Official A/V Thread

Kiel

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I used to have an MZ R70 and I thought it was pretty damn cool at the time. And I still kind of do.
 

ki_atsushi

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Used to have one of these, bought it new for a good deal. Lasted about 2 months before it broke.

Nevermind then, I would've thought their flagship model would be more durable. Not taking a chance on $800. :(
 

fake

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Frickin' love minidiscs. I really thought that format had a lot going for it.

Are you using ATRAC compression? Because otherwise it sholuld be CD quality.

One of these days I want to pick up one of these:

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2050601.m570.l1313.TR3.TRC1.A0.H0.XSony+MZ-RH1.TRS0&_nkw=Sony+MZ-RH1&_sacat=0

The fucking king of all MD players :drool:

Yeah, the MZ-RH1 is sexy AF. I've got the N707.

I had to track down a patched copy of SonicStage 4.3. It takes in a ton of different formats, but upon transferring them to MD, it converts them - I'm not sure if turns them into ATRAC or into PCM. I was just using meh MP3s I had downloaded. I didn't bother ripping a CD and I don't think it will recognize my ALAC files on my legit music hard drive. I did make the mistake of recording in LP mode as opposed to standard mode.

Fun fact: The transfer protocol for PC/MD compatibility uses MagicGate, which is also what the PS2 uses for communicating with its memory cards.
 

ki_atsushi

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Yeah, the MZ-RH1 is sexy AF. I've got the N707.

I had to track down a patched copy of SonicStage 4.3. It takes in a ton of different formats, but upon transferring them to MD, it converts them - I'm not sure if turns them into ATRAC or into PCM. I was just using meh MP3s I had downloaded. I didn't bother ripping a CD and I don't think it will recognize my ALAC files on my legit music hard drive. I did make the mistake of recording in LP mode as opposed to standard mode.

Fun fact: The transfer protocol for PC/MD compatibility uses MagicGate, which is also what the PS2 uses for communicating with its memory cards.

Man, this reminded me what a pain the NetMD players were. In case I ever get back into the format, I'm going to see if Sharp's players are any easier to use.
 

Neo Ash

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I have been exceedingly fortunate to be in a position to own more than my fair share of nice audio gear over the years. It has always been a blast to get new gear and especially own multiple piece for comparison shootouts. In the end, you have to just go with what you enjoy. Several years ago, I was a hard core tube snob. However, I have bounced between tube and SS. I think the most important thing is to enjoy listening to music, and not equipment. The gear is simply a means to an end. I must admit that I, like many in the audio hobby, have been guilty of listening to just the equipment. That's something I have been trying to do less of as I continue to mature in the hifi hobby. My advice to everyone is to own stuff a little long and listen a little closer before making changes.

Recently some tube and solid state gear has been doing battle in my listening room; two titans, Bryston and Audio Research, facing off. What I have learned is there's no right or wrong. They both rock. I'm also doing another shootout with a tube preamp and SS preamp head to head, also from the same manufacturers.

IMG_2192.JPG
 

fake

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What's your process for replacing a component? What if you buy something new and don't like it after comparing? Are you able to return the new purchase?
 

wataru330

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I have been exceedingly fortunate to be in a position to own more than my fair share of nice audio gear over the years. It has always been a blast to get new gear and especially own multiple piece for comparison shootouts. In the end, you have to just go with what you enjoy. Several years ago, I was a hard core tube snob. However, I have bounced between tube and SS. I think the most important thing is to enjoy listening to music, and not equipment. The gear is simply a means to an end. I must admit that I, like many in the audio hobby, have been guilty of listening to just the equipment. That's something I have been trying to do less of as I continue to mature in the hifi hobby. My advice to everyone is to own stuff a little long and listen a little closer before making changes.

Recently some tube and solid state gear has been doing battle in my listening room; two titans, Bryston and Audio Research, facing off. What I have learned is there's no right or wrong. They both rock. I'm also doing another shootout with a tube preamp and SS preamp head to head, also from the same manufacturers.

View attachment 42878

I love reading your posts, and appreciate the times you have quoted me, and offered thoughtful responses.

We posted back and forth briefly, about low-watt set ups.

I'm still quite interested in pursuing a low watt set up at some point; any new & or additional takes on it?

Thanks in advance!
 

Neo Ash

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What's your process for replacing a component? What if you buy something new and don't like it after comparing? Are you able to return the new purchase?

Honestly, most changes occur swiftly and often on a whim. It's my opinion that any decent dealer should allow home auditions for serious clients. They can instantly identify those clients and separate them from the ones that will ultimately be a waste of time for one reason or another. Building relationships with dealers certainly helps. I've made many connections over the years. I guess it comes down to how hardcore you are; with one dealer in particular, I just text message the owner directly. One thing that really annoys me are the super uptight snobbish dealers that can be almost disrespectful to potential shoppers that fall outside of their preconceived notions of "what" their customer should be - big tymers. Often times that type of dealer all but alienate the overwhelming majority of buyers by offering almost entirely the most esoteric upper echelons brands. They're too caught up in selling an image and bling. In contrast one of my absolute favorite dealers to interact with is really down to earth and loves to rock out to Dio.:buttrock: That dude runs his shop for the right reason, the enjoyment of music.

I've only had one instance where I was really disappointed with a deal and returned an item. It was as much about being disappointed with the dealer as anything. I had to rely on them as they were out of state; this particular item has somewhat limited distribution channels. They accepted the return several weeks after I had taken delivery. We ended up working out a swap. I don't wish to name any dealers or products. It was a somewhat elaborate turntable that I made some specific custom configuration requests on. Overall, it a real pain moving around 60 pounds worth of turntable.

You never really know how any component will truly work out until it's in your in your setup. After being fairly dedicated to the hobby for so long, I learned a lot about what just works. Making a total wrong turn isn't a real concern at this point for me. I have plenty of stuff on hand for comparison. There are setups in the living room, master bedroom, my dedicated room, on and off again vintage system, and my wife even have a small little separate setup just for her use. Then there's all the stuff in closets.:emb:

I'm still quite interested in pursuing a low watt set up at some point; any new & or additional takes on it?




Thanks in advance!

It's a cool path to go down for sure. Like I said, there's no right or wrong as long as it gives you the music enjoyment you're seeking. I find a lot of positive attributes to the simplicity of design that is often utilized in this product category. Often times the components and speakers take minimalist approach. There's certainly something to be said regarding less can be more. Getting high efficiency speakers is a must. I feel fairly strongly that a tube based system is really the best way to go. If that's something you're not interested, I'd suggest the gear by First Watt. I have not personally used First Watt components. However, this is one of Nelson Pass's companies, and I'm very familiar with Pass Labs; excellent smooth sounding class A solid state. Getting back to tubes, one of my favorite, and affordable, manufacturers is Quicksilver. They have a pair of mono amps explicitly designed for high efficiency speakers. I had a pair of their recently discontinued, 25 watt, mini-mono's. Exceptional value for the price. All hand made in the US, with point to point wiring, and lots of options for tubes. They also make a pretty nice preamp for a very reasonable price. Decware is another maker of tube gear that has been around for a long time. Their products share the same positive attributes of the Quicksilvers, plus they provide a lifetime warranty to the original owner and the option to certify preowned gear purchased 2nd hand. Quicksilver is certainly something I hope to own again at some point; I can't say enough positive comments on these products. I haven't owned Decware, but did research it heavily, and came very...very....close to purchasing. Recently, Wolf Ear Audio has caught my attention, as I still keep tabs on world of flea watt amps. I don't have any firsthand experience and not a lot of info. But it does appear to be nicely made, in N. America, product that's gaining some traction.

Concerning speakers for this type of setup try to stick with a rating of around 95dB/1w/1m or higher, if plan to use a very low powered amp. Example 2 watt. Most people do not realize how little power is typically required for listening. Having owned amps with meters I know firsthand how little power is often required. For example, in my 12x14 dedicated room, using 90dB efficient speakers I would see peaks of just 1 watt; most of the time it was between 1/4 to 1/2 a watt. Some of the best systems I have experience have been low watt. I've had positive experiences with Klipsch Heresy III speaker; they sound great in the right all tube setup and are extremely efficient. Deals can be easily found online for discounted new in box pairs; obviously, preowned is even more affordable. Some Klipsch fans have a preference of the II over the III. The older version is super affordable. These are part of the Heritage line and should not be confused with their lower tier products; I'd defiantly own a pair. Another excellent option, if you want a more "exclusive" brand, is Tyler Acoustics. They have a model that is comparative to the Heresy III. I like the Tyler products. Great sound and craftsmanship. I met the owner of the company once at a hifi event; very laidback and a straight shooter. If you are strongly opposed to horns, Omega makes some very nice high efficiency full range single driver speakers that are devoid of a crossover. I have had multiple interactions with the owner/designer; they make in my opinion one of the best affordable speakers of this design type. Omega has some very affordable options. Some very good introductory information can be found on their website; well worth the read to get you up to speed on this sector of hifi.

There are several other combinations that I have auditioned that are more costly than what I have suggested. Not knowing your budget, I felt tossing those out there wasn't necessary. But feel free to ask and I'll share my experience and opinion on those product combinations.

If you have any super specific questions, feel free to drop me a PM.
 
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Kiel

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One thing that really annoys me are the super uptight snobbish dealers that can be almost disrespectful to potential shoppers that fall outside of their preconceived notions of "what" their customer should be - big tymers. Often times that type of dealer all but alienate the overwhelming majority of buyers by offering almost entirely the most esoteric upper echelons brands. They're too caught up in selling an image and bling.

Unfortunately this is every place local to me. I've had to deal with a lot of guff
 

madman

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Minidisc is still a pretty fun format, my old portable Sharp 722 is still kickin'. The format never really caught on in the States, but new blanks are being sold in Japan which is pretty cool.
 

NGCDFreak

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Minidisc is still a pretty fun format, my old portable Sharp 722 is still kickin'. The format never really caught on in the States, but new blanks are being sold in Japan which is pretty cool.

I too still too like the Minidisc format.
 

kernow

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hifi-exeter.jpg

I haven't posted my setup in a while and a fair bit has changed.

Michell Gyro SE / HR External PSU, SME IV tonearm with fluid damper add-on, transfiguration phoenix cartridge and pedersen armboard mod.

Going into a custom hashimoto HM-3 moving coil step up transformer (http://www.ebay.com/itm/370887489586) which goes into an EAR 834P Deluxe phono stage.

This goes into an EAR 8L6 integrated into Tannoy prestige Turnberry speakers.

CD player is the same Quad CDP2 from a decade ago, still love it. So versatile and a bargain nowadays.

Other bits, isotek minisub, Chromecast audio, platfoam studio stands.

:)
 
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terry.330

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Damn bro, long journey from the all Quad setup of old. Fucking hell.

Also nice TF MPs.
 

kernow

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Cheers!
I'm going to get a new digital front-end soon but can't decide on a DAC or CDP
 

Tripredacus

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All the work I did to have both TVs use the same surround has been reverted! It was an interesting experiment, but I think I would rather go the (completely) unnecessary route of having two 5.1 surround systems in the same room.
 

Neo Ash

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Cheers!
I'm going to get a new digital front-end soon but can't decide on a DAC or CDP

Unless you really just want a CD player, I'd strongly urge you not to go down that path. Keep your Quad CD player and use it as a transport for whatever DAC you end up with. Focus all the money into the DAC. With a good modern DAC there's no need to be concerned about jitter or the need to have a crazy expensive transport. Your current CD player is way more than adequate. I've done some DAC/transport CD player comparisons, PM me if you want details or a more in depth discussion.

Glad to see you gave tubes and spinning vinyl a go. :cool:
 
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kernow

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Can't beat vinyl and valves together!

I came close to an esoteric D05 combo recently but didn't in the end. I don't want to buy a DAC and stream 320k Spotify through it so I was thinking another CDP with digital in.

Then realised I couldn't be bothered and just put some music on.
 

max 330 mega

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added 2 technics sb-sl701 speakers to add more bas to the mix and the new record cabinet. the cat thinks its cool at least!
 

Kiel

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And I like that cat
 

Jibbajaba

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AGoTyrQ.jpg

Just got a new desktop setup for my desk at work. I would have put the receiver on a side table, but it helps line up the screen on my macbook with the bigger display. My friend gave me his dad's old Sansui 1000x, so I spent a few hours this weekend taking it apart and de-oxiting everything and cleaning the innards (it has obviously been stored long-term in a garage), plus giving the finish on the wooden cabinet a little TLC. This receiver really makes the Minimus 7's sound nice. I previously had them plugged into a Yamaha BPC receiver and they sounded gutless. I can now see why these speakers are held in such high regard for what they are.

The desk BTW is an old battleship grey Steelcase desk from probably the 60's or so. I saved it from being sent to University surplus.
 

ki_atsushi

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View attachment 43290

Just got a new desktop setup for my desk at work. I would have put the receiver on a side table, but it helps line up the screen on my macbook with the bigger display. My friend gave me his dad's old Sansui 1000x, so I spent a few hours this weekend taking it apart and de-oxiting everything and cleaning the innards (it has obviously been stored long-term in a garage), plus giving the finish on the wooden cabinet a little TLC. This receiver really makes the Minimus 7's sound nice. I previously had them plugged into a Yamaha BPC receiver and they sounded gutless. I can now see why these speakers are held in such high regard for what they are.

The desk BTW is an old battleship grey Steelcase desk from probably the 60's or so. I saved it from being sent to University surplus.

Nice setup! Vintage receivers are boss.

My grandpa has that exact desk too, heavy as shit and solid as a tank. If you ever have to duck and cover, that is the desk to do it under.
 

fake

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Wow, very attractive desk layout, Jibbs.

Question: Does anyone use studio monitors for listening (as opposed to engineering / mixing)? I've been wanting to buy the 5" JBLs for a while now to use alongside Logic, but if they're good for general playback as well, that might seal the deal. Since they're nearfield monitors, would they not sound good / fill up a small room?

Finally, here's a great Minidisc video:
 

Neo Ash

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Question: Does anyone use studio monitors for listening (as opposed to engineering / mixing)? I've been wanting to buy the 5" JBLs for a while now to use alongside Logic, but if they're good for general playback as well, that might seal the deal. Since they're nearfield monitors, would they not sound good / fill up a small room?

About a year ago, I was really pursuing adding a pair of studio monitors to my 2-ch system. A good speaker is a good speaker and can potentially fill both roles for studio and casual listening. The Yamaha NS10 was originally intended for home use. It's important to keep in mind that studio monitors are designed to be brutally honest and not color the sound. Some people like that and others don't; it defiantly comes down to preference. I have had my 2-ch system, at various incarnations, at those points where poor recordings are not very listenable. You can always add a couple of subwoofers to help augment the lack of bottom end when using monitors in a larger room. A little common sense is all that's required; a small pair of desktop monitors are not going to fill a large room with big sound. I have heard some smaller speakers sound huge; however, there's a trade off in cost.

I was focused on some of the larger JBLs in their Synthesis line, in particular the 4429 and 4306. However, sourcing them in the US is extremely difficult; the closest source I could track down required a multi-hour drive. That fact, coupled with fears of importing them from Asia, ultimately resulted in giving up on that pursuit. I still want to pick up a pair of either 4425 or 4430 speakers one of these days. Along that journey, I can across of lot of positive comments on the JBL 530 Studio speakers. I assume these are the JBLs you are referring to. From everything I came across, they are a fantastic value; I personally don't have any first-hand experience with them.

After being shifted off the JBL track, I nearly purchased some Amphion speakers. They originally started out as a hifi company and latter entered the pro world. They are highly regarded. If it came down to the JBL 530 or the Amphion One12, I'd go with the latter. Without getting super technical, the Amphion has a lot of design aspects I like; PM me if you want the gory details.

If you're looking at active studio speakers, I don't have a lot of experience in that arena. I have spent time with various speakers by Genelec and really liked them. Not sure what your budget tops out at, so you might have to look at preowned. They hold their value and should be an easy resell if you decide to move on.
 
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fake

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Thanks for the info. I do think I want perfectly neutral playback, but then again, a lot of my favorite stuff was produced on a pretty low budget. I use a PreSonus Firewire DAC in my Logic setup, so I can use the outputs on there for the JBL monitors and still use the iMac's output for my standard desktop speakers for when needed. I might go for it.
 

Teddy KGB

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Long time no see, folks. Back in January I picked up a Schiit Jotunheim headphone amp / pre-amp + their integrated balanced DAC module. I needed something minimalist for my desk in my home office but also something that could double-up as a pre-amp to my Bryston 2B LP, which is powering a couple LS50s.

All in all, pretty stoked with this piecemeal set-up when I'm unable to do use my main stereo (aka, when the kiddos have taken over the house).

Lb00fDx.jpg


PS - FU Ash. ;)
 
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