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bluesman

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About bluesman

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    Crusty Old Curmudgeon

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  1. Please forgive what may simply be my naïveté, but buying "kinda crappy" ES headphones to see how electrostatic 'phones sound is like buying a Fiat 500e to find out how an electric car drives. If you're used to a BMW, you're bound to find anything short of a Tesla to be a disappointment. Your current reference standards - all very fine pieces - include a $3500 streamer, a $1000 Vincent and a $2500 DAC (although you don't tell us what your current 'phones are). The ESP95X is a pretty good set of cans, but the basic design is almost 30 years old, the build quality is pretty flimsy, and the amp that comes with it is marginal at best. These will simply not let you experience the amazing potential of great electrostatics. For example, the Stax 007s are fantastic, and the 009s are even better - but I'm too cheap to buy them 😁 For me, "even" the HiFiMan Jade II is a far better example of what electrostatics can do than those Koss, although their bass is a bit shy of what Stax and others in that league offer. If you want to find out what makes electrostatics stand out, you need to go to a dealer and audition some good ones through a good amp - most ES phones today can be driven by most of the better ES amplifiers. I drove my Stax SRX IIIs with a dedicated, well modded Marantz 8b for years back before the box that came with them (SRD-7 at the time) was also an amplifier. If you like the immediacy, transparency, midrange detail, staging etc that you hear, and you can live with a bit of glare or stridency and without earth shaking bass, 'phones like your Koss are very nice for classical and small group jazz except for the lack of realistic weight on the bass, whether electric or acoustic. But if your goal is to find out what all the fuss is about regarding electrostatic 'phones, "kinda crappy" ones will not fully educate you and great ones will astound you.
  2. Ahhh. Life s only played in one of two keys: see sharp or be flat.
  3. When I reviewed roon for AS last year, I installed it in all its forms on multiple operating systems on everything from an old (2005) Toshiba laptop to a new HP PC, and it's never been anything close to slow. My daily listening rig is driven by ROCK on an i3 NUC, and it hauls butt on every task with my ~10k album library. It powers up fast, displays graphics and text without delay, pulls info from the web when asked, and updates easily and quickly (e.g. the recent push to 1.7). I do leave the NUC on 24/7 so I can listen to whatever I want in any room at any time, but that's only for convenience. Unless your Mini is also in use for multiple non-audio tasks while listening, your library has hundreds of thousands of files, and you're using the most demanding possible settings for everything from album art to web sourcing of additional information, I can't help but wonder if you have a problem somewhere. I assume your boot drive is a smaller SSD, as recommended by roon, and your big new SSD is only for your music files. Your system architecture may offer a clue, e.g. is your big SSD in NAS? USB drive? Are all the pipes big, clean and clear - network? USB? Are you for some reason sending music files from that new SDD to your Mini over Wifi? I wouldn't give up without a serious effort. Roon is far better than you seem to be experiencing.
  4. Like WOW, Dobie! Calling Dee Dee Bridgewater, Diana Krall, and Cecile McLorin Salvant "rubbish music" and "insultingly loud" reflects a level of criticism never before experienced. I guess there's room for all of us on the planet, but this borders on the absurd.
  5. After 37 years of clearing the 150’ driveway and about 75’ of front steps, I found the ultimate solution. We retired, sold the house, and moved to a condo apartment. I did put on our snow tires yesterday, but that’s as far as I go for winter. Unfortunately, each of the 100 units in the building only gets one indoor parking space, so I have to leave my car on the outdoor deck on top of the underground garage. The building maintains the grounds, so they plow often - but during one storm last year, they plowed my car in! I guess the plow guy assumed I was a snow bird off to Florida for the winter 🤨
  6. ..at Guitar Center until Dec 4. My location had them in all 3 colors today (black, red, and white) so I picked up a white pair to be rears in our living room. MC here I come! You can order them online with free shipping if the color you want is not in stock where you are or if you’re not near a GC location. Not too shabby
  7. I don't know if Fre:ac will normalize, but you can use software like FFmpeg to normalize FLACs without converting to WAVs first (which you'd have to do with Audacity, for example).
  8. There's simply no audiophile-quality toilet paper out there yet. This may be a great new market niche for boutique accessory developers, if they can find a way to gather and analyze the requisite data. One roll might make a great tunable port. Multiple rolls could be assembled into a parameteric isolation stand. And a case could be the next big thing in damping filler for speaker cabinets. We're on a roll!!
  9. I don't have to like everything to be open to it. As a classically trained pianist and a professional musician for 60 years (guitar, bass, keyboards), I've been hired to back a wide variety of acts. I have decent historical and contemporary knowledge of the spectra of genre and content of music. I can even stretch my imagination far enough to accept that the fuzzy drone Cisneros is playing there could be considered a modern take on the pedal tone and that it might really make the right tunes pop. Sadly, the only such efforts I've heard to date remind me more of Rachmaninoff's Prelude in C# minor played painfully slowly on solo fuzz bass. I understand the drone band concept, and I like some of what I've heard. But virtually atonal buzz bass seems to be far more physical than musical in its effect on the listener / feeler. And I bet Adolph Rickenbacker is turning over in his grave
  10. You’re describing the sound escaping from the low rider with 24” subs in the trunk that’s next to you at a stoplight. Or it could be turntable rumble, or 60 Hz hum - but I can’t really consider what you describe as an instrumental contribution to music of any kind. Of course, it could also be the result of a blown speaker in the bass amp, in which case a recone might reveal some stellar playing
  11. Actually, he is if your hint ""Free your mind and your ass will follow" is to be followed. As I suggested in an earlier post, BIlly Bass was on that album, not Bootsie.
  12. See my response below. I’ll look it up when I get out of bed in a while - I don’t hunk he was on that album. He’s absolutely a great bass player. If he weren’t such a shy wallflower, maybe he’d stand out a bit more..........
  13. I don’t think Bootsy was on that album. If I remember right, Billy Bass was on the first 4 and that was #2. I don’t own any, so I can’t look at the cover notes.
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