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  • Music Used In Equipment Reviews

    Chris/Tunes brought this to mind with comment in another thread and didn't want to go too far off topic.

    People often complained years ago that many reviewers TAS used albums for reviewing that were all unobtanium. Mercury, RCA. Decca. Only a few people had access to these excellent reviewing tools. So what good did that do for the reader if they wanted to cross check listening notes. But I am curious. Do people still compare their listening notes with what is found in equipment reviews?

    So what makes for good reviewing material? Mixes of genres? Scales? Recordings that have a big upside? What else?

    PS. That's why I try and limit my examples using tape since most people don't have reel-to-reel machines. But I listen to more tape during the review process to get a feeling of a component's sonic virtues than appears in the review.
    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
    ________________________________________

    -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
    -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
    -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
    -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 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 Mk. 2, 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. 6, 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 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

  • #2
    In my particular case, there are a number of considerations: 1) my familiarity with the software and how often I have been able to hear it on other equipment, 2) whether the software is well enough recorded and pressed to display subtle differences in equipment, and 3) to a much lesser extent, availability. For me the very best of today's electronics have extremely high resolution, vanishingly low noise, truthful tonality and with the right software, an ability to populate the soundscape with three dimensional images. The software used for review must be capable with the right equipment of doing these things. For this reason, I tend to gravitate toward very early Decca and EMI SAX classical pressings. A case in point is the first label Decca pressing of Ansermet doing Mother Goose (SXL 2062, if I remember correctly).
    Rockport Sirius turntable, Lyra Atlas SL cartridge, Audio Note M9 SE Phono stage, Audio Note M10 (Signature) linestage, EMM Labs TX2/DA2 digital, Audio Note Balanced Kegon amps, EMM Labs MTRX amps, Acapella Triolons, Jorma Prime and Odin 2 cables, Stage 3 Kraken power cords, HB Marble Powerslave, Finite Elemente Pagode Reference stands and Cerabases, Halcyonics active isolation bases, HRS Equipment stand, Stillpoints Ultra 6 footers, Furitech cable isolators and plugs, Loricraft and Audiodesk vinyl cleaners, Yamaha CT7000 Tuner.

    Comment


    • #3
      I'll make it short and sweet. Please get away from the overabundance of classical and jazz.
      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


      • #4
        I would think it matters as to what kind of devise is being tested
        next if speakers or an amp various inputs meaning tape
        and digital. Paramount is all music that person knows very well
        music that is both soft and hard. Quite and loud with impact.
        I say both analog and digital cause they sometimes have virtues others don't have. Analog has a relaxed less tense sound but still fast and dynamic
        not much digital has this and the dac is very important in delivering it as long as the track has it. So for me I don't care what music they use as long as it hits all notes needed to evail
        correctly.
        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


        • #5
          I know I've brought this up before, but I use both LP and Digital, and simply whatever I feel like listening to at the time. I get as much info from an average or even poor recording, in terms of how well a piece allows for the track to be listenable and enjoyable. "Challenging" recordings (for example, The Lounge Lizards first LP) are very telling of a systems abilities. I stick to musical genres that i most happy listening to.
          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


          • #6
            Originally posted by Steve Lefkowicz View Post
            "Challenging" recordings (for example, The Lounge Lizards first LP) are very telling of a systems abilities.
            What is it that is so "challenging" about the Lounge Lizards first album?
            Analog: Holbo Turntable, Transfiguration Proteus; Forsell Air Reference, Transfiguration Phoenix S; Rega RP-8, VdH Crimson XGW; VPI Prime Signature, VAS Nova Mono, VAS Nova Signature, Symphonic Line RG-8
            Digital: Mac mini 6,2 with YFS PS-12M LPS; Exogal Comet Plus, Exogal Ion PowerDAC
            Electronics: Aurorasound Vida, Channel D Lino C; Merrill Cara, Gryphon M-100 Mkii (pair)
            Cables: Morrow, Gryphon interconnects; YFS USB cable; Morrow, XLO, Channel D phono cables; Morrow, Gryphon, Goertz speaker cables

            Comment


            • #7
              I use digital if I review equipment in the magazines listening room.
              At home always analog unless I review digital equipment. (About once every five years ... )
              Always use a mix of records. 😀 But it is mostly alt-pop or electronica.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by MylesBAstor View Post
                Chris/Tunes brought this to mind with comment in another thread and didn't want to go too far off topic.

                People often complained years ago that many reviewers TAS used albums for reviewing that were all unobtanium. Mercury, RCA. Decca. Only a few people had access to these excellent reviewing tools. So what good did that do for the reader if they wanted to cross check listening notes. But I am curious. Do people still compare their listening notes with what is found in equipment reviews?

                So what makes for good reviewing material? Mixes of genres? Scales? Recordings that have a big upside? What else?

                PS. That's why I try and limit my examples using tape since most people don't have reel-to-reel machines. But I listen to more tape during the review process to get a feeling of a component's sonic virtues than appears in the review.
                Myles, keep doing it your way. I can read an equipment review and isolate the writer's preference for certain music, recordings etc. what's more important is that the writer is using music they're most familiar with rather than the whys. I don't follow equipment reviews much anymore, if I were to nit pick, I guess Id wish for reviews like HP's using uncompressed music composed for a full symphony orchestra with wide swinging dynamics and recorded in an unamplified acoustic. baring that, good ol' R&R works and should be included to give readers a broader slice of what the hardware under review is like.
                TechDAS | Graham Eng | ZYX | B.M.C. | Boulder | Magico

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

                Comment


                • #9
                  The vast majority of audiophiles, regardless of their financial commitment, are NOT primarily Classical and Jazz listeners. Yet many, if not most, reviewers fail to recognize this fact and wax poetic about music none of us ever ever heard. I want to know what the review piece sounds like with music genres most of us listen to. They also don't need to be "audiophile" pressings. Surprise me by playing Janis Ian or Gordon Lightfoot or America or XTC, etc, etc. This we can identify with and might lead to inquiries to consider the product for ourselves.


                  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


                  • #10
                    The best music is material the reviewer knows well and is widely available.
                    Last edited by jazdoc; 03-31-2017, 12:20 AM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      You go JONNY. Lol. I am with you. In part some reviewers seem to have give importance in musical knowledge
                      funny I am a retard at that but as long as there pics are known well and they give examples why they are important that's good. To me classical and don't bash me for this. Is not a good example as it's mic s are from a distance this leaves out up close cues that for my small brain leave out immense details that I feel are needed.
                      It's female and male vocals , horns and percussion in that order . Now if it's a dac both red book and hi Rez a must and if it plays dsd its absolute and honesty in how good it plays it is of most importance. So many dacs play dsd without its dsd ability to be great dsd.
                      I can think of two dacs reviewed that did not play dsd well but got praised.
                      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


                      • #12
                        Lounge lizards is very nice. Deep low end and on just tidal red book yields nice clean sounds. Just turned my amps on they need s good 30 mins to settle down they shout at first. Thanks for the post
                        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


                        • Steve Lefkowicz
                          Steve Lefkowicz commented
                          Editing a comment
                          The original LP is way better than any digital release I've heard of it, but is also tougher to gt right.

                      • #13
                        Originally posted by jonathanb View Post

                        What is it that is so "challenging" about the Lounge Lizards first album?
                        Is can be pretty harsh and a tough listen on some systems. I played it on a bunch of systems at the Newport show a few years ago and it ranged from "we can't stop listening this is awesome" to "run from the room screaming, fingernails on a chalkboard would be better" for lack of any better technical terms! It takes a very musically involving system to play it well. Systems that are too analytical just don't play it well.
                        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
                          Ah, I get it now. And I can surmise that my system must be musically involving as the LP sounded awesome this afternoon!
                          Analog: Holbo Turntable, Transfiguration Proteus; Forsell Air Reference, Transfiguration Phoenix S; Rega RP-8, VdH Crimson XGW; VPI Prime Signature, VAS Nova Mono, VAS Nova Signature, Symphonic Line RG-8
                          Digital: Mac mini 6,2 with YFS PS-12M LPS; Exogal Comet Plus, Exogal Ion PowerDAC
                          Electronics: Aurorasound Vida, Channel D Lino C; Merrill Cara, Gryphon M-100 Mkii (pair)
                          Cables: Morrow, Gryphon interconnects; YFS USB cable; Morrow, XLO, Channel D phono cables; Morrow, Gryphon, Goertz speaker cables

                          Comment


                          • #15
                            Originally posted by jonathanb View Post
                            Ah, I get it now. And I can surmise that my system must be musically involving as the LP sounded awesome this afternoon!
                            Sounds about right to me! But I'm sure you can see where not every high end system can do that.
                            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

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