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Listening your gear instead of music.

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Listening your gear instead of music.

Postby vanakaru » 15 Apr 2017 09:22

I have realised that I have started to listen my cartridges, amps and speakers.
I have accumulated tens of cartridges, 6 turntables, 4 preamps, 5 speaker pairs(actually many more, but these are not in use). All this is set up in my studio and any time I go there I start fiddling with cartridges and preamps-amps.... Usually I listen just few tracks before I start changing the elements.
But in our living-room(where my wife keeps rather minimalistic style) I have TT without detachable cartridge carrier/sled(not easy to fiddle) I listen music and I do not notice any desire to try to improve the sound.
So could it be that the obsession for different equipment comes from opportunity?
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Re: Listening your gear instead of music.

Postby Hofnar » 15 Apr 2017 09:33

vanakaru wrote:So could it be that the obsession for different equipment comes from opportunity?

Of course it is. The french even have an expression for it: Embarras de richesse.
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Re: Listening your gear instead of music.

Postby bernard1 » 15 Apr 2017 10:25

Hofnar wrote:
vanakaru wrote:So could it be that the obsession for different equipment comes from opportunity?

Of course it is. The french even have an expression for it: Embarras de richesse.

You mean "embarras du choix", I presume :-)
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Re: Listening your gear instead of music.

Postby Hofnar » 15 Apr 2017 13:46

bernard1 wrote:
Hofnar wrote:
vanakaru wrote:So could it be that the obsession for different equipment comes from opportunity?

Of course it is. The french even have an expression for it: Embarras de richesse.

You mean "embarras du choix", I presume :-)

Mais oui. Pardonnez moi! But, in a sense, you have to be rich to be spoiled for choice, n´est ce pas?
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Re: Listening your gear instead of music.

Postby JoeE SP9 » 15 Apr 2017 16:51

I'm not a collector of gear. I have no collection of gear and speakers for me to swap in and out. I've bought what I considered the best (that I could afford) gear for my system. For my main system (big rig) which is strictly stereo there are two speakers and dual subwoofers. Nothing else is even turned on other than what's necessary for two channel playback.

When playing surround/multichannel sources I place my two channel system in bypass mode and the pre/pro handles everything. This includes rear speakers/subs and the necessary amplifiers. IMO this type of setup encourages one to listen to music rather than the gear. Of course if you're into constantly swapping gear and speakers in and out listening to the gear is most likely where you're at.

Swapping gear in and out is usually nothing more than a series of lateral moves. I'm not interested in a bunch of lateral moves. What I am interested in is making my system sound "better". Swapping receivers in and out or selecting from a wall of mediocre speakers may be fun but it doesn't have much to do with improving the sound.

There is a reason why Linn wants only one pair of speakers in a room during auditions. All those unused speakers have an effect on the speakers one is actually using. If you don't believe this attach an O'Scope probe to the terminals of any unused speaker in your room and monitor the signal unpowered speakers produce. Take note of the fact that any speaker cone that vibrates in sympathy with the mains effects the sound of the speakers you're actually using. That they produce a measurable output from the terminals should tell you something.

I suggest buying gear and speakers that you really like and setting them up optimally in your room.
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Re: Listening your gear instead of music.

Postby JDJX » 15 Apr 2017 17:52

FWIW..
It has often been said that when an audio sys is set up / adjusted correctly, you do not have a frequent urge to adjust something. :)
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Re: Listening your gear instead of music.

Postby vanakaru » 15 Apr 2017 19:10

JDJX wrote:FWIW..
It has often been said that when an audio sys is set up / adjusted correctly, you do not have a frequent urge to adjust something. :)


I like that! Puts my mind in ease.
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Re: Listening your gear instead of music.

Postby Bob in STL » 16 Apr 2017 20:22

I like to think the music comes first but the gear is a big part for me.

Certainly for some in the hobby the swapping and trying of different components is important, the quest for better. Not everybody does it, or can afford to, but some people might actually like the gear more than the music.

I am fortunate to have three systems set up. In a living room we have a surround sound system and I have one turntable connected. We mostly stream music here but we also play records or CD/DVD & Blu Ray. I rarely change anything here because it is disruptive and it would bug my wife to have to re-learn the settings. I can swap cartridges but that is about it. This system is in her domain.

In my home office I have a vintage system with a turntable and I mostly leave that alone other than occasional component swaps.

I have a dedicated two channel sound room in my finished basement for critical listening. It is my domain. I do most of my swapping and testing and comparing here. I guess I like to experiment and tweak just as much as the music itself.

Years ago when we were raising our kids I did not have this much time or money invested in audio/video but it has become a hobby that I returned to and first loved as a teenager.

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Re: Listening your gear instead of music.

Postby vinyl master » 17 Apr 2017 06:42

JoeE SP9 wrote:I'm not a collector of gear. I have no collection of gear and speakers for me to swap in and out...I suggest buying gear and speakers that you really like and setting them up optimally in your room.


And if you would like to hear music in MORE than one room, maybe THREE or FOUR rooms, what then? :-k

Let's not forget that there are other reasons to buy more gear...Say you want a big system in the living room? What if you want something special in the mancave? How about an old stereo in the garage for when you're "putzing" around on stuff? Maybe a player in the basement rec room for fun? What about the cabin up north? A smaller bedroom system? Another poster here even put one outside in his garden! How about a spare set-up for when your best turntable suddenly goes "on the fritz" and needs attention? What about buying them as gifts for friends just getting into vinyl? What about giving your kids turntables as gifts when they get of age? If you have a really nice turntable, what about buying one just like it for the parts, especially if it is a rare model?

I could list lots of reasons to own more than one, but my favorite reason is simple...BECAUSE I LIKE MORE THAN ONE! And although I find some to be better than others, I have a hard time choosing...What can I say? 8-[

And the ultimate question is control...How does one control themselves when good, decent equipment (whether on purpose or by accident) keeps coming their way? :-k

First, you spy that rare relic at the flea market...You fix it up, and then, your friends are bringing you turntables they want fixed or don't need...Then, someone throws away a jewel that you just can't let the trashman take...It's a vicious cycle!

Yeah, I know...A problem some would LOVE to have... :roll:

To go back to the OP's original thought...Yeah, I think the obsession for different equipment does come from opportunity...opportunity to hear, opportunity to buy and/or opportunity to take...And I've always been told to strike while the iron is hot and get while the gettin's good!
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Re: Listening your gear instead of music.

Postby cafe latte » 17 Apr 2017 07:17

I too have lots of carts and 5 turntables but recently been working out what worked with what best as I seem to have found a real synergy with one of my carts and my Technics sl1200mk2. Other turntables get a turn just for a change rather than obsessing. Using my CJ valve amp for the turntable and my mosfet class A for TV and digital just because it is easier than valve. My ATC scm 100 clones I am happy with now I have them just about factory. That said I have spare tweeters, spare bass drivers and maybe soon spare crossovers, just need mids for a second set :twisted: Is too sets of scm 100's in one room overkill? Might need toughened glass in the windows though :mrgreen:
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Re: Listening your gear instead of music.

Postby vanakaru » 17 Apr 2017 13:03

Some time ago I was going to sell all the carts(about 10) I have not touched for a year. I gave each one a test drive before putting up the sale.......you can guess what happened.
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Re: Listening your gear instead of music.

Postby vanakaru » 17 Apr 2017 13:08

Some time ago I was going to sell all the carts(about 10) I have not touched for a year. I gave each one a test drive before putting up the sale.......you can guess what happened.

And I do agree(actually my wife does too) that the badly unsatisfied desires from youth would haunt you for the rest of your life.
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Re: Listening your gear instead of music.

Postby DeepEnd » 17 Apr 2017 16:10

Once you have found the synergy of a number of parts together (and yes this is not easy and why we "adjust/change things" all the time) then at that point you only tend to listen to the music rather than the system.

One of the best (and most honest) bits of advice I have had was once when I considered changing my speakers when moving to a larger room (system was Rega Planar 3+A&RP77, MF B200 and Rogers LS2a). Having loaded all this into the car and re-set it up at the dealer and let it warm up again the dealer sat in and listened in order to provide some advice on what he would suggest speaker wise.

He said "You have a real problem here. Your system just "works" so well as it is. Either change absolutely nothing or change everything until you have another set of parts that works better and it's going to cost a lot to do that". Effectively he was declining a sale to me on the grounds that it wasn't the right thing to do.

I have more respect for that dealer than any other and yes I became a long term customer a few years later when the amp died. Still trying to get back to that "it just works" situation again. Next test is to have a Nagaoka MP-10 Boron retipped with a Paratrace. :roll: :roll: :roll:
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Re: Listening your gear instead of music.

Postby Paraneer » 17 Apr 2017 17:15

Big +1 to JoeE's post!

I often find it amusing that audiophiles, like me, are accused of listening to their gear when we are actually the true music lovers. And we seek to reproduce our favorite music in as realistic a manner as possible. An excerpt from Wikipedia about being an audiophile...

"A key goal of audiophiles is to capture the experience of a live musical performance in a room with good acoustics, and reproduce it at home."

Note the words with good acoustics. The above is very contrary to the collectors who have multiple systems set up in every room. Chances are they are not taking into consideration the acoustics of every room and its inherent affects on sound reproduction.

An audiophile will. An audiophile will also pay close attention to how each component interacts with one another to eliminate any weak links and achieve synergy. And once this is done, the audiophile sits back and enjoys what was the motivation for all the above careful applications of gear and room - to enjoy music! There is now little need to buy gear or upgrade anymore. Except when a stylus goes bad.

So to this end, I think it is those who only have one pair of speakers, one amp, one TT, etc who are the true music lovers. That's all they need to enjoy the music. Providing its the right gear in the right room. The ones with multiple systems, multiple speakers, multiple amps/receivers, etc and are always swapping pieces are really the ones that enjoy listening to their gear. And there's nothing wrong with that either.
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Re: Listening your gear instead of music.

Postby eddie edirol » 17 Apr 2017 18:44

I was lucky enough to run into this forum before I got all my gear together, and I was watching "Hoarders" at the time, so that put me on the radar to avoid looking for "Nirvana".
It also just occurred to me that when I had a crude setup in my teens, I had a Gemini Equalizer, and I kept re-equalizing for every song I wanted to listen to.
If I didnt have restraint, I would have a different setup for the three different types of music I listen to, just so I can get the old vinyl masterings sounding full like the new ones. That will never happen (not with some original vinyl recordings anyway) So I enjoy them as they are on one system.

But Im a tinkerer, I will probably grow old with a garage full of turntables that I have yet to fix, and every room will have a full system. I dont know if I would have rooms full of systems to listen critically, or just to tinker. I have my fingers crossed that its neither.
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