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Everything posted by lindsayt

  1. I paid £185 for the Pioneer SF-700 off ebay about 8 years ago now. It came with a Pioneer reverb unit that I've never used that I could probably sell on for a quid. The SF-700 has certain frequencies that you can use as the crossover points. In my system it's no big deal at all crossing over at 500 hz instead of the 400 hz recommended for my speaker drivers. In my system I use it with the 6 db slope, as per the recommendation for my speakers. I suspect the greater transparency of the SF-700 over the Ashly might be down to a simpler signal path. The Ashly was 24 db (4th order) crossover slope only. There are Sony adjustable active crossovers from the 1970's onwards that are highly rated by some, eg: When I've seen TA D88B's for sale it's been for over £1200...
  2. I use a Pioneer SF-700. It's more transparent than the Ashly adjustable active crossover I was using before. Reasonable quality solid state power amplifiers can be bought relatively cheaply. Like about £100ish for a stereo power amp.
  3. 1990's are a bit modern for me when it comes to analogue sources, speakers, main output valves. Of course it all depends what you are comparing to what. Good bad and indifferent hi-fi has been made in every decade since the 1950's. The age of an item doesn't really matter. It's what you have to pay now in 2020 to get something in fully working order (which can include broken stuff plus repair costs) and what sort of sound it offers and whether it conforms to any looks and size preferences that you have. The 1990's seem to be a sweet spot now for CD players for the price to buy vs the sound quality.
  4. I've got a pair of very early HB1's that I bought new in 1983 for £127. I refoamed them a few years ago and now they are used for surround duties in my AV system. I'd be happy to - for example - bring them down for the next Kegworth show and we could have a double HB1 room and you can hear for yourself if there are any significant differences. HB1's are lean and unextended in the bass, and the midrange is somewhat crude. And they lack the in-room authority that you get from properly engineered large high efficiency speakers. But for ultra cheapo budget speakers they're not too bad. I think they compare well to £500 ish modern brand new speakers. So much for technological progress over the last 37 years!
  5. I have. You've not missed out on anything.
  6. I estimate it'll cost about £1500 in parts to the nearest £500 to make my attempt at ultra high end DIY speakers. It remains to be seen if I will ever get all the parts, as I'm being rather selective in the drivers and I'm buying used to keep the costs down. And then it remains to be heard if they are actually ultra high end, or just high end. or midrange or a pig's dinner when it comes to sound quality. One thing that going DIY or listening to a variety of DIY does do: is to give you an interesting perspective on the economics of commercially available brand new midrange to high end by price hi-fi. It's a useful reminder of the realities of one company selling to another to sell to the consumer. What with VAT, overheads, profit margins etc.
  7. High end sound quality can be had at any price - including being paid to take it away. An admirable - and achievable - ambition is to get high end sound for budget money.
  8. This is the usual blinkered unbalanced nonsense that so often comes out when people talk about active vs passive speakers. As there is no mention whatsoever of the crap / additional components that active crossovers put in the signal path. Any advantage that can be had from going active can also be had even more so by going large to huge in the woofer department and going high efficiency. Huge woofers have less distortion than small woofers. Especially small woofers in slimline ported cabinets. Going active makes most sense if you're looking at small / low efficiency speakers. As active looks at addressing some of the faults of small low efficiency speakers. Going active makes less sense or no sense at all if you have large to huge high efficency speakers with well engineered drivers and cabinets. I've done bake-offs comparing very large high efficiency passive speakers to (more expensive to buy) active low efficiency speakers. The clear winners for looks have been the actives. The clear winners for sound quality have been the high efficiency passives. It's also complete nonsense to say that you never have to worry about whether you are using a suitable amplifier with active speakers. Based on my listening tests I would always take a good SET valve amplifier over a solid state amplifier for the midrange. And yet how many 3 way active speakers use SET amplification for the midrange instead of solid state? And please don't give me any nonsense about me liking the pleasant distortion of valve amplifiers. I hate the pipe and slippers sound that you get with not so good valve amplifiers. I love the transparent (wire with gain) type sound that good SET's have in the midrange. I don't like the mechanical/ robotic / transistorised hash sound that solid state amplifiers have (some to a greater degree than others).
  9. You don't need test tracks. Trust your ears. You've gone down a cul-de-sac. Time to turn around and get yourself out of there.
  10. It's disappointing how many hi-fidelity speakers there are with low fidelity bass because they have small drivers in slimline ported boxes.
  11. I gave up on Brit speakers 10 year ago. Couldn't find any that I'd want to keep and listen to in my home, at a price I'd be happy to pay. One man's meat is another man's poison . One thing about American speakers, is that they don't make them like they used to. Or if they do - eg Great Plains Audio - they don't make them at a price that's competitive with used off ebay.
  12. Speakers? No. Passive pre-amps? No. Tonearms and cartridges would also be a no. My Coincident Frankenstein prototype monoblocks had a switch on the back to swap between North American and European voltages. I expect it'll just switch between different windings on the power supply transformer. My Korneff clone was ordered for use with UK mains. And I'm guessing likewise with the used American made amps I've bought off UK ebay.
  13. I have the following North American gear in my home: Bozak Symphony speakers. Bought these from UK ebay. They have 2 x 8 ohm bass drivers when they should have 2 x 16 ohm. Converted them to actively bi-amped as a work-around. EV Sentry III speakers - made in Switzerland according to the label on them. I suspect they may simply have been assembled in Switzerland? This pair were in the main hall of the National Theatre for 35 years. I bought them from the person that removed them as part of a refurbishment of the theatre. EV Patrician 800's with 2 x 15" JBL's in custom cabs. I bought these off US ebay. Imported them in half a shipping container from near New York. The original owner died and the remaining family weren't into hi-fi in the way that he was. 4 x JBL/Urei amplifiers, bought 3 different models off UK ebay for prices ranging from £15 to £150. Coincident Frankenstein 300b prototypes. Pre-production version of the Coincident Frankenstein. Bought from used from US ebay, imported from California. Korneff clone. Bought this SET new from Tube Audio Labs. Various valves to keep the above 2 SET's going for a few years. Imported after buying from US ebay. A pair of American made tweeters. This is the first part of my long hoped for DIY Frankenstein raised from the dead from cherry picked body parts, 4 way, high efficiency speakers. The other 3 pairs of drivers have been hard to come by at the right price. If I lived in the USA I'd have them by now...
  14. Especially if they bought AVI ADM 9.1's. First of all they would have been looking to upgrade to AVI RS's. Then to getting an AVI sub. Followed by AVI 10's, with AVI ADM 40's somewhere along the way... All they'd need is a decent, used passive system to cure them of their upgradeitis.
  15. If you swap all the valves over, does the annoying buzz go from one channel to the other?
  16. Cool, I'd like to use Wharfedale Diamonds, because they're small and cheap. After applying this REW to them, will they have the clarity, detail resolution, and dynamics of my EV Patricians? Will they also have the bass extension at loud volumes that the Patricians have too?
  17. Steve, you ARE right on this. Good SET's, and I'd include your homebrew SET in the good SET category, get closer to sounding like there's nothing there between the source and the speakers - in the midrange - than any solid state amplifier I'd heard so far. The transistorised hash that even really highly rated solid state amplifiers put in the midrange and treble is noticeable when you do an AB demo against a good SET. It's most noticeable on vocals, pianos, acoustic guitars and cymbals. For sure, SET's aren't all things to all men. But give them an easy amplification task and it's the genre of amplifier that I'd pick to listen to if I could. THD+N distortion measurements are largely a load of cobblers. It's measuring particular types of distortion for steady sine waves at relatively high power levels. Music isn't steady sine waves. And music in the home, especially if you have high efficiency speakers can require less power than a mosquito twitching a knee. Published THD+N measurements all seem to cut off at 0.1 or 0.001 watts. Most of the time I listen at lower power levels than that. For late night listening to the opening bars of Bolero I will be listening at nano watt power levels, which is quite mind-boggling. Anyone claiming that any given solid state amp is delivering less THD+N than any given SET amp at 80 nano-watts is just guessing, or using wishful thinking.
  18. I have: Very large rooms Double glazing A reasonable distance to my nearest neighbour A 15 ips 2 track Studer Some master tapes, including some live master tapes Huge speakers that are flat down to about 20 to 25 hz that can play at a maximum of 119 dbs at 1 meter before I start worrying about voice-coil burn out I think there's still room for improvement in the speaker department. I think there's scope to eke out a bit more liveness from my recordings... As a general set of statements: Some recordings sound more live than others. Forget about anything with a red DR rating (No chance of sounding live with that much dynamic compression). Some houses and rooms allow hi fi systems to sound more live than others. Some systems sound more live than others.
  19. I agree. And I'd even take it further - depending on what's being compared. For example, I've been to a bake off where it took me a few seconds (of the first test track being played on the second system) for me to identify the major differences between 2 systems. Including which one was better and why. Every track after that just confirmed my initial findings. It helped that I was very familiar with the first system (but not the room) and familiar with the first test track.
  20. Do you think your modded Impulse speakers are as good as you can get when it comes to speakers? For me they wouldn't be. For you they might be. By all means try different digital front ends. But also keep an open mind on trying different speakers...
  21. For a while it seems that Marantz CD players were Philips with a different front panel. Philips made some really good and inexpensive CD players in the 1990's. In their case the lack of expense is a good thing because they used relatively simple analogue sections. Half an op amp per channel in some cases. Less is more. In my very limited experience the difference between CD players or DAC's is relatively small on the hi-fi system building scale. So much so that I'd rather have my choice of speakers with any of the cheapo and oldo CD players that I own than the finest digital source with typical run of the mill modern speakers. In digital systems, the old source first rule is turned on its' head. Speakers first, then amplification then the digital source. Different speakers have differences that are fundamental to my enjoyment of the music. Different tonal balances, different levels of clarity and dynamics. Different CD players or DAC's have differences that are the cherry on top of what's either a delicious Black Forest gateau or an only eating this to be polite icing covered fruitcake. I wouldn't spend a single penny more than £30 on my digital source until I've fully sorted and maxed out my speakers and amplification. I may never get to the stage of maxing those out...
  22. Ah yes, that clown Toole. How many great sounding speakers did Toole actually design? Please go ahead and name them. Toole is wedded to certain aspects of sound reproduction whilst ignoring others. I have zero respect for Toole. You can respect him if you want. I don't.
  23. The best way I can put it is to relax and let the music wash over you and let the hi-fi's speak for themselves. I am worse at auditioning when I'm under stress, or trying too hard. Try to level match. Or err on the side of what initially sounds better being played a little bit quieter. The same recording should be played on both. Playing different recordings on different equipment can still be an interesting and informative event but it's not auditioning with a view on what to buy or what to keep, unless the differences between the equipment is huge.
  24. I think you've raised a great point. All this "but it wasn't a level matched blind demo" rhetoric comes over to me as excuseitis from people when the results of sighted tests are announced and the results didn't go the way that someone with vested emotional interest wanted them to. There's also a large element of hypocrisy in it. Telling others to do blind testing where their own system wasn't selected on the basis of blind testing. And blind testing increases the stress levels of participants. Being under stress is not a good state of mind for evaluating hi-fi equipment. I have no issue with anyone doing sighted listening tests. Also, when it comes to listening tests, it is possible to get better at them with practise. To the point where you can go into a blind listening test session and take the mickey out of the manufacturer's sales rep...
  25. Pioneer Exclusive P3 or P3a. You'll probably have to import from Japan and adapt to 240 volt mains power supply. Or you might get one from Germany.