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Upgrade-itis and tinkering (1 Viewer)

Old Dog

Stunt Coordinator
Jan 2, 2022
Real Name
We are surely all in the same boat, wanting a system that ticks our relevant boxes. Kicks ass as some would say.

The difficulty, sometimes, is actually getting there. Buying known products with great reputations doesn’t always guarantee success. Help and advice is also great, but, again, there’s no guarantee how anything will actually sound to you. All of us have different tastes, rooms and ears when all said and done. While just about anything will work, the real problem is whether it works well enough to satisfy expectations.

Enter “tinkering”.

For me, there has always been room for tinkering. It started years ago (unfortunately, that means I’m getting old….. but not too old….. yet!) :) and ranged from trying different valves and bias settings in tube amps, different interconnect and speaker cables and different equipment combinations. Usually not particularly costly, unless you have to go out and buy the hardware first of course, but I happen to have accumulated a number of “spare” items since my early days (one of the benefits of being old!) ;)

A short time ago, my receiver was driving the centre and rears while a Parasound HCA 1500 was looking after the fronts (already a step up from the receiver driving all five channels). I was happy with the improvement, but ultimately still had a niggly feeling it could be better.

I tried powering the centre from a spare (HiFi) mono bock rather than the receiver. It was a further step up the ladder, bringing me closer to my Nirvana and also bringing a bigger :) More recently I switched that Parasound to bridge mode, hooked it up to the centre and used both the mono blocks to power front l/r. That smile turned to a :D

I have never previously bridged any amplifier, largely because I have never owned an amplifier that was bridgeable. Despite knowing the Parasound was bridgeable when I bought it (second hand), I had never actually tried it in bridged mode (probably in fear of it disappearing in a cloud of smoke and my speaker with it!), and had I not had the spare monoblock amps lying around, I probably never would have.

A great discovery. Quite unexpected, surprising and a really impressive improvement. Best of all perhaps, with zero impact on the wallet.

Anyone else with similar / impressive / unexpected discoveries?

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