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Sam S.

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About Sam S.

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    Lincoln, NE

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  1. They might say something like -- these are a natural wood product and there's some variance. But, while the veneer looks book matched OK, it looks like there is a big issue with the consistence of the stain/finish. If it was me, I would request either a deep discount (like 1K, if I could live with it), or a return/exchange.
  2. Maybe. Maybe not. It's arguable that mass vaccination will speed the arms war and speed the mutation of the virus and its evolutionary adaptation. The cards that continue to be played in that arms war would likely be additional vaccines and a constant game of catch-up, assuming answering the question of vaccine efficacy against those variants and other logistics such as production and deployment. So it's arguable that speeding up that arms race may have negative, unintended consequences, including those variants or mutations adversely affecting more people than the virus currently does, or with greater severity. There's a lot that isn't known at this point. Although reported data seems promising thus far, the next few months will be telling if there are additional reports of re-infections among vaccinated persons, as well as other things. If we look at history, one of the worst pandemics in history was the spanish flu, lasting roughly a bit over two years (spring, 1918 - spring, 2020), resulting in an estimated 500M deaths. According to CDC data, the first inoculation didn't occur until 1930. We are now over a year into this current pandemic.
  3. This is an interesting discussion and I appreciate the many points of view. Unfortunately, as others have indicated in a roundabout way, the virus and vaccines have been politicized to the point where an honest and open discussion is impossible --- either you are an anti-vax nutjob who believes in conspiracy theories, or you are "following the science". The truth may lie somewhere in between. For those that have "vaccine hesitancy", we can't discount the fact that many have very valid concerns. No medical professional can say what the long term effects may or may not be because no one really knows -- there's no long term data available. These are different vaccines taking two different approaches; on the one side the Pfizer/Moderna vaccines using 2 new technologies (1) the delivery of the mRNA, which has instructions for your body to create the spike protein, and (2) the delivery of the very sensitive mRNA (hence the low temperature storage) via coatings in lipid nanoparticles. And the J&J/AZ vaccines, which use the older, more proven delivery technology (a weakened Adenovirus) to deliver the instructions via double stranded DNA. So with one vaccine you have 2 new technologies that haven't been studied over a period of time, and the other one has one new technology with the same concern. Now, people can look at published data and determine whether or not any potential risks outweigh any potential rewards. For many, that analysis is a difficult one. Another contributing factor to many is a history of drug manufacturers involving marketed products later pulled due to detrimental effects, failure to disclose potential risks, or even outright fraud and cover-ups. Also, the fact that under current law they have been granted immunity for any claims against them from the vaccine administration. In other words, if you suffer an ill effect, even if you can prove the direct link, or even fraud, you can't sue the manufacturer or the government that approved it. There is a history of large settlements - Pfizer (Bextra, Lyrica - 2.3B), Vioxx, Opiods, and many others. While the FDA issues safety recalls on drugs, cosmetics, food, beverages, and medical devices, according to their data, in 2020 alone there were 111 drugs that were recalled due to safety concerns (after having previously been approved for use). Finally, it's worth considering or even asking what potential unintended consequences of mass vaccination may be. We are intervening in a complex evolutionary situation, effectively telling the virus that the arms race is on. It's quite possible that the current breakthrough vaccines are not detrimental long-term, easy to deploy, and effective. But what if they aren't? We've likely compromised well over 90% of our health care work force. What if mass vaccination has other detrimental effects such as pushing the virus to further replicate and develop vaccine resistance? The arms race then is pushed into an evolutionary phase where it's quite possible that negative effects start presenting in individuals with more innate immunity that have up to now been largely not affected greatly (e.g. kids, or those that don't have underlying conditions). The mass vaccination card may very well be the right card to play, but the problem with the politicization of this virus and the vaccines is that any honest discussion isn't occurring. Also worth noting is that Pfizer executives admitted in conference calls that they see further replication of the virus (which ultimately may result in additional vaccines to keep up with variants) is an "opportunity" for them to charge higher prices and increase profits.
  4. Aren't most of the COVID fatalities people with pre-existing conditions that in many cases can be improved or addressed so that the "outcome" is better (e.g. not death)? For instance, no one is talking about how to reduce diabetes, obesity, etc. Rather, the system seems geared more toward creating things that profit from poor health conditions (e.g. more drugs, higher prices for drugs, fast food, long working hours, etc.). There's not much money to be made in preventative care under the current system for the health care giants. Carl: Here's a link to the data you mentioned about rates in FL v.s. others with more restrictive economies. This one from the WSJ.
  5. Or Vioxx. Or Bextra. Or Lyrica. Or....hell, you get the idea.
  6. Hi --- Yes, the one I have doesn't have a phonostage (or phono preamp, same thing). I'm running a Vincent PHO8 (MM or MC). I'm happy with it - but there are numerous options. Just run your RCA cables and ground wire to the phonostage, then line out (RCA) from the phonostage to any of the line inputs on the tube amp. Most of the integrates don't have phonostages, but a few do. Rogue Cronus Magnum I'm pretty sure does. My gear is also in a cabinet (AVR inside on shelf), with the tube amp on top (airflow). Let me clarify - I run 2 sets of speaker cables - one from the Marantz AVR and one from the tube integrated. Each of those stay connected at each amp connection full-time. The opposite end of those cables (going to the speakers) have banana plugs. I plug/unplug them ONLY at the speaker connection (forte III). Might not work for you if you don't have access to the back of the speakers. On one of mine, it's open space to the side so it's easy. The other one (between the corner wall and the cabinet), I just tip forward and reach behind it. Takes about 30 seconds. That might be more difficult for yours (taller) or if you have Cornwalls, depending on location, and your room setup. If that's the case, the switchers mentioned above might be the best option, or a HT bypass. I think most of the Primaluna's have the HT bypass, maybe one of those owners could chime in if they've used it.
  7. I also switch back and forth between the tube amp for 2-channel listening (CD's and turntable), and HT (movies, TV, video games). I could or originally intended to use the pre-outs from the AVR to one of the line in's on the tube amp, which would work, but I've found that just swapping banana plugs back and forth works good for me (one set of cables from the AVR, another one from the tube amp, center to AVR). Sometimes, if I'm playing a video game, I just run the sound thru the AVR on the center at low volume and listen to music via the tube amp at the same time. If you want a one-stop solution without a switching box, you can (if your AVR has pre-outs) run that to a line input on the tube amp, but like you, I was concerned about doing that because of unnecessary wear on the tubes. I have a jolida black ice F22 (integrated), and am quite happy with the improvement over my marantz AVR. Good luck.
  8. Curious--do you have a photo of the wall where the cookie monster in the chair is, or is that all open? While I realize that where your equipment is now seems like the best option for it in the future, I wonder if you might be happier with your sofa along that wall (where the equipment is now), and your 2 channel setup along the back wall where the sofa is now, or the other wall that isn't in the photos. The corners on the back wall look like they would fit the speakers you are considering, and the sound would open to the rest of the room, kitchen area, etc. Of course, your TV is in that mix also so that's something to consider if you want to keep that up there. Or, as Shakey recommends, or the wall opposite of that, if there is one. Personally, I'm in the camp of not liking TV's above fireplaces, especially one as nice as yours. Good luck.
  9. Maverick: As I look at your picture, I wonder if it might be helpful to post another picture of (as I'm looking straight at the fireplace from the living room) what is to the right and left, and behind. I assume that there is a seating area behind where the TV is now. My recommendation would be to move the TV either to the wall (if there is one) to the right or left, as I'm looking at the fireplace in your picture. Likely the only option here would be the right because it looks like there are windows/outside wall on the left. If that's possible (and makes sense), the TV and corresponding 2-channel set up would be on the right wall or right side, and your seating area would get moved out perpendicular to the fireplace. You wouldn't want to move the equipment to the wall straight behind the fireplace because you'd cover up the view of the fireplace. Perpendicular would still allow you to see the fireplace (and kitchen), and straight toward your set-up. That might also give you a wall to work with where you could do Forte (III or IV, whatever), or even Heresy's. Basically anything you put on either side of that fireplace is going to impede the passage to/from the kitchen and (I think) dining area. And you are on the right track with not putting any of this stuff in the basement, if the kids are down there unsupervised. Too much stress on you, AND them. Final thought: Look into some room treatments there --- e.g. rugs. I'd imagine that might help.
  10. Just a follow-up for anyone searching the archives. I ended up getting the F-22. I'm happy with it overall, noticing details that I didn't when I was running my Marantz AVR. This is my first tube amp, so I really don't have anything to compare it to. For now, I'm switching the speaker cables when going back and forth from 2-channel to movies/video games. Seems to work OK and I imagine less wear on the tubes (that's my thought anyway).
  11. Darkscience --- Your photos look at least like the tops are bookmatched pretty closely to me - not perfect but pretty darn close. Am I missing something or are they not matched on your sides? Don't see photos of the sides so maybe that's what you are referring to?
  12. Hi --- not sure about the ones you mention. I looked at the Pro-ject tube box, but decided in favor of the VIncent PHO-8, which was on sale online. I'm happy with it's performance. Might want to consider or add to your list to research. The Rega also gets good reviews. The Vincent has an eternal power supply and supports MC or MM.
  13. Sam S.

    Is This Paul?

    Alan Napier, English actor.
  14. Thanks for the suggestion, Les. I went ahead and pulled the trigger on the F22. Seems like a decent value. Have not received yet, but I can report back once it arrives.
  15. Hi: First off, thanks to the members who responded to my PM's. I'm doing research to possibly add a tube integrated for 2-channel (vinyl and CD's) to my current set-up (marantz SR6012 + Forte iii). My question here is one integrated I came across that looks interesting is the Black Ice F22 (or F11, or F35 for that matter). I understand that Black Ice is the brand that is formerly known as Jolida. Also as far as I can tell, made in China with US design/specs, then tested or assembled in the US? Not sure about that one -- my major concern is build quality and product support. At any rate, the F22 looks interesting (like the silver), but I can find very very little information online, both about the amp and about the company. While it looks like the old Jolida site is still up, nothing about Black Ice from a manufacturers perspective. Just wonder if anyone has any experience with these, or additional info. that might help. I'd also welcome any tube integrated suggestions if there are any besides this one. My room is approx 12 x 20, sit about 10ft away, listen moderate levels. Carpet + drapes. Home theater bypass or line pass-thru would be a +, as my space is limited and the set-up does double duty as HT. Other thing worth noting is that any additional integrated would need to go on a shelf above the TV, which is approx 30"w x 13.5"h. The F22 is 32 lbs, which sounds good as I worry about overloading the shelf with something 50 or more lbs. Thanks!
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