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robert_kc

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  1. No, I do not “find all music other than symphonies and orchestras, chamber groups, etc., to be distasteful”. I never said that. I intended no offense to anyone in my post on Aug 11. Please help me understand your perspective. For “popular music” recordings, what percentage are a recording of a live performance? What percentage of “pop music” exclusively involves instruments that have known timbre (whether it be a violin, or a specific electric guitar /specific guitar amp / specific vacuum tubes)? OTOH, what percentage of “pop music” involves (some) sounds that were produced, modified, or deliberately distorted via software tools (e.g., DAW software)? What percentage of pop music was created by software tools that combined sounds from different sources – some from musicians playing instruments (possibly performing together, possibly performing at different times) – and some sounds from a synthesizer or DAW plug-in? (Perhaps my earlier use of the term “cobble together” was not the best choice of words. I didn’t intend for this to be negative, or cause offense. Perhaps in my earlier post I should have said “combine” rather than “cobble together”.) For some pop music, if there never was a live performance - what is the consumer to use as a benchmark for how the music delivered via their hi-fi system “should” sound? My intent is NOT to disparage pop music. My intent is simply to bring to light an issue that IMO is relevant for hi-fi systems – i.e., how does the consumer know what is “faithful reproduction” in their home, if the music was partially produced, modified, or deliberately distorted by software tools? What is the natural timbre of a DAW software plug-in? Regarding the topic of this thread, what is the natural localization of instruments if some sounds were added via software tools? What’s the benchmark for how the music should sound in terms of imaging? OTOH/IMO, fans of genres of music that involve natural instruments (e.g., classical) have a clear benchmark for how the music “should” sound. (I attend more than 2 dozen live classical performances every season in purpose-built concert halls.) For my local symphony and opera, the music involves natural instruments that have known timbre, and those natural instruments perform live in a purpose-built venue that involves NO use of a sound reinforcement system. (Of course, there is some deviation in natural instruments and venues.) IMO, every audiophile needs to define their goals for their hi-fi system. For example: “Creates the illusion of a live performance in the symphony hall” … or … “Sounds good”. Whatever floats your boat. I’m not making value judgements about genres of music. I’m just pointing out that IMO issues like “accurate reproduction” and “faithful reproduction” and “accurate imaging” have relatively more or less meaning based on genre of music. My opinion: To each their own regarding the music they like, and their goals for their hi-fi system. I’ve re-read my Aug 11 post. Again, I did not intend for “coble together” to have a negative connotation. Other than that, I don’t understand why my earlier post would offend anyone. Please tell me what you found offensive. I’m also open to hearing from others who believe that I’m mistaken. And I’m interested in hearing from others who disagree with my opinions. I’m always seeking to learn more, and understand diverse perspectives. IMO, that’s the value of forums like this. It’s never my intent to be offensive.
  2. I believe that an important issue is how music “should” sound when reproduced via a hi-fi system in the home. (IMO, “should” is often a confusing/misleading word that doesn’t distinguish between fact (e.g., what is written in the stars) vs. personal preference.) It seems to me that the answer is fundamentally different for classical music (and other music involving natural instruments that perform live) vs. music that is produced or altered via electronics. What is your benchmark for how the music that you enjoy “should” sound? What are your goals for your hi-fi system? I attend more than two dozen classical concerts per season, including full season tickets to the symphony, opera, and ballet, plus several performances of chamber music. The sound that I hear in my local symphony hall when listening to classical music, and in my local opera house when listening to operas, is 100% natural - i.e., no electronics are employed - no sound reinforcement system. (OTOH, electronic amplification is employed when pop music is performed in these venues.) Both my local symphony hall and opera house were purpose-built, and feature world class acoustics – and 100% “natural” sound. For me, the “work of art” was the live performance - not the product of a DAW software plug-in. My seats are mid-hall, in the front row of the first elevated section, so that I can see the performers, and hear beautiful “balanced” sound. For some compositions this involves 100+ orchestral instruments - and in a few cases a chorus of 100+ singers (e.g., Beethoven Symphony 9, and Brahms German Requiem). My observation when attending live classical concerts is that when seated mid-hall there is no pinpoint localization of instruments. Rather, the hall blends the sound. (I’ve closed my eyes when attending the symphony when sitting in my mid-hall seat, and I was unable to localize instruments on the stage.) My goal for my hi-fi systems is to create the illusion that I’m attending a live performance, when seated in my usual mid-hall seats. (IOW - addressing the point that several others have made - my goal is NOT to put an orchestra involving 100+ musicians - and a chorus involving 100+singers - in my living room – but rather to create the illusion that I’m in the concert hall.) Natural timbre, dynamic range, and frequency range are important to me in creating that illusion that I’m in the classical music hall – not “imaging”. Therefore, I don’t expect my home hi-fi system to produce some “soundstage gimmick” (e.g., ping-pong effect) for the large-scale classical music that I love. (I’m very pleased with the in-home experience delivered via modern performances/recordings (i.e., recorded in the last 15 years or so) of classical music that were captured and mastered in multi-channel (e.g., 5.1) hi-res (e.g., 24bit/192kHz) digital audio, and delivered via Blu-ray’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio track, or an SACD’s 5.1 track. I prefer 6L6GC tube amps and Klipsch speakers.) OTOH, for a recording of a live performance of a string quartet (or, e.g., a jazz trio), the recording’s localization of the instruments might seem natural if your reference point (i.e., your benchmark) is a front row seat at the live performance. I wonder if the pinpoint imaging that some audiophiles tout as an outstanding feature of their hi-fi system is often when listening to popular music recordings? My understanding is that for many pop recordings there never was a live performance. Rather, the producers and the engineers use software tools (e.g., DAW software) to cobble together sounds (from different sources, created at different times) that they assign to left, center, or right. In this case, the final master recording was the first time the music was heard. In this case, how does the consumer know how the music “should” sound? (Unless the consumer was sitting near the DAW workstation, listening through the same monitors that the producers and engineers listened to.) FWIW/IMO there’s nothing wrong with the consumer wanting their recordings of popular music to “sound good”. As others in this thread have pointed out - some lovers of popular music may regard their recordings as a completely different musical experience compared with a live performance by the same band. Therefore, they don’t expect the recording and live performance to sound similar. You have to decide what makes the music that you love special. My 2.5 cents: Whether “imaging” is important depends on the genre of music, and your preferences for what you hear in your home. For the classical music I love, there are quality criteria for in-home music reproduction that are MUCH more important than “imaging”, based on my goal of creating the illusion that I’m in the symphony hall or opera house.
  3. Tom: Welcome to the forum! What genres of music do you listen to? What is your goal for your hi-fi system? Create the illusion that you’re at a live concert? If so, for what genre(s) of music? Low-volume-level, unobtrusive background music? Ear-bleed high-frequency? Thunderous bass? Freakish, pinpoint spatial imaging? Other? Which of the following recording formats do you plan to use? LP CD (Stereo-only. No multi-channel (e.g., 5.1) capability.) DVD (stereo and 5.1) DVD-Audio (stereo and 5.1) SACD (stereo and 5.1) Pure Audio Blu-ray (DTS-HD MA 5.1, plus stereo track, and sometimes additional audio tracks) Blu-ray (DTS-HD MA 5.1, plus stereo track, and sometimes additional audio tracks) Ultra HD Blu-ray (DTS-HD MA 5.1, plus stereo track, and sometimes additional audio tracks) Hi-res downloads? 24bit/192kHz PCM (IME, stereo)? Hi-res DSD (stereo and 5.1)? The reason that I ask is that there’s a big difference in playing an LP of a “little girl with a guitar” in a small listening room, vs. delivering in a large listening room an experience that approximates the live performance of Mahler Symphony 2 based on a modern recording that features uncompromised dynamic range and frequency range such as a Blu-ray disc featuring an uncompressed DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio track. Following is a link to my post where I provide my opinions about power requirements in more detail: Of course, adequate power is only one decision criterion for an amp. Accurately reproducing the timbre of orchestral instruments is important for classical music. FWIW – IMO – Klipsch speakers are well-served by tube amps (I prefer 6L6GC) for playing recordings of classical music (i.e., music for which the natural timbre of instruments is known). Electronically produced music is a different can of worms. (What is the natural timber of a digital audio workstation (DAW) software plug-in?) IMO, for electronically produced music, go with what sounds good to you.
  4. LOL. 😀 My bedroom hi-fi system exists to play one hi-res multi-channel SACD at low volume in the wee hours if I’m at the end of my rope because I’m in pain and I can’t sleep: Rachmaninoff’s “All Night Vigil”: This SACD sounds very good via my bedroom system’s 3.1 configuration and vintage Fisher tube amps. I can turn on both amps by saying “Hey Google, turn on Fisher 500.” (Fisher 500C drives the left & right speakers. Fisher TA 500 (AM/FM mono receiver) drives the center speaker. Powered subwoofer is connected to the Oppo universal player via RCA line-level connection.) When I press the “Power On” button for my Oppo player, the SACD starts playing automatically. I don’t have to turn on the lights or get out of bed to start the music. Obviously, the heat from the tube amps is more welcome during the winter. Here’s two excerpts from this recording via YouTube (i.e., lower quality than the SACD): Here’s a photo of my bedroom system: For low volume listening in the wee hours, it sounds great. And, these slender Klipsch speakers have beautiful wood veneer.
  5. Here's a link to my thoughts about amp power requirements:
  6. OP: FWIW, IMO you need to build a system that excels at playing the music you love, and do double-duty for Hollywood movies. This may sound simple – but the task varies based on genre of music. Recorded music will sound only as good as the quality of the recording. I strongly encourage you to try hi-res multi-channel music recordings. It might open a door to a whole new way for you to enjoy recorded music. Following are just a few examples of resources for hi-res recordings. (FWIW, I often buy Blu-ray and SACD discs from amazon.) On amazon.com, search for: "<genre> Blu-ray" and "<genre> SACD" https://concertsondvd.com/ https://www.hdtracks.com/ https://hraudio.net/ https://www.nativedsd.com/ https://www.highresaudio.com/en https://www.prestomusic.com Etc. A decades-old recording will not have state-of-the-art audio quality – even if it has been remastered. If you want to fully experience what hi-res digital can offer, you need to listen to a modern top-quality recording – not a decades old recording that has been remastered (particularly an old digital recording). A poor-quality (or low-bandwidth) recording can’t be magically transformed just by delivering it in a “hi-res” container. (If you pour a gallon of milk into a 55-gallon drum, it’s still only a gallon of milk.) Garbage-in/garbage-out. You can’t make a silk purse from a sow’s ear. I suggest searching amazon.com and concertsondvd.com for Blu-rays and SACDs for music you like, or would like to try. For any classical music fans reading this thread, IME Blu-ray delivers multiple benefits relative to the Redbook CD format: Multi-channel (e.g., 5.1) audio excels at delivering the full impact of large-scale classical music. Blu-ray can deliver hi-res audio up to 24bit/192kHz (vs. CD’s 16bit/44.1kHz). Blu-ray excels at delivering the natural timbre of orchestral instruments. (Classical music aficionados know how natural orchestral instruments sound.) I prefer audio/video classical music recordings to audio-only. Video is particularly relevant for visual art forms such as ballet and opera. Additionally, for orchestral concerts I enjoy seeing the conductor and musicians. And Blu-ray enables me to see beautiful concert halls all over the world that I otherwise would have never seen. Blu-ray is extremely valuable in delivering the libretto of an opera on the HDTV screen. (For example, providing an on-screen English translation of an opera sung in Italian.) Blu-ray can deliver richer on-screen menus, such as titles for each track. Blu-ray can provide “bonus materials”, including video interviews, documentaries, and still images. IME, modern Blu-ray recordings (played via my favorite tube amps, and large Klipsch speakers) do an excellent job of creating the illusion that I’m in the symphony hall or opera house – particularly compared with CDs. For anyone interested in Blu-ray audio/video recordings of classical music, following is a link to my thread on talkclassical.com: https://www.talkclassical.com/54011-blu-ray-videos-classical.html OP: Sorry if I’ve veered off topic by discussing classical music, but that’s what I’m knowledgeable about. I strongly encourage you to research state-of-the-art recordings for the music you’re interested in, and learn if multi-channel recordings (and Blu-ray audio/video concert recordings) are relevant to you. Even if the music you like is only available in stereo-only and audio-only, I encourage you to search hdtracks.com for hi-res stereo downloads. IMO – it would be a mistake to feed your La Scala with anything but the best quality recordings available.
  7. OP: What genres of music do you listen to? What types of music recordings? FWIW, for the classical music that I love, I MUCH prefer modern hi-res multi-channel recordings (e.g., Blu-ray’s DTS-HD MA 5.1, SACD 5.1), and tube amps. I use my solid-state amps only for movies and when playing background music (vs. serious listening). If you listen to multi-channel music recordings, and you’re concerned about the sound from the center channel matching the main L&R, and you’ll use your stereo tube amp to drive the main L&R speakers for music, then I suggest using a tube amp to drive a La Scala center speaker (and possibly a single rear speaker). My use cases and installed systems may not be relevant to you, but I’ll share information about my system, for what it’s worth to you. Of my five hi-fi systems, four are multi-channel (4.2, 4.1 x 2, 3.1). For the classical music that I love, there are countless modern performances/recordings (i.e., performances recorded in the last 15 years or so) that were captured and mastered in multi-channel hi-res digital (e.g., 24bit/192kHz PCM, or DSD), and delivered on a disc featuring DTS-HD MA 5.1 (e.g., Blu-ray, Pure Audio Blu-ray, Ultra HD Blu-ray), or an SACD disc that features multi-channel DSD. I employ my Oppo UDP-205 (x2), BDP-105, and BDP-95 universal players’ internal audiophile-grade DACS and 5.1 analog audio outputs. Because the rear channels in classical recordings have little content (mostly audience applause), in my 4.1 and 4.2 systems I combine the Oppo’s rear channel outputs via an RCA Y-cable. (Oppo has verified that this is OK.) One vintage stereo tube amp drives the main left & right speakers. Another vintage stereo tube amp drives the center and single rear speaker. My approach may be unorthodox, but it works great. And – most important – it sounds fabulous for the classical music and opera that I love. Two of my systems have matching front, center, and left speakers: Basement (4.2): Front, center, and left speakers are Klipsch RF-7 II. A single rear speaker is a Klipsch RF-7. Subwoofers: SVS SB16-Ultra and Klipsch R-115SW (connected via Y-adaptor). Source: Oppo UDP-205 for playing Blu-ray and SACDs, and a USB hard drive containing high-res FLAC recordings. Amps: Scott 272, Inspire “Fire Bottle” SE Stereo Tube Amplifier HO, Scott 222C, Fisher KX-200, Scott 296, Pilot SA-260, Scott LK150, Altec 353A, Kenwood KR-9050. (This system also has a Schiit Loki tone-control. I can connect the power amps direct to the Oppo, or insert the Loki.) A patch panel allows me to connect the speakers to whichever amp I want, and F/F RCA cables enable me to connect an amp to the Oppo (and a power amp to the Loki if I choose to do so). Chromecast Audio is connected via TOSLINK to the UDP-205 for internet radio. Bedroom (3.1): Front, center, and left speakers are Klipsch WF-35. SVS SB-2000 Pro subwoofer. Source is an Oppo BDP-95 for playing Pure Audio Blu-ray and SACDs, and a USB hard drive containing high-res FLAC recordings. (No TV.) Fisher 500C drives the left & right speakers. Fisher TA 500 (AM/FM mono receiver) drives the center speaker. Chromecast Audio for internet radio. Two of my systems each employ a Klipsch RC-64III center channel: TV room (4.1): Main front left & right speakers are Klipsch Palladium P-37F. Center: Klipsch RC-64III. Single rear: Klipsch RP-502S. Subwoofer: Klipsch P-312W. The source is an Oppo UDP-205 for playing Blu-ray and SACDs, and a USB hard drive containing high-res FLAC recordings. I generally use vintage tube amps for music: Scott 399, Fisher X-1000, Scott 299C, McIntosh MX110Z / McIntosh MC240 or McIntosh MC225. I use solid-state amps for movies (and summertime): NAD C375BEE, and an NAD D 3045. A patch panel (banana plugs) allows me to connect the speakers to whichever amp I want, and Niles AXP-1 RCA selector switches connect the Oppo to the amp. HDTV is connected via TOSLINK to the UDP-205 to play audio from broadcast TV via the hi-fi. Chromecast connected to the HDMI input of my UDP-205 for streaming video. Chromecast Audio is connected via analog audio to the NAD C375BEE for internet radio. Living room (4.1): Stereo speakers are Snell Type CV. Center: Klipsch RC-64III. Single rear: RP-502S. Subwoofer: Klipsch P-312W. The source components are Oppo BDP-105 for playing Blu-ray and SACDs (and a USB hard drive containing high-res FLAC recordings), and Dual 1249 with Stanton 681EE equipped with a new Shibata stylus. Amps include a pair of McIntosh MC30s, Scott 296, McIntosh MX110Z / McIntosh MC275, a pair of Pilot HF-56 mono receivers, an NAD pre-amp and Acurus A250 power-amp for movies, and a McIntosh 2155 that can drive the center channel and single rear speaker or JBL L830s in the kitchen / dining room. A patch panel (banana plugs) allows me to connect the speakers to whichever amp I want, and a F/F RCA cables enable me to connect an amp to the Oppo. Chromecast Audio is connected via analog audio to the NAD pre-amp for internet radio. Considering that you can accommodate a La Scala for center, that would undoubtedly be your best bet. You could implement 3.1, 4.1, or 5.1. If you decide on 3.1, and want to listen to multi-channel music via tube amps, then I suggest getting a mono tube amp to drive the center speaker. (Preferably with the same output tubes as your stereo amp.) If you decide on 4.1, I suggest installing whatever rear speaker fits you space. If your budget and space will accommodate two more La Scala (i.e., center and rear), that would be an excellent set-up. OTOH, a Heresy would undoubtedly be adequate for a rear speaker. Ideally, get a stereo tube amp for the center and rear speaker that is identical to your existing tube amp. IMO, the $64k question is your use cases. As I said earlier, for the classical music I love, I MUCH prefer modern hi-res multi-channel recordings (e.g., Blu-ray, SACD), and tube amps. (For movies, I use solid state amps.) Based on the genres of music that you prefer, your needs may vary. I hope this helps.
  8. Your Marantz SR5007 appears to be a relatively modern AVR. If you’ll connect a Blu-ray player to your AVR via HDMI for both audio and video, then you do not need a Blu-ray player with analog audio outputs. What types of discs and downloads do you want to play? CD (stereo only) DVD (stereo and 5.1) DVD-Audio (stereo and 5.1) SACD (stereo and 5.1) Blu-ray (DTS-HD MA 5.1, plus stereo track, and sometimes additional audio tracks) Pure Audio Blu-ray (DTS-HD MA 5.1, plus stereo track, and sometimes additional audio tracks) Ultra HD Blu-ray (DTS-HD MA 5.1, plus stereo track, and sometimes additional audio tracks) Hi-res downloads: 24bit/192kHz PCM (stereo and 5.1), hi-res DSD (stereo and 5.1) If you do not need analog audio outputs, but you want a “universal player” (i.e., a player that will play all digital formats listed above), have you considered a Sony UBP-X800M2? The Sony UBP-X800M2 is a “universal player” with only an HDMI connection (i.e., no analog audio connections), supporting: Ultra HD Blu-ray discs, 3D and standard Blu-ray discs, SACDs, DVD-Audio, DVDs, CDs and rewriteable discs high-resolution digital music files via USB storage device; PCM files up to 24-bit/192kHz resolution, and 2.8 MHz DSD files AAC, AIFF, ALAC, DSD (.dff and .dfs files), FLAC, MP3, WMA, and WAV audio file formats I don’t own a Sony UBP-X800M2. I own Oppo UDP-205 (x2), BDP-105, and BDP-95, because I need their support for multi-channel (e.g., 5.1, 7.1) analog audio connections, and support for all of the digital formats listed above. If you don’t need a Blu-ray player that provides analog audio outputs, and you don’t need support for any disc formats other than Blu-ray, (e.g., no SACD support), then it seems to me that there are many run-of-the-mill HDMI-only Blu-ray players (or Ultra HD Blu-ray player) that will meet your needs. Am I off track?
  9. The Panasonic DP-UB820 and DP-UB9000P1K specs list 7.1 analog audio outputs, which is useful to audiophiles who want to use traditional hi-fi amps (vs. an AVR connected via HDMI). However, the Panasonic DP-UB820 and DP-UB9000P1K do NOT support SACD or DVD-Audio, and it therefore does not provide 100% of the functionality of the Oppo universal players.
  10. This recording of “Concierto de Aranjuez” is from the following Blu-ray box set: Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos conducting the Danish NSO Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1–9 Joaquín Rodrigo: Concierto de Aranjuez Hector Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Op. 14 Richard Strauss: Eine Alpensinfonie (An Alpine Symphony), Op. 64, TrV 233 Excellent DTS-HD MA 5.0/5.1 audio, and 1080p video. IMO this box set is an excellent value – i.e., a lot of music for the money.
  11. My Oppo universal players are capable of pseudo-surround-sound (DTS Neo:6 Mode) generated via DSP from stereo recordings, however I don't use this feature. My Blu-ray and SACD classical recordings were recorded and mastered in hi-res-multi-channel, and the discs include a multi-channel (e.g. 5.1) audio track (in addition to a stereo track). I much prefer modern hi-res-multi-channel Blu-ray and SACD discs to CDs or LPs. I can play these modern hi-res-multi-channel recordings via traditional tube or solid-state hi-fi amps (as you can see in my earlier post) - no AVR involved.
  12. Thanks for your kind words about my hi-fi set-ups. Following is a description of my current systems that are capable of multi-channel (i.e., 4.2, 4.1, and 3.1). (I could implement 5.1 or 5.2 with tube amps, but I’m satisfied with a single rear channel, or none.) I don’t claim that these are the best systems in the world, but I’m happy with them, and with 3 of the systems I can tinker around with trying different amps. TV room: Main front left & right speakers are Klipsch Palladium P-37F. Center: Klipsch RC-64III. Single rear: Klipsch RP-502S. Subwoofer: Klipsch P-312W. The source is an Oppo UDP-205 for playing Blu-ray and SACD, and a USB hard drive containing high-res FLAC recordings. I generally use vintage tube amps for music: Scott 399, Fisher X-1000, Scott 299C, McIntosh MX110Z / McIntosh MC240 or McIntosh MC225. I use solid-state amps for movies (and summertime): NAD C375BEE, and an NAD D 3045. A patch panel (banana plugs) allows me to connect the speakers to whichever amp I want, and Niles AXP-1 RCA selector switches connect the Oppo to the amp. HDTV is connected via TOSLINK to the UDP-205 to play audio from broadcast TV via the hi-fi. Chromecast connected to the HDMI input of my UDP-205 for streaming video. Chromecast Audio is connected via analog audio to the NAD C375BEE for internet radio. Basement: Front, center, and left speakers are Klipsch RF-7 II. A single rear speaker is a Klipsch RF-7. Subwoofers: SVS SB16-Ultra and Klipsch R-115SW (connected via Y-adaptor). Source: Oppo UDP-205 for playing Blu-ray and SACDs, and a USB hard drive containing high-res FLAC recordings. Amps: Scott 272, Inspire “Fire Bottle” SE Stereo Tube Amplifier HO, Scott 222C, Fisher KX-200, Scott 296, Pilot SA-260, Scott LK150, Altec 353A, Kenwood KR-9050. (This system also has a Schiit Loki tone-control. I can connect the power amps direct to the Oppo, or insert the Loki.) A patch panel allows me to connect the speakers to whichever amp I want, and F/F RCA cables enable me to connect an amp to the Oppo, and a power amp to the Loki if I choose to do so. Chromecast Audio is connected via TOSLINK to the UDP-205 for internet radio. Living room: Stereo speakers are Snell Type CV. Center: Klipsch RC-64III. Single rear: RP-502S. Subwoofer: Klipsch P-312W. The source components are Oppo BDP-105 for playing Blu-ray and SACDs (and a USB hard drive containing high-res FLAC recordings), and Dual 1249 with Stanton 681EE equipped with a new Shibata stylus. Amps include a pair of McIntosh MC30s, Scott 296, McIntosh MX110Z / McIntosh MC275, a pair of Pilot HF-56 mono receivers, an NAD pre-amp and Acurus A250 power-amp for movies, and a McIntosh 2155 that can drive the center channel and single rear speaker or JBL L830s in the kitchen / dining room. A patch panel (banana plugs) allows me to connect the speakers to whichever amp I want, and a F/F RCA cables enable me to connect an amp to the Oppo. Chromecast Audio is connected via analog audio to the NAD pre-amp for internet radio. Bedroom: Front, center, and left speakers are Klipsch WF-35. SVS SB-2000 Pro subwoofer. Source is an Oppo BDP-95 for playing Pure Audio Blu-ray and SACDs, and a USB hard drive containing high-res FLAC recordings. (No TV.) Fisher 500C drives the left & right speakers. Fisher TA 500 (AM/FM mono receiver) drives the center speaker. Chromecast Audio for internet radio. I know that my taste in music differs from most members of this forum (though we do have a few other classical music lovers), so I’ll post just 2 YouTube excerpts from Blu-rays that I own. (Of course, the Blu-ray’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio and high-definition video is much better quality than the YouTube video.) For anyone who wasn’t aware of Blu-ray classical music recordings, these excerpts may serve as an introduction. In the following recording of Rodrigo’s “Concierto de Aranjuez” performed by Pepe Romero, I particularly like the Adagio that starts at 6:47. Here’s Elīna Garanča performing "Mon coeur s'ouvre à ta voix".
  13. Yes, my enjoyment of recorded music has evolved from audio-only/stereo-only to hi-res-multi-channel-audio/high-definition-video. However, my enjoyment of music has NOT “evolved” from tube to solid-state. For details, read on. For the classical music that I love, there are countless modern performances/recordings (i.e., performances recorded in the last 15 years or so) that were captured and mastered in multi-channel hi-res digital (e.g., 24bit/192kHz PCM, or DSD), and delivered on a disc featuring DTS-HD MA 5.1 (e.g., Blu-ray, Pure Audio Blu-ray, Ultra HD Blu-ray), or an SACD disc that features multi-channel DSD. Moreover, Blu-ray classical music recordings often include high-definition video. High-definition video is particularly relevant for ballet and opera (i.e., seeing the actors, singers, dancers and scenery). Another major benefit of Blu-ray audio/video discs (Blu-ray, Ultra HD Blu-ray) is the ability to see the libretto of an opera on the HDTV screen. (For example, providing an on-screen English translation of an opera sung in Italian.) Additionally, I think that high-definition video is very enjoyable for classical symphonic concerts (i.e., seeing the conductor, musicians, and concert hall). I enjoy modern Blu-ray classical music recordings much more than vintage technologies such as CDs and LPs. IME, modern Blu-ray recordings do a better job of creating the illusion that I’m in the symphony hall or opera house. Here’s just a few examples of modern symphonic performances delivered on Blu-ray that feature DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio, and high-definition video: There are many modern opera and ballet performances available on Blu-ray, and a few on Ultra HD Blu-ray. I employ my Oppo UDP-205 (x2), BDP-105, and BDP-95 universal players’ internal audiophile grade DACs and 5.1 analog audio outputs. Because the rear channels in classical recordings have little content (mostly audience applause), I combine them via a Y-cable. (Oppo has verified that this is OK.) One vintage stereo tube amp drives the main left & right speakers. Another vintage stereo tube amp drives the center and single rear speaker. My approach may be unorthodox, but it works great in 4 of my 5 hi-fi systems. And – most important – it sounds fabulous for the classical music and opera that I love. For me, the evolution of recorded music involves Blu-ray, but not AVRs.
  14. For folk/blues music (e.g., Eva Cassidy), my 8wpc single-ended pentode amp sounds great driving my Klipsch RF-7II speakers. For big-band music (e.g., Tony Bennett), my 8wpc single-ended pentode amp sounds great when powered subwoofers off-load the deep bass from my SEP amp and main RF-7II speakers. (My Oppo UDP-205 provides “bass management” which off-loads deep bass from the main amp and speakers.) For the music that I mostly listen to – i.e., large-scale orchestral music and opera, in my basement system I prefer a 6L6GC push/pull stereo tube amp driving the main front left & right Klipsch RF-7II speakers, and a second stereo push/pull amp driving the center (RF-7II) and single rear speaker (RF-7). My Oppo UDP-205 provides “bass management” which off-loads deep bass from the main amp and speakers to two powered subwoofers. In my living room system where the main left & right speakers are Snell Type CV (less sensitive than Klipsch), my Oppo universal player off-loads the deep bass to a powered subwoofer, and my McIntosh MC275 is able to deliver large-scale classical music via my Snell Type CV. Bottom line, speaker sensitivity and room size affect amplifier power requirements. And there’s a big difference in playing an LP of a “little girl with a guitar” (no disrespect to Eva Cassidy) in a small listening room, vs. delivering in a large listening room an experience that approximates the live performance of Mahler Symphony 2. This is particularly true for a recording that features uncompromised dynamic range and frequency range such as this modern Blu-ray that features an uncompressed DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio track:
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