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So,,,,

Q1: Why is it that there are so many headphone threads? Yes, many like headphones, but there has to be more than this going on.

QB: Why don't keyboard makers talk about how great their headphone amps sound?

Q3: Why is imported beer so expensive?

Ideas?

Peace
Bruce in Philly
Posted By: LarryK Re: Headphones - Why? Why SO SO many care? - 04/25/19 12:03 AM
Once I get my acoustic upright, I will care no more about headphones.
Posted By: TonyB Re: Headphones - Why? Why SO SO many care? - 04/25/19 12:43 AM
When I purchased my Roland V-Grand, I just went with the headphones that were recommended for it. As I recall, they cost about $100 and are Samsung somethingorother. They sounded fine to me then, and they still do. It just wasn't an issue for me. I can certainly understand if other folks are more particular and need are looking for a certain sound.

Tony
Posted By: Granyala Re: Headphones - Why? Why SO SO many care? - 04/25/19 04:07 AM
Q1 because for some of us, headphones are all we got. Sensitive neighbors/crappily insulated walls and all that jazz.
Q2 I think Kawai did once with the funky Onkyo collaboration (CA 98?) but in general most DP makers rather speak about them speakers.
Q3 All of these poisonous ethanol tainted beverages are absurdly expensive compared to plain drinking water. No clue why people buy that crap anyway. *shrugs*
+1 for water!
Originally Posted by Bruce In Philly
Q1: Why is it that there are so many headphone threads? Yes, many like headphones, but there has to be more than this going on.

I care about headphones because I usually practice piano between 2am and 4am because I'm very busy during the day. For example, it's past 1am right now and I have not even gotten to touch my piano yet today.

Under such circumstances, and living in a multi-occupancy building, I would be a bad neighbor indeed, if I tried to play an acoustic or even a DP with speaker turned low. You can imagine what one of my neighbors might think of my scales at 3am, even if I turned the speaker to a very low volume. I'd definitely be getting a visit from the police...
Posted By: John Road Re: Headphones - Why? Why SO SO many care? - 04/25/19 06:14 AM
I try not to bother other people with my piano playing unless they are in the mood for it.
There are significant differences between headphones in terms open/closed, over ear or on ear, sound-wise, weight, size, aesthetics, price, value. all something you wear on your head, a rather important body-part. So unsurprisingly people care.
Originally Posted by John Road
I try not to bother other people with my piano playing unless they are in the mood for it.

I agree that headphones make for good neighbors!

A few years ago, I had an upstairs neighbor, a young lawyer, who apparently would only listen to techno at home. He didn't turn it very loud, but the bass vibrations would make it through his floor into my apartment. The music was so rhythmic and repetitive it drove me batty and I ended up wearing a pair of noise-cancelling close-backed headphones even when not listening to music just to get rid of the low level rhythmic noisemusic. I would have been so happy if he had used headphones to listen to his noisemusic!
Posted By: Pete14 Re: Headphones - Why? Why SO SO many care? - 04/25/19 10:10 AM
Originally Posted by TonyB
When I purchased my Roland V-Grand, I just went with the headphones that were recommended for it. As I recall, they cost about $100 and are Samsung somethingorother. They sounded fine to me then, and they still do. It just wasn't an issue for me. I can certainly understand if other folks are more particular and need are looking for a certain sound.

Tony



I’ve tried the Samsung Somethingorother, and they’re okay; but the Sony Thisorthat are superb headphones, and they make a special version for people with headphone allergies.
Posted By: MacMacMac Re: Headphones - Why? Why SO SO many care? - 04/25/19 10:17 AM
Why headphones? Perhaps it's because private listening is one of the reasons people buy digital pianos.

Why do many threads about headphones? It might be that people start threads here seeking advice ... because it's difficult to find phones in the shops that you can actually try out.
There are exceptions (such as the GC nearby that has over a dozen models on active display).

But there are too many core cases, like the GC I visited when I lived in Florida.
They had only a couple of no-name phones on display, while all the good merchandise was locked up behind the counter.
Originally Posted by Bruce In Philly
Why is it that there are so many headphone threads? Yes, many like headphones, but there has to be more than this going on.
Posted By: Doug M. Re: Headphones - Why? Why SO SO many care? - 04/25/19 11:05 AM
Originally Posted by Bruce In Philly
So,,,,

Q1: Why is it that there are so many headphone threads? Yes, many like headphones, but there has to be more than this going on.

QB: Why don't keyboard makers talk about how great their headphone amps sound?

Q3: Why is imported beer so expensive?

Ideas?

Peace
Bruce in Philly


Q3 - A - Import duty ?
QB - They don't talk about headphone amps do they... I am of the opinion that if you spend more than £1000 on a piano, you should get a high-end amp included (enough to power a 300 ohm set of cans).
Q1 - There are many threads about headphones, what piano should I buy, what piano has the best action for $X, what beginner piano should I buy etc....I am of the opinion that not enough people use MacMacMac's thread search tool (probably because they don't know it exists).

Headphone threads are also one of those things people can't easily test in a music store, as not many stores stock the best headphones for digital pianos.
Posted By: siros Re: Headphones - Why? Why SO SO many care? - 04/25/19 11:33 AM
For me ... I don't care about headphones. I just happen to use them when I need to.
Everything has already been said. But not everyone has said it yet, so:

Q1: Because it really makes a difference. DPs (and VSTs) may sound pretty bad with "bad" headphones that might be perfectly adequate for general music listening. Even "bad" DPs may sound better with better -- or more suitable -- headphones. And of course one reason to have a DP is to play it via headphones.

QB: Probably there isn't much to talk about. They are "good enough" for most users, but probably nothing remarkable.

Q3: Why's American beer so bad? Or is it? laugh
Posted By: Granyala Re: Headphones - Why? Why SO SO many care? - 04/25/19 04:14 PM
Originally Posted by Doug M.
QB - They don't talk about headphone amps do they... I am of the opinion that if you spend more than £1000 on a piano, you should get a high-end amp included (enough to power a 300 ohm set of cans).

Careful, high end HP amps will cost you something north of that piano. laugh

Before I'd splurge on an amp or DAC I'd get an awesomesauce headphone first THEN buy an amp that fits the cans if they even need further amping.

For example, I drive my Focal Clear Pro (55Ω) directly with my Titanium HD (audiophile oriented soundcard).
Everything beyond 25% output value is uncomfortably loud, so no need for further power. (Yes I know, the audiophile world would stone me to death for driving a 1500€ can with a friggin 150€ soundcard ^_^ )

Even my 250Ω DT-880 get plenty loud to damage my hearing.
Posted By: RichardHK Re: Headphones - Why? Why SO SO many care? - 04/25/19 04:36 PM
Q1: Like most others here, without headphones I would likely not play too much. Do not want to inflict scales and piece practice repetitions on others, whatever time of day! In my own world with headphones until ready to play on speakers to hopefully get a happy, emotional, and supportive response from any listeners. ; )

Q2: Roland does give their headphone output some time. And it does sound really good (LX705), even better than speakers which I am still working on. Here is the Roland marketing quote:
"Headphones Acoustic Projection for immersive and realistic playing experience when practicing on headphones." Certainly immersive and wonderful stereo spacing.

Q3: Prices high only cos people pay the price. Stop buying/drinking the stuff. And that goes for any bottled water product beyond basic, cheap mineral waters. smile
Originally Posted by Granyala
directly with my Titanium HD (audiophile oriented soundcard).
Everything beyond 25% output value is uncomfortably loud, so no need for further power. (Yes I know, the audiophile world would stone me to death for driving a 1500€ can with a friggin 150€ soundcard ^_^ )

Cool. I have something similar: the X7 Limited Edition. In the next several months, I'm intending to upgrade myself to a different DAC though after I take care of my piano upgrade and will probably sell this one.
Posted By: Granyala Re: Headphones - Why? Why SO SO many care? - 04/25/19 04:54 PM
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Cool. I have something similar: the X7 Limited Edition.

Looks cute laugh
What do you hope to gain from another DAC?
Personally the only reason why I am contemplating an upgrade is the fact that the card is 9 years old and out of support, so it's only a matter of time till driver shenanigans force me to change it out. frown
Posted By: CyberGene Re: Headphones - Why? Why SO SO many care? - 04/25/19 05:00 PM
Originally Posted by Bruce In Philly
QB: Why don't keyboard makers talk about how great their headphone amps sound?

Piano manufacturers know that a terrific headphone amp costs $0.90. That's the price of a good opamp that most probably won't sound any different than a $5000 audiophile amp to a regular piano player. It would be very hard for manufacturers to convince regular piano buyers that a piano that costs $2000, should suddenly become $7000 because it contains an expensive headphone amp. I mean, the audiophile crowd and the piano buyer crowd are IMO not the same smile No offense.
Posted By: peterws Re: Headphones - Why? Why SO SO many care? - 04/25/19 05:29 PM
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by John Road
I try not to bother other people with my piano playing unless they are in the mood for it.

I agree that headphones make for good neighbors!

A few years ago, I had an upstairs neighbor, a young lawyer, who apparently would only listen to techno at home. He didn't turn it very loud, but the bass vibrations would make it through his floor into my apartment. The music was so rhythmic and repetitive it drove me batty and I ended up wearing a pair of noise-cancelling close-backed headphones even when not listening to music just to get rid of the low level rhythmic noisemusic. I would have been so happy if he had used headphones to listen to his noisemusic!


It should be a simple matter for you Technies to rig up a response mechanism designed to shake his flat and everything in it whenever those low rumbles started up . . . The mind boggles as to what form this could take! It could be designed to make him think his stuff was responsible, which in a sense would be true. It'd drive him crazy trying to find out ha ha (Well, gotta be better than ending up before the beak on GBH . . . .)
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop

A few years ago, I had an upstairs neighbor, a young lawyer, who apparently would only listen to techno at home. He didn't turn it very loud, but the bass vibrations would make it through his floor into my apartment. The music was so rhythmic and repetitive it drove me batty and I ended up wearing a pair of noise-cancelling close-backed headphonesc!


So, use that as a freebie metronome -- just play something at the same tempo. I did that when I lived on the Venice Beach Boardwalk and the Hare Krishnas would park outside my window and jingle all day long.
Originally Posted by clothearednincompo
Everything has already been said. But not everyone has said it yet, so:

Q1: Because it really makes a difference. DPs (and VSTs) may sound pretty bad with "bad" headphones that might be perfectly adequate for general music listening. Even "bad" DPs may sound better with better -- or more suitable -- headphones. And of course one reason to have a DP is to play it via headphones.

QB: Probably there isn't much to talk about. They are "good enough" for most users, but probably nothing remarkable.

Q3: Why's American beer so bad? Or is it? laugh



So... what was I really getting at with this question? mr/ms clothearednincompo is on it..... I believe, the pursuit of good/better sounding headphones is actually an audiophile pursuit and folks may not be aware they are behaving like audiophiles.

See, what I think is happening.... you plug in headphones... even cheapie, bad sounding ones, and your ear drum is now fairly coupled directly to the headphone diaphragm. You will immediately hear "detail". This is very satisfying.... at first. However it has a downside in that you hear what is not good about the sound.... it may be the coloration in the headphone itself, the little crap amp powering the headphone jack, maybe the sound from your favorite piano sample just is not so good with headphones... er...better but not .... hmmm....... So...... you want better headphones. This is what an audiophile experiences and then pursues a better headphone.

BTW, if you think you own a "quality" headphone but are still not satisfied, maybe you should try a small, dedicated headphone amp connected to one of the outs of your keyboard (not the headphone jack). You may be pleasantly surprised.

So, to all those who are pursuing or desiring better headphones, and trash audiophiles as deluded... um..... look in the mirror!

Peace
Bruce in Philly
Posted By: jeffscot audiophile - 04/26/19 02:21 PM

Most people pursue better sound.
They just don’t have the need to refer to themselves as audiophiles.
What’s the point?
Posted By: clothearednincompo Re: audiophile - 04/26/19 02:46 PM
"Audiophiles" are taking the search for the "ultimate gear and experience" to an extreme.

I'm searching for a "good enough" experience. I focus more on melody, harmony, arrangement and such when listening to music in general. "Good enough" is good enough and I don't listen to test sound CDs carefully examining my speakers or headphones.

But I can detect if they are too bad. Or if they make my crappy Casio Privia sound even more crappy. (Well, it's not that crappy.)

Sometimes musical details can be lost by "lacking" speakers. Like the bass notes after 30 seconds and up to 1 minute or so: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aG-_7xXTHjk

They might be unrecognisable "bass mess" on some systems.

And "Mr." is fine. smile
Posted By: Bruce In Philly Re: audiophile - 04/26/19 03:12 PM
"Audiophiles" are taking the search for the "ultimate gear and experience" to an extreme.

While you are correct that we are always on the lookout for something "better", and do tend to spend more than most on the stuff, I don't agree with the "ultimate" and "extreme" comment. Using myself as an example, I am at a point in my life that I can afford equipment way more expensive and accurate than I currently use. But I am satisfied and I stopped (for the most part!). Now I tend to "upgrade" when something fails or I get the itch to take some action such as trying out a new tube that is getting good reviews.... more like fiddling or tweaking than upgrading. But overall, I tend to be very stable in my purchases.

Extreme: well that is all relative isn't it? For some, what I own today is way over the top.... for others, I am at only the first levels of great equipment. For that, all lie in the eyes of the beholder. While the fringes of our hobby get the press, if you dig, you will find most audiophiles are relatively conservative in what the spend and buy looking for the highest value at the lowest price.... again, in the eye of the beholder (or is it ear). We live in a world today where the extremes get the press, but like everything, the truth is elsewhere.

Peace
Bruce in Philly
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: audiophile - 04/26/19 03:28 PM
Originally Posted by Bruce In Philly
Using myself as an example, I am at a point in my life that I can afford equipment way more expensive and accurate than I currently use. But I am satisfied and I stopped (for the most part!).

I think this is the most important point. For a person on an hourly wage, even spending $50 on a pair of headphones does not make any financial sense. But some people are at the point in life where if they money wasn't spent on an audio system, it might be spent on a sailboat or a sportscar. But not everyone likes sailboats or sportscars. So at the end of the day, there should be no reason one can't spend the money one earns/earned on their hobby - whether that means buying a Fazioli, Ferrari, or Krell monoblocks. And don't say that rather than "waste" it on audiophile gear, one can give it away. Some people do spend on charity too. In 2014, I bought 150 turkeys for the local homeless shelter for Thanksgiving. There are people that give a lot more than me. Charity has nothing to do with spending on one's hobbies.
Posted By: Bruce In Philly Re: audiophile - 04/26/19 03:46 PM
Originally Posted by jeffscot

Most people pursue better sound.
They just don’t have the need to refer to themselves as audiophiles.
What’s the point?



You are actually touching on a really interesting subject (to me at least!).

I don't believe most people pursue better sound.... they would if they heard it and had some good counseling on what they were hearing and how they can get better sound, and more enjoyment. The pursuit/concern about headphones is a perfect example of audiophile pursuit. I am always amazed when someone tells me they love music but don't "need" fancy equipment. Invariably, if they hear the music they love on my home sound system.... and are counseled that they don;t need to spend nearly what I spent.... they usually buy something new within the next year.

The biggest issue with he word "audiophile" is that it has become very pejorative and not flattering. "Some deluded nut that throws stupid money away to impress others"... oh and is very arrogant about it. The word has become such a put down, audiophiles refuse to refer to themselves as one. Odd...... It is merely someone who understands that equipment plays a very important role in the enjoyment of music... that is it. Anyone here who plugged in headphones into their keyboards, and now would like a better headphone is........ an audiophile.

Peace
Bruce in Philly
Posted By: LarryK Re: audiophile - 04/26/19 05:30 PM
Originally Posted by Bruce In Philly
Originally Posted by jeffscot

Most people pursue better sound.
They just don’t have the need to refer to themselves as audiophiles.
What’s the point?



You are actually touching on a really interesting subject (to me at least!).

I don't believe most people pursue better sound.... they would if they heard it and had some good counseling on what they were hearing and how they can get better sound, and more enjoyment. The pursuit/concern about headphones is a perfect example of audiophile pursuit. I am always amazed when someone tells me they love music but don't "need" fancy equipment. Invariably, if they hear the music they love on my home sound system.... and are counseled that they don;t need to spend nearly what I spent.... they usually buy something new within the next year.

The biggest issue with he word "audiophile" is that it has become very pejorative and not flattering. "Some deluded nut that throws stupid money away to impress others"... oh and is very arrogant about it. The word has become such a put down, audiophiles refuse to refer to themselves as one. Odd...... It is merely someone who understands that equipment plays a very important role in the enjoyment of music... that is it. Anyone here who plugged in headphones into their keyboards, and now would like a better headphone is........ an audiophile.

Peace
Bruce in Philly



I tend to agree that most people do not try to pursue better sound. From my experience, they're willing to accept the worst sound from the cheapest consumer audio components.

People have heard my system and have expressed interest in improving their sound. When I try to put together some ideas for a two channel system for them, in say the $1000-1500 price range, they balk.

So, then I try a different approach. I try to show them a little streaming speaker that was designed by Andrew Jones, a well regarded speaker designer who did a lot of work for Pioneer and is able to build speakers to hit a price point. The little $500 ELAC Z3 Discovery speaker was designed by Jones and sounds good. I listen to it all the time when I'm cooking in the kitchen. With that, and a computer set up to run, Roon + Tidal, you can stream an amazing amount of music. This morning, I noticed that there are 333 recordings on there by Sviatoslav Richter! At this point, the reply is, oh, my $50 computer speakers sound great! I throw up my hands and say, whatever, and don't bother to talk about it anymore.

I also don't tell people what I spent to build my system for fear of being branded a freak. My system has brought me a tremendous amount of joy. I don't need to be denigrated for building it. I don't go around telling people how stupid they are to spend so much money on cars, something I don't own and don't care about.
Posted By: Bruce In Philly Re: audiophile - 04/26/19 06:28 PM
Update story: about twenty years ago, I started to date this great chic who flat out said she didn't care much for music. Well that didn't last long... no matter what she wore. Clearly she was not spending a dime on quality sound... nor I on her.

Peace
Bruce in Philly
Posted By: jeffscot Re: audiophile - 04/26/19 09:28 PM
Originally Posted by LarryK the Freak :)
I also don't tell people what I spent to build my system for fear of being branded a freak. My system has brought me a tremendous amount of joy. I don't need to be denigrated for building it. I don't go around telling people how stupid they are to spend so much money on cars, something I don't own and don't care about.

Everybody has their financial priorities.
Just because someone doesn’t value better sound as much as you, doesn’t mean they don’t pursue better sound.

Nice that you don’t tell people how stupid they are to buy a car though. crazy


Originally Posted by Bruce In Philly
Update story: about twenty years ago, I started to date this great chic who flat out said she didn't care much for music. Well that didn't last long... no matter what she wore. Clearly she was not spending a dime on quality sound... nor I on her.

That poor “chic” doesn’t realize what she missed out on, Bruce! thumb
Posted By: LarryK Re: audiophile - 04/26/19 10:18 PM
Originally Posted by LarryK
I also don't tell people what I spent to build my system for fear of being branded a freak. My system has brought me a tremendous amount of joy. I don't need to be denigrated for building it. I don't go around telling people how stupid they are to spend so much money on cars, something I don't own and don't care about.


Originally Posted by jeffscot

Everybody has their financial priorities.
Just because someone doesn’t value better sound as much as you, doesn’t mean they don’t pursue better sound.

Nice that you don’t tell people how stupid they are to buy a car though. crazy



I'm nice that way, but people don't return the favor, as shown by all of the audiophile bashing that goes on in this forum.

If there is no difference between cheap audio gear and more expensive audio gear, why is there a difference between cheap pianos and expensive pianos? Why don't all of you guys play beat up old uprights or the cheapest keyboards? Why does everybody go on and on about sampled vs modeled sound, and the sound differences between different keyboards, the speaker systems in them, the actions, etc, etc.

You're all audiophiles by another name.

Sure, everybody has different financial priorities but given the amount of low quality audio equipment that is sold, I would say the people aren't trying very hard to pursue better sound. I don't see a lot of people spending the time and effort to build a two channel system.

I worked for a very wealthy man. We shared a small office. He played music through a crappy little Bluetooth speaker. I had to try to cover it up with my Etymotic earplugs. The guy was worth so much that a $500 speaker like I put in my kitchen would not have caused him any distress. But, I guess he felt the $29 speaker was good enough, I don't know. It's just one example but there are many others. The fact that people listen to music on those terrible little earphones that Apple includes with their phones is another example.
Posted By: MacMacMac Re: audiophile - 04/26/19 11:19 PM
audio = sound
phile = love
audio-phile = someone who loves sound

I don't see audio gear as part of that.
Someone of that bent might be termed an audio-gear-phile.
Posted By: LarryK Re: audiophile - 04/26/19 11:36 PM
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
audio = sound
phile = love
audio-phile = someone who loves sound

I don't see audio gear as part of that.
Someone of that bent might be termed an audio-gear-phile.


Without audio gear, there is no sound, of course. Audio gear is a means to an end.

There is no mention of music either, so I suppose one could love jackhammers as much as Bach. Hey, it’s all sound!

It’s assumed that the term audiophile refers to those who build audio systems to achieve a high level of sound quality when playing back recorded performances.

Posted By: jeffscot Re: audiophile - 04/27/19 01:08 AM
Originally Posted by LarryK
You're all audiophiles . . .

Hey now, Larry! No need for name calling! laugh

Joking aside . . .
When I mentioned, financial priorities and value, I didn’t necessarily mean affordability.
And I personally haven’t done any ‘audiophile bashing’.
Posted By: DFSRN Re: audiophile - 04/27/19 01:46 AM
Larry, I have a YUS 5 and a Clavinova. I had bought Bose noise cancelling head phones years ago. I actually like these better than new ones because it uses batteries, the current model is rechargeable. It is like my LED piano light, once it goes out (good for 50,000 hours) it has to be replaced.

I try to give my husband peace at times so I play with the head phones. I had various inexpensive models. I really like the Bose and had them about 4 years. Playing with the head phones that are noise cancelling, it just feels like you are in a different place.
Posted By: DFSRN Re: audiophile - 04/27/19 01:50 AM
Best Buy has headphones to try. I do not know if that chain is in your area. Another way I review is using the Amazon reviews.
Posted By: DFSRN Re: audiophile - 04/27/19 01:54 AM
Siros, I am not familiar with headphones. I guess it was marketing, I knew the brand Bose and Amazon reviews were good. That's how I made my choice. They worked out well, really like them.
Posted By: DFSRN Re: audiophile - 04/27/19 03:13 AM
Quote
Clearly she was not spending a dime on quality sound...


Bruce, I think this is a matter of priorities. Maybe I am mistaken, I don't think audio equipment has a good return on investment. Maybe the woman was financially savvy. Spending money on high end equipment because your in the business of providing music for consumers is a different issue.

I don't know if a person can contend because one does not spend money on something, he/she dislikes it. I tend to wait to buy electronics when it has been out for several years, as the price is significantly lower. As soon as you buy it, something else comes out. Same for cars, until it falls apart I keep it.

Per Carfax
According to current depreciation rates, the value of a new vehicle can drop by more than 20 percent after the first 12 months of ownership. Then, for the next four years, you can expect your car to lose roughly 10 percent of its value annually. This means that a new car can be worth as little as 40 percent of its original purchase price after five years. Car can lost 10% the first month.

I did buy a high end upright, it is something I value and most likely the piano will out live me. However, I cannot contend a person without a high end upright does not like a good sounding piano.

A lot of times assumptions we make about people are incorrect because we are often not aware of their value system. For example, a man at work owns 5 acres of wooded land worth several million. I asked him one day, your not developing it what makes you keep it. He said, I am a Boy Scout leader and I let the Boy Scouts and area families camp and fish on that land. I don't need the money and want to let community families use it. He and his 12 year old son volunteer in the community. He also drives a truck that is 15 years old. He said I could retire today, but I don't want my son to think I am wealthy, he needs to know what work is and the value of a dollar. I now understand his value system.
Posted By: MacMacMac Re: audiophile - 04/27/19 06:55 AM
The high-end always suffers from the law of diminishing returns.

As for this ...
Originally Posted by LarryK
Without audio gear, there is no sound, of course. Audio gear is a means to an end.
Tell that to these guys:
[Linked Image]
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: audiophile - 04/27/19 07:10 AM
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
As for this ...
Originally Posted by LarryK
Without audio gear, there is no sound, of course. Audio gear is a means to an end.
Tell that to these guys:
[Linked Image]

Yes, but did you attend that performance in-person, or you know of them via recording(s)?

I've even seen people from New York City (live performance capital of the world) say they prefer recordings to live performances.
Posted By: MacMacMac Re: audiophile - 04/27/19 07:49 AM
Non-sequitur.
These are audiophiles. Likewise their audience. smile
Gear present or gear absent ... they're all audiophiles.
Posted By: LarryK Re: audiophile - 04/27/19 07:50 AM
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
The high-end always suffers from the law of diminishing returns.

As for this ...
Originally Posted by LarryK
Without audio gear, there is no sound, of course. Audio gear is a means to an end.
Tell that to these guys:
[Linked Image]


I don’t buy audio equipment as an investment, I buy it to listen to music at a high level of sound quality. Like cars, audio equipment depreciates, and is a terrible investment.

I care about sound quality in many areas of my life. I play the classical guitar. Can I hear the differences between a cheap factory built guitar and an expensive luthier made guitar when I play them with my own hands? Yes, I can, just like people on here can tell the difference between cheap pianos and expensive pianos.

A cheap guitar is better than no guitar, like a cheap audio system is better than no audio system, and a cheap piano is better than no piano, but what is the harm in trying to improve the sound of the things we surround ourselves with?

I moved to New York City twenty years ago in part to be able to hear more live music and to get away from having to buy cars. The most I ever spent on a car was $5k for a used one, before I moved to New York.

I saw the English Concert perform Handel’s oratorio Semele at Carnegie Hall the other weekend and I’ve been going to Angela Hewitt’s Bach series at the 92nd St Y. Both were excellent but I cannot fit the performers into my small apartment.

I care about the sound quality produced in my home because I listen to a lot of recorded music. Playing recorded music is the only way we have to hear from those who are dead. I believe that by trying to faithfully hear what they recorded, I am being respectful of their work.

Good sound systems provide more emotional impact than poor sound systems. That’s why I buy high quality gear, for the emotional impact, not because of depreciation schedules or anything else. You should hear the human voice on my stereo! Nina Simone can just bring me to tears. From all that gear, I have some inkling of what she sounded like on stage.

I still contend that people here are audiophiles by another name, because you care about the sound you produce on the piano and that is really no different than caring about the sound of a stereo system.
Posted By: Granyala Re: audiophile - 04/27/19 08:12 AM
Originally Posted by Bruce In Philly
The biggest issue with he word "audiophile" is that it has become very pejorative and not flattering. "Some deluded nut that throws stupid money away to impress others"

That's your interpretation.
The correct one would be similar to @Macs: audiophile = someone who loves audio.

Naturally, if you love sth, you want it at the best quality possible. To some that means spending absurd amounts, to others even cheap stuff is enough, because they don't have the ears for it. My dad loves music but he simply doesn't have the ears to appreciate good equipment.
We all have different ears and hear differently.

Most audiophiles I encounter are really nice persons that just want to obsess a bit about a hobby they are passionate about. Kinda like us pianophiles. laugh

Personally, I'd rather have s/o buy fancy luxury speakers than spending the money in a bar getting drunk. There are worse ways to get rid of disposable income than buying fancy audio stuff and enjoying musical recordings.

Most people that I tell I spent 1.5K on the Focal Clear think I'm completely bonkers. Well I think they are quite mad for spending that much on lame clothing or for driving to some beach for 2 weeks in order to get drunk in another country. We are wired differently, and thus enjoy different things. Nothing wrong with that.
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: audiophile - 04/27/19 08:28 AM
Originally Posted by Granyala
Personally, I'd rather have s/o buy fancy luxury speakers than spending the money in a bar getting drunk. There are worse ways to get rid of disposable income than buying fancy audio stuff and enjoying musical recordings.

In another life, I was in the investment banking world on Wall Street. I know people who could spend $3-5K in a single night.

One of them worked for me. Received huge bonuses like everyone in that life, but would burn through all his money every year. Rented an apartment in Manhattan which cost more per month than his base salary. Sure people scoff at that sort of lifestyle, but frankly, I sometimes think there is more scorn aimed at audiophiles than people like my former employee. At least when I wake up in the morning, I still see my audio system.
Posted By: Ojustaboo Re: audiophile - 04/27/19 09:10 AM
I think sound quality is a weird thing.

I’ve often found my wife watching TV with awful sound, I've pressed a few buttons, got the sound coming out of my amp, and said “doesn’t that sound 1000 times better”?

Her response is always “I suppose so, wasn’t bothered by it though”. My son is exactly the same.

Often if I change settings on my amp to suit what we’re watching, neither can tell the difference.

Whereas my daughter is just like me.

It’s exactly the same when it comes to picture quality on our TV (not talking about resolution HD/SD). I’ll set it up so skin tones look right, my daughter will say how much better it looks, son and wife don’t see the difference.

I like good sound, but personally think after a certain price point, the quality isn’t any better. I’m not sure in a blind test that My £700 amp and speaker setup for my TV would sound any worse than a £15000 one (to me). Sure they will sound different, but I’m not convinced I would pick the expensive ones over the cheaper ones. Especially as I’m used to the sound from my current AVR.

Then there’s the quality of the original recording. I would have thought you could end up with such a high end perfect reproduction that it ends up showing the flaws in the recording rather than improving the overall sound? Or you have such a high end system that you end up having a ton of sound processing to get rid of say tape or vinyl noise, and then you can argue what else is the sound processing getting rid of that it shouldn’t be. It can sometimes end up with listening to say a live concert, where it feels anything but live as the sound is so perfect and noise free.

But we’re all different, what I’m happy with, someone else might think it’s awful.

I have cheap (under £200 the pair) Wharfdale Diamond 8.1 Pro Active monitors on my PC, plugged into a Focusrite Saffire Pro 24 audio interface (around £200). I’ve been to my local music store and tried out monitors costing hundreds each, and while they sound different , I’m not sure I would call the expensive ones better, just sounding different (mind you, was only playing synths though them in the store)

Someone else would compare my speakers with some of the ones I tried, and would be shocked that I didn’t find xyz to be much better.

With regards to Piano, I’ve had both MP10 and MP7 played through my sound interface/monitors. I actually preferred the mp7 action to the mp10. Sound wise, I often used VSTs, but zero complaints about either.

I recently bought a Casio PX-870 so that I had something with no distractions, I could turn the piano on and just practice. I’ve sold my Kawai’s and while the PX-870 has a completely different action, if I said I didn’t like it I would be lying.

I don’t miss the Kawai’s, but I suspect if I played them side by side I would say the Kawai action is 100 times better. Sound wise, can’t really compare, Kawai’s through my monitors v inbuilt speakers in my Casio, again I wouldn’t say one is better than the other, just different.

Then we come to headphones. I listen to my iPad in bed through dirt cheap (under £10) ear phones, and the sort of thing I’m watching/listening to, I’m more than happy.

My PC I have noise cancelling headphones for when I’m gaming, and they’re quite bassy, very very happy when gaming, although I can’t have the noise cancelling on else it makes me feel weird/nauseous. I used to have a pair of Shure headphones that cost around £60 for listening to piano and synth through my PC.

When I got my Casio, I bought a pair of Audio Tec M40X headphones for £77. With nothing to compare side by side (not counting gaming phones) I'm totally happy with them.

My finances aren’t what they once were due to ill health, so I couldn’t have spent more on phones even if I had wanted to. I play mainly through speakers, only use phones if late at night or doing something like scales and wife’s trying to watch TV. If I played through headphones most of the time, that would be completely different.
Posted By: LarryK Re: audiophile - 04/27/19 09:20 AM
Originally Posted by Granyala
Originally Posted by Bruce In Philly
The biggest issue with he word "audiophile" is that it has become very pejorative and not flattering. "Some deluded nut that throws stupid money away to impress others"

That's your interpretation.
The correct one would be similar to @Macs: audiophile = someone who loves audio.

Naturally, if you love sth, you want it at the best quality possible. To some that means spending absurd amounts, to others even cheap stuff is enough, because they don't have the ears for it. My dad loves music but he simply doesn't have the ears to appreciate good equipment.
We all have different ears and hear differently.

Most audiophiles I encounter are really nice persons that just want to obsess a bit about a hobby they are passionate about. Kinda like us pianophiles. laugh

Personally, I'd rather have s/o buy fancy luxury speakers than spending the money in a bar getting drunk. There are worse ways to get rid of disposable income than buying fancy audio stuff and enjoying musical recordings.

Most people that I tell I spent 1.5K on the Focal Clear think I'm completely bonkers. Well I think they are quite mad for spending that much on lame clothing or for driving to some beach for 2 weeks in order to get drunk in another country. We are wired differently, and thus enjoy different things. Nothing wrong with that.


I don’t think you’re bonkers for buying the Focal Clears but I think you’re missing something if you don’t build a good two channel system. My reasoning is as follows. Bass is felt by the body, by the largest organs, it cannot be completely replicated by listening with just your ears, it has to be felt. I don’t mean ground shaking bass, I mean, tight, tuneful bass.

As a result of this logic, I have spent far more in building a two channel system than on my headphones, and I would never listen with only headphones. Sure, headphones let me practice the piano silently but they don’t sound anywhere near as good as my two speakers.

By the way, I don’t play loud. My neighbors have never complained about the loudness of my stereo. I bought speakers that were designed for small apartments and they have a bass controller unit that rolls off bass to avoid boominess.

As for diminishing returns, which I forgot to comment on, most people buy such cheap gear that they never get close to the area of diminishing returns.
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: audiophile - 04/27/19 09:31 AM
Originally Posted by Ojustaboo
I like good sound, but personally think after a certain price point, the quality isn’t any better. I’m not sure in a blind test that My £700 amp and speaker setup for my TV would sound any worse than a £15000 one (to me). Sure they will sound different, but I’m not convinced I would pick the expensive ones over the cheaper ones. Especially as I’m used to the sound from my current AVR.

As MacMacMac stated:
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
The high-end always suffers from the law of diminishing returns.

That said, it all comes down to relative affordability. All audiophiles are hobbyists to one degree or another and spending is spending toward that hobby.

My sister recently spent an ungodly amount on a new racing sailboat for my niece. It's 3.5x the cost of a regular sailboat in its class. My niece wanted that one because of newer materials, it was lighter and stiffer, which means the boat can go a bit faster, which matters since she races and is on the varsity racing team at her college. But you and I, non-sailboat racers, wouldn't be able to tell the difference and might even pick the less expensive ones instead.

Hobbyists often don't mind spending a percentage of their disposable income on their hobbies, while they might not for non-hobbies. For example, cars are not my hobby. I would never consider spending a "percentage" of my disposable income on a car. I just buy the car I need and that's that. I have no urges for owning a more expensive car. But this is different for hobbies. For many people with hobbies, they can conceive of the spending on their hobbies in percentage of disposable income terms. And if the specific allocated percentage allows them to buy things in the area of diminishing returns, then that is that.
Posted By: LarryK Re: audiophile - 04/27/19 09:38 AM
I recently upgraded my amplifier. I won’t mention prices but the new one was 10x more expensive than the one it replaced. Is the difference audible? Absolutely. The new amp offers a huge improvement, in terms of separating the instruments and making each one clearly heard. My guitar teacher sat down and listened and delighted in picking out individual instruments. He kept thinking there was sound coming from a third speaker in the middle but there is no third speaker, that’s a trick of the brain in reconstituting a stereo recording. I tricked an electrician into thinking I was playing the cello in the living room when he was working in the kitchen, haha! Like, I’m Pablo Casals, lol.

Posted By: LarryK Re: audiophile - 04/27/19 09:48 AM
I don’t believe that some people can’t hear the difference in the quality of sound from different systems, I think they can. Claiming they cannot is akin to saying that some people are tone deaf. In order to be truly tone deaf, you would have to not be able to recognize your own mother’s voice. How many people cannot recognize their own mother’s voice?

Sure, some people are more sensitive to different pitches but everybody can be trained to hear pitch more accurately.

My wife, who is not into all this stereo gear, sat down and listened to a bunch of Beatles albums that she had heard her entire life. She said she heard things in them that she had never heard before and that she had never heard them like that before.
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: audiophile - 04/27/19 09:53 AM
Originally Posted by LarryK
I don’t believe that some people can’t hear the difference in the quality of sound from different systems, I think they can.

Well, if by "some" you refer to a population larger than 5%, you are likely right. However, it is true that studies have shown that 4-5% of the population, at least in the US and UK, are afflicted with cognitive amusia.
Posted By: Pete14 Re: audiophile - 04/27/19 10:08 AM
What about the quality of the performance; do some people care about that?
Or is it all about how those upper frequencies cut beautifully through the mix on the newest high-end Sony Thisorthat NV11?
Posted By: Granyala Re: audiophile - 04/27/19 10:15 AM
Originally Posted by LarryK
I don’t think you’re bonkers for buying the Focal Clears but I think you’re missing something if you don’t build a good two channel system. My reasoning is as follows. Bass is felt by the body, by the largest organs, it cannot be completely replicated by listening with just your ears, it has to be felt. I don’t mean ground shaking bass, I mean, tight, tuneful bass.

Trust me I've tried.
I tried bass management (I use an AVR), I tried low volume (to the point that I had to strain to hear everything), my neighbor keeps hearing stuff and it enrages him.

He admits that he is super sensitive to it and the fact that my one room apartment was built in afterwards (they probably used crappy thin walls and no sonic isolation whatsoever) doesn't help the case.

As it stands, I can only experience "bass that you can feel" when I visit my friend and listen to his setup. There is no way I can enjoy a speaker setup unless I move and right now that's not in the cards for at least 2024 when my student loans are gone. I seriously doubt that I will ever earn enough in my life to call a house my own and be free to enjoy speakers w/o the constant "is this already too loud? Do I annoy s/o?".

Maybe next life. <_<

With headphone, I can let my guard down completely, relax and ... well.. usually fall asleep after a few tracks. Damn couch monster. >.<

Originally Posted by Pete14
What about the quality of the performance; do some people care about that?
Or is it all about how those upper frequencies cut beautifully through the mix on the newest high-end Sony Thisorthat NV11?

It goes w/o saying that you need a good performance AND a well done recording/mixing process to get the most out of expensive gear.
A lot of the mainstream stuff is mastered so badly that it becomes completely unlistenable unless you switch to cheaper, more forgiving gear.
Posted By: siros Re: audiophile - 04/27/19 12:22 PM
Originally Posted by LarryK
Good sound systems provide more emotional impact than poor sound systems. That’s why I buy high quality gear, for the emotional impact, not because of depreciation schedules or anything else. You should hear the human voice on my stereo! Nina Simone can just bring me to tears. From all that gear, I have some inkling of what she sounded like on stage.

I think this is the main different point of view.
You think "what a great system it is".
I would think "such a beautiful record" or "Nina Simone is so great here".

Probably I'm too easy to please. Any "decent" stereo system is fine with me. It's the music that matters.
Weather report on a superb hi-fi sound system does nothing for me.
Posted By: MacMacMac Re: audiophile - 04/27/19 12:41 PM
With respect to piano (or any musical instrument) you bring up the most important point.
Originally Posted by Pete14
What about the quality of the performance; do some people care about that?
Or is it all about how those upper frequencies cut beautifully through the mix on the newest high-end Sony Thisorthat NV11?
It's the music and the performance that matter most.
Posted By: LarryK Re: audiophile - 04/27/19 12:46 PM
Originally Posted by siros
Originally Posted by LarryK
Good sound systems provide more emotional impact than poor sound systems. That’s why I buy high quality gear, for the emotional impact, not because of depreciation schedules or anything else. You should hear the human voice on my stereo! Nina Simone can just bring me to tears. From all that gear, I have some inkling of what she sounded like on stage.

I think this is the main different point of view.
You think "what a great system it is".
I would think "such a beautiful record" or "Nina Simone is so great here".

Probably I'm too easy to please. Any "decent" stereo system is fine with me. It's the music that matters.
Weather report on a superb hi-fi sound system does nothing for me.




Actually, I am thinking of the beauty of her voice and how great she sounds. I just recognize that I can hear so much more depth and soul on a better system. I’ve heard the same tracks in the car and on cheap radios and I was never moved to the same extent as when I listen to them at home now.

By the way, there was a great documentary made a few years ago about Nina Simone life called What Happened, Miss Simone.

The effect is not confined to Nina, it holds for Sinatra, Elvis, Callas, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, anybody you want to name.

The trouble, of course, is defining what is  “decent.” What was decent when I was in high school is not decent now. Technology is constantly getting better. The music matters AND the quality of the playback matters.

I don’t buy this argument that high quality audio gear just exposes flaws in the recording process. Sure, it’s true to an extent but sound engineers have cleaned up recordings so they sound great.
Posted By: Granyala Re: audiophile - 04/27/19 12:47 PM
Originally Posted by siros
Any "decent" stereo system is fine with me.

Well, the good thing is, we live in a time where you don't have to drop 4 figure amounts to get great sound.

As much as I adore my Clear, from a value perspective it doesn't have a chance against my loyal (and still frequently used) DT-880.
It's pretty astounding how close you can get for a puny 170€. Same goes for amps, DACs and, to a lesser degree, speakers.

Though with speakers, positioning and room treatment are of paramount importance. Going from a bad position to a good one can be more noticeable than spending 2K on new speakers.

Bottom line: don't fret if you are content with cheaper stuff. I could be too but since I have the option of more I choose it.

Originally Posted by LarryK
Actually, I am thinking of the beauty of her voice and how great she sounds. I just recognize that I can hear so much more depth and soul on a better system. I’ve heard the same tracks in the car and on cheap radios and I was never moved to the same extent as when I listen to them at home now.

Pretty much.

Esp guitars and string instruments are absurdly real sounding on the Clear. As if I could reach out and touch them or as if my dad sat right in front of me and played.

I definitely get more emotionally involved with the Clear vs the DT-880 but I still cry when I play Cello music through both of them.
Posted By: LarryK Re: audiophile - 04/27/19 12:49 PM
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by LarryK
I don’t believe that some people can’t hear the difference in the quality of sound from different systems, I think they can.

Well, if by "some" you refer to a population larger than 5%, you are likely right. However, it is true that studies have shown that 4-5% of the population, at least in the US and UK, are afflicted with cognitive amusia.


That’s fine, 95-96% can hear the difference in sound quality of different systems. Thanks for the reference.
Posted By: LarryK Re: audiophile - 04/27/19 01:02 PM
Originally Posted by LarryK
I don’t think you’re bonkers for buying the Focal Clears but I think you’re missing something if you don’t build a good two channel system. My reasoning is as follows. Bass is felt by the body, by the largest organs, it cannot be completely replicated by listening with just your ears, it has to be felt. I don’t mean ground shaking bass, I mean, tight, tuneful bass.


Originally Posted by Granyala

Trust me I've tried.
I tried bass management (I use an AVR), I tried low volume (to the point that I had to strain to hear everything), my neighbor keeps hearing stuff and it enrages him.

He admits that he is super sensitive to it and the fact that my one room apartment was built in afterwards (they probably used crappy thin walls and no sonic isolation whatsoever) doesn't help the case.

As it stands, I can only experience "bass that you can feel" when I visit my friend and listen to his setup. There is no way I can enjoy a speaker setup unless I move and right now that's not in the cards for at least 2024 when my student loans are gone. I seriously doubt that I will ever earn enough in my life to call a house my own and be free to enjoy speakers w/o the constant "is this already too loud? Do I annoy s/o?".

Maybe next life. <_<

With headphone, I can let my guard down completely, relax and ... well.. usually fall asleep after a few tracks. Damn couch monster. >.<


The real trouble is dealing with recordings that have a wide dynamic range, that's something we haven't brought up. Listening to a Brahms symphony on a stereo is a trying experience because symphonic music has such a wide dynamic range. Tidal actually calculates dynamic range numbers per CD. A Klemperer recording of Brahms Symphony #2 has a dynamic range of 18. A Norah Jones CD has a dynamic range of 9. So, to listen to the first one, there is no way you're going to be able to avoid listening to some loud passages. I have had to explain this to my wife over and over. I can't ride the volume control all the time or I will lose the quiet passages.

At home, I don't listen to rock music at concert levels and, as a matter of fact, these days, I don't expose myself to amplified music without wearing 15dB cut plugs, and, for the most part, I avoid amplified live music, it is all too loud for my ears.

My apartment was built in the 1930s and has walls made out of hard plaster and lathe, so it does tend to cut down sound transmission into other apartments quite a bit compared to just a few sheets of sheetrock. My living room does not share a wall with a neighbor, that helps a lot.

Originally Posted by Granyala
A lot of the mainstream stuff is mastered so badly that it becomes completely unlistenable unless you switch to cheaper, more forgiving gear.


Can you provide some examples? I guess I don't listen to mainstream stuff because that has not been my experience at all, that a lot of it is is mastered so badly that it is unlistenable.
Posted By: MacMacMac Re: audiophile - 04/27/19 01:20 PM
I have this problem in the car all the time ...
Originally Posted by LarryK
The real trouble is dealing with recordings that have a wide dynamic range, that's something we haven't brought up. Listening to a Brahms symphony on a stereo is a trying experience because symphonic music has such a wide dynamic range. ... I can't ride the volume control all the time or I will lose the quiet passages.

If by this you mean that recordings are compressed to death ...
Originally Posted by Granyala
A lot of the mainstream stuff is mastered so badly that it becomes completely unlistenable unless you switch to cheaper, more forgiving gear.
Can we somehow uncompress that music? I cannot, but I'd welcome a solution. But I can't see how cheaper gear might be more forgiving on that front. Perhaps you're referring to some deficit other than compression?
Posted By: LarryK Re: audiophile - 04/27/19 01:36 PM
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
I have this problem in the car all the time ...
Originally Posted by LarryK
The real trouble is dealing with recordings that have a wide dynamic range, that's something we haven't brought up. Listening to a Brahms symphony on a stereo is a trying experience because symphonic music has such a wide dynamic range. ... I can't ride the volume control all the time or I will lose the quiet passages.

If by this you mean that recordings are compressed to death ...
Originally Posted by Granyala
A lot of the mainstream stuff is mastered so badly that it becomes completely unlistenable unless you switch to cheaper, more forgiving gear.
Can we somehow uncompress that music? I cannot, but I'd welcome a solution. But I can't see how cheaper gear might be more forgiving on that front. Perhaps you're referring to some deficit other than compression?


I don’t mean highly compressed recordings, necessarily. The dynamic range is the range between the quietest sound on the recording and the loudest sound on the recording. This is basically the orchestra playing at pppp or ffff. Highly compressed recordings that have a narrow dynamic range are easily listenable at any volume level it’s just that they’re tiring because they don’t have a variation in loudness. Artists try to grab your ears by playing loud all the time. Google: The Loudness Wars.

Posted By: Bruce In Philly Re: audiophile - 04/27/19 02:00 PM
A thought experiment......

Take a population of folks who enjoy music but are not aware of equipment as a factor.... your average music enjoyer. Now give them each a small stereo system for the kitchen or wherever they like to listen (could be just a mono table radio thing).

Now, put a good speaker and good electronics in one, and average cheap stuff in the other. The units look exactly the same.... give half the good stuff, half the average stuff.

Or..... take a set of headphones that look the exact same.... put average cheap stuff wire and drivers in one, good in the other.... give to piano players....... (you get the idea).

IMO, over time, the hours listened (or played) will be higher for the better stuff than the average stuff. Finding? Quality matters.

Peace
Bruce in Philly
Posted By: MacMacMac Re: audiophile - 04/27/19 02:08 PM
Come on, Philly. You propose a thought experiment and then proclaim the results ... without performing tests of any kind, nor referring to those offered by others.

If that sort of thing makes sense then I'll use my own thought experiment to declare myself the Imperial Master of the Infinite Universe.
I don't have to substantiate that ... because whatever I say goes, and that's that! smile
Posted By: Bruce In Philly Re: audiophile - 04/27/19 02:12 PM
Another interesting vid.....

About quality and "drawing you in".

Peace
Bruce in Philly

https://youtu.be/LqcxpCoWX6Y
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: audiophile - 04/27/19 02:23 PM
BTW, these days, one can get to already get to the inflection point

[Linked Image]

spending not that much. A lot of high-end equipment is available cheaper than ever. If I were on a limited budget, I would turn to the new crop of manufacturers such as Schiit and Audioquest for buying high-performance equipment for those with smaller budgets. With respect to headphones, there are enough posts in the headphone threads to know that $200 already gets to the inflection point for headphones (example: Sennheiser HD598C, etc.)
Posted By: LarryK Re: audiophile - 04/27/19 02:43 PM
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
BTW, these days, one can get to already get to the inflection point

[Linked Image]

spending not that much. A lot of high-end equipment is available cheaper than ever. If I were on a limited budget, I would turn to the new crop of manufacturers such as Schiit and Audioquest for buying high-performance equipment for those with smaller budgets. With respect to headphones, there are enough posts in the headphone threads to know that $200 already gets to the inflection point for headphones (example: Sennheiser HD598C, etc.)


To me, good enough is highly personal.

I agree, though, we certainly live in wonderful times in terms the access to high quality new and used audio gear. Audiogon.com has great deals on equipment. I have bought and sold on there.

What is even more exciting to me is the easy access to tens of thousands of CDs through Tidal and other streaming services. I stream losslessly and the sound is great. If I had never bought a CD, I would have saved $50k to spend on audio gear.
Posted By: Granyala Re: audiophile - 04/27/19 02:46 PM
Originally Posted by LarryK
Can you provide some examples? I guess I don't listen to mainstream stuff because that has not been my experience at all, that a lot of it is is mastered so badly that it is unlistenable.

London Grammar would be a prime example. Not bad music but there is audible clipping in the recordings that can also be seen when analyzing the digital waveforms.
Nope, it's not the rip, original CDs express this behavior.

I mean seriously, WTF.
How can any mastering dude accept that?

If I had to guess, they simply recorded their voice too hot.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6drfp_3823I

You can hear it around the 1.03m mark. Sounds like faint static.
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: audiophile - 04/27/19 03:09 PM
Originally Posted by Granyala
Trust me I've tried.
I tried bass management (I use an AVR), I tried low volume (to the point that I had to strain to hear everything), my neighbor keeps hearing stuff and it enrages him.

He admits that he is super sensitive to it and the fact that my one room apartment was built in afterwards (they probably used crappy thin walls and no sonic isolation whatsoever) doesn't help the case.

I have a downstairs neighbor his is like this. He has even complained twice to me about my piano lessons, even though that is about the only time I play the piano without headphones. The second time, I suggested he download a sound pressure app to his phone and if my playing exceeds the DC ordinance noise limit, he can report me to the police. That has temporarily shut him up. But my lessons are during the day - if they were late at night, I don't doubt he would call the police, sound pressure app or no.
Posted By: CyberGene Re: audiophile - 04/27/19 03:10 PM
Audiophiles don’t listen to the music. They listen to the equipment. It’s like drinking water because you’d like to draw your name on the snow with urine. You can quote me wink
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: audiophile - 04/27/19 03:15 PM
Originally Posted by CyberGene
Audiophiles don’t listen to the music. They listen to the equipment. It’s like drinking water because you’d like to draw your name on the snow with urine. You can quote me wink

Tsk tsk. Don't be insulting to those who only have praise your piano playing. mad I only listen to music and hate to fiddle with my equipment so much I set up a separate computer for my VST just so I wouldn't have to ever turn it on. I've even considered hiring an audio engineer to do my set up, and might even do so when I get a hybrid piano, because I really don't like to touch my equipment. Example: my cable company sent me a DVR player as part of my cable TV subscription and it took a year before I installed it out of extreme laziness. Perhaps I am not typical of people who have spent money on audio equipment and don't deserve the audiophile appellation, but not all audiophiles are the same.
Posted By: CyberGene Re: audiophile - 04/27/19 03:19 PM
I didn’t mean you. I didn’t even know you assumed yourself an audiophile smile But if you tell me you can recognize different cables by sound signature, I won’t apologize :P
Posted By: Dave Horne Re: audiophile - 04/27/19 03:24 PM
Originally Posted by CyberGene
Audiophiles don’t listen to the music. They listen to the equipment. It’s like drinking water because you’d like to draw your name on the snow with urine. You can quote me wink


That reminds me of a joke that goes back to the Nixon days.

Nixon complained that someone at the White House was peeing in the snow and writing, 'Nixon Sucks'.

After considerable analysis they determined it was Kissinger's urine but Pat's handwriting.



Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: audiophile - 04/27/19 03:26 PM
Originally Posted by CyberGene
I didn’t mean you. I didn’t even know you assumed yourself an audiophile smile But if you tell me you can recognize different cables by sound signature, I won’t apologize :P

Well, if recognizing cables from sound signatures is your test of whether someone is an audiophile, then I guess by your measure, I am not!
Posted By: CyberGene Re: audiophile - 04/27/19 03:39 PM
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by CyberGene
I didn’t mean you. I didn’t even know you assumed yourself an audiophile smile But if you tell me you can recognize different cables by sound signature, I won’t apologize :P

Well, if recognizing cables from sound signatures is your test of whether someone is an audiophile, then I guess by your measure, I am not!

It’s not the actual ability but the claim one can recognize cables that makes one an audiophile wink I haven’t heard an official ABX testing where one could distinguish between cables.
Posted By: LarryK Re: audiophile - 04/27/19 03:41 PM
Originally Posted by CyberGene
Audiophiles don’t listen to the music. They listen to the equipment. It’s like drinking water because you’d like to draw your name on the snow with urine. You can quote me wink


There is that audiophile bashing we’ve been missing. Of course, we listen to equipment, what choice do we have? Thomas Edison listened to his equipment. I get lost in the music and don’t think about all the gear but I guess you find that hard to believe because I spent a lot of money on my equipment.

A new Víkingur Ólafsson CD dropped yesterday. I like his playing a lot, his Bach and Philip Glass CDs are excellent. Look, a statement about music and not gear.

And no, I don’t claim to hear differences between cables but I can hear differences when I change my amps or speakers. Those are the two things that probably move the needle the most.
Posted By: CyberGene Re: audiophile - 04/27/19 03:48 PM
^ LarryK, there’s a lot in between of course. I happen to know many “pure” audiophiles, those that not only hear cables but also cable direction. To them music is nothing. It’s only something that they use to listen to their equipment. Probably they find music a boring but inevitable necessity.
Posted By: petebfrance Re: audiophile - 04/27/19 04:00 PM
I've flirted a bit with being an audiophile, but not with the real 'high level' stuff. It was fairly expensive, but the results are worth it for listening to music as opposed to just listening to the equipment (which I have been 'guilty' of at times). Many years ago I had a Toshiba 4 channel amp (that's a long way back) but it eventually died - very sad, I missed the level meters (blue lighting! - just kidding, honest) and the tone. In desperation I bought a mid-priced Marantz amp - hmm, no life, no music - then replaced it with an Arcam set-up and the music came back again. Also use reasonably expensive speaker wire, used to bi-amp my speakers and so on but don't any more so have a spare Arcam power amp sitting round doing nothing.
Actually, there are times when I appreciate the 'flat' or 'distant' sound of my cheap portable radio / cd / cassette machine, kind of background music and the lack of dynamic range is good for listening at low levels (can hum along with it) and useful for not disturbing people when playing classical - pretty bad for pop and rock, though.
Posted By: DFSRN Re: audiophile - 04/27/19 04:00 PM
Quote
Hobbyists often don't mind spending a percentage of their disposable income on their hobbies, while they might not for non-hobbies.


Tyrone, what this reflects is the value system. Me too, I have a 11 year old car with 225,000 get me to work and where I need to go, I don't value cars, fortunately either does my husband. Honda's live a long time that's why I bought it. Even though I am not a good pianist, I do value having a nice instrument. I would begrudgingly buy another car, but purchasing YUS 5 didn't think about it.
Posted By: CyberGene Re: audiophile - 04/27/19 04:15 PM
I wonder if audiophiles are people whose auditory part of the brain can’t easily (or at all) adapt to (or compensate) sound deviations. When I switch from good headphones to my iPhone AirPods I can hear it’s slightly thin and lacks bass for a minute. Then it all disappears and I can hear everything as though it’s perfectly flat and neutral. Then I switch back to the proper headphones and “yeah!!!” smile But I can perfectly live with anything unless it’s distorting or clipping. Maybe audiophiles have much more strict hearing which won’t try to overcome the frequency deviations.
Posted By: LarryK Re: audiophile - 04/27/19 04:16 PM
Originally Posted by CyberGene
^ LarryK, there’s a lot in between of course. I happen to know many “pure” audiophiles, those that not only hear cables but also cable direction. To them music is nothing. It’s only something that they use to listen to their equipment. Probably they find music a boring but inevitable necessity.


It’s a spectrum. I bought my amp from a successful electrical engineer and he runs 4 AWG wire for electricity and says there is a difference between that and other sizes. To me, 4 AWG is insane, it does not fit anywhere and it does not bend easily.

My engineer friend upgraded to mono blocks after owning my lowly stereo amplifier. This guy is brilliant and does not appear to be in the habit of deluding himself. I should ask him if he thinks people can hear directionality in cables.

With the speakers and amps he’s put together, I’m sure his system sounds amazing. The thing is that musical tastes vary so much. People are always picking on what other people listen to. I’m not going to judge the guy based on what he listens to.

I’m still not clear on how people listen to music on high end gear and yet only listen to the equipment, lol. All there is are the sound waves produced by the equipment.

I’m sure some people buy Steinway Ds and can’t play them. That to me seems worse than buying a stereo that you at least listen to something on.

Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: audiophile - 04/27/19 04:30 PM
Originally Posted by LarryK
I’m sure some people buy Steinway Ds and can’t play them. That to me seems worse than buying a stereo that you at least listen to something on.

I've mentioned before on this PW forum that back when my wife and I kept a flat in Shanghai, some of our friends had "grand pianos as furniture" including one couple who had no kids and didn't play themselves.

This was before I started learning to play the piano and therefore I didn't pay attention to what the brands were, so I now suspect most were Chinese-made grands.

Because of Lang Lang, Yuja Wang, Yundi Li, and a few others, piano is really big in China now, and having a decorative acoustical piano in one's home is considered chic, whether or not one plays.
Posted By: clothearednincompo Re: audiophile - 04/27/19 04:37 PM
Welp, I'm not here to bash anyone and I like listening to music and gear does matter somewhat of course.

And I don't blame anyone for investing in e.g. a graphic equalizer. EQ "presets" as on some devices are evil. One can keep switching between Neutral/Rock/Pop/Live/Classical/Whatnot and remain undecided on which preset is the right one for a specific album. Or track...

Probably on good gear everything sounds good enough with the default settings.
Posted By: LarryK Re: audiophile - 04/27/19 04:42 PM
Originally Posted by Granyala
Originally Posted by LarryK
Can you provide some examples? I guess I don't listen to mainstream stuff because that has not been my experience at all, that a lot of it is is mastered so badly that it is unlistenable.

London Grammar would be a prime example. Not bad music but there is audible clipping in the recordings that can also be seen when analyzing the digital waveforms.
Nope, it's not the rip, original CDs express this behavior.

I mean seriously, WTF.
How can any mastering dude accept that?

If I had to guess, they simply recorded their voice too hot.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6drfp_3823I

You can hear it around the 1.03m mark. Sounds like faint static.


I plugged in my Etymotic ear phones and I hear something at 1:03 but I thought the sound was tied to the exploding super nova scene. That vocal style is not my thing but I can see why others would like it.

Don’t they master all modern recordings too hot these days? LOL. It’s all a ploy to grab you by the ears.

I guess most of the music I listen to is by dead guys or living guys performing the music of dead guys, lol. Bach didn’t write for an audience.
Posted By: LarryK Re: audiophile - 04/27/19 04:46 PM
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by LarryK
I’m sure some people buy Steinway Ds and can’t play them. That to me seems worse than buying a stereo that you at least listen to something on.

I've mentioned before on this PW forum that back when my wife and I kept a flat in Shanghai, some of our friends had "grand pianos as furniture" including one couple who had no kids and didn't play themselves.

This was before I started learning to play the piano and therefore I didn't pay attention to what the brands were, so I now suspect most were Chinese-made grands.

Because of Lang Lang, Yuja Wang, Yundi Li, and a few others, piano is really big in China now, and having a decorative acoustical piano in one's home is considered chic, whether or not one plays.


That’s kind of sad. If I no longer use something, or can’t use something, I sell it. I played the violin for ten years. I had a relatively expensive violin. I sold it, although that process took five years and two different New York dealers. One dealer gave it back to me and said he could not sell it because it was less than a $100k. I was flabbergasted.

It was eventually bought by the family of a young girl who had done well in a competition with it. That made me feel good. We’re all just temporary custodians of stuff and I like to think that fine instruments make it into the hands of people who play them.
Posted By: Ojustaboo Re: audiophile - 04/27/19 05:00 PM
Originally Posted by LarryK
I don’t believe that some people can’t hear the difference in the quality of sound from different systems, I think they can. Claiming they cannot is akin to saying that some people are tone deaf. In order to be truly tone deaf, you would have to not be able to recognize your own mother’s voice. How many people cannot recognize their own mother’s voice?

Sure, some people are more sensitive to different pitches but everybody can be trained to hear pitch more accurately.

My wife, who is not into all this stereo gear, sat down and listened to a bunch of Beatles albums that she had heard her entire life. She said she heard things in them that she had never heard before and that she had never heard them like that before.


I think what you say is true, but for most people, only to a point.

I have a Denon AVR with Tannoy speakers and sub for watching TV.
My Sony 4K TV is only a few months old, if I play sound through the TV, it would be obvious to most people when I switched to my Denon, that the Denon sounds 1000 times better.

That said, the amount of times my wife has turned it all on, hit the wrong button on the remote, I walk in and cringe at the sound, and while she does say it’s much better when I sort it out, she also states that it’s something that only bothers me and not her. She has no desire to learn how to set it up properly, as long as she can hear the TV program, she’s happy.

I remember in 1982 me buying a hifi separates unit, think it was made by Pioneer. This was to replace my Panasonic music centre. I remember the massive difference in sound quality and remember saying exactly the same as your wife, only I was listening to Bauhaus and Human League. The hifi wasn’t anything special (wasn’t bought from a hifi specialist, bought from a department store).

I dare say if I compared my Denon setup to that Hifi I would probably be saying the same again.

But it can only go on so far. If I could afford a very high end system in 1982, then say another in 1990, then again in 1996 etc, there must come a point where I don’t hear new things as I’ve already been hearing everything

Beatles albums, while often better recorded than other bands of that era, were still severely limited by the technology available. The remastered versions in 2009 had compression on the stereo albums, hence unless listening to their mono recordings, to get their true intended sound you would need to listen to the original albums. I would respectfully argue that their recording engineers were making albums to be listened to by the masses on the record players available then, and were not produced to be listened on the sort of equipment I have, yet alone yours.

So am I, are you, when listening to the Beatles on our modern day sound systems, are we hearing it as they intended, or are we hearing a version that suits our ears and our idea of what good sound should sound like? When your wife said she had never heard them like that, the same question applies, was it better or just different?
Posted By: Ojustaboo Re: audiophile - 04/27/19 05:11 PM
Originally Posted by CyberGene
When I switch from good headphones to my iPhone AirPods I can hear it’s slightly thin and lacks bass for a minute. Then it all disappears and I can hear everything as though it’s perfectly flat and neutral. Then I switch back to the proper headphones and “yeah!!!” smile But I can perfectly live with anything unless it’s distorting or clipping. Maybe audiophiles have much more strict hearing which won’t try to overcome the frequency deviations.


I’m the same. Amazon Alexa playing music in the background, perfectly happy with the sound. Single speaker DAB radio in kitchen, more than happy listening to it when cooking. iPad in bed, dirt cheap in ear phones, again more than happy (I do alter eq though).

Then listen through my Denon and think “yes”.

Mind you, when listening through my Denon, as I said earlier, I expect it to sound a certain way, and notice a mile away if someone’s been pressing buttons smile
Posted By: Granyala Re: audiophile - 04/27/19 05:17 PM
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
I have a downstairs neighbor his is like this. He has even complained twice to me about my piano lessons, even though that is about the only time I play the piano without headphones. The second time, I suggested he download a sound pressure app to his phone and if my playing exceeds the DC ordinance noise limit, he can report me to the police. That has temporarily shut him up. But my lessons are during the day - if they were late at night, I don't doubt he would call the police, sound pressure app or no.

Luckily I am protected by law to practice an instrument, so there is nothing he can do against my flute practicing ... scales, arps, longtone practice in the 3rd octave, practice repeats... the more he complains about my speakers, the more I enjoy torturing him. :<

@CyberGene: Don't know about you, but as an audiophile I prefer my equipment to be as transparent as possible (hence no interest in tube amps) because I speifically do NOT want to listen to the equipment (transducer excluded). laugh
And no: I don't buy into audio-voodoo cables etc.
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: audiophile - 04/27/19 05:25 PM
Originally Posted by CyberGene
I wonder if audiophiles are people whose auditory part of the brain can’t easily (or at all) adapt to (or compensate) sound deviations. When I switch from good headphones to my iPhone AirPods I can hear it’s slightly thin and lacks bass for a minute. Then it all disappears and I can hear everything as though it’s perfectly flat and neutral. Then I switch back to the proper headphones and “yeah!!!” smile But I can perfectly live with anything unless it’s distorting or clipping. Maybe audiophiles have much more strict hearing which won’t try to overcome the frequency deviations.

I realize I am quite intolerant on sounds. I have a sound sensitivity. Weird sounds can easily startle me. That's why your loud note problem on the NU1X would have been a no-go for me and I still worry about a buzz on NV10. In Moscow, we had a dacha with standing water nearby so there were lots of mosquitos. Their buzzing bothered me about 10x worse than their bites!

I've mentioned that when I got my FP30 to learn piano, the sound almost made me quit entirely before I had even started, until I found Pianoteq.

You are incredibly annoyed by how Pianoteq sounds. But in this, you are really not that much different from the so called audiophile who also has certain things they like and they don't like in sound. You may not want to refer to yourself as an audiophile if for you distinguishing sound signatures in cables is denotational for audiophiles, but if we made up a new word, say a "duzafitz," as someone who is particular about how things sound, then I think it would be fair to call you a duzafitz! smile
Posted By: Ojustaboo Re: audiophile - 04/27/19 05:29 PM
Originally Posted by DFSRN
Quote
Hobbyists often don't mind spending a percentage of their disposable income on their hobbies, while they might not for non-hobbies.


Tyrone, what this reflects is the value system. Me too, I have a 11 year old car with 225,000 get me to work and where I need to go, I don't value cars, fortunately either does my husband. Honda's live a long time that's why I bought it. Even though I am not a good pianist, I do value having a nice instrument. I would begrudgingly buy another car, but purchasing YUS 5 didn't think about it.


I’m the same.

As far as I’m concerned a car is a metal box to get me from A to B.

I was correctly put in my place in my early 20s when I ridiculed a few friends over the amount they spent on their cars, and one pointed out how it’s no different at all to me and the money I chose to spend on synths.

PCs are also my thing (well were when I was more financially stable). I would spend more on say the graphics card, than most would spend on their entire system.

I have nothing against the audiophile spending what they like on their equipment, their money, their choice.

Of course that doesn’t stop me wondering if say a 15k sound system really sounds that different from a 1.5k.

Likewise with PCs, while I spent a lot compared to the average person, many people spent 5 times what I spent, and the same point applies.

When I can play any game on my 24” 2560 x 1440 resolution monitor, with every setting on its highest and absolutely no stuttering or lag, it doesn’t matter how many times they tell me their gaming experience is better and how they have the frames per second data to prove it, I can’t see how it can actually be noticeable better than my already high end system, their money, their choice.
Posted By: CyberGene Re: audiophile - 04/27/19 05:47 PM
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by CyberGene
I wonder if audiophiles are people whose auditory part of the brain can’t easily (or at all) adapt to (or compensate) sound deviations. When I switch from good headphones to my iPhone AirPods I can hear it’s slightly thin and lacks bass for a minute. Then it all disappears and I can hear everything as though it’s perfectly flat and neutral. Then I switch back to the proper headphones and “yeah!!!” smile But I can perfectly live with anything unless it’s distorting or clipping. Maybe audiophiles have much more strict hearing which won’t try to overcome the frequency deviations.

I realize I am quite intolerant on sounds. I have a sound sensitivity. Weird sounds can easily startle me. That's why your loud note problem on the NU1X would have been a no-go for me and I still worry about a buzz on NV10. In Moscow, we had a dacha with standing water nearby so there were lots of mosquitos. Their buzzing bothered me about 10x worse than their bites!

I've mentioned that when I got my FP30 to learn piano, the sound almost made me quit entirely before I had even started, until I found Pianoteq.

You are incredibly annoyed by how Pianoteq sounds. But in this, you are really not that much different from the so called audiophile who also has certain things they like and they don't like in sound. You may not want to refer to yourself as an audiophile if for you distinguishing sound signatures in cables is denotational for audiophiles, but if we made up a new word, say a "duzafitz," as someone who is particular about how things sound, then I think it would be fair to call you a duzafitz! smile

I can recognize Pianoteq in ABX testing. It’s not simply a badly EQ-ed piano. The entire timbre is different and that’s difficult to work around. Its timbre reminds a Yamaha CP70 electric grand. Admittedly Pianoteq is closer to an acoustic grand than the electric grand but it’s a timbral thing, that’s what I mean.
Posted By: LarryK Re: audiophile - 04/27/19 05:50 PM


Originally Posted by Ojustaboo
Originally Posted by LarryK
I don’t believe that some people can’t hear the difference in the quality of sound from different systems, I think they can. Claiming they cannot is akin to saying that some people are tone deaf. In order to be truly tone deaf, you would have to not be able to recognize your own mother’s voice. How many people cannot recognize their own mother’s voice?

Sure, some people are more sensitive to different pitches but everybody can be trained to hear pitch more accurately.

My wife, who is not into all this stereo gear, sat down and listened to a bunch of Beatles albums that she had heard her entire life. She said she heard things in them that she had never heard before and that she had never heard them like that before.


I think what you say is true, but for most people, only to a point.

I have a Denon AVR with Tannoy speakers and sub for watching TV.
My Sony 4K TV is only a few months old, if I play sound through the TV, it would be obvious to most people when I switched to my Denon, that the Denon sounds 1000 times better.

That said, the amount of times my wife has turned it all on, hit the wrong button on the remote, I walk in and cringe at the sound, and while she does say it’s much better when I sort it out, she also states that it’s something that only bothers me and not her. She has no desire to learn how to set it up properly, as long as she can hear the TV program, she’s happy.

I remember in 1982 me buying a hifi separates unit, think it was made by Pioneer. This was to replace my Panasonic music centre. I remember the massive difference in sound quality and remember saying exactly the same as your wife, only I was listening to Bauhaus and Human League. The hifi wasn’t anything special (wasn’t bought from a hifi specialist, bought from a department store).

I dare say if I compared my Denon setup to that Hifi I would probably be saying the same again.

But it can only go on so far. If I could afford a very high end system in 1982, then say another in 1990, then again in 1996 etc, there must come a point where I don’t hear new things as I’ve already been hearing everything

Beatles albums, while often better recorded than other bands of that era, were still severely limited by the technology available. The remastered versions in 2009 had compression on the stereo albums, hence unless listening to their mono recordings, to get their true intended sound you would need to listen to the original albums. I would respectfully argue that their recording engineers were making albums to be listened to by the masses on the record players available then, and were not produced to be listened on the sort of equipment I have, yet alone yours.

So am I, are you, when listening to the Beatles on our modern day sound systems, are we hearing it as they intended, or are we hearing a version that suits our ears and our idea of what good sound should sound like? When your wife said she had never heard them like that, the same question applies, was it better or just different?


I don’t know what my wife was referring to specifically but we did spend a lot of time trying to figure out all of the unusual instruments that were being played, and, sure enough, there is a thread on that:

https://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/unusual-instruments-the-beatles-played-on-record.575519/

We were more captivated by the music than we had been in the past so I’ll say it was different and better. :-)

I went though a similar upgrading path as you and I guess I’ll keep going as long as I am alive. I won’t worry about my system after that.

The thing that has gotten me the most excited about listening to music these days is not any one piece of gear but the easy access to an overwhelming amount of recorded music. Gould: 135 albums. Richter: 333 albums, and on and on and on. It was never this easy to listen to different recordings and I spent a lot of time listening to FM classical radio back then, and still have my McIntosh MR-78.
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: audiophile - 04/27/19 05:58 PM
Originally Posted by Granyala
@CyberGene: Don't know about you, but as an audiophile I prefer my equipment to be as transparent as possible (hence no interest in tube amps) because I speifically do NOT want to listen to the equipment (transducer excluded). laugh

I agree with you on this point. The mark of a true audiophile should be complete transparency, but it is not for most audiophiles, really. When I built my first decent audio system, I did have a goal of transparency. It should sound like it did in the live performance when it was recorded, I'd say. However, as I got older, I realized that I have certain preferences in sound which are not transparent. For example, I like warmth in my music, which is coloration. Warmth does not exist in the music as it was being recorded, as by its very definition, the live music is neutral. So my wanting warmth is moving away from transparency. I suspect, that many audiophiles, like me, are not motivated by transparency really (except as a convenient, but false, "mantra" or slogan), but are instead actually motivated to achieve the sound they personally like, and that sound might not actually be the sound of the original performance at the time of recording.
Posted By: LarryK Re: audiophile - 04/27/19 08:57 PM
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by Granyala
@CyberGene: Don't know about you, but as an audiophile I prefer my equipment to be as transparent as possible (hence no interest in tube amps) because I speifically do NOT want to listen to the equipment (transducer excluded). laugh

I agree with you on this point. The mark of a true audiophile should be complete transparency, but it is not for most audiophiles, really. When I built my first decent audio system, I did have a goal of transparency. It should sound like it did in the live performance when it was recorded, I'd say. However, as I got older, I realized that I have certain preferences in sound which are not transparent. For example, I like warmth in my music, which is coloration. Warmth does not exist in the music as it was being recorded, as by its very definition, the live music is neutral. So my wanting warmth is moving away from transparency. I suspect, that many audiophiles, like me, are not motivated by transparency really (except as a convenient, but false, "mantra" or slogan), but are instead actually motivated to achieve the sound they personally like, and that sound might not actually be the sound of the original performance at the time of recording.


I’m not a tube roller either, for what it’s worth. I’m a fan of true Class A amplification, which means heavy amps, huge heat sinks, and wasting a watt in heat for every watt generated. There is no crossover/switching distortion because there is no crossover, the transistors are on all the time.

I love the smooth, natural sound produced by Class A amps.

As for wanting transparency and achieving it, I’m not sure how that would come about as I was not at the original concert and do not know how it sounded in that space.

The designer of my preamp, James Bongiorno, RIP, used to say that flat rooms did not exist in nature, and so he provided tone controls on his preamps. The idea was not to destroy the wave but to tweak it here and there.

Now, that I am running Roon, I can create room correction curves, and that is something I have been meaning to do for a while. The instructions are here:

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

I have the microphone, I just need to spend the time to do it. Perhaps my experiments with Roon will help me achieve a better sound with non-streamed sources.

It’s all one big adventure.
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: audiophile - 04/27/19 09:08 PM
Originally Posted by LarryK
As for wanting transparency and achieving it, I’m not sure how that would come about as I was not at the original concert and do not know how it sounded in that space.

Well, you may not know how the original concert sounded, but if you are listening to it through an audio system which has "warmth" as many tube systems do, you know that the original concert did not sound like "that" wink Not that I personally mind! Warmth is actually what I seek, transparency be d@mned!

Originally Posted by LarryK
Now, that I am running Roon, I can create room correction curves, and that is something I have been meaning to do for a while. The instructions are here:

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

I have the microphone, I just need to spend the time to do it. Perhaps my experiments with Roon will help me achieve a better sound with non-streamed sources.

It’s all one big adventure.

Back before I realized that speakers would not be possible in my present DC apartment, I did take pains to measure the room. miniDSP has some great gear for thi...tps://www.roomeqwizard.com]a copy of REW, but it sits in a box since I just don't use speakers any more.

These days, I swear by Sonarworks Reference 4 for Headphones. Their speaker edition has very good room measurement and correction features.
Posted By: LarryK Re: audiophile - 04/27/19 09:31 PM
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by LarryK
As for wanting transparency and achieving it, I’m not sure how that would come about as I was not at the original concert and do not know how it sounded in that space.

Well, you may not know how the original concert sounded, but if you are listening to it through an audio system which has "warmth" as many tube systems do, you know that the original concert did not sound like "that" wink Not that I personally mind! Warmth is actually what I seek, transparency be d@mned!

Originally Posted by LarryK
Now, that I am running Roon, I can create room correction curves, and that is something I have been meaning to do for a while. The instructions are here:

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

I have the microphone, I just need to spend the time to do it. Perhaps my experiments with Roon will help me achieve a better sound with non-streamed sources.

It’s all one big adventure.

Back before I realized that speakers would not be possible in my present DC apartment, I did take pains to measure the room. miniDSP has some great gear for thi...tps://www.roomeqwizard.com]a copy of REW, but it sits in a box since I just don't use speakers any more.

These days, I swear by Sonarworks Reference 4 for Headphones. Their speaker edition has very good room measurement and correction features.


One man’s warmth is another man’s coloration. :-)

I have the UMIK-1, I just need to put in the work.

I couldn’t stand listening to headphones all the time but I understand your situation. I find it amazing that my downstairs neighbors has never complained. My wife ran into him in the laundry room and he said he didn’t hear anything from our apartment. I find that hard to believe but I’m going with it.
Posted By: Granyala Re: audiophile - 04/27/19 10:10 PM
Originally Posted by Ojustaboo
When I can play any game on my 24” 2560 x 1440 resolution monitor, with every setting on its highest and absolutely no stuttering or lag, it doesn’t matter how many times they tell me their gaming experience is better and how they have the frames per second data to prove it, I can’t see how it can actually be noticeable better than my already high end system, their money, their choice.

You could go bigger screen and go 4K.
Personally, 24" is too small to be truly immersive. 27-32 is a nice size, 55 is friggin awesome but not really usable for games where you need to see the entire screen at a glance. I play FF-XIV in a 27" sized 1080p window but games like Deus Ex HR or the Arkham games, man those rock with such a huge screen.

4K definitely is a GPU hog ad absurdum so that's probably why they spend so much.

As for hearing differences between a 1.5K system and 15K system: only one way to find out: try.
When I odered my Clear I wasn't sure whether I'd be able to hear notable differences to my DT-880 either.

Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
However, as I got older, I realized that I have certain preferences in sound which are not transparent. For example, I like warmth in my music, which is coloration.

And that is why God invented equalizers and DSPs. wink

I want my gear to be transparent, neutral, ideally flat.
Then, I have an EQ ... AND I AM NOT AFRAID TO USE IT. :<
Posted By: Bruce In Philly Re: audiophile - 04/28/19 01:28 AM
Larry, Ampzilla??? Son of?

Peace
Bruce in Philly
Posted By: LarryK Re: audiophile - 04/28/19 02:32 AM
Originally Posted by Bruce In Philly
Larry, Ampzilla??? Son of?

Peace
Bruce in Philly



I ran a Sumo 9 for years, and then rescued a Sumo Gold from a pawn shop. The Gold is a 90 lb, 125 watt Class A amplifier. There was a 450watt Class AB version of the same amp called The Power. Back in the day, I believe the Grateful Dead used some of them in their Wall of Sound.

I had the Gold completely rebuilt and it served me faithfully for about eight years. I finally decided to make a big jump in amplifier quality, and after searching for years, I found a good deal on a used, modern, Class A stereo amplifier, a 175lb monster that puts out 2x160 watts, pure class A, and can deliver 4000 watts on transients. Nothing succeeds like excess. ;-) Like I've mentioned, I don't play loud, but if loud is required for a short orchestral passage, as it always is, this amp delivers the goods. After getting the new amp, I sold the Gold.

Sadly, after enjoying the amp for nine months, it failed to power up after I got back into town after being away for Christmas. We had a huge transformer explosion in Queens while I was away, it turned the sky green. People thought it might me an alien landing, lol. That explosion might have taken out the amp, although nothing else I owned was harmed, or the amp may have experienced an age related failure of some part of the power supply, and so I am waiting for it to be repaired. The amp is not that old, so I'm hoping it's not a big deal to get it fixed. This amp is meant to be the final amp I own.

We all take our chances when we buy used audio gear. I bought a relatively cheap 500+ watt Class D amp to use in the meantime but it just doesn't have the magic of that class A amp.

I still run a preamp designed by James Bongiorno, the Ambrosia Second Edition. James believed in giving you a lot of audio bang for your buck. The preamp weighs 50 pounds, has both MC and MM phono sections, two headphone outputs, two tape loops, tone controls, a home theater bypass, a large number of inputs, and is all controlled with a microprocessor and includes a remote control that controls everything. The second edition model is noticeably quieter than the first edition, as in, dead quiet. It has a low gain setting on a jumper inside the unit that lowers the noise floor substantially, and, since I don't play loud, it is perfect for me. I figure I would have to buy an uber expensive Swiss amp to get all of the features of the Ambrosia preamp.


Posted By: Granyala Re: audiophile - 04/28/19 08:49 AM
Originally Posted by LarryK
Class A stereo amplifier, a 175lb monster that puts out 2x160 watts, pure class A, and can deliver 4000 watts on transients.

Holy overkill Batman, were you trying to build a PA system or sth?

Reasonably efficient speakers ~90dB@1W should ensure that you stay well below under 10W at normal listening volumes.

Oh at least you didn't need additional heating in the winter, with that kind of amp. laugh
Posted By: LarryK Re: audiophile - 04/28/19 12:16 PM
Originally Posted by Granyala
Originally Posted by LarryK
Class A stereo amplifier, a 175lb monster that puts out 2x160 watts, pure class A, and can deliver 4000 watts on transients.

Holy overkill Batman, were you trying to build a PA system or sth?

Reasonably efficient speakers ~90dB@1W should ensure that you stay well below under 10W at normal listening volumes.

Oh at least you didn't need additional heating in the winter, with that kind of amp. laugh


PA systems sound terrible, this sounds heavenly.

Obviously, I don’t believe in low power amps. Yes, my amp can provide additional room heat if needed. Don’t touch the heat sinks! It does have two other bias modes, low and medium, that provide 30 watts and 70 watts of Class A power, respectively, not in AB mode. Yes, I can hear the difference between the modes, so, I usually roll with 160 watts class A unless we’re in the hottest part of the summer.

Having this kind of power on tap makes for effortless playback of even the most complicated orchestral music. This amp does not shy away from anything. I read a paper that worked out how much power was required to reproduce music and it turns out to be a lot more than you would expect. The designers of the amp know this, that’s why it can momentarily produce a lot of power.

I run Class A for the naturalness of the sound, there is really nothing else like it. Human voices are uncannily present. Individual instruments have an amazing weight to them. Like I mentioned, I once tricked someone in the kitchen into thinking I was playing the cello in the living room.

Sure, my electric bill is probably $30-50 higher than otherwise, but so what, such sweet music.
Posted By: Bruce In Philly Re: audiophile - 04/28/19 12:23 PM
Larry, thanks for the Víkingur Ólafsson heads up.... I am listening to his Bach on Deutshe Grammophon.... wow.... nice.

Peace
Bruce in Philly
Posted By: LarryK Re: audiophile - 04/28/19 01:21 PM
Originally Posted by Bruce In Philly
Larry, thanks for the Víkingur Ólafsson heads up.... I am listening to his Bach on Deutshe Grammophon.... wow.... nice.

Peace
Bruce in Philly


You’re welcome! He’s an amazing young talent. I hope to hear him live some day.
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