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About beetlemania

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    Luddite with a PC!

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  1. Goddamnit 😢 Fly John Prine. Thank you for sharing your beautiful life.
  2. Some of my college friends were into Springsteen but I was, like, meh. Then about 20 years ago I picked up the Woody Guthrie tribute “til we outnumber them”. Springsteen performs a couple of the tracks. I thought “wow, this guy is far more talented than I ever gave him credit.” I might buy the file for the barn album rather than just rent it from Qobuz. Also curious if Mr. Connaker experienced this. Fresh off the cold UPS truck in December my unit sounded vaguely rough out of the box even if it was immediately apparent that it bettered the DSD version in most every way. I thought it was mostly settled after 100-200 hours but it seemed like I heard subtle improvements even after 500 hours.
  3. Indeed! Nice review! OK, maybe I’m biased 😬 Edit: streaming Qobuz Barn album thru my QB-9 Twenty now - wow! Thanks for the album recommend.
  4. I haven't been visiting this forum as much over the past couple of years. At times, the community content is not much different than over at Hydrogen Audio. For myself, listening to music through my audio system is a hedonistic experience. I upgrade, modify, and tweak my system to get maximal enjoyment. IDGAF if a cable upgrade is a "merely" placebo. If I hear it as "better" that's all the matters to *me*. I don't expect anyone else to hear it the same (but isn't it interesting that so many others do?). Many of you have reported sonic differences among software that I don't hear. But I don't think any of you are wrong about it. It shouldn't be a mystery that people who come here to share their experiences enjoying music reproduction don't enjoy coming to this forum to hear all the "reasons" their experience is wrong or imagined.
  5. Interesting take! The "spiritual masters" and quantum physicists have told us that perception follows thought. To the degree that statement is true, it quite well explains the subjectivist/objectivist divide!
  6. How can Margo Timmins have gray hair? She's only a year older than me 😭
  7. It's missing "best use of stillness/silence between the notes": Peter Green. Some early Peter Green leaves me yearning for the next note. For me, evokes a very compelling emotional connection to the music.
  8. I didn’t read every post in this thread so maybe I’m repeating information . . . PPT is a polystyrene film cap. It is a very high quality type and should last a very long time. Why does “hand made” make a difference? Electrolytics are caps that will drift with time, say 15-20 years. I would be inclined to leave PPT type in unless you want to play with other caps (caps do sound different). If you have any electrolytics (looks like two electrolytics on that board) of that age I would definitely replace those, and with a good film cap if available in the correct capacitance.
  9. @Mercman Are you still running a QX-5? It would be interesting to get your take on that compared to a QB-9 Twenty. I yearned for a QX-5 but it remained out of my budget. I haven’t heard one for a couple of years but am wondering how close the new QB-9 gets. Are you still writing for any outlet? Haven’t seen any reviews from you for a while.
  10. @CG what is your subjective experience with your QB-9 as it burns in even more? You earlier reported changes at the 200-300 hour mark but what about now? Regardless, interesting speculation of the reasons burn in could take week and months.
  11. I was a bit skeptical when I read your account. But I played my reference tracks this evening as I have the house to myself. I have to say I don’t recall *this* level of pristine clarity and liquidity. Some say that auditory memory is not reliable. I don’t have a strong opinion either way but I will say this: my system sounds better than I remember 😊
  12. Hmm, I guess I should play my reference tracks again to see if the sound has continued to change 😊 I stopped keeping track but I must be at least 750 hours by now. I have noticed recently how freaking good my system sounds if I sit relative nearfield (~7' instead of ~9') but that probably says more about my speakers and room than the QB-9. But I have sat in that position before and, while it always sounded best "nearfield", I don't remember it sounding *this* scintillating.
  13. From the Ayre website, this upgrade is applicable to all versions. I think they change everything except the chassis, display and power supply (although I think the DSD version had a power supply modification from the original version?).
  14. Approaching the 400 hour mark. I think the sound has stabilized although I haven’t been careful about playing the same songs at varying intervals. To my ears, in my system and room, the main improvements are 1) improved clarity and resolution and 2) an expanded, almost unbounded, soundstage. The overall sound is refined, pretty much top-shelf albeit it’s been a while since I’ve heard competing contenders. I always considered the DSD version to be excellent but the Twenty is a notable step up. Easier than ever to relax into the music. The increased clarity makes it easier to hear individual voices and instruments during complex passages. The added resolution adds a bit more texture all around; performers and instruments are more “fleshy”. This is most obvious in the midrange but I also hear improvement in the bass and, to a lesser extent, the treble. Ayre claims quieter backgrounds and that sounds accurate to me. Well recorded music is more dimensional with an expansive soundstage. I don’t hear any aspect of performance that is a step backwards from the DSD version. This is the fourth time I’ve upgraded an Ayre product! Been really happy every time. Thanks Ryan, Ariel, and crew 😊
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