play with placement...likely, this is a room thing
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Jaybo - it is refreshing to read a post in which someone offers a common sense practical solution free of snake oil. Such solutions work. Way to go. The factors in any audio system are always going to be (ranked in % of effect)1) speakers (2) room acoustics - including speaker placement (3) amplifier (4) preamp (5) source. Power cords and speaker cable choices have no effect so long as the runs are short (<50 ft each) and the awg is 16 or lower for the speaker cable; and 14 or lower for the power cord (unless you are using a lot of ac current - and then it is a safety issue, not a sound issue). Power conditioners are not beneficial (other than for catastrophic protection) in 99 % of all cases. Common sense goes a long way. Why all the hype in the other direction ? Well, how much did it cost to rearrange the speakers ? Profit margin is pretty slim there.
Depending on your budget first get Clear Day solid core silver Shotgun or Double Shotgun. I replaced HT Pro 9s with these. The improvement in midrange warmth blew me away
Unless the components you are connecting with XLR are in fact balanced circuits, it's a waste of money. But if they are, then they represent what hi-end audio is about. Now if your CD player outs are not balanced then you probably can't tell too much
There is no doubt that proper speaker placement and room interaction must be addressed first in any system set-up. However- Every step up that I have made in my system's cables, interconnects, and power cords has yielded audible benefits(generally sound stage and transparency) that has been appreciated by all(usually musicians) that listened to the system. The VPI Magic Bricks sitting atop the power transformers of my monoblocks, and my Audio Magic Stealth XXX are VERY obviously absent and missed if removed from their stations. That you personally cannot hear, don't understand, or your system cannot resolve, the differences that certain component changes and tweaks can make DOES NOT make them snake-oil or in any way negate their benefits. It's a shame to deny others such benefits because you cannot appreciate them, But I suppose that's what freedom of speech is all about.
I am very thank ful for the interaction shown by the audiogon community. I started the change when I sold my avalon Studio pros because someone stole my NP evolution sub....
I bought a set of revel preforma 30's.
I wanted a bigger amplifier..
I deceided to buy a parasound Halo 21 to replace my jeff rowland 102 amplifier. This led to my sale of some of my higher end cables.
I love my CD Player. It is both balanced and rca out.
The balanced section is not in the signal path of the tube. The RCA connection is. So I can use both and have
two differnt sounds come from the player. The tube is a 6H30 dr. Russian super tube. Consance reference 2.2
My nuforce p-8 has sold. output impeadance of 40 ohms.
The parasound P-3 is on the way. It has a 60 amp out put impeadance. It has balanced out and one balanced input. I will run CD player through both.
I have a Pioneer PL1000 turntable . I listen to records as much as I use cd's. The P-3 preamp has a built in phono pre.
I have some silver balanced interconnects from Audioparts.
I have a balanced set of HT precsionlinks, low cost.
I have a set of Balduer Nordost RCA. I currently use it in the signal path of the cd player . My goal is to find a better balanced set of cables that might help better on the Amp to preamp side and balanced side of the cd player.
I have solved the speaker placment problems and now await the arival of the P-3 Halo preamp next week.
I use p.s audio power cords Plus models.
I have had more money tied up in other systems before but want to go this route. I am not committed to purchaseing the Halo P-3 and could spend more if needed on another preamp.
One thing that I like about Jaybo's comment is that speaker
placment is a number one priority. If it takes care of the problem, thats great.
As far as other items , I see the benefit there too.
I could either buy new tweaks or just move the speaker.
Either way , it only enhances or fixes what you here from your system.
Thats why audio is such a personal preference that one hopfully comes to appreciate over time.
Sansui80 - I have a Ref 2.2 (not Linear, but original) on which QFS did the "factory" upgrade. I am very pleased with the improvements - improved mid-range, smoother, more detailed yet less harsh. However, I've been told that QFS is no longer the U.S. distributor. I've also been told that the mod on the Ref 2.2 (replace output caps to 2.2 450 volt Auricaps precision caps, replace output diode, re-wire power supply for voltage to caps, replace output tube with JJ Tesla EC-99) is not really a good idea since tubes like the JJ Tesla EC-99 are not meant to be installed on their side, which is how the mod is done. I e-mailed Stephen Monte at QFS for clarification on this but got no response. So while I would highly recommend Stephen's mods for improved performance, I would be concerned about their application to the player. I have NEVER had any trouble with mine since (2 years now) but would be cautious since Stephen has not answered my conerns.
Sansui80 - I am not recommending you not do the mods. I am only suggesting you speak with Stephen about this issue and only proceed if you are satisfied with his explanation. All of my dealings (general questions, work done on my amp and CDP) with Stephen up to this most recent issue were great. Please let us know what you find out from him and what you decide to do.
No issue whatsoever horizontal mounting of ECC99 in Ref 2.2! None! I have it on good authority (well known and highly respected tube guru) that there is NOT any issue mounting this specific tube (nor ANY tube unless restriction stated in its data sheet) horizontally. Been a couple of years for this thread but must set the record straight. This fear has plagued the back of my mind for years. And it was pure hogwash. So fear not.
I hate to break it to you but get rid of the nordost cables ,it will
help tame the tweeter of the f30s, it has an emphasis in the treble that while being detailed , is forward and lacks body, try some all copper interconnects and see if it helps. Ps I am VERY familiar with the sound of f30s, I sold them, multiple friends own them , I owned the m20s and now the f32s.
The most effective way to reduce system harshness is to reduce SIV (Self Induced Vibration). I know what you're thinking, "It's all Edison's fault". True, but those transformers hummmm with AC.
Here's where being a physics major really pays off. I put my copy of University Physics right on top of the my hefty conrad-johnson preamp, I used my copy of Tippler's Modern Physics for the CD player because digital has a sort of quantumness. Some of those vibrapods [sp?] under might help too.
After building an amp stand out of alternating layers of MDF and closed cell foam, I put the Hammond Atlas on top of the amp because I like world music (and a rock from my wife's garden top of that, but she hasn't missed it yet).
No, you don't need expensive "audiophool" composite plates to get 99% of the effectiveness of mechanical damping, just put your education dollars to work.
Seriously, you will be amazed at degree to which you can reduce harshness by reducing mechanical vibrations in your system. Just try it. Hey, it's free.
Ricardo is correct. Vibration control of all components is critical. Chrissain is also correct about Nordost cables. I used to run all Valhallas at one time, and, although they are very detailed, they lack body and fullness of sound. I also generally prefer the sound of copper cables over silver ones in my system.
Actually, I was blaming Edison for AC, not transformers. But I do blame transformers for hum.
My point was the big improvement you get from reducing internally generated vibrations, and that a text book does a good job of damping out these vibrations. I can see it now advertised in an audio mag:
"Hundreds of paper-thin layers impressed with pigmented resins bound by non-resonant composites..."
For the price of a typical "audiophile" solution, you can get the college education to go with the text book.