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Audio Moments Your Family Thinks Craziest


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I find I don't have as much trust or fondness for the overly sane. I believe everyone is crazy; it's just a matter of degree, and how functional we are with those around us. Projecting? Of course. But that doesn't necessarily mean I'm wrong; do it? The crazy things I've seen around here can be "maddening", but that is perhaps why it is such a comfortable place for so many wonderful lunatics. I love it here.

 

So... if you were on trial for your sanity, what audio-related anecdotal evidence would your wife, family, co-workers, neighbors, doctors, etc bring against you?

 

Perhaps my craziest moment occurred in 1971 after my dad, for reasons unknown to anybody, decided to give his prized Sony transistor radio to me, his 10 year-old and 3rd kid (of 5). I was curious, so I pulled it apart. That was the day I learned what a speaker is. I found 3 more little speakers, mounted one in each corner of my bedroom, and connected them all to the tiny radio. The micro-amplifier didn't get fried. It actually worked and sounded beautifully. My 3 brothers and little sister (all of whom were pro's at getting attention from my parents) couldn't wait to inform my dad that I'd destroyed his radio. The music emanating from all four speakers proved otherwise, but was only relevant to me.

 

 

Gary

Win10 Sweetwater recording studio PC running JRMC > Soundcraft Ui24r 24-track digital mixer > JBL LSR308 via Magomi Balanced XLR cable pair

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$4K for a DAC that only plays one format, while I had another DAC that plays all formats - and I'm keeping both DACs, will the madness ever end?

 

Oh yea, AND THE WHOLE COMPUTER AUDIO CONCEPT, makes my vinyl rig look cheap. I jumped down this rabbit hole about a year ago, thanks guys (sarcasm) - I really didn't need to replace my old car :)

Analog: Koetsu Rosewood > VPI Aries 3 w/SDS > EAR 834P > EAR 834L: Audiodesk cleaner

Digital Fun: DAS > CAPS v3 w/LPS (JRMC) SOtM USB > Lynx Hilo > EAR 834L

Digital Serious: DAS > CAPS v3 w/LPS (HQPlayer) Ethernet > SMS-100 NAA > Lampi DSD L4 G5 > EAR 834L

Digital Disc: Oppo BDP 95 > EAR 834L

Output: EAR 834L > Xilica XP4080 DSP > Odessey Stratos Mono Extreme > Legacy Aeris

Phones: EAR 834L > Little Dot Mk ii > Senheiser HD 800

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HaHa ... a bunch of years ago my folks gave me one of those small plastic record players. It had totally inadequate speakers but did play well enough so I took it apart and mounted the turntable part on it's own plinth (board). The amp got a nice mounting platform (board) and I scrounged up a pair of better 6X9 speakers from the ham-radio guy next door. Now it sounded much better, but certainly not better enough.

 

This started a long chain of events that saw the purchase of many electronic boxes, none of which I have today. But I do have the knowledge gained from all that, and the records too starting about 1965 or so. I made homemade speakers and went through a bunch of these things, blowing them up, giving them away, selling some and I also have none of those either. But I did learn that better results can be obtained with money.

 

Today this obsession continues, I have 2 nice systems in my own home ... so I can make all the noise I want to, within the limits of my wife of course. But she is quite tolerant so lucky me. I accepted defeat and do not try to make anything now, except maybe simpler things like platforms and tweaks.

 

But my enthusiasm has not waned, I read the rags and buy too much music that I don't know and in general, yes ... I am an audioholic.

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I went along with a college friend to a 2nd hand electronics shop (kind of like a flea market)... 36 years ago. (before most of you were born.... :( ) We wanted to test out the theory of sound waves traveling with magnetic fields, etc. Since we could only afford one 'woofer', we decided to build a speaker from 'scratch'... we used Klim milk canister. We soldered, glued, taped, and pulled all kinds of materials that should go into a speaker.... finally we heard some deep 'zummmm' sound from our speaker, which didn't resemble any music at all... that ended my speaker building career... it's much easier to buy one than DIY.

 

Nevertheless, I missed the creativity and crazy thoughts. The theory is simple, but the flawless engineering is what sets the good speakers apart from the rest.

A good song finds me even during my sleep.

Thank God for my aging ears. I now can filter out blah blah blah and tune in blue blue blue...

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$4K for a DAC that only plays one format, while I had another DAC that plays all formats - and I'm keeping both DACs, will the madness ever end?

 

Oh yea, AND THE WHOLE COMPUTER AUDIO CONCEPT, makes my vinyl rig look cheap. I jumped down this rabbit hole about a year ago, thanks guys (sarcasm) - I really didn't need to replace my old car :)

 

 

If you sacrificed an important medical operation to buy a second DAC, that takes it to the next level. Even then, it would have to be life threatening before folks around here would raise an eyebrow.

 

Speaking of which... my wife more than raised an eyebrow when she saw an invoice from a company who's name is pronounced "Shit". My reply was "But they're American". Schiit; we really are crazy.

Win10 Sweetwater recording studio PC running JRMC > Soundcraft Ui24r 24-track digital mixer > JBL LSR308 via Magomi Balanced XLR cable pair

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It was early 1973. I held a shoot-out (in my Virginia Beach apartment) of double KLH 9's vs. Infinity Servo Statiks vs. Magneplanar Tympani 1 B's.

 

All electronics were ARC.

 

Each pair of speakers used two ARC D-76 amps (with the 9's, it was an amp per pair of panels, SS-1's - an amp for mid and another for treble, T1B's - bi-amped - ARC electronic x-over). The listening room was plenty large enough for a pair of either speaker, but horribly cluttered with three pair! So one bedroom door was blocked for about a week as well as the entrance to the hallway.

 

I spent a week voicing them to the room so that any differences could be clearly heard.

 

The shoot-out lasted all day Sunday.

 

Then it took several days to get back to normal (Maggie T1B's) in the apartment.

 

For some reason, my wife and son still speak to me, maybe because no event of that scale was ever repeated. :)

Various speakers, electronics, cable, etc. on loan for manufacturers' evaluation.

More or less permanently in use:

 

Schiit Iggy (latest), Ayre QB-9 DSD, Ayre Codex, Uptone Audio ISO Regen/LPS-1 Power supply, Berkeley Audio Alpha USB, PS Audio LanRover, Small Green Computer, Sonore ultraRendu, gigaFOIL4 ethernet/optical filter - Keces PS-3 power supply, (3) MBPs - stripped down for music only,  AQ Diamond USB & Ethernet, Transparent USB, Curious USB, LH Lightspeed split USB, Halide USB DAC, Audirvana +, Pure Music, ASR Emitter II Exclusive Blue amp, Ayre K-5xeMP preamp, Pass X-1 preamp, Quicksilver Mid-Mono Amps, Pass XA-30.5 amp, Duelund ICs & Speaker Cables, Paul Hynes SR-7 power supply, Grand Prix Audio Monaco Isolation racks & F1 shelves, Tannoy Canterbury SEs w/custom Duelund crossovers and stands, 2 REL 212SEs, AV RoomService EVPs, ASC Tube Traps, tons of CDs, 30 IPS masters, LPs.

 

http://www.getbettersound.com

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It was early 1973. I held a shoot-out (in my Virginia Beach apartment) of double KLH 9's vs. Infinity Servo Statiks vs. Magneplanar Tympani 1 B's.

 

All electronics were ARC.

 

Each pair of speakers used two ARC D-76 amps (with the 9's, it was an amp per pair of panels, SS-1's - an amp for mid and another for treble, T1B's - bi-amped - ARC electronic x-over). The listening room was plenty large enough for a pair of either speaker, but horribly cluttered with three pair! So one bedroom door was blocked for about a week as well as the entrance to the hallway.

 

I spent a week voicing them to the room so that any differences could be clearly heard.

 

The shoot-out lasted all day Sunday.

 

Then it took several days to get back to normal (Maggie T1B's) in the apartment.

 

For some reason, my wife and son still speak to me, maybe because no event of that scale was ever repeated. :)

 

 

No police raid? No blown breaker switches? What's to complain about?

Win10 Sweetwater recording studio PC running JRMC > Soundcraft Ui24r 24-track digital mixer > JBL LSR308 via Magomi Balanced XLR cable pair

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Some relatives were over for Christmas one year. The cost of my sound system came up. My Dad said, "he's crazy, I bet he has $1000 tied up in all this stuff." I pointed to the amp, and said "that cost $1500.... second hand, and it isn't the most expensive part." My Dad shook his head and said, "I told you he was crazy".

 

Had a repairman in the house once. Had some Maggie speakers at the time. He stopped just looking at them. I watched his eyes follow wires from the back over to the rest of the stereo. Suddenly with wide eyes he said, "those are speakers? Why would speakers be like that". I turned on some music to confirm the answer to his question was yes. With a grin he said, "never heard any speakers nearly that good. So why ever they make them in that skinny shape is a good reason".

And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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I have an easier time coming up with my defense:

 

I have quit trying to get decent audio from a computer, purchasing a dedicated music server for $800.00. Best investment ever. I rest my case your honor.

Vinyl is a hugely overpriced way to get flawed sound. Digital is an inexpensive way to get less flawed (though flawed nonetheless) sound.

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If you sacrificed an important medical operation to buy a second DAC, that takes it to the next level. Even then, it would have to be life threatening before folks around here would raise an eyebrow.

 

Speaking of which... my wife more than raised an eyebrow when she saw an invoice from a company who's name is pronounced "Shit". My reply was "But they're American". Schiit; we really are crazy.

 

So this generates an "I believe"

 

I believe the high price of women's shoes and purses is the only leverage I have for my audio hobby :)

Analog: Koetsu Rosewood > VPI Aries 3 w/SDS > EAR 834P > EAR 834L: Audiodesk cleaner

Digital Fun: DAS > CAPS v3 w/LPS (JRMC) SOtM USB > Lynx Hilo > EAR 834L

Digital Serious: DAS > CAPS v3 w/LPS (HQPlayer) Ethernet > SMS-100 NAA > Lampi DSD L4 G5 > EAR 834L

Digital Disc: Oppo BDP 95 > EAR 834L

Output: EAR 834L > Xilica XP4080 DSP > Odessey Stratos Mono Extreme > Legacy Aeris

Phones: EAR 834L > Little Dot Mk ii > Senheiser HD 800

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So this generates an "I believe"

 

I believe the high price of women's shoes and purses is the only leverage I have for my audio hobby :)

 

Humorous!!

 

Unfortunately (or fortunately?), not all women were made equally in pursuing high priced shoes and purses... :( i'd buy the most expensive speakers I could afford 1st. Then, I'd sacrifice my child's college funds, my retirement funds, etc, cosmetics surgery fund. Shoes come and go (literally), purses got stolen or emptied.

. :) haha

A good song finds me even during my sleep.

Thank God for my aging ears. I now can filter out blah blah blah and tune in blue blue blue...

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Great to read about all of your fabulous stories about living on the bleeding edge of the audio world :-)

 

I totally agree: we're all a little crazy. I've yet to meet a 'normal' person yet.

 

Despite my best intentions, I've churned through my fair share of pretty little silver boxes. Many are perplexed why I might want to keep my wardrobe organisers in the corners of my living room. But I think it's my penchant for cotton spaghetti that raises the most eyebrows.

 

I spent some $400 on silver-gold wire and fancy plastic rca plugs. Being so costly, I made all three very, very short (shorter the better, right??). Only when hooking 'em up did I realise my blunder. Being only a foot long, they present a few logistical challenges... especially now as I've got some rather hefty monoblocks ... squeezed together side by side... Oops.. But refuse to give them up having preferred them to everything else I've heard (admittedly nothing costing more than $500..

 

I'm not sure I've ever had as much fun with my clothes on as I have playing with solid-core wire, plugs and cotton rope. A few shocks along the way have only added to the thrill ;-)

TF cards (LPSon  usb hub) -> GentooPlayer in RAM on mini fanless/supercap NUC -> Audio GD R-27 -> S.A.T. Infinity monoblocks -> Gallo Stradas + TR-3 sub Hifiman HE560

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We are crazy, but I have to look at my wife and her Hobby. Bird Photography. I was getting ready to purchase a new DAC, a Lampi and the wife said, what's wrong with that Teac and that Lumin thing you have, don't they still work. I said yes, but there is better dacs out there with a tube. She said I thought you had tubes, I said those are my mono blocks, she said whatever. She shook her head and rolled her eyes. I said hey you buy lens for that $6000 DSLR you have and what about that $8,500 Nikon 500F4 VR you got last year, huh. She looked at me and said, do you make money with your hobby, do you sell that sound that comes out of those speakers. I said NO, she said I didn't think so. Well I sell my photos at art shows and to magazines and these sells pay for my "real" hobby does yours, I shook my head, she said I didn't think so.

 

So I rolled my eyes and went into my 2 chl room and put on some jazz while waiting for the smoke to clear and to ponder what to sell. Women, cheaper to keep them.

The Truth Is Out There

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*********************************************************

 

 

In retrospect, asking crazy people what makes them crazy MAYBE isn't the best approach. What if the question was really answered by our spouses, siblings, parents, neighbors, proctologists, etc? I wonder what THEY would have to say.

 

 

 

**********************************************************

Win10 Sweetwater recording studio PC running JRMC > Soundcraft Ui24r 24-track digital mixer > JBL LSR308 via Magomi Balanced XLR cable pair

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Heh... the craziest moment I can remember happened in my local audio store. The guy talking to me was so tense and walking on eggshells, that I said - "Wait a minute, I need to hear this correctly."

 

Then I turned my back to the speakers, went down on one knee, and cupped my hand behind my ear. I expected him to break out laughing especially since I was grinning. Kinda backfired on me though, he though I was serious, even when I told him I was just pulling his leg. Instead of the laugh I expected to share, I was really embarrassed. :)

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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I said hey you buy lens for that $6000 DSLR you have and what about that $8,500 Nikon 500F4 VR you got last year, huh.

 

 

Pardon me, I'm a Canon shooter. Would that be the Nikkor AF-S 500mm f4G ED VR? If yes, very impressive piece of glass, but did you ask her what she did with the other $1000? (that lens sells for $7500)

Win10 Sweetwater recording studio PC running JRMC > Soundcraft Ui24r 24-track digital mixer > JBL LSR308 via Magomi Balanced XLR cable pair

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Heh... the craziest moment I can remember happened in my local audio store. The guy talking to me was so tense and walking on eggshells, that I said - "Wait a minute, I need to hear this correctly."

 

Then I turned my back to the speakers, went down on one knee, and cupped my hand behind my ear. I expected him to break out laughing especially since I was grinning. Kinda backfired on me though, he though I was serious, even when I told him I was just pulling his leg. Instead of the laugh I expected to share, I was really embarrassed. :)

 

 

Okay. THAT is hilarious!

Win10 Sweetwater recording studio PC running JRMC > Soundcraft Ui24r 24-track digital mixer > JBL LSR308 via Magomi Balanced XLR cable pair

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Pardon me, I'm a Canon shooter. Would that be the Nikkor AF-S 500mm f4G ED VR? If yes, very impressive piece of glass, but did you ask her what she did with the other $1000? (that lens sells for $7500)

 

Actually, you can't just slap one of those in front of a camera and go firing away. You really need good support. Just the legs of a Series 3 carbon fiber Gitzo will eat up almost all of that $1000. You either pay up right now for carbon fiber tripod, or you pay your doctor to fix your back later. Your choice...

 

But then a really well equipped outfit would also have gimbal head, monopod in case you need mobility, heavy duty tilt head for the monopod, flash to add catchlight to the eye and fill in harsh shadows, external battery for the fash to increase its firing rate even for flight shots, flash bracket to mount the flash to the gimbal or tilt head, and a ground pot for just off the ground shots like this:

 

3942663781_ffcc6bf00f.jpg

 

And you need a heavy duty backpack for the whole thing. The stuff won't fit in any sanely sized backpack and even if they do, you'll have to worry about the pieces ripping through the pack and falling to the ground. So at the end of the day, $1k here, another $1k there is no big deal. Just like stereo :D

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Key to domestic tranquility: I don't ask how much she spends on furniture, and she doesn't ask how much I spend on audio gear (which isn't much in the grand scheme of things).

Office: MacBook Pro - Audirvana Plus - Resonessence Concero - Cavailli Liquid Carbon - Sennheiser HD 800.

Travel/Portable: iPhone 7 or iPad Pro - AudioQuest Dragonfly Red - Audeze SINE or Noble Savant

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Key to domestic tranquility: I don't ask how much she spends on furniture, and she doesn't ask how much I spend on audio gear (which isn't much in the grand scheme of things).

 

Task oriented guys vs. feeling oriented gals ... you are a smart man who will have longer/happier/richer marriage than others who put 'stuffs' ahead of a relationship.. (quotes from a famous therapist whose name is forgotten already.)

A good song finds me even during my sleep.

Thank God for my aging ears. I now can filter out blah blah blah and tune in blue blue blue...

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