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About Ajax

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  1. Hi Paul, I'm not sure if my attitude is "so negative", however, I truly believe most people, whether they are audiophiles or whatever, allow their emotions to dictate their actions. That is why your thread is so welcome as bias MUST dictate how we perceive the world or a piece of audio equipment. To not acknowledge that we all influenced by what we are told to expect or what see as well as what we hear is full hardy. In my post above I stated "I would also commend those looking for a more rational approach to audio reproduction to view Archimago's Musings' blog and the Audio Science Review website. I find they give a good balance to the more subjective views you find here". This to me this is just common sense as there are no measurements published here just opinions. If you want a balanced view on a piece of gear you need both. It is why stereophile has always publish both the opinion of the reviewer and measurements.
  2. Hi Paul, Your intent in establishing this blog is honourable, and your patience while attempting to enlighten the naysayers such as Alex has been exemplary. Unfortunately the majority of people (not all) put their emotions and beliefs first and will often cherry pick or alter the facts to match them. Very few take a rational approach to a subject that has feelings associated with them. Just look at the rebound in the sharemarket, which assumes that the Pandemic will not affect the economy, despite the evidence that things are gong to get a lot worst before they get better. There is a book by physiologist Mark Manson "Everything if F*cked, a book about Hope" that explores why people adopt unhealthy beliefs and behave as they do despite the facts. https://www.amazon.com.au/Unti-Manson-2/dp/0062888439 I would also commend those looking for a more rational approach to audio reproduction to view Archimago's Musings' blog and the Audio Science Review website. I find they give a good balance to the more subjective views you find here. All the best, Ajax
  3. Hi Paul, Thanks for the effort you have put into this, I believe it is incredibly relevant to how we choose audio equipment. I'm really at a loss to understand why more audio enthusiasts don't recognise (or accept) the negative effect of bias and the need for DBT. Maybe it is just too hard and will spoil their fun but with 30 day return offers I'm not sure why audio clubs for example do not promote them at their regular get togethers. I would have thought manufactures would jump at the chance of having 20-30 of their target market listen to their gear. FYI they just completed a controlled test on the effect of aspirin on bowel cancer in Aus. They were so concerned about the placebo effect (as recipients had to be told what they were being tested for) that the randomised-controlled trial monitored 427 people that given aspirin and 434 people that were given a placebo, for between 10 to 20 years. All of them had Lynch syndrome, an inherited disorder which puts them at higher risk of a range of cancers, including bowel cancer. Of interest they found that two aspirins a day, for an average of 2½ years, reduced the rate of bowel cancer by about 50 per cent. https://www.smh.com.au/national/an-aspirin-a-day-helps-keep-bowel-cancer-away-study-finds-20200612-p5524r.html Anyway my point is that if medical scientists, who are testing for life and death cures, are so concerned about bias why aren't we? Why do audiophiles resist DBT so adamantly. Why do advertises pay celebrities exorbitant amounts of money to promote their products if they don't think they will influence our thinking? Apologies if off your specific topic, just wanted to say a very sincere thanks for your efforts.
  4. Hi Beer, I have not heard any other streamers besides the Auralic Mini & Chrome-cast, however, I share the views of Firedog and Archimago (he doesn't host a forum just a blog) in that if you can guarantee bit perfect into a well engineered DAC (such as a Benchmark) then little else is required except for DSP. Check out Archimago's review of the inexpensive Chrome-cast Audio - his main argument is that it is irrelevant what jitter etc is produced by the streamer (as long as it is bit perfect), with the final result from the DAC being what is important, which makes a lot of sense to me. http://archimago.blogspot.com/2016/02/measurements-google-chromecast-audio_27.html#more Another product that looks very interesting is the relatively new SHD series from Minidsp as it it provides several different combinations (all with built in Dirac DSP) so you can set up your system properly allowing for room acoustics. There are 3 types of units depending on how much flexibility you want. If you are looking for a one box solution you can have the DAC & power built in.... refer to the bottom of this link. https://www.minidsp.com/products/streaming-hd-series/shd-series Check out Amirm's review here: https://www.audio “science” review/forum/index.php?threads/review-and-measurements-of-minidsp-shd-dac-dsp-and-streamer.4286/ Finally, there are several sources of assembled Hypex amps - Nord Acoustics in the UK. Audiophonics in France, March Audio in Aus and Apollon in Austria. I have the Nord NC 500 in a stereo format and it drives my ATC SCM 40s without issue. Audiophonics is the least expensive - about US$600. Here is link to the same hypex module that Archimago reviewed, which in his opinion was "good enough: and is now his reference.. For another US4100 you can get the 502 with a lot more power. I don't know about quality as have only dealt with Colin from Nord, who is a good fellow, and I can vouch forays gear. You can find reviews for all this gear below - the March looks really good (reviewed by Amirm) but expensive relative to Audiophonics' offering. https://www.audiophonics.fr/en/power-amplifier/audiophonics-mpa-s250nc-xlr-class-d-stereo-amplifier-ncore-2x250w-4-ohm-p-14185.html https://www.nordacoustics.co.uk/nord-one-hypex-ncore-mpxxx-stereo-p https://www.marchaudio.net.au/p252 https://www.apollonaudio.com/apollon-ncmp400-hypex-based-class-d-amplifier/ I'm happy to purchase streamers, DACs and amplifiers on line without being heard based on measurements however, speakers are such a personal part of the chain (I really like the the look of the KEF LS50 and you obviously don't) and you definitely must listen prior to purchase preferably in your own home. I have just retired and bought a property in the country, 15mins outside Byron Bay in Australia (check it out), and for fun I'm going to embark on a DIY project and build the Linkwitz designed LXmini by the late great Seigfried Linkwitz. I have absolutely no carpentry skills but it looks like such an interesting project and I have heard the LX minis in a garage with brick walls and concrete floors (hostile environment) and they sounded superb. Anyway lots of ways to skin the cat and I have only touched the surface https://www.linkwitzlab.com/LXmini/Introduction.htm
  5. Hi Beer, Your question is a good one. I don't participate in the forum that much anymore as I favour a more objective approach as propagated by Archimago and Amirm from Audio Science. If you are looking for good gear for less than US$3k then I strongly suggest you visit their sites (as well as Computer Style) to get a more "rounded" view that does not include the nonsense surrounding power supplies, cables and purpose built servers. I have a variety of systems of varying expense. Interface: Personally I find using either my iPhone or an iPad as a remote the most flexible and user friendly approach. Streaming: I stream Tidal incorporated in an Auralic Mini (I have 3 - US$400 each) using the free Lightning DS app or using Spotify Connect. In some systems I use the Mini's internal DAC and in others its digital out. I also use Chromecast Audio (I have 2 - $US30 each). These are both discontinued but you can find them second hand.... both are bit perfect. DAC: 2 x Benchmark DAC2 second hand), a Topping 50Ds and an SMSL M8a Amp: Nord Hypex Ncore 500MP, Parasound Halo A21, Marantz PM 5006 (Integrated), Devialet 200 Speakers: KEF LS50, ATC SCM 40, ATOHM G1 with 2 x SVS SB2000 subs , B&W AM1 (outside), In my experience a combination that would sit within your budget (if you are OK with second hand gear) and provide excellent sound would be: iPhone > Mini > Topping 50s > Hypex NC252mp > KEF LS 50 > SVS SB 2000 You could easily swap out the Mini / Topping 50s for a Chrome-cast / Benchmark combination ... ignore the on-line comments about the jitter from the Chrome-cast as the Benchmark will handle it with ease. You could leave the Topping in and add a second sub to mitigate the room nodes. As we are all aware the speakers and room acoustics will have the biggest bearing on sound quality and is where the majority of the money should be spent, however, If anyone has better suggestions for the streamer I would appreciate hearing about them. Good luck, Ajax
  6. Hi Rexp, Your obviously not a good judge of character
  7. Hi Blake, I take your point, however, I think my promotion of a particular system is little bit different than stating that a whole new technology sucks. I guess "my problem" is how does a first timer know where and how to find good gear. To my knowledge there is no real way to gain the required knowledge and having self appointed experts denounce an emerging technology, which is obviously not crap, is IMO extremely unhelpful. I understand we all have to do some research, and for me that is part of the fun, however, there is so much misleading information that I personally would find it extremely difficult. So, how do you assimilate the required information so you can confidently buy (and set up) gear knowing that much of the information that is available on the internet is mis leading at best.
  8. Sure if you have experience, however, what about the first time guy interested in getting a decent system. Where does he go to find information that is concise and easy to follow that will help him purchase inexpensive gear with great sound.
  9. Hi Chris, I've have no evidence, nor any specific incident, but I seriously doubt GUTB was reinforcing your aim for the forum to be a place to come and learn and have fun. His constant degrading of cost effective and great sounding equipment (such as the hypex D class amps) was misleading to those who have had no experience with such gear. I disagree that it's a totally different issue. Again no evidence to support my proposition, however, do you think it encourages newbies lurking at sites such as AS to become audiophiles when they read that gear below a certain cost point is "crap" and that you have to spend a certain amount of money before you can experience hi-fidelity. The future of our hobby is obviously young people and I would suggest that you would have a lot more becoming audiophiles and "listening" if it was more affordable. My son is a musician and he will do both - listen with one ear piece while skiing (so he can converse with his mates), and also study with music on, but often he will just listen. He does this because he has great sounding and affordable gear, which I helped him buy. I don't think you can expect anyone to sit down and just listen if their source is a bluetooth speaker. My experience has been kids will listen if they have good gear to listen on, however, it's simply to expensive and too much conflicting information to now what to buy. My gut feeling is that it is a chicken and an egg situation. Kids don't listen because they don't know how to buy good quality gear at the right price. Here is a question for you, Where are they going to learnt that?
  10. I still don't think you are actually reading and comprehending what I'm saying. You may be well versed in what you like but this hobby DOES need saving from the likes of GUTB, and the thousands like him, who spout their BS opinions as facts. WHY? Because he and others create so much confusion for newbies. That's all you need to understand. This hobby will continue to die, as Guttenberg alluded to in his opening statement, because no one sits and listens anymore and the music plays second fiddle to another activity i.e. it's all background music and hence the loudness wars. You may know what you like but that has nothing to do with being an adult it's about helping and supporting others who don't know fact from fiction. As John Lennon said "just give me some truth".
  11. Hi Audio doctor, Please see my comments above to the bomber. What's "ridiculous" about getting pissed off with members sprouting nonsense? I have been a member of this forum for nearly 10 years and it was once a place to come and learn and be educated. I have a learnt a lot here, and I am grateful for that, and I don't want to see the forum's standing trashed by members stating BS as fact. I guess my real gripe with GUTB is the arrogance with which he and other state their opinions. Anyway we are talking across each other so I will move on.
  12. Hi audio bomber, Maybe I didn't articulate my view correctly. If you re-read my comments you will see I am actually agreeing with you that "we like what we like", my point is that some members state their opinions as fact (All D class amps suck), and compound it by suggesting that if you don't spend enough money then you can not possibly achieve hi fidelity, which is of course nonsense. This is not about objectives vs subjectives, or any other silly stereotyping, we are all individuals with our own tastes, it is about sprouting BS as the truth. No wonder this hobby (which I love) isn't attracting younger people and is ridiculed by so many.
  13. Hi Audio bomber, Not so sure that anyone, even the most ardent objective / measurement orientated audiophiles would dispute your premise that "we like what we like". I would even go so far as to say that they would think you mad not to purchase gear that you enjoy listening too. What they and I would disagree with, however, is calling a pice of equipment "hi-fidelity" when it is not and worst still presenting "opinions" as "facts" and in doing so misleading others. An example is the ridiculous statements that have been made previously by GUTB, wherein he promotes himself as an expert and broadcasts that "All class D amps suck". I have a Nord hypex power amp fed by a Benchmark DAC 2 driving a pair of ATC SCM19 speakers and to my ears the sound is very natural and extremely transparent. My subjective experience is supported by Archimago's measurements who reports the inexpensive Hypex n-core NC252 amp ($US600) measure extremely well. GUTB also promotes the concept that you need to spend a minimum amount of money before you can experience decent sound. http://archimago.blogspot.com/2020/01/measurements-hypex-ncore-nc252mp.html This is the problem that I and most objectives have - uninformed and poorly educated armchair experts spouting nonsense. It is unhelpful and misleading, particularly to those that are new to our hobby and are looking for help, they are turned away because they feel they cannot afford "hi-fidelity". The above mentioned amp can be fed by either the Chinese made Topping D50s DAC (US$250) or a second hand Benchmark DAC 2 (US$800), if you want to be patriotic. Combine that with ROON and an inexpensive Chomecast audio streamer (US$30) together with a pair of decent speakers such as the ELAC DBR-62 reference (US$600) and you will have a first class system for a "reasonable" amount of money. http://archimago.blogspot.com/2016/02/measurements-google-chromecast-audio_27.html https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/review-and-measurements-of-new-topping-d50s-dac.7914/ https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/elac-debut-reference-dbr-62-speaker-review.12232/ ROON > Comcast Audio > Topping D50s > Hypec NC-252 > ELAC DBR-62 ......... less than $1500 Remember I'm talking about true hi-fidelity with a first class graphical interface combined with excellent electronics and speakers for only $1,500. There are obviously less expensive options but for a first time music lover looking for good gear you really do not need to spend more. If our hobby is to survive (forget growing) this is what the general public need to know about - great sounding reasonably priced gear - not extravagant nonsense spouted by magazines such as stereophile and absolute sound. Rant over, All the best Ajax
  14. I'm just giving this a bump. If no one knows of such a device, which really does surprise me, can anyone tell me where to look. Would there be a forum where members would be likely to make such a thing? Just to reiterate - I'm not looking for a selector where multiple pairs of speakers are playing at once but a simple switch for one pair at a time so the signal/sound quality is not degraded. Thanks again.
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