The Rocky Mountain International HiFi Press Awards

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. Read 6583 times.

STEREOmole

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 25
Re: The Rocky Mountain International HiFi Press Awards
« Reply #40 on: 7 Oct 2015, 05:26 am »

I can agree the last couple percent of performance costs a fortune, for most definitely not worth it.  :green:

But how are you going to be able to hear that extra 2% of the micro-dynamics, imaging, emotion, and sense of space in a recording (that was created by close-mic'ing and using a $70 microphone through a mid-grade preamp, mixed with digital plugins to add reverb and effects, then brick-wall mastered so it sounds "loud" while killing all dynamic range) if it's not through a $45k preamp, $100k speakers, and $3k worth of cables? <sarcasm>


jhm731

Re: The Rocky Mountain International HiFi Press Awards
« Reply #41 on: 7 Oct 2015, 05:33 am »
I don't understand why lists like this one get people so upset.

I also don't understand why some people are unable to express themselves without using foul language.

Stop reading other people's opinions. 

Well, we finally agree on something. I appreciate your RMAF pictures, but I never read your opinions.

Here's the Best of Show from TAS Reviewer Steven Stone:

Best Sound (cost no object)
 Headphones: Audeze LC-4 ($3995) and The King amplifier ($3995).
 System: Constellation Virgo III preamplifier ($30,000), DC filter for Virgo III ($5000), Cygnus media server/DAC ($36,000), DC filter for Cygnus ($5000), Centaur II monoblocks ($80,000/pr.), Wilson Audio Alexia loudspeakers ($52,000/pr.), Nordost Odin 2 interconnects and loudspeaker cables, Artesania equipment racks, Stillpoints’ Acoustic Treatment panels.

 
Best Sound (for the money)
Fostex T-50RP headphones ($179) After seeing modifiers use their drivers Fostex decided to revise the 50 series, using the same drivers but incorporating many enclosure improvements.
 
Most Significant Product Introduction 
 The debut of a new headphone-testing suite featuring the G.R.A.S. Ear coupler and Audio Precision APX555 that can measure below the human threshold for the entire frequency range, except for a small window in the upper midrange.
 
Most Significant Trend
More and more options for headphones, portable players, and cables to connect the two.
 
Most Coveted Product
 Audeze The King headphone amplifier ($3999). This full-sized headphone amplifier, designed by Bascom King, sounded effortless driving Audeze’s superb new LDC-4 ($3999) flagship headphones.

Tyson

Re: The Rocky Mountain International HiFi Press Awards
« Reply #42 on: 7 Oct 2015, 06:18 am »
I don't understand why lists like this one get people so upset.

I also don't understand why some people are unable to express themselves without using foul language.

Well, we finally agree on something. I appreciate your RMAF pictures, but I never read your opinions.

Here's the Best of Show from TAS Reviewer Steven Stone:

Best Sound (cost no object)
 Headphones: Audeze LC-4 ($3995) and The King amplifier ($3995).
 System: Constellation Virgo III preamplifier ($30,000), DC filter for Virgo III ($5000), Cygnus media server/DAC ($36,000), DC filter for Cygnus ($5000), Centaur II monoblocks ($80,000/pr.), Wilson Audio Alexia loudspeakers ($52,000/pr.), Nordost Odin 2 interconnects and loudspeaker cables, Artesania equipment racks, Stillpoints’ Acoustic Treatment panels.

 
Best Sound (for the money)
Fostex T-50RP headphones ($179) After seeing modifiers use their drivers Fostex decided to revise the 50 series, using the same drivers but incorporating many enclosure improvements.
 
Most Significant Product Introduction 
 The debut of a new headphone-testing suite featuring the G.R.A.S. Ear coupler and Audio Precision APX555 that can measure below the human threshold for the entire frequency range, except for a small window in the upper midrange.
 
Most Significant Trend
More and more options for headphones, portable players, and cables to connect the two.
 
Most Coveted Product
 Audeze The King headphone amplifier ($3999). This full-sized headphone amplifier, designed by Bascom King, sounded effortless driving Audeze’s superb new LDC-4 ($3999) flagship headphones.


Against my better judgement I unblocked you to read your post.  But I'm very glad I did!  Did you just agree with me that we should stop reading other people's opinions and then post a giant opinion piece from Steven Stone around best in show?  I literally LOL'd when I saw that :lol: 

I'll say it again for the cheap seats - I post my opinions but I acknowledge that I am biased and flawed.  And no one should take my opinions very seriously.

*Scotty*

Re: The Rocky Mountain International HiFi Press Awards
« Reply #43 on: 7 Oct 2015, 06:27 am »
Before I would quote SS's opinion on something like this I would go see if I even liked the sound of the system he picked. You might have a very different opinion from his upon hearing this assortment of gear.
Scotty

Tyson

Re: The Rocky Mountain International HiFi Press Awards
« Reply #44 on: 7 Oct 2015, 06:37 am »
Don't forget -- trading out gear is a huge part of the fun of being an audiophile. It's the thrill of the hunt that we enjoy more than the music itself. That's the reason we're called, "audiophiles" instead of "musicphiles." 

I think that's very astute and something I agree with 100%.  I guess this means I'm no longer an audiophile... Hmmm, I'm not sure how I feel about that, it's been a part of me for so long.  Although, thinking about it a bit more - if I have an audiophile system and I use it, am I still an audiophile even if I don't change out gear?  Or is selling old gear and buying new gear a necessary part of being an audiophile?
 
Ah, shopping addiction... definitely a huge societal issue, but nobody's fault but the addict. Most people are to a degree, I am...  :icon_twisted: We need to consume to survive, but again it's a question of balance.

Honestly there's nothing wrong with pursuing one's interests and hobbies. If I never delved into the realm of hifi improvements I wouldn't be where I am now. Autos are ridiculously expensive and if I didn't blow a ton of cash on them I wouldn't have opened a welding and auto shop, and I might not have gotten my engineering degree, and well, it goes on. To some point my interests and hobbies define who I am and have shaped my life. I think there are more important things than saving cash, namely doing what you want to do with your life. I hope that money will follow. I mean, that Mr Money Mustache forum is full of folks who hate their jobs and are just counting down the years until retirement. FUCK THAT!! That's living like an indentured servant.

For me being Buddhist it's a question of balance. I've gone a couple years without making audio upgrades and until I needed a reference for my job I had the same system for 10 years making incremental improvements that didn't cost me much. Even though I'm more of a DIY guy and won't spend the cash on most commercial audio stuff I still enjoy going to shows and experiencing all the amazing systems. Interest in hobbies comes and goes, no need to condemn it just because interest is waning right now. Maybe later you'll feel like doing something different, maybe you'll never change a thing... either way you can still go to audio shows and just have fun talking to your friends and hearing different systems with no intention of spending any money.

I can agree the last couple percent of performance costs a fortune, for most definitely not worth it.  :green:

I guess this is where we disagree - you go to shows and experience amazing systems, while I don't.  The systems I experience are good to very good, mostly, with a very few being great.  There's not a huge difference in sound quality between top of the line stuff and very good quality less expensive stuff.

However, one thing that lots of money DOES buy you is really good fit and finish.  If you are looking to spend a lot of money on audio, it will definitely buy you something substantially better from an aesthetic and fit/finish standpoint, but not so much better from an aural standpoint.  And it's been this way for years.  For decades. 

jhm731

Re: The Rocky Mountain International HiFi Press Award
« Reply #45 on: 7 Oct 2015, 07:48 am »
no one should take my opinions very seriously.
We agree again.

Brad

Re: The Rocky Mountain International HiFi Press Awards
« Reply #46 on: 7 Oct 2015, 01:30 pm »
Don't forget -- trading out gear is a huge part of the fun of being an audiophile. It's the thrill of the hunt that we enjoy more than the music itself. That's the reason we're called, "audiophiles" instead of "musicphiles."

I've done a bunch of gear swapping, but it was much more to experience all of the different "flavors" of audio.
That churn really helped me find what I liked, and what works best for the majority of music that I like.

I'm pretty far off the mainstream, preferring to either build or have significant input in how someone else is building something for me.  Prefer tubes, OB, vinyl when possible, DSD if possible, but also get a lot of enjoyment out of Redbook.

The shows I've been to I've enjoyed more for meeting the people, and being introduced to music I haven't heard before, than for the gear, although I enjoy that part too.

JLM

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 7573
  • The elephant normally IS the room
Re: The Rocky Mountain International HiFi Press Awards
« Reply #47 on: 7 Oct 2015, 01:45 pm »
The whole human condition of nothing ever being good enough, envy, diminishing returns, and the thrill of the hunt are all factors in being an audiophile.

Agree that best of show type of awards cannot be legitimately based on show conditions.  If you already really like a piece and it's at the show - it wins.   :roll:

For years, I too have been walking into shops/shows and immediately dismiss the sound 97% of the time (compared to what I have at home), partially due to proud papa syndrome and conditioning, but also because I've selected the gear I like and have a good room.  So the value I find in attending shows is to talk with the manufacturers, see the piece "in person," and leave satisfied with what I have at home.  The last time I heard a system I liked at a shop the speakers cost 20 times of mine (not necessarily better, just liked and they had less bass than mine).  To my ear, most systems sound "cartoonish" (primary colors filling in the spaces between black lines, better suited for A/V effects with no texture, no hues, no blending, and no timbral distinctions). 

The most impressive system I heard at the 2015 Axpona show was a tiny $600 integrated amp and speakers rig from Napa Acoustics.  It simply sounded like music, filled a large cubic shaped room to satisfying levels, and did nothing wrong.  Trying to do too much is a trap that nearly all high-end systems are attempting and usually it's the room that is the limiting factor (poorly shaped, too small).  If the room is of proper shape and size (not outrageous), treatments (band-aids) become very secondary IMO.

standub

Re: The Rocky Mountain International HiFi Press Awards
« Reply #48 on: 7 Oct 2015, 10:17 pm »
I don't understand why lists like this one get people so upset.

Because awards like these magically end up going to manufactures who also happen to spend lots of money in certain magazines.

Geardaddy

Re: The Rocky Mountain International HiFi Press Awards
« Reply #49 on: 7 Oct 2015, 10:43 pm »
Maybe Jason will but I won't.  If there were gear out there that was super-amazing-awesome that I could lust after and try to save for to have at home, maybe.  But there just isn't.  If going to 10 years of RMAF and having a ton of crazy audio buddies locally has taught me anything, it's that there's an upper limit (a ceiling) to what's actually possible for Hi Fi Audio to reproduce.  And it's not all that much higher than what people with modest but good quality systems already have. 

Part of the problem is that reviewers have led us to believe that if we could just manage to swing buying a "cost no object" or "no compromise" component or system, that the heavens will open and the angels will sing to us.  And that's a bunch of bullshit.  The difference between a modest but good system and a 'cost-no-object-no-compromise' system is maybe 10% or 15%.  Spending $80,0000 on speakers to get that small level of improvement is stupid.  But the whole audio industry has us jacked up, trying to somehow find thousands and thousands of dollars to spend on stuff that in reality makes a (at best) modest improvement. 

We've lost the concept of "ENOUGH".  At what point is your system good enough?  At what point is your level of enjoyment enough?  At what point do you stop bleeding cash and say enough?  For myself, the answer to those questions is "Now".

+1

Geardaddy

Re: The Rocky Mountain International HiFi Press Awards
« Reply #50 on: 7 Oct 2015, 10:46 pm »
Exactly where I am too Joel, in terms of priorities. I've been down all those roads. I scored speakers I never thought I'd own, then jumped on the convenience of an LIO, and easy access to great music with an Aries, and have been rewarded with very good (enough) sound and a system I can enjoy whenever I turn it on. I'm probably not quite done just yet thanks to allure of the new VR120, but the chase is certainly much less compelling now.

+1

With young kids and a changing lifestyle to boot, I am migrating away from uber fringey stuff.  The LIO seems mighty tempting....

SteveFord

  • Admin
  • Posts: 4773
  • The poodle bites, the poodle chews it.
Re: The Rocky Mountain International HiFi Press Awards
« Reply #51 on: 7 Oct 2015, 10:54 pm »
+1

With young kids and a changing lifestyle to boot, I am migrating away from uber fringey stuff.  The LIO seems mighty tempting....

And that is precisely why I try and avoid audio shows and dealers!!!  There's always something (that I can't afford) which would do the trick quite nicely...

TomS

Re: The Rocky Mountain International HiFi Press Awards
« Reply #52 on: 8 Oct 2015, 01:38 am »
+1

With young kids and a changing lifestyle to boot, I am migrating away from uber fringey stuff.  The LIO seems mighty tempting....
David S will surely back me up on this  8)

jhm731

Re: The Rocky Mountain International HiFi Press Awards
« Reply #53 on: 8 Oct 2015, 03:26 am »
Because awards like these magically end up going to manufactures who also happen to spend lots of money in certain magazines.

I understand that it seems like a big conspiracy, but in reality these manufacturers are run by extraterrestrial visitors that have been controlling reviewer's minds since they had Al Gore created the Internet.

ChrisCar

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 1
Re: The Rocky Mountain International HiFi Press Awards
« Reply #54 on: 8 Oct 2015, 11:28 pm »
This is part of why, on a personal level, I'm disengaging from audio in general.  With the demise of the local Brick and Mortar stores, our ability to demo gear directly is seriously impeded, and all we are left is opinion pieces on the internet.  Manufacturers understand this and try to build buzz by woo-ing the publications which can write reviews with the implicit understanding that ad dollars will flow.  The publications can also vote on BS awards like this one, building further buzz, re-inforcing the relationship, leading to more sales for the manufacturer and more ad dollars for the publication.  In this game, everyone wins.  Except the customers.

Anyone present at the awards ceremony (like me) would have been aware of the cacophony of voices drowning out the live music, which was really pretty fine--what you could hear of it.  Until the awards were being announced, at which point silence prevailed as necks were craned and ears attuned to the dulcet tones of awards. 

These are the same folks who speak of music as something soul lifting and holy.  But listen to it?  Please!!! 

jhm731

Re: The Rocky Mountain International HiFi Press Awards
« Reply #55 on: 10 Oct 2015, 11:07 pm »
"The First Annual RMAF HiFi Press Awards were a good start, but far more work is needed to refine the concept."

http://www.stereophile.com/content/rmaf-2015-partys-over-partys-just-begun##A1rpGgwVVDrSrc3G.97