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bluesman

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Everything posted by bluesman

  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.
  14. Billy Nelson was Funkadelic’s first bass player, so I guess that’s your reference. I wouldn’t put him up there with the top tier, but I wouldn’t kick him out of my band either.
  15. Art Tatum's left hand?
  16. Agreed! What amazes me is how well and how often listening at home (and even in the car) opens a window in my mind through which the real thing pours in. I remember sitting at a stoplight one day thinking how good the music sounded in my car, when I realized that it didn't actually sound that great. I was "listening" through the stock audio system to what I knew the performance sounded like, and what I heard in my head was what I knew had gone into the mics rather than what was coming out of the speakers. I continue to do that today, having learned to separate what I wanted to hear from what I was actually hearing. Certainly, even those who have never heard a live performance can derive great pleasure and satisfaction from reproduced music. My issue is with those who confuse sounding "live" with sounding like the original performance, when they don't know what the source material sounded like live. There are a lot more recordings out there that sound like there are instruments playing in the room with you than there are that sound like the instruments that were recorded are in the room with you. As we say where I come from, 'tis better to have heard only an mp3 than never to have heard at all.
  17. What's even sadder to me is that many (if not most) have never heard live performances of the music they use to judge reproduction systems. Hearing 'Trane, Rollins, Getz, Griffin and so many others with uniquely beautiful tone live in a small, unamplified setting lets you understand and appreciate the variety and nuance in the sound of an instrument. In their hands, the tenor sax was many instruments each with a clearly recognizable sound. Similarly, the alto was born again each time it was played by Desmond, Cannonball, Art Pepper, or Parker. And there's so much variation in the sound and playability of even the best pianos that the instrument can alter the performance greatly. For my 21st birthday, my girlfriend took me to Paul's Mall in Boston to hear Wes Montgomery at a stageside table. I was about 3 feet from him for the whole night and able to directly hear the gorgeous tone of his Gibson L5. Yes, it was amplified thru a Fender Twin pointed away from me - but he hated amps, used them sparingly, and never found one that pleased him. That night was absolutely thrilling! Tone is in your chops as much as in your instrument, and this is hard to understand or appreciate without hearing it live in a small setting - huge halls and serious sound reinforcement simply don't let you appreciate the intimacy of a player's interaction with his or her axe. It's difficult (if not impossible) to compare recordings to live sound without knowing what the source sounded like, and it's impossible to really understand how great a lot of music sounded solely from recordings. This is still true, and there are many many great players you can go out and hear live now. I was fortunate enough to be able to hear so many greats all through the '60s and '70s - but the best performance for me is always the next one.
  18. Jud added him early on.
  19. Let’s not forget the inventor of the funk bass technique known as slap & pop - it was originally called Grahaming, after its inventor Larry Graham....
  20. .....and I almost forgot Dee Dee Bridgewater! I took my wife to hear Thad & Mel at the Village Vanguard for our anniversary (after dinner at Le Chanteclair - I was smart enough even in 1973 to know that I couldn’t get away with jazz as the sole celebration of our anniversary...). During the show, Cecil Bridgewater (one of the trumpeters in the band, which was then made up of the top NY jazz & studio guys including several from the Tonight Show band) walked up to the mic and introduced his wife Dee Dee as the band’s new vocalist - and she was spectacular! She’s even more so now.
  21. Anybody know who Willie Dixon was?
  22. He’s the glue that’s held hundreds of top bands together. Along with Russ Kunkel on drums, he’s the infrastructure of rock and country legends.
  23. Great stuff! I love them all. I’d add two of my favorites: Cyrille Aimée and Nancy Wilson. Both voices are pure as a newborn baby, and both artists are masters of their instruments. They’re truly unique - once you hear them, you know it when you hear them again. Another fascinating female vocalist is Patty Cathcart. Her recordings with her husband Tuck Andress (dba Tuck and Patty) are wonderful music and excellent reference and demo source material. Tuck is an amazing guitarist whose playing, sound, and repertoire are all stellar both solo and backing his wife.
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