Being away from family 3+ months has been difficult, to say the least. Perhaps the best thing I am taking home with me is my new-found friendship with Tim and his family. I think I spent 4 evenings with Tim and his family since I’ve been here, and they are certainly what I will miss the most when I go home.
On my first visit, we listened to Tim’s system (details in this thread https://thecarversite.com/topic/20284-tim-and-mark-meet-up-part-ii-the-sequel/?tab=comments#comment-220577 ). Some of you may recall that Tim was in my neck of the woods a few months ago, and at the conclusion of our “speaker shoot-out”, the pretty clear winner was the NHT 2.5i. Tim was impressed enough with this little speaker, that he bought a pair when he returned home – his pair came with a pair of the bookie version, the 1.5i. Anyway, after hooking his pair up, Tim was underwhelmed, to say the least. During our listening session, they sounded quite good, but not quite… well, just not quite. Where it gets weird, is that the only way they souded good was with the Yamaha receiver’s room correction software engaged. Without, they were just plain awful. This led me to believe (rather strongly, I might add) that the Yamaha receiver was messing up the works. I suggested Tim (or Tim and I on a future visit) simplify the signal chain, and go disc player to C1 to (now) Silver 9t amps, to speakers. Yes, the Yamaha was definitely the problem. It is also wort noting that in the configuration with the Yamaha, the meters on the 500t mkII, TFM 45, and even Silver 9ts were banging into the 80%+ range, and decent, but not concert level volume. More on this in a minute.
Fast forward to last Sunday. I arrived for a wonderful steak dinner (Thank you again, Tim!), but before dinner, Tim says he’s done the C1 swap with the Yamaha, and wants me to listen. I asked if he’d listened, and he said yes, but he didn’t want to color my opinion. So he puts in the Rumors DVD Audio and hits play. 1.5 seconds in, I turn to him and say “Nope”. Sounds terrible. Hmmm. So now we start the isolation process. Speaker wire (bi-wire) check out fine. L-R checks out. I put my ear to a tweeter – check. But wait – the 6.5” midbass is not putting out much volume. Correction – it’s not putting out ANY volume. Neither is the other channel. Blown 6.5” drivers, but not seized, and no tell-tale scratch with cone movement. Just dead. So now the pieces start coming together – The Yamaha was actually compensating for the missing output from the 6.5” drivers, and to my utter amazement, making the speakers sound pretty ok. Amazing.
So we pull the drivers, do the 9v battery test, and nothing. I check, and they are Peerless drivers, no longer in production, and none available. Shit. About now, its getting time to start dinner, and on the way downstairs, Tim shows me his daughters system – C1, TFM15 and….. The NHT 1.5i, that just happen to have…… You guessed it, the very 6.5” drivers we need. SCORE! Sorry little one, daddy needs to harvest your drivers. We do the surgery, and viola – the speakers sound magical, and I mean MAGICAL! And the meters on the amps now barely move…
A couple takeaways here – I am still stunned at the power of the Yamaha room correction to overcome the issue with the drivers. Also, any ideas on why the amps were working so hard with the mids blown? Or was it most likely just a trick on the meter circuitry, and the amps really weren’t working that hard?