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Thread: The Audiophile Thread

  1. #2876
    cunning linguist 3LockBox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firth View Post
    I prefer not to be prejudiced about price versus quality/capability.
    Oh certainly. I might try another, similar product to determine if a different brand might yield different results or just more of the same. A buddy of mine (years ago) had a Sansui stand-alone reverb unit that he had in his system and it was fun to system play with and had a lot different ways to sculpt sound. Sure, some modern front-end players have DSPs built-in but it's usually very rudimentary application and not a lot of control.

  2. #2877
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quantum Cat View Post
    I have a surround system (all vintage B&W matrix speakers) and I have come to the conclusion that I prefer to mostly listen in 5-channel stereo mode (sometimes with the center channel off). I like being "right in the middle" and with many recordings it sounds like a surround mix,
    I set up a surround sound setup when I was trying to get multi-channel out of my SACD player (described elsewhere). I have left it in place and still like to turn on the surround with certain types of music:
    * Electronic and drone and dark ambient, where imaging isn't an issue but total immersion is
    * Baroque classical ensembles, organ music, most orchestral recordings where immersion is more important than soundstage (most orchestral doesn't even try)
    * Sound effects and soundscapes where filling the room with sound is the goal

    On the other hand I have to go back to stereo for jazz, rock, well-recorded orchestral, singer-songwriter stuff, etc.

  3. #2878
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3LockBox View Post
    Oh certainly. I might try another, similar product to determine if a different brand might yield different results or just more of the same. A buddy of mine (years ago) had a Sansui stand-alone reverb unit that he had in his system and it was fun to system play with and had a lot different ways to sculpt sound. Sure, some modern front-end players have DSPs built-in but it's usually very rudimentary application and not a lot of control.
    That reminds me of my decision to purchase a 4K Sony multi-format Blu-ray player that supported every format that Oppo players did. The Sony had an audio only HDMI, and a video/audio HDMI, and would provide the full stream to my Pioneer Elite receiver, which in turn provides either pure analog via the same ESS DACs as the Oppo, or converts the stream ti a 32 bit 192KHZ PCM stream which is processed in a 32 bit processor architecture before outputting via the ESS DACs or input to the Direct Energy (a cousin to Class D with power FET output) amp section.
    “I’m not giving in an inch to fear” David Crosby

  4. #2879
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    I set up a surround sound setup when I was trying to get multi-channel out of my SACD player (described elsewhere). I have left it in place and still like to turn on the surround with certain types of music:
    * Electronic and drone and dark ambient, where imaging isn't an issue but total immersion is
    * Baroque classical ensembles, organ music, most orchestral recordings where immersion is more important than soundstage (most orchestral doesn't even try)
    * Sound effects and soundscapes where filling the room with sound is the goal

    On the other hand I have to go back to stereo for jazz, rock, well-recorded orchestral, singer-songwriter stuff, etc.
    Is the multi-channel, multi-speaker system calibrated?
    “I’m not giving in an inch to fear” David Crosby

  5. #2880
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firth View Post
    Is the multi-channel, multi-speaker system calibrated?
    How do you mean "calibrated"? I made sure the rear channels were properly phased. They're my sister's (RIP) old floor-standing speakers, that I built for her in 1978, so they have pretty decent pretty full-range sound. I adjusted the loudness so they're "fill" speakers without overpowering the front speakers.

    When I turn on the surround sound my amp adds various levels of delay & reverb to them, depending on the setting, so they're already not "flat."

  6. #2881
    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3LockBox View Post
    You got me confused with someone else. I'm not an advocate for tubes. I'm not ant-tube either. Whatever floats one's boat. My point was that some of these cheap pre-amps might not be that great anyway and going through a tube buffer might not be of much help when the unit isn't particularly good - we are talking about a $40 component. Im guessing McIntosh (not to be confused with cheap products) is introducing integrated amps with tube pre-amps for the same reason companies got back into the turntable game - there's a buck to be made. Hell, there's a few companies marketing new tape decks. I care not.

    I think what most people like about tubes could probably be replicated with an old fashioned solid state reverb amp like Pioneer and Sansui used to make.
    Tube amps *MUST* sound warmer. There's literally a heating element heating the cathode. So it throws off electrons.
    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"--Dalai Lama

  7. #2882
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    Quote Originally Posted by progmatist View Post
    Tube amps *MUST* sound warmer. There's literally a heating element heating the cathode. So it throws off electrons.
    It doesn’t matter, modern tech can make anything sound like anything.
    “I’m not giving in an inch to fear” David Crosby

  8. #2883
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by progmatist View Post
    Tube amps *MUST* sound warmer. There's literally a heating element heating the cathode. So it throws off electrons.
    It throws off photons. Not sure the electrons go anywhere they're not supposed to.

  9. #2884
    cunning linguist 3LockBox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by progmatist View Post
    Tube amps *MUST* sound warmer. There's literally a heating element heating the cathode. So it throws off electrons.
    They also have built-in reverb as they're near to impossible to isolate from feedback

  10. #2885
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    Tubes can sound warmer than ss, tubes can sound more detailed in the mid-range than some ss, some finds that they are more musical (define musical) on the other hand Swiss Nagra also use tubes in their preamps, and they want accuracy.
    Tube preamps are generally more ear friendly than ss-amps, but can lack details in the treble area. Tube power amps enhances the ear friendly impression, the presence, the 'being there' feel - but almost all tube power amps lacks precision in the bass area.

    Not all tube amps are good, or as good as similar ss-amps. Try them out, there is no final conclusion, and it is also very important what other gear you combine with. + every 2. or 3. year tube power amps needs to have all the tubes replaced with new tubes = rather costly - but then (bonus?) you can change tubes to a different brand and get a completely new sound.
    Some (expensive italian or japanese) tube amps deliver only 3-5 watts and sounds incredible with the right speakers, but dont expect earth quake bass.

    Steve Morse - Structural Damage is recorded on ss-gear.
    The year after, the same studio had changed all its gear to tube equipment, and Steve Morse - StressFest was recorded there. Same musicians, same studio crew, but different gear and sound. If you have some decent gear its audible.
    StressFest is 'warmer' (in lack of better words) but the bass is'nt as firm or feels as deep, Structural Damage is 'clearer', more detailed and the bass feels firmer and deeper.
    I can't chose which I prefer soundwise.

  11. #2886
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeuhlmate View Post
    I can't chose which I prefer soundwise.
    And THAT, my friend, is the bottom line for all of us.

  12. #2887
    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeuhlmate View Post
    Tubes can sound warmer than ss, tubes can sound more detailed in the mid-range than some ss, some finds that they are more musical (define musical) on the other hand Swiss Nagra also use tubes in their preamps, and they want accuracy.
    Tube preamps are generally more ear friendly than ss-amps, but can lack details in the treble area. Tube power amps enhances the ear friendly impression, the presence, the 'being there' feel - but almost all tube power amps lacks precision in the bass area.

    Not all tube amps are good, or as good as similar ss-amps. Try them out, there is no final conclusion, and it is also very important what other gear you combine with. + every 2. or 3. year tube power amps needs to have all the tubes replaced with new tubes = rather costly - but then (bonus?) you can change tubes to a different brand and get a completely new sound.
    Some (expensive italian or japanese) tube amps deliver only 3-5 watts and sounds incredible with the right speakers, but dont expect earth quake bass.

    Steve Morse - Structural Damage is recorded on ss-gear.
    The year after, the same studio had changed all its gear to tube equipment, and Steve Morse - StressFest was recorded there. Same musicians, same studio crew, but different gear and sound. If you have some decent gear its audible.
    StressFest is 'warmer' (in lack of better words) but the bass is'nt as firm or feels as deep, Structural Damage is 'clearer', more detailed and the bass feels firmer and deeper.
    I can't chose which I prefer soundwise.
    Guitar overdrive and distortion sounds more transparent generated by tube saturation than transistor clipping. The latter to its extreme makes a guitar sound more like a buzz saw. Tube distortion can be generated by a pedal with a tube, or a hybrid amp with a tube preamp stage, and solid state power amp stage.
    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"--Dalai Lama

  13. #2888
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    Quote Originally Posted by progmatist View Post
    Guitar overdrive and distortion sounds more transparent generated by tube saturation than transistor clipping. The latter to its extreme makes a guitar sound more like a buzz saw. Tube distortion can be generated by a pedal with a tube, or a hybrid amp with a tube preamp stage, and solid state power amp stage.
    .
    But again, it doesnt sound quite the same with a pedal.
    Compare the sound by todays guitarist with... lets say Clapton on Goodbye Cream, Hendrix - Band of Gypsys, Leslie West - Flowers of Evil (Dream sequence), Frank Zappa - Rat Tomago etc.
    These sounds requires tubes played loud.

    But I love the Fripp/Belew sound from the Roland Jazz Chorus 120/160 (ss) amps in the Disciplin era too.

    Holdsworth played a transistor amp on Road Games. It made almost the same sound as a tube amp.
    https://fingerprintsweb.net/ahwiki/i...-Thompson_amps

  14. #2889
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeuhlmate View Post
    .
    But again, it doesnt sound quite the same with a pedal.
    Compare the sound by todays guitarist with... lets say Clapton on Goodbye Cream, Hendrix - Band of Gypsys, Leslie West - Flowers of Evil (Dream sequence), Frank Zappa - Rat Tomago etc.
    These sounds requires tubes played loud.

    But I love the Fripp/Belew sound from the Roland Jazz Chorus 120/160 (ss) amps in the Disciplin era too.

    Holdsworth played a transistor amp on Road Games. It made almost the same sound as a tube amp.
    https://fingerprintsweb.net/ahwiki/i...-Thompson_amps

    But was it a FET amp like the Hafler audio amps?
    “I’m not giving in an inch to fear” David Crosby

  15. #2890
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firth View Post
    But was it a FET amp like the Hafler audio amps?
    Not much info here: http://www.hartleyelectricmusic.co.u...pson-amps.html

  16. #2891
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    “I’m not giving in an inch to fear” David Crosby

  17. #2892
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    Note that PS Audio uses MOSFETS or tubes in the front end to get a sound. Unfortunately they had not cracked the nut on using MOSFETs as output devices which Pioneer did in my receiver. MOSFETs are great drivers of current and allowed Pioneer to lower the spec impedance for driving. As Hafler pointed out, the MOSFET, like the tube is good at absorbing the back wave from speaker impedance which is reactive, without creating distortion. That’s why the whole system needs to be accounted for, including the speakers. But as you can imagine, guitar amps maybe designed to get sound with a particular speaker that interacts with the amp.

    I think Hartley-Thompson used MOSFETs, and they could have easily looked at the schematics of the Hafler DH 200.
    “I’m not giving in an inch to fear” David Crosby

  18. #2893
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    A friend has a Bryson solid state amp that uses MOSFETs as drivers on its output.
    “I’m not giving in an inch to fear” David Crosby

  19. #2894
    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
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    One drawback of MOSFETs is they're highly sensitive to electrostatic discharge damage. In one unit of my Navy A School, instructors told us not to so much as touch the MOSFET in the training device. One guy tried cheating on the test by intentionally damaging the MOSTFET. And incorrectly identifying it as the culprit. The instructor spent a few minutes troubleshooting, and found it was indeed damaged. He asked the student if he touched it. The student denied it.
    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"--Dalai Lama

  20. #2895
    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
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    I heard poweramps made by Perraux in the late 80'ties or early 90'ties using Mosfets. They were really good in many aspects, but a little soft at the bottom end.
    https://perreaux.com/

  21. #2896
    cunning linguist 3LockBox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by progmatist View Post
    One drawback of MOSFETs is they're highly sensitive to electrostatic discharge damage. In one unit of my Navy A School, instructors told us not to so much as touch the MOSFET in the training device. One guy tried cheating on the test by intentionally damaging the MOSTFET. And incorrectly identifying it as the culprit. The instructor spent a few minutes troubleshooting, and found it was indeed damaged. He asked the student if he touched it. The student denied it.
    Yo squid, this is a thread about theoretical rhetoric and internet opinion and is no place for real world experiences!

    Was it the IFF or TACAN unit? Doppler?

  22. #2897
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    Quote Originally Posted by progmatist View Post
    One drawback of MOSFETs is they're highly sensitive to electrostatic discharge damage. In one unit of my Navy A School, instructors told us not to so much as touch the MOSFET in the training device. One guy tried cheating on the test by intentionally damaging the MOSTFET. And incorrectly identifying it as the culprit. The instructor spent a few minutes troubleshooting, and found it was indeed damaged. He asked the student if he touched it. The student denied it.
    Perhaps out of context. Low power MOSFETs are used in digital circuits and if you are working at the component level you need a static discharge path. Anybody working in electronics manufacturing has themselves strapped to ground. The amplifiers we would be considering are manufactured taking this into account. I worked for Westinghouse Electric as a systems engineer however I never got hands on with electronics, but everybody who did was strapped.
    “I’m not giving in an inch to fear” David Crosby

  23. #2898
    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3LockBox View Post
    Yo squid, this is a thread about theoretical rhetoric and internet opinion and is no place for real world experiences!

    Was it the IFF or TACAN unit? Doppler?
    It was either the RADAR or TACAN unit. I forget which. The IFF had a built in self test capability, which instructors told us not to rely on. Then when going out to the fleet, we used the Avionics Fault Tree Analyzer (AFTA) at I-Level to troubleshoot F/A-18 gear. The AFTA was the plane's built in self test capability, enclosed in a portable box. Used at both O and I Level. The difference was at I-Level, we needed the aircraft simulator to interface gear with the AFTA.

    Quote Originally Posted by Firth View Post
    Perhaps out of context. Low power MOSFETs are used in digital circuits and if you are working at the component level you need a static discharge path. Anybody working in electronics manufacturing has themselves strapped to ground. The amplifiers we would be considering are manufactured taking this into account. I worked for Westinghouse Electric as a systems engineer however I never got hands on with electronics, but everybody who did was strapped.
    The MOSFET application in question was anything but low power digital circuitry. As for amps, techs in a small repair shop may or may not observe proper static precautions. May or may not even believe ESD is a real thing. I've met so many, even here in the desert who think ESD is a myth. Back when computer swap meets were a thing, I chided vendors for having items floating free in a box. With no static protection whatsoever. They yelled back at me thinking I was the idiot.

    EDIT: Another possibility is consumers opening the device, and monkeying around with its innards. My Uncle worked in, and later owned a TV repair shop his entire working life. Except the few years he spent in the Navy, where he learned to work on TVs. In the last few years before his retirement, he had a contract with several TV manufacturers. To perform onsite warranty repair. There were occasions he'd arrive at someone's house, only to find the TV had been completely disassembled. With parts strewn about all over the floor. After putting it back together, he'd have to fight with the customer to get paid for the service. The customers voided the warranty, so the manufacturers weren't about to pay him for his time.

    Granted, a true audiophile isn't about to mess with an expensive amp. But their teenage son might.
    Last edited by progmatist; 10-27-2022 at 07:57 PM.
    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"--Dalai Lama

  24. #2899
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by progmatist View Post
    Back when computer swap meets were a thing, I chided vendors for having items floating free in a box. With no static protection whatsoever. They yelled back at me thinking I was the idiot.
    To be fair, yelling at people you think are idiots is kinda the national pastime.

  25. #2900
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    The methodical and articulate Andrew Jones, and his new speaker design:



    “I’m not giving in an inch to fear” David Crosby

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