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Hi Fi and Home theater set ups


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4 minutes ago, jimmyjazz said:

I always like that L53.  It was kind of a unicorn.  I think it was the only piece like that NAD made, and they really didn't have much competition.

At that time, Arcam had the Solo that was pretty similar and Linn had something like it.  Both considerably more expensive without a whole lot of tangible benefit for the money and hard to find to audition, thankfully, so I wasn't tempted.  NAD did another variant that I think had some HDMI type connectivity and then flipped over to full on AV receivers.

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On 2/5/2021 at 8:59 PM, TwiceHorn said:

Man, unless you want new connectivity, I'm not sure there's much advantage to upgrading.  You can get different stuff for the heck of getting different stuff, or just improve it across the board, but analog stuff probably hasn't changed all that much.

I have some shorts that are developing and just general wear and tear that are bugging me.  Not so much that I've been motivated to get off my ass and do anything about it.  I do 90% of my listening these days via an internet source to a Bose headset.  I literally can't remember the last time I had the time (i.e., wife and kid gone) that I could really crank up the ole system and spin some vinyl or discs.  

When I do upgrade, I'll probably get a whole house type system, rather than just a "me in my listening space" upgrade.  So that probably does mean fancy new connectivity.  And by new, I mean something later than about 1988.  

I love window shopping though.

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11 minutes ago, Chad Fuck said:

I have some shorts that are developing and just general wear and tear that are bugging me.  Not so much that I've been motivated to get off my ass and do anything about it.  I do 90% of my listening these days via an internet source to a Bose headset.  I literally can't remember the last time I had the time (i.e., wife and kid gone) that I could really crank up the ole system and spin some vinyl or discs.  

When I do upgrade, I'll probably get a whole house type system, rather than just a "me in my listening space" upgrade.  So that probably does mean fancy new connectivity.  And by new, I mean something later than about 1988.  

I love window shopping though.

Haha yeah.  I kind of misread your post as your equipment is apparently approaching 40 not 20, so yeah could be some problems developing.

I had a Technics SA 202 back in the day, which wasn't very high powered (25Wpc IIRC).  I gave it away thinking I would upgrade to I don't know what, and never did and now I wish I hadn't given it away.

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1 hour ago, jimmyjazz said:

I'd like to do a vintage electronics rig in our family room, maybe some Pioneer Silver Series era stuff or Marantz.  My first hifi amp was a Pioneer SA-6500II integrated amp with the matching tuner.

zfhic8ak9thspwxgtwly.jpg

  I'd like to try an SX-1280 receiver or maybe a Marantz 2270:

 

pioneer-sx-1280

everything you need to know about vintage marantz receivers gear patrol 2270

 

My friend has a Marantz receiver like the one pictured.

Back when I was putting my stereo together, I was really jonesing for an old HH Scott 222, but figured I had enough problems with my tube guitar amps to deal with and wasn't really interested in having a stereo I needed to fiddle with too much (warm up, tube biasing, etc. etc.) when there were so many good solid state options out there.  I was just imagining girls rolling their eyes when I flipped it on and it didn't immediately produce romantic tones. 

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I'd like to do a vintage electronics rig in our family room, maybe some Pioneer Silver Series era stuff or Marantz.  My first hifi amp was a Pioneer SA-6500II integrated amp with the matching tuner.
zfhic8ak9thspwxgtwly.jpg
  I'd like to try an SX-1280 receiver or maybe a Marantz 2270:
 
pioneer-sx-1280-front2.jpg
Everything-You-Need-to-Know-About-Vintage-Marantz-Receivers-gear-patrol-2270.jpg?resize=480:*
 

I had an SA-9500. Still have the matching TX-9500 tuner laying around. Loved the amp but it developed a buzz that drove my Tech nuts. He finally gave up and gave me sweet Holfi power amp in trade.

I use a Marantz 2245 in my den and have 2230 sitting around. IMHO for value, aesthetics and sound quality the 30,45 and 70 are the sweet spot for vintage Marantz receivers.


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My friend has a Marantz receiver like the one pictured.
Back when I was putting my stereo together, I was really jonesing for an old HH Scott 222, but figured I had enough problems with my tube guitar amps to deal with and wasn't really interested in having a stereo I needed to fiddle with too much (warm up, tube biasing, etc. etc.) when there were so many good solid state options out there.  I was just imagining girls rolling their eyes when I flipped it on and it didn't immediately produce romantic tones. 

075ace9e5001876ea1938a98f386c827.jpg
Early (1959?) Scott 299 I bought at a pawn shop in Denton. It was serviced in 1965 according to a sticker inside. Not sure if it has been touched since. Damn thing still works and sounds superb.


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16 minutes ago, TexPx said:


19895f97d6c8ebfc5b962da47f0fb84f.jpg
It was ages ago so I assumed it wasn’t there anymore but I was wrong.


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North side of the square.  I did lots of window shopping for musical equipment there back in the early 90s, before I had the home stereo light lit and I was just fine with the Panasonic integrated system I got for Christmas in 7th grade.  That place was chock a block with flipped musical equipment from the music majors in Bruce Hall and the aspiring rock stars that orbited them.  Good times.  

 

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16 hours ago, TexPx said:


I had an SA-9500. Still have the matching TX-9500 tuner laying around.

This is kinda weird, but I still have a tactile memory of the way the knobs and switches felt on that SA-6500II.  It was magic.  I rapidly moved up into higher end gear, first Phase Linear, then Carver with some detours to NAD and the like, eventually hitting some real high end gear (but I still need to buy a full on Audio Research rig) . . . all that said, you never forget your first, and that Pioneer was like electric sex to me.  Same for my HS girlfriend, as long as I played Journey.

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This is kinda weird, but I still have a tactile memory of the way the knobs and switches felt on that SA-6500II.  It was magic.  I rapidly moved up into higher end gear, first Phase Linear, then Carver with some detours to NAD and the like, eventually hitting some real high end gear (but I still need to buy a full on Audio Research rig) . . . all that said, you never forget your first, and that Pioneer was like electric sex to me.  Same for my HS girlfriend, as long as I played Journey.

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The 9500 was the most manly looking integrated ever. Big heat sinks on the back and inputs on the sides, which was pretty handy. Only thing I didn’t like was the stepped volume pot. I was running big very efficient speakers and seemed like it was either too loud or not loud enough.


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North side of the square.  I did lots of window shopping for musical equipment there back in the early 90s, before I had the home stereo light lit and I was just fine with the Panasonic integrated system I got for Christmas in 7th grade.  That place was chock a block with flipped musical equipment from the music majors in Bruce Hall and the aspiring rock stars that orbited them.  Good times.  
 

Late 80s when I bought this. Didn’t really know what it was just that it was cheap and cool looking. Not sure if vintage audio was a thing back then. Soon after I bought a new Adcom GFA 555 and GFP preamp along with Polk SDA speakers.

Very good times in Denton back then. Buddy owned a bar just off campus near Fouts Field.


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I dig that Planar 2.  I had an Oracle Alexandria II for a long time, but eventually sold it and never replaced it.  I need to pick up at least a budget turntable like a lower-end Rega or Music Hall or something, because I have a massive vinyl collection that never gets played.

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i like the curved tone arm on that rega, i've only seen them with the straight arm...for whatever reason the straight arm has always bothered me on any turntable. 

On my 80s Denon you can plug in either a straight or curved arm.


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On 2/7/2021 at 9:15 AM, Chad Fuck said:

I have some shorts that are developing and just general wear and tear that are bugging me.  Not so much that I've been motivated to get off my ass and do anything about it.  I do 90% of my listening these days via an internet source to a Bose headset.  I literally can't remember the last time I had the time (i.e., wife and kid gone) that I could really crank up the ole system and spin some vinyl or discs.  

When I do upgrade, I'll probably get a whole house type system, rather than just a "me in my listening space" upgrade.  So that probably does mean fancy new connectivity.  And by new, I mean something later than about 1988.  

I love window shopping though.

Following out of similar interest.  Once upon a time I had a decent stereo setup (Denon receiver, a Philips CD player, some Klipsch speakers, a Denon turntable, etc.), but it's all down now.  Lately, I've been listening to music mostly on Spotify through headphones.  My TV sound setup is just a simple sound bar with a couple mini satellite speakers and a subwoofer. 

I'm jonesing to get some kind of sound system going again as well as elevate the home theater setup.  I may end up integrating everything into one.  But I'm going to wait until after the home remodel is done later this year.    

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I’m going to pull the trigger on an NAD Master Series M33 in a few weeks when Dedicated Audii has them back in stock.  I don’t really have the need or want for full surround sound anymore and this beauty will take care of all my needs.  HDMI ARC in, phono input and it will push nearly 400 WPC into my speakers.  It also will stream the hi-res service that I use (Qobuz). 
 

I recommend anyone that streams music and has a decent system invests in a hi-res streaming service. Stop listening to crappy sounding compressed music and go lossless. There are several services that offer lossless and it’s a huge difference if your system has the resolution to show it. 
 

ETA: The M33 will replace my now vintage Tag McLaren AV32R processor and Anthem amp that I currently use.  

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I’m pretty psyched for it.  Now I’ll have a compact system where in my last house I had two racks of gear.  No need for that anymore. 
 

I’m also glad I didn’t pull the trigger on the NAD earlier as they had issues with the screen developing a line from the original touchscreen manufacturer who then went out of business due to COVID-19. Now hopefully I’ll get a model with the initial bugs worked out. 

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Yup, I swapped my rig with 3 different manufacturers (power amp, preamp, CD) and condensed to one of Yamaha's top integrated amps + CD player.  The look is cleaner, it's more compact, and frankly, it sounds spectacular.  I'm not completely out of crazy high end hifi but right now it's just not the right place to park money, plus I don't have the time to mess with it.

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I thought there might be a related thread on this topic?  Maybe it was a prior "Help Me With This?" post.

It took me a year to build my theater and finally got to fire it up in June.  Paint was decided early on with Sherwin-Williams Tricorn black and Gibraltar.  I chose the wrong flat base and it shows marring too easily.  Will probably need to top coat it in the future.  On the other hand, I easily found two fabric swatches from Guilford of Maine that GIK ordered quickly to match the finishes.

The movie posters on the sides are GIK 4" Acoustic Art Panels with rock wool stuffing and printed acoustic canvas.  The front stage is using GIK 244 bass traps in the corners, rear are GIK full tri-traps and GIK Polyfusors above the entry.  GIK basic gridfusors are painted at the ceiling soffits between the Atmos channels.

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IMG-2836.jpg
IMG-2838.jpgIMG-2840.jpgIMG-2841.jpg

 

Component list:

Middle Atlantic Sliding Rack Shelf 17U, Middle Atlantic custom brushed rack shelves
Panamax MB1500 UPS
Sony ES STR-ZA5000ES AVR
Sony ES UBP-1100ES 4K Bluray Player
Sony HAP-S1 High Resolution Audio Player
TiVo Bolt Vox 6-tuner whole-home DVR
HP EliteDesk 705 G4 AMD Ryzen HTPC
Apple TV 4K
Sony PlayStation 5

Chief RPAU mount and 24" extension
Sony VPL-VW885ES 4K Laser Projector
Seymour Screen Excellence 123" Custom 2.40:1 XD Acoustic Transparent screen, 3.5" velvet borders with Fidelio magnetic masking panels (for 16:9 image)

Definitive Technology UIW RLS II L/C/R arrays
Definitive Technology UIW RSS II bi-polar back surrounds
Definitive Technology DI 6.5R in-ceiling Atmos channels (5.4.2)
SVS PB2000 Pro front subwoofer
SVS PC2000 Pro rear subwoofer

HT Design Warwick top grain brown leather power recliner row seating (interior chofa)
Logitech Harmony Elite RF remote

The room measures just 13' W x 16' D, and comfortably seats four, but that's the limit.  If I were to do it over again, I'd build a box for the projector at the back wall or better yet, outside of the room.  It's quiet but operates just behind the seating row and could use more throw distance and room for an anamorphic lens.  I'd also like to eventually use a dedicated processor like an Anthem AVM 60 with a bank of amplifiers.

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Yup, I swapped my rig with 3 different manufacturers (power amp, preamp, CD) and condensed to one of Yamaha's top integrated amps + CD player.  The look is cleaner, it's more compact, and frankly, it sounds spectacular.  I'm not completely out of crazy high end hifi but right now it's just not the right place to park money, plus I don't have the time to mess with it.

So what’s this setup look like?
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Anybody familiar w/ the Brennan B2? For about $650 it's a CD ripper/media player/internet radio, etc. w/ a modest amp & some nice connectivity. If it had a headphone jack I'd probably order one today (although the jack is a simple enough workaround).

Seems like a pretty slick, elegant workaround for those of us who still have a CD library that's unfortunately being under played.

Brennan B2

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 2/7/2021 at 12:16 PM, jimmyjazz said:

I'd like to do a vintage electronics rig in our family room, maybe some Pioneer Silver Series era stuff or Marantz.  My first hifi amp was a Pioneer SA-6500II integrated amp with the matching tuner.

zfhic8ak9thspwxgtwly.jpg

  I'd like to try an SX-1280 receiver or maybe a Marantz 2270:

 

pioneer-sx-1280

everything you need to know about vintage marantz receivers gear patrol 2270

 

The 2270 is what I grew up with.

Put an old Dual turntable in there with Klipsch speakers and throw cheap wood paneling all over the walls and you've got my room as a kid.

Oh, and a few Penthouse and OUI mags under the mattress.

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On 2/14/2021 at 10:30 PM, Gravy Train said:

I thought there might be a related thread on this topic?  Maybe it was a prior "Help Me With This?" post.

It took me a year to build my theater and finally got to fire it up in June.  Paint was decided early on with Sherwin-Williams Tricorn black and Gibraltar.  I chose the wrong flat base and it shows marring too easily.  Will probably need to top coat it in the future.  On the other hand, I easily found two fabric swatches from Guilford of Maine that GIK ordered quickly to match the finishes.

The movie posters on the sides are GIK 4" Acoustic Art Panels with rock wool stuffing and printed acoustic canvas.  The front stage is using GIK 244 bass traps in the corners, rear are GIK full tri-traps and GIK Polyfusors above the entry.  GIK basic gridfusors are painted at the ceiling soffits between the Atmos channels.

IMG-2835.jpg
IMG-2836.jpg
IMG-2838.jpgIMG-2840.jpgIMG-2841.jpg

 

Component list:

Middle Atlantic Sliding Rack Shelf 17U, Middle Atlantic custom brushed rack shelves
Panamax MB1500 UPS
Sony ES STR-ZA5000ES AVR
Sony ES UBP-1100ES 4K Bluray Player
Sony HAP-S1 High Resolution Audio Player
TiVo Bolt Vox 6-tuner whole-home DVR
HP EliteDesk 705 G4 AMD Ryzen HTPC
Apple TV 4K
Sony PlayStation 5

Chief RPAU mount and 24" extension
Sony VPL-VW885ES 4K Laser Projector
Seymour Screen Excellence 123" Custom 2.40:1 XD Acoustic Transparent screen, 3.5" velvet borders with Fidelio magnetic masking panels (for 16:9 image)

Definitive Technology UIW RLS II L/C/R arrays
Definitive Technology UIW RSS II bi-polar back surrounds
Definitive Technology DI 6.5R in-ceiling Atmos channels (5.4.2)
SVS PB2000 Pro front subwoofer
SVS PC2000 Pro rear subwoofer

HT Design Warwick top grain brown leather power recliner row seating (interior chofa)
Logitech Harmony Elite RF remote

The room measures just 13' W x 16' D, and comfortably seats four, but that's the limit.  If I were to do it over again, I'd build a box for the projector at the back wall or better yet, outside of the room.  It's quiet but operates just behind the seating row and could use more throw distance and room for an anamorphic lens.  I'd also like to eventually use a dedicated processor like an Anthem AVM 60 with a bank of amplifiers.

I, uh....uhhhh...ahem...uh...need to step up my game.

And here I thought I'd kick all your asses w/my 86" 8k flat screen.

(actually, no, I didn't.  But after seeing this I'm pretty ashamed anyway)

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I'm jealous of the light control and contrast of modern LCD and OLED displays-- they'll always be a couple steps ahead of the projector but also difficult to mimic the cinema feel.

This is one of those interests where if you keep using it, you'll keep convincing yourself of the ways you could "make it better."

I'm now as the point where I'm ready to ditch the AVR for a processor/amp(s) setup (Yamaha CX/MX-A5200 or Anthem AVM/MCA) and relocate the projector into an enclosure outside the room.  Have a hundred other projects I'd rather knock out ahead of it.

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3 hours ago, VABuckeye said:

It arrived.  This simplifies my setup to the point that I now have an extra audio system sans speakers.  This does everything I need.  Phono input, HDMI ARC input, Hi-res streaming and 380 wpc into my 6 ohm Dynaudio speakers.

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That's supposed to be a really nice piece of gear.  I see and hear great things about BluOS as one of the best app interfaces and environments out there.

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Thanks.  I'm pretty stoked about it.  I used to have a theater like the one pictured up page with whole house audio.  Two full racks of gear and a dedicated theater.  Now, we're starting to downsize and I really have no need for all of that.  I now have the M33, a turntable, a TV and a pair of speakers and a sub.  If I do audio in other rooms I'll probably go the BluOS route with Bluesounds nodes in areas where I want music.  I have a Node 2i already and like it a lot.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 4 months later...

Bump for the original hi-fi thread

I've a lot of subtractions and some additions to my system over the past year or so. I also made a rack out of angle iron and cage material that we use at data centers as I have not been able to source a media center that meets my specific needs. You'd think that manufacturers would understand the depth requirements of audio equipment and the need for proper ventilation. I got a granite top for the TV to sit on that I'm happy with and I am now working with a local wood crafter to get two shelves and a back on the cabinet. The back will have 2" holes for cable management. I still need to get new speaker wire as my lengths are off and I want something a little better. Pardon the current cable disaster in the back as that will be rectified.

I've gone from two racks full of gear in my old house down to a two channel system and now down to the NAD M33 which is preamp, amp, streamer and has phono input and HDMI ARC input plus a host of other features. A U-Turn turntable and the Dynaudio Special Forty speakers with an 18" Triad sub for oomph.

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I love the Dynaudio Special Forty speakers. They sound amazing and the finish on them is perfect.

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I'm still learning.

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1 hour ago, Paul Wesley said:

I got an old phase linear power amp -- probably 1970's or 80's -- that just crapped out a couple months ago.  

Worth repairing?

If so, who in Austin would you take it to?

Which model?  I'll venture a guess that it's probably more of a nostalgia repair than truly "worth it", but it shouldn't be a big expense.  They were pretty simple, but good amps.

I'd probably take it to Austin Stereo on Burnet, although Tapehead is supposed to be good, too.

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1 hour ago, hobbes2702 said:

What’s the consensus on bi-amping? I only run two fronts and a center and the new receiver has the capability. Just wondering if it really matters.

It's worth trying.  It's not voodoo, the benefits can be real, if subtle.  I know I don't have to say this, but I will -- the speakers have two sets of inputs with metal straps shorting the inputs together (right now), correct?

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