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Thread: The Audiophile Thread

  1. #551
    Member Staun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    Wood is too reflective for my taste. And it is all a matter of taste.

    But I will mention one more factor not yet mentioned -- basement or 2nd floor? I THOUGHT I wanted my listening room in the basement, on a concrete floor (with carpet) but I have come to miss the floor vibrations which are a big physiological element of "feeling the bass." When the floor doesn't vibrate, the bass doesn't FEEL as impressive. My next listening room will have a hollow floor.
    Must be why I like my down firing sub I use for the TV. It gets in your legs and goes all over. I may want to do a second sub. I know bass is omni directional but a sub in the front of the room and one in the back might be interesting.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  2. #552
    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    I don't think "transparent" is the right word here, I like the word "neutral" better (but I know what you meant).
    Neutral is a better choice. Yes, too dead of a room is psychologically weird. Distressing even.

  3. #553
    You can always get kickers for your chair...From a theoretical point I would think having your floor flex from the sound of your system would be considered a bad thing It's a form of subsonic resonance. If you have vinyl that's an issue...

  4. #554
    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    But I will mention one more factor not yet mentioned -- basement or 2nd floor? I THOUGHT I wanted my listening room in the basement, on a concrete floor (with carpet) but I have come to miss the floor vibrations which are a big physiological element of "feeling the bass." When the floor doesn't vibrate, the bass doesn't FEEL as impressive. My next listening room will have a hollow floor.
    When we put the 2nd story on our house, I toyed with the idea of building a third, and leaving it unfinished, for a future listening space. Prudence, and my wife, however won out.

    I've been a basement rat my entire life. First musical memory was in the basement, an old console stereo and Milwaukee's FM stations!

    Quote Originally Posted by Staun View Post
    Mind if I go through your albums?
    Milwaukee isn't that far...


    Quote Originally Posted by LASERCD View Post
    The room is everything.
    ... And not just the speakers. I added a significant amount of sqft to the room, especially in depth to the listening area, removed wood bifold doors and drywalled up the aluminum duct work. Lots more SPACE for the sound, and yes, it's better.

    I guess the question is what would be the difference between my current "near-field" vs something that projects...
    "Always ready with the ray of sunshine"

  5. #555
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    Quote Originally Posted by Staun View Post
    I know bass is omni directional but a sub in the front of the room and one in the back might be interesting.
    This is an often-repeated contention, but I don't think it is true.

    Bass MAY be omnidirectional if you're talking pipe organ music.

    It CERTAINLY isn't true if you're talking a drum kit's kick drum.

  6. #556
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    Quote Originally Posted by strawberrybrick View Post
    Prudence, and my wife, however won out.
    You should kick Prudence's ass.

  7. #557
    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    This is an often-repeated contention, but I don't think it is true.

    Bass MAY be omnidirectional if you're talking pipe organ music.

    It CERTAINLY isn't true if you're talking a drum kit's kick drum.
    That's because most of a kick drum's useful information is really in the 200-250Hz range, or higher. Even the thud is usually eq-ed about 60Hz. I'm with you, IMO a sub can really only produce "thump". Anything that tells you anything useful about what an interment or sound actually is will be in the directional Frequency range. So sure, use a sub to add some sub low to your system, but you main speakers are still going to have to be able to deliver some tight low end.

  8. #558
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    This is an often-repeated contention, but I don't think it is true.

    Bass MAY be omnidirectional if you're talking pipe organ music.

    It CERTAINLY isn't true if you're talking a drum kit's kick drum.
    Interesting. I always think of hearing it coming out of an amp and speaker. Sometimes it's hard to tell where it's coming from. But yes, you know where the kick drum is.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  9. #559
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    Quote Originally Posted by strawberrybrick View Post
    I just remodelled the man cave this past fall, and very happy I did. The basement has a low ceiling, and I wasn't going to dig down (though that's pretty common these days), but now I have sheetrock everywhere, carpet on the floor and long row of albums behind the couch to help soak up the sound. The sweet spot is indeed sweet now.

    Not sure I could get away with larger speakers in the room.

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    Attachment 5103
    A very respectable collection. Envy is the word.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  10. #560
    And that's half!

    Was just in Milwaukee last weekend, nice stop at Bull's Eye Records, County Claire, the Domes...
    "Always ready with the ray of sunshine"

  11. #561
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    Quote Originally Posted by strawberrybrick View Post
    And that's half!

    Was just in Milwaukee last weekend, nice stop at Bull's Eye Records, County Claire, the Domes...
    Bull's Eye, one of my stomping grounds. Exclusive, further down the street, has a nice vinyl selection. However for prog, you have to go to Rush-Mor, which is in Bayview. Maybe a 20min drive. Every time I go to the domes, I have to go to the other side of the street to watch the trains. Ya, I'm one of those model train door stops. Hope you found something good at Bulls Eye.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  12. #562
    Quote Originally Posted by Staun View Post
    Bull's Eye, one of my stomping grounds. Exclusive, further down the street, has a nice vinyl selection. However for prog, you have to go to Rush-Mor, which is in Bayview. Maybe a 20min drive. Every time I go to the domes, I have to go to the other side of the street to watch the trains. Ya, I'm one of those model train door stops. Hope you found something good at Bulls Eye.
    Oh yeah, I know Dan at Rushmor (doesn't everyone??!). Back when I was a kid, it was 1812 Overture on Brady, Soundstage in the Bayshore Mall, Ludwig Van Ear on ??? Picked up some Spotted Cow too.
    "Always ready with the ray of sunshine"

  13. #563
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    Quote Originally Posted by strawberrybrick View Post
    Oh yeah, I know Dan at Rushmor (doesn't everyone??!). Back when I was a kid, it was 1812 Overture on Brady, Soundstage in the Bayshore Mall, Ludwig Van Ear on ??? Picked up some Spotted Cow too.
    Spotted Cow, yes sir. Dan is so crazy. Everytime I see him he's standing behind the counter with a handful of discs. I tell him he needs some help. Soundstage moved to the Brookfield area but it's close to where I work. Bayshore has been totally redone but I'm not sure if I like having to go outside to get to the next store. Nice places to eat though. Brady was crazy this weekend as usual. Everyone gearing up for St. Pats day. I swear, this town drains more beer than anywhere. But, I want you to know, I wasn't a slacker. I did my part.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  14. #564
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    I have experimented with filling my listening room with various gasses on the theory that faster speed-of-sound = less chance for distortion. However I have found that hydrogen is explosive, sulfur dioxide is too caustic and helium just makes everything sound like The Chipmunks. Any suggestions?

  15. #565
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    Methane. Keeps unwanted guests out of the sweet spot.
    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 hes smashed it with a hammer.
    -- Russell Banks (paraphrased)

  16. #566
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  17. #567
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    I have experimented with filling my listening room with various gasses on the theory that faster speed-of-sound = less chance for distortion. However I have found that hydrogen is explosive, sulfur dioxide is too caustic and helium just makes everything sound like The Chipmunks. Any suggestions?
    Ah, how close were you to the hydrogen explosion? Just asking.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  18. #568
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    One other question, do you ever check gas tanks with a match? Again, just asking.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  19. #569
    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    I have experimented with filling my listening room with various gasses on the theory that faster speed-of-sound = less chance for distortion. However I have found that hydrogen is explosive, sulfur dioxide is too caustic and helium just makes everything sound like The Chipmunks. Any suggestions?
    Argon. Turns everything into death metal. And then you die too, which is VERY metal.

  20. #570
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    I have some questions about amplifiers.

    I have an old Yamaha RX-496 A/V Receiver which is about 20 years old and is supposedly a lower-end model. I have never noticed anything "wrong" with it per se, but am considering upgrading with a more contemporary integrated amp that would fit with the rest of my set-up.

    I do not need the amplifier to do anything except: a) drive my B&W 685 speakers and B&W ASW 600 sub; b.) have enough inputs for my purposes (4 or more); and, preferably c.) sound better. I have a standalone DAC and phono stage which I will want to plug in so I don't need these built-in to the amplifier. I would also like to be able to hook up a second set of speakers although its not important enough to sacrifice sound quality to do that.

    Aside from wattage and features like inputs/DAC or whatever, what other factors should I be considering in selecting an amplifier?

    For example, after some preliminary research I have read that the NAD, Rotel and NAIM amps "go well" with these particular B&Ws. What does this mean exactly? If the amp is just amplifying an electrical signal, why would a particular brand of amps pair particularly well with a particular brand of speakers?

    Here in Korea the NAD i am looking at is the cheapest (C326BEE), followed by the Rotel (RA-1520), and finally the NAIM Nait 5si by a significant margin. All of these units seem to have good reviews. I don't mind paying more if its going to save me from feeling the urge to upgrade again in the future, but its also not really clear to me what I'd be paying for as I go up the line. The Rotel seems to have all the features I want.

    For reference the rest of my set-up is a Roksan Radius 5 turntable/NIMA tonearm/Denon DL-103r cartridge and a Clearaudio Nano phono stage. I also use the speaker/amp set-up for movies/music from the computer through a Musical Fidelity V-DAC (soon to be upgraded as well).

    I would appreciate any suggestions/guidance from the group. It is even worth upgrading from the Yamaha if I am okay with it? I've never noticed any issues, but it is a consumer-grade component and I figure it can't sound as good as a newer Rotel/NAIM amp would at this point.

    Of course, auditioning in person is probably the obvious advice, but the guys in the hi-fi shops here tend not to speak English, making this a hassle I'd rather avoid.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by BakerStMuse; 03-14-2015 at 09:39 AM.

  21. #571
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Can you buy the Rotel on a 30-day trial?

    Really, your ears are the only spec that matters.

  22. #572
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    Can you buy the Rotel on a 30-day trial?

    Really, your ears are the only spec that matters.
    Yeah, that's my advice as well. If the store allows trials or returns, start with the Rotel, if it sounds sweet you keep it. I know that some high end stores in the US will let you audition a piece of equipment but the circumstances and conditions vary.
    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

  23. #573
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    My experience with integrated amps is that you pay a price for all the features that you get. The price is sound quality. I'm sure some sound better than others. But I had a quantum leap in SQ when I went from an Arcam integrated amp to separates. Of course the cost was significantly higher for the separates.

    Like the others have said, try to listen to it before you buy. Some brands have a house sound (e.g.., Marantz) that you may or may not like. Naim is famous for its PRaT (Pace, Rhythm and Timing). NAD is a well regarded brand as well, so you won't do badly with any of these. I've had a Rotel CD player for many years. I had a few issues with it early on, but they went away never to return, without having it serviced. It's still running like a champ. So I will vouch for the quality of Rotel products.
    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 hes smashed it with a hammer.
    -- Russell Banks (paraphrased)

  24. #574
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    But also remember that all equipment breaks in. What you hear on day 1 isn't necessarily what you will hear on day 5. So don't make a snap judgement on anything after listening for an hour. Let it run continually for several day, then reassess.
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  25. #575
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobM View Post
    But also remember that all equipment breaks in. What you hear on day 1 isn't necessarily what you will hear on day 5. So don't make a snap judgement on anything after listening for an hour. Let it run continually for several day, then reassess.
    Perhaps least true of amplifiers than any other component.

    But still good advice -- listen to a variety of music over several days to see if the thing has any strengths or weaknesses. See if the sound is tiring -- sometimes a nice bright initial impression leads to a headache after a couple hours. And give it time to fail if it's gonna -- 30 days if you can manage it, a week if you can't.

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