Meet Report Jan 13 at my house!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Philip Hamm, Jan 17, 2001.

  1. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    HTF Meet Jan 13th:
    Sorry it took so long to get this up, but I've been very busy lately. The meet Jan 13th at my house went fairly well. Participants included Myself, Justin Stephen, Phil Abish, Donovan Chung, Vince Maskeeper, David Park, Chris Lana, Bruce Norton, Jeff Remer, and Frank Anderson. I was struck with one major technical glitch, someone had fiddled with the very carefully calibrated knobs on my DTS decoder without my knowledge!!! I couldn't tell because I was "driving", sitting on the floor up at the component rack, and it sounded fine from there. So my DTS was all out of wack when we watched the DTS opening of Saving Private Ryan. As a result, the Dolby Digital LD, being much more balanced, sounded not only better, but MUCH better than the DTS version! Ah, well, next time I'll double-check the settings before the meet. I did change the settings back to a more valid approximation of balance after a little of the Eagles DTS CD.
    The first arrival at about 12:30PM was Frank Anderson, who also traveled the longest distance by far. He brought mouse pads and coffee mugs, of which I bought one of each. Soon after his arrival, Andrej Dolenc arrived with his SVS sub for us to try out. The SVS tube came in and the DefTech box went out. I have to say, the SVS looked very nice, and fit perfectly in the corner of my room. It sounded amazing also, I knew I would want one, and I do.
    We watched the beach landing scene from SPR in DTS and DD from LaserDisc, but as I wrote before, little did I know someone had completely monkeyed with my DTS decoder settings! So the comparison was interesting, but not useful. The bass on the LD sounded better, deeper, louder, but without recalibrating my decoder I can't say that was because of the better sound on the disc. We tried to compare the framing of the two, and concluded that the framing could be slightly different.
    We then watched the LaserDisc of Rusty Cundieff's brilliant homage to "This is Spinal Tap" enetitled "Fear of a Black Hat" in its entirety. This brilliant movie, often referred to as "Spinal Rap", closely follows a rap band "N***az Wit Hats" as they tour and promote their new album "Fear of a Black Hat". The mockumentary follows the band on the road, and as they break up, follows each individual's solo career, then their eventual reunion. I think that everyone in the room enjoyed this fantastic movie, and I expect them all to join in on my next "Feedback" post about the movie. One of my favorite comedies, and a LaserDisc exclusive, I was very happy to share this with the group. Oh, and the SVS sub did a good job with the rap music in the film.
    After that we A/Bed the DD LaserDisc and the DD DVD of "Jurassic Park" to see what all the fuss is about with this title. The better picture of the DVD was immediately apparent, but when big booms happened the superiority of the LaserDisc's soundtrack was just as obvious. The LFE is extremely subdued on the DVD when compared to the LD; I was shocked. The DVD is OK, but using the same decoder, the same exact system all the same settings the LD definitely has more low bass and therefore home theater "impact".
    A quick demo of the famous "Dragonheart" scene with the circling dragon was screened to illustrate the concept of identical speakers making for a seamless soundfield. It did OK, particularly the front three, but all I could think was that my rears sound different; I wish I had a pair of old B&W 602s instead of my 601S2s. I think I may look for some used. Anyone got any for sale? J Old B&W DM602 speakers, not 602S2s.
    Phil Abish brought over lots of goodies. First of all was a really nice S-Video cable that I wanted to compare to the one that came with my CLD-99. I think that Pioneer would put a very good S-video cable with their flagship LD player, and when doing an A/B I think I was right. We could barely tell the difference between the two, but neither looked "better". Also, Phil brought the Japanese import LaserDisc and Video CD of "The Phantom Menace". We watched a little of the Video CD through my Apex and it was interesting. Then we pulled out the LaserDisc. Andrej agreed to allow us to play this notorious sub killer, but not at reference level. I set the receiver to "-7" and let 'er fly. I put the masks on the screen and we watched first the Pod Race, then the Duel of the Fates scenes. Wow. This soundtrack is truly REFERENCE MATERIAL! It was a very impressive presentation, I wished that my CLD-99 was in service to give us the near-DVD quality that it is capable of instead of the only respectable 704 backup.
    Lastly we did a little A/Bing of the new Beastie Boys DVD to see if as Vince Maskeeper suspects the LFE was mastered incorrectly on the 5.1 tracks. The 5.1 tracks sounded terrible to me, people were asking if I had engaged some kind of DSP on them! Since this is impossible to do with my old receiver (which will only actuate volume and analog hi/low pass filtering on the 5.1 input) I could only scratch my head. I put something else in, fine, the BB disc in 5.1 and it sounds like crap. I have to give it a more critical listen, but my initial reaction is that this is the worst 5.1 mix I've ever heard, by a fairly wide margin. It really sounded horrible to me. Thankfully the DD2.0 sounded good. I tried to A/B it with the LaserDisc but the levels were so radically different a comparison was impossible.
    The snacks got munched, the beer got drank (though thankfully there were leftovers for me), we all had a good time. I took some photos which I intend to put on the HTF meets page as soon as I get them developed. A good time was had by all. My HT may not be that great, but the room sure is good for a gathering like this. And it's fun to get together with other hobbyists and demo some good stuff. I'm surely going to do this again, but I hope that Phil Abish does next!
    Thanks for reading!
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    Philip Hamm
    AIM: PhilBiker
    Thsnks to all who came to my meet the 13th. Thanks especially to Andrej for bringing the SVS, and for Phil for the "Phantom Menace" LaserDisc, which blew everyone away! No thanks to the gremlins who fiddled with my DTS decoder settings before the meet! Pictures coming soon!
     
  2. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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    Phil - thanks for having us and your thorough report. Chris lives nearby and hopefully when we get the next one together we can spend some time with his system and then some time with mine. I am actually redoing my bedroom system which is just on the other side of the wall to my main system and just cut some holes in the wall so that I can go back and forth between systems. I am hopeful by the time we get it together I will have gotten my 40 inch widescreen Samsung LCD projector in the bedroom system and we can really try some interesting things.
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  3. Frank Anderson

    Frank Anderson Cinematographer

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  4. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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    Good one Frank - just waiting for a bunch of stuff so that I can have 2 good systems that back-up to the same wall and can go back and forth and try the same components in different systems. Trying to get things prepared (wiring, cabling, refinishing a set of speakers and changing other things as usual) so that when the equipment hopefully gets together in the near-term I will have made and driven myself crazy enough over cabling choices.
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  5. L. W. Cobb

    L. W. Cobb Agent

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    Philip-
    Congrats on hosting a great HTF meet. I wish I was closer so I could attend as well.
    I concur with you on your endorsement of "Fear of the Black Hat", and I'm glad you were able to expose it to others so they could enjoy this marvelous satire as well!
    Just curious- what happened to your CLD-99? How unfortunate it was down, but isn't it great to have a great machine like the CLD-704 as a back up?!
    Thanks for demonstrating that LD is still a VERY viable format. An audio comparison featuring some of the best sounding LDs and comparable DVD titles would no doubt open many enthusiast's eyes (and ears!). I hope you made some converts at your meet! :)
    Thanks also for all of your useful input on this forum. I personally have benefitted, as I'm sure many others have! [​IMG]
     
  6. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    The 99 takes longer than usual to change sides, and it sounds like the laser is having a very hard time finding the "groove" when it gets to side B. I think I need a new motor and laser alignment.
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    Philip Hamm
    AIM: PhilBiker
    Thsnks to all who came to my meet the 13th. Thanks especially to Andrej for bringing the SVS, Frank for the mouse pads and mugs, and for Phil for the "Phantom Menace" LaserDisc, which blew everyone away! No thanks to the gremlins who fiddled with my DTS decoder settings before the meet! Pictures coming soon!
     
  7. Bruce N

    Bruce N Second Unit

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    Wow, I know I was there in spirit, but I didn't know my spirit actually showed up! [​IMG]
    Seriously, I really wanted to be there but I was in Philly at the International Motorcycle Show! (A tough choice Phil!!) It sounds like a great time was had and I'm sorry I missed it! Next time HT wins over motorcycles!
    Bruce
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    "Why do I sense we've picked up another pathetic lifeform?"
     
  8. Chris Lana

    Chris Lana Extra

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    Phil,
    Really enjoyed the meet.
    Having hosted two, I'm willing to do a "Hat Trick" though I'd prefer to wait until spring when I can throw something on the grille and reopen my keg.
    I am going to put a post on speaker stand recommendations to house my new (used) Von Schweikert monitors which weight nearly 25 lbs.
    Assistance is welcomed.
    Chris
     
  9. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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    Chris - that sounds good - perhaps since we are relatively close in distance we can do a little at your place and then at mine. Enjoyed the last meet and it is always interesting to see different set-ups. How big are your speakers? I might have something laying around. I think I have a 16 inch pair of Lovans filled with sand. If you want to try them let me know. I am still doing stuff to my systems - probably will have my rear speakers changed soon and trying to strip down a pair of (black ash) Thiel SCS2s so that I can refinish them in a light/white finish and have them on the walls of my bedroom system and then use one of the other Thiel SCS2s currently in the rear of the main system as the center. My 40 inch Samsung widecreen should be in the bedroom system in a few weeks and hopefully my Sony 444ES receiver on order so I can move the Sony 9000ES there and move my LD player back. Hopefully by around the end of March Proceed will have released their DVDO line doubler for the PMDT which will have an input and output card so that even a VCR connector between it and the TV will have a benefit.
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  10. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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    You know, Phil, if I'd had some time to plan I might have driven over myself. It would be a haul, but maybe this summer I might make one. If for no other reason than for a Hat party. [​IMG] Sounds like another typically great HTF meet.
     
  11. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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    Feel free to come by whether there is a meet or not. I am always doing something and with everything else it always seems like I can't get it done as fast as I would like. It is always interesting and informative to hear what everyone is doing with their systems. I just had a camera and a mike put on my PC. As technology improves and someone with a little more knowledge than myself when it comes to computers is involved, perhaps we can have a web meet in the not so distant future. Granted the sound and picture won't be the same as being their live at least inititally, it would be really interesting. Perhaps, even given the technology we have now, reports of meets in the not too distant future can include both still photos and some video as well. Sounds like something we can expect to see in a future forum feedback post.
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  12. Chris Lana

    Chris Lana Extra

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    Phil A-Sharing a meet is fine with me. Looks like a Sat. will be needed because of the amount of time at each house plus transit. The next few weeks look poor as I'm going to be tweaking my system. Thanks for the offer of the stands but I am going to decline as I successfully convinced my wife of the NEED to hang our new addition. Last we have College Hoops and my commitments to coach Boys and Girls "Ball". Looks like June.
    At each of the two meets I hosted, I added food and beer into the mix. Besides variety, being on the deck chowing down gave a chance for more banter. I gladly turned the system over to Ron Stimpson (of SVS) while I sweated over a hot grille.
    I've saved your Email so if the timetable can be moved, I'll drop you a line.
    Chris
     
  13. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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    Chris - sounds like we'll have a great meet - will participate on the food getting too. I am tweaking my stuff and getting some new stuff too so the next few weeks would be tough for me as well. Hopefully when the stuff gets in place I'll have 2 complete widescreen set-ups. My main system works better at night since it is a 2-story room with lots of light that can't be turned off. So maybe a late afternoon through early evening would work.
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  14. JustinS

    JustinS Agent

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    Philip-
    Thanks again for hosting the meet. It was a lot of fun and I plan on reciprocating as soon as my HT room is finished (mid-2003 at the rate things are going [​IMG] )
     
  15. David Park

    David Park Auditioning

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    Philip, I really enjoyed the meet. I hadn't seen Fear of a Black Hat before, and it was very funny. I don't think I'll go out and buy two copies of the LD, though. [​IMG]
    It looks like I'll be stuck in my apartment for the next several months. (Where did all my money go? Oh, right...) I look forward to holding a housewarming HTF meet as soon as I get a bigger place.
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    David Park
    A/V Gear - Multimedia PC - Shiny Round Discs
     

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