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Budget repalcement amp for classical - advice please

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CnoEvil's picture
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RE: Budget repalcement amp for classical - advice please

Phileas wrote:

I'm talking very high probabilities.

Another issue is that I don't want to waste time and money "experimenting", I want to get to the best solution in the most efficient manner.

This of course is your prerogative,  but it's a view that accounts for a lot of the arguments between the people who have heard something, and people telling them they couldn't have, citing "high probability"  as the reason.

Anyway, I've taken this topic enough off course, so apologies to the OP.

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RE: Budget repalcement amp for classical - advice please

CnoEvil wrote:

busb wrote:

I come from an era when the goal of a HiFi system was to get as close to the original sound as possible. It now appears that anything goes. We now collectively advise people by asking them what sort of music they listen to. I personally find this question absurd. I listen to all sorts of music rather than exclusively rock, pop, classical or jazz. I suspect I'm not alone in my broad tastes, in fact, I'd suggest most people listen to more than a single genre with opposing challenges to many speakers & some amps.

If hifi and the interpretation of music could be distilled down to "one sound fits all". how simple and boring it would be. Absurd as it may be, people like different presentations, and different brands sound different.....which one is right.....all?......none?

The reality that exists, is that it is vital to find out what a person likes before making a recommendation, otherwise he will be back on complaining that the sound is too bright / dull / smooth / boomy. There isn't a week that goes by that there isn't complaints of this nature.

There is no point in recommending Cyrus to a person who would prefer Valves and vica versa. I think your "science brain" wants to rationalize this in a logical way....but this has to be viewed with the much harder to fathom "art brain", which is about personal taste and not necessarily cold logic.

I don't think you can ever role out one's own taste as a blueprint for everyone else......frustrating as this may be.

 

Actually, I don't completely disagree with you. If someone held a gun to my head, demanding to know if I was an objectivist or subjectivist, I'd answer the latter (well, most of the time)! For instance, I have grave doubts regarding the effectiveness of ABX testing done over any period less than a week due to the fact that short-term memory is too unreliable & the lack of control over false negatives skewing the results.

My new amp has hilighted one aspect of presentation relavent to this thread that might be considered to contradict my statement regarding asking people what sort of music they listened to as being absurd. The Primare takes no prisoners regarding recording quality. This means about 70% of my music sounds stunning - fabulous detail, imaging & depth, extremely well-controlled bass, natural mids & treble like I never heard before. The other 30% now sounds worse: distorted, compressed or far too bright. It's a matter of choice whether one is willing to tolerate a not insignificant part of one's collection sounding sub-optimal but good recordings sounding breathtaking or smoothing out the warts but rounds the edges off the good.

Perhaps we need to ask a different question of those asking for advice - do you want realism that will also highlight poor recordings or do want something that will be less revealing & often less exciting with decent stuff?

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RE: Budget repalcement amp for classical - advice please

busb wrote:

Actually, I don't completely disagree with you. If someone held a gun to my head, demanding to know if I was an objectivist or subjectivist, I'd answer the latter (well, most of the time)! For instance, I have grave doubts regarding the effectiveness of ABX testing done over any period less than a week due to the fact that short-term memory is too unreliable & the lack of control over false negatives skewing the results.

My new amp has hilighted one aspect of presentation relavent to this thread that might be considered to contradict my statement regarding asking people what sort of music they listened to as being absurd. The Primare takes no prisoners regarding recording quality. This means about 70% of my music sounds stunning - fabulous detail, imaging & depth, extremely well-controlled bass, natural mids & treble like I never heard before. The other 30% now sounds worse: distorted, compressed or far too bright. It's a matter of choice whether one is willing to tolerate a not insignificant part of one's collection sounding sub-optimal but good recordings sounding breathtaking or smoothing out the warts but rounds the edges off the good.

Perhaps we need to ask a different question of those asking for advice - do you want realism that will also highlight poor recordings or do want something that will be less revealing & often less exciting with decent stuff?

You my friend, are suffering from cognitive dissonance.  shifty

The fact you originally chose Celestion SL6s, tells me that you have a side that listens with your heart, rather than your head.....they are lovely speakers, but imo, not exactly neutral.

I think the right kit hides little, but doesn't make bad recordings worse......if you don't believe me, try and get a listen to the AMS35i, which imo loses nothing in detail, but is always musical. My view, which I have been stating a lot recently, is that it's due to the removal of switching distortion.

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RE: Budget repalcement amp for classical - advice please

Interesting thread!

- I had Quad 306+34  * * * * *   (for 20 yrs silk sound, but  you must add some tool for headphone),

- Yam AS500 * * (  only for a week, same impressions like you)

- Yam700 * * * * ( better, smooter than 500)  

- and now  Marantz 6004  * * * * * (liquid sound);

here some interesting links for you, sorry but they are in french...   Laughing :

http://www.audiophilefr.com/Site/ecoutes/index.php 

http://www.audiophilefr.com/Site/ecoutes/index.php

Perhaps we need to ask a different question of those asking for advice - do you want realism that will also highlight poor recordings or do want something that will be less revealing & often less exciting with decent stuff?

Interesting point: I was hearing to  a  "1 m long shelf  of vinil LP"  ( a present from my brother) and, after a recording SQ based  selection,  now the shelf occupation is 50 cm...   Cry

 

 

 

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RE: Budget repalcement amp for classical - advice please

I think that Matthewpiano seems to find all of his recorcdings acceptable and yet when he went on to to the Gramophone Forum and posted a thread asking about peoples HIFI gear, he found that many of the respondees had isuues with string tone in chamber music. Far less so in concertos. When I listen at home and am disapointed with the sound of a violin or cello, it's based upon what I expect it to sound like from having been to a concert. For example, I often go to Snape Maltings (15 mins away) so I am aware of what an instrument sounds like. I do not however expect it to sound as good. If you look on the Gramophone Forum, you will find the biggest discontent is sound quality, every recording is analysed and compared.  The problem is that chamber music, seems to be really hard to get right. I have an expensive system, which I took some care in choosing, but i wonder if there was really any point. What you need is guidance from experts who actually understand where you are coming from, not people who tell you that you are not actually listening properly. I am thinking of exploring the valve amplification route, but am concerned about longevity/reliability. Vintage/second hand is also an option. As a word of caution, I would strongly advise anyone who listens to classical, not to buy the latest best buy budget product (not that I ever have). It is a specialised and minority interest and most of the current contemporary solutions are imensely inadequate.

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RE: Budget repalcement amp for classical - advice please
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RE: Budget repalcement amp for classical - advice please

Phileas wrote:

I can't believe a properly designed and made amplifier of any kind would cause a string quartet to sound shrill in way it wasn't supposed to.

Poor loudspeakers could, but cse says string quartets sound OK on radio although  I'm not sure what he means by that - FM tuner or tranny?

I also don't understand the bit about quartets sounding a couple of octaves too high!

Well if you don't understand the issue of the music not sounding right, it's difficult to understand the point of your contributions.

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RE: Budget repalcement amp for classical - advice please

the record spot wrote:

String quartets sounding shrill on hifi?  I will accede that some steroe gear can be brighter sounding and partnering too much of that together is probably a bad idea, but blanket statements like "hifi can't do string quartets" is off the pace I think.  No idea what CSE is expecting, or what gear he is using, but I'd be inclined to disagree with his views here.  

I think you notice that I've already stated 'what gear I am using'. What CSE is expecting is to enjoy the experience. What actual expertise can you bring to the table?

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RE: Budget repalcement amp for classical - advice please

[quote=francophile]

I am interested also in your comments about string quartet and piano performances: it was listening the Takacs Quartet's Decca 2001 recording of Beethoven's Op 59 no.1 that partly turned me against the Yamaha amp: wonderful playing but the 'brightness' of the upper registers of Edward Dusinberre's violin was not pleasant to hear, not something I could live with.   Op.59 no.2 - where there are more passages in the upper register of the first violin - was to my ears  better handled on my old Arcam Alpha 3 - 'better' here means with greater equanimity & balanced delivery, albeit with rather less clarity and immediacy.  

 

I also have this Beethoven set and whilst not the greatest culprit, is not a warm enough recording to my ears.

 

.

 

 

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RE: Budget repalcement amp for classical - advice please

I have never said that every recording is acceptable.  That is ridiculous.  I'm talking about the way in which my own particular system (which you have not heard) handles recordings with which I am very familiar.  Certain allowances have to be made with some recordings due to their age or the circumstances in which they were recorded and you just can't blame this on the equipment.  You will never find any hi-fi system which makes every recording sound wonderful, no matter what genre of music you listen to.  The very nature of recorded classical music, and the fact that some of the greatest recordings were made using an acoustic rather than electric process, and/or before stereo sound became the norm, means that we often have to listen through the sound quality in order to enjoy a great performance.  Likewise there are some early digital recordings which are always going to have an edge to them, but you can't just abandon the music making contained within.

You appear to view those of us who listen to classical music as belonging to some sort of exclusive club and that being able to list certain experiences makes one more worthy.  Sorry but this is rubbish.  I could reel off a whole load of reasons why I'm qualified to discuss these issues but ultimately it is about enjoyment and sharing the music.  Emphasising the 'specialised' and 'minority' nature of classical music listening only serves to reinforce elitism.  There are lots of people out there who enjoy the western classical repertoire and there is plenty of equipment out there on which listening to it is perfectly enjoyable.  Nobody, irrespective of the styles of music they listen to, should jump into buying the 'latest best buy product' as it can cause disatisfaction whether you listen to Monteverdi or Maroon 5.

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RE: Budget repalcement amp for classical - advice please

[quote=matthewpiano]

I have never said that every recording is acceptable.  You appear to view those of us who listen to classical music as belonging to some sort of exclusive club and that being able to list certain experiences makes one more worthy. 

 

Can you actually analyse any classical recordings that you own that you don't enjoy? If you can't I'm not sure that you are able to empathise with the problem.

Listening to classical music is elitist, separate and more worthy. It is highbrow and that it why I enjoy it. It is capable of exploring greater emotional and intellectual depths than rock/folk or pop. This is a minority view, hense it not mainstream. I'm not particularly bothered that you find it arrogant because I believe that I am right and you are wrong. Hardly anybody in percentage terms, knows anything about classical music or spends any extended amount of time listening to it.

 

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RE: Budget repalcement amp for classical - advice please

cse wrote:

I think you notice that I've already stated 'what gear I am using'. What CSE is expecting is to enjoy the experience. What actual expertise can you bring to the table?

 

Umm, your point is?  Oh I see, it's a flag waving thing, well okay then.  I've been listening to music of all kinds on all manner of systems for coming up on 40 years now.  I've been to any number of concerts, rock, jazz, classical, have friends who are professional musicians in the SCO, the BBC Wales Orchestra, and the Halle.  They all play the violin and I've heard them play not only in concert, but while they're rehaearsing when we've been on holiday.   Another friend is a good friend of Wynton Marsalis and I've heard him play piano in his dressing room at the Usher Hall as well as on stage.

Concerts?  The SCO, the RSNO, a string quartet (the name escapes me) in Edinburgh, the LA Phil, the St Petersburg Phil, Scottish Opera's version of Wagner's Ring Cycle between 2001 and 2004 and a stack of others in Edinburgh, Glasgow and London, plus one at Verona's Opera House.  

 In short, I know what a ***ing violin sounds like.

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RE: Budget repalcement amp for classical - advice please

cse wrote:

Phileas wrote:

I can't believe a properly designed and made amplifier of any kind would cause a string quartet to sound shrill in way it wasn't supposed to.

Poor loudspeakers could, but cse says string quartets sound OK on radio although  I'm not sure what he means by that - FM tuner or tranny?

I also don't understand the bit about quartets sounding a couple of octaves too high!

Well if you don't understand the issue of the music not sounding right, it's difficult to understand the point of your contributions.

I'm sorry if my remarks offended you in any way. I'm not trying to suggest I know better than you what a violin sounds like because I'm sure I don't. What I'm saying is that I don't believe any half decent amplifier is able to make a violin sound wrong and that the problem must lie somewhere else.

You say strings sound OK on your radio. Is this the Bose Wave radio? 

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RE: Budget repalcement amp for classical - advice please

the record spot wrote:

cse wrote:

I think you notice that I've already stated 'what gear I am using'. What CSE is expecting is to enjoy the experience. What actual expertise can you bring to the table?

 

Umm, your point is?  Oh I see, it's a flag waving thing, well okay then.  I've been listening to music of all kinds on all manner of systems for coming up on 40 years now.  I've been to any number of concerts, rock, jazz, classical, have friends who are professional musicians in the SCO, the BBC Wales Orchestra, and the Halle.  They all play the violin and I've heard them play not only in concert, but while they're rehaearsing when we've been on holiday.   Another friend is a good friend of Wynton Marsalis and I've heard him play piano in his dressing room at the Usher Hall as well as on stage.

Concerts?  The SCO, the RSNO, a string quartet (the name escapes me) in Edinburgh, the LA Phil, the St Petersburg Phil, Scottish Opera's version of Wagner's Ring Cycle between 2001 and 2004 and a stack of others in Edinburgh, Glasgow and London, plus one at Verona's Opera House.  

 In short, I know what a ***ing violin sounds like.

You obviously mix in very high circles. I don't. However, I do find the reproduction of chamber music in my listeng room to be very disappointing, unlikely to be resolved with a Denon amp.

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RE: Budget repalcement amp for classical - advice please

IMO. Telling people they are wrong or mistaken, for liking what what they like, is a totally fruitless excercise (and winds them up no end).

If Cse has a problem, then he has a problem. I am more interested in helping him solve it, than going into what other people are happy with....as they don't have a problem.

Cse, may I be so bold as to suggest that you start a new thread on this, to see what ideas come forward.....I have a strong suspicion that you may have to start over again, if you are to truly get what you are looking for.

Cno

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