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Thread: The Audiophile Thread

  1. #251
    Member Staun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobM View Post
    Here's a thought for those of us who actually go over to the homes of others to hang out and listen to music once in a while, be it in an audio club setting or just a Saturday afternoon. What is your reference for evaluating that other person's system?

    I would suggest that (for most people) your own home system is your reference, because the sound of it is what you are most intimately familiar with. OK, some people will get wow'ed by a friends costly system, but no system does everything perfectly. If the friends system does everything yours does, and then some, you will likely praise it. If it falls short in that one category that makes your special, then you will likely say it needs work (maybe not out loud, but in your head).

    Then again, some of us are likely to say something like "if my foot is tapping to the music, all is good".
    Your right, no matter how good or bad, your system is the reference. For me, it's alway a saturday. I'm at their place or they are at mine. It's usually, turn that up or turn that down. Everyone is being grained and watered and lots of chit chat but alot of evaluation doesn't go on. But, one of the first things that usually hits me is, there's to much low frequency here.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  2. #252
    Member Staun's Avatar
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    Which brings up another topic. Subwoofer or no subwoofer.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  3. #253
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    Technology writer can't hear the difference between a lossless track on Pono and an iTunes purchase.

    http://www.slate.com/articles/techno...an.single.html
    I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

  4. #254
    ALL ACCESS Gruno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rottersclub View Post
    Here are the things that I usually bring along when evaluating audio equipment. Some has been my go-to music since I shopped for my first decent system in the late 70s/early 80s. My time allotment determines how much of it to bring along.

    1. Bruford / One Of A Kind - 01 - Hell's Bells
    2. David Binney / South - 01 - Out Beyond Ideas
    3. Isildurs Bane / MIND Volume 1 - 01 - The Flight Onward - Phases 1-5
    4. Steely Dan / Gaucho - 01 - Babylon Sisters
    5. Gong / Gazeuse! - 01 - Expresso
    6. Joni Mitchell / The Hissing of Summer Lawns - 04 - Don't Interrupt the Sorrow
    7. Pat Metheny Group / Imaginary Day - 09 - The Awakening
    8. Peter Erskine / You Never Know - 01 - New Old Age
    9. Porcupine Tree / Stupid Dream - 01 - Even Less
    10. Ralph Towner / Ana - 01 - The Reluctant Bride
    11. Bill Bruford's Earthworks / Footloose & Fancy Free - 01 - Footloose and Fancy Free
    12. Änglagård / Hybris - 01 - Jordrök
    13. Tomasz Stanko Quartet / Soul of Things, Variation V
    14. Genesis / Selling England By The Pound - 03 - Firth Of Fifth
    15. Dead Can Dance / Toward The Within - 01 - Rakim
    16. Peter Gabriel / So - 06 - Mercy Street
    17. Camel / A Nod And A Wink - 01 - A Nod And A Wink
    18. Porcupine Tree / In Absentia - 01 - Blackest Eyes
    19. Peter Gabriel / Us - 10 - Secret World
    20. Pink Floyd / Wish you were here - 04 - Wish You Were Here
    Is this all on one CDR or do you bring 20 discs along for the ride?

  5. #255
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gruno View Post
    Is this all on one CDR or do you bring 20 discs along for the ride?
    And would you be willing to burn copies for the rest of us?
    I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

  6. #256
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    Quote Originally Posted by Staun View Post
    I don't have one "test album". Like you, I use different tracks from different albums. But, what are you using for the test material. Are you using hi res cd's or normal cd's? Has to be some difference when listening to different tyes of pressings and masterings.
    CDs and LPs.

    I only have a few hi-rez albums so far. In fact, I only just connected a new laptop to my OpAmp (which has a DAC) to play all my digital files on the big rig.

    There are copyright problems buying hi-rez in Canada. For example, I went to buy Mark Knopfler's Privateering from HDTracks recently, only to be told that they wouldn't sell it me because I live in Canada. I checked a Canadian hi-rez vendor (ProStudioMasters) but they wanted $28 for it. I bought it for $15 on CD from Amazon.
    Think of a book as a vase, and a movie as the stained-glass window that the filmmaker has made out of the pieces after he’s smashed it with a hammer.
    -- Russell Banks (paraphrased)

  7. #257
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gruno View Post
    Is this all on one CDR or do you bring 20 discs along for the ride?
    I have it on 2 CDRs. Once, I brought them to a very high end place in town and got schooled by the owner that CDRs weren't appropriate or optimal for demoing gear. So now, depending on where I'm going, it will either be the CDRs or a subset of the discs/albums mentioned above. As I mentioned elsewhere, I'm not in the market for any new equipment right now, so the only demoing I'll be doing any time soon is at John Kelman's when his reno is all done and the 333's are nicely broken in. That's right John, they're going to need several hundred hours of break-in to really be at their best.
    Think of a book as a vase, and a movie as the stained-glass window that the filmmaker has made out of the pieces after he’s smashed it with a hammer.
    -- Russell Banks (paraphrased)

  8. #258
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    Quote Originally Posted by Staun View Post
    Which brings up another topic. Subwoofer or no subwoofer.
    I had one in my old house as the room was very bright and the bass was lacking. I bought a used 10" unit and it fit the bill quite nicely. My new (temporary) room is quite a bit smaller and is carpeted. I'm sitting a few feet closer and I'm finding the bass quite sufficient without the sub. I will hang on to it and maybe end up using it with my TV/HT if/when I get around to it.
    Think of a book as a vase, and a movie as the stained-glass window that the filmmaker has made out of the pieces after he’s smashed it with a hammer.
    -- Russell Banks (paraphrased)

  9. #259
    RE: subwoofers
    First of all, I despise anything under 12". They produce large amounts of upper bass an tend to sound like mush. Since I don't have room for 15s, I use TWO 12" subwoofers.
    Second, I don't use the LFE (Low Frequency Effects) output. I want to use them for everything, not just movies and 5.1 SACDs, DTS , and DVD-Audio.
    In order to do this, you have to set your home theater receiver speaker settings to small on the front L/R, then run your front L/R speaker cables to your sub(s) first, then to your speakers. A decent powered sub will have a variable high pass filter that will let you set the subs to handle that bass that your front speakers do not handle as efficiently as the subs.
    This also tends to provide better mid and high end definition out of your front L/R speakers.
    Before I got subs, I thought my speakers were OK. When I first tried them with LFE only, I was very disappointed with the sound of anything other than movies and maybe 1/3 of my 5.1 music. When I changed over to "subs on all the time" (the setting noted above), I noted that the bass was better, but was certain I needed two because of the vaulted ceiling in my living room.
    I started saving and found a great deal on NewEgg for a second Polk PSW-505 (about 100.00 less than the first one). Once I got the second one set up and went through several hours of testing, I came to realize the overall sound improvement was well worth the investment.
    When you shop for a sub (or two), I highly recommend one that allows you to run speaker cable in and speaker cable out, and also a variable high pass filter that goes from 90-120 hz. You'll be surprise at how good this can make even small front speakers sound.

  10. #260
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    I estimate took about 200 hours to break in my Meadowlarks. I remember the day I noticed. They were rather "dry", especially for voices and the bottom was weak. One day I put on "Even Less" and was just leaving the room to get something when the bass kicked in. It was tight, forward, and thunderous. I switched to Diana Krall and damn, the vocals were exactly what I wanted. There was Diana, in the room, singing her ass off and wearing very little.
    I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

  11. #261
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    so the only demoing I'll be doing any time soon is at John Kelman's when his reno is all done and the 333's are nicely broken in.
    Note to self, add "trip to Kelman's" to my list of Canadian vacation spots.
    I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

  12. #262
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Staun View Post
    Which brings up another topic. Subwoofer or no subwoofer.
    Opinion only -- I love my sub on the TV sound system but it ain't hi-fi enough for music. I don't want records sounding like somebody dropping a dumptruck off a building.

    Subwoofers are for sound effects -- not music.

  13. #263
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerjo View Post
    I estimate took about 200 hours to break in my Meadowlarks. I remember the day I noticed. They were rather "dry", especially for voices and the bottom was weak. One day I put on "Even Less" and was just leaving the room to get something when the bass kicked in. It was tight, forward, and thunderous. I switched to Diana Krall and damn, the vocals were exactly what I wanted. There was Diana, in the room, singing her ass off and wearing very little.
    I love it when good speakers are revealing

  14. #264
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jubal View Post
    RE: subwoofers
    First of all, I despise anything under 12". They produce large amounts of upper bass an tend to sound like mush. Since I don't have room for 15s, I use TWO 12" subwoofers.
    Second, I don't use the LFE (Low Frequency Effects) output. I want to use them for everything, not just movies and 5.1 SACDs, DTS , and DVD-Audio.
    In order to do this, you have to set your home theater receiver speaker settings to small on the front L/R, then run your front L/R speaker cables to your sub(s) first, then to your speakers. A decent powered sub will have a variable high pass filter that will let you set the subs to handle that bass that your front speakers do not handle as efficiently as the subs.
    This also tends to provide better mid and high end definition out of your front L/R speakers.
    Before I got subs, I thought my speakers were OK. When I first tried them with LFE only, I was very disappointed with the sound of anything other than movies and maybe 1/3 of my 5.1 music. When I changed over to "subs on all the time" (the setting noted above), I noted that the bass was better, but was certain I needed two because of the vaulted ceiling in my living room.
    I started saving and found a great deal on NewEgg for a second Polk PSW-505 (about 100.00 less than the first one). Once I got the second one set up and went through several hours of testing, I came to realize the overall sound improvement was well worth the investment.
    When you shop for a sub (or two), I highly recommend one that allows you to run speaker cable in and speaker cable out, and also a variable high pass filter that goes from 90-120 hz. You'll be surprise at how good this can make even small front speakers sound.
    It's not the size of the driver, it's the size of the tube. Best bass is produced from a transmission line subwoofer that ain't 12 inches, but it has a holder horn for a long distance behind a smaller long throw accurate driver. Bigger subs are not accurate because they bend.
    “I’m not giving in an inch to fear” David Crosby

  15. #265
    Firth-
    Ports emphasize bass in a particular frequency range, usually peaking around 120-150 hz. Sure they provide much greater output, but the longer the port, the narrower the range of the peak, which causes coloration of the sound. Efficient bass requires larger surface area. If all you want it "thump", then maybe a 10" sub will do it for you. I like smooth lower bass lines and not too much of a lower midrange peak (which is common in most speakers). There is a balance that can be achieved where the "felt" sound does not turn the bass lines to mush.
    Your statement about bigger subs bending is oversimplification. All speakers require a certain degree of stiffness (no phallic jokes please). Some subs perform better because they bend less and have heavier duty magnets which control the coil and cone more precisely. The more efficient subs tend to "bend" more primarily because they have smaller magnets and coils pushing them. The better subs require more power to move a stiffer cone with minimal distortion. I have found by experience that in a typical living room, 12s generally perform better than 10s or smaller, and are better suited in terms of volume than 15s, which are really overkill in rooms less than 400 square feet.
    Please note I am referring to subs only.
    For general front speakers, I tend to favor Polk's strategy of using multiple 6.5" drivers and a port to get a smoothly distributed sound field.
    Believe it or not, I don't use two subs to boom the bass on my music. The two subs provide the rhythmic energy that properly balances with the rest of the music. Sure, I can crank them when I want to, but I don't do that very often.

  16. #266
    Quote Originally Posted by rottersclub View Post
    I have it on 2 CDRs. Once, I brought them to a very high end place in town and got schooled by the owner that CDRs weren't appropriate or optimal for demoing gear. So now, depending on where I'm going, it will either be the CDRs or a subset of the discs/albums mentioned above. As I mentioned elsewhere, I'm not in the market for any new equipment right now, so the only demoing I'll be doing any time soon is at John Kelman's when his reno is all done and the 333's are nicely broken in. That's right John, they're going to need several hundred hours of break-in to really be at their best.
    I know that....but what...You planning on moving in for a couple months to help me get there? There will be a sofa in the office

  17. #267
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firth View Post
    It's not the size of the driver, it's the size of the tube. Best bass is produced from a transmission line subwoofer that ain't 12 inches, but it has a holder horn for a long distance behind a smaller long throw accurate driver. Bigger subs are not accurate because they bend.
    There is so much flat out wrong here I don't know where to begin. Listen to Brother Jubal.
    Last edited by rcarlberg; 02-18-2015 at 10:22 AM.

  18. #268
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerjo View Post
    Note to self, add "trip to Kelman's" to my list of Canadian vacation spots.
    Time to start a Kickstarter campaign, methinks. Here's what I'm thinking.

    $10 gets you 10 minutes with my new rig, playing two short songs or one-half of a Prog epic of your choice.
    $20 gets you a full 20 mins and we'll not quibble over an extra minute or two, so "supper's ready" and "gates of delirium" are in; TfTO and The Whirlwind are, however, right out!
    $40 gets 20 minutes plus an exclusive "I was chez Kelman" t-shirt, designed by TBD
    $100 gets you 20 min, t-shirt plus a meet and greet chez Kelman (what, you think I'll meet you for a lousy $10 or $20? My wife will play your 10 or 20 mins for you...that will most definitely be worth the $$ alone, as she's both a sweetheart and a looker whereas I am....neither)
    $1,000 gets you all the above, dinner chez Kelman at a local Harvey's, and a personalized video recording of the chez Kelman experience, including close-ups during the meal. Only ten of these available so sign up quick!
    $33,300 gets all the above, plus my 333s, since I'll now have enough to buy the Tetra 606s. Only one available, for obvious reasons.

  19. #269
    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    Opinion only -- I love my sub on the TV sound system but it ain't hi-fi enough for music. I don't want records sounding like somebody dropping a dumptruck off a building.

    Subwoofers are for sound effects -- not music.
    Sorry, hate to disagree but...the Tetra 111s add a warmth to the room. Cranked they can give you pumped bass but that's not why I bought 'Em. I tried the 222s alone, with one sub and with two. It's subtle, but two definitely works best, thus the decision to buy the 333s.

  20. #270
    Quote Originally Posted by rottersclub View Post
    Sorry John, but that's the "flaw" in Adrian's business model. You invited Robert to come to Ottawa to hear Tetras. That may be the only way he might ever hear them. And at those price points, buying them on spec is a very risky business. Buying electronics unheard is one thing, but buying speakers unheard is a fools errand, IMO.
    Actually, there are ways of hearing the Tetras outside of Adrian's room, as I understand. It's not super easy or super common, but it has been done. So you don't have to come to Ottawa to hear 'em. My invite to Robert was truthful but also a bit of a joke. Contact Adrian at Tetra and I believe he will see what he can do to accommodate.

    But where I'll argue is here: Dave Holland heard them while here in Ottawa. He bought them on the spot. He went home, called Herbie Hancock and told him about them, then played the for him at his home. Herbie bought them.

    Tetra's model is word of mouth. No, they don't sell the numbers that speakers you can find at an audio store do....but while he'd like to sell more, of course, he is doing just fine with them. Tetra does special events where people can hear them in action. And there is a money back return guarantee that has only been used once when a guy's wife had a meltdown about how much he'd spent and insisted he return 'em. So, while there is a certain amount of faith involved in buying them, you are protected if you try them and don't like them.

    Quote Originally Posted by rottersclub View Post
    one minor clarification: John attributed something to me that wasn't quite what I said, but I think it bears being said:

    A true audiophile is never satisfied with their system and they are constantly buying and selling equipment to find the perfect sound. Neither you or I fit that description, so we'll have to find another term. How about "audio enthusiast"?
    Oops, sorry...I paraphrased out of poor memory

  21. #271
    Member BobM's Avatar
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    I've found that most people don't really know how to properly set up a subwoofer. Most importantly, the crossover point on the sub needs to be set below the low frequency rolloff point of the main speaker. This diagram should explain it. At first glance it seems that there will be a dip if you do this, but the signal sums to provide an overall flat-ish response (the red line).

    The crossover point is set to "roll off" the signal going to that speaker. So if the subwoofer is set to somewhere around a 40-60hz crossover point, it doesn't necessarily just simply cut off at that point but it rolls off starting at that point, being optimal at 80Hz where the main speakers are beginning roll-up. Resulting in a flat response across the region.

    3147d1178161449-amplitude-crossover-frequency-80crossover-sub-plus-main.jpg
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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  22. #272
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jkelman View Post
    Sorry, hate to disagree but...the Tetra 111s add a warmth to the room. Cranked they can give you pumped bass but that's not why I bought 'Em. I tried the 222s alone, with one sub and with two. It's subtle, but two definitely works best, thus the decision to buy the 333s.
    Tetra 111's are a special case. They are 8" acoustic suspension woofers, paired with the 222's five-inch drivers, so they're really more the WOOFER of the system than a sub-woofer.

  23. #273
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    Opinion only -- I love my sub on the TV sound system but it ain't hi-fi enough for music. I don't want records sounding like somebody dropping a dumptruck off a building.

    Subwoofers are for sound effects -- not music.
    Exactly. Never been able to force myself to bring in a sub for the two channel system. Just sounds abit unnatural to these ears. I know people who have them and use them in their music setups and they seem to be quite happy with them. For TV viewing, they are almost a must. There are some great movies where I want to hear the dumptruck crashing to the ground. But for two channel, I'll have to pass.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  24. #274
    Member Staun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerjo View Post
    And would you be willing to burn copies for the rest of us?
    Here please.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  25. #275
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    I use a Polk sub in my man cave but that's because my L/R are two Infinity bookshelf speakers. Deep bass and kick drums are hard to hear. Makes everything sound like it was produced by Eddy Offord. The sub brings it all back. But on the living room rig it's totally unnecessary.
    I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

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