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  • An Interesting Question

    Harry Pearson once observed in cartridge survey a long, long time ago--and it applies to all audio gear--"if they [cartridges] are all supposed to represent the sound of live music, how come they all sound so different?"

    It doesn't seem that much has changed over the years!
    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
    ________________________________________

    -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
    -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
    -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
    -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
    -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
    -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
    -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
    -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
    -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
    -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

  • #2
    Originally posted by MylesBAstor View Post
    Harry Pearson once observed in cartridge survey a long, long time ago--and it applies to all audio gear--"if they [cartridges] are all supposed to represent the sound of live music, how come they all sound so different?"

    It doesn't seem that much has changed over the years!
    The question I always have is are we able to listen to any single component in a chain of components not to mention wires. Aren't we always listening to a sum total and the interactions between those components? So are we really hearing a cartridge?
    TW Acustic TT with Ref motor & controller; Tri-Planar Arm; Ortofon Windfeld-Ti Cartridge, Harmonix-Combak platter matte & weight; Arcam R Phono Preamp; KLAudio Ultrasonic Record Cleaner.

    Bluesound Vault-2 Music Server & Streamer

    VTL 6.5 preamp Series II
    Pass Labs 150.8 Amp

    Piega C711 Loudspeakers

    Symposium Osiris Rack; Symposium Platforms and Roller Blocks plus grade 2.5 Balls

    Acoustic Revive RR-888 Low Frequency Pulse Generator, Synergistic Research 12 UEF SE Line Conditioner, Level 3 HC AC Cord and Level 3 power cords, Synergistic Carbon fiber wall plates, Synergistic Research Orange & Outlet, Furutech NCF Booster Braces, Audio Art Ref balanced IC, MIT Oracle IC, Synergistic Research Euphoria Level 3 Speaker Cables, Synergistic Research Cable Risers.

    Sennheiser HDV 650 Headphone Amp; Sennheiser HD800s Headphones.

    Comment


    • Bill Hart
      Bill Hart commented
      Editing a comment
      Agreed. Every component seems to impart some of its character to the end result. I've only found that sometimes--where overt colorations are not at play--after changing a component. (I'll include wire as a component for these purposes). I seem to remember HP talking about some revelation in a capsule review or one of his constant previews--i forget what he called them- never to follow up. And he'd reach a conclusion that what he thought was uncolored or highly revealing was only masking something else as he progressed. I'm not criticizing HP, I learned an awful lot about how to think about audio from him- particularly in the early days of The Absolute Sound.

  • #3
    And Bill, with analog you are hearing everything from the tip of the stylus thru the floor and set up too. No matter how hard we try to set up a comparison cartridge, do we really get all parameters precisely the same way?
    TW Acustic TT with Ref motor & controller; Tri-Planar Arm; Ortofon Windfeld-Ti Cartridge, Harmonix-Combak platter matte & weight; Arcam R Phono Preamp; KLAudio Ultrasonic Record Cleaner.

    Bluesound Vault-2 Music Server & Streamer

    VTL 6.5 preamp Series II
    Pass Labs 150.8 Amp

    Piega C711 Loudspeakers

    Symposium Osiris Rack; Symposium Platforms and Roller Blocks plus grade 2.5 Balls

    Acoustic Revive RR-888 Low Frequency Pulse Generator, Synergistic Research 12 UEF SE Line Conditioner, Level 3 HC AC Cord and Level 3 power cords, Synergistic Carbon fiber wall plates, Synergistic Research Orange & Outlet, Furutech NCF Booster Braces, Audio Art Ref balanced IC, MIT Oracle IC, Synergistic Research Euphoria Level 3 Speaker Cables, Synergistic Research Cable Risers.

    Sennheiser HDV 650 Headphone Amp; Sennheiser HD800s Headphones.

    Comment


    • #4
      No audio component can be evaluated in and of itself, only in the context of the system it is used in.

      Speaking of HP, I recall one of his reviews done towards the end of his association with TAS. I cannot recall what exactly he was reviewing (an amplifier?) but it gave him considerable pause regarding his entire system by way of a reduced noise floor and masking effects. One of the few times he seemed to "stutter" a bit in his writing trying to wrap his head around it.

      Comment


      • Garth
        Garth commented
        Editing a comment
        If you want a right answer in Black and White ask a 18 year old because every year after that we add another shade of grey to our lives.

        A review is just one persons thoughts and not much more than that.

    • #5
      Interesting thoughts all around. I originally wanted to address the subject of equipment and system neutrality and whether we can ever know whether we've achieved it or not. To wit, this discussion can go in many directions eg. assembling a system as a collection of balancing colorations (that can really boomerang) --say cables for instance --or trying to assemble the most "neutral" components possible. Years ago when reviewing the Goldmund Reference turntable, HP commented that the table and arm were so neutral that it was the product was the first product that allowed him to hear the cartridge's colorations. Of course back then, everything was overall, pretty horribly colored.

      But can you tell what is neutral. Is it putting a component in the system that doesn't add to or subtract from the system's colorations?

      What is more troubling,though, is that people toss the term neutral around like a hot potato and neutrality has become synonymous with a washed out, harmonically lacking, thin, barren and cold sound. That certainly isn't what real music sounds like but more but in the haste reduce colorations, more systems seem to be heading down that path. Hence that older thread about throwing the baby out with the bath water.

      http://www.audionirvana.org/forum/th...-the-bathwater
      Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
      Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
      ________________________________________

      -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
      -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
      -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
      -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
      -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
      -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
      -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
      -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
      -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
      -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

      Comment

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