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God ! I hate this obsession !

Discussion in 'audio' started by eisenach, Oct 23, 2020.

  1. Darth Vader

    Darth Vader From the Dark Side

    During my years of upgrading I have found that something that genuinely improves the sound results in everything improving even poor recordings become more listenable. A have a CD that was so bad I couldn't get through a single track. After a few upgrades I can now play the whole album.

    I think S-Man is on the right track perhaps the HiFi system has a peaky performance?


    Fatmarley and darrenyeats like this.
  2. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig ^'- -'^

    Always underestimate the wife's opinion! Having good eyes and understanding what you see are two very different things.
  3. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig ^'- -'^

    I'd never thought about that but yes, I think you are right. Very good point.
  4. leroyd

    leroyd pfm Member

  5. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    I concur with S-Man. It can happen it seems...
  6. foxwelljsly

    foxwelljsly Hawkwind and Fire

    Can you borrow another power amplifier and swap it in as a control. A Quad 606/909/QSP might be sensible.

    I've lived with ESL 63s and, unless they're broken, you shouldn't be thinking there's anything wrong on any programme material.
  7. Space is the Place

    Space is the Place pfm Member

    I think as others have said if you not enjoying it get rid.

    Everything can sound incredibly impressive at the start, huge sound, detailed, chiselled, controlled, every nuance presented. I'm not going to tether this to the state of the art Class D brush but...something can go AWOL, it's like looking at a Van Gogh with a magnifying glass, sure you can admire the the incredible movements of the brush, but you can't see the whole picture, every swirl coming together to make a image alive with movement and energy. It's a terrible analogy, but you should be concentrating on the musical whole, not the details.

    Maybe valves are the answer in the Pre or the poweramp, or both...
    Mr Pig likes this.
  8. Sue Pertwee-Tyr

    Sue Pertwee-Tyr Well, I can dream, can’t I?

    Apart from the minor issue that underestimating my wife’s opinion in anything is life-limiting, I disagree with your point anyway. Some times a pair of innocent ears can be an invaluable reality check. People who aren’t into hifi can often just express an opinion based on whether they like, or enjoy the music, rather than getting all analytical. This can be really helpful.
    naimplayer, leroyd, Mike Reed and 2 others like this.
  9. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig ^'- -'^

    On Hi-Fi? Who wants a reality check?? ;0) If sensible people were calling the shots we'd never buy any of it.

    My wife works from home and they gave her a small work laptop. For years she was sitting at her desk working on a little 14'' screen or whatever it was. I kept saying it was crazy and she should get a bigger screen at least but she wasn't interested and insisted the laptop was fine.

    Eventually it just drove me nuts watching her and I bought her a dedicated PC with two 24'' monitors. She's delighted with it and says it makes life much easier but left to her own devices she'd still be working on the laptop today.

    Other people's opinions can be useful but if they do not share your goals and sensitivities they can also be a complete waste of time or even counterproductive.
  10. Gervais Cote

    Gervais Cote Predator

    The Van Gogh analogy is real wisdom and so true !
  11. S-Man

    S-Man Kinkless Tetrode Admirer

    By coincidence I went to a "360 degree 3D immersive Van Gogh" exhibtion in York today.
    I was disappointed to note that there were no images on the ceiling. I would have called it a 300 degree exhibition ;).

    What struck me was that VG really did not get his work/life balance right!
    Obsessing over tiny hifi details is the route to lunacy... now, where are my ear snips :D
  12. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed pfm Member

    He also had an ear for things; just one at a later stage, mind.
  13. eisenach

    eisenach #JeSuisProf

    Well, nothing wrong with the amp; probably quite a bit wrong with me :).

    Two weeks on, and I'm getting used to it. It's much more transparent, so you hear much more detail, even compared with good amps like the Primare A30.2 (I put that back in for a day and was surprised by how much I now found missing) and even the A34.2.

    What is difficult is finding the right volume setting, as the dynamic range is so big. The recording level on discs is also very clear, with the "right" volume setting varying much more than before, according to what was put down on the tape. I suppose I've never really heard an amp of this quality before, and I've needed to reset my expectations.

    It does leave symphonic recordings as a bit problematic because of that dynamic range (it's a bit as if I've moved a few rows back in the concert hall), but as I mostly listen to baroque and renaissance music, I can live with that, especially as the timbral accuracy is first rate.

    As a singer in choirs, I'm used to being in the middle of the action, and this amp (accurately) puts me firmly in the auditorium. It's just a case of getting used to the new perspective.
    pickwickpapers likes this.
  14. a.palfreyman

    a.palfreyman pfm Member

    I'm no expert, never heard Primare nor ESLs but your description of a series of pieces of music all sounding pretty much alike with the old amp, but being totally different with the A60 seems to suggest sugar coated versus ruthlessly revealing. My own system is quite forward sounding. Just recently bought Return to Forever, Romantic Warrior (jazz-funk) and it sounds literally bloody enormous and almost too forward or hyped. Everything else tends to sound small scale afterwards, yet I know it really isn't. Your wife saying she can now hear all the lyrics also seems to indicate that before the change some were masked. Live with it as others have said. You'll either love it or hate it after 3 to 6 months and then you'll know. If you're still not sure after that put the A34 back in.
  15. RJohan

    RJohan pfm Member

    I would argue that a bad system makes everything sound the same. It imposes it's own character on everything and drowns what specific with a certain recording, good or bad.

    A good system, then will make every recording sound different and show up what's really there.

    An excellent system should make every recording at least tolerable. I haven't experienced that my self, but I'm still waiting.

    It COULD be that the new amp doesn't go along with the slightly challenging electrical load of ESL's and that this shows up in some program material. My first advice is to calm down and live with it for a while. Second is to try a Quad amp as they at least are made to drive them.
    Mr Pig likes this.
  16. SteveS1

    SteveS1 I heard that, pardon?

    When you get a good balance, it shouldn't highlight anything too much. You still hear the differences between recordings - over use of compression or limiting, poor source tape/copy, eccentric EQ, life sucked out with excesseive NR that sort of thing - but it shouldn't make things you were OK with suddenly unlistenable.

    There have been some excessively and quite painfully EQ'd or compressed remasters in recent years - but they sound bad on anything better than a car stereo. If you have found some flaws on previously enjoyed recordings, I'd look at the room/set up.
  17. Gervais Cote

    Gervais Cote Predator

    And the Quad amps will never sound harsh or fatiguing !
  18. agnes

    agnes Agnes

    I hope the o/p won’t mind my extending this thread a bit.
    I have a similar unsolvable dilemma. I have two nice amps; each suit my system acceptably well. A Linn Klimax Twin and a Lejonklou Tundra 2.0.. Driving KEF LS50s on Solidsteel stands, sourced by a Linn KDS.
    The problem is that I use one amp for a month. Then I get curious and try the other amp. Each change there is the "wow!" factor. I just live with the fact that I have to keep them both.
    My conclusion is that every component has faults and that every so often the ear enjoys a change of shortcomings.
    Which would you keep?
    eisenach, Mr Pig and marshanp like this.
  19. Natara

    Natara pfm Member

    I had this exact issue with LP12/ Naim systems (and I tried lots) sometimes fantastic other times rubbish I found myself buying/playing only the type of music that suited those systems which is plain stupid.
    So I kept the speakers Dynaudio Contour s3.4 and sold everything else I went back the the system that I had the best memories of and that played anything I threw at it a Technics 1210/Nad c372 right away it I could listen to records that had sounded hideous but also those records that sounded sublime now sounded ordinary. So I added a better power amp a Quad Elite QSP and a Passive Pre which raised the bar but also sounded great with MOST of my records I've since added a Quad Artera Analogue Pre and swapped the Techy for a Planar 6 and am very happy for less than a fifth of what I paid for Naim 282/SC/300 and a pretty standard LP12 I'm now enjoying listening and enjoying almost all of my records but unfortunately there are some records that just sound bad when played on any better than average system.
    Mr Pig likes this.
  20. Weiss-Man

    Weiss-Man pfm Member

    I’ve found that walking away from it (just had a 3 Year sabbatical) then spend the equivalent of a nice family car on a headphone system in 7 days.


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