Sunfire Theater Grand Processors (thread to share advice,info,thoughts, etc) - Page 7 - AVS Forum
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post #181 of 1164 Old 07-16-2003, 05:20 PM
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Thanks for the quick reply Steve. Problem is I don't know anybody with a Pronto remote.
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post #182 of 1164 Old 07-18-2003, 06:52 AM
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I think there is a fairly inexpensive Radio Shack (All in one?) remote that has the capability to enter discrete codes into it. You could use this one to teach the TGIII remote.

Does anybody know the model number?

Dan
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post #183 of 1164 Old 07-18-2003, 07:24 AM - Thread Starter
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I believe Dan is right about Radio Shack offering one. The only all in one Radio Shack remote that I know of that has the ability for discrete codes to be entered into it is the Kameleon 6 in 1 remote. It's a backlit touch sensitive remote. It retails for $59.99. I'm not sure what kind of codes can be downloaded into it though.

Here's a link:

http://www.radioshack.com/product.as...5Fid=15%2D2133
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post #184 of 1164 Old 07-18-2003, 11:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dan Krieg
I think there is a fairly inexpensive Radio Shack (All in one?) remote that has the capability to enter discrete codes into it. You could use this one to teach the TGIII remote.

Does anybody know the model number?

Dan

Radio Shack # 15-2116

But you also may need to enter them into that remote by using the JP1 interface, before you can teach them to the Sunfire/MX-500 remote.
It all depends on what you are trying to teach it, as it may not be native to the Radio Shack remote, but it can be entered into it with a PC and a JP1 cable, and some of the freeware JP1 programs that are available. For more info look in the remote forum here. Or for even more than that. Go to www.remotecentral.com and do a search for JP1 in the "One for All remote controls" forum there. Also check out the stuff irclone.com has for the MX-500 remote as well. As it will probably work with the Sunfire remote also, seeing as it's nothing more than a re-branded MX-500.
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post #185 of 1164 Old 07-19-2003, 03:56 PM
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Tweak update. I had a consultaion with Bill Laurent from Eighth Nerve. His company offers room treatment to improve acoustics and various audio tweaks. His room pack will treat an entire room and costs $250 with a 30 day audition. It makes a night and day difference in my room.
We placed some brass cones called Nerve Endings beneath the TG3.
Very,very nice. More detail and clarity in my system. Cost was around $50
I think.
This is a guy who treats music studios and hears all types of megabuck gear.
He shared how my room sounded better than some $100K systems he has heard. He was literally a little stunned.
We both feel that the room treatment and the isolation cones made an improvement. It is posted at the audio circle site in the Eighth Nerve room under my witchdoctor handle.
Check it out!
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post #186 of 1164 Old 07-20-2003, 08:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for sharing the tweaks. I'm all for the best sound possible.

SV
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post #187 of 1164 Old 07-20-2003, 07:15 PM
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Hi Alan,
First when you see Bob give him a great BIG thank you from all of us for the TG3.
I was wondering if you can make Circle Surround available as a software update?
It is available for WM 9 as a plug in for around $10. You can download it off the internet.
I would be more than happy to pay for the upgrade if necessary to help offset your licensing fee.
Thanks
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post #188 of 1164 Old 07-21-2003, 03:00 PM
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I am looking for a little help from you fellow owners. I went on vacation for about a week and a half and unplugged my equipment mainly because we have been having some real bad storms lately and I am paranoid about lightning. I got home plugged my TGIII back in and the only speakers that work are the front left and front right. I can go to the calibration screen and it shows the same settings I had before I left. I tried the reset procedure and reset up everything but still no sound from the center, surrounds, or subs. I switched cables to the amp to eliminate it and the speakers and got sound from the other speakers when connected to one of the mains. I am out of ideas for what I can do but maybe I am overlooking something.

Thanks everyone
Mike
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post #189 of 1164 Old 07-21-2003, 03:26 PM
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1) Always use a good surge protector, and you'll never have to worry about storms.

2) If you go to the speaker calibration setup menu and move from speaker to speaker, can you hear the speakers? I'm trying to determine whether or not the problem is related to configuration or in the proc's ability to send output to the amp(s).

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post #190 of 1164 Old 07-21-2003, 04:41 PM
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When I go through the calibration menu I cannot hear the speakers. I do use a surge protector, but I have heard that sometimes lightning can get to your equipment anyway on something like a direct hit.
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post #191 of 1164 Old 07-21-2003, 08:23 PM
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Looks like a call to their tech support may be in order. The number is on their Web site.

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post #192 of 1164 Old 07-22-2003, 01:47 AM
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guys i know TGIII is a pre/pro and the Denon 5803 is a receiver but assuming the use of a decent amp, how does the TGIII stack up against the Denon 5803?

I just bought a Richard Gray Power Transformer for my Cell Phone Charger!!! I need help!
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post #193 of 1164 Old 07-22-2003, 08:05 AM - Thread Starter
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The Denon 5803 is a fine receiver, and probably the best in it's class, but when it comes to comparing a receiver (even a flagship one like the 5803) with a good pre-pro there is no contest, the pre-pro will win hands down. I have done some serious listening to the Denon and I prefered the TGIII.

The TGIII is still IMO one of the best sounding and easiest to use pre-pro's on the market.
SV
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post #194 of 1164 Old 07-22-2003, 08:16 AM
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HIB: I agree that the TGIII will blow away any standalone receiver, but if you're dead set on a receiver, you should check out Sunfire's Ultimate Receiver. It shares the same firmware with the TGIII - it is, in essence, a TGIII with a built-in 7 channel x 200 watt amplifier. I have a TGIII in my HT, but I am considering using a UR upstairs in the Living Room to replace my Sony ES receiver.

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post #195 of 1164 Old 07-22-2003, 09:26 AM
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I am also evaluating the Sunfire UR. I really like what it has to offer, although I am torn when it comes to comparing it against the B&K 507 (which has a little less power, a better remote and THX).

Thoughts? Comments? Criticisms?
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post #196 of 1164 Old 07-22-2003, 11:42 AM
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MBookspan:

THX's marketing department is brilliant, because they have convinced so many people that there is something essentially different abount THX and non-THX components.

Components don't really "have" THX like they have a Dolby Digital decoder or a DTS decoder. There's no "THX encoding" on a soundtrack. THX is a set of standards with the goal of making movie playback true to the original sountrack of the Hollywood release.

Components can, however, be "THX Certified," which essentially means the manufacturer paid THX labs big bucks for a licensing fee to use their logo and say they are certified. I think nearly any high-end component that has high-end features and capabilities could be sent to THX with the licencing fee and end up "THX Certified."

Of the features that must be included in any component that is certified, as far as I can tell, the TGIII has them all.

More info here:

http://www.thx.com/mod/products/homeTheatre.html

and here:

http://www.thx.com/mod/cert/productsCertDesc.html

As far as remotes go, I personally don't consider the type of remote that comes with a unit, because I use a Marantz RC5000 (Pronto Pro). What I do care about with a learning remote is the number of discrete codes a device will respond to. And the Sunfire has discretes for EVERYTHING. They have even added additional discrete codes in their firmware updates based on user requests.

I'd say audition both before you make a decision. You should also check out the Pronto/Marantz remotes

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post #197 of 1164 Old 07-22-2003, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by stevejenkins
Components don't really "have" THX like they have a Dolby Digital decoder or a DTS decoder.

So are you saying that THX labelled components "don't really have" circuitry to handle re-equalization, timbre matching, decorrelation, etc?
Quote:
THX is a set of standards with the goal of making movie playback true to the original sountrack of the Hollywood release.

Components can, however, be "THX Certified," which essentially means the manufacturer paid THX labs big bucks for a licensing fee to use their logo and say they are certified. I think nearly any high-end component that has high-end features and capabilities could be sent to THX with the licencing fee and end up "THX Certified."

If (as you say) THX is a set of standards, then how can manufacturers get THX certification simply by sending THX a licensing fee? That's some claim on your part. Do you have any examples of this? For instance: do you know of any surround processors that didn't have timbre matching circuitry or couldn't decorrelate a mono surround channel (features fairly unique to THX) but were still able to buy THX certification by paying "big bucks" to THX labs? I'd really appreciate any examples you have to back up your claim. BTW, since "big" is a relative term to each of us, roughly how many dollars did you mean when you said "big bucks"? Even an approximate figure would be helpful.

Thanx,
Sanjay

Sanjay
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post #198 of 1164 Old 07-22-2003, 01:28 PM
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MC8 or TGIII?

I just bought a Richard Gray Power Transformer for my Cell Phone Charger!!! I need help!
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post #199 of 1164 Old 07-22-2003, 02:52 PM
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Steve,

Thanks for the info. The THX issue is not critical. I know that manufacturers pay approx $400 for the licensing fee. My current receiver (Denon AVR4800) has THX Ultra. Do I notice a big difference when I enable it vs. when I don't? Not really. In fact, with my Sonus Fabers, I prefer running movies without THX.

My reasoning is more an issue of what comes included when I purchase an item. Since the Sunfire and B&K both are so similar (in terms of overall functionality), this makes it a tougher choice. I do plan on auditioning both.

In fact, I am picking up the Sunfire this week. I am really looking forward to it!

Now, I completely disagree with you in regard to the Remote. I currently have an RTI TheaterTouch T2 which is infinitely superior to the Pronto class of remotes. Of course, I am severly biased toward hard buttons!

The advantage to the B&K having an MX-700 vs. the Sunfire's MX-500 is programmability and flexibility. The MX-700 is programmable via the PC without any additional requirements. To make the MX-500 work with the PC, I have to go purchase 3rd party software/hardware for an additional $100.

Regardless, I do agree about the discrete codes. They are crucial in designing macros and automation.

My only other little nit with the Sunfire is the speaker posts. They do not directly support spade connections. The B&K does. My current speaker cables use spade connections and I'd rather not have to mod them to work with the Receiver.

Matthew
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post #200 of 1164 Old 07-22-2003, 04:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by sdurani
So are you saying that THX labelled components "don't really have" circuitry to handle re-equalization, timbre matching, decorrelation, etc?

No, that's not what I am saying. I'm saying that in order to get the certification your hardware must do everything that the THX spec says it has to, but that there are many high-end components out there have their own technology that does essentially what is required by the THX spec.

For example, THX says your processor must have (official text from THX in bold):

Faithful sound reproduction - Re-Equalization(TM) removes the edgy "brightness" of cinema sound, accurately adapting movie sound for home playback.

Most processors have some sort of equalization - even if it's just TREBLE and BASS gains. When THX says they remove "edgy brightness" they aren't performing magic - they are reducing some of the higher frequencies (like if you turned down your TREBLE gain...)

Timbre Matching(TM) ensures a tonal match between front and surround speakers for smooth sound movement.

I don't know exactly HOW timbre matching works, so I can't comment. I have always wondered, however, exactly how a processor knows how my speakers are voiced before it sends signal to them. Personally, I make sure the speakers I purchase are timbre matched by the manufacturer before they get to me.

Surround-sound spaciousness- Adaptive Decorrelation(TM) manages Mono Surround signals for a true stereo feel.

This specific application is indeed unique to THX, but there are a variety of unique surround processing modes from a variety of components that attempt to make surround channels feel more, well... "surroundy." The TGIII (I almost forgot this was a TGIII thread!) uses unique technology to create the side-axis speaker field which is a method of creating a more spacious front of the sound stage, but I find it also helps the enveloping nature of 5-channel surround tracks.

Wide dynamic range with massive, distortion-free bass - Bass Management(TM) sends bass to subwoofers, delivering cinema-quality bass and allowing for smaller, easier-to-place speakers. Bass Peak Level Manager(TM) protects subwoofers from overload, ensuring trouble-free delivery of bass-heavy soundtracks.

It sends bass to the subwoofers? That's genius! Sounds like a lot of fancy words (with TMs) for crossovers and limiters to me! BTW - the section in the TGIII menu that handles this is also called "Bass Management."

Optimum listening throughout the room - Loudspeaker Position Time Synchronization(TM) lets you set up your system for optimal "sweet-spot" listening anywhere in large or space-constrained rooms.

Heck - even my Sony receiver can do that!

Quick and easy set-up - Setup across all THX brands and components is guaranteed to be swift and trouble-free.

I have yet to find a processor that was easier to set up than the TGIII. The reviewers agree with me on this one, too. Every review I've read touts the plug-and-play installation.

Do I think THX is ripping people off? Of course not. I saw Star Wars! I know George Lucas hasn't gone to the Dark Side(TM). Do I think his marketing department is smart? You betcha! Do I think there are components out there that have all the technical abilities and features to achieve THX certification, but that haven't done so because they don't want to pay the licensing fees? I don't have any names, but I'd bet there are!

In any case, if THX is a decision making factor in a piece of equipment for you, then great. It's not for me, which is why I purchased the TGIII. FWIW - my old Marantz amps and my Marantz DVD player are "THX Ultra certified" and I can't tell any difference between them and other components of similar price that I've owned.

Sorry to hijack this thread - if you want to discuss more THX stuff, we should probably start a new one. Or search the archives. This dead horse has been sufficiently flogged in plenty of other threads.

Steve

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post #201 of 1164 Old 07-22-2003, 06:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by MBookspan
I am also evaluating the Sunfire UR. I really like what it has to offer, although I am torn when it comes to comparing it against the B&K 507 (which has a little less power, a better remote and THX).

Thoughts? Comments? Criticisms?

B & K's engineers do good work, IMO. I won't say otherwise or get into a bashing session with anyone over competing gear. What I will do is tout a couple of areas where Bob Carver's Tracking Downconverter(TM) invention gives Sunfire a couple of distinct advantages:
1. We're uniquely able to build a gutsy 200W x 7 receiver in a package no larger than our Theater Grand III pre/pro. So it takes up less space in your entertainment center or rack.
2. It runs cool. And cool running gear is reliable gear. *Everything* in your rack benefits from reduced temperatures.

We ran a very simple test some months ago, pitting one of our power amps against a very respectable amp from another manufacturer. Both were rated at 200w x 5. We ran them side-by-side at an average of around 30w/channel (all channels driven) with identical eight ohm loads and fed them from the same music CD source. Boxes with vent holes were placed over both units to simulate an enclosed rack space.

After a couple hours of running time in a 75 degree F room, our amp measured an unstressed 95 degrees F. The other amp was at 165 degrees F (try to hold your hand on that!). I ran those numbers through a typical reliability equation (see below for details) to come up with roughly a ten times reduction in reliability from the higher temperature. Note that this hurts both the amp itself and anything in your rack!

I ask that you check this out for yourself. Put your hand on top of any receiver in your local store -- playing or not. Then do the same with a Sunfire Ultimate Receiver. You may force the salesperson to let you see the speaker binding posts on the rear before you'll believe it really is a receiver... At CEDIA, we had a solo Ultimate Receiver playing on display. It was thundering the room with sound, and people kept asking where we had the power amp stashed.

Regards,
Alan

For those who are interested in the details of the reliability calculation:
I used the basic Arrhenius Model for Failure Rate as seen on the Test and Measurement World website What Causes Semiconductor Devices to Fail? with a conservative average Ev of 0.6V.
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post #202 of 1164 Old 07-22-2003, 09:33 PM
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In a rview at Secrets of Home Theater the reviewer compared the TG3 favorably against his reference B&K pre/pro.
Sunfire Engineer,
Any comment about Circle Surround?
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post #203 of 1164 Old 07-23-2003, 09:45 AM
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Alan,

Thanks for that very unbiased reply. I appreciate the honesty. I am going to pick up an Ulitmate Receiver from Speakerlab tomorrow to try out for a few days.

Honestly, I really like the UR (in terms of specs) when compared against the B&K. Further, I like that Sunfire is a local company (I live in Kirkland - you're just up the road).

I do have another question - I downloaded the PDF version of the manual. My question relates to the speaker binding posts. Do they support spade connections? It doesn't clearly say in the manual.

Thanks again for your reply,

Matthew
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post #204 of 1164 Old 07-23-2003, 12:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Alan Cooney,

First, I want to welcome you to this thread and say thanks for your input. It's really great to have Sunfire's VP of Engineering here with us. You all at Sunfire have been great, and you all offer some really wonderful products. I'm sure many of us TGIII owners will most likely have some questions for you. By being here sharing your insight and expertise, this goes to show just how much Sunfire's team really cares for their customers.

Thanks again Alan

SV
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post #205 of 1164 Old 07-23-2003, 03:04 PM
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Hello Sunfire Engineer (Alan)

Thanks for joining the forum.

I'm a happy Sunfire owner since February.

I have one issue with the unit I've never been able to resolve and I thought I'd report it here again. I also reported it to your support number around March I think.

The problem is with mono digital sources and pro-logic matrix mode. I can't get this to work on my unit. No matter what the pro-logic II setting is, the unit will not move out of mono mode. According to the manual this should work.

One reason it's a bit of a problem for me is I have my Cinema Grand set up as auto power on and it will only turn on with a signal on the left input. Of course, I would also rather listen to 5 speakers than just 1.

Thanks if you get a chance to check it out.

Dan
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post #206 of 1164 Old 07-25-2003, 09:16 AM
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Is there a significant improvement in using the balanced inputs between the TGIII and the Cinema 7 v. the unbalanced ones? I am contemplated a cable upgrade and was wondering if the upgrade should include the move to balanced cables? Interconnect length in any case would be less than 6 feet.

Thanks in advance,
Brian
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post #207 of 1164 Old 07-25-2003, 04:02 PM
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It depends on the cable quality. As a general rule if cables are of similar quality the XLR is the better choice. I use Bogdan audio silver XLR cables from audiogon.com ( $179.00) and they sound better than the Acoustic Zen silver Ref 2 XLR cables did ( $900).
The funny thing is the Bogdan silver RCA cables ( $99) also sounded better than the AZ.
The Bogdan XLR are better than the RCA though.
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post #208 of 1164 Old 07-28-2003, 07:31 PM
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Hi Alan,

In your earlier post you mentioned the idea of being able to turn off the orange lights while leaving the blue lights on the TG III on. May I say YES, YES, YES! I would love a setting where the blue status lights are on but the orange lights are off. I have heard coments on this and I think it'd be a real improvement.

Regards,
Greg
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post #209 of 1164 Old 07-29-2003, 01:06 AM
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Hi folks, first off, I`d like to thank Witchdoctor for turning me on to this thread. Seems like a solid source of info and a helpful problem solving tool. I`m presently awaiting the arrival of my TG3 that I stoled' for $2300 at Audiogon along with a pair of Butler Audio 3150 tube hybrid amps with 6 channels of 150w/ch and an upgrade potential to 10 channels! This is my first venture into the world of high end components and I`m nervous as hell. But I do have a couple of questions and/or advise to ask. First off, the rubber feet, do they come off? I have 3 stainless steel cones w/pucks that I`ll be using being a firm believer that cones will drain off the minute vibrations created from the circuits that will only help with a clearer definition of the soundstage. The IEC terminal, can this be replaced without voiding the warranty and if so, are the connections the standard clips? I would very much like to install an Acme cryoed silver IEC panel terminal. I`ll be using a VenHaus flavor 2 power cord also. These 2 items were used with my mid-fi Yamaha 6.1 digital receiver with outstanding results in clarity. I`m also upgrading the 2 IEC terminals on the Butler amps with the warranty blessings of Butler Audio! Another tweek that I used with positive results is Stillpoints ERS which I applied to line the inside casing of my components. Again, I`m wondering if doing this would void my warranty although I have no doubts of it`s benefits. I have lined the inside casings of my Yamaha receiver, BPT power conditioner and my Motorola 4DTV C-band satellite receiver with the latter resulting in not only clearer highs on my digital music but a sharper more defined picture in both analog/digital. Well, that about does it for me, I`m real glad to have risen to the point of actually being able to be a part of a thread like this and it`s my hope to be somewhat of an asset and not TOO much of a burden. Regards, Robin akaSatfrat
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post #210 of 1164 Old 07-29-2003, 04:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Robin Bombard,

Congratulations on your purchases. Welcome aboard, we're glad to have you with us on this thread. Please let us know how well the TGIII/Butler Audio combo works and sounds. I have been curious about Butler Tube amps for a while.

SV
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