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post #781 of 808 Old 11-24-2016, 05:26 AM - Thread Starter
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And to start something else, I replaced the Wireworld Electra power cord on my preamp with first a Shunyata Venom 3s and now a 1m Transparent Audio High Performance Power Cord, the second from the bottom of their line. What a difference! The bass is more extended, and with some additional detail. That was a pleasant surprise. I got the HPPC out of curiosity, but didn't expect the improvement I heard. The Shunyata Venom 3s cord also gripped better than the WW, but the low frequencies weren't as strong. The HPPC fixed that.

I'm no longer a semi-skeptic on these things. In some cases even the power cord can change the sound of a system/component.
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post #782 of 808 Old 11-24-2016, 07:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prepress View Post
In a very brief comparison and listening normally (not casually or critically) the 88 held its own against my McIntosh MCD301 SACD player. I was using Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man" by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra as the test track. The two players sounded pretty much identical; the 88's audio output was set to 192 kHz to match the 301. Critical listening may reveal something new, but this is a nice result.

Now for the bad news. The 88 doesn't appear to be compatible with my iScan Duo VP. The biggest issues are that if I switch from the 88 to another source then back to the 88 the Duo loses the signal and must be re-booted. Also, with the 88’s aspect ration set to "16:9 Normal” it adds its own black bars to 4:3 material; the Duo sees this as a 16:9 signal apparently, and I’m unable to get gray sidebars. If I use “16:9 Full” and then change the AR to “4:3” on the Duo, the gray sidebars don’t cover the black sidebars fully. Though my Kuro is well broken in, I’m still wary of using black sidebars for any length of time.

I’ve been through the settings on both the 88 and the Duo and had no success so far with these issues. The only way around this is to disconnect the 88 from the Duo and go straight to the TV, which is a kludge and inconvenient, but I get the gray sidebars as I should on 4:3 material. I’m going to check the 88’s firmware and update it if necessary, though I don’t know if that will help.

A smaller (though still annoying) issue is that the 88’s remote activates my 09 and vice-versa, but I’m hoping I can move the 09 or else remove it from the system; I’d intended to use it as a secondary/backup player, retiring my Oppo 83.

I'm reaching out to Value Electronics (the vendor) and Pioneer to see if they have any ideas. I registered the 88 with Pioneer before the problems emerged, unfortunately, so I don't know if returning the unit is an option. I'd rather not if I can help it, anyway.
Good to hear on the music side of things and that would be great if you can find fixes for the video side as well. Was the intent to replace the 09 and Oppo 83 or just a new music player? If nothing avails it self with a fix perhaps Oppo's pending newer models that loom just around the corner may be the ticket or even an 105 which I can attest to as being a great player.

And Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours
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post #783 of 808 Old 11-24-2016, 07:44 AM
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And to start something else, I replaced the Wireworld Electra power cord on my preamp with first a Shunyata Venom 3s and now a 1m Transparent Audio High Performance Power Cord, the second from the bottom of their line. What a difference! The bass is more extended, and with some additional detail. That was a pleasant surprise. I got the HPPC out of curiosity, but didn't expect the improvement I heard. The Shunyata Venom 3s cord also gripped better than the WW, but the low frequencies weren't as strong. The HPPC fixed that.

I'm no longer a semi-skeptic on these things. In some cases even the power cord can change the sound of a system/component.
I may have to give transparent a shot. I did try an WW Electra 7 as well on my Marantz 8802 but favored the PS Audio AC3 and mostly do to the bass as well. I have primarily all PS Audio cables with AC3's on the lower powered stuff with an AC10 on thier Dectect Power conditioner and AC12 on my 2/ch amp and achieved a pretty synergistic blend with that setup. I also added a Pangea AC9se to my surround amp to try over an AC3 but will replace later down the road as its not as good in that application as the one it replaced.

Who's a good vendor for Transparent cables?
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post #784 of 808 Old 11-27-2016, 01:36 PM - Thread Starter
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I may have to give transparent a shot. I did try an WW Electra 7 as well on my Marantz 8802 but favored the PS Audio AC3 and mostly do to the bass as well. I have primarily all PS Audio cables with AC3's on the lower powered stuff with an AC10 on thier Dectect Power conditioner and AC12 on my 2/ch amp and achieved a pretty synergistic blend with that setup. I also added a Pangea AC9se to my surround amp to try over an AC3 but will replace later down the road as its not as good in that application as the one it replaced.

Who's a good vendor for Transparent cables?
Transparent has their own online store. My contact with them has been positive. Be warned, their upper end cords are very expensive. The cord I got is from Stereo Exchange here in NYC. Retail is $250 for 1m. For me, I won't go beyond the Plus level, which is the next up.
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post #785 of 808 Old 11-27-2016, 04:49 PM
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When I revisit cables I'll give one a shot. I need to get some diffusion panels for the rear of the room first as I've wanting to try some for awhile.

Thanks
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post #786 of 808 Old 11-28-2016, 02:31 PM - Thread Starter
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And a quick update. After some adjustments to the settings on both the Duo and the 88 (one Duo adjustment suggested by another AVSer), the Duo no longer loses signal from the 88 when I switch to another input then back to the 88. Progress!

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post #787 of 808 Old 12-30-2016, 02:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Update: the 88 is now connected to the 111FD and is set to output 1080p. This was prompted by the Duo losing the cable box after I switched away from it and back. This will be the setup going forward. And listening to DVD concerts and other familiar video material, I find that the 88 did sound a bit lighter in the low frequencies; the 09 is better in that regard. I read a review of the Oppo 105 that made the same point about that unit; I believe it and the 88 share the same DAC. Re-setting the 88's output to 48kHz actually improved the low frequencies, though.

As for the Transparent cord, I'm thinking more about all HPPCs for the sources, with perhaps Kimber PK10 Ascents for the amps. The low-end improvement was enough to start that idea. It's $320 for a 2m cord, so this won't be an all-in-one-swoop thing.

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post #788 of 808 Old 02-20-2017, 03:32 AM - Thread Starter
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The swoop has begun, however. These are on my amps currently.
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post #789 of 808 Old 07-12-2017, 04:15 AM - Thread Starter
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. . . and the swoop is complete, as I now have Transparent HPPCs on all sources (except for the LD player), preamp and power amps. The reason I'm skipping the LD player is that it's seldom used, requires a C7 IEC (a $70 upcharge) and won't be replaced if it dies. I have a C7 PS Audio Jewel AC that I put on the LD and will be content with that for now. The grip with the IEC adapters I've tried is weak, though they don't lose the connection often (and the visual of the sagging connector was annoying). The PS Audio cord grips like a vise, and it has a nylon braided jacket (though a different pattern); the visual resemblance helps my sense of continuity.

I'm not beyond getting another HPPC for the LD player though, and I know that. But my sense of completeness should be at bay for at least a little while. If I went for a C7 HPPC there'd be nothing else to do with the cord if the LD player did, in fact, die.

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post #790 of 808 Old 10-09-2017, 02:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Went off the deep end a while back and got a pair of Transparent Super interconnects. A 2m pair cost $960 (ouch). I put that on my preamp/power amp connection. I noted that the Super is thicker than the Plus it replaced.

Did it make a difference? Well, yes. Not night and day, but with my very familiar test tracks I heard a few more details in the mix. Would I go all Supers in my setup? No, too much money. But I could see putting them on my primary sources (SACD and BD) at some point.

I also bought a 12ft Shunyata Venom HC extension cord and a regular Venom Extension HC (both 10AWG!) for my Furman SPR-20i. Much better connection, firmer grip. Now, I want to replace the Wireworld cord on my Furman Elite-15 PFi and the PCs will be complete. Not sure with what, but it need be only 1m.

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post #791 of 808 Old 12-01-2017, 06:00 PM - Thread Starter
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I have taken a plunge. I'll be boxing up my McIntosh MCD301 SACD player and shipping it off shortly. It's a trade in towards THIS . . .
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post #792 of 808 Old 12-02-2017, 03:31 AM - Thread Starter
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And here it is on the shelf. Haven't played it yet, that comes today, I hope.
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post #793 of 808 Old 03-03-2018, 04:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Having had some time with the MCD500, it's better than the MCD301 it replaced. Familiar recordings sound a bit more real, there are details here and there I don't remember hearing before, and the disc tray mechanism is supposed to be better than its predecessor. Good.

Wireworld power cords have all been replaced by Transparent ones. They grip better. The cord on my Furman SPR-20i was replaced with a Shunyata Venom HC. Also a better grip.

Another change is the addition of an isolation platform, a Gingko Cloud 11, for my turntable. A too-dark photo is attached. So far, I've not had a problem with footfalls using the Gingko; I've tried not to (even unconsciously) be careful when walking around the room, as the purpose of the platform is to be able to do that without disturbing the tonearm. I think I've staved off buying another turntable for a while. But on the periphery of my mind is replacing my Sanus Euro racks with Salamander Synergy ones, which I believe would be sturdier and less susceptible to vibrations. A suspended floor (or whatever it's called) is the main culprit, but the sturdier rack for the TT would be nice.

The idea of an OLED pops into my head now and then. My PRO-111FD is still going strong, so justifying a new TV is hard, but if I make the move it would be between the Sony AE1 and LG E7 (the 55" versions; that's all I can fit in here, and given the space that's plenty).

Since the time is getting closer when I'll have to make a decision about retiring, big-ticket purchases will have to be over with fairly soon. I'd given myself until this year for any more, but the MCD500 purchase may have tilted things toward shutting down sooner rather than later. And December 31 will come sooner than I think, certainly. I'll see, I guess.
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post #794 of 808 Old 03-29-2018, 03:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Once again, I use my paltry photo skills. Just received the latest update to the system. A Shunyata Venom HC power cord for my Furman Elite-15PFi. Thus, my sense of completeness and continuity (compulsiveness, perhaps) is satisfied. The 1.75m length is too long, as I needed only 1m, but the sale price was ridiculous, so I went for it.

I'd like to wind down on unnecessary purchases like this. The idea is this is the last year for such things audio-wise. But we'll see.
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post #795 of 808 Old 04-03-2018, 09:07 AM
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Once again, I use my paltry photo skills. Just received the latest update to the system. A Shunyata Venom HC power cord for my Furman Elite-15PFi. Thus, my sense of completeness and continuity (compulsiveness, perhaps) is satisfied. The 1.75m length is too long, as I needed only 1m, but the sale price was ridiculous, so I went for it.

I'd like to wind down on unnecessary purchases like this. The idea is this is the last year for such things audio-wise. But we'll see.

Nice....let's see that bad-boy installed!!!
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post #796 of 808 Old 04-03-2018, 02:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Nice....let's see that bad-boy installed!!!
Once I've dusted, I'll take a proper picture. It's bad back there now.

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post #797 of 808 Old 04-03-2018, 02:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Looks like I have a problem . . .

This AM I happened to notice that the standby LED on my Pioneer Elite DVL-91 LD player wasn't on. I just used it a couple of weeks ago and it was fine. I went around to the back, and there was some play with the IEC connector. This is a PS Audio Jewel AC C7 cord, and the PS Audios are known for solid grip. I was a bit surprised, and tried reseating the IEC connector to no avail.

Well, I put the original PC that came with the player back on, it's gripping just fine, and still no standby LED. I'm thinking now the power supply may be dead, or the fuse is blown (perhaps occurring when turning the conditioner back on after installing the new Venom HC). This is an old player, almost 20 years old. I don't know if it can be repaired. I have an older, non-Elite LD player I could press into service; that's in the bedroom closet. Worst case, I'll replace the LDs I can with DVDs/BDs and move on. I may make a couple of inquiries on repair possibilities first. Bummer, because I like the player.

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post #798 of 808 Old 04-07-2018, 12:16 PM - Thread Starter
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I called Technetron Electronic in Manhattan regarding my DVL-91. They say they can service it. Cost will be an up-front $80 for an estimate; repair should take about a week. These are the same folks who repaired my McIntosh C2300 two years ago. Hoping for the best, as I'm not quite ready to give the player up if not necessary.

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post #799 of 808 Old 07-08-2018, 04:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Overdue update:

The DVL-91 was indeed repaired, at a cost of $700 (!), $600 of it labor. Apparently the unit was a bear to take apart and re-assemble for the job. The problem was a dead power supply. I thought I'd repair it this once, but if it goes down again I won't try getting it fixed, it's out of here. I have a non-Elite Pioneer LD player I could set up, or just chuck both units and my LDs, though some aren't available on DVD or BD.

On another note, I've discovered I can use different taps on my MC501 monoblocks and change the sound. Learning about this on another forum, I gave it a whirl. If you're unfamiliar with these McIntosh amps, they come with three sets of taps: 2 ohm, 4 ohm, and 8 ohm. I'd been using the 4-ohm taps for the mids/highs and the 2-ohm ones for bass; my speakers are 6 ohm. But I tried the 8-ohm taps for bass, and it lasted for one track, as the bass was much too heavy. Yesterday, I tried the 4-ohm taps for bass and 2-ohm taps for higs. The bass had more weight and impact, in fact I got a mild headache listening to the big drums in Fanfare for the Common Man. But the mids/highs seemed muted, not quite as sharp. That impression melted away some with subsequent CDs, DVDs and BDs. When I came back around to Fanfare, it sounded better. The mids/highs sounded cleaner and the overly heavy bass from the first time was replaced by a solid but not as distorted bass. Maybe I'll give that another chance, but I'm not sure yet.

I think I really want to put both connections on the 4-ohm taps, as I think that will put everything in balance. It means also having one pair of speaker cables re-terminated with spades on the amp end. That's more trouble, since I'll have to take it somewhere to have the re-termination done, but it beats buying a new pair just for the termination.

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post #800 of 808 Old 10-18-2018, 07:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Okay, as a birthday present to myself I completed an upgrade to the power cords on my monoblock power amps. I was able to trade in, through Transparent's upgrade program, the High Performance power cords i was using; the credit went toward the Premium power cords, next up the line. Tomorrow I'll connect them and start listening, especially since I'll be stuck at home until FedEx comes.
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post #801 of 808 Old 04-28-2019, 04:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Self-control is a key issue for me suddenly. Why? it starts with the fact that my Pioneer Elite BDP-88FD is on the fritz. The tray won't open. The unit doesn't respond to the remote or the open/close button, and rebooting the player (unplug then re-plug) worked only the first time I tried it. There's a service center in Manhattan that can fix it probably (they fixed my 20-year old LD player, also Pioneer Elite), but it would be more of a hassle to get it there than shipping it off someplace, as they're cash only so I have to lug it to them somehow to pay in person for the estimate, come back when it's ready to pay the final cost, then lug it home again.

In my laziness it's actually occurred to me to just move on and replace the 88FD with Pioneer's new 4K player, the UDP-LX500. I went to the Value Electronics website to be sure they still carry Pioneer Elite (they do) and the price listed is about what others are listing. But my relationship with the store could net me a bit of an additional discount. Unfortunately(!), in checking out the LX500, I noted, to my excitement, disappointment and great concern, the new Sony A9G OLEDs are due out next month, with the 55" version at a price within reach under normal circumstances. I'm tempted, and I'm trying to settle down. A forum like AVS isn't going to help that, but I want to vent.

I can tell I'm going to start mental machinations over how to approach this. Meantime, I still have my BDP-09FD; the first move is to pray, then disconnect the 88FD, put my 09FD back in and play plenty of BDs and DVDs to remind me of what I have (a "cold shower" approach), even as my brain wants to work out a scenario where I can swing both new player and new TV despite having tight finances and a still very good TV in my PRO-111FD that hasn't given me any trouble. I'm not sure I care about 4K that much, it's the larger screen for me. But I'd take the 4K!

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post #802 of 808 Old 05-07-2019, 03:57 PM - Thread Starter
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An update: I have replaced the Pioneer Elite BDP-88FD in my system with my 09FD and have boxed up the 88 for repair. But listening to the 09 has been amazing! The rich, full sound is great. The 88's tonal balance is a bit thinner. As I recall, a couple of reviews on the Oppo players made that same point about them; both they and the 88 use ESS Sabre DACs, while the 09FD uses Wolfson DACs. Though the 88's sound is enjoyable, I much prefer the weight of the 09's bottom end.

This poses a dilemma. Right now, I'm not so sure I'd put the 88 back into the system! It is possible the 88's video processing is better; I'd have to do a comparison. And then there's the LX500, a true 4K player, which I'm curious about. I don't have a 4K TV (though the Sony A9G OLED is intriguing), and the LX500 could be a kind of "gateway drug" to a new TV, despite my PRO-111FD plasma still kicking butt after almost 10 years. Not sure what will happen with all this now, but money is tight.

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post #803 of 808 Old 07-21-2019, 03:27 AM - Thread Starter
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It isn't audio-related, but my air conditioner misbehaved. On 6/24, only the fan worked; none of the other buttons on the control panel responded. On 6/25, it was working. On 6/26 only the fan worked. On 6/27 I called the service center and made an appointment for Monday, 7/1. I had only the fan going up until that day, but the AM of 7/1, the A/C was working (figures). I didn't cancel the appointment, and that afternoon the service guy arrived, checked things out, and told me I needed a new control board.

Checking in with the office, a replacement control board couldn't be obtained, as the unit is 23 years old. So no option other than to take my chances or replace it. I chose the latter. And on 7/19, the new unit was delivered and installed. The old one was de-installed and taken away. The total cost for all this, including the initial service call, was $1,164.96. That put a dent in any audio plans for the immediate future, even casting doubt on a possible trip south in October. But given my issues with hot weather, proper air conditioning is a priority. Once I regroup, I may return to looking at power cords and (maybe) a new TV and equipment racks. For now, I'm trying to stay cool and healthy.

A picture of the new beast (a Friedrich) is attached. It's 15,500 BTUs; my other A/C, also Friedrich, was 12,000 BTUs. A bit of overkill possibly, but this was the only unit I saw that would fit my 42" window. The other photos are of the aftermath, as I had to clear a path to the window. I have a lot of work ahead to put the room back together. Right now, I can't play my system because I can't access it.
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post #804 of 808 Old 08-12-2019, 08:03 AM
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Wait a minute, wait a minute—whyyyyy did that cost $1,964.96? I’m from NY where only the new, big fancy rich folk houses have central air conditioning, so i grew up with these window units. When one died, we would buy one, and I would just extend the wings, carefully push into position, close the window, and boom. No more than the cost for the A/C itself—a few hundred bucks, at most. This endeavor should not have cost you nearly as much as it did!


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post #805 of 808 Old 08-19-2019, 03:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrolicBeast View Post
Wait a minute, wait a minute—whyyyyy did that cost $1,964.96? I’m from NY where only the new, big fancy rich folk houses have central air conditioning, so i grew up with these window units. When one died, we would buy one, and I would just extend the wings, carefully push into position, close the window, and boom. No more than the cost for the A/C itself—a few hundred bucks, at most. This endeavor should not have cost you nearly as much as it did!


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MAJOR typo on my part! Good catch. It's $1,164.96, actually. I fixed it just now.

What's NOT a typo is that I still haven't put my room back together after the installation, almost a month later. Haven't played the system in over a month; it looks worse now, arguably.

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post #806 of 808 Old 10-13-2019, 05:43 AM - Thread Starter
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I have a question and wonder if there’s any theory or perspective out there that can help.

I have begun considering a “last fling” purchase as I near retirement, and it’s the idea of a new TV, despite my pleasure with my current one. I have a Pioneer Elite PRO-111FD Kuro plasma now. I’m looking at a 55” OLED with new Salamander Synergy equipment racks, or (as of yesterday) maybe foregoing the racks and getting a 65” OLED. My decision now seems to relate to my Mirage speakers.

Currently my speakers are about 10’ apart, with my Kuro in the center, across the room’s short dimension (no other real set-up option). They are toed-in slightly and about 4’ from the rear wall, which has a media cabinet (LP, CD) behind each speaker. As my Mirages are bipolar, it would likely help if the rear wall was blank, but that’s not an option. My seating distance is about 9’ from the plane of the speakers, 9.5’ from the screen. The soundstage is appropriately wide, but quite shallow; this hasn’t bothered me much before, but I’m suddenly aware of it now (go figure). If I replace my TV with the 55” OLED, I’ll be able to put the speakers closer together by about 8” because the 55” OLED is the same width as my Kuro sans speakers (48”). The 65” OLED is the same width as my Kuro with the speakers (57”).

My question is whether that 8” is enough to make a difference in soundstage depth, at least in theory. I might also increase the toe-in angle to see if that helps.

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post #807 of 808 Old 10-26-2019, 03:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Two updates:

I moved my speakers forward about 2" and increased toe-in by roughly the same amount. The center image is still strong of course, perhaps slightly stronger, and (on what little I've played so far) slightly in front of the TV, not just appearing to come from the TV. I'd think this would improve if I see my way clear to get a Sony 55" A9G, which would allow me to reduce the distance between my speakers by 8".

Now, the other news. Using Transparent's Upgrade program, I ordered another Transparent Premium power cord last week and picked it up yesterday. It will go on my preamp. Since the HPPC cord wa a big improvement when put there, I'm curious as to whether the Premium, with its noise filtering module, might do more. I'll find out at the first best opportunity.
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post #808 of 808 Old 11-28-2019, 04:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Went to the NY Audio Show earlier this month, and came away with my head full of "last fling" possibilities, to refer to an earlier post. Not just a TV, but also a turntable, speakers, power cords, interconnects, even select accessories are swimming around in my head now. Nothing would happen this year and only one, or two at most, of these areas would see action.

In the Value Electronics room I saw the 77" Sony A9G, which didn't look that big in a room smaller than mine. Aquaman was playing through a Panasonic player. The picture seemed soft to me, which makes me think that this was an upscaled BD, not a 4K disc; perhaps the room lighting was a factor as well. Either way, it looks much sharper on my 50" Kuro. If the number and size of pixels is the same across the screen sizes, doesn't that mean in theory that the smaller screen would yield the sharper picture? Or are the pixels not the same size? I have no plans to buy 4K discs so my BDs would get upscaled by the TV (or player).

I've begun researching the turntable and speaker options. The Panasonic rep in the VE room had good info on the SL 1200G direct-drive turntable on display. I contacted SOTA turntables but never heard from them. I contacted Ohm acoustics, because their speakers are quite impressive and are omnidirectional, so that's a nice segue from my Mirages. They got back to me and I have a clearer picture of their offerings. There are some set-up issues possibly, and I'd have to spend more than I'd like for the particular model most fitting (the Walsh 5000, at almost $7200 tax included) or give up a bit of bass and get the 3000, which goes down to 32Hz, versus 26Hz for the 5000 and 30Hz for my Mirages

Research continues. Who knows, this may all blow over and I stay put! Probably not.

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