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About gmgraves

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  1. Integrated Amp / Stereo Receiver

    When you talk about a McIntosh amp, are talking tube of SS? IF SS, I can cite you an instance where the Mac doesn't sound very good. Mac SS amps and Martin Logan ESS's don't work together at all! I went to my local Magnolia HiFi shop to hear the then new Martin Logan CLX. I sat and endured the distortion as long as I could (I'd heard the CLXs before and I knew what they should sound like and what I was hearing wasn't it) So, scanning the rack of equipment in the room I noticed that the meters on a McIntosh amp were keeping time with the music, so I asked the sales guy if he could connect another amplifier. He hooked up a (physically large) Marantz power amp (don't know anything about the model. As far as I know it could have been a 7 channel AV surround amp) and continued listening via the same Marantz SACD/CD player as before. The audio instantly cleared right up. The distortion was gone, and even the salesman noticed it as did the other assembled listeners. Of course, it could have been that the McIntosh was defective, but the salesman rejected that idea because of McIntosh's "legendary" quality control. Could be though.
  2. Integrated Amp / Stereo Receiver

    Interesting that you are so picky about amplifiers. I review them all the time and when writing about one amp and comparing it to what I'm currently running in my "reference system" (yes, that term is ridiculously pretentious, but it's what everyone uses, so....). I have a hell of time describing what's different. I don't like reviewing amplifiers because they all sound so close to one another now days that finding things to differentiate them, sound-quality wise, is a real pain in the butt. Yes, there are still differences, but they are much more subtle than they used to be. In fact, I haven't heard a sonically bad component amplifier since the Japanese stopped using those encapsulated Sanko power-amp modules in their cheap receivers! It's not like the old days when two different amps were easy to compare almost instantly because they sounded so different that those differences showed up almost instantly.
  3. RMAF 2017 Reader Reports

    Thank You Peter. It's clearer, now.
  4. First of all, just because an amp (or pre-amp) model that you are contemplating has a built-in DAC doesn't mean that you are obligated to use it. If you think you have a better out-board DAC feel free to ignore the one in your new amp or preamp.
  5. The speaker spec that determines the power requirement of the amplifier, is the sensitivity of the speaker. That is to say, how much sound a given speaker will produce when fed ONE Watt measured from 1 meter away directly in front of the speaker. For instance, a speaker rated at 85dB is considered a low efficiency speaker and needs a larger amp than one rated at 95dB which is considered a medium efficiency speaker and requires fewer Watts to achieve the same volume level as the one rated at 85dB. A 105dB or greater speaker is a high efficiency speaker and an amp of 10 Watts can run you out of an average sized room, it's so loud. When I was a teen, a buddy of mine's dad had a pair of Klipshorns. We hooked a 6 transistor radio to the thing one day and it played so loud we had to turn it down! The radio put out about 100 milliWatts (1/10th of a Watt)! Another consideration is room size. If you have an average size modern living room of approximately 10 ft X 12 ft (3 meters X 3.66 meters) then even a very inefficient speaker of 85dB@1Watt/1 meter should not need more than 100 Watts/channel to literally raise the roof! Of course, bigger rooms require more power to get the same volume levels (or trade-in your speakers for a more efficient pair and keep your 100 Watt/channel amp. (see the relationship?) The speaker's watt rating is the maximum power that the speaker's voice coils can handle before they get too hot and damage the speaker. That does not mean that you couldn't use a speaker rated at 250 Watts max with an 500 Watt amplifier. It is unlikely that you would ever use anywhere near the 250 Watt rating of your speaker, much less the 500 Watts of your amp! Most people never use more than a few watts of whatever sized amplifier, anyway, except on loud crescendos and very deep bass like a large pipe organ. That's where the power is needed. On power Vs volume: In order to double the volume of a 50 Watt amplifier, you'd need to increase the power to a 500 Watt amplifier! That's the relationship.
  6. Integrated Amp / Stereo Receiver

    Like I said, I'm going by a glowing review for both the pre-amp and the amp in a British Hi-Fi publication known for their honesty and good advice and by the fact that I reviewed an Emotiva preamp (not this one) a number of years ago and found it excellent in every way. I have no experience with either component I wrote about, above. What did you find wrong with the sound of the A-300?
  7. Integrated Amp / Stereo Receiver

    This would have to be used because H-K doesn't make this any more, but the Harman-Kardon HK-900 is a magnificent integrated amp. It has both MC and MM phono stages, a built-in 24/192 DAC, and DSP equalization for matching main speakers with sub-woofers and dialing the system in for the room. It is true dual mono with separate toroidal transformers for each channel and puts out 150 Watts/channel into 8Ω and 300W/c into 4Ω. But, I just read a review in the British Mag Hi-Fi Choice for two pieces of equipment from Emotiva and they rave about the performance/sound quality of these really inexpensive pieces. They are the BasX PT-100 which is a full pre-amp with a built-in 24/192 DAC, MC and MM phono inputs and a very good FM tuner. It's $300* and it looks well made with a CNC front panel, vacuum fluorescent display and a remote. Next is the BasX A-300 power amp. 150 WPC @8Ω and 300 WPC @4Ω! Again the cost is just $300* HiFi Choice gave both units their highest accolades while puzzling why other comparable performing components cost so much more! I reviewed an early Emotiva Preamp several years ago and found it to be beautifully made, with the highest quality components, and magnificent sound. If I hadn't already sprung for an HK-900, I would have bought the review unit! * Yes, those prices are correct. Go to Emotiva,com and check them out for yourself. Look under the BasX components for the full dope on these bargain pieces and a look at the entire line. the price/performance ratio is simply amazing for this US based company.
  8. I don't know what Ontario Law is, but this doesn't just smell fishy, it IS fishy. First thing to do is look through all the paperwork that came with this amp when you got it (you did keep it all, did you not?). Look for the warranty info. Read the warranty thoroughly. It should say that the amp is guaranteed to be free of defects in both parts and workmanship for some period of time (you say it's 2 years). If the warranty is for 2 years, and you bought the amp in 2017, then it's still in warranty, and the manufacturer is obligated to repair or replace the unit at no cost to you as long as that course of action is clearly stipulated in the warranty paperwork that came with the unit. If you find that have fulfilled all of your warranty responsibilities (such as filling-out and mailing the enclosed warranty card [if any]). Then call the manufacturer and threaten him with going to the Better Business Bureau and complaining (I believe that Canada has those). If your local newspaper or broadcast media has a consumer help line or column, threaten the manufacturer with that as well. In my experience, most high-end equipment makers are quite small and can't afford any negative publicity. Most honest companies will bend-over backwards to correct a problem when threatened that way. If that doesn't work, and you are sure that you are legally in the clear with your warranty demands, then threaten a lawsuit. But if you are wrong about what your rights are in this case, and don't really know where you stand, legally (believe me, the manufacturer knows his!) don't play this last card, as it could backfire. KNOW YOUR RIGHTS THOROUGHLY before threatening any legal action!
  9. RMAF 2017 Reader Reports

    I wouldn't worry too much about THAT! 2020 will be here soon enough and I'll bet he doesn't even run again (and if he does, he will lose big time). The Dems will sweep both houses in 2018 and that'll put a further hitch in Donny's get-along! Hell Even the republicans don't like him or support him all that much. We need to drop this line of discussion before Chris puts the ky-bosh on us!
  10. RMAF 2017 Reader Reports

    It's not the amount of tax US citizens pay that bothers me so much, but it's rather that we don't get anything back from our taxes. Niggardly SSI, no paid health care, no paid maternity leave, no livable unemployment insurance; hell, we can't even afford to keep our own infrastructure properly maintained. All we get for our taxes are endless military misadventures, paying corrupt and otherwise useless politicians, and servicing the largest national debt in the history of the world.
  11. RMAF 2017 Reader Reports

    Like I said, many European countries actually GET something in return for their tax dollars, we Americans do not! We can't even get decent single-payer health care for our tax dollars. Everything that either party proposes has the insurance companies involved, and believe me, as long as that's the case, health insurance will remain inadequate in this country.
  12. Schiit Saga vs Freya

    Here's the important question: you say that you hear it when the volume is advanced to maximum and you put your ear close to the speaker. Do you hear the hum (at all!) when playing music at your normal listening level, and from your normal listening position. If the answer to that Q is yes, then it warrants further investigation. If, on the other hand, you don't hear it at normal listening levels from your normal listening position, then it is purely academic and I say, forget it and go back to listening to music.
  13. Next upgrade...Eames style lounge chair?

    For optimum listening, you don't want a headrest! Maybe a neck rest , but you want your ears clear of any encumbrance
  14. Next upgrade...Eames style lounge chair?

    My experience with an Eames chair exactly!
  15. Next upgrade...Eames style lounge chair?

    I've got an Eames-style chair, but I don't find it very comfortable. The arm rests are too low and one tends to slip down and out of it because when one sits in it, the chair rocks forward on its pedestal. I keep it for guests and never use it myself. Oh, it's beautiful, no doubt about that and in a photograph from Architectural Digest, in a setting of a modern glass-walled house with other modern furniture (like Maies Van der Rhoe's "Barcelona Chair") it looks great. If you want a listening chair, buy a listening chair. You want something without a full-width headrest and without wings. If you think about it in terms of your ears, I think you'll see why I say that. Ideally, I'd like to have one of those "home theater" chairs, but the ones I've seen are only available in pairs and I want a single because I live alone.