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About ednaz

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    Northern Virginia

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  1. It's difficult to get to compare active speakers. The big box stores tend to carry only one or two that are above junque level, so I had to fall back on looking at reviews by reviewers who seemed to hear the same things I hear when reviewing gear I own, with a price ceiling that represents sanity, and the fact that the speakers I was getting weren't going to be my primary setup. That got me to a short list. Then when I said, gotta be a Roon endpoint, I only had one choice - KEF LSX. Based on how good those little guys sound, I'd love to find a way to try out the big brothers, the LS50s, in our main listening room, before I start trying to sell stuff.
  2. Absolutely agree on sometimes you can get joy (and make accommodations for joy) from a large speaker system. I had a double-Advent system for years in a range of small student and broke actor apartments for years. But while I know it's not a popular opinion, I do believe that in general, there's an optimal speaker size for spaces. Our place in NJ was huge in cubic feet - really high ceilings, open side walls. Along with long and wide floor measurements. We had GoldenEar Triton 2 speakers, traded up to the Triton 1, and it was amazing how they filled out the space with sound even better than before. (FYI, my enthusiasm for the speakers is the shape of the bass output... I've always had a thing for speakers that do bass in an open baffle or similar pattern...) When we moved to our new place in VA, while the T1 sounded great, they're not being used anywhere near their full potential. The new space is rectangular with a 12 foot, not 30 foot, ceiling, not t-shaped with open sides. In our NJ space, the T2 had the bass amps set to 2/3... and landing alien ships rattled the dishes in the kitchen. The T1 in the old place was set to about half. The built in woofer amps are set to well below a third of max in our new place. Helped a neighbor set up her new T3 speakers in her house, and she agreed to let me try them in our space. Damn, they were perfect. The bass could still rattle your innards, the amp was a hair above middle, and everything else - upper bass, mids, and highs, didn't sound terribly different other than all the drivers seemed to be working in their sweet spot at normal listening volume. Every speaker I've ever owned was tested at quiet background levels, and dance like no one is watching levels, and if they didn't do both well, I passed. But... I think that for speakers, there's some kind of optimal space and stress level. Maybe less true with designs that radiate everything to the front.
  3. I can attest to the quality of the powered network speakers. We needed something for our small living room for morning music and dining room background. Just picked up a set of KEF LSX - had been looking at single box all in one stereo setups like the Dynaudio Music 7, but they all took up a lot of space in a small room. (Small enough that whatever we chose had to sit on one of the side tables - at an angle about 3 feet of separation.) The LSX pair takes up VERY little table space. The bass is surprisingly good, without any DSP. Had a sub I thought I might use, but won't... will be selling it now. Sound quality is good enough, streaming wifi from our house media server, that if there's one more downsize in our future, these will be our audio system. Picked them up for $840 - open box, and they were the green color, which apparently is the least favorite color, the audio place couldn't sell them. We've got green in the rug, and in the curtains...so that's a nice sounding system for $840. We replaced an old DAC in our bedroom (that cost me almost $800 way back when I bought it) that had a USB drive plugged into it with an Allo Boss that takes streams from the house server. Sounds better than the old DAC. About a quarter of the size. And we just replaced our monster music server (full size tower) with an Intel NUC running headless, and a small RAID 1 direct attached storage. The table that used to be devoted to the music server, mouse, keyboard, monitor, now is devoted to flowers.
  4. At 260 pounds per speaker, he'll need those friends to help him move them around. Little locking casters, screwed in where the spikes will go, would be quite a useful customer nicety. Once you find the location, mark and swap spikes for casters.
  5. You may have seen me say earlier that because a space is hard to model using traditional acoustic engineering tools, simply means you fall back to ear. I'm on patents based on formal verification (which includes the most nightmarish math I've ever hated), number theory, and algorithmically driven computer code translation. So I'm not afraid of the math... just very cognizant that sometimes the math can suck because it isn't founded on certain necessary conditions. A few times, the higher math breakthroughs came from real wizards (I'm a catalyst, not a wizard) listening to intuitive experts talk about how they do their work. Attempts to model analog insights. Still, in memory of the anniversary of Apollo 11... we sent a few tons of metal gear and humans off the earth, sitting on top of extremely high explosive devices, and then landed two of them on the moon while their onboard computers (and that last word is very, very kind) spit multiple errors and rebooted every minute during the final approach. The analog computers that sit above our shoulders are amazing things. They fixed all the digital computer failures. Sit and grill some experts on super-computing, and they'll tell you that they'll all suck (by comparison to our brains) until they're based on analog computer technology. There are new video technologies called "event cameras"... that are basically video sensors based on analog pixels. They can make nice normal videos. And can then view the same images at rates much higher than 5000 frames per second. Locating these speakers in this space will be easiest using analog computers based on meat. Bet you that we hear that what he learned optimizing the TAD speakers contributed in some way.
  6. The asymmetry and angled ceiling do make it an interesting math engineering problem, which is why that's probably not the right approach. Our last place had multiple ceiling heights, from 12 feet to nearly 3 stories, with a "flying bridge" (open balcony hallway) across the back, with another 12 feet behind it. Open one side, closed the other. First moved speakers around to get it to sound best as it was, then started with experimenting with absorption and diffusion. Found that a nice display of thick, heavy Tibetan and Indian rugs on the railing of the flying bridge, hanging down to cover the whole front, completely transformed the sound. (and was quite nice looking...) Everything else was tweaky. The pitched ceilings aren't necessarily bad. The best sounding studio I've ever been in - the recording sessions sounded LOVELY when in the room - was Rudy Van Gelder's asymmetrical beamed wood pyramid. Good enough that the room was part of most albums recorded there. I've got a friend who's built out or refurbed recording studios, in search of that live sound. He did big movable walls initially, and found that asymmetrical spaces sounded better than symmetrical ones, and finished two studios by tweaking the walls so that there were no parallels. Hard to reverse engineer a pyramid ceiling, though.
  7. Damn, those crates! That's going to be a hell of a test of friendship finding someone who can store them. Know anyone who runs a storage business? I take continuing abuse from my family because I have every box (with all contents) for all the camera gear I own, and for all the audio gear acquired in the last decade. I've done a couple of upgrades in the last few years, and always make a huge point (to the point of my wife saying STFU about it...) of having the boxes and packing material. It definitely increases sales prices, and definitely makes me more relaxed about whether stuff is properly packed for shipping. Those speakers are huge. I'll be interested to see how the work in your new listening space. I upgraded from GoldenEar Triton 2 to Triton Reference in our NJ home - where the listening area was large end to end and side to side, ceilings a couple stories up. In our new place, with lower ceilings and one long room, without being open on each side, the speakers are noticeably overkill.
  8. I've had people scroll through my library (or back in the physical media world, my shelves of LPs and CDs) and in frustration ask me whether it's a library for multiple people. About the only thing I don't listen to is opera, and that's not even a hard and fast rule.
  9. Yep, it was the Adelphi. Damn, sad to hear it's drifted, although that's consistent with the path of high end audio in the US. Hardly any good specialist shops left except in the largest cities, and a fraction of what there used to be. I do remember that many of the shops were too small for the speakers they had even then (1998).
  10. Bravo on posting your playlist. I think that the music used to make judgments can influence the results. Not a negative - it influences the results to match YOUR preferred music. A long time ago, I moved to Singapore for a bit and left my audio gear in the US so I needed to buy a whole system. They had a wonderful mall that was four floors of high end audio gear. Most of the shops small, four or five brands. I had a handful of CDs that were my playlist. I had a written guide - this disk, these two tracks, that disk, this one track. I always let the shop use their playlist initially, but once I heard how different my playlist made the gear sound, I realized that the shops' playlists were selected to show off their gear best. After a half dozen shops, my rule was, my playlist only. Interesting results. A few shops, the owner went downcast seeing my CDs. In one case, he said "you won't like anything here, I know this". In a couple of shops, the owners broke into huge grins. In a couple of cases, they whipped out disks of music I love, that could well have been on my playlist. Guess what? Everything I bought came from those shops. Since then, I've kept track of what reviewers say they listened to. Funny... those who did rave reviews of gear I owned called out music that I enjoyed. Most reviews you get piecemeal info. Posting the playlist ROCKS because it simplifies things. Unfortunately, I think I'm going to love your playlist, and a new DAC at this price range is not likely in my immediate future...
  11. I see a lot of people talking about disappointment about added EQ and reverb. I've spent a fair amount of time in quite a few recording studios - inside where the musicians are, and then listening in the control room after takes. Most studio environments are incredibly dry sounding. Unpleasantly dry, and artificial sounding. We really don't hear pure instruments in any real world setting, it's always instruments in a space. Extremely common to "wet up" the recording with reverb. A lot of effort when building out recording studios goes into absorbing sound to minimize bleed and crosstalk problems. They engineer away the space so that it's not part of the recording. Very few studios are designed for that little bit of liveliness that makes things sound alive. Rudy Van Gelder's studio in NJ is an exception - he designed the space so that it would be a little bit alive. I've been inside during sessions and it's so much more pleasant sounding than most studios. Chesky's albums sound different because he's recording in spaces with their own reverb characteristics. The rooms are as much a part of the recording as the musical instruments.
  12. My thought exactly. And the recordings sounded close... but slightly different. But not obviously different. I didn't have time to listen several different times to try and figure out the source of the difference. There are definitely commonalities. Binaural is so sensitive to the recording space, so Chesky's got his list of venues. I'm so in love with the Chesky binaural recordings, to a great extent because they're of artists and music I love. (And full disclosure, a few of the artists are friends or kids of friends.) I didn't hear it on these... but I've got a few binaural albums that were recorded live, and they're freaky... someone sneezes behind, and if you're wearing headphones you head whips around and causes a serious chiropractic problem. Some binaural recordings aren't impressive on stereo, and Chesky claims to do some kind of voodoo to make them work. Another reason I wanted to listen and A/B.
  13. You can add the station URL to Roon. But... no metadata. You don't get the artist, album cover, song info. All of which JRMC handles effortlessly. So on Roon, I can get the HD streams... but I can't see the info on what I"m listening to. Interesting because Roon handles the low-res streams with full metadata support. OK, not full. They show artist and album, but it's not like listening to Tidal or Qobuz on Roon. That kind of inconsistency is what makes Sonos users love their systems, whatever the weaknesses. HIgh res streams on Roon are also glitchy. Lose connections a lot. Doesn't reconnect smoothly. (The internet is still a mean and ugly place.) JRMC handles the glitches effortlessly. According to Roon they worked hard on the UI. But, having worked on a lot of UIs, from intermediate range missile launch systems used on the battle field under fire, to cars, to web sites designed for people in their 70s, they've fallen so short. On my phone, for example, Roon is vertical. On my tablet - OOPS. No vertical. They do behave just slightly differently. That's what causes unsophisticated users to abandon interfaces. Sonos is always Sonos. I'm using Roon on an iPad Pro 9.7 inch and iPhone 6; my wife on an iPad Pro 10 inch and iPhone 6. The first time she held her iPad vertically, as she had her iiPhone 6, and it continued to display in landscape aspect... abandoned. I've seen this soooooo many times. The device interfaces don't look and behave exactly like the online ones. They're not adaptive to how you hold your device. Developers get annoyed about this - why can't users just learn. End users shouldn't have to learn. (and by and large won't.) I interact with a couple dozen sites every day where the sites behave on my tablets and phones like they do on my laptop, where they adapt presentation to the screens' orientation, without changing how interaction happens. It's not easy. But it's not that hard.
  14. OK, we're a pretty solid match. We use Roon on the dedicated music server - isn't a NUC, because I've got four 6tb disks inside... one holds our main music library, three are linked mirrors of the library. The only things it does other than that is rip CDs, look up support info for Roon or JRMC, and back up the music library to cloud. I use JRMC on my laptops... and am still on the fence about whether I will keep Roon, since my musical tastes significantly outpace their metadata. Roon integrates Qobuz and Tidal, JRMC doesn't. But JRMC's streaming capability for Radio Paradise, 440khz, and other high definition streaming stations is far superior. I've figured out where my wife's "can't do this" comes from. She LOVES using Roon on her home office desktop to listen to streaming, or opera or jazz from our library. It's big on her screen, very graphic, point and click, doesn't feel crowded and small. The small devices (phones or iPads) used to control Roon or JRMC on the large systems are where she throws her hands up. I understand completely. Their control device interfaces are afterthoughts. I set up the Tidal skill on Alexa so she could ask for music from Tidal for our grandson, who is a dancing fool (at 20 months, if you put music on he'll dance for an hour, eyes half shut.) She can't get the hang of adding "Tidal" to the Alexa ask. I used to lead teams that re-designed user interfaces to motivate usage and interest. I'd charge Roon or JRMC half my usual billing rate to lead a team to design a control UI that non-technical people would love to use.
  15. My main system DAC is from Exasound, and it requires a particular implementation of ASIO, and they only provide ASIO for Windows and Mac OS. (They WERE going to supply a Linux ASIO driver but... didn't.) So my media system is a Win10 computer that I built, running Roon. Exasound now has a streaming endpoint with ASIO built in which will free me to try to move to a simpler "set and forget" server, like your Rock/NUC. Are you running both JRiver and Roon on the NUC? I looked at House Band and it doesn't say it works with Roon. (I've never had any luck with both Roon and JRiver live at the same time... they get into arguments about controlling output to my main system.) I see on Roon that several people have built their own Alexa voice control for Roon, including turning their entire system on and off, while Roon officially claims it's too hard to do.
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