the most important tip I can give after 40 years in the hobby .....

Discussion in 'Home Audio (Stereo Systems)' started by finwhale, May 5, 2017.


  1. finwhale

    finwhale Member

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    remember this tip

    almost 90 % of this hobby is BS

    nothing you read matters - all that matters is actually listening to hundreds of systems

    there are so many falsehoods and over hyped products

    there are products that look like a million dollars and sound like crap

    there are products the look silly and sound great

    don't buy based on what you read - buy based on what you hear

    case in point - look at the funny paper tweeters here on these speakers - you would guess they sound bad - in real life they look so cheap its absurd - you would be wrong they sound great

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2017
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  2. James824

    James824 Supporting Member

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    I could not agree more.

    The reviews of high end audio are so full of shite I cry with laughter whenever I read them.
     
  3. Mighty Melvin

    Mighty Melvin Member

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    Two decades ago I decided I wouldn't build speakers any more because the "science" had been getting so advanced. Two years ago I noticed that almost all commercial speakers sound like poopy-doo.

    I built my own, using a little science, a little mysticism and a little disobedient thought. They are splendid.
    .
     
  4. Justin Hitchborn

    Justin Hitchborn Supporting Member

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    I haven't even been alive as long as a bunch of guys on these boards have been into audio. I'm glad that I'm learning early on just how powerful perception can be.

    I've stopped reading reviews related to sound. I want to know how well built it is...the rest I can figure out on my own.
     
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  5. paulg

    paulg Supporting Member

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    The 90% rule applies to other hobbies as well
     
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  6. hogy

    hogy Member

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    Ok, my turn for a tip:

    This is the best sounding tube HiFi amp I have ever heard, and I have heard most of the classics.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. jnovac1

    jnovac1 Supporting Member

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    yep. harmon kardon made some el84 integrateds with the coppery colored faceplates that were really good.
     
  8. jnovac1

    jnovac1 Supporting Member

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    speaker choice for the eico?
    i had some klipsch fortes that i miss.
     
  9. hogy

    hogy Member

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    Old Spendor BC-1s for me. This is my "listening" setup.
     
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  10. jnovac1

    jnovac1 Supporting Member

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    shoulda known.
    magnepan 1.7 quad 909 power conrad johnson pv-2 pre. also seductive, but i'd trade 'ya...
     
  11. hogy

    hogy Member

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    I appreciate the offer, but I am done. This rig has kept me happy listening for going on 20 years now. Many others have come and gone until I stopped looking and decided to just settle in with this pair, and a decent turntable, for life.

    For everyday listening incl. digital (YouTube, etc.), guitar practice and radio, I run a Marantz 2275 (less heat!) and a pair of Dahlquist DQ-10s.
     
  12. BadAssBill

    BadAssBill southofnash.com Silver Supporting Member

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    It's so funny this came up. I tried out some speakers today. Monitor Audio Silver 10, and the high end Elac. Now, to be fair they weren't off the same amp. The Martins were off an Anthem and the Elacs were off a nice NAD, but to my ears....the Elacs were the best in the 2500 and under range. I listened to some PSBs too...but they were third out of them all.

    The Elacs are more than half the price of the other components. I feel weird liking them more, but they really did sound great.
     
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  13. mixn4him

    mixn4him Supporting Member

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    Ok Ill play, just enjoy the music and dont get caught up in listening to the gear.
     
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  14. guitarjazz

    guitarjazz Member

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    I'm sitting right next the brother of that model....4XEL84 hi-fi goodness and original AR-2 speaker.
     
  15. Rex Anderson

    Rex Anderson Member

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    Here's my tip after 40 years as an audio pro (recording, mixing, editing, mastering, and live sound), not just a hobbyist. Educate yourself, avoid snake oil, overpriced equipment, cables, and ridiculous accessories.

    New revised version of Floyd Toole's book is coming out soon. "Sound Reproduction: Loudspeakers and Rooms" should be required reading for anyone who takes the hobby seriously.

    "Use your ears" is good advice, but you need ear training to learn how to listen and what to listen for. You can listen to hundreds of systems and have an opinion about what you like the best, but learning about loudspeakers and rooms will help you the most.

    Sure there are a lot of hyped reviews, but there are a few places where you can get serious scientific measurements that actually do mean something to someone who knows how to read them and well-written reviews by people who have a lot of knowledge and experience reviewing audio equipment.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2017
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  16. 2016aug29

    2016aug29 Supporting Member

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    I have a midfi system now that I am very happy with (Digital source into Cambridge Audio DAC into Luxman hybrid amp into Elac bookshelf speakers). Before I'll even think of any system upgrades, I will sort out room issues first - square living room and plastered concrete walls making it not exactly the ideal listening environment. My brother with his (lower) high end system of course suggested a high end power cable ... (Not saying it can't make a difference, but nothing I'd put high on the list.)
     
  17. finwhale

    finwhale Member

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    how does reading narrow your search ? - IMHO it corrupts your search as it gives you false confidence that you have correctly narrowed down your choices

    it makes you excited about exactly the wrong products

    in most cases you won't even know that you purchased an inferior product

    ok here is a challenge for my naysayers

    based 100 % on reading reviews only put together a total system with a budget of 10,000

    speakers / amp and pre or integrated and analog turntable front end - no digital

    reviews only - can't use personal experience
     
  18. PremiumPlus

    PremiumPlus Member

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    Great thread. Thanks for posting, it's so true. I've been doin' this for 50+ years and couldn't agree more.
     
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  19. Sigmund Floyd

    Sigmund Floyd Supporting Member

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    Yes and no. I say have some fun with it, and in the end it's about the music. You can learn a lot from reviews and places like Stereophile ( Art Dudley, Tellig etc...), Six Moons Audio, Audiogon. There are experts in the field, folks whose career is this stuff, they can have a lot to offer. Most of us can't listen to most speakers or gear that is out there, not possible. I know Wilson Sophia or Revel F-208's are great speakers but i've never heard them. I would take a pair in a heartbeat, lol. Good gear is good gear, ugly or pretty. True, some like Vox, some Marshall, so there is a learning curve. The internet has made trying gear a lot more accessible, world wide really, and it can get expensive but it's fun. And you can always sell it. What's helped me the most is advice from a real audiophile who also knew lower budget gear that sounded good. So I don't really agree that "90% of this hobby is BS.." That's just too negative, I would reverse it, but yes, listen to what you can and take some calculated risks, it's worth it. With some research and guidance (but not hearing them), I've bought a great Italian amp from Audio Analogue, Infinity IL-40 speakers, a Decware tube pre, Adcom GFA-555, Yamaha YP-801 turntable, NHT Classic 3 speakers etc etc-- all good gear!!
     
  20. finwhale

    finwhale Member

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    the forums can be good and getting insight from someone who is really into home audio and flips components often is invaluable
    the big thing is that when someone makes a large purchase - and they bought new especially - they are inherently biased

    for example - you buy a $4000 dollar pair of speakers from a review you read in a magazine - we will call them speakers "A"

    you are past the return date and on a honeymoon with them - you probably are going to think the world of them

    compare this with a guy who buys used and flips components all the time - when asked about his thoughts on speaker "A" he might say that they were fantastic or on the other hand he might say that you could get the same sound for 1/4 the price for speaker "B"

    an example would be ADCOM - they received extremely favorable reviews back in the day - some magazines gave them a top rating

    what do you think I thought of them after experiencing a 300b single ended triode amp when Dennis Had first started Cary Audio ?

    well the 300b and the Adcom both got A ratings - gives pause for thought

    or a ROTEL photo stage that received very high reviews but then I built a Hagerman kit that destroyed it sound wise

    or how stereo shops have the latest "flavor of the week" - they push a product one year and drop it like a hot potato the next

    or how a speaker maker will go into detail about what Wonderful test equipment they have - so does that help them make a better speaker or is it a way they can sell a cheaper product ?

    and why do you think they are in love with mini monitors and don't want to offer you a complex cabinet design like k horns ?

    I asked again - based on reviews alone - not first hand listening - what components do you buy for a 10,000 dollar system to play records only ????
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2017

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