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bluesman

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Everything posted by bluesman

  1. Now that everyone can carry or access a library of pretty good quality music with a matchbook-sized device, the only advantage to advanced formats is an improvement in sound quality that's not heard by most, not worth the added cost to many, and only usable without buying new stuff by a few. There's no functional advantage to go with better sound. The camera analogy's important here. Sony's up to 25 MP in several models, Nikon's up to 36.3, Leica to 38 and Pentax to 40. These create files so big that massive external storage is the only practical way to save them - most of us would have t
  2. But this is loss of threshold sensitivity, which is a measure of the quietest sound you can detect. The phenomenon of recruitment (defined as abnormal growth in loudness) means that many people with threshold sensitivity losses hear loud sounds with little or no impairment. The theory is that adjacent hair cells in the cochlea are "recruited" to take over the function of those aging ones that are failing, but that they're not ideal length and configuration for the unintended frequencies and therefore aren't as sensitive at low levels. So presbycusis often means a loss of sensitivity at very l
  3. I went 19" rack many years ago and have maintained that format. I built a floor-to-ceilingwall unit with aluminum angle bracket drilled for the standard mounting format (link HERE to dimensions and hole spacing). I used mahogany because the unit forms one wall of the room and is quite visible, but you can use anything from pine to flakeboard. When we lived in an apartment before we got a house, I used two free-standing cabinets made from flakeboard veneered with laminate. I screwed the same aluminum angle brackets into the inside faces of the cabinet sides, just as I did with the verticals
  4. but completely accurate, from my own experience. I and many others with whom I've played and recorded over the years have often been heard to say, "So THAT'S what we sounded like!" on hearing a recording of a performance. I got to be on stage with Delbert McClinton once at a blues festival in Maryland where I was a sideman for Frankie Lee. Nobody loves DM's songs and arrangements more than I do, but his band was so loud that it was almost painful. The horns all had plexiglass shields clipped to their horn bells or surrounding their mics so they could have at least some audible feedback a
  5. That's fantastic, Barry! I just listened to samples on your site, and they're wonderful. Being able to have confidence in the people making the recording or doing the sound reinforcement makes it a lot easier to play your best and avoid waffling for "safety". But this requires strong rapport among the participants and an environment in which all are encouraged to listen as well as play. And as you say, such symbiosis and support is unusual. In the old days (my first session was in 1960 at Virtue Studios in Philly), studio time was expensive and our goal was to play without error. You s
  6. Everything you say is certainly true except that I'm not sure what you believe I intentionally misunderstood or disagreed with - in the OP's own words: I've stood in front of enough big amps while playing through them over the last 50 years to say with reasonable certainty that most of what comes from them couldn't be described as pretty by any stretch of the imagination. It may be a prejudice on my part, but it seems both reasonable and logical to assume that the term "pretty" is not being applied to heavily amplified guitars and basses. I profoundly apologize to the rock world if I'
  7. Right - but the sounds to which I refer emanate from other areas, e.g. the left fingertips on the strings, the right arm against the body of the instrument, the unconscious tap of a foot on the floor, a rosined bow grabbing a string, the players' breathing etc. This is not as true for anything coming from a Marshall stack as it is for a string quartet or symphonic piece, but I suspect the OP's friend was not referring to electric blues or Megadeth.
  8. I agree with that, but I don't think it's what was meant. Remember that performers (of which I'm one) are in the ensemble and much closer to the instruments than most microphones ever get - especially to their own. Each instrument makes low level mechanical sounds, as does each musician. But that level of sonic detail is close to or at the noise floor of the performance and is simply lost in the intermodulation that's both recorded during the performance and created again during playback. There's simply much more sound in a reproduced performance because of the second wave of IM than there
  9. bluesman

    Power!!

    The builder and I went all the way to the building inspector and the Township Commission. Three phase is only legal in our township for industrial use, and there are few areas even zoned for that. I had to settle for a 100 amp subpanel in the shop, which has been fine for my machinery. But 2 dedicated 20 amp lines for audio were a stroke of genius, and I highly recommend it to anyone who's serious about listening and has the flexibility.
  10. bluesman

    Power!!

    We built an all electric house 32 years ago with 400 amp service, separate circuits for all appliances, and 2 plug molds on dedicated 20 amp breakers on the wall behind a floor-to-ceiling 19" rack that I built into a wall unit. My audio's always been silent, even now that we have dimmers in every room plus low voltage lighting on large transformers. If I stand over one of the transformers or next to a dimmer while playing an electric guitar in my listening room, I get significant noise through the guitar amp if the lights are on - but my audio remains dead silent. I think this is why I'v
  11. Looks like W7 only and $350 per their website
  12. The lesson is that knowledge only comes from experience. We've all paid the same dues, so welcome to the club. No audiophile worth his weight in salt sticks with the first system - it just isn't done. Sometimes I wish I'd stuck with my original Eico electronics from 1965 or my '70s Dyna stuff and spent the cost of the many pieces I bought and sold since then on wine, women and song. We grow old too soon and smart too late. Best regards - David
  13. Oooooh yes! I remember buying my Nakamichi 3 way passive crossover in the late '70s to drive the Infinity Reference Standard 2s I got used from a dealer who'd taken them back as soon as the original purchaser's wife saw them. I ran a Marantz 8b on top, an H-K Citation II in the middle and a Crown DC-150b on the bottom. But my wife was little more tolerant than the original owner's, so they reluctantly went to a more appreciative family at some point and I dropped back to my LS3/5as. The amps were replaced by a series that included the Yamaha B2 (truly a wonderful amp), a Hafler 500 etc. My
  14. My philosophy is centered on the difference between sounding different and sounding better or worse. Perfect accuracy in reproduction, which is not yet achievable anyway, seems less important to most than compromises they find pleasing (warm, cool, refined, rich, lush, heavy, tight etc). It's in the "matching" of components that this rubber meets the road. If you like the sound of a Steinway and you hear a recorded piano that really pleases you, was it a well reproduced Steinway or a poorly reproduced Baldwin? Whether it matters is another question entirely - I'd rather hear well and acc
  15. I'll always remember sitting at a red light once, waiting for it to change, and observing to myself how good the music on the radio sounded. I've never had anything but the OEM sound system in my cars, and it suddenly hit me how absurd that thought was in objective terms. My home system at the time was Thorens table / SME arm / Audioquest cartridge, Marantz 7 & 8b into Rogers LS3/5as. And I realized that I was listening through the radio rather than to it - the music was great regardless of the fidelity of reproduction. And that's really what it's all about. And thanks for keepin
  16. That's one of the things that differentiates a good customer from the rest, Paul. Each of us deserves the same attention and consideration - and if someone else got there first, it's his (or her) turn. Many will leave in a huff complaining that no one payed any attention to them.
  17. Sorry, but quality doesn't have a formulaic value. Those who like chamber music at low volumes and favor uncolored midrange over extended bass will allocate resources quite differently from those who listen only to Joni Mitchell or Miles Davis or James Brown or the 1812 at 100+ db. If you want palpable bass, you'll buy a major sub. You may like "tube sound", or a clear and uncolored midrange, or....... You may hear differences in cables, power "conditioners", etc that are critical to your pleasure. A $300 DAC may sound brittle or constricted to you compared to a $2000 DAC. Jitter may
  18. Although that's true, Paul, being able to buy small volumes at the same prices WalMart pays won't free them from the need to sell at prices close to WalMart's to capture the business. Most small independents can't survive on the operating margins generated by their limited volumes at prices that low. And their operating costs are a much higher percent of their total costs than are WalMart's (e.g. freight and maintaining demo stock). A high volume dealer may put one model on the floor for every 20 or 30 it sells, while a small local dealer may have to display one model for each 1 or 2 it sel
  19. Trust your ears before others'. Know what matters to you, and don't form opinions without objective personal experience to back them up. Find out if you can hear a difference before you invest in anything. Enlist friends and family to help you do blinded side-by-side comparisons in which you don't know which cable / speaker / amp / setting / source is A and which is B. Set up friends' equipment side by side with your own in your home or theirs. Do it in stores if the setting's quiet enough. Take notes. Make the same comparisons several times over several days and document your decisio
  20. It's great to find people who still care about such things! Boston and Cambridge were heaven for jazz lovers (both players and listeners) as well as audiophiles in the mid-'60s. The AR listening room on Brattle Street held live-vs-recorded events with a guitarist or other instrument and a pair of AR3s behind opaque but acoustically transparent curtains. I recall a similar demo from KLH with a pair of Model 9 electrostatics and a small chamber group. Bill Evans' records were popular for demos of great gear, with clean and well recorded acoustic bass and drums plus his classic inside inve
  21. Monica Zetterlund was a very interesting performer. She learned to sing jazz by memorizing the English lyrics from American records and singing them exactly as she learned them without understanding a word, which is why her English is so lightly accented. I'd love to know whose versions of the tunes she memorized. On the title track with Bill Evans, she sounds a lot like Astrud Gilberto to me - but the first US release of an Astrud Gilberto recording (Girl from Ipanema on Getz/Gilberto) was also 1964, so it's unlikely she'd heard and learned it before recording with Evans. I remember wh
  22. Clean up your analog cables. If an audio-carrying cable must cross a power cord, do it at a right angle to minimize common mode noise induction. If you have to run a power cable parallel to an audio cable (especially speaker wires), double the audio wire back on itself for a significant length, so that induced noise will run in both directions through the speaker cable and cancel itself - with a fold at each end of a run of a few feet, there will be 3 sections of the audio line running against each other from fold to fold. Don't bundle contiguous cables so several run parallel to each other
  23. I forgot one major dislike - I really miss liner notes. It's nice to see the cover when playing a file, but I miss reading about the performers and the music. I don't think I've ever played an album (vinyl or CD) without reading at least something from the jacket or insert. I've searched regularly and can't find a database that includes album notes - even Gracenote lacks them. I'd gladly pay to be able to download the notes along with the metadata. Sadly, albumlinernotes.com has relatively few albums in it and only provides the text for those they have in an HTML page.
  24. Absolutely true! Dan Greenfield (Danby Radio, Philadelphia) was my dealer from 1968 until he retired almost 30 years later. Dan gave up a legal career to open his shop in 1949 or 1950 because he was so enamored of audio. He was one of the first to sell Mac, Marantz, Thorens, SME, H-K and Crown when they were all the best of the best. His ethics were beyond reproach, but he did some things that drove potential customers away. He wouldn't sell anything in an unopened box. He tested every piece and ran it in the shop for at least a few days to be sure it was perfect. He went to customer
  25. Sadly, what's killing local independents is the growing number of people who select items like audio, watches, clothing and shoes in person but buy them on line. No retailer can maintain inventory without sales - it's just unreasonable to expect them to provide good counsel and hands-on experience to people who will clearly not buy there. This makes many local retailers somewhat paranoid. All it takes is support for the ones who deserve it, Richard. I've also had bad experiences at well known local dealers and great ones with online sources (e.g. Upscale Audio). If a local dealer treats
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