I'd read the Bible more and probably increase the amount of educational television I viewed.
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I listen to music a lot, but I listen to the radio more than anything else. Even when I'm doing other things, I'll have it on in the background. Note that I said "radio" and not "tuner". There is a lot more music out there on the airwaves than in my personal music collection. As long as I have a portable radio to listen to, I wouldn't miss my stereo at all if for some reason I couldn't have it.
Slightly off topic, but one year in university, I did not have access to a TV. From September until May, I only saw TV for a one week period when I was home for Christmas. I didn't miss it at all. I had my radio though.
Do you mean temporary or permanent Audiogon? If it were temporary I'd maybe homeschool myself further in some physics. If it were permanent, hmmm, that's a tough one. I would imagine it would be quite life altering. That's alot of energy to divert, a person could wind up with a ton of kids.
You failed to mention what you'd do Mrtennis.
i would use the radio, or my $350 Brookstone stereo. what it is a pair of nxt tweeter, an upright cd player, and a bass driver. you can get am/fm and feed a high level input using rca cables. the bass driver is amplified. if this were gone, id use a radio, and with the extra time, i'd do more writing.
Wow, no music? That would be unimaginable. I'd have to take hemlock.
Then again, if the best music reproduction system I ever heard was a $350 Brookstone stereo, I'm sure I wouldn't miss it much and could find lots of other activities to amuse myself. Just hissing, snapping my fingers, and banging on some soup cans with a wooden spoon might provide a suitable substitute. Maybe I'd eventually come across a Bose Wave Radio at a garage sale and that would save the day. :)
hi plato, i think you have misinterpreted what i said.
if i lost my main stereo system, i would revert to my $350 personal stereo as described above. i can certainly enjoy music in that context. until you have listened to it you have no idea whether you would like it or not.
i am of the opinion that i'd rather listen to that $350 mini system than to several $50,000 systems comprised of name brand components.
if you come to New York, i'll demonstrate it for you.
For $700, I could rebuy my bedroom system of an almost vintage Marantz PM 74D 100 w/c integreted amplifier($300), a used Marantz 67SE cd player($100), and PSB speakers like the used Stratus Mini or the Image B25 ($300) and have satisfying entry level high end sound... and then enjoy the music. John Dean
I've gone in and out of this hobby since the early 70's as the spirit, my available time, money and interest have moved me.
I just returned to it a few months ago after a 10 year hiatus, and frankly, I didn't really 'miss' it during that time, since I was preoccupied with other interests, and had burned-out on the almost myopic focus on the equipment, rather than the music. (I found myself playing the same records again, and again- truly a disturbing sign.:))
I can enjoy a piece of music even over a portable, or a standard car audio system- for the sake of the music. Listening to a 'perfectionist' system brings other baggage, since it almost requires a singular focus on the event, which then tends to trigger those audiophile tendancies of listening to the equipment.
One thing I have found since my return- listening over the horn-type speaker- is that I am more willing to listen to entire albums, not just 'tracks' and more receptive to listening to less than stellar recordings, for the sake of hearing a great performance. (Lately, I've been very taken with those 80's era live Etta James/Eddie Vinson records).
I agree that Mr. T's thread topics tend to be provocative.
I think your logic is somewhat askew. Just because you've heard expensive systems and they have not impressed you does not mean that there aren't thousands of systems out there that cost a lot less that would sound night and day better than your mini-system.
Probably, your mini has a nice basic midrange, with a hint of bass, and is not too offensive in other areas and to you, that's great. Many of us on this site wish we could be content with such a modest system, but the fact is, that I, and many others here cannot. And if I were a betting man, I'd bet that once you heard a system that walked all over what your mini is capable of (and there are many out there) you'd suddenly get that upgrade fever...
Heck, in fact, I have an old vintage retro system with Altec speakers, an Onkyo receiver and a Sony turntable with a Grado cartridge that I paid less than $200 for and I bet it will outperform your mini. It sounds really "good," to me, but as "good" as it sounds, my other more upscale systems sound appreciably better.
hi plato. i have heard thousands of stereo systems at ces, other audio shows, audio club meetings, aand friends houses.
yes i will admit that many systems sound "better" (whatever) that means than my $350 personal stereo, which is not my main system.
my point is that as long as i can enjoy the music, sound quality is not that important.
as long as a stereo system does no harm, it is listenable and i'll listen to music on it. yet i will acknowledge that sonically there are better systems.
the experience of listening to music in the home is a duality--the content and the sound. i can enjoy the music without enjoying the sound.
if there are 2 stereo systems, i may not necessarily enjoy the music more when i listen to the stereo system which i think sounds better.
it has nothing to do with logic. read two articles in stereophile several years ago , i believe by Hans Sauer about the relationship between sound and satsifaction if you are still unsure of my gist.
Then perhaps our subjectively based attempts to objectively assess and compare audio systems just aren't good enough to tell us much about which will produce better MUSIC. In the end enjoying the music has to be the only relevant outcome we are trying to optimise.
I would have thought most experienced audiophiles would judge gear by whether they are enjoying music better or not, and that most of the problem is the inadequate attempts we make to describe the differences to others.
I am not saying its easy to select gear that will give you good/better/best musical enjoyment, given all the variables. But if you enjoy nusic more on a system you think is inferior then maybe you think wrong - at least at that moment, for you, with that music.
Now I understand you better. I think we are getting to the heart of the matter.
I also have two competent systems. One is solid-state based and uses large floor-standing speakers. The other uses a combination of tube and solid-state gear and nice-sounding monitors on stands.
I know that the larger system beats the smaller system all day long if you take measurements or use a checklist to tell you which system performs better in particular areas.
But although the smaller system with the tubes is technically and audibly inferior to the larger system in many ways, I still get just as much enjoyment out of listening to music on it.
So I have two distinctly different types of sound in the house, and enjoy them both for their own unique set of qualities. And I also realize that one system is more of a euphonic musical instrument while the other is more accurate. If I really want to hear the specific character of a particular recording, I know which system to play it on.
So what is your main system -- now that you've let the cat out of the bag?
hi plato, you and agree, except for the implication that an accurate presentation is superior to a euphonic (subtractive) one. i agree that subtraction means loss, but it may be more enjoyable to listen to such a system when not in analytic mode. i agree that for the purpose of ascertaining "information" from a recording the accurate system is the way to go.
my system is a hodge podge.
digital sources: bat vk d5, audio note cd2, cal alpha/delta, but i may sell the alpha
preamp: mapletree from canada, phono and line, based upon 6sn7 in the line, w separate power supplies, cost under $1000.
amp: vtl deluxe 120 mono blocks
speakers: quad 63 and magnepan 1.6 . i am looking for a monitopr speaker under $1000, just for laughs
cable(s): dcca audio, legenburg (line cords), solitone speaker cable, sunny cable technology, soundstring line cord, soundstring interconnect
accessories: ps audio p 300 power plant, ps audio juice bar, ps audio ultimate outlet (currently not in use), sound fusion sound boosters--anti resonant devices, room tunes, egg crate mattresses on the wall, harmonix ac and speaker enacom devices, blue circle sound pillows
oh, the preamp has a tone control, custom designed.
as most are aware i like a very soft, distant sound. with the audio note, and especially using the tone control, i can achieve a very tubey presentation.
i hope this answers your question.
Accuracy doesn't have to mean harsh, hard, or nasty sounding. Most recordings are actually less harsh than people would like to believe. That's because most systems have hardness and harshness built in. A lot of it comes from using speakers with passive crossovers in critical ranges of human hearing, but I've also found that certain tubes and even certain cables tend to sound hard or harsh.
And you can have fast loud musical transients that won't hurt your ears. But I'll grant you that there are certain recordings that contain distortion, harshness and stridency that is not pleasant. But I believe there are fewer of those recordings than most people realize.
Wide dynamic swings with fast transients are an integral part of a lot of music and can sound great if the system can deliver what is there -- no more and no less. I can't imagine being content with any system that was so laid back and smooth that it seriously compresses the dynamics and removes/smooths musical transients from the music. I guess some folks prefer that alternative to harshness, but that may be because they haven't heard a system that was truly neutral and transparent. I believe such systems are in the extreme minority -- no matter how much money one spends. A lot of the so-called ruthlessly revealing types of systems are seriously flawed, in my view. The music they reproduce does not sound like actual music played by real acoustic instruments. If you want to confirm that, just go to a live unamplified concert and judge for yourself.
mrtennis- your thoughts in regard to enjoying music are absolutely correct. the need for an 'upgrade' in a stereo is often the direct result of a 'downgrade' in other areas of one's life. i love hi fi gear and hate the term 'high end'......but gear at any price has little or nothing to do with the love affair i've had with music all my life. 'chasing' the absolute sound is really just 'chasing' period.
hi plato. you have a point about neutral systems.
however either by choice, or because of persoanlity or physiology, some listeners prefer subtractive coloration.
it is easier on the nervous system, just as some like to listen at very low volumes, with little or no dynamic range.
read my post about how to avoid mistakes when purchasing components part 1 and part 2.
i will have something to say about prefernce for sound and psychological characteristics.