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    Playing Music (with instruments). Stereo. Online concerts.

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Pondoro's Achievements

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  1. My PC story - I had trouble with the built in Soundcard in a 2006 era PC (in 2020, it was my backup basement PC), everything else worked but newer software locked up if it tried to access the soundcard. So I needed to buy a soundcard, I bought a $40 ASUS. Not for the sound quality, mind you, just to avoid lock-ups. Half my audio internet friends told me "all DACs sound the same" and half told me, "If you do not spend $200 (or $500) you'll never hear an improvement. Thus I expected to hear nothing. Wrong! The $40 sound card was noticeably better sonically than the built in maybe $2 DAC chip. This caused me to buy a $99 Schiit Modi external DAC for my TV room PC. We were watching a lot of online concerts in that room. The Modi also made a noticeable improvement. I never A/B'ed the Modi versus the ASUS sound card because the PC's are in different rooms on different floors with different speakers. I never did any blind testing. I've worked in Quality in industry and done a lot of statistics. I respect math and I understand bias, but I refuse to do blind testing of a $40 or even a $100 DAC. With the $40 sound card my bias was against hearing any difference, but I heard it. I've never compared a $100 DAC against $200, $500, $Multi-thousand DACs, I am curious but not with my money. I am am a believer that any aftermarket DAC could beat whatever DAC is built into a mass production lower cost PC. I'm not claiming they all will, but I am sure some, probably most, do beat the OEM on-mother-board chip. Remember - the guy who is making a million PC's per year can save a million dollars for every dollar removed from the DAC chip cost! That free-to-you sound chip is probably a $2 or $3 item.
  2. One of my college roommates was a serious audiophile, his amp had tone controls, he would not allow them to be set anywhere but "flat." On the other hand he rearranged the living room maybe every two weeks, raising and lowering speakers, changing their angle, moving furniture around, in an endless quest to find the optimum.
  3. I have been listening to my new (1950's) tube amp for two days now. I am prepared to say it sounds different than my solid state 2020 amp. I could easily pass a blind test because between songs I can hear just a touch of background noise. I do not care about this noise as I cannot hear it when the music is playing, unless I stick my head right in front of a speaker. I like the tube amp better for 40's through 60's jazz and big band. I like my solid state amp better for loud rock. The only way I can describe the tube amp is "smooth." My daughter says it sounds "more viscous", as in water is less viscous and oil is more viscous. She means this as a compliment. I do not plan to take any blind test. They sound boring.
  4. Pondoro

    New Amp

    The guy who repaired it told me that the output transformers are undersized for the tubes, and that Magnavox purposely limited bass response of the amp. He said if I turn it up too high the bass would distort. I don't play a lot of techno or metal so I have not tested the real low bass response. I turned it up louder and louder until the trombones and then the trumpets sounded distorted. It was louder than I wanted it, so I am not unhappy. I am sure it was not the Heresy's as I have had them much louder with my solid state amp. This amp is for Sinatra, Basie, Miller, Ellington. Not electronic stuff with near subsonic content nor metal with pounding bass guitar.
  5. Pondoro

    New Amp

    My belief that "cheap crappy cables" have an effect stems from my fear that the manufactured quality may lead to poor connection in some critical place - where the cable enters the plug, or within the plug. Especially the outer ground lead, the outside layers of any cylindrically shaped object get most of the stress. So below a certain level of cost (and what level is the question) I am a cable believer. Above some cost I also become fearful - that the manufacturer will do something really stupid to attempt to differentiate their product. So let's say between $25 a pair and $300 I trust all cables. Maybe those limits are wrong. I'm humble enough to know I am guessing. Still if twenty guys on the internet like something it is probably not complete junk.
  6. Pondoro

    New Amp

    What do you recommend? I am a bit of a cable denier, but these were stupidly cheap. I am a cable believer in that I think below a certain price you get crap.
  7. I have seen blind tests that say you can’t tell, but always with very good amps and always short (one afternoon) tests. Mike Moffatt of Schiit says hearing is integrative and I believe him. I play musical instruments, playing an instrument you notice differences over time. Yes you notice “that sounds nice” right away, but subtle differences become evident over time. I’ve never A/B tested an amp versus another, blind or sighted. But my experience with instruments says you pick things up slowly. This makes me skeptical of blind tests. But it also makes me skeptical of people who change a cable and say, “a veil was lifted.” Still I’m not an audio equipment expert. I just got my first tube amp today. I didn’t A/B it against my solid state amp, I just started listening to it. I’ll tell you in a month how they compare. Some will refuse to believe if I don’t do a blind test. I’m ok.
  8. Pondoro

    New Amp

    It will do in the man cave, with the Heresy speakers. My wife won’t let it in the living room but that’s OK, she lets me buy what I want.
  9. Pondoro

    New Amp

    It needs some cosmetic TLC, I wanted to hear it first. Probably wood all around and a perforated metal face plate. Alternatively I am also looking for a suitable vintage container. The two small knobs are "Hum Balance" and channel balance and will not need easy access. Volume control is a Schiit Vali 2+.
  10. Pondoro

    New Amp

    I have had a set of 1983 Heresy I's for a while, driving them with a Yamaha Home Theatre Receiver, but only listening to music. Got an old Magnavox 185 Amp "basically free" and had it repaired (I would not say "restored.") New capacitors, new resistors only if the resistors measured out of spec, new input and output connections, added a pilot light. Three out of four output tubes measured well and were matched, the repairman found an old tube that matched the other three, so 3/4 may be original (they say Magnavox). The preamp tubes are brand new. Listening to Sinatra and Basie on the Heresy speakers. I am not an expert in audiophile terms, I would say the amp and speakers sound "smooth." If I turn it up too loud the trumpets and trombones distort, but at the levels I like all is good.
  11. 1983 H1's. I replaced the tiny terminal strips with banana plugs and stiffened the back panel with internal ribs. No electrical mods. I use a single KP-250 as a center channel and a non-Klipsch sub. The center channel is used in 3.1 for music that was originally recorded in mono - old jazz and rock. I replaced the grill cloths and bought aftermarket badges because they came without.
  12. I’m very happy with my new Yamaha and it is one of the few makes that is rarely criticized online. So if they look good and you can test them I’d say, “Grab one!”
  13. I showed this picture to my wife. I told her that her huge accumulation of mismatched coffee cups is no longer a problem.
  14. I’ve got one at a repair shop in southern Colorado as we speak but it will be several weeks before I can recommend him. He seems very knowledgeable.
  15. So did you stretch the cloth? or just lay it flat and then place the sprayed board on it? I am about to do this so I am very curious, your result looks great.
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