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post #121 of 388 Old 02-23-2010, 07:20 AM
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Looking at your photos again I can understand the idea of bass traps, as you mentioned earlier. Your speakers are pretty close to the walls. Too bad the room wasn't wider. How about the new place?
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post #122 of 388 Old 02-23-2010, 06:57 PM - Thread Starter
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The new place will be about 3 feet wider, so I will definitely have more room. The dimensions are listed in the drawing on page 4...

I know the pics don't show it, but my fronts are at least 2 feet from the back wall and about 16 to 18 inches from the side walls, which is pretty much what Monitor Audio recommends. The problem I was having in the room in the pics was the standing bass waves in the corners it was really obvious. I will do it right this time...

Were you able to get a hold of the folks at Odyssey?
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post #123 of 388 Old 02-24-2010, 05:43 AM
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I didn't get around to it last night. I'm getting too undisciplined, I think. Until the work situation is clearer, I'll proceed with caution. The "L" word is now about, and even though it won't necessarily affect my area, buying any big-ticket item right now may be unwise. Research continues, though, and I should call Odyssey if I'm going to get the info I want.
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post #124 of 388 Old 04-11-2010, 10:21 PM - Thread Starter
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I should have just waited until I received it, but what the heck... Here is a preview of my newest addition: a usb transport (hiFace) from m2tech, currently undergoing major mods by John Kenny. The final product will look different.



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post #125 of 388 Old 04-12-2010, 04:05 AM
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Are the mods to improve the sound?

By the way, there's a hair on the floor in your photo.
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post #126 of 388 Old 04-12-2010, 06:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prepress View Post

Are the mods to improve the sound?

By the way, there's a hair on the floor in your photo.

That photo was taken by John, that's his floor!!!



Most people who archive their music digitally underestimate the importance of having a clean signal path from the pc to the dac/receiver. I often see high end speakers and amps fed directly from itunes or Win Media Player and while the sound IS good, I believe there is room for improvement. That's why I'm going this route.



The hiFace is already receiving stellar reviews for its simplicity, low cost and the ability to pass the hi rez 24/196 unmolested. It has very low jitter clocks and asynchronous usb. However, like other USB transports it takes it 5V supply from USB & regulates it down to 3.3V & 1.8V. This is where the mods come in. I am quoting from John:


Hiface Power Supplies
The Hiface uses 3 different power supplies internally to it’s different on-board chips
5V supply to the SPDIF generating chip
3.3V supply to the USB receiver chip, FPGA chip & clocks
1.8V supply also to the FPGA chip.

Ensuring clean PS is important for every area in the unit but it is crucial in the clock handling areas.

My PS mods address these crucial clock handling functions bypassing the 3.3V regulator & providing a way to connect an independent clean external 3.3V supply to the clocks & a separate 3.3V supply to the FPGA & USB receiver chips. These mods significantly improve the sonics of the unit. This is not a subtle change – it is noticeable from the first note.

Sound Improvements
All the usual clichés apply but they are true:
- The HiFace has better clarity all through the frequency range
- bass is amazingly textured & powerful
- treble has an airiness to it
- finer details are revealed
- soundstage is deep & wide with venues & recording ambience being revealed clearly

as I’ve said before, it sounds just like really good analogue, not a bit of digititis in it.

Other improvements
Other smaller improvements are also achieved through bypassing the USB 5V supply & providing a clean 5V external supply. Not only does this improve the supply to the SPDIF generating chip but it also removes the need for the USB cable to carry power. The cable can now just perform the job of carrying the USB signals and nothing else. This should allow the use of a reasonably cheap USB cable & no more need for expensive “audiophile” USB cables. It should also mean that the variability of the PC/laptop PS is no longer an issue with USB audio.


The modded unit (which by the way, I am getting the first one ) has been receiving lots of praises. It should be a few weeks until I get it. John is going to enclose it in a box, with led lights, batteries, switches, etc.

We are almost ready to finally move in and I will be posting pictures of the new room soon.

Peace
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post #127 of 388 Old 04-12-2010, 03:50 PM
 
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That hair looks like a pubic hair! LOL sorry,i couldn't resist
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post #128 of 388 Old 04-21-2010, 01:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddgtr View Post

That photo was taken by John, that's his floor!!!



Most people who archive their music digitally underestimate the importance of having a clean signal path from the pc to the dac/receiver. I often see high end speakers and amps fed directly from itunes or Win Media Player and while the sound IS good, I believe there is room for improvement. That's why I'm going this route.



The hiFace is already receiving stellar reviews for its simplicity, low cost and the ability to pass the hi rez 24/196 unmolested. It has very low jitter clocks and asynchronous usb. However, like other USB transports it takes it 5V supply from USB & regulates it down to 3.3V & 1.8V. This is where the mods come in. I am quoting from John:


Hiface Power Supplies
The Hiface uses 3 different power supplies internally to it's different on-board chips
5V supply to the SPDIF generating chip
3.3V supply to the USB receiver chip, FPGA chip & clocks
1.8V supply also to the FPGA chip.

Ensuring clean PS is important for every area in the unit but it is crucial in the clock handling areas.

My PS mods address these crucial clock handling functions bypassing the 3.3V regulator & providing a way to connect an independent clean external 3.3V supply to the clocks & a separate 3.3V supply to the FPGA & USB receiver chips. These mods significantly improve the sonics of the unit. This is not a subtle change - it is noticeable from the first note.

Sound Improvements
All the usual clichés apply but they are true:
- The HiFace has better clarity all through the frequency range
- bass is amazingly textured & powerful
- treble has an airiness to it
- finer details are revealed
- soundstage is deep & wide with venues & recording ambience being revealed clearly

as I've said before, it sounds just like really good analogue, not a bit of digititis in it.

Other improvements
Other smaller improvements are also achieved through bypassing the USB 5V supply & providing a clean 5V external supply. Not only does this improve the supply to the SPDIF generating chip but it also removes the need for the USB cable to carry power. The cable can now just perform the job of carrying the USB signals and nothing else. This should allow the use of a reasonably cheap USB cable & no more need for expensive audiophile USB cables. It should also mean that the variability of the PC/laptop PS is no longer an issue with USB audio.


The modded unit (which by the way, I am getting the first one ) has been receiving lots of praises. It should be a few weeks until I get it. John is going to enclose it in a box, with led lights, batteries, switches, etc.

We are almost ready to finally move in and I will be posting pictures of the new room soon.

Peace

You HT guys are really into this stuff. I'm just an audiophile with delusions of HT grandeur.
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post #129 of 388 Old 04-21-2010, 10:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AvGeek07 View Post

That hair looks like a pubic hair! LOL sorry,i couldn't resist

Oops, I'll make sure to pick 'em all up next time I upload a pic... Can't believe that one got away, nasty little thing!!!
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post #130 of 388 Old 04-21-2010, 11:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prepress View Post

You HT guys are really into this stuff. I'm just an audiophile with delusions of HT grandeur.

Haha, not at all... Actually, the hiFace has nothing to do with HT stuff. Strictly pure audio. I have been waiting a long time for someone to put out a product like this that is reasonably priced. I really didn't want to go the bit perfect sound card route...
The fact that I could also get it modded for almost the cost of parts is an added bonus.

Is the amp situation still on hold for the time being? "When" the time comes, have you decided on which one to go with?

Regards.
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post #131 of 388 Old 04-22-2010, 05:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddgtr View Post

Haha, not at all... Actually, the hiFace has nothing to do with HT stuff. Strictly pure audio. I have been waiting a long time for someone to put out a product like this that is reasonably priced. I really didn't want to go the bit perfect sound card route...
The fact that I could also get it modded for almost the cost of parts is an added bonus.

Is the amp situation still on hold for the time being? "When" the time comes, have you decided on which one to go with?

Regards.

The job situation is still uncertain, so the amps are on hold. If things go well with the job, I really should aim lower than the Macs or even the JC 1s for money reasons. I have a different perspective now, and the Odysseys make much more sense (though I'm still not crazy about the long break-in time), or the newer B&Ks. The Emotivas are a good deal also, but may change the sound of the system too much, as they're reported to be more neutral whereas I like the tube-ish sound I get from the B&Ks I have now.

I lean toward getting info on the Odysseys. A soft-start circuit which mitigates inrush of current at turn-on is something I prefer, and I know the Emos have it, as do the Macs and Parasounds. I don't know about the Odysseys.
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post #132 of 388 Old 04-22-2010, 09:25 PM
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Very Nice set-up! Great Job.
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post #133 of 388 Old 04-23-2010, 05:51 PM
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Hey guys,
I just came across this thread on my Friday night browse of the net after a few glasses of wine. As you can tell from my sig. I'm John Kenny (famous shedder of pubic hairs ) & if I knew ddgtr's name I would address him by it.

The new unit is boxed up with switch, led & battery charger socket incorporated in a box along with 2 LiFEPO4 batteries. Website & pics are here http://sites.google.com/site/hifacemods/

Here's a little teaser review:
Quote:


I was totally floored by what I heard. The improvement was real and big compared to the other converters. What impressed more about the modded hiface vs. the other converters is that the modded hiface made everything sound real while the others struggled at various degrees to portray a poor copy of the real thing.
I just didn't have the strength/will yesterday night to switch to another dac to confirm my findings. I was able to just sit back and listen to the music without analyzing it ... which is a rare thing for me

And a pic:
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post #134 of 388 Old 04-23-2010, 05:54 PM
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BTW, there's now a version for feeding I2S into a DAC - this could be a Sabre DAC - Buffalo or AckoDAC http://ackoav.spaces.live.com/
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post #135 of 388 Old 04-24-2010, 12:01 AM - Thread Starter
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@bunga99: thanks for the compliments. my kuro brother! I have also looked at your system and will post in your thread...


@jkeny: You are always one step ahead!! I was going to let you know about this little corner of cyberspace when my new room was completely finished...

Speaking of a few glasses of wine, I just got back from my brother's birthday party. All I can say is that there was not shortage of the brown liquid... Hell, I've been trying to get this boy to drink good old fashion Kentucky bourbon instead of the Crown Royal for years with no success...

I am really pumped up about my new toy which is being modded by John. As of last week, it was being reviewed by someone in France... When he's done the unit will be shipped back to John and then to me.

You guys are pretty lucky to get a quick glimpse at what the first boxed unit, I haven't even seen it!! I've got to tell you, it looks really really cool!!

John, thanks so much for all the excellent work you've done! I am sincerely impressed by your honesty and above all, your knowledge!!!

If anyone is interested in reading more on the subject, here are a couple of very, very informative links:

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f46/us...5/index63.html

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f6/mod...-units-481293/


@ld: I hope everything is well with the procedure you're undergoing. We really miss you here on this section of avs!!!!
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post #136 of 388 Old 04-24-2010, 12:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddgtr View Post

@bunga99: thanks for the compliments. my kuro brother! I have also looked at your system and will post in your thread...


@jkeny: You are always one step ahead!! I was going to let you know about this little corner of cyberspace when my new room was completely finished...

Speaking of a few glasses of wine, I just got back from my brother's birthday party. All I can say is that there was not shortage of the brown liquid... Hell, I've been trying to get this boy to drink good old fashion Kentucky bourbon instead of the Crown Royal for years with no success...

I am really pumped up about my new toy which is being modded by John. As of last week, it was being reviewed by someone in France... When he's done the unit will be shipped back to John and then to me.

You guys are pretty lucky to get a quick glimpse at what the first boxed unit, I haven't even seen it!! I've got to tell you, it looks really really cool!!

John, thanks so much for all the excellent work you've done! I am sincerely impressed by your honesty and above all, your knowledge!!!

If anyone is interested in reading more on the subject, here are a couple of very, very informative links:

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f46/us...5/index63.html

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f6/mod...-units-481293/


@ld: I hope everything is well with the procedure you're undergoing. We really miss you here on this section of avs!!!!

Thanks Danny (I believe?),
I'm a member here for years now but not a frequent poster - I think I have some old posts going back a bit.

Speaking of all things alcoholic - here's one that I'm going to try & it will divide people into two camps - a beer float made with stout (Young's double chocolate stout) & vanilla ice-cream - hmmmm, yummy (Yuk, I hear you say ) Hey don't knock it until you try it (haven't tried it yet but I have a sweet tooth!

Anyway, thanks for your kind words & I'm putting some finishing touches to your unit this weekend & away she goes off to a new home (yours) on Monday, I anticipate.
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post #137 of 388 Old 04-24-2010, 03:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AvGeek07 View Post

That hair looks like a pubic hair! LOL sorry,i couldn't resist

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post #138 of 388 Old 04-24-2010, 07:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkeny View Post

Thanks Danny (I believe?),
I'm a member here for years now but not a frequent poster - I think I have some old posts going back a bit.

Speaking of all things alcoholic - here's one that I'm going to try & it will divide people into two camps - a beer float made with stout (Young's double chocolate stout) & vanilla ice-cream - hmmmm, yummy (Yuk, I hear you say ) Hey don't knock it until you try it (haven't tried it yet but I have a sweet tooth!

Anyway, thanks for your kind words & I'm putting some finishing touches to your unit this weekend & away she goes off to a new home (yours) on Monday, I anticipate.

Haha, that sounds good John! I would have never thought of that, but I would definitely jump over the peach flavored beer like a kangaroo to get to the beer float you mentioned...

I'm off to the new place, believe it or not: yes, sunday... It pays to drink with all these guys, when you really need them they'll show up, hangover or not...

Main house is done. In my listening room, finishing touches: touch up paint and a few baseboards. We will start moving in on Friday. I did take some pictures but have not had a chance to upload them yet.

Thanks again John!!

Danny
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post #139 of 388 Old 05-29-2010, 04:13 PM - Thread Starter
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I was finally able to locate some OC 703 and 705 FRK panels. I bought 8 ea. 2" 2' x 4' 703 and 6 ea. 2" 2' x 4' 705 FRK for bass traps. The traps will be 6" thick, open back and front.

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post #140 of 388 Old 07-11-2010, 09:37 PM - Thread Starter
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On Saturday, my friend Michael and I took a road trip to Reno to see Mark at RenoHiFi. I had been itching to upgrade my X250.5 for a while now... which I did on Saturday and it's breaking in as I'm writing, enjoying itself in its new home.

Based on my previous experiences with Pass Labs, I decided to stay with this brand. Top notch quality and sound from the Pass factory paired with unparalleled service and knowledge from Mark made my decision quite easy...


Mark was very kind to accommodate us for a quite extensive listening session so we could compare and A/B the following amps from Pass Labs: XA100.5(monos), X350.5(stereo) and XA160.5(monos). Here is a pic Michael took with his iphone of some of the contenders:




Yeah, as you can imagine we were in amp heaven...


The equipment used for the session, other than the amps:

Pass Labs XP20 preamp
Pass Labs SR-2 speakers
Klipsch La Scala speakers w/2 Sunfire subs
Wadia cd player
Sony turntable with Pass Labs phono stage (XP25 or 15??)

In addition to Mark's extensive LP and CD collections, I brought 2 cds I made. If anyone is interested I could post a list with he songs.

We mainly used the SR-2 speakers for obvious reasons, although the La Scala's were excellent, too! I must say that the SR-2's impressed me very much: imaging, soundstage, very accurate and detailed... They really made our listening session a lot easier in that we were able to spot the differences in the three amps and be on the same page. This is not about speakers so I'm going to move on but I must say that when the time comes these are on my list...

First off, there are many people who say that all amps sound pretty much the same. I could not disagree more!

Let me say that this was not a blind test. I was at some point going to request it, but although the differences were subtle, they were definitely there, no question. What also surprised me is that all three of us heard exactly the same thing in terms of differences between the amps and agreed on it, but at the same time we had different tastes as to which one we liked best. It just goes to show, you can't argue with one's preferences...

The XA100.5 and the XA160.5 are monoblocks and run in class A exclusively, while the X350.5 is stereo and runs in class A for the first 30 watts then switches to AB. The X350.5 was a one month old unit not broken it yet.

We started off with the 350 and my cds. It took me about an hour of continuous cycling through the songs I brought to get used to the overall sound of Mark's system and the room's acoustics. When we warmed up a bit, we switched to the XA100.5. For the extensive tests, we used Tori Amos' "Bells For Her". Listened to it about 2 times and switched back to the 350 and back to the 100's again. We went back and forth a few times... We all noticed the same thing: the 100s were smoother, warmer, silk like, soothing and very easy to listen to... The 350 however was more detailed - cleaner, faster. Both amps imaged the same and no difference in the sound stage depth or width. Both excellent sounding.

Mark then switched to the XA160.5 monos. Immediately we looked at one another. Personally, I expected them to sound just like the 100's. Nope...
Interestingly, they sounded like a hybrid between the 100's and the 350: a bit warmer and smoother than the 350, but more detailed than the 100's. I would venture to say that they were a bit, just a bit closer to the 350 then to the 100's...

So what's the verdict you ask?

Michael exclusively loved the XA100.5 monos for their silky sound. I liked the XA160.5 for the more detailed sound and it appears that so did Mark. Michael was dead set on the 100's, whereas both Mark and I agreed that depending on what you listen to, either the 100's, the 160's or the 350 would be do...

These are all amazing amps, and personally I learned a lot. I chose the X350.5 because of the overall impression it made in terms of balancing warmth and detail. If money was no object, I would have gotten the 160's. Price was a bit of a factor as the 160's are about double the price of the 350. I will use it with my Candela tube preamp which will also add a touch of warmth, so this was another factor in my decision.

I will plan another trip to Reno in the near future: I would like to bring my preamp and put it up against the XP series. Mark seemed very interested so there you have it!

I will post a pic with the new amp soon!

Peace.
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post #141 of 388 Old 07-13-2010, 07:15 PM
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Hey dd,

Congrats and excellent choice on your new amp! The X350.5 is one awesome amp.

A hifi roadtrip sounds like a rockin' good time. That's an awesome pic of the roomful o' amps. I can only imagine how the XA160.5 mono-block class A amps must rock! And you know what Jessica Alba says...

Since you're going back to Reno (the biggest little town in America, I believe) stop by the tables and let Harrah's pick up the tab for your new amp.

P.S. Your room must be nearing completion. I look forward to seeing the pics.



Growing Older But Not Up
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post #142 of 388 Old 07-16-2010, 05:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Wabo, I appreciate the kind words!

LOL, and I do know what Ms. JA says, I've been visiting your thread quite often since you posted those pics!!

We did stop by the tables after the audition... I was trippin' about parking the car with the amp in it, so we used the valet parking. My buddy Michael won $145 in about 8 minutes while I literally got kicked out of Circus Circus for winning too many toys... I hate gambling, but I'm a freaking surgeon at catapulting those rubber chickens into the spinning pot. Even if I give the toys to kids watching, they still only let you win once! Crooks, I tell you!! Anyways, after about 10 minutes I said screw it, I don't want that amp alone in the parking lot for too long and we left.

Valet got us the car, I opened the trunk and tried to lift the box (the 350.5 weighs in at a modest 150 lbs) - I said it's all good and heavy but Michael went what if they put rocks in it so I had to open the damn box to make sure...

On the way back we had some great Mexican food and Negra Modelo on tap which I've never had before. That was some good beer!!

Room is done, I just have to clean it up and take pics!
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post #143 of 388 Old 07-17-2010, 03:11 AM
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With all those class A amps, I hope your AC is working.
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post #144 of 388 Old 07-17-2010, 12:15 PM
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We need pics!
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post #145 of 388 Old 09-09-2010, 01:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Room is done, just a bit of clean up to do. Acoustic panels and diffusers took a long time, but finally got it just right and all the flutter echoes are gone.

Got a few new components, I updated the first post on page one...

The computer by the left speaker will be relocated to a new location.




Found this in great condition: Pio PL-530 turntable.










The little black box with a red led light is a hiFace usb transport modified by none other than mister John Kenny. This is an awesome little gadget, that has eliminated a lot of my headaches trying to get bit perfect sound out of my pc without Windows interfering... More on this later.



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post #146 of 388 Old 09-09-2010, 02:59 AM
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Ummmm...SWEET.

Panasonic TC-P58S2, Onkyo TX-NR1007, Onkyo DV-SP1000, Onkyo DV-HD805, Onkyo BD-SP807, Onkyo DX-V801, Onkyo UP-A1, Onkyo TA-RW411, Onkyo EQ-201, Yamaha Speakers NS700/750 Series, Blue Jean Cables
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post #147 of 388 Old 09-09-2010, 06:58 AM
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Wow. If I had that kind of space...

Looks good.
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post #148 of 388 Old 09-09-2010, 07:27 AM - Thread Starter
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homank76 and prepress, thanks for the props...

Onkyo fan here, I have only owned Onkyo receivers. Never gave up on me. Have another one set up in the living room for the kids.

Charles, room's not that big, only about 15'7" by about 19'6" by 9'6" tall. Btw, when are you going to take more pics of your system??
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post #149 of 388 Old 09-09-2010, 07:34 AM
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No offense ddgtr, but you have a lot more space than most people. I'm currently stationed in South Korea and that room buries my apartment alive. Even my living room in Florida.

Panasonic TC-P58S2, Onkyo TX-NR1007, Onkyo DV-SP1000, Onkyo DV-HD805, Onkyo BD-SP807, Onkyo DX-V801, Onkyo UP-A1, Onkyo TA-RW411, Onkyo EQ-201, Yamaha Speakers NS700/750 Series, Blue Jean Cables
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post #150 of 388 Old 09-09-2010, 07:41 AM - Thread Starter
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homank, never thought of it in those terms... This is actually my 2 car garage, converted... My dually truck would not have fit anyway, since the garage was only 20x20.

And just wanted to say a big Thank You for your service, it's much appreciated! We get carried away with this and that and worry about rolled off highs while you guys are out there in harm's way...
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Pioneer Elite Pro 151fd 60 Inch 1080p Plasma Hdtv , Onkyo Tx Sr805 7 1 Channel Home Theater Receiver Silver , Polk Audio Owm5 Multi Purpose Home Theater Speaker White , Polk Audio Owm3 On Wall Speaker Pair White , Pioneer Bdp 51fd Bonusview Blu Ray Player , Harmony 880 Advanced Universal Remote
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