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Thread: The Audiophile Thread

  1. #2076
    Member BobM's Avatar
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  2. #2077
    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobM View Post
    Yes - I have read them, what I'm after is someone who could tell me a bit about how it reproduces bass in the lower register. I dont like when everything sounds like dub or reggae, which some tubeamps has a tendency to do.
    I can read that the bass is great but not how, and it is a bit a personal taste thing
    A guy actually wrote me that he sold one because he found the bass too slender - that sounded a bit odd... but...
    It seems that its been replaced by 868 (and top model 912), and this one has remote, a cost a minor fortune. But some wants remotes and thus 'upgrades'.
    There is also a cheaper model but it doesnt have the phono RIAA

  3. #2078
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    If a preamp is affecting the way bass sounds, you want to stay as far away from it as possible.

    The role of the amplification chain is transparency, not coloration.
    Last edited by rcarlberg; 09-01-2019 at 11:24 PM.

  4. #2079
    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    If a preamp is affected the way bass sounds, you want to stay as far away from it as possible.

    The role of the amplification chain is transparency, not coloration.
    True - I tend to chose HiFi as analytical as possible, I want to hear whats going on rather than getting my ears or guts caressed, but Valves/tubes has a presence, a way of engaging the listener. In the cheaper leagues is a a trade off, but with some lucky combinations of gear you can get the best of two worlds.
    And my ears & brains doesnt necessarily listen the way you do.

  5. #2080
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    You're walking down the street in an unfamiliar city. Suddenly you hear music wafting from around the corner.

    You can tell -- immediately, intuitively -- whether it's live music or a radio, even before you turn the corner. There is something intuitively obvious, something ineffable but difficult-to-define that distinguishes live music. This seems to be true even if the musicians are playing amplified instruments.

    I imagine it has something to do with the phase relationships of the sound waves. But I dunno. Has anyone else ever experienced this?

  6. #2081
    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    I imagine it has something to do with the phase relationships of the sound waves. But I dunno. Has anyone else ever experienced this?
    Always. I don't know much about audio, but I figured it was simply because our brains can pin point sound sources in space with more precision than what we think they're capable of. A group of musicians playing together loud enough for you to hear, even if on amplified instruments sent through a set of speakers, are still in your local sound space in which numerous subtle characteristics exist as auditory landmarks. Maybe our brains quickly compare reverberation and other factors, like a bat hearing its way through a cave, to determine if it belongs here in meatspace. If it's an entire lineup of instruments coming from two speakers, however, I think we intuitively know that it's a separate sound space being projected into ours, which automatically makes it read as artificial. Sort of like a cave within a cave.

    You could do some fun (pedantic) experiments with the idea though. Does music recorded in a live environment but played over a surround system in a similar environment deceive listeners, or are we always somehow able to tell regardless of how hard we try to emulate live music?

  7. #2082
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    I think it’s more than that. I’ve had the sensation when walking past a restaurant or bar where a band was playing. I could tell immediately it was “live music” rather than recorded, long before I got close enough to hear any left-to-right placement of the musicians. The same thing happens with just one guitarist or piano player.

    There’s something about the sound of live music. I don’t know what it is.

  8. #2083
    Member Garyhead's Avatar
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    Could it be the lack of compression? Not all pa’s have a compressor and few instrument amplifiers have a compressor.
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  9. #2084
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Possibly that's a component of it -- although a solo piano or acoustic guitar show the same distinction.

  10. #2085
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    I have a question. I am planning to do more listening through headphones. If my amplifier already has a headphone jack, why should I need a separate headphone amp? Why do these things exist?
    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

  11. #2086
    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
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    ^^ They exist for some devices with not a lot of power, of which your amplifier isn't one. As you say, you don't need a separate headphone amp.
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  12. #2087
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerjo View Post
    I have a question. I am planning to do more listening through headphones. If my amplifier already has a headphone jack, why should I need a separate headphone amp? Why do these things exist?
    You don't need one, but the quality will improve, maybe even quite substantially, depending on the headphones.

    Headphone jacks built into most amplifiers, are more or less, an afterthought. They just put them there for the convenience, but not sound quality.

    More importantly, they are not optimised to have the best output impedance for headphones, especially many of the modern phones.

    Most good headphones these days are over 25 ohm, which is too high impedance to get decent output levels, without the amp of the internal headphone jack clipping. This will lead to dynamic compression, distortion, harshness, etc.

    Low impedance headphones will not clip the amp, but overall, they just tend to be inferior. They will not have flat frequency response, will tend to be tuby in the bass, rolled off in the highs. By making them low impedance, there are trade offs in quality. Most headphones in the quality range tend to be about 20 ohm.

    As you get into better headphones, especially planar magnetic, impedance tends to go up, and therefore, become tougher to drive.

    Some very high quality headphones do have somewhat low impedance, Grado for example at 32 ohm, but they will still sound quite a bit better with a headphone amp.

    Audeze headphones are about 200 ohm, HiFi Man 65 ohm, Stax 170 ohm, etc, and will be seriously compromised without an amp.
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  13. #2088
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    My advice is to try your chosen headphones with your amp, and listen critically. If they don't sound good, try an outboard headphone amp.

    Chances are you won't need it though. MOST amps will drive MOST headphones perfectly.

  14. #2089
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    Well, it's a moot point now. After searching for a headphone adapter jack, I plugged it in with my headphones (Sony). It sounded off, the jack wasn't connecting on one channel. I jiggled it, the bad channel switched to the other side. I yanked it out and the damn adapter left its tip inside the headphone orifice, effectively muting my speakers. Plus the damn Brit amplifier uses some weird screw that I don't a screwdriver for that holds the case on the component. I am beyond livid. I contacted ARCAM but I highly doubt I'll hear back. FUCK!
    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

  15. #2090
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Those devious Brits, you can’t trust ‘em. Probably Torx or star-drive, you could check your local hardware store for a driver — but getting the cover off probably won’t help you. You probably need a needlenose pliers to pull out the broken-off headphone jack.

    Sounds like your headphones are mini-jack rather than 1/4”. Adapters are easy to find.

    Don’t give up yet.
    Last edited by rcarlberg; 09-02-2019 at 09:15 PM.

  16. #2091
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    My needlenose wouldn't work, too large for the socket. I called a friend who was a contractor; it was the same story with his pliers. I took a tiny screwdriver and managed to catch something enough to drag it to the edge of the socket. Then I grabbed the whole thing with a regular pliers and worked it out. The speaker connection is no longer muted. But I don't think I'll risk another cheap adapter. I will find something pricier from that cursed retailer from Seattle and use that. The headphones are old but they do sound great. One of my cousins borrowed them to work on the church organ and he was amazed at something so shabby looking could deliver solid sound.
    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

  17. #2092
    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    Those devious Brits, you can’t trust ‘em. Probably Torx or star-drive, you could check your local hardware store for a driver — but getting the cover off probably won’t help you. You probably need a needlenose pliers to pull out the broken-off headphone jack.

    Sounds like your headphones are mini-jack rather than 1/4”. Adapters are easy to find.

    Don’t give up yet.
    They could also be left handed thread screws, just like brits drive on the left side of the road. Additionally, many of their cars have a positive ground electrical system.
    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"--Dalai Lama

  18. #2093
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Nah. Left-hand screws are only used where normal rotation would loosen a regular screw, like for holding on a wheel.

    The Brits are devious, but they're not STUPID.

    (BTW: if their electrical components were positive ground like their lorries I think you'd get a massive hum!)

  19. #2094
    cunning linguist 3LockBox's Avatar
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    Could be a phase relationship between the sound emitting from the instrument itself and the amplification. The attack and decay of a live instrument could be different from an amplified one

  20. #2095
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3LockBox View Post
    Could be a phase relationship between the sound emitting from the instrument itself and the amplification. The attack and decay of a live instrument could be different from an amplified one
    How d'ya figure? You think we can hear the strings of an electric bass or guitar over their amplified output?

  21. #2096
    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    Nah. Left-hand screws are only used where normal rotation would loosen a regular screw, like for holding on a wheel.

    The Brits are devious, but they're not STUPID.

    (BTW: if their electrical components were positive ground like their lorries I think you'd get a massive hum!)
    Joking aside, their positive ground cars weren't designed with sound systems in mind. Stereo equipment was added, if at all, as an afterthought.
    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"--Dalai Lama

  22. #2097
    cunning linguist 3LockBox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    How d'ya figure? You think we can hear the strings of an electric bass or guitar over their amplified output?
    I can't say that I've ever compared an amplified electric Bass to it's recorded counterpart by themselves, usually only when they're accompanied by the other instruments, so I have no frame of reference for that. An acoustic guitar play live, by itself and depending on the venue, can be adequately represented by a really good speaker (i personally have been fooled in the past). Most instrument amplification that I've ever seen used single drivers and not multi-way driver systems like home audio and have a different sound. The usual "tell" for me is percussive instruments or horns.

    But I'm no expert here. Just throwing out ideas.

  23. #2098
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3LockBox View Post
    The usual "tell" for me is percussive instruments or horns.
    That's true, those are the most obvious "tells."

  24. #2099
    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3LockBox View Post
    The usual "tell" for me is percussive instruments or horns.
    That's largely because of the way percussive instruments are processed, to compensate for the shortcomings of CD quality digital. They sound far more natural live. With brass instruments, it's more a matter of losing their natural, raspy biting attack to 16/44.1 digital.
    Last edited by progmatist; 09-05-2019 at 03:26 PM.
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  25. #2100
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Ha! My experience is 180 degrees from your assertions.

    Oh well. YMMV
    Last edited by rcarlberg; 09-05-2019 at 06:01 PM.

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