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HiFiRuss71

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  1. That's a sensible suggestion. I had also considered chopping boards with spikes drilled in. American Walnut chopping boards are a thing (I bought two to stand the monoblocks on, as they'll match the Fortes) even in the Colonial Mothership. Unfortunately, due to your resistance to falling in line with the Papist measuring system, the boards you can get over here, are a few millimetres (like inches, but more useful globally) too short to match the width of the Fortes. Nonetheless, it's pretty damn close and means the speakers are untouched. When the bits and bobs I have purchased for the amps turn up, I'll have a try with then under the Fortes. Russ
  2. I live in an older house and the [concrete] floor tens to dish toward the middle. Speakers at or near the corners of the room, tend to lean in and point downward a bit. This is not ideal, as the Fortes are borderline in height relative to my non-too-high listening position in the first place. They still sound superb, but the Aspergers in me can't cope with things that don't look level and they won't sound worse if they are! The four metal hemispherical underneath are obviously useless in this regard. I'm assuming they are easily levered off, but just having bought the Fortes, don't really want to invalidate my warranty. So, the alternative is to stand them on something,which would also raise them up a couple of inches. What are people using to level their speakers? Russ
  3. Well, I demoed. I was about four bars into the first track and I decided there and then, the Fortes were coming home with me.I'm even more smitten now. If I were still reviewing, the notes on my pad would read; connection, expression, music, boogie - In no particular order. Some bass guitar and drum solos have made me laugh out loud and the Arendals with twin 8" drivers and time aligned drivers weren't exactly a slouch in this regard. But compared to the Klipsch, they now sound if not mechanical, then analytical in a studio monitor way. The Fortes flatter recordings that the Arendals expose and yet still mange to soar with really good mixes, hiding nothing. Probably the best example of this was a Luther Vandross track (Dance with my Father) beloved of my partner Kay. Personally, his voice annoys me, but this time I listened and could feel the emotion and love this stripped back piece of Vandross was communicating. Kay, who has a personal attachment to this track and has heard it a squillion times, cried - Something she says she has never done to anything other than live music. God knows what they're going to do with more than four hours under their belt! Yours, a very happy bunny, Russ
  4. Okay, I've probably picked up a pair of Papworth Audio Technology M100 monoblocks. A Tim De Paravacini design with 4 EL34s driven in push-pull to give 100W. I used to work in a dealer selling these back in 'the day' (early 90s) and at £2k with only six months use, I couldn't pass them up. We had Mark Levinson and stuff like that, but the midrange of the M100, partnered with an almost solid state style bottom end made them a long term staff favourite. You could even drive 'energy wells' like ATC SCM-20s with them to respectable levels. They're about £5.5k new these days. Pick them up Saturday and this has freed up some budget; so I contacted a dealer with Fortes in stock and they're going to get the Cornwalls in from the UK distributor to demo. The dealer with the cheap pair of Fortes didn't offer to do this, so that's their luck, to use the vernacular! I still think the Fortes will be a better fit for the room, but if Kay doesn't flinch when she sees the Cornwalls, then I'm willing to let my ears decide. A quick question if I may; I'm not one for going overboard on speaker cable - If it's decent stranded copper, it will work - but I keep seeing people mention solid core cable with valves. Is this another cable myth, or is there mileage in it? As I'm going to need about 2x4ft, it ain't going to be expensive to experiment, either way! Russ
  5. @Chris A I actually get a lot of what you're saying. The speakers in the OP are the production result of two 'proof of concept' MTM speakers I built. Both were built into the same cabinets with an interchangeable baffle The first was a 2.5" BMR (Balanced Mode Radiator) that covered 300-20kHz, the pair of bass drivers kicking in below the baffle step. Tonally, a bit colourless, but rhythmically very good - Minidsp plate amps allowed me to time align the output of the very shallow BMR and the SB Acoustics bass units. Universally approved of by anybody with Naim in their system, that was enough for me to consider them a bit niche. Given the near constant 110deg dispersion of the BMR, they were very room dependent which was fine, for someone willing to mess with parametric EQ. Not marketable IMHO. The second baffle swapped the BMR for a wave-guide tweeter, the combo being selected for the dimensions that allowed the voice coils of the tweeter and (now) mid-bass units to time align, or at least as close as you can off the shelf. Dispersion would have been marketable as 60deg constant. As there are no hard boundaries in reality, it was somewhere between 60-90deg. These were great fun, sounded much the same in any room, needed far less tinkering in the digital domain. It's a while back now, but I seem to recall level matching the drivers, bunging in a 2nd order Linkwitz Riley crossover, tweaking the baffle step and that was about it for the next two weeks! Passive crossover design wasn't going to be an issue and they worked without fuss wherever i used them. The concept got weaponized by a very clever American OEM manufacturing in China that actually makes more brands in the same factory than the brands would care to admit. We were getting tweeter and crossover prototypes adjusted, manufactured, shipped and arriving on our doorstep in under three days based on listening feedback. I know China gets a bad press sometimes, but ye gods, they're efficient and very consistent. End result was an entirely bespoke speaker (except the tweeter dome that comes from a world renowned German house) that has a very simple crossover, capable of handling massive power inputs and gives you the impression of looking at the back of it's nails whilst doing it. An early tweeter/waveguide/crossover comb took just over 24 hours to die with a constant 120W delivered at 5kHz. Nobody was in the room during that.... The irony is that we only started down the path of doing our own loudspeakers, because we got continually messed around by American manufacturers moving goal posts - We were the solus EU importer of SVS when they rang up one day and told us they had appointed a German distributor. Clearly, the concept of a single common market, EU law and the world 'solus' hadn't somehow translated. It was a story that kept repeating. We still have a relationship with Klipsch, but now restricted to a Scandinavian area thing. Ultimately it was European desire for a Klipsch RF-like efficient (a real 92-94dBW in our case) 8" drivers that kick, that lead us to go to the actual manufacturers we were dealing with, so we could consistently deliver to our European home market. It has gone great guns since then and because we retail direct, there's no distributor or dealer markup. Clearly, we make a bit more, but The Monitors are comfortable living with anything double their price through traditional retail channels. BTW; I say we, but I have no connection or affiliation anymore, as divorce threatened to consume this second stream of income, so I walked away. It doesn't stop me being immensely proud of what we did and it means the Forte IIIs have a considerable yard stick to surpass. As such my comments are my own and not that of my former employer. The Monitors aren't going anywhere, because they will have their home later in a multi-channel room for movies - When we build it! However, I'm of an age where I know that an equivalent to a 12 or 15" radiating area doesn't FEEL like a 12 or 15" driver. I also do clearly get time alignment as it is quite simply technically, correct. Your message regarding 'tweeter re-alignment' is not falling on deaf ears and I'm certainly DIY capable of making it happen and reversing it if I want to. I'll take your amplification comments on board. If the Fortes don't rock my boat, you may be interested to know that my original plan was to build Tony Gee's Calpamos, but with Hypex plate amps. I have not ruled that option out yet. Thank you Chris for a well considered post, based on technical rather than emotional, fact. Cheers, Russ PS. A wider point to the forum in general; In the UK, houses are generally brick constructed. If you live in a timber frame house, it would be quite surprising to experience the cabin gain and acute room modes brick/block construction enjoys and suffers in equal measure - You really don't have to drive a given space quite as hard, so the 12" v 15" debate is less clear cut and EQ isn't a devil.
  6. I'm in the UK. That's why it's nice to be on a US forum, throw a question oout there late at night and wake up to a barage of replies in the morning! To address some of the answers: Jubilees - Too big and frankly somewhat fuggly. That goes double for the PA speaker. Sorry, but the Fortes and Cornwalls tick my aesthetic boxes. Interesting comment on the Hereseys plus sub(s) as I currently run the Arendal Monitors with an Arendal Sub 1, the latter being the only bit to enjoy EQ. I get the benefits of EQ'd bass, prefering to choose the right speakers for the space and bass manage them. One Sub 1 (14" driver, 500W RMS ,1kW peak) is a bit light for my taste, especially as I can now run stereo EQ'd subs. However, I don't want stands and if I bought Hereseys; would always be left wondering what if.... Alas, beyond Hereseys, it's nigh on impossible to find pre-loved Klipsch over here, nevermind MkIs and IIs of anything. I'm pretty sure that the F3s are the right choice for the space, given that they offer up more latitude for positioning and in the last day or so, a potential bargain has transpired. A Klipsch dealer has a pair of Walnut F3s, one of which was dropped by a courier. The plinth is smashed and a top corner dented. The plinth is being replaced and as I know a good cabinet maker, repair of the corner and even a wholsale re-veneer is possible - Why couldn't they have dropped an oak pair with the lambs wool grill?!?!? At a maximum of £2.5k (saving £1,5k) I think they're probably a shoe in, if I like them on demo. I've also found a pair of Quad II Eighties, boxed and immaculate for £3k, plus said dealer not only does Anthem and Quad, but also has Icon Audio MB90 MkIIs on demo- they would seem a potentially perfect match given the mode switching. For those not familiar with Anthem ARC, you can limit the maximum frequency EQ is applied to and in the varoius incarnations I've owed and reviewed it in, I've never felt compelled to use it above 300Hz and more usually 150Hz. An STR Pre with the Sabre DACs and all the digital inputs I require is looking attractive. Apparently, the phono stage is more than competant too, he says looking a 200 LPs in storage. I wouldn't say budget isn't important (why spend more if you can spend less?) but I do have an opportunity to drop £10k on a wholesale system revamp, if what I hear for each component impresses. With my history of DIY speaker and subwoofer building, plus involvement in the Arendals, I will go speaker first and get that right. I will use the demo opportunity to listen to some valves (tubes) and if it really floats my boat, try and screw a deal out of the dealer. The pre can can wait, because the M-Dac+ has some of the best digital filters at any price. Thanks for the input and if there's anything else you'd like to thow out there as a thought, I'm all ears! Russ
  7. Hi and thanks in advance for reading, but it will cut a long story short! Get a coffee! :) I used to review speakers and subwoofers for Europe's biggest forum; predominantly multi-channel, but I levered stereo in there whenever I could. I then got involved with a distributor that went on to make their own speakers and subwoofers, although that involvement is over now. They distribute Klipsch (amongst others) and I'll say now that I've heard nothing from the RF or Reference Series that gives me cause for concern over my current twin 8" waveguide tweeter speakers. Not even close. However, I have an itch to scratch and the money to do it. You see, way back in my youth I used to work in a Hi-fi shop - Home cinema hadn't been invented. 8" drivers were small and all the stuff we plugged in between customers from ATC, Tannoy, Yamaha, Infinity to name a few, were bigger than that. We had Quad, Linn, Mission, Mark Levinson, Krell, Musical Fidelity and and more besides and whilst our collective musical tastes were diverse, we tended to err toward the, err, larger speakers. Not for bass depth, but punch, boogie factor, call it what you will. Then the world went mad, decided that a line of 5" drivers could replace one 12", her in-doors should be approached for visual approval of said speakers and that tonal purity was a hi-fi must have, now that emotion had been forsaken for skinny. The world seems to believe that, but I don't. Anyhoo, I divorced the wife that whilst enjoying the holidays the reviewing payed for ( insisting that she didn't want to see the speakers that earned it) am now with a girl who says weird stuff like 'turn it up' and 'get up and dance'. And we do. Literally disco levels. So it occured to me that now I am shorn of the need to listen to hi-fi test tracks, I want to buy something that will deliver Brothers Johnson, Pink Floyd, Bowie, Metallica, Luther Vandross ,Show of Hands, Poi Dog Pondering, (etc) with boogie factor. I'm 47 now and thus free of fashion concerns and about 13 seconds of Googling kept throwing up Heritage; Forte or Cornwall. Over here in the Colonial home land, it would appear that Heritage speakers once bought are not sold, so it's a full monty new purchase for me. In fact it's part of a wholesale system revamp. The room is 12x20ft (4x6.5m in Papist terms) slightly weird shape at the back (which helps even out bass modes) and the speakers have to go on the short wall. The seating distance is just over twelve feet from the 12ft wall. The layout (if I bin the subwoofer, which is quite likely) would tolerate speakers on the front wall giving a 45-50deg listening angle, to corner placement at 60deg with the speakers crossing in front of where we sit. Ms. HiFiRuss says get whatever you want. I know, you're jealous. The current Audiolab M-DAC+ (fed from a Bluesound Node) is likely to get replaced by an Anthem STR pre or integrated amplifier, so taming a bit of extra bass is a non-issue. I AM a fan of bass equalisation, if not full range. Now to the questions: Forte or Cornwall? I'm none the clearer based on reviews, reading this or other forums. Part of me likes the idea of corner placement as it seems to fit the the nominally 90deg dispersion of the Heritage loudspeakers and seems technically correct. Power? If going for the Fortes, I can afford to partner the Anthem Pre with Quad II Eighty monoblocks, or some such. If I go Cornwall, then it's probably the Anthem Integrated. The question is what would you sacrifice to get valve power, bearing in mind our 'disco' level fetish when the mood takes! Cheers, Russ PS. Room porn attached.
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