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Michael Green
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PostSubject: Stereophile forum   Tue Feb 25, 2014 2:59 am

Hi Guys

Join me on the Stereophile forum.

http://www.stereophile.com/forum

I'm sure your experience and advice with tuning will be of interest  study 

I also extend an invitation to the Stereophile forum readers to have fun on TuneLand.


 Cool

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PostSubject: Re: Stereophile forum   Mon Mar 03, 2014 8:50 pm

Here's an article reissued from 2005 from JA of Stereophile talking about squeezing the sound. Very important  Exclamation 

You'll see my comments at the end.

http://www.stereophile.com/content/squeezing-music-0



step by step, inch by inch  study 

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PostSubject: Re: Stereophile forum   Sat Apr 05, 2014 8:34 pm

Another thread I started that you might find interesting.

http://www.stereophile.com/content/taking-next-step-high-end-audio

I truly believe that when the listeners in the audiophile world start to make steps toward the "tune" they will, as we have, find a completely diferent hobby waiting for them.

In this acrticle I'm not saying throw away high end audio, but what I am saying is it needs redefined and refined.

I was reading another thread/post and it was talking about getting 3D sound and yet when I looked at the advice given I could clearly see that this was not going to give 3D in the sense of the music flowing to all around or the recordings real space. Basically the writer was talking about the same small soundstage.  I've lived in this true 3D world for so long that it seems odd to me when someone can sit there and hear part of a stage and call it 3D. To me that's like calling a TV screen 3D. Is it so hard to imagine that a recording should be reproduced in a real size space? When and where did we go from real to shallow and why do people not see this as being inaccurate?

let me give an example

We do surround sound for movies right? Well this is to give a real space event. Why would we accept a studio recording in stereo as giving less? It makes my mind go into freeze just thinking about the misguided logic that the high end hobby has painted for the listener. Let me make it clear again, stereo recordings produce a 3D all over and around you stage. If our systems are not producing that (the all around) we shouldn't be saying that it is stereo, but instead saying that we are hearing part of the stereo effect and not the whole thing. Putting limits on stereo has cause us to put accepted limits on the performance of our products. If you have guys out there building stuff to be limited to this small space no wonder the sound stage is so limited when playing a high end audio system. And no wonder the mass produced products and some of the simple audiophile products beat the smokies out of the typical high end audio stuff.

I need to make this really clear and I know by talking to others this is true. When visiting some (many) of high end's facilities I didn't hear a big stage, but a small typical audiophile stage. With that being the case how do these designers know that they are able to build stereo components that can reproduce a big stage? They're not hearing it at their own places so what makes them think that the big stage is possible with their components? The truth is I doubt if these guys have any idea what a real size stage is and had no idea that they were shrinking it. To them staying inside the box was their intention and they never realized that they were actually building products that couldn't open up, never dawned on them. They didn't know that the recording cast a huge stage, one that goes all around. As they designed in the box they put parts in that gave them flavor and focus for their setup but never made the move to take the stage into a real live space that the recordings actually had as a part of their contents.

So what you had was High End Audio thinking that was all the bigger it should be and they will give their version of that small space with their flavors. Can you imagine Question  the industry the higher it went up was not about opening and unlocking the door, but instead trying to make a transient little music box of sound. They created their own world then packaged and sold it. We bought into it, but when the next generation came along that were listening to more of a natural stage, the interest in high end audio died. Stereo has not gone anywhere, and has increased, but the small boxed sound is not doing it's job in keeping the attention of the modern listener. The smallish audiophile stage is slowly drifting by the wayside, and how do I feel about this? Excited like never before, cause this opens there door for a hobby that is far more serious about reproducing what is on the recording.

here's my point



Why would someone choose a typical high end audiophile soundstage over a true soundstage? I don't want to look at the audience, I want to be in the audience. I don't want to be looking at the musicians through a telescope. Miniture toy players.

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PostSubject: Re: Stereophile forum   Sun Apr 06, 2014 10:54 am


Hi Michael

These pictures are very helpful to focus priorities. My sound is somewhere between the "typical" and "true", on some records closer to "typical" and on others closer to "true". The tune is so much about what is possible with an audio system, we can go very far from what we hear in the stores. How much do you want to move forward? We press on....

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PostSubject: Re: Stereophile forum   Sun Apr 06, 2014 4:23 pm

Hi Sonic

I understand how the industry got in the box, and even a little why they stayed there. Economic wise it was a safe place to be and it was as far as they had gotten in their own listening. One would think that comparing Headphone listening against the high end stereo listening would have caused the pressing on, but it became a which was better debate instead (very strange). Then when surround sound came along, you certainly would think that the stereo designers would have looked to how to expand performance to a bigger stage, but it seemed it went the opposite way.

I can remember when I first heard the "true stage", it was like being on drugs, a dream feeling as compared to the tiny frontal only stage. When I showed my audio buddies they thought I was commiting a sin against the high end. "distortion, it must be distortion" they said, but the more they came over to listen the more they started to agree that this was far more real and they could see far more of the recorded info. They would go home and whole instruments would be missing in their sound. They also would be listening to a lot of stuff to them that was more like a fog, whereas on my system it was clear and visable space (captured room ambience), something that is sorely missing in high end audio.

When the audiophile tunes there comes a place where they are confronted with "space". It's not just a matter of making bigger or smaller, it's a matter of making things in tune and keeping them intune. The more in tune I have made my systems the bigger the soundstage gets naturally. The "ambient effect" is without a doubt the missing ingredient in high end listening. Reviewers have completely missed the boat on this one if they describe the space inbetween and around as black holes. This sound wave pressure is what gives the music life. It's very present in the recording process and is there in the playback if one has a system that can play it back.

I also want to add this. The recording control and mastering rooms are not the end answer to what is on a recording. There is far more on the recording than what shows up in a control or mastering room if the rooms are not in tune and able to reproduce all the space. As a matter of fact most studio playback rooms are even further away from what is laid down than a good end user system's room. All you have to do is look at these studios (control & master rooms) to see that they are only playing back a piece of the pie. If you walk back and forth from studio to control room you can hear this plainly. The recording is indeed being captured according to the mics, cable and equipment, but this is a different sound from the playback portion of the chain. The signal when you hear it in the control room has to go through a playback setup for you to hear. It's not what is going on the recording storage.

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PostSubject: Re: Stereophile forum   Sat Apr 19, 2014 9:05 pm

I'd like to point to another thread

http://www.stereophile.com/content/different-cd-qualitywhats#comment-537486

I think this is a good example of an area where audiophiles may get stuck or at least not understand that they can have a system that is flexible enough to play anything.

It also shows the defence attitude that many get when introduced to something new. As you know my belief is not to throw music under the bus. I mean lets face it why would a group like Sugar Ray want to put out something that sounded bad with their talent? Doesn't make sense to me, and if you look at the reviews on amazon people love  the music and songs have received good air time. So lets look at what is really going on.



What's happening here is a battle of EGO. I'm up there saying "we can make the music, almost all music sound good if not great" (this is not a comment on musical taste), and the ones who have systems that can't play the music are saying it is a bad recording. A bad recording to me says the recording is not able to relay the space it was made in or the space created by the equipment, and is distorted. Playing 14:59 may not be someones taste but it certainly has a soundstage and you can clearly hear the differences between the different songs styles in production. I can hear the effects coming in and out easily and get a sense for their engineering style of compression. On the same CD I can also hear their softer side with a big stage, not all around but at least fairly wide and deep, and coming out from the speaker plane. If this was a bad recording this would not be happening. I'm getting distinctive placement, another sign of a good recording process. The sound is not in the speakers and when I stand up I still have a soundstage. So what is wrong?

What is wrong is the poster can not play this piece of music on his equipment and puts the blame on the recording. I run into this a few times a year with someone and it so far has turned out that it is a matter of the system not doing it's job and not that the recording is bad. It looks like me picking on the system, well, if a person wants to hear that piece of music, yes, I am picking on the system. Why do we have these systems if not so that we can play our music? I keep saying that we need to back up and see what is really going on in our hobby. We have built such a big deal about these expensive systems that we have lost sight of why we have them. We have them so we can pick up a piece of music and play it. Throw out the looks and the audiophile theories we're here to play music and tap our feet. When we start getting so far away from the objective that we put the blame on the recordings we need to take a second look at what is going on.

michael, your full of it  Laughing 

Ok, so I'm blowing smoke, lets see what "Enjoy The Music" said about 14:59.
_________________________

"There is this wine called, "Conundrum". A small vineyard, named Caymus Vineyards (which is in the Napa Valley region of California) makes it. This white wine taste exactly like its name. It tastes like a conundrum (which means "anything that puzzles"). It is a delightfully confusing blend of five different grapes, blended into a delicious wine. It is about $20 a bottle and I highly recommend it for special occasions... or everyday drink (if you're rich). Caymus Conundrum reminds me a lot of Sugar Ray's new CD 14:59.

After attending the Fusion Tour concert which featured Fastball, Sugar Ray, and the Goo Goo Dolls, I was impressed with Sugar Rays performance enough to purchase the CD for review and enjoyment. As I usually do with a new CD, I plop it into the car changer and give it a complete run through on the highway. This gives me a casual first impression and general feel of a CD. Sugar Ray's first spin left me a little confused. In the course of this one CD I was subjected to Reggae, Rap, Pop, and Thrash Metal? What a delightfully confusing blend! 14:59 is very much like the weather in Wisconsin… give it a minute, it'll change.

The two hits off this CD, "Someday" and "Every Morning", certainly do not prepare one for the remainder of this CD's hidden jewels. "Someday", which during the concert Sugar Ray dedicated to "the friends we've lost along the way", is a mid-tempo perfect-for-slow- summer grinding (on the dance floor folks) tune about meeting on the "other side".

"Every Morning" thumps along nicely with a catchy hook and easy to sing-along lyrics. This instant MTV favorite is perfect for any summer outing or late night party. As with most of the songs on this CD, "Every Morning" is layered with a Reggae back-beat, scratch Rap and of course (the favorite line), "Shut the door baby. Don't say a word."

Another crowd screamer is sure to be, "Falls Apart". The sound is surprising stark (in comparison to the rest of the CD) as Sugar Ray sings:

"She falls apart
By herself
No one's there to talk or understand
Feels the sting
Dries her eyes
Finds herself
Opens the door inside
Falls Apart
Might as well"

These lyrics are sung over raw guitar, and minimal drums. Stark but nice combo. A few other songs of note would be "Personal Space Invader" which is a straight 80's Pop tune (diggin' it!) and "Live And Direct" (featuring KRS-One) which is an enjoyable mainstream suburban Rap tune.

"Aim For Me" gives you a taste of Western Punk (do your research, it's out there) while "Burning Dog" reminds me of the 80's group Oingo Boingo. Do yourself a favor and go to Amazon.com and tag an Oingo Boingo CD. You will thank me later! We even get a taste of the 60's with a the brief, "Even Though." I get the urge to sing the "That Thing You Do" song. Sugar Ray throws in a remake "Abracadabra" and ends the CD with a twisted instrumental of Circus music played by that twisted clown you always keep away from your child.

After seeing Sugar Ray perform live (did I tell you about the live bar and margarita's on stage?) this CD did not disappoint. This CD is as fun a lively as the live performance. While there is still some summer left, go grab a few beers, a babe and the Sugar Ray CD 14:59. While you are at it, pick up his first CD Floored (Wea/Atlantic/Lava; ASIN: B000005J7O ). Get 'em both! You are sure to have a good time.

Enjoyment: 83

Sound Quality: 86"
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Hmmm...86, so this Reviewers car system sounds better than that audiophile's home system? I've heard that comment before. I think we need to remove the snob factor and get right down to it. A lot, and I mean a lot of, audiophile systems stop short of being able to play a wide range of recordings! I don't know from how many more angles we need to see this demonstrated for us to accept that there is something wrong in High End Audio Ville USA. A High End Audio system is not supposed to be saying that is wrong, it's supposed to be saying this is right. You should at least be able to hear the music content, good and bad and have at least a stage to go by. But how many are hidding the fact that their systems completely fall apart when a piece of music is put on that the system is not able to play. Some one stand up and give me an Amen! Who are these people who have turned the hobby of listening into a hobby of hit and miss? And who are these judgers of music? Folks if I had a system that couldn't play Sugar Ray I wouldn't be in the hobby Cool . The last thing I want to do as a listener is sit around and say how bad a recording is, when I know darn well that's not the case. I'm here to explore the music, get into it, and let it into me. having a system that is so fixed like the one that can't play something as simple as Sugar Ray would make me want to give up and go get and old piece of equipment with a huge EQ so I could do at least something, but to say the recording is bad is like, "why be doing this".

 Wink
now if you'll excuse me I need to go back and listen to "someday", sounded pretty good

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PostSubject: Re: Stereophile forum   Sun Apr 20, 2014 9:35 am

I haven't notice that my main system sounds bad or falls apart with certain music but on highly compressed disc's my factory automotive system seems more at home. Whether it's because it doesn't have the resolving power to expose details and flaws or for other reasons I can't say.
This provokes another question, is that why many folks ( the masses ) with very low end systems, boom boxes and such don't mind or even prefer highly compressed music ?

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PostSubject: Re: Stereophile forum   Sun Apr 20, 2014 7:06 pm

Well, I have to take a deep breath before answering.

I might have to come back to this a few times because I think this is an important issue.

First the music lovers out there listening don't know what compression is and really don't care if the music is compressed or not. This is just a place in music history that the average listener finds themself in.

here's what we did

This sounds completely off I know from what we would think but we did the comparisons between all the levels "price wise" when we were going through our tuning tests (continues today) and we found that the lower priced products (not all of course) actually do things (on the good side) that the higher priced products didn't.

It wasn't that the High End Audio stuff reveal the problems with the recordings like many say, the high end audio products actually created the distortion (not able to play the music so that it opened up enough to get passed the compression).

You would think that something called high end audio would open up the sound more than low end wouldn't you, but the opposite happens many times. If you look at the circuits of the low end there's usually nothing there, and the circuits are put on these super light weight low mass boards that have a lot of tone to them. Some of the these circuits sound fantastic.

I want to back up here a second though. If people are thinking I'm talking about mid fi or low end that are these heavier receivers and such I'm not. If you take a heavy receiver you are going to run into the same problems that High End is running into. What I'm talking about is a mass to signal passing ratio. We have found that most circuit designs are actually fairly nice these days but the problem comes in when the parts are put together with their circuit boards and the rest of the housing. If these parts do not respond well to each other the soundstage shrinks and it sounds like distortion. The CD may not be distorting at all but if the soundstage does not provide the open harmonic structure it distorts.

so to answer

note: I don't do this stuff to tic off audiophiles, I do this stuff in the search for better sound. I think sometimes people think I have an axe to grinned but I'm not wired that way. I have always just gone after the best wherever it may be. That might be popular or not, but it's true.

Yes, some of these low end products actually do provide some of the fundamentals of the music.

Have you ever noticed how so many high end audio systems have a hard time with bass? The low end world for the most part (there are always sad products and I'm not talking about them) delivers bass.  When I had my stores back in the 80's I went from low end up to super high end for a while (and car stereo). Without getting into product names cause I don't want to make people mad, some of the lower end products I had smoked the high end when it came to bass. And it wasn't loose boomy over done bass, but rock solid with pace bass. When I would go to the CES before I was a designer I would walk around and the bass was so screwed up or non-existent that I would fly home and be very confused. "what's goin on". I started really looking in to not only bass but other parts of the sound and found that a lot of these products that are considered audiophile products had some serious problems when it came to presenting a whole (full range) reproduction.

In my stores I started asking people why they were choosing the lower end stuff over the higher end? Where my store was most people had money so that wasn't it. The answer I got back was that the lower end stuff sounded better to them. I can remember getting in speakers with the typical cheap cabinets, 2 or 3 way with small magnets pushing paper cones and people loved them. They would fly out the door. Moving up from there a little, I would setup a 2 way 10" with a Rotel integrated and cheap multispec CD player and take names. Don't get mad at me Rotel, but when they changed their models to the more heavy ones and I did that same set up, I couldn't give them away. I had to put on a cheap plastic Marantz receiver to make the systems move again. Moving up from there I was a master at system setup and went all the way, or the product sat there on display not hooked up till someone read a review and I got rid of it. I would not do a setup that was questionable. And I didn't use guilt to sell. If I felt they were a high ender that's where they went, but if they were the average music lover that was not going to take the time and pain to do it right I would take them to a system that would "cook" and do everything right but was easy to setup. How many people are out there in the hobby and have no idea how to create a real soundstage? My goal was to meet them where they are and never put together a system that was not going to produce. I'm not lying when I say I have heard many mid fi systems that sounded pretty good and many high end systems that sounded like crap. And this was before I started tuning the way I do now.

All high end audio aside I think the average person has a built-in music monitor and when they hear or feel the pace of the music it hits them emotionally. They could care less what the high end audio guys are doing and many times I have seen them turned off by these systems that to them and me squeal.

Do you know how many times while visiting a high end audio store I have seen the salesman telling the customer "it will sound better in your home". It's like he can't get it sounding good and is trying to guilt them into buying something based on sound that isn't there. I call this a scam! If you can't get it sounding good in a store don't sell it. I've had 5 stores and never had a problem making the systems I wanted to sound good, sound good. The excuses high end audio has gotten away with is a crime in my book.

So the average music lover walks in a store and hears the drive of music playing somewhere and starts to feel it. Which product is the music lover off the street going to be attracted to? Something that gives pace and musical rhythm or something that can't produce the fundamentals? One thing about me is, I'm not going to make excuses for High End Audio or any audio product. I cut my teeth in the studio remember. It either delivers or it is on the chopping block. I think that right now to be honest high end audio doesn't sound all that great, at least not at the top. From my listening usually the systems start falling apart as they become more complicated. A lot of the entry level stuff doesn't sound all that bad but as the circuits get more than needed there are problems that start to happen in high end that stick out like a sore thumb, and I think the average person has not been trained by the high enders enough to try to over look the problems and they go for the drive and basics.

here's music to me



and here's an industry trying to replay that music



Again please understand that I'm not trying to pick on any company. I'll already be getting a call from Rotel (sorry guys). In the top picture you see a vibrating music maker. The parts are chosen specifically to vibrate. This is how musical notes turn into the audio signal and the audio signal vibrates through the entire chain, from the instrument to the ear. Everything on the guitar has a meaning, and everything on that guitars amplifier is built for vibrating as well to give the tone. Look at the bottom picture. There is nothing on this amplifier that shares the same tonal goals as the guitar pass the actual hosting conduits.

lets take the amp apart



now lets attach all the materials hosting the audio signal to the guitar



We're not just hearing the guitar, we're hearing all this other stuff with it.

Test: take off all this material and listen. It will blow you mind how different (more open) this guitar recording sounds without the extra parts. For one the soundstage will grow by maybe 3 times the size. You will hear all the different parts to the guitar. The guitar will sound more intune. Do this with the rest of your systems components and it will keep getting better based on what you sit the components on. We have done with with ever component that comes our way and the results are amazing.

So lets say we strip away all the bad from the signal path, what do you have left.



And with all the distorting parts removed you can hear the compression for what it is. I can tell you this. It doesn't sound like what highenders are describing it as. What they are hearing is distortion from over built components, which is a different distorted sound from compression. Again I'm not crazy about over compression but the high end systems I have listened to where the listener is pointing out compression distortion is not compression distortion at all. Audiophiles are putting the blame in the wrong place. We need to be listening to why some of the other (low end or whatever) products are doing something that high end isn't. If we explore it we're going to find that High End Audio is choking the music. that may not be the easiest thing to hear but that's what's going on.

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PostSubject: Re: Stereophile forum   Thu Apr 24, 2014 10:06 pm

Hi Guys

I find this interesting as things are starting to make more sense to me about the stereophile forums. I'm beginning to realize that the readers of today may not be aware of the role tuning has played in High End Audio from the historical side. I put up a post about soundstaging http://www.stereophile.com/content/does-your-system-play-hall and already I can see that the dots from what took place back in the 90's never were connected, or should I say continued.

Maybe this thread will help some to see that tuning has been apart of their listening past. And maybe they will take a look at their present and see that tuning is the next logical step to better sound. Looking at this posts I'm wondering if maybe the readers really don't know the foundation and are thinking I'm just a guy out of the blue coming onto their forum, or into their clubhouse. Who knows but I'm hoping that the gards will come down as time goes on and they will see we were apart of the beginning of this movement and were and are a main fixture in their reviews then and now.

here's a matter of taste incase you aren't following the threads over there

http://www.michaelgreenaudio.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=124


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PostSubject: Re: Stereophile forum   Fri Apr 25, 2014 12:02 pm


Yes Michael, a disconnect has occurred hasn't it?

Sonic finds people who mentally agree a guitar, piano and erhu must be tuned or they won't work, then if you say a music system needs tuning they look at you like you are daft.

Part of this comes from the plug-n-play computer systems where you EXPECT your smart phone to work with a certain app and accessory.

Also while people can appreciate good sound (Sonic has seen and maybe helped enlighten some to the cause of musick), the majority had a kind of reduction in expected musical standards so that they aspire for nothing more than mp3 because that is all they knew existed.

Sonic talks to people who today know nothing about analog tape, records or for that matter the fine photographic films that made the great motion pictures and photographs that sit at the back of our minds when we contemplate art.

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: Stereophile forum   Fri Apr 25, 2014 12:12 pm


So as Sonic writes this, contemplation is going on with Telemann's Sonatas for flute, oboe, cello and cembalo, String Quartets by Jacques Bondon, Darius Milhaud and Germaine Tailleferre, Paul Hindemith's Sonata for viola and Haydn symphonies. All analog.

Like the great Sakuma, Sonic thinks "I lost my being...."
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PostSubject: Re: Stereophile forum   Sun Apr 27, 2014 1:29 am

I'm not so surprised by the mp3 guys and gals as I am the audiophiles. I would have thought the audiophile would have moved beyond plug and play long before now. If they can not hear the obvious distortion their systems are playing it makes me wonder.

I think that as the economy of listening products become more talked about the mp3 guys will start taking a look, but there for a little while there was almost no mid fi or low mid fi to point people to. Their not going to get interested if they have to jump from $100 setup to a $3000.00 one. It's a whole class of listener that was completely over looked. We start introducing more FUNAI's and Sherwoods and watch how fast the hooby starts to turn around. But there are no products like this being shown at the audiophile part of any of the shows so because of this the shows have declined to next to nothing in attendance. At least here in the states.

I really don't even know how High End Audio companies are even holding on. I don't think there are a lack of clients, just a lack of clients who are falling for High End compared to before. However I don't think it's going to be too much longer for the lower and mid section to be lacking. High End Audio will become a piece of history but the performance of some lower priced products are going to come along and the audiophile world will simply decide to move away from the boat anchors. I mean the smart High End Audio companies of old are doing car audio to save their butts. And they will be doing computer audio as well. These companies in their march to the top are the same guys who put down car audio as being a serious place to listen to music. Guess their views have changed  Rolling Eyes . Bottom line is it never really was about sound, but about building a market. You build your way to the top of a pile then use your reputation to market goods. It wasn't about building purist audio products. Listeners have always been a stepping stone to making money instead of the products being built to supply the music lover with beautiful listening. I've seen the sell outs happen so I know first hand what types of things went on. For me though I have to have the sound. I believe the audio world has yet to get it right but their going to. I look at the little amp Bill has and I do now and see that it is just a matter of time. Time to allow the old to continue dying and for the new to show their smarts.

High End Audio was absolutely on the right path through the 60, 70, 80 and part of the 90's. Between the 90's and now the technology is there but the marketing is off. But people are going to start using their ears more I think. And if the designers are smart they will do the same.

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PostSubject: Re: Stereophile forum   Sun Apr 27, 2014 12:41 pm

Don't be to surprised.

I always felt MP3 was sonic dog food, but.

I'll share a little test we did with my garage system. I first purchased an Arcam DAC/dock for my I-pod. It was purchased so the I-pod would charge automatically and hopefully slightly improve the dismal sound. After a short listening session we were more than a bit surprised at the improvement. Then a buddy suggested bringing his mid fi DAC over for a try. The sonic agility and detail took another big step forward. Then just for s**ts and giggles we removed my higher end DAC, an Audio Research DAC8 from one of my main systems and installed it in the garage. To say we were shocked at what we heard would be an under statement. I won't use a mouthful of adjectives to describe the sound other than to say it was smooth and warm and did not sound at all like MP3.
The DAC8 is still in the garage as it did more good there than elsewhere. Since then many audiophile/music lover type folks have visited and refused to believe they were hearing MP3. Some felt I was playing a bad joke and insisted on looking around to find the real source. To see there mouths agape was priceless.

I know what your thinking but don't knock it until you've tried it.

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PostSubject: Re: Stereophile forum   Sun Apr 27, 2014 2:19 pm

I agree the future will be more dominated (if not already) by digitally stored files played via mobile device or through USB. There really is no reason a low Loss compression or non compression file should not sound as good as redbook. All the data is there.

The problem has been in the execution. Take USB for instance. It started out with the PC pushing data to the playback device with obvious timing errors. Most USB playback is still done this way.

Gordon Rankin decided to flip this around into the device controlling the bit flow rate yielding a much better result. His products are way too pricey but he has licensed the tech and is available as a USB stick like device that definitely would appeal to newer generation.

Combine this tech with a simple midfi tuneable system that is streamlined that appeals to the always connected crowd and you have opened up a whole new generation to high end audio.

Tune able systems must evolve to the point of self contained, turn a knob here, twist this there system and be easily understood. Everyone knows basically how a guitar works and how to tune it ... successful combination of  form and function and no one denies how beautiful a guitar or violin is. They get it and can appreciate it.

Current tune able systems look more like workbench prototypes and look daunting.

Combine a simple tunable system that includes a good starter base of woods with clear guidelines/manual on how to tune this and that and also a recipe book of woods and recommended combinations for certain tones and I think more people would buy into it and also convert some established audiophiles. Let's face it, some guys will never change as they are locked into the equipment lovers dilemma or refuse to acknowledge there is another way.


I think the demand is there for better quality...look at the renaissance of vinyl. It's cool again... but only for a small segment of devotees ... everyone else wants PC/mobile tech.

It all comes down to the packaging and messaging ... Apple and Bose have taught us that.
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PostSubject: Re: Stereophile forum   Mon Apr 28, 2014 12:04 am

I could not be happier Exclamation 

Reading these posts just about made me do cartwheels. The signal is so tunable and as soon as we "do" harness these systems it's game over. The remarkable part is as I/we have compared these setups against the very best (and I mean the very best) of High End Audio and watched them walk all over these setups it makes us sit back and think about what is going to happen when the baton passes.

You read me making a big deal over at stereophile but what they don't know is the listening has already been done and is being done all over the world, and I trust these ears because I have been dealing with guys for quite some time, as well as me listening and in every setup that I have seen and heard where the signal is opened up and tuned in there is no competition. Now when I and the tunees look at the super heavy products we see "blockage" and not the impressive facades.

When the high end audio industry should have been looking at the sound they were making a look. Then they had to build a theory around this look. When I went to the shows and had equipment sent to me it was slapping me in the ears, and I started saying "this industry if they don't watch it is going to kill themselves". I went and listened to these systems and sat there at the factories and reviewers homes and was almost in a state of shock. I would come home from touring and say "what are they thinking". I mean I had good friends doing this, and their personal reference systems where sitting there playing the superbowl. I'd walk around their place and say "where is your reference room" and would be told "I was taking this audio thing much too serious" . If I named these guys you all would drop your jaws, I did. I'd go back to my place with over 10 systems setup studying the audio signal and these guys many times didn't even have a system besides something in a corner or setup like statues playing big home theatres in plush terrible sounding rooms. It was like they had arrived and doing number deals and not even listening. I'm not pulling anyones leg here, have you been to the reviewers homes? Worse, have you been to the designers homes? Wow is all I can say Exclamation I spent years of my life trying to find these "reference rooms". What I got was invited to places where I walked in and saw these beautiful setups that sounded so completely dead it made your ears feel funny. "here michael do your thing", as they walked up to play pool and made arrogant comments. Or (I don't want to paint too bad of a picture) I would go to the audiophile club meetings with 20 guys standing around talking shop by a system that sounded worse than a Circuit City setup. And, get a load of this. When I would start tuning they would say "can't move that". Can't move that scratch "what do you mean can't move that, can't you hear it".

I have story after story but here's a good one. this is right after a rave review came out on this very expensive product and someone said "michael you got to hear this" , so I made my way there and even before I started listening a guy pulled me to the side and explain how important this person was and to go easy. I made my way a little closer to the system and another guy says "michael this was sounding great a day ago but something isn't right now". I finally make my way to the seating, listened about 10 seconds and said "do you have a chair we can put here". they had me sit on a thick fabric covered sofa, tube trap dampening all over and a carpet. It sounded like listening in a coffin  Laughing "are you serious". I think listeners need to take a closer look at the rooms and conditions and components they are actually listening to. And the ones the people who are telling them to buy these things are listening to.

Where did the listening stop and the hype begin?

As you guys start tuning and feel comfortable I really do recommend you write to your sources and ask "why Question ". How in the world is it possible that we are sitting with receivers beating up on the high end? And this silly little $24 player kicking butt over the top digital front ends?

"To see there mouths agape was priceless. "

This has been the walk of my life  Smile . It's really only a matter of time. I trust the listener's ears far more than the hype. I'm sad that many get caught up and spend fortunes, when they could have spent that money on a "tunable room" or a boat.

I want to thank you guys for speaking up cause that's all it's really going to take. There are thousands upon thousands hating on their systems and won't tell the real story to save their life. I think that the more people help each other find the tune the faster the turnaround will happen. And maybe I'll get a vacation  Cool . Why do I need a vacation though, all I'd do is listen.

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PostSubject: Re: Stereophile forum   Mon Apr 28, 2014 12:45 am

Michael, have you ever reached out to midfi manufactures and said "I have an idea .. Let's talk." Someone like Sherwood.

I wouldn't bother with high end manufacturers... They have their own agendas.

I wonder what they could come up with based on your ideas. How hard would it be for them to design a component that allowed for variable tuning of circuit boards and trannies. This is simple tensioners, low mass and free resonance.

Every manufacturer is always looking for a new breakout product... Who knows, this may gain traction with them or at least get them thinking.
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PostSubject: Re: Stereophile forum   Mon Apr 28, 2014 1:40 am

Well

As you probably have guessed I made a wrong turn a while back. Instead of going the route that would have changed all this by now, I went the route of studio tuning, working with instrument companies and bigger projects, and an off shoot of consulting for Herman Miller. I also got sidetracked by SUNY who was hoping to do a tunable research facility (my personal menlo park) in the middle of national cut backs "ouch". But, it's hard to push these kind of carts up hill because they make Engineers mad as "H", and I ended up spending a lot of my time in the courts of EGO. I have tons of designs, but the world has turned into a pretty hard place. Reading my archives you probably saw some of my attempts at turning the world on, but there comes a time when it can take too much out of a person. You have to be a special being to talk to blank faces and money types.

Coming back to High End Audio, it could be looked at as a curse or a blessing. I have the reputation so that saves the time. They're falling apart so that supplies the need. Your right that the old school will probably not get it, but they are dying and this leaves the door open for the stand to be made. There's enough music lovers who are tired of not finding it and they either are looking or will start. The first thing I have to do is get a few more converts and the tide will begin turning. At that point come out with the speaker line again, do a couple of shows, make the electronics and do show & tell for the mainstream, as you said. I don't want to aproach them until the system is ready to impress. I was close at one time but life happens, and so we knock on the door again.

 study  studying life can be a lifetime of study

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PostSubject: Re: Stereophile forum   Thu May 01, 2014 12:55 pm

Great to see Sonic on the stereophile forum.

http://www.stereophile.com/content/does-your-system-play-hall

I think the more we can do to help those who may not know they can tune their systems the better. I'm constantly reminded of listeners sitting in front of their stereo and something isn't quite right to them and they don't know they can do anything about it. They may try a certain tweak and hear a difference but aren't sure if it helped or hurt the sound, and so they keep going in that direction until they realize they are far away from their goal. Usually because of dampening.

It's a big step for some of these guys to turn around and head in the oposite direction from what "the audio experts" are saying. Yet that first step is usually a biggie. Remember when you were an equipment jumper? the music was sitting there all the time, but jumping from fixed to fixed was what people did. So much nicer to be able to focus in on the general equipment likes then tune it in.

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PostSubject: Re: Stereophile forum   Thu May 01, 2014 8:50 pm

Hi Folks

here's another thread I started today on Stereophile



http://www.stereophile.com/content/your-not-hearing-more

It talks about what happens when a system is over damped.

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PostSubject: Re: Stereophile forum   Sat May 03, 2014 12:04 pm


Sonic's joined Mr Green on Stereophile. Made two posts so far but let's see what appetite for dialogue.

Yes dialogue because Sonic's thinking is not to set points but bridge.

Why? Because we love music I suppose.

Yet Sonic seems to see that too many view Michael and RoomTune in the same mind as weird science and snake oil. Sonic thinka the Tune offers something superior but on another level we are all just separated by language that has accreted from a long time ago. Maybe we can work it out....
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PostSubject: Re: Stereophile forum   Sat May 03, 2014 11:10 pm

Hi Sonic

Something that I like about the forum there is that even though it is very slow, it is not full of flamers. I don't really mind people defending their systems as much. It's all they know and doing the plug and play is not the consumers fault.

The industry was never given a method of listening past swapping tubes and adjusting turntables. You would think that this would have been enough to convince of another (deeper) paths, but when all they hear about is one new component after another it has got to get mind boggling.

I think we should be sharing personally. I'm not sure there's as many people looking at this as snake oil any more. The people who say that are just the loudest, their not the majority. Everytime someone takes the time to tune they see what is going on and I think that the more they see people tuning the more they will experiment. There's a lot of people who try tuning and never come up and say so. I don't share their names but there are a lot more people who get a hold of me and say they tune than you would think. And, when people see even a little bit of activity it makes a big difference.

You see this industry tries to make it look like there are a lot of people in High End Audio but the numbers are not nearly what is projected. There are people out there listening to stereos by the masses, a lot more than what we think of as audiophiles. They may not come up on audiophile forums more than reading but their there. If you walk in a high end audio store here in vegas you will hardly see anyone, but go into one of the specialty stores selling stereos and people are hauling those boxes out the door. We don't have shops like you do in Singapore. The high end shops are spread very far apart maybe a hundred or two miles separated. And that's strecthing it. So here you have hundreds and hundreds of miles of no high end shops, and the systems that are bought are receiver type systems sold by Walmart, Radio Shack or maybe a Best Buys and in this town there are even more that carry the basics, but it's not like you drive into a town and there's a high end stereo store. They've really thined out. The high end audio here has distanced themselves so much from the stereo world that speaking for this town (a major music city) you will have I would guess a 1000 to 1 ratio of people who buy a stereo vs the typical high end audio stereo. And I bet I'm being very conservative with that number.

The high end audio in the US has cut itself off from the mainstream stereo listener. They got so wrapped up in the dividing line, between high end / mid fi, big mistake, that they put themselves out of the market. Look at this line up from one of our "Mid Fi" stores here in Vegas. http://www.frys.com/product/6436752?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN_RSLT_PG is one of the products but if you look http://www.frys.com/category/Outpost/Audio/Receivers you'll see that a High End Audio store hasn't a prayer. I mean look at what that $279.00 receiver has to offer. 15 years ago I wouldn't have given any of these names a second look, but these companies have done their home work and have raised the fidelity to go toe to toe against todays High End Audio products. But what is killing the High End is they will not admit it and instead of them embracing these products millions of people are choosing these products as high end and have no interest in that "audiophile snob" world. They don't even know it exist except that the CES happens here ever year and people get a peek, but they get a better peek at the mass brands.

High End audiophiles think people have moved away from stereo listening and are only doing headphones and Ipods, Iphones and stuff, but that's not true. Stereo is alive and well. There's a audiophile industry, and the "high end" audiophile industry has just removed itself for this circle of listeners thinking they are better. This attitude is making the High End Audio part of this hobby smaller and smaller. They (the audiophile snob) 15 years ago could make claims that they are not able to make today. The mass production companies are not dumbies or inferior to the expensive ones. They have just figured out to package a good sounding product at a lower cost.

Here's what I see happening. These stores are going to become a little more specialized, still lower priced but specialized. I think there are going to be some serious lower priced integrated amps put in these line ups and some look changes and with that there will be an esoteric presence that will have great features, looks and sound. Sound that will easily compete. Speakers are a little different story but the expensive electronic components are on the chopping block.

What I find interesting is this is happening right now and High End still has their nose in the air. That's not going to last long. And as far as the tune goes we're just as happy tuning the lower priced as the expensive stuff. The lower priced goodies are easier to tune anyway, and who cares what the snobs say about quality cause they have never really produced an educated listening method. I mean their barely getting their feet wet when it comes to "the whole system". they spend time debating instead of listening and exploring. Look at how far you guys have gone past the average audiophile. I mean I'm not kidding when I make my comparisons between you guys and them, and I've been there to know. When I see someone still using foam or tube traps, and glass shelving and rubber isolators WOW Exclamation That's like sitting still for how long now? If they're sitting still with this stuff (and not everyone does) think about how easy it was for the mass production products to catch up.

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PostSubject: Re: Stereophile forum   Sat May 03, 2014 11:55 pm

Yes you can clearly see the demarcation lines here in Phoenix between highend mega buck stores and other retailers that range from small shops that specialize in tube equipment to the larger midfi retailers.

The mega bucks high end shops have mostly closed down with some relocating to home based audition rooms by appointment only.

Things certainly have changed. You will always have a market for bucks no object statement systems, but slightly lower down market retailers are dwindling.

Also gone are the days of same day buying of "highend" products...everything is special order. ... and they are freaked out by the internet cannibalizing their sales and have enacted draconian territory rules to combat it. What did they expect would happen when they have become glorified catalog shops in a shrinking market.
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PostSubject: Re: Stereophile forum   Sun May 04, 2014 12:16 am

Hi Toledo

This is so true and so obvious. And I really have no problem if someone wants to buy looks and some of this stuff as a collector, but there is a big difference between these types of audiophiles and the guy who sits there and spends his time listening instead of impressing with the status or look.

There are millions of people listening tonight to stereo or a stereo/AV setup, and honestly when I have talked or visited a lot of these guys who collect it's surprising how little listening they really do. They might have the greatest music collection on the planet but it only gets played when an audio pal comes over. It's pretty easy to spot a listener vs a 20 minute demo-er. And that's cool, if that's what this is to him or her I get it, been there. but today we have a whole new world and I would think that the high end audiophile world would welcome it.

I mean think about it, you have a 3 year old high End Audio setup and it is no longer considered relevant. Now something is really screwed up with that. BTW the drums on "The End" Doors, is slaming tonight in the room. the bass is floating and smooth and those drums are cracking.

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PostSubject: Re: Stereophile forum   Sun May 04, 2014 8:53 am

Interesting and thought provoking prospective. I often hear about folks that purchase high cost equipment to impress there friends. I wonder if it has more to do geographically than of status. Here in small town Canada there's a large number of audiophile/music lovers but I don't know of one that purchases audio gear because of prestige. Are audio club has some very influential members including doctors and dentists but I can't think of a single one that doesn't spend a great deal of time listening to music and tuning there systems. We are always trying different things, A/B testing, temporarily swapping equipment listen for changes and generally having a blast.
 Some members have small systems in small apartments, some have outrageous systems and homes to match, but it's there dedication to audio and music that makes them all equally interesting to visit.
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PostSubject: Re: Stereophile forum   Sun May 04, 2014 10:02 pm

Hi Tim

I have experienced the same thing in traveling to Canada and other countries outside of the US. It is for me almost culture shock to land in the US after visiting other areas. In the US there is a lot of trophy shopping that takes place, not only in audio but other hobbies or interest. When I do my world listening tours, I find that the listeners in areas like Hong Kong for example have rooms that are more music shrines as opposed to the US that almost makes any excuse not to get serious about the sound. For Example the US created the WAF. In no other country I ever traveled to did the audiophile pull me aside and tell me why I couldn't move something. In the US it's almost fights breaking out over a piece of art that can't be moved or keeping the living room first and the system second. Can you imagine spending hundreds of thousands on a system and shoving it into a fully furnished living room, and standing there saying, I have the club coming over to heard it, do what you have to do but don't touch anything.

The clubs I attend in other countries have a system setup and people take turns listening then go into another room and talk. It the US they stand in the same room with the system and talk shop as if the talk is what it is about and not the listening. They want to hear the speaker's theories then move on to talk about why this can or can not work. In other countries they line up to have me tweak their systems. If I came to visit you for example and said I would like to show you how tuning by making something lighter is better, you would say show me. In the US you would say nonsense but never give me the chance to actually do a show and tell.

This is what separates the listeners in the US from the audiophiles. I'm not saying this as the way that it is all over the US, but this is a general difference.

Let me share something that might blow peoples minds. I have at times been at a magazines (more than one) main listening center while reviews were going on. I'm not saying this is the way it is or all over, but I am saying you have (if in the hobby for a while) read these reviews. I have been there when the reviewer sat with a note pad writing as they listened to maybe a minute of each song and flipped through several songs on different Lps or Cd's then got up as if it was a wrap. No burn in at all, turn the system on, play the songs, turn the system off, go write. A wall of bedding foam behind the listeners ears, a coffee table in front of the listening position and equipment boxes in the room.

also

One of the other tough things about clubs, and there is really nothing anyone can do about this one, is A/B testing. It takes about (this is a rounded number) 7 days for a cable change to settle in. It also takes several days for a system to settle after a few changes are made. When a change is made it disrupts the flow in all the parts, and even the most basic of changes don't even start to really gel again for an hour or so. Ever notice how everyone after about 3 changes starts to question their abilities to hear the differences? This isn't only the psychoacoustic part, but also the signal has been thrown into shock. It's like throwing a rope up in the air and marking where it lands, then throwing it up again and watching it land somewhere else. I should also add that turning on and off systems make these same problems happen all over again. It isn't that you let your system warm up to the same place after a few minutes of warm up. The reality is that the system has to completely reboot and that can take days of settling.

I'll give an example of this. When I first put on the recording I'm listening to right now. Just by opening the drawer and it shutting and the other parts needing to align again, it sounded pretty good, but after an hour this was a new recording, and now after almost a day the difference between now and then is shocking.

I hope people reading this don't think that I am down on reviewing or clubs, cause that would be incorrect. I am however cautious about people being on the same page in this hobby and think that if others toured as I have there would be some shocked looks on faces.

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