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Buddha
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Joined: Sep 8 2005 - 10:24am
One of those "good moments."

Aloha,

Today was one of those Hi Fi days that are too uncommon.

About 18 months ago, I developed a "capacitor" smear in my right tweeter/mid panels on my speakers.

Did all the permutations of changing things, and even when I switched amps, the smear stayed on the right. I didn't think to switch channels because I changed amps (same model, same age), so how could the problem be the amp if both did it?

Big Mike put nice new caps in both my speakers, and voila! The problem stayed.

Being the Alfred Einsteins that we are, we finally discovered that both amps had lost their capacitors simultaneously, which is about the only "simultaneous" experience Ive had since the kids were born.

Anyway, got them both updated and set up the system and...new 90 Hz hum that was unremovable.

I put leads to the third prong in the electrical socket, I grounded to everything, no luck.

I finally said "screw it" and listened upstairs for almost the last year.

Well, we took parts out for CES and while there, I picked up a cool Ground Control unit. Big Mike waited until I was out of town and hooked it up to everything, and found that the hum was gone, but the smear returned!

He did a full system switch and listen, and it was one of the amps again, so I took it in and got it re-repaired.

Got everything hooked back up and plugged the turntable back into the system. Turned on the turntable and got a new hum!

Re-grounded everything, it persisted, but I thought it was coming from behind the table...

Turned of the whole system except the turntable, and it hummed on its own!

Turns out I had the vaccuum pump in a resonant chamber that opened to the back of the equipment rack and I was hearing the pump interact with its base.

New base, no hum!

New trouble...

Turned on the table...the belt kept slipping off the platter!

A talc dusting saved the day.

Before trying some tasty vinyl, thought I'd shake things down with some CD's...the PS Audio Lambda II could no longer be coaxed into tracking discs.

PS Audio no longer supports that model.

Said "screw it" and broke down and bought an all in one player, and it's breaking in nicley, but I didn't have the courage to sit and really listen.

A week goes by of avoiding listening.

Today, Big Mike says, "You gotta go down there sometime." So we went.

Cued up an LP, it works!

Had my first relaxed listening session down there in ages. Just basking in listening to music and not having to problem solve.

As Ice Cube would say, "Today was a good day."

I had forgotten the pure, unadulterated joy of just tossing on a disc and not worrying that something would go wrong.

I find problems run in spurts, followed by periods of trouble free play. Before that first smear, I had not had a problem with a system since a girlfriend's cat clawed my AR woofers in the late 80's!

Looking forward to another extended streak.

Thanks for letting me vent.

Wishing you all only good listening days.

mmole
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Re: One of those "good moments."

Buddha thanks for sharing this. It gets to the heart of the situation when something's wrong with your system. It's not just the frustration in trying to isolate the problem. It's that feeling of dread that you get hoping that nothing's wrong but being unable to relax while listening and trying to lie to yourself that that hum isn't really there. So you stop listening completely. It happened to me in the summer of 2004 chasing a problem that turned out to be a dying DAC and bad digital interconnect. I basically listened to no music from Memorial Day until Labor Day that year because of the "dread."

jazzfan
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Re: One of those "good moments."

Hi Buddha,

Nice little story, sorry to hear about all your troubles but quite glad to see that it ended rather pleasantly.

I take it from what you've written, things like "right tweeter/mid panels on my speakers" and such, that your downstairs system consists of some type of planar or electrostatic speakers and also form what you've written ("I finally said "screw it" and listened upstairs for almost the last year.") that the downstairs system has been sitting idle for a while.

I guess what I'm trying to say is "All We Are Saying Is Get Stats A Chance"

Sure do like those plain old cones.

commsysman
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Re: One of those "good moments."

The power supply ripple frequency would be 120 HZ; 90HZ???...lol?

By the way, if at some point a "ground control unit" eliminated a hum, I think your culprit would be a bad ground in an interconnect somewhere. That may be an issue that is still intermittent and lurking out there somewhere. Sometimes an interconnect that has been in place for a long time can actually develop a bad ground connection due to electrolysis between metals (a good case for using gold-plated connectors where possible). I find it is good idea to remove and reconnect all cables at least once a year.

It is also a good idea to run separate ground wires between equipment chassis screws (but NOT the power amplifier, which may have a "floating" ground on the chassis in some cases...that can CAUSE a hum if you try to connect it...).

A "star" grounding configuration is the best; the preamp power cord should normally provide a good connection to the line ground, and the ground wires should radiate from the preamp chassis. Run a separate #18 or #20 wire with ring or spade lugs SOLDERED to the ends from the preamp chassis to each other unit in the system.

Buddha
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Joined: Sep 8 2005 - 10:24am
Re: One of those "good moments."

Hi, Roy E!

Your post cheered me up even further. It's always helpful not to feel all alone with a problem, even if chatting about it doesn't change the problem.

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Jazzfan!

The stats are upstairs, my friend.

The speakers were also blameless, merely innocent victims of my search for a defect.

I stand firm on my love for planar speakers!

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Commsysman, maybe I thought 120 was 90!

I agree, I am now star grounded more ways than a porn star at a Lacrosse party!

I will watch for what you said about the amp grounding - much appreciated.

____________________________
____________________________

We need to coerce you's guys into coming to Vegas for CES.

We'll have a BBQ and killer conversations!

RGibran
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Joined: Oct 11 2005 - 5:50pm
Re: One of those "good moments."

Humm...and I thought I had problems just getting a compatible speaker cable and new speakers placed correctly! Thanks for sharing, and glad to hear your back to enjoying your multiple systems.

Not intending to hijack this thread, I noted you stated you purchased a new universal front end. I do hope when you feel it is sufficiently burned in you will share your thoughts, impressions, comparisons with us. Also how you have it incorporated to your system ie two chanel as well as multichannel, ect and if you are now using it as your main front end. I know many of our fellow members may not have an interest in this but as a multichannel enthusiast myself I would be interested in a fellow audiophiles approaches and comments.

I'm guessing you may have purchased one of the fine Marantz players you seem to be partial to in some of your recent posts.

I recently picked up a slightly used Denon 3910 for half the suggested retail and for now am quite pleased with it's performance, in particular it's redbook sound quality, as this is usually lacking on many of the universal machines. Perhaps when and if I become more discerning down the road I may send it to one of the numerous modders to have them work their supposed magic on it.

Enjoy.... I look forward to your comments

RG

Monty
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Re: One of those "good moments."

This post was just way too funny. Not funny that you had all the problems, but funny in how you described the whole mess. Btw, it looks like your wife's triple secret probation didn't last very long. Is she that easy or are you that charming?

Buddha
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Re: One of those "good moments."

Well, Monty, I live by the rules, and one of the rules is: What my wife doesn't know won't hurt me.

Now, all I have to do is guard the mailbox and find a way to make the credit card payment without arousing her suspicion. The bummer is she writes all the checks.

The good news is that I used a new Music Direct credit card, so I can hide interest free for a few months and start hoarding money here and there.

The original plan was to try and pull the old "double sleepover" trick, with Big Mike getting one, too. Then, when the bill came to his house, he'd tell his wife he loaned me the cash, and I'd pay his bill...and when the other bill came to my house, I'd say it was becaues I had lent Big Mike the money. We'd each pay each other's CC bill with our wives thinking we had just been paid by the other guy, with no actual money "appearing" to have changed hands...but then we sobered up and realized it wouldn't work. Still not sober enough to figure out why, just that it wouldn't work.

The next bummer: I put in the system and she noticed!

Big Mike covered for me, and as of today, she thinks it's a loaner.

The clock is ticking.

Oh, what a tangled web we weave.

I used up my last viable excuse for new equipment in January. Now, not even the "Well, honey, it's better than if I had an affair" has any prayer of working.

I'm tempted to try, "Wow, baby, did you get that for me? No? Geez, I must have really been drunk that night. My bad, love ya."

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As a side note, this is all Wes Phillips' fault.

As another side note, Bes, at Music Direct was one of the coolest and most interesting people I met at HE 2006. They had some smokin' deals.

Once this baby breaks in I'll 'fess to the damages.

Once again, though, ALL Wes Phillips' fault.

I wonder if that excuse would fly with Katy?

Sorry, Wes, but I may have to throw you under the train.

JoeE SP9
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Re: One of those "good moments."

Damn! I feel for you. I've never had things that bad. I hope I never do. If it happened here there would be no need to hide any purchases but I do all the cooking and cleaning. I'm sure hiding a purchase is compensated by clean clothes and tasty food.

Monty
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Re: One of those "good moments."

Actually, the conversation goes something like this: "Honey, where did those new speakers come from?"
"Uh, well, you know i've been wanting to upgrade my speakers for a long time."
"Yeah, and I've been wanting that Dooney purse and those diamond earrings at Foley's."

Married guys have to look at the cost of a component and double the price to evaluate whether they can afford it or not. lol

mjalazard
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Joined: Sep 8 2005 - 4:38pm
Re: One of those "good moments."

I'm going to actually enforce the "Don't Ask/Don't Tell rule. My silence on this purchase should hopefully preserve Buddha's marital bliss. He still, however, owes his wife a new closet/furniture-grade storage system in the only room in their house that is truely hers.
I am very happy that Buddha is finally breaking out his vinyl after too long of period of 33 1/3 silence...I'll have to loan him my Nitty Gritty record cleaner.
Now he has a reason to rant and undermine the Vinyl Asylum!

jazzfan
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Re: One of those "good moments."


Quote:
Well, Monty, I live by the rules, and one of the rules is: What my wife doesn't know won't hurt me.

Now, all I have to do is guard the mailbox and find a way to make the credit card payment without arousing her suspicion. The bummer is she writes all the checks.

The good news is that I used a new Music Direct credit card, so I can hide interest free for a few months and start hoarding money here and there.

The original plan was to try and pull the old "double sleepover" trick, with Big Mike getting one, too. Then, when the bill came to his house, he'd tell his wife he loaned me the cash, and I'd pay his bill...and when the other bill came to my house, I'd say it was becaues I had lent Big Mike the money. We'd each pay each other's CC bill with our wives thinking we had just been paid by the other guy, with no actual money "appearing" to have changed hands...but then we sobered up and realized it wouldn't work. Still not sober enough to figure out why, just that it wouldn't work.

The next bummer: I put in the system and she noticed!

Big Mike covered for me, and as of today, she thinks it's a loaner.

The clock is ticking.

Oh, what a tangled web we weave.

I used up my last viable excuse for new equipment in January. Now, not even the "Well, honey, it's better than if I had an affair" has any prayer of working.

I'm tempted to try, "Wow, baby, did you get that for me? No? Geez, I must have really been drunk that night. My bad, love ya."

________________________
________________________

As a side note, this is all Wes Phillips' fault.

As another side note, Bes, at Music Direct was one of the coolest and most interesting people I met at HE 2006. They had some smokin' deals.

Once this baby breaks in I'll 'fess to the damages.

Once again, though, ALL Wes Phillips' fault.

I wonder if that excuse would fly with Katy?

Sorry, Wes, but I may have to throw you under the train.

The above gets my vote for this year's funniest post. The sad thing is it's so damn true.

Take that same situation and throw into the mix the fact I will shelling out college tuition payments of over 80 grand this year and all I want to do is upgrade a silly piece of audio equipment for a mere $5k. Why can't the wives be more understanding?

commsysman
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Re: One of those "good moments."

But you broke rule #1 when you let your wife write the checks...lol.

But my wife is cool anyway; In the last 3 months I spent 6 grand for a new AR LS26 preamp and bought a new Nike Sasquatch driver for my golf bag, and all she demanded was new kitchen flooring and a cruise over to Spain.

commsysman
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Re: One of those "good moments."

Jeez, if they all want to go to Haaaavard or Stanford, you should tell em to get scholarships...lol.

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