Conversation Starter: Do you live with deficiencies?

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Desertpilot

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I'm a believer in "the law of diminishing returns".  My X3's were a HUGE upgrade over my old bookshelf speakers.  As I look around at very high end speakers, I can't believe the insane cost will give me more listening enjoyment than I have right now.  This made me think about what improvements could I make to my system and listening environment?  Nothing.  However, I ended up noting deficiencies I cannot fix.  I just live with them.  My system gives me maximum listening pleasure given these constraints.

Here are my deficiencies.  What about you?

Age:  I just turned 73.  I think my hearing is pretty good for my age.  But, there are deficiencies.  Plus, I have tinnitus in my left ear.  Some days the volume is low.  Other days pretty loud.  When it's loud, I usually decide to defer listening.  Gotta live with it.  Occasionally, I'll crank up the volume when the wife is not around.

Equipment:
-- I blew my budget on my DAC (ExaSound S88).  No need to upgrade.
-- I did upgrade my server last year.  I needed the increased processing power.  I'm satisfied I made the investment.  I hated it when my old server would "choke" and drop out music.
-- But, I've wanted to upgrade my amplifiers.  They work fine (Parasound A52+ for main channels and an old amp, outlaw audio, for height channels).  I came to the conclusion that, at my age, why invest in newer amplifiers.

Listening Room:  I chose our "great" room to locate our home theater/audio system.  No room is perfect.  I've done the best I can to make it work.  The deficiency I cannot correct is on the left side of my speakers.  The wall is 22 inches from the left speaker.  Clayton says 18 inches is the minimum so I think I'm good.  But, still, I wish I had more space.

WAF:
-- The wife complains about my X3s being so large and five feet out from the front wall.  But, she tolerates it.
-- However, a red line was placement of all the electronics.  She said, "put them in a cabinet along the rear wall".  That means, extra long speaker wire. 
-- GIK Acoustic treatment.  She didn't like it but tolerates it.  Luckily, the room is so large, it doesn't look too cluttered.

Bottom line:  As I get older, I feel I cannot get the gains I want by spending any more money on my system.  I do not compromise on music.  I purchase and download the best quality music I can find (typically DXD 24/352.8 surround).

Thanks for listening.
Marcus

doggie

Re: Conversation Starter: Do you live with deficiencies?
« Reply #1 on: 16 Mar 2024, 01:43 pm »
I'm a believer in "the law of diminishing returns".  My X3's were a HUGE upgrade over my old bookshelf speakers.  As I look around at very high end speakers, I can't believe the insane cost will give me more listening enjoyment than I have right now.  This made me think about what improvements could I make to my system and listening environment?  Nothing.  However, I ended up noting deficiencies I cannot fix.  I just live with them.  My system gives me maximum listening pleasure given these constraints.

Here are my deficiencies.  What about you?

Age:  I just turned 73.  I think my hearing is pretty good for my age.  But, there are deficiencies.  Plus, I have tinnitus in my left ear.  Some days the volume is low.  Other days pretty loud.  When it's loud, I usually decide to defer listening.  Gotta live with it.  Occasionally, I'll crank up the volume when the wife is not around.

Equipment:
-- I blew my budget on my DAC (ExaSound S88).  No need to upgrade.
-- I did upgrade my server last year.  I needed the increased processing power.  I'm satisfied I made the investment.  I hated it when my old server would "choke" and drop out music.
-- But, I've wanted to upgrade my amplifiers.  They work fine (Parasound A52+ for main channels and an old amp, outlaw audio, for height channels).  I came to the conclusion that, at my age, why invest in newer amplifiers.

Listening Room:  I chose our "great" room to locate our home theater/audio system.  No room is perfect.  I've done the best I can to make it work.  The deficiency I cannot correct is on the left side of my speakers.  The wall is 22 inches from the left speaker.  Clayton says 18 inches is the minimum so I think I'm good.  But, still, I wish I had more space.

WAF:
-- The wife complains about my X3s being so large and five feet out from the front wall.  But, she tolerates it.
-- However, a red line was placement of all the electronics.  She said, "put them in a cabinet along the rear wall".  That means, extra long speaker wire. 
-- GIK Acoustic treatment.  She didn't like it but tolerates it.  Luckily, the room is so large, it doesn't look too cluttered.

Bottom line:  As I get older, I feel I cannot get the gains I want by spending any more money on my system.  I do not compromise on music.  I purchase and download the best quality music I can find (typically DXD 24/352.8 surround).

Thanks for listening.
Marcus

Your situation pretty much reflects my own in all aspects. The only change that I might make is that we are probably going to be moving to be closer to family and also down-sizing. This will likely mean that I will be looking for smaller speakers or even going back to headphones. I have X5's with the 500watt amps. With my LTA/Lampizator electronics this gives me great sound. Hard to imaging what I could move to for monitor style speakers and still be satisfied.

Mr. Big

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Re: Conversation Starter: Do you live with deficiencies?
« Reply #2 on: 16 Mar 2024, 02:45 pm »
The great thing about age along with experience and in this hobby for 40 years now, you have heard a lot owned a lot and you know reproduced sound can only be so good, and when you achieve that you know it. In the past, I had fun with changing gear and speakers listening for the changes. Sometimes I moved forward other times sideways or backward at the cost of $$$$. Several years ago, I finally realized that I had good sounding systems but was chasing my tail thinking there is always something better. Reviews if you follow them will entice you to think that way. They are an arm of sales of companies more so nowadays than when this hobby kicked in, in the 70s. Anyway, I am now satisfied with my system to the where I don't even think about new gear, I have done more to improve my sound by focusing on my room and its major impact on what we all hear, I can change a power cord on gear and make it sound like different as much as a new piece of gear. My Sapphire's M3s sound excellent and as good as many of my systems and due to their open nature like my Love of Electrostatics, they satisfy me as they did but with unlimited dynamics and no fear of damaging them as with Electrostatics or panel speakers. So like others my age we sit and appreciate and like others as we downsize our living space, we face the dilemma of what to do with our listening habits and enjoyment, if I move to a condo or townhome, there is no way could I play my current system so then headphones would be the way to go, or a smaller speaker like Andrew Jones New Mofi Speaker - Source Point 10's. So, I enjoy what I have and the music. I let others like me when I was younger chase their tail looking for the perfect sound. It can be fun but also very disappointing and costly.

Zuman

Re: Conversation Starter: Do you live with deficiencies?
« Reply #3 on: 16 Mar 2024, 11:18 pm »
Also agree.
I think too many enthusiasts place their personal pursuit of perfection ahead of their families and relationships. Marriage and kids require thoughtful and reasonable compromise for most people of realistic resources.
My 2-channel seating position is compromised because it's also used for special-occasion TV watching. That's ok - having family and friends over for the Super Bowl or some other event is worthwhile to me.
I'm a year younger than you, so I also recognize that eq-ing a system for my hearing isn't right for everybody.

Freo-1

Re: Conversation Starter: Do you live with deficiencies?
« Reply #4 on: 17 Mar 2024, 12:29 am »
There is something to be said for headphone listening for reference sound on a budget.  One can get reference level sound for less $$$ than with a loudspeaker setup. 


I've learned the hard way spending more $$$ for gear doesn't necessarily make the system better.  More often than not, it only makes it different, with some areas improving, and other areas the same or worse.  Over the years, with reading a lot of reviews and technical journals, starting to get a better understanding of how to listen.  Dabbled with DIY tube amps, along with restoring SS gear, improved my understanding of electronics, and how to discern actual improvement from hype.


When I read the Devialet D-Premier reviews, I knew I had to audition one.  Once I got a Devialet Expert 200, I knew this was the way forward for the primary system.  The overall improvement was nothing short of stunning.  Since then, over time, have upgraded to the Devialet Expert Pro 1000.  No more worries about upgrades, as it pretty much covers all the bases.  The units easily sound as good or better than a collection of high end separates.  Very reliable as well. 


The Devialet Speaker Active Matching (SAM) function is an engineering marvel.  It safely extends the lower frequency response of supported (around 1150 and growing) speakers, prevents over driving of the speakers, and seems to improve the overall sonic presentation.  After auditioning a few options, settled on the ATC SCM 40 V2, along with the SVS PC 4000 sub.  This system has got me off the upgrade merry go round.  Don't expect to change this setup out for a long time. 

[size=78%]  [/size]

minatophase3

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Re: Conversation Starter: Do you live with deficiencies?
« Reply #5 on: 17 Mar 2024, 12:56 am »
Your situation pretty much reflects my own in all aspects. The only change that I might make is that we are probably going to be moving to be closer to family and also down-sizing. This will likely mean that I will be looking for smaller speakers or even going back to headphones. I have X5's with the 500watt amps. With my LTA/Lampizator electronics this gives me great sound. Hard to imaging what I could move to for monitor style speakers and still be satisfied.
I have the M4 Sapphires and love them.  Never considered upgrading until I heard the YG Tor's.  They are bookshelf speakers and they were a step up in sound from the Spatials, better clarity, more three dimentional, bass was incredible.  Sealed cabinet design so placing close to walls is no issue and they look nice.  The price was also a step up at $10,500 without the stands, but they are on my radar.  Will probably keep the M4's as they are amazing, especially given their price, but I keep thinking about those YG's  :D

orthobiz

Re: Conversation Starter: Do you live with deficiencies?
« Reply #6 on: 17 Mar 2024, 11:14 am »
Oh yeah...I have constant tinnitus, wear hearing aids full time. Had a hard time forgiving myself for screwing up my hearing as I value my music and stereo reproduction as a hobby. I'm purely vinyl for critical listening, have all my records from high school and beyond. At 68 I don't need to make a lot of equipment adjustments and feel that unless it's a gigantic cataclysmic improvement, I'm not likely to actually hear it. I had my audiologist come up with an "audiophile" tweak for my hearing aids that only emphasize the high frequencies and hopefully affects the music the least.

I have Dahlquist DQ-10's from college ca. 1976 (I worked there during summer breaks) and tinker with LP12's and VPI HW-19's in my spare time (I'm still working). I read reviews but have no desire to upgrade. The newer turntables often look like spaceships rather than record players!

I knew I was in aural trouble when I listened to John Barleycorn: it's a really quite acoustic song and I could not hear the single triangle note that's played near the beginning of the song. Or the cymbal sounds at the beginning of Fleetwood Mac's "Hypnotized."

But still having loads of fun all these years later.

Paul






Desertpilot

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Re: Conversation Starter: Do you live with deficiencies?
« Reply #7 on: 17 Mar 2024, 01:46 pm »
Headsets?  I've already begun the process.  About a year ago, I invested in the new Meze 109 Pro headsets and a Topping G5 DAC.  I bought a huge microSD card for my (Android) phone and loaded all my music (stereo versions) on to it.  Lastly, I found USB Audio Player PRO for Android.  This app, sorry Android only, bypasses the Android audio system and bitstreams the original music file, including DSD, to my G5 DAC.  Heaven!  I bought the headset system primarily for music while traveling in our RV.  But, as many of you have commented, headsets are the future of music as we get older.  Special note:  Listening over headsets and switching to my surround system highlights different instruments.  I get a much better insight into the music.

Thanks everyone for your comments!

Marcus

Tyson

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Re: Conversation Starter: Do you live with deficiencies?
« Reply #8 on: 17 Mar 2024, 04:26 pm »
I find that I get bored over time so a few years ago I started buying new amps an not selling my old amps.  I now have a collection of 9 amps (2 are SS and 7 are tube amps).  This really helps when the itch comes to try something different.

rollo

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Re: Conversation Starter: Do you live with deficiencies?
« Reply #9 on: 17 Mar 2024, 05:49 pm »
  Nope. Just wonderful. Synergy matters.

charles

Freo-1

Re: Conversation Starter: Do you live with deficiencies?
« Reply #10 on: 17 Mar 2024, 06:05 pm »
I find that I get bored over time so a few years ago I started buying new amps an not selling my old amps.  I now have a collection of 9 amps (2 are SS and 7 are tube amps).  This really helps when the itch comes to try something different.


Interesting.  I like this approach.  Keeps the itch to buy new gear in check. :-)

dlynch34

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Re: Conversation Starter: Do you live with deficiencies?
« Reply #11 on: 10 Apr 2024, 02:16 am »
I'm a believer in "the law of diminishing returns".  My X3's were a HUGE upgrade over my old bookshelf speakers.  As I look around at very high end speakers, I can't believe the insane cost will give me more listening enjoyment than I have right now.  This made me think about what improvements could I make to my system and listening environment?  Nothing.  However, I ended up noting deficiencies I cannot fix.  I just live with them.  My system gives me maximum listening pleasure given these constraints.

Here are my deficiencies.  What about you?

Age:  I just turned 73.  I think my hearing is pretty good for my age.  But, there are deficiencies.  Plus, I have tinnitus in my left ear.  Some days the volume is low.  Other days pretty loud.  When it's loud, I usually decide to defer listening.  Gotta live with it.  Occasionally, I'll crank up the volume when the wife is not around.

Equipment:
-- I blew my budget on my DAC (ExaSound S88).  No need to upgrade.
-- I did upgrade my server last year.  I needed the increased processing power.  I'm satisfied I made the investment.  I hated it when my old server would "choke" and drop out music.
-- But, I've wanted to upgrade my amplifiers.  They work fine (Parasound A52+ for main channels and an old amp, outlaw audio, for height channels).  I came to the conclusion that, at my age, why invest in newer amplifiers.

Listening Room:  I chose our "great" room to locate our home theater/audio system.  No room is perfect.  I've done the best I can to make it work.  The deficiency I cannot correct is on the left side of my speakers.  The wall is 22 inches from the left speaker.  Clayton says 18 inches is the minimum so I think I'm good.  But, still, I wish I had more space.

WAF:
-- The wife complains about my X3s being so large and five feet out from the front wall.  But, she tolerates it.
-- However, a red line was placement of all the electronics.  She said, "put them in a cabinet along the rear wall".  That means, extra long speaker wire. 
-- GIK Acoustic treatment.  She didn't like it but tolerates it.  Luckily, the room is so large, it doesn't look too cluttered.

Bottom line:  As I get older, I feel I cannot get the gains I want by spending any more money on my system.  I do not compromise on music.  I purchase and download the best quality music I can find (typically DXD 24/352.8 surround).

Thanks for listening.
Marcus

I too have been going thru my equipment to see what the weakest link is.  I decided my x3 are not it.  At 54 I feel I have had my share of gear and pretty happy overall.  I dont have a dedicated dac but been looking at them.  I enjoy movies and music equally so there is a balance act I am trying to keep. 

My gear: Trinnov alt 16.

Amps:  Emotiva HC-1 Mono block for the front 3 channels. (This I am sure will make some cringe but they have served well; although I have been wanting to change to class D.).
Presently for music I use roon from the Trinnov. Server is my synology and does a great job.  2 subs are Rhythmik kits I built.  The problem is we can always get the bug to upgrade ... I have been looking at the Nad masters series m66 to see how that will sound.     

JLM

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Re: Conversation Starter: Do you live with deficiencies?
« Reply #12 on: 10 Apr 2024, 12:41 pm »
I'm short, weak, balding, bad eyes, failing hearing, and old.

dls123

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Re: Conversation Starter: Do you live with deficiencies?
« Reply #13 on: 12 Apr 2024, 02:44 pm »
I'm short, weak, balding, bad eyes, failing hearing, and old.

Well stated!   I'm short, balding, and old too.  So far the eyes and ears are holding up and I cut, split, and stack a lot of firewood so I can still do that.   As for the stereo... well, there is always something better.  Fortunately, if it is an amp or preamp I can build it.  Not sure I can top the Revelation series though.  Wish you all could hear it.  It is great to be around young designers like Sam, and wise old guys like Lynn Olson.  You learn a lot from both.  That Q3 speaker is pretty special, and I am a tough audience.....

James Edward

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Re: Conversation Starter: Do you live with deficiencies?
« Reply #14 on: 12 Apr 2024, 10:15 pm »
Here goes- I live with a few deficiencies because I can’t afford to upgrade, not because I feel there isn’t something better out there, or that I couldn’t appreciate it if there was.
I’m 64 and still need to work for a living, probably from buying too much equipment sold or given to friends at a loss.
Having said that, I feel I’ve got the best sounding system I’ve ever had. I’m going to start an M3 Turbo S appreciation thread- I’ve had them for 5 or 6 years and I think they sound great, play loud effortlessly, and can be driven by just about any amp.
Deficiencies would be my room- asymmetrical- but the open baffle M3 cured that as a problem.
As an aside, I work in a big box hardware store, and my hearing is excellent, relative to a lot of coworkers of my vintage.

Mr. Big

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Re: Conversation Starter: Do you live with deficiencies?
« Reply #15 on: 13 Apr 2024, 02:52 pm »
Here goes- I live with a few deficiencies because I can’t afford to upgrade, not because I feel there isn’t something better out there, or that I couldn’t appreciate it if there was.
I’m 64 and still need to work for a living, probably from buying too much equipment sold or given to friends at a loss.
Having said that, I feel I’ve got the best sounding system I’ve ever had. I’m going to start an M3 Turbo S appreciation thread- I’ve had them for 5 or 6 years and I think they sound great, play loud effortlessly, and can be driven by just about any amp.
Deficiencies would be my room- asymmetrical- but the open baffle M3 cured that as a problem.
As an aside, I work in a big box hardware store, and my hearing is excellent, relative to a lot of coworkers of my vintage.

Reading the major magazines over the past 10 years or so, they all should change their names to Doctors and Lawyers Audio Equipment. I make real good money yet, 70% of what they review I would not be willing to buy nor afford with disposable income to blow. But that is where the buyers are at and so manufacturers build gear to meet their needs. Audiophile markets have always been a small niche market but over the years it become a high end for the very well-off. I've owned expensive gear, but they would say today is a bargain price. I thumb through the magazines and throw them out. Because they no longer speak to me with gear that I cannot afford so the review of such items makes no impact on me. My hearing is really good (72), so I can enjoy my system, and if and when I start having hearing issues then buying new gear of any sort would be useless if my hearing is shot.

Peter J

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Re: Conversation Starter: Do you live with deficiencies?
« Reply #16 on: 13 Apr 2024, 04:14 pm »
I used to live with one, but she's gone now.




Ahh, that's mean.

Tyson

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Re: Conversation Starter: Do you live with deficiencies?
« Reply #17 on: 13 Apr 2024, 06:15 pm »
No more wife means no more WAF for me.

AllanS

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Re: Conversation Starter: Do you live with deficiencies?
« Reply #18 on: 14 Apr 2024, 01:23 pm »
Absolutely.  Unfortunately when starting to build what I hoped would be a good system, I had little clue how big a part the room plays, or how other compromises would effect system performance. Fortunately the greatest deficiency is seemingly my ears so other deficiencies don’t seem to matter as much.
  Toe in or out has no discernible impact on center image or tone.  I hear no difference in speaker depth from a fixed LP.  The difference in gear; amplifiers, DACs, preamps is mostly lost on me.  I did hear a difference between the $600 40 wpc amp currently in my system and the $4600 1200 wpc mono blocks that I sold at a painful loss.  But I can’t articulate what the difference is.  Overall I prefer the $600 sound better but that may be influenced by the cost/value calculation. 
 The only thing that really drive me bonkers is an asymmetric setup that collapses the right hand sound stage but there’s nothing in my budget that will fix that.  There’s some muddiness from mid bass through lower midrange that I suspect is part gear and part room.  I can see some of it in measurements but there’s nothing in my budget or WAF that will fix it.
  I’m trying to decide what to do with what remains of my budget.  I’m seriously considering bypassing the room by getting a decent pair of hp and an amp with pre outs but I’m not too confident I can afford the detail and resolution I think I’d be looking for.
  All that said, what I have actually sounds pretty good with the less dense music that I tend to prefer so the do nothing option is also likely.

Tangram

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Re: Conversation Starter: Do you live with deficiencies?
« Reply #19 on: 14 Apr 2024, 11:35 pm »
For sure. My room is a deficiency but it’s the price I pay for a dedicated listening room where I can listen to music any time at any volume. I try to remind myself that because my room is the main limiting factor to getting better sound, there’s absolutely no point in chucking more and more money into gear.

That said, I have tried to do the best I can with the room (measurements, treatments), including (today) spending 10 hours with an acoustics consultant, in the hope that he could improve on what I’ve done with the room. He said that given the room’s limitations, I’d done a good job so even though it was the consolation prize (i.e. he couldn’t do noticeably better), it’s still useful to have it confirmed.