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Tarheel TJ

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About Tarheel TJ

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  1. You are right to suspect that the K400 can be improved on. It was great for its era, but technology has moved on. Your greatest improvement will come from going to a completely active digital crossover setup. This will allow you to use pretty much any horn/driver combo you want, cross it over appropriately and EQ it flat. You could go 2-way or 3-way. Personally, I believe the best setup possible would be a 2-way, using a K-402 horn with a 4" diaphragm beryllium driver (TAD, JBL or Radian). Keep in mind, this is not cheap ($2k for the horns and another $2k for drivers). My setup represents a much cheaper attempt that probably gets 90% of the way there. I am using B&C DE750TN drivers on ZXPC horns (from eBay). I have less than $400 in that setup and it sounds excellent to my ears. The next step for me would be to upgrade to Beryllium, but as I said, the cost is steep.
  2. Don't know much about 3d printing, but I have a pair of K400s I'd be willing to part with if you need a pair.
  3. I have heard R2R tapes from The Tape Project before (though not on my own system). You are right. They are spectacular! I would love to get some for myself one day. At the moment, my only tape deck is a 7" unit, and it is not working 100%. Even still, commercially-recorded 7.5 IPS tapes can sound quite nice.
  4. Haha, with two kids and an endless list of "honey do" projects, you would be waiting quite a while. Seriously though, they are easy to build. The precision required is not difficult to achieve. I did it with a hand-held circular saw and some basic C-clamps. The expanding glue means that you really only need ~1/4" precision for most parts. The only thing I had to get help with was asking a friend with a router to cut the circular hole for the driver. Everything else was pretty easy. Finishing it took the longest, and that's only because I didn't want it to be plain black.
  5. I can confirm everything that Daledee said. Accoustic panels transformed my system. You have to cover a pretty large surface area, so I can understand why some people are reluctant to do it (the WAF is pretty low). However, ~$500 worth of homemade absorption and diffusion panels made an enormous difference. Easily trouncing any electronics upgrade I have ever made. Frequency response, clarity and imaging all went through the roof!
  6. You are welcome to hear mine if you ever make it down to NC, but I will repeat what Schu said: Don't hesitate to build one. They are inexpensive, produce HUGE bass, and pair perfectly with La Scalas. The only downside, as far as I can figure, is that they are huge and heavy. I would not want to move one! If you can fit it in your room, it will transform your sound system. Shake pictures off the wall with ease!
  7. I have also had a lot of trouble over the years with gain structure. It is a real problem with 100dB+ speakers! In my case, it has manifested itself as the never-ending quest to quiet noise and hum. The slightest hum or fuzz from any component is very evident with high-efficiency speakers. My system still is not 100% silent, thought it is close enough that most wont notice the slight hum. I know I could use attenuators to solve the problem, but like you, I have a hard time just throwing all that gain in the trash!
  8. Though I am using more power now for other reasons, I used a 4 watt SEP to power my La Scalas for years. With a powered sub taking the low-bass load away from the little amp, I had no problem reaching hearing-damage levels of loudness. 6 watts is absolutely plenty for La Scalas in an indoor setting. Only reason you would ever need more is if you were playing outdoors to a crowd.
  9. Hard to say based on just a room description, but it could be that floor bounce is an issue. This may be why you are only experiencing the problem after moving to floor-standers. I am thinking that 12' distance from couch to speaker, when triangulated by floor bounce to 14', might just equal a null at 100hz at the LP? Perhaps a thick rug/pad might help? I know they are a major pain to install, but I found "cloud" type panels on the ceiling to be very beneficial, though I don't know if it would help your 100hz issue.
  10. My guess is that since the change is in the lower mids and upper bass, that it has to do with a change in the distance between the bins. You are altering the comb filtering that results from the interaction between the two. I think that if it were a matter of changing the bass response of your FH1s, you'd hear it in the lower bass instead. Without measurements, of course, a guess is all anyone can offer.
  11. You might try rolling in some different 12AX7s before switching to a different tube type. I have found significant differences between modern Chinese production tubes and NOS western tubes. I had a phono stage that had a lot of tube "rush" to it. Swapped in some 70 year old NOS tubes and the problem vanished completely! YMMV. I have no experience with JJ12AX7s.
  12. jcmusic, you have some SERIOUS analog gear! Consider me envious. I have gotten much closer to audio nirvana over the last couple of years. Going to a digital active crossover (with much help from Chris A) and a dedicated and well-treated room has moved mountains for me. These two changes elevated my system from "above average" to amongst the very best I have ever heard at any price point. At this stage, my analog sources are definitely my weak link. I wish I had some of your pieces in my system. Maybe someday!
  13. In my experience, unless something else in the chain is severely deficient (not the case for you), speakers are almost always the weakest link. Despite all the fuss you hear about amps and CD players, almost all of them do an excellent job of reproducing an audio signal. They are nearly perfect in that regard, even the cheap ones. The same cannot be said for speakers. There is a world of difference between good speakers and poor ones. I think Alexander is spot on. A set of Heresys or Fortes would be a big upgrade from what you have now. You can probably get away with the Heresys since you have a sub, but bigger is always better. You might also look around Craiglist, etc. for some used larger Heritage models (LaScala, Cornwall). You may get the most for your money there.
  14. I have had a number of tube amps over the years. Had an AMC CVT 2030 (PP, Class A, 30 WPC) that sounded amazing but was unreliable and difficult to get serviced. Had a Musical Paradise MP-301; sounded great but was too noisy for high efficiency horns. Now running a home-build Bob Latino ST-70. It is the best yet. I am very satisfied for the ~$1000 I have in it. Now that I have one amp build under my belt, I am very tempted to try one of Transcendent Sound's OTL kits. Coytee's comments only serve to stoke that desire! Maybe 'll order a kit later this year....
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