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Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. #2848899
05/16/19 03:59 PM
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Below is a link to a very easy to understand video on speaker design. The point of it is that measurements don't always describe what you hear, and that use of plain old trust in your ears is what counts.

So in the vid, Paul describes how the BBC engineers ignored their instruments and developed a BBC standard that put a purposeful dip in the frequency response of speakers so that they sounded better. Said another way, these guys were some of the first audiophiles.

So when you pour over say a component's frequency response curve and then pass judgement.... well.... I doubt you can predict the sound. These BBC engineers couldn't do that either... and they developed a specification based on science, then tweaked by ear.

Another issue, as I promote, is that the sound quality from our wonderful keyboards is highly dependent on the amps and speakers they are played through... a huge issue. Spending more usually produced emotional dividends... more truth (high fidelity), more enjoyment.

Peace
Bruce in Philly

https://youtu.be/CM_wAT4rBKg

Last edited by Bruce In Philly; 05/16/19 04:04 PM.

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Bruce in Philly
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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Bruce In Philly] #2848917
05/16/19 04:36 PM
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Well, of course, I have to take the opposite point of view!

Warning, this video is more than an hour long, but anyone interested in high quality audio should watch (and also read his book).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrpUDuUtxPM

Some takeaways:
- Never evaluate speakers in stereo. Evaluate one speaker because it will reveal flaws more clearly.
- Never evaluate two speakers at a time. Evaluate 3 or more, since two might have the same flaws.
- in large (350 listeners), double blind tests, speakers that measure well (flat frequency response, smooth directivity) are preferred by all groups.
- This correlation is so strong that one can *predict* listener preference of an unknown speaker from measurements.
- sighted tests fail even the best listeners
- salespeople have the worst hearing

Some of my observations:
- Audiophile reviewers generally are older men. Hearing loss is more common for men (too many rock concerts? hobbies that damage hearing?), and hearing (especially high frequency) degrades as we age. I would never trust a review by a 50+ year old who can't hear past 12KHz.
- phase doesn't impact sound preference very much. A flat frequency response matter a lot more.

Last edited by redfish1901; 05/16/19 04:45 PM.
Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Bruce In Philly] #2848925
05/16/19 05:07 PM
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If you read microphone reviews and look at their frequency plots, you may notice that many of them have a slight boost in the higher frequencies. Not all, but many. I've always thought this is why headphones and speakers sound better with a dip in those frequencies.

Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Bruce In Philly] #2848935
05/16/19 05:50 PM
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Short version:

Originally Posted by Bruce In Philly
...The point of it is that measurements don't always describe what you hear, and that use of plain old trust in your ears is what counts....


Originally Posted by redfish1901
- in large (350 listeners), double blind tests, speakers that measure well (flat frequency response, smooth directivity) are preferred by all groups.
- This correlation is so strong that one can *predict* listener preference of an unknown speaker from measurements.


These are opposite statements. Only one of them is from a published research.

Olive, SE 2004: A Multiple Regression Model for Predicting Loudspeaker Preference Using Objective Measurements Part 1 and 2:
http://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=12794
http://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=12847

Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: redfish1901] #2848949
05/16/19 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by redfish1901
Short version:

Originally Posted by Bruce In Philly
...The point of it is that measurements don't always describe what you hear, and that use of plain old trust in your ears is what counts....


Originally Posted by redfish1901
- in large (350 listeners), double blind tests, speakers that measure well (flat frequency response, smooth directivity) are preferred by all groups.
- This correlation is so strong that one can *predict* listener preference of an unknown speaker from measurements.


These are opposite statements. Only one of them is from a published research.

Olive, SE 2004: A Multiple Regression Model for Predicting Loudspeaker Preference Using Objective Measurements Part 1 and 2:
http://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=12794
http://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=12847

There's a quote in the abstract of the second paper which states "The premise of the CU model is that the sound power response of the loudspeaker should be flat, which we show is negatively correlated with preference rating". That statement seems to imply a flat response sounds worse than a non-flat response.

I love myself some low distortion, fast transient response, and flat, extended FR. But there are bassheads, trebleheads, Harman response curve heads (for headphones) and everything in between. There are people who like cuts in higher frequency simply to reduce sibilance and fatigue, and then there are even people who like low frequency distortion. How you like to listen to your sound is a personal preference. As the word "like" implies.

Also, by the way, some of the most legendary microphones in history have non-flat frequency responses:
https://en-de.neumann.com/u-87-ai#technical-data
https://pro.sony/ue_US/product-resources/brochures/brochure-c-800g
https://www.shure.com/en-US/products/microphones/sm57
(if you search for specifications or brochures you'll find the frequency response plots)

These non-flat responses serve to flatter different singers, different instruments, or different rooms. On top of that, mixers often add EQ for further flattery.

I am an objectivist and I believe measurements can tell us quite a lot about the sound of our gear. But that doesn't change the fact that people - both musicians and listeners - have preferences.

Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Bruce In Philly] #2848989
05/16/19 08:00 PM
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Truth be told! Instruments don't listen to my speakers. But my ears do.
Originally Posted by Bruce In Philly
... measurements don't always describe what you hear, and that use of plain old trust in your ears is what counts.
I don't care what the instruments report. I only hear what my ears report.

Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Philosobyte] #2849134
05/17/19 07:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Philosobyte


I love myself some low distortion, fast transient response, and flat, extended FR. But there are bassheads, trebleheads, Harman response curve heads (for headphones) and everything in between. There are people who like cuts in higher frequency simply to reduce sibilance and fatigue, and then there are even people who like low frequency distortion. How you like to listen to your sound is a personal preference. As the word "like" implies.



Very well put!


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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Bruce In Philly] #2849137
05/17/19 07:41 AM
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This entire topic, in my humble opinion, wrongly assumes digital pianos are only standard audio products: stereo sound source which you should be able to connect to your choice of audiophile transport, DAC, preamp, amp, speakers, cables, interconnects. And one would prefer flat curve or V-shaped curve, etc. Which is OK when you build an audio system for enjoying music. However, IMO, it has nothing to do with piano playing. When you sit at a Steinway, you can't change to Harman curve or V-shaped sound. It's an acoustic instrument which sounds like it sounds. It radiates sound from the entire soundboard, not just stereo. Which is why premium digital pianos come with multichannel sampling and elaborate reproduction systems.

I mean, I understand the desire for audiophiles to also intrude the digital piano world with their obsessions but it's just not applicable here.

P.S. My response is based on the presence of this thread in the digital piano forum. If it is only about audiophile talk unrelated to digital pianos, then maybe it should be labeled as offtopic. And frankly, there are so many audiophile forums on the Internet I don't see any sense in polluting the digital piano forum with that.

Last edited by CyberGene; 05/17/19 07:44 AM.

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Bruce In Philly] #2849147
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
This entire topic, in my humble opinion, wrongly assumes digital pianos are only standard audio products: stereo sound source which you should be able to connect to your choice of audiophile transport, DAC, preamp, amp, speakers, cables, interconnects. And one would prefer flat curve or V-shaped curve, etc. Which is OK when you build an audio system for enjoying music. However, IMO, it has nothing to do with piano playing. When you sit at a Steinway, you can't change to Harman curve or V-shaped sound. It's an acoustic instrument which sounds like it sounds. It radiates sound from the entire soundboard, not just stereo. Which is why premium digital pianos come with multichannel sampling and elaborate reproduction systems.

I mean, I understand the desire for audiophiles to also intrude the digital piano world with their obsessions but it's just not applicable here.

P.S. My response is based on the presence of this thread in the digital piano forum. If it is only about audiophile talk unrelated to digital pianos, then maybe it should be labeled as offtopic. And frankly, there are so many audiophile forums on the Internet I don't see any sense in polluting the digital piano forum with that.

True, you can't EQ the sound of a real piano. But you can choose which piano to play wink
Some pianos have thunderous bass and treble sweetness (Bosendorfer), huge dynamics (Mason & Hamlin), warmth even in high notes (Steinway), clarity (Bechstein/Yamaha/Ravenscroft), etc. Of course these are generalizations/stereotypes and each piano sounds different, even among the same manufacturer, but you get the idea.
You can also voice the pianos to sound differently.

Last edited by Philosobyte; 05/17/19 07:59 AM.
Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Bruce In Philly] #2849153
05/17/19 08:35 AM
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You can EQ a real piano... Placement, lid, pedals.... You do have some control. But the piano designer/builder... oh they spent a career eq'ing them.

Peace
Bruce in Philly


Peace
Bruce in Philly
Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: CyberGene] #2849175
05/17/19 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
This entire topic, in my humble opinion, wrongly assumes digital pianos are only standard audio products: stereo sound source which you should be able to connect to your choice of audiophile transport, DAC, preamp, amp, speakers, cables, interconnects. And one would prefer flat curve or V-shaped curve, etc. Which is OK when you build an audio system for enjoying music. However, IMO, it has nothing to do with piano playing. When you sit at a Steinway, you can't change to Harman curve or V-shaped sound. It's an acoustic instrument which sounds like it sounds. It radiates sound from the entire soundboard, not just stereo. Which is why premium digital pianos come with multichannel sampling and elaborate reproduction systems.

I mean, I understand the desire for audiophiles to also intrude the digital piano world with their obsessions but it's just not applicable here.

P.S. My response is based on the presence of this thread in the digital piano forum. If it is only about audiophile talk unrelated to digital pianos, then maybe it should be labeled as offtopic. And frankly, there are so many audiophile forums on the Internet I don't see any sense in polluting the digital piano forum with that.

If it were as simple as that there would only be one acoustic piano on the market smile

Acoustic Pianists are every bit as bad as audiophiles when it comes to discussing the relative merits of Hamburg vs New York Steinways, then they (we) go on about voicing the piano. And that is before we start covering the merits of having a rug underneath the piano and tapestries on the walls to change the sound.

And even in the DP world we can discuss the merits of a CFX sample over a Bosendorfer or VST against sampled sound.

The N1X has a mass of parameters you can tune, i think going down to the level of tuning the response to each string individually - certainly far more control than is available in a conventional audiophile hi fi reproduction system.

Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Bruce In Philly] #2849205
05/17/19 10:56 AM
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^ percy64, well, that's true but it's enough that we have the this-vs-that in the acoustic pianos and then this-vs-that in the digital pianos to also add now purely audiophile talk regarding speakers and amps and their utmost importance smile Wondering if there will soon be someone who will post how he replaced capacitors in his digital piano and it's a "night and day" difference now smile

Last edited by CyberGene; 05/17/19 10:57 AM.

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: CyberGene] #2849226
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
^ percy64, well, that's true but it's enough that we have the this-vs-that in the acoustic pianos and then this-vs-that in the digital pianos to also add now purely audiophile talk regarding speakers and amps and their utmost importance smile Wondering if there will soon be someone who will post how he replaced capacitors in his digital piano and it's a "night and day" difference now smile


When will people on here stop comparing the sound quality of all the different digital pianos, they’re obsessed! :-)


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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: CyberGene] #2849240
05/17/19 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
This entire topic, in my humble opinion, wrongly assumes digital pianos are only standard audio products: stereo sound source which you should be able to connect to your choice of audiophile transport, DAC, preamp, amp, speakers, cables, interconnects. And one would prefer flat curve or V-shaped curve, etc. Which is OK when you build an audio system for enjoying music. However, IMO, it has nothing to do with piano playing. When you sit at a Steinway, you can't change to Harman curve or V-shaped sound. It's an acoustic instrument which sounds like it sounds. It radiates sound from the entire soundboard, not just stereo. Which is why premium digital pianos come with multichannel sampling and elaborate reproduction systems.

I mean, I understand the desire for audiophiles to also intrude the digital piano world with their obsessions but it's just not applicable here.

P.S. My response is based on the presence of this thread in the digital piano forum. If it is only about audiophile talk unrelated to digital pianos, then maybe it should be labeled as offtopic. And frankly, there are so many audiophile forums on the Internet I don't see any sense in polluting the digital piano forum with that.


+1

I really don't understand why such a topic belongs here either. There are plenty of audiophile forums, as you say. No need to infuse this forum with audiophilese as well. Now there are reasonable discussions to be had about the built-in speaker systems in digital or hybrid pianos. They are underwhelming, IMO... using headphones is a night and day difference for me. But discussions which are not directly related to the audio technology inside our DPs don't belong in the DP forum IMHO as well.

Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Bruce In Philly] #2849283
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+2. This started with a reference to a video on speaker design. But this is Piano World, not Speaker World.

Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Bruce In Philly] #2849452
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I'm not sure why posting about speakers is OT for this forum. Unless you are an "I only use headphones" type of person, it seems to me that speakers are an integral part of the DP esperience.


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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: SoundThumb] #2849466
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Originally Posted by SoundThumb
I'm not sure why posting about speakers is OT for this forum. Unless you are an "I only use headphones" type of person, it seems to me that speakers are an integral part of the DP esperience.


To my mind, speakers are the Achilles heel of digital pianos and I find it hard to believe that any digital piano uses high quality drivers, given the cost structures of digital pianos. I’m prepared to be proven wrong but that’s my gut feeling.

I spent a lot of money to purchase an exceptional pair of audiophile speakers and the system to drive them. I can hear you saying that I should just marry my digital piano to the stereo, except that would mean I would need to put the piano in front of the television or in place of the television, which is awkward in the former, and precludes us from watching films in the latter.

A big part of me feels that I will never be happy unless I buy a high quality acoustic piano, and that it is similar to how I bonded with high quality classical guitars and not electric guitars. There is just something about the sound, and immediacy of acoustic instruments that holds me in thrall.

Last edited by LarryK; 05/18/19 03:05 AM.

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: LarryK] #2849487
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Originally Posted by LarryK
Originally Posted by SoundThumb
I'm not sure why posting about speakers is OT for this forum. Unless you are an "I only use headphones" type of person, it seems to me that speakers are an integral part of the DP esperience.


To my mind, speakers are the Achilles heel of digital pianos and I find it hard to believe that any digital piano uses high quality drivers, given the cost structures of digital pianos. I’m prepared to be proven wrong but that’s my gut feeling.

I spent a lot of money to purchase an exceptional pair of audiophile speakers and the system to drive them. I can hear you saying that I should just marry my digital piano to the stereo, except that would mean I would need to put the piano in front of the television or in place of the television, which is awkward in the former, and precludes us from watching films in the latter.

A big part of me feels that I will never be happy unless I buy a high quality acoustic piano, and that it is similar to how I bonded with high quality classical guitars and not electric guitars. There is just something about the sound, and immediacy of acoustic instruments that holds me in thrall.


I don't think there's any doubt that the internal speakers is where DP's currently fall really short. There is a reason a lot of people in the acoustic forum swear by uprights which are at least 125 cm high (preferrably 130 or 132), or grands which are at the very least 170 cm long. It's about the same thing: Getting a good enough "sound system" in the instrument. That's why I have reverted to mostly using headphones with DP's. The internal speaker systems just don't do it for me. And connecting to monitors (I've done that as well at times) can be cumbersome, and also loses some of the immediacy when playing (where do you place them? How do you make sure you sit exactly in the sweetspot when playing?).

I also share your sentiment about the immediacy of acoustic instruments. No audophile systems or PA systems are remotely close to giving me the feeling I get from hearing or playing acoustic instruments in an intimate acoustic environment.

As I said, I do think it's interesting to discuss how speakers are implemented in DP's. Or discuss choices for connecting DP's to speaker systems. But pure audiophile discussions - "I exchanged my power chord and even my wife noticed it on the phone from Australia" - still seems to me to be OT here. There are countless forums on the internet people can seek out if they are interested in that.

Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Bruce In Philly] #2849528
05/18/19 09:04 AM
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I don't hide it... I am on a bit of a mission to influence/inform, that speakers and amplification are really important to producing/reproducing the sound in our digital instruments. Once you get that, there is another hurdle... that different amps, speakers can have a profound effect on the emotional connection you have with the instrument. Then there is a third hurdle.... that a given amp or speaker can have a profound effect... say a negative effect even though the watts/inches/frequency curves tell you it should be good. Or others here on forums tell you this or that. It is all about the sound that is produced... and for that, you must try out stuff and trust your ears and emotions. A system's specs mean little.

I am about liberating someone to go down the path of trying out something new.... plug into something else... take that old stereo system in your basement, pull it out and plug in your board...try it! Learn for yourself!

Don't accept that metallic sound you hear or attribute to the keyboard's sound generation capability.... "Roland's modeled pianos sound metallic... they are no good". I am willing to bet if they do, it is probably your cheap transistor amplification that is doing that. (BTW, did you ever notice that your keyboard sounds a bit better, less "tinky" after your amplifier warms up?)

I am also convinced that the proliferation of headphone use is a direct symptom of bad amps/speakers... although most don't get that. Sure, headphone use is big because of the privacy issue... but beyond that, I bet it is because of crappy amps/speakers. Headphones can just sound better due to the direct coupling of the eardrum to the speaker driver .... but even headphones are hampered by crappy 50 cent op amp chips in the keyboard.

I guess I can leave one peice of advice... when someone writes a review or comment about how bad or good a particular keyboard or VST sounds, ask them through what amp/speakers they are using to pass this judgement... or in the case of a VST, what digital-to-analog converter they are using. You can't go by a review without this information.

Oh, and since amplifiers/speakers are a so very important, it then becomes a question of "how do they sound?" or "which is better?"... and that is an audiophile question... and should be no different than a simple musician's question. They are the same pursuits... or should be.

Peace
Bruce in Philly

Last edited by Bruce In Philly; 05/18/19 09:11 AM.

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Bruce in Philly
Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: oivavoi] #2849536
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Originally Posted by oivavoi
Originally Posted by LarryK
Originally Posted by SoundThumb
I'm not sure why posting about speakers is OT for this forum. Unless you are an "I only use headphones" type of person, it seems to me that speakers are an integral part of the DP esperience.


To my mind, speakers are the Achilles heel of digital pianos and I find it hard to believe that any digital piano uses high quality drivers, given the cost structures of digital pianos. I’m prepared to be proven wrong but that’s my gut feeling.

I spent a lot of money to purchase an exceptional pair of audiophile speakers and the system to drive them. I can hear you saying that I should just marry my digital piano to the stereo, except that would mean I would need to put the piano in front of the television or in place of the television, which is awkward in the former, and precludes us from watching films in the latter.

A big part of me feels that I will never be happy unless I buy a high quality acoustic piano, and that it is similar to how I bonded with high quality classical guitars and not electric guitars. There is just something about the sound, and immediacy of acoustic instruments that holds me in thrall.


I don't think there's any doubt that the internal speakers is where DP's currently fall really short. There is a reason a lot of people in the acoustic forum swear by uprights which are at least 125 cm high (preferrably 130 or 132), or grands which are at the very least 170 cm long. It's about the same thing: Getting a good enough "sound system" in the instrument. That's why I have reverted to mostly using headphones with DP's. The internal speaker systems just don't do it for me. And connecting to monitors (I've done that as well at times) can be cumbersome, and also loses some of the immediacy when playing (where do you place them? How do you make sure you sit exactly in the sweetspot when playing?).

I also share your sentiment about the immediacy of acoustic instruments. No audophile systems or PA systems are remotely close to giving me the feeling I get from hearing or playing acoustic instruments in an intimate acoustic environment.

As I said, I do think it's interesting to discuss how speakers are implemented in DP's. Or discuss choices for connecting DP's to speaker systems. But pure audiophile discussions - "I exchanged my power chord and even my wife noticed it on the phone from Australia" - still seems to me to be OT here. There are countless forums on the internet people can seek out if they are interested in that.



Yes, to get the best sound from my digital piano when it is connected to my stereo, I need to have the digital piano replace my couch! It’s a non-starter, my wife would never go for that.

I’ve been through a number of stereo upgrades in the last thirty years and I’m not a tweaker. When I change something, I make sure that whatever I change changes the sound dramatically.

Changing from small cheap bookshelf speakers through various floor standers to the carefully constructed and hand built drivers I run now has been a huge change. Going from pretty anemic Class AB amplifiers, through small Class A amps to the massive Class A behemoth I run now has also changed my sound dramatically. The same goes for moving from the DAC inside a CD player to a dedicated separate R2R ladder DAC. I’ve evolved through preamps until I got to one that is incredibly quiet and offers a lot of functionality.

One of my friends said I didn’t believe in half measures but that’s because she hasn’t seen the evolution of my system over decades. I believe in doing the best I can with the limited money I have but I don’t obsess over silly things like power cords.



Last edited by LarryK; 05/18/19 09:25 AM.

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Bruce In Philly] #2849539
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Sure, the speakers in most digital pianos suck.
But in my case the first step up was to replace the sound generator.

The piano's native sound was terrible.
Amps didn't matter. Speakers didn't matter.
The sound was thin and crappy from the piano speakers.
It was thin and crappy from an outboard sound system.
And it's thin and crappy from the new monitors.

No speakers of any kind can make crap sound good.

Only after switching to virtual instruments was I able to hear improvement from a better sound system.

Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Bruce In Philly] #2849558
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Originally Posted by Bruce In Philly
Below is a link to a very easy to understand video on speaker design. The point of it is that measurements don't always describe what you hear, and that use of plain old trust in your ears is what counts.

Another issue, as I promote, is that the sound quality from our wonderful keyboards is highly dependent on the amps and speakers they are played through... a huge issue. Spending more usually produced emotional dividends... more truth (high fidelity), more enjoyment.

Eeh I don't think that a completely linear/flat speaker would sound very good, aye. Our ears do not have a flat frequency response either, we are far less sensitive to bass compared to e.g. 1-4KHz which is where most of human communication takes place.

I would agree that we cannot determine whether any given speaker sounds good just by looking at the FR graphs because they do not factor in our listening environment at all. heck, even listening to speakers in a store demo room is hardly useful past assessing the general characteristics because they can sound very different once they interact with your own room.

However, FR graphs can help to eliminate many a contender.
E.g.: I would not want to buy a bass heavy speaker when I am looking for sth. neutral just to end up EQing the bass out in order to bend the FR graph back. So FR graphs are useful to some extent.



Now, to the point where I disagree: AMPs/DACs. Honestly, people blow the effect of amps and DACs on the sonic characteristics of a system well out of proportion. Also, yes: I can look at a FR graph and determine whether an Amp/Dac is good or not. Anything not ruler flat is BAD in my book. I do NOT want the amp or source (DAC) to color the signal in any way. That's the job of the speaker, which I picked specifically for it's signature. Now if I want to shape the signature further, there are DSP and EQs for that but with a flat amp and a speaker signature I like, all I use that for is to correct shortcomings of a given recording. On top of that, I expect an amp to have inaudible levels of distortion/noise and obviously enough juice to comfortably drive the load attached to it w/o turning into an oven. Luckily, we live in a time where we have access to rather modestly priced amps and DACs that are audibly transparent and rather efficient speaker designs with 92+ dB/W. There is no need to drop big bucks here unless you have extraordinarily difficult to drive speakers.

Yep, you read right: most recordings are not perfect either. Thy can have clipping, anemic bass, harsh treble, squashed dynamic range ... you name it, it's probably out there. Some of that can be corrected during playback, alas clipping/loudness war victims cannot.

A general rule: A systems sound is 85% transducer 10% amp and 5% DAC/Source. Plan your budgets accordingly.

So the bottom line of Mac's post applies: no matter the grade of your system: garbage in = garbage out.
That includes crappy samples of an older digital piano.

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Granyala] #2849582
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Originally Posted by Granyala
Originally Posted by Bruce In Philly
Below is a link to a very easy to understand video on speaker design. The point of it is that measurements don't always describe what you hear, and that use of plain old trust in your ears is what counts.

Another issue, as I promote, is that the sound quality from our wonderful keyboards is highly dependent on the amps and speakers they are played through... a huge issue. Spending more usually produced emotional dividends... more truth (high fidelity), more enjoyment.

Eeh I don't think that a completely linear/flat speaker would sound very good, aye. Our ears do not have a flat frequency response either, we are far less sensitive to bass compared to e.g. 1-4KHz which is where most of human communication takes place.

I would agree that we cannot determine whether any given speaker sounds good just by looking at the FR graphs because they do not factor in our listening environment at all. heck, even listening to speakers in a store demo room is hardly useful past assessing the general characteristics because they can sound very different once they interact with your own room.

However, FR graphs can help to eliminate many a contender.
E.g.: I would not want to buy a bass heavy speaker when I am looking for sth. neutral just to end up EQing the bass out in order to bend the FR graph back. So FR graphs are useful to some extent.



Now, to the point where I disagree: AMPs/DACs. Honestly, people blow the effect of amps and DACs on the sonic characteristics of a system well out of proportion. Also, yes: I can look at a FR graph and determine whether an Amp/Dac is good or not. Anything not ruler flat is BAD in my book. I do NOT want the amp or source (DAC) to color the signal in any way. That's the job of the speaker, which I picked specifically for it's signature. Now if I want to shape the signature further, there are DSP and EQs for that but with a flat amp and a speaker signature I like, all I use that for is to correct shortcomings of a given recording. On top of that, I expect an amp to have inaudible levels of distortion/noise and obviously enough juice to comfortably drive the load attached to it w/o turning into an oven. Luckily, we live in a time where we have access to rather modestly priced amps and DACs that are audibly transparent and rather efficient speaker designs with 92+ dB/W. There is no need to drop big bucks here unless you have extraordinarily difficult to drive speakers.

Yep, you read right: most recordings are not perfect either. Thy can have clipping, anemic bass, harsh treble, squashed dynamic range ... you name it, it's probably out there. Some of that can be corrected during playback, alas clipping/loudness war victims cannot.

A general rule: A systems sound is 85% transducer 10% amp and 5% DAC/Source. Plan your budgets accordingly.

So the bottom line of Mac's post applies: no matter the grade of your system: garbage in = garbage out.
That includes crappy samples of an older digital piano.


I don’t agree with your percentage breakdowns and that has not been my experience in building my system over the years, but you are entitled to your opinion as much as I entitled to mine. Amps are a much larger percentage of the sound, IMHO.

Last edited by LarryK; 05/18/19 11:32 AM.

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Bruce In Philly] #2849588
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This is just silly.
Originally Posted by Granyala
I don't think that a completely linear/flat speaker would sound very good, aye. Our ears do not have a flat frequency response either, we are far less sensitive to bass compared to e.g. 1-4KHz which is where most of human communication takes place.
A sound system should try to produce the same sound as that of some original source (if such exists). Defects or limitations in our hearing don't suggest that this goal be set aside.

This seems to have been pulled out of thin air:
Originally Posted by Granyala
A general rule: A systems sound is 85% transducer 10% amp and 5% DAC/Source. Plan your budgets accordingly.
You could have said 50%-20%-30%, or any other three numbers. The only "general rule" is that they must add up to 100%. smile

And you've left out one of the most important factors: the sound source. What piano are we hearing? What microphones were used and how were they used?
There are more than three numbers to consider.

Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: LarryK] #2849590
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Originally Posted by LarryK
I don’t agree with your percentage breakdowns and that has not been my experience in building my system over the years, but you are entitled to your opinion as much as I entitled to mine. Amps are a much larger percentage of the sound, IMHO.

I was speaking of today's current technology.
Obviously I am too young to know how the situation was 20years ago, so if you use vintage gear your experiences may differ.

Imho all modern solid state amps sound alike as long as they are driven within their specs. In case of headphones, output impedance/damping is the most easily heard difference between them resulting in lower and more focused bass levels due to low resonance.

Friend and I compared a 3000 € DAC/AMP stack from Cambridge audio to his 700€ Pioneer AVR because everyone told him how horrible an AVR is for stereo music and the differences between the audiophile stack and the AVR were pathetically small.
WAY less than 5% for DAC/AMP combined, we had to strain to be able to hear the slighty refined bass of his Focal Aria 926.

Needless to say: we were pretty disappointed and disillusioned.

What I am saying is: unless you have TOTL or close to it speakers and a well treated room, spending big on DAC/AMP is pretty pointless b/c there are far greater benefits to be had by upgrading the speakers or improving room treatment.

Originally Posted by MacMacMac
This is just silly.
Originally Posted by Granyala
I don't think that a completely linear/flat speaker would sound very good, aye. Our ears do not have a flat frequency response either, we are far less sensitive to bass compared to e.g. 1-4KHz which is where most of human communication takes place.
A sound system should try to produce the same sound as that of some original source (if such exists). Defects or limitations in our hearing don't suggest that this goal be set aside.

It should, yes. But frankly spoken: most people do not like flat gear. Most people prefer the U shaped "bathtub" signature because they perceive it as more exciting. Companies produce what people like b/c it sells.
Apart from that: I believe it is still impossible to design a transducer that has a completely linear FR.

Obviously the numbers are fake, but they do demonstrate how little the amp and esp the DAC matter in the grand scheme of things and reflect the consensus of many an "objectivist" I have encountered. Naturally, most audiophiles and esp gear sellers do now want to admit this but once a DAC is audibly transparent it doesn't get any more transparent just by throwing more money at things.

You can check this site if you prefer a more scientific approach, as opposed to audiophile placebo: https://www.audiosciencereview.com
Because the point is: we cannot trust our ears. Perception bias and confirmation bias are real and heavily influence our decisions as many a failed "distinguish that amp/DAC" blind test has proven.

Originally Posted by MacMacMac
And you've left out one of the most important factors: the sound source. What piano are we hearing? What microphones were used and how were they used?

What exactly does that have to do with amps / speakers?

I wrote a bit about imperfect source material, apparently you glanced over it.

Last edited by Granyala; 05/18/19 11:52 AM.

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Granyala] #2849607
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Originally Posted by Granyala
Originally Posted by LarryK
I don’t agree with your percentage breakdowns and that has not been my experience in building my system over the years, but you are entitled to your opinion as much as I entitled to mine. Amps are a much larger percentage of the sound, IMHO.

I was speaking of today's current technology.
Obviously I am too young to know how the situation was 20years ago, so if you use vintage gear your experiences may differ.

Imho all modern solid state amps sound alike as long as they are driven within their specs. In case of headphones, output impedance/damping is the most easily heard difference between them resulting in lower and more focused bass levels due to low resonance.

Friend and I compared a 3000 € DAC/AMP stack from Cambridge audio to his 700€ Pioneer AVR because everyone told him how horrible an AVR is for stereo music and the differences between the audiophile stack and the AVR were pathetically small.
WAY less than 5% for DAC/AMP combined, we had to strain to be able to hear the slighty refined bass of his Focal Aria 926.

Needless to say: we were pretty disappointed and disillusioned.

What I am saying is: unless you have TOTL or close to it speakers and a well treated room, spending big on DAC/AMP is pretty pointless b/c there are far greater benefits to be had by upgrading the speakers or improving room treatment.


Yes. I have top of the line speakers and a top of the line amplifier. The speakers were designed with great care to sound good in a small room, which is what I have. They were introduced in 2003. My amplifier was introduced in 2011 and it sounds far better than the 90 watt Class A amp from 1978 that it replaced, which I had had completely rebuilt. I buy used gear from wealthy individuals who are upgrading to levels way above my level. I’m the case of the speakers, the guy was converting his three car garage into a listening room. In the second case, the guy had bought massive monoblock amplifiers to drive speakers that cost approximately $250k.

There is always a sky above a sky.


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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: LarryK] #2849609
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Originally Posted by LarryK
There is always a sky above a sky.

Technically that would be called space. laugh

Don't get me wrong: I'm not advocating to not buy quality amps or DACs. I'm merely encouraging people to look past the pricetag and personal bias in order to spend the rather limited budget we mortals usually have on stuff that nets them the most benefit.

1978 to 2011, whew I can imagine that upgrade was an eye opener. laugh


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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Granyala] #2849619
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Originally Posted by Granyala
Originally Posted by LarryK
There is always a sky above a sky.

Technically that would be called space. laugh

Don't get me wrong: I'm not advocating to not buy quality amps or DACs. I'm merely encouraging people to look past the pricetag and personal bias in order to spend the rather limited budget we mortals usually have on stuff that nets them the most benefit.

1978 to 2011, whew I can imagine that upgrade was an eye opener. laugh


Yes, it was indeed an eye opener. The designer of the first amp basically predicted the cost of the second amp. He had designed a lot of gear during his career and he knew how much it would cost to replicate/best his state of the art amp from 1978, today.

I absolute agree with moving the needle the furthest, which is why I do not spend big bucks on cables. I don’t buy junky cables but I don’t spend a lot of money on them. It’s all relative, though.

Last edited by LarryK; 05/18/19 12:46 PM.

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: LarryK] #2849653
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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Granyala] #2849659
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LOL. I managed to find a pair of high quality speaker cables made by the same manufacturer as my speakers, at least ten years ago, at about 1/31st of the price of the cable you referenced with that link. That price may still freak some people out but I’ve seen my speaker cables on sale for more than I paid for them so I’m happy.

Last edited by LarryK; 05/18/19 02:11 PM.

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Bruce In Philly] #2849660
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Buying these cables is only half the story. You’ll have to determine also their direction. Luckily it’s so easily audible that it should be an easy task. One direction and it sounds awful. Other direction and it sounds like heaven. With that in mind I wonder if digital piano manufacturers have soldered speaker cables in their pianos with the proper cable direction. Maybe that’s why Roland supernatural modeling is so bad. Someone should try resolder them the opposite way.


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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: CyberGene] #2849663
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
Buying these cables is only half the story. You’ll have to determine also their direction. Luckily it’s so easily audible that it should be an easy task. One direction and it sounds awful. Other direction and it sounds like heaven. With that in mind I wonder if digital piano manufacturers have soldered speaker cables in their pianos with the proper cable direction. Maybe that’s why Roland supernatural modeling is so bad. Someone should try resolder them the opposite way.


Couldn't they just turn the piano upside down?

Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: CyberGene] #2849665
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
Buying these cables is only half the story. You’ll have to determine also their direction. Luckily it’s so easily audible that it should be an easy task. One direction and it sounds awful. Other direction and it sounds like heaven. With that in mind I wonder if digital piano manufacturers have soldered speaker cables in their pianos with the proper cable direction. Maybe that’s why Roland supernatural modeling is so bad. Someone should try resolder them the opposite way.


LOL. I still haven’t asked the seller of my amp, an electrical engineer with a number of interesting patents to his name, what he thinks about sound differences based on cable direction.

The small power cables that go between my speaker bass roll off unit and the crossovers on my speakers are wired in such a way that direction matters. One direction lights up the LED lights at the base of the speakers to indicate my crossovers have power and the other way, the lights do not get lit. My engineer friend explained to me why but I have forgotten, I’m a software guy. I could find the explanation in an email. It has to do with how the cable is wired and the pin outs, and which pin carries the voltage. There is no indication of which way the cables should be put, you just have to try one way and switch it if the lights don’t light.

Last edited by LarryK; 05/18/19 02:32 PM.

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Granyala] #2849672
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$31,500 for a full meter-long cable. Such a bargain! Gotta get me some.
Even more economical: $39,900 for two meters!

. . . The Odin 2 Loudspeaker Cable is constructed using 26 silver-plated, solid core conductors, each taking advantage of Nordost’s proprietary Dual Mono-Filament technology and encased in a high purity class 1.003 FEP extrusion. The conductors are carefully arranged and precisely spaced on either side of a hollow inner core in order to provide a perfect mechanical interface along the length of the cable.

. . . The meticulous layout of this flat speaker cable minimizes skin effect and reduces damping, while the mechanically tuned lengths reduce internal microphony and decrease high frequency impedance. This cable is terminated with Nordost’s gold-plated HOLO:PLUG® spade and Z-plug banana connectors to ensure maximum surface contact and signal transfer.

. . . The state of the art technology applied to Nordost’s most advanced speaker cable provides extremely wide bandwidth signals along with unmatched dynamic resolution. The Odin 2 Loudspeaker Cable promises to deliver an impeccable and realistic performance from your hifi audio system.

Dual Mono-Filament technology!
FEP extrusion!
Mechanically tuned!

Don't you just love these things? smile

Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: MacMacMac] #2849677
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
$31,500 for a full meter-long cable. Such a bargain! Gotta get me some.
Even more economical: $39,900 for two meters!

. . . The Odin 2 Loudspeaker Cable is constructed using 26 silver-plated, solid core conductors, each taking advantage of Nordost’s proprietary Dual Mono-Filament technology and encased in a high purity class 1.003 FEP extrusion. The conductors are carefully arranged and precisely spaced on either side of a hollow inner core in order to provide a perfect mechanical interface along the length of the cable.

. . . The meticulous layout of this flat speaker cable minimizes skin effect and reduces damping, while the mechanically tuned lengths reduce internal microphony and decrease high frequency impedance. This cable is terminated with Nordost’s gold-plated HOLO:PLUG® spade and Z-plug banana connectors to ensure maximum surface contact and signal transfer.

. . . The state of the art technology applied to Nordost’s most advanced speaker cable provides extremely wide bandwidth signals along with unmatched dynamic resolution. The Odin 2 Loudspeaker Cable promises to deliver an impeccable and realistic performance from your hifi audio system.

Dual Mono-Filament technology!
FEP extrusion!
Mechanically tuned!

Don't you just love these things? smile



It’s easy to belittle things like this but I’ve got more respect for a speaker cable manufacturing company working hard to produce the finest speaker cable in the world than I do for some dude on eBay trying to sell an Epiphone acoustic signed by Paul McCartney for the same price:

Signed Paul McCartney guitar

That’s some expensive Sharpie ink!

My wife and once looked at an apartment that overlooked the patio of Sir Paul’s old apartment. He has since moved. If we had bought it, I could have catapulted guitars onto his deck in an attempt to get him to sign them so I could cash in! Paul, Paul, incoming Epiphone in box, Paul!!!

Last edited by LarryK; 05/18/19 03:24 PM.

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Bruce In Philly] #2849681
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Cables are not rocket science. You could’ve used the cheapest ones. Expensive cables are scam. As is almost anything in the audiophile world smile

Last edited by CyberGene; 05/18/19 03:31 PM.

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: CyberGene] #2849684
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
Cables are not rocket science. You could’ve used the cheapest ones. Expensive cables are scam. As is almost anything in the audiophile world smile


We disagree, so be it. There is no difference in sound between a Bose Wave thingie radio and my system, hahahahah. All human endeavors are a scam because we all wind up dead no matter what we do. Edison should have concentrated on his golf game instead of inventing things. No modern audio system is better than his wax cylinders anyway and the patent office should have been closed in 1900 because everything that could be invented had been invented by that time.

Last edited by LarryK; 05/18/19 03:55 PM.

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: LarryK] #2849713
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Originally Posted by LarryK
at about 1/31st of the price of the cable you referenced with that link. That price may still freak some people out

Most definitely.
1K for speaker wires is still insanely expensive.

Considering that I bought a 5m extension for my Focal Clear for umm.. 9.99€ and still don't hear a difference. *chuckles*

Originally Posted by johnstaf
Couldn't they just turn the piano upside down?

I laughed way harder than I should have trying to picture this. Thanks. laugh

Originally Posted by LarryK
We disagree, so be it.

There is nothing to disagree or agree when it comes to cables.
It is a scientific impossibility to hear them and that has been proven in countless blind tests.

Also, keep in mind that before the signal gets to your awesomesauce super expensive cable, it is run across a circuit board with conductors printed on.....
Whatever degradation a "conductor" can do to your signal already happens inside your amp and inside the non BS professional equipment used to make your music.

Last edited by Granyala; 05/18/19 05:56 PM.

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Granyala] #2849721
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Originally Posted by Granyala
Originally Posted by LarryK
at about 1/31st of the price of the cable you referenced with that link. That price may still freak some people out

Most definitely.
1K for speaker wires is still insanely expensive.

Considering that I bought a 5m extension for my Focal Clear for umm.. 9.99€ and still don't hear a difference. *chuckles*

Originally Posted by johnstaf
Couldn't they just turn the piano upside down?

I laughed way harder than I should have trying to picture this. Thanks. laugh

Originally Posted by LarryK
We disagree, so be it.

There is nothing to disagree or agree when it comes to cables.
It is a scientific impossibility to hear them and that has been proven in countless blind tests.

Also, keep in mind that before the signal gets to your awesomesauce super expensive cable, it is run across a circuit board with conductors printed on.....
Whatever degradation a "conductor" can do to your signal already happens inside your amp and inside the non BS professional equipment used to make your music.


I think it’s insane to spend over a $1k for headphones because music reproduction on headphones can never come close to music reproduction on a two channel system and there is nothing to discuss on that matter. Focal Nonsense. How much do you think the parts in your headphones cost, $100?

Last edited by LarryK; 05/18/19 06:20 PM.

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: LarryK] #2849733
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Originally Posted by LarryK
I think it’s insane to spend over a $1k for headphones because music reproduction on headphones can never come close to music reproduction on a two channel system and there is nothing to discuss on that matter. Focal Nonsense. How much do you think the parts in your headphones cost, $100?

Headphones are ones only choice when one can't use speakers due to neighbors or time of day.


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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: LarryK] #2849738
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So you're effectively saying that you have more respect for some scammers than for others?
I guess you must have in mind a rating scale for scoundrels. smile
Originally Posted by LarryK
It’s easy to belittle things like this but I’ve got more respect for a speaker cable manufacturing company working hard to produce the finest speaker cable in the world than I do for some dude on eBay trying to sell an Epiphone acoustic signed by Paul McCartney for the same price:
Signed Paul McCartney guitar
But on second read ... you seem to think that those cables represent hard work.
That they're the finest cables in the world.
Wow.
Wow wow wow wow. frown

Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: MacMacMac] #2849742
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
So you're effectively saying that you have more respect for some scammers than for others?
I guess you must have in mind a rating scale for scoundrels. smile
Originally Posted by LarryK
It’s easy to belittle things like this but I’ve got more respect for a speaker cable manufacturing company working hard to produce the finest speaker cable in the world than I do for some dude on eBay trying to sell an Epiphone acoustic signed by Paul McCartney for the same price:
Signed Paul McCartney guitar
But on second read ... you seem to think that those cables represent hard work.
That they're the finest cables in the world.
Wow.
Wow wow wow wow. frown



If you’re so knowledgeable about cables why don’t you open up your own manufacturing facility and show everybody else how it should be done. After all, according to you, those cables are easy to manufacture, so, start cranking them out of your basement.

If you can’t see that manufacturing a product has more utility than getting a signature on a guitar, that’s pretty sad, I have nothing more to say to you.



Last edited by LarryK; 05/18/19 08:03 PM.

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Bruce In Philly] #2849745
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This thread has evolved into a perfect example of why the audiophile discussions are a never ending quagmire that I DON'T WANT here.

I trust blind tests and scientific studies about the limits of audibility for humans. Hence I believe that competently designed amps which are designed to sound neutral sound the same before clipping, that modern dacs are indistinguishable soundwise, that cables make no audible difference, and that the only thing worth thinking about is speakers and room acoustics. My own speakers cost roughly 20 times as much as the amps and the active crossover I use to drive them, and my room decorations have been placed with the help of acoustic measurements. But it stops there for me.

But... I really don't care that there are people who don't share these convictions, and who trust what they think they hear over what blind tests say. There are many many forums where those things can be debated. I've been there and grown tired of it. I come to this forum because I want to discuss piano specific issues.

Last edited by oivavoi; 05/18/19 08:20 PM.
Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: LarryK] #2849752
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There's no need for me (or anyone) to make fancy cables.
Just get lamp cord from any of a number of sources and attach the requisite lugs or banana plugs as needed.
At $0.30 a foot (give or take) the wire is cheap.
And even top-notch banana plugs are just a few bucks for a set.
AND IT'S EVERY BIT AS GOOD AS THE $40,000 KIND.

Originally Posted by LarryK
If you’re so knowledgeable about cables why don’t you open up your own manufacturing facility and show everybody else how it should be done. After all, according to you, those cables are easy to manufacture, so, start cranking them out of your basement.
Being "so knowledgeable" is trivially easy. Wire is wire is wire.
The supercalifragilistic delta-wave infused harmonically-tuned crystalline jabberwocky that's spewed by these cable scammers has been torn to shreds by engineers for decades.
The purveyors of such deserve no respect. They're scammers.

Originally Posted by LarryK
If you can’t see that manufacturing a product has more utility than getting a signature on a guitar, that’s pretty sad, I have nothing more to say to you.
If you wish to defend a scammer and extol the virtues of his scammy manufacturing ... THAT'S what's pretty sad. frown

Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: oivavoi] #2849753
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Originally Posted by oivavoi
This thread has evolved into a perfect example of why the audiophile discussions are a never ending quagmire that I DON'T WANT here.

I trust blind tests and scientific studies about the limits of audibility for humans. Hence I believe that competently designed amps which are designed to sound neutral sound the same before clipping, that modern dacs are indistinguishable soundwise, that cables make no audible difference, and that the only thing worth thinking about is speakers and room acoustics. My own speakers cost roughly 20 times as much as the amps and the active crossover I use to drive them, and my room decorations have been placed with the help of acoustic measurements. But it stops there for me.

But... I really don't care that there are people who don't share these convictions, and who trust what they think they hear over what blind tests say. There are many many forums where those things can be debated. I've been there and grown tired of it. I come to this forum because I want to discuss piano specific issues.

This is trivially solved for you oivavoi! Avoid any thread with a name like "Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound." In fact, avoid any thread with the word "Audiophile" in the title and you won't hurt your eyes.

You see how easy it is? In fact, it'll save you a click too! thumb


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"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Bruce In Philly] #2849755
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@oivavoi: I think your points are valid. There is such a thing as plenty good enough.
Yes, there's still cheap crap on the market. But great equipment abounds.
It's easy these days to reach the top without going broke.

Yes, the suspicious claims that a $10,000 amp sounds better than a $500 amp make me (and you?) boil.
But you'll likely never get your wish for this:
Quote
... the audiophile discussions are a never ending quagmire that I DON'T WANT here.
It's there ... and likely will always be.

Tyrone has a point. The heading "Audiophile Stuff! Turn away!" is a warning.
But it's a suspicious warning. When someone says "don't look" he must surely know that people will look.
So I don't think it's really a warning. It's click bait for someone's agenda.

Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: LarryK] #2849803
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Originally Posted by LarryK
I think it’s insane to spend over a $1k for headphones because music reproduction on headphones can never come close to music reproduction on a two channel system and there is nothing to discuss on that matter. Focal Nonsense. How much do you think the parts in your headphones cost, $100?

I would think so too, if life wouldn't force me into a situation where, as Tyrone already stated, headphones are all I got.

Ofc HPs can never give you the physical impact (a.k.a. bass notes in your gut/vibrating floor beneath your feet) as speakers. I'm painfully aware of that, thank you very much. ._.

How much the parts cost? Not much. I'd suspect that manual labor in an European country (France) as opposed to slave wages in china and R&D costs are the greatest contributors to the price of a fairly low volume item. Obviously Focal is in the business to make money, so there will be a heavy margin on top of that.

That goes for every premium/design product. Do you think that the components in a 5000€ amplifier are actually worth thousands?

You still miss the point though: there is scientific evidence that cables cannot make an audible difference. If there was evidence to the contrary, the insides of amps would look VERY differently and no manufacturer would dare to use el-cheapo circuit boards.
Personally, I trust science and mathematics over gut feelings every time.


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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Granyala] #2849866
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Originally Posted by Granyala
Originally Posted by LarryK
I think it’s insane to spend over a $1k for headphones because music reproduction on headphones can never come close to music reproduction on a two channel system and there is nothing to discuss on that matter. Focal Nonsense. How much do you think the parts in your headphones cost, $100?

I would think so too, if life wouldn't force me into a situation where, as Tyrone already stated, headphones are all I got.

Ofc HPs can never give you the physical impact (a.k.a. bass notes in your gut/vibrating floor beneath your feet) as speakers. I'm painfully aware of that, thank you very much. ._.

How much the parts cost? Not much. I'd suspect that manual labor in an European country (France) as opposed to slave wages in china and R&D costs are the greatest contributors to the price of a fairly low volume item. Obviously Focal is in the business to make money, so there will be a heavy margin on top of that.

That goes for every premium/design product. Do you think that the components in a 5000€ amplifier are actually worth thousands?

You still miss the point though: there is scientific evidence that cables cannot make an audible difference. If there was evidence to the contrary, the insides of amps would look VERY differently and no manufacturer would dare to use el-cheapo circuit boards.
Personally, I trust science and mathematics over gut feelings every time.


Ok, here are some numbers for you. Here are the specs of my amplifier:

[img]https://imgur.com/a/FJwRP1r[/img]

Please identify a 5000 euro amplifier that meets these specifications.

There is a correlation between quality and price. To suggest otherwise is just foolish.

The cost of a product includes and is influenced by many things, including R&D, the costs of the parts and processes to produce them, the labor costs of the county where it was built, the volume of sales the manufacture hopes to achieve, the competitive products on the market, the performance of the product and how it specs out, and a profit margin to keep the company afloat in order to build more products.

I accept all of the above as the basis on which capitalism works.

Leaving aside the issue of the audible difference in cables, people build audio systems at all different price points that provide different levels of audio playback fidelity. It is easy to belittle these people but I don’t do that, I look at their systems as expressions of who they are, and I think it is amazing to see how a love of music can make people go to so much trouble to produce good sound. See the virtual systems at audiogon.com for many examples of what I’m talking about.


P.S. If I could only listen to headphones, I’d drop the money for the top of the line STAX. After all, by definition, you’re not spending the money to build a two channel system with speakers, so, why not?

Last edited by LarryK; 05/19/19 08:06 AM.

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Bruce In Philly] #2849872
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Nobody would dispute that high investment in design and build quality, which is reflected in a higher price, has an effect on sound quality. Of course it does. And having a good quality sound system is a great pleasure. But

- digital electronics has eliminated a lot of the problems that used to bedevil us - record decks were particularly horrific
- there is a big diminishing return effect above a certain price
- your ears quickly adapt to suboptimal audio conditions
- musicians tend not to care much about audio quality. They care about music. A writer doesn't care much about the font.
- spending more than around 10 euros or dollars for a cable is usually going to be a waste of money unless there's a heavy duty requirement (eg live broadcasting etc)

If the material used made such a difference, as these cable manufacturers claim, then what about the use of poorly conducting solder used on circuit boards - even super expensive audiophile circuit boards as far as I know.


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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Bruce In Philly] #2849874
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^ Can’t add more to that!


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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: toddy] #2849878
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Originally Posted by toddy
Nobody would dispute that high investment in design and build quality, which is reflected in a higher price, has an effect on sound quality. Of course it does. And having a good quality sound system is a great pleasure. But

- digital electronics has eliminated a lot of the problems that used to bedevil us - record decks were particularly horrific
- there is a big diminishing return effect above a certain price
- your ears quickly adapt to suboptimal audio conditions
- musicians tend not to care much about audio quality. They care about music. A writer doesn't care much about the font.
- spending more than around 10 euros or dollars for a cable is usually going to be a waste of money unless there's a heavy duty requirement (eg live broadcasting etc)

If the material used made such a difference, as these cable manufacturers claim, then what about the use of poorly conducting solder used on circuit boards - even super expensive audiophile circuit boards as far as I know.


I run a full digital front end with a MacMini streaming to a dedicated DAC, and with Roon + Tidal, I can find and stream tens of thousands of CDs. Yes, digital playback has eliminated a lot of the problems of analog playback and I love that part of it. I still run a turntable because not all vinyl records have been transferred to CD. Segovia’s The Intimate Guitar is one example.

Our ears adapt to suboptimal audio conditions but they delight in better audio conditions.

Hmm, what kind of musicians don’t care about sound quality? Classical? Rock? Pop? I don’t believe that musicians who have spent decades perfecting their sound don’t care if that sound is ruined on the recording. Poorly recorded CDs will not sell well. The word will get out and people will not buy them. Musicians probably don’t have much control over the sound although that is changing given the relatively low cost of high quality recoding equipment.

The cable argument does not negate the fact that the quality of the audio components used in a system influences the quality of sound produced by the system.



Last edited by LarryK; 05/19/19 08:59 AM.

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: toddy] #2849879
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Originally Posted by toddy
If the material used made such a difference, as these cable manufacturers claim, then what about the use of poorly conducting solder used on circuit boards - even super expensive audiophile circuit boards as far as I know.

Originally Posted by CyberGene
^ Can’t add more to that!

Actually, that isn't true. I don't want to get into a discussion of audiophile grade solder, but a number of high-end OEMs discovered and used it. I have a pair of monoblocks in storage which used audiophile grade solder almost 25 years ago. They weren't blind then. Technology was just further behind back then.


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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Bruce In Philly] #2849892
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Our ears are sensitive instruments. Humans evolved a sophisticated sense of hearing in order to detect threats. Our hearing is also used to orient our bodies in space. I read an article an about the world’s quietest room. People have trouble standing up in the room because they’re not hearing any sound, so, they give you a chair. Most people can’t stand it for more than fifteen minutes. With so little ambient sound, you start hearing the blood flowing through your own veins, a disconcerting sound, and one you never hear normally.

I play the classical guitar. I’ve heard dozens of classical guitars by different makers. I can hear minute differences in the tone of those different guitars. I was sitting in the front row of a masterclass and an advanced student got up and started to play. Within five notes, I thought, wait, I own a guitar by the same luthier! After the session, I asked the player who made his guitar and, I was right, I owned a guitar by the same maker.

Last edited by LarryK; 05/19/19 09:24 AM.

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Bruce In Philly] #2849896
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Recognizing guitars is a timbral recognition skill. But it doesn’t have anything to do with purely musical abilities such as perfect or relative pitch, chord recognition, etc. The same way it has almost nothing to do with frequency response related stuff which the audio reproducing equipment is all about and in particular the audiophile one.


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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: LarryK] #2849908
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Originally Posted by LarryK
l run a full digital front end with a MacMini streaming to a dedicated DAC, and with Roon + Tidal, I can find and stream tens of thousands of CDs. Yes, digital playback has eliminated a lot of the problems of analog playback and I love that part of it. I still run a turntable because not all vinyl records have been transferred to CD. Segovia’s The Intimate Guitar is one example.

Our ears adapt to suboptimal audio conditions but they delight in better audio conditions.

Hmm, what kind of musicians don’t care about sound quality? Classical? Rock? Pop? I don’t believe that musicians who have spent decades perfecting their sound don’t care if that sound is ruined on the recording. Poorly recorded CDs will not sell well. The word will get out and people will not buy them. Musicians probably don’t have much control over the sound although that is changing given the relatively low cost of high quality recoding equipment.


It seems we are mostly in agreement. I did say hi-fi sound is a great pleasure at the outset. And it is not surprising that audiophile grade solder exists (I also did say 'circuit boards use [the same poor conducting] solder as far as I know. ) Whether this high grade solder actually makes a difference to the sound is another matter

About musicians not caring much about audio quality - of course I'm talking in relative terms: obviously they will care about how their music is recorded, mixed and mastered. That goes without saying. But in my experience (admittedly this is just anecdotal) mucicians (classical, jazz and rock) don't generally invest a lot of time and effort on audiophile setups. Musicians who are also sound engineers care more about hi-fi, true, but I've never met one who's an audiophile as such.

Originally Posted by LarryK
The cable argument does not negate the fact that the quality of the audio components used in a system influences the quality of sound produced by the system.

Yes, absolutely true. Nobody here has said otherwise as far as I know. In fact I expressly stated:
Originally Posted by toddy
Nobody would dispute that high investment in design and build quality, which is reflected in a higher price, has an effect on sound quality. Of course it does. And having a good quality sound system is a great pleasure.


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Focusrite Saffire 24 / W7, i7 4770, 16GB / MXL V67g / Yamaha HS7s / HD598
Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: CyberGene] #2849917
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
Recognizing guitars is a timbral recognition skill. But it doesn’t have anything to do with purely musical abilities such as perfect or relative pitch, chord recognition, etc. The same way it has almost nothing to do with frequency response related stuff which the audio reproducing equipment is all about and in particular the audiophile one.


Yes, true, but timbral recognition is a product of having sensitive hearing.

One can work on improving the recognition of relative pitch through ear training exercises. The notion that people are tone deaf is, for the most part, nonsense, because just about everyone can recognize the sound of their own mother’s voice.

Last edited by LarryK; 05/19/19 10:15 AM.

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: toddy] #2849919
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Originally Posted by toddy
Originally Posted by LarryK
l run a full digital front end with a MacMini streaming to a dedicated DAC, and with Roon + Tidal, I can find and stream tens of thousands of CDs. Yes, digital playback has eliminated a lot of the problems of analog playback and I love that part of it. I still run a turntable because not all vinyl records have been transferred to CD. Segovia’s The Intimate Guitar is one example.

Our ears adapt to suboptimal audio conditions but they delight in better audio conditions.

Hmm, what kind of musicians don’t care about sound quality? Classical? Rock? Pop? I don’t believe that musicians who have spent decades perfecting their sound don’t care if that sound is ruined on the recording. Poorly recorded CDs will not sell well. The word will get out and people will not buy them. Musicians probably don’t have much control over the sound although that is changing given the relatively low cost of high quality recoding equipment.


It seems we are mostly in agreement. I did say hi-fi sound is a great pleasure at the outset. And it is not surprising that audiophile grade solder exists (I also did say 'circuit boards use [the same poor conducting] solder as far as I know. ) Whether this high grade solder actually makes a difference to the sound is another matter

About musicians not caring much about audio quality - of course I'm talking in relative terms: obviously they will care about how their music is recorded, mixed and mastered. That goes without saying. But in my experience (admittedly this is just anecdotal) mucicians (classical, jazz and rock) don't generally invest a lot of time and effort on audiophile setups. Musicians who are also sound engineers care more about hi-fi, true, but I've never met one who's an audiophile as such.

Originally Posted by LarryK
The cable argument does not negate the fact that the quality of the audio components used in a system influences the quality of sound produced by the system.

Yes, absolutely true. Nobody here has said otherwise as far as I know. In fact I expressly stated:
Originally Posted by toddy
Nobody would dispute that high investment in design and build quality, which is reflected in a higher price, has an effect on sound quality. Of course it does. And having a good quality sound system is a great pleasure.




Actually, I remember reading how Andrea Bocelli was raving about the sound of a high quality speaker, and he’s blind. I suppose the cynical argument would be that he’s being paid to say nice things but somehow I think he cares enough about sound to not do that. If he hawks inferior sounding products, he’ll be called out on it.

People on this thread are make outrageous claims that 500 dollar/euro amps are as good as 10,000dollar/euro amps and that has not been my experience at all, and I’ve owned both.


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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: LarryK] #2849933
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Originally Posted by LarryK
people on this thread are make outrageous claims that 500 dollar/euro amps are as good as 10,000dollar/euro amps and that has not been my experience at all, and I’ve owned both.


They may be different but I would not be honest if I didn't say that a 500 dollar amp would be more than good enough for me. I would spend any extra money on speakers and room treatment.


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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: toddy] #2849936
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Originally Posted by toddy
Originally Posted by LarryK
people on this thread are make outrageous claims that 500 dollar/euro amps are as good as 10,000dollar/euro amps and that has not been my experience at all, and I’ve owned both.


They may be different but I would not be honest if I didn't say that a 500 dollar amp would be more than good enough for me. I would spend any extra money on speakers and room treatment.


Speakers and amps are the two biggest parts of the equation. I had already owned a high quality pair of speakers bought years before. Everybody gets to decide what price level makes sense for them, but to argue that people who spend more gain no additional benefits, in terms of sound quality, is mean spirited and not true.

Last edited by LarryK; 05/19/19 11:04 AM.

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Bruce In Philly] #2849940
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Are you sure you can distinguish between a €500 amp and €10000 amp in a blind test? smile

Last edited by CyberGene; 05/19/19 11:06 AM.

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: CyberGene] #2849942
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
Are you sure you can distinguish between a €500 amp and €10000 amp in a blind test? smile

I think there are people who could based on character of the sound, if they knew the make/model of the two amps in question. The interesting test would be if we were to take two highly rated amps in audiophile reviews - one €500 (yes, audiophile mags do review €500 amps! LOL) and the other €10000, and the listeners are only told one is €500, the other is €10000, pick the more expensive one! smile


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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: CyberGene] #2849945
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
Are you sure you can distinguish between a €500 amp and €10000 amp in a blind test? smile


Yes, I am pretty sure I can but I would rather spend my time listening to music than doing blind tests.

Right now, I’m running a $1000 Class D amp while my expensive amp is in for repairs after being taken out by something, most likely by a huge power surge from a transformer explosion at ConEd.

Can I hear a difference between the cheap amp and the expensive amp? Absolutely. Is it a significant difference? Yes. Would I sell the expensive amp when I get it back and keep the Class D amp? Nope. Too bad the Class D amp does not beat the more expensive amp because, if it did, I would save a lot of money.

I know, it’s not a blind test but it is what my ears tell me after swapping out a single component.


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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Bruce In Philly] #2849954
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Well, you already know you’re listening to one or the other and your expectations are fully working smile That’s why blind tests are useful and why many people who otherwise swear by what they can hear actually fail them smile


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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: CyberGene] #2849974
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
Well, you already know you’re listening to one or the other and your expectations are fully working smile That’s why blind tests are useful and why many people who otherwise swear by what they can hear actually fail them smile



Of course, I knew you were going to say that. Regardless of the type of test, I still rely on my sense of hearing. If it makes you feel better to say that my sense of hearing can always be tricked, well, go ahead and hold that view. I want you to be happy. I don’t need a blind taste test to differentiate between an avocado and a tomato.

Last edited by LarryK; 05/19/19 12:29 PM.

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: LarryK] #2849976
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Originally Posted by LarryK
P.S. If I could only listen to headphones, I’d drop the money for the top of the line STAX. After all, by definition, you’re not spending the money to build a two channel system with speakers, so, why not?

Because, contrary to you, I do not have infinite disposable income. 1.5K for my Clear was already borderline insane to spend on audio given my financial situation. (I don't regret it though)

If I had, I would buy a house first and get some nice speakers in a dedicated listening room.

Top of the line STAX are what ~5K?
Add another 5K for the specialty amp (b/c you can't drive them electrostatics with any equipment, compared to normal HPs).

Originally Posted by LarryK
Hmm, what kind of musicians don’t care about sound quality? Classical? Rock? Pop? I don’t believe that musicians who have spent decades perfecting their sound don’t care if that sound is ruined on the recording. Poorly recorded CDs will not sell well.

Read up on the thing called "loudness war", listen to modern music (I know most of it sucks)... hear the clipping distortion, hear the squashed dynamics, hear the crappy lossy compression in nearly all mainstream media..
Most artists / studio engineers do NOT care about audiophilia and neither does the vast, overwhelming majority of listeners.
These are professionals and they know their mathematics. They have neutral pro grade gear that is well designed w/o any unnecessary marketing BS. Down to the essentials and .. often not exactly good looking either. Designed to get the job done.

People like you and me, that actively try to get the best sound they can, sit back and close their eyes while listening are a tiny subset of a tiny subset. Most peeps out there listen to crappy 10€ earbuds while doing all kinds of things while listening and call it a day.

Originally Posted by LarryK
With so little ambient sound, you start hearing the blood flowing through your own veins, a disconcerting sound, and one you never hear normally.

Indeed, operational noises of our bodies are annoying as f***. To bad for me that I hear them most of the time. I can also feel my pulse w/o putting a finger on any artery.

Originally Posted by LarryK
Speakers and amps are the two biggest parts of the equation.

Partially correct:
Speakers and room are the biggest factors, in nearly every system, interactions with an unoptimized room degrade SQ far more than any "cheap" amp could. Cheap being a relative term, mind you, of course the amp has to be of sufficient quality to not add distortion/color the signal and cope with the attached load at the desired volumes.


Now regarding your amp: Why did you redact the spec sheet? This is a little paranoid.
I see rather high wattage, okay, if you think you need that (hint: unless you plan to go deaf or have a very large room to fill, you don't).

Okay, lets compare that to my amp: Yamaha RX-V377.
Note: That IS an entry level AVR and was the most modest and cheapest Yamaha had on offer when I needed an amp in aa pinch. (more would not make sense for my speakers, more power would not be useful, I run it at -40dB and the neighbor already complains about the bass level (lol I swear that guy can hear grass grow laugh )

I have 70W @0.09/THD
You get 0.05 @ 50W
Yup, a little lower but both are well below any audible levels.

Frequency response
Mine: 10 - 100KHz +0 / -3db
Yours: 0 - 350KHz +-3db
In terms of what we can hear: 20 - 20000 that would be a tie. Both amps should be linear in that range with roll offs at the extremes of the spectrum.

S/N ratio:
Mine: 110db
Yours 79dB
Differences in measurements/weighting? Unclear since I do not know how the measurements are performed. Your amp seems considerably noisier but -79 should still be inaudible.

Power consumption idle:
Holy Moly yours eats 500W w/o doing squat all... yay Class A heater!
Sadly, my manual doesn't specify smirk

Your amp outperforms mine on paper. Easily. It should, yet according to the numbers I see, apart from a lousy class A efficiency I don't see anything that makes me go "OMG awesome". Chances are good that when I hear your amps paired with my speakers, I would not notice much of a difference... well ... except in the electrical bill and room temperature.

Wanna see a really well designed headphone amp with values that make audiophiles drool?
https://jdslabs.com/product/atom-amp/
Bam! 99$. Yeah, it is possible to design great hardware w/o it costing an arm and a leg.

Last edited by Granyala; 05/19/19 12:36 PM.

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Bruce In Philly] #2849977
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Is there a difference between fact and foolishness? I think there is.

Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Granyala] #2849988
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Originally Posted by Granyala
Top of the line STAX are what ~5K?
Add another 5K for the specialty amp (b/c you can't drive them electrostatics with any equipment, compared to normal HPs).

If you are interested in electrostatics, the low-end STAX, w/ amp can be had for around the price of your Focals.

I am not interested. The DC bias alone is >500V. I just like that so close to my head.


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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by Granyala
Top of the line STAX are what ~5K?
Add another 5K for the specialty amp (b/c you can't drive them electrostatics with any equipment, compared to normal HPs).

If you are interested in electrostatics, the low-end STAX, w/ amp can be had for around the price of your Focals.

I am not interested. The DC bias alone is >500V. I just like that so close to my head.

I thought about Stax when doing my research but honestly, I wanted the signature of the Focals and the whole non portable special rig turned me off.
I can put my Clear into it's case and take it with me / plug it into virtually anything with it's 55 Ohm impedance, since it isn't hard to drive.

Imagine taking a pair of Stax on vacation.
Unless you plan to french kiss your Electrostats, I wouldn't worry about the voltage. laugh


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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Bruce In Philly] #2849993
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One quick statement, how in the world can you claim that I have infinite disposable income? That is an absurd statement. I worked for a guy worth around half a billion dollars and even he didn’t have infinite disposable income. Hyperbole like this statement is not useful.

Last edited by LarryK; 05/19/19 12:53 PM.

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Originally Posted by Granyala
Originally Posted by LarryK
P.S. If I could only listen to headphones, I’d drop the money for the top of the line STAX. After all, by definition, you’re not spending the money to build a two channel system with speakers, so, why not?

Because, contrary to you, I do not have infinite disposable income. 1.5K for my Clear was already borderline insane to spend on audio given my financial situation. (I don't regret it though)

If I had, I would buy a house first and get some nice speakers in a dedicated listening room.

Top of the line STAX are what ~5K?
Add another 5K for the specialty amp (b/c you can't drive them electrostatics with any equipment, compared to normal HPs).

Originally Posted by LarryK
Hmm, what kind of musicians don’t care about sound quality? Classical? Rock? Pop? I don’t believe that musicians who have spent decades perfecting their sound don’t care if that sound is ruined on the recording. Poorly recorded CDs will not sell well.

Read up on the thing called "loudness war", listen to modern music (I know most of it sucks)... hear the clipping distortion, hear the squashed dynamics, hear the crappy lossy compression in nearly all mainstream media..
Most artists / studio engineers do NOT care about audiophilia and neither does the vast, overwhelming majority of listeners.
These are professionals and they know their mathematics. They have neutral pro grade gear that is well designed w/o any unnecessary marketing BS. Down to the essentials and .. often not exactly good looking either. Designed to get the job done.

People like you and me, that actively try to get the best sound they can, sit back and close their eyes while listening are a tiny subset of a tiny subset. Most peeps out there listen to crappy 10€ earbuds while doing all kinds of things while listening and call it a day.

Originally Posted by LarryK
With so little ambient sound, you start hearing the blood flowing through your own veins, a disconcerting sound, and one you never hear normally.

Indeed, operational noises of our bodies are annoying as f***. To bad for me that I hear them most of the time. I can also feel my pulse w/o putting a finger on any artery.

Originally Posted by LarryK
Speakers and amps are the two biggest parts of the equation.



Partially correct:
Speakers and room are the biggest factors, in nearly every system, interactions with an unoptimized room degrade SQ far more than any "cheap" amp could. Cheap being a relative term, mind you, of course the amp has to be of sufficient quality to not add distortion/color the signal and cope with the attached load at the desired volumes.


Now regarding your amp: Why did you redact the spec sheet? This is a little paranoid.
I see rather high wattage, okay, if you think you need that (hint: unless you plan to go deaf or have a very large room to fill, you don't).

Okay, lets compare that to my amp: Yamaha RX-V377.
Note: That IS an entry level AVR and was the most modest and cheapest Yamaha had on offer when I needed an amp in aa pinch. (more would not make sense for my speakers, more power would not be useful, I run it at -40dB and the neighbor already complains about the bass level (lol I swear that guy can hear grass grow laugh )

I have 70W @0.09/THD
You get 0.05 @ 50W
Yup, a little lower but both are well below any audible levels.

Frequency response
Mine: 10 - 100KHz +0 / -3db
Yours: 0 - 350KHz +-3db
In terms of what we can hear: 20 - 20000 that would be a tie. Both amps should be linear in that range with roll offs at the extremes of the spectrum.

S/N ratio:
Mine: 110db
Yours 79dB
Differences in measurements/weighting? Unclear since I do not know how the measurements are performed. Your amp seems considerably noisier but -79 should still be inaudible.

Power consumption idle:
Holy Moly yours eats 500W w/o doing squat all... yay Class A heater!
Sadly, my manual doesn't specify smirk

Your amp outperforms mine on paper. Easily. It should, yet according to the numbers I see, apart from a lousy class A efficiency I don't see anything that makes me go "OMG awesome". Chances are good that when I hear your amps paired with my speakers, I would not notice much of a difference... well ... except in the electrical bill and room temperature.

Wanna see a really well designed headphone amp with values that make audiophiles drool?
https://jdslabs.com/product/atom-amp/
Bam! 99$. Yeah, it is possible to design great hardware w/o it costing an arm and a leg.



Your amp and my amp are not in the same country as far as performance.

You’re ignoring the watts my amp can swing on transients, which is what a lot of complicated orchestral music requires for an exciting musical presentation. Some people call this slam.

I don’t play loud except for when it must be loud when playing back recordings that have a wide dynamic range. A Brahms Symphony can have a dynamic range of around 18 as measured by Tidal, Norah Jones is around 9.

I know all about the loudness wars. I don’t listen to that kind of crappy music.

The extra cost for the electric bill is around $50 a month, well worth it for the quality of sound I achieve. People blow more in Starbucks in two weeks.

I redacted because there are other products on the screenshot and I wanted you to just look at the numbers.



Last edited by LarryK; 05/19/19 01:06 PM.

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Originally Posted by LarryK
One quick statement, how in the world can you claim that I have infinite disposable income? That is an absurd statement. I worked for a guy worth around half a billion dollars and even he didn’t have infinite disposable income. Hyperbole like this statement is not useful.

Figure of speech, not to be taken in the strict mathematical sense. wink

From the way you talk, it seems like a 10K amp is pocket change for you.
Compared to a person that can MAYBE, if life is kind, put away 2K/year, that does look like "he can buy whatever he fancies, monetary aspects be damned".


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Originally Posted by Granyala
Originally Posted by LarryK
One quick statement, how in the world can you claim that I have infinite disposable income? That is an absurd statement. I worked for a guy worth around half a billion dollars and even he didn’t have infinite disposable income. Hyperbole like this statement is not useful.

Figure of speech, not to be taken in the strict mathematical sense. wink

From the way you talk, it seems like a 10K amp is pocket change for you.
Compared to a person that can MAYBE, if life is kind, put away 2K/year, that does look like "he can buy whatever he fancies, monetary aspects be damned".


It is not pocket change to me, this amp is my lifetime amp, the one I expect to keep until I die and I gritted my teeth to buy it. I looked for seven years to find this amp on the used market at a price I could barely justify. I sold it to my wife based on how it consumes less floor space than my last amplifier, lol. I will not tell her the price.

Last edited by LarryK; 05/19/19 01:11 PM.

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Bruce In Philly] #2850000
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The key is to get one's disposable income to the level where one can afford one's hobbies. Everything beyond that is gravy.


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Originally Posted by LarryK
I don’t play loud except for when it must be loud when playing back recordings that have a wide dynamic range. A Brahms Symphony can have a dynamic range of around 18 as measured by Tidal, Norah Jones is around 9.


Double wattage nets you +3 db, so when you listen to efficient speakers at 90dB (1W for ease of calculus)
You need 8W to get to that +9dB and 64W to get to +18dB.

My amp can hold 70W continuous and spit out 160W on brief transients.

However, that would be 108dB of loudness. Ouch!

Personally, the most dynamic recording I have is +12, necessitating a measly 16 watts @ 102dB. certainly enough that the neighbor complains.


*chuckles* Okay, I got the wrong impression then and stand corrected.
Probably a wise choice b/c WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor) is always difficult to get when it comes to HiFi gear. laugh
Originally Posted by LarryK
I redacted because there are other products on the screenshot and I wanted you to just look at the numbers.

To be perfectly honest: I'd rather look at a pic of your system. (considering that listening to it is sadly out of the question) laugh

Last edited by Granyala; 05/19/19 01:20 PM.

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Granyala] #2850004
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Originally Posted by Granyala
Originally Posted by LarryK
I don’t play loud except for when it must be loud when playing back recordings that have a wide dynamic range. A Brahms Symphony can have a dynamic range of around 18 as measured by Tidal, Norah Jones is around 9.


Double wattage nets you +3 db, so when you listen to efficient speakers at 90dB (1W for ease of calculus)
You need 8W to get to that +9dB and 64W to get to +18dB.

My amp can hold 70W continuous and spit out 160W on brief transients.

However, that would be 108dB of loudness. Ouch!

Personally, the most dynamic recording I have is +12, necessitating a measly 16 watts @ 102dB. certainly enough that the neighbor complains.


*chuckles* Okay, I got the wrong impression then and stand corrected.
Probably a wise choice b/c WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor) is always difficult to get when it comes to HiFi gear. laugh
Originally Posted by LarryK
I redacted because there are other products on the screenshot and I wanted you to just look at the numbers.

To be perfectly honest: I'd rather look at a pic of your system. (considering that listening to it is sadly out of the question) laugh


You know, my quest has never been about playing at loud volume levels and I have never had a neighbor complain about my stereo. That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t get loud but I do not play at ear splitting levels.

My desire is to have a sound that is eerily lifelike and I like what I have built in terms of that criteria. Vocals are stunning for their depth and emotional content. Like I mentioned before, I tricked an electrician working in my kitchen into thinking I was playing the cello in the living room. That was kind of a blind test. Why he didn’t realize that I was using the new 20amp circuits he had installed the day before, I do not know, he just said he walked into the living room expecting me to be seated there with my cello, and I was not, lol. I don’t play the cello, and even if I did, I wouldn’t sound like Pablo Casals.

My speakers have a unit that actively rolls off bass so as to avoid the problem of bass overhang in small rooms. I do not run a sub although that would make the bottom end better if done right.



Last edited by LarryK; 05/19/19 01:30 PM.

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2850006
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Speaking of this ...
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
The key is to get one's disposable income to the level where one can afford one's hobbies. Everything beyond that is gravy.
I get the impression that you're retired.
Did I guess right? Or am I full of it?

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Originally Posted by LarryK
My desire is to have a sound that is eerily lifelike and I like what I have built in terms of that criteria.
My speakers have a unit that actively rolls off bass so as to avoid the problem of bass overhang in small rooms. I do not run a sub although that would make the bottom end better if done right.
Well ultimately that is the most important aspect. After all, we build these systems to enjoy them.
As for the sub: integration and placement is very difficult. In terms of music listening (organ music and electronic music excluded) you are almost always better off w/o one.

I wouldn't want to watch a movie w/o a sub though. So much fun to feel the couch rumble. laugh


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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Speaking of this ...
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
The key is to get one's disposable income to the level where one can afford one's hobbies. Everything beyond that is gravy.
I get the impression that you're retired.
Did I guess right? Or am I full of it?

Nope. Just a business owner.


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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Granyala] #2850014
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Originally Posted by Granyala
Originally Posted by LarryK
My desire is to have a sound that is eerily lifelike and I like what I have built in terms of that criteria.
My speakers have a unit that actively rolls off bass so as to avoid the problem of bass overhang in small rooms. I do not run a sub although that would make the bottom end better if done right.
Well ultimately that is the most important aspect. After all, we build these systems to enjoy them.
As for the sub: integration and placement is very difficult. In terms of music listening (organ music and electronic music excluded) you are almost always better off w/o one.

I wouldn't want to watch a movie w/o a sub though. So much fun to feel the couch rumble. laugh


I agree, which is why I have not installed a sub and will not. Bass energy is the most problematic to control because the waves are so long, of course.

If I want to listen to organ music, I’ll go to St. John the Divine in Manhattan and listen to their organ, which has over 8,000 pipes. There is nothing else like it and I know I’ll never come close to reproducing that sound. I heard a performance of Bach’s complete orgelbüchlein a few months ago, it was stunning to hear that. It’s hard to know exactly where to sit, the organist gave us some tips, and I went with sitting in the chorister seats.

As for WAF, cost, and all that, I don’t own a car and I had the most assets when we married. I started out after college with about $3k to my name, and no debt, so building a system like this was a long time coming. My wife sometimes asks if we can sell all the gear and just get a radio, and I say, nope.

Last edited by LarryK; 05/19/19 02:03 PM.

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: LarryK] #2850018
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Originally Posted by LarryK
If I want to listen to organ music, I’ll go to St. John the Divine in Manhattan and listen to their organ, which has over 8,000 pipes. There is nothing else like it and I know I’ll never come close to reproducing that sound. I heard a performance of Bach’s complete orgelbüchlein a few months ago, it was stunning to hear that. It’s hard to know exactly where to sit, the organist gave us some tips, and I went with sitting in the chorister seats.

My wife sometimes asks if we can sell all the gear and just get a radio, and I say, nope.

Man, I envy you. I always imagined how it would be to witness a live organ performance. Maybe one day.


Sell the gear and buy a radio .... HERESY I say... but which brings us right back to the point that audiophile SQ isn't important for many people. wink


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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: LarryK] #2850067
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Originally Posted by LarryK

I agree, which is why I have not installed a sub and will not. Bass energy is the most problematic to control because the waves are so long, of course.


Well, the problem is not that the waves are long, but that a small room reflects them creating room modes. The simplest way to control for room modes is to use more than one subwoofer.

Here is the relevant segment of Floyd Toole's talk: https://youtu.be/7vn6hQHRgzk?t=1185

Scientific research--it works!

Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: redfish1901] #2850070
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Originally Posted by redfish1901
Originally Posted by LarryK

I agree, which is why I have not installed a sub and will not. Bass energy is the most problematic to control because the waves are so long, of course.


Well, the problem is not that the waves are long, but that a small room reflects them creating room modes. The simplest way to control for room modes is to use more than one subwoofer.

Here is the relevant segment of Floyd Toole's talk: https://youtu.be/7vn6hQHRgzk?t=1185

Scientific research--it works!



Ok, it is a problem of long waves in a short room due to the fact that I don’t have an infinite amount of disposable income! If I did, I would build a large dedicated listening room, as many have done, and I would hire Rives to do it, I suppose.

Thanks for the link! I don’t think I’ll go down that road but I will think about it.

Just for fun, I’ll post the specs of my speakers. I suppose you’ll all say I have too much power but the speakers sound great and are certainly under the tight control of my amplifier.

Last edited by LarryK; 05/19/19 04:37 PM.

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Bruce In Philly] #2850072
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Fortunately it's not that important for piano. There's very little energy at the extreme low end. I wouldn't think of using a sub.
This is a piano, not a church organ. Or an electric bass guitar.

If there were need of a sub ... what that really means is that the main speakers are just too small.

I'd rather have a pair of good speakers with no sub ... than a pair of inadequate speakers, and then have to fuss with (and spend on) a sub.

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Originally Posted by LarryK

Just for fun, I’ll post the specs of my speakers. I suppose you’ll all say I have too much power but the speakers sound great and are certainly under the tight control of my amplifier.


For me JBL M2's reflect the "state of the art" in speakers, backed by research. These are too much for me (at $20K USD, heh), but JBL 708p's are supposed to perform _extremely close_ at $4000/pair.

I'm eyeing the 708p's because they have active cross overs and power amps built in. Why mess with external amps and such when I trust JBL to build the right amp for me.

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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Fortunately it's not that important for piano. There's very little energy at the extreme low end.


I don't know about you, but my grand piano's low notes have lots of energy at the extreme low notes, and I love hitting them loudly.

It's a different matter for digital instruments of course, but I've heard other forum members mention that adding a subwoofer improved their playing experience.

Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Bruce In Philly] #2850086
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Ok, here are the specs for my speakers:

[img]https://imgur.com/a/PlZDkXa[/img]

I suppose they’re a lot less interesting than the specs for my amplifier.

The guiding principle behind this speaker is:

All drivers must be in phase at all times at all frequencies.

It’s a D’Appolito configuration, two 5 inch Kevlar coated drivers with massive magnet assemblies, look at the power handling capability, cast magnesium basket designed for maximum ventilation between cone and spider, magnetic assembly is vented. The speaker is not ported. Non-ported speakers are generally more accurate than ported speakers.

Oil filled linen tweeter so no problems with the break-up modes associated with metal domed tweeters.

Massively built, heavy, monocoque construction, meaning each speaker is all one piece.

Q controller to match speaker output to size of the room.

I suppose I might upgrade the speakers some day. I’ve got the juice to drive just about anything.

Last edited by LarryK; 05/19/19 05:13 PM.

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: redfish1901] #2850091
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Actually they do not.
Originally Posted by redfish1901
I don't know about you, but my grand piano's low notes have lots of energy at the extreme low notes, and I love hitting them loudly.
Notes of the lowest octave have only a tiny fraction of the energy found in the overtones.
The overtones fool the ear is into "hearing" the almost-absent fundamental.

As you said earlier: Scientific research--it works! smile

Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Bruce In Philly] #2850094
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Just noticed, Rives is gone but there are other firms that will design a dedicated listening room.

I don’t have that kind of scratch.


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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: redfish1901] #2850097
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Originally Posted by redfish1901
Originally Posted by LarryK

Just for fun, I’ll post the specs of my speakers. I suppose you’ll all say I have too much power but the speakers sound great and are certainly under the tight control of my amplifier.


For me JBL M2's reflect the "state of the art" in speakers, backed by research. These are too much for me (at $20K USD, heh), but JBL 708p's are supposed to perform _extremely close_ at $4000/pair.

I'm eyeing the 708p's because they have active cross overs and power amps built in. Why mess with external amps and such when I trust JBL to build the right amp for me.



I want to be able to evolve my components separately, which is what I have done for decades. All manufacturers are under cost pressures and so, I don’t want amplifiers in my speakers, they’d be Class D which I don’t be like, nothing against JBL. A lot of people know how to design good amplifiers.

Last edited by LarryK; 05/19/19 05:34 PM.

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: LarryK] #2850108
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Originally Posted by LarryK
Ok, here are the specs for my speakers:

[img]https://imgur.com/a/PlZDkXa[/img]

I suppose they’re a lot less interesting than the specs for my amplifier.

The guiding principle behind this speaker is:

All drivers must be in phase at all times at all frequencies.

It’s a D’Appolito configuration, two 5 inch Kevlar coated drivers with massive magnet assemblies, look at the power handling capability, cast magnesium basket designed for maximum ventilation between cone and spider, magnetic assembly is vented. The speaker is not ported. Non-ported speakers are generally more accurate than ported speakers.

Oil filled linen tweeter so no problems with the break-up modes associated with metal domed tweeters.

Massively built, heavy, monocoque construction, meaning each speaker is all one piece.

Q controller to match speaker output to size of the room.

I suppose I might upgrade the speakers some day. I’ve got the juice to drive just about anything.


I must admit that you got me curious. All of the features you mention are things I have come to appreciate in loudspeakers. What speakers are they?

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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Actually they do not.
Originally Posted by redfish1901
I don't know about you, but my grand piano's low notes have lots of energy at the extreme low notes, and I love hitting them loudly.
Notes of the lowest octave have only a tiny fraction of the energy found in the overtones.
The overtones fool the ear is into "hearing" the almost-absent fundamental.

As you said earlier: Scientific research--it works! smile

According to Spectral Analysis of Musical Sounds, the lowest C, C1 has only 1% of energy emited at its fundamental partial. 4% at its second. Then yes, “lots of energy at the extreme low notes”, but not at their lowest part of the spectrum.

Last edited by Frédéric L; 05/19/19 06:41 PM.

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: oivavoi] #2850115
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Originally Posted by oivavoi
Originally Posted by LarryK
Ok, here are the specs for my speakers:

[img]https://imgur.com/a/PlZDkXa[/img]

I suppose they’re a lot less interesting than the specs for my amplifier.

The guiding principle behind this speaker is:

All drivers must be in phase at all times at all frequencies.

It’s a D’Appolito configuration, two 5 inch Kevlar coated drivers with massive magnet assemblies, look at the power handling capability, cast magnesium basket designed for maximum ventilation between cone and spider, magnetic assembly is vented. The speaker is not ported. Non-ported speakers are generally more accurate than ported speakers.

Oil filled linen tweeter so no problems with the break-up modes associated with metal domed tweeters.

Massively built, heavy, monocoque construction, meaning each speaker is all one piece.

Q controller to match speaker output to size of the room.

I suppose I might upgrade the speakers some day. I’ve got the juice to drive just about anything.


I must admit that you got me curious. All of the features you mention are things I have come to appreciate in loudspeakers. What speakers are they?


After a few more people weigh in, I’ll reveal the speakers, which will also reveal the amp.


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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Granyala] #2850127
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Originally Posted by Granyala


Power consumption idle:
Holy Moly yours eats 500W w/o doing squat all... yay Class A heater!
Sadly, my manual doesn't specify smirk


I'm not sure why the power consumption at idle should matter, I don't let my amp idle without a signal, it is either amplifying music or it is off.

I could buy a preamp that talks to the amp and has it drop into standby mode when there is no signal but that is an expensive solution and I can get around the problem by how I use the system.

If playing through the Roon + Tidal setup, you can configure something called Roon Radio, which finds related CDs once the ones you've chosen are played. It's a cool way to discover new music based on the music you already have in your library. So, with that enabled, the amp will not burn electricity with no music being played.

The advantage of Class A amplification, of course, is that there is no crossover distortion, like in Class AB or Class B amps, because the transistors in a Class A amplifier are always on, so, there is no switching transistors on and off, and therefore no distortion. Voila!

The result of Class A amplification is an incredible smoothness in musical presentation. Yes, you pay for it in terms of heat, weight, and electricity, but, I think it is worth dealing with those issues to hear the sound it produces.

Last edited by LarryK; 05/19/19 07:43 PM.

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: LarryK] #2850137
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Originally Posted by LarryK


After a few more people weigh in, I’ll reveal the speakers, which will also reveal the amp.


Based on the specs, the speakers are Gryphon Cantatas.

Browsing the manual [1] suggests a 200 hour break in at 'moderate volumes'. This tells me that the sound is expected to change over the life of the speakers. So either these speakers are seriously flawed, or it's snakeoil. At these prices, couldn't they just break in at the factory?

[1] https://www.manualslib.com/manual/629088/Gryphon-Cantata.html#manual

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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Actually they do not.

Notes of the lowest octave have only a tiny fraction of the energy found in the overtones.
The overtones fool the ear is into "hearing" the almost-absent fundamental.



This is completely false. Human ears can hear low as 20Hz and everyone can hear 60Hz AC hum (which has no overtones). Our ears are not very sensitive at these frequencies, so we perceive the overtones more acutely, but that does not mean that most of the sound energy is in the overtones.

Originally Posted by MacMacMac

As you said earlier: Scientific research--it works!


Only if you are reading reliable sources.

Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: redfish1901] #2850141
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Originally Posted by redfish1901
Originally Posted by LarryK


After a few more people weigh in, I’ll reveal the speakers, which will also reveal the amp.


Based on the specs, the speakers are Gryphon Cantatas.

Browsing the manual [1] suggests a 200 hour break in at 'moderate volumes'. This tells me that the sound is expected to change over the life of the speakers. So either these speakers are seriously flawed, or it's snakeoil. At these prices, couldn't they just break in at the factory?

[1] https://www.manualslib.com/manual/629088/Gryphon-Cantata.html#manual


Good work, yes, that's what they are, but how can you conclude that the speakers are seriously flawed because they need a break in period? All speakers go through a break in period because the surround materials and the material in the spider loosens up as the speaker is played. This is completely normal. These speakers are from 2003, I bought them used, so they are well past their 200 hour break in period, and they still sound great, I'm listening to them now.

As to why speaker companies don't put 200 hours on each new pair of speakers, well, that should be pretty obvious. Speaker companies are in the business of building and shipping products in order to stay in business, not in delaying shipments to put 200 hours of play on each speaker. .

It should be a fairly easy process to identify my amplifier. Again, I bought both used, so don't drop dead at the MSRPs of the these components, but do faint, lol.

I don't own a car, my stereo is my car.

Last edited by LarryK; 05/19/19 08:31 PM.

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As for the brains behind the design of the Cantatas, you have to look to the work of the Danish speaker designer, Steen Dueland, who, sadly, passed away a while ago.

I feel lucky to own these speakers. They have brought me a lot of joy, even if packing and unpacking them from their shipping crates is a bit of a pain. It's not a one person operation.

I honestly don't know if I should upgrade to the ported Mojo S speakers:

https://www.soundstageultra.com/ind...ryphon-audio-designs-mojo-s-loudspeakers

I've heard them, and they sound good, but it is impossible to know how a speaker will sound in one's own space unless you buy the speakers. Anyway, I'm ok with where I'm at for the time being.


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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Bruce In Philly] #2850152
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Reading the Gryphon manual for some more, they describe the difficulty of controlling for room modes. It is true that this is has been a hard problem. But Harman has published papers that describe how to solve them (use multiple subs).

I'm very happy that Harman is publishing these papers. Hopefully more designers read them, and incorporate the ideas. Or refute them with their own research.

Flat earthers are not going to disappear. But at least research refuting them are being published, instead of the blind leading the blind.

Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: redfish1901] #2850167
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Originally Posted by redfish1901
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Actually they do not.

Notes of the lowest octave have only a tiny fraction of the energy found in the overtones.
The overtones fool the ear is into "hearing" the almost-absent fundamental.



This is completely false. Human ears can hear low as 20Hz and everyone can hear 60Hz AC hum (which has no overtones). Our ears are not very sensitive at these frequencies, so we perceive the overtones more acutely, but that does not mean that most of the sound energy is in the overtones.

MacMacMac wasn't talking about how the human ear hears. He was talking about the frequencies produced by the low strings on an acoustic piano. Refer to the post Frederic L. made two hours ago.

@LarryK I don't know much about speaker amplifiers, but it doesn't make sense to me that a high-end amp can get away with guaranteeing <1% THD+N at its maximum continuous output, 111dB of dynamic range, and -79dB in unweighted signal to noise ratio when the Benchmark AHB2 guarantees < 0.0003% THD+N at maximum continuous output, 130dB of dynamic range, and -118dB in unweighted signal to noise ratio. Your amplifier has 160W of maximum continuous output whereas the Benchmark AHB2 has only 100W, but the difference in distortion and dynamic range is massive.

The Benchmark AHB2 is class AB, not class A, but its crosstalk is <-115dB at 1kHz and <-92dB at 20kHz, which is better than the normal distortion numbers on your amp.

Having high maximum peak power output probably couldn't hurt, but isn't it bad practice to play music that can exceed your continuous output, anyway? It seems like exceeding continuous output puts you at risk of linearity deviation. Linearity is the measure of how accurately a device portrays dynamics; e.g. if the input is at -80dBfs, then the output should be -80dBfs as well and not -75dBfs. Isn't it the case that exceeding continuous output means the output level could fall before it's supposed to?

I don't mean to diss your amp, I simply don't understand the discrepancies.

Last edited by Philosobyte; 05/19/19 09:48 PM.
Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Philosobyte] #2850182
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Originally Posted by Philosobyte

MacMacMac wasn't talking about how the human ear hears. He was talking about the frequencies produced by the low strings on an acoustic piano. Refer to the post Frederic L. made two hours ago.


Yes. I didn't know about the Missing Fundamental (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missing_fundamental) problem in pianos. Here is a nice PW topic on it:
http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/1790387/Re:_The_Missing_Fundamental.html

My apologies to MacMacMac and Fredric.

Learning new things is fun!

and of course:

"Science--it _still_ works!"


Last edited by redfish1901; 05/19/19 11:44 PM.
Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Philosobyte] #2850188
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Originally Posted by Philosobyte
Having high maximum peak power output probably couldn't hurt, but isn't it bad practice to play music that can exceed your continuous output, anyway? It seems like exceeding continuous output puts you at risk of linearity deviation.

He was talking about brief transients.
Pretty much any amp has a way higher short term power handling compared to the continuous one in order to be able to cope with transients.

Mine has 70W continuous and 160W short term.

As for linearity: at the volumes you need to get past 160W ... I don't think the human ear cares much about linearity because it is already in protective mode and reduces details received significantly.


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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Granyala] #2850198
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Originally Posted by Granyala
Originally Posted by Philosobyte
Having high maximum peak power output probably couldn't hurt, but isn't it bad practice to play music that can exceed your continuous output, anyway? It seems like exceeding continuous output puts you at risk of linearity deviation.

He was talking about brief transients.
Pretty much any amp has a way higher short term power handling compared to the continuous one in order to be able to cope with transients.

Mine has 70W continuous and 160W short term.

As for linearity: at the volumes you need to get past 160W ... I don't think the human ear cares much about linearity because it is already in protective mode and reduces details received significantly.

Originally Posted by Granyala
Originally Posted by Philosobyte
Having high maximum peak power output probably couldn't hurt, but isn't it bad practice to play music that can exceed your continuous output, anyway? It seems like exceeding continuous output puts you at risk of linearity deviation.

He was talking about brief transients.
Pretty much any amp has a way higher short term power handling compared to the continuous one in order to be able to cope with transients.

Mine has 70W continuous and 160W short term.

As for linearity: at the volumes you need to get past 160W ... I don't think the human ear cares much about linearity because it is already in protective mode and reduces details received significantly.


I’m talking about brief transients. My amp can put out 1250watts at 1ohm and 5400watts at 1/2ohm. In order to generate this kind of power instantaneously, an amp needs a huge bank of capacitors. Instant delivery is possible because capacitors store a static charge.

My amp weighs 80kg/175lbs, and I suspect quite a bit of that weight comes from the massive capacitors, which resemble big blue bombs. If you do an image search on the amp, you’ll see the internals.

This paper from Crown/Harman has useful information about the power requirements of different applications.

https://www.crownaudio.com/how-much-amplifier-power

and says:

“Home stereo: 150 W for 85 dB SPL average (with 15 dB peaks), 1,500 W for 95 dB SPL average (with 15 dB peaks)”

It depends on the kind of music a person listens to, the SPL, and the dynamic range of the music, as I’ve said before. Orchestral music with its huge dynamic range requires more power. I’ve never regretted having the kind of power this amp can deliver.

In case people haven’t figured it out, my amp is the stereo version of the Gryphon Colosseum:

https://gryphon-audio.dk/shop/power-amplifiers/colosseum/

which is described as:

“2 x 160 Watts Pure Class A output power, 48 High-current bipolar output transistors, a 340,000 microFarad power capacitor bank and flat frequency response extending beyond 350 kHz.”

This is an interesting blurb on capacitors:

“A pea-sized capacitor can deliver 60 amps, for about a thousandth of a second.

The general rule is: a one farad capacitor can deliver 1 amp for 1 second while losing 1 volt. If you need 60 amps for 1 second with an allowable voltage droop of 1 volt, you need 60 farads.”

Look, I’m not an electrical engineer. I buy amps based on whether they play music in a way that moves me emotionally.

Class A amps have always moved me more than other classes of amps. I replaced a 1978 vintage 90watt class A amp with the 160w Class A Gryphon and everything about the sound of my system improved dramatically. The separation and clarity of individual instruments is much better than I was before. The handling of large dynamic changes is better. The noise floor is dramatically reduced, on and on and on. Vocals now have a depth and clarity that they did not have with the old amp.

My understanding of how much power a speaker driver can handle is that it is dependent on how well the driver has been designed so as to dissipate heat. I don’t believe there is a simple way to say that a certain number of watts will destroy a speaker driver. I’m pretty confident that the engineers at Gryphon took great care in designing the drivers in the Cantata in order to handle the heat associated with the momentary application of large amounts of power.



Last edited by LarryK; 05/20/19 01:38 AM.

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2850210
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by toddy
If the material used made such a difference, as these cable manufacturers claim, then what about the use of poorly conducting solder used on circuit boards - even super expensive audiophile circuit boards as far as I know.

Originally Posted by CyberGene
^ Can’t add more to that!

Actually, that isn't true. I don't want to get into a discussion of audiophile grade solder, but a number of high-end OEMs discovered and used it. I have a pair of monoblocks in storage which used audiophile grade solder almost 25 years ago. They weren't blind then. Technology was just further behind back then.


I can’t tease out the comment about how many audio manufacturers use crappy boards and I just wanted to say that I found this in the Gryphon Colosseum manual:

“Double sealed, mil spec PCB with 105 μm copper trace”

No word on the solder used.

Last edited by LarryK; 05/20/19 02:38 AM.

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Bruce In Philly] #2850214
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Here is the article about the quietest room on earth:

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smar...drive-you-crazy-in-45-minutes-180948160/

“Inside the room it's silent. So silent that the background noise measured is actually negative decibels, -9.4 dBA. Steven Orfield, the lab's founder, told Hearing Aid Know: “We challenge people to sit in the chamber in the dark – one person stayed in there for 45 minutes. When it’s quiet, ears will adapt. The quieter the room, the more things you hear. You’ll hear your heart beating, sometimes you can hear your lungs, hear your stomach gurgling loudly. In the anechoic chamber, you become the sound.”

I find stuff like this to be endlessly fascinating and I’d love to try the room. I think I would liken the experience to how I used to feel when I developed film in the dark, I mean, in absolute darkness. Your eyes dilate so wide in that circumstance that, after a while, you can see tiny pin pricks of light, if the room is not perfectly sealed from stray light. You cannot see your hand in front of your face. If you drop a roll of film, it can take you twenty minutes to find it. You get disoriented and can’t find the door, lol.

By the way, I believe that ship’s captains wore a patch over one eye, back in the old days, so that they could go below deck where it was dark and immediately be able to see. I don’t believe they were all blind in one eye.



Last edited by LarryK; 05/20/19 02:56 AM.

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: LarryK] #2850233
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Originally Posted by LarryK
I’m talking about brief transients. My amp can put out 1250watts at 1ohm and 5400watts at 1/2ohm.

This paper from Crown/Harman has useful information about the power requirements of different applications.
https://www.crownaudio.com/how-much-amplifier-power
and says:
“Home stereo: 150 W for 85 dB SPL average (with 15 dB peaks), 1,500 W for 95 dB SPL average (with 15 dB peaks)”


1) I know you dig that big number but it is pretty meaningless. Your speakers have an Impedance of 8Ω, so that power rating will be considerably lower.
2) You do NOT need 150W in order to reach a 85dB SPL. Your speakers have a sensitivity of 90dB/W, meaning to get 90dB at 1m distance you need exactly 1W. ONE watt. If you listen to 85dB, you would need sth around 0.4W.

Yep, 0.4 Watts. To account for +15dB you need 2^5x the power = 32 * 0.4 = 12.8 Watts.
BTW: the crown calculator spits out 10W, so my calculations aren't that far off.
Okay, so maybe 1m is a bit too close. Lets try a more typical listening distance of 3m:

According to the calculator you would need 90W. That is INCLUDING the headroom of +15dB!! W/o headroom you would need 3W.

A 100W continuous amp is way more than sufficient for pre compressed music playback that rarely exceeds/reaches +15dB.
Even my little guy could handle these levels b/c it is rated 160W for transients.
Uncompressed live music is a different ballgame but that is not applicable to a home stereo system.

Keep in mind, consumers LOVE big numbers and manufacturers do their best to deliver spec sheets with big numbers, whether the customer ever uses these numbers or not.

As for the power handling of your speakers: suffice it to say, unless the room is way too large, you won't ever reach the 200W !continuous! w/o going deaf. No need to worry. Speakers are damaged by insufficient amp power (clipping feeds the tweeter extremely high frequencies that cause overheating) not by amps that are too powerful unless the venue is too big and you crank it too much.


The backbone of modern industrial society is, and for the foreseeable future will be, the use of electrical Power.
VPC 1 -> Pianoteq 6 Std | Garritan CFX / Pearl Alto Flute 201
Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: LarryK] #2850249
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Regarding www.soundstageultra.com ...
How are we to take them seriously about speakers if they're also selling shyster cables?
Upon first click I was met with Breath new life into your music library with the Alpha and Sigma USB Cables.

Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: CyberGene] #2850250
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
Are you sure you can distinguish between a €500 amp and €10000 amp in a blind test? smile


A blind test is almost useless in this context IMO.
When you sit down at home and listen to music, the kind of subtlety you mention is perceived mostly (for lack of a better word) emotionally and not only mentally - you are open, relaxed and receptive. For example, you might be suddenly surprised at how silky the violins sound, or how beautiful the ambience or the whole experience is.
A €500 amp can have a very similar test performance to a €10000 one. At this level of subtlety you might not perceive something different just in the physical sound itself, but mostly in your total response, in your enjoyment etc. This takes training and experience, of course.

When you are trying to perform in a blind test, you are asked to do something different - to concentrate on sound differences and are not free anymore - not free perhaps to be surprised by beauty, enjoyment etc.- and the differences might indeed be too subtle to be perceived in this quite limited way.

Quite often, wanting to be objectively sure sucks the life out of... life! smile


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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Erard] #2850252
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Excuse me for a moment. I have to go find my hip boots and shovel. smile
Originally Posted by Erard
A blind test is almost useless in this context IMO.
Nonsense. Pure nonsense.
This is a silly excuse for rejecting A/B testing.
It's old. It's tired. Let's please put it to bed.

Now ... where's my &%*!@# shovel?

Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Erard] #2850255
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Originally Posted by Erard
When you are trying to perform in a blind test, you are asked to do something different - to concentrate on sound differences and are not free anymore - not free perhaps to be surprised by beauty, enjoyment etc.- and the differences might indeed be too subtle to be perceived in this quite limited way.

Perticipants of such a test should not be so tense that they can't enjoy the music, that would indeed defeat their purpose.
You don't do these tests with only one individual, after all that individual could have a "wood ear day". You use multiple people and average the responses.

I have days on which my Focal Clear is useless to me because my ears are tired / not in good condition due to work etc... what I call "wood ear day".

Either there are differences and you can perceive them or there aren't.
It's a binary situation.

Quite often objective science saves you from falling for marketing BS and waste precious resources.

Last edited by Granyala; 05/20/19 06:06 AM.

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Granyala] #2850262
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True, true ...
Originally Posted by Granyala
Either there are differences and you can perceive them or there aren't. It's a binary situation.

Also true ...
Originally Posted by Granyala
Quite often objective science saves you ...
But some people use tin-foil to shield against this. frown

Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Granyala] #2850266
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Originally Posted by Granyala
Originally Posted by LarryK
I’m talking about brief transients. My amp can put out 1250watts at 1ohm and 5400watts at 1/2ohm.

This paper from Crown/Harman has useful information about the power requirements of different applications.
https://www.crownaudio.com/how-much-amplifier-power
and says:
“Home stereo: 150 W for 85 dB SPL average (with 15 dB peaks), 1,500 W for 95 dB SPL average (with 15 dB peaks)”


1) I know you dig that big number but it is pretty meaningless. Your speakers have an Impedance of 8Ω, so that power rating will be considerably lower.
2) You do NOT need 150W in order to reach a 85dB SPL. Your speakers have a sensitivity of 90dB/W, meaning to get 90dB at 1m distance you need exactly 1W. ONE watt. If you listen to 85dB, you would need sth around 0.4W.

Yep, 0.4 Watts. To account for +15dB you need 2^5x the power = 32 * 0.4 = 12.8 Watts.
BTW: the crown calculator spits out 10W, so my calculations aren't that far off.
Okay, so maybe 1m is a bit too close. Lets try a more typical listening distance of 3m:

According to the calculator you would need 90W. That is INCLUDING the headroom of +15dB!! W/o headroom you would need 3W.

A 100W continuous amp is way more than sufficient for pre compressed music playback that rarely exceeds/reaches +15dB.
Even my little guy could handle these levels b/c it is rated 160W for transients.
Uncompressed live music is a different ballgame but that is not applicable to a home stereo system.

Keep in mind, consumers LOVE big numbers and manufacturers do their best to deliver spec sheets with big numbers, whether the customer ever uses these numbers or not.

As for the power handling of your speakers: suffice it to say, unless the room is way too large, you won't ever reach the 200W !continuous! w/o going deaf. No need to worry. Speakers are damaged by insufficient amp power (clipping feeds the tweeter extremely high frequencies that cause overheating) not by amps that are too powerful unless the venue is too big and you crank it too much.


My speakers have a minimum impedance of 3.4ohms and a maximum impedance of 7.8ohms. I thought you read the spec sheet.

I bought the amp to give me the ability to drive any speaker. If I want to drive a big set of electrostatics at some point in the future, I’ll be able to do that.

I play back losslessly and have the ability to play back higher sample rate music through my DAC. What compressed music?

There are other aspects of Class A amps that makes them exciting, I listed them. Have you ever owned a Class A amp or listened to one? I’ve run a Class A amp for at least the last ten years. One day, I had to pull out the Class A amp and put in a Class AB amp. Over dinner, my wife said, ok, I hear the difference between this amp and the other amp, the other one is better.

I’ve heard AV receivers and have not been impressed. Are you driving five speakers? That’s a complete scam. It costs a lot to get two high quality speakers, buying five means they’re low quality junk.

I don’t care that much about using the stereo for movies because I’m into dialogue more than special effects. If I want to see something special, special effects wise, I’ll go to the huge IMAX theater in New York or one of the smaller theaters with good sound systems.

I’m into listening to music and being in thrall to what I hear. I built my system to do this, it succeeds, I’m a happy man. What else do I need to say?

You seem all upset that I bought this amp when you think I could have just bought some one watt amp.

The only answer I can give is that my system sounds sublime.


Last edited by LarryK; 05/20/19 06:35 AM.

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Erard] #2850272
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Originally Posted by Erard
Originally Posted by CyberGene
Are you sure you can distinguish between a €500 amp and €10000 amp in a blind test? smile


A blind test is almost useless in this context IMO.
When you sit down at home and listen to music, the kind of subtlety you mention is perceived mostly (for lack of a better word) emotionally and not only mentally - you are open, relaxed and receptive. For example, you might be suddenly surprised at how silky the violins sound, or how beautiful the ambience or the whole experience is.
A €500 amp can have a very similar test performance to a €10000 one. At this level of subtlety you might not perceive something different just in the physical sound itself, but mostly in your total response, in your enjoyment etc. This takes training and experience, of course.

When you are trying to perform in a blind test, you are asked to do something different - to concentrate on sound differences and are not free anymore - not free perhaps to be surprised by beauty, enjoyment etc.- and the differences might indeed be too subtle to be perceived in this quite limited way.

Quite often, wanting to be objectively sure sucks the life out of... life! smile


I’m more interested in life than in objectively testing each piece of audio gear I buy. Yes, I want to be surprised by beauty in sound, by the beauty in the human voice. I was listening to the counter tenor Iestyn Davies last night and he sounded amazing, and I heard him live in Farinelli and the King. I know he’ll sound even better when I get my big amp back.

I sat my classical guitar teacher down in front of my stereo. He teaches in a music school and his wife is a professional singer, a soprano. He listens to a lot of music but he does not have the money to put together a two channel system.

Anyway, he sat on my couch absolutely delighting in the sound, picking out specific instruments that he had never heard so clearly on his favorite recordings. He also kept asking where I had put the third speaker and pointed at the big amp. I had to tell him that there was no third speaker, lol. He was amazed, I was delighted that he was amazed.


Last edited by LarryK; 05/20/19 06:54 AM.

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: MacMacMac] #2850274
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Excuse me for a moment. I have to go find my hip boots and shovel. smile
Originally Posted by Erard
A blind test is almost useless in this context IMO.
Nonsense. Pure nonsense.
This is a silly excuse for rejecting A/B testing.
It's old. It's tired. Let's please put it to bed.

Now ... where's my &%*!@# shovel?


Oh, a dogma!
Sorry, I'm a non believer smile


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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Granyala] #2850283
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Originally Posted by Granyala
Originally Posted by Erard
When you are trying to perform in a blind test, you are asked to do something different - to concentrate on sound differences and are not free anymore - not free perhaps to be surprised by beauty, enjoyment etc.- and the differences might indeed be too subtle to be perceived in this quite limited way.

Perticipants of such a test should not be so tense that they can't enjoy the music, that would indeed defeat their purpose.
You don't do these tests with only one individual, after all that individual could have a "wood ear day". You use multiple people and average the responses.

I have days on which my Focal Clear is useless to me because my ears are tired / not in good condition due to work etc... what I call "wood ear day".

Either there are differences and you can perceive them or there aren't.
It's a binary situation.

Quite often objective science saves you from falling for marketing BS and waste precious resources.


Of course, these are all good points.
ABX testing is a great methodology for objective assessment, but it has clear limits.
For example, if we are so easily influenced just by knowing which amplifier is playing and we have to use sophisticated ABX tests to overcome this problem - how influenced are we by the fact that we know we are in a ABX test and not just listening to music?
Listening to sound is not the same thing as listening to music.

Last edited by Erard; 05/20/19 07:40 AM.

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: LarryK] #2850290
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Originally Posted by LarryK
My speakers have a minimum impedance of 3.4ohms and a maximum impedance of 7.8ohms. I thought you read the spec sheet.
I bought the amp to give me the ability to drive any speaker. If I want to drive a big set of electrostatics at some point in the future, I’ll be able to do that.

I play back losslessly and have the ability to play back higher sample rate music through my DAC. What compressed music?

Have you ever owned a Class A amp or listened to one?
Are you driving five speakers?

You seem all upset that I bought this amp when you think I could have just bought some one watt amp.


1) Yup I've read the spec sheet, I also know that the impedance of any given loudspeaker is frequency dependent. You will always have dips and peaks, which is why such a generalized number as you posted is completely devoid of meaning (esp since I have never seen or heard of a 0.5 Ω speaker Oo ). I can see that wanting to drive exotic and potentially less efficient speaker designs may be an argument for a super powerful amp. Not sure whether you actually can drive Electrostats with said amp though, given that you cannot drive STAX headphones with any amp.

2) I am talking about dynamic compression, not file compression. Virtually any recording out there is dynamically compressed, that#s why your Classical music has at most 18dB instead of 25+ of a live orchestra. The website you linked talked about that too.

3) I don't think I have encountered a pure class A amp so far. The expensive Cambridge was class XD, my own is probably a bog standard AB. I only drive 2 speakers, surround is not very useful/practical when you live in a 16m² apartment. laugh

4) Naah why would I be upset? I'm just discussing technology here. I'm sure your amp sounds fine, even if it isn't the most efficient/economical piece of kit. No hard feelings involved on my part. Just curiosity / willingness to discuss stuff I deem interesting.

Originally Posted by Erard
For example, if we are so easily influenced just by knowing which amplifier is playing and we have to use sophisticated ABX tests to overcome this problem - how influenced are we by the fact that we know we are in a ABX test and not just listening to music?
Listening to sound is not the same thing as listening to music.

Umm music is sound. I don't see the distinction here.
Yeah, some people might strain to hear a difference where there is none but not the whole audience so on average it should cancel out.

Last edited by Granyala; 05/20/19 08:09 AM.

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Bruce In Philly] #2850302
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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Granyala] #2850303
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Originally Posted by Granyala
Originally Posted by LarryK
My speakers have a minimum impedance of 3.4ohms and a maximum impedance of 7.8ohms. I thought you read the spec sheet.
I bought the amp to give me the ability to drive any speaker. If I want to drive a big set of electrostatics at some point in the future, I’ll be able to do that.

I play back losslessly and have the ability to play back higher sample rate music through my DAC. What compressed music?

Have you ever owned a Class A amp or listened to one?
Are you driving five speakers?

You seem all upset that I bought this amp when you think I could have just bought some one watt amp.


1) Yup I've read the spec sheet, I also know that the impedance of any given loudspeaker is frequency dependent. You will always have dips and peaks, which is why such a generalized number as you posted is completely devoid of meaning (esp since I have never seen or heard of a 0.5 Ω speaker Oo ). I can see that wanting to drive exotic and potentially less efficient speaker designs may be an argument for a super powerful amp. Not sure whether you actually can drive Electrostats with said amp though, given that you cannot drive STAX headphones with any amp.

2) I am talking about dynamic compression, not file compression. Virtually any recording out there is dynamically compressed, that#s why your Classical music has at most 18dB instead of 25+ of a live orchestra. The website you linked talked about that too.

3) I don't think I have encountered a pure class A amp so far. The expensive Cambridge was class XD, my own is probably a bog standard AB. I only drive 2 speakers, surround is not very useful/practical when you live in a 16m² apartment. laugh

4) Naah why would I be upset? I'm just discussing technology here. I'm sure your amp sounds fine, even if it isn't the most efficient/economical piece of kit. No hard feelings involved on my part. Just curiosity / willingness to discuss stuff I deem interesting.

Originally Posted by Erard
For example, if we are so easily influenced just by knowing which amplifier is playing and we have to use sophisticated ABX tests to overcome this problem - how influenced are we by the fact that we know we are in a ABX test and not just listening to music?
Listening to sound is not the same thing as listening to music.

Umm music is sound. I don't see the distinction here.
Yeah, some people might strain to hear a difference where there is none but not the whole audience so on average it should cancel out.


I guess you’ve never heard of the Apogee Scintillas

https://hometheaterreview.com/apogee-scintilla-loudspeakers-reviewed/

which dip below 1 ohm and were introduced in 1985. My amp can drive those speakers, absolutely.

My preamp has a very good headphone amplifier, and two jacks for that. That’s a piece we’re missing, my fifty pound preamp:

https://www.sst.audio/new-products/ambrosia-2000-second-edition

Lots of features, MM/MC phono sections, I still run a turntable.

In case that wasn’t clear, the Colosseum is not an integrated amplifier.

I pretty much buy audio gear by weight, lol. If I can lift it easily that means it can be easily thrown in the trash. If it’s heavy, it’s almost always worth repairing, like my 1978 Class A amp and my Accuphase DP-65V CD player.

I care less for efficiency and economy than I do for good sound. There is nothing else like Class A in terms of musical presentation.

I’m running this Class D amp while my behemoth is in the shop. Darn you ConEd.

https://wyred4sound.com/products/power-amps/stereo/st-mkii-series

It’s ok, but it does not compare to the Gryphon.





Last edited by LarryK; 05/20/19 08:54 AM.

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: LarryK] #2850323
05/20/19 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by LarryK
I guess you’ve never heard of the Apogee Scintillas

https://hometheaterreview.com/apogee-scintilla-loudspeakers-reviewed/

which dip below 1 ohm and were introduced in 1985. My amp can drive those speakers, absolutely.

While my monoblocks could drive the Scintillas, they were so infamous I decided to get the Apogee Duetta II's instead when I bought my speakers 3 decades ago. Those don't go below 5Ω but are still hard to drive because they have a ridiculously low sensitivity of 80dB/W. My monoblocks drive those just fine however. With the monoblocks, the lights in the neighborhood dim on transients wink


across the stone, deathless piano performances

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2850328
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by LarryK
I guess you’ve never heard of the Apogee Scintillas

https://hometheaterreview.com/apogee-scintilla-loudspeakers-reviewed/

which dip below 1 ohm and were introduced in 1985. My amp can drive those speakers, absolutely.

While my monoblocks could drive the Scintillas, they were so infamous I decided to get the Apogee Duetta II's instead when I bought my speakers 3 decades ago. Those don't go below 5Ω but are still hard to drive because they have a ridiculously low sensitivity of 80dB/W. My monoblocks drive those just fine however.


Do you think my big guy can drive both?

The people on here probably aren’t aware that you and I have a mild case of the audiophilia sickness, this guy is driving Full Range Apogees with tube amps in Texas! Madness.

https://systems.audiogon.com/systems/5104


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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: LarryK] #2850331
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Originally Posted by LarryK
The people on here probably aren’t aware that you and I have a mild case of the audiophilia sickness,

Well, in spirit of 12-step programs, my first step at treatment was putting my Apogee Duetta II's and Krell monoblocks into storage. LOL. It's literally impossible to spend as much on headphones as one can spend on amps and speakers, even if you go with STAX.... Well, that is, short of getting a Sennheiser Orpheus HE-1:



Toys for when I am retired. LOL.


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2850346
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by LarryK
The people on here probably aren’t aware that you and I have a mild case of the audiophilia sickness,

Well, in spirit of 12-step programs, my first step at treatment was putting my Apogee Duetta II's and Krell monoblocks into storage. LOL. It's literally impossible to spend as much on headphones as one can spend on amps and speakers, even if you go with STAX.... Well, that is, short of getting a Sennheiser Orpheus HE-1:



Toys for when I am retired. LOL.



You need to get that gear out of storage before all of the electrons leak out of everything and the components become useless.

Headphones are ok, but I cannot live with just headphones. That's just me. I can't share music with other people when all I have is a headphone rig, that's the worst part about headphones. As it is now, I hand people my iPad running the Roon app and they program a playlist. It's a lot of fun at parties. Just make sure nobody spills their drink into the amp! Actually, we don't throw parties, because of the risk of people doing something stupid around the rig, and we're not really party people. I heard about a guy whose housekeeper dusted his expensive phono cartridge. Goodbye cantilever. That's an argument for a big plexiglass turntable cover, which I have.

My amp seller, a brilliant electrical engineer, is suggesting that I put in a Niagara 5000 power conditioner unit:

https://www.audioquest.com/ac-power/ac-power-conditioners/niagara-5000

I'm trying to figure out if I would need one or two. I have two dedicated 20amp lines, one for the amp and one for the front end components. My amp cannot be limited in any way. My engineer friend is running one Niagara 5000 per mono block, and I assume one Niagara 5000 for the source components.

ConEd broke my heart and my amp with their transformer explosion, at least, that seems like the most likely explanation for why the power supply was killed. I'd like to prevent that from happening in the future. I might also be able to put a surge suppressor on the panel.

This engineer sent me his measurements for AC noise which he is measuring with an Entech powerline noise analyzer. He runs 4AWG electrical wire, haha. So, he's not operating purely by gut.


Last edited by LarryK; 05/20/19 10:35 AM.

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Bruce In Philly] #2850352
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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Bruce In Philly] #2850353
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Originally Posted by LarryK
I agree, which is why I have not installed a sub and will not. Bass energy is the most problematic to control because the waves are so long, of course.

If I want to listen to organ music, I’ll go to St. John the Divine in Manhattan and listen to their organ, which has over 8,000 pipes. There is nothing else like it and I know I’ll never come close to reproducing that sound.

With such a system, why compromise on the visceral lower frequencies? A small investment in subwoofers can make movies, jazz, orchestra, and organs a lot more fun.

It will take a few weeks of measurement and shuffling around, but sub integration is not rocket science. Harman's white paper indicates a swarm of subs is ideal but that is silly marketing. Two subs facilitate placement, address "enough" room issues, and can be run in stereo. One reasonable quality sub is a good compromise for normal people.

Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: newer player] #2850359
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Originally Posted by newer player
Originally Posted by LarryK
I agree, which is why I have not installed a sub and will not. Bass energy is the most problematic to control because the waves are so long, of course.

If I want to listen to organ music, I’ll go to St. John the Divine in Manhattan and listen to their organ, which has over 8,000 pipes. There is nothing else like it and I know I’ll never come close to reproducing that sound.

With such a system, why compromise on the visceral lower frequencies? A small investment in subwoofers can make movies, jazz, orchestra, and organs a lot more fun.

It will take a few weeks of measurement and shuffling around, but sub integration is not rocket science. Harman's white paper indicates a swarm of subs is ideal but that is silly marketing. Two subs facilitate placement, address "enough" room issues, and can be run in stereo. One reasonable quality sub is a good compromise for normal people.


Because I have neighbors and it costs money.

I looked into subs but I don’t have a good handle on how to integrate a sub with the Cantata and its Q controller. I also like the tight, fast bass you get from small drivers and I don’t want some flabby subwoofer. What do you consider a reasonable quality sub? It should be clear by now that I’m not normal, lol.



Last edited by LarryK; 05/20/19 11:06 AM.

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Bruce In Philly] #2850363
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If I want bass I can just stay home and listen to the cars driving by, blasting there crap-musique with all the attendant window-rattling noise.

I have to put up with it when it's outside the house.
I would never want that inside my home.

Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: LarryK] #2850369
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Originally Posted by LarryK
I’m running this Class D amp while my behemoth is in the shop. Darn you ConEd.

https://wyred4sound.com/products/power-amps/stereo/st-mkii-series

It’s ok, but it does not compare to the Gryphon.

0.2% to 1% THD?
Yeah I can imagine that doesn't sound so good compared to the other one.


The backbone of modern industrial society is, and for the foreseeable future will be, the use of electrical Power.
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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Granyala] #2850384
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Originally Posted by Granyala
Originally Posted by LarryK
I’m running this Class D amp while my behemoth is in the shop. Darn you ConEd.

https://wyred4sound.com/products/power-amps/stereo/st-mkii-series

It’s ok, but it does not compare to the Gryphon.

0.2% to 1% THD?
Yeah I can imagine that doesn't sound so good compared to the other one.


It doesn’t. It is a $1k stopgap amp that I bought used and is easy to ship.

So, back to impedance, yes, of course, impedance varies over frequency. I think it’s fair to say that my speakers are nominally 4ohm speakers. I’ve got plenty of drive at 4ohms, a little over 320watts, where the load is the heaviest, so I’m a happy guy. Better more power than too little power.


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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: LarryK] #2850387
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Originally Posted by LarryK
Better more power than too little power.

Definitely, because too little power = clipping = Lautsprecher kaputt. laugh


The backbone of modern industrial society is, and for the foreseeable future will be, the use of electrical Power.
VPC 1 -> Pianoteq 6 Std | Garritan CFX / Pearl Alto Flute 201
Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: LarryK] #2850388
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Originally Posted by LarryK
It should be clear by now that I’m not normal, lol.

My apologies LarryK as my poorly worded comment was in no way directed at you. My comment, however, addressed each and every one of us at the Digital Pianos forum.

Originally Posted by LarryK
What do you consider a reasonable quality sub?

hahaha. No idea. I suppose it needs to have some size and play relatively flat near 20Hz. As the home theatre hobby fades away, we see plenty of used subs available at firesale prices.

I have probably tried a dozen "cheapo" subs over the years and couldn't get any of them to integrate properly. But didn't try too hard.

A few years ago. I purchased a good quality big used sub from a neighbor. At first, it also sounded lousy. So I bit the bullet and spent the time to research placement, measure the room with a mic and free REW software, and do some testing. After a few weeks of work, I think it blends in nicely with the monitors and essentially the only EQ is via placement. The time spent was the key success factor not the equipment, I think.

One helpful trick we used in Jazz band for the bass was "feel but don't hear". So final sub adjustment was turning down the gain a lot so it disappeared. Integrates nicely and does not bother the neighbors. There is no thumpiness we associate with modded car stereo systems.

Subwoofers are nice because you can directly address room issues via independent placement. Those low frequencies also bring some of the room ambience for symphonies.

Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: LarryK] #2850400
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Originally Posted by LarryK

I also like the tight, fast bass you get from small drivers and I don’t want some flabby subwoofer.


A real kick drum (that delivers a tight, fast, punchy sound) has a diameter 20+ inches or 50+cm. Japanese drum troop has much larger drums that deliver heart pounding sound.

I would think that a large diameter subwoofer driver has better chance of moving the air the same way than a small driver.

A very nice subwoofer (JBL 310s) costs 400 USD. A pair would set you back $800. It has it's own built in class D amp. You won't notice the "difference" at such low frequencies. They are designed to be daisy chained, so you put direct input into them, and the output is properly low pass filtered at 80Hz.

None of this stuff is magic.

Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: newer player] #2850410
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Originally Posted by LarryK
It should be clear by now that I’m not normal, lol.


Originally Posted by newer player

My apologies LarryK as my poorly worded comment was in no way directed at you. My comment, however, addressed each and every one of us at the Digital Pianos forum.


No offense taken, I was making a joke. Of course, I'm not normal compared to the people who solve their audio dilemmas with a cheap Bluetooth speaker. It takes all kinds.

Originally Posted by LarryK
What do you consider a reasonable quality sub?


Originally Posted by newer player

hahaha. No idea. I suppose it needs to have some size and play relatively flat near 20Hz. As the home theatre hobby fades away, we see plenty of used subs available at firesale prices.

I have probably tried a dozen "cheapo" subs over the years and couldn't get any of them to integrate properly. But didn't try too hard.

A few years ago. I purchased a good quality big used sub from a neighbor. At first, it also sounded lousy. So I bit the bullet and spent the time to research placement, measure the room with a mic and free REW software, and do some testing. After a few weeks of work, I think it blends in nicely with the monitors and essentially the only EQ is via placement. The time spent was the key success factor not the equipment, I think.

One helpful trick we used in Jazz band for the bass was "feel but don't hear". So final sub adjustment was turning down the gain a lot so it disappeared. Integrates nicely and does not bother the neighbors. There is no thumpiness we associate with modded car stereo systems.

Subwoofers are nice because you can directly address room issues via independent placement. Those low frequencies also bring some of the room ambience for symphonies.



Yeah, like I said, I started down the path of researching a solution but then my amp got blown up. After I get the amp back, I want to work on measuring and putting room correction into Roon, here is an article about that:

https://community.roonlabs.com/t/a-guide-how-to-do-room-correction-and-use-it-in-roon/23800

They use REW to get the curves.

I'm not totally against the idea of a sub if it is done well, but that's the catch, though, doing it well, as you found out.

It looks like I'm going to have to spend some money to eliminate my electrical risk because I can't keep dragging my components to the service center all the time.

My amp seller may have an extra Niagara 5000 to sell because he is thinking about moving from one Niagara 5000 per component to using a Niagara 5000 as a Star point for power and ground. If he does that, I think I'll buy his used unit. This guy spent an hour on the phone with the designer of the Niagara 5000 and he went through the internals carefully. When you have as much expensive gear as he has, you don't take chances. My system pales in comparison, but, hey, I'm happy, or will be, as soon as I get my amp back, and can sleep at night without worrying that ConEd or an electrical storm is going to take out my system.

The repair center I'm using started repairing Gryphon gear because a lady in Florida got $300k worth of Gryphon gear fried in an electrical storm. Life is full of hardships. The repair center fixed it all.

Last edited by LarryK; 05/20/19 12:36 PM.

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: redfish1901] #2850413
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Nothing in sound reproduction is magic, just as nothing about a car is magic.

But in order to sell really over priced stuff, makers have to *create* the magic. The experience of riding in the back seat of a Bently is created mostly through perception.

Since our visual system is much more perceptive than our auditory system, over priced audio first and foremost must *look* good.

Since magic has to be created, anything that can be objectively measured must be argued away.

Since over priced subsystem X cannot be justified, magic pixie dust must be sprinkled liberally, and flowery literature must be written about it.

And when someone on the internet is wrong, they must be told so, otherwise my existence will become meaningless.

smile

Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Bruce In Philly] #2850415
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The only way consumer level gear gets 100% protection from mains is physically unplugging everything from the wall when not in use.

So you get full protection say the 22 of 24 hours per day you are not using the gear. Add a good protection scheme and you are largely covered the remaining 2 of 24 hours.

This only takes a few seconds but frankly is irritating.

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Originally Posted by LarryK
It looks like I'm going to have to spend some money to eliminate my electrical risk because I can't keep dragging my components to the service center all the time.

Dumb question but what's up with your power?
Did Lightning hit and roast your amp or sth?


The backbone of modern industrial society is, and for the foreseeable future will be, the use of electrical Power.
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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: newer player] #2850418
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Originally Posted by newer player
The only way consumer level gear gets 100% protection from mains is physically unplugging everything from the wall when not in use.

So you get full protection say the 22 of 24 hours per day you are not using the gear. Add a good protection scheme and you are largely covered the remaining 2 of 24 hours.

This only takes a few seconds but frankly is irritating.


It is irritating, and it's not something I'm going to do every day. I have other things to do, and I know I will go out the door, forget to unplug, and a thunderstorm will roll in. It happens quite frequently. We had a storm last night at 2am, and I got up and unplugged the gear. I would have rather been sleeping.

I think the Niagara 5000:

https://www.audioquest.com/ac-power/ac-power-conditioners/niagara-5000

can go a long way to reducing my risk of getting hit again.


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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: LarryK] #2850421
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Originally Posted by LarryK
Originally Posted by newer player
The only way consumer level gear gets 100% protection from mains is physically unplugging everything from the wall when not in use.

So you get full protection say the 22 of 24 hours per day you are not using the gear. Add a good protection scheme and you are largely covered the remaining 2 of 24 hours.

This only takes a few seconds but frankly is irritating.


It is irritating, and it's not something I'm going to do every day. I have other things to do, and I know I will go out the door, forget to unplug, and a thunderstorm will roll in. It happens quite frequently. We had a storm last night at 2am, and I got up and unplugged the gear. I would have rather been sleeping.

I think the Niagara 5000:

https://www.audioquest.com/ac-power/ac-power-conditioners/niagara-5000

can go a long way to reducing my risk of getting hit again.


Why not generate your AC yourself? Have a bank of car batteries charged from your AC, the batteries feed a DC-AC converter, which goes to your sound system. If you want to go real fancy, Tesla powerwall is like $4000.

Now you can have very pure, isolated AC whenever you want.

Last edited by redfish1901; 05/20/19 12:56 PM.
Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Granyala] #2850422
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Originally Posted by Granyala
Originally Posted by LarryK
It looks like I'm going to have to spend some money to eliminate my electrical risk because I can't keep dragging my components to the service center all the time.

Dumb question but what's up with your power?
Did Lightning hit and roast your amp or sth?


I was at my mom's for Christmas. I rushed out the door and did not unplug the gear, stupid me.

ConEd had a massive transformer explosion in Queens, it lit up the sky blue. Some people thought it was an alien invasion, hahaha!



I got back after Christmas and the amp would not power on. I pressed the power button and the lights on top went out. It could have been an age related failure in the power supply or it could have been a surge. Nothing else was damaged.


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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: redfish1901] #2850423
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Originally Posted by redfish1901
Originally Posted by LarryK
Originally Posted by newer player
The only way consumer level gear gets 100% protection from mains is physically unplugging everything from the wall when not in use.

So you get full protection say the 22 of 24 hours per day you are not using the gear. Add a good protection scheme and you are largely covered the remaining 2 of 24 hours.

This only takes a few seconds but frankly is irritating.


It is irritating, and it's not something I'm going to do every day. I have other things to do, and I know I will go out the door, forget to unplug, and a thunderstorm will roll in. It happens quite frequently. We had a storm last night at 2am, and I got up and unplugged the gear. I would have rather been sleeping.

I think the Niagara 5000:

https://www.audioquest.com/ac-power/ac-power-conditioners/niagara-5000

can go a long way to reducing my risk of getting hit again.


Why not generate your AC yourself? Have a bank of car batteries hooked to your AC, the batteries feed a DC-AC converter, which goes to your sound system. If you want to go real fancy, Tesla powerwall is like $4000.

Now you can have very pure AC whenever you want.



Nope, the Tesla Powerwall is around $7-8k for one, at least it was a year ago. I got one installed in my mother's house. I try to be a good son. The Powerwall has covered about eleven short power outages in the past year, I can see a list in an app on my phone. The power switches over so quickly that you don't have to reset the clocks.

I didn't want any moving parts, as in a generator, and I didn't want propane tanks or other fuel tanks. The Tesla Powerwall, one of them, will give about two days of backup power, depending on how much you draw, of course. if you couple to with solar, you can go a lot longer, possibly indefinitely, but that's a lot more expensive.

I live in an apartment building in New York City. I am at the mercy of ConEd.

Last edited by LarryK; 05/20/19 01:02 PM.

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Bruce In Philly] #2850426
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I just checked the price for Niagara 5000. They are $4000. The same as a Tesla Powerwall, which has 14kWH capacity.

I guess for ultimate protection, you can put the Niagara 5000 behind the Tesla Powerwall and get really really clean AC power.

Pretty nice for less than $10k.

Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: LarryK] #2850427
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Not a generator. A DC-AC converter, which is what what the Powerwall does (convert DC Battery power to AC outlet power), except instead of Lithium Ion cells, you use car batteries. No moving parts. No noise. No fuel.

Last edited by redfish1901; 05/20/19 01:03 PM.
Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: redfish1901] #2850428
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Originally Posted by redfish1901
I just checked the price for Niagara 5000. They are $4000. The same as a Tesla Powerwall, which has 14kWH capacity.

I guess for ultimate protection, you can put the Niagara 5000 behind the Tesla Powerwall and get really really clean AC power.

Pretty nice for less than $10k.


Tesla increased their prices:

https://electrek.co/2018/10/12/tesla-powerwall-price-increase/

Powerwall went from $5,900 to $6,700
Supporting hardware went from $700 to $1,100

There is a huge demand for them. I drove the whole project to completion, it took about six months to get through the site survey, find a place in the house for it, get permits, get a date with Tesla, etc. Tesla wanted to put the battery in the driveway. Sure, it's rated for outdoor use, but I was not putting a battery in the driveway so that somebody could drive into it. The battery cannot be in a living space, and since the basement was finished, we needed to think creatively, but we found a place for it.

I did not give up and I'm glad I didn't, it gives me peace of mind knowing my mom is not in a cold, dark house after a winter storm hits. When my father was alive, he'd drag out a WWII generator and power the furnace. He was old school, there is nobody around to do that anymore for my mom and it is a pain to find gas for a generator, so I solved the problem new school.



Last edited by LarryK; 05/20/19 01:08 PM.

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: redfish1901] #2850430
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Originally Posted by redfish1901
@LarryK

Not a generator. A DC-AC converter, which is what what the Powerwall does (convert DC Battery power to AC outlet power), except instead of Lithium Ion cells, you use car batteries. No moving parts. No noise. No fuel.


I can't do something like this in an apartment in New York City.

My amp seller friend will give me a much better deal on the Niagara 5000 than $4k. He's a good guy, the best. He helps non-technical people with their systems.

Last edited by LarryK; 05/20/19 01:12 PM.

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: LarryK] #2850431
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Originally Posted by LarryK
I was at my mom's for Christmas. I rushed out the door and did not unplug the gear, stupid me.

ConEd had a massive transformer explosion in Queens, it lit up the sky blue. Some people thought it was an alien invasion, hahaha!

Well that was a fancy light show indeed.
Sucks that it hurt your gear but yeah: unplugging is the only way to be safe from sth like that.


The backbone of modern industrial society is, and for the foreseeable future will be, the use of electrical Power.
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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: LarryK] #2850450
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Originally Posted by LarryK


I can't do something like this in an apartment in New York City.

My amp seller friend will give me a much better deal on the Niagara 5000 than $4k. He's a good guy, the best. He helps non-technical people with their systems.


Here is what I suggested but in a commercial product. $1700. Hours of isolated AC power for your system.

https://www.rackmountsolutions.net/3000va-2880w-120v-tower-ups/

Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: redfish1901] #2850452
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Originally Posted by redfish1901
Originally Posted by LarryK


I can't do something like this in an apartment in New York City.

My amp seller friend will give me a much better deal on the Niagara 5000 than $4k. He's a good guy, the best. He helps non-technical people with their systems.


Here is what I suggested but in a commercial product. $1700. Hours of isolated AC power for your system.

https://www.rackmountsolutions.net/3000va-2880w-120v-tower-ups/



Not a bad idea, but the Niagara has twelve outlets versus only nine on this unit. I'll probably go with the Niagara because it has been pre-screened by my electrical engineer friend.


Last edited by LarryK; 05/20/19 02:31 PM.

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Bruce In Philly] #2850458
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Power re-generation... PS Audio makes a few models... they regenerate a perfect AC sine wave.

https://www.psaudio.com/product-category/ac-regenerators/

What makes these products "worth it" depends on your power you have. Having lived in Center City Philly with strange hum and drifting voltage... I like these. But they are expensive. I use an inexpensive filtration and voltage regulator by TrippLite.... I have three in my home, one for my home theater, one for my main stereo, and one for all my network electronics such as my NAS router etc.

https://www.tripplite.com/2400w-120v-power-conditioner-automatic-voltage-regulation-avr-ac-surge-protection-6-outlets~LC2400

Data centers typically sell off these units.... just keep checking ebay... they don't wear out.

They work.

Peace
Bruce in Philly

Last edited by Bruce In Philly; 05/20/19 02:47 PM.

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Bruce In Philly] #2850474
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Originally Posted by Bruce In Philly
Power re-generation... PS Audio makes a few models... they regenerate a perfect AC sine wave.

https://www.psaudio.com/product-category/ac-regenerators/

What makes these products "worth it" depends on your power you have. Having lived in Center City Philly with strange hum and drifting voltage... I like these. But they are expensive. I use an inexpensive filtration and voltage regulator by TrippLite.... I have three in my home, one for my home theater, one for my main stereo, and one for all my network electronics such as my NAS router etc.

https://www.tripplite.com/2400w-120v-power-conditioner-automatic-voltage-regulation-avr-ac-surge-protection-6-outlets~LC2400

Data centers typically sell off these units.... just keep checking ebay... they don't wear out.

They work.

Peace
Bruce in Philly



Hello Bruce,

Thanks for the tips. My audio guru mentioned a PS Audio P10 but said he has to sell it and that he wouldn't recommend it to use with my big Gryphon power amp. Like I mentioned, he's running a pair of Gryphon Mephisto mono blocks, each one can put out 200w of Class A power, and each one is on its own Niagara 5000. He thinks he can run his system on two of the Niagaras instead of three. It's always nice to find someone who is running higher end gear by the same manufacturer. I use a bunch of TrippLite strips for my computers but not that higher end model.

I'll have to figure out a path forward. I need to at least try to keep the same thing from happening again.

With New York being such a crowded place, I wouldn't be surprised if cleaning up my power improves my sound dramatically.


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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: LarryK] #2850487
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Originally Posted by LarryK
With New York being such a crowded place, I wouldn't be surprised if cleaning up my power improves my sound dramatically.

Any half decent device should have internal filters for that.

take the RME Adi-2 DAC for instance, it has multiple stages of filtering.


The backbone of modern industrial society is, and for the foreseeable future will be, the use of electrical Power.
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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Granyala] #2850490
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Originally Posted by Granyala
Originally Posted by LarryK
With New York being such a crowded place, I wouldn't be surprised if cleaning up my power improves my sound dramatically.

Any half decent device should have internal filters for that.

take the RME Adi-2 DAC for instance, it has multiple stages of filtering.


I will see if I hear any differences once I get it. My friend said the noise reduction was significant and he measured it with a Entech powerline noise analyzer and an AlphaLabs Line EMI meter.

The main advantage of the Niagara 5000 is the monitoring for overvoltage, something that could have saved me.


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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Bruce In Philly] #2850493
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My biggest issue in Center City Philly was voltage sags.... they were causing my VTL monoblocks to go into oscillation... scared the crap out of me. I could not figure out what was causing it. VTL said to send the units back.... I finally called Conrad Johnson (I was using one of their preamps)... the engineer laughed and said their amps don;t do that... he knew exactly what that was... voltage sags. So next time it happened, I shoved my multimeter into the wall socket and saw 95 volts.

Ok, so that was sags... what about surges? That was all I needed to see.

There is a ton more to that story... called PECO many times... they opened a ticket... said three different times they were sending someone out to put a tape recorder on my wall socket... never did.... called back, someone closed the ticket as solved. Screw them. I suspect they didn't want to fix their infrastructure for some audio nerd.

Peace
Bruce in Philly

Last edited by Bruce In Philly; 05/20/19 05:08 PM.

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Bruce In Philly] #2850505
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Originally Posted by Bruce In Philly
My biggest issue in Center City Philly was voltage sags.... they were causing my VTL monoblocks to go into oscillation... scared the crap out of me. I could not figure out what was causing it. VTL said to send the units back.... I finally called Conrad Johnson (I was using one of their preamps)... the engineer laughed and said their amps don;t do that... he knew exactly what that was... voltage sags. So next time it happened, I shoved my multimeter into the wall socket and saw 95 volts.

Ok, so that was sags... what about surges? That was all I needed to see.

There is a ton more to that story... called PECO many times... they opened a ticket... said three different times they were sending someone out to put a tape recorder on my wall socket... never did.... called back, someone closed the ticket as solved. Screw them. I suspect they didn't want to fix their infrastructure for some audio nerd.

Peace
Bruce in Philly



That’s ridiculous. Audio nerds don’t get any respect. Sigh, I’m throwing down for the Niagara 5000, used or new.


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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Bruce In Philly] #2850565
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Originally Posted by Bruce In Philly
voltage sags. So next time it happened, I shoved my multimeter into the wall socket and saw 95 volts.

Yikes.. you guys have 115 as standard, right?

I can imagine instability like that causing problems, aye.


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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Bruce In Philly] #2850567
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It's even worse for appliances with large motors.

Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Granyala] #2850601
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Originally Posted by Granyala
Originally Posted by Bruce In Philly
voltage sags. So next time it happened, I shoved my multimeter into the wall socket and saw 95 volts.

Yikes.. you guys have 115 as standard, right?

I can imagine instability like that causing problems, aye.


The standard in the US is 120 volts.




Last edited by LarryK; 05/21/19 05:25 AM.

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Bruce In Philly] #2850643
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Wherever I lived in the past 20 years, I always re-wired the electrical system in my home... I do the work myself. I install a new 20 amp breaker and run thick 10 guage wire to a "hospital grade" quad outlet. The circuit is dedicated in that it only has that one quad outlet. If your board has the capability for isolation grounding, I use 10 guage, 4 conductor cable and use isolation ground wiring and outlet. This all helps with noise from appliances and other sources. I run a few of these in my current home... One to my home theater, one to my piano music rig, one to my home computer/office setup, one to my main stereo. THen I stick a TripLite unit on the end (need to get another trip lite for my piano rig).

If you do the work yourself, it is pretty darn cheap to do this and it always helps with sound.... but again, mostly the improvement is dependent on how noisy or bad your lines are to begin with. I just do it prophylacticly as it is cheap and fun project.

Besides sonic benefit, you get protection for your equipment. While I admit, I can't tell you if I even am getting a sonic benefit because I just install this stuff regardless of a known problem anymore. I feel it is something everyone should do if they have expensive electronics plugged in such as your home theater. A dedicated line with a TrippLite filter with voltage regulation.... good stuff now matter your feelings about us audio nerds.

Peace
Bruce in Philly

Last edited by Bruce In Philly; 05/21/19 08:13 AM.

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Bruce In Philly] #2850649
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Originally Posted by Bruce In Philly
Wherever I lived in the past 20 years, I always re-wired the electrical system in my home... I do the work myself. I install a new 20 amp breaker and run thick 10 guage wire to a "hospital grade" quad outlet. The circuit is dedicated in that it only has that one quad outlet. If your board has the capability for isolation grounding, I use 10 guage, 4 conductor cable and use isolation ground wiring and outlet. This all helps with noise from appliances and other sources. I run a few of these in my current home... One to my home theater, one to my piano music rig, one to my home computer/office setup, one to my main stereo. THen I stick a TripLite unit on the end (need to get another trip lite for my piano rig).

If you do the work yourself, it is pretty darn cheap to do this and it always helps with sound.... but again, mostly the improvement is dependent on how noisy or bad your lines are to begin with. I just do it prophylacticly as it is cheap and fun project.

Besides sonic benefit, you get protection for your equipment. While I admit, I can't tell you if I even am getting a sonic benefit because I just install this stuff regardless of a known problem anymore. I feel it is something everyone should do if they have expensive electronics plugged in such as your home theater. A dedicated line with a TrippLite filter with voltage regulation.... good stuff now matter your feelings about us audio nerds.

Peace
Bruce in Philly


Good for you. After we bought this apartment last year, I discovered that the electrical panel was from the 1950s was made by Pacific General, and was considered a fire hazard. There was no way I was plugging my big Gryphon into that thing. I’m not allowed to do my own electrical work, so I hired an electrician to put in a new panel and install two dedicated 20amp circuits with hospital grade outlets for the audio rig.

My audio guru friend suggested that I run a ground to a water pipe in the kitchen but the electrician measured and the panel/conduit ground was better than the pipe ground. I was lucky in a way because my apartment had new wire run to the panel run through the chase because of a fire in an apartment on another floor which damaged the wiring not that long ago.

My friend runs 4AWG for all his power and says he can hear a difference between that and smaller gauges! I bought one of those Entek noise analyzers. Yes, power supplies have filtering but I want voltage protection, of course.

Last edited by LarryK; 05/21/19 08:27 AM.

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Bruce In Philly] #2850670
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Good that you did that work... for lots of reasons that you clearly get. I have a slightly differing opinion on running audio stuff through two different circuits... you could introduce a ground loop between the two circuits. A 20 amp circuit has a huge capability to run audio equipment, even monster amps. You don't need two 20 amp circuits. That is why I run all of my audio gear, for one system, to only one circuit and wall plate. There is a false belief that you don't want to "stress" one circuit. This is wrong in my book. To test this out, put a multi meter between the ground pins of each of your circuits... you should see zero flow... if you do, then that is noise and bad.

Where my keyboard is located, I have the dedicated cicuit, and a "house" socket next to it. I plugged in my amp into one, and my keyboard in the other.... hum..... bad. I then put a power strip into the dedicated and then plugged all into that... no hum. Long story but I screwed up... I have a bunch of stuff at my keyboard... lights, computer power etc.... and all of it grounds everything together via usb cables et al. Bad. I need to put a TrippLite in there instead of a power strip... one of my many to dos.

Peace
Bruce in Philly

Last edited by Bruce In Philly; 05/21/19 09:35 AM.

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Bruce In Philly] #2850674
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Originally Posted by Bruce In Philly
Good that you did that work... for lots of reasons that you clearly get. I have a slightly differing opinion on running audio stuff through two different circuits... you could introduce a ground loop between the two circuits. A 20 amp circuit has a huge capability to run audio equipment, even monster amps. You don't need two 20 amp circuits. That is why I run all of my audio gear, for one system, to only one circuit and wall plate. There is a false belief that you don't want to "stress" one circuit. This is wrong in my book. To test this out, put a multi meter between the ground pins of each of your circuits... you should see zero flow... if you do, then that is noise and bad.

Peace
Bruce in Philly


I understand circuit breakers not tripping and the risk of fire. Most people in the building probably do not understand that.

My amplifier pulls a huge amount of current from the wall, and should not be limited. Source components usually pull a fixed voltage, and usually a small amount. As someone pointed out, to their horror, my amp consumes 500w at idle. I don’t idle, so no worries. :-)

The Niagara has four outlets for high current devices, banks a lot of current, and eight others, so I’ll be moving to one 20a circuit. We checked the two circuits when I had them installed and they were good.


Last edited by LarryK; 05/21/19 09:43 AM.

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Bruce In Philly] #2850678
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Just for clarification.... a 20 amp circuit can deliver 2400 watts at 120 volts. A simple Ohms law calculation. Watts are additive so you can calculate your need. As a general rule, you don't want to load a circuit beyond 80% of capability so that brings a 20 amp to 1,920 watts. A 15 amp circuit can deliver 1800 watts, and at 80%, 1,440 watts.

Check your specs on each of your equipment... they will show peak watt draw... then add them up. BTW, the peak draw spec on a piece of equipment is way way conservative... it usually only draws this at cold power up and why having a TrippLite or other voltage regulator can really prevent "surging" during power up as capacitors charge. It is this surging and bad power from the pole that leads to equipment failure over time... and another reason why leaving your equipment on all the time actually extends its life (except with tube equipment).

Oh, and never plug in flourescent lights into an audio cuircuit... they introduce 60 hz hum..... 60 hz BTW, is almost exactly B flat... a nice way to tune your guitar with out a tuner... just listen to the hum... tune to b flat.

Peace
Bruce in Philly

Last edited by Bruce In Philly; 05/21/19 09:54 AM.

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Bruce In Philly] #2850685
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Originally Posted by Bruce In Philly
Just for clarification.... a 20 amp circuit can deliver 2400 watts at 120 volts. A simple Ohms law calculation. Watts are additive so you can calculate your need. As a general rule, you don't want to load a circuit beyond 80% of capability so that brings a 20 amp to 1,920 watts. A 15 amp circuit can deliver 1800 watts, and at 80%, 1,440 watts.

Check your specs on each of your equipment... they will show peak watt draw... then add them up. BTW, the peak draw spec on a piece of equipment is way way conservative... it usually only draws this at cold power up and why having a TrippLite or other voltage regulator can really prevent "surging" during power up as capacitors charge. It is this surging and bad power from the pole that leads to equipment failure over time... and another reason why leaving your equipment on all the time actually extends its life (except with tube equipment).

Oh, and never plug in flourescent lights into an audio cuircuit... they introduce 60 hz hum..... 60 hz BTW, is almost exactly B flat... a nice way to tune your guitar with out a tuner... just listen to the hum... tune to b flat.

Peace
Bruce in Philly


The specs on the Gryphon Colosseum stereo amplifier say a maximum power consumption of 2600 watts. Haha.

I’ll have to look up the numbers on the other components.

I don’t believe I have a fluorescent light in the whole apartment.

Last edited by LarryK; 05/21/19 10:17 AM.

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: LarryK] #2850687
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Yikes.... that is really odd...... no home circuit is over 20 amps.... goofy. Who would design equipment that technically can't be plugged into a home circuit? Again, these peak ratings are very conservative and should never occur. BTW, I learned all of this stuff years ago configuring data centers.

Peace
Bruce in Philly


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Bruce in Philly
Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Bruce In Philly] #2850690
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Update... these posts shamed me.... I just purchased another Tripp Lite LC2400 from ebay... new unopened... $172 with shipping. I will use this on my keyboard/amp/computer/mixer/et al rig. I don;t expect sound improvements... just protection.

I live in a heavily wooded area and I loose power probably once a month from fallen trees. And, I know I have power fluctuations because the Tripp Lites make a clicking noise as the relays adjust voltage... I can hear this clicking probably once or twice a week. So... I did this simply for protection.

Peace
Bruce in Philly


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Bruce in Philly
Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Bruce In Philly] #2850692
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@BiP: With such high power usage ... you might get a visit from the sheriff ... on suspicion of operating a grow house! smile

Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Bruce In Philly] #2850698
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Originally Posted by Bruce In Philly
Yikes.... that is really odd...... no home circuit is over 20 amps.... goofy. Who would design equipment that technically can't be plugged into a home circuit? Again, these peak ratings are very conservative and should never occur. BTW, I learned all of this stuff years ago configuring data centers.

Peace
Bruce in Philly


The manual states that, at a minimum, a 20A circuit is required. I suppose it can be plugged into a a bigger circuit, I don’t know, 220v/30a? Maybe I can arc weld with the amp.

Last edited by LarryK; 05/21/19 10:44 AM.

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Bruce In Philly] #2850704
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Arc weld!! Funny you should say this... you probably are near my age.... way back when these monster amps started to become popular.... I think Krell was one of the first popular units, then Mark Levinson... I remember some reviewer actually tried to arc weld with it. Launched a huge spark!!!! I think this was back in the late 80s IIRC.

My old VTL 300 Deluxe amps had the biggest capacitors I have ever seen on an amp. Each monoblock had two monster caps the size of drinking glasses. I suspect it could have killed a person.

Peace
Bruce in Philly

Last edited by Bruce In Philly; 05/21/19 10:59 AM.

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Bruce In Philly] #2850705
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Originally Posted by Bruce In Philly
Arc weld!! Funny you should say this... you probably are near my age.... way back when these monster amps started to become popular.... I think Krell was one of the first popular units, then Mark Levinson... I remember some reviewer actually tried to arc weld with it. Launched a huge spark!!!! I think this was back in the late 80s IIRC.

Peace
Bruce in Philly


My father had an arc welder and he had a circuit put in the garage for it. I think I might remember that story about someone trying to arc weld with an amplifier. I’m not twenty five years old anymore, lol, we probably are close in age. Some of the people on this thread must be pretty young if they’ve never heard or seen a Class A amp. If you can pick up the amp, it is not Class A.


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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Bruce In Philly] #2850708
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Here is a picture of the internals of my amp.

Look at the size of the capacitors!

[img]https://imgur.com/a/CSdlqMX[/img]


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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: LarryK] #2850724
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Originally Posted by LarryK
Here is a picture of the internals of my amp.
Look at the size of the capacitors!

[Linked Image]

Sexy!

Don't try to rewire a rented apartment in Germany. If anything happens and you don't have consent or are a certified electrician... you're liable and I doubt any insurance would cover that. laugh

Last edited by Granyala; 05/21/19 12:05 PM.

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Granyala] #2850730
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Originally Posted by Granyala
Don't try to rewire a rented apartment in Germany.

Or try plumbing in an apartment in NYC.

I had a slow draining shower. Fortunately I called the University to fix it rather than DIY. The University plumber just pushed the clog down a few feet. Next morning downstairs apartment was destroyed and several more below flooded.

Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Granyala] #2850735
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Originally Posted by Granyala
Originally Posted by LarryK
Here is a picture of the internals of my amp.
Look at the size of the capacitors!

[Linked Image]

Sexy!

Don't try to rewire a rented apartment in Germany. If anything happens and you don't have consent or are a certified electrician... you're liable and I doubt any insurance would cover that. laugh



I moved out of a rental apartment, where I ran my old 90w Class A Sumo Gold for eight years. It might have been on a 15a circuit, I don’t remember. The wires in the walls were from the 1930s and all the insulation was crumbling and falling off. The panel was fairly new, though.

I own this apartment but I still had to get permission from the cooperative board for the work to be done. There really is no reason for them to refuse, I was paying, and the apartment gets an upgrade. I don’t want to think about how many apartments in the building are still using the old panels from the 1950s.

I lived in an apartment in Stuttgart for a while and I am somewhat aware of all the rules in Germany. I got in trouble for not sweeping five flights of stairs and the courtyard every day for a week when I found a drawing of a broom hung off my door one day. I believe the term is “kehrwoche.” Nobody would say a word to me so I guessed that the sign meant I had to sweep my floor and move the card to the next door knob. In the end, they gave me a pass because I was a stupid American, lol.

Last edited by LarryK; 05/21/19 12:39 PM.

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: newer player] #2850738
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Originally Posted by newer player
Originally Posted by Granyala
Don't try to rewire a rented apartment in Germany.

Or try plumbing in an apartment in NYC.

I had a slow draining shower. Fortunately I called the University to fix it rather than DIY. The University plumber just pushed the clog down a few feet. Next morning downstairs apartment was destroyed and several more below flooded.



If you live in New York, you become good friends with you superintendent, your super. The old New York joke is that if you don’t tip your super at Christmas, they’ll find you dead in the alley. The super is the institutional memory of a building. He knows what repairs have been done, where the plumbing is dodgy, and what work can and cannot be done.

My building guys are so wonderful that they helped me move my amp out and will help me move it back in. Yes, I tip for that. Money is a hammer which can be used to flatten many problems.

Last edited by LarryK; 05/21/19 12:35 PM.

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Bruce In Philly] #2850739
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Germany: I wired a bunch of switches and lighting in my buddy's new apartment in Mitte Berlin.... a new building put up where a bomb had dropped... he moved in not long after the wall came down. I had no clue of either the laws nor German wiring. Funniest stories are me in a Berlin hardware store trying to communicate wiring components with a non-english speaking helper. Funny as heck. I got it all to work and no fires.

New York.... when I looked at my apt, I asked the super "how is the hot water?".... a question only a New Yorker understands.... he said (another Irish guy). "It all depends on how you treat me at Christmas".

True stories.

Peace
Bruce in Philly


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Bruce in Philly
Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Bruce In Philly] #2850743
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Originally Posted by Bruce In Philly
Germany: I wired a bunch of switches and lighting in my buddy's new apartment in Mitte Berlin.... a new building put up where a bomb had dropped... he moved in not long after the wall came down. I had no clue of either the laws nor German wiring. Funniest stories are me in a Berlin hardware store trying to communicate wiring components with a non-english speaking helper. Funny as heck. I got it all to work and no fires.

New York.... when I looked at my apt, I asked the super "how is the hot water?".... a question only a New Yorker understands.... he said (another Irish guy). "It all depends on how you treat me at Christmas".

True stories.

Peace
Bruce in Philly


LOL. I could make tea with my hot water, it is blisteringly hot. I yell at friends to watch the hot water when they go to the bathroom but I still hear screams.

My old rental was owned by an Irish guy, a plumbing contractor, who passed away before I moved in. His widow did dodgy work, repairing the leaks with electrical tape. She had learned nothing from her husband. She was British, he was Irish, always a good combination.

When we signed the lease on the last apartment, I told my wife, this will be fine, the old lady lives in the building, we’ll have plenty of heat. Idiot me. The old lady would sneak down into the basement at 2am to shut off the boiler in order to try to save fuel. We’d wake up freezing. We learned that a state of open warfare had existed between the tenants and the landlord, for years.

I’ll never rent again. I get respect as an owner, the repairs are done right, and we all take pride in having a beautiful building. Plus, maintenance charges are per square foot so they’re more fair than the wacky rent laws in New York which often cause buildings to fall into a state of disrepair.



Last edited by LarryK; 05/21/19 12:57 PM.

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: LarryK] #2850745
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Originally Posted by LarryK
The wires in the walls were from the 1930s and all the insulation was crumbling and falling off.
I don’t want to think about how many apartments in the building are still using the old panels from the 1950s.

I lived in an apartment in Stuttgart for a while and I am somewhat aware of all the rules in Germany. I got in trouble for not sweeping five flights of stairs and the courtyard every day for a week when I found a drawing of a broom hung off my door one day. I believe the term is “kehrwoche.” Nobody would say a word to me so I guessed that the sign meant I had to sweep my floor and move the card to the next door knob. In the end, they gave me a pass because I was a stupid American, lol.

Damn all that ancient wiring is terrifying. I wouldn't dare to hang a 1-2KW device to those either. shocked

Haha, yeah germans are often like that. I didn't bother to do my stairs 80% of the time because if it looks clean, it is clean. Eventually they got the hint and hired a firm to do the menial labor. I rather pay than inhale all that crap. laugh


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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Granyala] #2850753
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Originally Posted by Granyala
Originally Posted by LarryK
The wires in the walls were from the 1930s and all the insulation was crumbling and falling off.
I don’t want to think about how many apartments in the building are still using the old panels from the 1950s.

I lived in an apartment in Stuttgart for a while and I am somewhat aware of all the rules in Germany. I got in trouble for not sweeping five flights of stairs and the courtyard every day for a week when I found a drawing of a broom hung off my door one day. I believe the term is “kehrwoche.” Nobody would say a word to me so I guessed that the sign meant I had to sweep my floor and move the card to the next door knob. In the end, they gave me a pass because I was a stupid American, lol.

Damn all that ancient wiring is terrifying. I wouldn't dare to hang a 1-2KW device to those either. shocked

Haha, yeah germans are often like that. I didn't bother to do my stairs 80% of the time because if it looks clean, it is clean. Eventually they got the hint and hired a firm to do the menial labor. I rather pay than inhale all that crap. laugh


The Gryphon is hung off of new wire and the wire in the chase is fairly recent, due to a fire in an apartment on a lower floor.

In the old building, every once in a while, people would be running around trying to figure out where the smell of burning wire was coming from, out in the hallway, or in the elevator. I have a hundred stores and may write a book.


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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Bruce In Philly] #2850755
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Guys. Isn't it time you found new homes? Yours seem like fire traps. frown

Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: MacMacMac] #2850764
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Guys. Isn't it time you found new homes? Yours seem like fire traps. frown

When I think of living in a fire trap, my mind immediately jumps to this Oakland example.


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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2850768
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Guys. Isn't it time you found new homes? Yours seem like fire traps. frown

When I think of living in a fire trap, my mind immediately jumps to this Oakland example.


A word to the wise, if you live in a multi-unit building, spend ~$50 for a smoke hood. Smoke hoods give you 20-30 minutes of oxygen through a chemical reaction. You pull little rubber plugs to start the flow of oxygen. Smoke kills, fire rarely does. In this horrific tragedy, four people were killed eight or nine stories above the fire:

https://www.nytimes.com/1998/12/24/nyregion/4-killed-fleeing-blaze-in-high-rise.html


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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: LarryK] #2850774
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Originally Posted by LarryK
A word to the wise, if you live in a multi-unit building, spend ~$50 for a smoke hood. Smoke hoods give you 20-30 minutes of oxygen through a chemical reaction. You pull little rubber plugs to start the flow of oxygen. Smoke kills, fire rarely does.

Good tip!

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Originally Posted by newer player
Originally Posted by LarryK
A word to the wise, if you live in a multi-unit building, spend ~$50 for a smoke hood. Smoke hoods give you 20-30 minutes of oxygen through a chemical reaction. You pull little rubber plugs to start the flow of oxygen. Smoke kills, fire rarely does.

Good tip!


It is. I read about how a guy started importing smoke hoods into the US when he noticed that they had them in every hotel room in Hong Kong but not in a single hotel room in the US.

I texted/talked a friend through what to do when there was a fire in her building, just a week ago. It was a nerve-racking experience because I could not see where the fire was located in her building, and she couldn't tell.

She didn't know things such as to put wet towels under the door in order to block the entry of smoke. I had her do that, and to also feel the door to see if it was hot. She has a fire escape, but there was a ladder from an FDNY truck right next to that window, going up to the roof, so we didn't know if the fire was above her. Nobody else was going down the fire escape, and nobody was issuing instructions of any kind. She could hear people coughing in the hallway.

So, she stayed put in her apartment and tried to figure out what to do. I said that she had to use her best judgement and to go if she felt the room start to fill with smoke. She didn't want to open the window because of the amount of smoke outside.

Her building is only a five minute run from mine so I ran out the door and up a hill to see out what was going on. By the time I got there, the men from FDNY had put out the blaze, which was on the second floor, just two floors down from her apartment, and the next wing over from her apartment. The firemen had smashed out all of the windows from the street side and made quick work of the fire. They had put ladders all over the building, that must be protocol in case the fire starts to spread.

I suppose it was good that she did not go out the fire escape because there is a wooden scaffold/sidewalk bridge on the second floor because they're doing some work on the building. The sidewalk bridge could have been engulfed in flames, it's at the same level as the burning apartment.

Most of the time, nothing happens, but every once in a while, something happens to scare you to death.

P.S. She's put in an order for a smoke hood.

Last edited by LarryK; 05/21/19 06:09 PM.

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Bruce In Philly] #2852331
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Returning to audiophile stuff, here is a video that shows the noise on my new 20amp circuit. Be sure to turn the sound on.

AC Line Noise

The sound is off by default.

Yes, I suppose power supplies should filter out this noise but I am still looking forward to seeing how much difference is made by the Niagara 5000. What do you think?

It looks like I’ll get my amp back next week so I’m excited about that. My audio guru is going to decide if he is going to sell me one of his three Niagara units.


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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: LarryK] #2852349
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I think it will make zero difference.

I think what this device does is use the AC power line as an AM radio antenna, amplifying voice range. So when plugged into a source that has a long continuous connection, it picks up human voice.

Here is a video of the same device being used with a cheap UPS:
https://youtu.be/LxyxkCOlZsU?t=87

As I suggested many posts ago, a battery-backed UPS is your best bet for "clean" power.


Of course, I think all of this is snake oil, since when I have my speakers on and playing a silent wav file, all I hear with my ears next to the speakers is a faint hiss from my active speakers.

Last edited by redfish1901; 05/26/19 10:57 AM.
Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: redfish1901] #2852352
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Originally Posted by redfish1901
I think it will make zero difference.

I think what this device does is use the AC power line as an AM radio antenna, amplifying voice range. So when plugged into a source that has a long continuous connection, it picks up human voice.

Here is a video of the same device being used with a cheap UPS:
https://youtu.be/LxyxkCOlZsU?t=87

As I suggested many posts ago, a battery-backed UPS is your best bet for "clean" power.


Of course, I think all of this is snake oil, since when I have my speakers on and playing a silent wav file, all I hear with my ears next to the speakers is a faint hiss from my active speakers.


Well, I’ll see. Yes, the power line acts as an antenna and the device amplifies what is audible.

My audio guru says the Niagara 5000s have made a huge difference in terms of the sound quality of his system and he’s running three of them, one on each of his 200w Class A monoblocks and one for his source components. He’s going to try running with two of them. My friend is an electrical engineer, and a quite successful one from his LinkedIn profile, he’s not a snake oil salesman.

As I mentioned, I live in an apartment, I cannot install a battery backed UPS, I have to use the power from the mains, I have no choice.

Any filtering from the Niagara will be a nice bonus, what I need is over voltage protection to keep my amp from being taken out by a surge. I can’t use a cheap power strip on an amp that can draw over 2000w.

Last edited by LarryK; 05/26/19 11:08 AM.

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Bruce In Philly] #2852355
05/26/19 11:32 AM
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Every mains-powered device filters out power line noise.
Buying additional outboard equipment is like buying snake oil.
And whatever "my audio guru" says might be little more than (a) salesmanship or (b) psychobabble from a "golden-ear" knucklehead or (c) a hallucinogenic rant.
Audio bullcrap claims are rife, and I/you/we need pay them no heed.

Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Bruce In Philly] #2852361
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LarryK,

It’s really a simple test. Turn on your system and play something nice louder than you normally do. Turn off the sound source and leave everything else on. Put your ears against the speakers.

Do you hear voices and buzzing? If no, you can stop.
If you do, step back 1 meter. Do you still hear voices and buzzing? If no, you can stop.

If you do hear the noise, before spending $1K, buy the $50 outlet filter in the video and redo the test.

Isn’t audiophiles all about trusting your ears and not some gizmo or what someone else tells you?

Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: redfish1901] #2852363
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Originally Posted by redfish1901
LarryK,

It’s really a simple test. Turn on your system and play something nice louder than you normally do. Turn off the sound source and leave everything else on. Put your ears against the speakers.

Do you hear voices and buzzing? If no, you can stop.
If you do, step back 1 meter. Do you still hear voices and buzzing? If no, you can stop.

If you do hear the noise, before spending $1K, buy the $50 outlet filter in the video and redo the test.

Isn’t audiophiles all about trusting your ears and not some gizmo or what someone else tells you?


Yes, being an audiophile is about trusting my ears, so I will actually listen to the device and draw my own conclusions.


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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: LarryK] #2852368
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Originally Posted by redfish1901
I think it will make zero difference.

Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Buying additional outboard equipment is like buying snake oil.

Originally Posted by LarryK
My audio guru says the Niagara 5000s have made a huge difference in terms of the sound quality of his system

I don't think anyone can know how a given power filter/regenerator might or might not impact your audio system. Everyone's mains power differs (and changes during the day and season etc). Everyone's audio equipment also differs.

Maybe the Niagara provides measurably and audibly better or worse performance than a PurePower or cheap used Monster unit might. How would one know other than trying? This is one of those audio pitholes that I find most irritating, so I don't bother much.

Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: newer player] #2852373
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Originally Posted by newer player
Originally Posted by redfish1901
I think it will make zero difference.

Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Buying additional outboard equipment is like buying snake oil.

Originally Posted by LarryK
My audio guru says the Niagara 5000s have made a huge difference in terms of the sound quality of his system

I don't think anyone can know how a given power filter/regenerator might or might not impact your audio system. Everyone's mains power differs (and changes during the day and season etc). Everyone's audio equipment also differs.

Maybe the Niagara provides measurably and audibly better or worse performance than a PurePower or cheap used Monster unit might. How would one know other than trying? This is one of those audio pitholes that I find most irritating, so I don't bother much.


This is true of so many things. How do you find out if one piano has a better tone than another piano? You try them. I can’t take the attitude that it’s not worth the bother.

I’ve upgraded my classical guitars a number of times. I play the new ones and take them to my teacher for his expert advice. He’s probably played dozens of guitars and even shoots videos for dealers who want to show how the guitars can sound. No, I’ll never play like my teacher but I can learn what is possible by listening to him play a guitar. Some guitars have gotten sent back, others have not.

I’ll just have to try the Niagara unit and see how much difference it makes. My friend is first trying to figure out if he loses or gains anything by getting rid of one of his Niagaras. If he loses something, he’s not going to sell the unit to me. He spent an hour on the phone with the designer of the Niagara and he went through the internals before buying the three units. I don’t have that kind of technical knowledge, I’m a software engineer, not a hardware engineer.

He would have fixed my amp, by the way, but he lives too far away. He has been fixing amps.

Last edited by LarryK; 05/26/19 12:34 PM.

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Bruce In Philly] #2852387
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Going back to things I can hear.

What do the audiophiles still remaining think of tweeter waveguides?

Recent Revel and JBL speakers (Both Harman brands) have these waveguides. I can hear the rock solid phantom center, and precise sound stage that doesn't change much as I move away from the center listening position (in fact moving around the room).

I think these are fabulous new developments and any speakers without them are obsolete.

What do you think about them?

Last edited by redfish1901; 05/26/19 01:43 PM.
Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: redfish1901] #2852406
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Originally Posted by redfish1901
Going back to things I can hear.

What do the audiophiles still remaining think of tweeter waveguides?

Recent Revel and JBL speakers (Both Harman brands) have these waveguides. I can hear the rock solid phantom center, and precise sound stage that doesn't change much as I move away from the center listening position (in fact moving around the room).

I think these are fabulous new developments and any speakers without them are obsolete.

What do you think about them?


From the Gryphon Cantata manual, here is what he says about the tweeter and its surround, which I would consider a wave guide:

"The oil-cooled tweeter employs a textile dome and is housed in a integrated 1 kg. baffle CNC machined from a solid billet of aluminum to a specific shape selected after numerous experiments with clay and plaster models. A specially designed stainless steel surround was developed for a seamless connection between dome and baffle. A small removable steel bar provides mechanical protection of the semi-soft dome. Because the well-documented and rightly feared dramatic break-up modes characteristic of Titanium and other metal domes typically require extensive crossover intervention, such drivers are not employed in the Gryphon Cantata, maintaining the pristine simplicity of its design."


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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Bruce In Philly] #2852600
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Yup, sounds like a waveguide to me.

As for the power clean thingy: if you have relatively clean power, you should not notice any difference, because electronic devices have filter stages to suppress / eliminate noise.

However, every filter circuit has it's limits, so a specialized device may provide additional resilience if your power is >REALLY< unclean / unstable.
You won't get "improved sonic performance" per say, but you will get less noise / less failing/shutting down of the equipment if the voltage swings are too hardcore (like the 20V swing bruce reported, that may well exceed what internal capacitors can compensate).

Still, I find it worrying that America has that carppy power lines making devices like these necessary. I'd expect sth like that from some 3rd world country not an industrial nation.


The backbone of modern industrial society is, and for the foreseeable future will be, the use of electrical Power.
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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Bruce In Philly] #2852610
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Yes, America has snake oil salesmen.
And yes, America has snake oil customers.
But only deluded "golden ears" feel that they need such things.

What reputable source says we need these? None.
Never had one. Never needed one.

Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Granyala] #2852619
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Originally Posted by Granyala
Yup, sounds like a waveguide to me.

As for the power clean thingy: if you have relatively clean power, you should not notice any difference, because electronic devices have filter stages to suppress / eliminate noise.

However, every filter circuit has it's limits, so a specialized device may provide additional resilience if your power is >REALLY< unclean / unstable.
You won't get "improved sonic performance" per say, but you will get less noise / less failing/shutting down of the equipment if the voltage swings are too hardcore (like the 20V swing bruce reported, that may well exceed what internal capacitors can compensate).

Still, I find it worrying that America has that carppy power lines making devices like these necessary. I'd expect sth like that from some 3rd world country not an industrial nation.


Somehow I don’t think tweeter wave guides are a new thing just invented by JBL/Harmon that make all speakers obsolete, lol. The Cantata is sixteen years old and I’m pretty sure wave guides go back long before that.

I’d like to believe that America has a reliable, modern electrical infrastructure but somehow I don’t think it’s in as good a shape as we all like to think. New York City regularly has brown outs in some neighborhoods when the grid is stressed by high demand during the summer. Of course, there was the transformer explosion, which seems to be the only explanation for why my relatively new amp failed. I can’t know for sure, of course.

My mom’s Tesla PowerWall has covered about thirteen short outages over a year, totaling an hour. She lives in the suburbs where people routinely run their cars into electrical poles taking out part of the grid or tree limbs do the same. They’ll never bury the wires out there because it’s too expensive and because, as Bill Gates quipped, backhoes don’t obey Moore’s law.

In New York, all of our electrical wires are buried. A blackout in New York is big deal, I’ve been through one. Water is gravity fed from tanks on the roofs of buildings, for apartments above the fourth or fifth floor. Once that water is used, you have no more water. There are other challenges, such as climbing stairs to get food and water, I lived on the eighteenth floor and brought supplies for my neighbors who could not make the climb.

Anyway, I’ll report my findings when I get my amp and Niagara 5000 set up. I need some sort of protection because I can’t keep running that amp to the service center, it’s a pain to move it and is expensive to repair. I’m just lucky I didn’t have to ship the amp to Denmark.


Last edited by LarryK; 05/27/19 07:35 AM.

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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Bruce In Philly] #2852626
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Ok, New York is Little Delhi. For the rest of us the only power conditioning we need is : stay away from New York. smile

Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: LarryK] #2852636
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Originally Posted by LarryK

Somehow I don’t think tweeter wave guides are a new thing just invented by JBL/Harmon that make all speakers obsolete, lol. The Cantata is sixteen years old and I’m pretty sure wave guides go back long before that.

My understanding is that although waveguides have been a thing for a while, they don't have a flat response and so they're really hard to design without acoustic drawbacks. JBL apparently has designed such a good waveguide + tweeter/crossover pairing that their system has no such drawbacks. I don't know much more than this so you'll have to do some Googling if you want to know more.

Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Bruce In Philly] #2854355
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My Colosseum amp is back up and running!

TheColosseumIsBack

I’m not so sure that ConEd took out my amp. There was no burning in any part of the amp and it was a single part in the power supply that failed, perhaps due to age or heat. Still, I think I want some protection. It is a real pain to move around a 175lb amplifier, lol.

I’ve spent the last four hours on the couch, listening to music, on a beautiful day. I have to go play music and go outside.


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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: LarryK] #2854364
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Originally Posted by LarryK
My Colosseum amp is back up and running!

TheColosseumIsBack

I’m not so sure that ConEd took out my amp. There was no burning in any part of the amp and it was a single part in the power supply that failed, perhaps due to age or heat. Still, I think I want some protection. It is a real pain to move around a 175lb amplifier, lol.

I’ve spent the last four hours on the couch, listening to music, on a beautiful day. I have to go play music and go outside.

Congrats! thumb

It's been a long wait for you!


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Re: Audiophile Stuff! Turn away! Specs and sound. [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2854394
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by LarryK
My Colosseum amp is back up and running!

TheColosseumIsBack

I’m not so sure that ConEd took out my amp. There was no burning in any part of the amp and it was a single part in the power supply that failed, perhaps due to age or heat. Still, I think I want some protection. It is a real pain to move around a 175lb amplifier, lol.

I’ve spent the last four hours on the couch, listening to music, on a beautiful day. I have to go play music and go outside.

Congrats! thumb

It's been a long wait for you!


Thanks, TS!

Yeah, I’m a bit bummed that I missed being able to listen to the amp during all those cold winter months, cocooned in its Class A warmth.

No worries, New York is a northern city, we will not have tropical weather for that long, thank goodness. I couldn’t take living in LA just because it would never get cold enough to let me run my amp.


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