Klassik

Wammer
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    314
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About Klassik

  • Rank
    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. Perhaps that's true as the word is commonly used in music, but virtuoso actually has a broader definition which covers a wide range of skills far beyond musical performance on an instrument. From the predominant US English dictionary, the Merriam-Webster Dictionary: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/virtuoso One could make the argument that the word virtuoso then could be used broadly to describe any number of composers and other musicians. That's probably true, but the same can be said about genius and the way it is used to describe musicians. Sometimes it's easier to apply the title of 'genius' to someone in other fields than music. It's easy to call Philador a genius for his chess skills because it's easy to determine that he was a master at chess during his time. It's not so easy to gauge musical 'genius' because we're still learning a lot about the evolution of music during those earlier times. Even what is known by certain musicologists isn't known by all musicologists since most musicologists focus in very narrowly on certain subjects. Naturally, non-academic music commentators and casual fans aren't going to know tiny details about music history, but some of those small details are important when understanding the evolution of music. I know that even in the world of pop music composed during our lifetime, there are debates about who was truly inventive and who was simply adopting styles which already existed. Perhaps then, especially when looking at older music, it's better not to focus on who is or isn't a genius because it's almost impossible to determine that without vigorous academic research and discourse. Rather, it's better to focus in on the music. It's probably advantageous for the listener to focus in on what musical forms and strategies they find enjoyable and go from there. Trying to label geniuses is probably only going to show the ignorance of those trying to do the labeling.
  2. I just remembered these. I don't find the Outlaw Audio Retro Receivers to be outrageously ugly, but I do find them to be somewhat ugly.
  3. Perhaps Galileo and his father. Both played the lute and I believe Galileo's father was doing essentially physics experiments by playing with the strings on his lute. There is also the aforementioned William Herschel, discoverer of Uranus. François-André Danican Philidor was a good composer, IMO, whose musical career was overshadowed by his mastery of chess. He was considered the greatest chess player of his time. So, yes, perhaps we can call those musicians 'geniuses'. Otherwise, I think certain music fans, and even some academics, use the term 'genius' rather gratuitously. When that happens, the word loses meaning. Besides, @bigfool1956 brings up a good point that we already have a word to describe outstanding musicians. When we look at two composers often cited as being geniuses, Mozart and Beethoven, the label 'genius' could misguide people into thinking that these composers were writing music that was drastically different from what other composers of the time were writing. It's not really true. Perhaps a subjective argument can be made that Mozart's best-known music is more polished than that of his contemporaries and friends such as Michael Haydn (J. Haydn's brother) and Vanhal (just to name two composers, there are more who fit this example), but it's not difficult to confuse the music of those composers with Mozart's. In fact, music written by these composers have confused and mislead musicologists for decades/centuries. A lot of music from that era is now thought to be misattributed. I suppose the point here is that perhaps the musicological focus should not be put on venerating a few big names. Instead, the focus should be put on eras, all the things which contribute to particular styles (Mozart, for example, was very good at observing what music was popular when he was a child touring various music hotspots with his parents and was able to integrate those aspects into his music...many of those aspects are not as original as they are made to seem at times), and an acceptance that we may not even know all the sources of musical contributions. This last point is especially true with music written before the 19th century. A lot of music is still undiscovered or only recently discovered. Music history is most certainly not set in stone as it is sometimes made to be.
  4. It sizzles the highs and leaves one with a fat bottom end.
  5. It appears the Sony has proprietary speaker connectors and also a proprietary antenna connection. Sony really only wants you to use the speakers which comes with the system on that one. While you could splice the speaker cables and make it work with the proprietary speaker connectors, it's probably best to avoid having to do that. The Denon might not only be the best choice for using your speakers and sub, but it might also be the only choice out of the two options listed.
  6. When I consider all the components, cables, and cartridges/styli that are in my main system as it is right now, I will say that I spent less than $300 USD on it over the last decade. Make that the last two decades. Needless to say, that is < 1% of what I make. Now, if you factor in what I've spent on CDs, well, that percentage goes up a bit. Even then, I don't think it's a big percentage. I actually could calculate quite easily what I've spent on CDs in a given date range if I wanted to because I keep a catalog of my CDs and I enter in what I paid for each album when I enter it in the catalog. EDIT: Oh, if you're trying to pick a 1980s boombox, I'd go with the Hitachi. Be wary of the poor quality belts Hitachi used in the 1980s if that was actually made by Hitachi. As for the Bush, well, go for Bush if you like it I suppose.
  7. About the only thing the Giants have going for them at this point is that their kicker, Graham Gano who was born in Scotland, is playing well. The team is a mess otherwise. They got blown out by a 49ers team that was depleted with injuries on both sides of the ball. Even with the Giants' 0-3 start and blow-out loss, they are still just a game behind first place given the terrible performance of their NFC lEast competitors so there is still an opportunity for them to get to the playoffs if they can turn it around. They're going to need a big turn-around though.
  8. Hey, there's nothing wrong with McDonald's audio equipment! Here's a radio which looks like a Big Mac box: McDonald's headphone radio: A transistor radio which looks like McDonald's fries. And here's something which I actually have in my collection which was saved from 1989. It's a McDonald's promotional record which is really just a thick piece of paper with a vinyl or vinyl-like coating on it. It actually doesn't sound bad, I played it just a couple months back.
  9. There was once a famous man who was known to be noticeably marked. In addition to his hearing problems and his double chin, his personal hygiene was poor which lead to halitosis and body odor that was bad even by early 19th century standards. I know you're thinking it, but no, I'm not referring to ole' Klassik. I'm talking about Beethoven, of course. Given all of this, I'm not going to worry about a slight scratch on the equipment I use to listen to his music...especially if it is Beethoven's Wellington's Victory! Given the women I know who have dead man crushes on Beethoven, maybe I ought to find Hi-Fi equipment which has double chins. Then again, I think women find halitosis attractive until they actually have to deal with it. Listening to this may leave marks on your equipment...or skid marks on your underwear if you listen to it loudly enough.
  10. It's not a bad idea to become more educated about a particular subject. That said, it's important to keep some things in mind when sampling music or any of the arts. One is to keep an open mind about things. You mention something about a "good piece." Does good music really exist? Does bad music really exist? This is not to say that you have to like all the music you hear or see on paper. Some stuff may truly seem dreadful, but perhaps there is some aspect to those dreadful works which is not immediately obvious. Perhaps not. I have a friend who is a highly qualified musicologist and performer. If you ask her to name some musicians on her small list of favorite musicians, you'll probably see Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Amy Grant, Neil Diamond, and Britney Spears. I'm not even joking about that either. Such a list may seem improbable, but those musicians and their music can be enjoyed in rather different ways. The aforementioned friend and I have had discussions about music academics who are rather daft. You'll hear the word 'genius' associated with musicians more than you will hear it associated with scientists, philosophers, and just about anything else. Maybe the word 'genius' can be used to describe musicians like William Herschel, the man who discovered Uranus. No, really, he did. Otherwise, these academics deserve a good slapping. The use of some words to describe musicians by music enthusiasts, academics or not, are perhaps even more dotty than some of the words used by audiophiles. Long story short, I say go for it in terms of being more aware of music theory and musicology. There are probably some great lectures and books. Maybe those Yale music appreciation courses are good, I don't know. I'm also not sure if any single college course can really help expose you to a wide sampling of all the music in the world. But, anyway, just remember to be able to determine what is objective and what is subjective. In the case of the subjective, just because one is an academic does not mean they have better taste than anyone who is uneducated.
  11. Attics, which I reckon is what you call lofts, reach temperatures of 50C here in Houston during the summer. It can reach below freezing during the winter. There's high humidity. On top of all of that, the attic is very dusty. Stuff put in the attic here is also prone to getting cockroach droppings and even rodent droppings in some cases. The climate and vermin may not be so extreme where you live so maybe you can get away with storing valuables in the attic, but I'm certainly not storing any valuable electronics or media up there where I live. I do have some cardboard boxes which Hi-Fi components did come in up in my attic though. I'm pretty sure I have the 40+ year old Pioneer SX-650 box up there. I always did like those white boxes that Pioneer stuff came in back in the day.
  12. On US audio forums, discussions about this topic usually mention Luxman's 'Suckface' components. I certainly wouldn't throw one of these away if it showed up in my house, but they aren't exactly the most pleasing things to look at. While looking up those photos, I came across a 1980s JVC receiver which also reminds me that JVC had some pretty crazy looking stuff. Of course, a lot of 1980s receivers went a little overboard with the EQs and such. Again, it might not be the prettiest thing, but I wouldn't necessarily throw out stuff which looks like this. Again, I wouldn't throw this out of the house if it showed up, but I'm not a big fan of cassette decks with the Wollensak style transport. Some might say that Pioneer fluoroscan stuff in general, like this cassette deck, is somewhat ugly. I'm not necessarily of that opinion, but I can see why people would think that way. Someone earlier mentioned a dislike for 'piano black' and other similar glossy finishes. Klassik concurs. I also have a champagne color Marantz cassette deck and I find the color rather hideous.
  13. It's commonly believed that Americans and the English speak the same language, but I think that is a load of feces...or faeces depending on where you live. See, I just proved my own point. * London isn't so much of an American term in modern times at least. Still, it's from a place/places where English is supposedly spoken. Theoretically. I'm not even talking about SNP members either, but maybe I should include them.
  14. Yes, I feel better, thank you. As for London, well, I think StingRay's post below pretty much summarizes the situation. Ironically, I think the use of London in such form was popularized in India....and perhaps in other colonies as well. Anyway, anyone is more than welcome to refer to Houston or Washington, DC in such a manner. If you think Indian food is bad, just try drinking the water in Delhi. A 70 minute phone call will be the least of your worries! The banks here have gone through a lot of consolidation. As a result of this, many local branches have closed in recent years. Also, the push to get people to use electronic banking is leading to the reduction of local branches. One of the many negative aspects of this is that it is becoming very difficult to get a bank safe deposit box for the storage of valuables (presumably though most people don't store Hi-Fi equipment at the bank though ). I'm not sure if the concept of the safe deposit box even exists outside the US, but it's most certainly popular here. I had a safe deposit box at a nearby bank branch, but they closed that location and made no real attempt to find another deposit box for me at another location without having to go on a waiting list which may take years to go through. I ended up having to open an account at another bank just to get a box. I was lucky to get that without having to go on a waiting list. Tellerless bank branches are becoming more popular here with the major banks at least. Here are some photos on Flickr of a Bank of America branch in Houston which does not have tellers. It's basically an indoor ATM with web conferencing rooms if people want to talk to a bank representative. The bank representatives are probably in a completely different state. They may not even be in the US, but it's hard to give an Indian a name like 'Johnny' or 'Susie' and expect to fool the customers into thinking they are real Americans if they are visible on a webcam. Keep in mind that these photos are from before the pandemic so it isn't just something temporary caused by that.
  15. This is from a US perspective, but I use a mixture of banks. I have a checking account at a major, traditional bank with physical locations and tellers. Unfortunately, I must say that these banks, at least in the US, are trying to do everything possible to push people to do business online or via machines at the bank. This was the case even before the pandemic. The major banks like this in the US are really full of London and try as hard as possible to try to screw over their customers in order to make a few more bucks here and there. Nonetheless, the ubiquity of these banks are helpful for a checking account. We have some credit unions here in the US who claim to have better customer service than traditional banks and claim to not screw over their customers. In my experience, the credit unions I've used are better than the major banks, but only by a little bit. Maybe some credit unions are better than others, but I don't know. I also have an investment bank with a physical presence for deposits/withdrawals and a dedicated local broker. I keep most of my savings with the investment bank, but I do have some smaller amount of savings which I want to keep in a more temporary savings situation without having to deal with selling stocks and such. For that, I have two online bank accounts for savings accounts and CDs. On the surface, the two online banks I do business with seem pretty similar, but I've noticed some key differences: Online Bank A does not have physical locations, but they do promote that they have customer service which can be reached by the phone. Without even requesting it, Online Bank A mails me physical copies of statements and tax forms. In the rare cases that I need to contact someone at the bank, I've never had any issues doing so via the phone and they've never tried to sell me anything. Online Bank B had a local physical location when I first opened my account with them, but they have since closed that location. I believe there is another location or two in town, but they are quite far. Anyway, the local location is pretty useless. They don't take deposits/withdrawals at the location. If you want to do that at the bank, they refer you to a public computer in the back of the lobby for you to use. On top of that, not only does Online Bank B not send paper statements and tax forms by default, they won't even send them by request (not willingly at least). Online Bank B supposedly has a call center, but it seems like they're more interested in prying financial information from you in order to size you up to try to sell more banking products. With both Online Bank A & B, making electronic banking transactions between them and my checking account bank is very easy and so that's how I work my transactions. At one time, Online Bank B had slightly better rates than Online Bank A, but that hasn't really been the case in the last year or so. Thus, when my CDs with them mature, I may well take that money and my savings account money out of that bank and close my account with them. If they have favorable CDs in the future, I can always buy those CDs online quite easily. Long story short, not all online banks are the same. At least they aren't in the US. It's probably worth seeing which ones have the customer service that you want. That said, like the other poster said, savings accounts are usually pretty low maintenance so they should be pretty easy to do online especially if you're willing to do electronic bank transfers. I have an off-topic rant about checks (as we call them here). Recently, I went to pay my yearly auto registration fees. This can be done online directly with the state via a credit card, but the registration tags can be purchased at some local grocery stores. Given the problematic issues with our mail system in recent times, I decided it would be better to get it at the grocery store. The problem is the grocery store only accepts cash, debit card, or check for the tags. They don't accept a credit card. Since I only had my checkbook with me, I tried to use that, but the grocery store uses a third party check verification service and the system decided to reject my check! It turns out that the check verification service is really very stupid. What it does is it has a database of people who have successfully used checks at businesses like grocery stores. If someone is in the database as being a successful user of checks, then they get approved. If they are not in the database, it's going to automatically reject the check. This means that someone who only rarely uses checks at places like grocery stores will not be able to use checks at those places even if there is absolutely no problems with their bank account or anything like that. Checks made for paying the a water bill and such don't seem to go through the database so the company in charge of the database doesn't count those. So, yeah, the only way you can use a check at a place like a store is if you've used them before. The check service calls it risk management, but what kind of stupidity is that? The only people who can pay by check are essentially senior citizens who never stopped using checks. When those people die off, people won't be able to pay by check and the check verification business will have no reason to exist. That's fine by me, those bloody fools deserve their inevitable fate. I'm sure the grocery store does this to discourage people from using checks except for the small handful of senior citizens who will only pay by check because that's all they have. They're rejecting checks from everyone else who they think can by pay by other means. That's fine if they want to do that because dealing with checks probably has big disadvantages for them, but why not just be honest about it and say that everyone except senior citizens are banned from using checks? Because that's age discrimination? My apologies for the rant. I'd use copious amounts of profanity to describe the situation, but it seems that is reserved for The Pub...which it seems isn't The Bar. Oh well. Oh, and just to top off the rant, it turns out I had enough cash on me to pay for the auto tag anyway, but I just didn't know it at first. Once my check got rejected, I took a look and there it was. The clerk at the grocery store was probably wondering why I just didn't pay with cash all along!