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iraqarmorer
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Help a "Newbie" out, wouldja?

Here's my "problem." I am currently working in Iraq, as my name suggests, as an armorer. When I come home in about another year, I will have saved up enough for a decent stereo system. Keep in mind that I listen to jazz, a lot of vocals, classical, opera, and even a bunch of blues and classic rock and roll. I do NOT need or want pounding bass, but it must have clear, clean bass, wide open midrange, and a crystal clear upper range.
Within my budget, this is the system I have come up with:
>>Tuner: Magnum Dynalab
>>Integ Amp A3.5 Musical Fidelity
>>Speakers : Either Magnapan MG1.6 or Aerial Model 6 (I'm really leaning toward the Aerials!)
>>Cables and interconnects will all be Transparent plus
series
>>CD Player: Haven't decided, but really need one in the less than $2000.00 range.
Keep in mind that there will not be a television anywhere near this system, so A/V is not a concern, and neither is surround sound.
Thank you for any info, advice, criticism, etc.!

Monty
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Re: Help a "Newbie" out, wouldja?

Looks like a fine shopping list to me.

Keep yer head down over there and thank you.

gkc
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Re: Help a "Newbie" out, wouldja?

Hi, Iraqarmorer,

I am an ex-Marine and bought my first system while on R&R in Viet-Nam (2nd Batallion, 4th Marines, Chu-Lai, Danang, Dong-Ha, etc.). I hope and pray you come out of this okay. Remember to keep a couple of insurgent-approved CD's handy, just in case. I like the Arcam DV-79 (Stereophile class "A" and at $1800 within your budget). It has the smoothness of a $3000 machine. It has DVD-A capability, but not SACD. Kal Rubinson liked it very much, praising its sound-staging and smoothness in the highs (these virtues stuck out when I heard it, too) and found it a bit "light" in the bass (I didn't notice this, but listen to classical and jazz and found the bass fine). Cheers and, again, good luck. And thank you. Clifton

iraqarmorer
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Re: Help a "Newbie" out, wouldja?

Thanks! Iraq ain't near as bad as 'Nam, but it ain't no picnic. I keep my *ss low, and my head lower. I also have a Glock 19 & mossberg 500 to play 'em some music if I really have to!

JoeE SP9
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Re: Help a "Newbie" out, wouldja?

I too am a vet. USAF Cam Ranh Bay 1967. I feel for you. I'm proud of all who put their lives on the line for the US.
I'm just puzzled by the vast difference between the speakers you are choosing from. I suppose I would understand if your choices were between 2 box type speakers or 2 panel types. Between any panel and any box I am puzzled. There is such a difference in the sound that most panel owners would never replace theirs with boxes. Bigger and/or better panels, yes. I have heard of box owners moving "up" to panels. I moved away from boxes in 1976 and have never considered going back. Your gear selection should give you speatacular sound.

iraqarmorer
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Re: Help a "Newbie" out, wouldja?

Good point about box vs panel speakers. My thinking runs as such:
I listen to a lot of different music, and some has rather heavy bass, such as my vintage 'Stones albums, and my collection of organ music, which hits some pretty low tones, and I like to hear that, as close as possible to the way you might hear it in a cathedral. This is my thinking behind the box-type Aerials. With the Magnepans, I fully plan on adding a Martin Logan "Depth" subwoofer to the mix, if not right away, then fairly soon. I have a friend with older Magnapans, and I find that the sub really helps with the bass, adding a clarity and resonance that makes it come alive, without the 18-year-old-on-steroid bass that you hear from cars and other kiddie stereo systems.
Make sense? I have listened to martin Logan speakers, and the magnapans, and was blown away, especially when listening to jazz, but both the Logans and the Maggies just needed, well, something, and the sub got em' there.

JoeE SP9
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Even though my Acoustat Model 2SW's can be driven full range I use 2 12" subs in sealed boxes to augment the low end. The original "woofer" cabinet that came with the Model 2's is now connected with my rears (Acoustat Model 1's) to give them some real bass. Larger ESL's and Maggy's may not need low end augmentation. I have heard a pair of MG20's and they need no subwoofer. I owned a pair of Acoustat Model 3's (old style) and they needed no subwoofer. They were flat to 32Hz in the room I had them in.

iraqarmorer
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Re: Help a "Newbie" out, wouldja?

Thanks for the info! Yes, you are absolutely right, the maggie 20s do NOT need to be augmented, but I have neither the room, nor the budget for the bigger maggies, I would have to go with 1.6 series. I'm still leaning a bit toward the Aerials, but I may have to order the components I want, and then hook them up in the store to both sets of speakers, with one of my recordings, and see what shakes out in the end. I mean when three people tell me I'm nuts for wanting to use a box speaker, well, maybe I should check it out just a bit more.

gkc
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Re: Help a "Newbie" out, wouldja?

Hi, Iraqarmorer -- I don't think you're nuts for wanting a box speaker. I have owned both types over the years (too many of THOSE!) and have enjoyed the different characteristics of both. I have had the KLH 9's (the old electrostatics that were thought of as "state-of-the-art" by many) and the original maggies, as well as the Martin Logan 3's. Believe it or not, I have found the box speakers very satisfying (B&W, Triangle, Mirages) and MUCH easier to set up in real-world rooms. I think the Aerial 6's are wonderful speakers. I currently own the Triangle Volante, and find it more satisfying, with a greater variety of software, than ANY speakers I have owned over the past 35 years. All design approaches have limitations and strong points. I think you are on the right track. You will just have to listen and compare, and use your OWN sonic ideal as a reference. Be sure to audition with ALL types of software (that is, listen to the mediocre quality recordings, too...I assume you have poorly recorded CD's that contain music you love) to try to strike a real-world balance. You don't want to end up with a system you can enjoy only half your music on. I like the idea of the Mossberg, by the way. Greater field of fire! Cheers and good luck. Clifton

iraqarmorer
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Re: Help a "Newbie" out, wouldja?

Thanks for some good ideas! Yeah, I do have some crappy recordings of some wonderful music, especially some live jazz recordings.
As for Mossberg, remember: Having a short barreled shotgun means never having to say, "Oops, I missed!"

JoeE SP9
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Hey Clifton!
I don't think anyone is nuts for wanting boxes. I just didn't get choosing between boxes or panels. Bigger or smaller panels, ESL's or planar magnetic (Eminent Technology, Magneplaner) I understand. I have heard some very good boxes. I just like what I like. No slur intended to all you devotees of "boxed" sound.

Lamont Sanford
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Re: Help a "Newbie" out, wouldja?

For analog why not get something like a classic. An example being (I just made this up in my head):

Sansui G6000 or G9000
Sansui SP2500 or something that can handle the G9000
Technics SL1200
TEAC X2000

All of which are economical decisions for mint equipment at the going rates. Say,..less than a couple of thousand dollars. What would that leave you for the rest of your setup?

iraqarmorer
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Re: Help a "Newbie" out, wouldja?

First of all,the main reason for even thinking of going hi-fi is the best sound reproduction I can get. The Magnum Dynalab FM tuner is one of the most sensitive and accurate tuners available, if not the best. This will bring in the two radio stations that I listen to, both about 50 miles away in opposite directions. I then coupled this with the best amp I could find,looking for a warm full sound, without the hassle of tubes (No offense to those who love tubes! I love the sound of tubes, but, well,...). Finally I want a good loudspeaker. While Teac Sasui, Kenwood, etc. make decent gear, I want to treat myself to outstanding gear, so I can have outstanding sound.
By the way, JoeE. I just ordered a pair of Aeriel model 6s in cherry. My wife measured the room several times, and size and placement problems mitigated against any sort of panel speaker. I use the room as a den/office, so there is furntiure, bookcases, etc in there. In a pure listening room, big ol maggies might be the way to go, but went box this time around. I had listened to them at Audio Advice in Raleigh North Carolina (on the web) and was very, very impressed with their sound, although the price was a bit steep. (since I have a used Phillips receiver and a pair of cerwin vega speakers now, I guess damn near anything would sound good, huh? )
Anyway, that's where I am. I have the speakers on the way to the house, where they will sit in quiet little boxes until I get home, and buy the Dynalab tuner, Arcom CD player, Musicl Fidelity Amp, and the way too expensive Transparent cabling. (but worth the money)

gkc
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Re: Help a "Newbie" out, wouldja?

Hi, JoeE -- I know you don't think I'm nuts...it's just a figure of speech. Although, hmmmm....you might be closer to the truth than you think! There is something very magical about planar sound, be it electrostatic or otherwise. I just wanted to make the point that practicality and room placement possibilities favor speakers like the Aeriels, which require a minimum of fuss to produce smooth, non-fatiguing sound. One of the reasons I like my Triangles so much is they approach some of the open-ness you get with planars. Cheers, Clifton

Lamont Sanford
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Re: Help a "Newbie" out, wouldja?

Even a cheap receiver with a good antenna can pick up a 50 mile radio station. Wait a minute. We're talking line-of-sight?

iraqarmorer
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Re: Help a "Newbie" out, wouldja?

First of all, I have a cheap rcver, and a good antenna (whip type in attic). The station that I listen to from Raleigh comes in in mono good, and in stereo, not so good. Also, a cheap rcvr gives you cheap sound. If you think the quality of the rcvr does not affect the quality of the sound, I have a 20 year old trasistor radio that you can plug into your system. Your's was a dumb and sarcastic post, did nothing to create a conversation about stereo components, and ranks you as a dweeb. This will be my last post to this forum, and my last visit, as it seems to be drawing people like you to the site, who just want to nay-say, argue, be ssarcastic, and stupid.

gkc
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Re: Help a "Newbie" out, wouldja?

Hi, Iraqarmorer --

Don't go because of Culpeper. He's got this thing about MIT graduates, dictionaries, and politics. It's all quite vague, but, stay tuned -- somebody out there in cyberspace who reads our discussions may be a qualified therapist and be able to help him get at the details. My current theory is that he flunked out of MIT and needs to somehow get back at those who rejected his genius. You know, like Dr. Loveless. It's only a wild guess, but there IS a deep-seated hatred of MIT buried in all this. Meanwhile, I think you will really love your Ariels, and I hope you are back with your family, soon, to enjoy them. When I was in Viet-Nam, I knew very little about hi-fi equipment (as it was called in those days), and I pieced together a system while I was on R&R in Hong Kong. I couldn't hear it but didn't like the "AM Radio" sound of the Japanese gear that all my fellow jarheads were buying. So I wrote a few friends who had systems, and on their advice, bought Altec A-7's (the "Valencia" cabinet), Gerrard, Shure, and 2 Marantz monoblocks (tube, of course) to go with their top-rated preamp and tuner. I got a hefty 30% discount, because most US manufacturers were trying to find a way to support the troops. I'll never forget THAT courtesy, and even though I didn't like the Altecs, I will always have a soft spot for that company's support. They wrote me a couple of nice letters, and had the system delivered and ready to go (free shipping) on my doorstep when I got home. Sounds eerily similar to what you're going through now, eh? Again, my very best wishes...and DO keep in touch. I always waste my breath talking to the nut cases, but you can always just ignore them. We want to know how you're getting along, and would love to hear from you at least occasionally. Cheers, Clifton

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Re: Help a "Newbie" out, wouldja?


Quote:
We want to know how you're getting along, and would love to hear from you at least occasionally. Cheers, Clifton

Right on.

nrchy
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Re: Help a "Newbie" out, wouldja?

Iraqarmorer I hope you will change your mind about leaving. You have good legitimate questions, and there are people here who would like to offer their two cents, while the others who aren't worth two cents can be ignored.

If you click on a users name it takes you to a page about them, on that page is an 'ignore' option. After selecting that choice, you will no longer see posts made by that loser, I mean user.

I'm not sure if you answered this and I missed it, but are you interested in buying used gear?

iraqarmorer
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Re: Help a "Newbie" out, wouldja?

No, i never mentioned used gear, but I think I'm going for new. I had an old marantz tuner and haffler amps (that system was stolen years ago) that I bought used, and had some trouble with. not much, but since I will have the cash, I want to go with new, out-of-the-box, no-one-has-listened-to-my-stuff-before-me gear. No, it's not logical. There are tons of great used gear out there, that would last years and years, and save me a bundle, but I don't wanna! It's kinda like being the first one to read the paper, silly, but there it is.
By the way, you were correct in saying loser,not user. I also do not want to block him, as I would like to see what lame comeback he has, if indeed he has the guts to even post a reply.

nrchy
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Unfortunately there is power in anonimity. People say things in the internet that they would not dare to say in person.

Kinda like the Roger Waters song 'the bravery of being out of range..."

The reason I asked about used is that most of my system was bought used on another site. I have been able to buy things used that I could not have otherwise afforded, but if you can buy new, more power to ya'.

The list you put together should keep you happy for many years, unless you are an audiophile, then it will keep you real happy for many months, until the upgrade bug bites. I've heard the Maggies sound very good, the other speaker I have not heard. As far as your CDP is concerned, do you have any interest in any of the hi-rez formats or are you looking for just redbook?

I don't wear a hat, but if I did it'd be off to you. Thanks for what you are doing in Iraq!

iraqarmorer
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Re: Help a "Newbie" out, wouldja?

cdp? redbook? Okay, I'm lost! As for being happy, I am a pretty easy guy to keep happy. I have been driving the same truck for 14 years, and I don't buy a lot of stuff. I buy the best I can afford in anything, and then enjoy it 'till it's dead. If something does not work, or is not what I paid for, I will return it or get rid of is as fast as i can, and buy something else. I just do not see me spending seven to nine thousand dollars on a system, and then just running out and upgrading because someone says that this box, or cable, or circuit breaker or household wiring gidget will improve my listening experience by 4%. By the way, did you get a load of the guy who used audio grade wiring in his house? How about cables need to warm up? audio grade circuit breakers? Good golly, Miss Molly, some guys will buy snake oil by the gallons!!!

gkc
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Re: Help a "Newbie" out, wouldja?

Yes, used gear can be an inexpensive way to get otherwise unaffordable gear. If it is mainstream, a few hundred bucks can often get it up to "like new" status, or even modded and upgraded. But I understand Iraqarmorer, I think: when I got home from 'Nam, I was like a kid at Christmas, and I wanted all the packages brand new and waiting to be unwrapped. It was my reward for mucking around rice paddies and getting shot at for 16 months. Cheers, Clifton

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Hi Iraqarmorer (don't think this is really your first name, but so far you haven't formally introduced yourself, no harm, however, since I'm known around here as Jazzfan but my real name is Ralph)

I just read through this entire thread and you are quite right to be rather upset with Culpeper and once again right for giving the rest of the folks on the forum another chance. Clifton, JoeE and Monty, besides being highly knowledgeable about audio equipment and music, are fantastic writers. And it's the high quality of the writing that makes this forum so interesting and so different from the normal poorly written and all too often very boring, run of the mill internet forum.

I can only echo what those before me have written regarding your choices of equipment but will cast a vote for a SACD capatible player. While SACD may be considered a "dead" format by the mass media, that is far from true. SACD is alive and well in the classical music world with many new releases being offered as SACD/CD hydrids, if not by US companies than by European manufacturers. Plus with the power of the internet, getting items from across the "pond" as never been easier.

Once again, I will echo my fellow forum members in wishing you all the best and saying a very big thank you. My younger daughter starts college in Winston-Salem this fall, so please return home safe and maybe we can listen to some fine jazz together.

JoeE SP9
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Please don't let the rude ignorant rants of an overgrown child stop you from visiting here. You will find ***hol** like Culpepper almost everywhere. The thing to remember is that they wouldn't say those things in person. Most of those who post here learned their manners when young and haven't forgotten them. There will always be those who think everything sounds the same or have a personal equipment line to push. You have to treat their responses like the trash it is. You can always set this forum to ignore any person who you feel is obnoxious. It's those kind of people who would not last long in a foxhole. Just ignore them. The more "sociable" people participating here the better it is for all of us.

JoeE SP9
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You might want to consider buying used gear. I and many others have bought used. It's a great way of getting something better than you could normally afford. There seems to be a lot of people who buy really good gear and trade it in or sell it after a year or so. Good equipment should last a very long time. For example I have an Accuphase T101 tuner made in the early 80's. It sounds better than almost anything currently available. I have compared it with a Magnum Dynalab and feel no desire to replace it. It is analog, but who cares, it sounds wonderful. The analog tuning allows me to slightly detune a station. Sometimes this has good benefits. As for sensitivity, when WRTI 90.1 from Temple Univ. here in Phila. goes off the air I can clearly receive Howard Univ. from D.C. This is with a dipole antenna taped to a wall. The first time it happened I thought maybe I had one to many Pilsner Urquell's.

CECE
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Make sure it's "audio grade" snake oil. Properly frozen, reconstituted, and connectted with proper contact cream. What do you mean you can't hear teh difference between PVc and PTFE. you must not have a revealing enough system....don't you know how to keep an open mind? Have YOU actually listened to PVC and PTFE? Before you decide that $1000/meter is too much for wire, HAVE YOU listened to it. Naysayers like you are all the same. Matter o' fact so are the nudnicks who CAN hear insulations. It's 7:30 PM, do you know what your insulation BIAS voltage is today? 72V last time I read an ad......96 next month. Higher voltage allows hihger data bit to not get caught on the bad insulation atoms. Higher voltages are the "lubricant" for correct audio pass through....speaking of "lube"...

iraqarmorer
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Re: Help a "Newbie" out, wouldja?

DUP, I would have replied earlier, but I was laughing too darn hard! By the way, guys, the name is Harry.
I really, really do not know what you guys are talking about with the CD players. I thought that they all worked on the FM principal. (you know, f***ing magic!) I know nothing at all about the different formats, but I know that the guys at Audio Advice told me that there were quite a few good ones, from the Arcom at around $1500.00 down to a couple at under $500.00. As for the Dynalab, I do believe that it is an analog tuner. Don't hold my feet to the fire on that one! As for the cables, I really don't think that three times the price of the system, plus 15% is too much to pay for your cables, do you???

jazzfan
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Quote:
As for the cables, I really don't think that three times the price of the system, plus 15% is too much to pay for your cables, do you???

I had a this funny feeling that somewhere under all that serious talk there was a good sense of humor but I guess that living in a war zone it just makes it hard to surface somehow. More to the point, in answer to your question, you are quoting the price for used cable, are you not? Otherwise, you need to rethink your budget.

gkc
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Yo, Harry --

As Jazzfan suggests, SACD capability is a genuine consideration. I suspect there may indeed be more Jazz/Classical titles available on SACD than DVD audio...but I can't say for sure. The reason I liked the Arcam so much is it sounds so much more expensive on regular CD's -- the DVD audio capability is just a bonus. I enjoy my SACD's a lot (I have more than 100 of them), but regular CD's make up 90% of my listening. I have only heard direct comparisons between DVD audio and SACD twice, on just a few recordings. I honestly couldn't tell any significant difference. I don't know of any sub-$2,000 players with SACD capability that have a CD player as good as the Arcam's, but there are probably others out there who can help you out on this question better than I can.

Cables. Individuals vary. They DO alter the sound, but sometimes it is difficult to say if "A" is BETTER than "B," even though there are subtle DIFFERENCES. The Cable Company (www.fatwyre.com) has new and used cables (you can e-mail them at fatwyre@fatwyre.com), a HUGE inventory of almost all brands, and they will let you try 'em in your home for 30 days, no obligation. I have done business with them, and they are sincere, reliable folks who love their work. They have a "loan" program better than most dealers, because their selection of different brand demos is so huge. And their prices are good. Good luck. Clifton

iraqarmorer
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I give up! What the heck does SACD stand for??? Suck **s car dealer? Stand And Count Deer? Shampoo And Conditioner Dealer? What is it, and why is different from a run of the mill CD player, and will it play the 300 some CDs I already own, and will it do dishes?

Lamont Sanford
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Quote:
First of all, I have a cheap rcver, and a good antenna (whip type in attic). The station that I listen to from Raleigh comes in in mono good, and in stereo, not so good. Also, a cheap rcvr gives you cheap sound. If you think the quality of the rcvr does not affect the quality of the sound, I have a 20 year old trasistor radio that you can plug into your system. Your's was a dumb and sarcastic post, did nothing to create a conversation about stereo components, and ranks you as a dweeb. This will be my last post to this forum, and my last visit, as it seems to be drawing people like you to the site, who just want to nay-say, argue, be ssarcastic, and stupid.

I'm sorry and thank you for your service to a humble and grateful nation. Did you know the snobs on this board provide aid and comfort to the enemy with their big typewriters? Maybe you should actually read the magazine for insight on that. They'll tell you they are actually more concerned about their so-called cozy privacy than they are about motivating an already motivated enemy? For audio component basics you can find the answer to all your questions at Crutchfield. Hoorah!

iraqarmorer
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Re: Help a "Newbie" out, wouldja?

Culpeper, you are a rude, snobbish boor, with less wit than a fourth grader. You could do a grateful nation, and the world a favor if you would kindly throw yourself under the first bus passing by. By the way, if you let me know where you live, I'll even volunteer to drive the darn bus!
Many, many sites are blocked in this benighted, pseudo-Islamic state, and due to bandwidth problems, that is the lack thereof, I cannot download a lot of things that I could back in the states. So, having said all of that, a simple answer to a question would be much more informative than your immature bulls**t. Of course, I understand, that you just may not know the answers to real questions, so I won't ask you any hard one. Here is one you might be able to answer: How do you spell CD? Take your time, don't rush!

gkc
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Re: Help a "Newbie" out, wouldja?

Yo, Harry,

SACD stands for "Super Audio Compact Disc." About, I dunno, 8 years ago, it was introduced by Sony to bridge the gap between digital and analog, without the scratches and pops of the latter. Some (I am not among them) felt it even promised to surpass the sound quality of the best analog. Marketing snafus and internicene bitch-fights put the kibosh on its potential to supplant "redbook" CD's (regular CD's), and the marketing inefficiencies that ensued put the foremat in audiophile limbo. It began as stereo, but then morphed into multichannel, multilayer discs: you can play most modern SACD's on a regular player, but it won't come downstream as "direct stream digital" (the SACD claim to a superior recording technique). If you play one of these SACD's on a player with SACD capability, you will hear, supposedly, the superior, "analog-like" sound of "the "direct stream digital" technique. If you play one on a system with MULTI-CHANNEL SACD capability, you can experience 5.1 or 7.1 (referring to the number of speakers/subwoofers you have scattered about the room, the ".1" referring to a bass channel) sound. At this point, I am out of my depth, having absolutely NO technical knowledge of how the pits and valleys contour out in the actual process. On the best SACD's there IS a sense of greater space, stereo or multichannel, and (for me, as a "fan" of the symphony orchestra) a sense of silkier highs and greater ease in the upper midrange. There is an analog-like sense of detail and venue space that the ordinary CD's sometimes (not always!) lack. DVD audio (DVD-A, as opposed to the DVD's we play through our TV's) makes similar claims to being superior to ordinary CD's. Is it worth the extra bother (SACD's and DVD's, although SLIGHTLY discounted occasionally, normally run 2 to 5 bucks more than regular CD's)? Harry, I'm just not sure. I own more than a hundred SACD's, and over 2500 regular CD's, and I still can't make up my mind if it's worth the extra bother and expense -- that is, if it's the technology speaking or the skill of the recording engineer. I have SACD's I wouldn't part with, and I have some I would frisbee as nonchalantly as a regular CD. Since I am primarily a music lover, and not a techno-wizard, I can honestly say my best CD's sound just as good as my best SACD's, although the middle-of-the-pack recordings favor the SACD technology. For me, it boils down to which composer/musician I want to own. If it is available on SACD, since I have already purchased a player with that capability, I will pay the extra few bucks and get it in the SACD-capable version. Sometimes I am elated with the results, sometimes disappointed. If it's only available on regular CD, I certainly won't cry. I hope this helps. But I'm a listener, not a cheerleader for technologies my tiny brain can't understand. Help, you all out there! I'm out of my depth! Cheers, Clifton

Yiangos
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Re: Help a "Newbie" out, wouldja?

Hi Clifton

Well put.I agree with everything.Just wanted to add somryhing.Not all sacd and dvd-audio are created the same.
I am not a fan of the "blues" but whenever i find good music i enjoy it.One performer i respect is Gary Moore.Lately,i bought a sacd or dvd-audio (can't remember,don't have it handy right now due to room renovation) and believe me,the sound of that disc was like listening to music from a cheap pocket radio.
Also,another thing i'd like to add,i found good results , imho , better than the high-resolution formats (except analoque of course hehehe) from hdcd encoded cds.
Cheers all

gkc
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Re: Help a "Newbie" out, wouldja?

The enemy damn well better watch out. I have beaten my plowshare into a...er, typewriter?? Anyway, we've got REALLY BIG typewriters, the capability to launch them, and we're lurking behind yonder hill. Sleep lightly. That next "click" you hear may be the hammer of a Typwriter Launcher cocking, ready to wreak havoc on y'all, a veritable hailstorm of carbon ribbons and ink pads.

Listen, asshole. I've got four bullet holes in me, taken while you were fumbling around below the Mason-Dixon line. What have YOU got? Where were YOU when I was dodging piano wire and '50's?? Where are you NOW? If you're such a goddam macho patriot, why aren't YOU getting YOUR ass shot off for YOUR country, instead of whining about queers and MIT graduates? What do YOU have to offer to better YOUR civilization??? Put up or shut up. Peace and love, Clifton

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Re: Help a "Newbie" out, wouldja?

Hi, Yiangos,

Thanks for the reply. Yeah, it's all pretty inconsistent to my ears. I have a few SACD and CD pairs (one in CD only, one in SACD) from the same master, and I have even put one in each player and pushed buttons. No difference. Yet, this may be the same fallacy of the "blind" test. Switching back and forth takes away the flow of the musical line, the "gestalt" of the whole experience, and you come up with the same questions you began with. I suppose, in the best of all possible worlds, you would get something like the Ayre or the McCormack, and simply buy the music you wanted regardless of the foremat. But that costs a lot of money. I still think it's best to focus on the player with the best regular CD sound, and if it will play SACD and/or DVD-A, then you have more choices. Sigh. Nice to hear from you. How are things in Cyprus? Do you feel the tensions brewing in that region more than we sense over here (God knows, there is plenty of tension over here, but so far we seem to feel it only economically -- the high gas and oil prices, etc.). Best wishes, Clifton.

Yiangos
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Re: Help a "Newbie" out, wouldja?

Hi Clifton

In the "Gary Moore" cd vs sacd/dvd-audio is was worse.The cd was better by a magnitute of 3 believe-it-or-not.I stopped purchasing hi-resolution discs and concentrated on lps.Safe bet,i quess lol
No,as far as the "tension" is concerned.Hmmmm,let me put blundly.Whenever something happens in the region,we feel as we're in the middle of it.Thank God we have many foreigners
living here,Germans,Americans,British etc.Of course,this could be a double edged knife if you get my point but hey,were here,what can we do ? Do not , i repeat,do not mention high gas prices to me rotfl $5.53 per gallon.:)

Cheers

Jeff Wong
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Re: Help a "Newbie" out, wouldja?

Harry - I think something in Clifton's reply needs a bit of clarification:

It began as stereo, but then morphed into multichannel, multilayer discs: you can play most modern SACD's on a regular player, but it won't come downstream as "direct stream digital" (the SACD claim to a superior recording technique). If you play one of these SACD's on a player with SACD capability, you will hear, supposedly, the superior, "analog-like" sound of "the "direct stream digital" technique.

An SACD will only play on a plain, old regular CD (Redbook) player if the SACD contains both SACD encoding and Redbook encoding. A disc with only SACD will not play on a regular CD player. There are fairly recent Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan discs containing both SACD and CD layers (although the Rolling Stones discs make no mention of this.)

iraqarmorer
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Re: Help a "Newbie" out, wouldja?

To everyone (except culpeper),
thanks a lot for clearing the whole CD thing up! I think I will stick to the standard CD player, as I really don't get into looking world-wide for that one elusive recording of Mahler's 6th symphony that happens to be SACD, when I can find so many mediocre recordings of it in redbook.
okay, calm down, back away from the typewriter! Step away from the typewtiter and no one will get hurt!

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Re: Help a "Newbie" out, wouldja?

Hi Harry,

Sorry for helping to create all the confusion about SACD, DVD-A, CD, HCCD, etc. but so it with us obsessive-compulsive types and audiophiles are textbook cases if ever there were one.

If you have your heart set on an Arcam CD player, by all means get one and don't worry about SACD for another second, it's not worth the effort. If your mind's not made up then you can look into some Sony, Marantz or Denon SACD/CD players, many of which do quite a fine job on standard CDs. I'm quite partial to the McCormack UDP-1 Universal Disc Player, since I own one, which just about every kind of disc, including video DVDs, and can be had for about $2000 used. Sounds quite good too. Plus the unit has been very well reviewed so there's no "bad review" anxiety so common with us audiophiles. Oh, it does a great job with the dishes too, even puts them away

Anyway, stay out of harm's way and be well.

nrchy
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Re: Help a "Newbie" out, wouldja?

Harry I suppose you'll take your thanks back from me. I'm one of those #@$&%* who rewired their house and used audiophile grade snake oil throughout the system. I must admit though, it was money well spent, and I would not ask for a penny of it back.

I can't measure the difference, but I sure can hear it. People talk a lot about the great giant killer cables out there that cost 10% as much as the giants and sound 90% better, but I can't seem to find those cables. I would be thrilled to sell the cable I have (about $12,000 worth) and buy cheap cables that sound better. The problem is that they never sound better. I am not married to my cables, I just want the best sound I can get...

Alright Iraqarmorer, after those comments I'm putting a new ribbon in my typewriter As they said in the junior highschool I attended "thems five words..." I mean fightin' words!

If you don't plan to make a real commitment to SACD or DVD-A there's no reason for you to bother with it. There's lots of good redbook CDPs and lots of good music available in that format.

Keep yer head down today, we don't wanna hear about anything happening to ya'.

gkc
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Re: Help a "Newbie" out, wouldja?

Hi, Jeff -- thanks for clearing that up. I should have explained my reference to "multilayer" in more detail. By "modern," I guess I meant "postmodern," or whatever comes after modern. The early SACD's, as you explain so well, can't be played on regular (redbook) CD machines, but most of the newer ones have a redbook layer that sounds like regular CD when played on non-SACD players. I didn't know the McCormack could be had at such a nice discount, as noted by Jazzfan. But that is a used price, right? Still, McCormack is one of those brands you can buy used, send in for an overhaul, and probably still end up with a nice discount. I haven't heard it, but I have owned other Steve McCormack designs, and sound and value have always been superb. Cheers, Clifton

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Re: Help a "Newbie" out, wouldja?

Hi Harry,

Awww...don't tell me you are a Mahler freak. I have at least a half-dozen recordings of everything he wrote. My favorite performance is on a regular CD which, to my ears, beats hell out of Tilson-Thomas' much lauded SACD (multilayer) reading with the San Francisco. It is a CPO release, conducted by Hans Zender, with the Rundfunk (you gotta love an orchestra with "funk" in its name, although I don't know what it means in German) -- CPO 999 477-2. You get a free second CD, which contains Zender's personal analysis of the symphony. Also, the DGG with Von Karajan (analogue in origin) is a two-for-the-price-of-one cheapo that is not only very good with the 6th, but the second CD has Christa Ludwig singing the Ruckert-Lieder and the Kindertotenlieder, a stunner. It is DGG # 289 457 716-2 -- 12 bucks for two superb CD's. Cheers, Clifton

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Re: Help a "Newbie" out, wouldja?

This is out of the subject now but if you guys are interested in Mahler,one of the greatest conductors (i am no Nahlerian myself,rather a Wagnerian hehe) is Bruno Walter
His Mahler's First "The Titan" is amazing.

gkc
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Re: Help a "Newbie" out, wouldja?

You nailed that one, Yiangos. I still have the LP I bought in 1968. I also have his 2nd, 3rd, and 9th, all on the original Columbia vinyl releases. The 9th is breathtaking, sonically and musically. I sent a copy to Fremer a couple-three years ago, a copy that I bought in a PX in Saigon, of all places, at the Cercle Sportif, a fancy French Country Club that Westmoreland turned into his General HQ. I wonder if he played it on the Rockport or Continuum. I lugged that thing all the way back to my tent in Chu-Lai, played it on somebody's portable, and mailed it back to the States. The cover even got a bit soaked in one of the monsoons. Ahhh. The enduring power of vinyl.

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Re: Help a "Newbie" out, wouldja? *DELETED*

Post deleted by Stephen_Mejias

ohfourohnine
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Re: Help a "Newbie" out, wouldja?

For openers, Harry, a sincere Thank You for doing what needs to be done and what they won't trust guys my age to do anymore.

Relative to a fine player for CD's, you might want to check out the Marantz SA 8001. It goes for less than a grand, and will do a great job of playing your current CD collection, newly acquired CD's and will handle any SACD's you might want to pick up in the future. Like all other formats, SACD's vary in sonic quality, but the good ones are very good indeed. Unless you want to handle your CD playback needs for less (and that can be done rather nicely) don't pass up the possibility of enjoying what SACD has to offer.

Again, my thanks for doing what I wish I could,

JoeE SP9
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Re: Help a "Newbie" out, wouldja?

The Dynalab is an analog tuner. It just happens to have a digital display for station frequency. It not only sounds great it looks fabulous.

iraqarmorer
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Re: Help a "Newbie" out, wouldja?

Thanks for the tip on the Marantz. I really don't want to pay over a grand for a CD player, and that sounds like one to check out. I don't mind paying through the nose for speakers (I already have! $3800.00 for my Aerials and their stands, and if my wife finds out exactly how much I paid, I may get a hi-fi enema!!!! ), and or an outstanding amp, and have reluctantly come to the conclusion that a really good tuner is worth a few extra pesos, but I'm not really sure that there is a lot of difference between a thousand dollar CD player and one that costs two to three times as much. I know, I could very well be wrong, but it's a mistake I'm willing to make. Hey, you guys all seem to think that uprgrades are 75% of the fun anyway! By the way, between reading all the tech specs, arguing over said specs, reading all the stereo mags, building your own components or speakers, modifying what you already own, and rewiring your homes, do any of you actully listen to any music, or is that actually secondary to the hobby? Just kidding, put down the bazooka!!!!!!! I guess I'm not really interested in the components as a hobby, just getting a good sounding, useable system, and then kicking back with a good book, a glass of Merlot (or good single malt scotch) and some great music.

bengrbm
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Re: Help a "Newbie" out, wouldja?

Hi -

I went through the same things your going through a while back - trying to find a good CD player for under a grand. I settled on a NAD player for about $500 which I liked as much as the similar players I heard for around $800 from Rotel, and a couple of other brand. I didn't personally hear much difference in that range, to be honest (though me ear seems to be less golden then some people), and I got the impression that I'd had have to spend a lot more to upgrade the sound from the player I bought. There's also a thread in the Digital section on CD players in the $500 range you may want to look at as well. There seems to be a $400-$800 price point where you can get one of several nice models, that sound a lot better than a $200 player, but you'd have to spend a over a grand to improve the sound substantially.

Best of luck over there - Ben

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