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ODS123

Advice for Beginners - consider this test from an audio club

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34 minutes ago, robert_kc said:

 

Sorry, I don’t understand your point.

 

If it helps to clarify my opinion, I’ll offer newbies the same advice regarding the “hi-res controversy” that I offered regarding the “amplifier controversy”:   listen for yourself and decide for yourself. 

A noble comment, nonetheless. The best recording I own is on SACD, which I heard originally on Wilson Speakers worth $125,000 (not as good as my Jubilees or Danleys with subs in my room, but a really good recording). It's the original recording and the synergy of electronics, speakers and ROOM Acoustics that make all the difference, but it starts with the quality of the Recording and NOT the media it's on. Otherwise, y'all are barking up the wrong tree.

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14 hours ago, Dave A said:

The love of specs can chase you from place to place. While I am very technical in some areas I decided to take a shortcut here where it comes to amplification. I have owned many speakers but only five different amps. The first time I hooked up an old 800 watt per channel Peavey amp to my LSI's I was stunned at how much better percussion was. I had followed audio recommendations online and bought an Onkyo based on reviews. It was nice and had connectivity I liked but just did not make those LSI's sing. Today I have an Integra 50.4 which came with a ton of kudo reviews. Bought it mainly for trying room correction and using REW and UMikes to help analyze the tweeters I was making. I also have a Crown xli800 which is by far a better sound for me than the Integra which sits there dusty most of the time. Call me a tightwad but if I am spending a ton of money it will go primarily into the speakers and then into commercial gear of good quality. I have heard setups with Macs and other high end bits and pieces and they leave me unmoved especially when I look at the price tag to get them.

  Where I am heading with this is if I wanted to hear real live performances in my shop maybe I should try what live sound people use and just bypass all the technical jargon and opinions and reviews. I might be wrong in this approach but when I fire up the Crown with the MCM 1900 or the KPT-456's using pro amps just seems to make those babies really sing. When I get the Super MWM's done with that horn length I have to venture into DSP but it will be with two Crown xli's and the Integra super duper whiz bang great review deal will be a pre-amp only.

 

 

That is a sound approach....................pun intended.

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23 minutes ago, ClaudeJ1 said:

Yes, of course, if they are MASTERED that way in the original recording. They do sound better. However, that is NOT what I was referring to. I'm saying if a pop or rock recording from Analog oritinals, which have deteriorated since decades have gone by and are repackaged as "high bit, high res. whatever" it's mostly BS. They just took a gallon of music and poured it into a 55 gallon drum, but it's still only a gallon. 96/24 Mastering gives you a potetntial 130 plus db dynamic range, which is way beyond what is needed for even symphonic recordings. But putting 50 year old analog tape into that media is a waste of money beyond even the Red Book CD standard. I'd rather take the same budget for "hi res" recordings and buy twice as much music on media that is cheaper. It's the quality of the MASTERING that's most important and certainly Klipsch recordings from the 1957 prove the point very well, but to go beyond 96/24 on ANYTHING mastered yesterday or then would only entertain BATS (the "bats" thing I got from Tomlinson Holman of THX fame).

 

I agree that copying a relatively "low-res" recording into a 24/192 FLAC file is pointless.  You expressed this point better than I did:  "They just took a gallon of music and poured it into a 55 gallon drum, but it's still only a gallon. "

 

My writing may not have been clear.  That's what I meant when I said:

 

  • "It’s important to point out a distinction.   There are still people who copy a CD to their PC, convert it to 24bit/96kHz FLAC and say: “I don’t hear a difference”.  Or they’ll buy a decades old recording that has been remastered and say: “I don’t hear a difference”.    Garbage-in/garbage-out.   The critical issue is provenance – i.e., high quality throughout the entire recording and delivery chain."
  • " ... if someone only listens to recordings that are several decades old, then they’re stuck with what WAS state-of-the art recording technology several decades ago.  (Caveat:  as discussed in my last post, some good quality vintage analog master tapes have been digitized in hi-res, remastered, and delivered in hi-res, sometimes with fairly good results.   But IME generally not as good as modern high-quality hi-res recordings.)"

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1 minute ago, robert_kc said:

 

I agree that copying a relatively "low-res" recording into a 24/192 FLAC file is pointless.  You expressed it well:  "They just took a gallon of music and poured it into a 55 gallon drum, but it's still only a gallon. "

 

My writing may not have been clear.  That's what I meant when I said:

 

  • "It’s important to point out a distinction.   There are still people who copy a CD to their PC, convert it to 24bit/96kHz FLAC and say: “I don’t hear a difference”.  Or they’ll buy a decades old recording that has been remastered and say: “I don’t hear a difference”.    Garbage-in/garbage-out.   The critical issue is provenance – i.e., high quality throughout the entire recording and delivery chain."
  • " ... if someone only listens to recordings that are several decades old, then they’re stuck with what WAS state-of-the art recording technology several decades ago.  (Caveat:  as discussed in my last post, some good quality vintage analog master tapes have been digitized in hi-res, remastered, and delivered in hi-res, sometimes with fairly good results.   But IME generally not as good as modern high-quality hi-res recordings.)"

You and I obviously agree on the above points. This is why I recommended the Klipsch recordings, whereby, for 1 penny more, you get a DVD instead of a CD, so it's worth the difference in price there for sure. But it PROVES that the quality of the Masters is the KEY to the good sound and NOT the modern media it's burned on or the downloads to computer memory. So garbage in garbage out is still the major point. Today's technological garbage comes from the "Loudness Wars," which is beyond the scope of this text.

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13 hours ago, Khornukopia said:

 

I am looking forward to reading about your Super MWM build and listening experience.

Me too, since it's partly my design. I love spending other people's money on the quest for better bass, which costs more drivers or more lumber and cubic feet or air space to do right! Big Horns Rule! (a redundant statement).

 

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3 hours ago, ODS123 said:

To Beginners, my advice:

  1. Your audio system quality is mainly about speakers, their placement, and room acoustics.
  2. The audible differences made by rest of your components, including amplifier cd player, DAC, cables/ power cords, power conditioner, etc.. are negligible.  So negligible, in fact, that there is considerable debate whether they are audible at all.  To wit: There was once a $10,000 reward offered to any golden eared audiophile who could consistently distinguish b/w two S/S amplifiers.  No one claimed the prize.
  3. Yes, people offer strong, highly opinionated anecdotal accounts here of how they changed X, then heard Y,  but credible, empirical evidence that these differences were not merely the result of expectation bias is sparse at best.
    • Put another way, just how relevant could such differences be if there is ANY debate at all about their existence?  If they were audible and they mattered they surely would be plain to the ear of every (non-hearing impaired) music lover.
  4. There are still good reasons to be selective about gear.  Chose an amp with enough power to drive your speakers to desired levels without distorting.  And chose one that offers the features you want and the look/ build-quality you want.  But set aside any notions that you must go about choosing amplifiers, cables, cd players, etc. the way a wine connoisseur goes about choosing wine.

I actually agree with this. Audible "deltas" are a matter of degree, which is much greater in speakers and rooms than in modern electronics, but the terms: Synergy and Diminishing Returns play a part too, also called $$$$. Either way, HORNS RULE.

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1 hour ago, TubeHiFiNut said:

A few pages back you accused me of attacking you.

 

My response was that attacks are not my way of doing things, that a differing opinion is not an attack and to please provide an example so that, if the example is clearly an attack, I can offer the appropriate apology.

 

 

When I said I was being attacked I was speaking generally about my treatment throughout this thread.  Indeed, after a quick re-read of the thread I could find no instances where your responses to me rose to the level of "attacking me", so I stand humbly corrected.  I should save the word "attack" specifically for those who are guilty of this.  My apologies to you; I'll be more careful going forward.

 

ODS123

 

 

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13 hours ago, Dave A said:

The Festool track saw

 

Do you have the hose adapter for connecting the saw to your shop vac ?  Direct dust collection helps keep things real clean cut.

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39 minutes ago, ODS123 said:

When I said I was being attacked I was speaking generally about my treatment throughout this thread.  Indeed, after a quick re-read of the thread I could find no instances where your responses to me rose to the level of "attacking me", so I stand humbly corrected.

 

I think most people have good intentions. In person, I see a lot of brothers and sisters and good friends pick on each other in friendly ways that would be seriously misunderstood if put in writing. 

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4 hours ago, ODS123 said:

To Beginners, my advice:

  1.  Your audio system quality is mainly about speakers, their placement, and room acoustics.
  2. The audible differences made by rest of your components, including amplifier cd player, DAC, cables/ power cords, power conditioner, etc.. are negligible.  So negligible, in fact, that there is considerable debate whether they are audible at all.  To wit: There was once a $10,000 reward offered to any golden eared audiophile who could consistently distinguish b/w two S/S amplifiers.  No one claimed the prize.
  3. Yes, people offer strong, highly opinionated anecdotal accounts here of how they changed X, then heard Y,  but credible, empirical evidence that these differences were not merely the result of expectation bias is sparse at best.
    • Put another way, just how relevant could such differences be if there is ANY debate at all about their existence?  If they were audible and they mattered they surely would be plain to the ear of every (non-hearing impaired) music lover.
  4. There are still good reasons to be selective about gear.  Chose an amp with enough power to drive your speakers to desired levels without distorting.  And chose one that offers the features you want and the look/ build-quality you want.  But set aside any notions that you must go about choosing amplifiers, cables, cd players, etc. the way a wine connoisseur goes about choosing wine.

This basically corresponds with my 45+ years of experience in this hobby and is basically what I have recommended to “beginners” over the years. 

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2 hours ago, ClaudeJ1 said:

You and I obviously agree on the above points. This is why I recommended the Klipsch recordings, whereby, for 1 penny more, you get a DVD instead of a CD, so it's worth the difference in price there for sure. But it PROVES that the quality of the Masters is the KEY to the good sound and NOT the modern media it's burned on or the downloads to computer memory. So garbage in garbage out is still the major point. Today's technological garbage comes from the "Loudness Wars," which is beyond the scope of this text.

 

We’re in agreement about garbage-in/garbage-out.  

 

Of course, the hotly contested issue is this:  If a modern top-quality recording was recorded and mastered in 24bit/192kHz, will most audiophiles hear a difference between a 24bit/192kHz deliverable (e.g., 24/192 FLAC download or Pure Audio Blu-ray disc) vs. that recording down-sampled to fit on a CD (16bit/44.1kHz).   (A separate question is whether John Q. Public would hear a difference listening via their “big-box store” hi-fi system.)

 

Could I pass a double-blind listening test?  I don’t know, and frankly I don’t care about the results of blind listening tests.  IME modern hi-res classical recordings usually deliver excellent audio quality.  My perspective is this:  I own Oppo UDP-205 universal players that can play any digital audio format, so why not acquire the recording in the format it as mastered in, vs. down-sampling the recording to fit on 30+ year-old storage technology (i.e. CD).   A Blu-ray disc is the same size as a CD, and holds vastly more data.  Even if the difference in sound quality between hi-res and CD is subtle, when I listen to the classical music that I love I want the best recording quality available. 

 

And, I enjoy surround-sound in my basement hi-fi system.   (IME, when the main speakers must be far apart due to room layout, then a center channel is useful.)   With modern hi-res surround-sound classical recordings and my favorite tube amps and Klipsch speakers, I’m able to achieve a near “live symphony hall” experience.

 

Moreover, in a growing number of cases modern classical recordings feature video.    Here’s an example of a Blu-ray audio/video box set that I enjoy:

 

Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos 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

 

41+EYqMSRUL.jpg

 

 

IIRC, I paid $50 for this box set, which I think is a very reasonable price.  I also have Blu-ray audio/video box sets of symphonies by several other composers.  And, as I said earlier, hi-def video is indispensable for ballet and opera (i.e., these are visual art forms as well as music).   And with a Blu-ray recording of an opera, the libretto is displayed on the screen, so I don’t have to turn the lights on and use reading glasses to read a printed libretto (which is what I have to do when listening to CD recordings of opera).  

 

As I said earlier, music genre is a factor in the relevance of modern hi-res surround-sound recordings.  For the classical music I love, my first choice for media is Blu-ray audio/video.   (Ultra HD Blu-ray classical recordings are starting to become available.)  My second choice, SACD and Pure Audio Blu-ray that feature surround-sound.  My third choice, hi-res (e.g., 24bit/96kHz or 24bit/192kHz) stereo FLAC download.

 

My advice to newbies:  Consider the fact that there are new ways to enjoy music (compared with CDs), and consider that the sound quality of your hi-fi system is limited by the quality of recordings you play.

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45 minutes ago, Khornukopia said:

 

I think most people have good intentions. In person, I see a lot of brothers and sisters and good friends pick on each other in friendly ways that would be seriously misunderstood if put in writing. 

 

No, I was definitely reverse-trolling him.

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19 hours ago, ODS123 said:

(I stipulated modern amps that engineered to be linear).  

Okay ODS123.  Please define exactly what linear means.  You keep saying it, but it would be useful to define it in terms of specs.  Given your claims that all modern amps that are engineered to be linear sound the same, at what point is an amp no longer “a modern amp that is engineered to be linear”?  If you are going to give advice to newbies, you need to define what you mean.

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ODS123:  My above post is repeated from a few pages back.  Please do enlighten us with a response.

6 minutes ago, Tizman said:

Okay ODS123.  Please define exactly what linear means.  You keep saying it, but it would be useful to define it in terms of specs.  Given your claims that all modern amps that are engineered to be linear sound the same, at what point is an amp no longer “a modern amp that is engineered to be linear”?  If you are going to give advice to newbies, you need to define what you mean.

Here it is again so you don’t miss it.  Specs please...

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1 hour ago, ODS123 said:

 

When I said I was being attacked I was speaking generally about my treatment throughout this thread.  Indeed, after a quick re-read of the thread I could find no instances where your responses to me rose to the level of "attacking me", so I stand humbly corrected.  I should save the word "attack" specifically for those who are guilty of this.  My apologies to you; I'll be more careful going forward.

 

ODS123

 

 

No worries, @ODS123 

 

I pride myself on civil interaction, even if we disagree on the subject.

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I have no pride. I'm immature and combative.

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Putting emphasis on the speakers purchased when beginning in the audio hobby is not a new idea or news in any way.  In fact, ODS123 got that right 391 days ago.  

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21 minutes ago, Deang said:

I have no pride. I'm immature and combative.

NOW you tell us!

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6 hours ago, ODS123 said:

 

I’ll tell you what Dave A:

 

Assume I shared NONE of my own personal experiences regarding testing speaker break-in, or comparing my Mac to my AudioSource, etc…  ..Or, if it pleases you, go ahead and assume i lied about all of it.  How would that change your response to my recommendation to beginners, which I'll restate below as it seems to be getting twisted by some::

 

To Beginners, my advice:

  1. Your audio system quality is mainly about speakers, their placement, and room acoustics.
  2. The audible differences made by rest of your components, including amplifier cd player, DAC, cables/ power cords, power conditioner, etc.. are negligible.  So negligible, in fact, that there is considerable debate whether they are audible at all.  To wit: There was once a $10,000 reward offered to any golden eared audiophile who could consistently distinguish b/w two S/S amplifiers.  No one claimed the prize.
  3. Yes, people offer strong, highly opinionated anecdotal accounts here of how they changed X, then heard Y,  but credible, empirical evidence that these differences were not merely the result of expectation bias is sparse at best.
    • Put another way, just how relevant could such differences be if there is ANY debate at all about their existence?  If they were audible and they mattered they surely would be plain to the ear of every (non-hearing impaired) music lover.
  4. There are still good reasons to be selective about gear.  Chose an amp with enough power to drive your speakers to desired levels without distorting.  And chose one that offers the features you want and the look/ build-quality you want.  But set aside any notions that you must go about choosing amplifiers, cables, cd players, etc. the way a wine connoisseur goes about choosing wine.

 

 

 

            I agree to some of this, but one way anyone can tell a difference without even playing any content is the noise floor.   A lot of budget amps and some not so budget oriented are badly lacking here from very high input stages.   Find you a first generation EMO amp, hook it up to what ever pre, leave the volume all the way down and listen to the hiss at idle.  Now any pauses in music content will have that hiss and a good black decay in music content will reveal this.   I have one of these boat anchors in my garage hooked up to a pair of KG 4's and they have a low sensitivity and its still very much there.  Hook it up to my K's or LS's and its unbearable and deems itself as a waste of money, but I traded a boat propeller for mine that I had no money in.

 

When comparing power sources you need small amounts of data,  3-4 seconds of music content tops.  Your brain can pick out a crappy noise floor immediately, it can even pick out delicate passages that offer differences in clarity between power sources.   My Mac amp sounds harsh, bright and a bit analytical when compared to my old fuzzy,  SS Fisher amp.  The differences are there among many, but maybe not so much once you hit a build and price point,  but once again Ignorance is bliss on both sides of the isle.

 

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, ODS123 said:

To Beginners, my advice:

  1. Your audio system quality is mainly about speakers, their placement, and room acoustics.
  2. The audible differences made by rest of your components, including amplifier cd player, DAC, cables/ power cords, power conditioner, etc.. are negligible.  So negligible, in fact, that there is considerable debate whether they are audible at all.  To wit: There was once a $10,000 reward offered to any golden eared audiophile who could consistently distinguish b/w two S/S amplifiers.  No one claimed the prize.
  3. Yes, people offer strong, highly opinionated anecdotal accounts here of how they changed X, then heard Y,  but credible, empirical evidence that these differences were not merely the result of expectation bias is sparse at best.
    • Put another way, just how relevant could such differences be if there is ANY debate at all about their existence?  If they were audible and they mattered they surely would be plain to the ear of every (non-hearing impaired) music lover.
  4. There are still good reasons to be selective about gear.  Chose an amp with enough power to drive your speakers to desired levels without distorting.  And chose one that offers the features you want and the look/ build-quality you want.  But set aside any notions that you must go about choosing amplifiers, cables, cd players, etc. the way a wine connoisseur goes about choosing wine.

 

1 hour ago, Kevin S said:

This basically corresponds with my 45+ years of experience in this hobby and is basically what I have recommended to “beginners” over the years. 

Numbers 2, 3 and 4 are stated as fact.

 

In my 47 years of experience in our hobby, I have observed that these are not factual statements but rather opinion.

 

The Observational Method I have been using for over four decades has taught me that there are differences in the sound of electronics and that the best result is reached by first identifying the overall system goals and then using a synergistic approach that takes all variables into account.

 

Just my opinion. :)

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