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What is the history of ADS speaker company?

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Archive through February 07, 2016Bob100
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 18171
Registered: May-04
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Geeez, Bob! Do I need to come over to your house and rip out anything from your computer that doesn't lead you to ASC products?

Stop it, willya?

They (ASC) are the real deal. Period!

Nothing else matters if you want results on a budget.

It is cheaper to do it once and do it right than to screw around with a bunch of halfassed ideas and products that aren't worth what you've paid for them.




Look at this; https://www.google.com/search?q=the+world%27s+quietest+room&rlz=1CAACAJ_enUS656U S656&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiQsrau4ebKAhWEQyYKHe5kBQwQsAQIOw &biw=1093&bih=542&dpr=1.25

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXVGIb3bzHI
(advance to 3:36 into the video for an idea of how the treatments actually look)

Look at the depth of those acoustic treatments. Go show this to your wife and then grab a blanket 'cause you're sleeping on the couch tonight.


Take this clue away from those images: surface area. The greater the surface area, the more material the pressure wave passes through or contacts, the greater the effect of room treatments.

There are a few basic and simple rules to increase surface area. Adding more panels is not one of them. That is, however, the answer most of these on line treatment retailers will provide.

That's why you need to stop looking and reading and simply contact ASC. They will actually work with you.


One thing though, even the most effective anechoic chamber still is not effective down to the lowest octaves.

"Lowest octaves" typically means much beneath, say, 40Hz. That's just beneath the low E on an electric bass so that is typically sufficient for music.

For video? What the he!! does it matter? There is nothing "real" about most videos.





"I think Jan may be right about ocd. I just can't help but search for the holy grail. I am never satisfied. Always tinkering till I lose the last satisfiying setting, then fight to get it back."



Stop that. There's no point in trying to assist you if you are not going to leave things alone. Read what I said in an earlier post. Set it up and leave it alone!!!

I can't tell you how tired I got of undoing all the hairbrained ideas the client had "done" to "improve" their room between my visits.

Honest to god! until you stop listening to the room and start listening to the music, you will only spin your wheels. If your idea of "music" involves the loudest bass you can find, then you've already headed down the wrong path.


"The whole time with my room the problem has been limited volume, and a buildup of pressure till the bass sounds muddy. I may have mistaken the cause simply to be poor damping from too small an amount of amplification. The more I have read, I am thinking it is the room gain thing and the room can't take the pressure above my volume setting, becomes saturated and overloaded and BOOM."


You cannot put 20 lbs of bass into a 5 lb room. You aren't the first to try and you aren't the first to fail.

The problem becomes, when do you finally face facts and stop trying?




"I also thought of standing waves, so there is the desire for 2 subs."



Of course there are standing waves. You "also thought of that"? That's a given in your room. There shouldn't even be any "thinking" about it.

Your room is bound to have standing waves and I can tell you that adding more low frequency input to an already overloaded space is not the answer no matter what article you've read claiming the opposite.

"More" equipment is the last thing you need.




"I will try with simple room treatment to tame the boom and get the ability to play louder till I am satisfied."


Then you are determined to fail. So will your speakers eventually. Maybe an amp or two also.

If your idea of "accurate" sound is the loudest damnbass you can achieve, buy a set of headphones.

That's not a joke, Bob. Buy some headphones and stop trying to make this idea work in your room. Blow out your ears and don't destroy anyone else's hearing.

How far do you live away from your neighbors? They can't be enjoying this.


"And I will get there, and will be able to spend my money on signal scource after that."


Basic rule #1: Garbage in equals garbage out.

No piece of equipment, no room treatment can eliminate the distortions added by the source.

No piece of equipment, no room treatment can put back in what the source has destroyed.



Like a lot of people obsessed with specs, you seem to have built this whole thing from the wrong end.




"It is a hobby and having a good system well calibrated and as close to accurate as it can be, is all I can hope for."


I hate to repeat myself but, if that's your attitude, then you are determined to fail.



"I may never get there, but untill I go over all the possibilities I have to try."


Then you had better learn what matters and what doesn't. Where to invest your time and money and what to leave alone.


.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 18172
Registered: May-04
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I can't find where you have actually told us what your present system entails, Bob.

List your equipment please.

Tell us about your room set up and where you've placed your loudspeakers.

Where is the main listening position in the room? Where is this relative to the front speaker locations?

What sort of speaker placement "plan" did you use to locate the best spot(s) in your room for your main speakers and your sub?



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Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 3304
Registered: Oct-07
Bob,
Go to MINIDSP website. They sell the Calibrated mic for about 70$ and you THAN download the cal file online.

The FREE program REW (Room EQ Wizard) may be free, but you CAN donate.

This will get you started down a VERY EXPENSIVE RABBIT HOLE.

Many would recommend testing the speakers OUTDOORS in a Semi-Anachoic space. This will allow you to build the curve FOR THE SPEAKER. Than it gets UGLY when you move back indoors and see how wacked the ROOM is.

Do NOT do this unless, as Jan says, you are willing to spend substantial amounts of time ON THE SOFA.


ME? I'm going to duplicate as closely as possible the speaker crossover at line level. I'll build some DIFFUSION for behind my speakers. Panels (Magnepan) respond well to this technique and it has the effect of an apparent increase of distance from the speaker to the front wall. Than I'll Play It By Ear, to coin a phrase.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Alkaloid

Medford, MA. U.S.

Post Number: 31
Registered: Feb-15
In work but have to give you a link to a site that sells absorbers diffusers and bass traps. They build them too. Alot of videos of the factory and products as well as how to set up the room. Owner has his theater on a video and is using powered Mackie speakers. He is an electrical engineer and owns a recording studio as well. I learned alot from this site. He also plays guitar and demonstrates with an acoustic aimed at a diffuser. You can actually hear what he is demonstrating. I will post the link sometime tonight when I get to my own computer. I will list my equipment and my room dimensions and speaker placement as well. I know I should be setting it up the oposite of the way I am now after seeing the videos in the last site. I am going to have a hard sell to the wife on these changes, where the room is also the living room. I might have to bribe her.LOL
 

Bronze Member
Username: Alkaloid

Medford, MA. U.S.

Post Number: 32
Registered: Feb-15
Ok Leo I will check out the MiniDSP site. Here is the site with all the videos, I learned a lot.
http://realtraps.com/index.htm
I want to post this link for music. This is a site from an old rock and roll musician, Peter Gabriel. I used to love Genesis. He travels all around the world, discovering new talent and VERY wide and different cultures that wouldn't have gotten exposure to the whole world due to cash. So many different types of music. You can sample it like youtube. I saw a group called the Terem Quartet I think. Can't remember, but they are from Russia and are classically trained. They do a lot of Gypsy and local folk music and the precision of their playing is off the charts. Here is the link.
https://realworldrecords.com/world-music/
Thanks for the book link you gave me Jan, I know you love music so I hope this site brings you some new joy.
Here is a list of my current equipment, and my future replacement choices.
Speakers are L1290/2 ADS. I have 4 towers all reconditioned by Rich So. He did the domes and the woofers too. He also recapped the crossovers and made sure they were up to spec. I built a center channel box copying the one on his website. I got all the drivers and a crossover from him. That was a trip, I had to learn how to use a jig. Watched videos on youtube to help. That was when I learned about crossovers for the first time in depth.


I have recently purchased two pairs of minis to put on the ceiling with brackets. My first pair is L300e. I purchased them on Ebay and I am going to swap out the tweeter from a copoymer to a silk dome similar to the L1290/2s.
My second pair is L310 and is roughly the same as the L300e just different binding posts. Same drivers and crossovers, same crossover points and frequency response. I am going to swap out the copolymer tweeter on this pair as well to match the sound of the L1290/2s.
I am using a cheap AVR because when I upgraded to HD Dolby and DTS it was the best I could afford. It is an Onkyo Tx-NR509. I chose it because of the price, and it was networked and had Audyssey. It was an upgrade in codecs for the Bluray going from DVD. I puchased a 3D plasma in 2010 a Samsung PN58C8000YFXZA. I had it calibrated by Jim Doolittle, an ISF tech who did my CRT a few years back. I used a new Blu-ray player I purchased a BDP-93 from Oppo. It is one product that is VERY high on performance. Superior quality in and out. Very solid company. Also has an HDMI audio out and the Onkyo has an HDMI audio in. I bought an HSU Resarch VTF-3 MK4 subwoofer. All my speakers have Linkwitz-Riley crossovers, and the sub does too. My second pair of minis for the ceiling I bought off of Craigslist, from a guy by the name of Corey Tilton. I thought I was dealing with a novice since the price was so low and the condition was so fine. The price was half the amount on Ebay and they had the brackets too. I picked them up in Weymouth MA. at his place that turned out to be a recording studio. He gave me his card WWW.JURASSICSOUND.COM I talked to him for almost an hour and finally let him go. I pumped and pumped as much as I could to learn about his stuff. He told me he sat in on some U2 sessions when they were in Boston. He used to work for a studio before he started his own. He told me about a studio in South Station in Boston that no one knows about and a lot of bands go there when they are in town. Had a nice drumset in the room where he had the speakers and also 4 different synths. He told me he was using Genelec speakers to monitor his playback as well as a pair of Yamaha NS10s. He said the Genelec speakers were sooo acurate that I wouldn't like them. He said most comercial speakers make most recordings sound good. He went to college to learn his trade, and he also did conference setups with both audio and video. A very nice young man and very smart too.
Like I said before I am going to larger amps to try to get more control on the transients and the damping for the bass speakers. I am going to drive all the L1290/2s with 240 watts and the minis with 120 watts. I beleive I am going with the Anthem AVM 60. We are going to remodel the home as well. I inherited a nice 2 family house that has no mortgage. It has been assesed by my bank for over 500,000$ but needs a lot of work. I think it might be cheaper to change the entire room walls from plasterboard to something more absorptive but I would need someone who knows more than I do to advise me. I just might live long enough to see my wildest dreams realised.
Well that's all my stuff for now. With Atmos and DTX being object based I am not sure about the room treatment as opposed to channel based audio. I'm sure it is different from stereo room treatment but once again it is never easy for me to get to the end. Things change so quick these days it might start getting cheaper to rent equipment than to purchase. Thanks for all the posts from you gentlemen it has helped me learn different things and I am lucky I bumped into this blog. I will stop driving you over the edge Jan and this will be my last post for a while untill all the gear is in place the house is settled and I can start to play with the measuring stuff and use what is left of my brain cells to tweak till I'm almost satisfied. LOL
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 18175
Registered: May-04
.

"I will stop driving you over the edge Jan and this will be my last post for a while untill all the gear is in place the house is settled and I can start to play with the measuring stuff and use what is left of my brain cells to tweak till I'm almost satisfied."



OK, Bob, you have OCD overtime. That makes you a very ripe potential client for the on line hucksters. To them, you are just one of those "born every minute" profit centers.



I'll say it one last time, ASC is THE real thing and all the rest are BS.




Anyone selling you rockwool panels is, IMO, a waste of your time and money. That includes Ethan Winer and all of his free videos and tutorials.

Yes, if you shove rockwool panels into your corners, the room will react differently.

"Different" is not the same as "better" or "desirable".



It's the same old routine, give away a bit of something that has little real value to get the buyer hooked onto your line.

These guys thrive on the OCD client with a calibrated microphone they want for Xmas.

It's all smoke and mirrors aimed at the guy who thinks they can measure their way to some mystical/mythical "prefect room".


"Measuring stuff" is worthless when you are dealing with room treatments.

Passive room treatments are broadband.

They cannot address specific issues of frequency response without affecting other frequencies.

That is what "broadband" means.

The more absorptive type "treatments" you put into your room to achieve a measurable response at "X" frequency, the more you destroy the life of the music.

That's a simple fact due to the broadband nature of absorptive panels and the manner in which human perception mechanisms operate.

You cannot have passive absorption at 40Hz that doesn't also affect 200Hz and even 2kHz or higher.

That is a simple fact none of the these on line retailers want you to know. Ask yourself why that is.



It is "more difficult" to use too much diffusion but that too has its problems when the OCD buyer gets involved. You need to understand what diffusion can do for you and what it cannot achieve.

Playing an instrument directly into a diffusion panel is not the same as a loudspeaker radiating sound pressure waves into a diffusion panel.

Shouting into a diffusion panel is not the same as a loudspeaker outputting pressure waves into a diffusion panel.



That is the essential difference between how a musical instrument operates into real space and how a multi-way loudspeaker system operates into real world space.

"In room power response" from virtually any musical instrument is essentially omni-directional.

Your speakers are monopoles with dispersion patterns that vary with the number of drivers in the enclosure and their type (domes operate differently [and mostly more destructively in a HT system] than do cones), the frequency being reproduced and the diameter of the driver.


Rockwool panels and diffusion systems do nothing to affect "diffraction" at the loudspeaker baffle.



If you buy into that one example of how a diffusion panel can benefit you, then you need to stay away from the guy with the shells who will show you just how easy it is to pick which one has the pea.




Diffusion can easily cross over into a non-specific mess when everything, or even too much, is diffused.

And diffusion simply doesn't have the ability to affect low frequencies.

That's where you need to begin your room treatments in your 12x24 room.



ASC figured this all out long ago and that is why they are still in business against all of these on line alternatives.

This is a case where the rules are very consistent and you don't need anyone to hold your hand to walk you through some BS measurements.



I've given you the basic methodology you require to deal with your room. Those are the only "materials" you need and they are going to go in the exact same location with all room treatments/sound systems in any given room.

Beyond that, the only other tools you require are your ears, your brain and your sense of how real world music operates on your perceptions.



You still have not said what system you have applied to your speaker placement so I'm left with the conclusion you have not done anything to set up your system with the intent of better sound quality before you begin adding room treatments.

Now you'll stuff your room with crap until your wife threatens to leave you.



You don't seem to want to hear that advice because you are OCD and you only find solace in measuring stuff.



Tell your wife she has my empathy.



.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Alkaloid

Medford, MA. U.S.

Post Number: 33
Registered: Feb-15
Just wanted to post an update. The first amp I took a chance on for $200
is toasted and can't be repaired. The one I picked up in Connecticut at the 400 acre farm, off of Craigslist works fine, but smells like horse crap LOL. I bought 3 smaller Alpha 230s to power the ceiling speakers. 2 of them I am trying to return. One I bought because it is so cosmetically clean and nice, and the ad said it was stuck in protect mode. I fixed my original 440 years ago that went into protect mode and it was a cheap fix. I guess that is the point of protect mode. I went to the shop to pick up the original toasted 440 and brought the smaller 230 with me for the tech to work on. I explained to him that it was only in protect mode and the bottom plate was loose. He put it on the bench right in front of me upside down and said there is the other screws. He removed the bottom plate and there was a small plastic bag with all the missing screws. He then got a meter and measured a few points and showed me 8 missing output transistor spots that were burnt and the transistors had been removed. Told me it would be a mess and the old transistors were not around to replace. The other small amp was supposed to be in good working order just that the meters were weak. The ad said it was tested. I hooked that amp up and it was stuck in protect mode. I noticed through the top cover that one entire board was missing compared to the other exact same amp with the output transistors missing. The top cover had different screws than original as well. I have another small amp on the way like these 2 and now I am afraid to even open the carton. The stereo shop owner was holding his head in disgust. He is a one man show, sales as well as repair. He begged me to stop buying old used gear, and stop my losses. He asked me if the other 2 big amps at home work and I told him I didn't test them yet that I would go home and hook them up. Well like I said the Connecticut amp works fine just smell like bull----. And my original amp I had in storage for the last 15 yrs has no output. I hooked it up and nothing coming out. I have learned my lesson well that I am not going to get the power I want cheap. What a nightmare. Hopefully Ebay will back me up with there pay pal guarantee but so far it seems like they are lax and more in favor of the seller. I will now go back to the drawing board and just start saving for new dependable gear with a warranty. 200 to 250 watts a channel for the 5 big speakers is very expensive. And the processor is also expensive. I just hope I'm not dead by the time I save enough. If I don't get any help from Ebay I will have blown around 700$. That would have bought my other subwoofer.I will post how well the customer service is on Ebay in a few weeks.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 18188
Registered: May-04
.

"Life is like a box of chocolates.", Gump (1994)
 

Bronze Member
Username: Alkaloid

Medford, MA. U.S.

Post Number: 34
Registered: Feb-15
Already got a ruling on the amp with the missing transistors and guess who won. Yep the seller. I wouldn't want Ebay to loose their 10% You were correct on hard to get parts and also on firing up a piece of gear that is in storage for a long while. Still comes down to integrity. Seems a little scarce these days. How do you upload an image?
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 18189
Registered: May-04
.

This forum is rather ancient by forum standards. I don't know that you can actually do that here.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 3314
Registered: Oct-07
Bob, they don't call it 'E-Pray' for nothing. It is mainly a junk-recycling site.

ONLY buy new from a dealer or upon inspection / verification.

Since you might not have learned from this experience, I'd recommend TAKING a VIDEO of any future unboxing.

I recently GAVE AWAY a small piece of electronics. A DBx from the 80s when it was in competition with Dolby.
It still worked, but was not exactly what the new owner expected. I hope HE gives it away. Given away without warranty.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Alkaloid

Medford, MA. U.S.

Post Number: 35
Registered: Feb-15
I have to disagree Leo. After several back and forths with customer service over the return of the bad amps I am getting a refund, as well as the shipping cost. I had to appeal 2 decisions. I included pictures as well. I am now gun shy of getting electronics on Ebay but not speakers. I am going in the new direction though. I am going to get a Parasound 5 channel amp A51. It will drive my 5 ADS L1290/2s and I will use 2 Nikko Alpha 440s to drive the ceiling speakers ADS L300s. I know the wattage is way too much for the ceiling speakers but to save money I am going to use what I have and just not push the small speakers too much. I am still going with the Anthem as my pre amp processor. New is sooo expensive compared to vintage but the headaches are going to go away. This should satisfy my craving for decent sound. I will post as progress goes forward. And when I get to play with the room correction on the Anthem I will share my experiences as well.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Alkaloid

Medford, MA. U.S.

Post Number: 36
Registered: Feb-15
Need some help choosing between 2 amps. One is Parasound A51 and the other is ATI AT 2005. http://hometheaterhifi.com/reviews/amplifier/power-amplifier/ati-at6002-multi-ch annel-power-amplifier-review/
I asked my tech and he says ATI is crap.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 18199
Registered: May-04
.

I don't know either amp well enough to say anything useful about either. Parasound has been a value oriented line for a few decades and has developed its reputation for reliable, decent sounding products.

The ATI has (I believe) been cloned by Outlaw for their 7500. Outlaw has a very good reputation in HT products. Via osmosis that would lead you to believe the ATI is also a decent amplifier.


If the choice is between those two amps, I can't see much difference between them in a HT system other than name value.

Not that it should matter to you, but I always tended to dismissed claims that any product was "crap". If there were specific issues mentioned which made the tech dislike a product, that's different. A blanket statement that any product is crap though is probably more a personal reaction to something about the company or that product that isn't being mentioned.

In general, techs don't think like salespeople. Typically, salespeople listen while techs measure. Salespeople evaluate results while techs evaluate things like the layout of the boards.

If the tech had provided more specifics, or you had provided more specifics regarding the tech's advice, there might be something to discuss about his "insight".

As is, either amp should be fine in an HT system.

If you are back to buying pre-owned gear, then the individual component should be evaluated, not the reputation of the company in most cases. There are exceptions to that idea but not in this price range IMO.


.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 3323
Registered: Oct-07
One FOR SURE thing about Parasound is after-sale SERVICE.

I have spoken to Richard Schram at a couple shows and swapped posts with him. He even gave sensible answers to questions about a proposed (minor) modification to a Parasound amp.

The HALO line is given reasonable reviews and I think one of the Stereophile guys uses the JC-1 mono blocks as a reference amp. I've heard these amps in a system and was quite satisfied. The speakers with the Big Parasounds were some Janszen Electrostats which I've heard 3x other times ALL with different amps. I think the Parasounds did tops.

The tech may be reacting to some perception of frequency of repair and DIFFICULTY in doing said repair. Some amps are mechanically complex and even an easy fix entails a LOT of simply taking it apart and reassembly.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Alkaloid

Medford, MA. U.S.

Post Number: 37
Registered: Feb-15
Thanks Leo

I suspect that the tech is biased, because he doesn't sell ATI. If you check them out it sounds quite fine. I think for multichannel ATI has a better signal to noise. I think it is a bigger bang for the buck. Not to mention made in America.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 18200
Registered: May-04
.

"I think for multichannel ATI has a better signal to noise."


Sorry, Bob, but really ... LOL!!!

As to your dealer/tech, I'll show my bias as a salesperson.

Anyone who doesn't carry a line but is willing to declare it "crap", is selling the same horsesh!t we hear coming from Trump.

Selling what you have by way of the lowest common denominator of casting doubt upon a product without facts to back up the statement is total BS IMO.

The guy might be a decent tech but, IMO, he's a lousy salesman. He just might show his disdain for you when you come back and tell him you decided to buy the line he didn't carry and he thinks is crap.



Things are different now than when I was selling. He!!, McIntosh is in Best Buy!!!

But, there did exist at one time, enough manufacturers who requested some degree of ethics in their representatives that anyone selling on the basis of knocking the other guy's products would not have been given their product to represent.

Bose actually still sends out mystery shoppers who may be recording the conversations they have with a salesperson. If the dealership doesn't carry Bose products and they say anything negative about Bose, they may find themself in court. If the dealer carries Bose but says anything which might lead the client to another line, they may find they are no longer a Bose dealer and they are still in court.


That is the opposite approach to selling off a line and it too sucks. It does, however, show just how prevalent the issue is when a salesperson really doesn't want to learn about products.



Do not take that as an endorsement or condemnation of any line today.



But, really, Bob? S/N ratio?! You must pick your automobiles based on the size of the rear seat cup holders.




.



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Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 18201
Registered: May-04
.


"In fact, the standard A-weighting curve is accurate at only one SPL (Sound Pressure ... is likely to be far higher than the residual noise of most audio equipment."



https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=wei ghting%20curves%20in%20audio%20equipment



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Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 3326
Registered: Oct-07
Bob,
In case you hadn't caught the drift, JV and I have mutual respect issues.

However, in THIS case of perception VS 'specification', I'll go with my EARS.
And while the 100 year or so history of electronic sound preproduction is one 'better' measurment after another, and more than one Blind Alley, they have yet get to the bottom of the measurement coorelation with perception issue.
Stuff can measure good / bad AND sound good / bad. All 4 logical cases exist and have examples.

JV and I may differ in that I take SOME specifications with a grain of salt and treat them as 'advisory' rather then carved in stone.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 18202
Registered: May-04
.

There are, IMO, numerous specs I take very seriously. The interaction between components can be fairly predicted by a look at certain specs. I would even go so far as to say certain sonic fingerprints can be easily predicted by a few specific specifications.

I know, for instance, a pre amp using 6922 vacuum tubes will not have the same musical character as a pre amp outfitted with 12AX7's. They may both be quite acceptable to the same listener but they will not present music as equals.

I know passive pre amps without transformers have very particular trade offs.

I am certain electrical phase shift does not equate to acoustic phase shift.

Etc.

One problem that must always be addressed however, is the simple fact we all do not hear the same values when we listen to the same source material. What I cannot predict are your priorities or the degree to which you feel each priority is valued.




What I find to be mostly BS are those specs that cannot be equated to actually sending music through the circuitry of a component or those specs which have been "adjusted" by weighting systems which are not tit for tat equals to another component's specifications.

If one component is measured and then adjusted according to "A" weighting and another similar component is tested and adjusted using "C" weighting, there's no way to make a real world comparison. The problem becomes compounded when neither component's weighting adjustment is disclosed to the consumer.

The specs I tend to ignore are those specs which typically get printed in an annual equipment guide.



.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 3327
Registered: Oct-07
A few specs would appear to be of more importance. Interaction of preamp to Main amp is partly input / output impedance ratio. While some companies may give an average value others may list highest or lowest as well as some frequency tolerance. Bottom line is the rule of thumb about the RATIO or input impedance of the amp (high = good) relative to the output impedance of the PREamp. (low = good) Than the arguemenet begins! Is 5:1 good? 10:1 better? And so it goes.

One of the more meaningless specs is POWER. The modern HT receiver may claim '140 watts per channel'. But the small prints says this is for ONE channel driven. For Stereo, also unlikely, the number drops to 110 watts. For all channels driven? Maybe 50 watts or 60 watts, and THAN it's at a value inflating 6 ohms! This is even skipping the chat we could have about WHOSE watts ARE they? RMS? Peak? Mean? Music Power? And is the full power bandwidth of 20-20,000hz? Or is power measured at 1khz?

The final spec that sticks crosswise is Damping Factor. This is the instantanious ratio of speaker impedance to amplifier OUTPUT impedance, sort of measured backwards, as though the speaker were the source of the power. Back EMF is a fact of life of cone speakers and to a lesser extent, panels.
Long short is that AGAIN, it is how you measure it. The sellers of this number (higher = better?) don't tell you that SOME speakers simply don't need a high DF. Like old-school big box Altecs or Klipsch or even Bozak. You know, the speakers you couldn't get in thru the DOOR, but had to assemble in-place? The OTHER thing not said is that as soon as you begin adding speaker wire the DF value Drops. Dig around for the Nelson Pass article on this subject. He even added resistance to the line (So too, did CARVER) to simulate the effect of a tube amps transformer output. It is interesting to see how some speakers react to NOT having a huge damping factor available. Even a modern speaker if highly damped already may not need a DF greater than 5 or so. The Spec Wonks talk about 1000:1 or even higher.
Speakers optimized for tube gear may even sound fine at 1:1 or so.

Do they STILL publish those annual equipment 'reports'? A complete disclosure must run to over 1000 pages in phonebook format.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Alkaloid

Medford, MA. U.S.

Post Number: 38
Registered: Feb-15
All right Leo I get the drift and I can see why. No Jan I don't pick my autos from the cup holder in the back seat. I could care less. I pick them by fuel efficiency. I have owned 3 Honda Civic Hybrids. I am cheap on my car, only has to get me from point a to b. Not a motor head. And really Bob on S/N as a spec. I was weened on vinyl and since CDs and Laser Disc and DVD and now Bluray the sound has gotten quieter and much more dynamic. The high resolution digital files that I am going to be streaming and listening to have a DEAD silent noise floor. When I watch a movie and all of a sudden something happens to scare the hell out of me from dead silence it is important. We all know the dynamic range is way better digital than analog. The low frequencies can go lower in digital than vinyl as well. Digital done right is far superior than analog. When I was at the shop this past saturday dropping off my original amp I had in storage customers kept coming in so I stepped aside and waited to allow the owner the chance to make a sale, and I learned alot after 2 hours of being interupted. When I walked in with my amp, the tech/owner was replacing a woofer for a customer on a Paradigm speaker that was over 12 yrs old. Talk about disdain for me the tech looked up and said just leave it. I said no I want to discuss a few things before I go. I walked over to the bench and asked him if a crossover component failed or what and he said no. The customer was friendly and told me the woofer just stopped making output. I thought that was rather strange, I fried many a tweeter from clipping cheap amps but never heard of a woofer quitting. I asked the tech if it could have been the voice coil and he said he didn't know. He sounded grumpy to me. Next walked in an older gentleman with his daughter and he had an old Technics turntable that he wanted the tech to check out and was told he wasn't taking any repairs because he was all backed up. He did look at it and said to bring it back in a few weeks and he would go over it. Then that guy with his daughter auditioned a couple of speakers to buy to add to his 2nd home in Vermont. He also had an NAD reciever that he wanted serviced and the tech went over how old it was and ended up selling him an integrated amp that was second hand and a pair of powered speakers. I kept my mouth shut but the speakers sounded horrible for the price. The gentleman kept saying how open and full and clear they sounded, WOW I think he could have used a hearing aid. Then in walked a young man looked like a student with a Rega turntable and the tech took a few minutes to talk to him. A totally different attitude than the Technics turntable, he disassembled it it ten seconds gave the kid a new part and wouldn't take any money from him. I thought wow what a nice guy to do that but inconsistent from the other turntable. Then a 25 yr old girl came in the shop looking to get a system because her roommate was moving and taking the system with her. He hooked up a turntable for her and put it through a cheap Marantz receiver and played it on a cheap little pair of book shelf speakers. The entire system was 1200$. It was the first record I heard in yrs complete with ticks and pops and I hated it. She left saying she would be back with her mother to purchase it later. He did exhibit good patience with her. Then a gentleman came in to pick up his amp that he got repaired, he had quite an accent like German or at least European. It was a tube amp I think 8 tubes in front of 3 transformers. It put out 35 watts and was class A. I asked the guy if the tubes were pentodes or triodes and he was clueless and said to ask the tech. It turns out 2 tubes were bad thats all. He auditioned a pair of bookshelf speakers that were 1200$ a pair and once again I thought they sounded horrible. They were made out of Aluminum. It was a 2 way and the woofer was no more than 6 inches. Once again a Paradigm. The gentleman asked the tech/owner about a pair of B and Ws that he had right there and the tech told him the BWs were horrible compared to the small ones he was listening to. I know I'm now old but the price for the small speakers and the performance of them was CRAZY. The gentleman that owned the amp was talking about efficiency and was saying his speakers at home were like 90 db, and the tech told him about the small speakers he was listening to that they were very efficient. I'm not sure if they were talking sensitivity or efficiency. I wanted so bad to tell the amp owner to check out some horn loaded speakers. His amp weighed a ton and I think it would have matted very well with a horn loaded speaker. After he left I finally told the tech my other choice was the ATI amps and he almost screamed NO. He then said they are crap. I said what do you mean, he said ATI will not drive your ADS speakers. I said to him on the ATI sight it stated unlimited current output. That the owner Mr. Kessler had over 40 yrs building amps and made the first multichannel amp. That he made amps for a lot of other manufacturers as well. Like Leo said in an earlier post, the balanced inputs on these amps go from input to output. Then they state not only does this help with distortion, but speeds up transient response. The protection circuits are optically coupled. You can say it is marketing but I think they have gotten better at multichannel sound because of practice and experience. I do believe my tech means well but he is a 2 channel guy. He collects turntables that I found out when he was helping the 25 yr old girl. He has a turntable in his shop that goes for 59000$. He said he got it from a person that passed away. It is mated with a pair of 18000$ mono blocks. I maybe am barking up the wrong tree. I am totally new to the high end world. Once again I will use my ears finally to judge anything, but the specs and measurements still can be a guide. In one forum I got a good laugh when one of the posters stated how he was sick of reading stuff from old half deaf audiophiles in the 50s and 60s, with diminished hearing making wild claims of exotic lush equipment that sounded absolutely perfect. Or let me clarify equipment that made the Music, Jan sound absolutely perfect. Once again I have to trust the tech, but I need to hear both amps before I drop 5gs. My wife says buy all new. It is good advice but I could have bought a new car with the price I'm going to dish out. And believe me the tech has quite the disdain in his voice and his eyes when I bring him a 35yr old amp to fix, and tell him if I go all new it might be a brand he doesn't sell. I would still get the pre amp processor and all the hookup wires from him. I guess I should have spared him the greif and went to a home theater specialist that is more mid fi.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 3328
Registered: Oct-07
OPPOSITE REACTION:
I sent my 25+ year old Magnepan speakers to the factory. The MG-1 model was made up until maybe 1980 and I had the originals, not the 'b' or 'c' revision. This was probably 2004 or so. I sold 'em in '08 and replaced them the then current MG-1.6

Factory called me a week later and asked what color I wanted for the 'Sock'. (Grill Cloth)

Returned Like-New and played fine. Even had to break 'em in again, a little.

THAT'S good service. Even after 2 decades.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 18203
Registered: May-04
.

What you describe is a classic example of someone seeking to become your guru. A simple case of the client is either with us or they are agin' us. Except there's no "we", only "me".

You can see the same behavior in any setting where subjective opinions are valued. It is a common way to do business. Though, no one ever convinced me it is a smart way to do business. The potential client either buys in, is insulted and spreads the word or simply deletes this shop owner from their memory.

I take it you have somewhat been sucked into his vortex by way of his willingness to look at your old amplifiers.

IMO you now have two choices as to what you do next.

You can take your own advice and say you need a shop that has more multichannel advice and equipment to offer. Or you buy into this guy's schpiel and you end up with a system that is perfectly fine.

His system will be a good system, maybe not for your tastes but it will be good in multiple ways. This is the essence of how the guru operates. Their opinions are justified by just enough apparently correct data to get someone thinking maybe they do know what they are talking about.

Those who do not buy into the thought process that places a small standmounted bookshelf as being superior to a large multi-way floorstander are easily dismissed as not seeing the truths being shown to them.

Do not take that last to be an endorsement or a denunciation of either type of loudspeaker. Different types of components exist in consumer audio simply because, when it is reduced to the simplest terms, everyone has their own priorities for how they judge components.

Too many have too little time to devote to the research they would need in order to be fluent in the basic concepts of audio and home theatre. Therefore, many come to the start of their search with some very misguided, but deeply entrenched, opinions of their own but based mostly on a belief system which is outdated or incorrect.

Others have half baked ideas of what is possible based upon what they've read and imagined and they too have their own belief systems which are difficult to address because they are often contradictory to each other. Rather than The Donald's of this world, I'd call them the Ted Cruz's of the HT world. Facts and realities are completely fungible when it is expedient to ignore them.

In either case, two immovable objects meet in the desert ...


I would suggest you have gone about your "argument" in an improper manner when facing a guru. Name dropping and resumes won't sway the guru. They have either never heard of this person because this person does not fit into their lexicon of proper names or they have already made up their mind about the person and their abilities.

Repeating sales literature claims to a guru is like spitting into the hurricane front.

"I said to him on the ATI sight it stated unlimited current output."

It is fairly easy to argue this claim is impossible and therefore a lie, which makes all other claims also potential lies. Or it is equally simple to argue all amplifiers may have the blessings of unlimited current as it is being sucked directly from the AC wall outlet.

With the latter argument, however, you will begin your journey down the rathole of specs and a point by point debate over which specs can be trusted to guide you through the selection of an entire system.

That's one heck of a lot of debates over largely trivial affairs IMO.

Best done over a beer and a burger and not when money is on the line as to who wins.

My best advice at this point, given the information you have so far provided, is to allow the man his say.

Disconnect your "ideal" system thoughts and simply listen to what he has to say and what his equipment can provide.

I've worked with other salespeople with whom I have disagreed about many matters and yet they weren't complete incompetents if they had survived in this business for decades.


We simply did not share common priorities in most cases.


Listen to his thinking and his wares while putting a stop to his demagoguery.

You do not need to be preached at to buy a decent audio system.

You do, given the information you have thus far provided, need to simply sit and pay attention to what the system provides you at what cost.

If you find something of interest in the performance, ask about that specifically and again avoid demagogic testaments.

Explanations and clarifications are not done in declarative sentences. (Excuse the fact that I have just made a declarative statement.)

I would guess this gentleman is not interested in making an immediate sale so you likely won't feel any pressure to begin loading gear into your car I suspect. Demagogues are more concerned with winning over converts than in making the immediate sale.

Walk out with only thoughts of what you have heard from the performance of the system. Not a debate about specs or sales literature.

It's time to put down the sales lit and stop reading the web.

Please read that sentence several times.



Do not feel you must settle for "mid-fi" equipment. It's probable the next dealer will have a sales staff that is more or less completely unfamiliar with most of the brands this tech guy has to discuss. So what?

Make your own decisions regarding what your perceive from their equipment.

There is the immutable law of diminishing returns to consider and to take seriously into your final decisions.

And you cannot escape the circumstances you are presenting to the system. 90% of what you perceive as the quality of the system is really the room you are hearing.

Which dealer offers the higher level of after the same assistance?

This is not a matter of which can preach to you more effectively that you haven't followed their directions to the "T".

It is also not the dealer who will make you feel incompetent if you select cables and accessories they do not sell.

Which dealer is actually interested in assisting you? Which is going to give you realistic advice ant not just fuel a desire to spend more on what will ultimately become less.

Those, IMO, are the real questions you should consider.

Basically, which sales staff listens to you and which responds to your words and answers your questions without resorting to demagoguery and BS?

Which simply repeats the same thing over and over without paying attention to the fact you are not like every client who entered the shop before or after?

Which is just blowing smoke in order to make a sale?



There is no need to spend the cost of a new car for a system you will find useful and satisfying.




Putting on my guru's cap for the moment, there's no need to spend that sum because the situation and circumstances you will offer the system will not allow for the performance you have in your imagination.

Further, this guru says, if you inform the salesperson of your room dimensions and layout and, say, the attempts you have made at bass extension, along with your further plans for achieving such desires, and they do not express concerns about your expectations vs the capacity of their equipment to satisfy those desires, there is a disconnect IMO.



At the moment, your future system is all about what you've read and what you've imagined.

It's time to set all that aside and go listen.

You need to determine what is available and what is realistic.

Anything not in either of those two camps is of no concern to you.



Possibly, there's more to be said here. First, however, you need to stop reading, stop discussing and stop dreaming.

You must start listening to the real world you will and must face.

That's all I have to say for now.


Go listen and do so with an open mind and a closed check book.


.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 18204
Registered: May-04
.

95% of the manufacturers in the audio/HT market will not offer the type of service leo describes.

High end audio is a cottage industry that is still ruled by the limits of economics. Only a small handful of companies are able to afford their initial ideals of business.

HT, IMO, is still largely a world of manufacturers trying to keep their head above water in a sea of rising tides against the very concept they are selling.



.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 3329
Registered: Oct-07
18203? Bingo
18204? Yep.

Reality trumps ideals nearly every time. Except for those few who are willing to go down with the ship on the strength of an ideal.

Want an interesting read? Look up the life and times of Bob Carver. He is STILL active, so this isn't exactly a history class, but he had REALLY been around and sold a LOT of stuff and some not exactly maintstream ideas.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Alkaloid

Medford, MA. U.S.

Post Number: 39
Registered: Feb-15
I feel frustrated but not going to quit. I did send an email to ATI and explained my situation. I did tell them that my tech said what he said. I got back a response from Jeff Hipps and he made me aware of a shop in Woburn MA called Pro Audio. They don't sell directly to consumers, mostly commercial installers and dealers. They carry both brands of amplifiers and I contacted the president and told him Jeff said he might help me get a demonstration and to tell him Jeff sent me. I hope he can show me both amps and maybe help hook me up with some commercial installers. I am getting ready to remodel the house and the wife wants everything to look neat and wants all the wires to be hidden. I kind of like to do it myself, but I am open to suggestions and DO need help. I know the tech is much smarter on circuit design than me and he can read schematics and all, but I still feel he wants to sell me his brands to make some profit. The biggest problem is that Parasound is a good reputable brand, and one of the reviewers compared the large ATI 6000 series with his 5 channel amp and it is exactly the A 51 that I am looking at. http://www.soundandvision.com/content/ati-at6005-amplifier#qHoKTGH6fcr3mFmJ.97
The only way I think I can really be sure of which amp sounds better to me or is the better bang for the buck is to listen in my house with my speakers. I don't think I will get that chance. Both amps are fine, but I want the dead silence that happens a lot when watching movies. I did end up going to the tech because of all the reviews from customers about the quality of his work and his kindness. Like Jan said I think he is going to want to get rid of me real soon. The 35 yr old amps is the first reason, and the movie not just stereo sound I think is not his ballpark. I really do want to give him money and keep him in business, you know the old brick and mortar not internet shopping, but he has to remember I don't come from the high end just the mid end. I am going to check out Bob Carver now. I only remember his speakers, and the magnetic field amps that were extremely powerful. And his small subwoofers too. I'm going to probably blow close to 15,000$ At least the amps will work. HA HA HA.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 18205
Registered: May-04
.

"I feel frustrated but not going to quit. I did send an email to ATI and explained my situation. I did tell them that my tech said what he said. I got back a response from Jeff Hipps ... "

Did ATI address the issue the tech raised - rather without providing any confirming or factual evidence to prove his point, from what you reported - regarding the ATI's ability to "drive" your current speakers?

Actually, most companies won't promise such things. Driving a loudspeaker is not specifically under their control once the amp has been purchased.

I simply wondered whether ATI addressed the tech's critique or only made the offer of a possible audition in another shop.


"The only way I think I can really be sure of which amp sounds better to me or is the better bang for the buck is to listen in my house with my speakers."


IMO that's not at all true. OK, yes, it is true for someone who is both OCD and consumed with the minutiea of spec's-manship. You can't help but think it is when you also can't stop thinking about S/N ratios.

You need to let your wife audition the amps.

Your A/B test is though a fallacy which many buyers resort to when they are faced with a decision between more or less equal products. When already frustrated, what better way to add to the frustration than creating a situation which cannot be fully realized?

I can safely guarantee you an audition of both amps is not going to reveal any clear winner in a HT system. That's not to say you won't be able to decide which amp you prefer.

You've already done that by reading the specs.

Which is exactly why an A/B comparison is a waste of time.



You are largely looking to judge values and events which are not real and cannot be made real by comparing one amp to another. How do you define what a train derailment sounds like? Or a 500 mega-ton bomb destroying parts of a city?

As far as I can see, Bob, you've still not said you have set your speakers up using a proper formula for best performance.

How then, if this is the case, do you judge an amplifier's performance? By how quiet things get?

How do you judge much of anything in a 12' X 24' room lacking any acoustic treatments?



What is the spec for each amp under "S/N ratio"?

Do you know off hand the quiescent noise level within your room?

If, say, one amp is spec'd at a few dB less noise than the other, are you taking into account the weighting system each test employed?



You have taken into account, I hope, this little bit of information from the review ...
"I followed ATI's advice and plugged the amplifier into two independent 20-amp outlets ... "


Two "indepedent" 20 amp circuits?!


You might want to check with an electrician and get an estimate for that. If you need to move to a new service panel, that could make a very large difference in your final cost.



I'm not trying to give you a hard time, Bob, simply pointing out the many times I've heard the same words come out of a client's mouth.

IMO the review you linked to is rather worthless. You could easily sub in any manufacturer's name for most references to "ATI" or to "AT 6500" and no one could argue the point. It really says nothing. That's how a lot of reviews are written nowdays.

The reviewer also likes the Parasound. That would lead me to believe, since there is nothing in the review which is not probably just as true for the Parasound amp (other than that 20 Amp bit), that either would be perfectly fine in your system once you stopped contorting yourself over the details of S/N ratios.


What are the S/N specs for each amp?



.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 3330
Registered: Oct-07
I'm just getting up to speed on that 2x20amp circuit requirement.

Makes it an absolute NON-starter for me. The Parasound, which I SUSPECT would have difficulty (given a 15 amp circuit) reaching 5x Power Rating is still fine. Good dynamics. I can't think of a SINGLE situation where full-power x5 would actually be required. Even movie soundtracks will have what is called a 'crest factor' where you may 'cruise' along at 10 watts per channel (easy, right?) with 10db peaks. That's still 100 watt peaks.
BTW, 10 watts per speaker in a 5 channel system would get you EVICTED from many places I've lived. I started telling my neighbors and landlord I was partially DEAF so I could turn it up at least during daylight hours. Worked like a CHARM.

The OTHER factor, and I'll wager the Parasound is somewhat better than the ATI, is in 'real world speaker loads' where the speaker appears to the amp as a REACTIVE load. This means either an Inductor (basically a coil of wire, like a voice coil) or a CAPACITOR. Some amps simply do NOT like to deal with that stuff and crap out. I don't know WHY, but even some expensvie amps some times simply do NOT like those kinds of load.

Take Jan's Advice. TAKE THE WIFE and go have a listen. The tech guy you've been talking to MIGHT be a good tech, but he has only so-so people skills.

One company which shall remain nameless sells a Very Reasonably priced monoblock amp which is spec'd with a 20 amp circuit. Boss-guy of the company says a 15 amp is ok and it'll run fine. Well? What does it need to meet spec? Why buy an amp which Asks for a 20 amp service THAN run it on 15? Peak Power about the same? Recharge of PS somewhat slower? If I had wanted 'braggin rights' for some wacky power claim, I'd have gotten a pair of 'em and EATEN the cost of running a couple lines to the amps. The amps in question probably come with a #14power cord, at thickest. I doubt it even comes with a 12ga.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Alkaloid

Medford, MA. U.S.

Post Number: 40
Registered: Feb-15
Trust me I'm stressing already on the price never mind the electrician. My wifes uncle owns his own electric company Mcnelly Electric in Charlestown MA so price should be acceptable on mods. I think the parasound is starting to sound good enough after much research. Reputation goes along way.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 18206
Registered: May-04
.

"Reputation goes along way."

Depends on who is doing the telling of the reputation.


LOL!

That wasn't necessarily even intended to be pertinent to this thread.



As far as "reputation" is concerned, check the mainstream rep of Bose. The greater majority of the populace at large feel Bose makes great audio gear. That's what they have been told and they believe it.

A reputation can be purchased. Thank you, Paul Harvey.



.



.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Alkaloid

Medford, MA. U.S.

Post Number: 41
Registered: Feb-15
Wanted to post this link so you could read the reviews and the 2 interviews http://www.wwsp.com/ati/reviews.htm

Still leaning towards ATI
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 18207
Registered: May-04
.

Stop reading.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 3334
Registered: Oct-07
Forget ATI. If Parasound is the competition, just DO it. HALO series is the way to go.

Stop Reading! LOL

As for Magnepan Service? Pretty much Gold Standard. They even cater to the DIY crowd and will sell rebuild kits for the Ribbon Tweeter (3 tweeters per kit, so you can screw one up!) and other goodies for panel maintenance.

As for Gold Standard? the OTHER company which doubtless ALSO qualifies is McinTosh. They'll fix nearly anything they EVER made.

IMO, any evaluation of new equipment bought NEW, should be IN PART based on the reputation and ability of the company in question to provide service.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Alkaloid

Medford, MA. U.S.

Post Number: 42
Registered: Feb-15
Thanks for the advice. Have to hear them to choose. Can't find a shop that has both of them. Internet purchasing has made it hard. I will post when I bite the bullet. Should just get Bryston. 20 years warranty. I'll be dead before I need service. LOL. Price is like buying a car.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 18208
Registered: May-04
.

Bob, IMO it doesn't matter which amp you buy.

You are, IMO, trying to find perfection and allowing that to become the roadblock to the best amp for your needs.

You want to believe you can find 16Hz despite the fact no one hears 16Hz and your room will not support 16Hz.

You need to find what is realistic for you and for your room.

Not some story about an amp that doesn't mean it can serve your needs.

What does continuous current mean if your requirements do not include continuous current delivery?

You seem to have taken the tech's response as a matter of fact.

Do you know the amplifier requirements for your speakers?

If not, then buying an amp based upon a story that isn't well suited to your speakers isn't heading in the right direction IMO.

Yes, current is required for many speakers but most often that requirement exists in the lowest octaves. If you have filtered your bass response to your subwoofer, then you have alleviated the severe requirements for current. Why spend for what you do not need and will not use?

That is not to push you toward any alternative. Just realize home theatre is not the same as high end audio. How you judge quality in HT use is not as simple as it can be in music reproduction where real world references abound.

If you are considering the ATI based on comments such as this, "Your eardrums will pop before this amp shuts down", consider the fact your speakers will pop long before your eardrums.

Power is not a panacea in any system. Either (any) amp you've mentioned has more than sufficient power for HT and will never have sufficient power for HT.

Both the Parasound and the ATI are, however, good amplifiers.




I'm not sure what leo's Magnepan reference means. I will tell you McIntosh will NOT repair any amplifier EVER made. I personally own several tubed Mac products and I cannot send them to Mac for service. They can be repaired, there's no doubt of that. Tube circuits are typically rather simple compared to the tangle of boards in an average solid state amp. But McIntosh will not even accept my vintage gear.



While we are on the subject of McIntosh though, I will mention one thing I feel is important when deciding on a component.

Several years ago, Stereophile reviewed the re-issued Mcintosh MC275 tube amplifier. This is an amplifier that has gained a legendary reputation. Designed in 1960, it was produced through the mid 1970's, at which time McIntosh ceased production of tubed products as the availability of tubes themself began to diminish in supply and overall quality.

In the late 1990's, as tubed audio equipment proved more lasting than most had predicted and tube factories were more abundant, the MC275 was brought back into production with little in the way of changes to the original 1960's circuit design other than the accommodations for balanced operation and a few upgraded passive parts.

The bench tests of the re-issued fifty year old design showed a very high level of performance for any amp in the below $5,000 range, tubed or solid state.

Stereophile's conclusion to the review/test was to say, " ... it is difficult to believe from its measured performance that the McIntosh MC275 was designed almost half a century ago (by a team led by company cofounder Sidney Corderman, footnote 1). Good audio engineering is timeless."

You have been, IMO, looking for a story to accompany your amplifier.

What you should be looking for is an amplifier that, in another decade will be regarded as a design with "good audio engineering".

That's it. Good audio design provides good audio performance. Period!



IMO, the 275 review also shows just how little the high end amplifier market as actually progressed in the last half century. It also indicates there is very little real world difference between amplifiers with good audio design as their goal. Nitpicking small differences is a matter of preference, not reality IMO.

Stories, however, have accompanied high end amplifiers for most of the last half century in audio. Reputations have come and gone based on stories.

Stories have come and gone almost monthly and you could pick up a review from any decade to find yet another story from another company selling another amplifier. The vast majority of those amplifiers have now been forgotten.




I would always agree that some consideration be given to repairs before you make a purchase. However, I can almost guarantee you no high end amplifier will be serviced locally. It will be shipped back to the manufacturer to provide protection against unauthorized use of a design. Today, most service departments cannot even purchase parts or schematics for a high end amplifier.



IMO you need to stop reading and simply look at what will do the job.

Stories don't matter.

Whatever you buy today will be outdated in a few years. That is, it will be replaced by another model with another story attached.

Very few amplifiers can be tested fifty years later and declared to have "timeless" audio design. That's unfortunate but true.



.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 3335
Registered: Oct-07
Jan,
I always thought at least Part of the attraction to Mc was the 'legendary' service.

Magnepan no longer fixes some of the Earliest panels. They were made somewhat differently and I suspect the company 'experts' are retired without passing that skillset on.

I WILL, however, stand by the idea that good companies provide good service and products of value. 'Timeless'? Sure, why not? Looking thru the literature, it would appear that several others companies have made, at one time or another, equipment which is STILL sought after to this day. Everything from the NAD3020 to the original Magnepan Tympani series still have a fan base. Not QUITE the same as 'timeless', but it'll do.

According to the Mc website, the MC275 is on 'gen 6'. Whatever changes have been made, have not messed with the original amp. The newest version has some eye-candy feature which I could certainly do without.

Parasound doesn't appear to be quite that stuffy with schematics.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 18209
Registered: May-04
.

The "legendary" service Mcintosh offered was, at times, simply made up to close a sale.

McIntosh guaranteed (guarantees?) performance for the life of the component. This is not a guarantee on the operation of the component. Simply, it says any McIntosh product will meet its factory specs for the duration of its useful life.

A conventional product warranty protects Mcintosh against persistent customer misuse/abuse. You can't do something utterly stupid and expect Mac to fix it for free.

Mac understands things break. Quality control can only go so far. Of course, due to the overbuilt nature of a Mac, their reputation for reliability, durability and longevity are all well deserved results of a more than 60 year old company building for the duration.

The "legendary" Mac durability is partly a reason The Grateful Dead at one time built their touring sound system from 58 McIntosh 300 watt X 2 solid state amps.

The performance guarantee meant quite a bit to mastering labs and audiology labs which both depended on their equipment's stability.



For many decades McIntosh conducted in store "Mac clinics", typically orchestrated by Davey O'Brien. This is where Mac developed its well known reputation for customer service. Once or twice per year any Mac dealer could offer a Mac clinic at no cost to their clients.

Originally, the clinics were open to any product though eventually, the size of the market grew to the point the clinics became restricted to testing only McIntosh products. Mac owners who hadn't purchased anything new in thirty years would show up holding their Mac gear/systems. Lines often stretched further than a Bernie Sanders rally.

Towards the end of the clinics in the mid 1990's, there was a limit placed on how much could be accomplished in a single day's testing; one Mac component per client at any clinic would be tested. That barely handled the number of Mac clients who would disconnect their system and haul in a 75 to 125 pound (or more) amplifier for inspection.

Each tested component was returned to the owner with a printed read out of its measured performance. Of course, Mac built their amplifiers to exceed specs so an amp which sold as a 75 watt per channel amp typically tested as a 90 to 100 watt amplifier.

No tricks, just the way Mac builds their gear. To be told your twenty year old Mac amp still ouputs more than 20% higher wattage than you paid for always put a smile on the client's face.

Another reason Mac has the reputation they have earned.

When tubes were plentiful and reliable, Mac would exchange, at no cost to the client, any tube that was causing the product to test below spec. Whole output tube sets were exchanged at no cost when tubes were plentiful and (relatively) inexpensive. O'Brien carried with him cases of replacement tubes previously tested by Mac and stamped with their logo.

As the supply of decent tubes began to dwindle in the later 1970's, Mac eventually restricted the clinic to simple repairs for any component that could be easily returned to spec. More serious repairs were turned over to the shop's service department (every Mac dealer at one time was required to have an in store service department).



The performance guarantee was often stated by uninformed salespeople as a lifetime warranty/guarantee. It wasn't. Things break and Mac was simply set up to guarantee performance, not whatever a client might do to their component. Mac was generally very liberal with their repairs but they didn't cover customer abuse.

No Mcintosh tube amp was intended to drive the 1.5 Ohm Apogees at full power. That didn't stop people from trying.




There's a fairly large difference, IMO, between a component that is "retro" desirable and one that is timeless. A 1970's Pioneer receiver is retro cool, but it is not a timeless design. The same for most gear IMO. A BBC designed LS3/5a is probably timeless, certainly it was a groundbreaking design . A JBL L100 less so.

The 3020 represents an attitude change in audio. IMO it wasn't that great unless you compared it to the other button and knob and geegaw loaded equipment other manufacturers were pushing.

Good audio design however is not exclusive to McIntosh. Those products which have been blessed with the genius of great engineering, and a sense for the nature of actual live music, have and will always be rewarded in the market place. A good many high end manufacturers no longer advertise and yet stay in business based solely on their reputation for reproducing music that is as real as possible no matter their production date. Rowland, Berning, Spendor, etc. No hype, just honest performance..



The MC275 in its current iteration remains a mostly 1960 design. "Gen 6" means there have been several special editions of the amp as various owners have acquired Mac in recent years. For the most part, though it would require some modification to the original chassis, any OEM 1961 MC275 could theoretically be turned into a single ended only current version 275.

My amps have been updated with more modern caps, resistors, connectors and internal wiring though the original circuit and transformers remain intact.

But even back in the 1980's, Mcintosh was not stocking replacement parts for their tubed gear. One somewhat unique feature of the Mac tubes was their soft start technology. When one of the components in that circuit failed in one of my amps, I had to resource parts through Audio Classics. This is a group of former Mcintosh techs and engineers who have devoted their shop to vintage gear. For prioritized Mac parts, they are the answer. Of course, most tube components rely on rather generic parts and circuits.

If, however, one of the Unity Coupled transformers ever bit the dust, that might actually spell the end of that amp. Each transformer was hand wound and potted before being encased in thick steel casing. I have one extra amp on hand should calamity occur. Beyond that, this level of construction cannot be purchased on the cheap today.


.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Alkaloid

Medford, MA. U.S.

Post Number: 43
Registered: Feb-15
One of the things that stuck with me when I visited the Magnepan site was the descussion about good amps. They stated a good amp would double the power from 8 ohms to 4 ohms. I searched a lot and very few can do that. I was impressed by them when I heard them. Extremely clear. I always wondered why so many audiophiles owned Macintosh. John Curl from Parasound traveled with the Grateful Dead and was hired to build them a solid state system to replace the tubes. In an interview on you tube he stated that tubes sounded great but couldn't take the abuse of traveling, just to fragile. I still have a lot to learn. I made up my mind to get an ATI 6005 amp. It will do my ADS and any upgrade I'm sure.
Going to get the Anthem AV60 for pre pro. I will save 800$ off of MSRP. On the amp.
I will keep you guys posted. Thanks for your posts I appreciate the advise.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 3336
Registered: Oct-07
Magnepan might have a web presence, but NO WAY to send 'em an email. CALL 'em on the phone and the nice lady in the lobby will find the right guy for you. Ask for Wendel.

Magnepan people typically wear more than 'one hat' and while the company IS divided up into functional groupls, they don't have much 'depth of bench'.

If on vacation, drop into the place in White Bear Lake and take the tour.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 18210
Registered: May-04
.

A "good" amp is what?

If you believe any measurement assures you a "good amp", then you are, IMO, mistaken.



In theory it is true that an amplifier will double its measured wattage when impedance is halved. That is only theory and theory is not the real world.

When load resistance drops, current demand increases.

Wattage is measured by way of Ohm's Law; http://www.ohmslawcalculator.com/ohms-law-calculator

Play with the calculator a bit and you'll likely see why theory doesn't always match reality.



Wattage doubles when the load "resistance" is halved but only when current doubles.

And, of course, this only applies to direct coupled amplifiers.

Transformer/autoformer coupled amplifiers will more than likely produce roughly the same wattage into any resistance when the proper tap of the transformer has been chosen. Therefore, a 50 watt tubed output stage with transformer coupling will produce approximately 50 watts of power into a 4, 8 or 16 Ohm load when the load is connected via the corresponding 4, 8 or 16 Ohm tap. And it will only do so at the mid-frequencies in most cases due to losses within the transformer and less than ideal transfer function when coupled to a reactive load such as a real world loudspeaker.

Mismatch the tap to the nominal or the extreme load value and the wattage can increase or decrease accordingly.

Build a terrific transformer - the McIntosh transformer coupled tube power amps have a stated power bandwidth response out to about 100kHz where they are down about 1dB - and the transfer functions improve, as will the high frequency response, rise time and square wave performance of the amp overall.



Even direct coupled amplifiers tend to produce slightly less power at the upper and lower frequency limits. They are, most often, not hampered by a transformer but by circuits such as negative feedback, protection circuits/relays/fuses and Zobel networks.

Vacuum tube power amps are not known for their huge amperage capability. In general, a tubed power amp is best paired with a relatively high impedance load where the amp is better suited to deliver high Voltage rather than high Amperage. Though, by way of a transformer, the tube amp can certainly mate well with any load impedance. It is simply a matter of building a very high quality transformer, which is extremely difficult to achieve, and mating to a reasonably stable load.

In the days when tubes ruled audio, the best amps came from those manufacturers well skilled in the art of transformer winding, which was most often done by hand in the very best amplifiers.



Theory leads us to believe wattage doubles when resistance is halved. That is a fairly safe theory when dealing with a direct coupled solid state amplifier or your dishwasher.

The fly in the ointment of reality is the power supply of the amp.

This can become rather long winded as an explanation but the shortest answer is, most solid state amps have limited current delivery capability.

Also, "resistance" is a static value. Real world loudspeakers are "reactive" which means they do not present a simple, single, consistent resistance to the amplifier. As a load they represent "impedance" rather than simple resistance.

Loudspeakers fight back.

Loudspeaker are motors. Motors produce Voltage and Amperage components. Therefore, loudspeakers are capable of driving the amp rather than the other way 'round.



Another complication to theory is, all solid state, direct coupled amplifiers MUST include some amount of feedback to remain stable under load. Feedback becomes a rather messy discussion due to the reactive nature of the loudspeaker load and the various types and amounts of feedback which can be used in a solid state amplifier.

A good, simple idea of feedback is to say it is used to reduce T.H.D. The higher the values of feedback, the lower the T.H.D. ... until the amplifier can begin to become unstable under load.

Feedback also tends to exaggerate the time and phase errors with the output signal which no longer matching the input signal.

While T.H.D is most often decreased by way of feedback, I.M. distortion, the type which makes music sound hard and irritating, is often made worse as feedback is increased.

For these reasons, "good" amplifiers have minimal amounts of feedback and it is localized rather than global.

"Good" amplifiers are designed to be "good" without the addition of feedback.




The power supply of the amp must be capable of pulling from its storage supply capacitors adequate amounts of Amperage as load resistance drops. This is accomplished by a stout input power transformer and a large current reserve stored in the amplifier's supply capacitors.

Multiple small caps are more capable of responding faster and more accurately to the dynamic demands of music though larger caps are most often used for space saving and cost reasons.

Once supply caps have been drained of their reserve Amperage, they can only recharge at a specific rate. In other words, it takes time for the amp to recover from a drained condition. This is another scenario where the loudspeaker can begin to drive the amp as the amp no longer has the "guts" to resist.

Once again, multiple smaller value caps are faster to respond though seldom used.

If the musical demands on the amp are maintained after the supply caps are drained, the amp has some ability to draw Amperage directly from the wall outlet(s). This though risks the amplifier seeing what it views as a direct short and it is likely to shut down in a protection mode.

Drawing Amperage directly from the AC feed line is a dangerous way to design an amplifier IMO.



The more stages of regulation imposed on the power supply, the more likely it will be to have somewhat limited current reserves. Shorted circuits draw massive amounts of current instantaneously. Thus many amplifiers see the demand for current delivery as a short circuit and go into protection mode.

Current limiting devices are often employed in lower quality amplifiers which thus minimize the chances the amp will totally shut down though musical performance can be severely impacted.



Multiple stages of highly regulated power are, again, a theoretical advantage which can, in the real world of reactive loads, cut against the amplifier when it is asked to reproduce the fast changing, dynamic requirements of music.

This is especially true when the amp is working into the reactive load of a real world loudspeaker and its (often radical) deviations from 0 degrees of phase shift to an either inductive or capacitive load situation. Electrical phase shift in a loudspeaker is not always a death knell but unless the impedance rises accordingly (thus requiring more Voltage component and less Amperage component to maintain consistent wattage output) as the phase shifts, it becomes severely more difficult for the amplifier to remain stable under load.


Once the load becomes either capacitive or inductive, work is diminished.

Theory here tells us Voltage and Amperage will enter a lead/lag state where less work is being done despite the fact on paper, pure wattage increases. It is virtually impossible to find a multi-way loudspeaker which does not exhibit electrical phase shift.




That, Bob, is only (and briefly) what occurs technically with any amplifier.

The more regulated the power supply becomes, it is fairly common for the music to suffer. This is now a matter of musical priorities and how the listener judges accuracy. Highly regulated power supplies tend, IMO, to stifle dynamics on the macro and the micro scale. These are what give music its inner life IMO.

Given the choice between a highly accurate amplifier which adheres mostly to theory and a less accurate amplifier which follows the momentum of the music, I'll take the amp that makes me want to pull out yet another album before I head off to bed.

YMMV and theory only applies to theoretically perfect conditions.


.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 18211
Registered: May-04
.


As to the ability of vacuum tubes to withstand abuse, The Aliies won WWII using vacuum tubes.


Intercontinental telephone lines and intercontinental aircraft systems were originally driven by vacuum tubes.


Radar was created using vacuum tubes.


Modern communications networks were originally driven by vacuum tubes.

Television broadcasts, and even digital recording theories, were developed using vacuum tubes.


Early AM car radios were vacuum tube operated.


The earliest space flights were conducted when vacuum tubes were the only communication and guidance devices available.


Most of the Russian military communications equipment still uses vacuum tubes. In the instance of a thermo-magnetic pulse, tubes will continue to operate. Transistors and ic's will not.


Vacuum tubes are the most linear amplification devices yet developed.

Triodes require no feedback loop in the output circuitry and even pentodes and beam power tubes can operate on miniscule amounts of NFB; just enough to look better on paper.




Stop reading, Bob.



.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 3337
Registered: Oct-07
Bob, I've been a Magnepan owner for maybe 40 years.
One thing for certain is that better watts are better with panels. They do NOT represent a 'bad' load in the sense which Jan mentions. That would be highly reactive, looking to the amplifier like a capacitor or inductor. Instead, they are fairly low sensitivity. While speakers are seldom greater than maybe 1 1/2% 'efficient', Maggies are much, much lower.

All that being said? The Demo in the entry of the factory uses or Formerly used a tube amp of maybe 35 watts. I've used amps of 80 watts which was fine and much later a 135 watt amp which DIDN'T do well at all.
The take away is that better amps simply sound better. And DO better. I no longer care about 'doubling', which is primarily a marketing ploy (real measured power is always different) but rather enough good, 4 ohm watts. I've heard and LOVE Pass Labs. Never heard of 'em? Well, re-read Jans post. It is dense, but part of the takeaway is that, at least as far as Pass Labs goes, he uses minimal feedback and only 2 or 3 amplification 'stages' Factor in a huge, robust power supply and 3x the amount of heat sink anybody ELSE is using for the same power. Pass has been at it a LONG time and doesn't make a frilly amp or one with a SINGLE extra part. I'd buy some used 30watt stereo amps and put one behind each of my panels.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 18212
Registered: May-04
.


Leo is mistaken.

In his more recent amplifier designs, Pass HAS NOT employed negative feedback circuits.

He has designed amplifiers using FEED FORWARD circuits.



This is a VERY significant change in how his designs operate. It is technically challenging to describe and even more difficult to assign specific musical and sonic values to its inclusion without first describing all aspects of simple NFB designs.

You aren't considering a Pass amplifier, therefore, you can do the research on your own, Bob, if you are so inclined.



In many ways, though I consider Nelson Pass to be an engineer of the highest order, an eternally curious and reflective designer who never rests on his past glories, I have always viewed Pass as someone selling a story. And, as I have stated, IMO stories alone do not make good designs.



The proof of Pass' stories and his insight into high quality audio amplifier design and configuration has been in his real world products and their generally high quality reproduction of musical values. In particular, where many amplifier designers tend to design in a vacuum as if their product was never going to face a load more difficult than a test bench load resistor, Pass has modeled his designs around the real world of loudspeaker design. Which, by the way, exists as if the loudspeaker itself were never going to need a real world amplifier.

Pass is, IMO, a musical realist in many ways. He too feels vacuum tubes are capable of offering the highest quality reproduction of music but finds solid state to be his niche.

Where once he designed 250 watt solid state, push/pull, class A Stasis amplifiers, today he is more well known for his 20 watt amplifiers.

The technical barriers a designer must hurdle are, of course, significantly less bothersome to the 20 watt designer vs the 250 watt designer.

We can discuss those differences if you like, Bob, though you seem committed to high wattage amplifiers. And, to be fair, extremely high wattage amplifiers CAN have specific sonic advantages over a 5 watt, single ended amplifier no matter the loudspeaker load or efficiency. Good design remains good design and poor design results in ... fires?

Once again, it comes down to musical priorities and what you value vs what you can live without.

I'm going to direct you to a Nelson Pass technical article and, despite my prior advice, encourage you to read a bit more, Bob. Pass' words here might give you a bit more insight into amplifier design than I feel you have at this time managed to acquire on your own.

Since I regularly pull from my personal experience selling to clients very much in the same position you find yourself facing, Bob, I'm going to go ahead and copy/paste this small bit from the article just to make sure you see what I feel is a very important point made by Pass ...

"There has been a failure in the attempt to use specifications to characterize the subtleties of sonic performance. Amplifiers with similar measurements are not equal, and products with higher power, wider bandwidth, and lower distortion do not necessarily sound better. Historically, that amplifier offering the most power, or the lowest IM distortion, or the lowest THD, or the highest slew rate, or the lowest noise, has not become a classic or even been more than a modest success. For a long time there has been faith in the technical community that eventually some objective analysis would reconcile critical listener's subjective experience with laboratory measurement. Perhaps this will occur, but in the meantime, audiophiles largely reject bench specifications as an indicator of audio quality. This is appropriate. Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience."

https://passlabs.com/articles/single-ended-class-a

The article is somewhat "dense", as leo puts it. I present it not as a counterpoint to your research into amplifiers but as an adjunct. Another opinion, another voice heard.




There are multiple ways to design a high quality audio amplifier and Pass' choice reflects his state of mind today. Pass made his reputation designing huge and rather complex Threshold "Stasis" amplifiers.

I would assume it is safe to say where Pass exists today in his thinking is not necessarilly where he will be in another ten years.

Pass feels single ended is the way to go with amplifier design. This rather automatically relegates his designs to the low wattage category. The very antithesis of what is typically sold to a HT consumer.

I find his thinking on this matter to be spot on and historically accurate.

Considering the simple fact your loudspeakers would not do well on a single ended amplifier with dramatically low wattage, no matter the current delivery of the amplifier, do not take this as an argument for a SE amplifier in your system.

Rather, consider the logic of SE as yet another reason why your choices between competing amplifiers for your HT system are largely cosmetic and not sonically or musically factual.



.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 3338
Registered: Oct-07
Pass maintains several open 'paths' at once.

He is a presence on some DIY forums. His designs are public domain and he encourages experiment.
He also has his main company, Pass Labs.
First Watt makes some very low powered, essentially hand-built amps, some of which use very difficult to obtain semiconductors.

In the main line of Pass amps, the LOWEST powered class 'a' amp is 30 watts x 2 (stereo). This is a minimal number and the amp is really almost 6db (4x) more powerful than the listing, but by than running as an A/B amp, not the advertised class 'A'.

Pass is considered an 'Aspirational' product by many audiophiles.

Pass has successfully combined BOTH single ended and push-pull outputs in a single amp.
He is also a multiple patent holder, some of which are influential to this day.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Alkaloid

Medford, MA. U.S.

Post Number: 44
Registered: Feb-15
Fascinating read on the pass labs link. thank you Jan. Leo I would love to hear about the years of listening on the maggies. I wonder about oscillation in amplifiers, when I used to run sweeps to check frequency response on my speakers I used to hear mad oscillation on the high frequencies. I was using a Yamaha A1000 integrated amp at the time. The ATI amps seem to have addressed all the usual problems, in the interview part 1 and 2 it is discussed a lot of problems with amplifiers and the solutions that they came up with. It was stated that Class A was the purest and most accurate way to go. I would hope after 40 some odd years that Kessler solved most of the dilemmas. I guess hearing is the only way to judge. Compared to all the mid level equipment I have been exposed to I think it will sound better. For home theater with 9 speakers the important things like power and very low noise should suffice. I can't imagine a 300 watt class A amp. I probably could heat my house with that amp. As usual it is going to be a comprimise for the aplication that is required. I have learned a lot thanks to you guys and beleive me I appreciate the information. I had to use a different browser to post, my usual MSN explorer is not functioning well with Windows 10. I used Firefox and had to sign in and search for the ADS history. I bumped into a forum about speakers and some jerk posted the crap about Jan being bounced out of Stereo Phile. I have felt attacked a few times, and could sense the sarcasim from Jan, but it isn't easy to be patient when less experienced people make uneducated statements, I just wanted to say that we all have less than stellar moments in life and behave abruptly, but I think the information Jan has shared with me has been AWESOME. You can rip me a new one I don't care. It is worth it. Leo you are more laid back and the balanced from input to output is a real design. You both have been very helpful and with the information you have provided, I will be able to scrutinize a little bit more than just reading specs. I have to give up on perfection though because it takes toooooo long. just have to get it over with and enjoy the noise before I'm in the box. Once again thanks guys and I will post when all is said and done. God help me LOL.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 3339
Registered: Oct-07
I was at a stereo show. 2 hotels, every other floor and 3 days of solid WALKING from room to room. No way to do the whole thing Justice.
One stop I made was at a room showing the than NEW Pass Labs XS series. These are 4 pieces for a stereo pair. 2xpower supply and 2x driver /amp sections. The room was somewhere between Sweltering and and Mid-Summer Arizona. It'd take a Fork Lift to take a set to the car. They had shut 'em down B4 I got there, but they were STILL hot to the touch.
Each CHANNEL of the 300 'a' watts per channel goes around 300+pounds. Let's see 'ya get THIS one home in your PRIUS or Smart Car!

Some amps can be 'failed' using NON-MUSICAL test methods. A simple, Home Theater example would be the All Channels Driven test. How many times would a REAL movie or musical experience REALLY require a 100 watt per channel x7 to actually put out that much power? NEVER. 60 or 70 REAL watts with the typical HT speaker of medium and higher sensitivity and no wacky impedance jags. So, rating an HT receiver at 100x7? Worthless.
Some amps MAY oscillate fed non-musical siganls. Again? Who Cares? One amp from MANY years ago, unfortunately, DID oscillate at the drop of a needle. The Phase Linear 400 acquired a reputation for going ballistic. The name 'Flame Linear' has gone down in the history of stereo as a 'bad thing'. OOOPS! Don't worry, though, fans of the amp (!) can purchase retro boards and essentially rebuild the amp and FIX the problem. This is the exception. I hope.

And finally, IMPLIMENTATION is key. A badly done 'A' amp is a bad amp. Period. A well-done 'A/B' amp is a good amp. Kick in a 'rich bias' situation where the amp may run the first 5 or 10 watts as a push/pull 'A' amp, and you are set. So to speak. One of the 3rd rail issues THESE days are 'D' amp. No, not 'digital'. As proof of the acceptance of this system, many companies are using 'modules' to populate a whole series of amplifiers. Even lowly Emotiva is using parts from a Big Name in an entire NEW series of amps. The late lamented amps from that company, some REAL powerhouse designs, also had to be pallet shipped and required a 20 amp service.

Buy SOMETHING and obsess later. As nutty as you are, no matter WHAT you buy, it won't be your 'last amp'. Why not start with something only 'medium' expensive? Get a MagTech.

'Sense Sarcasm' from Jan? No Way! It'll be right out front. Jan is the only person I know who does his own version of Bad Cop / Worse Cop.

That's it, right?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Alkaloid

Medford, MA. U.S.

Post Number: 45
Registered: Feb-15
Check out these speakers. I have no idea how they work. A mere 265,000$
I guess surround sound with these is out of the question.
http://www.mbl-northamerica.com/
The extreme model.

I found them on a site when I was looking at the Bryston 9bbst 5 channel amp. The site I was on sells Parasound as well. I wish I could hear all these amps like the good old days. Everything is on the web now.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 3340
Registered: Oct-07
MBL has a room at many stereo 'shows'. Last time in Newport, they had a PAIR of adjoining rooms so they could demo the Big Boys and the less expensive ones.
They showed amps about the size of a Steamer Trunk that easily took 2 persons to move.

From Medord? Is there a show or stores in Portland? Ashland, just SOUTH of you may have a nice stereo store. It is a college town, which was used for exterior scenes (Frat House Row) from Animal House. Neat town.

I know Boise has a good brick and morter store. Sacramento MIGHT, being the state capitol of CA. SF, another 90 miles west darn well BETTER have some good stereo stores.

IMO? Plan a weekend someplace where you can take the wife. Take time at a couple stores per day. Have a good meal. Use the pool. Think about it some.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Alkaloid

Medford, MA. U.S.

Post Number: 47
Registered: Feb-15
Still wonder how they work. I live in Medford MA. not Oregon. Getting ready to throw in the towel and make the commitment. I have my mind set on a Bryston 9sst3. Just released this month and just gonna squeeze in my budget. Will use the Anthem AV 60 with it. I believe the sound will be immaculate. Warranty will out live me. Have to figure out the ceiling part still. Still haven't heard from the tech about my original Alpha 440. Might just get a small new 4 channel amp, balanced ins and outs with less power. Hope to get all done by June, but don't want to rush such an important purchase. I wish I went to all the shows you seem to have gone to. Maybe after retirement I will attend a few.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 3341
Registered: Oct-07
Medford MA makes it even easier. I'm certain you can find your way to a brick and morter store. You live near many places which should have good, hi-end stores. Boston? NYC?
Maybe even over in Manchester VT, which is maybe 60 miles.

No Excuse will be accepted for NOT going to such stores. As for Bryston? You are paying a LOT up-front for the warranty. Make sure you like the sound before you purchase. Some report Bryston as 'bright' sounding.

Other similar amps would include the Parasound A51 and the Emotiva XPA-5, soon to be replaced by a 'd' amp using B&O ICE modules. Outlaw makes the '5000' which is only 600$.
I'm certain you could find a DOZEN in 20 google minutes.

As for that 20 year warranty? My Kenwood KA-7100 from around 1978 is still going strong, in the hands of my NEPHEW. My Carver Cube lasted around 20 years. For the $$$? You could even go used.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 18214
Registered: May-04
.

OK, Bob, NOW you really need to stop reading. Buy the amp you like.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Alkaloid

Medford, MA. U.S.

Post Number: 48
Registered: Feb-15
Jan how do those speakers work? I found a shop that sells the Parasound and the new Bryston so I will be able to at least compare them on another set of speakers. I found this speaker and it has some very interesting information.
http://www.german-physiks.com/

Reminds me a lot of the Ohm F speakers in looks from many moons ago.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 18215
Registered: May-04
.

How do what speakers work?
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 3342
Registered: Oct-07
I think Bob is wrapped around the Axel of MBL.

I would as Bob to imagine a voice coil in a magnetic field. Apply music and it moves back and forth.
Now? Couple that coil and former to ANY ONE of a bunch of shapes. Cones work. Cylinders done. But MBL uses 'petals', apparently fixed at ONE end. They are VERY low in sensitivity needing large amps to make 'em work.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Alkaloid

Medford, MA. U.S.

Post Number: 49
Registered: Feb-15
Right Leo. The MBL extreme model. I can't figure out how they work. I sent for a calalog on their equipment, not to buy but just to learn how they function. Just by looking at them I'm lost as to how they work. I did bump into an article about backwards EMF and how the speakers begin to act like a generator instead of a motor and send a signal back up the wire to the amp. It explained that a strong amp with ample current flow can overcome this signal and that is one benefit of a high damping factor. Love how you pointed out crossing over the lowest frequencies to the powered sub reduces the demands on the amp Jan, that would have slipped by me. That's why I love talking to both of you guys. Leo what the f is a petal. And did you read what they said about the electrostats in the german physiks site?

http://www.nearfieldacoustics.com/Products.php

I thought these speakers did it all. In their white paper, they talk about all the problems of speaker room correalation and supposedly they addressed it. Who is telling the truth here. Will there ever be a company at cost no object, that can REALLY solve every problem and reproduce every frequency and do it in phase. Just when I thought I saw every example of speaker the MBL is a new one to me. Why they don't go into detail on their website as how they exactly work doesn't make sense to me.
I remember reading a shootout on subwoofers, and they did all the measurements on response, distortion, spl and the rest and one sub, called Bag End didn't measure as well as some of the rest but Wide Screen uses them along with the Maggies in their reference theater system.
When Jim Doolittle from the ISF calibrated my plasma, he told me that he also had Bag End in his system and stated that the way the crossover in the sub was designed was very smart and different than most. He plays bass guitar and used to be in a band. I believe he knows his electronics and has a good idea how bass should sound, being a musician. Just goes to the point that even when the measurements were not as good as some other subs, the sound is better or more musical than the others. It seems as I learn and gather more information, the only thing I can trust anymore is my own ears. And with less and less brick and mortar shops that becomes a challenge to go out and listen to all the gear one might be considering.
Once again I have to thank both of you gentlemen for your invaluable insights and information and EDUCATION I have learned a lot on this forum thanks to both of you.
When I receive the MBL catalog if it contains the specific info on how these speakers work I will share it with all. When I audition the 2 amps I will post what I heard. If I can't hear a difference I'm going to ask if I can bring them home one at a time for a few weeks, and with a ton of different signal sources hopefully one will stand out. Talk soon.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 18216
Registered: May-04
.

" … imagine a voice coil in a magnetic field. Apply music and it moves back and forth.
Now? Couple that coil and former to ANY ONE of a bunch of shapes."


That is the "dumbed down" description of virtually all dynamic speakers sold over the last 90 years with the few exceptions of electrostats, plasmatronics and some exotic hybrids. Slave/passive drivers and their kin are not directly driven by the magnetic force of the vc. They are, however, not controlled by the vc either and their response still raises other issues of time and phase coherence to the original signal input. Therefore, for the most part, what leo has described is how virtually all audio loudspeakers operate.

Even though the planar magnetics (Mangeplanars) lack a conventional circular voice coil, they retain the elements of an "un-rolled" vc attached directly to a diaphragm and a magnetic field which excites and controls the vc in response to the electrical signals being sent by the amplifier.



The MBL's aren't really very much like the Walsh driver employed by Ohm in most ways that matter. First, the original Ohm A's and F's were a single, full range driver which needed no crossover components. It was, therefore, fully phase and time aligned long before either phrase became a catch word in audio.

Electrically, the Ohm's were a very simple, though low effciency, load on the amplifier. This fact is attested to by our use of a "mid-fi" 40 watt receiver to drive them. Current delivery was nominal for the Walsh type driver which was a single, reasonable impedance load over the full range of its response.

In most cases of an audio loudspeaker system, it is the passive components which make up a crossover filter which result in the electrical phase and impedance shifts in a "conventional" loudspeaker system. A single, full range driver (like the Walsh driver) is most often considered a very easy load on any amplifier even when its target impedance is low.

The only real issue to discuss here when it comes to a SDFR is that it employs a voice coil. The vc still represents a "coil" which is another term for an inductor. There is no real capacitance value to speak of in a SDFR, only resistance and inductance which makes calculating "impedance" a bit more simplistic than, say a four way system such as the MBL's.

As the FDSR is used to reproduce a signal, the coil's temperature will rise which will result, in a typically insignificant manner though, a change in the static inductance measurement. Inductance is inductance though and the value will change slightly with any FRSD system. The better news is the change is over the entire frequency range and is not highly selective in the same way a crossover network would appear to the amplifier. Therefore, a single, full range driver remains in many ways the ideal for a loudspeaker load and reproduction device. What goes in is what comes out. Of course, SDFR's have their own tradeoffs and they will not suit every listener's tastes.



Since you're not really looking to buy a MBL, I'm not going to spend a lot of time on this, Bob. Here's a review which gives you the basics; http://www.stereophile.com/floorloudspeakers/497mbl/index.html#HsiBYfiXLSdqzWiV. 97



A few ideas are at work here, the first being the theoretically "ideal" driver would be a pulsating sphere. A sphere simply because that would most closely produce the point source, omni-directional nature of virtually all acoustic instruments employed in a modern orchestra. To retain the values of a point source however, the sphere would need to be all but infinitely small in every dimension and without significant mass.

Think here about the dimensions of the highest of the high notes and the mass of the object which would be required to produce such a signal. Say, the very highest note on a violin string. The ideal driver would need to be capable of pulsating no more than the wave length of that note while also being able to move in response to the very large wavelengths (and the SPL output) of the largest note created by the longest or largest instrument and with the air mass required to produce such a signal. Then, of course, the ideal driver must produce both of those frequencies simultaneously along with all of the harmonics created by either signal.



The MBL strays from the ideal in its dimensions, first and foremost, it is not "infinitely small" as theory suggests, nor is it full range.

The MBL's are multi-element, multi-way systems with crossover filters which act exactly the way any conventional dynamic speaker's crossover network would operate. They will exhibit many of the same flaws as any other multi-element system in their perceptual distinctions of individual voices creating the whole. Electrical time and phase shifts will result in acoustic time and phase shifts among the various drivers. The filter action will have the same, largely detrimental, effect on the load shown to the amplifier(s). In the case of the MBL line, this is typically a very difficult load due to the high phase angle occurring at the same frequencies as the lowest impedance point(s) with both issues being coupled to a highly inefficient driver network.

"Stout amplifiers" are not enough for the MBL's in most cases. And that requirement brings with the the many trade offs found in designing and building a "stout amplifier".

As to "how they work", they are again a simple dynamic loudspeaker driver in most respects. The problem with the overly simplistic explanation leo has provided - and which is exactly how you will see most dynamic drivers explained - is the thinking provided by the explanation is identical to the way room acoustics are explained. The writer wishes the reader to only think of one, single, solitary, isolated frequency being reproduced at any one time. Right? The voice coil can only move in the direction dictated by the pole piece, the former and the magnetic field surround the vc. That means the driver, which is attached to the vc at some point, can only move forward and backward, or up and down if the driver is mounted vertically.

That is not, however, how music exists. Not in a voice coil and not in a real world room acoustics situation.

Even a single acoustic instrument creating one single note produces a fundamental tone and the associated harmonics of that fundamental frequency which extend out into infinity.

Knowing that much, you should be able to conceive of the difficulties the driver designer would face if the voice coil could only move the diaphragm in a back and forth motion. The real world solution is the driver must "resonate" across its surface dimensions in order to reproduce the variety of frequencies associated with even the simplest of musical tones.

Things get complicated from here on in and I'm not interested in all of the explanations of why conventional loudspeaker diaphragms fail to sound lifelike. I'll short circuit the discussion to say MBL's "petals" are an attempt at (primarily) minimizing the harmonic and IM distortions which occur in any wideband driver design when it is pressed into reproducing the multitude of frequencies which will exist in any acoustic instrument's output. This doesn't even cover the far more complicated issues of multiple instruments outputting multiple complex mixtures of signals where the harmonic structure of each instrument identifies that instrument as being unique in the world of all instruments.



By strategically slitting the conventional driver, a designer can reduce its distortions by decoupling the driver from itself in certain, specific places. Somewhat similar to the decoupled tonearm that has holes drilled in its length in order to "break up" the resonant paths of spurious distortions created by the "non-musical" materials used for the component. Similar techniques exist when a loudspeaker enclosure is divided into separate, discrete and strategically braced enclosures for each driver. One well accepted technique for breaking up distortion paths is to push the overall resonance/distortion upward to a less intrusive frequency bandwidth. This is one of the benefits of the multiple petals in the MBL design. Rather than one (or, in reality, multiple large lower frequency resonances, each petal represents a higher frequency resonance occurring at a lower SPL. In the most sophisticated of these designs, each petal could ("could") be tuned to a different resonant frequency output which could then be structured to negate another petal's resonance or to reinforce a specific frequency which could cumulatively benefit the overall output.

In essence though, the MBL's "operate" mostly like any other dynamic driver in the way the voice coil moves to alter the position of the diaphragm. In this case, rather than the diaphragm moving in and out and having a series of ripples across its surface which represents the numerous frequencies being recognized, the petals of the MBL driver, being fixed in position at the end opposite the voice coil are forced into a bending motion.

There are still multiple ripples across the surface of each petal to create each frequency signal, however, each petal is not in contact with the other petals and this is what is intended to reduce distortion components. The complete assembly of each driver is forced to move in a manner which is more akin to the pulsating sphere than can a convention diaphragm. The analogy is imperfect of course when compared to the theoretical ideal and other issues exist within in the MBL concept.



Since the complete assembly of each driver is mounted in horizontal fashion the drivers are able to create a (more or less) omni-directional field of radiation. You might envision this as being similar to a more convention driver's backside output if it were mounted in the same fashion and - a very big "IF", it lacked a "basket" in order to support its mass and retain its shape. This alone is similar to the manner in which the Walsh driver works, though there are still very few other real world similarities between the MBL driver and the Walsh cones.

Does that answer your question, Bob?




There is no perfect anything in audio.

Every device, every concept, every implementation is a series of trade offs for something else.

If you ask me to explain one thing's advantages, I can also typically tell you I will give you "this" but take away "that" and, most often "that that" too. The goal of smart design is to manipulate the trade offs into a maximized series of higher valued "this's" and to minimize the number of "thats's" which are being taken away.

Since we all have to deal with the issues of human perception and we do not all share the same perceptions of music - back to the review of equipment, a review of performance and the concept of musical thought and interpretation, most components can, at best, be said to reflect a single designer's perception of music which may not synch with your own. You, the user, try to find those components most in synch with one another and, ultimately, with your own perceptions of live music.

None of the above - other than the persistence of trade offs - applies to HT.



IMO, the design of audio components has moved inexorably away from the simplest, most direct methods of reproducing music.

First, audio has over the decades most often pursued a higher level of convenience in most cases rather than a higher degree of fidelity to the live event.

Secondly, since it is impossible for our measuring devices to adequately map out the complexities of acoustic music in a way that benefits the actual design of componentry, we have resorted to the dumbed down thinking of, say, a single frequency moving a voice coil or a single two dimensional line representing a single frequency's movement within a room for a signal leaving the surface of a loudspeaker diaphragm.

None of which is how music operates.



The same old, "we want this but we measure that" routine I mentioned earlier in this thread.



Objectivisim has trumped subjectivism in many cases and, as the trade offs always exist, vice versa.




I would have to say read everything I've posted over the last decade on this forum to understand the way I see audio. That's not rational. But you're basically asking me to reduce everything I know and think about audio into a few short answers here, Bob.

Most importantly, IMO, the objective measurements are taken in as a way to sort through the rubbish of tradeofffs and then subjectively we allow the objective to influence the subjective. However, unless your subjective perceptions are totally free of objective intrusions and your subjective values are firmly established as "I perceive this" to be music, then you are not truly able to use your subjective impressions as a guide to anything more than "That one looks nice".

In other words, it's all fake and all you can do is pick the least fake one out of the bunches of more fake ones.




Don't count on any dealer allowing you a multi-week home trial of any component. Once a box is opened and the product has been auditioned, it cannot be rightfully re-sealed and sold as a new component. There's a fudge factor there but not when asking for long term loaners of anything.

You would be asking the retailer to take a financial hit on any component you were loaned. Nor can you ask a retailer to loan you their floor model of any demonstrator knowing they are to do without while you sit at home and twiddle your fingers over which component momentarily does something you prefer.



I'll give the same advice I gave earlier. There is so little real world difference between HT gear when it is being tasked with reproducing non-real world signals that nothing really matters other than you can bear to look at it sitting on your shelf for the next however many years. That doesn't mean there aren't differences, just that they are rather inconsequential when you are considering half way decent HT gear. There are very momentary differences when driving a real world loudspeaker and there will always be trade offs for something else.

You cannot humanly deduce what is best at reproducing non-real signals.

Even if you had a knowledge of what is "real", you would need far more knowledge of each individual signal in order to judge which component momentarily succeeded and which did not.

There are no "real world" sources in HT.

They simply do not exist in the same way we can claim for non-amplified acoustic music.

You are, IMO, deluding yourself into thinking you can select the "best" HT amplifiers.



Should all things be best and all things be known, you are still dealing with a room that must act as an enclosure to it all. 90% of what you will perceive in playback is still related directly to the effects of the room and your equipment set up with that enclosure.



P.S.: Don't believe the BS about damping factor. Once again, you only know what the author wants you to read. And they are not going to tell you the trade offs which have occurred in order to give you a higher damping factor or to create a loudspeaker which "fights back". The whole concept is one of taking a sledge hammer to swat away a gnat.

I could easily give you the very reasons you do not want this situation to occur in your amplifier/loudspeaker circuit. But, that's an entirely different subject and one I'm not all that thrilled about taking on for anyone's benefit at this point.

Suffice it to say, Bob, anything you see, hear or have been told is never the entire story in audio.

Even "this".

And especially "that".



.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Alkaloid

Medford, MA. U.S.

Post Number: 50
Registered: Feb-15
Thanks for such a thorough explanation. I will settle for what my ears, and what is left of my brain to perceive the differences if any perceptable to me, that are preferential to me. I have to admit the reason I have always liked ADS is the brightness of the high end. I guess I can't stand the sizzle in lesser tweeters. Perhaps I have been mistaken with the brightness and lack of sizzle as being clarity and accuracy. I really like the Maggies high end reproduction. I do like the puff of air that a cone can give you, like say on a kick drum. I thought that a real powerful amp would clear up the boom in the room by controlling the woofers better, but now I will just go with long term peace of mind with a long warranty, and the clear high end. I appreciate all the effort to educate me on a lot of topics, speakers as well as amps. I really have benefited by you sharing your knowledge with me. Really wish I could repay you in some kind of way for your time. Do you think the sales people at the shop that carries both amps I'm interested in will be honest or just push me towards the more expensive product to maximize their profit? Once again thanks for a great explanation and for deflating the perfect pursuit, and reminding me about the ROOM arhggg. The Anthem has memory for different playback and of course 2 channel so it isn't always going to be HT. I'll keep you and Leo posted.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 18217
Registered: May-04
.

This is the second time you have mentioned a dealer being dishonest in order to maximize their profit.

As a former salesperson, Bob, I find that comment to be highly insulting.

How would you react to someone suggesting your profession was dishonest due to an overwhelming desire for PROFIT?

You would likely defend your work and the need for profit if you were to remain in business and offer an honest product. No?

The distrust for salespeople displayed by those people who are in business for themself, for the business to turn a profit, suggests to me one of two things:

1) An irrational thought process brought on by mob think. Everyone tells you salespeople are dishonest and you believe that to be true. No proof, just belief.

2) A less than honest manner in which the business person runs their own profit making machine.



I suspect you would find either suggestion offensive, Bob.

The bottom line here, before I lose my temper, is that businesses need to turn a profit if they are to remain in business.

Are there less than "honest" salespeople? Of course, there are dishonest people in every profession simply because dishonest people exist and they are not selective in their chosen profession.

There are dishonest physicians and dishonest lawyers. Dishonest salespeople and dishonest home owners.

Dishonest priests and dishonest school teachers.

Probably less dishonest garbage collectors but they may be dishonest in other ways.

If you feel you cannot trust a dealer, don't buy anything.

The first time you are disappointed in your purchase not being perfect, you will blame the dealer's dishonesty for your inability to recognize reality.

Every time things are not perfect, you will blame the dealer's dishonesty.

That is the basis for buyer's remorse. The client blames someone else rather than their own abilities to make a rational decision.



Quite simply, Bob, if you can't trust your tech because he wants profit and you can't trust a prospective retailer because they might be dishonest, then you really have shown you are not in the mood to trust anyone.



Stay home and hum to yourself because you are the only person you feel you can trust.

Get over yourself, Bob!




You are going to make a business agreement. The same type of agreement I assume you make several times a day in your own business.

If you go in thinking the retailer will be dishonest, you become dishonest in your own dealings with that retailer.

You begin to lie and cheat and try to weasel your way to a lower price simply by rationalizing the idea the retailer is out to screw you.

I'd rather have not sold anything to such a client, to have simply told them to shop elsewhere, than to put up with their attitude.



Stay home, Bob!!!



Or realize other people run their business in the same way you run your own. If you are so dishonest that you cannot be trusted, then you have a basis for feeling others run their business in a dishonest manner.

If you run a respected company and you work to realize a reasonable profit for your knowledge and your ability to assist a client, then you should expect others to do the same unless they have proven to you they are incapable of such practices.

Businesses must operate at a profit. Period.

Allow the dealer to make their profit or there will no longer be the brick and mortar shops which offer you their services and their products.

You cry and moan about the lack of audition facilities but then you discredit the very shop which offers you exactly what you wish for.

Stay home, Bob!!!



The world is a big, ugly place and you need to crawl under the covers and hide.


.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 3343
Registered: Oct-07
Jan, at risk of insulting your delicate sensibilities, there ARE salespersons who put profit above service. The auto industry is rife with examples of upsell and selling unnecessary accessories like old-school undercoating and finish protection. I did interior fabric protection using Scotchgard for a fraction of the dealership ask.
I installed my OWN factory rack and mudguards and saved about 1/2 against dealer ask.

I didn't expect those goodies for free, but I also didn't expect retail and over 2 hours of labor. Hell, it took ME that long and I don't have the proper equipment to do the job and so had to do it the hard way.

Everything in the auto sales industry is numbers driven. This isn't in itself bad, but the smart shopper should keep that in mind when car shopping. Doing your homework can potentially save you LOTS of green.
Some dealers play the 'short game' and don't care about repeat business. One sales guy who I did REPEAT business with even remembered my name and would make a reasonable offer without any hammering. He was in the good range and in at least one case, was in/out with a new car in a couple hours. He was also a 'star' at the dealership and an award winning sales guy. He built relationships.


As for my description of how a speaker works. Only intended to stir some interest in looking up more detail. Personally, I heard some FIELD COIL speakers at the last THE show which were spectacular. And $$$$.
And ALL speakers with the exception of plasma and 'stats, work a magnetic field against AC current.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Alkaloid

Medford, MA. U.S.

Post Number: 51
Registered: Feb-15
Jan in both instances I was asking you because you sold yourself. I never claimed to know for sure if profit was the only motive just wondering if it was possible. I have no idea how much pressure is put on sales from management, but you do so I thought maybe you could give an educated opinion. But you assume I think everyone is dishonest and that's not the case. I know there is good and bad in everything and all shapes and sizes, genders, races, ages and so forth. That is common sense. Unlike a lot of people I am not prejudice. I do have trust issues though. Put it this way I haven't found too many people with integrity. It seems to be rare these days. I do want to support brick and mortar stores, I would buy off the web if I didn't, and I know they need profit to stay in business. Again common sense. I am willing to pay a little more than the internet because it is worth it. I will hopefully develop a relationship and have a support network and someone to advise. I seem to have struck a nerve with this question. Some times you come across like your balls are in a vise. Gotta lighten up a tad. I would say your bark is worse than your bite but one minute you couldn't be any more helpful, than the next it seems like a pitbull attack. I hope your hand isn't hurting and it is making you irritable. I guess it is me that is making you bitchy. Ok tell me did you ever sell a piece of gear only because it was good for the store, or did you put the customer before the profit. Jan it's a fair question. After all business is business right? Reminds me how a lawyer has to defend a person they know is guilty but it's their job to do it for the firm. Tough situation to be in. What do you do in that case? I never worked in sales so excuse my ignorance on the subject, and I didn't mean to insult all sales people.
But stay home and hum to myself, almost had me piss my pants laughing.
I find your statements sometimes to be entertaining, even when they are at my expense.
Like Leo said I am just trying to do my homework before I make a purchase that is way above my usual level. Remember I come from mid-fi not high end. You and Leo have made me think in different ways already, as far as just specs goes. I have been thinking long term service and warranty too.
The biggest thing I can say now is I will trust my ears. Yes the specs on the bench DO mean something. Just not everything. I have a good relationship with Rich So now after several yrs of business, and do trust his work and his prices are fair, but that was earned over time. I went into a business relationship with him not knowing what to expect. Took a chance and it worked out ok. When I went to Connecticut and bought one of the Nikko 440s I paid cash 265$ on a hand shake. I had no recourse and that was the only used Nikko that worked.
No I won't go crawl under the covers and hide from the cold cruel world, as long as I still have such kind people like you to talk to Jan. You don't have to be so grumpy sometimes but I still love you. I'm not a troll as I have read you call other people, but I have read several posts in other areas on different subjects, and you always seem to be trying to help other people. Jan you are good at that, not so good at belittling others. You have a superior knowledge in this field and you are appreciated. So please let me thank you for your help, and I will stop asking stupid questions that get you upset. Take care guys.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 3344
Registered: Oct-07
Their are several business models for personal sales.

Commission guys earn by selling.
Salary guys earn if selling or not.
Salary/Commission hybrid exists and I'm not sure how that works. I was working in one such outfit where if you didn't 'make your numbers', you got paid anyway as if you were hourly. When you sold above hourly rate, you REimbursed the company.
And to make matters WORSE, if possible, If you sold something fairly expensive and managed to make a 100$commission, if the company had to honor a low-price guarantee (internet match, for example) you lost ALL your commission in a move called 'clawback'. Returns ended up with the same result.
Another form would be various 'Employee Owned' companies, either thru stock or some hire agreement.

Here in SoCal, 4 or so decades ago, a company called RSL used all non-commisssion sales guys. I liked dealing there. Later, the employees BOUGHT the name / company and all 4 or 5 stores. I guess they lasted another couple years. Within the last 4 or 5 years, the ORIGINAL owner bought all the rights back, including the logo and is once again manufacturing and selling a fine speaker line.

And Bob, it is Very Difficult to NOT get Jan upset.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 18218
Registered: May-04
.

Bob, I assume your tech friend and I have each reached a stage in our life where neither of us feel required or obligated to have patience in perpetuity. Particularly when the situation is one of a close minded, myopic viewpoint which has no concern for another viewpoint, eh, leo? Arguing over an issue neither of us can change is a time waster IMO. Life's too short for BS.



I have never worked for any retailer who forced anyone to come into their shop.

I have never worked for any retailer who did not allow anyone to leave without making a "required" purchase.

If you don't wish to buy "unnecessary accessories", I've yet to find the dealership which will not honor your wishes to DIY. Therefore, IMO, making the suggestion this is somehow a proof of dishonesty is beyond the pale.

Yes, a dealership makes profit on those things you buy from them.

That is essentially the very description of a sale.

If I have a product you want and you are making an offer to purchase that product, I have the right to expect a profit from the transaction. It is a simple business transaction where either party has the right to refuse to complete the deal.

It only gets complicated when one party enters into the transaction with the attitude they cannot trust the other or that they are going to do unto them before they do unto me. The approach of showing them "how it's done" is most always a deal breaker.

And I have asked some folks to simply leave and go elsewhere. In any situation, patience has its limits.

You can go to the parts department and purchase the accessory or part, however, if you do so, you have given up your ability to negotiate price. Parts departments do not negotiate.

If you choose to buy the product elsewhere, then you are not buying the same product. I cannot control what others choose to charge for something I do not sell.

If you choose to buy from me, then, if I must pay someone to perform the installation, I have the right to charge for the labor.

If you do not agree to pay my labor rates then, once again, you can go elsewhere or DIY.

I don't really care because in the end I will have moved the product from my stockroom. That is a basic rule all salespeople will eventually learn, there is no profit in anything that sits in the stockroom.

The issue of "money" and who has a right to make a profit or not is one that seems to bring out the *-hole in too many folks IMO.

To insinuate that the retailer is somehow dishonest in their opinion of "product" and "profit" is a fool's game. One I expect to to be introduced only by fools. At this point in my life, I have no time and very little patience for fools.

Leo?


"Commission guys earn by selling.
Salary guys earn if selling or not.
Salary/Commission hybrid exists and I'm not sure how that works. I was working in one such outfit where if you didn't 'make your numbers', you got paid anyway as if you were hourly ... "



Leo's experiences with sales are very limited and colored by his personal issues with "product" and "profit" IMO. Personally, I wouldn't (and don't) put too much stock in his descriptions of any sales rationale.



You asked whether I had ever sold a product "only because it was good for the store".

Anything I ever sold was for the good of the store. That's what sales are about.

I'm not there to not sell something and moving a product from the stockroom to the trunk of a client's vehicle is good for the store. If that process doesn't occur, then we aren't really doing business, are we?

You seem to be confusing, as you put it, "placing the customer before the profit" with dishonesty.

You seem to have a fixation on what you view as a salesperson being dishonest when they ask for a profit for their products, their knowledge and advice and their services.

I could not disagree more!

I sold just as I conduct myself on this forum, Bob.

With the occasional exception of requiring perpetual patience with a client when I was on the sales floor.

I'm under no such obligations on this forum. I'm not selling myself here. Which is what actually occurs in any sales event, you buy from a salesperson because you trust them.

If you do not establish trust with a client, you have no right to ask for their money.

That's was how I was taught to sell. I sell myself first. Then I sell the shop. Product and price were always secondary IMO.

For years I sold only at shops where the price was not negotiable and the client knew that going into the process of the sale.

I've also sold at shops where the prevailing attitude was to simply move the box.

My personal sales approach didn't change between the two.

If I do not have the product you wish to buy, then it doesn't matter what price or profit is involved. I won't make a profit until I move a product from my stockroom. I never cared what another retailer had in their stockroom, I didn't control that.

I never sold anything by knocking another store or another product and I have a generally poor attitude for anyone who does. Equally so for anyone trying to sell a product because they like it. My personal opinion of a product was inconsequential to the sale IMO.

I tried to find the good parts of any product and realized not every client was looking to spend the amount of money required to own the very best. I had no problem selling the least expensive product as long as I felt it was the best product for that client.

If I can show you what you say you wish to purchase, and if I've done that by showing you the logic of buying my product from me, then we can talk. This has nothing to do with profit. Profit only exists after you've said you would like to buy what I have to sell and, mostly, I am selling you my own honesty.

A lawyer is under a legal obligation to serve their client - even in Texas that's how they should conduct themself though it doesn't always happen that way.

A salesperson has no legal obligations other than to not commit fraud. And, in most cases of retail fraud, it is the greed of the person buying "something" that is at the heart of the issue.

Caveat emptor.

Have I ever sold a product because the buyer felt they were pulling a fast one on me? One lesson every salesperson should realize is when to keep their mouth shut. The greed of the customer is always a factor to be aware of as a salesperson.


Do your homework and be as honest with the retailer as you would prefer they be with you.

Sales really is that simple.




Have I pushed you towards buying any product during our discussions, Bob?

I don't feel I have. I have tried to inform you when you are about to make what, in my opinion, is a mistake. I have not said buy this or that. That's how I sold, Bob.

The client walked into the shop of their own accord. My job was to find out why they are there and how I could satisfy their reason for coming. What was in the stockroom only entered into the picture in the respect that I knew I had more than one option to offer. If I knew I couldn't provide what the client said they desired, I was upfront with that information. Though often a client doesn't truly know what they want or what is possible and what is impossible.

The situation as I saw it was someone came into the shop expressing a desire to possibly make a purchase of some product I had in my stock. Why else would they come in? Some window shopping, of course, and some desire for simple information but, once you said you were interested in making a purchase, I became a salesperson.

My job as I saw it was to introduce the pros and cons of audio. Audio at any level, high priced or low priced. My products were selected for a reason and I was there to inform a client of that reason. In the end, if the client agreed with my reasoning, we could discuss price which, of course, meant profit on my part.

How much profit am I allowed on my knowledge? Is there not a value on what I have exchanged with you on the way to your agreeing to make a purchase from me? I think so. I have sold myself, my knowledge and my past, present and on going services. Product is actually a very small portion of the transaction. Product is, inevitably, just another box and I'm there only to move boxes. They're all equal in my eyes.

Once I move one box, I get to replace it with another. Very basic stuff.

So how much profit am I allowed on those intangibles of knowledge, experience, services and trust? How much is listening worth?

This is now a simple business transaction and we must, as the two parties discussing the transaction, come to a mutually acceptable position. If I have shown you a highly desirable amount of intangible items, how much am I to be reimbursed for those values?

Bob, I'll tell you this much, I was always the best salesperson in any shop when it came to writing margin. I made it my job to make the intangibles worth paying for.



Not everyone I worked with on the sales floor made the same effort. Some were there to make a quick sale and move on. Some sold basically the same products over and over which meant they never had to really learn anything new. I have worked with some serious uninformed people. Some lasted because they sold themself primarily, some dropped pricing as their way to make a sale and some simply relied on having a product that was desirable.

I never cared how anyone else sold. I was there to sell myself because I had chosen to work for a shop which promoted the products and the ideals I believed in.

With the exceptions of patience, Bob, what you see here is what a client was buying.




And I'm glad you could see the lighter side of my last post, Bob.




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Bronze Member
Username: Alkaloid

Medford, MA. U.S.

Post Number: 52
Registered: Feb-15
Ok, very informative.

Bob, I'll tell you this much, I was always the best salesperson in any shop when it came to writing margin. I made it my job to make the intangibles worth paying for.

Once again excuse my ignorance but this statement I don't understand, like is margin profit or something else.

I still think Leo was trying to help in his own way using car dealers for comparison.

I remember years ago buying my first SUV, and the sales person tried to sell me rustproofing. My head was all ready spinning from the sale, but he stated once done I would never even be able to tell it was done. I asked him how the dealer did it and he said they drill holes in the door panels and squirt it in. I would never find the holes even with a magnifier and there would not be any smell. I then gave a good look at the warranty and it was warantted for 100,000 miles for rust. Before the rust proofing. I think he was shady trying to sell that product.

Once again you have made me look at the selling process a whole lot different than before. I have always had the simple view of me vs. the sales person to get to the lowest price. Like a challenge. I have always wanted to deal with the older people in the store, thinking they had more knowledge or experience just due to their age. One sale I remember, my first hi-fi vcr, when I asked the manager all the details on how the heads made a difference from one brand to the other and the difference in the video noise reduction, he called a very young man over and he rattled off every answer like he studied it for a test. He was just obsessed with knowing everything about the products he was selling. He could have just been very into the electronics or was doing a better job than some of the others because he cared more to be more professional.

When I go into the shop that has Bryston and Parasound should I offer all the information about my hunt for a 5 channel amp or just listen to what the sales person says. They sell Mcintosh as well. I think I should let them explain all the important things in design and demonstrate the differences if any other than amplitude.

Some of the reviews on the internet about the place say good things and of course some say they are snobs, and treat people with a lack of respect.

Most of the time I go into a new relationship I do more listening than talking. I will have to explain how they can help me and what I am looking for. Should I tell them my budget or bring that up later after they show me what they have for options.

Or would it be more helpful to tell the sales person the entire story old amps and all. Not looking for the lowest price, just a reasonable way to see if the sales person knows his stuff and has a professional attitude.

Jan you never pushed me towards one amp over the other. That is something that I did notice. And never heard you bash any brand even the old Nikkos.

You did say in your last post that you would sell yourself first. Does that mean I should see how the person acts as a sales person, and make a judgement on his or her attitude, knowledge, and should I ask them how long they have been at it or is that too intrusive.

Put it this way if you were going to help a person get an amp what kind of information would you require to steer someone in the right direction?
I would imagine the speakers, the pre-amp, and maybe even the room. And then I would guess the budget as well. What is the most important details you would need above all the rest to pick the best matching amp?

Heading in tomorrow. I'm on vacation rest of the week. My machine in work is being rebuilt by a mechanic from the factory and it is going to take 3 days.

I will be visiting the tech as well. I haven't heard from him since the Saturday I dropped off my original Nikko. I told him to take his time but it is now going to be a month this Saturday. I emailed him and asked him how it was going and got no response from him. That was a week ago.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 18219
Registered: May-04
.


"Margin" means profit margin as calculated from dealer cost vs selling price. Basically, it means I would make more profit for the shop than other salespeople.

It wasn't a matter of pressuring anyone into anything IMO. I was being paid for those intangibles I have mentioned.

Most of the time, as I have said, I was working in a shop where discounts were virtually non-existent. We gave a 10% discount for a "system" and we discounted demo items. But we also charged for accessories and such. Delivery and basic installation was typically free but that usually only got you half way to having a working system.

I always made sure my clients left after buying everything they would need to have a working system when the installers or I left the house. Most salespeople just sold a product and moved on to the next customer. IMO I did a complete job and they did a half@ssed job. You were buying my experience and my knowledge and making sure you were as happy as possible from the get go was a part of me doing my job IMO.

Virtually all the after the sale assistance was part of the sale as far as I was concerned - until, at least, the client began to abuse the privilege after a night of a few drinks - and not charged for. I have spent many nights at a client's house and I never charged for that. I've also gone out to make things right for another salesperson's negligence. Essentially, what I have told you is how I worked with a client. I sold myself and then I sold the store.

A referral is a more valuable tool than is any other form of advertising.



Most days, If I was working on a floor with competitive salespeople, I would not be the top dollar person, which would have indicated I had sold more products, or more products at a higher total dollar amount, than anyone else. Many of the other salespeople would typically drop price for a quicker sale. That's one way to do the job. It also meant they almost always walked away after handing the client their business card if there wasn't a sign after the first few minutes of a today sale.

On some days I would be the top producer in terms of sheer dollars in the register. Most often that occurred when I had picked up a client who had been dumped by another salesperson. What that client wanted was someone who listened and who explained and was patient with them. So, you see, Bob, I was well known for my patience with clients when I was on the sales floor. I had more than one manager say I was the most technically astute salesperson they had ever worked with.

Sales is a simple process with a handful of common sense rules and guidelines. Follow the process and you'll usually be successful. Be, as I have said, as honest as you would prefer the other party be with you and you won't run into many problems.




Younger salespeople tend to view the process as a personal issue. If you aren't buying, or you are unhappy with their assistance, they can become personally offended. It typically takes awhile for the student salesperson to accept the idea this is merely a business transaction. They will carry their issues with another client to your sale. Now, no doubt, I've dealt with clients who have made me mad and ruined my day. I made the best of the situation and tried not to let that run over to another client.

It's all personal attitude - as is any interpersonal relationship - and it is the salesperson who chooses to deal with other people who can at times be irrational. I wasn't always right and there were times when the client was clearly at fault with the issue.

I did not push for a sale but I did not allow a client to walk away because I had not done my part of the job

.

Look, the sales process begins with two events; opening the sale and qualifying the client's needs and wants. I've had people who treated me as if I did not exist when all I had done was to say hello. When I asked one customer if they had any gear at home now, he responded he had not come in to be grilled "by some stupid salesperson". When I greeted one client, he announced he was there to make my life a living heII and then he proceeded to do so for the next six months.



I can't tell you how to buy any more than I can tell you what to buy. A part of what makes sales an interesting occupation is the fact it is never the same job. Every day is new and every client has their own stories. Finding the motivations of the client is part of what makes for a new experience in sales. Generally, people all have the same few motivations for making a purchase. Listening to how they explain their motivations from their perspective is always the interesting and most useful part of the process.

I can't tell you how to go about the process of being a customer. I know how I go about it but you are not in my shoes. I can't tell you to expect a salesperson who works in a manner similar to how I worked. I've accumulated my knowledge and experience by being interested in music and audio since I was a teenager. The knowledge which can be had at the non-professional level has increased every year since I was a teenager. I also went out of my way to learn about the products and how/why they were being designed.

IMO I was good at my job simply because I was curious about what I was selling. A good many salespeople are not, though this would be somewhat unusual when you are dealing with high end products.



But each salesperson and each client make for a unique relationship. I would say you do not need to go into any details regarding the Nikkos. I would expect any decent salesperson to qualify their starting point with you. They should want to know if you've established a budget and what you are expecting for that budget. They will likely inquire about any gear that will be used with their products.

Let the salesperson take the lead, they have hopefully done this before.



IMO that's where so much distrust occurs in a sales transaction. The client does this a few times in their life while the shop and the sales staff do this possibly a dozen times a day. That makes many buyers feel they are at a disadvantage and they are going to get screwed. Go in with that attitude and the process is already off to a rocky start.



Just follow where the salesperson takes the process and don't go overboard about things that are really irrelevant to the moment. Ask questions but don't expect encyclopedic responses unless you've made it clear you need, really need, detailed answers.

You may be given information contrary to what you've received here. Unless it is directly contradictory to something big, there is no need for concern. People see things differently and a salesperson is going to sell what they have to sell.

If it would make you feel better, contact the shop in advance. Ask for the sales manager and explain what you are doing. Ask whether you can make an appointment with a specific salesperson who is adept at being patient with someone spending big money for the first time. Request a nice slow weekday afternoon where you can relax and take your time.

Go from there.



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Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 3345
Registered: Oct-07
Jan, I really DO believe you were one of the good guys.
Many sales guys can't make that claim. I'll leave it at that.

Car sales guys are in a different realm. In years past, BEFORE internet pricing and Way Before internet car buying services, a motivated car salesman could make a LOT of money.
I've heard a few before and after tales. These days? Everybody from Costco to GEICO offer services.
A few markets, like Detroit had trade restrictions where dealerships were NOT open on weekends which here in SoCal are very busy days. This forced the car buyer, usually the man of the house, to take a day off and incentivized him or her to make a deal so they didn't have to take MORE time off of work.
GM tried a slightly different sales model with the SATURN line, which had NO price negotiations, you paid whatever they asked. Some car dealerships today feature 'no haggle' pricing with some discounts applied. They might count on making additional profits in the F+I room (Finance and Insurance) where dealerships make a LOT of money. Just Say No!

Jans last advice is reasonable. TAKE YOUR TIME and have someone who might be called a 'salesman' but is really acting as a counselor.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 18220
Registered: May-04
.

Car guys are simply salespeople. The largest issue with most car salespeople, IMO, is most dealerships do a very poor job training their staff in how to sell and how to treat a client. They preach customer satisfaction but their opinion is most of these guys will be out of here in two months. Therefore, they feel training is wasted when the employee will soon be working for the competition.

A lot of very young guys think they know cars, so they think they can sell cars. That's BS.

Unfortunately, if the sales staff is not provided the tools they need to do a good job, they tend to do a lousy job. Car salespeople are very transient and most only stay in the profession for a few years … thankfully.

But I've worked with many excellent car guys and I would put them in the front pew on Sunday after selling a used car to the preacher on Saturday.

It's really a matter of how you see the job. Is it something to get you by until something else shows up? Or, do you see it as a real profession that demands professional skills. The best see the rest as a stain on their profession.

You know I have sold cars for a few years and I can tell you 95% of the salespeople I worked with wanted nothing more than to make a good deal for the client. They don't really get paid until they sell something so there's minimal reason to not sell and how they go about it is a matter of most often they didn't know anyway other than being honest to go about it. If you're really a newbie, the shop has a sales manager who holds your hand and doesn't allow you to stray.

Most dealers today pay per unit, the more units you sell the more money you make. The first "X" number every month gets you the same amount per car. Until you break past that "X" number, you don't make much money selling cars when you consider the time spent on the floor.

From the last time we discussed this, leo, I'd say you are holding onto myths and half truths about car sales. When you see someone making an offer to upgrade your new car as their dishonest way to "upsell" accessories or financing, then IMO you are not being realistic. I'd say you go into the dealership with the "get them before they get me" attitude. I hated selling to people with that attitude. Eventually, all sales people respond to what they get from the customer.

I have sold vehicles at lower than typical prices because the client was smart and not out to show me how this is all done. We conducted the transaction with a smile on everyone's face but we sold, made a decent profit and the client purchased what they wanted at a decent price. We both understood either side could walk away with no hard feelings at any time. I had something they wanted and they had an idea of how much they wanted to spend for that product. Negotiate a bit and the deal gets done.

Virtually every story I have heard about the crappy car dealers comes down IMO to less than informed buyers not realizing they are less than informed.

Therefore, I still largely disagree with your opinion of car sales.

Now, let's stick with audio.



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Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 3346
Registered: Oct-07
I've done well, and better over the years by knowing a few things. Going in asking for a mini won't get you anywhere. But the dealer who wants 500$ for a 'dealer trade' (for color, only) has lost my interest.
Negotiating for an immediate sale with either or both, good credit OR financing already in hand can help. Knowing to say NO, firmly, to the F+I guy can help cut an HOUR or so out of that sweat shop.
Knowing when to shop can perhaps help, with dealers wanting to clear out last years models in favor of current issue. Sometimes dealers will 'spiff' a certain car to incentivize the sales guys to sell it, and probably at a reasonable price. Cars that sit around the lot cost the dealership money. Dealers these days don't 'own' the car, but rather pay lotting. I got an exceptional deal once buying a car RIGHT OFF THE CAR CARRIER. Not a too-the-bone, piss 'em off deal, but fair. I didn't even haggle over the trade, which was going wholesale out since it was a beater. In/out in about 2 hours. Even with all the obligatory test rides and a motivated F+I guy.

I don't know the last time you sold cars, Jan, but these days? Internet 'knowledge' of pricing and many sites available to act as your agent and deliver a car to your door or simply give advice on what the pricing spread is in YOUR market. This information gives the buyer a feeling of empowerment and only THEORETICALLY results in lower prices to the buyer. Dealers still get holdbacks and you can't touch THAT. Dealers take into account ALL the numbers, most of which the buyer never sees. Stuff that's none of their business, like dealer costing vs volume and how much IS that lotting and holdback, anyway?

My objection is based partly on what I SEE. A poor kid comes home with a 8 year old Caddy. Pretty to look at. Great Color. But come ON? 20% load interest? I guess the kid got what he wanted at ANY price. Though he'd have been better off for LESS money and LOWER payments with a new Civic or Corolla. Sell that Sizzle! In this case I can't possibly blame the dealer. No brains, no headaches.
Other people I've see also bring it on themselves. Crashing a car? Then going WAY upside-down in the purchase of something new.

But newly weds who need dependable wheels coming home in a top of the line Infiniti they can hardly afford? I'll hold the sales guy at least partly to blame.

Never let it be said that people can tell the difference between what they want and what they need.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Alkaloid

Medford, MA. U.S.

Post Number: 53
Registered: Feb-15
Wow very good info. I will take the advice and let the sales person take the lead. In the old days I used to bounce back and forth between shops just to get the lowest price. I never worried about the store or the guy helping me. Now I feel kind of guilty and selfish. I feel better prepared to go in fresh rather than me against them.

In Leos' 2nd post it made me think, cash or financing? I didn't think of that. I have the money in the bank in my retirement account and can pay cash, but not sure what is better.

Just had a family member pass away a year ago and inherited a home and a small amount of cash. My health is not great, esophagus is shot and probably headed for throat cancer. Who knows how long we have. I feel the time is now to get fine gear and enjoy while I can.

Not impulse buying, as you guys can see I have been pursuing this direction for a while. Just coming to realize that putting it all together does require help. I truly do appreciate all the help I have gotten from you 2 gentlemen. You have made me see things from different angles, and opened my mind up to new ideas.

New gear with a warranty is less stress, not to mention the pain in the A trying to gather working old equipment.

Have either of you used any hi-rez streaming services? Downloading files on the web?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Alkaloid

Medford, MA. U.S.

Post Number: 54
Registered: Feb-15
Bumped into this interview and wanted to add it to the ADS history. New information for me and wanted to share it. Interesting statement about subwoofer speed to match electrostats. Is it strange for a subwoofer to be fast when the frequencies are so low? I was under the impression that the cone was moving fairly slow. Any way here is the link.

http://www.stereophile.com/content/aerial-acoustics-michael-kelly-reveals-some-t rade-secrets#vAl2tBtk42X6DmZf.97
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 18221
Registered: May-04
.

"Spiffs" are illegal, leo.

Incentives are not and, yes, there's a very fine line between the two. But I do believe you are repeating another myth you'd prefer to hold on to when it comes to car sales.

No, actually, I know you are repeating the same tired, old, worn out, word of mouth BS from years and years of hating on salespeople.

None of this needs to be adversarial!!!

Most often, in my personal experience, it all starts with the jack0ff who greets the salesperson with, "I'm going to make this the most miserable day of your entire life."

More often than not, the client's plain and simple greed is what leads them into bad decisions. Decisions the salesperson is not responsible for and typically cannot ward off because the client has come into the transaction with their "us against them" attitude.

Consider the fact I have done this, as I have said, maybe a dozen times a day for about three decades. How often you've done this doesn't even count for the customers I missed by taking one lunch on a busy Saturday.



And I really can't feel sorry for any buyer because the dealership or the retailer doesn't simply lay open all of their accounting records. This expectation that a retailer should not be allowed to make a profit, or that any amount of profit has been earned through sheer dishonesty, and that they should show all their business records to anyone who asks is entirely BS and not done in any business.

Go in and ask your dentist for all of their financial records before you have the next filling done. See what response you get from them. Then try to grind on them about their pricing.

I made a pretty good living selling pretty expensive hifi to dentists.



Most of what you mention is not so much confidential as it is uncertain. The dealer doesn't receive any "hold back" or lot allowment until certain numbers are met. If the dealer doesn't know a number, they can't possibly show anyone that number.

Most of the profit - and overhead costs for that matter - for any automobile dealership comes from other than the sales floor. Cars leave the lot at bare bones prices today simply because they must.

Yet, I really haven't seen anyone go back into the service writer's area and try to haggle over the price of a brake job. If you don't like the dealer's price, you go elsewhere. No problems with that.

That's not, however, how the sales floor operates.

I could tell you how to get a better price but I have no intention of doing so.

Yeah, I know, that's just my dishonest car salesperson coming out.

As I have said repeatedly, no retailer I am aware of makes anyone walk into their shop. No retailer I am aware of makes anyone buy from them before they are allowed to leave.

This is a customer's decision that does the talking. But it never seems to be recognized that a lot of customers don't make good decisions or, in many cases, even honest ones.

Please, get off your gripes about car dealers. They are largely pretend and mostly incorrect IMO.



I've had more people tell me they've been screwed by dishonest home repair/improvement people than I have heard about automobile salespeople. I have had more people tell me about their lousy service with a new appliance in the remodelled home they just purchased, with their doing due diligence, than I have regarding car dealers. The list of dishonest encounters is never ending and most of them are more numerous than what you will find with car dealers today. "Integrity", as Bob has said, is a sadly lacking value at times.

The Feds just arrested a medical group here in TX that bilked the government out of $4 million in false claims. It would take one heII of a lot of F&I guys working well outside the limits of the law to reach that number!

So, enough with your vast "insider knowledge" of automobile sales, eh?



How in the heII can you hold any sales person accountable for what the client says they want to buy? IMO, leo, this is what you have wrong about your entire attitude regarding sales and salespeople. I think we've crossed this bridge before but you have no idea how … "unproductive" it will be if a salesperson tries to sell someone, particularly a person younger than 70, off the higher priced spread.

Finance can take care of the problem if the buyer has over allocated their credit resources. So, while the whole available credit to income thing is utter BS, the finance rate goes up when the credit gets extended beyond reason.

However, I cannot tell you the number of times selling audio or automobiles, when the main deal has been closed and I slid papers in front of a client saying. "Sign here and this allows me to come take possession of your house, your new car, all of your belongings and any working age child", they would laugh, and without taking a look at what was in front of them, put down their John Hancock.

No matter how much trust I had established and how much honesty I had displayed up to that point, that still simply blew my mind every time.

People feel they deserve things.

It's actually a very common closing question for a salesperson to use this approach. I never did because I always thought it was a cheap - and potentially dangerous - ploy, but it's out there. Most often people use it on themself and the salesperson doesn't even need to go there.

Try to convince someone they don't "deserve" what they have made up their mind they want and need to be satisfied and you are risking a trip to the sales desk with a very PO'd customer close behind. And that's just the start of your headaches.

I've done it a few times but I was already pretty certain of what I could get away with when I was dealing with that type of buyer. They had no leg to stand on so the trip to the door was pretty lame on their part.



Do salespeople at times get their jollies by watching a PITA customer dig their own hole, jump in and cover themself with dirt?

I'll leave that to your overly vivid imagination of how salespeople think.



.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 18222
Registered: May-04
.

Streaming services depend on components other than your basic HT receiver/processor. Most are decent and deliver the goods if your system is up to the task. "Up to the task" is relative to the money invested in almost all cases.

http://www.computeraudiophile.com/


Your link to the article doesn't work for me.

"Speed" is primarily a perception rather than an actual function. The "Q" of the bass system is what you are responding to. It doesn't really have to do with that much with the mass of the panel's driver or the mass of the sub's driver.

Designer's have long ago learned how to sell their product by way of "Q" or "bass alignment". One applies to a sealed enclosure and the other to a vented enclosure.

Making a woofer "jump" on the sales floor is typically going to sell your speaker. There are, of course, trade offs in that decision. A woofer with a well placed "bump" will appear to have deeper bass extension than is really there. That's the natural human perception of louder as lower and higher as being louder also as defined by the Doppler Effect. We all share the same basic rules of perception in this regard and it's impossible to ignore. A smart buyer can only recognize when it is occurring and know that it exists.

Without seeing what's in the article, Bob, there's nothing I can comment on.


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Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 3347
Registered: Oct-07
Yes, dealer holdbacks are paid quarterly to the dealership owner. He may decide to share up in some fashion. But maybe not. A car buyer that counts on that as part of the deal is an idiot.
They can be numbers driven. Also, different car manufacturers compute them differently.
Base price? List V Invoice? who knows?

I don't care about the fine line between spif and whatever. Point is, every once in a while, the dealership has a white elephant car. Some awful color or whatever. At some point, the sales staff might be incentivized to sell this car. I don't even care how they got it. Guy who orders cars slip? Some kind of dealer trade? Special order of some sort?
I don't know WHY, but a dealership I visited had a 300zx which was a model year OFF. NEW. I have NO idea why it was still in the showroom. Too much money? Wrong Options? Color looked good,and wasnt' wacky. But it happens.

I NEVER try to buy more than I can afford. I go in knowing sticker price equipped the way I want it. Many years ago I wanted a than new Mercedes. I could JUST afford that model, equipped a certain way. Too bad, the dealerships ordered 'em UP. Didn't go crying to the manager to 'find me a car'. I knew that most dealerships for this type of car would order 'em both with stuff I didn't want AND at more money they I could afford. I didn't blink or give anybody a ration. I saw how it was.

And Jan, the business HAS changed in the last decade. As I mentioned before, the internet and wide availablity of invoice documents TEMPTS people to try to cut to the bone on a deal. One thing, I used a car buying service as a benchmark once. I went that way once and did very well and without problem or bicker. But later, as the service upped charges TO the dealers for providing 'good leads', I went back to a solo buyer. And can beat the buying services price without impacting the dealers profit. I've had multiple interactions with a few sales guys who impressed me by being easy to deal with and equitable. I don't mean they 'caved' or anything like that, but expressed a willingness to meet halfway which I deem fair for all concerned.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Alkaloid

Medford, MA. U.S.

Post Number: 55
Registered: Feb-15
http://www.stereophile.com/content/aerial-acoustics-michael-kelly-reveals-some-t rade-secrets#gIpiSUxf6SlJzoal.97

See if this link works.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Alkaloid

Medford, MA. U.S.

Post Number: 56
Registered: Feb-15
http://www.audioaficionado.org/aerial-acoustics/30317-michael-kelly-interview.ht ml
It didn't work for me so here is the page it is on.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Alkaloid

Medford, MA. U.S.

Post Number: 57
Registered: Feb-15
ok tried that one and it takes you to the forum, but have to scroll to Ariel acoustics then the interview.

Sorry it doesn't just go right to it.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Alkaloid

Medford, MA. U.S.

Post Number: 58
Registered: Feb-15
Hey Leo

The wife just bought a Nissan SUV and used the True Car tool on the web. We found a great price with all the accessories she wanted and the dealer said they would swap a car with another dealer for us. It was a bargain compared to the prices we were getting from 2 other dealers without using true car. Any way we put down a deposit and a few days later they told us they couldn't do it. My wife was po d, so we got the deposit back and went somewhere else. The sales manager was arguing with 2 sales men and at the time he said he could go get it he switched us off to a different sales guy that wasn't there as long as the guy that was originally working with us.
The place we ended up getting the color and options she wanted had to drive to NY. to pick up a vehicle. We paid extra for the delivery but she got what she wanted.

One dealer that I always did business with, a Honda dealer, we bought 5 vehicles from. I got 2 the wife got 2 and my daughter 1.
I was all set to buy another and when I went to trade my last Hybrid which at the time was in high demand, the owner wouldn't give me what I wanted. It was only a difference of about 350$. He told me he had to put 4 new tires on the car, and that was true. I got pissed and went to another dealer and got what I wanted. I feel like I was unfair now when I look back at it. I have still remained good friends with him, he lives in my city, but I was driven at the time to get the cheapest price.

I have a new found respect of the fact that they have to make a profit, not gouge someone but fair. I've learned to be more reasonable with age.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 18223
Registered: May-04
.

OK, ... I guess I missed the "trade secrets" that were being given way.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Alkaloid

Medford, MA. U.S.

Post Number: 59
Registered: Feb-15
eluded me too. maybe the box inside a box is different.

Bombed out at the new shop. Didn't call ahead, just drove in. They discontinued carrying Parasound, and they didn't update the website because the webmaster is a relative of the owner and just passed away less than a year ago. I asked why no more Parasound and was told it was breaking down too often. Repair issues. Didn't have the Bryston in stock, but still is a distributor and can get it. I talked to the manager, and he seemed like a fine gentleman. Not very much into HT, more 2 channel. Sounded alot like you Jan, said a good design stays around forever. Told me Macintosh is great for stereo very musical and warm. He told me Bryston doesn't show up to often for a repair. Gonna have to head to NH about 35 miles in order to audition these amps. You can bet I will call ahead for that trip. The manager did mention Mark Levinson, and Krell.

Oh well, gonna take a while I guess.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 18224
Registered: May-04
.

So, did this guy explain why Mac is good for music but not good for HT? Does that imply HT is not "real" and, therefore, needs something that isn't required for music?


.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 3348
Registered: Oct-07
Bob, when doing a dealer trade, keep in mind you are tying up a guy for however long it takes to do the round trip. Than add the additional loss to the dealership of what the guy SHOULD have been doing. Flat-bedding the car swap is even MORE expensive, but puts on ZERO miles.
The Honda dealer I was dealing with once, wanted 500$ for the swap, which I thought too much.
If they'd have said 200$, it would have been fine. I KNEW from doing a dealer inventory search that the one I wanted (color choice only) was at a dealer less than 50 miles away. The 500$ charge was THEIR way of saying, 'buy what we got or hit the road'.

A dealership once, RAN MY CREDIT without permission. That is a No-No and pissed me off. They were trying to get me to LEASE, which I don't want to do. Then they LIED about such things as money factor, and pretended to NOT know the conversion to interest. Than it turned out they were talking a 10,000 mile / year lease which at that time would have put me in the hole over 4000 miles per year! (odd schedule but 60 miles each way). I declined, left and NEVER went back.

I did a 'listening' test of a Krell Integrated several years ago with Magnepan 3.6s and it was FINE. Only trouble was the amp ran Very Wam which in my setup can't be done. It was a pretty substantial piece with good power and dynamics. I think the newer models might be better in some regards.

Never heard the Parasound has problems line before.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 18225
Registered: May-04
.

"when doing a dealer trade, … 'buy what we got or hit the road'."



Not true.

I do wish you'd leave car sales alone, leo. Your inaccurate statements one after the other proves you have very little concept of how an automobile dealership operates and a whole lot of unfounded contempt for how they do business.



.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Alkaloid

Medford, MA. U.S.

Post Number: 60
Registered: Feb-15
Jan he told me that tubes are no good for HT. Go figure. He also said it was very warm and good for music. I still say sound is sound. Yes bombs and car crashes aren't music but the equipment doesn't know this. Whatever the signal is, if the amp is good for music it should be the same for HT. Maybe he thought multichannel tube amps would have to be big. I dealt with the manager because no one else was there yet. Seemed like a nice guy to me. He did say what you and Leo said that a good design would last and be around for a long time. He mentioned a Mcintosh amp that Japanese people were paying $12000 for in Japan. I forget the model.

And Leo my wife paid an additional $500 for the salesman to go get the car in NY. The flat bead was way too much. My wife was pissed about the mileage too. She waited so long to buy that all the dealers in our state had no red colored ones with the options she wanted.

One of the custom intallers of HT that I tried to audition the ATI amps at tried to get me to go with Rotel. There is a factory service warehouse about 7 miles from me. I think it is in Danvers MA. I thought it was where they built them. He said he used a lot of Rotel amps and service is important to think about. Said the ATI would be expensive shipping back to California to get serviced.

I never thought the internet was going to get in the way of purchasing new gear for myself. I would not have a problem buying something under a $1000 from the internet, but not something as expensive as these amps are.

When I call the manager back next week to get the price on the 9sst3 cubed amp I will ask him to explain why tubes aren't good for HT.

Another thing the manager said was that HT keeps changing so fast that stores won't stock large inventories. That's one of the reasons I want seperates. Amps will always be needed, and upgrading the pre-pro is all that is needed. It's also the sound. I did tell him that my system will be used for stereo as well as HT. After much thought and talking to you guys I know it's a matter of trade offs and not getting perfection in any way. I have read so much this year I am going blind, LOL. But I am more comfortable that no matter which amp I end up with, it will sound better than my AV receiver. I did get the MBL brochure and it explains how they work. I guess they are saying the membrane acts like a balloon and flexes putting out sound waves in all directions and not just in the same plane.
I wish I could hear them someday but I would probably have to go to Germany to do it.

Leo how do the trade shows work? Like the CES and can anyone attend?
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 18226
Registered: May-04
.
I wouldn't normally suggest a tube amp for anyone not already familiar with tubes.

Running even five channels with all tubes would require a large investment in space. And, the one issue which is true with tubes is they begin to deteriorate once they are put in service. Vacuum tubes have become expensive and replacing five channels of output tubes would set you back several hundred dollars or about $50 per tube X 10 for five channels. Input tubes are somewhat less expensive but still not cheap. Inputs do last longer than outputs as a rule.

New tubes are essentially a new amp but those tubes also begin to deteriorate once they are powered up. I replace output tubes in my McIntosh amps about every five years. Tube life is very good in a Mac amp, not so much in other brands.

The two channel MC275 costs $5499. You'd need two plus a single MC75 at least. The MC75 runs just under $4k. To have those five channels you would be talking about roughly 170 pounds of amplifiers. Got an extra $15k you aren't using?

But McIntosh does make solid state amps and they build HT gear. So I'm not sure what the guy was talking about.

You're getting too many people telling you about too many brands.




.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 3350
Registered: Oct-07
Jan, what am I to make of a guy (above sales guy) who wanted 500$ for a dealer trade AND wanted about 550$ for mud flaps and a roof rack?
I took the guys offer as a request to leave. I drove to the dealer who had a good selection of what I wanted, found the color and drove home in it.

I think the guy was fishing. I could buy the parts TODAY, all OEM, from Epray for 300$. When I bought the car, I sent off for the parts for in the 300s and did my OWN install. I did an EXTREMELY meticulous install, greasing ALL threaded fasteners and hi-vac greasing the rubber parts. Even without the proper setup, like a rack/hoist, it only took me about 90 minutes, all in. I can't imagine a dealer taking even 1 hour labor for that job.

As for tubes, OUTPUT tubes of an amp have the shortest lifespan. Preamp / input stuff last considerably longer and Should be much less expensive to replace. Some tube amps require 'matched' tubes.
Jan has meticulous habits. Tube life generally depends on the number of on/off cycles, total hours, and operating conditions.
The real hardcore tube guys either own or belong to a club or KNOW someone with a tube tester. A whole 'nuther can-o-worms.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Alkaloid

Medford, MA. U.S.

Post Number: 61
Registered: Feb-15
So do tubes act like light bulbs? The incandescent ones with filaments. I think they get a fine crust that builds up and get more and more fragile.
I remember a long time ago, a tube had a cathode and an anode. What does it look like in a triode or pentode. Multiple of each? One cathode and several anodes?
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 18227
Registered: May-04
.

There are various types of vacuum tubes used a power output devices. A triode is the most basic, also the oldest type and produces the lowest wattage output vs the Voltage input. Simplicity has its virtues and many tubes users prefer a triode amplifier paired with a high efficiency loudspeaker.

Pentodes and beam power tubes are capable of higher wattage output by using internal devices which are more efficient at their job.

Tube lifespan is dependent upon many factors. Like an incandescent lamp, slamming the tube with full Voltage upon start up will decrease the life of a tube. Most tubed power amps have internal Voltages running in the 400-650 Volt range. A "soft start" circuit in a tube amp will greatly increase tube life though some will argue additional circuitry will impact sound quality. That's a matter of smart design to negate that criticism. Mac uses and has always used a soft start up for all of their tube amps.

Running the tubes at a conservative output will also increase tube life. Mac is very conservative in their wattage claims. Where most manufacturers would use an EL34 in a 35 watt amp, Mac used that tube in their 25 watt amp. Any McIntosh tube amp runs cool enough that, even when the amp is being pushed to its limits, you can place your hand on the amp and leave it there. In the winter here in Dallas, with my amps sitting on the floor of a pier and beam suspended house, I would have to put my hand on the amps to make sure they were powered up.

Most tube power amplifiers can substitute for small room heaters and, in many manufacturer's amps, they can drive you out of a small room in the heat of the summer.

I would normally leave my Mac amps powered up 24/7 365 days a year. McIntosh simply builds differently than most other manufacturers, even most other high end manufacturers. They are not cheap but they deliver the goods and they are intended to last for decades. That should not be taken as an endorsement of McIntosh, simply a statement of fact.

I would not encourage anyone unfamiliar with tube amplifiers to buy a tube amp. At the very least, you need a good source information regarding tubes if you venture into that arena. A forum is not the place to troubleshoot a tubed amplifier. And ignorance about tubes can lead you into some alleys without an exit strategy.



https://www.google.com/search?q=how+vacuum+tubes+work&rlz=1CAACAJ_enUS656US656&o q=how+vacuum+tubes+work&aqs=chrome..69i57.6042j0j1&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8




.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Alkaloid

Medford, MA. U.S.

Post Number: 62
Registered: Feb-15
Alright I can't maintain an amp like you Jan. I don't have the cash. I have to resort to a cheaper way out. I just got some good news that my original amp can be fixed. That means the ceiling is done cheaply. I have to bring an amp in to the tech that has original parts to replace the speaker terminals. Not to bad. I will settle down and admit that I am going to go with trusting the tech and buy the Parasound. 400 watts into 4 ohms will drive the 5 ADS L1290/2s to places I have never had the pleasure of hearing. I can't play this game any more I am growing too tired. I have become frustrated and can't audition the gear any where.
A ten year warranty is good enough for me and class A/AB should do the trick. Here we go. I will keep you guys posted.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 3351
Registered: Oct-07
Bob, with all your yappin', I can't believe you simply can't take the time do go HEAR stuff. It's gotta be around. You live East Coast. You are closer to NYC than I am to Vegas or SanFran.

No excuse NOT to make some arrangements and spend a weekend in the 'big town'.

go listen to the Parasound. Or NAD. or Rotel. Find a dealer who takes consignments and may have a Musical Fidelity or even some stuff you thought you couldn't afford.

make a few phone calls. While in NYC? Take wife to dinner. See a show. Take the tour.
Buy the T-Shirt. Have your pic taken with the 'Naked Cowboy'.

You're hung up on Speaker Terminals? Wacky. They can be replaced for $$$ with WBT or for less money I'm sure. unless the amp is built like a Chinese Puzzle Box, (my old Carver Cube) Labor isn't going to be killer.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 18228
Registered: May-04
.



https://www.ecoustics.com/electronics/forum/home-audio/716111.html#POST2042679






.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 3352
Registered: Oct-07
Bob, just a quick google shows 2 stereo stores within walking distance of your house.

One of 'em sells pre-loved equipment.

If you expand your search to include NYC? I have NO idea.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Alkaloid

Medford, MA. U.S.

Post Number: 63
Registered: Feb-15
Just an update. My original amp is now fixed and it was a mere 160$. Had my broker transfer funds to my checking account. I decided to go with a used amp an Anthem P5. I was going to get the Parasound A50 but the tech took in a used Anthem from a friend that had to relocate to the silicon valley area to get a job. He had to downsize so he got rid of his amp and speakers. He was the original owner. I'm getting it for half price of a new one. It is 5 yrs old. It is 500 watts into 4 ohms and is stable all the way down to being shorted out. On one of the reviews the tester put a fork across the speaker terminals to make the protection circuit trip. It is a lot like the big ATI, it has 2 power cords and is suggested to be plugged into 2 seperate 15 amp circuits not 20 amps like the ATI. Came out in 2004 I think so that is before the ATI. At full output with no signal there is a little white noise coming out of the tweeters. Supposedly that is dead silent on the ATI. I have decided to trust the tech and take his advice as to the quality. He said he would have my back on repairs. But said I wouldn't need any on this beast. I will post when I get all hooked up and use the ARC system and I will tell you what the sound is like in 2 and 5 and 9 channels. Gonna have plenty of head room for the peaks but hope I don't get too drunk some night and push the drivers tooooo far beyond there excursion point. The tech recommended to rack mount the amps so they could get ventilation, and I have a large rack from work. We used to rent the top floor to a computer company and when they moved they left behind a silver and black rack system. I grabbed the black one and a mechanic grabbed the silver one. It is very heavy duty but I know the wife isn't gonna like the looks of it. The P5 is 130lbs. The 2 Nikkos are 47lbs each. And my daughter just moved back home and she's pregnant. Now I have to think volume too loud rack can tip over all kinds of safety issues. I was going to get Kimber Cable interconnects for the balanced connections are these ok? I am new to balanced wires and their quality. Well I will post soon when it all comes together. Heading for a house remodel, pregnant daughter, 1st grandchild, and a new system all at the same time. Pray for me.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Alkaloid

Medford, MA. U.S.

Post Number: 64
Registered: Feb-15
Interesting article about frequency.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/05/160504141440.htm
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 18229
Registered: May-04
.

There's a theory that claims Mick Jagger does the exact same thing.
 

New member
Username: Bmiller

Post Number: 1
Registered: Jul-16
Okay, back to ADS. I've owned a pair of 1230s since 1983, and have never felt the need to replace them. I've auditioned quite a few speaker systems since my purchase of over 30 years ago, and few of them can compare. That earlier poster was right in stating that one would need to spend a few thousand dollars to equal or surpass the best of the ADS line (the 1230s listed for $1500 back in 1983). They reproduce all kinds of music well, from classical to rock. They are true monitor speakers, as neutral as any speaker can be, devoid of the heavy sonic signature one might find on the old JBL line, for example. Add superb quality construction and you've got a speaker that one would be hard-pressed to give up unless he/she was willing to drop a few grand on their audio. By the way, I drive them with a 405 Quad power amp, a great fit it turns out.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 18243
Registered: May-04
.

Being perfectly willing to take the calls of unjust treatment of ADS, I would point out one thing.

If you take the idea a $1500 speaker in 1983 cannot be equalled or bettered in 2016 for less than "a few grand" today and run that through an inflation calculator, you'll find that is a very true statement.

According to the BLS statistics (http://www.bls.gov/data/inflation_calculator.htm) the 1983 dollar value expressed in 2016 USD's is now approximately $3600. So, yes, you could say you would spend "a few grand" today to have what the ADS provided in 1983.

This seems to me to be a very useless talking point for any comparison between then and now products. Though, in general, the value per dollar spent has tended to favor the most current products when it comes to consumer electronics.

Looking at the stated average wages earned in 1983 - just over $15k - the amount spent on the ADS would represent a far larger piece of the pie than the mere dollar amount shows today. https://www.ssa.gov/oact/cola/AWI.html


Though, if you preferred to ignore inflation, you could also say The Original Large Advent from Henry Kloss cannot be equalled or bettered for less than several times its MSRP back in 1968 when it was the most popular speaker being sold in the US. What at the time sold for $107 (East of the Mississippi) was a speaker which many buyers approved of though it would not have had "monitor speaker" quality in most cases. In many US based studios, that task would have actually fallen to the JBL's of the day.

In today's value, the $107 Advent would cost you approximately $750 per speaker or about $1500 per pair.

I would say the question is not how much you would spend today since inflation must be taken into account when making such comparisons. And, personal taste is not debatable when the discussion is between two listeners with opposing musical priorities.

The "sonic signature" of any single speaker can be, IMO, judged by a single test. This is a test which obviates any personal musical judgements and reduces the issue to one single value which can easily be agreed upon by all listeners. To reach the clearly logical conclusion of such a test you must ask yourself one simple question; does "this" speaker in the line present music with essentially the same presentational values as all other speakers in the same line?

That is, IMO, a very tough test yet a very fair test when we are discussing a "sonic signature".

The Original Advent line was such a product.

Despite the size and cost differences between the entire line, each speaker provided virtually identical impressions of the music. This was a specific point of pride for Kloss as a designer since he took great efforts to make the Small Advent a sonic twin to the Large Advent despite the rather obvious difference in total enclosure volume between the two systems.

Both were capable of the same frequency response and max. SPL. That was a highly significant factor in the Advents favor since the basic rules of physics dictate that enclosure volume will determine maximum bass extension.

By very careful design, Kloss tweaked those rules with a completely new woofer design which provided the Small Advent the same bass extension, max SPL and dynamic range found in the Large Advent. To sell the less expensive Small version you only had to switch between the two systems with the same music and ask if the listener could detect any change in musical values.

This test is, IMO, one of the most significant questions any buyer can ask in a demo room. How well does the "sonic signature" of "X" speaker match with the sonics of another speaker from the same designer?

Since most modern loudspeakers lack one single guiding designer's vision of music, with their own sonic fingerprint of musical values to present to the public, most will fail this one simple test. Since the vast majority of loudspeakers on the market today are designed by committee, there is no one single sonic signature which can be presented. Quite often it is my experience that switching between three speakers in the same line is virtually as dramatic a change as switching between three manufacturers.




Everyone gets to buy whatever gear they prefer. However, after decades of asking the basic "qualifying" questions of a salesperson, I can tell you the vast majority of the buyers I worked with admitted they had not attended a live musical event in quite some time. They expressed no specific "ideals" for how a loudspeaker should perform other than the ubiquitous response the speaker should have "tight bass, clear mids and clean highs".

In other words, they had no set goals for their speaker purchase other than it sounded OK in the showroom. How it performed in their own listening room was another matter all together, one that was seldom addressed in most cases.



While I certainly have no idea just how astute bmiller might be to the sonic signature of live, unamplified music being performed in a real space in real time, I can say I can only think of a very few loudspeaker lines which I would say could meet that one single criteria of being of one mind and one voice when you listened through the entire line of products being presented.

And while thinking back to 1983 is impossible if the criteria is a perfect auditory recall, I would say my recollection of the mid-1980's ADS line of speakers is that they did not possess that one single vision of how music must be presented. Though there was an ADS house sound, it was not exactly a model to model exchange between the various products within the line. Certainly not to the extent that test could have been performed and passed by, say, the 1983 KEF line of true monitor speakers.

Any reader is free to make of that assessment what they will.

As a listener, and as a salesperson, my preference always fell to the products which did not require complete, or even partial, revisions to my priorities when I switched to a more or less expensive product from any one manufacturer.

Certainly, for the (unamplified) classical music listener, these "single voice" lines were the speakers which were selected as true "monitor quality" products.


.

 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 3361
Registered: Oct-07
Bob,
I didn't see the post where you ran down your new equipment.
2 things popped out at me.

First? Who has 2 seperate 15 amp circuits ON THE SAME WALL? Since it is unlikely you'll be using your amp as a Welding Power Supply, AND if you think you need that kind of power (Only needed, Maybe, for the Lowest Sensitivity Speakers), you might be OK with some of the ICE power or NCore offerings. They are fairly efficient and with a SMPS can run Mid 80s% efficient from plug to speaker AT FULL POWER.

Second? Go to your local Guitar Center and get some Mogami Balanced. Save some coin VS Kimber. Mogami didn't invent it, but they are nearly the 'reference standard' of such cables.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Alkaloid

Medford, MA. U.S.

Post Number: 66
Registered: Feb-15
Happy holidays to all!!!

Been a while since last post. Got all the gear late June. Picked up the Anthem P5 and made a mistake thinking I could get it up to the second floor with a 2 wheeler by myself. Once I got it out of the trunk of my car I was stuck. Too heavy to get it back in again. I ended up getting it upstairs by lifting end over end step by step. The old back was tender for 2 weeks. Lesson learned. Then my daughter moved back home, pregnant with my first grandchild, and with an opiate problem. In the meantime the house is in the process to get remodeled so way to much going on to get everything hooked up. I finally got it all wired and rack mounted, I put it on casters to move easily so I could get to the back of it. All said and done I love the new sound. I set it up the old fashioned way, entering all the data manually, and setting the volume of each speaker using spl meter with full bandwith pink noise. I have yet to use the ARC system that came with the pre amp. I have to load some software on to my laptop and use the calibrated mic that came with the AV60. I got it all hooked up last week of October so still in the process of judging the overall improvements. I obviously have more volume. The bass is both much heavier and tighter, and to my surprise, even at very low volume it is still present. I always used to experience the bass to all but disappear at low volume on all my lower powered receivers. The steering in surround sound is better and I hear all kinds of more information in the surround channel. Dialog on movies is crystal clear, no more straining to hear voice over all the other action going on in the scene. At the maximum volume that I can still hear no distortion, the background noise is dead quiet. It is well controlled on the bass no more boom and no sloppy overhang. The amp is extremely effortless in all frequencies. The high end is clear with no sibilence and I don't have to boost any treble. It isn't shrill or scratchy but rather sounds smooth as well as crystal clear. All new to me. I still need more time and more signals to listen too. There now is wires everywhere and the wife is quietly flipping out.
Hope everyone is still healthy and well. I will post very soon. I have to get into the ARC system next and see if it really can do a better job with the crossover to the sub and the adjustment for the room gain limits. I hope it isn't like the Audessy system in my old receiver I didn't hear an improvement letting the software tweak all the parameters. Any way I will post soon enough provided I get some time to play with my new toys. Only heard one Atmos movie so far and wasn't impressed. It was the new Star Trek.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 18325
Registered: May-04
.

Congrats on all but the opiate thing. Good luck with that.

Happy holidays to you and yours.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Alkaloid

Medford, MA. U.S.

Post Number: 67
Registered: Feb-15
Happy new year to all!!!
I will post my first impression of the ARC system. It was a pain in the A to get the pre amp networked. I had to download an update on to a thumb drive and stick it into the front usb intput to do it. I used to update the old Onkyo AVR through the cat5 just download from the internet. I had trouble opening up the microphone calibration file that I downloaded from the Anthem site. You enter the serial number and they have a file from the factory just for your mic. After calling tech support, I had a great tech named Upi. He was very patient and walked me through the process. First off, the AV60 acts more like a computer than an audio device. I had to reboot the unit and unplug the unit from the wall. I had to push the power button a few times to drain the capacitors power so the unit wouldn't hold on to previous settings it had before the updates. Once again seemed like alot of steps to go through to achieve an update. I was told I didn't have to open the mic file that ended in a .cal extension. Windows 10 kept telling me it couldn't open it. After walking through alot of steps and reboots including my router I finally got it done. I ran the basic measurements, 5 different positions with the microphone. The system puts out the same sounding signal that Audessy uses, sounds like dwooip dwooip dwooip. Much louder level than the old Onkyo AVR. To make a long story short all the aggravation was well worth it. I have no Idea how it works but it has made the already good sound even better. I was blown away after just 2 days of hearing different signal sources. I first tried the only Atmos signal I have so far, Star Trek Beyond on blu ray. I was not impressed with the height channels. I still have to get more Atmos movies. I will post more about this when I do. I then put on my finest source, that I used to evaluate my subwoofer settings on my old AVR, crossover point, Q factor, amplitude and phase. I use the movie Transformers Dark of The Moon. It contains some of the lowest and loudest space ship crashing sounds, and weapons sounds I have come across as of yet. The improvement absolutely blew me away. The bass is now heavier than ever, and the clarity is addicting. It is like I now have much much less distortion and when I push the volume up beyond where it used to overload the room and get boomy it still stays clear. I am dumfounded as to what got done. The explanations from Anthem are not well understood by me but I can tell you it works and works very very well. There is 2 links in google about the ARC system, one a review from secrets of home theater and high fidelity, and one an interview with Dr Peter Shuck and Nick Platsis. It kills me that I couldn't dial in the sound as good as this system can, but at least I get to benefit from their experiments and efforts. I have always loved the ADS sound but never matched them with electronics this good. Now they sound even better. My sub even sounds better. The room sounds better. I am the biggest skeptic when it comes to statements that I can't verify so I went into this not thinking I would see much if any improvement and now I am in sonic heaven. There is a boatload of advanced measurements and tweaks that I can make to the software, adjusting different parameters and so forth, so I will continue to play with it in the future and will post the findings all in hope of helping other readers on this forum. I just got my latest Wide Screen Review magazine Volume 26, Number 1 issue 213, January 2017, and it contains a piece by John Dunlavy called Loudspeaker Accuracy. The Quest For Getting Loudspeaker Design Right. It is full of information, much of it now familiar to me, and new information as well. It contains information on 2 channel systems and home theater multichannel system recommendations and more important to me ROOM interaction, treatments, observations and education for all. I am going to use several of the tips on my renovations to my new theater room. I will be breaking walls starting downstairs next week. Jan I would like to thank you so much for all your help, and guidance. I now am so happy I trusted the tech salesperson and owner of Q Audio in guiding my purchase of Anthem equipment. One afternoon when I picked up my 5 channel amp at his shop, he was in the middle of consulting the engineers from Sonos, on ways to modify there existing gear as far as custom install features and connections go. I guess the company headquarters is located in Cambridge MA. not to far from his shop. I didn't realise how many custom installs that he performs regularly as well as repair equipment and sell equipment. I am glad both you Jan, and Leo helped me get closer to the goal I had when I went down the rabbit hole. I hope you have a great new year and I hope you check out the article by John Dunlavy.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 18350
Registered: May-04
.

Very happy to hear you have found success, Bob. That is the sole reason this forum continues.

Happy new year.



.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Alkaloid

Medford, MA. U.S.

Post Number: 68
Registered: Feb-15
Have picked up 2 more Atmos encoded movies. Mad Max Fury Road, and the new Tarzan. I really heard a decent effect on the Tarzan movie, even though the height speakers aren't in an optimal position. Was thinking of going all 9 speakers the same. It would cost more but I still have the improvement bug. Not sure the smaller speakers can keep up as far as volume goes. Still can't get a straight and clear answer on the bandwith contained in the height signals. I can't understand why Dolby doesn't share this information. It would help to know to match the speakers to the frequencies they need to reproduce. Still think if all 9 are the same I would get the best sound and the drivers would be pushed with much less excursion to achieve a higher spl, and that should lower any distortion and wear and tear. Had a cold the other day and really pushed the system to very loud area. I had a sensation like I had cotton in my ears for around 5 days. I really got scared that I did some damage, the clear high frequencies seemed to be dulled and found myself going louder than usual with the volume control position. Finaly cleared up after a full week and a half. My old rock and roll recordings sound like crap now. The soundstage sounds so narrow and the dynamic range sounds stuffy. Even the ones that used to be favorites sound crappy. Some of my other recordings sound better than ever, hearing information I never heard before. I hear such a variation from signal sources it is frustrating. I upgraded my cable package and saved 20$ a month but had to agree to a 2 yr contract. Now have 75 up and down from 25. Everything is faster on the internet, and the menu on the cable is better and faster, but the volume from one channel to the other as well as the clarity is all over the place. That didn't improve one bit with the upgrade. One other thing I wanted to share, I had a really stupid Idea on keeping the dust out of the large P5 amp, and I cut a 1/8" thick mat of butyl rubber at work the exact size of the top of the amp to use as a cover. The first day I took it home I put it on and the wife and I went out did a few errands and came back to the house after dark to eat supper and then watch the tube. I finished eating first and went on the computer in the same room and shut the lights out to see the screen better. The wife walked in and put all the equipment on in the dark and started to watch the tv. I finished with the computer and came over to the couch and after an hour of watching a program we both fell asleep. I woke up to go to the bathroom, and when I returned to the room I noticed a burning smell. I thought maybe the oven was still on but realized that the wife left the dust cover on the amp. I was horrified when I looked at the front panel and 2 of the 5 led lights were out. I assumed that I burned out 2 channels. I woke her up and shut all the equipment off. I was besides myself. She went in the bedroom to watch tv in bed and kept telling me it was my fault for not making sure the cover was off. After about an hour I went back in the living room and everything was cooled off. I put everything back on and all 5 channels were back on the amp. I guess it has thermal protection of some sort. I won't make that mistake again. Just wanted to say the amp was idiot proofed for an idiot like me. Making the cover the same black color of the amp wasn't well thought out. I think I might be better off with a different color or with the dust.WHEW!!!! The ARC system has made my temporary room sound decent even though it is horrible for sound. I threw out my nice thick rug after it got old and now the hardwood floor is exposed. I have all smooth walls of sheetrock and 2 large picture windows. Everything is reflecting, and the decay rate is long. I can't wait till the house is done and I treat the room the best I can with absorbtion and run the ARC system again. I will post when I have something new to share.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 3424
Registered: Oct-07
Bob! Do you have to make EVERY mistake?
After 'bout cooking your amp by restricting AIRFLOW, you are setting up to make an over-absorbing room.
Now, it is true that a good stereo in a great room is better than a great stereo in a poor room, it is also true that over absorbing has its own problems.

In a room with unrestricted setup, it is sort of a moving target. Typical installs start with absorption at what are called 'first reflection points'.

I'd advise looking into diffusion. You can DIY some of what are called QRD diffusers with minimal problem and a couple weekends of sweat equity.

What are the overall room dimensions? Vault ceiling? Any apertures into other rooms? On a slab or raised floor? Any chance of ripping out some sheetrock and installing some sound insulation? You know, simple stuff like that?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Alkaloid

Medford, MA. U.S.

Post Number: 69
Registered: Feb-15
Remodeling so I can do it well. I read an article where a gentleman down in south america who was wealthy built a theater room with spaces at the corners that were open all year round. He had the climate that could allow that. It was stated in the article that the sound pressure did not build up in the corners and the designer was able to achieve near perfect results in acoustics without treatment. It was a money no object kind of situation. I don't think I need diffusion as I mostly listen to multichannel sound. And I am going to follow practiced first reflection tried and true practices to absorb the highs. I won't over do it just a thick rug a few walls and yes I have several door openings and the ceiling is an average 8'. I just came across an article by John Dunlavey and it talks about putting beams across the ceiling. As usual the theater he was talking about was not using height speakers so not sure if it will be accurate with Atmos, and DTS X. I will use open cell foam in the foor to help isolate the sound from the downstairs tenants. I know it won't stop the bass. I am going to have 2 subs and a system on the top floor in my master bedroom. We just got a variance in the city we live in to go up an entire 3rd floor. Our zoning laws say you can only have 50% square footage up in the attic when you remodel compared with the second floor, that is over 5' high. We won our request so I will finally get a large master bedroom and will have a small surround system to enjoy with one sub. The ARC system made my horrible temporary room sound a lot better than I was able to do on my own. I have all the confidence that with minimum treatment it will do the rest to tame all room issues. At least I hope. As usual I will post far and in between as I learn more and hear improvements. And nice to hear from you Leo, hope you are happy and healthy.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Alkaloid

Medford, MA. U.S.

Post Number: 70
Registered: Feb-15
This one is for you Jan. Just was reading about speaker design and came across an article on crossover design and the gentleman being interviewed was asked about tubes vs solid state and he said Fetron. Just wanted to ask your opinion on this device. I have a link to the article on Fetrons and it does say the Pentode is more isolated. Just wanted your input on this device. http://www.philipstorr.id.au/radio/eleven/fetron.htm
 

Bronze Member
Username: Alkaloid

Medford, MA. U.S.

Post Number: 71
Registered: Feb-15
just had to put this in for the few beginners
https://animagraffs.com/loudspeaker/
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 18373
Registered: May-04
.

Sorry, Bob, that's a pretty poor site if you're looking for information on speakers. For example, "timbre" is so wrong it would be dangerous should a student use that information for a report. A "single note" is not a "sandwich of frequencies where one stands out".

How the driver takes (literally, transduces) electrical watts at its input and creates the thousands and thousands of small and large movements of air we call acoustic watts is not as shown in that graphic. True, the voice coil moves the diaphragm but the graphic does little to explain the complexity of the incoming electrical signal and leaves everything to the driver.

The output of the driver is the result of a constant series of vibrations, ripples actually, moving across the surface of the driver and has less to do with the in/out movement the human eye can detect.

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Bronze Member
Username: Alkaloid

Medford, MA. U.S.

Post Number: 72
Registered: Feb-15
Wanted to post some pics for other ADS fans.
http://audiokarma.org/forums/index.php?threads/my-ads-5-1-ht-project.781555/
Bumped into this blog and other DIY guys are making center channels to match existing speakers. Hope all is well with your world Leo and Jan.
House is a disaster and still working on 1st floor. will return and post when theater is finally finished. Take care all.
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