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Advice for Beginners - consider this test from an audio club


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Hey Dean to bad you are not closer. I am picking up a set of 402's in Atlanta tomorrow and should have my Super MWM's built end of second week of January. With 106" of throat I guess I will have to enter the world of DSP and dual amps. Now THAT will be a steam engine reproducer for sure.

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On 12/23/2018 at 9:12 PM, Dave A said:

I went to hear a chamber group of five musicians last year. Three Violas and two Cellos and these were members of the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra. To be able to hear unamplified music of that caliber is the finest reference to assess what your system does for true to life audio. I do not want warm tubes or mellow crossover capacitors I want true to life audio reproduction. I want to always be able to sit on that third row and listen to those Violas and Cellos.

Italian or Japanese made instruments?  Because you know that makes such a hugh difference.  (Being facetious of course).



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1 minute ago, dwilawyer said:

Italian or Japanese made instruments?  Because you know that makes such a hugh difference.  (Being facetious of course).



You got me. One of my Cello recordings has a note on the side that it was played with a $100,000 dollar bow🙄. Now I have had some professional musicians here and they hear instruments I do not, like triangles, and I am not sure what else they hear I do not regarding technique and subtle tonal things. It was fascinating to watch the interplay between these chamber musicians as they would cue each other and make sure all were ready.

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5 minutes ago, Deang said:

Comparing instruments and electronic components is not the same thing. 

It is precisely the same thing, and you would know why if you watch the videos and read the articles.  They rely on the exact same sensor and processing.


The virtuosos make the same exact arguments that have been raised in this thread on amps and have made about caps, cables, digital v. analog, and everything else in the audio chain including the microphones used to record it, their placement,  EQ, mix, and even,  the instrument it is played on.


Fender or Strat?


Marshal, Peavey or Mesa?


Telefunken or Gold Lion


Steinway v. Bosendorfer


Jupiter v. Sonicap


96 v. 128, 16 v. 24


180gm v. 200


iTunes v Ponos


7.5.ips v. 15


Take your pick, you guys do not have a monopoly on the debate on what "sounds better", it has been raging since at least the 18th century.








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On 12/18/2018 at 9:31 AM, ODS123 said:

A few weeks ago I urged beginners to heavily skew their spending toward speakers by suggesting that audible differences b/w modern amplifiers that are engineered to be linear (which is pretty much ALL solid-state and any good tube amps these days) will sound pretty much alike.  As a followup and to support my point, take a look at what this audiophile club in Guadalajara Spain did a few years back.  http://matrixhifi.com/ENG_contenedor_ppec.htm  They compared two entire front-end systems that shared the same speakers.  Rather than use a switch box (and invoke criticisms of how they reduce audible differences), they simply concealed the whole rig and had two people manually  switch cables so eople did not know which front-end they were hearing.  Of course, great care was taken to ensure that each system played at same SPL (by matching voltage levels at speaker terminals).


To summarize:

System A: About $260 today
Behringer A500 integrated amplifier (presently avail for  $199 from Sweatwater electronics)
Cheap Sony DVD/ CD Player (equiv. to a $40 player today)
Cheap interconnects: Described as “Standard RCA white/red (15 feet) bought in a 7/11 like store”
All placed on a shaky wooden chair


System B:   I’m guessing $8000 or more at the time.
Classe CAP-80 Line Stage
YBA 2A Amplifier
Wadia 6 CD Transport, VRDS 20 bit DAC
MIT Terminator 3 proline XLR interconnects
Audican Power Cord
CD player placed on an expensive spiked Lovan vibration absorbing (allegedly) table, other components placed on what appears to be sand-filled purpose-built audio component stands.


Both Systems were played through ATC SCM 12 passive Studio Monitor speakers connected w/ Tempflex speaker Cables


The findings?  

38 persons participated in this test
14 chose the "A" system as the best sounding one
10 chose the "B" system as the best sounding one
14 were not able to hear differences or didn't choose any as the best.


Of course, this is just two systems and just 38 listeners.  ..So devoted subjectivist audiophiles will say this doesn’t prove anything.  Also, this wasn’t really a double blind test as those who were switching the cables knew which was playing.  However, how many of these devote subjectivist audiophiles would have predicted these results??


So, again, if you’re new to this hobby and you’re budget constrained, give serious thought before devoting a big chunk of your budget to a pricey amplifier, cd player and cables.   ..Spend the bulk of your money were it matters most: you’re speakers. 

What tubes were they using in System B?

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4 minutes ago, dwilawyer said:

So devoted subjectivist audiophiles will say this doesn’t prove anything.

 Forgot that line was in there. 🤣 I have to sign out now. Those 402 horns at the junk store in Atlanta are calling and I must leave.


  Say do you suppose many years ago they argued about capacitor wood tone and audiophile grade horse hair bow strings?

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4 hours ago, Dave A said:

His OPINION, based on conjecture and in the case of Pro gear nothing he has chosen to actually listen to, supercedes the knowledge many of us have acquired through personal research and actual listening. Now if I can clearly see he has dismissed an entire line of Klipsch production as being inferior without any experience with them what am I to make of all these things he says about other stuff?  Personally I want to hear everything Klipsch that I can. I have gone through a ton of Klipsch gear both Pro and Vintage because I wanted to KNOW what they sounded like.  Some things like KHorns and Belles I have not had here but I can talk to people who have had some of the speakers I have and have also owned those KHorns and Belles and get their educated real world opinions and we both know what we are talking about because of common ownership and listening experience. How can you possibly explain stereo to a guy who walks around with a finger in one ear all the time and this is the problem here.

  OD is right about train stations though. I have an old well done steam engine recording and you can feel the steam and smell the coal as it drives by on those MCM's. Almost like you were really there as the ground shakes.



Dave,, what are you talking about?  ..I did NOT make any such generalized statement about Klipsch Pro gear sounding inferior.  But you did make such a generalized statement..  You said their present Heritage speakers are made from MDF and as such are inferior and are the handiwork of greedy cost-cutting accountants.  I merely pointed out that this is not supported by objective fact.  MDF is used widely throughout the industry b/c it is easier to shape, is less resonant, and easier to veneer.


As for Klipsch Pro Gear I said it was engineered for considerably larger listening environments (like Transportation Centers, Theme Parks, and, yes, A/V applications like houses of worship, etc..).  Yes, I don't recall ever hearing their Pro Speakers.  Though I might have the last time I was at Hershey Park, or Philly's 30th St. Train Station.  Nonetheless, my comments are supported by Klipsch's own spec sheets.  Am I wrong about them having less bass extension?  


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Not. The. Same. 


This just shows that some don’t understand the difference between production of sound and reproduction of sound. 


I can’t tell the difference between a Strat made in Mexico or a hand fitted USA model. They sound the same to me. Playability? That might be in my head. But I can definitely hear the difference between a Strat and a Telecaster. 

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8 minutes ago, ODS123 said:

Nonetheless, my comments are supported by Klipsch's own spec sheets. 

Which is how every audio consumer should make their purchasing decision,.look at the spec sheet.  Listening is a waste of time when we have all of these knowledgeable people reviewing them for us.



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