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Thread: Audio Equipment

  1. #301
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mercutio View Post
    The nine year old $2000 Integra Receiver I have that works just fine.
    I had a very nice Sony ES receiver that worked just fine too, but I got over it and bought a HDMI equipped Pioneer Elite anyhow, which in turn got replaced by another HDMI equipped Pioneer Elite.

  2. #302
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    At some point I'll replace my main receiver but it's lower on my priorities list than paying for all the blank LTO4 tapes I have to buy.

  3. #303
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    Quote Originally Posted by ddrueding View Post
    The TX-NR708 is only $550 @ Newegg right now. In the cart as we speak.
    Sold out. Crap.
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  4. #304
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    I checked yesterday and Amazon had it, but it was a few dollars more.

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  6. #306
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    Not always. I bought mine from newegg with free shipping. Sometimes those Onkyos come through the resellers through amazon and don't offer free shipping. I had the 608 in my amazon cart for about a month before I decided and it switch between numerous resellers and also Amazon...eventually the day I decided to buy, it was out of stock, so newegg got the win.

  7. #307
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    Grrr. Back in stock with free shipping for about 30 minutes. Not long enough.
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  8. #308
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    I think I've made a wrong choice with my SR608 and I'm considering returning it. Has anyone used any of the Emotiva audio equipment? or know of any problems/concerns with their products, support, etc? The forum feedback seems well-regarded and the performance of the products seem nice for what they cost. They seem like solid A/B amplifiers and their one processor unit seems to be feature rich.

    I was considering moving to the XPA-3, 3-channel amp (200W x 3) to go along with their UMC-1 Audo/Video processor. That will get me to my 3.1 setup which I plan to use for a while and then eventually I can add on an additional amplifiers for the rear channels when needed. I was thinking one additional UPA-2 125W 2-channel amp to bring me to 5.1. Later I can add another UPA-2 if I want to get to 7.1.

  9. #309
    Fixture ddrueding's Avatar
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    What is your concern?
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  10. #310
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    The preamp is basically just going to make the speakers you're using it with louder. That's cool and everything but I'm not sure it's needed with a decent receiver.

  11. #311
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    My concern is that the SR608 won't be strong enough to get the most out of the speakers I bought. It claims 100W per channel, but I doubt that would be sustained among all channels. I suspect it's likely a split power so in actuality the rating on Onkyo's website shows 100W x 2 channel when they rate it. Therefore it might be something along the lines of 200W / 3 channels equaling about 67W for each of my three channels I plan to drive right now.

    Had I planned better, I should have at least gone with the SR708 which has preamp outputs in case I needed future amplification. The CM9s I bought have an efficiency of 89dB and recommend 30-200W @ 8ohm. If I ever drive 5 speakers down the road, it'll be about 40W per channel roughly speaking.

    It's not the receiver I'm worried about, it's the amplifier power and capabilities. If this SR608 had preamp outs, I'd just consider getting an amp for the speakers. Since it can't, I was thinking of returning it and finding the components which do both.

  12. #312
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    Handy, I have fantastically expensive speakers. Speakers that cost more than my car. They're REALLY nice. And my receiver can make them louder than I could ever hope to play them. I'm not my brother the audiophile nutball, but I'd say that if your aim was to get better sound, you'd be better off looking at the acoustics of your listening environment rather than just making your speakers louder to cover up whatever deficiencies exist in that environment.

  13. #313
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    Quote Originally Posted by Handruin View Post
    My concern is that the SR608 won't be strong enough to get the most out of the speakers I bought. It claims 100W per channel, but I doubt that would be sustained among all channels. I suspect it's likely a split power so in actuality the rating on Onkyo's website shows 100W x 2 channel when they rate it. Therefore it might be something along the lines of 200W / 3 channels equaling about 67W for each of my three channels I plan to drive right now.

    Had I planned better, I should have at least gone with the SR708 which has preamp outputs in case I needed future amplification. The CM9s I bought have an efficiency of 89dB and recommend 30-200W @ 8ohm. If I ever drive 5 speakers down the road, it'll be about 40W per channel roughly speaking.

    It's not the receiver I'm worried about, it's the amplifier power and capabilities. If this SR608 had preamp outs, I'd just consider getting an amp for the speakers. Since it can't, I was thinking of returning it and finding the components which do both.
    89dB efficiency isn't terribly low, I would try it with your speakers before upgrading. Chances are it will drive them louder that your neighbours can stand.

  14. #314
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    Is every watt of power from every amplifier going to produce the same quality at the same output of wattage?

    My goal is not to get louder speakers just for the sake of going louder. I'm looking to control the speaker more accurately with a stronger amplifier that can deal with the subtle highs and lows in the dynamics of the audio. I may be thinking of this the wrong way, but if my normal listening volume is now driving the amp closer to its peak (or actually at its peak) then it may not be as clean of sound than say if a stronger amplifier is only using say 50% of its capabilities. Does that thought have any merit with regards to audio amplifiers?

    I am planning to try the speakers with the SR608 before I do anything. I just started thinking about this and was wondering if I'm short-changing the capabilities of the speakers I bought by not driving them with a better amplifier. I certainly agree that adjusting the listening environment is ideal, which is part of the reason why I'm not focusing on adding rear channels yet, the room doesn't fit them easily. There isn't much else I can do with this setup unless if I move to a new house.

  15. #315
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    The "best" power tends to come from amps running in Class A mode. Downsides are very high power consumption and heat generation. I don't think any receivers use it.

    Damping factor can effect the tightness of the bass.

    Personally I've had the best sound from a hybrid power amp with a tube input stage.

    Having pre-outs for all channels does allow you a measure of future proofing, basically the receiver turns into a pre-amp.

  16. #316
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    Most of the fine tuning I've had to do in relation to volume control was as simple as bumping the volume for my center channel.

  17. #317
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    The danger to speakers comes from overdriving of the amp, and the resulting distortion reaching the drivers. From a tech perpective it's better to drive with more power than needed, rather that too little.

  18. #318
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pradeep View Post
    The "best" power tends to come from amps running in Class A mode. Downsides are very high power consumption and heat generation. I don't think any receivers use it.

    Damping factor can effect the tightness of the bass.

    Personally I've had the best sound from a hybrid power amp with a tube input stage.

    Having pre-outs for all channels does allow you a measure of future proofing, basically the receiver turns into a pre-amp.
    I don't think any other receiver uses a strict A either, they're also very heavy because of the larger components required to cool and supply power. The amplifiers made by Emotiva that I inquired about claim to be a Class A/B which tries to offset the power consumption problem of a strict Class A like you described but also works towards having good sound.

    The odd thing though is you mention having pre-outs is a measure of future-proofing, but the general impression I'm feeling is that going with a dedicated amp shouldn't ever be needed. I was aware the SR608 didn't have pre-outs when I bought it and at the time I didn't care because I wasn't originally going down the road of new speakers...but I changed plans and now I'm re-assessing if going with a separate amplifier solution is better.

  19. #319
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mercutio View Post
    Most of the fine tuning I've had to do in relation to volume control was as simple as bumping the volume for my center channel.
    Tuning sure, but do you think it's possible with a better amplifier that your fantastically expensive speakers could sound even more fantastic at the same volume level?

  20. #320
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    Quote Originally Posted by Handruin View Post
    Tuning sure, but do you think it's possible with a better amplifier that your fantastically expensive speakers could sound even more fantastic at the same volume level?
    It's possible, but I don't think the marginal improvement is worth the investment. Chasing the last 1% that stands between what I have and some magnificent audio perfection is what distinguishes my brother from me. I have a great setup (less the HDMI I know I don't have, but my stuff is ripped anyway) and I know it.

  21. #321
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    Quote Originally Posted by Handruin View Post
    Has anyone used any of the Emotiva audio equipment? or know of any problems/concerns with their products, support, etc? The forum feedback seems well-regarded and the performance of the products seem nice for what they cost. They seem like solid A/B amplifiers and their one processor unit seems to be feature rich.

    I was considering moving to the XPA-3, 3-channel amp (200W x 3) to go along with their UMC-1 Audo/Video processor. That will get me to my 3.1 setup which I plan to use for a while and then eventually I can add on an additional amplifiers for the rear channels when needed. I was thinking one additional UPA-2 125W 2-channel amp to bring me to 5.1. Later I can add another UPA-2 if I want to get to 7.1.
    RUN AWAY!!!

    Their amps are a good value. I wouldn't wish one of their pre-processors on my worst enemy.

  22. #322
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    Quote Originally Posted by Handruin View Post
    My concern is that the SR608 won't be strong enough to get the most out of the speakers I bought. It claims 100W per channel, but I doubt that would be sustained among all channels. I suspect it's likely a split power so in actuality the rating on Onkyo's website shows 100W x 2 channel when they rate it. Therefore it might be something along the lines of 200W / 3 channels equaling about 67W for each of my three channels I plan to drive right now.

    Had I planned better, I should have at least gone with the SR708 which has preamp outputs in case I needed future amplification. The CM9s I bought have an efficiency of 89dB and recommend 30-200W @ 8ohm. If I ever drive 5 speakers down the road, it'll be about 40W per channel roughly speaking.
    The situation probably isn't that dire with power sharing in that receiver. You're not going to get 100W x 7 all channels driven, but it's 200W/x per channel either.

    Still, your idea to get a receiver with preouts is a good idea. Then if you want an amplifier down the road you can add one. If not, then you're all set.

  23. #323
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    Quote Originally Posted by Handruin View Post
    Is every watt of power from every amplifier going to produce the same quality at the same output of wattage?
    A watt is a watt is a watt. The topology differences have slight theoretical differences, but you're not likely to hear them in a properly designed amp.
    My goal is not to get louder speakers just for the sake of going louder. I'm looking to control the speaker more accurately with a stronger amplifier that can deal with the subtle highs and lows in the dynamics of the audio. I may be thinking of this the wrong way, but if my normal listening volume is now driving the amp closer to its peak (or actually at its peak) then it may not be as clean of sound than say if a stronger amplifier is only using say 50% of its capabilities. Does that thought have any merit with regards to audio amplifiers?
    Yeah, the thought would be to get an amplifier with lots of clean power output so it's loafing along even when you have your system cranked. However, a properly designed amplifier that's operating within it's limits (not driven to the point of distortion) will sound pretty much like any other operating under the same conditions.

  24. #324
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stereodude View Post
    A watt is a watt is a watt. The topology differences have slight theoretical differences, but you're not likely to hear them in a properly designed amp.
    Yeah, the thought would be to get an amplifier with lots of clean power output so it's loafing along even when you have your system cranked. However, a properly designed amplifier that's operating within it's limits (not driven to the point of distortion) will sound pretty much like any other operating under the same conditions.
    I must be crazy, because I just thought that my new amp sound MUCH better than my old one - and it took about two seconds listening to the children's channel at moderate volume to reach that conclusion.

  25. #325
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    Quote Originally Posted by Handruin View Post
    I don't think any other receiver uses a strict A either, they're also very heavy because of the larger components required to cool and supply power. The amplifiers made by Emotiva that I inquired about claim to be a Class A/B which tries to offset the power consumption problem of a strict Class A like you described but also works towards having good sound.

    The odd thing though is you mention having pre-outs is a measure of future-proofing, but the general impression I'm feeling is that going with a dedicated amp shouldn't ever be needed. I was aware the SR608 didn't have pre-outs when I bought it and at the time I didn't care because I wasn't originally going down the road of new speakers...but I changed plans and now I'm re-assessing if going with a separate amplifier solution is better.
    The logic is that power amp tech doesn't evolve all that fast, whereas new revision to HDMI seem to come out fairly often. Most power amps have larger transformers/caps, and generally don't have as many compromises as a receiver.

  26. #326
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    Quote Originally Posted by fb View Post
    I must be crazy, because I just thought that my new amp sound MUCH better than my old one - and it took about two seconds listening to the children's channel at moderate volume to reach that conclusion.
    If you are comparing your old amp and new amp at moderate positions on the dial (vs. moderate measurement in db) and there is significant difference then either the old amp was crappy or broken.

  27. #327
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    Quote Originally Posted by fb View Post
    I must be crazy, because I just thought that my new amp sound MUCH better than my old one - and it took about two seconds listening to the children's channel at moderate volume to reach that conclusion.
    You may be crazy, you may be placebo'ing. Or, your old amp may have had a problem.

  28. #328
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    I'm sensing the general consensus is that an amplifier is only useful to increase the volume of the sound and nothing else is worth having an amp for because the difference is practically audibly indistinguishable. Is that a fair assessment?

  29. #329
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    That's been my impression for a long time, yes.

    Audio stuff is tough because there's so damned much pseudoscience crap out. In the end it's all subjective. Don't buy stuff just because someone else thinks it's awesome. That person might be a nutjob who thinks wooden handles make amplifiers sound better.

  30. #330
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    I know you mentioned having an expensive receiver, so at what point do you (or did you) determine it was adequate enough without trying vast amounts of them? Based on this entire sub conversation of amplification and pre-processing, that makes me think that the SR608 I bought should be perfectly fine to run my home theater and music listening. With exception to having pre-amp outs, it has all the features I wanted and need. I think it sounds fine with my current speakers since I haven't yet been able to try it with the new ones. Why do people (such as yourself) spend $2000 on receivers if something like a $350 receiver can functionally do most of the same with exception to total wattage output?

  31. #331
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    I can't say about home audio, or for that matter the tech may have changed since I bought in '96, but with my car I bought rather expensive MacIntosh amps because I could distinctly hear a difference. The difference may be small compared to differences in speakers, but it was definitely there when isolating for just the amps. P.S. it wan't just a decibel level difference. It is hard to describe but the MacIntosh amps (at the same volume) sounded clearer; it wasn't as mushy; individual instruments were easier to distinguish then their competition.

    So I vote that Amps matter.

    One nice thing about the amps is that it's been 15 years but I can see on Ebay that used MacIntosh amps go for more that I paid new.

  32. #332
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    Quote Originally Posted by Handruin View Post
    I know you mentioned having an expensive receiver, so at what point do you (or did you) determine it was adequate enough without trying vast amounts of them?
    I tried a whole bunch of amps and preamps and a bunch of receivers. I went to audio-specialty stores in and around Chicago after I had exhausted the selection at giant electronics chains. I had a mix CD with eight or nine tracks in a variety of styles I'm extremely familiar with and did a lot of A/B comparisons using the brand of speakers I was already planning to buy.

    When I got to the point of having a short list of equipment that I felt subjectively offered the best sound for the money, I started looking at distinguishing features and in the end the Integra receiver I have now is what I took home.

  33. #333
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stereodude View Post
    You may be crazy, you may be placebo'ing. Or, your old amp may have had a problem.
    No, the amp don't have a problem, it still plays music better than most modern amps. It's just lacks in control and details in the music compared to the new one.

  34. #334
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    I decided to keep the SR608. So far the three speakers sound really good together with the power the receiver has. I actually like the smaller of the two center channel speakers (CMC) better than the larger one (CMC2). The larger one seems to be too bassy for my liking. Even with the smaller CMC center, I noticed a huge difference in watching movies. The subtle details are so much more noticeable. Things like doors squeaking or heels clicking on the floor. I'm also using the port plug in my mains. I guess due to the limited distance I can have them from my walls, it was causing a little extra boominess, so using the plugs has helped tighten that up. Now that the bass is so much tighter and cleaner, I don't enjoy my subwoofer as much any more.

  35. #335
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    Are you running your speakers in single-amped or bi-amped configuration? I've read on another forum about someone that bi-amped his CM9's with a 608 and he was very happy with the end result. He hadn't tried single-amp configuration though, so I don't know how big difference it makes, but it might be worth a look.

  36. #336
    Fixture ddrueding's Avatar
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    Excuse my ignorance, but how would you bi-amp with a 608? It doesn't have active crossovers or the ability to assign extra amp channels to L/C/R?
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  37. #337
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    Some receivers (not sure about the 608) will let you duplicate the Front L & R to the 6th and 7th channel, so you can send the same signal out twice, run 4 wires to your speakers and power the woofer and tweeter separately. This requires the speakers have two separate crossovers.

    The benefit of this is largely limited. Bi-amping with an active crossover and removing at least some of the passive crossover components from your speakers is much more beneficial.

  38. #338
    Fixture ddrueding's Avatar
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    Gotcha. Thanks.

  39. #339
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    The principle is like Stereodude said, the details are described in the manual.

    But It's a free upgrade, and while it isn't as good as an active setup it's still better than nothing. I don't even think that B&W sell active crossovers for use with their speakers?

  40. #340
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    Quote Originally Posted by fb View Post
    Are you running your speakers in single-amped or bi-amped configuration? I've read on another forum about someone that bi-amped his CM9's with a 608 and he was very happy with the end result. He hadn't tried single-amp configuration though, so I don't know how big difference it makes, but it might be worth a look.
    I currently have them setup with a single amp connection. I will try the bi-amp feature once I order me some speaker wire. I don't have enough laying around right now to try it. I am not expecting a big difference with my SR608, but I was planning on trying it to see if it makes any difference.

  41. #341
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    Quote Originally Posted by ddrueding View Post
    Excuse my ignorance, but how would you bi-amp with a 608? It doesn't have active crossovers or the ability to assign extra amp channels to L/C/R?
    The 608 does have the feature like SD described. There is an option in the menu to assign the 6th and 7th channel for bi-amping the main L&R just like SD mentioned. Since I don't have those 6th and 7th speakers right now, I figured I could try it and see if I notice any difference. I might be able to do some limited cross over capabilities right through the 608 since it lets me set cutoffs for different speakers. I don't know if the CM9s have separate crossovers. The wire posts on the back of the speaker do have specific markings for hi and low, but that could be so I'm aware how to wire a crossover.

  42. #342
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    I need to bow my head in shame for the idiot thing I just did. I've been listening to the new speakers for about a week now and I've noticed the bass to be lacking. I've calibrated things, moved speakers around, added/removed the port plugs. Something just seemed slightly off. I pulled the receiver out of my entertainment center and checked wires and sure enough I connected the banana connector backwards for the right speaker which in turn was driving it out of phase from the left. Now that it's correctly connected...HUGE difference in bass and imagine. Ugh...

  43. #343
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    Around 1970 tried to connect the two channels of a Marantz power amp together to double up on the power. Of course there was only one right way to do it, and with a 50% chance you can guess what happened.
    --Lunar

  44. #344
    Fixture ddrueding's Avatar
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    Ordered the TX-NR808. Great discount and free shipping.
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  45. #345
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    Quote Originally Posted by Handruin View Post
    I might be able to do some limited cross over capabilities right through the 608 since it lets me set cutoffs for different speakers. I don't know if the CM9s have separate crossovers. The wire posts on the back of the speaker do have specific markings for hi and low, but that could be so I'm aware how to wire a crossover.
    B&Ws designs only leave room for bi-wiring/bi-amping, even in their really expensive high end models. But it's probably more of a theoretical problem since they keep producing some of the best speakers in the world. Besides, it usually gets ridiculously expensive as soon as you start thinking about proper activation.

  46. #346
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    Quote Originally Posted by ddrueding View Post
    Ordered the TX-NR808. Great discount and free shipping.
    Where did you end up buying from?

  47. #347
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    Quote Originally Posted by fb View Post
    B&Ws designs only leave room for bi-wiring/bi-amping, even in their really expensive high end models. But it's probably more of a theoretical problem since they keep producing some of the best speakers in the world. Besides, it usually gets ridiculously expensive as soon as you start thinking about proper activation.
    I can really hear how well they've separated the frequencies in the crossovers. I'm still driving them with a single wire (not bi-amped). I have a music CD that is specific to playing bass that I was demoing. Within this music, they also have plenty of mids and highs. It sounds all computer or electronic generated, but regardless, I can really tell that the these speakers are like two in one. The tweeter and FST mid-range are really clean and clear even when there is enormous amounts of bass playing. They don't seem to be over-burdened by the extreme bass and remain clean and clear even while in the same speaker cabinet.

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    Fixture ddrueding's Avatar
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