Benefits of a forum like HFV: Make friends, listen and experience varied audio/video gear

k-pad

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Jul 13, 2021
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Dropped by @RajithKumar bhai's place.
A lovely set up that educated me on what could be done in a 14x10 space, if enough attention is paid to detail.

It has given me a lot of hope :)
But i still don't know if i will take the leap.

My biggest observations are these:
1. Auro 3D is a cut above dolby and dts. It is the real deal. Kudos to Rajith for having taken the leap so early in its life cycle. I think it is a tech that should catch on in the next couple of years. So, for new FM's with a good budget, i'd happily suggest investing in an auro-capable avr if possible.

2. The biggest gain (admittedly, this is only from a few clips) is the front to back 180-deg panning, which usually kicks in in scenes that have flying machines, or when the POV in below in other cases also. Atmos and :X jist don't have the sweep that Auro has.

3. The other thing i noticed is that the way Rajith has placed his speakers for Auro (2 front heights, 2 top, and 2 rear heights) works wonders for even Dolby and DTS content.

When we were watching Atmos content, there was never a moment when the heights stood apart. They were present, yes, but they were so subtle and blended with the action so much better than regular ceiling speakers.

This makes me think that even non-auro users in small rooms like ours should really consider heights instead of ceilings. Like Rajith says, the angles are more important.

All in all, a wonderful experience. And special thanks to Rajith for insisting that we go ahead with the visit even though renovation work had just ended at his place and his daughter has an exam this very morning. Much grateful.

Hoping to do a longer session in next visit.
 

k-pad

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Joined
Jul 13, 2021
Messages
887
Points
93
Location
Mumbai
My kids who are identical twins soon started chatting with you like they have known you all their lives, thanks to your easy going friendly nature.
At the risk of alienating you, I gotta admit this was the high point of my visit. We instantly connected and had a ball :)
I wish you had stayed more time to show you more ATMOS content. Whenever you come to Chennai, please do take a moment to drop in as time flies and the camaraderie with the kids is nice.
Next trip, we ought to watch a full movie, like @liverpool_for_life mandated...
Your suggestion to make a roof top theater with a projector has given me a motivation. 2024/25 eta hopefully. Great idea!!
... in this rig. :D
 

RajithKumar

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Oct 31, 2013
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1,241
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113
Location
Chennai,India
Dropped by @RajithKumar bhai's place.
A lovely set up that educated me on what could be done in a 14x10 space, if enough attention is paid to detail.

It has given me a lot of hope :)
But i still don't know if i will take the leap.

My biggest observations are these:
1. Auro 3D is a cut above dolby and dts. It is the real deal. Kudos to Rajith for having taken the leap so early in its life cycle. I think it is a tech that should catch on in the next couple of years. So, for new FM's with a good budget, i'd happily suggest investing in an auro-capable avr if possible.

2. The biggest gain (admittedly, this is only from a few clips) is the front to back 180-deg panning, which usually kicks in in scenes that have flying machines, or when the POV in below in other cases also. Atmos and :X jist don't have the sweep that Auro has.

3. The other thing i noticed is that the way Rajith has placed his speakers for Auro (2 front heights, 2 top, and 2 rear heights) works wonders for even Dolby and DTS content.

When we were watching Atmos content, there was never a moment when the heights stood apart. They were present, yes, but they were so subtle and blended with the action so much better than regular ceiling speakers.

This makes me think that even non-auro users in small rooms like ours should really consider heights instead of ceilings. Like Rajith says, the angles are more important.

All in all, a wonderful experience. And special thanks to Rajith for insisting that we go ahead with the visit even though renovation work had just ended at his place and his daughter has an exam this very morning. Much grateful.

Hoping to do a longer session in next visit.
Welcome! Happy to have u at Home and happy to help .Hope these visits to FM make you plan and install your system in a much better way .
 

amrutmhatre90

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Sep 25, 2020
Messages
966
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93
Location
Mumbai
@k-pad is on a role, should start a thread or a YT channel on visiting members and post his views :p

But I agree, the more you listen, see, feel and experience the better you understand what difference each different component makes.
Which is the key to get near your goal, as you have a control vs a benchmark now.
 

liverpool_for_life

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Feb 2, 2015
Messages
980
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93
Location
Madras Nalla Madras
my visit to @liverpool_for_life is long overdue.

Indeed! Too long, in fact. I've likely reached the stage where any (significant) SQ gains from hereon out will come from placement changes, unless I add an external EQ device.

I too have your appointment and waiting sir..:D

Kannan or myself or both? :). Waiting on my long-awaited (for me, at any rate) video calibration. Now that I have the JVC back, should be soon. I can't wait to see how things look after a professional calibration. You're welcome to visit anytime after.
 

liverpool_for_life

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Feb 2, 2015
Messages
980
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Location
Madras Nalla Madras
Stay tuned!

For folks who were tuned in and wondering, wonder no more😉.

k-pad ended up posting his thoughts on his experience in my room treatment thread:

 

[email protected]

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Joined
Nov 13, 2014
Messages
1,085
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113
Location
Kolkata
A casual mention of my upcoming trip to Delhi, and the first thing out of @ssf lips was ‘you should meet @DB1989, and make sure you listen to the Quad S5’. It was an order, which I was compelled to follow, and was I glad I did!
I diligently messaged @DB1989, and he was kind enough to set up a meeting.

The moment you enter his pad, you’re greeted by speakers of varied sizes and brands, sitting pretty to your left, front, right, and also in the back, where a brand new unopened pair of speakers quietly squatted, waiting for its turn to be caressed. He mentioned that they were a gift from him to his best friend.

It was all overwhelming, in the best possible sense, of course. I had no clue where to begin, everything was shiny and intimidating, and I rightly had a stupid smile plastered on my face. Did I mention there was a large safe sitting right in the living room? Further, careful inspection revealed it to be a Mission MS450

As @DB1989 was attending to a telephone call, I pranced along from speaker to speaker, amp to amp, DAC to DAC to figure out the origin and the culmination of the connections. One look behind the entertainment unit and, under my breath I cautioned myself, 'alrighty then, if shredding your hand is not your thing, avoid sticking it in there.'

@DB1989 holsters his gun, walks towards the front wall flanked by the Quads and the RELs, and proceeds to explain in detail the order of the chain. My stupid smile was back as I sensed the Quads were being made ready to fire up. It was like at a power generation facility, where every component had to be turned on, in a proper sequence, one by one. I had my Spotify playlist all set, I pressed play, the Quads roared, I melted.
As I was finding the strength to straighten my knees, @DB1989 nonchalantly mentions that the dual REL T9i were yet to be switched on.

I was ushered to slide onto a La-Z-Boy at the sweet spot, where the whole system is carefully set up to sound its best. @DB1989 is also very particular, meticulous, and organized. There is a method to the madness, after all.

I was able to spend only a couple of hours (I say only a couple of hours because there's so much gear to listen to. You may need to apply for leave for a week to get a sense of all of it) and from my brief listening session, here are a few observations:
The S5 is a beast in its own right; with extending highs that seemed endless, but sweet; the mids sang with authority, albeit a bit lean, and the lows grunting with enough texture and might. There’s a possibility that the mids appeared the way they did because of the striking highs. The Quads held hands with the Cambridge Audio CXA81, RME ADI-2, and Allo. (Apologies, as I’m not familiar with the various Allo devices).

The CXA81 and the Quads with their ribbon tweeter were an interesting pairing. There was a forward-presented holographic image that has to be experienced to be believed. The marriage of Cambridge Audio and the Quads helped to present excellent dynamics at all volumes; that was akin to an 'in-your-face' presentation. It was forward, airy, and tight, with enough space in-between the instruments. It appears that the CXA81 pushes the entire spectrum with uniform energy, there's no getting away; it takes you hostage and makes you listen. Mind you, it's enjoyable and addicting!

The dual RELs tie the sound well by laying a solid foundation for the rest of the frequencies to dance upon.
I had a brief session with the KEF Q350, and all I can say is, I want more! This pair does so many things so well that I can safely recommend them to anyone who wants to set up a 'one-time audio system, set up and forget scenario' (If that's even a thing in here), and just enjoy their music! Driven by the CXA81, they were such a pleasure to listen to, effortless, musical.

I can't wait to be back at @DB1989 to spend more time trying out various components in various combinations. His passion and knowledge are heartwarming. It was not only a privilege but also a pleasure. Thanks again @DB1989.

P.S. I stress again, that it is not easy to audition gear, as proper home-audio showrooms exist in only a few patches in our country. The next best thing would be to call upon a friendly FM, and if willing, have a brief session with the gear they have. You'll not only have an FM to share ideas with face to face but also have a fair assessment of a realistic home setup, unlike demo rooms, that are well-treated to deceive us!

Get a first-hand experience of how the FMs have treated their room or overcome HiFi challenges etc. There's only so much one can absorb from written garble on this forum. Experiencing anything first-hand will always trump all. FMs are so creative that you might find something in there that might stir your pot, or could solve or elevate something in your own setup.


Cheers!
I had a full day free in Delhi so texted @DB1989 right away from the airport,but with such a ridiculously short notice that too on a Saturday I wasn’t hoping for anything but a polite deferment .

As it happened, not only he instantly agreed to host me , but he turned out to be such a great host and a fantastic person in general that a freaking eight hours passed by at his den (that’ll put a decent dealer to shame ) without me being aware of it. And if I hadn’t literally forced myself to book an Uber to my hotel , I’m pretty sure DB with his inexhaustible energy would have gone about happily switching speakers and DACs and removing and adding acoustic panels for my listening pleasure and A-B comparisons , in short - the wet dream of audiophiles, late into the night.

DB’s place , as should be apparent from his forum signature and testimonials from other FMs , is so ridiculously packed with multiple speakers , amps , DACs and digital and analog sources that it’s all too overwhelming at first , but when one sees DB methodically manipulating the myriad connections both at the source level right down to his dual REL subs and a Mission MS450
which anybody would mistake for a drinks cabinet or a bank locker , you cannot fail to see the tremendous passion that’s firing his quest for audio nirvana.
At the outset , the gorgeous Wharfedale Evos backed by the dual RELs and powered by the Cambridge CXA81 had me awestruck by the depth of the soundstage , and DB furthur fuelled the fun by switching between his Chord Mojo and RME ADI-2 with me preferring the latter for the sweetness of midrange. DB preferred the Mojo in this combination for better detail and overall cohesiveness.

A surprising demonstration happened in the midst of this session when DB removed two acoustic panels (acting as both absorber and diffuser ) from the side walls , and instantaneously the holographic centre lost its pin point accuracy and became flabby.
It’s a testament to his knowledge that he had added these two panels specifically for the Evos to improve the overall cohesion, that DB can explain much better technically.

At this point , my host offered me choice of his delectable Scotch and with one large down , we proceeded to DB’s partner’s bedroom (yes it was literally an invasion) where the Quad S5s played to glory and here is the deal - with zero acoustic treatment, they still sounded foot-tapping (litmus test ) good. Acoustic treatment in that room would definitely get him banished , so his good sense prevailed to let the room furniture alone to do the tricks.

In the meantime , food had arrived , and with more gusto DB proceeded to wheel out the 30kg each Quads to his main setup in the drawing room , but not before we listened to his all-rounder Boston Acoustics in the bedroom ,alternating music with discussion on topics as disparate as Cold War legacy , custom laws and regulations, corporate ethics , class action lawsuits vs free market monopoly. One could say the spirits were having an effect, yes.

Post lunch - the insanity stepped up two notches higher , as if it were even possible , with the Quads mesmerising in his main chain , backed by the RELs , the Cambridge ,RME / Chord , the Allo Digi (I hope ) , played from Volumio on iPad , displayed on the LG OLED , and the incredible dynamic range , midrange clarity , sub bass tonality and sheer overall musicality induced deliriums of pleasure. In the midst of it DB explained how a dip in the 200Khz region in the Quads (as per REW) , making the midrange a bit lean , was corrected by the 1.5inch thick flower stands bought off Amazon.
Not long after DB proceeded to call another of his players in the field - the KEF 350 , which for experimentation was played with reversed polarity in both , then for one unit , and then with correct polarity , without subs , then with the dual RELs , then with the drinks cabinet … I mean Mission , with all filters off in the RME , then with bass and treble boosters in gradual steps, with panels added and removed in the rear wall, with different inclination angles of the LazyBoy at the sweet spot. Crazy is an understatement. The immensity of the sound coming out of those KEFs was to be seen to be believed. By that point I had already given up trying to figure out which was feeding into what , when DB unleashed yet another unexpected nugget - up sampling of a stereo piece playing from YouTube through his Marantz AVR , into 5.2 or was it 7.2 ?
What a day !!
 

Yelamanchili manohar

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Apr 27, 2021
Messages
311
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Hyderabad
I just went WOW reading this thread. So lovely to see folks posting about their visits to fellow members homes. We have a very active gang in hyderabad too. In fact we not only visit each other, we also exchange a lot of gear between us. And that keeps me perennially poor, as it usually leads to buying something I don't already have :D

I should be back home in Sept 1st week. And if anyone from anywhere, is visiting hyderabad, please feel free to ping me. Even though my room and system are still a work in progress, and will take sometime to finish.

Being jobless, I can pick you up at the airport, and can still lug you around to listen to some great setups in hyderabad from the forum members here. Of course it will depend on them being free, but knowing us lot, we hyderabadi's have retained our erstwhile nawab's penchant for hospitality. So you will not be disappointed...and that's a promise :D
 

Yelamanchili manohar

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Joined
Apr 27, 2021
Messages
311
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93
Location
Hyderabad
And if you fine folks can wait till the 15th of November, my wicked setup will be up and running :D

I've done my first stage of room treatment last year ( heavy bass trapping on front and back walls )..will finish stage 2 this November ( side walls and front wall behind the speakers ). stage 3, which is the ceiling will be for next year .

And all my room treatments are my own effort, and my own sweat cutting the wood and cutting the absorbent material. No carpenters or contractors involved :D

Mine is a very complex system, and it will be more complex by next year, when I thrust the DEQX in to finally go 4 way active :D

I prefer not to post my system in my signature, as iam dumber than most folks here, and I don't want the kit, listed in my signature, to make me sound like a trust worthy , oiled in the wool audiophile, which I certainly am not :D

But come November , you are all most welcome to come and listen to my system, and I will be delighted to have your feedback so I can tweak my system further :)
 

ssf

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Joined
Aug 18, 2010
Messages
1,539
Points
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Location
Mangalore
I just went WOW reading this thread. So lovely to see folks posting about their visits to fellow members homes. We have a very active gang in hyderabad too. In fact we not only visit each other, we also exchange a lot of gear between us. And that keeps me perennially poor, as it usually leads to buying something I don't already have :D

I should be back home in Sept 1st week. And if anyone from anywhere, is visiting hyderabad, please feel free to ping me. Even though my room and system are still a work in progress, and will take sometime to finish.

Being jobless, I can pick you up at the airport, and can still lug you around to listen to some great setups in hyderabad from the forum members here. Of course it will depend on them being free, but knowing us lot, we hyderabadi's have retained our erstwhile nawab's penchant for hospitality. So you will not be disappointed...and that's a promise :D
And if you ship ever docks at the Mangalore Port, the two rum loving, er, fun loving Mangaloreans will be more than happy to host you and show you around.
 
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