A Call To Reason . . . . .

. . . . (Or A Semi-Longish Rant By A Megalomaniacal Oddity)

i posted this in another thread, but wanted to start my own thread concerning the subject of a disturbing trend i see happening here on the 'Gon. the specific thread which i reference hereafter is mainly the "dv50 - any other players significantly better?" thread. those who have read it and even those who have not, please indulge me by reading the following and offering your opinions . . .

i held my tongue in that supposed "shootout" thread, but i'm gonna chime in here.

i've no doubt that the APL player is a nice player. i'm sure it is.

but i've owned many a cd player in my day and anybody's *absolute* assertion that the esoteric dv-50 is 'one-dimensional,' and 'sounds like radio shack,' and 'is bettered in every way' by the modded denons is a load of horse crap. even a previous poster in this thread has his facts wrong regarding the esoteric transport: there IS NO CLAIM to a VDRS clamp-mechanism in the dv-50. it is a pioneer transport! so? the APL uses a denon transport! what's your point? and no, the VDRS is *NOT* in any way a glossed-over OEM - it is designed and built in-house, and is one of the finest transports built.

again, no disrespect to alex of APL because i'm sure he truly does great work - but beware of the ludicrous superlatives and silly claims that one player "trounces" another or that because the esoteric dv-50 uses a pioneer transport that it's "a home theater unit with no business i a high-end system." this simply is not the case.

it's amazing the stigmas we have as audiophiles. the sacred cows we keep - cd's can't sound good; if it doesn't just play cd's it can't be any good; pcm leaves an audible fingerprint in every case; oem transports are cheap; if it plays dvd's also then it's "home theater" equipment. (God Forbid!)

that is just plain crap. i've owned the dv-50 along with several other highly ranked cd players and TO MY EARS it is a fantastic unit for the cost. period. on redbook, sacd, dvd-audio it is fantastic. i wouldn't trade my emmlabs meitner gear for the world, but i did trade my resolution audio opus 21 for it. did it handle cd as well as the resolution audio? i don't think so - not to my ears, anyway. did the resolution audio "trounce it?" or "destroy it," or "make it sound one-dimensional?" no, it didn't. i decided it was a fair sacrifice for universal playback. this this mean i'm right? no, it means i'm right for me. when i bought my meitner gear, did i buy it because somebody i trusted told me it sounded good? honestly, yes i did. but if i hadn't liked the sound, i'd have sold it right back. that's part of the fun - sometimes you can buy used stuff blindly and then sell it for the same price. it's fun and that way you don't have to rely on other's opinions - and certainly not let their opinions influence your own.

but sadly, that's not enough for some. no, some people in this hobby have agendas. i firmly believe that some of the loons who say that "this product destroys, demolishes, kills that one" are doing no more than trying to validate themselves, their "golden ears" and/or their purchases. yes, there are products out there that sound more real than others, but in the world of high-end cd players - it really comes down to personal preference. a krell will sound different than a linn. a naim different from a teac esoteric. meitner different from wadia. there's no need to try to convert anyone into believing that you are right, that your player is the best - enjoy the music, people! the day this hobby ceases to be fun is the day we should jump ship! let's just use some common sense - a disc player costing $5500 is not going to sound like radio shack! and if it did, it wouldn't sell! i don't care if it also plays dvds, it just wouldn't. you might not like the presentation of it, but *please.* there are so few absolutes in this hobby and when somebody is so insanely vocal in their vehemence in using them, that's when we need to step back and question why. i hate to sound so cynical, but if you read that whole thread with an open mind, you'll see what i mean.

that "shootout" thread IMHO is a microcosm of mob mentality. look at it from the beginning and follow the progression. it's a perfect model for a sociology textbook! at first, everybody jumps on the bandwagon saying "dv-50 is great, blah blah blah" (whether from their own experiences or because of the positive reviews, i cannot say) and then in comes one person, more vocal than the rest to challenge that notion. this one is so much more vocal than the others that he suddenly becomes the alpha male - the unquestionable audio guru, the one who first says that the emporer is wearing clothes - can't you see them? if not, you must be a fool. he convinces one person on the thread via a visit to his house of it and then all of a sudden, people start to doubt their own decisions and jump on his bandwagon - feeding his ego and validating themselves because they agree with the alpha male and his obviously "golden ears." i mean, nobody wants to be thought the fool, right? maybe they didn't like what they had heard after all? maybe somebody else knows more than they do about what sounds good to them.

nonsense. only you know what sounds good to you.

people, the emporer has no clothes. listen for yourself and make your own decisions. question when people overuse superlatives. avoid the hyperbole and the rhetoric. it's about music, folks - that's why we're all here. no need to put anybody else's equipment down to make yourself feel better, or to try to validate youself by convincing others that you're right or to try to validate yourself by jumping on the popular bandwagon.

yes, i'm aware of the irony implicit by my posting this and trying to change people's minds, but this i implore of all of you - do what makes sense and is logical to you. whther or not you agree with me.

thanks for taking my call, diane, and i'll take my response off the air.


honestly - happy listening to all.
Oh, the truth is you Meitner dudes are pissed off there's a new kid on the block offering better price/performance.


(yes, that is meant playfully)

I agree with you in spirit, Laz, but must say I find such threads therapeutic in a 'there but for the grace of god go I' sorta way. For ideally, despite our deply engrained 'gear headedness' and other technical geekosities, this game is all about connecting with the music. And on that count, my radio can move me emotionally to the same quadrant that my audio rig can. That there is joy in marching so many places to the right of the decimal point in the pursuit of 'accuracy' is no doubt fun. But at the end of the day, it is about music; an emotional connection; simple joy.

One need not spend a lot of money to gain this experience, nor let equipment get in the way of it.

Your fellow 12 step audioholic fool,
Good writing.
I have printed off and read all of that Esoteric thread over the last couple of days. It was damn near giving me an anxiety attack thinking that my $2900 Marantz SA-14 was at the bottom of a pile of dung. I then took a deep breath and realized it was like numerous other threads that I have read proclaiming the vast sonic differences between 1 meter interconnects costing hundreds or thousands of dollars.
I forgot that I had realized that at some point, everyone must call uncle, and for me, I'm at it. I rarely get to sit in the "sweet spot". I rarely get to just listen to music at a "normal" level (75-85 dB at listening position). Realistically, how the hell would I be able to discern a differnce between one excellent CDP and one outstanding?
Are many other people in this boat?
Lazarus28, I respect you're opinion of the DV-50, but you have to admit your statement that...
anybody's *absolute* assertion that the esoteric dv-50 is 'one-dimensional,' and 'sounds like radio shack,' and 'is bettered in every way' by the modded denons is a load of horse crap
is as dogmatic as the statements you disavow regarding your DV-50. Have you heard the APL 3910? Or any of the other players other than the Meitner that are being compared to the DV-50? If so, you have a valid argument. If not, you're argument carries no weight beyond the opinion of a DV-50 owner.
Lazarus28, Thank you for your viewpoint, I hope you read the WHOLE thread where I in fact Apoligized if I seemed overzealous. I am on a mission, and a search for the digital source that I feel is the best, to me. I believe what I am hearing right now in my system, with my ears, is in fact just that. I am really attempting to describe accurately, my findings. Not to promote, for I have no direct relationship with any modder, or manufacturer. In fact, I have the balls to do exactly what you say, That is I buy, try, compare, sell, or return. I, in fact am still searching for the right source. Only, now it is for my HT. I will still lend my unit for shootouts, comparisons, and fun. Hey, thats just me. I own a mortgage company, and do not need to sell audio for a living, nor do I. That being said, I do not have any motive except to report in an honest way, what I hear. You are right that not everyone is going to like the same thing. IMHO, most do, most meaning more than 50%. That makes a majority, and thats why shootouts are fun, and educational.

I am glad you have the Meitner gear, and are happy. Had I not run accross Alex, and APL I might have the Meitneer too. In fact I look forward to comparing, and guess what, If I like the meitner better, in my system, I will buy it. I have stated I have a budget of 20k for this, and I think the meitner falls in there. I hope one day soon you get to listen to the APL, and I get to compare, directly with the meitner. Hopefully my player will be at the shootout at audioesentials next weekend, (I will be on a cruise with my wife and daughter)I am just hoping those who
do attend, get the same type of enjoyment, and pleasure as me. My purpose here is not to promote a certain product, it is to bring great products to peoples attention. Why? Cause it makes me happy, and helps those around me on the same search as myself. A lot of people cannot take the time I am putting forth, and/or do not have the resources I have to play this game. Yes, to me, this is fun, I am on a journey to find my audio nirvana. Sounds to me that you are too. We seem to be on an analagous journey seperate, but together. Please tell me IYHO, the difference between the Meitner, and the DV-50. I am real interested to see how you would put it.

I also have owned the DV-50, or I never could have said what I said. Yes, my initial posting on the thread were overly zealous, and incorrectly phrased. I was so exited with my APL, and Exemplar, and acted foolish in my writings. I forgot that the written word, is a record. I
did apologize for that. I must tell you I feel really proud about my journey, and my writings, today. I have rerceived much email, of appreciation from many audiogon members, requesting me to keep up the great work. I am still having fun here, I hope I am not offending you in any way, shape, or form. As I said before, I intend to keep on my search, until I stop having fun with it. Please try not to make this journey a drag. I invite you to vistit if you are ever in the Chicago area.
All I can honestly say is that I am listening to the DCC copy of Aqualung, at about 70db/75 db, which is rare for me, and I am hearing instruments I have never heard before. The sound is unlike any I have experienced in my system, ever. I have been thru a lot of high quality players in the last 6 months, and primarily 3 months. I am just in awe of the music I am hearing now. I am not analyzing, I am toe tapping and just plain amazed. I am happy. I hope you find yours too.
The more I learn about audio the more I realize wild claims could well be system synergy at it's best and the same piece could sound noticably less good somewhere else.

Also something that often happens is something sounds really good for the first few days or weeks and after that it settles in and sounds different therefore getting less acclaim. I am especially leery of someone who just plugged something in listens a few hours, and then posts about it (I have done this myself) they are often excited (this is how some purchases are made) and throw superlatives around. Not a 'bad' thing just not especially level headed and sometimes misleading for other potential purchasers if the writer is not careful.

BTW 711 this is not directed at you as I have not read your thread but in response to Lazarus...

all the best,

Different people have different listening priorities. Some people may truly prefer one over the other, even after careful A/B testing, and living with them for awhile. It may also have something to do with how it all comes together in their individual systems and rooms.

I had to notice that you made a comment about how your new digital gear beat your very nice Teres analog system, and you've now sold it. But, I know of a few other people who have the exact same Teres 265 turntable that you had, and also have the newest flagship Meitner digital gear, and definitely prefer the Teres analog to even the best Meitner digital.

So, how can this be reconciled?
To each his own.
Some need to have different things out of their systems, than either you or I(or anybody else) may promote.
If you are happy, that is all that should matter.
711 - great response! that last bit cracked me up - and i guess i did miss the part where you said your earlier statements may have been a little overzealous. no worries, pal - and i'd love to hear the APL next time im in chicago. likewise, if you're in san antonio - come on by! we'll kick out the jams and drink some fine shiner bock beer, which is easily the best in the country and absolutely trounces all over the competition. (tongue firmly pressed against cheek)

david_berry - fortunately (depending on how you look at it) i live alone so that's not an issue. sounds like you need to start sneaking home during your lunch hour. . .

tvad - my general point remains to take all wild claims with a grain of salt, regardless of what that claim is - mine included.

philojet - yeah, i know what you mean. i've made changes to my system that floored my for a little while. like once, i borrowed my brother's little tube preamp for my office system and i was WOWED for a few hours. i was just about ready to run out and buy one. then after listening for a long time, i for whatever reason found it unsatisfying. i switched back to mine and was happy again.

twl - my point exactly. i'm in no way trying to invalidate the ability of the teres with that statement. it's just what i hear. gotta tell you, though - i almost wish i'd have kept the teres just to look at it. . .


cheers, folks!
Enthusiastic hobbyists we are, and are no different from those with other hobbies, enjoying the occasional one-up and the more than occasional fish story... I've read that whole thread and found it to be very informative and entertaining. I wish I had the resources to play in their game (also a Chicago resident), but I'll happily watch from the mid-fi seats...

lazarus, excellent & right on target.
I always loved to sit in the back of Long Island Audio Society meetings and laugh at the "mine is bigger than yours" comments that were exchanged. This is human nature, but I try not to engage in it. Occasionally, however, I suspect that my posts are more than "hey, guys you might want to listen to this" posts. I do try to avoid useless words, such as "blows away," and instead use equally useless words, such as "is more realistic or more transparent." Words are so useless in describing sound.

I know my position of writing on AA or Gon and saying how useless words are is hypocritical, but our passion is to share. As someone above said, perhaps we should just take everything as a grain of salt and listen for ourselves.
Tbg, Norm, you are cordially invited for a listen. Seriously, you, and I are on the same path. We are serching for the best, digital has to offer. For today, I believe I have found it with the APL. You own, or owned the meitner gear, and have been touting the Exemplar. I read, digested, bought the 2900, 3910, Exception II, am waiting for the Exception II with siltcech, and remote, but I have also been exploring, buying, selling, returning other products. I have apologized for using the "blown away" terminolgy. I am on a mission for self truth. As of today, I have found happiness with the APL 3910. I cordially invite you to listen, and ask for youto give me feedback and your opinion. I value your opinion, for without your writings, I would never have embarked on my journey to audio nirvana.

Thank-you Norm.

Best of luck in your journey too.
Steve, I actually had an Exemplar 3910 last week. It had been damaged in shipment and is now back with John and is fixed. I will get it early this coming week, but of course have to wait some time awaiting its breakin. I, of course, will not have the APL, but I will be comparing it with the TEAC UX-1, the Reimyo, and the 2900.

As I said, I will try to share my opinions, but in reality they may have little application to you or others.
Tbg, I appreciate you sharing. As I said, it was your statement regarding the Exemplar being better, IYHO, than the Meitner that encouraged me to buy the Exemplars I bought. I encourage you to try the APL, as well.

Best luck in your journey, and thanks again.

BTW, do you own the Teac, and Reimyo?