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The prepress system - Page 15

post #421 of 709
Quote:
Originally Posted by prepress View Post

^ ^ ^
And I played several sides to confirm, from the likes of The Mighty Groundhogs, Blood Sweat & Tears, Chicago, The Beatles, Heart, and Yes. All played with no cartridge issues. I did have to adjust the arm angle a bit, but that was it. Hooray!

That's good to hear Charles though im embarrassed to say I've never heard of The Mighty Groundhogs, Blood Sweat & Tears,
post #422 of 709
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Franin View Post

That's good to hear Charles though im embarrassed to say I've never heard of The Mighty Groundhogs, Blood Sweat & Tears,

The Mighty Groundhogs LP was given to me way back in college. I've heard of the Groundhogs once or twice but not the Mighty Groundhogs since then. I'm not even sure it's the same group.

Blood, Sweat & Tears was biggest in the late '60s and early-mid '70s. Famous songs include Spinning Wheel, You've Made Me So Very Happy, And When I Die, and Go Down Gamblin'. Their second album won a Grammy for Album of the Year; 1969, I think. Their music was a blend of jazz and rock.
post #423 of 709
Thread Starter 
It may be time for a reality check.

I was researching preamps (again) and came across the VTL TL6.5 Signature. Reading some very positive reviews I sent an e-mail to VTL, figuring I'd get one back at some point. What I got was a call from a sales rep from a local dealer following up; I'd purchased from the store, though not recently, so I was in the database. We had a very good conversation and I was stoked about the 6.5, even considering an audition strongly. The price I knew was $9500, a strain but doable if I made the proper financial adjustments.

However, more research showed that $9500 price is a 2007 price, and the unit isn't as new as I thought (VTL's website calls it "new"); it's at least 5-6 years old. I finally came across a Nov. 2012 price of $11,500. That's well beyond my capabilities, unless I want to go into debt or empty my checking account. I have some of those special offer checks the credit card companies often send, and I ACTUALLY thought about using one, which would give me interest-free payments through the end of the year. But there's a fee of 4% of the purchase/transfer amount for doing so. Add that to the tax and we're around $13,000. eek.gif

The VTL would be an outstanding performer and killer with my MC501s, but the price of admission is simply too steep. There's a 5.5, but it has more tubes in it, including the power supply, whereas the 6.5 has only two plus a solid-state power supply. Here's where coming back to earth is important. I cannot, realistically, afford the 6.5, so I'd best move on. But that I did, even though briefly, consider how to swing the thing already knowing it would be unwise at best to buy it, is a bit scary. I do know I'd better not audition it.

So I'm moving back to my humble preamp list and figuring out my equipment rack. A reconfig is going to be necessary, as the line voltage runs too high these days and my Furman SPR will shut down every time the air conditioner engages. It will mean snaking an extension around a corner to another room which is (I think) on a different line.

Ah, even a semi-hobbyist such as I can get caught up. Reality, please!
post #424 of 709
How much tube technology breakthroughs do you think happened in the last 5-6 years ? smile.gif
post #425 of 709
Good idea Charles, do not audition that thing... It can be painful. The $13k is pretty steep, at least for some of us... Can it be had slightly used for less?

I've got a question for you, it's about the 501's. A friend of mine is contemplating getting a pair. He would either use them with Sonus Faber Elipsa, Stradivari or Revel Salon Ultima 2 speakers. Would you say that the 501's are fairly neutral or do they lean slightly towards the warm side? Are you still running the Audio Research preamp? I'll head over to Wabo's thread and ask him what his thinks also...
post #426 of 709
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HFGuy View Post

How much tube technology breakthroughs do you think happened in the last 5-6 years ? smile.gif

As part of the Signature series, this 6.5 is a hybrid, one-box version of the top of the line 7.5 Signature (2 boxes). The solid-state power supply and its integration with the 2 line stage tubes is one of the things that helps make it special. And I saw no review that found fault with the unit. Everything i read, even without having heard it, left me convinced it has the sonic goods. But for the price I'll have to pass.

Here's one review.
http://www.stereophile.com/tubepreamps/607vtl/index.html
post #427 of 709
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddgtr View Post

Good idea Charles, do not audition that thing... It can be painful. The $13k is pretty steep, at least for some of us... Can it be had slightly used for less?

I've got a question for you, it's about the 501's. A friend of mine is contemplating getting a pair. He would either use them with Sonus Faber Elipsa, Stradivari or Revel Salon Ultima 2 speakers. Would you say that the 501's are fairly neutral or do they lean slightly towards the warm side? Are you still running the Audio Research preamp? I'll head over to Wabo's thread and ask him what his thinks also...

Hi there ddgtr,

Here's a link that may help:
http://www.stereophile.com/solidpoweramps/804mcintosh/index.html

I would say they are first of all very musical, easy to listen to. The newer 601s are more neutral-sounding. And I do still have my Audio Research LS3 (which is solid state), and it works well with the 501s. I heard a pair of Revels while in Nashville, fed by a Mac amp and CD player, and thought they were good. I haven't heard any Sonus Fabers, but on another forum I saw some Mac/Sonus Faber combinations.

The 501s are very good amps. Speaking for myself, unless there is some practical reason to do so, I won't be replacing them.
post #428 of 709
Thanks Charles, you are very helpful as usual...
post #429 of 709
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddgtr View Post

Thanks Charles, you are very helpful as usual...

Try this as well...
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505263_162-57564456/mcintosh-made-in-the-u.s.a/
post #430 of 709
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddgtr View Post

Good idea Charles, do not audition that thing... It can be painful. The $13k is pretty steep, at least for some of us... Can it be had slightly used for less?

It occurred to me this AM that had it not been for last year's episodes with my former sister-in-law's house and a friend's need, that would be roughly $5200 more in my pocket and we would now be discussing my new VTL TL-6.5 Signature preamp. Interesting how life works.
post #431 of 709
Thread Starter 
I am adding this to my list.



The McIntosh C2500 is a nice-looking unit, more so than the C2300 which it's replacing. And that both it and the C48 have DACs eliminates one awkward point of comparison; I can move on to compare the two units more fairly. Waiting for more info on it and a shot of the back. It's due out in the spring.

And don't worry, I'm sure they'll get the guy trapped in there out before the unit goes into final production (kidding, of course). smile.gif
post #432 of 709
Quote:
Originally Posted by prepress View Post

It occurred to me this AM that had it not been for last year's episodes with my former sister-in-law's house and a friend's need, that would be roughly $5200 more in my pocket and we would now be discussing my new VTL TL-6.5 Signature preamp. Interesting how life works.

Yes, indeed...

There no price you can put on helping out someone in need. Especially nowadays and in today's society which is geared towards individualism and everyone for themselves you have done a gread deed, my friend... I am convinced it will come back to reward you in one way or another. Even knowing that someone is now able to rebound because of your help must provide you with great satisfaction and just a good feeling overall...

The C2500 looks great! I'm not very familiar with McInctosh, will this one have built in DACs?
post #433 of 709
It looks good man. Looks like you know what you are doing and have been around the block a time or two.
post #434 of 709
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddgtr View Post

Yes, indeed...

There no price you can put on helping out someone in need. Especially nowadays and in today's society which is geared towards individualism and everyone for themselves you have done a gread deed, my friend... I am convinced it will come back to reward you in one way or another. Even knowing that someone is now able to rebound because of your help must provide you with great satisfaction and just a good feeling overall...

The C2500 looks great! I'm not very familiar with McInctosh, will this one have built in DACs?

Yes. It's a replacement for the C2300 and is also a tube preamp. I think it looks better than the C2300, frankly, and will look forward to more info. Even though it's a tube unit, it could be fun. The built-in DAC (not modular, by the way) is 32/192, more than enough for me should I decide to use it if I buy the thing.
post #435 of 709
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Edgeria View Post

It looks good man. Looks like you know what you are doing and have been around the block a time or two.

Edgeria,

It's been a long block, too. A lot of research which goes on every time I come across something interesting.

Funny thing is, I'm not a hard-core audiophile but music is a big interest and I want equipment that will play it well. It could be argued that I should just keep what I have (which I haven't ruled out still), but I want to explore the alternatives within my reach. The retail on this C2500 is expected to be $6500, and should be just within reach in a few months.
post #436 of 709
Quote:
Originally Posted by prepress View Post

I am adding this to my list.



The McIntosh C2500 is a nice-looking unit, more so than the C2300 which it's replacing. And that both it and the C48 have DACs eliminates one awkward point of comparison; I can move on to compare the two units more fairly. Waiting for more info on it and a shot of the back. It's due out in the spring.

And don't worry, I'm sure they'll get the guy trapped in there out before the unit goes into final production (kidding, of course). smile.gif


Thats a very nice looking unit Charles.
post #437 of 709
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Franin View Post

Thats a very nice looking unit Charles.

It is, Franin, and it represents the most I think I dare spend. I did get a look at the back of the unit on another forum, and it seems to be a C50 with tubes, as the connections are the same, apparently. A closer look will be in order once the literature comes out.

As with the C50, I wouldn't use most of those extra features, so I'm a bit less crazy about the C2500 but still interested. I'm keeping an eye on the money, too, as the increase in Social Security taxes has put a crimp in the old wallet. There could well be some good deals on the C2300 now, if I want to go there, but am not sure. I am, however, attempting to target the first week of April for a resolution on the equipment rack since I'm scheduled to be off that week. That move can take me forward on what to do about a preamp.
post #438 of 709
Quote:
Originally Posted by prepress View Post

It occurred to me this AM that had it not been for last year's episodes with my former sister-in-law's house and a friend's need, that would be roughly $5200 more in my pocket and we would now be discussing my new VTL TL-6.5 Signature preamp. Interesting how life works.

Hey man, the blessings you have and/will receive for your kindness will outshine anything VTL makes. Btw, that new Mac you're eyeing looks very very nice. I'm sure its performance is just as stunning.
post #439 of 709
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrolicBeast View Post

Hey man, the blessings you have and/will receive for your kindness will outshine anything VTL makes. Btw, that new Mac you're eyeing looks very very nice. I'm sure its performance is just as stunning.

Yes, which is why I'm not that bent out of shape. It could be argued that in some ways the house thing was a waste of money, but there's no way helping my friend out was.

For the heck of it, and since I have a picture, there is the house I grew up in, now for sale:



I took that photo and two others of it while in Nashville for the holidays. The house has been painted (another coat would have been good) and work done inside. They did nothing to the fence or yard, though. The realtor's asking price is $85,000.
post #440 of 709
Quote:
Originally Posted by prepress View Post

Yes, which is why I'm not that bent out of shape. It could be argued that in some ways the house thing was a waste of money, but there's no way helping my friend out was.

For the heck of it, and since I have a picture, there is the house I grew up in, now for sale:



I took that photo and two others of it while in Nashville for the holidays. The house has been painted (another coat would have been good) and work done inside. They did nothing to the fence or yard, though. The realtor's asking price is $85,000.

What's the average house price in the U.S.A ?
post #441 of 709
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Franin View Post

What's the average house price in the U.S.A ?

Don't know about nationally, but in Tennessee it's around $162,900. Hawaii is the most expensive, average price over $450,000. I can't see living in Hawaii; too far away. smile.gif
post #442 of 709
I'm in Mckinney and my first house was 162 on the dot, funny. Second was quite a bit more but at least I don't have to worry about it anymore. tongue.gif
post #443 of 709
Quote:
Originally Posted by prepress View Post

Don't know about nationally, but in Tennessee it's around $162,900. Hawaii is the most expensive, average price over $450,000. I can't see living in Hawaii; too far away. smile.gif

I was told that the housing market has gone bust over there, is that true ?
post #444 of 709
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Franin View Post

I was told that the housing market has gone bust over there, is that true ?

In NYC the market has begun to look up, more so for sellers and landlords, as rents and home prices are going up. Vacancy rates for rentals are down also. It's tough to find anything affordable.
post #445 of 709
Quote:
Originally Posted by prepress View Post

In NYC the market has begun to look up, more so for sellers and landlords, as rents and home prices are going up. Vacancy rates for rentals are down also. It's tough to find anything affordable.

At the moment over here its a buyers market.
post #446 of 709
Thread Starter 
I've finally put in the Transparent MusicLink Plus interconnect, and it is being broken in as I type. It's between my preamp and power amps. I have heard a difference in the main track I use for such evaluations, The Strife Is O'er from my For God and Country CD. It's an organ/brass CD, and the track in question has bass organ notes which are easy to pick out and follow. The Transparent did a better job with them than the Audioquest King Cobra did overall. I have heard other things I haven't noticed before playing the Booker T. & the MGs box set Time is Tight. It could also be that, in the case of the Booker T, I'm sitting closer to the speaker than usual (this is where the computer is). But I didn't hear the fuzz tone in the bass on one track before with the AQ.

So far I would say some improvement but nothing earth shaking. Here and there Steve Cropper's guitar sounds a tad more real. Time will tell; it's only the first listen.
post #447 of 709
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pcweber111 View Post

I'm in Mckinney and my first house was 162 on the dot, funny. Second was quite a bit more but at least I don't have to worry about it anymore. tongue.gif

Well, we'll hope you like where you are now. This 1BR I live in is officially overcrowded, and small, slow steps are being taken to "de-crowd" it. Everything's in a domino setup: for me to do one thing something else has to be done first. And, I'm having a terrible time keeping up with the influx of mail, which adds to the paper problem. However, I may be having company next weekend, so that's an incentive to get serious, at least about the paper. As long as we can see the coffee table minimum, it's good.
post #448 of 709
Thread Starter 
And I may be getting closer to some resolution of the whole preamp issue. In the next few weeks I will be going to a local dealer to have a direct comparison between the McIntosh C50 and C2300 in the same system. Since the C50 and C48 are the same as regards sound, if I prefer the C50 I'll get the C48 and have money left to get a new equipment rack, too. Unless the C50's looks overpower me. smile.gif

If I prefer the 2300, that changes some things. It will have to be a lot better, not just better (according to the salesman, the C2300 "kills" the C50). It means a commitment to tubes, reconfiguring my setup to accommodate the unit, and doing without the DAC (which I wasn't going to use unless needed) for any future system changes, or having to buy one separately if things get to the point where digital is the only option for new music.

At this point, I'm perhaps 75% decided to get a new preamp. What happens at this audition may push things to 100%. We'll see.
post #449 of 709
Thread Starter 
I realized some things during the night that put some perspective on this preamp deal.

1. Ultimately, I'm not a tube person at heart. I'm not thrilled at the extra maintenance and cost of tube equipment. Even though tube failure is rare with signal tubes such as those in a preamp, it is possible, and that's on my mind. My ideal, which I can't afford, is the VTL TL-6.5 Signature, an $11,500 unit. A tube unit, yes, but with a solid-state power supply and only two tubes versus the C2300's six. And for some odd reason, I sense slightly more acceptance of the coming C2500 over the 2300 even though it has the same six tubes; perhaps it's the somewhat sleeker design. The main reason I consider the 2300 at all is the overwhelmingly positive hype I've seen. And it still bothers me a bit at having to tube the MC phono stage, which I'll never use.

2. I'd prefer a line stage. McIntosh doesn't make one, unfortunately. The reason for a Mac preamp is I have Mac amps, so it's an obvious match. The non-Mac preamps on my short list are line stage affairs, as is the VTL. The ARC LS27, which I considered briefly, is also (again, only two tubes). I already have a phono preamp, though not state-of-the-art (Aragon 47k), which would be redundant with either Mac unit. Just as many prefer a separate DAC, so I prefer a separate phono stage. Still, perhaps it's not a deal-breaker; if the Mac's onboard phono is much better, then I guess I would use it and have to do something with my 47k.

3. The Parasound JC2 is still lurking. And now that the Halo line comes in black, the JC2 is much more appealing than before. I've seen photos, and I really like the look. I've also seen a couple of posts here and there regarding the positive pairing of Parasound preamp and Mac amp. I also don't think the one caveat about pairing it with lean-sounding equipment applies to my MC501s and Mirage M-3si speakers.

So that quickly the waters have muddied. There are several dangers I see here. One, I go ahead with the audition and the 2300 indeed "kills" the C50, as the store salesman says, creating personal angst and confusion; two, I decide stubbornly to go for what I want (the VTL) despite the money, creating danger; three, I say to heck with it and get the JC2 (maybe the JC3 also) and live happily ever after; or four, I plunge into research all over again, eventually burn out on the whole thing and just stand pat. A lot changed overnight.

I begin to miss the simpler days of a receiver, turntable and speakers.
post #450 of 709
Quote:
Originally Posted by prepress View Post

I realized some things during the night that put some perspective on this preamp deal.

1. Ultimately, I'm not a tube person at heart. I'm not thrilled at the extra maintenance and cost of tube equipment. Even though tube failure is rare with signal tubes such as those in a preamp, it is possible, and that's on my mind. My ideal, which I can't afford, is the VTL TL-6.5 Signature, an $11,500 unit. A tube unit, yes, but with a solid-state power supply and only two tubes versus the C2300's six. And for some odd reason, I sense slightly more acceptance of the coming C2500 over the 2300 even though it has the same six tubes; perhaps it's the somewhat sleeker design. The main reason I consider the 2300 at all is the overwhelmingly positive hype I've seen. And it still bothers me a bit at having to tube the MC phono stage, which I'll never use.

2. I'd prefer a line stage. McIntosh doesn't make one, unfortunately. The reason for a Mac preamp is I have Mac amps, so it's an obvious match. The non-Mac preamps on my short list are line stage affairs, as is the VTL. The ARC LS27, which I considered briefly, is also (again, only two tubes). I already have a phono preamp, though not state-of-the-art (Aragon 47k), which would be redundant with either Mac unit. Just as many prefer a separate DAC, so I prefer a separate phono stage. Still, perhaps it's not a deal-breaker; if the Mac's onboard phono is much better, then I guess I would use it and have to do something with my 47k.

3. The Parasound JC2 is still lurking. And now that the Halo line comes in black, the JC2 is much more appealing than before. I've seen photos, and I really like the look. I've also seen a couple of posts here and there regarding the positive pairing of Parasound preamp and Mac amp. I also don't think the one caveat about pairing it with lean-sounding equipment applies to my MC501s and Mirage M-3si speakers.

So that quickly the waters have muddied. There are several dangers I see here. One, I go ahead with the audition and the 2300 indeed "kills" the C50, as the store salesman says, creating personal angst and confusion; two, I decide stubbornly to go for what I want (the VTL) despite the money, creating danger; three, I say to heck with it and get the JC2 (maybe the JC3 also) and live happily ever after; or four, I plunge into research all over again, eventually burn out on the whole thing and just stand pat. A lot changed overnight.

I begin to miss the simpler days of a receiver, turntable and speakers.

It will be interesting to see which way you will go. I do agree though with what you wrote above going with mac pre amp as you have mac amps.
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