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  1. Great podcast. It's always fun to get the backstory to something like RP. When I listen, I'm always amazed at how many new artists I get introduced to, and even more amazing, many new favorites are artists from back in my young days that I just hadn't come across.
  2. Using the KEF Egg also, and it's a nice little setup for me when I'm working on editing photos. They're set a bit farther apart than I'd like, given the size of my editing monitor and the distance I prefer for editing, but it doesn't seem to affect the sound. Instruments in the middle come from the middle of the screen, with a nice little soundstage on my desk. They have the KEF sound character, too, reminding me of my living room LSX speakers.
  3. How about LSX? A year and a half ago I was thinking about getting one of the Dynaudio all in one systems for our small living room, which would provide background for the dining room across the hall. I couldn't find a system to listen to, but listened to a number of competitive systems... and was bemoaning how much space the best sounding systems took up. 32" wide for the Dynaudio 7. That's the whole damn table top! (The RS200 is a pretty big item itself, and looks like it demands space around it.) And then heard a pair of KEF LSX. And I went... now THAT sounds really nice. Where I was listening, I moved the speakers farther apart, then back together in what was just like an all in one system. Moved them near the wall and back, onto a table top, and realized that the LSX are an excellent alternative to an all in one system. For starters, they don't take up much space compared to most all in one systems - placement has a lot more flexibility than "large mass goes here" all in ones. I think of the LSX as "all in two" - a whole system in two small separable pieces, with minimal demands on table or room space. The only thing I've noticed is, despite having "table" mode, they definitely benefit from a pad underneath each speaker to help decouple them from the table top. I hope to find a way to listen to the MacRs200 at some point, but it would have to sound amazingly better to bump the LSX out of my living room, and convince me to give over an entire table top to it versus a small zone on each of two separate tables. We move them to the dining room sideboard for guest dinners, leaves plenty of room still for dishes and a vase of flowers or two in between them. Move them back to the living room after, one on the edge of each of two side tables. Two minutes to set up (and another two to wake up and be ready.) Plus DLNA, and Roon compatibility.
  4. I had a pair of LSX that I used in my living room, and I began with low expectations - just better than the single box solutions for social background music. They won me over big - enough that I thought, I'd be shush-ing guests if some favorite came on. To reduce total pieces and wires, I decided to try a set of wireless LS50s in our master bedroom. (Replacing a Peachtree Audio integrated, B&W CM2 plus subwoofer speakers, different wireless DAC's rotated in and out.) Sold everything after two weeks. One week for the speakers to settle down, and then... those two speakers slayed the competition in the room. The imaging... yikes. Side effect. The sound characteristics of the KEF driver setups is very seductive. I have one high end system in my studio I've loved for almost 20 years, another in our family room... but the sound of the KEF and their character are quite different from both, and have put me in questioning the longstanding favorite systems. That uni-Q setup is quite seductive in many ways. Would I upgrade my existing KEFs? Don't think so, but would I upgrade my studio system from its current big floor standing speakers, oversized integrated amp, streamer plus DAC? Yeah, that's crossed my mind more than once.
  5. I just spent a half hour rehearsing my explanation to She Who Is the Final Judge of All Things On Display Other Than In the Basement as to why we need this three box thing added as an endpoint to a component stack that already tests her design sensibilities, and I'm just not cutting it. But I am looking forward to the Twenty, because I've been through a few different server designs, and while the NUC we have now is less visually objectionable than previous solutions, it's still got fan noise, and because a fan, the tendency to suck in dog hair from time to time that requires disassembly and cleaning. Fan free it's gotta be.
  6. Right out of films about 2040 that were made in 1980.
  7. Discourse that rapidly declines into ad hominem attacks is to a great extent caused by people mistaking rudeness for frankness, mistaking being an asshat with not being politically correct, confusing arrogance with confidence, and overall taking everything way too personally by making everything way too personal. (That last one is the connection to religion...) The biggest compliment I got in my decades of business strategy and technology consulting was from a client who told me that I was the only person who could tell him that most of the decisions they made were wrong, that the application was built to anti-scale, that their strategy was so inward looking that it drives customers away... and they'd nod their heads with me, sigh, and say, well then, let's get to work fixing all that. (And btw, that is what I got paid for.) Or as he put it more colloquially, I could tell him "his baby's ugly" along with "and you and your wife aren't such a feast for the eyes either" in a way that he'd not take it personally but as honest observations, and would start asking for tips about hair styling and lighting and makeup. I didn't pull punches, or sugarcoat. But I stuck to honest, objective facts, and stayed away from I think, I feel, I believe. You can do that in business and in technical realms. I'm not sure that it's all that possible in more subjective realms. Disagreeing agreeably, being destructive in a constructive way, downgrading a product or strategy without degrading it - all are actual skills, maybe even arts, that must (and can be) learned and practiced and polished. And if you can't do it, perhaps you shouldn't, until you put in the time and effort to learn how to disagree in an agreeable way.
  8. Jealous... because the other thing that drove me to the madness of a pile of iPods is the mobile phone signal where I live, and where I often drive for photography. Where I live, I don't get the LTE symbol on my Verizon Wireless phone, and except for one second floor bathroom, only one bar. Yeah, out in the sticks. On the 7 mile drive out to a major road, with a lot of homes along the road, I go to "no service" notices a couple of times, and don't get LTE until I'm about a mile from the major roads. Verizon Wireless' response has been, that's why your phone can connect via wifi, it's just not economic for us to build out our network in low population areas. (In this neighborhood of a couple thousand houses where both FiiOs and Xfinity built out their wired network. Go figure.) On my 50 minute commuter train trip to work each day, there's a 10 minute stretch of one bar or "no signal" about 10 minutes into the trip. Can't even scroll a book page. Many of the national and state parks around me have similarly bad connectivity. Surprising since I had good connectivity all over the wide open US western national parks like Monument Valley and Escalante Steps (other than under ground), but here in central Virginia? Bah. I'd long read about how the network revolution was unevenly distributed and shrugged, but now I'm living the dream/nightmare.
  9. I've come up with a somewhat unconventional approach to having my music library, with all its breadth of genres, available to me in my daily drive/distance drive SUV in 16/44 form. Driven heavily by the age related quirks of the vehicle. A 2014 Mercedes SUV. Its Apple iPod connector is the older type, Mercedes doesn't make one for the Lightning type connector, and using an adapter doesn't work well. It'll only play compressed formats from the SD card slot. So my only options for at least Redbook sound is, iPod, or CDs. It supports the full iPod functionality on the system screen. (With one bizarre alternative... it'll also play DVD-Audio disks in full multi-channel splendor. Great to have a pricey dead format as my only true multi-channel option.) I picked up a few 64gb iPods with the old style connector cheap on eBay, along with two with the 120gb internal hard drive. Loaded each with a single or compatible genres at 16/44 AAC, and on the non-classical ones, created a couple shuffle playlists. A small CD rack in my closed-top console holds them all. Color coded them with strips of colored plastic tape on the top edge. If I'm in an Afro-beat mood, I grab the relevant iPod, plug it into the adapter, and off I go bouncing down the road. As for Qobuz, I load the app on my phone with my current interests, along with a few hours of Radio Paradise at lossless AAC, but can only stream via bluetooth, and for whatever reason, doesn't sound as good as the array of iPods. Good enough. I've yet to find someone who'll help me get the built in idiotically small hard disk out of the system so that I can install a plug in for external hard disks. That's going to be my goal for the next car.
  10. Sounds like you were at least smiling, and often grinning throughout the review process. Exciting news.
  11. "Dynamic range compression and poor recordings are facts of life that no bit rate, bit depth, or sample rate can overcome. Listening to Metallica's Death Magnetic or the Red Hot Chili Peppers' Californication at 24 bit / 192 kHz just can't make them sound better. They are crushed to death. Period." Amen. There are some bands, and some electronica, that I no longer buy at 14/44, only at Apple compressed 256. I've listened to music from a couple of bands I like at CD quality and Apple Compressed. The DR compression completely wipes out any and all nuance. I just checked my recollection... the MC5's live album has an average DR of 11. The Amboy Dukes, 10. They've got way more dynamic range than half the contemporary releases today, and believe me, they were a hell of a lot louder live, besides. You also mention Neal saying LP is 100% of the information. I stopped with vinyl a long time ago, since quite often it becomes 110% of the information, because besides the music, it includes the life story of the vinyl platter itself in pops and clicks. No matter how OCD my cleaning process albums acquired non-musical noise.
  12. I'm with you on this. Many audio media outlets have a standing policy of only publishing positive reviews. Sometimes mixed reviews (I can remember that the Yggy DAC got mixed reviews in a couple of places, generally super positive on listening and not so positive on measurements). But they avoid negative reviews, because silence doesn't threaten ad revenue like a bad review would. And after a few decades as a consumer, and as a consultant to a lot of well regarded companies, I know for certain that no company produces nothing but great products, so over time, with the accumulation of products that weren't great... no advertisers. I've seen the evidence of the "no bad reviews" policy. I've watched as some of the media report on what they've got in the review cycle, and then a review never comes out. They wouldn't comment on why, just that they'd decided to not review a product. I'm also sure that any single component's review is highly dependent on the other component's used in the review process. In a case like this, the bad review wouldn't make me run away, particularly if I'd heard the headphones myself and liked them, but it certainly would make me absolutely want to try the product with the gear I'd use with it. It's altogether possible that, for no easily discernible reason, these headphones had a hate/hate relationship with this reviewer's gear. Twice in my life I've had two very well reviewed products, that I'd heard in different systems, sound great in those listening environments but sound awful together. A few years back I upgraded my integrated amp and it made my system sound flat, dull, and muddy - I'd listened to that integrated with four different speakers at the specialty audio retailer - just not MY speakers (since they didn't carry them). Those speakers had sounded great with the two different integrated amps I'd owned over the years before, from two different brands. So for all of those bemoaning a negative review of headphones they think are amazing - first, think hard about whether you'd rather have people NOT review stuff that they thought was bad, or whether you'd rather have the caution flag raised to warn you to insist on your own testing. And second, if these headphones sound fantastic to you, it just may be that your system is perfectly suited to them... and then this review should caution you that if you decide to upgrade some component or another, you should only do so after YOU test.
  13. Sigh. Looking at the Cobalt and Red, then looking at my on site photography laptop which when I travel is usually my system (relatively new MacBook Pro used for field processing images to show the client) with its USB-C ports. And my phone... USB-C. My tablet - Lightning port. Unfortunately the world of ports is in flux right now. I blame Apple for a lot of this. Since I started using Apple stuff for tablet and laptop (employer requirement) way back when, I've had a Bag-O-Dongles. Dongles to connect laptops or tablets to any of the various ports on video projectors. Others to connect HDMI, memory cards, USB to tablet. But the Android world has jumped to USB C now. I've got dongles and adapters from everything to everything. I think it's the actual profit model for Apple. Once I start visualizing a cable and dongle or adapter for connection to phone or tablet or laptop... Grrrrrr.
  14. It's difficult to get to compare active speakers. The big box stores tend to carry only one or two that are above junque level, so I had to fall back on looking at reviews by reviewers who seemed to hear the same things I hear when reviewing gear I own, with a price ceiling that represents sanity, and the fact that the speakers I was getting weren't going to be my primary setup. That got me to a short list. Then when I said, gotta be a Roon endpoint, I only had one choice - KEF LSX. Based on how good those little guys sound, I'd love to find a way to try out the big brothers, the LS50s, in our main listening room, before I start trying to sell stuff.
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