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This is why I really enjoy the sheffield labs direct to disc recordings like the Harry James disc http://www.amazon.com/King-James-Version-Harry/dp/B0000009F6

for testing systems. one stereo mic placed in the front row center stage and the imaging you get is what you get. GREAT sound! The music may not be for everyone but for testing a system.... by far amazing!
 

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Discussion Starter #122
The fact that I already know the answer to the riddle puts me at an advantage. The track was Nickel Creek's House of Tom Bombadil, here is a

The effect could be heard somewhat throughout the song. With both mandolin and guitar, the LF "body" of the sound was 50% to 70% out from center in the soundstage, and the HF "string" part of the sound was at 70% to 80% out, just inside the speakers, all wandering a bit as the playing proceeded. But the part that stood out is at 1:18, where the guitar run descends and goes back up, The guitar sound moved from 80%R clear to around 25%R and then back out again.

It was all taken care of with room treatment, mostly absorptive material under the movie screen in the front of the room (but there's more, hee hee). The result was an integrated sound that did not move around at all.

Will elaborate on the supposed explanation for the wandering effect.
 

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Different frequencies do relate with room differences and not always in a nice way. For example, for awhile I found the lower mid range of some songs tended to be a bit shouty, particularly in voices that hit the lower registers like Nora Jones for example or even some bass guitars reaching up into their upper levels. Moving the speakers a bit did ameliorate this issue so I know what you mean.

I am sorry to get this off track.
 

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Discussion Starter #124
The Spatial Hologram M1 speakers were invaluable tools for the amp evaluation weekend. Once set up and fine tuned, they gave us a very wide soundstage with pinpoint imaging, for the most part.

It was using the M1 that we first noticed the "wandering guitar" issue. The problem was worse with the Hologram M1 than with the ESL. The M1 is dipole at low frequencies, with widening rear dispersion as frequencies go lower, and the ESL crosses over to monopole below 500 Hz, not leaking as much toward the front wall. Still, the issue needed resolution for both speaker types. Room treatment took care of it.
 

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While I was not overwhelmed with the M1 it was a very useful and revealing speaker for the amp comparisons. It created a very large soundstage so any variance in imaging would be apparent. I found the bass to be a bit fat and the treble unforgiving, which makes it much easier to notice issues in either area.

My preferfence would be for the ESLs with a sub, but if I were not going to use a sub and had the space to set up the M1 optimally, it would be a very pleasing speaker to own.
 

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I took the long way driving back, finally arrived home late last night. Catching up on this thread and having a listen to my system. Thinking, I need... more... power.
 

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Well how did you like see the beach for the first time in your life Dennis?

Thanks for starting that up Leonard... good to see at least something up from the testing. :T

I would like to note that we did not attempt to blind test the Krell with other amps because it had a hum/buzz when connected to the ABX box that we could not eliminate, despite fairly exhausted efforts (even attempted using a conditioner). It would have been a dead giveaway to easily identify... as all we had to do was pause the track, mute the sound, stop the music play, switch tracks, etc... the buzz was clearly evident during silence. HOWEVER... I am happy to report that connected directly to my system without the ABX box, the Krell did NOT exhibit any buzz/hum... so it was only when in-line with the ABX box. We were concerned that it may have been a faulty amp, but not so... at least not when connected via normal (most likely) system connection methods.
 

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It is a lot of data to sort out. Giving it context so that it is meaningful and perhaps useful is a challenge. I started with the Denon because we made the most comparisons in the blind testing. There are two big takeaways from what we experienced with it. First, because the guesses in ABX testing were incorrect more than correct, ABX methodology needs some work. The second is that there were some consistent observations about the Denon AVR among the reviewers in blind and sighted testing. This suggests that there may be something to identify in objective testing, but the differences were not of a nature that any of us would say would disqualify it from consideration sonically when choosing an amp. Other than perhaps being a little underpowered for high level listening, it was certainly in the ballpark with some very highly regarded amps.
 

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It is a lot of data to sort out. Giving it context so that it is meaningful and perhaps useful is a challenge. I started with the Denon because we made the most comparisons in the blind testing. There are two big takeaways from what we experienced with it. First, because the guesses in ABX testing were incorrect more than correct, ABX methodology needs some work. The second is that there were some consistent observations about the Denon AVR among the reviewers in blind and sighted testing. This suggests that there may be something to identify in objective testing, but the differences were not of a nature that any of us would say would disqualify it from consideration sonically when choosing an amp. Other than perhaps being a little underpowered for high level listening, it was certainly in the ballpark with some very highly regarded amps.
Ya the Krell being one of them.

Need the Krell input now please.
 

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Ya the Krell being one of them.

Need the Krell input now please.
Trust your ears young Talley, if you like it and it makes beautiful music, then it cant be all bad. As mentioned above, the differences in amplification are indeed usually modest once levels are set and what have you. I am not a fan of AB or ABX testing as I believe one really needs to listen for a while to become familiar with any given product irrespective of what it is. I think AudioCraver can attest to learning many things about the Martin Logans as time passed that may not have been apparent in a short test.

Amplifiers are more often than not, subtle in their differences and quite dependent on what they are driving. I kind of think a solid 100wpc irrespective of the load, is a minimum for most home theater speakers. This allows a moderate amount of head room and with a proper power supply will take control of speakers and make them behave. Doubling the power to 200 wpc really is nice but in theory only gives a 3 db raise of volume. My "belief" is that the 200 wpc basic amp will have significantly better power "reserves" for those peaks sections that demand that extra bit of oomph needed to raise the goose flesh on your arms.
Just my thoughts of course but I have put my money where my mouth is. :clap:
 

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Krell is a very good amplifier, how can you go from Krell super fan to being ready to dump it based on an amplifier listening party that hasn't even had the results report written yet ?
I have a 5 yr old Pioneer AVR.
Approximately 100 watts/ch.
It does not matter what the results of this event are, I am not going to run out and add an amp or replace the AVR in favor of something else.
If I had an amplifier between the AVR and the speakers ( be it a pro amp, Emotivia, Krell, McIntosh, Bryston, Parasound....) it would not matter what the results of this event are, I would not consider taking the amplifier out of the system or consider replacing it with something else.
Relax and take a breath, maybe get that power cord double cryo treated or send the speaker wires for a cryo bath to get your mind off the amplifier.
You were completely satisfied with the Krell, this event should not change that for you.
 

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Certainly don't trust our ears... this is merely information for your reading pleasure and should not be relied upon to make a decision on what to keep in your system and/or what to purchase. Let your own ears be the judge. One thing I have learned is I can't trust other people's ears to determine what I prefer.
 

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Ha... NO I am completely happy with the Krell. So far the music sounds great.... albeit the Ultras are a tad bass heavy even plugged.

The only thing I want to do is test is all. You guys only "sparked" my interest and I don't believe anyone but my own results....

I need to test for myself. End of story. This is why I spend so much $ in my camera hobby... I buy multiple lenses to test them and come to my OWN conclusion.

The ONLY thing this amp review has done is opened my "mind" to be more non Krell ony type attitude. I'll admit I was a big hung up on the Krell because it's my first real "amp" from a sorta respectable level. I was giddy.

Now... I want to back those claims with my own testing. Been looking at a few options here lately.

Ultimately I need to treat my room first to help my ears out first. BUT in the end... I do appreciate all of the hard work everyone that had participated in this event. Thanks!
 

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Well how did you like see the beach for the first time in your life Dennis?

It was great! Spent some time with family, then participated in the Spring Break celebration. The beach, Battleship Park and Memphis Beale St. were a few of several adventures I had on my return trip. Narrowly avoiding a four car pile up on the Missouri interstate, rushing from car to car checking the occupants (all OK) ended an eventful week. 2514 miles logged on the odometer when I returned home.

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Thanks for starting that up Leonard... good to see at least something up from the testing. :T
Oh, yeah, that's right... the amplifier thing!
 

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I am not a fan of AB or ABX testing as I believe one really needs to listen for a while to become familiar with any given product irrespective of what it is.
I thought that way, and still find long term listening a valuable tool in determining long term happiness. Then take the component under evaluation out of the system, replacing it with another. If I miss it after a couple of days, back in it goes. If not...

... but, during the beginning of the amp evaluations, when my ears were still fresh and my mind wasn't muddled from hearing my music tracks and everyone else's repeatedly (I don't want to hear the band "Chicago" for a long time) I was taking a few short minutes to make my determination. I think I spent a grand total of two minutes comparing A and B before deciding which was X, on the first trial.

Amplifiers are more often than not, subtle in their differences and quite dependent on what they are driving. I kind of think a solid 100wpc irrespective of the load, is a minimum for most home theater speakers. This allows a moderate amount of head room and with a proper power supply will take control of speakers and make them behave. Doubling the power to 200 wpc really is nice but in theory only gives a 3 db raise of volume. My "belief" is that the 200 wpc basic amp will have significantly better power "reserves" for those peaks sections that demand that extra bit of oomph needed to raise the goose flesh on your arms.
Just my thoughts of course but I have put my money where my mouth is. :clap:
Very good advice, Savjac. My AVR is rated at 100 w.p.c., though not all channels driven. Anyway, I'd like just another few dB of output and am gonna step up to at least 200 w.p.c for that little boost, and to avoid clipping.

I'll probably pick something from the amp eval group, or at least from one of these manufacturers. Hmm... which one should I choose? :ponder:
 

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Certainly don't trust our ears... this is merely information for your reading pleasure and should not be relied upon to make a decision on what to keep in your system and/or what to purchase. Let your own ears be the judge. One thing I have learned is I can't trust other people's ears to determine what I prefer.
Excellent point and I think one that's undermined in the mainstream audio press. I believe many followers of these magazines put reviewers on a pedestal. Rather than trust their own ears, they unquestionably follow their heroes. Companies have both profited from good reviews and suffered from bad ones.

In any case, Sonnie, congrats to you and the other reviewers (once again!) for keeping us aware of the pitfalls of comparison reports and reviews in general.
 

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Excellent point and I think one that's undermined in the mainstream audio press. I believe many followers of these magazines put reviewers on a pedestal. Rather than trust their own ears, they unquestionably follow their heroes. Companies have both profited from good reviews and suffered from bad ones.

In any case, Sonnie, congrats to you and the other reviewers (once again!) for keeping us aware of the pitfalls of comparison reports and reviews in general.
Very true IMO. We are doing it for fun. We don't have any agenda beyond discovery and enjoying the journey. We don't want anyone to put more stock in our experience than their own. The value in what we do for others is getting a glimpse of equipment that they might otherwise not, but it is through our eyes and ears.
 

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Ha... NO I am completely happy with the Krell. So far the music sounds great.... albeit the Ultras are a tad bass heavy even plugged.

The only thing I want to do is test is all. You guys only "sparked" my interest and I don't believe anyone but my own results....

I need to test for myself. End of story. This is why I spend so much $ in my camera hobby... I buy multiple lenses to test them and come to my OWN conclusion.

The ONLY thing this amp review has done is opened my "mind" to be more non Krell ony type attitude. I'll admit I was a big hung up on the Krell because it's my first real "amp" from a sorta respectable level. I was giddy.

Now... I want to back those claims with my own testing. Been looking at a few options here lately.

Ultimately I need to treat my room first to help my ears out first. BUT in the end... I do appreciate all of the hard work everyone that had participated in this event. Thanks!
You should be smitten with the krell as it is a fine amp. If you decide otherwise and want to dump it let me know. :)
 
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