The Unofficial Bruzonsky Aerial & JL Audio Upgraditis Thread! - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 146 Old 02-15-2014, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Brucemck2 View Post

Does this work within J River or similar players as a plugin?

Last time I checked with Mr. Burwen the answer was "No" He designed it many years ago to work with Windows Media Player as an XLS file (a huge 51MB excel workbook) plugin. So if you use Windows Media Player 11 (does anyone here?) then you're good to go. It's insanely great sounding.

He does have a software that's stand alone now(Audio Splendor), but it's not elegant and easy-to-use like JRiver (in the sense of using an iWhatever or Android control). He's a die-hard, brilliant engineer who is all about sound quality (remember Cello Audio?). He's one of my audio heroes.

Check it out here: http://www.burwenbobcat.com/BB_Home.html

There was a DAC that had licensed his Bobcat technology before, I believe. Going back the Theta's roots of "Digital Done Right" I would love to have all my digital sound sources processed with the Bobcat magic.
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post #92 of 146 Old 02-15-2014, 05:40 PM
 
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Just watched the blu ray of Robert Redford in "All is Lost". With the three Prometheus monoblocks across the front, and the new Aerial 7ts all the way around, and the new two JL Audio subs, seemed that my "system" was dynamic yet quieter than ever, as we watched the movie at a somewhat low volume yet could feel and hear the ocean waves, wind, etc. Not a bad movie!

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post #93 of 146 Old 02-17-2014, 12:13 PM
 
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Below photos of my "front end" with Aerial Acoustics 7ts, JL Audio Fathom f212-GLOSSY subwoofers, AND Theta Digital Prometheus monoblocks. With Cardas Clear Light speaker cabling. I am so happy with the sonics of the Prometheus and I have ordered two more to complete my 5.1 theater with all Prometheus monoblocks (selling 3 Theta Enterprise and 2 Theta Citadel 1.5 monoblocks, as well as four Aerial 9s, one Aerial CC5 and three Aerial SW12 subwoofers)!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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post #94 of 146 Old 02-17-2014, 08:09 PM
 
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After more music listening - with the Prometheus amps still needing a few more days for full break in - the amps sound great! Overall, as good as the Citadel 1.5s, if not better.

A bit different, in that the Citadels are somewhat light and airy in comparison, whereas the Prometheus is  a bit more compact in soundstaging (but plenty realistic soundstaging, believe me) and somewhat more resolving at times, as at times I swear I hear something I never heard before, and sometimes I hear tape hiss I never heard before (not that I'm wild about tape hiss, but if its there, its there).

 

Hey, I'm happy with Citadel 1.5s or Prometheus. The fact that Theta Digital with new technology and much lesser cost can make the Prometheus monoblock which stands at least on an equal footing with the Citadel 1.5 sonically is nothing short of amazing! Gee, like the new Aerial 7ts beating my prior Aerial 9s sonically as well. Technology, and sound, marches on!

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post #95 of 146 Old 02-17-2014, 09:33 PM
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Steve, great setup, I see you mention your media server in the theta thread, what have you got setup in this regard? Keep thinking about going that way, but always worry I will need to do it multiple times if I choose the wrong setup
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post #96 of 146 Old 02-18-2014, 08:03 AM
 
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Steve, great setup, I see you mention your media server in the theta thread, what have you got setup in this regard? Keep thinking about going that way, but always worry I will need to do it multiple times if I choose the wrong setup

 

 

I moved my thread re my Media Server up to the top in this forum for you. I recommend that you post any questions or concerns re media server in that thread. You should start by discussing what you want for your media server - do you want multi-channel, or just stereo?

 

Also, if you go to the very first post in my link to discussion of my entire home theater system at my signature below,

you will find my component list therein including complete description of components of my media server.

 

Just confirmed my next 2 Prometheus monoblocks will be here tomorrow morning!!!@@@

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post #97 of 146 Old 02-18-2014, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by SBruzonsky View Post

Oh - I've been texting VGI/Craig that I'm ordering two more Prometheus monoblocks black, to fill out my 5.1 system; and two more pairs of Cardas Clear Light 1.5M speaker cables.
How does Craig respond? "You are kidding, right? You're not serious?"  I respond "I am not fu-c-ng kidding, I am serious". He responds "You really want me to order two more?" I respond
"Yes, I am already that fu-c-ng impressed, these amps are that good" So the order is being placed as I swear! Craig hasn't even heard the Prometheus yet. Outside of the inner workings of Theta Digital and its parent company ATI, and the hotel room at CES, I am the first consumer to get the Prometheus (some are on way to Europe now), and Dave and Brent are two lucky folks who have heard them shine! Dave Reich, President, Theta Digital, worked for several years developing the Prometheus, and his efforts are remarkable.

Making me laugh - thanks for sharing. So, yeah, either 5 Citadels or 5 Prometheus, and because of the sound plus the things you mentioned, I think it's a smart way to go. Speaking of Prometheus, the intro to that movie was a real treat at your place! I can only imagine how everything will sound in a couple of more weeks, once you have all the new stuff and it's all broken in. We'll have to pick a day in March to do some more work with the subs :-)

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post #98 of 146 Old 02-19-2014, 08:33 AM
 
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Will be pickin' up two more Prometheus monoblocks, so I will have them for all five channels, in about an hour or so!!!@@@@@@

 

Last night I listened to music for about two hours. I really like the Prometheus in my system for, among other things, listening to redbook rips!!!@@@@@@

As I have previously stated, the Citadel 1.5s are just absolutely sensational and wonderful monoblocks, I luv 'em. Sonically, the Citadel 1.5s are somewhat more

airy, wider soundstage, than the Prometheus. The Prometheus is perhaps somewhat more macro and microdynamic at times, as instruments and sounds are with the

Prometheus more layers "on top" or "closer" to each other than with the Citadels. The Prometheus in my room as set up now are a bit more intimate and close

and perhaps "focused" with the music! I could live with either sonically and be in nirvana forever.

 

Actually, how these amplifiers sound is my room is much dependant on adjustment of my Michael Green Pressure Zone Controllers (PZCs). Keep in mind my front left and right

and surround left and right Aerial 7ts are about 11 feet apart rectangularly front to back and side to side. With normal rooms and room treatments too far apart for the speakers

to properly phantom image a center speaker between them. But my PZCs are adjusted so that we get outstanding phantom center images in the front, and excellent

ambience and imaging in the surrounds. I have not adjusted the PZCs since getting my new setup. With the Citadels in the front left and right, I could adjust the PZCs and I think

tighten the phantom center some and then they will sound more like the Prometheus sound. With the Prometheus in the front left and right, I could adjust the PZCs and I think loosen the

sound some and then they will sound more like the Citadels. The bottom line is both of these monoblocks sound sensational, and between speaker placement and appropriate room treatment

I bet one in rooms other than mine could get them to sound somewhat more airy vs "closer" per one's preference. The fact that Theta Digital has come out with a Class D monoblock on the same order of audio quality sonically as the Citadel 1.5 is mind blowing!

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post #99 of 146 Old 02-19-2014, 12:47 PM
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^^^Steve, you are a seasoned audiophile and it shows in the very good and measured analysis of sound of new amp vs. old amp above. Also, It is great that you are having so much fun with the toys; I love it.

BTW, I too have enjoyed my decision to go big on the center channel speaker. My own experimentation with the limited stuffs I have (small Thiel center versus big Aerial center) has shown just how dominating (and critical) the front 3 channels are in a surround setup. I setup 7.1 per recommendation of someone trustworthy here and have enjoyed the sound of 7.1 over the 5.1, but 99% of the times, when I don't **listen for** the 7.1 effect and am just watching a good movie (IOW, not in all-out audiophile mode :-)), it is the front 3 channels that totally dominate the sound, soundstage (the bigger speaker that goes deeper enlarges the soundstage), and my attention. My conclusion, for front 3 speakers: go as big as you could on both speakers and amp.

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post #100 of 146 Old 02-19-2014, 01:16 PM
 
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I am takin' a break. My daughter's boyfriend just helped me take down and pack one of the two Citadel 1.5s that I am selling. What a monster! 110 lb unpacked. One down, one to go.

then have the two new Prometheus monoblocks to go in the surround left and right.  The new amp install is the easy part!

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post #101 of 146 Old 02-19-2014, 03:37 PM
 
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Got the 2nd Citadel 1.5 all down and packed for sale. YEA! Heavy sucker!

 

Got both new Prometheus in the surround left and right running with some old speaker cable for now. The Cardas Clear Light speaker cables for the surrounds should be here in the next 4-5 days. Thank you Morris/Jeff/Dave at ATI-Theta and of course VGI/Craig Shumer my dealer and friend - and my daughter's boyfriend for some heavy lifting today on his day off work.

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post #102 of 146 Old 02-20-2014, 08:27 AM
 
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I noticed a funny thing yesterday!

 

That day a few weeks ago when my custom installer friend Vic Ciccarone did the "heavy lifting" in unpacking and setting up five Aerial 7ts, and packing four Aerial 9s, one Aerial CC5 and three  Aerial SW12 subwoofers - Vic simply approximately set  up the 7ts in the same positions as were the prior 9s, and of course the center 7t about a foot from the screen wall, which I later moved forward a bit.

The 7ts have a smaller footprint than the 9s. I didn't connect the speaker cables and get the system going until the next morning. So Vic never heard the fruits of his labor or speaker positioning.

Yet the 7ts sounded remarkable and image so outstanding!

 

Yesterday, I played around a bit with toe in, and thought the front left and right 7ts should be facing my front center chair just a bit more at a 45% angle. So I moved the speakers a bit. And - the imaging collapsed a lot, and the center speaker voicing wasn't near as clear. WOW!

 

Keep in mind that when we previously adjusted the Michael Green PZCs (Pressure Zone Controllers), this was last done with the  Aerial 9s, and we worked hours getting the toe in and sonics just right.

 

I next reversed the slight placement change I had made, did a bit of adjusting as I was watching a tv show, and wow, the imaging and separation are back.

 

What I really need to do is spend some hours, get out my tape measure, and get the speakers all the same distance from the side walls, same distance from front and back walls, get all speakers toed in for best imaging - and then do some PZC adjustments!!!!

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post #103 of 146 Old 02-20-2014, 05:57 PM
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Hi Steve,

I asked Micheal what he suggests for toe in (not knowing about your experiment) and he recommended the following...

I usually aim them about half way between straight ahead and directly at the listener. If you want to increase image precision, or if you are near reflective side walls, then aim them more at you. If you are far away from the side walls or want a larger image, aim them more straight ahead. As you aim them more straight ahead, you may reach a point where the center image is too weak. If so, toe them in just a bit from this point.

Brent
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post #104 of 146 Old 02-21-2014, 07:30 AM
 
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Hi Steve,

I asked Micheal what he suggests for toe in (not knowing about your experiment) and he recommended the following...
 
I usually aim them about half way between straight ahead and directly at the listener. If you want to increase image precision, or if you are near reflective side walls, then aim them more at you. If you are far away from the side walls or want a larger image, aim them more straight ahead. As you aim them more straight ahead, you may reach a point where the center image is too weak. If so, toe them in just a bit from this point.

Brent

 

Great minds think alike!

 

Yea, I am playin' with toe in of the front left and right 7ts. There's also the issue of the center channel itself - front left and right toe in, and how close or far the center channel 7t is from the front screen wall, can affect how the center channel sounds. As can adjusting my Michael Green Pressure Zone Controllers. So I am workin' on "tuning" my speakers/monoblocks best to the front center money seat!

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post #105 of 146 Old 02-21-2014, 11:55 AM
 
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OK. Originally when we took the 7ts out of the boxes a few weeks ago, Vic put the center 7t close to the front screen wall, its back perhaps no more than a foot in front of the wall. Later I moved the center 7t forward about 1.5 feet, thinking a bit more "room to breathe" would be helpful. Well, this AM I moved the center 7t back again to about the one foot mark. My center channel sounds absolutely fine. And I have positioned the front left and right 7ts diagonally where their lines intersect right in back of my head! This is pretty much what I've been doing with the Aerial 9s before, and the Aerial 10Ts before the 9s. Recently, Paul McGowan of PS Audio in one of his daily emails mentioned how some audiophiles swear by this method of speaker positioning! Also, over the years as we have on occasion "tuned" and "retuned" the pressure zone controllers, they have been tuned with the front left and right speakers in this position. Did some listening of center channel only, center channel with front left and right, and the entire system and I think I've got it sounding right. Because the center 7t is now back a bit further (is actually about 2.5 feet further back than the front left and right speakers are from the center front row leather recliner.  My "listening" was on DirecTV, several blu rays, and stereo music over HDMI and USB, and multichannel HDMI music. Vic is gonna come by sometime next week and we are going to work a bit on fine tuning the Pressure Zone  Controllers and front left and right speaker diagonal positions (quicker and better doing this with two persons, one listening, one adjusting).

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post #106 of 146 Old 02-21-2014, 09:02 PM
 
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Well, my adjustments paid off even better than I expected - and this is before we get around to adjusting the PZCs. Music has been sounding as good or better than ever. Watched "Banshee" and some other stuff on DirecTV. "Banshee" - voicing from center has never been clearer; the soundstage was fine, dynamics (on broadcast Dolby Digital) were as good or better than ever. I was starting to wonder if I needed to unbox and resetup the Citadel 1.5s. But what I'm hearing is outstanding. Still have lots to do in coming weeks; get front and surround 7ts identical distances from side walls and from each other in the "rectangle" within their circular formation; adjust the Pressure Zone Controllers; and resetup the subs using the "Sound Doctor" bible.

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post #107 of 146 Old 02-22-2014, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by SBruzonsky View Post

Well, my adjustments paid off even better than I expected - and this is before we get around to adjusting the PZCs. Music has been sounding as good as ever. Watched "Banshee" and some other stuff on DirecTV. "Banshee" - voicing from center has never been clearer; the soundstage was fine, dynamics (on broadcast Dolby Digital) were as good as ever. I was starting to wonder if I needed to unbox and resetup the Citadel 1.5s. But what I'm hearing is outstanding. Still have lots to do in coming weeks; get front and surround 7ts identical distances from side walls and from each other in the "rectangle" within their circular formation; adjust the Pressure Zone Controllers; and resetup the subs using the "Sound Doctor" bible.

Look forward to hearing your latest arrangement today. I can help with measuring/moving if you'd like.
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post #108 of 146 Old 02-22-2014, 06:17 PM
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Look forward to hearing your latest arrangement today. I can help with measuring/moving if you'd like.

Uh oh, I swapped in my modest amp to power Steve's mains, and I think I BROKE STEVE'S SYSTEM (Gen8) in the process. I suspect because it couldn't stand to be in the the company of mere mid-fi components;) Hopefully Steve will be able to troubleshoot it tomorrow and give an update.

One lesson learned for me: the simplicity of a single box solution like my NAD 390DD or the Gato DIA-250 or Devialet etc. means fewer variables/things going wrong/unplugged etc. ...that is, until I realize the sonic limitations of this approach.

But once Steve switched the mains to the CB he got the L/Rs back and it sounded great. Thanks Steve for the audition(s)!
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post #109 of 146 Old 02-22-2014, 08:14 PM
 
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Yea, took a break for a few hours and figured it out quick. Just a cable which I had forgot to reconnect on stuff I was doing, nothing to do with the demo for Brent!!

 

Due to my "error", we listened a bit to music over USB into the CB3 HD using Extreme DACs for the front left and right instead of the Gen VIII Series 3 DAC for this. Frankly, with the  Aerial 7s AND the Prometheus combo "stereo" (actually "matrix" mode) sounded nice - but yea I could tell the additional "air", "separation" and "ease" of volume level with the Gen VIII that the Extreme DACs can't do. If I never heard the Gen VIII and only had the Extreme DACs, AND if I didn't care about playing things as close to concert loud as I can get, I'd probably be happy forever with the Extreme DACs. They acquitted themselves quite well.

 

But now I am fortunately back to the  Gen VIII for front left and right.

 

Its been a "broken" weekend. Yesterday, one of my PS Audio P5 power regenerators went on the fritz, being shipped to PS Audio for repair Monday AM. But I have no loss of audio quality. Why? Because I've been doing overkill. I have to P5.  Three component racks. One P5 on each outer component rack. So its easy for me to plug stuff in with my creaking 60 year old body and bad right hip. My projector is conditioned separately with a APC S15. So frankly, my two P5s each aren't using all that much power. I took a PS Audio Quintet passive power conditioner I'm not currently using, plugged a power cord from the working P5 to the Quintet at the other side, plugged in those components to the Quintet, and PRESTO my sonics are absolutely fine and as good as ever!@@@@@@

Now what were the odds that I broke another component this same weekend? We swapped Prometheus monoblocks, tried other stuff, and determined the "problem" was no sound from the  Gen VIII. Sure, eventually I determined that I didn't have apparently the AEX/EBU cable from the CB3 HD to the Gen VIII hooked up properly. Heck if I know how that happened. Oh well, its fixed.

"KISS" applies - "Keep It Simple Stupid", and what's simpler than missing a cable connection?
 

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post #110 of 146 Old 02-23-2014, 10:21 AM
 
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Uh oh, I swapped in my modest amp to power Steve's mains, and I think I BROKE STEVE'S SYSTEM (Gen8) in the process. I suspect because it couldn't stand to be in the the company of mere mid-fi components;) Hopefully Steve will be able to troubleshoot it tomorrow and give an update.
 

 

Actually, Brent's "modest amp", and your source material (compressed Spotify music over wi-fi) broke my ear/brain so much that I couldn't think, thus my own cable issue where I couldn't get my Gen VIII to work for my front left and right channels. :D After having a few hours off and a great prime rib dinner, my brain returned to normal functioning and resolved the "issue" which was really a non-issue. :) HA!

 

Seriously, Brent's Joseph Audio Pulsars are great speakers and mini-monitors, great Stereophile review in 2012. Just Brent's demo couldn't possibly do my 7ts or the Pulsars justice - they both are wonderful speakers no doubt. Apparently the Pulsars are 94 dB (my 7ts 89 dB) so the Pulsars can really shine with some tube amps.Brent told me when he got home he started playing some CDs, instead of Spotify, and his Pulsars really began to sing. I believe it!

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post #111 of 146 Old 02-23-2014, 05:05 PM
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Apparently the Pulsars are 94 dB (my 7ts 89 dB) so the Pulsars can really shine with some tube amps.Brent told me when he got home he started playing some CDs, instead of Spotify, and his Pulsars really began to sing. I believe it!

Steve, actually they measure about 84 dB, so a bit less sensitivity than the Aerials. But my amp has no problems powering them in general (to my levels) and they did sound good in your treated room (quality of source material notwithstanding). I think my next move is to go at least redbook source while also trying out new gear...(we're addicted, aren't we?).

But Saturday even in the 2nd row of your theater, I got a smile on my face a few times from your system... music hanging in the air!
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Steve, actually they measure about 84 dB, so a bit less sensitivity than the Aerials. But my amp has no problems powering them in general (to my levels) and they did sound good in your treated room (quality of source material notwithstanding). I think my next move is to go at least redbook source while also trying out new gear...(we're addicted, aren't we?).

But Saturday even in the 2nd row of your theater, I got a smile on my face a few times from your system... music hanging in the air!

 

Thanks.

 

I think as you match your audio material and components with your Pulsars, you will love them more and more.

I got the 94 dB spec from an online review - I thought it didn't sound right. Your Pulsars will sound better and better with more powerful amps if they are 84 dB sensitivity. You don't want to think about how sweet they'd sound hooked up to the Prometheus monoblocks - you'd be taking out another mortgage on your home! HA!

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post #113 of 146 Old 02-24-2014, 05:58 PM
 
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Since my last post above, my music playing, DirecTV watching ("True Detective", "Black Sails), blu rays ("About Time) makes me very happy with my system changes. Center channel voicing is the best ever - having a full range 7t really works provided you have enough space so its far back and far enough between the front left and right 7ts, which I fortunately have. My system is quieter and more dynamic than before - I listen at even lower levels than before yet hear everything, and when the bass blows a hole up my butt, it does it better than ever. Midrange and highs are outstanding.

As the speakers and amplifiers, etc "burned-in", or at least as my system aged over the past few weeks running pretty much 24 hours per day, the soundstage opened up where it is as good as it was with the Citadel 1.5 monoblocks! And I can't put the Citadels back in my system, which I was tempted to do late last week before adjustments and further burn-in, because they are already at FexEx on their way to their new home. And I guarantee their new owner will luv them as I did. But the Prometheus are outstanding monoblocks, no heat at all (great here in Az), I think they perform as well as the Citadels, and having five matched sounding monoblocks and five matched full range 7ts does make wonderous sonics!!@@@@@@NIRVANA!

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post #114 of 146 Old 02-25-2014, 08:04 AM
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Looks like a CB4 is your next upgrade!

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post #115 of 146 Old 02-25-2014, 10:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by thezaks View Post

Looks like a CB4 is your next upgrade!

Dave

 

Yea, except for the CB4, I am all upgraded for at least a few months, mebbe a few years?

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post #116 of 146 Old 02-25-2014, 11:04 PM
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Should we take bets? smile.gif

Actually have a question: how you are able to siphon off just the L/R signals digitally into your Gen VIII, especially with two-channel encoded Dolby digital source etc.? I want to run my better DAC/amp on my L/R, but it will get the full digital signal and do a down-mix to stereo, while the AVR would properly be decoding center, surrounds, and sub. Don't know if this question is clear...
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post #117 of 146 Old 02-26-2014, 06:43 AM
 
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Originally Posted by yyz67 View Post

Should we take bets? smile.gif

Actually have a question: how you are able to siphon off just the L/R signals digitally into your Gen VIII, especially with two-channel encoded Dolby digital source etc.? I want to run my better DAC/amp on my L/R, but it will get the full digital signal and do a down-mix to stereo, while the AVR would properly be decoding center, surrounds, and sub. Don't know if this question is clear...

 

My Theta CB3 HD has a full bandwith digital out card - I connect a digital AES/EBU cable from the digital out card, to the AES/EBU digital input of the Theta Digital Generation VIII DAC. Then in the  Generation VIII menu I set it to operate as the front left and right channels of the CB3 HD. Then the CB3 HD volume control controls and volume of all of my 5.1 channels including front left and right.  This is proprietary to Theta Digital.

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post #118 of 146 Old 02-26-2014, 07:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yyz67 View Post

Should we take bets? smile.gif

Actually have a question: how you are able to siphon off just the L/R signals digitally into your Gen VIII, especially with two-channel encoded Dolby digital source etc.? I want to run my better DAC/amp on my L/R, but it will get the full digital signal and do a down-mix to stereo, while the AVR would properly be decoding center, surrounds, and sub. Don't know if this question is clear...

Other way to do this is to get an Oppo 103 with Vanity HD board and run this S/PDIF outputs straight into a stack of DACs. You won't have DRC, but otherwise this is probably one of the best SQ per $$$ architectures available. Additional benefit is, you won't have a downsampled signal for HD sources, as you would in the Theta based architetcture. Another way I can think of to do what you want (and get DRC), is to set up a server with Dirac and run into 3 x DACs, with the best one on the mains channel. Third option is to do run either an Oppo with Vanity Board or Server with Lynx into a Trinnov processor, and use the Trinnov digital output to feed your audiophile DAC for mains. Works like a charm, but pricey architecture.
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post #119 of 146 Old 02-27-2014, 10:20 PM
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Other way to do this is to get an Oppo 103 with Vanity HD board and run this S/PDIF outputs straight into a stack of DACs. You won't have DRC, but otherwise this is probably one of the best SQ per $$$ architectures available. Additional benefit is, you won't have a downsampled signal for HD sources, as you would in the Theta based architetcture. Another way I can think of to do what you want (and get DRC), is to set up a server with Dirac and run into 3 x DACs, with the best one on the mains channel. Third option is to do run either an Oppo with Vanity Board or Server with Lynx into a Trinnov processor, and use the Trinnov digital output to feed your audiophile DAC for mains. Works like a charm, but pricey architecture.

Thanks edorr, although I don't really know what this all means:)! I'll PM you if that's okay?
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post #120 of 146 Old 03-01-2014, 04:46 PM
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Sorry this took so long. I was building a guitar effects board and the room has been a mess. I finally had a chance to take some quick photos. Source is a BDP-1. Dreadnaught III is running 4x250 to biamp the 7t. Cables are Cardas Clear and power cords are Sablon Audio Gran Corona. Rack is something I built myself. Room treatments are by GK Acoustics and provide a nice balance of bass trapping, absorption and diffusion.





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