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Ski Bum

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Everything posted by Ski Bum

  1. Correct or not depends on if you're interests lie in the truth of the matter as it relates to the reproduction of audio vs. the commercial interests of a DAC vendor. You have to provide more substantial and convincing evidence than you have, at least if the truth is your aim. Just because you felt there was an improvement, you have not established that there actually would be, outside of your own expectations and foreknowledge influencing your perceptions. Under what conditions did you perform your comparison? Any bias controls whatsoever? You've probably fallen victim to what Feynman pointed out, that the easiest person to fool is ourselves. To subsequently report your subjective opinion as unvarnished truth, as justification that the OP should use to buy kit he doesn't need and may or (more likely) may not provide any audible improvements, is NOT correct.
  2. You are correct. It's time to enjoy some music, and forget all about those little consumerism voices telling you that you need to spend more.
  3. I think you're right on target as to how us horn folks have to read between the lines with Toole's books, so you're providing a valuable service with this analysis. Still, there is lots of good info to be had, e.g. the chapters on bass are chock full of info that's more generally applicable regardless of what your mains are.
  4. Well, there is tons of energy in music above 80 hz, perhaps more than you realize. Larger drivers will have a significant advantage in clean headroom, which allows Roy and company much more wiggle room to engineer proper bsc and tonal balance into the speaker. This takes a lot of capability from the driver, to frequencies north of 500 hz, perhaps higher. I would tend to agree, using 15" mid/woofs from 80 hz on up may be overkill. However, PWK once mentioned that it would be heretical to use a 15" woofer without horn loading. High passing such a speaker would reduce cone excursion and IMD, perhaps not as much as horn loading would, but it's still a step in the right direction.
  5. Not to state the obvious, but use the Arcam's tone controls. (page 26 in the owners manual)
  6. Good ol' Steve seems to be using his eyes more than his ears, and regurgitating some horn lore (that they suck for certain genres).
  7. Keep in mind the rather different dispersion patterns between the speakers when it comes to imaging/soundstage presentation. Each has it's own specific limitations and trade offs with your room's acoustics and your ears. With the Fortes you can do things such as cross-firing them (heavy toe-in), which takes advantage of time/intensity trading to expand and stabilize the sweet spot. It also tends to add apparent depth to the presentation. This is a trick that wide dispersion speakers simply cannot pull off. Stereo is merely a trick the mind plays, and as the end goal is a bit squishy and unspecific, there is no right way. But the different approaches have different results. Good wide dispersion speakers like your old Thiels can hang an image seemingly independent from the physical location of the speakers. Controlled directivity via horns can reduce the influence of local acoustics to the point of transporting you to the venue, so to speak, where ambient and spatial cues from the recording itself dominate your local acoustic's influence.
  8. Your experience reminds me why I prefer hassle free digital sources.
  9. Probably a simple ground loop, due to adding the new piece of kit to your rig, rather than the hum coming from the processor itself. Check that first.
  10. Cool. Glad you're liking it. That's an interesting device. It's different settings apparently (based on their cryptic verbiage) manipulate the amount of feedback around the tube stage to get the different sound characteristics. That's a far cry from a tube amp coupled to a transducer, but if mere audibly different profiles are the goal it should do that. Since you're still using your big amp, you also don't suffer from the main drawback of those fine sounding single ended tube power amps: low power. .
  11. Those speaker terminals are not separate amp channels, just paralleled outputs of the same channel (note the warning in the manual regarding running two pair of low impedance speakers). If it sounds better to you, great, but what you're claiming (the cause being increased power) is physically impossible.
  12. Well, if you have soldering skills and enough awareness to not electrocute yourself, one of Maynard's designs would set you back less than that. Lil Sweetie parts cost is probably three bills or so. Just under 2 watts of single ended goodness that would have you scuba diving through the layers in the mix. You've got the speakers for it.
  13. I'm no expert on vinyl rigs, so hopefully others will chip in. Your Cambridge integrated is a fine piece of kit, so I doubt they would have dropped the ball with the phono stage, so it may boil down to your cart or setup. A tubed phono pre will likely sound different, though, and possibly better to you. So go for the low hanging fruit first, and only if you're sure your rig is optimized as it stands, then consider an external phono pre. Your cambridge has pre-outs, and would make an excellent front end to feed a tube amplifier. If you're going to dabble in tubes, I think you should go that route. And don't pussyfoot around with a nearly linear pp amp, go all the way to the furthest depths of depravity and get a SET.
  14. Hmm. Well, I personally don't find either of those products to be remotely compelling. I may be the worst enabler ever for you, as I'm feeling very 'Rod Elliot' in sentiment after looking at those products. Those strike me as perfect examples of the sort of gear you'll find along the dubious audiophile primrose path of consumerism. Ok, maybe the phono pre makes sense, but I'm still not too impressed.
  15. I'm cynical, so I see kit with tube line stages as having them for the sake of marketing purposes. All that stuff about the thd in tube amplifiers upthead assumes a tube amp coupled to a speaker, not merely a line stage, where the task at hand is much less complex than driving a reactive load. Maybe for the phono pre, since that too is a transducer, but otherwise I tend to see it as just bling. Those items do indeed tend to cost a lot, and be relatively poor values. Approach with caution and skepticism, don't let the consumerist impulses win without full deliberation.
  16. You won't find a more reality based take on amps to learn from than Rod Elliot (well, aside from his SET hatred). Maynard is our resident sweep tube ninja. Build one of his amps and you won't be disappointed.
  17. The Rockwell article has lots of kernels of truth. Tube amps can add both linear and non-linear distortion. The linear distortion is due to the higher output impedance of tube amps, so the response will reflect the impedance curves, although this is extremely subtle IME, not anywhere close to the extent of a tone control like the Yammie's variable loudness. The output impedances of the myriad tube amps (as well as some ss designs, i.e. some of Pass' single ended First Watt amps) are all over the map. High output impedance amp will add some plump at woofer resonance, and some sparkle up high as the tweet's impedance rises. Again, it's pretty subtle until you veer off into transconductance amp territory, but small changes to the bass can result in big changes in subjective impressions. The non-linear distortion aspect is where it gets a bit confusing. Most tube amps inherently have higher distortion, often corresponding inversely with the complexity of the circuit (compare the simplicity and off the reservation measurements of a SET to the complexity of something like your reasonably well sorted Yamaha). Different topologies exhibit different distortion characteristics, which can and will dramatically change the presentation if/when clipping occurs. Single ended amps generally have low order, monotonic distortion spectra, and as a bonus are completely devoid of crossover distortion (manifested as high, odd order spectra). PP topologies cancel even order harmonics, so they tend to produce predominantly odd order spectra. They inherently have crossover distortion, although it is mitigated in good designs via proper biasing and the correct application of nfb to beat it down to negligible levels (ditto for conventional ss a/b amps). Solid state amps are typically squeaky clean up to the point of clipping, where they exhibit extended, high, odd order spectra. Reality: We clip our amps more frequently than we might realize, even using sensitive speakers. I would posit that this accounts for the vast bulk of reported audible differences between amps, regardless of class or amplifying device. Lower power tube amps will clip sooner than more powerful amps, and thus excite their respective spectra of harmonics, dynamically, in relation to signal strength. In overdrive conditions, the monotonic pattern of single ended amps acts almost like the ideal compressor, exposing details in the mix while simultaneously not shredding your ears with true to input peaks, and they can be run well into the red before the sound becomes objectionable. As a result they're both highly resolving and easy on the ears, which is a great combo with Klipsh. PP can be over-driven as well, but not as far into distortion as a single ended amp due to it's odd order spectra, which is more brassy or edgy sounding. The more well engineered pp tube amps, which are necessarily complex, expensive affairs, when operated within their limits are very hard to distinguish from boring ol' ss. Excessive, gross clipping sounds bad on either (unless you're a musician). SS clipping is just audible ugliness however you slice it, and should be avoided if at all possible. Second reality: low distortion at full rated power is irrelevant if you spend the bulk of you time at micro-watt levels, so how the amps perform at the low end of their envelope is just as, if not more important than how they do at rated power. From this perspective, I'm convinced there are merits to certain tube amp approaches, particularly the single ended jobs that avoid crossover distortion. Phase splitters always seem to ruin the magic.
  18. Klipsch has an anechoic chamber, yes? They should post full polars, or aggregate measurements like JBL 'spinorama'. I'm sure the fIII would make a decent showing for themselves, but it would be nice to see some data.
  19. Chris, you could probably engage him directly. He's been pretty active over at avsforums with the book coming out.
  20. Ski Bum

    So Long BS Forum

    I wish the BS forum was still around...perhaps then the main forum would have less of the tribal virtue signalling bullshit.
  21. I have completely bypassed my pre-amps at times, connecting source directly to amps. If the speaker/room situation is pretty good, then there is no pre-amp like literally no pre-amp. But I haven't met a room where some eq wasn't beneficial, not to mention the wide scope of recording quality that I may tweak on an as-needed basis, so I prefer pre-amps with tone controls/eq. I should add that genuinely useful tone controls are few and far between, which is unfortunate.
  22. What's the purpose of this? Did Klipsch finally put the kibosh on the hidden forum?
  23. Having more power than the average triode strapped amp opens your options (you could go with smaller, less sensitive models in the RP series for example), but I recommend you stick in the Heritage or 'extended Heritage' realm. Heresies would be great, but if you like bass extension you'll need to augment them with a sub or two. Fortes or Chorus dig pretty deep on their own. If you have the means for new Heritage, the forte III should be near the top of your list of contenders.
  24. ~6 watts will take you further than you might expect, but it's a good idea to keep a bigger amp on hand for those times you want to crack the plaster. The Decware amps are more about resolving inner detail and imaging prowess, all that proverbial single-ended stuff, which they do quite well.
  25. There is still room involvement, even in Chris' LEDE treated room. Later reflections, those from sound that has to traverse the room, are preserved, which helps create the illusion of space. Those later reflections are also a perfect tonal match to the on-axis response, simply because they mainly ARE the on-axis response, and thus don't call attention to themselves as would the early reflections from the often irregular off-axis response of a wide dispersion speaker. Also, without the early reflections, all the depth and ambiance encoded in the recording is more fully revealed, giving quite a bit of perceived depth behind the plane of the speakers. While I think that's about as good as it gets with two channel, it can be a rather "enveloping" experience.
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