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maxg

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  1. How to do this without being too long winded? OK I used to be an audiophile. Two things have changed. The first is my hearing which is not what it was (50% hearing loss in my left ear over 10K, less in the right). Second is that I was at a friends house a few years back listening to my own copy of the Rach 3 (Ashkenazy / Previn / LSO, London recording) and as the second movement ended I queried whether he thought the amp was clipping at points. I realized I was no longer listening to the music but listening to the system. My favorite piece of music of all time had become a test piece. That was a shock. The cure was to move away from audiophilia for a while and to deliberately listen to lesser systems. At first it hurt but after a while I could focus on the music and after a longer while my brain filled in the missing parts, or improved the parts that weren't rendered so well. Now I can listen to any system with scant regard to what it is (ok within limits) and hear the music as my brain tells me it should be. I still appreciate a good system that presents the music well, but its no longer such a biggie as it was. I'm listening to music again, not systems. Its quite a relief.
  2. Hi Thebes, Not out of vinyl per-say but I don't get a lot of listening done at home anymore. Most of the time its on the road. Its hard to schlep a TT with you. Sad to say 90% of my listening is now digital. Its just so convenient and with decent headphones and flac files it ain't half bad. Well that or I am getting used to it. Still got the 1000 records my wife let me keep.
  3. Balance between TT and cartridge is not about budget. It is about matching the physical characteristics of arm and cartridge. One of the best experiences I had was with a Denon 103 Cartridge on a clearaudio TT with a linear tracking arm. Thats a $10K TT with a $150 cart. It just so happened that the specs of the cart (tracking weight, compliance etc.) were perfect for the passive linear tracker. So breaking this down a bit further - the TT itself should be well isolated (from its own motor as much as anything), level and, if you are not going suspended, solid. Mass helps. The arm and cart are a combo. You should always get the one with the other in mind. That said, years of enjoyment can be had experimenting with other carts later on, but you want to start on a solid footing. Then there is the phono stage. If you are going MM then a phono stage built in to your pre-amp should be fine. MC will require more gain than most built in phono stages can muster. When I ran the Denon and a Shelter 901 I had a 67 dB gain Acoustic Signature Tango to drive them. You might want to factor in a power supply for the TT. Most TT motors get their timing from the mains. Having something that can provide a fixed 50Hz or 60Hz output can make quite a difference. Also worth bearing in mind that keeping a record flat (outer ring, vacuum system w.h.y) has a huge effect on the work that the arm and cantilever have to do. I used the clearaudio outer ring on my system and it was as if I doubled the capabilities of the arm, cart combo (a big reason as to why the Denon worked so well). I've probably just confused the whole thing for you. Sorry - I got really into vinyl back in the day.
  4. Most of my stereo is boxed up and in storage, even the clearaudio TT. Right now we have a little JVC system in the house (although it is connected to my sub) with wooden drivers. The sound is.....er.......pleasant. Cant find a picture of my sub online. I have an old (1975) Panasonic all-in-one player connected to it. That has a TT and I've modded it a bit so I can listen to vinyl still, on occasion. Other than that these days all my listening is done on my android phone. FLAC files using the Neutron player and a Pair of Sennheiser Momentum On-ear headphones. Its pretty good, but wouldn't win any awards I guess.
  5. Cheers Guys. Ill try to get on more often but my audio passion is on hold due to financial reasons, and my wife wanted her living room back.
  6. I saw this recently on Youtube and it was simply wonderful. Helps if you are a fan of Tim Minchin, but its not essential. Might be a bit.....British? for you all of course:
  7. Wow - thanks guys. Nice to be remembered - although I think time has embellished memories of my knowledge somewhat. Larry, Interesting move towards AV. I find that the video element makes me much more tolerant of the audio quality so the fact it ain't vinyl doesn't matter so much. I've even been known to enjoy music on youtube from time to time - and that really isn't quality. One thing you might enjoy though is this: Its the 2011 comedy proms. Generally hilarious whilst smuggling in tons of the sort of music you and I like. There's a wonderful montage with Orchestra playing one thing and piano playing another that will drive you mad attempting to identify which piece each is performing. Apple owners: Sadly I don't think there is any equivalent to Neutron for Apple. The real pity here is that iPhones, out of the box, probably have about the best sound quality of any phone but there's nothing you can do with it beyond that. Its pretty much my opinion of iProducts on all fronts. Initial user experience is the best but as soon as you want to go a bit further you are out of luck. Android is a PITA for the simple stuff but unlimited thereafter.
  8. If there is a reason for that its probably simply that I didn't have much to write. Whatever changes have happened to my audio system over the years have not been in the interest of better sonics but rather aesthetics. As a result I now run a rather simple system, although still vinyl based largely. Sadly, due mainly to lifestyle I don't get to listen to it all that often. My main music listening has been limited to my phone. Again, about 2 years ago I picked up an HTC Sensation XE with the Beats Audio profile and after junking the included Beats headphones settled on a cheap pair of AKG 311 earphones along with a pair of Senheisser HD 202's for home listening. That was very much that - it sounded OK, probably very good for a phone, but nothing to write home about. Now, I do have something to write about, so here I am again: Last month, whilst in the UK, I started to investigate other alternatives and eventually settled on a pair of Sennheiser "On-the-ear" Momentums which appeared to be an easier load on the limited capabilities of the phone than the larger original Momentums and actually, to my ears, sounded better. (Note: I can't wear the in-the-ear type earphones. They just don't stay in for me which is why I didn't try the Klipsch S4 units). Realizing that the phones were now much better than the source I started to look at what has happened in portable audio over the last few years to see if there was anything better than the Beats audio profile. I have tested the headphones on a slew of moble phones and frankly - nothing better, in fact, excepting the newer HTC models, nothing as good. It was then that I found, entirely by accident an app in the play-store called "Neutron" which claimed to be an audiophile's music player. I downloaded the free version and started to play about with it. There are more settings in this software than you can shake a stick at. I've left the majority of them well enough alone but have selected a few options (like 64 bit processing) that were recommended. To make a long story short - wow!!! The software will play every format I own, including 192/24 recordings. These are downsampled, obviously but that is a limitation of the phone and not the software. My next phone (Samsung Galaxy Note 3) has apparently got a 192/24 chip so that will be interesting. In the meantime anything FLAC or WMA lossless, even at a lowly 44.1/16 plays well. Some recordings, like my Dire Straits Private Investigations track, play so well its in uncanny. As a source for the main stereo its better than anything bar the vinyl (and that's a lot closer than I like to admit). Strongly advise anyone with a reasonably powerful mobile phone (say 1GHz dual core) to download it and give it a try. The nice thing is that it seems to bypass the built in settings almost completely. Even my Nexus 7 sounds good with it- and that has dreadful sound out of the box. In the meantime Tony, my best friend has gone the same route. Same phones, same software on this Samsung Galaxy S3. I haven't heard it on his yet but he reported that with a portably external amp it sounded "better than many $50K system's he's heard." Take that with a pinch of salt - Tony is prone to exaggeration. Just thought I'd share.
  9. "... the pair of MX-D1 amps" Now that's funny. I had forgotten you had 2 of them. Well, why not, they are only 500 wpc each and its not like JubScalas are highly sensitive speakers or anything. I'd guess that setup alone would serve a Stones concert for 60,000 or so....
  10. I don't think low voltage would do it. We are talking about a quite dramatic difference in sound quality here - beyond anything I would have thought possible. Its the sort of change one might expect if you were to change your source to one that is double the price. No - for this effect to have happened I think the only explanation is that the old panel was delivering a wavering voltage due to a combination of aging components and/or loose connections. It would be nice to attempt to regenerate that scenario deliberately with, say, a 5% continualy variation in voltage and listening to the result. Sadly I don't have the equipment to do that.
  11. Thanks Marvel - yes we are surviving the hiatus over here - just about. As for the reasons for the improvement of my sound with the new circuit breakers I am guessing that as they get older they get noisier. I am sure the least affected item is the TT as it does indeed have a power regulator on it that holds the Voltage at 230 Volts exactly and the frequency at exactly 50.1 Hz (both are user set - I use the additional 0.1 Hz to take into account slipage on the belt drive). My amp is a fairly high power 200 WPC unit and my pre-amp is a modded ZTPRE tube unit. I suspect that these 2 are the main beneficiaries of the improvements brought by the electrical changes. I use a powered sub too so that must also be benefitting I'd guess. Bascially as I said I never thought about it and certainly wasn't expecting a change as I didn't realize that there was anything wrong with the old installation. This was very much an after the event discovery. It would be quite interesting to run a test on a high powered amp to see how it coped with fluctuating electic power. I wonder if a plus or minus 5% swing would have an audible affect? I'd guess it would but until someone tests it out ....anyone?
  12. Well its been a very long time since I last posted on the 2 channel forum - mainly because my system settled about 4 years ago and hasn't changed an iota since then. That was until about a week ago - although nothing on the system, nor in the room has actually changed. So a week ago I started having serious electrical problems in the house with the main relay switching off regularly. I called a man in, He looked at the old board with its series of relays and stated it needed replacing. This was the cause of my problems apparently. So out with the old and in with the new. An amazing looking set of switches that would not look out of place in a Star Trek movie was installed. It was wonderful - but it didn't solve the problem. We went through the whole house and eventually discovered that the refridgerator was shorting out (power cable inside had worn through its shielding - how? and was shorting on the body of the unit). That was taped up and everything worked fine. So I was left thinking - well this beautiful to behold new set of switches was a complete waste of money then. But it wasn't. For the last 6 days I have been playing music on my system and am stunned. The improvement in sound has been simply astonishing. I am not sure it has ever played as well as this. Every aspect of sound reproduction has improved - from the firmness of the bass to the soundstage. It took me quite a while to reason out why this had happened. The last thing I suspected was the power - but as it was the only thing I had changed what else could it be? I have never been one for the importance of power cables and am still not - but the importance of an even, reliable power supply - on that I am now sold. There is now no doubt in my mind that the old relay box was problematic although it wasn't the cause of the original problem. My new sound tells me it was an amazingly good investment. I am guessing it is as good for all the other electrical items as it is for the stereo - just not as obvious. I dunno though - maybe the lights are a little bit brighter - it could just be my mood though.
  13. I need to come into this forum more often...big Marley fan - have been since god only knows when. As it happens I have 7 albums of his that I can readily lay my hands on (probably got a few more stored somewhere) all on vinyl: Talkin' Blues, Rebel Music, Survival, Kaya, Chances Are, Uprising and Rasterman Vibrations (still sealed). Thing is - these are all original or at least early pressings. In my limited experience with non-classical music these are often better than later audiophile versions as they have been made from fresh tapes. Its also worth considering how these particular albums were made before taking the plunge into audiophilia. When Bob started there wasn't much of a music industry in Jamaica. They actually recorded many of the albums as 4 track recordings. These were then sent to the UK where an additional 4 tracks were added to create 8 track "masters" from which the 2 channel mix for a record was created. This was not a process that would lend itself to re-creating the original sonic event in the best audiophile tradiitons. Oh - and my records cost a lot less - I think the most expensive (sealed) one was 10 bucks or so.
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