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Horns+Tubes+Vinyl and digital too - Showroom/Listening Room 1

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  • #31
    Wow looks awesome

    Comment


    • #32
      Lets be real!


      Myles to follow up and a a quick look at mistakes that audiophiles make and what not do the achieve a great sound in the context of David's system.

      1) Any change in sound is generally considered better and the next thing you know, the old components are discarded before a proper comparison is made. This is a mistake that most audiophiles make and unfortunately keeps some companies in buisness .........take the cable industry for example. I know people that would rather spend thousands on a new cable than buy a pair of speakers that would meet their needs. The science of cables is pretty well understood and in lot of instances less is more. There is no magic bullett and piece of wire cannot save a system. It usually covers up flaws and ultimately masks information. I am not condemning the cable industry but common sense has to prevail, If audio jewelry is your thing forget about good sound,

      2) What are we trying to achieve with our audio systems? The correct answer should be, trying to recreate a live musical experience (or illusion) in our listening space......no more, no less. And it after all it can only be an approximation but the closer you get the better you system is. Minimum subtractions and additions and definitely not larger than life.....but if that is not the case a home theater is more up your alley. I am surprised that a lot of audiophiles who are familiar with live music have mediocre systems at best using the above criteria. Listen to what your ears tell you and not what an audio reviewer, your salesman or your hi-fi buddy, none of whom have your best interests at heart.

      3) The idea the new is better is the biggest load of horse manure that has been propagated in this industry. Each component you had to be chosen on it sonic merits and the context of the system it is used in. Ask yourself the question of how you were influenced in your audio purchasing decisions ....review,......dealer.......audio buddy......advertisement. If so, you have made a fundamental mistake which might be hard to get out off. The correct answer is the listen to noise, ask yourself what you are trying to achieve, sort out the possibilities and try it in you system over an extended period of time with multiple comparisons with the piece you are intending to replace. You might be surprised with the results. In some areas the audio industry has gone backwards, many vintage components can sound better than their modern day counterparts. In many cases sound engineering has be replaced by a useless feature set. Bling is not what you want. How many times have you chosen a new component as opposed to a vintage or older piece because of a newness factor? Bad and probably a stupid mistake.The thing to remember is that Hi-Fi has nothing to do with real sound.

      3) It is hard to believe but the most important component in your system are not the speakers....not the amplifier......not the preamp but wait for it. It is the room plain and simple. Start with that in mind as you build your system. The first question that should be asked is "will these speakers work in this space?" Then work down from there and not ask if these cables will work in my system........cables I repeat should be the iceing on the cake and should the truth be told the thing that ultimately screws up your sound. I have found that generally modest well designed cables work best. They are not meant to be filters and sound enhancers or modifiers. The question that begs to be asked is how often have you spent $2000.00 on a power chord when the same amount of money on another component would have worked wonders.........or have you suddenly realized your investment is now only worth 20cents on the dollar when the next model arrives. If you think I am lying you must also believe in the tooth fairy. If Rat Shack cables work for you more power to you........unless you are more concerned of what the neighbors might think.

      4) A good judge of a system is how long can you listen to it before you want to do something else (something that might surprise you), do you have an emotional attachment to music and does it move you. On the other hand are you more interested in impressing your neighbors and audiophile friends with sonic fireworks and expensive components. That is not to say expensive components do not sound good but more importantly do they work in the context of your system? We often miss the big picture and concentrate on fixing some small aspect of the sound and end up messing it all up, a common audiophile problem.

      I myself use a mix of new and vintage components to achieve my sound. I design audio equipment for a living and I use a thirty plus old turntable as a reference because I have not found a modern day equivalent that works as well. This is just an example. So if someone tells me they own brand X speakers and have brand Y cables I am usually not impressed. The proof is in the pudding, it is the final sound that matters or the grand illusion I was talking about and if this was achieved with old obsolete equipment, so be it. We are too easily impressed by equipment and not by what we are in the hobby for. I have made some of the mistakes I talked about but fortunately have learned from them. The question you should ask yourself......Have I been caught in this spiral of hype and BS and what steps should I take to get out of it..........because most audiophiles are in it. Peer pressure, your ego and the printed word can screw your sound up faster than you know.

      You might be wondering why I brought this up and the answer is there will be questions about David's system and how to achieve a good sound so to cut to the chase there you have it,




      Let the flames begin.............


      P.S. I always wanted an excuse to use this Smiley!
      Last edited by jam; 08-14-2016, 01:13 AM.

      Comment


      • MylesBAstor
        MylesBAstor commented
        Editing a comment
        I don't see any reason for flaming. Everybody is an individual and has their own point of view and perspective. Not unlike a marriage. Rather than taking umbrage at other views, it behooves us to try and understand and learn from each other. To share our experiences. Face it. We all hear differently and as a result hear things differently. No one has the same hearing. In the end, it's a only hobby and we should be getting pleasure from it. Life is too short to be doing something we don't enjoy.

        The only thing that will get me bent out of shape is when someone trashes high-end audio. Or asserting '80s CD players being as good as it gets. Or having an opinion about a product without having heard the device being discussed. Or stating opinions as fact.

        Funny thing. One of the reasons I use musical examples when reviewing is so readers can get the same sources and compare notes with me. If you look at the early days of TAS, there were no musical examples. As the magazine matured over the first couple of year, TAS reviewers starting including musical examples in their reviews.

        Same goes for listening sessions with audiobuddies. It is always educational to listen to equipment, music or other things and compare notes. Sometimes we really did write notes down and compare results too. When someone points out something I didn't hear, it made me listen, the next time around, a little more closely to what they heard. First, did I hear it and two, did I agree. That also made me a better listener and what makes the hobby fun.

      • MylesBAstor
        MylesBAstor commented
        Editing a comment
        We should also remember there's lots of roads to Rome! Or Audionirvana.

    • #33
      After that lengthy diatribe lets get back to Davids Karmeli's system.

      I would say that David's system has a very natural sound with no particular emphisis in any particular area. The bass is well integrated with the mids and highs and has good extension in the frequency extremes. The bass is not boomy and the system does not suffer from one not bass as most systems do. There is an amazing amount of detail in bass a lot of systems produce bass when it is not there. In this area his system excels an the lack of a detectable crossover point further enhances the system. This probably due to the lack of multiple drivers and crossover points, one of the reasons I favor SoundLabs myself.

      David has spent the time matching components and trying different options to achieve his sound, On a side note you will be surprised at his choice of cables but I will let him go into detail if you ask him.

      The other great thing of David's system is the way it portrays space and dimension, you can sense (if the recording is done correctly) you are at the actual venue and observing a performance taking place in front of you. I could listen to it for hours and not get tired.

      If any of you get a chance to hear David's system jump on it. Even if everything is not quite to you liking the is a lot to be learned form it, David is a great resource and all round nice guy.

      David started down the typical audiophile path till he discovered the error he was making and only after that did things start to take shape.
      I have the same basic ideals but I have different components and great system can be achieved with a little care and common sense.

      Comment


      • #34
        Originally posted by jam View Post
        Lets be real!


        Myles to follow up lets look at mistakes that audiophiles make

        1) Any change in sound is generally considered better and the next thing you know, the old components are discarded before a proper comparison is made. This is a mistake that most audiophiles make and unfortunately keeps some companies in buisness .........take the cable industry for example. I know people that would rather spend thousands on a new cable than buy a pair of speakers that would meet their needs. The science of cables is pretty well understood and in lot of instances less is more. There is no magic bullett and piece of wire cannot save a system. It usually covers up flaws and ultimately masks information. I am not condemning the cable industry but common sense has to prevail, If audio jewelry is your thing forget about good sound,

        2) What are we trying to achieve with our audio systems? The correct answer should be, trying to recreate a live musical experience (of illusion) in our listening space......no more, no less. And it after all it can only be an approximation but the closer you get the better you system is. Minimum subtractions and additions and definitely not larger than life.....but if that is not the case a home theater is more up your alley. I am surprised that a lot of audiophiles who are familiar with live music have mediocre systems at best using the above criteria. Listen to what your ears tell you and not what an audio reviewer, your salesman or your hi-fi buddy, none of whom have your best interests at heart.

        3) The idea the new is better is the biggest load of horse manure that has been propagated in this industry. Each component you had to be chosen on it sonic merits and the context of the system it is used in. Ask yourself the question of how you were influenced in your audio purchasing decisions ....review,......dealer.......audio buddy......advertisement. If so, you have made a fundamental mistake which might be hard to get out off. The correct answer is the listen to noise, ask yourself what you are trying to achieve, sort out the possibilities and try it in you system over an extended period of time with multiple comparisons with the piece you are intending to replace. You might be surprised with the results. In some areas the audio industry has gone backwards, many vintage components can sound better than their modern day counterparts. In many cases sound engineering has be replaced by a useless feature set. Bling is not what you want. How many times have you chosen a new component as opposed to a vintage or older piece because of a newness factor? Bad and probably a stupid mistake.The thing to remember is that Hi-Fi has nothing to do with real sound.

        3) It is hard to believe but the most important component in your system are not the speakers....not the amplifier......not the preamp but wait for it. It is the room plain and simple. Start with that in mind as you build your system. The first question that should be asked is "will these speakers work in this space?" Then work down from there and not ask if these cables will work in my system........cables I repeat should be the iceing on the cake and should the truth be told the thing that ultimately screws up your sound. I have found that generally modest well designed cables work best. They are not meant to be filters and sound enhancers or modifiers. The question that begs to be asked is how often have you spent $2000.00 on a power chord when the same amount of money on another component would have worked wonders.........or have you suddenly realized your investment is now only worth 20cents on the dollar when the next model arrives. If you think I am lying you must also believe in the tooth fairy. If Rat Shack cables work for you more power to you........unless you are more concerned of what the neighbors might think.

        4) A good judge of a system is how long can you listen to it before you want to do something else (something that might surprise you), do you have an emotional attachment to music and does it move you. On the other hand are you more interested in impressing your neighbors and audiophile friends with sonic fireworks and expensive components. That is not to say expensive components do not sound good but more importantly do they work in the context of your system? We often miss the big picture and concentrate on fixing some small aspect of the sound and end up messing it all up, a common audiophile problem.

        I myself use a mix of new and vintage components to achieve my sound. I design audio equipment for a living and I use a thirty plus old turntable as a reference because I have not found a modern day equivalent that works as well. This is just an example. So if someone tells me they own brand X speakers and have brand Y cables I am usually not impressed. The proof is in the pudding, it is the final sound that matters or the grand illusion I was talking about and if this was achieved with old obsolete equipment, so be it. We are too easily impressed by equipment and not by what we are in the hobby for. I have made some of the mistakes I talked about but fortunately have learned from them. The question you should ask yourself......Have I been caught in this spiral of hype and BS and what steps should I take to get out of it..........because most audiophiles are in it. Peer pressure, your ego and the printed word can screw your sound up faster than you know.




        Let the flames begin.............


        P.S. I always wanted an excuse to use this Smiley!
        +1000. JAM you make too much sense

        Comment


        • #35


          Hi Myles and anyone that might be interested,

          The flaming comment was just a joke...........but I think you miss my point.

          There is a problem with some areas of high end audio, being a reviewer it is not probably in your best interest to expose them or me to do the same as well. This is a forum to discuss the hobby, both the good and bad aspects of it and hopefully alert our fellow members of any issues or falsehoods that might be propogated.

          But let us face the facts there are some terrible things wrong in our industry and other industries for that matter. It has got so commercial and snake oil merchants abound. To say that there are no problems is akin burying one's head in the sand.

          There used to be a time when reviewers used to tell it like it was ....not so much anymore, advertising dollars rule. This happens to be a fact of life these days.This is not to say it is all doom and gloom, far from it, I hope there is a free exchange of ideas so that we can advance the art.

          The cd player is probably not a good example where technology has declined but in the turntable industry the opposite can be said. Several noted reviewers and audiophiles still use vintage tables, table design seems to have taken a step back. The idea that speed accuracy is the main criteria for a good table design is a lie much like minimum distortion in an amplifier design. If that was the case nobody would be using tube amplifiers anymore and Yamaha receivers would rule the day.

          All I am suggesting our members do is to compare and make smart decisions on their own without external pressures. This is how you start on the journey to audio nirvana. Some advice from an experienced person can sometimes help but always take any advice with a grain of salt. Learn to trust your ears.

          Listening with your audio buddies is a double edged sword, there are always hidden agendas not necessarily monetarily at work here. You are fooling yourself if you think that is not so. I have seen many a good system destroyed or made worse by unneeded advice or peer pressure. This reminds me of an audiophile friend of mine that had in excess of $35,000.00 of cables in his closet only to discover that his original cables actually sounded best after some proper comparisons had been done. His audio buddies really stuck it to him on this one. Yes the wasted money would have got him a much better speaker system for example. The other problem is making decisions about a component in someone else's system and not yours, remember my comment on context. Sorry to disagree with you but I have found that listening with a bunch of your audio buddies ends up being a ' circle jerk ' for want of of better words, for some of the above mentioned reasons. The best listening and evaluation is done by two people with a clear objective in mind. A group of people usually add too many variables to the equation and mistakes creep in, but if you are there for a good time great, leave the serious evaluation for later. True there might be several paths to audio nirvana but sad to say none of the traditionally accepted ones work.

          Yes I would like to promote high-end audio but it does not mean pushing a brand name component, a reviewers favorite toy or some glossy ad that is full of bullshit (all of which true of our industry). The questions that should be asked is how does this component work in my system and have I taken a step back. If the offending component costs a lot of money should I remove it or just grin and bear it because my audio buddies approve of it or they own the same piece of gear or should I rationalize that I need it for some stupid reason. It is human nature to want to be one of the herd, trouble is if something goes wrong........well we aren't Lemmings....... or are we?

          You said that you were intrigued by my comments on David's system, well everything I have said has to do with David's system and how he achieved it. To some my comments might be a hard pill to swallow but these are the facts. I strongly feel that to advance you need to sometimes forget what you know or have been told and start fresh. David did so and has managed to put together a magnificent system. Start questioning conventional wisdom and you will get some real answers.

          Well time to get back to listening................

          Cheers,

          Jam
          Last edited by jam; 08-14-2016, 02:13 AM.

          Comment


          • #36
            You guys can enjoy the camp fire I just want to say that is a nice set up and room WOW looks great what a lot of time and effort went into that and a couple of dollars to.

            Comment


            • david k
              david k commented
              Editing a comment
              Thanks Garth, no flames or camp fire in sight when Jam was over. We actually had a great time. I think he was pleasantly surprised with the qualities of some of the vintage gear specially in context of current high end products, hence his comments.

              david

          • #37
            My comments we aimed at the question of getting better sound and some of the mistakes we make in trying to reach Audio Nirvana. David has an amazing system an is certainly one of the best I have heard irregardless of cost. He has had to learn about setting up a system the hard way.........trial and error and not listening to the usual pervayors of misinformation and bullshit.

            The problem I see here is the idea that new is better, reviewers opinions are gospel and no one seems to choose or match components in the context of the system they are trying to create. I see massive amounts of money being wasted and and a lot of people going around in circles. Someone is getting rich out at your expense.......a sad state of affairs especially if you are trying to get a better more natural sound.

            If you are more interested in bling and bragging rights you will get no argument from me and more power to you.

            Comment


            • #38
              I think one should never be ideological, whether about vintage or modern, about any design, religion, or whatever. To be ideological makes us feel we we are defending some principle at our own cost.

              Steve Williams, Marty, and I went to DDK's separately, and all three of us liked his vintage TTs better than the Techdas, and we love Techdas. At Munich, my favorite TT has always been Techdas, it plays in many rooms, and I have heard it in other private set ups. But the Thorens Ref was something else, and so was the American Sounds. Of lower budget TTs, a Schopper modded Thorens 124 is still my favorite, and a guy who owned top of the line SMEs and Brinkmann moved to it. Thuchan on the Gon sold off his continuum to go Micro Seiki 8000, followed by EMT 927, and I know 4 of 4 people I checked with who had heard both, who prefer the Seiki 8000 to the Techdas.

              My knowledge of analog is limited compared to most on these board. In speakers, I haven't heard anything better, or remotely close to, restored Apogees and Western Electrics. But the restores are done with modern components. Yet these are large speakers, not for most rooms. For smaller rooms, modern speakers do sound better, a YG Hailey, Stenheim Alumine 5, are tough to beat. And that is where the progress is. YG, Leedh Glass, etc are innovative and progressing. I am not a fan of old quads, and of some speakers using JBL today (some are very good). When horn manufacturers try to replicate yesterday's sound for today's smaller apartments, it becomes a joke. Speaker progress, IMO, will not try to break the sonics of big speakers. There is no incentive today to compete with the budget the US government and Bell Labs spent on WE or what a giant electronics company like Siemens could afford to make the breakthroughs for theatre sound. The R&D effort now is to cater to consumers of spotify, ipod, Active speakers, and wireless speakers. We audiophiles are a small idiotic percent that drive manufacturers more bankrupt than profitable, no one cares for us. Analog was the analog as well as the spotify of the 80s. Today even many audiophiles cannot appreciate it. What incentives are there for professionals?

              I do like modern carts like ortofon, lyra, and zyx's. I also liked DDk's neumann.

              I find resolution on modern gear is higher, many times at the cost of musicality, though should not be a relation. I find amps, digital, and such electronics to be better today and progressing, and I find DRC to be getting better. Vitus, Boulder, various new valve amps today, and especially Trinnov, Datasat, Acourate, Auro 3d, Atmos, this is what's better out there today than was yesterday - and the price in this category, like a proper market, continues to drop with progress.

              Things don't always progress. Sometimes there is a revolution that causes a lot of talent flow at a particular time period. Rock in 60s, classical era, renaissance era. Maybe audiophilia as an industry had its day for certain products, the rest might be Britney Spears trying to replace Beethoven, but the ticket costs are higher in the newer era.

              Comment


              • tima
                tima commented
                Editing a comment
                Electronics may be progressing (parts) but most amp circuits are vintage.

            • #39
              So where does that leave the Techdas? You love it but.................So in the grand scheme of things what do you do when you are trying to put a system together?

              The question that begs to be answered is why did you like these other tables better than the Techdas? So what sort of compromise will you be making if you choose the Techdas and how will it affect the final outcome.

              I stated that David's system is one of the best I heard because of it's ability to recreate a realistic and natural picture of a sonic event. I prefer electrostatic speakers that create the same picture. The key here is identifying components that might hinder your ability to achieve this.......... using as a hypothetical example, if the Techdas is one such component (no matter how good it looks) what do you do?

              There is one fact in audio, if you add a component or device in the system that removes some critical information, you can't get it back, you can try to simulate your loss with cables and what not but the fact is you will never get it back hence the obsession with cables and mindless tweeks for the most part they are band aids.

              I prefer and use modern cartridges like the Lyras and Optical DS-1 but I have to admit the Neuman is something else. I will say what is often called resolution is distortion, a certain amount of high frequency distortion can give the effect of widening the soundstage. A good analogy here is the sharpness control on you TV, it enhances edge detail but is not real but artificial.

              Comment


              • #40
                Techdas is fantastic, much more easily available and serviceable.

                The key learning from David’s system was that one TT cannot do everything anyway. I think Techdas greatly enhances the musical experience, Thorens Ref and American Sounds and EMT might do it differently and better, but all are great.

                I like stats too, it is difficult to beat Acoustats at 2k, many much more expensive cones cannot match It. I like restored Apogees more, and I like horns too. But then modern speakers like YG and Stenheim are more manageable in terms of space.

                Like with everything there are tradeoffs between sound, budget, space, availability of product and service. With infinite budget and space I would have restored Apogee FR, Thorens Ref and many other TTs, three 3 box Aesthetix IOs each with a different set of NOS valves , boulder 3060, Vitus Masterpiece, and a SET amp for midrange with Pass analog crossover, so I could play with valves and SS depending on mood. Apogees will fire down the long room, and a Western Electric 16A will sit on the long wall with a 6w 300b amp. Lampizator for digital. Modern cables, cheap and neutral, shun mook diamond resonators for isolation. And a MCH system with Datasat Dirac Auro 3d and MSB MCH dac which will be all modern components

                Like I said, best of both vintage and modern.

                Comment


                • #41
                  Maybe I should also add the articles I wrote on these turntables to this site but the point I made several times is that at this level all those record players perform at a level way beyond everything else. It's not a question of best here or better here but a matter of appreciating and enjoying the variety that analog can offer. Both TechDas and Micro Seiki SX-8000II are artistic expressions of the same great man at different times of his life and we're fortunate that he share his genius with us. I did start with the mindset of finding the best but in time I realized that was the wrong quest and ended up loving each one for their diversity. This why I kept them all collection was never the intention. In fact the last few years I've been selling parts of it in order to share the experience with others and in the end I'll probably keep one or maybe two. But back to Jam's point, I don't think that he's comparing brands of equipment but rather the approach to putting a system together for a type of sound that he also enjoys.

                  You've both been here and know what the system sounds like, on many levels its a very simple setup aimed at a natural emotional sound which happens to be Jam's ideal too. His point was to forget about audio bling, tweaks, expensive cabling and simplify the system so it can breath and focus on the natural and emotional rather than things hifi.

                  david
                  Audio Industry Affiliate:Lamm, Ortofon, ZYX, Keith Monks, Audio Desk, Jensen Transformers.
                  Specialty & Unique Offerings: Vintage horn speakers, Vintage and Modern Turntables, Analog Accessories.
                  Systems, showroom links:
                  http://www.audionirvana.org/forum/ti...stening-room-1
                  http://www.audionirvana.org/forum/ti...earfield-setup

                  Comment


                  • #42
                    Great collection David, congrats!!!
                    Denon PRA-2000, Accuphase C220, Pioneer SF-700 modded, own made six channel hybrid p-amp, JBL Paragon, Silberstatic Nr. 7, Sperling L2, Dual 1229, Audio-Technica AT 1501 MKIV, Zeta Black Zeta, Sperling TA1, Micro Seiki M505, Elac EMC v.d.Hul1, Denon DL103R, AT150ML, ADC QLM30MKIII, AT20SLa.....Technics RS1500, Technics RS1506, Teac X1000M, Philips N4520, Revox PR99MKIII, Telefunken T9u, Telefunken M21, Telefunken M5c

                    Comment


                    • #43
                      Thank you Michael. Like you I never gave up on analog and LPs.

                      david
                      Audio Industry Affiliate:Lamm, Ortofon, ZYX, Keith Monks, Audio Desk, Jensen Transformers.
                      Specialty & Unique Offerings: Vintage horn speakers, Vintage and Modern Turntables, Analog Accessories.
                      Systems, showroom links:
                      http://www.audionirvana.org/forum/ti...stening-room-1
                      http://www.audionirvana.org/forum/ti...earfield-setup

                      Comment


                      • #44
                        What a setup David looks fantastic

                        Comment


                        • david k
                          david k commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Thanks Al, it took years of tail chasing to get here!

                          david

                      • #45
                        Wow, congratulations on a phenomenal collection. I would love to experience it. Some provocative and in my mind, truthful perspectives from member Jam as well. Thanks for a view into your room.
                        Front end: Aesthetix Io Signature with 2 Power Supplies and Volume controls
                        Brinkmann La Grange & RonT Tube Power supply with Kuzma 4-point , Brinkmann 12.1 , Koetsu Rosewood Signature Platinum, Lyra Atlas, Lyra Etna SL Goldfinger Statement, KLAUDIO RCM
                        Amps: Wyetech Topaz, Futterman H3 Quad II,Citation II, Marantz 8b, 5 ,2 - Custom Direct Drive to supply Beveridge Electrostatics
                        Pre-Amps: ARC SP 3a, Marantz 7, Marantz Model 1 Consolette Pair
                        Speakers: Quad ESL 57, Beveridge Model 3, REL S/2 x 2

                        Comment

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