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post #181 of 390 Old 02-24-2006, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by whoaru99
In response to my post where I mentioned the percentages below...



My intent was not to attribute those values to any one specific measurement or aspect. Merely it was only to say how much are you willing to spend for a "X" percent improvement.

Is 0.1% improvement (define improvement as you wish) worth the difference in cost between a $120 player and a $5000 player? How about 1% or is it 10% improvement that's worth the price difference? There is no right answer because first and foremost it's a matter of opinion and means.

It's really just a question to see what the answers would be. What percent improvement do you need to drop a nice chunk of change for something you call an improvement? Lets just say $1000... perhaps that's chump change to some, but I can't just toss about $1000 without some consideration and something more than a warm and fuzzy...

So, let's hear it. What percent improvement do you need to feel you got your money's worth for $1000. Define improvement as you wish.

Oh, BTW, I don't mean to single out anyone. It's a question for anyone that cares to toss in their .02.
whoaru99,
Good questions. I believe the answers are entirely personal and in the ear of the beholder. Beyond accuracy and transparency which I believe most audiophile would strive for, CDPs, and other components, differ in more ways than one. Some may prefer laid back over dynamic presentation, they may prefer tonal warmth over neutrality, they may prefer PRAT (pace, rythmn and timing) over fine detail, and so on.

It's much like buying a car. Some may prefer Humvees over Land Rovers. But it's wrong to say that everyone should be content with a Ford Escape.

C N Machani
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post #182 of 390 Old 02-25-2006, 08:33 AM
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Quote:
CharlesJ,
Thanks for the references to your sources. Since it might be a challenge to obtain a copy of those research papers, do you have a link to any that show the limits to the threshold of human hearing?
At the risk of answering for CharlesJ, what specifically do you mean by threshold of human hearing?
Are you addressing something like JND's (Just Noticeable Differences) with respect to frequency and level? If so, I'd direct you to something like the Fletcher-Munson curves.
Are you addressing what's the faintest sound that can be detected? If so consider the brownian motion of air.
Are you addressing things like masking, sound localization, short, long term hearing, etc.?

Many of the references will not be able to be found on the web. At least not easily since they are copyrighted. However, some may be able to be found at a good university library that has some of the journals. JAES reprints can be optained for I believe $10. Magazine articles like from Audio, Stereo Review, etc. might be able to be had at a local library if they keep microfilm or microfiche or have a repository of magazines. You can also query the head librarian about things like the inter-library loan program but I don't know how that works in Canada.

Quote:
It's simple. My preamp can switch between the two sources. Create two CD-R copies containing a track that, when played with the Marantz CDP, throws a soundstage just wider than the bounds of the speaker.

Sit in the sweet spot.

Start both sources at the same time.

Toggle between the two using the preamp's remote.

Compare the width of the soundstage thrown by the two sources.
Yes, that sounds simple. Are you taking the digital outs from both sources? Have you taken the liberty of measuring the output voltages using a test tone at the speaker terminals using a VOM using both sources through the preamp? Has anyone else done the switching besides you?

Again, your article did not address DBT's or ABX. Perhaps an email to the original authors might prove illuminating.

"I've found that when you want to know the truth about someone that someone is probably the last person you should ask." - Gregory House
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post #183 of 390 Old 02-25-2006, 03:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chu Gai
At the risk of answering for CharlesJ, what specifically do you mean by threshold of human hearing?
Are you addressing something like JND's (Just Noticeable Differences) with respect to frequency and level? If so, I'd direct you to something like the Fletcher-Munson curves.
Are you addressing what's the faintest sound that can be detected? If so consider the brownian motion of air.
.
By threshold I mean when there high resolution (i.e., very fine) differences between two audio streams and a human's ability to distinguish them.

Here's is a rhetorical question (or rather my "trump" card): If two CD players are indistiguishable because their resolution is below the threshold of human perception, then why do we have SACD's?

(Answer me, or "you're fired"! And turn in your scientist license).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chu Gai
Yes, that sounds simple. Are you taking the digital outs from both sources? Have you taken the liberty of measuring the output voltages using a test tone at the speaker terminals using a VOM using both sources through the preamp? Has anyone else done the switching besides you?

Again, your article did not address DBT's or ABX. Perhaps an email to the original authors might prove illuminating.
No I did not. The average output volume to my ears is almost the same. They both throw different soundstage widths on those particular tracks. To be fair, I switch the positions of the source cable in the preamp's inputs just to make sure the preamp is not causing the difference and still the Marantz consistently throws a wider soundstage.

I used the analog outputs.

C N Machani
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post #184 of 390 Old 02-25-2006, 03:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chu Gai
At the risk of answering for CharlesJ, what specifically do you mean by threshold of human hearing?
Are you addressing something like JND's (Just Noticeable Differences) with respect to frequency and level? If so, I'd direct you to something like the Fletcher-Munson curves.
.

Less work for me and I bow to better informed folks :D

I thought the Fletcher-Munson curve is for equal loudness, unless they also have a JND someplace. That Florentine paper deals with JND at various frequencies.

One has to be careful with those results as they were conducted with headphones, very sensitive test tones, and in a sound booth. Far cry from a reverberant listening room with variable music. :D
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post #185 of 390 Old 02-25-2006, 04:08 PM
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[quote=machani]CharlesJ,
Thanks for the references to your sources. Since it might be a challenge to obtain a copy of those research papers, do you have a link to any that show the limits to the threshold of human hearing?


No on line links that I am aware and Chu Gai responded some to this.



It's simple. My preamp can switch between the two sources. Create two CD-R copies containing a track that, when played with the Marantz CDP, throws a soundstage just wider than the bounds of the speaker.
Sit in the sweet spot.
Start both sources at the same time.
Toggle between the two using the preamp's remote.
Compare the width of the soundstage thrown by the two sources.


Did you check with an accurate test tone from each source that the levels of the two sources were withing 0.1dB spl? If not, who knows that level differences may be a cause.
I didn't see any reference to DBT protocol, number of trials and correct guesses.
How did you measure the soundstage width? ;)
Could bias affect any of these observations without bias controls? That is my proposition.
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post #186 of 390 Old 02-25-2006, 04:24 PM
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[quote=machani]By threshold I mean when there high resolution (i.e., very fine) differences between two audio streams and a human's ability to distinguish them.

Here's is a rhetorical question (or rather my "trump" card): If two CD players are indistiguishable because their resolution is below the threshold of human perception, then why do we have SACD's?



A number of reasons:
Higher resolution is needed in mastering and archiving but the highest SACD can do is wasted still.

Marketing, meet a need with audiophiles. Multi channel audio.

Certainly not because one can hear beyond 20kHz. Or the analog is better reproduce with higher sampling rates.





No I did not. The average output volume to my ears is almost the same. They both throw different soundstage widths on those particular tracks. To be fair, I switch the positions of the source cable in the preamp's inputs just to make sure the preamp is not causing the difference and still the Marantz consistently throws a wider soundstage.

I used the analog outputs.



I missed this response and asked similar questions :o

Unfortunately as I suspected about the protocols, not very good for differentiating real audible differences.


As this paper shows

Benjamin, Eric and Gannon, Benjamin ' Theoretical and Audible Effects of Jitter on Digital Audio Quality,' 105th AES Convention, 1998, Print 4826.


You could be off as much as a dB spl volume differences doing it by ear. That volume difference is more than enough to select one over the other but for the wrong reasons.
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post #187 of 390 Old 02-25-2006, 04:27 PM
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Yes, you're right Charles but I was unable to edit my response as the system was down. Thanks for doing it for me. The discriminatory ability is much worse with music.

Quote:
Here's is a rhetorical question (or rather my "trump" card): If two CD players are indistiguishable because their resolution is below the threshold of human perception, then why do we have SACD's?
To generate another cash cow using a variety of techniques.

"I've found that when you want to know the truth about someone that someone is probably the last person you should ask." - Gregory House
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post #188 of 390 Old 02-25-2006, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by machani
I don't disagree with you here. But the key is they were able to identify the chords. They were not asked if the music sounded better.
You're making my point some more.

Quote:
To a layman, maybe. But not an expert in the field.

Credit serious audiophiles with being experts in their field. One is not an audiophile by just declaring oneself to be one.
That's actually funny because you are indeed a self-declared audiophile.

Quote:
Again you may fool a layman here, not a serious connoisseur. Again, credit a connoisseur to have gone through a process of discovery, experimentation and learning.
Another absurd statement. You don't trust your own ears to even try a blind test, yet you call yourself a discoverer and experimenter? What specifically have you learned in say the past five years?

If you PM me, I'll send you a test CD. All you have to do is tell me what you hear on it. I'll throw in as a bonus your choice of 8 SACDs just for taking a test drive.

Someone with perfect pitch can prove they have it with just a quick blind experiment.

But you are not able to prove you have golden ears.......

Now, continuing on with my point about the brain.....

One reason why audiophiles are continuously reconfiguring, swapping and buying new gear is the gear is ultimately unsatisfying because it is not improving sonics. It is a ruse. The emotional excitement of the component wears off. And then it's audioGone.

There is an excellent database on the brain and music at MuSICA.


The Coloring of Life: Music and Mood
........ these important finding should give us great pause as we think about the "real" world and our "objectivity". Although we do not yet understand why music has such powerful effects, it is now clear that music can color our transactions with the world. Moods induced by music alter our attention, perception and memory and in so doing affect our judgments about the mental and emotional states of others. Our thinking and our behavior are colored by music, which seems to have direct and unconscious access to the brain substrates of much if not all of our individual lives.


And the Don Rumsfeld known knowns, known unknowns, and unknown unknowns.


What the Brain Tells us About Music: Amazing Facts and Astounding Implication Revealed

The main reasons why observing others and thinking about our own experiences are inadequate is that we really don’t know what we know. To be more precise, we know a great deal that we have no awareness of knowing. Much of our experience is not really directly accessible to our own thoughts and reflections. In short, the brain is set up to use many, perhaps most, of our experiences without “allowing†them to gain access to our consciousness. This mass of information is stored within us, yet is invisible to our own awareness.
....
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post #189 of 390 Old 02-26-2006, 07:35 AM
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It should be also noted that as music can affect our perceptions of the world, the world can affect our involvement with music. Have a crappy day on the highway followed by just one of those days at work and come back home to something unexpected, then nothing might sound good. All it takes is just one more listen to 'Stairway to Heaven' to start hating the song.

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post #190 of 390 Old 02-26-2006, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chu Gai
It should be also noted that as music can affect our perceptions of the world, the world can affect our involvement with music. Have a crappy day on the highway followed by just one of those days at work and come back home to something unexpected, then nothing might sound good. All it takes is just one more listen to 'Stairway to Heaven' to start hating the song.
Does this mean that it might just take one more listen to You're Having My Baby or You Light Up My Life to start loving these songs?

----------------------------------
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post #191 of 390 Old 02-26-2006, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Ron Party
Does this mean that it might just take one more listen to You're Having My Baby or You Light Up My Life to start loving these songs?

----------------------------------
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Hey, don't forget "Honey", by Bobby Goldsboro.
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post #192 of 390 Old 02-27-2006, 10:57 AM
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As you've indicated, Machani, you're running analog out and not digital. It's not uncommon for the coupling capacitors to dry out which manifests itself as a reduced bass output. A fairly quick and inexpensive check on this would be to burn some test tones from 20-200 Hz and measure the voltages at the speaker terminals. Often results such as yours are explainable by this. The thing is, people tend to think that so long as the unit is playing, it's meeting its rated specifications at the time of manufacture. This is not necessarily the case.

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post #193 of 390 Old 02-27-2006, 07:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnElliott
That's actually funny because you are indeed a self-declared audiophile.
Nowhere have I called myself an audiophile. Hell, I've come a long way but still have a long way to go.

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnElliott
You don't trust your own ears to even try a blind test, yet you call yourself a discoverer and experimenter? What specifically have you learned in say the past five years?
Mainly to keep and open mind, when it comes to audio. Not that I have a particularly expensive hi-fi system, so I have had to partially get by on the DIY route which has been a very good learning experience.

It really requires one to be painstaking and honest, but ultimately trust one's ears, when making mods. I'll be the first one to admit that some mods either produced no audible difference, or degraded the sound. On the other hand certain tweaks, which I didn't expect to work (like replacing the AC wall outlet), made me very pleasantly surprised that they DID make a nice difference.

Other things I have ultimately got to experience for myself - micro-dynamics, venue information, background detail, image separation and three dimensional holographic soundstage. Are these things familiar to you and if so have you experienced them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chu Gai
As you've indicated, Machani, you're running analog out and not digital. It's not uncommon for the coupling capacitors to dry out which manifests itself as a reduced bass output.
Amen, Chu Gai!

So finally I get someone to admit that parts along the chain contribute to the sonics of a CDP. BTW, I have experiemented with coupling caps in my amp, they all have distinct sonic signatures.

C N Machani
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post #194 of 390 Old 02-28-2006, 05:25 AM
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Well yes, I agree but unless you're prepared to do the necessary work to at least check the FR of both your players and perhaps follow that up by measuring the values of those coupling caps (as a DIY'er I'm assuming you've purchased or made the tools necessary to do such things) to attribute the sonic differences you're hearing to the players and not to the fact that one or perhaps both are broken to some degree is disengenous. If the values have changed signficantly then the correct thing to conclude is that a broken CDP sounds different from one that's not broken.

As a DIY'er you should have proper tools at your disposal. Why not use them to find out instead of speculating? Only having a soldering iron and a pair of ears does not a competent DIY'er make, right?

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post #195 of 390 Old 02-28-2006, 05:28 AM
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Also note, that depending upon your speakers, changing the coupling caps in an amp can result in effectively boosting your bass. You might want to do some measurements on the speakers to determine if that's the case. My understanding is this largely depends on whether the caps are inside or outside the feedback loop. Which arrangement do you suspect would be the cause?

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post #196 of 390 Old 02-28-2006, 11:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chu Gai
Well yes, I agree but unless you're prepared to do the necessary work to at least check the FR of both your players and perhaps follow that up by measuring the values of those coupling caps (as a DIY'er I'm assuming you've purchased or made the tools necessary to do such things) to attribute the sonic differences you're hearing to the players and not to the fact that one or perhaps both are broken to some degree is disengenous.
Agree with you here too. I have not opened up the Panny DVD player, but I have seen that a lot of electronics now use cheaper SMD caps, versus audio grade caps. The key is that inferior parts along the signal path do degrade performance. In my experiece high-resolution audio demands use of high quality (audio grade) parts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chu Gai
Also note, that depending upon your speakers, changing the coupling caps in an amp can result in effectively boosting your bass. You might want to do some measurements on the speakers to determine if that's the case. My understanding is this largely depends on whether the caps are inside or outside the feedback loop. Which arrangement do you suspect would be the cause?
Yes, replacing the stock 0.1μF coupling caps in my amp with 0.22μF sonicaps produced a nice bass improvement.

C N Machani
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post #197 of 390 Old 02-28-2006, 12:37 PM
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You know, you probably wouldn't observe the differences if you simply ran digital outs to get around the degradation. Do you have any plans to do some rough FR measurements of the two players?

"I've found that when you want to know the truth about someone that someone is probably the last person you should ask." - Gregory House
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post #198 of 390 Old 02-28-2006, 02:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chu Gai
You know, you probably wouldn't observe the differences if you simply ran digital outs to get around the degradation. Do you have any plans to do some rough FR measurements of the two players?
I don't have plans to do measurements as I don't have the instruments. I already did extensive testing and comparing between the two when I got the Marantz. Not worth irritating the wife on this.

I do run digital out from my Marantz to an external DAC. With my preamp I switch between Marantz analog out and the DAC depending on the music and preference at the moment. The Marantz sounds warmer as opposed to the DAC which has dual OPA627 opamps in the output stage - more "open" and better channel separation.

Panny DVD is connected to a digital receiver separately - now exclusively used for HT, whereas Marantz is used exclusively for 2 ch.

C N Machani
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post #199 of 390 Old 03-01-2006, 01:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by machani
Panny DVD is connected to a digital receiver separately - now exclusively used for HT, whereas Marantz is used exclusively for 2 ch.
Are you using both because the Pany only has one digital out? Because if you are using an external DAC, I don't think the CD player itself would make any difference in the sound. You could run the Panasonic to both the HT Receiver and the external DAC and save yourself some shelf space.
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post #200 of 390 Old 03-01-2006, 05:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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If he believed that, (and its too late for him to unlearn what he's learned), you wouldn't have had to make such a suggestion.
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post #201 of 390 Old 03-04-2006, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by diamonds
Cowclops I picture the Beatles sitting around a table, playing their instruments, writing the White Album and discussing the fact that: "Audio is just the sum of sinusoidal pressure wave in air between ~20hz and ~20khz." You have to be kidding me…

Cowclops have you ever played music???? I would assume no. I played in a Rock and Roll band for 25 years. In fact, have you ever turned on a CD or Album and truly enjoyed what you were listening to? Did it ever have an emotional affect on you?

The point you are missing is that audiophiles like me truly enjoy our hobby and have a deep love for music. We love music and listen to it everyday. Music enriches our life and makes us happier people. This is why we pursue the best sound reproduction we can afford.

My invitation still stands from the last post!! You and all the other skeptics can still come to Tucson and hear my system that I put together for quite a lot of money. Like I said, I will be happy to go a purchase a lesser system and have it in the exact same spot as my system and we can then A/B the two. We then can then discuss which is better and why. It would be worth it to me to go spend a couple grand on a lesser system just to prove a point.

One more thing Cowclops…One thing that I will refuse to do when I turn on my favorite CD is to think "Audio is just the sum of sinusoidal pressure wave in air between ~20hz and ~20khz." If you truly believe this then you are missing the point of music.

Music is emotional.
Music is supposed to affect US emotionally.
Music is to be enjoyed and loved. (well not Britney Spears but you know what I am saying)
Well said!!! I'd love to see some of these "digital is digital" folks describe their experiences with high end gear vs. their systems.
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post #202 of 390 Old 03-04-2006, 11:11 AM
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they can always claim they have done comparison and still cannot hear any difference.

actually they are the luckiest bunch with no desire to upgrade and very satisfied with the low price they paid for their system. or if they need to change any component they will do all abx and blind tests before they buy

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post #203 of 390 Old 03-04-2006, 11:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpu8088
they can always claim they have done comparison and still cannot hear any difference.

actually they are the luckiest bunch with no desire to upgrade and very satisfied with the low price they paid for their system. or if they need to change any component they will do all abx and blind tests before they buy

indeed they are! I wish I still had and was happy with my first "real" system. It was a Pioneer Elite receiver with Paradigm Studio 20 speakers and a Sony DVD player as a CDP. Total cost was about 3k. I've now spent over 25k and am finally "satisfied," but I'm nowhere near done upgrading! I have done some A/Bs and concluded that the difference wasn't worth it. I tried a $750 Siltech XLR pair in place of my jank Monster XLRs. The Siltech sounded better, but it just wasn't worth $750 to me. I'd love to be able to think the same thing about a cheap CDP vs a good one. I'm not trying to call anyone out, but I just don't understand why these folks refuse to tell us what they've heard, what they have and what they evaluated when selecting their gear. My suspicion is that we are dealing with people who are jealous of members who have the cash and/or love of music to afford gear they can't. I chose to respect those people and admire their systems as I slowly build and upgrade mine. Others seem content to pretend that what they have is the best and anyone else has simply wasted his money on snake oil.
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post #204 of 390 Old 03-04-2006, 11:39 AM
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no doubt there are snake oils around. this is the same as in any other field.

do you frequent the 20000+ threads? there are quite a number of knowledgeable music lovers there with great gear

cpu8088 - OLD and SLOW !!!
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post #205 of 390 Old 03-04-2006, 11:43 AM
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diamonds

similar to one studying beethovan moonlight sonata play by different pianists thru comparison of fr graphs, waterfall graphs, bit rate and other scientific tools

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post #206 of 390 Old 03-04-2006, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpu8088
no doubt there are snake oils around. this is the same as in any other field.

do you frequent the 20000+ threads? there are quite a number of knowledgeable music lovers there with great gear
Agreed - there is definitely a good deal of snake oil in audio, as in every field. Some folks just seem to find snake oil every time something is expensive...

Yep, I spend more time in the 20k+ forum than anywhere else. My entire system is not much over 20k, but I have always trusted the posters in the 20k forum to give honest advice. They were very helpful when I was deciding on a new pre/pro and amp. I would love to one day own a system like mike l's or ob's... I'm already planning my Wilson/EMM system that I plan to buy as soon as a move out of my apartment and into a condo... hopefully less than 2 years away!
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post #207 of 390 Old 03-04-2006, 11:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I've said it before and I'll say it again.

Attacking my knowledge of music to disprove a matter of audio reproduction is a straw man fallacy. I've been PLAYING music for a lot longer than I've been listening to it on high quality equipment. In fact, some of the best musicians I know don't know anything at all about hardware used to listen to it after its been recorded.

Its like saying a materials scientist designing new "bouncier" basketballs can't be good at his job because he MIGHT not play basketball. Its total rhetoric.
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post #208 of 390 Old 03-04-2006, 11:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cowclops
I've said it before and I'll say it again.

Attacking my knowledge of music to disprove a matter of audio reproduction is a straw man fallacy. I've been PLAYING music for a lot longer than I've been listening to it on high quality equipment. In fact, some of the best musicians I know don't know anything at all about hardware used to listen to it after its been recorded.

Its like saying a materials scientist designing new "bouncier" basketballs can't be good at his job because he MIGHT not play basketball. Its total rhetoric.
Cowclops - you can end this right now. Just tell us what gear you have compared in reaching your conclusions. Tell us what is in your system and why you chose it over other options.
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post #209 of 390 Old 03-04-2006, 11:55 AM
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yea mike l's new system is great. so is ob system.

i think i just stay in the mid fi level while you go upward

actually i am still an analog LP 2 channel person. ht i have separate system and i just use it for movie sound effects and fun only

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post #210 of 390 Old 03-04-2006, 12:33 PM
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I'll be at mid-fi for quite a while. It will be a very long time (if ever) until I can afford a setup as nice as mike l's or ob's...

I'd love to have a separate 2-ch rig. When I move to a bigger place, I'll probably keep my HT setup and upgrade the L/R speakers and L/R amp (and a new DAC/transport) and integrate the two systems.
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