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Computer Audiophile

gmgraves

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About gmgraves

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  1. Why does consumer audio SUCK?

    A man who likes his wife more than he likes his hobbies is rare. Does your spouse know what a treasure she has in you? Few modern women appreciate their men, they're too busy taking advantage of the gynocentric society we find ourselves living-in these days.
  2. Why does consumer audio SUCK?

    In a lot of markets, Alex, I agree with you, but not audio. With the closing of a lot of brick & mortar high-fi shops and the fact that audio, as a hobby is not as pervasive as it once was, most of us have damn little chance to actually experience a great number of alternatives to what ever we decide to buy - irrespective of price. And audiophiles don't always buy on performance. They buy on looks. Nobody is going to doubt that say, a Dan D'Agostino Momentum amp for $40 grand isn't going to sound good. So the visual appeal of a piece of beautiful audio bling has got to be why someone would plunk down the price of a new luxury sedan for one. It's lust, pure and simple. Are there amplifiers that perform as well as the D'Agostino stuff for half, a third, or maybe even 10% of the D'Agostino's Momentum gear? I don't know, but it wouldn't surprise me if the answer were a resounding yes!
  3. Why does consumer audio SUCK?

    Possibly. My experience tells me that there is little correlation between the performance of high-end equipment and price. This is especially true with electronics. Speakers are different. The best speakers are expensive: Sound-Labs ESLs for $40K Martin-Logan Neloliths for $80K, MSB Radialstahlers and Wilson Alexandria XLFs and Magicos for >$200K, yet there are plenty of very musical and excellent sounding speakers for far less than these aforementioned. Magnepan MG-20.7is, or MG-3.7Is Martin-Logan CLXs or Expression 13As, all of which give 80-90% of the performance of those speakers priced like a new Ferrari!
  4. Why does consumer audio SUCK?

    I don't think anybody is asserting that. What I believe is true is that expensive equipment doesn't necessarily perform any better than inexpensive gear. There are a lot of issues to consider, including greed.
  5. Why does consumer audio SUCK?

    I'm not sure this is the whole story. My experience with a local hi-end equipment manufacturer tells me that much high-end audio equipment is made in very small numbers, and therefore does not and can not take advantage of modern manufacturing practices. Expensive parts, labor-intensive builds, and costly metal work (again, amortized over a small number of units) all conspire to make this stuff much more expensive than it would be if it were made by a large company such as Pioneer/Onkyo, National Matsushita, Yamaha, Marantz or if it were manufactured in a some sweatshop in China by FoxCon or equivalent. Also, so much about modern capitalist economics no longer works like it used to work, that it's hard sometimes to correlate cost to price.
  6. Why does consumer audio SUCK?

    Can't blame you there....
  7. Why does consumer audio SUCK?

    I do find it hard to believe.......
  8. Why does consumer audio SUCK?

    What's wrong with term "mid-fi"? It has served ever since (I believe TAS' HP) coined it.
  9. Why does consumer audio SUCK?

    Emphasis is on the word "vaguely". Yeah, both use microphones (sort of), but pop music is more apt to use contact mikes than regular mikes except for the screaming vocalists who use super rugged dynamic mikes (which they tend to "eat") and electronic instruments are often directly connected to the mixing console electronically, with no mikes at all! Also, classical music does not use "a drum kit" and the fact that you don't know that tells me a lot more about where you're coming from! Also the average rock recording uses up to 16 or more channels while a properly recorded symphony orchestra only uses TWO as an overall stereo pair. Rock recordings are completely artificial. Everything about them except for the musician's playing of the instruments is a construct. Often a rock recording is made up of disparate elements cobbled together over time and sometimes even distance. The sound elements do not come across completely intact because they were never completely intact to begin with. Whether you like that kind of thing or not is irrelevant. You can't make a silk purse from a sow's ear, and you are attributing characteristics to rock recordings that aren't there in the first place. I've spent my entire adult life around recordings and recording studios and I can tell you that the amount of chicanery that goes on a studio when a pop or rock recording is being made is so all pervasive, that if you heard one of these groups play without the benefit of the electronic effects available to the recording engineer, you would laugh. The performance doesn't even exist without the studio. This is so true that rock groups have to take their studios with them when they go on tour and when one attends a rock concert what is going-on up on the stage and what the audience is hearing through the sound reinforcement system are two entirely different things! Something else that is laughable is that you have been going on about how your playback is so superior to everyone else and how much better it images and how low in distortion it is and then we come to find out that all of this is about ROCK! Now there's nothing wrong with listening to rock, per say, but that holier-than-thou attitude you have adopted here about your perfect playback system, only to find that all this time you are talking about the pop scene and don't even seem to know enough about real acoustical or classical music to know that a symphony orchestra does not include a drum kit. No wonder you have been so reluctant to give us any details! You're a poseur!
  10. Audio Blind Testing

    Well, Alex, I have always said that I admire you as a true audiophile of the type that we all used to be back in the day. By that I mean that to be an audiophile when I was a kid, we all had to roll our own at some level. We had to either build kits from Dynaco or Heath or (in the US) Allied Radio, Chicago (Dick Smith Electronics in Oz) or we had buy components and blank chassis boxes and build our own from scratch (Popular Electronics and the Audio Amateur here in the USA carried DIY audio projects on a monthly basis). When I was a kid, we even had to make our own (totally unreliable) interconnects from raw coax and those awful tin-plated RCA plugs with no strain relief. That aspect of this hobby which used to be a major part, is mostly gone from the hobby now as people buy complete components from well established manufacturers, but I'm glad to see that there are still people like you around with the space and the ambition and enthusiasm to continue that great tradition. I spent most of my teen years bent over my garage workbench inhaling the fumes from resin-core 60/40 solder. It was all tubes in those days and whether building a 20-watt mono amp from scratch, or a kit stereo multiplex adapter for FM stereo, or a nuvistor RF amp for my Eico HFT-90 FM tuner, it was fun and I don't think the hobby has ever been as satisfying since I stopped doing that when my career as an electronics engineer began. In the SF Bay area, there is a yearly event called the "Burning Amp Convention" (take-off on the "Burning Man" event in Nevada). I used to attend that every year and I would marvel at the home-made gear. All of it was interesting and some down-right inspiring and even beautiful! I remember hearing the best pair of speakers I've ever heard were built by a young fellow I met at Burning Amp! They were made out of cherry wood, and they consisted of a pair of huge boxes, each containing TWO 15-inch Altec Lansing woofers and on top of each woofer box was wide, curved piece of cherry with a pair of forty-some inch long full-range ribbons and a pair of smaller ribbon tweeters, all from a company named Bohlender-Graebener mounted in tall, wide planks and a custom low-level crossover for bi-amping. To this day, I still fondly remember how great those speakers sounded (and looked) and the guy built them from scratch, including the woodwork in his garage! I fully intended to build myself a pair of them by getting a furniture builder to make the cabinets for me, but I never did it. The cabinets would have cost me about a grand, and the big ribbons ribbons were about $600 each while the tweeters were another $100, both from a US company named Parts Express. Alas, they no longer carry either the tweeters or the 40" long ribbons and I've heard that Bohlender-Graebener went belly-up when one of the partners died. The result would have been a pair of world-class speakers for less than three thousand dollars. One couldn't buy anything that sounded as good or imaged as well for 20 times that much on the commercial market! DIY Hi-F obviously can be very rewarding.
  11. Why does consumer audio SUCK?

    Studio recorded pop with electric guitars? Really? I'm disappointed. You've been waxing lyrical about the reality you get with all recordings and it turns out that you use rock performances that don't even exist outside of a studio with half-a-million dollars or more of electronics? Meh! Well, thanks anyway, it tells me what I needed to know about your posts!
  12. Why does consumer audio SUCK?

    Very true. And that's just not the market that consumer or "mid-fi" manufacturers are chasing. However, I think you'll find that the difference in SQ between today's mid-fi and today's high-end is much smaller than it once was. I've heard excellent sound from people's so called mid-fi setups with surprising amounts of resolution with low noise, and decent soundstage. That certainly wasn't true 20-30 years ago!
  13. Audio Blind Testing

    I guess we'll have to give him the benefit of the doubt WRT that, won't we?
  14. Audio Blind Testing

    Headphones should be driven with a dedicated headphone amplifier for best results in my estimation. I use a Schiit Asgard II and while it's only US$300, it is pure class A and it has an output stage that will swing 70 volts! It makes my HiFiMan HE-1000 v.2 headphones sound effortless and jaw-dropingly realistic (except for that image-in-the-head thing, and that's hardly the fault of the headphone amp).
  15. Audio Blind Testing

    He only writes in vague generalities, never with anything specific. What equipment does he use in order to get this "perfect" recreation of the sound field? How does he manage to get this great imaging, even from multi-track, multi-miked recordings that don't have any real image, just a bunch of pan-potted instruments artificially lined up from right-to-left? What is this perfect amplifier he has that's so much better than the ones everyone else here is using? He never says. What are we to glean from this lack of disclosure?
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