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Who does that?

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  • Who does that?

    Who visits an audio show, or "mega-system", finds a great sound and says they can't listen to their personal home system for weeks on end?


    If --key word-- your music listening brought you joy beforehand, what happened?

    If you test-drive a supercar, do you catch a taxi home?

    Every day is a good day to play analog.
    - 12" 33-1/3 RPM or 45 RPM vinyl
    - 10.5" 15ips or 30ips tape
    Every day is a good day for live music.

  • #2
    I can’t raise my hand on this one. I have never gone to an audio show and came home and felt unhappy with my system.
    Micro Seiki SX-8000 table with flywheel, SME 3012R arm, SME 312S arm, Lyra Etna SL and Dynavector XV-1S cartridges, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 tape deck, Ampex 350 repros, Roon Nucleus Plus server, PS Audio DSJ DAC, ARC Ref 6 pre, ARC Ref 75 amp, JBL 4345 speakers, and Def Tech Ref subs.


    • Steve Lefkowicz
      Steve Lefkowicz commented
      Editing a comment
      Same for me.

    • Barry
      Barry commented
      Editing a comment
      I enjoy discovering a few special rooms at a show where the sound really "hits the spot", and I like to stay awhile, and even go back to them again. When the show's over though, I always look forward to getting back home again where I'm happiest listening to music. I've never been disappointed these past few years. I've spent almost 50 years in this hobby, so I've finally got the system and the sound that I want.

  • #3
    Not at an audio show, but I have listened to other exceptional systems that left me wanting...exposing the shortcomings in my listening room. In retrospect I was driven to explore the possibilities necessary to bring a truer musicality to my system. Tweaks, room treatments, speaker positioning, tube rolling, etc. Without unlimited $$$$ reality must be realized. Yesterday I installed a High Fidelity MC-1 Pro Helix Sig. conditioner. Although, it requires many hours of break-in, the music is really, really sounding like music. Hopefully, this will leave me less wanting.
    Avalon Time, Walker Proscenium, Koetsu Coralstone, Air Tight PC-1 Supreme, Goldfinger Statement, Dalby record weight, Kondo KSL-SFz step-up, Jadis JP80-MC...heavily modified, Convergent Audio JL-2 Black Path, Sony NS999 ES Modwright modded, full loom High Fidelity Ultimate cables, Rel S-5 sub, Stillpoints ultra and 5's, Shun Mook, Dalby footers, Critical Mass bases, Acoustic System Resonators, Magnum Dynalab Etude, Telefunkens throughout, assorted fuses, Furutech outlets, PurePower conditioner.


    • #4
      Wow, so any things come to mind.

      A few years back, maybe '78 or so, I got to listen to one of the first "mega" systems. It was the Levinson HQD with the four Quads, Decca ribbons and "24 Hartley subs driven by a stack of Threshold amps. For all it's strengths (frequency extension, scale and slam) the problem was integration of all the dissimilar drivers. No problem gong back to my modest but more integrated system in my modest apartment. Sort of like the difference between a patchwork leather coat and a whole cloth shirt.

      It's been a few years since I've bothered to go to a show and listened to a "mega" system but never had any problem going home to my system, admittedly less modest than it was in '78, but still far more modest than the typical six or seven figure show stoppers. Granted the mega systems are much better now days, but for a million bucks they should be able make a good cappuccino too.


      • #5
        Like others have said I dont come home feeling crestfallen after hearing a mega system. I was at the West Coast premier of the new WAMM a few yrs ago and a reviewer for TAS was seated in the row directly in front of me. He was so giddy that he worked up a lather over the experience and couldn't contain himself. I could see his point but the gestalt of what we heard wasn't THAT special, imo. Maybe my expectations going in were too high.
        Simon Yorke + Zyx + B.M.C .> Soulution > Boulder > Magico

        "Listening to Analogue music is an act of rebellion in a digital gulag" - Simon Yorke


        • #6
          This has only happened to me once, but never at a show. The difference was so great, I ended up changing out all electronics and all wire. Hope it doesn't happen again.....
          SOURCE: VINYL - EAT C-Sharp with, EAT LPS power supply, My Sonic Lab Signature Gold
          DIGITAL - Mola Mola Tambaqui DAC. Roon Nucleus w/EAT Lps power supply. Auralic Aires G1
          PHONOSTAGE: AudioNet PAM G2 with AudioNet EPX power supply.
          PREAMP: Audionet PRE G2.
          AMPLIFIER: Audionet MAX monoblocks.
          SPEAKERS: YG Acoustics Anat III Signatures (upgraded to Sonja 1.2) JL Audio F112 V2 (x2)
          CABLES: Kubala-Sosna, Kubala Sosna Xpander.....Audio Desk Systeme RCM, Adona Rack, GIK & Acoustimac room treatment, Isoacoustics


          • #7
            I don't go to audio shows or read stereo magazines....


            • #8
              Happens to me often. Any well put together system usually has some positive attributes that I envy. When a system has made a big impression on me it takes me a little while to let it go and accept my own system again.
              Magico M-Project, CAT JL7SE, CH Precision L1/X1/P1, Kronos Pro Limited Edition/SME 3012R/Atlas SL/Opus-1, Schiit Yggdrasil, ZenWave D4 ICs & SCs


              • #9
                Almost never, when you think of all the hours and years a serious audiophile put toward optimization can you really believe that a set up thrown together in hours in an unfamiliar room can sound good even with expensive components?

                I am convinced that break in and I mean serious break in - not 20mins- is necessary it may take continuous playing for 24 hrs or more for a system to snap back. So a system that has been carted out of a flight case and maybe brand new will sound good? Mostly not IMO. I find wire and analog need time to settle. YMMV .

                Having said that- a show may give you a chance to see and hear something that you may want to explore more seriously - hopefully, in a much better curated environment. So, much of what appeals to us is wrapped up in our eyes and reliance on affirmation from others in many instances. Shows can be good and bad for this.

                Front end: Aesthetix Io Eclipse with 2 Power Supplies and Volume controls
                Brinkmann Balance & RonT Tube Power supply with Kuzma 4-point ,FR64S, Brinkmann 12.1 , .Koetsu Jade Platinum,Koetsu Rosewood Signature Platinum, Lyra Atlas, Lyra Etna SL Goldfinger Statement, KLAUDIO RCM, HRSM3X
                Amps: Wyetech Topaz, Futterman H3 Quad II,Citation II, Marantz 8b, 5 ,2
                Pre-Amps:Marantz 7, Marantz Model 1 Consolette Pair
                Speakers: Quad ESL 57, Beveridge Model 3 DD amps, REL S/2 x 2
                Otari 5050BXII, DeHavilland 222


                • #10
                  i have often heard reproduced music that touched me in other systems, and my reaction is to listen to the same recording in my system while the aural memory is fresh in my mind. what might i learn? once this was in a system more similar to mine (same exact speakers and amps) than any i had ever heard (as my amps and speakers are very rare)......and it triggered a watershed forward leap in my own system. i realized what was holding my own system back. what was cool was that this major change was almost free in dollars, but took me 9 months and hundreds of hours of room tuning.

                  and my system enjoyment has been at a high level consistently since that experience.

                  getting your ears calibrated by listening to other systems is a healthy thing i think. live music is less helpful. you need a recording you can also play on your system. it's the recording you are optimizing. and it's important to not confuse lots of pretty expensive boxes with great system performance. we hear at shows how bad good gear can sound, or how great well sorted out systems can sound.


                  • Kingrex
                    Kingrex commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I left your house and when I got home threw on my vinyl version of Led Zeppelin. I was left flat by it. Since then I have made some changes but not enough to move the needle that much.

                • #11
                  Originally posted by Mike Lavigne View Post
                  ...getting your ears calibrated by listening to other systems is a healthy thing i think. live music is less helpful. you need a recording you can also play on your system. it's the recording you are optimizing. and it's important to not confuse lots of pretty expensive boxes with great system performance. we hear at shows how bad good gear can sound, or how great well sorted out systems can sound.
                  The two (listening to other systems and live music) are separate but both are important, IMO. Knowing what a live performance sounds like and real instruments are important to many. In some ways much more so than another system.

                  In relation to an absolute sound, the live performance and real instruments provide parts/glimpses of the ultimate benchmark. It's real, It's live.

                  Observing systems and adjusting your own via a recording you hear somewhere else may be practically helpful IF you weave the experience in with real instrument sound AND the system provides some benefit to help get you closer to the real. Using that recording to help can possibly benefit in that quest.

                  So, while I'd agree it is useful to have more obtainable references, the gold standard of real instrument sound should not be diminished. It (the real or absolute sound) is viewed by many as unobtainable but it should not be forgotten in our quest to move closer to it.

                  Every day is a good day to play analog.
                  - 12" 33-1/3 RPM or 45 RPM vinyl
                  - 10.5" 15ips or 30ips tape
                  Every day is a good day for live music.


                  • Mike Lavigne
                    Mike Lavigne commented
                    Editing a comment
                    while live music certainly is useful as a reference, even though it is so variable in consumption, there is nothing like hearing a recording (or number of recordings......that you also own) in another system with your same exact gear. if you hear things going to another level, then it can provide
                    guideposts to system tweaking unmatched by any other.

                    the times this might exactly happen with two very, very high level and mature systems is few and far between. i would not expect you to fully appreciate the opportunity it was for me. before this happened i would never have thought such gains (that turned out to be free in terms of dollers spent) in my system to be possible.

                    certainly there was years of serious listening to both recorded music and live music developing skills as a precursor to this epiphany. so there was/is always a live music listening component to my aural memory and judgement.

                    my 2 cents, YMMV.

                  • Dre_J
                    Dre_J commented
                    Editing a comment

                    If I take an elevated road as my choice of travel, your response basically reinforces the comments in mine above.

                    Your moves and epiphany got you closer to it (the real) by way of hearing a similar, near or exact, system that sounded better than yours in some way (according to your comments) at that time. That’s understandable.

                    I’ve met many people that have been perplexed by such opportunity gains and the new knowledge that their systems could be improved more to their liking, just as you have recorded you’ve experienced. I think it’s a phenomena experienced by many on several levels.

                    Bravo to you. Diversity keeps the hobby interesting.