Non-Smoking Man

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Everything posted by Non-Smoking Man

  1. Some degree of objectivity can be achieved by intersubjective consensus achieved in group listening situations. If you go round other peoples houses and hear their systems and discuss them Its often the case that there is a good deal of agreement about the sound's good and bad points. There is rarely a large amount of disagreement. You gain knowledge by switching equipment around in your own system and hearing the differences when switches are made in others' systems. Another way of gaining knowledge is to learn the theory of the equipment you are contemplating putting together. For instance when I was contemplating assembling a horn system I read everything I could about horns (e.g., I read about the 'Edgarhorn', the Altec VTT speaker system and joined the PA Forum 'Speakerplans where horn usage is more common than indomestic systems) and high efficiency systems in general. I learnt about which amps are suited to which frequency level of playback. Further, I spent time listening to a big horn system at Scalford and I was round Speedysteve's home soaking up everything he knew about horns and where to obtain the measurements for horn mouth size and length of the horn commensurate with their placement in corners, near walls and in open space. These are rational practices and though not everyone will go to such lengths I know a lot of people who will go some of the way. (One could do worse than listen to Paul McGowan's 'Question and Answer' podcasts.) You will call this a search for 'objectivity'. I dont like the term and its opposite 'subjectivity'. Its too simplistic and loaded and leads to easy dismissal of rational audiophiles who use every intellectual, sensory and emotional atom of their bodies to achieve excellence. Now for the second part of your series of claims about 'us' say: Once we are in posession of ...answers we tend to either align with them when the(y) match our preconceptions, take them as gospel...or dismiss them altogether when they dont match our taste..or..anecdotal experiences' You are not describing me nor anyone I know nor any of the contributors to this Forum whom I respect. Nor are your claims about our cognitive practices based on research, nor on any evidence and are not couched in any argument. I change my preconceptions in the light of new evidence or a convincing argument, I (and the Wammers I know) dont 'take what other people say as 'gospel', or dismiss their views when inconvenient. I hope you are not claiming this picture you paint of 'us' is 'objective' contraire, your picture of us is 'subjective' in your terms i.e., highly unmeasurable. Tuga - you have shot yourself in the foot. Jack NSM
  2. And how do you correlate measurements with listening? I get it with speaker placement but if you are listening to a complete system how do you recognise the THD of the amp , or the resonant frequency of the arm cartridge combination, say? Because you value measurements does that mean you can 'read them' better through your listening. A highly dubious claim and one whose truth would appear unverifiable. Jack
  3. I spotted a product in the Wam classifieds in the autumn of 2019 that had long intrigued me - sprung suspension 'footers' for high mass turntables. My interest was further piqued when I routinely glanced at the gentleman's Wam profile and noticed that amongst the sumptuous list of kit in his system there was listed an Ayre P-5xe phono stage. I bought mine off Ebay at a bargain price (sole bidder) and it had gone down well at the home of a few South Coast Wammers. How well did Coltrane23's example perform in his system? Of course I made sure of the Solid tech 'feet of silence' for my TD124 and arranged a visit to mid-Hampshire to pick them up hoping I'd be invited in for an audition. I was made welcome and sat in front of a very impressive system comprising an Avid Sequel (I think), SME V or IV, high end cart (Cadenza Black?), the Ayre phono, Audio Research REF series pre and a massive pp Ayon valve amp driving U.S. multi driver Egglestone speakers. It was a cracking sound and a very handsome system indeed. Jack NSM Thanks for the correction ABD.
  4. Despite the name, Schiit is a U.S. company making waves at the affordable level. When I read the review of their 'Saga' pre amp (largely passive but with the option of a valve-driven line stage) in HFW I was shaken by the reviewer's claim that it was the equal of a MFA passive pre (not the top of the range) (Baby Pre?) in back to back comparisons. I immediately sent off for one from the UK importer at a cost of £350. The balanced version, the Freya, has featured on the Wam via Hifinut, and apparently demand is outstripping supply both sides of the Atlantic (see AoS). They provide a range of products and the firm is not short of innovation. Jack NSM
  5. My fasting regime (8 on/16off, see above) is yielding results. I touched 15 stone from 15.5 stone the other day. I began on the 8th of May. I'm getting used to the plan and have managed a couple of 18 hours and an 18.5 hours stint. Helps to watch a good drama series on the box (BBC i player or Netflix). Jack
  6. Phew, what a terrific response. Thanks everyone.(And Martin for the podcast..) Plenty of mileage in this thread I reckon. One technical difference between our 2 countries is the different mains. Would equipment designed with U.S. mains be disadvantaged here..? Jack
  7. One or two things that strike me about Paul McGowan: he's a lovely man with a great voice-to-camera style - chatty, pally, simplistic (in a good way) and not at all didactic; secondly, he is knowledgeable about a range of hifi issues. I want to raise one of those issues now - amplifier sound. Do different amps sound different? Paul, in his customary downbeat manner, discusses in one of his podcasts (I'll call them that for now) the fact that, though he has been designing and building solid state amps for 40 years, he is now building one with a valve front end. He describes how he got on board an eminent amplifier designer (Bascom King, initials BHK) to design a new amplifier. Unfortunately this guy insisted on using valves as part of the deal. So what Paul M. did was to construct an experimental prototype with the best output stage he could using solid state devices, but arranging the input side of things with a versatile 'plug in' whereby a conventional transistor, mosfet, and, thirdly, a valve device could be inserted. The deal was, said Paul to the new man, if your valve stage can beat the other two, you are 'in'. Well apparently, not only did they all sound different, but the valve stage was much better. So the new amp has valves. In the course of this piece Paul very ably explains the differences and similarities between all three devices. He states its because of these differences that its totally implausible that amps using these different devices could sound the same 'even if they measured the same'. This something I've been mulling over for some time - that its wrong to reduce differences between amps to a distortion figure. I have seen it put forward that if two amps measure the same, then they will sound the same. Not so. I'll try and find the particular podcast (or maybe you can find it Phil and provide a link for us). Jack NSM P.S. The podcast I selected here was dated 1st Oct 2017, entitled 'Do pre amps enhance sound quality?'
  8. I have been exploring the internet lately and listening to some bits and pieces on the internet, given that I have some extra (unwanted) spare time. I came across a couple of pieces to camera on Youtube presented by Paul McGowan, head of P.S. Audio - an american company based in Boulder, Colorado. The ones that i came across were about horns, another about electrostatics and a third Youtube broadcast was in conversation with Ian Atkinson, the editor of Stereophile magazine. What a joy to listen to these two elder statesman (both now 70 - nothing bad about that!) chatting about Dacs, hifi magazines , and 'outreach' to existing P.S. Audio customers. The latter is all about creating a community of P.S Audio customers. Also there is a Youtube broadcast of Paul taking Ian on a tour of the P.S. Audio factory. Two intelligent and experienced men discussing all sorts of interesting topics. Another American in hifi who is eminently good copy is a certain Ron Sutherland. Ive heard the Sutherland 20/20, owned by a friend, and its an excellent product. For my part, I stumbled onto an Ayre P-5xe phono stage and that led to the purchase of the matching K-5xeMP pre amp. I think there should be sufficient interest on the Wam to start a thread about American hifi and Americans in hifi. Let's see where this thread takes us.. I'm sufficiently impressed by what ive seen and heard about both to suggest this is a promising area to explore.. What American Hifi have you owned and what stories have you to tell? Are they better than us? Jack NSM
  9. I had a P100. Bill Beard had a look at mine for free but I dont think Bill is with us anymore. Deco Audio would be good. Better still, I know of someone in Surrey who would be ideal. I'll pm his name. Back then the P100 used KT77 as the output valve, but Ive seen them valved with something slightly different since , probably KT88s. I wouldnt know about brands - try googling it. Jack NSM
  10. Melvins, any Skrillex thats left.thanks.
  11. Royal blood, Aphex Twin X2, Queen O.T.S.A., Bombay B.C. Virginia way, East India Youth. Thanks.
  12. Watched 'The Revenant' for the second time. The opening scene is very good. I enjoyed the North American winter wasteland. Acting was terrific, although identifying the different actors through those scruffy beards not easy at times. Also, the 'Spooks' repeats on the BBC i Player, are getting me through the long hours of my fasting diet (see thread in Public Bar (rather than 'Food And Drink')). Spooks makes 'Sherlock' look tedious, self indulgent and sentimental. And - where are Benedict Cumberbatch's shoulders? Jack NSM
  13. Correct hylander - no London games this coming season. However, the good news is that next season is due to start September 10th as planned. One or two will be interested in post draft betting moves. (As a punter I have to monitor where the dollars are going, partly because the weight of money indicates how well the draft went for each team and how well preparations are going. Less to report re the latter due to the lockdown.) There has been money for the Vikings - down from 46 to 28. Tampa Bay are shorter because of the Brady transfer. At the head of the market the Ravens are vying for favouritism with the holders, Kansas City, having had a reasonable draft. Many judges thought the Ravens were the strongest team heading into the play offs last year and their impressive QB will be charging out of the blocks to make an early impression. Jackson, last season's MVP, might be worth the Skysports subscription on his own! The Cards have dropped from 65 to 48 after some smart draft trading (inc. swapping their second round pick for Deandre Hopkins, who will be the number 1 target at WR for rising star Kyler Murray (QB)). Simmons, their number 8 pick, gives them options in the defence. Dallas, too, did well in the draft and they have their supporters. Jack
  14. This thread has still got some miles in it. Promise you will report back Mikey with your findings ..? Jack
  15. The question is 'how to audition hifi properly?' 1. Change one thing at a time and then listen; 2. Get a mate or two in to observe the process and discuss the results with the same pieces of music (chosen to stretch the system); (Both (1) and (2) provide a measure of control by isolation. The presence of others provides balance and a check on the findings.) 3. The system must be well set up and all the equipment working well; and, related to 3., 4 The incoming item should be theoretically suited to the system e.g., you wouldnt place a SET connected valve amp with speakers that provide a recalcitrant and/or insensitive load, nor would you replace a cartridge that's suited to your arm with one that is too compliant and expect to get a fair result. Finally a general comment - trust your senses and your experience. I have driven thousands of miles in cars, vans, and a tail-lift truck without causing an accident - this proves that our sensory apparatus is reliable and trustworthy. If your senses and brain struggle to hear a difference then there isnt one worth bothering about. The difficulties of auditioning hifi are lessened by rational procedures and, in any event, are greatly exagerrated. Jack NSM
  16. Progress report: its been a week and I have stuck it out on a 8 on/ 16 off basis. Yesterday was a pb - 18 hours off. My bathroom scales (recent b'day present from the daughter) show 4 lbs reduction. I hope to be over the worst of it and settling down to a manageable routine of 2 meals a day, 8 hours apart. Anyone thinking of taking the plunge? Jack NSM
  17. Ive neither seen nor heard the American Immedia RPM2 but it has got very good reviews in Stereophile magazine. Its a unipivot, which is not everyone's idea of a well-designed tonearm, but I like them. (Ive had the Hadcock 228, Decca International , Morch UP4, and my current choice - the Wilson Benesch Act 0.5.) The Immedia sold for $2.5 K when new so could be within reach of the £1300 budget, (used) (plus shipping). Another unipivot that is within your budget, but one much easier to come across is the Scheu Tacco. Its the German company's top of the range arm and features a wooden wand. It comes in 9 and 12" versions and the latter would be an arm whose mass would approach that of your FR64X. Again Ive not heard one but respect the company and it has received good reviews. Adding to the list , the Basis Vector is a candidate, and so is the Wheaton Triplanar, especially if you like adjustability. I would bet money any of the above tonearms would equal or beat the FR64X. The Phonomac modified Audio Technica mentioned above is an unknown quantity. The AN Arm two/three I have heard but not in a controlled A/B test. I suspect its great vfm. In one sense nobody has heard ANY tonearm because they can only perform in a subsystem - that of the cartridge arm and turntable (as Graham rightly points out above). Jack NSM
  18. The volume on the Schitt Saga (and probably other models in their range) works a bit differently Richard. Rather than me trying to gloss an explanation of its MO, why not google a review and see what you make of it. (E.g., HFW.) Jack
  19. I assumed 16 hours off, 8 on, was a permanent 7 day thing. That's what I'm doing- rather than 5 days off, 2 on. I like the idea of fasting whilst asleep - seemed good use of time. I can have coffee in the morning and stretch that out for a couple of hours b4 breakfast. I can get away with a decent breakfast and a late afternoon dinner. Then I'm done. The difficult bit is around 9 p.m. Jack
  20. Tentatively - Steve Miller. Always thought he had a wonderful voice..maybe not as distinctive as one or two others previously mentioned.
  21. The AI 500 is generally highly regarded (I have a mate who uses a standard version driving Tannoy dual concentrics and speaks highly of the combination) and with these mods I would anticipate excellent results with valve friendly speakers, such as Triangle (the French manufacturer) 'Titus', 'Comete', 'Antals', Snell J, K and E and any others with high sensitivity and an easy load. Good luck with the sale Greg.. Jack NSM
  22. The ARC D200 is a high current powerful transistor amp and should be quite a good match for the Maggies. They are a difficult load and need an amp that has masses of current - more specifically amps that can double their output into 4 ohms such as Brystons and Classe. The impedance on planar speakers can dip below 2 ohms and almost all valve amps struggle into low impedance speakers. However, its still worth scratching the itch if you can get your money back. The amp you choose must have a 4 ohm tap and must be a push pull design ( 2 output tubes per channel). It must also have at least 80 watts per channel on tap. This all suggests, for your budget , KT88 output valves. 2 a side would normally give you 60-80 watts per channel. £1K is barely sufficient though. I had a Rogue 88 Magnum which would have been worth a try and that would have been within your budget but that didnt have a 4 ohm tap. I'm not surprised the Audio Innovations (see above) struggled - it hasnt got nearly enough iron to drive Maggies and the telltale sign of this is crap bass - the output transformers saturate. When you do get some valves to try, concentrate on the bass performance when deciding on their suitability. I think amp/speaker matching is crucial to a good sound. When I was looking this stuff up I went on Audiogon, the USA forum, as they are a lot of planar speaker users on there. Hope this points you in the wrong direction and lets you avoids some obvious pitfalls.. Jack