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snodog
12-21-2007, 05:11 PM
Hey all, I am in the market for a new av receiver. I am curious what is the advantage of a high end product versus mid-range and what makes the difference? It is funny how some very high dollar models have pretty average reviews and some mid priced units do real well.

blackraven
12-21-2007, 11:25 PM
Your right on in your comment. I saw a review several years ago where they compaired some high end audio equipment with some mid level equipment by looking inside to see what electronic parts were used in each. They found that some very expensive equipment used some pretty crappy electronics and some of the mid level stuff used better parts. High price does not always mean better.

snodog
12-22-2007, 08:10 AM
Hey Blackraven, I'm in rochester, Nice to see another Minnesotan. Yeah, I am really wondering if I should just stick with a Yamaha or Onkyo. I was going to go with something more high dollar but I am not really a technical person in terms of adjustments or tweaking so don't see an advantage.

PDN
12-22-2007, 10:01 AM
Good topic. I just discussed this with my salesperson at the hi-fi store I patronize. I'm considering an upgrade myself and he said that in general, the dividing line in $$ from mid-fi to higher end A-V receivers is in the $1300.00 area give or take. That's just a rule of thumb. One area of importance that we must all remain aware of is in the power ratings of A-V receivers. Most surround sound receivers will have a specification stating, for example, 90 watts x 7. If the spec does not state that this is "all channels driven" or the like, then the 90 watts refers to the two main channels driven only. When these receivers play in surround sound mode, that 90 watts drops down. Marantz for example guarantees 70% of its posted power when in surround sound mode. So my Marantz SR5600 is providing approx 63 watts per channel when in surround sound mode even though it is advertised at 90 watts x 7 into 8 ohms 20hz-20khz. Marantz states this is a conservative number. That's not bad at all and still sounds fantastic because Marantz produces a quality product. I'm driving B&W loudspeakers which are easy to power and drive. NAD specifies an average simultaneious power to all channels in their specs. Another consideration to make is to look at which A-V receivers are sold in the "mass market" stores (Circuit City, Best Buy, etc) and which ones are sold in the privately owned hi-fi audio stores. This is just my opinion but I would strongly urge you to consider buying in the higher end audio stores. You still can get a range in pricing but the brands are better. Again, just my opinion but the better brands are Rotel, NAD, Marantz, Arcam, etc.

blackraven
12-22-2007, 10:48 AM
It all comes down to the cost benefit ratio and what will be the weakest link in your system. It doesnt pay to buy an audiophile receiver if your using a cheap and poor sounding speakers, CD or DVD player. There are some excellent sounding receivers in the $600-1,000 range. Look at any of the Denon 3000 series AV receivers or some of the higher end yamaha or onkyo receivers. My pick's would be the Denon 3806, Yamaha Rx-v2400, Onkyo TXSR705 or Marantz ZR6001SP. www.butterflyphoto has excellent prices on these. IMO the Denon is at the lower end of audiophile equipment. The reviews on this receiver have been excellent.

Hey snodog, gotta love the minnesota weather!

snodog
12-22-2007, 10:49 AM
I currently have a Marantz 6200 that needs repair. The sound is great and I dont want to downgrade in quality but want more modern features like the hdmi. Besides that what else would have changed in the last five years? As far as khz and such. Would there be any improvements or is it worth fixing the 6200?

blackraven
12-22-2007, 10:58 AM
How much money are you willing to spend?

snodog
12-22-2007, 11:02 AM
Yes lovely MN weather! I have a ps3 right now which I am using for Bluray player and will be getting a good cd player. I have all paradigm speakers. The monitor 7's and cc370 center, 10"sub and titans surrounds. Probably anywhere between 500-700 depending on what I find I guess. Also I dont really want to keep my marantz without getting it fixed so i would sell it.

blackraven
12-22-2007, 11:13 AM
I would compare the specs of the newer Marantz to your older one. At that price range I don't know if you will find anything better than what you already have. If your willing to spend $900, then the Denon AVR3806 is onsale at www.electronics-expo.com for $848

snodog
12-22-2007, 11:30 AM
That yamaha rx-v2400 looks nice for 699. I personally dont care for denons all that much. Not sure why but them and Harman kardons never did much for me. What do you think about the Onkyo 705?
Funny, my local hifi place is not stocking Marantz or Onkyo anymore. I like the store and the workers but question their integrity at times. They are saying thy do not carry them anymore because of the build quality is going down. (?) Not sure if it is true or that they have just had problems with the company's customer service and such. (kind of what I think) It would make perfect sense to veer customers away from something you aren't going to be carrying anymore. Makes me think twice about buying in the future from them.

blackraven
12-22-2007, 11:35 AM
I've always like Onkyo and the 703-705 are decent receivers. I prefer Marantz myself over the Onkyo but you should compare the specs and features of both. Good luck in which ever you choose.

You might want to look on ebay or www.audiogon.com for deals on used higher end equipment.

Mr Peabody
12-22-2007, 11:39 AM
I think whether a $500.00 receiver gets a glowing review or a $1,500.00 receives a mediocre review depends on how it performs in it's price range compared to other products there. A $500.00 receiver may actually perform out of it's price range and make it a much better value than a $500.00 receiver that performs like $500.00. Hence, the term "giant killer".

In your price range you will pretty much be left to mass market receivers. Higher end receivers like Rotel, NAD, Arcam or B&K generally for go some of the bells & whistles and concentrate on better sound quality. Although I think sound quality and sound stage is just as enjoyable when listening to a good movie sound track HT is secondary to some who will gravitate to the higher end receivers which are better for music playback.

Whether cheap are expensive today's receiver's require a lot of setting up for HT. If you aren't comfortable with the tweaking look for a receiver that offers the auto speaker set up, and I'd also get one to include room equalization. The Audessey is one of the better systems from what I understand which is offered on the Onkyo and Denon that I'm aware of. The Onkyo TX-605 I think is only around $399.00 and offers most of the current HT features and technology. In my opinion Onkyo offers one of the best amp sections of any mass market receiver. I'd watch out paying for stuff you don't need like multiroom capability and installer set up features like on the Denon "SI" series. From what I've read here I think the PS3 only has HDMI out for HD audio and video, so the HDMI will be a must. Really, really, read the small print on the HDMI, some only carry video and a host of other limitations, to be sure your receiver has full HDMI capability. With the PS3 and Paradigm you have the start of a nice system.

blackraven
12-22-2007, 12:01 PM
Snodog, don't write off Denon. The 3000 series Denons are worlds better than the other receivers you are looking at. Its well worth the extra money if you can swing it for the 3806.They use torroidal power supplies and higher quality electronics. If you are in the minneapolis area check out the local High end store Audio Perfection on Lyndale ave. They carry NAD, Denon, Rotel, Macintosh, Ayre and many other high end equipment.

Mr Peabody
12-22-2007, 02:38 PM
The Denon 1908 is current at about $599.00 with the 2308 about $849.00. The 2308 has video upconversion of analog video and more power. The 3808 is the current model and more than double your budget. In the 3808 range it would be time to also consider Rotel or NAD if interested in better music playback.

The 3806 is a couple models back. The 2308 is actually a better option with upconversion of analog video and the newer HD audio decoding. The 3806 has HDMI but no upconversion of video and some TV's won't accept a 480i signal via HDMI. The Onkyo does pretty much the same thing sthe 2308 will for much less money, in fact I've seen the 805 beast for $699.00 at CC. I have not heard the Denon or Onkyo to know which is better. From reading an interview with a Denon rep I do know the "CI" receivers have computer interface and installer features you are paying for. I don't know if the performance bar was raised. Time to do your listening home work to see if Denon is worth the extra coin.

http://reviews.cnet.com/av-receivers/denon-avr-3806-black/4505-6466_7-31559300.html

I didn't see any reviews of Onkyo 605 or Denon 2308 except for what people say on forum reviews. The forum reviews are good to see what, if any, issues they had with any of the receivers. Check for ease of set up, remote use, etc.

musicman1999
12-22-2007, 03:19 PM
I believe that the difference between high and low end has no meaning because it is different for everyone, it depends on your expectations, high end for one guy is low end for another guy, i remember speaking with a guy a couple of years ago that had just tried out a Denon 3806 and he said it was the worst piece of sonic trash he had ever had in his home.Now he was coming from a $30,000 2 channel system and just wanted to set up a theater system for his wife and kids to use.He ended up with an Arcam system and that was jusst good enough.My point on all this is buy what sounds good to you, listen to as many as you can, at home if you can.Decide what features you need and don't pay money for ones you don't.


bill

snodog
12-22-2007, 10:47 PM
I agree 100 percent musicman although, that is really my question. Are there physical characteristics that are not found in the mid priced units? I understand that an Onkyo or Yamaha may not be the nicest in the world but better than what most homes would have. If i was to wait and buy a $1200 Rotel reciever would I find a very noticeable difference between that and a $600 Yamaha or Onkyo or my Marantz that I currently own?

Mr Peabody
12-22-2007, 11:09 PM
Snodog, I think you would notice a difference however only you can judge whether it would be enough to warrant the difference in price. Like you say, most would be extremely happy with the likes of the 805 but if you are a music lover and a more critical listener you may appreciate the more fidelity provided by the specialty hi fi manufacturers. You really need to go do some listening to get a feel for how a few of these sound.

musicman1999
12-23-2007, 12:39 AM
There are physical differences in that normally high end gear is better built and uses better components both internal and external.They weigh more, for example i own a dvd player that most people would consider high end and when you pick it up it weighs over 30 pounds, has amazing sound and is the first dvd player that i have heard that could qualify as a high end cd player.It like many high end products is short on features but high on picture and sound quality and it is built in Canada.
Mr.p is right however you need to go out and experience it for yourself, seek out a high end store, us music lovers are friendly folks.


bill

melvin walker
12-23-2007, 05:48 AM
I was of the impression that only separates could be classified as high end. Receivers being a compromise was never considered high end except in exceptional cases. Price generally determines whether something is high end or not. Marantz receivers are not costly and who builds them now , Marantz has had several manufacturers since 1970.

It appears that our expectations today is lowered. Because of home theatre systems, video has replaced audio as a main concern. The music we listen to is different today as well , it tends to be less define. Maybe that is why audio has slipped and video has emerged.

The question I would guess is quality , quality today is very expensive. Most Americans can't really afford quality today , which has led to the popularity of the receiver.,
Average made speakers , and CD's of uneven quality.
After all how many of us today has attended an audio show ? Or has heard a live vs recorded ?

I guess the difference in cost of high end audio as in the case of high end cars has left many of us confusing the two , high end vs low end.
Car example a 1973 Porsche 911 sold for $ 10,000 affordable by many Americans , today a 2007 Porsche sells for $ 70,000 out of the range of most Americans .
Is audio any different ? so we compromise.

Mr Peabody
12-23-2007, 07:30 AM
Again, "high end" is relative, you can't assume all separates are high end. Brands like Adcom, Outlaw or Rotel, to name a few, make separates that I would not consider high end. Better than average certainly but not high end. Krell, Naim, Musical Fidelity and others make integrated amps that many separates would not be able to match that are definitely high end. My 500i is basically Krell's 250p preamp & 250a amp in one box and original retail was $5,500.00.

I agree though that I have yet to see a receiver that I'd consider high end. Even the mega priced Denon and other mass market brands still fall short of even mid fi brands when it comes to audio. You are mostly paying for multi-room features and more bells & whistles. Certain receivers from the likes of Arcam, possibly Rotel or B&K have audio sections that at least come close to mid fi, if not right in there. People looking at receivers should first consider how much even an entry level preamp processor costs. Rotel used to have one around $1,600.00 or so, I don't know if they still offer one in that price, that's retail price of a Denon 3808. So yeah, fellas don't fool yourselves, there are definitely compromises made to offer all that in one box. Which way to go depends on your priorities. Budget too, to some extent but from posts I've read here seeing some of the occupations and vehicles some have, my income is modest in comparison but my priority for music was high enough I found a way to get a decent system. Of course, if budget wasn't some concern I'd probably have Conrad Johnson Premier gear. My point is if some one can afford a nice Beamer why would they settle for a HT receiver. Their priority is auto status rather than best possible music playback. Am I getting off topic? :)

snodog
12-23-2007, 09:36 AM
I understand what you are hitting on. Cars, of course always are a good symmetrical comparison in terms of value vs luxury. My Pontiac will take me from A to B much more efficiently than an Escalade but not as much fun or as many heads being turned (if any).
I still wonder though Mr. Peabody, you mentioned the mega-priced Denons and others that would still fall short. Are you speaking in terms of pure audio quality or build quality? It would seem that some of these tanks are built pretty damn solidly. IMO the PS3 has some pretty damn good sound for a cd player with upsampling now integrated...

Also on another note, I am not dismissing Denon BR but I listened to a Marantz Denon and HK of equal comparison and didnt care for what I heard other than the Marantz which I then bought. They seemed really flat.

musicman1999
12-23-2007, 10:38 AM
Think of it like this, you play a cd on a PS3 and the sound is kind of bunched together in a mash,you hear the instruments but there is no sense of depth or width to the music and you cannot place the musicians anywhere in relation to each other.Now with a good quality cd player you will have a strong soundstage, meaning you can pick out each instrument easily and have a sense where the instrument is in relation to the other players, both width and depth and you will hear things that you did not know were there, musically that is.Of course the rest of your system needs to be as good as your cd player, good system balance is essential.
There are players out there that would make a PS3 sound like a nail drug across a chalk board.

bill

snodog
12-23-2007, 10:45 AM
I might have mentioned that the cd player prior to ps3 was a 5 year old sony dvd player so the difference is pretty clear. Brings me to another question, what would you recommend for a cd player? I would like to have sacd/dvd audio in my setup.

Mr Peabody
12-23-2007, 11:19 AM
Snodog, I was only referring to sound quality. Some of those large receivers are built solid.

When you use the PS3 as CD player you have to use the HDMI don't you? If you are using a digital output, optical, coax or HDMI, the decoding is being done by the receiver and a new player won't make much difference. However, if you use the stereo or multichannel analog there will be a noticeable difference between certain players. Your configuration and future configurations should be a consideration when you buy your receiver. I'm not sure if any receivers offer 2 sets of multichannel but I could see that being a need for those who want to keep SACD and use the same kind of input for BR or HDDVD.

I wish I remembered the models, Outlaw had a preamp processor and power amp combo for right around $1k that got good reviews. They say their stuff is cheaper because they sell direct and offer 30 days to try. If I find the info I will post it. I can't remember if the pre/pro was up to date with current HDMI.

snodog
12-23-2007, 12:03 PM
I have no experience with a preamp setup but its a possibility, assuming I could figure out how it all goes together. Looking at the Outlaw website I am curious why they would select DVI vs Hdmi? They look nice and have great reviews. Possibility but I like the idea of Hdmi over dvi.

ldgibson76
12-23-2007, 12:10 PM
[I was of the impression that only separates could be classified as high end. Receivers being a compromise was never considered high end except in exceptional cases. Price generally determines whether something is high end or not. Marantz receivers are not costly and who builds them now , Marantz has had several manufacturers since 1970.]

Marantz is owned by D&M Holdings and built in Japan!

musicman1999
12-23-2007, 02:02 PM
I might have mentioned that the cd player prior to ps3 was a 5 year old sony dvd player so the difference is pretty clear. Brings me to another question, what would you recommend for a cd player? I would like to have sacd/dvd audio in my setup.

A lot would depend on your budget.The issue with DVD-A is that means it would have to be a DVD player and i should have mentioned before that all my comments were using the analog outputs on the player not digital.

bill

musicman1999
12-23-2007, 02:09 PM
[QUOTE=melvin walker] Price generally determines whether something is high end or not.


Not so much, just because something is expensive does not make it good and while quality usually is expensive high price is not a guarantee of quality.Just look at Bose or Monster cable.

bill

snodog
12-23-2007, 02:24 PM
Okay then let me ask this, assuming my Marantz 6200 has a surround mode problem rather than channel problem could I use this as a preamp and then buy a separate processor such as the Outlaw? Would this work or is it too much for a preamp? It would be cool if I could still somehow use it.

melvin walker
12-23-2007, 03:15 PM
I understand what you are hitting on. Cars, of course always are a good symmetrical comparison in terms of value vs luxury. My Pontiac will take me from A to B much more efficiently than an Escalade but not as much fun or as many heads being turned (if any).
I still wonder though Mr. Peabody, you mentioned the mega-priced Denons and others that would still fall short. Are you speaking in terms of pure audio quality or build quality? It would seem that some of these tanks are built pretty damn solidly. IMO the PS3 has some pretty damn good sound for a cd player with upsampling now integrated...

Also on another note, I am not dismissing Denon BR but I listened to a Marantz Denon and HK of equal comparison and didnt care for what I heard other than the Marantz which I then bought. They seemed really flat.

A Pontiac vs a Escalade ?, both poorly made ,both poor performance. Bad comparison.
Why is Marantz audio equipment an issue when discussing high end. Marantz hasn't made high end audio equipment since the 70's. And than only a power amp.

Musicman I used the word "generally" which means most but not all expensive audio is excellent. One of the reasons I guess many AR members include Marantz audio equipment as much as they do is the limited number of audio magazines.
Years ago there were a number of different audio magazines and hobbyist are those interested had a host of audio magazines to read test reports and comments by audio writers.
Times have changed.

snodog
12-23-2007, 03:18 PM
Poorly made? What a douchebag as you are poorly made as well.

Mr Peabody
12-23-2007, 05:34 PM
Snodog, I agree, stay away from DVI, it's a thing of the past, and it's only a video connection.

Melvin, I don't think anyone considers Marantz high end, I hope anyway. I believe the reason it is mentioned a lot is for one they offer a good value line of universal player, they offer a line of integrated amps and separates which has pretty much gone by the wayside for most mass market brands, except Onkyo is starting to make a splash with their new digital integrated, and Marantz HT receivers are being pretty widely accepted as decent since coming under D&M's umbrella. From what I understand, and some one feel free to correct me, D&M only does Marantz's receivers. I believe the other lines are under another companies control. D&M also has Denon. I was always interested in hearing the Marantz integrated that cost about $500.00 and was Class A switchable to Class A/B. You are sure right though that Marantz, the name, has been passed through many hands since they built the gear you have.

bobsticks
12-23-2007, 06:14 PM
Out of curiosity, do Lexicon, Meridian, Krell, et al make audiophile processors with hdmi 1.3, topend Burr Brown Dacs, USB ports, and upconverting?

snodog
12-23-2007, 09:51 PM
Since we are discussing the composition of high end products what makes an audiophile an audiophile? Someone who uses his system solely for music? I appreciate good sounding music as much as anyone but cannot afford a goddamn $20,000. system. Some have the luxury to make the proclamation I guess..

frenchmon
12-23-2007, 11:44 PM
Snodog, I agree, stay away from DVI, it's a thing of the past, and it's only a video connection.

Melvin, I don't think anyone considers Marantz high end, I hope anyway. I believe the reason it is mentioned a lot is for one they offer a good value line of universal player, they offer a line of integrated amps and separates which has pretty much gone by the wayside for most mass market brands, except Onkyo is starting to make a splash with their new digital integrated, and Marantz HT receivers are being pretty widely accepted as decent since coming under D&M's umbrella. From what I understand, and some one feel free to correct me, D&M only does Marantz's receivers. I believe the other lines are under another companies control. D&M also has Denon. I was always interested in hearing the Marantz integrated that cost about $500.00 and was Class A switchable to Class A/B. You are sure right though that Marantz, the name, has been passed through many hands since they built the gear you have.

Marantz Reference line is high end...They manufacture and sell many more models over seas than they do here in the States. D&M is a holding company that Holds all of the Marantz Stock. Marantz is a huge player in the electronics field even making High End Plazma and LCD TV's ,and High End Home theater Projectors.

frenchmon

Wireworm5
12-23-2007, 11:55 PM
What makes an audiophile an audiophile?
You'll have all kinds of definitions on what makes an audiophile. But really an audiophile is someone who invests much of his free time critically listening to music. Non-audiophiles will spend their time doing countless other things like video game, tinkering with cars, etc..These people might listen to the radio or turn the stereo on for a hour at the end of the day, but it's not their passion.Everyone will say they like music.

Wireworm5
12-24-2007, 12:21 AM
What makes a system hi-end is the level of sound quality. It generally goes with quality equipment, but if you are a wise shopper you can acquire good used stuff at a fraction of what it would cost to buy new.
For example: I was at a friend's place listening to his stereo, it was very good but not hi-end. My next visit he had changed amps and source. The sound from his speaker was completely different than what I had heard the first time. This was hi-end sound. And it was a fraction of the cost that I spent building my system.
But hey, you might not like hi-end sound. It may sound foreign to what your use to.
I never knew what hi-end sound was either but over the years my system has evolved to hi-end sound. Basically hi-end is as close to a live instrument music as you can get with recorded audio playback.

pixelthis
12-24-2007, 01:43 AM
MR p IS RIGHT, THERE IS NO SUCH THING as a "high end" receiver,
if you're talking about audio, that is.
Receivers got started late 60's, 70's, and helped the audio revolution a great deal, but they have always been compromised.
None of these apply to HT, where digital and foley effects arent high end to start out with,
making the reciever a great choice for HT
Audiowise you dont need seperates, but they help, your amp at least needs to be an integrated.
High end audio is a different kettle of fish, I have seen 2 channel systems costing several hundred grand. Outlaw makes some "cheap " stuff, on the other hand that is every bit "high end". The reveiwer for their "retro" stereo receiver was quite surprized that it kept up with much more expensive gear.
I will tell you this, weather HT or audio, paying more than two grand for a receiver is
REDICULOUS .
Dont care if it DOES have a torodial coil in the power supply, you are way past the law of diminishing returns.
None of these "monster" receivers have anything you need, even for a large living room,
and for HT they arent enough, you need seperates.
When I see a 3,000 receiver I think, like the commercial for V8 juice, "wow, you could have had seperates!"
Outlaw has monoblocks for a price that gets you seven for less than two grand, leaving a grand for the or someone elses modest pre-pro, all of which will sound BETTER than the ritziest receiver. Or you could get an outlaw seven channel amp for 800 bucks, at 75wpc, mated to a really nice prepro you're still ahead.
I guess "high end" is in the eye of the beholder, with two grand I could get a "system" that would be, to me, "high end" (two channel of course)
You just have to know how to shop:1:

Mr Peabody
12-24-2007, 10:31 AM
Wireworm, brings to mind a couple good thoughts. We all, or most, Bassite not included, started with receivers or modest beginnings and high end is foreign sounding until you learn what's what. I remember my first true high end experience was listening to a pair of $25k Dynaudio driven by a Krell amp that looked like a steam trunk. I come waltzing in with a Great White CD and have the guy playit. This probably gave him his first chuckle. I commented my Kenwood integrated and Kappa 7's had more midbass. This probably really got him rolling but he maintained himself and dropped in Paula Cole. When that first track hit the really low bass and the room shook, I felt the bass inside me, I about lost bowel control. So there is a learning curve.

Audiophile is a state of mind. I can sit and listen to music by myself in a dark room and everyone thinks I'm crazy. They say, "I can't just sit, I have to be doing something". Well doing something just makes the music background and it's not really being seriously listened to. I listen to more music than watch TV or movies. I believe these are traits of an audiophile.

Snodog, some wise person once said, "if you aren't prepared for the answer, then don't ask the question". I don't know who put the burr under your saddle but I didn't notice anyone saying you had to spend a certain amount of money to be an audiophile. The point is some gear is considered "high end" and some is not. If you are a doctor and you buy your system from Best Buy, you are either ignorant (not the same as stupid, just unlearned) or you are definitely not an audiophile. If you are a working stiff who has to buy a NAD integrated from Audiogon along with a decent set of speakers and you can't wait to tuck the kids in so you can play your new CD, then I think you are an audiophile. Like I said it's a frame of mind, a passion one has and this leads you to do the best you can with what you have. I have no respect for those who drive mega dollar cars and vacation out of the country yet have a HT receiver set up and want to come here and try to tell me things like cables don't matter or CD players sound the same. Along with labelling one's self an audiophile also comes a certain amount of knowledge and experience. This doesn't mean audiophiles will always agree and most of the time we don't. That's why people can ask advice all they want but in order to know for sure one has to try things and listen for themselves.

Besides that what the hell if you aren't an audiophile, maybe you just want to have home theater and some background music. There's nothing wrong with that and you are just as welcome to talk set up, receivers or whatever, as anyone else. It's not worth getting upset about. If you want help with a system you just have to decide your budget and what exactly you want. If you want music playback and the best quality for $1k, you can get suggestions for that or if you want best options of HT receiver, that too. But if you ask for one thing when you really mean another, you can't get upset at us if you get the wrong answer.

I really consider myself an audiophile since childhood but it was probably not until the last 10 or so years that I was actually able to acquire what I consider high end gear. As a kid I collected records in elementary school. I only had a suit case looking record player. The passion was there though and never left. I was on a long road of receivers and speakers. I got a job at an audio store and employee purchase an elite Kenwood integrated and a pair of Infinity Kappa 7's. I had this system for years. Then when I had a bit more money, or better credit line, I really started a journey.

How's that for a post, that's what happens when you get up early and drink one cup of coffee too many :)

snodog
12-24-2007, 04:07 PM
Oh I wasn't upset at all friend, only too much of the holiday beverages talking. That was very well explained by the way, by all of you. I very much appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions (which are genuine). I understand where you are coming from. I am more passionate about art myself with music being secondary but usually present.

pixelthis
12-25-2007, 01:52 AM
If there are any "audiophiles" on this board its you, mr p.
My experience too has been long and hardfought.
My system is primarily HT, but I think that was a mistake. I miss the days when I had
a two channel system.
I am giving up the "track" for a new years resolution, so maybe I will try to put my 602's
into a modest integrated amp/CDPLAYER/ turntable, use the 305's for the HT,
get some cheapos for the back...
I too sit in the dark and play discs, I have to turn off my TV, and nothing has ever been more fun than a great sound stage spread across the room, with your favorite music
coming outta it.
That system will be "high end" to me

Mr Peabody
12-25-2007, 05:30 AM
There are integrated amps that offer a "theater bypass" that will allow you an input for the front main channels of you receiver's preamp outs. This will allow you the option of using the integrated to drive the mains and then you don't need to buy or use different speakers.

Another thing you might try is an external DAC for your changer and use the analog input of your receiver. This would give an improvement. You would have to do this anyway or include a better CD player with your integrated to gain a significant improvement.

Happy Holidays to all.

melvin walker
12-25-2007, 06:02 AM
In my opinion an audiophile is an audio hobbyist who searches for an audio system that
is as close to live music as possible. Powell Symphony Hall in St.Louis years ago would present a live vs recorded sound exhibit every other year until 1973.
The comparison exhibit was sponsored by Bozak speaker company with participation by Fisher and Scott.

Powell symphony hall has one of the finest acoustic environments in America. There is no need for speakers doing performances.
One of the exhibits used Bozak Concert Grand speakers tri-amped , Marantz 7C pre-amp , 6 model 9 power amps , Tandberg Model 6041X and Crown CX822 tape recorder.
First generation tapes were used.

There was also a similar live vs recorded exhibit held in Kansas City , Missouri. Not as well done as the one in St.Louis but close.
JBL Hartsfield speakers , McIntosh MC 22 pre-amp , two Mac 60's , Crown CX822 , Ampex PR-10 tape recorder.
JBL was one of the sponsors. I don't remember the place where it was held in Kansas City.

Chicago also held such exhibits, major audio manufactures were sponsors. Audiophiles would come from all over. .
That was before discount stores such as Best Buy , Pacific Stereo came into existence.
Audio was only sold by audio stores. Salesmen were generally audiophiles.
Yes times have changed.

snodog
12-25-2007, 08:38 AM
I have to say that as much as I would love to buy separate components (for the integrity of music) it may not be the best choice since I do use my system for such a variety of things. The time is equally spent from music listening to dish tv to ps3 game-play and movies. Music is second to none with you audiophiles. Any suggestions on systems that would work best AND if I did want separates are there any illustrated comprehensive guides on how to set up as I would have no clue. I did some looking on google and really couldn't find any.

blackraven
12-25-2007, 09:17 AM
Snodog, for what you want any of the Onkyo, Marantz, Yamaha or Denon sub $1,000 receivers will be just fine. One of the problems with this web site is that some people think that you can only get good sound from high priced equipment and that is not always the case. IMO, you can get very good sound with good speakers, CDP and just about any of the mid priced receivers. Certainly, high priced equipment will take it to the next level, but not every one is willing to spend that kind of money. It also depends on what type of music you listen to. I wouldnt waste my money on $10,000's of equipment if all I listened to was heavey metal music.

It's all a matter of perspective. There are audiophiles who have systems costing $20,000 or more and they might think a 10K system sucks.

melvin walker
12-25-2007, 09:24 AM
I have to say that as much as I would love to buy separate components (for the integrity of music) it may not be the best choice since I do use my system for such a variety of things. The time is equally spent from music listening to dish tv to ps3 game-play and movies. Music is second to none with you audiophiles. Any suggestions on systems that would work best AND if I did want separates are there any illustrated comprehensive guides on how to set up as I would have no clue. I did some looking on google and really couldn't find any.

Audiophiles are little different from car hobbyist. As a member of several car clubs , Porsche , Jaguar , BMW , Mercedes and Corvette car clubs. The aim of many car hobbyist is to acquire the finest automobile . cars of course are much more expensive.
Cars are not second but first interest. I have see members of the Porsche club treat their Carrera better than their wives.

I have had friends myself included who were car hobbyist as well as audio hobbyist.
There is no single car car that can solve all of one's driving needs ,ie separates.
Sport car , four door sedan , utility car , GT car and stationwagon.
Each one serving a different need.
No one would own only a Porsche Carrera or a 12 cylinder coupe.

The same can be said of audio , Pre-amp , power amp , tuner each serving a different purpose. The receiver is close ,but only close no matter how well built.
Is a Mercedes S series sedan the same , close , but only close. I hope you get my point.

snodog
12-25-2007, 10:53 AM
Yes Melvin, I do understand your point. I also know that I will probably never have the opportunity to drive much less own a Porsche. I suppose I will just stick within my means and buy the best I can for what I can afford.

frenchmon
12-25-2007, 12:38 PM
Wireworm, brings to mind a couple good thoughts. We all, or most, Bassite not included, started with receivers or modest beginnings and high end is foreign sounding until you learn what's what. I remember my first true high end experience was listening to a pair of $25k Dynaudio driven by a Krell amp that looked like a steam trunk. I come waltzing in with a Great White CD and have the guy playit. This probably gave him his first chuckle. I commented my Kenwood integrated and Kappa 7's had more midbass. This probably really got him rolling but he maintained himself and dropped in Paula Cole. When that first track hit the really low bass and the room shook, I felt the bass inside me, I about lost bowel control. So there is a learning curve.

Audiophile is a state of mind. I can sit and listen to music by myself in a dark room and everyone thinks I'm crazy. They say, "I can't just sit, I have to be doing something". Well doing something just makes the music background and it's not really being seriously listened to. I listen to more music than watch TV or movies. I believe these are traits of an audiophile.

Snodog, some wise person once said, "if you aren't prepared for the answer, then don't ask the question". I don't know who put the burr under your saddle but I didn't notice anyone saying you had to spend a certain amount of money to be an audiophile. The point is some gear is considered "high end" and some is not. If you are a doctor and you buy your system from Best Buy, you are either ignorant (not the same as stupid, just unlearned) or you are definitely not an audiophile. If you are a working stiff who has to buy a NAD integrated from Audiogon along with a decent set of speakers and you can't wait to tuck the kids in so you can play your new CD, then I think you are an audiophile. Like I said it's a frame of mind, a passion one has and this leads you to do the best you can with what you have. I have no respect for those who drive mega dollar cars and vacation out of the country yet have a HT receiver set up and want to come here and try to tell me things like cables don't matter or CD players sound the same. Along with labelling one's self an audiophile also comes a certain amount of knowledge and experience. This doesn't mean audiophiles will always agree and most of the time we don't. That's why people can ask advice all they want but in order to know for sure one has to try things and listen for themselves.

Besides that what the hell if you aren't an audiophile, maybe you just want to have home theater and some background music. There's nothing wrong with that and you are just as welcome to talk set up, receivers or whatever, as anyone else. It's not worth getting upset about. If you want help with a system you just have to decide your budget and what exactly you want. If you want music playback and the best quality for $1k, you can get suggestions for that or if you want best options of HT receiver, that too. But if you ask for one thing when you really mean another, you can't get upset at us if you get the wrong answer.

I really consider myself an audiophile since childhood but it was probably not until the last 10 or so years that I was actually able to acquire what I consider high end gear. As a kid I collected records in elementary school. I only had a suit case looking record player. The passion was there though and never left. I was on a long road of receivers and speakers. I got a job at an audio store and employee purchase an elite Kenwood integrated and a pair of Infinity Kappa 7's. I had this system for years. Then when I had a bit more money, or better credit line, I really started a journey.

How's that for a post, that's what happens when you get up early and drink one cup of coffee too many :)

And I loved that post Mr. Peabody! I agreed with everything you said. But next time you get that cup of coffee, you got listen to my girl Eliane Elias. She is just wonderful. I think Diana Krall wants to be her when she grows up.

Just a note here to tell you I miss my home town St.Louis. I've been here in Durham NC for 8 years now and want to come home. I remember the days I use to go over to "Music For Pleasure" and look at geer and listen to music. Do you know if they are still around?

frenchmon

frenchmon
12-25-2007, 12:51 PM
If there are any "audiophiles" on this board its you, mr p.
My experience too has been long and hardfought.
My system is primarily HT, but I think that was a mistake. I miss the days when I had
a two channel system.
I am giving up the "track" for a new years resolution, so maybe I will try to put my 602's
into a modest integrated amp/CDPLAYER/ turntable, use the 305's for the HT,
get some cheapos for the back...
I too sit in the dark and play discs, I have to turn off my TV, and nothing has ever been more fun than a great sound stage spread across the room, with your favorite music
coming outta it.
That system will be "high end" to me

Yeah Mr Peabody and Pixelthis. I too remember way back then in the 70's and 80's I would get wasted on boos and drugs and lsiten to my music. I had a big old Tashiba reciever driving some Radio Shack Speakers. I also had a Reel To Reel...I thinik it was a Pioneer. I would listen in the dark for hours. Now fast forward I have not drank and did drugs sense the late 80's and I still listen at night to two channel music, and sober at that. My wife thinks I'm wierd. But its a great excape for me. Nothing sooths me more that a good piece...music that is. All alone by my lonesome.

If you guy's don't have your own space away from life where its just you and your audio girlfriend, that is your two channel rigg, and your collection of music all alone in the dark with your imagination, Then you should seriously think about it. Tell the wifey and kids that this is your man cave and to stay away. It will do wonders for you.

frenchmon

frenchmon
12-25-2007, 12:59 PM
In my opinion an audiophile is an audio hobbyist who searches for an audio system that
is as close to live music as possible. Powell Symphony Hall in St.Louis years ago would present a live vs recorded sound exhibit every other year until 1973.
The comparison exhibit was sponsored by Bozak speaker company with participation by Fisher and Scott.

Powell symphony hall has one of the finest acoustic environments in America. There is no need for speakers doing performances.
One of the exhibits used Bozak Concert Grand speakers tri-amped , Marantz 7C pre-amp , 6 model 9 power amps , Tandberg Model 6041X and Crown CX822 tape recorder.
First generation tapes were used.

There was also a similar live vs recorded exhibit held in Kansas City , Missouri. Not as well done as the one in St.Louis but close.
JBL Hartsfield speakers , McIntosh MC 22 pre-amp , two Mac 60's , Crown CX822 , Ampex PR-10 tape recorder.
JBL was one of the sponsors. I don't remember the place where it was held in Kansas City.

Chicago also held such exhibits, major audio manufactures were sponsors. Audiophiles would come from all over. .
That was before discount stores such as Best Buy , Pacific Stereo came into existence.
Audio was only sold by audio stores. Salesmen were generally audiophiles.
Yes times have changed.


Oh how I miss the Midwest . St.Louis....Kansas City....Chicago... Maulls BBQ ...Tosted Ravioli...The Hill, Forest Park, Central West End.


Oh I miss St. Louis.


frenchmon

Mr Peabody
12-25-2007, 03:10 PM
Music For Pleasure is still here. They recently moved about a block down into a new building. They have several rooms and they set them up like living rooms and put different systems in each one. I really don't think any of the new rooms sound as good as the one main room in the old building though. The wooden flooring sometimes resonated on large systems but it was a large room with a higher ceiling and some of the big Dyn's really shined in there.

Snodog I don't remember if I posted this here already or not but www.crutchfield.com has several receivers to compare features and price, they have "how to" articles that are pretty good for basic information. As far as hook up you only have your owners manual and us. Crutchfield usually sends out some basic setup guides too if you purchase from them and also offer lifetime tech (set up) support as long as you own the piece. This may be something to think about. Keep in mind the "auto speaker set up" feature when looking at receivers.

If you did consider separates which would go beyond your budget, look at the NAD T175. This is a totally up to date preamp processor, it alone will set you back about $1,800.00 if msrp of $1,999.00. This unit has a tuner but you will need a separate multichannel amp. A multichannel amp is usually a fairly safe item to buy used from Audiogon. Or, you could buy the cheap power amp from Outlaw to pair with the more updated T175.

melvin walker
12-25-2007, 03:31 PM
The difference between high end 35 years ago and today is cost. Before 1970 one could buy a complete hi-end audio system for about $1000. HI-FI Stereo Review tested systems in that price range , it included Marantz , McIntosh , Fisher , Scott , and Harman-Kardon Citation amps and pre-amp all separates , Speakers were AR , Bozak , Altec Lansing , KLH , Electro-Voice speakers , Empire , Thorens , Rek-O- Kut , Fairchild , and Garrad manual TT with arms and cartridges. Any combination for around $1000.

The same difference is in cars , example a 1970 Porsche 911E sold for $ 6000 , a Jaguar
XKE roaster $6000 , Mercedes SL $7000 and a Chevrolet Corvette around $6000.
In both high end cars and audio the average American could afford these cars and audio gear. Not today !

What we have done is lowered our expectations because of cost. The highest priced speaker in 1970 was the JBL Paragon $2600.
A Rolex Datejust sold for $400 in 1970 today the same watch is over $6000.
Young people today can generally only dream of high-end audio and cars. I was 24 when I bought my first high end audio system. I spent about $1200 it was a blast.
Today a similar high end system would cost over $10,000.
How times have changed.

Mr Peabody
12-25-2007, 07:04 PM
I think $1k was pretty hard to come by in 1970. I wonder with inflation and cost of living if the ratio is all that different compared to today. I believe gas was 35 cents a gallon then.

I think my Sansui AU-9500 from that era cost around $600.00 ro $700.00 new. I was very impressed at how well it sounded and it could hold it's own today against some pretty expensive units. I also had a Yamaha from that decade that was similar in price that was just shameful in comparison, sound wasn't nearly as good and build quality was not as substantial.

I didn't know Electro Voice made home speakers. I'd love to hear a pair. Years ago I almost bought a pair of there Pro speakers for home use. They were a 15" 2-way, I think 1503's. They sounded incredible, at least to my ears then. I couldn't get my wife to warm up to the idea of having the carpeted road cabinet look in our living room though. So I opted for the Infinity Kappa 7's which I employee purchased from the factory. When I moved on to another occupation it was hard getting used to paying retail again. EV sure had some great sounding mid/high horns. I'd imagine their home speakers were very good. Speakers from the 70's were quite different from today as well. I remember hearing a pair of Altec that were probably the size of a small chest freezer. Then it was big cabinets and big woofers.

snodog
12-25-2007, 07:04 PM
Thanks again Mr P for the info. I think that is well beyond my resources for price but I will keep them in mind and you never know I could sell my artwork for a nice price in the future!

One thing to keep in mind also Melvin, that was probably also back when cost to manufacture was higher vs lower like today. I am not certain but did companies then ship to china and malaysia and such for dirt cheap labor? Granted, the wages were much lower then as well. Maybe I am wrong but wouldnt it still cost less today to produce a piece of equimpment by sending it overseas? You always hear about the phillipino or whomever making several dollars a week and he could well be assembling Denon receivers that we would be charged $1000 for...

Rock&Roll Ninja
12-25-2007, 07:14 PM
Horrible: a Ferrari costs about as much as a small house ($200,000 - 500,000)

Really horrible: a small house costs $200,000 - 500,000 ( a 1200' starter home shouldn't cost a quarter million dollars).


back on topic: an AVR must first meet all your hook-up requirements. That McIntosh pre-amp isn't worth much if you can't hook all your gear into it.

And an audiophile is anyone who can sit still and actively listen to music. Gear is irrelevant, although they tend to upgrade as soon as they hear what they're missing. I was perfectly happy with listening to the symphony on a JVC boombox until I heard the same CD on somebodys "real speakers".

Really, imagine the millions of Americans who only know audio equipment for what they sell at Wal*Mart (its not like they show TV commercials for Paradigm or B&W). Most people just don't know that can or should buy speakers that don't come permenantly attached to a CD player/FM radio.

melvin walker
12-25-2007, 09:01 PM
I think $1k was pretty hard to come by in 1970. I wonder with inflation and cost of living if the ratio is all that different compared to today. I believe gas was 35 cents a gallon then.

I think my Sansui AU-9500 from that era cost around $600.00 ro $700.00 new. I was very impressed at how well it sounded and it could hold it's own today against some pretty expensive units. I also had a Yamaha from that decade that was similar in price that was just shameful in comparison, sound wasn't nearly as good and build quality was not as substantial.

I didn't know Electro Voice made home speakers. I'd love to hear a pair. Years ago I almost bought a pair of there Pro speakers for home use. They were a 15" 2-way, I think 1503's. They sounded incredible, at least to my ears then. I couldn't get my wife to warm up to the idea of having the carpeted road cabinet look in our living room though. So I opted for the Infinity Kappa 7's which I employee purchased from the factory. When I moved on to another occupation it was hard getting used to paying retail again. EV sure had some great sounding mid/high horns. I'd imagine their home speakers were very good. Speakers from the 70's were quite different from today as well. I remember hearing a pair of Altec that were probably the size of a small chest freezer. Then it was big cabinets and big woofers.

Electro-Voice made some of the finest speakers of that era. One the Electro-Voice Patrician was a 4 way speaker system using a 30inch woofer. The Earlier Patricians used a front loaded horn. These speakers today are very expensive.

$1000 was not that hard to come by in 1970. Killer inflation came about doing the Carter presidency. in the late 70's. Speakers were different in the post 70's due to the change in musical taste. Rock played a major role in the decline of high end audio speakers.

melvin walker
12-26-2007, 03:50 AM
Thanks again Mr P for the info. I think that is well beyond my resources for price but I will keep them in mind and you never know I could sell my artwork for a nice price in the future!

One thing to keep in mind also Melvin, that was probably also back when cost to manufacture was higher vs lower like today. I am not certain but did companies then ship to china and malaysia and such for dirt cheap labor? Granted, the wages were much lower then as well. Maybe I am wrong but wouldnt it still cost less today to produce a piece of equimpment by sending it overseas? You always hear about the phillipino or whomever making several dollars a week and he could well be assembling Denon receivers that we would be charged $1000 for...

The major difference was inflation. Salaries did not keep up with inflation. Yes it does cost more to produce a product in America than in China , with labor the main reason.
Also the value of the dollar which as had its up and downs , one of the main reasons the cost of European goods are so expensive.

All of these problems with awareness happen after 1970. Audio was no different , prices of audio equipment sky rocketed upwards after 1970. Audio also suffered with the popularity
of video beginning in the 90's. There are other reasons to many to list here.
The mid range audio equipment is much better today than pre 1970's. But than so is the high end. Example a Porsche Carrera is a better car today than pre 1970's but it cost ten times more ! So does a McIntosh pre amp.

basite
12-26-2007, 04:08 AM
The difference between high end 35 years ago and today is cost. Before 1970 one could buy a complete hi-end audio system for about $1000. HI-FI Stereo Review tested systems in that price range , it included Marantz , McIntosh , Fisher , Scott , and Harman-Kardon Citation amps and pre-amp all separates , Speakers were AR , Bozak , Altec Lansing , KLH , Electro-Voice speakers , Empire , Thorens , Rek-O- Kut , Fairchild , and Garrad manual TT with arms and cartridges. Any combination for around $1000.

The same difference is in cars , example a 1970 Porsche 911E sold for $ 6000 , a Jaguar
XKE roaster $6000 , Mercedes SL $7000 and a Chevrolet Corvette around $6000.
In both high end cars and audio the average American could afford these cars and audio gear. Not today !

What we have done is lowered our expectations because of cost. The highest priced speaker in 1970 was the JBL Paragon $2600.
A Rolex Datejust sold for $400 in 1970 today the same watch is over $6000.
Young people today can generally only dream of high-end audio and cars. I was 24 when I bought my first high end audio system. I spent about $1200 it was a blast.
Today a similar high end system would cost over $10,000.
How times have changed.

these times, everyone could afford a 6k car. because you earn more than you used to earn (because of inflation and stuff)...

and you forgot that.
How much did you earn in the 70's? well, whatever it was, it was way less than someone today doing the same job.

Back then 6k was alot.

Keep them spinning,
Bert.

Mr Peabody
12-26-2007, 06:41 AM
Melvin your statements on Rock & Roll reminds me of this old guy who used to be my neighbor years ago, we'd be in a conversation about something and he'd blame a change or down turn on the Beatles. "Yeah, that all came about when those Beatles came over here". Or, "if it wasn't for those Beatles". :) He was a good guy, it just tickled me that everything was caused by the Beatles. I'd think that a speaker with a 30" woofer and as sensitive as EV probably was would be a Rock-n-Roller's dream. I think if EV was around today with those speakers Klipsch would be hurting if not out of business. The EV gear I've heard from the Pro side was very superior in sound to what Klipsch offers.

Some of the States prominent manufacturer's aren't even American anymore. Mac was bought by the company who owns Clarion years ago. I don't know if it's still built here or if that company still has them. Levinson was sold to Harmon. I heard that Klipsch was even sold. I'm sure there are others we can add but I can't think of them right now.

You are right though that there have been several things to change the market and the way gear is marketed and the impression of consumers. The use of the IC chip was huge. Home Theater definitely changing things forever. For speakers it was probably the gravitation of manufacturers to stop using paper cones in favor of new "space age" materials. I'm not sure why they went from larger woofers to a concensus of some kind of 6 1/2" driver configuration. Some how I doubt if it was do to R&R :) That change took me a long time to convert to. I've been told that 6 1/2 drivers are faster and able to give a better bass response. It wasn't until hearing Dynaudio that I was fully convinced this could happen. When selling a product I guess if you want to stay in business you have to change with the times. You will notice though that most "high end" companies are slow to adopt new technology or features until they are fully proven in the market. Hence, no high end name on the front of a Blu-ray or HD-DVD player yet. Some one asked about the 1.3 HDMI, I'm not sure if that's been added to high end processors yet. When you put out a product costing in the thousands rather than hundreds there isn't room for mistakes if you plan to stay in business long. I'm may be bucking change again but I'm not a big fan of the universal player. This is another trend that caught on big. To my knowledge Krell hasn't offered a dedicated CD player since my 280cd was discontinued.

E-Stat
12-26-2007, 06:46 AM
Audio was no different , prices of audio equipment sky rocketed upwards after 1970.
True, but companies like Audio Research and Mark Levinson raised the bar in the quality of the components used (and ultimately, the sound quality). They were among the first to use polyprop caps, glass epoxy boards, etc.


The mid range audio equipment is much better today than pre 1970's. But than so is the high end. Example a Porsche Carrera is a better car today than pre 1970's but it cost ten times more !
I look at this positive side. Entry level Honda Civics perform more like 60s exotics. Cornering capability in the 0.85 range and 0-60 in 7 second range can easily be found. While it's true there are some astronomically priced audio components, one can get a great sounding two channel system for $1200.

rw

frenchmon
12-26-2007, 07:09 AM
Music For Pleasure is still here. They recently moved about a block down into a new building. They have several rooms and they set them up like living rooms and put different systems in each one. I really don't think any of the new rooms sound as good as the one main room in the old building though. The wooden flooring sometimes resonated on large systems but it was a large room with a higher ceiling and some of the big Dyn's really shined in there.

I loved Music For Pleasure.

How about "Hi FI FO FUM" ?

I remember back in the 80's they had Snell Acustics Speaker and Luxman amps and recievers. Are they still around? IF so do they still have quality geer? Or have they gone the road to home theater?

frenchmon

emaidel
12-26-2007, 07:40 AM
In the 60's (and, likely during other decades) the price of a car was generally about 1/3 that of one's annual salary. I was earning a whopping $10,000 in '68, and purchased a new Mustang for $3,200. That was about the same as a TOTL Ford 4-door sedan and was slightly more than 1/3 that of my salary.

In the late 90's, when my income was over six figures, a pretty decent new car could be had for around $32,000.

A Marantz 18 receiver in '68 cost $695, and was, at least in my opinion, the best available anywhere at the time. I haven't shopped for receivers for ages, but using the same analogy with salaries and car prices being 10 times what they were then, I believe it's certainly fair to state that one can get a helluva good piece of audio gear today for $6,950.

markw
12-26-2007, 07:52 AM
$1000 was not that hard to come by in 1970.http://kclibrary.nhmccd.edu/decade70.htmlThe average annual income in 1970 was around $7500 and you're suggesting that 13% of that was "not hard to come by"?

Maybe a few privileged ones didn't have a problem with that, but many that were still in school and/or had families to raise might not have been.

But hey, let 'em eat cake, right?

Mr Peabody
12-26-2007, 07:54 AM
Hi Fi Fo Fum is still around but don't carry Snell anymore. They are the Mac dealer, picked up Anthem and Paradigm. I think their bread and butter is home theater and car audio. I haven't been there in awhile, the last time I was there they only had a small showing of Mac.

Best Sound is still here but I think they are struggling. They have ARC, Classe, Rotel, Denon and B&W.

The Sound Room picked up Rotel and B&W as well. It seems like everyone has Denon. The Sound Room does Lexicon. They aren't really high end, they just have an advertising budget and located in the area where the money is at. They supposedly have Levinson but I don't think really stock much. The story is a customer came in with money and only wanted Levinson and they picked up the line to make the sale. MFP tried to show the same customer Krell but they were hard core Levinson and wasn't about to switch. MFP wasn't going to pick up another line for one sale.

The engineer and owner of Clayton Audio is still in the area. I wanted to check out some of his gear way back when I was searching for some high end gear but it was just too expensive. MFP usually keeps one of his systems on hand. They don't do much with Linn anymore and dropped Merridian. Other than Krell they now carry T+A, Arcam, and NAD. They also carry Marantz receivers for the budget HT set up. They carry about every series of Dynaudio and recently brought in FoCal. They were carrying Acoustic Energy for quality budget but I'm not sure what they do in that price now.

Mr Peabody
12-26-2007, 08:01 AM
Man, what I could do to an audio system with a 6 figure income.

GMichael
12-26-2007, 08:24 AM
There is no "line" between mid level and hi end. It's more of a fuzzy grey area that switches back and forth depending on who you are, what you can afford and what means the most to you. Sorry if this answer doesn't help much, but it's the the closest one to being correct.
There are some very nice receivers out there for around $500 IMO.
There are others out there who wouldn't see any receiver out there as hi end, even if it cost $5k. You'll have to make up your own mind as to who is right.

melvin walker
12-26-2007, 08:37 AM
True, but companies like Audio Research and Mark Levinson raised the bar in the quality of the components used (and ultimately, the sound quality). They were among the first to use polyprop caps, glass epoxy boards, etc.


I look at this positive side. Entry level Honda Civics perform more like 60s exotics. Cornering capability in the 0.85 range and 0-60 in 7 second range can easily be found. While it's true there are some astronomically priced audio components, one can get a great sounding two channel system for $1200.

rw To compare a Honda Civic to a Porsche is no different than comparing a Timex to a Rolex. The Timex may keep better time but that is where the comparison ends. At speeds exceeding 150 miles an hour the Honda , well lets just say they are cars designed for a different market.

You are correct Audio Research and Mark Levinson set new standards in Amplification.
When the Audio Research was introduced in the early 70's the price was two to three times greater than the amps they replaced. Workers incomes had not increased two are three times. Hi-end audio became more the equipment of the well heeled not the average
working man , as did high -end cars.

melvin walker
12-26-2007, 08:56 AM
Melvin your statements on Rock & Roll reminds me of this old guy who used to be my neighbor years ago, we'd be in a conversation about something and he'd blame a change or down turn on the Beatles. "Yeah, that all came about when those Beatles came over here". Or, "if it wasn't for those Beatles". :) He was a good guy, it just tickled me that everything was caused by the Beatles. I'd think that a speaker with a 30" woofer and as sensitive as EV probably was would be a Rock-n-Roller's dream. I think if EV was around today with those speakers Klipsch would be hurting if not out of business. The EV gear I've heard from the Pro side was very superior in sound to what Klipsch offers.

Some of the States prominent manufacturer's aren't even American anymore. Mac was bought by the company who owns Clarion years ago. I don't know if it's still built here or if that company still has them. Levinson was sold to Harmon. I heard that Klipsch was even sold. I'm sure there are others we can add but I can't think of them right now.

You are right though that there have been several things to change the market and the way gear is marketed and the impression of consumers. The use of the IC chip was huge. Home Theater definitely changing things forever. For speakers it was probably the gravitation of manufacturers to stop using paper cones in favor of new "space age" materials. I'm not sure why they went from larger woofers to a concensus of some kind of 6 1/2" driver configuration. Some how I doubt if it was do to R&R :) That change took me a long time to convert to. I've been told that 6 1/2 drivers are faster and able to give a better bass response. It wasn't until hearing Dynaudio that I was fully convinced this could happen. When selling a product I guess if you want to stay in business you have to change with the times. You will notice though that most "high end" companies are slow to adopt new technology or features until they are fully proven in the market. Hence, no high end name on the front of a Blu-ray or HD-DVD player yet. Some one asked about the 1.3 HDMI, I'm not sure if that's been added to high end processors yet. When you put out a product costing in the thousands rather than hundreds there isn't room for mistakes if you plan to stay in business long. I'm may be bucking change again but I'm not a big fan of the universal player. This is another trend that caught on big. To my knowledge Krell hasn't offered a dedicated CD player since my 280cd was discontinued.

The early EV Patricians used the licensed Klipsch horns for their enclosures. KV later went to the 30 inch woofer and discontinued the front loaded horn because of the problems in building front loaded horns. Many large KV speakers were kits.

As for as the old gentleman is concerned there is some merit in what he said. It is very difficult to compare the Beatles to Sinatra or Rogers and Hart. Music has changed it is much louder today than in the Gershwin era. Lyrics are not as important and the melody
in many of today's music does not exist. How can you hum or whistle today's music ?

The cost of building an EV Patrician would be prohibitive today , that also includes speakers such as Bozak's Concert Grands etc. I might add the music is so different we listen less today to detail and more to the beat. Jazz is not as popular as it once was that also includes classical music. The earlier speakers were designed for a different type of music.
A counterpoint.

frenchmon
12-26-2007, 10:54 AM
Hi Fi Fo Fum is still around but don't carry Snell anymore. They are the Mac dealer, picked up Anthem and Paradigm. I think their bread and butter is home theater and car audio. I haven't been there in awhile, the last time I was there they only had a small showing of Mac

I remember they use to do a lots of Alpine back then


Best Sound is still here but I think they are struggling. They have ARC, Classe, Rotel, Denon and B&W.

I think I remember them, they where on Lindburg, I think.


The Sound Room picked up Rotel and B&W as well. It seems like everyone has Denon. The Sound Room does Lexicon. They aren't really high end, they just have an advertising budget and located in the area where the money is at. They supposedly have Levinson but I don't think really stock much. The story is a customer came in with money and only wanted Levinson and they picked up the line to make the sale. MFP tried to show the same customer Krell but they were hard core Levinson and wasn't about to switch. MFP wasn't going to pick up another line for one sale.

Wow! It cost money to pick up a line of gear. Must have been worth the cost. Denon has the name and reputation now. I though the sound room did Onkyo and Klipsh. Yes you are correct, they are not high end.


The engineer and owner of Clayton Audio is still in the area. I wanted to check out some of his gear way back when I was searching for some high end gear but it was just too expensive. MFP usually keeps one of his systems on hand. They don't do much with Linn anymore and dropped Merridian. Other than Krell they now carry T+A, Arcam, and NAD. They also carry Marantz receivers for the budget HT set up. They carry about every series of Dynaudio and recently brought in FoCal. They were carrying Acoustic Energy for quality budget but I'm not sure what they do in that price now.

Kinda sounds like the high end market is drying up around the big STL?

Thanks for the heads up!

frenchmon

melvin walker
12-26-2007, 11:44 AM
I remember they use to do a lots of Alpine back then



I think I remember them, they where on Lindburg, I think.



Wow! It cost money to pick up a line of gear. Must have been worth the cost. Denon has the name and reputation now. I though the sound room did Onkyo and Klipsh. Yes you are correct, they are not high end.



Kinda sounds like the high end market is drying up around the big STL?

Thanks for the heads up!

frenchmonSt.Louis has lost most it's audio high end stores. At one time there was a dozen high end audio stores in the St. Louis metro area. The ones you listed are all new, Most enterning the St.Louis market after 1980.

Best Sound's owner once was a salesman at High Fi West , Les Marcus.
Gordon Sound Co's owner was a Bozak rep. Located on Hampton. He was the one who help set up the live vs recorded sound at Powell Symphony Hall.
Hi-fi- fo Fum is a recent arrival to St.Louis from Milwaukee. Aeolian Piano Co. was the oldest audio high end store in St. Louis. Aeolian featured Bozak ,and Stephens speakers. and was also a Fisher Radio distributor.

High Fi West was a McIntosh distributor owned by Harvey Bender. Times have changed , not only in St.Louis but through-out the country.
St.Louis Audio located on Lindbergh and Clayton road was the last really high end audio shop in St.Louis they closed several years ago. They sold Audio Research , Mc.Intosh ,
Levinson and was the last St.Louis store to sell Bozak speakers.
-

FloridaGator7
12-26-2007, 11:47 AM
Hey, I recently bought a Pioneer VSX-517K which has a sub pre-out. But my current sub woofer only has the +/- connections. So how can I connect the two, if possible?

GMichael
12-26-2007, 12:04 PM
Hey, I recently bought a Pioneer VSX-517K which has a sub pre-out. But my current sub woofer only has the +/- connections. So how can I connect the two, if possible?

Welcome to AR,

You can connect your speaker wires from your receiver to the inputs of the sub. Then connect speaker wires from the output of the sub to your speakers. Be sure to match up all the + & -'s.

This was an easy question, but it would be better for you to start new threads for anymore questions you have. You just go to the area of interest (speakers in this case) and click on the new threat button. Put in a title and ask away.

Mike

snodog
12-26-2007, 12:42 PM
Well sad to say I don't know how long I can stand this problem with my receiver not producing sound on one of the main speakers so I am going to delay any hope of getting something high end like separate components (I think we defined that) and will just go with a midrange AV theater receiver like originally thought. I don't like the idea of only two channel systems and prefer the 6 channel surround. I will probably get the Onkyo 705 on account of being very current with technology. 7.1 dolby true hd and dts with 1.3 hdmi inputs and such. I wonder if they will be coming out with hd audio cds sometime, maybe they would catch on better now with the hd video flooding the market better than the super audios ever really had the chance to.

GMichael
12-26-2007, 01:09 PM
Don't be too sad. I think you're going to like this fine piece of equipment.

Just because a bunch of nuts who sit around all day talking about audio don't feel that a receiver is "hi-end" for them, doesn't mean that you won't still end up with the nicest stereo on your block. (ramble over)

snodog
12-26-2007, 01:56 PM
Lol, thanks. We call them nuts now, someday we too may be reclined in a Lazy boy listening to Nelson's nasally voice singing blue eyes crying in the rain, and sounding so real one can almost smell the soft burning trail of a marijuana cigarette drift hazily by.

I am not sad, I would love to own a very nice set up lone day ike some of these nice gentlemen have.

GMichael
12-26-2007, 02:03 PM
Lol, thanks. We call them nuts now, someday we too may be reclined in a Lazy boy listening to Nelson's nasally voice singing blue eyes crying in the rain, and sounding so real one can almost smell the soft burning trail of a marijuana cigarette drift hazily by.

I am not sad, I would love to own a very nice set up lone day ike some of these nice gentlemen have.


Me2.

You have a wondering L. It got ahead of itself.

Mr Peabody
12-26-2007, 02:09 PM
Melvin, I knew Les, on a customer relationship. I don't know if he sold the store but he no longer works there. He was a staple around the place for years.

I thought St. Louis Audio became Music For Pleasure but I could be wrong about that. I'll have to ask them next time I call or go in.

There was a store called Flip's on Watson who carried Klipsch, Levinson, Maggies & Vandersteen, Adcom, Acurus, Aragon. It's funny the guy who owned the store builds tube gear but they really never carried much tube gear in the store. I think a bit of Golden Tube. They went under a few years back.

melvin walker
12-26-2007, 04:23 PM
Melvin, I knew Les, on a customer relationship. I don't know if he sold the store but he no longer works there. He was a staple around the place for years.

I thought St. Louis Audio became Music For Pleasure but I could be wrong about that. I'll have to ask them next time I call or go in.

There was a store called Flip's on Watson who carried Klipsch, Levinson, Maggies & Vandersteen, Adcom, Acurus, Aragon. It's funny the guy who owned the store builds tube gear but they really never carried much tube gear in the store. I think a bit of Golden Tube. They went under a few years back.

I knew Flip , Les at one time owned the store. I knew him when he was a salesman at High Fi West. Many of the really dedicated audiophiles have passed away in St.Louis. Bob shaw and Lloyd Smith had the best stereo systems in the state of Missouri. Both of their system were featured in Hi-Fi -Stereo Review. Mr. Shaw was an engineer and a Bozak rep. and Lloyd Smith played with Count Basie and part time with the St.Louis Symphony. Lloyd had one of the largest jazz collection in St.Louis.

melvin walker
12-26-2007, 04:55 PM
Lol, thanks. We call them nuts now, someday we too may be reclined in a Lazy boy listening to Nelson's nasally voice singing blue eyes crying in the rain, and sounding so real one can almost smell the soft burning trail of a marijuana cigarette drift hazily by.

I am not sad, I would love to own a very nice set up lone day ike some of these nice gentlemen have.

I don't know who we are but I never knew an audiophile who bragged about doing drugs , nor did I know one who did drugs.
Audiophiles are simply audio hobbyist , unlike car hobbist there are no national audio clubs ,such as the Porsche club of North America. The largest sports car club in America. Yes they sit around and discuss Porsche motor cars , so do other car club members.

In the St. Louis area audiophiles would meet at one of the audio stores and sit around and discuss audio. They loved their stereo systems as car hobbyist loved their cars.
The major difference was that one had to own a Porsche are one could not join the club.
Audio hobbyist was much more liberal, anyone could come in and discuss their stereo systems , regardless of the systems cost. Not so with auto clubs, a Porsche owner has no interest in anyone that owns anything less than a high performance sports car. Japanese cars and American cars need not apply. That includes Corvettes.

BMW , Mercedes , Ferrari , Jaguar owners might attend but none of the unwashed.
Marantz or any Japanese audo equipment., would be considered the unwashed. But here we can agree to disgree , we are all equal regardless of our audio systems cost.
When I was a member of the Mercedes car club we would remark that if a Mercedes cost
$ 60,000 , you paid $40,000 for the car and $20,000 for the star. Image is everything.

snodog
12-26-2007, 10:39 PM
I believe you misunderstood what I was trying to say Melvin, a sound system so realistic it can bring things to life...? Meaning Willie Nelson smokes weed, no implications of you doing so. Could be you were caught up in being sure you informed us of your prestigious car club memberships as well. Image isn't all that impressive when someone has the means and resources to do so. It is pretty simple, If I was a millionaire I would have a better sound system and house and car and blah blah.

pixelthis
12-27-2007, 02:04 AM
Well sad to say I don't know how long I can stand this problem with my receiver not producing sound on one of the main speakers so I am going to delay any hope of getting something high end like separate components (I think we defined that) and will just go with a midrange AV theater receiver like originally thought. I don't like the idea of only two channel systems and prefer the 6 channel surround. I will probably get the Onkyo 705 on account of being very current with technology. 7.1 dolby true hd and dts with 1.3 hdmi inputs and such. I wonder if they will be coming out with hd audio cds sometime, maybe they would catch on better now with the hd video flooding the market better than the super audios ever really had the chance to.

sacd will probably be the HD cd, if it surrives.
And if you're thinking about Onkyo, then you might want to consider Integra, their lexus brand. They are basically onkyo with a few improvements.
Even tho I dont consider any reciever really "high end" my integra sounds really nice,
with 192k dacs (i think) and great HT performance as well.
And Mr p, as for shrinking woofers, this comes from the advent of the sub.
"woofers" in speakers now only go down to around 50hz or so, a seperate sub is supposed to take up the slack.
The original idea was that bass coming out of the speaker muddied the midrange somehow, with a seperate sub you get better midrange, THAT is the theory anyway.
And a friends father has an old pair of electrovoice, they sound pretty good, but I think they are about as old as I am!!

melvin walker
12-27-2007, 05:35 AM
sacd will probably be the HD cd, if it surrives.
And if you're thinking about Onkyo, then you might want to consider Integra, their lexus brand. They are basically onkyo with a few improvements.
Even tho I dont consider any reciever really "high end" my integra sounds really nice,
with 192k dacs (i think) and great HT performance as well.
And Mr p, as for shrinking woofers, this comes from the advent of the sub.
"woofers" in speakers now only go down to around 50hz or so, a seperate sub is supposed to take up the slack.
The original idea was that bass coming out of the speaker muddied the midrange somehow, with a seperate sub you get better midrange, THAT is the theory anyway.
And a friends father has an old pair of electrovoice, they sound pretty good, but I think they are about as old as I am!!

Woofers with the proper enclosure should be able to reach 30 Hertz without much difficulty. They need not be large example , AR3a. Sub woofers are amplified base speakers. When another piece of equipment is added to an audio system it increases noise and other unwanted hormonics.

The ideal speaker system would be one speaker able to produce the entire spectrum
without crossovers, mid and high end speakers. So far that is not possible.
Example the fewer controls a pre-amp has the cleaner the sound. Very high end pre-amps usually limit the number of controls.

EV was unable to make the transition from large speakers to smaller speakers with the introduction of stereo. The big horn , bass reflex's and infinite baffle speakers produced clean bass down to 30 hertz and less. But it took two and few people had the space for two large speakers.
Speakers such as KLH and AR was able to produce excellent excellent base without the size. But the problem was these speakers required amphliers with clean big watts.
Many receivers was unable to do this.

With the decline of jazz , classical and the change from artist using orchestras such as Sinatra etc, there was no longer a need for clean non amplified bass.
Music had changed and so had audio equipment. Those who had the means could still afford the big systems , but those systems are now out of the reach of most listeners.
Excellent audio has been replaced today with video , ie, surround sound where audio is no longer as important as video , example plasma , LCD , HD , etc.

The baby grand pianos , the large grandfather clocks , the big audio systems etc, are reserved for those who have the means.
We can wait around and hope but the days of the big audio systems producing detailed
sound of a large symphony orchestra has passed .

melvin walker
12-27-2007, 06:05 AM
I believe you misunderstood what I was trying to say Melvin, a sound system so realistic it can bring things to life...? Meaning Willie Nelson smokes weed, no implications of you doing so. Could be you were caught up in being sure you informed us of your prestigious car club memberships as well. Image isn't all that impressive when someone has the means and resources to do so. It is pretty simple, If I was a millionaire I would have a better sound system and house and car and blah blah.

Cars have generally been used in comparison with audio. Car hobbyist have much in common with audio hobbyist. The difference as posted earlier is that there are car clubs ,
there are no audio clubs.

As in most consumer items the high end whether clothing , audio , cars , housing , etc, is no longer available to the average worker. Not so 20 years ago. I used cars as an example because everyone generally owns a car and can understand the costs differences between a S series Mercedes and a Toyota. Is there any difference in the ownership of a Conrad Johnson or Audio Research amplifier with a Marantz Reciever ?

Most but not all buy high end items for image. What's the point of having the means if no one knows it ? Why would a women pay $10,000 for a Hermes purse ? or a man $15.000
for a Patek Philippe watch if not for image ? Is owning a Mark Levinson $8,000 mono
power amp any different. Stereo $16,000.

E-Stat
12-27-2007, 06:36 AM
sacd will probably be the HD cd, if it surrives.
It already is.


...as for shrinking woofers, this comes from the advent of the sub.
I think it has more to do with WAF and the rise of HT. Even large Revel models that do first octave bass employ an array of small woofers and have a narrow cabinet.


The original idea was that bass coming out of the speaker muddied the midrange somehow, with a seperate sub you get better midrange, THAT is the theory anyway.
Interesting. Never heard that theory advanced.

rw

basite
12-27-2007, 06:43 AM
Most but not all buy high end items for image. What's the point of having the means if no one knows it ? Why would a women pay $10,000 for a Hermes purse ? or a man $15.000
for a Patek Philippe watch if not for image ? Is owning a Mark Levinson $8,000 mono
power amp any different. Stereo $16,000.

maybe because it's their hobby to collect expensive watches?

btw, fact is that if you bought a 8k ML monoblock, and an exotic system overall, most of the people won't even notice, they'd rather be impressed by the most expensive Bose system.
Why? because bose is a name everyone knows, and it's expensive.
you don't really have to buy expensive audio gear just for your image...

right now, I'm testing/auditioning various interconnects, prices vary between €200 and €400 for 0.5 metres, do you think anyone else would notice the cables? no. And if they'd noticed, they wouldn't care.

Keep them spinning,
Bert.

E-Stat
12-27-2007, 06:47 AM
Is owning a Mark Levinson $8,000 mono
power amp any different..
I think so for a reason you previously mentioned. How many folks really understand the investment represented by kilobuck amplifiers? Two percent of the population? One? Prestige items require recognition for them to "work". Other than three audio reviewer friends, no one who has ever seen my MB-450s has any idea what they are much less what they cost. Which is fine by me. ;)

I think watches are a bit different, although extreme cases like Patek Philipe don't apply to my theory. I appreciate fine machinery. I had an Omega Flightmaster back in the 70s when it was a state-of-the-art timepiece Today, I have a Speedmaster because I enjoy owning a precision instrument (and acknowledge that my $40 Casio Atomic is more accurate!)

rw

Mr Peabody
12-27-2007, 06:58 AM
Aw, Melvin, I can't accept the only reason people buy high end electronics is for the image. I certainly didn't and I don't think I'm a minority. My reason was pure performance and enjoyment. My gear is more than what some one with my income would normally have.

A large orchestra presentation should easily be met with a pair of Martin Logan's or perhaps Maggies driven by capable electronics. I think some box speakers are up to the task but maybe not to the extent of the ML's.

The Infinite Baffle speakers I've heard may play down to 30 Hz but the bass is similar to good but not great headphones, it's like the bass is there but lacking form. I personally prefer a box for woofer, there is more detail and physical information.

I understand your fondness for vintage speakers but there are very capable speakers today. Let's face it there are much better cone materials today than paper. A 15" woofer or larger may be fun but not generally very accurate. I don't know the specs on the old EV stuff but the Pro rarely went below 50 Hz and front horn loaded stopped at 60Hz. I have yet to hear Klipsch's famous Horn or Cornwalls but the several models I have heard were very offensive to my ears. The horns they use are too small to do a good job at disspersion, the distortion was ridiculous for a speaker of that cost and the sound stage is very poor. I just can't accept one looking for good quality audio should give up because there is home theater gear on the market, it's not the only thing available. As good as the Altec or AR 9's etc. were, there are speakers today that are much more superior in sound quality and probably cheaper in comparison.

Please don't take this wrong, just asking as a reference, when was the last time you wondered into a specialty store carrying high end gear?

Not meaning to get off on another tangent but tube gear has improved as well over the years. Many of the old stereotypes no longer apply to quality tube gear. You can find tube amps with very good bass detail and extended highs, Unfortunately, tube power is expensive and even more so for good tube power. I mean you can get 30 to 40 watt integrated amps cheap but large amps to drive less sensitive speakers cost.

Mr Peabody
12-27-2007, 07:10 AM
Bassite, you should put Siltech on your cable audition list. I've been impressed with the MXT New Yorker series. Couldn't afford to try anything above that. Siltech is able to give me the great bass response of Transparent while providing a much more lush mid and high end. Lush doesn't mean lack of any detail either.

basite
12-27-2007, 07:17 AM
Bassite, you should put Siltech on your cable audition list. I've been impressed with the MXT New Yorker series. Couldn't afford to try anything above that. Siltech is able to give me the great bass response of Transparent while providing a much more lush mid and high end. Lush doesn't mean lack of any detail either.


as a matter of fact,
I am already :)

I now have the Siltech MXT new york here (just like you have in your system)

I'll make a thread about the cables I tried soon...

Right now the list cosists of :

Siltech MXT New York
Kimber Kable Hero
Audioquest Red dragon
Nordost Blue Heaven
Crystal Cable Piccolo
and, a brand my dealer liked alot himself, but unfortunately I can't find much about it, maybe you guys happen to know more: Sonic Link Black Earth (which, btw, my dealer sells me for half the price...)

Right now I'm comparing the siltech and the Sonic Link, I like the siltech alot, but the Sonic Link comes really close too, and I feel it has (slightly) better detail...

Keep them spinning,
Bert.

melvin walker
12-27-2007, 07:41 AM
I think so for a reason you previously mentioned. How many folks really understand the investment represented by kilobuck amplifiers? Two percent of the population? One? Prestige items require recognition for them to "work". Other than three audio reviewer friends, no one who has ever seen my MB-450s has any idea what they are much less what they cost. Which is fine by me. ;)

I think watches are a bit different, although extreme cases like Patek Philipe don't apply to my theory. I appreciate fine machinery. I had an Omega Flightmaster back in the 70s when it was a state-of-the-art timepiece Today, I have a Speedmaster because I enjoy owning a precision instrument (and acknowledge that my $40 Casio Atomic is more accurate!)

rw
When one buys an Aston Martin DBS one is not buying it for the masses to appreciate
but to be appreciated by their peers. You are correct a quartz watch is more accurate than a mechanical one. Than why would someone pay $30,000 for a Patek Philippe or Audemars Piguet , that keeps no better time or not as good time as a Casio costing less than $200.00 ?

Prestige items need not be recognized by the masses , but by the few that the owner is interested in impressing. A pair of British made Richard Green shoes or a Turnbull and Astor shirt is not in most cases recognized by the masses are they ? Than why would a man spent a $1000.00 for the shoes and $ 400,00 for the shirt ?
Is audio any different ? Most Americans have never heard of Mark Levinson , but to those who own them and those who are aware of them it has the same effect as owning aN Aston Martin DBS.

basite
12-27-2007, 07:53 AM
When one buys an Aston Martin DBS one is not buying it for the masses to appreciate
but to be appreciated by their peers. You are correct a quartz watch is more accurate than a mechanical one. Than why would someone pay $30,000 for a Patek Philippe or Audemars Piguet , that keeps no better time or not as good time as a Casio costing less than $200.00 ?

Prestige items need not be recognized by the masses , but by the few that the owner is interested in impressing. A pair of British made Richard Green shoes or a Turnbull and Astor shirt is not in most cases recognized by the masses are they ? Than why would a man spent a $1000.00 for the shoes and $ 400,00 for the shirt ?
Is audio any different ? Most Americans have never heard of Mark Levinson , but to those who own them and those who are aware of them it has the same effect as owning aN Aston Martin DBS.


what about when you buy the aston martin because YOU like it?
I wouldn't buy exotic audio gear if I didn't like it, no matter how much it'd impress other people.

Keep them spinning,
Bert.

melvin walker
12-27-2007, 08:00 AM
maybe because it's their hobby to collect expensive watches?

btw, fact is that if you bought a 8k ML monoblock, and an exotic system overall, most of the people won't even notice, they'd rather be impressed by the most expensive Bose system.
Why? because bose is a name everyone knows, and it's expensive.
you don't really have to buy expensive audio gear just for your image...

right now, I'm testing/auditioning various interconnects, prices vary between 200 and 400 for 0.5 metres, do you think anyone else would notice the cables? no. And if they'd noticed, they wouldn't care.

Keep them spinning,
Bert.

You are correct most people are more aware of Bose. Bose are not expensive. People buy expensive audio equipment for many reasons impressing their friends may be only one of them. But it is generally one of them.
The Merdedes-Benz SLR McLaren has an AMC-built V8 engine which produces 617 hp.
Do you think that anyone would notice ? yes those that are interested in exotic cars.
The same would apply to your various interconnects.

Most people are more aware of a Lexus sedan than a RollsRoyce sedan. On that point I agree with you. But than a RollsRoyce is not for everyone. Is audio any different ? A Mark Levinson is not for everyone. A bose is.

Mr Peabody
12-27-2007, 08:00 AM
You have access to a good selection of cables. The first I've heard of Sonic Link. It's amazing how many brands are out there now.

frenchmon
12-27-2007, 08:19 AM
St.Louis has lost most it's audio high end stores. At one time there was a dozen high end audio stores in the St. Louis metro area. The ones you listed are all new, Most enterning the St.Louis market after 1980.

Best Sound's owner once was a salesman at High Fi West , Les Marcus.
Gordon Sound Co's owner was a Bozak rep. Located on Hampton. He was the one who help set up the live vs recorded sound at Powell Symphony Hall.
Hi-fi- fo Fum is a recent arrival to St.Louis from Milwaukee. Aeolian Piano Co. was the oldest audio high end store in St. Louis. Aeolian featured Bozak ,and Stephens speakers. and was also a Fisher Radio distributor.

High Fi West was a McIntosh distributor owned by Harvey Bender. Times have changed , not only in St.Louis but through-out the country.
St.Louis Audio located on Lindbergh and Clayton road was the last really high end audio shop in St.Louis they closed several years ago. They sold Audio Research , Mc.Intosh ,
Levinson and was the last St.Louis store to sell Bozak speakers.
-

So what is the best High-End store in St.Louis these days. I will be home to visit family in the summer and was hoping to get to a good high end store. Where shall I go?

frenchmon

snodog
12-27-2007, 08:32 AM
Melvin, why anyone would pay 30,000 for a f$cking watch is nothing more than supidity in my opinion. One could have a very nice functional watch as well as helping other people out financially with that amount. For instance Melvin, next time before you purchase a watch for an amount like that, why not share the experience with a fellow AV forum member in Minnesota and send him the 'high end' gift of music?? Only meant as funny Melvin.

On another note, I was wondering about amp and preamps. If you want 7.1 channel surround do you need to find a newer model that has 7.1 or hdmi that or does the device (bluray or hd player) do the work decoding?

basite
12-27-2007, 08:33 AM
You have access to a good selection of cables. The first I've heard of Sonic Link. It's amazing how many brands are out there now.


yeah, the first I heard about it too...

it's pretty good though, and dare I say it, I find the bass better as the siltechs, but the siltech is still burning in, so it might still get better...

Sonic Link uses more exotic materials too, there's some Rhodium in the cable :cornut:


Keep them spinning,
Bert.

melvin walker
12-27-2007, 08:38 AM
Aw, Melvin, I can't accept the only reason people buy high end electronics is for the image. I certainly didn't and I don't think I'm a minority. My reason was pure performance and enjoyment. My gear is more than what some one with my income would normally have.

A large orchestra presentation should easily be met with a pair of Martin Logan's or perhaps Maggies driven by capable electronics. I think some box speakers are up to the task but maybe not to the extent of the ML's.

The Infinite Baffle speakers I've heard may play down to 30 Hz but the bass is similar to good but not great headphones, it's like the bass is there but lacking form. I personally prefer a box for woofer, there is more detail and physical information.

I understand your fondness for vintage speakers but there are very capable speakers today. Let's face it there are much better cone materials today than paper. A 15" woofer or larger may be fun but not generally very accurate. I don't know the specs on the old EV stuff but the Pro rarely went below 50 Hz and front horn loaded stopped at 60Hz. I have yet to hear Klipsch's famous Horn or Cornwalls but the several models I have heard were very offensive to my ears. The horns they use are too small to do a good job at disspersion, the distortion was ridiculous for a speaker of that cost and the sound stage is very poor. I just can't accept one looking for good quality audio should give up because there is home theater gear on the market, it's not the only thing available. As good as the Altec or AR 9's etc. were, there are speakers today that are much more superior in sound quality and probably cheaper in comparison.

Please don't take this wrong, just asking as a reference, when was the last time you wondered into a specialty store carrying high end gear?

Not meaning to get off on another tangent but tube gear has improved as well over the years. Many of the old stereotypes no longer apply to quality tube gear. You can find tube amps with very good bass detail and extended highs, Unfortunately, tube power is expensive and even more so for good tube power. I mean you can get 30 to 40 watt integrated amps cheap but large amps to drive less sensitive speakers cost.

I never said all people I used the word general. As for as today's audio equipment I agree there has been many advances in audio technology. But than there are physics , that has not changed.
The new Steinway Lyngdorf speaker system is an example of how far audio technology has come.
How would they compare with the large Tannoy , Bozak's , JBL's , Electro-Voice systems of the past ? An A-B test would be interesting.. At over $100,000 what do you think.
From the reviews I have read the Steinway's are simply outstanding and so is the price.

I have visited an audio shops recently , I was not impressed , as I have seen a reduction in quality in many of the high end audio gear due to price especially speakers.
To produce a speaker system comparable to a Bozak Concert Grand using new technology today would cost the consumer over $15,000 per speaker. One of the reasons Bozak no longer exist.

Remember the Bozak Concert Grands , EV Patricians , JBL Hartsfield's , Jensen Imperials , Tannoy Autograph professional , were the standards of an era. Klipsch was not a part of that group as the Klipsch enclosure was an excellent horn , but the speaker system inside was third rate. As a result many audiophiles used the Klipsch enclosure but substituted the speaker system with either JBL or KV speakers.

On this subject we can agree to disagree. I respect your vast knowledge of present day audio. I only wish you had listened to the systems listed. It was a blast.
Much like watching Fred Astaire dance with Ginger Rogers.

basite
12-27-2007, 08:46 AM
I have visited an audio shops recently , I was not impressed , as I have seen a reduction in quality in many of the high end audio gear due to price especially speakers.
To produce a speaker system comparable to a Bozak Concert Grand using new technology today would cost the consumer over $15,000 per speaker. One of the reasons Bozak no longer exist.

you visited the wrong shops.

E-Stat
12-27-2007, 08:46 AM
When one buys an Aston Martin DBS one is not buying it for the masses to appreciate
but to be appreciated by their peers.
I guess we'll just agree to disagree. I firmly believe more folks would recognize a "fancy ferren' " car far more readily than a black box. The other difference is that cars are visible to hundreds, if not thousands of people every day just driving around. Someone has to visit me and walk upstairs in order to see my $30k speakers.


You are correct a quartz watch is more accurate than a mechanical one. Than why would someone pay $30,000 for a Patek Philippe or Audemars Piguet , that keeps no better time or not as good time as a Casio costing less than $200.00 ?
A $30 atomic watch will ALWAYS be more accurate than any mechanical or quartz watch because it relies on the *ultimate* watch out in Bolder for its performance.


A pair of British made Richard Green shoes or a Turnbull and Astor shirt is not in most cases recognized by the masses are they ? Than why would a man spent a $1000.00 for the shoes and $ 400,00 for the shirt ?
Unlike cars, I don't disagree with these examples.

rw

E-Stat
12-27-2007, 08:54 AM
IRemember the Bozak Concert Grands , EV Patricians , JBL Hartsfield's , Jensen Imperials , Tannoy Autograph professional , were the standards of an era.
An era that has long since passed. While they represented the pinnacle of performance then, they simply do not measure up (literally or figuratively) to today's best.

Bozak Concert Grands (http://www.stereophile.com/historical/1005bozak/index6.html)

rw

frenchmon
12-27-2007, 09:05 AM
I don't know who we are but I never knew an audiophile who bragged about doing drugs , nor did I know one who did drugs.
Audiophiles are simply audio hobbyist , unlike car hobbist there are no national audio clubs ,such as the Porsche club of North America. The largest sports car club in America. Yes they sit around and discuss Porsche motor cars , so do other car club members.

In the St. Louis area audiophiles would meet at one of the audio stores and sit around and discuss audio. They loved their stereo systems as car hobbyist loved their cars.
The major difference was that one had to own a Porsche are one could not join the club.
Audio hobbyist was much more liberal, anyone could come in and discuss their stereo systems , regardless of the systems cost. Not so with auto clubs, a Porsche owner has no interest in anyone that owns anything less than a high performance sports car. Japanese cars and American cars need not apply. That includes Corvettes.

BMW , Mercedes , Ferrari , Jaguar owners might attend but none of the unwashed.
Marantz or any Japanese audo equipment., would be considered the unwashed. But here we can agree to disgree , we are all equal regardless of our audio systems cost.
When I was a member of the Mercedes car club we would remark that if a Mercedes cost
$ 60,000 , you paid $40,000 for the car and $20,000 for the star. Image is everything.

Hi Melvin. I saw that you own many classic Marantz pre amps and amps. Vintage tube gear. How do you like it, and how does the sound compare to todays sound of Marantz reference amps and pre amps of today.

frenchmon

frenchmon
12-27-2007, 09:16 AM
Woofers with the proper enclosure should be able to reach 30 Hertz without much difficulty. They need not be large example , AR3a. Sub woofers are amplified base speakers. When another piece of equipment is added to an audio system it increases noise and other unwanted hormonics.

The ideal speaker system would be one speaker able to produce the entire spectrum
without crossovers, mid and high end speakers. So far that is not possible.
Example the fewer controls a pre-amp has the cleaner the sound. Very high end pre-amps usually limit the number of controls.

EV was unable to make the transition from large speakers to smaller speakers with the introduction of stereo. The big horn , bass reflex's and infinite baffle speakers produced clean bass down to 30 hertz and less. But it took two and few people had the space for two large speakers.
Speakers such as KLH and AR was able to produce excellent excellent base without the size. But the problem was these speakers required amphliers with clean big watts.
Many receivers was unable to do this.

With the decline of jazz , classical and the change from artist using orchestras such as Sinatra etc, there was no longer a need for clean non amplified bass.
Music had changed and so had audio equipment. Those who had the means could still afford the big systems , but those systems are now out of the reach of most listeners.
Excellent audio has been replaced today with video , ie, surround sound where audio is no longer as important as video , example plasma , LCD , HD , etc.

The baby grand pianos , the large grandfather clocks , the big audio systems etc, are reserved for those who have the means.
We can wait around and hope but the days of the big audio systems producing detailed
sound of a large symphony orchestra has passed .

And what about the big dance halls of the 40's and 50's that could hold big bands such as Sinatra's and Chick Web's Band? Waht about Glen Millers Band? Now that good old music is reserved for those who enjoy it on CD. But its sound through some of the mid fi gear just does not sound the same. I love my Kinda Blue by Miles, but to me its not fitted or engineered for todays gear.

frenchmon

melvin walker
12-27-2007, 09:39 AM
An era that has long since passed. While they represented the pinnacle of performance then, they simply do not measure up (literally or figuratively) to today's best.

Bozak Concert Grands (http://www.stereophile.com/historical/1005bozak/index6.html)

rw

You are correct, A steinway Lyngdorf is by far one of the finest speaker systems produced . it only cost slightly over $ 150,000 !
It would be interesting to A-B that speaker agianst a pair of tri-amp Concert Grands.
Or maybe a pair of Tannoy Churchill's.

We must remember that speakers work with physics , a large pipe organ can produce clear bass that the finest speaker system can only dream of.
Electronics or different. Digital which produces square waves has a very difficult time converting to analog . We listen in analog. A steinway piano's note is analog.
That effects detail not dynamics , the one advantage digital sound has over analog is dynamics.

Again you are correct about a different era passed . But I would respond with the music of Gershwin , Kern , Rogers and Hart , Astaire , Kelly , Sinatra , Day , Miles , Miller , Ella, Tracy , Olivier ,Davis , Bergman etc., etc, An era long past , but what do we have to compare with them today ?
Willie Nelson ? , The Beatles ? , Elvis ?, Michael Jackson ?
Times have changed.

frenchmon
12-27-2007, 09:43 AM
An era that has long since passed. While they represented the pinnacle of performance then, they simply do not measure up (literally or figuratively) to today's best.

Bozak Concert Grands (http://www.stereophile.com/historical/1005bozak/index6.html)

rw

And I would have to agree

frenchmon

basite
12-27-2007, 09:48 AM
You are correct, A steinway Lyngdorf is by far one of the finest speaker systems produced . it only cost slightly over $ 150,000 !
It would be interesting to A-B that speaker agianst a pair of tri-amp Concert Grands.
Or maybe a pair of Tannoy Churchill's.


you would come to the conclusion that the lyngdorfs would still beat the concert grands in every possible way.

and you think in extremes too much.

there are speakers today that don't cost 150k too, and they would still be better than the concert grands, no matter how much you take of them.

Keep them spinning,
Bert.

frenchmon
12-27-2007, 09:51 AM
You are correct, A steinway Lyngdorf is by far one of the finest speaker systems produced . it only cost slightly over $ 150,000 !
It would be interesting to A-B that speaker agianst a pair of tri-amp Concert Grands.
Or maybe a pair of Tannoy Churchill's.

We must remember that speakers work with physics , a large pipe organ can produce clear bass that the finest speaker system can only dream of.
Electronics or different. Digital which produces square waves has a very difficult time converting to analog . We listen in analog. A steinway piano's note is analog.
That effects detail not dynamics , the one advantage digital sound has over analog is dynamics.

Again you are correct about a different era passed . But I would respond with the music of Gershwin , Kern , Rogers and Hart , Astaire , Kelly , Sinatra , Day , Miles , Miller , Ella, Tracy , Olivier ,Davis , Bergman etc., etc, An era long past , but what do we have to compare with them today ?
Willie Nelson ? , The Beatles ? , Elvis ?, Michael Jackson ?
Times have changed.

And as much as I love the music you listed from that gone era...its my favorite music, it just does not sound right coming from a two channel system of to-day. It was recorded with inferior technology. Now Put on some Diana Krall or Eliane Elias then you have a different story.

frenchmon

melvin walker
12-27-2007, 09:51 AM
Hi Melvin. I saw that you own many classic Marantz pre amps and amps. Vintage tube gear. How do you like it, and how does the sound compare to todays sound of Marantz reference amps and pre amps of today.

frenchmon

The tube pre-amps and power amps today are far superior to those made pre 1970's. Speakers are a little different. We must remember that the ears are the easiest thing to fool.
Humans hearing is very poor , our eyesight is far better. That is why to judge an audio system there must be a A-B comparison. The fun of being a hobbyist is to debate.
In the old days the debate was which is better a Ford or Chevy ? Marantz or McIntosh ?
Miles or Dizzy ?, Sarah or Ella ?. Astaire or Kelly ?

I answered the first part of your question as for as Marantz reference amps and pre-amps I have never heard them.

frenchmon
12-27-2007, 09:58 AM
The tube pre-amps and power amps today are far superior to those made pre 1970's. Speakers are a little different. We must remember that the ears are the easiest thing to fool.
Humans hearing is very poor , our eyesight is far better. That is why to judge an audio system there must be a A-B comparison. The fun of being a hobbyist is to debate.
In the old days the debate was which is better a Ford or Chevy ? Marantz or McIntosh ?
Miles or Dizzy ?, Sarah or Ella ?. Astaire or Kelly ?

I answered the first part of your question as for as Marantz reference amps and pre-amps I have never heard them.


Hmmmm Now lets see....Chevy, Marantz...I'm bias, Give me Miles by a small margin, I love Ella, to me there is no better female singer, Fed Astaire hands down.

frenchmon

snodog
12-27-2007, 10:01 AM
Anyhow, people what about the question about the preamps and amps, does it need to have 7.1 with hdmi or does the dvd/cd player do the work? If that is the case I could buy an older amp correct?

Mr Peabody
12-27-2007, 10:06 AM
Frenchmon, without a doubt the best high end shop in StL is Music For Pleasure. Unfortunately, no matter who you are in hi fi, if you want to stay in business you have to embrace the home theater market.

It would be interesting to hear the Steinway's. I have heard the $100k Dynaudio Evidence strapped to a pair of Krell 650 monoblocks and I can't say if they could reproduce the entrie pipe organ range because I have not heard one live but this system definitely hit lower bass regions beyond hearing and more into feeling. It was a strange sensation the bass frequencies felt on my insides. The speakers did concert level bass but better quality. A speaker needs to be in the right size room. I heard a pair of these later in a different room and I'm glad I had the first demo to remember because the second would have left me wondering why the price tag.

Mr Peabody
12-27-2007, 10:22 AM
Snodog, even though the Blu-ray will decode 7.1 and send it via multichannel analog you will still need a preamp that has 7.1 analog inputs. HDMI is supposed to pass all the HD formats and technically in may be able to but according to the Dolby website no disc will allow this to happen and it's iffy whether they will. The movie soundtrack has to be encoded to allow the digital bitstream to pass by the internal DAC and let the receiver/preamp decode it. To avoid any pitfalls and be assured of best set up I'd recommend just going with the 7.1 analog. Blu-ray and HD-DVD discs still have the core Dolby Digital or DTS audio encoding so there really isn't any reason why you couldn't use an existing digital input except the sound quality would be inferior to the analog due to analog being uncompressed or at least less compressed.

frenchmon
12-27-2007, 10:33 AM
Frenchmon, without a doubt the best high end shop in StL is Music For Pleasure. Unfortunately, no matter who you are in hi fi, if you want to stay in business you have to embrace the home theater market.

It would be interesting to hear the Steinway's. I have heard the $100k Dynaudio Evidence strapped to a pair of Krell 650 monoblocks and I can't say if they could reproduce the entrie pipe organ range because I have not heard one live but this system definitely hit lower bass regions beyond hearing and more into feeling. It was a strange sensation the bass frequencies felt on my insides. The speakers did concert level bass but better quality. A speaker needs to be in the right size room. I heard a pair of these later in a different room and I'm glad I had the first demo to remember because the second would have left me wondering why the price tag.

Thanks Mr. P.

Those Steinway's looked wonderful. I'm sure they sound like all that, but I betcha a lots of the cost has a lot to do with the beauty of the speaker rather than the sound. I bet you could get just as great a sound out of speakers costing a lots less and just not as eye apealing.

frenchmon

Mr Peabody
12-27-2007, 11:15 AM
I bet if we sat Melvin in front of a couple Martin Logan's like The Summits or Prodigy and drove them with some Conrad Johnson Premier separates and maybe a Audio Note digital playback, drop in Basie Live at the Sands 1966 or his favorite concerto, he'd have a smile on his face. This would be a pricey system but it would give him confidence that quality sound still exists and at least as good as yesteryear. Although my bet would be this system is better.

E-Stat
12-27-2007, 03:07 PM
I bet if we sat Melvin in front of a couple Martin Logan's..
Or other superb speakers from:

Apogee
Sonus Faber
Nola
Kharma
Avalon
Wilson
Magnepan
Quad
Innersound
Legacy Audio
Focal
Dali
Revel
Thiel
Bower & Wilkins
MBL
Rockport
King
and dozens of others far too many to list. There are so many good products on the market today!

rw

Mr Peabody
12-27-2007, 03:33 PM
I picked ML's because of the huge sound stage. Some of those you mentioned might be good speakers but would fail to give you the feeling of being in front of the orchestra the way ML, Maggies or Apogees would. Don't you think?

melvin walker
12-27-2007, 03:59 PM
Or other superb speakers from:

Apogee
Sonus Faber
Nola
Kharma
Avalon
Wilson
Magnepan
Quad
Innersound
Legacy Audio
Focal
Dali
Revel
Thiel
Bower & Wilkins
MBL
Rockport
King
and dozens of others far too many to list. There are so many good products on the market today!

rw
Quad and Thiel I have heard , I would lean more toward the Quad's. The speakers you listed leans more toward mid base and mid range. I will also add that sub woofers do a poor job of reproducing clean base.

One think to remember is that musical taste has changed. Most singers today are untrained , few sing with orchestras. Few singers today would dare sing standards , as they would be compared to earlier singers. I shutter when listening to singers today , most have poor breathing , very little range and phasing is completely lost.

I remember listening to Linda Ronstadt's trying to sing standards , Nelson Riddle did all he could using featured instruments and mass strings to cover up her vocal limitations.
Natalie Cole just did not have the range or ability to sing with Nat King Cole some of the standards he did earlier.

Since most of today's recording artist avoid standards , knowing that if compared to pre-1970 popular singers , Cole Sinatra , Como , Day . Wilson , etc, They would come off sounding terrible. An example when a concert pianist plays Chopin he is compared because those listening has heard Chopin played by others. Most of today's popular singers would make a fool of themselves trying to sing Cole Porters " Night and Day" or
Rogers and Hart's " My funny valentine " .
I hope you get my point.

E-Stat
12-27-2007, 04:28 PM
I picked ML's because of the huge sound stage. Some of those you mentioned might be good speakers but would fail to give you the feeling of being in front of the orchestra the way ML, Maggies or Apogees would. Don't you think?
Not necessarily. While I am clearly a dipole fan, I have never been so totally blown away as I have been hearing HP's Nola Grand Reference based systems since 2003. Ever hear something so incredible you just laugh out loud? That's the experience. I was really referring to Melvin's seeming lament as to what is available today. While each of us may well choose something different, there is so much really good stuff out there today.

Naturally, I would prefer hearing an array of Sound Lab Prostats. For my tastes, there is nothing like the timbral accuracy and utter coherency of full range stats. For the past two years, Ray Kimber has brought six pair or 922s (nine foot tall - 22 degree radiation angle) to RMAF in a four channel system. I would love to hear such an array!

http://gallery.audioasylum.com/cgi/gi.mpl?u=6942&f=IMG_1099.JPG

rw

snodog
12-27-2007, 04:34 PM
What are standards Melvin? You really don't think anyone today is as good as singers or just not trained properly? How about Norah Jones? Wow you are a critical listener indeed.

E-Stat
12-27-2007, 04:35 PM
The speakers you listed leans more toward mid base and mid range.
That is simply not the case for many of those. Wilson Alexandrias or Nola Grand References lacking bass or top end? Surely you jest!


Since most of today's recording artist avoid standards...
Who said anything about Linda Ronstadt or current pop singers? I'm thinking large scale symphonic on labels like Classic, RR, Telarc, etc. No, I really don't get your point.

rw

Mr Peabody
12-27-2007, 05:02 PM
If I might hijack a moment, is it better to bias tubes warm or right after turn on? I'm talking about existing tubes, no changes, just to be sure they are still in the zone.

E-Stat
12-27-2007, 05:14 PM
If I might hijack a moment, is it better to bias tubes warm or right after turn on? I'm talking about existing tubes, no changes, just to be sure they are still in the zone.
Definitely warm and fully stabilized. For serious listening or rebiasing, I wait about two hours. Even Nelson Pass waits thirty minutes for his SS amps.

rw

Mr Peabody
12-27-2007, 05:22 PM
This is one of those things newbies are shaking their heads at and saying another audiophile myth. You can definitely hear a tube system open up as it warms though. I'll let mine sit for a few minutes but go ahead and play music, I can tell when it starts to open up and it's fun to go back to the first couple tracks again to hear the difference. I really haven't heard any difference in solid state once broke in.

melvin walker
12-27-2007, 05:40 PM
That is simply not the case for many of those. Wilson Alexandrias or Nola Grand References lacking bass or top end? Surely you jest!


Who said anything about Linda Ronstadt or current pop singers? I'm thinking large scale symphonic on labels like Classic, RR, Telarc, etc. No, I really don't get your point.

rw
There are several ways one can test one's audio equipment. A vocal , small jazz trio ,
and an orchestra. The labels you referred to are they records or CO's ?
Records generally have more definition than CD's. The European record labels generally do a much better job of pressing LP's.

Linda Ronstadt recorded an LP with Nelson Riddle one of America's finest arrangers.
Mr. Riddle did his finest work with Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole. He also had several hit recording himself.
The singer front and center with an orchestra accompaning him. Most of today's singers would have a problem with that. You should be able to hear Sinatra's voice tremble.

A jazz trio playing a ballad , where you can hear the strings of the bass fiddle and the mellow tones of the grand piano in addition to the brush of the drums.
Ie, Oscar Peterson Trio.

Classical recordings of Beethoven's 9th Symphony , Rachmanoff Piano Concertos are
Tchaikovsky symphonies. All done on an LP Pressed in Europe.
We are not just looking for dynamics but also definition. There are no sounds more wonderful than the cords of a Steinway concert Grand.

That is what audio equipment is all about. As close to being there as possible. One should first visit a concert hall , such as Powell Symphony Hall in St.Louis , Avery Fisher Hall in D.C. or Carnegie Hall in New York or any great symphony hall in America.
One needs a reference to really know what outstanding sound is.

bobsticks
12-27-2007, 05:56 PM
http://www.safehaven.com/article-1458.htm

Here's an interesting article on cpi calculation manipulation which covers what we all already know to be true--that it ain't easy out there. Given a finite amount of money for the individual, and that finite amount being pulled toward new priorities and escalating taxes, it's easy to agree that true "hi-fi" is certainly not for everybody. But was it ever?

I would however seek to contradict the posit that there is no affordable quality gear out there. My first recollections of serious audio reproduction were on my grandfather's Marantz and Bozak setup...a magical and wonderous warmth. Having experienced that and some modern gear I think it's clear that today's transducers and digital and certainly analog machinations tend to be much more accurate, even the "mid-priced ones".

I think it's more reasonable to lament the very real fact that in today's fast-paced, immediate gratification world fewer and fewer folks take the time to properly calibrate a system and work toward synergy within a room. How many times have you looked at the Audiogon gallery and seen a set of 30k rear-ported speaks shoved up against a wall in a room more befitting an spread in Architectural Digest than Stereophile? Happens in the showrooms too.

Combine that with the recording industry's purposeful corruption of the very sources that we use and it's no surprise that in a lot of situations things sound bad. But, still, it's out there, you just have look at other avenues (like E-Stat suggested the Telarcs of the world).

As an aside, I've owned both an Audemars Piguet and a Breitling and they were both some of the poorest designed, worst implemented excuses for a "timepiece" ever. But, that's just me. I'm also of a mind that if I ever spent 50k---for that matter 5k---on equipment just to impress my peers that I'd have to haul myself outside and kick my own ass.

snodog
12-27-2007, 05:59 PM
Hey PEABODY,
If I did decide to wait a while and go with the Outlaw 7075 and 970 combo would that work out for audio and video? The dvi can be remedied via a dvi to hdmi cable which I used on my old mits tv when I had it. Is that not the best one to get for theatre and music? What do you think? I am probably not going to spend over $1000 so I want to make sure I take my time and get the right piece. Or do you think the Onkyo 705 for around $700 would be better suited for a multipurpose piece?

melvin walker
12-27-2007, 06:08 PM
What are standards Melvin? You really don't think anyone today is as good as singers or just not trained properly? How about Norah Jones? Wow you are a critical listener indeed.

Standards are usually popular music that has stood the test of time. Many written by the great American composers such as George Gershwin , Cole Porter , Jerome Kern , Richard Rogers , Harold Arlen ,Oscar Hammerstein 11 , Irvin Berlin , etc, Songs performed by everyone form Bing Crosby , Miles Davis , to the Boston Pops.

The music was greater than the performer , example Irvin Berlin's" There's no business like show business " from the Broadway musical Annie get your gun. Written back in 1945 !
Many have recorded that song. Than there are holiday standards , White Christmas ,the Christmas song and Jingle bells.

Today the singers are performer are greater than the songs , as a result with the exception of songs written by the Beatles , there are few songs written today that will be remembered. None will stand the test of time.

snodog
12-27-2007, 06:16 PM
Very interesting point Melvin, and much the same can be said for artwork really. Many great pieces iconic that will never be topped. Fun to be an enthusiast but disappointing in ways that the originality seems to be so limited.

Mr Peabody
12-27-2007, 06:49 PM
Snodog, I haven't heard the Outlaw, some Onkyo but not the 705. The 705 is obviously more up to date on features. I'll have to take a look at the Outlaw preamp's features. I'd have to guess the Outlaw being separates would have better sound.

E-Stat
12-27-2007, 07:29 PM
There are several ways one can test one's audio equipment. A vocal , small jazz trio ,
and an orchestra. The labels you referred to are they records or CO's ?
Both, but Telarc has always recorded digitally either in Redbook or SACD. What they do especially well is record using a minimal miking technique that provides great perspective. Reference Recordings has done both analog and digital. I have an analog recording of Symphony Fantastique on 45 RPM vinyl. Classic reissues all sorts of recordings on vinyl. I've heard quite a few 50s era recordings that still shine today.


That is what audio equipment is all about. As close to being there as possible. One should first visit a concert hall , such as Powell Symphony Hall in St.Louis , Avery Fisher Hall in D.C. or Carnegie Hall in New York or any great symphony hall in America. One needs a reference to really know what outstanding sound is.
Agreed, although I listen to a lot of music because of the content and not the production. I confess a particular bias toward that concept Harry Pearson advanced years ago with The Absolute Sound since I met him through his long term friend Dr. Cooledge twenty five years ago.

I have a great live music reference in my home with the wife's baby grand. Since we moved to a small college town where she teaches, we also have many opportunities to hear a variety of concerts at the university.

rw

snodog
12-27-2007, 07:52 PM
That would be greatly appreciated Mr. Peabody if you ever have a few extra minutes to look on their site. I am beginning to understand some things but it takes a while and a lot of reading.

Mr Peabody
12-27-2007, 09:41 PM
Snodog, the Outlaw gear has some good reviews but the preamp is a bit out dated as far as features go. I think you wanted to be ready for the future, if that's possible. The Outlaw would be good if you weren't going to worry about having the latest video switching and you were alright with using the multichannel analog input if going HD disc. The 990 had an auto set up feature but I don't think the 970 did. You could make do with the 970 or even the 990 for a bit more money but neither are cutting edge on features. I recommend getting at least the 7125 amp or if you aren't going 6 or 7.1 get an even larger 5-channel. Remember DVI is just video, HDMI is both audio and video.

snodog
12-27-2007, 10:20 PM
Yes and now that I look at it only two digital optical inputs...strange, I guess not really designed for theater purposes. Thanks Mr P that is what I wanted to know. Kind of disappointing they don't have more options. I have heard they are wonderful sounding.

basite
12-28-2007, 03:02 AM
That is what audio equipment is all about. As close to being there as possible. One should first visit a concert hall , such as Powell Symphony Hall in St.Louis , Avery Fisher Hall in D.C. or Carnegie Hall in New York or any great symphony hall in America.
One needs a reference to really know what outstanding sound is.


yes, and that is what today's gear can get closer to.


you said the speakers E-stat listed were more 'mid bas and midrange' or what was it? I can assure you they will provide cleaner bass, mids, highs and ultrasonics than any vintage speaker ever built.

melvin walker
12-28-2007, 07:35 AM
yes, and that is what today's gear can get closer to.


you said the speakers E-stat listed were more 'mid bas and midrange' or what was it? I can assure you they will provide cleaner bass, mids, highs and ultrasonics than any vintage speaker ever built.

We have had an interesting debate , comparing audio equipment of different generations.
We have agreed to disagree . I would suggest that the only way to arrive at a conclusion
is an A-B test.

Remember humans have difficulty remembering sound. The A-B test is the answer .The correct way to have an A-B test is to sit down in a symphony hall with a curtain and
audition two different systems.
They did that in St.Louis at Powell Symphony Hall , prepared by Bob Shaw of Gordon Sound , an audio engineer and Bozak rep. There were several displays of this type done in the late 50's , 60's and early 70's.

Since we all hear different there still was debates Bozak vs Lansing , Marantz vs McIntosh , Thorens vs Fairchild , Shure vs Ortofon , Revox vs Ampex etc.
Now the differences are also generational. Tubes vs transistors , digital vs analog etc.
We had lots of fun and met many different people.

If I remember there was a chevy man and a Ford man. Today there is a BMW man and a Mercedes man , only the names has changed.
It's a pleasure debating with many members of the Audio Review Forum.

melvin walker
12-28-2007, 08:04 AM
http://www.safehaven.com/article-1458.htm

Here's an interesting article on cpi calculation manipulation which covers what we all already know to be true--that it ain't easy out there. Given a finite amount of money for the individual, and that finite amount being pulled toward new priorities and escalating taxes, it's easy to agree that true "hi-fi" is certainly not for everybody. But was it ever?

I would however seek to contradict the posit that there is no affordable quality gear out there. My first recollections of serious audio reproduction were on my grandfather's Marantz and Bozak setup...a magical and wonderous warmth. Having experienced that and some modern gear I think it's clear that today's transducers and digital and certainly analog machinations tend to be much more accurate, even the "mid-priced ones".

I think it's more reasonable to lament the very real fact that in today's fast-paced, immediate gratification world fewer and fewer folks take the time to properly calibrate a system and work toward synergy within a room. How many times have you looked at the Audiogon gallery and seen a set of 30k rear-ported speaks shoved up against a wall in a room more befitting an spread in Architectural Digest than Stereophile? Happens in the showrooms too.

Combine that with the recording industry's purposeful corruption of the very sources that we use and it's no surprise that in a lot of situations things sound bad. But, still, it's out there, you just have look at other avenues (like E-Stat suggested the Telarcs of the world).

As an aside, I've owned both an Audemars Piguet and a Breitling and they were both some of the poorest designed, worst implemented excuses for a "timepiece" ever. But, that's just me. I'm also of a mind that if I ever spent 50k---for that matter 5k---on equipment just to impress my peers that I'd have to haul myself outside and kick my own ass.
Please don't kick yourself. I also own a Breitling and Audemars Piguet and several other high end watches. I have never met anyone who spent $5000 to $ 20,000 for a watch that did not buy the watches for image !

Timex's keep better time because they are quartz. The question is today, does one really need a watch ? This the 21th century , there is time pieces all around us. our cell phones has the time.

I will repeat again today's mid price audio equipment is the equal if not the superior of pre 70's highest price systems. Again our musical taste has change. We dress different, eat different and treat each other different.
As a person in his 60's I have a different view of the world than younger people.
I can't understand why men wear their hats inside , or jeans with a suit coat.

I once had a friend with an Aston Martin who wished over and over he could drive the car
50 miles without it breaking down. He spent $150,000 for the car. He knew that a Lexus was more reliable , but the Aston Martin was image , the Lexus just another car.
Many audiophiles did the same , by the time they could afford to buy a high end system ., they were to old to hear the difference. Were they any different from the man who bought the Aston Martin ?

bobsticks
12-28-2007, 05:57 PM
Please don't kick yourself. I also own a Breitling and Audemars Piguet and several other high end watches. I have never met anyone who spent $5000 to $ 20,000 for a watch that did not buy the watches for image !

Timex's keep better time because they are quartz. The question is today, does one really need a watch ? This the 21th century , there is time pieces all around us. our cell phones has the time.

I will repeat again today's mid price audio equipment is the equal if not the superior of pre 70's highest price systems. Again our musical taste has change. We dress different, eat different and treat each other different.
As a person in his 60's I have a different view of the world than younger people.
I can't understand why men wear their hats inside , or jeans with a suit coat.

I once had a friend with an Aston Martin who wished over and over he could drive the car
50 miles without it breaking down. He spent $150,000 for the car. He knew that a Lexus was more reliable , but the Aston Martin was image , the Lexus just another car.
Many audiophiles did the same , by the time they could afford to buy a high end system ., they were to old to hear the difference. Were they any different from the man who bought the Aston Martin ?

Hey Melvin,

LOL, I won't kick myself and I'll be the first to admit these timepieces came at a younger and very definetely more vain period in my life. I'd also say that it was a good life lesson--sorta like your friend with the Aston--except that I must be wired a little differently than your average audiophile/music enthusiast.

I suppose I represent that dichotomous opposite of yourself. Approaching this from a highly utilitarian standpoint, the equipment aspect is largely a find-the-tool-that-fits proposition, and this is coming from a guy with the McIntosh amps and ML speaks. I found just as much joy from acquiring the entire Tilson Thomas Mahler series or the MoFi release of Surfer Rosa because it's the experience that provides the juice IMO.

I must've missed your comments and comparisons of modern equipment. Sorry 'bout that. I can respect anyone's opinion on gear as I'll never try and tell folks what they're hearing in their own rooms, and despite my lack of years I'll even agree on your opinions on a lot of musical and societal issues. I just like to think that there's room in the boat for everyone, especially anyone who's trying to enjoy and learn about audio on any level.

Thanks for bringing us a great thread and conversation starter.

Peace

NP:
http://images.barnesandnoble.com/images/13980000/13989508.jpg

Rock&Roll Ninja
12-28-2007, 09:03 PM
ple.
I can't understand why men wear their hats inside , or jeans with a suit coat.


*Hair loss

*Jeans wear lower on the hips than formal slacks. This can be a waist size difference of several inches as compared to the traditional "waist", which sits in the love-handle area. So the douche wearing Levis' and a sportcoat is really just having trouble coming to terms with his 40 inch waist.

melvin walker
12-29-2007, 06:04 AM
*Hair loss

*Jeans wear lower on the hips than formal slacks. This can be a waist size difference of several inches as compared to the traditional "waist", which sits in the love-handle area. So the douche wearing Levis' and a sportcoat is really just having trouble coming to terms with his 40 inch waist.

Levis invented jeans. Jeans were worn as work cloths. Because they were easily produced from left-over cotton fiber.
Most young men today dress very poorly the reason being that poor manners and poor dress is acceptable.
To wear a pair of jeans and a sport coat or suit coat is poor taste. There are no men's book on fashion that will find that type of dress acceptable.