Thread: The Audiophile Thread

  1. #51
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    For many audiophiles, some recordings (not specifically Nora Jones) are used as a tool to evaluate equipment, and not always for listening pleasure.
    One of my go-to songs for someone wanting to hear my system (and who is not into rock/classical/jazz) is "Down to the River to Pray" on my wife's live Alison Krauss CD. It's such a pristine recording with some really incredible staging (provided my wife hasn't moved my speakers out of alignment). You just sit in the sweet spot of the living room, close your eyes, and she's there, singing about five feet away from you, the harmonies from the band unfolding behind her. And then I crank up the live "Man of Constant Sorrow" and put the CD away for another year. And ignore any more requests for "country".
    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

  2. #52
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Patricia Barber - Nightclub is another pristine recording. Might be easier on the ears than Ms Krauss.

    Think Michelle Pfeiffer in "The Fabulous Baker Boys."
    Last edited by rcarlberg; 01-06-2015 at 06:59 PM.

  3. #53
    Member wideopenears's Avatar
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    Steely Dan's Aja. That's my "go-to" for evaluating...that, and a few jazz discs with great live, small-combo sound captured live.

  4. #54
    cunning linguist 3LockBox's Avatar
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    Thing is, as much as many might not like the behavior and attitude of some audiophiles, would we have had much in the way of technological improvement without them, as in, were the developers of early stereo audiophiles?
    Digital playback brought high fidelity to the masses and audiophiles will never forgive it for that

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    In my tests anything beyond Radio Shack is a waste of money.
    In a low end, less revealing system I would agree with you. Once you get into a system that is transparent to the source and the material a good cable can make quite a bit of difference to an audiophile. That being said, I doubt that the average listener would hear much of a difference because the differences are really picky things like nuances and tuning (high end systems typically don't have tone controls). They are not measurable using current technology but can be heard ... on a sufficiently transparent system.

    All that being said, these better cables can be quite expensive. Not because of their materials, but because of the research that has gone into them, the extreme marketing hype, and the branding of "audiophile". The trick is to find a reasonably priced cable that is truly transparent, doesn't add or remove any tonal colerations, and matches the level of the overall system. Nobody would think it sane to buy a $500 cable and put it in a $2000 system and expect anything dramatically different soundwise.
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  6. #56
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobM
    the differences are really picky things like nuances and tuning (high end systems typically don't have tone controls). They are not measurable using current technology....
    Quote Originally Posted by Flanders and Swann
    All the highest notes
    Neither sharp nor flat
    "The ear can't hear as high as that!"
    Still I ought to please any passing bat.
    It's the High Fidelity
    he-he-he
    Last edited by rcarlberg; 01-07-2015 at 09:35 AM.

  7. #57
    Quote Originally Posted by BobM View Post
    In a low end, less revealing system I would agree with you. Once you get into a system that is transparent to the source and the material a good cable can make quite a bit of difference to an audiophile. That being said, I doubt that the average listener would hear much of a difference because the differences are really picky things like nuances and tuning (high end systems typically don't have tone controls). They are not measurable using current technology but can be heard ... on a sufficiently transparent system.

    All that being said, these better cables can be quite expensive. Not because of their materials, but because of the research that has gone into them, the extreme marketing hype, and the branding of "audiophile". The trick is to find a reasonably priced cable that is truly transparent, doesn't add or remove any tonal colerations, and matches the level of the overall system. Nobody would think it sane to buy a $500 cable and put it in a $2000 system and expect anything dramatically different soundwise.
    There is nothing that a $500 cable can do to improve the sound of any system - proven by both science and A/B testing. The next person who can A/B $500 cables from properly constructed $10 cables on the system of theiri choice, will be the first person.

  8. #58
    Member BobM's Avatar
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    Please, let's not go there and ruin this thread.
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  9. #59
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    It's called "Buying the woo" and you've already done it.

    But hey, it's YOUR $500, go for it.
    Last edited by rcarlberg; 01-07-2015 at 09:39 AM.

  10. #60
    Quote Originally Posted by Facelift View Post
    There is nothing that a $500 cable can do to improve the sound of any system - proven by both science and A/B testing. The next person who can A/B $500 cables from properly constructed $10 cables on the system of theiri choice, will be the first person.
    Actually, not necessarily true. Most cables leak a certain amount of sound along their run ... This can be measured. The cables used by Tetra Speakers, which I just bought, have been tested at the National Reaearch Council here in Ottawa (as are all of Tetra's products before they go into production), and there is absolutely zero leakage with their cables.

    So absolutely everything that goes out of the amplifier arrives at your speakers. It may be subtle - too subtle, even, for some ears - but it is there to be heard.

    So, absolutely proven by science.

  11. #61
    Quote Originally Posted by simon moon View Post
    The term 'audiophile' has obtained a bit of a negative connotation recently, as referring those that care more for the equipment than the music. While this may describe what I believe is a minority of audiophiles, it does not seem to describe the majority, as far as I can tell.
    When I invested in my new system, i said to my friend Rotter's Club, "I guess this means I've entered audiophile territory." He replied: "No. Audiophiles are always looking for the next greatest thing; you're looking for a system that will last you a long time."

    In my case other than the OPPO BDP-105D player, which might not have the same longevity, I sure am hoping my Tetra 333 stack and Leema Acoustics Tucana II integrated amplifier will last me the rest of my life. Given that not a single speaker has been returned to Tetra for replacement or repair, and I'm closing in on 60, an objective I hope to achieve.

    So, I guess I'm not an audiophile...

  12. #62
    Quote Originally Posted by jkelman View Post
    Actually, not necessarily true. Most cables leak a certain amount of sound along their run ... This can be measured. The cables used by Tetra Speakers, which I just bought, have been tested at the National Reaearch Council here in Ottawa (as are all of Tetra's products before they go into production), and there is absolutely zero leakage with their cables.

    So absolutely everything that goes out of the amplifier arrives at your speakers. It may be subtle - too subtle, even, for some ears - but it is there to be heard.

    So, absolutely proven by science.
    This is a very specious claim and, furthermore, nobody has ever successfully A/B'd high end cables vs. soundly constructed cheap ones.

  13. #63
    cunning linguist 3LockBox's Avatar
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    I won't go as far as saying that the exotic materials used for constructing "high end" interconnects and speaker cables can't affect sound quality but if they did, why would anyone use them? I thought the job of any component in the reproduction chain was above all else to be as transparent as possible. Of course I know that doesn't always happen. I can hear the different between a tube amp and a solid state amp, most of the time. Same with using different source like CD or vinyl. Thing is, I like those differences. If I had the disposable income a lot of audiophiles had, I wouldn't own a super expensive reference system, I'd own three or four smaller, cheaper systems (provided I had the room/s). In hobbies, its ok to keep a harem.
    Digital playback brought high fidelity to the masses and audiophiles will never forgive it for that

  14. #64
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jkelman View Post
    Most cables leak a certain amount of sound along their run ... This can be measured.

    It may be subtle - too subtle, even, for some ears - but it is there to be heard.

    So, absolutely proven by science.
    Let me guess -- you read this in the Tetra brochure?

    An easy solution is to lay down towels on the floor of your music room. That'll soak up all the leaked sound.

  15. #65
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    Any thoughts on this somewhat upper tier of Marantz. A friend of mine who owns an audio store says it's actually pretty decent.

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00H4YZLI6/...I2EZ6WAMZ3R3WD
    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

  16. #66
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wideopenears View Post
    Steely Dan's Aja. That's my "go-to" for evaluating...that, and a few jazz discs with great live, small-combo sound captured live.
    People always bring this one out, but I don't hear it. It's an okay recording but there's no sense of "stage."

  17. #67
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3LockBox View Post
    In hobbies, its ok to keep a harem.
    Why the qualifier?

  18. #68
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerjo View Post
    Any thoughts on this somewhat upper tier of Marantz.
    in my experience there are four tiers of equipment:

    1. Drug store/Walmart stereo -- passable sound for non-critical listening
    2. Hi-fi store equipment -- great sound. Speakers all have different personalities so it's mostly a matter of finding the sound you like. Equipment all sounds great so it's a matter of choosing the features you want.
    3. "Audiophile" gear -- one percent better for ten (or a hundred) times the price.
    4. Woo-woo. Rotten sound or imaginary features (like "passive preamps") for stupid money. These are not aimed at audiophiles.

    The trick is finding the sweet spot, max value for your money.

    The Marantz looks a little pricey but it's undoubtedly pretty good.

  19. #69
    Quote Originally Posted by jkelman View Post
    Actually, not necessarily true. Most cables leak a certain amount of sound along their run ... This can be measured. The cables used by Tetra Speakers, which I just bought, have been tested at the National Reaearch Council here in Ottawa (as are all of Tetra's products before they go into production), and there is absolutely zero leakage with their cables.
    But can you land a 50 lb tuna with them.
    NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF STUPID PEOPLE IN LARGE GROUPS!

  20. #70
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerjo View Post
    Any thoughts on this somewhat upper tier of Marantz. A friend of mine who owns an audio store says it's actually pretty decent.

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00H4YZLI6/...I2EZ6WAMZ3R3WD
    Don't know this one but I have a PM6003 plus a CD6003 and I love them dearly. Marantz make some fine amplifiers and players. I have no need right now for it but if I ever move to a bigger place I am inclined to buy something along the PM8005 combined with a Marantz (upper tier) SACD player and then retire the PM6003 and CD6003 to the bedroom.

  21. #71
    I would love someone to bring over $500 cables to my house and demo them for me. And bring slightly better ears than mine, because, at my age, I've lost some of my hearing. Happens to all of us.
    "Always ready with the ray of sunshine"

  22. #72
    Traversing The Dream 100423's Avatar
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    ...computer network audio is about rather more than convenience. It has as much to do with consistency, arguably more so than the 'perfect sound forever' CD ever did....Problem is, the sound of 'bit-identical' computer audio may well be just as inexplicably inconsistent as analogue. High-end audio has long been affected by seemingly insignificant environmental factors; and as we move further towards hard-disk — and, ultimately, solid-state — storage, we're discovering that another variable can unhinge the final musical experience. Only this time, there are even fewer answers why.


    http://www.enjoythemusic.com/hificri...to_storage.htm

  23. #73
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    New item on my bucket list. Get to party with the Philadelphia Area Audio Group
    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

  24. #74
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    E
    Is it really possible that the sound quality of bit-identical audio files' is influenced by their storage medium before being delivered to the hi-fi system's DAC?
    The answer is "no." Another writer showing absolute ignorance of the subject being written about.

    Perfect example of "unreal perceptions":
    QNAP2 rendered the same song more tunefully. It was more organic and made more sense, the lines of melody and rhythm cooperating better. As well as showing better individual instrument distinction, the whole piece sounded tidier, tonally less messy without the roughened HF, and perhaps better integrated in musical intent.
    There may well be differences in DAC error-rate -- but then the comparison is not "bit-identical."
    Last edited by rcarlberg; 01-07-2015 at 03:43 PM.

  25. #75
    Member LASERCD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerjo View Post
    New item on my bucket list. Get to party with the Philadelphia Area Audio Group
    You gotta get in line. Long waiting list to get in.

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