Re: Bleg: 33 RPM

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I have a record player, but it is currently not in my possession, and I have no idea what brand it is or how much it cost. But it works fine. Hope that helps.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 9:39 AM
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You can get usb turntables.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 9:41 AM
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If you aren't going to be DJing a direct drive turntable isn't necessary; you can often find things like old Marantz belt drive turntables for not that much, and they sound just as good as anything.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 9:45 AM
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direct drive turntable

Is that what people mean by "fixie"?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 9:47 AM
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Oh, right, the sound-from-computer thing. I dunno. Lots of ways to go. You could get a cheap multi-input preamp and hook the speakers up to that. I got this and it is delightful although it doens't have a phono preamp, which you'll need.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 9:47 AM
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4: my father-in-law refers to fixed gears as "direct drive" bicycles, which I do kind of enjoy.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 9:48 AM
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Lets see who would rather talk about machinery than about people.

Largeish electronics retailers now sell turntables with a USB plug, I think made for ripping LP collections. My mom bought an all-in-one turntable/CD/receiver, the case styling suggests marketing to the elderly.

IMO, attention to sound quality should start with the speaker. If a turntable made in the last century is the goal, with tonearm, head shell, needle dynamics leading to ebay obsessiveness, I'd choose AR-77, easy to clean and maintain.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 9:49 AM
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I have your basic Audio Technica USB turntable and use Audacity to turn the songs on the records into VBR mp3s. It works great as far as I can tell. Don't know about analog speakers.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 9:54 AM
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[Extreme length]

You need 2 things:

1) a turntable

Lots of perfectly OK cheap second hand decks around. If you aren't going to super into vinyl as a thing, a decent mid-priced [when new] Technics direct drive deck would be perfectly fine. I don't know what the prices would be like in the US, but here in the UK you could certainly pick up something like that for the equivalent of $50 - $100.

You'd probably want to replace the stylus [needle] just in case. You don't want to scratch up your records.

Buying new or nearly new you could look at Project or Rega. You could get something for around $300. Less second hand.

2) a way of making it loud

re: 2)

There's two basic ways of making stuff loud.

i) An amplifier and (passive) speakers.
ii) active speakers [i.e. speakers that are powered and don't need a additional amp]. Computer speakers are usually active speakers.

BUT:
If you want to use a turntable you'll need a preamp/amp that can work with them. Turntables use an odd equalisation curve (RIAA) so when playing back from a record the preamp needs to understand that. You can buy standalone preamps that you can add to an existing amp you have that doesn't have a 'phono' input, or you can use an amp that has a built-in phono preamp which would often be the case for older amplifiers.

Prices for stand-alone phono preamps start pretty low [tens of dollars] and can go to stratospheric/insane prices. Alternatively, some turntables are designed for people that don't have amps/pre-amps that take 'em, and they have a built in preamp.

Then your basic choices are, more or less:

turntable [built in preamp] + amp + speakers
turntable [built on preamp] + active speakers
turntable + standalone preamp + amp + speakers
turntable + standalone preamp + active speakers
turntable + amp with built in phono preamp + speakers

I'd guess the last is probably the most standard way that people did it in the past. Turntable into a hifi amp with an internal phono preamp [in ye olden dayes, most had one] into ordinary speakers. You could do that pretty cheaply if you bought second hand and weren't desperate for 'audiophile' sound weren't sure if you were going to buying a lot of vinyl. Of course you could also plug your computer into the same amp and speakers, and that'd sound much nicer, too.

[On preview, yes you can get USB decks. I don't think many of them are particularly well made or decent as decks, though.]


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 10:00 AM
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Further to previous: there are lots of decent not-to-expensive decks around if you are the kind of person who thinks they might be interested in that sort of thing and can shop around. Otherwise, basically what Sifu said re: Marantz or similar [and what I said re: Technics non-DJ direct drive decks].


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 10:01 AM
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hey, mr go away ben, go away!


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 10:05 AM
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How we got one was Dolly Parton left one on the street corner and I brought it home. Sort of. It is currently a special needs turntable.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 10:24 AM
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You should get one of those old-timey Victrolas with the big horn and all.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 10:25 AM
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Several people have recommended Guitar Center to me as a reasonable place to get used audio equipment. Probably there is some mom-and-pop place near you that you should patronize instead though.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 10:29 AM
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4: my father-in-law refers to fixed gears as "direct drive" bicycles, which I do kind of enjoy.

Wouldn't it be more apt to describe pennyfarthings that way?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 10:50 AM
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15: it would, yes. But I still enjoy it that he calls them that.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 10:54 AM
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Have you considered pedantically correcting him at length the next time he does it?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 10:56 AM
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Ben are you in the SF bay area?


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 11:52 AM
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17 go away


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 12:02 PM
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dq, I am! Can you make my rotating platter dreams come true??


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 12:07 PM
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go away you lowly informant


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 12:10 PM
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Possibly! Expect to have details available later today.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 12:23 PM
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Now, time for the nerdy discussion of moving coil versus moving magnet cartridges ....


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 12:24 PM
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Is the cartridge important? Our Dolly Parton miracle turntable sounds fine and doesn't appear to be scratching any records, but we have made approximately no adjustments to it and the cartridge looks worse for the wear. I was thinking of getting a Shure cartridge for like $60, but then decided to leave well enough alone.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 12:39 PM
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The old Marantz turntables are sooo pretty. Get one of those!


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 12:55 PM
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re: 24

I was basically joking. It matters a bit. You'd hear the difference between two completely different ones, or ones at very different prices. But it's the sort of thing that vinyl/hi-fi obsessives get very heated and strongly opinionated about and where people spend eye-wateringly large sums of money pursuing tiny [possibly imaginary once you get above a certain price point] improvements.

If it was me, and I had a turntable I didn't know the history of, I'd probably replace the stylus [just the needle bit rather than the whole cartridge*] which is usually very inexpensive. Just to protect the LPs.

I'd only be looking at buy a new cartridge if the turntable was worth it, and I wasn't happy with how it sounded as is. It doesn't sound like you are in that category.
* assuming it's an MM cart.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 1:31 PM
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It occurs to me that hi-fis are the only consumer good [apart from maybe cars] where it's possible to spend those staggeringly vast sums of money. If you are into computers, you'll top out at perhaps $10K, and something similar for non-specialist cameras. But you can spend $10K on a fucking needle!


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 1:36 PM
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What about furniture. I'd bet it isn't hard to drop $50,000 on a dining set or something.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 1:42 PM
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Re: 28

Yeah, there is that. And similar art objects and the like. But in the loosely defined consumer technology sphere hifi seems way out on a limb.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 1:48 PM
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Not to be argumentative, but watches and bicycles seem to have similar price distributions. Prices 20x that for a well-made median device, no problem.

I don't think it's gendered, either-- extravagant kitchen gear for households that basically do not cook is what, like 5% of the global economy?


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 1:58 PM
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While they differ greatly when used for commuting or something, as far as items of conspicuous consumption, I don't think bicycles are functionally different from cars. It's all blathering about engineering and detailing and various European things.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 2:05 PM
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I am all sad that I do not have the room to have my records out where they might be played (and thus do not currently have a turntable). I recently placed 2/3 of them with a good home where they will be free to run around all day, basically keeping those that are out of print or have particular sentimental or other worth to me. But who knows when I will manage to listen to them again. Perhaps I should send neb a little turntable-warming gift.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 2:10 PM
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What falls under "consumer goods"? With watches you get into functional jewelry territory, and obviously it's possible to spend vast sums on straight-up jewelry.

Admittedly audiophile prices for components are fascinating.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 2:13 PM
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There is quite a range. People pay hundreds of dollars for various audio cables but I've always made my own by twisting Doublemint wrappers together.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 2:17 PM
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33 go away


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 2:18 PM
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From the person in the household v knowledgeable re this stuff (aka not me): the Sound Well in Berkley does used audio and list current stock on their website. Odd opening hours and he says nothing particularly interesting on their website now in your area of interest. But good for future reference. Most audio shops will have some used gear, eg Audiovision or Music Lovers. He likes Rega for turntables at the low end, says you should be able to get a RP1 for $400 new or a bit more incl arm and cartridge or something similar from Project around the same price that is probably decent.

We have a Rotel pre amp and Adcom power amp we aren't using now that he'd sell for $150 for both, let me know if you're interested and I'll post details. Also included if you'd like it a Cambridge 640C cd player that occasionally doesn't recognize you've put in a disc o you have to turn off then on again.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 2:19 PM
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re: 30

I think hifi goes way out beyond that, though. Not watches, but definitely bikes, I'd have thought? Maybe I'm not informed enough about bike prices, but my impression is that a decent mid-priced hifi and a decent mid-priced bike are priced fairly similarly. But I'm not aware of people spending, say, 20,000 quid on a brake lever, or 100,000 for a frame.

Maybe it's not that dissimilar in the middle of the bell curve, but hifi just has a longer tail.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 2:20 PM
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33. Rocks are definitely included.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 2:25 PM
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I love the idea of the $20k brake lever!


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 2:49 PM
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Campy brake levers are $400, no prob.

Here is a $7000 winch for a sailboat, a passive mechanical part about the size of a melon.

My main point is that I see competitive spending within a subculture as a pretty basic human impulse, widespread.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 3:08 PM
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I have an adcom power amp. It's terrific.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 3:16 PM
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I'm with ttaM on hi-fi. $20k for an RCA cable! You could spend $40k or so on a bike, but more than that would be pretty near impossible.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 3:17 PM
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Boat stuff you can certainly spend zillions of dollars, but there isn't the low end in the same way, exactly.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 3:20 PM
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Cars, maybe.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 3:20 PM
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A car is a really low end boat.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 3:23 PM
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Why would you buy a megayacht when you can rent one for only $700,000.00 per week?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 3:23 PM
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For example. I mean you could spend $77 million on this one and have pride of ownership but would you really use it more than a few weeks a year?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 3:26 PM
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I think I only paid $100 for my suitcase model phonograph, btw.

What I'm wondering now is if I can fix the problem of the tonearm not returning to the...thingy...when the record is over. Let's see if the internet has anything to say about it.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 3:30 PM
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Cradle?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 3:31 PM
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Re:40.1

Yes, but 400 for a lever is not in the same order as 20K for a cartridge or a few thousand for a power cable. Or as Sifu says, a phono cable.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 3:37 PM
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Don't you use your fingers to return the arm to the cradle???

There is a low end of DIY wooden boats.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 4:14 PM
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51.2: wooden boat building? The single most involved, time-consuming hobby on the planet? I think it's a little misleading to talk about that as the "low end". For one thing you need, let's see, a garage, a ton of hand tools, eight thousand hours of free time. I mean arguably your total cost is pretty low the second time you build one, assuming your time has no value.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 4:18 PM
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There are low end plastic kayaks and sailfish and so on, but still, it's not the same as (say) a $50 perfectly capable dorm stereo.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 4:19 PM
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And that's why I was so happy to be the fuck out of the dorm.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 4:23 PM
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I got tired of tripping over everybody's kayaks.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 4:24 PM
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52: There are kits that are quite affordable. The Mirror dinghy (design comissioned by the UK paper of the same name) is available in kit form and can be had for less than $2k for the hull and another grand or so with spars and sails. It's designed to be assembled with simple hand tools by non-experts. I'm rather fond of them, as I learned to sail in one.

There are also relatively inexpensive kayak designs out there using the same stitch and glue technique as the Mirror. I've seen what seem like ought to be inexpensive strip-built canoes, but I have no idea what they cost and I suspect the tools needed are spendy.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 4:40 PM
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It really is ridiculously fun to get a rise out if someone here. Very cheering!

But I am confused by the concept of a non moving winch. I would not like to be in charge of the jib sheet in a tacking duel saddled with a non moving winch.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 5:13 PM
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Three grand is the absolute cheapest you can come up with that you have to build yourself? Don't get me wrong I love wooden boats and the building thereof but, again, very different from a dorm stereo.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 5:17 PM
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Back in high school I needed to get fronted some of my allowance so I would have enough money to purchase some weed. "I need the money to buy my buddy's record player," was the story I sold to my Dad. Record players were worthless, obsolete technology at the time, so it got thrown into the deal for free.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 5:21 PM
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gentrycustomboats.com/Annabelle.html

and very pretty she is.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 5:23 PM
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Things to make music a bit louder, even new, are pretty cheap. We have an ipod/phone dock that cost 30 quid at a bargain hifi place and was originally still well under 100 quid when first launched. Sounds easily good enough to be a dorm room or kid's bedroom stereo. It was our only stereo for a few weeks when mine was boxed for the move, and it didn't suck.

I'd guess it sounds better than most of the 'midi' ( i.e. Something that looks like a couple of stacked components but isn't) systems my friends had in high school but way cheaper, esp. with inflation.

Contrast that with an entry level system from one of the better known British makers. Easily 100-200 times more and then some.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 5:30 PM
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Yes but the boat shown in 47 costs more than twenty-five thousand times the boat described in 56.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 5:34 PM
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To be honest I'm not really sure what the boats v. stereos argument is here or how to win it but: Megayachts are really expensive. That is the take-away point from R. Halford for the day.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 5:36 PM
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Re: 62

Sure. My point above was about consumer goods, esp. tech. Not buildings on water. But, fwiw, the 200 times multiplier gets you to entry level from the standard UK hifi companies. Not to their flagship stuff, when you are talking supercar / house prices.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 5:50 PM
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Sigh. The specs for the Halfordismo Queen got me looking at the engines (looks like the two CAT 3516B engines would use between 160 and 220 gallons of diesel per hour) and then at the vehicles. Probably too late for me to switch careers and be a heavy equipment operator though, huh? I mean, I know, most of the applications for D9 dozers are evil, but man those are beautiful machines.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 5:53 PM
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Scratch that. Now I want a D11. If I won the lottery I would buy one just to use on projects for fun. It looks like they can get you one for between $800K and $1.5 million used.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 6:01 PM
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My wife's cousin is a professional wooden boatbuilder. People with stupid amounts of money pay him so they don't have to spend the 8000 hours themselves. Also, converting old lobsterboats into luxury pleasure-craft is a thing.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 6:03 PM
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65, 66 -- I know (of) a guy who won the lottery and spent most of the money on buying large scale construction equipment, which he used to dig giant holes in the ground and move around dirt. Sounded awesome and way better than a $100,000 stereo.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 6:09 PM
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Yeah, it ain't having the money, it's knowing how to spend it.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 6:10 PM
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But, fwiw, the 200 times multiplier gets you to entry level from the standard UK hifi companies.

I'm convinced that there are two separate markets, a specialized "audio" market, and audio-tech on the mass market.

For years it seemed like you could get better sound by buying a DVD player than a CD player at the same price, presumably because the DVD players had lower margins and larger production runs.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 6:29 PM
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Also, converting old lobsterboats into luxury pleasure-craft is a thing.

Oh yes indeed it is. Turns out those hulls are awesome for cutting through relatively high chop, which whalers and whatever are not, and you can get a super nice pleasure yacht for much less than a similarly sized purpose-built boat will run you. Although I'm fairly sure now that there are purpose-built pleasure yachts that use lobsterboat-type hulls.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 6:59 PM
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I could brag endlessly about the total cost to sound quality ratio of my home stereo but that would make me a very terrible person and a worse commenter.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 7:00 PM
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I think the camera market is heading the same way as the hifi market. Within a couple of years, there will be no point and shoots, only camera phones, and then people like me, lusting after a Fuji X series for £1000. That may be only twice the cost of a high end smartphone now, but if a moto X costs £130 today, there will be something with high end cameraphone performance at that price along soon enough.

Please, Santa, can I have a really nice camera that I can actually carry around, wherever I go? Thank you, Santa.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 11:43 PM
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You could probably build an umiaq pretty cheaply if you already had plenty of driftwood and walrus hides.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-22-14 11:49 PM
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Round here you just can't get the walrus hide. Which just proves global warming is real.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 12:14 AM
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I'd offer to send you one, but it's illegal to buy or sell them and very illegal to send them across international borders.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 12:17 AM
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Plus I don't have any.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 12:17 AM
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And if it keeps raining like it has been lately, the sea ice will melt and they'll all drown. Speaking of global warming.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 12:18 AM
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I do have a reindeer skin but I doubt it's as waterproof. Still it sheds so badly it will soon be good for nothing else but kayaking. At the moment it serves as an excellent cable tidy.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 12:26 AM
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Re: 73.last

A recent micro 4/3rds camera and a compact prime lens would get you that fairly cheaply. I have a Sony Nex these days, and with a prime lens it's a bit bulkier than the equivalent Olympus or Panasonic but it's still small enough to carry all the time. Bought 2nd hand plus a new lens it cost me around 300 quid and would match any APS-C dslr for quality. One of the Sonys with the 1" sensor (RX100) would be pocketable and give better quality than a dSLR would have done a few years back.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 1:51 AM
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But I have all these lovely Pentax lenses! (well, one at least is truly lovely). There are adapters for some systems, I know.

I guess I had better keep dreaming


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 1:55 AM
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Re:81

Those lenses would work fine with an adapter. I use some Nikon and Leica lenses with the little Nex. There's also the Pentax K01, although it is a bit quirky and brick-like the quality is meant to be good and you'd not need an adapter.

For what it's worth, the better prime lenses for the mirrorless cameras are really great. Better than all but a few older SLR lenses.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 2:13 AM
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re: 82.last

For example, the Sigma 30mm f2.8 [about £130 - 150 new] which I have for the NEX gets comparable test numbers [MTF, etc] to the Leica Summilux [about £2500-3000 new]. There are similar results from the better Olympus and Panasonic lenses for micro 4/3rds. It's ridiculous how good current lenses and camera bodies are given their price point [relative to the equivalent inflation adjusted cost for a similar quality of kit in the past].


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 3:38 AM
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re: 72

Heh. I suppose I'm in a similar spot. Almost all of my stuff is 80s or early 90s UK things which I bought really cheaply second hand over several years. I'd dread to think what the equivalent new price would be for the equivalent current models from the same manufacturers. Much more than I could afford, certainly.

Although the comparison would be hard to do as most of those manufacturers no longer really make stuff that competes in the mainstream affordable end of the hifi price range.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 3:45 AM
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72: total cost to sound quality ratio of my home stereo

if your only metric is ratio, doesn't anyone with a junkyard (ie free) clockradio win?


Posted by: simulated annealing | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 4:00 AM
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My metric is the quote from (I think) Louis Armstrong when someone expressed surprise about him, a professional musician, having a really cheap stereo: "Why would I want a thousand-dollar stereo? I only got fifty-dollar ears."


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 4:20 AM
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These things are a bit fluid, though. You easily get used to something. An ex g/friend of mine was sceptical of spending any money on a hifi, and thought the one she'd had since she was at school was fine. As far as she was concerned any supposed difference was marginal.

When we split up and stopped living together, her first or second pay-check after, she went out and dropped a fairly hefty chunk of money on a decent hifi as she couldn't go back to what she had before.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 5:07 AM
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85: they would lack definition.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 5:10 AM
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Not that you should necessarily care about it. I have friends who are really into surround sound and fancy TVs, and (personally) I can't see what all the fuss is about. The picture might be better, or the experience more immersive or whatever, but it's just not something I particular care about [above a certain fairly minimal threshold]. Similarly, I've spent, over the last 25 years, an inordinate amount of time playing guitar, but I've never spent more than £500 on a guitar as I've never felt the need.*

* A normal US-made Fender strat, i.e. a good quality but not luxury, instrument costs around £1000 in the UK.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 5:27 AM
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87: back when I was still DJing I would occasionally be taken aback by how much better the stuff I was playing sounded coming over the studio monitors than it did at home.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 8:43 AM
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Yeah. I've also had the same thing happen. Both with speakers which are usually the biggest and most obvious difference between any two setups; and with other things where I'd not really have expected a big difference [cartridges, DACs etc], where the difference has turned out to be glaringly obvious.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 9:05 AM
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The only difference between the stereo setup in our old place and new place is speaker placement and quality of electrical wiring, yet we still have both heard things in songs that we'd never heard before.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 9:09 AM
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93

The audiophiles are right!!!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 9:16 AM
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94

Speaker placement is a big deal, I think, tbh. In our new place we have lots of bare walls, and some hard flooring, and the speakers face across the room [i.e. from one long side across towards the other long side, where the seating is]. The room is quite resonant [unfortunately]. In our previous London place, the room had lots of carpeting and the speakers sat in a more ideal place for the usual seating.

There's a noticeable difference.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 9:17 AM
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95

I heard all those worries about the quality of the wiring are bullshit in the service of selling absurdly expensive cables.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 9:17 AM
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96

All the cable guff is largely fraudulent snake oil, naturally. Ditto power conditioning, and the like.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 9:18 AM
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re: 95

Pwned by Moby.

There's some audible differences that can be heard in double blind testing with speaker cables and certain amps, I believe. But generally, yeah. Assuming the cables you are using have reasonable quality connectors and aren't faulty, or massively under-spec'd [e.g. really tiny tiny wires for powerful amp/speaker combinations], my understanding is that in most cases there's no provable/measurable difference.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 9:20 AM
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98

A friend of mine who used to do research into audio for the BBC tells a story about being at some high-end audio show, and viewing a demo of some really high end amp/speaker combination [multiple 10s of thousands of pounds] and noticing that the 'speaker cable' was bright orange. He asked the guy, and it turned out they'd not had a long enough run of speaker cable, so they'd just gone to the hardware shop nearby and bought a run of 2-core power cable for lawnmowers.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 9:25 AM
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The electrical wiring in this case was faulty group loop wiring that caused an audible buzz. So not snake oil, but also not something that required anything fancier than, you know, a semi-competent electrician involved at some point in the process.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 9:32 AM
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Actually there was a very slight buzz here that went away when I installed a new (childproof!) outlet yesterday, so "semi-competent" might be stretching things. "Not totally 100% incompetent" might be more apt.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 9:34 AM
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re: 99

Yeah. Power conditioning is marketed at people who have perfectly OK electrical wiring and stable supply, though. Not people who have a genuine problem somewhere in their electrical wiring.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 9:35 AM
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I like my speaker cable because it is flat and easy to stuff behind things, but yeah, any biggish gauge shieldedish stranded wire will do.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 9:36 AM
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Our current set up was paid for by auctioning a couple of ortofan cartridges from back in the day and our prior Roberts BBC monitors. So that we nice! Using harbeths now, they're lovely sounding. Buying them tho was like doing a dope deal, involving calling some dude and meeting him on a street corner in the mission and being led back in his lair, no address given. Reportedly the lair was just a garage stuffed with gear the dude was nervous about anyone touching.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 9:41 AM
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I have some stupid semi-solid-cored speaker wire. Bought a few years back when I had a Naim amp which had specific requirements for the cable because of the way that Naim build their power amps. It's bloody inconvenient, though, as its stiff and hard to run around behind things, and it kinks. I don't have a Naim power amp anymore, though, so at some point soon I'll try to find something flatter and less irritating.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 9:43 AM
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AISIMHB my speakers were a gift from my friend, who got them from his coworker who made the mistake of buying them without consulting his wife, who had seen him off on the speaker-buying errand I think assuming he'd come back with some unassuming satellite-subwoofer kind of thing, not 4' tall, 75 pound speakers with bases filled with concrete. "Oh honey, no," she is reported to have said, "those are guy speakers" before they went to live in the garage until my friend bought them for me.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 9:48 AM
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Heh. I have pretty big speakers, but they aren't as big as yours. Luckily they are quite aesthetically nice [yew wood, etc], though, otherwise [as per cliche] they'd have met with spousal disapproval.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 9:54 AM
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See this is where I really lucked out - we have a great and UNASSUMING system (eg the harbeths). All this unassuming-ness somewhat tempered by the solid wall of LPs visible from the front door).

I can report tho that if you fill speaker stands with lead shot and then the plug holding it in gives way that the shot makes the most extraordinary sound as it runs out. Also that you will be finding shot in the oddest places for months to come despite tremendous clean up efforts. And that you will move before your infant is born.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 9:57 AM
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My speakers are really not that assuming, my description notwithstanding. They aren't invisible, but as long as you're flexible about following the manufacturers instructions that they must be like three feet from any wall, whatever, they're fine.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 10:00 AM
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There's a guy who wanders around my lab (he's emeritus or something? He sort of seems a little like a mascot, or maybe an older Lazlo in Real Genius) who has a pair of 15' tall curved electrostatics, apparently. I'd like to hear them some time, but not enough to, like, try and get invited to this guy's house, what with him being pretty weird.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 10:04 AM
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Similarly, I've spent, over the last 25 years, an inordinate amount of time playing guitar

Hey ttaM, that reminds me that this is probably relevant to your interests.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 10:09 AM
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My husband owns speakers that are apparently gigantic, but I've never actually seen them as they're in storage while we figure out what we want to do with them. He bought them for a giant house in Manchester, though, while meanwhile we live in a small terrace - guessing that they might be a bit 'much' for this house.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 10:09 AM
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Our current set up was paid for by auctioning a couple of ortofan cartridges from back in the day

Do you have to hide your head under a napkin to listen to them?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 10:10 AM
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Yes and such a delightful savory crunch to them!


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 10:14 AM
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If you're still minding this thread, neb, you may care to note that there is a Kenwood KD-2055 on ebay at the moment with a starting bid of $50. It needs a negligible repair and the belt needs restrung, but it would be a great bargain if you could score it for under $100. I have the same and like it quite a bit; it has a faux-marble base that makes it wicked heavy, so it's super-stable.

4' tall, 75 pound speakers with bases filled with concrete

I have such speakers (Wharfedale E90, about that high and nearly 100 lbs apiece). They're ridiculous and powerful beyond any need I have for them, but I can't bring myself to get rid of them, because they sound really great and sometimes it's fun to put on, say, Mahler 2 and make the whole house shake.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 12:08 PM
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If I want to make the whole house shake, I can just run down the stairs.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 12:09 PM
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re: 114

Man, those are big. I have a set of these:

http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volume_6_4/castle-inversion-50-speakers.html

Which are bigger than I think they probably look in the pictures [mine are a darker wood] but aren't really that massive compared to those Wharfedales [or Sifus].


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 12:21 PM
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Thanks for the tip, Jesus.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 12:24 PM
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go away nosflow you racist bully


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 12:26 PM
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116: Yeah, I kind of roll my eyes at myself for having them. They were improbably cheap (used), and I think I'd lost custody of my previous pair after a breakup, so they seemed like a good idea at the time. But who knows, I could buy a warehouse or a castle or a hangar, and then I'd need all that bass power.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 12:29 PM
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sometimes it's fun to put on, say, Mahler 2

Was that Son of Mahler or The Revenge of Mahler? I can never remember.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 12:56 PM
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Mahler and the Temple of Doom.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 12:59 PM
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Mahler: Tokyo Drift.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 1:01 PM
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Mahler 2 is the one with all the cute puppies


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 1:01 PM
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124

This thread's appearance in the sidebar has given me a Stiff Little Fingers "78 RPM" earworm.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 1:03 PM
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125

If it's only 30 LPs and this is a one time thing, consider having a small local studio digitize them for you if the price is right.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01-25-14 8:17 AM
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126

Wow did you ever misread the crowd. Bring back the porn ones.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-28-14 6:45 PM
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127

The spambots are having actual conversations now?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03- 6-17 5:43 PM
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128

It's like that translation fight website.


Posted by: heebie | Link to this comment | 03- 6-17 6:03 PM
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129

Bangalore escorts have chartered a yacht to Croatia in order to take an SAS seminar.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 03- 6-17 7:23 PM
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