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I'm not exactly any of the above. I love the look of equipment particularly in silver but I wouldn't say I'm a fanatic. I don't pursue accuracy because I perceive accuracy as sometimes, cold or analytical, too precise, too razor sharp. I like the idea of correct instrument timbre but it's not my focus. I guess I'm more into having the music sound real, the real sound of a cymbal as it's struck by the drumstick, the "thwack" sound of a rim shot on a snare drum, the screech of the trumpet or sax on a high note. I'm into realistic reproduction of music. Haven't gotten all the way there yet- my system is still a little warm and not extended enough in the upper mids and highs.
Love music. Have a lot of respect and appreciation for musicians that through their performance and talent submerge me in the state of mind that I can't explain.
Equipment for music reproduction, well....if it gets me closer to that state and gives me goosebumps, I get it - fast. Don't care about name, don't care about esthetics, value is always a factor but sometimes, not often you hear a peace that will poison your way of thinking and a little devil on your shoulder convinced you that you must have it. Then - contract with evil is legally sign and in most cases it is for 18 months no interest.
Type V = Sicko!!!!!!!!!!
Lucky for me that we are moving next month & I wont be spending another dime (here on agon) until next year!
I normally spend anywhere between $1K & $25K a month on this site.
Moving everything I now own & have & bought here could prove to be fatal!
If my wife only knew that both "our" systems (her 7.1 H/T system & my 2 channel rig) we have cost me more that the house we just bought - I would be dead right now!
I usually buy very high end & esoteric pieces (upgrades) that I know that will not only sound right/better & look great in either system.
Warm up the Ferrari & dive me to the poor house!
Think I'm good until 1/1/08.
I am with Timrhu. I love music and want it to sound good but am not willing to sell the house and have always leaned toward value. I have tweaked a pair of PSB Bronzes with new capacitors and, when the left metal dome tweeter blew, I replaced it with a Vifa ring radiator tweeter which has been a step up. Have added a local built tubed preamp to my marantz amps and plan to do no more. I love jazz and classical and vocals and most everything else. I want it to sound non fatiguing and reasonably realistic but believe the laws of diminishing returns kick in early.
I thought there were only two types
Those who have found Shangri-La (just playing music and thrilled every time)
Those who have not (changing gear each year, tweaking, planning upgrades etc.)
It is all in the mind. As far as sound quality, some focus purely on differences whilst others know what they are looking for. Some listen to the sound of reviewers hype and equipment aesthetics more than what their ears tell them is correct.
I think I fit best in whatever cateory Leedistad's, Mrjstark's, and Timrhu's comments suggest. I want a system that makes good sounds at an affordable price. Accuracy,instrumental realism etc don't interest me as much as the music itself and the "listenability" of the system. I want a system that facilitates enjoying the music. I listen primarily for the aesthetic experience...to be moved.
I have said it before. Look at the word's derivation to be an audiophile you have to love music or sound. Is there some reason to try and apply labels to people who visit this site.Is your categorization comprehensive meaningful or important in some way. If you only care about the beauty of an instrument's timbre you are actually still a straight forward audiophile you are a sound fanatic. Timbre refers to the sonics of a single instrument and believe it or not it's root is the Drum think tympanny.
If I had to stick myself in one of those three categories, I'd fall mostly into category 3. I most definitely don't have much of either of the other two categories. I just prefer to have gear that I can completely ignore, that disappears without a trace. Set it and forget it. I do it entirely for the love of the music itself. I like whatever brings me closer to the music I love, and its only for that reason I pursue any improvements. I wouldn't care if it came in plain metal box with a blue light on it and ugly wires and exposed tubes. Wait a minute...
PS I have to admit that speakers do play on my visual aesthetics more than other components, only because they're so visible and cannot be otherwise tucked away or hidden.
#1? Ab-so-tively!! Major gearhead checking in.
#2? Well kind a. I am finally growing up enough to realize how very pewrsonal and subjective perfection is.
#3? Ya that's nice, but it's more
#4: Dynamics and harmonics. I like to be able to dissect the melody and harmony of a symphony orchestra in full howl. Taking X-rays to the genius of Stravinsky or Ravel ...or Alice Cooper... gives me dem big goosey bumps.
the quad is the leaast inaccurate in reproducing instrumental timbre. i have heard piano, harpsichord, oboe and other instruments sound more natural on the quad 57 than when reproduced by any other speaker.
the only way to demonstrate the superiority of the quads is to assemble a number of speakers, record an instrument and compare the sound of the recording reproduced by each speaker with the sound of the instrument.
by the way there is more to sound than timbre. rather than ascribe the epithet "sound fanatic", i would substitute "timbre fanatic".
my initial assertion regarding the quad 57 is a hypothesis.
here is a proposed test, constructive criticism sought:
aassemble several pairs of spekears, chosen by "experts", believed to be minimally inaccurate.
select a room which is well behaved.
configure a stereo system in the room.
record an instrument, say, a guitar, for 2 or 3 minutes.
while the musician plays the guitar, take measurements using a spectral analyzer at the listening position. print the graphs. then play the recording, taking measurements and print the graphs. repeat this procedure with each pair of speakers. the control is the graphs generated when musician plays, i.e., the independent variable. compare these graphs to the other graphs generated when recording is played through each pair of speakers.
can also compare , subjectively and hence opinion based, the instrument to the recording via listening panels judgments. this approach is not reliable.
i prefer comparing graphs, which although not "perfect" , provides an objective measure.
i realize the impracticality of finding a room and selecting components, but it's a first step.
Actually, speaker distortion is very very measureable. Yes, it is room dependant, but getting a low distortion signal generator (ie Tek 505) and putting out through various speakers would at least give a relative level of distortion.. pink or white noise would also work, but a low distortion sig gen measured by a Bruel and Kjaer microphone with a 2610 or 2636 measuring receiver would definitively show diferrences in total harmonic distortion. The problem being that at different levels, different drivers will have different distortion patterns and the debate would rage on........ I love what John Atkinson does with measuring speakers... he can reasonably predict certain behaviors based on historic, statistically significant data :)
That's just for THD. Which proves not necessarily a whole lot other than at a certain frequency and input level, driver or speaker a relative to driver or speaker b has more or less THD. And God help the man who measures at one speaker's crossover point vs another speaker crossed over at a different speaker.. hence maybe a swept sine captured on an FFT, which is what many speaker manufacturer;s do anyways.. it is a cheap enough suite to purchase if one is in the business.
How confusing was that????? ;)
my initial assertion regarding the quad 57 is a hypothesis.
I'd say it came off as an opinion until you declared it a hypothesis.
I have very fond memories of a pair of Quad 57's a good friend of mine owned. Those speakers were one of the things that got me hooked on this hobby. I would have assessed them as being on the very warm (colored) side though. He was using a modified Dynaco amp and an early Audible Illusions pre. What a wonderful memory that is - back in the late 80's I think. I don't know that I'd have the same opinion now after all these years. The new Quads don't sound much like I remember the 57's sounding - I never warmed up to my friends 988's, and he tried several configurations of that sytem. They did vocals brilliantly, but couldn't seem to get anything else quite as good, at least in his room and with his various system changes. He sold'em and now is playing with Maggie 20.1's (a big improvement over the Quads in his room/system as he's developed it). I didn't particularly like the 988's at RMAF either. Different strokes, and all that.
Ah, but the 57's I do remember liking very much. I don't know about "timbre" - I interpreted your option 3 to be a version of 'getting closer to the music'. Otherwise it would never occur to me to describe it as you did.
I understand the draw to having an "objective" device measure what a speaker's doing in a room. There is the idea that you have somehow been "validated" in your observations. Since I'm not an "objective" device (very far from it), nor is the experience of music an "objective" experience, I don't see how it should have any bearing on what I prefer to listen to.