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Everything posted by maxg

  1. I have just auditioned a pair of Quad 988's. These are generally recognised to be the least flavoured, most accurate speakers in the marketplace. I had these mated to the Quad 909 amplifier, designed to drive them. As it happens I have decided not to purchase them. The reason surprised the hell out of me. Tonally they are so similar to my Heresy's they are simply not worth the investment. Their Bass does extend slightly beyond the range of the Heresy's (a problem I can fix at any time with the addition of a sub), but other than that, they have an almost identical sonic signature, to my ears anyway. I am fairly sure, however, that the amplifier selected makes a huge difference to this. In my case it is the Accuphase, rather than the tubes, that I would rate the closer, although there is not much in it and the colouring of the tubes is most pleasant with many forms of music (especially Jazz). Were I still running the Yamaha amp I used to have this would not have been the case - with major distortion of the highs.
  2. Congratulations. My wife is expecting also - and a baby daughter to boot. Due in April - so I plan to use you for input and advice in due course (with your then massive experience). Congratulations again.
  3. My Accuphase E211 stereo amp has a loudness button. I have to say that I am not a great fan - seems to distort the music a little too much for my ears on the music I listen to. I can see that on certain types of music it could be useful however. I imagine that they went out of fashion on receivers and surround sound amps with the advent of powered sub-woofers. As these provide you the ability to independently control the level of the bass the loudness switch becomes somewhat redundant.
  4. Welcome to the tube game. I too have both SS and tube amps. My tube amps are locally made (Greece) and use Russian tubes. As soon as their time is up (rated at 5000 hours use) I am off to investigate other countries of manufacture, or other manufacturers from Russia I suppose. There seems to be quite a range of prices out there on tubes - I have seen units ranging from $30 or so up to several thousand. I imagine sound quality follows price fairly closely.
  5. I am not sure why I am contributing to this post - I normally try to avoid any discussion on cables like the plague. Why? Well simply this. I found that switching cables from monster to Synergistic silver cables (at enormous relative cost) made a HUGE difference to my enjoyment of the music. For me, this was not a DBT issue, the change was so dramatic that everyone who heard both setups commented on the improvement. I am beginning to suspect that there must have been something wrong with my original cables. With the original cables the woofers were barely moving - the new ones and they were pounding. I have been left unable to explain how people can state so categorically that there is no difference when my own experience was so dramatic. One day, if I can be bothered, I may go out and buy some cheaper cable to re-test but right now it is just so low on my priorities. I, for one, would therefore fully understand anyone who spends relatively large sums of money on cables and can fully believe that they then hear a difference. Those of you that dont are going to save heaps of money and somehow I rather wish I was in that camp.
  6. Interesting analysis. I have found the reverse with the one CD that I have in both CD and HDCD format, namely Dire Straits Brothers in Arms. My original copy was purchased in 1985. I understand this was the very first AAD recording produced on a CD. The quality of that recording is amazingly good and it was, for many years, the best quality CD recording I owned (XRCD overtook it although to date I have not found an XRCD version of Brothers in Arms, nor, for that matter an SACD version which I would really like). The HDCD version I tried (from a friend) was broadly similar in quality probably but I actually prefered the original. Not to denigrate HDCD in any way. The Mark Knopfler "Sailing to philadelphia" is superb on HDCD.
  7. No you do not need any special equipment to play HDCD (a major benefit of the format) but to get the best out of it you should have an HDCD player. From my limited experience with the format they do sound better than plain vanilla CD's but not as good as XRCD's. Since my previous postings to this thread I have now bought the Sony NS900 SACD player and about 20 SACD titles. The quality of the medium is outstanding - truely indistinguishable from vinyl in 2 channel recordings with the added advantage of multi-channel capability. There is no comparison between this and HDCD although I am still not convinced SACD will take off. Come to that I still have not even heard DVD/a. Maybe it is a sign that at the local high end audio show there was not one in operation, or even on view whilst there were several SACD's playing mighty stuff.
  8. Good heavens - a fellow resident of Greece!! And I thought I was the only one on this site. More embarassing still - I have never been to that site - something I will have to remedy immediately. Welcome on board skaloumbakas.
  9. OK - show's over and I completely overdosed on listening (approx. 20 hours listening to systems instead of to music if you know what I mean). The RF7 is a stand out speaker from the show (along with the KHOrns, the Martin Logan and another pair of electronstatic speakers called Finals). The RF7 is, IMHO, the first of the reference series that can almost match the Heritage range where it counts for me - in the mids and highs. Previously I have found that the horn drivers on the reference range were lacking in comparison to the Heresy's (for example) although obviously the bass is far larger. My test pieces for the speakers were: Dire Straits - Private investigations, Three Blind Mice test recording with Bridge over Troubled water and Dvorak's New World Symphony Ist movement. In other words, rock jazz and classical which covers 99% of my collection. I?t handled the lot with aplomb and I was particulary taken with the staging of the classical work, although tonally I might question the Kettle drum that plays such a large part in the first movement bit it would be a minor quibble. Trumpets, sax and voice are particularly well reproduced (possibly as well as on my Heresy's - although I did not have them side by side for comparison and was therefore working from memory). Strings are not (IMHO as always) a strong point of the reproduction on Klipsch speakers generically. For me even the KHorn over-emphasises the string draw in relation to the trial off resulting in a higher impact than I have experienced live. This can be wearing over time and tends to tire me as a listener. The RF7 is no exception to the rule and if anything may suffer worse, although with so many hours listening I was tired already. At some point I will tell you all about those Finals (the electrostatic speakers) if you are interested. They make an interesting counterpoint to Klipsch approaching music from a completely different direction.
  10. At the local high end show. Klipsch in the form of the local distributor (Laios) has 4 rooms, 3 of which are Klipsch with one dedicated to a turntable / Horn setup which has already been recognised as best in show (the Martin Logan large electrostatics were second - LOL). Anyway in one room they had the main speaker selection ranging from the Promedia's (very impressive for the size/price) throught the RF3 / 5 and 7. This is a very optimised setup with an Accuphase E306 (about 150 wpc into 8 ohms) amp and Accuphase model 60 CD player. The cabling is good stuff too. The RF7's are connected with about $7000 worth of silver somethingorothers. Anyway, to the RF7's - wow. Having heard the very mixed reviews I was not expecting much. This is the closest thing to a Heritage speaker Klipsch has produced in a long time IMHO. Like a Heresy but with some serious bass. That bass is tight and well controlled highs are breezy and mids strong. All in all I was impressed, and they do a lot better job with classical than the RF3's. Were I currenly in the market the RF7's would command my very serious attention.
  11. Obviously I understand less and less of this art as time goes by. In my own case I have a pair of tube monoblocks mated to a solid state preamp. According to Ray this is the least effective place to have tubes. The funny thing is the difference it makes to the sound. I compare always to my accuphase as my solid state reference. Ultimately the tubes are warmer and slower which means they are invariably better at Jazz than the accuphase but not as good at Rock (actually they are dreadful at rock - truth be told). Blues and Soul split fairly evenly down the middle as does classical (or did on Cd's but now on SACD's the tubes have it 9 to 1 as my listening choice). Anyway - where am I going with this? Oh yes - if this is the least difference tubes can make to your sound - VIVE LA DIFFERENCE!!
  12. I made a post on this subject under 2 channel audio - I am hoping that the link included points there. 2 channel audio posting FYI - I can run both multi-channel and 2 channel through a mod to my setup described in the link that I am very proud of. Having heard multi-channel I can honestly say that it is nothing like the sort of sound you get out of DVD video in either DTS or 5.1 formats. This is, to my ears, audiophile quality music that engulfs you. Of course, I am lucky as I am a fan of both Jazz and Classical music. I have never heard anything that reproduces classical like this - anywhere. Jazz, on the other hand, is primarily live recordings as opposed to the studio sound of XRCD. This means that despite the higher quality of the SACD recording the setup for the sound is not usually as optimized and XCRD comes through as more optimised, but ultimately less of a live experience. You pays your money and you takes your choice - I have both in the meantime and it will stay that way for some time to come. Oh yes, and as regards there being no poor quality SACD recordings - dont you believe it. I have a selection of classical recordings from Szell including Dvorak's 8th and 9th symphonies. These were originally recorded in 1959 and 1958 respectively. The hiss is abhorent and it was not a good choice of performance anyway. If you compare the way the music is played to the DDD CD recording of Von Karajan you will discover you have an SACD you cannot listen to.
  13. Well now that that is sorted out can we just try to get along harmaniously from now on.
  14. I wouldnt rest the TV directly on your La Scala. There is a large amount of bass from those Babies and my guess would be that your TV would be shaken to bits within a few months.
  15. I think the Sony NS 900 has progressive scan in the US. I would take a look at it as not only does it excel at DVD's it throws in multi-channel SACD as well (it does an amazing job there too). Another benefit - it seems to be very competitively priced compared to the other sony offerings.
  16. If you are not averse to buying on line you can pick up multi-channel SACDs at: www.amazon.com - although its not always easy to identify which are multi-channel, and www.elusivedisc.com - where they separate them propoerly and it is much easier. I Have trouble buying even 2 channel SACDs locally.
  17. Fully agree with Rob. I am running Heresy 2 mains without a centre and with 2 home made rears that are a good match for the Heresy's (amazingly and by pure luck). One other thing you might want to try. I run my Heresy's on their side - with the woofers outermost. This creates a much wider sound stage whilst, having toed in the speakers, the phantom centre chanel directly plays above the TV screen - pure magic!!
  18. You wont meet many disgruntled Heresy owners. Once you get them your appreciation of music just soars. You do, however, ocasionally meet disgruntled wives of Heresy owenrs that never get to watch the soaps cos the music is playing in the living room. Now I could pump the sound of the soaps through the Heresy's but that would be a sacrilege if not a heresy.....
  19. Think that that goes down as ful agreement. I am getting more and more impressed with SACD as I listen to it, especially in multi-channel. I am waiting for another 6 titles on order from the net which will hopefully arrive either today or tomorrow. Never thought I would say this but - GO SONY!!!!
  20. $1500 sounds a bit high for entry level SACD/DVD players. My player is the Sony NP900 SACD/DVD/CD player and cost 213,000 GRD which is about $560 - just about in the price range you were talking about. It does not, unfortunately, play DVDa. In fact, as yet, I have not heard DVDa at all here. Seems that the number of players on the marketplace for DVDa is about 1/5th of those for SACD. This is despite the fact the DVDa is actually available in more places as software than SACD currently is. The next few months of this battle should prove interesting. Whilst I would prefer that SACD wins out, purely due to my own investment (so selfish) I hope that at least one of them does.
  21. Well it has been something of a revolution rather than an evolution over the last week or so. Having gone to a local audio show and spent some time listening to various SACD players (which outnumbered DVD audio players 5 to 1) I decided to take the plunge and go get a unit. As I am still not 100% sure that SACD will take off I compromised and got a combo SACD / DVD video player - the Sony NS900V in silver. This way I have managed to replace, finally, my long serving Denon 3000 first generation DVD player. Initial implementation was a breeze. Unplug the Denon from the stereo ouputs (RCA's) and the SCART adapter and replace with the Sony. As my whole system has been stereo only for some time I did not have the complexity of multi-channel or digital connections. Until yesterday all of my listening was stereo. The difference from Cd is dramatic but also incredibly difficult to describe. I think I can summarise it as follows, listening to CD leaves me feeling rather irritated after a while, something is missing, or something is very artificial and it is only obvious when you compare it to another source. I remember way back in 1984 when I first got a CD player. I had always listened to Records till that point. Changing to CD my first reaction was - that sounds bizzare - something is missing. I put it down to the absence of hiss and over time got used to the CD sound. Switching to SACD gave me a similar - this is bizzare experience, but that very quickly change to a - my god, this is how it is meant to sound experience. I should point out that the quality of CD play on the Sony was extremely poor, until I discovered the "CD Direct" option which improved things dramatically. Even with this option on however, the Sony is no match for my Marantz CD 6000 and so that has been my selected comparion source for SACD. Whilst the unit does not, IMHO, do a particularly good job on CDs the same cannot be said for DVDs. It has made an enormous difference to the DVD watching experience with the major improvment being the picture quality and mirriad controls. Sound is on a par with the Denon, maybe a tad better in stereo. On friday night I was sitting listening to the unit late and pondering on the possibility of setting up a surround sound system to test multi-channel once again (a couple of the SACDs I have picked up over the week offer the surround sound option). It ocurred to me that, as the Sony has a built in decoder (but no volume control) I could use my existing amps to create at least a 4 channel surround sound (I dont own a sub - yet). A friend had left me a pair of home built speakers so I decided to use those. Yesterday I picked up about 100 feet of semi reasonable speaker cable and a pair of rather good interconnects. I then set about a rather clever (even if I do say it myself) cabling job as follows: Using RCA connections throughout I connected the pre-amp of the monoblock tubes to the FRONT channel outs of the Sony. I then connected the stereo channel out of the Sony to the Accuphase. This allows me to play stereo on either amp without using a Y connector. Then I connected the rear channel from the Sony to the Tape in (the only free input on the accuphase I had left). Finally I ran the new cable from speaker B outputs on the Accuphase round to the borrowed rear speakers. To my amazement this has worked a charm. I can listen to the main stereo signal through either amp as I said, whilst, being able to listen to the front channel through the tubes and the rear channel through the accuphase simultaneously. I can even set the system to play the main stereo channel through the "rears" of the accuphase, or, through all 4 speakers on the accuphase and whop knows what else. Having 2 amps to control the front and rear channel provides me with total control of the sound (balance and volume) without resource to the complex menus on the Sony. So, how does it sound? Well, initially weird, really strange. The trick is to forget all about speakers and just let the musical experience flow over you. As soon as you can achieve this you realise - this is the most incredible music experience I have ever had in a home. Forget all about being enveloped by the music and the usual cliches this is music without limits. Forget speakers, systems, watts, digitial and all the rest of it. Just listen to the music. The only problem you will find is that there are very few surround sound SACD titles out there as yet and going back to stereo is a somewhat anaemic experience. Soon I will write about the music played and the different results obtained. Suffice to say, at this stage, that if you are a lover of classical music this is THE medium for you. Get your hands on a surround sound classical track or two and welcome to the gates of heaven.
  22. Definitely go with the KSW12 - I had the KSW10 and sold it - just not in the same league as the 12 which IMHO sets the standard for 12" subs.
  23. didnt this one get technical (and slightly abusive) all of the sudden. Well, people have been to war over dumber things I suppose... Personally I will happily continue to sit with one foot in both camps, subject to the music I am listening to.. try not to kill each other guys- there will be less poeple to converse with.
  24. There is a unit that seems to do everything. Its the Pioneer 747 universal player. I have seen this at an exhibition but not heard it. The build quality seemed very below par so I would hesitate to recommend it. The CD drawer is rubbery and flexible to the point that a disk doesnt seem to sit flat on top of it. I would hold on for a while longer for a better quality all-in-one unit, although I cant imagine a high end item ever coming out that does it all. As ever Separates will provide ulitmately the best quality and will, no doubt, embarass the sound I am getting out of my Sony combo unit. However, for the money, I can have no complaints.
  25. Local audio show on Friday. Idiot-brain here got talked into going down with a mate. Typical thing - as soon as I think I am not looking to buy anything I end up getting one dumbass piece of kit or another. This one is a duzzie. A Sony NS900V DVD/SACD player that thinks it can play CDs (which it cant worth a dime). Anyway its here - along with 3 SACDs. Plays DVD mucho better than my 4 year old Denon 3000 (surprise surprise) and plays SACDs as well as any of the other units at the show seemed to, to my ears and on the usual dreadful supplied speakers. Its too early for much of an impression. Certainly seems fuller and more relaxed than CD - listened for 8 hours yesterday (all 3 SACDs, 2 XRCDs (on my old Marantz which blows the socks of the Sony in the CD playing department) and 2 concert DVDs (Cher and Fleetwood Mac)). There is certainly a difference between XCRD and SACD, XRCD is harder and very aimed at Jazz whilst my feel is that SACD will show its main strength in Classical and maybe guitar (it is to early to tell - this is just my impression). The difference is most strongly felt using the Tubes with the Heresy's and least strong using the Stax headphones on the Accuphase. I do not know why this should be. In fact it is the reverse order from the one I was expecting. Jazz XRCD's are at their best on the Tube/Heresy combo but this is where the SACD feels like it scores the highest. Anyway - who knows and time will tell and if it does so will I! Happy listening..
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