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Everything posted by maxg

  1. MD I dont think you did mean me - I didnt tell you where to post either. Come to that where is the General Forum anyway - I used to like to browse through that one???
  2. Whoops- just noticed that they do now have a greek distributor, Nexus. I know that company so next time I am in the area I will try to get over and give the products a listen. If there is anything noteworthy I will get back to you all and let you know. Cheers
  3. Welcome Korato - that's what I say. As someone in Greece I am unencumbered with the "not made over here" attitude that seems to be coming out of the woodwork in this thread (although my amps are Greek made as I think I may have mentioned from time to time). Lets face it guys - the appearance of another amp manufacturer, from Belgrade this time, is hardly going to bankrupt the American economy - room for all and all that... Now I am off to take a look at the products - although from the list of countries mentioned it doesnt seem that these are available here. Looking for a distributor Korato???
  4. APC??? That's good stuff - at least in the PC Arena - this is a ...a....a... Ah yes - a Lian Long!!!! Model number LLD500WYT. Its got 2 meters - one for incoming power and one for outgoing and a Delay button which from what I can figure out from the somewhat abstract manual is for refridgerators but I dont know why or what. Anyway the delay is set to off. Again acording to the manual it maintains a constant 230 V AC output (remember this is for European voltages) as long as the input voltage remains above 190 Volt, after that it tails off linearly, which is fair enough - Greek power is bad but not that bad!! It is definitely doing something positive to the sound. whether is it doing as much as an Accuphase power rectifier would do I doubt - but then again it did cost less than the packaging on the Accuphase.
  5. So where have I been recently I hear few if any of you ask. Well good question - primarily fighting with my phone line. Just upgraded from a normal dial up line to an ISDN line which comes with a little box that does the business including being a modem. Sadly it is obviously assembled by blind men in a huricane as 3 have arrived and blown up within hours of installation. This is staggering when you consider that there are no moving parts in the unit!! Anyway aside from that, and partially as a result of the ongoing nightmare I went out and got myself a new mobile phone - the Nokia 5100. There is nothing too remarkable about this phone on the face of things. It does have all the latest gizmos including a colour screen and now a photo of the baby but other than that it is just a ruggedised Nokia...except... I was flicking through the menus and what do I find under "extras"?? A soundmeter!!!! Now it says all over the place that it is not for professional use but it does seem to be reasonably accurate in comparison to a proper unit we did a quick side by side with - certainly a nice and unexpected bonus!!! Aside from that I have been flirting with power regulators. There were various audiophile versions I found for silly money and then, again by accident, stumbled across one in my local electrical supplies shop. It is rated at 500 VA which is rather small in comparison to some I have seen but as I am not runing the amps on it that is more than sufficient. Does it make a difference? Big yes. Right now I am powering the TT the phono stage and the preamp off it and things have improved significantly (almost as if I upgraded the TT itself). I have a feeling that a mojor part of this improvement is probably from the motor of the TT itself which is rather sensitive to fluctuations in power but the pre and phono stages may also be benefiting. Of course I havent told you all the price. How does $52 sound? About right? I am not saying it is the same as an audiophile one that costs $1000+ but it has improved things and in conjunction with the surge protector I use will suffice for me.
  6. Are those Zens integrated amps? I only ask as I have the Decware ZTPRE and am very happy with it. Should, I would have thought, be a good match for your amps too....
  7. Ahhh Soundstage. One of my favorite aspects of listening to my system is the ability to generate a believable 3 dimensional reproduction of a recording. That is not to say that this reproduction is necessarily a portrayal of the reality of the recording but rather that it is the product of the work of the sound and recording engineers and is therefore very much a rendition of what they wanted to produce. However well set up your system therefore there are recordings with which you can do very little. On the Beetles album Rubber Soul, for example, the sound engineer saw fit to place the vocals in the right channel and the instrumentation in the left channel. This creates a bizarre and disconcerting effect which, for me at least, rather ruins the experience of listening. It doesnt much matter what system you have there is no way to ge the vocals into the more logical center of the stage. On the other hand my Decca recording of the Opera Aida creates such a vast soundstage that it appears to overspill the speakers and fill the entire wall of my room. I have to admit that I am something of a soundstage nut. Not only do I look at the apparent depth, width and height of a recording I now focus on other aspects such as the projection of the recording forward of the line of the speakers and even something I have termed as accoustic perspective. If I am to define that latter term it would be as follows: When listening to a given piece of music close your eyes and locate any given instrument or voice in 3 dimensional space. Having done this then attempt to ascertain the size of the image created and relate that back to the size you would expect it to be in the real world. For example in Dvorak's New World Symphony, first movement and about 1 minute into the piece the kettle drums come in with a bang. Listening on my system those drums are postioned towards the rear of the orchestra and to the left. Sonically I would put them about 90 feet from me. Sizewise they appear to be much as I would expect them to be were I in a Concert hall at that distance and this is good. On the other hand when I am listening to Jennifer Warnes Famous Blue Raincoat she appears to be slightly smaller than life for the apparent distance from me and this is not good. The reason she appears smaller is simply, as far as I am concerned, a limitation of using a speaker the size of the Heresy. A larger speaker would imcrease the image size, ideally closer to the apparent reality. I should mention here that it is possible, in my opinion, to go to far on image size. To me this is one of the major drawbacks of the KHorn. It is, to my ears, simply too big. I once described on this forum listening to Ella Fitzgerald on the KHorns as listening to Ella with a 10 foot head. Many people, owners of KHorns, liked the description and commented on it assuming that it was a compliment of the speaker. It wasnt, at least for me. When I listen to Ella I kinda like her to be life size, not so big it appears I am balanced on her nose. I mentioned before about projection. This is something I have only recently gained in my system as a result of repositioning the speakers, angling them upwards and, most importantly, toeing them in greatly. As my system is set up now the speakers appear to cross in front of my listening position. I would guesstimate them to be toed in some 30 degrees or so. This has had a number of effects, mainly positive. The most obvious effect is this projection I have spoken off. It is not just that the soundstage has increased in depth it is that it has moved forwards so that singers can appear to be some distance in front of the speakers. The effect is like moving from row 8 to row 4 of a concert hall, especially in conjunction with the angling up of the speakers which has raised the stage accordingly. To further complicate the matter my listening chair is a recliner. I have found that leaning further back in the chair whilst listening allows me to adjust the apparent height of the singer and the supporting instrumentation with oftentimes startling effects. OK I have rambled on a bit here but I should add a few more points: 1. Getting a soundstage is a product of the recording, the medium, the speakers, their placement, the listening room, your listening position and the supporting electronics - probably in that order. 2. Just as you can have too much size you can have too much soundstage in my opinion. The combination of my setup and my room in conjunction with certain recordings can produce weird effects in terms of sonic placement. My ultimate example of this is Roger Water's Amused to Death on Vinyl which I have harped on about before. In simple terms this recording on my system places you inside the soundstage completly to that sound appears to emanate from all around, When voices recorded in stereo and played back on a 2 speaker system appear to come from over your left shoulder as you face the speakers something very peculiar is going on. Add to that the fact that the piano appears to be hovering 10 feet above your head to the right of you and most people would agree that this is probably too much soundstaging. It so happens that with the nature of the recording, which is something of a trip in itself, I can get away with this pseudo surround sound but I do find myself looking out for a white rabbit with a pocket watch....
  8. Would back recommendations for either the Project or the Music Hall models. In many ways these 2 makes have been the most important development in vinyl in the last 20 years - bringing really decent sound at bargain prices. Over here, in Greece, Project dominates but mainly that is a distribution issue. I was talking yesterday to one of the main distributors for the country and he reckons he is now shifting 40 units a day - not bad in such a small country for a dead medium!!! From what he was saying the project models are the item that has kept him in business over the last year or so - economy being what it is. Anyway all that is by the by - get one or other and you wont look back. The only problem you will then face is the question of where to go from there - that is my issue right now.
  9. maxg


    My 0.02 is as follows: Still havent seen DVDa in Greece so it dont look like they are out to dominate this marketplace at least. There seems to be a glut of SACD and SACD/DVD players out there but still very little software with none of the local record shops stocking titles. I tried out SACD about 18 months ago - it really impressed at first but then I got to playing with vinyl. My experience is - no comparison. Vinyl wins hands down in this house - and you want to talk about availability of titles....
  10. From what I know there were no major changes between 1990 and 1999 on the KHorn so start out by looking at the cheapest and work out from there is there is something wrong with them. 18 Feet is close to ideal distance between the speakers and is a great place to start. As for amplification try out your amp in both modes and see what you prefer. Remember power is a non issue here - KHorns are VERY sensitive speakers (102 db/w/m?? or is it 104? Cant remember) and were designed with tubes in mind. Yes - mst people here would recommend running them with a decent set amp (2A3, 300B etc.) but that doesnt mean they wont sound good, or cant sound good with a reasonable push pull. If for any reason you dont like the sound of your setup once in place and you have ascertained that it is the amp/speaker match then you can easily find alternative amps for less than the money you would get for yours. So go get them Horns and let us know how it sounds!!!!
  11. What can I tell you? I dont know enough about these things to know what the problem was. All I can tell you is that there was no sound coming out of one channel and that when Antonis put a meter on it there was nothing to show, whilst on the other side it gave a reading. Sadly it is one of those things that doesnt really matter how it broke - it just did and I was stuck without a system. As I understand it there is effectively no warranty on cartridges once in use (certainly here in Greece). Therefore, whoever was actually at fault, I needed a new one quick (cant be without my vinyl!). The most irritating thing is that I had just run that one in - now I have to start all over again!!!
  12. I got used to people asking me where the centre channel speaker was. Now I get people asking me where the rear channel speakers are. Only on certain records of course. I should add that I have no idea whether a centre channel would improve things or not. A question that would spring to mind immediately is whether, were I to go for a centre channel, I would be best going for another Heresy speaker or a dedicated centre channel (as in one designed for the job) and if so which one?
  13. After about 4 weeks of running the damn thing in the right channel suddenly stopped working. As I was removing the wires from the back of the cartridge (having eliminated everything but the wires in the arm) I accidently shorted out the cartridge and bang goes the left channel permanently. Of course I didnt realise this as the time. It was only once I have given up trying to fix the problem on my own and headed off to Antonis and StepCom that we discovered the channel was dead. After a fruitless hour of trying to find someone in Europe who might be able to fix it we gave up and Antonis offered to repace the cartridge with another BPS for cost. This was too painfull to bear so because my logic is the reverse of everyone else I know I opted to replace the arm as well with another Project 9 arm that has been fully modified (with clearaudio cabling, a different bearing (?) and other bits I cant remember. Anyway Antonis has had it for a year and he sold it to me, again for the cost of the parts ($570) and even traded in my old arm for $150. Why spent $350 when you can spend $750?? Anyway he fitted and set up the whole thing and its in here and running in. I'll report back with any dramatic improvements (hopefully) in the sound once I have had the chance to hear it properly and after the month Antonis has made me promise to wait before assessing it. Antonis is a big believer in running a product in and with 2 new ones together he is having a field day. How an arm might run in is beyond me - but the cartridge might smooth off or something. End update.
  14. Fini - you are from the planet Zarg! Totally off the wall as far as I am concerned.... C&S - yes I do want my little one to learn from her mistakes but not at the age of 1 with tubes. The problem with tubes is not so much the electricity issues as much as the seriously nasty stuff used in their manufacture - all of it totally toxic (chromium, mercury, lead and such). I just dont want her pulling a tube, breaking it, and then licking her fingers.
  15. The shelves are metal so I dont think there is any fire hazard in reality. As for the heat it doesnt seem to be too bad. The shelf only feels mildly warm to the touch as does the power supply above it. The phono stage sitting on that power supply is cold. From there on up the heat seems to have disipated fully. Obviously this is after only a couple of days. I will keep an eye (or a finger) on things for a while yet just to be safe. Thanks all for the input though...
  16. Having come up with the idea of using a fireguard to protect the tubes from the baby I have finally got it all together and in place. The only minor additional change was to move the tubes to the bottom of the rack and the power supply and phono stages up from there. Sadly it doesnt look as good as it did but the WAF has been declared acceptable and at least I get to keep my sound, even if the warm glow from the tubes is all but gone... I should add that the guard is held in place by 4 wire ties fixing it sufficiently to withstand significant baby prodding. FWIW - I had to move the tubes down to the bottom as the shelves are off-set and the tubes would have been accessible from the top were they to remain where they were. Anyway - the net result is that I keep my sound whilst ensuring the baby is safe - quite a result all in all.
  17. Wolfram, It will remain one of life's mysteries as to why the LaScalas and I didnt see eye to eye. Maybe if the opportunity presents I will have another go at them but right now I am so happy with where my sound is I have little or no desire to change. Good news on the tube front. I managed to find a fire guard of exactly the right size to go in front of the stand and have afixed it there. Fortunately my stereo stand is black so colour matching was not a problem. Whilst I have lost some of that warm red glow of the Tesla's I still have their warm sound and at least I can sleep a little eaasier knowing that the baby wont be using them as a pacifier any time soon. All of this means that I can now turn my mind back to vinyl and maybe a new TT should the opportunity present (retaining the new cartridge and the phono stage I just picked up).
  18. Invid, Wouldnt claim to really know my stuff but the Heresy is the only speaker that simply floored me on first listening. I've told the story before but it bears re-iterating. I was with a friend who was looking for speakers for his girlfriend's new system. I thought I was fine with my Klipsch KSB(?) 3.1 monitors so I wasnt really paying attention. Speakers came and speakers went - all background noise as far as I was concerned. On a whim he asked to try the Heresies that were sitting in a forgotten corner of the demo room. The second they came on I was transfixed. The sound was radically different from anything that had gone before and so live it was breathtaking. I bought them on the spot only to discover the Yamaha receiver I had wouldnt drive them properly, the Rotel power amp I bought helped but, with the Yammy as pre-amp had highs that could cut down young trees. Those were replaced by an Accuphase and that by tubes. The rest is history... The strange thing is that the LaScalas never had the same effect. Dont know why but it looks like I will remain a Heresy owner a while longer yet.
  19. Cant talk about your tubes as I have never played with them but from the little I know some modern tubes are very good indeed. I have KT88's and would recommend anyone to try out the Tesla JJ KT88 which is both reasonably priced and has excellent sonics. Not only that but I am informed by those in the know that this tube has as good a control of bass as any KT88 ever made. How they actually compare to original GE's and so on I dont know but for the money they are a no brainer over here.
  20. Indeed Wolfram, I've tried cages, covers and cabinets but she just wont stay in them!!! That is why I am thinking of coming up for a cover for the amps instead... One thought that has crossed my mind is a small fire guard. At least I know these wont have any problems with the heat, are designed to keep prying little fingers at bay and come in black so it would be in keeping with the stand I currently use. The only remaining question is how to affix the stand so that it can only be easily removed by me (for tube maintenance etc.) and not by my daugher for, shall we say - tube rolling...
  21. Well my daughter will be one year old on Saturday and she has started walking. This is a problem on the tube front. Having discussed this with my wife we came to the conclusion that the best thing to do would be to take the tubes to my wife's office along with one set of speakers (probably the Sansui's) and I would put together another system. This is potentially the ideal opportunity to move off in a completely different direction speaker wise as well as amp wise (cant face the idea of driving the Heresies with SS amplification). So with this in mind my local supplier of many things audio (Antonis) came round to my house with a pair of Final 0.3 speakers and an SS amp (Vincent). First off he listened to the current system and made very positive noises about how good it sounded. Then, just for fun we tried the Finals with the Tsakiridis tube amps. Would you believe the little KT88's drove the damn things - not briliantly, but this is a pair of speakers that crashed an Accuphase E407 amp because of the low impedance levels (down to 1.2 ohms in places). After that we connected up the Vincent and just as we were sitting down to try it out my wife arrived. The handy thing about my wife is she is brutally honest. The speakers had played for about 30 seconds when she pipes up "That is disgusting - it sounds metallic - no way we are going to change our system for that!!" The nice thing about Antonis is that he is equally honest and agreed immediately. We checked out all the cabling and left the amp warming up for another half hour whilst we chatted. Returning to the system there was a marked improvement in the sound, but, we were still a long way from the quality of sound I have currenty. In disucssions Antonis reckoned that over the next few days we would see a marked improvement in the system, but, and this is the kicker, he reckoned there was no way we would ever match the current sound quality. This kind of made the whole thing academic. He did say that with other amplification it would indeed probably better my current sound but the amps he is talking about are the AudioNets at about $9000 for a pair of monoblocks. Add to that the feeling he had that my pre (the Decware) would not be as good a match as AudioNet's own (add another $3000) and we decided that this was the wrong directon. Sadly we packed up all the stuff back in his car and send him off. How honest is he? Well he even went as far as saying that the best thing would be to build some kind of cover for the amps and to keep my current setup as he was of the opinion that moving forards from here on a new system would be expensive. All in all - good news and bad. Nice to hear how well my system is playing but kind of disappointing to think I wont be playing with a load of new equipment but with a sheet of plexiglass instead... Just thought I would share. Heresies 1, Finals 0
  22. Not that it matters much but are we talking about the spl at 1 metre from the speakers or at your listening positions? Guys, I dont want to be a drag on this but we are talking serious ear damage at these levels for anything more than about 10 minutes (guess). For what it is worth I imagine my Heresies are capable of this level with my little KT88 based amps. From the limited knowledge I have I think that the KT88's are rather stronger at bass than the EL34's (at least according to my supplier - my amp can also use EL34's apparently as an alternative to the KT88/6550 familly). For what it is worth I have never taken my system over about 100 dB - just never felt the need - but that is at my listening position which is about 3 metres from the speakers. Come to think of it I believe there is something like a 6 dB drop per metre as you go away from the speakers so maybe I am already playing in the same ballpark.
  23. Some time ago I proposed the idea of audiophile holidays and so many people thought it was a bad idea that I abandoned it. As a result I am now a commercial (well fairly) developer of rather nice properties for sale. Anyone interested in possibly owning a little piece of Greece please feel free to follow the link. If you select the English flag next to "I want to buy" you will get to the part I built with frontpage... Click here If that doesnt work for any reason, please use www.trikeri-villas.gr
  24. Thanks JT!!! Knew this forum would come up trums once again. I did buy this because of the choral aspects rather than for the organ but it is a piece that can be enjoyed for both. If you are interested in Christmassy choral works the most amazing I have is called Cantate Domino on Proprius (No: Prop 7762). It is, I think, recorded in Churches in Sweden and is a total bugger to find on vinyl (took a friend of mine, months to locate on for me). Worth having if you can find it...
  25. OK Organ fans a little help if you please. This is a somewhat strange question I suppose but what do I have? I picked up an audiophile triple album of JS Bach that is a German Analogue Audio Association Edition Phonix recording entitled: Weihnachtsoratorium!!!! My German is non-existant. This is a choral and organ piece that is incredibly impressive and quite beautiful. I listen to it a lot but dont know what it is... On another topic to whoever wrote that they dont listen to namby pamby stuff like Ballet and Opera I would suggest getting hold of a copy of Aida (Verdi), or The Ring of the Neibelung (Wagner), or, Don Giovani (Mozart) or an one of another 30 or so Operas that are anything but namby pamby. As it happens my copy of Aida on Decca recorded at the Rome Opera house is by far and away the largest recording I own. It sounds as though there are about a thousand people singing in the background at times and you can almost feel the presence of the pyramids...
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