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The prepress system - Page 20

post #571 of 710
Quote:
Originally Posted by prepress View Post

Actually I mostly am, Frank, but it's often the case (and the risk) that frequent exposure to the forums and magazines can raise one's curiosity and influence thinking. It's mainly an idle thought right now, and I have no plans to make a move to replace my Mirages, but I am aware a seed has been planted.

One thought is that my speakers are 20 years old and maybe I should update them before I retire, when I probably won't be able to afford it. Retirement is at least 7–8 years away, Lord willing, but large discretionary purchases need to be looked at carefully this close to it. It would be foolish to empty my bank account on anything (hence my somewhat reluctant rejection of the McIntosh XR200s), but even spending the equivalent of a year's worth of groceries (the Def Tech Mythos) or 6 months (Golden Ear) needs thought. However, I have downloaded manuals and looked at some specs.

Well I guess you still have plenty of time to decide and time to do a bit of research if you do decide to upgrade.
post #572 of 710
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Franin View Post

Well I guess you still have plenty of time to decide and time to do a bit of research if you do decide to upgrade.

True. But I'd probably opt for sooner rather than later if I make the change.

Another factor is my strong consideration to upgrade the small system in my (also small) bedroom. Currently it runs on a Harman Kardon receiver (70wpc). It sounds good with the Sound Dynamics speakers it drives, but I'm leaning toward replacing the HK with a Marantz MM7025, a 140wpc stereo power amp. The Marantz would drive my M-3sis in a pinch (the Marantz also does 170wpc into 6 ohms; the M-3sis need 100-300w to run well and are 6 ohms). If I take that step with the idea that the Marantz would drive whatever speaker I have in my main system at that point, then that speaker would have to be 8 or 6 ohms; the Marantz apparently doesn't do 4 ohms (no specs offered for it), which would eliminate Legacy and any other 4-ohm speakers.

So I'll need to think carefully on this if I really go forward to replace the Mirages. Def Tech bipolars would be one choice, Golden Ear another.
post #573 of 710

Hey man, I would suggest that if a receiver limits your future speaker selection, it's probably not a good choice.  Your ears should be the only factor in narrowing down choices--with the 7025, its very existence would exclude a third of potential speaker choices.  I'd also suggest keeping the bedroom system as-is and funneling the funds you would have spent into upgrades for your main system (a new Harmony remote, perhaps?)  I'm sure the HK is more than what's needed to fill the bedroom at normal listening volumes--especially since reference volume and bedrooms don't generally mix well :)

post #574 of 710
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrolicBeast View Post

Hey man, I would suggest that if a receiver limits your future speaker selection, it's probably not a good choice.  Your ears should be the only factor in narrowing down choices--with the 7025, its very existence would exclude a third of potential speaker choices.  I'd also suggest keeping the bedroom system as-is and funneling the funds you would have spent into upgrades for your main system (a new Harmony remote, perhaps?)  I'm sure the HK is more than what's needed to fill the bedroom at normal listening volumes--especially since reference volume and bedrooms don't generally mix well smile.gif

True, the impedance of the Marantz power amp would restrict any speaker upgrades in the main system to the 6–8 ohm variety. Bryston and Legacy would be disqualified in that case, but there are plenty of choices in the Marantz's range. Still, you're right; the HK receiver is more than enough in the bedroom and from that standpoint upgrading is unnecessary. I was thinking more long-term, and also (mainly, really) to utilize a preamp, universal player and tuner that are currently sitting around doing nothing, and the separate power amp would do well in that regard. It would also be available to drive the main system if my MC501s needed repair or if I indeed must downsize down the road, a quite possible event. OR, if I somehow had room and desire for a 5-channel setup.

But you have me re-evaluating the whole idea. I'd still like to do it, but maybe I'll consider things a bit more . . .
Edited by prepress - 7/20/13 at 8:52am
post #575 of 710
Thread Starter 
I have come to the idea of putting my Audio Research preamp back into the system, alongside the C2300. I would then perform some comparisons to settle once and for all which I prefer, using my CD player. With the tubes broken in more fully, the C2300 preamp has sounded much better than at the beginning. But while I've been more satisfied, there's still the nagging idea that the solid-state LS3 might yet have a bit more thump to it.

I'd like to do this with the least amount of hassle. Placing the LS3 is no problem; the trick is figuring out the connections. I'll have to see if I have any more Kimber Hero available (I don't think so). If not, I'm not going to buy anything just for the sake of this experiment, I'll just have to put up with the hassle. I do have a pair of AQ Black Mamba II which sounds similar, but has perhaps a tiny bit more bottom end based on experience with it and the Hero connecting preamp to power amps. But no comparisons until I work out the connection scheme. I'd like to be able to connect and disconnect at the CD player, not the preamp (I'll have to move the preamp/power amp connections of course, but that's less hassle than the WBT-terminated Hero ICs). I do have 2 pair of AQ King Cobra I'm not using; perhaps that's the way to go if there's no Hero available.

The other danger is if I discover in the process that I prefer the King Cobra to the Hero, and by no small margin. eek.gif
post #576 of 710
I changed all my audio interconnects to AQ King Cobra. I had bettercables but since I bought the Marantz I decided to change interconnects and Hdmi cables to AQ.
post #577 of 710
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Franin View Post

I changed all my audio interconnects to AQ King Cobra. I had bettercables but since I bought the Marantz I decided to change interconnects and Hdmi cables to AQ.

I was using the King Cobra for my preamp/power amp connection before. I have two pair because I was bi-amping. The sound had more weight than the Hero and Black Mamba II. I think it's heavier gauge than either as well, and the PSC+ copper is another difference.

You say you had better cables before. What prompted the change?
post #578 of 710
Quote:
Originally Posted by prepress View Post

I was using the King Cobra for my preamp/power amp connection before. I have two pair because I was bi-amping. The sound had more weight than the Hero and Black Mamba II. I think it's heavier gauge than either as well, and the PSC+ copper is another difference.

You say you had better cables before. What prompted the change?

I turned 40 Charles and I just wanted a change a guess. The salesman did a good deal on them too.
post #579 of 710
Quote:
Originally Posted by prepress View Post


I was using the King Cobra for my preamp/power amp connection before. I have two pair because I was bi-amping. The sound had more weight than the Hero and Black Mamba II. I think it's heavier gauge than either as well, and the PSC+ copper is another difference.

You say you had better cables before. What prompted the change?

 

I think he meant Better Cables as in the manufacturer of the Silver Serpent. I would be very curious to hear the differences between the King Cobra and the Silver Serpent interconnects.  I currently have AQ Diamonback XLR's connecting my Oppo 105 to the 8801. The King Cobra is one step up in the line, I think. I'm still loving my Black Mamba for my Sonos system (Which I am jamming to as I type this....Man of Steel soundtrack again!) 

 

Have you started the A/V comparison yet between the AR and the Mac?  If so, any impressions? The good thing about this comparison is that you can sell the loser of the face-off.

post #580 of 710
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrolicBeast View Post

I think he meant Better Cables as in the manufacturer of the Silver Serpent. I would be very curious to hear the differences between the King Cobra and the Silver Serpent interconnects.  I currently have AQ Diamonback XLR's connecting my Oppo 105 to the 8801. The King Cobra is one step up in the line, I think. I'm still loving my Black Mamba for my Sonos system (Which I am jamming to as I type this....Man of Steel soundtrack again!) 

Have you started the A/V comparison yet between the AR and the Mac?  If so, any impressions? The good thing about this comparison is that you can sell the loser of the face-off.

Not yet. I did put the LS3 in place, but needed to figure out how best to configure things. I haven't gone through the extra cables yet, either. I took a picture, but I haven't dusted in so long I'd be embarrassed to post it.

I don't think I have any more Kimber Hero, so it'll be the KC I use, with one pair connected to each preamp so I can swap at just the CD end. Both will sound good, it's a matter of whether there's a noticeable difference in dynamics or some other compelling feature. If not, the LS3 will remain as a back-up. If the LS3 seems better, then I trade in or sell the 2300 and probably go for a solid-state Mac.

Yes, the King Cobra is a step up from Diamondback, which would actually look better in my system due to its blue jacket. I think about stuff like that.

This comparison idea wouldn't have worked when the tubes (and maybe the unit itself) were still breaking in.
post #581 of 710
Thread Starter 
Okay, I got out my leftover cable box, and there is indeed no more Kimber Hero. There are, however, two pairs of AQ King Cobra and three of Black Mamba II (a 1m pair included), as well as Tara Labs Quantum 4 (older stuff from the early 90s).

I don't know how fast I'll get to this, as next Sunday is my turn to teach in our Sunday school, so lesson prep will have priority over my little face-off. However, I'll at least set things up and most likely with the King Cobra. Perhaps it's too expensive at $350/2m pair to sit idle, so I guess I'll use it. If I redo the bedroom system I'll use the Black Mamba II in there. Either AQ set will be more efficient to move around than the WBT connectors on the Hero.

I'll also need to let the LS3 break in a bit, since it's been unplugged for so long. The capacitors probably need a few hours to re-energize, so I'll start there. Once I get used to the sound again then I could go back to the C2300, and then back and forth for a few tracks.
post #582 of 710
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrolicBeast View Post

I think he meant Better Cables as in the manufacturer of the Silver Serpent. I would be very curious to hear the differences between the King Cobra and the Silver Serpent interconnects. 

That's correct BB, though I never did an audio comparison between the two.
post #583 of 710
Thread Starter 
Okay. Since "bettercables" wasn't italicized, capitalized or otherwise distinguished in the text of Franin's reply I thought he meant a better cable than the KC. Thanks for the clarification. I think I might be curious about that comparison too, Franin, should you ever decide to do it.

I've made my connections and the LS3 is on (by itself) as I type. I also decided to stick with the Hero IC, since that's what I've always used on the CD player. However, my barking knee suggests I might look for a way to minimize my time scrunching behind the rack, and that may be where the King Cobra comes in. I could connect a pair to each preamp and swap at the amp terminals, and since the amps are on the outside racks that's a bit less time in awkward positions.
post #584 of 710
Quote:
Originally Posted by prepress View Post

Okay. Since "bettercables" wasn't italicized, capitalized or otherwise distinguished in the text of Franin's reply I thought he meant a better cable than the KC. Thanks for the clarification. I think I might be curious about that comparison too, Franin, should you ever decide to do it.

Sorry Charles I should of been more clearer. I don't think Im going to do a comparison as Im going to sell them.
post #585 of 710
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Franin View Post

Sorry Charles I should of been more clearer. I don't think Im going to do a comparison as Im going to sell them.

Proceeds from that sale will help pay for the additional King Cobras, too.
post #586 of 710
Quote:
Originally Posted by prepress View Post

Proceeds from that sale will help pay for the additional King Cobras, too.

Certainly will smile.gif
post #587 of 710
Quote:
Originally Posted by Franin View Post

I turned 40 Charles and I just wanted a change a guess. The salesman did a good deal on them too.

 

Totally understand.  I'll be approaching a similar threshold in a couple of years and i already am planning how I'm going to reward myself for making it through another decade cool.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by prepress View Post

I could connect a pair to each preamp and swap at the amp terminals, and since the amps are on the outside racks that's a bit less time in awkward positions.

 

Looks to be a sound plan.  Cable work should be kept as stress-free as possible since they are inherently a hassle to deal with.  Anytime I have to troubleshoot cabling, I need two bottles or Martinelli's before diving into the eagle's nest of cables back there biggrin.gif 

post #588 of 710
Thread Starter 
I began my comparison between the C2300 and my Audio Research LS3 yesterday. The plan was to do this three times, playing selected tracks on each. The comparison was cut short by the C2300's failure (perhaps a fuse—I'll need to check), but I almost completed the first round. I am not a full-blown audiophile, so the descriptions may seem incomplete.

I used tracks from Wondrous Stories, a prog-rock anthology: Wondrous Stories, Yes; Living in the Past, Jethro Tull; Crime of the Century, Supertramp; Frankenstein, Edgar Winter. Along with these were Fanfare for the Common Man, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra; and Slow, Rumer.

First up was the LS3. There was a "hash," "glare," or sense of hardness over the highs with the prog stuff. It seemed the highs were emphasized a bit too much. I suspect the recording has something to do with this, and the LS3 brought out more of what the recording has already. Crime and Frankenstein had good dynamics. The kettle drum in Fanfare had appropriate impact as well, and the aforementioned issues with the highs were less evident, same with Frankenstein. With Slow, I was almost unaware there was a midrange, as the highs and (to a lesser extent) the lows seemed most evident.

On to the C2300. Wondrous and Living were smoother (though not smooth; again, the recording is partly responsible for the glare. I chose less-than-perfect recordings deliberately). Crime had good dynamics also, about the same as the LS3. The preamp failed during this track, so the comparison stopped.

Overall, the C2300 was sounding better. It should be noted I was using JJ ECC803s gold pin tubes in the line stage, and the bass was set to +3dB. The LS3 has no tone controls. Once I get the 2300's problems resolved, I plan to pick this up again. I'd probably gotten used to the LS3's sound, but hearing it now after 3 months and living with the 2300 in its place I'm more aware of the hard-sounding highs I heard yesterday.
post #589 of 710
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrolicBeast View Post

Looks to be a sound plan.  Cable work should be kept as stress-free as possible since they are inherently a hassle to deal with.  Anytime I have to troubleshoot cabling, I need two bottles or Martinelli's before diving into the eagle's nest of cables back there biggrin.gif  

I won't give mine even that credit. How about "vulture's nest"? Mine is, anyway.

I ended up using the Transparent ICs and Hero anyway. That's what I've been listening to all this time, so I stayed with it. Perhaps I'll work the King Cobra in for round two or three.
post #590 of 710
Thread Starter 
So I called my dealer, who suggested the C2300's problem might be a blown fuse. Home Depot has them; he could order it from McIntosh as well. I took the fuse out of the C2300, but it looks perfectly fine. An e-mail went off to McIntosh, who responded today, suggesting I take it to the dealer. So as soon as I can round up transportation the C2300 goes back into the box, to the store and, quite possibly, to McIntosh.

Fortunately, the LS3 is here. I won't be without. This will give the LS3 an opportunity to "break in" again; I suspect some of the brightness (which I don't remember hearing previously) is due to it having been unplugged for several months.
post #591 of 710

It's way too early for the C2300 to be failing, but then again--since it was a demo unit, it probably got quite a bit of use (which is the only acceptable excuse that McIntosh can give you).  Considering it happened during your comparison testing, could this be a sign? Has the LS3 ever failed you in the past? One thing is, I'm glad it failed during testing, as opposed to failing as you sat down, eagerly awaiting a listening session.  I'm also glad you have the LS3 as backup while this gets sorted out.  It pays to have options!

post #592 of 710
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrolicBeast View Post

It's way too early for the C2300 to be failing, but then again--since it was a demo unit, it probably got quite a bit of use (which is the only acceptable excuse that McIntosh can give you).  Considering it happened during your comparison testing, could this be a sign? Has the LS3 ever failed you in the past? One thing is, I'm glad it failed during testing, as opposed to failing as you sat down, eagerly awaiting a listening session.  I'm also glad you have the LS3 as backup while this gets sorted out.  It pays to have options!

The unit was in operation for about a year, the dealer said. It's not impossible for any gear to have failure, but I agree it's a bit odd. It played through two songs just fine and then partway through the third, poof. Still, it's under warranty, so it should cost no more than the price of transportation to fix. I began thinking that if the MC501 amps went, I'd have no options; that's where that Marantz MM7025 would come in. I also have an even older B&K Pro-10MC preamp, which would work with the 7025 (am I thinking about tweaking that bedroom system again?) if I got it. I have Sunday school work to do, so this isn't the most convenient time for an unscheduled errand like this. It could wait, but the weather's supposed to be nice tomorrow, so I wanted to take it in then. So I bear down on the SS lesson.

The LS3 went in for repair once, but that was way back in the late 90s. I forget what the issue was. Other than that, never had a problem.
post #593 of 710
Thread Starter 
Today I called a car service and hauled the C2300 in to the store, Lyric Hi-Fi on the upper east side of Manhattan. I packed it in its original box (it pays to keep those when possible) and called a car service, then off I went. The service center the store uses is in Manhattan also; that should help on the turnaround time. It is agreed generally that the problem is related to the power supply. We'll see what's what.

I intend to connect the most used sources to the LS3 in the meantime. It needs to recharge its juices after being unplugged so long, so here's an opportunity for that. And because I've been on other threads I have another of those "seeds" to contend with; the idea of changing out my ICs to King Cobra, per Franin. The Hero with WBT 114 connectors costs $59 more for a 2m pair than the KC; ultraplate RCAs are $39 less than the KC. The WBT version used to cost what the RCAs do now. In my setup some of the Hero ICs (all 1.5m) strained to make it to the 2300's terminals. Unless I want to mix brands or try creative system configs, a longer IC or two more will help.

Anyway, this is the rack with the LS3 in and the 2300 out; the ugly magenta thing on the top of the rack is the Wireworld Aurora PC used on the 2300.

post #594 of 710
Quote:
Originally Posted by prepress View Post

Today I called a car service and hauled the C2300 in to the store, Lyric Hi-Fi on the upper east side of Manhattan. I packed it in its original box (it pays to keep those when possible) and called a car service, then off I went. The service center the store uses is in Manhattan also; that should help on the turnaround time. It is agreed generally that the problem is related to the power supply. We'll see what's what.

Well hopefully its a quick turnaround for you Charles.
Quote:
I intend to connect the most used sources to the LS3 in the meantime. It needs to recharge its juices after being unplugged so long, so here's an opportunity for that. And because I've been on other threads I have another of those "seeds" to contend with; the idea of changing out my ICs to King Cobra, per Franin.

Happy to plant the seed for you Charles smile.gif
post #595 of 710
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Franin View Post

Happy to plant the seed for you Charles smile.gif

Before the 2300, except for my BD player (Black Mamba II) all sources were Hero to the LS3. I've never used King Cobra on sources. I do remember preferring the KC for pre/power connections over the others. It'd be easier and cheaper to make do with what I have rather than spend on new ICs. I could stick with Hero and get one 2m pair so the CD player IC isn't straining to get to the preamp, or just use the BM II on a source or two. The Hero seems more flexible than the KC, which is a plus for it.
post #596 of 710
I found also the connection on the KC had a solid fit compared to my previous cables which you could wiggle around.
post #597 of 710
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Franin View Post

I found also the connection on the KC had a solid fit compared to my previous cables which you could wiggle around.

Trying to influence me, eh?

The WBT 0144 connectors on the Hero I have lock in well. But they're not available on the standard-version Hero anymore.
Edited by prepress - 8/2/13 at 2:04am
post #598 of 710
Thread Starter 
All set to play something on the system Wednesday and . . . the hum is back.

It's not in the signal path, so I'm thinking I need only use a different plug for the LS3. It's plugged into my Elite-15PFi; the 2300 was plugged into the SPR. I hope it's that simple.
Edited by prepress - 9/29/13 at 2:22am
post #599 of 710
Nothing is worse than trying to sort out hum. Good luck Charles.
post #600 of 710
Thread Starter 
This was odd.

The hum was back a bit louder than before, I think. Well, I thought, perhaps I should plug the LS3 in the way the 2300 was plugged in, so I moved it from the Furman Elite to the Furman SPR. Still got hum. So I lifted the ground with one of my Conntek adapters (those things are so cool); no hum.

When both preamps were plugged in there was no hum (the 2300 didn't have its ground lifted), so I don't get why there should be hum if the only difference in the setup was the removal of the 2300. It does change the lay of the power cords, maybe that has something to do with it; I don't know. Plus, the LS3 has a captive cord and the 2300 had a WW Aurora on it. But the hum is gone, at least for now.

Anyway, I later played two DVDs, Green Lantern: The Animated Series and one of my reference discs (Yes Live at Montreaux), and noted that, again, with the Yes disc the sound favored the upper end to the point of seeming somewhat harsh (I didn't notice on the GL disc). But with that came more detail and articulation than I remember previously. There is a difference: before I used AQ Black Mamba II on my BD player, whereas I'm now using Kimber Hero. And again, the LS3 lay dormant for over three months; could it need to break in some more? Could it be that the Kimber/2300 combo is a nicer balance of sound? Maybe.

No hum interfered while playing discs, so that was good.
Edited by prepress - 8/4/13 at 2:22am
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