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robmid

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    Australia
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    Little Mountain, QLD
  • First Name
    Rob

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  1. Hi Chris. Since I upgraded to the gorgeous 2021 board with Remote Control I have realised the benefits of being able to precisely adjust the variable levels of streamed random music tracks. I am now wondering if there would be an advantage using contactless switches with my StereoCoffee as it would be fairly simple to add a remote control function to switch the inputs. Cheers, Rob
  2. Hi Harald. If you want to enjoy a special experience enjoying the soul of music that puts you inside the performance, I suggest you audition some NEAT Acoustics speakers. They are purely musical and designed by musicians but are quite rare in Australia although they are built in the UK. They seem to be available in Norway: http://www.nordicsounddesign.com/?page_id=171 Cheers, Rob
  3. I think we can all relate to your dilemma ! I managed to have this OTL Son of Beast OKed when I built it in winter, until some $75 EL509s valves expired in summer because there wasn't enough airflow and our house was hot. I really miss that valve sound now and we have a cooler house too but I did get away with installing some new NEAT Acoustics speakers which now partially block our front windows.🥴 Cheers, Rob
  4. Hi Keith. Get into DIY and you'll have a great time and learn that you don't have to pay top dollar to get superb musical performance. Cheers, Rob
  5. I have been using DIY Holton power amps for a while and liked the quality of sound and musical ability that I replaced my valve amp with it. I have built two and they have been bullet proof and I love them. This is less than mine cost to build 😂 I just noticed that Anthony Holton (Australia) has a new 'budget' model on sale at a discount price of $1185 reduced from $1900. https://holtonprecisionaudio.com/collections/class-ab-power-amplifiers/products/holton-one-zero-one-power-amplifier
  6. Got the equilateral triangle dilemma too? This is a simpler and repeatable way to setup your speakers without measurements or floor grids. Especially if your listening room is also your lounge room and WAF doesn’t enable furniture shifting. It works for me and I have tossed out all my floor markings and don't care if my theory isn't technically correct. Not all listening areas can be configures as an equilateral triangle but that doesn’t really matter because it is just a starting point. I wish I had known that before. I have been trying to maximise the extraordinary capabilities of my NEAT SX3i Momentum speakers using my ears instead of measurements because they are difficult to position correctly. This looks like a lot of work but you can do it permanently, very quickly if you have a cheap laser pointer. 1. Position the speakers between 2 and 3 metres apart while keeping them at least 1 metre from side walls and corners. 2. Face speakers directly forward NOT at your head. 3. Play a track you know well at a decent listening volume, and preferably with a combination of voice and a mix of different instruments. 4. LEFT SPEAKER ONLY PLAYING Listening from your seating position and have someone slowly rotate the left speaker inwards in 10 to 20mm increments while listening for THE focus point when instruments and voice are properly combined, but separated and clear. The speakers may only need to be moved a few degrees for a profound improvement. The challenge will be getting the right speaker at exactly the same angle. I used a cheap laser and a template with 15 and 20 degree markings. Thin angle lines are hidden under the middle of the laser. Note the position of your head when you are sitting in your normal listening spot. 5. With sound off, align the angle template with the front edge of your LEFT speaker and mark the laser beam point on the back of your listening seat with a piece of masking tape. It should be somewhere near the left of your head. If not, use something else like the back of a chair to show the laser spot. 6. Repeat step 5 with the right speaker, but rotate it until the laser points to the right side of your head or the extended background and mark the spot if your chair isn’t wide enough. NOTE: My right speaker is now appears to be facing away from my seating position because I am unable to sit in the exact centre. 7. Connect both speakers, sit down and enjoy. There may be some fine tuning necessary if your system resolves a lot of detail, so just rotate the left speaker slightly and remark the laser point and repeat step 6 so that both speakers are reaching your ears from exactly the same angles. Once your right and left speakers are aligned perfectly, like gears meshing, you should be able to enjoy some serious 3D music. The strong stereo imaging happens in ALL parts of the room, not just the sweet spot when you get it right. All I am trying to do is blend each side of the stereo image so that the off axis sound outside the central areas of the speaker cone re join and blend both halves of the signal so they combine in the original ratio. Of course, this assumes that that all stereo recordings use the same microphone positioning so it isn’t perfect but it is very close. Cheers, Rob
  7. My NEAT SX3i speaker positioning confusion. I bought my SX3i Momentums 18 months ago when the price was reduced. When I auditioned them I knew they were superb and I spent most of the time cable swapping, finding a suitable stand, isolating and repositioning them in my bright room until …BINGO! I found the sweet spot and I realised I didn’t know as much as I thought I did. This was an absolutely necessary project because NEAT speakers were developed and fine tuned by musicians NOT just electronic engineers and I would call them musical rather that clinically accurate. The first annoyance I found was that bass was excessive but these are my end game speakers and they deserve to be properly set up. As very few NEAT SX3i users seem to be around it was difficult to find expert help. I was familiar with the uncoloured sound of my DIY Anthony Holton amplifier and the pristine signal from my StereoCoffee LDR passive preamp with ESLs and knew this wasn’t the source of excessive bass. Despite varying opinions amongst audio enthusiasts, I have found that well designed and built cables and RCA socket qualities can have a profound effect on sound colouration when a pure signal is available and the system capable of high resolution. AUREALIS LITZ INTERCONNECTS: My final solution was to install Aurealis Litz configuration interconnects and DIY Litz wire for internal StereoCoffee signal connections. ETI RCA sockets are used on the Holton and StereoCoffee. Bass was still excessive but there were nice dynamics in the underlying music. STANDS: Atacama SL500i stands with 70% sand filling and spike pads. Suitable high quality stands with a large enough top plate are hard to find and I settled on some substantial Atacama SL500i stands which have a large enough top plate to support the SX3i speakers and they are supplied with the Atacama isolation pads which work better than anything else I have come across after dozens of experiments including the use of BlueTack, which NEAT recommend. SPIKE PADS: 30mm aluminium with self adhesive cushion pads My floor is tiled and these stands transferred an enormous amount of bass energy through the floor. Standard steel spike pads helped control bass but the pads which completely tamed the bass were made from 30mm aluminium and they have self adhesive cushioned pads underneath. I used them without sticking them to the floor so they could be slid around for the final tweaks. SPEAKER POSITIONING: A sideways movement of 20mm can have a big impact. OK. Most expert opinion seems to recommend that the speaker to listening position should form an equilateral triangle. What if it isn’t possible to change the listening distance? The NEATS suffer badly from corner placement and I have settled on just over 1 metre from the side wall and 700mm from the cone to the back wall so the maximum speaker separation is only 2 metres. TOE IN? This is where I really came confused. I know these speakers can and do make beautiful music and I understood that they should be toed in about 15 to 20 degrees according to NEAT. Some experts recommend positioning the speakers so the cabinet sides are just visible in a line from the centre of the speakers just past the ears to intersect behind the head. NOT ALWAYS! After trying to follow these recommendations the magic was there but only in some seating positions so I started from scratch and positioned them facing forward (See diagram: Angle is approximately 20 degrees from centre line) GUESS WHAT? My seating position, which is longer than the speaker width, formed an angle to my ears of 15 to 20 degrees. From my listening position I can plainly see the speaker cabinet sides, which threw me. FIXED! Everything improved and the sound stage opened up, like the curtains had been opened. Moving the poof and table would help even further but there is a WAF to satisfy. Now I have NEAT's superbly detailed authentic musical performances with a 3D stage wider than the speakers, enormous dynamics and solid detailed bass. Voice can be frighteningly real at times. The 3D stage continues everywhere in the room and has the same detail in other rooms. If you already have a well set up NEAT speakers you probably know exactly what I am struggling to say. NOTE: The following non technical sketches attempt to show the effect of changing the gap. Cheers, Rob How about a few more owners share their setup experiences too.
  8. Transcendent Sound Son of Beast with the Grounded Grid would do the trick. OTL's are magic...as long as they are well ventilated and valves don't blow.
  9. Neat Acoustics have all their drivers custom designed and designs are auditioned by musicians not engineers or audiophiles, so they sound musical. These are an excellent buy if you love great music.
  10. I believe I have finally 'heard' the light after bought 500mm Atacama Professional stands with 200mm top plates that come with the Atacama pads. After messing around for ages I realised I would always be doing it ...because I could. However, they are about 70% filled with dried sand and that was the clincher. Now I am locked in and very happy because I don't even have the urge to try and improve what I am hearing. These Atacama stands really surprised me!
  11. Just spotted 5 VAF i91s 1.1 stand mount speakers with 2 stands on Gumtree for $1500 in Brisbane. They look ok. $300 each??? I want them but don't have any space. They have been there for several weeks in Computer Speaker category. Maybe that is why. https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/sunshinecoast/search/?query=vaf speakers Cheers, Rob
  12. It seems there is a 3 to 4 month wait for Atacama WHITE SLX400 and 500 stands in Australia due to COVID freight delays. It seems their websites may be misleading. Does anyone know of an Aussie stockist who actually has them, IN STOCK? Thanks, Rob
  13. Anthony Holton has an intro price for a 100watt power amp for under $1800 which should bring out the best in any high quality speakers. I just finished a comparable 150 watt DIY Holton amp which cost about the same to build and am enjoying it immensely. There is something special about the Holtons I have heard. They aren't spectacular, they just do everything that makes music sound the way it should, effortlessly. Holtons are 'keepers, so you will be unlikely to find a used one, but at the into price they are a bargain. https://holtonprecisionaudio.com/collections/class-ab-power-amplifiers/products/holton-one-zero-one-power-amplifier Cheers, Rob
  14. Further information: My LSX speakers have been sitting on a bookcase since I purchased them in October 2019 from Addicted to Audio to use while I built some DIY ESLs. I estimate they have only been used for 50 hours and would suit a new buyer. Firmware was updated today. Nudge nudge, wink wink. The wide picture is for size comparison and other gear isn't included. The reputation of these speakers is well known and I just had another listen and they are so entertaining they made me chuckle again. They really do sound much larger than they are and the musicality of the bass is surprising, even without a sub woofer. Voice is a standout but electro, piano and jazz are special. Sorry to see them go, but I'm not using them any more. Original boxes, paperwork, receipt, power and network cables are included. The network cable connects speakers during firmware updates and provides a direct connection between speakers for optimum audio quality. They can be paired by Bluetooth without using the network cable. They can be controlled by Remote or using the app which uses Airplay on a Mac or iPad. The app can also use Bluetooth from an Android phone if required. Speakers can be fine tuned to suit your room or preference using the KEF Control and KEF Stream apps for music. I have been using them with Digital Files on my Auralic Mini streamer and Spotify via the KEF Stream app. The stream app can also access Tidal if you prefer. Photos:
  15. I ran my LS50's (not meta) with great results powered by a Hypex Class-D NC122-mp with balanced inputs. They used a passive LDR Preamp with RCA/Balanced interconnects and had heaps of grunt and never struggled in a medium sized room. The Hypex neutrality and lack of harshness really suited the LS50's and let their unique character take centre stage and was much appreciated by everyone ? Cheers, Rob
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