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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 01-02-2008   #81
jjovin
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I have to say that I "heard difference" between different interconnects.
I used to have a pair of relatively expensive MIT interconnects which I got for free
from a friend who was selling high end audio equipment.
Then I compared them with interconnects made of 12 gage electrical wire.
One day a few years back I could not pass
a sale of monster digital interconnects at radio shack for $12.
When I tested the digital ones as my analog interconnects,
it was clear that the sound stage was so well defines and it seemed like
I was looking through Zeiss glass.
So, I replaced all my interconnects with the $12 digital ones. I have strong doubts that any more expensive ones would sound better.

For completeness, my stereo system consists of
Linn turntable,
Conrad-Johnson tube amplifier and preamplifier,
Pro-Ac speakers and
CAL Icon CD player.
Coincidentally, I also own a Zeiss Ikon camera.


However, I spent many years listening to many different high end systems and there is difference in sound between other components (amps pre-amps, turntables ...).
One just has to decide if that difference is worth the money.
But I have no problem with people spending huge amounts of “their own” money on whatever they want, be it Leica or Krell.

Good listening in the new year,
Zoran
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Old 01-02-2008   #82
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Philipp,
I shouldn't perhaps have made such a sweeping statement, simply the acoustics of Davies Hall isn't great, Carnegie Hall is pretty good to great, as is Disney Hall, which at this time I have to take on faith. I don't think audio designers are as keen to these differences as they were in the sixties.

I suppose the general interest in tube equipment is indeed in part snob appeal, but it's also in part to fact the first CDs sounded quite awful and many people bought tube equipment to fill in for some of the lost harmonic depth and musical nuances. This seems to be happening again with the severely compressed signals of iPods and MP3 downloads. Half snobbery and half empirical data--regular ears, not golden ears, can still detect the differences.

As far as solid state sound, my own experience was with 1980s Music Fidelity A-1 and A-101 integrateds which were as good as the best low budget tube sound I've heard (Dyncos and Bogens). NADs always sounded a bit flat to me.

jjovin,
In a moment of weakness I did buy some MIT interconnects which were nice, but very dark sounding. I've found that solid core speaker wire does lack a little of the bass of (much) more expensive proprietary versions. You do tend to fill in after a while.
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Old 01-03-2008   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by summaron
but it's also in part to fact the first CDs sounded quite awful and many people bought tube equipment to fill in for some of the lost harmonic depth and musical nuances. This seems to be happening again with the severely compressed signals of iPods and MP3 downloads. Half snobbery and half empirical data--regular ears, not golden ears, can still detect the differences.
Oh, I'm not denying that there are audible differences between different types of amplifiers. Tubes produce their own kind of distortion, which some people consider pleasant. What's interesting is who labels what as "better" and how this quality judgment comes about. That's largely a question of aesthetics, and in a general atmosphere where the good old things are given extra credits that's where it becomes interesting.

In theory you can look at the transmission characteristics of a tube amp and of a $100 solid state amp and use a DSP to produce exactly the same output, provided you have a sufficeintly fast DSP, which isn't a problem nowadays. (Well, within the audible spectrum anyway, so a dog might realize the difference unless your model takes care of that.) I'm not sure if anyone has ever committed such heresy and submitted audiophiles to a double blind test. Tube amp emulation is quite popular at the moment with guitar amps, though.

As far as interconnects are concerned, don't even get me started on digital cables. The whole point of digital signal transmission is that all the bits that go in at one end get out at the other. The data is the same anyway, regardless if I do this via a $400/meter digital cable or via telephone wire. If data is lost, you get clicks and pops, not subtle differences in frequency characteristics. I don't understand if reviewers such as this guy really don't have any clue how digital signals work or if it's all a big practical joke. I also know people who use digital cables to connect their analog equipment, claiming that the digital transmission is somehow improving things because it's digital. One doesn't have to be an engineer to find oneself scratching one's head.

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Old 01-03-2008   #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rxmd
As far as interconnects are concerned, don't even get me started on digital cables. The whole point of digital signal transmission is that all the bits that go in at one end get out at the other. The data is the same anyway, regardless if I do this via a $400/meter digital cable or via telephone wire. If data is lost, you get clicks and pops, not subtle differences in frequency characteristics. I don't understand if reviewers such as this guy really don't have any clue how digital signals work or if it's all a big practical joke. I also know people who use digital cables to connect their analog equipment, claiming that the digital transmission is somehow improving things because it's digital. One doesn't have to be an engineer to find oneself scratching one's head.


You know, after finding out the whole mains cables thing, I had a thought of starting a business selling high-end electricity.

One gets to hear a lot of shocking explanations from people who are more passionate than knowledgeable about some subjects. Like, about tones falling in-between bits on CDs, and hence vinyl being better. Must've been someone's explanation of sampling that got stuck half-way through.
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Old 01-04-2008   #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by varjag


You know, after finding out the whole mains cables thing, I had a thought of starting a business selling high-end electricity.

One gets to hear a lot of shocking explanations from people who are more passionate than knowledgeable about some subjects. Like, about tones falling in-between bits on CDs, and hence vinyl being better. Must've been someone's explanation of sampling that got stuck half-way through.
If you need a good laugh sometime, take a look at:
http://www.machinadynamica.com/
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Old 01-04-2008   #86
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Speaking of cables, take a look at this bloke http://www.bogdanaudio.com/
I used to know him when he was a car mechanic with no knowledge of electricity
and magnetism. He tried first building high end turntables but it did not work out.
Now he is in the cable business. I am not sure who makes these cables for him and
how many he sells but apparently he has enough money to pay a professional web designer for his site.

I also talked with the owner of basis audio http://www.basisaudio.com/
about a year ago when he said that half of his profits come from cable sales.


In any case, “digital cables” may offer extra shielding as analog interconnects,
which in some comparisons can make an audible difference. So cable business is not so black and white.
There a few shades of gray but certainly not as much color as those making profit from them claim.
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Old 04-06-2008   #87
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I voted "Yes", but I'm not so much a gear lover, as a sound and music lover.

I could afford (but not justify) a moderately expensive system, so I went the DIY route. Horn speakers (tractrix), push-pull directly heated triodes amp (my own design), vintage pre-amp and a Thorens turntable. Cheapo "jukebox" CD player with a good DAC.

I didn't follow hi-fi "fashion", I followed my ears. I guess if I followed fashion, I wouldn't be shooting with a scruffy old M and assorted Barnacks, either.
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Audiophile- kind of.....
Old 04-06-2008   #88
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Audiophile- kind of.....

I guess you can say I am an audiophile, but I hate the word. But just saying "music lover" or "I like my stereo" does not justify the love I have for high end -well built - sophisticated equipment. I have a passion for the equipment as well as the music. For me, I do appreciate the music far more than the equipment, but I can totally listen to music that is not super high quality as long as it is recorded well technically. The same way I may look at a photo due to the technical marvel of how well it was treated in the darkroom even though it does not move me passionately. I guess this is what Ansel Adams' photos of trees are to me.

I have a Bottlehead all tube system right now which I have built the phono and linestage but have not had time to build my two Paramount monoblocks yet. I am using an old HK as an amp till class lets out for summer. I have a modest Goldring Turntable that I hope to replace with an upgrade soon. I have an Onkyo dx755 single Cd player that I bought a couple of months ago that is very nice but modest financially compared to most "audiophile" cd transport-da converters. I have two fostex/madisound bk 16 speakers I built over the christmas break that were a gift from my girlfriend.

And YES we can all be musicians or music lovers that listen to our music on computer speakers and mp3 players- just as well as we can all be photographers or photo lovers who shoot pics with our cellphones and only look at them on the display of our phones.
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Old 04-06-2008   #89
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I play trombone, guitar, ukulele and a few other things, and my wife plays piano, organ and also a few other things (she's a music therapist by profession), so we have a pretty decent sound system for listening and occasional recording, and I do like listening to vinyl and buy new recordings on vinyl when I can, but I don't think of myself as an "audiophile," which I associate with a kind of rarified world of fascination with super high-end audio components. I guess a few things we have, like a solid state MX114 MacIntosh Tuner-Preamp and a Bang and Olufsen Beogram 1800 turntable with their top-end MMC 1 cartridge might be considered the low-end of "audiophile" gear, but most of what we have is just good studio gear, like a Tascam A500 cassette deck and CD player and US-122 digital audio interface box, Soundtracs Topaz mixer, a pair of Genelec 1030a powered monitors, and Sony MD7506 and Sennheiser HD414 headphones.

For the cost of those super high-end components, I figure we could attend a lot more live performances than we currently do, which we prefer anyway. I sympathize with the audiophile concept that the reason to pursue the ultimate sound is to resurrect the dead by recreating performances of the past, but there's a lot of great music happening now that we'd like to hear as well.

Last edited by David Goldfarb : 04-07-2008 at 17:10.
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Old 04-06-2008   #90
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What on earth is a music therapist?
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Old 04-07-2008   #91
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There are a number of approaches to music therapy (some more like psychotherapy, some more like physical or occupational therapy), but my wife works mainly with hearing impaired children and children with communication disorders like autism and Rhett's Syndrome. For people with communication issues, improvisational music can become an alternative to language as a way of relating to other people and developing relational skills. For hearing impaired children (who usually have some residual hearing or hearing assisted with cochlear implants or hearing aids), learning music in an environment suited to their needs has its own value and better attunement to sound through music can help to develop language skills.

Here's some more information about the approach my wife uses--

http://www.nordoff-robbins.org.uk/

http://steinhardt.nyu.edu/music/nordoff/

And here's the website of the American Music Therapy Association, which covers many different approaches--

http://www.musictherapy.org/
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Old 04-07-2008   #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvr View Post
...
Feel free to share your audio setup, if you are an audiophile and your thoughts on this, even if you are not.
...
Well, not even near to your.. but here it is:

Thorens TD160
Denon DL-103

Tube Phono Preamp MC/MM (yes all tube) designed by me (oh.. well I'm an engineer after all)

Audio Note M1
Densen B300
JBL Jubal

Quite happy with it...
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Old 04-07-2008   #93
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......funny!

Most of the people do not hear if someone play a wrong note and Jazz is is only a "noisy boring thing"........why should they hear a difference between speakers and different equipment ...

If you work a lot with music you learn more and more and you begin to "hear" the difference....that means not expensive equipment like in the "High End" mafia ......but well built technology! like in Studios and there is not much difference between the 60th or later, more difference of "taste". and easy working!...like AF in photography!..

regards,

Jan

I forgot:

Klein & Hummel Telewatt 70 (amp)
Thorens 124 / SME 3012
shure M65 Phono Stage
KEF K1 Monitor

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Old 04-07-2008   #94
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Krell amp; Conrad Johnson Pre; Tandberg tuner; Lynn turntable; Scintilla full range ribbon speakers. Only thing wrong is you cannot do 5.1 channels with six foot tall 3 foot wide speakers.
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Old 04-07-2008   #95
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I am a recording engineer (classical) and producer as well as cello professor at a university. I love photography for both the artistic side and the technical side. I think there is a lot of similarity between the art forms.

Mike
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Old 04-08-2008   #96
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Oh, Flashback City...

In another life, not only was I knee-deep in the 'fi, but was actually selling the high-end stuff from about 1986 to 1991. I was also involved in live location recording of solo musicians, chamber ensembles, and the occasional orchestra. Fun, and crazy, and revelatory. (And the live-recording part was crucial in understanding a lot of stuff I'd never have discovered otherwise, even though I did, and still do, go out and listen to a lot of live music).

The stuff I came away with from all this:

- There are limits to all this. When we had Mark Levinson personally set up a "statement" system for us at the shop, largely made up of components from his then-current company (Cello), with a modified Technics portable DAT recorder on the front end, playing back live recordings made by Levinson himself, and a pair of Duntech Sovereign speakers on the back end (hint: a pair of these probably clock in at around 25% the weight of a Mini Cooper S). Estimated cost of the setup: about $100,000. Did I hear $100,000 of audio? I don't think so. Scary-looking system, though. I did have fun demo'ing it for people during the time we had it set up.

- Tubes are cool, but hardly the last word. I've heard a number of nice tube-based systems, but I've heard (and, in a few cases, actually owned) some lovely solid-state gear, my two favorite brands, by some odd coincidence, based in Norway: Tandberg and Electrocompaniet, not necessarily in that order.

- Cables...totally out of control. I've played with some of the most expensive stuff, and with the cheapest of the "decent" stuff. The latter gets you where you want to go 90% of the time. Also, think about the wire that was used inside the components you're fretting over. Chances are damn good that it's nothing above the cheap-but-decent cable you can buy most anywhere, and quite possibly not even as good. And we won't even get into the subject of typical household wiring.

- Good hi-fi won't make all your recorded music sound lovely. If it did, it's not truly hi-fi. If a recording was badly or indifferently engineered, a decent system can and should show this up. This doesn't mean you have to be a masochist to be an audiophile (though, depending on your motivations, it might help ), but you have to be prepared for the occasional letdown in your listening pleasure, even with a favorite recording. (Wasn't it J. Gordon Holt who said something to the effect of "the greater the performance, the lousier the recording?")

- Less can be more. While this didn't always give my sales managers warm-and-fuzzy feelings toward me, I got the biggest kick from helping someone who was truly a music lover, but on a tight budget, go home with a killer system or component upgrade that made them really, really happy. Putting together something enjoyable together for, say, $1200-1500 was actually an enjoyable challenge, whereas putting together something for $25,000 was almost drop-dead simple by comparison. And, I got to meet a lot of nice people this way.

- Good sound comes from unexpected places. When I moved in with galfriend a few years back, I decided to sell off almost all my audio gear (no place to set it up now), save for my turntable (my beloved, and heavy, Mission SM, with Mission 774 tonearm designed by one John Bicht, better known as the founder of Versa Dynamics, and a truly nice guy), and my Proton AI-3000 "thinking-person's mini-system"). I'd long ago given galfirend my Allison CD8 speakers, which are now what we listen to, although I have to replace the foam surrounds on the bass drivers shortly. (I won't be letting go of these anytime soon; Roy Allison is about as close as anyone comes to being an industry hero to me.) Turntable is her old, box-stock AR XA with an aging Shure cartridge (I actually have an identical AR 'table, in much nicer shape, but I need a new headshell for it). The heart of the system? An old Hitachi SR-804 receiver, which was buried in galfriend's closet for years, and I decided to rebuild on the hunch that it would sound better than the much-newer but slowly falling apart JVC she'd been suffering with for some time. The improved sound was actually shocking to me, and even more shocking to her (note: none of my girlfriends gave a damn about hi-fi, but they all knew good sound when they heard it, and when I tweaked around with whatever they were listening to music through at the time...). The CD player, alas, if just a fair-to-middling Aiwa DVD/CD player, but it actually plays CDs with above-average quality, so I can't gripe too much. And there's a dock for my iPod Photo; yes, it's not the best fi, but since I rip my CDs ar 256k AAC these days (a fringe benefit of the whole iTunes Plus thing), the sound isn't that dire. But I'll likely go for something better to play CDs on before too long.

- Audio, particularly at the high end, is a much crazier business than photography. Trust me on this.


- Barrett
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Old 04-08-2008   #97
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yes guilty as charged but completely done for over 12 years - as I'm still enjoying my combination, at least when I've time to listen.
What amazed me at first and still does, is that at a certain point I got something together which is just plain and simple : pleasant & relaxed. You can listen for 3hrs and it doesn't leave you in need of a massage. I bought everything at the same dealer and finally it turned out to be a good fit.
ASR Emitter 1, Krell CD-DSP, Apogee Centaur / Stax Lambda pro & ED-1, MIT term3 cables.
Obviously a bad recording will not sound pleasant and the Stax is the ultimate "pixel peeping" for the ears (you can hear if the micro is on but silence or if its off or that the aircondition is restarting or a truck passing outside the concert hall etc.) Everytime it's funny when someone picks a CD that he or she thinks to know quite well and is pretty surprised that it never sounded like that. Disadvantage : It's not really suitable for creating background music because it's just too immediate, too demanding of your attention. So something you need to take your time and listen.
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Old 06-06-2008   #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amateriat
If a recording was badly or indifferently engineered, a decent system can and should show this up. This doesn't mean you have to be a masochist to be an audiophile
It's the CICA ([email protected] in - [email protected] out) philosophy, which I believe in. It's somewhere aligned with the law of conservation of energy: you can't make something out of nothing. At least not in this Universe.

I feel so out of date: I still own my lowly Dolby 2.0 Sony multi-component system with four Bose speakers (two of them I haven't used in a long long time).

I will say one thing for sure: avoid the 1-bit A/D converter players. :blech:
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Old 08-13-2008   #99
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Guilty as charged. Music is my winter passion. Photography is more active in summer.

I've done my share of hifi roller coaster over the years, but finally recognise good music when i hear it. I'm happy and I now listen to a wide range of music but main diet are jazz, big orchestral works, flamengco/acoustic guitar, traditional/new age world fusion. System has barely changed in 3 years. Minor tweaks here and there.

Gear list:
- Audiomecca Mephisto IIx CDP (Sony PS1 whilst mephisto being repaired)
- Tube Distinctions Soul-Mate pre
- Tom Evans Linear A amp (25 watt, SET hybrid)
- Living Voice OBX-R2s speakers
- Cables all Audio Tekne 500 strand litz (think kondo)
- Tweaks: QRT, magic clock, BPT, Oyaide, acoustic resonators, brilliant pebbles, shum mook, cable jackets, symposiums, finite elemente, etc


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Old 08-13-2008   #100
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Voted no because I sold all my high end audio years ago and because of my extensive hunting background, my ears are too "shot" to notice "audio detail":
2 Dynaco MKIV hand built mono tube amps (120 watts rms)
Mark Levinson pre-amp (Tubed, cannot remember model)
Scott three channel tube receiver which I used as the AM/FM tuner (bought for $5 in Burnet, Texas fire department garage sale)
Thorens Mk III table, SME III arm with ADC XLM cartridge
Kenwood 500 (Concrete base) with SME III w ADC XLM II cartridge
Dahlquist 10Q speakers w double sub woofers
All the great direct-to-disk albums which absolutely stunned people when played at "serious volume: Wagner, Prokofiev, etc.

Boy, those were the days ...
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Old 09-18-2008   #101
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I make my own music, mostly (gypsy jazz guitar) but I listen to a lot of other kinds of jazz. I don't care about the tech, I care about the music.

HOWEVER, in order to make good audio/dslr presentations online (www.soundslides.com ...see the samples) I bought an amazing Olympus LS-10 digital recorder...superb built in mikes, ability to focus them something like shotgun mikes...dead silent, Leica-sized. With audio downloaded offline it's at least as good as common CD...use it to drive shoebox-sized Yamaha powered speakers or latest Sony compact earphones amp with NAD receiver and play through unnecessarily large floor-standing Beovox speakers.

My impression is that audiophiles are technophiles more commonly than music makers, just as camera operators are more commonly equipment owners than photographers...


Quote:
Originally Posted by jvr View Post
I know a lot of people that really likes music and photography (or audio and photo gear ), so there must be a few around in RFF...

I confess myself a very addicted, but recovering, audiophile. By this, I mean I started by playing music (classical guitar), then listen to music, then buying the best gear to listen to music and suddenly, I was listening to sound and not music, although my system was MILES better than where I started.

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.

Sometimes, I have a feeling I'm falling into the same trap in photography (and it's even worse, because gear is not so expensive, meaning GAS attacks are more frequent...). I get myself analysing the merits of a photo in purely technical terms, the way I used to when listening to sound. And subtely but surely I've been making technicaly very good photos but worse as "photos". And, worse of all, I've been falling into the trap of "Oh, if I just had that lens, I would take wonderful photos!".

Feel free to share your audio setup, if you are an audiophile and your thoughts on this, even if you are not.

My "final" (yes, it's final unless I downgrade) system is a bit esoteric:

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).
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Old 09-21-2008   #102
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I definitely went through a stage where I was interested in audio gear, but I never spent vast sums of money. I am able to realise when I am happy with something, and that if I was to spend a drastic amount more money, the return would be close to nil. I think the same thing applies to my photography gear. Except photography gear is cheaper and more varied, so there is more of an interest.

I settled on a pretty decent sony solid state amp, Sony CD player, some $20 a metre cable (yes, I have listened to a number of cables and honestly couldn't tell the difference). and I built (with my dad) a set of pipe speakers, which I am very happy with. They sound great, look great, and it gives me a great sense of achievement to listen to them. I'm sure there are "better" systems out there, but I enjoy mine a lot and probably wouldn't change anything unless I won lotto and didn't know what to do with the money.
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Old 09-23-2008   #103
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I think I am becoming one now that I own Shure in-earphones. Hard to deviate back to friends' generic buds. Does that count as an audiophile?
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Old 09-28-2008   #104
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I'm an audiophile with not enough money to buy what I really want, but that's turned out OK. I have a very good table ("The Source", from a defunct Scottish table) which is massive. I'll be putting it back into service fairly soon. It will drive a small office system of a modified Dynaco PAS-3x pre-amp, and the amp I am going to try is an old Motorola unit from a console. The amp is low power, so I'll have to find some small, very efficient speakers.

It's not high spec by any means, but the electronics might be a good match for vinyl playback ... and if I sneak a couple of MP3s in from time to time, it will warm them up.

I'm in it for the music, so I won't fuss much.
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Old 10-15-2008   #105
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My audio equipment is 20+ years old, Technics amp, Phillips 877 record deck Phillips CD104 disc player, Videoton Minimax speakers, I still like the sound so why change it, I have 500+ LPs (mostly classical) and access to about 3000+ CDs. (all sorts)
The music is the main thing for me.
I still have about 100 shellac 78'S
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Old 12-24-2008   #106
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I have quite a nice Naim/Linn system, all bought second hand, I'm actually in the process of upgrading the naim amp/pre amp, with some more secondhand Naim, interestingly I should get back more or less what I paid for it ten years ago. So although the initial costs were higher than buying standard high street systems, it's actually been cheaper in the long run.
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Old 12-24-2008   #107
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I have a 1960s Dual 1209 turntable, one of Sony's better pre-amp/amp combos from the mid 90s, and a decent Sony single disc player. All into a second hand Polk sub-sat system.

By no means audiophile (talk to my dad though - he's big into it). I like music. I like it sound good. But I also know the limits of what I can hear, and would rather spend the time and money elsewhere. When I really want the most out of something, I have good headphones and an ok headphone amp (sennheiser 555 phones, and a headroom - bithead, and honestly, most decent headphones will vastly outperform anything I can afford to put together).
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Old 12-24-2008   #108
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I am a budget audiophile and my set up includes nothing more than a SACD player, headphone amp and high end Grado and Sennheiser headphones.
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Old 12-25-2008   #109
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JTK: Cool, I play gypsy jazz a little, too. Not very good yet [it's a style I am working my way into]. I also play a little classical guitar.

I like having a nice system, but I am a cheapskate. So I don't have an audiophile system at all.

Tannoy speakers [Sixes, rather than anything expensive]
Sansui amp [70s integrated]
Technics turntable [just a bog-standard direct drive model]
Yamaha tuner

[Attached to my PC I have a Denon receiver and a set of Tannoy Mercury speakers, with a Beresford DAC connected to the optical out on my soundcard].
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Old 12-25-2008   #110
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"I was listening to sound and not music..."

That describes me many years ago. I enjoyed the music much more when I had a $150 stereo than when I got my Dynaco tubed pre-amp, amp and AR speakers (and that was in the mid-'60s). I finally kicked the habit. Now I mostly listen over my PC speakers (nothing fancy, just Logitech), but I do keep around a Cambridge Audio Preamp, Amp and CD player connected to Magnapan mini-speakers. I really think music sounds better through planar speakers rather than cones. This last set-up is the most satisfying I have ever owned, from a musical point-of-view, and that's all that matters. It was also very cost effective. I don't remember the total cost but it was under $1500.

I did get a mobi sub-woofer for this system, which I decided I didn't like. Added it to my home theater system, decided I didn't like that and it is now turned-off. I mostly spend money on iTunes downlaods these days. It's better that way.

I am finally done! Wish I could say the same for photography!


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Old 12-25-2008   #111
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Linn Sondek ,Ittok. Powered by a Linn Lingo. Amp is an old 80`s Rogers A100, Speakers are Linn Kans, Tuner is a Quad FM. All conected to a separate electrical circuit which is connected directly into the main supply using substantial wiring .
Been happy with it for years. No desire to upgrade but when I do look at the prices for the turntable upgrades it makes Leica prices look like bargain basement !
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Old 12-25-2008   #112
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Set up

Hi!
Mark Levinson LNP-2 pre-amp, MarkLevinson Cello Encore power,
Acoustic Solid turntable (traded it in for a Platine Verdier) with Eminent Technologies air-bearing tone-arm, Transfiguration Temper Supreme cartridge (away for service at the moment!) Phono Pre-amp Manfred Baier Omtec. CD system Linn Karik and Numerik.
Speakers are a two-way design by a friend of mine with external crossovers, which use tubes as passive capacitors to bridge foils, etc. also his cbales throughout.
Also vintage Braun turntable with SME arm and budget Grado system as emergency unit till other system is returned.
Best Wolfhard
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Old 12-25-2008   #113
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I bought a Quad 33/303 back in 1974, along with a Goldring GL75 deck, and the following year added a pair of esl57 electrostatic speakers. The amps are still going strong, as is the FM3 tuner and Rega Planar 3 that joined the system in the early eighties. The speakers were replaced by another, better set of esl57s which probably date from the late sixties about 5 years ago.

I keep my cameras just as long. I still have the Nikkormat FTn I bought in 1975, and my first Nikon F was added a couple of years later.
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Old 12-25-2008   #114
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Just go to www.audiokarma.org and all your audio questions will be answered. They're the audio equivalent of RFF.
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Old 12-25-2008   #115
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I don't think I could ever justify the cost. However I would be an audiophile if I had a large enough range of music.

When I was at school, a boarding school in the mid eighties, I began casting around for better reproduction on my cheapy walkman, recording from CDs on to metal tapes, that sort of thing. One day one of the older boys who had realised that I hadn't a clue drew me in to his room and spanked me, er, I mean he played "A Momentary Lapse of Reason" through his cheap-but-cheerful Rotel amp and £300 turntable. It was like a religious experience. That album was always fabulous, but on this kit it was sublime.

I've realised since that most 'Hi-Fi's' upon which people have sometimes spent quite a lot of money are nothing of the sort. They should have visited a real HI-Fi shop and ended up with something that would move them to prayer, and for much less money. That Rotel Amp was only £150 at the time.
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Old 12-25-2008   #116
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I used to be. My last setup included Martin-Logan speakers, McCormick and Acurus amps, California Audio, etc. Maybe not super-esoteric stuff, but considering my resources at the time and the space i had to work with (NYC apartment), it was not bad.

But, even with a 7' tower of gear, i found i was listening to music more while working on my computer - using Kensington Sound Sticks, playing MP3s. I actually ENJOYED the music more from that setup, amazingly. It had more 'energy' and immediacy. So, when i got rid of that big system, i found that i had more money to spend, but less of an inclination to spend it on audio. I still bought Sonus-Faber speakers, but just bought a Rotel receiver.

What's 'sick' about high-end audio is that no matter where i went to audition components, the music sounded perhaps 'accurate' and balanced, but it was a bit boring. I remember, in the middle of the process, i gave a friend a CD of stuff i wanted him to listen to. He played it in his car, and i was struck by how big and involving and exciting the sound was. From a cheap, unbalanced car system. So, my interests and priorities have changed. I'm more interested in listening to music on something that lets me feel and enjoy it, rather than worrying about specs and elite brand names.

I'm trying to get there with photography, as well, but can't. I've tried LOMOs and Holgas and such, but i still need a better technical foundation.

But, even when i was buying audio magazines, i was always laughing at guys who were paying hundreds and thousands of dollars on interconnects and speaker cables. It's kinda funny when you realize that the studios where the music is produced rely on $15 cables, and the people playing back the results are spending $1,000 on a single speaker cable. This 'test' was cute:

http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2008/03/au..._hanger-2.html
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Old 12-25-2008   #117
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About 15 years ago I walked into a Naim showroom and walked out a convert. Spent a bit on a nice system that was very harmonious... Naim 72 / 140 / Hicap, CD3 w/ Hicap, Linn Kabers. Never once have I have a desire to change and this system has provided many, many, many blissful hours of listening. Listening to it now, as a matter of fact (Frank Sinatra). I see a number of people saying they own Naim systems... they are quite amazing, at least the systems made under Julian Vereker's watchful eye.
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Old 12-25-2008   #118
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I voted No, but I like music.

I'm sort of the opposite of an audiophile.

I like music a lot, but in a more abstract way. To me, focusing on music reproduction diminishes what I like about music in the first place. Which is mainly good songs (composition).

Also, I tend to like music which may be "flawed", like a singer with not a traditionally good voice, like Neil Young, or The Mountain Goats, or Lucinda Williams, or Tom Waits. Insisting on high end reproduction of audio which isn't "perfect" to begin with seems pointless.

Not to be contrarian, but....
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Old 01-02-2009   #119
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grado+fuze.jpg

Just bare enough to call my self audiophile.
Listening FLAC on these budget Grado is real satisfaction!
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Old 01-03-2009   #120
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Once upon a time I was listening to the amps´ sound not music. I was an audiophile even enjoying music.
It stopped some 20 years ago when I started working with Power stations steam turbines. A lot of exposition to VERY loud hissing noise rendered a serious loss of frequency/level response.
Now I listen to music only, disregarding if the unit is high end or not.
The audio system I still keep is very simple and old (a mix from the late ´60s and ´70s):

Pioneer SX 780 receiver/amp.
Pioneer CTF 8080 and Sansui SC 1330 cassette players
LG 5 CD changer
Lenco L850 belt drive turntable
Garrard 401 transcription turntable (no electronc pitch control) with a couple of Lenco arms salvaged from scrapped turntables
Audio Technica AT 20SS cartridge with Shibata stylus (and some other cartridges)
General Electric VR II (for those old shellac 78 rpm records)
Audio Technica ATH8 and ATH 7 electrostatic headphones
Home made 3 way speakers.

Ernesto
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