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PostSubject: audio industry discussion continued   Sat Jun 07, 2014 8:05 pm

I'm happy we are having this discussion on the audio industry. I figure it deserves it own space. Here's a link to Hiend001's thread where the talk got started http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/t169p90-hiend001-s-system

Everything has a history and history is usually told from different angles. What a lot of people were talking about as steps forward I was seeing as performance backward. When I did my audiophile/studio tour starting in 1987, I was expecting to see something much different than what I got. I was expecting "think tanks" where the designers were going from the studio through to the end users room. To be honest I thought I was going to be behind in my own test facilities, but was shocked to see how far ahead of the curve I was. You picture High End Audio as being the heart of stereo thinking, but what I saw was an industry that was almost completely removed form the real industry. You say the word NAMM to an audiophile and they say what? NAMM is the pro version of CES. Somewhere along the way there was a disconnect in the industries thinking separating the musical instrument from the electronic side. Engineers mainly couldn't make the connection between vibrating instruments and vibrating electric instruments. In their minds they couldn't put the cello in the same room with the loudspeaker. Both should be doing the exact same thing but because the gutts (electronic part) of the loudspeaker was designed by engineer types, they somehow turned the speaker, which was suposed to be a vibrating air support system into a totally different technology. Speakers have always sounding like their cabinets, and if you look at the guitar amp speaker cabinet you will see a wide range of vibrating styles and types, but in the audiophile/studio world some how the engineer took a twist from vibrating and air moving to trying to make only air moving as the technology.

You have to look at the history and timeline when all this was taking place. It didn't take much to sell tech-talk to consumers. Audiophile on it's own gives the impression of a guy who is part listener and part engineer type. All you had to do was open up the chain of Radio Shack stores and the audiophile/tech was born. You had two basic worlds in the early days of stereo. One the stereo makers, and the second the Heathkit warriors. Heathkit had two main sell goals, one was the making of kit components, and the other was making Kit test equipment to allow the tech/hobbyist to be an engineer. As this started to play out what we know as High End Audio was born. These were people who were not in the mainstream audio product building industry. They were mainly hobbyist/engineers. These people did not take their cues from the music world. They were more test bench designers than music producers. Many of the hobby magazines were born from this breed.

As the industry became more popular the divide between the music instrument world, studio, concert, home audio and High End got bigger. These industries that started as joint ventures were now split up the more clickish they got. And the strangest thing happen. No longer was the musical instrument the reference to sound. Test equipment was not accurate enough to measure the entire musical spectrum, but it was what was being used by the high end designer to make components. At first, with companies like Marantz and McIntosh still being accepted into this new fold there was a bridge. But High End Audio wanted to be it's own club and the mainstream was pushed out of the way by the magazines even though they had the most advanced developement facilities. "High End Audio parts" started being made and components that did not have these "parts" were deemed to be inferior. It only took a couple of reviews to pull this off and the mainstream was out of the picture as far as the audiophile was concerned, but they weren't really listening and comparing, cause this industry was still way too young for this. No one knew how to setup a room and the audiophile was to busy reading the new monthly reports to pay attention. The high end listener was learning how to listen to this new world, a journey that would take many years for most, and the magazines were feeding equipment to them as fast as they could get it made. The reviewer became the authority on what was good or bad and because of the mad rush to be a part of this hobby the audiophile became the revenue to push things along.

You have to remember all this happened in a relative short amount of time.

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PostSubject: Re: audio industry discussion continued   Sat Jun 07, 2014 11:26 pm

I think maybe you guys are getting an interesting view, and have put on your thinking caps or are ready to dismiss the possibility that the high end audio club has created a few missteps and might be a little too proud to admit it, so let me keep painting the history.

I was a stereo store owner at the age of 21. I was also still doing some touring and engineering. Before this I spent 5 years on tour/studio full time. I had a tutor for studies finishing out my extented schooling years. During my store days I had one foot in the pro world and one in the home audio world. A unique place to be cause I was able for many years to reference the music in a way that very few audiophiles have ever seen, and very few studio engineers ever got into. I saw the music world go from a united front to a separated marketing plan. Think of your stereos in 1975 and look at the changes that happened in the next 15 years. This is a drop in the bucket for technology developing and yet the entire industry was shaped into  sellable categories. I was too young to be involved in the 60's but remember what it looked and sounded like through the ears of my family, but to think that we only got stereo in 59 (on a mass scale) and the industry was barely getting it's feet underneath it in the 70's. We were going through reel to reel, 8 track, cassettes, records and FM. Most people at that time didn't even pull their speakers into the room to listen. They were flat against to wall or in the corners. There was no such thing as tuning a room. Furniture, foam and blankets were used to deaden the sound. So to think that High End Audio heathkit engineers had a handle on the absolute sound was a vision being painted but far from reality.

Now I rarely do this but want to prove a point and don't know any other way. In my store I carried a lot of different brands, If you looked at the Stereophile recommended component lists there was a good chance the product was in my store. Especially the off beat exotic ones. I did carry B&W, PSB, Rotel and AR but that was about as mainstream as I got after I dove into high end. My store became a revolving door for the audiophile listening test site guy. I tried everything and did everything. Tim mention cleaners, I think I had cleaner buyer tattooed on my forehead and every sales guys saw it. I had so many tweaks in my store I had to build a room just to view them. I carried several audiophile recorded companies and had 27 turntables along with several record cleaners like Nitty Gritty. I sold Studer on the side, along with some studio stuff, and even sold a few instruments (specialty drums mostly). Some of my stores included studio rooms where you could go in and jam. Tubes, I did CJ, beard, Jolida, Counterpoint, Laz, Audioble I, Quick Silver, Music R, AR, CAT, Cary (the short list) and personally owned many others. I had Wilson, Avalon, ML, Maggies, SoundLab, Emninet, Clements, Kindle, Decote', Garvais, PSB, AR, paradym, Spectrum, Proac, B&W, Marquis, Dali, Spika, Apogee, Acoustat, Energy, Norman, Fostex and I'm sure I'm forgeting a ton. Solid state, of course AR and AR, Classe, B&K, Rotel, Kenergetics, Sumo, Coda, Arcam, Greek, Winngate, Superphon, Marantz, Mag Dinlab, Hafler, Pass, Symphonic L, Music Hall, Parasound, vector, NAD, Nac, Kyocera, Luxman, amber, 47, stax, Krell, wadia and just getting started. 5 stores worth.

So you can see I was well dug in when the listening happened. It started with things like Rotel and B&K going from super killers to dull and flat sounding, and the speaker lines getting beatup by Decote'. The big names, well they had one good sounding piece and the rest junk. I'm not going to name them but you know. And then I had a amp failure that forced me to find a quick replacement up at TuneVilla. I grabbed a set of MA700 Marantz and replaced my $25,000 set, and sat there with my jaw on the floor. This was before I stripped things down and was only doing top tuning. After my big amps were fixed, I couldn't help myself and over the next year did some serious showdowns. The MA 700's and Parasound and original ST140 with Roger's and Stan's pres when needed was kicking the grap out of the industires best. I settled on the MA's and Parasound because of the volume controls and made simple systems that were distroying the high end audio stuff. I'm not pulling your leg , tore them up Exclamation I'll be honest I didn't know what to do. No one was going to believe me, but everyone who came in walked out with a set of MA700's. We're talking 30-40 sets in two or 3 months. When they discontinued I bought the remaining stock.

Then the stripping down of components got serious and the game was over. There was no high end anywhere that could come close and I brought it all in to test cause I couldn't believe my own ears. Just months before I was thrilled with the way the industry was sounding then almost like a sweep the look and designs changed and that was it. I can remember the reps coming to my place and sitting there in total denial. "well your doing something wrong". No, I was doing something right and all the guys who got turned on to the simple systems heard it to. The industry changed.

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PostSubject: Re: audio industry discussion continued   Sun Jun 08, 2014 9:17 am

Interesting comment about cleaners and your room full of other tweaks. Go into a high end store and see if you can find anything even close now. A few years ago when I visited my favorite high fi salon ( they all know me by name ) and asked about cleaning devices for cable connections and for CD's they all looked a me strangely, they all thought it was worthwhile, a great thing to do but didn't stock any of the necessary devices and had no intention of doing so, no money in getting improved sound for cheap I guess. And ask about room tunes, all the sales folks agreed that it was a great way to improve the sonic ability of your room and system, but no such devices were present to look at and evaluate, but I was told if I went on line and found what I wanted they could likely help me. As soon as I here people telling me to go on line it's an automatic deal breaker. These fine folks would much rather sell boxes than help audiophiles tune into good sound at a cost affective price. And what happened to the good old days when sales folks would come out and help setup new equipment and work to make things sound right, evaluate the system and environment and make suggestions on what changes to work on ?



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PostSubject: Re: audio industry discussion continued   Sun Jun 08, 2014 9:50 pm

Seeing these changes in the people who were suppose to be the listeners guiding lights was a real eye opener for me as well.

When I did my audio tours something magical happened. Some say it was me, but I didn't understand because I was only doing what was natural for me to do, "tune". I didn't know that the industry was going to loose it's enthusiasm for the art of music reproduction. I looked at these designers as a source of energy ready to spill out on us and as stores being this great group of people in the know and the reviewers as the introducers to a hobbies gateway of pleasure. But then this hobby turned business and all bets were off. It was like the collective audio brains all of a sudden got the command to put it in neutral. Guys who I thought I knew in the business as being listeners  turned into guys seeking orders. I realized that I was called upon to travel with them cause they knew I would deliver the sound, but as the trade show part of these tours went on I started to notice that the designers and deal makers were no where to be found. They were off selling numbers while I was tuning the shows (go back and read the show reports). The magazines were covering me showing up to tune and listen, but there is no mention of the other designers in the middle of the tuning. One review I remember said "we loved the sound of the system but didn't know if it was Michael's stuff or the sound of the speakers". This made the designer mader than "H".

In a matter of a few short years I saw the industry change dramatically. I can name you 10 companies right off the top of my head that had the intentions to build up their companies and sell it off, and get out of the audio biz. They were good at sh-musing and getting close to the reviewers but weren't even listeners. They were very entertaining personalities and would find out what recordings people were going to use at the shows and learn the right cues to talk about and when the shows were going on walking into rooms and put their talents to work. They would actually convince people to listen to one part of one song and sell the product based on that. Look at how people claim Jazz and Classical are the only audiophile sources of music. This was a well planed out scam so that audiophile designers would be able to sell their products based on easy to play music.  Every year you could go through the show and see the same easy to play recordings sitting in every room.

An important piece of high end audio history is to look at not what companies came on during the 80-95 period but how many companies disappeared during this time. Great sounding companies of the 80's were gone. No longer to stay relevant because they were not building "new" designs that could be talked about. The industry was focused on coming out with something new every month and if you had an old design (no matter how good it was) there was nothing new to talk about. So if you didn't have ad money or money to throw at shows you were gone. I understand that magazines ran the biz and designers didn't have the best of biz sense, but this was not the way to help people get great sound on a long term basis, this was a way to keep selling to the same people over and over. As a result the sound got worse and worse cause the products being made were not as good as someones best efforts. The great products went by the wayside and the new product regardless of sound had to be introduced to keep the readers happy.

If we stopped right now and went back a picked through the great products during the time this was starting to happen and brought these products in to compare to todays best it would be a slaughter. I'm not talking about the past boat anchors, I'm talking about those one up products that were amazing sounding and took our breath away. Easy to setup up and tune in as well. Many times unfortunately these products were not QCed properly but if you got to know the designer you could have him work on the product in person or give advice. This is when High End Audio was at it's best. High End Audio does not know how to mass produce nor should it have tried to. The sonic compromizes are just too great. When they started doing fancy cabinets the sound was gone. Now we can debate why but this doesn't change the fact that turning high end audio products into a mass produced industry was a bad thing.

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PostSubject: Re: audio industry discussion continued   Sun Jun 08, 2014 10:45 pm

now the next chapter

The next chapter of what took place is the part that is tough for the high enders to swallow but true from this listeners ears.

If you back up a little you will see when the problems happened in the high end audio part. The great sounding stuff got pushed to the side and high end became mass produced and lost it's focus on music only. The price tag became the classes and not the sound.

But lets take a look at what else was going on. As high end was decreasing in both numbers and sound the mass produced companies, once considered as mid fi or low end (beneath the audiophile), started showing up with some products that were designed for sound. As I was about ready to give up on my search I started running across products that were killing the sound of the high end. This got me looking into these companies more and what I discovered was a listeners paradise. I take off the covers of these products and find High End Audios signature all over these designs. Extremely well thought out designing and detail to things even the audiophile products didn't think of. For example floating boards with amazing bottom chassis designs. Something that blows away the high end audio and to my thinking is telling me these guys have past up the high enders on a few levels of designing.

are you shocked  Shocked you should be

Then I start thinking, it wasn't so wise for high end audio to do their bench designing excluding the mass production companies with their abilities to go much further then a bench approach. I look at these mass produced companies and see things that blow away the high enders. For another example far better sounding circuit boards. While the high end is involved with talking and debating of circuit boards not resonating, the mass produced companies are building circuit boards that are blowing away the sound of the heavier counterparts. BLOWING THEM AWAY. It is not even close. I haven't but only scratched the surface on exploring these companies but I am guessing that Sherwood & FUNAI is the tip of the iceberg and I'm seeing a few lower mass products out there that I bet are also going to be screamers.

So, as I look at what is going on the mass producting guys have beaten the high end at their own game and have added some tricks of their own to the advancements of stereo performance, making high end audio looking pretty out of date in the proccess.

Will the high end audio audiophile realize these things and move forward or will the next generation of listener even care? It's my guess that so much pride is built up in the dusty annals of the pricey snobery part of the industry that it will be hard to move the guys over to a much better, amazingly less expensive, hobby that has replace the old with the new. I see this as just starting but as a listener/designer being dedicated to sound first and foremost, I feel this is nothing but good. Good for the music lover and great for the pocket book. I see mass produced and expensive audio products now on an even playing field with the advantage swinging back to the mass produced. As for a true high end audio I now see tuning fitting in nicely and being the next step. To me it's so obvious that variable tuning needs to be a part of the extreme listeners event that it's a no brainer and while the industry is going through this next chapter and learning how do deal with it I will be looking at making tuning fit in with the components and speakers design.

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PostSubject: Re: audio industry discussion continued   Tue Jun 10, 2014 1:59 am

I was a little surprised to see how many people have decided to read this thread when I looked today.

Did we think that high end audio was going to stay the same? We would keep building heavy components and set our speakers on either side of them? And this would tell us that we were able to see if an expensive product could out perform a product that has the latest in technology but built at a price that anyone can afford?

 No 

You have to give attention to methods of listening to be able to tell which components sound better and have a better chance of playing the music. I'm at this very moment playing opera, a piece of music that burns the head off of high end audio tweeters and the people listening to them. On the high end systems I have played this on that were over built they all reacted not the same but not so good. The frequencies gathered in the upper registors and beamed or there was a weird dampened sound as the vocals raised. On all of these systems as I took the rubber surround gaskets out from behind the tweeters the beaming was reduced, but now you could hear the cabinets shifting up in pitch. The components were also causing a collapse of tone around the vocals and in every step of the way I could hear the tone return in the recording. I should also point out that there were reference systems setup where the problems did not happen so I was able to do comparisons.

Doing A/B testing in a very slow manor helped me to see why and how the overbuilt products would fail. I also used others ears on these adventures. One of the most important discoveries was that the lower mass, mass produced products never did fall apart in areas where the high end products excelled in. I kept searching for something the pricey products could do that the inexpensive ones wouldn't . It never happened. The most I got was some of the products added flavors that lended themselves better to certain types of music but this only made them fall apart more with other types. I needed to go back though and compare against the products of old. Back before the obvious sonic change in the industry. What I found here was interesting. Not all the products were able to keep up with the new technology but some of the old school products were fantastic, especially in the area of bass texture and softness of air around instruments. Comparing the older high end against the newer high end was eye opening. I guess the best way to discribe this was the new high end never sounded warmed up. There was always something edgey or incomplete along with a rubbery sound to the instruments. A glare was there in almost every component I tried that wasn't in the old school. People may say that's the music being cleaned, but if you did the same comparisons you would say glared. Have audiophiles gotten use to this sound and accepted it? It's there loud and clear if you let yourself hear it. If someone is not going to take the time to compare old against new then at least take the covers off of the components and listen, Hear it? Take off as much chassis as you can and take that stupid piece of rubber off the transformer. Hear it? It just opened up didn't it? That's part of it. Modern day high end chassis are closing in the sound. Their traping the fields to interfear inside the cabinets. Do it, or have your electrician do it. You will hear it open up but your will also be able to point at the remaining glare cause now you know what it sounds like.

So what else is different?

Old school and mass produced have similar sounding ciruit boards. There's more of a low pitch tone in these circuit boards compared to newer high end. I remember this change clearly. All of a sudden there were heavier circuit boards being used in more expensive components. When comparing this gives a far more sterile sound. Audiophiles can call this detail, but it's sterile, and there is a loss of info. Place the old school next to the new and you will hear more instruments. What more instruments, impossible? Listen for yourself, part of the music content is missing. It's like someone came in with a cloth and cleaned off part of the notes and left others to be swept away. This starts to explain why high end can't play complicated music, part of the music is not able to form and as a result you get soundstage holes and freqency peaks. Which also explains another event, listening fatigue. it's a fact that when harmonics can't form the oscillations of the fundamentals goes sharp or flat. I knew I would be able to bring instruments back in  Laughing . What is it that makes music notes work? The support system of harmonics. And how do harmonics form? through stimulating vibration growth. High End Audio has killed the harmonics.

Go into a small room with instruments and listen to instruments play. Harmonics all over the place. Now go in and listen to your high end system play. Dead as a door nail. Again walk over in the live room, now back to your stereo. Hear how the live room brings your room into the music? Your stereo should be doing the same thing. Why isn't it? Well what are the instruments doing that the stereo equipment isn't? VIBRATING  Exclamation Exclamation Idea Exclamation Exclamation  keep reading  Arrow Arrow study Arrow Arrow What does the old school do more than the new school? Vibrate, and what does the low mass production products do differently than the high end? They vibrate.

We're seeing that High End Audio products are not vibrating enough and they are holding in the fields.

I also want to swing this into the perfect system of today bacause for the guy who is starting to think about high end there could be fun days ahead of you.

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PostSubject: Re: audio industry discussion continued   Tue Jun 10, 2014 8:50 am


Hi Michael

In the absence of (or knowledge of the existence of) the Tune, perhaps this is a reason why some people are finding music in the old stuff. Just this last weekend Sonic heard a big buck system with digital front ends weighing a ton, interconnects that are heavy enough to pull a lightweight component of its shelf and isolation devices.

The track played was something I am familiar with but there was no music. Just sound that was dead and shifted up in pitch. Funny how once you learn to recognize an upward shift, you find how common it is in hi-end gear. In this system the bass did not flow, it was tight in a way that you don't hear in live sound. The kick drum was hammering in tone. That's not slam....that's colouration.

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PostSubject: Re: audio industry discussion continued   Tue Jun 10, 2014 10:01 am

Hi Sonic

I think if people in this hobby stopped what they were doing right now and were able some how to go back to when this all started, back to when high end was making real steps forward and instead of trying to be the king of looks I guess is one way of saying it, and would have kept focusing on how to make the signal more flexible this would all have come out differently. I don't neccessarily see this as a bad thing because now we have inexpensive components that sound great, but it will mean that many companies are either going to have to make a fast change or try to fool the public and I really hope this part of the hobby doesn't head that direction more than it has. I honestly don't think the high end right now understands that they are not the front runners they think they are, but it is surprising to me that they can't hear the sound drifting away from musically. That to me is strange.

If I were one of these guys I'd be coming out with an inexpensive line before the knowledge gets too widespread. I can't imagine too many more people buying into this frankly not so good sounding stuff much longer. One has to wonder when the average audiophile is going to say enough is enough. The audiophile after a while you would think would say, well I bought this component now I'm replacing it, and replacing it again. Somewhere along the way they have got to catch on that this is just going in a circle.

At the same time though it's so exciting the see the lower and mid price coming back to life. I hope people catch on and support this. It could mean that we have a chance to see the audiophile world begin to grow again. As for me, I don't care if it's with an inexpensive hobby. I think the hobby has been way out of balance for years. Wouldn't it be remarkable if the stereo store came back? A concept that could happen if things were made reasonable again. I don't think they would be the same as before (a wider range of products would be needed) but they could be more attractive, helping people get into the listening hobby. I see this happening with some audio companies and they are packed with business.

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PostSubject: Re: audio industry discussion continued   Wed Jun 11, 2014 9:40 am


Hi Michael

Yes, I hope the affordable to mid-market part of audio comes back. I think designers have come up with all sorts of outlandish ideas and charged outlandish prices and customers will vote with their wallets.

You say the high end may not be at the cutting edge they think they are. Sonic will go one step further -- that part of the industry might be closer to death than they think.

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PostSubject: Re: audio industry discussion continued   Wed Jun 11, 2014 6:22 pm

Hi Sonic

Yes, I would say they have built themselves into a tight corner. I remember back in the 90's I went to an industry meeting and they were talking about how to make high end more attractive. I stood up and said "more demoing". "the shows need us to produce better sound" I added "if you come to a show every year and there is something new every year, then it needs to sound better every year" , "if we stop showing that we are getting better through our demos we will loose the attention of the listener". Kevin Hayes of VAC stood up and said with a bit of a snotty tone "who are you?" I believe it was George Cardas who then answered "the next millionare in the audio business". Point being if the industry of high end audio can not put on a better listen than the mass produced than it is only a matter of time.

An industry can only make a shiny box for so long. If that shiny box doesn't deliver up to it's looks and price, it's only a matter of time before someone blows away that shiny box with something that sounds much better. High End Audio guilt will only go so far. You can only fool so many people for so long before someone somewhere decides to put listening to the test. And when that happens the dominoes fall quickly.

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PostSubject: More demoing   Wed Jun 11, 2014 8:22 pm


I agree more demoing. But has anyone noticed these great audio shows are exclusive to a half dozen cities, N.Y. , Vegas , Toronto , Montreal , Chicago , and Newport. What about the other hundred or so large cities ? These shows have been going on for years in the same few places and I doubt they will attract many new music lovers. Toronto is the closest to me at 2000 miles, not a journey many audiophiles will make let alone newbies. I realize you need the right logistics, large enough population, enough local dealers that will partake, close enough to be convenient for manufactures, etc, etc. But is spreading the word first hand to less than 5% of the population a well though out game plan?

As far as higher end equipment goes, I've moved slowly from low fi to mid fi to lower upper end over the past 4 decades and have no regrets, the sonic improvements have been wonderful and eye opening, whether every dollar has been spent cost effectively and to the best of it's ability is another question.

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PostSubject: Re: audio industry discussion continued   Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:23 pm

Hi Tim and Gang

I did the same thing, only with 5 stores worth of equipment to do it with. I moved up the scale then crashed and forced to move back down. When I found the more open product and tried to move back up again, by opening up yet another store in Nashville it took me all of a week or two to realize it was not going to happen. The mass produced products had taken over, but at this time there were only a couple of choices because both High End and mid fi were suffering.

At the time I had a really plush penthouse suite at "the Cumberland Nashville" and converted this place into a studio and listening palace. 3000+ square feet of listening and referencing.  The systems I was putting in my personal space were smashing the high end stuff down at the store.  However this meant that I had to stick with very few choices for a few years. High End Audio was inching mid fi by a little except for a few Parasound pieces and 2 Marantz pieces. Pretty funny being a high end designer and only having these choices, but at that time I had moved on to stripping components which is a level that I can only brag on cause until one hears it no one would believe it type of thing. I tried to then bring a few products in to listen to but the same thing kept happening. I would go to the CES and get some stuff and  tweak the heck out of it but no go, that little Parasound and MA700's tuned were not going to let anyone walk on them. I would name some of the other brands tried but I'm a little afraid of a designer backlash. I finally had to go back to some used gear before I found the magic again, and this was a huge eye opener as well. Some of this old stuff sounded pretty darn good so I tried again here in Vegas to bring back in High End and again dog meat as compared to both the stripped mid and the old stuff. I did find a few pieces when stripped that sounded ok and even good but couldn't justify spending all that money only to strip something down.

So, I bought a bunch of oldies but goodies and was a tuning fool at the same time I was listening to some products for a client, getting nowhere. The Oldies again were killing them. And so I said ok I'm going to stick to this tore down Pioneer for a while and really liked the sound but because I was experimenting I could see I was going to run out of units, so by chance I said I always wanted to play with that little sherwood not really thinking it would do much. I remember opening it up and saying to myself "Mid Fi, you got to be kidding me". I was pretty freaked out by how advanced it was. Out of the box on it's own feet and just plugged in I was like "oh no, oh well" , it sounded like a tin can and I was thinking just use it for a test receiver in the soldering room. At the same time though another component I got in fried on me, so I stuck the Sherwood in the back room system. I woke up like two nights later and said what's that. I went in the room and heard some drums sounding pretty nice so I unplugged this unit and took it into my soldering room for a tear down. After I got it done and set it back up, this receiver grabbed me by the ears and said listen to me fool (kinda in a mr. T voice). I sat there for about 3 days straight, playing in the room and tweaking on stuff. "what have we here" I thought. Then I talked Bill333 and Drewster into getting one of these so I could come listen. I waited a little then flew to Chicago. Holy smokes I was right, this amp is a bad boy, and when I got home and the unit burnt in past 3, 4 months it did what I was hoping it would do. That bass definition with the FUNAI was right on the money and I started to find I could tune this thing just like my Marantz and Parasound. In fact there's something about the amazing depth detail on this unit that goes to a place that is unbelievable. There's an inner harmonic character thats is stuning.

I have put the Sherwood up against some serious tubes and solid state and it hasn't missed a beat. Now I'm here to tune anything and not to stay or get close minded so if high end has something out there I'm not going to shut the door on it. And i think this is more about tuning than watching any component beating up the next, but I have to say I am very curious now about Sony and Yamaha and some of the other mass produced products out there.
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Guys I needed to edit this cause this is not about me naming brands and making specific brands look bad. I will be honest though I am very tempted to mention the units that I have brought in that you know nothing about and expose them, and if I had a way of wording it without it sounding like I'm here to beat up I would.

But as much as I am here to may help people see a new world  I'm not ready to (as a designer) put my neck that far on the chopping block, but boy am I tempted No 

Lets just put it this way, if you guys want to be shocked try one of these little setups and be prepared to be amazed.

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PostSubject: Re: audio industry discussion continued   Wed Oct 29, 2014 10:31 pm

As I have seen happen every time the conversation once people start "doing" comes back around to simplicity. Take a peek at this thread.

http://www.stereophile.com/content/you-want-dynamics

How many times do we see this happen Idea the conversation will stay in the typical high end audiophile fasion then someone comes along after listening to a simple setup and is affraid by the dynamics?

No matter how many spins and circles take place it is always going to come back to simple, low mass and then of course tuning.

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