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#1 of 123 OFFLINE   Scott Oliver

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Posted April 03 2002 - 08:17 AM

Ok Ok I'll start us off on a new thread. It has been suggested that we do something again in May. Lets start throwing out some ideas.

I personally would like to do an in-home demo of some equipment at someone's house. Like for me I am interested in 2-channel amps right now. It would be cool to get either a local dealer to either bring some amps over to my system or just borrow one possibly two from them to do some A/B comparisons, in order to help me decide which direction I should go. Is any other HTF'er shopping around for something that a local dealer carries?

It was also mentioned on the other thread about a power cord investigation. Is it voodoo or legitimate? And DIY cables were mentioned as well.

Lets start throwing some ideas around.

#2 of 123 OFFLINE   Colin Dunn

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Posted April 03 2002 - 04:46 PM

Either May 4 or 11 works for me. We could do our tweak testing - speaker wires, analog & digital interconnects, power cords, etc. We could also compare sighted and blind testing results. I have an SPL meter so we can approximately level-match.

Who hasn't hosted yet who would like to???
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#3 of 123 OFFLINE   Mark Hayenga

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Posted April 04 2002 - 03:07 PM

Two words: PROJECTOR SHOOTOUT!!! Posted Image

(Or, since we already sorta had one of these, anyone with a projector mind having me over for a movie some time? Colin and Greg, I'm looking in your direction.... Posted Image )
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#4 of 123 OFFLINE   Jonathan DA

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Posted April 04 2002 - 03:17 PM

I think we could do an amp audition and a cable shoot-out at the same time, they are complimentary events. Plus, the local dealers might be willing to provide cables for the day since Scott is actually in the market for new amps. I'm in the market for a two-channel preamp myself. I would be interested in doing blind A/B and ABX tests on amps, preamps, and cables.

Of course, Mark is interested in a projector shoot-out. I'm game for that too; he's gettin serious about buying one and I want someplace to watch movies.

Jonathan


#5 of 123 OFFLINE   Nils Luehrmann

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Posted April 04 2002 - 03:57 PM

Looks like I posted on the wrong thread earlier - LOL
(so using my handy scissors & glue....)


WOW - this is what I get for being too busy...

Sounds like the best HT meet yet! WTG all, and I hope someone took a bunch of notes....?

I'm sorry for having to withdrawl from the HTA just as things were taking off, but there is a very good explanation, which when I see you all next time I will be happy to share - nothing bad, just that I was offered and accepted a position at a company that caused me to have a conflict of interest by remaining involved with the HTA.

Any way, I am really dissapointed I missed this meet, as I have been doing a lot of research on the value of DYI HT projects. *SIGH*

Speaking of which, I just bought a new projector and am redesigning my HT room, and experimenting with several different types of DYI screens. If any are interested in sharing you experience, or seeing what I am up to, let me know and maybe we can all get together.

I'll send out an email to this and the rest of the HTA members and see who else might be interested.

Glad to finally be back!!!!

For all that have been so diligent in remaining in contact with me (or at least trying to - like Greg and Colin) my appologies - life has been a wirlwind lately and it has been ridiculous trying to keep up with everything.

Speaking of which - Linda and I are expecting our first child, Erik. Due around the 1st of July.

Great hearing from you all again, see you soon I hope.


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#6 of 123 OFFLINE   Steve Stogel

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Posted April 06 2002 - 05:41 PM

I kind of like Mark's idea. Hey, we did speakers last meet, why not check out PJs this meet? You may be able to tell by my PJ acronym, but I recently got interested in front projectors. I know it would be asking a lot, but if we could get a CRT to compare as well, that would be cool...oh, I don't know, maybe a Sony 1031q since they're light and...um...also something I'm considering Posted Image.

Are you thinking LCD, Mark? The folks at AVS (at least in the CRT section) are rabid about CRTs. What would you expect in that section, of course? I just like how cheap they're getting, and I think it would be an awesome route to a cheap, big, high-quality picture. BTW, is there any good source of old CRTs here in Austin that anybody knows of, or am I best using projectorspecs or inventory solutions (a couple of companies that keep popping up at AVS)?

But if y'all wanna do amps and cables, that's cool, too. I mean, I don't know y'all, and y'all don't know me, so maybe that would be best (my little ode to Shrek Posted Image). There will be other meets, and I'm not looking to buy just yet anyway Posted Image. Anytime in May looks good for me, so the sooner the better, I say.

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#7 of 123 OFFLINE   Colin Dunn

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Posted April 07 2002 - 01:53 PM

Steve - I like the projector shootout idea. By the way, how cheap are good CRT FPTVs becoming? It's been about a year since I looked, but an HD-capable CRT with <5,000 hours on the tubes was still running several thousand $$$. Sometimes they were cheaper on eBay, but the reputable sellers of refurbished projectors were still asking high prices. If anything, prices had gone UP by about 10-20%.

People would pay just about anything to get a usable Barco (considered the best of the CRT projectors). Barcos with 8" or 9" CRTs (which provide the brightest/biggest pictures) would sell for as much as a car...
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#8 of 123 OFFLINE   Steve Stogel

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Posted April 07 2002 - 06:26 PM

Hey, Colin.

I found a couple of places that the people over at AVS seem to like buying from. Looks like a 12XX series Sony goes for less than a grand delivered. I'm actually shopping for a 10 series, though, as they're considerably smaller. The 1030q1 and 1031q are the only 10s you can even line double, though, but I'm thinking it would still be very nice. That and they're only 65lbs versus near 150. Here are the places:
http://www.projectorspecs.com/
This one is Curt Palme. He's their CRT guru over at AVS, kinda like TV is kind of the sub guro over here. They're a bit more pricey, but he sells very low-hour (or new CRT's altogether) PJs.


The one I'm kind of shopping right now is this place:
http://www.invsol-inc.com/
This is Inventory Solutions. They're in Atlanta, and I talked to a guy over there named Bob Buchanan. Seemed like a cool guy, and AVS folks have seemed to have good experiences with them. You can get a 1251q (pretty low hours, typically, and good tubes) or a 1270q with good tubes (no hour counter on them, though) for about $700, and even with shipping you're looking at under $800 (I think he said $80-$100 shipping here, and that was for the 150 pounders). So, if I wanted a really nice HDTV PJ, I think he's probably the way I'd go.

So, yeah, I'm curious to see how a CRT might stack up against a cheaper LCD PJ in a fairly light-controlled room. Wish the size of the 12 series didn't bother me so much, but, unfortunately it does a bit. If I'm going to ceiling-mount it (emphasis on "I"), I sure wouldn't want to be the unlucky guy who drew the short straw sitting beneath that 150-pound bohemoth Posted Image.

Well, enough rambling for me. So when is the next meet Posted Image?

Steve

#9 of 123 OFFLINE   Hank Frankenberg

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Posted April 07 2002 - 11:18 PM

We were on the idea for this being a meet aimed at testing (objectively :>) ) tweaks and such things as interconnects and speaker cables, AC noise filters, etc, so I vote we continue in that direction. Of course, adding some projectors if folks can bring a few.

Nils, Colin was considering a D-I-Y screen and I've been "hinting" that he order the plastic panel that some forum people have used. You might want to send him an e-mail. Congrats on the upcoming new arrival!

Maybe Colin can get some time to post pics from the last meet - it would make a good D-I-Y section thread. Posted Image

#10 of 123 OFFLINE   Nils Luehrmann

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Posted April 08 2002 - 02:55 AM

Hey Hank,

Good to hear from you!

I'm not sure if the PLAS-TEX is the best option when paired with a 10/11 HT, but I could be wrong as I have not seen that set-up yet.

I will shortly though, as I have 4 PLAS-TEX sheets, the first two I bought several weeks ago and are the 4x8 cuts. I was so impressed with this material that when they offered to make special cuts for HT users, I bought a couple of the 5x10 sheets.

Colin, if you would like to borrow a sheet to try out, just let me know. In the mean time, I am planning on lending a sheet to fellow HTA member, Bill Urschel who also owns a 10HT and has become a somewhat expert on "tweaking" 10HTs so his thoughts on pairing the PLAS-TEX with his 10HT might be interesting to hear.

I also have the "Blackout" fabric cut for a screen that may be a better choice for the 10HT in order to improve the perceived black level. I don't know if Bill has tried that material out or not, but when I see him next time I'll ask.

I know some screen aficionados have played around with the PLAS-TEX gain and contrast by experimenting with various paints as well as different "screen goo", but for me, so far I have been extraordinarily pleased with its native attributes.

I haven't tested it with any reflective light meters, but I would roughly guess that it has a gain of about 1.2 (using the "rough" side). The "smooth" side seemed a little hot, maybe 1.6

#11 of 123 OFFLINE   Scott Oliver

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Posted April 08 2002 - 06:53 AM

Does anyone know a dealer who would be willing to let us borrow a projector. I doubt you would have any takers, which leaves the forum members as the only ones who can supply projectors for a shootout. I know of 2 people that own a projector in our group, Colin and Greg. Who's projector was used at the last meet for the powerpoint presentation?
So thus, we have a supply problem to begin with.

Second, didn't we do a projector shoot-out at the meet before last. We had three projectors given a time period to show there stuff at Colin's on basically the same materials. We didn't title it a projector shoot-out, but it basically turned into that. Correct me if I am wrong, those that were there.

I am in line with Hank, it was first discussed to have the next meet be a shootout of cables and acessories, and I think we should stick to that. In fact I will volunteer to host such a meet since I haven't done so as of yet. Plus, I have a good enough system that I think tweaks or cable changes should be able to show what they can add or take away from my system.

Theta CasaNova
Meridian 500 Transport
Sony S7000 DVD Transport
Bryston 5B-ST
JM Reynaud Offrandes
Bag End Infrasub-18
Sony Direct XBR 35" TV

In terms of what items I have that would fit into such a shootout. My power cords are all stock. Interconnects are Tara Labs Prism 22. Digital Interconnects are Kimber Digital Xlink and Tara Labs Prism D-2. Speaker cables are Analysis Plus Oval 9 biwires and also have some Tara Labs Omni. One caveat, my speakers are biwirable and I have no jumpers for them since I purchased the Analysis Plus cables in conjunction with them. Lastly, I have a couple of Panamax products the 1500 and Coax-6 for surge supression and line filtering and everything is plugged into 2 15amp dedicated lines.

If you guys allow me to host, I would not be able to have as large a group as what was present at the last meet. I would need to limit attendance to probably about 15, and I could provide sitting to about 4 or 5 at a time in a general listening sweet spot for best stereo effects. What I mean is that everyone could hear the music or movie from anywhere, but in terms of true listening between the speakers, I could only get 4 or 5.

May 4th and 11th would both work for me as well.

#12 of 123 OFFLINE   Nils Luehrmann

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Posted April 08 2002 - 08:12 AM

I can't speak for the HTF Austin group, but more than half the members of the HTA Austin group have FP systems - 7 CRT FP owners, 6 LCD FP owners, 3 DILA FP owners, and 9 DLP FP owners - probably more now, since the last time I did a survey was over a year ago.

That and there are a few HTA members who are owners and managers of a few of the more prominent HT installers and suppliers in Austin. I am sure they would be happy to put somthing together - as some have done so in the past, and others have offered.

I personally am looking at designing my HT room so that it can be easily transformed into a testing room for comparing various HT elements such as projectors, screens, speakers, and various A/V equipment.

Once that is done, I will gladly share my room with HTF & HTA members to use as a testing facility (as long as no one gets too carried away.

#13 of 123 OFFLINE   Steve Stogel

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Posted April 08 2002 - 03:39 PM

Sorry, Scott (and everyone else).

As the last meet was my first, I wasn't aware a similar topic had been covered. I'm more than happy to wait as I am still very much in the "educating myself" phase as far as PJs go. Whatever the masses decides is more than fine with me, and I hope to attend Posted Image.

Steve

P.S. What is HTA? Right now I look at HTF for most everything I'm interested in except PJs, where I do most of my research at AVS. Thanks.

#14 of 123 OFFLINE   Scott Oliver

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Posted April 08 2002 - 04:04 PM

No need to apologize Steve, especially since this is the Home Theater Forum and video is a big part of it. As far as what HTA is, I have no idea, and Nils that would be great if we could get are hands some of there vast array of front projectors for a shootout whether this meet or a future meet. I was just stating a supply problem based upon who I have met in our HTF group and what I know of their systems.

Something to keep in mind. If a projector shootout is what comes up as this meets theme, I cannot host it. I do not have the space, facilities, and light level control to do projectors justice at my place.

#15 of 123 OFFLINE   Frederick_Falk

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Posted April 09 2002 - 01:42 AM

I have been to the last five meets and the last one that was held at Colin's house was a semi-projector shoot-out even though it was not advertised as such. It just sort of "morpht" into one. I would also like to see another projector shootout but am in favor of sticking with the original plan of doing the cable comparison first. We could then do a projector shootout at the next meeting as this will require a lot of logoistics to make it work well. I have access to a Sharp LCD projector that my work uses that I will be happy to suppy at that meet. I may also have purchased the new projector for my church by then and would be able to bring it.

Anywho, count me in for the next meet regardless of the topic, date or meeting place.
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#16 of 123 OFFLINE   Jonathan DA

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Posted April 11 2002 - 07:13 AM

Hrrmmmm, I'm not usually one to change my mind, but in thinking about the enthusiasm of this group, I'm questioning the cable/amp shootout idea. Here's why: doing a serious, scientifically and statistically valid comparison of amps and cables will be very, very, very boring to most people I think. To quote an unnamed source, it could be much like watching paint dry. Your basic process is that one person sits in the listening spot with a notepad while another person switches out the gear in a manner such that the listener has no idea what's going on. The listener then tries to determine if the switch made any difference in the sound. Sounds simple enough, until you consider that if we're comparing 6 different cables, then each cable has to be compared to each other cable in the EXACT same manner. That means the same listener, the same amp, the same music, the same evaluation criteria, the same EVERYTHING. Do that 36 times PER LISTENER PER AMP and we're all going to get VERY bored.

Now if you want to do a sighted test without any statistical or scientific validity, I guess you could, but don't expect myself or any other scientifically trained designer or engineer to believe a lick of the results. Way too many uncontrolled variables, including psychological effects.

So, at this juncture, my preference is to do the PJ shoot-out. Much easier to do valid comparisons on those and it will be more exciting and fun.

Jonathan


#17 of 123 OFFLINE   Jonathan DA

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Posted April 11 2002 - 07:24 AM

Here's another idea, since a PJ shootout has sorta been done already--are there any big electronics/speaker manufactuers in the Austin/San Antonio/Dallas/Houston area that would be willing to give a group tour? Just a thought.

Or, since we all know the importance of room acoustics, perhaps people would like to have a DIY absorber day. We could set up a small assembly line in someone's shop and build absorbers and diffusors for an afternoon so everyone could get cheap room treatments. Hmm, ok, maybe I'm the only crazy person who likes that one. Maybe that would be a better one at a time activity.

Jonathan


#18 of 123 OFFLINE   Hank Frankenberg

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Posted April 11 2002 - 07:30 AM

Jonathan, on reflection, I agree with you, UNLESS most folks are okay with the long, "boring" aspect of the testing. If people really want to do the testing, we could do interconnects in one room, speaker cable in another, power cords in another, power conditioners in another. Or, a hybrid might be to do testing of only one of the above in a room and do a projector shootout in the main room. I'll go with the majority on this. Please make this on May 4 or 11, as I'm headed to Cozumel for SCUBA diving on May 15 Posted Image

#19 of 123 OFFLINE   Brian Bunge

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Posted April 11 2002 - 08:49 AM

Is some poor shmoe from "Jawga" welcome? Hank and I have become somewhat partners in crime and he's invited me. I'm looking into airline flights at the moment. Just under $400 is the best I've found. How far or a drive is it from Atlanta to Austin?Posted Image

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#20 of 123 OFFLINE   Scott Oliver

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Posted April 11 2002 - 04:00 PM

On the cable acessories or whatever comparison, personally I didn't have in mind a double blind test. Doing that would be completely boring, unreasonable for a large group to participate in, and completely boring. But, I do think doing a switch between two components giving each component a valid listening time can be an effective tool for evaluation. Heck isn't that how we all put our systems together, through listening at shops or shows and deciding what we liked best.




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