garyrc

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About garyrc

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    Main room: 2- 1982 Klipschorns with K-401 fiberglass mid horn upgrade (1987), and AK-4 Klipschorn stock upgrade (2006), Modified Belle Klipsch (2005) center channel with K401 horn in an enlarged hihat, 2 NAD C- 272 ss 150 wpc stereo power amps, Marantz AV7005 AV preamp/processor, Heresy II surround speakers driven by 1/2 NAD C-272 and a Yamaha 135 wt amp, NAD C-542 CD player, OPPO BDP-93 CD/SACD/DVD/Blu-ray player, Klipsch RSW-15 subwoofer, for movies only, Panasonic projector, 130" true width 2.35:1 projection screen (141.3" diagonal).

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  1. That reminds me of two contrasting experiences. I got a tour of the Disney studio back when they still used the multiplane camera and several layers of "cells" (cellulose acetate sheets on which characters and layers of foreground and background were painted) separated to provide depth. To go into the multiplane room we had to take off our jackets, put on a shower cap-like thing, and walk through a wind tunnel to blow off some of the dust. Sometime later, I took a class called "Discover your Ears," in which we visited virtually every recording studio in the Bay Area. Finally we visited one that had its own cutting lathe (Scully, I think). As we walked to the cutting room, I thought, "I wonder if we'll go through a wind tunnel?" We climbed a grimy staircase, and were ushered into a room that was full of cigarette smoke, with ashes flowing around. The guy monitoring the lathe had a cigarette in his hand. My Khorns top out at 16KHz, as measured by REW. Years ago, I measured them, in another room, with a borrowed RTA -- I forget the brand and model, but It may have been Audio Control -- and it picked up something at 22 Hz at, maybe 15 dB down. Would that be high frequency distortion?
  2. RF-5s can produce reference level (peaks of 105 dB) with 25 w.p.c. in a 3,000 cu.ft. room, at normal listening distance. That would be at 80 Hz and above, which is what you would be using if you have a subwoofer (which you should have).
  3. Put on some arousing music and pace around the room until something starts to write itself. Or Think of some social change you would like to see happen, and go out and help make it happen. Don't be afraid to see a shrink if you can afford one. I have Afib, and in addition to warfarin, the doctor put me on Zoloft, saying it wouldn't hurt me. Perhaps that is true of other, similar drugs. Go where there are a lot of people and try to get into a long conversation -- a coffee shop (decafe), a college, a community center, a municipal lake, etc. Where did you move to?
  4. Has anyone ever tried to measure it? Perhaps with big, heavy, single cone, sealed subwoofer that can be pushed fully against a wall with no gap (no base board). One could then run an REW curve with the sub facing the wall, and another curve with the cone facing out into the room, in exactly the same position, and overlay the two curves. Naturally, the sub would be turned off. My guess would be that the two curves would be totally the same.
  5. The room could easily make a 2 dB difference. For instance, moving a speaker from a position well out in a room into a corner can increase the bass volume by 6 dB.
  6. I doubt if the sympathetic vibrations of your subs will make any difference. About 30 t0 40 years ago, the Linn company floated the rumor that any diaphragm in the room -- from speakers down to the tiny diaphragms in telephone receivers would make the sound worse, and make it hard to sing along with the music, as well. Therefore, they said, no other speaker should be in a dealer's showroom where a Linn speaker was being demonstrated. Highly convenient, I'd say. I think we can consign the idea that vibrations from unused speakers affect the quality of reproduction to the factoid pile, as Norman Mailer first defined a factoid -- something that seems to be a fact, but isn't.
  7. I think that they were originally intended to be used down to 400 Hz, but in the later Klipschorn designs the K401 (same as K400, but made out of a different material), they used 450 Hz.
  8. Beware legs, unless you take steps to avoid a cavity under each speaker. The little trim indent under the stock Forte II won't hurt, and may be part of the design. Paul W. Klipsch warned against legs that form cavities in his cardinal rules: 5. Freedom from cavities. The space under a speaker box formed by mounting it on legs can destroy the bottom octave of response and deteriorate the next 2 octaves. Some people on the forum have put rigid, solid wood "aprons" around the DIY riser, flush with the front, sides, and backs of their speaker, to avoid a cavity. An alternative is to put a solid block of wood under the Forte II, the same length and width as the bottom of the Forte cabinet, your desired 3" to 5" thick, and firmly attached to avoid rattles. Here are PWK's rules. We don't see them often enough, and there are abridged versions of them floating around. I think this list is complete. Eight Cardinal Points of Reproduction 1.Freedom from distortion. Minimum distortion requires small amplitudes of air mass movements, even at peak transient power output. Bass diaphragm motion should not exceed 1/16 inch. Corner placement reduces distortion three fourths. 2.Optimum size of speaker. Large enough to reproduce the lowest audible bass tone at peak transient power output without distortion; not so large as to produce a separation of bass and treble events. Corner placement increases effective size of speaker 4 times. 3.Freedom from rattles. 4.Freedom from shadows. Obstructions between high frequency speaker and listeners can not be tolerated - treble wave-lengths do not turn corners. 5.Freedom from cavities. The space under a speaker box formed by mounting it on legs can destroy the bottom octave of response and deteriorate the next 2 octaves. 6.Adequate spacing for stereo. In a 14 x 17 foot room, for example, the 17-foot wall is apt to be best for the stereo speaker array. 7.Accurate spatial values. Ability to localize the virtual sound sources in their original spatial relationships requires 3 widely spaced speakers, regardless of size or type, retention of this quality over a wide listening area requires toe-in of the flanking speakers. 8.Flanking speakers toed-in. Such toe-in is naturally provided by corner speakers. The effect is to reduce shift of the virtual sound source for different listener locations. This is the only way to achieve a wide area for listening.
  9. I had an amp with a power meter on it. I once fed the Klipschorns 25 watts, at the end of a Mahler symphony. It was ultra loud in my room, with a Rat Shack SPL meter, "C" weight, "Fast" hitting 110 dB, and a bit more. The Belle and the La Scala have the same efficiency as each other, and about 2 dB less than the Khorn (only when measured with full range pink noise, rather than the typical 500 to 2kHz; the efficiency difference is caused by a deeper bass reach of the Khorns). As I said, the La Scala would need only 6.3 watts to produce 105 dB in a average room. That is THX/Dolby/Audyssey Reference level for Full Scale (fs; peaks, above 80 Hz ... actually, THX's original specs were "108 dB for "infrequent but recurrent peaks" above 80 Hz ... perhaps they've lightened up a bit.). Below 80 Hz, subwoofer level, fs 115 dB. Outside, any speaker might need many more watts, if you consider bass frequencies. Both the Belle and the La Scala are a bit light on the bass (below, maybe, 60 Hz) anyway. The temptation to turn up the bass at an outside event is considerable. The Heresy needs 7 times the power in watts as either the Belle or the La Scala. As others have said, the OP might consider a powered subwoofer (a powerful one!).
  10. Use a separate power amp. Get one with an input level pot. If your amp has the A and B channels wired in parallel, the impedance will be cut in half, making the speakers harder to drive. Do you have the original Heresy models ("Heresy I")? The Heresy and the La Scala are very different in sensitivity. To achieve a volume level requiring 6.3 watts into a La Scala, it takes 45 watts into a Heresy. The resulting SPL from either (6.3 watts into a La Scala or 45 watts into a Heresy) would be about 105 dB max in a 3,000 cu.ft. room. With a full 100 watts (each speaker pair with its own 100 watt amp), you would get a little more than 108 dB (each doubling of power in watts provides 3 dB of increased sound pressure level). Outside, who knows. Without room gain, you would loose at least 6 dB, I think. It's conceivable that backing up the speakers against an outside wall of the house might help, providing the wall is near where your guests, and the police, will gather.
  11. Actually, fairly high end audio has been in some theaters for a fairly long time. The first run, road-show 70mm theaters in big cities had great sound from 1955, on. The 70mm format of the 1950s and 1960s used 6 channel sound, either 6 magnetic stripes on the film (2 inside the sprocket holes, and 4 outside), or, in some very good theaters, all 6 channels on a 35mm full coated magnetic film synced with the picture. The soundtracks themselves were very high fidelity, and had great dynamic range. The Todd-AO company (sometimes with Magna theater corp.) made the first installations. They hired Ampex to do the sound, and JBL provided the speakers, which were huge two-way fully horn loaded affairs with an additional bass reflex port, and 4 15" woofers for each channel. The one Achilles heal was that the midrange/high horn took a nose dive just above 10K Hz. Even so, my friends and I, audiophiles all, preferred most 70mm film sound to the sound at the annual Hi Fi fairs. The lesser 35 mm theaters had 4 channel sound (when receiving a mag stripe version of the film), with speakers by either JBL or Altec. Cinerama generally had Altec. There was great showmanship in the exhibiting of road-show films then. The screens were deeply curved to be more engulfing and immersive. There almost always would be a 6 channel overture or prelude before the film started, then the lights would fade down, and the curtains would sweep open dramatically. The first surround sound film was Walt Disney's Fantasia in 1940. The Scientific American article (Peck, 1941) described the process -- "Fantasound" -- as having 94 sound locations in the theater (Google it!). The sound was optical, however, because that was all they had in 1940, but it was very carefully recorded, and really surprisingly good, except for noise.
  12. As I said earlier, my Klipschorn (I only tested the left one) has a dip at 350, rather than the 450 crossover point (it's the AK4 model), without Audyssey (Audyssey fixes that). Could this be the 450 crossover dip being somehow shifted down to 350? Does that kind of thing happen? The room has good corners, the Khorns are pushed in to the corners against the recommended gasket material. Length: 25 feet, width 16.75 feet, ceiling is sloped up from 8.5 feet in the front (where the Khorns are) to 11.84 feet in the back. The volume is 4,195 cu ft. I'm feeling that the next big improvements need to occur in recording practices, rather than in speakers. Hi End speakers are available at up to more than a million dollars a pair, and every time I hear one of the more reasonable ones (hard to find), they sound to me like they have veiled the sound to prettyfie it. Given a good recording, the Khorns sound more like the live sound of acoustically played music, IMO. I haven't heard the Jubilees. Audyssey seems to be slowly improving over the years, now has an app to customize the curve a bit, and the expensive alternative (Dirac (?) or some such) is reputed to be even better. You raise an interesting question, BeFuddledinMn. I think any Klipsch based hardware/softwear approach would have to measure and optimize the room, as well as the speakers, in both the frequency and time domains to improve on current room optimizers. Some advocate manually equalizing with REW. Last time I talked to Klipsch customer service, Steve Phillips hinted that the official position of Klipsch was that the Klipschorn was flat enough, and that fooling around with it with EQ optimizers could sometimes do more harm to the sound than help it. I remember Roy Delgado, back in the late 1980s, telling me, "Mr. K doesn't like equalizers." But the technology has changed a lot since then, and the Khorn has also changed. I'm no expert, but here is what I think: My Khorns sound fine without Audyssey, and even better, markedly, with Audyssey (speakers this efficient need a work around for Audyssey to turn them down enough without maxing out -- "mining out" -- at -12 dB on most preamp/processors or AVRs. This doesn't affect the EQ/time domain compensation, just the overall levels per speaker, and is easily remedied with a test disk in the player, but never with the built-in pink noise in preamp/processors or AVRs, because the noise does not go through the finished Audyssey EQ, and therefore often produces incorrect results.). Bi-amping or Tri-amping with the right equipment can help address the internal time misalignment of a Khorn, which Audyssey can't touch. Chris A and others have written about this on the forum, and I think Roy Delgado has addressed it in regard to the Jubilee. To me, the Khorn sounds excellent without it, but, if I later Bi/Tri amp I may see an improvement. Variation in recording techniques, the "loudness wars," and screwing up recordings (at least pop/rock/alt/metal, less so for classical, jazz, and DTS HD Master or Dolby Tru-HD Blu-ray movie soundtracks) make any Khorn phase/polarity problems seem minor. Chris A has written about re-mastering solutions on the forum. Speaking of phase, one corporation offered a device in the '70s and '80s that would deliberately throw the sound out of phase, thinking that the result would be an improvement. I think they called it the "Aural Exciter," or something like that. Do I remember this correctly? I'm not sure. Meanwhile, a studio in Oakland received shipment of a set of Altec 604Es that were accidentally wired out of phase. Most of the recording engineers liked them better than the old, correctly wired ones, and, I guess, wondered how Altec improved them. One engineer, who didn't like them, conceded that they were, "Close enough for Rock and Roll." One persistent conundrum in room EQ is whether to optimize for one listening position or for several. Even without any EQ, if you move your head about a foot or two, the sound changes. Yes, the brain will partly compensate for this, thank goodness. Someone sitting next to you and you will get different sound, and one position may measure better, or be preferred, and these two are not necessarily the same. With only one microphone location, placed at the Main Listening Position, this is still true. Audyssey XT and XT32 use 8 mic positions and use a "fuzzy logic" assessment, rather than an average, to get around this. But those who usually listen alone are advised to locate all 8 mic positions around the location of their (one) head. The other persistent problem is whether to try to get the frequency response flat. Holt, the founder of Stereophile, wrote an article called "Down with Flat." His stance is obvious. Audyssey provides a "Flat" option, and a "Reference" option. Reference provides a gentle roll off in the extreme highs, -2 dB at 10K and -6 dB at 20K. They claim this is the best curve for most living rooms and HTs. This curve also provides a slight dip at just about 2K and a little above. The CTO and founder says he has never heard a speaker that was not improved by the addition this dip. With a good, clean, low distortion recording, I tend to prefer Audyssey Flat, but with a recording with garbage at the top, I prefer Audyssey Reference, to get "garbage in, clean sound out." The "Harmon curve" basically is about 10 dB higher at the bass end than at the treble end. The notorious X curve in movie theaters uses a more extreme treble roll off, that is a disaster in a well treated room, and, after 40 plus years, is falling out of favor in the cinemas themselves (Google it). We all try for the sound we like, and if altering the internal phase anomalies that might be in the Khorn helps us achieve this, so be it. If all else fails, there is alchemy.
  13. Were the top hats damaged at all? I'd wonder about heat or smoke damage (grime deposits) to the inner parts of drivers, or even crossovers. If the fire was close enough to damage the bass bins ...... IMO, the insurance should buy you whole new ones, if it is true replacement insurance. Good luck. Please let us know how it comes out.
  14. HDBRbuilder, did you have Heresy Is or IIs? How many dB different in sensitivity are the JBL 4311 and the Klipsch Heresy? djk, how powerful an amp were you driving into clipping with these two speakers? I have heard Heresy Is many times, and have Heresy IIs as surrounds, but only heard the 4311 a few times, once at the Different Fur Trading Company, where they sounded great with a big amp, as monitors for a synthesizer, at Sound Genesis where the La Scalas wiped them, and at the Tower Records Classical room, where the clerk complained that they were terrible. I bought a Paganini violin CD at TR that day, and found that the one badly recorded selection sounded better with their 4311s (which veiled some of the harshness, IMO) than with my Klipschorns at home, BUT all of the other selections sounded better on the Khorns, with more detail, texture and "air." djk, did JBL ever sell their speakers to another company, like Klipsch? I wonder if they would have permitted their 077 to be used in a Klipsch. I'd love to hear them in a Klipschorn, just to see. A wood worker I knew of built Khorns to order with JBL 075s instead of the K77s, but I never got to hear them. There were home brew Altecs with A7 guts and either JBL 075s or 077s on top. I heard one of those, briefly. If you will permit audiophile talk, that one sounded "silvery," while the Khorns with stock parts sounded "golden." .
  15. And Radio Shack copied the waffled pattern, and sold in rolls. HDBRbuilder, can you describe the subjective difference in the sound of the 4311 and the Heresy? I had a pair of JBL 030s (15" D130 extended range and 075 ring radiator tweeter, x-over at 2,500 Hz) in big JBL C-34 rear loaded horn cabinets, located in room corners. Compared to my current Klipschorns: Both were equally bright, but in very different ways. The 030s were harsh with most program material, but the harshness tended to go away when bass boost was applied to restore the balance. They were not at all "flat," and the bass rolled off below 80 Hz. They were very clean and precise sounding. The Klipschorns are even more clean and precise, harsh on only a few poorly recorded CDs, and not at all on Blu-ray, DVD, DVD-A, and SACD recordings. The Khorns have good bass extending smoothly to more than an octave below the 030s, and "useable," (to steal JBL's term to describe a Klipsch) to 24 Hz, with considerable attenuation. Both are very efficient and dynamic, but the Khorns are more so.