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    McIntosh MA6600 Integrated; Technics SL-1210GAE Table; Audio Technica VM760SLC Cartridge; Sweet Vinyl SC-1 Click/Pop removal pre-amp; Klipsch Cornwall III Speakers; a beautiful wife and two dogs as only room treatments.

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  1. Not sure how Feng Shui it is.. Indeed, I'm not sure I'll ever understand exactly what it means. But I'll make a pitch for making your system as visually appealing to your SO as absolutely possible. By making my system look nice and tidy - no tangle of cords everywhere, no open rack of components, etc. - my lovely wife has always encouraged me to have the system in our family room. Consequently, the whole family hears what I'm listening to, and I hear what they cue up (all CD's ripped into a music server, and Roon/Tidal the past few years). Not to be too precious about it, but it really has helped make our family close. IMHO, music is best enjoyed as a shared experience. When I see my kids put on their headphones, I'll ask what they're listening to, then encourage them to cue it up on the family system. ..And I don't have headphones, so it's the main system or nothing. It's important to ALWAYS find something to like about what they're listening to. You get nowhere criticizing what others - particularly your kids - like.
  2. So explain the popularity of Klipsch Heritage speakers despite the fact that their enclosures are relatively un-braced. ...They sound as hollow as shoeboxes when you rap on them. So why do they sound so good in spite of this??
  3. The fact that he's a car audio dealer doesn't really enter into it. If so, why? ..He allowed people to bring their own speakers! He adjusted only for amps that did not have linear F/R. ..Usually tube amps. And he didn't expect 20/20 correct. Rather he expected a % of correct ID's that ruled out chance.
  4. I like the look, feel, and history of the McIntosh brand. But most importantly, I Iike that they continue to include Bass, Treble, and Mono switch with every pre-amp and integrated amp they sell. But does it sound better when they are defeated or at neutral?? No.... not a bit.
  5. Why is that a "clincher" ? What amp these days would even need such an EQ adjustment to match another apart from the aforementioned (by me) boutiquey, low wattage tube amps?? Name me one modern day amp (or receiver) from companies like Yamaha, NAD, Mark Levinson, Arcam, McIntosh, Rotel, Crown, Onkyo, Anthem, Denon, Marantz, Pioneer, etc.. that doesn't claim an even frequency response in it's specifications? You can't. ..And yet people here routinely claim to hear differences b/w these various brands. And to KT88's question... Forcing a low-power S/S amp to drive a 1-2 ohm speaker to 120db thereby causing it to go into thermal overload and shutdown is not evidence of audible differences b/w amplifiers. ..What it IS is evidence of choosing the wrong amp for the application. Sorry guys... No gotcha! here. ..Hearing differences b/w modern day amps is illusory, IMHO.
  6. Did you read the details?? I'm thinking you didn't... "if the listener requests, they can substitute whatever source, source material, amplifiers, speakers (even headphones), and listening environment they prefer, within stipulated practical limits. The source material must be commercially available music, not test signals." "Amplifier requirements The amplifiers in the test must be operated within their linear power capacity. Power capacity is defined as clipping or 2% THD 20Hz to 10kHz, whichever is less. This means that if one amplifier has more power (Watts) than the other, the amplifiers will be judged within the power range of the least powerful amplifier . The levels of both left and right channels will be adjusted to match to within .05 dB. Polarity of connections must be maintained so that the signal is not inverted. Left and Right cannot be reversed. Neither amplifier can exhibit excessive noise. Channel separation of the amps must be at least 30 dB from 20Hz to 20kHz. All signal processing circuitry (e.g. bass boost, filters) must be turned off" Pretty amazing that NO ONE claimed the prize. ..Heck, 2% THD is pretty liberal! ..Humans hearing isn't nearly as sharp as audiophiles believe. So my final comment to the OP (Nick?) is that 99.9% of how a system sounds is about speaker choice and room setup. Buy a nicer amp if you wish, but don't expect the sound to change
  7. My advice Pt 2 Regarding turntables. To me, vinyl is a great format b/c of the rich liner note content, the album art, lyrics printed on the sleeves, etc.. ..Even the hassle of advancing to a specific song, or flipping the album side contribute to making the format great because it encourages the listener to listen to the entirety of the album and thereby grasp the connectedness of the songs and (possibly) the theme of the album. But does it sound better? No.... Vinyl is noisy, has limited dynamic range, high levels of wow and flutter (so you'll hear piano notes wander - particularly on belt-drive tables) and is very sensitive to vibration. ..Can it sound great? Yep! ..But better? ..No. unless you compare a remastered vinyl record to a poorly mixed original CD. ..But then it's the remix that improved the sound, not the format. This isn't meant to discourage you from getting into vinyl. On the contrary. Vinyl is great! ..It's awesome to pour over a 50 year old album cover with it's artwork, liner notes, posters, concert pics, etc... as you listen to the music. ..Plus finding treasures at flea markets, neighbors basements, etc... ..And it can sound great. ...But not better.
  8. No, there is nothing wrong with it. ..In fact, so long as the amp is operating within it's design limits - which it almost certainly is - it is highly unlikely you would hear ANY improvement by moving to a pricier amp. My advice Nick: if you have a limited budget you should prioritize your spending around speakers, then room treatments... Any modern day amp that isn't driven into audible distortion - which is unlikely to EVER happen given the high efficiency of your Khorns - is going to sound pretty much like the other. The sole exception would be boutiquey low-wattage tube amps which are basically engineered to alter the sound. Which really isn't a very audiophile-thing to do That said, there ARE reasons to spend more on an amp. For example, better tactile build quality, appearance, features like tone controls, equalizer, mono switch, wattage meters, etc... ..All of these things can be important, but don't spend more thinking the basic, unaltered signal (ie., no tone controls engaged) will somehow sound different. But don't take my word for it. Read the following. Years ago Richard Clark, an Audio professional, devised a $10,000 challenge whereby ANYONE who could reliably (defined as better than chance) distinguish one properly functioning amp from another would take home $10,000. ..But they had to compare them while "Blinded" from knowing which amp was playing. NO ONE took home the money. And thousands of people tried, including audio reviewers and audio obsessives like those here on this forum. Again, NO ONE took home the money. So spend more if you wish, just don't do it expecting better sound. And though I don't know for sure, I'm pretty certain Paul W Klipsch himself would agree with this. https://www.stevemeadedesigns.com/board/topic/193850-richard-clark-10000-amplifier-challenge/
  9. I don’t think “guessing what tone adjustments would be useful“ is any more of a “deadly (?) waste of time” than, say, decisions that go into a speakers crossover points, frequency cut-off, etc…. Besides, all McIntosh, Luxman, and Accuphase integrated amps that feature tone controls also have defeat switches. This makes it easy for the listener - when they encounter an imperfectly recorded song - to decide for themselves if adjusting bass and/or treble improves the sound or makes it worse. If the latter, then leave them zeroed or hit the defeat switch. The argument that the additional signal breaks needed for tone controls or even their defeat switches somehow deteriorates the signal is utterly ridiculous in my opinion. Take a look at a mixing board. Pretty much every audiophile approved recording from Steely Dan to Diana Krall to Norah Jones was produced using a mixing board with literally hundreds and hundreds of signal breaks required by the various pots, sliders, and switches. Yet the music that comes out the other end of these things is thoroughly enjoyable. …If every signal break deteriorated the sound then what would come out the other end of a mixing board would be unrecognizable. Btw, I’ve had my McIntosh integrated for nearly 8 years and there is not one iota of scratchiness or noise in any of the switches.
  10. That puts it perfectly and succinctly. Why, when they do no harm, go without? DSP Room correction, room treatments etc. can all help with room induced imperfections…. But to correct a bad recording sometimes requires a turn to the left and other times a turn to the right of bass / treble. None of the aforementioned remedies to room problems will correct that. As I look back over the years the audiophiles that most loved music had integrated amps with tone controls And usually with a much larger music library. They would eagerly listen to a great but poorly recorded song (with judicious use of tone controls) while the purest audiophile would push that recording to the back of their library as they preferred to listen to only near perfect recordings, often of mediocre music
  11. I honestly can't tell if you're joking or not. ..I have lot's of recordings that are too bright or the bass, when listening at near "live" levels, begins to shake my kitchen cupboards. A small amount of treble/ bass adjustment in such cases enhances my enjoyment. ..I don't get mired down with purist thinking. And remember I'm also referring to a Mono switch. ..I use that pretty often. ..Lots of 50's and 60's recordings have very gimmicking stereo mixing. ..Like the guitar entirely from one channel and the vocals from the others (e.g., some old Beatles tracks). ..These songs are MUCH better sounding with the mono switch engaged. I agree wholeheartedly w/ Alan Harbeth. The audio industry has gaslighted us into thinking tone controls are bad (eg., they damage the signal w/ add'l breaks; they change what the artist intended, etc..). In truth, the " minimalism is better" argument is entirely self-serving to the industry. To wit: It's much easier and cheaper to make an integrated amp that has just a volume control. ..No thanks to that, imho.
  12. I'll share a quote gleaned from another Forum. This from Alan Shaw of Harbeth. ..I'm betting PWK would say something similar "One of the greatest mysteries and acts of insanity in the audio business was the deletion of tone controls from hifi amplifiers from about the 1980s with some utterly discreditable mumbo jumbo that 'tone controls are no part of a hifi system'. I can categorically assure you that a properly designed and executed tone control circuit does not degrade the signal quality and never has done... Tone controls were deleted from hifi amps as a marketing gimmick to attract a new 'minimalist' consumer away from amps laden with buttons and controls." (thank you Keiron99 on Steve Hoffman forum)
  13. I'm sure it's beautifully made, hence a fair amount of pride-of-ownership will accrue to all who own one. But sound better? And seriously? $5K for an integrated that doesn't even have a balance control?? ..Personally, given your budget I'd find a Mac dealer (a sister company to AR, I believe) and buy one of their integrated amps. ..They all have balance controls, tone controls, and a mono switch - common sense features that make listening to all kinds of music of varying recording quality more enjoyable. Or an Accuphase or Luxman as they also have these sensible features.
  14. Have an auto window tinting company come and tint the offending window. ..If you still notice a color change - likely a small amount, if any - then swap the speakers' position every year. My cherry CWIII's have changed color, but I welcome it. ...They've darkened and become slightly more red. I would not even think of using some sort of UV-rated car wax. ..I'd sooner resort to just switching their position 1x/yer.
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