Surround sound for music is a dumb idea

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tonyE

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Well you are moving in the right direction with the RME. I would have that in my system any day.

My auto mechanic got a pair of two panel per side Magneplanars. I was in the process of trying to set him up with a pair of subwooofers for them.
I went over there one day and they were gone. He said he had burned them. (He is a very very impatient fellow under certain circumstances) It seems the adhesive failure had occured in these which were older. All I could say was "Ya shoon't have done that" but it was way too late.

I repeat I don't want my power amps adding to the sound. That is not what they are supposed to do.. If they need upgrading they were not designed correctly in the first place.

I have been testing my seventies vintage (UNRECAPPED!!) gear on a local test bench and much to my surprise it mostly tests as good as new. The young man with the bench is an engineering student who just got an Audio Precision Analyzer.

If you want to build yourself some amps and have already built some chasis and split power supplies go over to Neurochrome and buy some modules from Tom Christenson. They should be able to drop right in and utilize the heat sinks you have. I found out about his product line because of the line posted by the late great Sigfried Linkwitz, "I don't know how to measure such low distortion" He of course had a day job as a Hewlett Packard instrument engineer. Audio was just a slumming hobby for him.
....

I have two excellent vintage turntables but have not purchase a vinyl record since the 1980s.

Your mechanic was careless. Were those early 70s Timpani? First off, they don't need a subwoofer! You just don't take a 40 year old product and hammer it.. .and amps from the 70s don't sound so good compared with modern amps... sorry, but the best of them simply subtract but many of them, like the SAE solid state stuff, grates on my nerves.... use that Levinson Num 20 as an arc welder but not to drive music!

I just took my Marantz 2325 and Sansui G7500 for full rebuilds. Both have very low miles but the Marantz had a leaking cap in the power supply. The fellow has yet to open the Sansui.

I have a collection of 70s vintage but I only power up the ones that I have had recapped because after 40 years you can not trust the electrolitics.

Oh, I use the RME to record my LPs at 24/96. A Linn LP12 fully upgraded (OK, the Lingo is about 15 years old now).
 
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par4ken

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I am not interested in vacuum tubes. Conventional wisdom happens to be correct that nature abhors a vacuum. When a glass envelope is sealed it immediately starts taking in hydrogen and helium which can diffuse through anything. Also all the guys that REALLY know how to make vacuum tubes are deceased or at least retired.
It would be a dull world if we all liked the same stuff. But don't try to tell me your conrad johnson is better than any number of modern preamps. I have repaired two or three of them and consider them to be updated Dyan PAS 3s.
I detested Audio Research equipment from the day they came out because 1) Their "research" was about how to extract the most money from audiophiles, not about improving audio. 2) they promoted the continuation of the use of vacuum tubes. 3) they have precious stupid circuitry that is very difficult to repair and adjust correctly. In my not humble opinion they are right up there with the best snake oil purveyors.

Mind you I started out with tube audio and I know enough about it to know that I am not the least bit interested in it. I rejected to first round of solid state preamps and power amps. In the mid seventies I worked in audio repair.
I built two Dyna PAT-4 a famously bad sounding preamp which both sounded identical and got sold quickly(circa 1969 iirc). I also built an abomination from Southwest Technical products. (198A preamp) Their power amps were pretty good. The preamp terrible. I lived with lots of Dyna Mk IIIs on the recommendation of my physicist friend.
Then I upgraded to Mac MC75s. The preamp had long been a C20 or C22. But tube preamps don't really like to drive solid state power amps so they all went away. In the mid 1970s.
Even with transformer coupling when your KT-88s start shorting out you don't like the sound it puts in your spikkers. I got rid of the MACS because good KT 88s (Gold Lion Genalex others) stopped being availble especially in matched pairs. I have seen people talk about GE tubes being good. Those are really the ones that made me run from them. I am not interested in tubes from Russia, china or other places. They are useful for guitar amps where the extra even harmonics are part of the instrument.

What all this really proves is how poor ears are at determining the merit of sound equipment. You get used to anything because of accomodation.
Too bad that you and many others aren't interested in tubes anymore. While I had always thought that tubes sounded better than transistors (i.e. Tube AM radios (home and auto) always sounded much better than their solid state counterparts and the old Viking tube stereo console sounded away better than the Sears solid state one). Despite my experience I bought into the idea that tubes were old fashioned, obsolete even. That attitude kept me from exploring tubes for hi-fi use any further UNTIL. I received a free copy of "Glass Audio" issue 0.

I first constructed Joe Curcio's electrostatic headphone amplifier and was at last able the listen to the pair of electrostatic phones purchased from surplus electronic dealer Etco years earlier. I've built a number of circuits from the pages of that magazine and none sounded at all bad.

I built Joe Curcio's "Daniel" preamplifier, or my version of it. That design was inspired by the designs of Audio Research. One important factor is the use of solid state voltage regulation, clean stable power helps to get the most out of the tubes. I was blown away by the sound it produced by it (and I don't apologise for my choice of words)! I was telling people at the time that my vinyl now sounded as good as CD"s. As I refined the unit, using Chris Paul's μ follower design instead of the original common cathode design and increasing the value of the output capacitors for better bass the sound kept improving. Switching from 6DJ8's to 6922/EC88CC to 7903/E188CC and finally to E288CC/8223. That last switch made the biggest difference although I did have to readjust the bias of the first stage. The 8223 tube has different electrical characteristics than the others. The 6922 and 7308 are industrial/military ruggedized versions of the 6DJ8, they don't necessarily sound any better. I don't advocate the use of tubes everywhere but I have become fanatical about their use in a phono preamplifier stage. They sound good in power amplifiers as well, I bi-amp using a solid state amplifier for the bass, tubes for mid/high. My vinyl rips (or needle drops) more often than not sound better than commercial CD's.
 

tonyE

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Back in the late 80s I found myself working at automating a metrology lab.

On the shelves they had lots of vacuum tubes... LOTS. All kinds, mostly mil-spec but some top of the line commercial.

All of them NOS -even by then.

Management decided that we didn't need them so they gave them all, 1000s, to us. I had a great time for years with my CJ preamp and ARC amps ( I had two then ). Rolled tubes galore.

I wish I had the time to build my own but I was too busy, but some of the other guys were building stuff for kicks. Yes, I had an extremely good headphone amp then. For free! And I could adjust the bias with a nice Bakelite knob that my coworker was installing.

Oh, I still have the old late 70s Radio Shack multi meter... in great shape too!
 

Kal Rubinson

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In the 70s Keith Monks had a uni pivot tonearm which used four little mercury baths instead of fine wires to bring the signal off the arm. It was terrible. He didn't spend enough money on the contacts that were mercury wetted and they became very noisy. Also mercury vapor even in small quantities is actually much more harmful than getting actual elemental mercury in your mouth. My stereo buddy came up with one and he played with it a while and then got rid of it very quickly.
Prior to Keith Monks version, that design was sold as the Audio and Design tonearm. I imported one from GB and kept a box of alcohol wipes on hand to wipe down the pins so it wasn't noisy. I still have some parts of it around somewhere. Call me a survivor. :)
 

Cyber 1

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I detest people that are charlatans. He pretends to help new audiophile with his kits and his appearances at amp camp. It is all a big front to make money which "after all we are not communists"

But I would bid you take a good hard look at Benchmark amps. They are expensive. But they deliver for the money. They are probably the highest SINAD amps available now. About $3,000 bucks per stereo 200 wpc. Better than what I have. But not enough better , to make me order about eight of them to replace a bunch of pretty good amps that I already have.

His First watt designs deliver more power in the distortion products than in the fundamentals. His Audiophool amps are outrageously overpriced.View attachment 75023

Here is everything you need to know about modern power amps in the light of the Audio Precision Analyzer which is way more sensitive than anyones ears.

Would have been interesting to have seen a Denon AVR-4800 in there
 

gene_stl

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People get excited because they invest a bigga fortuna in their record player (and remember that's all it is, it ain't th Space Shuttle)
 
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jimfisheye

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Something about tube circuits and amplifiers to consider.

The goal in passing signal from point A to B at nominal level even in tube gear was to be linear to a high degree. In a perfect theoretical world that would lead to tube, transistor, and op-amp circuits delivering the exact same perfect end result.

Tubes get 'interesting' when pushed beyond what was supposed to be the top of the window for signal though. The result isn't a cold clipped signal like digital or a scorched sounding transistor or op-amp clip. It's this beefy saturated compressed effect similar to intentionally dialing up some compression. People use this. Some recordings that might be a little underwhelming can be pushed to sound like they have more weight. The end result sounds subjectively better than the more clinical original.

Sometimes the end consumer will "master" a recording to their taste with not only their tone controls but by pushing the gain on tubes. With solid state amplifiers and digital front ends, that trick is NOT an option! You would have to dial up compression to recreate that and it's a unique flavor of compression/saturation. There isn't always a hard line in the sand between linear and saturation in some of these circuits either. And sometimes a little beefy push makes everyone in the room smile and say, "Yeah, that one sounds better!"

I don't mean to suggest all tube gear listeners are distortion fiends and this is some across the board thing! Please don't read too much into that and take it as insulting to the gear or the operator! Just thought it worth mentioning. Some analog gear is super easy to use and musical and sometimes it's for not necessarily being clinically linear.
 

tonyE

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...

In the 70s Keith Monks had a uni pivot tonearm which used four little mercury baths instead of fine wires to bring the signal off the arm. It was terrible. He didn't spend enough money on the contacts that were mercury wetted and they became very noisy. Also mercury vapor even in small quantities is actually much more harmful than getting actual elemental mercury in your mouth. My stereo buddy came up with one and he played with it a while and then got rid of it very quickly.
....

Your example of andean mercury troughs practically proves my point. reductio ad absurdem which is what the great majority of the audiophile industry is fomenting.

It's a lonely life when you don't see the humor in things, huh?

Besides, my mercury pools are extra virgin mercury extracted by eunuch monks who have never been below 8000 feet. They were imported into the US by Mexican Drug Gangs along side bales of dope. I had to pick them up on the beach South of Laguna.

And the biggest issue, other than the low pass filtering effect of the bunny suit is the red tag the EPA and the City keep posting on my front door... something about pollution... I dunno, my memory is not what it used to be. But there is a liquidity to the sound, a shimmering quality to the soundstage that is, literally, to die for.
 

tonyE

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.....
TonyE you keep using what I consider to be fairly "inexpensive" rhetorical devices but even if you worked in a metrology lab you obviously did not learn anything about signal processing. There is very very little that is magical about audio electronics. Noise level, Distortions (a couple of types) frequency response and ability to correct errors and deliver enough current, tell the entire story about amplifiers. How they sound is irrelevant to their merit. If all the aforementioned are covered correctly and near the state of the are they will sound better than stupid Nelson Pass Junque , tube amps, or the other self promoters in the footsteps of James Bongiorno (although at least his amps were pretty good). Talking about Greek philosophers is a poor attempt at establishing Logos but it is entirely irrelevant in this discussion. As is asking "Don't you listen??"

I spent years of my career figuring out how to measure stuff.... analog, video, RF and digital. When I was keeping my fingers on the soldering iron, as an R&D engineer, we constantly tried to understand how to best measure things. We NEVER sat back because, as engineers, it was our job to design and invent... and our designs proved it.

Even as I once smoked a $350K piece of Not For Flight equipment... hmm... bad manufacturing, connectors not keyd per design.

Now, if you tell me that listening to components is irrelevant, then I figure you're a Julian Hirsch kind of guy, so why be an audiophile? What's the point of having fun with your components? It sounds like we reached the peak of knowledge, which is precisely why I brought up the Classical Greek Scientific Method: they too KNEW everything, hence they saw no need to do any more research.

And, BTW, I'm into DIY nowadays, sometimes I'll buy B stock, but mostly it's DIY or used. I know a deal when I see one and I'm patient, but as an audiophile, I enjoy having equipment that makes the music sound this way or that way. Some of those "accurate" devices are, in my experience, unlistenable.

Call Nelson what you will, but you are wrong. The guy is very funny and puts out very good sounding stuff. A friend of mine has a pair of XA100.5s and they sound fantastic on his Nautilus speakers. I strongly recommend you LISTEN before you make such broad swipes. Indeed, it was your comment about Audio "Science" that prompted me to get engaged on this thread.
 

ummagumma

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I know someone who repairs really high end & expensive audio gear. He told me a lot of it sounds like crap.

So I reckon there is something to the "what does it sound like" factor, in addition to measurements & stats
 

Kal Rubinson

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I know someone who repairs really high end & expensive audio gear. He told me a lot of it sounds like crap.
With apologies in advance, I need to say that this is a common and annoying type of statement.
1. " I know someone who......" is hearsay that disconnects and insulates anyone from any responsibility for the statement.
2. The repairer is qualified to say that the subject gear is made like crap but is probably not qualified to say that it sounds like crap.
 

par4ken

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My only experience with Nelson Pass is from his DIY articles in Audio Amateur or it's successor publications. His designs are very minimalistic and as such can be built for very low cost. A quick look at his web site and I see prices aren't even mentioned. So it looks like he's selling his wares at premium prices. That practice is common in the Audiophile world for two reasons, small market and because they can get away with it. Some audiophiles have more money than brains but I don't fault them for that, there are a lot of worse ways that they could spend their money. I'm an audiophile on a budget, I look for bargains and DIY projects to match that of the high end offerings.
 

tonyE

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My only experience with Nelson Pass is from his DIY articles in Audio Amateur or it's successor publications. His designs are very minimalistic and as such can be built for very low cost. A quick look at his web site and I see prices aren't even mentioned. So it looks like he's selling his wares at premium prices. That practice is common in the Audiophile world for two reasons, small market and because they can get away with it. Some audiophiles have more money than brains but I don't fault them for that, there are a lot of worse ways that they could spend their money. I'm an audiophile on a budget, I look for bargains and DIY projects to match that of the high end offerings.

Hi designs are simple in that he tends to go for a two step amplifier: a voltage amp with a current follower of sorts. As it is, the end result is the choice of parts and the fact he likes to use devices that sound like tubes but have the long term reliability of solid state.

BUT, when you look at his Pass Labs boxes you see that he'll put as many as 20 FETs per side, in parallel. So the total parts count is astonishing.

I like Pass because he publishes most of his designs and they sound good. So, that's why I have DIY amplifiers at home. I've been looking for a used pair of Aleph 2s for years but never got in the right place at the right time, so I have the DIY A5 monos and the F5. Another thing is that his company is still around and they will fix 30 year old stuff, I have spoken to them about recapping the A2s (if I ever find a pair). This is something important, just as Conrad Johnson still does... the repair technician who upgraded my PV9 mentioned to me, over the phone, that he built that same preamp when new... that type of continuity is important.

Look, it's like this, you can buy cheap stuff and treat it as throw away or you can pay a bit more, get more initial quality but be assured that it can be maintained over the years.

Yep, a rabbit hole alright... Imagine! I have not even brought up my Lava Lamps and Light Organ. I put LEDs in the Lava Lamps and I think I broke them.... hmm... and I've been swapping 6550s for KT120s in my Light Organs.... they sound "redder"....
 
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tonyE

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You have fallen into the trap that @jimfisheye referred to above. I concede that tube equipment when pushed too hard runs out of steam somewhat more gracefully than solid state because it tends to produce more euphonic distortion and compress rather than crashing.

Julian Hirsch did more for audio than Nelson Pass, Ivor Tiefenbrun (Linn) , Julian Vereker (Naim) and Marc Levinson , put together. ....

You might ought to read what Floyd Toole and Sean Olive have to say. They test speakers in mono because stereo complicates testing too much. Completely blinded and double blinded. Maybe read Dr. Mark Waldrep's book. Of course I DID take to him immediately because he put in his book statements that I have been making for years.
...
Finally regarding the utterly false accusation that I don't listen. In 1977 I cranked up a stereo that was as good as I knew how to make it. There has been exactly one change in the system. The aforementioned Dyna Stereo 120 stopped working on one channel and I replaced it with the Quad which I had picked up because it was a good deal and looked to be a terrific amp. Everything else is original. The sources have switched between two turntables and the CD player has changed a few times over the decades, when they start getting spooky. They were always reasonably priced CD players, I never popped for a pricey one until I recently got a couple of Oppos. (205 and 105D) The system is stable and I am satisfied with the sound of it and I think I get to hear most of what is on the source material. But just as a check against my hearing I have a variety of measuring instruments to set the crossover with. Most recently an Audio Control one third octave analyzer SA-3051. I also had a very elaborate hearing exam performed five years ago as part of a study at Central Institute for the Deaf where they are trying to improve software for Cochlear Implants. My hearing is pretty good for an old geez though I think I want it checked again soon.

(1) Julian Hirsch was an old hack. He was stuck in a world of oscilloscopes, power meters and frequency generators. He seldom, ever?, measured stuff in the time domain.. he might have done the odd square wave but never did measure rise times, ringing, frequency based time delay, phase shift, spectral decay, etc.... his loads were resistive, never inductive. So, his tests were typical steady state at a time when solid state transistors, with the exception of Sony's VFETs, sounded mostly like crap.

(2) You've had the same setup since '77. Your original amp was a Dyna Stereo 120, the solid state unit. Still listening to Red Book. Have Chochlear Implants. Enjoy your unit, my hearing got checked too, a sharp, very narrow notch at 400Hz on the right side due to having worked for years in labs with power transformers at 400Hz, still hearing up to 15Khz.

(3) You use an Audio Control Analyzer? In your stereo? WTH for? Let me guess, you no longer really listen... you just fire up the analyzer and sit there watching it analyze music. Well, honestly, what's the point of having a stereo then?

As you pointed elsewhere, you described your stereo in your "new member" description. So, let me ask you, if you keep you system so steady, never change stuff and do comparative listening, why do you think you are an authority of how audio components sound? After all, you only listen to the same stuff, over and over and over. I figure people who keep making changes, are the ones that would know a lot more about this than you, huh?

BTW, I have not listed my audio equipment since I keep adding to the collection and making changes to the system. And, my Linn LP12 with Lingo, Trampolin, Ekos and Grado Master 2 sounds much better than it's original state when I bought it.

You have lots of opinions but a very narrow experience.
 
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tonyE

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Well this thread has certainly turned into a rabbit hole. And the rabbits are showing some teeth :eek:

The truth has a way of biting biases, huh? ;-)

One of the fun parts about being an audiophile is learning about the stuff available and looking around for some good old equipment that is worthwhile restoring and keeping around. There have been so many great designs made that it's sort of sad to go out and buy a brand new unit. Unit in digital, you can still find good deals... I got my RME ADI Pro FS B used at a 25% discount.

Here's an interesting essay... I think I might buy a CJ Premier One, if I can find one at a reasonable price and get it shipped home.... up in the running, of course, is an ARC VT200 MkII.

 

LuvMyQuad

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The truth has a way of biting biases, huh? ;-)
The truth? What a concept. But keep in mind, everyone's truth is just as valid as your own.

I'm of a different mindset I guess. I buy equipment I like and keep it until technology advances to the point where I have to change it out of necessity or it breaks down. The last time I had a major change for necessity was to get HDMI input capability. Now its on to Atmos capability. I don't have the time nor the desire to keep hunting down and changing out equipment. I'm in it for the music, not the gear.

I haven't played physical disks in years. I handle them only to rip them to my NAS, then store them away. They are a nuisance because of the storage problem. I still have a turntable that only gathers dust, an Oracle Delphi, Black Widow arm, MC cart. All highly regarded equipment back in its day. I use it occasionally now to demonstrate to the odd vinyl aficionado (who always seem to be convinced that vinyl sounds so much better) that hi res digital out performs it under A/B test. So I guess the truth does have a way of biting eh?

I used high end tube gear for a time back in my stereo days. Audio Research SP-6, D-150s, with bi-amped Magneplanar Tympani 1-D's (an upgrade from Dahlquist DQ-10s). A lot of that was purchased on the basis of what the underground rags thought of it at the time. But it wasn't satisfying to me. I listen to rock, not classical (I tried it, it's not my thing). After a while I came to realize the tube components were distortion machines. The distortion was euphonic maybe, but it was distortion none the less. I also realized that for what I was listening to there was better equipment to be had. One day I sold it all and never looked back.

Edit: I just realized, both my old amps and speakers are mentioned in the article you posted.
 

jimfisheye

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I buy equipment I like and keep it until technology advances to the point where I have to change it out of necessity or it breaks down.
That's my approach too. Apparently I was raised to want to keep things I invested in for a spell (life if possible). And then to fix things that broke. I guess I was also raised to give someone the stank eye (and not my money) when they pull shenanigans like trying to sell me duplicate hardware to get access to software hidden inside of it (Atmos at present) but I digress.

I have a rack of Crown Macrotech amps for a small PA that have a 2nd job of powering my surround system. I'm kind of a scavenger that way sometimes. (Headroom is on point! :D)

So... Critiquing different amps? Assuming this is more than pointing out malfunctions or obvious distortions, OK. I might be interested and listen. This should be a small player next to stuff like setup/alignment in a room, the room itself, and examples of destructive mastering (the hyped volume war stuff). When someone seems to not be aware of those things or can seemingly not hear anything wrong with a treble-y volume war mastered release, I'm not going to take any comments about things much lower on the list all that seriously. My first thought in those scenarios is that I think something else is messing with someone. But I think the amps built into my Genelecs are pretty OK too so what do I know. Leveling your speakers in the same plane should have more impact than the power amp used short of malfunction.

I mean, we have all this grifter crap from Worst Purchase and Amazon nowadays and that stuff IS basically malfunctioning out of the box! I don't think anyone means to include any of that in these conversations though.
 

tonyE

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The truth? What a concept. But keep in mind, everyone's truth is just as valid as your own.

I'm of a different mindset I guess. I buy equipment I like and keep it until technology advances to the point where I have to change it out of necessity or it breaks down. The last time I had a major change for necessity was to get HDMI input capability. Now its on to Atmos capability. I don't have the time nor the desire to keep hunting down and changing out equipment. I'm in it for the music, not the gear.

I haven't played physical disks in years. I handle them only to rip them to my NAS, then store them away. They are a nuisance because of the storage problem. I still have a turntable that only gathers dust, an Oracle Delphi, Black Widow arm, MC cart. All highly regarded equipment back in its day. I use it occasionally now to demonstrate to the odd vinyl aficionado (who always seem to be convinced that vinyl sounds so much better) that hi res digital out performs it under A/B test. So I guess the truth does have a way of biting eh?

I used high end tube gear for a time back in my stereo days. Audio Research SP-6, D-150s, with bi-amped Magneplanar Tympani 1-D's (an upgrade from Dahlquist DQ-10s). A lot of that was purchased on the basis of what the underground rags thought of it at the time. But it wasn't satisfying to me. I listen to rock, not classical (I tried it, it's not my thing). After a while I came to realize the tube components were distortion machines. The distortion was euphonic maybe, but it was distortion none the less. I also realized that for what I was listening to there was better equipment to be had. One day I sold it all and never looked back.

Edit: I just realized, both my old amps and speakers are mentioned in the article you posted.

Well, since you are all products of my imagination, my truth is all that matters, eh? ;-)

Yes, some analog components have very long legs. SOME.... mostly the old tube stuff and some designs that attempted to bypass the nastiness of early solid state transistors.

Music wise we listen to everything BUT rap and hip hop. And we know how real instruments sound so that adds a layer of expectations on how we listen to our music: realism is very important to us... instruments may be euphonic but sound more realistic that other instruments that might more accurate in that way but add a layer of nastiness that makes them less realistic.

I separated my systems a long time ago. The Video (HT) and two channel audio required very different set ups.

My HT has seen the most churn... at one point I had a seven foot rack of Sony ES stuff.... It got so complicated that I bought the 6x6 matrix switch and had a cheat sheet printed out. I used my ADS speakers, an Infinity Video Reference front projector (upped to 480p) and a 19" Proton. I added a Windows NT tower with an early 24/96 audio card, etc, etc... But the churn of standards makes an HT system ( mostly anything digital ) a change-forever proposition.

Today, the only part of my HT to have some long legs are the 7.0 PSB Stratus speaker setup -bought used in '00- but everything else is in flux: LG 77OLED, Emotiva Pre (likely next out), Nuforce MCA-20, Dell i5 Laptop (win8, 64bit), ASUS 7.1 decoder, Direct TV, etc... Sources are now the rips in the LAN NAS ( 110TB, two PLEX servers)... I have ripped all my DVDs into MP4 and ISO... so the laptop can play the ISO as if it were a physical DVD. Things keep changing in there... and I'm not going the way of Atmos. Forget it.

Now, the two channel set up has been a history of refinement, except for the digital. Started the digital with sequential Dell towers running a succession of 24/96 AD/DAC boards, then moved to an M-Audio Profire and now updating to the RME ADI Pro FS and a Dell 8030. That's for the recording/playback path, as a digital tape deck.

I then added Tidal HiFi so for that I use a simple Samsung Android Tablet with update audio drivers, an OTG USB cable and a NuForce HDP4 as DAC... running it as an AUX into the preamp. I updated the tablet with a 512 GB flash card so I got like 400++ downloaded albums (mostly Master Quality). My phone is sync'd to that, so it makes for nice music in our long 2500 mile round drives up the Coast.

The analog audio stuff is more of a refinement.... I seldom sell what I buy... so I got the updated Linn LP12/Trampolin/Ittok/Grado Master 2 well maintained with a new suspension... the CJ PV9 with the teflon caps, and a number of amps and speakers available.... DIY Aleph 5s into the Maggie 1.7i's and the B1Korg/DIY F5 into my oldie ADS L810s for a taste of "rock"... Oh, the VPI HW1.6 ( knock on wood ) is still working well after all this years!

So, the only thing I've been thinking of getting rid of is the CDs and DVDs as I have them all well ripped, but the LPs are a different story. I like the way they sound and every time I change the turntable/preamp/ADC I automatically invalidate everything I've recorded... meaning the sound changes. Besides, with clean records, I find that they don't wear out. And so I rotate between Tidal sources and playing vinyl.

The thing is that 2 channel audio has changed a lot too.. Those Timpanis don't hold up when compared with the current crop of Maggies... and the SP6 will sound outdated when compared with something like my factory upgraded PV9 with those teflon caps (expensive, rare and worth every penny in sound quality). I mean, even something that moves slowly, with somewhat fixed in standards does evolve over time and equipment from the 70s is simply bested by current stuff. The good thing is that if you chose the right components, you might be able to update them... if not, like my ADS L810s, well they sound good still (they were very fine in its time) but they lack the imaging of a Harbeth M30 or my Acoustic Energy AE1s (which oddly enough, although 30 years old, are still outstanding..).

I have four other systems in the house, home offices and in two bedrooms... but that's another story. More toys, except that for my wife's office I'm keeping it sort of static: NuForce DDA120 to Acoustic Energy AE1s.
 
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