Devotion to gear, pros and cons.

Ron Resnick

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One example is the Aesthetix Io which has only one phono input and whose circuit topology maximizes gain for low-output MC cartridges without any consideration or compromise for other sources or line level signals.
 

microstrip

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As one who believes the purpose of an audio reproduction system is to faithfully reproduce the recording, I'm skeptical about "maximizing" a system for one piece of hardware within that system, even the source. Do you have an example of this maximizing?

Tim

I will give you an anecdotal example. At some time I had the Quad ESL63 electrostatic speaker with a Technics 20A OTL amplifier and an Audio Research SP15A premaplifier in my room. A memorable sound with vinyl. The speakers were non existent, the soundstage spread along three times the width of my room, depth was enormous, the feeling of being there was astonishing. Bass had great power, although not very deep. However the system sounded really miserable with digital - we tried several of the existing CD players of that period - the top Sony's, Marantz's and some british modified machines, even an expensive Tetha model. No one could listen to it more than 5 minutes.

I must say I gave up on this system just to follow the audiophile trend of those days - move to CD. Fortunately I did not sell my LP collection as did 95% of my friends.

As always remember my main listening is classical and non amplified music.
 

PeterA

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Dec 7, 2011
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As one who believes the purpose of an audio reproduction system is to faithfully reproduce the recording, I'm skeptical about "maximizing" a system for one piece of hardware within that system, even the source. Do you have an example of this maximizing?

Tim

What he may mean is simply allocating one's given amount of resources to one format rather than to two formats. In my case, for instance, I would not have been able to afford my current analog source - table, arm, 3 cartridges, phono stage, cable - if I also had to spend money on a digital format. I find the tradeoff worthwhile, others may not.
 

Johnny Vinyl

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May 16, 2010
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What he may mean is simply allocating one's given amount of resources to one format rather than to two formats. In my case, for instance, I would not have been able to afford my current analog source - table, arm, 3 cartridges, phono stage, cable - if I also had to spend money on a digital format. I find the tradeoff worthwhile, others may not.
I think you'll find a number of people who have done exactly that....I have.
 

Phelonious Ponk

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Jul 1, 2010
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I will give you an anecdotal example. At some time I had the Quad ESL63 electrostatic speaker with a Technics 20A OTL amplifier and an Audio Research SP15A premaplifier in my room. A memorable sound with vinyl. The speakers were non existent, the soundstage spread along three times the width of my room, depth was enormous, the feeling of being there was astonishing. Bass had great power, although not very deep. However the system sounded really miserable with digital - we tried several of the existing CD players of that period - the top Sony's, Marantz's and some british modified machines, even an expensive Tetha model. No one could listen to it more than 5 minutes.

I must say I gave up on this system just to follow the audiophile trend of those days - move to CD. Fortunately I did not sell my LP collection as did 95% of my friends.

As always remember my main listening is classical and non amplified music.

I was hoping you could give me some reasons why a downstream piece of equipment would sound bad with one format and good with the other, but thanks.

Tim
 

microstrip

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I was hoping you could give me some reasons why a downstream piece of equipment would sound bad with one format and good with the other, but thanks.

Tim

Some people call it synergy ...

More seriously I remember reading that known sound engineers reported that they would master differently a recording to be issued in CD, SACD or vinyl formats. They should know why they do it better than me.

BTW, considering this a thread on devotion, did you get tickets to Evian, France? B&W Nautilus using four stereo Devialets in pure active configuration in a large room. Perhaps it would force me to reconsider my opinion about active speakers! ;)
 

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the sound of Tao

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Its hard to find a bit of gear that ticks all the boxes for all time, no gear is absolutely neutral or absolutely transparent, reality is probably more about learning the value of relative honesty and truthfulness in spirit and context in terms of how a system presents the music and how that resonates with the listener.

There are few constants in performance and probably the least constant is human perception. We change and modify our benchmarks and criteria as we go because we change as we learn from experience about what actually works for us in the longer term.

When you finally get a lasting connection to a system of components because they help you to connect to music in a way that reliably makes you forget about the mechanical and electrical limitations of a system that is quite an amazing feat. We can put an extraordinary part of our lives and crazy resources of time and money and still many never get to that point.

So the journey itself has the real value and the notion of just stopping the journey completely with just one set of components is possibly not the ideal outcome no matter how good you get your system working. Knowing when to wind down and at least partially get off the roundabout can also be hard till you get that this isn't a sprint, shouldn't be a grind, is unlikely to be a total cruise and should regularly be a joy. It took me forever to come to the realization that things can only be perfect in spirit but never in context.

I suppose when this journey of improvement becomes a significant part of your life then the idea that it ends is like a bit of your life ending. So we keep the sacrifices going.

Nothing is perfect but when its right for you and all the music you love then that is probably about as perfect as it gets, when it connects you the the musician that's more than good enough. Beyond that point it's probably just about making allowance for the swings of mood and power.
 

GaryProtein

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. . . . B&W Nautilus using four stereo Devialets in pure active configuration in a large room. Perhaps it would force me to reconsider my opinion about active speakers! ;)

The Nautilus uses an active 4-way crossover, which is not the same thing as "active" speakers, which really should be called POWERED speakers, which may have an active crossover between the preamplifier and its amplifiers or possibly a passive crossover between the amplifier and speaker drivers.
 

microstrip

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The Nautilus uses an active 4-way crossover, which is not the same thing as "active" speakers, which really should be called POWERED speakers, which may have an active crossover between the preamplifier and its amplifiers or possibly a passive crossover between the amplifier and speaker drivers.

The Times They Are A-Changin, as bob Dylan sang. The Deviatet includes intrinsic customizable filters - just look at the partial screen shot of one of the many options of the configurator. Only the four Devialest's (and the umbilical digital cables, surely) are used to create an excellent active with the Nautilus. I am sure Devialet people optimized their filters - we can see what they do with SAM.

IMHO this system can be appropriated called an active speaker, except by purists who ask for a single package!
 

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microstrip

VIP/Donor
May 30, 2010
17,185
1,870
720
Portugal
Its hard to find a bit of gear that ticks all the boxes for all time, no gear is absolutely neutral or absolutely transparent, reality is probably more about learning the value of relative honesty and truthfulness in spirit and context in terms of how a system presents the music and how that resonates with the listener.

There are few constants in performance and probably the least constant is human perception. We change and modify our benchmarks and criteria as we go because we change as we learn from experience about what actually works for us in the longer term.

When you finally get a lasting connection to a system of components because they help you to connect to music in a way that reliably makes you forget about the mechanical and electrical limitations of a system that is quite an amazing feat. We can put an extraordinary part of our lives and crazy resources of time and money and still many never get to that point.

So the journey itself has the real value and the notion of just stopping the journey completely with just one set of components is possibly not the ideal outcome no matter how good you get your system working. Knowing when to wind down and at least partially get off the roundabout can also be hard till you get that this isn't a sprint, shouldn't be a grind, is unlikely to be a total cruise and should regularly be a joy. It took me forever to come to the realization that things can only be perfect in spirit but never in context.

I suppose when this journey of improvement becomes a significant part of your life then the idea that it ends is like a bit of your life ending. So we keep the sacrifices going.

Nothing is perfect but when its right for you and all the music you love then that is probably about as perfect as it gets, when it connects you the the musician that's more than good enough. Beyond that point it's probably just about making allowance for the swings of mood and power.

Great words! the sound of Tao, thanks!
 

GaryProtein

VIP/Donor
Jul 25, 2012
2,542
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The Times They Are A-Changin, as bob Dylan sang. The Deviatet includes intrinsic customizable filters - just look at the partial screen shot of one of the many options of the configurator. Only the four Devialest's (and the umbilical digital cables, surely) are used to create an excellent active with the Nautilus. I am sure Devialet people optimized their filters - we can see what they do with SAM.

IMHO this system can be appropriated called an active speaker, except by purists who ask for a single package!

I guess I expect an "active" powered speaker to have everything in one package.
 

the sound of Tao

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Jul 18, 2014
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Great words! the sound of Tao, thanks!
Microstrip, many thanks, when feeling too attached to an idea I find its great to be able to come here and have your perceptions unattached by the people with such diverse experience.

I tried both active systems and D class amps and couldn't really make them work for me but its great to see others like yourself who have experience pick up the baton and find a way forward with new approaches. The depth and diversity of the people on this board is a definite asset.
 

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