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Cypher's picture
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RE: Vintage gear

Matthewpiano,

I think the problem is you, not the gear. You will never be satisfied with any gear you buy. 

No offence but I think that's the problem. 

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RE: Vintage gear

Cypher wrote:

Matthewpiano,

I think the problem is you, not the gear. You will never be satisfied with any gear you buy. 

No offence but I think that's the problem. 

There's a few of us who are guilty of that :doh:

Auralic Aries Mini - Marantz SA8005 - Marantz PM6005 - Little Dot Mk.II - Tannoy Revolution DC4T

Sennheiser HD540II - Musical Fidelity MF-200

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RE: Vintage gear

 

 

There's great vintage gear out there, and some bloody awful stuff as well (but sadly Rose-tinted memories of such equipment seems to generate absurd mass hysteria on the web)

 

As mentioned longevity of the components, and the need for servicing to return them to their best, means you have to choose very carefully. Speak to an independant dealer (if you can find any left) who can advise on good and not so wise investments.

 

Also do not tar all modern equipment with the same brush. There is just as much junk on the market today as there ever was.

 

With respect, your RP3 is (from an engineering point of view) poorer than an old Planar 3 but it certainly is not the weak link(s) in your system. The Denon gear is mass produced medocrity at best and the Quad 11Ls are possibly the most lifeless (but glossy) bore boxes I ever had the displeasure to listen to. 

 

Ditch the Denons and Quads and audtion an Exposure 1010 CD and Amp (you'll have to get a phono stage) with something like Focal 705s (maybe even search for the outgoing V versions) and get some musicality back into your listening.

 

Oh and for heavens sake get rid of that bloody awful QED and IXOS junk!

 

Give some Tellurium Q cables a try, or if your budget is tight, maybe even some Wireworld cables.  You won't believe how much better cables can be when they are not just based upon the same inferior cheap copper and just plated in silver to tune it to end up with a different flavour of poor!

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RE: Vintage gear

Sorry to repeat this Matthew, but the issue here really is not the gear.  None of it.  I'm sure there's a perfectly good setup in all the gear you've tried, but until you establish why you've been through as much as you have, it's not that that is the problem.  Most of it though is as one or two others have said; sideways moves with heaps of similarly priced equipment from the main players.  

I really feel you need to work out the "why" you go through the amount of box swapping that you do - and again, I don't believe it's to do with the music at the core of it all - before you embark on getting another piece of gear.  Whoever said that it's time for a clear out is bang on.  Get shot of some of this stuff, it's just hampering you in the end.  You've mentioned before you'd seriously considering actives, yet on here you're seriously considering Icon Audio valve gear and that "things have to change".  

It doesn't seem - and I apologise if I am way off the mark here - that you're clear on what you're looking for.  Getting "closer" to the music is one thing, but you're reliant on the recording here, not the live event.  How well it's been produced, mastered, etc, etc.  It's not just the equipment.  Positioning is critical for speakers.  I had to shift my Tannoys around a little when the new Onkyo amp came along but the system sounds great now.  Deeply impressive.  I'd start with some serious decluttering.  All the box swapping in the world doesn't cut it and I think you are aware of this.  Whatever solution you end up with, it's not going to be found in buying another bit of gear before you work out why you've ended up with enough gear to open a shop now.  

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RE: Vintage gear

Its about being able to enjoy the music RS.  Its about the fact that I've tried and tried to find something that shares the musically involving sound of some of the Sansui, Pioneer, JVC and Technics vintage amps I've enjoyed but with the other advantages of modern gear - warranty, remote control, more inputs etc.  Trouble is, nothing I've tried really does it.  I want to be excited and involved to the point where I start playing air guitar, or feel like conducting the orchestra, or simply sitting there transfixed by what I'm hearing.  I know it is never going to be like the real live performance, but I don't  want the hi-fi to remind me that I'm listening to the hi-fi at every turn, and so much of the modern kit I've had does.

I think the whole hi-fi sound thing is complex and I think I've got it more complex than most so, yes, I agree that this is as much about me as it is about the equipment.  However, I'm not the only person in my household or family who feels the same so I feel the issue does go further than your post suggests. 

I think the focus of the hi-fi world has changed, that a different sound has become the main aim and it perhaps doesn't suit me.  The stuff I've really really loved the sound of has been very expensive and not mainstream - Opera loudspeakers, Unison Research electronics, Electrocompaniet, Sugden.  Stuff I'll never be able to afford but which, somehow seems to combine all the hi-fi niceties with the involving and electrifying sound that much mainstream gear doesn't get close to.  I'm not saying the older affordable kit does, but somehow it seems to make a much better stab at mimicking it in at least some respects.

 

Pro-ject Genie 3/Ortofon 2M Red, Rotel RA-01, Onkyo CD, Dynaudio DM2/6

 

 

 

 

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RE: Vintage gear

matthewpiano wrote:

The stuff I've really really loved the sound of has been very expensive and not mainstream - Opera loudspeakers, Unison Research electronics, Electrocompaniet, Sugden.  Stuff I'll never be able to afford but which, somehow seems to combine all the hi-fi niceties with the involving and electrifying sound that much mainstream gear doesn't get close to.  I'm not saying the older affordable kit does, but somehow it seems to make a much better stab at mimicking it in at least some respects.

There are some great Bloodhounds on this forum, so if you give an idea of your max budget, you might be surprised what people can dig up. There are often great deals to be had on ex-dem stuff, often taking 40-60% off the new price, which regularly turn up.

"We should no more let numbers define audio quality than we should let chemical analysis be the arbiter of fine wines."  Nelson Pass

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RE: Vintage gear

matthewpiano wrote:

Its about being able to enjoy the music RS.  Its about the fact that I've tried and tried to find something that shares the musically involving sound of some of the Sansui, Pioneer, JVC and Technics vintage amps I've enjoyed but with the other advantages of modern gear - warranty, remote control, more inputs etc.  Trouble is, nothing I've tried really does it.  I want to be excited and involved to the point where I start playing air guitar, or feel like conducting the orchestra, or simply sitting there transfixed by what I'm hearing.  I know it is never going to be like the real live performance, but I don't  want the hi-fi to remind me that I'm listening to the hi-fi at every turn, and so much of the modern kit I've had does.

I think the whole hi-fi sound thing is complex and I think I've got it more complex than most so, yes, I agree that this is as much about me as it is about the equipment.  However, I'm not the only person in my household or family who feels the same so I feel the issue does go further than your post suggests. 

I think the focus of the hi-fi world has changed, that a different sound has become the main aim and it perhaps doesn't suit me.  The stuff I've really really loved the sound of has been very expensive and not mainstream - Opera loudspeakers, Unison Research electronics, Electrocompaniet, Sugden.  Stuff I'll never be able to afford but which, somehow seems to combine all the hi-fi niceties with the involving and electrifying sound that much mainstream gear doesn't get close to.  I'm not saying the older affordable kit does, but somehow it seems to make a much better stab at mimicking it in at least some respects.

 

 

I know a good few professional musicians  violinists, trumpet players, a good few.  One of those has a hifi system.  The rest have a basic all-in-one setup.  There's no doubt that you've got a good ear, but I'd simply caution against thinking that buying more expensive gets you "nearer to the music".  There's only one place to recreate a live sound, and that's in a live venue, with real musicians playing.  Anything else is compromise.  You can get close, but you'll always be at the mercy of compromise - the recording, the mike placement, the production and mastering and then your room and setup.  

I've been through a few older amps.  Sansui's AU717 being a good pick.  Cracking amp.  Matched in every way by Leema's Pulse II and now bettered by the Onkyo amp in my signature line below.  Currently listening to Arvo Part's "Te Deum" on ECM and it's a delight.  I'd still chuck a load of your older stuff, how many amps and CDPs?  Try out some ADM5s.  They're as good an entry into actives as you'll get.  Selling off some of your older gear will net you a pair at low cost by the time you sell off the old stuff and you'll get an idea of what actives can do.  Although you tried the Yamaha HS50 as well I think?  This'll give you an alternative viewpoint.  Yes, I know I just said no buying any more stuff, but if you chuck out some of the other stuff on Gumtree or Ebay, you'll cover your costs and if they don't float your boat, you can sell them on.

 

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RE: Vintage gear

the record spot wrote:

There's no doubt that you've got a good ear, but I'd simply caution against thinking that buying more expensive gets you "nearer to the music".  

I would certainly agree that price alone doesn't guarantee satisfaction.....but seeing the brands MP likes, gives a strong pointer as to where he needs to look.

FWIW. I agree with him.

"We should no more let numbers define audio quality than we should let chemical analysis be the arbiter of fine wines."  Nelson Pass

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RE: Vintage gear

CnoEvil wrote:

I would certainly agree that price alone doesn't guarantee satisfaction.....but seeing the brands MP likes, gives a strong pointer as to where he needs to look.

FWIW. I agree with him.

That's as maybe Cno, but I simply think until MP realises that "getting nearer to the music" isn't a given at a higher point of expenditure, where he needs to look isn't at a bunch of manufacturer names that might work...and I still believe the answer lies in understanding, not yet more hardware.  

It's perhaps down to the amount of live music MP hears that's the issue, but I don't know.  It's an inordinate amount of hifi to get through and selling the vast majority of it off would release funds to go onto a better purchase.  However, I'd simple say....caveat emptor.  That said, dealers like Emporium Hifi and Big Ears Audio have a lot of gear at wallet-friendly prices.  I'd probably look to their stock.  Also the excellent Audio Emotion too.  

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RE: Vintage gear

I mentioned to Matthew about managing expectations about 3 years ago. At every price point below stupid money there's always going to be a compromise. If anyone catagorically refutes the notion has either had too much alcohol or sun... or both.

Agree with Cno, to a point. Matthew has either dem'd or owned practically every make under £1000. His options have run out. He now needs to expore the Sugden A21s or MF M3i or Naim XS, Caspian M2 or Leema Elements or Audio Analogue.

But in all honesty Matthew, I believe, needs his 'fix' in the shape of box swapping.

Leema Tucana MKII; Arcam CD73; PMC TB2i; Pro-ject Classic/Goldring 2500; Denon TU260 MKII

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RE: Vintage gear

the record spot wrote:

That's as maybe Cno, but I simply think until MP realises that "getting nearer to the music" isn't a given at a higher point of expenditure, where he needs to look isn't at a bunch of manufacturer names that might work...and I still believe the answer lies in understanding, not yet more hardware.  

These are brands that I believe he has heard "work", it's just a matter of finding them within budget. They also happen to be the sort of brands that I believe will do what he is after. In this case, I believe the hardware is crucial...but I'm far from being the Delphic Oracle.

"We should no more let numbers define audio quality than we should let chemical analysis be the arbiter of fine wines."  Nelson Pass

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RE: Vintage gear

plastic penguin wrote:

But in all honesty Matthew, I believe, needs his 'fix' in the shape of box swapping.

I don't.

I believe the box swapping will come to an abrupt halt as soon as he finds the missing emotion in the music.

"We should no more let numbers define audio quality than we should let chemical analysis be the arbiter of fine wines."  Nelson Pass

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RE: Vintage gear

I can fully relate to what Matthewpiano is saying. And I agree with everything he's said. Some hi-fi systems get closer to the magic of a live event than others. A lot closer.

 

It's the naturalness in the midrange. The bass impact. Bass tightness. Treble smoothness combined with bite. Clarity. Low level detail. Generous listening volumes. Sharp-edged transients. Unforced dynamic ease that elevates a system from sounding like a hi-fi to sounding vaguely like a live event. The ability for the system to play the musical perfomance how it actually sounds and not how the system wants to sound.

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RE: Vintage gear

CnoEvil wrote:

plastic penguin wrote:

But in all honesty Matthew, I believe, needs his 'fix' in the shape of box swapping.

I believe the box swapping will come to an abrupt halt as soon as he finds the missing emotion in the music.

Well, in the last 5 or so years I've been on here its been an on-going issue. Surely, even if your taken by the law of averages, in five years of trying almost every combo, nothing has fully satisfied him.

I firmly believe if he spends on the next step up (£1000-£1500) he'll love it for the first 2/3 months.

I've said that my RS6s and Leema are the closest I've heard, for the money, to the 'live sound'. You could never replicate it but some combos push you slightly nearer - the real expectation is a hi-fi is nothing more or less. It's a hi-fi, regardless of whether your a musician or not.

Leema Tucana MKII; Arcam CD73; PMC TB2i; Pro-ject Classic/Goldring 2500; Denon TU260 MKII

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RE: Vintage gear

chebby wrote:
I like backlit VU meters

I miss these too. They're not much use for most users but they do look nice. A needless expense but I still wish more modern amps had them.

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