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Posts posted by ODS123

  1. 1 hour ago, RealMarkDeneen said:


    The devil is in the details: "properly designed and executed tone control circuit does not degrade the signal quality ...." That's the challenge. Engineers would spend a lot of time arguing first over, "just what should a useful tone control DO?" Is 20dB boost at 30 Hz, necessary? Is 3dB cut at 1kHz enough? What's the value of 10dB cut at 20kHz? Maybe a 10-band parametric EQ should be embedded into a preamp? In fact, is "tone control" a different entity from "equalization?"


    The number and quality of parts involved surely is an issue for cost and SQ. Scratchy pots, cheap capacitors, additional stages, certainly are parts of the decision. Extra stages absolutely 100% WILL alter the SQ. I doubt any audio engineer would argue against that.


    The system also presents issues. If bookshelf speakers are in use, isn't SOME bass-boost useful? In certain glassy rooms, or if using some peaky phono cartridges, isn't some treble cut useful? Also, no two producers agree on how to EQ and master recordings, so there is no consistency there to rely upon. 


    The last statement about the reasons TC were eliminated is a dubious opinion. A more likely reason is that engineers could not imagine a TC system that would be meaningful for "most" of their buyers. If you look at the older circuits, from say a PAS 3, I doubt many contemporary users would find it useful as all the cuts and boosts are centered at 1kHz. Possibly useful in 1968, but today? I think a good reason to leave them off might be that parametric equalizers are a better answer for people who like to fiddle the tone. Just guessing about what tone adjustments would be useful sounds like a deadly waste of time.




    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.

  2. 54 minutes ago, Racer X said:


    I guess one could live without tone controls, balance, or mono switch, but why ?


    I roll my balance as often as my volume....

    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

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  3. 6 hours ago, Rolox said:

    ... but how many of those recordings do we actually own? 


    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.

    • Like 2
  4. 1 hour ago, Shakeydeal said:

    I tend to think of it as a nice band aid for people who haven’t addressed system synergy and room issues.


    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)

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  5. 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.


    • Like 2
  6. 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.

  7. I'd send them back.  ..I had to go through two defective pairs of CWIII's before getting a perfect pair.


    The first had a blemish similar to yours, and the second had a mid-horn that was not perfectly flush-mounted against the baffle.  It was slightly tilted because the recess wasn't properly routed out.  ..Very frustrating.  My retailer was very nice about out though; they never once suggested I just "accept" them.



    • Like 2
  8. Do the the people at the mixing board send different signals to the left and right bank of speakers, with the hopes of creating a stereo image?  ..Or are all speaker fed same signal (w/ perhaps some dividing of frequency ranges via a external crossover, etc.)


    In any case, it's led me to rethink the importance of imaging.  ...Which is perhaps one of the reasons why I love my Cornwall III's more than others I've had which do a much better job of imaging.  For example, small-ish stand-mounted 2-ways like PSB stratus Minis, and Spica TC-50's.  ..These speakers created incredible images, but ...meh.

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  9. Saw two concerts quite recently here in Phila: Norah Jones a week ago at the Mann Music Center and last night I saw Lyle Lovett and His Large Band at The City Winery.  Both were fabulous shows, particuly LL and HLB.


    The audio at both shows was terrific.  ..Acoustics weren't overly reverberant and the volume was low enough that my ears weren't buzzing by the end.  But in both cases there wasn't a bit of discernible stereo imaging even though my location would lend itself to hearing it.  When I'd close my eyes I couldn't for the life of me place the vocals or instruments - they all seemed to be coming from the same place.  Yet, I thought the sound was fabulous and the performances incredibly compelling.


    Which leads me to wonder why we so obsess on this particular aspect of audio playback at home??  Seems to me that imaging is mostly a mixing board trick for in-studio recordings that has little relevance to actual music, unless one is listening to a tiny, unamplified ensemble in the tiniest of settings.  Even if both of these artists used un-amplified acoustic instruments, I very much doubt I would be able to locate their instruments/voices w/ my eyes closed at these venues or any other even a fraction of their size.


    ..Just wonderin'

    • Like 5
  10. 1 hour ago, John Warren said:



    The show was not crowded, and we spent well over 30 min in many of the rooms we visited, sitting in the "sweet spot". There were a number of 2-way systems based on the AMT which I found to be excellent reproducers. ...



    Website for this system is interesting read with a few white papers that show what's going on inside the box.

     Borg – Fink Team


    Huh??  They lost me with this "Typical loudspeaker cabinets have pronounced structural resonances which are very audible and reduce the speaker’s ‘signal-to-noise ratio’"


    Speaker S/N ratio?? 


    Yes, resonances need to be kept below the threshold of audibility.  ..But solving the problem does not necessitate an inordinately complex cabinet design.  But since this is high-end audio - where fetishizing power cords, speaker cables, turntable plinth thickness,  etc.. looms large - I'm not surprised by claims that it does.    

    • Like 1
  11. 9 hours ago, John Warren said:

    Loudspeaker Enclosures 


    MDF, Particle Board, Plywood enclosures are gone (thank goodness!).  The top tier suppliers today have transitioned to composite structures including mineral casting, structural laminates and, of course, Aluminum plate.  The enclosures materials are where the engineering is most intense and where the distinctions will be made. 


    The small speaker below, made by Kroma (a German supplier) was an example of what a mineral cast enclosure provides.  $16k/pr with stands, this little speaker was outstanding.  The woofer surround is specifically designed to break-up standing waves that ripple along the cone.  This wasn't my favorite at the show, it was the one I was most impressed with.   Great reproduction at very high volumes.  


    Upper mids and HF handled by the AMT.  Many suppliers are transitioning to the AMT as well.



    Don't agree.


    My CW III are made from MDF and sound as hollow as a shoebox when you knock on them.  ...As do the latest iteration of LaScalas and Klipschorns.  Yet these three speakers sound much better to my ears than many speakers I have heard that have enclosures that are as solid as granite.  ..Some composite, some aluminum.


    IMHO, enclosure integrity needs to meet a certain minimum, but beyond that it become superfluous.  


    My Vandersteen 3A sigs and Paradigm S8 V2's felt like bricks when you knocked on them.  ..Yet I don't like them nearly as much as my CW's.  ..So there's gotta be more to speaker design than just enclosure rigidity.

    • Like 3
  12. I've never owned one of these... and don't know how well it measures, etc..  But still, audio was more fun back in those days.  ..Yes, the buttons, sliders, knobs, etc.. got rather scratchy rather quickly, but the flexibility and adjustability was great.




    compare that with today...  ...There are high dollar integrateds that don't even have balance control.  Ugh..



    • Like 2
  13. 14 hours ago, ka7niq said:

    I hear absolutely little if any difference between this receiver, and high end solid state preamps


    I've been saying this for years.  ..Modern day amps/ integrateds and receivers that are engineered to be linear will sound pretty much alike so long as they aren't driven into distortion and these days that would include pretty much ALL such components..  Nowadays THD, S/R, Channel Separation, etc - even in cheap AVRs - is cheaply accomplished and exceeds the threshold of our ability to hear differences.


    My guess?  ..A vintage Onkyo Receiver?

    Feature you'll never go w/o?  ..Tone controls


    Personally, I'll NEVER again buy an integrated that lacks tone controls or a Mono switch.


    Maybe this??


    EDIT: oops, I shoulda read the whole thread.  I see you’ve already revealed your answer.  



    • Like 1
  14. On 6/10/2022 at 4:51 AM, GlennyC said:

    I have AB tested my set up against new La Scalas and find my Heresys to be quite satisfying. My premise is that all the additional size and expense of the large heritage speakers is to reproduce bass frequencies.


    I think this is largely true.  ..Deeper bass extension and greater SPL before distorting. 


    • Confused 1
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  15. 19 minutes ago, 001 said:

    klipsch use MDF because it's straight as an arrow , it's shipped pre-veneered , and book matched  ,   it sure cuts and fits perfectly , you wanna do the same thing with BB , you'd have to charge 1k$ more per speaker  for very little difference , if any in sound performance  -


    I'm thinking ZERO difference in sound performance, but point taken.

    • Thanks 1
  16. 34 minutes ago, Edgar said:


    Don't forget that the definition of "optimum" depends entirely upon what one is trying to optimize. Roy, like all engineers, has to balance a number of performance criteria, including price, measured audio performance, manufacturability, shipping costs, availability of raw materials, and so on. Even "cost is no object" designs are subject to this same balancing act.


    Fair enough... ..So let the question be:  Would the CW4's sound better if they were made from BB?

  17. 41 minutes ago, Dave A said:

    I gave up trying to convince you of anything some time ago. However you asked a civil question so I gave you the courtesy of a real answer. I wonder, can you see others from the mountain top?

      For what it is worth BB is tougher on tooling then MDF. Ask me how I know :D


    I'm not trying to be difficult.  Remember, this thread is about "myths" so you'll have to forgive people for expressing stubborn skepticism.  ..References others have made to stradivarius violins, etc.. don't apply.  Speakers (as Edgar pointed out) are not suppose to color the sound.


    Moreover most of the major speaker companies, that uses wood,  seem to prefer MDF - even in their cost-no-object designs. 


    So, I'll ask again, do you think Roy chose a sub-optimum material for the CW4's?

  18. 8 hours ago, Dave A said:

    So for better or worse this is the selection process I have made and my reasons for doing so.


    Sorry but still unconvinced.  So are you saying Roy chose an inferior material for the Cornwall IV's?  ..That the speakers would sound better if made from BB?? 


    Also, while MDF may be less expensive, it's harder on tooling and it's heavier so more costly to ship a finished speaker. 

  19. 20 hours ago, Dave A said:

    Same tired line every time this comes up. However I have practical experience through actual builds and experimentation and handling both MDF and Baltic cabinets. As far as I can tell your experience is limited to only pre-built things which you can buy and then since you bought them they then become the world standard by which all other things are found lacking.


    You said baltic sounds better.  Please explain.


    Roy, if you're still reading this thread, what are your thoughts?  Would the new CW4 sound better if it was made from BB?


    I'll acknowledge that it makes a cabinet more resistant to water damage but it's hard to worry about that risk when none of my other gear is water-resistant.

  20. 1 hour ago, Edgar said:


    Be careful; that was an opinion, not a statement of fact. Assertion without proof that something is not audible is an equivalent logical fallacy to assertion without proof that something else is audible. In fact, proving that something is audible is a lot easier than proving that it is not.


    Well... Yes, of course.  But if there's one thing we've learned from this thread is that people aren't really interested in proof, right??  Anecdotal evidence is accorded more credibility than actual A/B testing.


    Why else can't I convince even one person to do something as simple as wiring one channel of their system w/ expensive cables, and the other channel w/ the free cables that came with their components and compare using a mono recording and their balance control (speakers pushed together of course)


    In response, I get:  Why bother!!  If I hear a difference, that's good enough for me. 


  21. 1 hour ago, Dave A said:

    tone and durability. Exceptional speaker cabinets are made from this.



    Tone?  Please explain why. I can see durability and water resistance (for outdoor theaters/ amusement parks, etc..) but not tone.  Curious why this would be.


    Vandersteen, Paradigm, PSB, and virtually  EVERY other high-end speaker mfg prefers MDF.  


    Would a CW 4 made entirely of baltic plywood sound better than one made w/ MDF?


    I think another myth is about to be called out.

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