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Thread: The Audiophile Thread

  1. #1151
    Quote Originally Posted by Pr33t View Post
    You're right, but like most things, some judicious research and trial and error with labels lets you figure out what to avoid. I've been burned a good deal on poorly sourced vinyl and try to buy better now. I'd also say that 65% or more of my vinyl is second hand vintage vinyl where I don't have to worry about a digital source.
    Glad to hEar it


    Quote Originally Posted by Pr33t View Post
    Oh, I'm well aware that what actually was released didn't necessarily reflect what the artist wanted. But it is the standard for that album that has been out in the world for X number of years, and the one that people are familiar with. I'd also point out that hearing naturally decreases with age. So many remastered CDs have come out with artist approval of the most heinously brickwalled compression. Sometimes you have to wonder what they were hearing when they ok'd it.
    It's a given that brick walled remasters are not part of any discussion about good sound, and as much as one must be careful of the source for contemporary vinyl, the same applies to remastered digital. That said, properly mastered (the Crimson 40ths, for example) new mixes can be a revelation. And they don't have to replace the original mix; rather, they can be considered alternate mixes. In some cases (as with most Crimsons) I prefer the new mixes...but sometime I prefer the original, and the bottom line is most folks doing proper reissues with new mixes also include, on the DVD or Blu Ray at least, the original mix as well.

    But one thing I try to avoid is being married to an original mix simply because it's the one I've been used to for many years. If a new mix surpasses the original, I'm good with that, perhaps my best current examples bring Crimson's Lizard & THRAK, XTC's Nonsuch and Drums and Wires, and Yes' Relayer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pr33t View Post
    I have no issue with the remixes being offered, but the fervor with which I see them described is rather off putting to me personally. YMMV.
    And, indeed, mine does

    But equally, I've been really enjoying a lot of Mobile Fidelity's SACD Hybrids. Some total gems in there, like one I just picked up, Santana's Caravanserai. It's never sounded like this.
    Last edited by jkelman; 12-03-2015 at 01:00 PM.

  2. #1152
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    Quote Originally Posted by jkelman View Post
    But equally, I've been really enjoying a lot of Mobile Fidelity's SACD Hybrids. Some total gems in there, like one I just picked up, Santana's Caravanserai. It's never sounded like this.
    I've actually got this, but I've never heard the SACD as I don't have a universal player yet. The CD mix was the same as the Columbia mix I already have. I'd like to hear it on your rig the next time I'm over.
    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)

  3. #1153
    Quote Originally Posted by BobM View Post
    the LS3/5A model was originally constructed for the BBC, back in the 70's I think. It was used in recording studios as a replacement for what were then not very good speakers. These new speakers had a bit of a mid-bass hump and a slightly rising top end, so their sound profile mimicked what a loudness button does, to some extent. The resulting sound is a tad warmer than neutral but with good top end extension, and very pleasant to the ear. There are a ton a LS3/5A models around from many manufacturers, but Harbeth seems to be the one most talked about. Here's some more links for further exploration.

    http://www.g4dcv.co.uk/ls35a/shootout.html
    http://www.ls35a.com/

    There is actually a very good LS3/5A kit available that is pretty damn close to commercially available models, including the Harbeth. A little DIY sweat, and for about $500, you end up with an excellent speaker.

    It was designed by respected speaker and crossover designer, Jeff Bagby.

    It is available here - http://meniscusaudio.com/continuum-f...ir-p-1324.html

    Or they can purchased completely built from Salk Sound for $1200, here -

    https://salksound.com/continuum%20-%...ns-pricing.htm
    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

  4. #1154
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobM View Post
    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
    Thanks for the great advise, Bob! I'm checking into everything that you listed.

  5. #1155
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    Just about every major concert hall in the past twenty years has been electronically tuned. And the process is tedious and exacting -- not something you'd expect to get from a background speaker system.
    If the folks know what they are doing calibration should be automatic and not tedious. Every concert hall I've been too, will have PA that the bands supplied and the sound is marginal at best when compared to Love. The Pink Floyd show in the Hartford coliseum show I saw in 87 was phenomenal and involved speakers through out the coliseum which not only contributed to a surround effect, but also to a reverb by design, not by arbitrary venue crap. The surround system should cancel the environment and present what the engineer wanted you to hear. My rear channels are not background, they are full range except for lows which are directed to the subs in each front tower.
    Im not giving in an inch to fear David Crosby

  6. #1156
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    Im not giving in an inch to fear David Crosby

  7. #1157
    Quote Originally Posted by BobM View Post
    And yes, power cords do make a difference
    Really?
    "Always ready with the ray of sunshine"

  8. #1158
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    Quote Originally Posted by strawberrybrick View Post
    Really?
    Ye$$$.

  9. #1159
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    Quote Originally Posted by strawberrybrick View Post
    Really?
    Sadly yes.

  10. #1160
    Quote Originally Posted by LASERCD View Post
    Sadly yes.
    I'm just curious to the why. If I follow the electrical from the pole to the meter, to the fuse box to the outlet, why would that last few feet" make a difference? I know that it is recommended that ALL components use the same powerstrip/conditioner/whatever, and I can see why, I can also understand once the electrical signal is inside the system, but again, the last few feet between the wall and the outlet?
    "Always ready with the ray of sunshine"

  11. #1161
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    Quote Originally Posted by strawberrybrick View Post
    I'm just curious to the why. If I follow the electrical from the pole to the meter, to the fuse box to the outlet, why would that last few feet" make a difference? I know that it is recommended that ALL components use the same powerstrip/conditioner/whatever, and I can see why, I can also understand once the electrical signal is inside the system, but again, the last few feet between the wall and the outlet?
    This is the age old argument and on the surface it makes perfect sense. Best thing I can suggest is that you go to Shunyata Research's website. Lots of information there. At CES Shunyata did a very simple but effective demo using a hair dryer, stock power cord, one of their power cords, and an oscilloscope. You could visually see the difference.

    I was extremely skeptical but I swapped out stock cords with something "better". I did hear a difference. I'm not going to tell you that it was transformative but you will hear it - for better or worse.

    BTW - you don't want all components using the same powerstrip or conditioner. Separate out line level gear from your amplifier. They should be on separate circuits.

  12. #1162
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LASERCD View Post
    This is the age old argument and on the surface it makes perfect sense. Best thing I can suggest is that you go to Shunyata Research's website. Lots of information there. At CES Shunyata did a very simple but effective demo using a hair dryer, stock power cord, one of their power cords, and an oscilloscope. You could visually see the difference.
    Yes of course hair dryers put hash on the AC mains. That's well-known.

    Also momentary large draws will reduce your voltage temporarily.

    That's why electrical gear (like amplifiers) have power supply transformers and power supply capacitors -- to filter out that crap. If you're going to make the case that power cords make a difference, you need to go that next step.

  13. #1163
    Quote Originally Posted by LASERCD View Post
    This is the age old argument and on the surface it makes perfect sense. Best thing I can suggest is that you go to Shunyata Research's website. Lots of information there. At CES Shunyata did a very simple but effective demo using a hair dryer, stock power cord, one of their power cords, and an oscilloscope. You could visually see the difference.

    I was extremely skeptical but I swapped out stock cords with something "better". I did hear a difference. I'm not going to tell you that it was transformative but you will hear it - for better or worse.

    BTW - you don't want all components using the same powerstrip or conditioner. Separate out line level gear from your amplifier. They should be on separate circuits.
    Art Dudley, recent Tweak #3
    http://www.stereophile.com/content/l...XPdi7qpzXyE.97

    Buy a single, simple, decent-quality power strip, and plug into it every product in your system. If Universal Tweak No.1 has one foot in the Linnosphere, Tweak No.3 owes a debt of thanks to the folks at Naim Audio. From its beginnings, Naim has flown the flag for star-grounding, whereby an amplifier or preamplifier has within it one preeminent signal-ground point, to which all its component parts are tied directly, through connections of similar length and impedance and without shortcuts. The reason is simple: Although an ideal ground is a point of zero potential, unless care is taken, with multiple ground points, the voltage at one ground may be higher than the voltage at another—and the current that will consequently flow between the ground points exists as noise.
    Read more at http://www.stereophile.com/content/l...BGsybgyCR6k.99
    "Always ready with the ray of sunshine"

  14. #1164
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    Quote Originally Posted by strawberrybrick View Post
    Art Dudley, recent Tweak #3
    http://www.stereophile.com/content/l...XPdi7qpzXyE.97

    Buy a single, simple, decent-quality power strip, and plug into it every product in your system. If Universal Tweak No.1 has one foot in the Linnosphere, Tweak No.3 owes a debt of thanks to the folks at Naim Audio. From its beginnings, Naim has flown the flag for star-grounding, whereby an amplifier or preamplifier has within it one preeminent signal-ground point, to which all its component parts are tied directly, through connections of similar length and impedance and without shortcuts. The reason is simple: Although an ideal ground is a point of zero potential, unless care is taken, with multiple ground points, the voltage at one ground may be higher than the voltage at another—and the current that will consequently flow between the ground points exists as noise.
    Read more at http://www.stereophile.com/content/l...BGsybgyCR6k.99
    Star grounding is something unrelated to power conditioning. I don't use a conditioner. I use a Nordost Q-Base 8 grounding strip. All my line level gear is plugged into it. The Q-Base 8 is attached via a copper wire to 3 8 ft copper rods that are buried outside my listening room. Lowers the noise floor dramatically.

  15. #1165
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    Yes of course hair dryers put hash on the AC mains. That's well-known.

    Also momentary large draws will reduce your voltage temporarily.

    That's why electrical gear (like amplifiers) have power supply transformers and power supply capacitors -- to filter out that crap. If you're going to make the case that power cords make a difference, you need to go that next step.
    That's correct, and if you bought a shitty amplifier, then maybe you need a power cord to help it
    Im not giving in an inch to fear David Crosby

  16. #1166
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Amplifier circuitry does not operate at 120 volts AC of course -- semiconductors work in the 5-12 volt range, and tube amps need more than 120 volts (DC) for grid voltage -- so there's all kind of voltage conversion going on inside the circuit boards.

    Having a nice clean sine 120v coming in might look good on a scope, but the equipment doesn't use line voltage anywhere.

  17. #1167
    Optical, Coax or USB?
    "Always ready with the ray of sunshine"

  18. #1168
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    Quote Originally Posted by strawberrybrick View Post
    Optical, Coax or USB?
    What's the source?

  19. #1169
    Quote Originally Posted by LASERCD View Post
    What's the source?
    Digital files from a computer, or a CD as well.
    "Always ready with the ray of sunshine"

  20. #1170
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    Quote Originally Posted by strawberrybrick View Post
    Digital files from a computer, or a CD as well.
    If its a computer as the source you should use USB. If its a physical transport use AES/EBU or coaxial.

  21. #1171
    Quote Originally Posted by LASERCD View Post
    If its a computer as the source you should use USB. If its a physical transport use AES/EBU or coaxial.
    I use optical...
    "Always ready with the ray of sunshine"

  22. #1172
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    Quote Originally Posted by strawberrybrick View Post
    I use optical...
    C'est domage.

  23. #1173
    Quote Originally Posted by LASERCD View Post
    C'est domage.
    Why? What's the difference between the three?
    "Always ready with the ray of sunshine"

  24. #1174
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    Quote Originally Posted by strawberrybrick View Post
    Why? What's the difference between the three?
    Experiment with a good quality digital cable. See if you can hear a difference. It may just be subtle but I hear a difference. My preference is for AES/EBU. I mentioned this to Bob Katz and he told me I was crazy. I am crazy but I heard a difference between AES/EBU and coaxial. Optical is the weakest form of transmission as it has the highest jitter rate of the three.

    Here is a brief discussion - lots to be found:

    http://www.stereophile.com/content/coaxial-or-optical-1

  25. #1175
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    Quote Originally Posted by LASERCD View Post
    Here is a brief discussion - lots to be found:
    Yeah, interesting that Mr. Lowry and a couple other self-appointed experts got SCHOOLED in fiber-optic technology by a 25-year telecom veteran. Digital jitter of course has nothing to do with the transmission method and everything to do with clocking accuracy. Both co-ax and optical provide way more bandwidth than audio will ever need -- although optical is a couple of orders of magnitude higher than coax. That's why all the telecos are interconnected with fiber, not copper.
    Last edited by rcarlberg; 12-12-2015 at 12:28 AM.

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