Audiophiles . . .

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by SoonerAviator, Jan 9, 2017.

  1. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator En-Route

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    I have not found a dealer who has the RTi or TSi lineup from Polk. I have heard their Monitor-series (more entry level) and have owned several models of their car audio lineup over the preceding decade. The Monitor line had decent imaging and smooth mid-range, but had little mid-bass and even less presence which I attribute to lack of driver size and smaller cabinets for resonance. The RTi line seems to have a lot of fans, at least in the sub-$1K per pair range for floor-standers.

    Just to be clear, I won't be purchasing anything without auditioning them first. Whether or not some admit it, aesthetic appearance of the speakers is of moderate importance to most. I dislike a lot of Martin Logan lineup simply due to their appearance. I'm hoping to end up with a good mix of ear-pleasing performance with some nice decor mixed in.

    As I mentioned, my father has 2 setups with Klipsch, a smaller setup similar to the HD500s, and the 7.1 with the RF-series. I find them to be a bit taxing after a while with the horn tweeter, but I've heard the newer RP-line doesn't have that characteristic that most Klipsch speakers are known for.

    I've heard several of the Def Tech line over the years, but nothing ever stood out as being excellent.




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  2. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    "I drive old stereos so I can afford to fly..." heheh.
     
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  3. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I have Polk Audio speakers. Can't remember the model, I've had them for over 10 years now and closer to 15. They are bookshelf size. They really sound lots better for movies than for music.

    My receiver is a Sony, old enough that it doesn't have any USB or most other modern conveniences.

    The subwoofer is what makes a home theater, though.
     
  4. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I have to chuckle. I actually worked (indirectly) for Polk back in 1978. It's amazing how little goes into their speakers compared to the hype. We did use PolkStand Jrs for monitor stands while writing their accounting software.
     
  5. Mason

    Mason Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Looking good.
     
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  6. James_Dean

    James_Dean Pattern Altitude

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    I know this is going to sound dorky, but some of my best moments are sitting on the futon in my basement gym after a good workout listening to a vintage jazz album with a finger or two of bourbon. Digital is good, but analog can be really nice.
     
  7. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator En-Route

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    Nothing wrong with an old tube amp, especially if you're listening to vinyl. Sometimes simple is better.
     
  8. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator En-Route

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    Well, that's why speaker companies spend so much on marketing. All sorts of patented technology, but aside from using a few different materials here and there, a speaker driver doesn't generally change design too much, and are pretty standard in sizing. The cabinet design (both internal and external) and crossover points are where most of the sound differences come out.
     
  9. comanche pilot

    comanche pilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I am a bit of a collector. I love the quality old "stuff", Phase Linear, Carver, etc. I enjoy spinning some vinyl and sipping on something good to drink. I have multiple stereo systems throughout the house (and luckily a understanding wife). The "bassement" is the dedicated listening area! :0) I have a good Sony A/V receiver playing thru some Mission speakers in the family room that do well enough for movies.
    [​IMG]
     
  10. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I'm envious! Nice!
     
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  11. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator En-Route

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    The back-lit VU meters are always bring out the nostalgia!
     
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  12. airdale

    airdale Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    If anyone wants to understand and appreciate speaker construction a little bit better, this is a fairly easy and informative read: https://www.amazon.com/Loudspeaker-Design-Cookbook-Vance-Dickason/dp/1882580338/ref=dp_ob_title_bk A number of years ago I used its design principles to make a subwoofer for my truck. Hardly an audiophile environment, but I felt that the result was a speaker with nice smooth bass response.
     
  13. N659HB

    N659HB Pattern Altitude

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    Damn! Now you've got me searching CraigsList for old hi-fi equipment!

    Had a friend in high school who had a Marantz amplifier and Bose 501 speakers. Nice combo, though I can't recall which amp it was.

    Found a pair of 501s locally. Seller wants $100.
     
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  14. FormerHangie

    FormerHangie Pattern Altitude

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    Back in the early 80's I assembled a killer system, a pair of Snell Type A series 2 speakers, driven by a Bryston 1B preamp and a Bryston 4B power amp, with a Nakamichi 500 cassette deck and a Revox Linatrack turntable, and eventually a Yamaha CD player. All of it put together would have bought a subcompact car in those days, I suppose that would have been the equivalent of $12,000 - $15,000 in today's dollars. The sound was just phenomenal, a well recorded album was just amazing, the system really let you hear any limitations in the recording process. Somehow that didn't seem like that much money to me back then, youth I guess.

    Was it a silly thing to buy? I suppose, but that was the time to have such a system when my ears were at their peak. They're a little less good now, so it was worth the money spent at the time. I don't think they'd be all that good in a home theater system, they came in matched pairs and had a left and a right speaker, and are optimized for music.. Now I have a pair of older Polk RT!15s. I do think Polk puts out a pretty good product for home theater use, and a pair of their towers should make a good basis for a home theater system.

    Something else worth buying, a pair of made-in-Brooklyn Grado headphones. Even the lower priced ones are very good, especially if you like a more natural sound. I personally have never heard a pair of Beats that I could tolerate. The Bose phones are OK, but the Grados sound better for less money IMO>
     
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  15. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I had Infinity Quantum 5's for years fed by a bunch of Technics rackmount stuff.
     
  16. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator En-Route

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    The amazing thing is that most of that old HiFi stuff was only putting out 30-45W/channel. Nowadays, most of the AVR's are throwing out 100-130W/channel.
     
  17. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    It's all a matter of what your speakers are. Efficiency is often an issue of coupling between the driver and the room. I had a pair of ElectroVoice Sentry IV speakers. The main cabinet was a folded horn and the midrange and the high end were straight horns. The thing was deafening driven by 20W.
     
  18. FormerHangie

    FormerHangie Pattern Altitude

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    Not mine. The test sheet on my power amp showed 270 watts per channel into 8 ohms. The Snells were closer to 4 ohms, so I was seeing close to 500 watts per channel.

    If you wanted to get serious about it, you could split the Snells into bass and midrange/treble loads, and run a crossover out of the preamp so that the bass and midrange/treble were using different power amps. If you really wanted to gild the lily, you'd use one bridged power amp for each of the bass sections of the two speakers, and another one powering both speakers midrange/treble sections. That would give you close to 1 kw for the bass side of things. The Snells weren't the most efficient speakers but they were one of the cleanest, and they sounded great at high volume levels.
     
  19. mvanbv00

    mvanbv00 Filing Flight Plan

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    Check out the SVS speakers. SVS is an internet direct company that sells for less than most store brands, and they have much better sound quality for the price. They have excellent reviews everywhere you look. SVS offers a 45 day trial period risk free, so if you don't like them you can send them back for free.

    I have the PB-2000 sub-woofer, Definitive Technology speakers, and a Denon receiver and I love my setup. I'd like to upgrade to the SVS Prime Towers soon. The SVS subs are also the best rated in their class.
     
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  20. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator En-Route

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    Yeah, I know SVS has their Prime line of speakers that's supposed to be pretty highly-touted at that price point. Not bad, especially since they do the 45-audition period for free. I'll likely go with an SVS PB-2000 or PB-12+ regardless of which direction I go on the rest of the system. They have such an outstanding reputation in the HT subwoofer arena, it's hard to ignore the value. It's just hard for me to justify having them ship them, only for me not to like them and have them eat the cost of the shipping. I know, I know . . . if they're offering it, but I just hate to waste their money on such a chance.
     
  21. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Nobody has. Beats are crap headphones marketed heavily to the masses.

    The old standard in recording studios for both quality level and price point for stuff that could be a bit abused and survive, used to be Sony Studio series headphones, but they've gone a bit downhill. Still good but not as strong and able to take a beating as they once were.
     
  22. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I
    I have an old set of Sony studio headphones. The fake leather on the ear seals has disintegrated over the last 25-30 years though.
     
  23. bradg33

    bradg33 Line Up and Wait

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    I'm more home theater than audio. In my small basement room, I have a Epson Home Cinema 3000 projector displaying on a 110" Silver Ticket screen (Amazon). Video source is a Roku 3, Apple TV and BluRay player. Audio provided by an Onkyo receiver (can't remember model, but it's newer with HDMI pass-through, etc.) and Klipsch RF83 fronts, a Klipsch RC62 center and a SW112 sub. Need to add the surrounds, but I can't get "new" surrounds to match my RF83s anymore.
     
  24. archerdriver

    archerdriver Pre-Flight

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    Loves me some Old Tube gear.

    I like the sound and (mostly) enjoy repairing & tinkering. Its my more reasonable version of having a British Hobby car.

    As for the sound, I understand that Hollow-state (Tube) amps have 2nd-order (even) harmonics which are less harsh than odd-order harmonics that are apparantly more typical of Solid / Soiled-State / transistor gear.
    Dunno. Sounds better to me!

    Hooked when a classmates' dad was throwing out a HH Scott 130 Preamp in ca. 1985. The sound was / is amazing even with SS Amp and home-made craptacular Transmission Line 3 Way speakers. (which are now, that I think of it, in my Pals barn helping him build a Zenith CH-701..)

    As I type this in my office I am listening to a fully restored 1958-59 Heathkit SP-2 preamp with 1950's Quad II mono amps X2, all tube including the rectifier, and B&W Matrix 1 speakers.

    At home I have a (all fully restored by me) Thorens TD-124 Turntable (ca. 1962), Marantz 7 Pre (1963) , currently a pair of Heathkit W2 Williamson mono amps (1953) , and B&W DM-70 hybrid electrostatic Speakers that were used in mastering lPs for 20+ years @ Sterling sound in NYC. Vast majority was given to me or picked up (over a long time) cheap. 100's of lbs of other amps an gear in the queue for restoration / repair. Completely out of hand.

    Couple of years ago made my first of many planned scratch-built amps, a Single-Ended triode (SET) "Darling" design that puts out all of 1 Watt at clipping. Using open baffle 2-way University 12" speakers, I could * Not* Believe* the Sound! Stayed up till 3 am playing records and LPs and heard nuances and instruments I had never heard on familiar recordings. Both the 'flea-watt' amp and the open baffle speakers (No closed Box) were Snake oil-Vodoo to me prior, though I am sure I wont hear any difference with the crazy Audiophile FUSES FFS that some people are selling!
    P1230563.JPG IMG_2695.JPG P1011014.JPG P1011015.JPG
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2017
  25. Jim Case

    Jim Case Pre-takeoff checklist

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    My dads system, techiclly it's not a home theatre, it's a stereo system, that's wired into the tv. It's about $10,000 worth of equipment, most of it is from the late 1970's. Its by far the cleanest best sounding stereo I've ever used, and it even has a PlayStation!
     
  26. paflyer

    paflyer Final Approach

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    Sweet
    Sweet
     
  27. Jim Case

    Jim Case Pre-takeoff checklist

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    IMG_1239.JPG It wouldn't upload into the other post.
     
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  28. Jim Case

    Jim Case Pre-takeoff checklist

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    From what I've seen of my dad blasting "funkadelic" that's a pretty common occurrence.
     
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  29. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator En-Route

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    That's awesome, Archer. I'd love to go through the Marantz 1060 that's up in a closet and re-cap it if I had the knowledge. I never got good enough at soldering to take a chance at resurrecting it.
     
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  30. Jim Case

    Jim Case Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Father is a for real audiophile and has always swore by Marantz, since long long LONG before i was conceived.
     
  31. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator En-Route

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    They made great stuff. These days, they are owned by the same company that owns Denon. Almost every one of their receivers is identical internally to the Denon lineup, but Marantz has a slightly more "elegant" appearance. Generally there's almost no significant difference between the equivalent Denon model, but people still pay a few hundred dollar premium for the Marantz name. Marantz does still have a lineup of pre/pros and separate amplifiers that are well-regarded.


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  32. Ghery

    Ghery Final Approach

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    Amen to that. Monster Cable is one of the biggest rip-offs on the planet. I run zip cord for my speakers, works fine. There was a guy who wrote for Electronic Design (I think) who had a standing offer for a double blind listening test between any of these hyped cables and zip cord and NOBODY would ever take him up on it. I think they knew what the result would be.

    Let's see, Oxygen Free Copper! Got to worry about skin effect! Why? This isn't RF we're talking about. And people who don't know any better keep falling for it. I'd love to see our AG deal with this, instead of the anti-civil rights crap he's getting the legislature to worry about.

    Now if we could just get the HDMI committee to address their failure to specify that the external shield on the cable be properly terminated at each end...
     
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