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Jim Tavegia
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As We See It.

Comments on:
Why Music Matters: Enjoyment, Illusion, and the Audiophile
By Michael Lavorgna
Stereophile October 2010

Michael talks about the

Freako
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Re: As We See It.

In one way or another, I think a large number of really experienced listeners may disagree with your first statement.

By this I mean that, in many ways our ears do actually get fooled by "the equipment". A cheap system may sound great to the owner, because his ears have adjusted to the sound, and another even more obvious case is this: Try to make a large improvement on your system when otherwise being satisfied with it's performance. The first days/weeks you constantly think Wow! This is great!, but after those days/weeks have passed, you are no longer able to "picture" the old sound in your mind. Your ears have adjusted to the new sound. This mechanism may repeat itself for every change you make, improvement or not.

Your statements about added reverb and other gimmicks in the studio, I totally approve of. One may easily claim that the majority of recordings aren't made to be accurate, but to sell, which is a whole other ballgame. Only minorities like us want quality in high numbers, and if the recording companies "weigh" our significance up against the significance of the mainstream buyer, we lose. Thus, the humble assortment of quality recordings. If, on the other hand, the suits in that business were all audiophiles... but no such luck

Also, audio equipment will never really "get there". We might as well get used to the idea, but IMO it has come a long way. The hobby is about enjoying what you've got, and if you're so lucky to have more money to spend, you can experiment with better equipment.

Reading a lot of forums, it gets clear that being able to buy very expensive equipment isn't always heaven. The more expensive the gear gets, the harder it is to make it cooperate in conjunction with the rest of the gear. In other words, the journey gets more complicated, the higher you get on the ladder, and who says they enjoy more than you or me?

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Re: As We See It.


Quote:
Michael talks about the
Buddha
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Re: As We See It.

I think America could behind a change to the tax code wherein the earlier someone gets his issue of Stereophile, the higher his income tax rate.

I'll get back to you guys about this audio topic on the 24th.

Jim Tavegia
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Re: As We See It.

I think that the least Stephen could arrange is for your copy to be the first out the door.

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Re: As We See It.

There is no doubt that we agree on most, but the marketing promise is one that is clearly overstated by many manufacturers and then one gets gear home and become disappointed. We are often promised the "allusion" that never arrives. I never accepted that premise.

I make a point to attend the ASO once a year and to go to at least 4 concerts at Emory University (plus my work) to constantly remind myself what real music sounds like. That makes it clear that there is someting amiss in the music business from "real" and "recreated". Many recreations do sound excellent. Better gear can reveal more from great recordings, but can also make flaws in bad ones unbearable.

I still contend you cannot recreate a real acoustic performance when that was not the intention of the recording engineer. I fear that part of the process is still the weakest link in the chain.

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Re: As We See It.

Woo Hoo!

Got my issue today!

Regarding Mr. Lavorgna's fine piece:

Audiophiles who are forever chasing the illusion of the live event are doomed to audio purgatory.

The moment we install the next "ultimate" piece of the puzzle and are fleetingly enraptured by the illusion...we quickly accomodate to the deception and the chase for the illusion requires us to resume the chase for that sensation all over again. Rinse, lather, repeat. Or is it rinse, blather, repeat?

I agree with Senor Michael - stop when the music becomes enjoyable.

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Re: As We See It.

I don't agree. Clearly. He blames me for being too ambitious. He blames my gear that is only trying to do what it was intended to do...put something in and get something out, but never stops once to critize the recording industry and the crap they send us. Geez!

I have many recordings that DO what Michael says I should not expect, but I have many that fall flat because they are recorded very badly. Some are outright awful.

I'm sorry to offend, but this piece insults me and makes the least amount of sense of any AWSI to date. I know...I probably stand alone, but it is not the first time.

I just listened to 3 very well recorded SACDs that sound real to me. And I don't have any class A gear, or anything close to it.

I also try and listen at realistic levels, but not dangerous ones. If it is a whisper it should be at a whisper level. Compression has ruined most chances for real. That is not my fault or my gear. For those of you who have $50K - $110K in your systems and Michael is right, I feel for you. I really do.

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Re: As We See It.

You are not alone.

Also people tend to drop to their knees whenever a REVIEWER has an opinion. What do reviewers have that we don't? Only an opportunity to listen to many different systems, and that's about it. Oh, I forgot... they can ramble too

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Re: As We See It.

I think this month's AWSI boils down to: "Chill out and enjoy the ride."

"I may be going to Hell in a bucket, babe...

But at least I'm enjoying the ride."

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Re: As We See It.

Wise choice indeed

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Re: As We See It.

Jim,


Quote:
He blames me for being too ambitious. He blames my gear that is only trying to do what it was intended to do...put something in and get something out, but never stops once to critize the recording industry and the crap they send us. Geez!

While there are certainly varying levels of quality in pre-recorded music, there

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Re: As We See It.

More or less, yes. ;-)

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Re: As We See It.

Keld,

I

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Re: As We See It.

I stand corrected, but my claim stays valid anyhow. Cheers...

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Re: As We See It.


Quote:
Please remain sitting


Quote:
I stand corrected

Rebel.

;-)

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Re: As We See It.

That's me in a nutshell

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Re: As We See It.


Quote:
That's me in a nutshell

Well, you know what ya find inside nutshells...

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Re: As We See It.


Quote:
Comments on:
Why Music Matters: Enjoyment, Illusion, and the Audiophile
By Michael Lavorgna
Stereophile October 2010

Michael talks about the

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Re: As We See It.


Quote:
I have been to so very many crappy performances with bad sound, loud audience, poor seats, and the entertainers simply winging it to count. Of the several hundred live performances I have attended over the years I can say with assurance that 3 (three) were magic and the rest simply entertainment...often VERY expensive entertainment.

Shh, I think I hear the world's smallest violin accompanying your post.

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Re: As We See It.

Not if the violinist has ever been to the average live event...The fellow is playing a lamentation for the performance..

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Re: As We See It.


Quote:
Not if the violinist has ever been to the average live event...The fellow is playing a lamentation for the performance..

Far be it from me to stand in the way of the music lover and his distaste for the majority of live music. By all means, enjoy! Oh wait, I mean by all means, wallow!

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Re: As We See It.

If I have a choice between listening to some poorly engineered badly played live music from the so-so seat in the back of the venue while also listening to the idiot next to me smoking with one hand and talking to his ditz significant other on the cell with the other, all for a modest $50-$100 a ticket OR, listening to the same performer on a CD recorded without the noise with the performance optimized for a good seat...I]ll normally opt to save the $80 bucks difference between the 'real' and simply enjoy the Potemkin village...Better sound,better performance, less cost, more comfortable, and no weenie screwing with his phone or polluting the air.

Heresy I say Heresy...but also the truth. Often the 'magic' of the event has little to do with the music and a lot to do with the buds you have with you, how lucky you get later that night, and how potent the bong..The Music is an excuse, not an end. Someplace to take Susie to get lucky and score some primo weed. I am old..I opt for the music.

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Re: As We See It.


Quote:
Of the several hundred live performances I have attended over the years I can say with assurance that 3 (three) were magic...


Quote:
Often the 'magic' of the event has little to do with the music and a lot to do with...how lucky you get later that night...

I'd hate concerts too. ;-)

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Re: As We See It.

But I do speak the truth, or do you pretend the concert is about the music...

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Re: As We See It.

Sheesh JIMV, of course its about music. Did you ever dance?

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Re: As We See It.


Quote:
Sheesh JIMV, of course its about music. Did you ever dance?

Is this:

Perhaps the first s better if one wants to really hear any of that music?

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Re: As We See It.

Of course, those are the only two choices.

JIMV, what music do you like that would require you endure the sort of crowd you pictured?

You don't strike me as a Metal Zone kind of guy.

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Re: As We See It.

If you believe that your concept of sound quality should be the determining factor in other people's level of musical enjoyment you may want to publish a manifesto. Maybe something like "JIMV's Guide to Hating Concerts".

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Re: As We See It.


Quote:
Of course, those are the only two choices.

JIMV, what music do you like that would require you endure the sort of crowd you pictured?

You don't strike me as a Metal Zone kind of guy.

I was tongue and cheeking it in response to the also over the top but funny photo of the 'sweet spot'.

In answer to your question though, I have found the less formal the venue, the more likely to have a less than WOW experience. I also need to note that my comments do not apply to live theater or Opera, just events that are supposedly about the music that turn out to be about the crowd...

I once paid what was a LOT of money for me to hear Dan Fogelberg in conceert in NY...long ago. I was surrounded by drunks talking through the performance. I spent a weeks pay for entrance to an Olivia Newton John Concert on Boston Common about 1980..Again, drunks, LOUD talking, crappy acoustics, and an engineer who had to have his head in a trash can when he set it up..Every second word of the music was either unintelligible or distorted...and all at 100dbs.

The best events...Joan Baez at the Beacon Theater in NY. Lorenna Mckennet at the state theater in Portland Maine. Gordon Lightfoot at Merril hall in the same city.

The best unknowns...a host of performers in Jazz clubs and Piano bars across the country as the performers seemed to care what the performance sounded like.

Worst performance in a great venue...a Female singer at Carnegie...poor seat and bad miking.

Best Performance in a poor venue...Harry Connick in an auditorium in Portland Maine...awful acoustics but a VERY well behaved audience.

Best Play...Phantom with the original cast at her Majesty's theater in London

Best quasi Opera....The Mikado at the NY City Opera

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Re: As We See It.

To my point, I do expect a recorded performance to be as near as possible to an actual musical experience. The idea, as you say, is to have a hifi fool us is contrary to why I have bought my current gear or any of my gear in the first place. I want as accurate presentation of a real instrument in acoustical space as possible. When I have many pieces of recorded music that do that for me and all too many that do not; that in and of itself does not make me or my gear defective

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Re: As We See It.

Jim, I think you have a lovely take on the hobby.

To steal from your last line....

I suspect the day I could make a recording as well as Jim did would be a day for a big party!

I enjoy reading about your experiences and your sharing of knowledge.

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Re: As We See It.


Quote:
One I have played more than any other lately is Manu Katche
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Re: As We See It.

Jim,

I appreciate your thoughtful and thorough response.


Quote:
I still don
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Re: As We See It.


Quote:
I have John Atkinson to thank for this recommendation and I
Jim Tavegia
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Re: As We See It.

Thanks to Robert and Buddha.

I am about to order a pair of Rode NT-1As to move my recordings to another level. I wish I had the green to by a matched pair of AKG 414s, but I don't record enough to justitfy that and since my work is gratis, these will have to do. The uni's will significantly cut down on the HVAC noise. Besides real life hits and the new refrigerator will be the price of one AKG 414. Damn. I hate it when that happens. The Rode's have been reviewed well. They will be a good step up for me.

I have a new practice session with the Wind Ensemble next week to prepare for the November concert. I may at some point be off to the University of Arkansas to record another wind ensemble that Dr. John Bleuel is involved with there. More fun for me and more discs on the way to my reviewers.

These folks are super talented and I appreciate their giving me the opportunity work on my recording craft. We all start somewhere.

And, yes, I can get over the top sometimes and this is one of them. Sorry.

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Re: As We See It.

It is interesting to read so many thoughtful comments by people I enjoy and respect on this topic. What makes it more interesting is how interesting it is given how little I care about "fidelity."

One of the coolest sounds I own in recorded form is that scratchy, tinny, processed guitar strumming on Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here. It sounds crappy, unlike any real guitar, although perhaps like a guitar played over a transistor radio. But every time I hear it, I am moved.

The sad, wistful affect of the song starts as soon as I recognize what is coming. I wait impatiently for the overdubbed acoustic solo. When it comes, clear and actually sounding like a real guitar, the tension and the contrast are breathtaking for me.

So many of my musical highlights are creations of the studio and that is as far as the reality goes. Well, until I fire up my system and give that wonderful fake stuff a listen. 8)

Now I appreciate and understand the concept of fidelity to the original acoustic event, and man it is thrilling to hear well recorded music. But I am more interested in the thrill than the fidelity. It is the neural hack, the way the music moves me that I seek. So much of the music that moves me is not grounded in real time acoustic reality, I do not worry about it much.

This is not at all to dismiss or demean those of you who seek fidelity. I consider you the better hobbyists honestly. My way is certainly not superior, but it is what's important to me.

But please continue the discussion, it is thoughtful and interesting even to those of us who follow our muse in a different direction. And that is way cool.

Trey

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Re: As We See It.


Quote:
I have a new practice session with the Wind Ensemble next week to prepare for the November concert. I may at some point be off to the University of Arkansas to record another wind ensemble that Dr. John Bleuel is involved with there. More fun for me and more discs on the way to my reviewers.

Fun indeed, Jim.


Quote:
These folks are super talented and I appreciate their giving me the opportunity work on my recording craft. We all start somewhere.

Yes indeed. And the more you do, the better you become.


Quote:
And, yes, I can get over the top sometimes and this is one of them. Sorry.

No problem Jim. You have the essential passion without which all human activity becomes gray and soul-less. Better you go over the top occasionally than play it safe all the time.

Hope the new Rode mikes do it for you.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

Jim Tavegia
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Re: As We See It.

John,

Thanks for the kind words. I am looking forward to more recording. I have learned so much already, but I have your recordings to use as a benchmark...and I do.

The photos you have occasionally posted of sessions I have also used to go to "school" with. The Tony Faulkner K622 session photos I have found most interesting. Also, your stroll around the church in Sante Fe as well as your booklet recording comments.

I would be remiss if I also did not thank Teddy Ray for his recommendations on picking up the two John Eargle books on recording. Dated...maybe a little, but still great information to use to get better.

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Re: As We See It.

Dr Trey: I agree that wywh is one of my all time favorites and my diet is usually well recorded jazz from the late 50s through the 70s. The better your system, the crappier that lead-in sounds in contrast and I love it.

Best regards.

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Re: As We See It.

I am carefully reading everyone's comments/ opinions etc. I just wanted to say I absolutely loved this month's As We See It - well written and hope to see more from Michael Lavorgna. I have read most of his previous work in these pages and 6moons etc. and love his style.

Btw, JA responded to Mr. Melein's letter correctly imho - Stereophile is first about audio hardware - second music and third about Sam and Art's totally awesome writing styles!

Fremer for President!

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