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post #106 of 147
" The Mercer is the Mercer, whether in person or in print."

For sure! I see Mr. Mercer in fully animated, almost but not quite frothing glory when ever I read his work, thank God! Mike, it is a blessing that you are able to translate yourself to the page so completely. Damned entertaining, and all the more for having met. I haven't got emoticons sorted on my phone. Assume one of those big toothy ones somewhere back there...
post #107 of 147
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by aamefford View Post

" The Mercer is the Mercer, whether in person or in print."

For sure! I see Mr. Mercer in fully animated, almost but not quite frothing glory when ever I read his work, thank God! Mike, it is a blessing that you are able to translate yourself to the page so completely. Damned entertaining, and all the more for having met. I haven't got emoticons sorted on my phone. Assume one of those big toothy ones somewhere back there...

 

:o2smile:

on my way to UCSF w/ the wifey (fingers crossed, she's been sick)

but this thread has been my fuel for the last few days.

 

More thought in-depth coming ASAP

 

but, in the meantime, thank you.

Thanks for the conversation, the compliments have humbled me, and I look forward to the continuation of the journey more than anything else.

 

and YES - The Mercer sometimes wishes he could bring it down, but I could never find the damn gain knob on myself...

post #108 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikemercer View Post
 

 

:o2smile:

on my way to UCSF w/ the wifey (fingers crossed, she's been sick)

but this thread has been my fuel for the last few days.

 

More thought in-depth coming ASAP

 

but, in the meantime, thank you.

Thanks for the conversation, the compliments have humbled me, and I look forward to the continuation of the journey more than anything else.

 

and YES - The Mercer sometimes wishes he could bring it down, but I could never find the damn gain knob on myself...

Fingers crossed with you.  As for the gain knob - a man is what he is, to paraphrase Popeye the Sailor.  We don't change much, maybe get a little older and mellower is all.

post #109 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikemercer View Post

 

and YES - The Mercer sometimes wishes he could bring it down, but I could never find the damn gain knob on myself...

 

Um, no.  You're not gonna wanna do that.  I've seen it, it ain't pretty.  ;)

post #110 of 147
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by warrenpchi View Post
 

 

Um, no.  You're not gonna wanna do that.  I've seen it, it ain't pretty.  ;)

YES, you have!!  IT ain't pretty is it

Quote:
Originally Posted by aamefford View Post
 

Fingers crossed with you.  As for the gain knob - a man is what he is, to paraphrase Popeye the Sailor.  We don't change much, maybe get a little older and mellower is all.

 

and wise words!

 

I wonder what the old guard thinks of this series.

I heard the latest What is the Future of the High End piece ended up in Steve Hoffmans message board. Whom I respect and know - but that board, man they can get vicous.

I'm not sure I wanna take a look at the response!  They used to try ANYTHING to tear me down on Audio Asylum

post #111 of 147

I would say the old guard probably regard you as heretical, but perhaps too articulate (and correct!) to credibly defeat in honest debate, so I imagine they will either pile on the hate or else just ignore you. Either way, I wouldn't get too involved in what they have to say, since it most likely won't be flattering.

post #112 of 147

People who can't refute someone's stance usually revert to characxter assassination to soothe their conscience.

 

Keep hitting them with the facts.

Facts may be ignored or sidestepped, but they can't be refuted.

post #113 of 147
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wink View Post
 

People who can't refute someone's stance usually revert to characxter assassination to soothe their conscience.

 

Keep hitting them with the facts.

Facts may be ignored or sidestepped, but they can't be refuted.

Thanks @wink!

I try very hard to do that, and to avoid sharing the facts in a dry, linear style.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Argyris View Post
 

I would say the old guard probably regard you as heretical, but perhaps too articulate (and correct!) to credibly defeat in honest debate, so I imagine they will either pile on the hate or else just ignore you. Either way, I wouldn't get too involved in what they have to say, since it most likely won't be flattering.

 

Interesting you about it that way!  You are damn intuitive, NO BULLSH__.

As I've received very positive support from John Atkinson at Stereophile on my writing (and he worked for The Absolute Sounds' competition)

but I've never heard anything positive from almost everybody at TAS! Except from Neil Gader and the Publisher (ironic).  And I still outwardly

support TAS - though I think they've let themselves get closed off from their would-be readers entirely.  

 

They keep preaching to the already converted.

And that's something I can stand for.  Like I said in my recent article above, in the end it comes down to the music and the fact that we're

reviewing stereo equipment dudes.  They need to, sorry, but take their heads out of their ____s just to scope the WHOLE field!

 

Oddly, all of them only recognized me as "Harry Pearson's former set-up man" until I broke editorially from covering high end two-channel

exclusively (though my music/software reviews were never and will never be of typical audiophile fair).

 

and...  I'm not even sure why all this bothered me so much.  Well, I know some of it.  I started out so damn young in that strange business

I looked up to many of them.  To work my ass off, to move up as a writer, and then be practially shunned by many older writers, but not their readers!

And that keeps me going.

 

Interactions like this.  Whole-hearted, go-for-it, no BS interaction is what I'm about.  Life's too short.

Maybe it scares them a bit.

 

I feel like I'm unloading my high end scars an all ya!!

post #114 of 147
Quote:Mike Mercer
 I feel like I'm unloading my high end scars an all ya!!

 

From my end, it's no problem as it keeps operating as a personal reality check.

 

We all can sometimes drift off in our own little utopia, and then someone says beats are high fidelity, and reality comes crashing home.

 

High fidelity must be the most misunderstood concept in the music reproduction realm.

 

Some say if they like the sound, it's hifi. No hope for those deluded souls.

 

The reality is that, even if it sounds rotten, but true to life, then it's hifi.


Edited by wink - 10/4/13 at 8:29am
post #115 of 147
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wink View Post
 

 

From my end, it's no problem as it keeps operating as a personal reality check.

 

We all can sometimes drift off in our own little utopia, and then someone says beats are high fidelity, and reality comes crashing home.

 

High fidelity must be the most misunderstood concept in the music reproduction realm.

 

Some say if they like the sound, it's hifi. No hope for those deluded souls.

 

The reality is that, even if it sounds rotten, but true to life, then it's hifi.

 

and, @wink

that last sentence could very well be one of the greatest, singular thoughts/views on Hi-fi that I've read.

and I will type more when I get back!!

post #116 of 147

Yes.
And "...true to life" is the 'absolute sound' objective.

 

And time for a personal opinion:

This cannot be understood with 'synthetic' or electronic music. For where is the benchmark / reference?

It may be enjoyable, it may sound 'good', but how it compares to 'true to life' is anyone's guess.

post #117 of 147
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by shane55 View Post
 

Yes.
And "...true to life" is the 'absolute sound' objective.

 

And time for a personal opinion:

This cannot be understood with 'synthetic' or electronic music. For where is the benchmark / reference?

It may be enjoyable, it may sound 'good', but how it compares to 'true to life' is anyone's guess.

 

Which is why, for me, and this might sound strange as Hp's apprentice/former set-up man and dear friend,

but I don't personally subscribe to the whole "absolute sound" theory.  I mean, I do to a certain extent; like "does that

sound like a stand-up bass, or a just a bass tone", or "does this sound like the Fender Strat they used, or a compressed guitar sound".

I subscribe to the theory only so far in that I think you can use organic instruments to judge a systems' ability to reproduce

the tonality and presence of that instrument accurately.  That I'm completely down with, and thankful for Harry and J. Gordon Holt

for making the review process more fun and exploratory through those means!  Hell, they made Hi-fi more fun for all!

 

As you know @shane55 - before them everything covering Hi-fi boiled down to mere test results and empty scientific language that didn't

describe the musicality of the components.

 

But the reason?  The reason I don't subscribe to the theory that it's the ONLY way to judge a system:  A personal experience I had 

while working for producer/arranger Arif Mardin while working at Atlantic Records - another mentor whom I miss EVERYDAY! We were

at Avatar Studios, recording the string section for BB King & Eric Clapton's Riding With the King album...

 

I describe the experience in detail when I reviewed my Zu Audio Omen Defs for Positive Feedback.

HERES A LINK

 

I do believe you can judge a systems capabilities using symphonic music as well as organic (meaning you can use both).  As a matter of fact,

you'll remember the very first Absolute Sound sampler CD by Hp @shane55 - and how controversial it was, because it was full of tracks from the

Hearts of Space catalog!  It was all symphonic music.  But it was music Harry was familiar with (he was in the studio, chose the tracks and sequenced them) and he made very detailed liner notes for the sampler (still available on Amazon - I refer to it often) of what you should look for in the reproduction of the music through your system.  It's a great guide actually - and again it was ironic as the very man behind the theory of "the absolute sound" produced a symphonic sampler to gauge his readers systems capabilities!  He did it partly because the symphonic music could reach certain frequencies free of distortion (so obviously not "real" per se) and that made for a solid system test.  The sampler will show you your systems limitations, and also it's strengths.  I still use it from time to time.

 

I think Hi-fi, just like music, is meant to be enjoyed.  That's at the heart of it, and that's (if you didn't read the review w/ the story) what I learned from Arif.  Maybe I should say Arif reminded me of that.  And that man produced everyone from Dusty Springfield to Aretha, the Bee Gees to Phil Collins, Bette Midler, to Jewel and Norah Jones (not that I loved or love her music personally).  He used to say the problem with audiophiles was that they "treated the albums we make as time capsules" and that they "didn't create time capture devices" in the recording studio.  He said they were after the soul of the music, and he also taught me that if the soul is there, you could get that feeling from a tiny transistor radio.  Thus @wink's point.

 

So I gotta say that I think both organic and symphonic music can be used when evaluating your gear.

Especially, if like me, you split your listening time between electronic and organic music!!

 

LOVIN' this discourse.  Honestly.  I know there are a great deal of objectivists here, and my style of reviewing (the Hp school - describing the musical

experience as played through the gear) doesn't sit well with them. 

post #118 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by shane55 View Post
 

Yes.
And "...true to life" is the 'absolute sound' objective.

 

And time for a personal opinion:

This cannot be understood with 'synthetic' or electronic music. For where is the benchmark / reference?

It may be enjoyable, it may sound 'good', but how it compares to 'true to life' is anyone's guess.

 

I would say that you'd have to rely on how well the headphone renders more acoustically-driven genres (especially live or minimally-processed/multitracked performances thereof), or else how wide its general genre coverage is, and extrapolate from there. You're absolutely right, though. What would you base your judgment on for music which only really exists as a final mix? For that matter, what does a heavily multitracked studio recording really sound like, when everything was recorded in isolation, then mixed together at the whim of an engineer?

 

Generally (and this is just a big fat generalization on my part), neutralish (whatever that even means) headphones tend to have wider genre coverage than headphones with obvious coloration, at least insofar as I've gathered from my own (humble) experience and from reading many, many recommendation threads. When somebody is looking for a good all-rounder, generally the recommendations lean toward such a neutral balance. I'd say that if a headphone doesn't sound obviously wrong with any genre thrown at it (e.g. bloated midbass or shouty upper midrange or lack of upper extension), the way it renders any specific genre is probably fairly accurate. Now whether you like that sound for that genre is an entirely different matter.

 

There don't seem to be many absolutes in this hobby. That's why if I'm enjoying what I hear, I just try to shut the rest of the stuff out.

post #119 of 147
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Argyris View Post
 

 

I would say that you'd have to rely on how well the headphone renders more acoustically-driven genres (especially live or minimally-processed/multitracked performances thereof), or else how wide its general genre coverage is, and extrapolate from there. You're absolutely right, though. What would you base your judgment on for music which only really exists as a final mix? For that matter, what does a heavily multitracked studio recording really sound like, when everything was recorded in isolation, then mixed together at the whim of an engineer?

 

Generally (and this is just a big fat generalization on my part), neutralish (whatever that even means) headphones tend to have wider genre coverage than headphones with obvious coloration, at least insofar as I've gathered from my own (humble) experience and from reading many, many recommendation threads. When somebody is looking for a good all-rounder, generally the recommendations lean toward such a neutral balance. I'd say that if a headphone doesn't sound obviously wrong with any genre thrown at it (e.g. bloated midbass or shouty upper midrange or lack of upper extension), the way it renders any specific genre is probably fairly accurate. Now whether you like that sound for that genre is an entirely different matter.

 

There don't seem to be many absolutes in this hobby. That's why if I'm enjoying what I hear, I just try to shut the rest of the stuff out.

 

I LOVED this response,

and will respond in-depth ASAP!!

 

I especially loved the first paragraph - because it speaks STRAIGHT TO THE HEART of what Arif was telling me: The end result, the recording you're listening to is not even a facsimile of the real-thing.

It's tracked, mixed, mastered.  All of that changes the sound of the actual event.  Arif used to tell me "the moment the microphone captures the sound of the instrument it's forever changed".  I truly

experienced that, it hit me in the gut, on the day in Avatar Studios that I speak about in the Zu Audio review I linked to above...

post #120 of 147

Seconded about Argyris' response. It brings to mind Chesky's Binaural Plus recordings which, if anything, really do feel like they are bringing you closer to the experience of the performance itself by removing that feeling of left-and-right that we try and ignore when listening with headphones.

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