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Jan Vigne
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Re: The middle ground of audioquasiphilia

And they have for the last three plus years. Nothing has changed.

scottlf
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Re: The middle ground of audioquasiphilia

I almost don't know why I'm posting again...but I think I will.

Since this is 16 pages of postings later, I should mention that my post got this particular thread started.

The San Francisco Examiner is an old newspaper, but its current incarnation on the web is actually brand-new. It's an experiment to see if a web-based newspaper can take its content from bloggers who are reasonably well-qualified in their own field, rather than depending on a staff of paid journalists, reporters, and the like.

I agreed to become the classical music blogger for the Examiner, having made it clear that I wouldn't be writing reviews, or being any other than I am, which is a theory professor who also writes program notes and gives pre-concert lectures for the SF Symphony.

Most of us "Examiners" are working to build recognition of the Examiner site. The very software that powers the blogs only became operational in mid-May, which gives you an idea of just how new this experiment is. We have absolutely no guarantee of its success. We're all doing it because we love the subjects about which we write, and like to communicate that. Heaven knows there's no money to speak of; the Examiner does pay by page hits, but you need a LOT of hits before you make even enough to buy, oh, a pair of movie tickets.

Normally my posts would not be of any direct interest to Stereophile readers. However, following a rather intense post about the Wagner dynasty, and the beginning of what promised to be a very long series of articles on the San Francisco symphony's discography, I got in the mood one day to write a funny article about audiophilia.

What was pretty clear in the article is that I am myself a bonafide audiophile, so in taking a pointed but tongue-in-cheek look at audiophilia in general, I was also pointing that same finger at myself. Some of you caught on to that right away.

Several times in my posts I have stated that I don't know how power cables could necessarily change the sound of a system -- at least assuming that they are capable of carrying the current required. However, I haven't denied that it's a possibility, nor have I insulted anyone for explaining to me why that might be the case.

In other words, I posted here originally first to bring some different readers to my blog -- there being little point to writing a blog if it has no readers -- but also in a spirit of real interest in audio equipment, and to find out, from regular old people and not magazine columnists, what it is about, say, cables that is worth spending so much money.

And some of the discussion has been very nice, and worth continuing.

But then it all degenerated into name calling, attacks, and so forth, and after checking in for a few days, I decided to depart the premises. I took another look today, and saw only escalation for the most part, with even myself included as a target, even though none of you could possibly know anything about me beyond what's there in my blog or my comments in this forum.

So there it is; I don't like just getting up and leaving without letting you know why. And I'm only too happy to talk audio, even if I don't have the kind of experience that a lot of you folks have. All I have is my own hearing, really.

Cheers!

Elk
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Re: The middle ground of audioquasiphilia

Welcome back, Scott!

I hope you hang around. There are a number of us that really enjoyed your posts and perspective.

I can't explain the personal attacks on you; much of human behavior I can't fathom.

Jan Vigne
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Re: The middle ground of audioquasiphilia

Scott, sorry to say your humor fell flat with me. I think it was when you started with "some well-aimed potshots at the extremists". It seems an impossibility, IMO, to take well aimed shots when you don't recognize the target or the weapon of choice. We already have quite a bit of that on his forum. It seems too easy to take those pot shots from the outside.

This one really did get me rolling on the floor, "Hardcore audiophiles of the 5K-power-cord variety strike me as suffering from the same basic hardware malfunction as outer-limit sexual perverts ... " You won me over with that anaolgy. How could my heart not melt to your sincerity?

"Audioquasiphile - somebody who cares enough about good recorded sound to shun boomboxes and other such crimes against humanity, but has never, and will never, succumb to the self-deluded wackiness of dropping $5000 on an AC power cord."

There you go again, you big galoot! What a gem!

Yep, name calling comes easy around here. Sorry you got caught in the crossfire. But now you know what you're stepping into. Everyone's a target.

absolutepitch
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Re: The middle ground of audioquasiphilia


Quote:
Almost everyone here would like a productive forum with disussions about audio equipment which lead to a better understanding of the hobby and its benefits. Look at the bottom of the main page to the forum. There are 9648 registered members. How many are active? Forty maybe at any one time? Why do you think the other 9,600 haven't been back?

I think it's partly because of the way I see some people mistreat other people, in writing.


Quote:
Almost to a person, no one here disagrees with your feelings. However, how we get to your Utopian forum site isn't spelled out in your post. There's just the same old generic, "Let's all get along", statement that had been posted multiple times even before you joined the forum. Almost all of us have proven we can do that when "get along" is the order of the thread.

If you really want that Utopian playing field you speak of, you'll have to spell it out in a manner that hasn't been tried before. Just saying that's what should exist is, unfortunately, the same repetitive, redundant, meaningless thought you say you try to avoid.

Therefore, if you have an idea that hasn't been tried, let's hear it. Otherwise, sorry to say, you wasted my valuable time.

I stated some objections to the manner in which people are (mis)treated. So a great first step is to stop doing the written mistreatment. If that is so difficult, then this forum will just continue as it always has, with a few people who post the most. But quantity is not quality, and I want to improve the quality.

In any case, I thank you for letting me know that this issue has been going on long before I joined, and obviously continues to this day. In fact, I almost did not want to join partly because of the very thing you said had been going on. Perhaps my reaction then may be a hint of where the rest of the 9000+ registered members have gone.

I posted a few times as "Anonymous", prior to joining. I joined upon the encouragement of Clifton and that I thought I'd give the forum the benefit of the doubt. I'm not seeing much improvement in behavior, but there are times when this forum really does come through in spades. I just would like to see the posts more toward the spades and less otherwise.

I agree with you, that we all have the same goal in mind, a forum with worthwhile exchange of ideas about audio. Let's try to get there, nicely. I'll be doing my part, and have not blasted anyone in-print here or anywhere else. If that is not a new idea, then I'll have to look to the moderator(s) to clean up the members' act, while at the same time stike a balance where ideas/posts are still reasonably free discussion. I'm afraid I'm not the sage on this one, as well as not as much a veteran as you or the other frequent posters. I hope you or someone else has better ideas than I.

Good luck and happy listening to all.

absolutepitch
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Re: The middle ground of audioquasiphilia


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What he posted is just what we need on this forum, someone else who takes cheap potshots at "extremists" and thinks it's "smart" to ridicule how someone spends their own money and this somehow makes him superior in his skills as a listener when he knocks against their "deluded" beliefs about high priced cables.

I'm not so sure that this is the case, that he came to take pot-shots at us. Besides, we hear differences in cables, capacitors, fuses, etc. I think he might be able, and was trying to get more information from him. I remember when I thought speaker wire was just speaker wire and any wire will do - until I tried comparing by listening. My opinion (preconceived notion) changed.

absolutepitch
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Re: The middle ground of audioquasiphilia

Scott,


Quote:
In other words, I posted here originally first to bring some different readers to my blog -- there being little point to writing a blog if it has no readers -- but also in a spirit of real interest in audio equipment, and to find out, from regular old people and not magazine columnists, what it is about, say, cables that is worth spending so much money.

And some of the discussion has been very nice, and worth continuing.

But then it all degenerated into name calling, attacks, and so forth, and after checking in for a few days, I decided to depart the premises. I took another look today, and saw only escalation for the most part, with even myself included as a target, even though none of you could possibly know anything about me beyond what's there in my blog or my comments in this forum.

So there it is; I don't like just getting up and leaving without letting you know why. And I'm only too happy to talk audio, even if I don't have the kind of experience that a lot of you folks have. All I have is my own hearing, really.

Good to see you're back. I was looking forward to reading what your hearing was telling you and comparing what others here have heard. Sorry to see you won't be staying.

Looks to me like the rest of the non-posting membership voted with their feet.

scottlf
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Re: The middle ground of audioquasiphilia


Quote:

Good to see you're back. I was looking forward to reading what your hearing was telling you and comparing what others here have heard. Sorry to see you won't be staying.


Oh, I think I'll hang around a little longer. There are some very nice folks here!

Although I never intended for this to turn into a discussion about power cords (the "$5000 power cord" I mentioned in my article was deliberately hyperbolic, after all -- are there really any priced that high?), I'm intrigued by the impact of cables.

When I bought my B&W 805's, one of them arrived with a damaged tweeter which necessitated replacing the insides of the jet-scoop-y thing on the top. Of course the dealer did that free of charge. I also needed slightly longer speaker cables than I had originally bought, and he was very gracious in not only supplying the longer ones for me, but giving me fancier ones for no charge than the ones I had originally purchased. He wanted to do that to make up for the inconvenience the damaged tweeter had caused me.

One big difference in these is that they were bi-wired (is that the right term?), i.e., ended in four banana plugs at the speaker end. Previously I had been using the patch cord that was provided with the speakers to connect the upper terminals to the lower, since my original cables had only two banana plugs.

Now, when I brought the repaired speaker back home, and hooked up the new cables, I noticed a dramatic richening of the sound. Part of that was certainly due to the right channel tweeter working properly now (it had been a little fuzzy originally.)

But I do think the speaker cables made a difference in that case, whether due to their construction quality (they were the same brand as the previous ones -- LiveWire, I believe is the name), or the bi-wiring.

I have a pair of Rogers speakers in my home office, and those also have four terminals on the back, and I've always used the original set of Monster cables that I bought for them, which also split out into four banana plugs.

So, in short, I have definitely heard a noticeable difference in this particular situation, although I can't completely separate it from a repaired tweeter. (In other words, the tweeter might have been considerably more defective than I thought, but still would that account for the greater overall richness of sound?)

Elk
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Re: The middle ground of audioquasiphilia


Quote:
I remember when I thought speaker wire was just speaker wire and any wire will do - until I tried comparing by listening. My opinion (preconceived notion) changed.


Which is exactly what I wish more people did; actually listen and make up their own mind rather than simply proclaim "it isn't possible because it is against my beliefs".

Nice couple of posts, by the way.

absolutepitch
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Re: The middle ground of audioquasiphilia

Welcome. And... Welcome back.

I posted elsewhere on this before, but I'll quickly summarize. I did a single-blind-test with a friend/music teacher. I made a change to the speaker, and changed it back, several times and he heard the difference every time, not knowing what I did and which condition of two it was. And he could describe the sound of each condition consistently. He confirmed what I had been hearing. The change was to remove the speaker fuse and replace it with a wire.

What is interesting is that I could not tell such a change before I had "tweaked" my electronics (pre-amp and amp). It was after the tweaks that the speaker fuse vs. wire was discernable.

As you mentioned that you are also an audiophile, if you have not already experienced such improvements, it's surprising and ear-opening, especially coming from my combined science, engineering and music backgrounds.

Again, welcome back, and hoping to hear more from your experiences.

gkc
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Re: The middle ground of audioquasiphilia

That's what cables do, Scott. They get you closer to your memory of the live event. Or not. I replaced my old Monster cables (they make better ones, now...) in 1996, with middle-of-the-line Tara Labs cables. I didn't get "richer," but I did get "more transparent" (that is, less murky, and more outside the box) and "deeper and wider."

Great cables cannot make a mediocre system great. But they can make high-resolution systems (that is, systems capable of revealing the nuances that are recorded into the pits and/or grooves) sound better. And your B&W 805-based system is a high resolution system.

Many of us have beefs with people who (apparently, from their comments) don't listen to the music, but do parse the abstract measurements and oscilloscope streaks and blips with an absolute ferocity. Then, they offer these "proofs" to us mere listeners as evidence that we are merely hearing things. It gets old in a hurry. Insults occasionally demand nuclear responses.

You unwittingly tapped into these issues, automatically generating fightin' words.

Surely, you have endured worse as a teacher. I have, and I have taught poetry to barbarians and grammar to PhD candidates. Both levels objected fiercely to the need for either.

Frankly, "audiophilia" turns me off. And "audioquasiphilia" read worse. Too cute, and too pat.

Other than that, it is always nice to meet another music lover. And, you must be all of that, being subjected to the daily indignities of the classroom.

Don't worry about the fighting. Participation is voluntary, not mandatory.

Welcome to the forum.

scottlf
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Re: The middle ground of audioquasiphilia


Quote:
Frankly, "audiophilia" turns me off.


It does have a certain, oh, unwholesome sound about it.


Quote:
Surely, you have endured worse as a teacher. I have, and I have taught poetry to barbarians and grammar to PhD candidates. Both levels objected fiercely to the need for either.


Most definitely; I have to deal with music students who raise a ruckus about having to take eartraining and theory classes, not to mention those who seem to think that writing a paper is an unbearable imposition.

Thanks about the words about the fighting...of course you're right. And besides, I hunted around a bit and discovered the "ignore user" feature, which I've already put to quite effective use.

Thanks for the welcome!

scottlf
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Re: The middle ground of audioquasiphilia


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As you mentioned that you are also an audiophile, if you have not already experienced such improvements, it's surprising and ear-opening, especially coming from my combined science, engineering and music backgrounds.


Quite some years back I was visiting a friend-of-a-friend who was an extremely avid audiophile with dedicated listening room, large Quad speakers, and a very deep dedication to his interest.

We were listening to his system (beautiful, needless to say), and then he fiddled around in the back of it, and suddenly it sounded very, very different -- pinched somehow, more nasal. I must have blurted something out like "huhhh?????" since he started laughing.

It was a change of speaker cable. So I haven't really doubted that such things can make a difference, although I really wonder why. I don't have your science and engineering backgrounds, but like a lot of musicians I've been a fairly keen follower of science, even if my experience has been restricted to the Isaac Asimov-Timothy Ferris-Carl Sagan variety of reading.

CECE
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Re: The middle ground of audioquasiphilia

It sounded better because you replaced a defective tweeter.....use logic. If you walk into a dark room and turn on a light, doesn't thing get clearer to see? Now if you turn on a burned out light, you still can't see, then you replaced the burned out lamp, are you then gonna conclude the burned out lamp was not as good as the one your just replaced it with, cus now you see better. The only thing better is the new lamp FUNCTIONS and the old one didn't. Not that one did something better, it just did teh basic thing of functioning in teh first place. Pull off the bi wire and watch how it sounds the same now that you have a functioning tweeter.

Elk
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Re: The middle ground of audioquasiphilia


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It sounded better because you replaced a defective tweeter.....


Elk
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Re: The middle ground of audioquasiphilia


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I have taught poetry to barbarians and grammar to PhD candidates. Both levels objected fiercely to the need for either.


Evocative! LOL

JIMV
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Re: The middle ground of audioquasiphilia

The speaker swap out reflects my experience. As have posted, I have never listened to a really high end system but, on my OK system, I did experience a definite change that my spouse also hears. I went from $2 a foot heavy copper speaker wire I had bought from a custom installer, to Tara Labs second least expensive meter cables that I got on a sale from a company discontinuing the line. I immediately got a different sound. It then became clear what I was hearing. I got a darker sound, almost like a shift to tubes, but, I also got more extended highs from my very basic Maggies. It was a seductive sound and I kept those cables as my primary for a decade, just replaced with Cardas cables (as I am using tubes now and the Tara and tubes together was a bit too dark).

Someting else that had an audible difference was the use of good contact cleaner. I had an intermittent scratchy problem which to me always says bad contact. I tried the Radio Shack standard cleaner but the problem persisted, at a less irritating repitition. I bought something I remembered from long ago, Kontak. One application and the crackle was gone AND my sound stage changed. I have already written about a dedicated electric line, perhaps the biggest change to my system ever. This stuff does work but the result is often small and cumulative. Sometimes, as in the case of good power and better cables, results in a real and immediate change. I would love to hear what a $5K interconnect or speaker cable would have on my $5K system, but that would be more cable than the system warrants. My next change will be a PS Audio power cable, their cheapest, to see if that has an effect in my system. The fun comes from vinyl, though I am rediscovering why I left it so long ago. I have bought a dozen records, used, and only two play all the way through. I find it difficult to get into the music when I have to get up once or twice a side and shift the needle. New vinyl is simply too pricy and my local store has a very limited stock. I will probably use Music Direct when I am more flush.

scottlf
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Re: The middle ground of audioquasiphilia


Quote:
The fun comes from vinyl, though I am rediscovering why I left it so long ago. I have bought a dozen records, used, and only two play all the way through. I find it difficult to get into the music when I have to get up once or twice a side and shift the needle. New vinyl is simply too pricy and my local store has a very limited stock. I will probably use Music Direct when I am more flush.


I really appreciate the excellent sound quality of fine vinyl played through a fine system, but I don't want to go back there.

I grew up with vinyl, of course, and the whole ritual of cleaning the record, the needle, positioning the tone arm, worrying about tone arm weight/balance/tracking, hearing the disc and needle both slowly disintegrate with use, worrying about vibrations (we have heavy streetcars in San Francisco!), and so forth, was something I was very relieved to be done with once CDs came out.

I also use my ripped (lossless) stuff in my lectures and presentations constantly; what a convenience to be able to open an mp4 file in an audio editor, pull out just what I need, and then place that within a Keynote presentation so it plays precisely at the right point, right when I surreptitiously click the button on my remote presenter thingie. Right now I'm the only San Francisco Symphony pre-concert lecturer who doesn't have to fumble around with CDs during talks, although I think this year some of the other lecturers are going to follow my lead.

Even though really good vinyl, on a fine system, offers definite audio pleasures, for now I have no plans in that direction. Almost my entire collection of LPs was wiped out in a garage flood (that being where they had been banished), and I only salvaged a few that are very unlikely ever to live on as CDs, including some performances of my own.

Elk
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Re: The middle ground of audioquasiphilia

Great use of technology, Scott. It is amazing what an exemplar can do for one's understanding of a piece.


Quote:
...surreptitiously click the button on my remote presenter thingie.


This must be a technical term...

JIMV
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Re: The middle ground of audioquasiphilia


Quote:
Even though really good vinyl, on a fine system, offers definite audio pleasures, for now I have no plans in that direction. Almost my entire collection of LPs was wiped out in a garage flood (that being where they had been banished), and I only salvaged a few that are very unlikely ever to live on as CDs, including some performances of my own.

I have never herd vinyl on a really good system. Everyone I now that plays with vinyl uses gear that would be an embarrassment if calld high end. Folk like the rituals and also like the trendiness. Where I wander afield from the vinyl devotes is in thinking that a 40 year old record full of scratches and noise is not a high end media. New vinyl or pristine vinyl from way back then is another subject and not one I can address.

scottlf
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Re: The middle ground of audioquasiphilia


Quote:
Quote:

...surreptitiously click the button on my remote presenter thingie.

This must be a technical term...


Yes, and...oh, dear...it is supposed to be totally hush-hush and there I've gone and blabbed it.

gkc
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Re: The middle ground of audioquasiphilia

JIMV, vinyl, nowadays, is expensive and somewhat fussy. As a music lover, I must say that I enjoy this medium more consistently than I enjoy CD's and SACD's. However, I am old. My first systems, back in the 1960's, were vinyl-based (obviously), and I have always upgraded my vinyl-playback gear along with everything else, over the years. Vinyl has never disappointed me, relative to the other alternatives. Never.

But, everything has to be taken in context. What kinds of listening do you do, and what kinds of music do you prefer? Do you dislike fussing around with record cleaning (you MUST clean, however briefly, after each side played, or the stylus will wear out early and the noise will increase, over time, on the LP's -- this is the biggest reason why most folks complain about scratches and hiss)? Cleaning takes less than a minute. I find it somewhat of a pain in the ass, but the sound is worth it. As I told DUP, however, my 2000+ LP's have held up better over time than my 2000+ CD's. I hate the fuss, but I love the sound, and I'm willing to put up with it.

In my apartment system, I have had my stylus/cartridge unit (a $1200 Benz-Micro) for 12 years now, and it sounds better than it did the day I bought it, before break-in. That averages out to $100 per year. Cheaper than Sirius. Clean 'em and they last.

Great vinyl playback gets cheaper and cheaper. The markets at work. Note the new Rega players, as well as Music Hall, Project, and Basis (there are others -- just read Mikey every month). Ditto the phono preamps.

New vinyl costs a lot ($20-$50 per new record). That is unfortunate. All of the new releases sound terrific, compared to CD's and SACD's. So, I honestly couldn't recommend anyone who is young and raised on CD's and servers going into vinyl, UNLESS you live in a city where used vinyl is readily available. Used vinyl sounds better than new CD's, IF it has been well cared for. I am lucky to be in Los Angeles, and Stephen is lucky to be in New York -- vinyl thrives in both cities. I have 30-year old LP's that sound like I bought them yesterday. I am not exaggerating.

Happy listening.

Elk
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Re: The middle ground of audioquasiphilia


Quote:
I have 30-year old LP's that sound like I bought them yesterday. I am not exaggerating.


Yes.

With all the concern with the "fragility' of vinyl it seems to last forever with just a minimum of care.

CECE
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Re: The middle ground of audioquasiphilia

You remember what the cartridge sounded like 12 years ago? Now you claim it sounds better? so you say 12 years to break in a cartridge.....WOW!!! I think you and MF should start a new planet!!!! In 12 years, Hmm, technology has brought us HDTV, Sirius, SACD DVD DVD recordable, Cd recordable, DVD-A Blu-Ray.....and you just now have broken in your phono stylus? And I bet you need new capacitors for all your equipment by now, START OVER, you have been wearing in the Stylus, and wearing out your capacitors!!! Ya just can't win!!! What about.....your toothbrush, broken in or replaced...with another new product, SONICARE.....It's like you have been stuck in some time tunnel.

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Re: The middle ground of audioquasiphilia


Quote:
You remember what the cartridge sounded like 12 years ago? Now you claim it sounds better? so you say 12 years to break in a cartridge.....WOW!!! I think you and MF should start a new planet!!!! In 12 years, Hmm, technology has brought us HDTV, Sirius, SACD DVD DVD recordable, Cd recordable, DVD-A Blu-Ray.....and you just now have broken in your phono stylus? And I bet you need new capacitors for all your equipment by now, START OVER, you have been wearing in the Stylus, and wearing out your capacitors!!! Ya just can't win!!! What about.....your toothbrush, broken in or replaced...with another new product, SONICARE.....It's like you have been stuck in some time tunnel.

In the time I've had my LP's, technology has brought us 8-track, cassette, elcassette, Beta, Beta Hi Fi, VHS, VHS Hi Fi, CD, DVD-A, SACD, Sirius (are you serious? That says alot about your ears,) HDTV, MP3, MP4, Apple Lossless, 128 bit audio, 256 bit audio, FLAC, Bit storms, DSD, and who knows what else, and you lay claim to "new is better?"

The music industry must love you. You're the guy who buys stuff 'cause it's NEW!

I spent a buck or two for LP's that still sound great and have given me 40 years of pleasure.

How can that be obsolete?

If I listened to you every time you listed LP's as obsolete, I'd have the same music in 8 different formats and still be no better off.

Maybe you could sell your turntable and use the cash to but some of the same music in yet another new format, and happily proclaim, "I got new, it must be better!"

Plus, your turntable could be put to more use than as a place to stack CD's.

absolutepitch
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Re: The middle ground of audioquasiphilia


Quote:
We were listening to his system (beautiful, needless to say), and then he fiddled around in the back of it, and suddenly it sounded very, very different -- pinched somehow, more nasal. I must have blurted something out like "huhhh?????" since he started laughing.

It was a change of speaker cable. So I haven't really doubted that such things can make a difference, although I really wonder why.

For your information, the difference my friend heard between the 1) speaker fuse vs. 2) a wire used in place of the fuse, was:

1) more treble but the sound bunched up torward the middle vs.
2) the treble is spread more horizontally but less treble,

respectively.

The first thing that came to mind is frequency response of the highs changed as related to the treble in #1. But what causes treble to be "bunched-up" or not? I don't know, but I might guess channel separation vs. frequency in #2. How does all this happen due to a speaker fuse vs. a wire?


Quote:
I don't have your science and engineering backgrounds, but like a lot of musicians I've been a fairly keen follower of science, even if my experience has been restricted to the Isaac Asimov-Timothy Ferris-Carl Sagan variety of reading.

I admired the late Dr. Sagan in the Cosmos TV PBS series. He says a lot about the discoveries in an easy-to-understand presentation. It's too bad that some in the scientific community do not look upon his public education efforts as worthy of acclaim as do peer-reviewed scientific publications.

I use my technical background together with my ear for music as a connection between the two. Those two are not really different, I think. Recently I started reading "The Fundamentals of Musical Acoustics" by Arthur H. Benade. This gives me a good lay introduction to how music and science interact, and is a good stating point to further thought. I've already learned more about how instruments make sound and the way it can be affected by changes, reminiscent of audio tweaks you read about here. Too bad that I only have limited time for this hobby at this time.

absolutepitch
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Re: The middle ground of audioquasiphilia


Quote:
...Someting else that had an audible difference was the use of good contact cleaner. I had an intermittent scratchy problem which to me always says bad contact. I tried the Radio Shack standard cleaner but the problem persisted, at a less irritating repitition. I bought something I remembered from long ago, Kontak. One application and the crackle was gone AND my sound stage changed. ...

Never tried Kontak. Heard that it was really good. Periodically, I clean the contacts between gear and cables, with simple contact cleaner available at electronics stores. The sound is really better after cleaning, so getting rid of oxides matter.

There was another(?) product that was called Cramolin. If I recall correctly, that one was supposed to clean and seal the surface, and is an insulator. When you plugged the cable into the connector, the plug shaves off the seal on the jack and makes electrical contact. The implication is that the seal remains to protect the connection, but I do not know whether anyone confirmed that this works as claimed.

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