SkiFastBadly Joins the Scrum [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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11-26-2008, 11:20 AM
Hi. Just registered and was strongly hinted that I introduce myself.

Musical tastes all over the map, from country through blues to the dead and alt-rock-country/americana whatever you want to call it.

Just finished putting a music server up, so I can now dump the POC Sony CD player. HP Pavillion acting as a full WAV server, the signal goes out digitally to my Adcom DAC, it sounds better than the CD player, and with 800 CDs, it's way more convenient. Music fidelity is important to me but I'm not a vinyl/tube/monster cable kind of guy. Ok, I bought some monster cables.

Anyway, I'm hoping that I can learn here without getting gear lust. My fear is I'll learn about all kinds of equipment that'll put an itch on my wallet finger.

11-26-2008, 11:23 AM
Welcome, and sign up for some overtime to pay for all the new high end equipment you are going to buy!

11-26-2008, 01:44 PM
Welcome, and sign up for some overtime to pay for all the new high end equipment you are going to buy!

Yeah, that's my fear. Might as well get it over with. Considering my equipment set up:
HP Pavilion PC as Music Server (24bit 44.1K digital out)
Adcom GDA 700 DAC
Adcom GFA 555 Amplifier
Adcom GTP 450 Tuner Preamp
Klipsch KLF 30 Speakers

and given that this is a music only system, what's the weak spot? I mean, it sounds fine, but if there was one thing in that chain from WAV to ear, what would one replace first?

Just curious

11-26-2008, 04:12 PM
Hey SkiFast,

Welcome to the forum. I think from a software aspect you'll find a lot of commonality in the Rave Recordings section...lotta alt-country fans on this board (myself included).

As for the equipment question only you can really be the judge. My own thinking is that lists are meaningless without firsthand knowledge of the room, an all-important factor that too often is forgot. I've found a set-up in one room can sound wildly divergent from the same set-up in a another.

That said the two areas that will effect your sound the most...and that can be in either a good or bad way...would be the DAC and the speaks. Adcom makes some pretty fine mid-fi amps and you'll be hard pressed to better them without spending significantly more.

If your looking to play around you might check down in the computer audio section or maybe the following thread from the digital forum:

I'm not a huge Klipsch fan but I recognize that for that bluesy/rock sound they can get the job done. The Paradigm Studio series is a perennial favorite around here and from personal experience I can highly recommend the KEF Q series. I use KEFs in a secodary system and have opted against replacing them several times even when presented with bargain buys on some well-known speaks. If you love that horn sound Omega makes some very nice products.

In any case, good to have you on board. Even if you decide your completely happy with your set-up there's plenty of opportunities in te Rave Recs and Favorite Films categories. I've gotten some great recommendations from there.

There's also the Off-Topic categories in which most us routinely resort to spouting a good amount of useless, albeit fun, drivel.


11-26-2008, 04:13 PM
Thats a very nice system you have there. It's nothing to sneeze at. I like adocm, its well built. I'm not a fan of Klipsch but every one has different tastes. I would consider upgrading your DAC first if your content with your speakers. There are quite a few for $400-1500 that are excellent.

11-26-2008, 05:14 PM
Thanks for the feedback. I'm especially interested in the thread that discusses new music, since it's damn near impossible to find out what's out there since all the FM stations were bought by ClearChannel and centrally programmed.

Re the Klipsch, I know some folks find them too bright, but I love 'em, I had a set of kg4s for a long time and when they fried, I got these.

Re the DAC, that's a surprising suggestion. I do know that when I got the DAC on ebay a few years ago and bypassed the crappy internal DAC in my CD player, it made a huge difference. If there's more to be had, I'm all ears.

Black, I'm in Park City, UT, but originally from the midwest. Whenever I see a "St Paul" address, it reminds me of my ill spent undergrad years at the corner of Summit and Grand.

This is going to be fun.

11-26-2008, 05:49 PM
Summit and Grand are still trendy area's with good restaurants and bars.

As far as DAC's are concerned there is much more to be had. I just sold my Cambridge Audio 840c CDP (now selling for $1795 new) to switch over to a Van Alstine Hybrid DAC. I was skeptical about DAC's at first but after hearing a few, they can make a major difference in sound. There are some nice DACs for around $900-1700. The PS Audio digital link III, Benchmark-1, and Van Alstine Insight and Ultra DAC's to name a few. They can improve dynamics, detail, resolution, transparency, bass and treble and overall tonal quality especially if you would like to get a more analog sound like tubes, or a more natural and neutral sound. Some come as preamps combined with a DAC as well. The Monarchy M24 and Benchmark-1 preamp to name a few.

11-26-2008, 06:04 PM
What kind of music do you listen to? I'm into Blue's, Jazz and Vocal Jazz (not easy listening Jazz), Rock and occasional Classical.

11-26-2008, 06:29 PM
What kind of music do you listen to? I'm into Blue's, Jazz and Vocal Jazz (not easy listening Jazz), Rock and occasional Classical.

As I type this, we (my wife and I) are listening to the Jayhawks, which she declares her favorite band...I became familiar with the Jayhawks through my friend, Charlie Pine, who was instrumental in getting them started.

I have a lot of Grateful Dead, John Hiatt, Van Morrison, Stones, Jayhawks, Kinks, and blues, including Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Willie Dixon, etc. My tastes trend toward blues influenced rock and strong vocal performances. Stuff that's less popular would include Chris Smither, Fred Eaglesmith, Greg Trooper, and Bill Chambers. I don't listen to Classical, but that's probably ignorance.\

But I'm always looking for new stuff....


11-26-2008, 06:33 PM
I'm surprised no one mentioned the GTP-450 as the weak link. It's a nice preamp, but it seems like it's not quite up to the level of the amp and DAC.

11-26-2008, 08:37 PM
Agreed A.Noob. Thats why the Benchmark-1 pre/dac as well as the Monarchy M24 would be a great upgrade, killing 2 birds with one stone.

I like to listen to Blue's- Debby Davies, Mighty Sam Mcclain, Buddy Guy and Jr. Wells, Doug MaCleod, Joe Bonamassa, John Lee Hooker to name a few.

For Jazz and Vocals- Eva Cassidy (especially her "Live at Blues Alley" Cd, this album is a must have), Christy Baron, Jacintha, Shelby Lynn, Eden Attwood, Jane Monheit, Miles Davis, Keith Jarret, Bill Evans, John Coltrane, BB King.

And I like most 60's and 70's R&R, and Motown.