Personal computing discussed

Moderators: renee, Captain Ned

 
SecretSquirrel
Minister of Gerbil Affairs
Topic Author
Posts: 2675
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2002 7:00 pm
Location: North DFW suburb...
Contact:

Merry Christmas to me!

Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:34 pm

Showed up on my doorstep yesterday...

Image

For those that have been following my "Recommend a 65" TV -- the less SMART the better" over in the Visual Haven you might remember that I said I had ordered a Marantz NR1508 reciever and Fluance XL7F speakers. The arrived.

The speaker boxes... well, they are over five feet tall.

Nicely double boxed.
Image

And well protected inside the boxes. You do end up with little styrofoam balls all over the speaker grill. Static cling is a pain in the rear. As is getting a 50lb speakear out of the box by yourself. I managed to do it withough throwing out my back, or hurting the speakers, but I suspect I picked up a bruise or two.
Image

Here are a few "glamor shots". Apologies for the occasional fuzzy focus -- cell phone pictures...
Image

Image

Image

Did I mention that the boxes were big? It takes a big box to ship a big speaker, and these things are tall. I read the measurements, but until I saw them in person, I didn't translate that into any real concept of how tall they really are. For their size, they actually seem pretty light -- even though they are about 50lb per speaker. The Onix Rocket RS-550s I have downstairs are also about 50lb a speaker, but because they are a good bit shorter, they "feel" heavier.

Image

The XL7Fs are destined to go upstairs, but wanting to play with the new toys, I set them in place of the Rockets downstairs. Did I mention they are tall?
Image

Needless to say, the wife was not thrilled when she got home. Something about "giant speakers". Now, she knew I had ordered them, that wasn't the problem. They don't look so bad all buttoned up, though the right hand one does block the TV from the far two seats on the sectional.

Image

As I noted, these are heading upstairs. However, their height causes problems, even up there. I was originally going to set them in a nook, similar to what the downstairs TV is in. However the are so tall, I can't mount the TV above them as the view angle would not be pleasant. So, I'm going to have to re-think the upstairs TV setup. I do have a large wall, to the right of the nook I was going to use, so I'll probably rotate everything 90 degrees. It will let me space the speakers a bit more and leave plenty of room for the TV. I'll just put the Ms PacMan in the nook instead.
Last edited by SecretSquirrel on Tue Dec 11, 2018 10:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
drfish
Gold subscriber
Gerbil Elder
Posts: 5545
Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2003 7:53 pm
Location: Zeeland, MI

Re: Merry Christmas to me!

Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:38 pm

My takeaway from all this? Cat stocking!!!
 
Robotics
Gerbil
Posts: 80
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2016 5:33 pm
Location: Chapel Hill/Istanbul
Contact:

Re: Merry Christmas to me!

Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:55 pm

these look like good :D
 
SecretSquirrel
Minister of Gerbil Affairs
Topic Author
Posts: 2675
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2002 7:00 pm
Location: North DFW suburb...
Contact:

Re: Merry Christmas to me!

Fri Dec 07, 2018 7:01 pm

drfish wrote:
My takeaway from all this? Cat stocking!!!


One cat, to dog stockings, Actually just ordered the one for the second cat. Should be here on Saturday. Yes, my wife and I have become those people.

--SS
 
SecretSquirrel
Minister of Gerbil Affairs
Topic Author
Posts: 2675
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2002 7:00 pm
Location: North DFW suburb...
Contact:

Re: Merry Christmas to me!

Fri Dec 07, 2018 7:55 pm

I haven't closely scrutinized the build quality yet, but here are my first impressions.

The speakers seem solid from the outsize. Speaker terminals are nice. They come with rubber domes on the bottom of the stands for those of us with hard flooring, as well as screw in carpet spikes, which I will get to use upstairs. The surface finish is good, but the veneer is not glossy. It makes the speakers look a bit cheaper. The surface looks like it could be plastic that has been painted, rather than a nice wood veneer. Now, I'm comparing them to the Rocket RS-550s that have a high gloss veneer and piano black gloss top and bottom. Standing by themselves, with the grills on, the look just fine, if a bit matte. Part of me wonders is it would be worth pulling the drivers and applying a few coats of polyurethane.

The speakers look good with the grills on or off. However, the grills push on to posts mounted in the speaker face, so the face is not smooth with the face off.

I noted that they felt light for their size, which does make me wonder, given that they have two 6" woofers and an 8" sub, At least one review notes that the basket on the 8" sub is extremely thin. Still, I'm not super concerned so long as they sound decent.

So, sound. I dropped them in place of the Rocket's I have. The Rocket's have an extremely smooth and balanced sound, even with hardwood floors and one of the speakers being corner loaded. Even after having them for three years, I will on occasion, stop and listen with some surprise when something comes on the highlights their sound. Now, some of this can probably be attributed to the room correction of the Pioneer Elite SC-81 driving them. Still, this is the baseline.

I did not re-run room correction with the XL7Fs. I simply plugged them in and turned on the music. The sound was above mediocre, but not stellar. Bass was much more hollow and boomy and the transition into the mid range wasn't nearly so smooth. Lower mid range seemed a bit rough. The highs were good though. Not harsh in any way. I didn't really do any on/off axis testing or anything like that. I mainly just wanted to play with the new toys. Fluance recommends a 10 hour break in period so I will hold any real analysis at least that long. Plus, I need to run proper room correction as they have completely different drivers and crossovers from the Rockets. In reality, I won't really do much until I can get them moved upstairs. This will probably generate some receiver musical chairs as well. The new Marantz is for downstairs. The Pioneer will get moved into the theatre, and the Integra DTR-40 from the theater will go to the upstairs TV and music duties.
 
SecretSquirrel
Minister of Gerbil Affairs
Topic Author
Posts: 2675
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2002 7:00 pm
Location: North DFW suburb...
Contact:

Re: Merry Christmas to me!

Sun Dec 09, 2018 1:41 am

I unpacked the new receiver and plugged it in downstairs, ran room correction, and started listening to different things -- Dave Brubeck, Lindsey Stirling, deadmau5, Paul Simon, Dierks Bentley, Fatboy Slim, etc. Yes, music in my house really does range that far and wide. I didn't get any true classical, or good 70s classic guitar rock -- just ran out of time.

Running room correction helped a lot. Prior to doing so, mid-bass was missing, and some of the low mid-range too. Lower bass was boomy and the real low stuff was just missing. Once the receiver reset equalization and correction for the new speakers, all the missing stuff came back. The transition into mid-base and low mid-range is smooth. About the only thing I can note as a complaint is that the bass can sound a bit hollow at times. Won't be able to say whether that is the positioning of the speakers, their inherent sound, or some combination, until I get them moved upstairs and can have a little more freedom to move them around. Regardless, they sound much better now.

The Marantz NR1508... Not as happy with it. Now, my complaints are things that I should have notice before ordering it -- like it doesn't have a universal remote, like you have to setup a Heos account and install the Heos app on your phone in order to use the streaming functionality. No just starting up Pandora and browsing your stations. You can browse your Pandora stations on the Heos app and start on playing from there. To do it from the receiver, you have to add the station to your "Heos favorites". Quite annoying. I've also seen at least once where my gen 2 FireTV didn't get the notification that I have switch to its HDMI input so the HDMI handshake didn't happen right and I got a black screen. I'm not entirely sure that this is the receivers fault though.

I need to enable HDMI-CEC on the TV and see if it gets along with the receiver. I've left it off since it hasn't worked well in the past (it is a 10 year old TV) and really all I need for the TV is power on/off. Likewise, I need to see if it will control my Fire TV via HDMI-CEC -- and reliably. If I can't get things to behave, and behave reliably, with a single remote then the Marantz is banished from TV duties. I likely won't return it as it will probably cost me half what I paid for it in shipping and restocking fees -- Accessories4less is not Amazon... It might just replace the 20 year old JVC that I have in my office though. Digital in from my workstation and FM radio, that's about it. Kind of overkill, but I've been considering replacing the JVC for a while. The other option is that it might be used for front and back patio music. In that usage scenario, having app control on my phone wouldn't be so bad.

The remote and the streaming/app requirements are really my big gripes. Beyond that, it seems to be a pretty decent, low end AVR. Non HDMI inputs are very limited, but for my use cases, that's not a problem. One nice touch is that Marantz includes a cardboard stand to hold the mic for room correction. It's actually a very well thought out solution and I didn't bother to go get the tripod.

Obligatory shot of the new reciever sitting above my Pioneer....
Image

It's really hard to take a picture of two, all back receivers, even with both on.

--SS
Last edited by SecretSquirrel on Tue Dec 11, 2018 10:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
jihadjoe
Gerbil Elite
Posts: 834
Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2010 11:34 am

Re: Merry Christmas to me!

Sun Dec 09, 2018 8:29 am

OT: The shape of those little christmas trees on top of the speakers make me think of green poops lol
 
Usacomp2k3
Gerbil God
Posts: 23042
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2004 4:53 pm
Location: Orlando, FL
Contact:

Re: Merry Christmas to me!

Sun Dec 09, 2018 11:45 am

Why not just steam from the STB? We do that through the AppleTV even though the receiver could do so. Similarly Airplay to the receiver would be if no value since I’d go through the AppleTV anyway.
 
SecretSquirrel
Minister of Gerbil Affairs
Topic Author
Posts: 2675
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2002 7:00 pm
Location: North DFW suburb...
Contact:

Re: Merry Christmas to me!

Sun Dec 09, 2018 7:31 pm

Usacomp2k3 wrote:
Why not just steam from the STB? We do that through the AppleTV even though the receiver could do so. Similarly Airplay to the receiver would be if no value since I’d go through the AppleTV anyway.


That requires turning on the TV for something that shouldn't require a TV. It is the fallback though. Occasionally the Pioneer gets out of sync with Pandora and can't connect. When that happens we do use the FireTV for streaming, but it is immensely annoying.

--SS
 
Usacomp2k3
Gerbil God
Posts: 23042
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2004 4:53 pm
Location: Orlando, FL
Contact:

Re: Merry Christmas to me!

Sun Dec 09, 2018 8:59 pm

Fair ‘nuf. How do you control it? From the phone? For situations like that I personally just airplay from my phone to the AppleTV.
I completely get your point though.
 
SecretSquirrel
Minister of Gerbil Affairs
Topic Author
Posts: 2675
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2002 7:00 pm
Location: North DFW suburb...
Contact:

Re: Merry Christmas to me!

Sun Dec 09, 2018 9:19 pm

Usacomp2k3 wrote:
Fair ‘nuf. How do you control it? From the phone? For situations like that I personally just airplay from my phone to the AppleTV.
I completely get your point though.


Currently I have a single remote (IR) that controls the receiver, TV, and Fire TV. I have an FLIRC dongle for the FireTV.

I am wondering if I should just buy an "old" phone or two, stick Qi "universal" adapters on the back and use them as remotes. What a world we live in where a $500 smart phone is relegated to being an AV remote after a couple of years....

--SS
 
Usacomp2k3
Gerbil God
Posts: 23042
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2004 4:53 pm
Location: Orlando, FL
Contact:

Re: Merry Christmas to me!

Mon Dec 10, 2018 10:26 am

SecretSquirrel wrote:
Usacomp2k3 wrote:
Fair ‘nuf. How do you control it? From the phone? For situations like that I personally just airplay from my phone to the AppleTV.
I completely get your point though.

Currently I have a single remote (IR) that controls the receiver, TV, and Fire TV. I have an FLIRC dongle for the FireTV

But don't you need a screen to be able to control the Pandora channel?
 
derFunkenstein
Gerbil God
Posts: 25232
Joined: Fri Feb 21, 2003 9:13 pm
Location: Comin' to you directly from the Mothership

Re: Merry Christmas to me!

Mon Dec 10, 2018 10:57 am

For some reason about half the images in this thread aren't loading for me in Chrome. I see a big empty area where it should be and a gray "do not enter" kind of sign in the center. Anybody else seeing that?
I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.
Twittering away the day at @TVsBen
 
superjawes
Minister of Gerbil Affairs
Posts: 2340
Joined: Thu May 28, 2009 9:49 am

Re: Merry Christmas to me!

Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:09 am

derFunkenstein wrote:
For some reason about half the images in this thread aren't loading for me in Chrome. I see a big empty area where it should be and a gray "do not enter" kind of sign in the center. Anybody else seeing that?

I got the same in IE, Edge, and Firefox.
On second thought, let's not go to TechReport. Tis a silly place.
 
Buub
Maximum Gerbil
Posts: 4865
Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2002 11:59 pm
Location: Seattle, WA
Contact:

Re: Merry Christmas to me!

Mon Dec 10, 2018 12:01 pm

Great write-up, and those speakers look nice.

As far as receivers go, I'm not a hard-core audiophile, but I have been a Denon fan for a long time. I just upgraded my receiver to an AVR-X4400 this past spring, and I have been nothing but impressed with it.

Aside from great sound, the Apple airplay support is first rate, the iPhone app is fantastic, and the room setup is fantastic. It comes with a microphone and a (flimsy but sufficient) cardboard stand. You go through guided setup, placing it in six different spots in the room. It guided me on adjusting my subwoofer volume to be within an expected range, then automatically adjusted EQ and individual speaker volume based on the time delay and volume from all the different points I placed the microphone. This is technology done right.

My last Denon receiver lasted 15 years (and still works flawlessly, even though it doesn't support any of the current video connection standards).

FWIW...
 
kvndoom
Silver subscriber
Minister of Gerbil Affairs
Posts: 2756
Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2004 11:47 pm
Location: Communistwealth of Virginia

Re: Merry Christmas to me!

Mon Dec 10, 2018 12:03 pm

I bought a pair of Fluance Signatures (your wife would have LOVED those! :lol: ) earlier this year. I didn't keep them though. I felt like all the money went into form instead of function. Are you able to see the EQ curves from your room correction?
A most unfortunate, Freudian, double entendre is that hotel named "Budget Inn."
 
JustAnEngineer
Gold subscriber
Gerbil God
Posts: 19015
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2002 7:00 pm
Location: The Heart of Dixie

Re: Merry Christmas to me!

Mon Dec 10, 2018 12:06 pm

superjawes wrote:
derFunkenstein wrote:
Half the images in this thread aren't loading in Chrome.
I got the same in IE, Edge, and Firefox.
Same in Safari.
i7-9700K, NH-D15, Z390M Pro4, 32 GiB, RX Vega64, Define Mini-C, SSR-850PX, C32HG70+U2407, RK-9000BR, MX518
 
DancinJack
Maximum Gerbil
Posts: 4493
Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2006 3:21 pm
Location: Kansas

Re: Merry Christmas to me!

Mon Dec 10, 2018 12:18 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:
superjawes wrote:
derFunkenstein wrote:
Half the images in this thread aren't loading in Chrome.
I got the same in IE, Edge, and Firefox.
Same in Safari.

It's a problem on his end. Images removed from wherever they were linked from. All hitting 403 for me.
i7 6700K - Z170 - 16GiB DDR4 - GTX 1080 - 512GB SSD - 256GB SSD - 500GB SSD - 3TB HDD- 27" IPS G-sync - Win10 Pro x64 - Ubuntu/Mint x64 :: 2015 13" rMBP Sierra :: Canon EOS 80D/Sony RX100
 
SecretSquirrel
Minister of Gerbil Affairs
Topic Author
Posts: 2675
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2002 7:00 pm
Location: North DFW suburb...
Contact:

Re: Merry Christmas to me!

Mon Dec 10, 2018 2:48 pm

DancinJack wrote:
JustAnEngineer wrote:
superjawes wrote:
I got the same in IE, Edge, and Firefox.
Same in Safari.

It's a problem on his end. Images removed from wherever they were linked from. All hitting 403 for me.


Yeah, probably a google photos issue. I'll fix them when I get a moment.
 
SecretSquirrel
Minister of Gerbil Affairs
Topic Author
Posts: 2675
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2002 7:00 pm
Location: North DFW suburb...
Contact:

Re: Merry Christmas to me!

Tue Dec 11, 2018 10:29 pm

SecretSquirrel wrote:
DancinJack wrote:
JustAnEngineer wrote:
Same in Safari.

It's a problem on his end. Images removed from wherever they were linked from. All hitting 403 for me.


Yeah, probably a google photos issue. I'll fix them when I get a moment.


Ok. I went back and fixed all the image links. Stupid Google photos doesn't have perma-links... :evil:

--SS

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 18 guests
GZIP: On