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Klassik

Wammer
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About Klassik

  • Rank
    Experienced Wammer
    Experienced Wammer

Personal Info

  • Location
    Houston

Wigwam Info

  • Turn Table
    RS LAB420/Pio. PL570
  • Digital Source 1
    Sony BDP-S570
  • Digital Source 2
    Teac PD-700M
  • DAC
    Nein, cassette decks
  • Integrated Amp
    Pioneer SX-650 (Rec)
  • My Speakers
    DCM TimePiece TP160S
  • Trade Status
    I am not in the Hi-Fi trade

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  1. There actually are specific reasons for why El Klassiko speaks in the third-person at the Wigwam. Without going into great detail, Klassik has found that Klassik's third-person posts are not nearly as misconstrued as Klassik's first-person posts and, thus, conversations are more successful. Given that success, Klassik is sticking to the third-person.
  2. To be fair, this subforum has been pretty dead lately. Klassik's post about the Saint-Saëns piano trios almost exactly a year ago seemed to be enough to keep this thread near the top. That said, a thread about Saint-Saëns is a worthy topic to be near the top of a classical music forum. At least Klassik thinks so. Klassik quite enjoys Saint-Saëns' orchestral works, but Saint-Saëns had some chamber works which are real winners. The Carnival of the Animals is obviously the famous one, , but there are also the piano trios (along with the Septet and other chamber works for strings and piano that will surely infuriate @Le Baron including the absolutely obscure piano quartet in E which remained in manuscript form until 1992 ) Klassik mentioned earlier and, of course, the violin and cello sonatas which are excellent in Klassik's opinion. Here's to another year or more of Saint-Saëns appreciation.
  3. Klassik knows not if the features have really moved forward on modern integrated amplifiers/receivers. Older amplifiers had many features which were useful especially given the sources of the time. Things like switched outlets and tape loops were useful, but won't be found on most modern equipment. Most integrated amps/receivers of the time had pretty high quality phono pre-amps and 1970s receivers often had excellent tuners. Older amps had loudness contours which had their use. Some modern integrated amps/receivers have good phono pre-amps, but DACs have replaced the tape loops. The tuners on modern receivers are generally merely sufficient rather than being good like the old ones. Modern amps will have a remote though. Loudness controls are not so common these days, but Yamaha still has their excellent variable loudness controls. Perhaps modern Yamahas aside, Klassik prefers the feature sets of older amplifiers than newer ones in a general sense.
  4. It's a bit odd that Yamaha is not up there with some of the other big names, but it's probably worth jumping on those while they are still somewhat fairly priced if that is the case. As for Sanyo, they made a lot of the department store stuff for Sears especially. As lowly valued as Sanyo stuff might be, Klassik suspects that made-by-Sanyo stuff carrying the Sears LXI Series or Silvertone names will be even less valuable. There are probably some great values to be had there. Sanyo did come out with their Sanyo Plus line that they tried to make as a premium line before they shifted towards using the Fisher name that they acquired. Klassik has not heard any Sanyo Plus stuff, but it would not be surprising at all if it sounds very good. Yes, it's certainly better to stay out of the Godzilla receivers whose values have really skyrocketed. Even fairly modest Sansuis and Pioneers are going for pretty crazy prices these days compared to just a few years ago, but the value is probably better there even now. Here's a 1974 catalog from the Olson Radio chain of Hi-Fi stores from the US. We had locations here in Houston. Olson didn't sell Sansui, but they did have many of the other names mentioned earlier in this thread. Olson was owned by Teledyne, who owned Acoustic Research, so they were pushing AR speakers and Teledyne gear along with some other popular brands. Klassik really has no clue if Teledyne's receivers were any good. Given the year of 1974, 4-channel stuff was quite the rage at the time as one can clearly tell from the catalog. https://worldradiohistory.com/Archive-Catalogs/Consumer/Olson Radio-1974-Catalog.pdf
  5. Here in the US, receivers were/are more popular than integrated amps. With that in mind, Sansui receivers from the 1970s have been held in high regard here in the US since the 1970s. They have a bit of a cult-like following and are thus priced as such on the used market today. Marantz, Pioneer, and a few other brands are in the same category. Klassik has heard a few Sansui receivers from the 1970s and they sound excellent. Klassik might not want to pay the premium price for a 1970s Sansui receiver today, but fortunately there were other Japanese brands who don't quite have the same cult-like following, but they still sound excellent as well. Brands like JVC, Akai, and Hitachi fall in that group, but there are more than that. Perhaps due to the excessive prices on gear from the likes of Sansui, some vintage Hi-Fi enthusiasts have turned their attention to more hidden gems. One brand which has received a lot of attention in recent years is the MCS Series brand sold by the JCPenney department store chain. For many years, anything from a department store or a store like Radio Shack/Tandy was looked down upon, but these stores sold some good stuff to go along with some not-so-good stuff. A lot of the good stuff was made by the likes of Panasonic/Technics, NEC, Foster, and so forth. The high-end of JCPenney's MCS Series brand has caught a lot of attention lately, but of course that means the prices on it have started to rise as well. Here's one of the most desired pieces of MCS Series gear, the 3275 receiver. Klassik cannot remember who made this, but it might have been Foster/Fostex. There are MCS Series integrated amplifiers as well such as this 3865 one which appears to have been made by NEC: But, anyway, it's good to see people appreciating equipment made before the era of cable fetishes and such. Although early 1980s equipment is decidedly less loved than 1970s equipment, at least here in the US, Klassik finds a lot of it to be very good. In some cases, the electrolytics in the 1980s gear is holding up better than in the 1970s gear so restorations are not as necessary. That won't always be the case. The 1980s gear may not have as high quality switch gear and it may not look as good to some, but it's probably a better value at this point if nothing else. That is certainly true with turntables. For better or for worse, 1970s Japanese speakers didn't have a huge following here in the US as most people seemingly preferred American or British speakers (more of the former than the latter).
  6. Klassik can't say for sure, but @Le Baron would probably still think the same even if he didn't say anything. On that note, Klassik is quite sure that people have plenty of thoughts about ole' Klassik which may not get said publicly , but it is what it is. Le Baron's take on things is not that unusual when looking at the population as a whole. Joe Q. Public may not think anyone is daft for paying for high-res streaming, but there are many Joe Q. Publics who think it would be daft for them to pay for Joe Q. Public to pay for high-res streaming. What Joe Q. Public thinks about cable obsessions, magic rocks, and green Sharpies is a different matter altogether. As a classical music fan who has been on other classical music/Hi-Fi forums, there are people every now and then who are obsessive about the sound quality of the recordings. Surely some here know the type who only buy SACDs or high-res FLAC downloads. Most people, even those like Klassik who have an interest in audio equipment and who have spent more money than the average person on audio equipment, find these people to be rather dotty. For most of us, we are aware of the sound quality of a recording and we'd pick the one with better sound quality all else being equal, but as long as the recording has a certain level of quality which is quite easily achieved in modern times, we quickly forget about anything relating to Hi-Fi when we enjoy the music. If Klassik is dancing, doing pelvic thrusts, and/or air conducting, the sound quality is good enough to get the job done.
  7. A few years ago, we had some cheap Sony MDR-ZX100 headphones show up at work. Klassik is unsure of why we even had those headphones, but Klassik gave them a listen with low expectations and they sounded surprisingly good for what were ~$20 USD headphones. Klassik has certainly heard more expensive headphones which sounded worse. Klassik was not surprised some years later when Amir at ASR gave a newer version of those Sony headphones a quite favorable review. Amir's positive words came when the headphones were used with EQ, but still. Long story short, it's not surprising that those wanting good sound at a low price use headphones. The Sony might be an extreme example, and obviously there are better options for durability and sound, but something like those headphones ought to please the great majority of music lovers. Klassik has known @Le Baron for a number of years and has been on a number of different music forums where we are both members. Le Baron is a musician and has extensive knowledge of classical and jazz music. Klassik is also aware of Le Baron's equipment which includes, or at least included at one time, a SACD player and several classical SACDs. As a trained musician with good equipment, Le Baron is in a position to make judgements about whether he thinks high-res gets one closer to music or not. Also, this is not just a Hi-Fi forum, but it's also a music forum. Here's the header image of the forum if people have not taken a look at it lately: Le Baron discusses Hi-Fi and music. Given that this thread is about sources, Le Baron and many others have discussed his relationship between Hi-Fi and music as it relates to sources. Le Baron may or may not be a member of the million dollar cable club (maybe he is, our discussion of cables are about as frequent as our discussion of the appreciation of the music of Franz Schubert ), but his equipment is superior to what is in probably well over 90% of homes. Is that not enough equipment for one, a musician no less, to discuss their relationship between Hi-Fi and music?
  8. Klassik is not even sure if it's a case of "ignorance is bliss." Klassik has compared classical CDs/SACDs of albums in Klassik's collection and compared them YouTube 160k Opus versions of the same albums using the same equipment. The CDs do sound a little bit better at least in the sense that they are a tad bit more 'open' sounding. A tad bit. Klassik only knows of the difference when comparing the two back-to-back. Even with armed with that knowledge that CD quality is a tad bit better than YouTube quality, Klassik never feels that Klassik's listening experience on YouTube is any less enjoyable. If Klassik likes something Klassik hears on YouTube, Klassik will thoroughly enjoy it. Klassik does not perform any fewer pelvic thrusts, dance steps, or air conducting from the YouTube source than the CD source. Klassik has heard sources where there is an obvious loss in fidelity. Poor quality cassettes, Ronco/Ktel-type LPs where they put too much music on one side of the record, low bitrate MP3s, and so forth where it's obvious that the quality is far from where it would be from a better quality source. Even then, Klassik might still enjoy the music just the same if it's really good music even if Klassik is left wanting more with the sound quality. That really doesn't describe Klassik's listening on YouTube though. Klassik quite likes John Eliot Gardiner's HIP interpretations of Beethoven's symphonies. Gardiner's Beethoven symphony CDs came out quite a long time back and the audio quality is not so great. Those came from a time when DG/Archiv's recording quality was rather spotty. Fortunately, Gardiner has performed the symphonies for TV in more recent times. The audio quality and the performance quality are arguably better. Klassik quite enjoys these and they are, you guessed it, YouTube. Klassik also has some Beethoven symphony recordings performed by Anton Nanut and some Slovenian orchestera. Yes, these are recordings from cheap supermarket classical CDs that sold for $3.99 USD at supermarkets in the 1980s. The sound quality is not great, but it is not poor either. It's a pretty typical 'meh' 1980s digital recording. The performance quality is excellent though and Klassik prefers it to just about any big-name conductor or orchestra who has performed Beethoven symphonies. Others might disagree, of course, but the point is that the sound quality of the recordings or the fact that they are cheap supermarket CDs does not stop Klassik from thoroughly enjoying the performance. There are some classical music dinosaurs who are stuck in the past paradigm of heavy record label marketing where the only good recordings are ones performed by the likes of Bernstein and Karajan. Younger listeners, and astute older listeners, know especially now that this is London and that there are a lot of great performances from unexpected sources. These great performances may exist on many different streaming sites and media, but in all probability, YouTube is the most reliable place to find them.
  9. But it's true that they could buy a Bush () and save some money. The majority of music lovers, much less the general population, seem to think that anything above the Bush, or something similar, is for mugs and have acted accordingly. Obviously some might disagree with that assessment, , but the assessment itself is hardly unwonted. The merits of using free YouTube for classical music streaming have been discussed multiple times. While not perfect, Klassik does find YouTube to be pretty great for classical music appreciation.
  10. ¿Qué? Klassik knows a woman who would love to own a Bösendorfer. Klassik knows others who dream of owning a Stradivarius or something similar. Some women do own those things...or at least have the rights to use one from someone that does own one. It's probably safe to say that most women have little interest in obsessing about something inherently flawed and inferior such as audio reproduction. It's also safe to say that most men don't give a London about the obsession either. One thing Klassik does miss from the days prior to the late 1990s was seeing audio equipment and other electronics at department stores and other similar type stores. Oh, sure, the stuff sold at such stores wasn't always great, but the good department stores at least had some decent stuff. It was always neat going there and seeing the newest items. Even department stores here in the US had listening rooms where one could hear the different speakers, amplifiers, CD players, and so forth. The employees didn't really care if one played around with the stuff. If one got dragged out to the mall so somebody else could shop for shoes or whatever, one could stop at these department stores and play around while one waited for the shoe shopping or whatever to be completed. The department stores got rid of this stuff during a time when audio equipment was still selling (most home theater stuff and CD changers), but the profit margins where razor thin and most people were buying audio equipment for big box electronics store chains or specialty stores. Thus, the audio equipment was done away with. Of course, many people don't shop at department stores these days anyway and it's harder for people to get excited about this stuff when it's only online or in high-end specialty stores.
  11. @Le Baron can respond with his opinion, but Klassik believes that what Le Baron is getting at is that while YouTube hardly pays anything just as the other streaming services hardly pay anything, at least being on YouTube ensures an artist an immense amount of visibility. When it comes the classical music, the way artists get paid is not directly going to matter if someone listens on YouTube or any other platform. That is because most modern classical record labels pay artists a flat fee with no royalties. There are some classical labels which don't pay artists at all, in fact the label might demand payment, but then often the artists themselves are able to obtain sponsorship from local cultural organizations and such to make the recordings happen. Klassik believes that Brilliant Classics is a label who uses such a model for at least some of their recordings. The reason why artists would pay to get recorded, and the same reason why cultural organizations would sponsor a recording, is purely to get exposure and YouTube is almost certainly the best vehicle for that in the west at least. Klassik cannot speak for China where a large chunk of classical demand comes from in modern times. Now, of course, if record labels pay flat fees for recordings and if record labels are dependent on streaming, it reasons that if streaming services have paltry payouts, those flat fees labels pay out are going to become even more paltry as well. Naxos, who owns many labels in addition to their own, has somewhat resolved this issue. They started their own streaming service years ago and it's really aimed at universities and those with a musicological background. Naxos provides streams of many obscure works on their streaming service. It's one reason why Naxos records so many obscure works. It helps them bolster their streaming service which, in turn, ensures that universities and such pay large fees for the service. Klaus Heymann over at Naxos is a really sharp fellow and a real innovator in terms of streaming and also using those streaming fees to record obscure music and put it on physical media for those who still want it. Klassik has not noticed this with classical music. YouTube has a great repository of recordings and many of them are uploaded by either a record label or by the orchestra/performer. Klassik will admit that sometimes finding the uploads from the record labels is not as easy as it should be (it seems recordings uploaded by regular users get higher priority in the search results) and that sometimes tracks from an album are not grouped well which can make it a bit difficult to find the whole album. These are issues, but one Klassik is willing to deal with. Another great thing on YouTube are videos where there is scrolling sheet music to accompany the music. It's a great way to learn about music and to see how music works in ways that nobody would actually hear regardless of how much money one puts into their system.
  12. He does not quite sound like a castrato, but he sure does look like it when he sings. These videos would not be an example of excellent musical experiences on YouTube that Klassik mentioned earlier. Perhaps there should have been a poll question on this matter.
  13. This is a good point. In addition to the new content uploaded to YouTube by individual performers and orchestras, there are also albums/single works uploaded to YouTube by users which are rare works that might be from record labels which went out of business a long time ago and, thus, probably won't show up on any streaming platform. The quality of these uploads varies, especially if the uploader is getting their music from an LP, but it's great for musical exploration purposes. Streaming has really changed the way classical music listeners, and listeners of other genres as well, listen to music. Not only can one explore so many commercial albums via streaming, but it's no longer even required to listen to commercial albums from record labels to explore interesting things. This is not to say there aren't still new, interesting albums from the record labels, but those only listening to stuff from record labels are missing out on some really interesting performances. Klassik does not have an ad blocker, but Klassik does not need to worry about seeing Nigel Farage show up on YouTube when Klassik listens to music there.
  14. YouTube is 160k, but it's 160k Opus. Opus is an excellent, modern codec and is more or less equivalent to around 256k MP3. Obviously, it is a lossy codec and Klassik prefers the sound of CDs when Klassik has compared a classical CD to the same album on YouTube, but only by a little bit. As for not finding things on YouTube, well, there's a lot on there. Klassik is not aware of any streaming service which has every album made in existence, and sometimes things do get pulled off streaming services which makes for a good argument to buy albums on physical media or digital download that one likes, but there is a lot on YouTube. Not only are there commercial albums, but there are also videos of recordings put out by individual artists (sometimes professionals, sometimes not), ensembles, and orchestras. Some of these are excellent and some of them contain music which is rarely recorded. In the case of 'early music', sometimes they use instrumentation that has not been used in commercial recordings. As a classical music fan, Klassik welcomes these types of recordings. Here are a couple of examples. Klassik is unaware of the backstory with the 'Voices of Music' early music ensemble,but they have many excellent performances on YouTube and they have a lot of views. For example, this performance of 'Winter' from Vivaldi's Four Seasons has over 27 million views and it's one of the finest performances of the Four Seasons that Klassik has heard...and Klassik has heard many. Yeah, it's lossy 160k Opus, but if you like the music, you'll like the music. It's possible 'Voices of Music' are on other platforms. Klassik knows not. The other day, Klassik was listening to an old 1980s CD of Fernando Sor's Op. 22 Grand Sonata for solo guitar. Klassik wanted to share it with classical listeners on another forum. Klassik could not find the exact performance Klassik has on CD, but Klassik found a recording that probably isn't on a formal album that was professionally recorded and it's a great performance of a work that was quite liked by those who heard it: Klassik has also found interesting performances on places like SoundCloud. Are they always 'audiophile recordings'? Nein, but if one loves music, that won't make a difference as long as the recordings are still well-recorded.
  15. Streaming is popular for all the reasons listed above, but also merely being on a forum such as this leads to the use of streaming. People are always posting recommendations either in name or in YouTube video form. There is a certain social aspect to streaming that is not too dissimilar from mixtape social clubs some might remember from the rather distant past. Obviously, streaming makes it easy for people to explore music. For pop music, people may own an album with the album version of a song, but it's possible there may be radio edits and alternative versions of songs which perhaps were not available easily on physical media. Streaming makes it easy to hear those versions. For classical music, streaming makes it very easy to hear different recordings of the same music to evaluate different performances in addition to the aforementioned ability to explore new music. To do something like that in the past, one either had to be very wealthy to buy all kinds of recordings or one had to have access to a good public/university library which had access to multiple recordings. Various people, people with nice equipment and otherwise, have confessed to Klassik that they stream things they own on physical media simply so they don't have to hunt down where they've put their physical media. Also, depending on how one interacts with their streaming platform, it might be much easier to 'rewind' and 'fast forward' to certain parts in a piece of music for close evaluation. Of course, this can be an advantage of file-based listening as well. With physical media, this can be a bit more of a hassle especially since CD index marks never really took off and most players from the 1990s onward do not have provisions for even using index marks. Even with all these advantages, Klassik still listens to physical media at least as much as streaming. In fact, streaming is often used as a way to determine what to buy on physical media or in digital download form. Even then, the digital downloads will often go onto a CD-R or tape. Part of Klassik's enjoyment of music is being able to disconnect from computers for a while. Klassik is on the computer enough for work and for non-work purposes and it is nice to not have to interface with one even if one could argue that a CD player and even a full-logic cassette deck are examples of primitive computers.
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