Laying it on the line


After years and years of reading and posting on Audiogon, I want to lay a few things on the line about equipment and sound. I am no expert by any means but I think my experience has taken me to places where nobody else has ever been. I want to share some thoughts and I will probably get all kinds of comments some kind and some no so kind but hey, like the title of my forum thread says, I'm laying in on the line. I hope this will be helpful to some anyway as I have been guilty of most of this also.

Here goes:

Over the years I have read the tube versus SS camps. Read about different sound descriptions such as warm, musical, lush, liquid, soundstage height and width, NOS tubes, capacitor upgrades, speaker placement, cables, cables and more cables, isolation thingies, matts, dampeners, AC treatment, cones, spikes, room treatment, placement (you get the idea). Then there are sources, DACs, preamps, amps, speakers, shootout after shootout, comparison after comparison, system/component matching, upgrades, modifications, etc., etc., higher priced gear versus value, bang for the buck, etc., and PC audio versus CDPs.

So where am I going with all this. Most of what I read here is IMO a waste of time. To me it all comes down to your source and then down the chain in the line of where the signal goes and ends. Cables, tweaks, etc., are the last thing to me and to be honest, I don't use anything special as the improvement versus the cost was poor if any. I see to many threads where the people replying to them have high priced speakers and a so-so source or vise a versa, etc. I am guilty of not posting my system until recently and while recently reading threads I see lots of comments/suggestions but many commenters don't have their system listed. What are the best threads are really funny because most people are comparing components that they heard at a dealer or in their own system. Upgrades/modifications are funny to. The last several years my partner and I began building a tube preamp. We both learned so much from the experience especially when we used all the recommendations about NOS tubes to try, capacitors to try, volume controls to try all based on forum threads. What we came to realize is that most of the recommendations were a big waste of time. Most of you don't really know crap probably because your system limits you to hear only what it can produce. I cannot tell you how many times I have had recommendations about something only to try it and be totally unimpressed. So I kept saying to myself why this is. Do these people need hearing aids? How can they say this about that and I get the product and it does nothing in my system? It became clearer as my partner and I began the journey in building our own preamp and repairing/upgrading/modifying components.

OK, OK, what is this really all about and what did I learn. I learned that most manufactured components are built to a price point and many manufacturers really don't know sound. When you look inside a $10K preamp, the parts are nothing special such as capacitors, resistors, volume controls. I see many comments about how someone upgraded the RCA jacks and IEC and how much of a difference that made, holly crap! I see upgrades costing $2K-$5K, holly crap! I know parts are expensive but come on, most of the sound improvement could have been achieved with a lot less if someone really took the time to experiment to see what part really had the biggest impact on the sound versus replace every low priced part in the component. I have read about how different people who modify gear are geniuses? Really, I found most of them to just do more of the same old. Few if any changed the design of the component so are better parts really that much of an improvement? How do they know what capacitor or resistor works they best in that component, did they try them all? How do you know if they like the sound that you prefer? I changed the filament resistor on a power amp recently to find that it made a huge impact on the sound. Why didn't the manufacturer just use this $.99 resistor? Well that is because AC voltages differ in the different parts of the country so they picked a universal value. Holly crap, it was that simple and I did not have to upgrade RCA jacks, the IEC, tube sockets, capacitors, resistors, power cable. BTW if you send me your amp I will do the modification for you for $1K!

OK enough of this, here goes:

The price of a component means nothing to me as it relates to the sound (bigger isn't better, only sometimes).

Most upgrades are a waste of time if you are just swapping out the parts, sonic benefits yes but generally not versus the cost of someone doing your modification.

Your source is the most important component IMO so take the time to get that right first.

I don't like SS preamps. I have not found one that gets the piano correct (I’m gonna get slammed for this). Most of the tube preamps I have heard are nothing special unless they don't use capacitors in the signal path. Capacitors produce a sound no matter what so get them out of there (yes there are capacitors that are better than others – I am really gonna get slammed here to). They are what most of you are hearing when you compare preamps. They color the sound so that makes it hard for you to know what the system is doing (sounding like). That is most likely why you hear what a cable in your system does but the same cable in another system does not sound like it did in your system. The hump in the mid-range/lower bass may be all caused by the cap in your preamp and not your speakers or room. Your preamp probably limits the sound coming from your source in areas such as resolution, soundstage, clarity, depth, TONE (did I mention TONE), speed, edginess, hardness, sounding SS or digital, bass definition, air, openness, etc. Also, the chassis has a sound, at least dampen it.

Power amps, they amplify the sound. My old Lafayette KT-550 tube amp made way back in the day still sounds and competes with current power amps today even in stock form with old caps and resistors and nothing special tubes. An old FM Acoustics SS amp beats most SS and tubes amps that I have heard. My dare I say upgraded Counterpoint amp competes with current amps today (cannot believe I set myself up for this one but the old amps are just unreliable because of the mosfets)! I am not sure but so far IMO, the amp seems to be the least important component in getting the best sound from my system. As you can see by my comments, my experience is limited in this area even though I have heard tons more amps than most of you will ever hear. If I ever decide to build an amp I will probably learn more about them and be able to make better informed comments. In doing some modifications to amps and repairs I have begun to understand how certain upgrades change the sound but I do not have a definitive recommendation on it all yet. I’d have to think about it some more and then maybe a little more.

Speakers. I searched and searched for the perfect speaker. There is none. They all are limited to and reproduced what the components send to them. I have three pairs of speakers and they each do something that I like over the other ones. When I upgraded my source and preamp I found that the sound of the speaker changed and so did some of the issues in the sound that were now eliminated. Funny, I may have sold a few of them until I changed those components. That is why I find comparisons of gear not to be trust worthy. I recently went to hear the ZU Audio speakers. Based on all of the comments here on Audiogon, I thought that I was going to hear something very special. At first take after I heard the first two pairs of speakers, I said to myself, what the heck are you Zu speaker people hearing. They must all be deaf. BUT understanding what I have been trying to say in this thread, I thought to myself, the speakers cannot be this bad and looked to see how the line of components was affecting the sound. I told a few listeners that the amp was the issue; it could not drive the speakers even though they are very efficient. Someone in the group swapped out the amp and there was now such a huge improvement in the sound. Now we are taking I thought to myself. So you ZU speaker fan boys can really hear! I was almost guilty of the same old, same old.

In conclusion, if you are posting your opinion here on Audgiogon that is fine but list your system so we can have a base to understand how the sound is produced in your system. Post helpful comments and stop all the pissing matches; your pecker is not really that big (mine if the biggest). Know that hearing a speaker at a show does not represent how it really sounds. Understand that sound comes down the line of the components and it ends with the speakers.

Last, in all honesty, I did this forum thread because I read a thread today that mentioned a well-known reviewer and that his thingie did not work out the way he said it did in a particular system. Well probably not in that system. So should I think that that particular reviewer is dishonest, cannot hear, sold out to the man? In my limited experience reading reviews and meeting a few reviewers, I have come to realize that they are in a no win situation. They fall into the love’ m or hate’ m camp. Most of you have not heard the sound from a reviewers system so you will never get to hear what they hear. I only trust a few of the ones that I have met and have been able to hear what they hear in their system. My system will probably never get there no matter what I do. The first time I heard one these systems, my thought was to sell it all and just get a Bose Wave Radio because I will never get there. But I love music and all I need to do is build a system that I like to listen to and forget about that comparison. I like many of you want the best from my system and that is the love of being an audiophile. Like I have stated above, if you begin to understand the line of components in the system, you can get a better understand of what they are hearing when they do a review. Don’t hate them for this, learn from it. This is a business, like it or not. Reviewers do get perks! So was the comment on the thingie that the reviewer showed another piece of snake oil? Well no, not to me as that same thingie worked well in my system.

I do cherish the people who I have met on Audiogon and consider many friends. I did not post this to be a prick or know-it-all, but just to help many understand why their system may sound the way it sounds and to keep an open mind when others post comments. Opinions are opinions but also please understand that a few of us know when you are posting BS or are a fan boy of a manufacturer.

Happy Listening.

Bigkidz

bigkidz
Are you a politician? :)
one does and one doesn't so what?
Too many words.
Most garrulous!
Say No to drugs!
ROTFLMAO. It must feel good to get that off your chest. Most of us knew we were ignorant assholes but now that everybody knows we no longer have to fake it. I'm relieved. Diogenes can put down his lamp and rest for a bit. :-)

FWIW, I do tend to agree with you that many folks spend a lot of time and money on stuff to 'improve' their systems when they haven't even got the basics down. But hey, its their time and money isn't it.

BTW, FWIW, IMHO, I think your views of the importance of speakers (including amp and set up) v sources is screwed. How will you ever know what your source will/can sound like unless you have optimized your speakers/set up/room? From listening at a show? From listening to one at your friends house? From listening at your dealers? You visit a clarvoyant? Funny thing happened to me, I never knew how good (or bad) some of my sources and ancillaries were until I got some excellent speakers properly set up in my living room. Go figure!

Excuse the bluntness, but i think you are not so much different from the rest of the folks here, just more revealed. :-)
DAVID DUKE 2012
Thank you for initiating this thread, Bidkidz.

Though I do disagree with several of the points you make, in general, I like and agree with a lot of what you say.
Don't agree with most of your prospective. But I guess were all entitled to are own $20,000 worth.
Tmsorosk- "perspective", "we're" and "our" work much better.
I blow thru here
The music goes 'round and 'round
Whoa-ho-ho-ho-ho-ho
And it comes out here
Bigkidz...another of these...must be the season....well, thank you for the insight. Is the Twitter closed today?
Kudos,Bigkidz. Not sure I understand everything you posted and certainly have not digested all of what I do think I understand - but kudos for bravery. With respect to some of the responses to your post, I think A'gon. ought to register as an organ donor site. Given the many easily identifiable ***holes that have replied, seems like there's surfeit of available donors for that body part.
What Trelja said.
About listing system. The setup to post it is so cumbersome i tried and gave up. It is a PITA in a major way to post a system here.
You want to look at mine go over to Audio Asylum. I am Elizabeth there too.

As for the rest of the diatribe.. It is the usual My experience is special, and yours is not as special' type of rant.
One's own experience is an interesting starting point, it is not the center of the known Universe.
Just becaue you happened to arrive at some concusion, does NOT make it true.
Just like experience in general might make one proclaim the Earth is flat.. plenty of others disagree... For good reason. Just so ones one experiences can be worth comparing to others, but just spouting that my own experience is the one true valid one.. Yeah right..
A lot of talk about pricks and peckers.
"I am no expert by any means but I think my experience has taken me to places where nobody else has ever been."
Really?
Whatever "point" you are trying to make is unclear, despite the fact that you took a long time trying to make it; and your spelling is bad.
"Most of what I read here is IMO a waste of time" Including your post IMO. I have put together many systems for myself and friends. Early on I started from the source and worked my way to the speakers. Then I decided to start with the speakers and worked towards the source. The latter has always produced the most satisfying results. Someone here said that the speakers determine 80% of the sound. I have always said 75%. If you have a crappy speaker and great electronics you still wind up with crap. Great speakers will maintain most of there greatness even with very average electronics.
Alan
What Trelja said +2.

Don't take this wrong but your friendly rant (and I mean it in the best way) leaves me to doubt that you're satisfied (or can be), and that you've heard something good enough to call it quits for awhile. You've heard great gear. You know your way around great gear. You try to improve what you have based on others experiences and yet you feel the way they go about it is a waste of time since you can't duplicate it in your own system. And that the sonic benefits are not worth the cost of someone else doing it.

Opinions vary on the last one. I doubt you'll ever find agreement on mods and their costs.

Did I get that right?

I, too, believe that the source is the most important aspect in stereo and that amps don't have to be exotically built to give great sound.

I also believe that all speakers are compromised.

All I can say is to take a really good assessment of what you have, compare it to what you know sounds good, make the necessary adjustments, and leave it at that for a while. You just may have lost sight of the enjoyment aspect of this hobby.

I understand the frustration of reading some of these posts and communities like these generate a lot of commonality and a sense of participation ensues and next thing you know, you're trying what someone claims to be the next best thing to sliced bread. And it doesn't work. After some trail and error one can make an accounting of those who you can trust and those you can ignore.

I really do appreciate your post and hope to find you just listening for listenings pleasure.

All the best,
Nonoise
agree with you totally. However some big speakers(& their listeners) require expensive high power amplifiers which might be popular to some reviewers.

to expand on "the source," IMO actually the recording is most important, more important than LP or CD.
I agree with the OP that many manufacturers are just building to a price point, and don't know much about sound. I also agree that cabling, etc., is a very small part of the system and nowhere near as important as all the rest of it. I think this is definitely where many audiophiles waste a ton of money. However, I would agree with Newbee that the speakers are by far the most important part of the system (even if they are all flawed - IMO, all parts of the system are always flawed, so this is a moot point). If the speakers don't sound how you want them to, certainly nothing else in the system will. This is simply common sense.
“I learned that most manufactured components are built to a price point and many manufacturers really don't know sound. When you look inside a $10K preamp, the parts are nothing special such as capacitors, resistors, volume controls”.

“I see upgrades costing $2K-$5K, holly crap! I know parts are expensive but come on, most of the sound improvement could have been achieved with a lot less if someone really took the time to experiment to see what part really had the biggest impact on the sound versus replace every low priced part in the component.”

Absolutely a 110% friggin' right. Although it doesn't exactly come as news to me at this point in the game for me. But, it gives me a chuckle to see someone lay it all out. Sure, old buzzards like you or I may have been around long enough to figure out that not everything in audio is as it seems, but you gotta remember that getting started from scratch in this hobby is mainly only suitably recommendable to the young. It takes years and even decades to make a seasoned audiophile...and even then we don't know it all. So we live with the younger, more inexperienced among us. After all, they are entrusted with the future of audio, are they not? And yes, may God help them...but, I guess all we can really do is show them the way...if we can ever get any of them to listen to us or take us seriously when they do. Se la vie, I guess...but I'll defend to the death your right to preach to the unbelievers...even only if the ones who don't actually get it, may need it the most. Keep the faith!
Bigkidz, thanks for posting your thoughts and experiences. I don't agree with all of your conclusions, but I don't think that's really important.

If we put aside purely technical questions, all posts are essentially opinions and conclusions based upon personal experiences and since we work under the "everybody hears differently" ethos, then there is no right or wrong hearing experiences. Although there are clearly incidents of people drawing non-valid conclusions.
Thanks for posting and putting it on the line. While you are just plain wrong on a couple of things, I sure like your passion and spunk!

Caps vs transformer coupled is a bigger argument then what you boil it down to. Both have their issues to be frank. It comes down to the total circuit design and execution. Many are not fans of transformer coupled and many hate caps.

Your experience is close to mine on importance of source and pre over the amp. We agree on that.
Quite the rant there Bigkidz.
My experience leads me to agree with Newbee and Learsfool, "speakers are the most important" part of the system. Source is number two. Cables are way down on the list of what affects the sound of a system.
I think my experience has taken me to places where nobody else has ever been.

*speechless*
OK I put the rant up to spark some discussion. Like I said it came out of a thread I read about a reviewer’s thingie and the comments made about it. A few people who responded got it, and I also know where they disagree with me. I did that on purpose to see what responses the remarks would get.

In reading many threads I don't want to sound like a complete jerk but many comparisons are of the same type of component. CJ vs. AR type of comparisons. My point is that they are the same except for a few caps and resistors essentially. They do sounds different but are the same IMO. People keep asking which one is better. To me they offer different sounds, and have strengths and weaknesses so it is really personal preference. I know everyone gets that but you are not really improving the sound of your system.

For speakers, if you are using a Sony Play Station as your source, what will be the sound coming from your speakers? The recordings are important (agreed, see my comment above about the reviewers thingie) but the source has to pull the info and send it down the line. I posted a thread recently where I offered to replace the laser in a Rega CDP for the cost of the part. I only had two replies to the offer and I am scratching my head about it - still no takers. In all my years in this hobby, that laser replacement floored me and my friends in that it was one of the biggest improvements I have ever heard from any component in my system. If you know the Rega CDP, you should understand what sound it reproduces. Warm, musical and not digital sounding. The sound after the laser replacement was all about tone. Each instrument on the recording had better tone. Everything had solid placement in the soundstage. Clarity, imaging, air, bass definition and resolution were stunning. Micro dynamics were just excellent. I doubt anyone has experienced this before. With all of the CDPs and transports I have tired, only a few could reproduce this. Can anyone tell me why this happened? If you can, then you understand what I am ranting about. It is my experience but I learned why this made a bigger difference than trying to get there by trying other CDPs and modifying CDPs.

BTW Timrhu, I like the Meadowlarks and own the Nighthawks. I bet I could change your mind on the importance of speakers versus the source in your system.

As far as caps versus transformer coupled goes, there is no comparison. Most designs have been around for many years. The DHT design is very hard to implement. Once you hear one, I think most will find it hard to go back to a cap design otherwise you are just listening to the sound of the capacitor. Pick one Auri, Dueland, Mundorf, Clarity, V-Cap. Which one do you prefer? Essentially that is what you are hearing. I guess you can say the same about transformers having a sound also but IMO they reproduce sound in areas where caps just cannot compete. The design is important. I see many very good designs with flaws from well-known manufacturers. Take a look inside your amp and preamp and tell me how many of the resistors are attached touching the circuit board. And you wonder why the component blew taking out the resistor and burning your circuit board. How about those beautiful cases, funny how so many manufacturers did not leave enough space for the heat to escape. It sure sounded great for a while and perfect for the "expert" repairman to offer modification improvements!

"Don't take this wrong but your friendly rant (and I mean it in the best way) leaves me to doubt that you're satisfied (or can be), and that you've heard something good enough to call it quits for a while."

Is anyone ever satisfied? At times I thought that I was until I began understanding more about how components reproduce sound and why some manufacturers produced poor sounding equipment. Why is it that you cannot take the audio magazines A list and get a great sounding system? BTW my partner built a complete system that I could be completely satisfied with, unfortunately, you cannot get the exact parts to produce a second system, they are no longer available. It has taken us three years to develop a preamp and it still cannot reproduce the sound of the original version. That is also why the old Lafayette KT-550 amp I own cannot be reproduced. That amp was sold probably for under $500 and only a few amps can do what it does today no matter what the cost of parts.

"I think my experience has taken me to places where nobody else has ever been."

I see your point but in my lack of good communication skills what I was trying to say is that with so many opinions, and while just opinions, they lack the experience to be really helpful. Seems like everyone wants to express their opinion (I did that also) and be a reviewer. I am not sure if all these opinions are just that helpful. I used to attend audio meetings and found that most of the people don't know what they are listening for, even me. I took the time to learn and understand so that my opinion would mean something and I could help others.

Whatever "point" you are trying to make is unclear, despite the fact that you took a long time trying to make it; and your spelling is bad.

Roxy54 - What's wrong with my spellling? Unclear? I should have used Windex! I tried to check my typos but as you can tell, my grammar really sucks big time!

Yeah I took a long time to say nothing, I know so here is the point:

My wife always had an opinion on politics. It meant nothing to anyone because she did not learn about the subjects she had an opinion on. She thought that the NY Times was a conservative newspaper. She took the time to learn about the subjects she had interest in and now her opinions have more substance. Before she educated herself on the subjects she expressed opinions on, I would tell her that "she might not always be right, but she was never in doubt".

I am always looking for people in the NYC area to meet with, hear systems and music. Feel free to get in touch.

Happy Listening.

Bigkidz
Audio is like cooking. All you really need to make a tasty dish is a good recipe and some good quality ingredients that need not be the most expensive.
if the source is the recording, the best source with the worst stereo system will always sound better than the worst recording with the best components. if you start with garbage you end with it.

so lets all find master tapes and be done with it. who cares about the components in that case.

uh oh, in the real world you can't get master tapes, so its an amalgam of components and recordings which dtermines the sound. no new insight here.
Bigkidz,
Your comments are very contradictory. You tell a story about the positive change that was wrought by replacing the laser in a Rega CD player, and I believe you, but in your OP, you mock people who use other tweeks that you deem useless. That is wht I say I don't get your point, unless your point is that you know what is cost effective and others do not.
"uh oh, in the real world you can't get master tapes, so its an amalgam of components and recordings which dtermines the sound. no new insight here." mr tennis

You dont get the point. Different recording companies, recording equipment, performers, & their performances create the superior sound. Like an Olympic gold, silver vs a city-wide competition.
Bigkidz,

It seems you and your friends are going the route of Burson Audio. They started out just tinkering and building for themselves and friends and concluded that op amps (like your capacitors) muddy up the sound and went to hand built, discrete components, when in the signal path, to achieve the best sound they could get.

You can roll op amps (like caps) and all you do is change the coloring of the signal whereas discrete components, when built to a high enough standard, simply pass along the signal as close to what's intended as possible. It's a crap shoot trying to match op amps and caps when all you can do is match by general values and hope that the tiny thing you're plugging into the board came out of the building process as intended and doesn't vary much from channel to channel to mess things up. From what I've read, op amps were never built for audio purposes: they're just a handy substitute for something better but costlier and bulkier.

Miniaturization is good in some applications but sometimes (most times?) cost cutting is the name of the game. I know this is a hotly debated subject but I still can't get over the sound of my Burson integrated.

As for the laser pick up you swapped out, was it the same brand/type and was the hookup done in the same manner? It it was, did you try replacing the original laser pick up to see if it wasn't fully seated in or just needed to be reinserted? Or was it misbehaving and had to be replaced?

Again, I like your post.

All the best,
Nonoise
one day i walked (softly) into a ridiculously-priced audio store. the snotty salesman burdened with demonstrating an expensive system for me put on
some music and stepped back, lowered the lights, and let me stew in my
casual saturday-morning sloppy clothes.
what i heard was miles better than anything i had ever heard before.
once they realized i wasn't going to stop coming around asking questions,
they stopped being so snobby and started telling me what they listened to at home and what they really liked.
i eventually made a purchase. and then another. i was definitely enjoying myself. that's what the sales manager told me/warned me. he said if you're having fun then it's ok. if your spending money you don't have on components that don't really sound that much better, then you don't have to keep it.
so i made out OK. which is what i wish for others as well. but it's probably going to cost some major money unless you want to build your own components and speakers... uh, no thanks.
Mine is the biggest!
Bigkidz, It seems from your last post that what you want to accomplish is to elevate the level of the conversations in this forum, and coincident to that, gain the respect of knowlegable participants if not everyone. That is a good thing! You also want to be able to offer advise, or at least share your experiences with others, such being supported by the 'respect' of other participants. Another good thing!

But, respect cannot be obtained when you elect to denegrate other members by telling them that they are at best ignorant or deluded, a condition often only occasioned (as it was with you) by inexperience with the subject or the membership. And, at the same time, telling them of some of the discoveries you have made which challenge their knowledge base, or their intelligence. And you do so with derision, failing to realize that unsolicited advise so rendered will cause you to loose respect and potentially be seen as just another audio loon.

For example, you have replaced the laser on your Rega. You have been very impressed by the difference this change made to the sound, I assume to the sonics. So far you have just made a statement which has no foundation, just like so many others on this forum of which you are contemptuous.

Flesh it out! Tell us, in your opinion at least, what the difference was and IYHO what caused it. Different part? Different materiels? Different manner of installation? Breakin? And, once done, explain how your evaluation could be validated. By memory of the sound of the old unit? Because you had two units, one changed, one not? Etc.

Do you not see that the advise you gave to your wife about gaining respect is exactly the advise someone should give to you? Consider it done! :-)
Ditto Trelja. Bigkidz, thanks for putting yourself out there for criticism and having the guts to write of your experience. The source is very important and can make your speakers sound like different speakers. I won't detract from the importance of the speakers however.
Are you Tommy Chong?
My opinion is that no two products that are different in design and construction in any way are "the same". They are clearly different.

Then the issue becomes how much different and does it really matter?

Then things become harder in that the only answer to whether something matters or not is usually: "it depends..."

No simple answers. Maybe that's what has the OP up in arms? It can be frustrating sometimes when everyone seems to have an answer yet there are no simple ones.

There are many recipes for very tasty soup....

Laying it on.
Roxy54 - the laser is not a tweak - I just replaced the broken laser. There are no adjustments to the laser.

Counterpointsa12 - probably not unless Fremer has them! But when your source extracts all the info then your system will obtain something different from what you have now, that turns out to be something special. BTW I repair the Counterpoint products.

Nonoise - broken unit, replacement laser, compared to the original see my comments above. I even borrowed the same model from a local dealer to hear the differences.

French fries - as long as you enjoy it, I agree. You don't need to build your own gear. I have a system that cost $27 to put together from local garage systems that should not sound as good as it does.

Newbee - I don't really want any respect from anyone. I guess you could say that I was telling everyone that they are ignorant, sorry. I am probably just another audio loon also for starting this.

The Rega comment was just a short example of trying to point out about a learning experience. I did point out the differences a little without going into all the detail on the Rega. All that happened was the laser was replaced, no adjustments. I compared it to three same models Regas of different ages.

Thanks for giving me my advice back to me but the point still being most opinions do not have any true substance to back them and most don't know why they hear what they hear. Maybe I am just a frustrated audio loon!

Bigkidz
Audiophiles are no doubt quite opinionated about what sounds "good" by nature and do seem to tend to become obsessed with the chase almost to the point of OCD.

And the fact is there is usually little in terms of concrete facts or metrics to back up most anything they say or claim.

So in essence, we may each appear quite crazy to others, even another audiophile.

Live and learn I guess.
Thanks for your POST...

We walked away from 11 years of research
for just the same reasons you touched on.

Our reserach was - is ahead of the crowd, but
is not well recieved, yet.

Cable design was our first project, which soon
pointed out that the audio world was held captive
by many - unproven concepts - which challenged and drove
us to find the real reasons why some things worked and why
other processes did not.

Particularly in cross-overs, for when our new designs were
connected to some systems, the cable(s) failed to improve the system.
After several years of learning about modern
- crossovers -
we designed non-cross-over circuits. The over-lapp
idea and circuits were around long before, but were
not yet defined.

We then became and are strong proponents of the notion or concept of:
stop using cross-over circuits.

Cross-overs are a 77 year old problem that has plagued the audio world and has caused decades of confussion.

We were also tasked to design a AUDIO-GRADE power cord !
We never heard of such an rediculous idea!
Sadly - in - 2001 our research ended in a
Golden EAR AWARD
for an audio grade power cord ! :(
Sad because of the way thing turned out...

Our next assignment was to help improve speaker systems.
The speakers at the time sold for $24-$68k per set !
OUR new NON-crossover circuits [back to cross-overs]
were used but not paid for...
[the company I worked for was sold-out...]
so now, as the inventor I have let the designs lapse
into the public domain.

Our small company has set out to help the audiophile
in improving their systems and learning more about
the true concepts of audio.


Our ideas are ESOTERIC
- as seen and criticized by the pro's -
but all sustained by known 'mondern' concepts.

If you would-like a copy of our free book and works:

LADY-Fidelity
Esoteric reserach - Academia v/s Esoterica

Let me know : ytb402@msn.com
Bigkidz,
If you simply replaced the laser with a new unit, and you think it sounds so much better, then you are guilty of the same thing you are accusing others of, which is "better sound" unsubstantiated by any kind of proof. If your system cost $27.00 as you say, then I would say that you are not in a position to comment on the efficacy of tweeks such as cones, power cords etc.
You have again contradicted your own hypothesis.
Roxy I said that I have a system that cost $27 that is musically satisfying and if that is your only goal that is great. I know why the Rega laser replacement sounds better. What I was getting at was that the source makes more of a difference in what sound the system reproduces. No cable or tweak could have helped pull more info. If your source cannot pull that kind of info, than all of the other stuff is more of a band aide to the sound.

Unsubstantiated, I don't think I said that others had unsubstantiated opinions. I think I was saying that to many don't have enough experience to make informed opinions to help the questions being asked here in these forums.

Not sure what you want me to say about cones, tweaks, etc. Do they make a difference, sure, but if your source cannot pull the info then you are probably missing so much more than any of them can make in your system. I would do this before any other tweak, dampen the chassis and circuit boards in your components and see what that will do at 1/100 of the expense. And yes I am guilty of all of the above when I first joined Audiogon. I took the time to learn and educate myself with the help of others over many years. I stopped posting my opinions for a long time when I learned that my opinions lacked substance. I think everyone wants to improve the sound of their system and it can be easily done without spending money on expensive cables, components, etc. I want to help others make informed decisions on how to improve the sound of their systems and as a bang for the buck guy; I have learned how to do much of this. I am sure everyone thinks that they are helping but read through the threads, half the time the original question is not answered followed-up with the pissing contest. I read too many threads where an opinion says, I was not impressed by the component. And then comes the response that someone else thought it was great. Ever wonder why that is? Everyone has an opinion but there are reasons why something does not sound that good in a particular situation. Once you find out why that is, you'll understand what I am trying to say about opinions and substance (you may already know this) but others don't seem to know why.

BTW what Fried speakers did you own?

Bigkidz
hi counterpointsa12:

what you have said is not inconsistent with what i said.

we are at the mercy of recordings, with all of the associated variables you mentioned.

then we take the recording and hope to hear something worth listening to.
Roxy I said that I have a system that cost $27 that is musically satisfying and if that is your only goal that is great. I know why the Rega laser replacement sounds better. What I was getting at was that the source makes more of a difference in what sound the system reproduces. No cable or tweak could have helped pull more info. If your source cannot pull that kind of info, than all of the other stuff is more of a band aide to the sound.

Unsubstantiated, I don't think I said that others had unsubstantiated opinions. I think I was saying that to many don't have enough experience to make informed opinions to help the questions being asked here in these forums.

Not sure what you want me to say about cones, tweaks, etc. Do they make a difference, sure, but if your source cannot pull the info then you are probably missing so much more than any of them can make in your system. I would do this before any other tweak, dampen the chassis and circuit boards in your components and see what that will do at 1/100 of the expense. And yes I am guilty of all of the above when I first joined Audiogon. I took the time to learn and educate myself with the help of others over many years. I stopped posting my opinions for a long time when I learned that my opinions lacked substance. I think everyone wants to improve the sound of their system and it can be easily done without spending money on expensive cables, components, etc. I want to help others make informed decisions on how to improve the sound of their systems and as a bang for the buck guy; I have learned how to do much of this. I am sure everyone thinks that they are helping but read through the threads, half the time the original question is not answered followed-up with the pissing contest. I read too many threads where an opinion says, I was not impressed by the component. And then comes the response that someone else thought it was great. Ever wonder why that is? Everyone has an opinion but there are reasons why something does not sound that good in a particular situation. Once you find out why that is, you'll understand what I am trying to say about opinions and substance (you may already know this) but others don't seem to know why.

BTW what Fried speakers did you own?

Bigkidz
This is a hilariois. My hobby is listening to music. My hearings pretty good at 45. It took me years to figure out what an audiophile actually is. Once I figured it out it didn't make sense to me. I thought an audiophile liked to listen to music but sadly found out they critique instead. Rolled off? Wow!! Give it a break and listen to the song not every note. A resolving system? Well there's your problem. That's why Audiogon exists. How about the term 'critical listening'? Well if that doesn't scream "hand on the tone arm or remote" I don't know what does. Did you just hear that? Hold on. That. Was that a rolled off high?

I read a post on another forum from a guy who befriended one of his college professors who was retired. He would visit this gentleman frequently throughout the years. The professor was a classical music nut and listened every single day after he arrived home at the end of the day and in the afternoon upon retiremennt. He would read while doing so. One day his old integrated stopped working so he called his old student friend and asked him to stop by sometime soon because his stereo wasn't working. The guy stopped over and they had casual conversation. The professor handed him a credit card and asked if he would be willing to go buy him a new amplifier. The student replied "well what would you like?" The professors reply was "I don't care, please just get me a new one." So he went and did some listening and returned with a new amp. He connected it and turned it on. The gentleman picked out a record and started it on the turntable, sat down and picked up his book. Everything was the way it should be again.

My friends, this guy could have been making this whole story up but I will never forget it. For me it's about the music. That's why I will never own a resolving system. Because I would never get to sit here with my wife and my dog (and kids when they're around) and enjoy my music. Its too stressful. I don't understand why some of you are trying to achieve what you're trying to achieve. You do what you want but I would suggest you spend more time at concerts. Ive been to many and never been to one that was 'resolving'.
Rx8man thanks for the link to the Triumph "Lay it on the line." I've always liked Triumph and that song. Bigkidz, I admire where you're coming from. Cjl, your post is intriguing. Finally, I really have enjoyed this thread and its many different insights into our world.
I owned Fried Model Q for a few years, and TDL Monitors (the big ones!) twice. They were somewhat related in lineage since Bud Fried was involved with IMF which later transitioned to TDL in England.
Best comment so far:
""08-10-12: Mapman
Audio is like cooking. All you really need to make a tasty dish is a good recipe and some good quality ingredients that need not be the most expensive.""

Right to the point.
Thank you.