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Everything posted by Bubo

  1. I have a friend with 30 years EE design experience that helps me with high voltage Breaker Box work. I remind him that it is lethal, and he reminds me to stand away from him, every time. Better safe than sorry!
  2. Given that the universe of high end tube amps will be displaying at this show, is Klipsch planning on attending with the Heritage line of Speakers??? Reviewing the 2014 attendees list, Klipsch was not present. http://www.axpona.com/
  3. Sounds interesting (any pun is purely coincidental and does not reflect the editorial opinion of this thread.....blah blah blah) Interesting that they are featuring Content too. "Expanded floors of over 125 listening rooms showcasing the finest and latest products and technologies in high-end listening equipment. The Audiophile Marketplace will feature more original and remastered recordings in multiple genres and formats, including Vinyl, CDs, hi-res computer and mobile device downloads as well as a huge selection of accessories." http://www.axpona.com/ 2015 Exhibitors list not published yet 2014 Exhibitors List: JBL, Klipsch, Great Plains and Yamaha missing in action....foolishly in my opinion. Klipsch could rent a U-Haul and attend from Indy assuming they have any of their own gear there?? McIntosh shows the flag http://www.axpona.com/exhibitors.asp?reqEvent=85
  4. Nice pre amp, pay attention with the drivers Second this, the XDA is a pre-amp DAC combo, not and amp or integrated amp.
  5. A few thoughts: A lot of the gear that we use is high current, and it can hurt or kill depending on the person and the circumstance. If gear arrives with a 3 prong plug, use it. A lot of Vintage gear does not have a third prong, it floats (hope I am using the term correctly) Electricity wants to go to ground via the path of least resistance, which could be through another piece of gear if not wired properly. Many homes the breaker box is wired to a water pipe in the basement. When I added 2 roof antennas, I followed the methodology of a commercial radio mast from a white paper after reviewing it with an electrician, by some freak occurrence it was the one who wired my house 25 years earlier. Both antennas tied together, then down 2 sides of the house to grounding rods, an additional 8 ft rod was driven into the ground next to the meter box. All three rods were tied together in a ring. Since my house has an aluminum skin, it too was on the same ground. All of my gear including the sub are on the same 15A breaker, all of the gear is plugged into good quality power distribution units that provide RF filtering, high and low voltage protection. By plugging them all into the same distribution, they are all tied to the same ground the shortest path to earth. All power cables must not be touching speaker or RCA cables etc as it could induce a signal under the right conditions. Sometimes, it's worth the $200 to get an electrician in to verify the house wiring and the box and isolate a 15 amp circuit for the stereo gear. A trip to the Emergency Room $500.........a trip to the Morgue priceless..... Better wall sockets than the crap the builders install are a few dollars each, if you are not sure read the directions and watch a few youtube videos and methodically replace every cheapo in the house, same goes for light switches. If you have a friend who knows what they are doing get them to help you do some until you are comfortable then buy them lunch somewhere. On the RCA and other cables, shielded cables are dirt cheap, there is no excuse for not using them. PCs can be very noisy, so if they are a problem connect to them via toslink aka optical isolation. Things like lamps and the CFL bulbs can cause buzz and emit RF. Spend the $60 for an RF and EMI meter and go around the house measuring everything in every mode, if cordless phones and cell phones don't give us brain tumors ........they should judging by their energy plumes. Note: The electrician I mentioned earlier who had retired and was working at Home Depot, I purchased 4 whole house surge protectors from him that day for my home and buildings, kept asking about the grounding I installed. I started to think I was missing a cue and had made a mistake, so I asked him straight up why we were going over it again. Answer: This weekend I am going to upgrade the grounding on my home, and my brothers home and add roof antennas. On his brothers house he was also going to ground the metal roof to the grounding rods on both sides of the house. I have zero grounding issues (knock on wood) and my daughter asked me what I had done to the TV the day after we completed the grounding. I asked her why, "sharper picture, better colors, everything looks better". Verify the house wire, tie the house to earth at multiple points, tie all earth grounds together via a ring, replace all the cheapo sockets and switches, plug all of the gear into the same power distribution box ADT, Monster etc........ just get a good one, and use a dedicated 15Amp outlet if possible. Upgrade the box with a whole house surge protector, $50 plus labor. It may save your Air Conditioner, furnace motor and all major appliances some day. The builders are too cheap to put them in unless forced to by code, even on million dollar new build houses.
  6. Totally agree, the Engineer put it there for a reason, use it.
  7. Frequently, gear from the same manufacturer has the same components off of their approved vendors list. They may also have design guidelines in addition to style guidelines so their gear has the same sonic signature from unit to unit. If you just need two amplified channels, I would stick with Emo after you speak to someone on the phone and ask about the sound vs what you already purchased, It may the same exact engineering team that designs the gear.
  8. If you are in the mood on a Sat or Sun when I don't have my daughter, we can figure out a way to frequency sweep the A list speakers in your basement looking for linearity and drop out and roll off. With a PC this might be a $200 exercise. I'm not sold on the idea of exotic cross overs, perhaps there is something a sweep can surface that is audible and significant. Pretty sure the canned software for this is good, cheap and available. One of the things I need to get to, on the long list of things I need to get to, is the ability to bench test amps and pre amps to spec after I work on them. A couple of load resistors, tone generator, and oscilloscope and spectrum analyzer. Modern Oscilloscopes may have all of this built in now days, not sure. You could probably run through and amp in about an hour if your bench is set up. If you want to do a hard core beat down ......you could run it wide open overnight and see what happens.
  9. Agree The reason I suggested "observed impressions" is I don't think bench tests are particularly entertaining, and you can't drink very much...Is a square wave music? For gear A vs. B......both pieces of gear could score A, which is fine by me, perhaps one performs better with a certain kind of loading? Totally agree, the last get together was about the right amount of gear to keep it entertaining and form solid impressions. I could go for two sets of speakers and three amps. For me, listening to Ronstadt Skylark for 3 minutes tells me if I want to continue listening to the gear. I try to bring content that is state of the art, appeals to most people and pushes the gear to perform. I would still like to hear a better Mac tube amp than the MC-30s, bring it on!
  10. Or we finish my basement and turn it into a listening or recording studio. Any musicians in the group? Finish your basement, put up a sign on the Tollways advertising the Midwest's Largest Klipsch Audio Museum and sell tickets.
  11. Just a thought. If we decide on our own "reference system" of all A components and A recordings.......... do we bench against it, better or worse than? For example; if the MC-30 becomes our Tube amp champion aka reference point, do we invite other Mac Tube Owners for a cage fight?? Everything stays the same, and the amps slug it out our A vs. their B?? There is no shortage of Mac owners on the AK and Audio Aficianato Forums living in the area, I have no doubt some would pick up the gloves for some fun. IMHO any of the High End Heritage speakers would be acceptable to most tube owners as a reference speaker.
  12. Agree We may want to consider how many variables we want to manage? For example, if want to evaluate amps and speakers....... should we to the best of our ability zero out: noise, hum, wow and flutter, sympathetic resonance, quantization error, loudness wars, phase jitter and clocking issues...all are manageable technical and mastering issues. GIGO Since its unlikely we are going to perform a bench stress test on the amps and speakers, we will be registering "observed behavior" and relative impressions. Do we use criteria like: Life-like, non-fatiguing, and transparent? Do we assign simple letter grades like A B C?? for relative impression-ranking? For example: when we sampled the yaquin integrated amp, it would be nearly impossible for me to ascribe any relative impressions or ranking given the number of variables: Vinyl, TT, needle MC, MC pre amp, stand alone attenuator, Yaquin and Cornwalls. Plus any analog cabling issues which may or may not exist. When we sampled the the MC-30s the path for the analog signal was directly out of the Surround amp and into the MC-30s feeding the Fortes. Within reason, managing the analog signal comes down to nice thick RCA cables with gold ends, and 10 GA speaker cables to minimize damping issues an area where tubes are at a disadvantage vs solid state. In the digital media, there is no shortage of bad recordings, worse mastering and the use of the inferior PCM encoding scheme. DSP tech may have reached a threshold where any quality modern DAC converter is indistinguishable from other quality units. Quality surround Receivers may have eclipsed the need for DACs and 2 channel pre-amps? Of the digital formats, DTS Master (best) and it's Dolby equivalent offer the best technical performance of any media or encoding scheme on the consumer market. Surround receivers can downmix the 5.1 stream to 2.0 or 2.1 yielding the best SN and highest resolution. Plus, if you see the guy picking his banjo on the screen, and nothing on the speakers its a good indication something went wrong in the production or mastering process. DTS Master has become the defacto standard for BluRay movies, why .....it sounds better. To observe: life-like, I think we need acoustic non fatiguing, after playing a few tracks continuously, you know if it's irritating you transparent, if the analog signal has a low SN, you know if everything is clear Agree, do we limit ourselves to what we think the A products are? To my ears, the MC 30 were billed as rock stars, if Mac has a better tube sounding amp I would like to hear it in a bake off. Leveling the field with a $50 db Meter is a great idea since the brain always thinks Louder is Better; psycho acoustics...... the seed of the digital loudness wars and the Vinyl revival Some things to consider.....
  13. We had some discussion on Cornscallas, on the AK forum there are no shortage of threads on this topic with lots of builds. This link has links to lots of projects including back in the Klipsch Forum http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=284353 Version C build http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=577522 This is just one of them, note the massive mid driver. http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=381148
  14. Interesting Thesis on Unity Coupling. I actually understood some of it, they lost me on the transformer formulas.... http://www.tubebooks.org/books/lockhart.pdf Downloadable PDF of the MC 30 manual, interesting read. http://www.timebanditaudio.com/mac/MC30-color.pdf
  15. Nice cabinets! At my woodworking skill level, victory is defined as not leaving any fingers on the table. Anything of beauty has to be bought in.....
  16. https://community.klipsch.com/index.php?/topic/155035-mcintosh-mc-30s-or-vrds/ Thought this was insightful from another thread. mdeneen Keeper of the Sound Members 30,187 posts Offline Posted 23 January 2015 - 07:08 PM Max2, on 23 Jan 2015 - 4:25 PM, said: There are some very interesting aspects to this comparison. The McIntosh "unity coupled Class B" is one of the most iconic designs in amplifier history, and the underlying topology of the VRD is from the Dynaco UltraLinear AB design, also one of the iconic designs. Ultralinear AB sounds totally different than the Unity Couple Class B, and so you have a real chance to compare what dramatically different topology does for a tube amp. I think it is fair to say that aside from a few Leak amplifiers, nothing really sounds like a McIntosh Unity Coupled Class B amp. That can be good, or bad, depending on your taste. For UltraLinear, there have been dozens of designs, so the sound is not as unique. But they clearly sound different than the Unity design. Should be a lot of fun!"
  17. I totally agree with this statement. Tube amps don't have the best damping, so as not to make it worse...... less resistance is required as I understand the math. Like all things, declining marginal returns set in. Quickly in the case of speaker cables. 12 gauge Copper does the job, 10 gauge probably noses into declining or no marginal return, but since the marginal cost is so small as to be irrelevant ...........why not take the extra margin for error, it's free. Buy the affordable 10 GA and declare victory. Stated differently, exotic speaker cables only offer the perception of sonic improvement in the mind of the person who sank a large sum into them and absolutely needs to hear the difference, even if no one else can.
  18. Keep in mind that 2 Watts will take your head off, so 15-20 gives you plenty of head room Tubes clip more gracefully than SS, so for low output Amps, tubes offer an advantage if you overdrive them in not destroying your speakers. For the Vintage tube amps, there are no shortage of options with proven track records. All of them will require an extensive and expensive rebuild, if they haven't been rebuilt already. There is even a company that sells kit Dynacos or will build them for you. I don't know if these were his fav... but I understand that they guy who designed your speakers owned several of them. As to the phono section, and pre amp, I would keep them separate from the tube amp. A high quality SS surround pre-amp is the way to go IMHO. There are so many choices for outboard phono sections, that integrated makes no sense if you like Vinyl. You can pick up high end surround pre-amps for a few hundred if you don't own one already.
  19. Brandon, Do you have some photos of your MC 30s you can post, inside and out; I believe yours are complete and highly competent rebuilds. It appears that at least a few of the tubes in your unit, are not the stock tubes, any chance you can make a tube list???
  20. I too would like to thank Seth and his very gracious family for hosting us....... again. In the photo dept, we may have lapsed and not taken any. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx In addition to Seth's gear, we sampled: Derick's Yaquin hybrid tube SS integrated amp with vinyl MC stylus and the Cornwalls. Brandon's McIntosh MC 30s with a pair of Fortes, both of which he supplied, these were I think sampled all digital source, but I may have missed something. These were pre-ampd with Seth's first gen Emotiva Surround Pre-amp to good effect. Noise floor approaching zero from an observed point of view......inaudible is inaudible.... xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Forte 2 These were the first pair of Forte 2s that I have listened to; IMHO the Forte addresses all of the shortcomings of the Heresys (I own 2 pair) in a very convincing way. Full range sound, and rapid diffusion ( Hope I am using the correct term for maintaining fidelity with a short distance wide focused sound). Observed; 10 feet away, and the Fortes sound great from any seat in the room. If someone is interested in great sounding speakers for the home in this size footprint, these are a great option IMHO. Fortes get an A compared to anything. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diffusion_%28acoustics%29 McIntosh MC-30 I have heard so much good about the MC-30s, that frankly I expected to be disappointed .......since group hype can have a powerful effect on individual perception. The Spectrum Analyzer between my ears tells me that the MC-30s delivered life-like, non-fatiguing, transparency across the sonic spectrum. For content, some of what we listened to were high quality DTS 5.1 Master audio off of live concert DVDs, through 2 speakers. The MC 30s and Fortes did not introduce any noise that I noticed. Perhaps, a more methodical listening with the intent of breaking them down using frequency, speed, and dead silence, deficiencies could be surfaced............. from a listening enjoyment point of view, I give them an A... An Amplifier is the sum of it's parts, weak links take things away or add things that are not present in the source.....having said that..... the best that I can determine is that sonic signature aka magic of the MC-30 resides in it's transformers.....how they are wound, what they are wound with, who wound them, and what the system design asks them to deliver. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx I cannot thank Derrick enough for turning me onto using Surround Receivers as Pre-amps front ending high quality Amps, both SS and tube. With increasing frequency, I am questioning the need or desirability of using anything other than a high quality Surround Pre amp in an audio system. The Phono requirements can be handled with a plethora of stand alone solutions for both MM and MC.
  21. If everyone can bring some spare cables, and tools that would be great, so we don't get stuck like we did the last time. Leave them in the car, so if we need them, we have them. Suggestions: HDMI cables 10ft or longer RCA Cables RCA Y cables Digital coax cables for a sub, I hope someone brings a sub. Tosslink cables Tools, banana plugs. Ready made speaker cables 15 ft with banana plugs on one end Up-Mixing: I'm hoping someone will bring a pair of Heresys or Fortes so we can up-mix 2.0 to 3.0 Klipsch's original vision for the Heritage speakers. Down-mixing 5.1 to 2.0 or 2.1 has yielded spectacular results for me in the past, I hope we have time to try it. Nothing sounds better than DTS Master Audio. I'm bringing a Yamaha amp, cables, digital content, a DVD player etc.....unfortunately lifting a sub or a speaker is out of my range for now so I don't finish destroying my L arm...... I look forward to seeing everyone!!
  22. I am bringing another clear sounding Yamaha amp, this time an MX-600. I just recapped it and it sounds great. If we need a 120wpc rms solid state for something, I'll bring it in. I'll also bring some cables and tools in case we need something. It sounds like Brandon is bringing his McIntosh MC 30s tube amps and a pre to go with them. The Mac guys consider these the best sounding mac valves. I'll probably pick up another large bottle of drinkable red wine when I'm on the way. If we are doing pizza again maybe a bottle of zin.... I don't think we heard Derrick's tube the last time, we ran out of time. I'll bring some content, if Seth's surround amp can downmix to 2.0 the effects are noticeable with Dolby and DTS music soundtracks from live concerts. By far, the best recording of the Police was their reunion tour Certifiable. Brandon may also have a downmix option for us. 3.0, Klipsch's original vision, would also sound stunning with 2 Cornwalls and a Heresy in the middle. Hmmm, I could lug a couple of 300WRMS 900 Peak subs to the party and see if we could move the house on the foundations, place them behind the cornwalls in both corners.........Maybe if we do a 3.0 Party...... but we would have to do the set up starting a few hours earlier to tune the room and lug the gear in etc.... My home surround system uses a THX surround as a pre, feeding 3 Yamaha Amps that are rated 180WRMS each, but peak much higher, and one of the previously mentioned 300-900 subs. When the soundtrack requires a quick rise, the system slams it with clear, clean and crisp instant power. I need a larger room to use two subs and spread out a little. This is modeled on Derick's work. If we do get set up to downmix from 5.1 to 2.0, we may want to use this to feed the different gear since Dolby HD and DTS are the best sound available IMHO. The stereo soundtracks for the DVDs and Blue Rays are nothing special IMHO and not worth the bother. If someone wants to bring one Heresy and a 20 foot speaker cable with banana connectors we could do 3.0 using a surround downmix and Seth's two nelson pass amps. Maybe.........
  23. Forgot, if someone has a recently acquired and rebuilt pair of McIntosh MC-30 they want to bring I would love to hear them. Same goes for an old Sansui dual mono block is it 719 or 919??? To alleviate any plumbing problems we should all bring some extra cables and connectors and any odd balls like Y cables that may be needed etc...
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