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Searcher

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Everything posted by Searcher

  1. I'm about to go down this path, curiosity killed the cat. Even though I am completely satisfied with my Parasound HINT, looking at tube preamps like the Prima Luna, maybe the Schitt Freya, my HINT has the HT Bypass button, press it and your wallet becomes lighter.
  2. Well, I'm about the same age, music helps a lot 😀. I have a small record collection, thought I'd Never play them again, but I am shocked at what I heard through my new Hint, not sure if it's because it's a new system, but they seem to possess a degree of warmth, full body while digital seems sterile in comparison. And all this on a 35 year old turntable. It still works and sounds fine, but I know better turntables exist. Might be my next upgrade. I see Spotify takes a monthly fee, at some point, I will get tired of my music so it might be a good bet for discovering new content. Guess now a good time to continue my unofficial review of my new HINT. I am still blown away, my music collection now sounds so rich and full, even for songs for which I was listening too recently on my Onkyo, absolutely amazing. My point of reference is an old stereo "receiver", still works, but in contrast, became non-dimensional and fatiguing. What sold me on the Parasound product was John Curls' theory about certain odd harmonics in circuitry that negatively interact with music. I think he is right as my Onkyo would produce very uncomfortable sounds not related to volume or distortion or my speakers for that matter; the amplifier would sound 'cold and hard' in certain passages of soft music, usually piano solos. I could not put my finger on it. But if odd harmonics are unpleasant, than others like the evens are desirable. Since the John Curl design philosophy is to remove all harmonics, we are left with pure sound, this can be good or bad depending on what you want. I think some want to hear an edge in their music. I think I would have had a hard time buying an amplifier like this in my college days, volume and power rather than dimension and dynamics is what I wanted. So I would say some won't like the HINT. This amplifier does truely sound neutral, maybe a hint of warmish, but I find myself simling or even laughing out loud everytime music as I remember it reveals something new. Finally, I am starting to really understand my music. Oh, and I know this is a Klipsch forum, my speakers are the perfect match for the HINT!
  3. Need to add more.... The MM phone cartridge on the Parasound Halo is awesome! When I listened to my turntable on my Onkyo, I didn't realize my stylus was worn. My turntable sounded worse on the Halo with worn cartridge, I thought the Halo Phono section was broken. Luckily enough, I had another cartridge, hadn't played it in over 30 years, it's an Audio Technica DR 300e, the damaged stylus is an Audio Technica Series-V, I found a replacement stylus for it on the Internet and will order soon. Anyway, after replacing the cartridge, my records ARE ALIVE again! They sound phenomenal, who could have ever guessed. I am hearing music that I haven't heard in a long time, it all sounds dynamic and alive, maybe even more than CDs. I must be losing my mind.
  4. One thing I do on a regular basis is The Elephant Ear Washer, a squeeze bottle with a narrow spray attachment. It's on Amazon, helps to keep my hearing in check.
  5. UPDATE : my search is over! I am a proud owner of the Parasound Halo Integrated Amplifier! This afternoon I when to Monaco in Pasadena to have a listen to the Parasound integrated amps. Ian had both the Hint 6 and the older Halo integrated amp, same wattage with the basic John Curl amplifier, I was completely sold! Even though the speakers in Ian's demo room were probably nicer than what I have at home, it was convincing. Wide dynamic range, good sound staging, and plenty of power. Ian gave me a good deal on a demo model. I got the thing here at home now wired up to my RF62s, amazing! I am hearing things in my music I never noticed. And big smiles, it's smooth as silk, no roughness. Even at low volumes, there is clear definition and good bass when listening flat. Everything sounds full and effortless. The Onkyo was good, but no comparision. But what is slightly different, my Sonos Connect is being run through optical cable direct into my new Halo. This must be helping a lot, connection to my old Onkyo was through RCA. Need to ask a question, when I first connected my amp and powered up to listen to my first song, there was some hissing from my left speaker, I thought it might have been blown, but then I played with the balance, then noticed that speaker completely dropped out, then a few more turns of the balance control, everything cleared up. I cannot replicate the problem, I have to believe this was an initial power up issue?, and this is not a defect with the amplifier?
  6. Parasound! I saw a long video of John Curl speaking and like what I heard him say. The reviews of the Halo Hint 6 are encouraging, its in the running.
  7. Thanks for the replies, good to hear feedback! I am planning on setting up a 1 hour block to audition a few hybrid integrated amps, including the Mcintosh and the Rogue. They also suggested the all tube VTL IT-85, which is starting to get exotic in all aspects, including price. But I am willing if I can be convinced the sound is good enough to put up with tube maintainence. The Parasound Hint with high power looks very appealing, I see its class A/AB, high power consumption, but should be theoretically pure sound. Speaking of which, this afternoon I was convinced I need to go hybrid, but the fact is I grew up listening mostly to high powered non-vocal music on solid state, so this 'tube' thing could be a mere fantasy, and I MIGHT NOT LIKE IT. Seems like people who like vocals benefit the most from tube technology. I rarely listen to vocals, though can appreciate it once in a while. Maybe my presumptions about tubes are wrong.
  8. Ok, hopefully nobody minds my monologue, this is turning out like a diary. This is afternoon I paid a visit to Audio Element in old town Pasadena. They introduced me to the Rogue Sphinx, a hybrid tube pre amp with ss mains. 100 wpc, and Made in America, my preference. Now get this, they were spinning a Muddy Waters 33 rpm LP on a $1,500 USD turntable with "Wilson" speakers. now that was a dream system by my standards! The more I thought about it, the more appealing a hybrid amp gets, the warmth of a tube pre amp pushing into my horns. This might be a great combo. And then there is the Pharaoh, a lot more power. But for the same price of the Pharaoh, I can get into a hybrid Mcintosh, also made in USA and a known in the audio world. I really feel inspired now with so many options, I will probably buy from my local dealer, nice folks and they will let you listen.
  9. Geez, I thought 30k USD is a monster system 😀. There are a very few select individuals around here (in Los Angeles suburbs) driving cars worth more than my home. I have learned over many years to appreciate what I have, it works and makes me happy.
  10. I've been reading reviews of some the great stuff out there. I am really curious about the Peachtree Nova 300. I always wanted a real powerful and dynamic system. I am a non-professional drummer and love powerful sounds. I feel 300 watts might be too much for my rf62s, but I am willing to upgrade my speakers to RF7s or something that can handle the power. I am looking for an excuse to buy big wattage and end up with a powerful system. Maybe the Nova150 is a better fit for my current 62s. Either way, if I do an upgrade, it will be for life, and I will be happy. My Onkyo lasted me almost 30 years.
  11. Great thank you Bill, today was another great discovery day for my 'lost' music, even managed to power up my turntable and do a comparison with CD/MP3 version of a song I used to love, Patrick Williams' "Too hip for the room" from Dreams and Themes album. The CD version is much cleaner in more ways than one, there was lots of dust near the record player. And the record cleaning fluid from the 1990s, hopefully I haven't destroyed the record. Maybe my record player is crap, I just couldn't hear it.... Anyway, Tangent. I will try to audition some of these components, harder to do these days since everyone orders online. I remember doing this a while back with my own CD music sampler, still the vendor is in a completely different room. Right now, I got my rf62s pushed way out from the wall, the sound and dynamics are brilliant. I can imagine a new amp should sound better. A part of me wants to really do a noticeable upgrade, so your "headroom" argument in favor of more ponies with the NAD 388 makes a lot of sense for me, then I can even step up the speakers to the next level at some point. Listening now to George Winstons' solo piano, superb reproduction on these speakers, who would have ever guessed with these "rock and roll" horns?
  12. Got a pair of RF-62s a few years ago, but just started listening to music as of late, I had all but forgotten what an important role music played when I was younger. It is absolutely amazing what passion and memories music can bring out from years ago! I am enjoying my music with an old Onkyo TX-890 receiver, bought it new in 1990. While it's dated, the specs are 125 wpc into 8 ohms 20- 20khz with 0.02% thd. While I do not know if the receiver actually performs to those specs, it provides plenty of power for my speakers, and the sound is good, not lacking in any way, but I want to consider another integrated amp if I can justify better sound. I am happy right now, but I am ready to take the next step. My content is mostly from lossless and MP3 files served up from my home server via Sonos Connect. I listen to all sorts of jazz, some classical, a fair share of pop and rock. I do not need extreme loud levels, but need the ability to crank up a bit on occasion. I do have a turntable that requires moving magnet inputs, but rarely gets played. Was considering the Onkyo 9070A, even though it is a lower power rating, I suspect the performance might be better since it is newer, maybe my logic is not good? I like the dependablilty of Onkyo, seems to be solid, but will consider other brands like NAD, the 388 is tempting, but the 150wpc might be overpowered for my speakers. Maybe the 368 at 80wpc is a better fit. Question, would you upgrade given my current situation? Which unit would you buy?
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