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 Post subject: Just thinking out loud
PostPosted: January 9th, 2022, 12:47 pm 
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Joined: January 15th, 2015, 7:19 am
Posts: 1619
Location: Baltimore MD
What do you think about your main audio system today?
The best system in the world!
The best system in the USA!
The best system in the state!
The best system in the city!
The best system in the neighborhood!
The best system on the block!
The best system in the house!
The best system I have ever had!
The second-best system in the world!
The second-best system in the USA!
The second-best system in the state!
The second-best system in the city!
The second-best system in the neighborhood!
The second-best t system on the block!
The second-best system in the house!
The second-best system I have ever had!
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My system is today is better than it ever has been in every way except in pure enjoyment.
The most enjoyment I ever had out of my system was when I had the Transcendent Sound preamp which I sold to Shashi, ASL Hurricane amps, and my rebuilt Maggy llla’s
So, what have I accomplished over the past two years and lots of bucks?
I think my system is very good. Friends I have over have been overwhelmingly positive in what they have heard, but I miss my old system. Is it because of the better bits I am hearing more and liking it less? Has my hearing changed so much that I am not hearing what I think I should be hearing?
Just a thought process…….


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PostPosted: January 9th, 2022, 1:27 pm 
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Today, my system is the one that makes me the happiest. Perfect, no, very satisfying, yes. When listening to any system, the more that will you hear both good and bad. One thing I have found out over the years is that the happiest people are the ones who are thankful for what they have and not miserable from thinking about the things they don't have. When you get to the point that you go back and forth depending on your mood, you are probably about as far as you can get.

BTW, my whole house system using the DAX88, although not at the fidelity level of my main system in my audio room, gives me a great deal of pleasure when I am working in other rooms.


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PostPosted: January 9th, 2022, 1:47 pm 
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Joined: July 24th, 2015, 4:17 pm
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Location: Parkville, Maryland
There is no way to tell if what Paul had before was musical and enjoyable because of “band-aids”-or- did he happen to hit on a synergism? My vote goes for synergism. As far as I am concerned – Paul’s hot-rodded Magneplaners were keepers and may have benefited with further crossover upgrades but that was it. Three-fingers of Scotch and those speakers made for a good time. The rest of Paul's system at that time got the job done to enable the panels to reproduce music.

In my case, my system has evolved over these many decades and has actually improved dramatically when I took a chance on horns and SET amps. At one point I bragged that my horns were Quads on steroids until I had a pair of Quads for restoration. To make a long story short – that was embarrassing. So back to work on the Altecs and that was successful until I recently discovered Miflex copper foil/oil/polypropylene capacitors Using the Miflex in my add-on JBL tweeters was eye-opening which forced me to do the same with the Altecs. WOW!!

My pre-amp has been completely rebuilt to extend its longevity (it’s a keeper) and during that process I became “married” happily to the Russian Hermetic Hybrid coupling caps that incorporated mylar/paper/oil construction together with Teflon bypasses. These are just the highlights. I’ve also improved on vinyl playback and digital playback concurrently.

So – my brag is -- I have yet to audition any system at someone’s home or at an audio show that could at least create a reasonable facsimile of a live event in the listening room. I am getting close, but it seems that there is no limit to improvements.

Just when I think I am there -- I find something else to do. My lesson over all these years? DO NOT STEP ON THE MUSICAL TOES OF A COMPONENT (OR SYSTEM) FOR THE SAKE OF CHANGE. That change could only be a difference and not an improvement.

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PostPosted: January 9th, 2022, 8:08 pm 
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SoundMods wrote:
There is no way to tell if what Paul had before was musical and enjoyable because of “band-aids”-or- did he happen to hit on a synergism? My vote goes for synergism. As far as I am concerned – Paul’s hot-rodded Magneplaners were keepers and may have benefited with further crossover upgrades but that was it. Three-fingers of Scotch and those speakers made for a good time. The rest of Paul's system at that time got the job done to enable the panels to reproduce music.

In my case, my system has evolved over these many decades and has actually improved dramatically when I took a chance on horns and SET amps. At one point I bragged that my horns were Quads on steroids until I had a pair of Quads for restoration. To make a long story short – that was embarrassing. So back to work on the Altecs and that was successful until I recently discovered Miflex copper foil/oil/polypropylene capacitors Using the Miflex in my add-on JBL tweeters was eye-opening which forced me to do the same with the Altecs. WOW!!

My pre-amp has been completely rebuilt to extend its longevity (it’s a keeper) and during that process I became “married” happily to the Russian Hermetic Hybrid coupling caps that incorporated mylar/paper/oil construction together with Teflon bypasses. These are just the highlights. I’ve also improved on vinyl playback and digital playback concurrently.

So – my brag is -- I have yet to audition any system at someone’s home or at an audio show that could at least create a reasonable facsimile of a live event in the listening room. I am getting close, but it seems that there is no limit to improvements.

Just when I think I am there -- I find something else to do. My lesson over all these years? DO NOT STEP ON THE MUSICAL TOES OF A COMPONENT (OR SYSTEM) FOR THE SAKE OF CHANGE. That change could only be a difference and not an improvement.

Talk to Jim Gerfin about creating the impression of a live event in a home listening room. He was just at a listening session with Gary Eickmeier who has done years of work with a theory called Image Model Theory. Although the system had drawbacks, Jim was impressed with the sense that the groups were actually in the room.


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PostPosted: January 9th, 2022, 11:11 pm 
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Location: Parkville, Maryland
[/quote]
Talk to Jim Gerfin about creating the impression of a live event in a home listening room. He was just at a listening session with Gary Eickmeier who has done years of work with a theory called Image Model Theory. Although the system had drawbacks, Jim was impressed with the sense that the groups were actually in the room.[/quote]
Now that is what I am talking about! :handgestures-thumbupleft:

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PostPosted: January 9th, 2022, 11:46 pm 
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Joined: June 4th, 2013, 2:39 pm
Posts: 428
Yes, it's a little discouraging when your system isn't living up to your expectations. Just this past week I had to take a few steps back. Nothing was "popping" for me. ProAcs? Check, not the problem. Speaker cables? Check, not the problem. Interconnets? Too polite, swapped back to a previous set. Preamp? Damn, I worked hard on it, but out in went in favor of the old Cary, which also got a cap upgrade (Fostex--really terrific output caps!) The hearty enjoyment is back. Almost sold the Cary, glad I didn't!

Diagnosis: Over-tweaked. In isolation, each "upgrade" sounded great! In sum, enjoyment decreased!


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PostPosted: January 10th, 2022, 5:20 pm 
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When I'm by myself, my system sounds really good.

When friends come over, something is always wrong.

After visiting Charlie's or David M's house, my system sucks ass.


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PostPosted: January 10th, 2022, 6:07 pm 
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I think that a system that does things "right" may at time not be pleasing. A lot depends on the source and your mood. Since I made all the changes in my new room, I have had several musician friends listen and the common thing they said is that it was the first time they had heard recorded music that sounded like the performers were actually in the room. These were generally average recordings of the rock and pop genres but the impact on them was substantial. However, with bad recordings the sound is not great.

On thing I have noticed is that as you reduce distortion, control speaker radiation patterns, and eliminate room problems, older pop records that were annoying become if not great, listenable. I recently put on some old Chicago cuts that always were fatiguing but now were OK.


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PostPosted: January 10th, 2022, 6:45 pm 
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I can really relate to Grover's experience...seems I often go a tweek or two too far, wander in wilderness for a while, and then finally find my way back after having someone like Charlie or Jim over for a listen. For instance, I have been putting a lot of effort on PP amps over the past couple of years, building and rebuilding, using vintage 6550s, fancy capacitors, etc. Only to find out when Charlie came over before Christmas that my GM70 SETs were the ticket. Same with a Slagle autoformer passive...my Penny & Giles that I was using before was better, held together without distorting as the signal increases in volume. So lots of time, effort, and money building these projects for exploration and "improvement" only to find what I built before sounded better. Nuts.

Still, the goal is not competition, the goal is self improvement and enjoyment. So it is the journey that is important, but MOST important is enjoyment of the music. Whatever gets your toes tapping and lose yourself in the performance is the real goal, and that can happen anywhere along the path.

David


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PostPosted: January 10th, 2022, 8:25 pm 
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Joined: March 12th, 2013, 11:12 am
Posts: 707
I think Grover hit the nail on the head ie we often over tweak and end up squeezing the life force out of our systems. I remember hearing Roscoe's 845 amp ver 1 or 1.2. Sounded fantastic, super fun to listen to. I heard later versions (currently at ver 52.2b), they were always improved in some sense but never grabbed me the way the first iteration did. This applies to a lot of you too (myself included), just using Roscoe as an example.


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