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! ------------------ 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!