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Fas42’s Stereo ‘Magic’


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16 minutes ago, fas42 said:

Right, so you don't care ...

 

Frank, time to take a break and regroup.

 

In principle, I am all for what you are trying to achieve. It is really what we are all trying to achieve. Just don't "poo" on my turf. 

 

Maybe you and I and Alex ( @sandyk)  should meet over a glass of wine or cup of coffee.

 

From the Blue Mountains to the Hunter Valley in Oz

 

Its your call Frank

Sound Minds Mind Sound

 

 

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29 minutes ago, Audiophile Neuroscience said:

 

Frank, I just realised that my offer might sound in some way intimidating, it is not meant to be. Audiophile get-togethers are supposed to be fun. I promise nothing other than a meeting, but I am always genuinely interested in how to improve my sound system.

 

Sounds good - wouldn't mind going for a run ... could even listen to some music, 😉.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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11 hours ago, fas42 said:

So, some form of a "high end" rig has been running in the household for nearly 20 years now; overall, about a half dozen distinct configs in that 35 years.


Out of interest, which of these many configurations produced the best “magic”?

Windows 10 PC, Roon, HQPlayer, SOtM sMS-200Ultra, tX-USBultra, Paul Hynes SR4 (x2), Mutec REF10, Mutec MC3+USB, Devialet 1000Pro, KEF Blade.  Plus Pro-Ject Signature 12 TT for playing my 'legacy' vinyl collection.

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23 hours ago, Teresa said:

 

At this point I would take it back for a refund. And purchase something that doesn't disappoint.

I quite like this idea.  Buy kit that you think sounds great within your chosen budget.  If you then find that you are not so keen on a certain aspect of the sound, swap the offending piece of kit for something you do like.
 

Then enjoy music on you chosen system.

 

Teresa”s stereo magic, perhaps?

Windows 10 PC, Roon, HQPlayer, SOtM sMS-200Ultra, tX-USBultra, Paul Hynes SR4 (x2), Mutec REF10, Mutec MC3+USB, Devialet 1000Pro, KEF Blade.  Plus Pro-Ject Signature 12 TT for playing my 'legacy' vinyl collection.

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4 hours ago, Confused said:


Out of interest, which of these many configurations produced the best “magic”?

 

Good question ... 🙂.

 

Would be hard to say - each of course has had its own signature, its own weaknesses; which favoured some recordings over others - there was a good period about 15 years ago, when I had the original electronics, and it was driving the old Technics speakers, the ones shown in a post earlier. Did an excellent job with powerhouse rock, the Robert Palmer type of thing, and Jarre style synthesizer efforts. But wasn't so good with very old, swing orchestra type tracks.

 

It's more the case that the best magic occurs when I happen to hit on exactly the right conditions for a particular setup to shine - and then I can hear what the potential of some recording, which has always been marginal, is - Adele 21 was borderline 2 rigs ago, but the NAD/Sharp combo allowed this to come across beautifully; the Edifiers are still a bit of a hmmm on this album, needs more detail resolution for the mixes to really work as they can.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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1 hour ago, Confused said:

I quite like this idea.  Buy kit that you think sounds great within your chosen budget.  If you then find that you are not so keen on a certain aspect of the sound, swap the offending piece of kit for something you do like.
 

Then enjoy music on you chosen system.

 

Teresa”s stereo magic, perhaps?

 

Fully integrated setups, like the new digital speakers, have come of age, it seems - get the right one, and drive it well - and little goes missing. Easier, and cheaper than ever - I tried this on some Behringer monitors some years ago, but there was too much that had to be sorted; one needs the core electronics to work well enough in raw form, otherwise too much effort is expended on getting the basics right.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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Just came across this, from the Musician DAC thread, http://highfidelity.pl/@main-1023&lang=en.

 

The description of the SQ, to me, is spot on - the power of the midrange, and up, working beautifully is where the magic is; in particular, the reviewer's take on Jarre's Oxygene nails what the album is about - a sonic soundscape, which was played often on the rig I mentioned just before. Note his comment about the bass not being pumped up ... exactly as it should come across.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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48 minutes ago, kumakuma said:

 

This is not a ringing endorsement for the efficacy of your "methods".

 

If they actually did what you promise, each of the systems would have sounded exactly the same because the only thing you would be hearing would be the recording itself.

 

Because the reality is that there is always remnant distortion in the sound, and always will be. The goal is for that to be reduced to zero, and subjectively it can be. How it works in real life, for me, is that I try a recording that I know well on an unknown system - and it's often a bizarre experience - the feeling of the recording is almost completely absent; it's as if an entirely different performance, mastering has been put on - I'm struggling to recognise it.  When systems are getting closer to what they should be like, the signature of the recording comes across very strongly - and what I'm triggering on are the areas where the particular track still "doesn't sound right"; the difference that matters is that the tonality, etc, is still being impacted by shortfalls of the playback.

 

So, as in most things in life, one never reaches "perfection" - but you're endeavouring to get as close as possible to it.

 

A good example would be the Led Zeppelin I album, original mastering. Many system reduce this to a hopeless mess - it's almost a "Where do I begin??!" situation. Technically challenging recordings determine the last hurdles for getting a rig to the best possible place - if inherent limitations of the hardware are too much, then it may simply be a good choice to accept that "that's as good as it gets", for the specific setup.

 

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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1 hour ago, Audiophile Neuroscience said:

 

I have to agree with @kumakuma. What you're describing Frank is that every system will have its "own signature, its own weaknesses; which favoured some recordings over others". As you say one never reaches perfection. Therefore, If you're used to listening to a particular recording on your system that favours that recording you will judge other systems, playing that recording, unfavourably. It doesn't measure up to how it sounds on your system. Then again the reciprocal can occur, that other recordings sound better on a foreign system

 

The only times I've heard it better, on another system, is when there is an extremely simple instrumental piece - I'm thinking here of the classical guitar, played one note at a time; the tonality of that has been better. The other "betterness" has been the ability to go louder - which is always handy to have.

 

1 hour ago, Audiophile Neuroscience said:

I also get that there is an absolute sense of trying to hear the recording sans equipment. I am not against this in principle but I think this is where it highlights a fundamental difference in our approaches. For me when the equipment totally gets out of the way, the quality of the recording comes through, whether that be good or bad. Bad recordings don't suddenly sound good and if they do, whatever is being done in the playback chain, will impart the same quality over everything. In my books that is colouration.

 

Which gets back to what one considers a "bad recording". My experience is that every one of those types recordings become even more distinctive - its character stands out strongly. Like meeting a variety of people. The sense of the individual rings solidly, but each, always, remains human 🙂.

 

1 hour ago, Audiophile Neuroscience said:

 

It appears that your theory states a playback system can become so good when all errors are addressed that faults in the recording are not transparently shown, but rather ameliorated. I can see this happening sometimes if a fault in the playback chain was exacerbating a fault in the recording. You fix the playback and the fault in the recording becomes less noticeable, less pronounced. Thus, "your brain is able to better focus on the good stuff".The problem is that in reality, while this scenario may exist, in my experience it is uncommon. It is more common that colouration is the culprit that seduces one into thinking something positive has been achieved. Indeed, depending on how you look at it, something positive has been achieved. The music is more approachable, at least to some ears.

 

What is achieved is the sense of immersiveness, with what's going on. A track of Ike and Tina Turner belting out one, live - and interacting with the audience, laughter ripples through the crowd ... you are in that place - the atmosphere has got you by the short and curlies ..

 

1 hour ago, Audiophile Neuroscience said:

 

So what I am saying is even if there was a system that was agreed upon as the best quality in the world and a thousand of the best tweakers in the world spent an infinity of time fine tuning the system, you would still not get all or even the majority of bad recordings sounding good

 

The number remaining "bad" will depend upon the listener. For example, George would still be exasperated by the poor microphone techniques used; and he would be correct, from his POV.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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3 hours ago, fas42 said:

Just thought of a beauty, of a 'difficult' track - I used this 15 years ago, to squeeze the maximum out of the playback; played it over and over and over again ...I can still listen to it, and enjoy it, 😀

 

 

 

Frank the reason this can sound not half bad is it is fairly simple and non-congested. I love the stones but most of the recordings are atrocious. As I have said many times I prefer to listen to them on a 'good' car sound system which is far less resolving and far more forgiving, truncating nasty highs and not even attempting true deep bass for proper dynamics.

Sound Minds Mind Sound

 

 

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9 hours ago, fas42 said:

Just thought of a beauty, of a 'difficult' track - I used this 15 years ago, to squeeze the maximum out of the playback; played it over and over and over again ...I can still listen to it, and enjoy it, 😀

 

 

I have to be honest here, whist perhaps being perfectly listenable, I cannot escape the fact that this is not a particularly good recording.  Lots of noise, the snare is distorted, I could go on. 
 

It does not stop me appreciating the track, but I cannot think this would definitely “sound good” if played on almost any system.

 

 What I would say is that personally, I would not select such a track for optimising or listening for issues in a given system.
 

Just my view, others are welcome to see (hear) this differently I guess.

Windows 10 PC, Roon, HQPlayer, SOtM sMS-200Ultra, tX-USBultra, Paul Hynes SR4 (x2), Mutec REF10, Mutec MC3+USB, Devialet 1000Pro, KEF Blade.  Plus Pro-Ject Signature 12 TT for playing my 'legacy' vinyl collection.

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14 hours ago, fas42 said:

Just thought of a beauty, of a 'difficult' track - I used this 15 years ago, to squeeze the maximum out of the playback; played it over and over and over again ...I can still listen to it, and enjoy it, 😀

 

 

 

Oh Frank, my man, I never played such a pile of distortion through my system.

I had to send both of my main speakers to the psychologist. And now they don't want to come back home !

 

PS: Recordings from 1964 are quite OK. So what they did to this one - no clue.

 

PPS: Even Mick Jagger is no beauty. The contrary, my wife tells me.

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16 hours ago, Audiophile Neuroscience said:

 

Okay, this is probably the closest we are going to get to a bottom-line agreement which is to paraphrase, "the number of remaining bad recordings when played on a well tuned and perfect playback system will depend upon the listener"

 

What I react to, is whether the energy and life of the musical creativity dominates what I'm hearing - if obvious flaws in the playback keep intruding, this detracts, and then I switch off mentally - I'm no longer interested in the music; it's all about getting ready for the next grinding bit, 🙃.

 

16 hours ago, Audiophile Neuroscience said:

 

I submit that for the vast majority of members the perceptual experience will be that bad recordings, under the circumstances described above, will remain bad and distinctly very different from your experience.

 

It is difficult to be certain why people experience things differently but I strongly posit that bad recordings sounding bad is not because there is anything necessarily lacking in the other members' gear or anything lacking in their extent, skill and persistence in tweaking that gear.

 

I come across people who use language to describe what they're getting, which says to me that i would enjoy listening to their system - @ray-dude is the obvious example here. There a very distinct jump in the perceived presentation that can occur, and I'm interested in setups that achieve this. If people are perfectly happy with what their systems are producing, then how I would react to them is quite irrelevant.

 

16 hours ago, Audiophile Neuroscience said:

I believe Frank that what gets you to a perception of a convincingly lifelike and emotionally immersive and engaging standard of playback is fundamentally different to most of us. The flipside, which I think is equally interesting, is that you appear to have a fundamentally different perception of what prevents you experiencing a convincingly lifelike and emotionally immersive and engaging standard of playback.

 

I might go along with that, except people around me echo how I feel. Bev hates female opera voices, and violin - her father used to play one in an orchestra - on sub-par audio playback; starting with the car radio - the irksome quality irritates her intensely. But when a rig I have is on song, she wants the volume to go as loud as possible - she wants the intensity of the sound of the voice or instrument to be as strong as possible, 😉.

 

16 hours ago, Audiophile Neuroscience said:

 

It would appear futile to actually describe the experience of what is great sound playback if the eliciting stimulus that gets you there is quite different. We can agree on a description of lifelike but not correlate it to the same things. In its simplest form, beauty is in the of the beholder and not just in appreciating the original form but also its reproduction.

 

Lifelike, for me, is when live music elicits the same feelings. Reproduced music nearly always says, "This is a hifi, pretending - and not doing a particularly good job of it" .

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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10 hours ago, Confused said:

 What I would say is that personally, I would not select such a track for optimising or listening for issues in a given system.
 

Just my view, others are welcome to see (hear) this differently I guess.

 

Which is exactly why I use it 🙂 - the "margin of error" is so tiny, that the slightest addition of playback distortion makes it sound dreadful - this is balancing a broom on the pointy end type of thing.

 

The tambourine - what??!! tambourine, I hear you say - is a key indicator ... Peter is spot on, when he says it can sound horrendous - it's so close to being impossible to take seriously - which makes it so useful for me, 😉.

 

This is the 'worst' Stones album ... by contrast

 

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/c/c0/LetitbleedRS.jpg

 

which was an early purchase, is brilliant - no problems with this one.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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