I've been through the tweakers mill thanks CJSF, it's fine if it's your hobby, go enjoy. What endless (short or long) time investment won't do will change my view on the sound I like (which I have) or how to go about getting it (which I know how to achieve). In short, I'm there and I take advantage of the technology to deliver a music system that delivers on several fronts with no loss in quality as a consequence.
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I don't really agree with this concept of the 'old way' and the 'new way'. There has always been those people who care about sound and those who don't and there has always been a range of equipment to cater for different tastes.
I don't think the school of constant adjustment is a necessary part of running a satisfying hi-fi system either, and it certainly shouldn't be seen as some 'old way' that is somehow right. There is nothing wrong with this approach if you enjoy it, but one of the advantages of modern technology for many people is that you can set a system up carefully in the first place and then enjoy it for a long time to come without having to get dragged into any maintenance. For many people it isn't a 'need' at all. Quite often I'm very tired when I get to sit down and listen to my music and, most of the time, that really is all I want to do. I spend all day at work listening intently to pianos - discussing the differences between makes and models between customers, working with technicians and voicers to prepare each instrument to give its best - and I don't want to feel that I 'need' to do this to get the best out of my listening at home.
I don't know if "old way vs new way" is the best way to describe it, but there has been a paradigm shift from TT + Amp (usually with less power) + Large Sealed Speakers; to the Digital Source + Amp (often higher power) + Narrow Reflex WAF Speakers .
The sound produced by these approaches is quite different, and I for one am not arrogant enough to say that my preference is the right one.....the main thing is to understand the difference and know your preference.
"Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again." André Gide
Was this the Yamaha A-S500? (After the A-S700 received criticism from WHF for being too smooth/soft.)
I remember talk of it (the A-S500) being especially tweaked/voiced against other amps for the UK market.
That wasn't the product I was referring to, but I certainly don't think what I've heard about is a one off. As I say, it's one possible explanation for what Cno has perceived, a trend towards brighter, more forward components.
HiFi / A/V / Bedroom
One of the trends I find difficult to understand is the one for over bloated bass. I've heard more than my fair share of modern kit that really seems to overdo this part of the frequency range and I personally find it virtually impossible to listen to. Maybe it suits a lot of people, and I'm one of the few, and maybe it just doesn't suit the music I listen to, but to me it doesn't sound at all like most live music.
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What's so good about a system that needs constant attention/maintenance/tweaking to sound right?
Seems like such a system is fundamentally wrong in some way and that hundreds of little sticking plasters are not providing the cure.
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There will always be tweekers, and people who can't understand the need to do so.....and it doesn't just apply to Hifi.
I see the point Matthew . . . however, as I have already said, I view 'my system' as organic, this applies to a lesser or greater degree to analogue systems in general. I'd be very surprised if you do not see this with your pianos, they need care, some perhaps more than others, its interesting you have voicing issues, just as I see in hifi. Those that dont get the after attention will end up in a sorry state?
Minimum maintenance is a must for turn tables, unsuspended obviously require less than suspension equipped. I like tickling my system, but it does have periods where it needs no attention, a Rega, so needs a minimum of attention. Today, I’ve been listening since 1 o'clock, the minor adjustment took 10 minutes. I'm currently listening to Syd Lawrence playing a Glen miller tribute, the quality of this 1970 recording is superb. An orchestral sound quality made possible by my 10 minutes attention to detail earlier this afternoon.
I consider the various substances a hifi system/TT are made from, change over their life to a lesser or greater degree, needing a check every so often at the least. The moving of speakers because of domestic requirements, my own TT was poorly mounted, (my fault entirely) it has taken a lot of fettling to get it right . . . I enjoyed this process of course, still a work in progress, resulting eventually in a totally new support system. Modern thinking is 'plug and play' bourn of digital systems. However, maintenance is essential, even if its only unplugging and re connecting phono plugs every few weeks to keep them clean.
I drive a taxi for a living, like you Matthew, when I park up on Friday night I dont want anything to do with motors until Monday, thats how its been this weekend! I'll take a bus or walk in preference, but I still have my cab maintained as prescribed to maintain its performance and reliability.
Incidentally, I've not played this Syd Lawrence, Phillips album for over 20 years . . . its brilliant, I'm sitting here, speaker either side, it feels like I am right in the middle of the orchestra
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Matthew, I'm in your camp, one of the few . . . a good base line has a tune and notation, for me it can be strong but has to be clean and musical.
To the OP, how does one even prove that argument?
And even if you can, yeah?
Rest is just opinion, and after all that's all this hobby is about, that's all music is too thankfully.
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I agree with you 100%. I studied music up to MMus level and there were times when I got caught up in the academic world of value judgements about music. A few years on, whilst I still believe that every period of music has musicians who innovate and those who consolidate, I think it is wrong to try to make value judgements about them. Both types have their place, just as all music has its place if somebody out there somewhere enjoys it, whether as a performer, listener or both.
Can I still make a value judgment about 'One Direction' :quest:
We all see, and hear the world differently... that's part of what makes us individual. So if for example a test was done, and one person said they could tell the difference between two sets of cables, and what they think sounds 'better' or 'clearer' ... then it does, to them!
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You could talk to the designers/engineers from Arcam, Sudgen, MF, Rega, Naim, AVI, Marantz, Cambridge Audio (and half a dozen others) and get an entire spectrum of highly experienced, highly qualified opinions on what makes a great hifi system. Many of these opinions will conflict and this is a good thing.
It leads to the diversity of 'solutions' to the problem of making great sounding hi-fi that we all enjoy.
Without any formal education in audio electronics, how are you or I to decide on the best sounding solution from all those different approaches? They will all be qualified and plausible and will all have data and test documentation to back up their individual philosophies.
I might sit in a room talking with Roy Gandy and Terry Bateman* (of Rega Research) and leave absolutely convinced that only Rega have the right engineering approach. The next day I might sit in a room and talk to the team from Naim (or Cambridge Audio or whoever) and leave convinced that only their engineers really know what they are talking about.
That's the problem with unqualified people like you and I. The qualified professionals who do this stuff for a living are all going to be really persuasive.
So it all, ultimately, comes down to things like listening for ourselves, budget, features, design, perceived build quality. (Things we can understand.)
*I'd love to chat to these two over a pint
Completely untrue. Different opinions yes. Ideas focusing on improving different areas yes. The building blocks are all the same however. Also engineers are notoriously unconvincing. They tend not to have the gift of the gab. Cable makers and hi fi salesmen on the other hand.
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I doubt that. Based on my experience with both Harman's free online Audiophile training software and a distortion test (used by audiophiles on another forum) I found (as did the other audiophiles who tried them) that the first time you took the test you did far worse than on subsequent tests when you had practiced. Generally, the more you practiced to detect differences, the better you became at identyfing them. That is totally different from understanding and communucating them. I became significantly better at identifying differences with practice and training.
No. You are getting better are the tests because you are practicing the tests. You are training yourself at tests. Not the same thing by a long way. If you concentrate on one thing there is if anything an increased likelyhood that you are not concentrating on the rest. If anything you are likely to make yourself worse off when evaluating the whole. Happens alot. Read a hi fi mag. Convince yourself you understand more about hi fi because you have read about bass extension, punch and detail, then go out and listen for them and end up buying a system that sounds like a bag of £^$%^ because you bought something that ticked some boxes more obviously than other systems. If you'd gone into a a hifi store clueless and just listened though.
As far as i'm aware, nobody has ever successfully and consistently identified one cable from another, one amp from another, etc etc, in a blind test.
That's not true. Persons have been able to do so. John Atkinson and Michael Fremmer (Both from a major US review mag) have both spoken about taking part in DBT of amps and scoring 4/5 and 5/5 respectively. However, their scores were deemed to be statiscally insignificant, since the other listeners scored poorly.
So while the conclusion of the test is that users were not able to differentiate between amps under blind conditions, the fact that the 2 HiFi experts in the test were able to do so is really interesting IMO.
So it is true then
There was a link to a trial with cables a while back. Of the 20 odd people that tested the same cables 3 or 4 posted proudly that they had correctly guessed. It looked like people could do it. Did it mean anything? Of course it didn't as the others couldn't and they were more sluggish to reveal what happened to them. Read the reports of all the people who failed? No of course you haven't. Broken clock right twice a day rubbish.
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