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Has anyone's choice of system sound changed over the years

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  • Has anyone's choice of system sound changed over the years

    From a kid I always like upfront sound. I never really cared for the layed back sound type. I like the sound to have air and some sparkle to it. I have had infinity speakers for last 30 years or so. When I go to shows most rooms are. It for me but there are some that always stand out to me. Years ago appogee was one. But more modern is nola
    focal , avantegaurd and legacy. To me they have the sound type I like. Stats are good but I need more weight behind them I feel the same with my stat headphones
    planers seem to hit the spot on most speakers.
    In my room he towers give levels of details that no headphone I own gives. If I were to change my first choice would genesis , but if there is a second it would be horns
    I wonder how much is an acquired taste amd how many of you have changed types over the years.
    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

  • #2
    For me its horns, horns, horns, and more horns!!! Ok let me add that my speakers are horn loaded bass cabinets, and I recently went to an active xover with SET amps on the mids and tweeters; the woofers are run by a pro audio SS amp.
    Last edited by jcmusic; 06-27-2017, 07:05 AM.

    Comment


    • #3
      For me it is horns combined with large 15 " drivers,active crossovers and 9 vintage tube amps and super tweeters, plenty of air and sparkle

      Comment


      • #4
        Ok my speaker history.

        Dynamic (DQ 10) ---> planar dynamic (Magnepan MG3a stock) ---> planar dynamic (Magnepan MG3a modded). ---> dynamic (WattPuppy 5 and 5.1 for a SE amp project)---> various ML hybrid electrostatics (Quest/reQuest/Prodigy/Summit/Summit-X) ---> dynamic (Magico S5/S5 mk. 2)

        Quick comments:

        Loved the openness of the Dollies
        Loved the tweeter and snap and definition in the bass of the Maggies
        Loved and got the mids, speed, resolution and microdynamics with the ML couldn't get with the Maggies. Each gen of ML improved the blending of drivers and transparency
        Loved the Magicos because they package all of the above qualities and more (linearity, dynamics, etc) of the above speakers.
        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.

        Comment


        • #5
          My first foray into high end audio, almost forty years ago, were Magnepan 2167-F, the predecessors of the MG-II's. I stayed with planars, switching to electrostatics - Acoustat 2+2 and then for a long time Quad ESL63 US Monitors with Gradient subs. Twenty years ago, I walked into a shop and they were demoing the new KR SET amps (Riccardo Kron and wife Eunice were there with the owner of the shop in central Hong Kong) and I fell in love with the SET sound. It took another few years until I was able to afford a used pair of Cary 2A3 Signature amps (3.5 watts a side), and the matching speakers which were and are still today Avantgarde Duos. It will be 15 years this summer with the same amps and speakers (although I have added three more Avantgarde Solos for my combo stereo/surround system.

          Larry
          Analog- VPIClassic3-3DArm,Lyra Skala+MiyajimaZeroMono, 2xAmpex ATR-102,Otari MX5050B2,Merrill Trident Master Tape Pre,Herron VTPH-2A
          Dig Rip-Pyramix,IzotopeRX3Adv,Mykerinos,PacMicroModel2
          Dig Play-mchNADAC, LampiPac, Roon, HQP, Oppo105
          Electronics-Doshi Pre,CJ MET1mchPre, Cary2A3monoamps
          Speakers-AvantgardeDuosLR,3SolosC,LR,RR
          Other-2x512Engineer/Marutani Symmetrical Power, AudioDiskVinylCleaner,AirTightRecordFlat, Scott Rust Interconnects,
          Music-15KRecs(90%classical),1.7KR2Rtapes,50TBrips

          Comment


          • #6
            Wow some nice jounies we have gone through. I think Myles has envolved the most so far. Myles how do you feel about horns ?
            I
            Posted on here somewhere of how do we learn to hear in hi end audio , meaning what is the process and when does it happen. I think Myles said from early on we get formed by what we hear . I always felt we each hesr different and its nit just choices. What I miss and wish I had the time to do is join a club . To be around ten or so people and listen to each ones views after session always intrigued me. I did this with headphones a very exposing of our views. I remember going to some place and heard Nola speakers with a few dacs one being my msb . Nice speakers what I took away from that day is that I heard Changes that 6 others did not or would not share . One DAC actually fluttered as it played , no one commented even after I said it. The ONWER from an audio shop said it needs to break in . Maybe but more likly it was jitter as it was plAyed from a laptop .
            But the one constant was the Nola's they always sounded nice. Last night I got home late but had been playing mtv unplugged in the truck . So as soon as I got home I turned on the Amps and played as I cooked. Wow how bad it sounded cold . But in 15 mins or so in playing it got so much better. The server , nas drives and DAC always are on but I will not leave the Amps on when not here. At one point I used headphones almost always. Now it's always speakers , and surround sound with video.
            Myles thanks for putting up with my odd comments and off the wall views , you have assembled a very nice place filled with an immense amount of audio knowledge . What makes this place unlike any other is music first of all the sites I visit not many anymore none put music first as here.
            its odd that most all sites put the equipment first pushing it and this makes me or some feel in adequate in some ways. I don't have a 700k setup and I think most here don't but if they do or not it's the music that is played that matters. You guide this and
            use for what this hobby should be about. The wealth of music info I have learned from since the first time I met has continued. You gleamed with joy as you picked music to play .
            Thanks tp,you and all.
            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


            • #7
              Certainly. I think it is but to be expected as one gains more and more exposure. In my case I think I ended up shooting for a mixture of attributes and that is where I believe I am at now.

              I grew up on a steady diet of what I would later read about to be the East Coast sound. Dad's system was a Thorens table, a Marantz integrated and AR3s. Mom's and big bros were all ReVox systems. Sound was always warm and full but in hindsight not what one would call well imaging or transparent. It was a comforting sound that made most everything listenable. Given the budget constraints of a student I followed this warmish sound with ARs of my own and then to B&W. As I worked for date money doing DJ gigs and SR for small bands I was exposed to the West Coast sound. I was working mainly with JBL pro speakers and softened them up by going with Fostex mosfet amps instead of the usual Crown amps for the highs and mids. I used Crest for bass. While I tried to maintain some warmth, the dynamics of horns added yet another aspect to fall for. At home I got on the merry go round trying to find speakers that married these two aspects. In a parallel pursuit for the bedroom system I went through a bunch of mini monitors which in turn introduced imaging into the soup. A visit to my cousin in LA who had Acoustat 2+2s reminded me instantly of the Beveridge model 3s of my Uncle Johnny which come to think of it, gave me my first glimpse of transparency. The toddlers were poking every tweeter in sight so I opted for a life with Maggies for a few years. Hello love for dipole sound.

              At a point where I had a decent system of my own (Revel + Levinson), an education in audio production and acoustics too, a random invitation of an acquaintance to hear his X1s with ML33s threw another curveball. I preferred his living room system (VSA and Meridian) to his big rig. I ordered a pair of VS' former distributor but he yo-yo'd me for 3 months. Turns out he was no longer affiliated. I went factory direct and have stayed with that brand to this day. I eventually became the local VS distributor and that had me and my partners joining the local audio show. There I met and became good friends with the DIY guys and they opened up the world of triodes to me. Their work gave me the love for microdynamic fluidity and linearity. Seemingly limitless low level resolution. Then there was scale. Now financially secure and able to build a purpose built room, let's just say my obsession to have true half wave response at 20Hz had me building a room that was pretty BIG. I found myself force feeding my loudspeakers with crazy horsepower. This worked for dynamic headroom but sadly, the sense of ease the speakers had in my old place was lost as listening distance increased. Effectively doubling up the speakers solved that and it came with the ability to fully energize the space. So I went from enjoying simple warmth and forgivingness to what could be called a stupidly ambitious endeavor to get a balance of attributes of the best of everything I've experienced in one package. What truly brings joy to me however is not the performance envelope per se but how that has impacted my true love which is collecting music. Freed to a large extent from playback limitations, I'm no longer limited to music my system can play at realistic levels, which I shall now admit is the ultimate guilty pleasure enjoyed with care and prudence for obvious health/hearing preservation reasons.

              Yeah, tastes have certainly changed and will continue to do so. I love it!

              Comment


              • #8
                I think I was still in my teens when I had the Phase Linear 700 and double Advents; then, to the original Quad and ARC electronics for years, "upgraded" the Quads to Crosby Quad 63s and various ARC stuff, at its height, the SP10mkii and I think the last "new" ARC amp I bought was a Classic 60; made the switch to horns and SET amps over a decade ago and still doing that. I've always been a midrange/transparency and tone bug, but wanted more dynamics, and more bass. And here I am!

                Comment


                • #9
                  My first choice was stats – I was stunned by the openness and transparency.

                  Overtime I realized that if one went up the price range on cones, you could get more openness retaining cone advantages. The reason I had preferred stas was that I had been comparing at only my budget levels.

                  But then I heard big horns, and it became horns.

                  I also liked some Datasat Auro 3d multichannel systems I heard.

                  I also did not like some Apogees I heard, until I heard the better ones.

                  I finally realized that as you find new things your taste changes, and some choices are only for the short-term, they don’t last stress testing. So I decided to keep stressing my preferences.

                  Today in speakers, what lasts is horns and apogees, and Datasat multichannel.

                  The other big difference that happened was that I went from ignoring analog to realizing it cannot be ignored. I just caved in.

                  So I definitely have changed, as I had Veritys in the middle, and while they are nice, those cones are not for me, so definitely not acquired





                  Comment


                  • #10
                    ignoring the systems of my youth, my serious audiophile period started 23 years ago with Wilson Watt Puppy 3/2's and the stereo solid state Audio Research D400 Mk II. loved the up front energetic sound, and then over the next 6 years graduated to more of that with Mark Levinson separates and amps and WP5.1's, then WP 6.0's ML #32 and #33 mono blocks. at this point I was a bit bored with the ML sound and the Wilson sound (of that time), and desired a more involving, coherent, musical presentation.

                    so I bought Kharma Exquisite Reference 1D speakers, and eventually ended up with Tenor 75 watt tubed OTL mono block amplifiers. I viewed this approach as more linear but less about a contoured sound and macro drama, and more about refinement and nuance, but also with soul.....coherence....and energy. a clear window to the music. and also that I prefer relatively efficient speakers and amplifiers with a great first watt for that intimate sort of musical touch.

                    that was the sound that touched me, and mostly today that is still the guiding spirit of my sonic compass.

                    my agenda has been to have the room and system get out of the way of the musical message....I don't want to hear the character or limitations of the gear.

                    the whole darTZeel vibe to me captures that purity of tubes without the noise and coloration. and the Evolution speakers have much in common with the Kharma's but take things much further.

                    so I had one significant change in direction and priorities in 23 years.

                    certainly my system has grown and developed, as has my own knowledge and feel for how things work. but my basic view on what a high end system should do has basically not really changed since 2000-2001.

                    I still view myself as a 'tube-lover' who found solid state that is enough like tubes to work for me.
                    https://systems.audiogon.com/systems/615

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Since I was in college I've always loved rock music. I was fortunate enough to be there from 1967 to 1972 when classic rock was created. And I have always favored dynamic driver loudspeaker systems. They have the midbass punch, the lower frequency weight and the mid and upper clarity plus the wide dynamics to make the music come alive. Over the years I have listened to numerous planar magnetics, electrostats, horns and many other hybrid designs. While they all had things about them I liked, none was as satisfying as a full-range multi-way dynamic speaker with first order crossovers and frequency, time and phase coherence driven by powerful tubed amps.
                      Thiel 7.2s, Manley NeoClassic 250s, Wadia 850, MIT Oracle V3 speaker cables, MIT MI-350 Oracle interconnects, Black Diamond Racing Shelves and Cones in a dedicated room with ASC Tube Traps, Room Tunes and 3 X 20 amp dedicated circuits.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        My story is the reverse of Mike's. Started out as a solid state guy but increasing dissatisfied with my system's sound, despite increasing investments in equipment.

                        Fell into a bad analog/tube crowd and haven't looked back!

                        Comment


                        • Mike Lavigne
                          Mike Lavigne commented
                          Editing a comment
                          jazdoc, interesting how you read my story.

                          I see it---solid state -> tubes -> tubes blow up -> solid state that sounds kinda like tubes.

                        • mkuller
                          mkuller commented
                          Editing a comment
                          I started out as a solid state guy, too. My first tubed product was an ARC SP-6B preamp in about 1981.
                          An all solid state system began to sound too electromechanical to me. From then on I pretty much had tubes somewhere, usually the preamp with solid state amps. I used tubed amps with both types of preamps. Then for my final system I decided I was only going to be using a CD player so I no longer needed a preamp.

                      • #13
                        Without a doubt... from Apogee Calipers, to full-range Vandersteens. Solid-state to tubes to hybrids.
                        Dave Clark
                        Editor and Publisher, Positive Feedback
                        www.positive-feedback.com

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          I have a kind of odd situation. All I ever bought or learned of audio was from me and reading. My dad died
                          when I was young at about 17. My brother who was 17 years older than I turned me onto tubes and it's virtues
                          he had radios that were all tubes
                          and a few batteries as well. As I worked and got my own it was solid state. My brother always complained of it's sound not having any bass. For me his stuff was all bass and lacked mids and upper freq sounds. I did play records for a few years with diy speakers. I also DJ for a few years during the disco erra My cars always had custom stuff as well. I had open reels for my own music and of course DJ while I took breaks. When digtal disk came out I quickly went to it. As my records and turn table where nothing special , bic and later technics the cds
                          were an obvious improvemt. Of course thinking back at a steep trade off from analog
                          by 30 I had my first set of infinity and went on from there.
                          I built the first amps , preamps , tuners from
                          kits. I also built some cross overs for diy setups
                          for me only the last ten years I think I have a better idea of great sound but again my view of it. This thread was cool
                          to read to see others journeys and I think it's better then show your stuff as that may be end productions but does not share each of our steps getting to it.
                          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


                          • #15
                            Grew up listening to McIntosh tubes. Then took a break from any Hi-End for about 10 years as college and grad school called. Came back via the flat earth society via Linn and eventually Naim system. Dabbled on the fringes of the NYC triode community in the early 90s but never took the leap until a flood wiped out my system. Spent a year wandering the wilderness and almost pulled the trigger on a Shindo system but a random number generator caused a change of direction and let me to my current SET based system. Possible future perturbations could hold a different destiny but I am very happy with the current state of affairs.
                            Turntable: - 1. Fairchild 750/OMA slate plinth
                            2. Analog Engineering AE-2008 MinusK support.
                            Tonearm: 1. Schroder Custom
                            2. Schick 12"
                            3. Abis SA-1
                            Cartridge: Miyajima Kansui and Premium BE Mono
                            PhonoPre: AprilSound LR, EMIA Strain Gauge, EMIA silver SUT
                            CD: Wadia 860x
                            Server: Innuos Zen Mini Mk3
                            DAC: Computer Audio Design 1543 Mk2
                            Preamp: Bent Audio TAP-X w silver autoformers
                            Amplifier: AprilSound SET50 monoblocks
                            Speaker: Pioneer PAX-30C

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