or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Vinyl? - Page 4

post #46 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Checks
There are two camps (as there are in all things): Stereophile and The Absolute Sound. Most readers of each despise the other.

Stereophile will have more in the way of bench testing and graphs, if you're inclined that way.

I find TAS stuffy and self-important, but still read it from time to time. More of a $tereophile guy. Other than Hi Fi News (British) I wouldn't bother with any of the other mags.

P.S. is it Jon Glover or Jong Lover?

Personally, I'd stay away from Magazines altogether. The magazine business is really hurting these days, and those dollars from advertisers are becoming more and more precious. That worries me when it comes down to stuff like this.

Try online forums. AudioAsylum is probably a good place to start.
post #47 of 54
I have movies on vinyl... videodisc. and The Police - Synchronicity (I think). Also have five or ten albums at J's house but I'm not sure exactly what they are, or if I care.
post #48 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by briancl
Personally, I'd stay away from Magazines altogether. The magazine business is really hurting these days, and those dollars from advertisers are becoming more and more precious. That worries me when it comes down to stuff like this.

Try online forums. AudioAsylum is probably a good place to start.

If you think Current Events is combative, try AA. I posted there for a few months and was driven away by the bickering.

But, yes, lots and lots of good information and lots of industry insiders post there, so I agree.
post #49 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Checks
Non-sequiter: Did I say it was high-end? No, I did not. I said it was "excellent," which it is. It is far, far, better than "good."
I stand by my "mid-fi" comment. As you well, know, in the audio world "mid-fi" and "High End" are often used as qualitative judgments that have nothing to do with cost.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Checks
FWIW, only stereos in the over-$100,000 range will "move air" like you describe and have an semblance of musicality. You pay dearly for the last octave. Mine go down to 32 just fine.
First, let's get back to reality. A Scanspeak 18W8545 (the woofer in your Shearwaters, as well as the Wilson Audio Puppy and lots of other speakers) cannot go down to 32Hz with any degree of authority or accuracy, unless it has seven more helping it out. (And certainly not when you're powering speakers of about 82dB efficiency with 25W triodes!) The sonic character of speakers employing such pint-sized drivers is defined entirely by high levels of distortion on dynamic peaks starting at least two octaves up from that (128Hz). That's why all the pipsqueaks sound so different in the midbass, they all have high distortion but of different orders in different (high) quantities. Funny enough, once you get to speakers with high quality large midbass/woofers, solidly-constructed cabinets, and voicing to avoid the nauseating midbass frequency response most big cheap speakers have, the main differences you hear in the midbass are placement-based rather than intrinsic to the speaker. If you want speakers that easily fit into sub-$100k systems that move air with exquisite musicality and grace -note that all still require subwoofers for the really low stuff, both because of their no-nonsense high-efficiency designs and simply because speaker placement for lowest midrange coloration is generally disastrous for deep bass - here are some five examples I know well, off the top of my head. Prices exclude the costs of good stands, which are needed for all of them. 1) Genelec 1037, about $10k/pair. (These are the front three speakers in my home theater, purchased because they simply sound more true-to-life than most "High End" audiophile speakers, including flagship models from Avalon, B&W, Maggie, Joseph Audio, Martin-Logan, Wilson Audio, and even in some ways the big-bore Sound Lab electrostats. Yes, they're pricey, though not compared to Wilson, Avalon et al. But keep in mind that they have amps built in as well, and filtering in the active domain rather than efficiency-burning and time-smearing passive components.) 2) Tannoy System 15, about $8.5k/pair. Nicest speaker with a passive crossover that I've ever heard, "High End" or "studio". Not pretty, with that industrial grey plastic finish, but sonically these speakers shame Tannoy's beautiful-but colored home speakers such as the similarly-priced TD-12 and the much more expensive Churchill. I've been on the lookout of a used set of their discontinued big brother (System 215, which is twice the width and has a 15" helper woofer along with the 15" coax) for a long time. I want to soffit mount them in my study. 3) Danley Sound Labs SH-50 I think about $7k/pair. I demoed these speakers (or maybe an earlier version) at a demo set up in their factory, which is in Metro Atlanta. Pig ugly but such amazing, relentless accuracy. (Their subs are also astounding, and that from a guy with four Paradigm Servo-15's placed according to the guidelines in the well-known Harman whitepaper for maximally even distribution of bass.) The engineering is worth the asking price and then some. I would've gone with them except that I would've needed have extra components in my equipment rack to use them (multiple channels of amplification, whereas right now there's just the Mac mini, cable box/DVR, and TacT Theater Correction System) and they were too deep to hide effectively, as I've done with the Genelecs. 4) Tannoy Ellipse 10, about $3.5k/pair. (I like these a lot, and think they're wonderful for the price point, but they did not wow me as I hoped I would. I auditioned them as potential speakers for my study, and I love the looks of them. They don't quite have enough cone area to do massed choral voices very well. I think there's a 12" version but I haven't heard it so won't comment on it. Also, there's a version with Tannoy's room correction software that's commands a premium, but (if their system is good; I haven't played with it) is probably well worth it for someone who doesn't have a top-notch standalone room correction processor such as the DEQX or TacT units. 5) JBL LSR6332, about $2.5k/pair (Reasonably priced, somewhat crudely finished, but amazing sound for a passive-crossover monitor. Astoundingly similar in sound and capabilities to JBL's top-notch Asian-market statement speakers such as the K2 despite using direct radiators for mid and treble instead of the big boys' horns, but at a tenth the price. Though "Boston" and "West Coast" sound fans alike will hate the thought, it is very tempting to think of this speaker as superbly engineered, much less colored, modernized AR-3a in a utility cabinet) I didn't list any speakers from other outstanding speaker makers, such as the English firm ATC, because I couldn't quickly find prices for their speakers. Of course there's excellent vintage pro/semi-pro gear, such as Urei's awesome Altec 604 based speakers and the various Tannoys along with many others. (reply to another post)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Checks
There are two camps (as there are in all things): Stereophile and The Absolute Sound. Most readers of each despise the other.
I'd describe it has two-and-a-half camps. Using the names of the magazines that more-or-less advocate their positions, here they are. 1) The Audio Critic (TAC). Relentlessly focused on measurements, and demands proof in the form of double-blind same/different listening trials (aka "ABX") that. Their "gurus" are mostly credentialled scientists, people like Siegfried Linkwitz (of the Linkwitz-Riley crossover Earl Geddes, Floyd Toole, and maybe to a lesser extent Bob Stuart of Meridian and Ken Kantor of NHT. Hard core members of this camp probably despise J. Gordon Holt and Harry Pearson (founders of the following 1.5 factions) more than they despise the Janjaweed or OBL! 2) Stereophile. The most "big tent" of the groups. Objectivists like the fact that they take very good measurements - though I wish they'd do standard polar graphs for speakers instead of that linear graph they use - and that their editor occasionally submit their findings to peer-reviewed journals such as the JAES. Subjectivists like to read the purple prose, and some who are on the edge of the tent are probably sad that Jonathan Scull no longer takes literary dumps on its pages. Almost everyone likes the neat pictures of cool gear, and sensible people enjoy the cat pictures in Wes Phillips' blog, as well. They tend to refer to their "gurus," who are mostly trained writers, by their initials: JGH, JA, WP, and so on. 2.5) TAS, or the cult of Harry Pearson. Basically, The Abso!ute Sound clique are an extremist, vaguely occult sect of the Stereophile crowd. They believe science is useless, and that the only thing that is important is the gestalt that some intrepid marketer rams down one's throat. Often the most interestingly written, but also the most devoid of content. They're the ones who preach about raising speaker cables off the ground, painting CDs with green pens, putting wooden disks on top of amplifiers, and so on. Where am I? Somewhere between TAC and Stereophile. I glance at S'phile when I'm in a bookstore sometimes, read some of their speaker reviews online, and check WP's blog for the best cat pics since Kevin Drum blogged on his own instead of for the Washington Monthly. Once upon a time I subscribed to TAC, but was turned off by the siege mentality present in each article. (Oh, and the fact that they stop publishing for years at a time had something to do with it, too.) I've never found much difference in cheap vs. expensive CD players, amps, or preamps, and absolutely no difference in wires. I also don't shy away from using room correction, though the system I use (TacT) is definitely "audiophile" in build and design. And, unfortunately, price.
post #50 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Checks
Non-sequiter: Did I say it was high-end? No, I did not.

I said it was "excellent," which it is.

It is far, far, better than "good."

FWIW, only stereos in the over-$100,000 range will "move air" like you describe and have an semblance of musicality. You pay dearly for the last octave. Mine go down to 32 just fine.
Yeah, but this one goes to 11!
post #51 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by SGladwell
But keep in mind that they have amps built in as well, and filtering in the active domain rather than efficiency-burning and time-smearing passive components.)
Active analog crossovers smear time just as well as passive crossovers. It's possible to build phase-preserving speakers with passive analog parts as Thiel, Vandersteen, and Dunlavy have done. You can also use an FIR-based digital filter to correct existing speakers to be phase-preserving. I'd add the Linkwitz Orions to the list of speakers that are musical, accurate, and have good output, running around $7K if you buy it completely built. It has all the advantages of dipole speakers (lower room interaction) combined with the advantages of using cone drivers (high output, predictable polar response, low distortion, bass response, reliability). And it's pretty much flat to 20 Hz, and can deliver that to your seating position fairly accurately due to its dipole nature. It's by far the best speaker I've ever heard. --Andre
post #52 of 54
With ipods and mp3s replacing CDs we'll soon have nostalgic refrains for how great CDs are. Having been trained by the army to maintain and repair analog tube equipment, my lust for all things digital has never waned.
post #53 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by kitonbrioni
With ipods and mp3s replacing CDs we'll soon have nostalgic refrains for how great CDs are. Having been trained by the army to maintain and repair analog tube equipment, my lust for all things digital has never waned.
Those iPods and home systems run off iTunes-based music servers are perfectly happy if you feed them AIFF (uncompressed digital audio) or Apple Lossless (lossless compressed digital audio, which John Atkinson measured in Stereophile to be bit-perfect, which is to say absolutely no difference from uncompressed) files, so I don't see why there should be any nostalgia for CD. SACD and DVD-A are a different story. Some are great, though on the two-channel stuff part of me wonders if there just wasn't more care in mastering it, just like the Mobile Fidelity gold CDs sound so much better than the commercial pressings - even of stuff like Nirvana's "Nevermind" - because MoFi took much more care in processing the master tapes for accurate reproduction than the majors do.
post #54 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by SGladwell
I stand by my "mid-fi" comment. As you well, know, in the audio world "mid-fi" and "High End" are often used as qualitative judgments that have nothing to do with cost.



First, let's get back to reality. A Scanspeak 18W8545 (the woofer in your Shearwaters, as well as the Wilson Audio Puppy and lots of other speakers) cannot go down to 32Hz with any degree of authority or accuracy, unless it has seven more helping it out. (And certainly not when you're powering speakers of about 82dB efficiency with 25W triodes!) The sonic character of speakers employing such pint-sized drivers is defined entirely by high levels of distortion on dynamic peaks starting at least two octaves up from that (128Hz). That's why all the pipsqueaks sound so different in the midbass, they all have high distortion but of different orders in different (high) quantities. Funny enough, once you get to speakers with high quality large midbass/woofers, solidly-constructed cabinets, and voicing to avoid the nauseating midbass frequency response most big cheap speakers have, the main differences you hear in the midbass are placement-based rather than intrinsic to the speaker.

If you want speakers that easily fit into sub-$100k systems that move air with exquisite musicality and grace -note that all still require subwoofers for the really low stuff, both because of their no-nonsense high-efficiency designs and simply because speaker placement for lowest midrange coloration is generally disastrous for deep bass - here are some five examples I know well, off the top of my head. Prices exclude the costs of good stands, which are needed for all of them.

1) Genelec 1037, about $10k/pair.
(These are the front three speakers in my home theater, purchased because they simply sound more true-to-life than most "High End" audiophile speakers, including flagship models from Avalon, B&W, Maggie, Joseph Audio, Martin-Logan, Wilson Audio, and even in some ways the big-bore Sound Lab electrostats. Yes, they're pricey, though not compared to Wilson, Avalon et al. But keep in mind that they have amps built in as well, and filtering in the active domain rather than efficiency-burning and time-smearing passive components.)

2) Tannoy System 15, about $8.5k/pair. Nicest speaker with a passive crossover that I've ever heard, "High End" or "studio". Not pretty, with that industrial grey plastic finish, but sonically these speakers shame Tannoy's beautiful-but colored home speakers such as the similarly-priced TD-12 and the much more expensive Churchill. I've been on the lookout of a used set of their discontinued big brother (System 215, which is twice the width and has a 15" helper woofer along with the 15" coax) for a long time. I want to soffit mount them in my study.

3) Danley Sound Labs SH-50 I think about $7k/pair. I demoed these speakers (or maybe an earlier version) at a demo set up in their factory, which is in Metro Atlanta. Pig ugly but such amazing, relentless accuracy. (Their subs are also astounding, and that from a guy with four Paradigm Servo-15's placed according to the guidelines in the well-known Harman whitepaper for maximally even distribution of bass.) The engineering is worth the asking price and then some. I would've gone with them except that I would've needed have extra components in my equipment rack to use them (multiple channels of amplification, whereas right now there's just the Mac mini, cable box/DVR, and TacT Theater Correction System) and they were too deep to hide effectively, as I've done with the Genelecs.

4) Tannoy Ellipse 10, about $3.5k/pair.
(I like these a lot, and think they're wonderful for the price point, but they did not wow me as I hoped I would. I auditioned them as potential speakers for my study, and I love the looks of them. They don't quite have enough cone area to do massed choral voices very well. I think there's a 12" version but I haven't heard it so won't comment on it. Also, there's a version with Tannoy's room correction software that's commands a premium, but (if their system is good; I haven't played with it) is probably well worth it for someone who doesn't have a top-notch standalone room correction processor such as the DEQX or TacT units.

5) JBL LSR6332, about $2.5k/pair
(Reasonably priced, somewhat crudely finished, but amazing sound for a passive-crossover monitor. Astoundingly similar in sound and capabilities to JBL's top-notch Asian-market statement speakers such as the K2 despite using direct radiators for mid and treble instead of the big boys' horns, but at a tenth the price. Though "Boston" and "West Coast" sound fans alike will hate the thought, it is very tempting to think of this speaker as superbly engineered, much less colored, modernized AR-3a in a utility cabinet)

I didn't list any speakers from other outstanding speaker makers, such as the English firm ATC, because I couldn't quickly find prices for their speakers. Of course there's excellent vintage pro/semi-pro gear, such as Urei's awesome Altec 604 based speakers and the various Tannoys along with many others.

(reply to another post)



I'd describe it has two-and-a-half camps. Using the names of the magazines that more-or-less advocate their positions, here they are.

1) The Audio Critic (TAC). Relentlessly focused on measurements, and demands proof in the form of double-blind same/different listening trials (aka "ABX") that. Their "gurus" are mostly credentialled scientists, people like Siegfried Linkwitz (of the Linkwitz-Riley crossover Earl Geddes, Floyd Toole, and maybe to a lesser extent Bob Stuart of Meridian and Ken Kantor of NHT. Hard core members of this camp probably despise J. Gordon Holt and Harry Pearson (founders of the following 1.5 factions) more than they despise the Janjaweed or OBL!

2) Stereophile. The most "big tent" of the groups. Objectivists like the fact that they take very good measurements - though I wish they'd do standard polar graphs for speakers instead of that linear graph they use - and that their editor occasionally submit their findings to peer-reviewed journals such as the JAES. Subjectivists like to read the purple prose, and some who are on the edge of the tent are probably sad that Jonathan Scull no longer takes literary dumps on its pages. Almost everyone likes the neat pictures of cool gear, and sensible people enjoy the cat pictures in Wes Phillips' blog, as well. They tend to refer to their "gurus," who are mostly trained writers, by their initials: JGH, JA, WP, and so on.

2.5) TAS, or the cult of Harry Pearson. Basically, The Abso!ute Sound clique are an extremist, vaguely occult sect of the Stereophile crowd. They believe science is useless, and that the only thing that is important is the gestalt that some intrepid marketer rams down one's throat. Often the most interestingly written, but also the most devoid of content. They're the ones who preach about raising speaker cables off the ground, painting CDs with green pens, putting wooden disks on top of amplifiers, and so on.

Where am I? Somewhere between TAC and Stereophile. I glance at S'phile when I'm in a bookstore sometimes, read some of their speaker reviews online, and check WP's blog for the best cat pics since Kevin Drum blogged on his own instead of for the Washington Monthly. Once upon a time I subscribed to TAC, but was turned off by the siege mentality present in each article. (Oh, and the fact that they stop publishing for years at a time had something to do with it, too.) I've never found much difference in cheap vs. expensive CD players, amps, or preamps, and absolutely no difference in wires. I also don't shy away from using room correction, though the system I use (TacT) is definitely "audiophile" in build and design. And, unfortunately, price.

Wow, I don't know where to begin, by addressing your insults, or your inaccuracies... do you talk to people in person like this?

First, a reality check from my own ears:
The transmission-line design of the Shearwaters, combined with boundary effects in my dedicated listening room, goes down to reproduce a 32-hz pitch (e.g., the organ in the SS 3rd, the opening of Also Sprach) to my satisfaction. Yes, I understand doubling, and "no," I'm not looking for a home-theater-type experience.
Don't trust me, here's an article showing that it's tuned to -3 db at 35hz: http://www.audio-ideas.com/reviews/l...meadolark.html


Second:
The amps are not SET, and have authoritative bass in the great tradition of tubes. I use KT-90s, and usually use the 50-watt setting if playing the loud stuff. These are not the dainty 300-based amps.
I do most of my listening at around 90db peaks, which uses 2-4 watts of power (more if it's bass-heavy, but bass transients are accomodated by the beefy construction of the amp: for the uninitiated, my 25/50 watt amps will deliver a 50hz tone that will melt a Yamaha/JVC/etc 200-watt receiver. A "watt" doesn't always equal a "watt.")

Third:
The notion that the fantastic (dare I say "legendary"?) Scanspeak 7-inch is "defined entirely by high levels of distortion" at around 128hz is ridiculous. That's a baritone's C (about the pitch a man would use in normal voice). This system can peel the paint off the walls at that frequency, without notable distortion. FWIW: a 7-inch mid-bass is not a "pipsqueak." Many of the great British speakers use 5-inch or 4.5-inch speakers. Anything bigger than 7 inches in a two-way invites upper-midrange coloration, as an 8-inch breaks up too much in the higher frequencies.

All I can say is if you think my system, including speakers, is "mid-fi," but would recommend a JBL, well, I just don't know what to say to that. [Those who do not understand the sub-culture of hi-fi should be informed that SGladwell has insulted me in calling my system "mid-fi." Think of it as someone coming to visit your sparkling home and telling you, "what an average house you have, you should have bought a pre-fab."]

If you can't hear the difference between, say, my Synergistric Research speaker cables and my Kimber backup cables, I can only say that you and I have very different listening standards/styles/preferences.

As in all things audio, I say, "trust your ears, the greatest measurement device ever invented."

By the way, pissing contests like this are the reason I left Audio Asylum, do you really need to bring that kind of shit here? There is an undercurrent of nastiness to your posts - here and on Current Events too.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home