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Thread: What is the art of sound?

  1. #31
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Norfolk, UK

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    I'm BigBobJoylove.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogruff View Post
    Perhaps the Art of Sound is the ability to transform previously unlistenable music into beautiful toe-tapping stuff.
    The problem is you will probably have to bin all your previous favourites.
    Now that's a good post.

    Going from CD to lossless AIFF has made the best recordings sound even more open, and also made recordings I thought to be bad (wrongly, my CD player was the problem) completely enjoyable.
    Main system
    Ben Duncan mains conditioner
    ATL Audio DC mains trap
    2020 MacBook Pro quad-core running Fidelia
    Samsung QE75Q90T 75" QLED TV
    XMOS DSD Async USB to Coax converter
    RME Audio ADI-2 FS (AK4493) DAC
    AD Audio bespoke balanced valve buffer stage with...
    2x 1959 NOS RCA Red Base black plate 5691s
    Joe Henry-built Pass Labs Aleph 3 Class A power amp
    Reiver Acoustics Edingdales speakers
    BK Double Gem twin 10" subwoofer
    Chord Clearway XLR interconnects
    Mark Grant 6mm UP-LCOFC speaker cable
    Audioquest SLiP Neutrik subwoofer interconnect
    Audioquest Crimson USB interconnect
    QED Quartz Reference optical interconnect

    Secondary system
    2020 Mac mini 6-core running Fidelia
    Samsung Blu-ray
    Technics TRS cassette deck
    Arcam rDAC
    Arcam A85 integrated amp
    Edifier S3000 Pro active speakers
    Atacama SE24 stands
    Chord Chameleon interconnects
    Audioquest Evergreen interconnects
    Silver Studio USB interconnect

  2. #32
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Central England

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    Dogruff. Very good point. I'll add that it is also creating a system that broadens your musical tastes in that you begin properly to understand and appreciate more and different genres and artists and basically spend more time listening to more music.

  3. #33
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Norfolk, UK

    Posts: 6,036
    I'm BigBobJoylove.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Toy View Post
    ...creating a system that broadens your musical tastes in that you begin properly to understand and appreciate more and different genres and artists and basically spend more time listening to more music.
    Another excellent point, the stuff I've got into since buying hi-fi.
    Main system
    Ben Duncan mains conditioner
    ATL Audio DC mains trap
    2020 MacBook Pro quad-core running Fidelia
    Samsung QE75Q90T 75" QLED TV
    XMOS DSD Async USB to Coax converter
    RME Audio ADI-2 FS (AK4493) DAC
    AD Audio bespoke balanced valve buffer stage with...
    2x 1959 NOS RCA Red Base black plate 5691s
    Joe Henry-built Pass Labs Aleph 3 Class A power amp
    Reiver Acoustics Edingdales speakers
    BK Double Gem twin 10" subwoofer
    Chord Clearway XLR interconnects
    Mark Grant 6mm UP-LCOFC speaker cable
    Audioquest SLiP Neutrik subwoofer interconnect
    Audioquest Crimson USB interconnect
    QED Quartz Reference optical interconnect

    Secondary system
    2020 Mac mini 6-core running Fidelia
    Samsung Blu-ray
    Technics TRS cassette deck
    Arcam rDAC
    Arcam A85 integrated amp
    Edifier S3000 Pro active speakers
    Atacama SE24 stands
    Chord Chameleon interconnects
    Audioquest Evergreen interconnects
    Silver Studio USB interconnect

  4. #34
    Join Date: Feb 2008

    Posts: 424

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    In correspondence with Steve Toy and Marco, Steve asked me to post on what my hifi kit was and is, and what I used it for.

    I started off with lots of 1950's s/h valve stuff which I used to buy in jumble sales, and take it home and repair it. Components were cheap and new KT66's cost about 2 with ECC 81/2/3 at about 12p. All these were new original boxed Mullard and GEC.

    Eventually I acquired a really nice pair of Quad II amplifiers and used them with some HUGE Wharfedale speakers that looked a bit like Quad Electrostatics but veneered walnut instead of expanded aluminium gauze.

    Originally I also had one of those little early Japanese battery operated tape recorders, but it was only suitable for speech, as it had too much wow for music. That was eventually replaced by a Revox 'A77' tape recorder with 10" reels.

    Through the seventies I tried other stuff such as Sony and Rotel but my favorite kit was Quad. I sold the II's in 1991 for 80 the pair (not many wanted valve stuff) and replaced it with a Quad 34/FM4/306/CD combination which I still have but never use.

    I also bought a Revox B77 10" reel to reel, a B215 cassette recorder, and a B285 Receiver together with Revox CD player. I have now sold all the Revox stuff except the cassette machine and the receiver which does as a standby FM/AM/LW Radio, although I haven't turned it on in the last five years. Similarly I haven't used the Quad set in the last 15 years.

    For the last seven or eight years I've used AVI kit, initially with Spendor speakers. I've had all sorts of loudspeakers over the years including big TDL's and ATC's including the active ones.

    I've always put the music before the kit although I have a keen interest in the electronic and construction side of things. These days ready built kit of excellent quality is so cheap it isn't worth building up yourself, unless it's unobtainable any other way, or you just enjoy wire knitting.

    I settled on Spendor LS until they became so ridiculously overpriced that it was more cost effective to build them oneself. Then I started a long search for a really accurate and uncoloured LS, that added nothing at all to the signal but was completely faithful to the original recording. I spent about two years evaluating about twenty or thirty different makes of all the usual suspects and ended up purchasing two sets of Fostex and AVI and running them in comparison for another two years. The AVI's won, principally for their control and uncoloured accuracy.

    This brings me to my present system, which is MacBook Pro, AVI speakers, and Airport express. That's it. and it's better than all the other stuff I've heard.

    In addition to the above I have four record decks, including a Garrard 301 which I bought NOS, a Thorens TD124 currently unplinthed, a TD160, and a Swiss Lenco grey, before they fitted the cheaper arm with v-blocks. Also an AVI two-wire sub used for base extension when necessary.

    I have a digital field recorder and very posh Calrec microphones which I use in conjunction with an RME fireface for making original location recordings. There is not much point in making your own recordings if you can't replay them accurately. For me this is a much more important thing than "PRaT" or "musicality" or "involvement", what's that all about ? altering the re-production so that it happens to suit you on that day ? - weird or what ?

    I have always been fascinated with the music of 1925 to 1935 with considerable extension either side to roughly 1895 - 1965, that's the "special" stuff. 70's, 80's, and 90's stuff is "ordinary popular" for me.

    So, I digitize everything because I want to be able to assemble a playlist from any part of my library within a short time and just press a button to hear it.

    My project for this month is to make a really good recording of "The Dawn Chorus" in my garden which is a mile and a half from Broad Street, the centre of Clubland in the city centre of Birmingham. I've re-furbished an old Goodmans parabolic dish, and am selecting one of my mics to fit to it.

    The remaining task is to try to wake up at 4am and go into the garden to make an hours recording.

    Regards JC.

  5. #35
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

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

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    Hi John,

    Great post, and just the sort of thing we were looking for

    I'm a bit knackered now so I'll comment more tomorrow.

    Cheers!

    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.


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  6. #36
    Join Date: Feb 2008

    Location: North East UK

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    I'm InSpace.

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    Brilliant!!!






    Shian7
    --------------------------------------------------------

    Kudakutemo
    kudakutemo

    ari mizu-no tsuki

    Though it be be broken -
    broken again - still it's there:
    the moon on the water.

    - Choshu.

  7. #37
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Central England

    Posts: 2,937

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    Great post John. Now we know what you are looking for it is easy to see why you have chosen your particular path in audio. I guess the same applies to all of us.

    The question we should ask ourselves throughout all the heated discussions is does your chosen kit meet your key objectives as opposed to those of someone else with a different set of priorities?

    Absolutists need not apply.

  8. #38
    Join Date: Feb 2008

    Posts: 424

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    Hi-Fidelity is by definition about RE-production of sound, - not production.

    Some one once said that the ideal hifi set is a cable with gain.

    I can well understand that many wish to alter the sound of their replay kit till it pleases them but that can be different for say, modern commercial recordings, and 40yr old vinyl.

    This amounts to "added effects". In the ideal situation you would have a black box with many knobs, so that with all knobs at centre zero, the set simply had gain and didn't alter or colour the sound at all, then either because of deficiency in the recording, or because of personal preferences, one could tweak the knobs and achieve a modification of the output sound. That is adding "effects".

    I say if your hifi won't do "gain with no effects" then it can be of only limited use.

    Digital systems are almost perfect in this respect since "effects" are very easy to control and the kit can be set up to give "straight gain". Once that has been achieved then the desired effects can be applied to each recording individually and saved with it for later perfect satisfaction in replay. You can even undo some of the effects of compression in the original recording.

    This could amount to everyones library of music being tailored to his idea of perfect re-production with no two "songs" necessarily the same anywhere in the world. This would make listening to someone else's hifi and music collection of some interest.

    In order to achieve all this it's necessary to have loudspeakers which are uncoloured in the first place. and of the highest tonal accuracy. Undoubtedly this is the hardest thing to achieve presently, but without it good HiFi, and all that I have suggested is not possible.
    Last edited by jcbrum; 01-05-2008 at 09:07. Reason: sp

  9. #39
    Join Date: Feb 2008

    Location: South Wales

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    I'm NotTakingLifeTooSeriouslyTheseDays.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jcbrum View Post
    In correspondence with Steve Toy and Marco, Steve asked me to post on what my hifi kit was and is, and what I used it for.









    The remaining task is to try to wake up at 4am and go into the garden to make an hours recording.

    Regards JC.
    nice one jc,
    i think we all thought there must be more to you than all the ranting and leg pulling!
    good to read about it...
    anthony...

  10. #40
    Join Date: May 2008

    Posts: 191

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Toy View Post
    Because of the very subjective nature of The Art of Sound, it is inevitable that for different people there will be different points of departure for how they would like their hi-fi system ultimately to transport them to their musical nirvana. These starting points outlined below are just that - starting points, for surely all of us would want absolutely everything from a system without compromise if such a thing were ever possible. As such the starting points listed below are neither mutually exclusive nor exhaustive so you are free to add to or combine them in any way you see fit:

    1) Playing the tune or tunes. Components are selected on their ability to make more sense of different melodies, how they fit together in time and generally give the greatest possible insight into the musical performance. The method used to make the selection is often refered to as "the tune dem."

    2) Recreating (or getting close to) life-like dynamics, scale and visceral impact. If you are a regular concert-goer you may seek a system that can recreate the drama and thrill of the live band at the arena or the orchestra in the concert hall.

    3) Detail retrieval. You want to extract the last tiny little drop of detail embedded in those silver or black discs.

    4) You want to listen to your system all day long without experiencing listener fatigue. For you tonal accuracy, low coloration and distortion are very important.
    Yes, all of the above, plus it must have lots of blue LEDs.

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