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sixsigma's Achievements


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  1. Hello all, happy July 4th weekend! Quick question for you experts on my setup. I currently have 1977 vintage LaScala (recapped) running with an old Sony DA80ES receiver in 2-channel direct pass mode. I have an SVS SB-1000 and a 12" active ported Polk sub. 90% of my listening is vinyl on an Audio-Technica LP120 turntable. Overall sounds really good, but I have a persistent 60hz hum in the sub (both of them) when the receiver is turned OFF! The subs are connected to the sub out on the receiver (not using speaker line level inputs). I've tried various configurations - 1 sub, both subs, different power outlets, even tried the speaker line level connects and it still happens. Both subs have a 2 prong non-grounded power cord. Not sure what else to do, also not sure if this is impacting my sound quality when it is powered and playing. Also, I would get the hum and some very faint high pitched tweeter sound when I was using a Yaqin tube amp in place of the Sony. The Yaqin does not have a sub out so I was using speaker line level inputs on the subs and I thought maybe that was causing some feedback, so I switched to the old Sony which has sub outs. Hum still remains but the tweeter noise is gone. The other questions is that I'm considering upgrading the whole setup to a Marantz PM8006 amp, SVS SB-3000 sub, and Mobile Fidelity turntable. But, I'm not sure if that would sound significantly/noticeably better and/or solve my hum problem. I am actively trying to avoid being pulled into the hi-fi black hole. I know how easy it is to get caught up in the upgrade cycle. The law of diminishing return is real and I feel like the proposed Marantz setup is a nice compromise that should sound good while keeping me in a safe orbit away from the black hole! Thanks!
  2. I like the Marantz, and the fact that it is not digital. Now I'm wondering if the SS amp would sound better than the Yaqin tube amp I have now. Combined with a turntable upgrade, I wonder if this would sound noticeably better. No way to know without listening to it. This is turning into a SS vs tube question more than which amp to choose!
  3. I need some opinions on this question. I currently have LaScalas (recapped) with 2 subs (Polk and SVS) driven by an integrated Yaqin MS30-L (Chinese tube amp). I primarily listen to vinyl on an Audio-Technica AT-LP120 turntable. I have CD and streaming (via RCA adapter) inputs also but 75% of my listening is vinyl. I've been pretty happy with the setup, particularly for what it cost. My main concerns at this point are the subs, which are connected via speaker level inputs since the Yaqin does not have a sub or pre-out. This is less than ideal, although it does work. Also, the Yaqin occasionally shuts down in a protection mode, and I'm not sure why. I wonder if the LaScala impedence is too low and it might be marginal for the Yaqin. The LP-120 turntable is also pretty good for an inexpensive direct drive turntable - it has the green AT cartridge. I am mindful of the law of diminishing return and also the black hole that is high-end audio, but I'm wondering if some smart upgrades to the turntable and amp would yield significant improvement in overall sound quality. I'm looking at the Marantz TT-15 turntable, which by all accounts seems to be a great rig and overall good value. For the amp, I want to stay integrated and I'm OK with SS if it sounds good. I'd like to stay under $1500 for the amp. I'm considering the Marantz PM8005 ($900 street) and the NAD C368 ($900 street). Both have inputs to support my listening needs, including MM phonostage inputs for the TT-15. The NAD has Bluetooth for streaming, which would eliminate the cable RCA adapter but also introduce Bluetooth quality issues. The NAD is upgradeable via their expansion ports but I don't really see a need for this in my 2-channel setup. The Marantz seems like it might be a better quality unit, while the NAD has more features. Anyone have any experience with either amp? Think these SS amps would sound noticeably better than the Yaqin tube setup? Any thoughts on the setup or situation are welcomed. I don't want to make this change only to find out it doesn't sound any better! Thanks
  4. I've continued my non-scientific experimentation and have a little more evidence on the importance of mastering vs medium. I have a copy of Led Zeppelin II that is a 1969 "hot master" by Bob Ludwig. Apparently, his mastering had more bass and range, which caused some records to skip when played on cheap equipment back in the day. Atlantic Records had it remastered to prevent people returning the record to the stores. I also have a 'regular' 1969 master, a MFSL Zep II, the new remastered vinyl, and an older CD of the same album. For the vinyl records, I tested with the audio equipment in the exact same setup (volume levels, etc) just swap the 4 different records. I had some friends listen without telling them which was what version or anything about them - just asked which sounded better to their ears. Guess which one? 1. The 1969 Bob Ludwig hot master! 100% unanimous opinion and a clear and obvious sound difference from the others. It sounds significantly richer, deeper, with more bass and punch. 2. The MFSL pressing. It has good depth and quiet sections but not the same punch as the Ludwig. 3. The new remastered record. I was surprised by this but it falls in between the MFSL master and the fourth place. 4. The 1969 regular master. I expected this to sound a little better, given that it is a pristine excellent condition copy. It sounds good but just flatter than the others. It seems quieter too but even adjusting for volume I think it lack the range of the others. ?. The CD. It is just so much louder than the vinyl, in order to make it at all comparable I have to adjust the volume to make it similar to the vinyl but then it's really hard to compare. The quietness and cleanness of the empty sections of the music on a CD goes a long way to making it sound better. I was interested to see that everybody who listened to the records had the same opinion. I think this just goes to show that the mastering is more important than the medium. I'd love to have a Ludwig mastered CD - best of both worlds maybe. Interestingly, I found a 90s CD compilation of Ratt's greatest hits, which happens to be mastered by Bob Ludwig - and it sounds great. Too bad all the new music can't sound that good.
  5. sixsigma

    HBR - metro Indy

    What do you think market range would be for these?
  6. I picked up a Yaqin MS-30L and love it. Sounds incredible and overall good build quality. Looks like there are still some available. It operates in either ultralinear or triode modes, depending on your preference. Comes standard with Shuguang EL-34B power tubes, which are pretty good. https://www.ebay.com/itm/YAQIN-MS-30L-EL34-Push-Pull-Tube-STERE-Integrated-Amplifier-2016-New-Circuit-U-/261465597622
  7. La Scala driven with a tube amp? That is exactly what I setup. I had a similar question as yours after hearing a friends La Scalas and decided they were the right choice for my 2 channel setup. I got lucky and found a really nice set within driving range. Here is my setup, and and I can say I am continually blown away by how good this sounds. The imaging, stage, depth is incredible. I added a powered Polk 12" sub (seen in the right corner of the pic) that use speaker level inputs (in parallel with the LS). Crossover is around 70hz, so it is only adding the very lowest bass. I have the gain on the sub at 100%, and it does generally make an improvement but isn't what I'd say is required. My 2-channel room is far from ideal - rectangular with lots of flat surfaces for reflection, including a bar on one side of the room. My HT setup is in a different room with in-wall speakers so I could not place the LS in there. I vote for the La Scalas in your situation! I have them both toed in a bit, the right speaker is toed in more than the picture shows. The left speaker is in a corner which helps with the bass response. 1977 La Scalas with recapped crossovers Yaqin MS-30L amp, using EL-34Bs Audio-Technica LP120 turntable (using internal RIAA equalized phono stage) A cheap Sony DVD/CD player Aux input for streaming audio
  8. So I decided to deploy a sub with my La Scalas. I went with the Polk PSW505 which is a powered 12-inch sub, great reviews and relatively inexpensive. I am going to be using the speaker/line level inputs as my Yaqin amp doesn't have a pre or sub out. According to https://www.upscaleaudio.com/pages/subwoofer-tips this is not a bad way to go. I do not intend to connect the LS to the speaker-out on the sub, which means I will continue to have full range going to the LS. The sub has a variable crossover point, from 60-120hz. What would you recommend as the sub xo point, given that the LS will continue to receive the full range signal. I've read the LS drop off completely at ~50hz and are weak below 90hz, so I'm thinking 90hz is a good point. I'll experiment but wondered what the community thinks best given your experience and this specific config.
  9. I've been doing a little non-scientific experimentation to see if I can find a media format that consistently sounds better to me. I am an admitted vinyl fan and collector, and I prefer vinyl for some recordings, usually pre 90s stuff. I think your point is good that it's the people and processes that really determine how it sounds, more than the format. For example, I have a treasured near-mint, not played much, original 1969 pressing of Led Zeppelin II that will damn near bring me to tears it sounds so good. I also have a copy of the new vinyl reissue, which is remastered by Jimmy Page himself (although I wonder what role he really had in it). The reissue sounds like crap. Flat, no range, just dull. So the vinyl format itself is not the golden key. I also have a Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab (MFSL) copy of Led Zeppelin II that was pressed in 1982 (if I recall correctly). MFSL claims to use the original master tapes played at half speed to create the analog vinyl master cut, and the highest quality vinyl material. The MFSL copy sounds good - I'd say as good as the original 1969 pressing with any differences chalked up to condition of the vinyl. I'm curious why the reissue vinyl sounds worse. Is it the remastering? Did they use the CD master as a source? Is it the new vinyl pressing equipment? What did they change in remastering? Why didn't they use the original master tapes as they were? Are the original master tapes still good or have they degraded? Another example is Dire Straits Brothers in Arms album. I have it on original vinyl and CD. The CD sounds as good as the vinyl, maybe even better because it is clean and there is enough clear open sound in many of those songs where clean clear silence makes a difference. Also, that album came out in 1985. It was one of the first all digital albums (DDD) and was intended to be issued on CD, along with vinyl. But that was before the CD loudness wars and I can only assume the mastering wasn't customized for CD. The CD sounds as good or better than the vinyl to me. So again, it isn't the format that makes or breaks the sound. I think for new music I prefer a high-res digital audio source, with a few exceptions. But if I wanted to showcase the best sound from my 2-channel setup, I'd go to some vintage, good condition vinyl.
  10. I ordered the amp on Amazon, with Prime shipping. Since it weighs ~55lbs the free Prime shipping was a nice benefit. The turntable I got on sale at my local Best Buy who had it for less than anyone online. I got the LaScalas off Ebay from a semi-local seller, so I could pick them up myself.
  11. Thanks! The MS-30L has a remote control (motorized volume control), automatic delayed start tube protection circuit, selectable Ultralinear and Tripole modes, EL-34B power tubes, and higher quality transformers. It is about $100 more than the 13s which I thought was worth it for the upgrades. I wasn't sure exactly what to expect from a Chinese brand, but am actually really impressed. The remote control is a single machined block of aluminum. The amp itself is made from high quality materials and is very heavy (>50 lbs). It sounds incredible, lots of depth and punch, and it drives the LaScalas cleanly into painful territory. The amp gets very hot though. I could prob heat the room it is in! Here's a pic with the cage removed.
  12. The bias on a tube regulates the idle current. The bias setting can vary by tube model and even within a batch of same model tubes. There are a few ways it can be done in circuit design, and most of that is over my head. On this Yagin, it uses an adjustable fixed bias, where each tube has +/- multimeter contacts and a bias pot to adjust. Only took a few seconds to complete.
  13. Here's a better pic of the amp. I set the bias on each of the EL34s to .45 volts, as indicated in the manual. Yaqin included a handy little Torx type driver for the bias adjustments.
  14. I'm working on my new to me 2-channel system. I set out to build a good sounding 2-channel system without falling into the expensive black hole of high end audio equipment. I wanted to keep this all-in under $2500. I started with a really good set of 1977 La Scalas that I had Bob Crites rebuild the crossovers (great job and highly recommended). For the amp I chose the Yaqin MS-30L with EL34B tubes. The Yaqin has surprisingly good build quality and weighs over 50 pounds. The power transformers are Japanese with claimed 'audio grade' materials. I chose the MS-30L model because it has a few higher quality components, has a remote control, tube protection circuit, and offers user-selectable Ultralinear or Triode modes. Ultralinear mode provides 50 watts power and Triode mode offers 25 watts. The turntable is Audio-Technica LP120. I'm using the supplied cartridge and built-in SS phono stage (RIAA standard). Not an expensive turntable but very good quality and has a lot of high end features. I really like it for the money. The sound is overall amazing. It sounds very broad and wide, lots of dynamic range. I was worried that the bass may be weak with the La Scalas but that is not the case. It seems to have a very solid low end. Maybe not vibrate the walls deep but I don't hear that I'm missing much in most of the music I listen to (rock, primarily). I find myself wanting to keep turning it up, which is a sign that it sounds good. I thought I might like the Triode mode better as it drives the tubes a little harder, but I think I like Ultralinear mode a little better as it seems to have slightly more punch and depth. The difference is subtle though, and I think depends on the specific track. I like that I can switch between modes to experiment. The LS are very directional though and I am still trying different speaker angles and sitting positions for best sound. I'll update more later as I get some more experience with the Yaqin and system. I'll add a CD player later and I have a feed from streaming digital audio as well.
  15. They are 10Rxxx serial numbers, which means 1977 right? The serial numbers on the paper tags match what is stamped in the top edge of the back panel. They appear to be completely intact and original, but I suppose it is possible the trim was been modified. They are missing the Klipsch labels on the front, and wow I'm surprised how much replacements cost!
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