• 01-05-2005, 04:59 AM
    musicoverall
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by risabet
    Luckily for me I can hear the differences between components and cables and so I strive to build systems that incrementally approach the sound of unamplified live music. .

    Luckily??? I consider the people who feel all components sound the same to be lucky! They can save their money and the choices are simpler! :)

    As for the "order of importance", I don't disagree with your assessment but I feel the bulk of expenditure for a system should be speakers, simply because they don't do their job as well. CD source components and amplification components do a better job and, whereas they are important, it doesn't require a ton of money to do those jobs basically correctly. I'd much prefer to hear a system with modest front end and amplification components with good speakers than the opposite. It's easier to find speakers to totally muck up a signal than it is to find a CD player to muck it up, IMHO.
  • 01-05-2005, 05:37 AM
    markw
    Start from both ends and meet in the middle.
    First off. if the source media is poor, nothing, I repeat, NOTHING will improve it to any great extent. I've got some recordings of roots rock done in the 50's and tome controls can smooth outa little of the roughness but they still suck. Ah... but that music. ;)

    But, drop on some good recordings (Mapleshade, Reference Recordings, some RCA Living Stereo or some Columbia/Legacy stuff, etc...) and you're in heaven.

    Now, on to he other side. The speakers. Get what moves you. Then, get an amp with enough clean oomph to drive them to levels sufficient to reach that hidden nerve that makes your mouth turn up at the ends and your foot tap and you're in business.

    The rest kinda falls into place.
  • 01-05-2005, 06:33 AM
    theaudiohobby
    Yep, speakers and source are of equal importance
    markw you, good :D, yep thats it, the speakers and the source are of equal importance if either sucks, you are not going to get good music, as simple as that. In the digital age, speakers show much greater variability and there is no universal best, so choose what works best for your ears and pocket ;). Then look for a good amplifier, forget about tubes, ss, digital and all such hoopla, choose what does the job i.e. drives your speakers best and you are up and away with good music.:D
  • 01-05-2005, 06:55 AM
    E-Stat
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by markw
    First off. if the source media is poor, nothing, I repeat, NOTHING will improve it to any great extent. I've got some recordings of roots rock done in the 50's and tome controls can smooth outa little of the roughness but they still suck. Ah... but that music. ;)

    But, drop on some good recordings (Mapleshade, Reference Recordings, some RCA Living Stereo or some Columbia/Legacy stuff, etc...) and you're in heaven.

    Now, on to he other side. The speakers. Get what moves you. Then, get an amp with enough clean oomph to drive them to levels sufficient to reach that hidden nerve that makes your mouth turn up at the ends and your foot tap and you're in business.

    The rest kinda falls into place.

    Ditto to all of that!

    rw
  • 01-05-2005, 08:26 AM
    Resident Loser
    "...differences..."
    ...there's the word...rendering all else meaningless, anecdotal, opinion...

    jimHJJ(...difference does not equate to higher-fi...)
  • 01-05-2005, 10:28 AM
    FLZapped
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by tamule1
    Electrons flying through a vacuum do better than trying to get through a solid semi-conductor.


    HAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA! OMG that's funny!

    :p :p :p :p :p :p :p :p :p

    -Bruce
    (Just completely wrong)
  • 01-05-2005, 06:04 PM
    risabet
    True, the amplification chain has the "easiest" job to do and thus it is easiest to find competent electronics, the problem arises when one then starts the process of upgrading the speakers. Better speakers tend to present more complex loads with greater reactance, lower impedance, especially at high frequencies, etc. Here is where buying better electronics at the start is a benefit, you can go through 2-3 ugrade cycles with the speakers before you need to upgrade the amps.

    On the subject of tubes, yeah, they treat the electrons better, especially at line level. The sound of tubes, and most early tube gear does have a sound of its own, is more consonant with the sound of live music. Modern tube gear is much more neutral sounding and the best is wickedly revealing of changes in source components, cables and imaging.

    If you can deal with the heat and regular minor maintenace of tubes go for it. I compromise with a hybrid tube pre and a SS amp.
  • 01-05-2005, 06:24 PM
    Beckman
    I can hear more of a difference in amps than in cd players. I do agree about the $500 thing.
  • 01-06-2005, 03:06 AM
    theaudiohobby
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by risabet
    On the subject of tubes, yeah, they treat the electrons better, especially at line level. The sound of tubes, and most early tube gear does have a sound of its own, is more consonant with the sound of live music.

    treat electrons better :eek: grrrr.... :( maybe we should return to the days of the alchemists, the alchemists probably had more plausible explanations :D .
  • 01-06-2005, 06:17 AM
    musicoverall
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by risabet
    On the subject of tubes, yeah, they treat the electrons better, especially at line level. The sound of tubes, and most early tube gear does have a sound of its own, is more consonant with the sound of live music. Modern tube gear is much more neutral sounding and the best is wickedly revealing of changes in source components, cables and imaging.
    .

    Well, I can't comment on how tubes treat electrons! A little politeness is good, though! :)

    The rest of this paragraph mirrors my experience perfectly. I've found that solid state tends to blur the transients and the decay of notes... one of my problems with digital sound is that the decay of notes is actually an instant death! Very un-lifelike... and tubes are so revealing and "live" sounding. I was very skeptical at first until I listened. And my amps look like a cross between something out of Star Trek and something from the documentary of Thomas Edison! Buggardly looking things! :)
  • 01-06-2005, 06:58 AM
    theaudiohobby
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by musicoverall
    I've found that solid state tends to blur the transients and the decay of notes... one of my problems with digital sound is that the decay of notes is actually an instant death! Very un-lifelike... and tubes are so revealing and "live" sounding. I was very skeptical at first until I listened. And my amps look like a cross between something out of Star Trek and something from the documentary of Thomas Edison! Buggardly looking things! :)

    We went through this corner a few posts ago :) :) , didn't we? when markw said

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by markw
    ...(the recording) was done the day before by that very same group in that very same room, using three microphones going into a small (solid state) mixing console directly into the TCD-310. The power amps used in the playback were solid state.

    How much more life-like can tube amplifiers be if the audience was unable to distinguish a recording from an actual performance ;) , and the power amps for the playback in this case were solid state :eek: .
  • 01-06-2005, 07:11 AM
    kexodusc
    Thanks Woodman, you really sent me back a few grades on that one!
    My head is still spinning :)

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by woodman
    No, you're not "with me" at all. Not until you come to accept the basic truth that auditory perceptions are created by each listener as a direct result of his/her personal ABEs. They function totally independently and with no regard whatever for any scientific facts or "truth"!

    Oh, I'm totally in agreement with that. I haven't heard any system that can make polka sound good. :)

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by woodman
    I can't help but wonder if you're not factoring in the "excitement factor" of a live performance (which is undeniable) into your evaluation of the sonics of the performance venue?

    This is an excellent point, one I often use myself in such discussions. At a live venue, I dare say sight, sound, touch, and even smelling senses are used, often with some adrenaline pumping, etc...less so at home.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by woodman
    My personal preference in music listening is for the reproduction of it rather than the live performance (with rare exceptions).

    Really? I suppose there are numerous benefits, specifically control of conditions, that support your preference. Interesting take.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by woodman
    Finally, your statement that ..... "At present time, nothing even comes close." throws you solidly into the negativity camp of those that I call CONEs - a position that does a disservice to those that fall victim to it, IMO. It strikes me as more than a bit curious and bizarre why anyone would choose to go through their life looking intently for everything that's "not good enough" when the opposite attitude is available to put smiles on your face to replace the frowns.

    I think my emotional response has been misinterpreted, my fault. I am by no means a negative person, nor do I approach this hobby as a a pessimist. I spend about an equal amount of time listening to music on my system and live in person. I do admit I prefer live music, and, having not heard every possible component combination, I inaccurately said that reproduction does not sound as good as live performance. I should have said in my biased opinion, my system (and almost every other one I've heard) does not sound as good to me. But acheiving the "live sound" if this state exists, has never, ever been my goal when buying audio equipment. Making my favorite albums sound as good to me as possible, withing my budget has.

    I think fundamentally, much recorded music does sound different than live music, as it has many luxuries (over-dubbing, effects, post-equalization, etc) live performances do not. At least many of the recordings I listen to certainly do. In many ways, this makes the recording a superior listen (both technically from a musician's take, and sonically).
    Trying to force this into some semblance of a live event may be considered "alteration" in many cases, and might be desireable for some, but not for me. If it's meant to sound live, or was recorded at a live show, it should be reflected in the recording, no? Maybe it depends on the fundamental definition of what "live music" sounds like. I imagine everyone's definition is a bit different.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by woodman
    Besides the psychological aspects of it, the statement itself is also patently wrong!. The simple fact of the matter is, that the technologies of sound reproduction today have matured and progressed in a remarkable fashion to the point where they are within an eyelash or two of "perfection". Perhaps it's because I've been intimately involved with audio for nearly 70 years(!) that I'm much more aware of the progress that's been made than most others seem to be.

    You are correct, Woodman, I do not have even 1/4 of the experience you do, and just because I haven't heard anything close to "perfection" (whatever that is), does not mean that it isn't out there. That being said, I'm happy enough with what I have now that other than my amateur speaker building and future SS amp projects, which are as much exercises in relaxation as the pursuit of audio perfection, I'm not in any mad search to find audio Mecca.

    Just curious Woodman..If you could build one dream system, what would it be?
  • 01-06-2005, 10:01 AM
    woodman
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by kexodusc
    My head is still spinning :)

    Oh, I'm totally in agreement with that. I haven't heard any system that can make polka sound good. :)

    Oh, I'm totally in agreement with that ... I'd only add that bagpipes are an even greater challenge!

    Quote:

    Really? I suppose there are numerous benefits, specifically control of conditions, that support your preference. Interesting take.
    Being present at an "event" as it's taking place does not rank very high on my personal list of priorities - due to the fact that there can be (and usually are) so many negative attributes involved. I'm a huge baseball fan, but I get far greater enjoyment from watching a game on television than I do from being there in person. Similarly, I (usually) appreciate a music performance more when "crowd noise" and the almost inevitable acoustic anomalies that are present nearly everywhere are removed from the equation, and nothing but the pure music remains. Perhaps my personal experiences when playing professionally over the years has contributed more than a little bit to this perspective.

    Quote:

    I think my emotional response has been misinterpreted, my fault. I am by no means a negative person, nor do I approach this hobby as a a pessimist. I spend about an equal amount of time listening to music on my system and live in person. I do admit I prefer live music, and, having not heard every possible component combination, I inaccurately said that reproduction does not sound as good as live performance. I should have said in my biased opinion, my system (and almost every other one I've heard) does not sound as good to me. But acheiving the "live sound" if this state exists, has never, ever been my goal when buying audio equipment. Making my favorite albums sound as good to me as possible, withing my budget has.
    Now you're changing your tune Ken. If you had stated your preference for live music over recorded in those words, I never would've "misinterpreted" you. But you didn't. You said (and I quote) - "At the present time, nothing even comes close". If that were even remotely true, the experimental "tests" where an entire audience was fooled as to whether they were listening to the musicians on stage in front of them playing, or it was reproduced sound they were hearing, could not have happened. And that was 30 years ago or so. A lot of further progress in sound reproduction has taken place since then.

    Quote:

    I think fundamentally, much recorded music does sound different than live music, as it has many luxuries (over-dubbing, effects, post-equalization, etc) live performances do not. At least many of the recordings I listen to certainly do. In many ways, this makes the recording a superior listen (both technically from a musician's take, and sonically).
    Amen.

    Quote:

    You are correct, Woodman, I do not have even 1/4 of the experience you do, and just because I haven't heard anything close to "perfection" (whatever that is), does not mean that it isn't out there. That being said, I'm happy enough with what I have now that other than my amateur speaker building and future SS amp projects, which are as much exercises in relaxation as the pursuit of audio perfection, I'm not in any mad search to find audio Mecca.
    Here's where your wheels slip off the track again, Ken. When you state that you haven't heard "anything CLOSE to perfection (whatever that is)" you are once again contradicting yourself. Earlier in this post you said that you listen about equally to live music and reproduced music at home, and that you prefer "live" over what you hear at home. Fine. No problemo. No argument. No debate. However, IF the music that you hear at home didn't even come close to sounding like "real" music, you couldn't stand to listen to it, IMO. It would have to be "live music" or none at all. Instead, you state that you're "... happy enough with what I (you) have now (in audio gear)". I suggest that you drop the " ... nothing even comes close" comment altogether. First, it's patently untrue, and second - it exposes your personal ABEs for all the world to see.

    Quote:

    Just curious Woodman..If you could build one dream system, what would it be?
    I just have to pass on that one. The whole concept of "one dream system" is alien to my thinking. I could be (and would be) thrilled right out of my socks with any one of about 15,873 different systems that I could assemble of components from dozens and dozens of different manufacturers.
  • 01-06-2005, 10:44 AM
    kexodusc
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by woodman
    Now you're changing your tune Ken.

    Yeah, I guess I am flip-flopping a bit. I wouldn't be the first person to backtrack a bit - nothing wrong with that. Now I remain optimistic, but still as yet unconvinced that a stereo system can fool me into believing I'm hearing a real, live orchestra (though I'll admit, amplified music is probably easy enought do). The "nothing even comes close" tag has been dropped. Please replace it with "show me the money".

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by woodman
    Here's where your wheels slip off the track again, Ken. When you state that you haven't heard "anything CLOSE to perfection (whatever that is)" you are once again contradicting yourself. Earlier in this post you said that you listen about equally to live music and reproduced music at home, and that you prefer "live" over what you hear at home. Fine. No problemo. No argument. No debate. However, IF the music that you hear at home didn't even come close to sounding like "real" music, you couldn't stand to listen to it, IMO. It would have to be "live music" or none at all. Instead, you state that you're "... happy enough with what I (you) have now (in audio gear)". I suggest that you drop the " ... nothing even comes close" comment altogether. First, it's patently untrue, and second - it exposes your personal ABEs for all the world to see.

    Sorry, Woodman, but that's an absolutely incorrect statement on your part...
    "IF the music that you hear at home didn't even come close to sounding like "real" music, you couldn't stand to listen to it, IMO"...I'm not sure on what grounds you base this statement on OTHER THAN your biased opinion.
    Given the option between not being able to listen to any music at all vs, a cheap, mono clock radio, I would prefer a mono clock-radio. Given another choice, I'd prefer my stereo system...given yet another choice, I'd prefer the live event. I enjoy all three to varying levels...I can have my cake and eat it too! This doesn't necessarily mean that I perceive these as being equivalent, or even "close".

    Surely you aren't emplying a mono clock radio sounds "close" to a live musical performance? Unless you're going to pull out some loose definition of "close" on me. :)

    I don't understand why you would suggest I wouldn't listen to home music at all if that's all I had to listen to?

    I do enjoy both, just one more than the other. I prefer a larger TV to the one I own, but I couldn't afford anything bigger...doesn't mean I'm not happy with my purchase. I don't own my own concert hall though and couldn't afford to book acts on a whim at my leisure, so there's a need to own my stereo. And I, like you, prefer to listen in solitude at times as well, justifying my use of my stereo.

    Hope this clears things up...Thanks again Woodman.
  • 01-06-2005, 12:32 PM
    musicoverall
    [QUOTE=theaudiohobby How much more life-like can tube amplifiers be if the audience was unable to distinguish a recording from an actual performance ;) , and the power amps for the playback in this case were solid state :eek: .[/QUOTE]

    I wasn't there so I can't answer. There are too many unknowns. I also have no idea how a different set of cables can sound different from another. I can only comment on my own experiences rather than relay a set of absolute truths.

    I find it interesting that this thread is about the "truth" in audio and there are so many different "truths" posted, nearly one different "truth" per post. That must be what makes this hobby so much fun - each of us pursuing our own sonic and musical truths.
  • 01-06-2005, 03:25 PM
    risabet
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by theaudiohobby
    treat electrons better :eek: grrrr.... :( maybe we should return to the days of the alchemists, the alchemists probably had more plausible explanations :D .

    What I meant was that IMO, tube electronics treat the music with less alteration than does SS. :rolleyes:
  • 01-06-2005, 03:43 PM
    E-Stat
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by woodman
    The whole concept of "one dream system" is alien to my thinking.

    I agree. What is not alien to my thinking is simply reporting the one that I have found to be the most pleasing. If there are multiple equals, pick any one. Can you answer that question?

    rw
  • 01-07-2005, 01:15 AM
    theaudiohobby
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by risabet
    What I meant was that IMO, tube electronics treat the music with less alteration than does SS. :rolleyes:

    good for you risabet, that why the market has a large variety of products, SS, Tubes and hybrids, pick the one which suits your tastes and you are up and away, various products satisfying a variety of opinions. :p :p :p, is everybody's opinion correct? now that is another matter entirely :) :) :)
  • 01-07-2005, 09:54 AM
    Monstrous Mike
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by musicoverall
    I find it interesting that this thread is about the "truth" in audio and there are so many different "truths" posted, nearly one different "truth" per post. That must be what makes this hobby so much fun - each of us pursuing our own sonic and musical truths.

    The most interesting thing in this post and others is that we haven't even gone past step number one, "The Big Truth". And that one is: "Does cable A perform audibly differently than cable B?"

    Once that truth is known, then we can argue to our hearts content which one sounds better, whether the price difference is worth it, which systems enhance or diminish the difference, etc.

    Until then, audio cables fall into the same category as all the other products that have no scientific proof nor professional backing and rely only on "testamonials" for market penetration. And that's a truth whether we like it or not.

    If you ask me, a lot of people are in so deep whether it is money invested or statements claimed in public that they cannot turn back. Very few audiophiles have gone from believing in cable sonics to dismissing that belief and it is my opinion that the reason for that has more to due with human nature than any "truth".
  • 01-07-2005, 01:21 PM
    musicoverall
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Monstrous Mike
    The most interesting thing in this post and others is that we haven't even gone past step number one, "The Big Truth". And that one is: "Does cable A perform audibly differently than cable B?"

    Once that truth is known, then we can argue to our hearts content which one sounds better, whether the price difference is worth it, which systems enhance or diminish the difference, etc.

    Until then, audio cables fall into the same category as all the other products that have no scientific proof nor professional backing and rely only on "testamonials" for market penetration. And that's a truth whether we like it or not.

    If you ask me, a lot of people are in so deep whether it is money invested or statements claimed in public that they cannot turn back. Very few audiophiles have gone from believing in cable sonics to dismissing that belief and it is my opinion that the reason for that has more to due with human nature than any "truth".

    As I mentioned to another poster with a smiliar point of view, you and I disagree on the subject of cable sonics. I have no problem with that. Why does it seem to bother you so?
    Why do you argue a subject that by your own admission is inconsequential to the point of invisibility? Just curious.
  • 01-07-2005, 03:22 PM
    theaudiohobby
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by musicoverall
    I find it interesting that this thread is about the "truth" in audio and there are so many different "truths" posted, nearly one different "truth" per post.

    Not many "truths", but a lot of opinions though :p :) :) :) :) :) :p
  • 01-07-2005, 08:37 PM
    musicoverall
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by theaudiohobby
    Not many "truths", but a lot of opinions though :p :) :) :) :) :) :p

    My opinion IS the truth! LOL!

    You're right, of course. I shall herewith take my opinions on cables where they belong - to the Cable board. I have no lab results to share. :)
  • 01-08-2005, 07:06 AM
    E-Stat
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Monstrous Mike
    The most interesting thing in this post and others is that we haven't even gone past step number one, "The Big Truth".

    Indeed. The author of the article referenced merely presents his preferences for system weighting for which there is no single truth.

    rw
  • 01-08-2005, 12:26 PM
    magictooth
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by musicoverall
    As I mentioned to another poster with a smiliar point of view, you and I disagree on the subject of cable sonics. I have no problem with that. Why does it seem to bother you so?
    Why do you argue a subject that by your own admission is inconsequential to the point of invisibility? Just curious.

    The reason why people argue about points like these is that some people hate the promotion and promulgation of false information. Take, for example, the promotion of some beliefs by a certain population: the belief is that by legalizing same sex marriage that society is encouraging and enticing the youth of today into a homosexual lifestyle. Repeated enough times in print and by talking heads, you'd almost think that belief to be true. I realize that a short audio post isn't enough to even remotely convey all that there is about this subject, but I think that you get the idea.

    Cable yeasayers have been saying for the longest time that they can hear differences in quality of cables but have yet to demonstrate this ability with a blind test. I will hold one truth to be paramount in the world of audio. When comparing two separate pieces of gear whether they be cables, amps, or whatnot, without a blind test the results are merely useless and trite anecdotes. I know FOR FACT that the human mind can be tricked easily by the mere mention or sight of label. There is no mystique about the audio industry that can mitigate this TRUTH. I've posted several times before to E-Stat how without blind testing, unbiased determinations of whether one piece of gear is better than another ARE IMPOSSIBLE.

    There is an easy suggestion once made by markw to test cables or wire or power cords. He had a friend come over every day. This friend would either change the cables or would leave them alone. markw then tried to be able to discern whether any difference could be heard. He couldn't. I tried a similar blind test with my wife where she switched inputs for me. I listened and couldn't tell any difference. Before the test I would have sworn to you that I could hear significant difference between the cables, but afterwards I was extremely surprised at the results.

    Why don't you try the above suggestion and come back and let us know what the results are?
  • 01-08-2005, 02:08 PM
    theaudiohobby
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by magictooth
    I've posted several times before to E-Stat how without blind testing, unbiased determinations of whether one piece of gear is better than another ARE IMPOSSIBLE.

    whao...from one extreme to another.. :) :) , where shall the twain meet ;) ?