What is your preferred Audio System?

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Matt308

Glock Perfection
18,961
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Apr 12, 2005
Washington State
I'm curious. This forum has quite the diversity in folks background and age. Surely our music tastes run the gamut too. But the younger generation has embraced music portability over preference to sound quality. It is typically (though not always) a rather severe tradeoff that audiophiles abhor.

So I ask, what is your primary music equipment? Are you an iPod/MP3 person? Use a docking station? Only your computer with chinsy speakers and perhaps a "subwoofer"? I put that in quotes because some of today's "subwoofers" are actually nothing more than a bass-module. Do you own a large stereo with floorstanding speakers? Perhaps you are just using a 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound system that doubles as your music system too.

What's the concensus?

[I'll post mine a bit further down]
 
I use my iPod for the main, and when im online I listen to it all on the computer. When my parents are out though ill put a CD on my humble hi-fi and crank it right up loud...To be honest though i'd like a few vinyls, but I dont have anything to play them on...

My parents have an awesome hi-fi stack system though with some bad-*** floor standing speakers, which are also rooted to some nice Bose speakers in the living room which are pretty neat...shame they listen to poor music through em though...
 
I only listen to talk radio.

All I need is an AM radio.

Hmmm......... I should start an internet WW2 aircraft "talk" station. It could automatically read the messages in here and do a text to speech conversion.
 
MP3 on the go, CDs i'll play on my little Hi-Fi which is also where i listen to a lot of radio, a lot of music stored on the computer and my absolute favourite, my tiny sony radio, mono speaker, batteries only need replacing a couple of times a year i've had it for as long as i can remember and i dunno what i'd do without it.........
 
MP3 player for going to work, a small JVC radio/CD player in my home office. In the evenings I use my Hi Fi. Pioneer Amp, Marantz CD player, NAD turntable, Wharfdale Speakers, Denon Tuner
 
Gulp, I feel like a dinosaur, both for the media used and for the approach in listening music...

Anyway:

Vinyls (michell gyrodek/maywareV/denon 304+stanton881/rotel RHQ10 phono pre) and CD (Marantz CD10) + self-built tube pre, Rotel RHB10 PA, self-built speakers at home. I also have a pair of QUAD (34+306) that are currently disconnected but that I will NEVER sold

CD in the car, gear was bundled the car (and sounds pititiful...)

MP3 when nothing else is available/practical (and sounds like krap...)

No music when at work, the only time I can stand background music is when driving.
 
Impressive Glider and Parmigiano. I fully understand the portability of MP3, but on a decent stereo system that format has little or no impact, no dynamic range, sounds compressed, and is fatiguing.

My audio system. I'll spare everyone the video portion.

B&W 703 speakers
Rotel RB-1080 200wpc Amp
Rotel RC-1090 Preamp
Panasonic Surround Sound Reciever
Sony 200-Disc Multichanger
Soney ES Single Disc CD
Velodyne Subwoofer
 

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Great stuff Matt, I always liked B&W sound (long ago I had the DM2a that I foolishly sold for a crumb).
I once listened a Velodyne sub (can't remember the model) and I was really impressed.

Glider, is your NAD turntable the old model, the one derived from the belt drive AR turntable?
 
I guess I'm a purist. Once you've heard music beyond the MP3 format, you never go back. I like the MP3 format for portability, but I think the technology is excessive. Who the hell wants 5000 songs on a little portable device? Who the hell HAS 5000 songs, let alone the time to listen to them? My 200 disc CD changer contains CDs in it that I rarely ever hear a single cut from. 5000, 10000 songs? On a portable?

The demise of the CD has arrived. Soon it too will be relegated to the way of the DoDo and vinyl. We already have CD, CD-ROM, CD-R, CD-R/W, SACDs, etc. Certainly this technology has reached an end with the popularity of the compressed file MP3 format. Unfortunately, we are losing some musicality with that choice.
 
Parmigiano said:
Gulp, I feel like a dinosaur, both for the media used and for the approach in listening music...

Anyway:

Vinyls (michell gyrodek/maywareV/denon 304+stanton881/rotel RHQ10 phono pre) and CD (Marantz CD10) + self-built tube pre, Rotel RHB10 PA, self-built speakers at home. I also have a pair of QUAD (34+306) that are currently disconnected but that I will NEVER sold

CD in the car, gear was bundled the car (and sounds pititiful...)

MP3 when nothing else is available/practical (and sounds like krap...)

No music when at work, the only time I can stand background music is when driving.

Any pics of you system? I'm intrigued with your vinyl setup. I gave all my albums away. I had a rather crummy Yamaha turntable subject to poor isolation and only a hundred or hundred and a half albums.

I really would like to see your self-built tube pre-amp.
 
B&W? Yes, in fact Hell Yes!

Bose? NO! one thousand times NO! stop spending your money on vile, useless, crap!

Signed - Someone who has been in the business 18 years...
 
Oh I don't know Clave. While MP3 is not audiophile, or even decent stereo, quality it does have it's place.

I too have a Bose Wave desktop system. While it does have its limitations, it makes a great radio for the nightstand. Here's a good example of where a 5 hour MP3 CD comes in handy.
 
I have to admit that they have done wonders for two inch speakers. No stereo imaging though.

If I bought an MP3 player, which one should I get. I would like to load my music at the highest bit rate. Radio tuner would be nice. Thus a decent display is imperative. Thoughts?
 
I apologize in advance if I can feel 'heavy' on this topic, is just that I am really into the stuff since 25 years (I used to write on HiFi magazines when I was still young and bold..)

Matt, i only have some bad quality pictures of my stuff: the ones that I had posted in the hi-fi thread i had started a couple of months ago.
Anyway, if you are interested, I could scan and post the schematic of the tube pre.
But if your records are still in good shape and you can/want spend a $1000 it is definitely worth to get a new turntable. You'll be surprise how well the vinyl sounds on a decent setup..


MP3 : in very rough terms the problem of this technology is the high efficiency of the compression software that allow to have musical files in 'manageable' sizes.
Basically the compression logic 'cuts' all data and information deemed 'non essential', typically the low level signals
The issue is that all the micro-information that allows to rebuild the ambience, horizontal and vertical image etc. are contained in the data eliminated by the compression software.
Thus the mp3 always sounds 'innatural' and 'artificial' if compared to i.e. a CD, the difference is proportional to the quality of the reproduction system (.. probably no difference on a boom-box or a laptop)


Bose... a difficult topic. Dr. Amar G. Bose did some great research back in the 70 with his original direct/reflecting approach. The outcome (the 901 series) although not fitting my personal taste was remarkable.
Then Bose did a great marketing work and made a lot of money selling average stuff with the image of 'hi-end' technology.
Nothing to say about the 'good sound' of the micro-speakers for i-pod, but this is NOT hi-fi
 
i'd stay away from iPods, not only are they famed for their unreliability, they eat battery like there's no tomorrow and are expensive (£100 for 1Gig iPod Nano, about £180 for a 20Gig sony) but worst of all is iTunes, you need to install software on your computer just to get songs onto your MP3 player, what's that all about? their menu and display is exceptional however, but i'd go for a Sony or Creative, look in an argos catalogue or something like that to gen an idea of what's out there........
 

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