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View Poll Results: Are you an audiophile? (went from music lover to sound and gear lover)
No 10 5.18%
No but I like music 74 38.34%
Yes 43 22.28%
Yes and I feel the same about photography/gear 66 34.20%
Voters: 193. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-29-2007   #41
literiter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigSteveG
p.s. I do like the sound of LP's, but the convenience and robustness of Cd's are irresistable. I've not been completely swayed by Digital phtography.
I have transfered an LP to a CD. This was the Iron Butterfly's "In a Gadda da Vida" I have the original vinyl and a store bought CD. ( a young friend has called this "geezer music" )

My transcription from the vinyl to CD sounds like the vinyl. I have transcribed a few old albums this way and have then tucked my vinyl stuff safely away.
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Old 12-29-2007   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by literiter
I have transfered an LP to a CD. This was the Iron Butterfly's "In a Gadda da Vida" I have the original vinyl and a store bought CD. ( a young friend has called this "geezer music" )

My transcription from the vinyl to CD sounds like the vinyl. I have transcribed a few old albums this way and have then tucked my vinyl stuff safely away.
I have done the same to my fathers LP of Shostakovitch collection (he wanted to get rid of the turntable bust just loved the records). I kept the LPs but I tend to listen to the transcriptions, they sound quite good.

BTW, that's what I've been doing to all my film photographs, for the last... I don't know... 12 months? It looks like tere is always another roll somewhere to scan...
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Old 12-29-2007   #43
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I suppose I could consider myself an audiophile, and I've spent a fair amount of time on head-fi. I was really into headphones for a while and had the whole setup: the DAC, the amp, the Grados, etc. I finally decided that as a poor student I couldn't afford to keep the habit going as I was always wanting to try new headphones, so I decided to sell them all except my Alessandro MS-1, Sony MDR-V6, Yuin Pk2, and Koss KSC75. I'm also trying to find time to list my V6 and Pk2 for sale on head-fi but I haven't gotten around to it yet.

Comparing it to photography, I would say that you can get much more out of photography gear. Getting that expensive camera is just as much of a rush as getting a brand new pair of nice headphones, but the excitement of getting a great photograph is better, in my opinion. Plus you can do so much with the photos with processing and Photoshop that the fun doesn't stop with the camera. With headphones, you're really only getting good sounding music, and it pretty much stops there. It's pretty cool to have pictures you've taken on your wall too
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Old 12-29-2007   #44
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I have a fairly large collection of recorded music (mostly classical and folk and mostly CD) but my 'hi-fi' gear is all over 20 years old, although it was good quality (and expensive) when I bought it.

I can't really get excited about hi-fi gera nor can I get excited about cameras - in both cases just a tool to do a job - but I do get excited about good photos and good music.
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Old 12-29-2007   #45
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I, too, have spent way too much time and money on both audio gear and photography equipment. But they have each provided me with a tremendous amount of pleasure and led to some great friendships as well. My interest in each goes back four decades to my high school days. And, as others have said, I enjoy the old-school tactile nature of lps and a turntable as well as my mechanical rangefinder cameras. Have I gotten overly focused on the esoterics of equipment/gear? Of course. Does that mean I'm only into audio for the equipment and not the music? No. Just as I have gotten overly focused on lenses doesn't mean that I only care about the technical aspects of photographic images. I guess what I'm saying is that while I have gotten caught up in the GAS side of each I don't believe that necessarily means I've lost interest in the artistic side of either.

Oh, and for those who care, my audio gear is all DIY self-built tube-based Bottlehead equipment (see www.bottlehead.com) save for the front-end (CD/SACD by Sony and turntable by Michell). A more complete description can be found on the audio asylum site (www.audioasylum.com) under the Inmate Systems link and using the same user name as I use here.

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Old 12-29-2007   #46
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Prior to the arrival of my daughter, making and listening to music was my primary hobby, and I had a sizeable rack of synthesizers and effects, and a pretty nice hifi. When she arrived, I realised I had

a) no money
b) no room
c) no time

so I sold the instruments and bought a camera. The hifi went into storage.

Some years on, we have bought our first house, and the hifi is out of storage. I don't really have time to listen, and whilst I have 2500+ CDs, I now tend to reach for the radio (mono!) before I would fire up the hifi.

I'd probably swap my hifi for a nice M4 now (AVI CD player, AVI preamp, 2 AVI monoblocs, AVI Positron loudspeakers)
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Old 12-29-2007   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuckyKarma
I suppose I could consider myself an audiophile, and I've spent a fair amount of time on head-fi. I was really into headphones for a while and had the whole setup: the DAC, the amp, the Grados, etc. I finally decided that as a poor student I couldn't afford to keep the habit going as I was always wanting to try new headphones, so I decided to sell them all except my Alessandro MS-1, Sony MDR-V6, Yuin Pk2, and Koss KSC75. I'm also trying to find time to list my V6 and Pk2 for sale on head-fi but I haven't gotten around to it yet.

Comparing it to photography, I would say that you can get much more out of photography gear. Getting that expensive camera is just as much of a rush as getting a brand new pair of nice headphones, but the excitement of getting a great photograph is better, in my opinion. Plus you can do so much with the photos with processing and Photoshop that the fun doesn't stop with the camera. With headphones, you're really only getting good sounding music, and it pretty much stops there. It's pretty cool to have pictures you've taken on your wall too
Well, LuckyKarma says something I fully agree with: taking photographs and "listening to music" are not comparable. Seeing a photobook, or going to an exhibition or browsing flickr is analog to listening to music. To be truthful to the analogy, _recording_ live music is analog to taking pictures (of course, although only a few have recording live music as their hobby, lots of people take photos). BTW, with the advent of cameraphones, people now record themselves (and others) all the time, altough video (and not audio) is the preferred medium.

So, I consider taking a picture of something as a much more (how should I say this?) _creative_ act than listening to music (or for that matter, seeing photos). It's only natural that we feel more proud or fulfilled by taking pictures (or writing music, or recording live music) than just listening to music.

Nevertheless, the elusive quest for "ultimate technical quality" that any audiophile or "image-o-phile" strive for is very much alike, I would say.

Funny, although I have a good video system (with a DLP projector) I never became so obsseded with "quality" lke on audio. Maybe because any good projected slide totaly overshadows even the best DVD/projector setup I know...

The point being: when the medium is so lo-fi that "absolute top quality" is still lousy, there is not a big point in pushing the limits: just switch technology...

Or choose to happily live inside the limits (or being "contented" - inside a "contentor"), with no urge/need to aim for more. Maybe this is real happiness and enlightment. And I'm not joking...
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Moved from Nikon FF (D700) to m43 (E-M1). My back thanks me and my "real" camera became my "everyday" camera.
Still an RF fan when it comes to "just because" photography (including film).

Using (at the moment):
Leica M8 (B&W) with 28/2 ASPH; CV 12/5.6, Zeiss 21/2.8, CV 35/1.2, CV 50/1.5, CV 75/2.5
Leica M3 with 35/3.5; 50/2, 90/4
Mamiya 7 + 43 + 65 + 150
And a bunch of m43 lenses on the E-M1
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Old 12-29-2007   #48
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i consider myself a lover of music and an audiofile on a very limited budget. i have not bought a piece of audio gear in many many years but i like the sound of my home theatre and the stereo. my gear is all old infinity speakers along with a psb sub. i think my amp is onkyo and i gave in to the 100 cd players long ago just for the convnience. i play single cd's on the dvd player, a toshiba iiirc.
not a great set up but tuned for the room and sounding better than many other more expensive set ups just thrown into a room and plugged in.

joe
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Old 12-29-2007   #49
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Interesting .
I had no idea, until recently , that I have had '' high frequency hearing loss '' from infancy . [ Tested at 5 years , since then just stupid 'cos I could not keep up , but ASd messes up awareness ]

The effect , is like turning down the treble so that the bass is emphasised - like men seem to be shouting !

My late 70s system reflected this , any low frequency distortion sends me screaming from the room - and there is lot of it about !

The Linn Lp 12 and LS35as are were all terrible in this respect - and the current Rega arm seems the same .

I ended up with the bass light Pink Triangle deck, Orion arm and Grace F9e cartridge , Nain pre+Ear 509 amps .. and , initially RCL small loudspeakers , [ a cross between LS 35as and the original dynamic but excruciating Linn Kans ! ] upgrading to the then smallest Magneplanar SMGa .

But it all got tired .

It's more about convenience now - I tried to find speakers to '' better '' the battered surviving RCLs and my back up deck - the indestructible 1976 Rega 3 with Acos arm and Grado Sig 8 , but it just left the dealers in disbelief as to the tiny speakers abilities - about 1000 or more for a '' better '' sound ... so I was right 1st time !

I bought an original Linn all in one cd/dvd/ tuner/ amp box on sale very ex-dem in a shop which had gone over to Japanese stuff which real people can understand I - the Scots seem to want to make their customers really work for it !

But it was 400 not the original 2000 .. so cost effective ! I can still plug in the EAR 509s and blast the house with the 1812 , but mostly it's a more gentle folk / female vocal / chamber atmosphere these days .. and dvd of course ...

One element which surprises is that my women friends all say how it's music , not HI Fi , in that she does not notice the system [ which speaks wonders about the systems that real guys foist upon her ! ] I guess that inabilty to cope with any distortion on choral and vocal has somehow created a less exagerated listening experience - the only problem is that the RCLs need driving - they don't do low level , the tiny drivers love to pound in and out - with never a sign of giving in !

I do need some late night speakers , and the long suffering Rega longs for a service , Acos wiring upgrade and the magic of my local '' Cartridge Man '' Len Gregory !

So , a modest system for music - I have no idea if this makes me an '' audiphile '' or '' audophilistine '' ...

dee
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Old 12-29-2007   #50
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to bad wildwildwes was banned, he had one of the most incredible set ups I have ever seen in my life, it sounded amazing.
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Old 12-29-2007   #51
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Well I got into Hi-fi a few years before I got into photography. I used to sell the stuff as a saturday job when i was a teenager. I got the bug with valves and vinyl then in the late 70s. Photography came about 5 years later.

I'm still a vinyl nut and buy almost all my new music as LPs. My wife and daughter buy CDs and downloads.

Here's my system, accumulated and revised over the last 30 years.

Platine Verdier, Schroeder Model 2, Allaerts MC1B vinyl front end
TRON Meteor valve pre-amp
Quad IIs power amps rebuilt by GT Audio
Avantgarde Duo horn loudspeakers
Leak Troughline valve tuner GT Audio rebuilt
Meridian 206B CD player

Also kicking around are a pair of LS3/5a speakers, AB1 subs for the LS3/5as, a Hadcock tonearm and a pair of Decca London cartridges. I suppose that's Hi-Fi GAS for you!

Best wishes,

Charlie Chan
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Old 12-29-2007   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by topoxforddoc
Well I got into Hi-fi a few years before I got into photography. I used to sell the stuff as a saturday job when i was a teenager. I got the bug with valves and vinyl then in the late 70s. Photography came about 5 years later.

I'm still a vinyl nut and buy almost all my new music as LPs. My wife and daughter buy CDs and downloads.

Here's my system, accumulated and revised over the last 30 years.

Platine Verdier, Schroeder Model 2, Allaerts MC1B vinyl front end
TRON Meteor valve pre-amp
Quad IIs power amps rebuilt by GT Audio
Avantgarde Duo horn loudspeakers
Leak Troughline valve tuner GT Audio rebuilt
Meridian 206B CD player

Also kicking around are a pair of LS3/5a speakers, AB1 subs for the LS3/5as, a Hadcock tonearm and a pair of Decca London cartridges. I suppose that's Hi-Fi GAS for you!

Best wishes,

Charlie Chan
Cheltenham UK

I'm an Avantgarde fan myself (but WAF stops at the WATT VII, never even tried to coax a pair of Avantgarde into the room... ), they sound incredible with the right amps. I also love big Maggies and Soundlabs. For the same reason (WAF), they are also best kept at bay...

BTW, Charlie led the way: how about some photos of our systems, of course made with our RFs?
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Moved from Nikon FF (D700) to m43 (E-M1). My back thanks me and my "real" camera became my "everyday" camera.
Still an RF fan when it comes to "just because" photography (including film).

Using (at the moment):
Leica M8 (B&W) with 28/2 ASPH; CV 12/5.6, Zeiss 21/2.8, CV 35/1.2, CV 50/1.5, CV 75/2.5
Leica M3 with 35/3.5; 50/2, 90/4
Mamiya 7 + 43 + 65 + 150
And a bunch of m43 lenses on the E-M1
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Old 12-29-2007   #53
Kim Coxon
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After several thousand hours flying Shackletons, ultra high end gear would be wasted on me. I use an Oak turntable with Rega arm. Amp and CD player are audiophile versions of the Rotel series driving Mission speakers. I did think about going Arcam but I doubt I would hear the difference.

Kim
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Film & Vinyl & Tubes
Old 12-29-2007   #54
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Cool Film & Vinyl & Tubes

They all go hand in glove I think. I'm no audiophile just as I'm no photographer. But I like what I like. In photos, I like creating something tangible. In music, I like listening to sound from an LP spinning on a turntable with a tone arm gently moving to and fro sending a signal through a Dynaco PAS 3 and ST70 and on to a pair of Definitive Technology Power Monitor 700s. The Def. Techs. definitely add any missing bass from the ST70.
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Old 12-29-2007   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvr
Michell Orbe SE turntable/SME V arm/Sumiko Celebration cell
Harmonix Reimyo CD
Dartzeel pre-amp
Dartzeel amp
Wilson Audio WATT VII speakers
Transparent Reference cables for CD/amp and amp/speakers, proprietary Dartzeel cables between pre and amp.
Also using Abbey Road Reference cables once in a while (at the moment, for instance).
I have no idea what you are talking about but I guess you could trade a lot of fast glass in for this stuff...
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Old 12-29-2007   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvr
Strangely enough, the trend has been audio down, cameras up, in terms of interest. That's why I say I am recovering as an audiophile (now I listen to a ton of music, both at home, ipod and car and I don't remember changing a component or even try one in more than one year!). My fear is that my "addiction" is moving to camera gear!

On the other hand (you see, rationalizing!), lenses don't loose a lot of value, especially when you buy them SH. Now CD players, on the other hand...

BTW, I love SOTA. What do you have?
Yes I've been buying way too much camera gear, but Audio has stayed reletively the same for a while.
I have a Series III Star Saphire with Vaccuum hold down with a Cosmos Platter and a Clear Audio/ Souther Tr-quartz tone arm.
Love it and I've been itching to upgrade it to a Cosmos, but cameras keep getting in the way. lol
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Old 12-29-2007   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kim Coxon
After several thousand hours flying Shackletons, ultra high end gear would be wasted on me. I use an Oak turntable with Rega arm. Amp and CD player are audiophile versions of the Rotel series driving Mission speakers. I did think about going Arcam but I doubt I would hear the difference.

Kim
After thousands of hours of diesel and sirens my hearing leaves a bit to be desired also. I barely make it through my annual medical. Stu
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Old 12-29-2007   #58
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Yes, I enjoy all sorts of stuff. Photo gear. Audio (hi-fi) gear. Audio (guitar and recording) gear.

The problem is, I'm also an electrical engineer. I build a lot of my own stuff and I'm rarely drooling over $300+ cables that are marginally better than what one can get for a tenth of that price, if you know what to buy.

The few things I own that one would consider "audiophile" that I didn't build myself include a pair of Beyerdynamic DT880 headphones. Those were worth every cent...
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Old 12-29-2007   #59
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At this point I'm a "vintage audiophile." I've had most of my gear a long time, and I'm mostly satisfied with it. Dahlquist DQ-10s; Marantz 7c preamp; McIntosh MR-67 tuner. The subwoofer is one we built when when I worked at Speakercraft, a St. Louis custom-design speaker store, now out of business. At the moment I'm driving the DQ-10s with a Threshold CS-2, and not sure if I want to leave it that way or put back the Electron Kinetics Eagle 2a. Using a Sumo Andromeda to drive the subwoofer at the moment. I used to have it in the main channel. JVC XL-Z1050 CD player. Thorens turntable, Grace arm & cartridge. If I didn't have the DQ-10s I would probably have Magneplanars.

Cables? Well, I think the Acoustic Research jobs I got open-box at Best Buy, sound a little better than the ones I made up from RG-59. But the Kimber Cables I picked up from eBay don't sound any better than the ones I made up from microphone cable. The rest of my cables are homemade, from Canare cable, using gold-plated connectors. Oh yeah the speaker cables are 12-guage zip cord. I'm mostly in the "look, all there is is resistance, capacitance, and inductance" camp.

A problem I have with seeking perfection in an audio system is that we judge them on the basis of whether we can hear things that you can't hear in a live concert hall. Things like soundstage & imaging, and whether you can tell that the piccolo is left of the flute "and you know (someone will say), with the Garbanzo cables in place, I think I can tell the Piccolo is actually behind the flute" Well, you can't hear all that from the Dress Circle boxes in Powell Hall. Is the solo violinist standing to the conductor's left? Who knows: close your eyes in Orchestra Hall, and the violin sounds like it's the size of the whole proscenium arch. Yet someone will spend a king's ransom for cables to hear this miniscule difference.

Isaac Stern used Magneplanar speakers in his living room. When asked if they sounded to him the same as the real orchestra, he replied, "No, but they sound the way I would want an orchestra to sound in my living room."

At least in photography, we accept that the photograph is an abstraction of reality, not reality itself. (Devotees of IMAX, Cinerama, and Ultra Panavision 70 are an exception.)

I can enjoy a little Tschaikovsky even if I can tell I'm not in Symphony Hall. So you tell me: Am I an audiophile?
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Old 12-29-2007   #60
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Hey! another fellow audiophile that owns Electron Kinetics! John Iverson was a friend of mine, what a character he was. I have one of a handful of Eagle 7B's he built.
Eagle 2a was a great sounding amp.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob-F
At this point I'm a "vintage audiophile." I've had most of my gear a long time, and I'm mostly satisfied with it. Dahlquist DQ-10s; Marantz 7c preamp; McIntosh MR-67 tuner. The subwoofer is one we built when when I worked at Speakercraft, a St. Louis custom-design speaker store, now out of business. At the moment I'm driving the DQ-10s with a Threshold CS-2, and not sure if I want to leave it that way or put back the Electron Kinetics Eagle 2a. Using a Sumo Andromeda to drive the subwoofer at the moment. I used to have it in the main channel. JVC XL-Z1050 CD player. Thorens turntable, Grace arm & cartridge. If I didn't have the DQ-10s I would probably have Magneplanars.

Cables? Well, I think the Acoustic Research jobs I got open-box at Best Buy, sound a little better than the ones I made up from RG-59. But the Kimber Cables I picked up from eBay don't sound any better than the ones I made up from microphone cable. The rest of my cables are homemade, from Canare cable, using gold-plated connectors. Oh yeah the speaker cables are 12-guage zip cord. I'm mostly in the "look, all there is is resistance, capacitance, and inductance" camp.

A problem I have with seeking perfection in an audio system is that we judge them on the basis of whether we can hear things that you can't hear in a live concert hall. Things like soundstage & imaging, and whether you can tell that the piccolo is left of the flute "and you know (someone will say), with the Garbanzo cables in place, I think I can tell the Piccolo is actually behind the flute" Well, you can't hear all that from the Dress Circle boxes in Powell Hall. Is the solo violinist standing to the conductor's left? Who knows: close your eyes in Orchestra Hall, and the violin sounds like it's the size of the whole proscenium arch. Yet someone will spend a king's ransom for cables to hear this miniscule difference.

Isaac Stern used Magneplanar speakers in his living room. When asked if they sounded to him the same as the real orchestra, he replied, "No, but they sound the way I would want an orchestra to sound in my living room."

At least in photography, we accept that the photograph is an abstraction of reality, not reality itself. (Devotees of IMAX, Cinerama, and Ultra Panavision 70 are an exception.)

I can enjoy a little Tschaikovsky even if I can tell I'm not in Symphony Hall. So you tell me: Am I an audiophile?
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Old 12-29-2007   #61
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I have a rather low budget, satisfyingly mid-fi setup. Early on I decided to put my money towards optimizing the mid range and forget about everything else. Since I listen mostly to small jazz groups (early Thelonius Monk and John Coltrane) and classical recitals (Arcadi Volodos, Wilhelm Kempff, Reine Gianoli) it's worked out quite well.

1) The turntable I found next to a trash can at Broadway and 3rd in New York City, not far from the great and always very tempting Stereo Exchange. The table is a 1950's vintage AR XA (supposedly the basis of the Linn), to which I attached a Linn LVX tonearm from a poorly performing Rega-clone Revolver turntable. What a difference a suspended deck makes!

2) Basic Sony Walkman CD player

3) David Bogen integrated amp, with gutsy and playful 6V6 vacuum tubes. The Bogen is an early 1960's model--made at a time when amp designers actually went out to orchestral halls and jazz clubs and tried to replicate that sort of accoustic.

4) BBC designed 1970s LS3/5a's studio monitors. (Perhaps the speaker version of the rigid Summicron.)

5) 18 gage solid core copper speaker connects--all of $3.00 worth.

6) Grado cartridges ($40 version now; Signature 8M when I have enough set aside to get a new stylus.)
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Old 12-30-2007   #62
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I used to be a bit sound obsessed and always insisted on certain amps or certain speakers and was convinced it made a difference. Sometimes driving home late at night if your in the mood and it's a good piece of road a $500.00 car sound system can seem as good as anything you've ever heard ... maybe it was something I smoked?

To draw comparisons between sound gear and camera gear is interesting ... in the scheme things ...if rating audio quality in the camera world, what would the Yashica Electro sound like ... from some of the pics I've seen come out of it in the time I've been on this forum (Avotius comes to mind) it would be right up there at a humble $35.00 or so!
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Old 12-30-2007   #63
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I built and designed most of my hifi but due to divorce and homelessness it got lost on the way Now I cant be bothered as I realized I had lost something on the way, the great excitement of hearing a cool new song or piece on cheep radios and the like. Now I listen to most music on an Ipod through a car stereo. That being said I do want to build a new amp and speakers to listen to it through. I still have designs in my head but these are not ott just I think half decent, but I keep spending money on paper ink film etc and that is more important (doing a photography ba) and I dont want to fall in to the trap of gear again.
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Old 12-30-2007   #64
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Just a thought - talking about sound reproduction and accuracy ... how many times has a live concert - sounded like the worst sound system ever ?

I came to the conclusion that If I could here the organ behind two boys in exquisie harmony , the system is fine ... then either I or the system has a bad day [ too dry or too damp ? the system not me ! ] , and the magic does not work !

Anyone here been astounded at the depth of some old mono records - helped by two speakers ?

this thread is not good - I now need to upgrade my Rega and fit the Helios Orion somehow , or fix the Pink Triangle - they live just down the road - or - or - and - and -

dee mented

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Old 12-30-2007   #65
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Just a thought - talking about sound reproduction and accuracy ... how many times has a live concert - sounded like the worst sound system ever ?

I came to the conclusion that If I could here the organ behind two boys in exquisie harmony , the system is fine ... then either I or the system has a bad day [ too dry or too damp ? the system not me ! ] , and the magic does not work !

Anyone here been astounded at the depth of some old mono records - helped by two speakers ?

this thread is not good - I now need to upgrade my Rega and fit the Helios Orion somehow , or fix the Pink Triangle - they live just down the road - or - or - and - and -

dee mented

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Old 12-30-2007   #66
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... anyone made a link between a modern turntable + valve amps and the 50s Leica / I 22 / I 50 lenses , I love on my M 8 ?

The detail might not be there , but the atmosphere / reality , IS !

I have been worrying about not wanting modern lenses for '' emma '' , but I never considered a non valve audio system - unless designed by Tim Parvincini - [ if that"s how you spell it ! ]

I was at a HI Fi show in an hotel and this 6 foot plus maverick genius was curled up bored stiff in one of those open wardrobes - he knows that sampling sound is useless in that kind of situation !

In launching his if-you-have-to-ask-you-can't-afford-it amps - he was feeding with a cheap cd player , WICKED !

I love that attitude - one in the eye for the serious attempts to maximise their systems with noise coming from everywhere ! I love it !

dee structive
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Old 12-30-2007   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dee
Just a thought - talking about sound reproduction and accuracy ... how many times has a live concert - sounded like the worst sound system ever ?
Once I was in a bar and the sound system was terrible. The recording of the piano sounded hollow and very mettalic, with a lot of strange colorations. I was annoyed by that. Suddenly, I looked back and there was a guy playing a real piano, no amplification. The piano was really lousy.

One of the bad things about having a real good system, where you can hear MUSIC all day long without strain, stress or fatigue (I'm lucky enough to be in that point), is that going to live concerts is not so "exhilarating" anymore, you really get part of the adrenaline that goes in a live performance (of course, even classic! ).

But I know, someday, I'll just sell the whole stuff and keep just a small system, costing probably 100x less and that will give me 99% of the pleasure.

The strange thing is that won't buy the same system I would have bought if I hadn't spent 20 years on upgrades... Today, I know there are things I value more than I thought, while others (more obvious) fade quickly.

If I had to sell the Dartzeels, I would go back to valves, no doubt, at all.

For me (ok, I'm in Europe, USA may be different!) valve amps are just like diesel cars and transistors are just like petrol cars: if you want a really inexpensive car, buy petrol (transistors). If you have a bit more money to spend, you'll be much better with diesel (valves). From a certain point over, diesel vs petrol is a moot point, just like valves vs transistors. ...

The Dartzeel it's an amazing amp, in the sense that it has all the qualities of the valves (smoothness, musicality, transparency, "light", etc, etc, it sounds more like "good valves" than the Jadis JP80+JA100 combo, and that's saying a lot: it sounds a bit like a single-ended-triode on steroids) with al the qualities of transitors (ok, it only gives out 150 watts. If you need to drive 80 db/W/m, 2 ohm speakers on a big room, or use your amp to power a soldering iron, Krell is better). But I have no doubt I would go valves if I had (wanted?) to "downgrade"...
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Old 12-30-2007   #68
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The piano may not have been lousy, but the room acoustics may have been. Pianos are not the same - I only have to ask my wife that, as she has given up her career as a family doctor to teach the piano. We went through a bit of keyboard GAS for a while - Kemble upright, Yamaha electric piano, Yamaha electric keyboard and now a Steinway Model B grand too. The difference is that hers takes up even more space than mine (that includes both hi-fi and cameras).

I don't think any hi-fi system really sounds like a live gig, but then again the sound engineers set up live gigs differently to studio recordings. However a good hi-fi system can really make you believe that the artists are in the room with you.

Also i think anyone into music should go and see a few live gigs regularly - whether it's rock concerts, jazz combos ina small club, opera or a full orchestra. It just makes you appreciate it all the more.

Finally, as for valves (tubes) or solid state (SS), I'm a valve fan. Valves and really good horns, like the Avantgardes, are just fantastic. I haven't heard a SS system that I really like yet.

Charlie
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Old 01-01-2008   #69
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hey guys,
though I certainly cant afford a real real audiophile system, Id like to build a decent small scale setup centered around vinyl, and any hints, good websites etc that would help me to get a hold on all that matter (Im quite a regular at the Berlin Philharmonics, but dont know anything about the technical aspects of audiophily if you will) would be much appreciated.

Cheers and a happy new year,
jmk
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Old 01-01-2008   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dee
Just a thought - talking about sound reproduction and accuracy ... how many times has a live concert - sounded like the worst sound system ever ?

I came to the conclusion that If I could here the organ behind two boys in exquisie harmony , the system is fine ... then either I or the system has a bad day [ too dry or too damp ? the system not me ! ] , and the magic does not work !


dee mented

dee

Yes, and yes! I've attended a live concert and thought, "The sound is muddy, strident, and is too recessed in the midrange!"

And I or my system have "bad sound days." I don't know about the humidity, but one factor is the amount of noise on the AC power line. Late on a Saturday or Sunday night, when industrial plants are shut down, the AC line tends to be cleaner, and teh system sounds better.
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Old 01-01-2008   #71
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I'm recovering (although I still own a system where just cables make a Noctilux seem cheap. Very cheap. ) and I am again able to sit down and just listen to music.

If you have that much money to waste, why don't you send me some of it and i'll waste it in a more useful fashion. I'd buy a Leica, I've never owned one and probably will never be able to afford one, but I'd use it every day and take lots of beautiful photographs.

Seriously, I truly think that 99.999% of the music being made today is pure garbage. I'm no old grump, i'm 32 years old and I have no interest in the spewings of the American entertainment industry. I don't listen to music and I don't own a television and I never waste my money or time going to movies. I do spend a lot of time in art museums and a lot of time making art.
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Old 01-01-2008   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M. Valdemar
I like good audio gear but only to a point. I wouldn't call myself an "audiophile". I'll admit I spend too much money sometimes and that I still like vinyl, but I also have an endless supply of CD's.

To some extent I see camera/lens fetishism and "audiophilia" to be almost one and the same phenomena. They are people who have been the victims of media/marketing.

It's profound technical ignorance married with hypnosis by reviews and magazines/websites.

The same people who will spend $3000 on a lens for their snapshots simply because they read that the lens will give them the "Leica Glow" is the same person who will spend $2500 on interconnects or $3000 on AC/Mains cable. (Yes, a plug that goes into the wall. Some sell for $10,000) It's simply mumbo-jumbo and self delusion, but "religious" adherents are the most voracious supporters of their cause.

Almost none of them are engineers or scientists.
I'm not sure I can condense my views to the extent you have. I agree wholeheartedly!
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Old 01-01-2008   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philhirn
hey guys,
though I certainly cant afford a real real audiophile system, Id like to build a decent small scale setup centered around vinyl, and any hints, good websites etc that would help me to get a hold on all that matter (Im quite a regular at the Berlin Philharmonics, but dont know anything about the technical aspects of audiophily if you will) would be much appreciated.

Cheers and a happy new year,
jmk
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Old 01-01-2008   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eric mac
I started getting in the whole cable thing, but couldn't hear the difference in the different interconnects.
Eric
This is quite likely because there IS no difference in audio terms.

Let me lay down a challenge to the "audiophiles". It's not an original one either:

Show me one, single, supportable, scientifically conducted double-blind (preferably ABX) test where a difference was shown to exist between low-end and high-end interconnects. I know of some that showed that there is absolutley no difference.

Yes, there are significant differences once you pass way beyond the capabilites of human hearing.

Multi-thousand dollar/pound power cables? Maybe you can explain two things: Firstly, the power has travelled many miles down various cables and through transformers and so on. A few feet of cable makes a difference to that? I think not. Secondly, if the power supply in your hyper-expensive gear doesn't cater for the noise on the power line and remove it, aren't you being cheated by your investment?
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Old 01-01-2008   #75
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Audiophile: One who likes audio (music) - yes I am.

Audiophile: One who spends vast sums on gear that has no substantiated advantage - No, that's not me.

I've had a long interest in audio gear. Many times I've been asked what should a person buy. Advice: If you like the sound and can afford it, buy it. If that's a 25 all-in-one gadget, fine. If it's 25,000 worth of goodies, so be it.

It's a constant source of amusement to me the pseudo-science touted that allows so many companies to extract large sums of money from gullible people. Not to mention the self-proclaimed "golden ears" who claim to hear the difference. After all, if you just spend huge sums on a new cable (or whatever), you're hardly likely to admit that you can't hear a difference!

And no offence to those on here who have parted with large sums and been happy with the outcome. Good luck to you.
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Old 01-01-2008   #76
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Chris Crawford you are an iconoclast if not an anachronism, and I salute you.

As jvr suggested, I intended to post an in-line shot of my very modest system, but suddenly the icon for inserting a photo is missing from my editor window; hmmmm...

Oh well. My front ends are a Pro-ject turntable/arm with a Summiko Blue Point, as well as a Njoe Tjoeb CD player burning a pair of Telefunken ECC-88's and Burr-Brown OPA-627's in the output buffer. Preamp/phonostage is an Audible Illusions Modulus currently burning a matched quad of Siemens CCa. The electronic crossover is a DIY based on a Welborne Labs design and is out of the system at the moment as I am recountouring the low-pass section to second-order. The high-pass amp is an acurus DIA-100 and the low-pass a Classe CA-150. High-pass monitors are design-build units based on Morel drivers. I'm re-countouring the crossover for the near-complete new low-frequency units: small design-build enclosures with 8" Peerless drivers in Isobarik cofiguration, which should be good for an f3 of about 37Hz.

All my interconnects are DIY based on Chris VenHaus' "Fine Silver Interconnects", using Eichmann Bullet Plugs. Chris is another photographer/audiophile - uses digital and probably not an RFFer. My speaker cables are a DIY design based on Kimber 4TC. The power cables are also DIY. All interconnects and cables are double or triple shielded to minimize RFI (yes, your wireless router IS messing up your sound).

Not counting the cost of tubes, man-hours, and whatever cost one places on dirty looks from the spouse, I have about $6,000 in this system. When I put in a Harmonia Mundi CD recording of Philharmonia Baroque doing Vivaldi Recorder Concertos you can hear the performers breathing, as well as the corners of the recording space - the entire Berkeley First Congregational Church fits in my living room. Or I can knock the pictures off the walls if I choose.

Of course, my three-year-old has pushed in the centers of my mid-drivers and bounced the needle off the Blue Point.

- John
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Old 01-01-2008   #77
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Quote:
ust a thought - talking about sound reproduction and accuracy ... how many times has a live concert - sounded like the worst sound system ever ?
A friend who reviews music says the symphony halls of the 1990s have the accoustics of bad cd/solid state systems, as if no one knew any difference these days. Davies Hall in San Francisco is sort of an example of this type of construction, though the newer Disney Hall in Los Angeles (where Dudamel will soon be conducting) is supposed to have very nice sound.

I'm convinced there are lots of satisfyingly good systems you can buy for not terribly much. The British sound magazines always used to recommend carefully matched systems at L~250, 500, 750 levels.

I think once you decide you'll forego the sound of the piano hinges creeking and the wheezing of the players (something you never hear, or at least notice, in live performances), it isn't too expensive. A vacuum tube or two along the way helps with the nice decay of piano notes and the general harmonic structures. And as one once burned, beware of the cables racket!
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Old 01-01-2008   #78
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Quote:
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Chris Crawford you are an iconoclast if not an anachronism, and I salute you.
LOL. I am strange, that's for sure. I know so many people who's lives are truly under the thumb of the entertainment industry. Thier lives ruled by the times that "Their" shows come on the television.

When I lived in Santa Fe, I lived with a girl out there who, along with her 16 yr old son, were the worst examples I have ever seen. They watched TV 24/7. The woman wouldn't leave the house and do anything, I had to practically beg her to go out to eat with me because she was just lazy. all she wanted to do was watch TV. She called in sick at her job every other day cause she didn't feel like doing anything except sitting in front of the idiot box. Her kid was worse. She let him drop out of high school so he could sit in his room watching TV and playing video games all day. He wasn't a naturally stupid kid either...had potential he was throwing away.

I drove up to Indiana and got my 10 yr old son and brought him out over the summer. Him and I spent the whole time he was there going to museums, hiking in the mountains, taking pictures, driving around to see the natural beauty of New Mexico. She wouldn't do any of this with us, wanted to watch TV instead. I don't think my son met her son at all the whole 6 weeks he was staying with us; her son never left his bedroom. It was sad to see people so enslaved by mindless trash like that. My ex got fired from her job recently cause she was too lazy to work. She is about to lose her house, but she told me yesterday that her and her son spent money to go see a movie. Personally I'd prefer eating. And having a home.

All I can say is that I am thankful beyond anything you can understand that my kid would rather read a book, go outside and play, go hiking, build model rockets, play with animals, see museums, and think rather than watch TV, listen to mindless music, waste money going to movies or play video games.

http://www.amazon.com/Closing-Americ.../dp/0671657151 Check this book out. The Closing of the American Mind by Allan Bloom. Bloom was a college professor and he taught long enough to see students in the days when they came to school and studied; and then he saw the transition to todays environment where students are constantly plugged in to walkmans, ipods, music even when "Studying". He says his students in the last years he taught were virtually unteachable because you couldn't get them to THINK. The constant sound in their ears numbed their minds as surely as drugs do, and made them impervious to learning.
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Old 01-01-2008   #79
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Around 15 years ago, the NY Times audio equipment critic wrote about a double blind test of amplifiers, where audio reporters and other experts in sound techology compared a cheap Pioneer solid state receiver with a high end tube amplifer system. CD player and speakers were the same, the "experts" did not know which amp they were listening to. Oh, they could tell the difference alright. But half of them gave the edge to the cheapo Pioneer receiver.

Hey, I just love the music.
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Old 01-02-2008   #80
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Quote:
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A friend who reviews music says the symphony halls of the 1990s have the accoustics of bad cd/solid state systems, as if no one knew any difference these days.
Wow. In this generality this allows one of two conclusions:

(1) 1990s symphony halls sound bad because the architectural acoustics designers in the 1990s were semi-deaf idiots, spoiled by running around with a Walkman all day, who didn't appreciate quality and didn't know any difference.

(2) 1990s symphony halls sound different because there was a different taste prevalent at the time. This taste is not en vogue today, so it's labeled as "bad".

Allow me to elaborate a little bit. Solid state systems don't sound "bad" per se, just different. Since the mid-1990s two things happened. Firstly, partly due to various developments on the financial markets, a lot of people especially in the US or the UK had significant amounts of disposable income. Secondly, the general sentiment of "back to the good old days when quality still meant something" arose that has, among other things, contributed to the renaissance of Leica, bakelite wall plugs and tube amps. Under these circumstances it's no wonder that people who've made a significant emotional (and financial) investment into old-fashioned technology tend not to appreciate some more modern technology - hence the sentiments against plastics in camera construction, against autofocus that has made it too easy, and against solid state technology in amplifiers. The fact that they label this as "bad", and hence the acoustics of buildings designed during an era when this was the predominant taste (among architects and among audiophiles in the 1980s and 90s, too!) as "cheap", is hardly surprising, but it also probably says as much about the people doing the labeling as about the acoustics themselves.

Philipp
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