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Khablam
Mar 29, 2012



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toplitzin posted:

Who wants a listening room in their house, when you can have a separate LISTENING BARN?


(Click for masturbatory post/spec out)

Funny story: I have the exact laptop that this guy uses, and for-fun did an audio analysis of it's soundcard, with a view to help someone else pick up a machine for some recording from a 3.5mm source. It's actually really, really good and I'm now worried I accidentally bought some audiophile equipment.

As for the barn, I can't imagine what percentage of his income this is for someone who "works in retail". Its truly on another level of insanity.

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Ron Burgundy
Dec 24, 2005
This burrito is delicious, but it is filling.

Being on the board of Walmart is "works in retail", right?

Neurophonic
May 2, 2009


He's terminated those ridiculously expensive cables with the cheapest Neutrik FC Series SpeakOn connectors they make. It also looks like the speakers themselves use the bog standard plastic SpeakOn sockets, rather than the nicer and more durable metal ones.

Frankly I'm surprised they haven't tried to push the use of something that apparently sounds better, like Amphenol EP series or even just banana plugs. I know of a theatre in the south of the UK that actually ABX tested all sorts of speaker connections and had their entire cabinet range changed to EP series as it sounded more 'transparent' than the others. Nevermind that their whole install was on 50 metre runs of cable.

Mr. Funny Pants
Apr 9, 2001



Ron Burgundy posted:

In my opinion, in many ways Bose and Apple Computer are quite similar....The build quality is acceptable, but with a little know-how you could find something better for the price.

This was a loooong time ago, but I remember reading a piece where the non-insane writer disassembled a Bose Wave Radio (possibly the Acoustimass stuff too, can't remember) and he couldn't believe how cheap and low quality the materials were. He said it was about what you would expect to see in a $100 Aiwa boombox.

Khablam
Mar 29, 2012



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Ron Burgundy posted:

Being on the board of Walmart is "works in retail", right?

Sure, and that's how you'd describe that job

jonathan
Jul 3, 2005

by LITERALLY AN ADMIN


Blistex posted:

He has the same acoustic tiles that are on the wall in the raised parts of the ceiling (you can see them in the first picture). Naturally the rug and the furniture will help, and I think the giant shelves of vinyl will make a difference as well (CD cases might even be ok). The room also has interesting geometry to it (I'm looking at the angles, juts, and those weird columns built into the walls to the left and right of the chair), and I would not be surprised if he had an expert design it to give him better results without having to sacrifice sound quality too much. Then again he's also the kind of guy that would probably have mentioned it if an expert did plan the room to have better acoustics.

He mentions Auralex treatments which are pretty inexpensive and don't measure very well as far as absorbing anything in the bass region. So he's using some very minor diffusion in a couple spots, almost no treatments with absorbing properties.

I know what professionally designed rooms look like that sound and measure well, and they look like studios.

KillHour
Oct 28, 2007






I'm going to sneak into this guy's barn in the middle of the night, and gradually replace his expensive "audiopile grade" equipment with cheap look-alikes and see if he notices. I'm going to start by replacing those risers with these:

http://www.horizonhobby.com/product...CFYcDOgod3yEARg

longview
Dec 25, 2006

heh.


Khablam posted:

Funny story: I have the exact laptop that this guy uses, and for-fun did an audio analysis of it's soundcard, with a view to help someone else pick up a machine for some recording from a 3.5mm source. It's actually really, really good and I'm now worried I accidentally bought some audiophile equipment.

As for the barn, I can't imagine what percentage of his income this is for someone who "works in retail". Its truly on another level of insanity.

I found most laptops made after 2009 actually have really nice analog audio out, no problem using my Latitudes analog out into my headset and speaker amp plus most laptops have 24-bit TOSLINK outputs (which is somewhat useful when using the Windows volume control.
I can't speak for the inputs though but I'd imagine they are generally good, I've had no problem with Skype at least.

My ~Asus~ motherboards built-in is so noisy from ground loops it's useless (same setup as the laptop except the desktop has maybe 60 dB SNR), potentially it's poor design or my internal wiring isn't optimized but I don't care so I use an external optical DAC (Fiio E-something) which for $30 is excellent.

Blistex
Oct 30, 2003

Macho Business
Donkey Wrestler



Oh, missed that.

I was pretty sure a guy that puts over 1/2 a million into audio equipment at least has the brains to get the room set up properly.

Edit: Link the the build process of the room: http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue16/lavigneroom.htm

Blistex fucked around with this message at 23:50 on Apr 28, 2013

Endless Mike
Aug 13, 2003





qirex posted:

Audioholics did a review of the Pioneer Andrew Jones speakers and they only listed "con" in the summary is

which to me is hilarious because they could have said the same thing in several different ways, like "design kind of ugly" or "cabinet finish feels cheap" [which he did say later in the review] but they decided to state it in the lamest way.

As someone who owns them, I can confirm that my cheap speakers do not look or feel like expensive speakers. Strange how that works out.

KozmoNaut
Apr 23, 2008

Happiness is a warm
Turbo Plasma Rifle


Endless Mike posted:

As someone who owns them, I can confirm that my cheap speakers do not look or feel like expensive speakers. Strange how that works out.

Yeah, but what about your "pride of ownership factor"?

Completely unrelated to that, how do they sound?

Endless Mike
Aug 13, 2003





KozmoNaut posted:

Yeah, but what about your "pride of ownership factor"?

Completely unrelated to that, how do they sound?
I'm no audiophile, but I like them quite a bit. I think I need to get my receiver better set up, though, since speaking parts of TV and movies seem to be a lot quieter than pretty much everything else, which is annoying.

KozmoNaut
Apr 23, 2008

Happiness is a warm
Turbo Plasma Rifle


Endless Mike posted:

I'm no audiophile, but I like them quite a bit. I think I need to get my receiver better set up, though, since speaking parts of TV and movies seem to be a lot quieter than pretty much everything else, which is annoying.

Is it a 5.1 system with a center channel?

If so, you need to boost the center channel, your receiver should have an option for it. I find that most movies have way too quiet center channels compared to everything else, when played back at a normal volume level. When played back at cinema sound levels, it's fine, but that's not very popular with neighbors.

Give it a healthy 6-12dB boost and I bet everything will sound a lot more balanced.

If it's a stereo setup, try and see if your receiver can boost the center channel before downmixing to stereo.

Endless Mike
Aug 13, 2003





KozmoNaut posted:

Is it a 5.1 system with a center channel?

If so, you need to boost the center channel, your receiver should have an option for it. I find that most movies have way too quiet center channels compared to everything else, when played back at a normal volume level. When played back at cinema sound levels, it's fine, but that's not very popular with neighbors.

Give it a healthy 6-12dB boost and I bet everything will sound a lot more balanced.

If it's a stereo setup, try and see if your receiver can boost the center channel before downmixing to stereo.

It's an Onkyo TX-NR515 7.2 receiver running a (currently) 3.1 setup. I've played with the setting some, but I think it may be per input, so I have to look into it more. I'm new to this whole home theater thing.

Laser Cow
Feb 22, 2006

Just like real cows!

Only with lasers.


I'm running a 2 channel system and had the exact same problem because the default output of my PS3 I use as a media centre was 5.1 so I disabled that to force it to use just stereo and it fixed everything.

Oh and to keep us on topic... Audiophile optical cable yeah...

Laser Cow fucked around with this message at 13:11 on Apr 30, 2013

something_clever
Sep 25, 2006


KillHour posted:

Those speaker cables.

"Due to the extreme engineering behind these cables, proper burn in will begin to occur after several hundred hours."

Begin to occur.

I guess they don't do refunds.

http://www.evolutionacoustics.com/cables/speaker-cables/

Over four decades of engineering research and expertise from some of the brightest minds in audio today went into the design of the Evolution Acoustics interconnects, speaker cables and power cords. Each cable model undergoes years of testing and research before ever reaching the market

4 decades of copper cable development?

Evolution Acoustics CEO: "We need to develop a new model of speaker cables, the Sales Dept. has reported that the old model has stagnated in sales!"
Elite Audio Engineering Dept.: "Sure boss, it'll be ready in 2+ years. We've got our best people working on it."
Evolution Acoustics CEO: "2+ years?"
Elite Audio Engineering Dept.: "We also have to test the cable properly. That's at least 8 months!"
Evolution Acoustics CEO: "Excellent! Keep up the good work!"

I halfheartedly tried to find the price of some Evolution Acoustics speaker cables and I found it under reviews: Evolution Acoustics' DRSC speaker cables ($5000/pair)

For that price they really should be pre-burned in for at least 1000 hours?

sethsez
Jul 13, 2006

He's soooo dreamy...




This is the part that really gets me. You're going to charge thousands of dollars for these things but you can't be bothered to ship them out at their best, instead requiring the customer to do the last bit of work for you?

I mean, yes, I know burn-in is a trick to get people to either get used to their lovely new product or at least wait out the return period, but you'd think these people would be less transparent about it. Though I suppose they don't have to be with audiophiles.

Lazlo Nibble
Jan 9, 2004

It was Weasleby, by God! At last I had the miserable blighter precisely where I wanted him!

something_clever posted:

For that price they really should be pre-burned in for at least 1000 hours?
If they got burned in with the wrong music it could make your Peter Green Fleetwood Mac records sound like Buckingham/Nicks Fleetwood Mac records.

Ron Burgundy
Dec 24, 2005
This burrito is delicious, but it is filling.

What's Fleetwood Mac, is it a test track on side b somewhere?

(People with 1000 hour cables don't own anything else)

Blistex
Oct 30, 2003

Macho Business
Donkey Wrestler


Lazlo Nibble posted:

If they got burned in with the wrong music it could make your Peter Green Fleetwood Mac records sound like Buckingham/Nicks Fleetwood Mac records.

poo poo! I'm going to need three sets of cables when listening to Van Halen and four for Pink Floyd. This really is an expensive hobby.

Khablam
Mar 29, 2012



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something_clever posted:

Over four decades of engineering research and expertise from some of the brightest minds in audio today went into the design of the Evolution Acoustics interconnects, speaker cables and power cords. Each cable model undergoes years of testing and research before ever reaching the market

4 decades of copper cable development?

Evolution Acoustics CEO: "We need to develop a new model of speaker cables, the Sales Dept. has reported that the old model has stagnated in sales!"
Elite Audio Engineering Dept.: "Sure boss, it'll be ready in 2+ years. We've got our best people working on it."
Evolution Acoustics CEO: "2+ years?"
Elite Audio Engineering Dept.: "We also have to test the cable properly. That's at least 8 months!"
Evolution Acoustics CEO: "Excellent! Keep up the good work!"

I halfheartedly tried to find the price of some Evolution Acoustics speaker cables and I found it under reviews: Evolution Acoustics' DRSC speaker cables ($5000/pair)

For that price they really should be pre-burned in for at least 1000 hours?

In fairness it takes that long for legal+marketing to get together to ensure their sales material doesn't violate any laws when literally everything they claim is a demonstrable falsehood.

Or, you know, it doesn't and it's just part of the above

jonathan
Jul 3, 2005

by LITERALLY AN ADMIN


I was on hometheatershack.com the other day which has a good DIY community on there who build some good stuff.

I noticed a sponsored ad on the front page for Take 5 Audio, your Canadian DIY headquarters"

"Sweet!" I thought. Finally somewhere like Parts Express for Canada.

So I browse the site. Its all overpriced speakon connectors and "custom interconnects" which they will burn in for you for a fee.

They have some machine that they use to burn in speaker wire and interconnects for you, at $40 a pop.

I've got a spare car battery in the shop. I'm going to go feed my 30' Monoprice HDMI cable 700 cold hard cranking amps. I need to take the colouration it introduces out of the digital stream. Reference calibrated video here we go !

Wild EEPROM
Jul 29, 2011


oh, my, god. Becky, look at her bitrate.


jonathan posted:

I was on hometheatershack.com the other day which has a good DIY community on there who build some good stuff.

I noticed a sponsored ad on the front page for Take 5 Audio, your Canadian DIY headquarters"

"Sweet!" I thought. Finally somewhere like Parts Express for Canada.

So I browse the site. Its all overpriced speakon connectors and "custom interconnects" which they will burn in for you for a fee.

They have some machine that they use to burn in speaker wire and interconnects for you, at $40 a pop.

I've got a spare car battery in the shop. I'm going to go feed my 30' Monoprice HDMI cable 700 cold hard cranking amps. I need to take the colouration it introduces out of the digital stream. Reference calibrated video here we go !

They also charge a ton for shipping. I ordered 10 feet of cable and a couple connectors, which would fit into a small padded envelope, and it ended up being $20 for the stuff and $28 in shipping to BC.

If you're looking for a partsexpress for Canada, try Digikey. Newark, and Mouser. Expensive shipping, but loads of stuff to pick from.

Socket Ryanist
Aug 30, 2004



Have audiophiles given a justification for why they still use unbalanced connections between components? You'd think if they're so concerned with audio quality they'd use one of the most universally agreed-upon techniques for cutting out noise.

Khablam
Mar 29, 2012



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Socket Ryanist posted:

Have audiophiles given a justification for why they still use unbalanced connections between components? You'd think if they're so concerned with audio quality they'd use one of the most universally agreed-upon techniques for cutting out noise.

No one has sold it to them yet, telling them how it lets the mids breathe. This sounds sardonic, but is literally the reason. The other problem is that if you're selling a balanced cable, it needs to actually be such. You can't just wrap it up in mid-grey tubing and talk about its wonderful features that don't exist. i.e. they would need to spend some amount of money or effort on producing it.
If you're reading this as "it's harder to scam that way" then you're getting my intent.

fake e: though I'm sure a lot of the super-expensive cables mention balancing, but usually in about 100 words, acting like each potential benefit is a completely different technology.

fake e2: I really loving hate everything about this industry. MAKE LITERALLY LYING ABOUT YOUR loving HOSEPIPE-SHELL ON A KETTLE CABLE ILLEGAL THE gently caress.

real edit: If you mean standard phono connectors 3.5mm/6.35mm etc, then I think they are by design anyway?

Khablam fucked around with this message at 00:36 on May 2, 2013

pgroce
Oct 24, 2002


Khablam posted:

real edit: If you mean standard phono connectors 3.5mm/6.35mm etc, then I think they are by design anyway?

I assume he means connector standards with a dedicated ground, like XLR. It's a little surprising they don't insist on that as a minimum standard so they can argue about ground loop hum and whatnot, actually. Or maybe that's too tangible for them, and they'd rather discuss the sound color or how the mids are tannic with a tobacco finish or whatever.

jonathan
Jul 3, 2005

by LITERALLY AN ADMIN


Wild EEPROM posted:

They also charge a ton for shipping. I ordered 10 feet of cable and a couple connectors, which would fit into a small padded envelope, and it ended up being $20 for the stuff and $28 in shipping to BC.

If you're looking for a partsexpress for Canada, try Digikey. Newark, and Mouser. Expensive shipping, but loads of stuff to pick from.

Are you decent with navigating those sites ? I'm in need of some binding posts. The threaded kind where you drill a 1/4" hole and then tap the binding post in with a hammer, and then secure it with a nut. Problem is, they all seem to be too short from most websites. My speaker baffler is 1 1/2" thick which means it needs to be longer, like 2" or so.

Basically I need these: http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=091-1245 but long.

TheMadMilkman
Dec 10, 2007



toplitzin posted:

Who wants a listening room in their house, when you can have a separate LISTENING BARN?


(Click for masturbatory post/spec out)

Oh hey, it's Mike Lavigne's barn. I actually met him at RMAF two years ago. Really nice guy. He manages a Honda dealership.

It would take some digging to find them again, but I know I've seen measurements of his room, and at the time it measured extremely well. Looking at the current photos, it looks like he's made a number of changes. The room used to have a lot more fabric, which appears to have been replaced with more wood.

There was a lot of interesting discussion on AVSForum when he had the room constructed. He felt like the room basically required extremely large speakers. A good number of people felt that this indicated that the room was "bad." There has also been a lot of criticism of the room designer, Rives Audio, which apparently has a reputation for using a "one-size fits all" approach to room acoustics.

Pile Of Garbage
May 28, 2007





TheMadMilkman posted:

Oh hey, it's Mike Lavigne's barn. I actually met him at RMAF two years ago. Really nice guy. He manages a Honda dealership.

It would take some digging to find them again, but I know I've seen measurements of his room, and at the time it measured extremely well. Looking at the current photos, it looks like he's made a number of changes. The room used to have a lot more fabric, which appears to have been replaced with more wood.

There was a lot of interesting discussion on AVSForum when he had the room constructed. He felt like the room basically required extremely large speakers. A good number of people felt that this indicated that the room was "bad." There has also been a lot of criticism of the room designer, Rives Audio, which apparently has a reputation for using a "one-size fits all" approach to room acoustics.

There's actually a more detailed article on the rooms build and whatnot linked at the bottom of the page toplitzin posted: http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue16/lavigneroom.htm

KillHour
Oct 28, 2007






TheMadMilkman posted:

Oh hey, it's Mike Lavigne's barn. I actually met him at RMAF two years ago. Really nice guy. He manages a Honda dealership.

It would take some digging to find them again, but I know I've seen measurements of his room, and at the time it measured extremely well. Looking at the current photos, it looks like he's made a number of changes. The room used to have a lot more fabric, which appears to have been replaced with more wood.

There was a lot of interesting discussion on AVSForum when he had the room constructed. He felt like the room basically required extremely large speakers. A good number of people felt that this indicated that the room was "bad." There has also been a lot of criticism of the room designer, Rives Audio, which apparently has a reputation for using a "one-size fits all" approach to room acoustics.

Was your impression that he was insane, or just gullible?

Blistex
Oct 30, 2003

Macho Business
Donkey Wrestler


KillHour posted:

Was your impression that he was insane, or just gullible?

I'm going to guess rich.

longview
Dec 25, 2006

heh.


Actually removing the ground loops would make it so cables don't matter, now the super hi-fi cables with the µOhm shield impedance might drop that hum a few dB!

Plus there would need to be a balanced to unbalanced converter in there, usually a transformer (which is BAD) or a transistor stage (which is BAD). I have seen some audiophile amplifiers that had balanced inputs and used a fully balanced signal path, basically a bridged amplifier with differential inputs, but that's basically an active ground driver, which IIRC has a tendency to double distortion.

Would be interesting to make a reference grade amplifier using the new type of fully balanced opamps (dual outputs), not sure if that would accomplish anything useful though.

Entropic
Feb 21, 2007

patriarchy sucks


Still relevant 50 years later.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7huNxJ3pXUE

BANME.sh
Jan 23, 2008

What is this??
Are you some kind of hypnotist??


Grimey Drawer

I have a personal little blog where I post about the various audio projects I've worked on (mostly restoring vintage pieces), but I did a review of an aftermarket turntable mat which is bordering on audiophile snakeoil. My conclusions after a blind trial were that there was no difference at all versus the standard rubber mat that came with the turntable (no real surprise there). Anyway, it's the most "controversial" post I've done and seems to have struck a chord with the maker of the mats himself, as well as another dude who decided to write a book on the subject in my comments area.

I took a little jab at him by mentioning +$100/foot speaker wire, but it went right over his head as he said "$100/foot is not a bad price for decent speaker wire"



Anyway, while risking an obvious shameful promotion of my own blog, it might be a funny read to some of you here:

http://iamthejeff.com/post/4/herbies-way-excellent-ii-turntable-mat#comments

Like most ridiculous audiophiles, he completely dismisses blind trials as any sort of objective measure of "quality", and insists that prolonged listening sessions are the only way to determine the true difference between gear.

KozmoNaut
Apr 23, 2008

Happiness is a warm
Turbo Plasma Rifle


Oh wow, it's like he's deliberately hitting every single audiophile cliché.

Working in the industry (yeah right), his wife exclaiming that he must have gotten a new turntable because the music sounds so much better (totally shitthatdidnthappen), dismissing double-blind tests, claiming that high-end speaker cables and interconnects are only for true high-end systems and that the plebes with the low-fi or mid-fi wouldn't even be able to appreciate a REAL hi-fi system anyway.

And of course heavily promoting a product that makes no difference at all to the sound quality.

It's the perfect storm.

Opinion Haver
Apr 9, 2007





I really love this default avatar.

skipdogg
Nov 29, 2004
Resident SRT-4 Expert


KozmoNaut posted:

Yeah, but what about your "pride of ownership factor"?

Completely unrelated to that, how do they sound?

I also own them, and they're well built for the 87 dollars each I paid for them. Not sure what anyone expects for 87 dollars these days.

I'm very happy with them, I've noticed more problems with my source material than the speakers themselves.

Pile Of Garbage
May 28, 2007





KozmoNaut posted:

Oh wow, it's like he's deliberately hitting every single audiophile cliché.

Working in the industry (yeah right), his wife exclaiming that he must have gotten a new turntable because the music sounds so much better (totally shitthatdidnthappen), dismissing double-blind tests, claiming that high-end speaker cables and interconnects are only for true high-end systems and that the plebes with the low-fi or mid-fi wouldn't even be able to appreciate a REAL hi-fi system anyway.

And of course heavily promoting a product that makes no difference at all to the sound quality.

It's the perfect storm.

Don't forget the stupid audiophile buzzwords:

quote:

"coherent/visceral soundstage"
"bloated bass"
"soundstaging"
"imaging"
"musical dynamics"
"ambient vitality"
"sonic differences"
"full sonic potential"
"glare in the dynamics"

The best bit though was the following from his second comment/essay (Which you mentioned):

quote:

if you can hear a difference, then there is a difference and blind tests will bear that out. If you cannot hear any difference, then there is no point in blind testing. Claiming "placebo effect" and such, though certainly having some degree of validity in many scenarios, is often used just as a tool for skeptics and naysayers to perpetuate their arguments.

That is basically audiophile reasoning summed up in two sentences.

Khablam
Mar 29, 2012



2008,2014,2015,2017,2018
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BANME.sh posted:

I have a personal little blog where I post about the various audio projects I've worked on (mostly restoring vintage pieces), but I did a review of an aftermarket turntable mat which is bordering on audiophile snakeoil. My conclusions after a blind trial were that there was no difference at all versus the standard rubber mat that came with the turntable (no real surprise there). Anyway, it's the most "controversial" post I've done and seems to have struck a chord with the maker of the mats himself, as well as another dude who decided to write a book on the subject in my comments area.

I took a little jab at him by mentioning +$100/foot speaker wire, but it went right over his head as he said "$100/foot is not a bad price for decent speaker wire"



Anyway, while risking an obvious shameful promotion of my own blog, it might be a funny read to some of you here:

http://iamthejeff.com/post/4/herbies-way-excellent-ii-turntable-mat#comments

Like most ridiculous audiophiles, he completely dismisses blind trials as any sort of objective measure of "quality", and insists that prolonged listening sessions are the only way to determine the true difference between gear.

I've followed your blog just to poo poo on this guy where he pops up.

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Sagacity
May 2, 2003
Hopefully my epitaph will be funnier than my custom title.

$8800 seems like a reasonable price point for a networked media player.

http://www.ayonaudio.com/products/cd-player-dac/network-player/ayon-s-3.html

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