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Thread: What is the art of sound?

  1. #101
    Join Date: May 2009

    Location: gone away

    Posts: 4,870
    I'm joe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Welder View Post
    Oh great, found a post where I also can talk a load of meaningless bollocks
    (What do you mean I always do that)

    A few thoughts on the Art of Sound.
    There are two sorts of HiFi, the type that when you’ve finished admiring all the shiny boxes and saying “wow I bet that cost an arm and a leg” you leave saying “Yep, nice kit mate”.
    Then there is the sort that makes you want to cry or dance. I like this sort best.

    Two sorts of HiFi enthusiast; those who buy music to listen to the HiFi and those that buy HiFi to listen to the music.
    This division into 'music lovers' and 'hifi lovers' is artificial IMO.

    Firstly there are way more than two types of hifi enthusiast. There are the 'fit and forget' types who buy one system and stick with it; there are the 'upgraders' who start out with a basic set up and then move up the ladder to Nirvana/bankruptcy; there are 'box-swappers' who try loads of stuff and move it on quickly if it doesn't suit; there are the DIYers who want to get the best result at the lowest cost, and to tailor what they've got more exactly to their needs.

    Secondly, almost all of every type of enthusiast simply wants to hear the music they love 'better' through a better system, even if some of us get distracted at times by the shiny boxes, blue LEDs and faffing around with peripheral stuff.

    Clearly the desired end result in all cases is a system that entertains you, moves you emotionally and basically enables the suspension of disbelief that allows you to connect with whatever sort of music you choose to listen to, be that simple voice & guitar or large-scale orchestral symphonies.

  2. #102
    Join Date: Jun 2009

    Location: Toronto, Canada

    Posts: 34

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    Two sorts of HiFi enthusiast; those who buy music to listen to the HiFi and those that buy HiFi to listen to the music.
    One of those two will be the starting point. But one hopefully begets the other.

    But that still doesn't stop me from listening to bad music that's superbly recorded, or superb music that's badly recorded. The trick is to not be a narrow-minded snob about it 100% of the time.
    Kevin.

  3. #103
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Central England

    Posts: 2,937

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    Joe, good post.

  4. #104
    Join Date: Aug 2010

    Location: Montseny National Park, Catalonia

    Posts: 3,254
    I'm John.

    Default Bad music!

    Joe
    All fair points
    I did cover my arse.
    “Oh great, found a post where I also can talk a load of meaningless bollocks”

    However, I think you get my point non the less

    Dr Flicker
    Bad music! My dear chap “bad” music isn’t a concept I subscribe to
    I’ve had more arguments on this topic than I care to think about.
    An example of my current playlist:
    AudioSlave
    Ace of Base
    Air
    Portishead
    Ray Charles
    The Cardigans
    Little Feat
    Miles Davis
    Metallica
    Dave Van Ronk
    Sugarbabes
    Traffic

    What I was trying to point out was when confronted with the HiFi/Music snob who insists that he can only bear to listen to Classical music on his multi thousand pound system it might be worth pointing out at some point that he probably listens to the same over produced, over-sampled redbook quality recordings as everyone else.

    Of course, the Vinyl junkies will probably tell you that Vinyl replay allows them to hear all those little nuances and harmonics only the very best equipment and a classically trained ear can detect.
    Sounds vaguely plausible until you discover the precious recording they are driveling on about was knocked up in a modern recording studio within the last decade.
    No worries though, we are all entitled to a bit of self deception
    Single spur balanced Mains. Self built music server with 3 seperate linear PSU, Intel i5, 16 GB RAM no hard drive (various Linux OS). Benchmark Dac2 HGC, single ended XLR interconnects/Belkin cable. Exposure 21RC Pre, Super 18 Power (recap & modified). Modded World Audio HD83 HP amp. Hand built Monitors with external crossovers , Volt 250 bass & ABR, Scanspeak 13M8621 Mid & Scanspeak D2905/9300 Hi. HD595 & Beyer 880 (600 ohm) cans.

    The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.
    -Bertrand Russel

    John.

  5. #105
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 110,089
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

    Default

    Hi John,

    Sounds vaguely plausible until you discover the precious recording they are driveling on about was knocked up in a modern recording studio within the last decade. No worries though, we are all entitled to a bit of self deception.
    Not if you're listening to original recordings on vinyl from the 1950s, which were made using valve microphones and mixing desks in the days when quality prevailed over cost and convenience, and which were produced by some of the most talented recording engineers ever born

    I have many records from that era, where the recording quality is utterly stunning (the nearest thing you'll hear to live music) - eons better than anything produced today on vinyl, CD or anything else....

    I agree with your above statement, but the fact is, when you hear some of the amazing early stereo (and even mono) recordings on vinyl, played on a top-notch turntable, through a suitably capable system, it leaves digital for dead!

    Having the pleasure of hearing that quality of music at home in all its glory is the reason why I own the type of system I do.

    Marco.
    Main System

    Turntable: Heavily-modified Technics SL-1210MK5G [Mike New bearing/ETP platter/Paul Hynes SR7 PSU & reg mods]. Funk Firm APM Achromat/Nagaoka GL-601 Crystal Record Weight/Isonoe feet & boots/Ortofon RS-212D/Denon DL-103GL in Denon PCL-300 headshell with Funk Firm Houdini/Kondo SL-115 pure-silver cartridge leads.

    Paul Hynes MC head amp/SR5 PSU. Also modded Lentek head amp/Denon AU-310 SUT.

    Other Cartridges: Nippon Columbia (NOS 1987) Denon DL-103. USA-made Shure SC35C with NOS stylus. Goldring G820 with NOS stylus. Shure M55E with NOS stylus.

    CD Player: Audiocom-modified Sony X-777ES/DAS-R1 DAC.

    Tape Deck: Tandberg TCD 310, fully restored and recalibrated as new, by RDE, plus upgraded with heads from the TCD-420a. Also with matching TM4 Norway microphones.

    Preamps: Heavily-modified Croft Charisma-X. LDR Stereo Coffee. Power Amps: Tube Distinctions Copper Amp fitted with Tungsol KT-150s. Quad 306.

    Cables & Sundries: Mark Grant HDX1 interconnects and digital coaxial cable, plus Mark Grant 6mm UP-LCOFC Van Damme speaker cable. MCRU 'Ultimate' mains leads. Lehmann clone headphone amp with vintage Koss PRO-4AAA headphones.

    Tube Distinctions digital noise filter. VPI HW16.5 record cleaning machine.

    Speakers: Tannoy 15MGs in Lockwood cabinets with modified crossovers. 1967 Celestion Ditton 15.


    Protect your HUMAN RIGHTS and REFUSE ANY *MANDATORY* VACCINE FOR COVID-19!

    Also **SAY NO** to unjust 'vaccine passports' or certificates, which are totally incompatible with a FREE society!!!


  6. #106
    Join Date: Aug 2010

    Location: Montseny National Park, Catalonia

    Posts: 3,254
    I'm John.

    Default I dont think so sunshine

    Marco.
    Now why did I have a feeling you might chuck your two pence worth in here

    Okay, I’ll admit as an ex vinyl junkie who also had some pressings from the era you mention, SOME of them were stunning recordings given the equipment.
    Of course, if you want to talk about quality recordings then perhaps we ought to change medium to ˝ tape; get rid of all that horrible deck rumble and all those annoying clicks and pops

    But,” - eons better than anything produced today on vinyl, CD or anything else....”
    Well, frankly no.
    You might get away with “better than many of today’s recordings” but “better than anything produced today”, not a chance, digital or otherwise.
    May I suggest you check out some of the classical offerings from a few of the HD downloads in 24/96.
    Oh, damn you can’t can you, you don’t do digital sound
    Single spur balanced Mains. Self built music server with 3 seperate linear PSU, Intel i5, 16 GB RAM no hard drive (various Linux OS). Benchmark Dac2 HGC, single ended XLR interconnects/Belkin cable. Exposure 21RC Pre, Super 18 Power (recap & modified). Modded World Audio HD83 HP amp. Hand built Monitors with external crossovers , Volt 250 bass & ABR, Scanspeak 13M8621 Mid & Scanspeak D2905/9300 Hi. HD595 & Beyer 880 (600 ohm) cans.

    The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.
    -Bertrand Russel

    John.

  7. #107
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Central England

    Posts: 2,937

    Default

    Marco does 16/44 via those shiny silver discs though and rather well too, as do I.

    I've yet to hear more than one really impressive computer audio setup and that was at Coherent Systems courtesy of Tony Sallis although Hamish and Ian Walker's offerings deserve a mention.

    Personally, I've only really been taken with vinyl with certain recordings, notably the ones that Marco mentions. Female vocal sibilance is one bugbear of mine with vinyl, never mind pops, clicks and rumble.

    A top-notch solver disc spinner is still where it's at although I suspect not for much longer. I'm not sure why, I think it has something to do with transfer rates.

  8. #108
    Join Date: Aug 2010

    Location: Montseny National Park, Catalonia

    Posts: 3,254
    I'm John.

    Default Cards on table.

    I’m only teasing
    I do actually have a lot of empathy with Marco’s approach to enjoying the music he listens to.
    I have relatively recently transferred to computer based audio from a vinyl set up which I was extremely fond of.
    I think looking back the best sound I can remember (if recalling sound is indeed possible) was from recording live some bands entering the Melody Maker local band competition that newspaper held many years ago. This was recorded directly to a Revox reel to reel using two good quality mics and replayed through an Exposure RC21 and a pair of 18 mono power amps into my current speakers but with different mid and hi drivers Yep, I really have had them that long
    Unfortunately some thieving little tossers nicked the reel to reel and amps (I think the speakers were too heavy for them to carry) many years ago otherwise I might still be listening to the above.
    I’ve had a few deck, arm and cartridge combinations including my favorite, a Decca London Gold over the years. However, trying to keep Vinyl and associated equipment and enjoy life with a family is problematical.
    Fine if you have the space to shut it all away and yourself with it to listen to music. But, I’ve been there, and for me at least, gaining the reputation as that grumpy old f****r and his precious HiFI took a bit of the shine off the whole experience. I appreciate others may have different domestic circumstances and deeper pockets.
    I did try the CD player route for a short period hoping to get a more child and family friendly balance; I owned two, an Exposure and Moon CD3.
    I will take your word that a top class CDP system does it for you and many others; it didn’t do it for me at this level.
    I was a very reluctant convert to computer based audio. It took listening to a few mates rather more up market systems and some family members threatening to lock me in permanently to drag me screaming into the digital age.
    The horrible truth was, even the basic HRT Streamer I bought to try the whole concept out with tore my CD player to shreds, once I had finished struggling with getting the bloody computers to output bit perfect sound; that’s ignoring all the added convenience computer audio brings.

    The truth is these days I don’t take the HiFi press, forums, forum contributors or any of the “audiophile” nonsense too seriously. It has only been the matter of a few broken bones and intense boredom that brought me to this and other forums out of curiosity to see if there has been any meeting of minds and reduced bullshite over the years. 30 years ago people were swearing they could tell the difference between one plug on the end of a bit of wire to another so it seems not much has changed.
    Basically, I like music and bit of electronics (something from my R&D days in avionics) and speaker building which I tend to do more for my mates these days rather than myself and of course a bit of light hearted forum banter.
    If you want intense, committed and serious audiophile chat out of me, I can manage it for a while so long as nobody says anything too ridiculous or too offensive, after that I’m prepared to play and pass on what little knowledge I may have gained over the years if it helps.
    Meanwhile I’ll be listening to music

    Ooops, almost forgot.
    For those who dont like my attitude
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U76Nde6rMTw
    Relax, it's the pure truth. (bet you dont listen to the entire track)
    Last edited by Welder; 14-08-2010 at 19:28.
    Single spur balanced Mains. Self built music server with 3 seperate linear PSU, Intel i5, 16 GB RAM no hard drive (various Linux OS). Benchmark Dac2 HGC, single ended XLR interconnects/Belkin cable. Exposure 21RC Pre, Super 18 Power (recap & modified). Modded World Audio HD83 HP amp. Hand built Monitors with external crossovers , Volt 250 bass & ABR, Scanspeak 13M8621 Mid & Scanspeak D2905/9300 Hi. HD595 & Beyer 880 (600 ohm) cans.

    The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.
    -Bertrand Russel

    John.

  9. #109
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 110,089
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

    Default

    Hi John,

    You make some very valid points here:

    I’ve had a few deck, arm and cartridge combinations including my favourite, a Decca London Gold over the years. However, trying to keep Vinyl and associated equipment and enjoy life with a family is problematical.
    Fine if you have the space to shut it all away and yourself with it to listen to music. But, I’ve been there, and for me at least, gaining the reputation as that grumpy old f****r and his precious HiFI took a bit of the shine off the whole experience.
    I appreciate others may have different domestic circumstances and deeper pockets.
    We don't have any kids, and thus I'm able to dedicate a (comfortable, nicely furnished) room at home which is simply for my hi-fi system and music collection. Therefore I can set my system up optimally with specialist equipment supports, and connect it to a dedicated earth and mains supply and have cables placed where I want them, with no concessions whatsoever to 'WAF' nonsense. All that matters is what sounds best, not what it looks like. We have a separate lounge for all the non-hi-fi stuff where the TV and all the 'normal' stuff lives.

    I realise that I'm lucky in that respect. However, and this is the key, I'm far from being the 'lonely boy' who's locked away in his room from the real world with only his hi-fi for a friend, which can all too easily become the case with this hobby of ours.........

    Quite often my wife will join me when listening to music and we'll share a nice bottle of wine and just relax and have a chat. The secret is to create an environment at home which is conducive to this.

    I'm also lucky that my wife loves music, and crucially, is pretty interested in hi-fi. She even goes to shows with me and is an active member here!

    We do this because we're genuinely interested in each other's hobbies and like to share our mutual interests, which is something that I find is sadly lacking in some people's relationships, where many married couples are like disparate souls leading separate (and often quite unhappy) lives. We're nothing like that, and indeed very close and do pretty much everything together.

    Having that sort of relationship with your partner makes listening to music and owning a quality hi-fi system a joy, not a lonely existence. And not only does my wife often join me when listening to music, but we have many friends who share the same interests, so there is nearly always someone visiting who's into hi-fi and music, and we make it really enjoyable by sharing some lovely food and wine with them, so that the focus is not just on hi-fi and music, but a social occasion where there is plenty of fun and good banter!

    As for the analogue vs. digital debate, I know where you're coming from. All I can say is that I have a fairly substantial music collection and own a very (VERY) good CDP, and also turntable. Whilst I enjoy superb sounds from CD and have heard some very good computer streaming set-ups, nothing I've heard digital-wise, and I mean NOTHING, gets close to the sound produced by my T/T when playing mint superbly recorded vinyl of the type I mentioned earlier.

    Clicks and pops? There's (almost) no such thing if you have plenty of brand new vinyl, only buy the best condition second-hand records, own a professional record cleaner, and above all, take care of your records and store them properly!

    Owning a top-notch vinyl replay system, and both maintaining it and looking after records, is definitely a labour of love. But I enjoy every bit of it, as I much prefer this more tactile 'human' way of accessing my music collection than some 'soulless' files stored on a computer, which are worth bugger all in monetary terms, and which could be lost in the blink of an eye with a software failure!

    No, give me a physical music collection and the ritual of pulling a record out of its sleeve, popping it on the turntable, and placing the stylus in the lead-in groove, and then sitting back and admiring the cover artwork and gatefold as I listen to the music, any day over some utilitarian computer set-up. It's such a dispassionate way of accessing one's music collection and yet another example of how modern technology, in some instances, has dehumanised us......

    Don't get me started on that one though!

    Marco.
    Main System

    Turntable: Heavily-modified Technics SL-1210MK5G [Mike New bearing/ETP platter/Paul Hynes SR7 PSU & reg mods]. Funk Firm APM Achromat/Nagaoka GL-601 Crystal Record Weight/Isonoe feet & boots/Ortofon RS-212D/Denon DL-103GL in Denon PCL-300 headshell with Funk Firm Houdini/Kondo SL-115 pure-silver cartridge leads.

    Paul Hynes MC head amp/SR5 PSU. Also modded Lentek head amp/Denon AU-310 SUT.

    Other Cartridges: Nippon Columbia (NOS 1987) Denon DL-103. USA-made Shure SC35C with NOS stylus. Goldring G820 with NOS stylus. Shure M55E with NOS stylus.

    CD Player: Audiocom-modified Sony X-777ES/DAS-R1 DAC.

    Tape Deck: Tandberg TCD 310, fully restored and recalibrated as new, by RDE, plus upgraded with heads from the TCD-420a. Also with matching TM4 Norway microphones.

    Preamps: Heavily-modified Croft Charisma-X. LDR Stereo Coffee. Power Amps: Tube Distinctions Copper Amp fitted with Tungsol KT-150s. Quad 306.

    Cables & Sundries: Mark Grant HDX1 interconnects and digital coaxial cable, plus Mark Grant 6mm UP-LCOFC Van Damme speaker cable. MCRU 'Ultimate' mains leads. Lehmann clone headphone amp with vintage Koss PRO-4AAA headphones.

    Tube Distinctions digital noise filter. VPI HW16.5 record cleaning machine.

    Speakers: Tannoy 15MGs in Lockwood cabinets with modified crossovers. 1967 Celestion Ditton 15.


    Protect your HUMAN RIGHTS and REFUSE ANY *MANDATORY* VACCINE FOR COVID-19!

    Also **SAY NO** to unjust 'vaccine passports' or certificates, which are totally incompatible with a FREE society!!!


  10. #110
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Portland, Oregon, USA

    Posts: 63

    Default

    Sorry, I beg to differ. I've got halfway decent analog and digital setups and it always comes down to the mastering. I've heard great and poor examples of each. And while I've always been thumbs down on computer playback, the recent Amarra player that now plays the track directly from memory is not only fantastic, but has really changed my thinking of what computer audio is capable of. And it's not terribly expensive either.

    I don't have a "ritual" for listening to music. I just enjoy it and I enjoy it just as much when played from a disc, a computer or a vinyl LP. I like them all. Nothing wrong with being romantic, however it's not the only way to go.

    And I love having 7500 CD's on the Sooloos. Not only am I listening to more of my music collection than I used to, my whole family is as well. Nothing dehumanizing about that. The Sooloos has two full backups, so it won't be lost "in the blink of an eye with a software failure."

    Even if we did have a catastrophic meltdown, I still own all of my discs, so it would just be some time to rip it all again.
    Jeff.

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