Thread: The Audiophile Thread

  1. #701
    Pendulumswingingdoomsday Rune Blackwings's Avatar
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    I have a question, as I buy only Pioneer and Technics and such, but I am curious on how much some of these materials I see "improve" the sound. I understand gold plating because gold is not prone to rust or corrosion, so the connections and surfaces remain intact. But I see in Stereophile things such as cartridges made with wood or stone. Do these do anything to improve the quality? Or is this cosmetic?

    And I am not an electrical engineer by any stretch, but that thing about the wires having a "memory"-I never heard of that. I see a "memory wire" in a search though...
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  2. #702
    Member Staun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LASERCD View Post
    From my perspective your Boulder monoblocks are keepers. The ideal mate is the matching preamp. I would try to stretch my budget for it.

    Otherwise something like this might work very well:

    http://app.audiogon.com/listings/sol...24-plano-tx--2

    Classe gear is extremely neutral and it runs balanced, which the Boulder amps would prefer to see.
    Understood. I never thought much about Boulder beyond power amps and monos. The Macintosh man, my dad, loves Boulder amps which is how I got started with them. My local audio company does carry some Classe pieces but I'm not sure what they are but I will put in a call today. The CP 700 looks amazing.
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  3. #703
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    Quote Originally Posted by Staun View Post
    Understood. I never thought much about Boulder beyond power amps and monos. The Macintosh man, my dad, loves Boulder amps which is how I got started with them. My local audio company does carry some Classe pieces but I'm not sure what they are but I will put in a call today. The CP 700 looks amazing.
    If your taste lean towards solid state, Boulder makes state of the art electronics. I couldn't think of owning anything else.

  4. #704
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    Quote Originally Posted by Staun View Post
    I've heard people say that tubes can be noisy but I know those with tube systems and they sound perfectly fine to me. SS may be a more simple choice to deal with in the long run. The Whest stage looks interesting. Do you have any personal info on it?
    No experience with the Whest. I personally think that vinyl and tubes are a match made in heaven. I do know from experience that there is just something special about tubed phono stages that SS ones, though accurate, cannot reproduce.
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  5. #705
    My understanding with a lot of the upgrades is that it depends on how good your system really is to begin with.
    Will a cheap stereo reveal the nuances of a $12,000 cable? Probably not.
    Will a $4,000 phonostage make your $400 turntable sound better? Maybe not as well...

    Please correct me if I'm wrong.
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  6. #706
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    IMO you are correct. Upgrades need to be reasonable proportional. Here's my gut feeling on where to spend money, and why I feel this way.

    #1 - the room dictates everything. The system has to be proportional to the room, meaning a small room needs a smaller speaker than a large room. Bad acoustics need room treatments.

    #2 - the speaker and room interaction will dictate 50% of the quality of your sound. This means correctly setting up the speaker and your listening chair, and treating the room properly to get a balanced sound, avoiding bass boom and bad reflections. So to me, buying the correct speaker for the room is more important than buying the biggest and most expensive one.

    #3 - the amp has to work with the speaker. Meaning a very efficient speaker, like a horn, can use a low watt tube amp, while a panel speaker needs more power and control where solid state shines.

    #4 - the source. Meaning, garbage in - garbage out. If the speaker and amp and room are working well together then upgrading the source, be it CD or turntable or phono stage or cartridge, will likely make the most improvement.

    #5 - the preamp. Not an issue for those using an integrated amp or a receiver, but the preamp is the heart of an audiophile system. Once you get the rest right this thing needs to be as transparent as possible.

    #6 - power delivery. Meaning all your power cables and interconnects and speaker cables. This is a little more than just "tuning" the system, but if the signal is degraded as it moves from place to place then you are not getting the most out of your system.
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  7. #707
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    how much some of these materials I see "improve" the sound. I understand gold plating because gold is not prone to rust or corrosion, so the connections and surfaces remain intact
    gold has its advantages but as others have posted above, all things are proportional when it comes to upgrades. So on mid-level equipment you're not going to want to spend a fortune on interconnects. And stay away from anything by Monster Cable.
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  8. #708
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    Quote Originally Posted by strawberrybrick View Post
    My understanding with a lot of the upgrades is that it depends on how good your system really is to begin with.
    Will a cheap stereo reveal the nuances of a $12,000 cable? Probably not.
    Will a $4,000 phonostage make your $400 turntable sound better? Maybe not as well...

    Please correct me if I'm wrong.
    Strawberrybrick, you have a store called, Saturday Audio in your town. Have you visited it and if so, what type of equipment do they feature? Thought about coming down to take a look.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  9. #709
    Quote Originally Posted by Rune Blackwings View Post
    I have a question, as I buy only Pioneer and Technics and such, but I am curious on how much some of these materials I see "improve" the sound. I understand gold plating because gold is not prone to rust or corrosion, so the connections and surfaces remain intact. But I see in Stereophile things such as cartridges made with wood or stone. Do these do anything to improve the quality? Or is this cosmetic?

    Listen to a $230 Denon DL-103 cartridge (a decades old design) removed from its cheap, resonant plastic body and remounted in an $80-$100 wood or aluminum body (several sellers on ebay), and you will hear the difference that cartridge body materials will make.

    A venerable old cartridge, pleasant enough to listen to, will become a cartridge that will outperform cartridges at 3+ times the price. Better resolution and transparency, wider and deeper image, tighter bass. Almost all the weaknesses of the original in the plastic body will be gone, without loosing any of the strengths. With nothing more than changing the cartridge body material.
    Last edited by simon moon; 03-24-2015 at 08:42 PM.
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  10. #710
    Quote Originally Posted by Staun View Post
    Strawberrybrick, you have a store called, Saturday Audio in your town. Have you visited it and if so, what type of equipment do they feature? Thought about coming down to take a look.
    Short answer is nothing you can't get from Audio Advisors, I guess, "affordable" hifi? Musical Fidelity, NAD, Project, PSB, Golden Ear, But they are great people, and a bit of an institution here on the Northside. Andy has cut me deals on most of my gear, I have friend that is now working there on Sundays too (think he just redid the website). Decibel Audio is not far away, and the two stores compliment each other nicely (old guys vs hipsters!). I think Audio Consultants still has a shop in Evanston. As for the high end, http://quintessenceaudio.com is in Morton Grove...

    http://saturdayaudio.com

    Plus you got really good record stores around them!
    "Always ready with the ray of sunshine"

  11. #711
    Member LASERCD's Avatar
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    Staun perhaps you should try to go to Axpona in Chicago next month. You'll get to hear a lot of gear, ask the manufacturers questions. I'm tempted to go this year...

  12. #712
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    Or make the trek out to Denver for Rocky Mountain Audio Fest. That's the mecca for audio shows these days. I'm seriously thinking of going this year.
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  13. #713
    Pendulumswingingdoomsday Rune Blackwings's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerjo View Post
    gold has its advantages but as others have posted above, all things are proportional when it comes to upgrades. So on mid-level equipment you're not going to want to spend a fortune on interconnects. And stay away from anything by Monster Cable.
    there was a time Monster was the deal, but right now I use the cables that came with my Bose (for speakers) or from wherever I the current ones came from (rest of the system). I would like to get about a five foot long cable for my dual cassette deck (the one I have is on the TEAC I have because it is too short to reach the Receiver. It's low brow stuff-sorry), but cannot find one.

    I had Monster cable for my Criterions (RIP) but they left with the speakers. I just cannot justify buying Monster cable now for its huge price when the same cable is available at a lower price from everybody else. And I don't want to fund a bunch of idiots who think they invented the name "Monster".
    Last edited by Rune Blackwings; 03-25-2015 at 10:08 AM. Reason: Monster is currently suing this poster for the use of Monster, even though it references them
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  14. #714
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    Quote Originally Posted by LASERCD View Post
    Staun perhaps you should try to go to Axpona in Chicago next month. You'll get to hear a lot of gear, ask the manufacturers questions. I'm tempted to go this year...
    Advanced tickets on sale, the weekend could be a madhouse. Thanks Laser, I'm in.
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  15. #715
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    Quote Originally Posted by strawberrybrick View Post
    Short answer is nothing you can't get from Audio Advisors, I guess, "affordable" hifi? Musical Fidelity, NAD, Project, PSB, Golden Ear, But they are great people, and a bit of an institution here on the Northside. Andy has cut me deals on most of my gear, I have friend that is now working there on Sundays too (think he just redid the website). Decibel Audio is not far away, and the two stores compliment each other nicely (old guys vs hipsters!). I think Audio Consultants still has a shop in Evanston. As for the high end, http://quintessenceaudio.com is in Morton Grove...

    http://saturdayaudio.com

    Plus you got really good record stores around them!
    Thanks SBB, the north side is the place because I like to spend a nice relaxing friday afternoon at a cubs game. Looking over sites now.
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  16. #716
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    Quote Originally Posted by strawberrybrick View Post
    Short answer is nothing you can't get from Audio Advisors, I guess, "affordable" hifi? Musical Fidelity, NAD, Project, PSB, Golden Ear, But they are great people, and a bit of an institution here on the Northside. Andy has cut me deals on most of my gear, I have friend that is now working there on Sundays too (think he just redid the website). Decibel Audio is not far away, and the two stores compliment each other nicely (old guys vs hipsters!). I think Audio Consultants still has a shop in Evanston. As for the high end, http://quintessenceaudio.com is in Morton Grove...

    http://saturdayaudio.com

    Plus you got really good record stores around them!
    I think our store here, Ultra Fidelis and Saturday must do alittle business together.
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  17. #717
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobM View Post
    Or make the trek out to Denver for Rocky Mountain Audio Fest. That's the mecca for audio shows these days. I'm seriously thinking of going this year.
    Had a college friend who lived in Thornton.
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  18. #718
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    I am planning to go back to RMAF this year. Went two years ago. Had a blast. Took a tour of the Boulder factory. The whole weekend was overwhelming.

  19. #719
    Quote Originally Posted by Staun View Post
    Thanks SBB, the north side is the place because I like to spend a nice relaxing friday afternoon at a cubs game. Looking over sites now.
    Let me know if you do, I know a place that serves some German beers or three...

    Has anyone been to Axpona before? What's it like?
    "Always ready with the ray of sunshine"

  20. #720
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    Quote Originally Posted by strawberrybrick View Post
    Let me know if you do, I know a place that serves some German beers or three...

    Has anyone been to Axpona before? What's it like?
    I haven't been to Axpona but all of these events are similar. They take over a hotel and empty out the rooms. Manufacturers and occassionally local dealers set up shop in the rooms. Larger manufacturers might take over a ballroom for a big demo. There is usually a vendor room where Acoustic Sounds, Elusive Disc, etc set up shop and sell vinyl and accessories. With headphones becoming a very big sub-component of high end audio you might see a suite or two dedicated to headphones and amps.

    Hotel rooms are generally a shitty enviornment to demo gear so if you hear something that doesn't impress you I wouldn't discount it off hand. On the other hand if you hear something good you might be on to a special product. Great way to get familiar with gear, ask questions, make connections.

    BTW - I was told that last year's Axpona in Chicago was very well attended and the consensus from the manufacturers was that it was a success. Seems to be growing which is a good sign.

  21. #721
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    Quote Originally Posted by strawberrybrick View Post
    Let me know if you do, I know a place that serves some German beers or three...

    Has anyone been to Axpona before? What's it like?
    Served in those big porcelain steins, oh ya!!
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  22. #722
    Quote Originally Posted by LASERCD View Post
    BTW - I was told that last year's Axpona in Chicago was very well attended and the consensus from the manufacturers was that it was a success. Seems to be growing which is a good sign.
    Sounds like fun. Should definitely be able to attend one of the days.

    Quote Originally Posted by Staun View Post
    Served in those big porcelain steins, oh ya!!
    I prefer a half-litre as the beer stays at a good temp. Seasonal Maibock was tapped this week. aka Mindblock
    "Always ready with the ray of sunshine"

  23. #723
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    The latest entry level from Sonus Faber

    http://www.wired.com/2015/03/120000-...-symphony-den/
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  24. #724
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    Thank God the dollar is strong and the Euro is weak, or these would be $150,000.
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  25. #725
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobM View Post
    Thank God the dollar is strong and the Euro is weak, or these would be $150,000.
    Again, the tower, smaller multi driver, enclosure design. Ya, I was waiting for old George to firm up so I could rush right out at get a pair of these.
    The older I get, the better I was.

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