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Old 2nd March 2010, 01:19 AM   #1
royd55 is offline royd55  United States
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Default players and speakers used for sse

I would be interested in what cd players and speakers you guys are using for your sse. I can see that the choices here could be critical to the results obtained with sse. Are dedicated hi fi cd players better than the dvd/cd players? What speaker sensisitivity do you consider optimal for 5 watts?

Roy
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Old 2nd March 2010, 01:43 AM   #2
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Klipsch Chorus II work pretty good. They're rated for something just over 100 dB at 1 watt, 1 meter.

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Old 2nd March 2010, 02:00 AM   #3
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Quote:
Are dedicated hi fi cd players better than the dvd/cd players?
Maybe. Can I hear the difference? I don't know, but I have a hard time spending big bux on a CD player when I have a Magnavox DVD player with HDMI out that I got at Walmart for $29 that sounds pretty good. It replaced a high end Toshiba DVD player that might have sounded better but I needed the smaller sized unit.

Another option that I have been using more and more is the computer. Rip CD's to the hard drive using Exact Audio Copy, and play them back through a 24 bit 96 KHz or better sound card. I use an EMU 1820M for a home micro studio. It has 8 channels and a phono stage. I rip LP's to the hard drive using Cakewalk Sonar in 24 / 96. I record TV in 1080i too. When 1TB hard drives are $80, why not? This computer has 3 of them, one for computer type stuff, one for music only, and another for TV.

My lab / work room / listening room is small (10 X 11 feet) so I am limited to small speakers. I use Yamaha studio monitors that are 87db efficient. The volume is sufficient for casual listening when driven by a Tubelab SE running 45's that makes 2 WPC. For more volume I have a KT88 Simple SE in triode that will get plenty loud. I am building a few Simple P-P amps, and I think that one of them will push the Simple SE off of the shelf for a while, if for no other reason than to hear something different for a while. I have experimented with some big P-P amps up to 200 WPC, but once the speaker cones are moving as far as they can, more power only makes more distortion.

In the living room I have a pair of Silver Iris OB drivers mounted in a pair of old (1941) Zenith console radios. They have 15 inch woofers and are 96db efficient. You can hear the bass inside the house across the street with the same KT88 Simple SE in UL with CFB.
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Old 2nd March 2010, 09:49 PM   #4
royd55 is offline royd55  United States
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Ok guys, you have given me something to think about. I like the sensitivity of the Klipsch Chorus, i guess i had overlooked that model.

I also like the idea of playing through the computer with a big hard drive and and nice sound card.

Roy
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Old 2nd March 2010, 10:09 PM   #5
rknize is offline rknize  United States
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Take a look at any of Klipsch's vintage offerings (Chorus, Heresy, Cornwall, LaScallas etc). They have a reputation for being very tube-friendly due to their high sensitivity, but you have to like horns. They are pricey but can be found in the used market readily. Some are still available new as made-to-order "Classic" designs, if you can afford them. Otherwise, look in Craigslist for spouse-enforced sales.

For something with a bit more WAF, the KLF series is sort of a cross-over point of Klipsch into the home theater market. They are a little tougher to find and they often will sell for more than some of the vintage stuff....probably because they look more conventional. After the KLFs, sensitivity seems to go down and the designs become more about eye candy. Not a problem for HT, but not the best for tube amps. Someone in another thread recently pointed out the RF-7, which is in production as a "Classic" and looks and specs a lot like a KLF-10.
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Old 2nd March 2010, 10:18 PM   #6
rknize is offline rknize  United States
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For the music source, I use a SqueezeBox (I have several different vintages in various places in the house). The SB1, SB2, and SB3 use high-quality DACs...better than any of my CD players. My entire music collection is ripped lossless (FLAC) so they decode just as well as the source CD and I can be lazy and play any album from my couch.

The only mod I had to do to the SB3 in the recroom (where the KLFs live) was to build a linear power supply for it. The little SMPS wall wart introduced an annoying HF whine that the horns reproduced quite readily.
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Old 1st April 2010, 09:12 PM   #7
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Great topic!

While I'm in the process of redoing much of my system (starting with the SSE) my current digital source and speaks are pretty tube friendly I guess.

For cd's I have a Njoe Tjoeb 4000 that sounds better to me than did my old NAD player and the Sony unit before that. Plus it has a tubed output section.

My current speakers are DIY OB's using Silver Iris coaxials and augie woofers. I'm contemplating building new speakers but may try a tweeter and crossover upgrade on the Iris' first.

Rick
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Old 2nd April 2010, 01:38 PM   #8
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I use my Tubelab SE with a pair of Austin a166 Ron Clarke Horns speakers I built. They're single driver back loaded horns with no crossovers, and they work really well with the Tubelab. They're very efficient, so even with 45 tubes I can easily drive them to ear shattering volumes. They produce more than enough bass, but they do fall a little flat in the high ends. I might experiment with adding a super tweeter.

For a front end I use a Rega P3-24 turntable, no CD player. I've noticed most SET people use digital sources like a CD player, though, so I guess I'm in the minority. Eventually I'm going to get a Squeezebox, ideally one that can handle 192khz 24 bit FLAC, and either buy or build a DAC.
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Old 2nd April 2010, 04:25 PM   #9
jrenkin is offline jrenkin  United States
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A little sideways from the thread topic, but i used to have a squeezebox and although the DAC is ok, if you already have a DAC, you would be better off spending the cash on an older MAC mini to use as a server. it is great.
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Old 2nd April 2010, 04:38 PM   #10
rknize is offline rknize  United States
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It depends on you needs. How do you control a Mac Mini? It has no interface. The SB gives you what need right at your system: a remote control and a large, easy-to-read interface. The SB does need a computer at the backend, but it can be anywhere on your network. No need to have a computer sitting right next to your audio gear.

I did the audio server thing and I found the SB to be a much better solution, especially if you want access to the same library from more than one place in your home. I have 5 of them.
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