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Hello, and...open baffles? (Read 425 times)
E.T.
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Hello, and...open baffles?
08/05/22 at 00:11:42
 
Hey everyone, just wanted to introduce myself. Eric, 40, elementary school teacher, always loved music, but am relatively new as an enthusiast. Right now, I listen to my music through my home theater system. Not ideal, but honestly not terrible; and my living situation is temporary and my place is small. I do have a pretty cool streamer/DAC that I use with Roon, the Cary Audio DMS-550. Now I'm just waiting on space (a big enough room to finally get my Cornwalls) and time (to get my Decware amp).

I like all the music that is supposedly frowned upon by audio enthusiasts - hip-hop, punk, electronic. I like some new composers in the mold of Max Richter and Nils Frahm as well as some of the more experimental jazz, especially the most out-there Miles Davis offerings. So, some good music.  ;) I've been told that high-quality gear will just expose these supposedly "bad" recordings, but then I heard one of the rougher recordings in hip-hop history, Liquid Swords, on the DMS-550 through the Cornwalls in a bad listening room at a TV store, and it was like hearing it for the first time. So there goes that theory.

Anyway, what's up with open baffles? I confess, I've never heard an open baffle speaker. I feel like the music I listen to requires large drivers in large boxes. Is it better for classical and jazz? I do think my audio journey - better gear, better synergy, plus the infinite possibilities of Roon - will lead me to trying out more genres. I just never would've thought of owning a speaker without a box. One of the several things I want to try whenever I make my pilgrimage to Decware HQ.
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Wu-Tang Forever
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GroovySauce
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Re: Hello, and...open baffles?
Reply #1 - 08/05/22 at 01:53:36
 
Eric, Welcome to the forums! We are close in age. What area of the world are you located?

For music selection who F#$%ing cares? A vast majority of the music I love isn’t “audiophile”. I love electronic music and lately it’s my number one listened to genre. 

As the system gets better and better often the phrase “exposing the warts” gets tossed around. My experience this is very misleading. Yes, the bad parts are exposed more, however they also sound fantastic! A few months ago I spent a few nights going through the 90’s music that I haven’t listened to in many years. One stand out was Guilty by Gravity Kills. They compressed this album to hell. It was also so amazing to listen to on my system. It was fun, exciting, intense and HUGE.  just how it should be. I played it again and turned it up to deafening levels. Damn! it was good. That to me is an example of a terrible SQ cut that is great to listen to on an excellent system. I actually just replayed that with some small box speakers driven by the UFO25TH and it was fun. It wasn’t as dramatic as my main system.

Midi 2.0 is going to push electronic music to become very popular in the audiophile community. 

I love open baffle speakers. If designed well, they will play any genre well. I enjoy my Pure Audio Project Quintet 15s more than my Wilson MAXX 2s. Note; I did significantly upgrade the Quintet. I also wonder what the MAXX would sound like with my current electronics. Open baffles sound so natural, after experiencing open baffles going to a box speaker sounds wrong.

If you can make it this year to DECFEST go for it. It’s a great time!
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Rega P8 | Zephyr MIMC★ | Innuos ZENith MK3 | May KTE DAC | ZP3 25th ZMC1 | ZRock2 25th | EMIA Remote Autoformer | Torii MKIV 25th | Snake River Audio Cables | PAP Quintet 15 1.6 Voxativ Custom XO & SRA cables| Torus AVR15 | Acoustic Treatments
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Same Old DD
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Re: Hello, and...open baffles?
Reply #2 - 08/05/22 at 04:39:26
 
Hi, Eric and welcome. I have a son about your age.
He listens to similar music. We listen together when he visits. I bring in a subwoofer to help him enjoy his music the way he is used to hearing it. The music I usually listen to has no sub bass, so I rarely use a sub system.

As far as the warts and all, I still listen to old Beatles, Rolling Stones, Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix, ZZ Top, Motown, etc. Talk about warts in a recording. Spades!
Sloppy editing, messy punch-ins and punch-outs, tape speed wavering during recordings, noise in the studios, overlapping channels slightly out of sync, due to SoS.
All kinds of warts. Most of it simply adds character to the recordings and yes, the better your gear is, the more you can hear these shortcomings.
We still enjoy them.

Open baffle speakers have been around for a very long time.
Here's a look at an old dipole design made in the 1920's mainly for voice transmission and radio.
The rear has a driving mechanism with two cones facing opposite directions, both cones connected to the same electromagnet structure.

I've only seen this type in a museum, but I have seen my dad repair similar designs used up into the '40s with more fancy fixtures and nice wood trim.
No bass, obviously, but they were mainly used for voice radio and filling a room reaching 300Hz and 3KHz was pretty good for the times.

Today's OB speakers do the same thing, but with authority and still, if you need deep bass, you will need a very large baffle or lots of radiating area or both.
It is the natural, unrestrained sound of open baffle systems that keeps us going.


Check out these old open baffle/ no baffle speakers. Fun stuff. It's just a speaker in the air, no baffle. These old speakers were very high impedance and ran right off the tubes that drove them with no tramsformer. So, high voltage in your living room, dodgy '20s era insulation. Hmm. Nope.

Images borrowed from the 'net.







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Dipole_1.jpg

SE84Cs Mono'ed, McIntosh MC2500, Yamaha Pre, Dual TT, Ortofon, JBL2235x4 modded for OB, Visaton B200 OB, Kleenline Power, Revox & Sony R-R
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Same Old DD
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Re: Hello, and...open baffles?
Reply #3 - 08/05/22 at 04:41:26
 
Back view:
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Dipole_2.jpg

SE84Cs Mono'ed, McIntosh MC2500, Yamaha Pre, Dual TT, Ortofon, JBL2235x4 modded for OB, Visaton B200 OB, Kleenline Power, Revox & Sony R-R
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kulafu
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Re: Hello, and...open baffles?
Reply #4 - 08/05/22 at 12:41:42
 
Welcome!  If it is any help to you, I A/B'd my vintage La Scala's with Caintuck Lii 15 O/Bs and they are comparable.  But given the huge size difference, Lii 15 O/B are my preference.
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Caintuck Lii15 1.5" Padauk/Omega S3HOXRS, UFO25th, CSP3 25th mods, Holo May KTE , HQPlayer/USB/Ultrarendu/EtherRegen, Roon, Qobuz, Tidal and Spotify(various ICs and Power Cables)
Altec 601s, CSP3 25th Mods, Torii Jr, PI2AES or IFI Zen Stream, Pontus II
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BicycleJoe Lo-Fi
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Re: Hello, and...open baffles?
Reply #5 - 08/05/22 at 12:47:46
 
Welcome Eric, I am first a music lover and believe it's the Message of the music that is most important not the media it is stored on or the equipment it is played on. Above all I seek that emotional connection to what was the inspiration behind the creative process. If it is genuine I can listen to it on a radio station or from Muzak playing in an elevator or in the supermarket and still become inspired.

The first record player I owned was a Barbie and Ken made by Emenee Toys. Right now I have the Rachel on order along with a ZP3 phono preamp and a ZLC line conditioner. I want to return to my Vinyl collection I have amassed over 60 years, I'll be 68 this September.

I am a great lover of live performances, being in the moment at these performances and when everything comes together between the musicians being raptured by these performances.

Higher end audiophile equipment can approach the reproduction of some of these moments but mostly it is a mere reflection of a live performance in a highly controlled environment with all the technical production techniques used to highlight and emphasize the artists capabilities. It is a different thing.

I think music composed and recorded just to demonstrate what high fidelity can do is some of the most boring music I have ever listened to.

My Tastes are eclectic. Sun Ra, Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, next to Psychcobilly, No Wave and Punk. I grew up working in the record Business with a richness that spoiled me. I had all genres at my fingertips, Salsa, Afro Cuban, Doo-Wop, R&B, Pop Music, I worked in the South Bronx when Hip Hop was born out of the mix of master toasters and dj's spinning plugged into the Lamp Posts in the projects. I got into artist and repertoire from the associations I built in the retail record business. Just when independent music thrived and became a renaissance for DIY recording and production.

I have a video hobby where I record live music, poetry and performances on the street, in the back rooms and clubs of different independent artists performing their thing all recorded in genuine Lo-Fi Sound and Vision just with an iPhone.

It was a conscientious rejection of polished recording and more cinéma vérité in style approaching something from the beats auteur infant terrible Robert Frank. During the late 1970s and early 1980s, I was influenced by Scott B and Beth B. They were among the most significant proponents of the punk bohemia, no-budget style of underground punk filmmaking.
But I don't make movies I just was inspired to appropriate their style to capture performances by the unrenowned on the fly.

It is a modest Channel, one I do not promote, its just there and I share with the Artists  I capture on Facebook.

Bicycle Joe Lo-Fi Sound and Vision https://www.youtube.com/c/BicycleJoeTomasello/videos
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"Once there was a note, pure and easy,playing so free like a breath rippling by,the note is eternal, I hear it, it sees me,forever we blend and forever we die".
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Lon
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Re: Hello, and...open baffles?
Reply #6 - 08/05/22 at 13:51:59
 
Welcome! I confess that I have no experience with open baffle speakers. I'd be tempted if I didn't have two pair of speakers I adore, the Decware/Turning Point Audio HR-1 speakers which do have both a "boxed" conventional midrange, tweeter and passive radiator design AND a "box-less" omni-directional design seemingly seamlessly oriented. I LOVE THEM! I play a lot of music through them with a surprisingly low-powered pair of SE84UFO3 Monoblocks in one. system, and either a Taboo Mk IV or a DALAUDIO amp in another. I think it's the omni-directional aspect that I like the most, having come to them from RL, RL-1 and ERR speakers. They can reproduce all forms of music with proper attention, and I imagine that the open baffle would as well, and testimony from owners seem to strongly affirm that.

I came to "audiophile" status after marrying and leaving the performing of music as part of several bands behind. I wanted to create musical playback in my home that brought me closer to the music, closer to the heady, deep feeling of being involved in the creation of the music. I finally found that with Decware pre- and amplification and speakers and have been locked into a satisfying world of musical playback ever since. And yes, it has led to my discovering new musical form and really learning musical history and even experiencing different musical reproduction formats. At the time I moved into the Decware world I had shifted from rock and blues into a deep exploration of jazz that has continued with increasing dominance since, and into an appreciation of classical music (in part guided by my father's knowledge and taste) and a love of Brazilian music. And the Decware "sound" -- so clear and full and deep -- certainly spurred exploration and deepened appreciation.

When your components arrive. . . I think you'll find yourself on a similar course.
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HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th x2, CSP3-25th.Taboo Mk IV;Rega RP3 all GrooveTracer mods;PSAudio:PST+DSD,P15,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pwr cbls,Reference spkrcbls; Mapleshade SamsonV3;VooDoo:Cremona+Amati interconnects, IsoPods; headphones:Sennheiser HD800S,ZMF Or
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E.T.
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Re: Hello, and...open baffles?
Reply #7 - 08/05/22 at 22:29:13
 
What amazing responses! I love hearing your stories, and hope to hear many more over time. I knew this place is a treasure trove, was just a little nervous about interacting.

On the open baffles - It's interesting to see people who have at least somewhat similar musical tastes loving the open baffles. Do you all listen to them exclusively, or mix it up with more traditional box speakers? The omni-directional speaker is something else I'm curious about. I so associate 2.0 (2.1, 2.2 - though I'm not huge into subs, which is perhaps why I like the big boxes) stereo music with sound that you essentially aim in a single direction from places on either side of you. Basically, the speakers are like audio fire hoses, you take two and spray the sound at the listening position. I'm open to all sorts of music reproduction, so long as it facilitates enjoyment in music that I like. I do need to get to Decfest to continue this inquiry with some actual listening.

The engineering info within these responses is a lot of fun. I feel like in just the sessions where I've read posts here, but have not interacted, that I've learned a lot about how speakers and amps are made.

BicycleJoe - I am a pretty big cinema enthusiast, though my exploration over the past few years has been contemporary independent film (festival darlings big and small, MUBI), Southeast Asian, and classic. Still, anything described as cinema verite is something that will catch my attention. Never heard of Scott B and Beth B until now...is there anywhere I can see their films?

I think the first wave of Wu-Tang has that same energy. They're making music in a DIY studio, if it's even a studio, and probably made 4 of the 20 most essential hip-hop albums ever.

Edit: Also forgot to comment on Midi 2.0 from Groovy's reply. I have messed around with hip-hop and ambient electronic music using FL Studios with a Midi controller (Akai MPK Mini, nothing crazy), and to be honest I'm still wrapping my head around Midi (MIDI?) 2.0, but the ability to make higher resolution recordings caught my attention. I still will probably rap over me beating on pots and pans, but anything that expands the possibilities for DIY artists and further increases accessibility to professional-grade/like creation is great to me.
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Wu-Tang Forever
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Doug
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Re: Hello, and...open baffles?
Reply #8 - 08/06/22 at 03:33:40
 
Hey E.T.

One of your questions that has not been directly answered was, are OB speakers “better for classical and jazz?”.  Like GroovySauce, I also use Pure Audio Project Quintets with Voxativ 1.6 full range drivers.  My set-up, however, is quite different from Groovy’s; I’m driving the Voxativ 1.6’s wide open with no crossover at all, and driving the eight 15” woofers with a separate amp.  

Here’s my take on your question.  Yes, OB speakers can reproduce classical music performances far better than box speakers can.  I’m in my mid-60’s and have been an audio and music fanatic since early childhood. So many box speakers have passed through my stereo systems the past 50 years that I wouldn’t be able to name them all, but here’s the thing; none has ever come close to being able to reproduce classical music recordings, and other well recorded acoustic music, the way OB speakers do it.  

A good stereo system with OB speakers can place a 9’ Steinway right between your speakers as if their are no speakers in the room.  Likewise, it can place every member of a small or large orchestra in your listening room with remarkable precision.  If the timpani are located 40 feet behind the concert master, but slightly to the left, that’s exactly where your system will place them.  It’s a breeze to locate the violin sections, the cellos, the percussion, the various brass players, etc.  Even though PAP Quintets are 7 feet tall and nearly 2 feet wide, they have the ability to completely disappear.  By disappear, I mean that you cannot hear any music coming from the speakers.  You sit in your listening chair, you stair directly at the speakers, but you cannot detect any sound coming from them; instead, the music is coming from the positions where the performers were seated or standing when the recording was made.

On the other hand good OB speakers can also perform spectacularly well on pop music.  I like to play Dire Straits Money for Nothing when guests want to hear my system cranked up.  Brothers in Arms is a great pop recording in my opinion, and for many reasons, but partly because of the precise instrument placement across the sound stage.  It’s quite an experience to hear Dire Straits at rock concert volume, or louder if you so desire, and to hear each guitar part coming from a different part of the stage as if there are three Marshall stacks spaced out across your room.  And then to hear Knopfler and Sting singing from the middle of the stage…..it’s really thrilling.  

These are just a few of the reasons that there are so many fans of OB speakers in the Decware family.  Hope I didn’t bore you with a bunch of stuff you already knew!


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ZROCK2 (on order)
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………Driving Full Rangers
LFD NCSE Driving Eight 15” Woofers
PAP Quintets with Voxativ 1.6
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BicycleJoe Lo-Fi
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Re: Hello, and...open baffles?
Reply #9 - 08/06/22 at 07:07:32
 
Back in the day I studied Martial Art at The Wu Tang physical culture association in the LES with Frank the Snake before they broke out. It was at 7 1/2 2nd ave, Building all gone now, it was next door to The Mars Bar. Distantly related to the Wu-Tang crew that studied there in the 80's
http://vanishingnewyork.blogspot.com/2011/06/wu-tang-at-7-12.html

Vortex full film Scott B & Beth B * Lydia Lunch
https://youtu.be/yvtEuFExdGs

Stigmata Pt 1
https://youtu.be/CRQ4B9xnLv0

https://youtu.be/WiiS_2hezg8 Pt 2

https://youtu.be/OhSy1lfZYsU Pt 3

https://youtu.be/LgiI8_9LwxI  Pt 4



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OnOrder
*Rachel SE 34.6I *ZP3 * all anniversary mods & upgrades * stock ZLC*

"Once there was a note, pure and easy,playing so free like a breath rippling by,the note is eternal, I hear it, it sees me,forever we blend and forever we die".
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E.T.
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Re: Hello, and...open baffles?
Reply #10 - 08/07/22 at 02:09:12
 
Doug - I did not know any of that information, so thanks! I have been messing around the Pure Audio Project website for the last 20 minutes, after having read your response, and I'm amazed at the price considering I'd expect something that looks so - boutique? - to be more expensive. Not terrible. What's endgame for me, though, and what's endgame for others I'm sure is drastically different. 10K is my max for a pair of speakers, and I don't imagine ever being much higher than the value of 10K in 2022.

I basically have mapped a way for me to afford one nice amp and one nice pair of speakers to play my music via Roon and the Cary streamer/DAC, so I'm taking in all the information I possibly can to make sure I make the best choice.

What would you say about room size when it comes to purchasing Quintet vs. Trio? I'm thinking mostly of ceiling size. If they don't have a practical home theater application, they probably get kicked to the basement, and that likely means low ceilings. (I don't know anything for sure, as I will be buying my house in 2023, but space for the home theater and a music room are the basic requirements for any home I buy.)

BicycleJoe - Read that Wu-Tang article. Makes me like my signature even more.  :) When I get to those movies, I'll let you know.
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Wu-Tang Forever
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GroovySauce
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Re: Hello, and...open baffles?
Reply #11 - 08/09/22 at 01:54:13
 
ET, If you’re interested in the PAP speakers give Ze’ev a call. He is a great guy he will let it as it is.

There is something special about 8 15” drivers moving air. Even at very low volume, the pressure (bass) is outrageous.

Keeps some budget for cables. Cables should NOT be an after thought. I consider them as important as any other component.

If your music room doubles as a theater room the PAPs will be great! Having a music room with no TV between the speakers offers a much better musical experience. So separating them might be the way you want to go. Going with a projector with an acoustically transparent screen is another option.

I just went through the home buying experience. I was prepared to build an out building if need be. I ended up finding a home with good room to dedicate to my stereo. 19.5x27 with a vaulted ceiling. It’s a challenge to find a home with a suitable room for music. Good luck! Took me almost a year to find my new home.  

Doug, Playing Dire Straits for a class mate of mine got him into high end stereo. He was working in China and I in The Philippines. He and his wife were vacationing in Cebu and we met for dinner… Him and his wife ended up coming over on Saturday and we spun records and listened to music all day. Both he and his wife were smitten. He kept saying how it was like the band was on a stage in front of us.
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Rega P8 | Zephyr MIMC★ | Innuos ZENith MK3 | May KTE DAC | ZP3 25th ZMC1 | ZRock2 25th | EMIA Remote Autoformer | Torii MKIV 25th | Snake River Audio Cables | PAP Quintet 15 1.6 Voxativ Custom XO & SRA cables| Torus AVR15 | Acoustic Treatments
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Doug
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Re: Hello, and...open baffles?
Reply #12 - 08/09/22 at 04:16:13
 
Quintets or Trios based on room size………

I suppose that my room, at approximately 13’ x 18’ with an 8’ ceiling, would be looked at by most as too small to fully support Quintets.  One of the things my dedicated listening room has going for it is that is is just a couple of inches off from being the perfect size according to one of Steve’s white papers that outlines “perfect” size rooms.  I’m probably wrong, but I think that is one of the reasons the Quintets work so well in this space.

Quintets or Trios?  One time, for several months, I completely disconnected the two top 15” woofers on both speakers, essentially giving me Trios.  It’s not as though the sound stage collapsed or was severely shrunk, but the enormous sound stage, including height, that the Quintets deliver was gone.  Groovy is right; those eight efficient, light weight, paper coned, 15” woofers with high Qts by design, are very special indeed when working together as an octet.  

I would recommend Quintets over Trios if you have an average sized room or larger, especially if you can freely add acoustic treatment.  Interestingly, I have little to no acoustic treatments in my listening room.  A pair of Klipsch knock-off corner horns are being used as bass traps on the two front wall corners, and a bunch of tall odd shaped items are scattered around the other three walls.  I plan to begin building a number of quadratic diffusers in the near future, and even though my room, with no “real” acoustic treatment, sounds really good, I’m fairly certain that I’m going to be shocked at what happens when a few quadratic differs are added to the mix.

I have also talked with Ze’ev a few times.  He’s a heck of a nice guy, and like a lot of audio entrepreneurs, he seems to enjoy speaking directly with clients and perspective clients.  I do find it challenging to have a deep and meaningful discussion with Ze’ev due to his strong accent.  I miss maybe 25% to 30% of what he says and therefor I have stuck to written communications the past couple years.

Groovy, thanks for the Dire Straits story!  

By the way, I think I’m going to put my Horn1’s and my Decware FRX2’s on the auction block.  I like certain things better with the horns, but the Voxativ 1.6’s offer more positives than either of the other two.
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Jay’s CD2T-Mk3
Denafrips Pontus II
ZROCK2 (on order)
CSP3 25th & Custom Mods
Cary 300SEI Mk6 Western Electric 300B
………Driving Full Rangers
LFD NCSE Driving Eight 15” Woofers
PAP Quintets with Voxativ 1.6
Wireworld, XLO, Clearview, Duelund
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BicycleJoe Lo-Fi
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It's all in one
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Posts: 369
Re: Hello, and...open baffles?
Reply #13 - 08/09/22 at 18:28:10
 
E.T. Wrote Quote:
BicycleJoe - Read that Wu-Tang article. Makes me like my signature even more.


I don't know if it was subconscious but I just changed my favorite quote on Facebook to the same one that Gertrude Stein has been credited as saying "There is no answer. There ain't no answer. There never has been any answer."
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OnOrder
*Rachel SE 34.6I *ZP3 * all anniversary mods & upgrades * stock ZLC*

"Once there was a note, pure and easy,playing so free like a breath rippling by,the note is eternal, I hear it, it sees me,forever we blend and forever we die".
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