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Audiophiles! Let's talk about gear and great audio production!

 
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 1230294
Netherlands
07/31/2013 08:45 AM
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Re: Audiophiles! Let's talk about gear and great audio production!
it's not that digital sounds bad, it's the crappy recording/mixer tonedeath dude setup the soundlevel at clipping/overdrive/no dynamics etc.
[link to en.wikipedia.org]
71383
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07/31/2013 10:15 AM
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Re: Audiophiles! Let's talk about gear and great audio production!
When digital media was first introduced, I noticed an artificial nature to the sound which IMO has never been overcome.

It sounds tinny and fake.

If I had any advice to the young audiophiles out there, it would be to try analogue system from the late 70's or early 80's and see how easy and inexpensive it is to obtain superior realism in sound reproduction.
 Quoting: IDW 28989642


IDW, you know, that's exactly why I began looking into vintage speakers. I knew I wanted to go with tubes, and I wanted to mate it to something appropriate for the era. I fell in love with the aesthetics of these old speakers as I researched them, and preferred the honest materials used in their construction to the poly-whatever-carbonate plastic stuff in use now.

As with any hobby, the rabbit hole got deeper the more I learned. The technical advice I've been getting here lately confirms a lot of the gut feelings I have in spite of my limited ability to express them technically. I'll never be as technical as a lot of this thread's contributors, but I appreciate their prowess, we all have things we want to learn more about.

Vinyl is a new rathole of mine (last 18mos or so), and it's a big and expensive one. I've become so obsessed, that I can't listen to digital media lately without a fair about of EQ, and the compression just fatigues me so much, that I can barely get through a complete disc.

Thanks for the post!
 Quoting: Fret Wiz


I just thought I'd inject a comment on the idea that 'vintage' was better. It wasn't, really, it just sounds that way!

You see, the reason modern music sounds bad has nothing to do with the fact it was recorded and distributed digitally - it is because it has been processed to death!

In the really old days, no audio processing was available, so people just recorded the instruments as they were. That gave a signal peak-to-average level ratio of about 18 dB for pop music that doesn't have a lot of intentional dynamics (like Ravel's Bolero has, for an extreme example).

In the 70's, people had compressors and equalizers, and the peak-to-average ratio was brought down to 12 dB.

This actually sounds BETTER than reality, when played through speakers! Music that streams through two speakers doesn't have the full spatial information, so things jumble together more than they should. Keeping levels a bit more balanced helps to compensate, making music come through more clearly.

But there is of course such a thing as too much of a good thing. People thought more compression sounded more "modern", and discovered that a more heavily compressed sound came through more clearly on the radio. So in the 80's, the peak-to-average ratio had been reduced to 6 dB.

This still sounds pretty good, but it is on the aggressive side of things, and it is not as 'airy' and 'organic' as a less compressed sound.

But the development did not stop there...

Soon more advanced compression techniques were available. Individual instruments were compressed and limited, then the entire mix went through a multiband compressor, and then the last few surviving peaks were hammered into submission with a digital look-ahead peak limiter, so the the entire recording had a max level of 0.0 dB, and an average level of -1.0 dB!

Now get this, a 1 dB peak-to-average ratio is much LESS than a constant max swing sine wave has (which is 3.0 dB)!!!

This means, the recording can't even reproduce the 'dynamics' of a clean sine wave at max amplitude, it must distort it!

As a result, such music sounds like 'distortion with a beat'. It is EXTREMELY fatiguing to the ears.

This is then made even worse by the use of auto-tune, a tool that "corrects" the intonation of singers, making vocals sound synthetic and lifeless in the process.

With music-as-it-sounded-in-the-70's, you want to raise the sound levels, because it sounds better the louder it is! And the unrestricted peaks in the source material means it will sound even better on audiophile equipment that will not limit or compress the peaks.

But the digitally castrated music of today actually sounds better the less loud you play it.

Not surprisingly, I have found the optimal solution is to TURN IT OFF.

This sound castration was made possible by the introduction of digital sound processing tools, but it is the abuse of these tools that is the problem - not the digital representation itself.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 300884


a process called LOUDNESS WAR;
AES & EBU solution is Recoomendation R 128
or reading Bob Katz
most masteringtards knew this, but the artists still want to be loud as hell
Anonymous Coward
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07/31/2013 10:26 AM
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Re: Audiophiles! Let's talk about gear and great audio production!
it's not that digital sounds bad, it's the crappy recording/mixer tonedeath dude setup the soundlevel at clipping/overdrive/no dynamics etc.
[link to en.wikipedia.org]
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1230294


sorry did not check ur linkhf
Anonymous Coward
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10/02/2013 07:56 AM
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Re: Audiophiles! Let's talk about gear and great audio production!
Do anybody of you use Headphone Amps?

If so: "Satisfied"?
Brand?
Price?
Size?

Domo, because i am thinking about it!
Fret Wiz (OP)
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11/24/2013 02:07 AM

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Re: Audiophiles! Let's talk about gear and great audio production!
Do anybody of you use Headphone Amps?

If so: "Satisfied"?
Brand?
Price?
Size?

Domo, because i am thinking about it!
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 47466634


I have an Aune tube headphone amp, from China. Very pleased!
Fret Wiz

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"Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it."
Fret Wiz (OP)
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11/24/2013 02:13 AM

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Re: Audiophiles! Let's talk about gear and great audio production!
Was just groovin' to Alan Parsons' "I Robot" on Classic Records 200 gram vinyl. So good!
Fret Wiz

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"Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it."
Fret Wiz (OP)
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11/24/2013 02:19 AM

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Re: Audiophiles! Let's talk about gear and great audio production!
Was just groovin' to Alan Parsons' "I Robot" on Classic Records 200 gram vinyl. So good!
 Quoting: Fret Wiz


Should mention my gear for the sake of this thread's intent!

Music Hall MMF 5.1 SE turntable
Jolida JD9A Tube preamp
2 Jolida 202A Tube amps
Bi-amped Allison CD-9 Speakers

Last Edited by Fret Wiz on 11/24/2013 02:20 AM
Fret Wiz

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Anonymous Coward
User ID: 50439882
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11/24/2013 02:27 AM
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Re: Audiophiles! Let's talk about gear and great audio production!
Do anybody of you use Headphone Amps?

If so: "Satisfied"?
Brand?
Price?
Size?

Domo, because i am thinking about it!
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 47466634


I have an Aune tube headphone amp, from China. Very pleased!
 Quoting: Fret Wiz


Do you think that the difference between a Headphone- and a normal Amp
is that significant for normal Headphones (Sennheis3r 280)
Fret Wiz (OP)
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11/24/2013 02:31 AM

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Re: Audiophiles! Let's talk about gear and great audio production!
Do anybody of you use Headphone Amps?

If so: "Satisfied"?
Brand?
Price?
Size?

Domo, because i am thinking about it!
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 47466634


I have an Aune tube headphone amp, from China. Very pleased!
 Quoting: Fret Wiz


Do you think that the difference between a Headphone- and a normal Amp
is that significant for normal Headphones (Sennheis3r 280)
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 50439882


I have Sennheisers, too. They are soooo very neutral! I lust for some high end Grados in their place.

In short, the headphone amp is a huge improvement, definitely recommended!
Fret Wiz

fw_calvin_sig

"Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it."
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 50439882
Japan
11/24/2013 02:43 AM
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Re: Audiophiles! Let's talk about gear and great audio production!
Do anybody of you use Headphone Amps?

If so: "Satisfied"?
Brand?
Price?
Size?

Domo, because i am thinking about it!
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 47466634


I have an Aune tube headphone amp, from China. Very pleased!
 Quoting: Fret Wiz


Do you think that the difference between a Headphone- and a normal Amp
is that significant for normal Headphones (Sennheis3r 280)
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 50439882


I have Sennheisers, too. They are soooo very neutral! I lust for some high end Grados in their place.

In short, the headphone amp is a huge improvement, definitely recommended!
 Quoting: Fret Wiz


Domo, will try it!

I dislike them so much that i thought at first they are faked but their
(very low) Weight is right!

There is nothing inside of this Phones, no Character at all
and i doubt that this is called "neutrality"!
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 48351094
United Kingdom
11/24/2013 03:22 AM
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Re: Audiophiles! Let's talk about gear and great audio production!
my system ...old but good, and set up properly (I have a huge soundstage)

Pioneer SA-9800 amp

B&W DM2 3-way transmission speakers

Marantz CD63 MKII signature CD player

Lenco turntable

Silver High Breed Quintessence 6AWG interconnects (handmade in the UK and as thick as hosepipes)

Hitachi speaker cable SSX-102k LC-OFC (the ones that everyone wants, and is no longer available)

I also have a Pioneer precisison amp (hand built by Tom Evans)

a few good quality cd's ....

Folk Singer ... Muddy waters

Eric Clapton .... Unplugged

Mary Gauthier ... Mercy Now

Roger Waters ... Amused to death

Bueno Vista Social Club

Dave brubeck Quartet ... Take Five

Joan Baez ... Diamonds and Rust

Etta James ... Blues to the Bone

Dianna Krall ... Te other girl in the room

Jon Mayall ... Jazz blues fusion

Fleetwood Mac ... Fleetwood Mac (their 1st release)

Lou Reed ... new York

loads more ...
Fret Wiz (OP)
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11/24/2013 03:28 AM

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Re: Audiophiles! Let's talk about gear and great audio production!
my system ...old but good, and set up properly (I have a huge soundstage)
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 48351094

Old = good! Wishing I could hear your rig!

Bueno Vista Social Club

Dave brubeck Quartet ... Take Five

 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 48351094


These discs are soo good, and their surround remasters? Even better!
Fret Wiz

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"Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it."
Fret Wiz (OP)
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11/24/2013 03:38 AM

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Re: Audiophiles! Let's talk about gear and great audio production!
Just converted Steve Morses' "The Introduction" from vinyl to DVD-A today. Not a bad track on that disc!
Fret Wiz

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"Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it."
Fret Wiz (OP)
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11/24/2013 03:41 AM

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Re: Audiophiles! Let's talk about gear and great audio production!
Just converted Steve Morses' "The Introduction" from vinyl to DVD-A today. Not a bad track on that disc!
 Quoting: Fret Wiz


24 bit/192khz. Take that, bitches!
Fret Wiz

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"Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it."
Fret Wiz (OP)
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11/24/2013 03:47 AM

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Re: Audiophiles! Let's talk about gear and great audio production!
...


I have an Aune tube headphone amp, from China. Very pleased!
 Quoting: Fret Wiz


Do you think that the difference between a Headphone- and a normal Amp
is that significant for normal Headphones (Sennheis3r 280)
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 50439882


I have Sennheisers, too. They are soooo very neutral! I lust for some high end Grados in their place.

In short, the headphone amp is a huge improvement, definitely recommended!
 Quoting: Fret Wiz


Domo, will try it!

I dislike them so much that i thought at first they are faked but their
(very low) Weight is right!

There is nothing inside of this Phones, no Character at all
and i doubt that this is called "neutrality"!
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 50439882


Mine (280s, too) are bland as hell. I actually prefer my Klipsch earbuds for "real world" listening.
Fret Wiz

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"Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it."
Anonymous Coward
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11/24/2013 03:49 AM
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Re: Audiophiles! Let's talk about gear and great audio production!
So, I'll kick it off with my gear:

2 Jolida 202a amps, Music hall 5.1SE Turntable, Jolida JD9a preamp. I have them bi-amped to a pair of Allison CD-9's.

In my living room, I'm running Marantz MM7055 w/ matching amp (too lazy to get the model, sorry!). This is a 5.1 system, I have a pair of Allison Ones up front, Allison Twos in the rear and an Infinity Beta for the center channel (I may replace this with an Allison Four I have soon).

I have the latest Oppo player (BDP95, I think). That thing just rocks!

Yesterday I was thinking about great production, as I switched from Donald Fagen's latest to Incubus' S.C.I.E.N.C.E.

Anything Steely Dan related, Alan Parsons...just such good production. Parsons' 4.0 Quad mix of Dark Side of the Moon is just amazing. Search the internet, it's out there in glorious 24/96, completely unauthorized and extracted by some brave soul at the studio!

I listened recently to Journey's Escape remaster (maybe the quietest vinyl I own), and Styx's Pieces of Eight. Blown away by these old recordings, they are both great remasters!

Too bad surround music died quickly after a brief resurgence. I really love that stuff. Only a few titles a year come out, thank god for Steven Wilson and Porcupine Tree, they're trying their best to keep the format alive!

So, what are you listening to and what are you listening to it on?
 Quoting: Fret Wiz


I dont understand audiophiles. Just go buy a piano if you like music so much. My pair of Grados help me enjoy recorded music.
Fret Wiz (OP)
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11/24/2013 03:51 AM

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Re: Audiophiles! Let's talk about gear and great audio production!
So, I'll kick it off with my gear:

2 Jolida 202a amps, Music hall 5.1SE Turntable, Jolida JD9a preamp. I have them bi-amped to a pair of Allison CD-9's.

In my living room, I'm running Marantz MM7055 w/ matching amp (too lazy to get the model, sorry!). This is a 5.1 system, I have a pair of Allison Ones up front, Allison Twos in the rear and an Infinity Beta for the center channel (I may replace this with an Allison Four I have soon).

I have the latest Oppo player (BDP95, I think). That thing just rocks!

Yesterday I was thinking about great production, as I switched from Donald Fagen's latest to Incubus' S.C.I.E.N.C.E.

Anything Steely Dan related, Alan Parsons...just such good production. Parsons' 4.0 Quad mix of Dark Side of the Moon is just amazing. Search the internet, it's out there in glorious 24/96, completely unauthorized and extracted by some brave soul at the studio!

I listened recently to Journey's Escape remaster (maybe the quietest vinyl I own), and Styx's Pieces of Eight. Blown away by these old recordings, they are both great remasters!

Too bad surround music died quickly after a brief resurgence. I really love that stuff. Only a few titles a year come out, thank god for Steven Wilson and Porcupine Tree, they're trying their best to keep the format alive!

So, what are you listening to and what are you listening to it on?
 Quoting: Fret Wiz


I dont understand audiophiles. Just go buy a piano if you like music so much. My pair of Grados help me enjoy recorded music.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 50468544


You're already in the mess if you've got Grados! Succumb! You are an audiophile!
Fret Wiz

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"Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it."
Anonymous Coward
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United Kingdom
11/24/2013 03:58 AM
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Re: Audiophiles! Let's talk about gear and great audio production!
a few more good recordings:

Hadouk Trio ... Baldamore

Leonard Cohen ... ten new songs

Graham Nash ... songs for beginners

Hugh Masekela ... Home

Penguin Cafe Orchestra ... When in Rome

Al di Meola,Paco de Lucía,John McLaughlin .. Friday night in San Fransisco

Beach boys ... pet sounds

Rolling stones ... stripped

Fleet Foxes ... Fleet foxes

Joe Bonammasa ... Blues Deluxe

you can hear most of these on Grooveshark.com for free or on spotify.com (you have to pay on spotify)
Fret Wiz (OP)
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11/24/2013 04:02 AM

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Re: Audiophiles! Let's talk about gear and great audio production!
a few more good recordings:
Al di Meola,Paco de Lucía,John McLaughlin .. Friday night in San Fransisco

you can hear most of these on Grooveshark.com for free or on spotify.com (you have to pay on spotify)
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 48351094


Man, I love that disc. Fleet Foxes eludes me still, is it worth the effort?
Fret Wiz

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Watdhel

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11/24/2013 04:16 AM
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Re: Audiophiles! Let's talk about gear and great audio production!
My receiver blew up when they put the "smart meter" on my house. & 2 others after that before I had them to pull it. The receiver I have now just doesn't cut it. I'm looking at the Outlaw Audio RR2150- [link to www.outlawaudio.com]
Fret Wiz (OP)
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11/24/2013 04:17 AM

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Re: Audiophiles! Let's talk about gear and great audio production!
My receiver blew up when they put the "smart meter" on my house. & 2 others after that before I had them to pull it. The receiver I have now just doesn't cut it. I'm looking at the Outlaw Audio RR2150- [link to www.outlawaudio.com]
 Quoting: Watdhel


I love Outlaw & what they stand for! You can't go wrong with them...Bang/Buck can't be beat!
Fret Wiz

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"Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it."
Watdhel

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11/24/2013 04:24 AM
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Re: Audiophiles! Let's talk about gear and great audio production!
My receiver blew up when they put the "smart meter" on my house. & 2 others after that before I had them to pull it. The receiver I have now just doesn't cut it. I'm looking at the Outlaw Audio RR2150- [link to www.outlawaudio.com]
 Quoting: Watdhel


I love Outlaw & what they stand for! You can't go wrong with them...Bang/Buck can't be beat!
 Quoting: Fret Wiz


That's what I'm hoping for. This last receiver has been a real disappointment. Speakers are the same, it's like there is something missing tho. The receiver I have now is making me want to check my speakers for the Bose label on there somewhere!!! LOL
Fret Wiz (OP)
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11/24/2013 04:31 AM

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Re: Audiophiles! Let's talk about gear and great audio production!
My receiver blew up when they put the "smart meter" on my house. & 2 others after that before I had them to pull it. The receiver I have now just doesn't cut it. I'm looking at the Outlaw Audio RR2150- [link to www.outlawaudio.com]
 Quoting: Watdhel


I love Outlaw & what they stand for! You can't go wrong with them...Bang/Buck can't be beat!
 Quoting: Fret Wiz


That's what I'm hoping for. This last receiver has been a real disappointment. Speakers are the same, it's like there is something missing tho. The receiver I have now is making me want to check my speakers for the Bose label on there somewhere!!! LOL
 Quoting: Watdhel

Good luck! I Love my Outlaw sub. Bose? Sounds great, but WTF are they doing under the covers? I don't trust them one bit!
Fret Wiz

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"Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it."
all the horses and the king
User ID: 4187178
Japan
11/24/2013 05:10 AM
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Re: Audiophiles! Let's talk about gear and great audio production!
music is a form of alchemy...like art and photography, walking, all forms of collecting....even writing. Pure magic...that forms frame works with a child-like mind. So all gear is there working its thing, making us subjects, making us all wonder. A great wonderment. You got vacuum tubes....they have a long interesting history. You also got the stylus riding a single groove ...yet we hear not one but many instruments and voices too...this is just a hint of the spell that tickles our neurons. There are many points of view...on gear and sound production. Some people live in castles others live in tents. Yet each finds his own sense of adventure and conquest. I mean a pair of AR-4xs hooked up to a Dynaco stereo 35 can sound like heaven positioned in the right room.
beemerben
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11/24/2013 05:14 AM
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Re: Audiophiles! Let's talk about gear and great audio production!
I'm into a beautiful set of Vandersteen 2Ce signatures and a NAD receiver and a Velodyne sub. Anything Neil Young puts out is good with me.
Anonymous Coward
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United Kingdom
11/24/2013 05:46 AM
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Re: Audiophiles! Let's talk about gear and great audio production!
my latest cd's:
Ernest Ranglin .... Below the baseline (different ... sort of jazzy/funky and a few good tracks on there)

Hazmat Modine ... Bahamut .... you either love it or hate it ...

My 3 all time favourite cd's (if I were only allowed to keep 3)

Uriah Heep ... Demons and wizards

Audience ... house on the hill

Neil Young ... Decade
Anonymous Coward
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11/24/2013 05:51 AM
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Re: Audiophiles! Let's talk about gear and great audio production!
proper hifi is about matching the separate components ...

you need an amp that goes well with a set of speakers, and that goes well with the cd player and cabling

you can have $80k speakers and a expensive amp that is mismatched and the sound will be shit

you also need to set the system up correctly in the room

I have seen older systems for under £500 comprising of seperate units that work well together, and the systems sound better than systems of £6k+
Ithoth
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11/24/2013 06:29 AM
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Re: Audiophiles! Let's talk about gear and great audio production!
Digital was put out to fuk your head,analogue is still the only way to listen to music, get some of those old 70s sound systems into your collection,I'm only a mid ranger but nakamichi,marantaz, sansui,garrard 301 tt,big old ar speakers,kef speakers,still do it for me,better than that Chinese,Taiwan Korean rubbish they try to pass off as audiophile gear, the japs,Brits,yanks put their heart and soul into that gear,unlike the Quik. buck mass produced plastic shite of today.remember frequency response,wavelength
Fret Wiz (OP)
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Ukraine
11/24/2013 10:03 AM

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Re: Audiophiles! Let's talk about gear and great audio production!
My receiver blew up when they put the "smart meter" on my house. & 2 others after that before I had them to pull it. The receiver I have now just doesn't cut it. I'm looking at the Outlaw Audio RR2150- [link to www.outlawaudio.com]
 Quoting: Watdhel


What the heck do you think the correlation to the smart meter was, BTW?
Fret Wiz

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"Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it."
Fret Wiz (OP)
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11/24/2013 10:06 AM

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Re: Audiophiles! Let's talk about gear and great audio production!
music is a form of alchemy...like art and photography, walking, all forms of collecting....even writing. Pure magic...that forms frame works with a child-like mind. So all gear is there working its thing, making us subjects, making us all wonder. A great wonderment. You got vacuum tubes....they have a long interesting history. You also got the stylus riding a single groove ...yet we hear not one but many instruments and voices too...this is just a hint of the spell that tickles our neurons. There are many points of view...on gear and sound production. Some people live in castles others live in tents. Yet each finds his own sense of adventure and conquest. I mean a pair of AR-4xs hooked up to a Dynaco stereo 35 can sound like heaven positioned in the right room.
 Quoting: all the horses and the king 4187178


Well said, agree completely, it is quite a journey to find a system that suits you!
Fret Wiz

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"Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it."

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