Am I missing something here?

Hello to all Audiophiles on Audiogon.

I am currently using the following system to listen to my music.
Carver M500t
Nad 7130 as preamp.
Arcam r-blink Bluetooth DAC
 Boston A200 Speakers

I am a Bass player now for over 40 years playing various styles and one who listens to all types of music.

So I guess what I am trying to get at here is why am I left so underwhelmed by very expensive highly rated very “thin” sounding audiophile systems that I have encountered when auditioning systems considered for purchase?

I have listened to various tube amps, small to monstrous Piano Lacquered speakers..side firing woofers...etc..I have owned Maggie’s. and various box speakers..(still do) but yet I just can’t get  a similar reproduction in many instances of auditions for instance on a song like “Slap Happy” by Milt Hinton for Bass repro with not only weight, timbre, image and soundstage that my system gives me...also in the same respect minus the bass as say “Blue and Grey by The Who that justifies spending the dollars on a much more expensive system.

I feel my system gives a more true reproduction. Am I jaded from my actual playing music and hearing what that sounds like when comparing to a recorded listening experience?

All said for a system of mine that has cost me roughly $1,200.00 I would say it sounds better than most systems I have heard in the 10k+ region.

Thanks for listening.


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Those are some interesting pieces! :)

The wide baffle speakers of Snell are among my favorites, and this seems of similar pedigree.

I have to agree with your overall take, a lot of really thin and gutless is sold as "refined."

But sometime soon I encourage you to listen to Parasound or Ayre if you can. :)

For speakers, listen to Monitor Audio as one brand I am super entranced with.
Thanks for the reply.
Not the answer I was looking for as I already mentioned I have listened to systems in the price range you mentioned. 10k+

I would like someone to explain to me the "thin" sounding aspect I encounter on some tube preamps with no loudness button etc...that leaves me totally underwhelmed.

Thanks E!

Thats the kind of reply I am looking for.

Nice pieces you have memtioned indeed.

You can only listen and either like or not like what you hear.  Audio is very subjective.  One person hates what another person loves.

You can keep looking till you find what you like or stick with what you have.  Sticking with what you have is cheaper and you're sure about what you're getting.
It may be the amp and speaker combo you've listened to aren't a good match. Thin sound, lack of bass sounds like the amp is not able to drive the speakers to their potential, or they lack synergy.

Take into account the sensitivity and impedance curve of the speakers when choosing an amp.

fwiw I have a few friends who are very accomplished Classical Musicians who could care less about audio and are pretty content with what I would consider to be low end systems.  It makes me wonder if their brains fill in the missing information...
  it seems that good honest bass reproduction is a priority for you.  I would get the speakers right first.  Have you considered a subwoofer?  Some of them are more sensitive musically than others which are geared more towards rendering loud explosions for movies.  Anyway, a decent sub added to your current equipment and properly integrated can improve your system because it takes the strain off the speakers and the amp in reproducing the low end and lets them concentrate on the mid range, where most music lives.  Just a suggestion for you as your posts haven’t mentioned trying a sub in the past.  I have a Paradigm sub in my HT System which I think gives a nice weight and texture to stand up acoustic bass.
In my opinion, one doesn't have to spend a fortune in order to have a system that performs accurately and to your liking. Perhaps you did a very good job selecting components and with your room accustics.
You're situation is not unusual.  Your system is not a high definition nor contemporary sounding, but it is highly effective at delivering good sounding music.  You're in a very good place, so don't worry about the high end stuff.
If I were you, I'd get rid of the bluetooth dac and go with a wired connection.  But that's me, not you.
The Boston Acoustics A200 is a well regarded design.  Similar sounding loudspeakers are EPI, Allison, IMF and some Dynacos.  By modern standards they all have rolled off highs, slightly opaque midrange, but wonderful upper bass and bass impact.

Thank you forr the reply...

You wrote....

"You're situation is not unusual. Your system is not a high definition nor contemporary sounding, but it is highly effective at delivering good sounding music."

"Contemporary sounding" implies a 2018 system will eventually have the faults of systems of yesteryear?

This implies a timestamp on a system has an expiry date so to speak and gives a signature or propriatery sound to a system which I believe is not what we seek as chasers of a "sound that puts the band in the room".

It is the duty of a good audio system to reproduce the track as it was recorded on that a certain a certain engineer...using the tools to what sound they wanted to achieve after the final mix before release.

I dont think we want a "Contemporay" sound or any signature stamped on it.

As many will point out, what an engineer intends his recording to sound like is rarely relevant to the circumstances and equipment the end listener can provide.

So you have to decide how you want your system to sound and build a system that will do that for you.

My system is probably 15 years old. Tower speakers with two 7 inch woofers and rear facing port on each. With a beefy amp and proper positioning I get all the bass I want and when I tried a sub-woofer decided I didn't want or need it.

The bass reproduction on my system is what defines it for me. I lucked into it. The point is, it can be done.
Not everyone wants to put the band in the room. And yes, at some point in the future the prized systems of 2018 will sound dated and their faults, which are not the same faults as earlier systems, will be easily heard. That does not mean that some people won’t prize that sound. There are still people using bamboo needles on shellac and they are probably completely enthralled by the sound.
what an engineer intends his recording to sound like is rarely relevant to the circumstances and equipment the end listener can provide.

Totally disagree!  High fidelity still means something to some of us.

Right now many speaker designers are on a trend toward what is typically called "neutrality" and "accuracy".  I think that's simply what you are hearing--or not hearing.  These goals spill over into the design of other equipment too.  Tube preamps vary a great deal in their sonic presentation, and they're generally not 300B-ish. 

See my thread


Well said and thank you.

Actually thats how I feel about my system..lucking into it...albeit I went thru numerous pieces to find the synergy I wanted.
@2leftears..Thanks...I believe I hear a great deal of Neutrality and accuracy with my setup.

I dont want a sound signature so to speak in a system...
One man's neutrality is another man's thinness.
what an engineer intends his recording to sound like is rarely relevant to the circumstances and equipment the end listener can provide.

"Totally disagree! High fidelity still means something to some of us."

I don't think there is anything exclusive of high fidelity in my comment that you quoted. I just think that recordings are listened to in a wide variety of ways. A producer has no idea what your system is or what it sounds like and he can't record for every possibility. So the idea that what you are listening to is exactly as the engineer/producer wanted it to be heard is remote. This becomes especially true of older recordings in which the engineer/producer could not even have conceived of the gear we are using. None of that excludes high sound quality from the recording.

Off topic, sometimes I would like to hear about your user name. I've traveled highway 61 a number of times. Mostly for blues, food and literature. Lived there for a while too.
....for a system....that has cost me roughly $1,200.00 I would say it sounds better than most systems I have heard in the 10k+ region.
Congratulations on assembling a system that is personally satisfying....  
Who would know better, the sensations a rhythm section, tympani or pipe organ generate, than a musician or competent sound technician?
That you are a bass player probably makes you especially sensitive to that region of sound,
I am thinking that a sub with EQ would be something that would give you what you want.
I am trying to resist, but I am leaning toward the new Vandy 3 subs. I have the older model, but think being able to correct room nodes would provide me with even greater sound reproduction quality.
The price isn't cheap, nor is it exorbitant.
Just a thought...
It may be the room. Seriously.

The science is that most rooms are poor, and most of the remainder range from OK to good. Only 1 or 2 % are very good - and it may be that yours is one of those. Lucky you!
@ishkabibil-  Do you ever get around Indianapolis?
@rodma9999.  I live in not that often...
Oh, well.   Enjoy your jams!