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post #31 of 52 Old 02-09-2014, 11:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by buzzy_ View Post

From what I've read ;-) the NHT Classic 3 is not a speaker that wants to be in a cabinet.

If the NHT M5 was still around that would be an idea.

People always talk about it, but I don't think the porting is the biggest issue, especially if there's some depth behind the speaker. (2 - 3x the port tube diameter). And ports can be plugged. Sometimes the other interaction with the boundary and furniture is less manageable.

The real bigger issue with cabinets is that it limits your placement options.

Given the dimensions - 22.5" H, 17.1" W and 15.1" D - if you're looking to fill the room, maybe you should be looking for something with a form factor like this Boston Acoustics BT1.


Cool. The form factor on the BA's certainly look right. And who doesn't want to be the only one on the block owning speakers with finger-pulls...smile.gif
My impression however, based on what I've read, is that these are primarily designed to play loud and proud, with musicality being a secondary consideration. I'm looking for the opposite, ideally.

I'm curious about your statement on the NHT's; being a sealed design, what specifically makes the NHT a speaker that doesn't want to be in a cabinet?
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post #32 of 52 Old 02-09-2014, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by fuzzione View Post

Thanks sdg, very helpful, particularly the KEF Q200 x 3 option. I'm intrigued by the Q200 as the unit appears to be a sealed design and should, 'in theory' work well. I will be investigating this possibility in depth; ...
..I'm somewhat reluctant to buy expensive speakers that are rear-ported just to wind up plugging the ports. Does this not defeat the purpose of any signature sound or tuning the engineers intend? ...

I don't remember if the Q200c is rear ported or sealed. But I wouldn't worry about it as all the KEF Q and R series ported speakers come with port bungs and were designed to sound good both ways.
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... the added woofage from the Q300 may not be much of an improvement for me, particularly if the Q200's can be properly integrated with my intended SVS SB2000 sub. I rarely listen to material louder than -20db in any event. ...

Both speakers would integrate well with the SVS SV2000. Also, I suspect the Q300 would be sufficient for your room but if you have slightest concern the Q200c is the better option.

FWIW, I'm running Q100's (x5) with an SVS SB12-NSD and am really happy with the sound for both HT and music. (I use Audessey for HT/surround, but for music use a manual EQ.)

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post #33 of 52 Old 02-09-2014, 06:50 PM
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The Q200C has a front firing bass radiator woofer - which takes the place of a port.

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post #34 of 52 Old 02-09-2014, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by fuzzione View Post

I'm somewhat reluctant to buy expensive speakers that are rear-ported just to wind up plugging the ports.
The closest thing I've ever seen to the unicorn you are chasing is the NHT M5 or M6, long discontinued. Sealed design, with a switch that adjusts for placement on a shelf or near a wall. Great sound quality and able to handle lots of power.
Quote:
11.3 Boundary Switch
A loudspeaker’s mid-bass response is very
dependant on its room placement. For example, if a speaker is tuned for placement away
from walls and is then placed on a bookshelf, the reinforcement of mid-bass frequencies will
make the speaker sound somewhat “thick”. The M5 and M6 feature a unique dual mode
crossover that adjusts the monitor’s response in the mid-bass range for either placement situation.
The graph below illustrates the decrease in bass energy from 80Hz to 500Hz when the
switch is in the “1” position, making placement on a shelf or television possible while maintaining
proper frequency response. The “0” position optimizes the monitor for placement away from
room boundaries.

As far as ports - with 4-5" of clearance, like on the KEF, and largish cubby holes with some room for airflow around the speaker, it's not clear a rear port would matter much at all.

Also, ports aren't that big a deal to start with. Read up a little, you can establish that for yourself rather than taking an opinion survey. Ports aren't as mystical, or important, as the comments people make here would lead you to believe. A little extra bass might not be a bad thing; and if there's a little less due to ports being plugged, you've got a sub to make up for that. All a port does is add a little extra bass. All plugging it does is remove that. The port affects a narrow frequency range in a predictable way. Unlike your placement and boundary / cabinet and room issues.

Keep in mind that you also have a sub, not something the speaker designer can assume. Given that you have the option to try it plugged or open and see what works, and that you know you'll also have a sub you can adjust - this is not the primary concern.

That, by the way, is why NHT does all sealed designs. They assume people will have a sub, and the extra bass from a port adds nothing to the system to offset going from sealed to bass reflex.

I'd be much more worried about how you're going to find something you like, if you gave all of the above a pass. Especially since you don't have the ability to place it in the right spot for your MLP.

Finally, given the low sensitivity of the speakers and the distance to the MLP, you may want to use one of the SPL calculators online to think about power needs.

.
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post #35 of 52 Old 02-09-2014, 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by fuzzione View Post

Cool. The form factor on the BA's certainly look right. And who doesn't want to be the only one on the block owning speakers with finger-pulls...smile.gif
My impression however, based on what I've read, is that these are primarily designed to play loud and proud, with musicality being a secondary consideration. I'm looking for the opposite, ideally.

If you get a chance - I would audition the Boston BT1 - do not just go by what you read.
They also have compensation switches for placement >> Boston is not a wimp when it
comes to music. A good speaker will handle both music and movies - the BT series was
designed to play both.

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post #36 of 52 Old 02-09-2014, 07:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by buzzy_ View Post

The closest thing I've ever seen to the unicorn you are chasing is the NHT M5 or M6, long discontinued. Sealed design, with a switch that adjusts for placement on a shelf or near a wall. Great sound quality and able to handle lots of power.
As far as ports - with 4-5" of clearance, like on the KEF, and largish cubby holes with some room for airflow around the speaker, it's not clear a rear port would matter much at all.

Also, ports aren't that big a deal to start with. Read up a little, you can establish that for yourself rather than taking an opinion survey. Ports aren't as mystical, or important, as the comments people make here would lead you to believe. A little extra bass might not be a bad thing; and if there's a little less due to ports being plugged, you've got a sub to make up for that. All a port does is add a little extra bass. All plugging it does is remove that. The port affects a narrow frequency range in a predictable way. Unlike your placement and boundary / cabinet and room issues.

Keep in mind that you also have a sub, not something the speaker designer can assume. Given that you have the option to try it plugged or open and see what works, and that you know you'll also have a sub you can adjust - this is not the primary concern.

That, by the way, is why NHT does all sealed designs. They assume people will have a sub, and the extra bass from a port adds nothing to the system to offset going from sealed to bass reflex.

I'd be much more worried about how you're going to find something you like, if you gave all of the above a pass. Especially since you don't have the ability to place it in the right spot for your MLP.

Finally, given the low sensitivity of the speakers and the distance to the MLP, you may want to use one of the SPL calculators online to think about power needs.

.

Buzzy, this was very helpful, thanks to you and others that have responded with a willingness to help and further educate. I may indeed have been prematurely swayed by many comments I've read (not only on AVS) that dismiss rear-ported speakers outright as a possible solution to my situation. If in fact ports don't matter as much as you are suggesting then this certainly represents good news for me; it greatly expands my choices. I've eliminated many rear ported speakers from my list that I've read very positive reviews about, believing they would prove unsuitable. I am going to revisit these. Including the BT1 if I can find somewhere to listen to it.

Your comment about speaker sensitivity is noted. It is something I have indeed been concerned about when I see possible candidates drop below 87 db.

One thing appears clear, that my particular space and cabinet placement is controversial enough that I should not render final judgement on the speaker until it is in my home.
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post #37 of 52 Old 02-09-2014, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by sdg4vfx View Post

Three KEF Q300's as LCR. They are front ported with a wide sweet spot. Since it is a single concentric driver, unlike most speakers you can lay it on it's side as a center speaker.

Three KEF Q200c's as LCR. This speaker is marketed as a horizontal center but it is really an LCR speaker that can also be used vertically (and it has the same wide sweet spot as the Q300). A little more expensive than the Q300 but, like the Ascend, it has two woofers so it will have more output and more easily fill your space. Also like the Ascend it is rear ported, but, it comes with port-bungs and is designed to work in tight spaces.

Good luck!

 

Trying those KEFs sounds like a good idea, especially if you can get them home with the ability to return them. You have the added attraction of creating a unified front with 3 of the same speakers.

 

And just to clarify, I think you can make your system work - and it sounds like you already have with your current set up. It's just that many excellent bookshelves will of course do their best when you have the chance to position them precisely, out from reflecting walls. So it's kind of painful to invest a relatively large amount of cash on something, knowing you won't have the flexibility to let it perform at its highest level.

 

The KEFs seem like a good compromise to try and see if you can get an improvement. I guess I'd end up throwing the kitchen sink at the situation in the end - trying both the Q300s and Q200c if I could ... trying them in nearly empty shelves with nothing near them, then trying them with some damping material in the shelf - and always placing them out from the edge of the shelf, so they are protruding a bit - while keeping the tweeters at ear level.


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post #38 of 52 Old 02-09-2014, 08:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzzione View Post

I may indeed have been prematurely swayed by many comments I've read (not only on AVS) that dismiss rear-ported speakers outright as a possible solution to my situation. If in fact ports don't matter as much as yo I've eliminated many rear ported speakers from my list that I've read very positive reviews about, believing they would prove unsuitable. I am going to revisit these. Including the BT1 if I can find somewhere to listen to it.

One thing appears clear, that my particular space and cabinet placement is controversial enough that I should not render final judgement on the speaker until it is in my home.

My recommendation is, if you decide to go rear ported - is to buy where you have a return policy. > I have owned
many, many speakers, and most of them were rear ported - and they can be (varies) sensitive to placement, even
outside of a cabinet for the overall good sound > and some designers/manufacturers do provide port plugs, even if
you do place them in other certain areas.

However not really trying to be negative, or just trying to give an opinion - also, I am not trying to tell you to stay
away from rear ported.

Enjoy the adventure and best wishes.

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post #39 of 52 Old 02-09-2014, 10:47 PM
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Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

The Q200C has a front firing bass radiator woofer - which takes the place of a port.

Yes! Thanks for reminding me smile.gif

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post #40 of 52 Old 02-10-2014, 07:08 AM
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... I may indeed have been prematurely swayed by many comments I've read (not only on AVS) that dismiss rear-ported speakers outright as a possible solution to my situation.

 

I don't think your situation is limited just (or even primarily) by the rear-port aspect. You have a multiple whammy really: 1) rear-ports being a challenge in some enclosures, 2) pre-set enclosures limiting your ability to precisely position your speakers, 3) inability to place the speakers out from the wall as manufacturers and installers prefer, and 4) potentially creating an extra baffle for your speakers by placing them flush with a new wall (in the form of your bookshelf).

 

That's why you still may want to consider speakers designed to cope with some of those limitations, like in-wall or on-wall, wall-mountable Gallo Orbs (highly respected!), or something you customize into the enclosure.

 

But whatever you do, I'd give some of those KEFs a chance too. I just wouldn't throw too much speaker money at the problem.


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Equipment: Goldenear Triton Ones, SuperCenter XXL, Aon 2 surrounds, Invisa 650 ceiling speakers, Oppo BD 103d, Marantz 7702 mk2, Outlaw 2200 M-block (2) & 7125 7-channel, Roku 4, Sonos, and way too many old speakers, including an original pair of Ascend Acoustics CBM-170s, one of the flattest frequency bookshelf speakers SoundStage ever measured.
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post #41 of 52 Old 02-14-2014, 07:31 AM
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fuzzione, here's another interesting option - and if these are over budget, there's a smaller version that's still a 3-way:

 

http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PUSA/Home/Speakers/Architectural+Speakers/Elite+EX/S-IW891

 

It's a 3-way in-wall by Andrew Jones for Pioneer Elite. Offers controlled directivity via a coaxial tweeter and mid -- the same kind of setup you'll find in many of the world's best speakers, like KEF's best speakers, Revel, and the TAD reference line (also designed by Jones). You could fit these into your cubbies, using a tone-matched hardwood veneer board to surround the speaker, i.e., to finish out the facing area. Any woodshop in your area should be able to cut out some matching veneered sheets to fit the space, and you can easily finish them yourself. It would looks great, and I bet it would give you one of your best sound-quality options for your set up. Some advantages of this approach:

 

* Designed to be in-wall (so it will perform at its designed-best if placed flush and inside an enclosure, which bookshelf-speakers will not do there)

* Controlled directivity will minimize the reflections problems you could have with conventional tweeters placed inside those bookshelves (ie flush with a wall more or less)

* 3-way design, by one of the world's great speaker designers - should give you the bass you're seeking with a wider (still flat) frequency range than most 2-ways

 

And there's a matching center option. Since you said the entertainment center is there for life, this is a way to get great speakers in there for life as well. Your wife might appreciate the fit, finish, and finality.


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post #42 of 52 Old 02-14-2014, 07:42 AM
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I'm coming in kind of late to the discussion, but I have an out of the box suggestion. Take a look at the Equator D8. They are front ported, fairly compact and pack quite a punch. They are active (self amplified) so you would need pre-outs from your receiver to drive them.

http://www.equatoraudio.com/D8-Coaxial-Studio-Monitors-p/d8.htm
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post #43 of 52 Old 02-14-2014, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by OpenMindAudio View Post
 

fuzzione, here's another interesting option - and if these are over budget, there's a smaller version that's still a 3-way:

 

http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PUSA/Home/Speakers/Architectural+Speakers/Elite+EX/S-IW891

 

 

 

Or, maybe not - One thing about these - they are compromise because you can't do any toe-in. There's a great article on the DIY Sound Group forum by Bill Waslo about toe-in with constant-directivity speakers, and it looks like you could definitely NOT experience any of the benefits he describes with these in-wall speakers. So, perhaps back to the drawing board.

 

On the positive side - if you check out thetoe-in article, you may get fired up to try those front-ported KEFs placed in the cubbies and toed-in as Waslo suggests:

 

http://www.diysoundgroup.com/forum/index.php?topic=20.0


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post #44 of 52 Old 02-14-2014, 10:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Bacon13 View Post

I'm coming in kind of late to the discussion, but I have an out of the box suggestion. Take a look at the Equator D8. They are front ported, fairly compact and pack quite a punch. They are active (self amplified) so you would need pre-outs from your receiver to drive them.

http://www.equatoraudio.com/D8-Coaxial-Studio-Monitors-p/d8.htm

Unfortunately no pre outs on my AVR.
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post #45 of 52 Old 02-14-2014, 11:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Or, maybe not - One thing about these - they are compromise because you can't do any toe-in. There's a great article on the DIY Sound Group forum by Bill Waslo about toe-in with constant-directivity speakers, and it looks like you could definitely NOT experience any of the benefits he describes with these in-wall speakers. So, perhaps back to the drawing board.

On the positive side - if you check out thetoe-in article, you may get fired up to try those front-ported KEFs placed in the cubbies and toed-in as Waslo suggests:

http://www.diysoundgroup.com/forum/index.php?topic=20.0

Thanks again OpenMind. I did in fact consider in-wall solutions during a time I was convinced that nothing else would likely work properly (no longer the case). Apart from the extra effort required to get these to look right, I would not want to lose the toe-in functionality as suggested. This is the way my present speakers are positioned.

Unfortunately, the KEF's may be out after all; they appear to have very low sensitivity that might not play well with my AVR (Sony STRDN1040). While I don't generally listen at reference levels, I would ideally wish to have the head room to come close to that, occasionally. While the latter is certainly not the deciding factor, if I could get more sensitive speakers to work right in my space this would be preferable.

As mentioned previously I'm revisiting some rear-ported designs that are more readily available in Canada. PSB, Tannoy, Polk, SVS and B&W are once again on the list. This is on the strength of certain opinions that a rear-ported design may not necessarily represent such an impediment after all. I realize it is a controversial point, however when I do get some speakers to audition in home, I'm going to test this theory by comparing sound as between my intended cubby hole/large room placement and a more conventional setup in my smaller media room. I'll also have port plugs on hand to further compare differences. I've been reading more about wall/cabinet proximity of rear ported designs and am now inclined to believe that speaker cabinet resonance and driver characteristics may perhaps be even more important than the effects of a rear port. In my view, valid comments have been offered by some of the posters on this thread that attempt to distinguish what 'may have been read' vs. what is actually personally experienced on the rear-port issue.

I am truly envious of the wide variety of quality ID speakers available for reasonable (or free) shipping and audition/return policies in the U.S. There are several I would have been interested in, including Ascend, Philharmonic, Carnegie, etc., however this is an impractical alternative for us up here.
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post #46 of 52 Old 02-14-2014, 11:46 AM
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Good luck. Sounds like a fun round of speaker experimenting.

 

I wouldn't write any KEFs off on the basis of your Sony receiver. Doesn't that beast have 150 or more watts per channel contiuous, or something like that? In your small space, you should be able to get an 87db-efficency speaker very very loud, like 96 db+, without distortion and with plenty of headroom.


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Equipment: Goldenear Triton Ones, SuperCenter XXL, Aon 2 surrounds, Invisa 650 ceiling speakers, Oppo BD 103d, Marantz 7702 mk2, Outlaw 2200 M-block (2) & 7125 7-channel, Roku 4, Sonos, and way too many old speakers, including an original pair of Ascend Acoustics CBM-170s, one of the flattest frequency bookshelf speakers SoundStage ever measured.
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post #47 of 52 Old 02-14-2014, 12:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Good luck. Sounds like a fun round of speaker experimenting.

I wouldn't write any KEFs off on the basis of your Sony receiver. Doesn't that beast have 150 or more watts per channel contiuous, or something like that? In your small space, you should be able to get an 87db-efficency speaker very very loud, like 96 db+, without distortion and with plenty of headroom.

S&V's bench test:

2 channels driven continuously into 8-ohm loads:
0.1% distortion at 122.6 watts
1% distortion at 135.9 watts

5 channels driven continuously into 8-ohm loads:
0.1% distortion at 76.3 watts
1% distortion at 89.3 watts

7 channels driven continuously into 8-ohm loads:
0.1% distortion at 65.3 watts
1% distortion at 82.9 watts


My space is 4000 ^ft. MLP is 12-13ft.

The KEF Q200 is represented as 85db but some measurements have it down to 82 and dipping to 4ohm for many frequencies. Apparently as insensitive as my wife has accused me of being when suggesting we get rid of the entertainment unit biggrin.gif
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post #48 of 52 Old 02-14-2014, 02:11 PM
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I run KEF Q100's with less power than your receiver and they are fine.

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post #49 of 52 Old 02-20-2014, 01:40 PM
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Just a wee bump ....the OP and I have made arrangements for him to come over this Sunday and audition my Ascends. Although... I no longer, have my S1 monitors the Towers will certainly give him some point of reference of what he could expect, if he decides on the Ascends. Maybe, if he likes the Sierras and decides to order the S2's down the road...this could open the door for me to actually hear them for myself....they certainly have peaked my curiosity and have being getting rave reviews.

The one thing I like most about this hobby is meeting others who have the same interests as me...even.. if its only for a few hours. Lord knows, none of my immediate friends or family share in my passion or obsession...biggrin.gif

Take care and I hope fuzzione speaks candidly about his opinions or thoughts...regarding the Ascends...I know he is eager to hear them and SB13U......smile.gif

Re,

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post #50 of 52 Old 02-20-2014, 01:47 PM
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post #51 of 52 Old 02-20-2014, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

^^^^^Just remember to stay out of trouble!

Hey Jim....I need something to fill in my Sundays...with football season officially over....biggrin.gif

Just talking behind the scenes it would appear an audition was in order. I understand... his concerns about shipping charges up this way...it quickly adds up and often take away some of that appeal when factored into the cost.

Ascend Acoustics: Towers, STC w RAAL & 200 SE in espresso,
54" of Panny Bliss, Anthem MRX 300, Oppo 103D,
Sub: Funk Audio 18: (Santos Rosewood)
Indian proverb: We don't inherit the earth from our ancestors but we borrow it from our children!
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post #52 of 52 Old 02-20-2014, 02:17 PM - Thread Starter
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I wish to publicly thank Bill for his kind invitation to listen to his setup. Apparently the beast that is the SVS SB13 Ultra will also be on hand for the occasion. Bonus!

I just know this is going to cost me way more than I had in mind when I first started down this path...surprise surprise rolleyes.gif

It's so gratifying to see people like Bill and others on this thread (and AVS in general) genuinely extend their helping hands to fellow hobbyists.
Such individuals really do stand out amongst other posters.
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