Quote: I think this musician/audiophile comparison is a fair one. Thinking of it all in this way, the gear becomes the audiophile's instrument. And we're just trying to master it.
The more I think of that, the more sense it makes.
Interesting way to put it, as trying to master the instrument (musical, or playback). Two musical instruments, say violins for example, sound different from each other, but both sound good. Two playback systems exhibit similar responses, i.e. that they sound different but both sound good.
If playback system 1 sound 'exactly' like violin 1, and system 2 for violin 2, but system 1 does not reproduce violin 2 correctly, and vice-versa for system 2 with violin 1, what should we conclude about the two playback systems, if anything?
Ya need to buy system 3, and make it a good one, so it does everything right. www.legacyaudio.com or www.avahifi.com And get better strings on the violins, so they sound similar
Strings will make a difference. I was referring to two instruments with the same strings, for example, but didn't clearly state that (sorry). Otherwise, your string change advice is the first thing to improve the sound. Another example is two Steinway pianos. Each sound different, but use the same strings (supposedly as identical as manufacturing permits). The voicing is different.
Would you rather have an Ayre, Boulder, Wilson, system that you could only listen to music picked out by your Benson , Mo. loving Mother-in-law, or, your own choice of music on a Bose system? Man, that Bose sounds good, and without all that equipment too!
Sorry, I don't understand what point you're trying to make. I suppose you're asking whether the choice is between limited selection of music played on a top system vs. a wide range of music on a Bose. I would venture to guess that many of us audiophiles had been through your second experience (the Bose example) and have moved on to the much better systems, and with even wider range of music than before.
We all listen to our own musical collection on systems that have been improved over time in order to hear more of the performance in the music that the artist puts in it. It's that closeness to what I hear live that I'm striving to improve in the home gear. In the end, the music is what matters.
I am reading this thread with great interest because I am in the middle of going insane.
For the last 3 years I have been fairly happy with my modified tubed Fisher receiver and the speakers in my 1957 Ampex console. Then I bought a tube amp that allowed me switch tube types, control the amount of feedback and switch between triode and UL mode. Using the Fisher as a preamp and mating it to the tube amp allowed me to have it all ... I thought. The only thing missing was an absolute sense of timing. Pace, rhythm and timing is a big part of what makes music fun to listen to - at least for me. So I recently bought an Exposure 3010 integrated amp. The PRaT is first rate, but the tonality kinda sucks. Big problem. I put on the tube system and the sound of the music is so inviting. It has the pace and rhythm, but the timing is off. It makes me want to get up and dance around, but instead of dancing a beautiful precision waltz, it is more akin to dancing like a chicken with its head cut off. Then I put the Exposure system on and the PRaT just tickles my brain with its musical precision. Unfortunately, my ears start hurting after a while. I originally went with the tubed receiver because I listen to a lot of classic rock and didn't think I needed too much resolution and detail. The receiver sounded pretty good and was unfussy about cables and everything was right there in one box. But whenever I tried to tap my foot to the music, I kept losing the beat which was kind of frustrating. I tried combining the two, using the Exposure as a pre and mating that to the tube amp, but it was not too successful. So now I do not know what to do, listen to something "musical" that tickles my brain but is tonally challenged or listen to something that is somewhat "musical" but is delightfully easier on the ears. Basically what this discussion centers on - music or sound.
It sound like you need some new speakers...to me anyway. Even some small bookshelf models could be an improvement over your console set up. You might try some of the JM Labs on sale at Audio Advisor and consider even the Epos models, a pair of $300 B&W 303's if you can find a dealer with some left. If you have a grand to drop the floor standing JM Labs at AA might be the ticket.
I know the feeling. I went from a system with lots of PRAT that made me want to get up and dance and play a lot of rock, and ended up sitting and playing a lot of mellow acustic vocal numbers. I had gone from an all transister system, to a hybrid system with tubes in my CDP, Pre and Power Amps. I got lots of warmth and deep bass, vocals were dreamy and a 3d soundstage.
But I stopped buying and listening to any music with life in it basically. Weird. I did try, and did enjoy Rock music, or music with bounce and pace, but not as much as I enjoyed textured music, I thought I had become an boring old fart at long last!
Then one day I decided to replace a tube in my CDP as the one in it had close to 10,000 hours and my system started to sound a little 'dull' in the highs. So I thought so maintanence was required, purchased a tube to replace the JAN Philips 6922 with a NOS gold pin Philips E288CC.
After replacing the tube and listening to some Cds I noticed my foot taping, the Rock was back in my system. It had PRAT in spades. I lost some warmth, but mow I am listeing to a lot of rock and bouncy music again.
If someone would have told me one tube change could have made such a difference, I wouldn't have believed them.
Then again, partly I am sure the tube in my CDP had a LOT of use and needed replacing, it was audibly on its way out, it had lost its sparkle clearly and the system had more prat with that tube orgionally. But the different Tube certainly helped change the sound, from warm, to detailed and prat.
Jim, you are right about speakers, but only for the Exposure. The speakers I have were made with tubes in mind and sound great. The Exposure needs speakers more along the lines of Epos or Neat. For personal reasons, though, I will have to stick with the console I have and make things work around it.
Colin, funny you should mention changing out tubes. About 30 minutes ago, I changed out the EL-34s for some KT-88s and things are sounding pretty good - at least with the LP I am currently playing. I am using the Exposure as a preamp and have connected it to my tube amp. I am getting pretty good PRaT and a little bit fuller tone.
Steven, looks like you are not alone in thinking about musicality versus sound. Maybe you can get Art Dudley to chime in. He seems to have reconciled the two in his head somehow. Or maybe he just found a magic combination
Quote:Steven, looks like you are not alone in thinking about musicality versus sound. Maybe you can get Art Dudley to chime in. He seems to have reconciled the two in his head somehow. Or maybe he just found a magic combination
Thanks Mike. It is good to know I'm not alone in this. It seems that a lot of us have struggled, and continue to stuggle, with this aspect of the hobby.
I'm glad to hear that things are sounding good for you, now that you're using the Exposure as a preamp and have switched out your tubes. Interesting. I hope the combination continues to bring you hi-fi happiness. Please keep us posted.
I'll ask Art about this today, if I run into him at the Home Entertainment Show.
Its always 'the little things' that make the difference. Like a fine wine, its that extra special season the grapes experience, or a great meal, those few herbs and spices used wisely that brings out the flavours of the food.
Good to see a few tweaks and the sound you want is there without any major expense.