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Critical listening - The Middle Way

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

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Edited by mike1127 - 8/1/13 at 11:11am
post #2 of 7

Thank you. Refreshing post. There is so much talk about hardware here than one tends to forget this hobby is about enjoying listening.

 

Arturo

post #3 of 7

Mike,

 

Having a vinyl Source component means that one can experiment with various adjustments and set-up elements. All of which can subtly/grossly change the sound quality. There have been times when the set-up has produced a VERY pronounced 'metronomic' effect on the music played. Everything gets this 'unstoppable propulsive rhythmic momentum' imposed upon it. It sounds a little disconcerting, kinda like the humans have morphed into music-making machines.

 

I have noticed on repeated occasions that the level of my turntable's bearing (more exactly the perpendicularity) influences the syncopation of the music replay. This can be undone by taking the bearing out of perpendicularity also.

 

I have found that with the overall best set-up achieved, that the resolution, dynamics, syncopation, soundstage, imaging are all there as good as(or much better than) any one of those elements might have reached with lesser set-up efforts that never gathered them all together. In other words, when it ALL comes together, better than ever, one must be hitting a bullseye for the component's best under the circumstances.

 

My recent efforts of the past year are proving to me that the support, isolation, damping etc of components is crucial to getting all that they can give. The greater the innate ability of the component, the more that this is an absolute necessity. When these elements of set-up are attended to, the effect is the same as I illustrated in the previous paragraph. All of the disparate elements take a simultaneous leap forward.

 

This is my experience.

post #4 of 7

If you have a good memory for sound, then the reference might be a memory image of an instrument compared with the electronic instrument producing the music you're listening to. So, I know what an orchestra or whatever sounds like, and I compare that what the speakers or headphones are trying to represent. They're very expressive, some of them, and a crappy set of cables can muddy up sound very easily -- squeeky highs and lumpy lows. People used to buy these thick stretched chunks of copper wrapped in cloth to get the image to their speakers -- using the cables as tone controls, even though they eschewed tone controls with their pure pre-amps. All that changed with linear crystal wire and oxygen free wire. Now you can hear the crap quality of the electronics themselves and the hype recording engineering in its pure form. Of course,  there's also the joy of listening to LP's, with their out of true centering and warp and RIAA fantasy of how to make a cheaper and continuous performance sound with turntable technology. Any pitch true listener will tell you how much of a relief the CD was compared to the pitch variation from warping, and ear-burn fatigue at the end of the LP.

 

So, really, listening is just listening -- just listen to sound -- that's what the composers did: they turned sound into melody and harmony and made music out of it. We ought to be able to at least try to hear what they heard, not some mellow sludge to make us feel so sludgy and mellow about, what...? crosby, stills and nash?? -- people do listen to that stuff and think they're listening to performers and not electrical outlets with attitude.
 

post #5 of 7

jeepers, we were into all those turntable mods, and very expensive cartridges. but, the bottom line was still the geometry of the disc and cutter. the 78's are much more satisfying, both because they have direct to disc bass and faster turning speed to allow more information across the needle. of course, when i listen to a transcription of a 78 or even a 33/3thrd disc from India HMV, i realize i'm listening, once again to a turntable image of the music.

 

I really feel that direct wiring to the components -- wiring your wires to the line-out -- and listening only with good headphones gives the cleanest sound. the speaker setup, the room and furnature acoustics and all do color the sound. and, as you say, many things affect an electronic image -- the power supply and power chord really do effect the color of the room. I'm at a disadvantage in that i'm using the sony sacd from 1991, and though it's built like a tank, its components very high quality, it's still based on that funky room speaker end sound product for the bourgeois listener. But, it's what i have and it's good enough with good enough cabling.
 

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikebauer View Post

If you have a good memory for sound, then the reference might be a memory image of an instrument compared with the electronic instrument producing the music you're listening to. So, I know what an orchestra or whatever sounds like, and I compare that what the speakers or headphones are trying to represent. They're very expressive, some of them, and a crappy set of cables can muddy up sound very easily -- squeeky highs and lumpy lows. People used to buy these thick stretched chunks of copper wrapped in cloth to get the image to their speakers -- using the cables as tone controls, even though they eschewed tone controls with their pure pre-amps. All that changed with linear crystal wire and oxygen free wire. Now you can hear the crap quality of the electronics themselves and the hype recording engineering in its pure form. Of course,  there's also the joy of listening to LP's, with their out of true centering and warp and RIAA fantasy of how to make a cheaper and continuous performance sound with turntable technology. Any pitch true listener will tell you how much of a relief the CD was compared to the pitch variation from warping, and ear-burn fatigue at the end of the LP.

 

So, really, listening is just listening -- just listen to sound -- that's what the composers did: they turned sound into melody and harmony and made music out of it. We ought to be able to at least try to hear what they heard, not some mellow sludge to make us feel so sludgy and mellow about, what...? crosby, stills and nash?? -- people do listen to that stuff and think they're listening to performers and not electrical outlets with attitude.
 

I see a newbie with 3 posts! Welcome to the forum! I hope you sober up quickly! beerchug.gif

post #7 of 7

thanks a lot, but i don't get drunk on anything but music and colors. are you in such denial that you can't believe anyone really likes music? is it because you're a brilliant composer and tired of foolish people pratting? or were you perhaps, instead, not brilliant but forced to practice piano as a kid, when you wanted to be outdoors shooting groundhogs?

 

laugh out loud, etc.

 

if this mechanical stuff we're so fond of isn't about music and sound, then what is it about? ownership?
 


Edited by mikebauer - 9/4/12 at 8:35am
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