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  #121  
Old 03-25-2013, 05:00 PM
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Default Unfortunate weekend

Well, Saturday's big event didn't happen. My friend didn't make it, so I'm stuck with a partially disassembled stereo and no tunes. She didn't call until late in the evening to let me know what happened (issues with her visiting father and a small apartment). She did offer to come with her son (in town until Thursday) to help me move stuff around on Sunday or Tuesday so I can at least set up the stereo, including the 2300. Didn't hear from her yesterday so that means tomorrow. If tomorrow doesn't happen, I plan to move on. If tomorrow does happen, I'll hold on to the console as long as I can and if I still have it when her father leaves, it's hers.

At least I re-did my computer setup on Saturday during the chaos.
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  #122  
Old 04-05-2013, 12:41 PM
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Update: Well, my friend didn't come or call as promised, so I have moved on. After a failed attempt to donate the Hooker console (Project HOPE didn't call back) I called 1-800-GOT-JUNK and they are scheduled to come tomorrow to take the Hooker, an old CAL Tercet MkIV CD player (still works) and perhaps another item or two. Barring any snafus, I will be busy tomorrow putting my system (and living room) back together, this time with the 2300 in the mix.

Today, I will be busy moving things around in preparation for tomorrow.
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  #123  
Old 04-05-2013, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prepress View Post
Update: Well, my friend didn't come or call as promised, so I have moved on. After a failed attempt to donate the Hooker console (Project HOPE didn't call back) I called 1-800-GOT-JUNK and they are scheduled to come tomorrow to take the Hooker, an old CAL Tercet MkIV CD player (still works) and perhaps another item or two. Barring any snafus, I will be busy tomorrow putting my system (and living room) back together, this time with the 2300 in the mix.

Today, I will be busy moving things around in preparation for tomorrow.
It has been a bit frustrating for you but I think you will be pretty happy tomorrow evening.
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  #124  
Old 04-05-2013, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Still-One View Post
It has been a bit frustrating for you but I think you will be pretty happy tomorrow evening.
Yes. And the GOT JUNK folks will attempt to donate when possible, so it's not as if the cabinet is definitely getting thrown out. It's still a nice piece, just not friendly to my equipment (see attachment).

I need a break so I'm off to church tonight, then bright and early tomorrow I'll be back at it getting things organized. They're coming between 12pm and 2pm; they're supposed to call 15–30 minutes before arriving.
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  #125  
Old 04-06-2013, 05:44 PM
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It gets stranger and stranger. The GOT JUNK guys came, early in fact, and attached is a photo of the setup just after they left.

Now I have yet another strange twist. The two front screws on the top of the 2300 won't come out, and all I was doing was spinning my screwdriver and I think even beginning to strip the screws . So, the stock tubes will stay in place for now.

Is there a particular type or size of philips screwdriver one should use? None of my several philips screwdrivers worked. Even if I stay with the stock tubes, at some point I'll need to change them. Anyone have an idea? Thanks.
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  #126  
Old 04-11-2013, 06:51 PM
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Before finally installing the C2300 and completing the new setup, I had planned to put in some aftermarket tubes to replace the stock ones, but found it difficult to get the lid off. In fact, I was beginning to strip the front screws a bit so I stopped that and finished the connections as described. Having finally connected everything on Monday, the 2300 was ready. I started with CDs. I was greeted rudely by a rather bright sound (the store demo was bright as well) and weak dynamics (the demo had dynamics up the gazoo). But I also had a more open presentation, with detail I hadn't heard (or noticed at least) before. On America's Horse with no Name at one point, a guitar was coming from almost beside me, and I'm 9 feet away from the speakers!

But there was definitely a bright, hard sound to things which was puzzling. And distressing. "It sat unused for almost seven weeks" I reasoned, figuring maybe it needed to break in again. I have been giving it more time bit by bit, and yesterday I thought it sounded a bit better. It had a total of 4 hours on it as I started today, and I will say things have improved. The dynamics are better and things aren't quite as bright. Kettle drums in the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra's Fanfare for the Common Man had more of the appropriate thunder and impact. And as the salesman pointed out, the 2300 sat for over a month unused, so the capacitors lost their charge. But as John Lee Hooker's The Healer plays in the background, it's obvious things are not what they were Monday. That's a good thing. And to be fair, I was playing mostly 60s music, not the best-recorded stuff out there.

It's a different sound than I'm used to, so I'll give it some time and hope I'll adjust. The solid-state preamp I used before (Audio Research LS3) offered an overall tighter and frankly cleaner presentation, but with less of the dimensionality I sometimes hear with the tubes. Dare I say it, the 2300 offers more of a soundstage. Switching to blu-ray, The Avengers sounded good right away. Issues I heard with CDs were missing. I'll need to go to the other sources and try them too. I will try the interconnect I used with my MCD301 before, and maybe, if I feel my oats, I'll revisit the tube swap. I got a new #2 philips and a hex screwdriver set in the meantime. And I still need to dust between and behind the left and center racks. Maybe an air filter . . .
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File Type: jpg IMG_0104.jpg (89.3 KB, 41 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0105.jpg (92.3 KB, 40 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0107.jpg (92.8 KB, 40 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0108.jpg (93.3 KB, 44 views)

Last edited by prepress; 04-11-2013 at 07:13 PM.
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  #127  
Old 04-17-2013, 07:09 PM
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Okay. After a bit of time with the 2300, I will say that it does things my LS3 doesn't, namely a more open sound overall. The midrange reveals some things I hadn't heard before. Highs are nice and clean, too.

However, I still don't hear quite as much weight or impact in the bass with the 2300 vs. the ARC LS3 it's supposed to replace. As far as I'm concerned, my options are to try other interconnects or change tubes. I have some other interconnects here I can try, so that's first. The dealer offered to loan me some Nordosts, too. Many 2300 owners roll tubes I know, and I'm working with the stock tubes. Yet, the weight and impact was clear at the demo with the stock tubes. So we'll see.
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  #128  
Old 04-25-2013, 04:39 PM
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The bass is still not what I am used to and realize, frankly, I prefer. Sources have been mostly CD and DVD; I've listened to the tuner (NPR) for about an hour, and played one LP. Also my listening patterns can be sporadic because of my schedule. Maybe the 2300 needs more regular work than I can give it; I don't know about that, though.

Over time it's also apparent that on familiar recordings some elements I'm used to hearing are buried back in the mix (a surprise, given the overall openness of the midrange), while some others have come forward (not a surprise). I listen to a lot of kinds of music.

I had been considering a tube change as a remedy rather than interconnects, since the Transparents connecting preamp to amps cost quite a bit (to me anyway), and have some JJ ECC803s tubes bought prior to the 2300's arrival. I will probably try those; I may first put in some old interconnects on my sources just for the heck of it. If they don't help or help but don't quite get me there, then it's Gold Lions. If that doesn't work . . .

The only change in the system is the preamp, so I lean more toward the tube/solid state contrast or the tubes themselves as a reason for what I hear. I understand that typically tubes give warm and full bass rather than tight and controlled, except for the higher-end stuff (that VTL I wanted until I heard its true price, for instance). I'm talking more about the impact and weight of the bass at this point. I'll see where this goes.
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  #129  
Old 05-19-2013, 06:12 AM
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Okay. Yesterday I took the C2300 in to the store (Lyric HiFi) to let them change out the stock tubes in there. I did something I hadn't planned, as instead of using the ones I'd already bought, at the salesman's suggestion I ended up with Amperex NOS tubes. Amperex is/was a North American Philips company. I also plan to get a spare set of screws for the 2300's top cover, since one of the screws is indeed stripped. And it was my concern over this which led me to take it to the store in the first place. The torque on the screws was tremendous, definitely over-tightened by McIntosh's factory, but now I'll be able to roll tubes myself if I want. A friend drove me there and back; she also got some DVDs and lunch for her trouble.

Getting everything reconnected, I played a few songs and watched part of The Best of Both Worlds, the Star Trek: TNG 2-part cliffhanger which is out on Blu-ray. It looks and sounds great, by the way. The sound was immediately more open and perhaps more detailed than the stock tubes. The Amperex lower frequencies seemed a bit stronger out of the box than with the stock tubes, but they probably need a few more hours to settle in, maybe 20–30? There was a clarity to the sound that gave things a more "in the room" quality as well. On A Horse with No Name, sound stretched outside the speaker boundaries (again). I'm hoping the low frequencies will fill in more and the sound smooth out after a while.
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  #130  
Old 05-21-2013, 12:55 PM
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Addendum to the above: Yesterday I played some DVDs and the sound was much closer to what I experience with my LS3. Excerpts from Yes Live at Montreaux, ST:TNG's The Best of Both Worlds (on BD), and Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood Live from Madison Square Garden demonstrated more low-frequency weight than the previous tubes. The sound filled in more with the 4.5 hours spent yesterday.

At some point I may want to try the JJ tubes I bought, which are said to have a "forward sounding, full-bodied low end response with a weighty, dynamic midrange" plus highs that are "controlled yet warm with a very pleasant depth of field that extends the full sonic landscape"; that's from a review.

So my attitude toward the C2300 is warming up a bit.
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