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Thread: The HiFi and Home Theater thread...what gear are you listening to?

  1. #251
    Porous Membrane skywatch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tribe125 View Post
    Robert wouldn’t like mine, though - PMC transmission line.

    Actually PMC make some very good sounding speakers. Most that I have heard seem a bit "hard" in sort-of a rock&roll way, but I have only heard a few, and one could describe that sound as being analytical in a good way. The brand is also popular among mastering engineers.
    Too many watches, not enough wrists.

  2. #252
    Moderator - Central tribe125's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skywatch View Post
    Actually PMC make some very good sounding speakers. Most that I have heard seem a bit "hard" in sort-of a rock&roll way, but I have only heard a few, and one could describe that sound as being analytical in a good way. The brand is also popular among mastering engineers.

    Yes, they have a studio/professional line, and that is their origin, I think.

    They used to recommend bog-standard cable too, which I liked.

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  4. #253
    Porous Membrane skywatch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tribe125 View Post
    They used to recommend bog-standard cable too, which I liked.

    I might be pilloried for this in some circles, but I think cable is one of the deeper cesspools of snake-oil being sold as "science" to perfectionists with too much money. I can say that, even though my monitors are wired with esoteric Cardas cables that came with my old Mark Levinson. I found a cool recommendation in the audio engineering bag-o-tricks which has shown me that speaker cables are both a bit weird and sneaky, and also rather easy to build. The trick is to buy the heaviest gauge solid wire CAT-6 cable you can find. Cut 4 lengths of cable to 20-30% longer than the length that you need to reach a speaker. Group them into two pairs, strip the insulation off of every wire, about a centimeter or two. Twist all the wires of two cables together and solder them to make a fat single conductor on each side. Tighten one end of the double-cable in a vice, and twist the pair together by attaching the other end to an electric screwdriver, repeat with the other pair to make two twisted double cables - one for +(red) and one for -(black) attach that to whatever connector you need for the speakers. Because CAT6 is designed for low capacitance and it's internally twisted for rejecting magnetic fields, it will work as well as crazy braided speaker cables, and will have a lower skin effect. ...and it's about 50x less expensive than the fancy stuff they try to sell us.
    Last edited by skywatch; Jun 30, 2020 at 11:20 PM.
    Too many watches, not enough wrists.

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  6. #254
    Moderator - Central tribe125's Avatar
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    As we know, physics doesnít apply to hi-fi.

    Iíve read of home-made CAT-6 cables. From memory, PMC didnít recommend using absolutely anything, but couldnít see any advantage in using anything more than regulation OFC with a cross-sectional area of around 2.5mm.

    Quite a few British speaker companies said the same. Harbeth were quite vocal on the matter. Studios were wired with standard stuff. And then there was the famous case of Quad demonstrating their speakers with hedge trimmer extension cable. Admittedly, that was because they had forgotten to take cables to a Hi-Fi show, but they said the orange stuff off a reel worked just as well.

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  8. #255
    Moderator gnuyork's Avatar
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    I use a braided cable from Kimber, both speaker wire and interconnects. Nothing too crazy price wise, I wouldn't know if high end cables make a difference, not really having the chance to try. I will say I do think cables and just about everything in the chain makes a difference, wether it's good or bad is subjective. And also like nearly everything in Hi-Fi, there is diminishing returns the more you spend after a certain point. Adding the Phono preamps I got from Walter made a significant difference in my vinyl sound compared to the phono input on my preamp (that already sounded very good). But yeah, gotta wonder how much if any improvement spending thousands on cables will do.
    Last edited by gnuyork; Jul 1, 2020 at 01:31 AM.

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  10. #256
    Roger Russell wires his $25K custom column array speakers with Czardas wire, but says he does so only because people spending that much on speakers expect it. He favors any copper wire with resistance less than 10% of the speaker impedance.

    He used to head up the speaker program at McIntosh.

    I love my Advents. The roll off above 15K, but even if they didnít, Iíd never know it. Their woofers are excellentótight and punchy. No boominess or ring whatsoever, and that means those great, minimally processed, dry recordings from the 70ís really thump. The new small speakers can be really flat, but they donít thump. I doubt they would reveal the effects of expensive cables even if there are any. Iím using 12-gauge stranded copper zip cord.

    I just found an old late-80ís Harman Kardon cassette deck on eBay. Something let go in my (bottom of the line, it must be said) Nakamichi Cassette Deck 2, and putting it into record causes runaway oscillation that sounds like feedback. For what I paid ($50), Iíll probably have to rebuild it.

    Rick ďwho has several dead cassette decksĒ Denney
    More than 500 characters worth of watches.

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  12. #257
    Hall Monitor Samanator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skywatch View Post
    I think speakers are the weak link in almost any sound system. I generally don't like the small modern speakers that try to get extra bass with ports and internal amplification. Unfortunately the larger speakers usually sound better, but then people have trouble moving them. It's hard to cheat physics, unfortunately. Usually I recommend that people look on used audiophile gear sites like Audiogon and find some of the older companies' products that have lost their luster among trendy audiophiles. My personal favorite speakers were made by John Dunlavy up until he retired around 2004, and they can usually be found quite affordably (under $3000 for SCIIIa for example). These are typically very tall sealed towers with D'appolito symmetrical speaker arrangements, and felt damping around the tweeters for phase linearity.
    Kind of my camera discovery. Spend more on the lens and then buy the minimum body to support the lens.

    I'm very much a fan of getting preowned audio. There seems to be some anti sentiment against tube amps, but being a bit nostalgic I wrote quite a few papers when I was in the military around servicing tube amp systems in radios and radar systems. Tubes are more resistant to EMP. I have a great appreciation of their workings. Think it would be cool to have some old Macintosh tube amps, but probably not the best economic path.

    When I was younger I liked polk audio, but their speaker models sound a bit muddy to me today(I've not heard the new L800 that have had good reviews) . My dads old Polk monitors still sound good to me. I remember the huge Infiniti towers when I briefly worked at Sound Advice (ran the service center in Orlando) that were like $15K per speaker in the 90's. Used to go in an hour early before anyone else arrived to jam for an hour with various setups.

    I will PM Walter to see what he suggest for this $5k-$6K system. Given like any of my other home projects it will wind up costing some multiples of that unless the preowned really can fit he bill. Even more if my wife has input.
    Last edited by Samanator; Jul 1, 2020 at 04:44 PM.
    Cheers,

    Michael

    Tell everyone you saw it on IWL!

  13. #258
    Member wschofield3's Avatar
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    I have your back on this, Michael - PM sent. I will get you set up as one of the family.

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  15. #259
    Moderator G-Shock/Digital Sedi's Avatar
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    The title says "home theater" and since I don't listen to music much, and if I do it is mainly ITM (Irish traditional music) flute or whistle music and let's be honest, you don't need a good sound system for that. But I am a huge movie fan -- as is my wife -- so we got a front-projection LG PH450UG and a cheapo soundbar to go along with it (I am thinking about upgrading the soundbar however). We placed it in front of the 2.5 meter wide living room window that has a sun-blind which makes for a very good screen (it's not perfectly flat in some spaces but you don't really notice). Still very happy with that set-up. The projector works like a charm and since it's LED it will probably take a long time before the picture quality degrades. I guess the electronics inside will give up the ghost before the LEDs do. The thing is on every night for a couple of hours. The 3D-feature is also great. "Avatar" was like a revelation in 3D since I missed it in the theater. I can upload a pic but my smarthpone doesn't take the best pics in the dark.
    Last edited by Sedi; Jul 2, 2020 at 10:26 PM.
    Cheers, Sedi

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