Go with Unrevealing Warm Hi Fi or Revealing Neutral Hi Fi

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Gumby

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  If a lot of rock, pop, new music , is recorded and mastered at a poor to average quality, then wouldn’t an entry level affordable System, sound better than a High-end, very Revealing Neutral  expensive System? 


Elizabeth

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I have spent the last years trying hard to get both warm HiFi and detailed HiFi. My plan has been to chase the clarity, and worry about warmth later.
Having succeeded, I can say even poor sounding recording sound way better!
And great recordings sound fantastic. I think the problem with bad recordings come in when the equipment is good enough to display the shortcomings, yet can't get past them to show what is good about it anyway.
Added: for example, a 1953 radio transcript (most likely from a radio from home copy) of Maria Callas at Milan.. It clearly is a radio broadcast, so it sounds like a warmish 1950's radio with basically just the midrange. But the recording is ELECTRIC. You can feel the audience, the atmosphere.. Some certainly would turn up their nose. Not me. It was wonderful. So some recording sure there are limitations. Not a problem.
Magnepan 20.7
Bryston 4B-SST²
Bryston BP-26 (main preamp)
Threshold FET 10 line and phono
Rega P5 with Benz Glider
ARC SP-15
Kuzma Stabi Stogi S with Dynavector 17D3
Conrad Johnson ACT2
Audible Illusions Modulus 3
Marantz SA-10 (used as DAC for cheap five disc changers off eBay)
Furutech GTX duplex
Pangea A14XL cords
Kimber KS1116 1016
Furman REF20
PS Audio P-600 set to output 110Hz AC for CD changers

I.Greyhound Fan

  If a lot of rock, pop, new music , is recorded and mastered at a poor to average quality, then wouldn’t an entry level affordable System, sound better than a High-end, very Revealing Neutral  expensive System?


I have a lot of music that is poorly recorded that sounds better on a lower end system.  Much music from the 60's and 70's was recorded with AM and FM radio in mind.

I tend to favor a warmer and revealing sound.

toocool4

For me personally stuff the warmth BS, whenever I hear the word warm used what I hear is colouration. If everything sounds warm then your equipment is adding colour to the sound. The music should sound warm if the music is warm and cold or whatever if the music is cold or whatever. On my system everything comes across as close to the recording as possible, I don’t want my system adding it’s own colour to the sound.

Gumby

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ELIZABETH

I love your statement....
“I have spent the last years trying hard to get both warm HiFi and detailed HiFi. My plan has been to chase the clarity, and worry about warmth later.“

Makes good sense.  I wish a dealer told me that. 

You have a lot going on in your system. Which components in your setup give you the warm HiFi?  Or is it a total end result.  Which is hard to do I imagine. 

People seem to really love their Magnepans.  I haven’t heard them yet. What do you love about the match up with them and Bryston?


Gumby

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ELIZABETH

You said...

“Maria Callas at Milan.. It clearly is a radio broadcast, so it sounds like a warmish 1950's radio with basically just the midrange. But the recording is ELECTRIC.”

How do we find recordings with that electric feeling. Is it a take a chance hit or miss thing, reading reviews, following certain labels?   

Gumby

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GREYHOUND

Which source do you listen to the most?  Does your Luxman Dac give the added warmth?   

Do you find tubes make a real difference in adding that flesh and blood warmth?


Elizabeth

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The components that are just whatever the music is...
Magnepan 20.7
Bryston 4B-SST²
Threshold FET10 (though this unit adds a bit of solidity to the bass)

The primary components that add greatly to the clarity (specifically these increase the clarity, where the above also let it show)
#1 of all: Furutech GTX duplex. particularly the Rhodium NCF duplex (I have 10 gold, 7 Rhodium Furutech all told in the system.) hese were a breakthrough. Added a few. wow, got me to add more, until I decided to replace all, even in the power conditioners.
The Pangea AC14XL power cords, The 34 ft and 42 ft extensions I use from a single 20 amp outlet for all power to my system Made of 12 gauge silver plated Teflon coated 600V MilSpec dual quads.
The pairs of resistors in the Magnepans add to the clarity and the warmth, The midrange resistors really are just to adjust the warmth I use Duelund CAST 2 ohm paired to give 1 ohm midrange, and  0.75 ohm for the tweeters, along with a home made choke of 31 turns of wire.

The Kimber KS interconnects add to the clarity and the solidity.

The primary factor which recently added exactly the warmth to my setup are two large refrigerator magnet whiteboard pads 1/2" under my CD changers I use. One via Toslink and one via RCA SPDIF to my Marantz SA-10 I have no basis to claim I understand what the magnet pads do. A mystery. And I would say for others,, unlikely to do what you want. (I am certain someone with no actual experience, and lots of homespun theories,  can explain it away.)

For years I wandered on the edge of 'too lean' sound. while seeking clarity. The magic gizmo that was breakthrough was the magnetic pads.
I bought a few more, but I have no idea if they can do anything more. Big mistake right ON the case..But at 1/2" under. good. Like I wrote, I doubt they would be magic anything for anyone else.

There is no easy finding the magic recordings except someone saying they thought this or that recording is great for some reason.
I wish I had bought way more of all the MFSL and DCC though... way back whey they came out.

I.Greyhound Fan

GREYHOUND

Which source do you listen to the most?  Does your Luxman Dac give the added warmth?   

Do you find tubes make a real difference in adding that flesh and blood warmth?

I listen to digital most of the time because my vinyl (which is also geared to a warmer sound- Nagaoka MP-200 cartridge and a Bellari tube phono pre with a 1950's Raytheon Black Plate tube that transformed this budget preamp into something special) collection is limited due to an accident ruining most of my collection many years ago.  Now I try to buy only audiophile recordings.  I do prefer good vinyl over good digital.

The Luxman does give some warmth and bloom.   My BAT Vk51se gives some tube sound although it sounds more like a hybrid pre.  It does have a darker sound which I prefer.  I do feel that tubes do lend themselves to a more romantic mid range.  And for me, that's what is most  pleasing.  I did the whole neutral sound before but my tastes have changed.  I also use the music player Bug Head Infinity Blade and can tune the sound warmer or brighter.

You can call it colored but I don't care as it sounds good.  There is no way that you can say that your system sounds like the original recording unless you have the exact same gear that it was mastered with.

I too, like Elizabeth, have tried to get a warmer, yet detailed sound and have achieved it.  I added the Duelund 1.2 ohm resistors to my Magnepan 1.6 tweeters and if I want to go warmer I use Mills resistors.   My cables are also geared to a warmer sound and less sibilants.

Larry

Rusty Jefferson

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  If a lot of rock, pop, new music , is recorded and mastered at a poor to average quality, then wouldn’t an entry level affordable System, sound better than a High-end, very Revealing Neutral  expensive System?
Yes, this music was produced to sound it's best in your car, and most of it still does. MANY recordings are still best enjoyed on a road trip. :D  Listen to the good stuff at home, and the crappy stuff in the car.

toocool4

Re: Go with Unrevealing Warm Hi Fi or Revealing Neutral Hi Fi
« Reply #10 on: 2 Feb 2019, 12:31 am »
You can call it colored but I don't care as it sounds good.  There is no way that you can say that your system sounds like the original recording unless you have the exact same gear that it was mastered with.

Nothing wrong with coloured, if that is what you like just not for me.

If you read what I said which was “On my system everything comes across as close to the recording as possible” and yes I know what the original sounds like as I have friends who are musicians and I have heard the originals in the studio.


Gumby

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Re: Go with Unrevealing Warm Hi Fi or Revealing Neutral Hi Fi
« Reply #11 on: 2 Feb 2019, 12:48 am »
THANK YOU DIAMOND DOG ....

Man, my thinking is all wrong.  I have to stop what I’m doing.  For now, I’ll just keep buying music I love, until I figure this out.     This is why...

I just read this post from way back in 2011 and it hit me in the gut.   This is what I should want. 

What a killer post. 

FROM DIAMOND DOG

musical, musicality A personal judgment as to the degree to which reproduced sound resembles live music. Real musical sound is both accurate and euphonic, consonant and dissonant."  *
The important words there are..."A personal judgement"..
*http://www.stereophile.com/reference/50/index.html


“OK, but that's often not how that word is defined when it's applied to audio equipment - " musical" is code for warm eg: Mac (IMO) where "detailed " is always hung on Bryston as an example because it typically does not exhibit that "warm" presentation. Does this make the Bryston amp less "musical " by the Stereophile definition? So let's run with the Stereophile " audiophile-approved" definition. When you go to hear live music, does everything sound all warm and cushy or do cymbals sound like what they are - a piece of metal being hit with a stick ? Can you hear the nuances of the guitarist using different pick attack angles ( think Billy Gibbons tossing in those eye-melting chirps in " La Grange " and is that "peso coin on steel strings" sound there for you to experience in all it's nastiness or is it lost in the warm and wooshy that according to the "reviewer " quoted in an earlier post most audiophiles prefer because it allows them to relax? Not all music is meant to relax you - a lot of it is meant to excite and challenge and thrill you. Which " La Grange" do you want to hear - the one which makes you want to pull your sombrero down over your eyes and slide into a siesta or the one which makes you want to get up on the cantina table and holler with your cerveza held high in the air? Which gear better expresses the music in the way that it was intended to be heard ? Which is the most "musical"? So why is the gear which provides the more authentic experience not referred to as the " musical" one? I still call "bullsh*t . And that Stereophile definition which tries to suck and blow at the same time is as irrelevant to me as the publication itself is at this stage.”

Gumby

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Re: Go with Unrevealing Warm Hi Fi or Revealing Neutral Hi Fi
« Reply #12 on: 2 Feb 2019, 01:26 am »
TOOCOOL14

I understand what you mean now.....”“On my system everything comes across as close to the recording as possible”   

Warmth is not the goal.  CLARITY, as Elizabeth said, is the right goal. 

A song can be recorded with tons of cymbal smashing, guitar thrashing, vocal climaxes, but it doesn’t mean it was meant to sound punk or shrill.  A balanced system will reveal all the excitement in a song yet have such clarity and solidity that one can’t help but smile, or freak out, in a good way.

I’ve learnt more from this forum, in the past few days than I have from all the reviews, magazines, and dealer visits. 

Thanks guys and girls. 

Mike in NC

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Re: Go with Unrevealing Warm Hi Fi or Revealing Neutral Hi Fi
« Reply #13 on: 2 Feb 2019, 01:26 am »
I agree, many older recordings sound better on a lower-fi system. That's what they were designed to be played on.

Still, if you arrange a better system so that it has a typical "target curve" declining nominally 1 dB/oct at the listening seat; has no peaks in the treble; and you have good acoustics in your room, many older recordings can be enjoyable, IMO, without sacrificing good sound. Whether the same is true of highly compressed modern releases is another question.

A tactic for dealing with some of this is to own gear with tone controls. Many can cause a slight loss of transparency when engaged, but you're not engaging them unless necessary, and in that case, the balance is in your favor.

One person's opinion.  Good luck!

I.Greyhound Fan

Re: Go with Unrevealing Warm Hi Fi or Revealing Neutral Hi Fi
« Reply #14 on: 2 Feb 2019, 01:31 am »
I definitely don't consider warm mushy or relaxed.  Euphonic, colored, yes. I just find it more pleasing.  I like a bit of bloom and a full rich mid range. I feel that warmer sounds are less fatiguing.   There is more body and soul.  More layers to the music and more texture. Now I find a slower sound or pace, PRAT to be more relaxing.  I had a marantz NA-11se DAC and it was way too fast paced for me.  Up until recently, I thought my Luxman DAC was about right in PRAT until I heard it compared to a Yggdrasil in my system.  The Yggy had nice PRAT and was just a bit faster than my Luxman which sounded lazy in comparison.  I found the Yggy's pace to be more pleasing.

It is all a matter of personal taste and perspective.

I definitely agree about tone controls, wish my gear had them.


toocool4

Re: Go with Unrevealing Warm Hi Fi or Revealing Neutral Hi Fi
« Reply #15 on: 2 Feb 2019, 08:13 am »
I’ve learnt more from this forum, in the past few days than I have from all the reviews, magazines, and dealer visits. 

The only way to really learn is to listen to as many different systems as possible.

veloceleste

Re: Go with Unrevealing Warm Hi Fi or Revealing Neutral Hi Fi
« Reply #16 on: 2 Feb 2019, 12:05 pm »
Neutral and revealing. If information is on the recording, I want to hear it. If information isn't there, I won't miss it. You have to take the bad sometimes to reveal the good.

Gumby

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Re: Go with Unrevealing Warm Hi Fi or Revealing Neutral Hi Fi
« Reply #17 on: 2 Feb 2019, 03:24 pm »
ELIZABETH

The Furutech duplexes truly made a difference?   This tweak confuses me.  There’s hundreds of feet of power line going from our home plugs all the way back to city power.  That can’t be changed.   The last few feet in to our systems can make a difference?   Is it that proper plugs and power cables give clarity to what reaches the wall?

By refrigerator magnet whiteboards, do you mean those dry erase boards?   

S Clark

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Re: Go with Unrevealing Warm Hi Fi or Revealing Neutral Hi Fi
« Reply #18 on: 2 Feb 2019, 03:38 pm »
A good system is revealing of small changes, and yes, receptacles can and do make a difference.  Put a pillow behind your head when listening; it makes a difference.  Listen in the morning versus listening at night; it makes a difference.  Change the wiring in the amp, put a cutting board under a cd transport, get a haircut, etc.   Nearly everything has an effect.  Some are more driven to find every little thing that affects sound than others. 
I have never chased the ultimate sound.  It's too expensive, and exhausting.  But I have lots of gear that was close to top shelf 10 years ago. 

Elizabeth

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Re: Go with Unrevealing Warm Hi Fi or Revealing Neutral Hi Fi
« Reply #19 on: 2 Feb 2019, 04:34 pm »
This is not the thread to debate AC duplex. There are thousands of posts, discussion sall over the internet that debate what you ask. go look there for answers.
For myself, I never cared much about AC power, and used nice good gripping Pass & Seymour 20 amp heavy duty duplex for many years. Finally after thinking maybe for years about an upgrade, but too cheap... The Furutech were on sale. So I bought three. wow, big plus. I bought a few more. better yet. So I went all in, once in a lifetime (so I tell myself, and they were on sale 1/2 off the GTX gold, 20% off the GTX. NCF Rhodium.)
At my amplifier AC I have two duplex. One Furutech GTX Gold, the other a Furutech GTX NCF Rhodium. I can hear the difference moving the amplifier cord from the gold to the rhodium or back.
All the duplex made a significant change, improving the clarity of my system. To where I could hear adding a brass (unplated) plug on one cord in the music. Bare brass, like a Wattgate, adds a layer of grunge in the upper mids.. So all that grunge was removed with all the standard duplex.

A dry erase board is a stand alone device. The refrigerator version has a magnetic back and is flexible, and clings to the frig. The important part is the MAGNETIC BACKING. near but not touching the bottom of the CD player. As I said.. the likely hood of this tweak doing anything positive for someone else is SLIM to ZERO. But it is cheap enough at $10 to $20. and if you don't like it, well then you got a frig whiteboard for the frig. I bought a 13" by 19" version off Amazon so the feet of the player would hold it down agains the shelf. I have also discovered the device makes the refrigerator QUIETER when they are stuck on the frig! So if you kitchen is open to the listening area like mine.. a few extra magnetic pads on the actual frig doors helps too.
https://www.amazon.com/Magnetic-Erase-Whiteboard-Sheet-Refrigerator/dp/B01LHNGMZ0/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1549125148&sr=8-2&keywords=erasable+magnetic+board+for+refrigerator
And if you buy, look at the discount in the little windows next to the main picture for another 10% off for two.