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    "Great values in audio today" thread ...

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    Bob Latino
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    "Great values in audio today" thread ...

    Post by Bob Latino on Sat Mar 20, 2010 6:17 pm

    Do you know of any great values in audio or DIY audio that might be helpful to a Dynaco tube fan? Place it in this thread .. I'll start it off with this Stahl variable temperature soldering station. Parts Express normally sells this for $14.98 + shipping but it is on sale until April 30th for just $12 + shipping. I don't own one but I know someone who does and he loves it. It has replaceable tips. OK - the temperatures are not marked, you just crank the knob to the right to gain a little more heat. Link and photo below ...

    Bob



    captn

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    Re: "Great values in audio today" thread ...

    Post by captn on Wed Mar 24, 2010 5:24 pm

    I bought one of these from PartsExpress and it's fantastic for the money. In fact, I used it to build my ST-70 and it worked great. I also own two Weller pencils, one temperature controlled the other a plain 30 Watt. I used the Stahl for the PC Board assembly and my 30 Watt for the heavier wiring. It's true that the temperature control takes a little trial and error to get it the way you want, but once adjusted, it's very stable heat. Even at the regular price of $14.98, it's a real bargain.

    James

    Bob Latino
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    Re: "Great values in audio today" thread ...

    Post by Bob Latino on Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:08 pm

    One of the greatest speaker cable values for DIY-selfers is the Canare 4S11 speaker cable. A brief description of this cable is below ..

    Canare Star Quad gets it's name from the 4-condutor style construction that minimizes the "loop area" between twists of the conductors. This "double balanced" pairing reduces susceptibility to electro-magnetically (EM) induced noise from sources like light dimmers, fluorescent light ballasts and AC power transformers. The Star Quad design also improves the damping factor at the speaker. Each of the four Star Quad conductors is 14 gauge. When used in pairs, the effective conductor size is 11 gauge. The outer jacket diameter is 10.7 mm (.421 inch).

    This cable IMHO is equal to speaker cables costing much more. The going price at a few internet stores that sell this is only $1.19 to $1.35 per foot. One 10 foot pair of wires would only cost about $25 + shipping. The four conductors may be set up to biamp or bi-wire very easily. You just add your own spade or banana lug connectors OR most of the stores that sell it this cable will add the connectors for you (at extra cost of course). I use this cable in my upstairs system. I swear that the first time I listened through these wires I heard more bass extension. Diagram of this wires internal construction and links to two online sellers are below.

    Canare 4S11 at Performance Audio

    Canare 4S11 at Blue Jeans cable

    Bob



    xlr8

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    Re: "Great values in audio today" thread ...

    Post by xlr8 on Mon Apr 12, 2010 10:40 pm

    I've elected to reserve comment until now, but Magnepan has an incredible trade in deal on their true ribbon tweeters. Replacement for the MG3A were $200 each for a trade in, $600.00 each direct purchase. Very Happy

    Varlagger

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    Some more audio values

    Post by Varlagger on Tue May 18, 2010 8:55 pm

    Great values in audio thread...How about Best Buy's Insignia brand 6.5 bookshelf crazy good value @ about $90 a pair. Then, Samsung's DVD-1080P9, rips to a front USB port inserted flash drive @ 192 bit. Also the analog audio output might turn an OPPO-SE persons ear, especially @ $60 a pop.Now my favorite value is my dyna ST-70. the careful evolution of this little gem is special.A buddy asked me over to listen to his multi-thousand $ tube rig awhile ago,then, he reciprocated by stopping over to check out my little dyna.lets just say he told me to keep up the good work.LOL!! I don't even have $800 into it and I think it sounds close to the big $$$ rig.Anyway,I'll be upgrading again with a stepped attenuator from Mr.Latino soon!!!!!

    Sled108

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    Re: "Great values in audio today" thread ...

    Post by Sled108 on Thu May 27, 2010 12:05 pm

    A Crazy good value would have to be the Sure TK2050 2X100w Amp Board...For $39.99 on ebay, it is Very Impressive..I have one driving 4 Bozaks and it is at least as powerful as my ST70...I'm just guessing a bit on that because I never considered running 4 speakers from the Dynaco.

    Sled108

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    Re: "Great values in audio today" thread ...

    Post by Sled108 on Fri May 28, 2010 11:24 pm

    And..If you happen to Like this kind of Music...On Amazon, I got Kid Rock's 'Rock N Roll Jesus' 2 Disc Set..With a CD of it, all for $6.96 Shipped..It's hard to describe its Genre...But, it's Really Good.. Maybe a Little bit Country Rock, with some Soul and a couple of of his Rap Rock tunes..It has to be the Best Deal that I've ever found for 2 Discs plus a CD...Brand New & Sealed..Can Not Be Beat..

    xlr8

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    Re: "Great values in audio today" thread ...

    Post by xlr8 on Fri Jul 09, 2010 9:20 am

    I recently stumbled across something worthwhile...Braided cat5e for speaker wire. I have miles of plenum rated cat5e, so mine were free, minus the regular old non plated Radio Shack spades. I made 2 complete sets. I simply braided 3 runs with the outer jacket intact, braided 3 more and then twisted the 2 braided cables together. I terminated all of the whites in each cable for negative and all solid colors for the positive side. A 12ga coneector fits over the twist of 24 conductors with ease. THere is definately a sonic difference between these and what I was using previously. I was just about to buy some of the Canare wire, but decided to try this first. Would love to compare the 2. Very Happy

    GP49

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    Re: "Great values in audio today" thread ...

    Post by GP49 on Fri Jul 09, 2010 11:34 am

    Some will tell you that it is hard to beat a SINGLE STRAND of CAT5 for each leg, + and -, of the speaker wiring. If your speaker wire run is short and your speakers are efficient, (or if you are a SET user) it might be worth a try.

    What's the capacitance of a long run of braided CAT5? Hopefully it's not like an infamous brand of speaker wire from long ago that used braided Litz wire. The capacitance on that stuff was so high on that stuff that it put some amplifiers into terminal oscillation. There was also a brand of speaker wire made from braided magnet wire that did the same thing; besides which, handling the wire could abrade the insulating enamel coating on each strand, causing dead short circuits.

    Probably the plastic insulation on each CAT5 strand would be sufficient to prevent EITHER of those catastrophes.

    xlr8

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    Re: "Great values in audio today" thread ...

    Post by xlr8 on Sat Jul 10, 2010 11:56 am

    GP49,

    Mine are only about 4 feet long. I don't have a tool to measure capacitance, but I read somewhere recently that one run of cat five is somewhere around 15pf per foot? I have no idea what mine are at. My amps don't occilate though.

    I was previosly using just 2 runs of non-plenum cat5 that were twisted together. I don't know if this belongs here or in the "Audio Voodoo" thread, but braiding these cables has made a difference. I've never been able to hear much of a difference between cables and have never even considered spending money on wire when I have access to so much of it for free.

    This is the sequence of things lately:

    Rebuilt 2 70's with VTA boards and EH EL34s. Fantastic sound.

    Switched to GL KT66s and everything seemed to open up and sound richer and more full bodied, more detailed, tighter image. A significant upgrade for sure.

    Added these cables and the sound seems somehow sharper, even more detailed and punchier, right off the bat. I've also discovered that I do not need to push the volume to get it loud.

    The only real differences between my new cables and the old ones are 1, the old ones were just twisted together, 2, the old ones did not have teflon jackets like the plenum rated ones do and 3, the new ones are larger ga. overall and are braided together. If anyone could explain why they are doing what they are, I'm all ears!

    xlr8

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    Re: "Great values in audio today" thread ...

    Post by xlr8 on Tue Jul 20, 2010 9:46 am

    Got another one...http://www.tnt-audio.com/clinica/ubyte2e.html

    For a whole 28 bucks, I built a variation of the UBYTE-2 cable out of RG-59 from home depot. It replaced 2 runs of #10 solid wire to each of my midbass cubes. I had a hard time believing my ears, so I busted out the tone generator and omni mic to make sure. Sure enough, there was a hump between 100 and 450hz as opposed to the previously flatter response. Now that I know that there is definately more bass information coming through these cables, I have made the proper adjustments to my eq and am listening to the quality of the bass. For me, this DIY cable thing is the best value I ever thought I'd find and I didn't even have to whisper the word "litz" over them in that pattented tone of voice. Very Happy

    Bob Latino
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    Re: "Great values in audio today" thread ...

    Post by Bob Latino on Fri Jul 23, 2010 4:01 pm

    I thought I would post this video in this thread so that you could see what are NOT the great values in audio today. I can't believe the kind of money they ask for these amps. Unbelievable !

    Bob



    Mr. Zenith

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    Re: "Great values in audio today" thread ...

    Post by Mr. Zenith on Sun Jul 25, 2010 10:35 am

    Whee doggies, Jethro - them's some mighty fine amps! We'll go call on Mr. Drysdale Monday morning an' see 'bout buyin' a few...

    Methinks there's quite a few parallels to the "Audio Voodoo" thread (which I personally find hilarious). The very names of some of these amplifiers contain words that make me want to run like hell in the opposite direction.

    Take "reference", for example. This word is to audio what the letters "Q", "X" and "Z" are to the automotive world. Need a few more horsepower, but no money to retool? No problem: the "Whifflepoof 3000" becomes the "Whifflepoof X-3000Z" - and you're ready for Watkins Glen! Have a mediocre preamp/amp/speaker that needs a little "life"? Just make it part of your "Reference Series!" Woo hoo!!!

    As for "Otello the More", I find the chassis a bit amateurish for an amp of this price range. Indeed, most of the examples on the website look a bit like they came from a high school shop class. For $600,000 a pop, the wood on that chassis had damned better be ruby-encrusted Snakewood (Piratinera guianensis), with a finished rubbed by the tongues of at least 60 (count 'em!) Amazon virgins! Geez...

    On the other hand, maybe this is a great value in audio. I've had the best chuckle of the day, and it didn't cost me a cent. Thanks again, Bob! Laughing

    xlr8

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    Re: "Great values in audio today" thread ...

    Post by xlr8 on Thu Jul 29, 2010 10:36 pm

    For $600,000 a pop, the wood on that chassis had damned better be ruby-encrusted Snakewood (Piratinera guianensis), with a finished rubbed by the tongues of at least 60 (count 'em!) Amazon virgins! Geez...

    Ya know, it would seem that for this kind of cash one could easily find a small jazz outfit or even an entire orchestra to play every once in a while...AT HOME! I know 600 grand is just a drop in the bucket when you consider the price of the "associated equipment". Call me conservative, but it just seems irrational to waste the money on a representation of an event when you can obviously afford to physically re-create an event in your own backyard. Rolling Eyes

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