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Do You Consider Yourself Equipment or Music-Centric?

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  • Do You Consider Yourself Equipment or Music-Centric?

    I have to come clean. I'm an incurable audio equipment junkie. Nothing gives me a bigger thrill than hearing new equipment. Guess that's why first and foremost, I'm an equipment reviewer. Nor am I ashamed admitting that. I get a rush hearing what different components, say cartridges or speakers, reveal about my favorite recordings and allow me to appreciate about the music. That instrument playing softly that wasn't there before. Those little intonation in the singer's voice. That added reverb and echo to the recording.

    On the other hand, I find my system at the point where I can just lose myself listening to the music and totally forgetting about the equipment. The equipment is such that the speakers disappear and all that's left are musicians playing music too.


    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
    I hear and appreciate live music often enough to classify myself as a music lover. That being said, I am not only enamored with a wonderful audio system replicating the emotion of a live performance , but allowing me into the individual performances. This sometimes goes unnoticed at a live venue.
    Avalon Time, Walker Proscenium, Koetsu Coralstone, Air Tight PC-1 Supreme, Goldfinger Statement, Dalby record weight, Kondo KSL-SFz step-up, Jadis JP80-MC...heavily modified, Convergent Audio JL-2 Black Path, Sony NS999 ES Modwright modded, full loom High Fidelity Ultimate cables, Rel S-5 sub, Stillpoints ultra and 5's, Shun Mook, Dalby footers, Critical Mass bases, Acoustic System Resonators, Magnum Dynalab Etude, Telefunkens throughout, assorted fuses, Furutech outlets, PurePower conditioner.

    Comment


    • #3
      Short and sweet, music first, music second, music third.

      Comment


      • #4
        I am first and foremost a Music-Centric, its the music that drives my interest in audio
        The equipment's job is not to get in the way of the music, sounds easy enough but not that easy to achieve in the real world.

        Comment


        • #5
          Music Lover first - the gear is only a means to the end....
          Magnepan 1.6 QR Loudspeakers, Amherst A-2000 MOSFET 150 WPC Amp, Conrad Johnson PV-10A Modded Tube Line & Phono Stage, Electrocompaniet MC II Class A Head Amp, Audio Technica AT-OC9XML Cart (St) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (St) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (St) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (M) , Luxman Tonearm (M) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (M) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, Sennheiser HD-300 Headphones, Headroom Max Balanced Headphone Amp, DIY Silver Interconnects

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          • #6
            For many years, both- early love of music and fascination with gear. I'm now at a point where the music, particular recordings, particular performances, the history, back story of the creative process, the players, etc. is the driver and the gear is simply the machinery to get me there. But, I can say that after having gone more than a few turns in the hamster wheel.

            Comment


            • #7
              Me likes the toys That said, lately no new gear really excites me. I guess I just like where I'm at so much sonically that it should be kick back and relax time. Unfortunately I don't have much free time these days. It seems I'm always on the road from one speaking engagement to the next then off to town hall meetings. Today I got an afternoon off. I opted to play a round of golf with some pros to get some adrenaline flowing instead of just chilling out at home. Seeing as I now feel fully recharged, I made the right choice.

              Comment


              • #8
                I've always been a music lover and have regarded gear as only the vehicle. While I do my due diligence before selecting a piece of gear, I don't obsess about it. At the end of the day I just want to rock out and I can do that listening downstairs in my basement or on the kitchen radio...really, I can!
                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

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                • #9
                  Anyone that knows me knows I'm all about the music first. I like the equipment to support the music.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Music first, gear second is what you'd expect to hear but lets be intellectually honest if it were just about the music there are many other 'boards that suit that predilection much better than this one. Another way to ask the question is if your hifi cost more than your music collection, by that metric my music collection is worth way more than my gear, not even close.
                    Simon Yorke S10 + My Sonic Lab Eminent GL + B.M.C. MCCI Signature ULN | Simon Yorke S9 + Koetsu Rosewood Standard + AcousticPlan Phonomaster | Wadia X-32 | Innuous ZEN Mini Mk II | Valvet Soulshine2 | Linear Tube Audio ZOTL10 MkII | Avantgarde Uno Fino XD

                    "One of the great challenges of this world: Knowing enough about a subject to think you are right, but not enough about the subject to know you're wrong" - Neil deGrasse Tyson

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Rob View Post
                      Music first, gear second is what you'd expect to hear but lets be intellectually honest if it were just about the music there are many other 'boards that suit that predilection much better than this one. Another way to ask the question is if your hifi cost more than your music collection, by that metric my music collection is worth way more than my gear, not even close.
                      Equipment by a little bit here. Well maybe if exclude cables are about even.
                      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


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Rob View Post
                        Music first, gear second is what you'd expect to hear but lets be intellectually honest if it were just about the music there are many other 'boards that suit that predilection much better than this one. Another way to ask the question is if your hifi cost more than your music collection, by that metric my music collection is worth way more than my gear, not even close.
                        So, I was thinking about your post, and intellectual honesty, and have concluded for now, maybe the obsessive quest for the best sounding copy of a record that I like musically isn't really about the love of music- it is simply the same compulsive audiophilia as applied to records rather than gear. And the rationale is the same too- oh, i'm just doing this so I'll enjoy the music more.
                        Will I listen to records that are badly recorded? Yes. Am I annoyed that they aren't better recorded? Sometimes. Not much to do about 78 transcriptions- I guess if you search enough you can find out some are sourced from better copies than others or are more complete.
                        I guess my 'music first' response is based more on the fact that I won't listen to something just because it sounds good. I've got to like the music; sure, I can dig something that is a sonic spectacular but the equivalent of musical wallpaper or just showmanship, but that wears thin eventually. The reality is, sonics are all over the place on records, and at some point, no matter how good the system, that ain't gonna change- maybe an incremental improvement, maybe you hear more differences on the better system, but there is so much music out there that is excellent and recorded, if not spectacularly, then at least well enough to keep me happy. Another measure --of what I think is an unquantifiable thing- how much of a music lover are you?--is whether you are spinning the same thing all the time b/c it sounds good or are always reaching for something else. Yeah, there are favorites I will go back to b/c I like them or know they will present a great 'demo' to someone visiting, but when you are alone, listening, how many different records are you listening to? (Rhetorical question) because the more I think about it, the more impossible it is to answer the question- under extreme interrogation, I may admit that there are certain things I don't listen to, but that's pretty rare-- it's largely opera, which i don't really understand or 'get' just by listening, though I can appreciate the beauty of the strings or whatever, and some neo-soul and rap that is just crap--and I'm not down on rap, hip-hop or whatever. It's just that some of it sucks as much as other crappy music in other genres. I do wish that Pat Boone's In a Metal Mood had been pressed on vinyl though.

                        Comment


                        • MylesBAstor
                          MylesBAstor commented
                          Editing a comment
                          That's why the site has the byline,
                          where sound meets music.
                          I think some of this was addressed in the Harman video posted earlier today. Why can't the art of music meet the art of sound/recording? Why does everything have to be made to the LCD? If this happened--and certainly it's more than possible with today's technology--we wouldn't be even having the debate of music vs. equipment centric!

                        • Bill Hart
                          Bill Hart commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Myles- we can have both, it does not have to be mutually exclusive or a versus. But, just as you sort the wheat from the chaff on the gear front, you also listen for music that engages you. Finding that both coalesce, sonically and musically, is --at least to me-- a process of discovery. I've gone sort of anti-audiophile on the record side, as you know (even though I broke down and bought that Elvis record you played me b/c I like early Elvis). Its fun to find something that may even be LCD - the Doobie's Toulouse Street is unbelievably good as a $4 bin record despite the fact that it was ubiquitous. Ditto, certain pressings of Alice Cooper, which I regarded as a clown show when I was listening to the Allmans and Led Zep. (Though I always secretly loved the guitar parts to I'm Eighteen). Like everything, it's a question of balance. And you are dealing with rarefied stuff, among an audience that is already so out there, compared to the 'average' on the gear side, that I have gotten great pleasure from trying to find the jewels in the common mass market releases. Maybe its just a phase, and I'll be doing reggae, or sitar music next year. But, that's the fun of it, isn't it?

                        • MylesBAstor
                          MylesBAstor commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Yes Bill the key word is enjoy!!! Life is too short to do something you don't like doing, whether it be work or hobbies! I have to say I really look forward during the day to coming home and turning the system on!

                      • #13
                        Well, I was a "music first" person for the longest time, basically because I didn't knew better I actually wasn't aware that better sound could be obtained, so I just went on and bought records, and ended up with a nice collection of almost 10k CDs and 4k LPs, but nothing decent to enjoy them on! At some point, all I had was a boombox!!!

                        By the time I got my first own place, I decided I had to change that, and started looking for better gear than what was commonly available, and that's how I because a "gearhead" for the next couple of years I completely understand Myles' position, the curiosity to see/hear what could be gained by switching this to that, adding this, or even tweaking things, like an AC outlet or speaker positioning!

                        But I also think that, in the end, we do this (obsess with gear to the point that we do) because we simply enjoy the music, and want to be sure we're getting the most of our collections. At least that's how I see it


                        cheers,
                        Alex



                        Disclosure:
                        Alma Music and Audio - La Jolla, CA
                        Aqua Hi-Fi - Audio Research - Audioquest - Audionet - Audiopax - Auralic - Aurender - Bergmann - Brodmann - D'Agostino - darTZeel - Devialet - DEQX - ELAC - Evolution Acoustics - Hegel - iFi - Innuos - IsoTek - Kii Audio - Koetsu - Kronos - Kubala Sosna - Kuzma - Larsen - Linn - MSB Technology - Music Hall - Ortofon - Solid Steel - Technics - Wharfedale - Wilson Audio - YG Acoustics
                        [ http://almaaudio.com ]

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                        • #14
                          Originally posted by Rob View Post
                          Music first, gear second is what you'd expect to hear but lets be intellectually honest if it were just about the music there are many other 'boards that suit that predilection much better than this one. Another way to ask the question is if your hifi cost more than your music collection, by that metric my music collection is worth way more than my gear, not even close.
                          Right now, my gear costs a lot more than my collection. That's more a function of crazy gear and should not imply not a small-ish poorly curated collection. Given how prices of NM/NM originals keep rising, I wouldn't be surprised if that flips around within just a few years. While I have stopped gear shopping, I continue to collect both originals and buy new releases. Catching up is inevitable. Seeing as I have been at this for far less years or even decades than a lot of you, it shouldn't be surprising. Seeing Myles collection in person made me realize how much I missed growing up in the cassette and CD age. You guys had it gooooood. I'm having to spend crazy amounts of my savings for stuff you got at commodity prices.

                          Comment


                          • Rob
                            Rob commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Jack, ive followed enough of your posts to know you were obsessed with music from an early age and high-end audio was bound to find you rather than the other way around. And yes, if you started over collecting vinyl today its a small fortune whereas digital files on torrent sites are literally free for the taking.

                        • #15
                          Originally posted by JackD201 View Post

                          Right now, my gear costs a lot more than my collection. That's more a function of crazy gear and should not imply not a small-ish poorly curated collection. Given how prices of NM/NM originals keep rising, I wouldn't be surprised if that flips around within just a few years. While I have stopped gear shopping, I continue to collect both originals and buy new releases. Catching up is inevitable. Seeing as I have been at this for far less years or even decades than a lot of you, it shouldn't be surprising. Seeing Myles collection in person made me realize how much I missed growing up in the cassette and CD age. You guys had it gooooood. I'm having to spend crazy amounts of my savings for stuff you got at commodity prices.
                          Funny thing, I say the same thing about the people before me! I yearn for the days when all these cherished records I hunt for now were a dime a dozen then! Just to further flagellate myself, I think about how picky I was when records were the only game in town and all the albums I left behind then!
                          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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