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Actually Wayne and I have already compared the OPPO vs the 5509 DACs... neither of us could hear any differences... blind or not blind AB'ing.
 

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From our perspective it is a big waste of time, as no speaker we have ever heard performs better near a wall, unless the priority is bass emphasis.
Are you referring to Sonnie's theater, or every speaker everywhere? I agree with this myself for the most part, as it has been my experience as well. It breaks my heart to walk in to a theater with 5 figures worth of equipment and see the speakers in the corners or backed up to the front wall.
 

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I find your interest in near wall placement and different DACs a curious juxtaposition. Not trying to be critical, just curious. The difference between placing a speaker near the wall is orders of magnitude greater on any conceivable scale than any potential difference between converters. Even moving the speakers a few inches or degrees can make differences that are likely greater. Are you just curious about the near wall performance because most people do so or are you limited to such placement yourself? The reason that I ask is that we had this discussion before deciding to do the tests. From our perspective it is a big waste of time, as no speaker we have ever heard performs better near a wall, unless the priority is bass emphasis. The single greatest variable in any system beyond perhaps the speakers themselves is generally placement.
Near wall placement isn't something I desire, but it is something I have to live with given the constraints of my house. Now, if someone wants to send Tom Silva and Norm Abram over to do a remodel (on someone else's dime), I'm cool with having more options. However, given that the likelihood of the above is so near zero as to be indistinguishable, I have to find ways to deal with my media niche where my equipment and speakers live.

Fortunately, I have room behind the speakers. What I don't have is room to the outsides of the speakers. That's the world I live in. It's not a perfect world after all, so compromises must be made. If it were a perfect world, I'd have ATC SCM150ASL active monitors and no tinnitus.

Yep, that's the nature of purely anecdotal "listening" (while being cognizant of the raves btw).
Now if someone who thinks the Sabre sounds "better", wants to step up to the plate and pick it over the Burr-Browns in a controlled, ears only/no peeking listening session....
As far as the different DACs go, my ears like the sound the Sabres in the Oppo make vs. the DACs in the 8801. Does that mean the Sabres are "better"? No. It just means I like their sound better. Does anything else really matter?

However, I'm always looking for the opinion of others like you guys. You hear more gear in a year than I've heard in a decade (I don't get out much, it's best for the community that way. :coocoo:). I'm happy to step up to the plate using my system for a controlled listening session. Come on over! :wave: We can also talk about how I like my Silnote Morpheus XLR cables better than my RCA cables for two channel listening with the Oppo. :doh:
 

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Near wall placement isn't something I desire, but it is something I have to live with given the constraints of my house.
Have you considered sliding your speakers further out into room for possibly better 2ch spatial reproduction when its focused listening time, then sliding them back for "regular programming"/the Mrs ?

As far as the different DACs go, my ears like the sound the Sabres in the Oppo make vs. the DACs in the 8801. Does that mean the Sabres are "better"? No. It just means I like their sound better. Does anything else really matter?
Nope, pretty much exactly as I've always said. Your (anecdotal/casual listening) perceptions are just that, yours.

However, I'm always looking for the opinion of others like you guys. You hear more gear in a year than I've heard in a decade (I don't get out much, it's best for the community that way. :coocoo:).
I do my best not to "hear gear", unless its tubes, a TT or a non-linearity/malfunction.:)
Yes, I'm exposed to literally hundreds and hundreds of pieces of gear over the years, many passing through my own system.

I'm happy to step up to the plate using my system for a controlled listening session. Come on over! :wave: We can also talk about how I like my Silnote Morpheus XLR cables better than my RCA cables for two channel listening with the Oppo. :doh:
Not exactly what I meant by claimants "stepping up to plate", but party on.:D
Now, Sonnie already stated the DAC had no effect upon his perceptions (in line with all scientific/physical reality)...and this was a speaker listening soiree.:)
As such, we should expect to hear about speakers in this thread, not DACs.

cheers
 

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Nothing we heard in the extensive listening sessions with any of the very fine group of speakers led any of us to ever question whether the associated equipment had any deficiencies that limited our ability to evaluate the loudspeakers. I am also satisfied with Sonnie and Waynes assessment.
 

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How about a description of the food and drink, guys, at least while we're waiting for the technical yet flowery commentary on the speakers?

Inquiring (and jealous) minds want to know..........my stomach does, as well........

Any chance on obtaining any recipes from this funfest?? Or are proprietary secrets involved??
 

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Discussion Starter #67
Actually Wayne and I have already compared the OPPO vs the 5509 DACs... neither of us could hear any differences... blind or not blind AB'ing.
We gave them a pretty thorough workout, different music styles, more A-B switches than I could keep track of, many quick switches back & forth with repeating loops about 15 to 20 seconds long, some full tracks. Once in awhile I thought I heard a difference, then I would focus on it and find there was none.

Are you referring to Sonnie's theater, or every speaker everywhere? I agree with this myself for the most part, as it has been my experience as well. It breaks my heart to walk in to a theater with 5 figures worth of equipment and see the speakers in the corners or backed up to the front wall.
That has been my experience universally. At 1 foot or closer, no speaker I have worked with has performed well. At about 2 to 3 feet out, a lot of speakers start to perform very nicely. At 3 feet, you can often get enough bass reinforcement to extend the LF to deep levels without muddiness, and an excellent soundstage with nice depth (although farther from the wall will mean an even deeper one). Three feet out from the wall, generally speaking, is the minimum distance I would consider trying for a no-compromises high-performance speaker setup. No doubt there are exceptions.

Nothing we heard in the extensive listening sessions with any of the very fine group of speakers led any of us to ever question whether the associated equipment had any deficiencies that limited our ability to evaluate the loudspeakers. I am also satisfied with Sonnie and Waynes assessment.
As Leonard says, the supporting equipment never drew attention to itself negatively in any way.

How about a description of the food and drink, guys, at least while we're waiting for the technical yet flowery commentary on the speakers?

Inquiring (and jealous) minds want to know..........my stomach does, as well........

Any chance on obtaining any recipes from this funfest?? Or are proprietary secrets involved??
Sonnie would be the one to reveal any culinary secrets, and I doubt he will budge. My observation is that patience, attention to detail, loads of TLC, and a big dash of love for great food and the guests he is preparing to serve -- these seem to be significant factors in his technique, and in the way he goes about most things in his life.

My favorites - his grilled rib tips with caramelized BBQ sauce and the grilled sausage (2 types, cajun and smoked) are the ones that especially knock my socks off. He also crock-pots pork roast or sometimes goat and uses the broth to make rice for a "modest" (meaning you can't get enough of it) side. That's all I know, other than you can eat it right off the grille, then heated up a couple of times for lunch, then cold from the fridge at 2 AM, and never come close to getting tired of it. Just thinking about it makes me want more.
 

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Okay... I will give ya one "cold from the fridge at 2AM"... but how about Angie saying she heard a little mouse in the fridge one morning about 3AM ... and as she describes it... the "deet deet deet" of the microwave buttons.

I do love to cook... and let me tell you... these guys deserve to be treated like kings for all they do. Being away from their family for several days... putting in a LOT of solid listening hours... several hours of moving speakers around six inches at a time... it is a LOT to ask them to do, all for the love of doing it and their loyalty to making this forum one of the most informative (without the nonsense). I can hear Wayne now... "mark that spot and let's move them forward about 6-8 inches".... "okay toe them in a little more"... "nope, back out"... "okay let bring them in a little more"... "ahhh back to the starting point" (Leonard and Joe looking at other intently)... "okay... let's go back about 6-8"... "now in about 6"... "toe back out a little"... "now bring them forward a bit"..."ahhh, back to where they started" (Leonard and Joe rolling eyes)... "okay guys, let's turn them upside down" (of course not... I was joking)... you get the idea.

You gotta love it all.
 

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I can hear Wayne now... "mark that spot and let's move them forward about 6-8 inches".... "okay toe them in a little more"... "nope, back out"... "okay let bring them in a little more"... "ahhh back to the starting point" (Leonard and Joe looking at other intently)... "okay... let's go back about 6-8"... "now in about 6"... "toe back out a little"... "now bring them forward a bit"..."ahhh, back to where they started" (Leonard and Joe rolling eyes)... "okay guys, let's turn them upside down" (of course not... I was joking)... you get the idea.

You gotta love it all.
I hope you guys pace yourselves on the frequency of these evaluations, so as to avoid 'burnout' :heehee: I also wish that you would carry out the evaluations prior to the advertised date, then immediately release the results without delay! :whistling:
 

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Have you considered sliding your speakers further out into room for possibly better 2ch spatial reproduction when its focused listening time, then sliding them back for "regular programming"/the Mrs ?
Based on what I've read so far in this thread, and what I read later on when speaker placement discussions are addressed, I will have give it a try. However, I'll need to mark their 'home' position, so I don't have to re-run Audyssey every time for multichannel operations.

This is like right before a big football game. Waiting for kickoff takes an eternity. The reviews from the previous two threads have been so thorough and detailed that I find myself anxious for my next "fix".
 

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I do indeed wish there was as way to hit you all with finished reviews on the Monday after the event. That would involve super powers of some sort. There is a fair amount of talent in the mix, but nothing superhuman witnessed yet. We should be hitting you with some of the goods this weekend.
 

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Based on what I've read so far in this thread, and what I read later on when speaker placement discussions are addressed, I will have give it a try. However, I'll need to mark their 'home' position, so I don't have to re-run Audyssey every time for multichannel operations.
A good approach is to use tape to mark the location - 1/4-inch accuracy is about right - and laser pointer or laser distance meter aimed along a side to reference points on a far wall for angle -- that combination gives good repeatability. Tape: we are now using gaffer tape, available in all colors, sticks great but does not leave gummy gunk behind.
 

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I do indeed wish there was as way to hit you all with finished reviews on the Monday after the event. That would involve super powers of some sort. There is a fair amount of talent in the mix, but nothing superhuman witnessed yet. We should be hitting you with some of the goods this weekend.
Sorry, but it takes me a while to digest my notes and form them into a coherent document. They are about a page of quick observations in no sensible order, with abreviations and my own shorthand from the moment...for each speaker. That has to get translated into something that communicates the experience in a meaningful way and that takes using both sides of the brain. I am lucky at any point in time to have one working well. So it will get here when it gets here. I'll try to get most of the first drafts done this weekend and a couple of them finished.
 

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I may have missed it somewhere, but is there a reason the KefR and CM10 didn't get into the evaluation when they had the most votes?
 
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