Thread: The Audiophile Thread

  1. #1976
    "I know there are a lot of people here (probably almost all of you) that scoff at audio at these kinds of prices (or even quite a bit lower, but still very high prices), but I've actually had the chance to hear a fair portion of those speakers. Specifically the Wilson XLS, the Raidho, several by Acapella, Genesis, Martens, Kharma, Tidal, Perfect 8, Magico, Ceasaro, and some other brands not listed, but comparable. Not the top of the line models listed, but close. So, I can't speak to the sound of the ones in the article, but universally, the speakers a few steps below the ones in the article are pretty phenomenal (to say the least)."

    I did hear the original WAMM system in a local house, I think they were about $125,000.00 when he bought them. They sounded incredible but you just can't move them.
    NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF STUPID PEOPLE IN LARGE GROUPS!

  2. #1977
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simon moon View Post
    ... the speakers a few steps below the ones in the article are pretty phenomenal (to say the least). The kind of: effortless dynamics, detail, soundstage, image, timbral accuracy, transparency, lack of distortion, lack of dynamic compression, etc, that speakers of this level, or near this level can produce is really quite amazing.
    I agree 100% with Simon on this.

    The sonic detail on a pair of $100,000 to $200,000 speakers is impressive. Those with that kind of money to spend -- and no aging parents or favorite charities to support -- can revel in true audio splendor. A fine stereo really is a thing of beauty.

    The curve of diminishing returns is logarithmic. There is no set cut-off point above which more money is wasted. Everybody must determine for themselves how far up the scale ($1,000, $10,000, $100,000, $1,000,000) they are willing to slide and still be able to eat.

    There ARE, however, a lot of megabuck components that are shite, and that includes speakers. You need look no farther than the HFT and FEQ video posted in the gullibility thread. Buyer beware.

  3. #1978
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    I bought a pair of Meadowlark towers over a decade ago and the company went out of business shortly afterward (the speakers are still delivering the goods). Someone on Hoffman sent me a link today - Meadowlark is back in business albeit on a smaller scale.

    http://www.meadowlarksings.com/
    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

  4. #1979
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerjo View Post
    I bought a pair of Meadowlark towers over a decade ago and the company went out of business shortly afterward (the speakers are still delivering the goods). Someone on Hoffman sent me a link today - Meadowlark is back in business albeit on a smaller scale.

    http://www.meadowlarksings.com/
    Hopefully not Meadowlark Lemons Sorry bad joke but couldnít resist.
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  5. #1980
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    https://www.progressiveears.org/foru...-is-on-the-way

    OMG - Dolby Atmos mix
    Check out post on listening party for Sgt Peppers in Atmos.
    On the verge of indecision
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  6. #1981
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Trends
    The Dolby Atmos mix is truly immersive, placing the audience inside the recordings like never before.
    ..
    Quote Originally Posted by Scientific American
    Back in the late 1990s and early 2000s, surround-sound music looked like the next big thing, but in the intervening decade and a half, precious little rock, jazz, or world music has been recorded in surround. Looking back, the early 2000s should have been an ideal time to launch surround music; multichannel home theater was peaking, so there was a large number of households with surround systems, but surround sound without an accompanying image was a non-starter.

    Now, in 2014, multichannel home theater sound is on the wane; today's buyers are opting for single-speaker sound bars in ever increasing numbers. Multichannel sound at home is fading fast, and multichannel over headphones never took hold. The future of home surround for music and movies looks bleak.

  7. #1982
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    On the verge of indecision
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  8. #1983
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    ..
    Not very accurate given that most of the audiophile recordings of 5.1 have been generated after 2005. To argue that surround is not a commodity success, does not matter. The sound bars are contributing to the success of surround and Dolby Atmos which goes beyond surround. Having images with audiophile sound seems to be a paradigm that pseudo-audiophiles donít get. I remember the first time I watched and listened to Beatles Anthology which was remixed in surround and realized how good it could be. If the movie theatre environment goes the way of Dolby Cinema on MicroLED gigantic displays, there could be a new venue for live concerts even if they are simulcast. I donít believe the market for immersive sound is going away, no matter how much crap is sold.
    On the verge of indecision
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  9. #1984
    cunning linguist 3LockBox's Avatar
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    I'm lucky to have had rooms in a house that I could properly implement 2-channel stereo much less a 5.1 system.

  10. #1985
    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    I agree 100% with Simon on this.

    The sonic detail on a pair of $100,000 to $200,000 speakers is impressive. Those with that kind of money to spend -- and no aging parents or favorite charities to support -- can revel in true audio splendor. A fine stereo really is a thing of beauty.
    I can't imagine anyone with the means to buy a pair of $100,000 to $200,000 speakers, and all the other equipment required (sources, amps, preamps, etc) at comparable price range, would have any financial problems with supporting aging parents or charities.

    It's not like anyone in the market for Magico M6 ($172,000) or Acapella Atlas ($92,000) is eating packages or dried ramen in order to scrimp and save to be able to afford their systems.
    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

  11. #1986
    Quote Originally Posted by simon moon View Post

    It's not like anyone in the market for Magico M6 ($172,000) or Acapella Atlas ($92,000) is eating packages or dried ramen in order to scrimp and save to be able to afford their systems.
    When I went to one guys house to listen to the WAMM system, which I think cost $125,000.00, we did have pizza, but it was pepperoni.
    NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF STUPID PEOPLE IN LARGE GROUPS!

  12. #1987
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow View Post
    When I went to one guys house to listen to the WAMM system, which I think cost $125,000.00, we did have pizza, but it was pepperoni.
    D'Giorno?

  13. #1988
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3LockBox View Post
    I'm lucky to have had rooms in a house that I could properly implement 2-channel stereo much less a 5.1 system.
    Just hope that Dolby Atmos version of Abbey Road comes to the proper listening venue near you or I. Apparently the special listening parties for the 50th anniversary of Sgt Peppers in Dolby Atmos were stunning. Forget even tryin to approximate those systems used.
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  14. #1989
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    Quote Originally Posted by simon moon View Post
    I can't imagine anyone with the means to buy a pair of $100,000 to $200,000 speakers, and all the other equipment required (sources, amps, preamps, etc) at comparable price range, would have any financial problems with supporting aging parents or charities.

    It's not like anyone in the market for Magico M6 ($172,000) or Acapella Atlas ($92,000) is eating packages or dried ramen in order to scrimp and save to be able to afford their systems.
    Forget those pseudo-audiophile systems. Try a Dolby Atmos listening experience in a theatre with up to 64 independent speakers. https://audiophilereview.com/audioph...flashback.html
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  15. #1990
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    It's not about how well you hear, but how well you listen

    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. #1991
    ^^^^^^^^

    Is a hot young wife worth investing in with aging eyes.
    NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF STUPID PEOPLE IN LARGE GROUPS!

  17. #1992
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerjo View Post
    It's not about how well you hear, but how well you listen


    Although Paul does not go into a lot of detail, he pretty much nails it.

    There are a lot of other aspects of audio, that are discernable besides, and in addition to, the upper frequency of what one's ears are able to hear.

    For example: dynamic range, imaging, soundstage, timbral accuracy, detail, attack and decay, etc, etc.

    Also, the the highest frequencies produced by acoustic instruments, are: piccolo, violin, and cymbals. They all go out to about 16,000 hz, and that is their harmonics, not the fundamental. So, even if you have the typical age related hearing loss (12K to 14K in one's 60s), you are hardly missing any music. The vast majority of music is well below 14K.

    So, no, aging ears are not a detriment to critical audio listening, or the ability of discerning small changes in ones system.
    Last edited by simon moon; 07-22-2019 at 01:50 PM.
    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. #1993
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    I'll go farther than you, Simon, and say there are no musical fundamentals above about 8,000Hz. The harmonics above that can be useful in determining direction perhaps, but not in instrument identification or especially anything to do with melody. As our ears age, our brains learn to adapt and we hardly notice the high frequency loss (ever try to convince your dad he needs a hearing aid?) However, as you point out, UHF is only one parameter of a fine speaker system and the others are definitely discernible with 60-year-old ears!

  19. #1994
    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post


    I'll go farther than you, Simon, and say there are no musical fundamentals above about 8,000Hz. The harmonics above that can be useful in determining direction perhaps, but not in instrument identification or especially anything to do with melody. As our ears age, our brains learn to adapt and we hardly notice the high frequency loss (ever try to convince your dad he needs a hearing aid?) However, as you point out, UHF is only one parameter of a fine speaker system and the others are definitely discernible with 60-year-old ears!

    And in addition, how often does a musician actually hit the highest notes on their respective instruments?

    They are almost always playing well below the highest notes.
    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

  20. #1995
    cunning linguist 3LockBox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simon moon View Post
    And in addition, how often does a musician actually hit the highest notes on their respective instruments?

    They are almost always playing well below the highest notes.
    This is what attracted me to single driver theory. A well designed, fullrange driver properly implemented in a single driver design can be very engaging and revealing without reaching frequency extremes in either direction. I migrated from single driver designs to pursuing wide-band threeway designs.

  21. #1996
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    Part of the difference (IMO) between an average system and a true audiophile system is in how the better system reproduces the air and space around instruments. This results in an immersive experience that just doesn't happen on headphones (for the most part) or on cheap and modest systems. It's the perception of the "room" that exists on a good system, and getting that requires those upper end harmonics to shine through.

    So is the information above 8kHz important? Yes it is very important, not to the appreciation of the music but in the perception of soundstaging and imaging. Of course, much more goes into that, like transparency and speaker set up and room treatment and more, but unless a system can reproduce those upper (unheard) signals you just won't get to that point.
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  22. #1997
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobM View Post
    Part of the difference (IMO) between an average system and a true audiophile system is in how the better system reproduces the air and space around instruments. This results in an immersive experience that just doesn't happen on headphones (for the most part) or on cheap and modest systems. It's the perception of the "room" that exists on a good system, and getting that requires those upper end harmonics to shine through.

    So is the information above 8kHz important? Yes it is very important, not to the appreciation of the music but in the perception of soundstaging and imaging. Of course, much more goes into that, like transparency and speaker set up and room treatment and more, but unless a system can reproduce those upper (unheard) signals you just won't get to that point.
    Isn’t it time that we separate ourselves from a pure frequency domain understanding of audio. Humans and animals can accurately determine angle of arrival and time of arrival, when the edge is preserved with the highest resolution in the time domain. It’s not just frequencies but frequencies in space and phase relationships. A low frequency chopped into a square wave or pulse will have significant harmonics in a odd relationship wrt to carrier. How the ears and brain combine information to produce a larger picture, is beyond the understanding of most engineers.
    On the verge of indecision
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  23. #1998
    Quote Originally Posted by Firth View Post
    Isn’t it time that we separate ourselves from a pure frequency domain understanding of audio. Humans and animals can accurately determine angle of arrival and time of arrival, when the edge is preserved with the highest resolution in the time domain. It’s not just frequencies but frequencies in space and phase relationships. A low frequency chopped into a square wave or pulse will have significant harmonics in a odd relationship wrt to carrier. How the ears and brain combine information to produce a larger picture, is beyond the understanding of most engineers.
    Nails it!

    What Firth is referring to is, Interaural Time Differences (ITD). This is the difference of when sound reaches both ears. The human auditory system is able to discern ITD as low as 7 micro seconds.

    This ability to hear very slight ITD is one of our evolved survival tools. As a somewhat naturally vulnerable species (we're slow, bad sense of smell, not very strong, not very fast) from predators, our ability to detect the direction (left, right, front, behind, up, down) noise of possible danger with great accuracy, is critically important to our survival. Prey that runs toward a possible predator, instead of away from a predator, is less likely to survive.

    This ability of our auditory system is what we leverage in listening, to hear imaging and soundstage on systems capable of reproducing them.

    This is exactly where hi-res PCM and DSD excel. 16/44.1 does not have enough resolution in TIME, to reproduce ITD below 22 micro seconds.

    If an original recording has the spacial cues, a hi-res file will have better imaging and soundstage than 16/44.1 will. I've heard it in bland tests.
    Last edited by simon moon; 07-23-2019 at 08:11 PM.
    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

  24. #1999
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simon moon View Post
    If an original recording has the spacial cues, a hi-res file will have better imaging and soundstage than 16/44.1 will. I've heard it in bland tests.
    I want to hear more about these bland tests.

    Quote Originally Posted by BobM
    Part of the difference (IMO) between an average system and a true audiophile system is in how the better system reproduces the air and space around instruments. This results in an immersive experience that just doesn't happen on headphones (for the most part) or on cheap and modest systems. It's the perception of the "room" that exists on a good system, and getting that requires those upper end harmonics to shine through.
    Contrary opinion here. Headphones are generally GREAT at reproducing room spaces. One reason is that they usually consist of single drivers -- which as 3LockBox points out, are effectively free of the interferences, overlaps and phase cancellations of multiple-driver systems. They also eliminate room effects during playback.

    Phase coherency
    is the hidden, unsung parameter which defines how accurate a speaker system is, how well it images, how well it reproduces the "room feel." It may be the ITD, it may be lack of driver interference, it may be something else. I'm not enough of an expert to explain it. I just know that a properly aligned system -- and that means time-alignment in the voice coils, and minimal baffleboard interference, and properly matched drivers that don't overlap each other -- these systems reproduce a 3-dimensionality that less carefully designed systems do not. REGARDLESS of their price tag. I've heard some megabuck systems that had every frequency known to man accurately reproduced, but they sounded "like speakers" -- not "like music."

    Transparency
    is a subtle but vastly important characteristic of the very best systems.
    Last edited by rcarlberg; 07-24-2019 at 01:44 PM.

  25. #2000
    cunning linguist 3LockBox's Avatar
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    Polk Audio' SDA series (Stereo Dimensional Array) was great at presenting an immersive experience, given proper room dimensions and seating distance, i.e., sweet spot. I still have my Polk SDA CRS (compact reference speakers) or at least, my son has them.

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