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Thread: Greetings, everyone!

  1. #1
    Join Date: Dec 2019

    Location: Caledonia, ON, Canada

    Posts: 1
    I'm Iain.

    Default Greetings, everyone!


    My name is Iain (note the second "i", it's important). I'm an ex-pat Scot, living in Southern Ontario, and starting to rediscover my music, now that I'm working from home more.

    My gear is split into two groups: old & new, or above-ground & subterranean.
    The above-ground section is my attempt at a home theatre in our family room. The subterranean part (where I have my homesick blues) is in my office/den in the basement.

    The family room gear is all new (bought piecemeal on a budget over the last 6-7 years). I have all Klipsch speakers (apart from the sub), F-10 towers, B-10 surrounds, R-25C centre. The sub is a turn of the century Energy S8.2 that was donated by my cousin after I blew my ancient JBL sub watching Star Wars. Other pieces are my ancient Sony Blu-ray player (still works fine), TEAC TN-400S turntable and a brand-spanking-new Denon AVR-750H receiver that also supports my IPTV and AppleTV components.

    The office stuff is old, old, old and new-ish. My amp is a SONY TA-F540E that I brought over from the UK when we emigrated in 1999. It's hooked up to a humongous voltage transformer to supply the 220V it needs. Connected to that on the input side are: a Samsung DVD-HD841 that I use only for playing CDs (rarely), an old AppleTV 3rd series, and an Apple Airport Express for streaming from iTunes on my Mac. Last but not least is my amateur-refurb Dual CS 607 turntable.

    The outputs are a curious mix. Maybe 10 years or so ago, when I was setting up the music in my office, having got tired of listening to music from my computer speakers (JBL Creatures), I bought a pair of Polk Audio RT1A bookshelf speakers because they were cheap. I was OK with the sound, they were nice and bright but lacking at the bottom end. I also made the mistake of mounting them on the wall and too high at that. A few years ago, I decided I needed redecorate the office and I took the brackets down and got a pair of speaker stands instead. Shortly after that, I was rummaging around in the rest of the basement and made a discovery. Hidden in the back and forgotten about for almost 15 years was my first ever pair of speakers, Marantz 5-G floor speakers, bought in 1980, brought over along with the amp and completely forgotten about. I was curious as to how they would sound, so I cleaned them up, shoved the vacuum nozzle into the bottom port to clear out all the spider nests, and connected them as the amp's B speakers. They didn't sound bad at all. The bottom end was pretty rich but the top end were lacking a bit. Then I had bit of a brainwave, or a brain-fart, you can decide. I put the Polks on top of them and switched the speaker selector to A+B. It sounded fabulous, to my ears anyway. The Polks provided the brightness at the top end and the Marantzes the bass that the small speakers lacked. The sound is seamless from them: there is no sense of listening to separate sets of speakers, that I expected would be the case when I tried it.

    Now, you will have gathered that I am no audiophile. It's only recently that I learned what crossover was about and I'm still not sure I understand frequent response. I do see HiFi as being a means to an end, i.e. enjoying music whereas, with my real passion of photography, I will dive endlessly into the technical aspects of how to produce great images (or OK images, in my case).

    As to what I like to listen to, that divides into above ground and subterranean as well. My vinyl upstairs is either spouse-friendly or what I can get away with. Downstairs is what I can listen to without upsetting anyone else. It ranges from '50s jazz (Miles, Coltrane, Dexter Gordon), through 70s rock and prog giants (Close To The Edge is rarely off rotation) and a smattering of 80s, like Talking Heads, and a mishmash, the standout being Andy Sheppard, a fabulous UK sax player.

    Anyway, if you are still reading, I am happy to be here.

    Last edited by BigMac; 03-01-2020 at 22:54.

  2. #2
    Alex_UK's Avatar
    Alex_UK is offline Spotify + Facebook Moderator / Chilled-Out Wino and only here for the shilling
    Join Date: Aug 2009

    Location: Sunny Suffolk, UK

    Posts: 15,116
    I'm WrappingALilacCurtainAroundMyBobby.


    Great intro Iain, I got to the end. I'm in the same "music first" camp, and if something sounds good to your ears that's all that matters. Welcome to AoS and I hope you enjoy the forum.

    Main System: Digital: HP Laptop/M2Tech Hiface/Logitech Media Server/FLAC; Marantz SA7001 KI Signature SACD Player and other digital stuff into Gatorised Beresford Caiman DAC Vinyl: Garrard 401/SME 3009 SII Improved/Sumiko HS/Nagaoka MP-30
    Amplifier: Rega Brio R. Speakers: Spendor SP1. Cables: Various, mainly Mark Grant.
    Please see "about me" for the rest of my cr@p! Gallery

    A.o.S. on Facebook - A.o.S. on Spotify - A.o.S. on Twitter

    There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing and be nothing Aristotle

  3. #3
    Join Date: Feb 2010

    Location: Moved to frozen north, beyond Inverness

    Posts: 1,891
    I'm Dave.


    Hi Iain and Welcome,

    Interesting how you discovered something that works for you - using the speakers in A+B mode. Perhaps you can also keep us up to date about Hi-Fi in Canada or maybe the US. I lived in California for a while, and found brands there which are unusual in the UK - you mentioned PolK speakers, for example. Does Canada have a very different market to the US? Perhaps not.

  4. #4
    Join Date: Jan 2020

    Location: South Yorkshire

    Posts: 2,683
    I'm Andre.

  5. #5
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: Southall, West London

    Posts: 45,440
    I'm Geoff.


    Hello Iain. Welcome to AOS.

    There's a lot going on here, so just join in the chat and get to know the members, they're a friendly bunch.

    Enjoy the forum,
    The word is 'valves' in this country, not tubes. Tubes are what Smarties come in!

  6. #6
    Join Date: Dec 2018

    Location: Torquay, Devon.

    Posts: 1,406
    I'm Shane.


    Howdy! Welcome to AOS.

    Have fun.

    Shane Lonergan.

  7. #7
    Join Date: Jan 2009

    Location: Essex

    Posts: 24,483
    I'm openingabottleofwine.


    Welcome to AoS Iain,

    Great introduction - glad to see you have taken a pragmatic approach to listening to music, rather than chase rainbows.

    Great taste in music too.

    Enjoy the Forum

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