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Mike N

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  1. Thanks - I love them. I did have to do some work on them to tame the treble and it took time to get them in the right location in that big, boomy room, but I’ve been very happy! Not looking to replace these anytime soon. I love the light maple finish. The veneers are really gorgeous. And they look badass with the grill covers off too.
  2. I mentioned room treatments and my wife just rolled her eyes and said “sure - when you get your own place you can treat it however you like.” So I guess that’s a no? I consider myself lucky she lets me keep these beasts in her favorite room!
  3. Here’s a shot from the balcony that is less backlit.
  4. It’s really hard to get a good photo in here during the day because it’s so backlit from the big windows behind (which I know are not ideal for sound OR for water resistance apparently).
  5. Yeah I was unhappy to say the least. A straight shot through the screen into the amp with the sprayer on jet mode. I turned it upside down after unplugging it and water literally dripped out of the vents. Actually I’m lucky because the hose missed the other side of the table with the CD DAC and Pre + the power conditioner for those. That bundle would have been way more expensive to replace.
  6. Some of mine: AC/DC Hells Bells Lou Reed Walk on the Wild Side Dire Straits Private Investigations Daft Punk Get Lucky Pink Floyd Happiest Days of our Lives CSN Just a Song Before I Go Ryan Adams Stars Go Blue Norah Jones Turn me On Chris Stapleton Whiskey and You
  7. So my Parasound A23 amp got hit by the hose through an open window while on and completely fried (thanks kids). It may be repairable but is no longer under warranty. So I started looking for a used replacement that might also cover some of the slight shortcomings of the A23 in my 2 channel system driving resistor modded RF7 I’s. The A23 was just a little bit dry and bright for my tastes on some songs - and unfortunately some songs that I love. Fleetwood Mac “Never Going Back Again” never sounded right with this amp. I found a Classe Fifteen on audiogon for a reasonable price and I had heard that these amps were warmer and more tube-like for solid state. I had never heard a Classe before. I took the risk and pulled the trigger and I’m very pleased so far! A nice warm sound with sweet highs and good control of the bass. This amp gets those 10 inch woofers working but not booming. Highs are a little rolled off but that’s not really a bad thing even with modded RF7s. It’s possible that the biggest sonic benefit here is the increase in wattage up to 175w/ channel compared to the Parasound’s 125. But I still think the overall tone of this amp is a better match for the RF7s. NO harshness so far from the horns - even on recordings with a lot of upper midrange. Radiohead - Paranoid Android is a good example of a song that was formerly unlistenable in my system using the A23. This is just an initial impression after about 20 hours of focused listening across a lot of different genres, but Im already confident this amp is a really good match for the RF7s. Currently have Dire Straits - Telegraph Road playing and it sounds wonderful across the whole soundstage - even on the more cluttered parts at the end. This amp seems to have endless power reserves. I bet it would also sound nice with my Heresy IIs - I might have to bring those downstairs and try them. If you have RF series and are in the market for a new solid state amp I recommend giving the Classe solid states a listen! Equipment: Classe Fifteen (using balanced inputs) Parasound P5 Cocktail audio N15D Arcam DV78 CD RF7 Series 1 with resistor mod and dynamatted horns REL T2 sub
  8. The Parasound P5 DAC sounded pretty good to me. Not much difference to the cocktail audio - just a smidgen more bright and more bass but not boom. Like the EQ sliders were turned up just a little bit on both ends. My wife prefers the P5 DAC because it’s more relaxed and produces a wide soundstage. Put on Dire Straits Private Investigations and watch the music spread to the walls! The difference between the P5 DAC and the Node2i was very noticeable in this aspect. The Node 2i was like being front row in a small venue. The P5 is like being nearer the back in a much larger hall. It really was a big difference on some tracks - less noticeable on others but still there. You can easily switch between the two DACs if you connect the Node2i by both analog and digital coax. I did find the analog out was about 1/2 decibel louder on average. Bear in mind the tonal differences are in my listening room with its own unique acoustics. The cocktail DAC is somewhere in the middle of those two and I suppose that’s why I like it. I don’t have to use the tone controls to tame the treble with it either, which is probably the main reason I’m keeping it. The P5 sounds better with tone controls off. Glens - the resistor mod adds an additional 10 ohm resistor to the high frequency part of the board. It’s easy to do. It toned down the occasional harshness of the highs a lot. A night and day improvement for the RF7 series 1s for that reason. To me they aren’t too bright all of the time as stock - just WAY too bright some of the time or on some tracks. There are several threads on this board about the resistor mod.
  9. Yeah for the price there’s nothing that comes close. I decided I didn’t like the Bluesound Node 2i DAC. I gave it at least 40 hours of focused listening trying to get to like it. It’s heavy on the upper midrange which made the RF7s even more forward than usual. The soundstage shrunk a lot. Bass was a bit boomy. Male vocals shifted higher and became more nasal sounding. On the positive side, it was very rhythmic and musical. It was fun to listen to, but occasionally fatiguing and squawky on some tracks with my system and room. I was also getting dropouts even with a wired connection. And so without using the onboard DAC, I couldn’t justify keeping it for the cost. The Chromecast offers the same streaming functionality at less than 1/10 the cost. True, the Chromecast doesn’t unfold MQA...which if you are a Tidal subscriber is a nice feature for high res music (I do think MQA sounds better on some tracks). Which brings me to my present solution - the Cocktail audio N15D. This little black box with ESS Sabre DAC sounds amazing on my system. Highs are clear but not fatiguing. The midrange is back where it should be. Bass is well controlled even with the RF7s. The speakers are still bright but there is no harshness or glare. The Cocktail app is nowhere near as good as the Bluesound App (its not even close - the Cocktail UI is just not well developed). But once you learn to use it, and accept its limitations, it’s workable. And like I said, it sounds fantastic. So for me, this system sounds great and I’m very happy with this system as a digital audio solution. Cocktail Audio N15D as streamer and DAC; Parasound P5 with Sonarquest/Audio Envy power cables; Parasound A23 with Sonarquest/Audio Envy power cables; Monster interconnects and speaker cables RF7 S1 with resistor mod and dynamat’d horns.
  10. I've only had my Parasound Halo P5 and A23 for 3 days (of heavy listening) so take this with a grain of salt as I am still in the new gear honeymoon stage and therefore may find things I'm not happy with and/or develop deep seated resentment for certain flaws as the marriage matures 🙄. I think the combo with my modded RF7 series 1s is pretty awesome. I hear the Halo integrated preamp is a P5 with a better DAC. And you get some more wattage compared to the 23. My only complaint is in the midrange. Just a tad bit muted to me on some passages.
  11. Update: So I did it. Sort of. I bought a Parasound P5 and an A23 on Craigslist at a good price. Came with upgraded power cables. The improvement in transparency with the Parasound separates is awesome. The Arcam always sounded good to me, but side by side with the Parasound it sounds somewhat muddy. I hesitate to say that because the Arcam isn’t bad. It’s just not as clean sounding. Clean is the best term. The Parasound does increase the overall brightness of the RF7s. It’s not harsh like my stock heresys were - these tweeters just go really high and I have sensitive ears somehow despite years of concerts. I may look at doing the resistor mod now (I have the resistors). It could also be with the cleaner sound I am listening a little louder than I used to. Strangely - increasing the toe in so the tweeters are pointed right at me seems to help. Maybe it has to do with wall reflections. The bass remains great. The original 7s always had bass in spades. The Parasound controls it well. Maybe a slight dip in the upper midrange compared to the Arcam. Not a smile EQ. Like one or two slider on the EQ is down a notch. Jury is still out on that. For low volume listening the Parasound smokes the Arcam. No contest. I also ordered a Bluesound node 2i. I will report on that after I have time to test it.
  12. That P6 is a great piece of kit. Part of me wants to just get a P5 or 6 and pair it with a B&K 442 or Bryston 4bst (both of which are for sale near me at reasonable prices) and see what happens!!!
  13. VLC definitely does something to the flac file when it is cast from the mobile phone app to CCA. It sounds BAD. See my link below from the reddit site where this is also discussed. - note you have to actually dig into the thread to see where mobile app vs. desktop is discussed. It could be utter BS, but I can say from personal listening experience that flac files cast to the CCA using the iOS VLC app sound equally bad (tinny and muffled) whether they are cast from flac files stored on the phone itself, or using the app to direct the NAS to the CCA. But, if I use VLC on my desktop computer and cast flac files to CCA it sounds great. This is true for flac files on the computer hard drive, or on the NAS.
  14. Hmmm it seems I still have much to learn. Just going off recommendations on other forums for choice of 8player. It’s one of the more commonly recommended apps available on the apple AppStore for CCA and Flac that also seems to work pretty well with DNLA music “pulling” from a NAS as opposed to “pushing” from a native file on a computer or phone. I can attest that VLC sounds really bad with Flac>Chromecast even when the Flac files are native to the phone itself. That’s what started my search for an alternative app. My NAS is a WD mycloud. Not the best but it’s what I have. I’m not sure of the firmware but it’s the older model that can’t run Plex or other packages. Thinking about getting a Synology diskstation to replace it anyway as the mycloud is now 5 years old.
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