How do I verify - or debunk - the claims of The Upgrade Company? - Page 3 - AVS Forum
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post #61 of 1596 Old 05-24-2011, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Charles R View Post

It's just as true (or perhaps more so) that one can better judge the bias of someone who has been around for a long time. It becomes very easy to bypass post after post... if they post the same thing more than twice I tend to ignore them.

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post #62 of 1596 Old 05-24-2011, 11:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by par4 View Post

Then why start the thread?

I was interested in their claims about the differences between two STOCK units, the Integra 80.2 and the Onkyo 5508. My post that you have quoted was a lapse into overall value of the mods they do and was a mistake on my part.

Jeff
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post #63 of 1596 Old 05-24-2011, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by naturephoto1 View Post

I really dislike these discussions.

However, I do want to mention that I compared the performance of my then upgraded Onkyo PR-SC885 Pre/Pro with a stock unit in May of 2009. As to the sound, there is no question that the 2 units did sound quite different. The upgraded Onkyo 885 trumped the stock unit in all areas including being more open sounding with better more controlled bass, better imaging, better soundstage, clarity, dynamics (both micro and macro), and much more natural and relaxed performance.

Additionally, I have compared the early upgrade of this unit versus some very expensive Preamps and thought that upgraded Onkyo sounded superior.

Since my comparisons in 2009 my Onkyo PR-SC885 Pre/Pro has gone through many additional upgrades to the unit so that it's performance far exceeds what I heard in 2009.

I have also noted improved audio and I also believe improved video performance of my upgraded NuForce Edition Oppo 83SE Blu-ray player particularly after the latest installation of the Upgrade Company's proprietary shielding.

Rich

Hi,

I Google mapped your location in Breinigsville, PA. You are only about 30 miles from me. I wonder if you would like to get together and allow me to audition your upgrades from TUC? I currently have a "stock" Integra 80.2 and prior to that, I had a "stock" Onkyo 885. I also have a "stock" Oppo 83. I think that, if the improvements made by TUC were readily apparent, I would be able to tell, and then I would certainly consider doing some of these upgrades myself.

Also, the OP, pepar, is only a few miles further west of us. He currently owns a "stock" 5508, Oppo 83 and is a prior owner of a "stock" 885. He may wish to participate as well.

Finally, another poster in this thread, DMark1, lives in Lancaster, PA. He currently owns my old 885, (still stock) and an Oppo 83SE. It was actually his questioning of pepar and I about TUC that was the instigation for this thread. I'm sure he would have great interest in auditioning your improvements also.

In return, I'm sure I can speak for all 3 of us when I offer that we would be happy to let you audition our systems as well. It would be interesting to get your thoughts about the potential benefit to our systems also.

Let me know if you would be interested.

Craig

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post #64 of 1596 Old 05-24-2011, 12:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naturephoto1 View Post

I really dislike these discussions.

However, I do want to mention that I compared the performance of my then upgraded Onkyo PR-SC885 Pre/Pro with a stock unit in May of 2009. As to the sound, there is no question that the 2 units did sound quite different. The upgraded Onkyo 885 trumped the stock unit in all areas including being more open sounding with better more controlled bass, better imaging, better soundstage, clarity, dynamics (both micro and macro), and much more natural and relaxed performance.

Additionally, I have compared the early upgrade of this unit versus some very expensive Preamps and thought that upgraded Onkyo sounded superior.

Since my comparisons in 2009 my Onkyo PR-SC885 Pre/Pro has gone through many additional upgrades to the unit so that it's performance far exceeds what I heard in 2009.

I have also noted improved audio and I also believe improved video performance of my upgraded NuForce Edition Oppo 83SE Blu-ray player particularly after the latest installation of the Upgrade Company's proprietary shielding.

Rich

My apologies, Rich. I think we might all agree that there are things in the A/V hobby that are bogus and many things that are real. Sometimes what one person puts into the first category is not agreed upon by all. I have seen you on another forum (WBF) and know that you are not a shill. So, again, please accept my apologies for tarring you with a brush that was way too wide.

I really did/do want to limit the point of contention to his claim that the stock 5508 was superior to the stock 80.2 .... when all evidence points to them being identical.

Jeff
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post #65 of 1596 Old 05-24-2011, 12:08 PM
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Since my comparisons in 2009 my Onkyo PR-SC885 Pre/Pro has gone through many additional upgrades to the unit so that it's performance far exceeds what I heard in 2009

Statements like this immediately pop up negative feelings in my brain. 'far exceeds' suggests something not possible with a few part swaps. At least by any reasonable use of the phrase 'far exceeds'.

I feel like, if you want to be taken seriously, you have to be precise with language. Explain how some piece of music sounds better with the change, and why. Explain how you compared the two systems. Without that sort of detail, I have to dismiss this statement as hyperbole.

"But this one goes up to 11"
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post #66 of 1596 Old 05-24-2011, 12:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craig john View Post

Hi,

I Google mapped your location in Breinigsville, PA. You are only about 30 miles from me. I wonder if you would like to get together and allow me to audition your upgrades from TUC? I currently have a "stock" Integra 80.2 and prior to that, I had a "stock" Onkyo 885. I also have a "stock" Oppo 83. I think that, if the improvements made by TUC were readily apparent, I would be able to tell, and then I would certainly consider doing some of these upgrades myself.

Also, the OP, pepar, is only a few miles further west of us. He currently owns a "stock" 5508, Oppo 83 and is a prior owner of a "stock" 885. He may wish to participate as well; after all, based on the title of this thread, he would like to verify -- or debunk -- the claims made by TUC.

Finally, another poster in this thread, DMark1, lives in Lancaster, PA. He currently owns my old 885, (still stock) and an Oppo 83SE. It was actually his questioning of pepar and I about TUC that was the instigation for this thread. I'm sure he would have great interest in auditioning your improvements also.

In return, I'm sure I can speak for all 3 of us when I offer that we would be happy to let you audition our systems as well. It would be interesting to get your thoughts about the potential benefit to our systems also.

Let me know if you would be interested.

Craig

Yes, please all be assured that we seek truth. Admittedly, I have a slight bias but since I am aware of it, it is not a "belief" that cannot be overcome. In the same vein, I am agnostic not atheist, on the modifications.

But I have no mercy for TUC when it comes to the statements he made about the 5508 vs the 80.2 as it is out and out BS. And, of course, in the back of my mind is the question "If he lies about that, what else might he be lying about?"

Jeff
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post #67 of 1596 Old 05-24-2011, 12:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelJHuman View Post

"Since my comparisons in 2009 my Onkyo PR-SC885 Pre/Pro has gone through many additional upgrades to the unit so that it's performance far exceeds what I heard in 2009"

Statements like this immediately pop up negative feelings in my brain. 'far exceeds' suggests something not possible with a few part swaps.

I feel like, if you want to be taken seriously, you have to be precise with language. Explain how some piece of music sounds better with the change, and why. Explain how you compared the two systems. Without that sort of detail, I have to dismiss this statement as hyperbole.

I need to step in and say something here ...

I recently upgraded from an 885 to a 5508 and I must say that the performance far exceeds the 885. I have not measured it, nor do I know how I would have. So, let's not dismiss a member's observations as being unscientific and hyperbole because there are no charts and graphs.

Jeff
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post #68 of 1596 Old 05-24-2011, 12:26 PM
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if unit a "far exceeds" unit b, unit b must have really sucked...

i believe michael's point is the hyperbole makes any commentary written the way the op wrote it pretty useless...

the op states it's better in EVERY way, and then goes on to list the usual "laundry list of audiophile things" it's better at... not only that, it's more "relaxed" now (i guess ds must give 'em a couple martinis on their way out ther door )....

c'mon...

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post #69 of 1596 Old 05-24-2011, 12:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ccotenj View Post

if unit a "far exceeds" unit b, unit b must have really sucked...



I characterize improvements in sound quality as yet another curtain being lifted from between me and the music. Fortunately, my system has gotten better and better over the years, and room treatments and Audyssey room correction have iced it. Still, I am surprised sometimes when a curtain is lifted that I did not know was there. I expected my 5508 to sound better than my 885, but I did not expect it to be so dramatic a difference. The 885 did not suck by any stretch of the imagination, but ... my 5508 far exceeds it.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Jeff
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post #70 of 1596 Old 05-24-2011, 12:49 PM
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The power of Dave compells you, the power of Dave compells you, the power of Dave compells you, the power of Dave compells you .................

the power of Dave compells you ............

the power of Dave compells you ......

the power of Dave compells you ...

the power of Dave compells you ..

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I have some stones, pebbles, maple blocks, and magic clocks for sale that will drastically improve the SQ of any component in any system that y'all might own. PM me for details

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post #71 of 1596 Old 05-24-2011, 01:00 PM
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As to the question of getting together for those in the area, it is something that might be considered however, my other half is always reticent to visitors that I do not know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pepar View Post

My apologies, Rich. I think we might all agree that there are things in the A/V hobby that are bogus and many things that are real. Sometimes what one person puts into the first category is not agreed upon by all. I have seen you on another forum (WBF) and know that you are not a shill. So, again, please accept my apologies for tarring you with a brush that was way too wide.

I really did/do want to limit the point of contention to his claim that the stock 5508 was superior to the stock 80.2 .... when all evidence points to them being identical.

Jeff

Jeff,

That is OK, some of us have been called worse.

In any case, there is no question that Onkyo has been making improvements in the designs of their Pre/Pros since the introduction of the stock 885 so it is no surprise that your newer stock 5508 unit did sound better than the stock 885.

I may have exaggerated slightly as to the improvements since 2009, but probably not by much. There is no question that the performance did sound better, but I no longer had that unit or a stock 885 available to compare with after the later modifications.

I think many do not understand about what David and the Upgrade Company is doing to the units. Many DIYers and people that get inside of their equipment like Tony and Roger on WBF is to replace "weak" component parts particularly caps and resistors. In fact Roger and I are working on upgrading 2 Ampex R2R 440C/B Hybrid tape decks using much of these practices.

So, David is replacing parts in specific portions of the circuitry that do make changes to the sound. The key here though is having an understanding of what is changing and having a keen ear for voicing the changes in the sound. Additionally, like Roger of WBF, David has found that many of our components are losing information (or being masked- so we are removing veils) due to noise in the system including RFI and EMI. David has his own methods of dealing with this including damping materials, adding shielding, usage of filters, etc. Some of this is the usage of shielded tape, and sometimes the AVR fluid that many do not like or believe in. Also, and part of the reason that equipment may be worked on with time is the fact that David learns new ways to improve performance as he experiments with changes. There is more than 1 way to skin a cat. So, machines that have been worked on previously can sound still better with additional attention at a later date.

I also know that many may not like the appearance of the finished work, but that is another question entirely. Not everything in life is "pretty"

Rich

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post #72 of 1596 Old 05-24-2011, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by naturephoto1 View Post

As to the question of getting together for those in the area, it is something that might be considered however, my other half is always reticent to visitors that I do not know.

Well, if you would like to get to know us first, (or at least me), you are welcome to come down here and listen to my system. I would be interested in your thoughts about the potential for improvements. You can also bring your wife along, if she's so inclined. I've known pepar and DMark1 for quite some time, so they could come over and meet you as well.

Then, after we've all met, maybe you could audition your system for me/us, so I/we can get a feel for the improvements. Thanks.

If you want to pursue this, PM me and we can work out the details.

Craig

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post #73 of 1596 Old 05-24-2011, 01:37 PM
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very interesting .. i got my pop-corn ready !
The last thread on TUC was a flame war that was locked ! .
i did notice some reviewers in some of the Mags now have TUC units in their equipment signatures & no, I'm not gonna spend an afternoon looking on google for where I seen them............

Mike

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post #74 of 1596 Old 05-24-2011, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by craig john View Post

Well, if you would like to get to know us first, (or at least me), you are welcome to come down here and listen to my system. I would be interested in your thoughts about the potential for improvements. You can also bring your wife along, if she's so inclined. I've known pepar and DMark1 for quite some time, so they could come over and meet you as well.

Then, after we've all met, maybe you could audition your system for me/us, so I/we can get a feel for the improvements. Thanks.

If you want to pursue this, PM me and we can work out the details.

Craig

Hi Craig,

That is certainly a possibility. I also have some friends over in your neck of the woods on Blu-ray.com who actually also live in Lancaster and the surrounding area. I am thinking particularly of Fors* whose real name is John as well as Troy (Frey Theater).

From experience at this point, one of the best improvements to a system can be obtained from proper installation of Acoustic Room treatments. They have had the greatest affect on the sound in my system second only to the acquisition and installation of my new speakers.

I am not trying to brag or show off, but if you wish to see the evolution of my present system you can look at this link:

http://www.blu-ray.com/community/gal...r=naturephoto1

Rich

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post #75 of 1596 Old 05-24-2011, 01:55 PM
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I can only conclude that the count of the set of scenarios where 'far eceeds' is applicable , FAR EXCEEDS the count of the set of scenarios where I think it applies.

Let's say you have a scale of 0 to 10 with 0 being no improvement and 10 being like the difference between a baby banging on a pie tin and 10 being Chopin playing Chopin on the best piano ever made.

I would say 'far exceeds' is like 7 or better on the scale.

Seems like some people think a scale of 0 to 10 means they should start at 5 (a common problem with scales...people tend to start high, see IMDB.)

"But this one goes up to 11"
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post #76 of 1596 Old 05-24-2011, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naturephoto1 View Post

I am not trying to brag or show off, but if you wish to see the evolution of my present system you can look at this link:

http://www.blu-ray.com/community/gal...r=naturephoto1

Rich

Nice set-up !

Mike

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post #77 of 1596 Old 05-24-2011, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by naturephoto1 View Post

Hi Craig,

That is certainly a possibility. I also have some friends over in your neck of the woods on Blu-ray.com who actually also live in Lancaster and the surrounding area. I am thinking particularly of Fors* whose real name is John as well as Troy (Frey Theater).

From experience at this point, one of the best improvements to a system can be obtained from proper installation of Acoustic Room treatments. They have had the greatest affect on the sound in my system second only to the acquisition and installation of my new speakers.

I am not trying to brag or show off, but if you wish to see the evolution of my present system you can look at this link:

http://www.blu-ray.com/community/gal...r=naturephoto1

Rich

To say the least, that is a very impressive looking system, and one I would really like to hear.

I have room treatments in my room as does pepar and Dmark1, so you're preaching to the believers on that score.

Let's take it to PM and see if we can work out a GTG.

Craig

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post #78 of 1596 Old 05-24-2011, 04:42 PM
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Rich, CraigJohn, and Pepar:

I am 100% in on this idea, I was thinking the exact thing. I would be willing to take my stock Onkyo 885 and/or Oppo 83SE up to Rich's place to compare it to the TUC modded units. Or, if he is more comfortable coming down here to Lancaster, he can bring his modded 885 to my place. Whatever works!

I think a GTG like this will be very beneficial and could go a long way toward providing some useful information.

Rich, BTW, Nice System!

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post #79 of 1596 Old 05-24-2011, 04:56 PM - Thread Starter
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I'd kick in my 5508. And bring my Audyssey Pro kit for a calibration.

We should go PM for this ...

Jeff
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post #80 of 1596 Old 05-24-2011, 04:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craig john View Post

To say the least, that is a very impressive looking system, and one I would really like to hear.

I have room treatments in my room as does pepar and Dmark1, so you're preaching to the believers on that score.

Let's take it to PM and see if we can work out a GTG.

Craig

Craig,

Thanks for the kind words.

Let me see what I can do for available time.

Quote:
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Rich, CraigJohn, and Pepar:

I am 100% in on this idea, I was thinking the exact thing. I would be willing to take my stock Onkyo 885 and/or Oppo 83SE up to Rich's place to compare it to the TUC modded units. Or, if he is more comfortable coming down here to Lancaster, he can bring his modded 885 to my place. Whatever works!

I think a GTG like this will be very beneficial and could go a long way toward providing some useful information.

Rich, BTW, Nice System!

DMark,

Thank you as well for the kind words.

Comparing Onkyo 885s is not an easy task. I am also not sure if this would necessarily even be very practical at this point in my system. But, it is something to consider. My connections and wiring at this point is quite complicated. Also, at this point, I use my upgraded Audio Research LS10 Linestage preamp for my 2 channel system and it is run through the Onkyo 885 with the LS10 set for Home Theater Bypass for multichannel playback. So, at this point, I am not using the Onkyo as most on this forum would. For that kind of comparison it may be more practical for me to bring my Onkyo there.

For listening to my system, that is another story.

Rich

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post #81 of 1596 Old 05-24-2011, 05:20 PM
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Looks like TUC added the 80.2 to it's roster now. I find that interesting after stumbling on this thread. Didn't see any reference to the 5508 being better then the 80.2 but I really didn't look that hard.

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post #82 of 1596 Old 05-24-2011, 05:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by McLuvin View Post

Looks like TUC added the 80.2 to it's roster now. I find that interesting after stumbling on this thread. Didn't see any reference to the 5508 being better then the 80.2 but I really didn't look that hard.

Greg

I think he is in the process of changing his website. The original link now shows this:



And the "new" 5508 page now shows this:

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post #83 of 1596 Old 05-24-2011, 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by McLuvin View Post

Looks like TUC added the 80.2 to it's roster now. I find that interesting after stumbling on this thread. Didn't see any reference to the 5508 being better then the 80.2 but I really didn't look that hard.

Greg

That is interesting especially when TUC was slamming the inferior performance of the 80.2 when compared to the 5508. Maybe DS didn't realize the potential ($$$$$) for "modding" 80.2s as well.

Quote:
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I think he is in the process of changing his website. The original link now shows this:

I wonder why? TUC will most likely deny the content from the original link.

Bill

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post #84 of 1596 Old 05-24-2011, 06:24 PM
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That is interesting especially when TUC was slamming the inferior performance of the 80.2 when compared to the 5508. Maybe DS didn't realize the potential ($$$$$) for "modding" 80.2s as well.

Well, the worse it is, the greater the opportunity.

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post #85 of 1596 Old 05-24-2011, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

Well, the worse it is, the greater the opportunity.

This is true. Maybe now TUC can claim their "modded" 80.2 will out perform the stock "pro built" 5508 with THX Pro.

Bill

My SACD collection, watch it grow and my wallet shrink ;-).

 

Denon 4311 (in preamp mode), Parasound 2100, Boston Acoustics A7200 amp, Oppo BDP-103, Consonance CD120, Panasonic TC-P60GT50 plasma, Panamax 5100EX, Salk Song Towers, Song Center, ADS 300C (surrounds) and two Rythmik F12SEs.
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post #86 of 1596 Old 05-24-2011, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill Mac View Post

That is interesting especially when TUC was slamming the inferior performance of the 80.2 when compared to the 5508. Maybe DS didn't realize the potential ($$$$$) for "modding" 80.2s as well.



I wonder why? TUC will most likely deny the content from the original link.

Bill

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Originally Posted by Bill Mac View Post

This is true. Maybe now TUC can claim their "modded" 80.2 will out perform the stock "pro built" 5508 with THX Pro.

Bill

Sounds like a plan.

Kal Rubinson

"Music in the Round"
Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile
http://www.stereophile.com/category/music-round

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post #87 of 1596 Old 05-25-2011, 06:06 AM
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Originally Posted by naturephoto1 View Post

Hi Craig,

That is certainly a possibility. I also have some friends over in your neck of the woods on Blu-ray.com who actually also live in Lancaster and the surrounding area. I am thinking particularly of Fors* whose real name is John as well as Troy (Frey Theater).

From experience at this point, one of the best improvements to a system can be obtained from proper installation of Acoustic Room treatments. They have had the greatest affect on the sound in my system second only to the acquisition and installation of my new speakers.

I am not trying to brag or show off, but if you wish to see the evolution of my present system you can look at this link:

http://www.blu-ray.com/community/gal...r=naturephoto1

Rich

Nice room
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Front L & R: Oswalds Mill Audio OMA New Yorker Prototype horn speakers original prototypes; 2 pair in existence

I have never heard of them, but Im a huge waveguide/horn fan and Im drooling Im also curious about bass bin below the horn....any links to those details (like the CD/woofer brand). i have TADs and BMS CDs + 4 JBL 2226Js waiting for a build and that is the perfect cabinet design that I would love to copy.

It is not "open-minded" to reject knowledge - Bob Lee
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post #88 of 1596 Old 05-25-2011, 06:17 AM
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Originally Posted by pepar View Post

I need to step in and say something here ...

I recently upgraded from an 885 to a 5508 and I must say that the performance far exceeds the 885. I have not measured it, nor do I know how I would have. So, let's not dismiss a member's observations as being unscientific and hyperbole because there are no charts and graphs.

Jeff

Why not though?? Your conclusions are also unscientific and most likely have a good amount of exaggeration if you never did any level matching and proper controlled litening to compare the two products. Imagination is the biggest uncontrolled variable you guys have going for you. That isnt a bad thing at all but it counter productive in any discussion online about the real difference in any product. I get that "man, that is awesome" stuff. I buy products all the time and get that warm fuzzy feeling but I also understand its really just a function of my brain and the real scientific differences are probably non-existant.

What if its really just a 2% increase in performance ( ie...less distortion)?
What if its really just a 3dB change in SPL level accross the board?
What if its just a speaker movement instead of the equipment?
What if its really just a -2dB change in the 500Hz to 2500Hz range of the equipment?

Level matching, Auto EQing and measurements before the listening tests could answer a lot of the questions and most likely put a big foot stomping on the term " far exceeds "....Far exceed means double, triple the performance...not a few percentage points

It is not "open-minded" to reject knowledge - Bob Lee
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post #89 of 1596 Old 05-25-2011, 06:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by penngray View Post
Why not though?? Your conclusions are also unscientific and most likely have a good amount of exaggeration.

Imagination is the biggest uncontrolled variable you guys have going for you. That isnt a bad thing at all but it counter productive in any discussion online about the real difference in any product.
When I read that somebody thought the performance of component A "far exceeds" that of component B, I don't need precision or data to accept that that person perceives a difference.

The underlying question is "why" and then *that* could take us into human psychology ... and even the power of marketing in some cases. The problem is that it is not possible to discuss this as anyone so afflicted will not know it and will not take kindly to being accused of it; to them it is real. And then the thread gets locked.

This is exactly why I was trying to focus on TUC's claim that the 80.2 was inferior to the 5508.

Jeff
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post #90 of 1596 Old 05-25-2011, 06:46 AM
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Originally Posted by penngray View Post
Nice room


I have never heard of them, but Im a huge waveguide/horn fan and Im drooling Im also curious about bass bin below the horn....any links to those details (like the CD/woofer brand). i have TADs and BMS CDs + 4 JBL 2226Js waiting for a build and that is the perfect cabinet design that I would love to copy.
Oswalds Mill Audio or OMA is a small HiEnd maker of horn speakers, tube amps and preamps, turntables, turntable plinths, racks here in eastern PA. They have a very good name and have shown at RMAF several times. Here are links to Jonathan Weiss' OMA website:

http://www.oswaldsmillaudio.com/
http://www.oswaldsmillaudio.com/Products/products.html
http://www.oswaldsmillaudio.com/Prod...udspeaker.html

OMA has other horn speakers that are not listed/or yet to be released on their website including mine which still have not gone into production.

OMA is being quiet about the compression horn drivers in my New Yorker speakers. I believe that the midrange/tweeter and the 2 15" woofers are Dutch and these are Pro Drivers. No other HiEnd maker of speakers is using these drivers at present but they are being used by 2 Pro Audio Horn speaker makers. The New Yorker speakers have an efficiency of 105 dB/1w/1m.

Rich

Richard A. Nelridge

www.nelridge.com
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