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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The End is Nigh

. . . and I do not mean that in the sense that Anthropogenic Climate Change Doom is upon us because we haven't seen snow like in this picture of Chermpf from last year.  What I mean is that Susan, of her own volition (no Jedi tricks from me) has:

A.) decided to get rid of the top of the cabinet that housed our Flatscreen and home theater, thus freeing our Dynaudio DM2/7 speakers from the little cubbies in which they resided, leading to hugely improved sound,


B.) decided that she wants to either fix or replace our dead Martin Logan subwoofer.

Who woulda thunk it?  I was going to be happy with the 2/7 and DM Center doing everything, but the lady wants more bass!  Time to do some research (as in HSU Research, perhaps?)  I'll send an e-mail to In House Stereo Repair first and see what can be done about the Martin Logan Dynamo.  It blows fuses now the moment it is turned on.  Probably a short, but it was so cheap it may not warrant replacing. . .

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A/D/S/ as promised

Well, it took me a while but I managed to dig up an older picture of a system I ran with a pair of a/d/s/ 1290 speakers.  They belong to my Uncle, but lived in the basement of the condo we used to have and a dorm room (!).  Sorry this is a terrible picture, I took it to show someone how we had installed speaker wiring in the walls and had plates for hook up.  The system actually worked pretty well, but the picture does not flatter the room color or the equipment.  At the time, the amp I was using was a Hafler, and that still lives with me now.  It has been recently upgraded with new binding posts, caps and high quality RCA inputs by In House Stereo Repair in Setauket, NY.  Check out their link- they do terrific work.  The Hafler now runs a pair of Dynaudio DM 2/7 mains for a home theater, with a Marantz SR6003 AVR providing the processing brains.  I can't really comment on the sound in detail as the speakers, amp modifications and blu ray player are all very new to me (blu ray is an Oppo BDP-93).  I'm not yet accustomed to listening to multi-channel without a sub woofer, although I will say the DM 2/7s create a ton of bass for their size.  Apparently they need a lot of break in time, so we shall see. . .

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

And, without further ado. . .

The list should be viewable now, thanks to the lovely people who created: PDF-XChange Viewer at:


I have made JPEG files of the list should you care to look.  Interestingly, for all the various things I have owned over the years, there are very few if any that the mainstream audiophile (ugh- you know who you are, you twerps) would consider to be "High End."  I'd like to think that most of the gear I have spent my hard-earned money on has been reasonably designed by sensible engineers who understand that the benefits of woofer cones made out of shockingly-expensive Carp-flavored, single-atom carbon nanotubes would probably be lost on me anyway.


Here's the link to the nice folks who made the outriggers that I am using with the Dynaudio Focus 220s, an absolute must on thick carpet. 


They are very well built and look quite impressive without detracting from the wood of the speaker enclosure.  I found that I needed to use metric hardware to install them in the pre-drilled holes on the Dynaudios.  Let me know if you need the size as the card I jotted the measurement down on is around here somewhere.  I can't really comment on any change in sound- there was none that I noticed.  I am very far behind in writing about some sound changes I HAVE heard (new amp, new CD player, and so on), so that should be next.  I think we will start with the speakers, and work our way from there.

Monday, January 23, 2012


I'm 43.

Doesn't seem too old, now that I'm here, even though I know better.  I think, gradually, I am becoming an adult.  Perhaps my current employment is forcing it on me, but we won't get into that now. As a result, I am starting to realize that money has some purpose other than being exchanged for beer, and stereo equipment.  So the natural question one asks oneself is:

"Over twenty five years, how much could I have POSSIBLY spent on stereo stuff?  I mean, it's not that much, is it?"

Well I decided to try and find out.  I sat down over the weekend with a box of receipts and manuals, and put together an Excel sheet that tries to document all of the gear I have owned at one time or another.  The only rules:  To make the list, an item has to have been hooked up at least once and listened to with the intent to keep it, and speaker pairs count as one entry.  We now know how long that intent lasts.  Could I be successful at compiling such a list?  So far, so good.  It helps that I have a strong obsessive-compulsive streak.    I've got 102 entries dating back as far as 1987, and the total cost is $21,172.88.  I still need to find prices that I paid for 22 items, so that total is going up.  I figure a safe bet is that I have been averaging $1000 spent annually over the last 25 years. What would a golf habit have cost me over that time?  Put that way, it doesn't sound so bad. Ultimately I have sold off most of the things I've had in the past, so I ought to try to figure out what I actually paid for the period I owned a particular piece.

I was able to include columns for MSRP (need a lot of work there) and place of purchase, which includes a lot of places some of which no longer exist, like Silo and Lechmere in Western New York, or Square Deal on long Island.  Some places are still in business like Audio Den, Speaker Shop, Chips Unlimited, Stereo Chamber and the online folks like Music Direct.  I'm also going to try to account for repairs or upgrades done at In House Stereo Repair in Setauket.  More work to do, but the next step is to get the PDF uploaded so that it can be seen here on the blog.  I'll have to look into that.  In the mean time, if anyone is interested I'd be glad to send it via e-mail.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Right place, right time

If I had a superpower, it would be finding nice stereo equipment at crazy prices.  A good example would be the brand new, in box, with remote Yamaha CD-S700 I bought at Best Buy for, wait for it- $99.  Yup.  They stopped carrying this line and blew it right out the door for almost nothing.  Crutchfield carries this player for $799.  I thought I'd re-sell it, but the proprietary loading mechanism is so nice and the overall sound so surprisingly good, it is hooked up and sharing duties with the XA-5400ES.  Put it on the ever-increasing list to review.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Some hasty shots

A few more quick pictures to provide an idea of how the system has changed.  One close up of the outriggers by Soundocity- I see their site is down, so I will sort through my e-mail and see if they forwarded a link.  These are a must on thick carpet for narrow speakers like the 220s.  I will also edit my full review of the A-S2000 as there is not a lot on the web about this amp.  It's appeal to me should be obvious- but it has some interesting quirks worth mentioning. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Bad picture from last summer

Much has changed, but here is a grainy shot of the monster Yamaha A-S2000 integrated now running the show.  I have also switched over to all Kimber cable and as you can see, there are outriggers on the Focus 220s to protect them from cats that leap like mountain goats.  More on the outriggers later- they are a super nice piece of kit by an outfit called: Soundocity.

Let's try this again

Okay, I think I'm over it (my rant over what Sony has become, that is).  it only took a few months.  So I think it's time to give this blog a chance again, albeit with a name change.  The whole system has changed anyway- I'll have to write about the addition of a Yamaha A-S2000 integrated amp, along with modifications to the home theater set up including a new Oppo Blu Ray player and a brilliant pair of Dynaudio DM 2/7 speakers.  I think I'll even take some pictures. . .