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My philosophy on audio reproduction
My philosophy on audio reproduction
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Old 6th August 2002, 01:31 PM   #1
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Default My philosophy on audio reproduction


After 30 some years of listening to, building, selling, and buying audio, my overall philosophy on audio reproduction is this:

No configuration of paper cones, wooden boxes and electronic parts can ever totally accurately reproduce 100 finely crafted musical instruments or replicate the sound from a concert hall or well designed room.

The best one could ever hope for is a close approximation of same that creates the illusion of reality.

So whether you're into the latest high tech ($$) amps, or vintage tube amps (like myself), esoteric speaker designs or conventional bookshelfs, if it creates an illusion of audio reality, it's as good as any other system.

Too many people end up listening to their equipment instead of their music.

That's why specs are only a part of the story. I've heard tube amps referred to as "signal processors" by those who claim they impart their "own sound" to the music. I ask you, what system doesn't??

The fun is in creating the illusion.....

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Old 6th August 2002, 03:24 PM   #2
mrfeedback is offline mrfeedback  Australia
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Hi Lee,
"if it creates an illusion of audio reality, it's as good as any other system."

Imo, it does not have to go even that far in many situations.
The radio alarm clock in the bedroom, the radio cassette in the bathroom, the little speaker in the kitchen tv, the sound of the AV system, the spill from the hifi into the dining room etc have to be decent and non irritating and pleasant, but not nessesarily hifi.
Ime, the main hifi system is good if it can be detailed, but not overly so, and always pleasant.
Nowadays I can be satisfied with a slightly laid back sound, as opposed to an overly forward sound.
Another good yardstick I find is the ability to converse despite the loudness of the replay system.
A bad sounding system trashes spoken intelligibility real quick I find.
And yes, it can be a trap to listen to the equipment rather than the music.

Counter intuitively perhaps, the cleaner the system, the more apparent the individually equipment sounds can become.
And the cleaner and nicer sounding the better the listening of course.
I can't say that I am totally sold on tube gear.
I find that tube gear can be a little overly dirty and that this can be both relaxing and fatigueing at the same time.
A pleasant SS amp can give better cleanliness and detail to my ear.
I like to hear well defined clean and realistic highs, and the distortion of tube amps, although not nasty, clouds the issue to my liking.
I reckon a pleasant SS amp beats a pleasant tube amp.

Regards, Eric.

Ps - a pleasant sounding radio alarm clock is mandatory - hmmm a tube radio alarm .......?
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Old 6th August 2002, 04:39 PM   #3
Vivek is offline Vivek  India
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"Too many people end up listening to their equipment instead of their music."

It is a fact that I spend so much time worrying about amps, speakers, cables, players, positioning etc. that there is almost no free time left to enjoy music. The only time I listen to music is in the morning when I am running around getting ready. You cannot really enjoy music then, can you?

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Old 6th August 2002, 04:59 PM   #4
cowanrg is offline cowanrg  United States
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i make it a point to just sit down, not doing anything else, and just listen to music for at least 1 hour a day. sometimes its only 30 minutes, but sometimes on the weekend, i get 4 hours solid of listening in.

the beauty of it is i cant afford to constantly upgrade my stuff. right now, my budget for building the alephs isnt even there yet, so i cant buy jack for my system. so, i am almost forced to just sit back and enjoy how it is now.

and i do exactly that. sometimes one needs to just take a step back, and appreciate something for what it is, not what it will become, or what it was. but what it is NOW.
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Old 6th August 2002, 05:26 PM   #5
Duo is offline Duo  Canada
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I think everyone here's onto a good point now...

I too find many people (even myself) try to listen to their equipment rather than the sound and don't get to appreciate the music. Like cowanrg, I listen to over and hour of music every day if possible, however, I also do up to 3 hours of piano practise a day so I really have to appreciate the music and not just the equipment when I'm trying to enjoy the music.
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Old 6th August 2002, 05:36 PM   #6
FrankDIY is offline FrankDIY  Canada
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Default And...

A lot of people spend a lot of time setting up the system, discussing on the internet for few hours of listening. BUT, do they go listening real music instrument (unplugged). It is impossible to compare music and systems without listening the real thing. <i>It create the illusion of a perfect system...</i>
Imagination is more important than knowledge. knowledge is limited, imagination encircles the world. Albert Einstein
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Old 6th August 2002, 05:52 PM   #7
cowanrg is offline cowanrg  United States
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ive had that arguement with people before François.

my thought is that not always is a listneing arena great acoustics. for instance, rock concerts suck. its better heard on a nice system. some classical (if in a good hall) is better heard live. it reall depends. much of the music i listen to, is best listened to from a cd, or from the studio it was recorded from. because unless i had a private showing, it would sound better coming from my system.
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Old 6th August 2002, 06:05 PM   #8
planet10 is online now planet10  Canada
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My philosophy on audio reproduction
Default Re: And...

Well said, Radiolee.

I have run into many into the kit... but in the end, a good hifi is simply one that allows YOU to sit down and enjoy the music.

I am often caught dancing to the music...one step up from the involeentary foot tapping :^)

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Old 6th August 2002, 06:31 PM   #9
happyben3 is offline happyben3
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Hi radio Lee,

My theory behind this is, everybody wants the best system, not just a good one. This would explain why there are alot more men than women interested in hifi. Wich doesnt make any sense because women have better hearing than men.

I have tryed to get a few of my freinds interested in this hobby, succeding only once. Most of them are overjoyed when they get the new Labtec system with 200 watts. Whenever i tell them that a cable can make a difference, allbeit a very minor one, they think i'm crazy. This doesnt really matter because i'm sure the new britney spears single sounds just as bad on those speakers as they would on something costing more than a car.

When did artists stop writing there own music? It seems the recording industry is more interested in getting money than actually producing something worth listening to. I'm not saying all music is bad, I havent listened to the radio in almost a year now.

Now with mp3 out there, you got something that was marketed as "cd quality" and the recording industry is putting up more of a fuss to make money off that then they are with sacd or dvd-a. If artists were interested in changing the world, shouldnt they distrubte there songs freely, how many political conventions or rallys do you see that charge admission? I'm not saying it's bad to make money off music, just don't freak out when someone downloads one of your songs, who knows, maybe they'll like it and go buy the cd.

Another thought, the reason cable manufactures can charge outrageous prices, when they arrange the wires in a special way is because reviewers out there say stuff like "i have experienced music in a way like i never have before" wich is probably exagerated a little bit. Thus people are sold on the fact that a $4,000 a meter cable is worth anything, after all arent diamonds just a bunch of carbon, and people seem to pay outrageous prices for those?

oh well,
this is all just my opinion, sorry if it was a bit long winded, i have just been bundling up these feelings for a very long time


Try sitting back, relaxing and enjoy the music, focus on what's great about it, not whats wrong. Some of my best memories of listening is when my parents are out of town and i listen to music around 1 or 2 in the moring with all the lites off and socks covering up the displays, and pretending that i'm there, funny thing though, i'm laying on my bed when i do this, not in the "sweet spot". ( although very close to it.)
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Old 6th August 2002, 06:40 PM   #10
cowanrg is offline cowanrg  United States
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well said! i think you hit on a major point there. i think the whole MP3 sensation is a little over-rated. i personally use mp3's for ALL my music, beucase i really cant afford a decent cd player. (i only buy what i want, and i buy the best. if i cant afford the best, i dont settle for second place...)

and to tell you the truth, most artists are SO lazy nowadays, they dont write their own stuff, most of it is synthesized, etc.... i dont want to spend the $$ to buy a cd just to find out its recorded horribly (9 times out of 10), and to find out that the other 9 songs sound the exact same. i want to shop before i buy :-)

if it's worth getting, ill buy it, and record it at 224kbps using lame encoder, and i have a copy of it legit. but i admit, its rare. too many bands have one good song, and the cd inst worth a coaster.

secondly, i have only been able to get 1 person into this hobby, my father. everyone else i know thinks sony and bose are the best you can buy. they dont even WANT to listen to better. i invited a friend of mine to listen to a pair of meridian dsp8000's. he declined, saying it was a waste of time, becuase he wouldnt be able to tell the difference!

some people just arent into it. and likewise, some people are, but for the wrong reason. ive seen people buy something becauase its rare, or because its just expensive. this is unfortunately a VERY expensive hobby. and some people like the status of that.
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