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About KenazFilan

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  1. McIntosh + Fortes is also pretty darned nice.
  2. Am presently a/bing my Fortes & Bose 10.2 on Kahlehi Avo's Contrabassoon Concerto (Lewis Lipnick, Contrabasson; Bergen Symphony Orchestra w/Andrew Litton, Conductor). The Fortes have a much clearer high range and a better sense of presence. The strings have much better separation on the Fortes: the horns, of course, sound best reproduced on horns so they win there as well. (I also need to listen to the 10.2s with the volume at 12 o'clock to get what the Fortes will play in the 9:30 position). Even the percussion, one of the 10.2's strongest points, is clearer and more distinct on the Fortes. Symphonic classical music is definitely better on the Fortes than the 10.2 IIs. That being said, I should note that the 10.2s did an entirely satisfactory job of reproducing Lipnick's contrabassoon solos and have an excellent dynamic range. Checked out Tori Amos' "Caught a Lite Sneeze" from Boys for Pele, and the 10.2 IIs fared much better. The Fortes did a superior job of reproducing Tori's voice and piano accurately: through the 10.2 IIs the sound was warmer and more inviting. The 10.2 IIs also do better with less impressive material. The best recordings sounds veiled on the 10.2s: the Stereo Everywhere effect means you don't get the kind of razor-sharp imaging the Fortes can give you. MP3s lose their harshness on the 10.2s while the Fortes reproduce every artifact and metallic-sounding harmonic in painful detail. There's no question the Fortes are superior speakers, but for what they are the 10.2s are excellent. They are also tower speakers which have a smaller footprint, though they put out a surprisingly big sound for their size. If WAF is a factor and/or you listen to a lot of garage band recordings or compressed audio, the 10.2 IIs might suit your needs just fine. Sheesh... ask me for the time and I tell you how to build a watch.
  3. I second this. My MA6200 comes from McIntosh Audio: Tom Manley and Terry DeWick are both great guys and I have been entirely satisfied with my purchase. A refurbished 40 year-old McIntosh still romps and stomps over most contemporary audio gear.
  4. I am looking at subs because I may be picking up a pair of Heresies in the future for my bedroom system. (I presently have a pair of Bose 10.2s that have excellent bass). My Fortes in their present setup will hit 35hz before the sound starts to drop off and are still putting out pretty good sound at 32hz: I'd need a pretty big subwoofer to supplement that. And seeing as how I generally listen to jazz and classical music I'm not sure how often I would need it: I'm not sure I can justify spending $1k+ for the occasional organ symphony.
  5. It turned out to be the source after all, or as my wife said, "Garage Band In, Garage Band Out." Low-end production and high-end speakers are a match made in hell. Yesterday I listened to a great recording of Ralph Vaughan Williams' one act opera Riders to the Sea and it sounded great without a hint of vocal distortion. And while the Fortes may hate Ray Davies, they love Art Pepper: I'm listening to So in Love right now and the sense of presence is amazing. (Given Art Pepper's history I feel like I need to go lock my medicine cabinet). I've found the horns are great for reproducing saxophones and other brass and woodwind instruments: this is a big plus since I mostly listen to instrumental jazz.
  6. What scares me is the comparatively advanced age of us hi-fi buffs. Most of the technicians who can work on vintage stereo equipment are retired engineers doing this as a hobby or for a second income and most of the stereo fans I know are aging baby boomers like yrs. truly. Meanwhile there is a whole generation raised on iTunes and cheap earbuds: they literally have no idea what good hi-fi sounds like. And what's worse, I know symphonic musicians who complain that people today can't distinguish between a grand piano and a synthesizer. I would hate to see orchestral music die out in America from lack of interest: if it weren't for Chinese mothers insisting on violin and piano lessons it might well be doomed all over the world.
  7. Further evidence: my wife recommended experimenting with Husker Du. Checked them out on Apple Music and Bob Mould's vocals sounded just as distorted on Candy Apple as Davies did on Misfits. Houston, I believe we have located the problem. The answer is better material I have not done either yet, but I did a tone sweep and did not notice any ringing or distortion in the 6k-7k range. (I also discovered I'm deaf to frequencies higher than 13k, so 52 is more than just a number after all... ).
  8. I believe what we have here is a case of Garbage In Garbage Out: while it is a great album, Misfits was not all that well produced. I'm also listening to some rips of old (1980s-90s) CDs that were pressed before engineers learned how to properly mix for CDs. (Apogee had to attenuate the treble on one of their models because CDs sounded like nails going down a blackboard, which isn't what you want to hear when you've paid $5k for speakers and $10k for amps capable of driving them). I like the idea of a second set of more forgiving speakers. When I save the shekels for La Scalas or Cornwalls I may move the 10.2s into the main room and put the Fortes in the bedroom system. The titanium midrange sounds absolutely breathtaking on the proper recordings, and I'm willing to listen less to badly recorded material just because the good stuff sounds so good. Right now I'm listening to Natacha Kudritskaya playing Debussy's "Claire De Lune" and the Fortes catch the transience and decay of the piano notes in an uncanny way.
  9. After replacing the midrange and tweeter diaphragms with titanium I was generally blown away by the additional clarity. I did notice, however, that badly recorded material became difficult to listen to: MP3s show every artifact in painful (and I do mean painful) detail. The weirdest thing, however, is that now when listening to Misfits Ray Davies sounds like he's singing through a sweaty sock after taking enunciation lessons from Michael Stipe. There are other CDs and songs which show this distortion but the Kinks are the absolute worst. This is not my imagination. When I played the source material through my Bose 10.2s it sounds crystal clear but through the Fortes it sounds awful. My wife heard "Misfits" through both speaker systems and agreed Ray Davies sounded worse through the Fortes. Right now I'm listening to Lindsey Buckingham's 1981 Law and Order. His voice is clear as a bell and there is not a hint of distortion in the music. I would say this is the case for about 80% of the music in my collection. (I'm excluding 128k MP3s and other bad material although I will note they also sound much better through the 10.2s than my fully refurbed Fortes. Say what you like about Bose, the 10.2s are very euphonious and forgiving). The other 20% shows a greater or lesser degree of blurring. I suspect this has something to do with the crossover frequencies and might be my excuse to try bi-amping the Fortes with an active crossover (or upgrading to Cornwalls or La Scalas -- we all know how the addiction works, don't we?). I checked the diaphragms and they are all installed properly: I wonder if the Crites crossovers, which are lying on a wooden block on the speaker's floor, aren't resonating at certain frequencies and Davies (whose vocal range is about three notes) happens to hit those frequencies. Right now I'm more curious than anything and wondered if anybody has ever had a similar experience.
  10. I have never bi-amped a speaker myself (though that may be my next project). But I've heard of people using "fleawatt" tube amps for their tweeters and midrange while using bigger solid state amplifiers to power the woofers. It gives you the best of both worlds -- the sweet SET sound with the power to pump out the Phat Bass. If you were using four amplifiers you'd want 2 of each rather than two different amps because of balancing issues but you can definitely use different amps for the low and high ends.
  11. That is definitely a Klipsch crossover. I wonder if these aren't DIY Shorthorns. This thread on AudioKarma has a picture of a brochure which mentions DIY Kits: they may have been made by somebody whose skill in cabinetmaking was greater than his skill at wiring.
  12. Last night I tried a simple Hafler circuit (L+ to +, R+ to -) using a DLK 1 speaker I had lying around. The DLK 1 is considerably less efficient than the Fortes (I'd guess 90dB-92dB/1w) and has considerably less impressive sound. While I noted an expanded soundstage and a better sense of presence and separation, the sound quality in general took a nosedive with less clarity and more distortion. I would love to see how a Heresy or Cornwall sounds in this layout: with a good third speaker I think this would make an enormous positive difference in the sound.
  13. I have had this problem in the past with frayed speaker wire: a short in the line kept causing my amp to cut out. When I replaced the wire the problem went away. I would definitely check all connections very carefully as that seems a more likely culprit than the speakers.
  14. My McIntosh MA6200 integrated amp sounds absolutely amazing with my Fortes. I've heard from many people that McIntosh and Klipsch syncretize beautifully together and based on my own experiences I'd have to agree. The MA6200 has a warmth which cuts some of the brightness from the horns while preserving that sense of presence and dynamism you get with horns. While I've never listened to the 4100 I have heard nothing but good things about it and I'm sure it is doing justice to your La Scalas Congratulations on building a superb sound system!
  15. I have been very tempted to buy a Schiit DAC and a Shinola turntable. Just to prove that I do so know the difference.