Linn Owners

Bedrock Plinth Upgrade Option Coming for LP12 Owners

Daveyf

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I've never heard a master tape or reel to reel player, so it's not a reference I can ever use. That's probably true for all but a handful of people in the world.

The tunedem approach can be used by anyone, tho practice helps. I've found myself less likely to be misled by nice or impressive sounds with repeated practice. Still happens of course.

I'm intrigued by your approach and keen to learn new things. How would you use your knowledge of your reference to, for example, choose between two interconnects? Assuming you don't have the master tape to hand.
Firstly, I would suggest that you seek out someone who can demonstrate to you what good tape sounds like. I am lucky, as there are several hobbyists in my area that own and use tape as their primary source. I have also been able to insert some very good r to r players into my system. ( although i currently do not own one, as the price for entry is very steep). Listening to 'live' and unamplified music also really helps as well. I am lucky here, as I was for many years a working pro studio musician. To this day, i use and have access to various instruments. So to your point about interconnects, well if you have ever demo'ed various interconnects, it is going to be fairly clear to you which are more resolving, which are more synergistic with your other gear and lastly, which open up the soundstage and allow more frequencies to come through.
OTOH, I do think that as one's system becomes more resolving, the more obvious it will be when a less desirable cable is inserted, many times a certain brightness will prevail, or there will be a loss of information. This is easily observable when you replace a less able interconnect with a more able ( at least in your system ) one.
The 'tune dem' approach seems to rely on an ease of deciphering what is more pleasant to one...this is, at least IMO, not a value; as in all cases that i have heard, the more resolved the presentation is, the closest it is going to be with what is on the master tape, regardless of how pleasant that may or may not sound.
 
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Iain Docherty

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Of course one has to have an absolute reference to judge gear. That reference should be the sound of live, unamplified instruments/music in a live setting. This does require one to visit and listen to this kind of music. Harry Pearson, of the Absolute Sound magazine, summed this up well.
If you are equating the term “ following the tune” with Harry’s and my reference, then yes, the word ‘tune’ ( which I think is a very vague term) would need to be considered.
At the present time, at least IMHO, the best that we can obtain in our home settings, is as close to the sound of the master tape as possible. Now whether Linn are using this reference, or the sound of the ‘live’ ( as described above) as their ultimate reference (akin to what AJ Conti was doing), I have no idea.
I’m lucky enough to have a grand piano in my living room. I play it a lot - badly. I am also lucky enough to have some friends who are serious musicians who play it too. Can’t get any more ‘access to live music’ than that. What does that tell me about how well any of my Linn or non—Linn kit is reproducing the source material given to it?
 

Iain Docherty

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Firstly, I would suggest that you seek out someone who can demonstrate to you what good tape sounds like. I am lucky, as there are several hobbyists in my area that own and use tape as their primary source. I have also been able to insert some very good r to r players into my system. ( although i currently do not own one, as the price for entry is very steep). Listening to 'live' and unamplified music also really helps as well. I am lucky here, as I was for many years a working pro studio musician. To this day, i use and have access to various instruments. So to your point about interconnects, well if you have ever demo'ed various interconnects, it is going to be fairly clear to you which are more resolving, which are more synergistic with your other gear and lastly, which open up the soundstage and allow more frequencies to come through.
OTOH, I do think that as one's system becomes more resolving, the more obvious it will be when a less desirable cable is inserted, many times a certain brightness will prevail, or there will be a loss of information. This is easily observable when you replace a less able interconnect with a more able ( at least in your system ) one.
The 'tune dem' approach seems to rely on an ease of deciphering what is more pleasant to one...this is, at least IMO, not a value; as in all cases that i have heard, the more resolved the presentation is, the closest it is going to be with what is on the master tape, regardless of how pleasant that may or may not sound.
‘More resolving interconnects’? When
Firstly, I would suggest that you seek out someone who can demonstrate to you what good tape sounds like. I am lucky, as there are several hobbyists in my area that own and use tape as their primary source. I have also been able to insert some very good r to r players into my system. ( although i currently do not own one, as the price for entry is very steep). Listening to 'live' and unamplified music also really helps as well. I am lucky here, as I was for many years a working pro studio musician. To this day, i use and have access to various instruments. So to your point about interconnects, well if you have ever demo'ed various interconnects, it is going to be fairly clear to you which are more resolving, which are more synergistic with your other gear and lastly, which open up the soundstage and allow more frequencies to come through.
OTOH, I do think that as one's system becomes more resolving, the more obvious it will be when a less desirable cable is inserted, many times a certain brightness will prevail, or there will be a loss of information. This is easily observable when you replace a less able interconnect with a more able ( at least in your system ) one.
The 'tune dem' approach seems to rely on an ease of deciphering what is more pleasant to one...this is, at least IMO, not a value; as in all cases that i have heard, the more resolved the presentation is, the closest it is going to be with what is on the master tape, regardless of how pleasant that may or may not sound.
1. ‘What good tape sounds like’? Like anything else, this depends on what the source - tape in this case - is played back on.

2. ‘More resolving interconnects’? #redflag
 

Wenge1

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Having not been on the forum for a couple of days and I saw there were something like 3-4 pages of new comments on this thread I thought - "Blimy, Linn must have released the Bedrock plinth and some Wammers were writing up their thoughts on said plinth after having had a demo" - Fat chance :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO:
 

Nopiano

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I’m lucky enough to have a grand piano in my living room. I play it a lot - badly. I am also lucky enough to have some friends who are serious musicians who play it too. Can’t get any more ‘access to live music’ than that. What does that tell me about how well any of my Linn or non—Linn kit is reproducing the source material given to it?
Well, given that piano is such a difficult instrument to reproduce well, quite a lot I’d think. On the other hand, it definitely doesn’t sound the same to the audience as the pianist, so I guess you have a different frame of reference unless your friends play the piano too.

All those overtones, damper sounds, transients, ah I can just imagine it! And the dynamic range too!
 
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Daveyf

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Well, given that piano is such a difficult instrument to reproduce well, quite a lot I’d think. On the other hand, it definitely doesn’t sound the same to the audience as the pianist, so I guess you have a different frame of reference unless your friends play the piano too.

All those overtones, damper sounds, transients, ah I can just imagine it! And the dynamic range too!
Exactly. The sound of a real piano in one's home is going to give you a great reference as to what a 'un-amplified' piano sounds like. Plus, as you point out, this is a very difficult instrument to reproduce well on our home systems.

@Iain Docherty If you ever had the chance of listening to tape in your system, I doubt you would have stated what you did about it.
Plus, if you have never heard differences in interconnects in your system, your post would also apply.
 

Solanum

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I agree with those that say the ideal way to judge a hifi system would be vs a reference. The reality of course is that this is typically impossible.

I'm unconvinced by reference back to tape, firstly because tape degrades, this is simple physics and insurmountable - all old (e.g. 60's) masters are basically knackered, which is why they have to be digitally restored. Tape recordings are fundamentally unstable (try reading a load of 30 year old floppy discs and see how many still work). Really old master tapes aren't always as good as excellent condition original vinyl pressings from those masters as vinyl degrades much more slowly (depending on use of course). Reel-reel is presumably worse as they are a copy to start with.

The original advantage of master tapes was that they were at much higher resolution than any released recording. That is no longer true and most music is mastered in the digital realm.

Surely the best reference is a modern digital master and we can get close to that as modern digital systems could play a version if it was provided?

Personally, I think the best reference is unamplified classical music (a rock conert is unlikely to have the same sound quality as a recording studio or even a good home hifi, so not surprising they usually don't have the same sound 'quality'). I've said this here before, but I attend at least 5-10 (professional) classical concerts in a good hall per year and I've never heard any hifi that gets very close to an orchestral concert (including a Linn Klimax system with 360's), maybe they get 30% of the way there. They are closer to chamber music, maybe 50-60%.

Then of course all the stuff everyone says about the room is true as well. The end result, once again, is that so much depends on what's between the ears. As they say in the IT world, the problem is between the chair and the keyboard.

One thing I will note is that, surprisingly, as I have an all digital exakt system, my current LP12 setup sounds better than good 24 bit digital files. The source material (vinyl LP vs 24 bit lossless) is certainly not likely to be better (especially for modern vinyl that is mastered from 24 bit lossless anyway...), so I conclude that my current LP12 setup is better than the AEDSM streamer hardware. I did read an article recently pointing out that the dynamic limitations of vinyl mean that it is mastered differently to digital releases and potentially is less affected by the 'loudness wars', which could play a role?
 

Daveyf

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I agree with those that say the ideal way to judge a hifi system would be vs a reference. The reality of course is that this is typically impossible.

I'm unconvinced by reference back to tape, firstly because tape degrades, this is simple physics and insurmountable - all old (e.g. 60's) masters are basically knackered, which is why they have to be digitally restored. Tape recordings are fundamentally unstable (try reading a load of 30 year old floppy discs and see how many still work). Really old master tapes aren't always as good as excellent condition original vinyl pressings from those masters as vinyl degrades much more slowly (depending on use of course). Reel-reel is presumably worse as they are a copy to start with.

The original advantage of master tapes was that they were at much higher resolution than any released recording. That is no longer true and most music is mastered in the digital realm.

Surely the best reference is a modern digital master and we can get close to that as modern digital systems could play a version if it was provided?

Personally, I think the best reference is unamplified classical music (a rock conert is unlikely to have the same sound quality as a recording studio or even a good home hifi, so not surprising they usually don't have the same sound 'quality'). I've said this here before, but I attend at least 5-10 (professional) classical concerts in a good hall per year and I've never heard any hifi that gets very close to an orchestral concert (including a Linn Klimax system with 360's), maybe they get 30% of the way there. They are closer to chamber music, maybe 50-60%.

Then of course all the stuff everyone says about the room is true as well. The end result, once again, is that so much depends on what's between the ears. As they say in the IT world, the problem is between the chair and the keyboard.

One thing I will note is that, surprisingly, as I have an all digital exakt system, my current LP12 setup sounds better than good 24 bit digital files. The source material (vinyl LP vs 24 bit lossless) is certainly not likely to be better (especially for modern vinyl that is mastered from 24 bit lossless anyway...), so I conclude that my current LP12 setup is better than the AEDSM streamer hardware. I did read an article recently pointing out that the dynamic limitations of vinyl mean that it is mastered differently to digital releases and potentially is less affected by the 'loudness wars', which could play a role?
I think without doubt that the best reference should be the 'live, un-amplified event". This could be as you pointed out, a classical recital /concert or a small venue acoustic jazz group etc., which is what i pointed out earlier...and was summarily dismissed!
Secondary to that, would be an ability to listen to the master tape, and of course this does presume that the master tape has survived in a good enough condition as to be played back on a great RtoR. IME, there are a number of said tapes, but you are correct, as these tapes age, and depending on how they have been kept, many are now no longer usable.
Digital masters are not what i consider a great way to actually know what the original event/instrument sounded like, simply due to the fact that digital can be modded in so many ways.
The 'tune dem' method, again IMO, falls down compared to these other methods as to be almost worthless!
 
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Solanum

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I think without doubt that the best reference should be the 'live, un-amplified event". This could be as you pointed out, a classical recital /concert or a small venue acoustic jazz group etc., which is what i pointed out earlier...and was summarily dismissed!
Secondary to that, would be an ability to listen to the master tape, and of course this does presume that the master tape has survived in a good enough condition as to be played back on a great RtoR. IME, there are a number of said tapes, but you are correct, as these tapes age, and depending on how they have been kept, many are now no longer usable.
Digital masters are not what i consider a great way to actually know what the original event/instrument sounded like, simply due to the fact that digital can be modded in so many ways.
The 'tune dem' method, again IMO, falls down compared to these other methods as to be almost worthless!
I think the tune dem method is really meant to be an easy way of making comparisons without focussing on specific aspects that lead you up a false alley of different = better. It is very difficult to be objective and when someone gets an improvement, they always say the same stuff, veil lifted, more music, quieter background, hearing things that weren't there before, etc. etc. The bottom line is that, as I think you said earlier, the better the resolution of the source material the better it sounds. I don't think tune dem is a bad way of estimating that (you are still making comparisons, not just saying, does this sound tuneful).
 

petecallaghan

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So, do you mean your technique relies on a fairly specific category of music and performance as well as a specific source technology?

I've been to a few classical performances, but I guess they're not really for me as none have emotionally engaged me the way live non classical music does.

I enjoy live performances, but they are a totally different type of experience. They are social, physical, and often so loud I can barely understand the music, but I enjoy them in a different way to listening at home.

I don't want my home system to replicate a live performance: I go to concerts for that.

I don't use tunedem to experience or judge a concert, but it's definitely not worthless when it comes to refining my home system, quite the reverse: it's the only technique I've been able to use that reliably guides improvements that stay the course for years.

I'm curious about reel to reel, and would like to hear a good condition master tape. Maybe a WAM event is the way to go... If do manage to hear one, I'll judge it by how much the music moves me.
 
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Pennypacker

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So an endless debate over preferences yet pops up in an audiophile forum, which I don’t mind BTW. I like to add a small experience to the discussion about live vs recorded music:

I’ve attended a small live session of a local band in a recordshop with coffeecorner a couple of years ago. A classic rock band with guitars and drums. Now the kick and energy of that drums overpowered that room so much that it was unpleasant.
I would not want my stereo to emulate that much energy in my 4x6m2 listening room, it drive me up the wall.

Secondly: I’m not a fan of live music, I feel the quality of play recorded of the same band always falls short on a live session, lots of small detail or bigger effects seem to be better emulated on a record. The thing a live session delivers better is the energy from the band, the punch of the instruments and the interaction of band, crowd. Also know I’m not a crowd person.

Just a matter of taste I guess.
 

Solanum

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So, do you mean your technique relies on a fairly specific category of music and performance as well as a specific source technology?

I've been to a few classical performances, but I guess they're not really for me as none have emotionally engaged me the way live non classical music does.

I enjoy live performances, but they are a totally different type of experience. They are social, physical, and often so loud I can barely understand the music, but I enjoy them in a different way to listening at home.

I don't want my home system to replicate a live performance: I go to concerts for that.

I don't use tunedem to experience or judge a concert, but it's definitely not worthless when it comes to refining my home system, quite the reverse: it's the only technique I've been able to use that reliably guides improvements that stay the course for years.

I'm curious about reel to reel, and would like to hear a good condition master tape. Maybe a WAM event is the way to go... If do manage to hear one, I'll judge it by how much the music moves me.
Assuming that was a response to me, I don't really have a method. I was simply suggesting that 'tune dem' is really just a way at getting at the the same comparison @Daveyf was advocating, it all comes down to accuracy of reproduction in the end and 'musicality' is basically that. If hifi doesn't sound 'musical' it's because there are aspects of the source you want that it isn't reproducing.

My personal suggestion that how close a hifi can get to an orchestral concert is a good measure of performance is because I don't think there is anything more complex that a hifi can try and reproduce. As I noted, a Klimax system with the new 360 speakers is superb, but doesn't play orchestral music anywhere near as well as an orchestra can! I completely agree with you that a rock concert is not really want you want hifi to sound like. A typical rock album is never reproduced live though, thus you don't really have a comparison you can make.

Anyway, this is a potentially infinite discussion where personal preference is always going to be king!
 
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Moomintroll

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As I noted, a Klimax system with the new 360 speakers is superb, but doesn't play orchestral music anywhere near as well as an orchestra can!
I went to one the early 360 events. Gilad told us that, back in the 90s, Ivor had entertained a journalist who was so impressed by Ivor’s system that he didn‘t think it could get much better and improvements must be at an end. “Oh, we’re probably only getting 1% of what’s there” was the Ivor’s reply. Meaning that we have a long way to go. Fast forward to Gilad playing the 360 system to Ivor, “Congratulations, we’ve probably reached 2%”

’troll
 

mskaye

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Firstly, I would suggest that you seek out someone who can demonstrate to you what good tape sounds like. I am lucky, as there are several hobbyists in my area that own and use tape as their primary source. I have also been able to insert some very good r to r players into my system. ( although i currently do not own one, as the price for entry is very steep). Listening to 'live' and unamplified music also really helps as well. I am lucky here, as I was for many years a working pro studio musician. To this day, i use and have access to various instruments. So to your point about interconnects, well if you have ever demo'ed various interconnects, it is going to be fairly clear to you which are more resolving, which are more synergistic with your other gear and lastly, which open up the soundstage and allow more frequencies to come through.
OTOH, I do think that as one's system becomes more resolving, the more obvious it will be when a less desirable cable is inserted, many times a certain brightness will prevail, or there will be a loss of information. This is easily observable when you replace a less able interconnect with a more able ( at least in your system ) one.
The 'tune dem' approach seems to rely on an ease of deciphering what is more pleasant to one...this is, at least IMO, not a value; as in all cases that i have heard, the more resolved the presentation is, the closest it is going to be with what is on the master tape, regardless of how pleasant that may or may not sound.
Personally, I find a piece of music I like really well and focus in on an aspect of the recording that is essential to me, like in a string quartet the sound of cello and spacial relationships. Interconnects can sometimes
So, do you mean your technique relies on a fairly specific category of music and performance as well as a specific source technology?

I've been to a few classical performances, but I guess they're not really for me as none have emotionally engaged me the way live non classical music does.

I enjoy live performances, but they are a totally different type of experience. They are social, physical, and often so loud I can barely understand the music, but I enjoy them in a different way to listening at home.

I don't want my home system to replicate a live performance: I go to concerts for that.

I don't use tunedem to experience or judge a concert, but it's definitely not worthless when it comes to refining my home system, quite the reverse: it's the only technique I've been able to use that reliably guides improvements that stay the course for years.

I'm curious about reel to reel, and would like to hear a good condition master tape. Maybe a WAM event is the way to go... If do manage to hear one, I'll judge it by how much the music moves me.
Tunedem is another word that is making me gag. Just listen to the effing music. More Linn marketing speak.
 

Seibassman

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With the current price of high end audio equipment, it would probably be cheaper to simply hire a few session musicians to perform in your front room when you want "proper" music. That would cut out tape v viny v 24bit streaming wars and you could even sell a few tickets to offset costs if that were a concern.

Of course the quality of the instruments, amplifiers and most importantly the interconnects will continue to be the everlasting problem and discussion point, but that could be the basis for a whole new thread on here.
 
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