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zarrdoss 03-22-2013 02:41 PM

Anyone else into quality audio?
 
If you obsess over the best possible sound, and know what a pre-amp is and would never use just a receiver, When someone has a home theater in a box and make a remark about how good it sounds and you try not to laugh, you might be an audiophile.
This has been my main hobby for most of my life I got into it about 8 years old and have been going ever since. I have built and installed I dont know how many car stereos some of them were complex as hell. Now I am pretty much out of the car audio and got back into home audio. I have build home speakers and subwoofers and recently rebuilt a bunch of Polk SDA speakers, new tweeters, put new capacitors and resistors in the crossovers. I have had about 140 pairs of home speakers throughout my life and at one time I had like 27. I have always had a good ear for what sounds good and simply hate it when someone is listening to music on their phone or laptop. I am a fanatic about music and sound, also the best sound when it comes to movie soundtracks.
Anyone else on the forum like me? what are some of your stories? what kind of set up do you have?
This is my most current set up, at one time I had three audio rigs but in this house I can only have one.
http://i1229.photobucket.com/albums/...psafa7175c.jpg

HMNY 03-22-2013 03:34 PM

Re: Anyone else into quality audio?
 
Whoa, those speakers are huge, what is all the gear, do tell?

keep it simple 03-22-2013 04:36 PM

Re: Anyone else into quality audio?
 
I used to run Quad ESL's back in the day. Long time sold now, but listening to a cello recital through those is like nothing else. I'd love a pair of the latest ESL's, but alas, I'm running a drum company :(

slowrocker 03-22-2013 05:00 PM

Re: Anyone else into quality audio?
 
I would love a really good system in my house, but monetary limitations keep me from having something good. All I have is a sound bar and a sub.

zarrdoss 03-22-2013 10:56 PM

Re: Anyone else into quality audio?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by HMNY (Post 1121263)
Whoa, those speakers are huge, what is all the gear, do tell?

The speakers I got a week ago they are 35 year old Infinity quantum line source, and some of the best sounding speakers I have ever heard, I was not in the market but these never come up for sale and I could not resist, especially considering the condition they were in. The rest of the gear is as follows, Panasonic 50" plasma, LG blue ray, Acoustic Research center Definitive Technology bi polar surrounds, Sony CD, BSR EQ, Sony STR DA2ES receiver, I am using it as a pre amp for the mains, Rotel 990BX. And the sub is custom made by me, its a Dayton 18" down-firing with a 300 watt sub amp. I have a Rotel pre amp but its only 5.1 ch and I dont have room for the rest of my Rotel surround amps. I don't have any vinyl, I know, I just missed that boat growing up and do not want to get into it now. I have a bunch of stuff I am not using right now due to space limitations of the house we had to move into. I do have some Polk SDA SRS 2's and some Acoustic Research 312HO but they are in storage for the time being. I also use all Dayton audio patch cables. I have had a bunch more hi end gear and speakers over the years, If I had the space I would have kept it all, lol

zarrdoss 03-22-2013 11:03 PM

Re: Anyone else into quality audio?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by keep it simple (Post 1121281)
I used to run Quad ESL's back in the day. Long time sold now, but listening to a cello recital through those is like nothing else. I'd love a pair of the latest ESL's, but alas, I'm running a drum company :(

Yeah I bet you regret getting rid of those, All the one I have heard sound phenomenal.

Markadiddle 03-22-2013 11:09 PM

Re: Anyone else into quality audio?
 
This thread looks vaguely familiar. LOL!

Hey zarrdoss! :)

Anduin 03-22-2013 11:11 PM

Re: Anyone else into quality audio?
 
My Kefs are still going strong from the 1980s. Fantastic stuff.

You know what boggles my mind? In all the promo for audio gear like portable players, they never ever ever talk about sound quality. Itís all graphics of happy smiling dancing people. But the actual sound quality? Who cares! At least thatís what marketers have succeeded in convincing the general populace.

Itís sad. Back in the day people prided themselves on knowing what sounded good and understanding how to get it happening at home. Now, nobody under the age of 40 even knows what Iím talking about. (Except maybe you.)

BacteriumFendYoke 03-22-2013 11:42 PM

Re: Anyone else into quality audio?
 
I have an interest but none of the funds, unfortunately!

I might be odd in that what I crave is a really nice mono rig.

zarrdoss 03-22-2013 11:58 PM

Re: Anyone else into quality audio?
 
Ahhh Kef's from back in the day, I have had a few of those. Yeah its sad when someone raves about their I pod docking station's sound. I have friends all the time comment on mine and say they could never afford something like that as they go spent their weekly fee on beer and cigarettes. The sad thing is its not really that expensive when you buy used. I love it when I go to Best Buy and the 17 year old "tech" will start talking to me about audio.

bermuda 03-23-2013 12:49 AM

Re: Anyone else into quality audio?
 
I've always appreciated hi-fi components, starting with McIntosh, SAE, et al back in the day. But my budget always limited me to standard components, and like many people, I got by with a Marantz (2270) receiver for many, many years. i did have a revolving door of turntables (Thorens, Dual, AR, Philips etc, but somehow never a Garrard!) and tape decks (Tandberg, Uher, Sony, Concord, TEAC.)

A dozen years ago, I bought what should hopefully be my last system, and I've been very pleased with it. Arcam 2.0 preamp w/phono input, NHT 2.9 bi-amp speakers, and 4 Marantz monoblock amps. It's dead silent, smooth, powerful, and just sounds wonderful. No EQ needed, everything sounds perfect without boosting highs or lows, I run it flat for everything!

The other components aren't quite so hi-fi, I've auditioned very expensive CD players and I just don't hear any advantage to spending more than $150-200. My turntable has been with me for almost 30 years, a workhorse Technics SL1200 mkII with Stanton cratridge. All sounds fabulous to me!

Bermuda

Dr_Watso 03-23-2013 01:20 AM

Re: Anyone else into quality audio?
 
I like a good system, but I think it gets crazy sometimes when the playback system is "higher quality" than the system used to record the sounds. Then the media is also a problem... The output can only be as good as the data on the CD or what have you.

zarrdoss 03-23-2013 01:30 AM

Re: Anyone else into quality audio?
 
So I take it you have two amps going to each speaker? nice choice BTW, I have never got my hands on any NHT's I run my EQ virtually flat or bypass it altogether now my old place had a bunch of acoustic problems I did not want to sort out with dificult room treatments as I was renting it.
That Technics will be around for another 30 years no problem. and as far as CD players go I have a 50 disc Sony I bought used for 30 bucks and it sounds great to me. I have had some expensive ones too but I am lazy and like to load it and listen for hours.

I hear you Dr Watso, I listened to a pair of 50,000 speakers last weekend with about 90,000 of gear running them, it sounded sweet but unless I win the lottery I could never justify that, maybe not even then. For me my hobbies are also about finding deals as well and not just spending money to buy "the best"

bermuda 03-23-2013 01:55 AM

Re: Anyone else into quality audio?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Dr_Watso (Post 1121581)
I like a good system, but I think it gets crazy sometimes when the playback system is "higher quality" than the system used to record the sounds. Then the media is also a problem... The output can only be as good as the data on the CD or what have you.

Agreed, but the most obvious deficencies are revealed in the preamp, amp and speaker end of things.

True story - when I first hooked up my turntable to this new system, I wanted to see if it was working. Before even trying an LP, I turned up the volume to listent for the usual hum & hiss that was so familiar on every piece of gear I'd ever owned. It wasn't there. I turned the volume up to 100%, and nothing, just absolute quiet. I touched the stylus, and the whole house shook! That's when I knew I had moved up a few levels in my audio experience!

Bermuda

bermuda 03-23-2013 01:59 AM

Re: Anyone else into quality audio?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by zarrdoss (Post 1121585)
So I take it you have two amps going to each speaker? nice choice BTW, I have never got my hands on any NHT's

Yep, 200w amp to each 10", and 125w to the mid & highs.

The NHTs are their old mid-size tower speakers, c2000. I brought in our latest album and gave a lot of gear the acid test at studio control room volume. I'm sure they were appalled that I might even consider listening that way, but they also took some healthy orders that day. :)

Bermuda

Dr_Watso 03-23-2013 02:15 AM

Re: Anyone else into quality audio?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bermuda (Post 1121591)
Agreed, but the most obvious deficencies are revealed in the preamp, amp and speaker end of things.

Right, but what I'm getting at is that if your speaker costs more than the microphone used to record the sound,(or frankly and device in the recording mixing or mastering chain) what are you really gaining from all that expense? Add in the fact that the media can only hold so much information, and the fact that our ears tend to be terrible.... I dunno. I'm just yaking.

I like to have a nice sound system because I listen to a lot of music. But there are a few things I've noticed, first, all systems sound different from one another. Each has it's own character in playback affected by all kinds of things. And two; "better" is subjective.

I think after a few grand - max, it's really hard to tell what sounds "better" between two different systems. Spending more than that just seems a but silly to me where sound is concerned.

Bo Eder 03-23-2013 04:35 AM

Re: Anyone else into quality audio?
 
If you inserted drum names in there this would be an identical thread to some of the ones we have going on here already!

I appreciate a good home sound system and mine is quite modest compared to most. But I like to put my money in the gear that makes me money so I can justify it. So the pro audio realm is where I'd spend the money when I have it. My home stereo for my theater is merely adequate.

12x7 03-23-2013 06:06 AM

Re: Anyone else into quality audio?
 
Since I do not have a lot of money for a new Hifi system, I am a budgetFI kinda guy. I use mainly vintage gear. I have a Marantz 2015 (19.99 thrift store) that is very clean an clinical, and a Sansui 4000 (gift from friend) from '69 that bursts with sound. I use Kef Q60 speakers (100 dollars pawn shop) that sound great for me. I also have a pair of Monitor Audio Gold 2.5's that I got for 20 dollars at Goodwill. These speakers will tell you what recordings sound horrible. As a matter of fact, they will let you know that your Pioneer 25 CD changer sounds like ass. I replaced it with a Samsung DVD player that plays SACD, much better sound.

I have not done any restoration to the receivers. The Sansui occasionally fizzes on the left side, but calms down. Sounds pretty amazing. I use the Marantz for mixing down projects, and the Sansui for me. I hook up a Yamaha Sw10 studio sub thru the headphone jack with powered direct box. Cross it over at 80 for some extra balls. However my Sansui has funk in the head phone outs, so I do not use it with that. I just turn up the bass knob a quarter turn and it does the trick. The Q60 has some bass that I did not know it had.

I will be hooking up a turntable real soon. The TRU hifi person will use vinyl. For acoustic music, vinyl sounds pretty insane. Ipods sound like poop.

Skulmoski 03-23-2013 06:32 AM

Re: Anyone else into quality audio?
 
I've had various systems anchored around a pair of Bryston amps and Dayton Wright preamp.

GJS

dmacc 03-23-2013 11:33 AM

Re: Anyone else into quality audio?
 
Wish I could, can't afford it - highly appreciate it.

I don't own a home theater system since we have our tv on for about 5 hours per week. I use the crappy built in speaker for that on it's own.

For music, which is on for about 20 hours per week, about the best I can do/afford is a NAD Integrated Amp and some Polk speakers. Considering adding a small sub but most times, for the music I listen to about 99% of the time (acoustic jazz) the bass is almost good enough. I like presence and clarity - not boom and distortion.

To you I'm sure those are trash but to me they are a million bucks. It's all relative.

zarrdoss 03-23-2013 03:57 PM

Re: Anyone else into quality audio?
 
Which Polk speakers? I am a huge fan of Polk speakers and have owned a bunch and own a pair right now. To me this is also about finding deals, as with drums or any hobby I am in, I don't have a bunch of money to throw at any hobby I am into.

http://i1229.photobucket.com/albums/...psdffdfe8e.jpg

These are a pair of Vandersteen model 7 cost 50,000 a pair and had about 90,000 worth of gear running them. They sounded simply amazing but I know I could never afford it.

bermuda 03-23-2013 04:08 PM

Re: Anyone else into quality audio?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Dr_Watso (Post 1121600)
Right, but what I'm getting at is that if your speaker costs more than the microphone used to record the sound,(or frankly and device in the recording mixing or mastering chain) what are you really gaining from all that expense?

I meant that deficiences* in the amp/speaker end of the system are more obvious than with other components, and it's more expensive to achieve higher quality, so that's where I spent my money. Spending more on a CD player or cartridge isn't as dramatic an improvement, so I'm more modest with those expenses.

Can a CD player that costs $2000 really sound better than the $200 one? Maybe a little... but definitely not by a factor of 10. But can a $10,000 preamp, amp & speaker system sound better than the $1000 one? Absolutely, and those differences are more readily obvious to the ear. I don't think that end of the system can be compromised for those who want great sound, whereas other components in the chain do not get markedly better as they become more esoteric.

My money is definitely better spent on the "gain" end of the system than on the source components.

Bermuda

* Noise, clipping, sound coloring

aaajn 03-23-2013 04:29 PM

Re: Anyone else into quality audio?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by zarrdoss (Post 1121253)
If you obsess over the best possible sound, and know what a pre-amp is and would never use just a receiver, When someone has a home theater in a box and make a remark about how good it sounds and you try not to laugh, you might be an audiophile.
This has been my main hobby for most of my life I got into it about 8 years old and have been going ever since. I have built and installed I dont know how many car stereos some of them were complex as hell. Now I am pretty much out of the car audio and got back into home audio. I have build home speakers and subwoofers and recently rebuilt a bunch of Polk SDA speakers, new tweeters, put new capacitors and resistors in the crossovers. I have had about 140 pairs of home speakers throughout my life and at one time I had like 27. I have always had a good ear for what sounds good and simply hate it when someone is listening to music on their phone or laptop. I am a fanatic about music and sound, also the best sound when it comes to movie soundtracks.
Anyone else on the forum like me? what are some of your stories? what kind of set up do you have?
This is my most current set up, at one time I had three audio rigs but in this house I can only have one.

Hearing high level (audiophile) sound was the costliest mistake I ever made!

Rotel and B&W are my middle name but I lust for McIntosh.

tracer 03-23-2013 05:02 PM

Re: Anyone else into quality audio?
 
Like many others here noted, my funds have depleted with my two sons college educations, and declining income. That said, I was excited to see your post as I am way behind the curve on audio gear. My highest achieving system consisted of Alon II speakers,Musical fidelity integrated and Sony 7700 DVD player. The Alons/Acarian System speakers are hard to beat at any price.

I am hoping someone here might clue me in to the current budget gear buys, as well as wireless audiopjile speakers (if they exist yet...)

I would like to encourage those of you on a budget about my current home theatre/dedicated music listening setup:
Yamaha HS80 powered speakers,Sony blue ray and Apple TV. The Yamahas actually do an amazing job, and require no external amplification. They will do it all, (in relative terms) for a very low cost.
I added the notion of Apple TV because you can watch YouTube Videos (as well as Netflix etc) Seeing Vinnie thru the powered Yamahas DOES convey the reality of his skills beyond mere earthlings WAY BETTER than watching it on your computer...
tracer

dmacc 03-24-2013 11:29 AM

Re: Anyone else into quality audio?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by zarrdoss (Post 1121764)
Which Polk speakers?................

I have a set of RTiA1's mounted to a wall in one room and a set of RTiA3's on floor stands in another.

CalebL721 04-06-2013 10:32 AM

Re: Anyone else into quality audio?
 
I am not an audiophile, I mean, I listen to vinyl, but through a cheap turntable. I also like lo-fi music. If it's a professionally recorded song, I just want it to sound good. I'm not picky.

Anon La Ply 04-06-2013 12:06 PM

Re: Anyone else into quality audio?
 
Not an audiophile at all - I guess I am satisfied with other aspects of music without the hi fi. I enjoy hearing the efforts of those who take care with sound if the musical content is there as well.


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