Have your say & ask the experts!

Your year in HiFi and Music – 2012

100 replies [Last post]
AlmaataKZ's picture
Offline
Joined: 7 Jan 2009
Posts: 2132

Well, what has happened in the year for you? What were your most important discoveries, observations? What do you remember from the year? New artists/performances/publications impressed you? New products you think are significant? New gear you bought?

Looking back at the year 2012 in Music and HiFi, what are you thinking about?

For me –

I listen to music more than ever and I probably bought 150 quid worth of new music – this was only 2 or 3 complete albums, the rest were individual tracks and most of the purchases were from iTunes. I watched a lot of live concerts on blu-ray and have been following Later on BBC HD. I have been to a dozen or so of live music performances. I got a membership in a Jazz Club – but unfortunately did not use it enough!! Definitely need to improve on that in 2013!

Artists? The significant artist I discovered in 2012 and will be taking with me into the future is Melody Gardot.

In 2012 I stopped buying hi-rez music as I completely lost interest in it – for three reasons – lack of choice, lack of confidence in provenance/quality and lack of difference in sound compared to non hi-rez. So my brief affair with hi-rez is over. Not worth it. (Although I would like iTunes to one day go 16/44 or better)

I stopped my subscriptions to HiFi mags this year. Got tired of uninformative, subjective, meaningless reviews. I also stopped buying HiFi mags. I came to conclusion that it is possible and better to find information on the internet.

I did not buy any hifi gear. Well, apart from an iPad. But I am starting to think about a projector... I also want small active speakers - for the kitchen and bedroom. Maybe next year...

How about you? What were your hifi and music milestones in 2012?

AlmaataKZ's picture
Offline
Joined: 7 Jan 2009
Posts: 2132
RE: Your year in HiFi and Music – 2012

Forgot important thing: I have been to 2 hifi shows in 2012: Scalford and Munich. The resulting conclusion that I made for myself was confirming that most important for the sound are speakers and room and sources do not matter. So speakers should be chosen on objective performance capability, rooms should be addresesd as far as practical for domestic life and sources should be chosen on media formats, functionality and user interface. When you listen to several dozens of systems in succession it becomes very obvious.

DandyCobalt's picture
Offline
Joined: 8 Oct 2010
Posts: 1447
RE: Your year in HiFi and Music – 2012

For 2012 - I properly changed our lounge into a home cinema and hifi room. Ceiling-mounted 2m wide screen, speakers in best position and upgraded my stereo sources - turntable and Cyrus amps/CD. (Oh, and a new L- settee so more of us could watch face-on to the screen)

Result: much better sound, much better picture and Mrs C is even keen to watch stuff on the big screen now.

I remember when she couldn't see the point of a 42" plasma - far too big  Smile

 

__________________

Pioneer tv + LX85, Sony HW15 Proj, Cyrus DAC XP+/Mono X300/CDXTSE2/PSXRx2, Vienna Acoustics Beethoven Baby Grands and Maestro centre, B&W CM1 surrounds /PV1D (9.1), CA BD751, Virgin TiVo, Inspire Rega t/t, Benz Glider MC, EAR 834P phono amp; Slee Novo Headphone Amp.TQ Black.

The_Lhc's picture
Offline
Joined: 16 Oct 2008
Posts: 12617
RE: Your year in HiFi and Music – 2012

But unless you listen to several dozen systems that are all using the same speakers but different sources and amps how can you possibly "know" that it's the speakers that are making the significant differences?

moon's picture
Offline
Joined: 10 Nov 2011
Posts: 871
RE: Your year in HiFi and Music – 2012

Well, really nice post. Pity about the Jazz club, wasn't the 606 was it?

This year I've decided to take a step back from all things Spotify. It has become increasingly unpreditable on all platfroms I use it on, sometimes working, sometimes not... updates etc. To the point of really annoying me. This may be odd but it is sometimes hard to choose tracks amoungst all those millions. I may use the non paying version as a quick guide, but for me its time is up. 

Instead I am going  to concentrate on buying CD's of artists I really like, having the hard copy and yes using a (gasp) CD player. CD quality is all I ever needed. There is something nice and simple about just putting on a CD, no software issues and really good sound quality.

Other things I discovered are that Philips made rather good Cd players back in the day. I have two, one broke on me but sounded lush. The new one is fully operational.

Another discovery is that Tannoy make remarkably good speakers. The V1's are mind bogglingly good for £98. 

Listening also to a lot of good quality radio via Tune-in .  Linn, Classic Rock Lounge, Radio 2,3 and 4, loads of electronic stations.

 

If I had to pick my most listened to album of  the year it would be difficult. I love Jeff Beck-live at Ronnies. or the Shins-Wincing the night away, Wonky by Orbital(using all their old synths) lovely. Even listened to Dream Theater- A dramatic turn of events(for the remarkable drumming). excellent!

__________________

 

plastic penguin's picture
Offline
Joined: 28 Apr 2008
Posts: 15588
RE: Your year in HiFi and Music – 2012

When it comes to my system, I am hugely critical. I've learned I have to STOP criticising a wonderful kit.

__________________

Amp: Leema Pulse; Source: Naim CD5i-2, Denon 260MKII, Pro-ject XP I; Speakers: PMC TB2i

 

Formerly known as plastic penguin

AlmaataKZ's picture
Offline
Joined: 7 Jan 2009
Posts: 2132
RE: Your year in HiFi and Music – 2012

The_Lhc wrote:

But unless you listen to several dozen systems that are all using the same speakers but different sources and amps 

[/quote]

 

Have not tried that and don't think I will ever be able to!

 

The_Lhc wrote:

... how can you possibly "know" that it's the speakers that are making the significant differences?

 

It is very obvious. As you move from room to room you observe the change of sound and you feel it is the speakers/room. First you notice the overall character of sound. then you analyse it - Is the bass clean or boomy? is it too loud for the capability? distorted or clean? dynamic enough? harsh? is the stereo effect good? it all comes from the speakers. sometimes a system just screams 'I boom! a lot!' or 'I can't handle that volume level' or 'I am loud, clean and accurate'. the difference between the sources is negligible in comparison. Try it. e.g. Scalford - highly recommended and so eye opening.

richardw42's picture
Offline
Joined: 2 May 2010
Posts: 1777
RE: Your year in HiFi and Music – 2012

Discovered AVI. 

ADM40s in the lounge paired with a Sonos ZP90, replaced loads of boxes. 

ADM9RSS in TV room, now 2.1 instead of 5.1 (didn't see that coming). So simplification has been the big thing this year. 95% of music listening at home is Spotify, probably my single best purchase. And streaming movies rather than spending loads on Blu rays I might watch once or twice. I do still buy BDs like DKR that will be watched multiple times. 

Ive got a good sized spare room and would like a proper home cinema (PJ etc)

__________________

TV room : Samsung 60" plasma-ATV3, -AVI ADM40, DM5 in 4.0,/Sonos ZP90,, Sky using Sonos for On Demand, PS4, Sony BDP S570 thru a Yamaha RXV3067. 

HiFi : Sonos ZP90 - AVI ADM9 RSS + AVI SUB

Bedrooms : 2 x Sonos Play 3

IPad Air for Sonos & Spotify / AKG K551

AlmaataKZ's picture
Offline
Joined: 7 Jan 2009
Posts: 2132
RE: Your year in HiFi and Music – 2012

moon wrote:

Well, really nice post. Pity about the Jazz club, wasn't the 606 was it?

This year I've decided to take a step back from all things Spotify. It has become increasingly unpreditable on all platfroms I use it on, sometimes working, sometimes not... updates etc. To the point of really annoying me. This may be odd but it is sometimes hard to choose tracks amoungst all those millions. I may use the non paying version as a quick guide, but for me its time is up. 

Instead I am going  to concentrate on buying CD's of artists I really like, having the hard copy and yes using a (gasp) CD player. CD quality is all I ever needed. There is something nice and simple about just putting on a CD, no software issues and really good sound quality.

Other things I discovered are that Philips made rather good Cd players back in the day. I have two, one broke on me but sounded lush. The new one is fully operational.

Another discovery is that Tannoy make remarkably good speakers. The V1's are mind bogglingly good for £98. 

Listening also to a lot of good quality radio via Tune-in .  Linn, Classic Rock Lounge, Radio 2,3 and 4, loads of electronic stations.

 

If I had to pick my most listened to album of  the year it would be difficult. I love Jeff Beck-live at Ronnies. or the Shins-Wincing the night away, Wonky by Orbital(using all their old synths) lovely. Even listened to Dream Theater- A dramatic turn of events(for the remarkable drumming). excellent!

 

It's the Ronnies...

I really need soem good internet radio stations incl electronica. Any you can recommend? What the V1s are like?

ID.
ID.'s picture
Offline
Joined: 22 Feb 2010
Posts: 1321
RE: Your year in HiFi and Music – 2012

party time! Added a subwoofer for stereo listening  rockin out

That made a BIG difference, especially to my electronic music with lots of sub-bass.

Needed new speaker cables to incorporate the sub so replaced pricey copper cable for cheap silver cable (and silver banana plugs) without it getting bright.

__________________

Desk-Fi: Mac Mini - NuForce Icon HDP - Fostex PM0.4n - Audio Technica ATH900x - Sennnheiser HD595 - Grado SR80i

Bedroom system: Esoteric RZ-1 - PMC DB1i / iPod Classic - Onkyo NDS1000 - Firestone Audio FUBAR IV

Cass's picture
Offline
Joined: 31 Mar 2008
Posts: 64
RE: Your year in HiFi and Music – 2012

I got into streaming this year, through my purchase of a Squeezebox Touch.  I listened to nothing but that for a few months, but have to admit I’ve recently drifted back to my CD player, as I find the sound is just that bit better – maybe the SBT’s DAC isn’t quite up to it?  One thing I do have to thank the SBT for is my discovery of Radio Paradise, which I love.  I stick it on most evenings.  I’d say I enjoy listening to it more than my own music collection, just for the pleasure of discovering excellent new (to me) music.

__________________

Marantz CD6002 / Logitech Squeezebox Touch / NAD C326BEE / Mordaunt-Short Avant MS 902i / Chord Carnival Silverscreen

The_Lhc's picture
Offline
Joined: 16 Oct 2008
Posts: 12617
RE: Your year in HiFi and Music – 2012

AlmaataKZ wrote:

The_Lhc wrote:

But unless you listen to several dozen systems that are all using the same speakers but different sources and amps

... how can you possibly "know" that it's the speakers that are making the significant differences?

It is very obvious. As you move from room to room you observe the change of sound and you feel it is the speakers/room.

But why do you "feel" that? What's the basis for that conclusion? There's no way you can determine that it's solely down to speakers.

Quote:
First you notice the overall character of sound. then you analyse it - Is the bass clean or boomy? is it too loud for the capability? distorted or clean? dynamic enough? harsh? is the stereo effect good? it all comes from the speakers. sometimes a system just screams 'I boom! a lot!' or 'I can't handle that volume level' or 'I am loud, clean and accurate'.

Your'e missing my point, I know how to identify differences in sound but how do you know it's solely down to the speakers? In every room the speakers AND the amps will be different, as will the room, which could be as large a factor as anything else (I've been to a number of shows and the exhibitors always moan about the room they've been given!), how many times do we see people here saying they loved a speaker or system in the demo room but it didn't work when they got it home?

I'm not necessarily disagreeing with your conclusion btw, I'm just trying to say that your listening sessions at shows have so many different variables it's impossible to arrive at your conclusion without a lot more listening using a common amp, more than one in fact, you'd have to listen to a number of speakers on the same amp, decide which ones you like and then listen to them again on a different amp to see if you can hear a difference. If you can't THEN you can say it's primarily the speakers that make the difference but if you DO hear a difference your suggestion is dead in the water.

But you can't just walk into a room with a system you've never heard before and "feel" that it's the speakers making the difference.

Richard Allen's picture
Offline
Joined: 9 Jan 2010
Posts: 482
RE: Your year in HiFi and Music – 2012

AlmaataKZ wrote:

moon wrote:

Well, really nice post. Pity about the Jazz club, wasn't the 606 was it?

This year I've decided to take a step back from all things Spotify. It has become increasingly unpreditable on all platfroms I use it on, sometimes working, sometimes not... updates etc. To the point of really annoying me. This may be odd but it is sometimes hard to choose tracks amoungst all those millions. I may use the non paying version as a quick guide, but for me its time is up. 

Instead I am going  to concentrate on buying CD's of artists I really like, having the hard copy and yes using a (gasp) CD player. CD quality is all I ever needed. There is something nice and simple about just putting on a CD, no software issues and really good sound quality.

Other things I discovered are that Philips made rather good Cd players back in the day. I have two, one broke on me but sounded lush. The new one is fully operational.

Another discovery is that Tannoy make remarkably good speakers. The V1's are mind bogglingly good for £98. 

Listening also to a lot of good quality radio via Tune-in .  Linn, Classic Rock Lounge, Radio 2,3 and 4, loads of electronic stations.

 

If I had to pick my most listened to album of  the year it would be difficult. I love Jeff Beck-live at Ronnies. or the Shins-Wincing the night away, Wonky by Orbital(using all their old synths) lovely. Even listened to Dream Theater- A dramatic turn of events(for the remarkable drumming). excellent!

 

It's the Ronnies...

I really need soem good internet radio stations incl electronica. Any you can recommend? What the V1s are like?

Try www.181.fm . I love it. Loadsa different styles of music. If you've got broadband of at least 2.5meg then you'll be fine. cheer

__________________

Richard Allen.

Arcaydis.

BigColz's picture
Offline
Joined: 18 Jun 2012
Posts: 300
RE: Your year in HiFi and Music – 2012

I'd have to disagree. I've spent the last 6 months trying to get the sound I want with different speakers and It's def not happening.. The presentation of the amp is the most significant of anything IMO.. I've got the source i'm very happy with and think i've found the amp I want, once I have it I will match speakers to that.. I think if you get the amp presentation you like you can only really fine tune the sound with to suit you with speakers.. I will def be adding a sub in 2013 too

__________________

Electrocompaniet PI 2 | Naim ND5 XS | Chord Epic | ProAc Studio 115

BigColz's picture
Offline
Joined: 18 Jun 2012
Posts: 300
RE: Your year in HiFi and Music – 2012

BigColz wrote:

I'd have to disagree. I've spent the last 6 months trying to get the sound I want with different speakers and It's def not happening.. The presentation of the amp is the most significant of anything IMO.. I've got the source i'm very happy with and think i've found the amp I want, once I have it I will match speakers to that.. I think if you get the amp presentation you like you can only really fine tune the sound with to suit you with speakers.. I will def be adding a sub in 2013 too

 

Sorry that was a grammatical nightmare.. Not sure what happened but i'm sure you can de-code it  Wink

__________________

Electrocompaniet PI 2 | Naim ND5 XS | Chord Epic | ProAc Studio 115

audioaddict's picture
Offline
Joined: 1 Nov 2011
Posts: 410
RE: Your year in HiFi and Music – 2012

sold my audiolab system , 8000series mono blocs 8000 cd player arcam t32 tuner and bought a marantz cr603 last week and so far have not regretted it one bit. in fact im enjoying my music again , and.for what ? 389 quid. im chuffed  Tongue

__________________

marantz cr603 ;bowers and wilkins cm1 technics sl 1200mk2 pro-ject phono box silver anniversary speaker cable