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Old 02-05-2006, 11:22 PM   #1
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High end stereo

I am soon to be retired, and will thereafter spend much more time in my trailer.
I am interested in an upgrade in interior music quality. Tunes are vastly more important in my trailer than video. I currently have a pair of (remarkable) Epos Els-3 bookshelf speakers, an old 100 watt/channel integrated amp, and a mediocre CD player.
This system delivers surprisingly good sound quality. I want to go to "astonishingly good." I'm looking to dedicate a system to the trailer. Ideally, I'd like to leave it in place permanently, on the road and in camp.
Have you dedicated an integrated amp to the trailer? Will a tube amp survive road travel? Have you tried something that did NOT work? How do you route the honkin' large diameter speaker cables? I like to know what works for you.
Mark
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Old 02-06-2006, 01:17 AM   #2
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Mark - stay way from tube type amps. They will not survive the road and temp changes in the NW. And (awaiting flames) despite what the audiofile world hypes... they don't sound better - that warm sound that some love is really just degraded signal, with the crispness scrubbed off the top.
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Old 02-06-2006, 06:15 AM   #3
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I admit I'm not an audiophile but my son and daughter-in-law bought me a Cambridge speaker player for my XM radio which has the the most fantastic sound I have ever heard. The benefit is that I can take it outside and in the house when Chummy is parked. The unit is heavy but not very large and fits comfortably in front of our motor home and will literally fill the entire coach with fantastic sound.
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Old 02-06-2006, 07:03 AM   #4
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High end stereo

I'm with Chaplain Kent with the XM, I have XM also and love it you have a endless choice of tunes. Why dont you buy a new hundred + watt reciever with CD they have all kinds of tuners now with with just about any output watts you want, I say keep it simple. You can buy XM satalite and get the indoor outdoor antena, Buy the indoor power base for the reciever and then tune your stereo to a certain channel and match the channel on your XM reciever and play XM tunes over your new hi watt car stereo reciever system in your trailer. thats what I do, then you can also move your XM reciever to your TV. Just a thought. I better add this thought also for the SIRUS lovers out there. You can also look at SIRUS satalite also then you can pick whitch programing you prefere of the two, I bought XM because they have NASCAR radeo, but now SIRUS will have that contract in 07.



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Old 02-06-2006, 07:12 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Wiltrakis
I am soon to be retired, and will thereafter spend much more time in my trailer.
I am interested in an upgrade in interior music quality. Tunes are vastly more important in my trailer than video. I currently have a pair of (remarkable) Epos Els-3 bookshelf speakers, an old 100 watt/channel integrated amp, and a mediocre CD player.
........ I like to know what works for you.
Mark
hi mark,
you sound like a candidate for tinnitus, if you are not there already... i pulled out the sony that was in my trailer, and replaced it with a 20 year old blaupunkt... if i need to play a cd, i put a cassette adaptor in...it aint pretty, but it works for me....just remember, if youre going to s.f., be sure to wear some flowers in your hair. ......rock on.
norby
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Old 02-06-2006, 07:23 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janet
Mark - stay way from tube type amps. They will not survive the road and temp changes in the NW. And (awaiting flames) despite what the audiofile world hypes... they don't sound better - that warm sound that some love is really just degraded signal, with the crispness scrubbed off the top.
FLAME!
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Old 02-06-2006, 07:33 AM   #7
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Mark,

If you want a unit that is capable of 12VDC or 120VAC operation, look at the Model 12 on the Cambridge Soundworks web site. It comes packed in a briefcase with a subwoofer, amp and 2 matched speakers. This is far and away the finest portable unit I have ever heard, and consequently I own 3 of them. I use one in my 19CCD and one in each of my vehicles. I found it way cheaper than a car stereo and the sound quality is far superior, IMHO. There are a variety of inputs so you can use satellite radio, conventional radio, CD, tapes, whatever you like!

It is not a 100 watt unit but plays loud enough to hurt you with excellent quality! It is worth checking out. I believe they are in the $400 price range COMPLETE.
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Old 02-06-2006, 07:35 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Wiltrakis
I am soon to be retired, and will thereafter spend much more time in my trailer.
I am interested in an upgrade in interior music quality. Tunes are vastly more important in my trailer than video. I currently have a pair of (remarkable) Epos Els-3 bookshelf speakers, an old 100 watt/channel integrated amp, and a mediocre CD player.
This system delivers surprisingly good sound quality. I want to go to "astonishingly good." I'm looking to dedicate a system to the trailer. Ideally, I'd like to leave it in place permanently, on the road and in camp.
Have you dedicated an integrated amp to the trailer? Will a tube amp survive road travel? Have you tried something that did NOT work? How do you route the honkin' large diameter speaker cables? I like to know what works for you.
Mark
Mark,
Consider a system by Bose. Their passive Acoustimass3 System sounds better than I had anticipated, and only takes up very little space. Bose makes their sub/satelite systems sound integrated, as it should be, and their audio dispersion seems to work well in the trailer's interior. There is a very nice musical quality to this, not quite audiophile, but a great compromise between practicality and audio quality. It is efficient, so it can be good and loud with a regular 12v powered car audio amp. The car stereo deck of your choice can be i-pod and xm ready, or you can go straight from the i-pods headphone output into a car stereo amp.
A system like that, running on 12V, would then be consistent, when hooked up or while boondocking. If you get everything all at once, you will end up under $ 1000.00 for an excellent audio system that rocks your world.
I am in the process of buying the components to install this in my 1963 Overlander. Only I will most likely use a MacMini for a cd/dvd/mp3 player.
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Old 02-06-2006, 08:23 AM   #9
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Rivet Bose Rocks..

Uwe .. We agree with you... we just have the small unit and it is wonderful.. love the sound out of it.. going to figure a way to hook up the satelite radio thru it... Annie
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Old 02-06-2006, 08:24 AM   #10
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Speaker cable routing

I ran 12ga speaker cable inside the walls, from front to rear while re-wiring my Overlander. This may not be practical for you in a new trailer, but there are many ways that you can run speaker cables inside your furniture, under counters, perhaps along the perimeter inside a wiring loom etc.
I used dedicated speaker wire made by sound king. It is oxygen free copper, fine stranded, and coded positive and negative. It is a soft and very flexible cable, which makes it easy to conform into tight places.
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Old 02-06-2006, 10:43 AM   #11
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I auditioned some speakers for home use a few years back. Thought the Bose had weak midrange and went for Klipsch. I would be worried that a high end system in your trailer is just an invitation for someone to steal it.
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Old 02-06-2006, 10:46 AM   #12
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hey mark,
surf this....
www.blaupunktusa.com
this one is in your neck of the woods...
www.cardomain.com
norby
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Old 02-06-2006, 12:15 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goldwing70
I auditioned some speakers for home use a few years back. Thought the Bose had weak midrange and went for Klipsch. I would be worried that a high end system in your trailer is just an invitation for someone to steal it.
I am with you on both counts. With the exception that the Bose Acoustimass 3 is all but invisible, if the bass module is hidden from view inside a vented cupboard or closet, or under the goucho etc. It can lay flat. The cubes can be conceiled behind a thin curtain ,or even put behind existing speaker mounting locations.
The sound quality is arguable, and open for interpretation, as it is a subjective matter. However, in the confines of an Airstream, I found the little cubes to be very pleasant.
In any case, it is somewhat difficult to get true audiophile sound in an Airstream, as speaker placement for optimum listening position is very impractical while camping. I have a spectrum analyzer, tone generator, and a calibrated microphone, and will do some comparisons once the Overlander is nearing completion.
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Old 02-06-2006, 11:09 PM   #14
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Thanks to all who replied to my query - a lot more response than I'd expected!! I have the Sirius gear in place in the trailer, and can use it with my current stereo. Ditto my mp3 player and its 1900+ tracks. I'm completely sold on my Epos speakers. I plan to mount/suspend them beneath kitchen cabinetry facing forward. My missing piece is a home-quality integrated amp. The theft issue concerns me - all the gear (except the speakers) can reside in the existing cabinet next to the trailer door.
I asked the tube amp question only in hopes that someone had tried it and succeeded. I think the sound is quite different than solid state gear. "Better" or "worse" depends on what an individual likes. Even with solid state gear, road travel would be a test of durability. Has anyone had an amplifier conk out due to trailer travel?
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Old 02-07-2006, 11:44 AM   #15
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Gotta speak out here...

I can't comment on stereos, but for guitar amps there is NO comparison. Tube amps slay solid state ones. Not even in the same sport, much less the same ballpark. They are more fragile, but the sound is much much better and the raw power is better too. I have a 60W Fender tube amp that I compared to a 160W solid state and mine wasted the other one, even though the other was both more powerful and physically larger. Most of the bands I like play Gibson guitars plugged into Marshall all tube stack amps. Can't beat that tone and power. All a Marshall is is an enlarged Fender.

I agree though, for a stereo in an RV, stay solid state.
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Old 02-07-2006, 12:24 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Wiltrakis
I asked the tube amp question only in hopes that someone had tried it and succeeded. I think the sound is quite different than solid state gear. "Better" or "worse" depends on what an individual likes. Even with solid state gear, road travel would be a test of durability. Has anyone had an amplifier conk out due to trailer travel?
Mark
Tube amps are not as fragile as often declared. I have a fleet of tube guitar amps running all over the world, with modern and classic rock bands. We do have failures, but they're no more than bass amps, which are ususally solid state. Stuff blows up - it's just the way it is.
My home stereo is built around a Jolida tube amp. I much prefer it over a comparable solid state amplifier. The drawback is that it is very heavy, and would have to definitely have it's own cabinet built for trailer use. Or, it would have to be transported in a suitable case,and then set up once you reach your destination. Not because it's fragile, but because it is heavy and would destroy lightweight Airstream cabinetry.
The tube amp has much faster transient response, which translates into a very natural and immediate sound, often comparable to a live soundstage. Instead of just hearing left and right in the stereo, it actually images front and rear instruments if you listen closely through a very good set of speakers.
Tube technology is expensive and heavy, solid state is dirt cheap for the most part. the demise of tube technology is mostly due to companies switching to solid state for profit reasons. However, high end solid state amps are also very good, but not any cheaper than tube amps.
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Old 02-07-2006, 12:29 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimGolden
Gotta speak out here...

I can't comment on stereos, but for guitar amps there is NO comparison. Tube amps slay solid state ones. Not even in the same sport, much less the same ballpark.
Absolutely!
Line 6 has experimented with 1200w per side poower amps in their larger stereo modeling amplifiers, and they still could not compete with 100W tube amps. They digitally modeled some of my products and then wrote software to put into their amps. No go on the power and "feel", though.
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Old 02-07-2006, 10:22 PM   #18
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Eric

There's a guy who lives in my hometown, Eric Pritchard (sp?), who had a big hand in designing Paul Reed Smith guitars...anyway, Eric is an electronics guru and he claims to have invented a solid state amp that mimics the tone and power of tube amps, without the headaches of tubes. I've not played with one of his amps, as they're very spendy. But I've talked with the man (he did some machine work for a company I used to work for) and he seems to be very sharp.

I told him that, in my humble opinion, if he could get the tone of an all tube amp with a solid state, he'd sell every one he could build. People I've talked to that have his amps really swear by them. Eric said that advertising costs are very high and it's hard to break into the market. I know he's advertised in Guitar Player and other similar mags. Not sure how many he's sold.

Eric is an electronics engineer. I'm an aerospace/structural guy. I tried to follow his theory, and it sounded good to me, but it's beyond my study. I'm still "Old School" and a like tubes.

Some day when I'm worthy of a full stack I'll get one from Marshall. As for now, I still wail on my Fender Hot Rod DeVille 4x10. It'll crank up pretty well. I did notice that although it's labeled a 60w amp, it says 180w on the transformer on the back. Have had to change the tubes once in five years.

I play a Guild S-100 (looks like a Gibson SG but a bit stouter although not as heavy as Les Paul and with the longer neck) plugged directly into the Fender.

Angus Young is my Hero

OK, I'm WAY off topic here, but I'll jam out in my Airstream. 60W of metal inside an aluminum tube should make for some wicked reverb!
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Old 02-08-2006, 09:03 PM   #19
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Bose Ascoustimas - 'nuff said.

Quote:
Originally Posted by uwe
... the Bose Acoustimass 3 is all but invisible, if the bass module is hidden from view inside a vented cupboard or closet, or under the goucho etc. It can lay flat. The cubes can be conceiled behind a thin curtain ,or even put behind existing speaker mounting locations.....
Experience the cubes - it will blow your socks off in an Airstream!

Pic 1 - Two surround sound double speaker arrays on driver's side.

Pic 2 - Custom cabinet for electronics - originally a credenza out of an 80's
Excella from Colaw's Salvage - lengthened and deepened - finished to match the 345's cabinetry - mounted on five tricycle trucks for movement within the cabin.

Pic 3 - Three surround sound double arrays on curb side.

Pic 4 - Business end of sub-woofer/power unit.
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Old 02-08-2006, 10:14 PM   #20
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Dennis -
Nice sound system! I'll be upgrading mine in the near term, and will post some pics when I (quoting Delbert McClinton) "get it worked on."
Mark
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