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Nice - but musical instruments in the same room twanging away resonating to the music? Using a swept sine at decent volume soon finds things rattling and buzzing in a room. All happening in the background while you listen to music.

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Ah - the good old battleship grey Cambridge Audio livery. It was panned by the reviewers, as were the buttons on the CD player (they described them as reminiscent of poking dead flesh). Very unfair, b

R5s arrived:  

I dunno, can i post this here? The leather was just an idea - making some matching wood pulls would be cool - maybe when things die down at M&O of course my speaker cables are too short

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This is only a bit overkill because I don’t have the space to spread out. Ideally these two systems would be in different rooms. I just finished my video setup with a new TV, hence my share...My setups are as follows:

Stereo Setup:

NAD M12 DAC/Preamp w/ MDC BluOS 2i
NAD M22 Stereo Amplifier
Polk LSiM 707 Tower Speakers
Furman Elite-15 PFi Power Conditioner
Kimber Kable Hero XLR Interconnects
Custom Bi-Wire Speaker Cables

Video Setup:

AppleTV 4K
LG 65C9 OLED TV
Yamaha Aventage RX-A3070 A/V Receiver
Polk LSiM 706c Center Channel Speaker
Polk LSiM 703 Bookshelf Speakers
Audioquest Cinnamon HDMI Cables

My next upgrades are power cables and building custom speaker cables for the video setup. I’m debating adding a MDC HDM-2 HMDI card to my stereo setup to get rid of the Yammy. But I have to say I enjoy the modular capability of having 2 discreet systems.

 

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5 hours ago, Craig Sawyers said:

Those casters don't look like the type that lock in place. What happens at full tilt when a kick drum happens - where do those monster JBL's end up? :lol:

Unless there’s a DC offset, the net sum gain should be zero.  :) 
It might rock, though.

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This is my humble 5 year old set-up. Dali Ikon MK2, Dali Lektor 6 towers, Dali zensor vokal and a chanced upon bowers and wilkins blueroom housepods. Run by Sony DN1060.

Used mostly for movies and listening through spotify or youtube.

Not an audiophile, if i like what i hear then i'm happy hahaha

After 5 years, its easy to lose appreciation of the set-up since i haven't really paid much attention to it recently, and happy to have discovered this community to rekindle my love for this hobby.

I also just found out about Maggie Rogers, and now my Sam smith playlist can take a break.

 

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Kef Q350 going into a vintage Kenwood Ka7100. The source is a Bluesound node 2 going coax out to a schiit Bifrost 2. All of my equipment is wired with transparent cable (if anyone cares). My flexi racks are off to the side of the room for better imaging. I plan to add shunyata power cables and move up in Kefs line probably to the reference series. As far as room treatments go I plan to experiment with a large QRD diffuser on the front wall. Compared to the Q150s I had there's a lot of the same going on but just cranked up a bit (Soundstage, dynamics, bass output etc.)

 

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Left and right are KEF R5, center is aQ200c mounted on steel brackets. Subs are Sonance D8. Upgraded center with a new Marantz SR8012 has completely transformed the system for both movies and music. Speakers have more life and dialogue sounds much more natural/realistic.

 

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- Speakers: Salk Song 3 Beat

- Amp: Yamaha a-s1100

- Source: NAD c658

- Cables: Nordost purple flare

Picked up the gear list above and we very happy with our two channel setup. Bit of history, I’ve been eyeing Salk speakers for numerous years but could never afford them. I’ve owned Logitech z-5500, Klipsch floorsanding home theatre (can’t remember the model #), SVS Ultra Towers with dual PSA 1800, elac b6.2, and now the Salk Song 3 Beat. Started in theatre, but ended up leaning toward 2 channel.

I went to see Jim and Mary at their factory in Michigan last summer and it was a great experience. Got to view how they made the speakers, different materials, finishes and speaker sizes. They were both extremely helpful and genuinely cared about recommending the best speaker. We were stuck between the Beat and the Encore, and after a bit of discussion, we settled on the Song 3 Beat with the reasoning being we could add a sub later if we wanted more low end. (I will one day)

This system is miles ahead of anything I’ve ever owned, with the closest being the SVS ultras. As a package, everything just works. No harshness, good low end, and the speakers are tough to locate if you close your eyes. The wife and I routinely find ourselves just sitting and listening to music hours on end and forgetting how fast time goes, and this still holds true after 4-5 months.

Since we weren’t in a rush to buy speakers, we tested quite a few. Off the top of my head, Kef R5/R11, Proac tab 10, Proac D48r, PMC twenty5, triangle, Audiovector r3, Focal Kanta, Focal Electra 1038 Be, Totem Fire v2, revel F206, among others.

**Speakers: Salk Song 3 Beat**

These things are fantastic. We ended up going with a white washed white oak with some blue stain in there. The quality of the finish is amazing and gets comments from everyone who sees them in person. The low end is there, tight, and isn’t overpowering. The SVS Ultras put out more. Mids are great, as are highs. Within two minutes the wife and I knew these were the speakers for us. They just fit. Compared to everything else, these were for us.

**Amp: Yamaha a-s1100**

Great amp. We picked it out since it didn’t really do anything wrong and looks great. It weighs 51lbs, built like a tank, and has tactile feel. It doesn’t get hot, hasn’t clipped or seemed like it was underpowered. Demoed a Musical Fidelity 5 as well, performed about the same, couldn’t hear a difference. Can’t really complain about the Yamaha except the price, but we paid for the looks as well. There is better performance out there for the money for sure.

**Source: NAD c658*

This thing is amazing. Before using Dirac, the sound was great, but it was difficult to get a center image in the room we wanted them in. After running dirac, the voice is so centered it feels like you can pinpoint their lips. I wasn’t sure about Dirac before, but we aren’t letting this thing go anytime soon. This was by far the biggest improvement to imaging, soundstage, and taming the lows. It didn’t change anything beyond that I don’t think, but if you haven’t tried Dirac, see if you can. It really does do wonders.

**Cables: Nordost Purple Flare (2/10)**

Don’t buy these. I got them for $200, they look pretty sweet and I like purple. Wouldn’t buy them again.

**Sound Panels/Curtains/Carpet**

We have a bunch of homemade panels from our previous theatre. There was an odd reflection point near the ceiling above the amp. Adding the panels removed that high pitched ringing. If you clapped, felt like you’d go deaf since everything seemed to reflect of that one point. The left side is near a window, and a thick curtain helped. If you haven’t tried with acoustic treatment, it can vastly improve the sound. Ours does what we need for now, may change later.

Overall, my wife and I love the system. Can listen for hours without fatigue, and often lose track of time. My 2cents and recommendations after our long journey would be this:

- Try out speakers in person. What one person likes, might not suit you.

- Don’t waste money on cables. If you like them, great, go for it. But I can’t tell the difference between the Nordost and the cheap amazon ones besides looks.

- Acoustic panels, carpets, curtains can greatly improve your sound. Kill those reflections.

- Room correction. Give it a shot if you haven’t. We really like it.

- Take your time through the process. You’ll probably end up with something that suits you better.

 

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This is the current state of my living room. The room has an open floorplan, with unfortunately no good place for surround speakers. Usage is ~ 50-50 music and tv/movies.

Paradigm Studio 60v5 (piano black)

Paradigm Studio CC-590v5 (piano black)

Rythmik F12SE sealed subwoofer (piano black w/ silver cone)

Marantz SR6013

Emotiva XPA-3

Sony XBR65X900F

Oppo UDP-203 4k BD player

Bluesound Node 2i

Nvidia Shield (2017)

Logitech Harmony Elite

Standout Designs Haven EX 72-inch Media Console (espresso on cherry)

I've owned the Paradigm speakers since 2012 and I'm still very happy with them. While I admit the XPA-3 is complete overkill for my living room, it's nice because it allows me to run the receiver in pre-amp/eco mode (significantly cooler). I also keep the receiver and amp on opposite sides of the stand. Even after hours straight of listening with the doors closed, I've never had an issue with heat.

Last year saw several different upgrades. I replaced my beloved Denon 4311CI with the Marantz (for 4k, dolby vision etc.). I finally bought a subwoofer, taking me from 3.0 to 3.1. I also added the Bluesound Node 2i for Tidal streaming and playing flac files from my server.

I currently do not have any more upgrade plans for the near future. I was debating whether or not to add a turntable, but I'm still undecided.

 

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Devore Super 8s. I’ve always wanted a pair of Devore speakers ever since I heard the O/96s and I found this used pair for a steal of a price. Retail back in the day was 4K and many of the reviews online praise them for being best in that price range and many of the reviewers either bought their review pair or ponies up and bought the silverbacks. The thing that really makes this speaker in my opinion is the midrange and the coherence. The music is just all there, nothing accentuated, not the last word in any one category but completely coherent. It captures the essence of the music being played through them and draws you in. When they first arrived I had planned on ABing them with my Sierra 2s but I didn’t ever get around to it. I listened to 3 full albums back to back. I just wanted to keep listening to music. I think some audiophiles use music to listen to their speakers and I must say that I am in the other category. I want the speakers to evaporate in service of the music and these Devores do just that.

 

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These speakers are a project I've been designing for about 2 years, after the Ascend Sierra 2s opened my ears. So many books read, so many measurements played with, and at one point, I had disassembled cabinets and drivers sitting in a box for about 10 months. During quarantine, I said what the hell, might as well finish this baby.

As an amateur woodworker, I'm not super impressed with the cabinets, I plan to make some new ones on a CNC by the end of the year.

The drivers on the other hand, are phenomenal! The tweeters are the full-fat RAAL 70-20XRs, inspired by the 64-10s in the Sierras. Before I even tweaked the crossover, I was blown away by the air in the upper frequency. Near field measurements further confirmed what I was hearing, it's just so remarkably well behaved, it was almost trivial flattening the response out. The woofers are AT 18H52s, chosen because they were also well behaved far beyond the XO point, and they played deep enough for satisfaction. I'm at a point where I'm happy with the EQ I put on the woofers, trying to remove the deficiencies of the cabinet.

One thing quarantine helped me accomplish, was dropping the idea of a passive crossover. These speakers use a fully digital DSP crossover implemented through REW, rePhase, and ultimately, EqualizerAPO. There's nothing quite like putting together filters, generating the file, playing the sound, not liking the result, and going back to the drawing board immediately. I can't imagine how expensive it would be to amass a collection of passive parts and keep tweaking that way.

Speaking of expense, the biggest downfall of a digital crossover is the need for at least 2/multichannel DACs and 2/multichannel stereo amps, especially if you don't go down the minidsp/pre-made hardware route. However, the sheer flexibility and ability to run complex filters with minimal added latency is a huge win. I'll definitely continue tweaking as time goes on, but this system leaves me with one word:

Magical.

 

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Close up of Daedalus cabinetry.

 

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From a magazine review First the cabinet. Construction is solid hardwood with dovetail joinery and a hand-rubbed oil varnish finish. They may resemble other rectangular cabinets, but when you look closer you'll find many complex angles, and a sculpted front baffle that certainly required many hours of skilled labor to produce. I can't think of any other cabinets in high-end audio that feature this type of construction and this level of detail and craftsmanship.

How about the drivers? The dome tweeters are made by Eton, the midrange driver is a 5" Fostex full-range modified to Daedalus specifications. The 8" woofers are also made to Daedalus's specifications. Because the construction is paper cone/ cloth-surround, and the drivers are treated to resist moisture. Lou tells me they will perform to spec for decades. Efficiency is high, as with all Daedalus models: 96dB 1w/1m. They are designed to use 5 to 350 watts per side.

Crossover networks. Designed and built by Guy Veralrud, the Athena comes standard with the All-Poly capacitor upgrade option which is the main driver of the latest upgrades to the Daedalus line. High-voltage polypropylene and Teflon capacitors, along with the highest quality resistors are used in this circuit. In addition, Lou alluded to using a yet-to-be-named high tech material to damp critical parts of the crossover.

 

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