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post #1 of 22 Old 12-25-2012, 11:50 AM - Thread Starter
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am the proud owner of a new pair of Dynaudio Focus 160's! They are due to be delivered to my home in a few days. I currently have a Cyrus 6A DAC amp, and am wondering how well will it match with my new Focus 160? I bought the Cyrus only a couple of weeks ago before my Dynaudio purchase, as I liked the fact that it had an integrated DAC. My previous speakers are cheap Wharfedale 9.1s. I also have an old Arcam Alpha 8 amp, and the Arcam sounds much warmer and richer in general compared to the Cyrus, which seems to be a nit harsh and thin. I expect something similar to happen when my Dynaudio's arrive. Just want to get the opinion of the Focus 160 owners on whether an upgrade from the Cyrus amp (40 WPC) would allow me to get much more quality sound from the Focus 160s? As my Cyrus is only a few weeks old, I am sure my local dealer will allow me to trade it back for an improved amp. Besides Cyrus, the brands my dealer stocks are: Arcam, Naim and Rotel. I know that there is no substitute other than listening myself, but I can be a bit indecisive, and there's a limit to the amount of times that I can return amps to my dealer!

thanks
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post #2 of 22 Old 12-25-2012, 12:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prolle View Post

am the proud owner of a new pair of Dynaudio Focus 160's! They are due to be delivered to my home in a few days. I currently have a Cyrus 6A DAC amp, and am wondering how well will it match with my new Focus 160? I bought the Cyrus only a couple of weeks ago before my Dynaudio purchase, as I liked the fact that it had an integrated DAC. My previous speakers are cheap Wharfedale 9.1s. I also have an old Arcam Alpha 8 amp, and the Arcam sounds much warmer and richer in general compared to the Cyrus, which seems to be a nit harsh and thin. I expect something similar to happen when my Dynaudio's arrive. Just want to get the opinion of the Focus 160 owners on whether an upgrade from the Cyrus amp (40 WPC) would allow me to get much more quality sound from the Focus 160s? As my Cyrus is only a few weeks old, I am sure my local dealer will allow me to trade it back for an improved amp. Besides Cyrus, the brands my dealer stocks are: Arcam, Naim and Rotel. I know that there is no substitute other than listening myself, but I can be a bit indecisive, and there's a limit to the amount of times that I can return amps to my dealer!
thanks
Idk anything about Cyrus but I love my naim and focus 160 combination. But I'd suggest auditioning as much as you can.

Dynaudio Focus 260s, Focus 210C, DM 2/6, Hsu VTF2 MK4, Oppo BDP-103,
Naim Nait XS-2, Jolida FX Tube DAC, Integra DTR-40.2, 55" Panasonic Plasma
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post #3 of 22 Old 12-26-2012, 04:29 PM
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I would suggest the Arcam A28 or A38.

They are good enough to do well with those speakers.
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post #4 of 22 Old 12-28-2012, 11:17 AM
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You should listen to the combo before you return anything. That being said, that Cyrus is rated at 40W/8ohms and 50W/4ohms ... that power is pretty weak considering the Dyn's are 86db sensitivity and are a 4ohm load, and Dynaudio's are pretty well known for being hard to drive and appreciative of lots of power. Have you heard the two used together before? What made you choose the Cyrus? What were the Dyn's hooked up to if/when you auditioned them? Also, what is your approximate room size?

Looking at your Cyrus amp's manual, it seems you have two sets of pre-amp outs. If I were you, I would hook up everything you currently have and listen for "a while". If you feel the sound is lacking/not very full, especially when listening at louder levels, you could look into adding a separate amp. There are some good hi-watt options at most price levels, especially if you include used. Audiogon frequently has amps by Rotel, Parasound, Classe, and others that have pretty hefty power ratings. You could also check out Emotiva, which have good prices when considering the power loads they can deliver and you are getting brand new gear wink.gif and you could also head to your local dealer. If that is what you do, see if you can bring in your 160's with you. They aren't huge and should be easy to transport if you keep the box(es). That way, you can have a MUCH better idea as to how they will sound with (possible future amp), and you can probably play with some mega-amps just for sh**s and giggles.

FWIW, I have heard the Focus 110's on a few occasions and enjoy drooling over any pairs that show up on Audiogon. If I were to ever pull the trigger, I would plan on replacing my amp next, which is rated at 80W/8ohm 100W/4ohm



Let us know how it sounds and what you choose to do! smile.gif

2.0 > 7.1
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post #5 of 22 Old 12-28-2012, 01:51 PM
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aquaphile.

the op is in ireland, so not sure if Emo would be as economical with shipping and other fees as just buying a unit from a local dealer. But your right, and as I said above, auditioning would be the best thing to do.

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post #6 of 22 Old 12-28-2012, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aquaphile View Post

That being said, that Cyrus is rated at 40W/8ohms and 50W/4ohms ... that power is pretty weak considering the Dyn's are 86db sensitivity and are a 4ohm load, and Dynaudio's are pretty well known for being hard to drive and appreciative of lots of power.

I don't know Cyrus; my guess is it's not a brand readily available in the US, because I've never heard nor heard anything about it really. But I can't ever recall, an amp having such a relatively small number...rated at 4 ohms...against it's 8 ohm number. They say one of the measures of a really good, stout power supply...is it's ability to double that number, from 8 ohms to 4. You always have to take that with a grain of salt, as the numbers get BIGGER. For example...if an amp is rated at say 200wpc at 8, a really good amp might only pump-out a rated 350 or so at 4 (although plenty double, even with BIG numbers like this...like 200/400, 300/600!).

That being said...no offense, but 40/50 is downright anemic (like I've said...I've never seen anything like it). The toroid must be a plastic wheel, or Lincoln Log, lol tongue.gif Here's the good news; IMO, it's the amp...not the speakers! Time to upgrade.

Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything. -Plato
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post #7 of 22 Old 12-28-2012, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by callas01 View Post

the op is in ireland, so not sure if Emo would be as economical with shipping and other fees as just buying a unit from a local dealer

oops! redface.gif yeah, getting one of those to Ireland would be tough to do quickly and cheaply....

Quote:
Originally Posted by CDLehner View Post

I can't ever recall, an amp having such a relatively small number...rated at 4 ohms...against it's 8 ohm number. They say one of the measures of a really good, stout power supply...is it's ability to double that number, from 8 ohms to 4. You always have to take that with a grain of salt, as the numbers get BIGGER. For example...if an amp is rated at say 200wpc at 8, a really good amp might only pump-out a rated 350 or so at 4 (although plenty double, even with BIG numbers like this...like 200/400, 300/600!)

...no offense, but 40/50 is downright anemic (like I've said...I've never seen anything like it). The toroid must be a plastic wheel, or Lincoln Log, lol ...time to upgrade

+1/2

I say 1/2 because I think you could keep your Cyrus as a pre-amp and get a separate amp, but he is spot on with the wattage ideally doubling when your ohms are cut in half. The amp within your Cyrus will be pushed very, very hard to get the Dynaudio's to sound great... implying they don't become a Cyrus-widow-maker eek.gif

Hey prolle, just out of curiosity, what speakers were hooked up to the Cyrus at the dealer?

2.0 > 7.1
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post #8 of 22 Old 12-31-2012, 04:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aquaphile View Post

oops! redface.gif yeah, getting one of those to Ireland would be tough to do quickly and cheaply....

+1/2
I say 1/2 because I think you could keep your Cyrus as a pre-amp and get a separate amp, but he is spot on with the wattage ideally doubling when your ohms are cut in half. The amp within your Cyrus will be pushed very, very hard to get the Dynaudio's to sound great... implying they don't become a Cyrus-widow-maker eek.gif
Hey prolle, just out of curiosity, what speakers were hooked up to the Cyrus at the dealer?

I actually had the Cyrus 6A hooked up at audition! In any case, I have ended up buying a Naim Unitilite, which I still think is underpowered, but I liked the functionality of the unit. Also, it is possible to add a power amp to the unitilite, such as a Naim NAP 250. However, I am now worried that the preamp section of the Unitilite won't be up to the job, and I think I will return it to the dealer for a Krell Kav 400 (used) that is in stock there. Maybe I can but the Krell and buy a DAC to add on at a later stage? What DAC do you think would worthy?

So my options are:

1.Keep Unitilite and add a Naim Power Amp such as Nap 250

or

2. Exchange Unitilite for a Krell Kav 400, and add an external DAC.


What are your thoughts guys?

Thanks
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post #9 of 22 Old 12-31-2012, 04:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prolle View Post

am the proud owner of a new pair of Dynaudio Focus 160's! They are due to be delivered to my home in a few days. I currently have a Cyrus 6A DAC amp, and am wondering how well will it match with my new Focus 160?

The Focus 160 is a fairly tiny mini-monitor:

86 dB/W sensitivity (moderately low efficiency)
7.9 x 13.8 x 11.6 inch (fits on even modest bookshelves)
17 cm LF driver (6.5 inch)

My dynamic range estimator gives the following results:

Freq,Hz Max SPL, DB

10 69
20 81
30 88
40 93
50 97
60 100
70 103
80 105
90 107
100 109
130 114

These speakers are capable of producing a moderately loud output (100 dB) only down to 60 Hz.
Below 70 Hz, even a 50 wpc power amp could possibly overdrive them.
If you wanted to use them with a 100 wpc (typical AVR) WPC amplifier you would have to cross them over around 80 Hz to protect them from excessive power and audible distortion.

In all seriousness, unless these are only for night time use, or use in a tiny apartment or dormitory with thin walls, they would need a subwoofer to be able to cover even just the narrowest possible view of the musical frequency spectrum (down to 43 Hz) at fairly tame sound levels (100 dB SPL).
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post #10 of 22 Old 12-31-2012, 06:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

The Focus 160 is a fairly tiny mini-monitor:
86 dB/W sensitivity (moderately low efficiency)
7.9 x 13.8 x 11.6 inch (fits on even modest bookshelves)
17 cm LF driver (6.5 inch)
My dynamic range estimator gives the following results:
Freq,Hz Max SPL, DB
10 69
20 81
30 88
40 93
50 97
60 100
70 103
80 105
90 107
100 109
130 114
These speakers are capable of producing a moderately loud output (100 dB) only down to 60 Hz.
Below 70 Hz, even a 50 wpc power amp could possibly overdrive them.
If you wanted to use them with a 100 wpc (typical AVR) WPC amplifier you would have to cross them over around 80 Hz to protect them from excessive power and audible distortion.
In all seriousness, unless these are only for night time use, or use in a tiny apartment or dormitory with thin walls, they would need a subwoofer to be able to cover even just the narrowest possible view of the musical frequency spectrum (down to 43 Hz) at fairly tame sound levels (100 dB SPL).

I compared a krell kav 400 and a Naim Unitilite. The krell sounded much better but i went for the naim due to the added functionality.
but it seems from what you are saying is that the amp shouldn't matter above 50 watts? I was thinking of buying a naim power amp such as a nap 250 to add as a power amp, or else return the unitilite for the krel and add an external dac later?

what you think?
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post #11 of 22 Old 12-31-2012, 06:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prolle View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

The Focus 160 is a fairly tiny mini-monitor:
86 dB/W sensitivity (moderately low efficiency)
7.9 x 13.8 x 11.6 inch (fits on even modest bookshelves)
17 cm LF driver (6.5 inch)
My dynamic range estimator gives the following results:
Freq,Hz Max SPL, DB
10 69
20 81
30 88
40 93
50 97
60 100
70 103
80 105
90 107
100 109
130 114
These speakers are capable of producing a moderately loud output (100 dB) only down to 60 Hz.
Below 70 Hz, even a 50 wpc power amp could possibly overdrive them.
If you wanted to use them with a 100 wpc (typical AVR) WPC amplifier you would have to cross them over around 80 Hz to protect them from excessive power and audible distortion.
In all seriousness, unless these are only for night time use, or use in a tiny apartment or dormitory with thin walls, they would need a subwoofer to be able to cover even just the narrowest possible view of the musical frequency spectrum (down to 43 Hz) at fairly tame sound levels (100 dB SPL).


it seems from what you are saying is that the amp shouldn't matter above 50 watts?

What I'm saying is that the speakers seem to be so limited in their bass power handling capacity that with amps larger than 50 watts, the speakers appear to be the weakest link.
Quote:
I was thinking of buying a naim power amp such as a nap 250 to add as a power amp, or else return the unitilite for the krel and add an external dac later?

These little babies seem to be begging for a subwoofer, not a bigger power amp.
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post #12 of 22 Old 12-31-2012, 09:32 AM
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Bass is actually something they're regularly lauded for. Dynaudio rates these speakers as being able to handle a load greater than 200 watts, and that's using the IEC rating, indicating that they can handle much more.

I would recommend breaking in the speakers for a good amount of time; anything between 100-200 hours should be fine. Afterwards, you can take them into an audio store to test out different amplification and listen for yourself to see what you like. You could also look into a good integrated amp that provides a fair amount of current. Anything from Creek audio, perhaps the Marantz pm8004, or even a Peachtree nova 125 would suit your needs. The biggest thing to consider is what sound you like, and what your budget is.

This is strictly my opinion of course, but I like to find something cheap that meets my needs, and hopefully my wants. Buying a good amp, and then adding an external DAC also allows more flexibility in your future upgrade path. Congrats on your purchase and enjoy your music!

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post #13 of 22 Old 12-31-2012, 10:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by amatuerholic View Post

Bass is actually something they're regularly lauded for. Dynaudio rates these speakers as being able to handle a load greater than 200 watts, and that's using the IEC rating, indicating that they can handle much more.
I would recommend breaking in the speakers for a good amount of time; anything between 100-200 hours should be fine. Afterwards, you can take them into an audio store to test out different amplification and listen for yourself to see what you like. You could also look into a good integrated amp that provides a fair amount of current. Anything from Creek audio, perhaps the Marantz pm8004, or even a Peachtree nova 125 would suit your needs. The biggest thing to consider is what sound you like, and what your budget is.
This is strictly my opinion of course, but I like to find something cheap that meets my needs, and hopefully my wants. Buying a good amp, and then adding an external DAC also allows more flexibility in your future upgrade path. Congrats on your purchase and enjoy your music!


thanks, what would you think about adding a naim power amp?
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post #14 of 22 Old 12-31-2012, 10:09 AM
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Honestly, my listening experience with amplifiers is somewhat limited, but I know that any amplifier performing within its limits will be fine unless you're looking for a specific house sound. If you head over to the 'Dynaudio owner's thread', you'll be able to talk to many who have owned Dynaudio speakers and paired them with various amplifiers. Their collective experience would be more helpful in that regard.

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post #15 of 22 Old 01-01-2013, 07:08 PM
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I used a Krell KAV-400xi with a similar (1.3 SE) speaker and had none of the problems that you are proposing! The Dynaudios like lots of power and and play effortlessly! Power is the limiting factor, and WOW can they play loud, with thunderous bass!!!
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post #16 of 22 Old 01-01-2013, 07:16 PM
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Trust your Dynaudios!
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post #17 of 22 Old 01-02-2013, 05:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amatuerholic View Post

Bass is actually something they're regularly lauded for.

It is a simple matter of what you believe - the laws of physics, vendor claims or anecdotes from people who are proud of their purchases.
Quote:
Dynaudio rates these speakers as being able to handle a load greater than 200 watts, and that's using the IEC rating, indicating that they can handle much more.

The myth that is apparently being repeated above is the mistaken idea that speaker power handling capacity is independent of frequency.

I have no doubt that these speakers can handle 200 watts cleanly at frequencies above 140 Hz. At 80 Hz they may be able to in some sense handle 200 watts as well, but their woofer cones can be predicted to be flailing nonlinearly and not producing clean bass.

I have no doubt that many audiophiles have never ever heard good loud clean bass and are pleased with far less than the best in this regard.
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post #18 of 22 Old 01-02-2013, 10:28 PM
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Sound isn't all about numbers, that's why some people enjoy vinyl miss than digital copies. If he's happy with his speakers, just help him find what he's trying to find. My focus 140 have a [mostly] even response down to about 45 hz in my living room. I do use a sub with them, but sometimes I'm just add happy to leave the sub off. Other people might have space or financial constraints. There's a lot we don't know about in many situations.

You might be right about the numbers, you might not be, but it's not very classy to tell someone who's excited about the new speakers he bought that they suck because of such and such reason.

Prolle, I hope you continue to enjoy your music smile.gif

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post #19 of 22 Old 01-03-2013, 05:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amatuerholic View Post

Sound isn't all about numbers, that's why some people enjoy vinyl miss than digital copies.

I believe that the point being made that the inherent audible imperfections in vinyl are tolerated by many even though they would be completely intolerable as specifications for amplifiers. However, vinyl isn't all that bad compared to loudspeakers, which gets us back to the real world and on topic.
Quote:
If he's happy with his speakers, just help him find what he's trying to find.

The above is a very narrow and biased view of the OP. The real question behind every question on AVS is not whether the person posting is happy with any particular component in their system they are focussed on, but whether they are happy with the system. We see very few posts here that are simply statements of total bliss.

Let's use our logical minds for a change, no? If someone is dissatisfied with the sound of their system, it is not because they have made 100% perfect and ideal choices. They have either made a mistake or tolerated a compromise that should not have been tolerated.
Quote:
My focus 140 have a [mostly] even response down to about 45 hz in my living room.

The fact that you repeat this shows that I have not communicated the true situation to you well enough.

I have no doubt that at some low SPL even a 2 1/2" speaker has clean response down to 10 Hz. It might only be 30 dB SPL (generally inaudible) but the speaker does respond and may even have even response.

In these days of DSPs and equalizers, even response down to 45 Hz may only be a run with Audessey XT32 or installation of a MiniDSP or DEQ2496 and some adjustments away.

However, fools that we audiophiles are, we have this strange idea that we want to actually hear the sound, not just measure it. At 20 or 45 or even 100 Hz, that requires a certain number of dB SPL and it ain't 30. It is 100, 110, even 120 dB SPL, depending.

So if you want to pleasure yourself and amuse knowledgeable people with vague mostly irrelevant statements like:

" My focus 140 have a [mostly] even response down to about 45 hz in my living room."

be my guest.

If you want a system that makes your recordings sound the way they were intended, consider doing more than just pleasuring yourself with words and phrases that are meaningless to knowledgeable people! ;-)

BTW here is the Focus FR plot from the Stereophile tests:



Yup, flat down to 45 Hz but at the expense of a fakey 5 dB hump at 80 Hz.

And here is the very optimistic dynamic range estimate for the 6.5 inch woofer in the 140:

Freq,Hz Max SPL, DB

10 67
20 79
30 86
40 91
50 95
60 98
70 101
80 103
90 105
100 107
110 109
120 110
130 112
140 113
150 114
160 115
170 116

If you seek a clean 100 dB SPL out of the 140s, don't push them much below 70 Hz. If you want a more satisfying 110 dB SPL, be sure to cross them over closer to 120 Hz.

Consulting the Fletcher Munson curves;



We see that the threshold of hearing at 45 Hz is about 55 dB SPL. The Focus 140s are only capable of creating sound at that point that is only about 40 dB above the threshold of hearing.
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post #20 of 22 Old 01-03-2013, 05:45 AM
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Cited in Stereophile's article. "Most of the upper-bass rise is an artifact of the nearfield measurement technique; the Focus 140 is pretty much maximally flat down to 60Hz...".

However, if you had linked the trace shown in this article, then you would be proving your point. But keep in mind these are [close to] anechoic measurements. Room boundary reinforcement would change the measurements by a small margin.
http://forums.soundandvisionmag.com/showthread.php?451702-IG-COF-Dynaudio-Focus-110-and-Focus-140-Measurements-and-Review

Regardless, I used to be the one going out of my way to prove others wrong online. Now that I have better things to do with my time, it's become less of a concern.
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post #21 of 22 Old 01-03-2013, 07:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amatuerholic View Post

Cited in Stereophile's article. "Most of the upper-bass rise is an artifact of the nearfield measurement technique; the Focus 140 is pretty much maximally flat down to 60Hz...".

However, if you had linked the trace shown in this article, then you would be proving your point. But keep in mind these are [close to] anechoic measurements. Room boundary reinforcement would change the measurements by a small margin.
http://forums.soundandvisionmag.com/showthread.php?451702-IG-COF-Dynaudio-Focus-110-and-Focus-140-Measurements-and-Review

Regardless, I used to be the one going out of my way to prove others wrong online. Now that I have better things to do with my time, it's become less of a concern.

If you were really being true to that goal, you probably wouldn't have posted any of the above. ;-)
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post #22 of 22 Old 01-03-2013, 11:43 AM
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The post was supporting your statements, lol.

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