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Good stereo/audiophile msg board?

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

  1. PHV

    PHV Senior Member

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    If an audiophile isn't prepared to listen to older, less "clean" recordings, then I assure you, in many cases you are missing out on hearing some of the real masters. Forget listening to Rubenstein, Heifitz, Oistrakh, Kreisler etc...

    also, Naxos for the most part (less now than it has in the past) is known for being the... Jones New York of classic record labels. They are the cheapest in the pile, and generally don't have the most desireable of artists. That doesn't mean there aren't fantastic recordings, but not as many as one would find with Decca, EMI, Deutche Gramaphone etc...

    I could see how 50-100 CDs are very manageable. Unfortunately I have way too much to listen to. I guess I'll just have to wait.
     


  2. Horace

    Horace Distinguished Member

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    sure is.
     


  3. bengal-stripe

    bengal-stripe Distinguished Member Dubiously Honored

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  4. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Stylish Dinosaur

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    Originally Posted by drizzt3117,Mar. 06 2005,00:39
    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.
    If an audiophile isn't prepared to listen to older, less "clean" recordings, then I assure you, in many cases you are missing out on hearing some of the real masters. Forget listening to Rubenstein, Heifitz, Oistrakh, Kreisler etc... also, Naxos for the most part (less now than it has in the past) is known for being the... Jones New York of classic record labels. They are the cheapest in the pile, and generally don't have the most desireable of artists. That doesn't mean there aren't fantastic recordings, but not as many as one would find with Decca, EMI, Deutche Gramaphone etc... I could see how 50-100 CDs are very manageable. Unfortunately I have way too much to listen to. I guess I'll just have to wait.
    This is what records are for, most audiophiles will listen to that type of material on analog. Also, studios are starting to release "audiophile" master recordings of older recordings that are amazingly good. You can, and I have, listen to some recordings of past masters, such as the Heifetz Beethoven Violin Concerto and they are enjoyable with a high-end system, just not going to have the clarity and transparency of a better recording, the better the quality of source material, the better it will sound. As far as Naxos works, they are usually fairly inexpensive, but always recorded extremely well using outstanding equipment and mastering. If you pick up a copy of "The Absolute Sound" you will see a disproportionate amount of Naxos stuff. However, almost all modern recordings are done very well and this isn't an issue, but it's sometimes difficult to find obscure recordings done well on labels other than Naxos, of course they exist, and I could list hundreds of good classical CDs that are well recorded with great performances by great artists on non-Naxos labels, but I was just giving a very quick generalization of high end source material. Bengal, Thanks for the correction, I knew that but somehow came up with Bruckner when I visualized the album cover. Considering I lived in his home town for six months, attributing someone elses' work to him is a grevious offense, my pennance will be listening to the Antartica ten times today [​IMG]
     


  5. PHV

    PHV Senior Member

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    (PHV @ Mar. 06 2005,00:55)
    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. Â Most of them are DVD-Audio, SACD, or just really good recordings. Â 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.
    If an audiophile isn't prepared to listen to older, less "clean" recordings, then I assure you, in many cases you are missing out on hearing some of the real masters. Forget listening to Rubenstein, Heifitz, Oistrakh, Kreisler etc... also, Naxos for the most part (less now than it has in the past) is known for being the... Jones New York of classic record labels. They are the cheapest in the pile, and generally don't have the most desireable of artists. That doesn't mean there aren't fantastic recordings, but not as many as one would find with Decca, EMI, Deutche Gramaphone etc... I could see how 50-100 CDs are very manageable. Unfortunately I have way too much to listen to. I guess I'll just have to wait.
    This is what records are for, most audiophiles will listen to that type of material on analog. Â Also, studios are starting to release "audiophile" master recordings of older recordings that are amazingly good. Â You can, and I have, listen to some recordings of past masters, such as the Heifetz Beethoven Violin Concerto and they are enjoyable with a high-end system, just not going to have the clarity and transparency of a better recording, the better the quality of source material, the better it will sound. As far as Naxos works, they are usually fairly inexpensive, but always recorded extremely well using outstanding equipment and mastering. Â If you pick up a copy of "The Absolute Sound" you will see a disproportionate amount of Naxos stuff. Â However, almost all modern recordings are done very well and this isn't an issue, but it's sometimes difficult to find obscure recordings done well on labels other than Naxos, of course they exist, and I could list hundreds of good classical CDs that are well recorded with great performances by great artists on non-Naxos labels, but I was just giving a very quick generalization of high end source material. Bengal, Thanks for the correction, I knew that but somehow came up with Bruckner when I visualized the album cover. Â Considering I lived in his home town for six months, attributing someone elses' work to him is a grevious offense, my pennance will be listening to the Antartica ten times today [​IMG]
    I'm sorry, but no amount of audiophile geekery is going to get me to listen to an inferior artist just because you can hear the 2nd trumpet fart during the slow movement on the Naxos recording. This is what often makes me feel like audiophiles are like people who tweak muscle cars... fast for the sake of fast. Sacrificing quality of music for quality of sound is quite a foreign concept to me.
     


  6. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Stylish Dinosaur

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    I think many Naxos recordings (especially those of various symphonies) are generally very good quality, both in terms of performance and recording quality. Obviously those of solo performers are of noticiably lower quality. I have enjoyed the Bruckner, Williams (thanks bengal), and Mahler recordings that I have heard from the Naxos label, although they like to enlist fairly small and lesser known symphony orchestras, Tintner is a great conductor and he gets quite a lot out of them. Generally their symphonic recordings are also of very consistent quality as well.

    One thing many people don't understand is that a good 2 ch system that is capable of reproducing a full orchestral spectrum will be superior to any live concert experience, as you will generally get the equivalent of a private performance with a full orchestra, with perfect acoustics, placement, and sound staging.

    However, outlay for such a system requires a dedicated (and designed) listening room with ideal acoustics and $50-250k in equipment (and up, I have heard a Cello system installed in a place in San Marino that cost $8M, not counting the custom designed room) and a lot of time in planning, component selection, and installation.
     


  7. PHV

    PHV Senior Member

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    You can blow Nasa's budget from the last 40 years and you couldn't equal the energy and power of a good live performance.
     


  8. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Stylish Dinosaur

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    Originally Posted by drizzt3117,Mar. 06 2005,22:26
    I think many Naxos recordings (especially those of various symphonies) are generally very good quality, both in terms of performance and recording quality. Obviously those of solo performers are of noticiably lower quality. I have enjoyed the Bruckner, Williams (thanks bengal), and Mahler recordings that I have heard from the Naxos label, although they like to enlist fairly small and lesser known symphony orchestras, Tintner is a great conductor and he gets quite a lot out of them. Generally their symphonic recordings are also of very consistent quality as well. One thing many people don't understand is that a good 2 ch system that is capable of reproducing a full orchestral spectrum will be superior to any live concert experience, as you will generally get the equivalent of a private performance with a full orchestra, with perfect acoustics, placement, and sound staging. However, outlay for such a system requires a dedicated (and designed) listening room with ideal acoustics and $50-250k in equipment (and up, I have heard a Cello system installed in a place in San Marino that cost $8M, not counting the custom designed room) and a lot of time in planning, component selection, and installation.
    You can blow Nasa's budget from the last 40 years and you couldn't equal the energy and power of a good live performance.
    That depends. Certainly listening to music from a recording won't be the same as a concert experience simply because you won't see the orchestra or performer, and that is of course part of the experience, but in terms of pure sonics, generally a good recording played through a world-class system will deliver better sound quality. It's somewhat analogous to watching sports on TV versus being at a game, you won't be able to see everything as it is happening while it is live, but the experience of being at the game makes it different. However, it's a bit different, as the difference in sound quality will be much larger than the difference in visual quality, I guess it'd be equivalent to watching a game from the upper deck vs watching one at home on hi-definition TV. One other caveat is that we're discussing primarily classical recordings here, and the difference between hearing something live in a classical recording is going to be much smaller than say, a jazz recording, or especially a pop or rock recording. The incredible transparency and monolithic soundstage you'll get from a good system in one of those genres would be analogous to actually being in the studio with the performer, albeit one with perfect acoustics and you having perfect seating. I would recommend going to a good high-end audio store with a good listening room, and bringing some CDs you like, especially live orchestral recordings which you attended, and listening to them. I did this for several recordings, and in almost all cases, the recorded output was better sonically.
     


  9. PHV

    PHV Senior Member

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    Perhaps I will go to a store and check it out. Is B&W decent?
     


  10. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Stylish Dinosaur

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    B&W speakers are not bad. The 801s are extremely good and can be the center of an excellent system, but are too large for many listening areas. Small speakers like the DM301 could be a great bookshelf system for a bedroom or something of the sort. Generally B&W makes good speakers with very consistent quality. One thing to keep in mind is that their presentation is on the forward side of neutral, and they are extremely accurate, so they won't soften the music at all, they are brutally honest. So, bring high quality recordings (both performance and recording quality) to listen to when listening to B&Ws.
     


  11. PHV

    PHV Senior Member

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    So, you wouldn't recommend putting "Nevermind The Bollocks, Here's The Sex Pistols" through the B&Ws?

    Do you think 'forgiving' speakers cheat you out of optimal sound?
     


  12. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Stylish Dinosaur

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    There's a couple schools of thought on that. I think a pair of Martin Logans or Magnepans will certainly sound "nicer" than B&Ws etc, but at the same time, they're not going to be lacking in accuracy relative to almost any speaker on the market, B&Ws are just even more accurate. This can be excruciating when listening to music with flaws, technical or performancewise. There's something to be said for speakers that are a bit more forigiving. Martin Logans, and most other electrostats, sound absolutely stunning on vocals, piano, and strings, and Magnepans are absolutely amazing on acoustic guitar and vocals...

    This is not to say that B&Ws aren't great, as they are, they're really transparent and give you exactly what's on the CD, some people like enhancement though, MLs can make a recording sound better than if the performer were right infront of you playing.
     


  13. Concordia

    Concordia Distinguished Member Dubiously Honored

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    Another thing to remember is that speaker designs are so diverse that comparing them is difficult, if not pointless. You got a thing about phase coherence? There are models out there that will deliver--- at the expense of a few other things that might or might not matter to you. Same with frequency response, bass power, and so on.

    Recording companies do use B&W because it's a well-made standard that goes loud and gets a lot of things basically right. But it has trade-offs that you might find less acceptable.

    As a more general note, "accurate" sometimes = "unforgiving," but "unforgiving" does not necessarily = "accurate." A speaker that exaggerates flaws in a recording may be useful in some applications, but it might not be telling you all of what is on the disc.
     


  14. jekv12

    jekv12 Senior Member

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    Getting back on track (.), Horace, I've communicated a bit with Peter at http://www.sound-smith.com/ about some repairs. In the end I decided it wasn't worth fixing but I was able to describe the problem and get an idea of what it would cost to repair. There was another place whose name escapes me in New England that did B&O repair work too. Did you mean Nak tuner or receiver? The B&O - is it one of the linear tracking models? As far as clock radios go, I too have a Bose Wave (1st generation) that I won in a spiff. It's decent, but I wouldn't have spent $350 for it...I rather like my older Proton. I think the Kloss Tivoli is supposed to be decent (I assume it has an alarm function) but again, I haven't heard one in person. I agree with comments about Maggies - absolutely lovely on acoustic music.
     


  15. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Stylish Dinosaur

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    Concordia,

    Of course you're right, but speakers do have general characteristics that can be comparable. Frequency response, bass extension, etc... are certainly things to consider, but we're speaking in very general terms without any financial or size limits, and those issues become somewhat less important when that is the case.
     


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