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Posts posted by maxg

  1. Max---

    Of course you could achieve that "SET sound" by other means. But, it would not be as easy as you might imagine if, for example, you choose transistors and also want 500 watts of power. Maybe more to the point though, is that SET sound isn't a universal shared goal (that should be obvious to anyone by now). Thus, not that many designers WANT to achieve that sound, right? Look, what makes it a prominent feature here (Klipsch) is that it goes well with high efficiency horns. So, it gets more play here than in other audio circles, where people might babble on about other kinds of sound.

    Measurements to me are guideposts, markers and reference points. They are not goals to be achieved - only the sound is a goal. Naturally, if I can improve a measurement AND retain the same sound, I'd be a fool not to do that. But, that is rarely if ever the case.

    Lastly, here on the Klipsch forum, the "SET argument" per se, is actually an emotional remnant of 2001, when very bad blood was spilled on this issue. That was sort of the "Civil War Period" on these forums, and most of the emotional rhetoric you hear now is a remnant of that era. For instance, you don't hear any "anti moving coil" sentiment, or "anti subwoofer" sentiment etc.

    Besides, alll dogs need a bone to chew.

    Ah yes - I think I recall those bloody battles of yore. Amazing how heated an exchange of opinions on, what is actually taste in music reproduction, can be in a medium which allows for no comparison of experience other than the telling.

    I do wonder about whether meaurements are merely guideposts, markers and reference points for you as a manufacturer. It would appear to me - as an impartial observer that you have gone to great lengths to make a high(ish) output of 25 wpc for your pCats. All the fun of SET without the drawbacks perhaps - but I'd guess that was a design aim - number based design aim?

    Some measurements (such as simple power output) are important. I may not consider driving my amps with a 3.5 wpc amp (of any description) with a mere 91 dB sensitivity - but with 25 wpc - hey that might get an audition.

    I would not buy it on the basis of the specs - but I would NOT buy it or even audition it on the basis of the specs - LOL!

    (In other words I might decide not to buy something on the basis of the specs I see).

  2. Interesting little debate between Mark and Dean. I think we are seeing that any argument taken to extremis becomes ludicrous in the end.

    Listening is a great guide to choosing a system - there is probably non better - but, if your tastes change what you once loved ....

    What I find interesting is that the arguements for SET and very similar to those used for a good MC cartridge on a TT - or just a TT in fact.

    I am yet to be convinced that this much loved sound (the SET sound - and I know there is no such thing but bear with me) cannot be achieved, matched or even bettered, with alternate types of amp merely adjusting the source or, even the speakers.

    Noteworthy perhaps - that I have heard many systems with that magical liquid midrange - well a few anyway - sans SET.

    Having said that I have heard SET amps (8 watts or more admittedly) with really rather decent bass.

    I think it comes down to this for me. If SET is the only way to get the sound I WANT - then SET it will be. If, however, I see an alternative (not punitively expensive) that provides a similar quality of sound then that is more than likely the route I would go IF it offered less trade-offs in terms of power.

    As for measurements - I would imagine it is more important for the manufacturer than the listener to measure. Some of these measurements must mean something - surely?

  3. Just to get back onto the original topic:

    It amazes me every day that my wife puts up with all the stereo gear in the living room. There was growing resistance at one point - but this sorta evaporated when I introduced the speakers I built into the system. She was so impressed with them - or rather with the fact that I built them that she decided to put up with it all.

    The funny thing is that I do not think they are particularly attractive items, but they don't really seem to bother her. In fact I think she would rather see the TV go now than the system - although if I decided to jack the whole lot in I can't imagine she would complain overly.

    Another saving grace for me was imelda. This is the name of the cupboard I built for her for her shoes. It is about 6 foot 6 tall and has 10 shelves for 6 pairs of shoes or boots per shelf. It happens to be stuffed full.

    As others have said - if she suddenly decided it all had to go - it would. I can probably get by with the promedia 2's, a decent pair of headphones and a TT.

    Please dont tell her I said that!!!

  4. Nice one Oscar - the Accuphase E530 right on queue.

    One of them thar solid state amps I had in mind to show to die hard tubies. Its a shock people....t'aint cheap - but by god it is a match for Klipsch.....

    the Quad 303 would be an alternative amp at a MUCH more reasonable budget.

    As regards tube-rolling - yup - no reall SS equivalent and to be honest I miss it. Only the other day I gave away my last set of 6550's to a friend. Irritatingly my pre-amp uses 6N1P tubes and there aint a lot of options there either. I have Sovteks and Svetlanas - wow - what a selection!!

  5. Anyway - why were all that audiophiles fooled into thinking I had a tube amp?

    The first is that sonically it does sound rather like a tube amp - I think this is why I stuck with it. There is no obivous grain, it performs reasonably well at low volumes and with a sub handling the lower reaches no-one would expect the reduced bass to being with.

    That's what I remembered you posting previously about your amp. I noticed you always qualify "with a tube preamp." I think the right comparison is just an SS stack vs. a tube stack. Once you put a tube preamp in front, you've already improved any of the amps to follow! Big Smile

    I do always put that in and until recently I was fairly sure that the action of the pre-amp was, to an extent masking any nasties that might be coming from the amp. Now I am not so sure - and it is not what Dean wrote which made me re-think.

    Last Sunday, I think, I went to a guy's house who has Tannoy GKF speakers. Corner loaded dual concentric drivers - large. Nice sound. We went there to hear his new Jardis amps (expensive). We listened and we liked. He was running them straight off a rather strange passice pre-amp from Creek that was powered to allow the use of a remote control. The passive pre was not expensive.

    At some point he suggested we listen to his original Quad 303 amp that he bought back in 1981 and has recently had serviced (caps changed and all that).

    Now remember this is an SS amp - about 40 wpc if memory serves mated to a passive (ish) pre.

    I was expecting to be underwhelmed. I was not. Simply put - it blew the Jardis out of the window. I had thought the Jardis sounded good but the second this thing started to play it was like going from a recording to a live event. Funny thing happened during the playback. He played one of the Pink Floyd albums (Wish you were here) and Tony started to sing along with the Jardis in place. Tony actually has quite a good voice but it was very much a guy singing to a recording. When we switched to the Quad however and Tony again started to sing it was much more like Tony singing with the band. Tonally the Quad knocked spots off the Jardis.

    We then re-played everything we had heard on the Jardis and frankly it was night and day. I couldn't believe it.

    Now I am starting to question whether the tube pre-amp is actually necessary after all - something I have held as a rule till now.

  6. Hmmm. This reply form hasn't loaded up properly so I guess the formattings will not look good. Anyway - why were all that audiophiles fooled into thinking I had a tube amp?

    I think there were a number of reasons. The first is that sonically it does sound rather like a tube amp - I think this is why I stuck with it. There is no obivous grain, it performs reasonably well at low volumes and with a sub handling the lower reaches no-one would expect the reduced bass to being with.

    Aside from that it shoudl be pointed out that the amp is from Tsakiridis and he made his name on tube amps. I dont think he has made many SS designs for amps and so I would guess they saw the label and assumed the rest.

    Finally - as I have a vinyl rig as my main source I'd guess they further assumed tubes as the 2 tend to go together.

    what would be interesting - even with Klipsch speakers - would be to do a proper comparison of decent SS amps with a variety of tube pre-amps against tube amps. I have a number of candidate amps - some pricey, some not so pricey which I would be fairly confident would perform well even for the most die-heart tube fans.

    I would not expect tubies to rush out and buy SS immediately after that of course. As Mark said there is a lot more fun to have with tubes - but I think they might be a little less prone to right off all SS amps as harsh, grainy etc.etc.

  7. Well I did it about 5 years ago and never looked back. The main driving force was the birth of my daughter - I just didnt want to risk her getting too close to tubes (so you have any idea what is in a tube? - We are not talking good stuff for kids).

    Frankly - when mated with the tube pre-amp there is precious little difference. Its also interesting to note that when the 30 odd audiophiles of ACA descended on my house half of the questions were - "What tubes are you running in that amp?"

    I had to explain - repeatedly - that this was not a tube amp.

    Its also worth re-iterating that I could implement a tube amp that sounds very much like an SS amp.

    In the end its the sound that rules - once the safety issue is moot. Now that my daughter is a bit more grown up I could go back to tubes - its just not the thing I would first think of for improving my sound.

  8. Some of them are quite big rocks and you need a car to get around (or a Donkey).

    Interestingly someone else who is into all this digital thing told me that the USB soundcard I already have is actually quite good - the Soundblaster USB audigy 2.

    Apparently it does some trick to bypass Microsoft's own sound something or others which are not very good and does something direct to something else which I did not understand at all but it means its good. Relative to what I don't know - probably relative to other soundblasters - but it does support recording in 24/96 and beyond I think. No idea whether it allows for 24/88.2. I have to dig it out and connect it to something to find out.

    Anyway I will start there and it the results aren't good I will then look for an M-audio USB something else. I had a look at a site for them but couldn't understand much. they seem to be more for surround sound than anything else - but so does the Soundblaster.

    It does have a built in SPDIF. Dave - what is an SPDIF? Do I need it for ripping vinyl? Can't I just go from the phono into the analogue input on the unit with an RCA to mini din cable?

    Also reading the whole - how to remove the clicks and pops I am of the opinion that this is probably not worth while. It would take ages with 600 classical albums to rip and most are not noisy anyway.

  9. Sadly not for me - I am definitely going for a laptop and they dont take PCI cards. This can only be bought by someone with a desktop.

    Whilst I am incredibly proud of knowing this I suddenly wonder whether that was a blindingly obvious thing to say.

    Ah well - doing my best...

  10. Dave - sorry - didn't explain that very well. The only reason I use my phone is that it came with the option and so I never needed to take the plunge into Ipods and the like. I'd be happy with a separate solution for portable audio - if it offered something over the phone.

    Frankly I was amazed it supported WMA loseless at all. It has a slightly cut-down version the media player from windows and it performs SO much better than I was expecting. I actually record entire movies to the disk for my daughter to watch in the car. Anyway 44.1/16 is certain - maybe 48/16 - after that I doubt it too.

    Anyone know of any other portable device (ipod like) that would support, say 96/24?

  11. Basically no- I can't see me dumping to CD for anything other than a true emergency.

    I am more likely to hunt down a portable solution for playing back higher res compressed files. I originally went with WMA loseless simply beacuse my phone supports it. I do not know if WMA can encode for higher bit rates than 44.1/16 - its something I will investigate.

    My current phone has a 4Gb SD card in it. Whatever I get to replace it should have 8 Gb of internal memory plus support for SDHC which are the next gen cards and will go to 16 Gb easily. If I can squeeze a 96/24 file down to something like 1.5 Gb of less that will be around 12 albums per disk and that is fine for the car / portable listening and so on.

    Its going to be interesting to see how close to the vinyl sound I can get using digital. In the ideal world it will be close enough to use in the main system - relegating the actual vinyl for special occasions. I am not expecting that - and frankly even if it does not happen I will be happy with the portable solution / background music option.

    I'm also hoping that by going to solid state storage (which is incredibly fast) issues such as jitter will disappear too.

  12. I am going to need to finalize the platfrom first and then make all the detail decisions. It is quite possible I will end up with a Linux based unit of some kind for all I know - but I am going to look at the choices and go from there.

    flac looks good just because it will compress 96/24 and others. I think this will offer a significant saving in disk space - but more importantly also in network overhead. It might mean the difference between being able to work with 802.11G and not.

    Right now I just dont have all the bits in place - but whatever I choose has to allow me to record whatever record I am playing. That way over the next year or so all my favorites will end up on the system virtually by default.

    Ideally I would like the recording and playback systems to be one in the same but actually that wouldn't be a show stopper even if they weren't - not sure that is a good thing or not yet. some dedicated audiofool playback device supporting 32 gb cards perhaps...

  13. Good to know - thanks Dave.

    This means there is lots of investigating ahead! Got to try to figure out the best and most practical approach. I think the latest apple portable is solid state with a 60 odd Gb disk / memory.

    I might well opt for a networked storage solution in addition. Ideally the computer in the living room would be wirelessly connected. Is the bandwidth sufficient to to this? I am fairly sure it would manage wired - but for obvious reasons I would prefer not to have yet more wires in the living room.

    I am assuming that compressing the files would help in this regard.

  14. Nice to be singled out - I think.

    Anyway - I plan to be doing something like this as soon as I get my new PC (budgetted for this year).

    Couple of things I am wondering about:

    1. Loseless compression. I have had a play with ripping a CD to WAV and comparing the sound to WMA loseless. As yet I have not been able to tell the difference - on the Promedia 2.0's anyway. AFAIK WMA loseless is only for 44.1/16. Is there a loseless compression that would work for 24/88.2 or higher - seems a shame to store the digital files in something as inefficient as wav files.

    2. Solid state storage devices. Just as hard disks continue to fall in price so the availability of large SS devices rises. I am wondering if there would be any benefit to going to Solid state storage as opposed to hard disks. I kinda think the reduction of moving parts must help both reliability and noise - but its a bit outside my area.


  15. Did a post in 2 channel but as not everyone goes there :

    "There is a new audio forum at http://hifitalk.forumotion.com/index.htm which is, frankly, a total riot. I think you have to join to even browse - but it is worth it IF YOU ARE VERY BROARD MINDED.

    There is no **** of words and no rules on topics in the off-topic forums. Discussion titles couldn't even be listed here. IF YOU ARE NOT EASILY SHOCKED it is a lot of fun - and there are plenty of audio topics to boot - although they desperately need more - its only been going a few weeks,

    Anyway - consider this a heads up - and dont blame me if you leave in a catatonic state of shock after 5 minutes.

    That's all - hope no-one minds this blatant ad. Apologies to any that do - I am sure Amy will delete on request."

    No pressure - interestingly different from the Klipsch forum - but with a strong Klipsch presence and a sub-forum dedicated to Klipschites.

  16. Acknowledgement should be almost immediate - but if there is a delay just go there and try to log in with the username and password you supplied. Appears to work anyway - don't know what the issue is for some people logging in - spam filters perhaps.

    Oh - and there is no "nay" All welcome - and its gonna be difficult to get banned - the moderators are a tolerant lot and smilies go a long way....

    The Parrot will be an interesting test - there is no SET/PP forum but there is an amplification forum so you can wage war in there if you want to.

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