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ednaz

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About ednaz

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  1. We decided to add a small system to our living room, which could also serve the dining room for soft background music. Both are smallish, and we're not looking for great volume. Your review of the Music 7 got me thinking about it, although it will take up a bunch of real estate on one of our side tables. But then there's the KEF LSX powered speakers, which seems to be occupying a similar niche. Small size, good enough bass extension, built for wireless streaming, enough volume for small spaces. The price is equalized if I shop for "open box" LSX speakers. The LSX has one advantage which is Roon compatibility. You mentioned that you'd pick the Music 7 over many wireless speakers. Not sure if your thinking included the LSX powered speakers.
  2. Perhaps read the whole thing. Distilling spirits to drink was happening in Egypt second century BCE. An offshoot of the alchemistry focused distillation that had gone on for many centuries before.
  3. In the 'burb of Detroit where I grew up, we used to do something similar. A couple of us had sound systems that were very different from our peers. (I was a working musician and actor, so I had decent money compared to most teenagers. I had a couple of friends who were also working musicians or actors.) Weekends, people would bring their latest album acquisitions to one of our places, and the whole group would sit and listen. Rock, blues, jazz, classical, Eastern European Folk... Never had any problem with people staying quiet for a complete album side, don't remember anyone shushing anyone else. Might be that the various intoxicants that were involved had something to do with that.
  4. History is a little bit off. First mentions of beer brewing in the Middle East in writing were in Persia, around 7000 BCE, and you'll find it in the written records in Persia, Sumeria, Egypt. Since the first written mentions are 7000 BCE, they'd clearly been at it for longer than that. Egyptians were brewing beer and fermenting wine at industrial scale during the pre-dynastic period, 3100 BCE. Bakers were also beer makers. They took loaves of bread, soaked them and immersed them in big jars to ferment. (The royals and rich folks drank wine... beer was for the workers.) The wheat they used is now called emmer, and they also used rye. Later on (around 2000 BCE) they also brewed using grains instead of using bread. You'll find beer containers in the pyramid rooms where workers were interred. Egyptians were distilling alcohol to drink second century BCE, which is where the Greeks learned it. I'm part of a group that's using yeasts made from scrapings from bread bowls and beer jugs, taken from a couple recently opened tombs, dating to early Dynasty, to make Egyptian-style breads and beers. (we're also experimenting with yeasts reclaimed from other historic time periods.) Yes, it does taste different. Yes, it genotypes differently from other typed contemporary yeasts, although someone's now in Egypt picking up samples to test.
  5. I worked as a marketing and new product development consultant, and I have hundreds of stories about products or distribution that rocketed to ubiquity in Japan or Korea, but couldn't ever make the leap to other countries. Watched dozens of banks try to do kiosk banking they way they did in Korea and Japan,, with zero success. Brutal failures, in fact, where customers didn't just shun the kiosks, but voiced very strong and nasty opinions. I've booked trips to NY and LA to visit the setups there. I've also gotten interest from a couple of small and mid-size colleges to do a six month trial in a coffee house style space - no alcohol - but it'll produce good information on the attractiveness of the overall "superb audio system" aspects.
  6. Yeah, not beyond notice that the three places in the US where it's caught on are New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, where apartments are small and expensive.
  7. I'm not missing the point. First, there are speakers (I've heard quite a few) that are unimpressive outside of the sweet spot, but breathtaking inside. I know that for certain from shopping for speakers for my two main audio systems. I AM talking about an audiophile listening space. The current description includes "that also happens to spin vinyl." I don't think many people have heard how amazing the jazz studio recordings of Rudi Van Gelder sound through top end equipment, or have heard how much better the recent digital remasters sound than the original issues on either CD or vinyl. There are some "live at" albums that are palpably three dimensional. My question is, would people choose to come drink in a place with the best of the best sound quality and music selected that's best of the best production, instead of at a place where people talk over the sound system because it's no great shakes. I know that in my younger days, there were one or two people where everyone else wanted to hang out because the audio system was head and shoulders better than anywhere else.
  8. Article below talks about a craze that began in Japan (as so many seem to) and is now spreading. People are creating bars and cafes with high end audio gear, and carefully curated libraries of amazingly recorded and rendered (in the owner's opinion) vinyl. People come to have a drink or two, and quietly listen to what great music on great vinyl, selected by the DJ, sounds like through great gear. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/03/dining/vinyl-records-listening-bar-kissaten.html Got me thinking... I believe that "vinyl" may be the least important part of the concept. Selecting the right albums it seems to me would be most important. I know a lot of music that sounds crappy on even the best DAC based system I've heard, and sounds no better (or worse) on vinyl, and vice versa. When someone wants to hear "what my system can do" I know there are a set of specific albums I go for, where I know the recording and engineering were superb. The quality of the components, seems to me, would also be big part of the "wow factor." Most people have never heard what a great tube amplifier can do for music, or what great speakers can sound like, versus what most people can afford. Got me thinking about taking the same physical space concept - smallish bar or cafe with the space properly engineered for audio listening. The right diffusion and absorption on the floors and walls, that would sound as good with two people in the room as with 50 people. (I heard tons about how bad the Sydney Opera House was initially if there were empty seats.) ...but with a digital source. If you were going to build out a digitally based "listening bar", what would you choose for the system, from DAC to the speakers? Keep in mind that setups that are magnificent if the listener sits in a six cubic foot sweet spot probably aren't the best choice. My two main systems are based on speakers that produce nice engaging sound staging no matter where you sit or stand (within reason). Also interested if you're of the opinion that even with the best digital sources it's not possible to get to a huge "wow" factor where people would seek out the place and return frequently.
  9. Ditto ditto on listening outside the sweet spot. That's been one of my main decision criteria when buying speakers - how will the system sound to a few people around the room, not just one person sitting in exactly the right place. While the speakers in my two better systems do have a sweet spot, in both cases what sealed the deal was not how they sounded in that three foot cube of space, but how they sounded if I stood over there. Sat back here. Paced back and forth over yonder. How will they sound in the dining room, which is next to the family room where the speakers live? (Yes, I got a lot of weird looks when I was speaker shopping.) Only my near field systems have a huge difference between sweet spot and elsewhere in the room. I've heard some really great speakers (if you're in the sweet spot) that sound like they were moved into the next room if you stood up and to one side. Everything kind of dulls down. Most of the instruments we listen to through our speakers don't have tiny little sweet spots. Why should our speakers?
  10. Nice comparison review. Most interesting because there's a core technical base component across all the amps which shows that it's the whole of the implementation that matters. (I get fatigued by people who launch off on "well this DAC has the same ESS chip so it has to be as good as all the other DACs using the same chip.") The differences you describe aren't minor. Look at Formula 1. Four engine manufacturers across the 20 teams... and look at the huge differences in performance. The fastest and slowest two teams, one each of Ferrari and AMG Mercedes engines. As my mechanic used to say, you can put a BMW M5 engine in a Chevy Caprice, and it's still gonna drive like a Caprice. I'm curious about how much your results and preferences have to do with the totality of your system components, based on my own experiences. I have two higher end systems (one home, one in my studio) and have tried mixing and matching components, and there are definitely two optimal combinations. My Gradients love my Krell integrated. Not so much my Anthem integrated. Slightly mushy and dull sounding. Same specs. Totally different sound. But... my GoldenEar 1s love the Anthem integrated. The Krell comes off harsh and edgy, but the Anthem is crisp and clean and 3D. Your review, and my own experiences, got me wondering what speakers each of these manufacturers used in their development. Could their speaker choices have influence over how they develop their amps?
  11. I got a set of Gradient Revolutions back in late 1999, when I was sent over to live in Asia for a couple years (so had to leave my US current components in storage at home.) Triangular shaped tower. The woofer is suspended, open air, in the bottom segment. The mid and tweeter are in a separate unit that mounts on the woofer unit, and has a cardioid radiation pattern. (speakers are forward facing, with the other two sides of the triangle open, so that there's some sound radiation there.) Got them for the reason I think the Rossi speakers sounded so good to you... that open woofer/cardioid mid and tweeter makes the speakers fairly independent of the qualities of the room. Our apartment in Singapore had hard plaster walls, with a wall of windows on one side, and marble floors. The living room dining room was two stories high on one end. The echoing was so bad that when I took a mobile call in the place, the person on the other end literally couldn't understand me. When we moved in we did what everyone does there - lots of rugs with thick padding, and we hung rugs here and there as decoration. While it made it possible to make phone calls, the place was still WAY too live. At one audio shop, I picked out a couple amps and speakers I wanted to try, and was telling the owner about the awful acoustics. He burst out laughing, and said he'd come by that evening with speakers - the ones I thought I wanted would sound horrible, all room coupling and muddy. Showed up with the Gradients, set them up near the wall at one end of the room, where you'd logically want them... and they sounded amazing. Then he moved them into different placements, and they really didn't sound much different no matter where. He then hooked up a set of more traditional speakers he'd also brought (that cost twice what the Gradients did) and there wasn't a placement that worked. Muck and boom no matter where. He was right. The Gradients stayed. I've had them in several very different rooms since then. Some well damped, some almost as bad as the Singapore place. They always sounded great. The Gradients are a bit bass shy, as the woofer is much smaller than what Rossi's using. In well damped rooms, I added a sub for the last octave. I was excited when I saw the Rossis, since speakers don't last forever and Gradient no longer has a US distributor, until I saw the price...
  12. Double amen to that. A whole lot of the anti-audiophile and anti-fancy gear arguments I see people tee up seem to firmly rest on the assumption that everyone's sensory capability is identical, and everyone's skills in using said senses are identical. "Because I can't hear a difference, there is no difference." "Bits is bits." Blah blah blah. Everyone's ears are made differently. Everyone's hearing, which involves both the ears and the brain, is made differently. I was a card-carrying musician until my mid-20s, playing all manner of brass instruments. I could tell you whether a trombone player was using a regular or large bore horn. I could reliably tell whether a brass instrument's bell was yellow or red brass, or silver, by the sound. After thousands of hours playing and listening, I developed some pretty acute hearing skills even though I wasn't gifted with great hearing talent. I have friends who can sing any note you asked them to exactly on pitch, and could tell you if a chamber orchestra was tuning to A440 or to one of the early music tunings (before everyone sat down and said, enough pitch madness...) So yeah, I hear things in music, and in my system, that lots of other people don't. Sometimes it's because they can't - not gifted with sensitive hearing - sometimes it's because they won't - they didn't put in thousands of hours training the hearing they have to the best it can be. I also know a few people who can hear differences between cables at a much finer level than I can... because they've listened to hundreds of cables, compared to my several dozen, on systems that are better able to render nuance than my systems. It's true about any senses. I know a couple of people who can take a sip of wine, and tell you what grape, what country, what region, what wine maker, and what year. I'm happy being able to tell pinot from cabernet. I've shot hundreds of thousands of photos, and when I teach in a field workshop, I hear over and over again "I was right next to you and I didn't see that picture!" Put in the work, and you might. Unless you're color blind, or have other visual differences that get in the way. I put in tens of thousands of laps on race tracks - which trains a LOT of senses - and got fast enough to get paid seats in some endurance races. But I've had students who, the first time they sat in a race car, were almost as fast as I was with all my years of training. I had skills, but they had talent... and if they developed their skills they would leave me in the dust. When people want to argue with me that it's impossible for anyone to hear a difference between cables, or between 320kps and 16/44, much less 24/192 - that all the time I put in training my hearing in fine nuances of sound and music is irrelevant because we all have the same talents and skills - I still push back a bit, with the talents/skills analogies. Once it's clear they're "my senses are as good as anyone" people, I go with: "Good for you! You'll save so much money on components and connects compared to me! You should be very happy!" Yet that's never enough. They seem to persist from some kind of need to prove that there's no value in learning and training, no differences in physical capabilities. We're all different. Because some of us choose to train different aspects of our native abilities, we get more different. I've been fortunate to have time to acquire skills to reach my personal apex in a few different areas. It has made me humbly admire the abilities of those with both talent and skills.
  13. If you love jazz piano and haven't done some deep dives into Monty's work, I have an idea for you for a full weekend... He does enough different styles of music that you COULD listen all weekend.
  14. An excellent piece of work. Amazing, in fact. By the time I got to the version comparisons, I was too buzzy with energy to read it... Went back to listen to all of the albums talked about to match them up with the story here. Spectacular "intro to Steely Dan" piece right up front. Heck, you could have stopped there and it would have made my day. Not saying that the comparisons weren't interesting, just that what came before was so dense and intense that I couldn't care about Aja until I'd gone back and checked out everything else. Talk about high engagement writing...
  15. Exactly. When HD music started to become readily available, I was unfortunate enough to have the first few HD albums I purchased be spectacularly produced and engineered. I thought, hell, I'm not buying that 256K Apple junk ever again. And screw the CD. Then I had a few things show up that were reissues of various sorts, where I owned the music on CD, or Apple's better quality compressed format. Hearing near zero difference between what I owned and the new releases on some albums and massive differences on others kicked me into analytical mode. Where I ended up was, not rebuying ANYTHING unless I can hear a sample to see if it's been well re-engineered. Interesting that's hearable on a 256k streamed sample. I also started messing with upsampling to exotic PCM levels, or to DSD. No surprise... for some albums it sounded better, for reasons I couldn't explain. (Thanks for the images, Miska... now I do understand what changes.) For some albums it sounded no different. You can't fix bad engineering with upsampling, and albums with a DR of 3 don't sound any different as an Apple AAC as-is than they do in an HD form upsampled to 4x DSD. I would guess that some things might end up sounding worse upsampled, because you could better hear annoying things. I also found that it only made a large noticeable difference on one of my systems... and not the one with the most expensive DAC, and way more with headphones than through speakers. Where I've ended up is, if I buy stuff that's a casualty in the loudness wars (my first live concert was the MC5, so yeah, I do...), I buy it in a cheap format. The good things that higher def and upsampling can do for sound just don't improve things for flat DR music- or at least not in a way I can hear. An artist I love, clumsily engineered, red book format it is. The good stuff is worth the extra cost for HD. I don't upsample what I stream from my server - only when I'm sitting down to listen deeply in, with headphones, on the one DAC where I know it matters a lot, with a local source. If I'm writing, or printing, or cooking, just living, playing through speakers in any of the four imperfect listening environments I've got, bit perfect is perfect enough. There is such a thing as "good enough."
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