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About 33RPM

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  1. RTR is such a fussy format, even when compared to vinyl! And, having heard pre-recorded 3 3/4 ips tapes, I never was that impressed with using RTR for playback purposes only. But, the real reason why I think people still seek out these machines is "hi-rez" recording capability - and that's mostly the fault of the audio industry. There's no DVD-A or SACD recording decks, and physical recording formats for consumers are passe, so it's doubtful anyone would develop a new format to give tape-like quality in a standalone deck used in a hi-fi. MiniDisc was lossy and failed commercially, CD-R decks are rare and only 44.1/16-bit, and DAT is dead and not normally a 96/24 format. If they would actually make a SACD or DVD-A recording deck, and make it readily available, I would think most of the use for RTR would vanish. Otherwise, there really isn't a good way to make hi-res recordings without going the computer route, so I can see some logic in RTR for that use. I would think tape stock is getting hard to find nowadays, though, and the heads surely don't last forever? Enough of my rant. Somebody really needs to produce a standalone DSD deck for hi-fi use, with high-quality DACs and ADCs, maybe something that would record directly to a DVD-RW! That would negate the need for RTR. Too bad most "typical" consumers have no use for home recording anymore (or even own a real hi-fi) thanks to the iPod/MP3 "revolution."
  2. About a year ago, I had a pair of walnut Heresy III speakers built by the folks down in Hope, after dabbling with various 2-way Klipsch models on my self-built tubed gear and never quite getting the balance and naturalness of sound I desired. After a year of listening, these speakers have truly "opened up" and have turned out to be a spot-on match for the type sound I was seeking. The Heresy III is warm and natural without any "horn coloration" or unpleasant, shouty characteristics. I never thought this was possible with a horn-loaded driver, but I was wrong! Highs are smooth, effortless and realistic, and the bass is tight and punchy, if not very deep. A sub may help in that regard, though I personally have not bothered - most of my music (i.e., jazz) has nothing below 40Hz anyway. However, the best part IMO is the mids, especially if one listens to jazz and/or classic rock. Saxophones just seem to be in the room with you - and certain guitar parts float out from the rest of the mix. I've never heard speakers that made instruments sound as though an actual instrument was playing in my listening room vs. a speaker playing a recording. The dedicated mid-horn really does wonders, though I think it is actually the combination of the mid-horn and a low-wattage SET amp that work so well together. Finally, the speakers themselves look cool in my house, and dead-on next to my mostly midcentury/late deco decor and wooden-clad tube gear. My only wish is that they were a bit darker in finish, though the wood has darkened up a bit since they were unpacked. In short, I was initially skeptical of these little midcentury-style boxes (esp. for $1600), but they gradually won me over. They truly have that rich, "golden age of hi-fi" type sound that Heritage speakers are always claimed to have, and are truly a great match for low-powered SET amps (and I suspect SEP's too). They also sounded good on a low-wattage, class-A MOSFET amp I breadboarded this summer, though the higher damping factor of SS with NFB seemed to take some of the "magic" away. I will likely never have to bother with push-pull amps, thanks to these speakers, until I live somewhere other than a volume-limited condominium.
  3. I owned a DacMagic for a while and got rid of it. I found the thing way too bright, even on my tubed gear! And not "bright" in a detailed, revealing way - more like a grating, harsh glare that I just couldn't get rid of. I initiallly blamed it on my new (12/2009) Heresy III's, then my SET amp, then the source - but with each turn, I ruled out these usual suspects.Look into other well-regarded DAC's in the same price range, or even an NOS non-oversampling model if you purposely want to seek out a darker sound. If one does not like tubes, but want something that will mate well with Klipsch Heritage gear, I would steer towards an amp based on MOSFET's on even a class-D chip amp vs. the typical bioplar transistor, high negative feedback (NFB), ultra-low distortion model. You can always have too much of a good thing - too much NFB and too high of a damping factor is not only overkill for a well-damped horn, but will make it sound pinched and constricted. This leads to whiny, loud mids, feeble bass and screechy highs. Remember, when these speakers were designed (1950's), the typical output impedance of tubed amps (by that point, pentode push-pull models using global NFB or an ultralinear arrangement) was in the .1 to 1 ohm range, giving a damping factor between 8 and 80 with a perfectly flat impedance, 8-ohm speaker. (Note: no speaker is flat, especially around the crossover points!). A typical SET (single-ended triode) or SEP (single-ended pentode) amp, by then a very outdated concept, had a Z-out of 2-4 ohms, leading to an even lower damping factor. Recent solid-state amps feature damping factors in the hundreds, with a Z-out in the hundredths of one ohm. This means that speakers designed for lower damping factors are going to sound more different on newer gear than perhaps ever intended. I've opted for a "happy medium" myself - the amp I built is a modified version of the Bottlehead S.E.X. SET amp, but with a little bit of negative feedback and different transformers for better damping. Z-out is around .5 ohm, so I get a damping factor of at least 10, which seems to be perfect for the Heresy. I don't care for them on solid-state - they really lose their magic on newer amps. But YMMV.
  4. Only 88 posts and "this board" has already cost you quite a chunk of change.....you have no idea..... I can only imagine how much money I'll have spent by the time I get up to 1000 posts! I already find myself looking in various rooms and thinking "I wonder if I could use some speakers in there...."
  5. Welcome to the Klipsch family, but sorry for your wallet! This board has already cost me quite a chunk of change, to say nothing of what Bottlehead has gotten from me this last year. Forum members can be quite convincing, so be wary!
  6. Ditto for Heresy III's. They don't sound like any "modern" Klipsch speaker I've heard, and I've owned the RF-7's little brothers (RF-5) previously.
  7. While I don't know whether PWK personally endorsed the use of EQ, I have discovered that since owning Heritage speakers and high-quality tube gear, I have no need for it. []
  8. That's some NEAT looking veneer - I've never seen anything like it. Is that tigerwood?
  9. Polk makes (or made?) some nice-sounding stuff, though I'm not partial to the tweeters they use. I think the general consensus out there is that their older stuff from the 1970's and 80's is a good deal if you can refurbish them easily/cheaply, as you've done here.
  10. Also, let me point out that the Reference series is not considered to be the last word in 2-CH music speakers by a sizable constituency of Klipsch fans, esp. those of use with Heritage gear. I was never all that happy with the RF/RB series for music, but couldn't be happier with my 3-way Heritage speakers. Something about that big sealed woofer and dedicated mid-horn changes everything....
  11. I dare you to put your bookshelf speakers up against my new H3's. I don't think you'd come to the same conclusions about Klipsch vs. bookshelf speakers! []
  12. I picked the Beyers since they sound like, IMO, a happy medium between Senns and Grados. Grados can occasionally sound harsh or "shouty" and Senns dark (or too laid back) on my gear. The Beyers have the laid-back bass and mids of Senns and the treble sparkle of Grados like the SR-225 or SR-325i. AKG's are supposed to fall in the middle ground as well, though I've not tried them. Both the Beyers and AKG's aren't terribly sensitive cans and benefit from "tube bloom" since their mids are either very neutral or slightly recessed, depending on who you ask. Low-powered solid-state gear (like portable players and computer headphone jacks) need not apply. FWIW, I've owned all of the Grado models (except for the GS-1000) at one point or another but have gradually moved away from them, except for a pair of SR-60s for my iPhone.
  13. I'm surprised you got a bad batch of cables from them. I've bought HDMI cables in lengths that would have cost a fortune at Worst Buy, as well as 20' TOSLINK cables. Both were constructed very well, and were very heavy and rugged compared to even the cheapest cables at most stores. Perhaps the shielding/grounds in the XLR to RCA's are a problem. Maybe a ground is floating somewhere it shouldn't be?
  14. I find it interesting that there are so many Senn fans here - I always felt they were dark or veiled sounding (esp. the 650), which seems to be opposite of wat we want in our speakers! I would have guessed there would be more Grado fans here, actually.
  15. Passive radiators are indeed a type of bass-reflex design, since the backwaves from the woofer cause air to move behind the speaker (via the motion of the passive radiator), similar to a port. However, they do sound a bit different. Ports can have problems of their own, such as chuffing. IMO, the sealed enclosure with a passive radiator has a tighter sound than typical bass-reflex arrangements, which can be boomy, but is less controlled than a completely sealed enclosure. All three types sound a bit different, though the drivers, size of the enclosure, and internal damping play a big role, regardless of the design.
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