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  1. Steve Dallas

    Help a Neanderthal out. Tire kicking on streaming.

    I use Amazon Music Unlimited HD, which guarantees at least CD quality sound. An aptX HD or LDAC receiver will provide near bit perfect 24/48 sound, and we can't hear above that. A high quality receiver with DAC to support those CODECs costs around $120. I use a BluDento HD, which has a nice...
  2. Steve Dallas

    For you contra-cable guys...

    ^ PS Audio offers plenty of BS. For example. Head over to ASR and discover how PSA has managed to ruin ICEPower and Hypex amp modules with poor power supply implementations and terrible, unnecessary buffers for 2 to 4 times the price of their superior competitors assembling the same OTS...
  3. Steve Dallas

    Any Chromecast Audio users?

    Ironically, casting to it from Chrome browser results in lower quality than an app having native Chromecast support. ASR initially rated the device low, then discovered the issue and rated it high, assuming the Chrome browser is not utilized. FWIW, I hear no discernable difference between my...
  4. Steve Dallas

    Good sound card for listening to music

    For $100, I would look at the Schiit Modi 3 or a Khadas ToneBoard. The Audioquest stuff does not measure well.
  5. Steve Dallas

    Budget speakers

    Andrew Jones may be a legend, but he did not "start" Elac.
  6. Steve Dallas

    Dynaudio Excite X14 and Emit M10 Speaker Reviews - Ikea for Your Ears

    I know the game very well. I owned a couple of guitar amp companies several years ago. The mags where happy to review my amps as long as I purchased advertising, and the reviews were always proportional to my ad budget.
  7. Steve Dallas

    Dynaudio Excite X14 and Emit M10 Speaker Reviews - Ikea for Your Ears

    I might have! But it was defective in that the mute feature turned itself on randomly, so I exchanged it for a CXA60, which sounds... quicker and livelier. Much like the Rega Brio with slightly more authoritative bass. But, there are far worse sounding amps out there than the CXA80...
  8. Steve Dallas

    Finally Found the One I Wanted - vintage tapecorder inside

    Much jealousy. I had a Revox during the same period in my life. Wish I still had it for no particular reason!
  9. Steve Dallas

    What's the cheapest pedal you currently own, use, and love?

    S2 Amps Drive2. Don't remember the price, since I made it myself circa 2004. It makes an excellent buffer for pretty much everything, and also serves as a very good overdrive pedal.
  10. Steve Dallas

    Post Your Home Stereo Rig Here

    I bought my LS50s from accessories4less after verifying their legitimacy the same way you did. Since then, I have directed friends to them for Yamaha integrated amps and other stuff. Good company. I have been eyeballing a pair of R3s there lately, but have not wanted to spend money due to the...
  11. Steve Dallas

    Post Your Home Stereo Rig Here

    Thanks! So, we're gonna need pics of your setups... I guess I am an accidental KEF fanboy too. I have a pair of Q100s in my living room, which I bought for the size, dispersion pattern, and front ports (needed as they are actually in built-in bookshelves). Amazon blew Q100s out for $150 /...
  12. Steve Dallas

    Post Your Home Stereo Rig Here

    LOVE the potted plant stains on the speakers.
  13. Steve Dallas

    Small room floorstanding speakers...

    Random thought: As morbid as it sounds, now is a good time to look for used speakers. People are selling non-essential things cheap locally.
  14. Steve Dallas

    Small room floorstanding speakers...

    If your receiver has preamp outputs, you are doing yourself a disservice by not using an outboard integrated amp with it to drive the front pair. A real amp makes a huge difference over almost any receiver. I run a Yamaha receiver for 5 channels of my 7.2 setup. The fronts are driven by a...
  15. Steve Dallas

    Home Theater Soundbar vs decent 5.1 or 7.1 setup

    Why not go with something in between? A good stereo pair with a decent AVR will sound better than any sound bar IMHO. When faced with your exact dilemma, that is where I ended up. I have a Yamaha Aventage receiver pushing a pair of KEF Q100s to good effect in a big open concept living room /...
  16. Steve Dallas

    Small room floorstanding speakers...

    What are you powering them with? I have new speakers and old speakers (I seem to have a bookshelf speaker addiction problem), and my brain keeps telling me newer technology should sound better, but I keep going back to speakers I bought 20 years ago in both of my listening rooms.
  17. Steve Dallas

    For you contra-cable guys...

    I used to be a contra-cable guy (and probably am one at the limit of diminishing returns). I have a reel of 10ga O2 free cable. I used commonly available, high quality banana plugs to make my own cables with wire from that spool for decades. On a lark, I bought 2 pairs of CEntrance Reserve...
  18. Steve Dallas

    Particularly well-recorded albums - post here

    Fink's recent Bloom Innocent Acoustic is quite good. I listened to it twice last night. Turned it up a little more the second time around!
  19. Steve Dallas

    Best bang for your buck guitar with P90s

    I got both of these for under $500 used. The Godin was right at $500, and the PRS SE was right at $200.
  20. Steve Dallas

    Particularly well-recorded albums - post here

    Check out M-A Recordings for some rather remarkable stuff. They have a free sampler download that I enjoyed last night. Most of it is local talent recorded in iconic venues with nothing but an obsessively placed stereo pair of mics. Processing is minimal, therefore dynamic range is amazing...
  21. Steve Dallas

    Inexpensive but good sounding bookshelf speakers

    Have not heard these yet, but they get a lot of attention.
  22. Steve Dallas

    CD Player Recommendation

    Just be sure you have a way to back up the HD in an appliance like that. There is nothing worse than investing all the time in ripping a large collection, only to have the HD die and lose it all. I know people who sold or donated their physical media right before HD death occurred.
  23. Steve Dallas

    best "bookshelf" loudspeaker you ever heard is :

    Wilson overall. Haberth runner-up. I also like older B&W 805s as all-rounders. It is hard to compare, however, because I have heard dozens of bookshelves in all different environments with all different equipment and all different selections. But those are the 3 that stand out in my...
  24. Steve Dallas

    CD Player Recommendation

    Popular mid-fi options are the Yamaha CD-S300, Cambridge CXC, and Emotiva ERC-3. I have the first two, and I enjoy the ritual of loading CDs, skipping songs, etc. The Yamaha even has a manual power button! The DACs are different, as are the power supplies and output stages, therefore they...