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tastie 11th December 2012 07:47 AM

long time audio, first time hifi
Greetings from SoCal!

I'm a former recording engineer now in graduate school for computer science. EE would have been way more fun... As far as audio goes, I'm really only interested in listening to music. Home theater isn't my thing.

My religious beliefs:
  • IC's always sound terrible. Period.
  • Recordings aren't supposed to sound like the musicians sounded in the room. The recording should sound even better.
  • DSP is poison to audio
  • Phase coherency is more important than frequency response
  • Building tube gear with transparency as a goal is missing the point
  • Analog mediums will always sound better than digital mediums, even if they are less accurate.
  • The fewer active components in the signal path the better.

I welcome an explanation for why I'm wrong about any of these. I'm here to learn! I'd also love suggestions for projects to start my collection. A Micro Seiki BL-51 turntable just fell into my lap, and I want to build from there. My vinyl collection is modest, but my girlfriend's is huge! I also have a ton of FLACs on my computer.

I should also mention my music collection is mostly classic rock (lots of prog), album-oriented modern rock, some classical, and a very small amount of hip hop (mostly The Roots), jazz, Jamaican ska, and roots reggae. I'm open to any music with solid musicianship. I am a classical musician myself.

Here's what I'm considering building:
Speakers - Singularities
Amp - either:
  • Simple SE (expensive, but could be worth it)
  • Aleph 3 (cheaper? but not as fun. probably more accurate though...)
Preamp - Boozehound Labs ??? still looking into this
DAC - looking into this too, probably won't DIY though

I can't wait to hear what you guys think.

Cal Weldon 11th December 2012 02:04 PM

Hello and welcome to the forums. Keep us informed when you get underway with the projects.

Fynn 11th December 2012 02:21 PM

You are missing one of the most important points: The listening room.
It plays a way more important role than any amp could ever hope to do and it is hard to fix that unless you go onto a free field.

picowallspeaker 11th December 2012 03:21 PM

We should elaborate (expand) from here :

Recordings aren't supposed to sound like the musicians sounded in the room. The recording should sound even better.
justaxposed to

unless you go onto a free field.
which is rather false. But- 20 Hz is 17m wavelenght- has some sense :rolleyes::o

Fynn 11th December 2012 03:45 PM

I don't know, i personally don't like >+-20db at certain low frequencies just because i have 2 or more room modes overlapping. But maybe that is just me

picowallspeaker 11th December 2012 04:06 PM

You should know better than me : it's your system !
Tastie's points are very good, even if I wouldn't go for the speakers ( 3 way are the...way to go ) or amplifiers ( a SE tube wouldn't have the...juice for
full dynamics) that he chose.
The point I indicated would then put everything in the mix!
What are your 'expectations' when listening to music and what's the difference
(if there is any ) when listening to music reproduced in your room.
That is a huge leap...I was thinking the other day that television had evolved
after the music reproduction technique :o
And that music reproduction made a big revolution in the human head a century ago ! That's not still fully the possibility to play
a piece of music that was played another time, in another place.

sreten 11th December 2012 07:02 PM


Originally Posted by tastie (
Greetings from SoCal!

My religious beliefs:


I welcome an explanation for why I'm wrong about any of these.


Religious belief is about faith, and there is no reason
at all why you are right for any of and all the cases.

Such blanket statements are nearly always untrue,
and in this case they all are untrue, given you have
a technical position to take to argue your cases.

rgds, sreten.

Welcome anyway. The speaker choice implies an attitude
- which is fair enough. You might be very surprised what
a decent used budget amplifier like the Pioneer A-300X
would do with your front end and those speakers.

THe MS is nice, depending on the arm fitted.
Take a look at fitting a Denon DL110 cartridge.

tastie 12th December 2012 01:02 AM

Hi Cal -
the madness will start as soon as finals are over at the end of this week

Flynn -
Owens Corning 702 will be all over my room.

pico -
I actually had my heart set on a pair of Statement Monitors before I decided the Singularities would be much cheaper and easier. The Statement Monitors are definitely still on my radar though:)

Do you generally dislike SET amps, or do you recommend something else because you think the Simple SE isn't a good match for the Singularities? I was leaning toward the combo because I think it would let me step back into a different era of sound reproduction.

My statement about recordings sounding better than the live performance is more a recording engineering philosophy. I'm not convinced that altering what the musicians, producer, and engineer decided was correct in the studio is necessarily a great idea, although I'm not opposed to it either;)

sreten -
"My religion" is just that - stuff based purely on faith without ANY evidence to back it up. Experience has shown me that blanket statements about audio equipment generally lead to missing out on hearing some fantastic pieces of gear. I love finding out that I'm wrong about these things. All kinds of new possibilities open up! That said, we all have our prejudices, and these are mine.

Thanks for the recommendations. The A-300X is definitely cheap enough to snag if I see one for sale. I need to find out more about the turntable, but from what my friend tells me, I probably won't want to replace the cartridge:)

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