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Good stereo/audiophile msg board?

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by Horace, Mar 1, 2005.

  1. Concordia

    Concordia Distinguished Member Dubiously Honored

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    I have a Plinius amp on my big rig-- with the American-style gear.   I like their stuff.

    My first good system (which is still at the summer house) was a Linn Axis turntable, Naim electronics, Rega speakers.  When held within its limits, it is superb.

    Naim salespeople are funny, though.  I went to one place shopping for a replacement for some speakers (Bose--- a truly embarrassing episode), and the guy immediately pointed me upstream and tried to sell me an LP12.
     


  2. PHV

    PHV Senior Member

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    So what's the funny part?

    I don't understand audio gear at all really... I was always told B&O is excellent, and of course have since learned that it is largely due to marketing that I had that impression.
     


  3. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Stylish Dinosaur

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    B&O is pretty much marketing, yeah, not to the same degree as Bose, but along the same lines. Plinius is one of the best manufacturers of solid-state stuff around right now. I'm fond of Krell as well, although they can be overpriced and they aren't for everyone sound-wise. I also use ARC stuff from time to time.
     


  4. Concordia

    Concordia Distinguished Member Dubiously Honored

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    Customer goes into an audio store asking for an upgrade to some really dodgy speakers, and the salesman (who has plenty of better speakers on offer) tries to deflect therequest saying that what's really needed is a good turntable. When there was a pretty decent one in residence already. That is a totally British audio way to look at the world. Strange to find in darkest Long Island.
     


  5. PHV

    PHV Senior Member

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    1) I still think these audiophiles take things way too far... just reading the plinius website it appears that you have to be a physics genius just to listen to a bloody cd with their equipment. Warm up time? How pretensious....

    I've never heard of having to warm up SS equipment, of course I have to warm up a tube amp, but that? I love how the site refers to "serious listening". It just makes for a funny mental image.

    Just a curiosity, how is a preamp going to enhance my listening?


    2) The BIGGEST problem I find that the audiophile community is ignoring digital formats. MP3... There still is no good way to organize a large amount of files easily into playlists (with HiFi sound). With genres of music outside of traditional "classical" music, any pop, rock, blues, jazz etc... generally things are a lot shorter and you might not want to listen to a whole CD at once. You might want a track from CD A, then a track from CD B and so forth. I still have no seen any good solution to this.

    Any suggestions would be welcomed.
     


  6. Horace

    Horace Distinguished Member

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    Now I am curious:

    who makes a better Compact Clock/CD unit that's simple and about the same size (or smaller) than the Bose?

    Couldn't really find anything, but maybe the brands you guys know are not readily available to the uninitiated. Price isn't a serious consideration, and I think I paid about US$500 for the the Bose wave
     


  7. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Stylish Dinosaur

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    MP3s are generally too low quality for serious listening. Warm up time is a real issue, it's not pretentious, it's just the way that high-end audio works. High quality CDs are usually at 320 bitrate, while CDs are at 1440, most MP3s you will find will be at 128-192 kbps which is too low quality for high-end audio systems. SACD or DVD audio is generally the way to go if you want good digital playback, CD is acceptable with a good player with excellent DA conversion.

    All equipment, whether it is solid state or tube needs to be warmed up, and preamps will make an enormous difference in soundstage and presentation, as well as generally present a volume control.

    If you are doing serious listening, you are generally doing it one track at a time. Certainly a mp3 format is appropriate for background music, etc... but if you're really trying to see into the soundstage, you won't have much transparency with any format with serious compression.
     


  8. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Stylish Dinosaur

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    I think Bose is pretty much it when it comes to clock radios. B&O may also make one. Using clock radio and audiophile in the same sentence is like using Jones New York and sartorial excellence in the same sentence, by the way.
     


  9. norcaltransplant

    norcaltransplant Distinguished Member

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    I suggest looking into a minisystem for the office or bedroom. Many of the midfi manufacturers produce such a model, which will be only slightly larger than the Bose, and leagues ahead of it in terms of sound quality (Denon is the first that comes to mind). The minisystems usually incorporate clock and alarm functions (albeit a small LCD clock)... I personally rather wake up to news or the radio instead of bleep bleep bleep.

    Option B, for the techno savvy, would be to buy a pronto that's programmed to turn on the bedroom system or TV in the mornings. And sticking to a conventional wallclock for telling time.
     


  10. norcaltransplant

    norcaltransplant Distinguished Member

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    My source equipment includes a quirky Philips 963 SACD/DVD player to a Yamaha RX-V2095 (little brother to the more famous DSP-A1) feeding into a pair of Quad 12L monitors and a Aperion Audio 10" sub. Â ICs are Monster [​IMG] and my cables are MIT. Â Not a bad budget hometheater system per se, but I had the opportunity to listen to similar midfi speakers--in this case, soliloquy 5.0s, which are smoother than my Quads but a little thinner on the bass, fed through a mismatched combo of a 75 or 100W Parasound Amp, Cambridge Audio 500SE CDP, and Krell HTS preamp. Â We fiddled with the amp and made it an all Cambridge setup and then changed the preamp to a midfi Denon halfway through the audition. Â The biggest difference, by far, was the Krell. Â It added depth to the sound and completely changed the performance of the speakers. Â So, yes, the garbage in/garbage out theory does make some sense. If you want to compare redbook or SACD vs MP3, I suggest finiding a recording of Hotel California and then comparing it to the Hell Freezes Over SACD Hotel California track on at least midfi equipment. Â The difference is staggering. Add a train of power components: Paradigm 100s with at least 100-200W, mediocre source, and you'll hear what I mean.
     


  11. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Stylish Dinosaur

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    I think the best way to hear this kind of difference is by finding a friendly high-end audio shop, and seeing if they will demo diff source equipment for you on something pretty transparent, such as an electrostat or planar. If you are using a full-range electrostat, such as a CLS-Z, and switched a preamp in and out, you should be instantly able to hear the difference in soundstage, transparency, and presentation. One fun thing I used to do to test speakers was to switch my Krell integrated amp into my system, replacing my BAT VK3i/SA50, the difference was amazing, the Krell was far more muted and less transparent (although still an OUTSTANDING integrated amp for the money, about $1500 from good sources, much cheaper than the $5k or so for the VK3i/SA50)
     


  12. PHV

    PHV Senior Member

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    (PHV @ Mar. 05 2005,18:44) 1) I still think these audiophiles take things way too far... just reading the plinius website it appears that you have to be a physics genius just to listen to a bloody cd with their equipment. Warm up time? How pretensious.... I've never heard of having to warm up SS equipment, of course I have to warm up a tube amp, but that? I love how the site refers to "serious listening". It just makes for a funny mental image. Just a curiosity, how is a preamp going to enhance my listening? 2) The BIGGEST problem I find that the audiophile community is ignoring digital formats. MP3... There still is no good way to organize a large amount of files easily into playlists (with HiFi sound). With genres of music outside of traditional "classical" music, any pop, rock, blues, jazz etc... generally things are a lot shorter and you might not want to listen to a whole CD at once. You might want a track from CD A, then a track from CD B and so forth. I still have no seen any good solution to this. Any suggestions would be welcomed.
    MP3s are generally too low quality for serious listening. Â Warm up time is a real issue, it's not pretentious, it's just the way that high-end audio works. Â High quality CDs are usually at 320 bitrate, while CDs are at 1440, most MP3s you will find will be at 128-192 kbps which is too low quality for high-end audio systems. Â SACD or DVD audio is generally the way to go if you want good digital playback, CD is acceptable with a good player with excellent DA conversion. All equipment, whether it is solid state or tube needs to be warmed up, and preamps will make an enormous difference in soundstage and presentation, as well as generally present a volume control. Â If you are doing serious listening, you are generally doing it one track at a time. Â Certainly a mp3 format is appropriate for background music, etc... but if you're really trying to see into the soundstage, you won't have much transparency with any format with serious compression.
    I think there should be a better format for digital audio, so that high quality sound can be achieved through that avenue. I always encode at 320, but I know most are lower quality than that.
     


  13. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Stylish Dinosaur

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    Well, many audiophiles (myself not included) consider digital sources of any type to be inferior to analog so... trying to have a purist listen to mp3s would be... like asking Manton to wear a black suit for business purposes with Kenneth Cole lugs [​IMG]
     


  14. PHV

    PHV Senior Member

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    I understand that, but that doesn't mean the technology cannot be developed. I mean, how do listen to your CDs? I have over a thousand. Most of that is of course "classical" music, so I'll listen to an entire cd. But when I listen to my also extensive rock collection, I don't necessarily listen CD by CD.
     


  15. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Stylish Dinosaur

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    I have many CDs, but I have about 50-100 that I listen to on my higher end audio systems, because many are just not enjoyable, bad recordings just sound nasty on more accurate systems, I don't enjoy listening to line noise one bit. Most of them are DVD-Audio, SACD, or just really good recordings.

    As far as "audiophile recordings" to listen to:

    The usual suspects are:

    Pop/Rock:
    Anything by Sarah McLachlan
    Eagles greatest hits "Hell Freezes Over"
    Chris Issak "Blue Spanish Sky"
    Fiona Apple "Shadowboxer"
    Fleetwood Mac greatest hits

    Classical:

    Most Naxos recordings are really good, one of the best is probably the Bruckner Antartica

    Stereophile's master recordings, the Chopin Sonata in B Minor and the Rhapsody in Blue are reference recordings

    Sophie Ann Mutter's Sibelius Violin Concerto
    Sarah Chang's Paganini Violin Concerto

    Richter's Rach 2

    Those are all reference recordings for reviews.
     


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