State of my audio system in early 2020

After a complete change of career, around 5 years ago, I didn’t had much time to invest in hobbies anymore. The limited free time I had was invested in learning more about pedagogy. This is Slowly changing, returning to more reasonable schedules at work, and I recently started playing with audio related projects again.

During that period of transotion I lost interest in social medias, forums and blogs … But I did manage to do some improvements to my audio gears and here they are :

A new amplifier for the mid horns

Since 2016 2017 my only “big” project has been to build a small tube amplifier for my mid horns. It’s a simple, but overkill, el84 in single ended triode configured and driven by a 6n1p. I only used high quality components that I had laying around (ex : audionote power xfo, james 6123hs outputs, elna cerafin in a LCLCLC-C configuration after hexfred diodes) etc. It’s a huge amplifier considering it output only 2 watts per channel … while consuming a 50 watts from the outlet. It sound fantastic when used full range but I’ve limited the frequency range to 100hz and up. The reason been that it will only be used only for mid-range. In my current application, the amplifier cover from 370hz to 2khz.

Going from icepower to a small tube amp completly opened up the mids and brought back a level of information missing. I tried going back to the icepower in the next summer (to limit exelectricity consuption when running the AC unit) and just couldn’t live with the icepower on my mid horns anymore. The first D class amplifier from my system was gone.

Adding new beyma tpl-150 in JMLC horns

I wanted to get rid of the raal for some time and after trying diffretent solutions, a friend sold me a pair of beyma tpl tweeters. They are fitted to small JMLC horns. I was curious to see how well they would work with my mids.

In my system the synergy with my larger JMLC music concrete horns is fantastic. The efficiency, dynamics and tonalities are a huge improvement compared to the small raal. The raals did a good job from 10khz and up but couldn’t match the livenes and dynamic range of the horns so they forced my to use a high crossover point and get some directivity in the mid range.

While Amazing from 2 khz to 10khz, the tpl didn’t cover the 10 khz to 20khz as well. For me, the 2khz to 10khz is a lot more important than the 10khz and higher. Later I got a NOS pair of coral horn tweeters, in a swap meet, for a ridiculously low price and brought them home hoping they would be efficient enough to be used over my tlp-150. After some measurement and trying different ntegration point, I’m now using them from around 10 khz to whatever they can give . They go up to around 20khz and match the efficiency of the beymas quite well. It sound nice enough and I don’t miss the raals for the 10khz plus anymore. Eventually I may try replacing the corals for a pair of visatoon tl16h. I really like their frequency response measurements published on a French audio forum.

I’ve bean listening to those two tweeters together for over a year now and still enjoying it.

Fast forward to 2019

Late 2019 I got a chance to purchase back my old pair of SETH PP 2a3 amplifiers. I had the pair home around 2010 and after couple or years, I sold them needing more power. I always regretted selling those, fearing that one day I would get speaker efficient enough to use them. The amps resurfaced on the used gear market and spotted them while I was searching for parts to build something similar. Finding permaloy transformer and nickel interstage and chokes is not easy task now and it’s really expensive.

The SETH PP 2A3 magnequest amplifiers are a design of Jean-Francois Lessard that was published on magnequest web site some time ago. It’s a DIY poject published for free and you can find the parts around the web. The 3 transformers and 3 chokes per mono block , using magnequest nickels parts made the project very expensive and few have built them. The result extremtly good and completly noise free (a must for my 103 db eff tweeters). It’s a push pull of triode using no feedback at all, and a center tapped choke specifically made to be used as a phase splitter.

I bought the amplifiers back, removed the Chinese tubes on it and installed a fresh pair of 2A3 sovtek tubes. The amplifiers are now used from 2 khz and up (tweeters) replacing my old icepower 125asx2. Since I cross my tweeters quite low, at 2 khz, the amplifiers sound quality is very important. This change helped a lot when matching my mids and highs horns seamlessly. This change brought me closer to the music and turn out to be an important one.

A second D class amplifiers was gone

Removing the back caps of my JBL 2440 with radian diaphragms

A simple test of measuring the horns with and without the back caps of the compression drivers revealed a nicer and smoother frequency response when removing the back cap. Since my horn loaded beyma are also di-polar, I simply installed some heavier shades behind the speakers and I’m now having the diaphragms completely exposed on the back.

The drawback of doing so is that you have expensive diaphragms completly exposed on the back of the compression drivers.

Now, if you want to visit me, you need to sign a mendatory weaver stating you wont put your fingers in those radian diaphragms ūüôā

One way was still using D class amplifiers

The last D class amplfier standing was my custom made pair of icepower 500asp. The 2 mono blocks power my visaton tiw250xs woofers. Considering that removing the other icepower amplifiers made me enjoy more and more my system I was curious to know what would be the result of replacing those 2 mono blocks by something with similar power while been A classe or AB classe.

It’s not easy to find a 500-600 watts tube amplifiers and I didn’t want to manage a farm of high power tubes so I was fixed on transistor for this way. I started reading about different type of amplifier and was looking for either Krell, Passlabs or Bryston monoblocs.

In the last days of 2019 I’ve been lucky to find a deal on a nice pair of bryston 7b3 (or 7b cubed) mono blocs. These are demos from a local retailer I often do business with called Solen (www.solen.ca) and got what is pretty much a brand new pair of fully warranty covered amplifiers. It’s a very expensive upgrade but after reading a lot about the bryston’s cubed serie it seems to be a departure from their older sound which I wasn’t specially a fan of. The new sound is more on line with what I like.

Bryston is a Canadian company with an amazing warranty. These two points helped to take the decision. I wasn’t looking for the most powerfull amplifier at 2 ohms (or 1 ohms) but to get over 500 watts at 8 ohms. They also need to sound good even on a small full ranger driver pushing low power or in other words, the first watt need to sound very good. The 7b3 mono blocks fitted the needs but at a cost, a high one. I bought them.

My 7b3 are delivering 677 watts in 8 ohms (manufacturer test sheet), my soon to be redesigned bass cabinet will now use 4 visaton tiw250xw and 4 externally adjustable passive radiators per side and this configuration will result in 8 ohms instead of the 4 ohms I’m now getting. This mean my 500asp would had went from 500 watts to 250 watts per side. Compare this to the 7b3 I go from 250 watts to 677 watts and from 2 drivers to 4 drivers per side. I’m pretty sure the efficiency and power will make my bass cab closer to match the energy I get from the horns. Anyway, right now at 500watts in 2 drivers per side it’s very impressive for the reality of my home and room so it can only be an improvement.

I had to install my 100 pounds 70″ lcd screen on the wall in order to make room on the top of the audio rack for the amplifier. I also had to bring a dedicated electrical circuit just for the amplifiers.

I got the amplifiers home today and did a quick replacement and gain adjustment to do a first listening session and so far so good.

It’s another layer of veil lifted and my low mid are more detailed and energetic. Everything is new and I have to take more time to fine tune the integration in my DEQX but just matching the gain was enough to convince me I went the right way by removing the last D class amplifiers from my system.

I will have to take some times to listen and compare before having a final idea but so far I can’t see a negative side while enjoying the impeovements.

I was afraid the bryston wouldn’t control the woofers as well as the icepower asp series of amplifiers but it’s not the case. The bryston have no problems on this aspect. So far I would say the kick drum punch more with the brystons and sub bass is solid and free of distortion.

It’s not over

Next step is finally making my version two of the bass cabinets doubling the drivers from 2 to 4 per side and also doubling the number of passive radiators.

Basically, each cabs will be 4 independent cabinets for a total of 8. This project should start in February and hopefully be functional this summer.

My actual cabinets are poorly made proof of concept using thin plywood and no bracing and even then they are very enjoyable. I have huge expectation for this anyway since I will raise efficiency, lower the distortion a reduce cabinet resonances.


I did take a break of improving my system for some years and took time to do other hobbies (photography, cycling, mechanics on my old car, work …) but during that time I never stopped using my sound system and was enjoying it a lot. When I’m home, there is either music playing or a TV series playing. I work often from home in my new career and can really enjoy siting on my computer desk while having nice music playing. My sound system is a very important part of my life.

I wouldn’t say the D class amplifiers that I replaced where bad, in fact I was quite happy using them for many years. There is always something better but the complexity and/or price to to get it can be a huge barrier. If you are willing to go the extra miles it can be rewarding but it’s costly and complex in my case.

Those last changes made my sound system more enjoyable and brought me closer to music.

The biggest change is when listening at low or medium sound level. It used to be a little flat and dead compared to when pushing it. replacing the amplifiers for class A on mid and highs and a quad something bla bla AB class from bryston removed that problem and I can feel the energy of the instruments without having to get to unreasonable spl. At higher spl there is also a good gain in realism and accuracy.

It’s, in a way, a huge change for me. Would someone that listen to my system only from time to time feel the same way ? … will see.

What’s next ?

  • Building and finishing the bass cabs
  • Making a for of stand to place the horns over those bass cabs
  • Changing the driver section of the SETH PP 2A3 amplifier to the mkII version using a 6H30 tubes (I just got all the parts for this)
  • I would like to try a pair of visaton tl16h instead of the coral horn tweeters for 10khz and up
  • I wand to change my mid amplifier coupling from the driver stage to the el84 with a pair of lundhal inter-stages transformers
  • Improve the digital source, testing other solutions to my hifiberry digi out
  • And other things for sure

Thanks for visiting my blog, I will try to post the next projects when they are done.

A good 2020 year to all !

Edit : I took some time to rearrange my components in the audio rack so it’s all contained and no amplifier has to sit on the ground.

Here is the new arrangement :

With tubes on the top shelf
Front view
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Ajouts de photo a mon compte flickr, adding pictures to my flickr account

Compte tenu qu’un blogue n’est pas la place id√©ale pour pr√©senter des photos j’ai envoy√© le tout sur un compte Flickr que vous pouvez consulter ici :

Compte Flickr Sylvain Paquette’s account.

Since exposing pictures on a blog isn’t quite ideal, i’ve send all my new pics to my Flickr account, visit me there.

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Exporail St-Constant Lowkey Monochrome gallery

I went shooting at Exporail St-Constant and used my panasonic GX85 with an olympus 7-14mm F2.8, a panasonic 20mm F1.7 and a 42.5mm F1.7.

Most shot are made using L.monochrome profile and fiddling with the filters and contrast.

All shot in JPG and direct from the camera.

Here is the Flickr share : Lowkey Exporail album from FLICKR

I strongly recommend visiting Exporail if you are interested in trains but also in photography. The lighting in one of the hangar is really nice.

Here are the informations to get there : Exporail St-Constant informations

Couple of examples :

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Olympus 7-14mm F2.8 pro lense

Yesterday was my birthday and I got myself a nice gift … ok it wasn’t really my birthday but still got the lense.

I’ve been using Micro 4/3 for couple of years now and still hasn’t got a UWA lense when my 10-22 ef-s was my favorite on canon aps-c and the sigma 10-20mm was my favorite on my full frame canon kit.

Until now I’ve been using the panasonic 12-32mm kit lense as a wide angle but … it’s not really one at 24mm equivalent. It’s an amazing kit lense, the first kit lense that didn’t end up in the original box sitting in a closet but it’s not a wide angle lense when the crop factor is 2. Yet 24-64mm equivalent is close to the perfect general use range. The lense is sharp, super light and fast, dual stabilized and corrected in the body. Even if really good I wanted something wide, really wide but not fish eye wide.

I was considering the panasonic 7-14mm F4, the olympus 7-14mm F2.8 and the new panasonic leica 8-18mm.

Since I was going after the widest possible and fastest possible lense the olympus looked like the perfect choice. The panasonic didn’t impress me, for the price I would had expect better build and IQ and why not make it OIS for dual stabilisation. The leica is almost the price of the olympus and from the pictures I’ve seen the IQ is still below the olympus while not a constant F2.8 and the feeling in hand is not as good. The biggest advantage of the leica is the removable hood and thread for filter. I won’t do much video so it won’t be as important for me but I understand that for video the leica will be a better choice even if not constant aperture.

I’ve been able to play with the 7-14mm F2.8 in a store and it didn’t take much to convince me that this is the UWA to get for the Micro 4/3 still shooting. The build is incredible, the clutch manual focus ring is a joy to use and the IQ is really high even wide open and from 7 to 14mm.

I’ve use the lense only for two days but I’m already convinced I made the right choice. It bring back memory of my 10-22mm ef-s lense but it’s wider, brighter and better IQ. Of course it’s bigger and heavier but combined with my panasonic GX85 it’s still easy to manage. With the lcd system in the GX85 you can pivot the lcd so it’s visible from the top and take those dramatic shoot close to the ground. It’s a really nice combo.

When shooting FF I always kept a 28mm lense in my bag and the 7-14mm give me that perfect balance of 14mm to 28mm equivalent with a nice constant F2.8. The leica would had given me better range on the long side but I would had lost a precious mm in the wide range. When getting a UWA, that 1mm is of importance considering it’s 2mm FF and make a big difference when trying to include as much as possible in the frame. Honestly if the leica had been 200-300$ less I would had consider it but it was only 100 canadian pesos less and not close to the feeling of handling the olympus.

I’m sure I will greatly enjoy that lense, it’s always fun to play with those extreme lenses. My 10-22mm was the most used of all my lense, I suspect this lense will be more often than not on my camera. ¬†The Micro 4/3 system is filled with those interesting gems of lenses and the price is generally quite reasonable. Sure this lense is expensive but in comparison with other system it’s still a bargain.

Today I had an very interesting discussion with another amateur photographer that was quite curious about the lens and camera combo I was using. We were discussing about how peoples are so focused on big sensor and shallow depth of field these days. He did exactly like me and switched his huge and heavy bad of nikon gear for a small fuji setup and seems really happy with the move.

I’ve had the most fun in this hobby with this simple setup. I’ve been fortunate to own or use amazing lenses (135mm f2.0, 85mm f1.2, 50mm f1.0 etc) and body in the past but this didn’t translate in the fun I have now. Smaller, lighter, more versatile, better user interface, good jpg results, uploading directly from my phone and camera to google photos, compatibility to old manual lenses … I can pack 5-6 lenses, 3 batteries, the camera in a small bag and no back pain at the end of the day. I don’t sit at the computer for longer time than what it took me to snap the shoots anymore, I simply transfer the file and automatic backup handle the rest. I’ve been bringing my camera everywhere I go for a month now, I would never do that with my previous kits.

BTW the GX85 do post focusing directly in the body. It’s really nice if you want to get a subject and background all in focus.

Olympus 7-14mm F2.8 pro mounted on a panasonic GX85

 

Here are some picture taken while I’m getting use to the lense and still learning a lot about my Panasonic GX85. This small camera is filled with features and so nice to handle.

 

Olympus 7-14mm F2.8 pro on panasonic GX85

Olympus 7-14mm F2.8 pro on panasonic GX85

Olympus 7-14mm F2.8 pro on panasonic GX85

Olympus 7-14mm F2.8 pro on panasonic GX85

Olympus 7-14mm F2.8 pro on panasonic GX85

Olympus 7-14mm F2.8 pro on panasonic GX85

Olympus 7-14mm F2.8 pro on panasonic GX85

Olympus 7-14mm F2.8 pro on panasonic GX85

Olympus 7-14mm F2.8 pro on panasonic GX85

Olympus 7-14mm F2.8 pro on panasonic GX85

Olympus 7-14mm F2.8 pro on panasonic GX85

Olympus 7-14mm F2.8 pro on panasonic GX85

Olympus 7-14mm F2.8 pro on panasonic GX85

Olympus 7-14mm F2.8 pro on panasonic GX85

 

You  can always use it for portrait if you are after goofy faces !

I should provide this picture for my passport renewal.

Portrait using olympus 7-14mm F2.8 pro on panasonic GX85.

 

For my next post I want to talk about a real bargain that I keep in my bag and that give me the best bang for the bucks I’ve seen in photography. Yes my olympus 40-150mm lense that can be purchased for around 150 canadian pesos. I don’t know if I won the lense lottery but I get really good results with it. As long as the sun is there since it’s not a fast lense but IQ wise it’s surprisingly good.

In near future I have plan to convert my olympus e-pl1 in full spectrum or IR. I want also a second body, was thinking of the pen F but the LCD pivot system is of no use for me. It’s really deceiving since I really liked the rest of the camera. Maybe a OM10 II or older OM1.

I played with extensions tubes also, it’s nice and I’m getting used to it but eventually I’m thinking of a macro lense, something like the 60mm F2.8 from olympus. The 30mm macro F2.8 from panasonic seems rather short for macro but I would like to have a nice 30mm prime lense in my bag … will have to try one.

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Experimenting with JMLC (Jean-Michel Le Cl√©ac’h) horn loaded beyma tpl 150

I bought a pair of beyma TPL 150 with 4 horns (JMLC expansion) configured in dipole from a friend.

Replacing my raal 70-20xr for something more efficient has been almost impossible so far but gave a shot to those. I’ve not heard the beyma tpl 150 in original configuration before but the JMLC charge had me pull the trigger and purchase them.

The reason I want to replace the raal is not because of sound quality since so fat from 4-5khz up nothing come close to this. The 70-10 are more interesting over 10khz but the 70-20xr make a wonderful job at 4-5khz and up. My main horn are ok up to 5khz after that it’s pushing it since they start to beam quite a bit. The reason is mostly because I want to build a tube amplifier dedicated for the tweeters and the efficiency of the raal would had needed more power then I wanted to build. I use a 2 watts amp for my mid, I don’t want to build a 50 watts ¬†amplifier for the tweeters.

So the raal 210-10 was a huge disappointment, the yamaha 4281 an even bigger one. I can’t stand jbl 2404 2405 and most ribbons. Not an easy task to find a good tweeter that can push 100+ db/w and doesn’t sound harsh or aggressive or dead.

I didn’t expect the horn loaded beyma to be this big so I had to improvise some form of legs until I fix my drivers and rebuild my cabinets. Fortunately I don’t have to make up excuses about horns not to use them in my living room, It’s not about the look¬†for me and frankly I like odd looking speakers in today boring waf approved slim tower market.

I’ve tried some 300 db/oct integration from 1000hz to 5000hz with the deqx and I’m extremely impressed at what those can do. Even at 1000hz they still get lot’s of energy, no harshness and give solid results. The horn seems to do an amazing job a loading them.

When I get time I will post a serie of measurements at 1m and different angles. Nothing scientific. Using my ears I would say at around 8-10khz they start to get slightly directional but nothing really problematic.

For now I’ve settled for 370hz to 3000hz for my mid, 3000hz and up for the jmlc beyma and I’m going to listen to that for some time.

The difference with the raal from 1000-10000hz is big, more energy, realism no harsness and open sounding. Over 10khz I think the raal had a little bit more sparkles but I don’t hear as high in frequency as I use to and this won’t bother me at all. I don’t see any downside going with the beyma except for size. Cymbals sound fantastic and life like, trumpet and female vocals too. Both horns mix really well.

I’m not sure I will keep them dipolar, I will have to compare with and without. I’ve never kept anything dipolar in my room for a long time. I don’t like mixing ways where some are dipolare and some aren’t, it’s messy and even optimized for the listening position they are still trace of reflection distorting the original sound.

I can always keep the back horn and absorb the back wave in it since the original back cover are known to cause some frequency aberration and I don’t want to reinstall those. It’s gonna be my next thing to experiment with those.

I will try to live with this configuration for couple of weeks and if it’s all good will start the process of rebuilding the bass cabinets with double the number of 10″ drivers and passive radiators. Then integrate the tweeters horns in this cabinet and make some form of post for the large JMLC 320hz horn on the side. This should be the final form of my home speakers.

Picssssssssssss

 

Not the horn but just for fun

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Retour à la photographie comme passe temps, mes commentaires sur la panasonic GX85

Apr√®s avoir mis mes √©quipements photos de c√īt√©s dans les 2-3 derni√®res ann√©es, j’ai ressorti le tout pour faire¬†un peu de m√©nage, recharger mes batteries et faire quelques photos.

Mon vieux olympus pen e-pl1 fonctionne toujours mais il commence √† √™tre tr√®s d√©suet. Cela a toujours √©t√© difficile de faire un focus manuel avec cet appareil. Le pen epl1 √©tait un gateway lorsque j’ai d√©cid√© de tout vendre mes √©quipement full frame canon. Je l’utilise de temps √† autre lorsque la cam√©ra du cellulaire ne suffit pas mais sans plus.

Mes objectifs manuel canon fd, mes om mount de olympus et mes nikon F et pre ai sont toujours en bon √©tat. Pas surprenant, c’est indestructible c’est vieux objectifs.

Je me suis d√©cid√© √† remplacer mon boitier pour un bo√ģtier moderne pouvant utiliser mes vieux objectifs et comme j’avais d√©j√† tous mes adaptateurs pour fd, om mount, pre ai nikon, l’id√©e de demeurer avec le syst√®me micro 4/3 √©tait tr√®s tentante. De plus j’adore le format 4/3 que je trouve plus appropri√© √† la photo artistique que du 16:9 par exemple.

Un peu de lecture sur les inter-tubes et les choix se dirigeaient vers un de ces bo√ģtiers¬†:

  • panasonic GX85
  • panasonic G85
  • olympus e-m5 mkii
  • olympus e-m10 mkii

La stabilisation en boitier et mirrorless √©taient au top de mes priorit√©s puisque j’utilise beaucoup de vieux objectifs manuels.

J’ai pris le temps de regarder les produits fujitsu et ¬†sony aussi. Le prix, le format et la gamme d’objectif ne m’enchante pas trop et je trouve les fujitsu exag√©r√©ment retro dans leur look. Sony … j’ai entendu de mauvaise histoires avec leurs boitiers et capteurs ce qui n’aide pas.

L’attrait du format 4/3 et la taille des bo√ģtiers en 4/3 est un grand avantages pour moi. Quelques tests en magasin m’ont aussi montr√© que la diff√©rence entre un petit senseur 4/3 et un aps-c est rendu n√©gligeable pour utilisation web. √Čvidemment les full frame et format medium sont plus performant mais d’aucun int√©r√™t pour moi maintenant. Le but c’est de l’apporter partout avec moi.

Le GX85 a √©t√© mon choix finale suite √† une visite chez LL lozeau √† Montr√©al. Cela a √©t√© difficle a d√©cider entre le G85 et le GX85, la prise en main est plus moderne sur le G85 et il a quelques avantages en vid√©o comme une prise de microphone mais il est aussi pas mal plus encombrant et je ne passe pas des heures √† tenir le tout dans mes mains. Esth√©tiquement j’adore le look “rangefinder” du GX85 et sont format est id√©ale. Aussi le viewfinder num√©rique tout en haut √† gauche me plait. Cela permet de prendre le pouce gauche pour choisir la zone focus sans retirer son oeil du viewfinder. Tr√®s plaisant √† manipuler et efficace.

Les avantages du GX85 :

  • stabilisation dans le bo√ģtier 5 axes
  • double stabilisation avec objectifs o.i.s de panasonic (se rapprochant d’un steady glide)
  • beaucoup d’options pour vid√©o 4k et photos 4k comparativement √† olympus
  • taille tr√®s compact et bon feeling de solidit√©, ca rappel la s√©rie pen de olympus
  • √©cran de haute qualit√© qui repr√©sente bien le r√©sultat final
  • viseur num√©rique¬†de qualit√© tr√®s utile.
  • exporter les photo via wifi sur cellulaire ou ordinateur (fonctionne bien sur cellulaire mais moins avec les ordinateurs)
  • mode d’aide au focus manuel de panasonic extr√™mement¬†efficace
  • gamme d’objectifs superbe de panasonic √† prix tr√®s raisonnable inclus la stabilisation dans les objectifs
  • bruit a haut iso √©norm√©ment am√©lior√© versus mon ancien boitier.
  • aucun filtre passe bas r√©duisant la r√©solution et couche logiciel pour r√©duire les effets de moir√©e efficace.
  • filtres artistiques en jpg utile et nouveau modes noir et blanc haut contraste magnifique

Le G85 et son 12-60 “kit lense” me plaisait bien aussi mais l’appareil devient moins int√©ressant. Je veux pouvoir entrer le tout dans une poche de manteau avec 1 ou 2 objectifs pancake et ne pas tra√ģner de sac photo. Le 12-60 me semble un bel objectif aussi bien que beaucoup plus gros que le 12-32. Il semblerait qu’il est un peu moins sharp mais 24-120mm c’est une belle plage comme zoom a tout faire.

Le GX85 vient avec un minuscule¬†objectif 12-32mm stabilis√©. Je croyais que ce serait un autre objectif √† laisser dans la boite d’origine¬†mais, contrairement au 14-42 d’olympus, celui-ci est compacte, plaisant √† utiliser, une belle plage d’utilisation du zoom (12 √† 64mm √©quivalent), il est sharp, focus rapide et demande aucune correction (ou elles sont fait directement dans le boitier). 12mm f3.5 stabilis√© s’utilise tr√®s bien et permet pas mal de latitude pour les photos int√©rieur. Un des rare kit lense qui vaut amplement le prix demand√© lorsqu’ achet√© s√©par√©ment. Ici il est inclus avec le boitier et m’est revenu √† 999$ canadien pour l’ensemble, ceci donne un rapport qualit√© prix incroyable selon moi.

Apr√®s avoir jouer un peu avec le 12-32 fourni avec cela m’a convaincu de me commander un panasonic 20mm f1.7 et un 42.5mm f1.7 que je suis a d√©couvrir pr√©sentement et je suis aucunement d√©√ßus jusqu’√† pr√©sent. L’ensemble 12-32mm, 20mm f1.7 et 42.5mm f1.7 est extr√™mement compacte et compl√©mentaire. Pour le t√©l√© j’ai mon vieux vivitar 70-210mm et mon superbe olympus zuiko 135mm manuel.

Je suis encore a d√©couvrir¬†l’appareil et m’habituer avec mais c’est tout un monde comparativement a mon ancien pen epl1 ou m√™me mon 5d mkii niveau optimisation de l’interface utilisateur. Un charme √† manipuler.

Jusqu’√† pr√©sent je ne peux √™tre plus satisfait du r√©sultat.

Panasonic GX85 et objectif vivitar serie 1 70-210mm f3.5, photo prise avec cellulaire.

 

Quelques photos prises en exp√©rimentant avec l’appareil (directement de l’appareil, aucun traitement) :

panasonic gx85 et olympus zuiko om 135mm f3.5

panasonic gx85 et olympus zuiko om 50mm f1.8

panasonic gx85 et olympus zuiko om 50mm f1.8

panasonic gx85 et olympus zuiko om 50mm f1.8

panasonic gx85 et olympus zuiko om 50mm f1.8

panasonic gx85 et olympus zuiko om 50mm f1.8

panasonic gx85 et olympus zuiko om 28mm f2.8

panasonic gx85 et lumix 20mm f1.7 o.i.s

panasonic gx85 et lumix 20mm f1.7

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Petite visite aux Iles de la madeleine en février 2017

Pas chaud ici, mais c’est tr√®s beau.

 

Il vente toujours mais c’est tr√®s beau tout de m√™me.

 

Petites maisons colorés, décors hivernal

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Returning to a yaesu ft-897d instead of the kenwood ts-2000

I’m getting tired of the intermod my ts-2000 suffer so I got a used ft-879d, added a fp-30 internal power supply, a mh-59a8j which is a fantastic multi fonction mic including volume control and a ldg FTM meter.

I don’t hate the ts-2000 but I have a pager tower close from here and the front-end of the ts-2000 can’t match the ic-7100 or even the ft-897d.

Adding a yaesu ft-897d to the shack

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Icom ic-7100, small shack and ram mount

The icom ic-7100 is a fantastic little radio, specially when you have limited “shack” space. I’ve decided to fix it on my desk using a ram mount I had on hand for a old gps I don’t use anymore.

The kit used is ram mount :

RAM-B-138U (dual mounts and short arm)

RAM-B-201U-C (a long arm to replace the short arm)

You can also simply order parts by parts what you need. My setup use the 1″ ram balls and the radio screw directly under the RAM-B-202.

 

Icom ic-7100 on ram mount

Icom ic-7100 inside the shack on ram mount

Icom ic-7100 over ic-7300 on ram mount

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My sound system as of June 2016

Someone asked me if I was still using the tannoy in my system. Since the beginning of the year I’ve return to horns.

This is the actual setup. It’s not perfect on the aesthetic department and I have to make some decent horns brackets but it play wonderfully. Take note the television is a 70″ for size reference.

IMG_20160107_194837

JMLC 320hz horns over visaton tiw 250 xs

The system consist of :

16-350hz = 4 visaton tiw 250 xs charged with 6 8″ css passive radiator on the back. A pair of icepower 500asp and whatever cable I had on hands.

350-5000hz = A pair of JMLC  (Jean-Michel LeCleach) expansion horns made by Marco Henry (Musique Concrète) using JBL 2441 and radian diaphragms. The amplifier is a icepower 125asx2 and whatever cables I could find.

5000-20khz (and more) = A pair of raal 70-20xr (seen without the front plate in the picture). The amplifier is a icepower 250asx2 and take a guess for the cables.

IMG_20151231_114121

JMLC (Jean-Michel LeCleach) expansion horns made by Marco Henry (Musique Concrète) using JBL 2441 and radian diaphragms

Everything is feed to my DEQX¬†crossover/preamplifier/dac. I usually use linear phase 96db/oct or more for the transition between each drivers and combined with the fact I’m using the horns inside a home, I can get the transitional frequency in the 320hz without problems. It’s nice because the 10″ visaton start to sound a little bit muddy over 350hz. I try to keep a balance between latency and high order filters so It’s not a pain to watch movies and having delay on the sound. Normally I like to keep the latency in the 20-40ms. The DEQX is fantastic for that.

The CSS passive radiators permit to tune the cabs where you position them using external added mass. This is a really nice way to optimize the system without using much corrections from the DEQX. In the end I only use little bit of correction from 16hz to 140hz and after that the horns and tweeters are perfectly fine without it. This speak a lot about the quality of the JMLC expansions and the RAAL tweeters performances.

I’ve been able to compare different raal and so far the 70-20xr are my favorite. I can’t stand the 210-10, the 140-15D are too directional and doesn’t bring anything more for a 2-4khz cut. The 70-10 is nice for 10khz and more, under that … The 70-20xr is really versatile and never sound like a ribbons as the 210-10 tend to do.¬†You can cut the 70-20xr at 2khz if you want with a proper crossover and still get a lot of energy¬†They need more power than you may think so I’ve used my second larger amplifier for them.

I do hook the horns and tweeters directly to the amplifiers. I would do that with tube amplifiers using output transformer or icepower amplifier only. With anything else a capacitor is almost necessary.

My source are either a mac mini with a m-audio audiophile sound card or a chromecast (just replaced the old apple tv) using the TV as a converter (hdmi to toslink) to the dac. 99% of the time the chromecast and spotify (on highest quality setting) is used and it sound perfectly fine.

I’ve installed a old realistic¬†power meter on the low frequency cabs to get an idea of the real power need … and mostly to look at needles moving while listening to music. For¬†most of my listening the power consumption is under 1-2 watts per channel on¬†the visaton. Lound session will peak in the 5-10 watts. My amplifiers are way overkill even for the low frequency sections.

radioshack power meter

The horns are made of rocks dust and epoxy. It similar to concrete.  They weigh a ton and by sitting on top of the low frequency cabs damp everything. I need to build a better rack eventually but for now it works quite well.

This is the best sound I’ve had home and heard from a sound system so far and I’m really happy of been able to enjoy it everyday. It play everything you throw at it with authority and accuracy without ever sounding like cheap horns can. There is no shouting, it’s not in your face except if the music played is supposed to be (ex trumpet, big bands etc) The energy from the speakers is amazing and the realism is there.

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