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Thread: Tampa Bay Circuit

  1. #31
    Super User sleepysurf's Avatar
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    Craig, George, and myself had an impromptu listening session at Craig's today. I dropped by to try my Belles amp with his new Wadia 581i setup, and George happened to be over the same time dropping off his Aeon i's (making room for his newly acquired Ascents). We basically compared my Belles 350A Reference vs. Craig's Electrocompaniet monoblocks, and also compared some speaker cables and interconnects.

    In a nutshell, Craig's Wadia/Electrocompaniet setup (with balanced interconnects) beat the Wadia/Belles setup (with RCA connections), primarily because of cleaner, more detailed bass, and a tad more precise imaging. Switching to Audience Au24 RCA interconnects brought out more detail and resolution with the Belles amp, but still not quite as detailed as Craig's balanced setup. We did NOT try RCA interconnects with the Wadia/Electrocompaniet, nor did we demo my tube-rectified Modwright, as we needed Balanced to RCA adaptors. I'm *hoping* the balanced connection was the reason for the improved sonics, but time will tell.

    Regardless, all three of us agreed that various interconnect cable flavors CLEARLY make a difference, with the Audience clearly better than my default Blue Jeans Cable, and Craigs other inexpensive RCA pair (forgot the brand). We also prefered the Audience speaker cables over his Harmonic Tech hoses, but the difference was not as apparent as with the interconnects.

    Since I'm about to totally reconfigure my listening room, I'm not gonna make any changes until the new furniture arrives, and I have time to tweak the system further. Given what I heard today, I'll likely upgrade to Audience Au24 speaker cables and interconnects as the next step, seeing how they sound with the Modwright. After that... all bets are off!
    Last edited by sleepysurf; 08-11-2007 at 04:55 PM.
     
    Squeezebox Touch/Bel Canto DAC 3.5VB + Oppo BDP-95 > Conrad-Johnson CT5 preamp and Premier 350 amp > ML Expressions 13A. Dual ML BalancedForce 210 subs. Audience Au24e I/C's, speaker cable.
    Click here to see my entire sytem. Member of the Suncoast Audiophile Society.

  2. #32
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    Guess I should have stopped in a little more often, seem to be missing all the Tampa action! I enjoy getting an education on different setups with ML speakers. Have heard Alan's and George's systems, but they seem to change on a weekly basis. Nice to see Alan discovering how nice tubes sound with stats. Since I have the CLS, I like to see someone else with in the area with these great speakers, even better with the tube equipment. Would like to compare the sound of Brad's system to mine, I'm always trying to find some way to improve the sound. Look forward to more info from you guys.
    linn lp12, Electrocompaniet emc-1up, Manley 300b line stg, Atma-sphere m60II.3, CLSIIz, vmps larger sub, Aragon 4004(sub),sound anchor cls stands, Quicksilver phono pre (tube reg power supply)

  3. #33
    Super User sleepysurf's Avatar
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    Default The transition has begun!

    After Craigs 'bass whipping' yesterday ( ), I awoke this morning as a man on a mission! I rallied the family, assigned everybody tasks, and after a few hours, we'd emptied and disassembled my audio-horrific wall unit, and moved it to another room. I've now got a VERY temporary room setup, pending arrival of my new furniture in a few weeks (with on-wall HDTV to follow). However, the mere removal of that monstrous wood and glass unit has already made a HUGE improvement in sonics (despite still having my 46" RPTV in the middle). My Summits are now about 70" apart (previously ~100"), with only slight toe-in, and panels about 4-1/2' from front wall. Imaging, midrange, and bass detail have improved immensely. Frankly, I didn't really expect THIS much improvement with that simple change, and can't wait to hear how things develop as the transition continues. I'll keep posting pics of my progress along the way. Watch out guys, I'm gaining fast on y'all!
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by sleepysurf; 08-12-2007 at 02:46 PM.
    Squeezebox Touch/Bel Canto DAC 3.5VB + Oppo BDP-95 > Conrad-Johnson CT5 preamp and Premier 350 amp > ML Expressions 13A. Dual ML BalancedForce 210 subs. Audience Au24e I/C's, speaker cable.
    Click here to see my entire sytem. Member of the Suncoast Audiophile Society.

  4. #34
    Super User sleepysurf's Avatar
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    Well, the transition is coming along nicely! I now have the 70" Harmony cabinet in place (WAF ++++ ) , and am awaiting delivery of the 52" Sony XBR4 this Monday! I also have Verizon Fios scheduled for installation Wed.

    Unfortunately, the 30" matching Harmony piece did NOT have a removeable back (as described in the catalog), so won't work as an audio rack. I might use it elsewhere in the room, or send it back.

    Instead, I have ordered a StudioTech HF-4 modular audio rack, and will customize the shelves with a WAF acceptable faux paint finish. After a few weeks of "tweaking" the final location of everything (optimized for two-channel, of course), I'll mount the XBR4 with the cantilevered Omnimount UCL-X, thanks to Spike for the suggestion! (The tape markings on the wall are stud locations, and wall vs. room "center" marks for reference).

    Should be ready to host listening/viewing sessions in Oct!!!
    Attached Images Attached Images   
    Last edited by sleepysurf; 09-08-2007 at 09:14 AM.
    Squeezebox Touch/Bel Canto DAC 3.5VB + Oppo BDP-95 > Conrad-Johnson CT5 preamp and Premier 350 amp > ML Expressions 13A. Dual ML BalancedForce 210 subs. Audience Au24e I/C's, speaker cable.
    Click here to see my entire sytem. Member of the Suncoast Audiophile Society.

  5. #35
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    Alan:

    Looks really good. I take it that the new TV is a flat screen to be mounted on the wall?

    Erik

  6. #36
    Super User sleepysurf's Avatar
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    Yep! Essentially the same LCD panel (in 2007 version) as Spikes...
    http://www.martinloganowners.com/~td...52&postcount=1

    I will eventually get the Motif as center channel.
    Last edited by sleepysurf; 09-08-2007 at 11:14 AM.
    Squeezebox Touch/Bel Canto DAC 3.5VB + Oppo BDP-95 > Conrad-Johnson CT5 preamp and Premier 350 amp > ML Expressions 13A. Dual ML BalancedForce 210 subs. Audience Au24e I/C's, speaker cable.
    Click here to see my entire sytem. Member of the Suncoast Audiophile Society.

  7. #37
    Super User Jeff Zaret's Avatar
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    Sleepy,
    Looks great and I bet the ML's sound more open now that the cabinet has changed and old TV are gone. I know mine sounded more open and revealing.

    It will be great when it is all finished.

    Good Luck and as always use it all in the best of health.

    Jeff

  8. #38
    Super User sleepysurf's Avatar
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    Yet another update pic! Got the XBR4 up on the wall, with the Omnimount UCL-X. Next project is installing a cable cover over the wires. I also WAF-ized my StudioTech rack with faux granite paint, and hope to have a ML Motif center by years end. I also have a Belkin PF60 power center on the way, and will shift my Monster HTS 3500 MKII to the video side. I'm psyched to host another listening session ASAP, and let y'all comment on the sonic (and visual) improvements!
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by sleepysurf; 10-05-2007 at 10:15 AM.
    Squeezebox Touch/Bel Canto DAC 3.5VB + Oppo BDP-95 > Conrad-Johnson CT5 preamp and Premier 350 amp > ML Expressions 13A. Dual ML BalancedForce 210 subs. Audience Au24e I/C's, speaker cable.
    Click here to see my entire sytem. Member of the Suncoast Audiophile Society.

  9. #39
    Super User Audioseduction's Avatar
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    Alan,

    Looks REAL good! Love the flat screen on the wall. I can't wait to hear your system in it's new arrangement.

  10. #40
    Super User Rich's Avatar
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    WOW!!!! Sleepy, your setup looks awesome. I love the faux finish on the walls. The Harmony cabinet and Sony video monitor are outstanding. I really kind of hate Sony, but they make some of the best T.V. monitors in existence, IMHO. I am sure the sound has improved a huge step above your previous setup.
    Rich

    This comment is intended solely for educational purposes and should not be construed as conveying any express or implied warranty of fitness for any other purpose. Said comment constitutes merely the humble opinion of its maker and does not reflect the views of the MLOC or of ML, Ltd. YMMV. Trust your own ears.

  11. #41
    Super User sleepysurf's Avatar
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    Frankly, the sound improvement far exceeded my expectations! For those of you agonizing over which amps and cables to use, make sure you've optimized ROOM ACOUSTICS FIRST! Replacing my bulky wall unit and RPTV with a low cabinet/flat panel made a night and day difference. I want to gather equipment for room acoustics/speaker measurements and use it to guide all future room treatments.
    Squeezebox Touch/Bel Canto DAC 3.5VB + Oppo BDP-95 > Conrad-Johnson CT5 preamp and Premier 350 amp > ML Expressions 13A. Dual ML BalancedForce 210 subs. Audience Au24e I/C's, speaker cable.
    Click here to see my entire sytem. Member of the Suncoast Audiophile Society.

  12. #42
    Super User sleepysurf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich View Post
    I really kind of hate Sony, but they make some of the best T.V. monitors in existence, IMHO.
    I'd never been a Sony fan either, but they really nailed the technology with this latest XBR4/5 line. I read extensively on the AVS Forum before finally choosing the 52" XBR4, and am 100% satisfied with it. In fact, the built-in speakers are pretty da*n good too!
    Squeezebox Touch/Bel Canto DAC 3.5VB + Oppo BDP-95 > Conrad-Johnson CT5 preamp and Premier 350 amp > ML Expressions 13A. Dual ML BalancedForce 210 subs. Audience Au24e I/C's, speaker cable.
    Click here to see my entire sytem. Member of the Suncoast Audiophile Society.

  13. #43
    Super User Joey_V's Avatar
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    I'm not from Tampa so I don't frequent this thread.. but I'm glad I stopped by today!

    Here's what I want to say about your new set up, Alan....

    SAWWWEEEET!!! WOW!!!

    Seriously, I really like it.... it's truly superb now, just the way it should be. I can only imagine the improvement clearing out the middle has done and pulling them out. Not to mention, with Jason's spikes, imaging must be killer!

    I like it.... a lot.

    Two thumbs up!

    Joey
    Joey "kid with grey hair" V
    System 1: Emm Labs TSDX Transport -> Emm Labs DAC2x -> Cary SLP-05 Pre -> Boulder 2060 Stereo Amp -> B&W 802D3, AQ WEL Power Cords, AQ WEL Speaker Wire, AQ Wind (reterminating to XLR)
    System 2: Rotel RA1592 Integrated -> Sonus Faber Olympica 3
    System 3: Rotel RC1570 Preamp -> Rotel RB1582 Stereo Amp -> B&W CM10s2 (ESL11a replacement??)

  14. #44
    Super User sleepysurf's Avatar
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    Well, Joey, you're always welcome to visit!
    Squeezebox Touch/Bel Canto DAC 3.5VB + Oppo BDP-95 > Conrad-Johnson CT5 preamp and Premier 350 amp > ML Expressions 13A. Dual ML BalancedForce 210 subs. Audience Au24e I/C's, speaker cable.
    Click here to see my entire sytem. Member of the Suncoast Audiophile Society.

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by sleepysurf View Post
    Well, Joey, you're always welcome to visit!
    Alan,

    I applied to 3 Florida residency programs, so if I get interviews there, you betcha that your place is one of five I need to visit aside from the hospital.

    1. Alan's place
    2. Miami beach
    3. Disneyworld

    Or is it...

    1. Miami beach
    2. Alan's place
    3. Disneyworld

    ????

    Tough choices.... .
    Joey "kid with grey hair" V
    System 1: Emm Labs TSDX Transport -> Emm Labs DAC2x -> Cary SLP-05 Pre -> Boulder 2060 Stereo Amp -> B&W 802D3, AQ WEL Power Cords, AQ WEL Speaker Wire, AQ Wind (reterminating to XLR)
    System 2: Rotel RA1592 Integrated -> Sonus Faber Olympica 3
    System 3: Rotel RC1570 Preamp -> Rotel RB1582 Stereo Amp -> B&W CM10s2 (ESL11a replacement??)

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