Thread: The Audiophile Thread

  1. #76
    I finally hooked up my FiiO X-1 to the home theater. I played some of my 96/24 wav files from HD Tracks. For the record, I had listened to these same files from my PC using my M-Audio sound card and a 25' RCA cable.
    The sound quality was similar, but the music from the FiiO was a bit smoother.
    The only drawback was the fact that I had to turn the volume on the FiiO up to 100%, which reduces the battery charge much more quickly than if I played it at about 63%, the volume I set for my headphones. BTW, this is using no EQ.
    As for the cable, I used a basic Hosa Y. They have been very reliable for me.

  2. #77
    Member Wounded Land's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    A hotel where nobody stays
    Posts
    93
    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    Patricia Barber - Nightclub is another pristine recording.
    I really like this album, and I agree that it's a great recording as well. I have the fairly recent repressings of it, Cafe Blue, and Modern Cool.

  3. #78
    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    People always bring this one out, but I don't hear it. It's an okay recording but there's no sense of "stage."
    My thoughts exactly.

    As far as studio recordings go, it's better than most. But it still has most of the signatures of a studio recording. It's a bunch of very talented musicians playing their parts at separate times, with multi-miking, on different tracks, with untold effects added by the engineer. There is very little essence of musicians paying in a real space.

    I've got jazz and chamber ensemble recordings that create such a 3d soundstage, that it seems like you can actually walk into it and around the musicians. I have many orchestral recordings where you can hear all the way back into the corners of the symphonic hall where it was recorded. Where percussion seems to come from behind the brass where it should be, violins on the left, basses and cellos on the right, and the entire orchestra has width that goes well beyond the outer edge of the speakers, and depth that seems to be 30 feet deep. All done with minimal miking, no overdubs, no effects to simulate ambiance.
    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. #79
    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    It's called "Buying the woo" and you've already done it.

    But hey, it's YOUR $500, go for it.
    Lots of interconnects that are advertised w/ an msrp of $500 or more can be purchased for less than $500, (not sure if they only become "woo" or snake oil when one pays $500 or more...what's the magic number?). There might be $100 per meter interconnects that in a well put together system playing a great recording are as good as any on the planet. I haven't found em'...I also haven't looked to change what's been hooked up for about the last 15 years, but wouldn't be surprised if there are more expensive cables that might audibly alter what comes out of my speakers.
    It's true that quite a few audiophiles are clueless bags of E. Coli ...look at the Audiogon music forum if you want proof. On the other hand, anyone who thinks he can match the playback of a good 10k system for 2k is entitled to an opinion, but is (unfortunately) in the real world also full of shit.

  5. #80
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    5,759
    Quote Originally Posted by simon moon View Post
    My thoughts exactly.

    As far as studio recordings go, it's better than most. But it still has most of the signatures of a studio recording. It's a bunch of very talented musicians playing their parts at separate times, with multi-miking, on different tracks, with untold effects added by the engineer. There is very little essence of musicians paying in a real space.

    I've got jazz and chamber ensemble recordings that create such a 3d soundstage, that it seems like you can actually walk into it and around the musicians. I have many orchestral recordings where you can hear all the way back into the corners of the symphonic hall where it was recorded. Where percussion seems to come from behind the brass where it should be, violins on the left, basses and cellos on the right, and the entire orchestra has width that goes well beyond the outer edge of the speakers, and depth that seems to be 30 feet deep. All done with minimal miking, no overdubs, no effects to simulate ambiance.
    Well stated sir.

    In the interests of offering something positive instead of just cutting down "Aja" as a mediocre recording, here's a short list of some of the truly fine recordings I've found in the past year of looking, since I reconfigured my stereo:

    * Louise Hoffsten - Knäckebröd Blues: Hard blues from this Swedish blonde dynamo whose voice ranges from extremely sassy to whispered seduction. The band behind her kicks serious tail, consisting of slide guitarist Staffan Astner (who sounds a lot like Pete Haycock of Climax Blues Band), bassist Backa Hans Eriksson and possibly the best drum recording I've ever heard from Christer Jansson.

    * Sandra Hall - Showin' Off: Ran into this one just by accident, Sandra has the "Aretha Franklin sound" down, recorded in Atlanta with a four-piece horn section very reminiscent of the Memphis Horns. And this gal has some pipes on her, oh my god! Everything is deliciously captured, sounding live and in person.

    * Michelle Willson - So Emotional: Contemporary big-band jump blues with raucous baritone & tenor saxes, wailing guitar, vibes, bass and another great drum recording, all supporting Michelle's driving torch vocals. A dynamic and upbeat recording which is hard not to dance to.

    * Patricia Barber - Nightclub: An iconoclastic lounge singer (think Michelle Pfeiffer in "The Fabulous Baker Boys"), Barber leaves a lot of space in her arrangements for the sparse piano, upright bass and drums (played mostly with brushes). It sounds like it was recorded in the studio all at once, because the piano has a natural size and reverberation, the drums sound live and the bass sounds like an upright bass sounds in concert. If you want to hear a CD that sounds like live music instead of a CD you can do no better.
    Last edited by rcarlberg; 01-08-2015 at 12:11 AM.

  6. #81
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    5,759
    Quote Originally Posted by Bake 1 View Post
    what's the magic number?

    On the other hand, anyone who thinks he can match the playback of a good 10k system for 2k is ... full of shit.
    "Woo" is a sliding scale of diminishing return, no magic dividing line. Up to a certain bell-curve price, components get better on a roughly linear scale. Beyond the bell-curve peak you get into the long tail of incremental improvement for exponentially more money. At some ill-defined threshold you cross over from "audiophilia" into "fleecing the rubes."

  7. #82
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    small town in ND
    Posts
    3,688
    I've got jazz and chamber ensemble recordings that create such a 3d soundstage, that it seems like you can actually walk into it and around the musicians. I have many orchestral recordings where you can hear all the way back into the corners of the symphonic hall where it was recorded. Where percussion seems to come from behind the brass where it should be, violins on the left, basses and cellos on the right, and the entire orchestra has width that goes well beyond the outer edge of the speakers, and depth that seems to be 30 feet deep. All done with minimal miking, no overdubs, no effects to simulate ambiance.
    Aaaaaaaand this thread would then be the place to present your list.
    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

  8. #83
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    5,759
    Quote Originally Posted by jkelman View Post
    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tetra "Listening Instruments" (sic)
    Looking to un-lock the hidden potential in your system? Have great components and wondering if your system can be improved upon? Own a pair of Tetra Listening Instruments?

    For you we proudly present our new Artet speaker and interconnect cables. Designed to be sonically neutral and transparent (like our Listening Instruments), Artet cable enables the musical signal to be transmitted without colorations or alterations. Constructed of the highest quality 99.9% oxygen-free copper, our proprietary (and patented) conductor winding process ensures virtually no signal loss between components. Further, our cables possess no unusual electrical characteristics that alter frequency response. As such, they work equally well with both tube and solid-state amplifiers and do not act as tone controls. If you have great components, Artet cables will allow you to hear everything your system is capable of reproducing.

    Naturally, our cabling is a perfect match for our Listening Instruments, but can also yield excellent results in any system that demands sonic neutrality and transparency. So isn’t it time for you to experience the sonic advantages of Artet Cables?
    Woo.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tetra "Listening Instruments" (sic)
    606 RNB - B 606 RNB - B by Tetra Speakers Red, Natural, Blonde Cherry
    With Black Cabinet or All Black. $33,333/pair
    EXPENSIVE woo. I actually *like* the design and they ought to sound pretty good. But they're maliciously overpriced.
    Last edited by rcarlberg; 01-08-2015 at 01:34 AM.

  9. #84
    cunning linguist 3LockBox's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    hiding out in treetops, shouting out rude names
    Posts
    1,396
    I remember years ago over at Audio Review in one or more of the forums, if you wanted to start a shit storm, all you had to do is type a simple three-word phrase - double blind test.

  10. #85
    Member R_burke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Santa Paula, CA
    Posts
    18
    Quote Originally Posted by 3LockBox View Post
    I remember years ago over at Audio Review in one or more of the forums, if you wanted to start a shit storm, all you had to do is type a simple three-word phrase - double blind test.
    I belong to a few that "forbid" posts on DBT

  11. #86
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    small town in ND
    Posts
    3,688
    Quote Originally Posted by 3LockBox View Post
    I remember years ago over at Audio Review in one or more of the forums, if you wanted to start a shit storm, all you had to do is type a simple three-word phrase - double blind test.
    So now we know that on other forums there are equivalents to "what is prog".
    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

  12. #87
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    5,759
    Quote Originally Posted by 3LockBox View Post
    I remember years ago over at Audio Review in one or more of the forums, if you wanted to start a shit storm, all you had to do is type a simple three-word phrase - double blind test.
    Well of course they ban it, the double blind test destroys all their woo. If they have to prove their fanciful perceptions they are exposed as bullshitters.

  13. #88
    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
    I have Marantz 7.1 receiver that I've been very happy with; solid, reliable and transparent. Also, it's what our two Hi-Fi shops here in Chicago sell (Decibel and Saturday Audio Exchange), and of course mail order giant Audio Advisor.
    "Always ready with the ray of sunshine"

  14. #89
    Member BobM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Long Island, NY
    Posts
    363
    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    Well of course they ban it, the double blind test destroys all their woo. If they have to prove their fanciful perceptions they are exposed as bullshitters.
    Mr Carlberg, I think we all now fully understand your perspective on this. There really is no longer a reason to continue to shoot down everything anyone says about the opposite side of your argument.

    remember what you mom said ... if you can't say anything nice ...
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    A gentleman is defined as someone who knows how to play the accordion, and doesn't.

  15. #90
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    5,759
    Quote Originally Posted by BobM View Post
    remember what your mom said ... if you can't say anything nice ...
    Point taken, thanks.

    Remember what Justice Louis Brandeis said, "Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants." Views that don't stand up to scrutiny aren't worth holding.

  16. #91
    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    Well of course they ban it, the double blind test destroys all their woo. If they have to prove their fanciful perceptions they are exposed as bullshitters.
    It's not appreciated on Hoffman's forum, either. Hoffoman likes to perpetuate all kinds of audio voodoo and woo-woo.

  17. #92
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Alexandria, VA
    Posts
    3
    The fact that rcarlberg cannot afford something does not render it snake oil or a waste of money.

    Oh, and it's also not true that he who posts the most wins.
    Last edited by Father Tiresias; 01-08-2015 at 06:51 PM.

  18. #93
    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    Woo.

    EXPENSIVE woo. I actually *like* the design and they ought to sound pretty good. But they're maliciously overpriced.
    No, they're not. I've heard those $33k speakers and they are incredible. However, Tetra also makes speakers at a lower price range. I just bought the 333 stack, which combines the 222 bookshelf speakers with their 111 Subs. At the moment all I have is a demo set of the 222s, and are, in a word, spectacular and would, I wager, beat anything 2-3x their price point. I decided to add the subs (and after trying, two are' indeed, better than one) because they fill the room out nicely. But if all I could afford were the 222s, I'd have me a fine pair of speakers that put out remarkable frequency range for such a small footprint.

    So, Tetra has speakers for the super rich. But they also have models for the super-middle class. And until you've hesrd those biggies, don't be so sure. After spending years in recording studios, my feeling was that nothing at home coils ever match the experience of hearing the music in the control booth through a set of studio reference monitors.

    With Tetras...even with the 222s...you can get that at home. They've caused me to literally rediscover my collection and inspired the beginning of the Rediscover column I've been publishing daily at All About Jazz.

    They're that good. The detail, the soundstage, the richness and the separation are like nothing Ive ever heard....I am literally hearing things I've never before heard on albums I thought I knew like the back of my hand.

  19. #94
    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow View Post
    But can you land a 50 lb tuna with them.
    Well then. Something to add to my bucket list.

  20. #95
    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    People always bring this one out, but I don't hear it. It's an okay recording but there's no sense of "stage."
    For me there is no single recording that can be used as a test recording. When I demoed th Tetras, I brought everything from ECM and Steven Wilson's own albums and remixes of some of my faves (and, to be honest, what sealed the deal for me was "The Smartest Monkey," on his remix of XTC"s Nonsuch), one of the Zeppelin remasters, some Scofield, Frisell, Rosenwinkel and other guitarists...some Trio Mediaeval to hear how a church recording sounded...in short, as big a cross-section as I could play in two hours of demo.

  21. #96
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    5,759
    Quote Originally Posted by jkelman View Post
    No, they're not. I've heard those $33k speakers and they are incredible.
    I'm sure they *are* good. Like I said, the design looks pretty good.

    But $33,333 worth? As much as a BMW -- for a couple wooden boxes with three drivers?

    Looking at the components, I estimate they'd cost $3,000-$4,000 per pair to manufacture (at most). Add in the usual 100% markup, and that's still only $6,000-8,000. $25K profit, really?

    Listen, I'm glad you like your 333's. If you're happy with them that's all that matters, and they sound like they're doing exactly what a good speaker system should do -- reveal your music collection in all its glory. Don't pay any attention to me. If I could afford high-end speakers I'd probably be right there too. If you paid $9K you're right in there where you should be.
    Last edited by rcarlberg; 01-08-2015 at 07:08 PM.

  22. #97
    I happen to agree with rcarlberg that the DBT is the only true way to determine whether one system sounds better than the other. It should also have be done at least 4-5 times with at least one or two times where only one system is played twice to determine if someone is simply trying to guess which system is the one they are predisposed to favor.

    So here's a little u-turn- how many of you who have a home theater have used a pedestal or a on top of the TV platform for placing your center channel speaker?

  23. #98
    Outraged bystander markwoll's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    1,881
    Quote Originally Posted by Jubal View Post
    So here's a little u-turn- how many of you who have a home theater have used a pedestal or a on top of the TV platform for placing your center channel speaker?
    Right now my center channel is behind the tv with not a clear view of the speaker.
    I thought about a riser, but it would put the tv too high. I like the center of the tv near eye level.
    Also this tv has a large base that would hang over anything but a stand that would be too big.
    Perhaps the next tv. I hear 4k is getting pretty reasonable.
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."
    -- Aristotle
    Nostalgia, you know, ain't what it used to be. Furthermore, they tells me, it never was.
    “A Man Who Does Not Read Has No Appreciable Advantage Over the Man Who Cannot Read” - Unknown

  24. #99
    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    I'm sure they *are* good. Like I said, the design looks pretty good.

    But $33,333 worth? As much as a BMW -- for a couple wooden boxes with three drivers?
    With all due respect, you are way understating.

    Let's put it this way. Dave Holland, Ron Carter, Keith Richards, David Torn and Herbie Hancock are amongst the many musicians who (clearly able to afford them) have invested in Tetras's top of the line. Ron Carter, in fact, has a 7.1 surround sound room with three pairs of 606s as the primary speakers (which I guess, lays waste to claims that all jazz musician are struggling!).

    To me that speaks more than any specs, any reviews or any advertisements in audiophile magazines do. When musicians like these, who have spent a good portion of their long lives in recording studios, see the Tetra 606 as so impressive (Carter says "Other systems didn't usually represent what I was playing in the studio, but these come closest to revealing what I was actually doing."), that's what makes me stand up and notice.

    And while the 606s are, of course, better than my 333 stack (at more than three times the cost they'd better be!), what's remarkable about the 333 stack is that the same thing Cartwr says about the 606 can be said about them as well...the absolute level of detail isn't obviously as present....but it still beats the heck out of sny speakers I've heard at two or three times the cost.

    As for your comparison to BMW? Consider this: how much is your BMW worth five minutes after you drive it off the lot? How much money must you invest in maintenance and all kinds of other costs! Consider this: Tetra will be 20 yes old in 2018. To date, there have been zero returns for repair. And one return for refund, because the wife of the guy who bought the speakers was not happy at how much her husband had spend on the speakers (I don't know when this was or what model).

    So I view my investment in the 333s as an investment in something that will last me for the rest of my life, with no additional costs. Can you say that about a BMW? And will that car give you the same pleasure, year after year, day in and day out' as a pair of speakers that will truly change your perception of albums you thought you knew?

    This ain't hyperbole. I've never felt this way about a set of speakers - or any audio gear, for that matter - in my life. Th closest I came was with a couple of my guitars, back when I was playing more regularly.

    Yeah, the 606s are really, really expensive. But for those who can afford them, they'll likely never have to buy another pair of speakers again (unless they buy another mansion and need to have another pair for that one ). For less, um, affluent cats like I have now got a system that brings my music to life in ways I never imagined possible at home, having only expected to hear music sound like this in the control booth of s studio. And if I had the money and a house that could justify a bigger Seth of speakers like the 606s? I'd now,do,it in a heartbeat. That Tetra sells solutions starting as low as $1,950/pair and runs up to those high end $33k/pair 606s means they truly have something for the budget of anyone who wants some truly special speakers in their home. The only place where they lack is that the 333 stack lists at $9,000/pair and then it' she big leap to $33K. They need something in between,mans I'd not be surprised if they're thinking about that, though I've ni actual info to support supposition.

    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    Looking at the components, I estimate they'd cost $3,000-$4,000 per pair to manufacture (at most). Add in the usual 100% markup, and that's still only $6,000-8,000. $25K profit, really?
    Actually...no, not really. I don't know what the markup is...but amongst many things to consider: Tetra doesn't seel through usual channels. You won't find them in stores, though some will recommend to their clients; so there is no middleman markup. Tetra works with absolutley top of the llne components to build their soeakers, and that includes investment in design, parts and manufacturing companies (all local' BTW...no offshore farming for this company).

    I don't know what the markup is, but I do know this. The president of Tetra lives in a middle class home, drives an average car (no BMWs) and, while he doesn't appear to be hurting, he certainly ain't living the life of the rich and famous. I would wager that he puts a lot more real dollars into the design and manufacture of his speakers than his competitors do, which is why most folks who hear Tetras and who have slant far more, want to sell those overpriced speakers and replace them with a set of Tetras as soon as they hear them. This appears to be a pretty common story. Someone specs $20,000+ on a set of soeakers, hears the $9,000 333 stack and immediately looks to see how much they can get for those more expwnsive soeakers so they can sell 'm and buy a cheaper set of Tetras that outperforme those soeakers that cost more than twice the pride (sometimes more).

    There's also a reason why you don't find Tetras on the used market the way you do so many others. In fact, most who buy a Tetra only want to get rid of 'em if they are upgrading to a more expensive set of Tetras (and I could be wrong but I think there is an upgrade program).

    I understand your suspicion about a set of $33,00 speakers....I really do. But until youve hesrd them and realize that these guys put their money into the speakers rather than four-page ads in Stereophile Magazine, big booths at trade shows and other things that most companies consider to be "the done things" that are part of doing business but which Tetra steadfastly rejects? Again, not wanting to wax hyperbolic, but Tetra isn't just a company that makes speakers like nobody else I've encountereed...they do their business like no other audiophile level company ive run acros either (at least in the speaker market....can't speak to other components, but Adrian helped me source the Leema Tucana II integrated amplifier that, with balanced XLR inputs to match the Oppo player's balanced XLR outputs meaning even better match-up with the soeaker? Yeah, I'm excited...damn excited. We each spend what money we have as we see fit (and this purchase is part of a home rwno my wife and I've been saving for for a long time, debt-averse as we are), but I will say this: you'd never find me spending $33000 on a car (and' btw, I think you are Americn, yes? The Tetra pieces we're discussing are in Canadian dollars, so right now' for example' those $33k 606s are, for you, actually only $28k Amerian bucks), but having now hesrd the 333s, if I had a home either than a a condo apartment, I'd be more inclined to spend $33k on the 606s and get (as I did before I stopped owning a car a few years back) a $17,000 car.

    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    Listen, I'm glad you like your 333's. If you're happy with them that's all that matters, and they sound like they're doing exactly what a good speaker system should do -- reveal your music collection in all its glory. Don't pay any attention to me. If I could afford high-end speakers I'd probably be right there too. If you paid $9K you're right in there where you should be.
    Thanks,, man, and believe me...I inderstand the trepidation....and being in the position to buy the 333s is a once in a lifetime event for me. Like I said, my wife and I have been working $$ away for years towards this renovation of our. Condo, part of which was to include a significant upgrade to the sound system (doing what I do, it becomes maybe more of a prerequisite). I'll never be able to sped this kind of $$ again...all the more reason to spend it as wisely as I can...and, i think, I have.

    My only argument with you is on your assumption about things like what goes into making a great soeaker' and what yu're talking a out when it comes to markup and profit. Tetra doesn't just make speakers like no other that ive seen...they do business like no other too. And that makes me an even bigger suporter because the feeling I get, every time I sit down to listen to another old album I've not played in years, is that Tetra is not following the model you suggest (and which is, indeed, probably applicable to most); they do business the same way they make speakers: not the same as most everyone else.

    Cheers!
    John

  25. #100
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    5,759
    Quote Originally Posted by jkelman View Post
    Let's put it this way. Dave Holland, Ron Carter, Keith Richards, David Torn and Herbie Hancock are amongst the many musicians who (clearly able to afford them) have invested in Tetras's top of the line. To me that speaks more than any specs, any reviews or any advertisements in audiophile magazines do. When musicians like these, who have spent a good portion of their long lives in recording studios, see the Tetra 606 as so impressive (Carter says "Other systems didn't usually represent what I was playing in the studio, but these come closest to revealing what I was actually doing."), that's what makes me stand up and notice.
    With all due respect, they were probably "comped" -- in the hi-fi and musical instrument industry, it is common for famous musicians to get the product free-of-charge -- as "comp"ensation -- for a glowing review to be published under their name. People who respect the musicians will think to themselves, "Well if Ron Carter likes them they MUST be good."

    I don't doubt they *are* good. Comping some famous people doesn't diminish the product.

    But $33K worth?

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •