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Lady Fitzgerald

Roisin Dearg (a Scratch Built "Modular" Case)

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Posted · Original PosterOP

There will be a delay before the speakers can be tested. Some moron ordered the wrong speaker cables (oh...wait...tht would be me :S ). I just ordered new ones; they should come in Tuesday. If it isn't one thing, it's two others.


Jeannie

 

As long as anyone is oppressed, no one will be safe and free.

One has to be proactive, not reactive, to ensure the safety of one's data so backup your data! And RAID is NOT a backup!

 

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I caught a break yesterday; the speaker cables came in! They came from Monoprice.com. Monoprice is weird when it comes to shipping. Sometimes, they ship by dogsled in summer and canoe in winter, other times they use rocket delivery, no matter what they charge for delivery (free on up). It's unpredictable. This time, they used a carrier called GSO. They are fast but their tracking is horrible. They tell you when the packageis supposd to be delivered, when it is picked up, and when it is delivered. They don't tell you where the package originated nor where it is located during transit (which is mitigated somewhat by their rapid delivery).

 

I didn't get around to testing the speakers until late last night (I had more errands to waddle and went out last night with a friend who was temporarily baseball widowed for some Thai and craic). After I got home last night, I temporarily connected the speakers to the earphone port of my little el cheapo 15" Lenovo notebook and, without doing any fiddling around with the settings, I was immediately impressed with the sound! I spent a couple of hours trying out different ripped CDs and you tube videos to give them as good of a workout as possible with the less than stellar sound card in my notebook and was happy with the results. As long as the sound source wasn't boomy, the bass was clear and sharp without any boominess. I found Youtube videos with Avi Kaplan and Tim Faust that weren't badly engineered and they were amazing clear, considering the source. I played a ripped CD with Grieg's In the Hall of the Mountain King, which started out with pizzicato double basses, the lowest instrument in most orchestras. They were clear, considering the sound source. The lower notes of the bassoons were nice and sharp. I played a couplee of works that had heavy tympani and they had a nicely resonant sound and were not just thudding away.

 

Some of the reviews I saw for these speakers said they had a hiss when there was no sound being played. Either I didn't hear it because I can't hear anything above 8k Hz (it happens to all of us when we get old) or I got lucky on the cables or it was the cables I used. I saw a review on the Monoprice speakers I orignally considered that said the reviewer had problems with some noise when where there was no other sound coming from those speakers when using RCA cables but fixed it by using xlr to RCA cables, then a dual RCA to 3.5mm adapter. That was the combination I used.

 

In case you haven't figured it out by now, I like these speakers. I was surprised that the bass response from the 5" speakers was noticeably better than the 8" sub in my old SP2500s (may they R.I.P.).

 

I didn't get much sleep last night. We had a couple of power outages and the silence was deafening. Later today or tomorrow, I'm going to route the speaker cables and the power cables on the "bridge" (that will be a chore with all the stuff hanging on it in the way), then mount the speakers either later today or sometime tomorrow or Monday. Right now, I'm just too pooped.


Jeannie

 

As long as anyone is oppressed, no one will be safe and free.

One has to be proactive, not reactive, to ensure the safety of one's data so backup your data! And RAID is NOT a backup!

 

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I managed to get the cables routed and have come to the conclusion that I HATE CABLES! I had the "Divil's" own time getting them routed, even after removing the bulletin board and moving furniture around (replacing the damaged floor tiles sure made moving the furniture around a lot easier). I pray to God I don't ever, EVER have to pull any of them out again! At least they aren't on the floor.

 

These are the power cables: the two cables that came with the speakers (keep in mind these speakers are self powered and amplified), a splitter, and extension.

 

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These are shots of the power cables. I was able to hide them for much of their runs in the extrusion's tee-slots.

 

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After wrestling with the power cables, I attacked the speaker cables. To be able to reach the long runs, I had to dig out two 5' sections of my fiberglass fish rods (similar to the fish tape used to fish wiring through walls, etc. but stiffer; gotta love tools) to shove the cables from one side of the bridge to the other (otherwise, routing them would hav been much like pushing a rope). Again, I was able to hide much of the runs in the extrusions' tee-slots.

 

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Here are the power and speaker cable for the right speaker.

 

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I taped the ends of the two speaker cables down to the ends that plug into the RCA to 3.5mm adapter.

 

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I tagged both cables on both ends to make sure I didn't mix them up. Eventually, I will bundle the two cables with the HDMI cables going to the computer but, for now, I'm keeping them separate for testing purposes.

 

In addition to the clamps, I used strips of 1" wide, low profile, industrial strength Velcro to secure the speakers to the mounts. After cutting the strips to length, I put the hook and loop sections together and stuck them to the bottoms of the speakers.

 

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I removed the remaining release strips from the mated Velcro strips and tipped the speakers into place on the speaker mounts' platforms, then tightened thee side clamps. Plugging the cables into the right speaker wasn't too bad but the getting them plugged into the left speaker was a nightmare because of tight clearances and lousy visibility.

 

To aim the speakers as close to the sweet spot as practical, I taped some cut down 3" x 5" cards with index lines on them to sides of the speakers at the back (sorry for the lousy photos). I have no idea why the right speaker is tilted to the left slightly. It appears to be due to speaker mount warping. I wasn't able to straighten it so I'll have to live with it. It's barely noticeable when I look at the speaker head on but the tilts of the speaker and the TV makes it look far worse. Weird.

 

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To see if they were aimed correctly left to right, I laid down on my bed where my head normally goes and looked at each speaker to see if there was the same amount of space to the first visible index line, then adjusted the speaker until the spaces were even and tightened the mounting nut. Crude but quick and effective.

 

Here are the final shots.

 

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I temporarily hooked up the speakers to my notebook and fooled around with some of the speaker settings to get them balanced (the differences in spacing and angles of the reflective surfaces behind the ports on the back of the speakers apparently affected the sound somewhat). I was able to get them balanced reasonably well. I'm looking forward to being able to use these with the new computer although I may try to set up the Dragonfly USB DAC on the notebook to see how the speakers would sound when using it.

 

Now, I just need to get some help next week lugging the computer case to the bedroom so I can start finishing it (including working on more misbegotten cables).


Jeannie

 

As long as anyone is oppressed, no one will be safe and free.

One has to be proactive, not reactive, to ensure the safety of one's data so backup your data! And RAID is NOT a backup!

 

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Thanks! You're darned right I can't wait to fire up the "hexa-monitor" setup (nice term, btw) and not just because of the monitors.


Jeannie

 

As long as anyone is oppressed, no one will be safe and free.

One has to be proactive, not reactive, to ensure the safety of one's data so backup your data! And RAID is NOT a backup!

 

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I'm paying for yesterday today. I have this tiny spot on my right arm just below the elbow; it's the only spot on my body that doesn't hurt. I also had a rough night, dreaming about cables and speakers. Yeesh! So my top priority today (and, maybe, tomorrow) is to do as little as possible (getting old sucks!).

 

Earlier today, I plugged in my new DragonFly DAC into the notebook, plugged the speakers into the DAC, fiddled with some Win 7 audio settings, and was blown away by the improvement! Since the notebook will stay set up on my desk until I can get the new computer up and running, I'm leaving the speakers hooked up to the notebook. I was getting so sick and tired of the tiny, tinny portable computer speakers I was using. They are fine for when I travel but just don't cut it for long term use. Despite feeling like I was run over twice by a speeding bus driven by Sandra Bullock, I'm a happy camper.

 

I did run into a small snag with the DragonFly. Per the directions (yes, I actually read those), I tried to go to their website to download their Desktop Device Manager Application and couldn't make sense of what I was supposed to download. I sent an email to AudioQuest to see if they can help me.


Jeannie

 

As long as anyone is oppressed, no one will be safe and free.

One has to be proactive, not reactive, to ensure the safety of one's data so backup your data! And RAID is NOT a backup!

 

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