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About hearhere

  • Rank
    Experienced Wammer

Personal Info

  • Location
    Portsmouth, UK
  • Real Name

Wigwam Info

  • Digital Source 1
    NAD M50.2
  • DAC
    NAD M33
  • Integrated Amp
    NAD M33
  • Pre-Amp
    NAD M12
  • Power Amp/s
    Consonance Cyber 845
  • My Speakers
    Avantgarde Duo XD
  • Trade Status
    I am not in the Hi-Fi trade

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609 profile views
  1. Partly agree, partly disagree! Taking your points: 1. Most reviews, particularly Youtube ones done by people totally unqualified, I agree with you. Well designed and conducted reviews (eg by Stereophile reviewers) are very much better and can steer one towards adding an item to one’s Short List, or striking it off. I find your claim rather contradicted by your later comment "Never take a flier without doing the research, especially when buying new". Reading reviews (worthwhile ones) is the best research one can do, short of actually listening! 2. Cheap brands using cheap components in cheap enclosures are likely to offer poor sound quality, though there are lots of "good value" devices around and even more "grossly over-priced" ones too. 3. Yes, although far and away it's best to find speakers that are sympathetic to your room and then look for components to keep your speakers happy. Buying new speakers to match an existing amp is really rather daft! 4. Yes, couldn't agree more although listening at showrooms is a good way to whittle down one's short list to leave just 2 or 3 candidates to try at home before purchase. I failed in this respect a couple of years ago after doing research (all boxes ticked) and a showroom demo (sounded great) only to find these £18K speakers really disappointed in my own room. I later realised the reason, but this was something I'd be unlikely to learn doing research or listening at a showroom. Incidentally, my speaker choice in around 2002 was almost entirely prompted by a Stereophile review that described exactly the type of sound I was looking for and very different from the brutish speakers I had bought used a year or so earlier. What a breath of fresh air these speakers were – and their successors still are! A brand and type of speaker I’d never seriously considered before reading the review.
  2. hearhere


    Gosh! I'd hate to ever be in the position that I can't learn more, even from those who's beliefs I don't agree with!
  3. hearhere


    Yes I agree. My speakers certainly have a small sweet spot, but that’s my only general criticism of them. I note that you also have horns (at least I guess speakers with a Klipsch badge are), so they are likely to have a relatively small sweet spot too. If I reduce toe-in, the sparkle at the sweet spot is reduced but the sweet spot is considerably widened. Since my critical listening is from one position, this narrow spot suits me. I have considered omni-directional speakers (German Physics or MBL) for my strange-shaped room, but the demos I've experienced in showrooms have disappointed in as much as they have no sweet spot as such and imaging (a feature I highly value) is dramatically less than my horn speakers offer. My room was "bathroom-like" when I first moved here, but it's now so much improved, I find that applying "room correction" filters have more disadvantage than advantage. I've expressed my opinion as to why this might be, but others will disagree. That's a healthy position of course and to be expected on any forum. The hope is that different points of view are unbiasedly considered by those with a different belief. Otherwise we become no wiser! I have benefited from others' convincing arguments against a view I had previously held.
  4. hearhere


    This rather confirms my fears that Dirac and similar systems may lead to a lowering of loudspeaker design standards. If a manufacturer can put 3 drivers that between them can reproduce the full range of frequencies via a crude crossover to prevent damage to the mid and top ones into an interesting enclosure, why should he bother to tune the system to produce outstanding and even sound? They can bung a DSP system at it and leave tuning to the magic of Dirac to fix any anomalies. This is of course great for the DIY’er who doesn't have the wherewithal to exhaustively test his efforts, but commercially speaker builders SHOULD have these resources and we should expect their speakers to be as near perfect as possible in a reasonably good room. With DSP, do they really need to spend so much time, effort and cost in designing the ultimate speaker? Cynical view maybe, but I would not be at all surprised to see some of the big, budget-conscious manufacturers taking this route by introducing active speakers that totally rely on DSP to make them sound something better than dire! But maybe that's the way things will go in the mid-fi market - and possibly a good thing for a non-critical sound point of view. After all, most music listeners are happy with MP3 streamed music through ear plugs, when their parent were listening to CDs or LPs
  5. hearhere


    Any signal that is subjected to an additional layer of processing is affected. My Dirac Live only adjusts sub 500 Hz but there is no doubt whatsoever that the top end loses some of its sparkle when the filter in engaged. For this reason I disengage it. The best solution of course is to choose the right type of speaker for your room or listening preferences and spend a great deal of time finely adjusting their position, toe-in, tilt, etc. Choosing sympathetic areas of carpet, curtains and furniture will make a huge difference such that resorting to room treatment can normally be avoided (it never adds to the room's looks) and DRC is the very last resort and normally an indication that the owner can't (or can't be bothered to) get other things right! Dirac Live is an automated system by default. Granted you can adjust the proposed frequency line if you think you can improve on Dirac's calculations, but I'd suggest that 90% of Dirac (and RP, MARS, etc) users will settle for the default. In poor systems it will make a big perceived improvement, but in good quality, well set up systems in sympathetically furnished rooms, these DRC systems disappoint. I can do what you do by applying bass speaker adjustments in my Avantgarde Duo XD speakers and this has absolutely zero effect on what goes to the mid and top drivers as the signal reaches them untainted by DRC. Unfortunately I don't have a calibrated mic and haven't yet loaded REW to allow me to take measurements to help with XD settings. These are always applied manually, but I find the sound pretty good now I've done the other work in my room. If you're a REW expect, I'd be delighted if you could visit me so we can get these speakers sounding better than they already are without the Dirac filter. Peter
  6. hearhere


    But most of the bread-and-butter commercial systems buit into full-range amps (RoomPerfect, Dirac, MARS, etc) are automated in that the software uses the mic's readings to flatten the frequency curve. Granted the user can manually change the suggested curve, but do most of us think they know better than the system? Peter
  7. hearhere


    Yes, but what I was pointing out is that if DSP is built into full-range amps (as most are) the signal is compromised by this extra layer of processing. Although Dirac (for example) only ADJUSTS frequencies below 500Hz, the entire signal is molested by this extra processing stage. Only if the signal is split at preamp level and the upper frequencies go to a pure (non-DSP) amplifier with bass going to a separate DPS enabled amp, is this problem avoided Martin Logan includes Anthem in the bass amps built into their speakers, so allowing the upper frequencies to survive unmolested by DSP. Similarly Avantgarde include XD software that enables massive adjustment to the bass, although it's not automated by the software. In this case, one has to buy a mic and use REW for example to see where problems exist and do the adjustments manually using XD. Again this allows the upper frequencies to escape DPS altogether. Otherwise bi-amping is the only satisfactory way to apply room correction without loosing some of the fidelity of music.
  8. hearhere


    I presume you are talking about room correction processing. If so, I'm in general agreement with you. In fact I've had 4 systems in my own flat where measurements are taken with a microphone and software analyses the results and offers a filter that effectively flattens the response curve. 3 of the systems I've has are built into full-range amplifiers (Dirac Live in NAD, RoomPerfect in Lyngdorf and MARS in Micromega) and the 4th was built into the bass amplifier within a hybrid speaker (Anthem in Martin Logan) All great in theory, but as you have found, all is not rosy! I'm sure the resultant curve is more accurate, but this comes at a cost in sound quality - there's a noticeable loss of sparkle / tingle factor at the top end. Thinking about it, although it's generally only the bass that needs adjustment, the full-range signal is subjected to this additional layer of processing, even if (as in Dirac Live in my NAD) there is no adjustment to frequencies about 500Hz. My conclusions - DSP is an extra layer of signal processing that (like tone controls, graphic equalisers, etc) inevitably has a slight adverse effect on music and should ideally be avoided. At lower frequencies, DSP is no problem and could well improve the frequency response. However DSP should be avoided for high frequency processing. To achieve the benefit of low frequency DSP (which is caused by poor room acoustics) without losing the sparkle one gets from higher frequencies, the output from a preamp needs to be split first and then bi-amped with DSP applied only to the bass amp. Or - DSP should be built into the bass amp within hybrid speakers - such as newer Martin Logans and Avantgardes. DSP is more valid in AV systems with many speakers that need help to work in harmony and where the listener is also a watcher, so his brain is less critical of the audio element!
  9. Perhaps in a "normal" market where the manufacturer sells only to a wholesaler (or distributor) and they sell to dealers with High Street rents and rates to pay and they sell to us. A bit different if the manufacturers sells direct to gullible (or otherwise) end users. The component costs mentioned were retail ones which of course the manufacturer doesn't pay - more like 50% of retail. So we have this box of parts that may have cost the manufacturer £160 trade. He sells direct for £1500 or more recently £1699. It just gets better and better - for RA at least!
  10. I had a 10" bass driver in my Avantgarde system that occasionally produced a scratching sound and I turned it 180 degrees on the basis tat gravity may be the culprit over time causing a degree of sagging. I still think it's a plausible possibility and worth trying, but in the event (after discussing with the speaker manufacturer) it turned out that a small resistor added to the crossover and adjustment of a pot fixed the problem. Strange that it only showed up after 10 years!
  11. But that's Kimber stuff that our friend imports and distributes at double the US price!
  12. I think it depends more on how they have been looked after. Damp and over-loading are not good for drivers and foam surreounds will need replacing in time, even if well looked after.
  13. Yes, I'm sure there are, but I bet there'll be more than a few feet of cable (just copper now) connected to a few 13Amp sockets that are no doubt pretty acceptable. Most mains devices have worthwhile filters or 1:1 transformers that are conceivably able to minimise interference.
  14. Certainly good service and not outrageous prices when comparing with audiophile exotica. It's odd that they don't offer room size guidence for their speakers. Certainly their speakers can sound very much "in-yer-face" if you choose too large. In my previous 320 sq ft 5-sided room with 10 ft ceilings, I found the 50 Actices too uncomfortable to live with. In my present room (975 sq ft 7'7 ceilings), I smetimes wonder what the latest 100 or more likely the 200 would sound like. QUAD deserves a mention despite being built in China now. They maintain their Huntington HQ and service speakers there. As long as the UK people keep their Chinese builders on their toes regarding quality control, nothing much to fear, unless you are averse to bargain prices. The QUAD 2912 is still a true bargain despite recent increases to £8.5K
  15. Ah, so someone has told him that wires need to be correctly coloured to comply, but hasn't he taken this opportunity to ditch all that costly silver and replace it with copper, and to use twin-core cable instead of labour-intensive 4-strand plaiting? Golly, is it even better value now? Perhaps I should rush our and buy one at this new enhanced price! How does the old expression go - "a fool and his money are soon parted"? Lucky for RA, there are plenty of fools in this hobby. I wonder if anyone here will admit to owning one of these wonderful power blocks? Go on - tell us.
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