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Thread: M2 Master Reference Monitor Purchase

  1. #61
    Webmaster Don McRitchie's Avatar
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    The Unboxing

    The unopened boxes. As can be seen, the Altec Model 19's did not leave as planned so they got to meet their replacements. They'll be hanging around for another week or so.
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  2. #62
    Webmaster Don McRitchie's Avatar
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    Unboxing a Crown iTech 5000HD
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  3. #63
    Webmaster Don McRitchie's Avatar
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    Unboxing the M2's. They come appropriately dressed to attend a Klan rally.
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  4. #64
    Webmaster Don McRitchie's Avatar
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    Removing the last of the packing.
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  5. #65
    Obsolete
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    So cool!

    You have to be totally psyched!

  6. #66
    Webmaster Don McRitchie's Avatar
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    First Impressions

    To be honest, underwelming. It took a friend and me until late Friday evening to finish the unboxing. He left before I could get the system hooked up, debugged and running which went into early Saturday morning. Debugging took the longest time. There were only two issues, but they stymied me for quite a while. The first was that I could not get the Crowns to recognize the USB sticks with the device files for the M2's. After much anguish, I discovered the USB sticks that I had were formatted as FAT, where apparently, the Crowns only recognize FAT32 formatted sticks.

    That solved, I powered up the system and got no output. This would take a while to diagnose, since it could be the source, the preamp, the preamp configuration, or incorrect setup on the Crowns. Since the preamp/processor is also brand new (it's a pro 7.1 channel AV model), I had no experience with the myriad of setup options and struggled to get up to speed with its complexity.

    Ultimately, I discovered the problem on the internet. The Denon preamp has a voltage selector which is factory set to 220V even for the models destined for the US market. Since the preamp has a digital switching power supply, it will turn on, light up and respond to certain switches when connected to a 120V supply, but it is otherwise non functional. How do I know this? It's in the video on Denon's website where they brag that leaving the switch set to 220V for all models saves money - for which they pass on the savings to you!!!! There was nothing in the box that indicated the voltage setting needed to be changed for North America, even though the video stated there should have been a prominent notice. Thanks Denon!!!!

    OK, so now everything is hooked up and its time to listen, albeit at relatively low volumes due to not wanting to disturb my condo neighbors at 2:00 am. Both speakers fire up and there is a high level of detail that is immediately apparent. However, I'm not wowed or in any sense blown away. The system seems to have a forward midrange and recessed bass response. Bass extension seems to be there, as I can recognize deep bass notes from familiar recordings, but they seem to be at significantly lower levels relative to the overall response. At this point, the source is an Ipod with 320kbs MP3's, so I'm thinking maybe its a data loss issue, but that shouldn't affect the timberal balance.

    Imaging is even more disappointing. It's flat with no real front to back depth and it's not centered (this is a critical hint). This was not what I remembered from my two hour audition of the M2's. I tried many different types of music, and some seemed like it was approaching the sonic character I remembered, but most sounded completely different, and significantly worse. By now, it's 4:00 am and I'm beat. I go to bed, frustrated, and quite honestly, disappointed. I was wondering if I had made a colossal blunder with this purchase for my living environment since I was beginning to believe I had horrible room issues that potentially might not be addressable.

    I was up and ready to have another go with the M2's around noon today. My first thought was that maybe I have an out of phase issue with the LF drivers. I begin to reexamine all of the speaker/amp wiring to ensure that I have not mixed up the driver phasing. On the very last wire, on the power amp connection to the right speaker bass driver, I discover it's completely free, with no contact with the post. DOH!!! I feel like an idiot. I spent two hours listening to one full range speaker and one with an 800hz high pass filter. Never having worked with biamped speakers before, I didn't think to initially check whether all drivers were working since I could hear two speakers and just assumed it had to be something else.

    At this point I should launch into my second impressions - which I will later on. For now, I'm going back to just listen to the M2's and hope that this big fucking grin on my face, that developed shortly after noon today, doesn't leave me permanently looking like the Joker.

  7. #67
    Senior Member Valentin's Avatar
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  8. #68
    Senior Member Mctwins's Avatar
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    Hallo!

    Looks great to me. The importance of checking the connections. Don't be so critical in the begining, it has to be broken in, some people say's it takes years. Just keep the system ON for a week and check that the settings is OK in Audio Architect 1.40 for the Crowns. I asume that you have downloaded it.

    Are you using Speakon or binding post connection? Check also that the channel 1 and channel 2 from the Crowns is correct so that it goes to respectivly bass and tweeter.

    What model is your Denon preamplifier? Are you using Balanceed or Unbalanced connection to the Crowns?

  9. #69
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    Don, congrats and thanks for the detailed unpacking. Nobody likes a good unpacking more than I do, though a couple of nameless forum members have given me shit for it. (I'm sure now they'll say they were only kidding. )

    Unpacking is a key part of the experience, opening boxes, removing packing, seeing the reveal bit by bit of the wonder that is now in your possession. It's also part of the build up when you move into new territory: did I do the right thing? am I ready for this? what if it's not what I expected? what if I eff something up?

    You got to have all of that! You took the risk and now you're smiling! Well done and best wishes as you fine tune it all.
    Out.

  10. #70
    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Titanium Dome View Post
    Don, congrats and thanks for the detailed unpacking. Nobody likes a good unpacking more than I do, though a couple of nameless forum members have given me shit for it. (I'm sure now they'll say they were only kidding. )
    Not sure if I'm nameless, but I know I've given you a hard time for this sort of thing... and will probably again at some point.

    FWIW: When I saw Don's series, I immediately thought of you!

    Personally I'm glad to see Don excited about JBLs and audio again and look forward to more of his impressions as he lives with these speakers.


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  11. #71
    Member ds23man's Avatar
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    Update???

  12. #72
    Senior Member Valentin's Avatar
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    I think Don is too happy just hearing music

  13. #73
    Senior Member Ed Zeppeli's Avatar
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    So how are you enjoying them?

  14. #74
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    Congrats with the speakers!

    Any reason you went with two I-Tech's and not the 4x3500HD with 4 channels?

  15. #75
    Webmaster Don McRitchie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Zeppeli View Post
    So how are you enjoying them?
    Short answer is that they are everything I hoped for. An unexpected turn at work has kept me away from the forum for the past couple of weeks, but I will make a detailed post of my experience to date with this system later this weekend.

    Regards
    Don

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