Audiophiles: Sound Off! General Discussion of Old & New Audio - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 2015-10-11, 03:19 PM Thread Starter
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Cool Audiophiles: Sound Off! General Discussion of Old & New Audio

This is a thread for general discussion of your Audiophilia experiences and knowledge of old and new audio technology.

There are existing forums at this site for discussing the actual hardware, so this is a more general thread related to digital and analogue quality and your own experiences in trying to attain the best, whether as a consumer or a professional.

This thread is NOT about Home Theatre or video hardware and tech. There are forums here at this site that are dedicated to those.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 2015-10-25, 03:15 PM
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"audiophile" pretty much goes with the job description for me; I make my living in professional audio. I'm constantly and consistently amazed by/at the advances that are being made on what seems like a daily basis...the trick being to implement them into my workflow for the benefit of all.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 2015-10-25, 04:59 PM
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After returning from a 6-mos Engineering Assignment in Japan (so NO Apartment payments), in 1971 I bought a pair of ALTEC Voice-Of-The-Theater Speakers (smaller 800 Hz Xover Horns in "Flamenco" design w. Triple-Wide Cabinet). When I retired (the 1st time) in 2002 , I eventually got tired of Sectoral Horn's somewhat distorted mid/treble (despite a diaphragm/speaker coil replacement), so I decided to use them ONLY as a Sub-Woofer PAIR (Yes, TWO is much better than ONE to minimize Room Modes), driven by my old Marantz 250 Amp ("Arc Welder" dims the lights when powered up) and a 1/3-Octave Band Equalizer, tweaked (with the ports CLOSED for better Transient Response) using R-S Calibrated Microphone in their SPL Meter and TrueRTA Real Time Analysis Software displaying Spectrum Levels while playing a PINK Noise sound track...whewwwwww...and then I had to go around the room and place small pieces of foam on the back of SOME pictures, a few in the ALTEC's to prevent loosening Grill Cloth from flapping and weather striping around the Hall Closet door to keep it from rattling. [I LOVE all KINDS of Music....incl. Pipe Organs.) [PS: Last time I checked, my ALTEC's were worth about $600, intact or sold as parts.]

My son and I bought enough of the above speakers to rebuild my Rears and five NEW ones for him.....if he ever gets some time off from work and fixing things on the house he recently moved into. Rears are same 6-in DIY Rear speakers I built about 1972-ish, designed using the then NEW Thiele/Small measurement & design procedures (per subscription to Audio Eng. Society Journal) on their THIRD set of (now Cerwin-Vega) drivers...each time with a different length for the Tuned Port...and of course now using readily available FREE SOFTWARE to do the calculations.

Fronts use Bi-Amped (separate Amplifier for highest Damping Factor and speaker interaction) DIY Sealed Boxes with 10-in Woofers that my son used at College in his "Boom-Car" [he once won a "Best Sound & Freq Response" award]....still thinking about 12-in upgrade, but it would need to use a stepped out front to fit under the Monkey Pod Table the UDTV sits on. Mids (800-8 kHz) are Bohlender-Graebener Neo-8PDR Planar Magnetic with NO BACK for Bi-Polar Radiation (same Neo-8's as some of the less expensive Martin-Logan's) and Super-Tweets are closed back Dayton-Audio Pt2 Ribbons that cover the range of freqs I doubt I can even hear anymore. My goal was to have nearly instantaneous Response to Transients...which I have certainly achieved other than perhaps the 44-yo magnets in the ALTEC Sub-Woofers. Center Speaker had to fit under the UDTV's Table, so my DIY design uses a pair of 7-in plus PT2 and Neo-8PDR in a SEPARATE Closed sub-section.

I've been using some form of Bi-Polar or Di-polar Speakers for like FOREVER...same time I was listening to DISCRETE SURROUND via 8-Tracks and playing with early Matrixed & Directed Logic QUAD-SOUND. I started with R-S Piezo-Electrics tied across the ALTEC terminals pointed up and back....FILLS in the sound space so it sounds more REAL, rather than relying on the delayed, reflected path to give your ears a not-quite-right resemblance of sound coming from JUST than the point source speaker. In the early days of THX Speaker Certification, ONLY Bi-Polar Stereo speakers earned their approval (e.g Infinity Electrostatics, Magnaplanars, Bose (Bletch!!!!) and a few others)....later on they caved to pressure and changed to the current recommendation of Bi-Polar Speakers on the REAR....but I disagree (backed up by listening to DOZENS of high-end speakers at AES, NAB & elsewhere)....and ROLL MY EYES at the dozens of speakers required for Dolby Air system to effectively do the SAME THING (you KNOW users will use Matrix Delays rather than recording discrete tracks from a bunch of microphones):
Speakers: Bipole vs Dipole -
A Guide to Bipolar, Dipolar, & Direct-Radiating Monopole Surround Speakers (PART I) - Blu-ray Forum

Here's an old photo (with my FIRST, 42-in HDTV) taken just after I swapped in the DIY Center Channel (replacing the small DIY Box under the Chair....just one more thing we lined up for Duty Inspection when we returned from Japan). Some CECB's and my Original HD-OTA Tuner with Adaptive Antenna Array I/F normally occupy the "Hole" below the Table. Marantz 250 Amp (2x125 Watts RMS), Behringer 1/3-Octave Band Equalizer and old Sony Pro-Logic Amp (Bi-Amp for 10-in's) is hidden on the floor to extreme Left but are now stacked on top of Left ALTEC. Pioneer SACD/DVD-Audio/DVD/CD Player on Right was replaced by OPPO BD-93 and Sony AVR was replaced by Pioneer VSX-1050 (7x100 Watts) with MOSFET Transistors (require LESS Feedback for better Transient Response). Box above Sony AVR is I/F Box for old HDTV with JVC D-VHD just above it, which is fed by the IEEE-1397 Capable Cable Box on top (with SACD leaning against it). Old HD-DVR below HDTV is still used for when there are TOO MANY shows at the same a Multi-Room HD-DVR that can pull also shows from the MR HD-DVR in the other room that my wife watches (so up to SIX simultaneous DVR recordings....I actually NEEDED FIVE just the other night):
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 2005 New Center Speaker + Altecs + Victor-HMV_DeRez.jpg (347.0 KB, 75 views)

Antenna Simulations, Overload Calculations, etc:

Last edited by holl_ands; 2015-10-25 at 06:28 PM.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 2015-10-25, 06:28 PM
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Nice to hear from people who are keen on quality sound. Great.

Funny thing, eh old timers, at one point FM broadcasts were the top of the pile for quality since they had vinyl-playing gear that was better than in our homes and FM quality was not the limitation. Then a brief period when newly introduced stereo was poorish. Then good quality then digital tuners.......

My sad impression is that there is no motivation to get broadcasting up to the Red Book (CD) standard* although Ibiquity is not too far inferior (assuming the rest of the station's gear is good).

*Red Book (AKA 16 bit/44.1kHz) is as good as I'd like any time, but some listeners aim for fancier standards

midtown Toronto, DB4e, 60ft RG6, 8dB distr amp
FM: Sony STSA-50ES, Wine.6065, 40ft RG6
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 2015-10-26, 01:58 PM
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Little Nipper, holl_ands: I asked my grandmother if I could inherit the Little Nipper salt and pepper shakers my grandparents got with their old console (TUBE!!!) stereo when they bought it. It's in the will - where the stereo is, I haven't a clue. They sure don't make 'em like THAT anymore. The Big Iron sound...maybe the hipsters will re-discover it and write an app to emulate it...
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 2015-10-26, 07:22 PM
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at one point FM broadcasts were the top of the pile for quality since they had vinyl-playing gear that was better than in our homes and FM quality was not the limitation.
Not really correct. Some home turntables and cartridges were better than typical station gear. FM stations also had a 15kHz, or so, cutoff to meet broadcasting standards. Then there were the peak limiters and signal compressors used by many stations. A good home vinyl setup could beat FM for sound quality quite easily.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 2015-10-27, 02:26 PM Thread Starter
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 2015-10-27, 05:10 PM
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I used to think my Denon 3808ci's digital tuner sounded fairly good, until I hooked up my Marantz Model 150 Tuner for the first time in 20 years, and was absolutely blown away by how much better it sounded. It was like I missing half the music with the internal Denon tuner.

Now I am considering recalling my vinyl back to active duty, but need to find a good turntable...and not a USB version. Plenty good used turntables available out there.

My cousin is a vinyl fanatic...don't even mention the word digital to him...and his system is all analog with a $6K+ Oracle turntable suspended from the ceiling, tube amps, noise/pop reduction, 2-channel etc. I would imagine pristine old vinyl pressings are hoarded like gold by his type.

But I wonder how many recordings would be purely analog today, from the recording session to the vinyl?

ISF level2 Calibrator, HT Technical Planner, Owner Video Management Services
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 2015-10-28, 12:25 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by vmstek
need to find a good turntable...and not a USB version. Plenty good used turntables available out there.
Buying an old turntable is a bit of a risk if it is uses a crystal for stabilizing the rotation speed - the crystals break down over time and you will never get them to hold a steady pitch. With new ones, even with USB, check if they have analogue outputs too and you should be okay.

I bought a brand new AudioTechnica AT-LP120 turntable a couple of years ago that has 3 output options: USB out, analogue RCA R-L preamped out, and analogue RCA R-L pure line out. I tested my own external phono preamp against the built-in one and they were almost identical so I've been using the AT's. Also no ground lead to the preamp or amp is necessary with the new AudioTechnica. I run a Shure M97xE cartridge and am very happy with the results such that I don't use my beloved old Grado anymore. The AT-LP120 is a bit large and heavy for a home audio consumer like me, but it is packed with features that a DJ might want. I think AT offers smaller ones now.
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