remote stop device. They’d watch the car, and when a dumb criminal stole it, they’d follow him a short distance, then stop it and arrest him. You could hear the thief or thieves, and when the car would begin to slow down without their input, they’d realize they were caught, and would sound really panicked. In one case, a guy who was very high on crack stole one of these cars and drove off at speed, while raving in a really manic style, yelling and firing a pistol out the window. He was stopped soon, and he didn’t get away. He did 4 years in jail. Later, the video of his run was shown in ads on TV, and it looked kind of like your clip, really wild. When he got out of jail, the guy was interviewed on TV, where he apologized and said how ashamed he felt. As far as I know, he hasn’t been arrested since, and car theft in Vancouver is down at least a bit. Here in Victoria, bicycle theft was so bad that the cops set up bait bikes. Of course, the bike couldn’t detain the thief, but the cops would be following closely and caught them nearly every time. It must have worked, since I haven’t heard of it for years.
  18. Just as I scrolled down to your post, Love Song by The Cure came on Radio Paradise. Those little coincidences make me sit up and refocus for a minute or two, which is always good.
  19. Just how high was the volume when this happened? Didn’t something sound a bit off before the woofers started warping?
  20. Islander

    What We Hear

    Of course, that made me think of this. After all, it's all in the mind.
  21. Islander

    What We Hear

    Certain shades of colour that fall in the range between green and blue look green to me, while others may see them as blue. It doesn't come up very often, but it makes me wonder which of us is correct, or if neither of us is correct, or is it just an example of how people who are operating within normal parameters have enough built in tolerance/inaccuracy that we can both feel correct, since outside of the Pantone labs, minor things like that are just examples of splitting hairs? Since people who have perfect audio pitch are quite rare, and the rest of us, especially non-musicians, just smile and say "Close enough.", is it also likely that very few people have perfect colour shade "pitch", typically people who need to be able to agree precisely on the colour of whatever they're observing, while the rest of us just smile and say "Close enough"? Here's one more thing: women seem to have much more precise colour vision than men. This is obvious enough, in the building where I live, that when there's a situation that calls for finer colour perception than us guys on the Strata Council (called a Condo Corporation in some places) can see or describe, we defer to the women on Council. When it's time to get the lobby or hallways repainted, they are clearly better qualified to choose the colours and how they harmonize. They have exact names for certain shades and can discuss how many shades of white there are, while most guys can only name a small handful, like White, Off-White, Warm White, Cool White, and that's about it. This, of course, makes me wonder whether people with perfect audio pitch are mostly male or mostly female. Good thing we have Google...
  22. Islander

    What We Hear

    I spotted this and thought it might be relevant to the discussion. I found it just a few minutes ago, so I haven't checked out the included links yet, but they look interesting. The first one seems to be the same as the one in the Audio Science Review. I included it because the site itself might be of interest as well as the podcast. https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/making-sense-how-sound-becomes-hearing.31387/ This link is about how our senses are still not fully understood. It's a 1-page article with some videos, and links to all the Senses podcasts. https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/22947671/the-five-senses-touch-hearing-taste-smell-podcast-explainers
  23. Islander

    What We Hear

    Reality is just what we all agree on, even if each one of us perceives it a little differently.
  24. WOW! Those are some beautiful La Scalas. They look great, quite a bit better than my unrestored 1974 LSes. The handles are a good idea, too. Nice work. Congrats.
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