Keith_W

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About Keith_W

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  1. Thanks guys. That's 3 recommendations for Jason Boyd (one public, 2 via PM). I'll give him a call.
  2. I am posting this on behalf of a friend. His amp started letting out magic smoke over the weekend. Judging from the pictures, it appears that the bridge rectifier has blown. From what I understand, these do not fail by themselves but are usually caused by failure of an upstream component or voltage spike sending excessive current into the rectifier? If so, my friend needs not only the bridge rectifier repaired (should be quite easy as it looks like off the shelf components), but more importantly, the repairer will need a test bench to check if all the parts are within spec. Does anybody know such a repairer in Perth?
  3. This is how I narrow it down: 1. Decide my budget. I sometimes choose things I can't really afford - in that case, I decide if it's really worth waiting months while I save up for it. 2. Decide on how much power I need 3. Decide which "flavour" to go for - SS, valve, Class A, A/B, D, etc. That narrows your choices down considerably. If a hifi shop is hesitant to lend you equipment, try this. Offer to pay the full amount for a home trial, with a 100% money back guarantee. If the amp is damaged, they deduct the repair cost from the money they are holding. If they still won't lend you an amp, look elsewhere.
  4. Your options: 1. Water/alcohol based stain The advantage is that this doesn't "seal" the wood and coat it with a layer of oil. If you need to stain the wood and glue something on it later, this is what you use. Cleanup is very easy, just run your brush under tap water and its clean. The disadvantage is that it tends to raise the grain of the wood, which means you have to sand it again. Also, it needs to be finished later with either varnish or oil. 2. Oil based stain Advantage is that it stains and seals in one step. Also, it tends not to raise the grain so much. Disadvantage is that it doesn't necessarily provide the best finish, so you have to finish it again. And you have to use an oil based varnish to finish it. Oh, and cleanup involves using solvents. 3. Varnish with stain Advantage is that with only one application, you stain and varnish and it provides a superb finish. The disadvantage is that the range of colours is somewhat limited. Also, you have to clean up using solvents, unless you buy a spray can. But spray cans are expensive and the colour options are even more limited.
  5. There are no good Bluetooth speakers for $300. I know this, because I was in the market. I ended up buying a B&O for $700. And it isn't even as good as that Aktimate.
  6. I found these on Gumtree for you. https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/melbourne-cbd/speakers/aktimate-micro-active-loudspeaker-system/1132254212 Aktimate Micro. If budget allows, wait to see if an Aktimate Mini pops up.
  7. David, Happy has given you the answer. There are five in total. Well, there is a 6th ... which is a piano transcription of the Violin Concerto. If you want a good version of the Piano version of the Violin Concerto, I would recommend Ivan Moravec. But I still find the violin version more satisfying.
  8. I'm superficial in that way! If it doesn't look good, then it won't even get considered. There is plenty of hifi that is competently designed and looks good. I understand that things are different if you DIY, though. I remember the first time I visited Bryan (@Lansche Plasma Guy). His system was a complete mess. His crossover was held together with crocodile clips and insulation tape, which meant that every now and then an important wire would slip out and a driver would mysteriously stop working. The horns were attached to the DIY wooden frames with duct tape. But when he turned it one, damn it sounded good! I wondered how something literally held together with duct tape and crocodile clips could sound so good!
  9. Congratulations, Marc. I remember in the early days of SNA, back in the dim days when we were still known as Planet Audio ... DTV was the juggernaut and we were the minnows. A forum can be measured by its size and number of posts per day / post total. In 2007-8, we had about 4,000 members and DTV had closer to 50,000. We had a total post count of 10,000, and DTV had more than a million. I would check the SNA statistics every day and despair - on a good day, we could get >100 posts per day from about 300 unique visitors. I don't know what SNA's current stats are, but I can see that the forum is healthy. Just as Marc has done with car audio, he has done with home audio. Back when SNA could fit in a can of sardines, Marc's other forum (at the time known as Car Audio Australia or CAA) had already united the entire industry. CAA was the place to be. What made SNA different to DTV is that it was responsive to what members asked for. New subforums were opened to accommodate home theatre, other hobbies, and a strong moderation policy enforced over years has seen DBT and cable debates confined to some subforums, with some other subforums (e.g. Classifieds) become "safe spaces" free of these debates. You do not want your classified ad to turn into a cable debate - and SNA culture has evolved to the point where contaminating someone's ad is genuinely frowned upon. Subforum organization made sense, with the aim being - casual browsers could quickly and easily find a whole collection of topics they were interested in. In contrast, it took ages for DTV to even consider opening a 2 channel subforum, and even then it was buried somewhere that you couldn't find unless you went looking for it. So ... great work. I am no longer part of the team, nor do I have any desire to be. But I recognize achievement when I see it.
  10. DAMN!!! I just bought an amplifier and paid exactly this much! GLWTS. I would dearly love to own these.
  11. Barcelona is a mighty rabbit warren, I am surprised that you managed to stumble across all these places! I couldn't even find the places that I was actively looking for!
  12. Buying a pair of Comply foam tips has been on my to-do list for some time. When I saw them become an SNA sponsor and open up a local branch, I decided that the time was ripe to jump. I have a pair of Sennheiser IE-800 IEM's. I wasn't sure which size to order, so I ordered large and medium. Clicked "buy", and less than a week later I receive a parcel ... sent from the USA for some reason. Perhaps the local retailer did not have stock of my foam tips. Anyway, the standard Sennheiser IE-800 is supplied with a selection of rubber tips. The largest tip is a snug fit in my ear canal, but the problem with it is that it keeps on wanting to back itself out of my ear. As you can imagine, this changes the frequency balance, lets ambient noise in, and is generally quite annoying. I have to keep pushing it back. The Comply tips were quite difficult to get on, they seem to be a much tighter fit than the standard Sennheiser tips. Once on, you squeeze them to make them a compact shape, and it goes easily into the ear canal. The foam then starts to expand, creating a comfortable and snug fit. So far I have used these for a few days now, and in every measure that matters, they are better than the standard Sennheiser tips. They are more comfortable, they block out more sound, and they don't have the annoying tendency to back out. One difference I was not expecting was that they actually sound better than the standard tips! Perhaps it is the lower noise floor, perhaps the tighter seal, perhaps it's because the actual opening that lets sound out seems to be a little larger. Probably all of them. If you use IEM's, you owe it to yourself to try these out.
  13. I know you asked about headphones, but have you considered In-Ear Monitors (IEM's)? They range in price from $40 all the way up to $3000. The market is very competitive, there are fantastic entries in every price point. I use them when I fly, and they do a superb job of blocking out all noise. Especially if you fit them with Comply foam tips (Comply are an SNA sponsor). And another plus - they are much more compact than headphones. I have three pairs of IEM's - a UE Triple-Fi 10P, Etymotic ER-4P, and my current daily driver - Sennheiser IE800's. The Sennheiser is the most expensive at about $1000. Paying more gets you custom fit IEM's and more drivers.
  14. This was taken on my first trip to Melbourne, back in 1994. At the time I was a student in Perth. Quick quiz: 1. Who was the speaker designer? 2. Where was his showroom? 3. What model of speaker is pictured?
  15. The Sony system sounds very nice on paper. Awesome sensor, compact body, great autofocus, in body image stabilization (IBIS), and great lenses. I bought into it for the promise of a compact, high quality system. Unfortunately it's not all that compact. The last straw for me was when they released that absurd 50mm f/1.4 lens, which is massively heavy and stupendously expensive. Its price is Leica territory but its size is even larger than Canon's 50mm f/1.2L. Then on top of that, there is the issue of Sony ergonomics. The camera feels boxy in your hand and the button / dial placements are weird. And one last thing before I go ... those lenses. On some lenses (e.g. the 50/1.4 pictured above), AF/MF is selected by flicking a switch. On some others, this is accomplished by pushing the focus ring. If you switch lenses, you wonder WTF it won't AF until you look at the lens and realize you have to pull the focus ring to get it back to AF. With Canon, there is full-time manual over-ride. If you don't like what the AF has given you, you just grab the focus ring and adjust. Simple. No need to hunt around and flick a switch. But ... they are very nice cameras. Just not nice to carry, not nice on your wallet, and not nice to drive.