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Thread: Soundcraftsmen purchase help

  1. #31
    Senior Member JBLAddict's Avatar
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    second S800

    I saw that PP4 and was watching as the bidding rocketed, $341, wow.

    So..... another S800 came up a few weeks ago, with a min bid of $85, which I was the only bidder and won at that price. It arrived today in very very nice shape, better than the first in this thread for which I paid $200, has dim lights, and a strong smell of ash-tray coming out of the fans which took months to get rid of! Only thing is this S800 has an S860 manual and CoC, so hoping that I'm not the victim of a front plate swap? (Funny side note, both CoCs are signed by Steve Palandri, but in very different handwriting)

    It's clear that collectors/nostalgics have no place for a Soundcraftsmen with "MTX" on the front, but I only care about the performance, so if it's pure Soundcraftsmen inside, I'm good with it.

    Bought the Y cables and banana plugs this weekend, and just finished hooking up the "two wire bi-amp" (can't believe in one year I went from having a pair of L100A and a mid-range Kenwood integrated, to bi-amped L7s fed from 4x230W!)

    Impressions of my first ever bi-amp? Well, it sounds remarkably good, crisp, clear, articulate, while at the same time that special L7 depth, but not to the point where I can tell or recall with certainty, after the hookups, where/how it sounded better than the single amp.

    Assuming the LF would steal most of the juice in the single amp config, I'm listening in particular for the improvement in the MF/HF having their own dedicated current source. The MF/HF sound just great, but it sounded great to my ears on a single amp as well. The vocals are so smooth, the highs are brilliant, and the soundstage is downright phenomenal, which might be the clue to the improvement, the vocals now seem to be floating around the room in a way in which they didn't off the single amp...will need some time with the kids out of the house to drive them hard and make a more thorough assessment...wish there was an easy way to quickly a/b such a thing
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  2. #32
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    Uh, the easiest way I found was to have several pairs, but then I shipped a pair to my son in MI, then sold a pair , so now I've only got one pair left, plus a spare.

    I'm not surprised you like them bi-amped, even passively. They'll drink the power, and like a bar at closing time, the more juice you get the better everything seems.
    Out.

  3. #33
    Senior Member BMWCCA's Avatar
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    Maybe your next step will be active bi-amping using an external network and moving the blue jumper on the L7 network to isolate the LF from the rest. I intend to experiment with all those options at some point while I still have two-pair of L7s but space is always the not-so-endless frontier.
    ". . . as you have no doubt noticed, no one told the 4345 that it can't work correctly so it does anyway."—Greg Timbers

  4. #34
    Senior Member JBLAddict's Avatar
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    First, I need to figure a way to have it so that when I power up the AVR, the amps power up as well..... having to separately power up (and then down) two amps, the AVR is a hassle--any suggestions?

    I re-read the L7 supplement yesterday [while listening to some good folky Jack Johnson with that excellent cymbal, snare, bass drum, vocal, guitar combo (mmm so good!)]. Entering that next frontier of active bi-amp is quite a leap and one I'm not sure the necessity of. Having had my eyes opened in Japan with those fine fine Hi-end JBLs paired directly to the Dartzeel, Mc, Luxman, Marantz amps, I'm of the mind that the full speaker design, including it's xover network provides the output the designer wanted assuming the amp/pre are up to snuff--I would never consider bypassing the K2's network and the L7's network is no slouch, so the appeal/curiousity isn't there for me (at this point).

    The things I'm thinking next are 1)pairing up some other sets of speakers to my new electronics, and more objectively assessing the L7's worth (considering I still only own L5/L7/L100A). In fact, having been so smitten in particular with the (new) 4338 on my trip, I'm starting to think of a vintage horn system to do my own L7/L300 type comparison, though the cost and size are huge deterents there. 2) I really really want to get a tube amp for the MF/HF and understand what I'm missing there. The L7 supplement explicitly states "many serious listeners prefer the midrange and treble sound quality produced by tube amplifiers" and CHagen in a PM strongly recommended tubes for the HF/MF, so that's two pretty serious endorsements for this path, though the output level mismatch without EQ is a challenge.
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  5. #35
    Senior Member BMWCCA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBLAddict View Post
    Entering that next frontier of active bi-amp is quite a leap and one I'm not sure the necessity of. ...I'm of the mind that the full speaker design, including it's xover network provides the output the designer wanted assuming the amp/pre are up to snuff--I would never consider bypassing the K2's network and the L7's network is no slouch, so the appeal/curiousity isn't there for me (at this point).
    Maybe, but then I'm not sure the "passive bi-amp" that JBL describes and that you've undertaken is any more beneficial than just running a larger amp. :dont-know

    As to the designer's intent; I doubt the internal blue jumper referred to in your manual as a "modification" done by a dealer would even be there if there wasn't some perceived benefit to be had by running true bi-amps with an external network. Someday maybe I'll try it and see.
    ". . . as you have no doubt noticed, no one told the 4345 that it can't work correctly so it does anyway."—Greg Timbers

  6. #36
    Senior Member JBLAddict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BMWCCA View Post
    Maybe, but then I'm not sure the "passive bi-amp" that JBL describes and that you've undertaken is any more beneficial than just running a larger amp. :dont-know

    As to the designer's intent; I doubt the internal blue jumper referred to in your manual as a "modification" done by a dealer would even be there if there wasn't some perceived benefit to be had by running true bi-amps with an external network. Someday maybe I'll try it and see.
    good points, both areas are a bit over my head, so I'm more guessing theorizing that anything else.

    On the two amp bi-wire vs. a larger amp, either the dedicated current source prevents the LF from stealing all the juice/headroom, or a bigger benefit (which I more suspect) is the ability to select specific amps per frequency range, ala the tubes for MF/HF. In Japan, the S4600 and Everest2 both had tubes on the MF/HF (Mac275 on the S4600), both sounded beautiful. The 4338 however had two identical solid state Marantz, and for the money was THE most impressive system I heard that day, including the K2. (My pix in the all day listening thread show the components pretty well.)

    On the blue jumper, I'm up for an education but it seems to me this is for the extreme hobbyist/specialist to experiment with personal preferences that essentially make it a new speaker by substituting a super-critical, character defining component in the xover. As an analogy, I can put a new woofer on the K2 that I personally might like better, but that no longer makes it a K2. Just because JBL provides the option I don't think detracts from the designer's intended whole that includes the xover.
    Performance Series 5.1/1990s L1.L5.L7/L100A
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  7. #37
    Senior Member BMWCCA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBLAddict View Post
    On the blue jumper, I'm up for an education but it seems to me this is for the extreme hobbyist/specialist to experiment with personal preferences that essentially make it a new speaker by substituting a super-critical, character defining component in the xover. As an analogy, I can put a new woofer on the K2 that I personally might like better, but that no longer makes it a K2. Just because JBL provides the option I don't think detracts from the designer's intended whole that includes the xover.
    I'm not arguing the validity of it because I don't understand the simplest of electronic engineering. So I'll just let the designer's own words make the case:

    Quote Originally Posted by CHagen7 View Post
    I might have the schematic somewhere for the L-7 crossover. I also have an update crossover schematic....somewhere....that was SUPPOSED to become the L-7DX. This was going to be a high-end, very smooth L-7 that sold with a DX-1 so it would be specifically used in the bi-amped mode.
    note: the DX-1 is an active external crossover

    Quote Originally Posted by CHagen7 View Post
    The jumper is a wire with it's tail connected to a point between the woofer inductor and the woofer hot lead. In normal mode (or whatever I/we called it), it connects to the non-grounded end of the orange capacitors, making a second order woofer section. The other fast-on tab is electrically in front of the woofer inductor. So when you move the small-tabbed end to that tab for bi-amp/external crossover use, not only do you disconnect the capacitor, but you short the inductor thus eliminating the passive crossover. (That one took a few days - it's been 15 years!!!!.....and if I'm wrong, let me know and I'll take one of my spares apart, but that's what I recall).
    ". . . as you have no doubt noticed, no one told the 4345 that it can't work correctly so it does anyway."—Greg Timbers

  8. #38
    Senior Member BMWCCA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBLAddict View Post
    I saw that PP4 and was watching as the bidding rocketed, $341, wow.

    So..... another S800 came up a few weeks ago, with a min bid of $85, which I was the only bidder and won at that price.
    People must like the LEDs; a nice Pro-Power Three just went for $122 (same amp and chassis w/o LEDs): http://ebayitem.com/220504813781
    ". . . as you have no doubt noticed, no one told the 4345 that it can't work correctly so it does anyway."—Greg Timbers

  9. #39
    Senior Member JBLAddict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BMWCCA View Post
    I'm not arguing the validity of it because I don't understand the simplest of electronic engineering. So I'll just let the designer's own words make the case:



    note: the DX-1 is an active external crossover
    well, you're right, his words. He also mentioned in a PM he put the smooth dome tweeters in his, so apparently, in addition to the active external crossover, a tweeter upgrade, and his mention of planning to tube his MF/HF, seems like a LOT of effort to "smooth things out"
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  10. #40
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    just scanning through the L series thread, and noted Chris mentioned both in PMs and in the thread about this smooth dome tweeter, does anyone have a guess what tweeter he's referring to that would have fit in the Lseries??

    maybe this SC turned Lseries discussion belongs back in the Lseries thread?
    Performance Series 5.1/1990s L1.L5.L7/L100A
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  11. #41
    Senior Member BMWCCA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBLAddict View Post
    just scanning through the L series thread, and noted Chris mentioned both in PMs and in the thread about this smooth dome tweeter, does anyone have a guess what tweeter he's referring to that would have fit in the Lseries??
    034? :dont-know
    Or if he was practicing his carpentry skills, maybe the 044? He doesn't specify whether it was phenolic or titanium, that I'm aware.
    ". . . as you have no doubt noticed, no one told the 4345 that it can't work correctly so it does anyway."—Greg Timbers

  12. #42
    Senior Member JBLAddict's Avatar
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    after a couple days listening, I'll add my two amp bi-wire assessment back in the L-series thread.
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  13. #43
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    Did the original poster ever find a Soundcraftsmen amp?

    Please go here: http://www.audioheritage.org/vbullet...498#post270498
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  14. #44
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    Soundcraftsmen S800 and S860 amps

    Quote Originally Posted by JBLAddict View Post
    thanks, I now see both the S860 and S800 as 205WPC '93 units on the audiogon bluebook site, though why two nearly identical models in the same year??
    Hi, I'm new to site, so please forgive me if this info has already been offered.

    FYI: I believe (though not certain) that the only difference between the S800 and the S860 is the choice of input hardware. S800 has phono jacks. S860 has 1/4" phone jacks.

    Also, can someone please help me with a schematic? I have an S860 that I would like to repair but have been unable to find a schematic for years.

    Thanks,

    Tommy

  15. #45
    Senior Member JBLAddict's Avatar
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    I actually did purchase not one, but two S800s (the 1993 MTX/Soundcraftsmen variety, over the PM840/860 from 1985/1986). The first was $200 and the second was $85

    have my L7s biamped with the preouts in a HK-AVR L7, L5, EC35 5.0 HT and am pretty darn happy with it. Appreciate the all the advice in this thread....

    Quote Originally Posted by L100t Owner View Post
    Did the original poster ever find a Soundcraftsmen amp?

    Please go here: http://www.audioheritage.org/vbullet...498#post270498
    Performance Series 5.1/1990s L1.L5.L7/L100A
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