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Music The Hi-Fi thread!

Discussion in 'General' started by Edge102030, 30 Dec 2009.

  1. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    I recently bought a new monitor. HP Envy 32" with Bang and Olfusen approved speakers.

    In other words it really doesn't sound much better than most flat panel screens. The sound is nice, but in a "treble rebel" kind of way. You know? the guy who drives around town with his stereo blasting with absolutely no bass.

    I cannot use speakers on my desk now as the screen and my PC take up all of the horizontal real estate. So I didn't really have many options open to me apart from splitting the output into a subwoofer to add some more to the sound stage. So it was time to find a subwoofer but I wanted a white one to match the back of the monitor. I found this on Ebay for £65.

    [​IMG]

    Side on.

    [​IMG]

    And the bottom.

    [​IMG]

    Now I knew that this wasn't going to work "out of the box" as it were. Bose stuff is all pretty much proprietary and only works when matched with other Bose items. This is probably why the sub is so cheap to buy on Ebay. I mean, in tatty condition they can be had for £40. I paid the premium for the condition.

    So before I even bought it I made sure I would be able to get it apart by watching a Youtube video. Turns out if you know what you are doing it's pretty easy so I bought it.

    It arrived yesterday and I'm serious, this thing weighs a metric ton. In that big plastic bit on the back is a huge amplifier circuit that powers the sub and all of the surround speakers. There's also a massive transformer. I got the back off (with some swearing) and then removed the amp. Then was the scary part... See, I didn't check what year this sub was made in. It was made between 1999 and 2002. I was then super paranoid that the woofers would be absolutely rotted, as is often the case with vintage gear. Don't have any pics but they were pristine.

    Then I had a bit of an awkward situation. The woofer drivers (there are two in there) are 5.25" 2 ohm. So there would be no way I could run them with the original wiring config because they were wired in parallel and would be pulling 1ohm. Here is the amp I am using. 1 ohm is nothing but a pipe dream for this thing. It can only manage 4ohm min per channel.

    [​IMG]

    Now before the purists start I am aware that this is a piece of crap. However, as with many others who have ordered and used these things I have to admit that if you don't push it very hard it sounds perfectly reasonable. Bud will vouch for this as I demoed the Missions I gave him using it.

    Any way, I wired the woofers in series using a guide on Emminence and now have them set up mono @ 4ohm. Usually when you wire speakers in series you lose deep bass but they become very loud and mid range like. So I've turned up the bass to the maximum and they sound nice. Not terribly deep but really punchy which is lovely. As I said before, they won't ever be driven very hard as they're only for my monitor.

    The old Bose amp is now long gone. I was going to just make a new back out of MDF but I realised if I worked a little harder and did some more calculations I could actually get the original back back on there over my little amp. I had to cut away the plastic back a little bit but I've now got the amplifier mounted and all of the soldering and rewiring is done.

    I've ordered this.

    [​IMG]

    And this.

    [​IMG]

    And have some 5mm white acrylic surplus. So I will be making a cover that bolts into where all of the connectors used to be and will hold the RCA socket and power socket :) The original bass and treble controls will have the backs dremelled down and glued back in.

    I'll get some pics when I go back to work on it soon :)
     
  2. Mister_Tad

    Mister_Tad Will work for nuts Super Moderator

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    Nice project. I would have thought you would be able to just swap the connector for a vanilla RCA input though, and use the onboard amp - or does it take a digital input?
     
  3. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    It's very odd. The sub is designed to interface with a dvd player/control unit and the RCA lines are in two parts. One variable, one fixed. There's also a signal line that turns it on and off. So there's absolutely no way to get it working and no one has come up with a way.

    So yeah, sadly the original amps are useless :(
     
  4. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    Here's a few pics to catch up. I should have taken some during the removal really..

    Once you get the back off it looks like this (not my pic, from Youtube tutorial)

    [​IMG]

    Now inside the main wooden shell is a plate about 10 inches down with two 5.25 drivers facing at you (so backward when firing toward the front). Then there's the chunk you can see being held there that contains two amps and a transformer. Here is what it all looks like removed (sorry about the pop rocks packets I had a binge this morning lol)

    [​IMG]

    So there are two amps, a transformer and a plastic cage (that black thing). that all bolts onto a somewhat flat second black plastic part that is reinforced and seals the sub. It had some plastic poles sticking up and general bits and pieces I needed to remove and smoothen out with my Dremel. I have not touched the white outer cover yet. But here is that second part with the amp in place (and sitting perfectly so the original back can go on)

    [​IMG]

    And a random supply of cables, PSUs (I've got two, one white and one black) and the back.

    [​IMG]

    I would say it took me about four hours to get it to where it is now. Obviously most of that was removing all of the old parts and removing the woofers to rewire/solder them.

    Ed. Forgot a pic ! here is what I need to make the cover for, this area here.

    [​IMG]

    It shouldn't be too hard, just need some thin card to make a template.
     
    Last edited: 16 Apr 2016
  5. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    Got some more done on my project. Firstly I noticed the amp was vibrating slightly when the bass kicked really hard so I fitted it onto rubber washers. Then I needed to make the new power panel so I used a trick Edd China did in Wheeler Dealers. Simply masked the area and marked it out.

    [​IMG]

    And made the panel.

    [​IMG]

    I've since replaced the two silver outer screws for black ones.

    Then I cut off the insides of the volume knobs before gluing them in place and covering them with vinyl (they had red dots on).

    [​IMG]

    However all did not go entirely to plan. When I first fitted the back on I had forgotten to turn the amp on (doh). Getting the back off is awkward and fiddly and requires quite a hefty smack to dislodge it from the connectors. It's easier when it's heavy but when it's light it requires considerable force. Then I wasn't getting any power so I had to have it off again and then the third time there was no sound at all. I was getting frustrated at this point and whacked it really hard, sending it flying and snapping the inside of the power socket (not the amp the one I bought).

    It turned out that there was a bad solder connection in the RCA plug.

    I've now ordered a replacement power socket (oh yeah, you can only use the plug supplied it seems.. weird !) and will replace the gold vinyl on the amp with some white vinyl, in case you can see it through the vents.
     
  6. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    Damn. I actually thought my head fi set up was good !

    I originally bought my Aune about nine or ten months ago to go with a pair of Beyer Custom One Pro. It was never supposed to be running a £500 set of headphones (my Grado RS2E) and I thought it was good. Until today.

    Now I've been looking at better amps since but wanted to be really fussy. I was looking for something *completely* neutral. I hate amps that add anything, or remove anything from the source. So I did a lot of reading and found out about Graham Slee. He's your typical British success story really. He's created a range of hand made products (in England) that are supposed to be among the very best. So I found a Novo on Ebay for £150 inc and had to rub my eyes because these are £280.

    [​IMG]

    And I also wanted to go for a top grade sound card whilst I was at it. There isn't an awful lot of choice at the top end and I'm not a big fan of Asus' panel and so on so I wanted a Creative card. Ended up getting this for £50.

    [​IMG]

    I've just set it all up and honestly I am sitting here feeling like I've committed robbery. Put it this way, Graham Slee deserves all of the credit he's got. The reviewers and critics are spot on, it really doesn't get much better than this at any price.
     
  7. B1GBUD

    B1GBUD ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Accidentally Funny

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    Speaker cables.... [Terry Tibbs]talk to me![/Terry Tibbs]

    Sources: Spotify / NAS lossless / Tivo / PS4 / Harmon Kardon Bluetooth (Sonos Connect: soon to be acquired)

    Pre-Amp: Rotel RC970
    Power Amps: 2x Rotel RB970 MKII in stereo mode(4 x 70W)
    Speakers: Mission 753 (non Freedoms)

    I'm currently bi-amping with relatively short runs (1.8M), I'm thinking of re-arranging the lounge so will need to get some longer speaker cable runs 3-4M.

    I've been looking at QED Bi-Wire Silver Anniversary cables but wanted to know if I should consider any others.... thoughts please?

    [​IMG]
     
  8. liratheal

    liratheal Sharing is Caring

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    I'm almost sure no one else is stupid enough to try this but.

    I'm having wild trouble making the analog out of the Asus Strix SOAR card I bought pair up with an Onkyo TX-SR606. I mean, I've given up and gone with HDMI (thanks to a donated HDMI cable) and it works better than I could have expected with auto detect and the like. Primarily the issue was the centre just.. Wasn't there. I checked all the cables, and they're fine, I whacked my Fiio and headphones into the centre output of the card and I was getting what I'd expect. I checked the connections on the inside of the TX, and they all look good. No reports on google of analog failure for this model (Plenty for the HDMI stuff), so I'm stumped and too lazy to now strip the whole unit and multimeter it all out.

    Has anyone else had similar problems hooking a PC up at 7.1 to A/V receiver kit?

    Or am I just being really smegging dense?
     
  9. B1GBUD

    B1GBUD ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Accidentally Funny

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    Does the card not have a Toslink optical output that can be hooked up to the receiver?
     
  10. Mister_Tad

    Mister_Tad Will work for nuts Super Moderator

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    I've never found a notable positive benefit of silver coated copper speaker cables vs garden variety copper. I'm not necessarily a cable naysayer though, as I was surprised by an audition of solid silver cables.

    There's not a hint of silver in the speaker cables I'm using on my setups (I was also surprised by the cost of solid silver cables!), which generally class as pretty high end in all but the more dedicated audiophile circles I'm using Van Damme 6mm everywhere, which is probably overkill compared to the 4mm or even 2.5mm as it is.
     
  11. liratheal

    liratheal Sharing is Caring

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    It does, but with a TOS Link the card claims it can only provide 2.1 - Which seems somewhat of a waste. It's probably just shat Asus drivers more than anything, though.
     
  12. teacherboy

    teacherboy Part Carbon/Nylon/Bovine

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    i had the same issue with my tx-nr626

    Turns out i had the center channel on the receiver settings turned right down - try investigating that if you haven't already.

    Or just use the dolby settings on the receiver to turn 2.0 into 5.1 using a 3.5mm (i assume) to rca cable from the stereo channel on the strix.
     
  13. perplekks45

    perplekks45 LIKE AN ANIMAL!

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    So, in my search for an upgrade to my Cowon C2/Fiio E11 combo for portable fun I listened to the Astell & Kern AK Junior and Pioneer's XDP 100 yesterday. So much disappointment...

    The AK Junior's DAC (Wolfson WM8740 x1) coupled with the warmth of my Sennheiser IE80 (especially with the custom tips) is just too much of a good thing for me. I simply don't enjoy the sound. And given the €600 pricetag... well, it's out. Quite a shame because I had high hopes for it.

    Pioneer's offering was a lot better in detail, clarity, bass reproduction, and quite a bit more. And even though its price is even higher (€750) I would've considered buying it because it is quite a step up from my trusty C2. But then the skips started. The music would inexplicably skip every now and then. At first I thought it might be the file itself but it happened on several tracks from different albums in different qualities. Digging deeper I began browsing through the surprisingly vanilla Android menus of the player... not a good idea! Each new opening menu (which lagged quite a bit) caused a skip in the music. So, obviously, it's a performance problem that might be solved with new firmware releases. But buying a portable high-res music player for that amount of money while hoping this major issue might get fixed at some point in the future? Thanks, but no thanks.

    Seeing that Astell & Kern's German distributor seems to be a goner and there is no new one on the horizon it might prove hard to get my hands on any other AK offerings. Same goes for Fiio and iBasso's players. Well, back to reading up and finding brick and mortar store selling these kinds of players.

    TL;DR: It's incredibly hard to find a good portable player, at least for me. AK Junior and Pioneer XDP 100 were disappointing.
     
  14. liratheal

    liratheal Sharing is Caring

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    Yeah, I did have a look into that thinking the previous owner had buggered it up or something, but no joy.

    Fortunately the HDMI board doesn't have the issue - yet - that seems to plague this era HDMI receiver so I've bypassed analogue entirely and just gone with HDMI. That works fine :/
     
  15. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    Boo :(

    I bought a headphone amp and headphones last month (about three weeks back). I decided on some Hifiman planars and a Little Dot 1. I totally and utterly fell head over heels with the amp. It's fat, it's rich and it's so warm that my cravings for deep pounding bass in reggae was finally sorted. Then one channel on the amp stopped working :(

    So I have set up a collection (Amazon) and am going to go for this instead as it's only £30 more.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Little-Dot...TF8&qid=1468697588&sr=8-3&keywords=little+dot

    My Grado are on my Graham Slee and are the best thing in the whole world for clarity. Live recordings sound phenomenal. Then I have this Aune tube amp for my B&O which are very tight and punchy, perfect for trance and beat driven music like Daft Punk but I miss my clumpy bass :(
     
  16. perplekks45

    perplekks45 LIKE AN ANIMAL!

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    I listened to the Astell & Kern AK300 (portable player) with my Sennheiser IE80... yes, the AK is a ridiculous 1,000 Euros, but it's damn near perfection!
     
  17. Mister_Tad

    Mister_Tad Will work for nuts Super Moderator

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    I tried out a Chord Mojo when I auditioned the 2Qute, and I was super impressed with that as well.

    Just as well I'm not too picky about portable audio... for now.
     
  18. legoman

    legoman breaker of things

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    Anyone be averse to me putting some audio work in a car? Could be classed as a mobile Hifi I guess :worried:
     
  19. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    As long as it's early Phoenix Gold and other classics no :D
     
  20. legoman

    legoman breaker of things

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    Genesis Series two an three along with some Hybrid audio, CDT and a Pioneer headunit need a DSP unit though, and a load of cabling!
     

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