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The prepress system - Page 18

post #511 of 709
Thread Starter 
After an unsuccessful attempt to donate the Hooker cabinet, i called 1-800 GOT JUNK and they came yesterday to take the Hooker cabinet and a few other small items. Here is the Hooker in all its dusty glory:




Here is how things looked when the GOT JUNK guys left (excellent service, by the way):




And here's where I left off last night:



I should have dusted behind & between these racks before beginning to install; perhaps I'll take care of that before continuing.

I also had some new tubes I wanted to install in the 2300 to replace the stock ones, but couldn't get the two screws on the top cover loose. I was told McIntosh units can be difficult to open. I may need to get a #2 philips screwdriver, as best results have been reported with those. I don't know if I have one, but a new or near-new head was stressed. And I didn't set up the right rack because I need a prop or two to level it better. So that's a task for either today after church or tomorrow.
post #512 of 709
That looks much better than the Hooker cabinet. I'm glad you finally got a solution, as I know you've been working toward replacing the Hooker for a year or so--if I remember correctly, the new main stand is the re-purposed computer stand? If that's the case, then it's amazing what can be right under our noses, but unnoticed until that "I can use this" epiphany occurs. Looking good man!
post #513 of 709
Quote:
Originally Posted by prepress View Post

I've heard Take 6 do both gospel and pop/jazz stuff; they are good. I've heard of Selah, who are supposed to be good also. Perhaps I'll check these out. Amazon hasn't seen me in a while, nor has any brick and mortar store. Thanks for the suggestions.

The first Selah song you have to queue up is "You Are My Hiding Place." The harmony on the chorus is hair-raising in its richness and inspiration as well.

Edit: The song may be called "I Turn To You"...my memory ain't what it used to be.
post #514 of 709
Thread Starter 
The end of day two:



I'm going to relax now, maybe get after the paper mountain in here left when I moved the Hooker console out (and all the manuals, old 45s and other things which have nowhere to go at the moment).

Getting behind the racks to connect things is awkward, and it can be tiring. My low back was sore from yesterday's work, and it still is. I need to start doing some deadlifts at the gym.
post #515 of 709
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrolicBeast View Post

That looks much better than the Hooker cabinet. I'm glad you finally got a solution, as I know you've been working toward replacing the Hooker for a year or so--if I remember correctly, the new main stand is the re-purposed computer stand? If that's the case, then it's amazing what can be right under our noses, but unnoticed until that "I can use this" epiphany occurs. Looking good man!

Thanks for the encouragement, BB. Yes, the Sanus Euro was the computer stand. Before that, though, it held my previous TV. Unfortunately I was obsessed with having a stand as wide as the new TV. The Hooker was a somewhat hasty decision because it looked good and the Pioneer was sitting in the store waiting on me to get a stand. So I come back to the Sanus, and in the long run wasted the cost of the Hooker if I want to look at it that way.

I still didn't dust behind the racks today. I'm going to have to do that at some point now that it's exposed. I have an air filter which might mitigate the dust in here, but I have to figure out where to put it. And I need to do something with the empty shelf I'm going to have. I may shuffle things a bit, or use that shelf for those manuals, or magazines maybe.
post #516 of 709
Looks great! Can't wait to hear your impressions of the sound. wink.gif
post #517 of 709
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrolicBeast View Post

The first Selah song you have to queue up is "You Are My Hiding Place." The harmony on the chorus is hair-raising in its richness and inspiration as well.

Edit: The song may be called "I Turn To You"...my memory ain't what it used to be.

Kind Mr. Beast: On which of the Selah CD's did you find "You Are My Hiding Place"? I listened to it on YouTube!! L O V E the words and the music!!
post #518 of 709
Thread Starter 
At roughly 1:55pm, everything was connected. I think I got it this time. Several stops and starts with power cords, you understand. Forgetting I hadn't connected something.










I still have to dust behind everything, the left side in particular, and I haven't played anything yet. For now, I want to get something to eat. I'll try playing something later, if there's time. The configuration allows for some interconnects that are too short. It was quite difficult to get behind the racks comfortably, and not like the good old days when I could just spin components around and connect them; some equipment was smaller then. I may do a reconfig at some point, moving the Duo VP so I can use the leftover Pangea HDMI I have.

Mostly, I'm tired.
Edited by prepress - 4/8/13 at 12:10pm
post #519 of 709
Thread Starter 
Before installing the C2300, I had planned to put in some aftermarket tubes to replace the stock ones, but found it difficult to get the lid off. In fact, I was beginning to strip the front screws a bit so I stopped that and finished the connections as described. Having finally connected everything, the 2300 was ready. I started with CDs. I was greeted rudely by a rather bright sound (the store demo was bright as well) and weak dynamics (the demo had dynamics up the gazoo). But I also had a more open presentation, with detail I hadn't heard (or noticed at least) before. On America's Horse with no Name at one point, a guitar was coming from almost beside me, and I'm 9 feet away from the speakers!

But there was definitely a bright, hard sound to things which was puzzling. And distressing. "It sat unused for almost seven weeks" I reasoned, figuring maybe it needed to break in again. I have been giving it more time bit by bit, and yesterday I thought it sounded a bit better. It had a total of 4 hours on it as I started today, and I will say things have improved. The dynamics are better and things aren't quite as bright. Kettle drums in the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra's Fanfare for the Common Man had more of the appropriate thunder and impact. And as the salesman pointed out, the 2300 sat for over a month unused, so the capacitors lost their charge. But as John Lee Hooker's The Healer plays in the background, it's obvious things are not what they were Monday. That's a good thing. And to fair, I was playing a lot of 60s music, not the best-recorded stuff around.

It's a different sound than I'm used to, so I'll give it some time to adjust. The solid-state preamp I used before (Audio Research LS3) offered an overall tighter presentation, but with less of the dimensionality I sometimes hear with the tubes. Dare I say it, the 2300 offers more of a soundstage. Switching to blu-ray, The Avengers sounded good right away; Issues I heard with CDs seemed to be missing. I need to get to the tuner, laserdisc (yes) and turntable to try those sources. I am feeling better about things than I did earlier in the week. I will probably change out the interconnects to what I used pre-2300. And when I'm feeling my oats, maybe revisit the tube switch.

smile.gif
post #520 of 709
Hey there, prepress.

I didn't know you bought a C2300. A big congrats, amigo. That's awesome. Your system is really looking nice. Well done, sir.
post #521 of 709
Quote:
Originally Posted by prepress View Post

At roughly 1:55pm, everything was connected. I think I got it this time. Several stops and starts with power cords, you understand. Forgetting I hadn't connected something.










I still have to dust behind everything, the left side in particular, and I haven't played anything yet. For now, I want to get something to eat. I'll try playing something later, if there's time. The configuration allows for some interconnects that are too short. It was quite difficult to get behind the racks comfortably, and not like the good old days when I could just spin components around and connect them; some equipment was smaller then. I may do a reconfig at some point, moving the Duo VP so I can use the leftover Pangea HDMI I have.

Mostly, I'm tired.

Looking very nice Charles smile.gif
post #522 of 709
Thread Starter 
There is a big audio show in NYC this weekend. I won't be going to the show, but I did make it to Lyric Hifi's VIP open house last night, held in conjunction with the NY show (a regular open house was held during normal hours). It was the first time I'd done anything like this.

I spent most of the time in a demo of the McIntosh XRT1K speakers ($35,000/pair), part of a 5.1 setup driven by, of course, Mac electronics with Kaleidescape as the source. I heard and saw various demo material (via Runco projector) both with the full 5.1 and the 1Ks only in 2-channel mode, and I thought it sounded great. I also spent a bit of time with Simaudio monos driving some big Focals, with a dCS source. That sounded good too. The cure for what I experienced is lack of funds and to play some music today on what I have. If I were in the market and could afford them (and had room) I'd really consider the XRT1Ks, but the XR200 makes more sense in my space. Even those are $20,000/pair, so that's not happening either. as I said, lack of funds.

It was fun to listen, soak up the atmosphere and listen in on some of the conversations. There's another open house at Lyric today, but I still have cleaning/straightening up to do in here.
Edited by prepress - 4/14/13 at 10:49am
post #523 of 709
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Franin View Post

Looking very nice Charles smile.gif

Thanks, Franin. However, to my consternation, the right equipment rack is about 1.5" too far forward. mad.gif That's gong to bother me. It's a lot of work to fix that but I'm crazy enough to do it.
post #524 of 709
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Waboman View Post

Hey there, prepress.

I didn't know you bought a C2300. A big congrats, amigo. That's awesome. Your system is really looking nice. Well done, sir.

And I'm not a tube person, despite this. Overwhelming positive reports and recommendations, plus a discount on the demo unit, helped. I'll give it some more time to get settled in before any significant moves (i.e., rolling tubes or getting rid of it). Meantime, I am going to try putting the pre-2300 interconnects back on the CD player (Kimber Hero); the ones I had on my BD player are there now. I hope the Kimbers are long enough.
post #525 of 709
Quote:
Originally Posted by prepress View Post

The cure for what I experienced is lack of funds and to play some music today on what I have.

Charles I bet when you played music on your system it put a smile on your face. You have an amazing system mate.
post #526 of 709
Quote:
Originally Posted by prepress View Post

Thanks, Franin. However, to my consternation, the right equipment rack is about 1.5" too far forward. mad.gif That's gong to bother me. It's a lot of work to fix that but I'm crazy enough to do it.

Yeah im like that if something bothers me I have to fix it
post #527 of 709
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Franin View Post

Yeah im like that if something bothers me I have to fix it

I fixed it. Everything lines up better now. On to other things like straightening up, needed desperately.
post #528 of 709
Quote:
Originally Posted by prepress View Post

I fixed it. Everything lines up better now. On to other things like straightening up, needed desperately.

After you finish sit back, put on a nice album and relax
post #529 of 709
Thread Starter 
This is a better look at the main rack.



Whether it stays this way I don't know. For now, it stays. I'm not using one of my Pangea HD-26L HDMIs because it's too short to reach the Duo VP on the left rack from the Oppo 83 in the main rack. Those are no longer available in 2m, so an alternative would be the HD-24PCe. Otherwise it's repositioning of components and the accompanying hassles.
post #530 of 709
Thread Starter 
A few more sessions with the preamp, a couple of LPs and about an hour on the tuner. It sounds as if the phono tubes need to break in, as the sound is also without much bass impact.

I also notice that, in some cases, the midrange and highs are pushed forward, perhaps at the expense of the lower frequencies. I have my demo track from Yes: Live at Montreaux, the Rick Wakeman solo, and noticed that the transients and leading edges of notes were stronger than with my ARC LS3, almost to the point of obscuring the main notes themselves. On the other hand, the notes from the synths were nice and clear, better than with the LS3. I have decided to swap out the tubes but prefer the dealer do it. My attempt appeared to strip the screws a bit; they are over-torqued, to be sure, and I am wary of stripping them so they can't be gotten out. In the next few weeks I will do that. I have some tubes here, bought before the 2300 arrived. If I like them, I'm set. If they at least make an improvement, then it's the famed Gold Lions. If that doesn't do it, then . . .
Edited by prepress - 4/30/13 at 1:16pm
post #531 of 709
Quote:
Originally Posted by prepress View Post

A few more sessions with the preamp, a couple of LPs and about an hour on the tuner. It sounds as if the phono tubes need to break in, as the sound is also without much bass impact.

I also notice that, in some cases, the midrange and highs are pushed forward, perhaps at the expense of the lower frequencies. I have my demo track from Yes: Live at Montreaux, the Rick Wakeman solo, and noticed that the transients and leaing edges of notes were stronger than with my ARC LS3, almost to the point of obscuring the main notes themselves. On the other hand, the notes from the synths were nice and clear, better than with the LS3. I have decided to swap out the tubes but prefer the dealer do it. My attempt appeared to strip the screws a bit; they are over-torqued, to be sure, and I am wary of stripping them so they can't be gotten out. In the next few weeks I will do that. I have some tubes here, bought before the 2300 arrived. If I like them, I'm set. If they at least make an improvement, then it's the famed Gold Lions. If that doesn't do it, then . . .

Transients? Highs pushed forward? You, my friend, are officially an audiophile. cool.gif

On a serious note though, from your last few posts, I don't get the feeling that the new Mac Pre-amp is meeting your expectations. I hope the new tubes do the trick, man.
post #532 of 709
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrolicBeast View Post

Transients? Highs pushed forward? You, my friend, are officially an audiophile. cool.gif

On a serious note though, from your last few posts, I don't get the feeling that the new Mac Pre-amp is meeting your expectations. I hope the new tubes do the trick, man.

Yeah, that does sound audiophile-ish, but it's what I noticed with a very familiar track and it was obvious. At the same time, detail in general is better. That, I'm happy about. I'm not a hobbyist, though. I merely have occasional interest. smile.gif

Another thing is that this preamp is exposing bad recordings. The older sixties stuff I started out playing was pretty bright-sounding; it's mellowed some, but not enough to overcome the impression. And the more open sound contributes, too. Most folks replace the stock tubes, and I'm going down that road. I might try other interconnects on the preamp, but the ones I'm using cost a lot (to me, anyway). A dangerous thing to do, then, but perhaps curiosity will win. I do have some old interconnects here.

However, The Avengers rocked!
post #533 of 709
Thread Starter 
As for the problem with my air conditioner being on the same line as my system, I bought this:



I haven't used it yet, as it's not warm enough to engage the A/C. It will carry the system around the corner to the opposite wall, which is supposed to be on a different line. I wanted yellow, but only the 3-plug head version was in stock. At least the color matches the Mac meters on my gear.

For all its advantages over the Tripplite LCR2400 it replaced, the Furman SPR-20i has a higher low-voltage threshold and a lower high-voltage one than the LCR. The A/C compressor kicking in didn't bother the Tripplite gear, nor does it bother the Furman Elite I have. But with the LCR2400, ConEd hadn't done their stuff on the lines outside then. The SPR is straight into the wall now, and the extension comes into play if the SPR still shuts down when the A/C engages. We'll test it when the weather is warmer consistently enough.
post #534 of 709
How much would it cost for the electrician to put a separate line for the air con?
post #535 of 709
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Franin View Post

How much would it cost for the electrician to put a separate line for the air con?

Well, the problem there is that I rent, so running a separate line isn't an option. It would also involve going through the apartment below me and it's a mess all around. My previous apartment had a dedicated line for the A/C but there were other issues which led me to move. At least, the extension should work as there was a time previously when I ran an extension around the corner to the next room with the Tripplite LCR and don't recall any problems. But again, that was well before the latest ConEd work. I've yet to do that with the SPR in the 2 years I've had it.

A major difference with the two units is that the LCR didn't have automatic shutdown. It was strictly voltage regulation and line filtering. But when the A/C compressor would kick in, I did note the behavior of the indicators on the LCR, that they did at times register high voltage, sometimes low; sometimes they didn't register any change. That was after some previous ConEd work several years ago (not the latest that's created this new issue).
post #536 of 709
Thread Starter 
Today I expect to be off to the annual Value Electronics flat-panel shoot-out up in Scarsdale. I would be leaving in a few hours. For now, I'm going to grab some lunch.

I have heard about how good the latest Panasonic ZT plasmas are supposed to be. And the top-of-the-line Sony LED is supposed to be excellent as well; tentatively the XBR-X900A 4K Ultra High Definition set will be there. I don't know which models will be at the shoot-out, but I can expect Panasonic, Samsung and LG to be represented. Mind you, I still enjoy my PRO-111FD so I'm not in the market, but this experience will give me an idea of a potential replacement should my 111 ever bite the dust with no hope of repair at a reasonable cost. There are conflicting reports regarding Panasonic exiting the plasma business at some point, so that would bear watching. OLED would be its presumed successor. We'll see what the evening holds.
post #537 of 709
I look forward to hearing your report on the Sony 4K and Panasonic ZT models....I plan to get one of those for my upstairs media room. I've seen the Sony at the Magnolia Design Center in Columbia, but the content wasn't too impressive (I don't think it was 4K content).
post #538 of 709
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrolicBeast View Post

I look forward to hearing your report on the Sony 4K and Panasonic ZT models....I plan to get one of those for my upstairs media room. I've seen the Sony at the Magnolia Design Center in Columbia, but the content wasn't too impressive (I don't think it was 4K content).

At the shoot-out, I was mildly amazed that there were no LG sets in the mix; I don't know why. The sets involved were: Panasonic TC-P65ZT60, Panasonic TC-P65VT60, Samsung PN64F8500, Sony XBR-X900A (4K, 55"), Panasonic TC-L47WT60, and Samsung UN46F8000. And for comparison, a 50" Pioneer Kuro KRP 600M; it wasn't officially part of the proceedings.

Frankly, all the plasmas were good. I didn't stay to see who actually won, but I bet it was the Panasonic VT set. It and the more expensive ZT are virtually identical in all respects. One difference is the ZT series has circuitry that allows it to adjust the black level based upon the amount of ambient light in the room, so when the lights were on it had deeper black than the VT set; with lights off it was hard to tell any difference. The Samsung would be great for someone who wants plasma but has a bright room. It has increased light output and was set at 40 ft-l, as opposed to the Panasonics' 30 ft-l. The Sony did have some motion resolution issues and, as is typical of LCD, suffered some when viewed off-axis. But it strutted its stuff when fed true 4K material, which Sony provided via a pre-loaded hard drive. You could see the difference in a split screen featuring 1080 vs. 4K comparison. Plus, it has a nice on-board sound system, a real selling point for me; that was one of the reasons I got my PRO-111. As for the Panasonic and Samsung LCDs, they had problems with grayscale and some dynamic range issues as I recall (I didn't take notes; I forgot paper or a pad). I didn't like their look.

There was one unofficial vote, not part of the results, on whether the Panasonics had equalled or surpassed the Kuro. Despite the 9.5-gen Kuro being 4 years old, I was hard-pressed to say yes, at least in an overall sense. Overall, I thought not, despite how good the Panasonics are. The Kuro is still the reference. On this question, I voted "no" and added, "but very close."
post #539 of 709
Quote:
Originally Posted by prepress View Post

At the shoot-out, I was mildly amazed that there were no LG sets in the mix; I don't know why. The sets involved were: Panasonic TC-P65ZT60, Panasonic TC-P65VT60, Samsung PN64F8500, Sony XBR-X900A (4K, 55"), Panasonic TC-L47WT60, and Samsung UN46F8000. And for comparison, a 50" Pioneer Kuro KRP 600M; it wasn't officially part of the proceedings.

Frankly, all the plasmas were good. I didn't stay to see who actually won, but I bet it was the Panasonic VT set. It and the more expensive ZT are virtually identical in all respects. One difference is the ZT series has circuitry that allows it to adjust the black level based upon the amount of ambient light in the room, so when the lights were on it had deeper black than the VT set; with lights off it was hard to tell any difference. The Samsung would be great for someone who wants plasma but has a bright room. It has increased light output and was set at 40 ft-l, as opposed to the Panasonics' 30 ft-l. The Sony did have some motion resolution issues and, as is typical of LCD, suffered some when viewed off-axis. But it strutted its stuff when fed true 4K material, which Sony provided via a pre-loaded hard drive. You could see the difference in a split screen featuring 1080 vs. 4K comparison. Plus, it has a nice on-board sound system, a real selling point for me; that was one of the reasons I got my PRO-111. As for the Panasonic and Samsung LCDs, they had problems with grayscale and some dynamic range issues as I recall (I didn't take notes; I forgot paper or a pad). I didn't like their look.

There was one unofficial vote, not part of the results, on whether the Panasonics had equalled or surpassed the Kuro. Despite the 9.5-gen Kuro being 4 years old, I was hard-pressed to say yes, at least in an overall sense. Overall, I thought not, despite how good the Panasonics are. The Kuro is still the reference. On this question, I voted "no" and added, "but very close."

Great write-up Prepress. I am surprised that the Panasonics did not out-perform the Kuro. I'm a long-time Panasonic fan (I still have a 50PX77U in use, circa 2007). Ah, so the Sony 900 really flexed its stuff, huh? It sounds like the differences between the ZT and VT series really are minimal. Do you recall how the Sony's 1080p image performed against the VT?
post #540 of 709
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrolicBeast View Post

Great write-up Prepress. I am surprised that the Panasonics did not out-perform the Kuro. I'm a long-time Panasonic fan (I still have a 50PX77U in use, circa 2007). Ah, so the Sony 900 really flexed its stuff, huh? It sounds like the differences between the ZT and VT series really are minimal. Do you recall how the Sony's 1080p image performed against the VT?

I thought the Sony had a nice, crisp picture, but compared to the plasmas had a bit of a yellowish tint as we watched Lawrence of Arabia. It looked much better, I thought, than the other two LCDs though. The Panasonics had better color than the Sony, and with a black screen the Sony had a bluish tint which was evident even dead-on; it was more pronounced off axis.

The difference between the Kuro and the VT and ZT plasmas was rather subtle; I could certainly live with either one, even now. I wasn't the only one who shared this sentiment, either. I don't know how the final votes went. But it seemed to be that in an overall sense, the Kuro was still better, but that next year's Panasonics would likey equal or better it if the level of improvement is anything like the current models have over last year's. The Samsung, from what I understood, loses a bit of picture quality if you turn the brightness down; it really does sound like a better choice for a bright room.
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