Project No. 2 update:
The Squeezebox Touch arrived. Setup is really simple. I have tried playing it from a USB-powered HD drive but the Touch did not see it (it may be due to lack of power, I understand). so I tried to play from my MacMini over wireless (with SB server installed on the mini). Plays fine, sees all the playlists etc. but as my wireless is very weak it kept dropping out.
As wired network is not an option for me I got a pair of homeplug adapters and connected via those.
No set-up necessary for those, work as a real plug and play. SB touch now works brilliantly. Plays all my itunes playlists, inlcuding 24/96. Highly recommended!
This completes Project No. 2 aka the bedroom system. Apart from the pics (which I cannot post, again - error message!).
Still waiting for the sub on Project No.1...
This is it. Project No. 2 - finished.
Project No. 1 (main system) update
I am told the sub should be ready around Jul 30th...
The other remaining part for the main system upgrade is replacing the old TEAC receiver in order to take full advantage of the bluray sound formats.
I am looking for a mid range receiver with pre-outs (as the L and R front will be the actives). 5 channels would be enough but more is OK. Zone 2 speakers would be a nice to have for the future.
I was looking for one to fit the above requirements but also to fit a 155mm shelf and that limits the choice strongly. In fact, it is impossible. The slim ones do not have pre outs, the ones that do are not slim. I was hoping some new ones will come out but all new ranges announced recently by the main makers are the same. So I have been thinking about it...
I do have a taller shelf but it is taken by the centre speaker that is 162mm tall, so it too would not fit the 155mm shelf. So I started to look at my rack and as you can see above each shelf is standing on its own spikes. I thought maybe I can turn the spikes out a bit and make the shelf spacing a bit bigger... No, I could only lift the shelf abt 3mm before risking the spikes becoming loose. Not enough...
So I decided to order spikes that would fit properly and be slightly longer, just enough to make the 155mm shelf to become 165mm so I can fit the centre speaker on it, leaving the 200mm shelf free for a new receiver. 200-210mm (with new, longer spikes, hopefully) will open full choice of receivers for me.
So, I am looking at two things now -
- Where I can order the spikes of custom sizes and
- Which receiver I should get
... and as revealed in the WHF September issue's BQ, all this upgrade is a gift from my lovely girlfriend of many years who is now my fiancee!
How is that for high WAF?
I am happy to report that she appreciates good music and good quality gear that brings it to home and she was absolutely cool even with keeping the 100s regardless of their size if I preferred so. I had to mention this is her gift in WHF BQ as to get such a serious gift and in the form of hifi which is my passion is really really great and I am glad seeing the lines about her gift in the mag made her smile!
Anyhow, the story continues. Project 1 is not completed yet. Sub still to arrive, receiver still to be chosen and a freeview hd box is to be selected. Chordette Gem to be sold (as it is redundant now) to fund the receiver purchase.
Project No. 1 update:
The C4 is here...
can't wait to find out how it integrates with the 50s.
Can you trust your ears?
... finally got some time to post. The music is playing in the background
By now I am proficient in moving heavy boxes around. The trusty upside down door mat is serving its audiophile duties yet again:
Open the box. Given its weight, surprisignly, this is a single box. Basic plastic packaging and corner bumpers.
Another familiar technique: box upside down and pull off. This one is much easier to manage than the 100s!
At this point, as it is getting dark, I change the camera to get better pics.
The size is huge. I am already sure that C6 would have been an overkill. Even the C4 is very big.
Yet another handy technique: "the towel pull". this is the only way to move around any seniour ATC product alone.
On the next one you can see the driver a bit. Surprisingly, it only takes so much of the whole baffle area...
this is a closer shot of the driver through the slit. lit up by a flash firing sideways.
The connections and controls:
There are 4 parameters you can change with the 3 control knobs.
- Upper cut-off frequency
- Lift. The lift knob selects flat and lifted response, each of which has + and - phase position, thus giving the 4th parameter controlled - phase.
Strangely, the manual mentions a front light indicator that should be green in normal ops and turn red when the amp reaches max output, but I did not find any light... Go figure...
As I am connecting with unbalanced cables, I click in the XLR-RCA adapters, followed by right-angle RCA-RCA adapter (as my cables are quite stiff, so using right angle adapters makes it easier to place the sub nearer to the wall.
OK, ready to slide in position.
And here is the trusty old Rel that is being replaced...
And this is how they compare... and the Rel is not the smallest of subs...
Connect and slide in...
Power - ON !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ok, 2 comments. First, thanks again for the best audio pics on WHF. I love all your pics and I also enjoy your floorplan diagram. That is one monster sub. WOW!
My other comment is, I was really shocked by your pic in this months WHF big question. For some reason because of your avatar I pictured you being more of the ripped jeans and pink floyd t-shirt kind of guy. So I was really surprised to see a guy in a jacket and loafers. Not judging, just surprised. I'd probably be surprised regardless of how you looked, LOL. Sort of like when you see a radio personality for the first time. They never look like they sound.
Anyway, awesome sub. Are you using that just for movies or for music as well? Does this complete your system? I hope you never have to move. ATC gear weighs a ton.
BTW, I really like how you found a nice place to tuck that big sub so it's sort of out of the way. Nice job!
Music Server -> Devialet 400 -> PMC Fact 8 -> Chord Cables
trying it at the moment. not a lot of listening time up to now bu the weekend is approaching. report to follow.
Thanks, Jax! I thinkthe crown of the best kit pics belongs to forum member going under the name of "TheForce".
Indeed, you never imagine people on forums or radio etc the way they really look. Ripped jeans? I used to have some in my 20s but not any more. I do not even own a pair of jeans now, for some reason. I do have a pink floyd hat, though. I even made it myslelf. Well, my mother sew it (she did a lot of that) when I was about 15. I then took a marker and drew Pink Floyd name all over it, kind of oversized, and the letters were like melting and dripping. As you can imagine, I thought that was really cool then! I still have it somewhere and even use it sometimes. the letters are all burnt out and can be barely seen so I hope I look not too silly in it.
Mainly music but also movies and even TV (at least it was with the Rel). But I am thinking of giving the new sub a separate power lead with remote control so I can switch it off when watcing TV or whenever. Additional 1000W is a bit of an overkill with SD TV and is only wasted.
this is a trial so I have not decided yet if I will keep teh C4. I will post here about the listening.
After the sub, the only outstanding thing will be a new receiver (I am thinking midrange, getting a bargain during the pre-3D clear-outs). And that should complete the 'once in 10 years' upgrade.
re the moving... Unfortunately, this is a rented flat, so I will have to move one day. It may be soon, it may be not, but I decided - to hell with it, I will bite the bullet and ship the gear when I move. I accepted that, so be it. However, this was one of the considerations against the SCM 100s.
yes, it is surprisingly very unobtrusive behind these sofas. However, what I want to try is move the sub to the other (right) side of the sofa and see if it makes any difference in terms of sound or 'obtrusiveness'. I think it will be reasonably out of the way there too and may affect sound. Still to be checked.
So, a 'sound' report is to follow.
brilliant thread almaatakz, its great how you have progressed and how you have illustrated this, you own some beautiful pieces of kit there. i to have a chordette gem and from what i can follow you have had yours upgraded to apt x spec. did i understand this correctly and if so how did you do this? i am due a phone upgrade soon and would seriously consider an apt x phone if i can upgrade my gem. also tho you said you havent bought a dongle yet for streaming so i guess you havent heard if it makes a difference or not (is this still the case?) but all the reviews seem to be positive, any comments would be greatly appreciated.
Yes, I did manage to upgrade my Gem to apt-x but Chord does not do these upgrades any more. I think I just slipped in before they stopped it. I still do not have a dongle and actually the Gem is now redundant as I struggle to find a use for it since I got the Benchmark and the Squeezbox Touch (I will use the money from the Gem to fund the receiver purchase). That is a real shame as the Gem sounds very very good (via USB). The improvement that the Gem brough has triggered this whole upgrade.
thanks for your reply, i agree the gem sounds a lot better using the usb input and i was hoping for something close to this via an apt x phone. i love the gem but i'd rather stream via bluetooth sometimes than have my computer switched on and the fan running. oh well, better see what the arcam dac offers i suppose
After several days of listening, here are my impressions about the sound of the C4 sub.
Note this is comparative to Rel Q100E which is only a modest sub. I could not get comparison to any other subs in the C4 price range.
Definately better bass. Where there used to be loud smudges of bass I now hear details - a kick or a roulade of tones or both. Bass sounds separate into different ones. I think the Rel used to resonate and go too loud, lump things together, the harmonics used to mask the higher bands. With the C4 all is much better. There is no boom, no excitement into resonance, no masking of higher bands, the treble is definately forward. The depth extension is good, it improves the depth from just the 50s playing alone. Good improvement in extension, very subtle blend with the speakers. Soft, gentle, articulate. That is what I was looking for.
The only thing I did not try yet is movies, although I watched the Pavarotti Tribute Concert in Petra in DTS surround. The Sub worked beautifully on orchestral music (Although there are no LFE in this type of material and hardly any surround apart from apllaudes). So, I now need a good movie to test the sub...
the C4 settings that work best for me:
Low pass filter - 70Hz
Contour - Flat, phase +
Level - 2 clicks before max (I think becasue I use RCA output of the DAC to feed the sub, which is lower level than XLR that feeds the speakers, I have to set the sub level quite high to match the speakers level)