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About harmo_hammer

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  1. There's going to be a lot of "whatever works for you and/or your setup" in this topic. There's also a lot of potential for facts to be misinterpreted. There are numerous causes of improved/degraded sound that are often erroneously attributed to bi-wiring. (I honestly believe that's why the debate continues to rage on) Let me quickly outline some theory, then explain what I learned from my own mistakes and experience. From an electrical standpoint, bi-wiring should only improve circuit flow (and logically from that, speaker performance) if there's something inadequate about the first wire's ability to deliver the appropriate amount of current to the speaker. Whether you use the jumper plates, or wires between the terminals, or change the ordering of those connections, these reconfigurations are just parallel circuits and shouldn't make much difference if they can all easily handle the amount of power being supplied. If you're noticing poor performance, numerous factors are in play and one (or more) might be at fault here. A non-exhaustive list might include: - The resistance of the speakers. (Lower resistance = more current flow, and the greater demands on the cable) - The electrical requirements/sensitivity of the speakers. (Some speakers need a lot of juice to really make them sing) - The amp's wattage - The thickness/gauge of the wires, (and the resistance caused thereof) - The length of the cable needed (again, longer = more cable resistance) - Clean contact points (plugs, wires, jumpers, plates and terminals) - Adequate contact points (sometimes speaker vibrations can loosen a plug, plate, jumper, or wire) - Solid solder joints in the cable (and terminals) - Cable manufacturing defects, and damage can also play a part here. - Listening habits, are you a subtle background music kind of listener, or do you like the ear-bleedingly-loud effect in your musical enjoyment? I personally have never noticed a difference bi-wiring has made on an adequately wired (that's important) speaker. Now please note I'm saying bi-wiring, NOT bi-amping, which is a completely different situation altogether. I honestly believe that bi-amping is the true intent of the multiple inputs on most speakers. Time for a quick story.... Years ago, I inherited the surplus sound system hand-me-downs from an elderly downsizing family friend. I ran the newly gifted 8 ohm speakers on the same 18 gauge speaker wire I was given with the speakers and receiver. I was young, and on a budget so I never thought the cable was inappropriate for the system and after all.. it worked for my family friend. I later upgraded to a rather beaten up and second-hand pair of Vienna Accoustics 4 ohm speakers, and upgraded the amp from 75w per channel to 225w... but I didn't upgrade the cable because it was running through the wall.. this was where things really became unstuck for me. This is where I finally understood people's definition of "flat, dull and boring" sound. The new speakers sounded great in the shop, but this was way worse than my old setup... which I set back up and everything seemed fine. Again, not thinking about the speaker cables, I thought that since all the speakers sounded very sad... I started testing the amp, sources and interconnects. Nothing made a difference. So I bi-wired (using the in wall cable to the tweeters) and a 12 gauge cable that I had laying about, to the lower range, and that one speaker sounded so much better. I had forgotten that it was only 18 gauge, and since it all electrically checked out on my multimeter, it wasn't immediately obvious that I needed a better cable solution. Moral to this story: I now just use 8 gauge speaker cable, which has more than enough copper in it to handle a full three-phase load.... I no longer bother with bi-wiring and just use the speaker's included jumper plates. After about a month of listening, I find that it is just as good as running two 8 gauge wires. So I simplified, so I could repurpose the wire to my better half's sound system. I also think the act of removing the cables, and bi wiring the first speaker, cleaned up some of the grit that had accumulated on the original 18 gauge wire terminals. But I now know that some speakers just need a fat cable for higher current applications, and this is especially true when covering large distances. I don't know if anyone is going to berate me for my anti bi-wiring views, but this is merely what happened for me, and what I've found. Your mileage may indeed vary, and please, don't let me get in the way of a good bi-wiring argument. :-) Take care and happy listening. Hamish.
  2. Hi all, As always, your comments are appreciated, and a source of non-work email entertainment, so thanks! 🙂 At present, I have no knowledge of anyone selling a CC-590. I'd just keep an eye on the classifieds/Gumtree/eBay online. Kevin, I like your setup! All nice and clean (in contrast to to the clutter of my own), and I can see why you like the glossy black Studios. Regarding your upgrade, I personally have a bit of a love-hate relationship with dipole/bipole surround speakers. Having used them, I get that they're great from the surround effect perspective. However, there is an obvious loss in some of the clarity and sound stage. Not critical for many movies, but if you decide to go down the multichannel music route, I think that's where you'll start noticing it. I totally approve of your Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers LP in the corner of Kevin's pic. I've never heard an LP of them, but I enjoy the digital recordings. I know that may sound offensive to some, and it's wrong to me too! But I don't have a turntable, and I suspect that if you are running anything less than a valve amp with your records, it'll be offensive to someone. I have however, really enjoyed some fantastic jazz (including a cover of "Moanin") in a former "speak easy" in Chicago. The entrance was literally hidden behind a sushi shop. If you want something different and/or multichannel that might be up your alley, you might want to look into "A Quiet Winter Night" by the "Hoff Ensemble". http://www.2l.no/pages/album/087.html Anyway, I have to track down the local electronics guru to repair this Sub 12 today. Happy listening everyone! Hamish.
  3. Hi Dolphy, I'm afraid I'm too attached to my 690 to let it go, but if you want a 490 (probably better matched with the 60s, 20s, or even 10s though). I happen to have a spare cherry coloured one to match your 100s.... at least visually. Do you have the room in your setup for the bigger centre channels? the 690 is pretty big (25.4cm high × 94.6cm wide× 41.9cm deep), the 590 (23.8cm × 66.7cm × 32.1cm), and the 490 (21.3cm × 48.9cm × 28.9cm). I think there's a cherry CC-690 for sale on eBay down in Melbourne, found here: https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/PARADIGM-STUDIO-CC690-v-5-REFERENCE-SPEAKER-LARGE-CENTRE-CHANNEL-CHERRY/202653446955?hash=item2f2f16332b:g:jSoAAOSw9ylcswnd Maybe that'll help. I don't see the 690's being sold very often at all since everyone wants to upgrade to them, or sell them as a set as they change speaker series. Good luck! Hamish.
  4. Hi Needlerunner, Hilarious confusion aside, I wouldn't have judged you negatively even if you had meant Capt. America. Now on that note... I have judged you to be almost as good at "sticking your foot into it" as I am. (I truly mean that in good-natured way, having stuffed up myself on many occasions). *cue chuckles here*. I think you have a valid point, whether difficulties arise when you're going "all out" for a 2ch set and looking to upgrade, or more towards my end of the spectrum by simply "adding more". I guess 2ch makes a lot of sense if you truly are running vinyl like your name suggests. Unless you have one of those "quadraphonic" systems. Back to the request for photos. Here is a few. The first pic should be of the front 5 speakers (Fronts, centre, and front heights) and 4 subs. The faulty Cherry Sub 12 is merely sitting (disconnected) on top of my Studio Sub 15 on the left. It stands out because I have removed the grille, and it's right under the light well. The two Monitor Sub 12s are lurking on the right of the TV cabinet. Please ignore the wanton laziness implied by the Roomba on the left, or my partner's quilting supplies on the right. The heights here and the sub 15 are actually "rosewood", the centre is a somewhat dusty "glossy piano black", and the fronts are the matte "black ash". It's easy to see how the speaker colours aren't necessarily an issue in this shot... and part of that is because the speakers taper to the back, so they look thinner than other (boxy) speakers would when off-axis. . The second pic is in the hallway where I'm storing my Monitor series speakers with some Studio 10s on top. Let's just say that my better half would like me to move these on as soon as possible. 🙂 The third pic is of one of my Surround 60s next to my cheese cave (also known as a wine fridge). There's the unused CC-490 behind it. The Cherry really stands out against both the black fridge and the white wall. Again, from the listening position, it's not such a big deal. I hope that satisfies the pic requirement. The surround backs, and rear heights are amongst the clutter at the moment, and I would like to avoid incurring partner wrath by publicizing our mess. 🙂
  5. Hi all, If you are the type to like "vintage" or just "discontinued" gear, then maybe you can relate to this. I can't be alone in this situation? Grab yourself a cuppa, make yourself comfortable, and let me know what you think after you've read my tale. Ready? Let's begin: I bought myself a Paradigm Studio (v.5) system when they were being discontinued in 2015 (and thus far more affordable than their typical prices beforehand). I really enjoy the sound, and while yes there are better speakers out there, I just know the sound the Studios make and it's what I've become used to. As you might imagine, the Studios are getting pretty hard to come by in 2019, and weren't easy even when I started this journey. However, I write this, partly to warn people of buying discontinued series, and encourage the consideration of an important question: "Is this an opportunity, or is this discount going to be a false economy?". The answer might be better determined with another question. "Can I afford to get everything I need while it's available?". I started my Monitor-to-Studio series upgrade with a pair of 100s for fronts, a pair of 20s for surrounds, and a CC-590 centre. Even then, the colours didn't match. I had "Rosewood" 20s, and "Black Ash" fronts and centre. Never did I think I'd be buying more speakers to run more channels, and so quite some time passed in blissful 5.1 experiences. After my early 2000s era receiver died of old age, I upgraded from 5.1 to a 7.2 model. In order to use those channels, my system became a bit of a hybrid between the Paradigm Monitor (v.7) system that I started with, and whatever Studio gear I can scrounge up. For the most part, the Monitor series (V.7) is a surprisingly decent family of speakers for the money, and even contains "trickle down" technology from the Studio series. However, it's just that Monitor Series speakers do suffer from an enthusiastic tweeter which makes them a bit "bright". Not a problem for most, but when listening in a mixed environment with Studios, the change in tone between channels is noticeable. So, "completing the Studio set" became a "slow and steady" goal that has honestly.... been quite an undertaking. I managed to upgrade the CC-590 to the CC-690 in 2015 when one was sold in the local auction house. Yes, it wasn't strictly speaking necessary, but it was more acoustically matched to the 100 fronts (particularly with the bass end), but the sheer size of the massive centre meant that I had to modify my TV unit to accommodate it, and I was honestly surprised that it ended up being the glossy "Piano Black" instead of the matte "Black Ash"model mentioned (so I guess I screwed up my colour scheme even more). I sold the 590 years later in 2018, because no one seemed all that interested in it... other than low-ballers which I rejected on principle. So it sat in storage for quite a while. Later, I bought a discounted Studio Sub 15 from the local Hi-Fi shop. Within a few months, it started suffering of a high-pitched whine. You can read the nearly year-long saga of that in my other posts, but ultimately the entire cabinet was replaced because the repair guy damaged the veneer. Other repairs were made including the replacement of some capacitors in the amplifier. Unfortunately, the problem returned a few months after that. So the sub made another junket to Melbourne, but the problem apparently did not repeat itself while in the care of the warranty guys. When it returned, I combined it with my two Monitor Sub 12's, and after using the "Perfect Bass it" (or PBK), I've tamed those beasts to integrate quite nicely into the system, but it definitely took some "trial and error". The whine is still there, but less often, and more subtle. When serendipity stuck in early 2017, I was given another pair of 20's (shockingly, they matched my existing "Rosewood" 20s) by a colleague who decided to upgrade. I had not-so-subtly suggested that "If you were to upgrade, keep me in mind for these", and since I happened to un-delete some of his major project work a week earlier which had not been backed up.... I learned (yet again) that goodwill truly has a value. But my acquisitions weren't always that easy. Later, my partner decided that in light of our upgrade of the aged TV and gremlin-ridden bluray player to shiny 4K models in late 2017, it would be nice if the receiver could actually push the 4K signal through. Long story short, the receiver was upgraded again, and now we had the capacity for even more channels which I wired back up to my "spare" Monitor speakers with a little too much enthusiasm. In September 2018, I leapt at the chance when another Canberra based IT guy like myself was selling a pair of 20s. I wasn't at all interested in the 490 centre he was packaging, and honestly informed him as such, but we agreed on a fair price, so I bought the lot. This might have been just three or so months after I sold the 590... so it was as if someone was saying "out with the old, and in with... wait... the smaller brother of what just left? Huh?". Realizing that I'd literally owned all three models of centre speakers... I later found that the only speakers in the Studio v.5 line I hadn't owned at that point were the 10s, the 60s, and the Sub 12. So I thought that I might be able to offer some advice on most of the series. Ultimately, I wrote a rather detailed (or long-winded if you prefer) review of each known speaker on ProductReview, stating the pros and cons of each model, but it was later "archived" due to a lack of interest. Fast forward to Easter, 2019. I found a guy on Gumtree selling "A set of barely used cherry coloured Studio speakers, including a pair of 60s, a CC-590 + a pair 20s + Studio Sub 12". After driving all the way to Sydney for this sale, and testing with my own receiver, I found that the 20s, were in fact 10s, the CC-590, was in fact a CC-490, the Sub 12 was faulty, but the 60s were good. The Studio 10s, also had grills where the holding pins had been snapped off and poorly re-glued. Naturally, I renegotiated the price. So now what have I ended up with: 2x Studio 100s Black Ash (working, as fronts) 2x Studio 60s Cherry coloured (working as the surrounds) 6x Studio 20s 4x Rosewood, 2x Cherry, (working as the surround backs, front heights, and rear heights) 2x Studio 10s Cherry coloured (working but grill needs repair, currently unused) 1x Studio CC-690, Piano Black (working as the centre) 2x Studio CC-490, Cherry (working, one is unused, the other used in another setup) 1x Studio Sub 15, Rosewood (working as main "deep bass" sub, but with an occasional whine) 1x Studio Sub 12, Cherry (currently toast, but looking into getting repaired) I'm also using TWO Monitor Sub 12 V.7s with the 15" Sub to even out room-based anomalies, and fill out the "hearing-not-feeling bass". So my system is still... strictly speaking... a hybrid setup... but one that isn't nearly as noticeably problematic. Eventually, I'm planning to get rid of my Monitor series of speakers, including: Monitor 11s, "Mini Monitors" and "Surround 3s". The Monitor Sub 12s will probably be retired/sold if I can get the Studio Sub 12 running. Many of you might be wondering "Why not just upgrade to a newer/better system?". The answer comes in multiple parts, aside from the reasons mentioned above. Firstly, my partner likes the look of the Studio series. Secondly, the cost of a newer speaker series of this quality is often significantly higher. Thirdly combining careful speaker placement with both PBK and Anthem's room correction has (to me at least) nigh-on eliminated many of the complaints that others seem to dislike about this series. Yes, I'm not having much luck with the subs, yes a lot of my gear is getting to be 5, 7 or even 10 years old, the parts and replacements can be very expensive/difficult to get, yes there are better speakers, but to build an 7.3.4 Atmos system using gear that I've effectively gotten for a fraction of the going rate, has been a journey where I've met some interesting people that I've learned a lot from (even if there were challenging bits like travel and faulty components). At the end of the day, our home theatre is a place we all come home to in order to relax and recuperate. I'd honestly consider the performance of my colour-muddled system to be a match to some much more expensive systems, despite the age. I just have to remember that I have to consider my neighbours occasionally... despite the fact that these speakers sound even better when you power them appropriately and raise their voices. 🙂 I consider my tale a conditional success. But I've driven many miles, had buyers travel even more, I've missed many deals, carried heavy subs on multiple trips, combed through many classifieds, friends, colleagues, and search engines to get here, and although I now have enough to "complete my set", there's still some repairs and trading to be done. This road isn't for everyone, but the journey I've had has kept me... somewhat.. out of mischief. Knowing what you want now is helpful, especially if there are good deals, but having a "road map" of where you are likely to head with your hi-fi purchases, even if you can't buy everything at once is probably going to be an advantage, and help you to avoid some of the struggles I've been going through. I just hope this helps people (or even a person) to make the right decisions for themselves. Anyone else have similar tale? Nuggets of wisdom to impart? Marriages threatened by the cluttering of speakers perhaps? Have fun, and happy listening! Hamish.
  6. Thanks everyone for your thoughtful and helpful responses. I'm also sorry that I've been so tardy, but I had a job interview with a guy in San Francisco... for a job in Canberra... yep it makes sense to me too. *Fingers crossed*. 🙂 Back to the fun stuff! Honestly, I would love a proper dust extraction unit, but I need this to be portable, as I am currently in a body-corporate controlled complex so permanent fixtures aren't exactly easy to get approval for. Also, I need to move it around a highly improvised workshop/cluttered bomb site since my extended family are constantly storing their stuff here. So the baffled box is the option of choice. I've been a bit jet lagged since my return, but so far, I've built a sealed box (well it will be sealed when I've made the door) I've lined it with 3 layers of automotive sound deadening sheets, then put 50mm acoustic absorbing tiles on the flat surfaces, and bass trap corner tiles as well. I made a 200mm high baffle space (but 150mm of that is used up in foam) bending on itself as suggested. I haven't cut the holes for the hose or exhaust yet, and I'm waiting for the sealant to cure properly between the layers of wood that make up the box. Then I just have to: Make a door, and line the inside with foam. Cut the hose/exhaust holes. Route the edges with a standard round-over bit. Sand it all down, (box and door). Paint the exterior surfaces. Put some heavy duty castors on the box. Run the tubing and cabling, adding an external power switch. Attach the door to the box, and seal it up using foam seals. Build a stand on top of the box for holding/tipping the 44 gallon drum dust collection container into a skip. Then install the drum. Attach a fill level indicator to the drum. Attach a cyclone separator to top of the drum. Test and tweak where possible. Ok, so I may be doing this in a slightly overkill fashion, but I will update this for those who are interested, and hopefully take some pics along the way. Take care everyone! Hamish.
  7. Hey Kurof! If I recall correctly, you're Frank, right? How's my former centre going? Hehe. Decided to keep it for a bit longer? I'm just glad you're still happy with it. Hope you're well! Hamish
  8. DIY Audio has a particular meaning here, but I thought I'd be a little cheeky and bring up a little project that is all about reducing the noise made while I'm DIY-ing. So I suppose it's like DIY audio avoidance? 🙂 I started a workshop almost completely from scratch when trying to build crude speaker stands from Ironbark sleepers back in 2015. Now the workshop has grown exponentially as my projects got bigger, more complex. Since I now spend roughly 2 hours (minimum) a day in the workshop, it's time to manage some of the noise that I generate. However, I'm in the process of removing the ceiling and installing storage up in the roof space of my workshop, so room treatment isn't what this thread is about. Regardless of the tools I use, the machine I run the most is my vacuum. I use a dust extraction system based on a shop-vac, armed with a cyclonic dust separator running into a 44 Gallon drum. I want to encase the vacuum in a box, and use acoustic tiles/sheets to bring that howling banshee scream to a conversation level (or lower) hum. Put it on wheels, and carry my extractor with all the associated dust/accessories to wherever I need to go. There's a lot of information about this online, but I'm wondering if anyone has done this (or something similar). Any advice, guidance, or info would be appreciated. I've got enough spare castors, 20 spare 5cm thick acoustic tiles, and about 8m square of car sound insulation sheeting (roughly 10mm thick), I'm thinking about creating a sort of baffle for the exhaust, but if there's a way to damp the sound down from the intake as well, I'd love to hear it! Anyway, just thought that I can't be the only person with this problem, and there's a bunch of creative folks here who want to preserve their hearing for their musical enjoyment. As always, thanks in advance, and happy listening. Hamish.
  9. I enjoyed the film, but I can't say that it had the same feel to me as the book by Hansen. Although, given the intervening years...maybe it's my memory of the book that's flawed. 🙂 I don't know, I guess Armstrong's "focus" or "determination" in the movie seems almost... somewhat socially awkward to the point of being on the Autistic spectrum, rather than a grieving father trying to hold it together. Maybe I'm alone in this interpretation.
  10. Hi everyone, I have an Isotek Sigmas (second gen) and an Isotek Solus (whatever the latest model is). My goal was to try to remove a whining noise issue from my sub (I've got a post about that elsewhere) and I can safely say that it didn't solve that particular issue. Having said that, I think power conditioning does have some merit, but it's not an "improve absolutely any setup" miracle cure like some people assume (or tell you when you're looking like a potential customer). If you've got good wiring in the house, no major problems with noisy power circuits, then really all they are is expensive surge protectors. If you do have issues, and you think it's from noise on the power line, it probably helps to try and isolate potential sources before forking over hundreds if not thousands of your hard-earned dollars for a power filter. I find some air conditioners, fridges, computers with cheap power supplies, even photovoltaic inverters (for those who have them) can introduce some noticeable noise into a number of audio devices. However, I noticed a decrease in "graininess" of the picture (much like a photo done at high ISO) when watching a movie from my bluray player, right after the installation of the Sigmas. Your mileage may vary, but as everyone else here has suggested, always give it a good listen/try before committing to anything. A somewhat-related side note: As someone who had an electrician to install a dedicated circuit for my home theatre, I have no problems recommending that people getting their hi-fi equipment on a dedicated power circuit if you like really loud sound, or your listening is regularly interrupted by tripping the breaker when someone is putting the kettle on. However, I have strong reservations when people insist that setting up their hi-fi on a dedicated power circuit has a lot of noise-reduction benefit. Yes, assuming your building's power cabling doesn't actually pick up additional noise, any signal (noise included) attenuates/weakens the further down the line you go, but unless you have long runs of wiring in your home, (it'd have to be a huge home) and/or put some sort of filter between the circuit and the rest of your circuit breaker panel... the circuits are still all (typically) directly connected at the power meter. With that sort of connection, it's entirely conceivable that noise on one circuit could affect others. So make sure you're considering the right solution for the right problem. I hope this helps! Happy listening! Hamish.
  11. Hi there, I'm more interested in the Studio 20s than the centre, would you consider selling them separately? There seems to be a few people looking for the studio centre, or the 20s but seldom both. If not, I may be able to stretch the budget that far. (If I can sell the centre afterwards) Could I possibly inspect the speakers at a time convenient to you? I live in Amaroo, so it's not exactly far... possibly sometime from Sunday onwards? Kind Regards, Hamish.
  12. Hi Everyone, Got a little story for you. I bought a pair of Paradigm Titan (v2) bookshelf speakers back when they were the latest version. After many years (about 10 I think) of enjoyment, I upgraded and loaned the Titans to a friend since I felt that he could use them. That was about four years ago. I have recently found out that he had upgraded himself, and hadn't been using the Titans at all, so I asked him to bring them back to me (he subsequently forgot to bring them when he visited), but he mentioned that they sound kinda sad, and that he thought the foam surrounds had finally bitten the dust. Please note: That I haven't seen them in years, so I'm flying blind here. So I did a little bit of preliminary research about replacing the surrounds. I contacted Paradigm in Canada, and asked if there was a kit to replace the surrounds. They said no, but they offer a repair service. Now, I'm not going to send them halfway around the world to get repaired. So I contacted Audio Active in Melbourne, and they told me that they'd simply replace the drivers. Now I don't want to replace both woofer drivers when all I want is to replace is two pieces of rubber. It seems incredibly wasteful since the cone, coil, etc are all ok.... So I went online and found a couple of "replacement foam kits" for Paradigm Titans on eBay, and I wonder: 1. Has anyone had any experience with these (or something similar)? 2. Are there any other options I should consider? Now I haven't needed the Titans in years, I have what some may call... "too many" speakers. (Heck I have an unused sub sitting on top of our fridge... I literally have nowhere else to put it since I'm building a place in the next 6 months, and I've kinda overtaken my partner's place!), but I thought "Hey, they'd be sweet in the little workshop office I plan to build, and I'd like to learn how to fix them if I can, so there's isn't a problem if I fail, since I'd probably just resort to replacing the drivers anyway. Any advice, experience, stories, or guidance would be greatly appreciated! Hamish.
  13. Hi All, Thank you all for the above comments. I did check, and inquired about alternative solutions such as replacement with equivalent models... I didn't want a refund because the costs of buying a similar sub has gone up substantially since my purchase last year. After much ado, complaining, emails, phone calls, legal consultation, and a total 273 days in the shop (the second time, this doesn't include the 53 days for the first visit where the damage was done).... I have finally gotten my sub back. In the end, they replaced the entire chassis/enclosure with a new one, sent from Paradigm in Canada (cue 7 weeks of shipping). Audio Active took custody of the damaged sub, and performed the repairs themselves, or gotten someone in Melbourne to do it. I've also gotten my warranty extended to counter the slow service. Also, I am proud to announce that Canberra's "Prestige Electronics" is no longer on Audio Active's authorized repairer list. Frankly, the comments from Audio Active indicated that upon inspection, their electronic work wasn't much to write home about, and was re-done. While the Hi-Fi shop in question, Duratone, is limited to the instructions given to them by Audio Active, I am quite disappointed. Their communication left a lot to be desired, and the general involvement of the whole saga was disappointing. The bit most striking was asking me to move the sub to Prestige Electronics... this was never a level of service I would consider adequate for a store that claims (and charges for) the level of prestige associated with this long-standing Canberra Hi-Fi institution. I love visiting the store, I just can't justify taking my business there anymore. Of course, now that it's back, (and the fact that my back has seen better days) the sub was quite a beast to move, unbox, install, and it seems that with the "furniture creep" (a.k.a. we've run out of room for our music and movie collection, so we've added a few book cases while it was away) that a new location was needed and subsequently found. I can safely say that I love my (now working smoothly) 15" sub. I know it's not the best in the world, but I had forgotten what tangible bassy feeling (note: not hearing) was like. I'll probably calibrate it again with the PBK/ARC soon enough.... however uncalibrated... shaking the cat that decided to sleep on top of the sub was a highly amusing experience. Yay for U571 and the depth charge scenes! <cue evil grin here>. Does anyone know of some good bassy music (be it jazz, blues, or Japanese Taiko drums (the ones that look like they're hitting the end of a mediaeval petrol tanker) for me to try my sub configuration with? All the best! Hamish.
  14. Hi there! $1K can get you a very nice 2 channel setup but you really need to think about the room in which this system will play, (an often overlooked aspect of the listening experience), what this setup has to work with (will it work together with your existing gear, or is this a complete replacement), how loudly do you play, and of course what you priorities are when listening (movies vs music or power vs accuracy, as just two examples). If you're thinking about upgrading to home theatre/multi zone, or more a complex set up in the future, I'd probably think about putting most on your money into a freely available type/brand of speaker, that won't need replacing later on, and can added to later without having an unholy mess of timbrally mismatched warbling. What to do with a budget is an issue that plagues (and even keeps people up at night) whether they're newbies and long-term audiophiles. Your question of I have budget of <insert value> and I want to do <insert goals>, now what should I do? Is a common one. I believe that to get a good idea of what to buy now, a budget, and road map for considering future changes will help greatly. For instance: $1000 now... $600 on a pair of good bookshelf speakers (If you need bass later, you can add a sub, or towers, and make these the surrounds later.. preferably the same brand/series to be timbre-matched) $300 on a second hand amp/receiver. $50 on 14AWG (or lower) speaker cable. $50 on 1x good interconnect (HDMI if you've got a new enough amp/receiver.... or a nice quality stereo connection to suit your equipment) I'm not going to say, buy brand X over Y or this particular model over another. There are a lot of great brands out there, and if you're buying second hand, there are some real bargains. However, I'd always recommend that you listen to the gear prior to purchase to ensure that it works, and ensures that you actually like it. A little bit of googling has always ensured that I have paid a reasonable price without going overboard. I'd also look into hifihunter.com (make sure you select Australia, but if you have some friends coming from the US or UK that have spare "baggage allowance".. there's a lot available overseas.. just make sure you don't buy something limited to 110V power supplies because a step-down transformer will hurt your budget significantly... but speakers are fine). I hope this helps! Good luck and happy listening! Hamish.
  15. Hi all, Well I've got a somewhat depressing story to tell you. I got my beloved Sub 15 from the shop after being repaired in November (I think), I lugged it home, pulled it from the box, and put it into a temporary position. Connecting wasn't a problem, I didn't bother with any light, just quickly connected it by feel and decided to test if the whine that started all this was present. Thankfully, the whine was gone. My partner and I were really busy at the time, but we watched a couple of movies, and everything seemed fine. It wasn't until I was listening to some music while working late at night, that I noticed that the sub clicked and cut out during the quieter moments. This wouldn't be unusual if I was using the sound signal-based power on feature, but I was supposed to be using the trigger cable. "Ok, I guess the guys at the shop flicked it to Auto, I'll go and flick it back to trigger." This is when I discovered, the power-on mode selector switch wasn't there anymore. Or at least the actual toggle lever (usually part of the swich) was suspiciously absent. <Cue disappointment here> So I pulled the sub out, and had a look, in case the switch lever had somehow unscrewed and fallen on the floor... nope. It was then I saw something else.... It would seem that the certified repairer in Canberra, had used a pry-bar or some other similar such implement to remove the amplifier from the back of the box. Now for those of you who have a nice polished wood veneer on your speaker equipment, having the deep red polished rosewood interrupted by the underlying, contrasting beige/brown wood underneath (well.. glue masquerading as wood in the form of MDF or particle board) seems to indicate that the veneer was noticably missing a piece or two. Now it may seem odd that I'm bugged by this. Many of you are probably wondering "How often do you look at the back of your sub?". However, we have our sofas/lounge suite combination in a U-shaped configuration, where after much sub crawling (to my surprise) the best location for the sub, given the bizarre shape of our room is actually in the middle. (I think the walls in their odd shape do something, so I kinda try to avoid reinforcing those quirks as much as possible by moving the sub from the wall). The sofas are very long, and anyone sitting at the front ends of our sofas are actually behind the sub, and can see the sub damage. Obviously, they're not the "good seats"... and when my partner and I are home alone, we rarely sit in anything less than the ideal sound spot.. but I paid for a beautiful sub, and the discoloured and marred edge next to the amplifier unit draws the eye. Back to the shop again! Christmas eve 2015.. because that's the only day I had off that I could get to the shop. Now the guy at the shop was nice, and it wasn't his fault. But I explained in detail that the repair has done more damage than good. The analogy of "If I take my car to the mechanic because it's making a funny noise, and get my car back with the noise fixed, but dented rear-end, should I accept the repair?". I also asked for my complaint to be forwarded to Audio Active, and that the local repairer be removed from their recommended list. It's now April, I went to the shop in a rare break from work, and discovered that the sub has still not been repaired. Some mention of the fact that the repairer is looking for some "Wood putty" was mentioned. Now I'm only a hobbyist woodworker, but matching putty is difficult, and extremely unlikely to result in the same quality finish as a properly installed veneer. Given the month it was gone the first time, and the 4.5 months it has been gone (so far), I'm tempted to question whether or not I should have a new extended warranty period. Given that I've had custody of the sub for less time than the repairers. So while big subs sound amazing (when they're around, working, and don't randomly power off), please note that the standard "I'll just get a new one sent to me" doesn't always apply. There is a strong preference for repair over replacement (especially for out of production stock, or merely stock that is extremely bulky and heavy). This is something you should consider when buying that bassy behemoth. Meanwhile, my two 12" subs have been doing an admirable job without their bigger sibling, and may be enough for most people.. It's certainly a much more manageable configuration if you've got the room. However, I'm a bass nut and I miss the extra depth of the Sub 15. I'll let you know when (or if) I get my sub back. Hamish.
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