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jvr
12-29-2007, 05:26
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).

Pherdinand
12-29-2007, 06:05
well, i am not audiophile in the sense of looking and buying the best system to play it. I am an audiophile in the sense of i can't live without music every damn day. I have something on almost always when it is possible. With the portability of todays' music, that includes ...well, almost every minute. Luckily even at work i can have it on many times.
I am listening to an excellent internet radio station non stop since last evening. It was on all night long. Sometimes i wake up and really enjoy nice background music.
It also helps, like for n overgrown kid, to have it on when i go to sleep. Sometimes i can spend an hour or two in the bed before i finally fall asleep, no matter how late i go to bed! very annoying. This is usually much reduced if i put something on.

I used to have a TESLA turntable with excellent amplifier and two great speakers when i was in school age. In the nineties. But it's too big to carry it around, i left it at home. Still works except the needle needs to be replaced. I also hooked up a technics cd player on it in the "better times". But honestly i preferred LPs for some strange reason. I don't think i could hear quality difference, but i just liked them more.
Now i'm stuck with a plain dvd player, my laptop, and a jbl "creature" amplifier-speaker system. I got the creature as a present, and i was pleasantly surprised when i unpacked and tried it out. Quite good sound for three bubbles of plastic.

Pherdinand
12-29-2007, 06:06
by the way the radio station is called Beat Blender on Soma FM. Deserves a bit of commercial, its really good.

rxmd
12-29-2007, 06:14
No. In fact I see audiophiles as a warning sign what happens to you if you get into gear too much.

This includes a certain attitude of "but it's really about the music" when it obviously isn't about music, but about gear - you can listen to great music on a $10 MP3 player and it will still be great music, and no $150 cable adds to or detracts from it.

Philipp

kevin m
12-29-2007, 06:24
I don't think you can make a sharp distinction, as your poll does, between gear lover and music lover, or gear lover and photography lover, for that matter. You need some gear to accomplish either goal, and if you're going to have gear, then you have to pay attention to it, to some degree. I think the danger lies in getting lost in the specs and losing the music, or the pictures.

I have a very humble sound system. A pair of ADS 810 speakers I bought nearly twenty years ago; an Adcom amp and preamp I bought off ebay; a Rega Planar 3 turntable and new RB-250 tonearm with a Dynavector 10x5 cartridge. I did splurge on one audiophile-type item, and that's a set of carbon fiber isolation feet for the turntable, which really work well. It's a lot of "bang for the buck" I can tell you that. My LP's have never sounded better. There's so much warmth and life in some of those old LP's that simply can't be duplicated on CD, at least not without spending a small fortune.

M. Valdemar
12-29-2007, 06:28
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.

mike goldberg
12-29-2007, 06:39
Around 1970, or so, I bought a Sherwood receiver, which my son still uses in the business area of his home. In our living in Jerusalem, there's a Sony Superscope amp and Goodman speakers. I picked up a JVC used, for the PC room.

My parents played piano and violin, and my mother sang soprano, however non-professionally. I've loved pop music, easy listening and some classical, from early on. Now, it's smooth jazz, folk and world music.

As for gear & gadgets, I've been a gearhed since I was a teenager ;-)

fuwen
12-29-2007, 06:42
Not sure your meaning of audiophile, but I do have set up for home stereo and protable. I enjoy good music so collected quite a lot of SACDs, XRCDs and audiophile recordings. I spend more time on music, and really not keen in doing equipment comarisons.

Same as photography, I just stick to Zeiss and enjoy taking photographs. I really do not like to do equipment comparisons.

literiter
12-29-2007, 07:25
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.


This is certainly true. (I hope this thread doesn't descend into some kind of riot now)

I have witnessed the phenomena by watching a well off relative. He has quite a bit of time and money tied up in expensive audio gear. Much of his stuff is tube technology. It looks far more impressive than it sounds and it sounds nice. It sounds at least as good, to me, as my quite substandard hodgepodge of solid state stuff.

The irony of it is, his 60+ year old ears are a little deaf, his wife and I often must repeat ourselves. What is truly amazing that even with this disability is he has the ability to detect the difference in sound, in his amp, by replacing some .01mfd. OEM capacitors with $60.00 replacements.
I'd like to not discuss the antics the lad had with sourcing the correct tubes.

Once, in a fit of foolishness, on my part, I suggested we could set up a comparison test between systems. This is not wise. Do not suggest this, to these guys.

I think the advantage with coveting audio systems over camera systems is audio stuff is pretty well open ended. I mean you can keep buying more goodies to enhance what you have. More speakers, Biamp, triamp, audio tiles on the walls and when the wife finally moves out you get her sewing room.

With cameras; Well once you've acquired your M, how many lenses and bits can you get then? Do you see how camera stuff can be limiting? If ya wanna fetish get audio stuff.

gb hill
12-29-2007, 07:30
I am not an audiophille but I do like music. I have a turn table, two receivers, r to r tape deck, equilizer, and a couple of huge speakers. Thousands of records. I inherited it all from my uncle who passed away. He was a collector & loved blues music & early RnR. The other day I was going down the road and a show called Beale Street something or another was featuring a early Blues singer called Howling Wolf, and I said to my self, heck I got that!:)

Pablito
12-29-2007, 07:33
Do you see how camera stuff can be limiting? If ya wanna fetish get audio stuff.

You gotta be kidding. Well, I'm not a fetishist and I use or used every piece of photo equipment I have since I make my living off this. But a closet will hold a lot of Leicas for those so inclined.

kevin m
12-29-2007, 07:36
Once, in a fit of foolishness, on my part, I suggested we could set up a comparison test between systems. This is not wise. Do not suggest this, to these guys.

No foolin'! Nothing like a blind test to make a true believer shout "infidel!" :D

It's the chasing of diminishing returns for ever greater sums of money that strikes me as, well, foolish. Whether its $10k A/C line conditioners for the audiophiles, or $5k lenses for the family snapshots, it can get pretty silly pretty fast.

leicakl
12-29-2007, 07:42
yes, i've been an audiophille for 10 years now. i listen to jazz and blues mainly. my current system comprises:

roksan xerxes 10 / naim aro / zyx mc with dps 1.5 p/s
frank acoustics pipit reference phono stage
naim audio nac 52
naim audio supercap
naim audio nap 180
sonus faber concerto with naim audio naca 5 speaker cables

cheers!

M. Valdemar
12-29-2007, 07:55
I think for any type of "gear", be it cameras or audio, a true blind test should be the deciding factor.

NONE of the fetishists will agree to or admit the results of blind tests as conclusive. They will come up with every rationalization known to mankind to "prove" their pre-existing beliefs.

visiondr
12-29-2007, 08:07
I used to have a tidy little system: Linn LP12 with Akido arm and K18 cartridge, Naim Nait 2 integrated, Epos ES11 speakers on Epos stands. My CD front end was a Rotel something or other. It was a very nice package... until the divorce.

Cron
12-29-2007, 08:09
no hard core audiophile but using my (to me) very good system every day to hear blues and southern rock and trying to find vinyl also from nowadays music;
oh, its a LP12 with some electronic and not wifeacceptable speakers

visiondr
12-29-2007, 08:12
By the way, members of the male gender in particular have an amazing and almost limitless tendency to fixate on gear whatever the endeavor: photography, music, cycling, I imagine hunters can get totally wrapped up in "stuff" and so can cooks, skiers, car enthusiasts.... the list is virtually endless.

Ok, so some women get wrapped up in clothes, and home furnishings. But, really, let's be honest, men can get totally nutso over "stuff".

dpetrzelka
12-29-2007, 08:37
I've built my entire home stereo - from the tube phono pre-amp, to the 2A3 single ended triode monoblocks to the Fostex 166E single driver back loaded horns.

I think I'm as much into the technology (as old as it is) as I am in the sweet sound it makes.

jvr
12-29-2007, 09:17
"Ok, so some women get wrapped up in clothes, and home furnishings. But, really, let's be honest, men can get totally nutso over "stuff""

Yep, that's absolutely true. Most women I know have wonderful earing and can easily say they like or they don't like a particular audio setup but surely they don't give a damn about how it's produced (transistors, tubes?) and they would not (there are notable exceptions, like always!) spend a lot of money to get the "small-extra" that comes with bigger bucks.

BTW, I have a friend who is admittedly like that and keeps hopping between hobbies just to get the gear. And then he moves on... :)

I think my "audiophilia nervosa" is not of this kind but is tied to my long standing perfeccionism. It's always possible to get a systems that will sound better, with more records, if you are willing to put the effort and the money on it. The question is always "Is it worth it?". If what you like is listening to music (and I do!) the answer is probably "No". But if you like the "learning" process (and I do!), and have the money, the answer may be "Yes", at least for a while.

BTW, and in total disagreement with some of the opinions in this thread (but respecting them nevertheless because YMMV :)), I think most of the audiophiles I know are not "marketing/review/peer pressure" victims and a lot of them are enginners (so they know wire is wire). Some of them (just like RFF members) like niche products and reviews are hard to come by (try to find reviews of the Dartzeel, even on the Web, let alone a magazine...) and probably not trustable (in the sense that we are all different).

I don't regret the whole process and the money I spent, I learned a lot in the meanwhile. Some of it were to be expected ("You need to spend a lot of money in audio to learn you don't need to spend a lot of money in audio"), some a surprise (speaker cables do make a difference, even in double blind tests. And I am an engineer).

And I learned something very important: my ears are the ultimate judge and I have to trust them. Even if reviewers say it's good, even if all your friends have it, if you don't like, it's not for you.

I see nothing wrong is experimenting new cameras or new lenses. Just like I don't have a problem trying a new set of speakers (although testing new speakers in your own room tends to be more of a challenge in terms of logistics than, say, a new lens). But I begin to worry when I spend MORE time testing things than using them to hear music/take photos. And by "Music" I mean "real music " (not audiophile-grade CDs with lots of strange noises), and by "Photos" I mean "real photos" (not pictures of face-on walls or shelves or whatever we use to test lenses/cameras).

In this respect, digital was a bad movement for me. I would never dream to spend more than one roll of film to "test" a new lens (and sometimes, even developing at home, rolls accumulate and when I develop them I don't even remember what lens I was testing... :)).

Moreover, I now fret with small focus misadjsutments that look terrible on "Actual pixel" view but would go very unnoticed on an 8x10 print in my lab. Sometimes I don't resist reviewing pictures on the LCD, interrupting the flow of the moment and loosing some real good shots (especially with people).

I think this thread was motivated by a desire to change things for next year and put out some public commitment on doing it... :) And maybe because I have been looking at more the 150 rolls of "old" B&W pictures I took (and scanned): a lot of them are unfocused, some badly exposed but, on average, much better photos than I've been making, with much beter gear... :(

Am I saying that we need worse gear to make better photos? No way! That would be so strange as saying that we need bad sound to listen to good music.

But I find I am getting more gear-focused than was in the past, when I should be more subject-focused. And that is something I notice in my older photos and would lke to get back. By gear-focused I don't mean I spend hours fondling my cameras, lenses and light meters (not that I have a problem with collectors: collecting cameras is as wise as collecting stamps or coins!!!).

By "gear-focused" I mean my "new" cameras get more in my way (between me and the subject) than the cameras I used before. I am more aware of focus and exposure "errors" than before and I get myself looking at a picture and thinking "wow, that's sharp" before seeing the real photo. and so on.

For me, my trajectory as a (recovering!) audiophile is a warning sign and I would really like to keep photography simple, like it used to be before I started analysing.

mllanos1111
12-29-2007, 09:20
Well I've always been into audio as well as cameras.
I have Martin Logan speakers, Electron Kinetics Amp and PreAmp, SOTA turntable, Clear Audio Arm and other stuff.

jvr
12-29-2007, 09:24
I don't think you can make a sharp distinction, as your poll does, between gear lover and music lover, or gear lover and photography lover, for that matter. You need some gear to accomplish either goal, and if you're going to have gear, then you have to pay attention to it, to some degree. I think the danger lies in getting lost in the specs and losing the music, or the pictures.

I have a very humble sound system. A pair of ADS 810 speakers I bought nearly twenty years ago; an Adcom amp and preamp I bought off ebay; a Rega Planar 3 turntable and new RB-250 tonearm with a Dynavector 10x5 cartridge. I did splurge on one audiophile-type item, and that's a set of carbon fiber isolation feet for the turntable, which really work well. It's a lot of "bang for the buck" I can tell you that. My LP's have never sounded better. There's so much warmth and life in some of those old LP's that simply can't be duplicated on CD, at least not without spending a small fortune.

Yes, I know my questions are a bit "rough". But I wanted to keep it simple (maybe I simplified too much), this way we get more discussion (people tend to write something when options are not exactly what they think should be) and, most of all, I think it's not easy to draw the line and you have to do it for more elaborated options.

BTW, on the CD vs LP stuff, the bad news is that my Orbe/SME/Sumiko confortably outperforms my Reimyo, although the Reimyo is much more expensive... But I have lots of CDs on top of the LPs (that I keep buying!)... :(

eric mac
12-29-2007, 09:33
I used to follow the whole audiophile thing. Unfortunately too many concerts and not really having a dedicated area has taken its toll. My last and current setup is the "New" AR turntable with a Shure V15 cartridge, a Van Alstine diy rework of a Dynaco PAS 3, a Hafler power amp pushing a couple of the small Maggie speakers. I have a Sony generic cd player, but I pull the vinyl out when I really want to relax. I started getting in the whole cable thing, but couldn't hear the difference in the different interconnects. There is a Dynaco 70 amp waiting to have a new driver board installed and the PAS 3 needs a new selector switch. This system when it is setup right can really open up the sound of vinyl and cut the shrillness of cds. OF course there is a lot of poorly recorded albums on both vinyl and cd and no amount of equipment can help these.

Just like camera stuff there is always the battle between latest and greatest vs. the classics, but we always go back to the classics.


Eric

jvr
12-29-2007, 09:34
Well I've always been into audio as well as cameras.
I have Martin Logan speakers, Electron Kinetics Amp and PreAmp, SOTA turntable, Clear Audio Arm and other stuff.

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?

jvr
12-29-2007, 09:38
I used to follow the whole audiophile thing. Unfortunately too many concerts and not really having a dedicated area has taken its toll. My last and current setup is the "New" AR turntable with a Shure V15 cartridge, a Van Alstine diy rework of a Dynaco PAS 3, a Hafler power amp pushing a couple of the small Maggie speakers. I have a Sony generic cd player, but I pull the vinyl out when I really want to relax. I started getting in the whole cable thing, but couldn't hear the difference in the different interconnects. There is a Dynaco 70 amp waiting to have a new driver board installed and the PAS 3 needs a new selector switch. This system when it is setup right can really open up the sound of vinyl and cut the shrillness of cds. OF course there is a lot of poorly recorded albums on both vinyl and cd and no amount of equipment can help these.

Just like camera stuff there is always the battle between latest and greatest vs. the classics, but we always go back to the classics.


Eric

A bit like digital vs film? :) Just kidding, we don't want to start a fight... :) But this would be an unfair comparison: CD specs were created a long time ago and good vynil (of course there is also bad vynil) sounds better. But if you listen to a good SACD recording on a good SACD player on a good system, you are in for a treat.

Digital photography has evolved incredibly, today is easir to get good quality from digital than film. If only digital audio has evolved on the same pace...

Pakmanpdx
12-29-2007, 09:44
I'm a poor audiophile! Currently I have an Advent Model 300 hooked up to my ever-present Tannoy PBM 6.5's. I was a working musician/hobbyist as well as an engineer for many years and am very comfortable with the way my speakers sound, and know a great mix when I hear it. I get excited by production and still chase a few producers and will listen to most everything they put out because I really appreciate a good mix. I am of the notion that Pro-Tools and MP3's have somewhat ruined the quality of alot of music, and feel if i had the room, dollars and inclination I would have a serious audiophile system. It's a good thing I don't!

jvr
12-29-2007, 09:44
I've built my entire home stereo - from the tube phono pre-amp, to the 2A3 single ended triode monoblocks to the Fostex 166E single driver back loaded horns.

I think I'm as much into the technology (as old as it is) as I am in the sweet sound it makes.

Never went down the DYI way, I know there is no turning back... :)

In the past I also had a Audio Innovations First Audio with 2A3 tubes (7.5W) into a pair of small Triangle speakers on a very small room. Sound was marvellous but one of the 2A3 developed a crack (chinese, I was told) and the amp started fuming. It went to repair and never came back, I was refunded... I had several tube amps since but I still remember the sound of the 2A3s...

foto_fool
12-29-2007, 09:48
As in photography, I recognize that the gear can make a difference in the results obtained, and understand the whys and hows. For this reason I would call myself an audiophile - not because I have simply spent exorbitant sums on the latest and greatest gear hyped in TAS or Stereophile.

Like kevin m (who is also an audiophile - whether he will admit it ot not :)) I consider my system modest. But it is bi-amped, parts of it burn vintage tubes, and parts of it I designed and built. And although my ears are aging about as well as my eyes, I can still hear the difference between LPs and CDs on this system, and some crappy low bitrate MP3 played through $200 earbuds.

Truth be told, I am better founded in sonics than in optics, and have probably spent my hobbyist budget on audio gear to better effect than I have on my photo gear :o.

- John

erikhaugsby
12-29-2007, 09:57
I like to consider myself appreciative of the technical aspects of music, if that's what your asking.

I don't have too much in the way of gear, just an old Sony turntable (with a pretty nice Stanton cartridge, though), a Yamaha 2020 amp, and a pair of my dad's Bose 301s.
I love my headphones, too (a pair of Grado SR80s. Best headphones ever, short of a few $500+ pairs). They just make music more enjoyable, allowing little nuances that other cans can't render to be heard.

BigSteveG
12-29-2007, 09:59
I was a record collector since the age of 12 yrs old. I have a passable (by my standards anyway, sound system). It's all off the shelf stuff. Yamaha, old (they're about 20 years old and have been re-coned) RSL speakers w/ 16 in woofers. The EQ stopped working years ago so I never replaced it. I'm now in the process of getting the records together for sale/trade. Will probably put the money into photo/darkroom stuff. I may hang on to some of the bootlegs just for old time's sake. Everything else can be had on CD now. Cd's are nice, but all the re-issues have taken the fun out of record collecting. The only thing I collect seriously now are photographic prints. Comparing specs of either camera gear or audio equip doesn't interest me. I use what I like and listen what sounds good. After a certain point, I can't tell the difference.

BigSteveG
12-29-2007, 10:02
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.

jvr
12-29-2007, 10:02
As in photography, I recognize that the gear can make a difference in the results obtained, and understand the whys and hows. For this reason I would call myself an audiophile - not because I have simply spent exorbitant sums on the latest and greatest gear hyped in TAS or Stereophile.

Like kevin m (who is also an audiophile - whether he will admit it ot not :)) I consider my system modest. But it is bi-amped, parts of it burn vintage tubes, and parts of it I designed and built. And although my ears are aging about as well as my eyes, I can still hear the difference between LPs and CDs on this system, and some crappy low bitrate MP3 played through $200 earbuds.

Truth be told, I am better founded in sonics than in optics, and have probably spent my hobbyist budget on audio gear to better effect than I have on my photo gear :o.

- John

I think your point is well taken (not that I wanted to imply otherwise on the poll!): I don't consider someone a "audiophile" just because s/he spends a huge amout of money on a audio system (BTW, I know a few of those, they are the dream of audio dealers, auto dealers or whatever-dealers: "Hey, I want the best there is, so just give me the most expensive stuff you have there. Here's the credit card. Hey, speakers have to be blue, to match my living room!")

As the word suggests :), an "audiophile" is someone who likes or enjoys (ok, probably, maybe in a just-a-little-tiny-bit-over-the-normal way... :)) "audio". That has much more to do with attitude (including when listening to music) than the moeny we spend on it.

Of course, to be considered a full-fledge audiophile _nut_ (but that's another poll... :)) you will have to spend a significant part of your free money on audio AND have problems with your wife/husband because of the gear on the living room... :)

I think you audiophiles out there know exactly what I'm talking about, even the ones that are a bit too shy to come out and assume... :)

kevin m
12-29-2007, 10:07
Like kevin m (who is also an audiophile - whether he will admit it ot not ) I consider my system modest. But it is bi-amped, parts of it burn vintage tubes, and parts of it I designed and built. And although my ears are aging about as well as my eyes, I can still hear the difference between LPs and CDs on this system, and some crappy low bitrate MP3 played through $200 earbuds.

OK, if being an audiophile means "I like good sound," then I'm an audiophile. I just don't want to spend an evening yakking about "oxygen free speaker cable" that's all. :D

Just like the "film v. digital" debate, there are times when well-recorded CD's are better than LP's, too. I think classical music benefits from the lack of background noise CD's provide, but, again, you have to pay a bit of money to get a CD player that sounds.... I don't know, "musical." For rock music, LP's are the way to go. So much cheap, good sounding used vinyl is out there, much of it unavailable on CD's or badly transferred, and so many new pressings! :)

This: http://www.musicdirect.com/ is where I usually order my new vinyl, and I've been shocked at how good the quality of new, clean vinyl can be.

Nando
12-29-2007, 10:08
I love music. I appreciate good audio gear but nowhere close to the same level as I appreciate good photography gear. I'm holding off a bit before purchasing some nice audio gear but when I do I probably won't spend a fortune on it. I'm leaning toward a basic system with an Almarro A318B integrated tubed amp and Almarro M3A speakers. At the moment, I listen to music right off my computer using an M-Audio Firewire Audiophile and Grado SR80 headphones. Very low priced but sounds great. I also bought HiVi/Swans T120 speaker system for the computer. They sound amazing for computer speakers and better than any other computer speaker systems I've ever heard however I still prefer listening with the Grados. 50% of my listening is Portuguese Fado and Spanish Flamenco music. The other 50% is pretty much a mix of everything.

jvr
12-29-2007, 10:18
I like to consider myself appreciative of the technical aspects of music, if that's what your asking.

I don't have too much in the way of gear, just an old Sony turntable (with a pretty nice Stanton cartridge, though), a Yamaha 2020 amp, and a pair of my dad's Bose 301s.
I love my headphones, too (a pair of Grado SR80s. Best headphones ever, short of a few $500+ pairs). They just make music more enjoyable, allowing little nuances that other cans can't render to be heard.

Nope, "technical aspects of music" makes you a "musicophile", not an audiophile, sorry! :) I guess when you talk about "technical aspects of music" you mean interpretation, players technique or emotion, etc.

A "real" audiophile would fret about transparency, soundstage, dynamics, extension, tonal colors, effortlessness, etc (well, a good sign of cure is that I'm out of audiophile expressions!). It does not have to be music, garage sounds, dogs barking or just a good stereo recording of children playing in the park will do.

I think there is no analog term for people who (just) worry about sharpness, global and local contrast, focusing, correct exposure, monitor calibrations, absolute hue and tint, MTF graphs, lens diagrams, etc. I would use "image-o-phile" as an opposite of "photophile".

We can be both, of course, and a bit of each is needed to make good music / photos: if the medium is not "correct", the message will not get through.

I may be wrong (or don't have sampled enough photographers) but I suspect "audiophila extremis" is much more common than "image-o-philia extremis". At least I know some guys (and they are really "guys", no gal... :)) who have wonderful equipment but only own 3 or 4 CDs and they are all demo stuff... :)

Again, this is a different attitude from the collector. I also know a few audo collectors but it's a very expensive and very space-robbing collectionism... :)

jvr
12-29-2007, 10:24
OK, if being an audiophile means "I like good sound," then I'm an audiophile. I just don't want to spend an evening yakking about "oxygen free speaker cable" that's all. :D

Just like the "film v. digital" debate, there are times when well-recorded CD's are better than LP's, too. I think classical music benefits from the lack of background noise CD's provide, but, again, you have to pay a bit of money to get a CD player that sounds.... I don't know, "musical." For rock music, LP's are the way to go. So much cheap, good sounding used vinyl is out there, much of it unavailable on CD's or badly transferred, and so many new pressings! :)

This: http://www.musicdirect.com/ is where I usually order my new vinyl, and I've been shocked at how good the quality of new, clean vinyl can be.

If you like "good sound", then you are an audiophile... :) If you don't like the "oxygen free" hype, you are an intelligent person... :) That makes you an "intelligent audiophile", the species audio dealers most fear... :) If you have good earing, they'll probably hate you, espcially when you come up in the middle of a demo and say "Hey, this sounds like crap!" :)

Rgd LPs, sometimes I feel happy it became a "purist" medium: most new pressings are really good, they don't have to cut corners anymore AND they know we will pay for it...

kevin m
12-29-2007, 10:50
Rgd LPs, sometimes I feel happy it became a "purist" medium: most new pressings are really good, they don't have to cut corners anymore AND they know we will pay for it...

Which is exactly the argument I was making about the future of film in the "film is dead" thread, to no avail. :D

nrb
12-29-2007, 10:51
I love classical, jazz and female voice.
But my gear doesn't qualify me as an audiophile in the sense defined above.
Just old stuff: Audiolab 8000, Onkyo Integra CD player, Mission speakers and proper cables.

Alexander
12-29-2007, 10:54
Like vintage camera's I enjoy vintage sound staging as well...there is something about the tactile rituals of both manually focus an image and preparing some vintage vinyl for playback on a classic sound system. I like the gear to look at but it is really about the listening experience.

Yamaha CR-1020
Tannoy Micro TM44DD Turntable with Shure M97xE cart
Polk Monitor 7B's speakers
Teac CX650R Cassette Deck
Toshiba 1700 CDP/DVD
Pioneer RT-1071 Reel to Reel

literiter
12-29-2007, 11:04
I've built my entire home stereo - from the tube phono pre-amp, to the 2A3 single ended triode monoblocks to the Fostex 166E single driver back loaded horns.

I think I'm as much into the technology (as old as it is) as I am in the sweet sound it makes.

Back in my old days of audio there was Heathkit. You could pay an exorbitant amount of money to build it yourself. Franky, I loved it.

I think that you are saying you built your equipment from scratch, like, with soldering iron, wire cutters, and hole punch. If you are, then you have much to be proud of indeed. This is where the idea of building your own system really takes off. (my opinion)

In the past I worked on tube equipment a fair amount. More recently I've considered building my own stuff from scratch but the time, expense and high plate voltages always makes me reconsider.

jvr
12-29-2007, 11:11
Which is exactly the argument I was making about the future of film in the "film is dead" thread, to no avail. :D

Well, I missed the thread but I agree with you! And with the Web, customers and producers will easily find each other, if you are prepared to pay the price. LPs have been getting more and more expensive. And I don't mean ratities or collectibles... :(

I still have, at least, a ratio of 1:3 rgd CD/LP. On photos, digital/film ratio is going to digital at an alarming rate, even when including all my slides, B&W and color films (and they are a lot! I'm now in the middle of scanning almost 200 rolls of color negs, after more than 10k slides and 200+ rolls of B&W and I'm getting tired!).

literiter
12-29-2007, 11:12
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.

jvr
12-29-2007, 11:16
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... :bang:

LuckyKarma
12-29-2007, 11:19
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 :)

chris000
12-29-2007, 11:31
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.

vrgard
12-29-2007, 11:44
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.

-Randy

wintoid
12-29-2007, 11:52
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 :D (AVI CD player, AVI preamp, 2 AVI monoblocs, AVI Positron loudspeakers)

jvr
12-29-2007, 12:23
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...

back alley
12-29-2007, 12:56
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

dee
12-29-2007, 13:15
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

cmogi10
12-29-2007, 13:53
to bad wildwildwes was banned, he had one of the most incredible set ups I have ever seen in my life, it sounded amazing.

topoxforddoc
12-29-2007, 14:55
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

jvr
12-29-2007, 15:03
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? :)

Kim Coxon
12-29-2007, 16:04
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

venchka
12-29-2007, 16:51
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. :D

Prosaic
12-29-2007, 17:13
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... :D

mllanos1111
12-29-2007, 17:22
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

Stu W
12-29-2007, 18:01
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

cosmonot
12-29-2007, 18:52
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...

Rob-F
12-29-2007, 20:45
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?

mllanos1111
12-29-2007, 21:51
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.




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?

summaron
12-29-2007, 23:17
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.)

Keith
12-30-2007, 00:01
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? :angel:

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! :p

al1966
12-30-2007, 00:43
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.

dee
12-30-2007, 01:29
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

dee

dee
12-30-2007, 01:31
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

dee

dee
12-30-2007, 01:41
... 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

jvr
12-30-2007, 03:50
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"... :)

topoxforddoc
12-30-2007, 04:49
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

philhirn
01-01-2008, 10:08
hey guys,
though I certainly can´t afford a real real audiophile system, I´d 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 (I´m quite a regular at the Berlin Philharmonics, but don´t know anything about the technical aspects of audiophily if you will) would be much appreciated.

Cheers and a happy new year,
jmk

Rob-F
01-01-2008, 10:28
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.

Chriscrawfordphoto
01-01-2008, 10:51
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.

wolves3012
01-01-2008, 11:14
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!

wolves3012
01-01-2008, 11:17
hey guys,
though I certainly can´t afford a real real audiophile system, I´d 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 (I´m quite a regular at the Berlin Philharmonics, but don´t know anything about the technical aspects of audiophily if you will) would be much appreciated.

Cheers and a happy new year,
jmk
Subscribe to :
http://www.hydrogenaudio.org
You will learn much.

wolves3012
01-01-2008, 11:36
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?

wolves3012
01-01-2008, 11:53
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.

foto_fool
01-01-2008, 11:57
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

summaron
01-01-2008, 19:31
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!

Chriscrawfordphoto
01-01-2008, 20:18
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-American-Mind-Allan-Bloom/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.

Pablito
01-01-2008, 21:59
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.

rxmd
01-02-2008, 00:18
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

jjovin
01-02-2008, 19:50
I have to say that I "heard difference" :D 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

summaron
01-02-2008, 21:17
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.

rxmd
01-03-2008, 02:19
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 (http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volume_6_4/nordost-moonglo-cable-december-99.html) 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.

Philipp

varjag
01-03-2008, 02:41
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 (http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volume_6_4/nordost-moonglo-cable-december-99.html) 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.
:D

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.

wolves3012
01-04-2008, 18:50
:D

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/

jjovin
01-04-2008, 20:25
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.

bean_counter
04-06-2008, 18:55
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.

quietmouse
04-06-2008, 19:34
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.

David Goldfarb
04-06-2008, 19:36
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.

bmattock
04-06-2008, 20:15
What on earth is a music therapist?

David Goldfarb
04-07-2008, 05:05
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/

Roberto
04-07-2008, 15:19
...
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

:o Quite happy with it...

Telewatt
04-07-2008, 17:55
...:D...funny!

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

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 ..:rolleyes:....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

Zenjitsuman
04-07-2008, 18:15
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.

Celloman
04-07-2008, 19:32
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

amateriat
04-08-2008, 10:37
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. :D


- Barrett

icebear
04-08-2008, 11:38
;) 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.

Gabriel M.A.
06-06-2008, 07:45
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:

boy_lah
08-13-2008, 15:07
Guilty as charged. Music is my winter passion. Photography is more active in summer. :p

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

Gear anyone? ;) More hifi pix on flickr here (http://www.flickr.com/photos/glass_and_tubes/sets/72157594339562918/).

victoriapio
08-13-2008, 21:08
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 ...

JTK
09-18-2008, 16:01
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 (http://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...:rolleyes:


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).

usagisakana
09-21-2008, 08:56
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.

filmfan
09-23-2008, 13:26
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?

Trius
09-28-2008, 18:27
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. :D

I'm in it for the music, so I won't fuss much.

John Robertson
10-15-2008, 13:01
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:rolleyes:

bobbyrab
12-24-2008, 09:54
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.

rogue_designer
12-24-2008, 10:03
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).

Rayt
12-24-2008, 19:45
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.

mcgrattan
12-25-2008, 02:45
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].

Tuolumne
12-25-2008, 10:14
"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! ;)


/T

Michael Markey
12-25-2008, 11:59
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 !
Camera stuff is an M3 DW with a Nockton 40 , Pentax Me super and a Kodak Hawkette Number 2.

findwolfhard
12-25-2008, 12:24
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

James24
12-25-2008, 13:20
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.

bmattock
12-25-2008, 13:34
Just go to www.audiokarma.org and all your audio questions will be answered. They're the audio equivalent of RFF.

lorriman
12-25-2008, 15:57
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.

CK Dexter Haven
12-25-2008, 16:39
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/audiophile_deathmatch_monster_cables_vs_a_coat_han ger-2.html

Trigeek
12-25-2008, 17:00
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.

crawdiddy
12-25-2008, 19:45
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....

nikola
01-02-2009, 08:21
66518

Just bare enough to call my self audiophile.
Listening FLAC on these budget Grado is real satisfaction!

ErnestoJL
01-03-2009, 06:37
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

raydm6
01-03-2009, 08:02
I was into mid-fi solid state stuff most of my life (NAD, Philips, ESS) but in early 2000 got into flea-powered single ended triode (SET) amplifiers and really love the sound of tubes.

Current setup: for an amplifier, I own a modified Decware Zen Select SE84CS (1.8W/channel), CAL Audio Delta Transport & CAL Audio Alpha DAC (18-Bit tubed 2x 12AX7's), Promitheus Audio TVC Reference 1 (transformer volume control), speakers are specially made for this amp and are Parker Audio MK1 95's in an MTM configuration (sensitivity 95 db @1w/1m).

I use an assortment of copper and silver interconnects and roll power, input, and rectifier tubes to change the signature of the sound (tone controls if you will).

SET topologies can be seductive, provide amazing imaging and midrange, and bring you a row or two in front of the performers. But they have their minuses as well.

Luckily, my audio GAS is not as bad as camera gear GAS :p.

- Ray

amoebahydra
01-03-2009, 08:25
I do not consider myself as an audiophile, I listen music after work to relieve tense after work. The equipment I am using:

Linn Sondek LP12 Turntable
Linn Ittok LVII tonearm
Koetsu Onyx cartridge

Ortofon T3000 MC Transformer
Marantz 7 stereo Console (tube preamplifier)
Marantz 8b amplifier

KEF LS3/5a BBC Class 2 monitor (35th anniv Limited edition) on Foundation pillar

Michell GyroDec SE Turntable
Ortofon RMG-212i tonearm
Ortofon SPU-Royal cartridge
Ortofon SPU T-100 MC Transformer

SME Series IV tonearm
Benz Micro Ruby 2 cartridge
Benz Micro PP1/T8 phono Preamplifier

Mark Levinson Nr.37 CD Transport
Meimyo DAP-777 Digital Audio Processor

Sony JA30ES MD Deck

Magnum DynaLab FT101 Tuner

Mark Levinson Nr 380 pre-amplifier
Mark Levinson Nr 331 dual monorail power amplifier

ProAc Response 2.5 speaker

Turtle
01-05-2009, 04:16
I was disappointed to find that noise canceling headphones did nothing to stop the voices in my head.

historicist
01-05-2009, 04:42
I don't know if I could ever count as an audiophile as I have no intention to buy expensive cables, but I like listening to music a lot and a good hi fi makes a big difference. I'm trying to keep my gear-head tendencies under control, though ;)

I've got:

Marantz TT-15 turntable
Denon CX-3 Receiver
Sony TA-E86 preamp (resting)
Sony TA-N86 power amp (broken)
Technics SB E-100 and SB-6000 speakers.

bmattock
01-05-2009, 04:45
I was disappointed to find that noise canceling headphones did nothing to stop the voices in my head.

I don't mind the voices in my head that much, but I wish they'd speak English.

Nokton48
10-08-2016, 10:22
A few years ago I decided to upgrade my Yahama system. I just added and completely restored these NS-690s and they are sonically fabulous. I am getting ready to put very expensive audio grade German caps into the crossovers and they will be even better. The first version NS-690s, little brother of the legendary NS-1000s. Couldn't justify the cost or size of the NS-1000s. The speaker stands I had custom made to size by a great Guy out in Colorado.

Just ordered a refurbished Pioneer RT-707 Reel to Reel Can't wait to get it!
The Pioneer will fit in the space just above my Yami turntable. Small footprint for a RTR.

CMur12
10-08-2016, 17:37
Nice-sounding system, Nokton48! I like those older reel-to-reel tape decks - definitely a good analog source.

I'm an audiophile wannabe/mid-fi in reality:


Musical Fidelity A1 Integrated Class A Amplifier
BBE Sound Processor

Marantz DV 9600 universal disc player (CD, SACD, DVDa, DVDv, etc. I have quite a few SACDs.)

Athena AS-F2 tower speakers (probably the weak link in this system, but better than one would expect)

Musical Fidelity X-CANv3 headphone amplifier
X-PSUv3 power supply

Grado 325i headphones
AKG K701 headphones

- Murray

Steve Bellayr
10-08-2016, 17:46
I am definitely not an audiophile despite 2600+ cds, 1300+ albums, 3 stereo systems, 4 guitars, one each violin and piano. Seriously, I am not an audiophile.

AlwaysOnAuto
10-08-2016, 18:53
I have an old stereo system, does that count?

Pioneer SA 9500 II
Pioneer TX 9500 II
Pioneer RT-707 reel to reel
Sony TC-K75 cassette
Sony PS-X60 turntable w/MA 2002e
Infinity Column II speakers

jazzwave
10-08-2016, 22:24
In living room
Logitec Touch+Synology music server, AudioGD DAC, 300B single ended tube amp, Spendor speaker.
My fav Radio stream is BestSmoothJazz (Rod Lucas) radio, London.

Other room
Asus laptop, DAC, Bottlehead Crack tube headphone amp, Sennheiser HD600.
I listen this audio system when doing photo edit in Photoshop.


~ron~

madNbad
10-08-2016, 22:41
Love those Spendors! Had a pair of LS35/a until I lost the space to a home remodel. If you like jazz check out WWOZ New Orleans and WEMU out of Eastern Michigan University.

nrb
10-09-2016, 03:04
Audiolab 8000a, Onkyo Integra, Supra interconnect, QED speaker cable, Wharfedale 10.
I think it is a nice sound for classical and voice.

Wouter
10-09-2016, 05:47
I would really like to be instructed on quality audio. I´d be grateful if someone could indicate a starting point for the learning curve. Thanks in advance!

dee
10-09-2016, 06:49
Back in the day , it was chasing the best sound for Opera .
I still have EAR 509s gathering rust and dead Magnaplanar SMGas
But I have given up a bit as hearing has dee teriorated.

I found a Linn Classic Movie in close out at John Lewis Department Store.
It appears that they were thinking of a Linn department , so it had been forgotten about it .
My old Rega deck well outlasted my Pink Triangle / Helios / Grace F9e , as have my tiny RCL Small Loudspeakers .
I use headphones with the Rega and Linn , which suits me fine now .
However , the Pink Triangle man is rebuilding my PT , which should show an improvement .

dee

Nokton48
10-09-2016, 08:34
I have an old stereo system, does that count?

Pioneer SA 9500 II
Pioneer TX 9500 II
Pioneer RT-707 reel to reel
Sony TC-K75 cassette
Sony PS-X60 turntable w/MA 2002e
Infinity Column II speakers


Nice looking RT-707 RTR. How do you like it?
I have one coming very soon.

jazzwave
10-09-2016, 08:41
Love those Spendors! Had a pair of LS35/a until I lost the space to a home remodel. If you like jazz check out WWOZ New Orleans and WEMU out of Eastern Michigan University.

Thank you for info, I love my Spendor LS3/5, serviced me for almost 12 years. Thinking to replace with Harberth Super HL5plus or Monitor 30 but the budget conflict my Photography hobby..:bang:

~ron~

AlwaysOnAuto
10-09-2016, 14:33
Nice looking RT-707 RTR. How do you like it?
I have one coming very soon.


I was going to ask where you're getting yours from.
I'm the original owner, so I like it a lot. Been saved all these years from many a 'Clean out the house!' episodes with the wife.

Nokton48
10-09-2016, 14:39
Here. He buys old tape recorders and CLAs them. A bit more than I really wanted to pay, but he reduced his price before the auction ended, so I went for it. I've been researching this one on the audio forums. Very little not to like.

I really didn't want to buy one of the as-is units I see so many of, I just want to plug it in and start recording! My son is is a Rock band, and he is extremely interested in having access to this. :) My Wife approves too.


http://www.ebay.com/itm/201679528471?_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

AlwaysOnAuto
10-09-2016, 20:22
I think you'll be real happy with the way it performs.
Mine sat for 20+ yrs as life got in the way of using it much. It fired up and plays like new though. The only thing on mine that doesn't work is the counter as that is run by a belt. I have a new belt but haven't opened it up to put it in yet.

Nokton48
10-10-2016, 07:23
I think you'll be real happy with the way it performs.
Mine sat for 20+ yrs as life got in the way of using it much. It fired up and plays like new though. The only thing on mine that doesn't work is the counter as that is run by a belt. I have a new belt but haven't opened it up to put it in yet.


Yes he has sold quite a few of these refurbished RT-707s and everyone seems very happy with their purchases. I noticed he replaced the counter belt, among other things. He is also throwing in a copy of the Beatles "White Album" as a bonus. I did also buy an original metal Pioneer take-up reel. I need some RCA connecting cords of sufficient length and I'm good to go.

rogue_designer
10-10-2016, 07:29
I've no need for a RTR, but sometimes, I really want one. :D

My general hi-fi is mid 60s and 70s McIntosh (tube radio, SS amp) with a mid 70s Pioneer turntable (modern Denon cartridge). Speakers are home built full range back loaded horns.

Most of my other audiophile wackiness is in headphone audio, with multiple dacs, amps, and a dozen different headphones at various price/quality points. I'm also partner in a business developing headphone preamp/amplifiers, speaker amplifiers, speakers, and a new turntable.

I guess I qualify as an audiophile. :/

AlwaysOnAuto
10-10-2016, 07:46
I acquired all my gear prior to getting married so there was no need/want/gotta have it problems for me. Ideally I had hoped to set it up to give me continuous playback in the garage but that plan fell by the wayside a long long time ago.
My dad had McIntosh gear but it got lost during one of his moves a long time ago. I don't think I could stand the heat now if I had tube stuff. It's hot enough here as it is.

ChrisPlatt
10-10-2016, 10:59
A couple of years ago I was working a lot of overtime, and spent a lot on 1970's hi-fi gear.
It's mostly good consumer stuff, everything I wanted but could not afford when I was in college.
I really went overboard, and my collection now fills an 8x8' rented unit at the mini-storage.

At the end of my binge I got a little wiser, and bought a few real nice fully-restored pieces.
I will keep those when all the other stuff finally goes...

Chris

Nokton48
10-15-2016, 08:41
https://c3.staticflickr.com/9/8268/30043489490_530d828c6f_k.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/MLQJJ7)DSC05613 (https://flic.kr/p/MLQJJ7) by Nokton48 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/), on Flickr

My newly acquired refurbished Pioneer RT707 Reel-to-Reel.
Listening to The Beatles "White Album"
Sounds sonically wonderful :)

AlwaysOnAuto
10-15-2016, 08:50
That's cool!
Glad you like it.

mdarnton
10-15-2016, 09:08
I thought I was going to be an audiophile. In my work my ears need to be discriminating, and I thought I'd enjoy listening to music better through higher quality wires. I bought some expensive headphone gear, listened for a while, and the thrill wore off. Eventually I realized that all of the things I listen for in music, which centers mainly on the quality of the performer and the instrument, I can hear in the crummiest recordings, and I don't get any kind of sensory rush from hearing it through $$$$ equipment. For me, good music doesn't get worse through my phone earphones any more than a cheap paperback ruins the writer's story for me. Go figure.

rogue_designer
10-15-2016, 10:54
Well - the wires thing is 99.9% a scam, so no surprises there. I do enjoy headphone audio. I have some headphones that sound better with some types of music, and I relish the opportunity to revisit my music collection, and try things out.

I also work at a computer for 8-10 hours a day, and having good music (and comfortable headphones) for that period I consider a necessity.

mdarnton
10-15-2016, 13:09
Look at the context: that was synecdoche. Wires IS scam: the real thing is air, which is where I usually listen. Wires are grossly inferior to air.

Cyriljay
11-12-2016, 04:41
I just want to make things mix -up .
I love music.. Had some good hardware /set ups
I now only have at the smallest one
Cyrus Audio and a Dynauodio Combination and a good cable/ connectors
Own a collection of several hundreds of Audio CDs
My favorite radio pay lists are Groove radio ? Groove Salad and several other inter net SOMA FM etc.

Ong
11-12-2016, 05:13
I work for an audiophile store in Sydney, so I've inadvertently ended up with a fair bit of experience with a wide variety of audio gear from just being able to play with plenty of setups in the slow hours of work.
Also doesn't help when your boss pulls off a "try these headphones and tell me what you think" before telling you the jaw dropping price on them.

Pentode
11-12-2016, 07:40
When I was younger I aspired to be an "audiophile". I was working as an engineer at a local recording studio and music was very, very important to me. It didn't take me long to realize that I was never going to have the kind of budget needed to really embrace the obsession completely.

Fast-forward 30 years and I'm still obsessed with music (playing bass professionally on a part-time basis) as well as being really fond of gear. My hi-fi consists of a lot of old tube equipment that I've restored and modified over the years, but I still don't have the kind of money needed to roll with the audiophile big boys and, even if I did, I probably wouldn't spend it that way any more.

For me, I found that I just didn't care that much; Rather than drive myself crazy trying to find the "perfect" component (which doesn't exist anyway), I found I could be just as happy using gear that I liked the sound of. Rather than obsessing over the system's limitations (as so many audiophiles do), I'm content to enjoy the system's strengths and not worry about whether or not it's perfect. I still think the gear is really cool, but life's too short to A/B test preamp tubes - for me, at least.

sepiareverb
11-12-2016, 07:55
I've lost too much high end and midrange hearing to be an audiophile, but I do enjoy having music on. Helps me to ignore the tinnitus. Years of photographing bands, and construction work. Despite earplugs a good bit of the time. I recently got a nice Yamaha amp and a pair of speakers for the first floor of the house. Haven't had a 'real' stereo in about ten years. Very much nicer than the LUNA we used to use to play the iPod. An older laptop plays from an external hard drive that holds most of the music. The laptop plays in mono, so we have one speaker in the kitchen and one between the dining room and living room. Really quite perfect, and great to hear things in favorite tracks I hadn't before.

I have an iPod in the darkroom that plays through an old Denon compact receiver, which I also use for radio in there. Some nice older (20 years maybe) Mission speakers fill that room well, and admittedly sometimes contribute to my tinnitus.

AlwaysOnAuto
11-15-2016, 07:30
I was cleaning out the attic space in the garage last weekend and found an old box of speakers that had been up there for a long time (30+yrs).
Opened the box to find (2) Western Electric 554a's and (2) Altec 555a's in what looks like perfect condition.