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What stereo(s) do you listen to? What do you want? - Page 155

post #2311 of 2376
During the atomic wars, I will probably still be listening to my audio system, as my valve equipment is much less vulnerable to nuclear EMP than your solid state equipment. I will also be jetting around in my similarly valve equipped Mig 25. HA
post #2312 of 2376
I am not using the Studio 20's as rear speakers. I basically have a very wide room with plenty of space between the tv and couch. I have all 5 speakers set up facing toward me. I'm currently debating between going with a Marantz and H/K. I personally cannot justify selling the Studio 20's, 40's and center channel to buy a single higher quality pair of speakers. Having the broad range of speakers in front of me makes it feel like the sound is filling the room (I cannot tell where it is coming from). When I started this system with just the Studio 20's, the system did not sound immersive as it does now. Maybe this doesn't suit you, but it suits me (to each his own).

Let's stop the bickering and get back on track. Any recommendations for a more powerful receiver or integrated amp that can be had new, used or refurbished for ~$500 that would work well for this configuration?
post #2313 of 2376
Quote:
Originally Posted by freshcutgrass View Post

"Easily replicate" ????????????????????

That's like saying McDonalds can easily replicate a Michelin star restaurant meal. I suppose it is theoretically possible...call me when it happens. LOL!!!

 

Plug-in's

http://www.voxengo.com/product/tubeamp/

http://getthatprosound.com/16-of-the-best-saturation-plugins-in-the-world/

 

Hardware

http://www.grantfidelity.com/site/node/75

http://www.upscaleaudio.com/products/Musical-Fidelity-X%252d10-V3.html

 
During brief periods of dynamic passages. Nobody is talking about cranking the volume to eleven.

See: headroom.

 

Distortion is an unavoidable byproduct of the process regardless of whether you are using solid state or tubes. Listening to live music, the instruments also give off distortion. Distortion is natural. 

THD by definition, is the introduction of unnatural distortion.

 

To say there is no difference, and no difference could be heard is absurd. You could say that an ocean surf and nails on a chalkboard sound exactly the same...or that one is not any more pleasing to listen to than the other. I think this would be a very strange opinion.
You don't need golden ears to hear the difference.

There is absolutely an audible difference between tubes and SS, due to the distortion, only. The other claimed differences are inaudible.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by idfnl View Post

I would say environment far and away, source recording, then speakers, source, amplification, cabling.

The evidence against audible differences between cabling is even more conclusive than amplifiers. I run RCA's from Radio Shack and lamp-cord for speaker wire.

 
I'm not sure how you can get from A to B (electrical signal chain to sound pressure in listening environment) without accounting for the quality of the signal path leading up to its conversion to sound pressure. You keep falling back on this subjective word "adequate" which doesn't say much since it means vastly different things to different people.
"Adequate", meaning it carries the signal without coloration or introducing artifacts. Primary fundamental requirements are a flat frequency response within the listening range with low distortion and noise floor. They've have decades to figure this out and most modern equipment from any reputable manufacturer can easily accomplish this.
 
When I did some work on my house, a contractor also said I could replicate wood beams. I said no thank you. With any careful examination you can see they're fake. Its the same with audio. Now, you can easily build an amplifier that emphasizes warmer characteristics and rolls off the top end in a tube like fashion, but the weight of the sound of a tube amplifier is missing. I suppose you can replicate that too... but in the end, why? Wouldn't a tube amp just be a better solution if you like that sound quality?
You're right. My only point is that if you have it defeatable (processing via software or hardware) you at least have the option to faithfully reproduce the signal recorded. If you have no desire for this, you're right; be happy with your equipment.
 
And, if we are talking about all these nuances of an amplifier, doesn't that detract from your point that amplification matters very little to none with "adequate gear"?

The only nuances are the introduction of even-order harmonic distortion by tube amp's.

 

Some designers only work in class A, they believe that's proper design. Other believe tube/transistor hybridization is the only way to go. There are endless numbers of designs with efficacy, and they all sound different.

Outside of tubes, the topology is irrelevant. Sound different to whom? You? They don't sound different to science or the scientific method (ibid).

 

Headroom, again, if all amps are pretty much the same, why would this be relevant?
Touting dynamic capabilities of tube-amps is only an audible advantage if you have a solid-state unable to satisfying the amperage requirements of your system. The oversimplified way to reiterating is this: buy enough power reserve for your desired listening level and then the dynamic differences are nonexistant.
 
Its the same as taking all kinds of measurements of cars... same horsepower, same braking distance, same skidpad, same torque... somehow they feel completely different to drive.
Are you saying amplifiers measure the same?
 
Also, your analogy is flawed. If they feel different, it is measurable, period. The standard accepted performance metrics are just the start. There have been many articles that measure the "nuances" such as transients that can be felt, and explain why something like a 911-GT3 or Exige are preferable "driver's" cars (ex. the lag-time on changing steering directions and the car following).
 
Interestingly, there are articles that dispel the notion that electric steering is inferior in feel to traditional hydraulics via measured, scientific testing. This is analogous to audible differences in amplifiers and the difference between placebo and reality.
 
Now, now. Don't come across as provincial. Critical listening develops tuned ears.

All those articles you post are well and good, but I have never heard 2 amplifiers that sound the same.
You're dismissing scientific method and the claims of prominent audio figureheads based on your own anecdotal experience.
 
And, I honestly can't blame you for that; sparing a Rationalism side-bar, it's difficult to go against your own experience and what you believe to be true. Ultimately, if you believe there is a difference, there will be.
 
If you're interested, I'd suggest reading up on Ken's various publications/interviews on psychoacoustics as it speaks to how unperceivable differences manifest in to perceivable.
 
No one can approach anywhere near 100% correctness in an ABX test (R. Clark challenge, ibid) for comparable amps that don't introduce artifacts (tubes). "Audiophile" product companies are happy to market and sell you gear to chase these supposed extremely subtle differences that you can maybe, sometimes, kinda perceive.
 
Faithful reproduction of the recorded signal only requires a few hundred dollars at Best Buy in this day and age.
post #2314 of 2376
Bickering is a time-honored activity of audiophilia. I"m happy to be on the sidelines than participating.
post #2315 of 2376
Are there differences between Phono amps? I can hear the bad ones from good ones, at least, I think I can. Also I am semi-convinced that solid state amps have signature sounds built into design (is it wodoo?) I compared (not blinded) Krell , Musical Fidelity, YBA, Cambridge and Music Hall. I preferred MH although it was the cheapest of all and certainly not the prettiest. Same with Phono amps I went from built in Ymaha ,to separate Phono Rotel (the detail became apparent) to something else with lamps Jolida i think and ended up with solid state Graham Slee. The GS offered yet even more detail and nuances.

Speakers of course are different, but after a few audio shows and several trips to the dealers I can say that 98% of the speakers offered on the market are unbelievable garbage. One does not have to engage in long listening sessions to hear the atrocious sounds form the most popular brands.
Same thing happens to food and wine. I like to quote the rat character from Ratatouille cartoon: "If you muscle your way past gag reflex, all sort of culinary possibilities become available"

The speakers that make me gag are:
Sonus Faber
B& W
Focal
Vienna Acu.
etc the list is too long.

The good speakers that impressed me in one way or another with their sound abilities:

ATC
DeVore
Totem
Triangle

The speaker that blew me away with natural, effortless full range sound is Wilson Alexandria.
post #2316 of 2376
Totem is awesome.
post #2317 of 2376
Quote:
Originally Posted by Medwed View Post

Sonus Faber

I bought a pair of Sonus Faber's about a year ago and posted about them here, immediately I hated them. I tried all kinds of configurations and nothing worked. I've since sold them off.

You can add older KEF to your list. I own 2 sets of 107's and just can't find anything to improve upon them unless I spent $20 or 30k.

In addition, Dynaudio makes a few nice speakers, as well as Revel and Vandersteen. Thiel and Focal also have some nice ones.

Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickBOOTH View Post

Totem is awesome.

Have not had enough experience, but the 2 sets I have heard sucked... granted they were entry level models so I cannot speak for their better stuff.
post #2318 of 2376
Quote:
Originally Posted by gam29 View Post

Let's stop the bickering and get back on track. Any recommendations for a more powerful receiver or integrated amp that can be had new, used or refurbished for ~$500 that would work well for this configuration?

The debate is part of being an audiophile.

You can achieve the same weight of sound with a better pair of speakers and a subwoofer. I understand what you're after, but you're doing it in a rather muddy way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by A Y View Post

Bickering is a time-honored activity of audiophilia. I"m happy to be on the sidelines than participating.

This. A Y, you should weigh in smile.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarioImpemba View Post


The evidence against audible differences between cabling is even more conclusive than amplifiers. I run RCA's from Radio Shack and lamp-cord for speaker wire.

You're dismissing scientific method and the claims of prominent audio figureheads based on your own anecdotal experience.

Faithful reproduction of the recorded signal only requires a few hundred dollars at Best Buy in this day and age.

I tend to agree on the cable front, I can discern differences if I use sewing thread cable as opposed to a good cable like a Van Den Hul, but otherwise cables are a waste of money. The times a cable really matters is with long runs of 20 or more feet.

I'm not dismissing anything, what I'm saying is there is a big difference between what equipment measures and what is audible. I know the research you point to, but I return to the car analogy which I am not sure you understood... you can (for argument's sake) measure 2 cars to be identical in all kinds of key metrics, but you drive them and they feel completely different. You can put a science hat on and claim its impossible since scientifically they measure the same, and I will say sure, they do but they cars feel completely different to me... and they do. Just like an amp sounds much better when its warm and has been running a few hours. And that equipment needs break in time.

I also grant you that psychology plays a role. I point to those Sonus speakers in my previous post. I was in denial for a couple of days because I didn't want to believe the investment I just made sounded like shit. Not to toot my own horn, but I have a lot more experience with this stuff than most people and I do have a good set of ears. I eventually realized this was a loser and it was time to cut my losses. I sold them to a guy that thought they were golden... and he will believe it forever, just like the Bose and B & W crowds do.

Measurements are fine, but what really counts for me for an amplifier is how fast/slow it is, how musical or colored it is vs flat response, and most important of all its ability to produce resolution. I cannot tell you how many reference recordings I have that I have tried on new amps and heard new nuances in the music... you can't really measure resolution, but you can sure hear it.

Last point I will partially agree on. Its never been cheaper to get a decent sound. It may still sound like shit to me, but its much much better than what was available for the same price points 30 years ago.

And finally, if you fail to hear a difference between a $399 best buy amp and a Pass Labs then fine, but its unfair to discount that others can and dismiss it as psychobabble.
post #2319 of 2376
I think I had old KEF boxes on loan from my cousin when i was between speakers and they were very decent for old black ugly boxes:D
Totem Forest was the speaker that impressed me, don't know much about the cheaper ones.
Don't like Dynaudio rolled off highs. Listen to plethora of them at the dealer in Manhattan and could not figure out why they have such following.
post #2320 of 2376
Quote:
Originally Posted by Medwed View Post

The speaker that blew me away with natural, effortless full range sound is Wilson Alexandria.

 

Interesting - I've heard most of the Wilson line (in store and at an audio show) and found them dry and lifeless, seemingly regardless of source/amplification. What was driving the pair you liked so much?

 

I have the Vandy 5As, and am extremely happy with them. Used to be a cable skeptic as well, but some experimentation both in my own system and by brother's changed my mind. I ended up with MITs.

post #2321 of 2376
Quote:
Originally Posted by Medwed View Post

I think I had old KEF boxes on loan from my cousin when i was between speakers and they were very decent for old black ugly boxes:D
Totem Forest was the speaker that impressed me, don't know much about the cheaper ones.
Don't like Dynaudio rolled off highs. Listen to plethora of them at the dealer in Manhattan and could not figure out why they have such following.

Never heard the Forest.

Dynaudio has a following partly because of they weight of sound they produce. They also use really high end drivers. They run at very low sensitivity and swallow power into what seems like a black hole, the byproduct is that it gets into an amps volume range where the most resolution is generally heard and that translates well to many listeners and contributes to the sensation of weight of sound. I personally like them, in part because I don't like sharp highs, which bother my ears.

Its not for every ear, and it may also be a byproduct of what you heard them paired with and the room not jiving with the speakers, or even their placement.
post #2322 of 2376
wow, idfnl is really an expert.
post #2323 of 2376
I don't know enough about higher end audio to say for sure, but if he waxes poetic about audio like he does wine I will buy whatever stereo he hates. wink.gif
post #2324 of 2376
Quote:
Originally Posted by Longmorn View Post

I have the Vandy 5As, and am extremely happy with them. Used to be a cable skeptic as well, but some experimentation both in my own system and by brother's changed my mind. I ended up with MITs.

Those are sweet speakers... quite a beautiful design under the hood as well.
post #2325 of 2376
Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickBOOTH View Post

I don't know enough about higher end audio to say for sure, but if he waxes poetic about audio like he does wine I will buy whatever stereo he hates. wink.gif

Unfortunately for patrickBOOTH, audio doesn't use a Wine Spectator style points system or he'd be an expert here too.
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