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What if the audio critic is completely right? What would you own? - Page 7

post #91 of 115
Originally Posted by julian67 View Post

Clearly I didn't suggest that.
Nor did I deny anything.
If there's anything else I didn't actually say that you feel needs correcting....I'll be out.

Sorry, you got me wrong. This comment wasn't directed toward anybody in particular, just a random thought.
post #92 of 115

What a great thread!


In 2008, I was well-down the road of audiophilia.  More precisely, I had a condition known in pro-audio circles as Gear Acquisition Syndrome, or GAS for short.


Anyway, one evening I was getting ready to buy a Beresford DAC/Headphone amp, and was doing the requisite Google search for op-amps to play with once I got the Beresford.  During my search, I came across issues of the Audio Critic. I started reading.  A week later, I was still reading, and left the Beresford op-amp rolling thought well behind me. I had a living room clogged-full of Parasound amp and pre-amp, Definitive Technologies speakers and dreams of buying more and more cables and interconnects and...you get the picture.


A year later, I had Ohm Micro Walsh speakers (he did advocate Ohms.They are certainly NOT monkey coffins), a Marantz SR-7003 receiver and an Emotiva Ultra-10 sub. My system is humble, and really allows me to get into the music.  I don't have cheap stuff, but it's not outrageous, either.


  Reading and absorbing the Audio Critic changed my outlook, and instead of spending $$$ on crap, I feel that I am able to focus on important stuff- like my Hifiman HE-5LE's that I run with a speaker tap off of the Marantz, and my Grado tape-modded SR225i's.  I also have a pre-order in for the Mr. Speakers Alphas.  I am all about cans these days, because the bang for the buck is incredible.  Better speakers than I currently have would cost upwards of $5000.  Headphones are a much better bargain, and I don't have to 'treat' the room.


Great thread- I'm glad I found it.

post #93 of 115

Hello, I like the sense of passion the writer expressed in his opinion. As a 60 year old this year, my reading is from 1975, subscribing to Stereo Review, and then Sound and Vision. (They are different as night and day). In the last 6 years of Stereo Review, their observation was and I'll paraphrase " Its the Speakers Stupid".

    My first speakers were JBL 150's. In 1986 I found in the Trade N Times A pair of 1972 KlipschHorn Corner Speakers, And one Crown Speaker for the center channel. The most efficient speakers ever built. But the sound. I heard my favorite rock instruments, the Piano and Horn sections. The Klipsch sound delivered these to perfection.

    The EFT's Transistors made all amps equal. The wow and flutter and S/N ratio were common among all price ranges. If you ever looked behind your gold plated RCA conections you will see really skimpy looking wires fed to a board with the same solder used everywhere.

    Just find the sound you like (the speakers are the analog part that you hear). Manufactures have come a long way. Klipsch created Tritrax Horns for the Hi's and Mids to give some vertical lift. I moved to a smaller listening space and I bought the 5.1 system with the 2400 Watt dual 15 inch powered Subwoofer, Wow. I still have the 1972 Vintage but they need elbow room, the smaller room resonance (again Analog) was awful. The replacements matched my room size and my Listening prefrance (again Analog), to give me concert level LOUD and Clean! The corners were at 12 o'clock vol knob to be at concert level. 1:00 am with the 5.1 system!

    My AV reciever is Pioneer VSX-D1S, Feature laden, and I use them.  Elite Cassette deck with dolby S. I don't use anymore. A 3 cartriage Pioneer CD Changer. But it wont read my Home made CD's. So I bought an LG Multi format (DVD and VHS Recorder). My Computer does all the work now. I transfer VHS concerts I recorded. I use Nero for this, I then create MP3's from the DVD to put on a CD to listen to. The music I hear now for the first time is digitally fed thru a converter to analog speakers, If that's the song I like and buy it, why would I want to hear how it sounds on vinyl? Yeah I might like the differance but so what? I liked it on a substrate too!

   I loved the warmth of tubes and vinyl. I love the inaudible distortion of the new. The DB's of seperation from left to right, the 100 db headroom, spaciousness between instruments. Thumb drive to load my car stereo Hard drive. HD Radio is fantastic, Life is good. 

post #94 of 115

Pretty much exactly what I own except for the various expensive cables. Those were a total waste of money ;)

post #95 of 115

All well-conducted tests seem to back up this article. Of course I will be even more convinced once I will have a better understanding of how everything works (hardware and software, electronics, and the math and physics behind it.)

I am now looking for a DAC and Amp. Just purchased the Matrix M-Stage, but now I can't find any full measurements of the amplifier and I start having my doubts whether I should have purchased the O2 amp. (and a better one in a few months, when I will have some more money to spend)
Same goes for the DAC. I consider purchasing the DA8 or X-Sabre, but I look for test which were conducted by a third party in order to know that I can fully trust the results. 
The X-Sabre's specifications look *very* impressive, and the DA8's even more and the price seems to be very attractive for such a piece of gear, that it doesn't seem to be real.

post #96 of 115

I don't know about any of those amps, because my headphones don't require amping. But I can say that in 30 years, I've never seen any correlation between price and quality.

post #97 of 115
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post

I have mostly followed the advice.

However, I do run tubes. The Audio Critic entirely misses the point. Tubes are wonderfully reliable, only require simple circuits and tube amps are repairable/useful for a lifetime. The real reason to buy tubes is so you can keep the same gear for a lifetime. If a chip cooks off ten years on, good luck finding a replacement. Tubes don't havr that problem.

The Audio Critic similarly misses the point of vinyl. Vinyl is about being able to listen to music that never made it to digital. Vinyl is also about buying a box of records for $10 at a garage sale. Fidelity? It's good enough. I'm happy with a turntable because it lets me listen to cheap music not available on digital. That's reason enough right there.

But I agree with the majority of the article and that's how I've focused my system.

I completely agree with this. I do see value in listening tests though. They are just an integral part of determining which audio setups are preferred and I think the audio world benefits from them, even if they aren't the most accurate source of evidence.

post #98 of 115

It isn't always desirable to have the same amp forever. Back in the late 70s, my brother saved up and bought a full McIntosh system. He still has it and it works fine... except... it won't take any digital input, it doesn't stream or do wifi, it doesn't do 5:1... With his iPad and iPhone and TV set, it's a dinosaur holding him back.


In the same amount of time, I've had three midrange amps. Each one had better features than the last. They all sounded as good as the McIntosh, but the three amps together didn't cost nearly as much as his McIntosh.

post #99 of 115

Then again, McIntosh keeps a pretty good resale value, so he can sell everything and get something modern that's pretty amazing with the proceeds.

post #100 of 115

My brother downsized and gave me his custom made 12 inch five way studio monitors from the late 70s. I'm a lot happier with those as a hand me down than the electronics!

post #101 of 115

You could've bought a full system for the price of one piece of McIntosh electronics though, those things are crazy expensive.

post #102 of 115

Standard cables with that cross shielding stuff on the outside....


A DAC with a Saber chip.


Objective2 amplifier.


Some badass headphones and in-ears. 

post #103 of 115
Originally Posted by Br777 View Post

I fear starting this thread may be utterly pointless and turn into a monster, but my intentions are honest.

Lets ASSUME for the sake of this thread, that the audio critic, 10 biggest lies in audio http://theaudiocritic.com/back_issue...ritic_26_r.pdf is completely correct.  What kind of system would you build.  Has anyone built thier system around these parameters?


given that assumption, lets make some amp and dac recommendations.

and yes that means tubes are right out...

also, if you have built your system around their information id love to hear what you have.

Again im not looking for convincing arguments one side or the other, i just want to know whats recommended ASSUMING the audio critic is totally correct

I have two Mackie HR824mk2's fed from the preamp of a Marantz NR1403 (cheapest receiver I could find that still has preamp outputs). I've used the included microphone and calibration routine and I don't worry about it anymore. For headphones, I'm using the K712's with the receiver or an O2. I use UE600vi's fed directly from an iPhone with 256kbps AAC for portable use, and it sounds great.
post #104 of 115

Classic '70s Dynaco or Crown electronics with updated opamps and capacitors (for reliability more than for sound) with Magneplanar speakers, overhauled AR turntable (the Linn is a copy, though hardly a cheap one) and Grado cartridge, tuned-up Nak tape deck, and practically any DVD player made in the last five years that weighs at least four pounds. Money no object, have Van Alstine go over the electronics.


If the Maggies are unavailable and I have lots of room. Dynaco A50s raised tastefully on cinder blocks, 5 feet from the nearest wall.

post #105 of 115

dynaco stereo 400, I have a pair of them, upgraded caps.

no opamps in the amplifier, just in the protection circuit which can

be turned off.


crown dc300, I have one of them too, caps that fit are hard to get,

no opamps that I remember.


phase linear 700, one of those in addition. no opamps there either.


magneplanar, I had a pair of tympany1A those were fun.


A50's, I blew up a couple of those, the woofers could not take the power.

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