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bifcake
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Re: A Visit to Mikey's & the Furutech deMag

No, suppositories.

KBK
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Re: A Visit to Mikey's & the Furutech deMag


Quote:
If you believe in ghosts, I can sell you anything.


Where you from, you two?

Nothing personal, you two Dudes (Ethan and Alex). I just found this photo and was looking to post it somewhere on the forum. It's dang funny.

ethanwiner
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Re: A Visit to Mikey's & the Furutech deMag


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I have a better idea! I will send the CD-R to Ethan and let him describe what he hears or doesn't hear to the rest of you.


Hey, did you ever send me that CD Mike? I'd love to hear it.

--Ethan

Axon
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Re: A Visit to Mikey's & the Furutech deMag

And a related note: Ethan, did you ever fix the file decoding issues? I can send you the files I've got if not.

ethanwiner
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Re: A Visit to Mikey's & the Furutech deMag

No, the files would not play in any player I have. If you can send/link/snail mail/whatever the files to me, that'd be great.

In the mean time, what was your impression?

--Ethan

mrlowry
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Re: A Visit to Mikey's & the Furutech deMag

I'd like to thank Mr. Fremer for posting the files for comparison sake. Not only does it let us look at (although in a flawed manner) what the Furtech demag device does or does not do, it also lets us get a glimpse at how special Mickey's turntable is. I'd be interested in knowing what the cartridge and phono stage were too if that information hasn't already been posted.

Truth time, who has taken the time to sit down and do the comparisons? What are your thoughts? I guess I'll start it off.

First off right after the downloads were complete I listened to the two samples using the computer as the source through my Tivoli Model One table radio, just for fun. Even on the the Model One with the first listen I thought I heard a difference. It was so small as to be indescribable, but "Step Right Up 2" was just a little more alive. From there I burned it to a CD-R and put it on my system.

Now, there are two things that I feel are important to mention before I give my impressions:

1. This is a digital conversion of an analog medium so some of the difference is bound to have gotten lost in that conversion. That seems obvious to me. But it's still worth mentioning.

2. While I consider my system very, very good (who doesn't) most likely it's not nearly as resolving as Michael Fremer's system.

Alright, on to my conclusions.

"Step Right Up 2" which clocks in at 5:41 on my CD player. Of course all comparisons were made to "Step Right Up 1."

-The bass is more articulate and has a more complex tonal structure.

-The Scatting and the finger snaps at the beginning of the song are much more prominent.

-There is greater soundstaging depth and space in general.

-The sax sounds at once further back in the soundstage AND less veiled.

-The performance is more involving with a greater sense of micro dynamics, especially in the nuances of Tom Waits vocal delivery.

Were the differences HUGE? Not on my system but as previously mentioned the scale of those changes were probably reduced by the conversion process itself and the system that I'm using is several steps below the one that Michael is blessed with. All of this having been said I'm confident those differences are real.

Alright I've put myself out there who else is going to put their opinion "on the record" as they say.

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Re: A Visit to Mikey's & the Furutech deMag


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If you believe in ghosts, I can sell you anything.

Seeing is believing....In audio, folk make wild claims about things they hear all the time. No difference except SOME of the audio effects can be explained, but not all.

I do not for a minute believe anyone has a real idea why this thing seems to have an effect on sound, but too many folk hear it for me to dismiss it simply because I cannot explain it.

Buddha
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Re: A Visit to Mikey's & the Furutech deMag

The hardest part is going to be getting hold of enough of the same record to determine which after-market power cord works best.

Jan Vigne
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Re: A Visit to Mikey's & the Furutech deMag

The same problem exists with my Vista 64bit as did the samples for the earlier demag thread. I'm hestitant to go through the hassle of downloading these files since I'm not sceptical of demag's benefits. What you describe here are similar to the improvements Frog and I reported in the earlier thread.

Buddha
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Re: A Visit to Mikey's & the Furutech deMag

So, I downloaded Foobar and the links, but I can't get them to play. They are sitting there all pretty on my desktop, mocking me!

Is there a trick here or is it just a simple trick?

Damnable computatonal devices.

Play, damn you, play!

mrlowry
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Re: A Visit to Mikey's & the Furutech deMag


Quote:
So, I downloaded Foobar and the links, but I can't get them to play. They are sitting there all pretty on my desktop, mocking me!

Is there a trick here or is it just a simple trick?

Damnable computatonal devices.

Play, damn you, play!

Buddha-

The files are in AIFF which is Apples version of WAV. I believe that there is a Foobar plug in that will allow them to be played. But I'd probably just download iTunes which free and is properly configured, burn them to a CD-R and play them on one of your serious systems.

Buddha
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Re: A Visit to Mikey's & the Furutech deMag

Fuckin' iTunes?

iTunes is the Windows of music.

OK.

mrlowry
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Re: A Visit to Mikey's & the Furutech deMag


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Fuckin' iTunes?

iTunes is the Windows of music.

OK.

Buddha

While I HATE most proprietary things AIFF is nicer that WAV because it allows the user (and the encoding program) to imbed tags which identify the song, album, artist, etc. as part of the file. WAV, of course does not. For that reason, and because iTunes does offer WAV as an option Apple gets a "pass" on my wrath. However, they should allow FLAC natively as an option for at least playback, if not ripping. They certainly lose some points for their pigheadedness on that one.

Michael Fremer
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Re: A Visit to Mikey's & the Furutech deMag


Quote:
I'd like to thank Mr. Fremer for posting the files for comparison sake. Not only does it let us look at (although in a flawed manner) what the Furtech demag device does or does not do, it also lets us get a glimpse at how special Mickey's turntable is. I'd be interested in knowing what the cartridge and phono stage were too if that information hasn't already been posted.

Truth time, who has taken the time to sit down and do the comparisons? What are your thoughts? I guess I'll start it off.

First off right after the downloads were complete I listened to the two samples using the computer as the source through my Tivoli Model One table radio, just for fun. Even on the the Model One with the first listen I thought I heard a difference. It was so small as to be indescribable, but "Step Right Up 2" was just a little more alive. From there I burned it to a CD-R and put it on my system.

Now, there are two things that I feel are important to mention before I give my impressions:

1. This is a digital conversion of an analog medium so some of the difference is bound to have gotten lost in that conversion. That seems obvious to me. But it's still worth mentioning.

2. While I consider my system very, very good (who doesn't) most likely it's not nearly as resolving as Michael Fremer's system.

Alright, on to my conclusions.

"Step Right Up 2" which clocks in at 5:41 on my CD player. Of course all comparisons were made to "Step Right Up 1."

-The bass is more articulate and has a more complex tonal structure.

-The Scatting and the finger snaps at the beginning of the song are much more prominent.

-There is greater soundstaging depth and space in general.

-The sax sounds at once further back in the soundstage AND less veiled.

-The performance is more involving with a greater sense of micro dynamics, especially in the nuances of Tom Waits vocal delivery.

Were the differences HUGE? Not on my system but as previously mentioned the scale of those changes were probably reduced by the conversion process itself and the system that I'm using is several steps below the one that Michael is blessed with. All of this having been said I'm confident those differences are real.

Alright I've put myself out there who else is going to put their opinion "on the record" as they say.

phono pre was probably Manley Steelhead, Lyra Titan i cartridge...what you describe is pretty much the effect every time....when I brought the CD-R to CES last year the differences were obvious in every room and heard by some of the industry's greatest skeptics like Tim deParavicini.....

ethanwiner
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Re: A Visit to Mikey's & the Furutech deMag


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AIFF is nicer that WAV because it allows the user (and the encoding program) to imbed tags which identify the song, album, artist, etc. as part of the file. WAV, of course does not.


Wave files have an optional "metadata" section for exactly that sort of stuff.

--Ethan

mrlowry
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Re: A Visit to Mikey's & the Furutech deMag

Michael-

Thank you for humoring us and posting the samples. Over the years I've grown to really trust what my ears tell me even when it comes into conflict with the skeptical part of my brain. However, a blind test every once in a while keeps me on my toes.

bifcake
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Re: A Visit to Mikey's & the Furutech deMag

I downloaded the files and listened to them extensively. I cannot tell if there is a difference. Sometimes I think there is and sometimes I think there isn't. If there is a difference, it's not worth the bother and the expense.

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Re: A Visit to Mikey's & the Furutech deMag


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I cannot tell if there is a difference.


Interesting, because we were told that the difference is profound and undeniable. Could it be that your system is not revealing enough?

I should have the files here soon and I'll post my impressions.

--Ethan

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Re: A Visit to Mikey's & the Furutech deMag

I also downloaded the files, listened (very extensively) and they certainly sound different. Not as enjoyable as listening to the actual LP but a great song and a great song choice for this 'test' imo.

AlexO - Maybe your hi-fi has been drinking with the piano.

geoffkait
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Re: A Visit to Mikey's & the Furutech deMag

Remind me sometime and I'll post the Four Reasons Why Audiophiles Have Trouble Hearing Tweaks, or get subtle or even no results. One of the master tweakers, George Tice, provided the Four Reasons in a letter to Stereophile a ways back, around when the heat was coming down on his Tice Clock.

Cheers

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Re: A Visit to Mikey's & the Furutech deMag

I just have to find someone to remind me to remind you ;-)

I'm personally not a tweaky kinda guy but that doesn't mean I have a bonfire in my backyard ready to burn the believers after which I go back to my concrete, testable, verifiable bunker. But that doesn't mean I walk around naked drooling with a sign on my back that says "willing to overpay to feed my ignorance".

My point is, with the majority of forum 'discussions' people set up camp on one or another extreme side of an argument and spend their days throwing stuff at the other side. No one ever budges and you realize it

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Re: A Visit to Mikey's & the Furutech deMag

I think it all comes down to the definition: What is Hi-Fi. If hi-fi means equipment that reproduces music in a way that you like, that's great. Then, we can all agree that there is no objective measure, you like what you like, I like what I like and that's that.

However, if Hi-Fi means replicating a live performance, then it MUST be measurable because that's an objective standard.

When Stereophile first started publishing, the latter was an unequivocal goal and everything was measured against it. Somewhere along the road, Stereophile started drifting towards the former where it's now much more acceptable to just say "I like THIS particular thing, therefore it's Hi-Fi". This opens the door to all kinds of tweaks and things, which polarize the audiophile community.

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Re: A Visit to Mikey's & the Furutech deMag

I can't spend the time right now to address this fully but I will say thank you for pointing out another false dichotomy. Ooh goody, now we can start 'arguing' from our respective camps.

KBK
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Re: A Visit to Mikey's & the Furutech deMag


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However, if Hi-Fi means replicating a live performance, then it MUST be measurable because that's an objective standard.

Therein lies the problem. Some think it must be measurable...as they lack familiarity with the problem and the scope of possibilities that surround the question (audiophiles observably saying they hear a difference)..and they lack an understanding of the nature of the exact question...(science not having a perfect handle on both the question and the area of measure). To top it off..the Equipment does not have the resolution to measure the situation to the level of complexity that the ear is known to have as a method of observing and correlating complex signal timing, filtering, and level (as a set of components for analysis).

As an example..last night I was testing a newer cable design. In this particular run, I am at the #21-#22-#23-#24 (individual cable designs) level of a 'single cause analysis' experimental chain of cable designs.

Cable # 22 shows great signs of being capable of resolving the artificial aspect of panning and potting of fake and 'actualized' stereoscopic imagery in specific way.

In an extremely resolving system, the more subtle phase aspects of stereoscopic recording can be laid bare in interesting ways. In this case, it was showing how the panning and summing etc of imagery, instrument, and voice placement can seem to the mind like a 'sheet' that is hanging is space and moves about. This, due to the information heard being derived electronically into a stereo 'space'.

In this case, with enough concentration (or lack of it, ie, your best hearing capacity and function is JUST before you fall asleep) I could hear the music hanging like an actual thin sheet..that would move around according to the panning action as directed by the man at the electronic controls in the given studio.

To achieve this thing requires a phase and signal subtlety that is rare in complete finished 'end user' systems with speakers -- but can be heard when plugging high grade headphones into a live console, for example.

What I'm saying is that now that I posses this bit of resolving power in front of a system (not just with headphones as in the 'perfect situation' console scenario) the 'sheet like effect' is apparently THERE in all recordings that have electronic summing panning etc of stereoscopic imagery but is nearly 100% of the time lost or heard as a nebulous or bulbous acoustic dimensional effect. Ie an instrument hanging in 3-d space, is what we say we hear. The subtlety of phase required to observe this effect and that it was actually delivered (in a clean integrated fashion)--- surprised even me, who does this sort of analysis on a routine basis.

Yet, there is no set of instruments and measurements devised yet today that will allow anyone to quantify (measure) these things ---yet we know that we most definitely -DO- hear them.

The complexity of the situation starts to hit the roof when you drag in the rest of the scenario..which is vibration, metals proximity and influence on signal, chassis design, transient function in the internals, materials science on the molecular level, reactive signal mass itself, pathway design (specific and general), electron and materials noise, etc, etc, etc.

Then, all of this tied to that ultimate resolving system with wide band time, memory, and filtering aspects..the HUMAN EAR-BRAIN COMBINATION.

Which..properly utilized by a trained expert, is capable of resolving these issues individually or en-masse, if well trained and with enough original base physical/cranial capacity in these areas.

A world class designer that is worth their salt..and has spent many years working inside of gear doing single cause analysis (with listening tests!)..can complete these seemingly horrendous and impossibly complex tasks, and quite easily, I might add. The audiophile, however, is limited to complete pieces of gear, and has to deal with the item being a 'box', not an assemblage of discrete sonic contributions that make up the box as a whole.

You might see, now..that there is another entire level of skill which would make even the more astute audiophiles give pause..and that is the skill level of the extreme high-end designers. That skill set is so far beyond what you speak of here, that is nearly off the map - period. We are talking Formula 1 pole position territory.

The problem can also be that there may be a feeling of inadequacy tied into the nonbelievers vs the believers..as part of the argument package. This, besides the issue of people thinking -very seriously and incredibly foolishly, I might add- that their metal and physical limits somehow constitute the limits of all of the rest of mankind (the other, outside of the given self, ie, the other 99.99999999% of mankind).

This last point would mean that no-one can drive cars on F1 tracks, no-one can snow board and do triple flips...and no-one can water ski or cook incredible meals..or that no-one can solve complex math questions in their head or excel at chess or science.

This is true, you see..as the average man who does not understand the audiophile capacities and the extended capacity of some audiophiles..those skills CANNOT be real..therefore no-one has any true skill levels of any kind that exceed that of the common man.

Since NO-ONE can do/complete these tasks to any degree whatsoever, therefore, no audiophile can hear what we say we hear, right???

It's a form of psyche/ego self protection via projection of egoic FORCE as a method of controlling the external world.

It's the underlying monkey/reptile part of the brain system making it's presence known**, unseen and unheard by the bearer of the sword..for if they knew it and saw it--they would not be projecting such rubbish.

**for those who can see it for what it is - and some use this commonly unrealized aspect of humanity for CONTROL-remember that! The cummulative near trillion $ spent on advertising over the years sez it is so - nevermind the politics and societal manipulation over the centuries. Basically and specifically... you are being led about by your psychological and physiologically derived blind spots. This is the essence of what is the world today. You are treated and manipulated as a cow by the force of what you do not know and there are internal barriers to gaining/clearing the given knowledge, not just the external ones. As a quick example, I was just reading this morning..and it was illustrated in the specific, that the Korean 'police action' was directed (due to UN influence) from both sides by a small group of chosen Russian Generals (there are no 'sides' here) who reported to one another. In all seriousness, yes. Fuck me. Is that clear enough for you? They even initiated the battle sequences, ie, 'begin attack' (their voices recorded on tape as initiating the major offences/skirmishes). Are you getting this yet?

bifcake
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Re: A Visit to Mikey's & the Furutech deMag


Quote:
I can't spend the time right now to address this fully but I will say thank you for pointing out another false dichotomy. Ooh goody, now we can start 'arguing' from our respective camps.

Lock and load!

Buddha
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Re: A Visit to Mikey's & the Furutech deMag


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This last point would mean that no-one can drive cars on F1 tracks, so one can snow board and do triple flips...and no-one can water ski or cook incredible meals..or that no-one can solve complex math questions in their head or excel at chess or science.

This is true, you see..as the average man who does not understand the audiophile capacities and the extended capacity of some audiophiles..CANNOT be real..therefore no-one has any true skill levels of any kind that exceed that of the common man.

Since NO-ONE can do/complete these tasks to any degree whatsoever, therefore, no audiophile can hear what we say we hear, right???

I can drive an F1 car faster than a Schumacher, I can do triple back flips while water skiing, and I can snow board better than a flying tomato. I refuse to demonstrate any of these skills, you just have to trust me on my claims. Gold medals and endorsement chacks can be mailed to me care of Tommy Flanagan.

On the other hand, I believe you when you describe what you are hearing with your cable designs!

So, what are we gonna do?

(Heck, there are scientific studies that show brown eyed people have some superior auditory skills compared to the blue eyed citizenry, so no problem with someone who has 'special abilities.' Still lots to figure out with all this stuff.)

I also think there is value in the 'ritual' of Hi Fi for many people, including me.

(No flame content inferred or implied in this post.)

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Re: A Visit to Mikey's & the Furutech deMag


Quote:
if Hi-Fi means replicating a live performance, then it MUST be measurable because that's an objective standard.

No disagreement from me on that, AlexO, nor from anyone else at Stereophile.


Quote:
When Stereophile first started publishing, the latter was an unequivocal goal and everything was measured against it. Somewhere along the road, Stereophile started drifting towards the former...

I don't think so.


Quote:
...where it's now much more acceptable to just say "I like THIS particular thing, therefore it's Hi-Fi".

Don't you get tired of putting words in other's mouths, AlexO? Despite your use of quotation marks, _no-one_ at this magazine has said that something is high fidelity purely because they like it. What they say is that a certain component reproduces some aspects of live sound that they specifically prefer but that someone else might not.

For example: Art Dudley will tolerate certain amounts of coloration if the component gets the timing aspects of the music right but is relatively oblivious to subtleties of soundstage accuracy. J. Gordon Holt, from my own shared experience of listening with him, values flat response, extended LF response and the ability to play loud without distortion above everything. I will sacrifice loudness ability and LF extension in favor of low midrange coloration, accurately defined soundstaging, and the ability to "speak" clearly in the bass.

These are all valid preferences and not one is inherently superior to any other. _All_ are high fidelity.


Quote:
This opens the door to all kinds of tweaks and things, which polarize the audiophile community.

With all due respect, AlexO, this is bullshit.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

bifcake
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Re: A Visit to Mikey's & the Furutech deMag

Hi John,

I don't think that I put words into anyone else's mouth. I wrote what I did based on my understanding of a number of OpEd pieces in Stereophile, including the 'As we See it" in the April issue.

I understand the point you're trying to make, but then the central question remains: If you prefer low midrange coloration at the cost of LF extension, is it still Hi-Fi? If Art prefers timing and liquidity at the cost of anything else, is it still Hi-Fi?

Can we say that as long as OUR aspects of what's important are met, then we are listening to Hi-Fi?

Jan Vigne
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Re: A Visit to Mikey's & the Furutech deMag


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Can we say that as long as OUR aspects of what's important are met, then we are listening to Hi-Fi?

Of course we can. As long as what we are calling HiFi has a resemblance to the real thing. If you're making this up as you go along, that constitutes bullshit. If your purchases are based on "getting a really good deal", then you don't have anything to discuss. If your memories are from your childhood and hearing your neighbor the piano teacher from across the street, then you probably have as much of an idea of what music and therefore what "HiFi" should sound like as you do what it is like to build a house without power tools. If your reference is what another "HiFi" reproduces, then you have no idea what you really want.

If there were no personal preferences at work in music, there would be one single chair at the symphony that would have everyone crowded into its seat. If personal preference did not play into music, then all performers would sound alike as would all instruments and all composers. Alex, your stance is one that follows dup's rants while lacking his basic understanding of live music's nature. What are your references, Alex? What do you hear?

What makes you think what you like is what I should prefer? What makes you believe what you cannot hear I should ignore?

bifcake
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Re: A Visit to Mikey's & the Furutech deMag

My point is that unless we have ALL of the aspects such as LF extension, timing, low midrange coloration, etc, etc, then we're not listening to Hi-Fi. Everything has to come together in order to replicate the experience of a live performance. Otherwise, we just wind up throwing shit at each other saying that my criteria of hi-fi is better than yours.

Jan Vigne
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Re: A Visit to Mikey's & the Furutech deMag


Quote:
Otherwise, we just wind up throwing shit at each other saying that my criteria of hi-fi is better than yours.

No, only those people who truly believe their criteria are better - and absolute - do such things. Those of us who undestand why priorities exist don't bother beating anyone over the head - we just listen to our music and put up with those who think their criteria are absolute.

What if someone doesn't have the pockets to afford "ALL of the aspects such as LF extension, timing, low midrange coloration, etc, etc"? Shouldn't they work within their priorities to achieve what they feel is the best affordable sound quality? How would you suggest they go about this if not by setting priorities?

If someone has deep pockets, wouldn't their experiences with both music and previous audio purchases influence their present day priorities? A puppy grows to be a dog, that doesn't mean there isn't always a lovable puppy inside each mutt.

We all want "ALL of the aspects such as LF extension, timing, low midrange coloration, etc, etc", Alex. How we get there is for each of us to decide. John has just finished a series of reviews on high dollar speakers. Why should he restrict his personal choice to a design that measures "the best" if it is not the system that provides the most pleasure for his tastes?

These are serious questions. Please do not answer me with a repeat of of "we need to have it all". Why should personal priorities not be respected?

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Re: A Visit to Mikey's & the Furutech deMag

I'd like to add to what Jan said some thing that I feel is obvious, but it worth saying none the less. All of these priorities are on a sliding scale. They are not all or nothing propositions. So it makes perfect sense that someone might be willing to give up a bit of "Y" to gain more "Z" and those choices will be based on what else is in their system, room acoustics, musical tastes, AND their personal priorities. We aren't talking about taking a saxophone and making it sound like an oboe, we're talking about subtle nudges. So what's wrong with that?

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Re: A Visit to Mikey's & the Furutech deMag


Quote:
My point is that unless we have ALL of the aspects such as LF extension, timing, low midrange coloration, etc, etc, then we're not listening to Hi-Fi. Everything has to come together in order to replicate the experience of a live performance. Otherwise, we just wind up throwing shit at each other saying that my criteria of hi-fi is better than yours.

You're comparing apples with oranges. Unless the recording is of a live recording, you can't have it be something it isn't. You can only try to replicate the sound in the studio, limited by the recording equipment and the environment. Also, listeners come with their own set of biases about what good sound (music reproduction) is, regardless of the recording. Unfortunately, as far as the hifi hobby is concerned, the "shit-throwing" will never cease.

bifcake
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Re: A Visit to Mikey's & the Furutech deMag

I don't think we're talking about subtleties here. It's a far cry from a single driver Lowther to Wilson Maxx.

I agree that perhaps the source should be the master tape. So, how close are we to the source? What makes hi-fi hifi? Where's the fidelity?

In a way, it is a zero sum game. How close are we to matching the source? What's acceptable deviation?

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Re: A Visit to Mikey's & the Furutech deMag


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I understand the point you're trying to make, but then the central question remains: If you prefer low midrange coloration at the cost of LF extension, is it still Hi-Fi?

Of course.


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If Art prefers timing and liquidity at the cost of anything else, is it still Hi-Fi?

Of course.


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Can we say that as long as OUR aspects of what's important are met, then we are listening to Hi-Fi?

Of course.

It is a given that _all_ audio systems fall short of perfectly accurate reproduction in _all_ aspects. However, it appears that you believe that there must be a ranking of the different sets of departures from accuracy, that one set of those departures must be the closest to the real thing.

What I am trying to get you to understand is that while that is true for everyone of us considered as an individual, it is _not_ true in absolute terms. Gordon's preference is not more "accurate" than mine or Art's and vice versa. Even if 90% of audiophiles expressed agreement with Art's preferred set of audio parameters, that would not make Art's preference more "accurate" than Gordon's.

You seem to be seeking external validation of your own preferences. None is necessary. Our preferences are stages on a journey, not an ultimate goal.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

Jan Vigne
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Re: A Visit to Mikey's & the Furutech deMag

So I say an answer is not just repeating the same tired assertion and you repeat the same tired assertion as the only answer you can come up with?!

Pay attention to what people are telling you, Alex.


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I don't think we're talking about subtleties here. It's a far cry from a single driver Lowther to Wilson Maxx.

No, it is not. To say it is says you don't understand at all why someone would choose one over the other. Do you truly suppose David Wilson never listened to a Lowther when he was thinking about speakers and music?

There is no argument here. Repeating the same thing a dozen times isn't going to change that fact.

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Re: A Visit to Mikey's & the Furutech deMag

to tag onto what JA said, those critical perameters may also change with the individual listener over time. many teen males wanted big thumping bass in their dorm rooms. speaking for myself, years later, i now prefer to know which notes are which on bass guitar and would rather sacrifice some depth for accuracy.
if live music is the touchstone, the same band, group, symphony can sound different on different days or in different venues and again when they are in studio making a recording. which is correct, or correcter? i just don't think their are rights and wrongs.

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Re: A Visit to Mikey's & the Furutech deMag


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to tag onto what JA said, those critical perameters may also change with the individual listener over time.

That's what I was getting at when I referred to one's set of preferences being a stage on a journey rather than the destination.


Quote:
many teen males wanted big thumping bass in their dorm rooms. speaking for myself, years later, i now prefer to know which notes are which on bass guitar and would rather sacrifice some depth for accuracy.

When I was in my 20s, I loved the music of Berlioz. Now I find it overblown and ponderous, despite the wonderful sonorities he gets from the orchestra.


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if live music is the touchstone, the same band, group, symphony can sound different on different days or in different venues and again when they are in studio making a recording. which is correct, or correcter? i just don't think there are rights and wrongs.

An analogy I used in the magazine years ago was to imagine truth or perfectly accurate reproduction as a mountain. Around the skirts of the mountain, at different heights representing their quality, are real-life audio components, _none_ of which is capable of attaining perfection, _all_ falling short, to a greater or lesser extent, in every area of audio performance.

Circling the base of the mountain is the community of audiophiles. We are all looking at the same mountain, but because each of us occupies a different space to the others, we each have a different view of the mountain.

That view is the analog of our set of preferences, and if you consider Gordon Holt and Art Dudley, their preferences are sufficiently different that they could be considered to be on opposite sides of the mountain. Superficially, Art's and Gordon's views are entirely different.

But_it's still the same mountain!_ It is thus meaningless to try to rank their very different views of the mountain; both are correct if limited descriptions of reality.

Like all analogies, this one will break if examined too closely. And as Donovan sang, "First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is." But I hope it illustrates why I feel those who try to impose a ranking on preferences of audio tastes by demanding some be termed "accurate" and others not are not grasping the bigger picture.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

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Re: A Visit to Mikey's & the Furutech deMag


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perhaps the source should be the master tape. So, how close are we to the source? What makes hi-fi hifi? Where's the fidelity?


I agree. It's not possible for "hi-fi" to recreate exactly the experience of being in a venue, mainly for acoustic reasons. Microphones don't always hear the same way as our ears hear, and your room certainly won't be anything like a concert hall or nightclub. Besides, we're talking about gear and playback mediums, not the quality / accuracy of a recording. And we're certainly not talking about musical taste or audio preference.

So in this context, the gold standard is the signal coming off the mixing console. Or off the microphone preamps for a live-to-stereo recording. In that context, we have had the ability to achieve absolute transparency for many years. Even a decent "prosumer" $99 sound card is audibly transparent to audio passing through it. As are numerous under-$500 power amplifiers, and under-$100 CD players.

Of course, not all gear and recording mediums are audibly transparent! Analog tape decks always color the sound at least a little, and LP records and turntables - the subject of this thread - are even worse. It is trivial to hear and measure the degradation from both of those mediums. Yet here we are in the 21st century, and some people still argue that vinyl is somehow "better" than 16/44 digital? Or that you can change the sound of a plastic record with magnets? Maybe in Bizarro World.

--Ethan

PS: I still plan to give JA's before/after magnets CDs a fair listen.

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Re: A Visit to Mikey's & the Furutech deMag


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I don't think we're talking about subtleties here. It's a far cry from a single driver Lowther to Wilson Maxx.

I agree that perhaps the source should be the master tape. So, how close are we to the source? What makes hi-fi hifi? Where's the fidelity?

In a way, it is a zero sum game. How close are we to matching the source? What's acceptable deviation?

Yes, yes, yes, Alex...but..How Do You FEEL?

That is far more important.

Sometimes numbers simply won't relate in any meaningful manner and should be dismissed with regards to importance in the given system of measurement.

And while 'getting down' emotionally and physically with the tunage..you might come up with something that better defines things with regards to origins ..that can be applied to 'measurement'.

But yah gotta relax -- and let the muse do it's job. Otherwise it's all monochromatic numbered and weighted shite of the worst kind.

Let it go, is the point. Just let the freaking thing go, OK?

Just relax and let your ass work the controls.

This is music we speak of. Clarity comes AFTER the consumption, not before or during.

The answers and questions are complex enough that they are not going to be answered in a thread. At the same time they are mind numbingly simple, and can be stated in just a few words. Its the getting there, so that the few words make some sense - that- takes time, and is almost always far more complex than it needs be.

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Re: A Visit to Mikey's & the Furutech deMag


Quote:

if live music is the touchstone, the same band, group, symphony can sound different on different days or in different venues and again when they are in studio making a recording. which is correct, or correcter?

Aren't they all correct? If there was a recording made under each of those changed circumstances shouldn't your stereo reflect those differences?

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Re: A Visit to Mikey's & the Furutech deMag

John,

It sounds like we're on a never ending road to nowhere. We'll never reach the top of the mountain because the road is winding and it has no destination. Come to think of it, there is no mountain.

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Re: A Visit to Mikey's & the Furutech deMag


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John,

It sounds like we're on a never ending road to nowhere. We'll never reach the top of the mountain because the road is winding and it has no destination. Come to think of it, there is no mountain.

To add to JA's quote:

First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is.
The caterpillar sheds his skin to find a butterfly within.

Are you willing to shed some skin? Glad that's cleared up.

KBK
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Re: A Visit to Mikey's & the Furutech deMag

There is an interesting point in the development of a caterpillar moving into being that of a butterfly.

This one messes with people's heads. It's one of those 1000's of anomalous things that simply by all that is human and real, holy and scientific...cannot EVER be. Yet it is.

During the development, there is a moment in time where there is NOTHING in the pupae. Nothing discernible with respects to being organic, alive and mutating.. Not DNA, nothing. Nothing of any kind in the soup in there that is recognizable.

Just one of those things that science refuses to look at. It doesn't fit the model, you see.

And if you wish to move forward in this world in a way that exceeds that of anyone else....it is THESE THINGS that you must stare at intently; the places, the things that the vast majority of people refuse, yet still exist...the places where others fear to go.

One must get past and over one's self.

There are thousands of them, these anomalies...in life, everywhere. Look around. Look past the cows beside and around you in the herd. A matter of fact - forget the herd. They're all the same, anyway. Boring as shit. Open your eyes to what is past them. It's always been there, they even left signs behind, for those who finally develop the eyes to see.

Like 'dark matter', it is the vast majority of the universe that we do NOT understand.

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Re: A Visit to Mikey's & the Furutech deMag


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Come to think of it, there is no mountain.

Then there is...

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

Editor
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Re: A Visit to Mikey's & the Furutech deMag


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Look past the cows beside and around you in the herd. A matter of fact - forget the herd. They're all the same, anyway. Boring as shit. Open your eyes to what is past them. It's always been there, they even left signs behind, for those who finally develop the eyes to see.

I am currently reading Douglas Hofstadter's "I Am A Strange Loop," a book-length essay on this same subject, on how you need to ignore the complexity of the underlying physical phenomena in order to comprehend the reality of the epiphenomena they fuel, with the ultimate epiphenomenon being the concept of self. Which is unmeasurable yet exists. (Or at least I know I do.)

Again, first there is a mountain etc. The music is more than the notes.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

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Re: A Visit to Mikey's & the Furutech deMag


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I am currently reading Douglas Hofstadter's "I Am A Strange Loop," a book-length essay on this same subject, on how you need to ignore the complexity of the underlying physical phenomena in order to comprehend the reality of the epiphenomena they fuel, with the ultimate epiphenomenon being the concept of self. Which is unmeasurable yet exists. (Or at least I know I do.)

Again, first there is a mountain etc. The music is more than the notes.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

Funny you should mention Hofstadter's "I Am A Strange Loop". I've never read the man or met the man, and just heard of him a few months ago. But in the last few weeks or so, that essay he wrote, or whatever's behind it, has helped me to improve the sound of my audio in very satisfying ways. Strangeways indeed.

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Re: A Visit to Mikey's & the Furutech deMag


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Yet here we are in the 21st century, and some people still argue that vinyl is somehow "better" than 16/44 digital? Or that you can change the sound of a plastic record with magnets? Maybe in Bizarro World.

Somehow better? OK, I

smejias
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Re: A Visit to Mikey's & the Furutech deMag

This thread is making me so happy.

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Re: A Visit to Mikey's & the Furutech deMag

Don't matter if it's digital vs vinyl, direct drive vs belt drive (no, not that belt, silly), copper vs silver, tubes vs SS, redbook vs SACD, ... there will always be unapologetic mossbacks on both sides of the debate. Simply a case of, can't see the forest for the trees.

All the tired horses in the sun
How'm I gonna get any ridin' done?
mmmmmmmmmm

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