Author Topic: Updated Pics of the Cave  (Read 1513 times)

Offline OldiesButGoodies

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Updated Pics of the Cave
« on: January 03, 2016, 09:03:45 PM »
Have not posted pics of the cave for a while, so here's an update.   

The main changes involve the move to one system for music and video, centered around the Emotiva XMC-1 preamp.  I like it so far.   

IMG_1608.jpg by Jose Sifontes, on Flickr

I sold the 100" acoustically transparent screen two weeks ago and ordered a solid-back Elite VMAX 135" screen that arrives on Thursday.  Acoustic transparency translates, IMO, into video crappy-ness. The picture degraded tremendously.   I hope to recover the original picture in the larger screen with flat backing.  I am also installing a proper screen mount that allows for "keystoning" adjustments (which essentially means I can make minute adjustments to ensure the screen is absolutely parallel to the projector DLP source - you would be surprised how easily your brain detects the distortion created by that after a few days).   

IMG_1609.jpg by Jose Sifontes, on Flickr

This is the current stack of equipment.  The Emo XPA1L monoblocks are the main amps,  I run them in class A full time.  The Sunfire 405x 5 handles the other channels (I tried to sell it to buy an Emo XPA-5 but offers tendered felt unreasonable to me given how good a shape this one is in,  so Idecided to keep it - why mess with a good thing?).  All three RTR decks serve music regularly. The Pioneer 707  handles 4 track 7" reels,  the Teac  X-2000R processes 4 track 10" reels (and anything DBX),  and the Otari is the 2 track source.  Not seen in the picture is the fact that the Otari's rear case cover is permanently removed.   Ever since I bought the reference tape from MRL labs, I am constantly tweaking that deck,  so it is best to leave with the hood open.  (obsessive compulsive disorder).   On the cassette side the main deck is the Tascam 122 Mkii,  with the Nakamichi CR4 as a backup (though I end up using the Tascam more often,  for whatever reason).  The other decks in the picture are not connected at the moment - a Nak BX-1 and Teac C-1.  The Phillips CD-80 is gone - the Oppo 83 serves as transport to the Jolida Tube FX DAC III.  The VPI Aries 1 is still the main TT - like it too much to change it,  though I may update the arm soon.  The VPI line conditioner does what the VPI SDS can do as well,  control the speed of the motor to precisely produce 33 or 45 rpm.  The media PC is a 2014 Mac Mini running JRiver MC 21 (if you plan on buying one of those, let me know, I can probably tell you what not to do:  in short ,  recent Mac Minis are not up-gradable,  memory is soldered in, buyer beware: if you buy one get one with the right amount of RAM).

The main speakers are now GoldenEar Triton 1s:

IMG_1611.jpg by Jose Sifontes, on Flickr

IMG_1612.jpg by Jose Sifontes, on Flickr

IMG_1617.jpg by Jose Sifontes, on Flickr

IMG_1618.jpg by Jose Sifontes, on Flickr

The center is a SuperCenter XXL that matches the Triton 1s well.  The Tritons generate a lot of buzz in the net,  with almost as many critics as supporters. It has a great folded-ribbon tweeter that makes me happy.  I use them with the socks off and so far like them.   The built in subs are driven in "stereo sub" mode by the XMC-1.  The preamp does not use Audyssey to balance things out,  it uses "Dirac" instead,  an alternative approach designed by a company in Sweden that not only corrects frequency but also phase issues.   So far so good,  still learning to use the software - not ready to issue a judgment. The pre can also work with Room Eq Wizard (free open source software) as an alternative and has two preset positions for loading parameters from REQ Wizard. I use both Dirac and Preset 1 for REQ.   The basic pre ships with a basic version of the Dirac software that is function-limited. The version I bought ("Dirac Full")  allows me to use my own calibrated microphone (a UMIK USB mic in my case) and also lets me design a house (target) curve.  The latter is very cool (similar to Audyssey Pro), and I am having fun designing curves and loading them into the pre to see the effect.  Like being able to tell the software to crunch filters out to give me more bass in my room, or emphasize a particular frequency range.

The main lessons for me from this setup so far: Dolby PLII Music and DTS Neo Music can make 2-channel music sound pretty darn good, specially if you lower the level of the surrounds slightly.  I still have the option of switching the pre to "Reference Stereo" mode,  but I rarely use that any more.  An even more advanced pre is coming up in a year,  the XMR-1,  that will kick things up another notch.  Like I said,  this is an obsessive hobby.

IMG_1619.jpg by Jose Sifontes, on Flickr

The "under-50Hz" duties are also supplemented a by a Rhythmik VHP-15 sub (pardon the mess in the pic,  but this a working cave,  not a showroom  ::)).  This sub has turned out ok, and I am keeping it,  but for those of you considering a new sub I recommend going with HSU VTF-15 mkii or any of the JL Fathom subs.  You will get more quality bass for your hard-earned money that way.

So that is the update,  I am sure the room will change in a few months yet again. 

Cheers,

OBG   

PS: Still amazed no one in the forum showed interest in buying the Amazings.  Those speakers were essentially like new with fresh drivers!  If you have a chance own a pair of those at some point - they are, well, Amazing.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2016, 09:17:54 AM by OldiesButGoodies »

Spkr: VMPS RM40
Pre: McCormack RLD-1, Rotel 970BX Phono
Amps: Channel Islands Audio D-200 MkII 
Phono: VPI Aries 1,  Van de Hul Frog
CD: Oppo BDP-83 DAC: Young DSD DAC
Cass: Tascam 122MkII
R2R: Revox B77
Sub: Rhythmik FV 15HP

Offline RuralTom

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Re: Updated Pics of the Cave
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2016, 06:53:51 AM »
A room to marvel at... I can only imagine it sounds at least as great as it looks.

I very well might have been interested in the Amazings as I continue my journey for the perfect system....  IIRC, they were posted for mere hours before they were snatched up I don't think I even saw a price on them!
pre :  Melos GK1, Usher P-303
DAC: M2Tech Young
amp: VTL Compact 80, Onkyo M-504
CDP:  Onkyo DX-706
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Offline bmwr75

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Re: Updated Pics of the Cave
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2016, 09:05:20 AM »
Those are some funny looking rack handles in front of the TV.
Media: CDs ripped to Apple Lossless files
Source: Mac Mini using iTunes and Bit Perfect
DAC: AudioSmile modded Behringer DEQ2496
Preamp: Rogue Audio Perseus
Crossover: miniDSP 2X4 HD
Amp: Vincent SP-331
Mains: KEF LS50
Subs: dual SVS SB-2000

Offline bearjew

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Re: Updated Pics of the Cave
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2016, 10:56:17 AM »
Those are some funny looking rack handles in front of the TV.

he's trying to convince us that he's in good shape.
-Audeze EL-8 Titanium headphones
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Offline OldiesButGoodies

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Re: Updated Pics of the Cave
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2016, 10:59:25 AM »
No one can drink as many IPAs as I do and be in "good shape".  It is simple calorie mathematics.  But I do like doing push ups in front of the TV or while listening to music.

Spkr: VMPS RM40
Pre: McCormack RLD-1, Rotel 970BX Phono
Amps: Channel Islands Audio D-200 MkII 
Phono: VPI Aries 1,  Van de Hul Frog
CD: Oppo BDP-83 DAC: Young DSD DAC
Cass: Tascam 122MkII
R2R: Revox B77
Sub: Rhythmik FV 15HP

Offline StephenWVU

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Re: Updated Pics of the Cave
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2016, 01:25:21 PM »
Looking good, Pepe!  If I ever sell my HR-X, the Aries will be the one I buy! Just got a pair of JL F112V2 subs.  I can't wait to try them out.  For everyone out there, this is probably a good time to get the original Fathoms because the new ones came out. =) 
Speakers: Nearfield Acoustics Pipedreams Reference 18
Amplifier:
Crown XLS2000 on subs
VAC Renaissance 30/70 (towers)
Preamplifier/DAC: Phison PD2
Server: Antipodes DX (everyone should investigate this brand)
CD: SONY DVP 9000ES
Turntable: I will have one again... Looking at Hanss T60 or VPI Aries

Offline raynist

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Re: Updated Pics of the Cave
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2016, 12:45:02 AM »
What AT screen did you have?

I moved to an AT screen about 9 months ago and didn't lose any picture quality that I could tell.

Offline OldiesButGoodies

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Re: Updated Pics of the Cave
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2016, 02:41:09 AM »
I had the Elite basic 100" screen:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00934CQ1K?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_search_detailpage

I cannot UNrecommended it enough.  It was a big drop in picture quality from the solid screen.  I now have this one - great pic quality:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0014VF46Y?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_search_detailpage

Great picture quality,   no waves,  happy camper overall.

Spkr: VMPS RM40
Pre: McCormack RLD-1, Rotel 970BX Phono
Amps: Channel Islands Audio D-200 MkII 
Phono: VPI Aries 1,  Van de Hul Frog
CD: Oppo BDP-83 DAC: Young DSD DAC
Cass: Tascam 122MkII
R2R: Revox B77
Sub: Rhythmik FV 15HP

Offline raynist

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Re: Updated Pics of the Cave
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2016, 09:33:15 AM »
Thanks.

I didn't realize they made AT screens that inexpensive.

I also have an Elite AT screen but it is fixed frame so no waves.  It also has a black AT backing so there is no light bleed through.

http://www.amazon.com/Elite-Screens-ezFrame-Series-AcousticPro1080P3/dp/B00C6H4X0I

What did you decide to do with your 4520?   

Offline OldiesButGoodies

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Re: Updated Pics of the Cave
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2016, 07:42:59 PM »
The Denon 4520 went to my budget-conscious high school teacher son.  He was using an old Nakamichi receiver with a pair of Paradigm Atoms and he reports the sound of the 4520 "is a vast improvement over the Nakamichi". So everyone is happy and I don't have to deal with Ebay.

Regards

Pepe
 

Spkr: VMPS RM40
Pre: McCormack RLD-1, Rotel 970BX Phono
Amps: Channel Islands Audio D-200 MkII 
Phono: VPI Aries 1,  Van de Hul Frog
CD: Oppo BDP-83 DAC: Young DSD DAC
Cass: Tascam 122MkII
R2R: Revox B77
Sub: Rhythmik FV 15HP

Offline raynist

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Re: Updated Pics of the Cave
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2016, 09:29:14 PM »
My 4311 just died

I bought a used 4520 from a member on AVS

Just saw your post on there too.

Offline OldiesButGoodies

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Re: Updated Pics of the Cave
« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2016, 09:34:46 PM »
Yes - I go by Namikis there.  I have a small collection of old fountain pens and Namiki is a cool brand:   

http://www.nibs.com/namiki-fountain-pens.htm

Spkr: VMPS RM40
Pre: McCormack RLD-1, Rotel 970BX Phono
Amps: Channel Islands Audio D-200 MkII 
Phono: VPI Aries 1,  Van de Hul Frog
CD: Oppo BDP-83 DAC: Young DSD DAC
Cass: Tascam 122MkII
R2R: Revox B77
Sub: Rhythmik FV 15HP

Offline raynist

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Re: Updated Pics of the Cave
« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2016, 09:46:04 PM »
I was wondering where that name came from :)

Offline schwarcw

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Re: Updated Pics of the Cave
« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2016, 10:10:48 PM »
Very cool pens!  I didn't know you were a novel collector.  Show us more!

I am not a collector but I like shiny stuff!  O0
Carl

Offline StephenWVU

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Re: Updated Pics of the Cave
« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2016, 11:05:20 PM »
What surrounds do you use? Tempted to eventually go a similar route. Might be hard to use my Pipedreams as mains in a HT regarding center channel matching.
Speakers: Nearfield Acoustics Pipedreams Reference 18
Amplifier:
Crown XLS2000 on subs
VAC Renaissance 30/70 (towers)
Preamplifier/DAC: Phison PD2
Server: Antipodes DX (everyone should investigate this brand)
CD: SONY DVP 9000ES
Turntable: I will have one again... Looking at Hanss T60 or VPI Aries

 

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