MUSIC IS FUNDAMENTAL TO ALMOST EVERYONE

kinch

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Jan 7, 2014
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I agree, but what is wrong with old buildings? The construction is often much better than new buildings, especially for sound.
Agree; its the variability in electrical supply, panels, switches, current. Its also the reverberation of plaster, the vagaries of wooden and or leaded windows, etc. Having lived in an old timer with these issues, then building out my own space, the consistency of flooring, walls and electrical supply can be significant factors. Let alone the variables in those apartments which seems to be popular amongst reviewers (!)
 

PeterA

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Dec 7, 2011
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Agree; its the variability in electrical supply, panels, switches, current. Its also the reverberation of plaster, the vagaries of wooden and or leaded windows, etc. Having lived in an old timer with these issues, then building out my own space, the consistency of flooring, walls and electrical supply can be significant factors. Let alone the variables in those apartments which seems to be popular amongst reviewers (!)

When Jim Smith visited me, he attributed the quality of the sound in part to the post and beam construction and horse hair plaster over lathe construction of the walls of the listening room. The electric service is relatively new in the windows of my room use heavy laminated glass in true divided 6/6 wooden sashes. I would certainly like a larger room with higher ceilings but some old construction certainly has those features.

What I don’t like about modern construction is often the open floor plan and typical 2 x 4 construction with thin painted sheet rock.

Reviewers’ reference systems and listening rooms is a pretty interesting subject. I suspect they have their own constraints, but the reader should know what those conditions are. Sometimes they do, sometimes they do not.
 
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tima

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Mar 4, 2014
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Reviewers’ reference systems and listening rooms is a pretty interesting subject. I suspect they have their own constraints, but the reader should know what those conditions are. Sometimes they do, sometimes they do not.

Yes, the topic of manufacturers' and reviewers' association to music and their rooms is interesting. Two different topics.

I've never been asked by readers or editors to describe or say anything about either my association with music or about my room. I'll write a little about review context which covers associated equipment and product setup. Only Positive-Feedback gives an author a page to list equipment (click on author's name to see this), or click on my profile here. I suppose I could include something about my room and myself at P-F which maybe I will do in the future. Maybe it lends some credibility, I don't know.

How many readers or audiophiles generally have dedicated rooms?. I see lot's of setups with a big flat panel tv between speakers - a scenario not solely devoted to audio. Space is at a premium for many, especially in apartments, so that is not a criticism; most know the compromises they have to make to even have a stereo. Whether folks in such position discount reviews because they are done in a dedicated room is the other side of the coin. To my knowledge, most reviewers do not have designer rooms.

Even though it is lower level my having a dedicated room is a luxury - it does make getting equipment in and out sometimes a chore. Mine is small relative to many in the US, measuring 15w x 20l x 8h, ~312sq-ft. New construction. Carpet over concrete, 2x4 construction with green-glue between double-drywall on sides and ceiling. Thick oriental carpet in the listening area. Several task lights for work and eleven ceiling cans let me dial in ambience - I'm a huge fan of lighting. Dedicated 20amp circuits (4) done in what I believe is a correct manner. Two nice racks and wood record cases partially line the side and back walls to ~32" height. A small wet bar at the back of the room is stuffed with audio paraphenalia. A single listening chair w/ side table and a another small table for task work. I consider mine an 'analog room', so no tv, no computers in the audio room.

Apologies for going off topic.
 

Elliot G.

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Jul 22, 2010
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How many readers or audiophiles generally have dedicated rooms?. I see lot's of setups with a big flat panel tv between speakers - a scenario not solely devoted to audio. Space is at a premium for many, especially in apartments, so that is not a criticism; most know the compromises they have to make to even have a stereo. Whether folks in such position discount reviews because they are done in a dedicated room is the other side of the coin. To my knowledge, most reviewers do not have designer rooms.

I believe at the cutting edge of Audio that you need a dedicated space. There are different levels of what is possible in the audio world and beyond a certain level the environment is a sever limiting factor. I am not sure that everyone really gets that. I have said before in my mind there are different levels of the high end. It is possible to get very good sound in a non dedicated space and maybe excellent sound however there is a point at which the environment means a lot. If one is a reviewer IMO they should have the proper tools so that they can do their task.
For example I was approached by a reviewer to review one of our speakers. I asked some basic questions since I was not familiar with this person or his reviews, I found out that he had no dedicated space, had no gear that he owned and in order to review my speakers he would have to borrow equipment from wherever to preform the review. I politely declined since I do not believe he was really the right person to speak on what we make and how it works. There are reviewers ( liking them is not the subject here) who have a long established list of reviews, equipment, and a listening area that would support reviews of very high end products. I think if you are going to do reviews of the state of the art you need to have other state of the art products and a serious space. In my mind this is no different than choosing a professional to do surgery or defend you in court, or teach you to play golf or tune your piano. You either have the skills, education and are qualified or you aren't.
This is my opinion and I always seek to find the proper people or companies to do the assigned tasks.
 

Karen Sumner

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Apr 18, 2021
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Audio has really gotten so much better in every way but the marketing and promotion of the business of audio has gotten worse IMO.
Elliot -

I agree with you that because of advances in technology and the vitality of the high end audio industry, it is possible to put together a system that goes well beyond our previous notions of what a home audio system can achieve. This is very exciting news, but I think that as long as hi fi perspectives and music perspectives are treated as false equivalents by the press and manufacturers, we will not be able to fully realize these advances. The status quo will also remain: consumers are left on their own to sort it all out, and they pay an unnecessarily high price along their journey to find their musical truth.

Rather than more marketing and promotion oriented to unsubstantiated claims, we need more audio industry professionals to tell better and more authentic stories about the ancestry of their music experiences, their continued commitment to music reproduction, and how these experiences have influenced the development of their products. Likewise members of the press should be equally open about their credentials. Why would a manufacturer who has invested heart, soul, mind, and body in an effort to make musically compelling, reliable products even consider sending a product to a reviewer who has weak connections to live acoustic music listening experiences and an inferior listening space? I don't know, but it happens.
 
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Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
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Elliot -

I agree with you that because of advances in technology and the vitality of the high end audio industry, it is possible to put together a system that goes well beyond our previous notions of what a home audio system can achieve. This is very exciting news, but I think that as long as hi fi perspectives and music perspectives are treated as false equivalents by the press and manufacturers, we will not be able to fully realize these advances. The status quo will also remain: consumers are left on their own to sort it all out, and they pay an unnecessarily high price along their journey to find their musical truth.

Rather than more marketing and promotion oriented to unsubstantiated claims, we need more audio industry professionals to tell better and more authentic stories about the ancestry of their music experiences, their continued commitment to music reproduction, and how these experiences have influenced the development of their products. Likewise members of the press should be equally open about their credentials. Why would a manufacturer who has invested heart, soul, mind, and body in an effort to make musically compelling, reliable products even consider sending a product to a reviewer who has weak connections to live acoustic music listening experiences and an inferior listening space? I don't know, but it happens.
at a certain point, hifi enthusiasts need to shed the rhetoric of hifi industry/dealers/reviewers and find their own reference and seek their own happy place. it's hard to take things higher with someone else's preferences. you need your own.

then work on that yourself.

i'm not saying shut out any ideas, just have the confidence to follow your own intuition. stay humble, but be happy.

of course, how do we define "the certain point"? it's up to the person to do that. to own where you are going.
 
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Elliot G.

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Jul 22, 2010
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at a certain point, hifi enthusiasts need to shed the rhetoric of hifi industry/dealers/reviewers and find their own reference and seek their own happy place. it's hard to take things higher with someone else's preferences. you need your own.

Mike we had a nice talk about this and it is important to not just buy the gear but to do the work as well. There are some excellent professionals in our Industry that can help and provide guidance however the process that by which many obtain there information is very flawed.
You have done an amazing job in your home and room and have crazy dedication. If that is the way of others then enjoy the ride and be prepared for the time and effort.
For me its also a lifetime of learning and building different spaces and system that have brought me to what I listen to today. I did not learn nor do it all alone and got a lot of advice and help. I said before its important to find who to get your products or information from and if you fall in love with the sound of a system you should get the SYSTEM not a piece and think its because of the piece that the sound is wonderful.
Audio is and always was a system and the result is the sum of all the parts, including the room, seating position, equipment and placement of it, electricity, acoustics etc.
There are no silver bullets or just ONE thing. There are more than one way to get to the desired point and probably many destinations. The gear available today is really good and there are some amazing products. I had never heard any of the products at Mike's home with the exception of the DAC and after a few minutes to get myself situated and relaxed I just sat back and enjoyed the music.
I have to say that in my lifetime and experience this was a very rare event. I've been told a million times that I was going to hear something that was amazing and almost never had. The few wonderful experiences I have come across therefore became really meaningful.
 
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PeterA

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at a certain point, hifi enthusiasts need to shed the rhetoric of hifi industry/dealers/reviewers and find their own reference and seek their own happy place. it's hard to take things higher with someone else's preferences. you need your own.

then work on that yourself.

i'm not saying shut out any ideas, just have the confidence to follow your own intuition. stay humble, but be happy.

of course, how do we define "the certain point"? it's up to the person to do that. to own where you are going.

I agree Mike. I contacted fellow member ddk for some advice. Rather than tell me what to do, he encouraged me to experiment, listen, and form conclusions on my own. He suggested a few areas to focus on. He then told me to ask myself one simple question: Does the change make the sound more natural? During those two years, I learned more than I had about sound, set up, and room interaction than I had in the previous decade. He pointed me in a direction, but I did the work and the learning.

Having learned from those experiments, I was able to form a clear goal as to where I wanted to go, and I was ready to move forward with better gear. He then became my dealer. Humility, an open mind, and a willingness to work and learn are essential to making progress in this hobby, IMO. Meeting people who know more and can guide you helps a lot.

Reaching that "certain point" is important, but it is only the beginning of reaching what is possible. I think the key is reaching a point where you know what you want and then discovering how to get there. In that sense, it is subjective and is based on one's experience. Ultimately, it becomes a very individual pursuit.
 

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