Has anybody reached the peak and losing interest?
Jul 7, 2014 at 2:28 AM Post #76 of 106

Sherwood

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  I think this hobby is not just about having some good measurement and fidelity alone, many factors need to be considered
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( how do we measure warmness, brightness, soundstaging, imaging, clarity, and how do we tell  enough is enough ? I think only the listeners can decide how much of the "good things" is enough for them ).  

 
Warmness, brightness, and clarity (i.e. a lack of "muddiness") can all be measured easily.  Those are descriptive words that we, as a community, have agreed to assign to certain frequency ranges.  As to whether "enough is enough", that's the point of this thread.  We're being asked where our "enough" lies, if there is such a thing.
 
Imaging and soundstaging are more difficult to quantify, but not impossible.  Something like the Smyth Realizer can make imaging monsters out of standard closed headphones, so clearly it is not a quality innate to certain headphones.  Headphones that move the driver in relation to the ear (like the Sennheiser HD800, Stax Sigma and AKG K1000) do so for a reason, and it works to varying degrees.
 
All in all, I think there is a lot more "personality" in this pursuit than there should be.  People striving for a sound that suits them are chasing a moving target.  As critical listeners, we should be constantly growing.  If you're trying to hear what's actually there on the recording, you want to do it with the best possible equipment.  If you're looking for playback equipment to suit your mood or accentuate characteristics of certain music, you're collecting special effects.  That, to me, is a different kind of hobby.
 
Jul 7, 2014 at 4:30 AM Post #77 of 106

macdevign

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Warmness, brightness, and clarity (i.e. a lack of "muddiness") can all be measured easily.  Those are descriptive words that we, as a community, have agreed to assign to certain frequency ranges.  As to whether "enough is enough", that's the point of this thread.  We're being asked where our "enough" lies, if there is such a thing.
 
Imaging and soundstaging are more difficult to quantify, but not impossible.  Something like the Smyth Realizer can make imaging monsters out of standard closed headphones, so clearly it is not a quality innate to certain headphones.  Headphones that move the driver in relation to the ear (like the Sennheiser HD800, Stax Sigma and AKG K1000) do so for a reason, and it works to varying degrees.
 
All in all, I think there is a lot more "personality" in this pursuit than there should be.  People striving for a sound that suits them are chasing a moving target.  As critical listeners, we should be constantly growing.  If you're trying to hear what's actually there on the recording, you want to do it with the best possible equipment.  If you're looking for playback equipment to suit your mood or accentuate characteristics of certain music, you're collecting special effects.  That, to me, is a different kind of hobby.

 
I wonder how many listeners truly care about measurement  when they purchase headphone, equipment and stuff like that
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. From my observation, buyers tend to purchase stuff that receive good reviews, or produce sound that they enjoy. It might even be halo and placebo effect that influence their purchase.
It is really hard to take measurement in perspective because measurement does not always tell the full story. What measure good for one single component may not measure good when integrate into a system. Or what measure good may not always sound as good, or vice versa. Too many variables at play.  Interconnects, power cords  ( eg nordost,  telos cord , tweaks) also play a part here. Moreover measurement does not take into account of what type of sound one is interested in. What is best for us may not always be best for other listeners because they may be looking for different thing. There is no exact science on  what is the best ultimate sound.  Even audiophile players like Pure music 2, amarra 3 play music differently
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.
 
That is the reason I collect  headphones with different sound signatures and use them  depending on my mood. I like that some headphone companies tend to produce headphones with similar house sound and continue that direction. I just enjoy diversity of sound produce by different equipment.
 
I ask myself why I enjoy this hobby so much is not because I am looking for the best sound but mainly because listening to the same music with different type of sound representation make me marvelous at what kind of other sound possibilities I yet discover.  I also enjoy experiment with tweaks ( eg acoustic revive rr777, usb isolator, ) and sure enough, it creates that kind of "special effects" to satisfy my curiosity even though it produces sound that is unnatural but sound beautiful to me.  But hey our "best" sound tends to be the one we experiment and discover along the way
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  until something "better" comes along and change our view.   Sound that measure badly but sound heavenly and wonderful to particular individual. This endless pursuit is what make this hobby interesting to some.
 
This hobby provides me something to look forward to everyday and I find joy in it.  That say this hobby is anything to anybody as long as they are happy about it. It means different thing to different individual.  I think this community strives because it accommodates every form of individual
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Jul 7, 2014 at 4:46 AM Post #78 of 106

ToddTheMetalGod

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To me I look for something balanced that sounds natural to my ears. I don't hear many real instruments frequently so it probably isn't the best idea... but it's working so far. It's a lot easier to pick out high end speakers than headphones I find, because most even semi-respectable speaker designers aim for flat frequency response (also you can use advanced room equalizers like the IK Multimedia ARC 2 to even out the response, or even room correction like acoustic panels and bass traps).
 
Jul 8, 2014 at 7:17 AM Post #80 of 106

Xdaggersoul

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 I would like to go for a tube amp in the future. 
 
Jul 8, 2014 at 9:25 AM Post #81 of 106

Sherwood

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Moral high ground? I'm curious why you say it that way. What other point is there to all of this? Isn't the idea to get as close to the music as possible? 

 
I completely understand what he is saying.  "It's all about the music" is a fortified position of debate, one behind which a bad argument can hide.  Almost any statement can be made valid, in the eyes of some, by appending "but it makes my favorite music sound so good, and isn't that what it's all about?"
 
I'm perfectly capable of getting "close to the music" through a car radio, or played over megaphones at a baseball game, or through a single ear bud sitting next to a girl with the other earbud on a train.  I don't need fidelity for connection.  I want fidelity for its own sake, because it's fun to have, and because there's more to music than even all that.
 
Jul 8, 2014 at 9:43 AM Post #82 of 106

ToddTheMetalGod

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I'm perfectly capable of getting "close to the music" through a car radio, or played over megaphones at a baseball game, or through a single ear bud sitting next to a girl with the other earbud on a train.  I don't need fidelity for connection.  I want fidelity for its own sake, because it's fun to have, and because there's more to music than even all that.
This. I mostly listen to music for either emotional response or the meaning of the lyrics. When I buy expensive audio equipment it's to extract the beauty from the music. It's two separate ideas that just happen to intersect.
 
Jul 8, 2014 at 10:16 AM Post #83 of 106

Focker

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I completely understand what he is saying.  "It's all about the music" is a fortified position of debate, one behind which a bad argument can hide.  Almost any statement can be made valid, in the eyes of some, by appending "but it makes my favorite music sound so good, and isn't that what it's all about?"
 
I'm perfectly capable of getting "close to the music" through a car radio, or played over megaphones at a baseball game, or through a single ear bud sitting next to a girl with the other earbud on a train.  I don't need fidelity for connection.  I want fidelity for its own sake, because it's fun to have, and because there's more to music than even all that.

 
But if it's not about the music, what is it about? I just don't see that position as being one of "moral high ground". Isn't the pursuit of fidelity meant to allow the reproduction of music to be as authentic as possible? I'm not talking about connecting with the music from a car radio, I'm talking about the entire point of a home audio rig being to recreate the performance in the home environment. 
 
Jul 8, 2014 at 10:24 AM Post #84 of 106

Focker

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This. I mostly listen to music for either emotional response or the meaning of the lyrics. When I buy expensive audio equipment it's to extract the beauty from the music. It's two separate ideas that just happen to intersect.

 
Right, but for many those aren't two separate ideas. I used to date a student at the Eastman School in Rochester NY. When I got out of class, I would go and sit in the auditorium listening to the rehearsals of both the symphony and the singers/actors. I had never heard music like that before and after two semesters worth of rehearsals, I had a completely new outlook on the way I connect with music. The richness and timbre of those instruments just drew me in to the overall performance like I couldn't believe. It was mesmerizing. Ever since then, it's been a combination of the music itself AND the authenticity of the recording (and the ability of my audio rig to extract it, to use your word) that brings me joy. I just don't see those as two separate things...they are two aspects of what leads to my overall enjoyment of a performance. 
 
Jul 8, 2014 at 10:32 AM Post #85 of 106

ToddTheMetalGod

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Right, but for many those aren't two separate ideas. I used to date a student at the Eastman School in Rochester NY. When I got out of class, I would go and sit in the auditorium listening to the rehearsals of both the symphony and the singers/actors. I had never heard music like that before and after two semesters worth of rehearsals, I had a completely new outlook on the way I connect with music. The richness and timbre of those instruments just drew me in to the overall performance like I couldn't believe. It was mesmerizing. Ever since then, it's been a combination of the music itself AND the authenticity of the recording (and the ability of my audio rig to extract it, to use your word) that brings me joy. I just don't see those as two separate things...they are two aspects of what leads to my overall enjoyment of a performance. 
My point is that I would still love music just as much if I didn't ever discover good audio equipment. Yes, it certainly makes the experience more enjoyable... but if the music didn't have high fidelity I wouldn't enjoy it any less. I would still like the same music and listen to it the same amount. Then again, I'm not a musician and audiophiles that are musicians tend to be completely different than audiophiles that aren't.

To me music is music, as long as I can hear the instruments properly and understand the lyrics it's fine. It doesn't matter if it sounds good because the music itself is the experience, not the electronics used to reproduce it.
 
Jul 8, 2014 at 10:48 AM Post #86 of 106

estreeter

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Very handy - the free app Soundhound for your smartphone. Would have identified that song and shown you the lyrics. I think the Shazam app does same too.

 
Thanks for that - excellent app and surprisingly quick to identify most tunes even if I'm skeptical that it could ever identify a song from my pathetic attempts to hum a tune  :wink:
 
Jul 8, 2014 at 11:13 AM Post #87 of 106

PFKMan23

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In a sense yes. In my prime I had a Singlepower MPX3 SE, sold it, bought a Balanced Beta 22 and I eventually sold that.  Now I'm down to a Pico amp/dac with a few headphones.  I'll admit I'm curious about a few things, but there's no compulsion to buy/try that there used to be.
 
Jul 9, 2014 at 3:02 AM Post #88 of 106

estreeter

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  In a sense yes. In my prime I had a Singlepower MPX3 SE, sold it, bought a Balanced Beta 22 and I eventually sold that.  Now I'm down to a Pico amp/dac with a few headphones.  I'll admit I'm curious about a few things, but there's no compulsion to buy/try that there used to be.

 
Well done that man - I'm already considering doing something similar. Its the music I really want and no amount of gear or hi-def downloads seems to compensate for music that moves me vs 'audiophile recordings' that - at least to date - have left me cold. 
 
Aug 3, 2014 at 8:49 PM Post #89 of 106

SilverEars

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I think I've reached pretty high and staring to realize it's affects.  I can't say if it's positive or negative.  My music taste has changed to better recordings as I notice significant difference in recording with transparent setup and realizing the meaning of what transparent means.  I don't like the fact that my music taste has steer because in trying to get the most perfect sound quality I have left music I enjoy listening aside because of the low quality in the recording.  Wasn't aware of the lower quality in the recording during mid fi and was enjoying looking for lots of music and now I see myself looking for audiophile tracks instead now.  I've gone too far.  
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Aug 3, 2014 at 9:50 PM Post #90 of 106
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  Many people don't look for accuracy, they look for traits that are unnatural... such as extra treble/bass, overly large soundstage, extremely rough treble, overly boomy mid bass, etc. 

 
We look for enjoyment
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I'm guilty of trying to use it to forget unhappiness, perhaps it's a combination of my frustration at my total lack of creativity and partly trying to find beauty in something other than women ;p. Also the cons of concerts in my opinion.

My computer hobby also fell to the wayside now that I game less, so audio gives me something to think about and do. I'm still into performance computers, but more to donate computing time to scientific research projects.

 
I got into photography more seriously than before, something for which I can partially blame my friends in this hobby for. But given the sound I'm getting from my system at this very moment, I don't feel I need anything better.
 
   Many people are message board warriors, and if you have gear that you can justify with things like FR graphs or other "facts", you can beat down those who disagree with you or dispute your arguments. It happens all the time, and audio gear is just one way that this sort of behavior manifests. 

 
Unfortunately this is too true. It is too easy to forget my first point, that we are seeking enjoyment and sharing that enjoyment. Enjoyment from trying to take down others just ruins it. I think that is why many people lose interest. If I wasn't able to go out and meet people as part of the hobby, I would have lost interest and given up.
 
  I think I've reached pretty high and staring to realize it's affects.  I can't say if it's positive or negative.  My music taste has changed to better recordings as I notice significant difference in recording with transparent setup and realizing the meaning of what transparent means.  I don't like the fact that my music taste has steer because in trying to get the most perfect sound quality I have left music I enjoy listening aside because of the low quality in the recording.  Wasn't aware of the lower quality in the recording during mid fi and was enjoying looking for lots of music and now I see myself looking for audiophile tracks instead now.  I've gone too far.  
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I had this very problem with the Stax SR009. As amazing as they are, I had to use them only with music they were suited to. I now listen to a lot of music that is not "audiophile" in my car to and from work -- quite a lot of stuff that I had neglected or would otherwise. I think that is why, for example, a lot of people like the Fostex TH900s which, while not as detailed as other TOTL headphones, are "fun" to listen to music with (and hence from the Fostex/Denon FR I coined that very term).
 

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