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Old 24th January 2013, 02:31 AM   #8241
fas42 is offline fas42  Australia
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Sorry that the conversation has already moved on but I've been meaning to say that I share your appreciation of Harman Kardon and Luxman. I have several of each (receiver/amps) that I have purchased Used, from the late 1970s or early 80s, mostly, and am always amazed at how good they sound. Incredibly good, really. Even the little 50-watters seem to drive the 4-Ohm Maggies perfectly. (Actually, even a 30-Watt Adcom drives them almost as well as my biggest power amp, which is rated to do 1000 Watts into 1 Ohm, average, continuously.)
And there you have a perfect linkage to the Power Supply Reservoir thread. Apparently Magnepans are almost pure resistive loads over the whole audio band, meaning they fit the simulation load scenarios almost perfectly. "Real", other, speakers have all sorts of peculiarities along the frequency range, just enough to throw lots of amplifiers into a misbehaving "tizz" as they attempt to feed the speaker crossovers, etc, with the required current spikes ...

Frank

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Old 24th January 2013, 02:47 AM   #8242
a.wayne is offline a.wayne  United States
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Originally Posted by gootee View Post
Sorry that the conversation has already moved on but I've been meaning to say that I share your appreciation of Harman Kardon and Luxman. I have several of each (receiver/amps) that I have purchased Used, from the late 1970s or early 80s, mostly, and am always amazed at how good they sound. Incredibly good, really. Even the little 50-watters seem to drive the 4-Ohm Maggies perfectly. (Actually, even a 30-Watt Adcom drives them almost as well as my biggest power amp, which is rated to do 1000 Watts into 1 Ohm, average, continuously.)
Whats with the PM ...
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Old 24th January 2013, 07:03 AM   #8243
dvv is online now dvv  Serbia
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Originally Posted by gootee View Post
Sorry that the conversation has already moved on but I've been meaning to say that I share your appreciation of Harman Kardon and Luxman. I have several of each (receiver/amps) that I have purchased Used, from the late 1970s or early 80s, mostly, and am always amazed at how good they sound. Incredibly good, really. Even the little 50-watters seem to drive the 4-Ohm Maggies perfectly. (Actually, even a 30-Watt Adcom drives them almost as well as my biggest power amp, which is rated to do 1000 Watts into 1 Ohm, average, continuously.)
This is about what I feel as well, Tom. Having been in this for 42 years now, if anything, I can safely claim to be with experience. And it teaches me that at each and every turn, HK equipment was always more or less at the top of the mass produced products, and sometimes, it was THE pinnacle of the day for a while.

Not perfect of course, they actually have some faults built in. When designing the mechanicals, I think they send their purchasing department out with a mission: find the cheapest and worst pots and rim pots out there, and then buy the even cheaper ones. "Poor quality" doesn't even begin to describe it, believe me.

Until about two months ago, I considered the HK 6550 integrated amp a good one, but not really exciting. Then, I set about refreshing it, i.e. pulling out old capacitors and putting in new ones, it's been with me for exactly 20 years. And in the process, I decided to exchange the installed volume pot with an Alps Blue, which I had at hand, so zero hassle. I did so, and I stood there fklabbergasted - in fact, I still have difficulty in believeing what I hear.

Just that one pot, and I note that my Tone Defeat switch is always ON, in one step took it like five classes up. From zero to hero in one easy step - it CAN be done. To cut a long story short, it now does everything it did before, but with so much space, air and spatial detail that it wipes the floor even with the Karan, which is a very serious player. It is easy to hear on a good recording that the violinits is to the right and a bit above the say trumpet player. And two months down the road, I still find it hard to believe that so much can be obtained from such a device (given its price range) and with such a small change.

Truly, EVERYTHING matters. I believe now.

Luxman - of course, I have known about them for over 30 years, but my practical hands-on experience has been almost nil. I never owned one of their products, until this C-03 preamp. And frankly, I just love it, it is almost exactly what I would want in a perfect (for me) preamp. Even now, in its "as is" form, i.e. before refreshing the caps. As you would eexpect, I do have a few quibbles, but none of paramount importance.

I am now in the final stages of refreshing my Marantz 3250 B preamp, and I just can't wait to pit it against the Luxman. I think the Luxman will come out better, but then it did cost a fair amount more than the Marantz, relatively speaking.

And, in closing, I freely admit that Harman's think has influenced me more than any other approach or philosophy out there (yes, I did read Bob Cordell's and Ben Duncan's books on amps). Never worked for them, as some lucky guys here did, but I obviously do have some sort of a bond with them. Maybe because I had to wait for some 16 or 17 years before I bought my first H/K - every time I wanted to, something came up which was more urgent, and so it went for years.
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Old 24th January 2013, 07:05 AM   #8244
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Whats with the PM ...
Read and learn, old son.

Seriously though, you're right, I did respond and that will be that, for more we will switch over to PM. At your loss.
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Old 24th January 2013, 07:18 AM   #8245
dvv is online now dvv  Serbia
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And there you have a perfect linkage to the Power Supply Reservoir thread. Apparently Magnepans are almost pure resistive loads over the whole audio band, meaning they fit the simulation load scenarios almost perfectly. "Real", other, speakers have all sorts of peculiarities along the frequency range, just enough to throw lots of amplifiers into a misbehaving "tizz" as they attempt to feed the speaker crossovers, etc, with the required current spikes ...

Frank
Agreed.

Mostly because my own speakers are not unlike the Magnepans in this respect, an almost pure resistive load. Nomnally 8 Ohms, minimum 6.5 Ohms, maximum 11 Ohms. Worst case phase shift -25 degrees.

Literally ANYTHING can drive them, including the highly suspicious low, low end. Frank's chip amps would have a field day with them. My humble Toshiba 45 integrated amp, even in its present unrefreshed form, sounds good with them; try it with the AR 94s, and it quickly gets into trouble as the volume goes up. Given its teeny weeny power transformer, no wonder.

I remember a British speaker of some 20 years ago or so, I forgot which, with the most complex crossover network I ever saw, which was tested in a Brit mag. It was given a thumbs up grade, with an explanation that a good part of that XO was dedicated to making the speaker an even and mostly purely resistive load, so its lowish efficiency, demanding more work from the driving amp, was no real problem at all.

I think even the efficiency issue takes a definite back seat to what kind of a load is presented to the amp. The more resistive the load is, the less important the efficiency becomes.
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Old 24th January 2013, 08:03 AM   #8246
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I remember a British speaker of some 20 years ago or so, I forgot which, with the most complex crossover network I ever saw, which was tested in a Brit mag. It was given a thumbs up grade, with an explanation that a good part of that XO was dedicated to making the speaker an even and mostly purely resistive load, so its lowish efficiency, demanding more work from the driving amp, was no real problem at all
Kef 104/2, with conjugate load matching, perhaps?

As regards pot's, in my book these are evil; I can always hear the degradation they cause ...

Frank
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Old 24th January 2013, 08:54 AM   #8247
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Kef 104/2, with conjugate load matching, perhaps?

As regards pot's, in my book these are evil; I can always hear the degradation they cause ...

Frank
I don't think so, Frank, I think it was an exotic brand with a very exotic price. A pretty small monitor speaker, but with very, very good measurements overall.
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Old 24th January 2013, 10:12 AM   #8248
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Hi fi is time distortion . If my mood changes so does the sound which further complicates it . I am lucky , I can usually change my mood by listening . There are unsubtle time differences called room effects . Hearing music out of time period transports us back . Thus it is all fiction . What I think we observe easily is lack of frequency range and dynamics . Additional distortion stops the subtle realities working at all . Digital is neither wrong nor right . It is a layer of complexity which we seem for other reasons to need . Digital is almost like being forced to learn English to get on in the world .

Thus time distortion is where it is in doubt . To have a recording of Beethoven before big fi would be wonderful . I think Previn said of Furtwangler , if we tried to convince him of " real music " he would say " Beethoven would have preferred it as it is now " . The point is big orchestras have large time distortion . They can not keep up a fast rhythm due to time delay . A conductor is required to make it work . A great conductor makes the building work . Thus real music has the same problems . We add to it .
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Old 24th January 2013, 11:45 AM   #8249
dvv is online now dvv  Serbia
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@Frank
In my book, pots are quite simply necessary. Therefore, neither evil nor good. As with any other component, I will always strive to use the best I can get my hands on, or afford, whichever comes first.

Do they distort? I would imagine so. But I cannot control the volume or balance without them, be they mechanical or electronic. So, all I can do is try to reduce their distortion to the least possible value.

@Nigel
I consider myself as a very lucky man to be able to influence my own (sometimes filthy)mood by playing appropriate music. I have music for most of my moods. When I'm tired and fed up, I put on Enya to get me back on the track. If it's raining outside and the weather i foul, I put on Katarina and the Waves "Walkin' On Sunshaine", that never fails to cheer me up, a true summer song if there ever was one. If I'm in a pensive mood, Chris Isaac usually makes me pause and question myself. Poetic feelings are usually taken care of by Loreena McKennit. Rebellious is well served by Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Barry McGuire and the late 60ies-early 70ies protest gang. Leonard Cohen and Gordon Lightfoot never fail no matter what. And so forth.

The day music stops influencing me is the days I sell of everything, buy a late 70ies receiver and call it a day.
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Old 24th January 2013, 01:29 PM   #8250
a.wayne is offline a.wayne  United States
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Read and learn, old son.

Seriously though, you're right, I did respond and that will be that, for more we will switch over to PM. At your loss.
Not what was meant, when Tom mentioned 1ohm , it was like sending me a PM ..

As far as underrated components , Onkyo , i would put them up against HK , i will never forget my big technics receiver coming pretty close to matching My ML-9 for sonics , has tainted my views on Levinson amplfiers ever
Since ....

ML did make excellent pre-amps thou....

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