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ODS123

Advice for Beginners - consider this test from an audio club

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2 minutes ago, ODS123 said:

Oy vey, the hostility from some of you people.  ..Look, if suggesting that beginners spend most of their money on speakers so offends your audiophile sensibilities, then start your own thread with your own recommendations.

That isn't where the issue many of us have with what you are posting lies IMO.  I gather the vast majority of us would budget the most on speakers first with decent electronics and upgrading as budget allows.   It's the oversimplification of audio as a whole and your stated approach to it as such.   Then a random study and constant taunting to state that the whole pint of us being here in This forum and always seeking the best we can afford and always striving for better is a pointless waste of time as no difference can be heard.   Preaching to the wrong choir me thinks.  

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4 minutes ago, ODS123 said:

Oy vey, the hostility from some of you people.  ..Look, if suggesting that beginners spend most of their money on speakers so offends your audiophile sensibilities, then start your own thread with your own recommendations.

Lol, no one, not a single person disagreed with that, everyone knows the correct formula for building a system - even newbies - who typically learn this first thing by reading any Audio 101 article. 

 

You’re deflecting. Stay on topic.

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I think the argument is more like, “if there is difference that can be heard, it’s not enough of a one that really matters.”

 

I’m supposed to pull my eyebrows up because some people picked the lame *** system over the nice one - yet no one is supposed to question a testing methodology that creates these idiotic outcomes. 

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50 minutes ago, Deang said:

Officially “off the rails”.  

Hot diggety dog....

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Celebrating 19 days of ODS123. Good Morning everyone and welcome to the ODS123 Zone where up is down and left is right because.

 Still waiting for verification of his musician creds and his better than Vandersteen and Bonehead speaker designs to appear any day now and take the audio world by storm. Rumor has it that numerous speaker and audio gear companies are considering joining forces to resist the nascent audio juggernaut ODS123 before he gets funding for his break the mold company. Speculation is that he has turned down offers from all existing major companies in these fields and his reply to them has been why should I join you when I will soon own you?

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8 hours ago, Deang said:

I think the argument is more like, “if there is difference that can be heard, it’s not enough of a one that really matters.”

 

I’m supposed to pull my eyebrows up because some people picked the lame *** system over the nice one - yet no one is supposed to question a testing methodology that creates these idiotic outcomes. 

Let's modify your statement here... "If there is a difference that can be heard AND it's not enough of one that really matters to you", the equipment to you is essentially the same.  Then shop with your pocketbook.

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40 minutes ago, Dave A said:

Celebrating 19 days of ODS123. Good Morning everyone and welcome to the ODS123 Zone where up is down and left is right because.

 Still waiting for verification of his musician creds and his better than Vandersteen and Bonehead speaker designs to appear any day now and take the audio world by storm. Rumor has it that numerous speaker and audio gear companies are considering joining forces to resist the nascent audio juggernaut ODS123 before he gets funding for his break the mold company. Speculation is that he has turned down offers from all existing major companies in these fields and his reply to them has been why should I join you when I will soon own you?

 

You guys are sore because you can't abide someone shining a light on the fact that this hobby suffers from a complete lack of honesty or validity controls - something that I am sure would vex our patron saint PWK.  

 

Still, I'm happy this fine morning because I awakened to find that my MDF Cornwall III's have lived to see yet another day despite a startling lack of structural integrity and weather proofing.

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1 hour ago, Dave A said:

and his better than Vandersteen and Bonehead speaker designs to appear any day now and take the audio world by storm. Rumor has it that numerous speaker and audio gear companies are considering joining forces to resist the nascent audio juggernaut ODS123 before he gets funding for his break the mold company. Speculation is that he has turned down offers from all existing major companies in these fields

 

Nope, I'm not an audio engineer.  

 

Nor am I a doctor, or a clinical scientist.  Nonetheless, I understand the importance of clinical drug trials in establishing which health benefits are real and which are imagined; which side-effects are real and which are imagined.

 

To quote (kinda) the great BD, "You don't need (to be) a weatherman to know which way the wind blows."

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18 hours ago, Deang said:

Don, with respect - but a careful listener of home audio reproduction systems is probably listening for totally different things than those other folks you mentioned. 

 

The results were essentially the same for both groups. This was a preference test for loudspeakers, which are easier to tell apart than amps or wires

 

IIRC, both groups preferred loudspeakers with smoother frequency response and lower distortion.

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I had to go back and find the original comment. I somehow managed to misread. Thanks for the clarification. 

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18 hours ago, ODS123 said:

 

My music tastes run the gamut.  From The Ink Spots to Pete Seeger, from Nina Simone to Adele, from Bee Gees to EW&F, from Man of LaMancha to Miss Saigon & Phantom of the Opera;  from Duke Ellington to Quincy Jones, from Sandy Denny to Diana Krall, from Johnny Cash to Steve Earl and Lucinda Williams, from Bob Dylan to Richard Thompson & Bruce Cockburn and Jack White, from Green Day to White Stripes, from Rickie Lee Jones to Steely Dan and so on and so on....   There is awesome music to be found in every genre from every decade.  If it's good music that comes from authentic emotion, I will probably like it.

 

When buying gear I am smart enough to include some audiophile favs like The Nightfly, Aja, Keith O Johnson Recordings (Ref. Records) and so on....   Always in lossless format.  I do have many LPs but find the format so flawed (though I love it) that it's not really suitable for auditioning speakers.

 

Honestly, feel free to criticize if you will.  ..But I don't think there's anything wrong w/ my music or format choices.

 

 

I would never criticize someone else’s choice of music.  Music is deeply personal.  People are different.  I respect that.  It is not my intent to ruffle any feathers with what I’m about to say.

 

At issue IMO is what types or recordings are more likely to highlight subtle differences in hi-fi systems.

 

With a few exceptions, it seems to me that most of the recordings by most of the artists you listed would be “vintage recordings”. 

 

Again, I respect different peoples’ choices in music.   With that said, it seems to me that:

 

  • The subtle differences in amps would be more apparent when playing modern hi-res recordings, vs. vintage recordings.   By “modern hi-res recordings” I mean recordings that were captured and mastered in hi-res (i.e., 24bit/192kHz PCM, or DSD), and delivered in a hi-res format (e.g., SACD, Pure Audio Blu-ray, Blu-ray, Ultra HD Blu-ray, 24bit/192kHz download, or DSD download).  (In contrast Redbook CD is 16bit/44.1kHz.)   FWIW, I own some older classical recordings because classical aficionados rave about the performance (e.g., Maria Callas), but the audio quality is poor by modern standards.  IMO vintage recordings provide a poor basis for comparing hi-fi systems – even if these recordings have been remastered and delivered as 24bit/96kHz FLAC downloads (as is the case with Callas’ studio recordings).     Garbage-in/garbage-out.  You can’t make a silk purse from a sow’s ear - and a sow’s ear provides a poor basis for evaluating the sound quality of a hi-fi system.   How can you conclude with confidence that distortion is being introduced by your hi-fi system, or if the distortion is in the recording - unless you have a top-quality state-of-the-art recording? 
     
  • Some music genres IME are inherently more demanding of a hi-fi system than others.   For example, I have a few CDs by Eva Cassidy that sound good on almost any hi-fi configuration, because this music is not very demanding of the playback system.  Tony Bennett is another example.   (For example, my single-ended-pentode amp can easily handle these types of music, and sounds great doing so.)   At the other extreme, a modern hi-res recording of Mahler Symphony 2 is much more demanding of the playback system.  (Consider the dynamic range between the opening of the 4th and 5th movements, and consider the complexity of sound that ranges from a solo soprano to approximately 100 musicians playing fff.)   IMO, a hi-fi system should excel at reproducing a folk singer (male and female) with an acoustic guitar, AND excel at reproducing a symphony orchestra.  And swing with a big band.
     
  • As I’ve discussed in previous posts, IMO the subtle differences in amps are more apparent for natural music such as classical, because there is a clear benchmark for sound quality (i.e., a live classical performance).  We know how natural instruments (e.g., viola, clarinet) sound.  If a hi-fi system makes violins sound harsh, it is immediately apparent.  (OTOH, how do you tell if a deliberately distorted electric guitar sounds harsh?)  And large scale orchestral music has a range of instruments that must be reproduced convincingly, including brass, woodwinds, stringed instruments, percussion, piano, organ, etc..

Which takes me back to my question:  Have you performed your listening tests with modern top-quality state-of-the-art recordings (i.e., recorded, mastered, and delivered in hi-res) of music for which there is a clear benchmark for audio quality?  How much demand was placed on the hi-fi system by the music you chose (e.g., simple folk music vs. large scale orchestral music)?

 

Again, I’m not being critical of your music choices, and it is not my intent to tell anyone else what types of music to listen to.   I’m just trying to understand why you can’t hear differences in amps.

 

 

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7 minutes ago, robert_kc said:

 

 

I would never criticize someone else’s choice of music.  Music is deeply personal.  People are different.  I respect that.  It is not my intent to ruffle any feathers with what I’m about to say.

 

At issue IMO is what types or recordings are more likely to highlight subtle differences in hi-fi systems.

 

With a few exceptions, it seems to me that most of the recordings by most of the artists you listed would be “vintage recordings”. 

 

Again, I respect different peoples’ choices in music.   With that said, it seems to me that:

 

  • The subtle differences in amps would be more apparent when playing modern hi-res recordings, vs. vintage recordings.   By “modern hi-res recordings” I mean recordings that were captured and mastered in hi-res (i.e., 24bit/192kHz PCM, or DSD), and delivered in a hi-res format (e.g., SACD, Pure Audio Blu-ray, Blu-ray, Ultra HD Blu-ray, 24bit/192kHz download, or DSD download).  (In contrast Redbook CD is 16bit/44.1kHz.)   FWIW, I own some older classical recordings because classical aficionados rave about the performance (e.g., Maria Callas), but the audio quality is poor by modern standards.  IMO vintage recordings provide a poor basis for comparing hi-fi systems – even if these recordings have been remastered and delivered as 24bit/96kHz FLAC downloads (as is the case with Callas’ studio recordings).     Garbage-in/garbage-out.  You can’t make a silk purse from a sow’s ear - and a sow’s ear provides a poor basis for evaluating the sound quality of a hi-fi system.   How can you conclude with confidence that distortion is being introduced by your hi-fi system, or if the distortion is in the recording - unless you have a top-quality state-of-the-art recording? 
     
  • Some music genres IME are inherently more demanding of a hi-fi system than others.   For example, I have a few CDs by Eva Cassidy that sound good on almost any hi-fi configuration, because this music is not very demanding of the playback system.  Tony Bennett is another example.   (For example, my single-ended-pentode amp can easily handle these types of music, and sounds great doing so.)   At the other extreme, a modern hi-res recording of Mahler Symphony 2 is much more demanding of the playback system.  (Consider the dynamic range between the opening of the 4th and 5th movements, and consider the complexity of sound that ranges from a solo soprano to approximately 100 musicians playing fff.)   IMO, a hi-fi system should excel at reproducing a folk singer (male and female) with an acoustic guitar, AND excel at reproducing a symphony orchestra.  And swing with a big band.
     
  • As I’ve discussed in previous posts, IMO the subtle differences in amps are more apparent for natural music such as classical, because there is a clear benchmark for sound quality (i.e., a live classical performance).  We know how natural instruments (e.g., viola, clarinet) sound.  If a hi-fi system makes violins sound harsh, it is immediately apparent.  (OTOH, how do you tell if a deliberately distorted electric guitar sounds harsh?)  And large scale orchestral music has a range of instruments that must be reproduced convincingly, including brass, woodwinds, stringed instruments, percussion, piano, organ, etc..

Which takes me back to my question:  Have you performed your listening tests with modern top-quality state-of-the-art recordings (i.e., recorded, mastered, and delivered in hi-res) of music for which there is a clear benchmark for audio quality?  How much demand was placed on the hi-fi system by the music you chose (e.g., simple folk music vs. large scale orchestral music)?

 

Again, I’m not being critical of your music choices, and it is not my intent to tell anyone else what types of music to listen to.   I’m just trying to understand why you can’t hear differences in amps.

 

 

I respect your position and would offer a different opinion regarding vintage recordings.

 

The late 1950s - mid 1960s Mercury Living Presence and RCA Living Stereo (pre "DynaGroove") classical libraries are incredible recordings. The jazz libraries from Blue Note, Contemporary, Pacific Jazz from the same period are also incredible.

 

Besides awesome performances, these recordings offer fidelity and resolution that easily highlight differences in components and also limitations within the system.

 

In my opinion, high rez digital is very close but my "go to" preference is still for analog via my turntables.

 

Just my opinion and YMMV. :)

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