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So; What are some of your AUDIO EPIPHANIES?

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  • So; What are some of your AUDIO EPIPHANIES?

    "A moment of sudden and great revelation"

    Just a few for me;

    Like the first time I heard the Quad 63's

    Like the time I heard Ella on analog tape (7 1/2" Verve prerecord) over Acoustats (2+2 maybe - with their hybrid amp). The wine was also superb.

    Like hearing......

    Think Back!


    Charles




  • #2
    Some trade magazines aren't worth reading anymore...
    Speakers: Rockport Lyra
    Amps: Nagra HD Pre Amp & HD Amps
    Cables: Transparent Magnum Opus Gen 6 cabling
    Power Transparent Opus Power Cords & Opus Isolators
    Digital dCS Vivaldi full stack w/ Transparent Reference XL Digital cables
    Phono: Grand Prix Monaco 2.0 TT, Kuzma 4-Point, Clearaudio Goldfinger Statement, Nagra Classic Phono & PSU
    Racks: Grand Prix Audio Silverstone F1 (x4)

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks for making me think back Charlie! Turns out maybe had more epiphanies than I thought.

      1. First time I heard the Dahlquist DQ10s. Never heard a speaker that was so open sounding and staged like that.

      2. First time compared solid-state (that was driving my Dollies then-a modded Hafler DH200 [Musical Concepts] and Van Alstine DH101) and tubes. Long story short, my buddy brought over his POOGED (anyone remember that series of articles in Audio Amateur?) Dynaco PAS3 that had been totally gutted and came even with a huge outboard PS. Five notes after switching to the Dynaco, I exclaimed where's all that music coming from? Made me a tube lover for life.

      3. First great "home" audiophile system I ever heard: Sid Marks. At that time Sid had the RS1bs, Goldmund T3Spectral cartridge, cj Premier (?), Vendetta phono, cj Premier 1 on top and Perreaux 2150 on bass towers. What a system! And Sid had great equipment throughout the years including the likes of VPI, Jadis, Koetsu, Krell (bass amps), etc.

      4. First great "store" audio system: American Audiophile in Lynbrook (they also had a store on Madison Ave in the '60s in NYC at that time too). This was late '70s with top of the line Counterpoint tube amps preamp, phonostage, SOTA table, ET1 tonearm, AQ 505 cartridge and Vandersteen 2 speakers. Man could that system play music though probably by today's standards horribly colored. But could that system image and just had a midrange unlike I had ever heard before. It was a mindblowing experience for me.

      5. First time I heard reel-to-reel tape courtesy of Arnie Nudell at one of the NY Audio Shows in the '80s. He brought his tape machine and second gen tapes (Arnie at one time had one of the biggest tape collections around but sadly he sold them years ago) and big Infinities. Man did it sound great! Needed a crowbar to pry me out the seat.

      6. Getting dynamics in my system. For years had been an electrostatic lover and then entered the Magicos. Here was speaker that I could have my cake and eat it too. Both dynamics and microdynamics. For me, so much of the musical experience is about microdynamics and the ability to reproduce instrumental harmonics. Something that stats just did better than any other speaker. At least Quads and Martin Logans. That's what brought music to life for me. Other speakers just kind of left me wanting.

      7. Bonus points: worst memorable experience. First time I heard digital in 1980 with David Chesky. Left feeling like someone had stuffed cotton in my ears.

      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


      • #4
        I think of epiphanies on my audio journey as those which opened my eyes up to what was possible from high end audio.

        A few random things...

        - My audition of the Infinity IRS-V's back in 1991 with massive Electrocompaniet mono blocks and a reference vinyl source. The IRS-V's looked as awesome as they sounded. That's how I caught the audiophile bug. They're still my reference standard to this day, though I would have liked to have heard the Apogee full ranges with some big bruiser mono's. The FR's were still in full production back them.

        - Listening to the Infinity Renaissance 90's I bought a few years ago for the first time. I was amazed by the Rens taught, deep bass & amazing mids and highs. The High Energy Emim & Emit drivers were fast, airy, natural sounding & had excellent off-axis performance. They also had excellent imaging thanks to their unusually curved cabinets & transmission line midrange. I miss the Rens, but they've had their time.

        - Auditioning the Magico Q1's with Vitus SIA-025, SCD-010 & Siltech Royal Sig series cables. Those speakers disappeared in the room, there was good bass & the sound was lush, tube-like & amazingly pure. That audition directly led me to selling my old system (Boulder/Ayon/Marten Coltranes) and building my current system comprising Vitus/Magico/Jorma/Stillpoints.

        - Auditioning the Magico S5 Mk1's for the first time. The S5's were the first speakers which gave me the same sense of awe, excitement & fun as the Infinity IRS speakers. The S5 Mk2's take it to another level again as Myles noted in his review for PF.

        - Listening to my first DXD cd on my Vitus cdp. I was amazed that a RBCD could deliver the sound of a well recorded SACD. I've also heard some XRCD24's & SHM Platinum cd's which sound amazing. Special mention to Marten's Supreme Sessions...that's about as 'live' sounding as it gets.

        - Listening to my friend's $500k system comprising a large, treated listening room, Magico S7's, Vitus SM-102 mono's, MP-L201, MP-D201/MP-T201, MP-P201, Kronos Pro limited edition with SCPS-1 & LOTS of Telos gear. He has achieved amazing impact, resolution, scale, imaging & musicality from his system & is my benchmark for measuring my system development.
        Last edited by Bodhi; 08-30-2017, 03:34 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Like Myles, the first time I heard Dahlquist DQ-10s in 1977. I had been looking for new loudspeakers to replace my Pacific Stereo Infinities and after hearing about a half dozen that didn't thrill me I went to hear the new Ohm Fs in a Federated Store's "expensive speaker room". They were ok but in the same room a pair of Dahlquist DQ-10s wre playing some Latin percussion music. There were the instruments floating in a 3-D space behind and between the speakers sounding like real live music. I had never heard anything like it and had to have them.

          My next epiphany occurred around the same time when I discovered an audio salon whose owner showed me a copy of TAS. It opened a whole new world of high end audio for me.

          Finally hearing HP's amazing big IRS system at Sea Cliff in 1985 when I started writing for the magazine. Gave me something to shoot for.
          Last edited by mkuller; 08-30-2017, 03:23 PM.
          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


          • #6
            This is an easy one for me. As a musician listening from inside the orchestra i thought I couldn't be yanked into listening to an audio system and my modest system reflected that feeling. In the mid 80's I helped a handicapped friend pick up his audio system from a local dealer and we set it up at his home. I think it consisted of PSE electronics, same for the digital front end, and Vandy 2ces. Without break-in cold out of the boxes I couldn't believe how much more engaging it was than my own. That was the epiphany that started me on the madness. I've loved every moment since then trying to achieve what I have now.
            Turntable: TW Acustic TT with Ref motor & controller; Tri-Planar Arm; Ortofon Windfeld-Ti Cartridge, Harmonix-Combak platter mat & weight; PS Audio Stellar Phono Preamp; KLAudio Ultrasonic Record Cleaner.
            Digital: Bluesound Vault-2 Music Server & Streamer
            Amplification: PS Audio Stellar Phono Preamp, VTL 6.5 preamp Series II, Pass Labs 150.8 Amp
            Loudspeakers: Piega C711 Loudspeakers
            Isolation: Symposium Osiris Rack; Symposium Platforms and Roller Blocks plus grade 2.5 Balls
            Misc: PS Audio Noise Harvesters, 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 IC, synergistic Research Atmosphere X Euphoria Level 3 Balanced ICs, Synergistic Research Euphoria Level 3 Speaker Cables, Synergistic Research Cable Risers.

            Sennheiser HDV 650 Headphone Amp; Sennheiser HD800s Headphones.

            Comment


            • #7
              Lots of epiphanies in no particular order:
              Bob Fulton and his modular J speakers, interconnects and speaker cables. Way ahead of his time. To this day, one of the best speakers I have ever heard. And nobody was into wire at that time.
              The Infinity Servostatics. Amazing just before they blew up.
              Early Mark Levison electronics (JC1), HQD speaker System, Camac connectors and coax silver wire
              Beverage electrostatics and transparency
              First time I heard Audio Research SP3 and D150... pure audio sex
              Magnepan Tympani bass panels
              My adventures with the Linn LP12 and early high end cartridges from Supex, Grado, Linn, Lyra
              British loudspeakers; B&W DM6, B&W DM7 MKII, KEF 104a/b, KEF 105, Rogers LS3/5a
              The Quad ESL 63, probably my favorite speaker of all time
              Early Naim systems, active IBL's, SBL's and DBL's
              Stacked Yamaha NS1000's (my epiphany was that was a bad idea) and Japanese electronics
              Early tweaks such as equalizers, tone controls, Phase Linear Autocorrelator, dynamic range expanders DBX 3BX; interesting concepts but wrong, simple is better
              Impact of resonance control
              Room acoustics. If a little is good, a lot more should be better, turns out to be a bad idea.
              My ongoing adventure with AC power keeps getting better and better
              The awesomeness of R2R master tapes

              Speakers/Amps: Genesis G2.2 Jr with Powered Servo-Sub Bass, Genesis GR1440 Mono Amps, 5,000 watts total power
              Preamp: SMc Audio VRE-1C Preamp (fully balanced inputs and output)
              Analog 1: VPI Signature 21 Belt-Drive Turntable w/ 10” 3D Printed Fatboy Gimbal Arm and Ortofon MC Windfeld Ti Phono Cartridge driving Lehmann Silver Cube Phono Preamp
              Analog 2: VPI HW-40 Direct-Drive Turntable w/ 12” 3D Printed Fatboy Gimbal Arm and Ortofon MC Anna Diamond Phono Cartridge driving Genesis Gold Phono Preamp
              Analog 3: Studer A810 R2R tape w/ Bridge Console. Using built-in tape preamp
              Digital: Lumin Network Player with Lumin NAS
              Cables: Genesis Advanced Technologies/Absolute Fidelity Interface Interconnects, Speaker, Phono and Power
              A/C Power: Extensive System Upgrades, Sub-panel w/hard-wired power cables, and IsoTek Super Titan Passive Power Conditioning for Amplifiers
              Accessories: Custom Acrylic Equipment Stands, Klaudio Ultrasonic RCM

              Comment


              • #8
                The first time I heard David Manley Ichiban monoblocks driving Martin Logan CLS's

                Comment


                • #9
                  hearing a line source speaker for the first time (Maggies) driven by tubes (another 'aha' moment) Quad 57s were a complete revelation after owning several planars (ribbons/other 'stats/maggies). 30ips master tape heard over an audiophile system really opened my ears to the gap between the sources I was accustomed to from the SOTA. experiencing the Versa Dynamics 2.0 back in '87 forever changed my perception of how good vinyl replay can be and a goal to aspire to.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    First time I heard the final iteration of what ended being my first High End system, back in the early 70´s: Quad 33 Pre Amp; Quad 303 Power Amp; Garrarad turntable, and EV Horn mid and tweeter and 15 inch woofer.
                    First time I had tubes in my system: ARC PH3, back in the late 90´s. No turn around thus far.
                    Hate at first note for the CD, the first time I heard it in the mid 80´s. But, guess what, I was wrong. I realized it recently when I first heard a few FIM CDs. I never thought I was going to experience an Audio Epiphany with a CD and not being embarrassed, but it happened !!!

                    VAC Statement 450 iq Mono Blocks; ; VAC Statement Pre amp; ARC Ref Phono 10; Kuzma Stabi M; 4 Point; Benz Micro LP S; Nordost Valhalla 2 Phono Cable; ARC CD 9; Sonus Faber Il Cremonese. Shunyata Power Cables ; Nordost Valhalla 2 and Transparent cable Reference interconnects and Speaker Cables. Shunyata Denali Power conditioning , and Nordost QB8 grounding system.

                    Last edited by jorgemarte; 08-30-2017, 01:55 PM. Reason: Mono Blocks was missing

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hearing the Apogee Caliper and Stage full ribbon loudspeakers. Amazing transient snap.
                      Klipsch La Scala, unbelievably lifelike on electric guitar and cymbals.

                      Comment


                      • bonzo75
                        bonzo75 commented
                        Editing a comment
                        For me it was Apogee Full Ranges, Grands, and Scintillas

                    • #12
                      Originally posted by jorgemarte View Post
                      First time I heard the final iteration of what ended being my first High End system, back in the early 70´s: Quad 33 Pre Amp; Quad 303 Power Amp; Garrarad turntable, and EV Horn mid and tweeter and 15 inch woofer.
                      First time I had tubes in my system: ARC PH3, back in the late 90´s. No turn around thus far.
                      Hate at first note for the CD, the first time I heard it in the mid 80´s. But, guess what, I was wrong. I realized it recently when I first heard a few FIM CDs. I never thought I was going to experience an Audio Epiphany with a CD and not being embarrassed, but it happened !!!

                      VAC Statement 450 iq Mono Blocks; ; VAC Statement Pre amp; ARC Ref Phono 10; Kuzma Stabi M; 4 Point; Benz Micro LP S; Nordost Valhalla 2 Phono Cable; ARC CD 9; Sonus Faber Il Cremonese. Shunyata Power Cables ; Nordost Valhalla 2 and Transparent cable Reference interconnects and Speaker Cables. Shunyata Denali Power conditioning , and Nordost QB8 grounding system.
                      Hi Jorge!
                      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


                      • #13
                        First real high end epiphany:

                        1. Beveridge Loudspeakers with an Audio Research SP6 and D79 with a Goldmund Turntable about 1981. The speakers were uncanny. I ended up with those same speakers 30 years later and I am using them now. Still awesome.


                        Then,

                        2. Acoustat X monitors with built in Servo drive amplifiers Early 1980s should of kept them.
                        .
                        3. Futterman NYAL OTL 1 WOW when it worked. I have an original Futterman now.. still amazing and reliable.

                        4. Oracle Delphi maybe 1979 - the sales person at the hifi dealer gave me the keys to his apartment and let me play with it for the afternoon - wow. It had a Syrinx tonearm on it.I bought it.

                        5. Couterpoint SA-1 preamp so cool in its form factor and I ended up with the phono step up the SA-2 years later.

                        6. Quad ESL 63 USA monitors and much later I heard the ESL 57 of which I have owned several pairs of each- I am keeping the ESL 57s

                        7. Berning ZH270 I had this for years- you can not keep it all- let go of it just recently: nice amp

                        8. Audio Reseach SP8 version 5 killed all the shoot outs for years with that pre- had it for over 30 years - very nice piece.


                        Test of time.. I think any one of these pieces could still hold their own in today's world......mostly
                        Phono: 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 Lamda, Lyra Etna SL Goldfinger Statement, KLAUDIO RCM, HRSM3X
                        Amps: Custom Direct Drive, Wyetech Topaz, Futterman H3 Quad II,Citation II, Marantz 8b, 5 ,2. Bedini 25/25
                        Pre-Amps:Marantz 7, Marantz Model 1 Consolette Pair
                        Speakers: Beveridge Model 3 Direct Drive amps, REL S/2 x 2, Quad ESL pair
                        Otari 5050BXII, DeHavilland 222

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          I had my one relevation in terms of systems a long time ago. You have to understand that I grew up in a rural area near Garrison Keillors semi-fictional "Lake Woebegon", where highways 15 and 23 intersect. Well, at least they didn't fifty years ago. They do now. Residents of the area were not always amused with his stories.

                          Anyhow, in '69 one of the guys we knew lived in town and had a job that paid actual money. He had scored a pair of JBL 4310s. He had a Garrard turntable, no idea what the cartridge was or the integrated amp (tubed) anymore. Tommy had just been released so there we sat with the first real system any of us had seen or heard.

                          The experience is not repeatable. Anything since has been just upgrading as best I could afford. That system did cement my tastes though. Nuance and definition are all fine and dandy, but if a system can't part my hair when asked it might as well be a tabletop radio.

                          Comment


                          • #15

                            The day I dragged my PA gear up to my bedroom (my parents were at work) and rigged my little suitcase hi-fi into it and cranked the then still fresh Led Zep 1 at top volume--not about quality, but all about hearing something that approached the big rock concert in volume in my "home"-- ca. 1969- that transported me. In some ways, I have been attempting to duplicate that experience with better equipment and better (quality) recordings in the many decades since;

                            Hearing the ARC tube preamp and amp, ca 1973;

                            Buying my first pair of Quads in 1973;

                            Realizing how much difference a good turntable set up made;

                            Meeting Lowell George and Bill Payne before a show in Pgh, ca. 1974?

                            Realizing the Roy Buchanan, who was working the local bar/club scene, was a really good guitarist before he was declared the "best guitarist no one ever heard of"

                            Hearing the Talking Heads play in a local pizzeria on Halloween for a modest cover change plus a slice and a soda;

                            Hearing horns and Lamms in my house, ca 2006;

                            Discovering how just how good Alice Cooper's Love it to Death was and chasing the elusive early Straight label pressing for a clean playing copy;

                            Realizing that some $4 bin copies of old records sounded better than their audiophile remastered counterparts, which led me on a pursuit into older pressings and in turn, exposed me to music that wasn't part of the standard reissue canon;

                            Hearing Chris Whitley for the first time (on record- he was already gone);

                            Hearing Etta James live at Carnegie Hall after Susan Tedeschi's band had overpowered the room; Etta's band knew how to achieve the right amount of punch without smearing the sound or overpowering the vocals;

                            Coming full circle, and listening to Led Zep 1 (still) and my old Quads (freshly restored);

                            Ultimately, knowing it can always be "better"-- the mix, the recording, the playback system or the room, and learning how to quit obsessing all the time over the sonics and let myself get lost in the performance without that analytic part of my brain running;

                            Realizing how few great composers really exist;

                            Appreciating why rural blues, which I first discovered when I was around 12 or 13 years old, is so visceral- it's all about the rhythm combined with an authentic emoting of pain or sorrow, and that even those scratchy old 78's convey this;

                            Appreciating what a genius Chris Blackwell was at finding, signing and developing talent during (and after) the era of the pink label/rim;

                            Being able to listen to Bob Marley without thinking about work;

                            Hearing a restored portion of Goodman's Carnegie Hall performance at an archivist's studio, and later describing the experience to a neighbor who actually attended that concert;

                            Understanding that there is so much music I've never heard or been exposed to, and realizing that there was an endless path of discovery of older recorded music that was just there for me to discover;

                            Appreciating that others discovered many of these recordings long before I had a clue;

                            Realizing that music really is inextricably tied to my life on such a fundamental level that it is like air, food or water.


                            I'm sure there are a million more; I get goosebumps from stuff that I know and have heard many times without getting a tingle- lately, I've been sucked into how great Greg Lake's voice was- and listen to Epitaph (from the first Crimson album) a lot--

                            Appreciating that digital doesn't totally suck but gives me access to more music.

                            Recognizing that I don't have to know everything, that others may know more, that I'm still learning as I age (all important life "lessons" beyond music and hi-fi) and that there is a wide range of taste and preference that I'm free to take advantage of-- age has made me more, rather than less, open minded about music generally.

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