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Posts posted by maxg

  1. When I hear audiophiles talking about a system that sounds like a live event my normal first question is - from where in the auditorium? You can follow that up with "and which auditorium?" If you like.

    I have absolutely no idea what any of the recordings I own sounded like in real life - many are from the 1960's and far flung countries from me. I simply wasn't there on the night.

    What I can do, however, is to strive to ensure that replaying a violin (for example) on my system IN MY ROOM sounds as close as I can get it to what I regard as reality.

    It would appear that my assessment of what reality is must be quite close to being correct as it has been confirmed by numerous other listeners (and not just balmy audiophiles).

    Further, it should be stressed that this effect - so close to (apparent) reality you can taste it is hugely dependent upon the recording. Poor recordings sound like - well - poor recordings. Good ones, actually no - great ones - can give the illusion of being there. When its just you and the music till a dub dub dub sound reminds you that there is a record that needs turning over - you made it, congrats. Now you can stop spending on the system and start spending on more of those magical recordings.

  2. Somewhere around the second page I lost it as to whether you have a solution or not. Clearaudio do a test record with minute grooves on it for tracking and funnily enough I can't find mine either. Someone is going around the whole forum stealing these things I am sure. I am also fairly sure Shure do one (and that's not easy to write correctly with a whiskey in your other hand).

    In my own defense I haven't had need of it in 5 years - linear tracker.

  3. Larry,

    Interesting theory on the similar disabilities leading to a similar selection of music system - I shall ponder on that one.

    It would appear from your description that your case is worse than my own, currently at least. My big concern right now is that my condition is progressive (as yours was predicted to be - apparently (hopefully) totally incorrectly).

    My hearing loss is 30 dB over 10 KHz in the left ear RELATIVE to my right ear. I understand my right ear response is within the normal parameters. I do not know how this relates to my tinnitus as mine is bilateral (although worse in the weaker ear).

    Further I am 90% certain mine is not as a result to exposure to extreme noise at any point in my life. Whilst as as teen I did attend Rock concerts it was not a particularly regular occurance in comparison to many of my friends (who all appear to have normal hearing).

    A few years ago I was hospitalized with a very serious throat infection that closed my airways. It appears I had pharengitus and larengitus concurrently and according to my blood work I had fought an infection and simply lost. Without antibiotics there is little doubt I would not be here today (my temperature hit 104 in hospital and they had a devil of a job getting it down again). As the ear is connected to the throat (eustasian tube I think) I have a feeling this might have damaged my hearing - I have no proof of this - just a hunch.

    It could be that caused both or neither of my conditions, that my 2 conditions are one in the same or that they are unrelated. I have not been disgnosed with Meniere's but I have a feeling I will have to be tested for it when I go back to the expert.

    I would be interested to know what kind of noise you hear. For me it is a wavering 10 KHz test tone like you get from a computer program. It took me a long time to figure out that it was not environmental and that it was coming from inside my head.

    As an aside another thing I have no idea if related or otherwise - I have huge difficulty in equalizing. I was shown by a diver how to force the process - but I am one of the rare people who needs to do this even on a commercial flight. I used to face total agony each time I flew before I learned the trick.

    This is the big problem with medicine - its so hard to figure out what is and is not relevent.

  4. The human brain is not only queerer than we imagine, it is queerer than we CAN imagine.

    Indeed, Dave. I don't have specialized knowledge, but it seems to me to be an ear-brain system, with high-speed computer-center ability in localizing sounds, focusing on wanted sounds in noisy, conflicting enviornments, and interpretively filling in blanks in imperfectly heard speech. I also believe lip-reading plays a greater role than most recognize. I'm deaf in one ear (Meniere's) plus below-average ability to lip-read, so I have extreme difficulty understanding conversations in noisy surroundings.

    Oddly, my deaf ear still is very susceptible to sounds that my ear and brain can no longer "hear" and interpret. My tinnitus in that ear increases mightily in certain medium-noise settings, even though I can't specifically identify hearing anything in that ear. In other words, I have lots of tinnitus set off by noise in a deaf ear.

    Larry my dear friend - we have something else in common it appears.

    I sailed off to my last hearing test just after getting my ears cleaned out (best audiophile upgrade you can do whatever they say). I had been hoping that clearing the wax would stop my tinnitus - it does happen just sadly not for me.

    I have tinnitus in both ears but worse in my left. It does vary quite dramatically from being unnoticable to being extremely bothersome.

    Anyway at the test I discovered that I now have 50% hearing loss over 8 KHz in my left ear. The right is fine - currently - but my ENT guy thinks the whole thing might worsen considerably in the coming 5 to 10 years. I have a feeling there is a genetic element to this as my mother's hearing now doesn't cover the full range to 5 KHz.

    In the meantime I am very interested in your observations in terms of the variation of your Tinnitus levels according to ambient noise - even for your deaf ear. I read recently that tinnitus can actually be ameliorated somewhat by listening to certain music. It appears the actual music that helps does vary somewhat from individual to individual.

    Right now I am a bit too cowardly to test this hypothesis (suppose the violin sets me off - what the hell do I do then?) but in time I am going to plunge in to a testing regime. I wonder if you might want to do the same - we could liaise on the results.

    Funnily enough- at this moment my tinnitus is almost silent - after days of it being very obvious. Now I wonder why that would be?

  5. When one gets as far as major gamma ray outbursts and nuclear war, I become a bit less concerned about my recordings and a bit more concerned about mien arsch.


    It doesn't really matter how major it is - it matters how close it is. Apparently a gamma ray burst from an explosing supernova puts out multiples of the energy the sun puts out in its entire lifetime - and the burst only lasts a few seconds usually.

    If we are in the direct path of such a burst from anywhere within out own galaxy I think it is safe to say your entire music collection is toast - whatever it is stored on. As a further minor irritation - all life on earth is similarly toast.

  6. Pretty fascinating. My LaserDisc player still works fine. I don't know what the BBC MicroComputer disc system was, but by 1986 the LaserDisc standard that still survives was well established.

    In any event, I cannot think of any digital medium than can become obsolete as long as it is refreshed...copied to whatever digital storage device is current. As the digital information is not subject to any sort of deterioration, it is only the media that is subject to obsolesence, like the 8" floppy. I have considerable data that originated on PC floppies, Amiga format floppies, etc, that still remains perfectly accessible as I refreshed it over the years as the media changed. I have animations I did at the National University of Singapore in 1986.

    Given my stuff is intact, I consider the BBC loss to be pure negligence. They should have given me a copy.


    The BBC's mistake was to not bury a BBC computer and video disk player with the disks. It is an interesting side issue with digital in that there are formats that have come and gone that could become all but impossible to read within a single human lifetime.

    With regard to archiving - the Library of Congress has a few records in its archives (10 million I think). Some of these are so bizzare you would not believe it - like 15 inch disks, disks that play anti-clockwise, disks that play from the inside - out, you name it. I know all of this because they use Simon Yorke Turntables to do all transcriptions - and Simon is a mate.

  7. Oh I am quite sure it is far from impossible to make a great sounding CD - hell I have a few that are really not too bad at all. The thing is that vinyl has the huge advantage of being the medium of choise through the golden years of music production when production companies were still competing to make the best possible sound- as opposed to the loudest, most compressed sound that works well for radio transmission.

    It is also worth remembering that most of the vinyl produced over its lifetime as the primary source for recorded music was complete crap. That stuff, however, has probably almost entirely made its way into land fills and the like leaving us today with, primarily, the good stuff. I cannot recall the number of records produced over the years - I seem to recall a figure of something like a billion. Of those probably a few million are really really superb - and most of them are still around.

    Having said all of that - of the 3000 or so records that I have purchased over the last decade about 2000 have been given away - the remaining 1000 are generally some combination of superb performance, well made disk (properly centred for a start), well recorded and, in the case of used vinyl - well looked after.

    It is grossly unfair to compare these to a new medium - where I am buying off the shelf stuff and am surprised it is not up to snuff. Unfair as it is, however, it is the reality for the music I listen to.

  8. I would like to hear something better than CD quality sound available for downloading, not to say there is not already and i just dont know about it.

    Is it me or does anybody else prefer the sound of clean vinyl over CD's, maybe just my Sony ES just getting worn out.

    Music with good sound seems harder and harder to find like they forgot or just don't care anymore about quality.

    Still sticking with 8-track CD's until something else blows me away.

    Studio Masters

    Given the season, I'd recommend the Messiah. One of the finest performances and finest pieces of engineering I've ever heard. Every other Messiah (we aren't talking religion here Devil) I own, including the vinyl, became obsolete when I got this one.

    I would disagree with the venerable Max here. At least for classical and jazz the formats are just getting better with the availability of feeds like these. It costs no more to record high res than low, and with 1 bit 2.8 or 5.6mhz being a "universal" format that can be transcoded to any PCM format losslessly I see good days ahead.


    When did I become venerable??? Anyway - feel free to disagree but as soon as you say classical you are limiting youself to a very small proportion of the recordings and indeed the listening public. My experience with digital downloading is almost entirely for my daughter and that experience was not good- quality wise - fine for her MP4 player (Sony - does movies too - but on a screen the size of a postage stamp) but doesn't come out well over the main stereo.

    I did download a Haydn Symphony or 104 - but the quality - even in a supposedly loseless format was not good - actually not even average so I deleted them all. I'll stick to vinyl for classical - still yet to hear anything digital that comes close.

  9. In reality of course CD's are already obsolete but, as was the case with vinyl, they will never truely disappear altogether.

    The sad thing is that the replacement will not be as good a quality - even though that is quite possible because the majority of the music buying public simply do not care.

    MP3 and its multiplicity of variants, loseless or otherwise, are the standard now - some better than others quality wise. There are already "audiophile" products that allow streaming over bluetooth from any mobile device that supports it. These will get worse in quality but much cheaper. Within a couple of years you will have mobile phones with 60 plus GB of storage for media (plus camera's and all the rest of the gadgets) that will in effect be entire entertainment systems in the palm of your hand. Once you can fit all of your media onto a single portable device that will become the standard almost by default.

    Apple's Iphone is leading the way here but there are many others now coming to the market.

    Fully agree with Who on his post - the music industry needs to get its act together here to stop the pirates from taking the new frontier on their own.

  10. The issue is that when you have a shot of the whole stage and someone is singing far right, for example, the image of the singer is to the edge of the TV - but the sound is another 3 feet right of him/her. I find that to be quite disorientating.

    That's why some AV experts recommend placing the main speakers fairly close to the TV, so that the width of the soundstage approximates the width of the screen, so your attention is not pulled away from the action on the screen.

    If you spend most of your listening time watching operas and concerts, it might be worth placing your main speakers closer to the TV.

    How true! It's so "cheating", but it really works!!! The "centers" are L/R, and the flankers are hooked to the surround front and surround rear outputs. AVR is set to "all channel stereo" and the "flankers" are then adjusted. Don't have any place to put "real" surround speakers, and I'm not sellin' my Cornwalls!!! LOLOL!!!


    Grooms, have you tried stacking your CW flanks Tweet to Tweet?


    Not really an option for my unless I put the speakers on wheels and move a lot of stuff to allow it. The speakers are positoned for the best possible sound - at 2,65 metres apart. This fills the room and provides that 3d wall of sound I think we are all looking for.

    What does work a whole lot better is to use the projector on the rear wall - that provides an image that just about makes it to the speakers and the sound and video are therefore geographically synced.

    The problem with that solution is SWMBO ain't crazy about the wires trailing across the floor on a permanent basis and setting the thing up from scratch each time is too much of a PITA even for me.

    Faced with that kind of investment in effort I generally just end up slinging a record on the TT - sounds so much better anyway.

  11. Larry,

    I have a few opera's on DV too and on the whole am very impressed with them - as long as they have an LPCM 2 channel track that I can use on my 2 channel setup (most do - but a few have compressed Dolby digitial 2 channel which is not as good). I find I tend to be more forgiving of the quality of the audio if i am watching at the same time but there is one issue I am yet to get round.

    The issue is that when you have a shot of the whole stage and someone is singing far right, for example, the image of the singer is to the edge of the TV - but the sound is another 3 feet right of him/her. I find that to be quite disorientating.

  12. Not sure a flow chart would help either my wife or my daughter particularly.

    Lets see:

    1. There are the new digital tranmitted channels that the TV picks up on its own.
    2. There are the normal terrestrial channels (for a while anyway) that are also dealt with directly by the TV - both coming from the antenna on the roof - wife and daughter manage these fine.
    3. There are the channels that come from out interent provider via the ADSL line through a separate reviever connected via Euroscart to the TV.
    4. There is the Wii box connected to the TV via RCA's - composite and left and right.
    5. There is the DVD player connected to the TV via Component plus left right audio.
    6. There is the WD HD box connected to the TV via the HDMI cable and separately connected to the stereo for left right audio.
    7. Connected tot he WD HD box are 2 hard disk drives - both 500 GB. One is powered and the other takes its power from the USB port itself. The powered one is used for archiving mainly whilst the other is portable so that I can copy content from the computer as the need arises. Actually the other drive can also be connected to the computer via USB by simply plugging it in to the 10 meter long cable I installed for the process.
    8. There is the video recorder connected 2 way via a Euroscart connector. The video audio output is connected to the stereo - allowing anything playing on the TV to come through on the stereo except for digital inputs which the TV refuses to decode for some reason.
    9. Connected to the third input on the VCR is the CD player (as I have run out of connections on the pre-amp and accompanying extension box).
    10. There is the Computer directly connected to the TV (setup as a second screen - an extension of the first screen) via VGA at 1680 (?) by 1076 which is enough for 720p but not 1080p that has to come via the WD HD box. The sound output from the computer goes to the externsion box on the pre-amp so the TV cannot play the sound from the computer - it has to come from the stereo, uniquely.
    11. In parallel the antenna is also connected to the radio (1970's panasonic unit with great sound) via a signal booster (the TV signal also passes through this) and that is connected to one of the inputs on the pre-amp extension box).
    12. Directly connected to the pre-amp is the TT - via the external phono-amp.

    Of course things are not really as simple as they appear above.

    The computer is networked with my wife's computer (a netbook) and an Ubuntu server. Content can be on any of the hard disks on the network (of which there are 5) - although actually most content exists in 2 locations on the network for security.

    Then there are the rules:

    1. Digital music on CD is played from the Marrantz CD player as it sounds so much better than the Pioneer all in one DVD.
    2. All other forms of digital on disk (SACD, DVD, DVDa etc.) are played on the Pioneer.
    3. Digital music (soft) comes from the network and from the WD box unless it is loseless WMA in which case the WD doesn't support it. FLAC and MP3 can come from anywhere but only if using the VLC player - the Windows media player doesn't support FLAC.
    4. Digital video in HD form @ 1080p comes only from the WD.
    5. Digital video in HD from @ 720p can come from either the WD or the computers if the sound-track is not DTS which the WD cannot translate to its analogue outputs.

    Actually there is a bit more desides - like the connections for my wife's phone, my phone and my daughter's MP3/4 player but I doubt anyone has followed me this far.

    Isn't everyone's system like this by now? I just counted the power connections behind the TV - so not including the Computers - 18 items plugged in!

    I am not even sure I can account for them all.

  13. Pah, you call this a problem? I bought a 42 inch LG with the catchy title 42LG5000. Supposedly - according to the reviews this has great sound from invisible speakers. According to me - the speakers are invisible - correct - the sound is dreadful - and I mean diabolically bad.

    Worse - there are no analogue audio outputs on the TV - just a digital out (optical). Funnily enough my tube amp doesn't have an optical in - so that is as much use to me as a gold plated tuba.

    With a hell of a lot of cabling and some rather clever tricks I can now get the output from all my sources (and there are a lot of them) out to the stereo - but sometimes there is a slight pause as I try to remember how the hell I get the sound from a given source.

    Needless to say my old 32 nich Sony had both great sound from its attached speakers (which could also stand alone if required) and an analogue audio out.

    To be fair - the new TV does have an astounding picture on HD sources - but god knows why they even bother pretending it offers sound. It also has about 6 sound settings - bad, worse, attrocious, drunk under water, after the explosion and even deaf people complain - but they use other names - like cinema, clear voice and such like.

  14. KT88,

    Nice setup and thanks for the kind offer. Glad you enjoyed the movie- I think you would fit right in with the ACA.

    We are all mad - but madness can be fun. Do you ever get to listen to those old Rodgers anymore? That was the sound I grew up with in the UK. Amazing image size / speaker size ratio - just not enough power handling for the low sensitivity.

  15. Interesting - Paper is only modified wood afterall.

    My take- accounting for the fact that they are soaked in a resin and therefore should not suffer from absorption of atmospheric humidity is that the wood is light and strong and very stiff.

    Just what you want for a driver.

    I expect the surrounds to go way before the wood gives way - and that doesn't mean that I don't trust the surrounds for a goodly number of years.

  16. I bought a bunch of these for some properties I built a while back:


    This is the JVC EX-A1 - the first system to used wood for the cones (soaked in Saki apparently). Tiny little thing - great sound. Volume is a bit limited - which suits my needs very well - but otherwise they can create an astonishing soundstage from speakers smaller than just about anything Klipsch make outside of headphones.

    So put me down as a fan of JVC in audio.

  17. Yes - its me in the video.

    As regards the Tannoy's there are a whole slew of products in that range including one corner loaded unit (GKF?) that has masses of presence and is quite comparable to the KHorn in many ways. It is also usually a whole lot cheaper than the Westminster used. Stil has the 15 inch dual concentric woofer and all I have heard are paired with the Tannoy super-tweeters.

    The choice is more over preferred flavour than anything else for me. Tannoy Classic owners are loyal to the quick - as are Klipsch owners in the main (particuarly for the Heritage range). Given the choice - regardless of price I would plump for the KHorn - but there is more emotion in that decision than anything specifically audiophile. I long history of good times with that KHorn sound.

    I can make no comparison with the Jub's - never even seen one let alone listened to one. I'd also need a way bigger room - and a blind wife.

  18. JMon,

    I am starting to find more and more people who have played with this- hardly a surprise I suppose - but few who have considered it from an audiophile POV.

    I have found one other who informed me he has owned a video for about a decade without it ever coming into contact with a TV - he only ever used it for audio purposes. He reckons he gets a better result doing this than using his Nakamichi (sp?) audio tape unit that was supposedly a very good unit in its day.

    What has surprized me just yesterday is that tapes appear to still be readily available, I as expecting looks of disbelief when I went into a store to ask for them but there they were - choice of 3 or 4 hour tapes (all Maxell) for a couple of bucks or thereabouts. I picked up a couple of 3 hour tapes as I seem to recall from back in teh day that the 4 hour units could be problematic.

  19. Dave,

    Not to put a damper on your digital playing but I have recently come up with a somewhat impractical solution to recording from vinyl that, sonically at least appears to blow all other options out of the water.

    To cut a very long story short for the longest time I have had a couple of old video recorders kicking around not connected to anything. I decided to test out a theory - that potentially these would be akin to master tapes. In theory these old VCR's are miles ahead of any other tape system every made due to this Helical scanning system employed enabling them to store more date, more reliably into a smaller space.

    Anyway - I have 2 of these units - a 6 head sharp and a 4 head sony. Choosing on the basis that the more heads the better (in other words - I have no idea) I installed the sharp into my system and started to play around.

    Firs stop was to insert the video between the phono stage and the pre-amp and play back without recording. I just wanted to see what impact on the sound the video would have on its own. To my (somewhat limited these days) ears I could barely tell. This was excellent news - any other result would have brought the whole experiment to a halt.

    The good thing about this Sharp is that it has an input for video cameras (composite plus left and right stereo RCAs) and an output for audio RCA's - meaning I could completely bypass the euro-connectors that are often noisy.

    Haing extablished that the unit itself appeared to be without sonic signature the next step was cleaning the heads and testing the recording capability. I did this frst with normal TV recording and it appeared to work perfectly - even on some of the 50 or so tapes that I already owned.

    Next I took a rahter nice recording:

    Bach / Brandenburg Concertos
    English Chamber Orchestra
    Bengamin Britten
    K38C 70041
    Super Analogue

    Dropped the needle and hit record on the Sharp. Actually I did side 2 of the album first as I am a sucker for the third concerto.

    The result is astonishing.

    These days I don't trust my hearing as I used to so I played it for SWMBO without her knowing it wasnt the disk.

    As some point the phone rang and I told her to lift the needle to pause the playback - you should have seen the confusion. Fooled her completely - and her hearing (as well as my daughter's) is excellent.

    Now back to reality - I have no idea what use this experiment is in real terms. I am supplementing one dead technology with another. Just interesting I guess - unless I can find a ready source of tapes still.


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