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Do we lose something as we progress to better gear?

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  • Do we lose something as we progress to better gear?

    I love my system. It's taken me a long time to get where I am now. I've bought and sold stuff, added new stuff, bought better pressings and it's all paid off. However, I'm not sure if I enjoy it anymore than when I had a lesser system. It sounds better, but do I truly enjoy it more is the question. I'm not sure if I can truly answer that question. As I've upgraded I've also become more critical and thereby less tolerant. Being more critical is not a bad thing as it's helped me to differentiate the wheat from the chaff in many cases, but the being less tolerant part is something I don't like. When I had a much less revealing system I played music for music's sake and just enjoyed it. I didn't question mastering, brickwalling or anything else..I just grooved to the tunes. I like that!
    Dynavector DV20x2L MC cartridge - Genesis G7.1f speakers - Marantz Reference PM-KI-Pearl Int. Amp. - Oracle Audio Paris MkV turntable - Various Morrow & Valab/King cables

  • #2
    You have arrived at listening to your system anot not always just you music. A while back before now I was on the hunt to improve my system even more . For the few who have been there all loved it as I do too. But am I proud of what I have sorry but no . Perhaps low self a steam . Or maybe if a legendary pro like Gary of gneiss set it up I'll bet it would matter much more. I have so much music but when I start to play it if it's not really good I most likely will not continue playing that album. How dumb for lack of a better rep,y have I become . I own an analog productions of credence clear water great album but works it tough .oud. His less pauls I think that is what he is p,aging screams like I was there I the basement studio as kid when I heard them played by friends in a band . But I and some here have become bloated pigs that quality must rule . Not claiming to none person but absolutely me for one. What the hell happened to me hahahaha.
    analog stuff.
    otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 made new by soren
    otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 1/2 combo made new by soren
    sota sapphire used eminent tech ver 2 arm
    new sota nova table has magnetic levitation platter and full speed control and latest motor same arm as above
    thorens td124 sme ver 2 arm
    thorens td125 sme ver 2 arm
    kenwood direct drive sme ver 2 arm
    phono preamp Ml no 25 all re capped
    speakers cust infinity IRS V , new caps and LPS , magnets etc.
    mark levivson pre no 26 amps no 33
    digital three cust servers , win ser 2016 , AO
    Dacs lampi various

    Comment


    • #3
      All depends on how we define our enjoyments. As one progresses up the audio equipment food chain, even a modest distance as I have, there is a definite tendency to notice the shortcomings of various recordings. The solution, in my opinion, and the wisest pathway for someone who is a *music lover* first is avoid the most austere and brutally revealing components and systems. Tube electronics, in many cases, accomplish this objective to a substantial degree. And this is a big reason that vinyl stays alive among discerning listeners: even compared with high resolution digital, vinyl (or R2R if you must) is less "accurate" but also (everything being equal) less austere sounding, less clinical, easier to live with, warmer---more Gemutlich, as the Germans would say. All of this has, of course, been said many times before and even lately with digital improvements, because it is still true.

      Now of course no amount of tubes and vinyl is going to help with many Rock LPs from pretty much any era (especially the late 1970s and 1980s!), too many of which sound horrendous by audiophile standards.
      Lyra Kleos SL, Dynavector XX-2MKII, VPI JMW 10.5i, VPI Aries, VPI SDS, ModWright PH-150 Reference Phono, Sony HAP-Z1ES server, McIntosh MR80, McIntosh C2300, McIntosh MC352, Vandersteen 5A, PS Audio P10, Bright Star Audio Rack of Gibraltar. Cables: Shunyata Cobra Ztron IC, PS Audio Statement AC, Synergistic Research AC, Harmonic Tech Silver Phono, Cable Research Labs Silver IC, Audioquest Gibraltar bi-wire.

      Comment


      • #4
        Moods and perspective vary over time. Satisfaction is personal. I have not found myself fretting if the breadth or depth of my enjoyment is some quanta more or less now than then. As I've made improvements to my system and broadened my music collection I have not had any fewer moments of "can it get any better than this?" The satisfaction I get from making a large or small positive improvement or acquiring a great record is no less today than it was five or ten or twenty years ago.

        I do believe my judgement is more discriminating today and I appreciate that. Writing reviews taught me how to switch between analytical listening and enjoyment (or as I call it, limbic) listening - and if I fail in doing both, not for a session but across days, that also tells me something about what I'm listening to.

        For me, Dr.Tyrell ("The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long") was wrong. My enthusiasm for our hobby/pastime/passion is not only undimmed, but continues to grow.

        And speaking of great records, this week's great record comes from EMI and Andre Previn w/ the LSO. Thanks to HP for pointing it out.


        EMI ASD 2917

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Johnny Vinyl View Post
          I love my system. It's taken me a long time to get where I am now. I've bought and sold stuff, added new stuff, bought better pressings and it's all paid off. However, I'm not sure if I enjoy it anymore than when I had a lesser system. It sounds better, but do I truly enjoy it more is the question. I'm not sure if I can truly answer that question. As I've upgraded I've also become more critical and thereby less tolerant. Being more critical is not a bad thing as it's helped me to differentiate the wheat from the chaff in many cases, but the being less tolerant part is something I don't like. When I had a much less revealing system I played music for music's sake and just enjoyed it. I didn't question mastering, brickwalling or anything else..I just grooved to the tunes. I like that!
          I always had the nagging feeling that you had a nagging feeling when you replaced your last speakers with your new speakers that you gave up something.
          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.

          Comment


          • #6
            Audio is like crack - you are always trying to get back the high you had when you first heard an amazing song or album. It can happen with new music. Great gear can make a great song new new again - by letting you hear things you never did before. It feels like hearing it for the first time. It lets you listen differently as well - following the bass line, percussion, organ, voices, guitar etc.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by mep View Post

              I always had the nagging feeling that you had a nagging feeling when you replaced your last speakers with your new speakers that you gave up something.
              I know you had that feeling, and you are right, I did. I took me some time to get used to them as they are so very different, but I stuck with it and through trial and error, a bit of help from Gary on positioning and such, I finally came to appreciate them for the wonderful transducers they are. I came from a very warm speaker to something much more neutral so the change was significant. Any doubts I had have disappeared completely.
              Dynavector DV20x2L MC cartridge - Genesis G7.1f speakers - Marantz Reference PM-KI-Pearl Int. Amp. - Oracle Audio Paris MkV turntable - Various Morrow & Valab/King cables

              Comment


              • #8
                Nice topic. I have an old CJ PV9A pre-amp, a CJ MV100 tube amp that feeds Synthisis LM300 speakers(CJ product) in my office. It is ridiculously over-sized for the space(It is also like an audio space heater in the winter) For convenience, I feed it with an Arcam R-dock for my iPod and a old Cal Audios transport to the original CJ DAC. No matter what I play on this thing, it sounds great. Is it the ultimate in resolution- No. Is the bass super tight-No. Does it have pin point imaging.-No. Does everything sound good. Yes. Everything sounds warm and 3 dimensional. Even recordings that make me cringe on my updated system, sound pretty fine on the relic from the late 80's & early 90's. On a side note, taking away my credit as a music first guy, I put NOS tubes in MV100. Sometimes I just can't control myself.
                CJ Gat, Lamm ML1.1, CJ Tea1 S3 phono, TW Acoustics Raven AC, Tri-Planer MK Vll SE, Vdh Crimson Stradivarius, Exemplar Modded 205(Tube Version), Rockport Avior ll Speakers, Shunyata Denali 6000t,Triton V3, Shunyata Python Zitron IC's & Sigma Speaker Cables. Shunyata Sigma Power Cables, Audio Desk Pro LP Cleaner, Stillpoints, Stillpoints Aperture Panels & MG Corner Tunes.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Tube rolling gives me many many systems to hear my music on. Some so different it's new music from a different
                  presentation to sounds obscured now closer with more details.
                  analog stuff.
                  otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 made new by soren
                  otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 1/2 combo made new by soren
                  sota sapphire used eminent tech ver 2 arm
                  new sota nova table has magnetic levitation platter and full speed control and latest motor same arm as above
                  thorens td124 sme ver 2 arm
                  thorens td125 sme ver 2 arm
                  kenwood direct drive sme ver 2 arm
                  phono preamp Ml no 25 all re capped
                  speakers cust infinity IRS V , new caps and LPS , magnets etc.
                  mark levivson pre no 26 amps no 33
                  digital three cust servers , win ser 2016 , AO
                  Dacs lampi various

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    This is a topic that been central to my perspective for as long as I've been involved in audio. I remember reading a review in TAS in the mid 1980s where the reviewer pointed out that the improvement the piece of equipment under review offered was so great, that it left a large part of his collection unlistenable. I called BS at that point. That was no "improvement" to me at all.
                    It is also why when I evaluate gear (especially for review purposes) I don't use audiophile releases or any of the classic audiophile stalwarts. I simply can't accept any change that improves the "sound" while diminishing my enjoyment of any of my favorite music as an improvement in my system. I have heard too many really expensive, high end systems, that kick ass on a handful of demo tracks, but sound soulless and lifeless on anything else.
                    That's one reason that since my adding a music server to my system, one of the big tests for any change in my system or piece of gear in for review, is to play for a couple hours on shuffle, and see how well it holds my attention. It's also why I select LPs that are music I love but not that well recorded or produced. Can I still stand to listen to the Go Gos first LP? Does the McGarrigle Sisters first LP touch my heart or glare and grate? Do Roxy Music's early LPs rock and intrigue, or cause a headache?
                    Yes,I always evaluate with less than audiophile quality releases, just for this purpose.
                    Yes, I love it when the best sounding records in my collection sound even better, but I expect everything else to sound better too.
                    However, we all fine tune our systems to our own purposes, and to each his own.
                    Steve Lefkowicz
                    Senior Associate Editor at Positive Feedback
                    -
                    Analog 1: Linn LP12 (MOSE/Hercules II), Ittok, Dynavector 10X5 MK.II Low, iPhono2/iPowerX; Analog 2: Pro-Ject RPM-1 Carbon, Talisman S, iFi iPhono.
                    Digital: Samsung 300E5C notebook, JRiver Media Center 28, Tidal HiFi, Qobuz Studio), iFi NEO iDSD, iFi iUSB3, iPurifier2, Audioquest Jitterbug.
                    Electronics: DIY passive line-stage, Antique Sound Labs MG-SI15DT-S, Burson Timekeeper Virtuoso
                    Speakers: Tekton Lore, Magneplaner .7
                    Interconnects: Morrow Audio MA1, Vermouth Audio Black Pearl, Audioquest Evergreen
                    Speaker cables: Morrow Audio SP4, Vermouth Audio Red Velvet, Audioquest Type 5
                    Digital cables: Aural Symphonics USB, iFi Gemini twin-head USB.
                    Accessories: Sound Organization turntable shelf, Mondo racks, Pangea Audio Vulcan rack, Pi Audio Group Über BUSS, Monster HTS2000 power conditioner, Kinetronics anti-static brush, Pro-Ject VC-S record cleaner, Spin Clean record cleaner.
                    Headphones: Schiit Valhalla amp, Burson Conductor Virtuoso Amp, Meze Audio 99 Classic and 99 Neo, Beyerdynamic DT770Pro 600 ohm, DT770 Studio 80 ohm, 1More Triple Driver Over Ear, 1More Triple Driver IEM

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      What about having two systems: one to reveal everything on the recordings and one to enjoy every recording you have?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Way back when I had self made speakers from Lafayette audio.
                        Some time late 80 I made a big mistaek I bought a set of infinity RS1b wow did my music become horrible except for a few back then I played vinyl technics linear drive arm and there cartdge
                        it's at that point I went to CD players. My first was a Sony es something there flagship. A brick wall filter that rattle your teeth but it was better for me then my vinyl.
                        A shirt whike after a demon flagship that blew away he Sony much nicer.
                        built my own Amps and preamps halfler stuff
                        my next wrong move was having to own what I still own now whike great on great stuff it's play low or run and hide loud
                        yoir lost is exactly what's wrong with good high end.
                        Tube rolling helps plenty so does eq
                        have you reviewed a lampi dac I think you guys did once right. ?
                        analog stuff.
                        otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 made new by soren
                        otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 1/2 combo made new by soren
                        sota sapphire used eminent tech ver 2 arm
                        new sota nova table has magnetic levitation platter and full speed control and latest motor same arm as above
                        thorens td124 sme ver 2 arm
                        thorens td125 sme ver 2 arm
                        kenwood direct drive sme ver 2 arm
                        phono preamp Ml no 25 all re capped
                        speakers cust infinity IRS V , new caps and LPS , magnets etc.
                        mark levivson pre no 26 amps no 33
                        digital three cust servers , win ser 2016 , AO
                        Dacs lampi various

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Mortsnets View Post
                          What about having two systems: one to reveal everything on the recordings and one to enjoy every recording you have?
                          Can't speak for anyone else, of course, but for me, one of those systems would get very little use.
                          Steve Lefkowicz
                          Senior Associate Editor at Positive Feedback
                          -
                          Analog 1: Linn LP12 (MOSE/Hercules II), Ittok, Dynavector 10X5 MK.II Low, iPhono2/iPowerX; Analog 2: Pro-Ject RPM-1 Carbon, Talisman S, iFi iPhono.
                          Digital: Samsung 300E5C notebook, JRiver Media Center 28, Tidal HiFi, Qobuz Studio), iFi NEO iDSD, iFi iUSB3, iPurifier2, Audioquest Jitterbug.
                          Electronics: DIY passive line-stage, Antique Sound Labs MG-SI15DT-S, Burson Timekeeper Virtuoso
                          Speakers: Tekton Lore, Magneplaner .7
                          Interconnects: Morrow Audio MA1, Vermouth Audio Black Pearl, Audioquest Evergreen
                          Speaker cables: Morrow Audio SP4, Vermouth Audio Red Velvet, Audioquest Type 5
                          Digital cables: Aural Symphonics USB, iFi Gemini twin-head USB.
                          Accessories: Sound Organization turntable shelf, Mondo racks, Pangea Audio Vulcan rack, Pi Audio Group Über BUSS, Monster HTS2000 power conditioner, Kinetronics anti-static brush, Pro-Ject VC-S record cleaner, Spin Clean record cleaner.
                          Headphones: Schiit Valhalla amp, Burson Conductor Virtuoso Amp, Meze Audio 99 Classic and 99 Neo, Beyerdynamic DT770Pro 600 ohm, DT770 Studio 80 ohm, 1More Triple Driver Over Ear, 1More Triple Driver IEM

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Johnny Vinyl View Post

                            I know you had that feeling, and you are right, I did. I took me some time to get used to them as they are so very different, but I stuck with it and through trial and error, a bit of help from Gary on positioning and such, I finally came to appreciate them for the wonderful transducers they are. I came from a very warm speaker to something much more neutral so the change was significant. Any doubts I had have disappeared completely.
                            Glad to hear that Johnny!
                            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.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Well I did and went back. I had a Pass Labs XA30.5 that I purchased to replace my Vincent SP331 MKII because in was a Pass Labs. My pre is either a Quicksilver or a W4S STP-SE. The amps feed my KEF REF 201/2's in my little opened ended 11x11x10 room.. Well I got the Pass and I was like a kid in a candy store, broke it in per the Pass Labs instructions and waited for some magic to occur, well after months and months swapping out pre's and cables etc..etc... I went back to my little old Chinese made amp and bingo there it was, again. So the Pass was sold. As they say, the grass is not always greener on the expensive side.
                              Chris
                              ----------------------------------------------------------------
                              Kef 201/2, Pass xa30.5, W4S STP-SE, Manley Chinook, VPI Classic, Dynavector DV20x2L, ExaSound e32, Acoustic Zen cables. (Office): Vincent SP331 Mkll, Quicksilver Pre, Lumin D1, (Ken Lau Signiture Edition PSU), Bryston BCD-1, Vapor Audio Breeze, WooAudio W6se,Questyle Audio CMA800R LCD-3,HD800s, HD600, Mr Speaker Ether C Flow,

                              Comment

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