Thread: The Audiophile Thread

  1. #1101
    Member Staun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    Classic.




    Who puts a $200,000 pair of speakers right next to a window??? Besides, they're uglier than sin.
    Yes, but where do you put your quarter in?
    The older I get, the better I was.

  2. #1102
    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    Classic.




    Who puts a $200,000 pair of speakers right next to a window??? Besides, they're uglier than sin.

    I had a chance to hear these Wilsons recently at a meeting of the LA Orange County Audio Society in a better room than the one pictured, and in a much better finish (piano black), driven by some high powered solid state amps, playing hi res files.

    My impressions?

    Frighteningly good.

    Despite their size, they completely disappeared, and all that was left was the orchestra (playing Shostakovitch) in the correct scale as it would be heard from about 15 rows back. During even the most fortissimo sections, a triangle in the back of the orchestra was clearly defined in space, at the correct distance back in the soundstage, and the entire attack and decay was discernible. Dynamics were amazing, with no audible compression. Chair movements, sheet music pages being turned, etc were all discernible. Bows hitting the strings were audible, not just the sound of the strings themselves. Every single instrument had a clearly defined space.

    Then they played the new Lynn Stanley (jazz singer who happened to be at the meeting) hi res of her singing a jazz version of "Whole Lotta Love". At various times, she sang along with herself, and the sound of her live voice was (nearly) indistinguishable from the recording.

    I have heard many systems at all price points over the decades, new and old, and only systems of this quality have the ability to do what these can do. My own system, 2nd to top of the line Maggies, high powered solid state amps, near top quality CD player, DAC, turntable, etc is no slouch, but it is not in the same league as the Wilson system I heard.

    Sometimes I get the feeling that some of the derision aimed at audiophiles that own such ultra high end systems, is coming from a position of 'sour grapes' by people that are unable to afford them.
    And if there were a god, I think it very unlikely that he would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence - Russell

  3. #1103
    Member Firth's Avatar
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    Why even have crossovers, active amplification with tuning built in is the best.
    On the verge of indecision
    I'll always take the roundabout way

  4. #1104
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simon moon View Post
    Sometimes I get the feeling that some of the derision aimed at audiophiles that own such ultra high end systems, is coming from a position of 'sour grapes' by people that are unable to afford them.
    Oh there's definitely an element of that.

    But there's also some derision over the diminishing scale of return, where a $200,000 system is 1/10 of 1% better than a $100,000 system -- which is maybe 2% better than a $50,000 system, and 10% better than a $5,000 system. Those of us who pay bills and have kids see expenditures in this stratosphere as the ultimate in self-indulgent foolishness -- like the 60-year old bald guy in the Corvette convertible.
    Last edited by rcarlberg; 11-30-2015 at 04:01 PM.

  5. #1105
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    Robert, this fellow lives in your part of the world. Maybe you can get a listening session?

    http://www.positive-feedback.com/Iss...avigneroom.htm
    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. #1106
    Member LASERCD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerjo View Post
    Robert, this fellow lives in your part of the world. Maybe you can get a listening session?

    http://www.positive-feedback.com/Iss...avigneroom.htm
    That is ancient. Mike's room and gear is completely different now.

  7. #1107
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    Oh there's definitely an element of that.

    But there's also some derision over the diminishing scale of return, where a $200,000 system is 1/10 of 1% better than a $100,000 system -- which is maybe 2% better than a $50,000 system, and 10% better than a $5,000 system. Those of us who pay bills and have kids see expenditures in this stratosphere as the ultimate in self-indulgent foolishness -- like the 60-year old bald guy in the Corvette convertible.
    Some of us are debt free and have no kids. Who are you to criticize what someone does with their money?

  8. #1108
    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    Oh there's definitely an element of that.

    But there's also some derision over the diminishing scale of return, where a $200,000 system is 1/10 of 1% better than a $100,000 system -- which is maybe 2% better than a $50,000 system, and 10% better than a $5,000 system. Those of us who pay bills and have kids see expenditures in this stratosphere as the ultimate in self-indulgent foolishness -- like the 60-year old bald guy in the Corvette convertible.

    Seems to me that 'diminishing returns' are in the ear of the beholder.

    There are millions of people that are happy with their ear buds and iwhatevers and MP3 files, that probably believe that even the most modest music system is beyond the point of diminishing returns. Let alone the moderate amount of money I have invested in my system.

    If one is able to afford a $200,000 system over a $100,000 system, and can hear the difference, and the differences are worth the extra $$$$ for them, there are no diminishing returns for that person.
    And if there were a god, I think it very unlikely that he would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence - Russell

  9. #1109
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerjo View Post
    Robert, this fellow lives in your part of the world. Maybe you can get a listening session?


    ROFL -- it is SO IMPORTANT to elevate your cords off the floor!

    Listen, I don't begrudge anyone spending the equivalent of ten passenger cars on their stereo -- if they have the money and think that's a good idea, more power to them. But personally, I'd question my values if I did that.

  10. #1110
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LASERCD View Post
    That is ancient. Mike's room and gear is completely different now.
    Of course it is. His type is never satisfied -- the chase is the thing.

  11. #1111
    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    Of course it is. His type is never satisfied -- the chase is the thing.
    I'll say this, Ken has devoted his life to music, as a business, as a listener, so I think it's pretty inconsiderate to criticize him for spending $$$ on his passion. At least he isn't playing his one Joni Mitchell album or a bunch of Beach Boys songs from his youth!

    People got money and spend it. Some on PAC, some on yachts, some on homes in multiple cities, etc. Some on audio woo.

    If I had the money...
    "Always ready with the ray of sunshine"

  12. #1112
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Did I criticize him for spending foolish money? I believe my exact words were "more power to him."

  13. #1113
    Parrots ripped my flesh Dave (in MA)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    Classic.




    Who puts a $200,000 pair of speakers right next to a window??? Besides, they're uglier than sin.
    $200K is pretty steep, but they come with the pillows and dish.

  14. #1114
    Parrots ripped my flesh Dave (in MA)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerjo View Post
    An article from the Guardian on woo, witchcraft, and the wife approval factor:

    http://www.theguardian.com/music/201...P=share_btn_fb
    $950 in earbuds, listening to music that he doesn't like, but he's listening anyway because of the sound quality.

    edit: I want that bottle of Highland Park.

  15. #1115
    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    Did I criticize him for spending foolish money? I believe my exact words were "more power to him."
    Not to beat a dead horse, but don't you think that your idea of 'foolish money' is not other people's idea?

    Again, I have probably about 10K invested in my system. The vast majority of people would consider that 'foolish money'. Even if it was only 5K it would be considered foolish money by many. From the vantage point of the ipod, ear buds crowd, your stereo system is probably 'foolish money'.

    How much better does a 100K car drive than a 50k car? For the person that can appreciate and afford the difference, better enough to spend an extra 50K.
    And if there were a god, I think it very unlikely that he would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence - Russell

  16. #1116
    Music can be a lot of things, but for those that are truly passionate about the search for new sounds, yes, they are - wait for it -------
    "never satisfied -- the chase is the thing."

    Some people have money, some don't. Some are in between. I imagine there's a guy or two on PE that has season tickets to a sporting event. Those are not cheap. Think about a what kind of speakers a pair of NFL season tickets could buy. So as others have said, spending $500, $5K, $50K $Whateveryouwant is a relative thing. One man's foolish money is another's... Supertramp. Or Stackridge. Or Styx. These are bands with an S this time. YMMV. IMHO, of course.

    In other news, I have put my wife on notice that I want to upgrade my turntable. VPI Traveller and the leap to MC cartridges. May take year or two, but it's out there. And I want one of those Schiit DACs because they really don't cost that much. Even the expensive ones.
    "Always ready with the ray of sunshine"

  17. #1117
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave (in MA) View Post
    $950 in earbuds, listening to music that he doesn't like, but he's listening anyway because of the sound quality.
    I do that too, when I'm in the 'audiophile, listen to the equipment' mode.

    There is a certain joy that can be attained from listening to extremely well recorded music (or even sounds, for that matter) that I may not be a fan of, if the sound being reproduced on the system approaches the real thing.

    Sure, listening to music that I like is more important, and much more pleasurable. But that does not diminish the joy of appreciating the incredible quality of the equipment from time to time.
    And if there were a god, I think it very unlikely that he would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence - Russell

  18. #1118
    Member Firth's Avatar
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    The Audiophile Thread

    If one were to spend 200k on speakers, let's hope they spent 10 times that on the environment in which the speakers are listened to. But for me, I would want a 7.2 system with matching characteristics acoustically. This is for supporting the up and coming elevation channels and 3D audio object mixing (Dolby Atmos or the DTS equivalent) I also need laser DLP based video projection at 8k resolution.
    On the verge of indecision
    I'll always take the roundabout way

  19. #1119
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simon moon View Post
    I do that too, when I'm in the 'audiophile, listen to the equipment' mode.

    There is a certain joy that can be attained from listening to extremely well recorded music (or even sounds, for that matter) that I may not be a fan of, if the sound being reproduced on the system approaches the real thing.
    I think we all do that, right after replacing a component or tweaking an existing one. It takes a while to evaluate the sound quality of the new setting.

    But hopefully, after a thorough evaluation, we go back to enjoying the music BEHIND the audio reproduction. To get stuck in that endless evaluation period -- as some audiophiles do -- and not care about WHAT they're listening to, is, in my mind, putting the cart before the horse.

  20. #1120
    Quote Originally Posted by Firth View Post
    If one were to spend 200k on speakers, let's hope they spent 10 times that on the environment in which the speakers are listened to.
    The more I look at that picture of the yellow Wilsons, the more I believe it is not an actual set up, but it is done more for a decorating photo op. I know many audiophiles, and not a single one would put speakers that close to the listening seat. Especially those speakers. Not to mention the glass door, the ridiculous amount of tow in, and many other problems.

    But for me, I would want a 7.2 system with matching characteristics acoustically. This is for supporting the up and coming elevation channels and 3D audio object mixing (Dolby Atmos or the DTS equivalent) I also need laser DLP based video projection at 8k resolution.
    Yep, I agree what you describe would be optimum for a home theater set up.

    For audio, not so much...
    And if there were a god, I think it very unlikely that he would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence - Russell

  21. #1121
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    Wow! This stuff is pretty dope! Are there any decent sound systems available for under $5000? Just asking.

  22. #1122
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    The more I look at that picture of the yellow Wilsons, the more I believe it is not an actual set up, but it is done more for a decorating photo op. I know many audiophiles, and not a single one would put speakers that close to the listening seat. Especially those speakers. Not to mention the glass door, the ridiculous amount of tow in, and many other problems.
    Here's a thread on the Hoffman forum on beautiful listening rooms. As Simon points out above and others point out on Hoffman, some of these rooms are just for sales displays or decorating. But even so, there's a few I wouldn't mind sitting in for a day with a stack of discs and vinyl.

    http://forums.stevehoffman.tv/thread...-rooms.480791/

    Here's an article on Michael Fremer and examination of why the world needs audiophiles. While I'm not a disciple of Fremer's vinyl vs digital theory, I'd love to sort through those shelves of vinyl for a listening session.

    http://gizmodo.com/5213042/why-we-ne...CTCg0I2RHHtw.2
    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. #1123
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Yes, some beautiful rooms there (and some hideous ones, as noted in the comments).

    I notice a lot of the installations have the speakers a long way from the back wall, like six feet or more. Is that common? I always heard that you need to embrace the rear wall as part of the sound field, using it to enhance bass response. After extensive experimentation, my own speakers ended up 12" from the opposing wall. Am I missing something?

  24. #1124
    Member BobM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RapidRefresh View Post
    Wow! This stuff is pretty dope! Are there any decent sound systems available for under $5000? Just asking.
    There absolutely are. You don't have to spend oodles of cash to enjoy music. That can be done with a pair of earbuds and your smartphone.

    As for a system under $5K ... I assume speakers, integrated amp, CD player (or a DAC you can plug your smartphone into), cables? Here's some suggestions that can get you going.

    (1) inexpensive DAC that supports Android so you can use the music stored on your smartphone (definitely a good solution as long as you don;t have crappy downloads and the music is at least CD quality). Yes it is insanely cheap but it sounds great.
    http://hifimediy.com/android-dac

    (2) decent integrated amp - there are so many of these out there at all sorts of price points, but I like the sound of these, some solid state, others tubed:
    http://www.musicdirect.com/p-127387-...rated-amp.aspx

    http://www.upscaleaudio.com/mystere-...ted-amplifier/

    http://www.upscaleaudio.com/primalun...ted-amplifier/

    http://www.safeandsoundhq.com/Paraso...FQoqHwodvWgFGg

    (3) Speakers - this is where the tire meets the road, or actually the sound meets the room. You have to listen to them and get one that matches your room dinensions and the type of music you listen to. You can save a bundle buying used too. Here's some suggestions:
    https://www.kefdirect.com/index.php/...t/view/id/1143

    http://www.stereophile.com/content/g...lUSqwHqopXz.97

    http://www.cnet.com/news/this-could-...ker-youll-buy/

    (4) cables - definitely don't use crappy HomeDepot speaker wire, or RatShack interconnects, but you don't have to spend a fortune either. Absolutely look on Audiogon for used deals. And yes, power cords do make a difference, but that is the last thing you need to worry about.

    Enjoy,
    Bob
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    A gentleman is defined as someone who knows how to play the accordion, and doesn't.

  25. #1125
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Good recommendations Bob.

    However this excerpt made me do a double-take; oh if only such a thing were possible!
    The speakers made most recordings sound nicer than they really were, which is why 30-year-old LS3/5As are still sought after.

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