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Everything posted by maxg

  1. You are right my TT was on top of the DVD player but is no longer - now it rests directly on the stand. I made space by removing the Accuphase entirely and shifting the Cd layer and the DVD player to the bottom. Rather than getting a seperate stand for the TT I plan to by a marble top for the existing stand. A 1 inch thick item should do the job nicely I think. I tried to check with the manufacturer of my unit to find out what the maximum weight it can stand is - could get no answer - so I got a friend who is about 200 Lbs to sit on the top of it - no problem (other than him being a little unsteady and nervous). The step after this, you will be pleased to hear, will be to evaluate (finally) some set amps. Arco has 2 "spare" amps - one 300B and one 2A3 which he is willing to sell. Once I get those I will also get marble bases to isolate them properly. At that point I think I will be just about finished. I am already well beyond the sound I thought would be possible and I think the law of diminishing returns will start to set (no pun intended) in big time. Of course I have said this before.. Now all I need to do is to earn the money!!
  2. The much mentioned (by me) acoustic-solid from Germany. My friend (Tony) who upgraded the project has it now (and comes from the very same Project RPM 4 that I did - in fact we bought them together). The re-seller here makes a phono-stage himself for that particular TT that is supposed to be extraordinary. I havent heard it yet but Tony has and spent an hour gushing to me on its merits on the phone. The great debate here is over the cartridge: Tony is running the Denon 103 at the moment as that was all he could afford right now. When the money starts flowing we plan to upgrade his and get mine. The main candidate is the Shelter, either the 501 or the 901. Both are supposed to be superb at their relative price brackets but the 901 is really pricey at a minimum of $1300 direct from Japan. A few words on the Acoustic solid. Visually it is a stunner and it weighs in at over 60 lbs. Apparently it is a sucker to setup - so the distributor does that for you (about 4 hours). Once rolling however it is another world sonically. We spent an afternoon at Tony's listening to the thing (actually called the machine or the edition depending on the model I choose - tony has the machine) and it is truely fabulous. The direct to disk recording that we both have of wild child butler was something else - in fact Tony wrote a somewhat poetic post about it on the ACA site: Links: Acoustic solid Edition http://www.acoustic-solid.de/html/edition.html Review of the acoustic solid one http://www.enjoythemusic.com/magazine/equipment/0402/acousticsolid.htm Tony's gushing http://www.aca.gr/paper27.htm Review of the shelter http://www.21stcenturyservices.com/audio/Shel_901.htm Another review of the shelter http://www.high-endaudio.com/RC-Cartridges.html Think that will do for now!!
  3. I got the project box free - a friend upgraded so I picked his up. This is not going to be my final stage by any means, but first I will be upgrading my TT as soon as my new business takes off. Right now there is lots of money going out and none coming in so all actual purchasing is on hold.
  4. In my case I have just picked up a replacement phono stage to try out. The old unit was the Project phono box and the new one is the Project phono box SE. I suppose I wasnt expecting a big change and there isnt one - but there is something subtle there. The problem is that each time I listen to an album I think - my god - did I hear that before, or, didnt that sound different before and then I switch back to the old unit and retest. This is not a simple process, not because of the actual plugging and unplugging of the unit (that is relatively simple but a pain) but then I have to re-cue up the TT leaving myself enough time to get back to my listening position, sit down, get back into the mood.... By the time I have done all of that I generally forget what it was I was listening for in the first place. Anyway after about 3 hours of fairly fruitless analysis I gave up and just slung on DSOTM and listened. Overall, with the new stage I enjoyed it more so I think I will keep it. Unless of course I was simply so tired with all the getting up and down that I would have enjoyed a mono radio by that point. As ever with me - these things generally come down to a leap of faith - if only my audio memory was better. ------------------ My System: http://aca.gr/pop_maxg.htm
  5. HB TB. I am also 37 - and you are right cos I am not old either. You are as old as the woman you feel (in my case she is 37 too so no win there for me). Hairline receding, waistline expanding, timeline shrinking, genetic line expanding but other than that all OK here. Congrats again (belatedly it seems) ------------------ My System: http://aca.gr/pop_maxg.htm
  6. Methinks this is a joke. I live in Greece and have heard nothing about it - not that that is any kind of guarantee! I will check it out and let you know (for those that are interested). If there is any truth to this I imagine it will get cleared up vey quickly - that or about a million game players in Greece are going to solve the national dept problem. ------------------ My System: http://aca.gr/pop_maxg.htm
  7. Ear(s), Honestly I did not have you in mind when writing my list - but an interesting read all the same. Most of my comments were a bit tongue in cheek - I think we can all identify bits of ourselves in the points (and if not certainly in others). One of the great things about belonging to an audiophile club (like the Audiophile club of Athens) is that you get to listen once a month to some really amazing systems, often put together with a totally different approach to your own. I have to say that so far I have only attended a few meetings but to date it has been an enlightening experience. I have seen system that cost multiples of my own (upto 20 times in some cases) and can really understand the difference. Interestingly though, in many cases, they are systems I would not be able to live with, sonically as their owners have different priorities from mine. For example I am a soundstage nut. I like the "wall of sound" effect, more so that the tunnel of sound that I have heard on other systems. For some people soundstage is an irrelevance and I watch as they happily sit listening to their system totally off axies and a country mile away from the sweet spot. I suppose that the best thing is really that in many ways this is the best form of equipment demonstration I have yet come across. This is not some sales outlet with a poorly assembled system trying to sell you something. This is guys like you and me, struggling with very similar issues and presenting their "work in progress" towards solving the problems. Of course there is also the flip side. Come October these same guys are all going to descend on my house to listen to what I have put together (gulp!!) Still - should be interesting to hear their comments even though I know it will be a fairly mixed bag of conflicting advice. To date audiophiles that have come to my house have advised: 1. Change the speakers - the sound is too small. 2. Change the amps - SET is the way to go - keep the speakers. 3. Change the TT - everything else is perfectly fine. 4. Do various combinations of the above. 5. Do nothing - it is great the way it is. I liked the last one but doubt I would be able to stick to the advice.
  8. Oh you guys do make me chuckle. Maturity now reduces the flavouring required in a system. The older you are - the more you want a good clean sound and a disappearing system. The high ground now moves towards those demanding sonic accuracy, those with maturity, whilst the juniors play with there lemon flavoured systems and strawberry whips. I knew of a young chap who just might have disagreed with you, from memory his name was Paul and he built speakers, large heavily flavoured speakers at that, last I heard he still kinda liked the Horn sound before he passed on. Still he was only 92. (BTW - Christos - I was only teasing you with the God line)
  9. Greg, We have to be very carefull with our wives reading lists. Give them free reign and who knows what will happen - they will be wanting the vote next!!
  10. I think I need a drink right now! OK - I am still on shaky ground as I have only heard the Linn (corrected) twice and have no idea how well they were setup. I can tell you that the Acoustic-solid I heard (above post) was simply the best audio source device I have heard to date this side of $you choose. I cannot say that your Linn is not its equal but I would be a bit surprised. I think the Acoustic-Solid would give Christos' TT (Skaloumbakos on this forum) a run for its money (which I have also only heard once - although it was a very memorable experience). Anyway - I will make no further comments on TT's - you are exposed to some fairly serious stuff and it is your ears that count.
  11. Whoops!!! Er.... I thought you had this: (A Sondek if the pic doesnt come through) Didnt know there was a Lynn that looked like yours. Nope - never heard it, properly setup or otherwise, so ignore my question. Is that really all it cost? I thought this was good value for money at 5 times that figure (with the Rega Arm and the Shelter 901 cartridge): (if the pic doesnt come through it is http://www.acoustic-solid.de/assets/images/Edition.jpg) Apologies again!
  12. "Max, do you think there is a system in the whole world that improves every recording?" Conversely do you think that there is a system that will play every piece of music and every type of music better than any other? I would say that a given system can improve the playback of one or more given genres of music (to the ears of the specific listener) and that these may well coincide with that persons individual taste in music. In other words my own system may be completely dreadful at playing back house music / hip-hop / jazz-funk etc. etc. but that it is of little importance to me as I never listen to it. "God, recording engineers will be very happy with this descovery cause they'll have to do nothing..." I wasnt aware of God's active role in the music industry - is he in production or post production. As for the recording engineers - as you well know - many of them produce material that is a disgrace and it is all too rare to find a properly recorded piece of music. "Hi-End systems should make you distinct different versions of the same Symphony for example, and give you the ability to decide about good or bad recordings, good or bad orchestrations, different flavors of Pianos or violins etc. This is what is all about." Agreed - how does this affect euphonics? A Euphonic system may add flavour to the music but that does not mean it REPLACES the existing flavours. My system is euphonic but I can still distinguish between different recordings of the same piece of music. "Flavors of the music and not flavors of your system." Or, both... Just out of interest is there anyone in the world that claims their system adds no flavour to the music it plays back? Are we now merely arguing about degree? If so, I like my chips with a little salt and ketchup.
  13. "a sense of humor and intelligence is probably at the top" Of course they are Kelly. I call her left breast a sense of humour and her right one intelligence. Just kidding!
  14. Every audiophile: 1. Secretly believes that his system is the best that can possibly be had for the money and will usually compare that system to ones costing 5 times more (never 4 times, never 6 times - no idea why). 2. Anyone who has spent more money on their system than the audiophile in question is a lunatic/mug/victim. 3. Anyone who has spent less than the audiophile in question is not a proper audiophile. 4. Can exercise his inalienable right to critize any piece of equipment he has not heard on the basis of something he has read even if that did not refer to the item in question. 5. Knows deep down which is actually the best playback medium for music and anyone who disagrees is obviously deluding themselves. 6. The word audiophile can never appear in the same sentence with the word. Bose. 7. Recognizes that music has nothing at all to do with the art of building a proper audiophile quality system. Such music as must be bought should be entirely made up or recordings suitable for either testing or for showing off the strengths of the aforementioned system. It is an added advantage if the music chosen is unlistenable too in the persuit of mere relaxation. 8. When an audiophile is actually forced to listen to a piece of music he is immediately able to focus on the merits of the playback system and therefore totally unable to hear the music itself. ------------------ My System: http://aca.gr/pop_maxg.htm
  15. Mobile, You've had that Lynn for donkey's years now. Any plans to move for a more modern table?? There is some really funky sh!t out there now and the sonics are staggering!! I only ask as your source is starting to look seriously like the weak point in your system - you must be reaching the point of diminishing returns on the amp side of things by now. ------------------ My System: http://aca.gr/pop_maxg.htm
  16. At some point I cannot quite identify this thread went seriously trippy. Do I win anything for identifying Men at Work lyrics or was it just a bit too obvious? I probably should have read what I wrote earlier in this thread to see if I should add anything on the original WAF subject. I suppose I should summarize thus: "Darling, do you like this Album?" "Yes Max, its very nice, can you turn the volume down?" I think that says it all - SWMBO (she who must be obeyed) has a serious volume aversion. I should add that the volume in question is no more than 87 dB peak at my listening position.
  17. I like this topic because there is demonstrably no correct answer here. As everyone is now backing Ears I will switch sides again: Christos said: "Colored is a system, which has its own flavor, always present in different recordings, always putting an emphasis in this or that (that's what color is all about...). SO, THIS IS BORING!!!" Nope - can't let you have that either. If the flavouring is euphonic - as in merely softens, sweetens or otherwise improves the sound <i>in the individual listener's ears</i> then this is not boring. Lets face it guys - boring and colour (or lack thereof) are 2 unrelated aspects of music playback. Of course if anyone has further opinions I will happily change sides again...
  18. Jas, In defense of Ears - not that he needs it, but anyway - there is a fine distinction between the variations of performance in live events and their reproduction. When reproducing the live event it is important (for some audiophiles) that the reproduction match as closely as possible the original performance. If you like - we are diferentiating between the values of production and reproduction. In other words we are defining neutral as the ability to play back the original performance (with all of its flavour and colour) exactly as it was - with no added gain or loss due to the reproduction. To Ears (and others) this is a very important aspect of their music enjoyment. For me, however, it is less important. I regard my own system as euphonic and a joy to listen to - but I have little or no idea how well it matches the original performance/recording. That is of little import to me - I differentiate between home listening and a live event on many levels not just the sound. I enjoy both but do not regard one as a substitute for the other. As it happens most venues in Greece (other than classical concerts) have such appalling acoustics that I prefer the music from my system. Still they have other things - ambience, emotion, the esprit de corps of the crowd and parking problems (lol).
  19. Both cars have the stock systems in and both are slightly too good to throw away but not good enough for really enjoyable listening. The Chrysler has, I think, infiniti speakers (big ones for a car) with a clarion head unit and a 6 Cd player in the trunk. The Land Rover has a Harmon Kardon system with lots of little speakers dotted around and a 6 CD player under the passenger seat. In some ways it would have been preferable for them to have had nothing so I could have gone and bought a better system but with what they have it just aint worth it. ------------------ My System: http://aca.gr/pop_maxg.htm
  20. "In this case the room exposes,amplifies the speakers weak points.I now test all new speakers in this room,if speakers will sound half good in this room its a sure thing they sound only great in the two larger rooms" This strikes me as a somewhat strange way to test out a speaker but if it works for you... My take would be to try to eliminate the effect of the room acoustics when attempting to qualify a speaker - to see how it sounds in the ideal situation. To put this into reality I would be more inclined to install one of those digital room correction pre-amps, like the TACT into the small room thereby as far as possible eliminating the room's poor acoustics and test my speakers that way. Once you have found the speaker that sounds the best then the only remaining job is to make it sound good in your own listening room either again using the TACT or using more regular room treatments. Out of pure luck my own living room (my listening room) has excellent acoustics and so I have not felt the need to do either of the above but friends with less ideal listening environments swear by the TACT.
  21. Mallett, Agree with the volume issue - it drove me mad that I could not get the volume of the TT and the CD at the same level without constant adjustments. In the end we just settled for evaluating the TT at higher, lower and about the same levels and in each case we still prefered its sound. Of course the fact that I use a separate powered sub rmoves one of the main issues of lower volumes - that of reduced bass. The sub plays down to 20 Hz at moderate volumes and even at the lowest volume setting on my pre-amp still goes down to 35 Hz audibly. Doesnt address the shrinkage of the highs but at least it somewhat alleviates the volume variance issues.
  22. Mike, The point of the above posting was to evaluate whether or not is was the recording process or the medium that was at fault (as best as I could do that). It seems to me that whilst the recording process, may, in many cases be less than ideal it is ultimately the medium that is at fault, or the mechanism behind it. Things get further complicated when you throw SACD into the mix. I have an SACD player with over 70 disks and still prefer vinyl over even these. This would imply to me that the oft-mentioned sampling rate of 44 KHz and the 20-20Khz limited range are not the issue, or not the sole issue. SACD has theoretically a sampling rate of 2.8 MHz and a range of 2 to 100 KHz. That even this does not match vinyl is something of a mystery to me (an expensive one at that!!) Of course mine is a very lowly SACD player but then again so is my TT. If I were to compare the Sony 777 it may well perform much better but for that kind of money I could do wild things in the TT arena too. To summarize all of the above - I dont know and it really bugs the hell out of me. It shouldnt. It does. It's a mystery!!
  23. Actually Prodj I think the pricing depends very much on where you are. Here in Greece the Quad 989 sells for about half the money of a KHorn, or about the same as a pair of Belles. Of course that is still pretty rarified heights for some of us but they are certainly not in the lunatic fringe end of the market that many speakers seem to occupy.
  24. Mobile, Thank you for the compliments - I actually hesitated to make the post as I do have some sympathies for what Ears is trying to say. A friend of mine switched from KHorns to Quad 989's very much for the reasons Ears outlined. He feels the Quads are among the most neutral speakers in the world especially when driven with SS amplification. Funnily enough that is exactly the reason that I would use tube amplification with them (were they mine) - it is all a matter of personal preference. I should add that this is the guy that got me into audio in the first place. His tastes were very influential on my own for a very long period of time and it is only recently that our paths have diverged with him moving away from tubes/horns exactly as I move into them. Despite your positive comments I feel that I owe Ears an apology - it is not fair to label someone anally retentive just because they prize neutrality (and therefore presumably accuracy). Therfore - apologies Ears - I will refrain from labeling in the future.
  25. Well I finally got around to performing the test I have wanted to perform for some time, and the results were something of a surprize.... I have been working under the impression that vinyl sounds so much better than Cd simply because the CD recording process is flawed and that the cleaning of the noise actually removes some of the music. In other words there is nothing wrong with the format - it is the process that is at fault. To test this hypothesis we decided to take the best of the best and compare a homemade recording of a Japanese pressing of Dark Side of the Moon against my very own Mobile Fidelity Ultradisk 2 CD. The added advantage of these 2 choices is that from what we can glean they were made from exactly the same master tape, at about the same time. Both source disks were sealed originals prior to the testing (which made this an expensive test for both my friend who supplied the vinyl and me). The recording was made from an Acousticsolid "The Machine" TT using a Rega arm and Denon 103 cartridge outputing via the new Project MC Phono stage into a dedicated Sony CD recorder using some very high end interconnects. Comparison was not possible on this system as the room was being redecorated at the time. We therefore switched to my system (Marantz CD6000 CD player, Project RPM 4 TT with Project 9 arm and Project K4 cartridge connecting via the smaller project phono stage to a decware ZTPRE and dual monoblock KT88 based push pull amps into a pair of Heresy 2 speakers and a sngle REL Strata 3 sub connected at the speaker level). Additionally we decided that comparison with the original LP would not be fair and so we used a lesser copy (Greek) of DSOTM for the vinyl input. Comparison process was relatively simple. Put the first CD in the Marantz - play a track, repeat for the second CD and then play the vinyl on the TT. We decided we needed a totally unbiased observer so we co-opted in my baby minder who doesnt know a record from a DVD for an independent opinion. Whilst we cannot claim any of the following to be scientific we concluded the following: 1. There is minimal difference between the 2 CD copies other than the surface noise picked up from the vinyl recorded disk. None of us were able to tell which version was playing during tracks where the above mentioned surface noise was absent. 2. There is a major difference with the vinyl. It has more bass, more slam, more impact, better definition and a far more encompassing sound stage. Switching between the vinyl and the CD during play was difficult due to the volume differences (the TT plays louder than the CD for a given volume setting on the pre-amp requiring resetting of the volume during the switching process). I should add that we have compared the 2 vinyl pressings (the good Japanese one and the reasonable Greek one) and the Japanese one is far better in all of the areas outlined above. In conclusion therefore I would have to say that whatever the limitations of the recording process I am now of the opinion that it is indeed the CD format that is the limiting factor on the quality of music. I think that it might be possible to better a poorer CD recording with our vinyl recordings but if the CD recording is good then bettering it is not possible with the equipment we have. Sadly CD is, in my opinion, a dead duck in audiophile terms. Roll on SACD recorders and we will repeat the process. Note : All the above was performed with no pretence to scientific approach. If anyone has a testing method they would like me to try that would be more scientific I will do my best to implement it. ------------------ My System: http://aca.gr/pop_maxg.htm
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