User Details - Ian S

  Ian S
  2 channel for music because, alas, I can't afford to maintain this quality over more channels and even if I could, where would I get an AV pre-amp that was good enough for a price less that several times that of my car? It might be that case that there's nothing that exists that would not have to be laboriously improved by throwing away most of it's internals and replacing them all with much better parts.

By quality I mean that I have been able to hear the difference changing any resistor makes anywhere in the signal path. Any component really.

I can hear the downgrade just one extra solder joint makes in the solid silver inter connects, etc.

So I've no pre-amp. The only volume control is in software and some people say that's a bad thing but to me seems to either not have an effect or is less of one that anything else I've so far tried, although there are some attenuators I've not yet tried. The digital source, which contains no copper tracks, only Vishay resistors in or shunting the signal path and has no capacitors in the signal path, is solid silver wired with unscreened twisted pair of my own make to the DC coupled mono block amplifiers, which also are reconstructed by myself to optimise sound quality.

I have a 50mm2 / conductor mains spur from the service head, via the meter, to the Hi-Fi with 10mm2 or more going into each item mostly as soldered in captive leads. I can't overstate the importance of the best mains supply possible. If you're using IEC plugs / sockets you're killing your sound.

For speakers I'm currently using some custom made 4 drive unit Transmission lines that I've had for nearly 20 years and have improved them a few times, internally silver wired, better capacitors, newer drive units, crossover tweaks, etc. I turned up the volume on the tweeter and more so on the super tweeter because it sounded right that way in my quite well acoustically damped room. I also have some Anthony Gallo Stradas.

AV; a big 'quality' step down but I like it when sound comes from the rear speakers so I use 4.0 instead of two channel. Low cost rear speakers until I get the finance for some full range decent ones there. They are powered by high quality amps though. The DSP is a Yamaha E800 as it was cheap but reasonably good and contains only rear and centre amps which I don't use anyway. These TL's out sub many subs so no need for a sub.

The AV system is, never the less, good enough to fool me into thinking a dog really was barking in my garden when it transpired to be on a TV episode. The sound (image) of the dog came from about 1 metre forward of the rear speaker on the right channel and appeared to emanate from the distance, so not too bad, could be a lot better though. I tried the Stradas for rears and that did show that I need better rear mid/tweeters.

As far as centre channel goes, all the TV and Film I've tried, from various AV source hardware including an expensive Meridian DSP, mono'd nearly everything through it and the very good front main pair of amps and speakers were not really used for anything. The image I get from the main pair is pretty good and using 4.0 spreads the centre speakers single point sound across the whole front of the room instead.

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