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etc6849

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Everything posted by etc6849

  1. I think one should definitely do room acoustics first. Not only can it result in faster decay times and a flatter response, if one uses a lot of absorption, it can even lower the noise floor of the room. If you can lower the noise floor of the room 10-20dB, it will give 10-20dB more dynamic range (for the same SPL). I listed my house for sale and had to take them down, but before I could hear myself breath very easily in my theater with all the absorption I had. It made a huge night and day difference. While my old amps had the specs below, I still saw great benefit with using absorption: (From Emotiva XPR-2 manual) Signal to Noise Ratio (8 Ohm load): > 118 dB at rated power (A-weighted). > 93 dB at 1 watt (A-weighted) Since the new amps have the specs below, I have increased my dynamic range by ~15dB. https://www.stereophile.com/content/benchmark-media-systems-ahb2-power-amplifier-measurements ~128dB at rated power (A-weighted) 108.5dB at 1 watt (A-weighted) But with all the other benefits from treating a room's acoustics, I would put that first. Then speakers/improving distortion via active bi or tri amping, and lastly electronics.
  2. There is definitely truth to this. A lot of my personal sound improvements were from acoustics, and these were definitely measureable. I think the electronics part is worth exploring for a lot of folks (but I seldom see the components necessary recommended, except in one of ChrisA's posts where he helped me find the Xilica and recommends active crossovers). Changing out my signal chain completely has given me the last jump in performance on my system. By eliminating hiss completely I can hear artists breathing, longer decay of symbols, etc... White papers like these present solid engineering facts: https://benchmarkmedia.com/blogs/application_notes/19947905-the-audio-path-in-consumer-grade-audio-products https://benchmarkmedia.com/blogs/application_notes/power-amplifiers-the-importance-of-the-first-watt I admit I was a little skeptical about how audible of a difference I could get by getting rid of my Emotiva (insert any brand to be fair) consumer gear and switching to top level pro gear and my PC. The difference is definitely audible, and I will never buy consumer grade audio gear again. I also tri-amp which greatly helps to keep distortion low, but even using pro audio gear on my bookshelf speakers there is no going back. PC AES out->Xilica XD4080 (FIR filtering)->Benchmark AHB2 amps->Klipsch P39f speakers I'm not trying to pick on Emotiva, Pass Labs, or any one amp brand, but wanted to highlight the types of measurements that made a drastic difference for me (especially since I am not using passive XO's that would pad the signal for the tweeters and mid-range). The Emotiva XPR amps I had have measurements found at this link: http://hometheaterhifi.com/reviews/amplifier/power-amplifier/emotiva-xpr-1-monoblock-power-amplifier/ I didn't paste the XPR measurements as I only used them for tri-amping since that is what I already had at the time, and the measurements in the review were not done the same way, and I wanted to compare apples to apples. I really wish I could take detailed measurements for my Xilica XD4080 versus the Emotiva XMC-1 I previously used. Even the Xilica specs don't seem to show what performance I'm getting as I'm bypassing it's A/D conversion by feeding it via AES. I know it sounds worlds better than any processor or AVR I've owned. I am very surprised how much the signal chain matters to be honest, but it is true better S/N means better dynamic range, so there you go... I even made my own cables this time around after seeing the video below. Aside from selecting or making top grade pro cables, I am certain cables don't matter. That is an entirely different myth I am not brave enough to touch Benchmark AHB2: Fig.4 Benchmark AHB2, sum of distortion harmonics (dB ref. fundamental) vs 1kHz continuous output power into 8 ohms. Read more at https://www.stereophile.com/content/benchmark-media-systems-ahb2-power-amplifier-measurements#I26uUVZB16wZAKo4.99 Fig.3 Benchmark AHB2, spectrum of 1kHz sinewave, DC–1kHz, at 1W into 8 ohms (linear frequency scale). Read more at https://www.stereophile.com/content/benchmark-media-systems-ahb2-power-amplifier-measurements#I26uUVZB16wZAKo4.99 First Watt J2: Fig.4 First Watt J2, both channels driven, distortion (%) vs 1kHz continuous output power into 8 ohms. Read more at https://www.stereophile.com/content/first-watt-j2-power-amplifier-measurements#352yGGEvuMcGLXJ3.99 Fig.3 First Watt J2, spectrum of 1kHz sinewave, DC–1kHz, at 1W into 8 ohms (linear frequency scale). Read more at https://www.stereophile.com/content/first-watt-j2-power-amplifier-measurements#352yGGEvuMcGLXJ3.99
  3. etc6849

    What I Got Today!

    Nice speakers! I have them close together to avoid being near side walls; even if you have to have two swap your room around, it is worth giving them space or adding absorption on the side walls. I also like to do a equilateral triangle, but if you can't just angle them inward more to compensate. I always aim them at my ears and also lift the back up a little, although I am not sure how tall the P38f's are, might not need to do anything. My speakers definitely sounded much better with more space around them.
  4. etc6849

    What I Got Today!

    All I can say is since I have sensitive speakers and hiss really annoys me and masks what I want to hear and impacts the realism so greatly, I wouldn't touch any of the amps I linked to except the AHB2. Also, it makes sense to me to have an amp with 132dB of dynamic range as I love dynamic range, and now at least I'm not limited by my amp anymore. I didn't post them, but if you click on the articles, look at the IMD plots. Intermodulation distortion should be your enemy, and it is highly audible for lower frequencies. Too bad we don't see any low frequency IMD measurements in the reviews, cause I suspect we have no idea how bad the other amps are. IMD matters because music has multiple frequencies playing at anyone instance. $3k AHB2: $30k ML: $11k Pass Labs XA60.5:
  5. etc6849

    What I Got Today!

    This is why I tri-amped 2-3 years ago. I bought some Sennheiser HD-800's on a flash sale and heard things I hadn't heard from the Emotiva and Palladium system. I researched here and found that tri-amping could bring a lot of this clarity to my speakers. Thanks to some wise folks here (ChrisA and DrWho) I tried it. Then after that, on a whim I bypassed my XMC-1 and tried feeding the Xilica XD4080 directly via AES from a pro audio soundcard and things sounded even better with only a single D/A conversion (versus D/A ->A/D->D/A) and more processing power. I am finally to where I prefer my setup again to any headphone I've ever heard, but headphones are much cheaper.
  6. etc6849

    What I Got Today!

    Measurements can definitely give you a good idea of performance. I hear what you are saying though, and see why you think that. I seldom see anyone posting graphs of what things do at low listening levels or low wattages. Most manufactures hide this from you cause they use shoddy low voltage volume controls, and use amps with lots of distortion at low listening levels. Once I found the AHB2 after watching the video below, I was amazed to see Benchmark took the time to post actual audio precision measurements in the manual. They are truly a company seeking technical excellence (and yes in my experience this always means stellar sound). I totally agree about Stereophile, but after seeing them review the AHB2, they really surprised me..
  7. etc6849

    What I Got Today!

    I am totally fine being wrong, just show me better measurements THX, Benchmark and some other guys spent 10 years developing the amp, it is truly ground breaking from an engineering standpoint. The distortion levels are (according to Benchmark, THX's VP of research, and any measurement I've seen) 10-100 times lower than any mass produced amp (obviously there must be laboratory grade amps that have a similar noise floor that I couldn't afford anyways). I initially thought it was BS, but kept searching for Audio Precision data for two weeks, and then gave up and purchase my initial two late last year. But to answer your question, the AHB2 amps just amplify what is there in a very very clear fashion and controls my drivers so well it is jaw dropping. Even bass from driving the 3 9.5" woofers (2.6 ohms) is stunning in the tri-amp setup and I've heard things the XPR-2 I had used before couldn't do. I mean I was in tears listening to some of the tracks as I could hear things that weren't there before. Sound comes out of blackness; you can hear artist breath, and sound decays as if you were in the room with the performers (on well recorded audiophile tracks anyways). If you have a consumer grade processor upstream though, you may not experience the full dynamic range the AHB2 has to offer. I couldn't believe the performance of the AHB2 (even after owning two of them), so I bought a Benchmark DAC3 DX and sold my Oppo HA-1. I use it to drive my bookshelf speakers using one of the used AHB2's I initially bought before going all out. Wow. Even with passive XO's I can hear all kinds of detail and the headphone amp in the DAC3 is crystal clear. My Palladium bookshelves are so clear now, it is crazy. Not quite as good as tri-amping, but dang close.
  8. etc6849

    What I Got Today!

    I never said the XPR-1's were crappy. In fact, one of my posts called them good consumer grade amps/good value. What I remember saying is they measure poorly compared to the Benchmarks (FACT NOT MY OPINION), but so do all other amps I've seen measurements for. Cheap gear that has a good value to performance ratio gets too much praise anyways. I'm tired of all the mainstream products built to a price point that lack leading edge performance. I feel I am being pretty objective, as I was on that forum. I even posted all the links and some graphs for those guys too. At least I've owned and lived with both. I've also researched both thoroughly unlike any of the commenters there (who don't bother to read or compare data or don't understand it, not sure). The first few watts matter many times more than having 1000+ watts on tap you will never use, and better S/N ratio means more dynamic range period (unlike some of the nonsense posts I read in that thread claiming otherwise). Again, these are objective technical facts, not my opinion. Everyone of my posts in that thread had sound engineering concepts in it. Too bad only a few of the other posts did... I feel I am being very objective by posting independent measurements and having owned and lived with both. Way more objective than 99.99% of the posts I see on the internet, and 99.999999% of the posts on the Emotiva forum. At least the Emotiva fans helped my resell value to where I only lost a little money Emotiva is a good consumer product, as is a lot of other consumer gear. But none of the main stream gear can compete with the best pro audio gear because of objective technical reasons (e.g. factual) like the ones outlined here: https://benchmarkmedia.com/blogs/application_notes/19947905-the-audio-path-in-consumer-grade-audio-products I only wish I would have been wise enough to skip right to tri-amping and using 100% pro audio gear from the get go, but at least I learned a lot getting here. I was being a cheap skate too, but at least I am fortunate and am getting the performance I am now. Yes, I would do the same with speakers too, and of course I wouldn't be bashing, I'd just post graphs clearly showing why one was better than the other. But to make it sound like it is purely my opinion or me bashing is BS from a technical standpoint. You know I've owned both and have no motives whatsoever except to own the very best performing system possible. I want to produce exactly what is in the recording with the lowest distortion possible. If that's not your goal, ok with me, just skip over my posts (like the ones in that locked Emotiva thread) full of engineering facts and sound technical arguments.
  9. etc6849

    What I Got Today!

    Let's be objective here. Find a better amp that has independently measured audio precision data. Just look at these pretty graphs Benchmark measurements (MSRP $2999): https://www.stereophile.com/content/benchmark-media-systems-ahb2-power-amplifier-measurements Mark Levinson measurements (MSRP $30000/pair): https://www.stereophile.com/content/mark-levinson-no536-monoblock-power-amplifier-measurements Pass Labs measurements (MSRP $11000/pair): https://www.stereophile.com/content/pass-labs-xa605-monoblock-power-amplifier-measurements
  10. etc6849

    What I Got Today!

    No worries guys, of course I removed the crossovers But you could get some benefit in lowering intermodulation distortion by just limiting the frequencies up stream of the amps and removing the jumpers. You'd just have a little higher distortion and less driver control. Damping factor matters to me though.
  11. etc6849

    What I Got Today!

    No passive crossovers in the speakers They are fully tri-amped. I will say on my P-17b bookshelf speakers the passive XO's are very good quality when paired to the AHB2. It would seem the amp has much lower inter-modulation distortion (IMD) than any other amp I have driven the P-17b's with. Still the midrange has a tiny bit less distortion and better voicing when compared to the P-39f tri-amped setup (and of course the bass is better with 6 woofers due to room coupling/room mode reduction). I had originally tri-amped because of the IMD that was audible on drums, pianos and even voices, but I was using the Emotiva XPR amps back then. With these new amp designs that have ultra low total distortion, I do wonder how audible IMD would be. Certainly driver control is still better, but the AHB2 amp is well designed and can handle any speaker load without an increase in distortion. If you want that extra few percent in performance, and are very technical, there is still an audible difference when actively tri-amping. The added clarity was immediately noticeable to me.
  12. etc6849

    What I Got Today!

    The AHB2's are the best amps available at any price for usage 500W and lower, period (from an objective engineering standpoint based on the independent Audio Precision data I have seen). The measurements don't lie, these amps are for real. Until I bought my initial two I was a tad skeptical, but I did believe the specs and independent measurements. I can easily hear things that were hidden in the noise floor before, and the imaging is so real and holographic your hair will stand up on your neck cause your mind can't believe there is not someone singing in front of you! This new setup added two more AHB2's for the woofers and eliminated an Emotiva XMC-1 and all Emotiva XPR amps I had before. I can't stand hearing distortion now, and I'm very spoiled. I have no problem stating that my setup can compete with any system at any price, and is the best I've heard. Being 100% PC driven it uses 64 bit floating point audio processing found in JRiver. With the fantastic DAC of the Xilica XD4080 (and it's FIR filters) feeding the best amps in the world, things sound really unbelievable. Going 100% pro-audio with a single D/A conversion and feeding the AHB2's was the smartest decision I have ever made, but to be fair, that would be true had I owned Krell, Mcintosh or any other top brands. You wouldn't believe all the nasty comments I got on the Emotiva forum for just posting those graphs and comparing them to the XPR-1's measurements. The Audio Precision measurements of the Emotiva XPR amps just can't compare, and neither can their sound.
  13. etc6849

    What I Got Today!

    New triamp setup! The sound is absolutely incredible, better than any system I have ever heard hands-down. I can hear things in tracks I didn't know were there; I've heard more than one $200k setups. Custom made (by me): Canare star quad cables, power cables, rack enclosure and speaker cables using Neutrik SpeakOn connectors. FIR filters and time alignment done using a Xilica XD4080 fed via AES from JRiver Media Center (RME ASIO hammerfall driver, using a RME HDSPe AES‑32 card). These amps will beat ANY consumer grade amps available (at ANY price); at least when compared to S/N and distortion measurements I've seen or reviewers have measured (Audio Precision measurements by Stereophile: https://www.stereophile.com/content/benchmark-media-systems-ahb2-power-amplifier-measurements ).
  14. New simpler triamp setup! Custom made (by me): Canare star quad cables, power cables, rack enclosure and speaker cables using Neutrik SpeakOn connectors. FIR filters and time alignment done using a Xilica XD4080 fed via AES from JRiver Media Center (RME ASIO hammerfall driver, using a RME HDSPe AES‑32 card). This top-end pro gear will beat any consumer gear available (at any price). At least when compared to any measurements I've seen or reviewers have measured (Audio Precision measurements by Stereophile: https://www.stereophile.com/content/benchmark-media-systems-ahb2-power-amplifier-measurements You would think my old setup using top-end Emotiva consumer gear would have been very good, but I am so glad I ditched the XMC-1 and eliminated the extra D/A and A/D conversions and consumer grade amps. The difference is literally night and day. The XPR amps were ok, but really cannot compete with the small Benchmark amps when looking at real world performance (S/N and distortion), which are the most important and noticeable to me at this point.
  15. Great sounding large amps; these can drive any speaker including any subwoofer(s), and do it with minimal distortion too! They'll handle well below 4 ohms. I'll include a 15 amp cable and the original 20 amp power cable, but if you want the full wattage (I've never needed it), it is best to use a 220V outlet.$1300 cash only, price is for ONE. Local pickup only near Columbia, SC. You can see the amp work before you pay (and help me box it and load it into your car). I have the boxes, cables, manuals for each. 600 watts / channel (x2); both channels driven; into 8 Ohms.1000 watts / channel (x2); both channels driven; into 4 Ohms.Rated Power Bandwidth (at rated power; 8 Ohm load):20 Hz to 20 kHz + /- 0.1 dB.Minimum Recommended Load Impedance (each channel):4 Ohms (which equals one 4 Ohm load or two paralleled 8 Ohm loads per channel).Frequency Response:5 Hz to 80 kHz +0 / -3 dB.THD + noise:< 0.0025%Signal to Noise Ratio (8 Ohm load):> 118 dB at rated power (A-weighted).> 93 dB at 1 watt (A-weighted).Damping Factor (8 Ohm load):> 500Power Supply:2.5 kVA toroidal power transformer.240,000 uF of storage capacitance.Input Sensitivity (for rated power; 8 Ohm load):2.6 VGain:29 dBInput Connections:RCA; unbalanced (audiophile quality, machined, solid brass, gold plated); one per channel.XLR; balanced; one per channel.Input Impedance:100k ohms (unbalanced).51k ohms (balanced).Weight: 100 lbs (net); 114 lbs (boxed).Some of the features offered by the XPR-2 include:• Superb sound quality - as with all Emotiva amplifiers, the XPR-2 was designed firstand foremost to deliver outstanding sound quality.• Massive output power - 600 watts per channel (x2) into 8 ohms; 1000 watts perchannel into 4 ohms, of real continuous power; both channels driven.• Optimized Class H™ operation - with independently tracking power supply rails,provides better efficiency and cooler operation than Class A/B (and even other types ofClass H designs), with no sacrifice in sound quality.• Huge power supply - with an enormous 2.5 kVA toroidal power transformer and240,000 microfarads of energy storage, ensures stunning dynamic capabilities, and noloss of power under virtually any signal or load conditions.• Totally stable - with virtually all real-world speaker loads.• Attractive styling - which harmonizes well with virtually any audio system or roomdecor. The cool blue accent illumination and blue meter LEDs complement the highglossblack of the front panel and trim; the accent lighting and meters can each beindependently switched off (or dimmed in multiple steps) for times when you'd ratheravoid distractions from your music or movie.• Super heavy duty audiophile speaker binding posts - with clear acrylic insulatorsand heavy duty gold plated contacts; designed to accept heavy-gauge bare cables,lugs, or banana plugs.• High-quality gold-plated RCA input connectors - ensure a perfect connection,and provide a rock-solid connection for even heavy audiophile interconnects.• True audiophile-grade fault protection - is entirely transparent under normalconditions, yet protects the amp and your other equipment from virtually all commonfault conditions.• Trigger Input and Trigger Output - for linking to other trigger-enabled equipment.• Universal AC line voltage operation -115 VAC or 230 VAC (auto-switching).
  16. No BS or snake oil, this is worth watching and easy to understand. Magnetic interference is one reason I've seen a lot of folks use tie wraps and lacing bars to keep cables far away from power cords. My current setup still uses the monoprice XLR cables. However, I'll still consider buying a reel of Canare Star Quad L-4E6S cable and making my own analog XLR cables after watching this once I have my setup static and back into a rack/cabinet I plan to build.
  17. Please share How is hiss/noise floor and detail? I'm not sure if I need the 130dB noise floor, but an ultra low noise floor sounds very awesome to me. It increases the dynamic range and let's me hear just a little more detail. Very debatable about cost to benefit though, but there was a definite improvement on my system.
  18. Amp with the lowest noise floor available is likely the Benchmark AHB-2 amps. Very pricey though, best dealer price I've seen was still almost $2700. I love mine and it did add that last bit of performance to my setup. I scored some used ones, but still not cheap. I hate hiss though.
  19. What I found out is it depends like you say. RME AES HDSPe is the one I got a decent deal on (almost $1k though), and it lets you select which you want inside the ASIO hammerfall GUI (multichannel or multiple stereo devices). The sound quality of the RME is top notch, and for me, the additional expense for the RME card and another XD4080 was worth it as I sold my XMC-1 on ebay for $1700. Using JRiver Media Center and the beta Dirac Live VST plugin now, and wrote code in my home automation system to control volume in the RME mix panel. Of course, I only playback on my PC (as before), but the RME has 16 digital inputs too, so there really aren't many limitations except lack of ATMOS software decoding.
  20. Maybe. Been really lucky doing local deals to get rid of stuff. Soldtwo XPR-1's for $2400 week before last without having to post them. Then a doctor stopped by yesterday and bought some stuff, and is thinking on the xpr-1 and an xpr-2 for $2400.
  21. Thanks. XMC-1 sold, shipping it to CA. The XPR's are really the one thing I can't ship easily. I have had two come to my house that were damaged in the past, and I'm not going to take the risk. Too much of a headache having to send the damaged ones back. They definitely need to be sent freight. If you wanted the single XPR-1 and willing to go through the hassle and expense, I might ship it freight as I have no use for it. I'm going to tri-amp my center channel, and it is clearly too big for that
  22. I hear you. Have a few XPR-2's also. But here is my smaller stuff that I'll ship: http://www.ebay.com/sch/etc6849/m.html?_ipg=50&_sop=12&_rdc=1
  23. Come on down. I'll give you an excellent cash only deal. The more you buy, the more percent you get off the total.
  24. ONE XPR-1: $1200 See picture below for XPR-1. Bought this in 2015 before Emotiva started limited transfer of B stock warranties, so I think you should be good on warranty, but call Emotiva to be sure. I know now days B stock warranties DO NOT transfer. Only have one XPR-1 forsale guys. Others have sold, sorry I CANNOT SHIP THE XPR-1 (DON'T ASK EITHER PLEASE), but I do have the box, manual and power cord. You can definitely see it work, no problem. This would make a killer subwoofer amp as it can easily do below 10Hz and 1000's of watts into 2 or 4 ohms! Klipsch Palladium series P-17b bookshelf speakers in Natural finish (3 pairs available, price is for ONE pair): $2200 I'm selling a like new pair of Klipsch P-17b speakers. When these came out these were $4000. I will hook them up and let you check them out. I'd prefer a local cash sale on these too, but if needed, I can put them on up ebay or do a paypal transaction, provided you have good ebay feedback and I send them to a paypal verified address only. I cover the paypal 3% fees. www.klipsch.com/products/palladium-bookshelf-speakers XMC-1, Oppo HA-1, Oppo HA2 and bunches of other audio goodies (that I personally used and work great, I am not a flipper): Search on ebay for seller etc6849 (under ebay advanced search) and checkout the items I am selling and bid fast. These will be shipped UPS and fully insured if you buy them from me on ebay. Package deals available if you act fast before the XMC-1 auction ends on 5/27/2017. Come and get more than one item for a NICE discount, cash only of course on all local pickups! EDIT: Got a good question via PM and need to clarify... You definitely don't need to do ebay to buy the ebay items. Any reasonable/acceptable offer higher than the current bid, and I cancel the auctions at my descretion (provided more than 24 hours are left). I can't give you a price though without location due to shipping costs. Also, you do need feedback and an established account for me to check somewhere (forums, ebay, usaudio, etc...). You would need to have a verified paypal account and talk/text with me on the phone first. I can't afford to lose money, so if you are new here, don't ask for off ebay unless you have excellent feedback on ebay and let me look you up there. If you are international, please don't ask me to ship stuff to you. I would if I had more time and experience with international transactions, but I don't.
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